Sunday, July 31, 2011

Viola Davis: "A Legendary Star in the Making!!"

I got inspired to write this post after reading the August issue of Essence Magazine on Viola Davis "Hollywood's Best-Kept Secret". Here is a woman who is the epitome of what it means to be a woman, more specifically a "Black Woman". Born on her grandmother's farm in St. Matthews, South Carolina Davis has truly made her mark on Hollywood and it has not been without hard work and dedication.

As a fellow Leo, Davis exemplifies what it means to be strong and in control. She has been climbing the Hollywood ladder leaving any "haters" behind her in the dust. Davis much like myself was involved in her local Upward Bound and Student Support Services which were key moments in her academic and social development. I would even go as far as saying she is the next Cicely Tyson...a blazing, contagious fire that does not seem to go out. Like Tyson, she is on her way to legendary stardom success you can't help but see it.

Davis is an actress that I would say can hang with the "best of them", matter fact she is part of the "best of them." I am still amazed by the fact that her first role was a nurse in the 1996 film The Substance of Fire (Tony Goldwyn, Benjamin Ungar, Timothy Hutton) and then years later she would grab our attention with her 8-minute performance as a single mother, which would garner her several film honors including an Academy Award nomination in the film Doubt. As a matter of fact, Davis is quoted saying "during the award season for Doubt she felt like a princess!" And well deserved I might add, that performance was stellar.

Hard exterior and soft shell core, I would say that would be one way to describe Davis' acting personality. She may seem quiet and reserve as a person, but that does not mean she is one dimensional. Davis has played so many different roles that she has become a very marketable actress in today's Hollywood scene. And the fact that she is a Black woman who can play various characters further lets us know that you cannot put her into a box. She manages, and quite well, to stand out in the midst of even a large crowd with each role she takes on, by infusing herself into each and every character that she plays 110%. If I were trying to be an actress she would be the type of actress that I would want to be like. Davis is truly a versatile actress who has many skills and is able to wear many hats. She can take on the role of hard-fighting mayor (Law Abiding Citizen), a no holds bar attorney (Law & Order SVU), a committed wife ("Fences"), and even a drugged out mother (Antwone Fisher)...Davis can do it all!!

Not only does she excel on the big screen, but in the theatre as well, which some might say is her original first love. Just recently she won a Tony Award for her performance as "Rose Maxson" in the Broadway play Fences alongside Academy & Tony Award actor Denzel Washington. Her love for stage acting, Davis credits to her involvement in the arts at Central Falls High School and later when she would attend Rhode Island College where she majored in theatre. Through the years, Davis has definitely grown as an actress and thespian. She is pretty much a household name, considering we can see her every where now. It is refreshing to know that there are still good quality actresses out there in Hollywood who are truly doing their "thing". And she has been able to do with "style and grace".

Keep doing your thing Viola! I just had to speak on this outstanding actress, because she deserves the recognition. She definitely got it going on!!

Definitely looking forward to catching her in the upcoming film The Help, which hits theaters August 12th. Check out the trailer below...

Friday, July 29, 2011

"Red Tails" Trailer and Cast Pictures


Well it looks like the Lucasfilm distributed film Red Tails will be making a early 2012 debut (January 20th, 2012 to be exact). As it appears the cast listing has been released along with the trailer.

Check it out folks...


1944. World War II rages and the fate of the free world hangs in the balance. Meanwhile the black pilots of the experimental Tuskegee training program are courageously waging two wars at once – one against enemies overseas, and the other against discrimination within the military and back home. Racial prejudices have long held ace airman Martin “Easy” Julian (Nate Parker) and his black pilots back at base – leaving them with little to do but further hone their flying skills – while their white counterparts are shipped out to combat after a mere three months of training. Mistakenly deemed inferior and assigned only second-rate planes and missions, the pilots of Tuskegee have mastered the skies with ease but have not been granted the opportunity to truly spread their wings.

Until now...

As the war in Europe continues to take its dire toll on Allied forces, Pentagon brass has no recourse but to reconsider these under-utilized pilots for combat duty. Just as the young Tuskegee men are on the brink of being shut down and shipped back home, Col. A.J. Bullard (Terrence Howard) awards them the ultimate chance to prove their mettle high above. Undaunted by the prospect of providing safe escort to bombers in broad daylight – a mission so dangerous that the RAF has refused it and the white fighter groups have sustained substantial losses – Easy’s pilots at last join the fiery aerial fray. Against all the odds, with something to prove and everything to lose, these intrepid young airmen take to the skies in a heroic endeavor to combat the enemy – and the discrimination that has kept them down for so long.


The cast includes such names as Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, Bryan Cranston, Nate Parker, David Oyelowo, Tristan Wilds, Cliff Smith, Kevin Phillips, Rick Otto, Lee Tergesen, Andre Royo, Ne-Yo, along with several others.

Looks like we got some heavy hitters and some newcomers on the list sounds and looks good to me!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Exclusive "Pariah" Trailer and Poster Challenge


A world premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, the contemporary drama Pariah is the feature-length expansion of writer/director Dee Rees’ award-winning 2007 short film Pariah. Spike Lee is among the feature’s executive producers. At Sundance, cinematographer Bradford Young was honored with the [U.S. Dramatic Competition] Excellence in Cinematography Award.
 
This is a trailer I have been waiting on for quite some time now. This story is so profound, it truly hits the core of your soul. There is no doubt that it will evoke some type of emotion from within. Even though the trailer just gives us a glimpse into the film,  I am sure the film will give us even more to look forward to on the big screen!!!

Here it is...


Adepero Oduye, who had earlier starred in the short film, portrays Alike (pronounced ah-lee-kay), a 17-year-old African-American woman who lives with her parents Audrey and Arthur (Kim Wayans and Charles Parnell) and younger sister Sharonda (Sahra Mellesse) in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood. She has a flair for poetry, and is a good student at her local high school.

