20 items from 2014
Denzel Washington turns 60 today, and in his lifetime he’s played a lot of badasses. From Jake Shuttlesworth in He Got Game to Det. Alonzo Harris in Training Day, his characters have had a rough-and-tumble in history that’s given the Washington a reputation for being one of the grizzliest actors in the game. However, alongside that, he’s also been stacking his filmography with roles that’ve required of him inspiring speeches, self-sacrifice, and subtle sweetness, the kinds of roles that’ve essentially made him a kind of Hollywood father figure.
Who wouldn’t want an old man who could put you into place in one profound speech or risk his entire life just to ensure your safety? In celebration of his birthday, here are five times you wished Denzel Washington was your dad.
That time he brought together a segregated football team in Remember the Titans (2000).
Tired of »
- Tara Aquino
Rosario Dawson has had a varied career, starting as a complete amateur in Larry Clark.s Kids to eventually working with such heavyweights as Spike Lee (He Got Game, 25th Hour), Oliver Stone (Alexander) and Quentin Tarantino (Death Proof). But there.s one gem on her resume that the Top Five actress doesn.t understand why people continue to sleep on, and the answer might surprise you. Dawson was speaking with THR about her top roles, and mentioned that the 2001 comedy Josie and then Pussycats is far better than people give it credit for. She told the trade mag: That movie is so amazing, and it really didn.t hit its audience then. People didn.t really get it. But if you watch it now, it.s so on the money . from media manipulation to endorsements and boy bands. We shot it in Vancouver, and [co-stars] Tara Reid and Rachael »
Cinematographers Arthur Jafa ("Daughters of the Dust," "Crooklyn," "Dreams Are Colder Than Death," "Florida Water") and Malik Sayeed ("He Got Game," "Belly") have partnered with Baltimore based curator, lecturer and exhibition designer Elissa Blount-Moorhead, to create a new independent film studio and production company, Tneg. The goal, according, to Ms. Blount-Moorhead, is to develop and produce new black independent films, but films that will also “push what we understand to be new black cinema and to create not just new narratives and but also new aesthetics and technical parameters within black cinema." And »
For this week’s spotlight piece, I wanted to take a look at pretty much one of the definitions of an A-list actor. He’s Denzel Washington, a two time Academy Award winning thespian and giant in the industry. Washington does more than just act of course, he’s an iconic movie star, there’s no doubt about that. If anyone is right for this sort of a spotlight, it’s him. Washington got his start in TV movies, but on the big screen he made his first mark with Cry Freedom, which also got him nominated for Best Supporting Actor, his first nomination of what would become a half dozen (and counting). That established him as an up and comer, leading to his television role on the show St. Elsewhere, which ran for half a decade. That would open up some major film roles, including Glory, where he received »
- Joey Magidson
In a development that feels more inevitable than surprising, Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass are in talks to get back into the Bourne business. The two had sent mixed messages over the years, ever since Jason Bourne disappeared in the murky East River at the end of The Bourne Ultimatum in 2007, with the major roadblock being Damon’s insistence that a reluctant Greenglass direct, while Universal handed the franchise over to writer-turned-director Tony Gilroy. But with Gilroy’s Bourne Legacy, starring Jeremy Renner, failing to live up to the original three Bourne films at the box office, and Damon’s recent non-Bourne projects, »
- Jeff Labrecque
Director Spike Lee previously received a “joint collection” treatment, in the form of a special DVD set, but a pair of new-to-Blu-ray collections include completely brand new audio commentary tracks from the divisive filmmaker, as well as titles not featured in that collection and not previously available in this format. “The Spike Lee Joint Collection: Volume 1″ features 1998′s “He Got Game” and 2002′s “25th Hour,” both in superb 1080p high-definition, 2.40:1 non-anamorphic widescreen transfers. In the former film, convict Jake Shuttlesworth (Denzel Washington) is granted temporary release from state prison in order to attempt to persuade his son Jesus (Ray Allen), the nation’s top high school basketball recruit, to play for [ Read More ]
Who of our modern filmmakers will justify lavish, career-spanning box sets in the next generation (presuming there is such a thing and we’re not 100% digital)? We’ve seen Oliver Stone, Martin Scorsese, and Alfred Hitchcock sets in recent years but who will get the same treatment in ten or twenty years?
