Caribbean Gospel Music Industry Interview with Keith L. Rolle and Allison Della Vecchia on Trinidad & Tobago's Isaac 98.1FM

July 22, 2017

KLR Management Group & GXI Printing Presidents, Keith L. Rolle & Allison Della Vecchia, respectively, give Caribbean Gospel Industry Insights on the Isaac 98.1 FM show, "The Morning Drive w/ Jenelle..."

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KLR Management Group announces Caribbean Gospel Nominees for the 2017 South Florida Gospel Music Awards
KLR Management Group announces Caribbean Gospel Nominees for the 2017 South Florida Gospel Music Awards

July 22, 2017

13 Caribbean Gospel artists garnered 15 nominations, representing five countries, for the upcoming 2017 South Florida Gospel Music Awards today...

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Miss World Bahamas 2017 and contestants raise 5,000 for Cancer Society of The Bahamas

July 21, 2017

Just when the caterpillar thought her world was ending, she became a butterfly. Under the theme "Metamorphosis" the 2017 Miss World Bahamas pageant season officially kicked off with a charity reception at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas on July 7, at which this year's nine contestants and the reigning queen, Ashley Hamilton, raised $5,000 for the Cancer Society of The Bahamas.
Contestants were challenged to raise money to help defray the costs of the society's rebuilding effort in Grand Bahama following the destruction of its headquarters by the passage of Hurricane Matthew.
Former Miss Commonwealth Bahamas Lisa Strachan Turnquest -- a cancer survivor and active member of the society -- described her own battle with cancer and how the society helps her and others deal with the realities of the disease.
Without financial support, the society runs the risk of closure on the island after more than 40 years in operation. Funds were raised during the Miss World Bahamas launch through a raffle which featured gifts donated by the contestants as well as donations from the Miss Bahamas Organization (MBO) sponsors. In addition to the $1,400 raised by the contestants through raffle ticket sales, The Island Game Foundation made a donation on behalf of Miss World Bahamas Ashley Hamilton to round off the total figure to $5,000.
Through this year's theme, MBO -- now in its 12th year of existence -- is shedding light on its transformational program, as it aims to help the public understand that this is more than just a pageant.
"The pageant is the icing on the cake," says MBO President Michelle Malcolm. "The actual cake is the journey our contestants take once they enter the competition, a journey that leads them on the road to self-discovery. That is what this is all about. This is truly for them a metamorphosis -- a revealing of their true nature and hidden potential that was buried deep within."
A series of preliminary competitions will be held in the weeks leading up to the finale on July 30 at the Baha Mar Convention Center. The preliminary competitions serve as a means by which scores will be accumulated, coupled with public votes through the Miss Bahamas App to determine the top six semifinalists and eventually the new queen.
The popular Miss Bahamas App is back again. Developers have further enhanced the App to incorporate the Miss Bahamas Fan Club which members join through a subscription model; real time reporting of the public vote tally; synchronization with the Miss Bahamas website and social media platforms, and more interaction with the contestants. While the app is free to download, fan club members will get discounts and special offers from MBO sponsors, five free votes daily as well as exclusive access to voting on the final night of the competition. The app is available for download on Apple and Android devices.
The Miss World Bahamas pageant will also be seen live, not just on Our TV within The Bahamas, but by an international audience of millions through partnerships with Missosology Pageant Portal, CaribVision and ComeSeeTV which will provide live streaming services for the event. Pageant fans that do not have access to any of those networks will also be able to watch the finale live on the new MBO TV Channel on the pageant's website www.missbahamas.net.

(Nine districts/islands are represented in this year's Miss World Bahamas pageant)
Abaco -- Sharonique Russell
Bimini -- Tanisha Jones
Cat Island -- Rotalya Williams
Exuma -- October Johnson
Grand Bahama -- Jerell Strachan
Long Island -- Geena Thompson
New Providence -- Galy Joseph
Paradise Island -- Whitney Isaacs
University of The Bahamas -- Nyisha Tilus
Preliminary competition
National Costume Competition
Saturday, July 22, 2017
Rooftop at The Pointe
6 p.m. cocktails, 7 p.m. show
Ticket prices vary from $25 - $35 for preliminary events, $75 general, and $125 VIP for the finale. Tickets are available at Airbrush Junkies in the Mall at Marathon and from any contestant.

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'War for the Planet of the Apes' is epic

July 21, 2017

War for the Planet of the Apes (Rated T)
Cast: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn
Genre: Science Fiction/Thriller
Dwight's Rating: Very, very good

