KEANU Interview with Jordan Peele & Method Man by Terri Heard

Friday, April 29, 2016

 Pimp My Kitty? 


By  Tinsel & Tine Contributor Terri L. Heard

In the aftermath of my participation in a roundtable interview with “Key & Peele” comedian Jordan Peele and legendary Wu-Tang Clan member Method Man, I can’t help but think that “Pimp My Kitty” should have been the title of their action comedy film KEANU which opened Friday, April 29th nationwide. “Keanu” is Peele’s eagerly awaited big screen debut with comedy partner Keegan-Michael Key. Key and Peele star as cousins Rell, a married corporate trainer, and Clarence, a recently dumped and depressed photographer, respectively.  When Keanu turns up on his doorstep, Clarence emerges from his funk only to come crashing back to earth when his kitten is cat-napped. But Clarence refuses to take this latest loss lying down. So, just (and not coincidentally) like the Keanu Reeves character in the film “John Wick,” the cousins set off to recover the cat. In the process, the two are forced to shed their Urkel personas and the shelter of suburbia to trek into gritty, urban gangland territory and hunt down Cheddar (Method Man), the drug dealer who stole Keanu.
 
For the Philly stop of their promo tour Peele and Method Man dropped into Le Chat – a Brewerytown cat adoption agency (with cats decked out in gold chains for the occasion). Sadly, scheduling conflicts scotched Key’s presence. During our interview, Method Man holds up one of the PR-supplied packets. It contains a tasty little shortbread cookie cheekily printed with the image of his silver tabby co-star decked out in black tee-shirt, matching doo-rag and gold chain. “I mean look at this kitten, you know?” he says. “He looks like, Justin, fuckin’ Bieber. Am I lyin’?” With absolutely no apologies to Bieber, we all – a half a dozen reporters – bust out laughing. “In a very, very good way,” adds Jordan Peele, ever the polite performer and newly minted film star sitting beside him. Meth ain’t having it. “Ha! He’s [the cat] more gangsta than Justin Bieber.” The laughter doesn’t stop.

Well…he WASN’T lying. “Keanu” might be just under a foot tall, but I’m betting he could totally take Bieber in a fight. Easy. The question of who’s the most gangsta of them all is the dippy premise around which “Keanu” spins.

The OTHER N-word...
as these self-confessed Nerds - Key and Peele, first broke through thanks to their topical comedy skits that mined the absurd contradictions inherent in cultural motifs – particularly the dippy contradictions contained within hip hop and prevailing notions of Black masculinity. The pair zeroed in on those contradictions and stomped on them until they cracked and spewed comedy gold. One of their best skits features the two of them as tame, suburban husbands boasting to each other how they’re actually such genuine G’s that they call their wives the b-word to their faces. Of course they’re so afraid of their wives overhearing them that they keep running further and further away from home even just to voice that boast – until they wind up at the top of a couple of trees shouting to each other across the distance.

 But they reached near-iconic status with their comedy sketch that sent up President Obama’s unique challenge as the nation’s first African-American president. Like Jackie Robinson, Obama has become renowned for his ability to stay cool and calm under pressure no matter how foul the provocation from his conservative right-wing opponents. So Key and Peele decided to give him an outlet in Luther, his anger translator. While Peele’s Obama stays calm and statesman-like, Key’s hot-tempered, thin-skinned Luther spews all the things the President (presumably) wishes he could say – gangsta-style. The skit blew up so big, it got the ultimate stamp of approval when the President invited “Luther” to the ACTUAL White House where he could apply his translation skills to the President’s speech during the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Of course, the video went viral.

Now the two have taken their comedy act to the big screen. But does the duo’s transition from comedy sketch stretch enough to fit a big screen narrative without tearing? Peele says it was a challenge he and Key were ready for. “The difference of course at this point,” he says, “is you have to sustain a story. So you can’t just sell out the comedy and expect to be able to go back and have people care (about) what you’re doing. You have to ground it. You have to give it heart. And so ‘Keanu’ takes us through on this journey.” The idea of using a cat appealed them because of the juxtaposition. “We took the cutest thing in the world and we put it in a crazy situation,” says Peele. “Fish out of water,” Method Man adds.

