4 items from 2015
Trevor Rabin had no idea that, on Nov. 4, 2008, he was about to be immortalized.
Barack Obama had just been elected president of the United States, and as he finished his acceptance speech, the music that began to play was Rabin’s inspirational theme from the football movie “Remember the Titans.”
For a white South African whose family fought against apartheid when it was not just unfashionable but downright dangerous, this prominent showcase of his music — written for a movie about black and white high-school players learning to get along and win the season — was especially meaningful.
“I was happy I was on the winning ticket,” Rabin says with a laugh.
Yet that’s just one moment in a long, strange trip that began in Johannesburg and ended in Hollywood, where Rabin is now an in-demand film composer with no fewer than 13 Jerry Bruckheimer movies under his belt (including “Titans,” “Armageddon »
- Jon Burlingame
"If you're not riskin' nothin', neither will they." At a time when record executives finally realized that there was a sizeable black audience waiting to buy records from black musicians, Bessie Smith rose to fame and inspired a new generation of artists with her incredible blues. Now the story of the woman who came to be known as The Empress of the Blues is coming to HBO with Queen Latifiah (Valentine's Day, Just Wright) taking the title role in Bessie. It looks like another solid piece of filmmaking from HBO, which isn't surprising with Pariah director Dee Rees behind the lens, and it's refreshing to dig into the blues. Watch! Here's the teaser trailer for Dee Rees' Bessie from HBO: Bessie is directed by Dee Rees (Pariah) and written by Christopher Cleveland & Bettina Gilois (McFarland USA, Glory Road). Queen Latifah (Bringing Down the House) stars as legendary blues singer »
- Ethan Anderton
I cannot believe it has taken this long for Kevin Costner to combine two of his cinematic passions into one movie. The first is obvious: the sports film. Costner has a slate of sports films people hold in very high regard. Field of Dreams and Bull Durham, whether you like them or not, are entering "classic" territory. The other passion may not be a easily recognizable, but Costner is quite interested in race and culture relations. From his (undeserving) Best Picture winner Dances with Wolves to this year's mediocrely reviewed Black or White, Costner really wants to let people know he can coexist with people who aren't just white. So, McFarland, USA brings those two worlds together, and the result is about as cliched as you could possibly imagine. But is that really a surprisec This particular sports film comes to us courtesy of the mighty House of Mouse. They »
- Mike Shutt
The stirring true story of how a scrappy Latino high-school running team beat the odds is treated as a Kevin Costner vehicle first and foremost in “McFarland, USA,” a cross-cultural cross-country drama that feels descended from a long line of minority-underdog movies like “The Blind Side,” “Stand and Deliver,” “Pride” and the Oscar-winning documentary “Undefeated.” Predictable and predictably rousing, this inspirational sports pic earns points for its big-hearted portrait of life in an impoverished California farming town, the likes of which we too rarely see on American screens. But with its overriding emphasis on how Coach Costner fits into that world, this fifth feature from director Niki Caro (“Whale Rider,” “North Country”) never sheds its outsider perspective, ultimately emerging a well-intentioned mix of compassion and condescension. Even if the family-friendly Disney release commands a more diverse audience than most, it remains to be seen how much long-term box-office endurance it can muster. »
- Justin Chang
4 items from 2015
IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.See our NewsDesk partners