Saturday, August 18, 2018

Movies you shouldn’t sleep on.

 Get your popcorn ready! (And brews if they serve ‘em.)
Spike Lee is bizzzzack with BlacKkKlansman!
(Photo by Vibe.)

Cheers Everyone!

It’s the weekend and I want to make sure for those of you wanting to get out of the house - whether you want to go on a date night, hang with the homies, or make it a solo flight- here are some movies worth checking out. Most of them I can happily say concluded with follow-up conversation and an overall relief that there are productions that still go outside the box a bit. This is especially true with Sorry To Bother You which I discuss a bit below. It was simply bugged out. Have an open mind for it and look for the hidden messages throughout the film.
Anyway, here are my picks of flicks while they are still in theaters—even if they're playing at the joints that charge a quarter of the original ticket price—along with the recent release of the heavily lauded BlacKkKlansman. My reviews are like you coming up to me and asking what I think or what I would post on my Instagram handle. (Go get a late pass if you don’t know it: @realalesharpton). My brother Lamont Byron aka L.K. breaks down Equalizer 2 for ya with a more descriptive assessment too.
One of the movies I haven’t had the chance to see yet that’s definitely on my agenda is Eighth Grade. It looks like my kind of humor and original writing. Stay tuned for that one.
Enjoy the weekend and beyond!
Ale
I say: Honestly, I get a little hesitant to see anything with “2” following it; the majority of the time, results are not favorable. But then again, anything Denzel signs on for is going to be solid at the least. D-Dub and his team do a stellar job of taking roles that dodge bombs. This one continues the trend with a lot of action, an original screenplay, some very necessary messages regarding today’s perception on the youth, relationships, and who to trust. Oh, and a lot of ass kicking perfectly balanced with Denzel’s gift as one of the greatest actors of all time. My kind of film.
Wait For It: The staircase scene.


Contributor L.K. Byron says…
The Equalizer 2 once again the extremely well-casted Denzel Washington as Robert McCall. Usually in the case of sequels, the original is hard to match. In this case, “a worthy follow-up to its predecessor,” would not be an understatement. After a few successful revenge jobs, McCall is settling into regular everyday life—the routine he yearns for. But that mission of peace unfortunately doesn’t last long after he finds out a close acquaintance has been harmed. McCall is now thrust into a warpath, and this time it’s even more personal. Unfortunately for his adversaries, they missed the memo: You don’t disrupt McCall’s bliss or harm those worthy of being in his inner circle. As viewers, we benefit from the mistakes of the wrongdoers as McCall’s spankings get more captivating and shocking as the movie ensues.
“From start to finish, Equalizer 2 is suspenseful, action packed, and seasoned with the perfect amount of unforced humor. You will not want to leave your seat once this thrill ride begins.”

Official Synopsis: Denzel Washington returns to one of his signature roles in the first sequel of his career. Robert McCall serves an unflinching justice for the exploited and oppressed - but how far will he go when that is someone he loves?
Run time: 125 minutes


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Sorry To Bother You

I say: I really had no idea what this movie was about and felt I needed to go in with that mentality. No teasers, trailers, reviews from other folks…nada. I just know that you will bug out with the shockers they have in store. Alongside the humor and plethora of hidden messages, this is a very necessary film to address a lot of the racism, hard times financially, materialism, the influence of today’s media, and simply having a voice for what you believe in.
Wait For It: The company’s party throws a shocking curve ball. That’s all I can say.

Official Synopsis: Sorry To Bother You tells the story of Cassius Green, a 30-something telemarketer with self-esteem issues, who discovers a magical selling power living inside of him. Suddenly he’s rising up the ranks to the elite team of his company, a company which sells heinous products and services. The upswing in Cassius’s career raises serious red flags with his brilliant girlfriend, Detroit, a sign-twirling gallery artist. But the unimaginable hits the fan when Cassius meets the company’s cocaine-snorting, orgy-hosting, obnoxious, and relentless CEO, Steve Lift. SORRY TO BOTHER YOU is unlike anything you have ever seen. It is a searing social satire about greed, racial dynamics and capitalism in a universe not unlike our own. Prepare yourself for something outrageous and totally original.