One man who I’d love to see dissected from first film to last is the essential Spike Lee. He has had an undeniably spotty career with films both considered masterpieces and complete failures. But Spike is always working, always trying something new, always willing to challenge himself and the viewer. Did his “Oldboy” remake work? No. He picks himself up, dusts himself off, and gets back to it. Spike has been everywhere lately, promoting and discussing the 25th anniversary of his masterpiece, “Do the Right Thing,” and so someone figured it was a good time to release »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
This life came so close to never happening.
Spike Lee, as prolific as he is, has relatively few of his films on blu-ray. Films older than the medium that aren't bona fide hits/classics like Malcolm X (1992) or Do the Right Thing (1989), are only now being released in two-film sets. The first and ludicrously better-received pair is 25th Hour (2002) and He Got Game (1998). Both films depict characters on the cusp of major, life-altering events struggling to find trust and safety. For those viewers who know Lee from the bombast and socio-political persona would do well to refresh their impressions of the man with these two films. They are deeply thoughtful, socially aware, and emotional stories presented in a fresh manner with a great visual style.
- Jason Ratigan
Spike Lee’s latest horror film, “Da Sweet Blood of Jesus,” is about a couple of bloodsuckers, but don’t call them vampires. “This is not a vampire story,” Lee says from his production offices in Brooklyn. “Vampires can’t go out in the day in the Fort Green Projects. This is about people who are addicted to blood.” His movie was inspired by 1974′s “Ganja & Hess,” directed by Bill Gunn, which Lee first saw in NYU film school. “Bill didn’t think it was a vampire movie either,” Lee says. “Once it was taken from him and recut, it was sold that way to capitalize on the success of ‘Blacula.’”
Lee’s project, which he co-wrote and produced, is probably best known as the one he pitched on KickStarter last year. He says he learned about the crowd-funding site from his students at Nyu, where he’s long taught film classes. »
- Ramin Setoodeh
This year’s NBA Championships have just been decided – with the San Antonio Spurs beating Miami Heat and so winning the Finals for the fifth time. If you want to have a bet on which team is going to win the NBA Championships next year, the odds are already available at Betfair, where Miami Heat are current favourites, followed by the Spurs. Of course, a lot could change in the next 12 months, but that’s where Betfair can be a really useful tool for placing bets. If you take an early position and then the odds change markedly, you can always lay your bet back as it’s a betting exchange rather than a straight customer/bookmaker relationship.
As this season draws to a close, the best place to get a basketball fix during the summer is out playing on the courts yourself, or failing that, watching some great basketball movies. »
- David Agnew
With his 2002 film 25th Hour, Spike Lee proved, as he did in Summer Of Sam three years earlier, that he wasn’t limited to making films about the black experience. Lee could do provocative very well and he could do “issues” very well, but with 25th Hour, he had a hard time making a film that sustained its 2 hours and 10 minutes. That was a real shame since I started out liking this film when I saw it when it was new, but it ran out of steam about the halfway point. I have a lot of respect for Edward Norton who played Monty Brogan, a convicted New York drug dealer who spends the film reevaluating his life in the before facing a seven-year jail term on drug charges, but felt the actor was miscast. Norton comes off too bookish and safe to play a convincing dealer. I thought the “F— You” monologue, »
- Tom Stockman
To mark the release of Franklin and Bash Season 2 on DVD 28th April, we’ve been given 5 copies of the TV show to give away.
The boys are back to rip the law a new one in the hit buddy legal drama Franklin & Bash: The Complete Second Season,coming to DVD on April 28 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Breckin Meyer (Clueless, Road Trip) and Mark-Paul Gosselaar (TV’s “NYPD Blue” & “Saved by the Bell”) return as Jared Franklin and Peter Bash, two streetwise lawyers and lifelong friends who cause a seismic culture clash when they join the button-down law firm of Ineld-Daniels, presided over by the eccentric Stanton Infeld (Malcolm McDowell, A Clockwork Orange, Easy A). In season two, the stakes are raised as Jared and Peter face a number of truly daunting tasks to ensure partner status at Infeld-Daniels and discover the real reason Infeld hired them.
Co-starring Reed Diamond »
A quarter-century ago, Kevin Costner hit a double-play, following up "Bull Durham" with "Field of Dreams" and becoming king of the sports movie. Twenty-five years later, as "Field of Dreams" marks its 25th anniversary (it was released on April 21, 1989), Costner is back with "Draft Day." The movie's about football, not baseball, and Costner's character plays in the executive suite, not on the field, but his mere presence still offers a reminder of great sports movies past.
