Riveroflifelisajoy’s Weblog

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Archive for Black Male Actors


An out pouring of emotion swept over me after watching this movie.  I am deeply touched.  Robert Redford has always touched me in a emotional way ever since I saw him in a movie with Barbara Striesand when I was a young girl. 

 Can you remember the movie that they both starred in?  It was a movie about a young woman and man who could never seem to get their relationship to click for one reason or another.  There was a song,  Memories…that I would play on the piano.

  Anyway…let me tell you,  Robert Redford has not lost his touch.  Robert Redford is not given the due respect that he deserves.  I am truly touched by this movie,  “The Legend of Bagger Vance.”  I had been watching this movie tonight with my mother.  She watched it the night before with my son.  I had no idea this movie was about the “game of golf.” 

 I was pulled to watch the movie when I was in Best Buy the other day.  The price of the movie was a bargin….$6.99!!  So I turned over the package that it was in a saw Will Smith,  and Mat Damon.  Two actors that I enjoy watching in movies. 

 I thought…this must be okay.  My son tried to put it away… I said NO!  I was right.  I also think my son was deeply touched by this movie.  You see,  my son  just started playing golf this summer.  I have been trying to get him to find his “CENTER”  when he plays golf. 

 The movie addressed the feeling of being “PART OF THE FIELD”—the movie portrayed a man that had suffered pain;  and a sense of great loss and failure as a  World War I Vet and the redemption of his soul from a barren place deep within himself.  The lead character was Junna,  Captain Junna, ( played by Mat Damon).  

 The premise of the movie is that when Junna had been a young man,  as young as 16 years old,  he had been extremely talented in golf.  He was heralded  as a stellar player,  even to the point of hitting a golf ball so far that the game had to be stopped for twenty minutes in order to measure the distance of the hit.

  He had gone to war and returned a “broken man.”  He became somewhat of a recluse and stayed a away from the “home town debutante that he loved.”  However,  after the Great Depression came,  the  debutante’s father had completed building a golf course. 

 Despite the beauty of the new golf course in Savanna Georgia,  no one came and  it appeared that the debutantes father would loose on his investment.  Hence forth he shoots himself.  Thus his daughter had the towns men attempting to have her sell the  golf course and cut her losses.  However,  being strong willed,  she decided to fight.  She decided to have a golf tournment.  The tournament was to be played by two well known men.

  However, the men of Savannah wanted a native Savannah player to also play in this $10,000.00 golf tournament.  A young boy who had been following the old newspaper articles about Junna suggested him.  Many people did not believe that he would play.  But the little boy had a strong belief that he would be able to get Junna to play. 

 He ran from the town hall meeting with a shout from a elder man who stated,  “Run with WINGED SANDALS ON YOUR FEET!!” The young boy finds Junna playing cards with some men late at night.  However the boy was not afraid.  He simply explained himself.  Junna told him that he would not play. 

 However, when Junna left the building that he had been playing cards in and entered his house he found the towns men standing in his living room. They also requested him to play in the $10,000.00 tournament.  He flatly told them no. 

 They left,  but the little boy,  (who is played by Jack Lemon(((in his later years))),  –another stellar actor who has always touched my heart—)  fell asleep on a chair in Junna’s house. Suddenly the wind blew the curtians in Junna’s living room and his love —   the debutante stood in his living room and inquired as to why he would not play.

  Mat Damon, ” Junna” replied….”I have lost my Swing.”   The young x-love of his tried to presuade him by attempting to use her kiss.  However, he did not change his mind. 

Later that night, he went outside of his house and began swinging into the night.  He began hitting one golf ball after another into the dark.  He had two lights on either side.  Suddenly a man approached from the darkness.   Enter,  Will Smith as Bagger Vance.  Wow,  Will Smith never ceases to amaze me!  He is beyond stellar. 

 His approach to his character was thoughtful.  He played such a role as to give rise to tears from me!  The words,  and the low key approach almost made chills go up my spine.  I know this is not a recent movie.  But this movie was right on time. 

