Fantastic Voyage 2019 Day 6: 70’s Night Was A Blast From The Past

If you made it to the 6 a.m. session of Afro Aqua Aerobics, you are an amazing soul. For most of the rest of us, the day started much later when we finally peeled our eyes open. The rest of the morning’s activities included Socanomics CaribbeanDance Fitness, a seminar on the ins and outs of Medicare, an entrepreneurship panel, an empowerment panel on managing procrastination and a basketball tournament.

And all of that happened before 11 a.m. Interested in what music therapy could for you? There was a panel for that. Did you want to attend the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival? The festival organizers held a panel.

If you didn’t get a chance to mingle with your favorite artists, some of whom were just casually hanging out before and after their shows, you could find them at the Autograph Signing Session. Myra J., SOS Band, Chrisette Michele and more were there, meeting and greeting fans.

If that wasn’t enough to do before noon, the Greek Day Party kicked off at noon on the ever-popular Lido pool deck. If you were one of the Divine 9 or one of any of the historically black fraternities and sororities, you represented with ALL of your best gear and some impromptu stepping took place as well. Although we know this ship is a grown folks’ party, some frats and sorors still have the dynamic moves held over from their college days.

This was the first of two days at sea motoring back from St. Thomas to Miami and it was a glorious day moving through the Caribbean. This was a great time to spend some time on the deck, preferably with your adult beverage of choice. Heading around the ship, you had multiple options for fun, relaxation or information. The popular African head wrap class was going on, as was a panel on how to prepare for retirement…even if you’re way behind. And the plant-based diet class was among the most popular as people sought more information on how to improve their health via a more holistic diet.

Celebrity charades? Line dancing? It was all happening on the cruise, but one of the most popular of the day’s events was the Old School Games Happy Hour. If you remember Operation or love a good round of Connect Four, you’d have felt right at home. There were also, as you can figure whenever Black folks to be found, some spirited games of bid whist and spades.

If you were lucky enough, artist Frank Frazier was silk-screening T-shirts with a copy of one of his pieces and if you were in the line early, you got one to take home with you at no charge. That’s if you didn’t make it to the pool party on the Aft deck, which had the advantage of going on during a beautiful day along with some great music and good vibes. Imagine hosting a huge pool party where everyone brings nothing but good vibes and you have just some idea of how it went down.

As the evening went on, you had several chances to enjoy yourself before the big concerts and the night’s most highly anticipated event – 70’s Night. The Practice Team, an affinity group of cruisers who link up on each year’s cruise, some of whom who have been coming since the very first one in 1999, hosted a meet and greet while Chris Paul and Huggy Lowdown hosted a “Never Have I Ever” Happy Hour.

The Celebrity Chef Takeover continued so diners headed to the restaurant to enjoy a specially curated menu from a stellar group of celebrity chefs including TV One and The Food Network’s Chef Jernard. You were going to need to get your nutrition before you headed out, because as it was the night before the last night, what was the point of going to bed? (Unless you had a cruise boo – who was hopefully, also who you got on the ship with).

Which show to see? Well, if you had the night’s tickets for Fantasia and Chrisette Michele, that’s where you were heading. It was the second night for the sangin’ duo but you would have never known. Chrisette, who was on the ship with her parents, acknowledged the love she felt from the crowd and even as she made her way around the ship. Fantasia never makes it through a show with her shoes on (she may as well come out barefoot at this point, like Sheila E., does) so those were kicked off early. She told the crowd it was the last night on the shop so we was ‘fin to get rowdy and they better be ready to get rowdy with her.

Not your choice in music? No problem. Maxi Priest was on the Lido pool deck performing his own big hit “Close to You” as well as selections from a variety of genres including songs by The Temptations, Michael Jackson and the Black-Eyed Peas. If you wanted to relive your club days, whether you hung at New York’s Paradise Garage or any dance music club in the 80’s, you were able to do so.  Strafe of  “Set It Off,” James “D Train” Williams, who you know from “Keep On” and dance music stalwarts took the entire room back to all the good times  and good music in the nation’s hottest clubs of the day.

Natural Change and the Ernest Walker Band kept their audiences vibing with their mix of soul, funk R&B and jazz. Our hats off to them for playing and holding it down every night of the cruise.

And if you think the “Gotta Have House” artists threw it back to the 80’s you ain’t seen nothing yet. It was 70’s Night on The Fantastic Voyage and let me tell you, people showed the hell out. Where do y’all find platforms with goldfish in the heels in 2019? We need to know. It was a true Playa’s Ball as several pimps were in all their finery but the realm of creativity was unsurpassed. How about Shaggy, Velma and Daphne from Scooby Do?

