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'Cooley High' Is the Most Influential Movie You've Never Seen

"Cooley High" ought to be remembered as a cinema milestone, and its writer and director remembered as pioneers.

Released 40 years ago this week (on June 25, 1975), it ought to be celebrated for its vast influence on movies, TV, and music. As a young-men-coming-of-age movie, it deserves to be mentioned alongside Fellini's "I Vitelloni," George Lucas's "American Graffiti," Barry Levinson's "Diner," and John Singleton's "Boyz N the Hood." And yet, the film and its creators have been largely forgotten, lost to history.

The story behind "Cooley High" is even more dramatic than the comedy-drama that unspooled on the screen. It's the story of Kenneth Williams, who, like protagonist Preach, left Chicago's Cabrini-Green projects with dreams of becoming a Hollywood screenwriter. Having dropped out of high school, he hitchhiked from the Windy City to Hollywood with $5 in his pocket and no connections, and for a while he supported himself selling drugs.
See full article at Moviefone »

Rick Ducommun, ‘The ‘Burbs’ and ‘Groundhog Day’ Actor, Dies at 62

Rick Ducommun, ‘The ‘Burbs’ and ‘Groundhog Day’ Actor, Dies at 62
Rick Ducommun, a Canadian actor who appeared in many popular comedies in the ’80s and ’90s, has died. He was 62.

Joe Dante, who directed Ducommun in “The 'Burbs” and also helmed such works as “Gremlins” and “Small Soldiers,” broke the news on Twitter late on Wednesday.

Rip Rick Ducommun. pic.twitter.com/52J5wKXToU

Joe Dante (@joe_dante) June 18, 2015

Ducommun’s Twitter also posted the news.

1989’s “The ‘Burbs” was one of Ducommun’s most notable appearances, playing Tom Hanks’ noisy, paranoid neighbor. The comedian also had small roles in “Groundhog Day,” “Little Monsters,” “Die Hard,” “The Hunt for Red October,” “The Last Boy Scout,” “Last Action Hero” and “Scary Movie,” in which he played Anna Faris’ character’s father.

Dante posted several tweets honoring the late actor, noting that Ducommun, a relatively unknown stand-up comic at the time, beat out Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis to take the memorable role in “The ‘Burbs,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Rick Ducommun, Star of 'The 'Burbs' and 'Die Hard,' Dies at 62

Canadian character actor Rick Ducommun, who starred in a wide range of beloved films throughout the '80s and '90s, has died. He was 62.

Ducommun had his breakout role in 1989's "The 'Burbs" opposite Tom Hanks, and director Joe Dante tweeted out his condolences on Thursday. Dante said that the late actor was a virtually unknown stand-up comic when he auditioned for the dark comedy, but "knocked it out of the park," beating out more established stars like Rick Moranis for the part.

"Lots of the funniest stuff he says was totally ad libbed," Dante wrote, adding that Ducommun was "A very funny guy" who was "Too young to go."

In addition to that cult classic, Ducommun also had small roles in many movies including "Gremlins 2: The New Batch" (another collaboration with Dante), Bill Murray classic "Groundhog Day," "Die Hard," "Little Monsters," "The Hunt for Red October," "The Last Boy Scout,
See full article at Moviefone »

Reynaldo Rey, ‘Friday’ and ‘White Men Can’t Jump’ Actor, Dies at 75

Reynaldo Rey, a longtime actor who appeared as Red’s father in 1995 hit “Friday,” died Thursday in Los Angeles, his manager confirmed. He was 75.

The actor died from complications of a stroke he suffered late last year.

Along with his memorable role in “Friday,” Rey is also known for appearing in “Harlem Nights” (1989), “White Men Can’t Jump” (1992), “House Party 3″ (1994) and “For Da Love of Money” (2000). The comedian has more than 52 film credits to his name.

He had several TV credits, including appearances in “The Bernie Mac Show,” “Sanford and Son,” “The Wayans Bros.,” “227,” “The Tonight Show, “Sister, Sister,” Parents in Crime” and “The Royal Family.”

Rey also had a career as a stand-up comedian, and served as a co-host on Bet’s stand-up show “Comic View.” He has recorded three comedy albums and three videos.

