Category Archives: Rant and Rave

Straight Outta Compton

The film “Straight Outta Compton” is history and culture. It is also a mystery of the kind that makes you think, “Why did it take Hollywood decades to make  this movie?” (See “Fences”) and, “How is it that I wasn’t more aware of these events at the time?” Today we speak of living inside “information bubbles;” we have always lived in cultural bubbles.

The acting, storytelling, and filming are very good. I seemed to notice that scenes were often shot with very low lighting when featuring Jerry, the white manager of NWA and Ruthless Records. It made perfect sense to include the Rodney King episode as a sidebar to the action.  The language was raw, but I would have expected worse.


“Passengers” is a movie starring Jennifer Lawrence. I knew her when “Winter’s Bone” delivered a young and captivating actress. This Sci-Fi effort didn’t hold my attention like the stark realities depicted and superbly portrayed in that first sighting.

I’m told it was a love story set in outer space. I spaced out on the lack of realism. That’s not to say you wouldn’t enjoy it, because Science Fiction isn’t my bread-and-butter. Oh! It was a love story; I keep misplacing that thought.


“Fences” brings a story from the theater’s stage to the big screen, and it’s marvelous. I’m confident there will be Academy Award nominations for this film. Viola Davis tops that list for me, but from Denzel Washington through the entire cast the roles were superbly played. The show is heavy on dialog, light on action, but deep in meaning.

The August Wilson stage play by the same name from the 1980s was the genesis of this story. He sold the rights to Paramount in 1987 and it took nearly 30 years for Hollywood to deliver a film. Why? Because August included a provision that the Director be African American, and there wasn’t a “fit” until Mr. Washington stepped up. Then, to further delay the proceedings, Denzel insisted on performing the stage play before acting and directing the film. Enjoy the finished product in a theater near you. Good things come to those who wait.

Book Report: “I Wanna Be A Producer”

I Wanna Be a Producer – by John Breglio

  • DougInNC book report
  • “More than a Review”

This book is far more entertaining than one might expect. It is certainly insightful on the topic of developing a Broadway show, and has a good level of detail without always diving into the nitty-gritty. John Breglio’s personal experience enlivens the subject matter with interesting and relevant tales.

What this book seeks to accomplish is to help one understand much about the theater that the fan never gets to see. It does that very well. Understanding “how the sausage gets made” is a compelling addition to the enjoyment and appreciation one absorbs from the audience point of view.

This is a remarkable business and the outsider has almost no sense of the time it takes to create a show, the costs involved, and the path to profitability. For those topics and many more, this book tells all. Continue reading Book Report: “I Wanna Be A Producer”