“Hidden Figures:” UNSUNG HEROES

hidden_figures_poster_1

In just about every game, especially every “big” game, and every game of consequence, there is a player that turns into a hero in an instant. This player turned hero does not plan on it, but he or she ends up doing the unthinkable: they make the play of the game. The coach may not even know their full name; the other players don’t associate with them that much if at all; and most fans don’t even know they’re on the team. But this hero in hiding is about to go public. This hero may not be a starter or a star, but this average Joe will make a play, a game saving tackle, a field goal in overtime, a pick-six interception for a touchdown, a three pointer at the buzzer, or a walk-off home run, that wins the game and seals the victory.

The Film “Hidden Figures” is a must see. If you have not seen this film, stop reading – stop reading right now — and go and see this inspiring, stirring and stimulating historical narrative. There are outstanding, Oscar worthy performances in this Oscar worthy film that should be seen and appreciated by all. “Hidden Figures” is up for three Academy Awards at the Oscars Sunday night.

HIDDEN FIGURES is the incredible untold story of Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe)—brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big.

Read more: http://www.denofgeek.com/uk/movies/hidden-figures/43036/hidden-figures-new-character-posters-trailer#ixzz4Zpam0Jq0

The movie, based on the book by Hampton native Margot Lee Shetterly, details the lives of three black women working at Hampton’s NASA Langley during the space race — in the height of the civil rights movement in the 1950s and ’60s. All three women have been hidden to many of us who did not know that African American women played a vital role in the space race. They did complex math calculations for NASA, and were called “computers” long before the term was applied to machines.

Shetterly’s book proposal was sent to 16 publishers. There were enough “nos,” that she submitted her research to a Ph. D program at the University of Virginia. She was accepted into the program about the same time she received an offer from publishing group William Morrow and Company.

In 2014, the same year her book received an offer, Shetterly’s proposal for the story was auctioned off to Levantine Films. Before Shetterly even had finished writing the book, she got a call from Donna Gigliotti, an Academy Award-winning producer. Gigliotti has producing credits for films including “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Shakespeare in Love.” She was hooked by Shetterly’s 55-page proposal.

“I was attracted to ‘Hidden Figures’ because it is an untold story; it’s authentic,” Gigliotti wrote to the Daily Press in September via email. “Also it has strong women characters at its center — all my movies share that quality.”

It soon had a screenwriter, Allison Schroder, who received an Oscar nomination for adapted screenplay along with the film’s director, Theodore Melfi. The script was delivered in May 2015 and casting began a month later. Taraji P. Henson (Katherine Johnson), Octavia Spencer (Dorothy Vaughan) and Janelle Monae (Mary Jackson) were brought on as leads.” Jonathan Black, Contact Reporter, joblack@dailypress.com

The three women portrayed in “Hidden Figures” are what we call in in sports “unsung heroines.”

hidden-figures-poster-2

David was a “sung” hero. He defeated the giant Goliath with a sling and a stone. In so doing he defeated giant Goliath and the archrival Philistine army and won the victory for Israel. The eighth son of Jesse went on to be the sweet psalmist of Israel and the apple of God’s eye. After David’s unlikely but stirring victory, the women sang, “Saul has slain his thousands, but David his ten thousands” (1 Samuel 18:7). While there are many others like David, there are many more unsung heroes whose songs have yet to be sung.

Just like the women in “Hidden Figures,” the woman at the well was an unsung hero. The Samaritan woman from the town of Sychar was the first evangelist. But first she was a “only” woman, and a Samaritan woman at that. When the disciples returned from buying food in town, they were surprised to find Jesus talking with “a woman”.

Jesus came so that we would all be one big happy family. But before He came the status of women was, at best, the least of all. And it was a common fact that the Jews had no dealings with Samaritans. Worst still, this woman had a checkered past. She had been married five times, she was living with a man that was not her husband, and she went to the well alone in the heat of the day. No friends, no lasting companionship, no true loving relationships. Yet she is the first one to whom Christ revealed himself to outside of his inner circle. Heaven arranged for her to meet the True Prophet, the prophesied One, and the Savior of the World.