Rey was born in Sequoyah County, Okla., and as an adult moved to Cleveland,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Dad from 'Friday' Reynaldo Rey Dead -- Dies from Stroke Complications

  • TMZ
Reynaldo Rey, longtime comedian and character actor, died early Thursday morning in Los Angeles ... TMZ has learned. Rey was famous for his movie roles in "Friday," "White Men Can't Jump," and "Harlem Nights." He also appeared in tons of TV shows going back to the 80s ... such as "The Bernie Mac Show," "The Wayans Bros.," "227," and "Sanford." His manager tells us Rey passed away in a hospital. He suffered a stroke last year ... and started suffering complications in January.
See full article at TMZ »

TBS Announces Comics to Compete on 'Funniest Wins' - New Series from Marlon Wayans

TBS has unveiled the 10 talented comedians slated to compete against one another in Funniest Wins, a new series set to premiere Friday, June 20, at 10 p.m. (Et/Pt). Funniest Wins comes to TBS from comedy heavyweight and WhatTheFunny.com founder Marlon Wayans (Scary MovieA Haunted HouseThe Wayans Bros.) and Eyeworks USA. In the series, Wayans, along with some of his comic friends and family, will put the comics through the ringer to find the funniest multi-talented comedian working today. The new series will open with 10 comedic competitors of various types, who range in age from 25 to 40. Each week, guided by Marlon Wayans and a...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

'90s Stars of The WB -- Then & Now!

  • TooFab
Before The CW, there was The WB. With shows like "Unhappily Ever After," "The Jamie Foxx Show," "Popular" and "The Parent ‘Hood," the network had a very diverse slate of sitcoms -- but what do their stars look like now? As Nikki Cox celebrates her 35th birthday today, check out the gallery above to see how much she and the casts of shows like "The Wayans Bros." and "Smart Guy" changed through the years.For some, it ain't pretty.And if The WB's dramas were more your thing, be sure to click the following links to check in on the casts of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Felicity." Read more
See full article at TooFab »

'Fresh Prince of Bel Air,' 'Family Matters,' 'Martin,' 'Jamie Foxx Show' & Others Licensed By Bet

Certainly some of the more successful black TV shows that have ever been broadcast on television; Now you can enjoy reruns of them, courtesy of Bet, who I'm sure are glad that none of the selected series listed below, are streaming on Netflix! All the details via press release from Bet follows: Bet Networks Licenses Package Of Iconic African American Comedies From Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution Network Snags Premiere Off-Net Comedies Including "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air," "Family Matters," "Martin," "The Jamie Foxx Show" and "The Wayans Bros." To Air Only On Bet And Viacom Media Networks (March 20, 2013 - New York and Burbank) - Bet Networks announced today it has...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

'Fresh Prince,' 'Martin,' 'Wayans Bros.' Coming to BET

'Fresh Prince,' 'Martin,' 'Wayans Bros.' Coming to BET
Two years after Teen Nick found ratings success with the return of '90s hits Doug and Clarissa Explains It All, Bet is going retro. The network said Wednesday that it has acquired off-network rights to '90s comedies The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Family Matters, Martin, The Jamie Foxx Show and The Wayans Bros. Photos: The Faces of Pilot Season 2013 In a licensing deal with Warner Bros. Domestic Television, the series will air on Bet and Centric, with Viacom corporate sibling Nick at Nite retaining rights to continue airing Full House and Living Single, which will air on

read more
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Interview: Marlon Wayans Chases Spoofs in ‘A Haunted House’

Chicago – When it comes to the art of spoofing the current movie culture, few have done it with more success than Marlon Wayans. As a sibling member of the Wayans Brothers, he has spent his career doing take-offs in films such as the “Scary Movie” franchise, “Dance Flick” and his current spooky satire, ‘A Haunted House.’

Marlon Wayans is the youngest of the Wayans comedy clan, which includes Keenan Ivory, Shawn, Damon and Kim. After attending Laguardia High School of the Performing Arts and Howard University, he joined his rising star siblings in the family business of comedy. After appearing in the film “Mo’ Money” (1992) – written by brother Damon – he joined the cast of Fox TV’s “In Living Color” (1990-94) produced by Keenen Ivory and Damon. He morphed from there to “The Wayans Bros” (1995-99), a sitcom on The WB. In 2000, he took a dramatic turn with a notable
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

Today's Hot Comedy Trailer: Marlon Wayans' Not-So-Subtle Paranormal Parody A Haunted House

It's like a scary ghost story. Only with more farting.

