Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Jay-Z Bringing the Nets to Brooklyn

Jay-Z will design jersey for new-look Brooklyn Nets

By RICH CALDER-New York Post

Last Updated: 8:49 AM, September 27, 2011
Posted: 1:14 AM, September 27, 2011

He’s not only part-owner of the soon-to-be Brooklyn Nets — he’s helping design their uniforms, too.

Rap mogul Jay-Z — co-founder of the hip clothing line Rocawear — is working with Nets brass and Adidas to design uniforms for the team when it moves into the under-construction Barclays Center in Brooklyn next year, Nets officials told the Post yesterday.

Jay-Z and team officials had gathered near the arena construction site (pictured left) to announce that the New Jersey Nets team would be renamed the “Brooklyn Nets.”

Jay-Z is also set to open the 18,000-seat arena in September 2012 with up to three concerts.

Jay Z, Adidas and the Nets are currently ironing out a logo for the Brooklyn Nets and deciding what colors their uniforms should be.

No matter what, the logo will feature Brooklyn prominently because the club wants to tap into the borough’s world-popular brand name, officials said.

The Nets’ current logo (pictured below) features the word “Nets” hovering over a basketball.
Nets logo
“Brooklyn will be involved in whatever we do,” said Fred Mangione, chief marketing officer for the Nets and Barclays Center.

The team’s colors — currently red, silver, white and navy blue — will likely be changed, officials said.

“We will always tinker with things along the way,” Mangione said.

Team officials confided that they briefly considered renaming the team the “Brooklyn Dodgers” — in honor of the borough’s beloved baseball team that fled to Los Angeles in 1957 — but eventually nixed the idea.

Developer Bruce Ratner, who is building the arena and is another part-owner in the Nets, said team officials stayed with the Nets name out of respect to its “loyal fan base.”

He said the Nets, despite being perennial losers in recent years, have a "legacy" that includes two championships in the old American Basketball Association and two appearances in the NBA Finals.

Borough President Marty Markowitz said he was pleased with the team’s renaming, although he did not get his full wish — that the team be dubbed the “Brooklyn Bridges” or “Brooklyn Tudes” — as in “Attitudes.”

“My main issue was that the team had to have ‘Brooklyn’ in its name, so I’m happy,” he said.

The Nets started off in 1967 as the New Jersey Americans in the former ABA before moving to Long Island a year later and being renamed the New York Nets.

The club entered the NBA in the 1976-77 season and a year later, moved to New Jersey.

While reflecting on his 2004 decision to become part-owner of the Nets, Jay-Z said the arena project is especially important to him because he grew up nearby at the Marcy Houses in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Referring to how many concerts he plans to hold for what is expected to be part of a gala, three-week, arena opening in September 2012, Jay-Z said “Maybe one, maybe two, maybe three."

“I sound like LeBron [James] now,” the “Empire State of Mind” rapper then joked, referring to the Miami Heat star’s infamous proclamation that he, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade would win multiple NBA championships.

See video from the press conference below

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Don Cheadle's New Show on Showtime

First Promo for Showtime’s HOUSE OF LIES
Starring Don Cheadle, Kristin Bell, and Ben Schwartz
by Brendan Bettinger -Collider.com
Posted: September 24th, 2011 at 8:06 am

Showtime has released the first promo for their new comedy House of Lies. It doesn’t tell you anything about the show, which centers on “a team of cutthroat management consultants who will do anything in their pursuit of money.” In fact, it’s just stars Don Cheadle, Kristin Bell, Ben Schwartz, Josh Lawson, and Dawn Oliveri in one of those bare, grayish sets designed for promo shoots. But the clip (and Cheadle especially) are so infectiously silly, I got a big laugh out of it. The cast drew me in, but now I definitely want to see more.

Official synopsis: HOUSE OF LIES is a half-hour comedy created, written and executive produced by Matthew Carnahan from the hit tell-all book House of Lies: How Management Consultants Steal Your Watch and Tell You the Time by Martin Kihn. The new comedy is a scathing look at a self-loathing management consultant from a top-tier firm. Cheadle stars as Marty, a highly-successful and cutthroat consultant who is never above using any means (or anyone) necessary to get his way with and for his clients. Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars) will play Jeannie Van Der Hooven, a razor-sharp, Ivy-League graduate who works at Marty’s firm. Co-stars include noted comedian Ben Schwartz (Undercovers) and Josh Lawson (Romantically Challenged) as Marty’s corporate team members; Dawn Oliveri (Heroes) as Marty’s acerbic ex-wife; the legendary Glynn Turman (In Treatment) as his psychoanalyst father; and Donis Leonard Jr. (The Fresh Beat Band) as Marty’s young son. Jessika Borsiczky (Flash Forward) will serve as executive producer, and Emmy winner Stephen Hopkins (Californication, 24) directs and executive produces.

