Kinda Sorta But Not Really Movie Review: Think Like A Man

Let me start out by saying this first and foremost: I was not paid to do this. At all. Not even for any of the tweets that I sent out in support of the campaign for this movie. I just wanted to get all of that out of the way before we get started. Yes, I was actually compelled to do this from my soul.

Okay?

Okay.

I was invited (along with all of the 50-and-over crowd in DC) to a screening of Think Like A Man, the movie based on the book of almost the same name Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man by Steve Harvey. Steve Harvey was there as was Michael Ealy. I was actually on a panel at Howard University with Michael Ealy earlier in the day along with Jasmine from The Jasmine Brand. That was fun. That’s one of the fun parts of this whole successful blogger schtick, you randomly get chose to be apart of cool and interesting things with famous people that get hundreds of women to line up for 75 slots.

On to the movie. I know you all won’t believe this, but…

…it was a really really good movie. Like, it was actually good. As in the type of movie that is well worth you shelling out money to go see. I went into it skeptical as all hell because well, it’s Steve Harvey and its based on a book where a man constantly refers to the box as “the cookie”. And yes, that did come up in the movie numerous times. But you know how we keep waiting for a Black romantic comedy that is worth seeing?

Believe it or not, Steve Harvey is the one who delivered it to us. Not only is it hilarious, but its extremely well written and get this…I actually FELT Meagan Good’s character. She did a really good job of acting in this movie. No more of that non-sensical non-sense we attribute to her roles. Nope. Earlier at the panel with Michael Ealy, he said that she delivered a great role in this movie. Now, I know its his job to sell the movie, but he wasn’t lying. She did a bang up job.

What made it a good movie?

Glad you asked.

For one, the VERY thing we complain about Tyler Perry movies is the lack of good, or even decent, writing. This movie was extremely well written. It was hilarious thanks in part to Kevin Hart who was literally non-stop laughs. Romany Malco (you all remember him from 40-Year-Old Virgin) was also hilarious. Those two characters alone made it worth the laughs. But wrapped underneath the comedy was a movie about relationships that not only worked but looked and felt very accurate. I know that I felt myself cringe a few times because I know I’m guilty of various mentalities and things that I saw.

Real spit, Terrence J was even entertaining to watch. And folks LOVE to clown Terrence J. And the fact that Turtle is supposed to be banging a somewhat drugged out (in a good way…ya know, educated chick who likes bong hits way) Gabrielle Union didn’t even seem out of place. It made sense. Read that again.

The interesting thing that I took from this, and I wonder if women will, is that despite what we tell you all all the time, men actually want their boys to win at love. So even when we tell our boys to do stupid stuff, we actually do hope that he finds a good woman and manages not to blow it. And that’s the case in this movie. The guys all come across as real friends who want their boys to succeed…we just keep getting caught up in man-sh*t. But at the end, what alllllllllllways happens, we find ourselves better off with a woman by our sides who does cause us to step outside of our comfort zones.

Believe it or not ladies, guys do like…and love love.

And in some kind of twisted ridiculousness, we always end up attempting to do right despite ALL of our best efforts to not do right. If we reaaaaaaally like you.

There’s something for everybody and I actually enjoyed it. Look at that, I actually enjoyed a movie that I went in expecting to hate and treat like a random Black movie. It turns out, we finally got a good romantic comedy that we can look to and watch. On purpose.

From Steve Harvey. I know…its still taking time to sink in for me too.

Point is, I think you all should go see it. And I really mean that. Even the most skeptical of us. It’s both a chick flick and a guy flick in one movie and believe it or not, it works. It’s got romance and shenanigans. Fun and folly. But above all else, relatable entertainment. Kind of like…40-Year-Old Virgin for ninjas.

Swear I didn’t get paid for this. And I still am telling you to go see it. It opens nationwide on April 20th. This ain’t a Tyler Perry movie. It’s a good movie. All the way through.

If you don’t like it you can blame me and I’ll take you to the movies some other time. But this is one Black movie I think we should all support. I’m even going to go see it again.

Panama’s Rating: 5 out of 5 Afropicks.

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka MR. I SAW A STEVE HARVEY MOVIE AND I LIKED IT AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS TSHIRT aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3

PS: And for those interested, check out the extended cut of Episode 3 of Madame Noire’s “Ask A Black Man” featuring Panama Jackson. It’s the sex episode and home to the epic side-eye courtesy of VSB P.

Are You Watching The Throne? Probably Not For Long

We used to care...now we're just rich and bored so we made a rich and bored album.

This past Monday, Jay-Z and Kanye West’s joint venture, Watch The Throne, hit iTunes, much to the chagrin of independent outlets and retailers everywhere. I can’t really say that I was anticipating it since I hated the song, “H.A.M.” since it, well, sucked and “Otis” sounds like a song that’s supposed to be dope but the beat blows. I will say that nobody does “swag rap” better than Jay or Kayne. Well except Biggie. And Big Daddy kane.

