The Verdict On “The New Mutants”: Is It Worth Watching??

Rating: 3/5 Stars

It’s taken a long time for the much-troubled film “The New Mutants” to finally emerge into the spotlight. This film has had a multitude of major problems affecting every aspect of the film, from its script, tone, rating, release date to even where it was going to be released (either in theaters or on Disney+). When Disney bought Fox, they acquired the X-men cinematic universe rights, and “New Mutants” was still being made during the buyout. Disney executives were worried the horror aspect of the film wouldn’t fit their “House of Mouse” image, not to mention the fact Disney already had their doubts after seeing the disastrous response to Fox’s last X-men entry, “Dark Phoenix.” Still, for better or worse, Josh Boone’s film finally got released into theaters so let’s see if the wait was worth it for Fox’s true final film in their extinct X-men series.

The story follows a young girl named Danielle Moonstar (Blu Hunt), a mutant whose home is ravaged by a strange tornado. She wakes up after the disaster to find herself in a mental health facility run by Dr. Reyes (Alice Braga). The facility specializes in housing mutants and providing treatment and care until they have better control under their abilities. There’s Illyana Rasputin/Magik (Anya Taylor-Joy), Sam Guthrie/Cannonball (Sam Guthrie), Roberto da Costa/Hot Spot (Henry Zaga), and Rahne Sinclair/Wulfsbane (Maisie Williams). They all have troubled pasts and trauma dealing with their powers activation, but now, they’re experiencing vivid nightmares and realistic hallucinations that are pushing them to the edge of sanity. Now the teens suspect this facility isn’t a care center but a prison and they have to find a way out together.

With X-men films becoming a dying breed, it’s only natural they’d have to try something experimental if they wanted to keep the brand fresh and alive. One would expect with such a lengthy amount of work and extensive adjustments put into the film it would either be a colossal failure or a well-earned success. Unfortunately, “The New Mutants” never goes too far outside of just being a pretty decent, acceptable film; never pushing as far as it could have nor perfecting the good it already has established into anything greater. The horror spin on the superhero world is a slowly expanding trend that provides the amplest opportunities for a fresh reinvention. “New Mutants” never goes too scary or dark as one would hope but it still offers some genuinely creepy and disturbing visuals that prove there’s something here that could have been expanded upon.

The mental health facility provides some interesting interactions between our mutant stars; creating unique dynamics and problems that are clarified by the horrific but well-executed nightmare sequences. You always get the sense something is going on with everyone here but it’s teased enough to keep the mystery compelling and engaging so you want to see how it all plays out. Moonstar’s “problem” is easily the most unique out of all of them and while giving it away would be spoiling the finale, let’s just say when you find out the truth you’re either going to shake your head in irritated confusion or roll with the punches and applaud the creativity. The cast plays well together but most of them don’t really stand out as well as you’d hope. X-men films are packed with mutant stars all vying for the spotlight but in this smaller environment, very few draw much attention outside of an occasional good scene here or there.

Except for Anna-Taylor Joy, she truly shines as the most “head case” mutant cases. Her personality and stance exude confrontation and abrasiveness, but there is a wild vulnerability to her that makes her more aggressive traits come off as charming rather than intolerable. An additional round of applause should go to “Game of Thrones” star Maisie Williams for introducing an unexpectedly sweet romantic element that is a welcomed addition to the narrative if a bit weakly executed. Overall, “The New Mutants” is a decent, enjoyable film to watch here and there which is a lot more I can say for some other high profile movies that were supposed to “be a big deal,” but with all of its production troubles, I guess I was hoping for a better end result than this. It’s bizarre, it’s different, its dark and tries new things but it’s also clearly holding back and with X-men’s continuity being reorganized into Marvel’s much bigger sandbox universe, it’s a shame “The New Mutants” couldn’t do more or amount to more than just an acceptable film.

The Verdict On “Bill and Ted: Face the Music”: Is It Worth Watching??

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Like many beloved film series, there are often talks of sequels and continuations that never get off the ground; even to films that came out over 30 years ago. “Bill and Ted” have been around since the late 80’s and talks of a third one have been circulating since “Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey” came out in 1991. But due to an inability to nail down the right script and Keanu Reeves skyrocketing popularity and a busy schedule, it seemed like a third entry would never take off. Imagine everyone’s surprise that in a world cornered off by a deadly virus, the movie finally got made and ultimately ended up being the movie the world needs now more than ever. It may sound odd but “Bill and Ted: Face the music” is exactly the pick me up we needed.