Alike is quietly but firmly embracing her identity as a lesbian. With the sometimes boisterous support of her best friend, out lesbian Laura (Pernell Walker), Alike is especially eager to find a girlfriend. At home, her parents’ marriage is strained and there is further tension in the household whenever Alike’s development becomes a topic of discussion. Pressed by her mother into making the acquaintance of a colleague’s daughter, Bina (Aasha Davis), Alike finds Bina to be unexpectedly refreshing to socialize with.

Wondering how much she can confide in her family, Alike strives to get through adolescence with grace, humor, and tenacity – sometimes succeeding, sometimes not, but always moving forward.

In addition to checking out the trailer please also go to FOCUS Features and help pick out the theatrical poster that will be used to promote the film.

For more information about this film go to http://pariahmovie.com/

Double Feature Trailer Alert: "Battleship" and "The Guard"

Got a double feature exclusive trailer alert for you all on today... Battleship and The Guard. 

Battleship: An epic action-adventure that unfolds across the seas, in the skies and over land as our planet fights for survival against a superior force.
Hits theaters May 18th, 2012

The Guard: An unorthodox Irish policeman, Boyle (Brendan Gleeson) joins forces with a strait-laced FBI agent (Don Cheadle) to take on an international drug smuggling gang in Ireland's Connemara, Gaeltacht.  Amurder which appears to be the work of an occult serial killer is the first incident the relevance of which is then revealed by Boyle in a briefing by an FBI agent sent to liaise with the Gardai. A web of bribery, blackmail, and killings ensues. Boyle and Everett form an unlikely alliance and with the unwitting help of the IRA bring about a bloody denouement.

Hits theaters July 29th, 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A First Look into "The Last Fall"

Young Hollywood seems to be truly making its mark in today's film industry. And Black Savant Cinema has some exclusive still pics of former NFL player turned director/filmmaker Matthew Cherry's upcoming film The Last Fall. Cherry who now owns his own production studio--Cherry Entertainment/Transparent Filmworks is also known for his most recent short film This Time, which was featured at the American Black Film Festival on last year.

The film stars Lance Gross, Nicole Beharie (American Violet), Vanessa Bell Calloway, Harry Lennix Jr., Keith David and Darren Henson

After several years in the playing professional football, Kyle Bishop is released from his fourth team in three years and returns to his home town, broke and at a complete loss about what he will do for a living. After an initially cold reception, Kyle reconnects with Faith Davis, his old high school sweetheart. Ready to leave football far in the past, Kyle gets a job at a local gym and starts planning a new life with Faith and her young son, VON. However, when Kyle unexpectedly gets a lucrative offer from another professional team, and the father of Faith's son, Rell, tries to win his way back in her life, he is torn about what path to take. 


Director Matthew Cherry said, “I wanted to show a different side of life in the NFL, especially with the NFL lock-out currently looming over the upcoming season. For every millionaire you have ten other players who are barely making what the average American makes at their regular 9-5. Often players bounce around from team to team trying to hold onto their childhood dream and lose touch with family, friends and meaningful relationships.”  

The Last Fall is set to be complete in 2012.



Peachtree Village International Film Festival (PVIFF)


It's that time of the year ATL Film Folks!!

The 6th annual Peachtree Village International Film Festival (PVIFF). PVIFF boasts to be the largest international festival in the South East and 2011 is slated to be the best year yet. PVIFF has recently partnered with the International Soul Music Summit to offer film and music as premiere entertainment offerings for patrons, filmmakers and musicians alike.

PVIFF 2011 will feature the 20 year celebrations of classic films Jungle Fever and New Jack City. PVIFF 2011 will also feature a new event titled The Pitch Tent featuring top television and film executives. These executives will listen and critique pitches from filmmakers throughout the festival.
 

Peachtree Village International Film Festival iFundie Campaign from iFundie on Vimeo.

PVIFF 2011 will take place August 18th-22nd in Atlanta, GA. For more information on PVIFF 2011 visit: www.pviff.com.

Attack the Block! Gritty + Grimey + Good = A Great Film!!

"Inner Space vs. Outer Space"

I will keep it real with ya, I was not sure waht to think of the film, but it met my expectations and then some. Here is a gritty, grimey, funny film that takes the audience on a wild escapade with a group of street kids from the South London slums. From the beginning you will will hate these kids, but by the end you seemingly change your mood and actually root for them to win!

This "street gang" is known for holding it down and making sure nothing, not even an alien, invades THEIR block. Gotta Love it!! Each of the teens adds their unique strength and humor to the film but the stand-out performance definitely goes to John Boyega (who plays the gang's leader Moses), this kid nails this role inside and out. a perfect fit for this up and coming actor. With him being the main protagonist, Moses has this very hard shell, but when it boils down he does have a sweet yet simplistic kindness about him. There are an innumerous amount of characteristics (insecurity, persecution, and bravery) that shape this character into someone you detest and feel sorry for in the beginning, but by the end you are his biggest cheerleader. Another character that stands out for me is British comedy veteran Nick Frost, he truly provides a humor that only he can play. As a whole the gang is truly a bona fide crew with their moments of laughter along with keeping up a penurious demeanor, nonetheless they were always believable. (Definitely keep on the look out for the pre-teen gang member wannabes 'Props' and 'Mayhem'...hilarious)

Director Joe Cornish seems to have a natural eye for high-power energy and action. And the fact that he did not use an overwhelming amount of CGI is quite amazing. With just about every movie using it in some sort of fashion it almost overwhelms your film palette. I like the fact that it was the film was able to combine the elements of sci-fi and horror and make it work. To me it was like The Goonies meets Predator (or for some folks Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz).

Let me forewarn you by telling you that you probably will be at the edge of your seat for the entire movie. Attack the Block, is the prime example of a well made, dark, funny, jumpy, and fascinating film. Put it like this your neighbor may have to brace themselves (like I did) but at least you will be entertained.

I liked the fact that the aliens were presented in a non-bias/stereotypical and quite intriguing way. Watching this movie, really gives a huge feel for the London street city life. Which, in my opinion, this elevated the experience along with all the enjoyable moments of pure humour. Even though these are teenagers that we are dealing with they are smarter than we think.

