Will Smith Movies: Top 10 Most Action-Packed

Actor. Rapper. Dude who bungee jumps out helicopters. Will Smith is a multi-faceted entertainer who, after more than three decades in showbiz, really has done it all.

However, historically, his body work as a big screen action hero has divided the general public. From garnering two Best Actor Oscar nominations (for Ali and The Pursuit Happyness) to turning down the lead role in The Matrix to make Wild Wild West instead, it’s easy to see why.

So, with a clear, unbiased conscience and Big Willie Style bumping on my sound system, it’s time to set the record straight on Will Smith’s movie career and highlight the 10 best action-packed projects he’s been involved with since the dawn the Fresh Prince fever in the early-90s.

It’s a lot ground to cover, so let’s jump right in.


10. Focus

In the three years following Men in Black III, Smith’s career was full big swings and misses, including the dreadful After Earth and Winter’s Tale. Despite those bombs, he earned himself a box-fice and critical comeback sorts with the action-thriller Focus, a twisty-turny film where he plays a veteran con man to Margot Robbie’s green-but conniving apprentice. As a stylish, Ocean’s-esque excursion into the world charming criminals, you could do a lot worse.


9. I, Robot

A sci-fi thriller that predates the AI paranoia that has gripped the Western news media in the past few months, I, Robot drops Smith into the middle an intriguing futuristic premise and manages, for the most part, to weave it into a suspenseful whodunit. Though it’s also saddled with a rushed, unconvincing ending, Robot is still a solid piece blockbuster fare that’s miles above loud, pointless Smith vehicles like Bright and Bad Boys II.


8. Ali

I mentioned Smith’s two Best Actor nominations earlier and, since boxing is the closest thing sports movies have to out-and-out fistfights and explosions, let’s talk about his portrayal the Champ. Ali, directed by the great Michael Mann, surrounds Smith with capable supporting players, such as Jamie Foxx and Jon Voight, and gives the rapper-actor room to get under the champ’s skin and embody his spirit. Though it’s weighed down by too much exposition and at least 45 minutes too long, Ali rises to the level involving biopic based mostly on Smith’s mesmerizing performance in the title role. Rumble, young man, rumble.


7. I Am Legend

An underrated performance if I’ve ever seen one, I Am Legend is a perfect example how Smith’s presence and acting ability can carry a mediocre film to respectability all on its own. Plot holes and spotty special effects plague this post-apocalyptic world and should’ve sunk this sci-fi adaptation but, in cutting together Smith’s modulated and moving work, a stunning character study emerged. Underneath its problems, I Am Legend is really about how lonely it feels to be the last man on a decimated planet, and Smith’s performance is what anchors that emotional truth.


6. Hancock

What if your friendly neighborhood superbeing was actually a clumsy boozehound whose antics didn’t make him any friends in high places? Behold the premise Hancock, an uneven but entertaining antidote to the MCU-fueled reverence for men and women in capes and tights. Smith’s John Hancock is a most unsympathetic character at the outset who, with the help from a much-needed image makeover from a PR wizard (Jason Bateman), the fledgling superhero may be able to win back some public trust once more. Also featuring a nice supporting performance from Charlize Theoren, Hancock takes a pleasant trip down a comic book road less travelled.


5. Bad Boys

Speaking the Bad Boys franchise, let’s go back to the 1995 original for a moment. Funny, violent and wholly exciting, this is what happens when you pair Smith with a co-star (Martin Lawrence) who can keep up with his energy and a script that leaves room for some perfectly-pitched banter between gratuitous Michael Bay explosions and helicopter noises. This was also a turning point in Smith’s career, paving the way for his roles in the likes Independence Day and Men in Black later that decade. Segueway!


4. Independence Day

Okay, I’ll be straight up with you: I don’t get the hate that this movie still gets in certain corners the internet. Is this a big, loud, sort dumb action movie? Yes, course it is. It’s from the same guys who made Stargate and that trainwreck a Godzilla movie, so really, would you expect any less? That said, Independence Day is a cut above those films, presenting a complex, affecting tapestry characters and subplots, with Smith’s Captain Hiller at the center the excitement. Oh yeah, and Bill Pullman’s speech is still the greatest thing a U.S. President has ever done on the big screen. Period.


3. Men in Black III

I remember when this trailer came out. I watched it, rolled my eyes and assumed that both Smith and this franchise were trying to squeeze every penny out a franchise that was already past its expiration date. However, I didn’t expect what awaited me during a late-afternoon screening later that year: a fun, action-packed romp a film that, if nothing else, put the twinkle back in the MIB universe’s eye. Smith is great here, as is Jemaine Clement as a delightfully gruesome adversary and Josh Brolin’s hilarious Tommy Lee Jones impression as a younger Agent K.


2. Enemy the State

Many people forget that surveillance phobia was a thing in the late-90’s, long before the Y2K truthers and the worldwide panic that came after 9/11. Writer David Marconi captures that fear and what it does to people perfectly in Enemy the State, a script that is amplified by the late Tony Scott’s crisp, fast-paced direction. Smith’s performance as a lawyer on the run from government ficials is explosive, as is Gene Hackman’s portrayal an aged security expert who knows all too well the evil they’re both trying to evade.


1. Men in Black

Finally, we arrive at what is inarguably Smith’s best movie and one the best times I had at a movie theater in the ’90s. Men in Black was a dazzling blend action, laughs, gross-out moments and colorful characters that had kids like me believing, at least for a split-second, that aliens could actually walk among us and not want blood and carnage out the deal. Well, most them anyways.

It’s a movie that had a somewhat troubled production history, with Tommy Lee Jones almost refusing to sign on because a supposedly weak screenplay. However, watching it today, you’d never know that was the case. He and Smith have dynamite chemistry, achieving peak odd couple movie status and helping to redefine the “buddy cop” genre for a new generation. It’s a great rewatch and Smith is one the major reasons why.

Kim Kardashian Says Kanye Is Picking Up The Slack While She Studies To Become Lawyer

Kim Kardashian doesn’t want the money and fame to go to her children’s’ heads as they grow up with the finer—if not finest—things in life. The reality star and business mogul sat down with Van Jones to talk about a number topics, including the USC scandal where rich and in some cases famous parents have bribed their kid’s way into college.

