Happy Womb Eviction Day, 25 AND GOING.

It’s the first 22 seconds that I have replayed in my head in secret for years since getting the album way back in…… 2004. Literally a decade has flown by since I entered the spaceship (anyone who catches that gets a hi-5 with 5$). So with that said I need to do this:

 

May anyone who lost a loved one through natural loss or to a violent murderous end before the age of 25, many you Eternally REST IN PEACE.

I have lost and I have gained in 25 years of my life. The world has been in a constant state of change. I mean, Michael Jordan retired, played baseball, came back,.. retired again… CAME BACK and played for the Wizards… aka the Washington Wizards/Bullets. Michael Jackson died… really didn’t ever expect to see that happening. I have lived thru not one but 2 Spider-man franchises totalling 6 movies. I have lived through the greatest era of black urban music (though that is a debatable point), I have lived through the death of Superman, Spider-man, Peter Parker (had to be there), Robin(s) and countless other fictional super hero’s. i even live in a time where a rocket wielding racoon is cool.

I have lived in places one would question and gone to places I only heard about. I, at some point, even met Michael Jordan and many other celebs and personalities (but really, MJ will always be the top). I have done things I “regret” but I appreciate them for I may have lived a life unfulfilled. I finished a movie which is currently in the process of being completed, I’m working on another as well which that starts shooting soon. two and a half decades have gone by and though, it was a bumpy start, i do enjoy where i have placed myself to be with the help of my only father, God (y’all can fight over what to actually call him)

As a kid, I wondered about life, death church and parents. I swore to the heavens anyone who was an adult was the devil or some scary ass alien who just wanted to torture kids with shit they really didn’t need in life. The church was something that my mother had grown up with and made sure was something that was there for me as a guidance measure, if nothing else. I still question religion, more so now, as my curiosity has reached space and the cosmos currently.

If there is one thing that I learned which is the most important thing I know it’s:

DO WHATEVER THE FUCK MAKES YOU HAPPY, BUT NOT TO THE RISK OF OTHERS UNLESS IT’S A MEANS TO:
A) PROTECTING LIFE,
B) GETTING AHEAD (BUT JUSTLY)
C) ENJOYING LIFE!

There will always be someone you “admire”. That is fine. It helps us to grow as a people; to admire others. BUT do not sit and compare yourself to anyone. Remember, there a guy older/younger, than you who, yes, is a millionaire, but they may not have anyway of knowing how to read, write, or even count. You do, so make that ability work for you.

It sucks that so many people we know have fallen, but what bothers me most is when people have to ask “How many of us____ have to die in order for (simply put) change.” My either quiet or voiced retort is: “If you know/knew just one person dead, That you loved, that’s enough to be as mad as hell and make a change. People will always say, in a defeatist attitude, one person can only do so much. AND IT’S FUCKING TRUE! One person can do IMPOSSIBLE THINGS. Like believe in himself to inspire others. Malcolm X did it, MLK jr. did it, the man known as Spartacus did it, and so many more. With all that is happening around us, religious folk will heed to you its a sign of the times that Jesus is coming, others may suggest it’s citizens finally waking up and saying two letters: NO!

I will join any noble cause that actually has a plan. I plan on doing great things with any form of wealth I am able to gain thru my own hard work. I don’t care to be rich to do flashy shit. I really don’t. I first care about making my community better. But I have to work hard now. Aside from personal goals, this is what wake me. This passion to leave behind a better world. Not to leave behind parties (no shade/not dissing), countless kids, or anything that “normal” folks tend to want. I just want to try to fix what I am able first with me then with where I live, and I believe the nature of a domino effect will happen… naturally.

25 years man. I’m sorry but this is an amazing feeling. My mom tells everyone she can, that when she was doing the pregnancy meetings with her Dr said that either she’d die, I’d die, or we die together. LOW AND BEHOLD BITCH! *Jesse Pinkman voice*. Anywho I have things I need to do before I close my eyes tonight, so a”LEWsystem You’re Welcome ” to all who are wishing me a “Happy Womb Eviction Day!”

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace”. Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: the “LEW System”

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– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Guardians Of The Galaxy: Movie Review

This might have been the best summer movie.

Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-IMAX-poster-700x1024


Writer:  James GunnNicole Perlman Director:  James Gunn Runtime: 121 mins

Cast

I had posted about who the Guardians of the Galaxy really are and its a fair bet not many knew prior to seeing the flick. This is probably the utmost reason this movie excels. Aside from my fellow brethren who know full well about the sci-fi/realm of space side of  the Marvel Universe, NO ONE cared about these guys. and that is very much a factor in the film. One of the constant mentions people keep saying is: “If you had told me a talking racoon would be a “star” character in a movie, some 10+ years ago, I would spit out my drink in laughter”. Well those folks can all now still spit out a drink in laughter and then some, cause not only does “Rocket Racoon” nearly steal the show, he, voiced by Bradley Cooper, makes you feel for the character as if he was a “human”. The film really does achieve a lot in its 2 hour run time but never once does it feel beyond whelming. Its most remarkable element was being able to blend both drama and comedy seamlessly all while never taking itself too seriously while still remaining true to being a “Comic Book” movie. I feel that is one of the problems so many other studios have with their comic book properties. They try to be a comic adaption while being true to the medium of cinema and the integrity of the director’s imagination/creativity. I believe that on some level you have to have one more so than the other(s) and never falter… But, as I say, everything is situational.

Another aspect of what makes this a great film, is the soundtrack and for once I don’t mean the musical score. The soundtrack boast some of the best music from era(‘s) past. Its even on US Billboard at #1 for this week (week ending Aug. 15th, 2014)

The soundtrack to Marvel Studios’ latest blockbuster, Guardians of the Galaxy, has topped the midweek US Billboard chart, and is the first soundtrack comprised entirely of previously released songs to reach the No 1 spot.

The soundtrack seemingly works on various levels but, really giving the Lead, Peter Quill, his only real tether to Earth and his childhood when his mother was in his life. For that aspect, it works tremendously in this film to keep it relatable to viewers. Let’s face it, we all have that one (or several) song(s) that remind us of days past (couldn’t resist).

This film boast a another crazy cast as any other marvel movie. Benicio  Del Toro, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, and more; Take on their first roles in the superhero genre.  Given the roles Del Toro has had in past, I was shocked he took on the role of “The Collector from back in Thor. I fully enjoyed new comer Lee Pace as Ronan. The costume design was great even if they went for a more obvious, dark = bad guy tone. It very much resembled his look in the comics. The only characters/actors I question in terms of acting were Zoe’s, Josh Brolin’s and Karen Gillian’s characters (Gamora, Thanos, and Nebula, respectively). I felt as though they were underplayed in various ways (i.e., Thanos didn’t give me that menacing performance one wold hope from a man known as the “Mad Titan”). And even though their back stories were explained and even hinted at, I felt as though we were still short handed in respects to what we deserved from those listed and more, from a story aspect. We all know Zoe can act, and I love her as an actress (she’s skinny and kicks everyones ass, that is awesome defined!), but I can’t help but feel she didn’t give us the best of her talents. Its not in anyway, shape, or form a bad performance, just maybe a miscue in direction/communication. The cool thing about the movie is that having Vin Diesel voice act allows him to be in future movies if even as a bodyguard or something, same with B.Cooper. . Aside from the acting, due to (maybe) the quality of the image, the aliens didn’t all feel like aliens so much as humans in costume.

Which leads me to my next point of the use of 3d, cinematography, and use of effects as a whole. Right from the start you feel like you’re in the 80s. Whats nice is the tint to give it that retro feeling. Then it movies into more 3d expected territory, which was in damn good quality. This post conversion stuff is really getting better. The 3D helps to enhance that idea that you’re in a whole new world/environment. However, I feel that the use of both depth and traditional out/oFf screen effects would have served this movie better. The action, as plenty but was kinda lacking in any great shot in personal opinion. Thankfully it was mostly clear and easy to see thanks to the colourful cast. But it never gets distracting throughout the film. Which is better. I will say the ending “battle” was my favourite bit with the use of the camera.

There were a lot of easter eggs in the film, from both the BTS side of things, to things right out of the comics and throughout pop culture. I noticed a few from the comics and pop culture, but heres more.

This movie is nothing, if not well put together. nice blend of the medium. it excels mostly because of its obscurity. The tremendous control over the time and place(meant) of comedy, action, and a dramatic moment is superb. I wouldn’t call this an adaption, as much as I would call this movie. The characters are all losers, and people you’d bet against in the right conditions, but with the tremendous writing and character understanding, this movie really captures the essence that would this band of merry folks just really don’t want to die unless its by their actions. Most superhero movies tend to go the ay of this is my problem i have to fix it because i created the villain. this story didn’t feel like that. Has some of those elements yea, but in actuality its a great neutral bad guy vs good guy(s) story here. It’s really hard to hate on this movie outside of nitpicking. For my chosen nitpick, how on earth did they get on to the ship with Yondu and get new costumes for everyone (the all red, scarlet ones) including Rocket Racoon?

9.7

Ratings for all movies will now be out of ten

  • Overall rating of the movie: 9.7 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 8 out of 10,
  • Editing: 9 out of 10,
  • Audio: 10 out of 10,
  • Acting: 8.9 out of 10,
  • Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? It’s not bad in Imax. Definitely worth picking up to truly start phase two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace”. Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: the “LEW System”

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Carib… I Mean, Scotiabank (Toronto) Caribbean Carnival

 

Well the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival (SCC) has now come and gone and with it many complaints and praises. but surprisingly from the wrong side of field for each.