Boyz 2 Men...
“This movie was about putting us in that over the top violent world and seeing what the everyday guy would do,” Peele continues. In the process, the cousins’ quest to find Keanu is not just a cat rescue but a rite of passage bromance for two emasculated man children. Key’s character is a perpetually cheery and seemingly hen-pecked by his wife (Nia Long). Peele’s character starts out pining for a woman who no longer wants him. By journey’s end, both men are standing on firmer, grittier ground – but not without a lot of hilarity along the way. The duo romps their way through an increasingly improbable narrative, gleefully celebrating and sending up stereotypes about masculinity, hip hop, Blackness and that other N-word. As two nerds forced to navigate gangland in order to rescue their tabby, Clarence and Rell have to reach deep within to find their inner, original N-word just to avoid getting shot. “It’s all about duality,” says Peele. “I think every person has two individuals living inside of them. There’s the warrior and then they’ve got the artist. Keegan and I both, we have the artist. We’ve got that turned up to like 10.” How do they find their warrior spirit? “Just by being willing to do anything to push buttons in our comedy,” he explains.

And their effort mostly works. Watching Rell explain the glories of George Michael’s music to his gangsta cohorts while on lookout duty for a drug deal will leave you laughing so hard you’ll probably spit out your soda. True there are some places where the jokes don’t land or the scene lasts too long but there also some laugh out loud funny sequences that just have to be seen to be believed. It’s worth the price of a ticket.

T & T's LAMB (movie bloggers association) Score:3.75 outta 5
Terri Heard has been a writer and editor for TV Guide, for whom she’s interviewed Chris Rock, Chaka Khan, Christina Aguilera and more. Based in Philadelphia, she’s currently working on her first novel, Dirty Lens and has started her own TLHeardblog. Terri is also lending her writing and web skills to her brother-in-law filmmaker Floyd Marshall, organizer of the upcoming Philadelphia Independent Film Awards (click for T&T post).

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Introducing The 1st ANNUAL PHILADELPHIA INDEPENDENT FILM AWARDS Interview with Producer Floyd Marshall

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

AWARDING EXCELLENCE IN INDIE FILM

By Tinsel & Tine Editor, Le Anne Lindsay

Since 1995 The Barrymore Awards have honored excellence in theater in Philadelphia, so it has been time to have something similar for all the Philly Filmmakers producing engaging, thought-provoking and entertaining films/movies in the city.  Enter Floyd Marshall, Angelique Marshall & Keyon Smith on the scene to produce the 1st Annual Philadelphia Independent Film Awards.

(Note: Not to be confused with the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival which is in it's 9th year running April 29 - May 8, 2016 or with PIFA (Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts)

The Philly Indie Film Awards will be an Oscar inspired evening to take place on Sunday, May 22, 2016 at International House and will honor films, actors, directors, cinematographers and more from all over the US and abroad.

I met up with the awards founder, Floyd Marshall and conducted a little interview at IHouse in the International Cafe  
the below video highlights the event, 
Marshall's career and the voting panel:

(Note: video will not be visible to those receiving T&T via RSS feed click HERE to view)


The video was edited by Le Anne Lindsay, and shot by T&T Contributor Terri Heard  - Stay tuned for Terri's interview with Method Man and Jordan Peele for movie KEANU

The Philadelphia Independent Film Awards will be hosted by:
Comedian TURAE GORDON
UK Celebrity-Activist JENNI STEELE  
Actress ALICE WILLS 
Entertainment will be provided by the John Martin Project.

Date: Sunday, May 22, 2016
Times: 6 pm with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres catered by D&D Catering
7pm Awards presentation
Tickets: can be purchased at Eventbrite at https://goo.gl/AB2hDa.
Press inquiries: contact: Karen Waller Martin at 215 802-0907 or karenwallermartin@yahoo.com.


NOMINATED FILMS & CATEGORIES


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Philly Spotlight: SEX WITH STRANGERS Review

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Writers in the 21st Century - SEX WITH STRANGERS

  By Tinsel & Tine Editor, Le Anne Lindsay

I got a chance to see Laura Eason's play Sex with Strangers directed by David Saint, at the Philadelphia Theater Company (running April 8 - May 8th) and felt immediately taken with the comfy/cozy set depicting a writer's retreat on a snowy night. During our only snow storm of 2016, I was camped out at a luxury condo in AC overlooking the sea, where I could blog to my heart's content, so I could appreciate the lead character Olivia (Joanna Rhinehart) reclined on the sofa, in front of the fireplace, drinking wine and editing her book, while light snow flakes fell outside the window.

