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Amazing Grace | Film Review

As a kid, I didn’t spend every Sunday in church. But I went enough have the culture ingrained in my soul, my psyche. My favorite part of church was the choir. In fact, that’s all I was in it for because I never understood what the sweaty loud man at the podium was talking about. I wanted to hear the beautiful and powerful voices of the choir. So naturally, when the Amazing Grace documentary was released I had to go see it.

I bought my proverbial movie snacks: Raisinets, soda, and a big tub of popcorn. Shout out to the Laemmle Town Center 5 theatre for using real butter. I thought only ArcLight theatre did that. I sat down, started grubbin’ on my snacks and was immediately transported back to those Sunday mornings in the church house. At the first sound of the band and choir, my foot went to tappin’ and my head went to noddin’. Soon after SHE graced us with her regal presence dripping with soul sistah glamour in her flowing gown and regal afro.

Then it happened. She opened her mouth and out came that angelic voice we all know and love. Had my mother been sitting next to me she would have shouted the phrase she always said during my childhood when she played an Aretha Franklin album, “Sing it Rhee!” Aretha started with “Wholy Holy,” originally written and sung by the legendary Marvin Gaye; if you know me, my favorite male singer of all time. But oh, did Aretha make that song her own or what? She injected so much soul into that song that I thought Jesus was about to come sit next to me and help himself to some of my popcorn.

After about three songs, my writer/producer Spidey senses started kicking in. Where are the talking heads? Where are the interviews by the people who were there? Where’s the b-roll footage? Why did Aretha choose to sing “Precious Lord” instead of “Goin’ Up Yonder?” The 10 out of 10 stars I had prematurely given the film started slipping to an 8. I thought, why would they do this? That 8 quickly jumped back to a 10 after, Aretha’s father, Reverend C.L. Franklin took to the podium and praised his baby girl for her powerhouse vocals. He spoke of a six year old Aretha who sang her heart out in the family living room. He told the story of how a woman told him she thought Aretha’s performance of secular music on a television show was just okay, but wished she would come back to the church. He politely corrected the lady by letting her know that Aretha never left the church. See. Judge not, that ye be not judged (Matthew 7:1). Mind your business lady.

After that, my pesky writer/producer Spidey senses vanished. I forgave the sound synching problems, the out of focus shots, and absent interviewees. I realized those things were a reflection of the church and Aretha’s voice: organic, raw, and powerful. All that was needed was her gushing father and her heavenly voice. Those two elements alone got the job done. They did what a film is supposed to do which is to evoke emotions. I reminisced about sitting in the church pews dressed in frilly dresses, tights, and black patent leather Mary Janes. Chills ran through my body when Aretha hit that note. I laughed at Reverend James Cleveland’s side comments. And when Aretha brought down the house with “Never Grow Old,” tears streamed down my cheeks. Wow, the power of her voice! Ms. Franklin was and still is a national treasure with a voice gifted from God.

10 out of 10 🌟s

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012 – Ben Cory Jones | Showrunner “Boomerang”


In this episode, I chat with screenwriter, producer Ben Cory Jones about his journey as a writer producer and his new gig as showrunner for the BET comedy series Boomerang, loosely based on the iconic 90’s era film, starring Eddie Murphy and Halle Berry.

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011 – Colette | Film Review


In this episode, I review the film Colette (based on a true story) staring Keira Knightley and Dominic West. IMDB logline: Colette is pushed by her husband to write novels under his name. Upon their success, she fights to make her talents known, challenging gender norms.

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010 – Cornell Thomas | A Positive Light

 

In this episode, I chat with author and motivational speaker Cornell Thomas about the power of positivity and creating his upcoming television show On Purpose, focused on helping people in need all over the world.

Follow Cornell! —> Instagram: @cornellthomas34 | Twitter: @CornellThomas | Facebook: bit.ly/2OWhYRN Web: bit.ly/2OXORO5

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009 – Ivy Box | The 365 Go Get H.E.R.S. Guide

In this episode, I chat with Ivy Box author of The 365 Go Get H.E.R.S. Guide and former cast member of BET’s College Hill Interns. Ivy shares business tips for women and men, and reveals what it’s like to be on a reality show.

Follow Ivy on Instagram and Twitter at @msivybox and visit her website at www.msivybox.com.

Follow WordyGirl Entertainment on Instagram and Twiter at @wordygirlent.  Visit our website at www.wordygirlent.com

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008 – Tracey Edmonds | Anatomy of Producing a Film

Check out my first one-on-one interview on the podcast! I chat with Television & Film Executive Producer Tracey Edmonds about the duties of a producer, her upcoming projects, and her advice to aspiring producers.

Follow Tracey on Instagram & Twitter at @traceyeedmonds and on her health, wellness & lifestyle website AlrightNow.com

Follow me on Instagram & Twitter at @wordygirlent and on my website at wordygirlent.com

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007 – Queen Sugar S3 E306 | Delicate and Strangely Made

In this episode, I recap and review Queen Sugar S3 E306 | Delicate and Strangely Made. Follow me on Instagram and Twitter: @wordygirlent Check out my blog at https://bit.ly/2tyzP8u

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006 – Queen Sugar S3 E305 | A Little Lower Than Angels


In this episode, I recap and review Queen Sugar S3 E305 | A Little Lower Than Angels.

Check out my website at www.wordygirlent.com

Follow me on Instagram & Twitter at @wordygirlent

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005 – Ocean’s Eight

This week guest co-host, Lavetta Cannon joins me for a review of Ocean’s Eight starring Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Ann Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Helena Bonham Carter, Sarah Paulson, Rihanna, and Akwafina. Check out Lavetta’s podcast Notorious Women at https://apple.co/2MUZtNJ Follow WordyGirl Entertainment on IG & Twitter: @wordygirlent Visit our website at https://bit.ly/2tyzP8u