Monday, November 13, 2017

Charles Burnett Honorary Oscar [VIDEOS]

The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted Tuesday night (September 5) to present Honorary Awards to writer-director Charles Burnett, cinematographer Owen Roizman, actor Donald Sutherland and director Agnès Varda.  The four Oscar® statuettes will be presented at the Academy’s 9th Annual Governors Awards on Saturday, November 11, at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center®.

Born in Mississippi and raised in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, Charles Burnett is an independent filmmaker whose work has been praised for its portrayal of the African-American experience.  He wrote, directed, produced, photographed and edited his first feature film, “Killer of Sheep,” in 1977.  His other features include “My Brother’s Wedding,” “To Sleep with Anger,” “The Glass Shield” and “Namibia: The Struggle for Liberation.”  Burnett also has made several documentaries including “America Becoming” and “Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property,” and such short films as “The Horse” and “When It Rains.”

Below is a playlist of the tributes to Charles Burnett

Friday, September 8, 2017

JAY-Z’s Tell-All 4:44 Interview [VIDEOS]


Last month, JAY-Z sat down with Elliot Wilson and Brian 'B.Dot' Miller of Rap Radar to share exclusive details about his newly released 4:44 album. The TIDAL podcast was broken into two parts that aired on August 18 and August 25.

In the interview, he spoke about his relationship with Kanye West, how Blue got behind the mic for that legendary freestyle, and much, much more. JAY-Z recently uploaded the entire interview on YouTube so non-TIDAL subscribers finally have access to the rare, in-depth discussion.-Sydney Gore, Fader

WATCH both parts below.





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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

'Everything Everything' Review

#EverythingEverything is #WonderfulWonderful! Yes it's one of those "teen love story" movies based on a YA (Young Adult) novel but it's not heavy on the saccharine–even though of course it's there. I learned about this movie from the great #CinemaInNoir #podcast. Teen love stories based on a YA novel ain't exactly on my radar.🤷🏽‍♂️ But the African American ladies that host the podcast STRONGLY recommended the film and I trust their opinions. [More on that in the comments below] THE STORY: A teenager (Maddy) who's spent her whole life confined to her home because of a rare disease falls for the boy next door (Olly). As you can tell, this love story is the definition of "It's complicated". Maddy's mother is a doctor (played to great effect by ANIKA NONI ROSE) so she is best able to take every precaution to make sure her daughter is totally safe from the outside and of course that means boys. Director STELLA MEGHIE does a #TerrificTerrific job @ showing how these two interact without you know—touching, in clever and inventive ways—and I'll leave it at that. NICK ROBINSON was cool as the boy next door. He was charming enough without seeming overbearing. The film though belongs to AMANDLA STENBERG. After so many supporting roles she is the LEAD here and as she is in almost every scene she LEADS the picture. With a film that spends so much time on the main character, who's a medically imposed shut-in, you need an actor to hold the audiences attention—and she does! She exudes just the right amount of intellect, strength and vulnerability. A #MarvelousMarvelous performance. Straight up and down, I wanted to see this film based on the podcast review, the actor Stenberg and director Meghie—but I didn't know I would enjoy it as much as I did—and I did.😊 I rented @everythingeverythingfilm from #RedBox and it's available #EverywhereEverywhere 😉
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Monday, June 26, 2017

'Can't Stop won't Stop: A Bad Boy Story' Review

'#CantStopWontStop: A Bad Boy Story' Review: This #documentary was really good. Any #HipHopHead who grew up with this music already know the history of Bad Boy Entertainment and even though it's recounted here it's not overwhelming. It's there for the people who had zero knowledge of how it started. This doc is not a total "fluff piece" and it's not all Puffy pontificating, even though there's a healthy dose of the latter. They do show some intimate scenes of Puff—but not a lot. It's all about Bad Boy. The film is framed around the 2016 "Bad Boy 20th Anniversary" concerts in New York and captures a lot of the rehearsal and #BehindTheScenes effort it took to pull that off. This is NOT a "Behind the scenes featurette" you might see on a DVD, it's just a framing device to tell the history of Bad Boy. It was great to see all the Bad Boy artists from back in the day reunite for the first time, as one person put it, in "16 years". These scenes BEAUTIFULLY photographed in Black & White were the highlight of the picture. The film also doesn't heavily rely on Biggie—even though as you can imagine he's a large part of the history, especially his death. I really liked the direction and #cinematography of DANIEL KAUFMAN on this film. Aside from the beautiful Black & White, he used some techniques later in the film that I enjoyed. Nice touch.👌🏾 I think any fan of Bad Boy's music throughout the years will enjoy this documentary as you not only witness a music history reunion but a work ethic by Puffy and staff especially "The General" LAURIEANNE GIBSON that seems unparalleled and always striving for what Puffy says throughout and often—#BlackExcellence ✨ For now this film is streaming exclusively @AppleMusic.
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Sunday, June 18, 2017

