Category Archives: Entertainment

Cultural Appropriation in Fashion

Cultural appropriation has been in fashion for decades, yet in the past 10 years, cultural appropriation has been brought to the forefront.

Fashion is a form of art that is interrupted as society sees fit. Throughout the decades, fashion has been a statement that one uses to express love, hate, or even misfortune. Inspiration comes from all over the world and many fashion designers use cultural attire to innovate their fashion lines.

Musical artists like Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Iggy Azalea, and Rihanna all have taken an aspect of another culture for music videos.

Jess Gaertner, Cosmopolitan writer states that culture appropriation “in a nutshell, is when people of one culture start using elements of another culture that’s not their own.”

“It can be seen as a violation when these elements are merely used to make a media or fashion statement, or when they’re taken out of context, becoming offensive – for example, when an item of clothing that has deep meaning to culture is used as a fashion accessory flippantly by someone else,” Gaertner states in article Cultural Appropriation: 10 Times Celebs & Fashion Brands Took Things Too Far.

Vogue, Marc Jacobs, Chanel, Givenchy, Balmain, and Gucci are all luxury designers that have had a controversial issue with appropriating culture from Native American headdresses to Japanese geisha-inspired looks.

Heather Brown, a Native American Chabot student, expresses how she’s not very knowledgeable about her culture, but knows when something is wrong and how fashion is sending out an inaccurate message about the history of her culture.

“If you research the attire of Native Americans, each piece of clothing means something … you put a headdress on a white model in nothing but a bikini, what exactly are you trying to sell?” says Brown.

Brown then goes on to say that “the fashion industry is full of people who don’t understand the history behind the fashion and they should educate themselves.”

Another Chabot student, Darion Jurden, doesn’t follow fashion but knows when something is offensive and is on the lines of cultural appropriation.

“It’s hard to not take something from one culture and brand it out. This day and age people don’t pay attention to the content they put out, just the revenue they bring in. They don’t care about the history or how it might make someone feel,” says Jurden.

There is a fine line between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation. With social media being this era’s platform to express yourself some might be overly sensitive on how their culture is represented.

Dakari Thomas, a writer for The Guardsman states in the article Cultural Appropriation or Over-Sensitivity? “Among minorities in America, we have become hypersensitive to the idea of our cultures being imitated.”

Even though some might confuse cultural appropriation with appreciation, hypersensitivity can cloud one’s judgment on how someone else chooses to express themselves. 

“However, we have to realize as a society that cultural appropriation is present throughout every culture, and it is not frowned upon,” Thomas states.

Cultural appropriation is and will continue to be controversial in the fashion industry due to the belief that some trends commercialize and tarnish the ancient heritage of cultures. There have been debates on whether designers are acknowledging the history behind the attire they are taking from different cultures.

Corona Impacts the Entertainment Industry

The coronavirus also known as COVID-19 is an equal opportunity disaster. The virus has the whole world closing up shop. 

The outbreak has not only affected the working-class jobs horrifically, but it has also taken away something the world has grown accustomed to: entertainment.

“This is going to have a broad impact on most of the sectors in all of the economies of the world, but entertainment will be particularly hard hit,” says veteran media analyst Hal Vogel in an interview with U.S. entertainment magazine Variety.  

According to qz.com, the universal stamp of the film and television production industry is more likely susceptible to infection. With a higher risk of escalating the virus, due to how much traffic is typically needed to make a movie. 

During a variety.com interview Jesse Tyler Ferguson, star of “Take Me Out” expressed that “the thought of rehearsing for something that no one would even get to see is heartbreaking.”

A good portion of film sets are now requiring that their makeup artists and hairstylists only touch performers with gloves and masks on. “People are scared right now,” says Vogel “the big issue in my mind, and it’s not answerable yet, is how long will this go on and will it intensify?”

The outbreak has landed on the cusp of a variety of paramount international film events and each of them has been canceled or postponed, leaving the organizations, the venues, and the patrons with issues that no one has the answers to yet.

Analysts estimate that COVID-19 has already cost the global box office approximately five billion dollars, predominantly due to the closure of theaters in China, Japan, South Korea, Italy, and France.