Watch the promo below

Cool Black's Mad Commentary: First found out about this series from the great site Shadow & Act. Having been a fan of Don Cheadle since his excellent work on Picket Fences, I will probably see anything he's in that looks interesting and this concept ESPECIALLY on uncensored cable sounds good ;-)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Why Taraji Crams To Understand: Black Marketing In Hollywood

Blog Post #7
From the great site Shadow & Act:

"WOW!!!! TV Guide is NOT including me on the cover with my cast memebers….....I am the female lead of a 3 member cast and I’m not included on the cover!!!!!! Do you see the shit I have to deal with in this business…..I cram to understand!!!!"

Words from Ms Taraji P. Henson posted on her Facebook fanpage yesterday. [9-20-11] She’s talking about the upcoming new CBS drama series Person Of Interest, created by wunderkind producer/director J.J. Abrams, starring James Caviezel, Michael Emerson’s, and of course Taraji.

It's important to note that while it was up yesterday morning (9-21-11) that quote was removed from her Facebook page.

I feel Taraji’s pain. Black people are well underrepresented in mainstream media. We don’t grace mainstream magazine covers and we don’t headline TV shows unless it’s a sitcom. It just doesn’t happen and it doesn’t seem to be the interest of those who are doing the marketing either.

Having studied advertising in college, you have to understand that advertising is a science. NOT ONE ad is placed or aired unless they know EXACTLY who they are marketing to by age, race, and gender. Not one. Was it right for Taraji to lament on social media? In a word Yes.

As Shadow & Act also reported “She’s got almost 700,000 followers on Twitter, and over 3 million fans on Facebook! So, there’s a fanbase there.” THAT IS a huge fan base and social networks DO matter as indicated at how it rescued a dead show after two years, The Game. (You can read more about that here ). Also indicated in the comment section on S&A, many people didn’t even know she was on the show, so her ire was warranted.

It also brings interest to what could be a pivotal point in her career. CBS does have huge faith in this show being a hit.

"According to CBS, Person of Interest received the highest test ratings of any drama pilot in 15 years, what one CBS executive called "crazy broad appeal you don't usually see." The ratings prompted CBS to move CSI, which had occupied that slot for over 10 years, to Wednesday 10/9c to make room for Person of Interest."-Washington Post

Thursday is considered PRIME TV real estate. It is considered the last day of the week as far as ratings. Friday is considered the weekend where most people are going out NOT staying home watching television.

Being on a hit show not only gives you a steady pay check, but huge exposure. Who ever heard of Mariska Hargitay before Law & Order: SVU. I mean really?

As a huge fan of Lost and a fan of Michael Emerson since he played that creepy bastard “William Hinks”on another favorite show of mine The Practice, I probably would have watched the show regardless for at least a couple of episodes, but Taraji being on the show just increased this person’s interest (couldn’t resist) 1000%.

You can read more as well as more comments including my own (under my real name Dankwa Brooks) on Shadow & Act here

UPDATE: September 23, 2011: Shadow & Act has posted the TV Guide response to Taraji.

According Debra Birmbaum, the editor in chief of TV Guide:
“I made an editorial decision to do a story about the relationship between the two male characters on ‘Person of Interest’ and that’s who I was going to put on the cover. That has been my decision all along, ever since I saw the pilot. We’re certainly fans of Taraji Henson and her storyline on the show was never intended to be the focus of our cover story. I don’t know where there was a misunderstanding about this, but it’s been clear to everyone from the start. I don’t make decisions on who is put and not put on the cover based on race or gender… This week’s cover September 26 issue features the three stars of ‘Charlie’s Angels’ — Minka Kelly, Annie Illonzeh and Rachael Taylor. We are not pursuing a cover of ‘Person of Interest’ at this time.”

