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Girls Trip - Avoid This Nasty Adventure! [MOVIE REVIEW]

In Girls Trip, the decades have passed and four college friends Ryan (Regina Hall), Lisa (Jada Pinkett Smith), Dina (Tiffany Haddish), and Sasha (Queen Latifah) travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival. They are determined to have a GOOOD time and unleash all inhibitions.

Girls Trip is a Trip. It’s vulgar, crass and disappointing. This barrage of crudeness is ultimately the film’s undoing. There is a constant referencing to women as the “B word”. And, the “N word” and MFs are flying everywhere. There’s nothing funny about someone suspended in air urinating on the people below. This happened twice! Dina is sexually tempted by a filthy, old, homeless man who exposes himself to the group.

The characters are stereotypes fitting comfortably into pigeon holes. Tiffany Haddish, who I have to admit I had never heard of before, as Dina, is loud, crude, damn near a nympho. On the other hand, Lisa is matronly, prim and proper, and blindly devoted to motherhood. Sasha is the struggling one who’s trying to keep up a façade of financial and career success while things are crumbling. And then there’s the highly successful Ryan whose fairy tale marriage to former football star, Stewart (Mike Colter), is marketed as an example a woman who’s having it all.

The storyline involving Ryan and her husband is substantive and interesting. His ability to smoothly rationalize his misgivings is nothing short of amazing. Unfortunately, his talent and the film’s attention to worthy scenes are lost in a bombardment of B.S.

I am embarrassed for Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, and Jada Pinkett Smith because they are all talented actresses. And I understand that there’s a paucity of quality roles for black women in Hollywood. But, Girls Trip?

Further, I don’t know where they got the “guy” who’s hairless, lotioned, lady legs are featured in the film’s poster. Real men don’t shave their legs – unless they’re swimmers.

Girls Trip is written by Kenya Barris who penned Barbershop: The Next Cut. That film featured black men of dignity and character. I wonder why he chose to write such trash for women.

Girls Trip also trips up when it comes to casting diversity, earning a C-. We have to be fair in discussing diversity. Other than Kate Walsh who plays Ryan’s agent, Lara Grice, a TV exec, and a few minor roles, this cast is all black including individuals in the background.

Directed by Malcolm Lee and produced by Will Packer, Girls Trip has a modest budget for films today, $28 million. It’s rated R for crude (you can say that again), sexual content throughout, pervasive language, brief graphic nudity, and drug material. Girls Trip is 122 minutes too long.

Sorry girls but your trip is Dead on Arrival!

UPDATE: David Griffin says adios a Nueva York

Close, but no cigar, David Griffin reportedly moving on from New York Knicks general manager consideration

It seems that David Griffin will not be taking the New York Knicks general manager position, after all, a source told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated.

There appear to be at least two sticking points according to those close to the source.

Contract talks between David Griffin and the NY Knicks broke down because Griffin wants to bring in his own people.

Griffin also wants to be president just like Phil Jackson, who the Knicks fired on June 28, 2017.

Griffin, who was general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers, believes being a leader on the management team that brought the Cavs its first NBA championship should count for something.

Not directly reporting to Jim Dolan and having to report to Steve Mills, who is rumored to be named New York Knicks President, was not an option.

Did the New York Knicks Select David Griffin?

NY Knicks haven’t made an official announcement, but Wikipedia summary box suggests Cavs former general manager David Griffin is Knicks new general manager

While preparing for the production of the next episode of What’s The 411Sports, I wanted to do more research on the Cleveland Cavaliers former general manager, David Griffin, who recently had a meeting with the New York Knicks. I discovered an entry on the Wikipedia summary box under David Griffin’s name, New York Knicks general manager.

I reached out to the New York Knicks, but I have not received a confirmation as of this writing.

A Huge Salute to Go on Girl Book Club

VIDEO: Shout out to Go on Girl Book Club, with more than 30 chapters across the U.S., Go on Girl Book Club supports African-American authors and literature

In this video, Troy Johnson, CEO, and Webmaster, AALBC.com, and Ruth Morrison, CEO, Executive Producer, What's The 411TV, give a shout out and salute to Go On Girl Book Club.

In existence for more than 25 years, Go on Girl Book Club has more than 30 book club chapters around the United States. With hundreds of members, Go on Girl Book Club hosts an award ceremony to uplift authors and celebrate African-American literature.

The organization also has a scholarship fund.

Do you have a book club that deserves a shout out? If so, hit us up in the comment section under this video on YouTube.

Marcus Books in Oakland, California a Necessary Community Relic

VIDEO: Marcus Books, an independent bookstore in Oakland California, is a necessary community institution

After attending the Sacramento Black Book Fair in Sacramento, California, Troy Johnson, CEO, and Webmaster, AALBC.com, took a trip to Oakland, California to visit Marcus Booksan independent bookstore serving the African-American community in Oakland, California.

In this video, Troy talked about his visit to Marcus Books and why independent physical bookstores are important.


