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2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

12 items from 2017


Roots and Brewster’s Millions Actor Ji-Tu Cumbuka Dies at 77

9 July 2017 5:46 PM, PDT | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

The actor also appeared in Harlem Nights, The A-Team, and Matlock, among other television and film projects. »

- Halle Kiefer

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Ji-Tu Cumbuka Dies: ‘Roots’, ‘Harlem Nights’, ‘Brewster’s Millions’ Actor Was 77

9 July 2017 12:51 PM, PDT | Deadline TV | See recent Deadline TV news »

Ji-Tu Cumbuka, who appeared in films including Harlem Nights and Brewster’s Millions and on 1977 TV miniseries Roots, has died. Cumbuka died Tuesday in Atlanta after a long illness, his niece Amber Holifield wrote on Facebook. Cumbuka received critical praise for his role as the slave Wrestler in Alex Haley’s Emmy-winning 1977 ABC miniseries Roots. His more recent television work includes roles in CSI, Walker Texas Ranger, In the Heat of the Night and Knots Landing. He… »

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Ji-Tu Cumbuka, Actor in 'Roots' and 'Harlem Nights,' Dies at 77

6 July 2017 9:12 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Actor Ji-Tu Cumbuka, who appeared on Roots and in such films as Bound for Glory, Brewster’s Millions and Harlem Nights, has died. He was 77.

Cumbuka died Tuesday in Atlanta after a long illness, his niece, Amber Holifield, reported on Facebook.

Cumbuka portrayed the slave Wrestler on the landmark 1977 ABC miniseries Roots and played opposite Richard Pryor in Brewster’s Millions (1985), Moving (1988) and, as the character "Toothless Gambler," in Harlem Nights (1989).

The 6-foot-5 actor had a recurring role as Torque, a man with a detachable hand, on the short-lived 1979 NBC series A Man Called »

- Mike Barnes

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Ji-Tu Cumbuka, Actor in 'Roots' and 'Harlem Nights,' Dies at 77

6 July 2017 9:12 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - TV News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - TV News news »

Actor Ji-Tu Cumbuka, who appeared on Roots and in such films as Bound for Glory, Brewster’s Millions and Harlem Nights, has died. He was 77.

Cumbuka died Tuesday in Atlanta after a long illness, his niece, Amber Holifield, reported on Facebook.

Cumbuka portrayed the slave Wrestler on the landmark 1977 ABC miniseries Roots and played opposite Richard Pryor in Brewster’s Millions (1985), Moving (1988) and, as the character "Toothless Gambler," in Harlem Nights (1989).

The 6-foot-5 actor had a recurring role as Torque, a man with a detachable hand, on the short-lived 1979 NBC series A Man Called »

- Mike Barnes

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Tamed Aliens, Harmonic Nuns and a Leather Catsuit: Strange Tales from 1992’s Summer of Cinema

23 June 2017 3:43 AM, PDT | HeyUGuys.co.uk | See recent HeyUGuys news »

Author: Cai Ross

The summer movie season of 1992 opened under a cloud; a dark cloud from the still-smouldering buildings that had burned to the ground during the La riots in April. Racial tension after the disastrous acquittal of Rodney King’s uniformed attackers had reached an all-time high and Hollywood appealed for calm.

Thus, in a touchingly bold demonstration of selfless generosity, Walter Hill’s unremarkable urban thriller, The Looters, was hastily withdrawn and held back until Christmas, re-christened Trespass (memorably starring two Bills – Paxton and Sadler – and a pair of Ices – T and Cube). Elsewhere, it was business as usual.

The Rodney King affair was briefly alluded to in Lethal Weapon 3, the second-biggest hit of the summer and one of only a handful of ‘sure things’ on the menu. Though there were mutterings about the dominance of sequels in the summer movie season, there were weird things afoot in most of the other returnees. Aside from Lethal Weapon 3 – which was essentially a watered down Lethal Weapon 2 with too much added Joe Pesci – the rest of the sequels veered off into strange tangents, with varying results.

Alien 3, for example strayed dangerously far from the template set down by the first two classics. Bravely, it has to be said, David Fincher tried to create a quasi-religious epic, following Scott’s horror movie and Cameron’s war film. Latterly, Fincher’s frustrations and behind-the-scenes interferences became legendary, but audiences didn’t click with his compromised vision and it became the first in a long line of Alien movies to fall a bit flat.