Despite being told during their time-traveling adventures that their music would one day unite and save the world, Bill and Ted (Alex Frost and Keanu Reeves) have yet to write the song that would fulfill their prophesized destiny and it’s weighing heavily on them and on their marriages. When Kelly (Kristen Schaal), the daughter of their old friend Rufus (the late great George Carlin) visits Bill and Ted, she tells them they have to create the ultimate song tonight or all of reality will be destroyed. Bill and Ted head into the future to see if their future selves wrote the song they can bring back to the present. Meanwhile, the daughters of Bill and Ted, Billie and Thea (Brigette Lundy-Paine and Samara Weaving) wish to help their fathers and venture off on their own time-traveling journey; collecting famous musicians throughout history to aid in writing the song that will harmonize the world.

To be perfectly honest, I was never a big “Bill and Ted” fan when they first came out. I loved the sequel more than I did the first film and even then, this wasn’t a series I found myself being deeply drawn towards. “Face the music” is not just a cheaply crapped out sequel from a franchise past its time, no, this film is a clear love letter and a celebration of everything the actors, characters, writers, and fans adore about the series and best of all, it presents everything with universal appeal. If you’re a die-hard fan or a casual fan, this film is loaded with great callbacks, nods to the previous films, and the majority of the original cast from the past 2 films and it’s a true delight to see. But even if you’re new to the series or only decide to watch just this film, the humor works in a wonderfully weird way that you can still enjoy it without knowing its history.

Reeves and Frost settle back into their roles with absolutely no difficulty, it’s like putting on an old pair of shoes and remembering everything you loved about them at that moment. They truly feel like the Bill and Ted fans knew all grown up and struggling to adapt. As goofy as they can be and these movies are, the themes of failing to live up to expectations, not accepting change; they’re all very relatable themes that every generation can understand and I love that universal connection. One of the weirder aspects of this film (which is saying something in a film series about a time-traveling phone booth) is watching Reeves and Frost create newer and more unusual variations of their characters through the future timelines they visit. Most of their humor relies on this gimmick and while it can be hilarious at times, other times it feels overplayed.

But fortunately, there is so much more than just our titular heroes: their daughters Billie and Thea are the true secret stars and dual beating hearts of this film. They’re adorable, funny, have immaculate chemistry together, and prove to be more than just goofy female variants of our main band boys. It’s a true delight seeing William Sadler back as Death and new inclusions like Dennis the robot are worth the price of admission alone. There’s just a consistent sense of fun with this film and it’s infectious, you can feel it in the writing, the performances, and the humor and this is exactly the kind of palate cleanser we need in a year as disastrous and depressing as 2020. Never has there ever been a more relevant time for the words “be excellent to each other” than right here, right now.

Overall, “Bill and Ted: Face the Music” is just a blast from the past (literally and figuratively). It captures the heart and hilarity of the series and updates it for today’s era at a time when this kind of message and this kind of movie is needed most. “Face the music” delights fans both new and old with a message and charm to lift our spirits and remind us there are still fun and good times ahead and that it is okay to just have fun with the world again,

The Verdict On The Devil All The Time: Is It Worth Watching??

Rating: 1/5 Stars

Netflix movies have something of a bad rap. While their TV shows are praised and frequently top people’s best TV series lists each year, their movies seemed to be hit or miss with stellar casts and viral marketing failing to make up for the poor and often forgettable quality of Netflix’s original films. Some have said in today’s pandemic panic-induced new world that streaming original films and films on video on demand are the way of the future beyond cinema chains and drive-in theater experiences. As someone who adores going to the movies and watching good movies, I truly hope streaming does not become the de-facto format of watching movies and I hope films like “The Devil all the time” do NOT become an indication of what all good movies will be like.

The film is an erratically structured narrative; twisting the lives of multiple characters from different families, couples, groups, and points in time between the end of World War 2 and the 1960s; set primarily in rural southern Ohio and West Virginia. There’s Willard Russell (Bill Skarsgård), a tormented veteran of the carnage in the South Pacific, there’s Carl and Sandy Henderson (Jason Clarke and Riley Keough), a husband-and-wife team of serial killers, there’s the spider-handling preacher Roy (Harry Melling) and his guitar-playing sidekick, Theodore (Pokey LaFarge), running from the law. And there’s also Arvin (Tom Holland), son of Willard who intersects several of these people and others as he struggles to deal with the violent, unstable, and suffocating twists and turns of life.

