Month: December 2016

Next Friday
Next Friday Poster

Steve Carr gets the nod as the director of this sequel to the classic hit “Friday”, and while most people look fondly at the first, many forget about the second and of course my favorite, the third one. If you’re a fan of urban comedy, then you have to check out what Ice Cube and DJ Pooh come up with in this direct sequel of the 1995 cult classic. In reviewing this movie, I wasn’t sure how to frame it in a way that others haven’t done so already, so instead of going through a play by play, and trying to do the critical analysis, I’ll stick to what made me laugh the most about this movie, which may be different from others. Of course, your taste profile may be completely difference than mine.

Stereotypes Rule The Premise

In the 98 minutes of this movie, Ice Cube uses all the urban stereotypes that he can, but plays them up to a cartoon level. This includes the cholo stereotype that had me laughing really hard. Lil Joker is a great character, which made me laugh each time he was on the screen. Mike Epps joins the cast and he’s hilarious in the role of “Day Day”, which he turns up to an all new level in the next movie. In this one, he goes through a lot of emotional issues with a baby mama, getting fired from Pinky’s Records, and of course stealing from the cholo across the street. The stereotypes here aren’t offensive, they are just funny.

Pinky Steals The Show

One of the best parts of this movie is the role played by Clifton Powell. He plays Pinky and he does an incredible job at playing the gangster, record shop owner. The fight with him and Ice Cube also gets played up well here, and I really liked how it all came together. Pinky’s part here is great, and like I said, Clifton Powell puts together a great showcase for the character.

Star Rating For Next Friday

“Next Friday” continues the story of Craig. He moves with to his uncle’s house in Rancho Cucamonga, meanwhile Deebo breaks out of jail and wants to take him out. The story then takes a lot of comedic, sexual, and stereotypical turns before landing into the final moments. Overall, this movie is a stellar sequel, if you ask me, and Ice Cube plays off of Mike Epps so well, that you can’t help but laugh. John Witherspoon and Don “D.C” Curry play brothers so well that you will forget that they aren’t related. I’m giving “Next Friday” a 3 out of 5. It’s not perfect, but it’s a great follow up to the 1995 original. I don’t like it as much as the next sequel that hit theaters in 2002, but this was good for a laugh over the holiday break.

You can pick up “Next Friday” by clicking here, if you don’t already own it. If you’ve seen it, drop me a line on what your favorite parts were.

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Shut Eye Hulu Review
Shut Eye Hulu Review

I normally don’t review full television shows, but I caught this one and literally watched it in two days. I’ve been sick this past few weeks, and am still hacking up a lung, so between articles, I’ve managed to catch some television here and there. This show started as a guilty pleasure, and slowly turned a screw in my imagination. I love magic, so the notion of a failed magician absolutely had me going. “Shut Eye” is a show that is available on HULU, and I recommend getting it for a month just to watch this showcase of drama. You’ll be surprised what is going to come through.

I Do Not Like Burn Notice

First and foremost, I don’t like Jeffrey Donovan’s previous show. I found it boring, and couldn’t watch it. This show was going to suffer the same fate, but Donovan performs in such a manner, that he had me believing that he was in fact a fake psychic. The show is about a failed magician who is now working as a psychic in Los Angeles. The story is a slow starter, then goes into a completely insane world of gypsies, psychics, and the mafia. Each character you’re introduced to has something to gain, an ulterior motive for what they are doing, and where they are going. Everything is not what it seems, and when Charlie Haverford finds a mark that could very well give him nearly 2 million dollars, he decides it’s time to get out of the psychic game.

A Beat Down That Gives Visions

Early in the show, Charlie gets a beat down so bad that it gives him visions of the future. It helps him figure out a plot to steal money, turn against the gypsies in his life, and so much more. Meanwhile there are other characters that play off like mobsters, and lots of different little things to mention. David Zayas as Eduardo Bernal is a scary turn for the detective that was in “Dexter”, and Angus Sampson plays a seriously great hothead as Fonzo. The rest of the cast do a great job in my view, but it’s Donovan’s vulnerability that makes this one so compelling, especially in the last few episodes, in which he has to figure out whether or not the morality of stealing is worth saving his son’s life over.

Like A Magic Trick

The visual design flow of “Shut Eye” is great. I loved the vivid colors, the lighting, and the acting. The camera rolls, and balances so well here, as you are dramatically taken into the world of psychics, gypsies, and a little magic. If you liked “The Prestige” then you’ll like how the whole show is framed, with a little bit of a twist here and there, and violence to throw down enough dramatic flair. This is no kid’s show that’s for sure, and HULU really did well working with TriStar Television, and others to get this going. Even with a limited cast, this show really put on a lot of elements that work so well visually, which lead up to a finale that I didn’t see coming at all.

Star Rating For Shut Eye on Hulu

Since you cannot buy this outright, I will have to settle to just letting you know that you have to get a Hulu subscription to get this show. I recommend it. As far as star ratings are concerned, I’m going to give it a 4 out of 5. It starts a little boring, slow to boil, but once it sets off, you really feel entangled in the morality, despair, and even puppy love that is sewn throughout. “Shut Eye” is a sexy drama, with a lot of elements that make you question just how fake psychics are, and just how much money is made in those parlors with the cool lights. I loved it. It has a few flaws, like pacing, but in 10 episodes, it won me over, and hopefully it won others over enough to get a second season. I recommend “Shut Eye”.

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