Monica Medina’s Blog TheGritsnCheeseDish![TM]

Visit The Website

The Obsession Continues: Great Debaters Gets The Golden Globe Nod, But Debuts at #6 on Christmas Day

By Monica Medina


Hello everyone,

The obsession continues with “The Great Debaters.” The film has been nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Picture, Drama (Golden Globes nominations usually translate into Oscar nominations). However it placed #6 at the box office. The goal is that we want to make it the #1 movie in America. On Christmas Day “The Great Debaters” only raked in $3, 604,000. Those of you who did not support the film have no right to complain why Hollywood does not make positive African-American films that reflect our history and stories. It seems as if African-American films do not have excessive violence, constant degradation, or if it is non-entertainment related–we will not support it. We made Tyler Perry’s “Why Did I Get Married” #1 (great movie by the way) as well as American Gangster. Why did we not show the same support for “The Great Debaters”? Trust me, Hollywood is watching these numbers to determine if they should continue to produce quality African American films or stereotypical African American films. Based on the box office sales of “The Great Debaters” the latter may be true.

There may be a solution to this. …….To be continued….Monica Medina
*Thanks to our reader Fred H. for the scoop!


December 29, 2007 Posted by | Black Film, Denzel Washington, monica medina, The Great Debaters, thegritsncheesedish | , , , , , | 1 Comment

RIP Benazir Bhutto

What is the world coming to when we assassinate WOMEN?
….Something to think about

December 28, 2007 Posted by | monica medina, thegritsncheesedish, Uncategorized, world news | , , , , | 1 Comment

Merry Christmas: Let’s Make The Great Debaters the #1 Movie in America

 Merry Christmas and seasons greetings. Let’s make “The Great Debaters” the #1 movie in America. See GRITSNCHEESEDISH’s FILM REVIEW: “The Great Debaters: Movie Review, Give Up That Oscar!” from the advanced screening. “The Great Debaters in theaters nationwide Christmas day. God Bless.

Monica Medina

December 25, 2007 Posted by | Black Film, Denzel Washington, monica medina, The Great Debaters, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Great Debaters: Movie Review, Give Up That Oscar!

By Monica Medina


I know it’s been a whole week (ok, more like a week and a half) since I’ve updated this page. I’ve been under intense writing deadlines. So, I attended the advance screening of The Great Debaters. This film is off the meter. This is a must see film. No, I’m not just saying this because Denzel Washington is starring in the movie. Those who know me know that I am one of the toughest film critics out there. No one gets the pass from me so to speak.

The Great Debaters was thoroughly entertaining and intriguing from beginning to end. It’s one of those films that you do not want to make a popcorn dash or take a bathroom break because it leaves you at the edge of your seat and every scene is a powerful scene. The film is also hilarious.

The film, based on a true story, centers around the first African American debate team started by Professor Mel Tolson, who also was arrested in the film for his involvement in organizing Black and White farmers in “Jim Crow” South. (Kids if you don’t know what “Jim Crow” was please start googling or hit the library). Trust me during the Jim Crow South, a Black man organizing Black and White farmers was MAJOR.

What also makes the film spectacular is the love, family and relationship drama. The classic scene being “the smack felt around the world” delivered by Jurnee Smollet’s character Samantha. Samantha is in love with the debate team captain, Henry Lowe, who conveniently starts cheating and flaunting it-despite just having a passionate love making session in the afternoon with Samantha a few days earlier. (Henry Lowe also hits the bottle often. Drinking is his way of dealing with conflicts and the racist South). The hurt and betrayal by her lover and debate team captain causes Samantha to quit the team. The complex relationship between Forest Whitaker’s character, James Farmer Sr., his son played by Denzel Whitaker and Mr. Tolson is also one that keeps moviegoers intrigued. Actress Kimberly Elise plays Forest Whitakers wife .