Shadow & Act has a TON of comments on the issue in the new post. You can read them here

See ALL of our posts about Person of Interest by clicking Taraji P. Henson’s picture from the show below

Taraji P. Henson in Person of Interest. Photo courtesy of CBS Official Website


CLICK the graphic below to see more of our blog posts about diversity in Hollywood at our parent blog 'Nother Brother Entertainment Blog

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ray-J versus Fabolous

From left to right: Ray J and Fabolous

This story is all over the Internet and while this is a blog devoted to African Americans in the media, this story is WAY TOO ignorant to post here, but they reported it all at Mass Appeal News with Ray-J's explicit interview with Power 105 here

Listen to Fabolous' response here Update: September 22, 2011: As much as it pains me, YES I'm still reporting on this nonsense. 50 Cent is being kind of vague about the whole incident and kind of conflicts what both Ray-J and Fabolous said. Oh well listen to it below.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Spike Lee's 'Red Hook Summer' Coming in 2012

Spike Lee Plans A 2012 Release Date For Red Hook Summer

Spike Lee via Twitter September 16, 2011
Sean O'Connell-CinemaBlend

Spike Lee has announced via his Twitter feed that his next film, a “joint” titled Red Hook Summer, will reach theaters in summer 2012. And then, to put to rest any doubts, the director stood in front of a giant sign with the moniker and the tagline “Burning Up Da Summer 2012.” So, what do we know about Red Hook? Lee directs from his own screenplay about an Atlanta resident who spends a memorable summer in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook. The filmmaker also plans to revive his character of Mookie from his seminal, Oscar-nominated work Do the Right Thing, which came out in 1989.

Lee will be joined in the cast by Clarke Peters (pictured left) of HBO’s The Wire, Samantha Ivers, and Limary Agosto, playing a character named Lourdes. It sounds like Red Hook could mark Lee’s welcome return to the Brooklyn-drenched storytelling that defined the first act of his prolific directing career. Lately, he has drifted to other territories in search of inspiration, heading overseas for a war picture (Miracle at St. Anna), spending several months in Louisiana documenting the impact of Hurricane Katrina, and filming a recent pilot for a Mike Tyson-inspired cable pilot called Da Brick. (Read all of our posts about Da Brick here )

It’s also believed that Lee will move from Red Hook right into the anticipated remake of Chan-wook Park’s 2003 masterpiece, Oldboy, with Josh Brolin in the lead role of a man trying to figure out who imprisoned him for 15 years. (Read all of our posts about OldBoy here )

From left to right: Nate Parker, Samantha Ivers, Limary Agosto and Heather Simms
According to BlackFilm.com the cast will also include Nate Parker, Turron Kofi Alleyne, Samantha Ivers, Limary Agosto, Heather Simms, and Kalon Jackson.

From left to right: Turron Kofi Alleyne and Kalon Jackson
Cool Black's Mad Commentary: I must say that since Spike is being super secretive about this film that all of these details are subject to change.

External Link- 
You can check out the Red HookSummer IMDb page here

APRIL 2012 
Footage and Behind The Scenes clips of Red Hook Summer

JUNE 2012
OFFICIAL Red Hook Summer poster

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our blog posts about SPIKE LEE

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tyler Perry is Highest Paid Man in Hollywood

Tyler Perry Tops List of Highest Paid Men in Entertainment
Tyler Perry
by Paul Bond - Hollywood Reporter
9/12/2011 3:23 PM PDT

The movie and TV mogul behind Madea and other hit properties earned $130 million in a year, besting Jerry Bruckheimer and Steven Spielberg.

Playing an argumentative, plus-sized woman has been a lucrative endeavor for Tyler Perry, who Forbes magazine on Monday named “entertainment’s highest paid man.”

Perry raked in $130 million in 12 months starting May 1, 2010, according to Forbes, not only from royalties associated with his Madea movie franchise but also through TV shows Meet the Browns and House of Payne and various other projects.

Second to Perry on the Forbes list of 10 is Jerry Bruckheimer, who earned $113 million as the fourth installment of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise topped $1 billion at the box office worldwide.

Forbes said it spoke to agents, lawyers, producers and a host of other insiders to determine pretax gross incomes for Hollywood's heavyweights and it did not deduct management, agent or legal fees.

It’s list of entertainment’s highest paid women is forthcoming.

Among men, Steven Spielberg ranks third with $107 million and Elton John and Simon Cowell round out the Top 5, having earned $100 million and $90 million, respectively.

Author James Patterson is No. 6 with $84 million. Perry, in fact, will star as Alex Cross, one of Patterson’s popular protagonists, in a Summit Entertainment film due next year.

Leonardo Di Caprio is the lone actor on the list and Tiger Woods the only athlete.

The full list is here

'Attack The Block' Coming to Blu-ray/DVD On Oct. 25th

Attack the Block Announced for DVD and Blu-ray
The cult hit is coming home, bruv. Believe it.

by Cindy White - IGN.com
September 12, 2011 September 13, 2011

One of the best-reviewed movies of the summer happens to be one of the least hyped, but now that Attack the Block is coming to home video, it just may have a chance to fulfill its cult potential. HitFix has the news that Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is bringing the British alien invasion movie to DVD and Blu-ray on Oct. 25, 2011.

