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Film Review: ‘Wrestle’

A smaller-scaled examination of sportive influence on already-hard-knocked young lives in the mode of “Hoop Dreams” and “Friday Night Lives,” “Wrestle” trains its gaze on an underdog high school’s grappling team over one eventful season’s course. Suzannah Herbert and co-director Lauren Belfer’s documentary spends at least as much time on the protagonists’ stormy personal lives as it does on their athletic training and competition. Their disparate struggles remind that the “land of opportunity” is no level playing field: Those from broken homes and poorer communities with underfunded educational systems face a much steeper climb than the more fortunate. This engrossing snapshot has a good shot at exposure beyond the festival circuit, with public television being a logical destination.

Huntsville is a city in north Alabama (and the south end of the Appalachians) whose public schools suffer from statewide problems with low test scores and graduation rates. One
See full article at Variety - Film News »

From Elliott Smith to Sufjan Stevens, Repping Indie Rock at the Oscars

From Elliott Smith to Sufjan Stevens, Repping Indie Rock at the Oscars
“I’m just thrilled to be nominated and to be there and be witness to it all,” Sufjan Stevens told Variety in a recent interview, expressing gratitude for his Oscar nod for “Mystery of Love,” one of the two original songs he wrote for “Call Me By Your Name.” In taking a happy-just-to-be-there stance, Stevens may be being magnanimous — or just realistic, given how historically impervious Academy voters have proven to indie-rock over the years, especially in the final voting stretch.

Only once, or “Once,” has the Academy awarded Best Song to an artist who might be considered to have come from the indie-rock realm, when Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, who formerly shared space in the band the Frames, won a decade ago for “Falling Slowly.” Some might consider their genre to be more in the realm of adult alternative or Americana, but at least they were artists signed to an indie label,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Son of Shaft First Look Unites Samuel L. Jackson and Jessie T. Usher

Son of Shaft First Look Unites Samuel L. Jackson and Jessie T. Usher
There's no rebooting the Shaft legacy when you have such icons as Samuel L. Jackson and Richard Roundtree already part of the franchise. So Son of Shaft will be a true sequel that brings the entire Shaft family together, with Jessie Usher the newest member of this squad. Today, we have a first look at the three generations as they will appear in the upcoming crime thriller.

This first look image arrives direct from acclaimed fashion designer Aleks Musika, who will be providing the stylish new wardrobe for his trio of classy men. The trinity is seen walking in unison across a rooftop, with Jessie Usher leading the group in matching rust-colored trench coats, adorned with dark shades, and matching gray turtlenecks. The sight will surely bring a smile to any fan of the actors, and the Shaft franchise as a whole. Musika had this to say, quoting the iconic Shaft theme by Isaac Hayes.
See full article at MovieWeb »

‘Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex Fashion and Disco’ Bought by Film Movement

Film Movement has acquired U.S. distribution rights to James Crump’s documentary “Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex Fashion & Disco” for a release in September, with digital and home entertainment releases to follow

The film has screened at BFI London Film Festival, Idfa Amsterdam and Doc NYC, where it won the Metropolitan Grand Jury prize. “Antonio Lopez 1970,” produced by Crump and Ronnie Sassoon, is a time capsule of Paris and New York between 1969 and 1973 as viewed through the eyes of Lopez, regarded as the

dominant fashion illustrator of the time.

His discoveries included Cathee Dahmen, Grace Jones, Pat Cleveland, Tina Chow, Jessica Lange, Jerry Hall and Warhol Superstars Donna Jordan, Jane Forth and Patti D’Arbanville. The film uses archival footage and stills of studio life in Carnegie Hall, Max’s Kansas City and Hotel Chelsea and original interviews with Lange, Cleveland, Jordan, Forth and D’Arbanville, fashion photographer Bill Cunningham in his very last interview, Grace Coddington, [link
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Romance Free Films this Valentine’s Day

Sade Green with five alternate viewing suggestions for Valentine’s Day…

It’s Valentine’s Day. But for a fairly large percentage of the population, this means Nothing! Perhaps you and your partner don’t celebrate it. Maybe you’ve just been through a big break up. Or perhaps you just despise the commercial aspect of it all. Regardless of your reasons, here are five comedies that are completely devoid of romance (although there may be the occasional bromance).

