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Movie Review – "The Challenger" – Fight for Who You Are

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“The Challenger” opens with Jaden Miller (Kent Moran, “Listen to Your Heat”) doing his early morning run through the gritty streets of the Bronx. Then cuts to his job as an auto mechanic where a female customer belittles his capabilities as mechanic. That night, dejected he arrives home to find an eviction notice on the door and spends that night sleeping in one of the cars at the garage where he works. Things are not working out for young 24-year old Jaden. Until the rent is paid, his mother Jada (S. Epatha Merkerson, “Law & Order”) is staying at Aunt Regina (Natalie Carter) and putting up with her constant interruptions. This is a hilarious scene, much to the delight of the audience.

While getting his work coveralls cleaned, Jaden meets up with Duane (Michael Clarke Duncan – “The Green Mile”) and learns he was once a legendary boxing trainer. Later, Duane confesses that one of his fighters threw a match and Duane had to backed away later opening a Laundromat and a small boxing gym. Jaden learns that one of his fellow workers at the garage makes money on the side boxing in club fights and pursues this avenue to get his mother and him back into their apartment. He approaches Duane to train him. Initially, Duane refuses, but on learning Jaden last name, he consents to work with him.

What is most intriguing about the training regiment is the focus on specific boxing techniques, things such as the placement of the feet, the rotation of the hips, and how a punch is uncoiled for maximum power. While fascinating, this focus on preparation for a fight leads the audience away from the inner struggles and conflicts Jaden faces. Namely, his finding a way to support his mom, finding a way to regain her respect after being kicked out of a private school for fighting. There is also the fear of failure and not being good enough. While these are presented in dialogue, the emotional consequences is left hanging and not fully developed. Jaden’s stoic expressions do not give us those vulnerable moments that build a deep emotional attachment to his dilemma. We care about the outcome, but not so much about the person.

The fight scenes are spectacular and if the Mayweather-Pacquiao match had been this good, people would be demanding a rematch. The championship match, in particular, was brilliantly crafted and choreographed. There is suspense, compelling character arcs and riveting reversals leading to an edge of your seat excitement. The initial rounds were almost full length and the succeeding rounds compressed into highlights of damaging blows. This segment of the film was shot in four hours, the time allotted by arena officials. Thus the exhaustion and fatigue exhibited are likely real.

There are some amazing twists in this story, which makes it both poignant and appealing. These are nicely set up and foreshadowed without being overly obvious. The acting is first-rate across the board including supporting players. The performance of Michael Clarke Duncan in particular was rock solid and gave energy and direction to this crucial role. He had a back-story to tell and he delivered it with great sensitivity and empathy. This was Michael’s last role, as he died at the age of 54 never seeing his final work.

The relationship between mother and son required a delicate balance of protective love versus determined purpose. S. Epatha Merkerson and Kent Moran beautifully deliver on this aspect with each expressing their opposing views. What’s more, Kent Moran is to be commended for taking on such a physically demanding role while serving as both director and lead actor. Kent trained six months at Manny Pacquiao’s gym in Venice, California preparing for his role.

Another actor who made this a worthy movie is Justin Hartley, Jaden’s opponent in the championship fight. His over confidence and inflated ego nicely set up the challenge in dramatic terms and polarizes our allegiances. The fact that he fights dirty adds to the dangers Jaden faces.

Production values portray the Bronx location as a gritty underdog and it’s Jaden’s dedication that gives its downtrodden residents hope. Camera work by Giacomo Belletti keeps us in the mix, moving skillfully to provide both questions and answers to what’s going to happen next. Composer Pinar Toprak’s score neatly provides the dramatic energy that leads us through this emotional journey. The editing by Anthony Muzzatti and Kent Moran nicely articulates the struggles, the climb out of poverty to provide for his mother.

This film goes the distance and shows that if we fight for who we are, we can become winners. Film reviewed at the Dances with Film Festival, Hollywood.

