Filed under: Reviews
From the Hollywood Reporter:
Don McGlynn's 'Rejoice and Shout' is probably the first documentary ever to look comprehensively at the 200-year musical history of African-American Christianity - which is to say gospel music - and may well be the last. It certainly doesn't seem like McGlynn or his producer, Joe Lauro, who owns a vast collection of old records and music film footage, missed anything significant.
The doc is exhaustive in its compilation of the major acts and personalities in gospel music - to the point the narrative thread almost gets buried under the weight of names, dates, musical styles and vintage performances.
For anyone with a keen interest in this unique American musical form, 'Rejoice and Shout' is a must-see and see-again. It's also a must-have for the home libraries of gospel-music enthusiast. For those whose interest is more casual, the film is almost as exhausting as exhaustive.
You've heard of documentaries that preach to the choir? Well, in this one, the choir preaches back!
McGlynn situates this history in the deep-rooted, hardcore religious beliefs of black American Christians and in the highly participatory Pentecostal church services. The historians and artists who accompany the viewer on this tour of musical history speak first of their abiding faith in the Almighty and the spiritual and communal joy of church-going. Then they talk about the music they grew up with.
Read more here.
Filed under: Previews
Salon's Joan Walsh dissects many of the recent stories about how white people feel that anti-white sentiment is on the rise. Look: It's not a competition. But when it comes to white people feeling discriminated against (Gothamist headline: "Regarding Racism, Whites Think They Are the New Blacks"), white people have no idea how soul-stomping, heartbreaking and difficult it is to be black in America.
Especially if you have dark skin. The clip above is from Dark Girls, an upcoming documentary "exploring the deep-seated biases and attitudes about skin color - particularly dark skinned women, outside of and within the Black American culture." Directed by Bill Duke and D. Channsin Berry, this clip is moving, powerful, emotional, and completely upsetting - yet an absolute must-see. Read more here.
Filed under: Previews
Yesterday it was announced in the 'Hollywood Reporter' that Golden Globe-nominated actor Idris Elba will host and produce BBC America's newly branded drama franchise 'Dramaville,' which will include three BBC original series.
The franchise will premiere on August 17 at 10PM with the hour-long 1950s espionage-themed thriller, 'The Hour,' followed by Elba's 'Luther' on Oct. 5, while the crime drama 'Whitechapel' debuts on November 2.
"British drama has long been a standard bearer of great scripted television and 'Dramaville' will showcase the very best of British creativity in a clear destination drama fans can easily find," says BBC Worldwide America GM, Perry Simon. "It's a real pleasure to welcome Idris back to the BBC America family as the host of 'Dramaville.'"
Elba's role on the dark psychological crime drama 'Luther' finds the London native portraying John Luther, a detective struggling to balance the psychological demands of work while trying to keep his marriage intact.
As far as the public's perception on similarities between John Luther and any of Elba's previous characters, the actor noted that many will likely make comparisons to his role as Russell "Stringer" Bell on 'The Wire.'
"People compare Luther to Stringer, as if those are the only two characters I've ever been," he told 'Entertainment Weekly' last October. "To be fair, those two characters appeal to a certain audience. For me, it's entertainment."
"Every single film I've done, it's about the character," he continued. "I chose these roles, whether it's 'Obsessed,' whether it's 'The Gospel.' Not everything is going to be as powerful as some of the more iconic roles."
Check out the trailer of the series second season below.
Filed under: Reviews
From the indieWire:
I watched Swedish director Ruben Ostlund's film, 'Play,' twice. My first viewing was a really surreal moment, not just for the fascinating absurdness of the story but because the film was in Swedish with French subtitles. While I can read and understand written French better than I speak or understand spoken French (I have zero understanding of Swedish, written or spoken), there were several nuances that I missed completely first time around.
However, the film is visually appealing enough - not so much for it's stark beauty but its intrigue - that I sat through it and was able to get the general gist and feeling of quizzical WTFness and still want to see it again with the aid of some English subtitles. Thankfully, that opportunity arose with some extra screenings - this time with English subtitles.