In the United States alone, the death toll has risen since the beginning of the outbreak and is continuously on the rise, with over 3,400 people testing positive for COVID-19, celebrities included. 

In the eyes of society, celebrities are on the lines of mythical creatures. They are unstoppable, resilient, and not like the average citizen. So when Tom Hanks, Prince Charles, Kevin Durant, and Idris Elba tested positive for the virus the world opened their eyes to just how serious COVID-19 is and how it doesn’t discriminate on your status. 

Rapper Cardi B took to Instagram live with a video about how celebrities are confusing the public by going to get tested for COVID-19.  “If a celebrity is saying, ‘Hey, listen. I don’t have no symptoms. I’m feeling good…., but I want and got tested and I’m positive for the coronavirus, that causes confusion.” 

Cardi B then goes on to say that “45” referring to President Donald Trump is advising citizens not to get tested if you don’t have any associated symptoms yet it seems like celebrities are exempt. Which once again causes confusion.

If you not feeling sick, there no need to go get tested. You are putting yourself at risk and lucky going to spread the virus. 

The chaotic impact of the coronavirus is affecting every territory of the cultural and entertainment scene with no cure or vaccine in sight. The outbreak has caused worldwide panic for everyone.

Sonic the Hedgehog Review

Last year, Sonic the Hedgehog made news for his first-ever live-action movie in the works, and the trailer was released in April. However, fans were outright disgusted to see one of the most iconic video game characters in history designed as an anthropomorphic nightmare. Things weren’t looking bright for the film’s release in November. Unexpectedly, director Jeff Fowler responded by delaying the movie to redesign a Sonic more accurate to the games.

The new design revealed in the movie’s second trailer received overwhelming praise for Sonic’s more cartoonish form, with animation akin to Detective Pikachu. The revised movie was released on Valentine’s Day 2020. With the changes put in place, is it enough to make you fall in love with Sonic the Hedgehog all over again?

Sonic the Hedgehog starts in the middle of an intense and explosive chase between Dr. Robotnik and Sonic in San Francisco, all before Sonic gives you a cliché but funny, “you’re probably wondering how I got here” moment. Just a few seconds in, you already get filled in on Sonic’s personality. 

As a disclaimer, fans should expect a new story written for Sonic, as characters like Knuckles and Tails, and the overarching plot of the Chaos Emeralds are not in this movie. Fans of the video games might question this, but the new lore is treated weightlessly, so it’s not much of a distraction.

The real story is the friendship that forms between Sonic, played by Ben Schwartz, and small-town cop Tom Wachowski, played by Jason Marsden, while on the run from Dr. Ivo Robotnik, played by Jim Carrey. 

Tom Wachowski is an aspiring officer who wants to do more big jobs instead of helping do errands for the town of Green Hills, Montana (a call back to the iconic Green Hills Zone in the video games.) Meanwhile, Sonic is the only one of his species on Earth and spends much of his time in seclusion. Watching Tom and his family, he wishes for a real friend. To make sure he doesn’t go insane he uses his super-speed ability to interact with himself almost simultaneously, while simultaneously emphasizing how much he is alone. This is a nice touch from the movie. With their own personal narratives, Tom and Sonic mesh together seamlessly and have great chemistry with each other.

One of Sonic’s goals in the movie is to get his rings back. The movie has been able to reinvent staples of the original video game series, such as reworking the iconic rings that Sonic collects in the game into the film’s “McGuffin,” or object that is necessary for the story to move forward. Rings are used as portals to different worlds, which is how Sonic ended up on Earth.

Some of the standout performances were by Carrey and Schwartz. Even when side by side, Carrey meets the same level of animation in his performance as Sonic, an actual CG animated character.

Schwartz’s voice was a satisfying Hollywood rendition of Sonic, and his performance made Sonic lovable without teetering on the edge of irritability. Moviegoer Mario Cruz felt the same, “Sonic was not as annoying as I expected him to be,” he said. “He was actually well developed as a character.” 

It helps that Schwartz is an actual fan of the Sonic series, playing the game as a child. “When it was released in 1991, the speed at which you could play it was remarkable,” said Schwartz in a press interview with IGN. Experiences like this really helped him really tap into the character of Sonic, and viewers can tell from his performance.

