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Worst and Best Black Films of 2013

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2013 proved to be a great year for films thanks to the works of many black filmmakers. Story lines were compelling, acting was superb and our love for these fictional and non-fictional big screeners grew. The Oscars will have a hard time nominating actors and actresses in each category because a myriad of hollywood's elite gave award-worthy performances. In the midst of all the winners, there were a few straight-to-dvd movies that made it to theaters. Help us count down our worst to best films of this year!

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16. I'm in Love With a Church Girl

The only good thing that came from this movie was Ja Rule having a job post jail-something most convicts can tell you is a hard feat. The rapper starred alongside Adrienne Bailon in this movie that we predicted was a flop from the trailer alone.

Baggage Claim Paula Patton

15. Baggage Claim

This is Paula Patton's career side eye. The movie starred many acting favorites and was complete with tons of eye candy, but that was the only plus from this epic fail. Between the failed storyline to the lackluster acting, we've seen and expected better from this cast.

VIBE-Vixen-Peeples

14. Peeples

Because Kerry Washington had a great year with Scandal, many missed this year's movie fail. Craig Robinson starred as her boyfriend (not believable) that heads to her family's house for the weekend to ask her father for her hand in marriage and later proposes to her. The movie was so bad we actually wished Madea would make an appearance to save us from this satirical nightmare.

VIBE-Vixen-Madea Christmas

13. Tyler Perry's A Madea's Christmas

It's time for Madea to retire from acting in any more movies. When Madea first came out, we overlooked her mammy actions and mannish exterior. Too many movies later, we're tired of seeing a negative and poorly acted depiction of the grandmother we never knew. The storyline was predictable as all of Madea-featured movies are and the well-known and growing actors were over acted and gave an epic fail of a performance.

The Call

12. The Call

With hollywood veteran Halle Berry starring in a film, we expected a better storyline at least. The acting was good on all parts but the storyline became more unbelievable as the movie went on. While Halle Berry's actions (until the end) were understandable, the interaction between the killer and the teenage girl, Casey Welson (played by Abigail Breslin), was unrealistic--for anybody trying to stay alive that is.

Tyler Perry's Temptations

11. Temptations: Confesssions of a Marriage Counselor

This was a better Tyler Perry film than we expected, Kim Kardashian included. We expected a train wreck because he featured the reality star but her short performance wasn't entirely cringe-worthy and the three main characters- Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Lance Gross, and especially Robbie Jones- did stellar jobs. The downside of the film was that it was predictable and Perry rushed the ending.

Winnie Mandela

10. Winnie

Could anyone believe Terrence Howard to be Nelson Mandela? Granted the film was focusing on the life and fight of his ex-wife Winnie Mandela, the casting was poorly put together. While Jennifer Hudson can sell the part of Mrs. Mandela, Howard's portrayal of the former president of South Africa is lackluster. Good thing he had two other superb films this year to make up for it.

Black Nativity

9. Black Nativity

Black Nativity is a good holiday family film. The message of family, faith, forgiveness, and love are clearly seen throughout the movie, however the best part of the movie is the ending. Much of the beginning and middle can and mostly likely will be skipped.

Kevin Hart Let Me Explain

8. Let Me Explain

Kevin Hart is hilarious. While it's not the best stand up out of his growing collection, his material is always fresh even if the subjects are the same. The negative is there is so much leading up to the actual stand-up and it seems as his routine is only a half hour long; definitely more worth your money watching home or live.

Luv movie

7. LUV

Common proves once again that he's not just a talented musician, but has a promising and respectable acting career. Newcomer Michael Rainey Jr. gives a stellar performance. Together they tell a moving coming-of-age story that unfortunately is very common in the black community.

The Butler Poster

6. The Butler

Lee Daniels does a superb job of depicting the White House and the presidents that inhabited it's walls through the various trying times of a butler. Also, the underlying story of family and a father/son relationship was understood as well. The entire cast of the film gave Oscar worthy performances.