This, for all intents and purposes, is a rant folks.

Since the fall of what was known as “Caribana”, SCC has taken it over and has, more or less, improved what was really a shy mirror to what you’d expect to see when it’s carnival time in a respectable Caribbean atmosphere. Since I haven’t been to one I have nothing to accurately compare it to, but there’s both an up side and down side to that; which I will get to later.

Let’s start with Thursday.

cred: Teeography (Tee Teeography Murphy)
cred: Teeography (Tee Teeography Murphy)

Dr. Jay, who is essentially the foremost known DJ in Canada when it comes to Soca music, (Just ask Iwer George) threw his annual “Re-Jouvert-nate”. It was as good as it’s always been. With performances from Problem child and Skinny Fab, you can’t go wrong. The atmosphere and vibes were just nice… as were the women.

Friday was prep day for many. Which is where my issues really come from. News came to me that some of the bigger bands were only handing out costumes on the Friday for either a section or in general which, in personal opinion, is ludicrous. Bands should have had all costumes finished by the Tuesday latest and sent out by Thursday leaving Fri to be the day to make any necessary adjustments. Especially considering that most registration took place way back in April/May and many sections were sold out before the end of that said month. I think, given their instagram feed, Toronto Revellers were the only ones who were saying come and play with us ’till the very end before SCC. One band apparently had soon to be masqueraders waiting 5 plus hours (No names though) for their costumes. That is utterly ridiculous. Sadly I wasn’t able to attend “Pan Alive” as I had planned.

Saturday. This serves as your disclaimer. Due to two prior altercations before I even got to the CNE, and the belief I had lost my wallet, I didn’t take many pics this year.

Caribana routeSo I got there, finally, safe and sound after deciding to walk there since I was #6 on the road, entered and was shocked that it was so easy to get in without any formal search. Not that I wanted a pat down, but as a safety measure, it would have been nice to have just that small bit of reassurance that some level of checking was done giving the more tragic side of Caribana’s/SCC’s past. I was even more bewildered that not many knew where to go. I had a general idea of where to go since I had seen that the parade route before hand and the mas set up was pushed back towards the “Medieval Times” building. But, as I said, there wasn’t many who knew where exactly to go or how best to get there or if that was even the confirmed spot to go to (I’m looking at you, you scarce parade marshals and organizing officials). I asked one person he looked me dead ass serious saying:

ELEW:(my question) Where do the mas players go?
SCC MEMBER (SCC.M)”Well, horse I ain’t know where that is nuh… that.. that ain’t my department.”
ELEW: but…. Ok. No thanks for you
SCC.M: no problem.

Luckily, I had recognized some mas costumes from both Revellers and Saldenah so I followed them and I got to where I needed. maybe 45 mins after getting to the mas set up area, we were on road. Which was fairly simple. We passed one judging point, and were well on our way to this apparent second judging point. Which, for the sake of reasoning, can ANYONE explain to me why there were two judging points? it was at this point that everything kinda went down hill in terms of wallet going missing and the parade becoming a problem for many others who paid to play mas. I will say this first; for quite some time I was a “non payer” to the event formally known as Caribana, so in many ways, I side with them, “the stormers“. From since I was small I have witnessed people hopping the fences to join the masqueraders down the Lakeshore. I never had an issue aside from the hip-hop/rap truck and the reggae truck in my frequent attendance at this event in past. Both of which I didn’t see this year (but for the life of me, I can’t fathom why any sensible person would want the hip-hop truck there considering most of the negativity and ignorance that, that genre of music promotes on the regular at the parade. And PLEASE don’t try to use conscious rap as a valid argument. You know damn well they won’t play that at on the road.). The hip-hop/rap genre of music really doesn’t fit the vibe of the carnival in honest opinion. But, as usual, money still has to be made. Any who, on the flip side, my mother has been participating with creating and making mas just as long as I’ve been half an egg and a sperm cell. She instilled in me an appreciation for the hard work that goes into making these costumes for so many. Furthermore, she always took me to see the “King and Queen” show where the bigger costumes would be judged and showcased. Since this year I was playing mas, I was hoping to catch a different vibe. I can certainly say, paying big dollars is almost a waste in Toronto as there was no difference to getting on the road. The “Stormers” (is it wrong that I think of storm troopers every time I say that word?) caused such an issue at this apparent second stage of judging (and most of the road I’m hearing), that no one could get back (as I was trying to find my wallet), some bands and some band sections apparently couldn’t cross said stage, and that “judging” couldn’t even take place as a whole since there were so many just “interrupting” the progress. Dr Jay had a series of tweets venting about how the organizers and parade marshals didn’t do enough to clear the stormers off the parade route much less give a clearing so each band could be judged. Also mentioned that there wasn’t in terms of notifying where the judging point was so that mas players could get organized to display their costume properly. For a minute, I will be honest. There isn’t much ONE single wo/man can do to stop hundreds of thousands of people from going wherever, but something can be done. This year I noticed most bands made no effort to lock off their band with orange fencing, rope, or the combination of the two with some skinny pieces of wood. If this be the new parade route and trend for mas bands going forward, I would suggest building some sort of actual stage (maybe closer to the assembly area) so that the rest of the road can be the party it seems to want to be each year. or if you insist on fencing, build it high enough and add barbwire or make it similar to the indy races fencing scheme. It obviously sucks that it must come to that, but in order to keep it mas friendly, how else can you prevent it? (you can sound off in the comment section below) In addition to this, its important to remember something. Not only do fences keep people out, they keep people in. So, even if you wanted to clear them off the road, you have to give them an exit point as well (typically close to the same place one can enter the parade route). Soon after accepting my loss wallet, I left to go home and slept. It was on hell of a good sleep. *UPDATE* OUT OF THE 9 BANDS (NOT ALL WERE ABLE TO COMPETE) THE WINNER FOR BAND OF THE YEAR WAS SELECTED: Toronto Carnival Band Of The Year Results: 1) Nationz 2) Saldenah 3) Revellers. I find this troubling as to what exactly did they have to choose from? However it was basically a no brainer as Nationz had won everything else mas wise prior to the parade. First time ever one band swept everything.