Let me also mention the film's music score (Steven Price, Felix Buxton, and Simon Ratcliffe of Basement Jaxx) was genius, it just seemed perfect with all the right elements. Both the movie and music married very well. 
Attack the Block is the directorial debut of Joe Cornish. And let me say "job well done"!! It has already won several awards (2011 SXSW Midnight Feature Award and 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival Best Narrative) and after watching last night's screening I can see why. The fact that the main characters were a group of teenagers lets me further know that there is still hope for the film industry. They brought fresh and raw talent that can only get better.

Make sure to go check it out, it hits theaters July 29th!! Trust me when I say there will not be one single dull moment.

Rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Keith Davis Film Short "Men in Love"

It's amazing what a film can do in a matter of 10+ mins. Well here is one that grabs your attention and then leaves you to really ponder on what you just witnessed.

"Following a bitter break-up, Leo's best friend takes him out to meet a new woman and 'get over' his ex.  But after a steamy and unexpected encounter with a stranger he's forced to face what most mean fear; they don't realize they're in love with the right woman until it's too late."

Men In Love from Keith Davis on Vimeo.

Men In Love, was written and directed by Keith Davis, the film features Benton Greene, Dane Cooper, Bianca Jones, and Adepero Oduye.

The perfect song combined with the perfect visual is just the right equation. This short is provocative, heart-wrenching, and it just might even make you shed a tear. It's nothing like seeing a man pour out his soul for love.

For more information about the film and the director "Like" the film on Facebook, and/or check out the website MenInLove .

Thanks to @NewBlackMan for this little treat!

DVD Releases 7/26/2011


Check out this week's DVD releases...

Source Code (PG-13)
Mao's Last Dance (PG)
Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (PG-13)
Life During Wartime (R)
Trust (R)

Hmmm...quite an interesting list...

Monday, July 25, 2011

Teaser Trailer Alert: "Let's Stay Together"

Well folks I got another BeeLoved Creations trailer for ya...This one is titled, Let's Stay Together. This is one of filmmaker Joshua Bee Alafia's projects that is in motion. Check it out...

His friends think Parker is crazy for believing that Al Green's new album will bring fractured families back together upon it's release. He makes a documentary about the difficulty African American families face in staying together and we see several couples navigate pregnancy, commitment, communication and fatherhood. Will Al Green's music prove to enchant, awaken and inspire the streets of Brooklyn...and the world?




What are your thoughts folks?

Weekend Box Office Numbers 7/22-7/24


And the numbers are in for this week's box office films...

1. Captain America: The First Avenger $65,827,000
2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- Part 2 $48,065,000
3. Friends With Benefits $18,500,000
4. Transformers: Dark of the Moon $12,000,000
5. Horrible Bosses $11,720,000

Was not sure if Captain America: The First Avenger would beat out Harry Potter, but I guess anything is possible!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Going Down Memory Lane with A Tribe Called Quest...


As the trailers begin to start my cell phone rings and its playing "Electric Relaxation". It's just something about that song that just hits the nerve, but in a good way. Maybe its the words, the jazz elements, the beats, its everything...

Relax yourself girl, please settle down

Relax yourself girl, please settle down
Relax yourself girl, please settle down

Honey, check it out, you got me mesmerized
With your black hair and your fat-ass thighs
Street poetry is my everyday
But yo, I gotta stop when you trot my way
If I was workin' at the club you would not pay
Aiyyo, my man Phife, dig it, he got somethin' to say


I can remember when their first album dropped "The Low End Theory" and playing it over and over again, because hip hop was given a new exposure and new voice. Here we got 4 kids from the NY who had so much skill and knowledge and they blessed the world by showing us their talents. We literally get to take a journey with them as the story is told of, Beats, Rhymes and Life: Travels of A Tribe Called Quest. Even if you do not know the name of the albums, you know the songs, but I guarantee by the end of the film you will know both plus a heck of a lot more.


I really felt like I was at a house party/concert during this film because I could not help but nod my head from time to time because the music is just so intoxicating and addictive. Group members Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, and Jarobi are what I like to call legends continuously leaving a legacy. What this group brought to this world will never be matched. ATCQ made certain styles that looked crazy look cool and fashionable (ex. Zulu Nation). They were able to use the music that our parents listened to and bring it to the modern day masses in a new and eclectic way. They were able to mix jazz, soul, and r&b into a big bowl and make it sound dope!! And to think they were able to realize this at such a young, ripe age, how many people can we say about that today....think about it!! These dudes had raw talent and this documentary opens our eyes to that in so many ways.




I am so glad that this film made it to the big screen because it is definitely deserving of a 90 minute documentary. Gotta give thanks to Michael Rapaport for staying with it, despite the time in between waiting for all the pieces to fall together. To be honest it came out at the right time, just like the fact that A Tribe Called Quest came out during what many call the Golden Age of Hip Hop. "Beats and Rhymes" not only focuses on A Tribe Called Quest, but all the groups that worked collectively with them (DJ Red Alert, Jungle Brothers, Native Tongues, De La Soul, and Leaders of the New School). Each of them including ATCQ made a huge impact on the hip hop scene and to be able to get a taste of their contribution sheds a little more light on how this group made such an impact. To see how each of them got started is a history lesson in itself. To be able to hear the anecdotes from them as well as other artists (Black Thought, Common, Pharrell, Dres, Prince Paul, and former manager Chris Lighty, just to name a few) gives the film even more depth. The lyrical and musical skills were genius, so much so that there has not been anybody the same since. And I guess that's a good an bad thing, because now they can be defined as "classic".


What I really liked about this film was that it gave clarity on a lot open topics, for example after watching this I had a even greater respect for group member Jarobi and his decision to part the group early on. When someone is able to make a tough decision at age 18 and 19 about their maturity you can't help but understand, and give huge kudos. I say that because he could have easily stayed and potentially tainted the group in a way that was not benefiting for everyone. The film just does not show the happy moments but the not so happy as well. I can vividly remember buying their last album "The Love Movement" and being sad at the same time, because this was the end. Also the fact that Phife allowed viewers to step into his private world speaks many volumes. He could have easily said that he didn't want any cameras focusing on his health and personal life. Seeing his struggle does many things, it informs and educates and it has the potential to impact somebody else who may be in the same predicament. That's what I like about movies, they do more than just entertain they influence the audience as well.