See Also: Top Ten Best Romances and Rom-Coms to watch this Valentine’s Day

1. Hot Fuzz (2007)

Director: Edgar Wright

Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jim Broadbent

Genre: Action Comedy

Hot Fuzz is the second film in the ‘Cornetto Trilogy’ and arguably, the most underrated. Pegg stars as Nicholas Angel, a London police officer who is so good, he is demoted to policing a small country village so he stops making the Metropolitan Police look bad.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

3 Generations of Shaft Actors Unite For a Photo on the Set of the Reboot

A new photo from the set of the upcoming Shaft reboot was recently posted on the official Isaac Hayes memorial Twitter account. The photo opp brings together three generations of Shaft actors that include the legendary original Shaft actor Richard Roundtree from the 1970s films; Samuel L. Jackson, who played his nephew in the 2000 film; and then there's Jessie T. Usher, who is the newest addition to the Shaft family. He is the son of Jackson's character. Here's the synopsis from the upcoming film:

He may be a cyber security expert with a degree from MIT, but to uncover the truth behind his best friend’s untimely death, Jj—aka John Shaft Jr. (Jessie T. Usher)—will need an education only his dad can provide. Absent throughout Jj’s youth, the legendary locked-and-loaded John Shaft (Jackson) agrees to help his progeny navigate Harlem’s heroin-infested underbelly. And while Jj’s
See full article at GeekTyrant »

3 Generations of Shaft Unite as Son of Shaft Begins Shooting

3 Generations of Shaft Unite as Son of Shaft Begins Shooting
Production on Son of Shaft has officially begun and to celebrate, Isaac Hayes' son posted a picture of himself along with Richard Roundtree, Samuel L. Jackson, and Jessie Usher. The new Shaft project has been in development for years now, but it was revealed last year that Tim Story was set to direct the project and was followed by the announcement that Roundtree, Jackson, were both returning to the movie. Jessie T. Usher is the newcomer to the series and he is set to play the titular role.

Son of Shaft is set for a June 2019 release date and production has officially begun. Isaac Hayes famously recorded the iconic theme song for the original movie as well as the 2000 sequel starring Samuel L. Jackson. The musician won an Academy Award for his original song and his son was on the set of Son of Shaft to celebrate 3 generations of the character in one picture.
See full article at MovieWeb »

Regina Hall to Co-Star in ‘Shaft’ Sequel With Samuel L. Jackson (Exclusive)

Regina Hall to Co-Star in ‘Shaft’ Sequel With Samuel L. Jackson (Exclusive)
Regina Hall has joined the cast of New Line’s latest installment in the “Shaft” franchise opposite Samuel L. Jackson and Jessie T. Usher, sources tell Variety.

Hall will play a former love interest of John Shaft and the younger Shaft’s mother. Alexandra Shipp and the original Shaft, Richard Roundtree, are also on board.

Tim Story is directing from a script by Kenya Barris and Alex Barnow. Barris and John Davis are producing. Marc Fischer and Ira Napoliello are exec producing.

The movie follows Usher, a nerdy FBI agent who, after his friend dies under suspicious circumstances, launches his own investigation, reluctantly enlisting help from his estranged father — the legendary, stuck-in-the-’80s-but-still-cool John Shaft.

MGM’s 1971 blaxploitation film was based on Ernest Tidyman’s novel and directed by Gordon Parks. John Shaft was portrayed by Roundtree, who navigates mob neighborhoods in New York City to find a mobster’s missing daughter.

The film was
See full article at Variety - Film News »

'Shaft' Lands Prime Summer 2019 Release, Followed by 'The Goldfinch' in Fall

'Shaft' Lands Prime Summer 2019 Release, Followed by 'The Goldfinch' in Fall
Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema's Shaft reboot has landed a prime summer release date.

The movie, directed by Tim Story and starring Jessie T. Usher opposite Samuel L. Jackson, is set to debut in theaters June 14, 2019. Sources say the story will center on Usher's character, who is the son of John Shaft.

