"Birdman" takes lead in Best Picture Battle


This weekend produced two guild stunners that shook up the Oscar race in a big way. We all thought after Best Picture wins from many critics groups and the Golden Globes, “Boyhood” would easily stroll its way to victory. Or so we thought. The Producers and Actors guilds had different plans, Read more

The Bachelor 2015: Episode 3 (Costco is for Lovers)


Alternate Titles: Chris kissed me and all I got was this lousy t-shirt; or, Jillian's little black box; or, Big time players make big time plays, and in this case the big time player is Jade. Dear Friends Who Watched Farmer Chris Kiss Everyone on Television Last Night, I must confess Read more

Fatherhood, Faith, and Film


My son, John (Jack) Joseph Williams III, was born on October 10, 2014. If you visit my social media page or run into me, it's clear how much I love Jack. And most times, you'll find me quickly veering away from my usual favorite topics of discussion (politics, film, Read more

My Problem with Maroon 5’s New Video for “Sugar”


Earlier this week, Maroon 5 released their video for Sugar, a catchy, hook-filled, bubble-gum pop of a song. Just to clarify, no shame here, I think it’s pretty good. Whatever. The video shows Adam Levine and the boys crashing weddings and playing the song at the receptions. They have their Read more

A Lego Movie-less Reaction to the 2015 Oscar Nominations


For a full list of nominees, go here. Alex: No "Lego Movie"? I mean, seriously Academy. No "Lego Movie"? It was the snub of the morning we certainly didn’t see coming. Sure, things like “Nightcrawler’s” Jake Gyllenhaal getting the boot in favor of “American Sniper’s” Bradley Cooper were a surprise. We’re used Read more

The Bachelor 2015: Episode 2 (War on Drugs)


Alternate titles: $500 to the first person who figures out Chris’ taste in women; or, “Chris, this is your life, there are no rules.” –Chris Harrison; or, Chris Soules will kiss you whether you like it or not. Bachelor watchers and watchettes, Before we get started today, let’s have a brief moment Read more

Being a Hero to the Orphans of the World

Posted on by Alex Beene in Bright Spots, Entertainment, Entertainment Inspirations, Featured | 2 Comments

Andrew Garfield & WWO Host Salon Event In NYC

When you lose a parent, the first reaction is never one of appreciation. The immediate aftermath is not filled with happiness over all the times you shared and how blessed you were to have that person in your life.

Instead, you tend to focus on what can never be. You think of all the years you have left where you won’t have that parent around to talk to or share memories with moving forward. It’s that notion that leads to most of the heartache you experience when suffering through those first few weeks following a passing. Read more

Film Review – “The Amazing Spider-Man 2″

Posted on by Alex Beene in Entertainment, Featured | Leave a comment

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When Sony decided for a quick reboot of the “Spider-Man” franchise back in 2012, the reactions fell into two camps: one which viewed the production as a shameless cash-grab way for the studio to retain the film rights to the character and the other being intrigued and relieved by new blood being brought in after Tobey Maguire and company’s lackluster third outing. Read more

Interview: Kelly English dishes on Grizzlies’ Inspired Cuisine

Posted on by Warner Russell in Basketball, Featured, Sports | 1 Comment

Second Line Interior Kelly

Today, The Wise Guise had a chance to chat with award-winning chef and restaurateur Kelly English. If you aren’t familiar, he owns and operates one of Memphis’ favorite and most delicious restaurants, Restaurant Iris, and has recently opened a more casual yet still just as delicious spot next door to Iris called The Second Line. In addition to these two ventures, he also has a Second Line concessions booth in FedExForum and runs the menu for the in-house restaurant there, The Lexus Lounge.

This week, English’s and my hometown Memphis Grizzlies are in the midst of an intense playoff series with rivals, the Oklahoma City Thunder. For the team-sponsored watch party Monday night, at English’s Second Line, a new dish was introduced, “I’ll Beat Yo Ass Shrimp,” in honor of some gritty words Grizz favorite Zach Randolph shared with the Thunder’s Kendrick Perkins last season.

As the series has shifted from OKC back to Memphis, English is excited to debut some new menu items centered around the Grizz as well as enjoy what has proven to be one of the most fun times of the year to be a Memphian, the NBA Playoffs.

When I caught up with Kelly, he was fired up about the prospect of the Grizzlies taking a 2-1 series lead in front of a home crowd tonight and eager to talk about his love for all things Grizz.