Upcoming Book Events: AAMBC Literary Awards; the Harlem Book Fair

VIDEO: The Black literary world preparing to convene in Atlanta for African-Americans on the Move Book Club's literary award show; Harlem Book Fair next up

In this video, we're talking about the African-Americans on the Move Book Club's upcoming Urban Book Bash, a literary award ceremony, and the Harlem Book Fair 2017, which will be held on Saturday, July 15, 2017.

Troy Johnson, CEO, and webmaster, AALBC.com, is up for an AAMBC Award in the Literary Activist of the Year category. Other nominees in the category include Malaika Adero, who was vice president and senior editor at Atria Books/Simon and Schuster and is now a publishing consultant, and Curtis Bunn, author, and founder of the National Book Club Conference.

UPDATE: The AAMBC Literary Awards was held on June 10, 2017, and congratulations to Troy Johnson for winning AAMBC’s Literary Activist Award.


Hillary Clinton at BEA; Queens Book Festival; Black Pack Party

A great turnout of authors, publishers, and people who enjoy books at the Queens Book Festival 2017; the 11th Annual Black Pack Party is like a family reunion

In this video, Troy Johnson, CEO, and Webmaster, AALBC.com, and Ruth Morrison are talking about the Queens Book Festival 2017, Hillary Clinton's conversation at Book Expo America, and the 11th Annual Black Pack Party which was held on the opening night of Book Expo America 2017, at Clyde Frazier's Wine and Dine in New York City.

 At the Queens Book Festival, among the many people in attendance, Troy met Shaun Randol, Editor-in-Chief, and Publisher, The Mantle, who is embarking on publishing African authors such as Stanley Gazemba.

Gazemba is a writer from Kenya. In 2010, according to NPR, Gazemba had written five novels — one that was published — two collections of short stories and six published children's books.

A notable exhibitor was the Griots Republic, publishers of Black Travel: An Anthology, which is a collection of photos and stories from Black people who have traveled all over the world.

War for the Planet of the Apes is a Big Loser. [MOVIE REVIEW]

Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his fellow primate followers are pushed to the point of conflict after suffering unimaginable losses - including Caesar’s wife and son – at the hands of humans. Caesar and his forces leave their camp to confront their attackers, eventually finding the humans at their military post. They also find apes enslaved there. A ruthless Colonel (Woody Harrelson) is in charge. The past atrocities combined with the sight of his species being so badly mistreated leads Caesar to realize that a peaceful resolution of the human-ape conflict is no longer possible.

War for the Planet of the Apes is a dreary, violent movie, and totally lacking in entertainment value. With Caesar being one of the few talking simians, there are a lot of subtitles. And the exchanges between the animals is symbolically bland and representative of the tone of this entire film. This film might have worked if it was based on a true story or some great classical of work whose depressiveness was necessary to tell the tale. But sadly this story is just someone’s idea of entertainment.

During their travels, the Apes adopt a little blond girl that is orphaned when Caesar kills her father in a gun battle. This is an absurd development in the film and apparently was intended to soften viewers’ attitude towards the Apes.

Woody Harrelson is effective as the Nazi-type leader of the human military group. Andy Serkis as Caesar embodies a dignity and even charm despite being dressed in a monkey costume. Their efforts do little to improve this mess.

The suffering viewers endure is intensified by the fact the film is over two hours and 20 minutes long.

The 1970’s classic hit song, War, asks and answers the question: War, what is good for? Absolutely Nothing! That also describes the movie: War for the Planet of the Apes. It’s worth absolutely nothing! It’s rated PG-13 and it is dead, dead, on arrival!!

Photo of the Week: Freddie Perry and his Twin Brother

VIDEO: The Perry Brothers graduate with Master's Degrees, an MBA and a Master's in Education

Our Photo of the Week is Freddie Perry with his twin brother, they both received Masters Degrees.

Freddie received an MBA from the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee, and his brother received a Master’s in Education.

According to Freddie Perry's LinkedIn post, he and his brother both earned associate degrees in 2011. They joined the same fraternity in 2013. In 2014, the Perry brothers both earned bachelor's degrees while working internships and serving as community mentors and high school tutors. They accomplished their educational goals recognizing the need to achieve while also helping others succeed! And, the Perry brothers saluted the power of the village, because as they helped others, there were people who helped him and his brother when needed.

Barbershop Books Receives 2017 Innovations in Reading Prize

The National Book Foundation awards The 2017 Innovations in Reading Award to Barbershop Books

Congratulations to Harlem-based Barbershop Books!

The National Book Foundation awarded The 2017 Innovations in Reading Award to Barbershop Books, a community-based reading program that creates child-friendly reading spaces in barbershops.

Over the past 2 years, Barbershop Books has transformed 49 barbershops into community spaces that support positive early reading experiences for boys in 18 cities across 11 states.

Barbershop Books will receive a $10,000 prize and will be recognized at the second annual Why Reading Matters Conference on June 15.

Four organizations received honorable mention for the 2017 Innovations in Reading Prize are Books@Work (Shaker Heights, OH), the Great Reading Games (Princeton, NJ), Poetry in Motion (New York, NY), and Reach Out and Read (Boston, MA).

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