Sonic and Dr. Robotnik really stand out, but at the expense of the other characters. The more human characters like Tom and his family, unfortunately, stand by the wayside. James Marsden’s character as Tom Wachowski is admirable but carries the arc of being a cliché good cop. But he’s sufficient to fill the role as a human interacting with an animated being in a live-action movie (i.e. the Smurfs or the similar video game movie Detective Pikachu.)

Sonic the Hedgehog is a great family film that should please those unfamiliar to the lovable blue hedgehog, and those who’ve been fans for decades. With some glaring plot holes and cliches, if you don’t look too deep into it, Sonic the Hedgehog is a fun-filled movie with great humor and animated characters (both in performance and CGI.) It’ll be a fast hour and forty minutes. 

And make sure you don’t go too fast after the movie, there’s a special after-credits scene for loyal Sonic fans.

The Call of the Wild Review

The Call of the Wild is like a trip to a zoo where the animals also view the animals from a safe distance.

The main character, the dog Buck, was animated with CGI. The CGI was one of the movie’s strengths, in particular the animal fur. Buck’s slightly cartoonish appearance makes a point that he acts differently, more human, than the other dogs.

However, for this reason, Buck is also the film’s weak point. He is introduced as a rich Californian’s pet dog, who is kidnapped and sold far north as a sled dog during the 1890s Klondike gold rush. Throughout the story, Buck is haunted by a giant wolf spirit, representing his return from pet to beast, the “call of the wild.”

As each trial passes, Buck undergoes no change but is rewarded as if he had. He shows mercy in a fight to the death yet the loser accepts self-exile. Buck chases rabbits as he did in California, but lets it go free when he finally catches one. He pounces onto a human target in three different scenes, but never bites them.

The plot took a few unexpected turns, but between the twists it was easy to see ahead. A canoe rows down the river, of course it goes over a waterfall. Buck wants John Thornton (Harrison Ford) to quit drinking, so of course John finds one last bottle and gives it up willingly.

John was the only human character to be fully developed, because most others did not appear long enough in the story to do so. Perhaps this was done to let the audience understand how Buck feels every time he leaves someone behind.

The best human character in the film was the unnamed man in the red sweater, whose job is to beat new dogs into obedience. This man’s wide eyes, deliberate speech pattern, and fighting stance uniquely indicated he was not talking to a human.

The filmmakers took advantage of four government subsidies to shoot on location in California and the Yukon. The camerawork shows plenty of the landscape, but the music brings to mind beauty and wonder, rather than forbidding and overwhelming.

Harrison Ford narrates in character throughout the film, which forces a human’s perspective on what should be a dog’s story. Nothing was gained from the narration that was not covered a second time in dialogue.

This is a movie you could watch with your kids, but probably not a movie your kids will show their kids one day. The Call of the Wild was released in theaters February 21, 2020.

Flying High With Dr. Sanchez

Dr. Marion A Sanchez holds three world records and still somehow finds time to host a talk show called Flying High on the Chabot television station. Many students see him around the Chabot campus but only know him for his friendly personality and quirky demeanor.

Dr. Sanchez is a retired Digital media instructor at Chabot College. About a year ago, he decided to devote his free time to producing Flying High. Flying High is a once a week, unique half an hour interview with varying guests from all walks of life. 

His guests range from a former Pakistani official to Bay Area Presidential candidate Tom Steyer. Flying High is produced solely with the help of Sujoy Sarkar and Morgan Butler, two friends of Dr. Sanchez.

Even though Dr. Sanchez hosts Flying High and currently holds three world records for his age of 87 in the 50, 100 and 200-meter dash. His real calling is to try and do everything he can to help promote world peace. 

In Dr. Sanchez’s free time, he raises money to send wheelchairs to disenfranchised children overseas. So far this year, he has been able to raise enough money to send over 550 wheelchairs to children in Afghanistan, Cuba, and India.

Every year Dr. Sanchez travels to India, Thailand, Russia, and many other Southeast Asian countries to help facilitate basketball tournaments with disenfranchised youths. Recently over the summer, he assisted in the creation of an 8,000 child basketball tournament in India.