My only gripe with this film was that there was just a little too much focus on the beef/riff between Q-Tip and Phife. We definitely needed to see it but it was just a matter of how much did we need to see. With 20 years in the game it was inevitable to see a not so pretty picture, so the audience should not be shocked. If nothing else it made the group members even more appreciative of each other. Director and filmmaker Michael Rapaport was able to document in a pretty good way the inner soul of the group, by answering some questions, posing some questions, and exploring what is yet to come for these pioneers of rap/hip-hop. We, the fans, may not like that they are not officially together, but we still carry that hope. And we carry it even more after watching this film, knowing that under there 1989 contract they still got album that they owe the company. Hmmmmm.....now that's something to truly marinate on right there folks!!

This group was so dynamic I do not think there will be any group like them again, its just not possible. Even through the good, great, bad, and ugly A Tribe Called Quest still manages to serve as a model for what is hip hop, but true to form skill and talent within the music world. Rapaport provides a story with all of its complexities, personal relationships, the impacts of the business, and most importantly the groups maturity in the midst of the darkness. To this day I will always have a love for this group, because they are just that great!!

"Beats and Rhymes..." is what I would like to call a "truth serum" type flick. And why do I say that, because this film from beginning to end focused on the truth, that's what made it sooooo real!! No sugar coating at all, Im sure Rapaport held back some, which is good no need to paint a dark and ugly picture. It will help if you are already a fan, but even those who may be new to them or not even a fan, its still an enjoyable documentary to watch. The music will touch and steal your soul and Madlib's original soundtrack will rock your body too!! (Also when watching the film be on the lookout for the Seaman Furniture commercial....lol)

This film will go make you dust off your old records and cassettes and go find your wallet that you left in El Segundo.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

P.S. Just a little something to keep the vibe going!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Captain America: The First Avenger

After being deemed unfit for military service, Steve Rogers volunteers for a top research project that turns him into Captain America, a superhero dedicated to defending America's ideals. 

Let me start out by saying that Captain America, as a movie, would be a perfect recruitment tool for the military. It really wins you over with infusing a patriotic spirit of the US during World War II. The one interesting thing about this comic book movie in relation to others is that there truly is a heartfelt story and not just another character from the comics. You can empathize with Captain America because he is pretty much "all human", physically and mentally. Captain America is a True Hero!! No wonder he is loved by all, the movie makes it very clear for the audience.

Chris Evans was definitely the perfect fit, I like him and he did not disappoint. He brought the spirit along with the acting skills. Plus the CGI effects were on point showcasing him going from a scrawny little thing to a muscle tone hottie. He's good. Along with Evans the rest of the cast does a pretty good job of holding its own. Tommy Lee Jones (Colonel Chester Phillips) does good playing a lovable yet rough around the edges colonel, and then you have Hugo Weaving (Johann Schmidt/Red Skull) who is excellent as the evil villain. And the killer thing about him was that you just knew he was going to call out "Hello Mr. Anderson", well no wishful thinking. If we just looked at acting alone each one of them nailed it! But acting alone will not sell the film.

Captain America provides us with a great foundation into the comic book world, and a pretty good comic-movie adaptation. There are several one-liners through out the film that will keep you laughing, in addition to plenty of action and explosions; some might even say that it borderline the same style as Iron Man.

Don't get me wrong the cinematography was great. They were able to transform the film into a modern day 40's flick. Although the Captain America took place during the 1940's it did not feel dated which says a lot for a movie these days. However, from time to time, the movie did lose me at some moments. It seemed as though once he got his new and improved shield that's when the action really got going. But even then it still was not full steam ahead. I wish there had been a little more development of his character along with his crew. Even the villain does not seem to have that "umph", there was just something missing. I must say this was somewhat not as great as it could have been. I think that I personally overhyped it up, because it definitely fell short.

Overall, it was a pretty decent movie. I think I was let down just a little bit, but my feeling were not hurt too bad. Plus the clip after the credits brought my spirits back up! Trust me you want to make sure to stay passed the credits, there's a nice little goodie for you!! To be perfectly clear this mini surprise just might have saved the movie from being a total downfall.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Thursday, July 21, 2011

DemocracyNow talks with Danny Glover about "The Black Power Mixtape"


*Via DemocracyNow- Early on this year DemocracyNow got the opportunity to sit down with The Black Power Mixtape co-producer Danny Glover to discuss the documentary which features rare archival footage of Angela Davis, Huey Newton, and Stokely Carmichael.

The film features rare archival footage shot between 1967 and 1975 by two Swedish journalists and was discovered in the basement of Swedish public television 30 years later. 



Hits theaters September 9th, 2011.

Spotlight Doc Feature: "Fashioning Peace In Kenya: A Documentary by Joshua Bee Alafia"

Today's post is pretty special folks. As you know I am all about making sure the masses are aware of the "non-mainstream" issues, because they are just as important (sometimes more) as the popular ones. So I wanted to spotlight this outstanding filmmaker Joshua Bee Alafia and his current project titled "Fashioning Peace in Kenya".

Fashion For Peace united fashion designers from Kenya and across the African continent to raise funds to bring the peaceful homecoming of Internally Displaced Peoples after political violence had taken place in Kenya. "...documenting folks' brutal stories of how they were driven violently from their homes, to being one of many cameras on the high fashion runway, shooting lush, beautiful designs by creation rebels..." are some of the thoughts from filmmaker Joshua Bee Alafia.

Here is a little bit about the project...
The Kenyan Elections of December 27, 2007 sparked a violent reaction that resulted in the displacement of over 500,000 people from their homes, eventually filling tent city IDP (Internally Displaced People) camps. Fashion For Peace is a group of fashion designers and artists from Kenya and across the continent dedicated to raising funds for the peaceful resettlement of those displace peoples. We hear from the visiting Designers Imane Ayissi (Cameroun/Paris), Pathe’Ouedraogo (Cote d’Ivoire), Bayo Adegbe (Nigeria), Kwesi Nti (Ghana), and Paul Herve Elisabeth (Martinique/Paris.) We are now raising funds to finish this documentary and help in the efforts to bring folks back to their homes. 

