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Considered by many to be Spike Lee‘s masterpiece, "Do the Right Thing" opened on this day, June 30th, 1989. I likely wouldn't have remembered if Spike Lee himself hadn't tweeted about it this morning, reminding us all. It's been a long 26 years. How fast time flies... In celebration, I'm sharing this, courtesy of Entertainment Weekly and "Good Morning America," who revisited the film ahead of its 25th anniversary last year, with key cast and crew, including director Lee, Rosie Perez, Ruby Dee, Giancarlo Esposito, Samuel L. Jackson, and more. They all met in the same neighborhood where the film was shot in the summer of 1988, for this trip down »
- Tambay A. Obenson
Songs On Screen: All week Hitfix will be featuring tributes by writers to their favorite musical moments from TV and film. Check out the full series here. Last month when we did our Best Year in Film History series, I picked second and, as a result, I was able to select the correct answer: The best year in American cinematic history, at least over the last 50 years, is 1974 and any disagreements sadden and bore me. With that undeclared, but indisputable, victory in my back pocket, I was able to happily let colleagues choose many of my personal favorites for our Songs on Screen battle. You won't hear me say anything negative about "Fight the Power" and its centrality to "Do the Right Thing" or the evocative pull of "Nobody Does It Better" (or a slew of other James Bond themes) or the timelessness of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Nor will »
- Daniel Fienberg
A Kickstarter-financed Spike Lee Joint, Da Sweet Blood Of Jesus is a new kind of love story, one that centers on an addiction to blood that once doomed a long forgotten ancient African tribe. When Dr. Hess Green (Stephen Tyrone Williams) is introduced to, and then murdered with, a mysteriously cursed artifact by art curator Lafayette Hightower (Elvis Nolasco), he is uncontrollably drawn into a newfound thirst for blood that overwhelms his soul. Lafayette quickly succumbs to the ravenous nature of the infliction, killing himself, but leaves Hess a transformed man. Soon Lafayette’s wife, Ganja (Zaraah Abrahams), comes looking for her husband and becomes involved in a dangerous romance with Hess that questions the very nature of love, addiction, sex, and status in our seemingly sophisticated society. The couple marry, and Hess seems genuinely in love, while Ganja is genuinely in love with her new position, and not in »
- Tom Stockman
Film4’s programme of open-air screenings at London’s Somerset House will kick off with Anne Fontaine’s comedy Gemma Bovery starring Gemma Arterton, based on the character by British writer Posy Simmonds.
Film4 Summer Screen (August 6-19) will feature 14 nights of open air films at Somerset House, accompanied by a series of talks and special events in Behind the Screen.
The line up will also include Werner Herzog’s Aguirre, Wrath of God »
- email@example.com (Sarah Cooper)
The pair will both serve as executive producers on the project, which will begin filming later this summer in Chicago.
Watch the trailer for Get on Up below: »
Im Global and producers Robert Teitel, Tika Sumpter and Richard Tanne announced that they have cast Parker Sawyers as the young Barack Obama in Southside with You. The romantic dramedy was inspired by Barack and Michelle Obama's first date. Parker Sawyers joins Tika Sumpter who will play Michelle.
The film covers the eventful date in 1989 when a young associate named Barack Obama was trying to woo lawyer Michelle Robinson on a summer afternoon and evening, that took them from the Art Institute of Chicago to a screening of Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing to the site of their first kiss outside of an ice cream parlor.
Parker Sawyers, an American actor based in the UK, recently completed Oliver Stone's Snowden with Joseph Gordon Levitt and is about to shoot a supporting role in the feature The Autopsy of Jane Doe, opposite Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch. »
The film covers the eventful date in 1989, when a young associate named Barack Obama was trying to woo lawyer Michelle Robinson on a summer afternoon and evening, which took them through the Art Institute of Chicago, a screening of Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing” and their first kiss outside of an ice cream parlor.