Another major sequel, Honey, I Blew Up The Baby was in fact the complete opposite of 1989’s Honey, I Shrunk The Kids, culminating in the spectacle of a 99 foot toddler stomping through Las Vegas. It was directed without enthusiasm by Grease director Randal Kleiser, reminding audiences once again why no one remembers who directed Grease.

It wasn’t just sequels that dared to be different. One of the strangest mainstream offerings of the year was Robert Zemeckis’s black comedy, Death Becomes Her, which might have been a delicious satire on America’s vain obsession with cosmetic surgery if only Bruce Willis had stopped shouting at everyone like he was trying to prevent a plane crash.

Back in the ‘90s, much more so than today, comedies were a vital part of the summer success story – an inexpensive sop for the grown-ups while their teenage kids watched things explode in Screen 7. There were high hopes for Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn’s Housesitter, which was only a medium-sized hit, despite the bit where Steve Martin sings ‘Tura Lura Lura’ to his dad, and the other bit when his falls over his couch.

Boomerang was a bigger hit and restored some credibility to Eddie Murphy’s career after the crippling one-two punches of Harlem Nights and Another 48 Hours. It was also responsible for one of the great ironic ‘First Dance At a Wedding’ songs, Boys II Men’s The End of The Road.

Nicolas Cage embarked on a three year long career as a romantic comedy star with the rather wonderful Honeymoon in Vegas, famed for its skydiving Elvis finale. Tom Hanks and his Big director Penny Marshall reteamed to great success with wartime baseball comedy A League of Their Own, which also saw Geena Davis giving a star performance and Madonna giving a bearable one. “There’s no crying in baseball!!!” was probably the most quoted line of the summer.

As with City Slickers in 1991, comedy provided the biggest sleeper hit of the summer: Sister Act, with Whoopi Goldberg excelling as a murder witness hiding out in a convent. As with City Slickers, an unwise sequel was hastily made and hastily forgotten. The original though, was the sixth biggest film of the year and is still going strong as a west-end show to this day.

It wasn’t just the many and varied comic tastes of adults that were appeased; semi-literate young people were also provided for by Encino Man (or California Man as we knew it, since we don’t know where Encino is. It’s in California). Noted for Brendan Fraser’s first stab at the big time, this grungy caveman caper will be of interest to young contemporary archeologists keen to investigate who or what Pauly Shore was.

Teenagers were also palmed off with a silly-sounding comedy called Buffy The Vampire Slayer, written by first-time screenwriter Joss Whedon. Starring Kristy Swanson as the eponymous heroine, but marketed as a vehicle for Beverly Hills 90210 heart-throb Luke Perry, the producers had hoped for a chunk of the Bill & Ted audience that Encino Man hadn’t swallowed up. Sadly, they had to make do with a long-running spin-off television show regularly cited as one of the greatest ever made. Gnarly.

The stalking killer thriller phenomenon that started with The Silence of The Lambs and Cape Fear echoed into 1992 with solid hits like Unlawful Entry and Single White Female. Even Patriot Games – a sort-of sequel to The Hunt For Red October with Harrison Ford rebooting Alec Baldwin’s Jack Ryan – for all its CIA espionage and partial understanding of “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland, was basically a slasher movie, with Sean Bean doing to Harrison Ford what Robert De Niro had done to Nick Nolte the year before. (Sean Bean dies, obviously).

Crimes against the Emerald Isle weren’t restricted to the gratuitous amounts of Clannad in Patriot Games. Tom Cruise’s Irish accent in Ron Howard’s Far and Away was the benchmark for all bad Irish accents until Brad Pitt graciously took the relay baton in The Devil’s Own. The film, shot in glorious 70mm was the biggest risk of the summer and proved to be the dampest squib, considering the star power of Cruise and (then-wife) Nicole Kidman. Despite looking ravishing, the script had all the depth of a bottle-cap.  It desperately wanted to be a timeless classic in the David Lean tradition but held up against Unforgiven, which was released in August, Far & Away was shown up as the glorified Cbbc TV special it was.

Unforgiven came out of nowhere. Clint Eastwood’s previous movie, The Rookie, was somehow even worse than 1989’s Pink Cadillac. However, he’d been sitting on David Webb Peoples’ script for years until he was finally old enough to play William Munny. An extraordinary, mature and masterful critique of Western mythology, Unforgiven was hailed as Eastwood’s best work from the get-go, took the summer’s number five spot and would later win a handful of Oscars, including Pest Picture.