Based on a spate of real cases of bullying and robbery that took place in Gothenburg, Sweden between 2006 and 2008, Play is an intriguing observation of identity, manipulation and collusion. Ordinarily, a film about five black boys robbing three white boys could very easily have made a regular stereotypical story where race plays the central role. In truth, race does play a significant role here, but it's how it's used, and by whom, that's interesting.
Read more here.
From the Huffington Post:
Long before Denzel Washington was Denzel -- the two-time Oscar winner who is one of Hollywood's biggest stars -- he was a struggling actor taking the stage in summer stock and off-Broadway productions.
When he was cast as Malcolm X in "When Chickens Come Home to Roost" at the New Federal Theatre in 1981, little did he know that the role would propel his career into the stratosphere. Washington's electric performance captivated audiences and caught the attention of television producers assembling the cast for a new TV hospital drama, "St. Elsewhere," which went on to win multiple Emmys and push-start his jump to Hollywood. Sitting in the audience for one of those shows at the theater's home on Grand Street on New York's Lower East Side was a young NYU film student named Spike Lee, who was blown away by Washington's performance and chose him to play Malcolm X in his hit film nearly a dozen years later, a role which thrust the actor into the A-list of Hollywood stars.Read more here.
Filed under: Previews
Last week, Europa Corp released the first trailer for the upcoming Zoe Saldana revenge thriller, 'Colombiana;' The yet-to-be-rated revenge actioner about a young woman who grows up to be a stone-cold assassin, after witnessing the murder of her parents in Bogota, is produced by Luc Besson, with Olivier Megaton assuming directing duties.
Read more here.
Filed under: Trailers
'Louder Than a Bomb' tells the story of four Chicago high school poetry teams as they prepare to compete in the world's largest youth slam. By turns hopeful and heartbreaking, the film captures the turbulent lives of these unforgettable kids, exploring the ways writing shapes their world, and vice versa.
While the topics they tackle are often deeply personal, what they put into their poems-and what they get out of them-is universal: the defining work of finding one's voice.
Check out an exclusive trailer for 'Louder Than a Bomb' below.
- EXCLUSIVE By Nikki Finke for Deadline.com: I've just been told that Penske Media Corp has terminated Elvis Mitchell after more than 3 months as Movieline.com's chief film critic. The early end to his contract follows a company investigation into the circumstances surrounding Mitchell's recent review of Summit Entertainment's Source Code for the site.
The company is making no formal announcement. But here is what I've been able to find out. [Full Disclosure: PMC also owns Deadline.com, but all its media properties are managed separately.)
A Summit rep tells me that Mitchell was shown a final cut of the film Source Code on February 24th in NYC. His review of the movie appeared on Movieline.com on March 31st. That same day, the pic's director Duncan Jones tweeted, "Find it odd Movieline choose to complain about Jeffrey Wright smoking a pipe, something in an old draft of the script thats not in the film."
The reference was to what Mitchell had written in his review: "It's up to Jeffrey Wright, as the administrator supervising the Source Code - the machine that keeps firing Colter back, back, back to the recent past - and his eccentric brio to keep the silliness from piling up like ash from his pipe. That's how you know this film is science fiction - someone is smoking indoors in the United States - and that Wright is a martinet whose malevolence must be checked."
After the director's tweet was brought to Movieline's attention, I questioned an editor there who emailed, "We've indeed been working hard for a week to ascertain exactly what happened..." When Movieline asked for a formal explanation, Mitchell told editors that he was at the screening and that it was all a misunderstanding and that he would provide a written explanation. Now Mitchell's contract has been terminated early.
Read more at Deadline.com
Filed under: PreviewsWith Spring blossoming into season, the time has come for Hollywood to roll out its red carpet for this year's most anticipated films.
Over the course of the next few months some of your most beloved stars including, Angela Bassett, Idris Elba, Paula Patton, Tyrese Gibson and others will attract thousands of moviegoers across the globe.
Notable sequels such as 'X-Men - First Class,' 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon,' and 'The Hangover Part II' are already receiving a major buzz amongst film critics, not to mention the star-studded romantic comedy, 'Jumping the Broom.'
We took a look at the stars of this year's blockbusters.
