Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Stars of 'Suicide Squad' Host Miami Block Party

Will Smith

In celebration of the highly anticipated release of SUICIDE SQUAD, stars of the film hosted a Miami block party at the infamous Wynwood Art District in MiamiThe urban influencers in attendance included: Bryant McKinnie, University of Miami & Super Bowl Champion;  Ace Hood, South Florida's very own acclaimed Hip Hop artist; Richard Way, founder of The Urban Miami and Alexis Brown, founder of Social Xchange, among other AA influencers such as Watch Jazzy and Shelah Marie. As a special surprise actor Will Smith was introduced to the crowd and started rapping the fan-favorite song, “Summer Time”, in which rapper Ace Hood didn't hesitate to join him by singing along. 


From director David Ayer (“Fury,” “End of Watch”) comes “Suicide Squad,” starring Oscar nominee Will Smith (“Ali,” “The Pursuit of Happyness”), Oscar winner Jared Leto (“Dallas Buyers Club”), Margot Robbie (“The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Focus”), Joel Kinnaman (Netflix’s “House of Cards”) and Oscar nominee Viola Davis (“The Help,” “Doubt”).

It feels good to be bad… Assemble a team of the world’s most dangerous, incarcerated Super Villains, provide them with the most powerful arsenal at the government’s disposal, and send them off on a mission to defeat an enigmatic, insuperable entity.  U.S. intelligence officer Amanda Waller has determined only a secretly convened group of disparate, despicable individuals with next to nothing to lose will do.  However, once they realize they weren’t picked to succeed but chosen for their patent culpability when they inevitably fail, will the Suicide Squad resolve to die trying, or decide it’s every man for himself?
Written and directed by Ayer based on the characters from DC Comics, the film also stars Jai Courtney (“Insurgent”), Jay Hernandez (“Takers”), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (“Thor: The Dark World”), Ike Barinholtz (“Neighbors”), Scott Eastwood (“Fury”), Cara Delevingne (“Paper Towns”), Adam Beach (“Cowboys & Aliens”), and Karen Fukuhara in her feature film debut. It is produced by Charles Roven and Richard Suckle, with Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder, Colin Wilson and Geoff Johns serving as executive producers.

Official Trailer: https://youtu.be/5AwUdTIbA8I
In Theaters: August 5th

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Thousands Flock To First L.A. Soul Music Festival

Melanie Fiona

By Darlene Donloe

The sun beamed a blazing 102 degrees at the Autry Museum, last Friday night, but it was nothing compared to the heat emanating from the talent on stage at the first L.A. Soul Music Festival, presented by Airborne Tickets.

The brainchild of Mark Douglas, this inaugural event, the first music festival to be held on the grounds of the Autry, was a hit as thousands of R&B enthusiasts came to hear some of the hottest acts in music.

The three day event (July 22-24) highlights national and internationally known artists and new artists who are making an impact in soul music.

Friday night, the festival featured Rahsaan Patterson, Eric Roberson, Melanie Fiona, Lalah Hathaway and Eric Benet.

Saturday’s lineup included Goapele, Loose Ends, Vivian Green, Angie Stone and Joe.  Sunday, the closing night of the festival, features Conya Doss, Avery Sunshine, Lyfe Jennings, Marsha Ambrosius and Jazmine Sullivan.

That’s 15 artists, over three days on one stage!

Rahsaan Patterson

Rahsaan Patterson kicked off the festival singing his hit, Crazy Baby, followed by Pop Life, Spend The Night Stop Breaking My Heart, Don’t You Know That and Where You Are.

Backstage he expressed how happy he was to open the festival.

“First let me say that anytime there is an opportunity to perform in front of people who are familiar with your work, it’s an honor, said Patterson.

A seasoned artist, Patterson, who said all of his CDs begin where his previous one left off, expressed his concern about the state of music.

“I try to stay focused on what inspires me,” said Patterson. “I have respect for all sounds, but I’m indifferent mainly because I’m from a different era. I began my career at a different time when music was different than it is today.  I will say, though, that some of what is popular today does influence me.”

Eric Roberson

Eric Roberson, dapper in a brown hat, turquoise blazer, brown pants and brown and turquoise shoes, kicked off his set with Picture Perfect.  He also sang his hits Mark on Me and Just Walk Away.