“If they couldn’t get into a school, I would never want to use privilege to try to force them into a situation that they wouldn’t thrive in any way,” Kim said  her children. “That’s what I see is not appropriate…I want my kids to be as grounded as possible. To buy your way into something just wouldn’t benefit anybody.”

The 38-year-old mother soon-to-be four young children said that she’s moving full steam ahead to becoming an attorney, even though she hasn’t obtained a bachelor’s degree. The goal has caused her to have to leave her children “a few days a week” to go to the fice, and when she is home she said she’s “studying all the time.” She hopes that her children will one day take note her sacrifice and get inspired by her efforts.

Now that even more her time is occupied, Kim admits that Ye has picked up the slack at home while she’s been busy. “During the week at night, there’s a lot time I’m like, ‘Babe, you need to take the kids.’ He’s honestly really stepped it up and I’m so grateful to him for doing that,” she shares. “I said, ‘You know what. I have my full-time filming job. I have my beauty business. I work full-time and I’m going to take on another 18 hours a week that’s required.’ Some people just didn’t really understand how it works, and I think people assume that I’m just prepping for the Bar and not actually studying or going to school.”

Kim Kardashian "Aced" Her First Mini Bar Test On Route To Being A Lawyer

Last week, Kim Kardashian‘s Vogue feature revealed that she’s working on becoming a lawyer and taking the necessary steps to make it happen. The news came with some criticism from people telling the reality start to stay in her lane, and because that Kim followed up with a detailed response.

“I’ve seen some comments from people who are saying it’s my privilege or my money that got me here, but that’s not the case. One person actually said I should “stay in my lane.” I want people to understand that there is nothing that should limit your pursuit your dreams, and the accomplishment new goals,” she shared on Instagram. “You can create your own lanes, just as I am. The state bar doesn’t care who you are. This option is available to anyone who’s state allows it.”

Kim Kardashian "Aced" Her First Mini Bar Test On Route To Being A Lawyer
Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic/Getty

Kim Kardashian is now one step closer to becoming a lawyer after she just aced her mini-bar exam. The mother three (soon to be four) shared the news on Twitter with just one tweet. 

“I want to thank Van Jones for believing in me and introducing me to Jessica Jackson. Jessica along with Erin Haney have taken on the role my mentors and I am forever grateful to them both putting in so much time with me, believing in me and supporting me through this journey,” Kim previously noted. 

Ceaser Of "Black Ink Crew" Explains Significance Of His Free Nipsey Hussle Tattoos

New York, NY – The line to get to the Black Ink shop on 125th Street in Harlem, New York, stretches around the block.

This isn’t something that’s unusual, on its own — the popularity of the hit VH1 show, Black Ink Crew, and all its ancillary spin-offs have put the chain of tattoo shops in a constant state of industry. The manager of the Harlem store, Feezi, is in a tizzy, scuffling and scrounging to get paperwork lined up, herding the impatient customers to their seats, fluttering around the place and barking orders at the tattoo artists on staff on this rather temperate Saturday afternoon.

Ordinarily, this would be a day just like any other in this notorious tattoo shop.
But this isn’t just another ordinary day.

Ceaser Of "Black Ink Crew" Explains Significance Of His Free Nipsey Hussle Tattoos
@TattooedJems of the Harlem division of “Black Ink” draws a Nipsey Hussle tattoo. [Photo Credit: Bernadette Giacomazzo for HipHopDX.com]

Jems, one of the tattoo artists on-staff, is fully focused on his task at hand: drawing a facial portrait of the late Nipsey Hussle with laser-like precision. Each line on his face is stippled, each hair on his beard is in place — a vision frozen in time, gunned down in his prime by someone he once called a friend.

“This is something they have to think about before they get it,” he tells HipHopDX. “They gotta look at this, and they gotta really want it. And if they really want it, then I tell them to come back the next day, and if they still want it, then they can get it.”

By “it,” of course, Jems is referring to this particular Nipsey Hussle tattoo — and many others inspired by Hussle’s career that Black Ink is offering for free, as a way for the community to come together and remember the late 33-year-old rapper and entrepreneur.

Ceaser Of "Black Ink Crew" Explains Significance Of His Free Nipsey Hussle Tattoos
Nipsey Hussle custom tattoos, provided by Black Ink, and drawn by hand by @TattooedJems. [Photo Credit: Bernadette Giacomazzo for HipHopDX.com]

The mood is still decidedly somber — both amongst the patrons and the employees — as Ceaser, the majordomo of the Black Ink enterprise, saunters in. He’s the consummate professional who embodies the “boss” mindset — clothes well-pressed, a firm handshake and an introduction to this writer before he sits on his stool, hyper-sterile workspace — and he conveys a silent strength that seems to be much-needed in the wake of this rather tumultuous murder.

He’s soft-spoken, almost demurring, but sure of himself as he explains his reasoning for offering free tattoos honoring Nipsey Hussle. “What he was preaching — what he was saying — he was talking to all of us,” he said. “And he inspired so many with his message of positivity. And the thought that he could get gunned down, in his own hood, by his own people, in his own store…”

His voice trails off and he looks around, sighing as he does so — the implication, of course, being “it could have been me.” And, in reality, he’s right: in this hyper-aware Instagrammable age, where the need to over-share everything about our lives and geo-tag our locations has become part and parcel of a larger “branding” opportunity, celebrities — no matter their stripe — are painting a target on their backs with each photo. Be it at the hands of a crazed fan, a jealous former compatriot, or even a jilted employee (hello, Selena Quintanilla-Perez), public figures are suddenly exposed as being vulnerable thanks to Hussle’s unfortunate demise.

But Ceaser has no interest, today, in talking about either the death of Nipsey Hussle — whose song, “Racks in the Middle,” is currently providing the ambiance in the shop — nor the manufactured drama of his hit VH1 show (“You don’t see any of them here, do you?” he asks, pointing around the shop. “There’s a reason for that — you see these guys? These are the guys who are on the grind and putting in that work. Them.”).

