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Melinda's Blogs

Indigo - Music Review

Indigo is the ninth studio released album by singer Chris Brown that debuted this past  Summer of 2019 and the hits still are sounding good to me!
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Father of Asahd - Music Review

DJ Khaled hit us with “We the best music- and Another one!!” as he loves to say – but this time I have to agree, almost every track on his 11th studio released album is a hit for the summer of 2019!
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Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral - Movie Review

This is the 11th and final film of the Madea series.
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The Hate U Give - Movie Review

This dramatic-controversial film, The Hate U Give is based off the 2017 best- selling novel written by Angie Thomas. This novel/film is a powerful story that tackles race, police brutality, and black identity.
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Caution - Music Review

Caution is Mariah Carey's fifteenth studio album.
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The Equalizer 2

I had to review Denzel Washington’s The Equalizer 2 due to the fact that I reviewed the first Equalizer by Denzel Washington almost four years ago this month back in 2014.
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Everything is Love

Everything is Love the newest album released this year in 2018 by The Carters, better known as the power couple Jay-Z and Beyoncé.
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Scorpion

Scorpion by Drake is his fifth solo studio album.
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Game Night

Game Night is a mystery/crime film with a hint of comedy.
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True to the Game

True to the Game is a 2017 film based off of the novel by Teri Woods.
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Tyler Perry's Boo 2!: A Madea Halloween

Tyler Perry’s Boo 2!:  A Madea Halloween is a 2017 comedy horror film written by Tyler Perry.
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Girls Trip

Girls Trip is a hilarious 2017 comedy about the "Flosse Posse" four life-long friends Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Tiffany Haddish who reunite and travel together to New Orleans to attend the annual Essence Festival.
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Baby Driver

Baby Driver is an action-packed thriller of a movie that also gives you a taste of good music, fate, love, comedy, and the life of crime all wrapped up in one. 
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Snatched

Snatched, starring Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn, will definitely give you some laughs. I was expecting it to be more hilariously funny than it was, but I did chuckle here and there. I am not a huge Amy Schumer fan, but she does make me laugh sometimes when she is not trying to “over-do” her jokes. Emily Middleton (played by Amy Schumer) has just lost her job and been dumped by her boyfriend right before they were leaving for their exotic vacation. Feeling impetuous, she decides to persuade her mother (played by Goldie Hawn) to take his place and go with her on the vacation to South America. Even though Emily and her mother are complete opposites, they decide to give it a try and go have a fun, adventurous time together. When they arrive, Emily meets an attractive man named James. They begin to hit it off, and he persuades Emily and her mother to go sightseeing with him. Even though this seems like a harmless invitation, they do not know what lies ahead. After they get caught up in this unbelievable, frightening situation, it’s up to the mother-daughter team to figure out a way to get out of it, and of course the end results are done with quite a bit of humor along the way. I do not want to spoil the fun, so I suggest you watch it and see what happens! If you’re feeling down, grab this flick and get a laugh or two. Overall Rating: B-
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Get Out

I have to admit I was skeptical before watching Get Out. I had heard many mixed reviews, but I decided to watch it for myself. Get Out is definitely a mystery/thriller movie that will you keep you on the edge of your seat and wondering what is going to happen for the entire movie (minus a few unbelievable parts here and there)! The movie follows an interracial couple, Chris (DanieL Kaluuya) and Rose (Allison Williams), who go to meet Rose’s white family for the weekend at a secluded estate in the woods. Chris feels uneasy about this visit from the very beginning because he worries that Rose’s family will not welcome or accept him since he is black. Rose assures him that her family is not prejudiced and everything will be perfect. Not too long after they arrive, Chris begins to notice some strange, disturbing situations that make him feel very uncomfortable. As the movie progresses, the welcoming, friendly ambience that he felt at first begins to disappear. Chris becomes on-edge and he begins to question if this is an environment that he wants to stay in or “Get Out” of as quickly as possible! I will leave it at that and I recommend you watch this movie to see how it unfolds – believe me, it is quite unimaginable. If you love thrillers, I think you will enjoy this. Get ready to be very surprised!  Overall Rating: B
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Collateral Beauty

