Posts Tagged ‘Comedy’

Greetings, all. Hope I don’t drive too many of you away from here. I promise it all comes together in the end.

So, this week, I was all pumped to write a post on the evolution of Chance the Rapper (or talk on the evolution of Drake’s fanboy-like nature when it comes to sports). Then, I got the news that the Ultimate Warrior died suddenly a few days after being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame (and delivering a prophetic promo on Monday Night Raw).

This shocking news, which I’ll speak on a bit more on my personal site in the coming days, got me thinking about one of the worst angles in my twenty-some years as a pro wrestling fan. In case you don’t know, your [butt] better call somebody (this will pop up again) and listen up before I have to open a can of whoop-you-know-what.

In the late 90s, the Attitude Era had taken over the WWE, at the time known as the WWF. What this meant for one of the main competitors to the WWE, WCW (or World Championship Wrestling) is that they’d have to up the ante on storylines, marketability, and straight-up ridiculousness to keep people tuning in. Heels (bad guys) and faces (good guys) flipped sides more than a three-sided coin. David Arquette won the “Big Gold” belt. And, guest stars begin to litter the WCW landscape.

One of those guest stars was none other than Mr. “Age in Rap Ain’t Nuthin’ But a Numba” himself, Master P.

Master P decided to sign into a partnership with WCW. If Master P lent some credence to wrasslin’ in the hip-hop community, then WCW would lend some credence to hip-hop in the wrestling community. Oh, and there was something about Master P’s possible cousin “Swoll” being able to wrestle and get screen time.

What came out of this relationship is a storyline that many wrestling sites consider to be one of the worst in the history of WCW. And this is coming from a sports entertainment federation which employed Robocop at one of their pay-per-views.

(See what I mean?)

In the sometimes nonsensical world of pro wrestling, you expect stuff to not make sense. That’s part of kayfabe. You’ve got to suspend some reality to get into it. But, Master P’s inclusion in WCW, as part of the–wait for it–No Limit Soldiers was insanely abysmal. Not only was his stable (group of wrestlers) booed ad nauseam, they were brought in as faces. Translation: the good guys got the [stuffing] booed out of them because:

1) WCW brought in a bunch of non-wrestlers to take time/money away from actual wrestlers (Master P got paid about a million dollars for a month)
2) A lot of WCW’s fan base quite possibly thought that “rap was crap,” agreeing with the heel faction that sprung up to feud with the “No Limit Soldiers”
3) The actual wrestlers in the NLS stable were either glorified jobbers or had no business in a rap-centric stable–and yes, that includes Brad Armstrong, the brother of Road Dogg (Jesse James) of the New Age Outlaws and DX in WWF/WWE (who eventually resurfaced as, to a degree, a spoof of Road Dogg).
4) The NLS stable came off as a straight-up parody of hip-hop and was kind of stereotypical in nature (and not even the “funny” kind of stereotypical. They were almost booed out of Washington DC during their debut).
5) This was one of the most-awkward celebrity appearances in professional wrestling

(See what I mean?)

Essentially, it was the result of WCW trying to reach out to “the blacks” the hip-hop community in a pandering effort that was half-cooked. Of course, this isn’t the first time wrestling and hip-hop have meshed. We have wrestlers such as R-Truth, to this very day, poppin’ and lockin’ in their entrances. Silkk the Shocker performed a WWE theme song. We had the tag team of JTG and Shad known as “Cryme Tyme,” which, in some ways, was even more stereotypical than Master P’s bunch (But, at least everyone was in on the joke…I think).

(BROOKLYN BROOKLYN!)

But, for me, the No Limit Soldiers gimmick stands out as one of the worst marriages of hip-hop and wrestling–and there have been some odd ones.

For kicks, I’ve included the No Limit entrance theme, “Hoody Hoo,” which, of course, is NSFW (I mean, it’s old-school No Limit).

Until next time. I promise that next week I’ll keep it strictly hip-hop. No piledrivers or Stone Cold Stunners.

