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The Truth is Out There… “Mark Felt”  Informs and Entertains with All Star Cast

The country is in turmoil, the war at home and abroad rages on. The government and the President are involved in one of the biggest cover-ups in history. Many officials have either been given subpoenas or resigned, in lieu of jail. The White House finally admits their sins and then a President is forced to resign. This may sound like the times we are living through, but in reality, it is one of the most tumultuous times in US history. It is the Watergate cover up and the hero that brought down the White House was Mark Felt or “Deep Throat.”  

Peter Landesman has succeeded in bringing an all star cast together to tell the tale of Watergate and the man who brought down Nixon. Liam Neeson leads the cast as the man who held the FBI’s secrets and was J Edgar Hoover’s right hand man. Felt also had his own secret and did everything he could to find answers to it. Felt remained loyal and faithful until Hoover’s death. Feeling that he is being edged out for Nixon’s men, Felt becomes the “voice” that tells all. Neeson  brings it to the table with a very complex role. He is a traitor, but you also can’t help but root for him. Diane Lane accompanies Neeson as the dutiful wife who follows him from assignment to assignment. She shines when she is reunited with her daughter.  Felt’s right hand man is Ed Miller played by a man who is no stranger to political roles, Tony Goldwyn. Goldwyn’s long career playing politicians ranges from Chief of Staff in “Pelican Brief” to his current role as Former President Fitzgerald T. Grant on ABC’s “Scandal.” Goldwyn’s authoritative presence is definitely noticed in the movie. There is also a bond between Miller and Felt that is conveyed very well by the two actors. Fellow “Shondaland” alumni and Piven standout, Kate Walsh charms as the fun loving Pat Miller. Broadway standout, Brian D’ Arcy James shines as Robert Kunkel. Marton Csokas captures the treachery of acting FBI director, Gray. Gray is Nixon’s pick for the replacement of Hoover following his death. ABC seems to be well represented also by Wendi McLendon Covey  or the mom from hell on “The Goldbergs.” . She is the loyal secretary to Felt and seems to adjust to drama just fine. This is a good showcase for her as well. Josh Lucas is also a standout as the confused agent who was forced out , Charlie Bates.  Bruce Greenwood and Noah Wyle round out the cast as Prosecutor  Stan Pottinger and Time Magazine editor, Sandy Smith.

Neeson shows all facets of the character from the tough , loyal FBI agent to the father who is looking for his daughter.  He has a very good chemistry with Goldwyn, almost reminiscent of the relationship he had with Steppenwolf’s Jeff Perry on “Scandal.” Lane shows the inner workings of a deeply troubled character who has embraced her position and money to make up for thinking she was a failure as a mother. Even though she is young, Maika Monroe goes straight for the heart as the young, hippie daughter of Felt. Bravo to costuming for this movie . They seemed to capture the fashion mode of the period very well. Some of the daughter’s clothes were so cute , I wanted to run out and get them for myself. The hairstyles for the period were right on point, except it seemed like Lane’s wigs were leftover from Scandal’s hairdresser for Bellamy Young.

Whether you were alive or just studied about the events in school, “Mark Felt” is the perfect movie for people who want to learn more about the “Watergate” scandal. It is also a great movie because it is a showcase for actors that the audience is very familiar with. Who hasn’t seen “Grey’s Anatomy” or “ER” or “Scandal?” It is no wonder that this movie was one of the standouts of the Toronto International Film Festival. So for an intense film that shows a different view of history, go and see it.


 

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“It’s Just Like Returning to Home”   Sitting Down with Music’s Own Marc Nelson

 

 

One of the most influential music groups of the past decades was the legendary group out of Philly, “Boys 2 Men.”  Their mellow sounds and hit songs like “I’ll Make Love to You” and “Song for Mama” made the group one of the most popular of the era of the boy bands. Surprisingly enough, one of the co founders of the supergroup , Marc Nelson didn’t stick around for the ride. He chose to work with the iconic  music producer, Kenneth “Babyface.” Edmonds and is responsible for such hits as “Count on Me” 15 Minutes” and a cover of Marvin Gaye’s “I Want You” . Recently, I had the chance to sit and chat with Marc about his incredible journey through show business and his expectations for the future.

