Category Archives: Men in the Arts

Josh Brolin Currently tearing Up Hollywood

You probably knew Josh Brolin for his star-turning performance in ‘No Country For Old Men’, at least if you weren’t much of a comic book fan. Nowadays, it is hard to talk about the grounded actor in any way other than his work within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The reason being? Brolin is the defining villain of Marvel’s decade of work, culminating in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ which stars Brolin as the iconic Thanos. On the other side of the movie theater aisle, Brolin is starring in ‘Deadpool 2’ as the iconic villain-turned-antihero, Cable. ‘Infinity War’ is currently on track to become one of the highest grossing films int he history of cinema while ‘Deadpool’ will likely follow track, albeit at a more measured rate due to its R-rated nature.

 

If you were to roll through Josh Brolin’s IMDb resume before his work on Marvel, you’d likely see the ultimate actor’s actor. Brolin is notoriously fickle with the work he chooses to pursue and his dominating stature and gravely voice can make it hard to see the actor in any other kind of role. However, Brolin has been leaning into his turn atop the comic book ladder and now he is even getting a comic book made after him, the actor, Josh Brolin!

 

While Thanos was largely a CGI construct in ‘Infinity War’, albeit, with amazing graphical work, Brolin’s turn as Cable in ‘Deadpool 2’ required an intense fitness routine. Brolin was able to completely reinvent his body in order to inhabit the character of Cable, a super-soldier with biceps that would fit right alongside people like Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. The comic book that we mentioned above, named ‘Cable Built’, is essentially just a clever piece of media that follows Brolin’s nutrition and weightlifting routine during his transformation process for Cable. Fans who want to get ‘Cable Fit’ now have the outline laid out for them. With that being said, unless you have some of Brolin’s resources (namely Marvel’s intense interest in your endeavors), you might have some trouble getting there.

The Evolution of Cedric the Entertainer

Fans of Cedric the Entertainer have known him for his comedy routine over the years. A lot of people are able to recognize him from The Steve Harvey Show. This is one of his lifelong buddies that he has made a lot of successful moves within the entertainment business.

 

Over time there have been a ton of people that have been interested in seeing the growth of Cedric the Entertainer as an actor. He has been able to deliver in television shows and movies. Over time Cedric would move away from Steve Harvey and create an even bigger name for himself. He would gain shows on various networks where he was the lead.

 

Cedric is currently working on a TBS show with Tracy Morgan and Tiffany haddish, but in this role he is still playing a comedic role. When it comes to the arts people are only going to look at your evolution as an artist when you can transition from the thing that you are most commonly known for.

 

What Cedric the Entertainer has become known for over the years is comedy. It has now been said that Cedric has arrived because he has transitioned from a comedic role in one of his upcoming projects to that of a drama role for an actor.

 

This is big news because Cedric has been in the show business game for more than two decades. He has even done stand-up comedy shows. His ability to capture a whole new audience with dramatic roles will be groundbreaking for his career. This is typically the thing that makes people pay more attention to an actor because they have to reach deep.

 

This is one of the reasons why there has been critical acclaim for dramatic roles that have been taken on by Will Smith over the years. He has been someone that has been taking much more seriously as an actor because he was able to move beyond his comedic roots.

Infinity War’s Joe Russo Has Solid Advice About “Shared Universe” Franchises

Joe Russo, the co-director of the smash hit Avengers: Infinity War has advice for studios interested in created a “shared universe” of films. He said, in essence, “Don’t do it.” That might be strange assessment coming from someone who recently scored such a massive hit. The shared Marvel Cinematic Universe has done nothing but make money. Why would the director make an assessment that A shared universe is a bad idea? Simply put, creating a shared universe isn’t easy And can set the stage for losing a lot of money.

Actually, Russo went a little further in his assessment. He pointed out that Marvel Studios didn’t start out with a massive shared universe strategy from day one. The shared universe developed after the success of a series of films. Also, audiences basically demanded a shared universe. They wanted complex storytelling in new films. They didn’t want to see any rehash. So, a shared universe grew naturally as part of a progression of new films and sequels.

Universal Studios and DC Entertainment both ignored these truths and decided to craft a massive shared universe without ever testing the waters to see if audiences wanted one. No real appetite exists for Universal’s reboot of its classic horror properties. Universal tried twice to launch a pilot for the horror universe and stumbled.

And then there’s the DC Extended Universe. Almost every film produced under the DCEU banner has been a disappointment. This shared universe was also launched without actually determining whether fans wanted one.

Russo understands what fans want from their entertainment experience. At the very least, the fans want to be treated with respect. Rushing to produce a dozen films and throwing them out into theaters doesn’t exactly meet the definition of respect. Audiences become treated as nothing more than commodities. Studios should not be surprised that audience responses to such treatment is cold indifference.