Ok, maybe a stunner or two (contains some middle-finger-flipping action and some minor NSFW language)

Moviegoers can put another point on the board of Buddy Cop films. Although, Let’s Be Cops technically doesn’t qualify considering the premise that the main characters aren’t actual cops. Yep, that ‘s right! The first cop comedy where the cops are just average guys who get into an onslaught of hilarious ordeals and risky situations as they parade as police officers. Move over Cop Out (2010), go back to school 21 Jump Street (2012), and watch your back Ride Along (2014) because Let’s Be Cops looks as though it may even be giving Broken Lizzard’s Super Troopers (2001) a run for its money in the funny department. Damon Wayan’s Junior and Jake Johnson seem awkwardly natural as two “30 as sh*t!” roommates who decide to dress as cops for a “costume party” and end up liking their created roles a little more than they probably should. Let’s Be Cops arrives in theaters everywhere on August 13th, 2014. Check out the trailer below!

Two struggling pals dress as police officers for a costume party and become neighborhood sensations. But when these newly-minted “heroes” get tangled in a real life web of mobsters and dirty detectives, they must put their fake badges on the line.” [IMDB.com]

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E-mail Recipients and Smart Phone users may view trailer by clicking the image above

 

Well folks the creative genius (I use the term genius VERY loosely) behind Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus has teamed up with Cinefix to bring you an online three episode giant monster-comedy series that rockets the cheese factor to level Sharknado. Fear Force Five is a thing that only a really bored and probably not-so-sober mind could dream up. But, with its purposefully campy story-line, adolescent special effects and mediocre acting it’s pretty hard not to enjoy the numerous laughs and snickers Fear Force Five can force out of you. Stuffed with all the monster-comedy fixings to make a made for television SyFy film envy; Fear Force Five is something of an ode to all of the classic, yet not-so-well groomed horror movies of the past and I am borderline ashamed to write that I enjoyed it. But, when you expect a movie to be over-the-top, quirky and not really take itself seriously you ride that massive monster movie wave until you’re clear of the pipeline and laid up in the shade of the aftermath. With that said, if you enjoy laughing at “bootleg” horror-comedies you will highly enjoy this one. Click the video below and follow the playlist to watch the entire series and behind-the-scenes processes of the series. Check it out and let me know what you think of Fear Force Five.

Smartphone/Email users may watch the videos by clicking the image above.

The unexpected duo Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum are back to take down drug dealing students for the second time around. But this time they’re quirky and often dangerous antics have landed them in college in the 2014 followup to 21 Jump Street. If the sequel is anything like the first, I know we’re in for lots of laughs and a good time and although the plot seems oddly similar to its predecessor, Hill and Tatum’s on-screen chemistry is so outlandish that it makes for great entertainment. The fact that Ice Cube and Brad Pitt also star in this film and it seems equipped with just enough shoot-em-up action to qualify as an action/comedy are just added bonuses for me. So if you like the comedic stylings of the unexpected duo check out the trailer for 22 Jump Street below and be sure to have your popcorn and friends in the theater on June 13, 2014.

After making their way through high school (twice), big changes are in store for officers Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) when they go deep undercover at a local college. But when Jenko meets a kindred spirit on the football team, and Schmidt infiltrates the bohemian art major scene, they begin to question their partnership. Now they don’t have to just crack the case – they have to figure out if they can have a mature relationship. If these two overgrown adolescents can grow from freshmen into real men, college might be the best thing that ever happened to them.” MovieClips Trailers

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Marlon Wayans is back in the follow-up to his hilarious comedy horror spoof A Haunted House. While I usually don’t like sequels that do the same plot over again, considering how funny the first one was I am excited to see this. If there is anything I’ve learned from the first one it is that there will be a cameo or two in this film and it will be hilariously over-the-top. A Haunted House 2 stars Marlon Wayans, Cedric The Entertainer,  and the fluffy man himself Gabriel Iglesias and is scheduled to release March 28th, 2014.

Having exorcised the demons of his ex, Malcolm is starting fresh with his new girlfriend and her two children. After moving into their dream home, however, Malcolm is once again plagued by bizarre paranormal events. [IMDB.com]

So for the first time in my trailer posting history, I am left with few words about a movie. This, is a great thing because I actually want this trailer to speak for itself. But, I will say that I WILL definitely be going to the theater to see this film. I’ve always loved college movies (reminds me of the good ol’ dorm days) and this one shall be no different. Nostalgia! Anyway, check out this trailer and tell me it doesn’t make you explode into laughter by the end of it.

