This past weekend, George Zimmerman was found not guilty of murdering Trayvon Martin. It’s a verdict that’s outraged many, and led to debates around the country about race relations, justice and the particular laws and social climate of Florida. As author T.D. Allman sees it, the focus on Florida is warranted—not just because the case reflects the unique history of Florida—but also because Florida is a microcosm of the rest of the United States.
Today there are more than 20,000 local neighborhood watch programs and an estimated 50,000 informal programs operating across the U.S. But while watch groups originally formed in response to crime, they are now confusingly linked to what might or might not have been an overstep on the part of neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida. What does the trial mean for the future of these programs? The Takeaway turns to three neighborhood crime-watch leaders for their perspective.
Things you'll learn in this week's Movie Date podcast:
The Takeaway's Movie Date team, Kristen Meinzer and Rafer Guzman, review this week's major releases. On the roster this week:“Grown Ups 2," a buddy comedy sequel featuring Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock and David Spade; and “Pacific Rim,” a sci-fi film starring Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi and Charlie Day.
The Muslim holy month of Ramadan began at sundown on Monday night. And with it, millions of Muslims around the world began abstaining from food and drink during daylight hours, in the hopes of finding spiritual growth. But for the Muslims in Guantanamo Bay who’ve been on hunger strike since the spring and regularly face force-feedings, Ramadan is a far more complicated matter. Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald joins The Takeaway to discuss force-feedings during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Does swearing betray a lack of education and class on the part of its speaker? Anya Saffir doesn’t think so. A Shakespeare director and faculty of the Atlantic Acting School, she says there’s no shortage of class, creativity, and wit in well-used profanity. And we need look no further than the Bard himself for proof of that.
Have we gotten a tad too lax about swearing these days? Do we swear more than we should? Or, is there something else bigger going on? Columbia University linguist John McWhorter explains why our idea of profanity is changing.
In recent days the tables have turned in Egypt. Thousands of Morsi supporters have taken to the streets, both in Egypt and here in the United States, with hundreds in Egypt facing injuries and even death. Gehad Elhaddad is the official spokesperson for the Muslim Brotherhood. He gives his unique take on the unrest in Egypt, and what he thinks the future holds.
Many of us see our golden years as a time when we can sit back, relax, and leave our strenuous days behind us. But for the athletes featured in the new documentary, "Age of Champions," the retirement years are anything but retiring. Profiling five athletes, "Age of Champions" celebrates swimmers, tennis players, basketball players, and pole vaulters, all of whom are between the ages of 72 and 100 years-old, as they compete in the National Senior Olympic Games.
Independence Day is of course one of Hollywood's favorite holidays. The box offices offer up some of summer's expected big hits. Hitting the theaters this weekend is Disney's "The Lone Ranger," the comedy concert film "Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain," and Steve Carell's kid flick "Despicable Me 2." Our Movie Date team, Rafer Guzman and Kristen Meinzer, weigh in with their reviews for this holiday weekend.
When's the last time Johnny Depp played an average, regular guy? What exactly are those yellow egg-shaped things in the "Despicable Me" movies? And does Kevin Hart really need to explain anything? These and other questions are explored in the newest Movie Date podcast, as Rafer and Kristen review "The Lone Ranger," "Despicable Me 2," and "Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain." To help them with "The Lone Ranger," and specifically with the depiction of Tonto, they're joined by Rick Chavolla, Education and Development Officer at the American Indian Community House in New York.
In 1918 Irving Berlin composed a show tune called "God Bless America." But he never would have imagined that his work would eventually become a nationally known patriotic anthem. Sheryl Kaskowitz tells the story of its evolution and deep history in the new book, "God Bless America: The Surprising History of an Iconic Song." She explains the song's unexpected journey that led it to become a staple of American culture.
Johnny Depp plays Tonto, a Native America character, in the new Disney film “The Lone Ranger.” With Depp in the role, the long tradition of non-Native actors playing Tonto continues, which began back in 1933. But it’s not 1933 anymore—it’s 2013. Why does Hollywood still struggle in its depictions of Native peoples? Adrienne Keene is a blogger and activist with Native Appropriations, a website that examines the representations of native peoples in media. She joins The Takeaway to discuss her thoughts on the film, and the depiction of Tonto.
Tokyo, Rio, Athens, London and Sydney: What do these cities have in common? They’ve all hosted the modern Olympic games. And if Tulsa (yes, that Tulsa—the one in Oklahoma) has its way, it will soon join this prestigious list. Neil Mavis is spearheading the effort to make Tulsa the home of the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. And as he sees it, Tulsa isn’t just up for the task, it has more to offer than any other city in the world.
Every Friday The Takeaway looks at the new films set to open up at the box office. In this week's look, our resident Movie Date Podcast team—Rafer Guzman, film critic for Newsday, and Kristen Meinzer, Culture Producer for The Takeaway—discuss the new releases "The Heat," "White House Down" and "20 Feet from Stardom."
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer wonders if "White House Down" might be the exact same movie as "Olympus Has Fallen,"Kristen tries to fake out Rafer with her feelings about "The Heat," Rafer talks about the most spine-tingling moment in "20 Feet From Stardom," and both imagine themselves as the lead characters in "Turner and Hooch."
"How to Make Money Selling Drugs" is a new documentary film written and directed by Matthew Cooke and produced in partnership with Bret Marcus and Adrian Grenier. The film, making its debut at this year's Tribeca Film Festival, styles itself as a "how to guide" to navigating through the gritty underworld of the drug trade, whilst exploring a greater political message on the failures of The War on Drugs. Adrian Grenier and Matthew Cooke join us today to discuss the film.
In our current world, where there are so many news stories circulating via so many media, it’s sometimes hard to wrap our heads around the stories, much less figure out which side we stand on. Are undocumented immigrants criminals? Or refugees? Is Edward Snowden a hero? Or a traitor? Ian Leslie is a London-based writer who believes we should stop fixating on decisive answers. His new piece for Slate is called “Ambivalence is Awesome…Or is it Awful?”
Moviegoers face no shortage of great movies to choose from this weekend: "Monsters University" is the prequel to Disney/Pixar's "Monsters, Inc."; Brad Pitt stars in "World War Z", a zombie apocalypse thriller; and "Before Midnight" is the third installation in Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy's love story.