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Movie Review: Life

The movie, Life, is Dead on Arrival 

Six astronauts find a life form on an internationally staffed expedition to Mars. They bring the specimen on board their space ship and it finds the conditions on the craft very much to its liking – and grows to be a threat to the crew.

This Life is Dead on Arrival. It simply lacks any originality. First choosing Mars as the destination shows no creativity. That planet has been the focus of film space travel for over 50 years. Then the organism looks and behaves like the ones from Alien. And it thrives on food, water, and oxygen. It must have taken the screenwriters hours, even days to come up with that theory.

Life features a star-studded cast including Ryan Reynolds, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Rebecca Ferguson. But their characters all look and sound like any other onscreen space shuttle crew.

The special effects are routine and unexceptional.

Life does boast a solidly diverse crew with a black actor (Ariyon Bakare) and a Japanese actor (Hiroyuki Sanada). Actor Samuel L. Jackson recently complained about Hollywood hiring black British performers to play black American characters. Bakare is British; but so is the person he plays in the film.

In the end, this Life doesn’t survive film critiquing scrutiny and gets our lowest rating, Dead on Arrival.

Life is rated R, for scary scenes and language and is 103 minutes.

MOVIE REVIEW: Kong: Skull Island

Only the special effects make this island worth visiting

It’s the 70s. The Cold War burns hotly. Bill Randa (John Goodman), a researcher and his assistant Houston Brooks (Corey Hawkins) use the, we have to do this before the Russian’s do argument to get the United States federal government to fund an expedition to a South Pacific island where strange images have been caught on camera. Not only do they receive the funding, they also get a military escort led by Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson). To round out their team, they need a tracker and outdoors' man and James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston) fits the bill. When the expedition arrives at their destination via helicopters, they are created by a massive, towering ape who swats the whirlybirds away as if they were annoying mosquitos. The team quickly realizes that they are in for more than bargained for.

Kong: Skull Island is a weak story about boring characters, but it still gets a See It! rating because this film delivers the special effects viewers who are fans of this film genre want to see.

The plots are so anemic that you’ll just want another appearance by Kong or some other creature.

The characters all speak with the same tones and vocabulary. But what is a major failure of the screenwriters Dan Gilroy and Max Borenstein is the absence of the rich '70s dialogue. Language that young soldiers would have undoubtedly used. There was not a single: Right On!, Funky, Hip, Can you Dig it? or Say, What?

And if you’re a film buff, you’ll definitely see scenes reminiscent of Jurassic Park and Avatar.

Shot in six months in Hawaii, Australia's Gold Coast, and in Vietnam, Kong: Skull Island’s cinematography is a treat for the eyes.

When it comes to casting diversity, King: Skull Island, gets a solid “A”. Blacks, whites, Hispanics, and Asian performers have both major and supporting roles.

Kong: Skull Island is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action and for brief strong language. The film is 118 minutes in length. The special effects will not disappoint and that makes King: Skull Island a See It!

Movie Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

You Don't have to be Strange to Enjoy Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

Jacob Portman (Asa Butterfield) just doesn't know whom to believe. His grandfather Abraham (Terrance Stamp) tells him colorful tales of living in an orphanage for "peculiar children" in Wales in early 1940s. Jacob's father (Chris O'Dowd) dismisses his father, Abraham's memories as nothing more than fantasies. When Abraham dies, Jacob's parents take him to a psychiatrist to help resolve issues surrounding images he claims to have seen after his grandfather's death. The doctor recommends that Jacob and his father go to Wales and visit the orphanage where his grandfather claims to have grown up, as a part of his healing process.

Once in Wales, Jacob goes on an adventure that corroborates the assertions his grandfather made.

Miss Peregrine is a thoroughly entertaining movie based on the bestselling children's book. And it's a See It! It's different, creative, with strong characters, an exceptional cast and an intriguing storyline. I definitely preferred it to all of the films in the Harry Potter series. However, this is probably not a film for anyone under 10.

Directed by Tim Burton, this a perfect script for his peculiar filmmaking style.

Miss Peregrine gets an "A" for cast diversity. Considering the fact it's set in rural Great Britain in the 1940s, having a Samuel L. Jackson in the starring of role of Barron, is admirable. This movie very easily could have had an all-white cast.