Check out the clip below to get some more insight to this great documentary project...



Alafia said it best, "There are so many stories that need to be told!" For more information go to KICKSTARTER FPIK .

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New Trailer & Poster Alert: "The Amazing Spiderman"


Andrew Garfield stars as the leading man in this big screen Spider-Man origin story. In this series (two more movies are planned) Garfield plays a teenage Peter Parker.

The difference with this Spiderman film and the previous ones is that it will provide the origin story about Peter Parker aka Spider-Man. Seems to me like they are taking the same route as the "Dark Knight/Batman" series, but will it be as successful.


The Amazing Spiderman will be in theaters July 3rd, 2012. 

I'm definitely intrigued...

Trailer Alert: "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows"

For those of you who got a chance to see the new and final Harry Potter film, then you noticed one of the exciting trailers that was featured.... Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows !! Now I had remembered hearing that they would be making a second one, but to see the actual trailer just got me even more excited!!

So check it out for yourself and see what you think...
It hits theaters December 16th, 2011.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Girl Can Dream Right...

I just had to step away from my regular scheduled program for a moment and dream...

This will be me very soon...Matter fact I'm pretty darn close too!!


For those that know me if I could have a room just for my movies I would be in second heaven!!

A Sci-Fi Exclusive Preview: "The Captains" Sisko Meets Kirk


For All My Sci-Fi Fans this one is especially for you!!

The Captains* - an Epix Original Documentary produced and directed by William Shatner. In The Captains, he travels the world to connect with each of the actors who have played Captains over the long life of the Star Trek franchise. Shatner recalls his own experiences in the role that made him a star by interviewing Patrick Stewart, Kate Mulgrew, Scott Bakula, Avery Brooks and Chris Pine while interweaving clips from their respective shows and movies.

Check out the preview here...

Avery Brooks on his attracting to playing Sisko on "Deep Space 9" from misterbay on Vimeo.

The Captains will debut on EPIX July 22nd, 2011.

 *Via NewBlackMan

DVD Releases 7/19/2011


Check out this week's DVD releases...

Limitless (PG-13)
 Take Me Home Tonight (R)

Short...Sweet...To the point!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Weekend Box Office Numbers 7/15-7/17


Well...well....well...A saga has come to an end...And a job well done on all levels...

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 $168,550,000
2. Transformers: Dark of the Moon $21,250,000
3. Horrible Bosses $17, 630,000
4. The Zookeeper $12,300,000
5. Cars 2 $8,344,000
6. Winnie the Pooh $8,000,000

Did we think the results would be any different....Don't think so!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Shaft or Sidney Poitier: The Emergence of Black Masculinity in Comic Books Film Review


If you didn't get a chance to check this out during the National Black Arts Festival then you truly missed out on a treat.  I am always impressed with the films that NBAF selects and this year is no different. This year I had the opportunity to actually know one of the filmmakers, which made the experience even better. Shaft or Sidney Poitier: The Emergence of Black Masculinity in Comic Books was one of the US Short Documentaries selected to be showcased and featured at the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta, GA this past week. Now early on in the year I was able to sit down and talk with the filmmaker Jonathan Gayles, and (SEE HERE), now it is with great pleasure that I get to review the film.

SHAFT OR SIDNEY POITIER is a documentary film examining the representation of Black masculinity in comic books.Through interviews with prominent artists, scholars and cultural critics along with images from the comic books themselves, this film examines the degree to which early Black superheroes generally adhered to common stereotypes about Black men. From the humorous, to the offensive, early Black superheroes are critically considered.


Let me first start out by saying after watching the film you get an even greater appreciation for the title "Shaft or Sidney Poitier..." According to the late Dwayne McDuffie, black comic book characters fell into one of those two styles Shaft, who was street-wise, raw, and righteous with bits of charm. Or either like that of Sidney Poitier, cool, mild-mannered, who takes a more intellectual approach rather than an aggressive, action one like his counterpart mentioned above. So once we are able to identify which group they fall in then the documentary further enlightens us on the issue of hyper-masculinity and even touch upon the "cool pose" theory within each of these comic book characters. Many of these characters if not all are what I like to call "problematic", when I think about it a little longer that could be one of the sub-themes and how the audience can learn from it. The images and portrayal of African American males in comic books is not a new issue by any means, more so a topic that needs to further discussed.

Shaft or Sidney Poitier does just that by taking the audience on a journey of the first African American character in his own solo series ("Lobo"), to the first African comic book character in mainstream comics ("Black Panther"/Marvel), to DC Comic's first African American superhero to headline his own series "Black Lighting" and much, much more. Gayles does a thorough job of extracting everything that he can with featured interviews from various scholars, comic book artists, writers, historians, fans etc. to spotlight this topic of "black masculinity" in comic books. As we delve deeper into the film, many of the characters we would find out fall into the "love/hate" relationship. Several of the scholars spoke on the fact that they were torn between wanting to be like the character and at the same time being somewhat ashamed of the "man" being portrayed. (When you get a moment check out "Luke Cage: Hero for Hire" the story will speak for itself.)

Now to a certain degree I was a bit angry, disturbed and torn myself, not with the film itself but the portrayals (visually & name wise) of many of the characters. To think that some of these comics had names such as "Whitewash" (who happened to be a white kid in black face), "Roach", "Cottonmouth", "Black Mariah", etc. you get the point...for a moment my blood begins to boil, but then there is a silver lining. As much as I could stay angry, watching the film would help me to realize that the writer of the comic and the artist are two different people who may or may not be on the same page. And this is why taking ownership in this art is vital. (Another example, John Stewart aka Green Lantern).

Gayles' documentary gives us hope in that black comics do not have to be lead down a European mainstream road, but rather our "own" road of African and African American comic book ownership. That exact thought really stuck in mind and still does even as I am typing. Yes Marvel and DC Comics dominate the comic book world, but they are not the only ones in it. With such creations like the Black Age Movement and conferences like ONYXCON and ECBACC (East Coast Black Age of Comics Con) there is no turning back, just moving forward.