Rather, he’d like to talk about how Nipsey Hussle — and the tattoos celebrating his life — are bringing people together. “Tattoos are a very personal thing for people,” he said. “It’s something that lasts forever. It’s something that lets the world know who you are before you open your mouth to speak. And these Nipsey tattoos speak to all of us, for us. They unite us all under this umbrella.”

Ceaser Of "Black Ink Crew" Explains Significance Of His Free Nipsey Hussle Tattoos
Barbara, from Brooklyn, gets “Prolific” tattooed on her arm in honor of Nipsey Hussle. (Photo Credit: Bernadette Giacomazzo for HipHopDX.com)

Barbara, a Brooklyn native who is studying to be a midwife, agrees with Ceaser. The young woman, who chose to get “prolific” tattooed on her lower arm, says that the tattoo sends a positive message to her as a budding entrepreneur. “For me, I want my daughter to know that she comes from a hard-working woman,” she said. “And ‘prolific,’ that to me means something big. Something beautiful. Something blessed. And that’s what Nipsey wanted us all to believe about ourselves.”

Ceaser Of "Black Ink Crew" Explains Significance Of His Free Nipsey Hussle Tattoos
Repping the Black Ink set. (Photo Credit: Bernadette Giacomazzo for HipHopDX.com)

It’s just as personal for Ceasar, too. “Nipsey’s murder brought about more questions than answers,” he said. “But that’s good, in a way. Not good that he’s gone, but good because we needed to have this conversation, as people. We need to teach our people about ownership — entrepreneurship — all money in, no money out. I’ve already got business ventures set up for my daughter, for when she grows up. I don’t want this man to have died in vain. I want him to know we appreciate him — and we always will.”

Ceaser then turns back to his task at hand — tattooing “prolific” on the back of an expectant customer’s neck. “Racks in the Middle” continues to blast as the tattoo needle hums, indicating business as usual at Black Ink, with a common shared goal that has galvanized the community forever.

SiriusXM Converts 22 Of Its Shows Into Exclusive Pandora Podcasts

SiriusXM is launching 22 new podcasts for Pandora and SiriusXM subscribers. The new podcasts repurpose many of SiriusXM’s most popular shows.

SiriusXM finished its acquisition of Pandora just three months ago in a deal valued at $3.5 billion. These new podcasts are the satellite radio provider’s first steps to highlighting content using Pandora.

It also gives Pandora a bevy of exclusive content to rival Spotify’s own podcast exclusives.

Spotify announced it plans to spend up to $500 million on podcasting this year, mostly to secure exclusive content.

But SiriusXM pledged last month to deliver new, world-class content to Pandora users. All 22 of the new shows are available on the new Podcasts on Pandora tab starting today.

New Sirius XM Shows Available as Pandora Podcasts

  • Andy Cohen’s Deep & Shallow Interviews
  • Jenny McCarthy’s Celebrity Dirt
  • The Jason Ellis Show
  • The Hoda Show
  • Straight from The Hart with Kevin Hart
  • Ricky Gervais Is Deadly Sirius
  • Larry the Cable Guy Weekly Roundup
  • A Comic Mind Hosted by Jeff Foxworthy
  • Jim Norton & Sam Roberts
  • Trunk Nation with Eddie Trunk
  • Debatable with Mark Goodman and Alan Light
  • Feedback with Nik Carter and Lori Majewski
  • Mad Dog Unleashed
  • Schein on Sports
  • Busted Open

This new podcast push is the first content offering available exclusively to both Pandora and SiriusXM listeners. The move thrusts Pandora into the mix for exclusive podcast content, which has become lucrative in the last few years.

Meanwhile, Spotify has been working overtime to make itself the ‘go-to-destination’ for podcast listeners.

The company has already spent more than $300 million to acquire podcast content.  That includes the acquisition of a company behind an app that enables easy grassroots podcast creation.  Right now, Anchor offers one-click distribution to a variety of platforms, though Spotify could become the exclusive delivery endpoint.

With podcasts estimated to bring in $659 million in ad revenue by 2020, the strategy makes sense.

SiriusXM Converts 22 Of Its Shows Into Exclusive Pandora Podcasts

SiriusXM Converts 22 Of Its Shows Into Exclusive Pandora Podcasts

SiriusXM Converts 22 Of Its Shows Into Exclusive Pandora PodcastsSiriusXM Converts 22 Of Its Shows Into Exclusive Pandora Podcasts

SiriusXM Converts 22 Of Its Shows Into Exclusive Pandora PodcastsSiriusXM Converts 22 Of Its Shows Into Exclusive Pandora Podcasts

Kim Kardashian West Gets Lawyer Ambition Co-Sign From Her Attorney

On her quest to become the next great social justice warrior attorney, Kim Kardashian West has been met with many critics who doubt the reality star. Kim has worked with the president on criminal justice and prison reform, aiding in the release two inmates, Alice Marie Johnson and Matthew Charles. She recently shared an Instagram photo herself as she was engulfed in her studies, a post that included a lengthy caption where Kim responded to those who attributed her ability to become an attorney to her connections, fame, and wealth status. 

As Kim continues with her attorney aspirations, her own lawyer, Shawn Holley, video chatted with TMZ to co-sign Kim. Holley said that she’s known Kim for years as she worked her Kim’s father, Robert Kardashian, on the O.J. Simpson trial back in the early 1990s. “She has always, even as a young girl, been interested in this area, Holley said. “Be it from a legal standpoint or an] investigation standpoint, this is something she’s always been interested in, always asked my questions about over the years. She has, over the years, called me out the blue to ask questions about investigations or the law. 

“It is a true, authentic interest that she has had for a very, very long time,” Holley continued. “During the whole Alice Marie Johnson period time that we were working with the lawyers to get her out, Kim…she was involved far more than you might imagine. She wanted to be on the calls with the lawyers. She wanted to strategize, get involved with legal strategy and not just the part where she talked to Jared or Ivanka. So, to be honest with you, it’s not surprising at all to me that she would take it to the next step.