It's rated PG-13 (for intense sequences of fantasy action/violence and peril) and is two hours and seven minutes in length. You should See It!

Model, Actress, and Author, Paulina Porizkova, Co-Chairs Children's Defense Fund Annual Gala

Porizkova believes that the children being awarded are going to run the country 20 years from now

On February 29, 2016, What's The 411TV's Courtney Rashon caught up with model, actress, and author, Paulina Porizkova, on the red carpet at the Children's Defense Fund-New York's (CDF-NY) annual Beat the Odds® Gala—an event that celebrates local students who have overcome exceptional adversities along their path to success—at The Pierre in New York City. Ms. Porizkova was a gala co-chair and an awards presenter.

In addition to recognizing five Beat the Odds® scholars, the event honored renowned stage and screen actors LaTanya Richardson Jackson and Samuel L. Jackson, and business leader Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., President & CEO of TIAA-CREF, for their longstanding commitment to CDF's Leave No Child Behind® mission.

This year's Beat the Odds® scholars include Aesron Jeremiah, 17, (William Maxwell High School in Brownsville), Elham Chowdhury, 17, (Bronx High School of Science in Norwood), Ruben Suazo, 17, (Leadership and Public Service High School in East Flatbush), Sashagale Moore, 18, (Queens Preparatory Academy in Jamaica), and Shirleyka Hector, 17, (International High School at Lafayette in Canarsie).

Marian Wright Edelman is the president and founder of the Children's Defense Fund.

The Children's Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. CDF provides a strong, effective and independent voice for all the children of America who cannot vote, lobby or speak for themselves. We pay particular attention to the needs of poor children, children of color and those with disabilities. CDF educates the nation about the needs of children and encourages preventive investments before they get sick, drop out of school, get into trouble or suffer family breakdown. CDF began in 1973 and is a private, nonprofit organization supported by individual donations, foundation, corporate and government grants.

Marian Wright Edelman Still Standing With and For Children

Marian Wright Edelman: "Listen to the children, they are the stars tonight."

What's The 411TV's Courtney Rashon had the good fortune of speaking with Marian Wright Edelman, President and Founder, Children's Defense Fund-New York (CDF-NY); at the organization's annual Beat the Odds® Gala—an event that celebrates local students who have overcome exceptional adversities along their path to success—at The Pierre in New York City.

In addition to recognizing five Beat the Odds® scholars, the event honored renowned stage and screen actors LaTanya Richardson Jackson and Samuel L. Jackson, and business leader Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., President & CEO of TIAA-CREF, for their longstanding commitment to CDF's Leave No Child Behind® mission.

This year's Beat the Odds® scholars include Aesron Jeremiah, 17, (William Maxwell High School in Brownsville), Elham Chowdhury, 17, (Bronx High School of Science in Norwood), Ruben Suazo, 17, (Leadership and Public Service High School in East Flatbush), Sashagale Moore, 18, (Queens Preparatory Academy in Jamaica), and Shirleyka Hector, 17, (International High School at Lafayette in Canarsie).

The Children's Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. CDF provides a strong, effective and independent voice for all the children of America who cannot vote, lobby or speak for themselves. We pay particular attention to the needs of poor children, children of color and those with disabilities. CDF educates the nation about the needs of children and encourages preventive investments before they get sick, drop out of school, get into trouble or suffer family breakdown. CDF began in 1973 and is a private, nonprofit organization supported by individual donations, foundation, corporate and government grants.

LaTanya Richardson Jackson and Husband Samuel L. Jackson Receive Honors at Annual Beat The Odds Gala

The Jacksons have been long-time supporters of Marian Wright Edelman's Pro-Active Work helping children

On February 29, 2016, What's The 411TV's Courtney Rashon caught up with actress LaTanya Richardson Jackson, on the red carpet at the Children's Defense Fund-New York (CDF-NY) annual Beat the Odds® Gala—an event that celebrates local students who have overcome exceptional adversities along their path to success—at The Pierre in New York City.

In addition to recognizing five Beat the Odds® scholars, the event honored renowned stage and screen actors LaTanya Richardson Jackson and Samuel L. Jackson, and business leader Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., President & CEO of TIAA-CREF, for their longstanding commitment to CDF's Leave No Child Behind® mission.

