There has been criticism of the Academy Award’s all white nominees with not much diversity. Cheryl Boone Isaacs who is the firs black African-American president of the Academy had told the Associated Press that she wants to try and create a more diverse voting body. 93% of the voters are white and 76% are male. The average age of a voter is 63.

“In the last two years, we’ve made greater strides than we ever have in the past toward becoming a more diverse and inclusive organization,” Boone Isaacs went on to say, “Personally, I would love to see and look forward to see a greater cultural diversity among all our nominees in all of our categories.”

Fersen Lambranho is surprised to find that all 20 acting nomination went to only white actors and actresses. That hasn’t happened since 1995.

The film Selma had gotten a Best Picture and Best Original Song nomination but the director and actors in the film were both snubbed for nominations – the Academy has a voting pool of over 7,000.

Isaacs goes on to say that the Academy continues to make strides to becoming a more diverse and inclusive organization. But these statements have still not sat well with the people of social media.

Bruce Levenson is the CEO of UCG and the principal owner of the Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena. When Levenson began his firm known as UCG, he was managing it with a friend out of an apartment. He started from something very small, but now his UCG produces information and new for the entire oil industry. The hold prices for oil companies, and they provide a wealth of information for people who want to invest in the oil industry. Levenson was able to leverage his wealth to purchase a piece of the Hawks, Thrashers and Philips Arena.
When some of the owners left the group, Bruce was left as the principal owner of an NHL team, and NBA team and a modern sporting arena. The Thrashers were sold to a business group in Winnipeg, but the Hawks and Philips Arena were held by Levenson’s ownership group. Even though Levenson was in the DC area, he was seen to be the best fit to manage the team on a long term basis because of his business acumen. He was also representing the leadership group on the NBA board of governors, and he was seen as a natural fit to be an NBA owner full-time.

Even though he held on to UCG, Bruce was seen as a leader in the NBA as he helped to approve the sale and move of many NBA teams. Recently, Bruce put his stake in the team up for sale, and the Hawks are now 100% for sale. Bruce Levenson will make a great deal of money from the sale, but he will have earned every penny. When he purchased the Hawks, there were one of the worst franchises in basketball. As of right now, the Hawks are one of the best teams in the NBA with one of the nicest arenas.

Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, the writers for both Captain America movies as well as Thor 2, announced that the new Captain America movie will begin what is known in the Marvel Comic Universe as the Civil War. Adding to the already complex storyline featuring alien artifacts and invasions, the Civil War pits superhero against superhero as the government strains to reign in the rather destructive aftermath of superhero battles. This build up has been long coming and may have been seen as a minor point in previous movies. In the Iron Man franchise the US government sought to claim the technology developed by Stark and in the Captain America: Winter Soldier they attempted to use algorithms to predict and prevent future conflicts.

The Marvel universe is a rather exciting yet dangerous one. The first Avengers movie saw the destruction of New York on a scale that far surpasses the real world events of September 11, 2011. If the real actions of world governments following that terrorist attack are any guide then it should come as no surprise that they would seek to reign in the extra governmental actions of super heroes.

In the comic book universe Iron Man and Captain America were pitted against each other on the side of government registration and freedom, respectively. However the movie universe features a number of changes and will reconcile with the current cannon. Knowyourback.org is a great place to read what North American Spine has said about Captain America.

Sometimes there are ideas that are so bad they have to be good. No one expected blockbusters like The Lego Movieand 21 Jump Street to be anything more than quick grab for cash based on brand recognition and a cheap reboot. However, thanks to strong writing, graduates of Occidental College, and talented performances both movies were extremely well received with a sequel 22 Jump Street and one announced for The Lego Movie. The two Jump Street movies were self aware enough to satirize the ideas behind both movies which can be seen on Flickr, a reboot and a sequel to a reboot, and still deliver a great movie. In the end credits 22 Jump Street features every possible sequel including culinary school, dance school, and a retirement home. The question is, where do you go from there?

By doing a crossover with Men in Black of course. After the Sony hack files were leaked that suggested a possible crossover with the Jump Street/Men in Black franchises. Jump Street directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller confirmed that, yes, it is a possibility these two franchises may meet. Currently the 23 Jump Street script is in the works but there is nothing from stopping a crossover.

