MOVIE REVIEW: #UNDRAFTED

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Hey there!

I had the chance to sit down and check out Undrafted this weekend and I’m glad I did!

SYNOPSIS: When twelve ragtag teammates set out to play what should be a meaningless summer intramural baseball game, it ends up becoming the most important game of their lives. 

Did I enjoy it? Absolutely! The cast was great, and it honestly didn’t even feel like I was watching a movie. It felt like I was actually there watching these guys out on the field. Now, I’m a baseball fan so I’ve been looking forward to this movie for a while now. Throw in a cast like this and it was sure to be a feel good movie. Based on the true story of John Mazzello (a/k/a Mazetti in the film played by Aaron Tveit – Graceland, Grease Live) and how he was overlooked in the major league draft, this movie follows a motley crew of guys including Dells (Tyler Hoechlin – Teen Wolf, upcoming SuperGirl), Pat Murray (Joseph Mazzello – Jurassic Park, Radio Flyer), Barone (Chase Crawford – Gossip Girl) and Zapata (Manny Montana – Graceland) playing in a game not all seem to take seriously.

This is Mazzello’s directorial debut and while it’s clearly missing the big budget production of other movies, that’s part of what I liked about it! You really find yourself rooting for these guys despite their craziness!

Side note: I’m a big fan of Graceland, which was cancelled WAY too soon, so seeing Manny Montana and Aaron Tveit back on screen together again made me happy!

Check it out and let me know what you think! You can catch it in select theatres OR you can buy/rent it on iTunes now!

 

Production: Dead Fish Films, Parlay Pictures
Distributor: Vertical Entertainment
Cast: Aaron Tveit, Chace Crawford, Tyler Hoechlin, Joe Mazzello, Philip Winchester, Jay Hayden, Michael Fishman, Billy Gardell, Jim Belushi, Manny Montana, Ryan Pinkston, Duke Davis Roberts
Director/Screenwriter: Joe Mazzello
Producers: Eric Fischer, Brianna Lee Johnson, Joe Mazello
Executive Producers: Tony Romo, Chace Crawford
Director of Photography: Adrian Correia
Production Designer: Anthony Eikner
Editor: Sharon Rutter
Costume Designers: Christopher Lawrence, Sarah Evelyn Bram
Casting: Elizabeth Barnes, Corbin Bronson

The Chatterbox: Movies – What to Watch

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Hey everyone! We had a chance to check out some movies recently, so we thought we’d fill you in on what we thought! Some were hits and some were unfortunately less superior than Sharknado. Yes, you read correctly! Tune in to find out which movies bombed at the theatre and which movies we’re looking forward to checking out!

What have you seen recently?

Thisfunktional Podcast – Movies – THE INFILTRATOR Press Day Audio

Written by Jesus Figueroa

Jesus, @Thisfunktional of thisfunktional.com, attends “The Infiltrator” press day with director Brad Furman, screen play writer Ellen Brown Furman, book writer and real life undercover agent Robert Mazur, actor Benjamin Bratt and Bryan Cranston.

The cast and crew discuss the importance of this real life story that is told, what it took to bring this story to the screen, some of the challenges and how this story is different from other drug cartel stories.

“The Infiltrator” opens in theaters July 15.

Follow and interact with Jesus:


Twitter – @Thisfunktional

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The Chatterbox: Newest TV Binge [podcast]

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Hey guys! Keisha and I recently got together to talk about the shows we’ve been binge watching lately and which shows we’re looking forward to checking out!
 
Let us know what you’re watching and any suggestions for shows you’d like to hear podcast reviews of!
 

 
 
The Chatterbox: Newest TV Binge! [podcast]
 
 

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Internet Essentials to Reach More Than 40 Percent of All HUD-Assisted Households Nationwide

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Today from Washington D.C., Julián Castro, Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Comcast executives announced an important expansion of the Internet Essentials program. This program provides Internet access to low-income families and now, all public housing residents in the U.S. living in Comcast’s service areas will be eligible to apply for Internet Essentials; this includes Hispanic families, which make up 24% of the total number of families living under public housing.

Currently, 60% of the 2.4 million people that benefit from the Internet Essentials program are Hispanic, which amounts to approximately 1.4 million Latinos in the U.S.