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At least it looked more promising than the first time.

For part one, click here.

To sum it up, my second trip to TT involved someone being thrown out and slow service with a highly anti-enthusiastic crowd. But, at least the gogo dancers had back this time. That’s a consolation, right? Anyone? No? Well, without further ado, here’s the long version.

IMG_20131020_004415I arrived around 11:45. I find getting to a place for “Zombie Time” (especially in a college town) allows you to see it for all its glory–or, in the case of The Barking Dog, lack thereof. Once inside, I saw the place was halfway crowded. A marked improvement over the grand opening night. However, it was still a bit discouraging, considering the “thousands” that apparently flocked to the spot over the past few weeks. Little did I know, the night would go down the tubes quicker than crowds began to disperse.

My first mistake? I decided to go to the non-island bar. People who remember Fe, you’ll remember this sort of thing didn’t really exist before the Big Switch. So, it was an interesting sight to see. In some ways, it was a gentle homage to Fe, since part of the bar was outside as well. But, nostalgia went out the window once The Wait began.

IMG_20131020_004834I’ve been to fully clothed strip clubs with better service. I went to the bar as soon as I got in and didn’t get a drink until 12:30. Literally, nothing I did worked. I was almost tempted to (with permission, of course) have a patron go topless to get the bartenders’ attention. But, I don’t think even that could’ve re-railed the train wreck of insanity. (Speed on the Beat Drinking Game: every time I say train wreck in this post, take a shot of 151. I’m sure you’ll have more fun than I did.)

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This is Dalivia. She works at the aforementioned Blowfish. She also makes drinks that kill people.

I began to think that it was because of, you know, me being a black male in a “club” which played techno remixes of “Problems” and “All Gold Everything.” But, alas, racism wasn’t the flavor of the night, just sub-par service and general douchery. By the time I received my drink, any buzz I’d accumulated from the Blowfish bar in Beltsville was long gone. As a sidenote, if you ever visit Blowfish between Monday and Wednesday, and some weekends, make sure Dalivia serves you. She gives some insanely potent drinks and isn’t all that bad on the eyes. But, I digress.

At 12:40, I was propositioned by a young man asking for a cigarette. He almost kissed me three times in 10 seconds. I’ve never wanted to punch a dude out more in my life. Not because he was (potentially) gay, because hate crimes are stupid and have no place in developed society. It was more that this guy  invaded my personal space like no other person has, made me feel incredibly uncomfortable, and tried to kiss me. Cooler heads prevailed and I avoided catching a case, and he walked away, eventually. I swear, I think it’s because I’m 5’7″-ish sometimes, that people think I’ll take what’s given. Nope. But, that’s another post for another time.

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Oh, I haven’t even gotten to the fun parts. At least five times an hour in TT, I saw someone get thrown out forcibly. Most of the people, well, they deserved it. There was one girl, who couldn’t have weighed over 110 pounds and wasn’t a complete train wreck, who suffered the same fate. I mean, bouncers that are ready to throw people out only two-plus weeks into the place’s existence rubs me some type of way. I mean, I know the last TT’s demise was predicated by a slew of bad behavior. Nevertheless, an almost authoritarian approach to kicking (possible) baddies out isn’t exactly the best option either–in my humble opinion. When I (somewhat) worked at Bentley’s as a (kind of) bouncer, there was the mindset of “hey, if they’ve had too much to drink, go to them and ask them to leave. If they don’t, bring in some other people to give that ‘fear in numbers’ vibe. If they still don’t, then you have a bit of authority to use reasonable force.” The people at TT weren’t really given those options and were tossed accordingly. Mind you, this is from an objective stance; I may have missed something, but I’m just telling you what I saw.

At 1:00AM, I decided all hope was lost, as I saw even the go-go dancers were headed out to get away from some of the randomness of the night. So, as I’ve done many times before, I made that potentially dangerous trek across Knox Road and then across Baltimore Avenue.

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As politically incorrect as she is, the girl isn’t completely dense with her (almost) equal-opportunity humor.

Waiting to get inside Cornerstone, I looked back over to Terrapin Turf. “This place can be amazing,” I thought. “But, its placement, and atmosphere may scare a lot of people away.” In College Park, most people go to Route One for cheap drinks, cheap thrills, and an atmosphere where they don’t feel segregated against for not being on the up-and-up. Ok, maybe “segregated” isn’t exactly the best word, but you get the idea.

