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Murjani Rawls

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Author, freelance writer, and photographer 

 mj@mjrawls.com

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Red Sparrow Shines With Lawrence's Performance and Overall Plot Point, But Drags In Other Areas

Director Francis Lawrence and Jennifer Lawrence are no strangers to each other in the movie realm. Lawrence was behind the camera for the last three installments of the Hunger Games trilogy. There’s an evolution in Katniss Everdeen’s character that sees her become a heroine of a movement, but struggle with the emotional weight of that role. For there was triumph, there was a bout of grief or something taken away from her. Little did we know that familiarity was a primer for their spy thriller,

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Ring of Honor's Manhattan Mayhem Returns To the Hammerstein Ballroom

Ring of Honor returned back to the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York for this year’s Manhattan Mayhem. Last year’s show made a big impression with the introduction of The Hardys and Bubba Ray/Bully Ray Dudley. This year brought a different set of challenges. Trent Beretta was injured and due to a noreaster a day before, SoCal Uncensored (Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, and Scorpio Sky) couldn’t be there due to flight cancellations. Still, the crowd was enthused. About 85% were dressed in

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WWE Raw in Milwaukee: Let's Set Up Some Wrestlemania Matches

On this episode of Raw, we start solidifying some Wrestlemania feuds to get a better look at the card for New Orleans on the Raw side. Let’s get into it: Kurt Stands Up and Ronda Gets Rowdy: Finally….Kurt Angle has had enough. After being the punching bag for Triple H and Stephanie, he finally got fed up and stood up for himself. It’s about time. Who knew about these second contracts, but Angle put his bosses in a tag match. Who wouldn’t want to do that? The timing was off with the Ronda’s ann

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WWE Raw in Anaheim: We're on to Wrestlemania!

Well, the Elimination Chamber is through and were are setting the pieces together for the Raw portion of Wrestlemania. Overall, this was an enjoyable episode of Raw. There were some good things, but then again, there were some puzzling things. Keep in mind, we do still have about six weeks to go to the big show. Hopefully, everything sorts itself out. Well, let’s get into the thick of things: John Cena and The Path of Wrestlemania: John Cena is in a peculiar predicament. He was THE guy for the

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Dissension In The Bullet Club and The Return of The Golden Lovers: Inside One of Wrestling's Best Story Lines

As a fairly new New Japan Pro Wrestling fan, I got my proper introduction watching the promotion during Wrestle Kingdom 11 in 2017. It seems like that was a big starting off point for a lot of people. I had already had a vague familiarity with acts like AJ Styles, Finn Balor (then known as Prince Devitt), “Machine Gun” Karl Anderson, and Doc Gallows. Unless you’ve been living under a wresting world rock, the Kenny Omega vs. Kazuchika Okada match was one of the most highly regarded matches ever.

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Smackdown Live: Still Walking In The Fog

It’s still amazing to see the quality drop of Smackdown Live from week to week. Some of the segments border on directionless. It’s a far cry from the show that many considered the “A” show of the WWE at one point. There is talent on the brand – that’s not really the issue. The main issue are the story lines that seem to be thrown together. Especially, when it’s consolidating a lot of that talent together. The WWE Title Picture: Last week, Baron Corbin and Dolph Ziggler were added to what would

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Review: Superman #41

Superman #41 is a continuation of our heroes venturing to the planet Galymayne which is on the verge of being destroyed. Step back for a minute and think of what this reminds you of. A certain tale of a Kryptonian child escaping from an exploding planet in order to carry out a semblance of his bloodline’s survival. One of the best things about this particular issue is that writer James Robinson is able to take that origin story and imply it into newfound lessons that Superman can instill in his

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Mike Shinoda Gives An Honest Look At His Grieving Process With 'Post Traumatic' EP

Grief. Think of it like a coffee stain on a white shirt. No matter how many times you wash it, the shirt will never be the same. The stain will fade, but never go away. It’s hard to think that it’s only been seven short months since the tragic suicide of Chester Bennington. With that, the never ending abyss of questions start to flood your mind. What more could have been done to prevent this? Could I have listened more? What signs did I miss? Relationships with grief vary from person to person.

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NXT Takeover Philadelphia: Keep Raising The Bar

The Undisputed Era vs Authors of Pain (NXT Tag Team Championship): This match was a lot what you would expect. It also telegraphed the main aura of this NXT Takeover: ring psychology.  Authors of Pain used their power and height advantage early against Fish and O’Reily. Towards the end, Fish and O’Reily used their speed and grounded Akam while targeting his leg. The contrast between the two teams played off really well and reDRagon ends up stealing the win with a roll up. Authors of Pain are pr

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The Assassination of Gianni Versace Premiere Starts From The Incident Then Works Backwards

The first season of American Crime Story which chronicled The People v. O. J. Simpson approached the 1994 murder trial from both a micro and macro view. It not only took a look at O.J. Simpson’s thought process, but the many elements around him as well. Ryan Murphy’s then new venture was successful because there was a wealth of story behind it. It also told the story of the trial in a way that was fresh, given that there were many documentaries on the subject. The Assassination of Gianni Versac

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Black Mirror's "Hang The DJ" Proves That Fate, Love, and Algorithms Can Mix

To quote 1942’s Casablanca, “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.” The views on finding love has changed in a technology-dominated society. We have apps like Tinder where people fill out a very antiquated biography about themselves, put on their best faces, and hope for the best. Within this built in world, people carry around a “coach.” It’s an A.I./Siri operated tablet that oversees the system and matches people based on compatibility and variability.