But last I checked they were both dead.

Let’s just put this out front. Jay is my favorite rapper of all time. Kanye, right now, is probably right behind him as my favorite rapper of the right now. I feel like Kanye is way more important to pop-culture than Jay is and ultimately more relevant but that’s neither here nor there. I’m also a huge fan of Kanye’s artisticness. You can’t convince me that My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (MBDTF) isn’t one of the best albums to come out in the past ten years. Point is, I’m a big fan of both of these┬áto. So I don’t say this lightly…but…

…Watch The Throne kind of isn’t dope.

It’s not to say that it’s not a solid album. It is. It’s just that there’s very little on this album that I’ll ever really want to listen to again. In fact, the ONLY songs I’ve listened to on repeat are “Nigg*s In Paris” and “Gotta Have It” which might bet the least Neptune’s sounding Neptune’s beat in a long long while. Everything else can go. I wish somebody would make those songs into birds so that they could fly, fly far far away. Like “Made In America” featuring everybody’s favorite singer du jour Frank Ocean. My god is this song gay. You know, I honestly didn’t think that Jay could make worse songs than that terrible song with Usher and Beyonce from Kingdom Come but apparently he wanted to assure us that he could. It just sounds so…so…gay. I’m fairly sure they’re going to have to release “Lift Off” featuring Beyonce as a single for that very reason and it is also on some ducksauce.

You know what…forget the track by track sh*t. Here’s the problem with this album. Actually there are two. 1) This isn’t a Jay and Kanye album…it’s a Kanye album featuring Jay. It’s too musical to be a Jay album. Period. It’s got the Kanye imprint all over it. Kanye is an artist at this point, hate him or love him. Jay on the other hand is and will always be a rapper. No matter how emo a beat he tries to rap over or how “different” sounding the beat, ultimately he’s a rapper. And that comes thru as Jay seems, in my opinion, to be more or less of an afterthought a lot of times. It’s not that he’s not delivering Jay verses (lazy as they may be), its just that he’s too cool to be on some music sh*t. Kanye sounds like he cares WAY more than Jay does to be rapping on this album. Which leads to the second problem… 2) I kind of feel like Kanye didn’t care that much or was bored but finished it anyway.

For all of his faults, one thing you’d never fault Kanye for is not having a dope ear for cohesion and putting together an outstanding product. He always seems to want to make a classic album even though 808s and Heartbreaks was far from that. But at least he swung for the fences by changing up his whole sound and innovating. This album really to me sounds like a lazy version of both Blueprint 3 and uber leftover beats from MBDTF that weren’t good enough to make that album in any way shape or form.

[Sidenote: There is something to be said though that the only comparison's that hold water with these two are their own bodies of work. That can't be stated enough.]

I mean, it doesn’t even sound as good sonically as MBDTF…an album that came out almost a year ago. That album sounded beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. You’d think that if anything, sonically it would be on the same level but it’s not. Which is the rub, its not that the album isn’t decent. It is. It’s just that nobody’s going to be talking about this album once they run out of songs to release.

You know what, here’s how I can sum up this album…Rick Ross wouldn’t rap on any of this sh*t except maybe ONLY “N*ggas In Paris”. I can hear Rick Ross murdering that beat. I honestly feel at this point Rick Ross knows how to pick music and sounds that compliment exactly what he’s trying to do. He knows how to make epic sh*t. If Rick Ross is getting on your sh*t, it’s because it’s a motherf*cking monster. Pun intended. He would have gotten on ANYTHING on MBDTF. I feel like he probably was cool on everything on this album.

In fact, my favorite parts of the album are the beat change-ups similar to MBDTF which feature, surprisingly very little rapping and I’m not upset about it.

Not to mention this being the least relatable album I’ve ever listened to or the fact that Jay and ‘Ye both sound a little…off….trying to rap about social issues, an area Jay has proven to struggle in the past, though I like “New Day”, but again, Kanye’s verse seems more…better. Real talk, I’d be lying if I recited any of these lyrics as my personal mantra. I can’t even fake 90 percent of this sh*t.

I know a lot of people love it, and that’s good. Hell, I paid for it already and want a physical copy. I’m a fan but I probably won’t be listening this too much longer and I think that goes for most people. For two individuals who seem to care about their legacy, I’m just surprised that they’d release an album that neither adds nor detracts from it. This joint just exists until we forget about it. It’s like a David Guetta song. Or Lady Gaga music. Or LMFAO. It’s pop music with hard drums. And soft songs. Because it’s Jay and ‘Ye I want to love this, but I’m over it already.

D’oh well. On to the next one.

Oh, and one more question…how the f*ck does Swizz Beatz go so much production work and so many random features? Who does he have naked pictures of? Inquiring minds would like to know.

What’s your take? Are you watching the throne?

Talk to me.

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka PANYE EAST aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3