20 items from 2016
Two more actors have joined White Famous. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Megalyn Echikunwoke (pictured) and Utkarsh Ambudkar have been cast in the upcoming Showtime pilot.From Jamie Foxx, the comedy centers on Floyd (Jay Pharoah), a young African-American comedian who is trying to maintain the balance between his roots and going mainstream.Read More… »
Cookie’s potential romance with Taye Diggs has hit the mother of all snags.
Rashad’s Diana is a powerhouse from one of New York’s oldest and most prominent African-American families, who has her sights set on a higher office for her only son. Her interactions with Cookie, Lucious and the rest of the Lyon clan will expose the class divides that can exist within the black community. »
Megalyn Echikunwoke (Damien) and Utkarsh Ambudkar (Pitch Perfect) are set to co-star opposite Jay Pharoah in Showtime’s half-hour comedy pilot White Famous, from Jamie Foxx and Californication creator Tom Kapinos. White Famous centers on a talented, young African-American comedian (Pharoah) whose star is rising, forcing him to navigate the treacherous waters of maintaining his credibility as he begins to cross-over towards becoming "white famous." Echikunwoke will play… »
Deadline reports Lorenza Izzo, Daniel Zovatto, and Tom Noonan have been cast in the Dimension 404 TV show at Hulu. They join Megan Mullally, Constance Wu, Joel McHale, Sarah Hyland, Lea Michele, Robert Buckley, Ryan Lee, Patton Oswalt, Ashley Rickards, Sterling Beaumon, Matt Lauria, Utkarsh Ambudkar, and Malcolm Barrett.Dimension 404 is a six-episode sci-fi/fantasy anthology scripted series, from RocketJump and Lionsgate. Showrunner Dez Dolly and Will Campos created the series with Dan Johnson and David Welch. Freddie Wong executive produces and directs with Matthew Arnold and Dolly. The Dimension 404 series’ title is inspired by the “404” or “not found” internet error code. It is meant to evoke that weird feeling you get when stumbling upon strange bits of the web at 3:00am.Read More… »
Matt Lauria, Utkarsh Ambudkar, and Malcolm Barrett have been cast in the Dimension 404 TV show, Hulu’s scripted sci-fy anthology series from RocketJump and Lionsgate. The series' title is inspired by the “404” or “not found” internet error code and is meant to evoke that weird feeling you get when stumbling upon strange bits of the web at 3:00am.The trio joins Megan Mullally, Constance Wu, Joel McHale, Sarah Hyland, Lea Michele, Robert Buckley, Ryan Lee, Patton Oswalt, Ashley Rickards, and Sterling Beaumon. Showrunner Dez Dolly and Will Campos created Dimension 404 with co-Creators Dan Johnson and David Welch. Freddie Wong executive produces and directs with Matthew Arnold and Dolly.Read More… »
Inspired by the Internet’s notorious “404” error code, the mystery thriller — which is comprised of six, self-contained, hour-long episodes (each boasting a twist ending!) — aims to “evoke that 3 a.m. feeling of wandering onto the weird side of the web, stumbling upon stories that cannot be explained in the world that we know. »
Matt Lauria (Kingdom, Friday Night Lights), Utkarsh Ambudkar (Pitch Perfect, The Mindy Project) and Malcolm Barrett (Timeless, Dear White People) have joined the cast of Dimension 404, Hulu's six-episode sci-fi/fantasy anthology scripted series from RocketJump and Lionsgate. Inspired by the Internet's "404" error code, Dimension 404 aims to evoke that 3 Am feeling of wandering onto the weird side of the web and stumbling upon stories that cannot be explained in the world… »
Directed by Malcolm D. Lee
Starring Ice Cube, Robert Teitel, Cedric the Entertainer, Regina Hall, Sean Patrick Thomas, Eve, Anthony Anderson, Jazsmin Lewis-Kelley, Common, Nicki Minaj, Margot Bingham, Lamorne Morris, Deon Cole, Reggie Brown, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Tyga, J.B. Smoove, Deon Cole
Employees at the barbershop look to solve the gang-related violence that has taken its hold on the local community.
It’s been 12 years since the last outing of the Barbershop franchise (11 if you want to include its spin-off), and it’s nice to see many of them return as well as the arrival of some new faces. As these films have gained greater recognition and a growing fan-base over years, one glaring concern would be that of quality: could they recapture the magic and chemistry given the time-lapse? Could the director of Scary Movie 5 live up to such standards? »
- Matthew Lee
Barbershop A Fresh Cut review: The third instalment comes a decade after the party, and although hair still need cutting, is there anything left to say?
Barbershop A Fresh Cut review
Back in 2002 a low-key comedy known as Barbershop was a surprise smash. From a budget of $12 million it took in $75 million at the Us box office. A 2004 sequel doubled the budget and was still successful with $65 million domestically, while a 2005 spin-off, Beauty Shop kept the second film’s $30 million budget but only made $35 million at home. None of the films have found success abroad though, with only the first film making more than $1 million overseas. Over a decade since its last venture, the Barbershop is back in Barbershop: A Fresh Cut, reuniting many of the original cast while also adding in some newcomers such as Nicki Minaj.