God has a way of choosing and using unlikely, unassuming underdogs to achieve his purposes. This teaches us that God is not looking for superstars, standouts, “phenoms”, or number one draft picks who are full of themselves. God is looking for those like this woman who met Jesus at the well, an unlikely, unsung heroine whose name we don’t even know. God is looking for those who like the woman of Samaria are thirsty for living water. God is looking for those who don’t mind leaving their water pots, for those who will run and tell the very people who may despise and disdain them that they have found the Christ.

She was the lone witness and a “hidden figure” that caused many of the Samaritans to believe that Jesus was the Messiah. And God is still looking for heroes and heroines whose songs have yet to be sung.

https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-Lkry-newtab&hsimp=yhs-newtab&hspart=Lkry&p=Hidden+figures+you+tube+movie+trailer#id=34&vid=3c7ff4296914be4780720654d9799f29&action=view

 

Sometimes, Nothing is Black And White

black-or-white-movie-trailer-son

Sometimes, Nothing is Black and White

Kevin Costner fans unite. My man has turned in yet another A+ performance, and it doesn’t hurt that he’s surrounded by an appropriate cast of Hollywood all-stars. Costner and Octavia Spencer combat and combine in this gut wrenching drama between a traditional, white male from the suburbs and a dominant, black female from the hood with their doting, darling, angelic granddaughter caught in between. In the middle of this dynamic, dysfunctional and sometimes distasteful family mess is the darling child actress Jillian Estell who wins you over from the gun.

black-or-white

BLACK OR WHITE is the story of a grandfather who is suddenly left to care for his beloved granddaughter. When her paternal grandmother seeks custody with the help of her brother (Anthony Mackie), the little girl is torn between two families who love her deeply and will fight for her desperately. With the best intentions at heart, both families fight for what they feel is right and are soon forced to confront their true feelings about race, forgiveness, and understanding. Anchored by an all-star cast and based on real events, the movie is a look at two seemingly different worlds, in which nothing is as simple as black or white.

Black and White 2

So watch this film, which is based on a true story, because sometimes things don’t turn out the way we think they will. And sometimes (or most times)  we need to step back and let the truth speak for itself. And sometimes, in some things, you may think you’re right, but you could be wrong, because sometimes, nothing is black and white.

And The Last Shall Be First . . .

Mcfarland-usa

So the last shall be first, and the first last.
Matthew 20:16, KJV

Kevin Costner is one of my favorite actors. He has stared in and directed a number of sports movies that have told the story of stunning triumphs and stellar victories. From Field of Dreams to Bull Durham to For Love of the Game, Costner captures the essence of sports on camera and through film like few others can.

Costner’s latest amazing achievement is McFarland USA, a true story about a transplanted, first year, cross-country coach in a small California town who transforms a tacky team of amateurish athletes into a comely collection of championship contenders. With no means and no money and no modicum of coaching cross-country, Costner’s character, Jim White, manages to convince and convert a contingent of castaways into a compelling crew of contenders.

Costner certainly came across a little known, marvelously phenomenal tale of trial and triumph. It is a telling of the lives of young men who didn’t’ think they had a chance at anything but share cropping and menial living. Yet Coach White coached his chosen, cherry-picked, crew of up and comers and coached across the class and color lines and was blessed to harvest a bumper crop of champions.

I watch sports movies for something to do and McFarland USA came of nowhere and is right up there with the best of ‘em. Don’t tell everybody, but I’m a sucker and a pushover for a rags-to-riches, come from behind, win when no one gives you a chance story. And McFarland USA is another one that will juice you up and fill you up and lift you up to believe when all signs point the other way.

McFarland USA teaches that the last can and indeed shall be first. That’s theological, spiritual speak for this: the underdogs and underachievers and under-believers can come from all the back and end up leading the pack. An underdog is one who is last and least and the slightest and has the slimmest chance at a championship. All underdogs have a disadvantage and are expected to lose. And that is why McFarland USA is such a great movie and is an even greater story.

Just watch it and see.