Collateral Beauty is about a well-liked New York advertising executive named Howard (played by Will Smith) who turns into a clinically-depressed loner after the tragic loss of his six-year-old daughter.  While his friends and co-workers begin to worry about his well-being and try to re-connect with him, he further retreats from his life. As Howard continues to mourn his daughter, he writes letters to Love, Time, and Death seeking answers to what has happened in his life. To Howard’s surprise, these abstract concepts that he writes to for answers somehow find him and respond in-person. Even though Howard is displeased to meet Love, Time, and Death, he begins to understand how these constants interlock in a life fully-lived and how even the deepest loss can reveal moments of meaning and beauty. The storyline was a bit melancholy and not very uplifting, but it did teach good life lessons and made you appreciate the good things life can bring you along with the not-so-good things. I liked the movie and recommend it, but make sure you are ready to shed a few tears here and there. In addition, it has an all-star cast of well-known actors that keeps you intrigued. Overall Rating: B
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Kevin Hart: What Now?

I have to admit that I am a die-hard Kevin Hart fan, and I was not disappointed in his 2016 “What Now?” stand-up comedy concert film. The film features two main parts, a spy story and a stand-up performance. In the beginning of the film for a brief moment, Kevin Hart portrays a James Bond-type Agent 0054 attending a poker game with his lady side kick, Money Berry (played by Halle Berry), which goes terribly wrong. As a result, the clock is ticking for him to get to his live stand-up comedy performance. As the film leads up to him hitting his stage performance, the viewers get to be a part of all the excitement and hear the support of 50,000+ fans cheering Kevin on as they enter the sold-out, record-breaking show at Lincoln Financial Field Football Stadium in Philadelphia. Kevin Hart is the first comedian to sell out an entire football stadium in history! I do not want to spoil all the fun, but Kevin provides a very humorous insight into parenting, family issues, people on the edge, current events, and his hardships in everyday life. If you have had a long hard week and want to sit back and have a bunch of laughs, I recommend this film. You will not be disappointed! Overall Rating: A-
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Hard II Love by Usher

Usher-Hard II Love is Usher’s eighth album release of his music career. The album debuted at number five on the Billboard 200. It had been over 4 years since Usher had released a new album and his fans were anxiously waiting for him to release new music. I am a die-hard Usher fan and I have to admit it was worth the wait. Hard II Love is one of his best albums in over a decade since his chart topping album Confessions in 2004, which will always be a number one classic. As you listen to the 15-tracks, you will notice they are solely about Usher taking ownership of relationship issues in his past to becoming a better man. Literally, I liked every track on the album but some of my favorites were “No Limit” featuring artist Young Thug, and “Rivals” featuring Future, “Missin U” and '”Stronger” is a nice emotional track that ends the album well. If you’re an Usher fan, listen to Hard II Love, you will not be disappointed. I believe Usher has made another classic musical masterpiece. Overall Rating: A
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Nerve

Nerve (2016) is an adventurous thriller about a reserved high school senior Vee (played by Emma Roberts) who is pressured to step out of her comfort zone by her friends and join Nerve, a popular online reality game. This game challenges players to either enlist online as "players" or pay to watch as "watchers". Players accept dares from watchers, receiving money rewards that increase with the danger of the dare when completed successfully. In her first dare, Vee (Emma Roberts) meets a mysterious stranger named Ian (Dave Franco) who coincidentally is playing the game also. They both find out that they become the star players very quickly to the “watchers” and the adrenaline fueled competition starts them off with simple, fun dares which soon leads them up to dangerous stunts that are just not fun anymore and will leave you on the edge of your seat. As the game, Nerve, continues into a high stake finale, Vee’s future will be at risk. What do you think she will do? How much “Nerve” will she have? You have to watch it and see! I enjoyed this movie. It was exciting and adventurous and it left a hidden message to all of the “watchers”! Overall Rating: B+
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The Perfect Match