How Tony Stark Solidified the Marvel Universe

Ten years ago, the fledgling Marvel Studios decided to take a change at adapting one of their B-List heroes with an actor more famous at that time for his struggles with drug addiction than his filmography. It was a risk that ultimately paid as Iron Man became a box office hit, Robert Downey, Jr became of the biggest stars in the world, and Iron Man as a character became as popular a superhero (if not more) as Wolverine and Spider-Man. The movie also became a preliminary step towards a large, interconnected narrative known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe which became fully realized in 2012’s The Avengers and hit its next apex with the release of Avengers: Infinity War. Through Tony Stark, Marvel has become the most lucrative brand at the box office.

One way that the Armored Avenger might have accomplished that was by discarding a well-worn trope of the superhero mythos: the secret identity. While the character had traditionally kept his identity secret by posing as his own bodyguard, the cinematic Tony Stark decided instead to acknowledge he was Iron Man to press at the end of the first movie.

This set a tone for the Marvel movies. Thor paid lip service to the Donald Blake alias but ultimately did nothing with it. Throughout the movies, the entire world knows Steve Rogers is Captain America to the point of holding Smithsonian exhibits about it. Even the one hero whose identity must be secret– Spider-Man– gets outed to just about every important character by the end of his solo movie. This eliminated an urge to follow well-worn tropes already exhausted in previous superhero movies such as Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man movies.

On the other side of the tracks, DC films have not been quite so successful with the approach. The Superman of Man of Steel barely spends anytime in the traditional Clark Kent disguise and Ben Affleck’s Batman seems to out himself to just about anyone. As DC’s pantheon more heavily relies on the secret identity trope, their attempt to emulate the style has not been as cohesive.

Keith Urban The Country Icon Appears at The SXSW

There are few men more iconic to country music than Keith Urban. While considered to be one of the men who defines country, he has been enjoyed in multiple venues outside the strict country realm. This was the case at the 2018 South by Southwest lineup. Because the SXSW gathering is highly eclectic the country radio superstar Keith Urban felt right at home during his performance.

After having a lengthy interview at the Austin Convention Center for fans, he was fresh and ready to stir up more of his fans at Stubb’s with a few jokes while entertaining them with his highly prized Australian American style twang. The set was 80 minutes in length and was an unusually long one by SXSW standards. But his lengthy time on stage didn’t even make Urban flinch. He seemed to relish the smaller venue that brings people up close and personal with their favorite entertainers.

Known for his quiet country ballads filled with charming country music prowess, Urban was at his best delivering his musical hits without missing a note. He joked with the crowd and compared the VIP balcony seats of the arena to royalty saying the seats were the best like an episode of “The Crown!”

The festival goers were very taken by him and the night showed exactly why the new focus of diverse music at the SXSW festival is a positive one. The intimate gathering allowed fans to see the elements that inspire the artist in Urban. His bold, colorful music and his soft tenor twang were front and center.

In his heartfelt interview pre-show, Urban spoke candidly about how his life has changed during his years in the country music industry. The interview showed a calm side of Urban whose married family life with Nicole Kidman has settled well with his Country music. He summarized his growth by saying, “The only thing that’s changed in my life is I’ve more so become the person I was trying to be.”

Author David Faris Releases Widely Anticipated Second Book

In the wildly oversaturated field of political commentary there is no shortage of hot takes and clickbait titles, so when an author releases a well planned and thoughtful piece of political commentary it is worth celebrating. On April 10th, author David Faris is releasing his second book It’s Time To Fight Dirty which promises to be a refreshing breath of air in a political sphere that, to say the least, has been marred with polarization.

This is the second book from David Faris, a political science professor who resides in Chicago and teaches at social justice institution Roosevelt University (as well as serving as Chair of the Political Science Department) is going on sale through respected publisher Melville Publishing. Faris first book Dissent and Revolution in a Digital Age: Social Media, Blogging and Activism in Egypt was positively received by scholars of the Middle East region and this turn to American politics promises to showcase the diversity of Faris writing style. The pivot to focusing on American politics for Faris is a relatively new phenomena, as he outlines in his “Behind The Book” series for Melville Publishing, but he has routinely been putting out articles for respected progressive websites such as The Week.

While the release of the book marks just the beginning of the journey for Faris and his publishing team April 10th is a day of excitement about the things to come. Book reviews have been rolling in and they have been wildly positive thus far including Taegan Goddard of the Political Wire featuring the book in one of her columns. The new beginning in American politics is a welcome one for Faris in an era that so desperately needs his wit and humor as well as his insightful takes on how the country can begin to move forward. Keep an eye out for the book at your local stores, and don’t be surprised if you see a review in your favorite newspaper or website soon!

Christo Set to Bring His Art to the UK

Christo is one of the most well-known artists in the world. He has created art projects on a massive scale. His most notable project to date is the wrapping of the entire German Reichstag building in white fabric. The artist also made a stunning display in Italy when he created a series of floating piers on Lake Iseo.

Now, Christo is planning to design and build a piece of his art in the UK. Christo’s project will begin on June 1 in the middle of Serpentine lake in London. The artist will be using 7,506 55-gallon barrels for his project. When finished, it will weigh nearly 150 tons.