Dr. Sanchez does this yearly to keep his foot in the door method to get the attention of people in higher positions to discuss possible solutions to help achieve world peace.

Dr. Sanchez’s favorite location that he’s visited working to promote world peace is Russia. “Of all the places I’ve visited, Russia is unique. It’s such a different culture from what we are used to in America.”

Dr. Sanchez is so dedicated to world peace and unity that he even wrote a Pledge of Allegiance to the world. “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the world and to all the lands and countries it represents. One World indivisible with Liberty, Justice, Freedom, and Love for all.”

All in all, Dr. Marion Sanchez is a man who strives to make the world a better and more peaceful place for the generations to come. Make sure to tune in to Dr. Sanchez’s Flying High, on Chabot TV on Comcast channels 27 and 28.

Ad Astra: To the Stars or to the Dumps?

Ad Astra starring Brad Pitt as Roy McBride is set in this dystopian future where waves coming from deep space are disrupting all the electronics across the solar system. The protagonist is set up to be this emotionless guy who split from his wife and is not even afraid of falling from the upper atmosphere. 

The pacing of the movie, for the most part, is pretty slow even the action scenes feel about as slow as the last hour of work. Not that it is a bad thing at all, it is quite refreshing, especially with the oversaturation of fast-paced action movies. 

There is one scene on the moon where some space pirates try to steal their little cart and equipment. The scene was much faster paced than any other part of the movie, even faster than the climax. I’m only bringing this up because it was the only scene where it felt out of pace with the rest of the movie. 

I have grown quite tired of all movies, books, comics, and games doing these massive exposition dumps at the beginning of the story, where the protagonists narrate their entire life story up to the point where we come in. It just feels like lazy writing to me. I would prefer being able to piece together some of the story as it came up naturally in the film.

For Ad Astra, I appreciate that they didn’t do as much of that. The significant bits of background and story came from what was currently going on. Like when we find out that these waves are not only just affecting the earth, but they are hitting both the Moon and Mars knocking out all of their electronics as well.

What this movie does well is world-building. The world that this movie exists in is not an empty or bland one. For instance, when traveling to the moon, it was an option to go commercially, and the flight attendant mentions that it is $125 for a blanket and neck pillow. As soon as Roy stepped off the ship, you can easily spot several chain restaurants and retailers showing that not even the moon can escape capitalism. 

Another stop in the movie was the dystopian surface of Mars. Mars felt more like a military base compared to the moon, where there were commercial flights to and from. There were fewer people and no mention of it being a tourist stop like the moon.

The main environment in this film was aboard spaceships, and they made it feel compact. For a good part of the movie, the protagonist is alone in a spacecraft for a few months, and the feeling of vast emptiness and isolation kicks in.

Chabot student and movie attendee, Jacob Jenkins had this to say about the movie. “I have never seen Interstellar, so I can’t make that comparison, but I really liked this one it felt super atmospheric from the environments and the world it set up was fascinating. Plus, Brad Pitt is just a solid f****** actor.” 

In the end, I really enjoyed Ad Astra. I liked the world-building the shots of open space and the super chill vibe about it.

Hustlers Review

The movie Hustlers brings you a sexual-storm that makes you want to drop it like it’s hot while showing the strength of sisterhood and being unashamed in your skin.

Being a stripper is a way of life for some or a way to make ends meet for others. Based on actual events from Jessica Pressler’s Dec. 28, 2015, article in New York Magazine and Lorene Scafaria’s direction you take a never-ending cycle of drugs, sex, and money, not necessarily in that order. That doesn’t stop until it’s too late.

Jennifer Lopez plays Ramona, a smoking hot stripper, who is about the mighty dollar. She is the moneymaker at a Manhattan strip club. This movie takes you down a timeline with Ramona and Destiny (Constance Wu) and their so-called family.

In 2007 Ramona met a skinny little Asian woman named Destiny and saw the potential in her. With four little words, “Climb in my fur,” Destiny’s life changed. 

Women in the club who didn’t give Destiny a second glance were now giving her private lap dance lessons. One, in particular, is Diamond portrayed by Grammy winner Cardi B, her first words to Destiny were “Bi***, stay out my section,” but now that she is close with Ramona, Destiny has some clout. 

