Friday, April 27, 2018

Avengers: Infinity War Opens In Theaters Today

By Darlene Donloe

The wait is over! All of the Avengers are here!

The third installment of the Avengers franchise and the 19th Marvel Studios film to date has arrived in theaters.

It goes without saying that Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War is the most impressive collection of iconic superhero characters ever assembled in one film.

Before we get to which characters appear in the film, let’s talk about the film.

First, all Avengers fans will be stoked about the amount of action contained in this two hour and 36-minute film. At a recent screening, the theater was filled with numerous squeals every time a beloved character made their first appearance on screen. 

The dialogue is crisp and incredibly witty. Although there is lots of fighting, there are also lots of funny moments. There are also some tender, emotional moments. The story, 10 years in the making, is interesting and the interplay between the characters is engaging.

Infinity War, directed by Emmy Award-winning directors Anthony and Joe Russo, picks up as the Avengers (some of whom still have a problem with each other) and their allies, continued to protect the world. But this time they are up against the most powerful villain of all time - Thanos, a despot of intergalactic infamy, who will stop at nothing to collect all six Infinity Stones in his quest to wield unimaginable power and his twisted will on all of humanity. A hulking figure, Thanos actually has a surprisingly human side to him, the form of which won’t be revealed in this review. Thanos is a powerful Titan warlord who rules over the furthest regions of space and commands massive armies known as the Chitauri and the Outriders. He sends his followers to earth to collect the two remaining stones that have eluded him.  He wants it done by any means necessary.


But first, Thanos has to get pass the Avengers. There are more than
20 heroes and villains in this larger-than-life blockbuster! It really doesn’t matter which character you like more than others. The film’s directors and producers have managed to weave a fine balance between all of the characters. Fans of Black Panther will be happy. Fans of Spider-Man will be happy. Fans of Thor will be happy. Fans of Doctor Strange will be happy. Well, you get my point.

T'Challa/Black Panther

You have T’Challa (Black Panther), Captain America, Iron Man, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Widow, The Hulk, Thor, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, Falcon and more, all working together to make the world a better place. Come on now, Thanos, you don’t really think you can get past them – do you?  You’re a bad boy, but are you bad enough to take on ALL of the Avengers?

Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord and Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man

The battle scenes and thrilling sequences in this action, science fiction, fantasy and adventure film
are numerous and epic! No one is backing down without, well, an all-out war!  This film, which is a bit long, but well worth it, delivers on its promises.
Avengers Assemble!

Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War stars Robert Downey Jr., as Tony Stark/ Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/The Hulk, Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America, Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Don Cheadle as Colonel James Rhodes/War Machine, Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa/Black Panther, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Paul Bettany as Vision,  Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch, Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/Falcon,  Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier, Idris Elba as Heimdall, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Benedict Wong as Wong, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Dave Bautista as Drax, featuring Vin Diesel as Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, with Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, with Benicio Del Toro as The Collector, with Josh Brolin as Thanos, and Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord. 

On the DONLOE SCALE:  D (don’t bother), O (oh, no), N (needs work), L (likable), O (oh, yes) and E (excellent), Avengers: Infinity War gets an E (excellent).

Avengers: Infinity War (Walt Disney Pictures) is RATED PG-13 (for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action throughout, language and some crude references)

RUNNING TIME: 156 minutes

Thursday, April 19, 2018

'Avengers: Infinity War' Cast Hits Shanghai

Stars Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Tom Holland and Tom Hiddleston joined directors Anthony and Joe Russo and executive producer Trinh Tran to greet excited fans at a special Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR fan event held in Shanghai. 

Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR opens in U.S. theaters on April 27.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Disney Pixar's 'Incredibles 2' Out On June 15

In “Incredibles 2,” Helen (voice of Holly Hunter) is called on to lead a campaign to bring Supers back, while Bob (voice of Craig T. Nelson) navigates the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life at home with Violet (voice of Sarah Vowell), Dash (voice of Huck Milner) and baby Jack-Jack—whose superpowers are about to be discovered. Their mission is derailed, however, when a new villain emerges with a brilliant and dangerous plot that threatens everything. But the Parrs don’t shy away from a challenge, especially with Frozone (voice of Samuel L. Jackson) by their side. That’s what makes this family so Incredible.

Written and directed by Brad Bird (“Iron Giant,” “The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille”) and produced by John Walker (“The Incredibles,” “Tomorrowland”) and Nicole Grindle (“Sanjay’s Super Team” short, “Toy Story 3” associate producer), Disney•Pixar’s “Incredibles 2” busts into theaters on June 15, 2018.

Helen (voice of Holly Hunter) is called on to help bring Supers back, while Bob (voice of Craig T. Nelson) navigates the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life at home when a new villain hatches a brilliant and dangerous plot that only the Incredibles can overcome together.