This whole documentary experience was like a history lesson on comic books that just begs for more. We must commend those who take part in this illustrious art form but at the same, we must tip our hats off to the filmmaker as well for shedding more like on this brilliant topic. Shaft or Sidney, is a documentary that I think will help to spark more interest in the comic book world, as a matter of fact I have even heard comics are being used in the classrooms now, which truly speaks volumes.  So I can't help but ask the question, has faith been restored in the black comic book character? You be the judge... I know my answer.

You don't have to be a comic book fan to enjoy this documentary, if nothing else you will definitely come out more informed about black masculinity. To be honest, you almost can relate and identify personally with one of these characters and that in itself makes the characters even more relevant.  In the end, I am thankful to be introduced to a world of black comics because there truly is a lot to offer. I feel like a kid in the candy store who wants more, but has to leave. I realize that even with this documentary there should be room left to desire and do some personal research, and Gayles' does just that for us.

To think that the black comic does not have place, well that's not even the case so let's not even go there the thought never crossed my mind.

Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Also please make sure to check out Dr. Gayles website: BlackSuperHeroes for more information regarding the documentary as well as other projects in store. Also make sure to check him out on Twitter as well... www.twitter.com/shaftorsidney

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Grand Finale for a Grand Series!! Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Before I get into the review let me first put in two plugs for two films that are going to rock the charts when they hit the screen!! Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and The Dark Knight Rises (which is set to hit theaters Summer 2012) featured their trailers and boy did I get excited. Here are two films that will definitely pique your interest as well as keep you entertained.

Back to our regularly scheduled film review...lol... As expected the movie picks up from where Part 1 leaves us and pretty much stays true to the book as I am told. The story continues with Harry, Hermione, and Ron continuing the journey of finding and destroying the Dark Lord's remaining Horcruxes. And of course, this is no simple task, but it must be done.

Without a shadow of doubt, the entire movie was outstanding, it was the perfect combination of cinematography, acting, art direction, and storyline. After watching the film I felt as though I saw the light at the end of the tunnel and it was shining bright as ever. Be prepared for heart wrenching action, epic battle showdowns, and dramatic progressions that just might bring a tear to your eyes. I was very pleased with the fact that the film was brilliantly able to combine all the emotions of laughter, sadness, excitement, and love all into one.

In Part 2, we pretty much get the opportunity to see all of the characters make some sort of appearance once again in this finale. And each one seems to shine even brighter than when we first see them. This is a good thing because that means there is growth amongst the characters versus just "playing the role". However, there are two characters who to me stand out even more in this film, that would be Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis) and Professor Snape (Alan Rickman). With Neville's character he becomes this boy who was constantly bullied to being an ultimate warrior. Although he may have only had a few scenes, he has a huge impact with what we do see. And with Professor Snape we can help but love to watch his evil personality just blossom from the book to the screen. This film in particular, his character will touch your soul all the way to the core. Put it like this you began to truly feel him inside and out. And we cannot forget Lord Voldermont (Ralph Fiennes) who gets quite a bit of screen time, as he should, you almost hate to see what happens to him, but it is quite inevitable.

Here is a film that I think anyone could enjoy even if you have not read the books (like myself), to be able to step into this fantasy world for the time that we did was truly a remarkable experience. I must say this particular film is much darker that the ones the precede it, and maybe that gives it a more magical and mysterious touch. Works for me!! Now let's keep in mind the entire series was not perfect, but this last one redeemed it to the point where all hope was not lost.

When it is all said done this movie dotted and crossed all of the "i's" & "t's"!! Harry Potter will truly be missed but definitely not forgotten. Can you believe we have built a ten year relationship that is now coming to a close, what will possibly fill its shoes? But then again, does there really need to be?

Once you leave the theater just remember this is really it, there is no more. It actually took me a sec for it to sink in that this was the end of the road.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Friday, July 15, 2011

"STILL BLACK: A Portrait of Black Transmen" Screening & Discussion

Join Trans(forming), SPARK, and PureMe Productions as they host a screening & discussion of  
Still Black: A Portrait of Black Transmen.


The screening will be held Thursday, July 28, 2011 at the Phillip Rush Center (Atlanta, GA) from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. The film will begin promptly at 6:30pm, so be sure to arrive early to save yourself a seat. Refreshments will be provided!

If you have any questions and/or concerns about accessibility, please email them at info@sparkrj.org.

E. Lynn Harris' Well Known Novel Headed to Theaters

Check out the featured article from Rolling Out magazine talking with the film director of E. Lynn Harris' epic novel Invisible Life...

Invisible Life, the ground-breaking novel about an alternative love story penned by now-deceased author, E. Lynn Harris, is about to take its impact a step further. The story that changed the perception of what “gay” looks like, ushering in for black women both education and suspicion about “down low” brothers, is headed to the big screen.


Proteus Spann, an accomplished film producer, casting agent and good friend to Harris, purchased exclusive rights to Invisible Life and the remainder of Harris’ brand and, now, has made it his mission to broaden the audience that the intriguing novel was able to reach.  Not only did Harris’ work illuminate the fact that gay isn’t as static a term as many previously had believed, but, more importantly, it also shed light on HIV and AIDS and their unique impact on the black community.

Rolling out recently spoke with Spann to provide him with the opportunity to explain why it’s so important to him to spread Harris’ message. –gerald a. radford

*ro: What led to you owning E Lynn Harris’ body of work?
Spann: I want the public to understand that this [purchasing the rights] came about in 2005-2006 before he [E Lynn Harris] died.  So, this is about me getting the rights and having ownership, and it’s important to emphasize the ownership because I own the book and all the characters outright, his entire catalog of Invisible Life up until In My Father’s House, and I bought In My Father’s House and Mama Dearest in January of ’09, and Lynn passed in July of  ’09.  All of this was completely done.  That’s important because you’ll have a lot of naysayers, and a lot of people will want to know, “How did you come up with this?” But it’s been done.