Anyone who doubts the theory of evolution need only watch these apes.
The current "Planet of the Apes" franchise reboot -- probably the best ever reboot of a film series -- just keeps getting better; this new "War for the Planet of the Apes" is quite possibly the most intuitive and complex movie about highly functioning and evolved anthropomorphic apes EVER!
Yes, in most ways, it's better than the mind-blowingly spectacular, heretofore-best-of-the-franchise, "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" from three years ago, and the refreshing origin story reboot "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" (2011).
And as did those two previous films, it makes the still amazing sci-fi classic, the original "Planet of the Apes" from 1968 -- a movie about race and class and the bleak future for a planet Earth obsessed with nuclear war -- seem hopelessly quaint and antiquated.
In "War for the Planet of the Apes", the wonderful Caesar -- the movie world's most reliable action star hero -- is back, and he too is better than ever. Sure, he's not really "real". And neither are most of the other great characters here. But these are some of the best performances you'll see until Oscar-bait season later this year.
Andy Serkis as Caesar could teach Tom Cruise and many other stars of this uneven summer blockbuster season a thing or two about how to excel at being both an effective action star and still convey authentic emotion. (And they'd better learn quick, before the film industry "evolves" into all Hollywood celebrities being phased out in favor of computer-generated characters using motion-capture
As I said in my 2014 review for "Dawn": "Caesar is charismatic, dynamic, warm and compassionate. He communicates powerfully through just his eyes. And while he's a man ... err ... ape of few words, when he does speak, he's a commanding presence, with many of the characteristics many of us would like to see in our world leaders."
This time around, Caesar is speaking a lot more. He's been to Toastmasters, one can assume, and now uses clear, full sentences (again, more world leaders need to take note!).
Following "Dawn", Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless colonel (Woody Harrelson). After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind. As the journey finally brings them face-to-face, Caesar and the colonel are pitted against each other in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both of their species and the future of the planet.
This film so effectively highlights what's wrong with most of today's science fiction releases, particularly many of those based on superhero comic books. While the more comedic, light-hearted ones like the wonderful "Spider-Man: Homecoming" and "Deadpool" can hit the right notes, the more serious fare often end up over-stuffed and under-developed.
They get lost in an over-reliance on special effects and fighting scenes, most times for no other reason than to settle long-running children's playground disputes about "who would win in a fight between Hulk and Thing?" After 10 minutes of noise pollution and visual mayhem, the barely battered or bruised characters end up as friends anyway.
Not here! "War for the Planet of the Apes" is the thinking person's summer blockbuster. Never mind the "war" in the title, there is judicious use of action, so you won't be watching solely two-and-a-half hours of inane brutality (call "The Avengers" or DC Comics if you want that kind of mess!).
This is more about internal warfare; the fighting that goes on within one's soul, battling those instincts, those demons inside all of us, apes or humans or whomever, apparently.
It calls on us to do some introspection, some real deep thinking. But it never gets too heavy-handed. As such, we get a film that seems almost too special for the noise of the summer -- like it should be released in November around Oscar season!
It's "Eastwood-esque", in that it feels very much like one of those classic westerns for which Clint became famous. But also, in its general style -- like one of the movies he lovingly crafted as he has "evolved" into Hollywood's most sensitive director.
This is not Eastwood though. Matt Reeves who also directed "Dawn" is back. Reeves, schooled at the feet of the JJ Abrams (currently at the helm of the latest in both the "Star Trek" and "Star Wars" franchises, and TV's "Lost") is set to direct Ben Affleck in the next "The Batman" (Oh dear God! Can he rescue that franchise?). Reeves also co-write the script with Mark Bomback (who had teamed up to write "Dawn" along with "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" writers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver).
Their amazing story touches on so many powerful issues. Depending on what you're going through or have been through in life, you'll likely interpret what's happening here differently. Probably every single group that's seen as a minority in their part of the world will feel these apes are telling their story, and are representing them, be it a race or religious group or whatever.
Caesar as a Moses-type figure is very clear. And the motivations of the "villains", particularly Woody Harrelson's excellent Colonel are understandable and not entirely unreasonable.
Again Serkis as Caesar deserves some sort of prize or award recognition. I said it after "Dawn", and it's even more apparent now, given his extensive body of work, including Gollum in "The Lord of the Rings" franchise and 2005's "King Kong".
Karin Konoval as wise Orangutan Maurice, and especially Steve Zahn as the scene-stealing newcomer, "Bad Ape" -- responsible for some very surprising comic relief -- all contribute to the excellence here.
"Dawn" had portrayed most humans in a terrible light. And rightfully so; arguably we have been the most destructive force Earth has ever had to endure.
But "War" takes a slightly different track. This may actually inspire you to hold out hope for humanity, and to the belief that we can do and be better -- to each other, to and for the planet, and to those with whom we share this place. It does all this while managing mostly to avoid "preachiness". Compare this to how we were thinking or told we should be thinking just 50 years ago with the very bleak original "Planet of the Apes".
How time can change things!

oDwight Strachan is the host/producer of " Morning Blend" on Guardian Radio. He is a television producer and writer, and an avid TV history and film buff. Email dwight@nasguard.com and follow him on twitter @morningblend969.

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The Sizzla show

July 21, 2017

Sizzla took no prisoners!
His live rendition of his 2012 hit "Dry Cry" seemed to resonate with his fans at last weekend's Heineken Live Your Music kickoff concert at the Burns House grounds. However, it was his 2002 and 2003 hit singles "Solid As A Rock", "Give Me A Try" and "Rise To The Occasion" that sent fans into a frenzy.
And although his performance was short, fans left the Burn's House venue smiling, because it had been entertaining indeed.
The passionate performer delivered a medley of his classics and gave a sneak peek into some of his more recent works; the Jamaican reggae icon recently teamed up with Miami rapper/producer DJ Khaled for his new album "Grateful".
Sizzla is known for songs that resonate with the Bahamian people. His mainly positive lyrics advocate faith, compassion for the deprived, upliftment of the youth, and calls for respect for women.
As he delivered song after song fans danced and jumped, waved their hands and sang along. A huge beach ball that was passed around, making its way from the back of the crowed to the front of the stage, made the occasion extra festive for the fans that showed up. What the event lacked in crowd capacity it made up for in high energy.
The Jamaican reggae artist definitely rose to the occasion and executed a spectacular performance.
After his performance, Sizzla was presented two paintings which made up a giant lion's head, created by Icon Award winners 3rilogy .
Heineken's latest music platform, Heineken Live Your Music, is built on the collective passion for experiencing music.
During the concert guests were also entertained with music by DJ JMac, DJ Xtra Large and Jimbo & Chronix; live art by Icon Award winners 3riology; and the Heineken spin-to-win wheel, giving guests the chance to win free branded prizes.

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BahamasLocal.com's Sizzling Weekend featuring Reggae Artist Sizzla Kalonji
BahamasLocal.com's Sizzling Weekend featuring Reggae Artist Sizzla Kalonji

July 17, 2017

Once again Heineken sponsored an eventful, entertaining event and BahamasLocal.com was there! This past weekend, hundreds flocked to the JFK Beerfest Grounds to have an experience of a lifetime...

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Get your Zombie Survival Advice at the Regency Theatre this Friday!

July 14, 2017

This Friday, the stage at the Regency Theatre will be filled with Zombie’s! Not real one’s of course! But lovely local children who joined Camp Centre Stage at the Regency Theatre to enjoy a two-week all-out thespian experience in Freeport...

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Nine vie for Miss World Bahamas crown

July 14, 2017

Nine young women are vying for the Miss World Bahamas title and the right to represent The Bahamas at the Miss World pageant in China in November.
Sharonique Russell, Abaco; Tanisha Jones, Bimini; Rotalya Williams, Cat Island; October Johnson, Exuma; Jerell Strachan, Grand Bahama; Geena Thompson, Long Island; Galy Joseph, New Providence; Whitney Isaacs, Paradise Island; and Nyisha Tilus, University of The Bahamas, will compete under the theme "Metamorphosis" -- a theme through which the Miss Bahamas Organization (MBO) hopes to shed light on its transformational program as it aims to help the public understand that the Miss World Bahamas is more than just a pageant.
"The pageant is the icing on the cake," said MBO President Michelle Malcolm. "The actual cake is the journey our contestants take once they enter the competition -- a journey that leads them on the road to self-discovery. That is what this is all about. This is truly for them -- a metamorphosis ... a revealing of their true nature and hidden potential that was buried deep within."
MBO's mission is to bring out the personal bests women seek to achieve by cultivating their passions, self-image, and education in an environment that encourages the pursuit of purpose, promotes discipline and supports the strengthening of character.
The organization prepares them to take on the world as women who are aware of the power that derives from fulfilling their purpose and who use that power to impact the welfare of humanity. MBO achieves its mission by training and unveiling women through their annual pageant that incorporates intensive grooming, coaching and preparation that culminates in the coronation of Miss World Bahamas.
A series of preliminary competitions will be held leading up to the finale on July 30 at the Baha Mar Convention Center. The preliminary competitions serve as a means by which scores will be accumulated -- coupled with public votes through the Miss Bahamas app to determine the top six semifinalists, and eventually the queen.
The evening gown and talent competition will be held on Sunday, July 16 at Sapodilla Restaurant at 7 p.m.; with the national costume competition on Saturday, July 22, Rooftop at The Pointe at 7 p.m.
Ticket prices vary from $25-$35 for preliminary events, $75 general and $125 VIP for the finale. Tickets are available at Airbrush Junkies in the Mall at Marathon or from any contestant.

