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Weekend B.O. July 25-27 (What Happened To 'Herc'?)

16 hours ago

The common wisdom was that "Hercules" with Dwayne Johnson would easily beat the other major release this weekend - the sci-fi thriller "Lucy," with Scarlett Johansson. But it was the opposite, with "Lucy" taking in a very surprising $44 million, while "Hercules" came in a distant second, with $29 million. So what happened to "Hercules"? 3 possible answers: 1 - Lack of confidence: For a big budget, potential “tent-pole” summer movie, it sure looked like Paramount didn’t have a lot of confidence in the film. The pre-release marketing campaign was virtually nil, and really didn’t go into high gear until last week. Compare that to »

- Sergio

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Watch *Epic* First Trailer For Adult Swim's New Comedy Series 'Mike Tyson Mysteries' (Coming This Fall)

26 July 2014 8:56 AM, PDT

Adult Swim's 2014-2015 slate will feature several new (and returning) TV series, including "Mike Tyson Mysteries," a half-hour animated adult comedy series featuring a cartoon Mike Tyson who solves mysteries, aided by the Mike Tyson Mystery Team, which is made up of the Ghost of the Marquess of Queensbury, Mike’s adopted Korean daughter, and a pigeon who was once a man. Reads like must-see TV, doesn't it? But seriously, this sounds so fantastical that it actually might be fascinating to watch. Time will tell. Mike Tyson, Norm Macdonald, Rachel Ramras, and Jim Rash provide voice for the series' animated characters.  Mike Tyson Mysteries is produced by Warner Bros. »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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One-Time-Only Chicago Screening Of Dominican Republic-Set Retelling Of 'Romeo & Juliet' - 'Cristo Rey' - 8/7

26 July 2014 8:10 AM, PDT

There have been all sorts of retellings and re-imaginations of Shakespeare’s immortal story of those two star-crossed lovers, such as the equally immortal musical West Side Story. But "Cristo Rey" might be the most intriguing version of "Romeo and Juliet" in quite a while.  Set in Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic, directed by Leticia Tonos Paniagua, and starring James Saintil, Akari Endo, and Yasser Michelén, the film is inspired and plays off the historical antagonisms and hatred between Dominicans and Haitians. In the film, the half brothers Janvier and Rudy, both from the same island, but from 2 different worlds, confront each »

- Sergio

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HBO Reveals New Cast Members for Fifth Season of 'Game of Thrones' (Video)

25 July 2014 2:24 PM, PDT

HBO has confirmed some of the new cast members for the fifth season of its hit series "Game of Thrones," with many of them appearing in a video that was unveiled today at Comic-Con International: San Diego 2014. Among the new actors and the characters they will portray are: - DeObia Oparei (photo above) as Areo Hotah. Areo Hotah is the long-serving captain of Doran Martell’s palace guard, renowned for his loyalty and his longaxe. - Keisha Castle-Hughes as Obara Sand. A fearsome warrior, Obara Sand is the eldest bastard daughter of the late Prince Oberyn Martell. Her mother was a Dornish peasant girl who caught the eye of the late Prince. - Alexander »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Watch Intense First Trailer For the Upcoming 5th Season of AMC's "The Walking Dead"

25 July 2014 1:16 PM, PDT

Hot off the presses, from Comic-Con, which is happening right now in San Diego, AMC has released the first trailer for the upcoming 5th season of its hit zombie series, "The Walking Dead," as well as the date that it returns. The trailer premiered today, a little bit ago, at the show’s Comic-Con panel, and is embedded below, so check it out and get excited! "The Walking Dead" season 5 premieres on Sunday, October 12 at 9pm. Watch: »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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5 Netflix Streaming Titles You May Not Know Are Available & May Want To Check Out (7/25/14)

25 July 2014 11:32 AM, PDT

As usual.... To reiterate a suggestion I previously made, if you're a filmmaker/producer/distributor reading this, and your film is streaming on Netflix, please let me know. Netflix unfortunately doesn't have what I feel should be a more efficient search/sort method, and it can be quite a chore trying to find something worth watching. So, help me out if you can. The same goes for non-filmmakers. If you stumble across any titles that you think should be featured in this weekly series, let me know! But as usual... These aren't necessarily recommendations. Consider the list more of an Fyi - films and TV shows we've talked about on this site, at one time or another, »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Omar Sy Joins Bradley Cooper in Culinary Feature Comedy Adam Jones (Previously-Titled 'Chef')

25 July 2014 9:53 AM, PDT

Frenchman Omar Sy continues to build his Hollywood resume, booking a role alongside Bradley Cooper (who is everywhere it seems these days) in a culinary comedy that was previously-titled "Chef," and is now called "Adam Jones." Set up at The Weinstein Company, with Derek Cianfrance ("The Place Beyond the Pines") directing, from a script penned by the writer of "Eastern Promises" (Steven Knight), "Adam Jones" will center on a disgraced chef, played by Cooper, who, after losing his highly-rated restaurant in Paris, decides to reassemble his kitchen crew in London, intent on recreating a similarly highly-rated »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Watch 'The Art of De' by Adrien Sauvage (Think Jorgen Leth’s 'The Perfect Human')

