17 items from 2015
Everyone was surprised about the unexpected success of The Perfect Guy. I must admit so was I. I expected the film to be No. 1, but making only half the $27 million it made this past weekend. I conefss it's not my kind of film (It would be if there had been some graphic sex and nudity in it. I'm a guy. I don't go for the "suggestion" Bs. I need to see it) But the thing that really took me by surprise wasn't its box office take, but the fact the Tyger Williams was credited as the screenwriter. You don't remember Tyger Williams do you? You should. He was the guy who wrote, at the age of 24, The Hughes Brothers' groundbreaking Menace II Society which came out back in 1994. But »
David M. Rosenthal directed the sexy psycho-thriller penned by Tyger Williams, the scribe behind “Menace II Society.” Although “The Perfect Guy” features three African American leads, Rosenthal said that he identified the cast as professionally-trained actors first.
“I don’t think any of us thought about race when we did this,” Rosenthal told Variety. “I think we were just making a movie and it was just about people in a place and relationships. It was refreshing to not put it in that context and not put a label on it. The studios wanted to do that and the actors wanted to do that, and ultimately, it sells.”
The film follows a woman (Lathan) who is stalked by an ex-boyfriend (Ealy), while »
- Mannie Holmes
What a SummerSlam! Oh, wait, that was on Sunday. Well, last night sure felt like the real prestige affair, as there were debuts, returns and celebrity cameos galore.
Not necessarily a ton in the way of wrestling, of course, unless you were among those who enjoyed the broadcast's sidebar into house-show territory with that inconsequential eight-man tag toward the end. But I digress. In fact, I'll go one better, skip the formalities and segue straight into the five key things (in addition to the usual Twitter-friendly sidebar observations) that I »
It’s no secret that Martin Scorsese’s work remains a substantial influence on pretty much every American filmmaker who came to prominence after he stepped into the scene during the second, auteur-driven Hollywood golden age we call the 1970s. It’s hard to see this influence feature more prominently and clearly than in the works of up and coming indie filmmakers during the 1990s, which makes perfect sense since they were the movie nerds who grew up during Scorsese’s '70s reign. Read More: Retrospective: The Films Of Martin Scorsese There were two films that became a major influence on '90s cinema: “Die Hard” and “Goodfellas.” As often as 90s action fare copied the “Die Hard” formula (“Under Siege” was “Die Hard” on a boat, “Executive Decision” was “Die Hard” on a plane, etc…), indie filmmakers took their cues from “Goodfellas.” The Hughes Brothers’ “Menace II Society »
- Oktay Ege Kozak
Academy invitee Eddie Redmayne in 'The Theory of Everything.' Academy invites 322 new members: 'More diverse and inclusive list of filmmakers and artists than ever before' The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has offered membership to 322 individuals "who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures." According to the Academy's press release, "those who accept the invitations will be the only additions to the Academy's membership in 2015." In case all 322 potential new members say an enthusiastic Yes, that means an injection of new blood representing about 5 percent of the Academy's current membership. In the words of Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs (as quoted in the press release), in 2015 "our branches have recognized a more diverse and inclusive list of filmmakers and artists than ever before, and we look forward to adding their creativity, ideas and experience to our organization." In recent years, the Academy membership has »
- Anna Robinson
©Renzo Piano Building Workshop/©Studio Pali Fekete architects/©A.M.P.A.S.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced this week that the Los Angeles City Council, in a unanimous vote, approved plans for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Construction will begin this summer, and ceremonial groundbreaking festivities will occur this fall.
“I am thrilled that Los Angeles is gaining another architectural and cultural icon,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “My office of economic development has worked directly with the museum’s development team to ensure that the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will create jobs, support tourism, and pay homage to the industry that helped define our identity as the creative capital of the world.”
“We are grateful to our incredible community of supporters who have helped make this museum a reality,” said Dawn Hudson, the Academy’s CEO. “Building this museum has been an Academy »
- Michelle McCue
Strangely dropping a press release on a historic day where the nation's attention is elsewhere, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed their annual list of new member invitees this morning. For those who criticize the makeup of the Academy there was some good news and the stark realization the organization still has a long way to go. The Academy has spent the last eight to 10 years attempting to diversify its membership and this year's class mostly reflects that. There are significantly more invitees of Asian and African-American descent, but the male to female disparity is still depressing. Out of the 25 potential new members of the Actor's Branch only seven are women. And, no, there isn't really an acceptable way for the Academy to spin that sad fact. Additionally, It's important to realize the 322 people noted in the release have only been invited to join Hollywood's most exclusive club. »
- Gregory Ellwood
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences continues to push for diversity, sending membership invitations to 322 individuals, including a healthy number of people who can help change the org’s demos.
Among the invitees are David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Felicity Jones, Emma Stone, Rosamund Pike, Bong Joon-ho, Justin Lin and Francois Ozon. The Academy has been reaching out to women, foreign-born artists and people of various races, ethnic backgrounds and ages.