- Dave McNary
Parker Sawyers has been cast to play a young Barack Obama in Southside With You. The romantic dramedy cast the U.K.-based American actor opposite Get On Up star Tike Sumpter as a young Michelle Obama. Sawyers' can next be seen in Oliver Stone’s Snowden and The Autopsy of Jane Doe, opposite Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch. Southside With You covers the eventful evening in 1989 when a young associate named Barack Obama tried to woo lawyer Michelle Robinson on a date that took them from the Art Institute of Chicago to a screening of Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing. The
- Etan Vlessing
Parker Sawyers has been cast to play a young Barack Obama in “Southside With You,” the drama based on the courtship of Barack and Michelle Obama, Im Global announced Thursday. Sawyers joins Tika Sumpter, who will play Michelle. The film covers the eventful date in 1989 when a young associate named Barack Obama was trying to woo lawyer Michelle Robinson on a summer afternoon and evening, that took them from the Art Institute of Chicago to a screening of Spike Lee‘s “Do the Right Thing” to the site of their first kiss outside of an ice cream parlor. Also Read: »
- Linda Ge
HitFix's recent spate of "Best Year in Film History" pieces inevitably spurred some furious debate among our readers, with some making compelling arguments for years not included in our pieces (2007 and 1968 were particularly popular choices) and others openly expressing their bewilderment at the inclusion of others (let's just say 2012 took a beating). In the interest of giving voice to your comments, below we've rounded up a few of the most thoughtful, passionate, surprising and occasionally incendiary responses to our pieces, including my own (I advocated for The Year of Our Lynch 2001, which is obviously the best). Here we go... Superstar commenter "A History of Matt," making an argument for 1968: The Graduate. Bullit. The Odd Couple. The Lion in Winter. Planet of the Apes. The Thomas Crown Affair. Funny Girl. Rosemary's Baby. And of course, 2001, A Space Odyssey. And that's only a taste of the greatness of that year. "Lothar the Flatulant, »
- Chris Eggertsen
Back before she became Michelle Obama, the First Lady trying to get kids to eat their vegetables, she was Michelle Robinson, a young, ambitious lawyer in Chicago. Tika Sumpter, whom you might recognize from Get On Up or Gossip Girl (never forget), will play Michelle Obama in Southside With You, a Before Sunset–style rendition of the first couple’s first date, when a smitten Barack Obama suggested a full day of quality time on a balmy Chicago afternoon in 1989. It’s the date that’s the stuff of legend: a romantic walk, a visit to the Art Institute, and a screening of Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing. That Barry, such a planner.“I'm nervous because she's Michelle Obama, who is everything every woman wants to be,” Sumpter told Vulture at the Bessie premiere Wednesday night. To prepare for the prestigious role, Sumpter basically took a self-taught college course in future First Lady. »
- Fawnia Soo Hoo
One of the most important women in American history might finally have a movie made about her life. Viola Davis is developing and planning on starring in a HBO movie about Harriet Tubman. The untitled project, which hasn't yet received a greenlight from the premium cable network, would be based on Kate Clifford Larson's biography "Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman: Portrait of an American Hero." Davis is executive-producing the film alongside her husband Julius Tennon. Tubman helped hundreds of African-Americans escape slavery through the Underground Railroad. If approved, this would be the first(!) feature about the abolitionist. (Do the right thing, HBO!) Previously, a 1978 miniseries, "A Woman Called Moses," was devoted to Tubman, as well as a 1992 half-hour TV short called "The Quest for Freedom." [via Variety]
- Inkoo Kang
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Click here for a complete list of our essays. How to decide in the grand scheme of things which film year stands above all others? History gives us no clear methodology to unravel this thorny but extremely important question. Is it the year with the highest average score of movies? So a year that averages out to a B + might be the winner over a field strewn with B’s, despite a few A +’s. Or do a few masterpieces lift up a year so far that whatever else happened beyond those three or four films is of no consequence? Both measures are worthy, and the winner by either of those would certainly be a year not to be sneezed at. But I contend the only true measure of a year’s »
- Richard Rushfield
Although your humble correspondent missed three days of TriBeCa films in a row due to a back injury, there was no way he could miss Maggie. Director Henry Hobson was able to attract Arnold Schwarzenegger to his low-key zombie project, despite the fact that Hobson was making his feature debut with a budget so small that you could make Maggie two or three times over for the amount that Arnold was paid to appear in Terminator: Genisys. The uniqueness of Hobson’s vision is evident from the first scene, where he is able to establish clearly the particulars of his zombie semi-apocalypse with only the barest minimum of exposition. As society teeters on the edge, both law and medicine struggling to handle the “Necroambulist” virus, Abigail Breslin plays the infected Maggie and Schwarzenegger plays her father, agonizing over the decision of what to do when she turns.
So many »
- Mark Young
Pop culture comes to life in St. Louis next month! It’s the Wizard World Comic Con May 22nd through the 24th at America’s Center downtown (701 Convention Plaza – St. Louis, Mo 63101), and boy oh boy, do they have an amazing line-up of guests!
