Google+

Ex-Con Opens Chess Club for At-Risk Kids in Ghetto-Based Biopic

 

Life of a King

Film Review by Kam Williams

 

Eugene Brown (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) was so worried about returning to his neighborhood in inner-city Washington, DC after serving 17 years for bank robbery that he shared his concern with his cellmate Searcy (Dennis Haysbert). The wise, old elder responded by making an analogy between life and the game of chess amounting to the simple suggestion “Take care of the king.”<a href=”http://befirstmediagroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/life-king-2013-movie-poster_0.jpg”><img class=”alignright size-medium wp-image-691″ alt=”life-king-2013-movie-poster_0″ src=”http://befirstmediagroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/life-king-2013-movie-poster_0-201×300.jpg” width=”201″ height=”300″ /></a>

He also handed Eugene a chess piece, hoping it might serve as a constant reminder to avoid trouble by employing fundamental game strategy. And that practical piece of advice would come in handy, especially since landing employment would turn out to be quite a challenge, given his criminal record.

But rather than break the law again for a quick buck, Eugene displayed the patience to wait until he found a legit job as a janitor. Working at the same high school his children had attended, he was afforded an opportunity to redeem himself when asked by the principal (LisaGay Hamilton) to monitor detention, too.

Instead of just having the students stand at the blackboard and write, “I will not be late for class” or “I will not forget my homework” 50 times, Eugene came up with the inspired idea of teaching them how to play chess each afternoon. Soon, he founded a chess club as a regular afterschool activity and viable alternative to the gangsta ways so many of the troubled youth found attractive.

Meanwhile, Eugene needed to mend fences with his estranged offspring, college coed Katrina (Rachae Thomas), and black sheep Marcus (Jordan Calloway), a juvenile jailbird following in his father’s footsteps. That proves easier said than done since the absentee-dad wasn’t around for either’s formative years.

Written and directed by Jake Goldberger (Don McKay), Life of a King is a warts-and-all biopic based on the downfall and resurrection of the real Eugene Brown. As raw and realistic as it is predictable and cliché-ridden, this modern morality play does at least drive home a pertinent message for adolescents in the targeted demographic.

A Sunday school-style parable which makes very effective use of chess mastery as a metaphor for negotiating the perilous gauntlet of possible ghetto pitfalls.

&nbsp;

Very Good (2.5 stars)

Rated PG-13 for drug use, violent images and mature themes

Running time: 100 minutes

Distributor: Millennium Entertainment

&nbsp;

To see a trailer for Life of a King, visit: <a href=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24bM9kZp9NQ” target=”_blank”>http://www.youtube.com/watch?<wbr />v=24bM9kZp9NQ</a>

&nbsp;

,

Entertainment

For movies opening May 6, 2016

  OPENING THIS WEEK Kam's Kapsules: Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun by Kam Williams For movies opening May 6, 2016 BIG BUDGET FILMS A Bigger Splash (R for profanity, graphic sexuality, frontal nudity and brief drug use) Erotic thriller, loosely based on La Piscine (1969), revolving around a rock icon (Tilda Swinton) whose vacation with her boyfriend (Matthias Schoenaerts) on a remote Italian island is disrupted by the arrival of an old friend … [Read More its Good for You...]

Books

From #Black Lives Matter to Black Liberation

  From #Black Lives Matter to Black Liberation by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor Haymarket Books Paperback, $17.95 286 pages ISBN: 978-1-60846-562-0 Book Review by Kam Williams “The eruption of mass protests in the wake of the police murders of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York City have challenged the impunity with which officers of the law carry out violence against Black people and punctured the illusion of a postracial America. The … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

ART EXHIBITION: 150 Years After The Civil War

  Cynthia Groya 150 Years After The Civil War: A Contemporary Perspective January 10 - March 6, 2016 Artist's Reception: Sunday, January 24, 3:00 - 5:00 pm Nassau Club 6 Mercer Street  Princeton, NJ 08540 The ideas reflected in Groya's paintings express a conversation about struggle for equal rights in our culture, in our time. The origin of this struggle can be traced to The Civil War in our country, which ended 150 years ago. The … [Read More its Good for You...]

Real Estate

Is Buying a Hobby Farm in Your Future?

  Is Buying a Hobby Farm in Your Future? By Burt Carey More and more Americans are escaping big city or suburb life for one in the country on their own 40 acres, trading traffic and honking horns for the quieter, simpler life of a farmer. They’ve traded business apparel for denim, floppy hats and boots. Buying a hobby farm can be exhilarating and frustrating all at the same time, even for the most prepared among us. Here are some things to consider before … [Read More its Good for You...]

Lifestyle

All’s Right with Wong!

  Ali Wong The “Ali Wong: Baby Cobra” Interview with Kam Williams All's Right with Wong! Ali Wong is a stand-up comedian living between Los Angeles and New York. After SF Weekly selected her as “The Best Comedian of 2009″ and the SF Bay Guardian awarded her “Best of the Bay,” she decided that it was finally time to depart her hometown. In 2010, Comedy Central listed Ali Wong as one of 7 “Comic’s to Watch.” In 2011, Variety Magazine named her as one of the “10 … [Read More it Good for You...]

Outdoors

The Perfect End to a Perfect Day

  The Perfect End to a Perfect Day By Capt. Don Dingman Our plan today was to hit the road early and leave the Florida Keys for Ft. Myers on the southwest Florida Coast. We'd had three shoots scheduled there for a number of weeks, but to make a long story short, due to circumstances beyond our control, we were forced to push those shoots back for a couple of days. I've been looking forward to getting underwater with my wife for a while, and we decided to dive … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

Spieth Says He’s Over Masters Meltdown, Getting Ready for Oakmont

  Spieth Says He’s Over Masters Meltdown, Getting Ready for Oakmont By Burt Carey Jordan Spieth says he now laughs about blowing a five-shot lead entering the last nine holes of the Masters at Augusta National last month. You would too if you had pocketed $53 million last year, and knew there’s more where that came from. The world’s No. 2 golfer was making an appearance at FedEx Ground corporate headquarters in Coraopolis, Pa., Tuesday when he commented … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Takata Air Bag Recall Could Affect 40 Million U.S. Vehicles

  Takata Air Bag Recall Could Affect 40 Million U.S. Vehicles By Burt Carey Safety air bags on as many as 40 million U.S. automobiles are on the Takata Corporation’s short list for recalls, according to published reports this week. The Japanese air bag manufacturer has been under pressure by U.S. transportation officials to replace air bag inflators that could be defective and cause metal shards to fly outward from a deployed air bag. Takata air bags have been … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Delta: Your Checked Bags Will Never Be Lost Again

  Delta: Your Checked Bags Will Never Be Lost Again By Burt Carey Just 11 months after the International Air Transport Association passed baggage tracking guidelines that would by 2018 require member airlines to monitor checked baggage at all times, U.S.-based Delta Airlines has unveiled a tracking system that it says will track every bag from check-in to baggage claim every time you fly. Delta is deploying Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) baggage tracking … [Read More its Good for You...]

Google+