Ever seen a movie that should have been great but just missed the mark? Such is the case with “Free State of Jones,” an earnest and well-meaning historical drama undone by a jagged structure that prevents it from being the gripping experience it should have been.

Matthew McConaughey stars in the true story of Newton Knight, a Confederate soldier who became a deserter and eventually formed a ragtag coalition of escaped slaves and Southern farmers that wound up fighting the Confederacy. Keri Russell plays his put upon wife and Gugu Mbatha-Raw is the Creole woman who becomes, basically, his second wife.

The film is well produced and McConaughey and company give sincere performances. As depicted in this movie, Knight’s struggle was an honorable one and went well beyond the Civil War. But as realized by filmmaker Gary Ross, the director of “The Hunger Games,” the story becomes a bit preachy and lacks a satisfying dramatic arc. It winds up feeling like a history lesson instead of an enthralling movie.

Still, it’s an important, untold story that deserves to be seen by anyone seeking a better understanding of this critical time in American history.

It’s taken Pixar 13 years to come up with a sequel to the smash animated hit, “Finding Nemo.” But even after all these years, this fish is still fresh. Ellen DeGeneres again provides the voice for the forgetful blue tang in “Finding Dory,” as she and her aquatic friends go on a cross-ocean adventure to find her lost family. While the movie lacks the strong story of its predecessor, there’s still an ocean of imagination on display, from the amazing visuals to the snappy sense of humor. And, yes, you may need a Kleenex or two. There are those who will say that “Finding Dory” is lesser Pixar. Maybe so, but “lesser Pixar” is still better than most movies, animated or otherwise. “Finding Dory” may well rescue this summer’s floundering box office.

The standard buddy comedy gets a big boost from two charismatic stars in “Central Intelligence.” Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson plays a once overweight nerd who reconnects with his school’s most popular jock, played by Kevin Hart, on the eve of their 20th high school reunion. But now, The Rock is a rogue CIA super agent and Kevin is a morose accountant who gets suckered in on a spy caper with grave international consequences. Hart and Johnson display the same terrific comic chemistry that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito had back in the day with “Twins.” There isn’t really much intelligence on display in “Central Intelligence,” but it’s a goofy, mindless pleasure.

Also opening this week, “Genius” tells the true story of the professional relationship between acclaimed book editor Maxwell Perkins and famed author Thomas Wolfe. The impressive cast includes Colin Firth, Jude Law, Nicole Kidman and Laura Linney. “Dark Horse” is a documentary about a group of working class Brits who breed a championship racehorse.

David Bell, Melissa Patterson-Hazley And You Discuss The Issues Of The Day

Local Attorney David Bell and Melissa Patterson-Hazley PHD, an Educational Psychologist talk about some of the interesting stories of the day and how they shape our view of the American Justice System. From the racial and class disparities as illustrated by white college students getting a light sentence for rape to what we should be teaching our children to prevent the violence and violations of ourselves and others. You are asked to call in with your insights and questions as well.

Tune in to Jaws of Justice Radio on July 11th when David and Melissa return to start a series of discussions on the Legacy of the Clinton Era Crime bills.

The JoJR Calendar for June 20th, 2016

Members and the public are invited to attend the next NAACP KCMO Branch General Membership Meeting on Tuesday, June 21st, 6:30 pm at the Brush Creek Community Center, Cleveland Ave & Emanuel Cleaver II Blvd, KCMO. General business will take place from 6:30 – 7:00 pm. Then Missouri State Senators and Representatives in attendance will be invited to give an update on the past legislative session as well as prospects for the upcoming session. Everyone is invited.
27th District State Representative Bonaye Mims and 22nd District State Representative Brandon Ellington are hosting a Town Hall Meeting and Resource Symposium Saturday June 25th 10 AM to Noon at the South East Community Center, 4201 E 63rd ST, KCMO. Coffee and refreshments will be provided.
The 1st Annual Employment Team Entry Level Job & Resource Fair will be held Tuesday, June 28th, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm At the Jack Reardon Convention Center, 520 Minnesota Avenue, Kansas City, KS. The first hour is reserved for pre-registered job seekers. You can find out how to pre-register by calling Metropolitan Lutheran Ministries at 816-285-3144. This multi-agency sponsored event encourages Veterans, the homeless and the formerly incarcerated as well as the general public to participate. Over 60 registered employers will be seeking eligible candidates.

Recorded on May 19th at the Plaza Branch of the Kansas City Public Library.
Newspaper and TV coverage of the Syrian / Iraqi refugee crisis and the threat of extremist violence generates great fear and concern. Unfortunately this fear does not stimulate thoughtful or reasoned responses, nor ones that look to our core belief systems and faith values.

