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Marlynn Snyder
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Entries by Marlynn Snyder

Django Unchained: Spaghetti Western and Slavery Mash-Up

(5) Comments | Posted January 2, 2013 | 12:56 PM

Hipster filmmaker Quentin Tarantino's attempt at a "spaghetti" western, Django Unchained, is filtered through a lens of slavery, wild humor and a healthy dose of violence. Although the film meanders and lags in spots (and, at a too-long 165 minutes, could use a bit of additional editing), it...

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Violence and Brotherhood Move Story Forward in End of Watch

(0) Comments | Posted September 21, 2012 | 3:34 PM

The rough, violent streets of South Central Los Angeles play the starring role in writer-director David Ayer's startling End of Watch (Open Road Films/Exclusive Media). Young officers Brian Taylor (Academy Award® nominee Jake Gyllenhaal) and Mike Zavala (Michael Peña) form a close, brotherly bond...

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BeBe Winans: Singing the Praises of America

(0) Comments | Posted July 26, 2012 | 3:47 PM

The timing is quite interesting -- couldn't be better, some would argue -- for a collection of heartfelt, patriotic songs to help cure the nation's ills. Critically acclaimed R&B/gospel superstar BeBe Winans must agree with that sentiment; he was obviously deeply inspired to create his newest CD, America...

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Emeli Sandé: Brit Soul/Pop At Its Best

(0) Comments | Posted June 8, 2012 | 4:43 PM

Nothing beats seeing a brand-new artist emerge from the shadows to find acceptance and notoriety for their art, especially in today's fractured and intensely competitive music business. Such is the case with British singer-songwriter Emeli Sandé. Although the industry has gone through epic shifts, both financially and creatively,...

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Gregory Porter: The Brilliant New Voice of Jazz

(0) Comments | Posted February 21, 2012 | 12:25 PM

On his new CD, Be Good (Motema Music), Gregory Porter brings his amazing voice -- a warm, throaty tenor that immediately draws you in -- to the forefront. In less than two years, Porter has gained significant momentum leading up to this sophomore release, the follow-up...

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The Grey: Male Bonding in Nature's Harsh Elements

(2) Comments | Posted January 27, 2012 | 10:07 AM

Irish actor Liam Neeson has been carving out a niche in his last few films as a tough-guy-with-a-heart and it seems to be working well for him (most powerfully in 2008's Taken). Is Neeson becoming the new Harrison Ford? Like that Hollywood icon, he has mastered the ability to serve...

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Haywire: Tough Girls Need Love, Too

(0) Comments | Posted January 24, 2012 | 10:08 AM

Academy Award-winning director Steven Soderbergh's new film, the spy thriller Haywire, excites with lots of great action sequences that overwhelm an often confusing storyline. Mixed martial arts fighter and American Gladiators participant Gina Carano is featured in her first starring role as Mallory Kane, a highly-skilled covert ops specialist who...

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Film: Manipulating the Mind of Martha

(0) Comments | Posted November 2, 2011 | 6:00 PM

How does a young woman allow a complete stranger access to her inner thoughts, giving him full sway over her feelings and actions? An interesting question brought vividly to life in the buzzed-about indie film Martha Marcy May Marlene (Fox Searchlight), writer-director Sean Durkin's brooding debut feature. Elizabeth Olsen (making...

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Lalah Hathaway: Looking Back, To Keep Moving Forward

(0) Comments | Posted November 1, 2011 | 1:14 PM

Over the last twenty years, soul siren Lalah Hathaway has continued carving out a prominent space in the constantly shifting music business. Daughter of the legendary soul singer-songwriter Donny Hathaway, she has gained a loyal audience of her own, traveling the paths of R&B and jazz at her...

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The Ides of March: Politics Eats Its Young

(1) Comments | Posted October 6, 2011 | 1:21 PM

Politics is everywhere -- we have witnessed ongoing partisan mud-slinging in Washington, resulting in a near shutdown of our federal government, the increasingly ugly run-up to the 2012 presidential race, and the frenzied media cycle following whether New Jersey governor Chris Christie would jump into the 2012 race.