Trying to write down the details of this film’s plot proves just as challenging and problematic as it is verbally speaking it to another person. The film supposedly plays out as someone telling you a story (complete with narration from the author of the book this film is adapted from) but much like the characters, no part of the story being told makes much sense and instead, feels like an exhausting amount of brutality and misguided religious symbolism mixed up together in a heaping helping of ugliness that can’t stick a single thing together sensibly throughout its entire 2 and a half hour running time. “The Devil all the time” jumps around its timelines and events with no heads up or explanation, mudding the timeline and leaping through sections of people’s lives with little to no care or concern for the development of its cast.

The film basically plays out like this: we meet someone, something horrific happens, it’s related to God somehow, then ANOTHER horrific thing happens, more cryptic religious noise; then we meet someone new, rinse, wash and repeat. Every perception and use of God or religion spearheads someone doing something insanely sick and twisted and it gets more messed up; escalating the depravity or delusion with no sense or believability whatsoever. Like Roy for example, he’s so jacked up on God, he lets spiders bite his face in Church, then gets an infection that somehow makes him crazy, then he takes his wife out and kills her and believes he can resurrect her, only to run into serial killers who randomly want people to take photos with them before killing them, make sense? Don’t worry; it’s not going to anytime soon!

That’s the real tragedy here though, nothing makes sense. Brutality and twisted mentalities populate nearly every character’s mindset and the reason each time is the same: God made me do it. The tragedy hits especially hard because this film is beautifully shot and framed like a true work of art. It’s gorgeous to look at and it makes the most vacant fields of Southern land look 10 times more extravagant. Speaking of extravagant, this cast is clearly doing their best to work with the material and they are serving commendable performances; despite this story’s warped, wacked out narrative failing to make sense of its own purpose or point.

With the likes of Tom Holland, Jason Clarke, Sebastian Stan, Bill Skarsgård and Robert Pattinson, “The Devil all the time” should have been much more than what it actually is and that is a mangled, muddied, dark soaked story that drowns itself in its own misery that spreads to viewers like sickness with little hope, rhyme, reason or even common sense to balance it all out. “The Devil all the time” takes too long to tell a story and even longer to figure out when or what story it’s trying to tell. This film is difficult to watch and stomach outside of its cast and cinematography, but neither one is strong enough to make any sense of its own messy structure, purpose, or why I should endure another minute of this film ever again.

The Verdict On Tenet: Is It Worth Your Time And Money??

Rating: 1/5 Stars

COVID-19 is still as inescapable and mortifying now as it was when we first heard of its lethal side effects and overwhelming quarantine procedures. It halted and crippled everyone’s way of life and every facet of businesses, companies, and the future of those organizations. Movies have been one of the trickiest snags for the world to untangle with nearly every major movie company delaying their films release dates or even their films completion well into next year. Christopher Nolan bravely fought for cinemas to open up and claimed that his latest cerebral sci-fi blockbuster, “Tenet,” was powerful enough to get scared viewers out of their homes and back into theaters and that it could save and stabilize the movie industry sufficiently.

And what was the end result? Well, much like “Tenet” itself, it’s hard to explain. In a twilight world of international espionage, an unnamed CIA operative, known as The Protagonist (John David Washington), is recruited by a mysterious organization called Tenet to participate in a global assignment that unfolds beyond real-time. The mission: prevent Andrei Sator (Kenneth Branagh), a renegade Russian oligarch with precognition abilities, from starting World War III. The Protagonist will soon master the art of “time inversion” as a way of countering the threat that is to come by turning back and accelerating forward time itself to see what has to be done and how to do it before it’s too late.

Directors are known for having trademark details; little things they do in each of their films that act as their signatures or using the same actors over and over again. Christopher Nolan is known to be a talented filmmaker (The Dark Knight Trilogy) but while many of his films exceed technical limitations and scope, he’s also known for duplicating a most unfortunate formula: grand-scale films with poor representation of women, paper-thin characters, and zero personality or humor to speak of and these flaws are painfully obvious in every film he’s done: from “The Prestige,” “Interstellar,” to even his biggest cinematic success story, “Inception.” With the implied promise of “Tenet” being the one film to bring people back into theaters, it’s frustratingly disappointing to see the film suffer from all Nolan’s aforementioned flaws and then some. “Tenet” is Nolan at his worst when he thinks he is being at his best.