Olivia's tranquility is disturbed by the appearance of cocksure Ethan (Kyle Coffman) another guest at the Inn, who was no longer expected, as he arrived way past check in. He's got enthusiasm, charm and for a little guy, a hell of a lot of sex appeal. Although Olivia is at first put off by his presence and his "make yourself at home" overly familiar attitude; she's soon won over upon discovering they have a friend in common, and that Ethan has read her first book and loved it. Something she's interested in hearing, as that book did not do as well as she'd hoped and it's taken her a long time to get over the disappointment.


This potential for romance, flirtation and hot sex with a stranger was what was missing from my writing retreat. Although, the male masseuse who came to my room offered his services, but it's not the same when you have to pay for it.

Ethan is not only about 15 years Olivia's junior, but in PTC's production of the play, she's black and he's white, a fact that doesn't have anything to do with the issues that eventually affect their relationship. Pleasantly, they didn't feel the need to add anything to the play due to the non-traditional casting. Perhaps you sense the issue of race could be tied into Olivia's misgivings about the age difference, however, convincingly, what we mainly experience is just two people who found each other interesting and attractive.

Ethan is a blogger (with aspirations of being a novelist). He started a blog to prove you can still meet women in bars, as opposed to dating sites and apps, and that they will still sleep with you by the end of the night. The experiment and subsequent blog recaps, became so popular he was able to take his blog "Sex with Strangers" to the next level with a book and movie deal. Again, I totally related, as anything about blogs transcending the blogesphere and making money gets my attention. But this also speaks to my aversion to online dating. I still wanna believe, in-person attraction can still happen between myself and a man of any race. Unfortunately, after two years without so much as a coffee date, belief is obviously not enough.

Getting back to race for a moment, did you see this segment on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, where studies have shown men of all races are more likely to swipe right when coming upon a profile for an African American female - there's a unwarranted built in dating racism. Another reason why you'll not find a dating app on my mobile device.... and another reason why it was nice living vicariously through Olivia's meeting of Ethan.


So these were all things that made it a particularly enjoyable night at the theater for me, but average theater-goers will find a smart play about ambition and issues of trust in new relationships. Going into intermission, I have to admit to being skeptical as to if "Sex with Strangers" had the staying power for a second act. But Eason lays the ground work for conflict in small details during the "courtship" which make for a good dilemma in Act 2.

Dates and times for the remaining performances of "Sex with Strangers" can be found on T&T's #PhillyCalendar.

PTC's Stage to Page featured local writers all month long by publishing their perspectives on themes related to their production of Sex with Strangers #stagetopageptc:

Ethan’s constant back and forth between person and persona is not just limited to live theatre. It’s indicative of a very common problem women face. Ethan (and many men like him) suffers from an extreme case of nice guy syndrome. He will hold open doors, lend you his jacket and dry your tears – so long as you return his affection. The second a nice guy doesn’t see his fruits of his efforts, he will quickly become the Mr. Hyde to his Dr. Jekyll. Ethan is able to placate this cognitive dissonance by insisting that he’s simply living up to his character, but as the show goes on, it seems increasingly harder for him to turn it off...- Frances Ellison is a writer at Philadelphia Weekly.

See More Stage to Page essays on Philadelphia Theater Company's Blog

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Coming This Summer #THEINFILTRATOR

THE INFILTRATOR starring Bryan Cranston, Diane Kruger, John Leguizamo, Benjamin Bratt, Yul Vazquez, Joseph Gilgun, Olympia Dukakis and Amy Ryan will be in theatres on July 15th from Broad Green Pictures
I participated in WalkMS Philly on 4/30/16
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tinseltine@gmail.com  Click AGENDA VIEW to see complete list of happenings.


Featured Post

Mini Philly Film Festival RECAPS: Moore College Women Artists FF & Philadelphia Jewish FF CineMondays

Early Spring Round Up of 3 Documentaries Screened in Philadelphia By Tinsel & Tine Editor, Le Anne LIndsay Moore College of ...