Sharonique Russell
District: Abaco
Age: 20
Height: 5-9
Favorite color: Black
Favorite food: Curry chicken
Favorite sport: None

What is your most embarrassing moment?
My most embarrassing moment was a day in high school. I was on the assembly line and my guidance officer was giving out gifts ... I was talking amongst my friends and I just heard my name called, so everybody was clapping. I walked up on stage about to receive my gift ... well I thought I was, but she called me because I was making too much noise and wasn't getting a gift. She told me to exit the stage and everybody was booing me. That was really embarrassing.

Characteristics you would look for in a winner.
The characteristics I would look for in the winner are the basics -- honesty, how reliable you are, how pleasant your attitude is, and most definitely how you respond to criticism, and I have those characteristics.

What is your greatest accomplishment so far?
My greatest accomplishment so far was graduating high school. High school was challenging for me and sometimes I doubted myself that I would not make it to the very end, but I did, and I'm very happy about that.

What does this year's theme metamorphosis mean to you?
It's about transitioning into something beautiful. No matter the hardships you face in life, just get back up, dust yourself off and continue to go. At this point in my life I feel like I'm going through that metamorphosis phase, blossoming into someone more beautiful, and being a bigger and better person.

Name a female that inspires you the most.
A female that inspires me is my late grandmother. She stood up for what she believed in, she was a beautiful person, and she was a God-fearing woman. Even on her dying bed her wish to the family was to hold on to God's unchanging hands. And that is definitely the lifestyle that I want to live and the woman I want to grow up to be.

Tanisha Jones
District: Bimini
Age: 20
Height: 5-9
Favorite color: Blue
Favorite food: Cheeseburger
Favorite sport: Track and field
What does this year's theme metamorphosis mean to you?
Transformation means being confident in yourself, knowing your values, knowing who you are, the person you're becoming, and the person you're trying to be.

What is your greatest accomplishment so far?
My greatest accomplishment is graduating high school. It was really hard for me, because I moved to Florida in between my 12th grade year, and I had a really hard time with mathematics and this one particular teacher wasn't helping me with it. I ended up watching YouTube videos and teaching myself, and I got to graduate and passed the class.

Name a female that inspires you the most.
The lady that inspires me is my mom. She taught me all the things through life and she's a very strong woman, because I grew up without a father, and she's the one who played both roles in my life. She did a great job raising a daughter and raising three other siblings that I have. And I'm very happy to call her my mother, because she's a strong and powerful woman.

What are you passionate about?
I'm very passionate about track and field. I love talking to athletes and helping them calm their nerves and giving them the pep talk before their races so they can execute it right, or helping them with their task for the day.

What characteristics would you look for in the winner of a beauty pageant?
If I was a judge, I would look for beauty, confidence and personality. And I would also look for somebody who would play out their platform really well.

Rotalya Williams
District: Cat Island
Age: 20
Height: 5-3
Favorite color: Pink
Favorite food: Anything Bahamian
Favorite sport: Basketball

What does this year's theme metamorphosis mean to you?
This year's theme metamorphosis is very unique, and oftentimes when we think of metamorphosis we refer to the biological process by which a caterpillar transitions into a butterfly. However, in this year's pageant we're focusing on the transition and development of the whole woman, and change is a process that we as individuals all go through, and it's a really uncomfortable process, however, the most uncomfortable things stems for the biggest opportunity, and means for growth in life.

What are you passionate about?
I'm passionate about youth empowerment, as we as young people just need a little inspiration and motivation to accomplish our goals and dreams, and everything that we have set for ourselves and just to know that we are here with a mission, and that is to live in our purpose and pursue everything that God has set out on this earth for us to do.

What is your greatest accomplishment so far?
This might sound really simple, but it's really unique and something that I hold near and dear to my heart, and we all as humans reach a stage in our life when we have to answer the question who am I and what is my purpose here on earth. And I would have to say that is my greatest accomplishment so far, was the day I discovered who am I as an individual, as a citizen in my society, as a woman, as a sister, as a daughter, as a friend. What is my place on earth and what is my purpose. What is my life's mission and that has to be my greatest accomplishment so far.

What is your most embarrassing moment?
My most embarrassing moment happened last summer in the parking lot of the Marathon Mall. As I left the store to go to my car, apparently my key stopped working and it was a few people in the parking lot at the time. This lady came to me and said are you okay? And I was like, fine, I'm good. So she said is your key okay? You need me to call a locksmith? And I'm like, no I'm good, really I'm good, and at this time I'm like panicking, and when I panic I shake, so I'm near shivering, and more people came because she drew a lot of attention, and at the same time, someone I knew walked by and they were like, Talya, that's not your car. And I think I was really embarrassed because I walked to the wrong car. It was the same brand.

What characteristics would you look for in the winner of a beauty pageant?
The first thing I would look for in a queen is a sincere woman -- a woman with integrity, a woman with grace, and a woman that is ready to represent The Bahamas on the international stage, and I believe that, that woman is me.

Name a female that inspires you the most.
The female that inspires me the most is my mother, simply because she worked too hard not for me to be great.

October Johnson
District: Exuma
Age: 24
Height: 5-7
Favorite color: Blue
Favorite food: Tacos
Favorite sport: Soccer

What are you passionate about?
The thing I'm most passionate about is art. I don't think there's a really strong market for the arts in The Bahamas and I would like to see more of that in the future.

What is your most embarrassing moment?
One summer I was hanging out with some of my friends and we were on a beach, and I recall seeing a guy that I liked and we were playing tag, and he tagged me, so I went taking off to catch this guy, and I ended up falling flat on my face.