Accusations of Academy bigotry surfaced yet again in January when the list of Oscar nominees included Caucasians in all 20 acting categories, and few women or racial minorities among the other categories. Director Ava DuVernay and actor David Oyelowo of “Selma” had seemed like strong contenders, giving many people hopes of breakthroughs. After initial anger at the Acad, activists began to shift their protests to industry hiring practices. For example, 323 films were eligible for 2014 awards — which means AMPAS should theoretically »
- Tim Gray
When you think of Samuel L. Jackson, what do you think of? When I think about him, my brain tends to go to where I remember first seeing him, namely as Stacks, the low-level criminal from GoodFellas who has one of those famous “misunderstandings” with Joe Pesci’s psychotic gangster. For most people, however, the first thought is of Jules Winnfield, the hitman with the carefully groomed Jheri curl who works alongside Vincent Vega for Marcellus Wallace in Pulp Fiction, and probably skip directly to his “great vengeance and furious anger” speech. There’s a good reason for that, and not just because Pulp Fiction is, well, Pulp Fiction, but because “great vengeance and furious anger” has always been what Jackson does so well. He rarely broods, preferring explosive, unrelenting torrents of roused disbelief and fury, belted out with urgency and end-of-the-rope exhaustion. The varied, near-musical timbre of his delivery »
- Chris Cabin
If you aren't careful, the world will try to tell you who you are, and you might be dumb enough to believe it. Rick Famuyiwa's "Dope" follows high school senior Malcolm (Shameik Moore), and his two best friends Jib (Tony Revolori) and Diggy (Kiersey Clemons), as they struggle to fit into their Inglewood, California neighborhood that's affectionately coined The Bottoms. Obsessed with 90's hip-hop culture, the trio hide behind the stylish and musical nuisances of a past time, instead of facing their 21st century environment. A film that initially felt like it could be another "Boyz N the Hood" or "Menace II Society," I thought I had seen some version »
- Aramide A Tinubu
A blockbuster rated PG-13 is destined to win the Golden Popcorn at the MTV Movie Awards this weekend, judging by the show’s recent winners. While R-rated awards season titles “American Sniper,” “Boyhood,” “Whiplash” and “Gone Girl” are all nominated for the top prize, the most likely winners are PG-13, including Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” John Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars” and Jennifer Lawrence’s “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.” Beginning in 1992, MTV’s first six Best Movie winners were all rated R, including “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” “A Few Good Men,” “Menace II Society, »
- Jeff Sneider
Snoop Dogg is quietly one of the busiest guys in entertainment. Just this week alone, he's appeared on Empire, delivered a keynote speech at SXSW, shared the release date for his next album, and announced that he's got a new HBO series in the works. He's set to executive produce the untitled series with Menace II Society director Allen Hughes and writer Rodney Barnes (whom he previously worked with on The Boondocks). The series, set in early 1980s L.A., will follow a "family whose seemingly idyllic life is turned upside down by the collision of their community and American politics. " During his SXSW keynote, Snoop described the series as one that'll show the Reaganomics effect on his community (Snoop, of course, grew up in Long Beach during that era). Fingers crossed he'll star in it, too. »
- Dee Lockett
Snoop Dogg has partnered with “Menace II Society” director Allen Hughes and HBO to develop a family drama set in 1980s Los Angeles, the rapper-turned-actor announced on Friday. Hughes, who also directed Denzel Washington thriller “Book of Eli,” will direct the HBO original drama series, and executive produce alongside Snoop and Rodney Barnes (“The Boondocks”), who will write it. The announcement did not make it clear if Snoop would also star in the drama about a family whose seemingly idyllic life is turned upside down by the collision of their community and American politics. See video: Brian Williams Raps Another Snoop Dogg Classic. »
- Greg Gilman
The 2015 Sundance Film Festival is currently underway in Park City, Utah, where some of the year's most talked-about independent films are screening for the first time. Here's our rundown of what everyone's talking about so far. The Movie Everyone's Talking About Dope So Tell Me: The best way to describe Dope is to envision a mash-up of '90s "hood" movies -- everything from Juice and Menace II Society to House Party and Friday -- but...
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The 2015 Sundance Film Festival is currently underway in Park City, Utah, where some of the year's most talked-about independent films are screening for the first time. Here's our rundown of what everyone's talking about so far. The Movie Everyone's Talking About Dope So Tell Me: The best way to describe Dope is to envision a mash-up of '90s "hood" movies -- everything from Juice and Menace II Society to House Party and Friday -- but with contemporary sensibilities, including scenes involving Bitcoin, drones, Amazon and hacking. Written and directed by Rick Famuyiwa -- and featuring a breakout performance by newcomer Shameik Moore -- the film tracks the lives of three "nerds" (Moore, Tony Revolori, Kiersey Clemons) navigating...
- Erik Davis
On the success of History’s 2012 miniseries, Hatfields & McCoys, and amidst the rising popularity of African American history in film, the cable network is looking to revive one of the most acclaimed depictions of slavery ever committed to the screen. According to Deadline, the 1977 ABC miniseries Roots is rumored to be on its way to getting the green light very soon.
History acquired the rights to the series in late 2013 from the original Roots executive producer’s son Mark Wolper and the novel Roots: The Saga Of An American Family from the Alex Haley estate. Allen Hughes (of The Hughes Brothers) has also reportedly joined to direct the series, which will be written by Mark Rosenthal and Larry Konner. He will join Wolper and Marc Toberoff as an executive producer the miniseries.
Hughes broke out back in 1993 with his debut film Menace II Society, which he co-wrote and co-directed with his brother Albert. »
- William Fanelli
Back in 1977, Alex Haley's book Roots became the biggest and most talked about mini-series of all time. A little over a year ago, the news broke that cable network History planned to remake the series for a new generation. As we get closer and closer to that becoming a reality, the network has found their director. Allen Hughes, best known as a part of the Hughes Brothers, has directed the films Menace II Society, Dead Presidents, From Hell, The Book Of Eli, and most recently Broken City »
- Alex Maidy
17 items from 2015
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