Check it out.
http://xml.channel.aol.com/xmlpublisher/fetch.v2.xml?option=expand_relative_urls&dataUrlNodes=uiConfig,feedConfig,localizationConfig,entry&id=997380&pid=997379&uts=1303512315http://www.aolcdn.com/ke/media_gallery/v1/ke_media_gallery_wrapper.swfStars of the SeasonFilm: 'Jumping the Broom'
Actress: Angela Bassett, Paula Patton
Role: Mrs. Watson (Bassett), Sabrina Watson (Patton)
Release Date: May 6Various
Filed under: Trailers
Earlier this year it was announced that Oscar Award-winner Jamie Foxx signed on in association with his FoxxKing Entertainment to executive produce the music documentary, 'Thunder Soul.'
Directed by Mark Landsman, the docu-pic follows the alumni from Houston's acclaimed 1970's Kashmere High School Stage Band as they regroup 35 years later for a tribute concert in honor of their band leader, Conrad "Prof" Johnson. The 92-year-old was responsible for breaking the color barrier and transforming the school's struggling jazz band into a world-class funk powerhouse in the early 1970s.
Since its 2010 debut at the SXSW Film Festival, the film has scored multiple accolades and nominations from various independent film festivals, including 'Best Documentary Feature' at the 2010 Indie Memphis Film Festival.
"I can't wait to share 'Thunder Soul' with the world so that everyone can enjoy this one of a kind experience," Foxx told 'The Hollywood Reporter' in February. "It's such an entertaining and inspirational story that touches your soul and awakens the human spirit in the way that only love and the power of music can."
Below check out an exclusive look at the 'Thunder Soul' trailer before it hits theaters this weekend during the opening of 'Madea's Big Happy Family.'
'Thunder Soul' hits theaters this September.
Filed under: Trailers
Set in Mississippi during the late 1960s, 'The Help' follows Eugenia 'Skeeter' Phelan (Emma Stone) as she returns from college and lands a job writing a column on cleaning in her local paper. Not knowing anything about cleaning, Miss Skeeter must rely on her friend and maid, Aibileen (Viola Davis).
Read more at: Moviefone
A true reunion is in full swing when two of 'Waiting to Exhale's favorite divas -- Angela Bassett and Loretta Devine -- come together during an early scene of the Bishop T.D. Jakes-produced romantic comedy, 'Jumping The Broom,' which hits theaters May 6.
In the film -- directed by Salim Akil ('Girlfriends,''The Game'), Paula Patton plays a well-to-do corporate executive who has had no luck finding the right man. Laz Alonso's sharp and debonair Brooklynite-turned-Wall Street VP may be the answers to her prayers -- literally (she made a promise to God to not sleep with another man until she's married).
All seems to go well up until their familial worlds collide during their quickie (but very lavish) wedding weekend festivities gets underway in Martha's Vineyard when their mothers (Bassett and Devine) get into the mix and little known secrets are revealed.
The two acclaimed actresses first starred together in the 1995 blockbuster 'Waiting to Exhale,' directed by Forest Whitaker.
Check out the exclusive clip below.
Tyler Perry's 'Madea's Big Happy Family' arrives in theaters April 22.
The movie stars Shad 'Bow Wow' Moss, Loretta Devine, Cassi Davis, Lauren London, David Mann, Tamela J. Mann, Isaiah Mustafa, Rodney Perry, Shannon Kane, Natalie Desselle Reid, Teyana Taylor and Perry as the pistol-packing, ankle bracelet-wearing grandma that America can't get enough of.
In the film, Madea's niece, Shirley (played by Devine), receives distressing news about her health, and all she wants is to gather her three adult children around her and share the news as a family. But Tammy, Kimberly and Byron are too distracted by their own problems: Tammy (played by Desselle Reid) can't manage her unruly children or her broken marriage; Kimberly (played by Kane) is gripped with anger and takes it out on her husband; and Byron (Bow Wow), after spending two years in jail, is under pressure to deal drugs again. It's up to Madea, with the help of the equally rambunctious Aunt Bam (played by Davis), to gather the family together and make things right the only way she knows how: with a lot of tough love, laughter... and the revelation of a long-buried family secret.