What about the Pink Ladies from “Grease?” But we have to give our greatest respect to the TJMS Crew starring Tom Joyner as Sir Nose from Parliament/Funkadelic, Sybil Wilkes as Minnie Riperton, Guy Torry as James Brown, Damon Williams as several eras of Prince, judging from the outfit, and Kym Whitley as Dolly Parton. Kudos to all for the commitment. Josie and the Pussycats, two different version of Ike and Tina Turner and Hugh Hefner and his Playboy Bunnies. Yes, people, you went there.

If you had energy to party in those platform heels, we once again have to salute you. And if you made it to the War show at 2 a.m. well, you have our admiration. We hear it was groovy, a stone cold blast from the past. But we had to put our heads on our pillow so we could recharge for the last (tears!) night of the Fantastic Voyage. 

PHOTOS: Rance Elgin, Tonya Pendleton


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Tim Walker’s Latest Shoot for ‘W’ Magazine Features Fantastic Fashion and ‘Egg People’

Tim Walker has a long history of bringing fantastical fashion to life through his photography, whether that’s shooting Pirelli’s 2018 all-black “Alice in Wonderland”-inspired calendar or creating iconic Juicy Couture campaigns in the mid-aughts. On Thursday, the unveiling of W Magazine’s …

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What Needs to Happen in ‘Fantastic Beasts 3’

SPOILER WARNING: This post contains major spoilers for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Proceed at your own risk.

When you consider just how many new characters, storylines and somewhat mind-boggling reveals Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald boasts there are, it’s quite hard to believe that the movie’s tagline isn’t something along the lines of, ‘Forget everything you think you know.’

You see, not only does it live up to its promise of being a dark follow-up that’s peppered with Harry Potter references, but it also challenges canon and shakes things up significantly. This — as you might have guessed — has divided the opinions of fans of the franchise across the globe.

Similarly, it’s made it much harder to predict where the unraveling spin-off series might go — particularly when it comes to certain character arcs — as not every aspect of the new film lines up with backstories or details that author-cum-screenwriter JK Rowling has divulged since publication of the original books.

That being said, it’s fun to speculate and it’s not a completely impossible task, especially given that Rowling is a fan of dropping the odd clue. So here we predict what could — and perhaps more importantly after its controversial predecessor, what should — happen in Fantastic Beasts 3

More Location-Hopping


‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ took magizoologist to New York. Its sequel saw him travel to Paris… Where will he go next?

When anticipating what might happen in the next movie, this seems the most obvious thing to expect. While Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them took place entirely in New York City, The Crimes of Grindelwald sees scenes play out in London and Paris, Fantastic Beasts 3 will reportedly see Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and co. travel to Rio de Janeiro.

Rowling hinted that the film will be set there on Twitter, when she changed her header to a photograph of a vibrant-looking street and explained to a fan that it depicted the Brazilian city in the 1930s. And that’s not all she’s alluded to on the social media platform regarding future installments.

Way back in October 2016, a user asked her how many Fantastic Beasts movie she intends there to be, to which she replied, “5. Five. Cinq. Fünf. Cinco. Cinque.” It seems fair to assume that ‘five’ and ‘cinq’ make reference to the first and second films’ locations, but if Rio is the next destination (where they speak Portuguese and would therefore say ‘cinco’), ‘fünf’ probably applies to the third film too.

It’s known that Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) built a castle in Austria — which we saw a glimpse of in the closing moments of Fantastic Beasts 2 — so it’s likely that a large part of the film will be set there too. At some point, on this evidence, it looks like we’ll also go to Italy. There are links within Rowling’s Wizarding World to Italy — which dates back to at least Roman times and the warlock Zaccaria Innocenti who, it’s implied, was responsible for the Mt Vesuvius eruption that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum. Thank goodness for Portkeys, eh?

Nagini Integral

After learning that Lord Voldemort’s subservient serpent Nagini used to be a woman (played by Claudia Kim) in The Crimes of Grindelwald’s dramatic final trailer, fans were expecting her to have… well… you know, a sizeable role in the sequel. Oh, how wrong they were. Kim has no more than five lines in the movie and spends most of her time looking worried, standing slightly behind Ezra Miller’s Credence Barebone. She has so little presence, in fact, that it’s curious as to why Rowling felt compelled to include her at this early stage at all.

The only way this can be rectified is if Nagini becomes an integral part of the franchise’s plot going forward. As a Maledictus, she carries a blood curse that will eventually lead to her remaining a snake forever, but it’s bound to be interesting to see how she becomes He Who Must Not Be Named’s ally — something that Claudia Kim herself told us she’s keen to explore. Let’ssssss go!

Is Queenie More Significant than We Realise?

In Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, newbie Queenie Goldstein (Alison Sudol) upended the trope of the ditsy, blonde glam-girl and quickly established herself as a quick-witted, fiercely independent and big-hearted witch with mind-reading capabilities. So it’s baffling that in follow-up The Crimes of Grindelwald, she makes some morally-questionable choices that go completely against her character.

First of all, it is revealed that in order to get No-Maj Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) to elope to the UK and marry her, she bewitches him with a love potion. Seeing as Jacob clearly had feelings for Queenie anyway, that whole subplot stinks of sexist stereotype and counteracts how empathetic she comes across in the first film.

And if that’s not bad enough, the film’s final act sees her actually join Grindelwald’s side as she thinks it will mean she’ll be able to eventually freely marry Jacob. Jacob doesn’t tag along, despite her pleading for him to jin her, meaning that she loses the one thing she’s trying to gain in the process. It’s baffling and rushed, so we’ll definitely need to see her motivations explained in Fantastic Beasts 3. Will it be revealed that she was under the Imperius Curse? And why is she so important to Grindelwald? Does it have something to do with the Lestrange family, to which she’s subtly linked in the film during a brief moment when she touches a raven crest? In a perfect world, we’d see her reunite with the good guys again but if that can’t happen, we’ll settle for [better] answers.

Brothers in Arms


The Scamander brothers were given a common cause to fight for in ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’.

Throughout The Crimes of Grindelwald, we are told that Newt Scamander and his older brother Theseus don’t really get on, despite them seeming like they don’t really mind each other all that much. Theseus is an Auror for the Ministry of Magic and therefore likes order and rules; Newt, on the other hand, can think of nothing worse than someone calling the shots.

But when an awful tragedy affects them both during the film’s final act, Newt reveals to Theseus that he’s ‘picked a side’ and will therefore fight Grindelwald alongside him going forward. We expect that the pair to grow closer as they attempt to take down the Dark Wizard and avenge Leta Lestrange.

Dumbledore Destroys the Blood Pact


Dumbledore ‘can’t move against Grindelwald’ — but not necessarily for the reasons you might think.

Even if you’re a fairly casual Harry Potter fan, you’re likely to know that Albus Dumbledore (played in the prequel series by Jude Law) ends up with the Elder Wand. In The Crimes of Grindelwald, the eponymous baddie has possession of the wand and it’s pretty self-explanatory that Dumbledore will end up with it because he’ll eventually fight — and best– Grindelwald, becoming its owner.

As it stands, Rowling has written into the Fantastic Beasts lore that Dumbledore physically can’t fight Grindelwald because the men made a blood pact in their teens never to attack one another. But towards the end of the film, one of Newt’s Nifflers steals the silver vial preserving their united blood so it’s safe to assume that Dumbledore and co. will find a way to destroy it, voiding the pact and making their inevitable contest a possibility.

Time Jumps

In The Crimes of Grindelwald, Depp’s Grindelwald — who is canonically a Seer and has the ability to see into the future — uses the threat of a Second World War to encourage his fellow witches and wizards to support his dream of magical folks dominating muggles.

If the third film is going to be set in the 1930s, then World War II may play a part in the proceedings. While the infamous war began in the latter part of the decade, we know that the entire Fantastic Beasts series will conclude in 1945, when Dumbledore and Grindelwald duel, so big time-jumps are entirely likely. Marry that with the fact that some of it will likely take place in Austria, a country that was annexed with Nazi Germany during the war, due to Grindelwald’s castle being situated there and it seems possible that it’ll come up.

Barebone’s Backstory


Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller) was the subject of a shocking twist at the end of ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’.

In The Crimes of Grindelwald, the titular baddie informs Obscurial orphan Credence Barebone (who inexplicably survived the first film) that his real name is Aurelius Dumbledore. At the same time, it’s implied that Barebone is Albus Dumbledore’s brother.

It’s a startling revelation, particularly when you learn that Albus’s father Percival was imprisoned in Azkaban in the early 1890s for attacking three muggles, and later died there. Elsewhere, his mother Kendra was killed by his sister — who lacked proper control over her magical abilities — in 1899. There’s always a chance that Barebone could be older than his character appears but it still seems a little far-fetched. Is there a Time Turner at play? Or could Percival Dumbledore somehow have fathered a child during his spell at Azkaban?

Of course, it’s possible that Grindelwald is lying to lost-and-vulnerable Barebone but the phoenix, which is drawn to him in the scene, indicates not (as the Dumbledores famously share a bond with the mythical creatures). Only time will give us some much-needed answers.

A Sharper Focus


Too many characters, too little time.

As much as it pains a Potterhead to say this, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald has some flaws. Its plot doesn’t quite add up when it comes to the stories we’ve known for over a decade; women’s roles are reduced to either a tragic love interest, or worse — wordless; and characterisation that was introduced in Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is undone in places.