Sunday. I decided to try something different from the normal fete choices like Fire Fete (before someone takes that the wrong way, THIS IS NOT A DISS). I went to more of a lime than anything at the olympic island(one of the many Toronto island clusters, just to the left of centre island). It was honestly well worth it. granted there could have been more but it started from around 10 am and went to about 9:30 PM with musical acts like Blaxx, Iwer George, Pan Phantasy, Tallpree and more. I would say it was basically a Fire Fete, before Fire Fete. There was  LOT of room to hold hundreds more. What I felt was wrong or off about it was the fact it ended at 9:30. Once the bigger acts came on, the crowd responded and was ready to move and party. Time really flew by once the performances started (I got pics and video coming shortly for this event). But the biggest highlight for me was talking to the CEO (Knia Singh of the brand known as Caribana. We talked about his vision for the fateful day of when he and his team can reacquire whats now known as SCC. He is very ambitious in that desire. Obviously at the moment, what he wants is a bit of a long shot, but to try to sum it up, he wants to bring back the festivities of old to the younger generation so they can one day carry it forward as well but with way more accountability. I would suggest that after this year, Mr. Singh may have a real good shot at doing so.

“Look around you what do you see. Scotiabank. This isn’t a cultural event anymore, this isn’t a community event, it’s a corporate ad.”
-Knia Singh

 

He was right. I don’t think Scotiabank took in how much of a community setting Caribana was (or tried to be). We discussed many things like the process of making mas and I informed him that some/certain bands (for some reason) ship parts of the mas making responsibilities to “China” and he said one of the greatest things. “Why not ship it back home to Trinidad or just anywhere in the Caribbean?” and I told him he’s right. I don’t want this to come off as a racial thing, but for a moment think of it this way. So much of what the black community is/was has been “sold out” to others where we then lose out on passing it down/forward to future generations (I don’t just mean Caribana either). Does anyone remember/know of black wall Street? I’m not saying China doesn’t need the business from this, I’m not saying that the Chinese can’t make or even participate in making/playing mas (that’s just all kinds of ignorant). I just personally feel that if we, as a whole or even an individual, are gonna let someone profit off this thing (which no matter what will be the typical elected official) why not share the wealth within the same place this all started? I obviously don’t know if, in the caribbean they do the same thing by shipping it out, but I see it like this. A few years ago some Canadian politician said that making our own Canadian flag in China was “wrong” (I want to say it was the late Jim Flaherty) so technically this is no different than our national flag.. Since this style of mas is predominately a caribbean thing, why are we letting “others” make our thing? Again, this isn’t a race thing, this is just about keeping something within our community and within our culture. Yes! I know there are all walks of life in the caribbean from Black, White, Asian, Dougla, etc. But being able to give back to them from up here, I think would serve a higher purpose then waiting for whoever is going back “home” and filling up their luggage with things to take back, or sending barrel after barrel to aid members of the family still back “home” or just its citizens in general.

As for Monday, I went to Smile 4 and took video coverage for that, so be on the look out for that.

UPDATE:

PHOTO’S ARE UP

 

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