Sure, you got the comic artists and cosplayers, wrestlers, a St. Louis Ram, a Power Ranger, and of course the ubiquitous Walking Dead stars, but what We Are Movie Geeks is most excited about are the celebrities from movies that will be on hand: Horror legend George Romero, Sharknado legend Tara Reid, horror hostess with the mostest (if you know what I mean) Elvira, Guardians Of The Galaxy tough guy Dave Bautista, Henry the serial killer himself Michael Rooker, Do The Right Thing’s ‘Buggin Out’ Giancarlo Esposito. Lord of the Rings Trilogy’s Pippin Billy Boyd, Captain America squeeze Hayley Atwell, and Silent Bob’s buddy Jay aka Jason Mewes. »
- Tom Stockman
Chicago – CIMMfest, the Chicago International Movies and Music Festival, has become one of the fastest growing and buzzworthy Chicago film festivals in recent years. Combining film, tribute events and live performances – and centered in and around the neighborhood of Wicker Park from April 16th through the 19th, 2015, – CIMMfest is not so much a festival as a organic happening.
The 2015 edition of CIMMfest is bigger, bolder and lights up with star power. Besides some of the highlights listed below, there is a jam-packed variety of films, music and events from April 16th through the 19th. For more information, including purchasing passes, click here.
CIMMfest Highlights: The Movies…
Photo credit: CIMMfest
Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock ‘n’ Roll
Thursday, April 16th, 7pm, The Logan Theater, 2546 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
During the Vietnam War, Cambodian musicians crafted a sound from the various rock music styles sweeping America, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
In the summer of 1989, while Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing" was sounding a thunderclap in cinemas, a troupe of largely black actors and comedians came together on a Fox sound stage in Century City to produce a sketch comedy show aimed at servicing a minority point of view that had been underrepresented by the medium. With producer Keenen Ivory Wayans at the helm, fresh off the success of his 1988 Blaxploitation parody film "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka," eight individuals — a then-unknown Jim Carrey along with Kelly Coffield, Kim Coles, Tommy Davidson, David Alan Grier, T'Keyah "Crystal" Keymáh and Wayans' siblings Damon and Kim — filmed the first episodes of "In Living Color." The show debuted on April 15, 1990, and 25 years later, Damon Wayans can't help but remember first and foremost that he had hair back then. "I remember the pain of getting fired from 'Saturday Night Live' and feeling that I needed redemption, »
- Kristopher Tapley
The veteran executive and producer arrives as senior vice-president of development and production and will immediately shepherd a rom-com about President Obama and the First Lady’s first date.
Southside With You is inspired by the first date in 1989 between law associate Barack Obama and a lawyer called Michelle Robinson as they go from the Art Institute Of Chicago to a screening of Do The Right Thing to a first kiss outside an ice cream parlour over the course of one summer night.
Tika Sumpter will star as the future First Lady and casting is underway for the role of the future President. Richard Tanne is scheduled to make his directorial debut in Chicago in August based on his screenplay.
Palmer will report to Ford and Jackson. He is a former »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
It's been awhile since writer and director Spike Lee had a film that wowed me. Though I'd call myself a fan of Lee's previous efforts such as Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, School Daze and The 25th Hour, his recent efforts just haven't measured up to his potential. In fact, I would say that the last great film Lee made was Inside Man back in 2006. But his next project sounds promising as The Wrap reports Amazon Studios has picked up Lee's next drama called Chiraq. And right now Lee is hoping to land Samuel L. Jackson, Common, Jeremy Piven and rapper Kanye West for the ensemble cast. So what's the new film about? Well, the title refers to a nickname that his been given to the city of Chicago due to the level of corruption and gun violence that continues to rise in the Windy City. If that's still too subtle for you, »
- Ethan Anderton
A textbook noir premise gets an overamped and undercompelling treatment in “The Girl Is in Trouble,” the story of a struggling Lower East Side DJ (Columbus Short) who becomes embroiled in the fallout from a murder, courtesy of the title’s damsel in distress (Alicja Bachleda). Sporting plenty of twists but few surprises, this stylish yet derivative eOne day-and-date release seems most likely to be watched by viewers who — like its hero — stumble in by accident.
Said DJ, the Nigerian-born August (Short), is contacted at 2:30 a.m. by Signe (Bachleda), a stunning Swede with whom he almost hooked up on a prior occasion. It must be fate: A funny montage illustrates that he’s quite far down her call list. Wearing only a trenchcoat and flip-flops and desperate for a place to stay, she sleeps with him that night, in what August, the next morning, comes to regard as »
- Ben Kenigsberg
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