Million Dollar Rocky.
123 Minutes. Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachael McAdams, 50 Cent, Naomie Harris, Oona Laurence, Rita Ora & Forest Whitaker. Director: Antoine Fuqua.
Welcome to the punch! Raging in the red corner and burning with a heart full of revenge Jake Gyllenhaal is back. Back from the blue corner, McConaughey ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ rail-thin neon ‘Nightcrawler’ Oscar slight. Muscling up from scrawn to brawn in less months than syllables in the calender year to bring us a powerhouse performance that could go 12 rounds with his dark depths of crawling into the night. Another formidable film that you can add to the next DiCaprio and Pitt’s chameleonic cinematography of greats like the arresting ‘Prisoners’ and cop show ‘End Of Watch’ and the change of course ‘Source Code’ to of course the classic that brought everyone together, including late, fellow young great Heath Ledger; ‘Brokeback Mountain’. ‘Southpaw’ is a first round and rate knockout, willing to go toe-to-toe with the likes of ‘The Fighter’ or UFC’s ‘Warrior’, punching above its weight for the same ring as ‘Million Dollar Baby’, ‘Rocky’, ‘Raging Bull’ and the underrated Mann classic that should have been Will Smith’s iconic career making Oscar; ‘Ali’. Ready to take the belt with blood and sweat from its peers. This lucky lefty hits its mark in the Mayweather age, before the ‘Rocky’ spin-off ‘Creed’ starring Sly Stallone and Michael Jordan (a kid set to be the next sports icon) gets the chance to leave it’s corner. That’s thanks to ‘Training Day’ director Antoine Fuqua entering the gym after last years ‘Equalizer’ reunion with Denzel Washington, proving that when it comes to films like this, Fuqua has no equal, no opponent. With originally a film that was wrote with the real Slim Shady, Eminem in mind, the man that once wrote a Riddler rap audition to Christopher Nolan for ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ passed on the opportunity to co-star with his protégée 50 Cent. Instead the blonde bomber from ’8 Mile’ road chooses to provide the soundtrack of this ride like he did with Sia in ‘The Equalizer’ with ‘Guts Over Fear’.
That’s because the brave glory of Jake Gyllenhaal is the phenomenon here and not just for the mass effect he had on his body, going from flesh and bone to abs and lats in what in a Hollywood 15 minutes looked like one gym session. The skinny on ‘Nightcrawler’ may have been the skin-crawling psychotic psychological transformation as well as the physical one, but there’s more than what meats the eye in this body of work. As Gyllenhaal once again goes beyond the surface to show what lies beneath, the darkness he has seen behind those black eyes, no matter how forced closed they are by wool or another mans hand. From dusting knuckles to hitting the canvas this boxer shows the ecstasy elated highs and sickingly sobering lows of being the definition of a fighter on the ropes in and outside of the ring for this prize fighters metaphor of life. Boldly Balboa showing us that no matter how hard he can get hit, he still gets back up because that’s all that matters. Gyllenhaal is punch drunk in love with capturing characters creatively and in collaboration with the complexion of his complexities. Here he brings us the elements of what would have made Marshall Mathers character as well as the makings of his own man. From the pure pain of lasting loss and the morals of a more meaningful victory, forget about punches pulled, or gloves that are off…this guy gets the belt. And with her own ring his wife of this movie Rachael McAdams is wonderful here. Made up in boxers wife blonde tan, heels and cocktail dress, but showing the dedicated depths of her hair tied back and stripped down ‘True Detective’ season 2 cop character of genuine grit. Never looking better in picture or presence, McAdams is the emotional crux and evoking catalyst of this movie that hits you with a blindside on your left.