In this exclusive clip, the men chat about the problem they're having with the women in their lives. Check it out below.
http://xml.channel.aol.com/xmlpublisher/fetch.v2.xml?option=expand_relative_urls&dataUrlNodes=uiConfig,feedConfig,entry&id=472016&pid=472015&uts=1256517979http://cdn.channel.aol.com/cs_feed_v1_6/csfeedwrapper.swfSix Degrees of Tyler PerrySix Degrees of Tyler Perry
In just four years, Tyler Perry has become the toast of Hollywood. Could you name another director black or white who can boast of having released six feature movie projects within a three year period? Nope. Check out Six Degrees of Tyler Perry.VariousBlackVoices.com
Filed under: Interviews
From playing James Bond's colleague Felix Leiter, to portraying real-life cultural icons (Jean Michel Basquiat, Muhammad Ali's biographer Howard Bingham, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., General Colin Powell, Muddy Waters), Jeffrey Wright's film roles always span a broad scope.
In his latest film, 'Source Code,' the Washington, DC, native gets to work on a project that involves time travel.
When decorated soldier Captain Colter Stevens (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) wakes up in the body of an unknown man, he discovers he's part of a mission to find the bomber of a Chicago commuter train. In an assignment unlike any he's ever known, he learns he's part of a government experiment called the Source Code, a program that enables him to cross over into another man's identity in the last eight minutes of that man's life. With an additional, and much larger, target threatening to kill millions in downtown Chicago, Colter relives the incident over and over again, gathering clues each time, until he can solve the mystery of who is behind the bombing, and figure out how to prevent the next attack.
Wright recently told BlackVoices.com what appealed to him about working with the film's director, Duncan Jones (who is also David Bowie's first born), and what he's got going on in Sierre Leone.
"Duncan Jones' first film, 'Moon,' handled technology and science fiction ideas in a really fresh way, I thought," says Wright. "So I was attracted to working with him on this [film] because, obviously, there were some of the same types of themes and conventions at work in this script, as well, and he's touching on certain thinking that's going on now in the world of quantum physics and in quantum mechanics. It's fertile [ground] for a sci-fi thriller."
Unlike his co-star Gyllenhaal, whose character has to relive the same scene over and over until his mission is accomplished, Wright's role has him overseeing everything from an offsite compound. In fact, he hardly had any scenes with the Gyllenhaal.
"I worked with an image of Jake's character, or the idea of him, because we communicate with him through the aperture of a camera lens," Wright says. "So that actually yielded an interesting perspective on his performance, which I think is wonderfully sympathetic and charismatic."
Besides doing theater, films and raising a family with his wife, actress Carmen Ejojo, Wright is also the founder and chair for his non-profit organization, the Taia Peace Foundation.
"The Taia Peace Foundation is a group that's been focused on economic development initiatives in Sierra Leone," Wright says. "We just traveled to Sierra Leone last month to celebrate the foundation's largest project to date, which was the rehabilitation of an 18-mile farm to a market road serving one of the remotest corners of the country."
"What we're attempting to do is combine the ideas of commercial endeavors with philanthropic sensibilities," he continues. "So that we create an engine for economic growth within the areas of operation and also, simultaneously, create sustainability for our social endeavors, as well. We're trying to veer away from the historic trends in Africa of an absence of, or a neglect of, local community needs when tied to commercial activity. At the same time, we're veering away from this perception that charity, in and of itself, is a viable solution to some of the challenges that face the continent."
Now, that's doing the Wright thing.
Twenty years ago this week (March 29), 'The Five Heartbeats' was released in theaters.
Directed by Robert Townsend with a script written by Townsend and Keenen Ivory Wayans, the film starred Townsend, Michael Wright, Harry J. Lennix, Leon, Tico Wells, Diahann Carroll, John Canada Terrell, Harold Nicholas, Hawthorne James, Chuck Patterson, Troy Beyer, Roy Fegan, Carla Brothers, Paul Benjamin, Theresa Randle and Tressa Thomas.
Set in the '60s, when so many musical groups were thriving, the story centers around a quintet of hopeful young African-American men who form an amateur vocal group called The Five Heartbeats. After an initially rocky start, the group improves, turns pro and rises to become a top-flight music sensation. Along the way, however, the guys learn many hard lessons about the reality of the music industry, with its casual racism and greed, while the personal weaknesses of the members threaten to destroy the integrity of the band.