The Great Debaters is educational on all levels with much intrigue, drama, scandal and comedy that keep moviegoers thrilled on all levels. By the way, the acting is superb in the film. If Hollywood would give an Oscar to a film based on Mel Tolson’s life, that would be historic on all levels. This film is worthy of the Oscar nod for the great script, direction and superior performances by this talented cast. It is sometimes hard to make historical films entertaining for all types of moviegoers. The Great Debaters has the right formula which surpasses all moviegoer’s expectations. Support “The Great Debaters and do not bootleg or buy a bootleg copy.
To the Academy: Give up that Oscar! See The Great Debaters film trailer below.

NOTE: Don’t forget to head over to to check out our interviews with Maxine Ballard, sister of Florence Ballard, the original members of the Supremes (the film Dreamgirls was based on her life), Barbara Becnel, executor of estate for Stanley “Tookie” Williams and hip hop legend KRS-1.

December 19, 2007 Posted by | Black Film, monica medina, The Great Debaters | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Will Smith “I Am Legend” Banned in China

See “Film News” section for the story.

December 18, 2007 Posted by | Black Film, monica medina, Uncategorized, Will Smith | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Posted Now on Florence Ballard’s Sister Speaks Out, Author Barbara Becnel Talks “Blue Rage, Black Redemption Memoirs by Stanley Tookie Williams

Logon to now to hear the exclusive interviews!

(Read interview previews below)

florence-and-the-supremes.jpg blue-rage-black-redemption.jpg

Florence Ballard’s sister breaks her silence. She talks to Monica Medina about who Florence Ballard really was and the pain she felt being kicked out of the Supremes. Also talks about how she really feels about Diana Ross and the film DreamGirls. Ms. Ballard clears up the rumors and Hollywood myths about how Florence really passed away. Talks about her interaction with Berry Gordy. She is not bitter with Diana Ross after all these years about her sister’s demise. Did Diana and Mary really abandon Florence? Her answers may shock you. Florence Ballard the real story coming to

Barbara Becnel, advocate for Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Stanley Tookie Williams talks about her book “Blue Rage, Black Redemption” Memoirs by Stanley Tookie Williams. Talks to Monica Medina about how she is holding up after witnessing Tookie’s execution, talks about Tookie’s son little Stan, Winnie Mandela and how Tookie really felt about misogyny in hip hop. We discuss how Tookie felt about Tavis Smiley and Winnie Mandela. Barabara also discusses how the prison would not allow Tookie to see the film Redemption based on his life starring Jamie Foxx and how Tookie felt personally about Jamie.

December 10, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Creme Magazine: This Picture Makes Me Smile

This picture makes me smile. Whenever I’m sad, I just look at this picture. It makes me happy. It makes me smile. I don’t know why. It just does.


December 10, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

KRS-1: Eminem’s “8 Mile” Was The Last Great Hip Hop Film




“8 Mile Was the Last Great Hip Hop Film”…Krs-1

KRS-1 Talks About being the greatest emcee of all time
and the state of Black Film. Also talks about rapper Eminem’s film “8 Mile”.

Listen to Monica Medina’s exclusive interview.

Picture: Monica Medina and KRS-1 (Photo: M. Dennis)

December 9, 2007 Posted by | Black Film, music | , , , | Leave a comment

Medina Talks About New Book and Media Leaks


monica-on-white-carpet.jpgNew York, NY: Monica Medina is a radio personality, writer (and poet who has opened for John Legend), motivational speaker, producer and lots more. Some of you may know her from her occasional commentaries on XM Satellite radio or from her own popular radio show on the FM dial. “I’m currently working on my debut book coming out next year.”, Medina says. Many people ask me, “What is the book going to be about? For now, I have to keep the details of my book top secret until I’m permitted to speak about it.” Medina states that the book is not what folks are expecting but readers will thoroughly enjoy it. “I have not shared with anyone what the book will be about. Those who did ask, got a “bogus” answer from me. However, those who thought they knew what the book would be about leaked information to the media. So I’m laying low, until I get the green light.”

Picture: Monica Medina poses for photographers at Ebony Magazine white carpet event, NY. (Photo: K. Flurt)



December 5, 2007 Posted by | Black Film, books, music | , , , , , | Leave a comment