Clarence Riley

Webmaster, editor, writer of Red-Headed Mule. RHM was founded in 2011. Currently is liking British TV better than U.S. TV, mayhaps.
11 September 2017

The Atoning Review

The filmmakers provided a screener for review. This review avoids mentioning major spoilers.

The horror-suspense film The Atoning, directed by Michael Williams, gives a distorted view of an American family. The first act of the movie show this family, mother Vera, father Ray, and son Sam going through the motions inside of their home. Witnessing routine after routine is odd enough until the family sees strange visions of other people. Later, the movie shows who has to do some actual atoning, including confronting some coal-black demons, and why. … Continued &#187

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20 January 2017

Accidental Courtesy Review

Unlike his profession as a musician, Daryl Davis’ methods of fighting racism isn’t always a crowd pleaser. Accidental Courtesy, the documentary featuring Davis, covers his befriending some Ku Klux Klan members and the impact of his actions. It’s a fascinating watch for how Davis thinks outside the volatile box of race relations.

As a younger (millennial) Black man, I have some mild ambivalence to Davis’ work. He has had success in turning some of his hood-and-robe-wearing friends away from the Ku Klux Klan and its sociopathic hate. For that, I am grateful that Davis illustrating face-to-face social interaction can make a difference. However, it’s a one-man movement about crossing the aisle meaning it’s slower kind of change, doesn’t end the Klan, and can send mixed signals. Some of the tensest moments of Accidental Courtesy is when Davis talks those who don’t approve of his methods, such as a representative of the Southern Poverty Law Center and a meeting with two younger Black protesters in Baltimore. Also, Courtesy throws in footage of Donald Trump in a seemingly last-minute attempt of relevance. Davis remains hopeful while living on the brink of the Trump presidency, but how Davis deals with the alt-right would require an update a few years down the line.

Accidental Courtesy is sometimes hard to watch, but I find Davis’ effort a net positive for improving race relations. It has shown me, someone who practically lives online, how we, in general, should value getting to know each other in the flesh. Americans should be exposed to more films showing the fight against racism in action.

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17 November 2016

Cents Movie Review

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From an advance screener copy provided by the filmmakers.

Middle school provided some of the worst moments of my childhood. Kids were reaching peak immaturity before high school came along when we all had to make important decisions about launching our adult lives. Cents, written and directed by Christopher Boone, captures the atmosphere where kids only think they have things figured out. While Cents is free of profanity and explicit stuff, there’s plenty of bad behavior.

Math whiz Sammy Baca (Julia Flores) concocts a major tweak to her school’s penny drive program. She convinces the students operating the drive to tell one other person a day to give a penny, that other person gets another to give a penny, and so on. Sam didn’t think up a pyramid scheme out of the goodness of her heart; her taking a cut of the proceeds beats selling gum on school grounds. Penny by penny, Sammy’s saves up for a brand new toy. Sammy’s intelligent, but only at the end of the movie she shows empathy, contrition, and even a bit of wisdom.

These girls aren’t criminal masterminds, so complications arise in executing the plan and egos are bruised. Because I had trouble keeping up with names, I made names for the other members of the group: ex-BFF, Mean Queen Selena Gomez lookalike, and MQSG’s lackey. The young ladies do fine portraying basic character types, but cartoonish MQSG acts as though she’s on The Suite Life of iCarly or whatever. … Continued &#187

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7 September 2015

Who Still Wants To See Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?

Over 15 years ago, ABC’s Who Wants To Be a Millionaire was THE TV event of late summer. It pushed the boundaries of what game shows were (Million dollar top prize! Dark and moody lighting!) and its popularity sparked an explosive end to a humdrum decade in the quizzer genre.

Millionaire went from a worldwide phenomenon helmed by Chris Tarrant, Regis Philbin, and others to… something far from its glorious late-90s, early 2000s heyday. Here in the U.S., it’s limping along with its fourth syndicated weekday host and a third major format tweak (i.e. “back to basics”).

Tim “Loogaroo” Connolly documents his thoughts:

Without question, WWTBAM was one of my all-time favorite shows. It captivated my attention from the word go, and I was among the throngs of people calling the show’s toll-free number every opportunity I got, hoping to get the call that would give me the opportunity at a big win. I even constructed a fansite for the show, doing my best to chronicle the exploits of each contestant before the constant waves of new contestants got to be overwhelming.

Source: Final Answer, Interrupted: The Delayed Demise of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire – The Bloog

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4 September 2015

Will’s West Week Ever – Spice Up Force Friday While Wearing a Magneto Helmet

MAJOR SPOILERS: Superman is Clark Kent! Marvel creatives split asunder!

William B. West posts his thoughts on pop culture. Topics include Marvel Studios, Jay Pharoah, experiencing Star Wars Force Friday at Target & Toys R Us, Lois Lane’s latest act of Superdickery, & the Spice Girls. … Continued &#187

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14 June 2015

Chauncey Devega’s Requiem for a Heavyweight, Dusty Rhodes

Dusty Rhodes was the man who could draw working black and white people to his battles in the squared circle. He influenced Ric Flair and mentored NXT stars such as Sami Zayn and Enzo Amore. Writer Chauncey Devega discusses Dusty’s lasting impact:

Dusty Rhodes was a legend in the ring and a preacher on the microphone. What’s more, he was also a Black icon

Continue reading: The power and the glory of Dusty Rhodes: The “American Dream” who transcended pro wrestling’s racial divide – Salon.com

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8 June 2015

[PRESS RELEASE] Absalom: Under a False Flag Begins in 2000 AD Prog 1934

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Gordon Rennie and Tiernen Trevallian’s dark-stalking detective returns to 2000 AD. Prog 1934 is the start of “Under A False Flag” goes ashes-to-ashes as Harry Absalom and his team keep the supernatural at bay. Topper image is from “Absalom: Ghosts of London.” … Continued &#187

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6 June 2015

[PRESS RELEASE] FANBOY COMICS TO PUBLISH PENGUINS VS. POSSUMS #6

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LOS ANGELES, CA – June 1, 2015 – Fanboy Comics (FBC) is excited to PvProclaim that it will publish the sixth issue of the creator-owned series, Penguins vs. Possums, which will be released at San Diego Comic-Con 2015.

Created by Sebastian Kadlecik, John Bring, and Lindsay Calhoon Bring, Issue #6 will see the escalation of the interspecies war as it spills out of the shadows and into the light of day. Filled to the brim with heart-pounding action, crushing losses, and deceitful betrayal, readers will not want to miss this monumental issue as the series nears its thrilling conclusion. … Continued &#187

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20 February 2015

Birdman Flies Into Overrated Territory

Birdman isn’t about the adventures of a superhero, but the adventures of a tortured soul. … Continued &#187

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12 January 2015

Peter Cullen at Sac Anime Winter 2015

Legendary voiceover artist Peter Cullen made his way to Sacramento this January and answered questions from press and fans. According to Roshawn, Optimus Prime is the only cartoon character to make him cry twice. TWICE. In these videos below, Roshawn taped some Q&As, one of which is a one-on-one sitdown with the voice of Optimus Prime himself. … Continued &#187

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