Playing in just 862 theaters across the country, and after receiving mixed reviews from critics, the film didn't do well at the box office. It grossed $8.5 million dollars, but through VHS sales and bootleg copies, it found a new fan base that has continued to grow over the years.
The soundtrack, with hit songs including 'Nights Like This,' 'Nothing but Love' and 'A Heart Is a House for Love,' was also a contributor to the film's popularity.
BlackVoices.com spoke with director/actor Robert Townsend and cast members Michael Wright and Leon, who played Eddie Kane, Jr., and J.T in the film, respectively.
Townsend, who had scored a hit four years earlier, with his directorial debut 'Hollywood Shuffle,' wanted his next film to be about the music industry.
"I grew up with a lot of the singing groups from the '60s, such as The Temptations, The Dells and The O'Jays. I always loved music. When The Temptations broke up, I took it personally. [The Five Heartbeats] came out of that," says Townsend.
Unlike for his previous film, the Chicago native didn't stage auditions. He went after actors he knew would fit the parts.
"I just met with a lot of actors and talked to them. No one read a script," Townsend recalls. "Harry Lennix, who played Dresser, he was in Chicago doing theater. Leon had just finished doing the Madonna video 'Like a Prayer.' Michael Wright who played Eddie King was the only actor I knew I wanted 'cause he was in a movie called 'Streamers' and I just loved him as an actor. Tico, who plays Choirboy, he came to a big cattle call in New York City and I did improv with him for about 15 minutes, then said, 'He's gonna be Choirboy!' It was such a different process."
Michael Wright, who had already starred in another cult favorite, the 1979 film 'Wanderers,' and had appeared in the 1983 NBC sci-fi miniseries 'V,' had no singing skills when he took on the role of the drug-addict reformed leader of the group.
"It's extraordinary, because I had absolutely no qualifications whatsoever to be part of anybody's singing group. All I was was an actor," says Wright. "To this day people ask me, 'Do you sing like that?' I say, 'No, I act like I sing like that.' When we all came together, even though I was playing the lead singer in the film, I was probably the least musical of all those guys. Because of my craft, I just came up to speed and learned how to become the lead singer of a rock n' roll group, and now I'm not just a movie star, I'm a rock star!"
While the New York native has continued to work on and off the screen in films and plays, he's thankful that this film is among those that he will be best remembered for.
"This film, in particular, I could describe as my magnum opus, if you will. Actors are very fortunate if they can have one or two films they're remembered for. I never expected it, but Townsend and I were always creeping around this word 'classic.' It has become, arguably, a favorite film of African Americans in the way that, when I was a kid, I used to watch 'The Wizard of Oz.' There are people that tell me they've watched it 50 times, or every day. That's incredible."
Leon, who prior to the Madonna video, had numerous film credits under his belt when he took on the role as J.T, Duck's pretty-boy brother in the group. The New York native had starred with Tom Cruise in 'All the Right Moves,' Matt Dillon in 'The Flamingo Kid' and co-starred with Oprah Winfrey, Lynn Whitfield and Robin Givens in 'The Women of Brewster's Place.' The on-screen chemistry he shared with Townsend felt genuine, although the two only first met for the film.
"I didn't know Robert before then. He saw me at the MTV awards with Madonna, and told me he saw me in her video 'Like a Virgin.' I think Keenan Ivory Wayans was supposed to play the role in the film but he got 'In Living Color,' and he couldn't do it. Before that happened, Robert wanted me to do the film."
His friendship with Townsend has lasted over 20 years as they continue to work together on other projects.
"We're on the Web series 'Diary of a Single Mom.' I'm on the show with Monica Calhoun, Valery Ortiz and Richard Roundtree. It's really doing well on the Internet. The third season just finished."
Reflecting on the film's anniversary, none of the cast could believe the film's popularity has lasted this long.
"Somebody sent me a link the other day with one of these historical black colleges playing 'A Heart Is a House' at their homecoming, and they played it with the whole band, it was, wow!" says Townsend. "It freaked me out, they all sang it together. I had never seen anything like that with one of my films. It made me realize 'The Five Heartbeats' is part of the American fabric."