Melanie Fiona, who recently gave birth, looked fantastic in a flowing, black dress.  Her set included Give It To Me Right, Fool For You, Wrong Side of A Love Song and It Kills Me.

Fiona got the crowd on its feet as she called the evening a “night of love.”

Melanie Fiona

She injected a bit of activism into the evening when she asked the crowd if they believe that Black Lives Matter.

“If you do, then put your fist in the air,” said Fiona as she sang Break Down These Walls.

The crowd, fists high in the air, enthusiastically obliged.

Lalah Hathaway

Lalah Hathaway, who jokingly kept telling the crowd about her new CD called, Lalah Hathaway Live, kept the crowd swinging and swaying with her songs as well as covers. Her set included Baby, Baby Don’t Cry, Angel, Would You Mind, Yearning For Your Love, Somethin’ and Forever, For Always, For Love.

As she sang her late father, Donny Hathaway’s Little Ghetto Boy, photos of blacks who’ve been killed by the police were projected on the screen. A handful of the photos flashed included Trayvon Martin, Freddie Gray, Amadou Diallo, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Alton Sterling and more.

At the end of her performance, Los Angeles Board of Public Works Commissioner Mike Davis, on behalf of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, presented Hathaway with an award for outstanding career and community achievements.

Eric Benet

Eric Benet closed out the night singing Chocolate Legs and his megahit Spend My Life With You.

Comedian Ron G kept the night flowing in between acts, with hilarious sets that kept the sweaty, but appreciative, crowd in stitches.

The L.A. Soul Music Festival continues through Sunday.

L.A. Soul Music Festival, The Autry Museum, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles. For tickets and information: www.lasoulmusic.com; gates open at 4:30 
p.m., show is at 6:30 p.m.  #lasoulfest

**All pix are by Miki Turner

Thursday, July 21, 2016

'Storks' Hits Theaters September 23 2016

Storks, directed by Nicholas Stoller and Doug Sweetland, stars Andy Samberg, Kelsey Grammer, Katie Crown, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, and Danny Trejo.  The film is produced by Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, Glenn Ficarra, John Requa and Jared Stern

Synopsis: Storks deliver babies…or at least they used to. Now they deliver packages for a global internet retail giant. Junior (Andy Samberg), the company’s top delivery stork, is about to be promoted when he accidently activates the Baby Making Machine, producing an adorable and wholly unauthorized baby girl.

Desperate to deliver this bundle of trouble before the boss gets wise, Junior and his friend Tulip, the only human on Stork Mountain, race to make their first-ever baby drop – in a wild and revealing journey that could make more than one family whole and restore the storks’ true mission in the world.

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/storksthemovie

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

'Star Trek Beyond' Opens In Theaters July 22

"Star Trek Beyond," the highly anticipated next installment in the globally popular Star Trek franchise, created by Gene Roddenberry and reintroduced by J.J. Abrams in 2009, returns with director Justin Lin ("The Fast and the Furious” franchise) at the helm of this epic voyage of the U.S.S. Enterprise and her intrepid crew.  In "Beyond," the Enterprise crew explores the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a mysterious new enemy who puts them and everything the Federation stands for to the test.


Monday, July 18, 2016

The Latest 'Ice Age' Installment Is Hella Cool

By Darlene Donloe

On July 22, the world will be taken over by the Ice Age: Collision Course.

The fifth installment of this 3D animated comedy franchise doesn’t disappoint. The gang’s all here!

This time around Scrat sets off on another crazy adventure.

This time his epic pursuit of the elusive acorn catapults him into the universe where he accidentally sets off a series of cosmic events that transform and threaten the Ice Age World. 

It could happen!

To save themselves, Sid, Manny, Diego, and the rest of the herd must leave their home and embark on a quest full of comedy and adventure, traveling to exotic new lands and encountering a host of colorful new characters. 

This film is too much fun!  It’s a perfect family film.

(l-r) John Leguizamo, Queen Latifah, Wanda Sykes and Ray Romano

I caught up with the cast recently to discuss the latest Ice Age adventure.

The film stars Queen Latifah (QL), John Leguizamo (JL), Wanda Sykes (WS), Ray Romano (RR), Josh Peck (JP) and Max Greenfield (MG). It’s produced by Lori Forte (LF).

