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30 December 2012 7:43 AM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
Spike Lee should have called Quentin Tarantino personally rather than criticize him in public with charges of racism, the director of 2001 Oscar winner Training Day said Sunday. Lee, the director behind Do the Right Thing (1989), Malcolm X (1992) and the thriller Inside Man (2006), made headlines before Christmas when he said he would boycott Tarantino’s Django Unchained because it was "disrespectful" to black people. "American slavery was not a Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western," Lee wrote on Twitter. "It was a holocaust." Later, in an interview, Lee declined to elaborate much, saying he had no intention of
- Eric J. Lyman
Amir here looking back into the non-fiction pool. With so many films still left to watch from this year’s crop, I haven’t yet had the chance, or in fact the desire, to sit down and sift through the list of 2013 releases. But there are a few titles that I’m sure will pop up on my eventual list of most anticipated films and chief among them is the remake of Oldboy; not just because the Korean original is one of the most divisive films of the past decade, but also because I’ve been waiting for a long time to see a real comeback by Spike Lee.
In the late 80s and early 90s, Lee became one of America’s most influential cinematic voices and directed two masterpieces that remain among his very best work to this day: Do The Right Thing and Malcolm X. But I think »
- Amir S.
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Dec. 21, 2012
Price: DVD $27.97, Blu-ray $29.97
Filmmaker Spike Lee’s (Malcolm X) 2012 drama Red Hook Summer is another film in what Lee refers to as his ongoing “Chronicles of Brooklyn” series (which also includes She’s Gotta Have It, Do The Right Thing, Crooklyn, Clockers, and He Got Game).
Red Hook Summer tells the story of Flik Royale (Jules Brown, in his acting debut), a sullen young boy from middle-class Atlanta who has come to spend the summer with his deeply religious grandfather, Bishop Enoch Rouse (Clarke Peters, TV’s Treme), in the housing projects of Red Hook. Having never met before, things quickly get off on the wrong foot as Bishop Enoch relentlessly attempts to convert Flik into a follower of Jesus Christ. Between his grandfather’s constant preaching and »
Call it one entertainment icon's tribute to another.
When Michael Jackson's classic release "Bad" debuted in 1987, Spike Lee's filmmaking career was just starting to take hold. The director pays tribute to the fifth-best-selling album of all time -- which yielded such singles as the title cut, "Man in the Mirror," "The Way You Make Me Feel," "Smooth Criminal" and "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" -- in the documentary "Bad 25," which ABC gives a Thanksgiving night television premiere Thursday, Nov. 22.
Lee interviews such other Jackson collaborators as fellow moviemakers Martin Scorsese and Joe Pytka in creating a remembrance of how "Bad" came to be, utilizing archival footage that also recalls the global concert tour Jackson launched in support of the album. Results included sales of approximately 45 million copies and five chart-topping singles, a record tied only relatively recently by Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream."
5 November 2012 12:30 PM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
Denzel Washington, who won a best actor Oscar in 2002 for playing a bad cop in Training Day, is getting awards buzz this year for playing an alcoholic airline pilot in Flight. But that has angered some observers, who note that Washington didn't win the gold when he was nominated for playing the title role in Malcolm X. Dr. Boyce Watkins has called for a boycott of the Oscars, arguing that the Academy rewards black actors only when they portray troubled characters. "The bottom line is simple," he has written, "If a black person does a good impression of
- Russell Simmons
Flight marks the first pairing of Academy Award winners Denzel Washington and director Robert Zemeckis, who returns to live-action dramatic storytelling after a decade of success on the forefront of directing and producing movies utilizing motion capture technology. The screenplay by John Gatins centers on Captain Whip Whitaker (Washington) who miraculously crash lands his plane after a mid-air catastrophe, saving nearly everyone on board, but then becomes the target of a follow-up investigation that raises troubling questions about what really happened. Flight also stars John Goodman, Don Cheadle, Melissa Leo, Kelly Reilly, and Bruce Greenwood. At the film’s recent press day, Washington, Zemeckis, Gatins, Goodman, Leo, Reilly, and Greenwood discussed making the dramatic thriller, what drew them to the project, the attraction and challenges of portraying complex, morally ambiguous characters, setting up a pivotal scene that pays homage to Hitchcock, and writing a suspenseful script that invites the audience »
- Sheila Roberts
Oldboy is the new project from Oscar-nominated filmmaker Spike Lee (Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, 25th Hour, Inside Man), based on the Japanese comic book-turned-movie adaptation from cult Korean director Park Chan-wook (Stoker).