“I don’t consider myself an actor.” Marc explained. This is how he views himself as an actor compared to people like Denzel Washington and Idris Elba. He seems to like theatre very well and fits in very comfortably as a dramatic actor. Currently he is in rehearsal for “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” which opens on September 9 in Indiana. With his musical background , he has two dream roles. He wants to play Jean Val Jean in “Les Miserables.” He also said that he has always loved the music from “West Side Story” and would love to play Tony. “I have always wanted to sing , “Tonight.” on stage. With his experiences on stage and film, he wouldn’t mind trying television next. “I definitely wouldn’t  turn down a role on Empire.” he laughed.

We also discussed Marc’s music as well. His musical influences include Babyface and the group New Edition.  He considers Babyface his mentor and greatest influence. “He taught me how to write a song and put together an album. One of the greatest honors of my life was when he asked me  to write a song for him. I remember calling my mom on the phone and screaming it to her. It was one of the most exciting days of my life.” After leaving Boys2 Men,  Marc continued his music with the group Az Yet. He has also just dropped his newest single, “Wishing You the Worst.”  “It’s about a man who lets a woman go to another man and has the hope that she is treated rotten. If she is treated rotten, then she will come back to him.” Marc has also returned to his original creation , Boys 2 Men for the purpose of touring.  He considers his return to the group,”surreal,”a healing experience” and a series of blessings.”

In the future, Marc plans to be the host of a show called  the “Nineties R and B Experience.” It plans to spotlight great groups of the nineties. He also will be hosting an open mike night where the winner will get the honor of performing with one of those groups. When he isn’t performing , Marc likes to just do housework and cook. That includes his favorite type of food, soul food!  But Marc also enjoys reading and learning . “Right now I am learning French.” For this super talented performer, the sky is truly the limit.

It’s A Different World From Where You Come From. . .

header gladiator report

Well gladiators,  believe it or not it’s been eight years and Fitz is in his last days as President. Him and Olivia couldn’t be closer. Olivia is getting ready to have it all. She is running the Oval, enjoying the best sex she has had in a while, and planning her future. Peus has been stopped and all is right with the world. Olitz is occupying the Residence for the last week of his Presidency.

making love in the White House

 Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) and Liv (Kerry Washington) are enjoying his last days in the White House

One of the biggest tasks that an outgoing President has before he leaves the White House is leaving a legacy. All of the gladiators are looking toward the future as well. Fitz sits down and tries to make the country see the good parts of his Presidency. Another task that has to be taken care of before the new President is sworn in , is Presidential pardons. Fitz is being handed a controversial case courtesy of one of the gladiators, Quinn. She becomes Olivia Pope and argues with the POTUS himself. But this development , has two positive outcomes. First of all, Fitz decides that he want to champion all the cases of innocent people going to jail. (Shades of the Innocence Project and his own real life cause) The second thing is that Olivia knows that she can leave OPA in good hands and she gives OPA over to Quinn. Quite a long way  from that naive girl who came into OPA and was in awe of Olivia Pope. All of the gladiators have come quite a long way since Harrison asked Quinn if she wanted to be a gladiator in a suit. Mellie is no longer in her hubby’s shadow , she is her own woman and Olivia is just about to get it all. Rowan couldn’t be happier that his little girl has finally got the Oval. He also hates to admit it , Olivia is happy with Fitz. Rowan now sees what kind of man Fitz really is, and knows he will take care of his little girl.

OPA goes on

The gladiators work without their boss. Huck (Guillermo Diaz) Charlie (George Newbern) and Quinn (Katie Lowes) are trying to find a convict for Fitz to pardon.

David has questions, and Rowan has the answers. Who is the woman who he was falling for and why did she come into his life? He shows up at Abby’s with a box. “Be careful what you wish for ” warns David. In the box is the head of the mystery woman. Jake comes over and gathers DNA and now everyone finds out that Peus was not pulling the strings. Rowan thinks he is leaving … but he is detained by Secret Service and Olivia. They know who was behind it all… Maya.

olivia and quinn

Olivia has confidence that Quinn will be able to stand against her as the White House. Both women have more than their careers as part of their future.