The timing...

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Media Focus: Newspapers Raise the Stakes With Fall Fashion Coverage

(9) Comments | Posted September 1, 2011 | 3:20 PM

Where has the summer gone so quickly?

September has arrived and so have the thick, glossy fashion monthlies, with their largest issues of the year. Chock full of fall trends and, more important to their bottom lines, fall advertisements, the Vogues, Elles, Marie Claires and the like, are competing for...

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Winding Down Summer With The Hot Box

(0) Comments | Posted August 19, 2011 | 12:27 AM

In The Hot Box (Atria Books), wildly successful erotic novelist Zane -- a New York Times bestselling author, screenwriter and publisher of her own book imprint, Strebor -- crafts a funny, sexy tale that shapes up as the perfect summer beach read. It has several elements to make you laugh...

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Revisiting Our Nation's Legacy of Race Relations in The Help

(14) Comments | Posted August 9, 2011 | 12:55 PM

There has been a lot of talk about The Help, the screen adaptation of Kathryn Stockett's runaway No. 1 New York Times best-selling debut novel. The book takes place in 1960s Jackson, Mississippi, the cradle of some of the most virulent racial episodes of the civil rights era, including the...

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Jumping The Broom: Family and Class Conflicts With a Side of Humor

(3) Comments | Posted May 3, 2011 | 12:25 PM

There is obvious truth in the fact that opposites attract. But while a wedding often celebrates the bringing together of two kindred spirits, sometimes those around them mix like oil and water.

Jumping The Broom (Stage 6 Films/TriStar/Sony Pictures), explores the sparks that fly when two very different African-American families...

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Mary Mary: Their Sound and Message Are Truly Something Big

(0) Comments | Posted April 7, 2011 | 11:13 AM

Is the long-discussed divide between gospel music with a traditional sound versus that with a more contemporary spin still valid? Does it really matter as long as the messages of praise, struggle and uplift are present?

For gospel/R&B stars Mary Mary, their spirit-filled messages are always clear. Although Something Big...

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Marsha Ambrosius: Late Night Lessons in Love and Loss

(1) Comments | Posted March 28, 2011 | 3:31 PM

Since the 2007 break up of neo-soul duo Floetry, speculation has steadily grown as to the musical direction each member would take. Singer-songwriter-producer Marsha Ambrosius spreads her soulful wings and expands her creative comfort zone on her debut solo joint, the aptly titled Late Nights & Early Mornings (J Records).

...
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Hip-Hop Music and Culture, From the Beginning

(15) Comments | Posted March 16, 2011 | 10:42 AM

To research and report on the history of hip-hop -- from its modest New York beginnings in the 1970s at parties in uptown Bronx recreation centers and parks, to its impact on mainstream marketing, advertising and global culture -- is a huge undertaking. In Dan Charnas' exhaustively researched The Big...

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Adele's Lovely Coming of Age

(11) Comments | Posted February 23, 2011 | 11:55 AM

Brit chanteuse Adele has resurfaced with her highly anticipated new album, 21 (XL Recordings/Columbia). The new record follows her surprisingly successful debut, 19, for which she won two Grammy Awards (including Best New Artist) in 2009. Surprising, you ask? In a stilted music industry where recording artists are over-packaged and...

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Sofia Coppola's Somewhere: But Where?

(1) Comments | Posted December 20, 2010 | 1:05 PM

With Somewhere, her fourth feature film, writer/director Sofia Coppola seems to be a filmmaker who doesn't fancy rushing the story along. She gives her story and its characters their own time to develop, sometimes to lethargic effect -- the first part of this film is like watching paint dry. She...

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Miguel: 'Eclectric' R&B Upstart

(0) Comments | Posted December 9, 2010 | 9:04 AM

In the fractured music industry, it is getting harder and harder to "break" a new recording artist. Musicians are struggling to find new and different ways to stand apart from the pack; especially since the old, tried-and-true record company methods don't seem to be working. Into this challenging abyss comes...

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