What does this year's theme metamorphosis mean to you?
When I hear the word metamorphosis, the first thing that comes to mind is butterflies, because they start off as these ugly caterpillars and then they turn into this beautiful creation, these beautiful butterflies. Personally for me, I think the universe puts us through exactly what we need to become who we are and what we're meant to be.

Name a female that inspires you the most.
There are many females that inspire me -- my mother, my sisters, my family members, my aunts, my cousins.

What is your greatest accomplishment so far?
My greatest accomplishment so far -- passing my driver's test. I had such a hard time getting my driver's license. I failed the written twice and I took the driving test twice. And on the second time I passed the driving test on Valentine's Day, so now I'm a certified driver, even though I'm a horrible driver, according to my friends.

What characteristics would you look for in the winner of a beauty pageant?
If I were a judge in the pageant, the thing I would be looking for in the contestants would be somebody with personality, someone who is genuine and someone who is a hard worker. These values are indications that the contestant is serious about themself, serious about others, and serious about the pageant. Helping people is number one. It's the number one thing I look for, that's why I think someone who is passionate about who they are, confident about who they are, serious about their work, serious about their platform, serious about helping other people is important for me as a judge.

Geena Thompson
District: Long Island
Age: 24
Height: 5-9
Favorite color: Khaki
Favorite food: Fried calamari
Favorite sport: Volleyball and CrossFit training

What does this year's theme metamorphosis mean to you?
When you think of metamorphosis, it actually means to transform from something immature into the adult phase. Having been in the pageant before, I can really tell you the benefits that a pageant has into you becoming a metamorphosis of the person as a woman. You have a lot of time within a pageant to become very introspected, to look into your true desires and what you want for yourself and what you want for your country.

What is your most embarrassing moment?
We all know how tough leg day is and it makes it even worse when you're walking in heels. I remember I was going to the gym early in the morning and I went to work, and I was ambitious enough to put on a pair of heels after leg day, and to get to my office you have to go down into a basement and I had all my bags on top of me. I was ready to conquer the day. Someone walked with me down the stairs -- it was about 10 stairs, and on the second one, I just dropped and all my fruits and everything started rolling out of my bags. I was so embarrassed.

What is your greatest accomplishment so far?
I would have to say my greatest accomplishment so far is the day I felt I became an adult; this was the weekend of my 21st birthday, I got baptized. I graduated from university with a bachelor's degree in accounting and law.

Name a female that inspires you the most.
I definitely have a lot of female influences that inspire me, but who I would say inspires me most would definitely have to be Shaunae Miller (Uibo). Before the 2016 Olympics she always inspired me, just because we went to the same school, so I grew up knowing her in inter-house track meets, and then I knew her nationally, and then when she went of to college. In 2012, Shaunae went to the Olympics and she wasn't successful in her goal, and then she came back around in the next Olympics and she literally dived for gold, and that is what I plan to do -- I plan to dive for gold.

What characteristic would you look for in the winner of a beauty pageant?
If I were judging the pageant, I would look for someone who is confident, someone who loves their country, and someone who loves people and charity.

Galy Joseph
District: New Providence
Age: 19
Height: 5-9
Favorite color: Orange
Favorite food: Pizza
Favorite sport: Basketball

What does this year's theme metamorphosis mean to you?
When I think about metamorphosis I think about profound change, and looking back on my life, I think I've changed profoundly over the years and matured, and that's what it's all about -- change -- good change. And I think the theme is embodying who I am as a person and who I have become.

What are you most passionate about?
I am most passionate about reading. As a child I loved to read books, from fiction to drama, and I grew up reading books and loving the library, and so that's what I'm passionate about. I like to tell people to learn to read, and that's why I participate in no-profit organizations that promote literacy, so I'm a literacy advocate pretty much.

What is your most embarrassing moment?
When I visited my friend's church and they were praying, and I was super sleepy, so I kind of stood there with my eyes closed for awhile, and when I opened my eyes everyone was looking at me. That was the most awkward sit down I ever had.

What is your greatest accomplishment so far?
Enrolling into college. I'm the first person in my immediate family to go to college, and that's a big thing for my family and me. And obtaining the highest GPA I ever had in my life, so that's a big thing.

Name a female that inspires you the most.
A female that inspires me would be my mother ... it's typical answer I know, but she's an inspiration to me because she migrated from Haiti and came here, not knowing what her future would be like, but 20 years later she's here with her daughter in college and she's pushing me to do the very best that I can, and not settle for anything and just reach for greatness. Through all of her hard work, through all of her sacrifices, and getting me and my sisters together, she inspires me so much.

What characteristics would you look for in the winner of a beauty pageant?
If I were a judge I would look for a person who is confident, able to adapt easily and also has a great personality.

Whitney Isaacs
District: Paradise Island
Age: 17
Height: 5-7
Favorite color: Aqua and lime green
Favorite food: Pasta
Favorite sport: Swimming

What are you passionate about?
Helping others, because I feel as though it can get me one step closer to my purpose than I am now.

What does this year's theme metamorphosis mean to you?
When I think of the term metamorphosis I think of developing, growing and transforming into something beautiful. When you hear the term, you first think of a caterpillar transforming into a beautiful butterfly. This term personally relates to me. I was not always confident. I did not believe in myself and I always doubted myself. With the help of the pageant I've transformed into something bigger and more beautiful.

What is your most embarrassing moment?
It would have to be last night, I was very tired -- it was a really long day, and I went to the neighbor's door and was tugging on the handle for like five minutes until I remembered my room number was 297 and not 298, so it was pretty embarrassing. They came out of the room, but I was already in my room.

Name a female that inspires you.
Oprah Winfrey inspires me because she's a strong, powerful black woman. And despite her challenges she did not let them keep her down. She kept on going and now she's the richest black woman in the world.

What characteristics would you look for in the winner of a beauty pageant?
If I were a judge I would look for a confident, well-rounded young lady -- perhaps someone like me.

Nyisha Tilus
District: University of The Bahamas
Age: 25
Height: 5-8
Favorite color: Mustard (as in faith of a mustard seed)
Favorite food: I am a foodie, still hunting for my favorite dish
Favorite sport: Track and field

What are you passionate about?
I am most passionate about mental health and mental health awareness, reason being that I have two little brothers who suffer from some sort of disability, and I also have a mother who was a victim of domestic violence, and persons place more attention on her physical ailments as opposed to what was going on with her psychologically, so growing up I always had a passion for the mental psyche.

