Saturday, April 4, 2020

Filmmaker DEE REES (VIDEO)

There was a great recent video profile of filmmaker Dee Rees and it got me thinking about her feature film resume. I've been a fan of her work since she burst on the scene with her first feature film Pariah in 2011. Below is what I've written and posted on her body of work on social media and on my Production Company 'Nother Brother Entertainment.
Writer/Director Dee Rees is an alumna of New York University's graduate film program and a Sundance Screenwriting & Directing Lab Fellow. 
In 2018, Dee became the first Black woman nominated for an Oscar in the Best Adapted Screenplay category for her highly-acclaimed film Mudbound (2017). The film, starring Jason Mitchell, Carey Mulligan and Mary J. Blige, tells the story of two men returning home from World War II, struggling to deal with racism and post-war life and was nominated for four Oscars, two Golden Globes, and received over 100 nominations between 2017 and 2018. –IMDb 

I loved her work since her FIRST feature film 2011's Pariah.

I reviewed the film at the 'Nother Brother Entertainment blog HERE)

I also loved her work on her followup, the Emmy Winning Bessie (2015) starring Queen Latifah. I never got a chance to review the film, but I LIVE TWEETED its broadcast premiere at 'Nother Brother Entertainment on Twitter. Check out those tweets via the tweet below.

I reviewed her next feature film, the Academy Award nominated Mudbound (2017) on Instagram. Read that review below.







#Mudbound Review: I thought this film was terrific. A cogent and compelling southern family drama and that’s a lot coming from me. Straight up and down, I’m an urban yankee and I don’t take too kindly to southern dramas. They’re just not my thing, but I found this one satisfying all the way through. SYNOPSIS: Two men (one white, one black) return home from World War II to work on a farm in rural Mississippi, where they struggle to deal with racism and adjusting to life after war.—IMDb The film deals with both families of the men and shows you the realities of southern life. The drama is slow paced, but as I stated compelling and EVERYTHING adds up by the end. And that end, that Third Act, yeah—it’s brutal. The success of this drama lies in its acting and direction. The cast CAREY MULLIGAN, JASON CLARKE, ROB MORGAN, MARY J. BLIGE, JONATHAN BANKS and GARRETT HEDLUND pound for pound each did superb jobs. Director #DeeRees, with cinematography by RACHEL MORRISON, did a magnificent job on this film and if Hollywood doesn’t recognize that this woman is a FORCE after this picture then they’re really not interested in inclusion. Not at all. This is not one of those “you should see it because it’s good for you” movies. You should see it because it’s a pertinent family drama that tells a story of a bygone south intelligently and authentically. #MudboundMovie, currently on #Netflix, is one of the BEST films of 2017. #DBMudbound
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Here is that video profile I spoke of earlier, reposted on the 'Nother Brother Entertainment Instagram below


You can see her resume at IMDb HERE

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Gentefied - Season One Review


I absolutely LOVED this series! 

To be clear,  I was seeing tweets and such about the series weeks before it premiered and meeting one of the Producers at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, I was GOING TO watch it! What I did not know was how much I would love it. 

THE STORY: Gentefied centers on three cousins who band together to keep their Grandfather's popular Boyle Heights [Los Angeles] taco shop in business as the neighborhood becomes more gentrified. 

Throughout the show's first season the cousins confront their differences in their connections to their community, their heritage, and their commitment to the family business, all while navigating larger themes of gentrification and the marginalization of Latinx's in America.—#IMDb

That IMDb synopsis is pretty on point, what it does not point out, why I’m here🙋🏾‍♂️, is how you fall in love with this family and their various stories. 

The writing is so on point as it infuses Latinx culture into a great family drama that’s not about gangs or some other negative trope that Hollywood loves to focus on, but about survival in the hood amid gentrification and other economic factors. 

The performances from the multi-generational cast across the board was terrific—TERRIFIC! I’m not going to list them individually because they ALL did fantastic jobs. They performed superbly in #Spanglish and alternating between English and Spanish within the same scene and mostly within the same line of dialogue. The actors performances really made you fall in love with their characters. 

Plain and simple, Congratulations to the ENTIRE Cast & Crew of 'Gentefied' Y’all made a PERFECT season of television. For la cultura👌🏾

The entire season is on Netflix right now! 