Time travel films or films having anything to do with time travel in some capacity are often called confusing and hard to follow. “Tenet” is no different. This concept of time inversion makes time manipulation infinitely more confusing than it already was. Much like “Inception,” 98% of “Tenet’s” dialog serves to explain all the rules and mechanics of this new system, only this time it fails to clarify anything at every possible moment. The dialog and time mechanics are as lifeless and sterile as the hollowed husks that spout the dribble so commonly; they assume like everyone already knows what they’re saying or that everyone talks this way in real life everyday situations.  I barely had any idea what was happening and worst of all, I didn’t care if I did understand because I didn’t care about anyone or anything in this film.

The Protagonist feels as non-descriptive and generic as his pretentious name. We never get any sense or reason why he does what he does, who he is, or how he even counts as an actual person. The film nearly clocks in at 3 hours and everyone is devoid of a recognizable personality or sense of likability. It’s all spent explaining how time inversion works and you STILL don’t ever get a solid grip on the concept anyway. Sure, it allows for some inventive looking action sequences and unique combat maneuvers but even those become snore inducing once you realize there’s still another 45 minutes left to trudge through. There’s not a speck of soul in this film, not an ounce of humanity or sanity that feels real…that is until we get to the sole piece of gold in this mountain of dirt and grime: Kenneth Branagh.

Branagh is a rage binging monster of a person and our primary villain for this film and he, thankfully, owns this role with flawless perfection. For violence fueled mad man, he’s the only person in this film who talks like a normal person and feels like a believable human being. He dominates every scene he’s in and energizes the script’s lifeless dialog to the point you feel like he doesn’t belong here, that he came from and needs to go back to a much better film. Overall, “Tenet” failed to save the movie industry the same way Branagh failed to carry this movie on his own (even though he wasn’t supposed to). Outside of Branagh’s stellar performance and a few flashy neat sequences, “Tenet” is a stiff, drifting piece of plywood and every scripted page and lifeless character is dragging it deeper and deeper down into the water where it needs to stay and sink so it can never bore or confuse another person ever again.

Remembering The Legendary Chadwick Boseman In Film And Beyond

Chadwick Boseman was a man on a mission.

A mission to portray many African-American greats and the superhero, T’Challa in the movie, Black Panther, to inspire many young African-American children to strive to be anything they wanted to be.

On the 28th August 2020, Boseman lost his battle to colon cancer – he found out about the diagnosis four years ago. The legendary actor died peacefully in his home in Los Angeles with his wife, Taylor Simone Leward, and his family beside him. He was 43. It was reported that none of his co-stars, directors, or the public even knew about his diagnosis.

There is no doubt there was an outpour of grief amongst his fans and his co-stars that was impacted by his presence when he was alive. His co-stars from Black Panther, Michael B, Jordan, Angela Bassett, Lupita Nyong’o, and Letitia Wright have all written poignant tributes to Boseman’s legacy as an actor. Many tributes honoured him as a person who never ceases to inspire and create good art that is everlasting and impactful.

Barrack Obama has tweeted, “Chadwick came to the White House to work with kids when he was playing Jackie Robinson. You could tell right away that he was blessed. To be young, gifted, and black; to use that power to give them heroes to look up to; to do all while in pain – what use of his years.”

Ryan Coogler, the director of Black Panther, was devastated when he discovered about Boseman’s illness and endearingly honoured the actor by stating:

“After his family released their statement, I realised that he was living with his illness the entire time I knew him. Because he was a caretaker, a leader, and a man of faith, dignity, and pride, he shields his collaborators from his suffering. He lived a beautiful life. And he made great art. Day after day after year. That was who he was. He was an epic firework display. I will tell stories about being there for some of the brilliant sparks till the end of my days.”

Through the course of Chadwick Boseman’s acting career, he was always determined to make a change to the predominately white-washed film industry. His breakout in the 2013 film, 42 as Jackie Robinson, the legendary African American major league baseball player was critically acclaimed. Critics praised his performance as “transcendent” and “as serve as a powerful vehicle to the audience for generations to come”.

Coincidentally enough, Boseman’s passing was on the birthday of Jackie Robinson.

The next year, he lent his acting chops to the role of James Brown, King of Soul from the film, Get on Up, which also earned his praise.