25 July 2014 9:10 AM, PDT

Adrien Sauvage is a young Ghanian-born British stylist, designer and photographer. His label is ironically titled “This is not a Suit” (ironic because he specializes in suits, like that other Ghanaian British designer, Ozwald Boateng).  The below short film/campaign titled "The Art Of De" (or Dressing Easy) was created, co-written, co-directed and stars Sauvage himself. He’s usually directly responsible for his ad campaigns, I read.  But I really dig this… it’s, for lack of a better phrase, cool! I love the simplicity of it (though also effective), as well as the black & white cinematography (I'm a sucker for black & white film, »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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"Historic Blockbuster Store" Offers Glimpse of How Movies Were Rented in the Past (Ha!)

25 July 2014 8:31 AM, PDT

Some Friday humor, courtesy of The Onion. Watching this (and laughing my arse off) I remembered reading about Netflix offering itself for sale to Blockbuster, multiple times in the early 2000s (not exactly all that long ago), for $50 million, and Blockbuster management (also the largest video rental chain at the time, and for many years prior) seemingly lacking the vision to see where the home video industry was going at the time, turned their noses up at the idea. How quickly fortunes change. A mere 10 years later (actually it too less than that), Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy and shut down all of its operating stores nationwide; while Netflix flourishes (an understatement, as the »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Watch Craig Robinson in First Trailer for 'Hot Tub Time Machine 2'

25 July 2014 7:32 AM, PDT

I actually wasn't even aware that a sequel was in the works! But say hello to "Hot Tub Time Machine 2," the sequel to the 2010 film "Hot Tub Time Machine," directed by Steve Pink, from a script penned by Josh Heald. What's it about? Well, it's called "Hot Tun Time Machine." The film stars Craig Robinson, Adam Scott, Rob Corddry, Chevy ChaseGillian Jacobs, and Clark Duke. It is scheduled to be released on December 25, 2014. This time, our friends Nick (Craig Robinson) and Jacob (Clark Duke) use the time traveling hot tub to try and get back to the past to save Lou (Rob Corddry), after he is shot, but they inadvertently end up ten years in the »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Interview: Director Malik Vitthal Explains the Similarities Between War-Torn Nations and the Hood With 'Imperial Dreams'

25 July 2014 7:00 AM, PDT

On August 9, Sundance-winning drama "Imperial Dreams" will have its La premiere at Next Fest, the festival's summer film and music showcase. John Boyega gives an impressive performance in the movie as Bambi, a 21-year-old newly released from prison and trying to turn his life around by becoming a writer. With a 4-year-old son to care for, Bambi struggles to find work, food and shelter without turning back to a life of crime, which proves next to impossible as an ex-con in the poverty-stricken Imperial Courts housing projects of Watts, Los Angeles. The heartfelt storytelling is accompanied by slick photography by Dp Monika Lenczewska and a spellbinding soundtrack by »

- Jai Tiggett

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Attention Filmmakers: HBO's 'Project Greenlight' Reboot Is Now Accepting Submissions

24 July 2014 7:19 PM, PDT

The wait is Over! @HBO's #ProjectGreenlight is now accepting short film submissions! http://t.co/5ChTUpVef0 — Miramax (@Miramax) July 25, 2014 "Project Greenlight," the docu-series chronicling the search for a first-time director, while exploring the filmmaking process, is returning to HBO for a new season, it was announced in April.  As the Twitter embed says above, the wait is now over, as submissions are now being accepted. In brief, filmmakers are asked to submit a 3-minute short video at Projectgreenlight.com starting today, July 24th, through August 8, 2014. Check out Official Rules here. Executive produced by Ben Affleck and Matt »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Michael Colter Is a Rising Star in a Futuristic Army in First Trailer for 'Halo: Nightfall'

24 July 2014 3:43 PM, PDT

The competition for eyeballs is becoming even more competitive, with video game console makes like Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox, getting into the original scripted series game. What's even more noteworthy is that series announced by both platforms thus far, feature black leads. A week ago, Sony cast Susan Heyward as the female lead in "Powers," a live-action pilot based on the comic book series of the same name, created by Brian Michael Bendis, whose credits include Marvel's "Avengers, X-Men," & "Ultimate Spider-Man" and Michael Avon Oeming. The series, which is set for Sony's PlayStation network, takes place in a »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Interview: Tessa Thompson Talks Emotionally Charged Scenes in 'Selma,' Becoming an Indie Poster Child w/'Dear White People,' & More

