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By Lisa Nixon Phillips In 1987 I was a new Navy wife–straight from the land of Oz. And I didn’t know the first thing about the Navy lifestyle; No warships existed in Kansas! So,...
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was the first daughter born to the union of James and Rosa Gadson, on September 10, 1934, in Ocala, Florida. They would later have another daughter, Pearline, who died shortly after birth. So, as the baby girl of a large family– her mother having been married two times previously– from the beginning there were many to pamper little Earline and she enjoyed the attention.
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Enter for a chance to see
GET ON UP before its wide release in theaters!
One lucky reader will be selected via random drawing and will receive two
reserved seats at this special screening along with two GET ON UP T-shirts.
ENTRY RULES: To enter, send an e-mail to etonupIME@moroch.com and write I MESSENGER SUBSCRIBER in the subject line and your first and last name in the body of the e-mail. Entries must be received by Sunday, July 27 to be eligible. The winner will be notified no later than Monday, July 28. Must be 17 years or older to enter. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. IN THEATERS AUGUST 1
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American Brain Tumor Association’s Team Breakthrough Racing to Advance Brain Tumor Understanding and Treatment
Running Program Recruiting for 2014 Bank of America Chicago Marathon
As an official Bank of America Chicago Marathon Charity Partner, the American Brain Tumor Association’s endurance program, Team Breakthrough, has a limited number of guaranteed entries available for the marathon.
Participants who register with Team Breakthrough receive their race entry, a comprehensive training plan with Chicago Endurance Sports, a personal Team Breakthrough fundraising web page, personal fundraising support, fundraising rewards and a pre-race pasta party.
“Our Team Breakthrough runners are not only committed to completing 26.2 miles, they’re also committed to supporting the mission of the ABTA, and more importantly, the nearly 700,000 people who are living with a brain tumor in the U.S.,” said Meg Schneider, chief advancement officer of the ABTA. “Our participants understand the importance of the ABTA’s brain tumor research funding and the support services we provide for patients and caregivers. They are a very dedicated group.”
Last year, Team Breakthrough’s Bank of America Chicago Marathon runners raised more than $120,000. The money raised allows the ABTA to fund critical brain tumor research and provide support services to brain tumor patients and caregivers.
Team Breakthrough is the national endurance program for the ABTA, and includes half marathons and full marathons across the country. For more information visit www.abtateambreakthrough.org, call the ABTA’s Event Line at 800-886-1281 or email email@example.com.
ABOUT THE AMERICAN BRAIN TUMOR ASSOCIATION
Founded in 1973, the American Brain Tumor Association was first and is now the only national organization committed to funding brain tumor research and providing support and education programs for all tumor types and all age groups. For more information, visit www.abta.org.
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By Jamille Bradfield
Eight feet tall. Pale greenish-yellow skin. A cinder-block shaped head. Electric bolts on either side of his neck. The cumbersome physique of a defensive lineman and a limited vocabulary sprinkled with grunts. Yeah, that pretty much sums up the monster better known as Frankenstein. Author Mary Shelley’s classic version, that is. But alas, there is a new and improved monster in town in the new Lionsgate fantasy action film, I, FRANKENSTEIN. Okay, so he’s not exactly new. He has after all been roaming around for 200 years. However, he is most definitely improved. As a matter of fact, the only physical resemblance between the old and new versions of the creature are the visible scars left behind from being pieced together from the body parts of multiple cadavers when he was first created by his “father,” Dr. Victor Frankenstein.
From the same people who brought us the UNDERWORLD series, I, FRANKENSTEIN, is based on the graphic novel of the same title written by Kevin Grevioux (rhymes with previous). The feature film, written and directed by Stuart Beattie, essentially picks up where Shelley’s classic tale left off but with a newfangled storyline, starring super-talented actor, Aaron Eckhart as the modern-day character, whose name is Adam.
“This is the story of how Frankenstein’s monster begins to earn his humanity,” says Beattie. “We call him Adam in our film and we take him on a modern adventure where he gets caught up in a hidden war between two supernatural races of good and evil. Both sides want him for their own reasons, and he has to struggle to find his own purpose and meaning. He has to figure out who he is, what he is and why he is. He makes hard choices to become the person that he knows he should be…but perhaps doesn’t want to be.”
The film opens with a narrated recap of how Frankenstein’s infamous monster was created and then rejected by his father, who had promised to make him a companion but reneged on that promise, leaving the creature completely alone in the world searching for his purpose in life. Eventually, Adam returns home seeking vengeance on Dr. Frankenstein, and it is here, where he is confronted by two supernatural races — the gargoyles (good) and the demons (obviously evil).