When asked if Kim would be defending clients in a court law, Holley was unsure. “I think she wants to continue doing what she’s already doing which is helping people get out prison who are serving far too much time for their misdeeds. I think she is truly interested in being a justice warrior and she walks the walk, she talks the talk, she puts her money where her mouth is. There was nothing that was asked her during my working with Alice Marie Johnson that she wasn’t ready, willing, and able to do at the drop a hat.”

Holley went on to say that Kim wants to have a better knowledge the law, legal ramifications, and understanding the complication jargon involved in the cases she plans to handle. According to Holley, the apprenticeship that Kim is involved in with her studies to become a lawyer is the same as attending law school. “The State Bar allows you to study law by doing it the way she’s doing it,” Holley told TMZ. “It’s the equivalent to a law school education.”

Kim Kardashian Responds To "Stay In Your Lane" Shade Surrounding Lawyer Ambitions

Kim Kardashian‘s lobbying efforts surrounding prison reform sparked much chatter these past few years. Her sit-down with 45th US president Donald Trump was step one to granting freedom clemency to former inmates Alice Marie Johnson, Matthew Charles and viral case, Cyntoia Brown. Her success in such endeavours even got folks calling Ms. Kardashian West the “Prison Reform Princess.”

In an interview with Extra, Kanye West applauded his wife’s good deeds and was first to announce Kim was going to law school. Though the statement was then considered another one Kanye’s verbal faux pas, Kim Kardashian later confirmed its validity. Today, in an uplifting Instagram post, the reality TV star explained how her deep involvement in criminal justice reform has inspired her to pursue a legal career. In the thick previous allegations surrounding her new goal, Kim faced harsh clap back from the public. While nay-sayers urged Kim to “stay in her lane,” others accused her using fame and financial privilege to by-pass the regular Juris Doctor acquisition process. 

“I’ve seen some comments from people who are saying it’s my privilege or my money that got me here, but that’s not the case. One person actually said I should “stay in my lane.” I want people to understand that there is nothing that should limit your pursuit your dreams, and the accomplishment new goals. You can create your own lanes, just as I am. The state bar doesn’t care who you are. This option is available to anyone who’s state allows it.”

Furthermore, the mother three insisted on letting the world know she meant serious business and remained adamant about earning her stripes the regular way.

“My weekends are spent away from my kids while I read and study. I work all day, put my kids to bed and spend my nights studying. There are times I feel overwhelmed and when I feel like I can’t do it but I get the pep talks I need from the people around me supporting me.”

It is important to consider Kim’s track record does show a commitment to fight for the underprivileged and socially disadvantaged, populations which may solely benefit from additional support. Hence, we can only wish Kim K. best luck. 

See post below: 

BTS Becomes the First Group from Asia to Cross 5 Billion Spotify Streams

Spotify partly fueled this fire with some plum playlist placement.

BTS remains dominant among Kpop fans and broader Asian audiences, though Spotify has been actively promoting the group within powerful playlists like Teen Party.  With nearly four million followers, this was a major add that significantly boosted BTS streams.

The result is a far greater pop profile for the group in the U.S., a market often dominated by pop and hip hop.  Indeed, Spotify is often crowning a tiny group of winners from those genres, with names like Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, Drake, and Migos receiving seemingly non-stop promotion.

Call this a ‘diversification,’ though America remains a difficult market to crack — even for mega-groups like BTS.  Despite endless hype and fluffy Billboard pieces, serious questions surround the .  The group’s heavily plastic look, likely achieved with , may also be alienating some American demographics.

But kingmaker Spotify is clearly pushing the BTS’ global profile.  For those following the charts, Spotify’s playlist decisions often have a major impact on rankings like the Billboard 200.  Now, it looks like BTS could potentially enjoy a seat alongside perennial chart-toppers in pop and hip hop, depending on how American and European listeners respond.

Originating in South Korea, the band of seven performers joined forces in 2011, through auditions held by Big Hit Entertainment.  Hitting the music scene in 2013, their style and identity evolved as they rapidly gained fans around the globe.

Big Hit Entertainment is one of the savviest (and lucrative) music companies in the world, with BTS an interesting case study in pop success.  Along the way, the group has shifted its branding a bit, with rap collaborations and even slight name changes occurring.  After previously being referred to as the Bulletproof Boy Scouts or Bangtan Boys, the BTS of 2017 decided the title “Beyond The Scenes” was a better fit. But that’s just one of several branding shifts orchestrated by Big Hit.

Of course, 5 billion streams is a praiseworthy accomplishment in itself, though it remains a fraction of what the Drakes and Ed Sheerans are pulling.  Still, BTS is easily dwarfing its Kpop and Asian counterparts, raising questions over whether a ‘Kpop invasion’ is more hype than reality.

The Best Movies To Watch On Hulu Right Now

From blockbuster hits to thought-provoking indie flicks, Hulu’s selection full-length feature films is robust enough to satisfy any cinephile’s urge to kick back and binge. Whether you’re in the mood for a chaotic action adventure that will keep you on the edge your seat, a heartwarming romantic comedy or a hair-raising thriller, Hulu has you covered.

Unlike Netflix, who shifted their focus from early 2018 and beyond to churning out a massive amount original content, Hulu is laser-focused on giving their subscribers access to recent releases with films like Arrival and Spectre now available for on-demand viewing. Additionally, Hulu also fers their customers Hollywood classics like Taxi Driver and The Matrix

If you’re wondering what to watch this weekend and want to opt out browsing endlessly through category screens, check out this list the very best movies Hulu has to fer in 2019 below, presented in no particular order.


Sorry To Bother You 

In Sorry To Bother You, first-time director Boots Riley uses dark comedy as a backdrop to tell the tale a young, African-American telemarketer who uses a “white” accent to succeed at his job. An intricate tale conspiracy, activism, and the divisive, racial undertones that web their way through every aspect the American experience, Sorry To Bother You has the star power and the compelling narrative to keep you hooked throughout the entire film. As well as an unexpected surprise or two along the way.


Ingrid Goes West 

In an age where social media reigns supreme, Ingrid Goes West is a cautionary tale just how far obsession can run unchecked when celebrities are just a click away. Growing increasingly fixated with an Instagram personality, Aubrey Plaza’s Ingrid character abandons all rational thought and hesitation when she packs up her belongings and heads to Los Angeles for some much-needed IRL face-to-face time with her idol. With razor-sharp dialogue and a message that is far from preachy, Ingrid Goes West is a timely commentary on just how out–touch we, as a society can become when social media triumphs over our day-to-day lives. 


