updated 1:38 PM UTC, Jan 24, 2013
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Mike Spann - Making Things Happen In Mississippi

 Mike Spann - Making Things Happen
Mike Spann - Making Things Happen
Mike "Vursatal" Spann is a 26 y.o. composer/producer for the group "Playa Connected" in Brandon, MS. I met Mike for the first time in April of this year and found out at that time,  just how musically inclined he was. Mike has a deep love for music and spends a great deal of time making new beats and sounds in his studio. The love of music is something he and I both share. Mike has been gifted with an ear for music and he is ready to share his gifts with all of you. I want the world to know about this music engineer. I asked him some questions last week and he responded: 

Who inspires you?  

I'm inspired by who I think is the greatest of all time, “Timbaland.” I say him because of his ability to create music out of almost anything (from recording a baby crying in one of Aaliyah's old songs to hearing about him using plastic cups in a beat to make a song). But I still give much respect to music made by Dr.Dre, Polow Da Don, a duo called The Runners, and can't forget about one of my favorites, Kanye West.

From Tchaichovsky to Zollicoffer

From Tchaichovsky to Zollicoffer
From Tchaichovsky to Zollicoffer

Most people are familiar with Tchaichovsky, composer of music during the Romantic Era, but look out world because Vandrick Zollicoffer is on the rise. He is a composer of gospel music from today's Christian Era. “Van” is presently one of our musicians for the Rose Hill M.B. Church. It is obvious that this young man loves music. When he plays, it is almost as if his spirit comes out in his chords. We are very fortunate to have Vandrick as one of our musicians as well as Toni Newsome, and Joshua Milton. Van is also married to Keyana, daughter of our pastor & first lady (Pastor Arthur and Sis. Dorothy Milton). Review questions and answers are as follows:

 

Where were you born?

I was born in Sallis, MS.

 

What are your parents’ names?

Pastor Van and Sis. Annie Zollicoffer.

 

What all do you do in terms of music (playing, writing, etc.)?

I arrange and compose music. I have been playing for 7 years and producing music for 5 years.

Aaron McGruder and The Boondocks

the-boondocks-the-boondocks-506048_640_512“You look at society and you're poking holes, not because you hate it, but because you can see where people really need to ask themselves, "What's going on?" Socially and politically, there's so much stupidity out there, and people overlook it or they accept it. I think what the show tries to do is point those things out and make us think about them, even if it's only in our own minds”. – Aaron McGruder

Since the Al Capp created the character and comic striip “Li’l Abner” back in the 1930s, comic strips have pulled double duty as controversial entertainment pieces and humorous tools for social commentary. Comics historian, Rick Marschall says “When “Li'l Abner” made its debut in 1934, the vast majority of comic strips were designed chiefly to amuse or thrill their readers. Capp turned that world upside-down by routinely injecting politics and social commentary into Li'l Abner". Garry Trudeau continued the practice in the 70s when he began penning the strip “Doonesbury” for the Yale University student newspaper, The Yale Daily News. “Doonesbury” is regarded as the comic strip that blurred the distinction between editorial cartoons and the funny pages. Now the world has “The Boondocks” by Aaron McGruder, a cartoonist who also started off writing a strip for a college paper that eventually became widely syndicated and developed into an animated television show. Critics have recognized him as the next big thing in artistic satire.

Mother and Child - A WydeOpen Review

 

mother-and-child-1-382x550A drama centered around three women: A 50-year-old woman, the daughter she gave up for adoption 35 years ago, and an African American woman looking to adopt a child of her own.

 Movie Title: Mother and Child

 

review by Jonathan McMillan

Studio: Everest Entertainment

Director: Rodrigo García

Cast: Annette Bening, Naomi Watts, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Jimmy Smits

Rating: Rated R for sexuality, brief nudity, and language.

Bottom Line: 5/5

With “Sex in the City 2” (complete with the rumored cat fighting among the stars during production) set to hit theaters this summer the “chick flick” genre is attempting to hold it’s own among the action, family oriented and comedies movies already out and set to be released in the next few months. However, “Mother and Child”, another movie also featuring a predominantly all female cast, is by no

Iron Man 2 - A WydeOpen review

ironman1 Billionaire Tony Stark must contend with deadly issues involving the government, his own friends, as well as new enemies due to his superhero alter ego Iron Man.

Movie Title: Iron Man 2

Review by Jonathan McMillan

Studio: Marvel Studios

Director: Jon Favreau

Cast: Robert Downey, Jr., Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mickey Rourke, Scarlett Johansson

Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, and some language.

Clash of the Titans - A Critique

directors_chairIn the age when movie studios pan the comic book/graphic novel genre for blockbuster  gold and cult classic TV shows and movies are remade in hopes of lighting striking twice, it was probably inevitable that the vintage 80’s stop-motion animation rich film Clash of the Titans would get today’s Hollywood treatment.

Movie Title: Clash of Titans

Studio: Warner Bros.

Director: Louis Leterrier

Cast: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton

Plot: The mortal son of the god Zeus embarks on a perilous journey to stop the underworld and its minions from spreading their evil to Earth as well as the heavens.

Rating: Rated PG-13 for fantasy action violence, some frightening images and brief sensuality

Bottom Line: **.5/***** While the special effects dress this remake into something grand - newer and cooler doesn’t mean better.

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