So who was the box office champion of Summer ’92? Well, that question was never in any doubt. Tim Burton’s Batman was the cultural phenomenon of 1989, redefining the parameters of box office limitations and merchandise licensing in a way not seen since Star Wars. Speculation as to who Batman would fight next and who would play him/her began immediately. Dustin Hoffman was touted to play The Penguin and Annette Bening was actually cast as Catwoman, before pregnancy forced her to drop out.

On the 19th of June, all was revealed when Batman Returns opened to a spectacular $45m weekend, $5m more than the original. Michael Keaton returned as The Caped Crusader (having split up with the creditably tight-lipped Vicki Vale), while not one but three villains put up their dukes. Danny DeVito played the Penguin as a deformed, subterranean leader of a gang of circus act drop-outs. Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman (perhaps her signature role) was transformed from a clumsy secretary into a vengeful whip-wielding dominatrix. Christopher Walken borrowed ‘DocEmmett Brown’s hair to play new villain, Max Shreck.

Despite the enormous opening weekend, things took a downward turn almost immediately. Audiences expecting more of the same were treated to a dark, nose-bitingly violent combination of German Expressionism, kinky S&M and oversized rubber ducks. The box office the following week dropped by 40%, and there was further controversy when McDonalds had to deal with the ire of horrified parents across America, ‘tricked’ by their Batman Returns Happy Meals into taking their kids to watch Burton’s deranged fairy tale, pussy jokes et al.

The backlash (against what is now considered a unique high-water mark in the superhero genre), meant that Batman Returns wound up making $100m less than its predecessor and it placed third for the year, behind Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, a film so determined to give its audience a familiar experience that it simply changed the first film’s screen directions from Int. Kevin’S House – Night to Ext. New York – Night and reshot the entire script. (The box office crown for the year was taken eventually by Disney’s Aladdin.)

Warner Bros. took evasive action, hiring Joel Schumacher to sweeten the mix, which would help to restore Batman’s fortunes in 1995, before everything, literally absolutely everything went wrong in 1997 and the world had to wait for Christopher Nolan to finish attending Ucl, become a director and save the Dark Knight from the resultant ignominy.

Hollywood was given a crash course in the perils of straying too far from a winning formula in the summer of ’92. Sadly, for a while at least, it learned its lesson.

The post Tamed Aliens, Harmonic Nuns and a Leather Catsuit: Strange Tales from 1992’s Summer of Cinema appeared first on HeyUGuys. »

- Cai Ross

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Do We Really Need Coming to America 2?

7 May 2017 11:20 AM, PDT | MovieWeb | See recent MovieWeb news »

The 1980s seem to have come back in an odder way than we could have ever imagined. In 2017, we have a President who is a former reality TV star. In the 1980s, we had a President who was a former actor. Today, we have social media running our lives and giving us innumerable ways to compete with each other. In the 1980s, MTV had us under its thumb. It made us compete with one other about being the first to see the new media known as music videos. And now, in 2017, there's talk of Eddie Murphy writing and actually making a sequel to 1988's wildly successful Coming to America, which, like the first movie, will be released by Paramount Pictures.

Today's cinematic landscape is mired in nostalgia. For most of the 1990s and 2000s, we had films that looked back fondly (and not so fondly) at the go-go times of the 1970s. »

- MovieWeb

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Charlie Murphy, Comedian and Brother of Eddie Murphy, Passes Away at 57

12 April 2017 11:48 AM, PDT | MovieWeb | See recent MovieWeb news »

The Hollywood community is in mourning once again, after losing another beloved actor and comedian. Charlie Murphy, the older brother of legendary comedian Eddie Murphy and star of the iconic comedy series Chappelle's Show, has passed away at the age of 57. Murphy's manager confirmed that he died from Leukemia earlier this morning in a New York City hospital, where he was undergoing chemotherapy.

TMZ reports that the actor's death comes as an absolute shock to his family, since they had thought he was improving. The site says that his family would call him frequently, and that he would even joke that they were calling him too much. It hasn't been confirmed how long he had been undergoing chemotherapy treatment for, before his death.

Charlie Murphy was born July 12, 1959 in Brooklyn to Lillian Murphy, a telephone operator, and Charles Edward Murphy, a New York transit officer who was also an amateur actor and comedian. »

- MovieWeb

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Charlie Murphy, ‘Chappelle’s Show’ Comedian, Dies at 57

12 April 2017 10:55 AM, PDT | Indiewire Television | See recent Indiewire Television news »

Comedian Charlie Murphy has died. According to TMZ, Eddie Murphy’s younger brother passed away this morning from leukemia. He was 57.