Perfect Match is a light-hearted Rom-Com movie about relationships and love. Playboy, Charlie (Terrence Jenkins) is convinced that relationships are dead and he can never fall in love even though his friends and his sister Sherry, who is a therapist (played by Paula Patton) tries to tell him otherwise. His best friends bet him that if he sticks to one woman for one month, he's bound to fall in love. Charlie takes the bet because he believes that he’s that immune to love. But then he crosses paths with the beautiful and mysterious Eva (Cassie Ventura). Turning on his irresistible charm, Charlie coaxes Eva into a casual affair but soon finds out that Eva has turned the tables on him. Now Charlie is questioning whether he may actually want more than just a one night stand and asking himself can he actually be “in love”. If you love romantic comedies like I do, then the Perfect Match is definitely a perfect pick! Overall Rating: A-
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Miracles From Heaven

Miracles from Heaven is a true inspiring story about having hope and faith of the Beam Family. Anna Beam (Kylie Rogers) is a young, 10 year old girl who is diagnosed with a rare, incurable stomach disease that leaves her unable to digest food. Despite the odds, her mother Christy Beam (played by Jennifer Garner) relentlessly searches for medical expertise far away from home to save her daughter’s life. With unanswered questions, and little hope left after much time, Anna returns home to be with her loving family and unfortunately has a freak accident. After her dramatic rescue and recovery, Anna unfolds an amazing story to her family and community about her visit to heaven and her amazing experience. During this story, you will be filled with an array of emotions and by the end you will know where there is hope there is faith, and where there is faith MIRACLES do happen!! This was an amazing story and I recommend everyone to see it! It is now on my favorite movies list! Overall Rating: A+
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Lemonade by Beyoncé

Lemonade is Beyoncé’s sixth solo album and her second visual album. The world premiere debut of the visual album aired a 60 minute movie on HBO April 23, 2016. In the Lemonade album set, the visual movie is included as a DVD as well as the audio CD. For all of you Beyoncé fans, this album has a very different sound than Beyoncé’s usual R&B, Pop, Hip hop, and Soul music sound. “Lemonade” has an added twist of blues, rock, funk, gospel, and country in it with featured artist Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd, and James Blake. All 12 included songs focus mostly on every woman’s journey of self-knowledge and healing, as well as infidelity issues in marriage to forgiveness to political beliefs. The first released single “Formation” touched upon Beyoncé’s stance on black rights, police brutality and institutional racism. So, as you see this album has a variety for all the Beyoncé fans out there. I am a huge Beyoncé fan, but Lemonade was not on the top of my list as a favorite, all I can say is check out the new album for yourself…“Lemonade” will either be sweet to you or sour. Overall Rating: C
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Room

The movie Room is based off the novel written by Emma Donaghue in 2010. Room tells a story about the limitless bond between a mother and her child and what it is like to travel from one world to the “real”outside world. In the movie, Brie Larson plays Joy, a mother that has been held captive for 7 years along with her 5 year old son Jack (Jacob Tremblay). Jack has been in “Room” his entire life and this is the only world he knows. Joy (Brie Larson) knows that she has to make a better life for Jack, so she makes an escape plan to get away from her captor, Old Nick. Surprisingly, when Joy and Jack gain freedom, emotions run high with happiness, anger, fear, and excitement and the only thing that can get them through in the outside world is love, support and the bond they have together! This movie was an emotional thriller. It had a remarkable story and is very suspenseful. If you like to keep your emotions running high, this is the movie for you! Overall Rating: A
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Straight Outta Compton