 It was not a movie just about playing golf,  but anyone could appreciate the message within it. Robert Redford took a simple  concept of “play the game…not to win…but just to play it”—and broadened it to life and how to live it.  How to come back from depression,  from loss,  from regret,  and begin again, and find your place in the field.

  Will Smith’s character takes Mat Damon ( who is visibly over come by his past in the war, and his regrets into playing golf and overcoming his loss will to enjoy life for itself.  Bagger Vance spoke softly and quietly to the spirit of Junna and enveloped him into the spirit of the world around him,  made him listen to nature, and the earth and recapture his swing. 

 In the end Bagger Vance left Junna the same way he came to him….in the dark, yet truly seeing the light of his growth mentally,  emotionally,  spiritually,  and also truly playing the game of LIFE all over again. 

 The little boy grows up to be (Jack Lemon),  who narates the movie,  and appears to die on the golf course as an elder man,  and then he gets up and walks to the horizon where Bagger Vance his biding him to come.  So touching,  the tale of human growth through adversity and heartache….

The movie was playing again, while I slept earlier this evening, and as I awoke I observed the ending I was again touched by the attitude of humble, simple life  wisdom of Bagger Vance.   At one point,  it appeared that Junna’s golf ball and gotten hit into the trees,  This was a turning point for him and the movie. 

 He looked at the ball laying on the dead leaves inside the woods and suddenly his mind took him back to the war and the loss.  He nearly picked up the ball,  possibly to get it out of that enviornment that had brought back those haunting memoiries.  However,  Bagger Vance asked him, “Do you want another club?” 

 That shocked him, “Junna” back to reality.  Junna began to sweat and tell Bagger Vance that he could not do it.  Bagger Vance gave him that simple quiet wisdom and stated an even deeper assurance,  ” I have never left you…almost in a God like way…spiritual. 

 Suddenly Junna hit the ball out of the trees to the amazement of his audience that had been waiting just outside the trees during the tournament. 

This was such a touching moment.  The music was just right as well.

Go rent or buy this movie.  Very touching,  very loving,  very compassionate for those who have lost and want to get “their swing back.”






This week and weekend has been difficult in the entertainment world.  Issac Hayes and Bernie Mack have passed away.  Their creativity touched our lives in ways we could not have imagined. 

I was terribly shocked when I heard it on the radio about both black men.  Issac Hayes was a part of my youth and growing up in the seventies.  I grew up hearing the theme of Shaft on the television and movie theatres.    My recollection was a drivng theme song that you could sing and enjoy.  There were not as many black television programs on back then.  So that was a part of my youth.

Bernie Mack was and is a part of my son’s youth.  We would sit together and watch Bernie Mack and his television adoptive children go through problems that families go through.  Some of the problems were rediculous…some so funny and hilarious….some cute and sentimental!

Yes,  we must applaud these two steller men who have taken their final bow…and wish all who come in their path  walk in their foot steps- to take up their mantels and promote more entertainment for all.


Thank you Bernie Mack.

Thank you Issac Hayes.

Rest in Peace.

Thanks Will Smith! You did it AGAIN! Great Movie….HanCock!–What is wrong with those HATER–MOVIE CRITICS ANYWAY?



Will Smith played the ALIEN  this time!  He was not the airplane pilot dealing with the aliens that were trying to take over planet earth in INDEPENDANCE DAY…but this time he was an out of control otherworldly being…being misinterperted as a HOMELESS  BLACK DRUNK WITH SUPER POWERS….So far from the truth.

  He instead was a being who had lost a literal sense of himself and was wandering the earth helping people but with a mega attitude and BAMBAM (a.k.a. Flintstones) way of grabbing issues by the tail (i.e. the poor whale that he “SAVED” from the beach by tossing it some many miles away and thereby knocking over a sail boat at the same time.) 

His clumsy,  mega attitude ways were disruptive and took away from people appreciating him for the good that he was doing.