U.S. Release Date: June 15, 2018
Voice Cast: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner, Samuel L. Jackson, Brad Bird, Bob Odenkirk, Catherine Keener, Jonathan Banks, Sophia Bush, Isabella Rossellini
Director: Brad Bird
Producers: John Walker, Nicole Grindle

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Jazz Pianist Ricardo Bacelar Drops 'Sebastiana'

FORTALEZA, BRAZIL (11 April 2018): As a lawyer, Ricardo Bacelar has built airtight cases to make winning arguments to the court in defense of copyrights. As a musician, the pianist-composer-arranger is just as meticulous when it comes to crafting his recordings, making convincing musical statements. To prepare a compelling case to present on his third album, Sebastiana, which dropped stateside on March 30 and throughout Europe earlier this month, he gathered a collective of musicians from all over the Latin-American diaspora and granted them the freedom to inject their unique cultural identities into the 15-track contemporary jazz set of freshly-arranged Brazilian standards and poignant piano prose penned by Bacelar. 

Bacelar recorded in Miami where he reconnected with his long-ago flatmate Cesar Lemos (Ricky Martin, Paulina Rubio), who was drafted to produce “Sebastiana” as well as cowrite a pair of new songs. Joining them was players from Cuba, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru and the U.S. With Brazilian jazz and fusion serving as the stencil, distinctive Latin-American rhythms and instrumentation illustrate Bacelar’s own tunes as well as interpret works from illustrious Brazilian composers Gilberto Gil, Ivan Lins, Flora Purim, Luiz Gonzaga, Lo Borges, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Milton Nascimento, Ronald Bastos, Tom Jobim, Vinicius de Moraes, Victor Martins and Jose Roberto Bertrami.

The multi-genre album is receiving airplay from a variety of jazz radio formats and the disc has been lauded by reviewers for its artistic vision, authenticity and cultural significance. Thus far, Bacelar Productions has lensed videos for four songs. “Volta da Asa Branca” and “Oh Mana Deixa Eu Ir” - the later coolly crooned by Bacelar - are set in a natural amphitheater formed by a precipitously chiseled mountain range, desert foliage and vast skies with Bacelar’s grand piano precariously perched atop a rocky slab. “Toda Menina Baiana” finds the protagonist contemplating on a stroll by the opalescent Atlantic Ocean on the Brazilian coastline and in the recording studio tracking the cut live with several band members. The imaginatively animated “Nothing Will Be As It Was,” was the first single from the album and showcases a lonely lead vocal from Maye Osorio and Bacelar’s mood-shifting Moog synthesizer, adding texture to the unsettling cut. Two more videos are slated to be shot.           

The Brazil-based Bacelar will be in Lisbon, Portugal later this month to perform four concert dates.
For more information and to view the videos, please visit

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Marvel Studios' Black Panther Arrives At Homes

 Extensive Bonus Features  Allow Viewers to Explore Deeper into the Wondrous World of Wakanda

BURBANK, Calif. (April 10, 2018) — Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther,” the highly celebrated story of T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), a young African prince who takes on the mantle of King and Super Hero, has thrilled and inspired generations of moviegoers around the globe. Now, fans can bring home the phenomenon, packed with light-hearted fun, pulse-pounding action and a powerful message, and watch it over and over again, Digitally in HD and 4K Ultra HD™ and Movies Anywhere on May 8 and on 4K Ultra HD™, Blu-ray™, DVD and On-Demand on May 15.  With both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos immersive sound, 4k Ultra HD offers consumers a transformative viewing experience.

Never-before-seen extras feature commentary from director Ryan Coogler; deleted scenes; outtakes; and several making-of featurettes, which detail the Black Panther’s evolution, the remarkable women of Wakanda, the history of T’Challa’s proud nation, and the cosmic origin and technological applications of vibranium.

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Marvel Studios' Avengers Cast Says 'Thank You'


Stars of Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR,  personally thank fans for their loyalty and support in “10 Years of Fandom.”

Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR hits U.S. theaters on April 27.

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Sunday, April 8, 2018

Marvel's Avengers Stars Attend London Fan Event

Today stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Sebastian Stan, Tom Hiddleston, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen and Letitia Wright joined directors Anthony and Joe Russo to greet enthusiastic fans at a special London fan event for the upcoming Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR.  

Letitia Wright

Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR opens in U.S. theaters on April 27.

Friday, April 6, 2018

The 2nd Annual 'LA Get Down Festival' Opens

Shihan Van Clief
Photo by Neil Raja.

