Brooklyn Decker Battleship
The stunning Brooklyn Decker in a scene from Universal Pictures "Battleship"
Universal Pictures

The Top 5 Reasons To See 'Battleship'

It took a few years and a fistful of dollars to bring Universal Pictures adaptation of the classic Hasbro strategy game "Battleship" to the big screen, but the spoils of the production are about to be reaped. Already an international hit, the film docks in U.S. theaters this Friday, May 18, with enough hype to keep the Titanic afloat. Having seen the film, we can tell you that it’s one of the wildest rides you’ll get to take at the movies this summer and today we’re providing a few specific reasons why you should get on board.

The Girls of Summer

Sexy ladies and big-budget action tent poles go hand in hand, so you shouldn’t be surprised to find two of the most beautiful women on the planet in "Battleship." But don’t call either of them damsels in distress.

Rihanna brings the best of female empowerment to the U.S.S. John Paul Jones as Petty Officer Raikes, a weapons specialist who personally blasts a bunch of alien invaders to holy hell. Not only does she get up close and personal with an E.T. while engaging in hand to hand combat as she defends her commanding officer (Taylor Kitsch, more on him later), she frequently pulls her fellow crewman out of hairy situations throughout the flick. From start to finish Ri is positively bad-ass, and again proves that men aren’t the only heroes in Hollywood.

While the songstress does her things out at sea, model-turned-actress Brooklyn Decker (above) plays an important role in the campaign. Her character Sam Shane, a military physical therapist and daughter of a high-ranking Naval Admiral, is wholly unprepared for the attack when she’s working with a patient in a remote area of a Hawaiian island, but rises to the challenge and helps foil the extraterrestrial’s plans. Her bravery is absolutely admirable, especially considering the fact that she’s a civilian.

Read on for guns and glory...

A Salute to America’s Heroes Young and Old

Director Peter Berg ("Hancock") has been very vocal about his support and respect for the Armed Forces, but he takes that esteem to a whole new level in this action epic. Not only does he include active duty Naval officers in "Battleship," he gets the vets involved, too. Without spoiling too much, we’ll just say that the greatest generation of military champions returns to an iconic vessel to save the day at the climax of the flick - a nostalgic nod to those who gave so much for our country so long ago.

BIG GUNS

Throughout the summer you’re going to see some impressive artillery. "The Avengers" boasted plenty of hi-tech weaponry when it broke box office records. Bullets are gonna fly when "The Expendables 2" shoots its way into theaters. But "Battleship" brings a truly mind blowing display of firepower to the masses. The destructive force of the canons that the U.S.S. John Paul Jones and, later, the U.S.S. Missouri, are equipped with are astonishing, and the aliens ship’s various armaments are equally devastating as they rip through naval fleets and cities infrastructure. Pitted against one another, the result is an explosive spectacle worthy of box office dominance.

Continue reading for something the ladies might be interested in ...

Ladies Love a Man in Uniform

Sure, the boys get to ogle over a pair of stunning superstars in this flick, but fear not female filmgoers: you’ll get a triple threat of masculinity in "Battleship." First, there’s star Taylor Kitsch, who began as a model for Diesel and Abercrombie & Fitch. Anyone who has posed for those clothing companies surely has a body worthy of worship, and there’s plenty of opportunities for you to stare at him in his crisp Navy getup and shirtless as well.

Then there’s "True Blood" star Alexander Skarsgard – the object of many women’s fantasies – who plays Kitsch’s older, more responsible brother and brings the same intensity to this role that he does as vampire Eric Northman. This is his biggest film to date, and that’ll probably be more than enough to coax girlfriends’ more interested in seeing "What to Expect When You’re Expecting" into a showing.

Finally, global box office champ Liam Neeson has a small but important role in the film as the aforementioned Admiral Shane, and while his muscles are a bit past the point of being gawked at, we’ll be damned if he doesn’t look good in a uniform
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Pump Up the Volume

Perhaps more than any other summer blockbuster this year, you need to hear "Battleship" as much as you need to see it. Between executive music supervisor Rick Rubin’s (one of the founding fathers of hip-hop and greatest producers of all time) spot-on song choices, composer Steve Jablonsky’s rousing score and a team of sound effects scientists, you’ll be floored by the film’s assault on your eardrums.

