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Gail Choice

Stories by Gail

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Hollywood by Choice

‘Annie’ a must-see Christmas movie

Don’t know how many of you remember the old comic strip “Little Orphan Annie.” I do, and I loved reading about her adventures. I remember liking her hair, big, red…I even think it predated the Afro. I remember billionaire Oliver Warbucks and I liked the dog Sandy, Annie’s constant companion. I also remember when it went to Broadway, I knew I’d never see it because for me Broadway was a world away.

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‘Beyond the Lights’—Magnificent!

Hollywood by Choice

“Beyond the Lights” will make you believe in love all over again. And what’s so unique about this film is that it’s about Black love.

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Hollywood by Choice

ABC’s “Black-ish” controversy

ABC’s freshman sit-com “Black-ish” debuted Wednesday giving viewers the opportunity to better understand the show’s title and exactly what it means. Maybe, just maybe taking the edge off of its somewhat controversial title, and the promotional spot that has Tracee Ellis Ross proclaiming that her hair and big ass should be enough to register her as a Black woman.

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‘From the Rough’ is a great family movie

Hollywood by Choice

Now in theaters is the inspiring and true story of a woman who just wouldn’t accept ‘no’ for an answer. From the Rough tells an unexpected story of courage, drive, and a sport that didn’t appear to have room for a Black, female coach.

Hollywood by Choice

“Belle” A love story that helped change a nation

Belle is one of those movies that hits you like a lightning bolt; totally unexpected and electrifies every part of your body.

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‘Real Housewives of Atlanta;’ what a mess

Hollywood by Choice

The Real Housewives of Atlanta is the only reality show I look at on a regular basis. It’s not for the drama, but to watch how these sisters are going after their dreams, taking advantage of their ‘moment in the spotlight’ and really putting in some hard work to do it. From Phaedra Parks going to school to be an undertaker, Kandi Burruss writing and performing in her own musical featuring Gerald Levert, to NeNe Leakes on Dancing with the Stars, they are truly hustling.

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Gospel Singer Jessica Reedy: “Better”

Hollywood by Choice

Gospel Singer Jessica Reedy is doing so much “Better” these days than in years past.

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Lupita Nyong’o: Skin Game

Hollywood by Choice

The buzz is somewhat tapering off regarding the success of the Oscar winning Best Picture 12 Years a Slave, but the impact of the movie and what it implies still has Hollywood movers and shakers buzzing. The two lead characters, Chiwetel Ejiofor (Solomon Northup) and Oscar winner for Best Supporting Actress, Lupita Nyong’o, are cashing in on their good fortune

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Tammi-Mac: ‘Bag Lady’

Hollywood by Choice

If you’re like most people, you come with a lot of baggage; old hurts that won’t go away, anger, bitterness and stupidity…and that’s just for starters. Actress and radio personality Tammi-Mac is one such person. Yes, she makes you laugh with her quick wit and sassy comebacks, but sister-girl once carried an incredible load of baggage that weighed her down almost to the point of self-destruction. Now she’s ready to help you shed your baggage in the only way an incredible talent can; through her own story, Bag Lady.

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Tyler Perry’s ‘Single Moms Club’

Hollywood by Choice

If you’re a single mom, or were reared by a single mom, this movie is for you. Even if you’re not a single mom, or reared by one, do yourself a favor and see this film.

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Jason Mott: Man Behind ABC’s “Resurrection”

Hollywood by Choice

You may be wondering who is Jason Mott? Mott is a writer...one heck of a writer. And Monday, March 9 Mott’s debut novel, “The Returned” will be unleashed to the world in the form of the dramatic series “Resurrection” on ABC.

PAFF Panel: Hollywood Stories; faith in action

Hollywood by Choice

The Pan African Film Festival is in full swing from now until Monday, February 17 at the new Rave Cinemas Baldwin Hills 15 at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza.

PAFF-Get Ready, Get Ready!

Hollywood by Choice

The Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) takes center stage today so make sure to visit the PAFF website at www.paff.org, get all the information you need regarding screening times, special events, activities and more.

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Critic bashes ‘12 Years a Slave’

Hollywood by Choice

Congratulations to “12 Years a Slave” for winning Best Motion Picture in the Drama category beating “Captain Phillips,” “Gravity,” “Philomena” and “Rush.”

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SNL’s new face of comedy: Sasheer Zamata

Hollywood by Choice

Get ready for NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” new face of comedy. To be more exact, new Black female face of comedy. Sasheer Zamata was recently selected to fill the void of a Black female presence on the long-running series after actress/comedian Maya Rudolph left some six years ago.

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Black female comics; the invisible woman?

Hollywood by Choice

There is a very short list of notable Black comediennes who have reached the superstardom level, and only Academy award winner Whoopi Goldberg comes to mind immediately.

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Holiday Movies

Hollywood by Choice

Mark your calendars for the onslaught of 2013 Holiday movies that are coming your way. “The Best Man Holiday” got the Christmas season off to a great start. Because of its success, Hollywood movers and shakers will no longer snub their noses at films that have a storyline and Black cast, the movie demonstrated that we too have a story to tell, and people are willing to pay money to see it.

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Hollywood underestimates “The Best Man Holiday”

Hollywood by Choice

It came as no surprise to Black audiences that “The Best Man Holiday” was a box office winner, but to mainstream critics and the Hollywood hierarchy it apparently was a big surprise.

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The Best Man Holiday

Hollywood by Choice

In 1999, director Malcom D. Lee ushered in the film “The Best Man” which became the “must see” movie of the time. It was funny, touching and reflected a part of the young African American lifestyle without guns a blazing, and Black mothers crying for their dead sons.