After the gargoyles witness the creature single-handedly fight off some of Naberius’ vicious demons, the winged-stone guardians capture him and take him to their fearless leader, Queen Leonore, played by Miranda Otto, for protection. Unlike others who are traditionally frightened by the Frankenstein monster’s presence, she is not fearful of the creature. In fact, she looks him in the eye and tells him she sees potential for a soul. The queen gives him the name Adam, undoubtedly because he is the first of his kind. This is one of many biblical and spiritual references noted in this film. Another deals with the difference between what happens when gargoyles and demons die. Gargoyles’ souls ascend, while demons’ souls descend.
Adam quickly learns that there is a hidden war going on between the gargoyles and the demons. It is a “hidden” battle because thanks to the creative genius of visual effects supervisor James McQuaide, both supernatural races have the ability to shape-shift back and forth between human and creature form. So basically, the humans have no idea that life as they know it might be coming to an end if Naberius, who doubles in human form as biotech mogul Dr. Wessex, played by veteran screen actor, Bill Nighy, is victorious in his quest for world domination.
Both sides want Adam or better yet, need him. The gargoyles need Adam’s unmatched strength and deadly fighting skills to help them fight off Naberius and his legion of evil demons. While Naberius needs Adam or more importantly, Dr. Frankenstein’s detailed scientific journal of how he created Adam, so he can duplicate the electrophysiological re-animation of scores of corpses he has been collecting and harboring in an underground lab. Once resurrected, he plans to release the descended souls of demons to takeover the host bodies, instantly giving him an army of new demons.
Enter the leading lady, Dr. Terra Wade (Yvonne Strahovski), the beautiful, 100% human and gifted electrophysiologist, who unbeknownst to her is being used by Dr. Wessex to recreate a modern version of the science Dr. Frankenstein used to bring Adam to life. Of course, she knows nothing about Dr. Wessex/Naberious’ diabolical plan and certainly does not believe in gargoyles and demons until she meets Adam and she sees the creatures with her own two eyes.
Once Dr. Wade realizes what is going on, she begins to show concern for Adam and there is clearly a visible spark (no pun intended) between them, evident by her subtle reaction to a shirtless Adam in a scene where she has to suture a wound on his back. For the record, Adam is the most attractive and physically fit monster ever to grace a silver screen. Frankenstein with a six-pack of abs and 0% body fat? Guess the studio knew they had to give female viewers something to look at, considering the target audience for this genre is teen and young adult males.
Speaking of that scene, Eckhart says at 45-years-old, if he was going to have to take his shirt off, he thought he should be in shape. Part of his advance preparation for the role included working out and learning fighting techniques.
“I had never heard of Kali stick fighting before and having never heard of it and then the next day somebody showing up at your door for six months, you know, three hours a day, it’s hard core,” said Eckhart. “After this movie I was tired. I really got to know stick fighting. I think I’ll have that with me my entire life. The thing about this movie really is that it’s so dangerous. You pick up a stick or whatever, a baseball bat, you know what that can do to you, right? So now you’re talking about going full speed ahead with two sticks and if you’re off by a millimeter or a centimeter, that’s your cheek. So it’s very dangerous and when you’re working with two actors, it’s the most difficult, but we had a good crew.”
All of that training certainly paid off on screen when Adam and Dr. Wade joined forces in an attempt to foil Naberius’ plan in the film’s climax, no spoiler alerts for the movie’s ending. You will have to go see it to find out if Adam earns a soul and stops Naberius.
While the film is not my favorite genre, (I’m not big on monster flicks) I actually enjoyed it and I can see why my husband loves the UNDERWORLD movies so much. It’s not likely to be up for any awards this time next year, but it is definitely entertaining. Beattie, who said they filmed in Melbourne, Australia, his native country, “with a $36 million budget over nine weeks,” did an excellent job with the writing and directing of this film. Add to that some pretty amazing special effects, my favorite was the gargoyles shape-shifting into human form, and you’ve got yourself one non-stop, action-packed fantasy film. It’s too dark and scary for young children, but right on the money for the high school/college crowd and generally any adult who enjoys mythology.
Though Beattie wrote the screenplay, the story of I, FRANKENSTEIN originated from the imagination of writer/actor/producer Kevin Grevioux, an African American with a background in microbiology and genetic engineering who comes from Harvard-educated parents. Grevioux owns his own comic book/graphic novel company called Darkstorm Studios and has written for Marvel and DC Comics, as well as episodes of Ben 10: Ultimate Alien for the Cartoon Network. Not something you see everyday in the African-American community, but I am hopeful that young African-American boys and girls who are creative and can draw will be inspired by his success and perhaps open their minds to career possibilities in the comic book world.
His thoughts on where Beattie took his concept? “Stuart has a great sense of the fantastic,” says Grevioux. “He fashioned a very interesting tale, using all his skills, and helped us to create something really cool.”
I, FRANKENSTEIN, has a running time of 92 minutes and is rated PG-13 for sequences of intense fantasy action and violence. It opens today in theaters nationwide. A delightfully entertaining film and if your budget allows for the 3D IMAX experience, it’s worth the investment.