DD: Lori, how long does it take to make one of the films and what is the state of the franchise?

LF:  Each film takes four to four and a half years to make. It’s a long process. The state of the franchise is well. We did a Christmas and an Easter special. We also did some Scrat shorts.  I’d love Crash and Eddie to have a short.

DD: Josh, you play a character that is totally loved.

JP: It’s been kind of cool to have been part of this since 2005. I’ve done it now five times. It’s funny to realize that Eddie has totally not evolved.

DD: Max, you also play a great character.

MG: I was so flattered and excited when I was asked to be part of it. I have a six-year-old daughter. I’m in something we can experience together. I’m lucky this came to me. It was a no-brainer.  I get to work with some unbelievable people. I like the challenge of doing something outside New Girl.

DD: John, without revealing with whom, you find love.

JL: Finally I get to schmooze. She’s hot, too!
Francine was a pain in my sloth butt.

DD: Ray, how does doing voiceover work improve your acting?

RR: It’s another skill. It took me a while to emote without being able to move your body. I don’t’ know how that helps with your acting, but it’s another skill.

DD: Ray and John, do you get kids coming up to you wanting you to do the voice?

RR:  The kids do come up to me.  Actually, the parents come up to me and they tell the kids who I am. It could go either way at that point.

JL: Ooh, yeah, well. It’s the parents. The parents want me to do the voice. I try to tell them that it might not go so well. I try to warn them.

DD: Wanda, what is the attraction for doing this film?

WS: Well, I’m excited for this one. The last time I did it my kids were too young to know the voice. For me it’s about being able to have something out there that the family can go see. (to her co-stars) Doesn’t it bug you when you look out and see a kid at your comedy show? You’re thinking, who the hell brought their kid? It’s just good to have something for the kids to see.

Queen Latifah

DD: Your thoughts Queen Latifah?

QL: I’m going to be a hero to my nephew and nieces again. To have something the kids can enjoy this will be part of their childhood memory. This gets to be part of their life experience. That is so cool.

JL: It’s so interesting. I’ve met people who are 20. They grew up with Ice Age. I don’t know what that says about us.

DD: This movie speaks to a possible end of the world. Have any of you prepared for a catastrophe? Do you have a kit available?

JL: I live in New York, so I do have one. I have an inflatable kayak for four people. I have a Hazmat suits and gas masks.  New Yorkers are paranoid. You know if something happens, it’s going to happen in New York.

QL: I have one, it’s called a bible. I crack it regularly just to make sure.

WS: I need to update my kit. I need to do one for after kids. I had one for before kids. I have one now. It has a flashlight, water, weed and wine. The flashlight is so I can find my weed and wine.

RR: I have a flashlight and Cialis, just in case I’m the last guy.

DD: Have you met your Mexican counterparts?

JL: It’s huge in Mexico. Ice Age is huge there. It’s all about family. Doesn’t matter what family you come from.

QL: No, I haven’t met them.  I gotta practice my Spanish. I can’t have someone do a better job then me.

DD: This is the fifth installment of the franchise.

RR: The real Ice Age didn’t last this long.

The English-speaking voice cast for Ice Age: Collision Course includes: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Seann William Scott, Josh Peck, Simon Pegg, Keke Palmer, Jennifer Lopez, Queen Latifah, Adam Devine, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Max Greenfield, Jessie J, Nick Offerman, Wanda Sykes, Stephanie Beatriz, Michael Strahan, Melissa Rauch and Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Ice Age: Collision Course is directed by Michael Thurmeier, co-directed by Galen Tan Chu and produced by Lori Forte.

On the DONLOE SCALE: D (don’t bother), O (oh, no), N (needs work), L (likeable), O (oh, yeah) and E (excellent), Ice Age: Collision Course gets an E (excellent).