The name of the project will be the London Mastaba. According to Christo, a mastaba was a structure common among cultures in the ancient Mesopotamian area. He states that the Egyptians used the mastaba as the basis of the design of the pyramids.

In a rendering of what the completed project will look like, the mastaba will be triangular except it will have a flattened top. The structure will be 20 meters tall, 30 meters in width with a length of 40 meters. The sides of the mastaba will be red and white while the ends will be red, blue and purple. The entire structure will rest on a structure that will float, but it will be anchored so that the mastaba remains in one location.

Christo is moving forward with the project in London at this time because he has abandoned a work that he had planned to do in the United States. The artist was planning a work that would span the Arkansas River. However, Christo has stated that he abandoned the project due to the election of Donald Trump as president.

When the project in London is complete, the public will be able to view it free of charge. No tickets will be required.

Robert Finley a New Career for Music Legend

Robert Finley is a blues singer and songwriter and was born in Bernice, Louisiana. He began playing gospel music at a young and taught himself how to play the guitar. He was a helicopter in the U.S. Army and played guitar during his service. When he returned home, he became a carpenter and a street performer. It was determined that he was legally blind in 2015, but he never gave up pursuing his music career. He has performed with Robert Lee Coleman and has gone on to work with Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys https://www.robertfinleymusic.com.

Finley has been performing for more than 52 years and is a member of the Music Make Foundation. This organization assists aging musicians and has helped him revise his career. He is a guitar player as well as a talented singer. Currently, he is playing at the Showbox in Seattle and giving his fans a recap of his life’s journey. He has had struggles and lived in squalor for many years until partnering up with Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound Revue. He has just turned 64 years old and will soon begin a nationwide solo tour.

During his shows, Finley talks about his life and gives his audience advice on how to cook. He keeps an upbeat attitude and makes plenty of jokes. He shares his experience in church and as a little boy singing in the choir. He remembers being inspired by the music that he heard in his neighborhood. He would play music any place he could and has performed in fish fries and nursing homes. He has gone through a divorce and lost his home. He believes that these difficulties were signs for him to go back to music. It must be true because years later he has found success.

Snyder Hints at Anti-Life Equation

Since Justice League came out last year, Zack Snyder has been on social media giving some cryptic hints about what he would have done according to his original plans. Now, he has hinted that the Anti-Life Equation may have fitted into his plans at some point.

This came on the Vero True Social app, where someone posted a picture from the movie where the main villain, Steppenwolf, has slammed his axe into the ground, causing cracks that seem to form a strange symbol. Tagging Snyder’s name, he asks if he’s correct in assuming that the symbol has some kind of deeper meaning.

“Do the math,” Snyder said simply in response, which the fan, and probably many others, take as a reference to the Anti-Life Equation.

For those unfamiliar with the comics, Steppenwolf works for Darkseid, the immortal, alien ruler of the dystopian planet Apokolips. Already a master of mind control and manipulation, Darkseid’s ultimate goal is to acquire the Anti-Life Equation, a supernatural formula which would give him the power to override all free will and take over the entire universe. His interest in Earth is largely based on gaining the part of it that humans possess.

Justice League was originally planned as two movies, and most fans believe that the second part would have had Darkseid as the main villain; indeed, this was set up in the “Knightmare” sequence of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which used Darkseid’s Omega symbol. However, that movie failed to live up to Warner Bros. expectations either financially or critically, leading to the second Justice League being cut; Snyder himself then left the director’s chair during production, getting replaced by Joss Whedon.

Fans are still interested in finding out more about Snyder’s plans, if not him getting his own cut of the movie; it remains to be seen what other information he may reveal/hint as time goes on.

The Artist Who Painted President Obama’s Portrait.

On Monday, the portraits of President Obama and Michelle Obama that will be displayed in the National Gallery of Art were unveiled. There has been a great deal of comment regarding the portraits ranging from those who really like them to those who think that they are the worst portraits of a president and his wife ever done.

Kehinde Wiley is the artist who painted the portrait of President Obama. He did not paint the portrait of Michelle Obama. The portrait shows the former president seated and leaning slightly forward. In the painting’s background, President Obama is surrounded by green foliage and flowers of different colors.

Mr. Wiley is a well-known artist who is based in New York City. He has been working in the field of contemporary art for over 20 years, and some of his paintings have sold for well over $100,000.

Many of Mr. Wiley’s paintings depict prominent African-Americans in historical settings. For instance, one of Mr. Wiley’s more famous portraits depicts Michael Jackson dressed in the garments of King Philip II and riding a white horse. Wiley has painted portraits of LL Cool J and other hip-hop artists in various styles from the past. Several of Mr. Wiley’s hip-hop paintings were displayed in the National Gallery Art during a special exhibition.

Kehinde Wiley was specifically chosen by Mr. Obama to paint his official portrait. Mr. Obama met with the artist, and the two men discussed the way in which Wiley would depict the former president.

The portrait of President Obama is quite different from the portraits of the other past presidents. Most of the other portraits depict the former presidents in a more regal and stately manner. The painting of President Obama is unique in its background and overall color scheme.