Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins (2008) - News Poster

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Martin Lawrence signs with CAA

Martin Lawrence signs with CAA
Martin Lawrence has landed in the arms of CAA, signing with the agency for representation in all areas.

The comedian exited UTA earlier in June, ending what had been a 15-year relationship.

He is best known for his work in the massively successful "Big Momma's House" and "Bad Boys" movies as well as "Wild Hogs". More recently he starred in "Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins" and "College Road Trip", movies that underperformed at the boxoffice.

He also headlined the hit concert films "Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat" and "You So Crazy" and is also the principal in Runteldat Entertainment, which produces the Starz comedy showcase "Martin Lawrence Presents 1st Amendment Stand-Up," now entering its third season.

Lawrence continues to be repped by the Collective and attorney Lawrence Rose of Gang Tyre Ramer & Brown.

Cedric the Entertainer helms 'Pulaski'

Cedric the Entertainer helms 'Pulaski'
Cedric the Entertainer is set to make his directorial debut with the indie comedy Chicago Pulaski Jones.

The film, written by Kel Mitchell and Janis Woody, stars Mitchell, Cedric, Tommy Davidson and Gary Sturgis.

It centers around a young championship dancer, Jones, who heads to the big city for his shot at superstardom. On the day he arrives, his uncle is murdered, leaving Jones to avenge his uncle's death vigilante style and alone.

Cedric's manager and producing partner Eric C. Rhone is producing with Mitchell, Woody and Mathew Gray through Rhone and Cedric's A Bird and A Bear Entertainment. Cedric is exec producing.

The film began production Tuesday in Los Angeles.

Cedric, whose recent acting credits include Madagascar, Talk to Me and Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins, will appear in the upcoming Street Kings and Cadillac Records. He is repped by CAA, Rhone and attorneys Nina Shaw and Gordon Bobb.

Mitchell, who will next be seen in John Sayles' Honeydripper, is repped by the Agency Group.

Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins

Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins
It's not that you can't go home again -- it's that you do so at the risk of grievous bodily harm. That's one of the heart-warming lessons of Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins, a comedy so broad and frenetic that its characters are one brawl away from being CGI creations. As a runt-turned-celebrity returning to Georgia for a family reunion, Martin Lawrence mugs it up, withstands the abuse and learns that the family that flays together stays together.

Writer-director Malcolm D. Lee's formulaic framework is really an excuse for a group of gifted stand-ups and comic actors to riff on caricatures, and he lets most of them dial it up to 11. As an alternative to the season's tepid romantic comedies, Roscoe should find a warm welcome on its opening weekend. The cast's evident delight might be enough for some moviegoers, but with so much talent and so little modulation on offer, audiences subjected to the onslaught could reasonably expect a higher laughs-to-torture ratio.

Lawrence's Roscoe has reinvented himself as RJ Stevens, author of a self-help book, The Team of Me, and host of a daytime talk show. His Survivor-champ fiancee, Bianca (Joy Bryant), views their marriage as a smart merger and his parents' 50th anniversary banquet as a publicity opportunity. Pressured by his stern father James Earl Jones) and his young son (Damani Roberts), RJ reluctantly makes the trip to Dry Springs for the first time in nine years, Bianca's luggage and lapdog in tow.

Beyond the stony disapproval of his passive-aggressive father and mother (Margaret Avery), Roscoe must contend with his mouthy, take-no-prisoners sister (Mo'Nique), disciplinarian sheriff brother Michael Clarke Duncan) and two cousins: scheming goofball Reggie (Mike Epps) and smooth manipulator Clyde (Cedric the Entertainer), who was orphaned as a kid and raised by Roscoe's parents.

In the latest unjust one-upmanship in a lifelong rivalry, Clyde's Cadillac dealerships mean more to the family than anything Roscoe has accomplished. Conveniently accompanying Clyde to the reunion even though they're just friends is the lovely Lucinda Nicole Ari Parker), the object of Roscoe's unrequited boyhood affections and as clearly right for him as Bianca is wrong.

It's telling that the funniest part of the film is the end-credits sequence, when the performers calmly improvise monologues for their characters. Amid the slugfests and shouting matches that take up too much of the action, the laughs are relatively few and too often on the order of X-rated canine action. The troupe's considerable insult chemistry could have used more room to breathe rather than shoehorning the raucousness into a predictable love-and-forgiveness message.

It would be one thing if the family's cruelty to Roscoe were a response to his adopting a phony Los Angeles persona, but the movie makes clear that he's been at the receiving end of a lifetime of harsh treatment. He's unappreciated, slapped around and generally dissed -- and then dutifully learns the Importance of Family.

Lee (The Best Man, Undercover Brother) has an eye for pop-culture shorthand, and the clash between down-home sweet tea and barbecued pork and West Coast yoga and tofu, however tired, rings true. William Elliott's astute production design and Danielle Hollowell's costumes don't overdo the cultural divide. Two Louisiana towns, Shreveport and Minden, sub nicely for small-town Georgia.

WELCOME HOME ROSCOE JENKINS

Universal

Universal Pictures and Spyglass Entertainment present a Stuber-Parent production

Credits:

Writer-director: Malcolm D. Lee

Producers: Scott Stuber, Mary Parent, Charles Castaldi

Executive producers: Malcolm D. Lee, Timothy M. Bourne, Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum

Director of photography: Greg Gardiner

Music: David Newman

Production designer: William Elliott

Costume designer: Danielle Hollowell

Editors: George Bowers, Paul Millspaugh

Cast:

RJ: Martin Lawrence

Papa Jenkins: James Earl Jones

Mamma Jenkins: Margaret Avery

Bianca Kittles: Joy Bryant

Clyde: Cedric the Entertainer

Marty: Louis C.K.

Otis: Michael Clarke Duncan

Reggie: Mike Epps

Betty: Mo'Nique

Lucinda: Nicole Ari Parker

Jamaal: Damani Roberts

Running time -- 114 minutes

MPAA rating: PG-13

Morgan, Uni join for new adventure

Universal Pictures has pre-emptively purchased an untitled adventure pitch from scribe Chris Morgan for $700,000 against $1.35 million. Stuber/Parent Prods. is producing.

The sale marks the fifth straight Universal project for Morgan, the most recent being a rewrite on Wanted for director Timur Bekmambetov and producer Marc Platt, which is in preproduction in Prague, and an adaptation of the graphic novel The Psycho, which is in development.

Morgan also penned last summer's The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift for Universal. Based on the global success of Tokyo Drift, which grossed $158 million worldwide, the studio tapped Morgan to write a fourth installment of the franchise.

Universal's Jeff Kirschenbaum and Erik Baiers will oversee Morgan's untitled adventure pitch for the studio.

H2F Entertainment's Walter Hamada and Chris Fenton are executive producing.

Stuber/Parent is in postproduction on The Kingdom, which will bow in the fall. The company is shooting the Martin Lawrence starrer The Better Man and is in preproduction on the Luke Greenfield-helmed Big Brothers and the Benicio Del Toro vehicle Wolfman.

Morgan also wrote Cellular for New Line Cinema.

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