Kam’s Kapsules: Weekly Previews

the-best-man-holiday-image 600BIG BUDGET FILMS

"The Best Man Holiday" (R for profanity, sexuality and brief nudity) Christmas-themed sequel, set 15 years after the original, finds college pals reuniting to reminisce, find romance and revive rivalries. Ensemble includes Morris Chestnut, Nia Long, Terrence Howard, Sanaa Lathan and Taye Diggs.

"The Book Thief" (PG-13 for violence and mature themes) Adaptation of the Mark Zusak novel of the same name, set in Nazi, Germany and revolving around an abandoned 9 year-old girl (Sophie Nelisse) adopted by foster parents (Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson) hiding a Jewish refugee (Ben Schnetzer) from the SS. With Kirsten Block, Nico Liersch and Sandra Nedeleff. (In English and German with subtitles)


"Charlie Countryman" (R for sexuality, nudity, drug use, pervasive profanity and brutal violence) Shia LaBeouf portrays the title character of this romantic comedy about a tourist traveling to Bucharest who falls in love with the wife (Evan Rachel Wood) of a ruthless Romanian mobster (Mads Mikkelsen). Narrated by John Hurt and featuring Rupert Grint, Melissa Leo and Vincent D'Onofrio. (In English and Romanian with subtitles)


Love-packing Optimist still serving youth at 100

FrontPageWiggins 600At 100 years old, retired teacher and former Sunday school teacher Etha Wiggins has had plenty of time to become passionate about helping young people, and she believes that it is exactly what God called her to do.

"I just love children. I love working with them and teaching them. I give God the credit," Wiggins said. "He just called me to be with the kids."

Wiggins is a member of the Curve Optimist Club, the motto of which is "bringing out the best in kids." She says, "We do different things for them. We teach them positive thinking, good behavior, and academic achievement."



A ‘star spangled’ search for a music career

SerenityDSC 0245_600Hitting all the right notes to the "Star Spangled Banner" may be a little difficult for some singers, especially if it's a capella, but not for 14-year-old Serenity Holloway. The gifted singer, songwriter and keyboardist hopes the Memphis Grizzlies will select her to sing the country's national anthem before the tip-off of one of its basketball games.

Performing the patriotic song before thousands is a cinch for Serenity, and practicing the song will only make her better, said Rena Clay, Serenity's mother, during a recent recording session at Hot City Entertainment in Millington.

Clay has been working with Serenity to make sure that her "gift" is polished and that she puts her best foot forward while singing a song – like annunciating her words, getting the pitch and timing correct, and remembering the lyrics.


Daytime soap ‘All My Children’ canceled again, actress tweets

debbi-morgan 600LOS ANGELES – Daytime soap "All My Children" may have finally reached the end of its run, according to an actress on the show.

The iconic drama, which moved from television to the Internet after ABC canceled it, will not return for a second online season, Debbi Morgan tweeted this week.

Morgan, who played Dr. Angie Hubbard, revealed the news when a fan asked her via Twitter if rumors of the show's demise were true. "So sorry to say, Kristin...but yes it is," Morgan responded.


Justin Timberlake: I’m not cool

Timberlake 600Justin Timberlake and Kanye West may not always see eye-to-eye, but they have at least one trait in common: the inability to be cool.

As Timberlake explains in the December issue of GQ, "being cool is about keeping your blood pressure steady," rather than being passionate.

Similar to Yeezus, Timberlake isn't the type of guy who can restrain himself from displaying passion, whether he's passionately in love with something or passionately in disagreement -- particularly when he's in disagreement with his critics.


Morris Chestnut: “The Best Man Holiday” interview

chestnut 600Morris Chestnut was born on New Year's Day 1969 in Cerritos, Calif., where he was a student-athlete in high school, en route to majoring in finance and drama at California State University. He made his big screen debut opposite Ice Cube in John Singleton's "Boyz n the Hood," and subsequently enjoyed his breakout role as the groom-to-be in Malcolm Lee's "The Best Man."

The handsome heartthrob has been a much-in-demand leading man ever since, starring in hits like "The Call," "Think Like a Man," "Identity Thief," "The Brothers," "Not Easily Broken," "Kick Ass 2," "Two Can Play That Game," "Breakin' All the Rules," "The Perfect Holiday," "Half Past Dead," "Like Mike," "Ladder 94" and "The Game Plan." A dedicated family man away from work, Morris and his wife, Pam, live in suburban L.A. with their son, Grant, and daughter, Paige.

Here, he talks about reprising the memorable role of Lance Sullivan in the eagerly-anticipated sequel, "The Best Man Holiday."


Meet the ‘Africapitalist’ who wants to power Africa

Africa 600You've probably heard by now about the Afropolitans and the Afropreneurs – but what about the Africapitalists?

It's the term created by Nigerian entrepreneur Tony Elumelu, one of Africa's most successful businessmen, to describe what he believes holds the key to the continent's future well-being.

According to Elumelu, Africapitalism is the economic philosophy "that the African private sector has the power to transform the continent through long-term investments, creating both economic prosperity and social wealth."



Judge Mathis taking it to the streets

JudgeMathis 600Judge Mathis has a new project – literally.

"The Mathis Project" premieres tonight (Nov. 8th) at 9 p.m. CST on BET.

"Thousands of African-American murders go unsolved each year. I'll be on the ground in the toughest neighborhoods seeking tips for cold cases," says Mathis.


Terry McMillan returns with ‘Who Asked You?’

S028662397 600Terry McMillan writes best-selling fiction, but it was real-life drama – a very public divorce – that garnered her some of her biggest headlines.

The nasty split with ex-husband Jonathan Plummer, the inspiration for the popular novel and movie "How Stella Got Her Groove Back," was dissected everywhere, from book blogs to "The Oprah Winfrey Show." A lawsuit, fraud allegations and public accusations all played out like plot points in one of her novels.

A lot has changed since then.


‘Saturday Night Live’ addresses lack of diversity

snl-diversity-sketch-600"Saturday Night Live" wasted no time addressing a brewing controversy about the lack of black women in its cast this week when Scandal star Kerry Washington hosted the show.

In the opening sketch of the night, Washington was cast as first lady Michelle Obama opposite Jay Pharoah's President Barack Obama.

"It feels like it's been years since I've seen you," quipped Pharoah poking fun at the fact that the first lady only gets portrayed on the show when an African-American woman, like Maya Rudolph, hosts.


This week’s DVD releases - November 5, 2013

TheBigPicture Dyslexia-225Top Ten DVD List for Nov. 5, 2013

"The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia"

"Home Is Where the Heart Is"

"American Experience: War of the Worlds"

"Hava Nagila: The Movie"



‘12 Years A Slave’ a talker, if you let go of your fear

12years-pg1-600I am no stranger to slavery. I literally stumbled into it while doing genealogy research in the early 1980's, finding a matriarch who showed up in the 1870 census, which listed her as 61 years old and having been born in Africa.

Much meandering later, and with some hard-learned lessons – many of which I did not want to learn – I decided to embrace what I considered a healthier attitude about slavery, changing my name, clothes, language, etc.

This commentary, however, is not about covering the finer aspects of my journey. I share that opening simply as a reference point for the attitude that I took with me to New Orleans for the Red-Carpet premiere there earlier this month of "12 Years A Slave." The movie debuts in Memphis Friday (Nov. 1) after an advance screening Wednesday at the Malco Majestic.