Fyre Fraud 

Still a source countless memes about blowjobs and disasters, Fyre Fraud, Hulu’s own take on a documentary surrounding the disastrous 2017 music festival is a captivating exploration the most publicized con in modern history.

Offering a behind-the-scenes, in-depth look into the events that fed into Fyre Festival’s horror show with no escape plan, viewers can begin to understand why thousands attendees shelled out some serious cash without ever knowing fully what they were getting themselves into. Unlike its Netflix counterpart, Hulu’s Fyre Fraud actually puts Billy McFarland, the CEO Fyre Media Inc front and center, giving him screen time to plead his case to the public. 


Mother! 

The latest brainchild from the Darren Aronsky, the creative force behind Requiem For A Dream and Black Swan, Mother! is an expertly-crafted biblical parody with all the trappings a psychological thriller. The film follows the plight a poet (Javier Bardem), known as ‘Him,’ as he earnestly tries to complete his next work, while his wife, known only as ‘Mother’ (Jennifer Lawrence), struggles to bring their house to its former glory. Aronsky slowly introduces throngs strangers to their secluded sanctuary. Who are they? What do they want? And above all, why won’t they leave? 


Fences

Denzel Washington’s much-anticipated adaption August Wilson’s classic play Fences is a compelling, laser-focused character study on what happens when anger and resentment spread through a man’s character like a cancer. Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington) languishes day-in and day-out as a Pittsburgh garbage collector following a thwarted attempt at playing major league baseball. Fences explores the lasting impact past trauma on present-day relationships.


Arrival 

If you’re looking for an aliens-come-to-earth action drama without the cheesy, over-the-top space battle scenes then Arrival is the perfect film for you. With the nations the world pushed to their breaking point after the arrival 12 massive spaceships sends global leadership into a frenzy, one linguistics pressor (played by Academy Award nominee Amy Adams) must lead the charge decoding the alien language and arriving at a solution.


Little Miss Sunshine  

Little Miss Sunshine is the darkly funny, intensely witty indie comedy antidote to the number feature films that portray a family road trip as a non-stop barrel laughs. With so many strong, flawed characters in cramped, close quarters for such a long period time, there’s bound to be explosive arguments and outbursts– and Little Miss Sunshine executes them perfectly, every time.


Office Space 

What better time to celebrate this cult classic than on the 20th anniversary its 1999 debut? Completely dissatisfied with the monotony fice life, main character Petter Gibbons (brought to life by Ron Livingston) does everything in his power to be fired from his cubicle job at a tech company. When his newfound apathetic attitude leads to a promotion instead a severance package, Livingston continues his “F— the man” lifestyle which course, yields hilarious results. For a witty scathing commentary on the droll hierarchy 9 to 5 fice life, this evergreen film will certainly cure your case the impending Mondays.


Shutter Island 

The combined talents  Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorcese always produce cinematic gold. As DiCaprio’s Teddy Daniels investigates the case an escaped convict from a psychiatric facility for the criminally insane, his confusion and fascination with the eerie setting escalate until peaking with a fever pitch twists and turns. With a dramatic reveal at the end, Shutter Island is perfect for fans psychological thrillers that keep your mind reeling for hours after the film fades to black.


Space Jam 

Take all the time you need, but we’re certain you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more iconic duo than Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny. Delivering a now-iconic blend classic Looney Tunes characters and IRL 90s basketball stars (with a healthy dose evil aliens to bring the drama), Space Jam will undoubtedly hit your nostalgic movie-night sweet spot by transporting you to a simpler, pre-Y2k time.


American Beauty 

With a talent-packed roster A-list talent, (Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch and Wes Bentley, to name a few) and a screenplay bursting with slow-burning narrative exposition, American Beauty serves as an evergreen commentary on American suburban life. Tackling heavy issues like infidelity, workplace burnout, jealousy, lust and the casualties midlife crises, American Beauty is as dark as it is thrilling.


Batman Begins/The Dark Knight 

While there’s nothing new about bringing the tale orphan Bruce Wayne’s transformation into Batman to cleanse Gotham City its crime problem to the big screen, Cristopher Nolan’s film trilogy breathes life into the classic tale. Showcasing stellar performances by Christian Bale and the late Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight trilogy as an on-demand streaming option is a must for any cinephile.


Primal Fear 

With a knockout debut performance from then-newbie actor Edward Norton, Primal Fear is arguably one the best white-knuckled courtroom thrillers that will have you on the edge your seat for the entire run time. With a last-minute twist that will have you second-guessing whether or not Norton’s character was a victim who carried out a necessary act justice or a master manipulator, Primal Fear delivers an ending that will keep your mind reeling long after the last fade to black.


The Royal Tenenbaums 

Looking for a bitingly-sharp narrative on the idiosyncrasies a brilliantly talented but deeply flawed group upper-class, out–touch elites? If so, then Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums is the perfect fit for your slightly f-color viewing pleasure. With a star-studded cast blending together to deliver a memorable ensemble performance backlit by Anderson’s now-iconic film palette, TRT is a timeless piece satire that is just as enjoyable to watch today as it was in its 2001 premiere.


Edward Scissorhands 

If you’re looking for a pre-Pirates the Caribbean Johnny Depp classic to settle into, then Edward Scissorhands is the perfect flick for you. Despite the fact that the film operates under the Frankensteinian trope mad-scientist-gone-wrong, Depp breathes enough life into his character that soon, you find yourself brimming with empathy for a man living with hedge trimmers for hands. Weaving the triumph a love story with the pain an outcast narrative, Edward Scissorhands is a must-watch, through and through.


Heathers 

Heathers is what mean Mean Girls could have been if and only if Regina George actually did get hit by that speeding school bus and die. Refusing to flinch away from the grisly reality adolescence and burrow in the safety net teen movie tropes, Heathers explores the outcast revenge fantasy to its fullest by showing that the “popular” cliques can be stripped their power– if you’re committed enough to the cause.