'All Eyez on Me' Opening Weekend Box Office


Tre'vell Anderson
June 18, 2017 

Fellow new release, Lionsgate-Codeblack’s “All Eyez on Me,” is the weekend standout however, pulling $27.1 million in its debut weekend. Though only a third-place finish, it far surpassed analyst expectations of $17 million to $20 million, an unsurprising feat considering the industry's historical inability to properly track films targeting black audiences.

“All Eyez on Me” is the long-awaited biopic about Tupac Shakur, the Harlem-born hip-hop hit maker who, in just 25 years of life, came to define a generation through his music, acting and poetry before that fateful 1996 drive-by shooting. Starring first-time actor Demetrius Shipp Jr., a doppelganger for the “California Love” rapper, the film is titled after Tupac’s final album released before his death. It also stars Danai Gurira as his mother and former Black Panther Afeni Shakur, Kat Graham as Jada Pinkett (Smith) and Annie Ilonzeh as Kidada Jones.
A film that according to producer L.T. Hutton finally got made because of the massive success of 2015’s “Straight Outta Compton” — despite countless biopics about black musicians doing well at the box office before the film charting N.W.A’s rise — “All Eyez” is an audience favorite. Moviegoers (53% male; 62% 25 and older) gave the picture an A-minus CinemaScore. Just about every critic review however is negative, leaving the film, directed by Benny Boom and shepherded through a 20-year gestation period by former Death Row Record producer and Pac confidant Hutton, at a 24% Rotten Tomatoes rating.

Friday, June 16, 2017

'All Eyez On Me' Review

#AllEyeszOnMe Review: I'll be straight up, I enjoyed this film way more than I thought I would. Same for the actor playing #Tupac, DEMETRIUS SHIPP JR. I thought his performance was solid. His remarkable resemblance to Pac aided that a lot. But he also did well with Tupac's cadence and the way he talked—patna. LOL The film dealt a lot with Pac's revolutionary upbringing from his mom and step-dad, more than I thought they would. In those scenes and every one she had DANAI GURIRA gave her all and was really good. The rest of the story was pretty much what any #2Pac fan knows about his life. I liked BENNY BOOM'S direction even though the picture was a little long and it seemed like it was contractually obligated to squeeze in every track from '2pac's Greatest Hits'—and I mean every track, into the film. I'll probably tweet more thoughts about the film (www.Twitter.com/DankwaBrooks) as they occur to me, but I liked 'All Eyez On Me' and I think Tupac fans will too. #danksreview
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ADDITIONAL
Read a TON MORE about the development of this film on this blog HERE

John Wick 1 & 2 Reviews


The original John Wick (2014) was NOT on my radar, but good buzz led me to see it and WOW! Of course I was right there opening weekend for its sequel John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) and bother reviews, via Instagram, are below.

First up, my review of the original from November 2014

Next, this is what I said about the sequel
#JohnWick2 Review: Can a sequel to a #KickAssCrazy flick, 2014's #JohnWick, be any good? Hell yeah it can! Of course the film wastes no time getting to the action. From the start Wick is kicking ass and taking names.📝 This sequel though does A LOT of "world building". We get to know a lot more about the secret world of assassins ⚒🌍⚔️ and how it works. We get to know a lot more without it being redundant. It takes everything to the next level without suffering from sequelitis trying to make everything bigger and grander. Wick is still every bit the same badass, he just takes his skills on tour.🌏✈️ LOL Without saying much, Wick's bloodletting this time isn't entirely personal, more of that world building I spoke of earlier, and you get to see that he's very much about his business and if you know JOHN WICK, that business isn't sitting behind a desk.☠️😱 Great sequel and DOES NOT disappoint. If you loved the first one, you gonna love this one too!
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All of my recent reviews are on Instagram at hashtag #DanksReview