Additional statistics that make this announcement relevant to the Hispanic community:

  • With this new Internet Essentials expansion, approximately 480,000 Hispanic families in the U.S. could benefit from the program.
  • Currently, only 65.9% of Hispanic homes have high-speed Internet access compared to 76.2% of their white counterparts. Furthermore, a recent study from the U.S. Census Bureau found that 79.7% of Hispanics have a computer at home but only 66.7% have Internet access. This places U.S. Hispanics below the global average of 74%.
  • Provided more than 47,000 subsidized computers at less than $150 each.
  • Distributed for free nearly 51 million Internet Essentials program materials.
  • Broadcast more than 8.3 million public service announcements, valued at more than $100 million.
  • Welcomed 5 million visitors to the Internet Essentials websites in English and Spanish and its Online Learning Center.
  • Fielded more than 3.9 million phone calls to our Internet Essentials call center.
  • Made Internet Essentials available in nearly 48,000 schools in more than 5,000 school districts, in 39 states and the District of Columbia.
  • Partnered with 9,000 community-based organizations, government agencies, and federal, state, and local elected officials to spread the word.

 

“ConnectHome is opening doors of opportunity for our next generation of Americans,” said HUD Secretary, Julián Castro.  “Today’s announcement has the potential to transform the lives of hundreds of thousands of kids across the nation by giving them the tools to reach their full potential.  We’re grateful to Comcast for joining the ConnectHome initiative, which has extended its reach to more than 1.5 million children in one short year.”

“This announcement reaffirms Comcast’s determination to make a meaningful impact to close the digital divide for low-income families in this country,” said David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer of Comcast.  “This is the single largest expansion of the Internet Essentials program in its history, and we’re thrilled to be working with HUD to help connect even more families, including seniors, veterans, and adults without children, to the transformative power of having internet service at home.”

The top ten states and cities with the largest numbers of HUD-assisted households in Comcast’s service area include*:

Top 10 States Top 10 Cities
California 191,000 Chicago, IL 91,000
Illinois 175,000 Philadelphia, PA 35,000
Massachusetts 167,000 Miami, FL 31,000
Pennsylvania 164,000 Baltimore, MD 31,000
Florida 136,000 Houston, TX 31,000
Michigan 110,000 Washington, DC 30,000
New Jersey 105,000 Detroit, MI 25,000
Maryland 88,000 Atlanta, GA 24,000
Georgia 84,000 San Francisco, CA 22,000
Tennessee 80,000 Pittsburgh, PA 20,000


*These numbers are for all HUD-assisted homes of which approximately 35 percent have school-aged children and are, therefore, already eligible to apply for Internet Essentials. These numbers also include households covered by Comcast’s public housing pilot announced in March.

 

Between 2009 and 2014, broadband service providers spent over $422 billion on capital investments, and three in four American households now use broadband at home.  Despite this significant progress, one in four American households still don’t access the internet at home, particularly lower-income families with children.  According to the 2013 American Community Survey, less than 43 percent of individuals without a high school diploma or equivalent lack home internet access, but under this opportunity adults and young learners can get connected from the comfort of their own homes and take advantage of resources to get a GED credential, apply for and complete college, and acquire the necessary digital literacy skills to thrive in a highly competitive, global workforce.

ConnectHome strives to ensure students can access the same level of highspeed Internet at home that they have in their classrooms.  Today’s announcement furthers this vision, benefiting students of all ages.

This is the ninth time in five years Comcast has expanded eligibility for Internet Essentials. The policy change marks the first time, nationally, households without children eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program are officially able to apply for Internet Essentials. In 2011, the program was first offered to families with children eligible to receive a free school lunch from the National School Lunch Program.  It was expanded, in 2012, to children eligible for the reduced price school lunch program.  In 2013, Comcast expanded eligibility to include families with children in parochial, private, charter, and cyber schools, as well as students who are home schooled.  Last year, Comcast extended the program two more times, on a pilot basis, to low-income seniors and low-income community college students.  Earlier this year, another pilot program extended Internet Essentials to those living in public housing in Miami, Nashville, Philadelphia, and Seattle.  Finally, Comcast has expanded the number of schools where every student in the school will be deemed eligible for the program so long as a certain percentage of the kids in that school are NSLP eligible – from 70 percent, to 50 percent, and now to 40 percent.  As a result, Comcast estimates auto-enrollment now applies to about half of the 48,000 schools across its service area.

Internet Essentials Key Investments From August 2011 through December 2015, Internet Essentials has connected more than 600,000 low-income families, benefitting more than 2.4 million Americans, to the internet at home. Also since 2011, Comcast has invested more than $280 million in cash and in-kind support to help fund digital literacy training and education initiatives, reaching nearly 4.4 million people through national and local nonprofit community partners.