Iron Man 2 

Stripped the anonymity he once enjoyed, billionaire inventor Tony Stark now faces immense pressure from nearly everyone in his life to share the futuristic technology his armored suit with the military. Hesitant to divulge his secrets, Stark must now forge his own path and confront a brand-new enemy hellbent on his destruction. Filled with thrilling action scenes and top-notch action, Iron Man 2 soars where most sequels fall flat. 

Kim Kardashian West Admits To Snooping Through O.J. Simpson Evidence Files As A Teen

Reality star Kim Kardashian West has been making headlines for her work in criminal justice reform, and she announced in a recent interview with Vogue that she planned on becoming a lawyer. She has her sights on taking the bar exam in 2022, but for the Kardashian-Jenner family, Kim’s attorney aspirations aren’t anything new.

Sister Kourtney says, “It’s because she seems to have all the answers or something. Like she just kind knows.” She continued, “Khloé and I can be a little argumentative with my mom but Kim knows what she needs to say so that my mother can hear it and she can get her point across.”

Kim shared that her love for the law could be traced back to when she was a teenager while her father, the late Robert Kardashian Sr., would work on his cases. Probably the most infamous case linked to the attorney is the 1990s O.J. Simpson trial where the NFL star was accused murdering his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. Kardashian was a member the team that defended Simpson, but the two men were also longtime friends. Kim revealed that during that time she would sneak around her father’s study to examine the evidence stacked against Simpson.

Kim Kardashian West Admits To Snooping Through O.J. Simpson Evidence Files As A Teen
Dan Mircobich/AFP/Getty s

“On the weekends they used our home as an fice, with Johnnie Cochran and Bob Shapiro,” Kim says. “My dad had a library, and when you pushed on this wall there was this whole hidden closet room, with all his O.J. evidence books. On weekends I would always snoop and look through. I was really nosy about the forensics.”

Unfortunately, Vogue didn’t follow up the revelation with, “Well…what did you see?” It wouldn’t really make much a difference, anyway, considering Simpson was found not guilty both crimes in 1995.

Kim Kardashian’s Plan To Become A Lawyer Leaves Fans Both Proud & Confused

Yesterday, Kim Kardashian‘s Vogue feature hit the web and the biggest piece information pulled from the interview was her plans to study and become a lawyer.

“I had to think long and hard about this,” Kim said about her decision. “The White House called me to advise to help change the system clemency and I’m sitting in the Roosevelt Room with, like, a judge who had sentenced criminals and a lot really powerful people and I just sat there, like, Oh, shit. I need to know more.”

Kim Kardashian's Plan To Become A Lawyer Leaves Fans Both Proud & Confused
Marc Piasecki/GC s

Considering Kim’s previous moves dipping into the political world, her lawyer plans aren’t too much a shock but course, the internet has a lot to say on the matter. “Kim Kardashian is studying to become a lawyer? Wow honestly didn’t expect that, but given who her father was and her slight interest in prison reform, it’s not too surprising. If she’s serious about this then s/o to her I can fw that,” one positive user wrote

On the other side, some people think this: “This is why we don’t take her seriously. A criminal justice lawyer? Why make a mockery the hard work, diligence, respectability and INTELLIGENCE it takes to be a lawyer? You can have ambition, but not too much. Please stay in your lane.”

Peep more reactions below and let us know what you think.

Kim Kardashian Answers 73 Questions About Kanye West, Kids, & Her Career

Kim Kardashian just debuted her Vogue feature where she revealed details on her plans to study to become a lawyer and how she manages her husband’s bipolar. The Vogue coverage isn’t over though since Kim has allowed the cameras to come into her home, which she calls a “minimal monastery” where she answered 73 questions about her kids, husband family and more. 

Kim Kardashian Answers 73 Questions About Kanye West, Kids, & Her Career
Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic/Getty s

As for some stand-out points, we know that Kim’s favorite gift from Kanye was the adidas, Apple and Disney shares he gifted her a few years back, the last movie that made her laugh was Incredibles 2, she admires her mother’s career, she spends around thirty minutes a day on Instagram and she wishes that people would “not focus” on her ass all the time.  

As for the weirdest revelation, Kim said her weirdest hidden talent is being able to smell when someone has a cavity… we can’t make this up. Finally Kim revealed the one question she hates being asked the most: “What do you do?”

Watch the full episode below and see some pretty cute moments with Kim and her three children, North, Saint, and Chicago. 

Diddy Is Calling For a Shift To Be Made In The Culture: "Enough Is Enough"

The death Nipsey Hussle has sparked many dialogues throughout the hip hop community, and now that a week has passed since the 33-year-old rapper was mercilessly gunned down, Diddy has a message for the people. Over the weekend, the hip hop mogul took to social media to share a history lesson and criticism the culture laced in with a motivational message for his people to think better, act better, and do better.

“There’s NOBODY responsible for US except for US,” Diddy wrote as the caption to his video. “It has to STOP now. NO MORE hurting and bringing down your fellow brothers and sisters. Tap into LOVE. Remind yourself we are KINGS and QUEENS and reprogram your mind everyday. WE’VE BEEN AT WAR WITH OURSELVES. It stops now. I’ll do my best to uplift, love and heal my people. But the responsibility lies with YOU! What are you going to do!?!?!? You must be responsible for yourself!!!!!”

Diddy Is Calling For a Shift To Be Made In The Culture: "Enough Is Enough"
Don Juan Moore/Getty s

In the video clip, Diddy said that usually, he wakes up early in the morning with messages that he believes would be beneficial for the masses, but this is the first time he’s taking the time to record himself. “Today I feel the need to like, kind record this and basically say to my people enough is enough. I’m not coming from any moral authority. I’m just coming from a black king perspective. Black man perspective. Black person perspective. Enough is enough. We have acquired too much knowledge to be in the situations that we’re in. We’re in the situations that we’re in because we let ourselves be in the situations that we’re in.”

“First all, none are alone,” he continued. “We came as a tribe. We are a tribe. We’re killing each other. We hate on each other. We give negative thoughts on each other. We don’t know how to support each other. We don’t care or understand the importance economics. We don’t share enough. We don’t give enough…everything I’m saying, I’m saying about me also. We can all do a better job, but enough is enough.”