Greenway Arts Alliance (Whitney Weston and Pierson Blaetz, Co-Founders and Co-Artistic Directors), in association with Da Poetry Lounge, presents the 2ND ANNUAL LA GET DOWN FESTIVAL, celebrating hip-hop and spoken word. The festival takes place from April 7 – 28, 2018. Events will be held at the Greenway Court Theatre (544 N. Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles) and Melrose Trading Post (7850 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles).  Da Poetry Lounge Co-Founder Shihan Van Clief serves as festival artistic director.
The 2ND ANNUAL LA GET DOWN FESTIVAL will play host to the 10th Anniversary of inkSlam: L.A.’s Premiere Poetry Festival with awards sponsored by Greenway Arts Alliance in celebration of Greenway’s 20th Anniversary and National Poetry Month. Other festival highlights include Dahlak Brathwaite’s critically-acclaimed one-man performance Spiritrials; Atlanta based Poetry vs. Hip-Hop; invitational team and indie slams from all over the country from youths to adults; showcases; workshops; and other events.

“We are excited to provide a platform for the incredible talent and diverse voices of Los Angeles and beyond. In light of recent events in our country, it's a perfect time for expression and coming together through spoken word events like ours,” said Whitney Weston, co-founder and co-artistic director of Greenway Arts Alliance.
“If you want to get past the 24-hour news cycle and really connect with what is happening in your Los Angeles community, Shihan is your guide,” stated Pierson Blaetz, Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Greenway Arts Alliance. He added, “The talent that he is gathering for our annual LA Get Down Festival is extraordinary."
"This year the LA Get Down Festival has upped the ante in regards to programming. Poets from around the world will take the stage and facilitate workshops breaking down preconceptions of what poetry is and what it could be,” said Shihan Van Clief, festival artistic director and co-founder of Da Poetry Lounge. “From Dahlak Brathwaite's Spiritrials to Poetry vs. Hip Hop, we're looking toward to giving people a real opportunity to experience the full range of emotions expressed through poetry. I can't wait for the festival to get started."
Saturday, April 7 at 9:00 p.m.
Spiritrials starring Dahlak Brathwaite 
Location: Greenway Court Theatre
In Spiritrials, addiction, religion, and the law intersect in a court-ordered drug rehabilitation program.  A timely exploration of the American criminal justice system, this multi-dimensional play blurs the line between hip-hop and dramatic performance.  Dahlak Brathwaite (writer/performer) weaves through the autobiographical and the fictional, music and monologue, to examine his place in what appears to be a cultural rite of passage for a young Black male.The Portland Mercury said, “It’s a powerful and persuasive account of racism and injustice the War of Drugs has wrought…humorous and poignant.” And, the Sacramento News & Review praised Brathwaite, “His presence is breathtaking, chilling…dynamic and heartfelt.”
Thursday, April 12 at 9:00 p.m.
Poems are Gay!
Location: Greenway Court Theatre
Hosted by Edwin Bodney, the evening features luminary poets from the LGBTQ community including Fei Hernandez, Jay Dodd and Aleah Bradshaw with special musical guest Jade Hendrix.
Friday, April 13 at 8:00 p.m.
Say Word Finals hosted by Kat Magill
Location: Greenway Court Theatre
Competition is a great catalyst for building character, which is where the Say Word Youth Slam Team steps in. Each young poet will write, edit and perform original works, adhere to pre-set guidelines and judged on a point system at each Slam event. The top-scoring poets advance toe semi-final and final competition rounds where the top five poets earn a spot on the Say Word Youth Slam Team.
Saturday, April 14 at 9:00 p.m.
Chingona Fire
Location: Greenway Court Theatre
Chingona Fire, a Latina Feminist poetry collective from Los Angeles, was founded by the poets Angela Aguirre and Yesika Salgado in February 2016. Their goal is to create safe space and visibility for women of color. Aguirre says,"Patriarchy will have you believe that and internalize that, so we are trying to change that narrative to one that celebrates with other women instead of competes with them." She added, “We need to stop feeling pain and jealousy from someone’s success and instead see it as them breaking a barrier that's helping you get closer and closer to that door."
Sunday, April 15 at 1:00 p.m.
Emerge and See: Youth Poetry Showcase hosted by Matthew Cuban Hernandez
Location: Melrose Trading Post Main Stage
Emerging youth poets from Fairfax High School and other schools throughout LAUSD perform their original works.
Thursday, April 19 at 9:00 p.m.
Atlanta Based Poetry vs. Hip-Hop featuring Queen Sheeba and DJ Knodat
Location: Greenway Court Theatre
Is Poetry and Hip-Hop really one in the same? Have emcees forgotten their roots? Is poetry a lost art to today's musicians?
Friday, April 20 at 9:00 p.m.
Heartstorms written by and starring Arianna Basco aka Lady Basco
Location: Greenway Court Theatre
A play. A show. A mic. Heartstorms tells the story of the people who come; the lives in their art; and the lady that holds down the mic.
Saturday, April 21 at 8:00 p.m.
inkSlam Indie Championship hosted by Shihan Van Clief
Location: Greenway Court Theatre
The 10th Annual inkSlam Indie Championship features twelve of the nation's most recognized poets competing for $1,500 in prizes sponsored by Greenway Arts Alliance. InkSlam is produced in association with Da Poetry Lounge.
Friday, April 27 at 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, April 28 at 8:00 p.m.
What It Iz
Location: Greenway Court Theatre
Adapted by ten incarcerated artists in a creative writing workshop, facilitated by acclaimed poet and performer Bryonn Bain, at the oldest women’s prison in the State of California, the California Institute for Women (CIW), What It Iz is a prison abolitionist, hip-hop theater, and spoken word remix of The Wiz. The spring performances at Greenway Court Theatre benefit programs serving incarcerated youth at BJN Juvenile Hall, where workshops based on the production, engaging human rights and transformative justice, have inspired an oral history project and college course using theater to develop legislative proposals.
NOTE: The above performances are subject to change.
Writing and performance workshops are facilitated by Alyesha Wise, Matthew ‘Cuban’ Hernandez and Taalam Acey; and publishing and touring workshops facilitated by Daniel Lisi.
Visit for a full listing and schedule of the LA GET DOWN FESTIVAL workshops. All workshops are subject to change.
The 2ND ANNUAL LA GET DOWN FESTIVAL is presented with the support of the City of West Hollywood’s WeHo Arts program. For more information, please visit or follow via social media @WeHoArts. Additional support is provided by the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, and by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.
Greenway Arts Alliance, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary year, kicked off their milestone last October at the Melrose Trading Post with a community event and accolades from Los Angeles’ Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Koretz, Los Angeles Councilmember David Ryu, West Hollywood’s Mayor John Heilman and LAUSD Superintendent Michelle King. For two decades, the nonprofit GAA has been uniting communities through art, education and social enterprise. Greenway, a community leader and role model in social enterprise, runs the Greenway Court Theatre (a professional 99-seat theater), the Greenway Institute for the Arts (an arts education program at Fairfax High School, Title 1 high school in Los Angeles) and the Melrose Trading Post (a weekly open-air arts-based marketplace).
The 2ND ANNUAL LA GET DOWN FESTIVAL will take place from April 7 – 28, 2018. Tickets and passes to the festival are available online at or by phone 323-673-0544. For a full schedule visit Single ticket prices range from $10 – $30. Full festival passes are also available for $75. Patrons 25 or younger can select five events for $25.
Venues for the 2ND ANNUAL LA GET DOWN FESTIVAL include:
Greenway Court Theatre
544 N. Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Melrose Trading Post
On the Campus of Fairfax High School
7850 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Main Stage

