7 items from 2014
Five women from disparate walks of life find common ground as single parents in “Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club,” one of the best products to roll off the prolific multihyphenate’s Atlanta-based assembly line, largely absent the pandering humor and finger-wagging moralism that have bedeviled many of Perry’s earlier (if undeniably popular) efforts. Perry is by now a well-established brand who knows what his audience wants, but this gentle, touching and sometimes quite funny portrait of female solidarity (think “Waiting to Exhale” by way of “9 to 5”) manages to play to Perry’s base while simultaneously broadening it. Disenfranchised distaff moviegoers eager to prove Cate Blanchett’s Oscar speech right ought to line up in droves.
The generally low-key, ingratiating vibe of Perry’s latest is reflected in Perry himself, who gives a nicely understated supporting performance here as a divorced father of two who ends up wooing »
- Scott Foundas
There’s an interesting thing about audience. Filmmakers make movies with them in mind, but don’t have any control over their reaction. Such was the case in Wednesday night’s screening of Scrapper, at this year’s Pan African Film Festival. Written and directed by Brady Hall, the film stars Michael Beach, who’s probably most known for roles in Waiting to Exhale, Soul Food, and ER, where he loved and cheated on black women. These black women were the primary audience members at this screening of a film that saw him in a radically different form than these aforementioned works. Set in Seattle, Scrapper tells the story of Hollis Wallace, a lonely man who makes his living collecting »
- Nijla Mumin
A new year of film festivals has officially launched with the grand-daddy of them all (here in the USA anyway) the Sundance Film Festival, ending its run last weekend. In February, however, all eyes will be on the Pan African Film Festival that takes place in Los Angeles, CA, which runs from February 6-17, 2014, celebrating its 22nd anniversary.Continuing on with highlights from this year's event... from the narrative section, here's your first look at Micheal Beach (Soul Food, Waiting to Exhale) in the new witty drama Scrapper. Beach stars in the drama - helmed by Brady Hall - as Hollis Wallace, who makes a living by collecting discarded metal »
- Vanessa Martinez
Forest Whitaker is to direct, write and star in an adaptation of William P Young's bestselling novel The Shack, about a father trying to come to terms with the death of his daughter who was abducted and killed.
Whitaker has previously directed Waiting To Exhale and Hope Floats, but this will be his first time he will also write and star in his own film. While Whitaker has acted in a wide variety of roles, from spiritual hitmen to Idi Amin, his films have both been traditional dramas laced with sentimentality and romance.
The Shack will be a high-profile project for Whitaker, given the success of the book, which has sold millions of copies since its publication in »
- Ben Beaumont-Thomas
• Shia Labeouf is not retiring, it seems. The Nymphomaniac star, thrust into the spotlight recently by an ever-escalating plagiarism controversy, has signed on to Barry Levinson’s Rock the Kasbah alongside a host of high-profile names including Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Zooey Deschanel, Danny McBride, and Kate Hudson. The film follows a past-his-prime rock manager who takes his sole client on a Uso tour in Afghanistan. While in Kabul, the manager discovers a young talent and enters her into the Afghan Star contest — Afghanistan’s version of American Idol. [The Wrap]
- Lindsey Bahr
Though Forest Whitaker may soon be incurring the wrath of Liam Neeson in Taken 3, the Oscar-winning actor is also lining up another directorial project for the near future. Deadline reports that Whitaker is in talks to direct and co-star in an adaptation of the bestselling William Paul Young novel The Shack. The self-published, faith-based book tells the story of a man who whose daughter was abducted and brutally murdered in an abandoned shack in the Oregon wilderness. Years later, the man receives a note, apparently from God, inviting him to return to the shack where he finds something that will change his life forever. Summit Entertainment acquired the feature rights to the book last April and John Fusco (Hidalgo) is penning the script. Assuming this project moves forward sooner rather than later, this will be Whitaker’s first directorial effort since 2004’s First Daughter. He also previously helmed 1998’s »
- Adam Chitwood
Following the huge success of “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” Forest Whitaker is looking to stay busy in 2014 both in front of and behind the camera as he is in final negotiations to write, direct and star in Lionsgate’s adaptation of best-selling novel “The Shack.”
Based on the William P. Young novel published in 2007, the story follows a man whose youngest daughter is abducted during a family vacation, with evidence found in an abandoned shack leading authorities to believe she was murdered. Four years later, the man receives a note, apparently from God, inviting him back to the shack and, against his better judgement, he accepts the invitation and finds something there that will change his life forever.
Gil Netter will produce the pic. »
- Justin Kroll
7 items from 2014
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