I Live Tweeted the season in a thread starting with the tweet below







Saturday, June 1, 2019

When They See Us - Review and Live Tweets

Below is my review on Instagram







#WhenTheySeeUs Review: I don’t know what to say. It was excellent, but to say I “enjoyed it” is a total misnomer. This film, presented as a Four (4) Part Limited Series, was IMPACTFUL. From the moment the arrests happen you are WITH these five boys. And that’s WTF they were—BOYS! Young males of other races are “snips and snails and puppy dog tails”, but young males of color are considered more mature than they are even when even accused of a crime without proof—considered monsters. WTSU makes you FEEL what these boys are feeling. This film takes a HARD, UNFLINCHING look at what these boys and eventual men went through in the legal system and didn’t sugarcoat shit! I’ve done MY OWN research on the so-called “Central Park Five” before I even saw this and AVA DUVERNAY et al, her cast and crew NAILED their traumatic journey. And that shit WAS traumatic. For real I was like “Shit! Is anything GOOD gonna happen in this film? Damn sis! Can I breathe?” Not really and I think that was the intent. Oh you’re gonna feel this shit. As usual I gotta talk about the filmmaking. Starting with Director and Co-Writer AVA DUVERNAY, she and the other credited writers JULIAN BREECE, ROBIN SWICORD, ATTICA LOCKE and MICHAEL STARRBURY as stated, took you THERE! Cinematographer extraoidinarre BRADFORD YOUNG shot the hell out of it with lots of flair and oft times gourgeous shots. The acting, wow the acting. WOW the acting. The five young men and four older men (one played both versions) did tremendous jobs as did the actors that played their family members. I’m running out of space here, but I’ll will list them on Twitter. Suffice it to say, bravo.👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 I binged watched all four parts in one sitting (a rarity for me) and •LIVE•TWEETED• the whole thing so a lot of the cast and crew are already mentioned. (I’ll post the thread🧵 at the Link in my BIO) Lastly, I highly recommend WHEN THEY SEE US, but ⚠️Caution⚠️ and I can’t state enough, YOU WILL FEEL. You will. Every.moment. 100%
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My LIVE TWEETS of the Limited Series in a Twitter thread linked below









Monday, March 25, 2019

'Us' Box Office

Jordan Peele's 'Us' Delivers a Mind-Blowing $70 Million Debut

by Brad Brevet | Box Office Mojo


Sunday, March 24, 2019

Universal's release of Jordan Peele's Us dominated the domestic box office, not only out-performing the opening weekends for several recent horror hits, but delivering the second largest opening ever for a live-action, original picture, topping the weekend box office with over $70 million. As a result, the 2019 box office continues to improve over the month of March after struggling to begin the year. Overall, this weekend was the third straight to outperform the same weekend last year.
At #1, with an estimated $70.25 million (~49.6% of all tickets sold among the top 12 films), Us topped the weekend box office with the third largest opening of all-time for an R-rated horror film, blowing away 2018's The Nun ($53.8m opening) and placing behind Universal's own Halloween, which opened with $76.2 million last October. The film also decimated the opening for Peele's previous film Get Out, which was a massive hit back in 2017 following a $33.3 million debut. Get Out would go on to gross over $176 million domestically, ranking as the third largest horror film of all-time domestically.
One mind-blowing stat is to note that while animated features such as Inside Out ($90.4m), Zootopia ($75m), The Incredibles ($70.46m) and Finding Nemo ($70.25m) opened higher, the $70.25 million debut for Us is the largest opening for a live-action, original film since Avatar's $77 million debut back in 2009. On a list dominated by sequels it's not often original content is seen to climb quite so high.
Additionally, Us delivered the largest opening for an original, R-rated film, topping Universal's Ted ($54.4m) not to mention the largest opening for an original horror film, topping A Quiet Place ($50.2m). The performance comes with a "B" CinemaScore, which is a notch below the "A-" for Get Out, but is still a solid audience grade for a horror film. The overall opening weekend audience was split 50/50 among males and females and 53% of the overall audience was aged 25 or older.
Looking ahead at its domestic prospects, it's not easy to determine just how high Us will climb. While Get Outpushed over $176 million, Halloween finished its run with $159.3 million, though the latter was certainly a product of nostalgia and seasonal relevance. That said, one would expect Us to play closer to Get Out and push over $200 million, but how far over? On average, films that open anywhere from $65-75 million deliver a 3.36x multiplier, which would suggest a domestic performance around $236+ million, which seems like as good a bet as any right now.
Internationally, Us debuted in 47 markets and brought in an estimated $16.7 million led by a $3.67 million opening in the UK to go along with a $1.98 million France debut, $1.36 million in Germany and $1.17 million launch in Spain. Next weekend's key markets include openings in Korea, Russia and Australia followed by openings in Italy (Apr 4), Mexico (May 3) and finally Japan on August 23.


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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