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The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross

Hollywood by Choice

Hopefully you’ve been able to view Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross” on PBS. The series began Oct. 22 and will conclude Nov. 26.

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From slavery to the pulpit

Hollywood by Choice

If you have not seen “12 Years a Slave” then you are missing out on one of the most important films about slavery in recent history.

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American Promise: a real eye-opener

Hollywood by Choice

“American Promise” is an honest and compelling look at the lives and education of two young African American male children over a 12-year-period, from kindergarten to high school graduation. This is the first time I’ve seen a documentary of this nature, and I found it fascinating and yes, a real eye-opener.

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Bounce TV: programming with you in mind

Talk about excitement. When you come face to face with dreamers and doers, you can’t help but be excited. And so it is with Bounce TV and the men and women behind it.

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Smokey Joe’s Café: it’s hot, hot, hot

Now playing at the Pasadena Playhouse, “Smokey Joe’s Café” is a lesson in Americana, cultural crossovers and legendary music, performers and musicians.

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Preachers of LA: Encouraging high hopes

The “Preachers of LA” reality show will premiere Wednesday, Oct. 9 on the Oxygen Network and it is guaranteed to raise some eyebrows; actually it already has.

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Hollywood Black Film Festival

Hollywood by Choice

“Hats Off” to Tanya Kersey who is the founder and executive director of the Hollywood Black Film Festival (HBFF).

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Fall season: dark and lovely

The fall television landscape featuring Black performers is looking up. From the return of Arsenio Hall to late night, to the premiere of Queen Latifah’s new talk show, African Americans are finding their way to network television. And I’m really excited about it.

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Arsenio Hall: Back is beautiful

By the time you read this article Arsenio Hall will be hosting his fourth episode on the Arsenio Hall show. This article reflects my impression of Arsenio’s premiere show on Monday, Sept. 9 at 11 p.m. on KTLA-TV Channel 5.

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Fall movie preview III

This is my final look at movies that will be premiering in theaters in the fall. This is a look at December, and in a word as far as Black performers are concerned, it’s pretty disappointing.

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Fall movie preview part II

As promised, in this article we’ll look at movies starring or prominently featuring Black performers in front of the camera, as well as those behind the camera for the month of November.

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The good, the sad and the ugly

There’s a lot happening in Hollywood these days—some good, some sad and some makes you ask “what the heck were they thinking.” Sadly, 29-year-old Lee Thompson Young who starred as Detective Barry Frost on TNT’s “Rizzoli & Isles,” was found dead in his home on Monday, Aug. 19, from a self-inflicted gunshot.

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Black-on-Black time in the movies

August traditionally inspires moviegoers to look forward, not only to television’s new fall season, but to what hot movies are released as well. Nothing excites me more than seeing Black actors and actresses, as well as Blacks behind the camera, working in the latest films. Please note I’m only focusing on those actors with starring roles.

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What the ‘The Butler’ saw

I hate to admit this, but several weeks ago I was taken by surprise when I saw a commercial trailer for the movie “The Butler,” now entitled “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.”

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The feud between Belafonte and Jay-Z

Hollywood by Choice

The Internet is abuzz with a disagreement between Jay-Z, the impresario of Hip Hop, and legendary crooner and actor Harry Belafonte.

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Bishop T.D. Jakes: man with a mighty message

T.D. Jakes is a man of God, plain and simple. In September 2001, Time magazine asked “Is This Man the Next Billy Graham?” Probably not, but it’s clear he’s the first T.D. Jakes.

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TV ONE’s ‘Celebrity Crime Files’ returns

It appears that BET and TV ONE are turning up the heat when it comes to bringing in not only Black television audiences but general audiences as well. Viewers will be able to look forward to a variety of celebrity- and reality-based programming gracing both stations in the fall.

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‘Big Brother’ is talking racism

Last week the Internet was rocked by the revelation that cast members of the CBS reality show “Big Brother,” now in its 15th season, were recorded by hidden cameras making racist remarks and homosexual put-downs.

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Jim Kelly dies of cancer

I was saddened to hear the news that actor and martial arts expert Jim Kelly had died of cancer, because back in the day he was one of my cinematic heroes.

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Paula Deen: cooking and the N-word

Hollywood by Choice

Use of the N-word has been the downfall of a number of celebrities in the entertainment and sports world over the years. Add one more to the list, celebrity Chef Paula Deen. The former Food Network superstar is now asking herself where she goes from here.

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What happens to Will Smith after “After Earth”?

For the past 20 years or so, from “Independence Day” (1996) and the “Men in Black” franchise, beginning in 1997 right up to the present, A-list actor Will Smith has been delivering blockbuster summer films at the box office.

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Winfrey and Perry: a match made at OWN

We all know that Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey are BFFs, and as far as I’m concerned he is instrumental in bringing a new kind of audience to her network.

Kirk Franklin set for BET Experience at L.A. Live

Get ready for the BET Experience at L.A. Live downtown on Friday, Saturday and Sunday,...

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Television journalists acknowledge the best and brightest

Although the official awards season is several months down the line, some of the best and brightest are being honored by television journalists.

Television journalists acknowledge the best and brightest

Although the official awards season is several months down the line, some of the best...

Being transformed on my journey to light

This is my last article regarding my journey to the light. This doesn't mean I'm...

PAFF gets a big honor from Africa

For the past 21 years the Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) has been entertaining us...

Fighting back with the help of The Champ

Do you consider yourself a fighter? I've always considered myself one. For most of my...

Tyler Perry visits the dark side for OWN

We all know that Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey are BFFs, and if you're like...

Peeples will be people

Every now and then we all deserve a good, cleansing laugh and I suggest that...

Misery loves good company

One of the most dangerous things about being part of the working homeless community is...

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