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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Jada Pinkett-Smith and George W. Bush

By Alan Smithee. Okay so the headline is just to get your attention, but we do have a point to make with it. George Bush ascended to the most powerful job in the world because he was underestimated. He was reelected to that job while still being underestimated. Thus the comparison with the Hollywood power that is Jada Pinkett-Smith. I believe that Jada was underestimated by Hollywood when she first got there and is still underestimated today.

Hollywood expected "Woo" from Jada but not "The Nutty Professor." Hollywood expected "A Low Down Dirty Shame" but not "The Matrix." Now I'm not saying there is anything wrong with "Woo" or "Shame" but clearly you would agree they are no "Prof" or "The Matrix." We are sure she is balancing a family and multifaceted career, but we are also sure that Jada's beauty and talents are not properly recognized by Hollywood.

Hollywood clearly did not expect Wicked Wisdom (neither did anybody else). But girlfriend can rock, top right. We're not just talking Rock & Roll here, we are talking head banging metal rock. The outer edge of rock. The cutting edge of rock. Jada brings it too. Sheer intensity and aggression. Vocals and physical presence. She struts and stalks the stage like a cross between Mick Jagger and Prince. Except HER band is throwing down industrial strength metal. Wife, mother, actress and (dare we say it) metal head banger rock goddess. Dang Jada. As George W. Bush might say, you are 'misunderestimated.'
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Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Matrix: The Machines Got It Wrong On Energy

By Alan Smithee. I was watching The Matrix for the upmteenth time and realized when Morpheus was explaining to Neo (Thomas Anderson) how the machines powered their world after the takeover, I realized that their systems were either inadequate or mythical. Morpheus said the machines used solar power. Well the capacity factor for solar power is way too low, 30% tops, to power a society of machines. Unfortunately solar cannot meet the needs of humans. So it was stupid for humans to 'torch the sky' to eliminate the source of energy of the machines. The 30% capacity factor is so low as to obviate the need to block the Sun.

Then Morpheus told Neo that the machines combined a sort of fusion power to supplement using humans as a power supply. Well if they perfected any type of fusion they surely would not have needed to develop, maintain and manage a human-powered 'battery' system. Utilizing the heat from humans would be an incredibly inefficient use of time and well, food to feed the humans. Maybe it is just a good science fiction image but makes no sense in science. Fusion power is the holy grail of energy systems and works much like the Sun, but I doubt that even the machines could have perfected its use in the 21st Century, when The Matrix takes place.

Finally, Agent Smith told Morpheus that humans were like a virus on the planet. He said they used up the resources wherever they went. Thus, the machines wanted to eliminate humans except for using them as an inefficient and ineffective energy source. Morpheus said that humans as an energy source for the machines made humans slaves in The Matrix. The humans simply thought they were free while going about their business in a virtual world. Too bad the Wachowski Brothers got the energy explanation wrong.

The Wachowski Brothers were being politically correct. Actually, because the machines would not have to worry about negative health effects, they could have used coal to produce electricity. America alone is the Saudi Arabia of coal. The machines could have used nuclear power plants, including converting U-238 to plutonium (U-239), which would provide an almost limitless supply of nuclear fuel, particularly if the machines reprocessed and recycled it. The machines would have also utilized natural gas and oil. All of these would be much more efficient and effective than human conversion. Even ocean power and wind would be better. Come on Wachowskis. Clean this up in the next trilogy (no pun intended). The interesting thing would be that now that the humans are being freed, the machines and humans would have to figure out which energy sources to use now in order to keep the Earth comfortable for human habitation.
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Friday, March 21, 2008

'The Faceless Nations' - A Novel By Dr. Eric Watford

An African American slave holds an ancient religious secret that can change the world. But will the secret he holds be revealed with devastating consequences. Marcus Walker's mother was hung and his sister was cut out of her belly. 'The Faceless Nations' illustrates racism in the 1880's in America through the eyes of Walker. The story moves from Texas to Colorado and illustrates the reconstruction period after the Civil War. His sister is a mysterious figure with special powers and her character provides an interesting juxtaposition to the transition of American society from slavery to free status. For more buy the book.

Dr. Eric Watford is a founding board member of AAEA. Dr. Watford is a medical doctor whose previous novel 'Rachel's Chronicle,' which is ebonics for racial chronicles was a sensational hit of the 20th Century. He mixes religion, slavery, racism, history, and mysticism in a blend of 19th Century adventure that captures the volatility of America during the transition into the 20th Century.
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Al Roker Is Also A Television Show Producer

"Today" show weatherman Al Roker is producing television shows through his Al Roker Entertainment (ARE) production company. Al Roker Entertainment, Inc is a full-service multi-media production company that was launched in 1992. ARE has produced shows for the Food Network, Court TV, Lifetime Television, Oxygen, Discovery, TV One, Fine Living, A&E, NBC News, PBS and others. Roker does not host most of the shows he produces and professes that he never wants to leave NBC's "Today" show. ARE's shows have ranged from Tribeca Film Festival red carpet shows to serious programs for the History Channel and Discovery Health.