Over the years, Marlon Wayans has become a bit of an enigma as an actor. Starting out on the sketch comedy show In Living Color and subsequent sitcom The Wayans Bros., Wayans soon made the natural transition to movie parodies like 1996's Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood and co-writing and starring in the first two of the Scary Movie franchise. However, sprinkled amongst missteps like G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra and Dungeons & Dragons, Wayans has shown he can actually act in movies like Requiem For a Dream and The Ladykillers and was even attached to play Richard Pryor in a long-gestating biopic. Yet, Wayans continues to help put movies like Dance Flick into existence.

The conundrum continues. Wayans is back with his latest parody, A Haunted House, which
See full article at ReelzChannel »

The Hughleys Child Star Arrested for Suspected Gang Activity and Murder

The Hughleys Child Star Arrested for Suspected Gang Activity and Murder
Michael Hughley is in deep trouble. E! News confirms former child star Dee Jay Daniels (real name Dorjan Lyndell Daniels) was arrested in California on possession of marijuana, premeditated murder and gang activity charges in connection with a fatal stabbing. The 23-year-old was reportedly part of a group of three men who allegedly stabbed 26-year-old John Joseph outside a nightclub in Stockton, Calif., in August 2011. Daniels is currently being held in San Joaquin County jail with no bail and could face life in prison if convicted. The Hughleys aired from 1998-2002. Dee Jay Daniels was also featured on Cold Case, Coach, ER, Grace Under Fire, The Wayans Bros. and Family...
See full article at E! Online »

Rebecca Wanzo: I Know You're Tired of Hearing about Girls, but How about a Puzzling Piece of History?

  • Aol TV.
Rebecca Wanzo: I Know You're Tired of Hearing about Girls, but How about a Puzzling Piece of History?
I'm not mad at Lena Dunham, creator of the new HBO show Girls. She wanted to write about her life -- which is filled with white folks -- and people gave her some money to do it. Her voice is a new voice for television. Despite the misogynist rants of Three and a Half Men co-creator Lee Arohnson about television reaching the point of "labia saturation," women have hardly been at the center of television or film production.

I think the backlash against the show -- largely by feminists of color -- is as much about the kind of praise it received as it is about the show itself. When countless reviews gush about her representing this generation, of course it is going to irritate all the people who are invisible on the show and to the critics. Duhnam didn't help herself with the claim that the white casting was an "accident,
See full article at Aol TV. »

Marlon Wayans to Direct and Star Opposite Essence Atkins in Found Footage Spoof Smart Ass

With the release of Chronicle last week, the found footage genre finally crossed the threshold of public consciousness required for parody.  Marlon Wayans, the writer and star of such spoofs as Scary Movie and Dance Flick, is up to the task.  Not only will Wayans star opposite Essence Atkins in Smart Ass, described as "a spoof of a various found-footage pics like Paranormal Activity and The Devil Inside Me."  According to Variety, this is also Wayans' directorial debut with co-director Mike Tiddes.  Filming on the independent production is now underway in Los Angeles. Though Wayans has mostly been a critical punching bag in the last decade, there are a lot of pieces here that appeal to me.  With all the tics and affectations of the genre, found footage is fertile ground for this satirical treatment.  And 10-year-old me watched a lot of Wayans on his The WB sitcom The Wayans Bros.,
See full article at Collider.com »

TV Bits: New Shows for Mike O’Malley, Marlon Wayans, Bunim/Murray, ‘Big Love’ Creators; See ‘Grimm’ Early; ‘Sons of Anarchy’ Renewed; Marvel Publishing ‘Dexter’ Comics