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Black Mirror's "Arkangel" Addresses The Dangers of Over Parenting, But The Dangers Are Already Familiar

Even through an ever changing society, the need for parents to be protective over their children is ever so present. The challenges are different – children has access to so much more due to the boom of social media. With the inclusion of technology, how does one keep their child safe without being invasive? At some point, the bird has to leave the nest. What happens when the child only knows the nest and is suddenly introduced to a world they aren’t familiar with? “Arkangel” is the result of a

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Black Mirror's "Metalhead" Sets A Minimalist Tone Within A Post-Apocalyptic Backdrop

in watching the Black Mirror series, you are expecting bells and whistles. The twist and turns. The shocking conclusion. “Metalhead” is a departure from the conventional. You are immediately dropped into a bleak, black-and-white world. How did it get to this point? “Metalhead” makes it a point to be in the present moment mixed in with equal parts anxiety. The episode starts of with three people, Bella (Maxine Peake), Tony (Clint Dyer), and Clarke (Jake Davies) who are on a mission. You don’t kn

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Black Mirror, 'Crocodile' Shows Us That Deadly Secrets Don't Always Stay Hidden

What would you do if the life you have now is threatened by a choice that you made in the past? Would you kill to keep it? What lengths would you go to keep a secret? “Crocodile,” the third episode in the fourth season of Black Mirror asks that very question. As With most Black Mirror episodes, there’s an urgency within a technological danger. For this particular episode, technology is only an inhibitor to some already bad choices and anxiety. “Crocodile” enters with characters Mia (Andrea Ri

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Imagine Dragons Put On An Inspired Performance In New Jersey

Lead singer Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons glanced out into the crowd while a single spotlight covered his body after the second song of their set, “It’s Time” from the 2011 EP of the same name. The band, who are from Las Vegas, NV were particularly emotional due to the October 1st mass shooting that claimed the lives of 58 music lovers. It was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history in a medium that’s been inclusive and a safe haven to millions. Reynolds looked out into the Prudential Cen

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"Jigsaw" Offers A Pinch of Nostalgia For Hardcore Fans, But Not Much Else

2004’s Saw brought about the next horror boogeyman. John Kramer (Tobin Bell) became the tactical and wielding hand of retribution. The familiar score from Charlie Clouser rang through seven iterations of twists, turns, and misdirects. While giving horror fans some of the goriest scenarios in a long time. The Saw franchise is a demented version of Clue. As the series went on, it lost a little steam seemly ending with 2010’s Saw 3D. Apparently, the past is not going to stay dead. Enter Jigsaw, ou

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WWE RAW: Sierra, Hotel, India, Echo, Lima, Delta

The Shield Is Back: Let’s address the elephant in the room first. Yes, The Shield have returned. Roman Reigns even got some cheers – look at that! You see those shirts? Definitely are going to sell out. The teases up to this point were great and the payoff was one of the hottest openings on Raw in a long time. The match at TLC is a little murky – why is Braun Strowman just thrown into a match?  The Miz and The Bar could have been enough. This is the guy who was just challenging Brock Lesnar for

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'Liability": Lorde's Love and Hate Relationship With Fame

Have you ever written a video treatment in your head? You know the sensation, or at least I think you do. A song plays and when you hear it you realize it is so vividly appealing that you instantly project the artist living it in a world and/or scenario you just made up?  While listening to “Liability,” one of the many emotional songs off Lorde’s recently released second album, Melodrama, I did just that. So picture this: The video for “Liability” would open in the same taxi cab with Lorde loo

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Review: Superman #32

How far will Superman go to protect the ones he loves most? Would he kill for it? Would he forego his own moral code? The second part of “Breaking Point” tackles this very notion as D.C.’s “terminator,” Deathstroke is on a job to take out Lois Lane..or is he? Superman #32 is more of a psychological cat and mouse game. Within the action, there are some beautifully done internal monologues that writer James Bonny utilizes coming from Superman, Deathstroke, and Lois. Here’s a story about principle

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Demi Lovato's Continuing Evolution Takes A Triumphant Step With 'Tell Me You Love Me'

Demi Lovato‘s 2015 single became a proclamation ranging from music lovers to sports teams. There was a new hunger in Lovato’s music as the world was getting a glimpse of where the singer could go when she foregoes all previous limits.  “Sorry Not Sorry,” the first song from Lovato’s latest album, Tell Me You Love Me sets the tone from the album. A fiery, R&B-laden anthem, if you want to make a statement with the first track of your album, this is the way you do it. Take a look at the covers of

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