Jackie Robinson 42 Nicole Beharie

5. 42

This film told the inspirational story of the two men who helped changed baseball forever- Robinson and Branch Rickey. The movie was accurate of the prejudice Robinson faced on and off the field and both actors, Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford, gave compelling performances.

Idris Elba

4. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Idris Elba embodied the walk, look, and soul of Nelson Mandela. He gave a powerful and Oscar worthy performance that evoked various emotions and celebrated the life of a man whose accomplishments and fight against apartheid supercedes anything we can fathom.

Fruitvale-Station-Poster-2

3. Fruitvale Station

Racism is alive and well. Opening around the verdict of Trayvon Martin aided in the message and powerfulness of the story line. Michael B Jordan's portrayal of Oscar Grant's story in all his heartbreaking glory make him a future A-lister.

Best Man Holiday Soundtrack

2. Best Man Holiday

A sequel that outdoes the original, this team of actors bring chemistry past the screen and into your hearts. Reminisce of the original, you’ll yearn for a romance like Lance and Sullivan, want the four guys unbreakable bond, imagine the “what ifs” between Jordan and Harper and get great laughs out of Quentin even when the scene is serious. It’s a feel good depiction of black love and success and it resets the bar on storytelling.

5 Movies To Catch This Fall 12 Years A Slave

1. 12 Years a Slave

12 Years a Slave was degrading, relentless, tortureful, and goery, but then again so was slavery. This film found it's limit on what's acceptable and pushed passed it. It forces you to squirm as you are forced to understand for years this was life for blacks forced into slavery. Chitewel Ejoifor gave a career changing performance, but new actress Lupita Nygon'o demanded her presence in Hollywood with her portrayal. If you want to understand and can handle the real America, this is the film to see.

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Kush & Splendor: 5 CBD Beauty Products That’ll Take Your Self-Care Routine From 0 To 100

Lotions, creams, and salves—oh my! With cannabidiol (CBD) popping up in just about every product you can imagine, the cannabis-infused beauty industry is clearly on the come-up. In fact, analysts predict that the “wellness” movement—as well as the legalization of Mary Jane across the world—will help rake in $25 billion globally in the next 10 years, according to Business Insider. That’s 15 percent of the $167 billion skincare market.

And what better way to up the ante on one’s wellness routine than with all-natural CBD? Just ask Dr. Lana Butner, naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist at NYC’s Modrn Sanctuary, who incorporates CBD in her treatments.

“CBD is a fantastic addition to acupuncture sessions for both its relaxation and anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving effects,” Butner shares with Vixen. “The calming effects of CBD allows for patients to deeply relax into the treatment and really tap into the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest, digestion and muscle repair/regeneration.”

She adds that CBD’s pain-relieving effects are “far-reaching,” from muscular and joint pains to migraines and arthritis—and even IBS and indigestion.

The magic lies in CBD’s ability to impact endocannabinoid receptor activity in our bodies. Without getting too wordy, our bodies come equipped with a system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is the HBIC over our sleep, appetite, pain and immune system response. Also known as cannabidiol, CBD teams up with this system to help reduce inflammation and interact with neurotransmitters. According to Healthline, CBD has also been scientifically shown to impact the brain’s receptors for serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating our mood and social behavior.

All that said, it’s important to note that not all CBD products are created equal. Many brands cashing in on the green beauty wave use hemp seed oil, sometimes referred to as cannabis sativa seed oil, in place of CBD... which doesn’t make them any less great! Hemp seed oil is actually high in antioxidants, amino acids, and omega-3 and -6 fatty acids—all of which are thebomb.com for your skin.

“It’s generally viewed as a superfood and is great for adding nutritional value to your diet,” Ashley Lewis, co-founder of Fleur Marché, told Well and Good last month. “In terms of skin care, it’s known as a powerful moisturizer and skin softener that doesn’t clog pores or contribute to oily skin.”

However, when companies start marketing CBD and hemp oil as one-in-the-same, that’s when things get a bit tricky.