 #IceAge #CollisionCourse

Edna Sims' ESP PR Becomes First Black Firm To Rep Caucus For Producers, Writers & Directors

Edna Sims

(Los Angeles, CA) - In the world of publicity, representatives as well as firms have been fleeting. Very few have had the staying power comparable to Ms. Edna Sims and her Playa Del Rey powerhouse ESP Public Relations (ESP PR) firm. Representing a wide rage of corporations and talents in every industry that requires publicity, Edna Sims and ESP PR are most definitely to be considered one of the best worldwide. With over 30 years and hundreds of clients under her belt (MTV Networks, GRAMMY Foundation, Ford Motor Company, Cathy Hughes (Radio One/Music One), Comcast, The Gracie Awards, Chrysler Group, American Society of Composers Authors & Publishers (ASCAP), Director Spike Lee (40 Acres & A Mule), Rev. Al Sharpton, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, Norman Nixon, and more) the Detroit native now has made history being the first African American to represent The Caucus for Producers, Writers, & Directors in public relations.

As The Caucus reaches its 34th year in service, they are announcing Ms. Edna Sims and her ESP PR firm as their publicist. This hub for the most successful and brightest writers, directors and producers in film/TV (JJ Abrams for Star Wars, Star Trek, and Mission Impossible, and James Burrows for Will and Grace, Two and a Half Men, and Frasier to name a few) now entrust ESP PR to further their communications with media outlets and the masses abroad.

About Edna Sims
Edna Sims, owner and founder of ESP Public Relations. ESP Public Relations is a full service public relations, event planning, marketing, strategic and communications firm, providing an extensive range of branding and media services for a diverse roster of clients. For more than 30 years, ESP PR has specialized in the multicultural markets, as well as urban, mainstream, faith-based, hip-hop, corporate and non-profit organizations.

ESP PR has developed a reputation for high-level red carpets coverage, media, social media, celebrity contacts and forging alliances between clients and other entities for greater synergy of the target goals, as with the collaboration between the Ford Motor Company Fund and the GRAMMY Foundation.

A graduate of Michigan State University, her client rosters has included; Los Angeles Times’ Multicultural Business Dept.; Straight Outta Compton; Ford Motor Company; GRAMMY Foundation & Recording Arts & Sciences; MTV Networks; The Gracie Awards Gala & Awards Luncheon; Comcast; Chrysler Group; ASCAP; LA County Bar Association; China’s KOD World Cup; Kim Kardashian; Max Martire’s PEM Music Company ft. Aristofreeks, Kathy Sledge & Next Step (former lead singers of Chic); Spike Lee; Don Cheadle; Snoop Dogg; Janet Jackson; Vivica A. Fox; Wendy Raquel Robinson; Debbie Allen; Rev Al Sharpton; Hollywood Black Film Festival; First Ladies High Tea; Magic Johnson; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; etc. For additional information visit ESP PR’s website: www.esppr.net

About The Caucus For Producers, Writers & Directors
Linking the best of Hollywood's and Television's creative content providers (i.e. the top 100 Television producers, writers and program directors of Primetime, Daytime and Children's programming) with the rest of the web world!  For the past 40 years in Network Television (and now in Cable and Satellite Television as well), The Caucus has provided a forum for the best and the brightest creative talent in Hollywood, to network together as the 'creative conscience' of the Television industry.  The Caucus, as the leaders of the creative Television community, has always stood for better and more meaningful television.  That means Television Programs produced, written and directed in a working environment that supports the best product that we can create for our audience.  Along the way, The Television Caucus also singles out those individuals in our industry who have not only worked for quality television but have also achieved it.  Each year we celebrate the extraordinary work of our fellow professionals (executives, producers, writers, directors, New Media executives et al) at our Annual Caucus Awards Dinner.

Current members of The Caucus also include Tom Hanks, JJ Abrams, Chuck Fries, James Burrows, Bob Papazian, Tanya Hart, Vin Di Bona, Suzanne de Passe, Charles Floyd Johnson, Dennis Doty, Norman Powell, Lee Miller and other leading producers, writers and directors. www.caucus.org

Twitter: @TVCaucus

'Kicks' Is Set To Open In Theaters September 9

SYNOPSIS: Brandon is a 15-year-old whose dream is a pair of fresh Air Jordans. Soon after he gets his hands on them, they're stolen by a local hood, causing Brandon, and his two friends go on a dangerous mission through Oakland to retrieve them.

Directed by: Justin Tipping

The film stars Jahking Guillory, Christopher Jordan Wallace, Christopher Meyer, Kofi Siriboe, Mahershala Ali, Molly Shaiken.