quinn the bride

olivia is happy now

MVG? Some would say it was Quinn and others would say it was the Mother Fixer herself, Olivia. Both are stronger women and Olivia has finally decided to trust Fitz and communicate with him. Even though we never saw it, let’s hope that Liv got the help she needed and her and Fitz got a chance to talk. Olivia has helped so many people realize their potential. She helped Fitz be the man he was supposed to be and taught him what love was. She has rescued her gladiators and Jake from the horror that was their lives. She made Charlie the man that Quinn will marry and she tamed the bitch that was Mellie. Olivia let love rule her mind when it came to Defiance. Defiance was what destroyed so many lives , but no one worse than Quinn. Lindsay was set to take the fall and Liv couldn’t have that. So Quinn was born. Since Olivia was the one who brought her into OPA, it is only fair that she is the one to take over for her. Is it all over? No as President Grant said in his interview with Noah Baker. “We’re just getting started.”

Next week… “Scandal” ends its sixth season with its first ever two hour season finale . “Tick Tock” and “Transfer of Power” . Both are directed by Tony Goldwyn. Is Mellie in danger before her swearing in?

she's back

You Are Cordially Invited to the Wedding of Olivia Carolyn Pope and Fitzgerald Thomas Grant 3… A Wedding to Remember

i take the olivia

 It may have been two weeks ago, but it was the episode that took “Scandal” back to the water cooler . The premise was simple, what if Olivia would have never said “Yes” to Defiance.? It was interesting to see what would have happened to our fave gladiators if Fitz would have lost.  There was the interesting pairing of Mellie and Cyrus and the return of fan favorite , Dan Bucatinsky as James. But the one point that really made people talk and also the ratings rise was the wedding. Since there was no White House for Fitz, he took a chance and flew cross country and proposed to Olivia after he announced that him and Mellie were done. Relive those magic moments of Olitz and the wedding that should have been….

olivia and the gown

 Of course, if Olivia would have married her handsome Governor of California. She had to have the grandest gown of all. Lyn Paolo and Shonda had imput in choosing the perfect gown. The dress was from Anne Barge and was the Berkeley and it cost about $4600.  This isn’t the first time that Kerry wore white for Fitz. In season five, Fitz was about to be impeached and Liv was going to be called to testify. Brilliant Cyrus came up with the brilliant idea that Fitz would be safe if Liv and him got married.

KERRY WASHINGTON

Here is Liv looking like the First Lady she was getting ready to be . She had told Fitz that she wasn’t going to wear the white gown, no vows, or flowers. Unfortunately, the wedding never happened.

abby as maid of honor

Here is Abby  (Darby Stanchfield) or Liv’s BFF as her maid of honor.

huck gives away the bride

 Huck (Guillermo Diaz) gives the bride away as the everyone looks on.

verna in cong

Currently Debra Mooney is playing Owen Hunt’s mother on “Grey’s Anatomy. But in the alternate episode Verna was never murdered so she was invited to the wedding.

i see the maid of honor

Is David Rosen(Joshua Malina) interested in the ceremony  or in the maid of honor?

james at the wedding

 Dan Bucatinsky took a special break from “24 Legacy” to return for the 100th episode. In the AU episode, James never gets to marry Cyrus. Instead Cyrus marries the former Mrs Grant. Cyrus stays in the closet but still pines for the reporter.

huck and marcus at wedding

Marcus (Cornelius Walker Jr.) sits with Huck .  Marcus and Olivia work together in this AU. There is no OPA.

the happy groom

 And waiting at the altar is the happy groom. (Tony Goldwyn)

olivia as the happy bride

On the happiest day of her life, Olivia Carolyn Pope (Kerry Washington)

the exchange of vows

 I Olivia Carolyn Pope take you Fitzgerald Thomas Grant the third to be my lawful , wedded husband.

kerry and tony

I love this pic of the two of them. They look so in love. (Well they do call it acting…or is it?)

the perfect love ...

Fitz has found his true love… now will he be really taking this lady to Vermont or will they settle in DC?

with this ring i thee wed

With this ring , I thee wed….

you may kiss the bride 2

 And now they are one…if it would have happened. One of DC’s power couples. But in the AU, we saw a different story.

poppa cant take it

But even in this AU… Rowan (Joe Morton) can’t stand the fact his extraordinary daughter is marrying this man.

a long view of the ceremony

This church has been used  in a lot of shows. I love the aisle view and all the flowers that were used.

tony is always hot ... no matter what he wears

Why does this man always look hot ? It is hard to believe in just a few weeks he will be 57 years old.

look where tonys hand is... booty

 Look where Tony’s hand is … on that booty!

mr and mrs Fitzgerald Grant 3

Announcing for the first time, Governor and Mrs . Fitzgerald Thomas Grant  the third.