What does this year's theme metamorphosis mean to you?
This year's theme metamorphosis means so much to me. I can relate to it on so many levels. As Miss University of The Bahamas, we just transitioned from college to university and that in itself speaks volumes. Most persons think of butterflies when they hear the word metamorphosis and transitioning from a not-so-beautiful into a beautiful butterfly. When you think about it, words can't even begin to describe that end result based on that process, so with metamorphosis, I think about the process and also diversity, because no butterfly comes out looking the same. They all come out looking different and beautiful, so for me it's the process, the change, the transition, but also the diversity.

Name a female that inspires you.
The woman that inspires me the most I would have to say is my mom, the reason being she went through a lot. She has been in an abusive relationship for as long as I can remember, she survived cancer, she has four kids for the man that used to abuse her, but she stuck it out just so we could have a happy life. Although she went through hell, she made sure that we were smiling, she made sure that we had an environment that was just family-oriented, but you never know how far a smile can go. And it just keeps me going, and she keeps me going so that's why she is my inspiration.

What is your most embarrassing moment?
I used to dance at First Assembly in Abaco and I had just moved to Nassau, and it was our pastoral anniversary and I was called to do a dance for that service, so in the middle of the dance, there was a puddle of water, and I slipped and fell on my bum in front of everyone, and it was so embarrassing, but I had to keep it together and finish the dance and then run to the bathroom because my butt really hurt.

What is your greatest accomplishment so far?
I would say my greatest accomplishment is winning Miss University of The Bahamas, reason being I would be the individual to embrace that change, and that process from college to university, and its something I embody, it's something that I try to just be and represent, which is change, which is diversity, and just be that, embrace that, so other persons can embrace it as well. With growth you have to change, you have to go through stages, and that would be my greatest accomplishment.

What characteristics would you look for in the winner of a beauty pageant?
If I was judging the pageant, the characteristics I would look for is the heart of a servant -- reason being, in order to lead you must first serve. You must be genuine, be true to yourself. I feel as though you must have integrity, but most importantly serve, because it's not really about you. Oftentimes persons forget that it's not about what you do or what you say, but how you make people feel and what you do for others. It has more of a lasting effect. Once you go beyond you, everything just falls in place.

Jerell Strachan
District: Grand Bahama
Age: 17
Height: 5-9
Favorite color: Blue
Favorite food: Everything, because I like to try new things
Favorite sport: Track and field

What does this year's theme metamorphosis mean to you?
When I think of metamorphosis I think of the seed principle, which simply means there is more to you than people see and there's more in you than you think. So strive for the best, do your best, and be all that you can.

Name a female that inspires you the most.
A woman that inspires me would be Shaunae Miller (Uibo). Everyone knows that I love to run and she's a famous track runner, and she's representing The Bahamas which is what I would like to do when I grow up -- represent The Bahamas in the Olympics. She inspires me because she went to the Olympics and beat the best in the world, and that's very inspirational.

What characteristics would you look for in the winner of a beauty pageant?
If I were a judge in the Miss World Bahamas pageant I would definitely look for a woman who is patriotic, a woman who will serve and represent her country as a beauty ambassador.

What is your most embarrassing moment?
My most embarrassing moment would have to be when I was trying to learn how to ride a bike. My brother and his friends were playing basketball on the court and I took it upon myself to ride this bike knowing I couldn't ride a bike, and when I tried to ride the bike I literally rode into a tree and it was so embarrassing I ran inside and cried.

What are you passionate about?
I am most passionate about empowering young persons to remain confident and strong, even after being bullied. Seeing my sister come home lonely and having low self-esteem, that made me feel powerless to know that I couldn't help her. As a result of that we decided together to create an anti-bullying club known as ABC for Teens to stop this vexing issue. As an extension of the ABC for Teens we have created ABC for Kids, because kids are getting bullied every day, and we have learned that 70 percent of children are bullied every day in schools. So we have visited local schools on Grand Bahama Island to stop this vexing issue.

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'Spider-Man: Homecoming' is arguably the best of all the films

July 14, 2017

Spider-Man: Homecoming (Rated B)
Cast: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr., Zendaya
Genre: Fantasy/ Science Fiction
Dwight's Rating: Very, very good

Superhero and comic book movies take note -- this is how you do an "origin story"!
(Yeah, I'm talking to you "Wonder Woman"!)
The new "Spider-Man: Homecoming" is an energetic, fast-moving (but never rushed), finely-tuned and focused machine that breezes through just over two hours, precisely and accurately delivering on the promises and hype that often come with a summer blockbuster.
This is one of the best launches for a new franchise/series in recent times. And along with this year's "Logan" -- which has established a standard by which films will be measured that lean toward the darker, grislier and more violent side of the genre --"Spider-Man: Homecoming" will likely be the blueprint for the more family-friendly fare.
It is arguably the best of all the Spider-Man films, and without a doubt, in the top tier of the most entertaining of all superhero/comic book movies ever!
We begin where we last saw Spider-Man, whose brief cameo in the decent "Captain America: Civil War" was one of the best parts of that film. Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, young Peter Parker returns home to live with his Aunt May. Under the watchful eye of mentor Tony Stark, Parker starts to embrace his newfound identity as Spider-Man. He also tries to return to his normal daily routine, but is distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just a friendly neighborhood superhero. Peter must soon put his powers to the test when the evil Vulture emerges to threaten everything that he holds dear.
Director Jon Watts has helmed an amazing production, with the story by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley; and Goldstein and Daley credited with writing the screenplay along with Jon Watts, Christopher Ford, Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers. That's a pretty big team! But you get a sense that there is a lot riding on this. And it pays off, with every facet of the film on full boil.
So far this summer, I've seen films that are anywhere from 15 minutes to an entire hour too long. Not here though. Director Watts has cut the fat, with no extraneous bits. It's an amazing balance of character development and dialogue along with superb action sequences, replete with surprising twists and turns.
Peter Parker/Spider-Man is a teenager (16-years old, he claims), and so he's got real teenager issues, including challenges at home, dealing with friends, young love, bullies, school projects, etc. And as with teenagers, we have a fantastic blend of sarcasm, wit, angst, and especially humor.
This is a very funny film. In fact, the cleverness of the script reveals what must now be seen as weaknesses with the low-hanging fruit humor in previous fellow Marvel high-water mark films like the "Guardians of the Galaxy" series and the R-rated "Deadpool".
Credit also must go to the spectacular casting, which has gifted us with one of the most racially diverse and inclusive casts in a film in recent years. It's a veritable United Nations. But while it is quite noticeable, it doesn't seem unnatural or forced.
Every actor seems expertly cast, especially star Tom Holland. The 21-year-old English actor is possibly the best Peter/Spider-Man yet -- not as awkward, nervous or jittery as Tobey Maguire's, or annoying like Andrew Garfield's. Holland hits the right notes as a curious and nerdy/geeky and slightly rebellious teen.
Also amazing: Michael Keaton as the villain Vulture, in what must be a casting coup; to see whom many regard as the quintessential Batman from rival DC Comics in this Marvel flick is quite something. And as usual, Keaton is superb, eschewing the typical cartoony booming-voice, bad guy nonsense, for a character that is far more authentic, even relatable, and again, realistically humorous.
The rest of the cast excels. Robert Downey Jr. hasn't been this good as Tony Stark/Iron Man since the original "Iron Man". A slew of Peter Parker's "teenage" friends ensure there is never a dull moment; Jacob Batalon as Peter's best friend Ned is a great sidekick, and Disney Channel star Zendaya is a scene-stealer and is poised to play a significant role in future editions.
Even those in small roles deliver top-notch performances, like Oscar-winner Marisa Tomei as Aunt May, and Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan. There are countless memorable cameos, too, notably Donald Glover, Hannibal Buress, and especially Jennifer Connelly as Karen the Suit Lady and Chris Evans as Captain America.
Treats and surprises for fans and fan-boys abound, yet there's lots to love for those who've never even seen a comic book.
My only concern is this is the third reboot of Spider-Man in just 15 years, following the well-regarded Maguire movies, and the much-less-so Garfield flicks. But is this how things are going to go from now on? Every few years we'll get a new Spider-Man and we'll start all over with yet another origin story? Rinse and then repeat? Or will this be more like DC's Batman or James Bond, with a new actor as the caped-crusader or 007, respectively, every few years. When will it end? Will it ever? Is this a good thing?
For now, let's not think about that, and bask in the fact that there is something wonderful to be seen in local theaters, with "Spider-Man: Homecoming", of all movies, proving to be a master class in how to produce a blockbuster action/comedy.