This year's Beat the Odds® scholars include Aesron Jeremiah, 17, (William Maxwell High School in Brownsville), Elham Chowdhury, 17, (Bronx High School of Science in Norwood), Ruben Suazo, 17, (Leadership and Public Service High School in East Flatbush), Sashagale Moore, 18, (Queens Preparatory Academy in Jamaica), and Shirleyka Hector, 17, (International High School at Lafayette in Canarsie).

Marian Wright Edelman is the president and founder of the Children's Defense Fund.

The Children's Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. CDF provides a strong, effective and independent voice for all the children of America who cannot vote, lobby or speak for themselves. We pay particular attention to the needs of poor children, children of color and those with disabilities. CDF educates the nation about the needs of children and encourages preventive investments before they get sick, drop out of school, get into trouble or suffer family breakdown. CDF began in 1973 and is a private, nonprofit organization supported by individual donations, foundation, corporate and government grants.

Celebrity Fashion Stylist June Ambrose Supports the Children's Defense Fund

First time supporting the gala, but certainly as a child of the South Bronx, June Ambrose understands the Children's Defense Fund's mission

What's The 411TV's Courtney Rashon caught up with celebrity fashion stylist, June Ambrose, on the red carpet at the Children's Defense Fund-New York (CDF-NY) annual Beat the Odds® Gala—an event that celebrates local students who have overcome exceptional adversities along their path to success—at The Pierre in New York City.

In addition to recognizing five Beat the Odds® scholars, the event honored renowned stage and screen actors LaTanya Richardson Jackson and Samuel L. Jackson, and business leader Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., President & CEO of TIAA-CREF, for their longstanding commitment to CDF's Leave No Child Behind® mission.

This year's Beat the Odds® scholars include Aesron Jeremiah, 17, (William Maxwell High School in Brownsville), Elham Chowdhury, 17, (Bronx High School of Science in Norwood), Ruben Suazo, 17, (Leadership and Public Service High School in East Flatbush), Sashagale Moore, 18, (Queens Preparatory Academy in Jamaica), and Shirleyka Hector, 17, (International High School at Lafayette in Canarsie).

Marian Wright Edelman is the president and founder of the Children's Defense Fund.

The Children's Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. CDF provides a strong, effective and independent voice for all the children of America who cannot vote, lobby or speak for themselves. We pay particular attention to the needs of poor children, children of color and those with disabilities. CDF educates the nation about the needs of children and encourages preventive investments before they get sick, drop out of school, get into trouble or suffer family breakdown. CDF began in 1973 and is a private, nonprofit organization supported by individual donations, foundation, corporate and government grants.

Supermodel Emme on the Red Carpet at Children's Defense Fund Annual Gala

Supermodel Emme believes that our children need as much support as possible from the adults around them; our children are our future and they need to be supported

What's The 411TV's Courtney Rashon caught up with supermodel Emme on the red carpet at the Children's Defense Fund-New York (CDF-NY) annual Beat the Odds® Gala—an event that celebrates local students who have overcome exceptional adversities along their path to success—at The Pierre in New York City. Emme served as a presenter at the event.

In addition to recognizing five Beat the Odds® scholars, the event honored renowned stage and screen actors LaTanya Richardson Jackson and Samuel L. Jackson, and business leader Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., President & CEO of TIAA-CREF, for their longstanding commitment to CDF's Leave No Child Behind® mission.

This year's Beat the Odds® scholars include Aesron Jeremiah, 17, (William Maxwell High School in Brownsville), Elham Chowdhury, 17, (Bronx High School of Science in Norwood), Ruben Suazo, 17, (Leadership and Public Service High School in East Flatbush), Sashagale Moore, 18, (Queens Preparatory Academy in Jamaica), and Shirleyka Hector, 17, (International High School at Lafayette in Canarsie).

Marian Wright Edelman is the president and founder of the Children's Defense Fund.

The Children's Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. CDF provides a strong, effective and independent voice for all the children of America who cannot vote, lobby or speak for themselves. We pay particular attention to the needs of poor children, children of color and those with disabilities. CDF educates the nation about the needs of children and encourages preventive investments before they get sick, drop out of school, get into trouble or suffer family breakdown. CDF began in 1973 and is a private, nonprofit organization supported by individual donations, foundation, corporate and government grants.

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