Straight Outta Compton is a biographical story that follows the lives of the 1988 most notorious and controversial rap group of all time from Compton, California, otherwise known as N.W.A. The stars of this film that portrayed the members of the group were Jason Mitchell as Eazy-E, O'Shea Jackson, Jr. as Ice Cube, Corey Hawkins as Dr. Dre, Aldis Hodge as MC Ren, Neil Brown Jr. as DJ Yella and Paul Giamatti as N.W.A.'s manager Jerry Heller. As the film opens up, Eazy-E (Jason Mitchell) shows the audience the dangerous life that he was living in the midst of drugs and gangsters on the streets of Compton. The scenes continue to unfold to show the brutal honest depiction of what it was like for Eazy-E (Mitchell) and the other members of N.W.A. to grow up in the streets of Southern Los Angeles and their daily struggles to become music artists despite their surroundings. These 5 members of N.W.A. were determined to transform hip hop culture with their music no matter what the cost. I was excited to watch this movie because I grew up in this era and N.W.A. was a huge part of cultural history that will never be forgotten! I loved this movie! Overall Rating: A+
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Dope

Dope stars Malcolm (Shameik Moore), a smart, geeky high school senior from a rough neighborhood in Englewood, California referred to as "The Bottoms". Malcolm (Moore) and his two close friends Diggy (Kiersey Clemens) and Jib (Tony Revolori) bond daily by their studies, playing music in their own punk band, and reminiscing over the culture and hip-hop music from the 90's. Malcolm's dream is to attend Harvard University and to get out of "The Bottoms" for good. He seems to be on the right track until he has a chance encounter with the neighborhood drug dealer Dom (played by rapper A$AP Rocky) who invites Malcolm and his friends to his birthday party one night. Well, that one night of fun turns into a violent drug raid. In Dom's fleeing moment, Dom secretly hides a large amount of Ecstasy in Malcolm's backpack without his knowledge. After this is discovered, the movie "Dope" takes a spin and takes you on a wild adventure with Malcolm, Diggy and Jib running to escape the armed neighborhood thugs who want Dom's stash of drugs, while also leading Malcolm to quite a surprise for his future life plans that he was never expecting! This movie definitely had a different twist to it. I enjoyed it, and would recommend watching it...but "beware", it has a lot of mature content in it! Overall Rating: B+
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San Andreas

San Andreas is one of the best action-packed American Disaster movies of all time. From the opening scene to the ending scene, I was on the edge of my seat anticipating what was going to happen next! Dwayne Johnson sets off a remarkable performance portraying Ray Gaines, a LAFD search and rescue helicopter pilot that is in the midst of a divorce with Emma, his estranged wife (Carla Gugino). As Ray (Dwayne Johnson) sets out to go on a trip with his daughter (Alexandra Daddario) to San Francisco, the plans slightly change and she goes on ahead of him. He does not foresee that the largest earthquake recorded in history is on its way to cause massive destruction from Los Angeles to San Francisco! With this being said, Ray ends up using his LAFD expertise to bring his estranged wife and daughter back to him safe and sound no matter what the cost! If you love Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson like I do, and thriller, action-packed movies that keep you on the edge of your seat, well this is a great choice for you too! Overall Rating: A
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The Age of Adaline

The Age of Adaline is a romantic drama about a woman named Adaline Bowman (played by Blake Lively) who amazingly remains the age of 29 years old for close to almost eight decades. Adaline Bowman has mostly had to live a lonely, mysterious life to keep her secret from everyone that she meets and gets close to due to the consequences that her timeless youth may cause. Adaline’s plan has seemed to work until she meets a handsome, charming, philanthropist Ellis Jones (Michiel Huisman) that rekindles her love interest and passion to live again. As their romance begins to spark, they decide to take a weekend getaway together to meet Ellis’s parents and this encounter reawakens her past and leads to questions that may divulge the truth and can change Adaline’s life forever. The ending of the movie may appear somewhat predictable, but if you love romantic, nostalgic, heart-warming movies, like I do, then this movie is a great choice for you too! Overall Rating A-
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Project Almanac