CREDITS: “The Challenger” stars Kent Moran, Michael Clarke Duncan, S. Epatha Merkerson, Justin Hartly, Frank Watson, Stan Carp, and Ernie Sabella. Production Design by Kay Lee & Rebecca Slick; Art Direction by Amy E. Bishop; Costume Design by William Eng; Makeup by Guy Guido; Casting by Tiandra Gayle; Music by Pinar Toprak; Edited by Kent Moran & Anthony Muzzatti; Cinematography by Giacomo Belletti; Second Unit Director John-Michael Damato; Executive Producer Michael Clarke Duncan; Produce by Ellyette Eleni, Adam Hawkey, & Kent Moran; Written and Directed by Kent Moran; Production Company – Wishing Well Pictures, Inc.; HD, Unrated, 95 Minutes.



Source by Erik Sean McGiven

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Billie Eilish Says She Lost 100,000 Followers, After Her Breasts Became More Visible -“People Are Scared Of Big Boobs”

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Billie Eilish has been one of the biggest artists in the world, as she’s only 19-years-old. This summer, she released her sophomore album, “Happier Than Ever,” as it became her second consecutive number one. This was led by hit singles such as “Your Power,” “My Future,” and “Therefore I Am.” A tour for this album, will also happen, in February 2022.

In a new interview with Elle for an October 2021 cover story, Eilish gave some very interesting information, regarding her Instagram followers. She revealed that she lost 100,000 IG followers, when she started showing more skin, and her breasts were able to be seen more. Eilish believes that for some reason, people are scared of “big boobs.”

Eilish usually wears bigger clothes, but she is down to wear clothing such as tank tops, especially on a hot day. She went on to shut down the notion that she’s trying to be more sexy, as she simply wants to wear what she’s in the mood to.

“The other day, I decided to wear a tank top,. It wasn’t even a provocative shirt. But I know people are going to say, ‘Holy f**k, she’s dressing sexy and trying to make a statement.’ And I’m like, ‘No, I’m not. It’s 500 degrees and I just want to wear a tank top.’”

Eilish is also making big plays outside of music lately. On September 30, her own Jordan collaboration sneakers will be available for purchase, which are the Jordan 1 “Ghost Green,” and a Jordsan 15 with displays a beige color.



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Jazz Shoes and Dance Sneakers – The Differences

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Both jazz shoes and dance sneakers are highly versatile styles of dance shoe though they each serve a different purpose. Jazz shoes are designed primarily for jazz dancing though they are suitable for many other styles such as rock ‘n’ roll and modern amongst others. Dance sneakers are also very flexible but are designed to provide more support to the foot. They’re also used for many styles but are particularly popular for break dancing, hip hop and street dance.

The most striking difference between a jazz shoe and a dance sneaker is the appearance of the upper. A jazz shoe upper is usually made from very supple leather very similar to the type used to make soft ballet shoes. This allows the shoe to fit the foot almost like a second skin enabling great freedom of movement for the foot. Dance sneakers have a far more rigid upper which has a similar appearance to a sports trainer making them particularly popular for urban and street dance.

The sole of a jazz shoe has many differences but also shares some similarities with the sole of a dance sneaker. Most jazz shoes are available with either a full sole or split sole whereas dance sneakers always have a split sole. This is in order to offer the foot more freedom of movement whilst still offering adequate support. Dance sneakers also often feature smooth spots on the soles to make spinning easier, or notches in the heel to make it easier for a dancer to lift their partner. On the other hand, the soles of both types of dance shoes offer shock absorption and are non-marking.

There is a wide range of jazz shoes and dance sneakers available on the market from many major dance brands such as Capezio, Bloch, and Dance Gear. Some of the most popular jazz shoes include varieties of the leather split sole, and some of the most popular dance sneakers include the Capezio Web Dansneaker and Bloch Boost Dansneaker.

If you’re buying your first pair or if you’re not sure what size to choose, it’s a good idea to get them fitted at a local dance shop. However, if you’re confident that you know what size and style you want to purchase then you’ll find much more competitively priced dance shoes online. However, before you purchase make sure that the online dance wear retailer that you choose has a secure payment gateway and fair terms and conditions as well to ensure that you get the best possible service. It’s also a good idea to check out their privacy policy too to check that they won’t share your personal details with anybody else.



Source by Ian James Evans

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Drakeo The Ruler – “IngleWEIRD” [VIDEO]

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Drakeo The Ruler releases the music video for his single, “IngleWEIRD.” In 2021, Drakeo The Ruler has had a dominant run, frequently doing millions of views on his video. To begin this month, Drakeo The Ruler dropped this visual.



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