He also said he’s been studying a lot Civil Rights documentaries while trying to figuring out how we’ve gotten to this place. “Killing somebody, us hurting…us not treating our women like they’re queens…it’s really sad that the special beings that we are, we haven’t tapped into love and we haven’t put a stop to this. I’mma do my best to put a stop to this. I’mma do my best to uplift my people, to love my people, to help heal my people, to do whatever I can. But I’m only responsible for me. I can only be responsible for me. You can only be responsible for you, and I’m just asking as a people to come together with that level responsibility.”

Digital Music Actually Causes More Pollution Than Any Other Music Format

Naturally, streaming music actually causes less pollution, right?  WRONG.

According to a new report, streaming music actually harms the environment more than other mediums.

A new study published the University of Glasglow in partnership with media outlet The Conversation revealed digital music platforms actually generate more pollution than phonograph cylinders, gramophone discs, vinyl records, cassettes, and CDs.  This is due to the amount of energy required to create, store, and transmit files.

Looking only at the economics of each medium at their peak, a 1907 phonographic cylinder sold in 1947 would cost an estimated $13.88 today.  A 1977 vinyl record, a 1988 cassette tape, and a 2000 compact disc would cost $28.55, $21.59, and $11.11 in 2019.  A digital download album in 2013 would cost $11.11.

A monthly subscription to streaming, meanwhile, costs around $9.99, 1% of the average weekly salary in the US.

While this seems beneficial economically, it actually harms the world environmentally.

For example, in 1977, the American music industry used around 127.9 million pounds of plastic to produce vinyl records – its peak year.  That number dropped to about 123.5 million pounds to produce cassettes in its peak year – 1988.  CDs peaked in 2000.  In that year, the industry used up to 134.5 million pounds of plastic to produce compact discs.

Yet, when the industry shifted toward digital downloads, the number of plastics used dropped substantially.  In 2016, the US recording industry used just 17.6 million pounds of plastic.

Naturally, one would think the switch to streaming would reduce the physical use of plastic.  Thus, listening to songs on streaming music platforms would actually help the environment.

You thought wrong.

Translating plastic production and electricity used to store and transmit digital files into greenhouse gas equivalents (GHGs) shows the real story.

In 1977, for example, using this figure, the American music industry’s production of vinyl records at its peak totaled 308.6 million pounds in GHGs.  That number dropped slightly in 1988 – cassette tapes’ peak year – to 299.8 million pounds in GHGs.  In 2000, that figure jumped dramatically to 346.1 million in GHGs.

Sixteen years ago, the equivalent of GHGs in the production of digital MP3 albums totaled between 440.9 million and 771.6 million pounds.

The actual number for streaming music from the clouds remains to be seen.  Yet, with its growing popularity, expect GHGs to spike.

You can view the published infographic below.

 


Featured image in the Public Domain.

Why Redman Is One Of The Greatest Of All Time

In this series, we’ll be making the case for specific rappers to be included in “greatest all-time” discussions. The more obvious choices (such as André 3000, Lil WayneEminem, Jay-Z, Nas, Biggie, 2Pac) will be ignored in favor artists who tend to get overlooked these days, for one reason or another. Previously, our writers have made cases for Pusha TIce CubeDJ QuikBig BoiDMXGhostface KillahBusta RhymesDr. Dre50 Cent and Black Thought. 

Ever since he earned his nickname during a fateful snowball fight at the age 11, Reggie “Redman” Noble has stood as the epitome keeping it real. A “round the clock lyricist” who “sleeps in his work boots,” Newark’s very own Redman is a rap phenomenon whose insatiable appetite for weed paraphernalia, rough and rugged non sequiturs, and delirious debauchery catapulted him to the forefront ‘90s hip hop at a time when the scene was experiencing a surge unlike any other. The same man who lit his first L before he started to crawl and whose unmatched comedic timing, spontaneity, and crankology credentials allowed him to parade through rap circles like a wild pack Timbs would ultimately go on to become one the premier worldwide ambassadors the culture.

Why Redman Is One Of The Greatest Of All Time

Kevin Winter/Getty s

In many ways, Redman’s legacy has a readily traceable impact that extends far beyond his appearance in the Def Jam fighting video game series or stoner comedy How High, a film that pushed the cognitive benefits optimal arousal theory to the absolute limit (see his “study high, take the test high, get high scores” mantra). Emboldened by the unapologetic goiness Biz Markie, Redman grabbed the torch and helped usher in a new era just when it seemed like the Golden Age nostalgia acts like Slick Rick and Public Enemy had run their course.

The New Jersey vet first came to prominence as a member EPMD’s infamous Hit Squad after mentor Erick Sermon green lighted his clean-up-shop verse on posse cut “Headbanger.” A solo career promptly materialized for the cunning linguist in the wake Whut? Thee Album, a widely heralded classic and one the most anticipated albums 1992. The reefer-addled fering exceeded expectations, drawing from the subterranean sounds Zapp and Parliament, and vocal snippets from Cypress Hill, Ice Cube, and N.W.A. to create a record that has weathered the test time. Produced almost entirely in tandem with Sermon, the album tapped many the same G-funk samples as Dr. Dre’s The Chronic, only Whut? dropped three months prior to Dre’s equally classic debut.

Although Redman was never one to aim for mainstream hits, he knew how to craft songs that made your “speakers knock” and “rump jump.” Breakout singles “Tonight’s Da Night” and the Pete Rock-assisted “How To Roll A Blunt,” a step-by-step tutorial with real world applicability, spawned a crazed following that propelled Redman out the bubbling underground and into the limelight. “Blow Your Mind,” a song on which Funk Doctor Spock tried to “freak it in Korean,” became a No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot Rap Singles chart seven weeks after its release. His antics on “Redman Meets Reggie Noble” came long before Biggie took a crack at the same formula on “Gimme the Loot.” And “Time 4 Sum Aksion” served as the music for Mike Tyson’s ring entrance leading up to his 1995 “He’s Back” bout in which he annihilated Peter McNeeley in 89 seconds. Whut? Thee Album was a smash success straight out left field, a hysterical tour the finest homegrown high that only The Brick City General could have concocted.