Should our response to extremist violence be violence or are there others ways to respond? Should we welcome refugees from Syria or close our borders? Hear faith leaders discuss these and other issues challenging us at home and abroad.

Panel members include:
* Dr. Vernon Howard, President of Southern Christian Leadership Conference of GKC, Senior Pastor St. Marks Union Church;
* Fadi Banyalmarjeh, Islamic Society Of Greater Kansas City Board Member and from Syria;
* Rabbi Linda Steigman, Rabbinical Association of Greater Kansas City Board Member; and
* Father Paul Turner, Pastor of St. Anthony Parish and Bishop Johnston’s Ecumenical Representative.

Preceding the panel, instructor of military history, Lt. Col. Brian Steed, provided a strategic context for our discusssion.

The forum was moderated by Bill Tammeus, retired KC Star columnist.

Sponsored by The American Friends Service Committee, The Kansas City Interfaith Council, and The Kansas City Public Library.

Lily Siebert, Cultivate Kansas City’s outreach coordinator, Neal Rudisill and Lisa Hummel, operators of Woodland City Organics, and
Nicole Routh , a member of The Sion Garden talk about this coming weekend’s Urban Grown Tour.

Urban Grown Tour Preview
Episode date : June 20, 2016
On EcoRadio KC

What are the racist times and major events in Kansas City?  How far back does our shared history go?  We’ll attempt to paint a true picture (and we need your help, so please call in)!  Khadijah and the White Guy will be joined by two long-time activists in KC — Diane Charity and Doug Shafer.

History of Racism in KC
Episode date : June 23, 2016
On Khadijah & the White Guy

Susan Sanders and Russ Simmons are of one mind about “Maggie’s Plan,” a new comedy from writer/director Rebecca Miller (“Personal Velocity)” and starring Greta Gerwig (“Frances Ha”), Ethan Hawke (“Boyhood”) and Julianne Moore (“Still Alice”). Gerwig plays a college professor who wants to have a child…but not, necessarily, get married. It aims at charm and whimsy over substance.

Are health costs skyrocketing?  Are insurance companies abandoning the ACA? Some candidates for office claim that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamac are) is destroying our economy and wrecking our health care system.  What are the facts?  RadioActive Magazine interviews Stephene Moore, HHS, Regional Director, Region VII (MO, KS, NE, IA). Tune-in  for an enlightening discussion of the myths and misconceptions surrounding this six year old law.

RAM will also preview the Out Here in Kansas City LGBT film festival with an interview of Jamie Rich, Festival Organizer.

Recent News

BOOM! The Sonics Invade Knucklehead’s

July 23, 2015 By KKFI 90.1 FM Comments Off on BOOM! The Sonics Invade Knucklehead’s
BOOM!  The Sonics Invade Knucklehead's

Back on June 20, garage rock pioneers the Sonics from Tacoma, Washington played a blistering hour and ten minute set to a moderate crowd at Knucklehead’s in Kansas City.  Local support was provided by the Latenight Callers and the Quivers. …

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KKFI Jazz Calendar for July 20 – 26

July 21, 2015 By KKFI 90.1 FM Comments Off on KKFI Jazz Calendar for July 20 – 26
KKFI Jazz Calendar for July 20 – 26

This is the KKFI Jazz Event Calendar for the week of Monday, July 20th to Sunday, July 26th. This is shared for the benefit of jazz music lovers. Please check with the music venue to confirm details of the event. …

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KKFI Jazz Calendar for July 13 – 19

July 14, 2015 By KKFI 90.1 FM Comments Off on KKFI Jazz Calendar for July 13 – 19
KKFI Jazz Calendar for July 13 – 19

This is the KKFI Jazz Event Calendar for the week of Monday, July 13th to Sunday, July 19th. This is shared for the benefit of jazz music lovers. Please check with the music venue to confirm details of the event. …

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SUNU at Californo’s

July 9, 2015 By KKFI 90.1 FM Comments Off on SUNU at Californo’s
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July 9, 2015 By KKFI 90.1 FM Comments Off on Drew Black and Dirty Electric at Record Bar
Drew Black and Dirty Electric at Record Bar

We’re starting to get back into the swing of things with a set of images from the last Drew Black and Dirty Electric show at Record Bar.  Yea, yea, I know it was a month ago.  Life and stuff.  Check …

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KKFI Jazz Calendar for July 6 – 12

July 6, 2015 By KKFI 90.1 FM Comments Off on KKFI Jazz Calendar for July 6 – 12
KKFI Jazz Calendar for July 6 – 12

This is the KKFI Jazz Event Calendar for the week of Monday, July 6th to Sunday, July 12th. This is shared for the benefit of jazz music lovers. Please check with the music venue to confirm details of the event. …

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