What The Huck?

header gladiator report

Shonda has been changing the game ever since the show returned this year. Using the same plot devices as “HTGWM”, she has been telling the story of the election and Vargas’s assassination in each character’s point of view. We have been seeing characters that usually aren’t the most cuddly of characters. MIA this week are Mellie , Cyrus, and of course, Fitz. (Did this MIA for Mr Goldwyn have anything to do with his campaigning for Hillary?) This week the episode is seen through the eyes of Huck . Actually it is good to see lesser featured actors in these new episodes. It’s almost like seeing a whole new “Scandal”.

Olivia can’t trust her father , she never could. But hey look at all the crap he’s done. Killing Harrison , keeping Maya prisoner and making Liv think she’s dead, and killing Jerry Jr. with a deadly virus. That’s just a grocery list of his activities. Well this time he’s crossed the line and after trying to get Fitz and Jake to kill him and failed. She will do it herself and Huck will do it. Holding a gun on Rowan, Huck is told that if he kills him it won’t do any good, he is being manipulated and the thugs will not at all think twice about killing Olivia. He also tells Huck that there is a traitor among them. He immediately thinks its Quinn and the two draw guns. Now the team must bond to find the mole. (Another nod to history, the “Mole” was Billy Chambers who was going to bring down the Grant administration with Amanda Tanner’s help. Season One)  Olivia knows there is one person that she can’t trust and she figures she will be free when he is dead. He was the one who was pushing her for the Oval and it wasn’t her idea at all. Once again , she is being manipulated and she is tired of his antics.

olivia and huck talk

Olivia (Kerry Washington) tells Huck (Guillermo Diaz) she wants him to kill Rowan

But who is the mole? Huck realizes that someone may be playing him and so he has David take him to prison and he meets up with Becky. (You remember her? she tricked Huck into being framed for shooting Fitz.) Becky said that he had someone who was playing him right now. She also pointed out that he had too big of  a soft spot and that was his weakness. Meg ups the game by asking Huck to get her a private meeting with Olivia. He thinks that she is the mole and threatens her with drugs to tell the truth. Rowan placed a tracking device in Sandra’s corpse and Olivia sees the woman murdered. Huck tried to give Rowan the benefit of the doubt that people can change. Once again, Huck is made the patsy for the love of a woman. Meg is reunited with her friend, the late Jennifer and everyone has a happy ending. Once again with his vulnerability attacked and a vicious cycle between good and evil, the MVG is Huck. But wait….a new wrinkle in the ointment. Meg shoots Jennifer and then Huck.

huck and new girlfriend

Huck has to learn to trust the right people ..including Meg (Phoebe Neidhardt)

The Shadow Orgainization arranged for this to happen and you will never guess who is behind it….

its abby the bitch

She isn’t a gladiator anymore.. Abby (Darby Stanchfield) makes a deal with the mysterious lady (Zoe Perry)

Abby is now the most ambitious and evil . She is making deals with the devil and it appears that she had Huck shot. But…. has Abby reached the top of ambition? Will Huck survive the bullets? Can David save her from herself? If Olivia is in danger, who will be her knight in shining armor?

Tonight’s OMG episode was directed by none other than Peeping Tom…Tom Verica

Mr and Mrs Jake ….

olivia and vanessa

As ratings begin to drop to an all time low, gladiators are mixed by how this episode should be rated. Part of the viewers are loving the Jake , while others are mourning the fact that there was no Fitz in the episode. While there was no Olitz in this episode , there was some hot stuff between Mr and Mrs Ballard. But Vanessa is tiring of the little act that she has to play as a political wife. She drowns her sorrows in bottles of booze (. Hey who else on this show uses liquor as a crutch? Answer everyone!)