“The biggest issue is that hemp seed oil and CBD are two totally different compounds that come from different parts of the hemp plant, have different makeups, and different benefits,” Lewis added. “Marketing them as the same thing just isn’t accurate and does a disservice to consumers who are expecting certain benefits that they won’t get from hemp seed oil and who are often paying more for what they think is CBD.”

So if you’re looking to benefit from the perks specifically attributed to CBD, make sure you’re reading labels before buying, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Hell, ask for a product’s test results, while you’re at it. It never hurts to be sure.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, are you ready to see what all the hype is about? For this 4/20, we rounded up a few CBD (and hemp!)-infused products to help give your self-care routine a bit of a boost. Looks like your holiday just got that much kushier. You’re welcome!

Note: Data and regulations surrounding CBD and its use are still in development. That said, please don’t take anything written in this post as medical or legal advice, and definitely double check the laws in your state. Also, please do your body a favor and hit up your doctor before trying any new supplements. We’re just tryna look out for you. Okay? Okay. Read on.

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Vivica A. Fox Explains Past Hesitance Behind 'Two Can Play That Game' Script

In a new interview with Essence, actress Vivica A. Fox discussed how she initially turned down her role in Two Can Play That Game based on the script. The established entertainer said it's her mission to ensure that black people are positively portrayed onscreen, and noticed the aforementioned film's prose didn't live up to those standards.

"I think the reason why—no I know the reason why—I've been doing this for such a long time is that I fight," Fox said. "When we did Two Can Play That Game, I fought for the way we talked, walked, the way we loved each other." The Set It Off actress continued to state that she consistently declined Two Can Play That Game before signing on to play the lead role. "Because the script, when I first got it, I turned it down three times because it just wasn't a good representation of African-Americans, so I fought them on everything," she noted. "I want to make sure that the images of African-Americans are as positive and as true as they can possibly be."

In 2001, the romantic comedy debuted to fanfare, boasting an all-star cast of Morris Chestnut, Mo'Nique, Anthony Anderson, Bobby Brown, Gabrielle Union, Wendy Raquel Robinson, and more. Directed by Mark Brown (Barbershop, Iverson, How To Be A Player), Fox plays a career driven person named Shante Smith who navigates a curveball when her boyfriend Keith Fenton (Chestnut) cheats on her with a co-worker.

After its release, Two Can Play That Game raked in over $22 million at the box office.

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Actress Gabrielle Union attends the Being Mary Jane premiere, screening, and party on January 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)
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BET To Unveil Edible Billboard For 'Being Mary Jane' Wedding Finale

As Being Mary Jane comes to an end, BET is willing to offer fans a taste of what's to come in the series finale.

The network has enlisted the help of Ayesha Curry, celebrity cook and cookbook author, to create an edible billboard that also doubles as a wedding cake. The sweet treat will commemorate Mary Jane's (played by Gabrielle Union) nuptials in the two-hour series finale.

On April 20 from 1:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. at Brooklyn's Atlantic Terminal in New York, fans will be presented with the edible billboard. At the intersection of Ashland Place and Hanson Place, the closer Being Mary Jane enthusiasts get to the billboard the quicker they'll notice that the four-tiered wedding cake is created from individual boxes, each containing a slice of Curry's prized wedding cake.

All fans have to do is pull a box from the billboard, snap a picture for the 'Gram, take a bite and enjoy. Although lovers of the show won't be able to celebrate with Mary Jane herself, biting into a slice of her wedding cake, for free, is the next best thing.

Don't forget to tune into the series finale of Being Mary Jane on Tues. (April 23) at 8/7 c.

Also, check out what's to come on the series of Being Mary Jane below.

Save the date! 👰🏾It'll be worth the wait. Join us for the series finale of #BeingMaryJane TUES APR 23 8/7c only on @BET! pic.twitter.com/jEwkbC71OW

— #BeingMaryJane (@beingmaryjane) March 29, 2019

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