TT is, in some ways, for the Rebecca Martinson’s (of “c-word punching soror letter” and BroBible fame) of College Park who want a DC vibe without DC prices. That is, when they’re not busy calling sorors c-words, offering up outlandish dating advice, and/or staying away from poor minorities. That’s not to say that TT itself isn’t to blame for its shortcomings thus far. The place is a train wreck of a pseudo-club at the moment, and half-hour drink waits, along with more tosses than Flacco when the Ravens are losing is ridiculous–new spot or not.

So I’m sure we’ve all seen the 2013 BET Hip-Hop Awards Ciphers. But, I bet you haven’t seen what actor, comedian, writer and YouTube sensation Justin Hires has cooked up to parody some of pop culture’s biggest music icons of 2013 in his own version of a BET awards Hip-Hop cipher. His cipher features a faux Drake, Chief Keef, Macklemore, Miley Cyrus, and Kendrick Lamar. Although I, like you, stumbled across this while searching for the real 2013 Kendrick Lamar BET Cipher (which can be viewed Here), I was pleasantly surprised to find this hilarious parody and I felt that I just had to share it with the rest of my lovers of hip-hop and comedy. So check it out below and as usual leave a comment in the comment section to let me know what you think of the vid. (WARNING: Probably Not Safe For Watching at work…vulgar language.)

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As some of you may know, I graduated from Baltimore City College High School. (City Forever!) While at City, I met a lot of people. Some of whom are making or have made some pretty big waves in their fields. One of these individuals, Trae Harris, recently starred in the film Newlyweeds, which has gotten a lot of indie and mainstream buzz in the past few months. Less Half-Baked and more Eternal Sunshine in its approach to relationships and the like, the film, in its honesty, has gotten rave reviews from international critics. I had a chance to catch up with Trae recently and got to ask her about her role, her thoughts on some of the films out there, and a bevy of other topics.

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Image courtesy of traeharris.com

Speed on the Beat: Trae, I’ll be honest. Growing up with you at City, this was a side of you that I thought existed but never knew for certain. Where did the desire to go into acting come from?

Trae Harris: Well, I began acting in junior high school. I started writing plays and performing them as one woman shows. The first play I wrote was about Ruby Bridges and the Desegregation of New Orleans schools. I won a young playwright completion, and from that moment, I knew I wanted to perform in that capacity more often! I joined the Arena Players youth theater and was able to incorporate my dance background, vocal training and a musical theater element. In high school, I took IB Theater and had the opportunity to direct, act, write and really grow as a theatrical performer. (Interviewer’s Note: If I’m not mistaken, Trae also makes a brief appearance in season four of The Wire, alongside fellow Arena Players—and City College alumni—Rashad Orange, his sister Rakiya and others.) I knew that I wanted to go to college and continue pursuing that path, and I did. I went to New School in Manhattan and studied theater there. So, to be honest this is not a new part of myself, it’s just that I am now getting recognition from others who don’t know me or my path personally and it’s awesome!

SOTB: I notice you also do photography. Did the photography lead to your film work or are they mutually exclusive?

TH: Actually, I’m not a photographer and never have been. You’re not the first person to think that, but I have no idea why. (Laughs) I have been shot by numerous photographers from all over the world, but I myself am not a photographer. I do not even own a camera! (Interviewer’s Note: While Trae does not do photography, she has made music, some of which is available for your listening pleasure on her homepage.)

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Image courtesy of traeharris.com

SOTB: Well, at least I’m not the only one. I feel a bit less silly for asking. (Laughs) Now, for those that don’t know, Newlyweeds was shown at Sundance in early 2013. How’d it feel for your first film entry to be mentioned in the same breath as, for instance, Fruitvale Station?

TH: Well, it wasn’t really being mentioned in the same breath as Fruitvale. That was the honor for me. But, rather just that, my first feature film that I had a starring role in was being received so well and that people really loved our story!

SOTB: Did you get to meet Michael B. Jordan? Sorry, I have to ask. I’ve been following that kid since his “Wallace” days on The Wire (Laughs).

TH: (Laughs) No.