Its biggest misstep, though, is that it tries to say too much and in doing so, ends up simultaneously chaotic and dull. Subplots are glossed over, relationships go underdeveloped and obstacles are easily overcome in order to messily move on to the next clunky sequence.

Fantastic Beasts 3 needs to be sharper and to deepen the richness of Rowling’s world and characters. Otherwise, it runs the risk of falling at the same hurdles. One of the best things about Harry Potter was how much it made you relate to and root for the likes of Ron, Hermione and Harry. If Fantastic Beasts 3 remembers it’s the individuals that we truly care about, not some grand unfolding war, then it might turn this franchise around.

Dumbledore Desperately Needs a Love Story

The post What Needs to Happen in ‘Fantastic Beasts 3’ appeared first on FANDOM.

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‘Fantastic Beasts’ Sequel Falls Short of First Film’s Success, But Still Wins Weekend Box Office

(LOS ANGELES) — “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” crawled, slithered and flew its way to the top of the weekend box office with a $ 62.2 million opening in the U.S. and Canada, according to studio estimates Sunday.

The latest offering from the Harry Potter multiverse fell short of the opening of the first film in the Warner Bros. series, 2016’s “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” which debuted with $ 74 million in a similar November release and went on to earn $ 234 million in the U.S. and Canada.

But all the Harry Potter films have had a broad international reach, and “Fantastic Beasts” had a hearty worldwide weekend gross of $ 253 million, according to the studio’s estimates.

“Clearly it’s a huge phenomenon globally,” said Jeff Goldstein, president of domestic distribution for Warner Bros.

Last week’s top film, “Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch,” was second with $ 38.1 million, bringing its domestic tally to $ 126 million for Universal Pictures after two weekends.

“Bohemian Rhapsody,” 20th Century Fox’s Freddie Mercury biopic, is still rocking, taking third place with $ 15.7 million for a total of $ 127 million.

“Fantastic Beasts,” the second film in the series of Potter prequels written by J.K. Rowling and starring Eddie Redmayne, Johnny Depp and Jude Law, had a budget of $ 200 million. Its reviews were largely lackluster, with critics saying Rowling’s magical world is wearing thin after 10 films.

Globally the first nine films have earned $ 8.5 billion, a total that this one’s worldwide take will inflate.

“This is yet another example of a movie whose opening weekend skewed heavily into the international territories,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore. “This happens a lot with bigger franchise movies. For many of these blockbusters, it’s the international component that comes in and saves the day.”

In the U.S., Warner Bros. is hoping young devotees who are out of school will keep “Fantastic Beasts” in flight through Thanksgiving.

“It’s a big week coming up,” Goldstein said. “Friday is one of the biggest movie days of the year.”

It will have a major challenger in Disney’s “Ralph Breaks The Internet,” which opens Wednesday, as does “Creed II.”

“Fantastic Beasts” continues a year of high points and hits for Warner from a diverse string of movies, including “The Meg,” ”Crazy Rich Asians,” ”The Nun” and “A Star is Born.”

“Warner Bros. is on a roll that every studio would envy,” Dergarabedian said.

In this weekend’s smaller-budget openings, “Instant Family” starring Mark Wahlberg brought in $ 14.7 million for Paramount Pictures, and “Widows,” the latest from “12 Years a Slave” director Steve McQueen, earned $ 12.3 million for 20th Century Fox.

Overall, the weekend was down 14.5 percent from the same timeframe a year earlier, when “Justice League” made for a major pre-Thanksgiving weekend.

Here are estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday also are included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” $ 62.2 million.

2. “Dr Seuss’ The Grinch,” $ 38.1 million.

3. “Bohemian Rhapsody,” $ 15.7 million.

4. “Instant Family,” $ 14.7 million.

5. “Widows,” $ 12.3 million.

6. “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms,” $ 4.7 million.

7. “A Star Is Born,” $ 4.3 million.

8. “Overlord,” $ 3.8 million.

9. “The Girl in the Spider’s Web,” $ 2.5 million.

10. “Burn The Stage: The Movie,” $ 2.3 million.


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Political comparisons in ‘Fantastic Beasts’

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Watch ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’ Video: See the Movie Early at Fantastic Fandom Event

Watch 'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald' Video: See the Movie Early at Fantastic Fandom Event

Our initial focus in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald shifts away from the heroic Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) toward the darker side of the magical realm created by J.K. Rowling. This time, the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) commands attention as the adventure continues in Europe.

As Rowling explains in a new video, Grindelwald must answer for the crimes he has committed. Meanwhile, Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller), who previously wreaked much havoc, is now…

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