Editorial credit: Sarunyu L / Shutterstock.com

Although the actor had faced his share of discrimination in the industry, he earned international stardom when he played T’Challa, the Black Panther. His character debut in Captain America: Civil War, was released in cinemas in April 2016.

In February 2018, the stand-alone film, Black Panther broke the box office and earned upwards of $US 1 billion ($1.35 billion) worldwide.

At the height of success, he was invited back to Howard University, where he earned a degree in Fine Arts and delivered a commencement speech to the graduating year with poignancy and bestowing his wisdom on how to attain greatness.

“Some of you here struggled against the university itself,” he said to the majority of African-American audiences.

“Many of you will leave Howard and enter systems and institutions that have a history of discrimination and marginalisation.

“The fact that you have struggled with this university which you love is a sign that you can use your education to improve the world that you are entering.”

Rest in Peace, Chadwick, King T’Challa. You will be missed forever and always.

Editorial credit: DFree / Shutterstock.com

Emmys 2020 Amazingly Sets New Record For Most Wins By Black Actors

Screenshot from Emmys Instagram

The 2020 Emmys just created history by setting a new record for the most wins by black actors.

According to Variety, 7 black artists won awards in a number of major categories last night, which pretty much beats the record 2 years ago for the most wins by black actors. This year, Television Academy reports that 34.3% of all nominees were black and nine of the 18 acting awards given out at the 2020 Emmys went to black actors, which is a massive spike from last year’s numbers. Last year, according to Variety, just 11.1% of winning actors were black.

Eddie Murphy, Maya Rudolph, and Ron Cephas Jones received awards during Saturday’s event – Murphy and Rudolph won their Emmys for their December 2019 performance in the same episode of Saturday Night Live, and Jasmine Cephas Jones won the short form acting award for Quibi’s #FreeRayShawn alongside Laurence Fishburne.

Regina King, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Uzo Aduba, and Zendaya all received awards as well with Zendaya winning lead drama actress for HBO’s Euphoria – at 24, Zendaya became the youngest ever actor to win the best lead actress in a drama series award so that’s another achievement to be celebrated!

Congratulations to Eddie Murphy, Maya Rudolph, Cephas Jones, Regina King, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Uzo Aduba, and Zendaya – well done on your amazing achievements!

 

5 True To Life Movies That Actually Blew Our Minds

It has been a long time since we watched some of the most incredible real-life stories put on film and after going through a lot of effort on finding only 5 of the best may seem to be unfair. The movies listed below are just some of the most amazing movies that we have seen a couple of years ago. Nonetheless, these movies which are based on a real situation touched our hearts, inspired us, and even shocked us.

Braveheart

The story of William Wallas plays an important role in our history and whether we like it or not, the movie Braveheart, played by Mel Gibson was a total hit! The movie itself has the best crew and played perfectly for their roles including the setting and locations. During this revolution, Wallas recruited nomads and those who oppose the situation based on the governance in Scotland. The story covered his life starting at a very young age where his father died and was adopted by his uncle.

A famous quote from the movie is “they may take our lives but they will never take our freedom!”

Schindler’s list

Schindler’s List is a famous movie that was based on a true event focusing on a German businessman who was trying to survive and make his fortune during World War II. Oskar Schindler experienced devastating occurrences but ended up saving 1100 Jews. This story had indeed touched our hearts as the movie shows the grief that they felt during the war including the struggle to survive.

Pearl Harbor

This amazing movie was based on an event that transpired in December of 1941 where the Japanese launched a surprise attack that devastated and killed more than 2400 soldiers including 21 ships on the U.S. Naval Base in Hawaii. However, the movie does not focus on the war alone but also on the love story of a man and a woman and their cross relationship with his best friend. Rafe and Danny are both pilots but uneventful things happen when Rafe got an opportunity to go to the British Air Corps.

The Pursuit of Happyness

One of the most inspiring movies in 2006 was Pursuit of Happyness that was played by Will Smith and his son Jaden. The movie shows a homeless father and son for almost a year and is working as a medical representative until Chris Gardner (Will) exhibits his intelligence on the job application corporation that earned him his fortune little by little. He entered the world of stock marketing which at the end made his and his son’s life back on track.

Saving Private Ryan

The movie that Tom Hanks stars is actually based on a real story of the Niland Brothers but was revised by producer Steven Spielberg. The story was set on the Second World War where a mission was set to find and rescue Private Ryan who was in fact the last survivor of their family of four brothers who participated in the D-Day landings. The real name of the brother that survived is Fritz Niland.