Rubin selects hard-hitting classic rock tracks from the likes of AC/DC and ZZ Top to energize the audience, while Jablonsky – who’s no stranger to making original music for $200 million properties like "Transformers" and "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" – plays up the patriotism with exciting progressions and raises the fear factor with alarming motifs. Overall it’s a complete 360 degree audio experience and deserves to be listened to as LOUD as possible.

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Taraji P. Henson Criticized For Comparing R. Kelly And Harvey Weinstein

Taraji P. Henson is under fire after she appeared to compare the backlash and response surrounding the sexual abuse allegations against R. Kelly and Harvey Weinstein. Henson seemed to question why Kelly was being slammed more than Weinstein, and Twitter users were not happy about her argument to say the least.

Henson shared her thoughts on her Instagram Stories on Tuesday (Jan. 22). She shared a series of videos, first of her looking up the hashtag and fan pages under "Mute R. Kelly." To no surprise, she found a handful of pages advocating for the complete dismissal of R. Kelly.

I love me some Taraji but GIIIIIIRRRRRLLLLLLAAAAAAAA. Make it make sense. pic.twitter.com/qBtYuwpio0

— sie (@NOPussBoys_) January 22, 2019

She then searched for similar tags and pages for Weinstein, but was unsuccessful. She also looked up pages under his full name to no avail. Henson then shared an emoji along with a simple "hmmm." The message suggested that she was confused as to why Weinstein and Kelly – both of whom have been accused of sexually abusing dozens of women through their career – were not receiving the same backlash. It appeared her argument regarding the discrepancy might have something to do with race.

Twitter users were not persuaded by Henson's thesis however. Surviving R. Kelly show-runner, dream hampton promptly responded to Henson's story, saying, "no idea why Taraji Henson wouldn't know that there are not one, but two projects abt Harvey Weinstein. But this is an oft-invoked deflection. While I care abt the Hollywood stars Weinstein abused, I care more abt Asante, Kitty, Jerhona, Lisette, Azriel & Joy & others, even more." Others criticized the actress for not acknowledging the black women and girls who had allegedly been abused by Kelly throughout the years.

While there may not be pages about muting Weinstein on Instagram, the Hollywood mogul is facing consequences for his heinous actions. Weinstein was forced to step down from his company, and he was arrested in May 2018 and charged with "rape, criminal sex act, sex abuse and sexual misconduct for incidents involving two separate women." He later made bail but was mandated to surrender his passport and wear an ankle monitor.

Check out the Twitter reactions to Taraji P. Henson's comments below.

No idea why Taraji Henson wouldn't know that there are not one, but two projects abt Harvey Weinstein. But this is an oft-invoked deflection. While I care abt the Hollywood stars Weinstein abused, I care more abt Asante, Kitty, Jerhona, Lisette, Azriel & Joy & others, even more.

— dream hampton (@dreamhampton) January 22, 2019

All of us watching Taraji’s instastory pic.twitter.com/VbcmMY3t7U

— Kayla Marie (@Maria_Giesela) January 22, 2019

TARAJI IS SO EMBARRASSING I HATE HER pic.twitter.com/tnm4HcMeAP

— fads (@azuIair) January 22, 2019

Yall.....Taraji P Henson done lost her entire mind....I... pic.twitter.com/8CuLCy19h2

— future librarian ♏️ (@blkbravado) January 22, 2019

Harvey Weinstein has been booked, charged, etc. the purpose of #MuteRKelly is to silence his music. For him to be held accountable for his actions. I really need taraji to know better. Unbelievable.

— Krissy Brierre-Davis (@krissys_kitchen) January 22, 2019

Taraji is dumb ass bricks. She really tried to compare mute R. Kelly hashtags to Mute Harvey Weinstein! News flash, Taraji, Harvey is about to go to trial. There are people willing to testify against him. His businesses and career are DONE! R. Kelly is still out here functioning!