Romona is a lioness and lethal weapon and very manipulative and verges on being a narcissist. Destiny, a follower, gives you the notion that she will never be a leader. Even at the end of her journey, the only thing she leads herself into is becoming a snitch and losing what little family she had left.

Destiny had a horrible childhood. Her parents left her at her grandparents’ house and never turned back. You guessed it. Yup, she’s a people-pleaser who will do anything to fit in, which leads her into trusting too easy and loving too hard.

Ramona, Destiny, Mercedes (Keke Palmer), and Annabelle (Lili Reinhart) were all strippers with the need for money and each other. But who needs who more?

Some would call what Ramona is doing pimping, but considering they never had sex with any clients; it’s not pimping. However, when you throw the label family on it, it becomes a little hard to see through the ugliness.

When things get risky for the “family.” Ramona is on this “me me me” kick. Destiny wants things to run smoothly. Mercedes wants to marry her jailbird boyfriend, and Annabelle is just a cat-loving homebody, who vomits every time she gets nervous.

You can see things are about to go south. So many different personalities being run by one puppet master, Ramona. Feeling she can get more bang for her buck, Ramona suggests they recruit new girls for their business.

If you’re thinking they were selling their goodies, you; my dear reader are wrong. It’s worse.

Imagine being a grown man with Wall Street money, Ivy League education, and the world at your fingertips, just looking for a good time. It’s just your luck you meet a beautiful Latina (Ramona) who has not one, not two, but three just as beautiful sisters.

Mind you, Ramona’s sisters are Asian (Destiny), African American (Mercedes), and Caucasian (Annabelle). Some look a little suspect to me. They are ordering round after round, yet you’re the only drunk one. 

The strippers were drugging these men with Ketamine and MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine) cocktails. Then they would drain their bank accounts of fifty thousand dollars a swipe, and they were swiping their VISA’s like windshield wipers during a hurricane.

One of Ramona’s new recruits is a junkie and snitch, and just like that, their ship went down like the Titanic. Everyone was arrested. Destiny snitched on everyone because she just remembered she had a baby with rapper G-Eazy, who plays Destiny’s deadbeat baby father, Johnny.

This movie overall was booty-shaking good. I enjoyed every minute of it, as did moviegoer Samantha Gibson and others that clapped their hands as the credits rolled.

“I’m glad I got to see it early, but it’s definitely worth the wait for those who didn’t,” says Gibson while exiting the theater.

How to train a dragon: Bland

If you’re a fan of the “How to Train a Dragon” franchise you might be a little disappointed with this third installment “How To Train A Dragon 3: The Hidden World.” I’m not saying it’s a bad movie. A child would definitely love it. As for me, I feel it could have been better based on the length of time it took to create. Fans have been waiting for some time, and the 2019 release didn’t quite hit the mark.

I was expecting so much more, it felt like the movie was rushed and not finished. Some would go as far as to say they were ripped off.

Yes, it gives you valleys of entertainment and laughter, but it all just seemed to be missing some key components that I think would have made an enormous difference.

Jay Baruchel and America Ferrera make a dynamic duo as Hiccup and Astrid, soon to be the new clan leaders these two have their work cut out for them in this movie. They face a villain who reminds me of Count Dracula from Hotel Transylvania with a Hitler complex.

Grimmel the Grisly, played by F. Murray Abraham, is precisely what you see when you picture a villain tall, lanky, bossy, and cruel. Trying to wipe out all Night Furies, Grimmel sets his sights on Toothless, the last Night Fury and Hiccup’s best friend.

Jairon Williams, a 7-year-old, an attendee at the movie screening expressed how upset he was to know what Grimmel was trying to do. “He is a bad man, and he should go to jail,” Jairon says while looking up at his mom for confirmation.    

What I was expecting and what I got were polar opposites. I was hoping for this fantastic world of dragons, but only got seven minutes of the Hidden World when I feel they could have done a lot more. The only dragons that they really show are the same ones from the past movies and Netflix series.

Ashley Harrison, a 12-year-old moviegoer, was amazed by the graphics in the film but thought they could go a little deeper into all the different types of dragons. “I didn’t know what half the dragons were. I hope they come out with a book,” stated Ashley.