The most bizarre twist of the story came from his alter ego…”alleged wife”  his opposite,  yet twin, or sister ( major issues in this concept) and how she was hiding from him in plain sight because she knew that they could not be together.  Which caused him to be out of control, feel alone and then become a problem to the world instead of a assistance with his superpowers. 

 Eventually Hancock comes to realize his value…but yet has to come to terms with this woman/sister/wife/twin/co-angel created by the gODS—!  At this point he is able to become the person he once was and realize that he cannot be with her, in order for them both to live on and survive. 

 His duty in the world is to care and protect it from severe evil.  So by the end of the movie he is ready to be the “man, angel,  person he was meant to be.  His wife/sister is supposed to be supportive from a distance. 

The unique part of the movie was the black and white concept that was ignored,  yet clarified by the two superhumans being OPPOSITES….i.e. opposites attract, but other than that. 

I actually felt a sense of closeness for the two superhumans…and the humanity and frailty of HANCOCK…who had been a desparately angry “person”–who had appeared to be a HOMELESS BLACK GUY—but turned out to be the  SUPER HERO OF THE WORLD….THROUGHOUT the generations of mankind.

Very interesting spin on  Superheros…indeed….he had the questions of human weakness but the supersonic power of a superhero. 

And as always…I love Will Smith’s interpertation of his charater.

I guess people always want to see a successful black man and then see him become a superhero.  At first I was offended too.  You know,  we want to see
a black person “be respected and all like that”—but take a step back…Spiderman had bad press from time to time too….so Really folks…Superheros…are just that Superheros…. The end of the day….I do not care  about the race of a person who comes to my aid…I just care that someone is giving me a hand…no matter what the circumstances!

Good look Will Smith….and thanks for making my son’s day!  Jay Jewelz LOVED the movie Hancock!  –and so did I!


American Gangster…. Wow! Movie Review!

All I can say is WOW!  I had written a post about my concept of an American Gangster some months ago and I was shocked to see it was very close in comparison to  the true story I had related in an earlier blog.  But anyway the movie was very unsettling.

  I could not relate to the logic that possessed Frank Lucas–played by Densel Washington.  The character of Frank Lucas was the most clear minded, scary character in a crime based movie I have ever seen. 

 He was cool,  calm, and collected….but also he was smart and determined.  From the movie bonus feature it was stated that Frank Lucas became  a millionaire a day drug dealer back in the seventies. 

He had no conscious about it either. Amazing and scary.  He killed people by his own hand, and he made money from selling herion that killed people too. 

 But he was given a second chance and an opportunity to tell about corruption in the law enforcement personnel.

  Very Scary, and very disturbing.  The movie was well acted by Densel Washington.  I was surprised to see Ruby Dee!  Very well acted.  Densel is always a Class Act—all by himself.

Check out this flict….again brutally disturbing and cold hearted at times.  But informative about the 70’s.  I was in junior highschool when this happened.

Just be prepared for the blatant murder and physical beatdowns that Densel does!  If you did not go to the movie theatre like I did not…rent it or buy it.  A must see thriller!



Will Smith: “I am Legend” –Disturbing and Gritty

My son wanted to see this movie for a long time.  I finally purchased it.  22 dollars.  See,  I cannot afford the high prices of cable.  So I buy my movies.  I listen to 1010 Wins and catch the news there on or in a newspaper.  Look….rent is $1600.00 per month.  I digress….endlessly. 

So back to Will Smith.  He looks great as always.  I thought he looked his peak in I Robot.  He was super hot in his black leather trench and black leather Converse sneakers. 

 He mentally and physically matured so much in that movie that I almost felt a bit bashfull watching that I Robot flict (you know….when he took a shower!–wOW!)  agAIN….I digress!

 Anyhow,  I watched “I Am Legend”  and I was a bit stressed out by the filming of the movie.  Because I cannot stand to watch back shots of an actor in a movie where it appears that danger is lurking around every corner.

  Thus I kept jumping,  and  hiding my eyes.  My son of course teased me and said, “Oh, Mommy PLease!” 