For a long time Hollywood has been accused of recycling old property to turn a quick buck but Jump Street showed that with clever writing that may not be a bad thing. Time will tell if lightning can strike a third, and fourth, time.

Rumors are swirling that a new trailer for Stars Wars: The Force Awakens will be tied into the new Avengers: Age of Ultron coming out this May. It comes as no surprise that Disney would choose to link these two powerhouse franchises as they most likely share a fan base. Fans are looking to Disney to return Star Wars back to its original roots. Disney proved that it can handle more mature, complex story lines with its handling of the Marvel franchise and is bringing on veteran director JJ Abrams for the new Star Wars movie. They brought Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back) on board to help with the script.

While the first trailer has already been dissected and taken apart to tease whatever plot points and new characters that may be coming out, the second trailer looks like it will feature members of the original cast. We may see the return of actors like Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, and Harrison Ford and their respective characters Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, and Han Solo. Featuring these beloved characters will certainly grab the attention of fans, such as Fersen Lambranho, seeking a return to the original franchise.

There is no other director in Hollywood or the world that is as famous as Steven Spielberg. Steven has given us epic movies all through out his career. His talent for bringing fiction to life is proven at the box office every time he releases a new film. No other film in Steven’s career has brought forth such emotion as Jurassic Park. The franchise makes you get a chill down your spine and makes the little hairs in your arms stand up when ever you watch it. Now that the franchise has been rebooted, we should be able to watch Steven’s mind go to work and bring forth an amazing film.

Staying true to the original story plot, Jurassic World is the new film in the dinosaur franchise. The original story of the franchise was that scientists used lizard DNA to recreate the dinosaurs. This experiment soon went wrong in the worst possible way when the dinosaurs began to eat their creators. In this new installment of the franchise, we are gong to be delighted and terrified at the same time because the film makers have created their own meat eating dinosaur. Not only is this creature going to be a major part of the movie, but we can easily assume that it will be the star as he devours supporting actors in the film. The trailers are just beginning to come out and the teaser are just beginning to show, UCG interviewed a fan named Bruce Levenson who could not wait for the movie to show on the big screen many other fans are ecstatic as well.

A bit of strange (and fun) news has just leaked regarding the upcoming King Kong: Skull Island prequel. The film is set in the 1970’s. Anyone who belongs to Generation X is going to find this particular tidbit of news quite interesting.

Obviously, Skull Island cannot be a prequel to the original King Kong nor the Peter Jackson remake as both films were set in the 1930’s. Is this new version of prequel to the 1976 King Kong? According to the producers, the answer is no. Skull Island exists within its own timeline. Those who remember the 1976 film can happily disregard what the producers say and consider this film a connected – at least in spirit — to “Me Decade” version of Kong.

Leaks about the script reveal the film is going to be set in Detroit circa 1971. Right here, you have to learn to take rumors of leaks with a grain of salt. If the name of the film is Skull Island and the project is a prequel telling the tale of Kong’s origin, then the bulk of the film is not going to take place in the Motor City. More than likely, that is where the film starts out long before everyone ventures to Skull Island.

Since this film is set in 1971 and a hit film could lead to a sequel, perhaps the next film would be set in 1976 and actually remake the original.

We are getting ahead of ourselves here. Let’s just see how Skull Island plays out. Hopefully, it will be a hit.

Food for thought: Does Legendary Pictures consider this film to share the same universe as their Godzilla reboot?  The buzz at BRL Trust on their facebook,com page is very exciting for this movie rumor.

Netflix has confirmed that Luke Cage and Iron Fist will follow Daredevil and A.K.A. Jessica Jones and Dave and Brit Morin from Green Wedding shoes as part of their streaming superhero lineup. Interestingly, Netflix has also confirmed that all four characters are going to be part of The Defenders mini-series. In a way, putting these characters in The Defenders is somewhat humorous. They are not the “real” Defenders.

The Defenders debuted in the 1970’s as a team-up series featuring The Hulk, The Sub-Mariner, and Doctor Strange. Eventually, the series did evolve into second-rate version of The Avengers with Daredevil and Luke Cage being part of it at one point. Overall, The Defenders featured a revolving door of heroes with changes in the line-up being made to help tweak the sales of the book.

