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Beltzhoover native James ‘Ruff Bone’ White creates ‘Everyday Hustle’ — film showing at Penn Hills Cinema, Nov. 9

No script. No actors. No budget. That’s what Beltzhoover native James “Ruff Bone” White was working with when he created, directed, and produced the film, “Everyday Hustle.” White stars in the movie as a single father who fights the pressures of returning to the drug game. His criminal record haunts him at every job interview as he tries to live life right, all while taking care of his 6-month-old daughter, Kimora.

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“Everyday Hustle came about from me being at home watching my daughter. I was just filming myself feeding her, and then I thought about making a documentary about single dads. I started making up scenes and calling friends to be a part of it,” said White.

White takes “keeping it in the family” to a whole new level when his family and friends chipped in to serve as characters in “Everyday Hustle.” His wife, Quaila, plays his deceased wife and she is co-executive producer of the movie. Baby Kimora brightens the big screen with her beautiful smile, starring in the movie as his daughter. White’s children, Jadyn, Nason, Nasyr, Jayda, Norah and Jiana, serve as executive producers. Von Madden Tiffany “Fya” Lucas, Joe “Owey” Gales, Chevar “Fat Mac” Simpkins, James “Pwee” White, and Kizzl lent their talents as well. The institution of family is clearly a premise to the film.

Read more at the New Pittsburgh Courier Beltzhoover native James ‘Ruff Bone’ White creates ‘Everyday Hustle’ — film showing at Penn Hills Cinema, Nov. 9

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The Courier’s ‘Movie Scene Queen’ has a new Leading Man

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As many in Pittsburgh know, Merecedes has been reviewing movies for more than five years and, as a writer for the Courier, was recently recognized as one of the best feature category writers in the state by the Pennsylvania Newsmedia Association! The movie-themed wedding was held in Cheswick, where the couple welcomed 125 guests.

Source: New Pittsburgh Courier The Courier’s ‘Movie Scene Queen’ has a new Leading Man

FILM REVIEW: ‘Stranger Fruit’ documentary reminds one of Antwon Rose shooting

While everybody was renewing their Starz subscription for the fifth season of “Power,” I was browsing through the new movies in my down time and stumbled across “Stranger Fruit.”

The documentary originally premiered at the 2017 SXSW film festival and received some backlash for never-before-seen footage of Mike Brown the day before his murder. So, filmmaker and director Jason Pollock did some more digging and released an extended version of the film in April. Starz picked it up in June.

And, now, we are here.

The most controversial part of the documentary was a key piece of evidence that the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department decided to bury. A surveillance video of Mike Brown the night before his murder showed him in the same convenience store where he was accused of a strong-arm robbery. The question begs: Why would Mike Brown, who seemed to have a working relationship with store staff, go in the very next day and “rob” the joint?

The video was never admitted into evidence or released to the public, further proving the modern-day cover up in the death of Michael Brown Jr.

Read more at the New Pittsburgh Courier: Is East Pittsburgh the new Ferguson? ‘Stranger Fruit’ documentary reminds one of Antwon Rose shooting (July 11)

MORE THAN PIZZA: I am Jade Martin

How ironic that MLK weekend in Pittsburgh was kicked off with viral footage of a woman named Jade Martin being assaulted by a Pizza Milano staff member.  Everything Dr. King stood for like non-violence, peace, and civil rights were dismantled when Jade Martin was physically disrespected.

For each time her head banged off of that cold floor, a tear fell down my face.  That could have easily been me.  Jade Martin could have been me.  I am unapologetic.  I am defiant.  I have a “smart mouth.”  I sometimes have an attitude.  I am Jade Martin!

Zone 2 police should have been called, but instead a coward dispatched his innermost hate to inflict pain on Jade Martin.

Shame on all of the people saying “she should have just left”, “oh well”, “we won’t be talking about this tomorrow”, “y’all still going to eat down there”, “logging off of Facebook”.  The insensitivity is deafening, and it’s a sign of everything but courage and compassion.

As a Pizza Milano frequent flier, I will never step foot in there again.  It’s more than copping pizzas and chilling down there after a PPG Paints Arena event. It’s our responsibility to take notice and cripple the entire economic foundation Pizza Milano sits upon.

Every large institution in a 2-mile radius should also refuse its convenient services— The Penguins, PPG Paints Arena, and Duquesne University.

I couldn’t be there physically but I salute the men and women who are on the front lines boycotting Pizza Milano: I see you, Bo, Allison, Lance, and Vernard! 💪 No Justice.  No Pizza.

I am JADE MARTIN!

With Love,

Yours in Service,

Merecedes J. Howze
Owner, Movie Scene Queen

All Pittsburgh Black women need a ‘Girls Trip’

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NEW ORLEANS, LA – JUNE 30: Hand fans featuring the cast of the movie Girls Trip are seen during the Essence Music Festival at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on June 30, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images for Universal)

Starring Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Regina Hall, and Tiffany Haddish, the Flossy Posse head to New Orleans for the Essence Festival after a five-year hiatus. Tension and drinks fly as the women try to enjoy their trip and rekindle their sisterhood.

Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett-Smith were already a part of a bad girls group in 1996’s “Set It Off,” which they reference in the film. The best buds reunite after 21 years and manage to gain two new besties. “Girls Trip” reminds us that, regardless of turmoil or disagreements, Black women have an unbreakable bond amongst their closest friends.

This movie is an uplifting, tear-jerking ball of entertainment. On screen, the women mesh so well and create a friendly reminder of what it is like to hang with your girls. Regina Hall is mild-mannered and gorgeous. Queen Latifah is representing for all of the big girls with a tasteful, flaunting wardrobe. Jada Pinkett-Smith puts all other 45-year-olds to shame with her impeccable physique.

But, the newest actress to Hollywood stole the show. Tiffany Haddish is raunchy, cross-the-line funny, and simply effervescent. I couldn’t imagine any other leading actress playing that role. She nailed it.

Read more at the New Pittsburgh Courier: All Pittsburgh Black women need a ‘Girls Trip’ (Merecedes’ Movie Review July 19)

Dunkirk Passes

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From acclaimed director, Christopher Nolan, DUNKIRK is an epic action thriller that tells the race against time to rescue 400,000 British and Allied troops trapped by enemy forces on the beaches of Dunkirk in World War II.  DUNIRK opens in theaters and IMAX worldwide on Friday, July 21.  #DunkirkMovie

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Movie Scene Queen and Warner Bros. Pictures are hosting an advanced screening of DUNKIRK on Monday, July 17th at 7:30 PM in the Waterfront.  Wanna go?  Please comment below with your favorite war movie.

Love,

Movie Scene Queen

‘L.A. riots’ hits home for Black viewers

Executive producer John Singleton and A&E mark the 25th anniversary of the L.A. riots with a 90-minute documentary, “The L.A. Riots: 25 Years Later.”

I was 4 years old when a jury acquitted four Los Angeles Police Department officers (Stacey Koon, Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind, Theodore Briseno) on charges for the beating of Rodney King. Too young to understand the beating, Rodney King is a name I will never forget. I knew of the Rodney King beating, but I never knew the extent of its aftermath.

In the six days after the verdict, 63 people were killed, 2,383 people were injured and 3,767 buildings were destroyed totaling one billion dollars in property damage.

The documentary is a gathering of actual footage and authentic testimonies explaining a tumultuous relationship between White law enforcement officers and Black motorists.

Residents of South Central L.A. were on edge and outraged when a home video of the beating surfaced. Then, days later, a Korean grocer killed 15-year-old Latasha Harlins after falsely accusing her of stealing.

This documentary leaves a lasting impression. I will now always remember the day the Rodney King verdict was rendered—April 29, 1992.

I was relieved that the documentary did not bring up O.J. Simpson. We’ve had enough of the O.J. Simpson story in recent cable listings. However, “The L.A. Riots: 25 Years Later” only confirmed my suspicions that the Rodney King and Latasha Harlins verdicts played a huge factor in Simpson’s 1995 murder trial.

Read more at the New Pittsburgh Courier: ‘L.A. riots’ hits home for Black viewers (Merecedes’ Column on TV Shows May 3)

Fast cars, storyline make ‘Furious 8’ a big hit

The eighth installment of “The Fast and Furious” film series is out and has broken a box office record as the biggest opening in movie history with $100.2 million in domestic revenue and $532.5 in global revenue!

Fast cars and pure curiosity drove millions of fans to the theater this Easter weekend. I had one question in mind: What’s “The Fast and the Furious” without Paul Walker?

“The Fate of the Furious,” starring Vin Diesel, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Tyrese Gibson, and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, defies the laws of filmmaking in two ways. First, the movie managed to keep its awesomeness even after losing one of its biggest stars. Walker’s unexpected passing in 2013 left a huge void and “Furious 7” (2015) seemed to be the perfect conclusion to the film series. But, even after 16 years and a devastating loss, the movie calmed all fears and suspicions regarding its ability to continue.

The advanced action, elaborate car chases and thick storyline is the reason why “The Fate of the Furious” is the best of the eight movies in the series.

Encompassing rare technology, extreme action and the most elite cars in the world, “The Fate of the Furious” is groundbreaking, and nothing like the other seven movies. But, this film is more than exotic automobiles and fighting scenes; it upholds the truest values of family, loyalty and devotion.

Source: Fast cars, storyline make ‘Furious 8’ a big hit (Merecedes Howze on…Movies)

The Boss Baby Passes

DreamWorks Animation and the director of Madagascar invite you to meet a most unusual baby.  He wears a suit, speaks with the voice and wit of Alec Baldwin, and stars in the animated comedy, DreamWorks’ The Boss Baby.  The Boss Baby is a hilariously universal story about how a new baby’s arrival impacts a family, told from the point of view of a delightfully unreliable narrator, a wildly imaginative 7 year old named Tim.  With a sly, heart-filled message about the importance of family, DreamWorks’ The Boss Baby is an authentic and broadly appealing original comedy for all ages.

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Much Love,

Movie Scene Queen

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