Screenshot from YouTube Movies

Rebel Wilson Reveals She Has To ‘Physically Transform’ So She Can Get More Serious Roles

Rebel Wilson recently revealed that she actually feels the need to “physically transform” so that people can see her in more serious acting roles.

Wilson became famous after portraying “Fat Amy” in Pitch Perfect, however, she later realised that she wanted to tackle more serious roles as well as to focus more on her health.

Earlier this year Wilson announced via social media that 2020 would be her “Year of Health”, and that she would be exercising more as well as cutting down on “the sugar and junk food” to become healthier.

Her recent Instagram post posing in sportswear shows just how much weight she lost. According to VT Wilson is believed to have lost 2st 8lbs (40lbs or 18kg), with an overall goal weight of 11st 8lb (75kg or 165lb).

When Wilson was interviewed by Express, she revealed that she “literally feels as if she has to physically transform” so that people can see her in more serious roles.

“For some reason, even though we’re in a very imaginative industry, it’s very difficult for people to imagine me as a serious actress and I feel that I physically have to show you that I am different,” she explained. “I am somewhat transforming myself in order to help transform my career. I still love comedy and I will obviously still work in the comedy space, but I did train originally as a dramatic actress… which people forget.”

Wilson even revealed to the Sun that she was paid “a lot of money” by Hollywood executives to stay at a much bigger size. She said, ”It’s not like I want to lose weight and get to around a certain number. It’s more than that, it’s about dealing mentally with why I was overeating and I had a job where I was paid a lot of money to be bigger, at times which kind of can mess with your head a bit.

“So now I’m just trying to work on the mental side and the physical job and doing a lot of personal training and, and on the nutrition side like it’s, it’s cool I should probably write a book at some point about it because people seem to be interested. There’s no real simple answer to it. I’ve been trying a lot of different things and to be healthy.”

Rising Star Spotlight: Make Way For Akeem Jamahl Mair

Akeem Jamahl Mair is definitely an emerging actor to watch out for in 2020! He has booked several principal and leading roles in various student films. These include some well-known and popular remake titles such as Hannah and her Sisters and Good Will Hunting. Additional appearances include Limbo, All about the Money, and Initiation. He’s currently under the management of Commercial Talent Agency.

Akeem was born on September 16, 1988, in Pasadena, California, to entrepreneur Erol James Mair and Queen Alice Mair, a public service professional. Akeem was named after Eddie Murphy’s character in the box office hit Coming to America. He is the oldest of four siblings.

Akeem first became interested in acting as a child at Linda Vista Elementary school in Pasadena, California, performing in many school productions. “I fell in love with the excitement and reactions my onstage talents had on people. To be any character I wanted to be, gave me escape from my everyday life.” He then attended John Marshall Fundamental High School in Pasadena, California, receiving his High School Diploma in June 2007. Having a solid educational background was huge for his parents.

Since graduating high school, Akeem has taken college courses at Pasadena City College in pursuit of earning a business degree to become a financial banker. Everything changed when a loyal customer at his former daytime job commented, “You have this huge charismatic personality that radiates positive energy in people, are you an actor?” Since that day, Akeem made the decision to pursue acting as his passion and career.

At Columbia College of Hollywood productions, Akeem was involved in two lead roles of “All About the Money” as Jim, a lowlife who gets killed over never paying back his debts and “A Wonderful World” as the homeless man, Frank Simmons, who gets a second chance at life. At the University of Southern California, he booked leading roles in “Spotted” as Todd, the remake of “Born Fourth of July” where Akeem plays Jerry Levine’s character, Steve Boyer. At the University of California, Los Angeles, he booked leading roles in “Initiation” as the BKE leader Brad, “The Old College Try” as a robotic inventor named Anthony, and “Adagio” as a gym instructor named Marcus.

Akeem has worked for CBS and Comedy Central on the hit show “NCIS: LA”, and “Key and Peele.” Additionally, he has landed principal roles for live performances across major Southern California Universities. He has also appeared in national television commercials for eHarmony, The Clippers, and most recently for The Dominguez Firm and has played the lead in numerous music videos. Additionally, he performs in high-traffic original content on the web in numerous roles such as Allistair, a vampire seeking to exterminate vampire hunters, in “The Blood of the Dead” and he has appeared on the Youtube channel “Girls Going Viral.” Most recently he appeared on an episode of The Ellen Show which garnered over five million views.