This sci-fi, thriller stars Jonny Weston who plays David Raskin, a high school senior who loves science and whose dream is to attend MIT. As he awaits for his dream to un-fold, David comes across an odd instance that he can’t explain from an old video camera in his attic. While trying to make sense of all this, him and his friends discover in his basement the blueprints to a secret time machine that his late father had been constructing but did not get a chance to complete. David and his friends have this genius idea to finish what David’s father had started. As the group begins to experiment with this mysterious time machine that they believe is amazingly going to change their pasts for the better, it inadvertently ends up making them fear the future. If you enjoy sci-fi, action, suspense, and romance this is a great movie to see! Overall Rating: B
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The Boy Next Door

“The Boy Next Door” stars Jennifer Lopez who plays Claire Peterson, a lonely, separated, high-school English teacher that becomes intrigued by her handsome and charming new neighbor Noah (Ryan Guzman). Claire encourages Noah and her teenage son’s friendship, while she also engages in a harmless flirtation with Noah in the beginning. Well, one night, Claire and Noah’s harmless relationship spirals into a steamy, seductive affair, and Claire wakes up the next morning realizing that she has made a horrible mistake and wants to end her relationship with Noah, but unfortunately Noah does not see it her way. Noah then becomes obsessed with Claire and his obsession turns violent and escalates to destroying Claire’s life if it’s the last thing he does! All in all, I enjoyed this movie, despite a few over the top scenes, but, if you enjoy thrillers as much as I do, this film is for you. Overall Rating: B
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Annie (2014)

The 2014 comedy-musical rendition of “Annie” is a modernized version about 10-year-old Annie Bennett (played by Quvenzhané Wallis). Annie is a foster child that lives with her calculating foster mother Colleen Hannigan (Cameron Diaz) in Harlem. Annie’s dream is to find her biological parents, but in the meantime, she crosses paths with a hard-nosed billionaire and New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) who has been coaxed by his campaign advisors to befriend Annie and let her move in with him to help him win the mayoral election. Well, during their time together, Annie steals the heart of Will Stacks and the happily-ever-after story unfolds for foster child Annie after all. This movie had great actors in it that could sing, dance, make you laugh and even tear up from time to time. I really enjoyed this movie and I would recommend this movie to people of all ages. Overall Rating: A-
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Get On Up

Get On Up is about the life story of James Brown (played by Chadwick Boseman), the legendary Godfather of Soul. This film tells us about Brown’s rise from extreme poverty, abandonment, abuse, and being in jail as a young adolescent and how he was able to overcome all of his life struggles and still follow his dream to be a singer. Brown began his music career joining an R& B group known as the “The Famous Flames”. From there, Brown’s music career took off with many twists and turns and he became known as one of the most loved, iconic, and influential entertainers of the 20th century. I really enjoyed this movie and it kept me entertained. The movie has great energy and music and it will make you want to “get on up” and dance. Overall Rating: A-
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The Equalizer

Being a die-hard Denzel Washington fan, I was anticipating seeing him star in this 2014 film version of The Equalizer, which is a re-vamp of the T.V. series from the late 1980’s. The movie starts out a little slow showing McCall (Denzel Washington) as a mysterious man living a normal quiet life until he meets Teri, a teenage girl that is being mishandled by Russian gangsters, and he decides that he cannot sit by any longer. With his set of formidable skills, McCall’s desire for justice is awakened. I really enjoyed the movie for the action, but beware: there are quite a few violent, bloody, and gory parts in this film. Although I did like the movie, I can say there were also a few corny, predictable parts that they could have left out of an action-packed, thriller movie. I would recommend this to anyone who loves action-thriller films, and, even though it was not one of the best movies of Denzel Washington’s career, it still gets my thumbs up. Overall Rating: B+
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