Redman’s disinterest in conforming to commercial guidelines took on a whole new meaning on sophomore entry Dare Iz A Darkside, an album that was far more cynical, experimental, and hardcore than its predecessor, but no less important to its creator’s progression. An homage to Maggot Brain, the tonal shift was reflected in the album’s artwork: Redman is buried alive in the middle the desert, screaming at the heavens. From the opening salvo, it was apparent that the follow-up journey into the mind the emcee who “did more drugs than pharmacies” would be slightly different. The mental state rap’s Dennis the Menace was evaluated by “Dr. Trevis” to kick f the “cosmic boogie movie” in which the unhinged patient likened himself to the hair on Don King and bragged about letting your mom give him cornrows where the sun don’t shine.

By the time Muddy Waters was released in 1996, the “Moby Dick dopeness” had rappers everywhere pushing the panic button. His fearless wild man’s “move the crowd” mentality, paired with his innovative and irrepressible presence, would align him with the Wu-Tang Clan, arguably the most influential group to ever touch a mic. The obvious chemistry with partner in rhyme (and Blazenow equity partner) Method Man, who he bonded with while on tour in 1994, led the two to collaborate on nearly every other release post “Do What Ya Feel” (“Da Rockwilder” remains, to this day, one the nastiest hip hop party anthems). Def Squad’s excellent El Niño arrived in the summer 1998, and Doc’s Da Name 2000 closed out the holiday season as the capstone stocking stuffer on a near 10-year run funkified dominance for Sermon. The ghetto fabulous Mario bursting through the brick wall Doc’s Da Name while puffing on a fatty, his laces loose, crimson beanie pulled down over his eyes, and stethoscope dangling willy nilly, was the pure embodiment Redman’s persona. That’s to say nothing the artwork for the single “I’ll Bee Dat,” in which the aforementioned cartoon character waves f a seatbelt to pose in a souped-up, all-wheel drive perambulator. Redman’s image as a lethal mix between Boondocks’ Thugnificent and a Fantasia villain with the chops to tussle with Michael Myers was cemented.

Never straight-faced and always bristling with tantalizing strokes tomfoolery, Redman quickly became a frequent flyer in guest rapper rotations, popping up (and ten stealing the show) on tracks like Pac’s “Got My Mind Made Up,” Ghostface Killah’s “Greedy Bitches,” De La Soul’s “Oooh,” and LL Cool J’s “4, 3, 2, 1.” The two-month long Hard Knock Life Tour in 1999, during which the MTV Rock N’ Jock all-star shared the stage with heavyweights Meth, DMX, Ja Rule, and Jay-Z, remains a sacred entry in hip hop lore. His outlier an MTV Cribs episode, where Mr. “bummy for a low prile” showed f a jury-rigged doorbell and the endearingly modest “luxury” his secluded Staten Island “De La Casa,” has to be seen to be believed. He pillaged Europe (and Croatian beaches) on world tours, got cattle-prodded while on acid in the middle a mosh pit, helped produce Shaquille O’Neal’s Shaq Fu: Da Return, and even swooped in for Christina Aguilera’s iconic pre-teen video for “Dirty.”

Why Redman Is One Of The Greatest Of All Time

Elisa Haber/Getty s

Yet Redman is ten overlooked by those hoping to assign a hierarchy to music’s most densely competitive genre. His longevity and productivity speak for themselves: he doled out 16 projects in 29 years, a statistic made all the more impressive by the fact that 7 his 11 studio releases received a plaque. He showed that he still had what it took during the 2015 BET Cypher, when he rattled f the singular most impressive performance the platform had seen in years. His roughly 5,200 unique words within his first 35,000 lyrics ranks him in the top 20 individual emcees, which is ironic coming from someone who once proudly proclaimed “fuck all you fools out there with a large vocabulary.” Eminem, a no-brainer on any credible top 10, listed “Reggie” on “‘Till I Collapse” and undoubtedly borrowed from Redman’s Sooperman alter-ego motif in the creation Slim Shady, one music’s most iconic characters. As if that wasn’t enough, the legendary Detroit emcee even called in to Shade 45 to reiterate his admiration while Redman was in-studio: “you’re one my favorites all-time…that’s never gonna change.”

So why does Redman’s name so rarely come up? While he was certainly culturally relevant in his prime, his headlining moments were largely drowned out by monumental figures like Biggie, Pac, Jay-Z, and Nas, and the all-consuming media maelstrom that was the East-Coast West-Coast rivalry. From a more comprehensive standpoint, the biggest knock against him is his lack conceptual depth. He always managed to find new ways to reimagine the same tried and true subject matter such that it never grew stale, but beyond his odes to the psychological effects herbal remedies, he never ventured into more emotionally distilled waters that might’ve somehow allowed the listener to pierce the veil Dirty Jersey’s Finest. For better or worse, his discography lacks a “Suicidal Thoughts,” a “Mind Playing Tricks On Me,” or a “Song Cry” that speaks to something more inherently vulnerable. Whether one chooses to use this perceived shortcoming in their GOAT criteria is entirely subjective; it’s merely an observation worth considering.

Regardless, there’s certainly an argument to be made for Redman’s inclusion in the conversation, as noted by Justin Hunt Hip Hop DX: “(Redman’s) catalogue is longer than Biggie’s and Big Pun’s combined. He’s a technically better rapper than Pac. He’s got the solo rapping classics that Andre 3000 lacks. He never went through lethargic phases like Nas or post-jail Lil Wayne. His career span is longer than Jay-Z’s with the same number seminal ferings. Cultural impact, critical acclaim, lyrical skill: check, check, check.” While Redman was never going to be the rapper who had his name hung in the rafters, or his music used as a teaching tool in higher education, his interpretation hip hop belongs solely to him. Not once has he dumbed down his lyrics or compromised his artistic values, and you sure as hell will never find him using a gilded bidet in some lavish Louisiana mansion. Reflecting on the reception to his infamous Cribs cameo, Redman summed up the career-long motto that carried him to one–a-kind success: Once you do things and keep things 100% with yourself, you can never lose.