Whether he is bringing life to characters in film and television, on small and big screens, or in high-traffic original content on the web, Akeem’s upbeat attitude and infectious energy towards every project and role he takes on is definitely a step towards stardom.

StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Akeem to discuss his journey in the entertainment industry and here’s what went down:

Can you tell us more about yourself? How did you get started in the entertainment industry?

 At first, I had my mindset on becoming a financial banker because I saw Michael Douglas’s character and lifestyle in the movie, “the game.” I saw his 2000 BMW 740i, his custom suits, the excitement in the office, and a maid at his house… I was blown away. Plus, I loved math and punching the numbers in a calculator so I figured that being a banker is my dream job. Little did I know while working at Ralph’s grocery store, a loyal customer would change the course of history for me. I remember being a cashier and her coming into my line with a sad demeanor. It seems something was bothering her so I did what I normally do with any of my customers which is brighten their day up. I said hi, “it’s good to see you again, did you find everything okay?” She said, yes I did thank you!” I said, “I usually see you smiling but whatever you’re going through I know will God rescue you!” “He never gives you more than you can handle!” After the transaction, I said, “have a bless day!” “I hope to see you again soon.” Immediately she paused and finally looked up at me for the first time and I could tell she had been crying. she replied, “Are you an actor?” I said, “No. Why do you ask?” She said, “Because your energy is filled with so much positive energy. You move people by it. You lifted up my spirits after I just lost my house in a foreclosure. Thank you!” Her reply shocked me. After she left I went home that day and wondered, What would my life look like if I was a successful actor? I thought about how I’ll be able to help my family so much more and how I can infect millions of people with the same positive energy. That night I searched ‘how to become an actor’ and it said most start as an extra on a movie set. So I called Central Casting in Burbank the very next day and here I am.

What do you like most about acting?

I just grew up with this love of being in front of the camera. Most of my family and friends are a bit terrified and want to always look their best but for me it was different. I felt like I always treated the lens of the camera like a best friend of mine and in that space, I totally just let go of life and be free from all of the worries I deal with on a daily basis. I love the idea of jumping into another person’s life and taking a break from my own reality. Each of the characters I play have their their own life and story. Something about playing other characters makes everything I’m going through in my life disappear. I can let go of my own problems for a change and take on new ones. It’s kind of the Bible saying, “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Matthew 7:3. Instead of judging a person, I rather jump in that person’s shoes and see what it’s like to see life out of their eyes and understanding. To see how they’ve dealt with their own problems and that creates a new perspective for me.

Can you tell us about your latest project?

I plead NDA! But trust me, when it comes out you’re gonna love it! What I can say, is that it’s an upcoming project that features my dad. I’ve never thought in a million years I’ll be able to do my passion and also bring my family in and experience it with them. My dad is not an actor at all but all of his actions came straight from his heart. It was a powerful project and there was a real moment my father and I shared. I forgot about all of the camera operators capturing the whole moment, it was surreal. Afterward, the owner came rushing down to hug me because he too had a similar experience with his father. I didn’t expect a breakdown in tears like I did with all the cameras in my face, but it happened out of nowhere. I am used to holding things in and not letting others inside so you could imagine my shock as the tears started pouring out. The other actor in the scene was frozen, he didn’t know how to react to something like that. This project definitely brought me closer to my dad as we are now talking as often as we can. The experience changed me. It allowed me to see the things in my life that scares me the most and go straight after them. Acting became a healing moment for me and one of my projects that I’ll never forget.

What’s the biggest challenge in your chosen career path?

Being persistent and aggressive all the time in activities that benefits my career. Even when you’re burned out and tired, and you have an audition to do, you have to get it done. And don’t be afraid of doing things by yourself. If people on your team are busy or don’t have the time to help you, you gotta learn to be strong and do it yourself. You’re gonna hear, “I’m busy,” a lot in this industry. You’re gonna hear, “sorry, we went with the other actor or actress for the role but we wish you the best in your future endeavors.” You’re gonna hear, “sorry we are not taking in new clients at this time.” Despite all of that, you have to stay positive and confident. nobody gonna tell you that when you really need it at like 2 am. So you have to be your biggest motivator and most reliable person you can trust.

What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?