Filed under: Photos
Following the announcement last week of a 'Sparkle' remake, I suddenly feel optimistic that black folks are not altogether unwilling to remake our own movies (as opposed to, say, 'Annie' and 'A Star Is Born'), in which case, here are the remakes I'd like to see.
http://xml.channel.aol.com/xmlpublisher/fetch.v2.xml?option=expand_relative_urls&dataUrlNodes=uiConfig,feedConfig,localizationConfig,entry&id=994085&pid=994084&uts=1301423428http://www.aolcdn.com/ke/media_gallery/v1/ke_media_gallery_wrapper.swfBlack Movie RemakesBeloved (1998, Jonathan Demme, dir)
A truly missed opportunity for an historical screen moment in the adaptation of Beloved, the extraordinarily nuanced novel by the even more extraordinarily nuanced writer, Toni Morrison. How about Viola Davis as Sethe, Sidney Poitier as Paul, and Sophie Okenedo as the odd, beautiful and magical girl-child, Beloved.
Purchase the MovieVarious
Filed under: Reviews
From the guy who scored a hit with the remake of 'Dawn of the Dead' and '300,' but struck out with 'Watchmen' and last year's 'Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole,' director Zack Snyder brings us 'Sucker Punch.' A film filled with emptiness and a hodgepodge of other films, it's like watching an unofficial sequel to 'Showgirls' with some 'Kill Bill' and 'Battle L.A.' thrown into the mix. Avoid at all costs.
Featuring a cast of young starlets (Emily Browning, Vanessa Hudgens, Abbie Cornish, Jamie Chung and Jena Malone), the film is nothing more than a long music video aimed at pleasing teenage boys who are tired of seeing these faces on Maxim magazine and needed some movements to go with the visuals.
Starting with newcomer Emily Browning, we meet her character Baby Doll, whose mother has just died and she has to defend her little sister against their stepfather, who feels angry for having been left out of the will and is out to torment them. When an accident causes the death of her sister, Baby Doll is taken away to a mental institution, where she meets the other patients, Sweet Pea (played by Cornish) and her sister Rocket (played by Malone), Amber (played by Chung) and Blondie ('High School Musical''s Vanessa Hudgens).
Without an explanation, the audience is led to believe -- because the girls are dressed in lingerie -- that the facility is a front for a nightclub, where the owner named Blue (played by Oscar Isaac) and his madam (played by Carla Gugino) train the girls to dance for clients or face the doctor (played by Jon Hamm), who only comes in for lobotomies.
While Sweet Pea is initially reluctant to befriend Baby Doll, the others take a shine to her, and when told to dance or face dire consequences, Baby Doll imagines life outside the compounds. This is where Snyder elects to put the girls, while in dream sequences, in scantily clad combat uniforms as they fight in ancient China against samurais, on the fields during World War I against zombie soldiers and other places they face dragons and orcs that seem to come or are borrowed from the set of 'Lord of the Rings.'
The whole point of Baby Doll's dances is for the others to gather the components they need to free themselves from the facility. Whether Baby Doll and the others make it out alive depends on how alluring her dances/dreams are to distract the guards before getting caught.
Considering that Snyder added some elements to what Frank Miller created with '300,' 'Sucker' serves as Snyder's first writing credit on his own. There are others screenwriters credited to this, but Snyder is the main guy on this, and after seeing this 'video,' it would be best for him to stick with just directing and not wear many hats on the set.
There is no story here. No reason is given why the other girls are there, and each battle scene is played out with no emotional effect. The quick cuts get old and tired very fast. It's not even campy enough to be funny.
No fault goes to the young stars, who are looking to make a name for themselves, but pity Carla Gugino, who worked with Snyder on 'Watchmen,' veteran actor Scott Glenn and Jon Hamm. Their talents are totally wasted here.
One would be better served seeing the clips provided online and not spend any money on this.
Filed under: Interviews
Currently, the number-one film in America is 'Limitless,' which stars Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro.
Among the supporting cast is Abbie Cornish, Anna Friel and Daniel Breaker.
For Breaker, who received a Tony Award nomination for his role in the critically acclaimed and Tony Award-winning musical 'Passing Strange' and last starred in the stage musical of 'Shrek,' making the transition to the film world and having the film be seen by many is certainly a joy, as he spoke exclusively to BlackVoices.com.