The first Shaft movie hit theaters in 1971 and starred Richard Roundtree as the titular private detective who is hired to rescue a Harlem mobster’s kidnapped daughter. The film was a box-office hit for MGM, earning $13 million, and Isaac Hayes' theme won the Oscar...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

John Carpenter's '80s: "The Fog" and "Escape From New York"

  • MUBI
John Carpenter's The Fog (1980) is playing from September 9 - October 8 and Escape from New York (1981) from September 10 - October 9, 2017 in the United States as part of the series John Carpenter's '80s.A golden pocket watch hangs on the right side of the movie’s frame like a broken pendulum, or maybe a man from the gallows. It sways gently, showing five minutes before midnight. With laconic eyes and the careful accentuation of a raconteur, Mr. Michen (John Houseman) recounts to a gaggle of kids the moribund story of the Elizabeth Dane, a clipper ship captained by a wealthy man named Blake who had leprosy, and who wanted to set up a leper colony in Northern California. The ship, beset by a sudden fog bank, sailed towards a campfire mistaken for a lighthouse and crashed into the rocks. None survived. The story, which has been passed down from grandfathers to fathers to sons,
See full article at MUBI »

'Borg/McEnroe': Film Review | Tiff 2017

'Borg/McEnroe': Film Review | Tiff 2017
It was "the IceBorg versus the SuperBrat," in the eyes of the world: the 1980 Wimbledon final pitting Björn Borg, a four-time champion who never lost his cool in a game, against John McEnroe, who seemingly couldn't keep his cool in a walk-in freezer with Isaac Hayes on his headphones. Janus Metz's Borg/McEnroe paints a very different picture, diving into both men's psyches to find them all but identical, differing only in their outward manifestations of relentless pressure. An acting-forward sports film capable of engaging viewers who don't know their 30-loves from their birdies or hat tricks, it has mainstream...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Samuel L. Jackson, Jessie T. Usher to Star in ‘Shaft’ Sequel

Samuel L. Jackson, Jessie T. Usher to Star in ‘Shaft’ Sequel
After originally planning a full reboot of the ’70s classic, New Line is reverting back to a familiar formula for the next installment of “Shaft,” while also leaving the door open for a new face to take over the franchise.

Sources tell Variety that Samuel L. Jackson is in negotiations to reprise his role of the titular character with “Survivor’s Remorse” star Jessie T. Usher in talks to play Jackson’s son in the film.

Tim Story is directing a script from “Black-ish” creator Kenya Barris.

The original 1971 version — based on Ernest Tidyman’s novel — starred Richard Roundtree as a smooth private detective who’s hired by a drug lord to find his kidnapped daughter. The character became a pop culture icon and the theme song, written by Isaac Hayes, went on to win an Oscar.

Paramount Pictures rebooted the film in 2002 with Samuel L. Jackson taking over the role, and
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘South Park’ Member Berries: Trey Parker & Matt Stone Talk TV Debut and Befriending George Clooney

‘South Park’ Member Berries: Trey Parker & Matt Stone Talk TV Debut and Befriending George Clooney
It’s been 20 years since TV was changed forever by four boys and their Ma-tv language in a quiiiiiet mounnnntain townnnn. While indulging in a few member berries, Et is looking back at South Park and the day creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone started satirizing everything we hold dear on August 13, 1997.

Immediately following the animated series’ Comedy Central debut, Et sat down with Parker and Stone to discuss the real South Park, the Colorado town in which the show takes place, what made their TV debut nerve-wracking and how they ended up at the premiere of Batman & Robin.

“[South Park] is actually an area right in the middle of the Rocky Mountains and it's strange, because it's almost a perfectly circular valley,” Parker said, with Stone adding: “South Park is like if you were flying a UFO over Colorado, you would want to land in South Park. It looks like a nice place to land.”

Growing up in a
See full article at Entertainment Tonight »

Can You Dig It? Shaft Screens Midnights This Weekend at The Tivoli

Shaft (1971) screens this Friday and Saturday nights (July 21st and 2nd) at midnight at the Tivoli Theater as part of their ‘Reel Late at the Tivoli’ Midnight series.

“Who’s the black private dick that’s a sex machine to all the chicks?”

Shaft was not the first Blaxploitation film but it is the most influential and one of the most memorable. A workaday script was launched into cultural orbit by the charismatic performance of Richard Roundtree and the unforgettable theme song by the late Isaac Hayes. The importance of this movie is not that it was hugely successful (although it was), but that it was among the first produced and performed by a crew and cast that was predominantly black. It proved that there was a significant audience for movies that represented black culture on its own terms and treated the audience with respect. Importantly, Shaft isn’t a
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Here’s How to Cook Some of the Most Popular Foods from South Park

In what’s become easily one of my top five favorite Youtube channels “Binging with Babish” is back with another hearty food lesson. This time Andrew Rea created a special called “The Foods of South Park.” South Park is home to a surprising number of tempting foodstuffs. Granted, they’re all subtly gross in one way or another, but that doesn’t make Chef’s Chocolate Salty Balls sound any less appealing. Especially when it’s being sung at you by Isaac Hayes. And isn’t just the chef’s foods either. Don’t forget about Cartman’s Mr. & Mrs. Tenorman chili. I just wish they would have