The barbershop franchise has excelled by exploring a microcosm of a specific community/ethnic group, and containing it within an isolated place that represents the community. It’s something that Britain did a decade before with the sitcom Desmonds. However, the late 1980s black community of London was vastly different from the early 2000s black community in Chicago. Issues such as crime, community, and small business versus big business were all tackled making for richer than usual comedies. In the last half a decade, star and producer Ice Cube, has had huge successes such as the 21 Jump Street films and the Ride Along franchise. Does returning to this franchise suggest it has something new in its arsenal to cover?
Barbershop A Fresh Cut review
Happily, or rather sadly, it does. Barbershop: A Fresh Cut looks at gang culture in Chicago in a less than subtle way. Calvin (Cube), continues to run his Barbershop which has now joined forces with a beauty salon, offering up much well paced dialogue in the battle of the sexes. However, as an opening narration explains, Chicago has fallen to bitter rivalries in the street, resulting in Calvin declaring a no gun policy in his shop. As the regular staff and clientele meet and discuss the ways of the world, ways of the past, and everything in between, Calvin’s son Jalen (Michael Rainey Jr.) is slowly seduced by a gang. The tensions encourage Calvin and his shop to negotiate a ceasefire between the gangs.
Barbershop: A Fresh Cut’s biggest plus is its heart. Obviously spurned on by tackling actual issues, the film may be heavy-handed a lot of the time when dealing out messages, golden glowing flashbacks and needlessly placed narration stopping the film in its tracks, but it makes the film more poignant and necessary than many comedy sequels arriving over a decade since their last entry. The cast assembled also have fantastic charisma and chemistry, playing off each other in lengthy dialogue segments that wouldn’t go amiss during a play or stand-up comedy gig. Cedric the Entertainer returns to give some less PC humour as the elder barber who claims to have once been President Obama’s barber, while younger newcomers such as Raja (Utkarsh Ambudkar) and Jerrod (Lamorne Morris) are inserted to give the views of non-black American minorities and young black males who don’t conform to ‘thuglife’ masculine stereotype respectively. As each character has a reason to exist, it makes for a well rounded feature with a lot of discussion.
Barbershop A Fresh Cut review
Despite the serious sounding nature, there is still room for plenty of laugh out loud moments, but the film stutters as it navigates through tone. Some scenes involving the gangs are extraordinarily intense and very uncomfortable. Meanwhile, there’s also an infidelity/temptation subplot involving Rashad (Common), his work focused wife Terri (Eve) and beautician Draya (Minaj). It’s a fine serviceable story which is played out well and gives sweet moments to all, but it is also dwarfed by and is intrusive of the bigger picture.
Malcolm D. Lee’s direction is thankfully unambitious, allowing for the stars to command the screen and their dialogue to keep the pace. Barbershop: A Fresh Cut stands out in the comedic crowd for attempting to tackle pressing social issues while also offering enough laughs and drama for all audiences. Witty, charismatic, and smart, Barbershop: A Fresh Cut may need a few snips and trims in places, but it’s also brave and bold.
Barbershop: A Fresh Cut is released in cinemas from 17th June.
The post Barbershop: A Fresh Cut review: “Witty, charismatic, and smart.” appeared first on The Hollywood News. »
- Luke Ryan Baldock
Ambi Distribution has come on to represent international rights in Cannes to the musical starring Oscar-winner Brie Larson.
The film centres on a starry-eyed scientist who teams up with a local farmer and uncovers corporate wrongdoing when she is sent to India to sell genetically modified rice.
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
This film franchise zeros in on something that many small towns and big cities (really the neighborhoods in said cities) share: mainly a place where everyone seems to gather. Some place aside from the obvious schools, city halls, and churches (or synagogues). It’s actually a business. There’s a popular corner diner, maybe a bar or pub, perhaps a locally owned clothing store. Well, for this neighborhood in the south side of Chicago it’s the hair salon known to moviegoers thanks to 2002’s Barbershop. That modest little “slice of life” flick was popular that it inspired a sequel two years later (Barbershop 2: Back In Business). The following year saw a spin-off (Beauty Shop) and a TV series on premium cable channel Showtime. The scissors and shavers have been silenced for almost a dozen years, but now movie goers have another appointment with Calvin and his crew for Barbershop: The Next Cut. »
- Jim Batts
Truth Be Told star Tone Bell has been cast opposite Nicholas Braun and Jane Levy in My Time/Your Time, CBS' hybrid comedy pilot from Hilary Winston and How I Met Your Mother creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, which is currently filming. The late addition of Bell stems from a last-minute tweak the producers made, combining two supporting series regular characters in the original script — cast with Langston Kerman and Utkarsh Ambudkar — into one new character, played by… »
I'll behave in school now
To survive harsh economic times, Calvin and Angie have merged the barbershop and beauty salon into one business. The days of male bonding are gone as Eddie and the crew must now contend with sassy female co-workers and spirited clientele. As the battle of the sexes rages on, a different kind of conflict has taken over Chicago. Crime and gangs are on the rise, leaving Calvin worried about the fate of his son. Together, the friends come up with a bold plan to take back their beloved neighborhood.