*ro: There seems to be an air of defensiveness regarding the transaction.
Spann: With all the jealousy and hating, there may be someone who will challenge me, but, in 2006, I became the US copyright owner.  Do your research before you come.
It’s important to understand that this didn’t happen posthumously. I’ve been working on the musical [Invisible Life] since I first bought the book.  I hired Ashford and Simpson to write all original music for the musical, and they did incredible music, which the NY Times has heard some of it and has commented with a positive review.  So, the musical is ready to go.  But, it was easier to finance the movie as opposed to the play. So, that’s why I’m doing the movie first.

*ro: You appear very passionate about this project.  Why?
Spann: One of the reasons I bought the rights to the book is because the book impacted me.  When I first read the book, it answered a lot of questions that I had, and it spoke to a lot of the things that I was going through, and there was no other novel or no other book to do that and especially if you didn’t have parents, as I didn’t. Invisible Life answered a lot of questions, and it not only answered questions for me as a man and as a boy, but it also had great impact on women.

To see more of the interview go to RollingOut.com ...

I must say I read every single one of E. Lynn Harris' books and a true fan. I always wondered if they would turn his books into featured films or even a made for tv movie. And then the ultimate question would be who would play the characters...with ease and confidence. Well I guess we will have to wait and see what happens.

Thoughts?!! Good idea or should they leave it alone?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Roland Martin Discusses 'Dark Girls' film with Director Bill Duke

Check out Roland Martin chatting with Dark Girls director Bill Duke. Here is very engaging discussion on how skin tone still effects women in the black community.!

Huge KUDOS goes to Duke for bringing a documentary such as this one to the big screen.

To check out the discussion go to Roland Martin & Bill Duke discuss 'Dark Girls' !!

Also for more information check out the Official Website Dark Girls Movie and the FACEBOOK page.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

"The Dark Knight" Rises Teaser Poster Revealed!!

And here it is...well at least the teaser poster :-). The Dark Knight Rises poster was just released on today, this will be the third and final installment in Nolan's Batman film series.


Set to hit theaters this time next year July 20th, 2012.

"Close Ties: Tying On A New Tradition" Documentary Film Project

While doing my early morning blogging I came across a wonderful article about a new documentary project in New Orleans on NewBlackMan . (By the way you should definitely follow this blog Mark Anthony Neal is a true scholar and critical thinker!) For those that know me know that I am all about empowering the black youth of the community in creative ways. I truly believe in order to reach today's future we have to step outside the box!!

This post comes from KickStarter.com via Mark Anthony Neal's blog "New Black Man".



Close Ties: Tying On A New Tradition is a documentary project out of New Orleans, LA and sponsored by Park Triangle Productions.

So you ask what is this all about....Close Ties: Tying on a New Tradition provides an intimate look at a rites of passage ceremony that connects teenage boys with male role models. The "Tie Tying ceremony" held at New Orleans barbershop, "Mr. Chill's First Class Cuts", was created by Dr. Andre Perry and Wilbert “Chill” Wilson as a way to strengthen communities struggling with crime, poverty and alarming high school drop out rates. Cultural traditions have been the cornerstone of African American communities for centuries.

Close Ties examines the impact of this new tradition and shows us how tying a necktie --- an act associated with men who embody professionalism and prestige --- can inspire high school boys to commit to a life of achievement and success. 

During the event, the boys participate in a tie-tying demonstration, where role models from around the city instruct the youngsters on how to create distinguishing knots with their neckwear. Each of the boys also receives the opportunity to get professional grooming with a haircut and a shoe-shine. The final component of the event is one-on-one mentorship that each student receives from a male role model from the community. The youth participating in this tie-tying ceremony are boys selected from several schools in New Orleans.
Close Ties documents the mentors and the youth during and after the ceremony, where we see the men encourage and support the boys’ academic and career endeavors. The development of these mentoring relationships creates a lasting impact, one felt by students, parents, teachers and the community as a whole.

As you can see this is more than just showing a film its also about taking action towards eradicating the high school drop out rate for African American males. "We feel that Close Ties: Tying on a New Tradition is an essential tool for educators, community leaders, and to anyone with a vested interest in the potential of American youth." 

For more information on how you can take part and support go to KickStarter ! This truly touches the hear right here in so many ways, films and projects like this give you hope for what is to come in the future!!

DVD Releases 7/12/2011


Check out this week's DVD releases...

Rango (PG)
The Lincoln Lawyer (R)
Insidious (PG-13)
Arthur (PG-13)

Pretty good list folks!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Check This Out Folks!! Update on ATL Screening of "Crime After Crime"

Lefont Theater and Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence collaborate to increase domestic violence awareness.

June 2011 (Atlanta, GA) – Sadly, more than 100 Georgians lose their lives to domestic violence each year, placing Georgia 10th highest in the nation. At the same time, nearly one-third of women here in Georgia experience the terrorizing effects of domestic violence in their lifetimes.

The Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence (GCADV) will host Crime After Crime; an exclusive documentary film at Lefont Theater in Sandy Springs on July 30, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. Immediately following, members of the cast, R & B singer KeKe Wyatt, a domestic abuse survivor, and domestic violence professionals will host a panel discussion. Proceeds from this viewing will go directly to GCADV and support increased awareness, resources, and education for domestic violence programs and survivors.

Crime After Crime
, winner of numerous film festival awards across the nation, tells the dramatic story of the legal battle to free Deborah Peagler, an incarcerated survivor of domestic violence. Over 26 years in prison could not crush the spirit of this determined African-American woman, despite the wrongs she suffered, first at the hands of a deceitful boyfriend who beat her and forced her into prostitution, and later by prosecutors who used the threat of the death penalty to corner her into a life behind bars for her connection to the murder of her abuser. Her story takes an unexpected turn two decades later when two rookie land-use attorneys step forward to take her case. Through their perseverance, they bring to light long-lost witnesses, new testimonies from the men who committed the murder, and proof of perjured evidence. Their investigation ultimately attracts global attention to victims of wrongful incarceration and domestic abuse, and becomes a matter of life and death once more.

Since its release film festival release in 2010, Crime After Crime has won numerous awards and been featured nationally over twenty times. To purchase advance tickets, visit http://gcadv.eventbrite.com/ or purchase tickets at LeFont Theater on July 30th.