Right to our man in the middle of all of this is plenty more in our characters corner. It’s not just Gyllenhaal’s Billy Hope character giving the definition of his surname. His on screen daughter, child actor Oona Laurence is a revelation. Just wait until she matures like ‘True Grit’s’ Haille Stanfield. There’s women here the show this sport isn’t just a mans world like Ali’s daughter. James Bond’s Moneypenny, Naomi Harris brings more stellar service of substance as a social worker on Hope’s case while British singer Rita Ora shows some meaning behind the music, hitting some dark dynamics of range as a drug junkie after her cameos in ‘Empire’ and ‘Fast & Furious’ (speaking of that, what happened to singer and rising actor Tyrese Gibson’s role?). Rapper 50 Cent also brings acting credit to his name Curtis Jackson worthy of a few dollars more in what could have been his mentors movie. Floyds buddy may have just become bankrupt, but going for broke here he makes a declaration as a cash crooked promoter that is throwing rocks and rolls at Don King’s crown. Still when it comes to Jake’s throne the only one that can pound for pound match him in acting weight is the great ‘Last King Of Scotland’ Oscar winner Forest Whitaker. A legend the stood next to the energetic and emphatic icon of enthusiasm; Robin Williams in his debut days for ‘Good Morning Vietnam’ to most recently being at the service of every President (including the reunion with Robin’s Eisenhower) in Lee Daniels’ ‘The Butler’. Here Whitaker gives a hangover wake up call to a heavyweight champ in dispute with a Joe Frazier sobering gym, training young fighters living in poverty, but promise. Drunk off punch and too many glasses spiked with whiskey, Forest’s character searches for redemption at the bottom of his career after not finding it at the bottom of his glass. This raw and real sparring partner gives our Oscar worthy lead his Academy acclaimed supporting actor. The ‘Ghost Dog’ star shows even more spirit than the soul of his heart-wrenched past performances of acting pain and critical gain. Fuqua’s whole f-bomb to those that write off the down and outs is the perfect fist bump to anyone fighting with their backs against the wall. Wearing us down with the drama only to floor us with the action, using a swift hook to rope-a-dope us until we can’t take it anymore and he takes over. From the rings of Madison Square Garden to the casino circuits of Las Vegas this rumble in the concrete jungles is a Manilla thriller. Yet from the classic choreography to the defining drama everything here is less than Jake. The real K.O. delivering us the heaviest blow. Count on it! It’s over! TIM DAVID HARVEY.
Will Smith and JAY Z are coming together to executive produce a mini-series about Emmett Till for HBO. One of the most brutal American crimes of all time, Emmett was killed in 1955 at 14-years old by a white mob, in Mississippi. The two, alongside Jay Brown, James Lassiter, and Aaron Kaplan, will create a six-hour series that will explore the hate crime in depth and show exactly what happened before, why the murderers were acquitted and what caused them to confess later on.
Two days before she was found face-down in the bathtub at her home outside Atlanta in January, it seemed like Bobbi Kristina Brown’s career might have been picking up.
“Let’s start this career up&&moving OUT to TO YOU ALLLL quick shall we !?!???!” she said in an enthusiastic tweet.
It’s not clear what projects she may have been working on, but they won’t be completed now.
Brown, the daughter of late superstar Whitney Houston and singer Bobby Brown, died Sunday at the age of 22, a representative of the Houston family said in a statement.
“Bobbi Kristina Brown passed away Sunday, July, 26 2015, surrounded by her family,” the statement said. “She is finally at peace in the arms of God. We want to again thank everyone for their tremendous amount of love and support during these last few months.”
She was treated in a hospital and then a hospice facility in the nearly six months since she was found unresponsive and not breathing in the bathtub at her Roswell home on January 31 — nearly three years to the day after her mother accidentally drowned in a bathtub in Beverly Hills, a victim of the vices she had fought for much of her career.
Brown was placed in a medically induced coma, relatives have said. Rumors flew about her condition, with family members and loved ones taking sides in the drama.
In April, her maternal grandmother, Cissy Houston, said Bobbi Kristina had “global and irreversible brain damage.”
“Meeting with the doctors and understanding that she can live in this condition for a lifetime truly saddens me,” Houston said. “We can only trust in God for a miracle at this time.”
The statement was released days after her father and Whitney Houston’s former husband, R & B singer Bobby Brown, told an audience in Dallas, “I can say today, Bobbi is awake. She’s watching me.”
On June 24, Bobbi Kristina’s aunt, Pat Houston, announced that her niece had been moved to a hospice facility.
“Despite the great medical care at numerous facilities, Bobbi Kristina Brown’s condition has continued to deteriorate,” Houston’s statement said. “As of today, she has been moved into hospice care. We thank everyone for their support and prayers. She is in God’s hands now.”
Many had worried the young woman was haunted by some of the same demons as her mother.
Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown married in 1992 and welcomed Bobbi Kristina in 1993. The little girl was doted upon by both her parents and Houston often brought the youngster on stage.
Houston told Rolling Stone magazine in 1993 that “having Bobbi Kristina … I could never do anything that could top that. There’s been nothing more incredible in my life than having her.”
“God knows, I have been in front of millions and millions of people, and that has been incredible, to feel that give-take thing,” Houston said. “But, man, when I gave birth to her and when they put her in my arms, I thought: ‘This has got to be it. This is the ultimate.’ I haven’t experienced anything greater.”