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On John Updike & Easter

Posted on by Michael Bowman in Faith, Featured | Leave a comment

easter

While Joseph reflected on Good Friday last year, we urge you to enjoy this poem from John Updike and Michael Bowman’s reflections so that you can let this year’s celebration of Easter impact your life beyond Easter Sunday. Have a blessed week!

“Seven Stanzas at Easter” by John Updike

Make no mistake: if he rose at all
It was as His body;
If the cell’s dissolution did not reverse, the molecule reknit,
The amino acids rekindle,
The Church will fall.

It was not as the flowers,
Each soft spring recurrent;
It was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled eyes of the
Eleven apostles;
It was as His flesh; ours.

The same hinged thumbs and toes
The same valved heart
That-pierced-died, withered, paused, and then regathered
Out of enduring Might
New strength to enclose.

Let us not mock God with metaphor,
Analogy, sidestepping, transcendence,
Making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the faded
Credulity of earlier ages:
Let us walk through the door.

The stone is rolled back, not papier-mache,
Not a stone in a story,
But the vast rock of materiality that in the slow grinding of
Time will eclipse for each of us
The wide light of day.

And if we have an angel at the tomb,
Make it a real angel,
Weighty with Max Planck’s quanta, vivid with hair, opaque in
The dawn light, robed in real linen
Spun on a definite loom.

Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,
For our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,
Lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are embarrassed
By the miracle,
And crushed by remonstrance.

Through his “Seven Stanzas at Easter,” Updike does a wonderful thing. He captured Easter. I want to join in his call this year, instead of falling victim to what Easter has become. While Easter bunnies, candy, and egg-hunts are all good, I hope we do not miss the point.

The point is the death and resurrection Jesus. If you have grown up in the Church at all, or have been a Christian for any amount of time, you probably understand that everything we believe in hinges upon the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If Jesus had just died, then so what? The Resurrection is essential to our lives as Christians. We get it. But let us not take the Resurrection and dim down it’s light. Let it be transcendent.

The hope of this post is not to teach you something new about Christianity. It is here to help your processing of what Easter is this year. Maybe you have been completely numb to the Gospel, and Jesus, and the Church, and Christianity, and everything having to do with Easter for awhile now. Maybe you have been so incredibly busy that you have not had a chance to reflect on Easter at all. That’s okay. Be reminded of why we celebrate, in every sense of the word, Easter.

Let us walk through the door. The tomb is empty. The veil has been torn. He is risen!

Roundtable: 2014 NBA Playoffs Preview

Posted on by Jeremy Wilson in Basketball, Featured, Roundtables, Sports | Leave a comment

KD

Spring has sprung, The Masters has come and gone, so now The Wise Guise and the sports world are focused on one thing:

The NHL Playoffs — er (clears throat), excuse me…

THE NBA PLAYOFFS, BABY!

The Grizzly Bears have nestled into the 7 seed and will face a familiar foe in Oklahoma City. Meanwhile, the Orlando Magic have earned the 3rd best lottery odds by piecing together some very, very impressive losses. But who cares about the Magic right now — nobody.

As the playoffs tip off on Saturday, The Wise Guise and friends answer these nine questions…

1) How far can the Grizzlies go? What is a somewhat realistic best-case scenario?

2) If the Grizzlies get bounced in the first round in an ugly fashion, what happens going forward? Do they blowup parts of the roster? Have we seen the last of this roster that we’ve grown to know and love?

3) Who wins the West? Why?

4) Who wins the East? Why?

5) Who will be the first team that Adam Silver hands the Larry O’Brien Trophy to?

6) Which coverage do you prefer — TNT (Turner) or ESPN/ABC?

7) Who’s the dark horse in the East? West?

8) Last year the sports world learned about the Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard during the finals. Which player this year will be a household name?

9) What is your nightmare matchup for the finals?

Here’s what the fellas had to say…

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He Said, She Said Movie Review: Veronica Mars

Posted on by Joseph Williams in Entertainment, Featured, He Said, She Said, Movie Reviews, Movies, Television | Leave a comment

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Joseph and Palmer were supporters of the Veronica Mars movie from its KickStarter’s early beginnings. Now that the movie has come out, Joseph and Palmer give their reviews of the feature length reunion of one of the first shows they watched together as a married couple.

Joseph:

In its first weekend in around 265 AMC theaters across the country, the Veronica Mars movie made right around $2 million, a third of its $6 million budget and more than a third of the approximately $5.7 million the film raised on KickStarter. There is buzz about a sequel. Owen Gleiberman’s take on the success of the Veronica Mars movie project and what it may or may not mean for the future of film financing is well worth a read. Many are writing about what it reveals about super fans driving entertainment or other questions about big dreams versus hometown responsibilities.

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