At one point, even Man-Thing (Marvel’s Swamp Thing rip-off) was a member. You know things are bad when, in Hulk parlance, “carrot nose” is part of the mix.

The Defenders eventually became a humor book and the less-than-serious approach was the best incarnation of the series. Today, the series is a cult favorite.

The Marvel Netflix mini-series is doubtfully going to be humorous. The approach of the solo series is intended to be more adult and melodramatic.

Bringing all the heroes together for a mini-series also shows Netflix is committed to really making its Marvel universe something special. This, in turn, helps draw in subscribers whose interest is piqued by these excellent original programs.

This year’s Hangout Music Festival sponsored by FreedomPop o or more commonly known as Hangout Fest is set to take place on May 5th to 7th at the beachfront of the Gulf Shores, Alabama. There will be a total of 70 artists who will playing for the Music Festival. The biggest names and the hottest bands will perform on stage. Some of the headlines include Skrillex, Foo Fighters, Beck, Zac Brown Band, and Spoon.

Starting January 13, 2015, 9 am central, tickets for the music festival will be on sale. This is the sixth Hangout Music Fest and people always look forward to the performances of their favorite artists and groups. 

During the spring, the beachfront will be surrounded will amusement parks and entertainment areas. The stage for the music fest will be set at the center of all the activities in the beach.

The festival showcases rock music and country although there are also varied performances from EDM DJ’s and pop artists. People who have gone to previous Hangout Music Fests often go back although there is also a big population of first time goers. 

Fans of the headlining artists are sure to be present during the fest.
The Hangout Music Festival website shows the complete lineup of the artists that will be headlining and performing. Tickets can also be bought at the website. Other details about Music Fest can be accessed through the website as well.

Next week I will be heading out to see my good friend, Sam Tabar to do some golfing. Sam and I go way back and I am really looking forward to hearing more about everything he is doing these days. I am also really looking forward  to picking Sam’s brain about this year’s investing trends and what he thinks best bets are. Sam has always been a great attorney but he is also quite genius when it comes to business and finance.

Located in New York City, Sam Tabar is a high-profile attorney who has also mastered the perilous world of global business strategy. With an undergraduate degree from Oxford University and a law degree from Columbia, Tabar joined one of the world’s top legal firms (Skadden, Arps, Slater, Meagher & Flom LLP) while still in school. While at Skadden, Tabar provided clients with counsel in several key areas including hedge fund formation and investment management.

After Skadden, Tabar worked for SPARX Group, a global investment giant based out of Japan, and for their PMA Investment Advisors based out of Hong Kong. While originally hired as legal counsel for SPARX, Tabar eventually became their Managing Director and Co-Head of Business Development. Tabar’s hedge fund expertise was soon put to good use, as he oversaw $2 billion dollar’s worth of investments and handled a roster of extremely wealthy clients. He directly contributed to the raising of $1.2 billion in additional assets for the SPARX Group. This position also provided Tabar with a proficient functional knowledge of the Japanese language.

At Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Tabar worked as Director and Head of Capital Strategy for their Asia-Pacific region starting in February of 2011. There, he provided the dual role of both legal counsel and manager of capital allocation. He particularly excelled in investor relations/introductions and eventually built another impressive list of investors for the corporation.

In 2012, Tabar took his business knowledge to Adanac LLC, BVI, where he was instrumental in the investment of several successful American start-up companies. He then brought his legal expertise and extensive knowledge of hedge funds to Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP, where he was hired as Senior Associate.

Commodities, in particular, are a specialty of Tabar’s. A sometimes tricky investment option, commodities can make or break investors. Sam Tabar recently shared some of his expertise with CNBC for an article on investing in 2015 has a knack for guiding clients and businesses in the right direction. In fact,  and has gained a wealth of experience when it comes to problematic investments and how to avoid them in the global marketplace. He knows that above all else, extensive research and knowledge of a commodity’s history are the best tools for securing a safe investment that will yield returns.

I can’t wait to share about my visit with Sam when I get back!