Mother and daughter grew even closer after Houston’s divorce from Brown in 2007. Houston and Bobbi Kristina performed together on ABC’s “Good Morning America” in 2009, singing “My Love Is Your Love” in Central Park.
After Houston’s death on February 11, 2012 — an accidental drowning in a bathtub, a coroner ruled, with heart disease and cocaine use named as contributing factors — there was a great deal of concern for Brown, who was 18 at the time.
She opened up to Oprah Winfrey during an interview in March 2012 about how she was coping with the loss of her mother.
“No one knows what an amazing spirit she was,” Brown told Winfrey. “She wasn’t only a mother, she was a best friend.”
Brown said her grief came in waves, but that she still communicated with her mom.
“I can hear her voice telling me to keep moving, baby, I gotcha,” she said. “She’s always with me. I can always feel her with me.”
Brown was joined in her grief by Nick Gordon, who was taken in by Houston when he was 12 years old and who was raised alongside Bobbi Kristina.
Gordon and Brown became romantically involved after Houston’s death, and tensions between the Gordon and Houston families over the relationship were part of the storyline on Lifetime’s short-lived reality show “The Houstons: On Our Own.”
There was speculation that Brown may have suffered from some of the same problems as her parents (both Houston and Brown had documented issues with substance abuse) after she appeared to be intoxicated during some scenes of the reality show.
Those concerns intensified in July 2014 after a picture was posted on her Instagram account showing a young woman who looked like Brown appearing to be smoking from a bong. The image had made the media rounds two years earlier.
Brown later denied that she posted the photo and tweeted that it was done by someone attempting to tarnish her image.
Brown and Gordon announced their engagement in 2013 and she took to her Facebook page to clear up the misconception that he was her adopted brother. Far from being bothered by the relationship were she still alive, Brown said her mother had predicted they would fall in love.
“People need to seriously stop judging my relationship,” Brown wrote. “Pretty sure it’s my own decision who I want to be with.”
It was Gordon and a male friend who discovered Brown unconscious in her townhome. While Brown called Gordon her husband (she had tweeted a picture believed to be of their hands wearing wedding rings with the hashtag #HappilyMarried) there is no court record of a marriage between the two and family members say the couple was never legally wed.
Police had been called to Brown’s home January 23 after someone reported a fight there, but no one answered the door and officers found no evidence of an altercation, a Roswell police spokeswoman said.
After Brown was found in the bathtub, authorities launched a criminal investigation. A family friend said police questioned Gordon about the bruising on Brown’s chest and said he told them it was a result of his giving her CPR.
Gordon gave an emotional and sometime explosive interview that aired in March on the “The Dr. Phil Show” in which he complained of being denied access to Brown.
“I can’t lose Krissy, I just can’t,” he cried.
The talk show host persuaded Gordon to enter a treatment program for substance abuse and in April his attorney, Randy Kessler, confirmed Gordon was no longer in rehab.
In June, a civil lawsuit was filed against Gordon in the Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia, alleging that Gordon’s behavior “caused, among other things, substantial bodily harm to Brown.” It also alleged that since Brown’s hospitalization in January, Gordon accessed her bank accounts and stole more than $11,000. Brown was initially taken to North Fulton Hospital and placed in a medically induced coma, and was later transferred to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, where she was on life support in the neuro intensive care unit. In March she was moved to a rehabilitation center.
Despite reports of fighting over her care, on June 19 Bobby Brown said the family was working together on behalf of his daughter.
“I am making decisions with (Bobbi Kristina’s aunt) Pat Houston and we are working together for the medical care of my daughter,” Brown said in a statement. “Right now we are focused on Bobbi Kristina’s medical prognosis and the criminal investigation. These are the priorities for us. Whoever had a hand in causing my daughter’s injuries needs to be brought to justice.”
Her death cut short the dreams she had of following in her mother’s footsteps by pursuing a career in music and acting. In 2012 she made her acting debut on Tyler Perry’s TBS show “For Better or Worse.” Perry is a close family friend who frequently visited Brown while she was hospitalized.
After Charged Up and Hotline Bling, Drake kept the exclusives coming with a another track called Right Hand produced by Vinylz and Frank Dukes.
Keeping things going Drake decides to jump D.R.A.M. recent single Cha Cha and completely flips it and changes the name to Cellphone. This track was debut on the OVO Sound Radio on Apple Music.