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The Reel Critic RoundTable Launch

I have been wanting to have a Black Film Critic Show FOREVER. I pitched it in so many variations to advertisers, media outlets, entrepreneurs and friends but I could never get any traction (I think a book on the doors that were closed on Black Film Critique would be in order but I’ll save that for another day). I tried to get critics together on a regular basis but it was hard to get people to spend time at a shoot and not get paid when they had other paying gigs. I shot a pilot with my friend Bonnie DeShong. My sister, Tracie produced the program and I was sure this would be something others would like and investors (advertisers and corporations) could sink their teeth into. Well I was wrong.

The Reel Critic Roundtable

BUT… this pandemic has many of us at home and instead of having a costly shoot, I just did it by Zoom. I got the great Shawn Edwards to agree to be on the show and that was all I needed. If you don’t know, Shawn is celebrating 20 years on Fox 4 in Kansas City. He is the longest running Black Film Critic on TV and he had time for little old me. I got the fantastic Kathia Woods to join me. If you don’t know, here is a woman who has her own platform and employs others. That’s right she pays people (I get asked all the time to be on shows but no one is paying – but we do what we have to do to get exposure that might lead to money). I got my man, Al McGhee who also has his own platform. If you don’t know he does more than movies. Dude does theater, music and boxing. It’s on! I’m Set and Ready to Go!!

This week Shawn, Kathia, Al and I got together to review the movies Hamilton and John Lewis: Good Trouble (Hamilton is really a video production of a stage play – as Shawn was quick to put me in check), discuss the HBO Max decision to pull Gone With The Wind and add a preface and then each of us talked a bit about a particular topic.

I really hope you listen, enjoy and respond. Oh yeah, and share – maybe advertisers, media outlets and others might like to partner and help amplify Black Voices. Good for their customers, Good for us critics and good for the profits.

Esaw Garner and Roee Messinger talk George Floyd and about their project American Trial: The Eric Garner Story – Part 2

Reggie Ponder, The Reel Critic, was able to speak with Esaw Garner, the widow of Eric Garner, and Roee Messinger, the director American Trial: The Eric Garner Story about the George Floyd killing and the film project.

Esaw Garner gives advice to George Floyd Family

American Trial: The Eric Garner Story – Esaw Garner & Roee Messinger speak about the project. Part 1

Reggie Ponder, The Reel Critic, speaks to Esaw Garner, the widow of Eric Garner and Roee Messinger about the project American Trial: The Eric Garner Story

Esaw Garner and Roee Messinger speak with Reggie Ponder, The Reel Critic

Shawn Edwards provides some great picks for pics to watch

Reggie Ponder, The Reel Critic, talks to film critic extraordinaire about movie to watch while at home.

SPRINTER: Writer/Director Storm Saulter talks with Reggie Ponder, The Reel. Critic about his new movie

Reggie Ponder, The Reel Critic got a chance to speak with writer?Director Storm Saulter about his film SPRINTER. It is now available on Netflix and while the story has a universal theme it has a uniquely Jamaican flavor.

The Film Detective meets The Reel Critic

I got a chance to talk to Phil Hopkins of The Film Detective. (www.TheFilmDetective.com). The Short of it is The Film Detective is a channel, streaming service for classic media: TV and Film. From John Wayne to The Three Stooges to Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, there is something for everyone to discover or rediscover. The longer of it? Just check out the interview you curious rabbit.

More Than a Burden

I got a chance to speak to Andrew Heckler, writer/director for the movie Burden and he explained why this story was so important to bring to the big screen. This movie is a true story and an important one.

What’s the movie about?

Orphaned at a young age, Mike Burden (Garrett Hedlund) has spent years living on the margins of society under the spell of manipulative Ku Klux Klan leader Tom Griffin (Tom Wilkinson). and has become one of Griffin’s most loyal lieutenants, and he proudly assists in the opening of a museum celebrating the Klan’s horrific legacy in the center of their small South Carolina town. But once the storefront is open for business, long-simmering racial tensions threaten to finally boil over. 

Reverend David Kennedy (Academy Award®-winner Forest Whitaker), who vows to do everything in his power to maintain order—yet Kennedy’s inner resolve is tested once a former enemy comes to him seeking guidance. After falling in love with a courageous single-mother (Andrea Riseborough) and reconnecting with a high-school acquaintance (Usher Raymond), Mike ultimately chooses to abandon his long-held beliefs, leaving behind his violent past in the hopes of building a brighter future. 

Soon, both Burden and Kennedy find themselves on a collision course with Griffin, who is determined to lure Mike back into the fold—or to see him punished for his betrayal. Penniless and desperate, Burden relies on Kennedy to help him escape a terrible fate. In the face of grave threats to himself and his family, the resolute Kennedy sets aside his own misgivings and bravely pursues a path toward peace, seeing in Mike a chance to save a lost soul and to heal his wounded community.

LOVE Hair Love

I got a chance to catch up with Matthew Cherry, director of the Oscar Nominated Best Animated Short film, Hair Love at the African American Film Critic Association Awards where he was award Breakthrough Director. I also spoke to Producer Karen Rupert Toliver and Directors Everett Downing jr and Bruce W. Smith.

I’m going to post the interviews but nothing can say it better than the actual film. This Film is SO IMPORTANT, SO FANTASTIC and SO TOUCHING. This should be seen by all and I hope it inspires, encourages and breaks down barriers. A towering achievement for such a short film. It connects personally, culturally and universally. MUCH LOVE to HAIR LOVE

Here’s the film

Here’s Matthew Cherry and I talking about the film

Here I am talking to Producer Karen Rupert Toliver and Directors Everett Downing jr and Bruce W. Smith.

Black Comedy Month: Whoopi

This month is Black Comedy Month and I will showcase a few “Black Comedy Month Movie Moments” throughout the month. Each shine a light on some of the best comedians in the world showcasing their cinematic achievements. This one features Whoopi Goldberg. 

To see all of the segments you can go to http://www.blackcomedymonth.com

Black Comedy Month: Whoopi Goldberg

Black Comedy Month: Eddie Murphy

This month is Black Comedy Month and I will showcase a few “Black Comedy Month Movie Moments” throughout the month. Each shine a light on some of the best comedians in the world showcasing their cinematic achievements. This one features Eddie Murphy. 

To see all of the segments you can go to http://www.blackcomedymonth.com

Black Comedy Month: Eddie Murphy