It should come as little surprise that this movie has aroused the ire of the cinephile masses since it was announced, given that it is a Hollywood remake of an award-winning foreign-language film. Not to mention, nowadays Lee gets more attention for his outspoken political views and comments about other powerful players in the entertainment biz, rather than his films (see: the small box office returns and quiet reception for Miracle at St. Anna and Red Hook Summer).
Despite the opposition, Oldboy has come together and Lee is currently in the midst of principal photography. FilmDistrict is distributing and has scheduled the ...
- Sandy Schaefer
Taylor Hackford has been tapped to direct a new feature film based on the life of Aretha Franklin. The soul singer recently revealed her and Hackford's picks to play her father, minister and civil rights activist C.L. Franklin to Glamour magazine. "[Hackford] mentioned Denzel [Washington] first, and I was thinking of Billy Dee [Williams]," Franklin explained. "And when I thought about Malcolm X, and what he [Washington] did with that, I said, 'Yes! He could do it. He could handle it. If he put a little more weight on and glasses, he could handle it'." (more) »
- By Zeba Blay
Taylor Hackford is no stranger to musical biopics, having directed and produced the Academy Award winning Ray with Jamie Foxx, but according to the Queen of Soul he's getting back into the game. Aretha Franklin, who first started talking about a possible biopic early last year, says that Hackford has signed on to bring her life story to the big screen. The legendary singer recently sat down to speak with Glamour and when asked about the in-development project she not only confirmed the director but also added some possible casting suggestions, the most notable being the idea of having Denzel Washington play her father, Baptist minister and activist C. L. Franklin. "He [Taylor] mentioned Denzel first, and I was thinking of Billy Dee [Williams]," Franklin said. "That.s who I was thinking of. And he mentioned Denzel, and I said 'Hmm...' And when I thought about Malcolm X, and »
Taxi Driver, North by Northwest, The Manchurian Candidate, JFK – there's a rich history of assassinations in American film. But what's the difference between the accidental killer and the glamorously rebellious hitman?
It was Monday 31 March 1981, coming up to 2.30pm, and John Hinckley was fidgeting by the Florida Avenue entrance of the Washington Hilton, catching the attention of a police lieutenant who stopped to stare over at him. Hinckley jostled with reporters too, complaining that the press were always getting in the way, before finding a place to stand among the TV cameras. It drizzled, off and on, and the sidewalk was damp. His speech inside finished, President Reagan came out of the hotel, flanked by security men, acknowledging the few onlookers across the street and the small crowd of pressmen on the sidewalk beside him. For a moment, Hinckley asked himself the question: "Should I do this or not?" A journalist shouted to the president, »
- Michael Newton
A few of this year's highlights include: The Brooklyn premiere of Byron Hurt's Soul Food Junkies; a master editing workshop for emerging filmmakers with long-time editor of Spike Lee joints, Sam Pollard; a tribute to Blackside Inc., producers of acclaimed documentaries like Eyes on the Prize and Malcolm X: Make It Plain; honors for Tim Reid and Daphne Maxwell Reid; and there's more. The festival, celebrating its 15th year, will run from October 13 to 14, at the Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts, Liu Brooklyn campus, at Flatbush and Dekalb Aves. For schedule, descriptions and workshop registration, visit reelsisters.org. »
Ah, Marilyn Monroe! Deep down, we know that we don’t know her, not really, yet we also think that we know everything about her. We certainly believe that we know who she was on-screen: the bubblehead bombshell, the flirt angel who wiggled and cooed and batted her Bambi eyelashes, who turned sex into pure sugar. And off-screen, we have that whole tabloid sense of Marilyn, of her lousy childhood and her crumbled marriages and her off-the-set breakdowns and her on-the-set diva tantrums and, ultimately, her self-destruction. Her death by an overdose of pills was sort of like the death »
- Owen Gleiberman
I am feeling incredibly honored, just got cast as Mlk Jr in the Lifetime movie "Betty and Corretta" playing opposite Angela Bassett as "Corretta"...I am determined to do his legacy proud!!! God Is Good!!! Words from Malik Yoba, posted to his Facebook fan page. Now we wait to find out what actor will play Malcolm X. Recapping what we already know... Angela Bassett, Ruby Dee and Mary J. Blige are already signed up to star in the Lifetime original movie project previously titled Parallel Lives, but now has a working title, Betty And Coretta. It's a project we've been tracking for about a year »
- Tambay A. Obenson
In the days before establishing himself as the swaggering firebrand of African-American cinema, targeting racial tensions in films such as Malcolm X and Do the Right Thing, Spike Lee nursed an unlikely ambition. He longed to sing ABC on primetime TV, just like his childhood idol.