Run time: 107 minutes


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BlacKkKlansmen

I Say: From the jump, for someone who has had so much of an impact on my life, it was a no-brainer to attend the advanced media screening of Spike Lee’s latest project. An added bonus was continuing to witness John David Washington’s steady momentum of carving his own lane in the acting world and losing the initial label as Denzel’s son. To his credit though, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. And that’s one hell of an accolade. Alongside Blumhouse, the homie Jordan Peele and his Monkeypaw team continue their incredible run as producers as well. Shout out to Adam Driver’s performance as well.
BlacKkKlansmen is based on a remarkably true story, provides some comforting laughs to balance out the seriousness of the film, and overall discloses how racism back then is sadly revitalized under today’s American “leadership.” Its frankness is truly timely and necessary.
Now a lot of viewers are claiming that this is the best movie Spike Lee has ever directed; considering Do The Right Thing and Malcolm X, that is highly debatable, but evidently this film is stated in the same sentence as the aforementioned classics so it already wins. Definitely check it out and be affected. 
Wait For It: Spike’s signature low-angled, dolly shot.

Official Synopsis: It’s the early 1970s, a time of great social upheaval as the struggle for civil rights rages on. Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) becomes the first African-American detective on the Colorado Springs Police Department, but his arrival is greeted with skepticism and open hostility by the department’s rank and file. Undaunted, Stallworth resolves to make a name for himself and a difference in his community. He bravely sets out on a dangerous mission: infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan.
Posing as a racist extremist, Stallworth contacts the group and soon finds himself invited into its inner circle. He even cultivates a relationship with the Klan’s Grand Wizard, David Duke (Topher Grace), who praises Ron’s commitment to the advancement of White America. With the undercover investigation growing ever more complex, Stallworth’s colleague, Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver), poses as Ron in face-to-face meetings with members of hate group, gaining insider’s knowledge of a deadly plot. Together, Stallworth and Zimmerman team up to take down the organization whose real aim is to sanitize its violent rhetoric to appeal to the mainstream.
Produced by the team behind the Academy-Award winning Get Out, BlacKkKlansman offers an unflinching, true-life examination of race relations in 1970s America that is just as bracingly relevant in today’s tumultuous world.
Run time: 135 minutes


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 Mission:Impossible – Fallout
I say: If you want to get a good dose of action and see how Tom Cruise somehow still manages to jump out planes and avoid Father Time’s curses, this one’s for you.
Wait For It: Any action sequence, so I guess the whole movie.

Official Synopsis: The best intentions often come back to haunt you. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - FALLOUT finds Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his IMF team (Alec Baldwin, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames) along with some familiar allies (Rebecca Ferguson, Michelle Monaghan) in a race against time after a mission gone wrong. Henry Cavill, Angela Bassett, and Vanessa Kirby also join the dynamic cast with filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie returning to the helm.
Run time: 110 minutes

Peace!
Ale

Monday, August 13, 2018

This past weekend was nuts in ATL!

Dames and Dregs was dope, Jekyll turned 5, and I saw one of the best MCs in the world live, Elzhi
(And this was all Saturday!)
Click on the links in the captions for the full stories.

Saw Elzhi at Aisle 5, a dope venue with a SICK craft beer selection. What a night! El is one of the most articulate, flawless MC I have ever seen live and that is saying a lot! He murdered it. 

I also had a great time celebrating Jekyll's birthday. This year makes it #5!

Look for more of my journey soon and thanks for having my back!
Cheers!
Ale






Friday, August 10, 2018

Check out my latest article!

This one features the Fresh Fest in Pittsburgh, PA! 

Whaddup?! 
I am going to be bummed out missing this monumental event on August 11th, but I definitely will be there in spirit. Read the story in Thrillist here. It's a great story how this beer fest came together. To get more info on the festival, click on its logo on the right or, hell, right here! 
I have more articles on the way. I appreciate your support and following. 

Cheers!
Ale

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Here are some head-turning car designs that set the bar in 2018

Here is a page form my latest auto column,
and below includes some more dope automobiles that caught my eye.


Let's Cruise!
As many of you know, I love sharing the cool side of cars and design is a big component of my coverage! In one of my upcoming articles for my Driver's Notebook column for various magazines like the one above plus Instagram, here is what impressed me when I got the chance to check these models out in person. Note that there are more that will be added to this post as the year progresses, so stay tuned!

Driver's Notebook
The automotive industry continues to be extremely competitive, so there have to be inventive ways to stand out from the rest. One of the most effective methods to stand out from the rest is to attract the eye of owners and prospective buyers. Be it makeovers of an existing models or in one case, an all-new trim making its debut this year, here are some of the most stunning exteriors presented in 2018.