"You know, it's pretty thrilling. It's fairly new for me. The only other movie I've done was this movie called 'Passing Strange,' the Spike Lee film that was a musical he filmed on stage. So it wasn't necessarily a full-on movie event. Whereas this one is actually a good, old thriller. So it's very exciting to come to shape."
'Limitless' is an action thriller about an unsuccessful writer (played by Bradley) whose life is transformed by a top-secret "smart drug" that allows him to use 100% of his brain and become a perfect version of himself. His enhanced abilities soon attract shadowy forces that threaten his new life in this suspenseful and provocative film.
The film is filled with some twists, and Breaker is keen enough not to reveal spoilers, including his own role.
"I don't want to give it away because there's a lot of things that happen at the end of that film, but basically I'm a leading man's sort of campaign manager at a certain part of his life. But that's sort of all I can tell you because I don't want to ruin the ending."
As the neophyte on a film set, the Kansas native got to watch and learn the process and interact with De Niro, a master pro at this game.
"To be near Robert De Niro was absolutely nerve wracking. I don't typically get nervous around certain people, but the guy from 'Raging Bull' is one that you would feel a little intimidated by. We talked briefly about things, about weather and just, you know, sort of small talk. I was just excited to be talking to him."
Breaker doesn't think an omnipotent drug exists but can imagine people looking for one.
"I don't know if that drug exists at this size, but I think many people are already trying to create that feeling, whether it be with an illegal drug or with caffeine -- or whatever you have near you."
Whether 'Limitless' will parlay more film roles for Breaker, he's certainly not waiting for his next role to come along, as he's currently rehearsing for his play, which is opposite Sanaa Lathan.
"I try to go in as many different directions as I can. I think it's been a fortunate couple of years in the career, but also I got married and I have a son now. So it's been quite fulfilling to have all those things right now. I'm back into the world of theater. I'm doing a play right now over at Second Stage, 'By the Way, Meet Vera Drake,' the new play by Lynn Nottage and directed by Jo Bonney. I play two characters. In the first half I play a jazzman from the '30s. A fictional character, a trumpeter named Leroy Barksdale, who later he falls in love with Vera Stark, played by Sanaa Lathan. But it ends tragically. And in the second half, I play this academic from early 2000 named Herb Forrester. He's a bit of an intellectual, and it almost reminds you of Cornel West in his look. But this play is very thrilling. It takes place in four different time periods -- the '30s, the 1850s, the 1970s and then the early 2000s. And this show also has a lot of film in it. We've actually filmed part of a movie to be projected in the play. So it's a bit of a mash up of different styles. So it's kind of exciting to be bouncing off to different events. In terms of my career, I always try to do something that I've never done before. So as long as it's something I've never stepped into, I'm happy. And so in an ideal world, I can just be plugged into film and musicals and plays and whatever comes my way."
Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith to Produce 'Uptown Saturday Night' Remake With Denzel Washington Rumored as Co-Star
Filed under: News
With Hollywood greenlighting many remakes and reboots of classics and cult favorites, here comes another film to the mix.
Long talked about but never going anywhere, Warner Bros. and Overbrook Entertainment have brought on comedy screenwriter Tim Dowling to rewrite the remake of 'Uptown Saturday Night,' the 1974 buddy comedy that starred Bill Cosby and Sidney Poitier.
Overbrook partners Will Smith, James Lassiter, Ken Stovitz and Jada Pinkett Smith will produce the remake, which has been in development since 2002 and was originally scripted by Mark and Robb Cullen ('Cop Out'). David Dobkin ('Wedding Crashers') is attached to direct and exec produce, stated Variety.
The story centers on two estranged friends who have their wallets stolen at a nightclub. The next morning, they learn that one of their wallets contained a winning lottery ticket, and together, they set out to find it.
Among the rumors floating around is that Will Smith will likely star in the film, along with Academy Award winner Denzel Washington.