24 July 2014 2:41 PM, PDT

It's a busy time for Tessa Thompson, who appears in two much-discussed films being released later this year, Ava DuVernay's sweeping Civil Rights drama, "Selma," and Justin Simien's highly anticipated racial satire "Dear White People." The actress, who's well known for roles in '90s noir series "Veronica Mars" and Tyler Perry's "For Colored Girls," has also built a consistent resume of indie projects, from Tina Mabry's "Mississippi Damned" to co-producing and co-starring in "Grantham & Rose" opposite Marla Gibbs earlier this year, as well as performing with the indie soul band Caught A Ghost. We »

- Jai Tiggett

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The Agonies Of "Passing" - Considering the Murder Mystery 'Sapphire'

24 July 2014 2:18 PM, PDT

Starting in the late 1940’s, and continuing through to the end of the ‘50’s, Hollywood seemed to be obsessed with the concept of “passing” - light skinned black people passing for white. Though it wasn’t new, of course, somehow it caught Tinseltown’s attentionm and a slew of films were made, almost all them dealing with women in particular, who passed for white and the tragedies and sorrow that they encountered. Elia Kazan’s "Pinky," "Lost Boundaries," "Imitation Of Life," "Band of Angels," "The Night of the Quarter Moon," "I Passed for White," and the would-be "Gone with the Wind" rip-off, "Raintree »

- Sergio

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A Trip Down Memory Lane w/ 1970s Actress Marlene Clark ('Ganja & Hess')

24 July 2014 11:32 AM, PDT

"There’s a scene where I get raped by two dozen midgets… and when they jumped on me, half of them didn’t know they were supposed to be acting. They were all pulling their pants down. I said, ‘Oh no! Whoa! It’s time for me to leave, ‘cause these midgets are really trying to rape me!’ The director said ‘Marlene, wait…,’ and started yelling at them, ‘No, this is play! This is pretend!’ I was looking around, like ‘Where’s the plane? Get me on that plane!’” I stumbled upon a year 2000 interview with 1970s actress Marlene Clark, on the Temple of Schlock blog (from where I lifted the above quote), while I was researching past essays written about a notable film that she »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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"Pro-Family" Organizations Take Action Against "Blasphemous," "Garbage" New Series 'Black Jesus' + Watch New Trailer

24 July 2014 10:32 AM, PDT

When I published the upcoming new series' trailer, about a week ago, I did say that it would very likely ruffle a few feathers. And so, to absolutely no one's surprise (certainly not mine), it has. Check out the press release I received from the American Family Association (1 of the largest "pro-family" organizations in the country with over a million supporters, operating close to 200 radio stations across the country under the American Family Radio banner). After you read it, watch a second trailer which includes all-new footage: Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim Planning New Blasphemous Show Called ‘Black Jesus’ American Family Association and One Million Moms Says »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Actress Shanti Ashanti on Embracing Conflict in the Role She Plays in 'Gun Hill' (Re-Airs on Bet Tonight, 7:30pm)

24 July 2014 9:55 AM, PDT

My name is Shanti Ashanti. I was named after my family’s non-profit organization, Beit Hashanti, based in Tel Aviv, Israel. Beit Hashanti is a shelter that takes in homeless and abused youth from all sectors of the population, regardless of religion, race, gender or nationality I was raised with forty different brothers and sisters at any given time. In the shelter, the “war” we are engaged in is a daily battle to help kids choose life, to find the power to accept their past and to stop being victims of circumstance. When I auditioned for the original Bet movie, "Gun Hill," writer/director Reggie Rock Bythewood asked me, “How would you »

- Shanti Ashanti

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The Curious Case Of Hattie McDaniel's Missing Oscar...

24 July 2014 9:01 AM, PDT

Did you know... in the history of the Academy Awards, more than a few Oscars statuettes have either gone missing or were stolen. 55 disappeared from a Los Angeles loading dock just days before the ceremony in 2000. All but two were recovered. In 1938, an unidentified man jumped onstage to accept an award on behalf of Best Supporting Actress winner Alice Brady, who was too ill to attend. The man was never seen again — and neither was Brady’s award. In 2002, Ups lost Whoopi Goldberg’s Best Supporting Actress Oscar when it was sent out for cleaning. It was later found in a trash can. And then there’s the case of Hattie »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Ahead of 'Finding Fela's' Release, Watch Femi Kuti Speak on His Father’s Legacy, Politics & Afrobeat

24 July 2014 8:36 AM, PDT

Kino Lorber will release Oscar-winner Alex Gibney's feature documentary "Finding Fela," on August 1, with an exclusive Manhattan engagement at IFC Center. It's also scheduled to open in DC on August 8 (at Landmark’s E Street Cinema), as well as in Boston (at Landmark’s Kendall Square) and Atlanta (Landmark’s Midtown) on August 15.  A digital, VOD and home media release will follow, which means it should be accessible to most of you, if it doesn't screen at a theater near you.   Finding Fela tells the story of Fela Kuti’s life (1938 – 1997), his music, and his social and political importance. This in-depth look at the man who »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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