Shihan Van Clief – Along with being the first and only poet to have a poem named 'download of the week' on iTunes; this National Poetry Slam Champion and 4X National Poetry Slam Finalist has been featured on a variety of media outlets including 7 appearances on 6 seasons of HBO's Def Poetry, NBC, Oxygen Network, Current TV, Nike Battlegrounds, Reebok, Adidas, NBA, CNN, ESPN, Complex and Billboard Magazine, several national commercial spots, 5 National Tours including the Tony Award Winning Russell Simmons presents Def Poetry Jam International Tour and 2 Spoken Word documentaries, SP!T and the sequel to 1997's cult doc Slam Nation, Slam Planet. Shihan was also the 1st 'Poet' to sign an exclusive Sponsorship deal with Sports Giant, Adidas and he is the current voice for The Sprite Street Mix, a radio program broadcasted in over 14 countries in Africa. His abilities to transcend cultural and generational boundaries have made Shihan a much sought after talent.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Avengers: Infinity War Character Posters Revealed

Today, the stars of Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR revealed their character posters across social media.
Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR opens in U.S. theaters on April 27.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

'Thinking' Documentary on SAT Test Opens Soon



 **Official Selection – SLO Film Fest 2018**

Each year more than 3 million high school students take the SAT or ACT, the college entrance exams required by most four-year colleges in the United States. For decades, however, there have been questions about exactly what these tests measure, what role they play in the admissions process and how predictive they are of academic success. The anxiety-provoking exams and the multibillion-dollar test-prep industry that has grown up arounthem have also become lightning rods in the ongoing national debate over equity in educational opportunity.

Directed by Michael Arlen Davis. Produced by Michael Arlen Davis and Jyll Johnstone. Co-produced by Sherry Daniel. Cinematography by Nick Blair and Chikara Motomura. An Abramorama release. 

Running Time: 85 minutes