The sad news was announced by Charlie’s manager, who told TMZ the comedian past away in a New York City hospital. He had been undergoing chemotherapy.

Murphy, who had made a name for himself in the stand-up industry, co-starred on “Chappelle’s Show.” He also co-wrote his brother’s films “Vampire in Brooklyn” (1995) and “Norbit” (2007).

Read More: ‘Coming to America 2’: Eddie Murphy Writing A Sequel — Report

He made his feature film debut in the 1989 comedy “Harlem Nights,” alongside the elder Murphy. He then went on to appearing in films such as “CB4,” “The Perfect Holiday” and “Night at the Museum.” He also co-starred in TV series like “Are We There Yet?” “Black Jesus,” “The Boondocks” and “Meet the Blacks.”

Recently he headlined “The Comedy Get Down” tour alongside George Lopez, »

- Yoselin Acevedo

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Charlie Murphy, ‘Chappelle’s Show’ Comedian, Dies at 57

12 April 2017 10:55 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Comedian Charlie Murphy has died. According to TMZ, Eddie Murphy’s younger brother passed away this morning from leukemia. He was 57.

The sad news was announced by Charlie’s manager, who told TMZ the comedian past away in a New York City hospital. He had been undergoing chemotherapy.

Murphy, who had made a name for himself in the stand-up industry, co-starred on “Chappelle’s Show.” He also co-wrote his brother’s films “Vampire in Brooklyn” (1995) and “Norbit” (2007).

Read More: ‘Coming to America 2’: Eddie Murphy Writing A Sequel — Report

He made his feature film debut in the 1989 comedy “Harlem Nights,” alongside the elder Murphy. He then went on to appearing in films such as “CB4,” “The Perfect Holiday” and “Night at the Museum.” He also co-starred in TV series like “Are We There Yet?” “Black Jesus,” “The Boondocks” and “Meet the Blacks.”

Recently he headlined “The Comedy Get Down” tour alongside George Lopez, »

- Yoselin Acevedo

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Charlie Murphy, Comedian and 'Chappelle's Show' Star, Dead at 57

12 April 2017 10:42 AM, PDT | Rollingstone.com | See recent Rolling Stone news »

Charlie Murphy, the older brother of Eddie Murphy, a Chappelle's Show star and an accomplished comedian in his own right, died Wednesday in New York City. He was 57. Murphy's publicist confirmed the comedian's death to Rolling Stone, adding that the cause of death was leukemia.

"Our hearts are heavy with the loss today of our son, brother, father, uncle and friend Charlie," the Murphy family said in a statement. "Charlie filled our family with love and laughter and there won’t be a day that goes by that his presence will not be missed. »

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Charlie Murphy, Eddie Murphy’s Brother, Dies at 57 After Leukemia Battle: Report

12 April 2017 10:21 AM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Charlie Murphy, Eddie Murphy‘s older brother, has died, reports TMZ.

According to the outlet, Charlie died in a New York City hospital. His manager reportedly said he had been battling leukemia and going through chemotherapy treatment.

Charlie served in the United States Navy for six years before starting his career as a comedian. He made his feature film debut alongside brother Eddie in 1989’s Harlem Nights, then went on to appear in CB4 and Night at the Museum in 2006.

Charlie rose to fame as a recurring performer on Comedy Central’s Chappelle’s Show from 2003-4, where he was »

- Aurelie Corinthios

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Coming to America 2 Is Happening, Eddie Murphy Will Write the Script

17 March 2017 5:00 PM, PDT | MovieWeb | See recent MovieWeb news »

Fans who followed comedy superstar Eddie Murphy on Twitter were treated to quite the surprise on Wednesday night, when the actor's verified Twitter account posted the cryptic tweet "Coming to America sequel?" along with a photo of Vanessa Bell Calloway's character, Princess Imani. Not only was the tweet later deleted, but the actor's entire Twitter account was deactivated, sparking speculation that the actor may have been hacked. A new report reveals that Eddie Murphy didn't authorize that tweet, but he is actually working on the script for Coming to America 2.

TMZ reports that there are actually plans in place to make this sequel, and that there were plans to post something similar to that tweet, but it wasn't supposed to happen yet. The actor himself doesn't actually tweet, since he has a social media team to do that for him, and the deleted Coming to America 2 tweet wasn't authorized by him, »

- MovieWeb

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2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

12 items from 2017


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