We hope Mr. Roker will feel free to utilize the services of AAEA. Our environmental and energy policy analyses are second to none. We can address the most serious issue facing us today: Global Warming. We can also provide a lighter touch via The Never Ending Adventures of Environment Man (TNEAEM). The William Morris Agency can easily reach us simply by clicking on the CALL ME button and entering our internet telephone number.
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Thursday, March 20, 2008

"Cat" Shows Broadway Power of Black Audience

“Cat On A Hot Tin Roof” starring James Earl Jones, Phylicia Rashad, Sean Combs (Diddy), Terrence Howard, Anika Noni Rose and directed by Debbie Allen sold $700,000 in tickets one week in March, a very profitable take for a nonmusical. Stephen C. Byrd, left, the first-time producer of “Cat,” estimates the audience to be between 70 percent and 80 percent African-American. Marketing and group-sales companies now see that the black audience can sustain a production. It has been largely assumed that an African-American audience would not support an African American play.

"A Raisin In The Sun" set the stage for "Cat"when it began setting house records and recouped its initial investment in nine weeks. “The Color Purple,” also helped (although musicals, with black or white casts, have an easier time attracting audiences than plays). Groups come from Chicago, Washington and elsewhere to make the show a hit. Unfortunately, middle-aged white women, the life blood for most productions, do not attend black cast plays. "Cat” is the third Broadway show in four years that has drawn a mostly black audience and huge business. In an industry where fewer than one in four shows recoup their investments, the success of "Cats" is a serious testament to the power of black audiences. (The New York Times)
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Saturday, March 08, 2008

"Tropic Thunder" Film Has Robert Downey Jr As Black Man

The actor Robert Downey Jr appears on screen as a black man in the film "Tropic Thunder," a Paramount film scheduled for release Aug. 15. Downey plays actor Kirk Lazarus, a white man cast to play a black soldier in a satire of the performing profession. Lazarus is the greatest actor of his generation, a four-time Oscar winner and a method actor who dyes his skin black to play Sgt. Osiris. The role was originally written for a black actor, but was re-cast and re-written for Downey. Downey acknowledged the potential controversy over the role and test screenings for African-American viewers have had positive responses, but some have expressed outrage. The film is being described as "Galaxy Quest" in 'Nam

Ben Stiller is starring as Tugg Speedman, an action movie star who, along with four other macho co-stars, is forced to rely on his boot camp skills to stay alive when things go horribly wrong on their new movie. Jack Black will play Jeff “Fats” Portnoy, an overweight gross-out comedian forced to kick his drug addiction while filming on location in the jungle. Tom Cruise plays the head of the movie studio. It is being reported that Cruise's attorneys threatened a lawsuit if photos showing Cruise bald, bearded and wearing a fat suit, upper right, were published because the film is not part of his production company United Artists (Cruise's studio) andhe does not want his participation in the film to be publicized. Tobey Maguire (Spiderman) also cameos.
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Thursday, March 06, 2008

NYU Film School Student's "Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday"

The filmmaker is looking for potential contributors.

Johnny Quinn Alston, right, is a 20 year old film school student seeking to produce and direct a film titled, "Tuesday, Wednesdy, Thursday," which is about a young man, Justin Case, who is puzzling over the fate of an environmentally flawed Earth and is isolated because of his extreme forward thinking. The young man overcomes the frustrating intellectual laziness of his human peers and the annoying uber-intelligence of the animate technology in his life. In an interesting twist, he makes contact, and receives contact in return, with a presence from the future of mankind.

The character Justin Case's tale is that of a young man from a relatively modest lifestyle who dares to not sit around and wait for tomorrow to come, but instead reaches out and brings tomorrow to himself. This proactive ambition calls not to the hopes and wishes of a world without problems, but the straight up conviction and integrity to DO something about them. The director says, "What I do not aim for is another dark, grimly fearful, sterile and condemning tale of the forward move in our parallel evolutions with technology." The budget for the short film is $10,000 with a production deadline of July 2008. The major goal of the film is to be shown at festivals worldwide. Send all correspondence to:
TWR c/o Johnny Quinn Alston
140 E. 14th Street, Apt 906B
New York,
NY 10003
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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Hollywood Actors Might Strike

Film and television actors, who are members of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) , are considering a strike. Just two weeks after the end of the 14 week strike by the 10, 500 member Writers Guild of America (WGA), now this. The WGA strike cost the local economy about $3 billion. SAG has many of the same contract demands that the WGA wanted. But SAG also faces issues unique to its 120,000 members, such as forced commercial endorsements through product placement in TV shows and movies. There is turbulence in Hollywood. Just when the television shows were about to restart, it all could crash again. And filmmakers will not start film productions that cannot be completed before the expiration of the SAG contract on June 30.

Fireman's Fund Insurance Co, Hollywood's leading insurance carrier, is even offering a first-of-its-kind "strike expense" policy for studios. The policy covers the costs of a strike-related production shutdown in the event that an actor's illness, equipment damage or other unexpected loss pushes the shooting schedule of a movie past SAG's June 30 contract deadline. Insurance companies are unwilling to issue for any film that cannot be finished by June 15. (The Washington Post)
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Saturday, March 01, 2008

Anika Noni Rose Is Maggie The Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

By Alan Smithee. I am a huge fan of Anika Noni Rose. Lightning struck her career with the costarring role in the movie "Dreamgirls" and now thunder followed with her starring role in the Broadway stage presention of "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof." So Anika is hot, hot, hot. Her Golden Globe should be warming any minute.

Anika Noni Rose was born in Bloomfield, Connecticut. She earned a Bachelor's Degree in Theatre from Florida A&M University. Not only is she smart but she's really cute too. We bet she cares about the environment. (Her MySpace page)

This production of Tennessee Williams' Pulitzer Prize-winning drama is directed by Debbie Allen with James Earl Jones playing Big Daddy, Phylicia Rashad playing Big Mama and Terrence Howard debuting on stage as Brick.
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