Weekend Box Office Numbers 7/8-7/10


As I have said many times before "Numbers Do Not Lie" and here is a prime example of this...

1. Transformers: Dark of the Moon $47,025,000
2. Horrible Bosses $28,110,000
3. The Zookeeper $21,000,000

Limited Releases
*Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest $120,000
*Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness $18,400

Finally we get a movie who manages to hold on to the #1 spot for more than one week. Which movies am I speaking of well you should already know folks...Transformers: Dark of the Moon!!  Regardless of the fact that Horrible Bosses and The Zookeeper premiered this weekend the Autobots and Decipticons still had their way!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Film For a Great Cause!! "Crime After Crime"


 EXTRA!! EXTRA!!

The Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence will be hosting a documentary screening of the film Crime After Crime, on Saturday July 30th at the LeFont Theater in Sandy Springs, GA. This provocative and inspiring documentary has been feature on Oprah's network, featured in many film festivals, and won numerous awards.  

THIS RIVETING AND DEVASTATING DOCUMENTARY follows the sustained efforts of two land-use attorneys who decide to take on the case of a woman incarcerated for years due to her role in the death of an abusive boyfriend. It relates a great miscarriage of justice—but also one of heroic legal perseverance, with a surprisingly colorful cast of characters.

I actually got a chance to catch a screening of this at the Black Women Film Festival in Atlanta not too long ago and had the pleasure of meeting one of the main character's daughters. When I tell you this film hit the core of my soul, there was not a dry eye that left that theater. Tears of sadness and joy filled that room! You do not want to miss out on opportunity to be able to watch an excellent film and at the same time help out a worthy cause!! There is a message for everyone!!

Proceeds from tickets purchased on July 30th will go to the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence !! Folks this is a great film and even greater cause, so come out and support!! You can learn more at www.crimeaftercrime.com 

If you are unable to attend please do still PASS THE WORD!!

"FILMMAKING BASICS - A WORKSHOP FOR NEWBIES"


For all my aspiring filmmakers or for those just interested in learning more about the craft here is a workshop for YOU!!

*Interested in filmmaking but don’t have a clue…
Whether you’d like to dive into the industry or just want to test the waters, this introductory course is designed just for you.  The workshop will give an overview of everything it takes to complete a film or video (there is a difference), and offer you direction for next steps to take. 
You'll go away with a better understanding of what this "mystery" business is all about.  The information covered will help you decide whether you want to learn more and pursue a career in the industry, or just talk the talk to impress your family and friends!
*ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR...
Lorna Wilson has over 16 years of experience in film and video production encompassing work in corporate and commercial production, public access television, independent and mainstream film production.  She's been a production assistant, production coordinator, associate producer, film festival manager, college instructor, and is presently employed as the Director of Operations for Rainforest Films. 
 
Ms. Wilson has also been very active in the local film community supporting events, initiatives and organizations, including service on the board of Women in Film/Atlanta for 6 years.

The workshop will take place on July 16th from 10 AM - 2PM at:

Creative Studios of Atlanta
500 Bishop St. Suite F8
Atlanta, GA 30318

There is also a Registration Fee of $99.00. For more information check out Filmmaking Basics !! This is some good stuff folks!!

Trailer Alert: "Diary of a Decade: Funk Jazz Cafe"

For those who will be taking part in this year's National Black Arts Festival, here is a film that you don't want to miss... Produced, written, directed by Jason Orr, Diary of a Decade, showcases when "black music" was truly "good music" (trust me it did exist!).

This film is the story of a cultural legend as told by the innovators of an important, and in some cases overlooked, era in Black culture. Spanning the late 1980′s through to the early 2000′s, this story goes deep into the fabric of soul music, it’s definitions, it’s pioneers, it’s offspring, it’s movements, the challenges with the “mainstream” industry and the evolution of the FunkJazz KafĂ©, a music and arts movement born of Atlanta’s diverse musical heritage. The film covers the decade when Atlanta’s underground music scene became established on the world stage and a new generation of soul singers and musicians emerged.




Diary of a Decade will premiere July 13th at the Rialto Center for the Arts at Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA.

After the film there will be a panel discussion to follow.

Double Header Documentary Updates...Bob Marley & Jimi Hendrix

Just recently released yesterday via notable film site "Shadow and Act", we were given two pertinent updates of some documentaries we have been anxiously and patiently waiting on.


First up is the confirmation of the Bob Marley documentary, which is set to have a Fall release date. In a recent interview with US Weekly, Bob Marley's son Ziggy Marley recently shared some good news as role of producer in the upcoming documentary.

"We are working on his documentary, which should be out in the fall. I am producing the documentary and Kevin McDonald will direct it. People are going to have not only the connection that you have now with the Bob Marley legend, but it will also show the emotional side of our father. The emotion of Bob throughout his life experiences is a pretty pertinent thing. It is not just about his music."

Good to hear that the project is moving forward with concrete details!!
----------------------
Next up is whether we will see the light of day regarding the Jimi Hendrix project. "Next up is possibly a  Jimi Hendrix biopic -- an independent film with Andre 3000 from Outkast playing Jimi Hendrix." These words were spoken by actress Hayley Atwell in the August issue of Esquire magazine.

According to Movieline,  Andre 300 has long been attached to star in the Jimi Hendrix project (mind you this has dated back to 2004). For a while it had been rumored that the Hughes brothers were supposedly set to direct it, but even that has not surfaced any hard fact information. But after this Atwell interview all may not be lost. Only time will tell if this film will see the light of day.
There is however a gleam of light, a writer has been hired to work on the script hoping this will gain approval from the Hendrix estate. This has been quite a difficult task considering the family has been very protective of his story, Experience Hendrix (which is run by his stepsister Janie Hendrix) is holding on real tight to the rights of Jimi's story.
So maybe we will see something maybe not...*
*Shadow and Act

G-Breezy's Favorite Movies

  • Bourne Identity/Supremacy/Ultimatum
  • Die Hard series
  • Do the Right Thing
  • Fracture
  • Idlewild
  • Imitation of Life
  • Inside Man
  • James Bond series
  • Love Jones
  • Malcolm X