— Where Is Yo Scoota? Where Is It?! (@AshleyShyMiller) January 22, 2019

Taraji, why? pic.twitter.com/6a4CenaNg3

— Johnetta Elzie (@Nettaaaaaaaa) January 22, 2019

1. Why would “Mute” apply to people who aren’t in the music industry?2. Weinstein has several documentaries coming about his allegations. 3. Weinstein is also going to trial over his allegations. 4. Between Taraji and Erykah “What Men Want” is a no go. pic.twitter.com/DLzvq32VKy

— M’BlockU (@rodimusprime) January 22, 2019

I wanna have a conversation about women Taraji's/Erykah's age and their obsession with "being a man's peace/shield/sponge because society brings them down enough" but I've already hit my 1 thread a day limit.

— Mári 🇵🇷 (I'm Black. This isn't hard.) (@_ItsMarisWorld_) January 22, 2019

 

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Kelly Rowland Becomes Gladys Knight For 'American Soul'

Kelly Rowland will reprise a multi-episode role as Gladys Knight on BET's newest series, American Soul.

The forthcoming series explores Don Cornelius' journey to creating Soul Train, the first nationally-syndicated show centered around black music, chronicling the uphill battling with record labels and off-camera drama with dancers, artists and more. The '70s set also painted pictures of the racially charged issues that plagued that generation.

It's almost as if the black entertainment channel is creating a Destiny's Child reunion, because Michelle Williams has been announced as the series' Diana Ross.

In a first look clip provided to VIBE, Cornelius is seen pitching the idea to a seemingly uninterested Knight (Rowland). The Chi-town DJ wants to create a show centered around black singer, dancer and performers.

"I’m talking about a national television show written, produced, and owned by black folks. I’m talking about bringing us — not whitewashed, not toned down, but us — into millions of homes, like it or not,” Cornelius' character says to Knight. Non-spoiler alert: Knight would eventually go on to be the first guest on Soul Train if history is any indication.

American Soul will premiere Feb. 5 on BET at 9 pm ET/PT on BET. Watch Kelly Rowland bring Gladys Knight's character to life in American Soul above.

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Spike Lee Earns Six Academy Award Nominations For 'BlacKkKlansman'

It’s been long overdue, but Spike Lee is finally an Oscar-nominated director for 2018’s acclaimed BlacKkKlansman. In addition to being nominated for Best Director, Lee earned six nominations in total, The Los Angeles Times reports.

According to CNN, the Brooklyn director will compete against Black Panther, Green Book, VICE, A Star Is Born and Netflix’s Roma for the Best Picture category. Adam Driver who stars in BlacKkKlansman alongside John David Washington is nominated for Best Supporting Actor. The film is also being nominated for Best Adapted Screen Play, Best Film Editing, and Best Original Score.

 

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6 NOMINATIONS 6 BOOMSHACKALACKAS BROOKLYN IN DA OSCARS YA DIG? SHO-NUFF

A post shared by Spike Lee (@officialspikelee) on Jan 22, 2019 at 7:00am PST

In 1990, Lee was nominated for Best Original Screenplay of his classic Do The Right Thing and in 1998 he was nominated for Best Documentary for 4 Little Girls. Previously, Lee has been critical of the Academy for its lack of diversity in their nominations. In 2016, when Hollywood experienced a boycott for the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, Lee spoke about the conundrum with a grain of salt.

"We talk about the lack of diversity at the Oscars almost every year. Last year people were calling me about Selma and now they are calling me again," he told VIBE. "Every 10 years we get the nominations….but the other nine years we get a drought. But I had to learn the hard way. If your sh*t is good it’s going to stand the test of time. I have to draw up my own history with Do The Right Thing. You know what film won Best Picture in 1989?"

Lee also earned an honorary award at the Academy in 2015. The Oscars will take place on Feb. 24 at The Dolby Theater in Hollywood.

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