TV Bits: New Shows for Mike O’Malley, Marlon Wayans, Bunim/Murray, ‘Big Love’ Creators; See ‘Grimm’ Early; ‘Sons of Anarchy’ Renewed; Marvel Publishing ‘Dexter’ Comics
[1] There's a little bit of something for everyone in today's very full TV Bits, whether your preference is for lightweight comedies, serious dramas, humanoid robots, or good-looking serial killers. After the jump: HBO and the creators of Big Love team up for an unconventional family drama Fox buys a boy genius sitcom from the guy who plays Kurt's dad on Glee Marlon Wayans makes a return to television with a buddy cop project for ABC Bunim/Murray and GameSpot prep an online series about gaming NBC unveils a plan to bring Grimm to you early FX gives a fifth season to Kurt Sutter's Sons of Anarchy Marvel announces a comic book series for fans of Dexter Let's start with the projects that are currently in development. Big Love may have wrapped earlier this year, but co-creators Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer aren't through with HBO. The pair are
See full article at Slash Film »

Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood Blu-ray announced

Echo Bridge Entertainment continues their HD raid of older Miramax titles on July 5th with the release of The Wayans Bros.’ Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood. Spoofing modern films like Boyz n the Hood, Do the Right Thing and Friday with a blaxploitation spin, the film was panned upon its theatrical run, only to gather a nice following on home video.

This is an early announcement, so we don’t have any listings for specs, extras, or cover art, but much like past Echo Bridge releases on Blu-ray from Miramax, don’t expect any extras.

Source: Blu-ray
See full article at Killer Films »

Today’s Birthdays 4/17/11

Actress Kimberly Elise welcomes 44. Born in Minneapolis, her boasting rights include appearances in Set It Off, In The House, Beloved, Bojangles, Bait, John Q, Girlfriends, Woman Thou Art Loosed, Diary Of A Mad Black Woman, The Great Debaters, Grey’s Anatomy and For Colored Girls.

Actress Lela Rochon turns 47 today. A native of California, she’s appeared in numerous films and tv shows including Breakin’, The Facts of Life, The Cosby Show, Amen, Harlem Nights, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Boomerang, The Wayans Bros., Any Given Sunday, Why Do Fools Fall In Love, Brooklyn’s Finest and Waiting To Exhale. Her most recent project was Blood Done Sign My Name.
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

Manager/Producer Lisa Blum Joins New Wave

Exclusive: Talent manager/producer Lisa Blum has joined New Wave Entertainment. Blum, who comes from The Collective, is bringing all of her clients including Marlon Wayans, Cheri Oteri, Orlando Jones, Jennifer Hollander (Universal’s Merman), Jim Jefferies (HBO’s I Swear To God), Gary Owen (TBS’ House of Payne), Virginia Williams (USA’s Fairly Legal), Pete Johansson and Sammi Hanratty (American Girl). Blum previously ran her own management company for six years. Before that, she was with Mosaic Media's predecessor Gold/Miller, where she began her 15-year relationship with the Wayans brothers among other clients. While at Gold/Miller, in addition to managing talent, Blum also developed and produced TV and film projects, including movies Scary Movie and Scary Movie 2 and the WB series The Wayans Bros. She most recently developed Pretty Ugly at Paramount, which will star Marlon Wayans; The Year of Living Biblically, also at Paramount, an
See full article at Deadline TV »

Munsters Getting a Television Reboot!

A collective groan echoed through the graveyard when it was announced a few years back that The Munsters were going to make their way to the big screen. Why a "groan"? The Wayans Bros. were involved with the project. Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files reports, however, that Bryan Fuller ( Pushing Daisies ) is at work on a modern-day television reboot. That's right, the Munster family may be back on the small screen where they belong. Furthermore, Ausillo's sources say Guillermo del Toro may be involved in some capacity behind-the-scenes. Who do you think should play Herman Munster? Ron Perlman is an immediate go-to (especially with the del Toro connection) idea. But I'm thinking Brad Garrett, of Everybody Loves Raymond , may be a good contender.
See full article at shocktillyoudrop »

'Moonlight' reruns head to CW this summer

'Moonlight' reruns head to CW this summer
This may or may not be the greatest news for Moonlight fans who have probably seen every last episode anyway: The CW announced today that it'll air reruns of the old CBS show beginning June 3. The Alex O'Loughlin drama about a vampire who works as a private investigator will air on Thursdays after repeats of The Vampire Diaries. It's not unheard of for the CW to air an off-network series in its prime time lineup. Previously, the CW aired reruns of Jericho during the 2008-09 season and comedies like Reba and The Wayans Bros. from 3 to 5 p.m. on weekdays.
See full article at EW.com - Inside Movies »
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