So, why bring back the Barbershop franchise after all this time? Perhaps Ice Cube felt we just needed another visit with some familiar faces and a few new friends. Fortunately, the reason appears to be brimming with a lot more meaning. Without having spoken to Mr. Cube, it would appear that this film is a vehicle to »
- Tyler Richardson
After all the other long-deferred sequels that have come and gone this year (“Zoolander 2,” “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Snore of Destiny” or whatever), “Barbershop: The Next Cut” can’t help but feel like a model of form, durability and purpose. That’s not bad for what is essentially a serving of warmed-over cinematic comfort food — then again, comfort may be the wrong word in light of all the violence erupting outside this longtime Chicago neighborhood hangout, the bullets flying almost as quickly as the ever-spirited verbal volleys hurled by Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer and a fresh cast of coed cutters and stylists. Blending real-world topicality and battle-of-the-sexes playfulness in a way that may remind some of Spike Lee’s “Chi-Raq,” but in a much more familiar and crowd-pleasing franchise mold, this overly earnest but not-unwelcome third entry should land in the same double-digit domestic B. »
- Justin Chang
Utkarsh Ambudkar (The Mindy Project) has been cast opposite Nicholas Braun and Jane Levy in My Time/Your Time, CBS' hybrid comedy pilot from Hilary Winston and How I Met Your Mother creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas. Based on the web series 7P/10E by Avital Ash, My Time/Your Time chronicles the relationship of a young couple — Marla (Levy) and Wade (Braun) — as they begin dating long distance. Ambudkar will play Jay, Wade's friend and co-worker who looks like a… »
Last month, I spoke with new Muppets showrunner Kristin Newman about her plans to bring the characters back to their roots. Those ideas all sounded promising, but how well were they executed? Well, tonight's episode was the first she was involved with from beginning to end (though she did some rewriting on the last episode to air back in December), and I have some thoughts on whether it lived up to expectations coming up just as soon as I sell oven mitts on Etsy... Self-awareness has always been a key part of the Muppets formula. The Muppet Show was a backstage showbiz comedy, The Muppet Movie featured the characters making and watching a movie about how they first met (and the script for the movie itself becomes a plot device), Kermit and the others in The Great Muppet Caper commented about what part of the movie they were in, and »
- Alan Sepinwall
The film stars Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Eve, Anthony Anderson, Jazsmin Lewis, Sean Patrick Thomas, Common, Regina Hall, Nicki Minaj, Chyna Layne, Michael Rainey Jr., Deon Cole, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Lamorne Morris, J.B. Smoove, Tyga, Margot Bingham, and Isaiah John.
It’s been more than 10 years since our last appointment at Calvin’s Barbershop. Calvin (Ice Cube) and his longtime crew, including Eddie (Cedric the Entertainer), are still there, but the shop has undergone some major changes. Most noticeably, our once male-dominated sanctuary is now co-ed. The ladies bring their own flavor, drama and gossip to the shop challenging the fellas at every turn. Despite the good times and camaraderie within the shop, »
- Kellvin Chavez
Behind every great president, there’s a cold-blooded killer.
If you want proof, look no further than the latest House of Cards teaser, released Monday in advance of the Netflix drama’s fourth season.
RelatedLost Finale Footage ‘Found’: Netflix to Restore 18 Edited Minutes
In the minute-long video below, Frank Underwood tries to assure viewers of his humility and compassion as a political leader… all while we’re reminded of his homicidal tendencies throughout the years. (That poor dog!)
House of Cards returns Friday, March 4.
America deserves Frank Underwood. #FU2016 https://t.co/yCP36Py2HL
— House of Cards »
The Muppets is adding a new villain who will clash with Kermity, Miss Piggy, and the rest of the show’s main characters, and if you’re a fan of The Mindy Project, you will be quite familiar with who is playing the upcoming antagonist. As first reported by EW.com, Utkarsh Ambudkar, who has recurred as Mindy’s younger brother Rashi since the Hulu comedy’s second season, will play The Muppets’ new foe. Per EW.com, Ambudkar will play “a network executive…who threatens the sanctity of Kermit’s not-so-tightly-run late-night ship and tries to intervene and change up the show. Ambudkar plays a branding exec, so the
- Chris King
Last spring, ABC boss Paul Lee boasted of one of his new comedies, "This is not your grandmother's 'Muppets.'" At press tour this weekend, Lee admitted "The Muppets" needed some creative tweaking, because, "We didn’t quite feel it had the joy, the laughter, and the heart we were looking for." In other words, they now want something very much like your grandmother's "Muppets," which is as it should be. The version of "The Muppets" that debuted in the fall had funny moments, but for the most part the characters seemed cynical and bitter and occasionally mean in a way that doesn't at all fit what Jim Henson's creations should be doing. The last couple of episodes that aired seemed to finally be bringing the sweetness back to the Muppets, and it sounds like new showrunner Kristin Newman (who arrived in time to do some rewriting of the »
- Alan Sepinwall
20 items from 2016
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