CITY OF GOLD

CITY OF GOLD
The key to deciphering both the city it beautifully depicts and the man who eats it best - City of Gold


By Tinsel & Tine Contributor Denine Gorniak (The Bicycle-Chef)

What Jonathan Gold, Los Angeles Times food critic/writer, has done for food writing journalism and for the restaurants that he loves, the movie, City of Gold has done for Jonathan Gold and Los Angeles and its surrounding environs – it has planted taco covered kisses on them... READ POST

Food n Film: BURNT

Food n Film: BURNT
Bradley Cooper has more than charisma, he has an over abundance of Chi, which radiates out from him; so for me, this role as temperamental and damaged chef Adam Jones, who also inspires great love and admiration from those around him, works on the level of characterization. In fact, I think he's among a very short list of actors who would be able to pull off being so self-involved and yet likable. Doesn't hurt that he really speaks French too! READ POST

Food n Film: CHEF

Food n Film: CHEF
Much of the movie centers around the father/son relationship, and how much they learn from each other. But the real star of the film is all the food preparation, every other scene made me groan with want of everything up on that screen! Particularly the perfectly roasted and rubbed brisket, the crispy fat of the pork belly, sizzling bacon and the much ballyhooed Chocolate Lava Cake. READ POST

Food n Film: CHOCOLAT

Food n Film: CHOCOLAT
If you’re a foodie movie lover who saw Lasse Hallström’s The Hundred Foot Journey (see T&T post), this summer you may be wondering what delicious visual journey might be awaiting you in the theater next. Well, how about a look back at his film Chocolat (2000), which stars French actress Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench and Johnny Depp. Hallström’s has a special talent for turning cooking into a dramatic movie journey...READ MORE

Eater Philly - All

Food n Film: THE HUNDRED FOOT JOURNEY

...young Hassan, a soulful-eyed boy with lush, thick eye lashes, places his face into the sea urchin basket, and breathes in the exotic briny scent. He sticks his fingers into the aquatic ooze, takes it to his mouth and is transfixed by the taste. The vendor, oblivious to the thrusting arms of frenzied women, notices the boy and realizes he is the only one worthy of this oceanic prize; he is the one who can “truly taste.” ... READ MORE

Food n Film: JULIE & JULIA

Food n Film: JULIE & JULIA
Personally, I like the unevenness of it, because I fell in love with the post World War II, Parisian sights, sounds, food and romance between Julia and Paul. I always felt a bit jarred back into reality when the scenes returned to Julie's meltdowns and cramped kitchen.READ POST

Food n Film: EAT PRAY LOVE

Food n Film: EAT PRAY LOVE
Six months into my 38th year of this life, I had my first panic attack. I didn't know that's what it was until months later. Symptom after symptom starting piling up on me until there were days I could no longer move my arms or neck. The doctors told me I was suffering from an auto-immune condition that they felt was most likely Lupus. And so began my much deeper journey and exploration into the world of spirit, alternative medicine, yoga, meditation and Eat, Pray, Love. READ POST

Philadelphia Magazine » Blog » Foobooz

Food n Film: TODAY'S SPECIAL

Food n Film: TODAY'S SPECIAL
With a film like this, food plays a main character in the story and I was lucky enough to get an interview with the film's Food Stylist, Janine Kalesis.READ POST

Food n Film: WAITRESS

Food n Film: WAITRESS
In this 2007 film, Keri Russell stars as Jenna - a desolate diner waitress seeking solace in the art of pie-making. Trapped in an unhappy marriage, she’s eager to escape her husband and her small-town hell and sets about to make a run for it by entering an out of town pie baking contest. READ POST

Food n Film: BABETTE'S FEAST

Food n Film: BABETTE'S FEAST
Those of us in attendance were not only given the opportunity to see Babette's Feast, the Oscar winning, Danish film, considered one of the all-time great "food films"; we also got to taste Babette's menu! READ POST

15 Top Food in Film Flicks

15 Top Food in Film Flicks
Cozy Quilt of Food Movies, we'll add more patches as T &T discovers more films where food plays the biggest "roll"

Tinsel & Tine on Paper.li

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About This Blog

is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.
-tinseltine@gmail.com


Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?
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