Vanessa is getting more nervous as Jake is closer to the White House and Vice President.  Olivia is doing her job as fixer and getting America to love the Ballards. In the beginning , her and Jake are love birds and she considers herself Jackie Kennedy. She continues to lose it as she realizes its all for Jake and she is losing her personality. Enter one Mellie Grant, who has become the self proclaimed expert on being an ex political wife. She advises Vanessa to use her hubby and then spend some time trying to find out what she wants. She tells her she has never been happier because she is her own woman. Vanessa cancels on Sally causing Olivia to lie about her latest “illness.” Nice to know that Sally always gets her flu shot.

vanessa goes cray cray

 But Vanessa(Jessalyn Gilsig)  has her own problem, she can’t help remembering that Jake and Olivia were once lovers. Or are they brother and sister? Nobody really knows the deep dark past of Jacob Hamilton Ballard or is it Pete Harris?  Vanessa wants to know and Jake can’t answer her.

jeff and zoey perry

The new evil on “Scandal” comes from a familiar place. Poppa Pope isn’t the boss anymore . He is being manipulated by the “Lady in Red” who is being played by Zoey Perry. She should know evil because her father is the resident “monster” of the White House , Cyrus Beene aka Jeff Perry

Vanessa is all messed up and has resorted to picking up strange men. She can’t deal with the weird relationships that her hubby has with his family. She knows she was groomed to be a political wife, but she can’t deal with Jake’s former lover and Mellie’s campaign manager who is calling the shots, Olivia. We also find out that Jennifer is not dead. While Vanessa has been thinking that Jake’s disappearances have been due to him sneaking off with Olivia, he hides another secret. He has been keeping the “dead” Jennifer alive after he pretended to blow her up in that cabin. We are one step closer to solving the murder of Antonio Vargas, as well as finding out who will succeed Fitzgerald Grant as President. Cyrus has been cleared by Tom’s confession that he didn’t do it. There was also a red trail of funds that were deposited in Olivia’s account claiming to frame Cyrus. The “Lady in Red” comes to Rowan’s office and claims that it was her job to get Mellie in the Oval. Olivia feels that she has a purpose for winning this election, she has to prove to herself that she can actually get someone elected. (For those of you who don’t know the history, Fitz didn’t win either election, First term Defiance and the second term was a sympathy vote after Jerry was murdered.) It isn’t about the power, it’s about proving to herself she can actually get a candidate to win the Oval.

It is painfully obvious who is MVG for this episode and that is Scott Foley’s Jake Ballard. If we go back to his beginnings, Jake was originally brought on as competition in the Olivia/Fitz triangle. We were only told that Jake and Fitz were Navy buddies and obsessive Fitz wanted Olivia watched while they were apart. The best man for the job was Jake and then Jake fell in love with Olivia, further confusing her. It wasn’t until last season in an episode called “Till Death Do Us Part,” that we finally learned about the sick alliance between Rowan and Jake Ballard (Pete). It was also the wedding of Jake and Vanessa as a power couple. Olivia couldn’t handle it and ran out of the ceremony but not before the best man( Fitz) comforted her. He probably wanted to make sure that Ballard was out of the way for him to start back at trying to get Olivia again. Foley shines in these episodes where he has usually acted as that third wheel , a role that he has played before. Foley was part of triangle in the shows “Felicity” and “Scrubs.” But in this episode and a few, Foley has truly shown his acting chops as more than a pretty boy. He has taken Ballard and peeled him just like an onion showing us the layers, peeling them away to show new facets of the character. If Mellie does make it to the Oval, we will get to see the Jake that is only a shallow view of who he is. Or perhaps Vanessa will be the one person who can bring us a true picture of who Pete is.

olitz and jake

Foley began his run on the show as the ex Navy man that Fitz hired to spy on Olivia. Ballard has his own agenda as an agent of B613, keep these two apart. On the way , he ended up falling in love with Olivia. He also asks her to save him and she does. Fans of the show can go either way  Team Olake or Team Olitz. You are looking at a loyal Olitzer. I haven’t given up hope and am still watching the show.

jake and vanessa

But now Jake is in a whole other ball game. He is poised to become the Vice President under Mellie Grant. Jake wasn’t born to politics, he wanted a simple life because of his Midwest upbringing. Is he prepared to step into the spotlight and work his way all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania one day. With Olivia guiding him, there is no stopping him and his political wife.