o Dwight Strachan is the host/producer of " Morning Blend" on Guardian Radio. He is a television producer and writer, and an avid TV history and film buff. Email dwight@nasguard.com and follow him on twitter @morningblend969.

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Bahamian film to screen on American television station

July 14, 2017

"Passage", a Bahamian-made short film will air on ASPiRE, an American television station, this month, on July 18 at 8 p.m. "Passage" will be shown as a part of the "ABFF Independent", a weekly series that presents the best independent short films and documentaries from emerging African-American artists and filmmakers.
The network was launched June 27, 2012 by Magic Johnson Enterprises, an investment company that acts as a catalyst for driving unparalleled results in business for its partners, and fosters socioeconomic empowerment in several communities by making high-quality entertainment available, making products and providing services that answer the demands of ethnically diverse urban communities. ASPiRE is available in over 19 million homes in 22 of the top 25 African-American markets.
"Passage", a winner at the Bahamian Icon Awards in 2015, is the story of a young woman who is trapped in the hold of a ship and must hide the fact that her adolescent brother is ill to avoid him being thrown off-board. It is the precursor to the recently completed feature film "Cargo", also a winner of the Bahamian Icon Award in 2017, which is currently enjoying a festival run.
"Passage", a film with primarily a Bahamian cast and crew, has now been screened in more than 52 countries. In 2015 the Public Media Alliance (PMA) acquired "Passage" for worldwide distribution. The PMA is the largest association of public broadcasters in the world and provides content for public stations for 2.5 billion people in 52 countries. In addition, The National Black Programming Consortium included Passage in its popular series "Afropop".

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BTC Northern Bahamas at the heart of GB Independence Celebrations
BTC Northern Bahamas at the heart of GB Independence Celebrations

July 13, 2017

Bahamians turned out in Droves at the Independence Park for official celebrations which kicked off at 7pm on Grand Bahama Island. BTC along with Brand Ambassadors...

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BTC Meet Greet an afternoon of Celebrities and Savings
BTC Meet & Greet an afternoon of Celebrities and Savings

July 13, 2017

Grammy Nominated Reggae Star Jah Cure poses along with two Royal Bahamas Defense Force Marines who participated in BTC's in-store promotion and Meet & Greet...

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BTC Northern Bahamas takes Independence Celebrations into Abaco & Bimini

July 12, 2017

Armed with Free Wifi, Branded Paraphernalia, Discounted Devices, Phones Cards and Its Brand Ambassadors, BTC's presence was felt from Marsh Harbour to Bimini...

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Independence Weekend Heats Up Cools down with BTC and the Fire Ice Concert Series
Independence Weekend Heats Up & Cools down with BTC and the Fire & Ice Concert Series

July 11, 2017

BTC’s commitment to the country’s musical and cultural talents has remained at the heart of the company’s community outreach initiatives for years, with Brand Ambassadors like Wendi, Dyson Knight, D-Mac and countless other local artists at the forefront of campaigns to designed to entertain and encourage a new generation of Bahamian talent...