While Smith has starred in a number of sci-fi action comedies ('Men in Black') and romantic comedies ('Hitch'), the last time Washington starred in a comedy film was in 1990's 'Heart Condition,' which co-starred Bob Hoskins. The movie's reception was largely negative, scoring 0% on Rotten Tomatoes. At the end of its run, the box office total was $4,134,992. Washington was talked into making this movie by his agent. Afterwards, Washington fired him and has not starred in a full-scale comedy since.
Smith is also remaking 'Annie' for his daughter, Willow Smith, to star in and rapper Jay-Z collaborating on the music.
Filed under: Trailers
Out this week is 'Peep World,' starring Michael C. Hall, Rainn Wilson, Sarah Silverman, Taraji P. Henson, Judy Greer, Ron Rifkin, Kate Mara, Ben Schwartz, Leslie Ann Warren and Alicia Witt.
What happens to a rich, neurotic family when one of their own writes a tell-all exposing their dirty secrets? The Meyerwitz family is about to find out. And the timing couldn't be more hilariously awful.
As the Meyerwitz clan prepares for the 70th birthday of nasty family patriarch Henry (played by Ron Rifkin), 'Peep World,' the expose written by youngest son Nathan (played by Ben Schwartz) has gone red hot, making a mess of all of their lives. Jack (played by Michael C. Hall), the oldest son, is failing in his career and now has to bend over backwards to convince his wife, Laura (played by Judy Greer), that certain, ahem, salacious events in Nathan's book weren't really committed by him. Sister Cheri (played by Sarah Silverman), a drama queen and struggling actress, can see the Peep World movie set from her window, and grows increasingly enraged watching a more successful actress play a horribly unflattering version of her. Her solution: sue her younger brother for libel.
Meanwhile, black sheep Joel (played by Rainn Wilson), a disaster in slow motion, plots to turn his life around at his family's expense, and Marilyn (played by Lesley Ann Warren), the children's mother, long-divorced from Henry, still carries a torch for her ex, one that's only inflamed further by the revelations in Peep World. For his part, the now-famous Nathan cluelessly wonders what the fuss is all about and basks in his success, much to the annoyance of all around him.
Over the course of 24 hours, this group of likable and unlikable misfits will summon their courage to come together for the family dinner they'll never forget.
Henson plays a corrections officer who falls in with Rainn Wilson's character.
Also out in theaters is Zack Snyder's 'Sucker Punch,' which stars Emily Browning, Vanessa Hudgens, Abbie Cornish, Jamie Chung, Jena Malone, Carla Gugino, Jon Hamm, Oscar Isaac and Scott Glenn.
'Sucker Punch' is an epic action fantasy that takes us into the vivid imagination of a young girl whose dream world provides the ultimate escape from her darker reality. Unrestrained by the boundaries of time and place, she is free to go where her mind takes her, and her incredible adventures blur the lines between what's real and what is imaginary.
She has been locked away against her will, but Babydoll (Emily Browning) has not lost her will to survive. Determined to fight for her freedom, she urges four other young girls -- the outspoken Rocket (Jena Malone), the street-smart Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens), the fiercely loyal Amber (Jamie Chung) and the reluctant Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish) -- to band together and try to escape their terrible fate at the hands of their captors, Blue (Oscar Isaac), Madam Gorski (Carla Gugino) and the High Roller (Jon Hamm).
Led by Babydoll, the girls engage in fantastical warfare against everything from samurais to serpents, with a virtual arsenal at their disposal. Together, they must decide what they are willing to sacrifice in order to stay alive. But with the help of a Wise Man (Scott Glenn), their unbelievable journey -- if they succeed -- will set them free.
Out on DVD is the urban thriller 'ConSINsual,' starring Keena Ferguson and Siaka Massaquoi.
When a faithful husband compromises his own moral principles to satisfy his wife's perverse sexual appetite, it sets into motion a dangerous and potentially deadly sequence of events in this "must-see film."
Terrence Moore (Massaquoi) a successful chef and faithful husband, goes to the extreme to please his wife's (Ferguson) sexually inquisitive desires. What follows is a dense web of lust and manipulation as he is falsely accused of rape and may pay the ultimate price. Is it a crime? Or is it just a dirty little game of cat and mouse?
Directed by Paul D. Hannah, the film also stars Kathryn Taylor and Alexis Zibolis.
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