Here’s How to Cook Some of the Most Popular Foods from South Park
See full article at TVovermind.com »

South Park’s “Chef” Isaac Hayes Never Really Quit the Show: Scientologists Did on His Behalf

I don’t know about you guys but Chef was one of my favorite all-time South Park characters and I don’t think I’m alone on this one. Played by the legendary Isaac Hayes, Chef will always be in our memories as one hell of a singer, mentor, and guy that just said whatever the hell he wanted on that show. Unfortunately Isaac Hayes is no longer with us, but something came to light today that I never even realized. While many were under the impression that when Isaac Hayes quit the show South Park that he simply quit in that it

South Park’s “ChefIsaac Hayes Never Really Quit the Show: Scientologists Did on His Behalf
See full article at TVovermind.com »

There’s Reason to Be Excited About The ‘Escape from New York’ Remake

With Robert Rodriguez behind the camera, at least.

Everyone hates remakes. As film-critic people, we are obligated to hate remakes and reboots ever more. Remember Ben-Hur with Morgan Freeman? Remember Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes (2001)? But I’m can’t help but get excited about the remake of John Carpenter’s Escape from New York (1981) that 20th Century Fox is starting to get the ball actually rolling on. For one, Carpenter remains on hand as executive producer, which kind of makes the director and now-prolific rock star look like a father watching kid’s play with his old toys. Carpenter hasn’t done anything, movie-wise, in almost decade so it’s nice to see that he’ll be somewhere behind a camera sometime soon. Last year, he announced that he’d be also be on hand to help helm currently-hip Blumhouse Production’s first take on the ninth Halloween movie. So
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

Robert Rodriguez to Helm Escape From New York Remake?

We haven't heard much about the Escape from New York remake since Fox picked up the rights to reboot the franchise back in early 2015, but now it's being reported that Robert Rodriguez is in talks to take the directing reins on the project.

According to THR, Rodriguez (Planet Terror, From Dusk Till Dawn) is in discussions to direct the Escape from New York remake for 20th Century Fox, with John Carpenter—the director of the original film and its 1996 sequel (Escape from L.A.)—on board as an executive producer with considerable creative input on the project (he's also doing something similar in the Michael Myers franchise by executive producing the new Halloween movie). On Facebook, Carpenter shared his excitement for Rodriguez's potential involvement, writing, "I am thrilled. He is a great director."

The remake will also be produced by Picture Co.'s Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman, and it's believed
See full article at DailyDead »

‘Baby Driver’ Review: Edgar Wright’s Brilliant Car Chase Musical Casts Ansel Elgort As an Outlaw Fred Astaire — SXSW 2017

‘Baby Driver’ Review: Edgar Wright’s Brilliant Car Chase Musical Casts Ansel Elgort As an Outlaw Fred Astaire — SXSW 2017
Like every Edgar Wright movie since “Shaun of the Dead,” the director’s fifth feature, “Baby Driver,” takes a ludicrous concept and turns it into a brilliant exercise in high style and a rush of big ideas. The director’s most ambitious work to date is a wildly successful romantic heist comedy, propelled from scene to scene with a lively soundtrack that elevates its slick chase scenes into a realm that develops its own satisfying beat.

If Busby Berkeley made “Grand Theft Auto,” it might look something like this exuberant comic caper, in which young getaway driver Baby (Ansel Elgort) speeds through highways and back alleys seemingly impervious to police advances so long as he has a smooth beat to guide his maneuvers. Operating under the employ of robbery maestro Doc (a stern Kevin Spacey), Baby quietly works off a debt to his boss by hauling two-bit criminals out of harm’s way,
See full article at Indiewire »

For William Bell, a Grammy Is a Lifetime in the Making

For William Bell, a Grammy Is a Lifetime in the Making
2017 is William Bell’s 60th year in the music industry. He’s 77 years old. Cream, the Byrds and Linda Ronstadt have recorded his songs. And this year, he’s up for his first Grammys.

Strangely, they’re in what could be considered opposing categories — American and traditional R&B — but it makes sense for Bell, who never quite fit into easy categories. Performer, songwriter, producer — Bell has done it all.

Born William Henry Yarborough in Memphis on July 16, 1939, Bell, like a lot of soul singers from his era, first started singing in church when he was just 8 years old. He
See full article at PEOPLE.com »
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