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One of the originals

July 07, 2017

Linda Dorsette-Munroe is one of 20 Bahamians -- 11 females and nine males -- who will celebrate their 44th birthdays on Independence Day.
They were born on July 10, 1973, at a time when the population was estimated at 189,900 according to the Department of Statistics.
As she prepares to celebrate her 44th birthday, Dorsette-Munroe thinks about the day of her birth and said it makes her feel special and blessed. But this Independence Day born baby also admits that her life hasn't always been rosy.
"Sometimes it's been good and sometimes it's been bad, because there were times when I didn't have a job and I didn't know where I would get something from for my children, and all of that."
Dorsette-Munroe has five children -- three girls and two boys ranging in age from 11 to 23.
During unemployed periods she said her life was rough. Today she is employed as a contract security worker.
"I've had life struggles like everyone else and always was out there seeking a job, but sometimes it just didn't happen," said the daughter of Margaret Johnson and Zacharius Dorsette.
Slavery was officially abolished in The Bahamas in 1838. Many former slaves remained on the land and eventually became landowners themselves.
Although all residents of The Bahamas were free, the islands remained a colony of the United Kingdom, although much of the day-to-day governing of the country was actually based in The Bahamas. This was a major factor that led to a peaceful negotiation for independence.
In 1964, after decades of debate and legal maneuvering, Great Britain granted The Islands of The Bahamas limited self-government. In 1969, The Bahamas finally became a British Commonwealth, which effectively ended colonial rule.
The Bahama Islands gained total independence from Great Britain and became a sovereign nation on July 10, 1973, ending 325 years of British rule.
One minute to midnight on July 9, the Union Jack was lowered for the last time as the official flag of The Bahamas. One minute after midnight on July 10, a reported crowd of 50,000 saw the black, turquoise and gold flag of The Bahamas raised.
Dorsette-Munroe has two specific memories of being included in independence celebrations over the years as someone who was born on the day.
"I always remembered at the age of 10, it was the first time I heard Priscilla Rollins sing "Independence Morning" [which was released to commemorate The Bahamas' attainment of independence]. I was at ZNS for an interview, reflecting back on July 10, 1973, along with three other persons that shared the same birthday, and it made me feel special and honored. The last one I remembered was when the country celebrated its 40th anniversary and I celebrated my 40th birthday, they gave us VIP tickets to attend the celebration at Clifford Park. The next day we were invited to Government House for the independence luncheon."
While she feels special, Dorsette-Munroe's children derive the most joy out of the fact that their mother is an Independence Day born baby, and they will parrot that fact to anyone who will listen to them.
"I always know that my children feel special to know that their mother celebrates on Independence Day, because they talk about it and they say 'mommy you're a celebrity, you born on July 10, 1973' -- and they would tell other people my birth date, so I know they feel special about it," she said.
But life has not always been easy. Dorsette-Munroe, a 1990 graduate of the then H.O. Nash Secondary School, said she struggled academically as a student and did the best she could, but she wants more for her children and encourages them to work hard.
"I tell my three that still in school to embrace every opportunity and do the best that they could to achieve whatever they can achieve," she said. "It's a whole lot different from my day because they require a whole lot more. In order for them to graduate they have to have a certain amount of BJCs [Bahamas Junior Certificate] and BGCSE's [Bahamas Government Certificate of Secondary Education exams], and they have to make the passing grade in order to get the National High School Diploma that the government has now implemented."
Dorsette-Munroe has plans to celebrate her 44th birthday in style and plans to do it right, as the celebration will be double fold. She celebrates her first wedding anniversary to husband Brian Munroe on Sunday, July 9. Having her wedding on the eve of her birthday, she said, was in no way intentional.
"I had another date set up for the wedding, but it didn't work out, and when I was left to choose another date, when I realized July 9 was a Saturday, I went with that date," she said.
As she prepares to celebrate her birthday and the country's 44th independence as well as her first wedding anniversary, Dorsette-Munroe said she gives God thanks and praise. And she sends birthday greetings to everyone who will celebrate a birthday on Independence Day.
"I hope The Bahamas in these next 44 years would turn back to God. That we would stand up for righteousness and we would continue to lift up the name of Jesus in all things, and He would see us through," said Dorsette-Munroe.

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Tariq Cartwright crowned Starbucks champ

July 07, 2017

The nerves were thick and everyone came to win, but in his second appearance in the Starbucks Bahamas Barista competition, Tariq Cartwright managed to cut through the tension to claim the ultimate title -- champion -- albeit by a slim, three-point margin over Shawnell Clarke.
Clarke, who represented Starbucks Charlotte Street, walked away with the latte art trophy which was a featured highlight in this year's competition and second place.
And Lenice Winters, who rounded out the first three-way final in the competition's three-year history, finished third.
"It feels surreal, but natural," said Cartwright, who works at the Baha Mar Starbucks. "The feeling today was unbelievable. Watching it come to pass, I just thank the Almighty. I prayed and prayed and prayed. And I must say He answers prayers."
Cartwright won a one-week all-expense paid trip to Mexico during which he will get to explore all things coffee, from the planting process through to the production of coffee.
He's looking forward to the experience to make more connections with baristas worldwide.
"I want to hear their stories and their competition experience, and how beverage quality is imparted in their markets, and hopefully bring some of what they say home and impact my market," said Cartwright.
The 2017/2018 champ said he plans to use his position and research to help improve beverage quality, customer service and personalities in the market by incorporating what he's learnt into the stores.
"The competition isn't just competition for a winner. It's camaraderie. It's personalities coming together to birth something bigger. At Starbucks we reach out to the community, we help others improve, we grow with each other, we help, and we nurture and we strengthen," he said.
Javan Smith, Starbucks Bahamas training learning and development manager, said the three finalists will be utilized in the market to impart the experience they learnt from the competition.
"The winner will spearhead the team, but we're going to make sure everyone will be utilized to get us to where we want to be," he said.
Dino Matsas, general manager food and beverage John Bull Group of Companies, described the competition as inspiring and said the passion displayed by the partners was a sight to behold, and one of the most important aspects of the competition.
In past years they focused on the customer connection side of the business, which Matsas said they do a very good job at. This year they focused on beverage quality, which he said is a huge portion of the customer experience.
"It's about the customer connection as well as beverage quality," said Matsas. "The customer coming into the store and feeling a part of something bigger, which is that family environment."
He also took pride in realizing that it didn't take being a veteran partner to do well in the competition, noting that Clarke, a partner of only seven months, finished second when she went head-to-head with a nine-year veteran in Winters and a 17-month employee in Cartwright, the eventual champion.
"It just goes to show that if you have the willingness and the commitment is there, and the passion is there, that you can go very far and represent a fantastic brand," said Matsas.
A three-way final was a first for the competition this year. Winters and Cartwright tied for first place out of the eight-man semifinals. The judges allowed the second placed Clarke to advance, which meant that a tie emerged for first place for the first time in the three-year competition, and the first time three people advanced to the final.
Smith said they decided to let the three persons go through because the partners had worked really hard to prepare for the competition, and to see a seven-month employee in Clarke put in that amount of work and that amount of passion, they thought it would be robbery not to allow her to compete in the final.
Steven Hepburn was the Starbucks Barista Champion 2015-2016. His prize was a trip to Seattle where he visited the Starbucks Support Center (headquarters) and iconic Starbucks locations such as the first store in Pike Place Market and the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room.
Joshua Rolle, the Starbucks Barista Champion 2016-2017, the second person to be crowned barista champion, won a trip to Colombia where he visited a Starbucks farm, the mountains where coffee is grown, engaged in a coffee bean-picking experience, interacted with partners that work at farms, and participated in extensive training and study with persons who work for the Starbucks support centers, which allowed him to gain firsthand information and knowledge.

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One good and one very bad option in theaters

July 07, 2017

It was pretty clear "Despicable Me 3" would dominate the new movie releases last week. And even though it debuted slightly below some early estimates in the United States (U.S.), it was still a big hit, raking in just under $100 million in the U.S. over a very long July 4th holiday, and just over $241 million in total, if you add in worldwide markets.
So, rather than review this critic-proof animated feature, I decided to take a look at the two very adult films opening opposite it. One of them is surprisingly entertaining and the other is unbelievably awful.
If you aren't interested in seeing this weekend's guaranteed super-duper-monster blockbuster "Spider-Man: Homecoming", choose very wisely if you are heading to the local cinema.