It happened when I was in acting class at the time. I swear my phone kept buzzing every 5 minutes like crazy. My friends and family kept blowing up my phone up with texts like, “you were on The Ellen Show??? Call me!” They were thrilled to see me on the recurring humor segment called “Speak The Lyrics.” A show where one of Ellen’s writers walks up to a complete stranger and begins speaking to them in song lyrics.

I swear I had no idea it was on TV because I was in a class, ‘On-Set/On-Camera’ breaking down being realistic with your actions in a scene taught by David Rountree. I originally had no idea I was even being filmed for The Ellen Show. A couple of months earlier, I stopped at Barnes and Noble in Burbank. I notice a bunch of film crew standing outside so I asked one of the crew members, “What’s going on?” None of them claim they knew any information about what’s going on. I walked in and checked out some books and was on my way out when I notice a 2pac record and stopped at the record section. That’s when Lauren appeared.

I remember Coach Mike’s lessons of being completely confident and don’t disagree with what anyone says while their improving. Next thing I know, I was signing some papers and it airs on TV, Ellen calling it, “The best episode she’s ever seen!”

It was definitely a moment to remember and has been a huge exposure for my career. It generated over 5 million views on Instagram and even landed in the Instagram feed of my future agent, Sarah Angeli from Commercial Talent Agency. The timing was perfect because I had just submitted my headshots and resume to her last week. So when I walked into her office for my agent meeting, she had my episode cued up on her computer. She was like, “I just saw this yesterday and here you are!” She played it again and we both smiled and laughed. I’ll never forget that experience, it was God’s blessings written all over it.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

I’ve met so many incredible people. One of them was LL Cool J on the set of the TV series “NCIS Los Angeles. I wasn’t supposed to be his body double but the one they hired was super late to set and the director walked up to me said, “hey can you help us out?” I was like “sure why not?” He said, “great you’ll be a cover for LL Cool J!” I was shocked. Apparently LL Cool J who was still getting his makeup and outfit checked out by the wardrobe manager and makeup artist. We filmed a scene of me sitting in his black Dodge Challenger while waiting for my partner to come out of the building from meeting one of his informants. It was awesome being in that car, had my hand on the steering wheel and it felt like this was what I was born to do! As the scene finished, here comes LL Cool J walking up to me. I was shocked at first because I didn’t realize he was so tall. I’ve always seen him on television and figured he was my height. He shook my hand and said, “great job bro I appreciate you covering for me.” It was such a great moment because I was being praised by somebody I listened to as a kid.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

To win an Oscar! That is my ultimate career goal and the only future plan that I have. So everything that I am doing now is to put myself in the position to win. If I have to stay up at night to practice and study, that’s what I have to do.

Outside of acting, my plans are to become a global icon and activist. I want to be a role model for kids and inspire them to go after their future dreams too. I want to fight for justice and peace all around the world. I just want to inspire the entire world with positivity like Martin Luther King Jr, Jesus Christ, Gandhi, Michael Jackson, 2pac, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, etc.

Chadwick Boseman, “Black Panther” Star, Has Died Of Cancer At 43

Actor Chadwick Boseman, who played the iconic Black Panther in the Marvel cinematic universe, has just died of cancer aged 43.

According to ABC, Boseman’s publicist Nicki Fioravante confirmed that he died at his home in the Los Angeles area with his wife and family by his side.

According to his family, Boseman was diagnosed with colon cancer four years ago. They posted a heartbreaking message via Boseman’s Instagram account and here’s what they said:

“It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman.⁣

“Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016 and battled with it these last 4 years as it progressed to stage IV. ⁣

“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much. From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more, all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy. ⁣

“It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther. ⁣

“He died in his home, with his wife and family by his side. ⁣

“The family thanks you for your love and prayers, and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time.” ⁣

Originally born in South Carolina, Boseman initially had small roles in television until his impressive portrayal of baseball star Robinson opposite Harrison Ford in the biopic 42 back in 2013 made him a bonafide star. But his most memorable role was his performance as T’Challa aka Black Panther, king of the kingdom of Wakanda.

Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to Chadwick Boseman and his family.

Editorial credit: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com

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It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman.⁣ ⁣ Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, and battled with it these last 4 years as it progressed to stage IV. ⁣ ⁣ A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much. From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more, all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy. ⁣ ⁣ It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther. ⁣ ⁣ He died in his home, with his wife and family by his side. ⁣ ⁣ The family thanks you for your love and prayers, and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time. ⁣ ⁣ Photo Credit: @samjonespictures

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