I loved his dog  Samantha.  She as a trained dog was great.  Will Smith had a gentle and relaxed way of handling the dog and the dog responded well within the scope of the movie. 

 I could not take it when the dog ran into the darkened warehouse and Will Smith ran in behind him in pursuit of the dog and the deer.  Ugh!  I could not sit still to watch this. 

 Mind you….I would not have acted so badly in the movie theatre….I only do this stuff at home!  The diseased grey folk that come out at night due to their weakened skin issues…were quite ugly ….but not as scary looking as I expected.  I just had a problem with the set up  filming. 

 I was a bit annoyed with the character that Will Smith played.  He was fine up until the dog became infected with that dreaded disease.  Once Will Smith had to “kill”  the dog he became careless,  or just did not care any more because he thought he was the last man on earth.

  His thoughtless actions brought him to what appeared to be the last woman on earth and her son.  However, he was injured because the leader of the grey folk had set Will Smith’s character up by placing a maniquin in a location far away from where Will Smith’s Character was used to seeing it. 

 Thus he went bonkers and began shooting his rifle, then he was picked up by the leg and fell on his own knife stabbing himself with it.  Then of course the hounds were let lose on Will Smith and his dog.

  The dog was injured and so was he.  Because he was so upset and out of his mind with loneliness and loss of his wife, child and now his dog,  Will Smith’s character went on a rampage. 

He just ramed hs SUV into the grey diseased folk,  nearly tossing himself and the Suv into the drink off of the dock.  The grey folk kind of helped out by jumping on the hood of his SUV which kept him from falling into the water.  However,  the grey folk and eventually turned the SUV over and he was on the verge of being dinner when a bight light shone and he was taken out of his car. 

He held conciousness long enough to give his address to the mystery person.  When he awoke he found the only other person that he thought to be alive.  However, he became a bit pissed off when he realized that the woman had made powered eggs and used bacon that he had been saving.  Question….how long can bacon stay good? 

Three years worth of saving?  Oh, maybe it was frozen?  Well, anyway,  Will Smith’s character began to annoy me at this point.  He was  unclear in his thinking,  angry,  frustrated, and scared.  Normal feelings right?  But for some reason,  he began to lose me my compassion. 

 My compassion went to the woman with the child.  She was quiet,  tranquil and had faith.  She believed that the impossible could be possible.  No fault to the writers of the flict. 

 But I did not feel sorry for Will Smith as he gave his life inorder to perserve life for the future generations.  I was thankful that the woman and her kid made it away from that place.  I was glad that the tension of the movie was complete and finished. 

There were several cartons….Japanese Animae….I guess after the movie was finished.  I did not like the dark quality.  My son loves Japanese Animae so he had no problem watching that.  Lots of blood, eating peoples intestines, and killing.  Not my cup of tea. 

Will Smith played a gritty role….he is excellent as always….Yep the Black Tom Cruise of the Cinema.  You go boy!!!!!

I had more feeling for his character in “Pursuit of Happiness”….The role Will Smith played in that movie drew my heart to him immediately.  Gone was the slick, mean, clean, fighting macine of I Robot, and in came the look of struggeling John Q Public…trying to go from “rags to riches”. 

I could totally relate to his struggles.  I loved his tender ways with his son.  But he also showed the side of a father coping with homelessness and pulling his child through that circumstance too. 

 The best and most touching part of The Pursuit of Happiness is of course when he accomplishes his goals and his awarded a job.  Smart yet humble man.  I cried each time I watched that movie. 

It made me feel as though there was hope for the rest of the struggeling single parents….or any struggleing person for that matter.

Will Smith, is great.  I watched his comedy in the early days of his career and now I get to see him mature as an actor and play roles that have never been played with such dignity and respect from the general public….white, or black. 

I am truly proud of him as an actor and as a humanbeing.  In light of Martin Luther King’s goal for all people to be given the opportunity…..Yes,  Will Smith,  Martin Luther King would be proud  too.  Keep up the good Work!