2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4x4

The Jeep brand is as American as apple pie and continues to produce dream automobiles for the adventurous, off-roaders—and recently—the fashionably hip. To cover all the bases, the current stylizing of the 2018 Rubicon will please both traditionalists and its burgeoning fan base of Millennials. We were wowed by the Granite Crystal Metallic paint adorned by some must-have, yet affordable packages, including LED lighting ($895); “Street Bumper Group” (1,295); and Black Freedom Top 3-piece Hard Top ($1,095). The 17-inch x 7-inch black wheels take on any terrains with a 3.6-liter V6 engine controlled by a six-speed manual transmission. Ultimately, this model successfully preserves Jeep’s decorated history.
For more information, visit Jeep.com

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2018 KIA Stinger GT
The KIA brand has made extraordinary progress from their independent launch into the US market in the early 90s. Revered for their improvement in virtually every specification, they have taken their design and power output to new heights with their head-turning Stinger GT. Peaking at 365 horsepower thanks to its 3.3-liter twin turbo engine under the hood enhanced with “Launch Control,” KIA’s talented design team successfully crafted the Stinger looks to match its brawn. Popularly showcased in an intimidating “Hichroma Red,” the LED lighting package, and Brembo brakes adorning the 19-inch wheels collectively confirm a bright, boundary-pushing future for this Korean powerhouse.
Price reviewed: $38,350 with all options
For more information, visit Kia.com
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2018 Buick Regal GS


For years, Buick has been regarded as an automaker geared primarily for older generations due to its storied history built around comfort and elegance, but the all-new Regal Buick Regal GS strongly suggests otherwise. This sedan’s sleek body flaunts a “GS Sport” grille accented with a black finish, front air scoops, red Brembo brakes, 19-inch wheels, rear spoiler, and my review model’s “Sport Red” exterior; these features collectively exclaim “Performance!” Thankfully, its V-6 engine is powered by 31o horses controlled with three Interactive Drive settings, and a nine-speed automatic transmission to effectively back up its racing-inspired design. Considering the attractive performance seats enhanced by temperature settings and massage capabilities; sport pedals; the “sportback” for expanded cargo options; and numerous hi-tech components, and you have one of the most exciting cars Buick has ever produced.  
Price: $39,070
For more information, visit buick.com.
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2018 Lexus RC350 2-Door Coupe
Lexus is world-renowned for its attention to detail inside and out, but when it comes to a reasonably priced coupe with a plethora of amenities, they have outdone themselves with the RC350. Sleek and curvaceous in all the right places, we highly recommended the F-Sport Package ($4,105) including the customary “spindle” grille, 16-spoke wheels, aluminum pedals, and numerous other racing-inspired amenities in the cabin. Complete the head turning with orange caliber brakes; premium triple-beam LED headlights and floodlights, and the glistening “Atomic Silver” paint before igniting the road with 311 horses under the hood.
Price: $43,570; $55,660 as reviewed
For more information, visit Lexus.com




Monday, July 30, 2018

It’s the return of the Creature Comforts Automatic Pale Ale!


Photos straight from the source.
This is one of my favorite poundable brews 
under 6% ABV!



Yo, yo!
One of my favorite pale ales is about to hit the shelves again throughout August. Yep, Creature Comforts’ seasonal Automatic will be on draft at whatever bars and restaurants considered gangster on the beer selection, as well in 6-packs of 12-ounce cans in both Athens and the ATL solely
Automatic is just hella juicy and easy drinking at 5.5% ABV. I always say it reminds me of those fruit cocktail cups we got back in elementary school for getting a gold star or some shit, but anyway, here is their official take direct from the brewery:
Automatic is a modern pale ale with an ABV of 5.5-percent that features a prominent hop flavor and aroma. A mix of Mosaic and Crystal hops are used to create a delicate balance and give the beer an aroma that features a complex array of berry, citrus, herbal, and pine notes. The flavor mirrors the aroma with a bit more earthiness and stone fruit, leading to a nicely balanced and moderately bitter finish.

My homie and brewmaster Adam Beauchamp add, “Automatic is meant to be light, refreshing and quite drinkable without falling into the common pitfall of ending up too thin, watery or insipid. No color malts were used, however, the relatively full mouthfeel is enough to support this heavily hopped beer.”
Shout out to Michelle Fontaine on the dope can art too!
Get you some.

For more information about Creature Comforts visit www.creaturecomfortsbeer.com.