3 items from 2008
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 is set to make his directorial debut with the indie comedy Chicago Pulaski Jones.
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.
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.
8 February 2008 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
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 Pictures and Spyglass Entertainment present a Stuber-Parent production
Writer-director: Malcolm D. Lee
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
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
Lucinda: Nicole Ari Parker
Jamaal: Damani Roberts
Running time -- 114 minutes
MPAA rating: PG-13
3 items from 2008
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