And after all, isn't nostalgia a key element of sports movies? "Field of Dreams" makes this explicit -- we long for the sports heroes of our childhood, for a supposed long-gone golden age of our preferred sport, as a way of connecting with our past and bridging the generational divide that separates us as adults from our parents. Sports movies offer more than just the drama of winners and losers, or the journey from dream to achievement, »
- Gary Susman
Jesus Shuttlesworth just may be returning to the big screen in the future - if Spike Lee has his way. The filmmaker addressed rumors, which began circulating last month, that a sequel to his 1998 drama He Got Game is in the works - rumors that were fueled by Ray Allen (the NBA star who also starred in Spike's film), when he shared, before a game last month, that he and Spike had been talking about a sequel in previous recent months, tossing story ideas back and forth. ''Sequels to most movies are always fluff and not as good as the first,'' Allen said before the January 7th game between the Miami Heat (the team he plays for) and the New Orleans Pelicans. ''But it's something »
- Tambay A. Obenson
"20th Century Fox is in talks to preemptively pick up the screen rights to 'A Million Little Pieces' author James Frey's young-adult novel 'Endgame'. The book's plot is described as 'Hunger Games-like'..." (full details)
"Miami Heat player Ray Allen recently told Espn that he's been talking with Spike Lee about a potential sequel to Lee's 1998 film 'He Got Game'. Denzel Washington and Rosario Dawson starred in the story of a convict father (Washington) trying to convince his son (Allen) to enroll in college..." (full details)
- Garth Franklin
It's been sixteen years since the release of Spike Lee's He Got Game. A lot of time has passed that one would figure if they wanted to make a sequel they would have already done it. Lee has never directed a sequel to one of his films, and I don't think that this would be the first. The film did receive plenty of acclaim especially for Ray Allen who left the court to play the leading role of Jesus Shuttlesworth. Roger Ebert even said that it was rare to see an athlete that could actually act. »
- Niki Stephens
Any project with Spike Lee’s name attached must be taken with a grain of salt. The man is up there with Quentin Tarantino on the number of unmade films he’s come up with—several of which we detailed in our Lost, Unmade, and Possible Future Projects of Spike Lee article. Here’s another we might add to a possible sequel list a few years down the line. Miami Heat guard Ray Allen recently teased to Espn that he's been discussing with Lee a sequel to the 1998 film, “He Got Game.” The original starred Denzel Washington and Rosario Dawson alongside Allen, telling the story of a convict father trying to convince his son to enroll in college. The film went on to have a strong following in home video as well as nabbing Allen an MTV Movie Award—back when those were relevant—for Best Breakthrough Male Performance. It's »
- Kristen Lopez
One of the more divisive films in Spike Lee.s controversial body of work is He Got Game, which stars Denzel Washington and Ray Allen as a conflicted father and son bound together by hoops. Allen played lauded prospect Jesus Shuttlesworth, a young hoopster being aggressively recruited to various colleges with several shady tactics. And Washington, in one of his harsher and more complex roles, is his ex-con father, who is sprung from the big house to try to convince his son to commit to the fictional Big State University. The film was met with mixed reviews, and came and went pretty quietly back in 1998, grossing $21 million. Allen took the role in the middle of his 1996 rookie year. Since then he.s become maybe the greatest shooter in NBA history, handily shattering the record for most three pointers of all time. Allen has collected ten All-Star appearances, two NBA championships »
Hollywood megastar Will Smith is trying to choose his next move very carefully. The box office king is looking to reclaim his throne coming off of the disastrous After Earth, as well as a couple of rather ho-hum years. Even his Men in Black 3 failed to recoup it’s budget domestically, relying on international tallies to make it successful. So what’s he reportedly looking at? Deadline reports that he’s circling a supernatural thriller, Selling Time, which is set to be directed by Disturbia‘s D.J. Caruso. The film centers on a man that manages to sell off chunks of his life in hopes of being able to revisit and alter a tragic day from his past.
The film has been floating around Hollywood for over 10 years now, with several folks attached to write or direct over the years. Deadline claims Smith has been interested for almost just as long. »
- Mario-Francisco Robles
In 1998, Spike Lee delivered to audiences "He Got Game," starring Denzel Washington, Ray Allen, Milla Jovovich, and Rosario Dawson amongst others. Now, a report from Espn says that Allen and Lee are talking about getting back together for a sequel. Espn's website quotes the Miami Heat guard as saying "Sequels to most movies are always fluff and not as good as the first," and then adding to that, "But it's something we've been talking about for the last couple months. If we get a really good story line and are able to bring everybody back, then it would be something »
- HitFix Staff
20 items from 2014
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