SOTB: Darn it.

TH: But, I met the screenwriter and producers from Fruitvale and they were amazing!

SOTB: But, back to Newlyweeds. I’ve read some of Shaka King’s interviews, specifically the one he did with Gawker. What was it about this film that made you pretty much jump up and say “hey, this is a project I want to be attached to?”

TH: I was excited to see a New York story being told in an honest, truthful way. I want to associate myself with work that is meaningful and honest. Newlyweeds is that on so many levels!!

SOTB: Would you say that there is a political element to the movie? I’m rehashing the Gawker question to Shaka to get your own take on it.

TH: Political? Hmmm, not really in my opinion. But, I’m sure that some folks can pull out certain social commentary about class and coming of age in an urban environment.

SOTB: What’s your take about the “uproar” concerning Miley Cyrus and “white” people “stealing” what’s perceived as black culture?

TH: Well, “blackness” as a cultural identity and “black art” as a legitimate art form historically, have always been appropriated and that obvious. Miley is only following her roots; her southern roots are deep and her family is very big in the country music world. Country music historically—just as jazz, classical, and various other musical genres—have very blatantly done the work to suppress and outright “steal” songs, musical styling and nuances that were created by black people whom were never credited. Now, with that said, Miley is not reinventing the wheel, nor is she doing anything that her family and friends in the industry have not done! This whole appropriation of blackness is not new, it’s always fashionable. I’m just not sure why now it’s a national discussion. No one is saying the same things about Justin Timberlake and Robin Thicke. Why have those white males been given the “appropriation card?” (Interviewer’s Note: This will be discussed in a future post to a degree)

SOTB: What’s your opinion on the upcoming 12 Years a Slave versus last year’s Django Unchained? While both movies are completely different in tone, they have similar topics—to a degree. (Interviewer’s Note: Trae’s Newlyweeds costar, Amari Cheatom, appears in Django)

TH: I have not seen 12 Years a Slave yet, so I do not have much to offer, but Django was an action film and a bit of a comedy. 12 Years is a drama so slavery is being addressed in very different ways!! I do believe or hope that 12 Years will finally bring a sense of humanity to enslaved people and their experience, as opposed to simply sensationalizing it.

SOTB: What’s next on the horizon for you?

TH: More work, writing, and performing. I just want to release more poetry and share my work on a global scale. I have new projects coming up and I am very excited!!

SOTB: Should we expect a sequel? (Laughs) Silly question I know, considering how the film ends and what it deals with. But, I mean, we know how Hollywood gets when they find a good property, independent or not.

TH: (Laughs) Not to my knowledge!

SOTB: Would you be open to working more “mainstream” films or is independent where your heart’s at?

TH: I just want to do progressive work. I don’t really care what the medium is. Do I long to be an indie artist without mainstream success? NO! But I am not willing to comprise my integrity for the industry.

For those even more interested, here’s the trailer for Newlyweeds. Be sure to check it out when it comes to your city.

Trae can be reached through the following social media sites:

www.traeharris.com

www.gypsybruja.tumblr.com

@gypsybruja

Facebook: Search “Trae Harris” or gypsybruja

Instagram: gypsybruja

The DMV’s own Paperboy Prince of the Suburbs has teamed up with producer Maxwell Benson for a single titled “Spacestrunoght”. The single is from Benson’s Dawn Of A New Day EP which was released on August 11th and features various hip-hop acts boasting creative lyricism over his own creative production. The visual for “Spacestrunoght” is a comical animation that takes its viewers on the space trip that Paperboy details on the record. As we go on the journey through space and sound with Paperboy and Maxwell, we get a whimsical picture of what life would be like as an inter-planetary entertainer. And while some hip-hoppers may criticize this comedic approach to hip-hop music, I relish in it.

With all of its overt bravado, “swagger” and its “I’m better than you because…” lingo, I feel it’s only right that these tactics be used to make fun of hip-hop once in a while. And although Paperboy does it, it’s outlandish and over the top verses caricature hip-hop in a way that make it all enjoyable. To put it simple: “Spacestrunoght” is a record that doesn’t take itself too seriously and the corresponding video does a great job at displaying this notion. So, click the video below to check it out for yourself and as always, feel free to leave a comment in the comments section below the post to let me know what you think.