"You could say I grew up with Michael Jackson," the director told journalists at the Venice film festival. "I was born in 1957, he was born in '58. And when I saw the Jackson Five on the Ed Sullivan Show I wanted to be Michael Jackson. I had the Afro, the whole Jackson look. But the singing and dancing – that's where it stopped."
Four decades later, Lee pays a belated tribute to »
- Xan Brooks
By Rachel Bennett
Television Editor & Columnist
* * *
It’s rare that a television character literally goes out with a bang, but — spoiler alert — that’s precisely what happens to Gustavo “Gus” Fring, restaurant owner by day and drug kingpin by night, on the season four finale of AMC’s masterful Breaking Bad. It is a moment no less shocking than the one in The Wizard of Oz in which the Wicked Witch of the West melts away, but one that elicits quite different emotions once it sinks in. Everyone wanted the Wicked Witch to be eliminated; after all, she had tormented Dorothy and her little dog Toto, among many others, and it was about time. Gus, too, was a character who tormented the lives of those around him, particularly the show’s protagonist Walter and his sidekick Jesse. But when Gus finally gets his comeuppance, the reaction among viewers is not »
- Rachel Bennett
Considering the divisive nature of some of Spike Lee's films, one might have expected last week's poll to have been a little bit closer. However, it was his breakout film Do the Right Thing that came up with a clear and decisive victory, earning nearly twice as many votes from Film Junk readers as its closest competitor. The runner-up was the crowd pleasing thriller Inside Man starring Denzel Washington, followed much more closely by The 25th Hour and Malcolm X. The rest of the pack was mostly ignored with the basketball drama He Got Game coming in a distant fifth place. Do you agree with these results? 1. Do the Right Thing -- 37.8% 2. Inside Man -- 20.1% 3. The 25th Hour -- 16.4% 4. Malcolm X -- 13.8% 5. He Got Game -- 3.9% 6. Summer of Sam -- 3.6% 7. Jungle Fever -- 1.6% 8. When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts -- 1.3% 9. Clockers -- 1% 10. She's Gotta Have It »
Omari Hardwick has been an actor on the rise for quite some time now. After his big-screen debut in Beauty Shop, he landed roles in Gridiron Gang, The Guardian, Miracle at St. Anna, Next Day Air, Kick-Ass, The A-Team, and a starring role on the TNT series Dark Blue.
He next stars in the upcoming musical drama Sparkle alongside a bevy of talented artists such as Jordin Sparks, Derek Luke, Mike Epps, Cee-Lo, and Whitney Houston, in her final performance. The actor portrays Levi, who moves to Detroit and gets caught up in the Motown musical scene of the 1960s. I recently had the chance to speak with Omari Hardwick about his experiences working with such a diverse cast, and much more. Take a look at our conversation.
I know that a lot of times, actors don't exactly know what they're going out for, or who they will be starring with. »
Actor Albert Freeman Jr. (also known as Al Freeman Jr.) has died from unspecified causes at age 78. Freeman had been teaching acting at Howard University in Washington, DC. where he also chaired the theater arts department. Freeman appeared on the long running afternoon soap opera One Life to Live between 1972 and 1987 and won an Emmy for his work. In feature films, he had high profile roles in movies like Finian's Rainbow, The Detective, The Lost Man, Castle Keep and Spike Lee's Malcolm X, in which he won acclaim for his performance as controversial Black Muslim leader Elijah Muhammad. For more click here »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
It is with sadness Thn reports of the passing of Albert Freeman, Jr. The actor was best known for playing Elijah Muhammad in Spike Lee’s Malcolm X, for which he earned an NAACP Image Award in 1993. Freeman, Jr. worked at Howard University in Washington DC teaching acting for many years and spokeswoman Kerry-Ann Hamilton released the following statement:
He was a brilliant professor, a renowned actor and a master director who made his mark in the classroom as well as on stage, screen and television. … He has mentored and taught scores of outstanding actors. He was a resounding voice of Howard and will be missed,
An influential figure in the African American community for many years, Albert Freeman, Jr will be missed greatly by so many.
- Sam Carey
Albert Freeman Jr., the veteran actor who played Elijah Muhammad in Spike Lee’s epic film, Malcolm X, has died. He was 78. Howard University in Washington, D.C., confirmed his death Friday night but details weren’t immediately available. Freeman taught acting there for years and served as chairman and artistic director of its theater arts department. “He was a brilliant professor, a renowned actor and a master director who made his mark in the classroom as well as on stage, screen and television. … He has mentored and taught scores of outstanding actors. He was a resounding voice of Howard and will be missed, »
- Associated Press
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