The House (Rated C)
Cast: Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler, Jason Mantzoukas
Genre: Comedy
Dwight's Rating: Pretty Awful

I spoke too soon!
Last week I declared "Transformers: The Last Knight" to be the "dumbest, loudest, longest, lousiest... stupidest" and "WORST movie so far for 2017".
However, the new adult comedy "The House" did briefly make me question that proclamation. While ultimately not worse than that crashing, alien-robot debacle, it does, without a doubt, join "The Last Knight" and "Fifty Shades Darker" in the very close race to be considered the worst thing to play on the big screen in the last six months.
Between its ludicrous plot and lackluster acting performances, there are no redeeming qualities for this shockingly unfunny "comedy". Mercifully -- and unlike the latest "Transformers" flick -- it is a short 88 minutes. (That's still about 80 minutes too long, though!)
The film's title, "The House", is a reference to the casino term -- as in "the house never loses". Desperate couple Scott and Kate Johansen (Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler) join forces with their neighbor Frank (Jason Mantzoukas) to start an underground casino in his home. The Johansens are hoping to earn some money after their daughter's college scholarship falls through. As the cash rolls in and the good times fly, Scott and Kate soon learn that they may have bitten off more than they can chew.
Channeling some of the successful adult comedies over the last decade or so, "The House" aspires to some of the successes of "The Hangover" et al. And its married-couple-in-crime/illegal-activities theme may be reminiscent of Jim Carrey-Tea Leoni in "Fun with Dick and Jane" (2005) or even Steve Carrell-Tina Fey "Date Night" (2010).
Whether you were fans of those mentioned flicks or not, "The House" falls way short of all of them, totally missing the mark with an overly crass, unnecessarily violent production, functioning under a foolish assumption that images of people being physically harmed is hilarious. Newsflash: there are very few ways to make people getting shot or having appendages severed amusing.
And again, that's the biggest problem for "The House". It's just plain not funny -- a complete waste of the talents of "Saturday Night Live" alumni Ferrell and Poehler, and thus, a complete waste of time.

Baby Driver (Rated C)
Cast: Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm
Genre: Comedy
Dwight's Rating: Very, Very Good

Last weekend's far better option was "Baby Driver".
The surprise of the year so far, "Baby Driver" feels like a throwback to movies of a bygone era. Countless films from the 1950's straight through to the '80s (and even early '90s) fit this mold -- good boy at heart gets in with the wrong crowd, but the love of a girl compels him to seek to change his ways.
Ansel Elgort ("The Fault in Our Stars" and The "Divergent" film series) plays talented getaway driver Baby (yes, that's right!). He relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. After meeting the woman (Lily James) of his dreams, he sees a chance to ditch his shady lifestyle and make a clean break. Coerced into working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey), Baby must face the music as a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom.
In the past, you could easily have seen a James Dean or Paul Newman or Robert Redford or even more recently an '80s-era Tom Cruise in the role of Baby. Here in 2017, we have Elgort -- an unexpected and surprising but apparently perfect choice. He's afforded the amazing opportunity to showcase the sensitivity we saw from him in cancer love story "The Fault in Our Stars", and that he can also effortlessly and credibly be an action star.
There's a definite "Bonnie & Clyde" feel to the whole production, with its blend of action and love story, and with the great chemistry Elgort has with Lily James ("Cinderella"). It's also clear that writer and director, Edgar Wright ("Shaun of the Dead"), has been influenced by Quentin Tarantino, especially in the way music is incorporated into even seemingly minor scenes.
Along with Elgort, the spectacular chase scenes are what really makes "Baby Driver" shine. Unlike most action films today, these realistic scenes actually look like they were done in real vehicles and on real streets. When was the last time this happened, as opposed to the actors sitting on benches in front of a green screen?
The result is real edge of your seat action -- the kind that has you moving in your chairs and shouting at the screen. Be it chases in cars or chases on foot, everything is perfectly choreographed and very authentic feeling.
The plot, on the other hand, is a little over the top. At times it feels like we're watching a big video game. Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx and Emmy-winner Jon Hamm ("Mad Men") and their bad guy characters are major contributors to that, as is double Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey, who's apparently doing his best impression of a Bond villain. You also get the feeling that crime is being romanticized a tad.
But that's largely nitpicking. When the film starts to veer off into ridiculous fantasy, a harsh dose of realism and warmth usually jolts it back on course and towards something amazing and fun.
I'd begun to lose hope for real entertainment this summer. But now we get an action film with true conversations and actual character development to accompany all those loud crashes and explosions. These things weren't always mutually exclusive.
And we can still pray that today's latest Spider-Man reboot, and the next chapter in the current "Planet of the Apes" franchise in a few weeks, will join "Baby Driver" in the "hit" column in a summer that has become a little too heavy with "misses".

o Dwight Strachan is the host/producer of " Morning Blend" on Guardian Radio. He is a television producer and writer, and an avid TV history and film buff. Email dwight@nasguard.com and follow him on twitter @morningblend969.

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Bahari releases fourth independence collection

July 07, 2017

Bahari has released its fourth independence collection themed, "Celebrate Together" just in time for the country's 44th anniversary.
The Bahari creative team says it was important for them to produce a more festive aesthetic this year. The 2017 independence collection design features elements of the coat of arms, accented with the opulent details that the brand has become known for over the past four years.
"Regardless of what our nation is going through, economically or politically, the common thread that unites us all is that we're Bahamian," said Kyle Williams, Bahari brand manager.
"Our theme this year 'Celebrate Together' was chosen to make a statement that no matter what our choices are otherwise, we will celebrate our country together. We will celebrate being Bahamian and all that, that represents -- our culture, our history, our values and our people."
This year's theme is reinforced by the inclusion of Julien Believe's single, "242 Forever" -- a song that celebrates the spirit of being Bahamian and togetherness.
The brand's independence collection has become a staple during the independence holidays.
Bahari released its advertising campaign on July 2.
"Independence is an exciting time for us. We love the experience of seeing the pride and eagerness from Bahamians when they come into the store. Their energy is infectious and it continues to be a reminder of how blessed we are as a nation, and how appreciative we are of the immense support over these past four years," said Williams.
Bahari's Independence Collection can be had at their Rosetta Street and Bay Street locations in New Providence, and Circle Mall, Freeport.

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