The movie did have some fantastic moments of suspense especially when they discovered a Light Fury. The love story between Toothless and the new Light Fury was quite epic if you speak dragon or understand the mating dance for dragons.

Hiccup’s mother Valka, played by Cate Blanchett, was present in this movie. Her role was not as prominent as it was in franchise’s sequel. She was a proud and helpful mother in this film. How they incorporated the clan of Berk was quite amazing. You get to see all the new personalities, not just Fishlegs, Snotlout, Ruffnut, and Tuffnut.

The How to Train Your Dragon Trilogy was a strong franchise, entertaining and family-oriented. It is a must-see but it’s a must see from the comfort of your own couch. It would be easier to digest the medium raw chicken they are serving in this movie. I’m not satisfied in the least.

Isn’t It Romantic? – Just a Cliché

The 2019 hit “Isn’t It Romantic” crosses all spectra of romantic comedies. Rebel Wilson and Adam DeVine give you a feeling of nostalgia with all the standard cliches most have seen for since the dawning of romantic comedies.

Todd Strauss-Schulson put his best foot forward on this film, it gives you all the things you associate with a romantic comedy. The basic stereotyped characters such as the competitive women in the workplace, shallow men who live in their perfect little bubble, and the flamboyant gay best friend are all used to make points about clichéd characterizations in other movies.

Wilson’s character Natalie is a New York architect that is convinced that happy endings don’t exist and romantic comedies are all a lie, which causes her to have little to no love in her life.  Day-to-day living is what Natalie is accustomed to and trying to make a name for herself at the architect firm.

DeVine’s character Josh is a project manager for the same architectural company. He is a fun loving free-spirit who just wants Natalie to give him a chance, but of course, Natalie friend-zoned him.  Josh is like the “Little Engine That Could” he never gives up.

“I know what’s going to happen because of these cliches, you can see it coming,” moviegoer Crystal Singh says. “I can’t help, but wonder which cliché it’s going to be.”

Being a cliché film you know everything is going to have a happy ending, but not before all the trials and tribulations that lead up to a massive chase and some sort of grand gesture.

That’s precisely what happens to Natalie when she tries to evade a mugger and runs smack dead into a subway pillar and knocks herself unconscious. And you guessed it, into a parallel universe where the grass is always greener.

Waking up in the hospital in a fancy room with a handsome doctor ironically named Dr. Hansom, played by Tom Ellis, Natalie finds everything is bright, beautiful, happy and PG-13 movie at it’s finest.

Natalie realized something is insanely wrong and must figure out how to rectify the situation so she can go back to her normal boring life. To break this curse, Natalie thinks she has to make someone fall in love with her, but it’s not that simple.

Not only does Natalie have to figure out how to get to her normal life back she realizes that everything that glitters isn’t gold.  Even when things seem like they couldn’t get any better.

This is especially true when gorgeous Isabella played by Priyanka Chopra falls for Josh after he saves her from choking and she has love at first sight moment, how ironic. This is when Natalie has a revelation that she has to make her handsome boss/client Blake played by Liam Hemsworth fall in love with her.

Blake goes from being a mean boss with an American accent who doesn’t take Natalie or take her work seriously and thinks she is a coffee girl at the firm to prince charming who seems like everything is peachy and perfect.

Kind of like the evil Prince Han in “Frozen,” Blake’s obnoxious, yet it’s not until he tries to steal Natalie’s idea that she sees the light and realizes that Josh is who she is in love with, but Josh is newly engaged to Isabella.

To get Josh to fall in love with her, she does everything she originally was against like singing karaoke in front of a crowd at Josh’s engagement party with a rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Want To Dance With Somebody.” The group responds because everybody already knows the choreography.

That wasn’t enough to sway Josh to fall in love with her; the next best thing to do is stop the wedding, which she did, only to realize that she has to love herself. With this new outlook on life, she drives off, right into a pole.

Waking up in the world where she has her regular old life back Natalie starts taking charge of her life with new insight and realization that she is perfect the way she is.

Full of laughter and F-bombs “Isn’t It Romantic” is sure to be a blockbuster hit and it is a must watch but at home. Definitely a Netflix and chill type of movie.