The film marks the promising feature debut of writer-director Joe Cornish and was produced by Edgar Wright (director of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead). It centers on a group of London hoodlums who rise to the challenge of protecting their neighborhood when vicious, jet-black creatures begin falling from the sky and attacking the residents of a South London housing project.

Among the bonus material will be no less than three audio commentaries. The "Junior Commentary" features Cornish with the film's younger stars – John Boyega, Alex Esmail, Franz Drameh, Simon Howard and Leeon Jones. The "Senior Commentary" has Cornish with the older cast members, including Jodie Whittaker, Luke Treadaway and Nick Frost. Finally, the "Executive Producer Commentary" has Cornish and Wright.

There are also these five featurettes:

--Behind the Block

--Creature Feature

--Meet the Gang

--Unfilmed Action

--That's a Rap

And here's packaging:

UPDATE: March 2012
I have finally viewed many of the extras and TOTALLY AGREE what the site HIGH-DEF Digest said below especially Behind the Block

The Supplements: Digging Into the Good Stuff
  • Audio Commentaries –
    There are three audio commentaries included on this release, and they're all worth listening to.
    First off you have what's called the "Junior Commentary," which features Cornish along with kid actors John Boyega (Moses), Alex Esmail (Pest), Franz Drameh (Dennis), Simon Howard (Biggz), and Leeon Jones (Jerome). Cornish does a good job steering the commentary, keeping it on point. It's light-hearted, full of anecdotes about the filming, and being on set.
    The second commentary is called "Senior Commentary," which features another appearance from Cornish along with the older actors in the movie Jodie Whittaker (Sam), Luke Treadaway (Brewis), and Nick Frost (Ron). As always Frost has a few great lines. Even though he has minimal screen time, he may be the reason to check out this commentary. It's great to have the different views though. Most of the kids are relatively new actors, while these three have lengthier filmographies. It's kind of cool to get both points of view about what it's like working on movies.
    The third and final commentary is the "Executive Producer Commentary," which features Cornish, and famed director, who is credited as a producer here, Edgar Wright. Even though Wright wasn't in the director's chair, his finger prints are all over the look and feel of this movie. Cornish and Wright talk about working together and the more technical aspects of filming the movie.

  • Behind the Block (HD, 1 hr.) – This surprisingly lengthy making-of feature covers anything and everything you may want to know about the movie. If the three commentaries full of filming information weren't enough, here's an hour-long making-of feature that is filled with behind-the-scenes footage of how the cast was chosen, how certain scenes were filmed, and how it was being on set with everyone. What a great special feature. Usually these making-of features are simply promotional clip-heavy tools that run 10 – 20 minutes. This one has some real thought put into it though. Fans will definitely want to sit down and watch this.

  • Creature Feature (HD, 20 min.) – Here's the skinny on how the special effects team created the awesome creatures for the movie. Again, not just cursory information. At 20 minutes this featurette covers quite a lot of ground when it comes to creating the original look of the creatures in the film.

  • Meet the Gang (HD, 15 min.) – A hodgepodge of clips with the main people in the film answering questions about their jobs and newspapers in general.

  • Unfilmed Action (HD, 5 min.) – Here's a quick look at some action scenes that were cut in order to finish the film in the allotted budget.

  • That's A Rap (HD, 2 min.) – A rap by the movie's cast.

  • Trailers (HD, 5 min.) – A U.K. theatrical trailer is included along with the U.S. Red-Band trailer.

Final Thoughts
'Attack the Block' is a treat because you're really not sure what to expect from it, until you're about halfway through and you realize that this low-budget movie is one of the best alien invasion movies out there. It may be set on a small scale, but it's got a big heart. With people like Wright pulling the strings behind the camera, it's easy to see where the movie gets its signature frantic action-packed feel. It's a hysterically thrilling action movie. With good video, great audio, and an extensive special features package 'Attack the Block' is recommended for any movie lover looking for a good time.
Read the full review at HIGH-DEF DIGEST here

Cool Black's Mad Commentary: I totally agree with this quote:
Let me be the first one to say that Sony Pictures/Screen Gems did NOT do right by Attack The Block, a film I still firmly hold as one of the best films I’ve seen this year. (and perhaps the best film of the summer). Despite great reviews and great audience response, the film never got the kind of solid and wide spread theatrical release it so rightly deserved. - Sergio, Shadow & Act
I also agree with this-
I’m not sure what the thinking or strategy was on Sony’s part. ... It hasn’t even grossed $1 million yet (domestic) which I was flabbergasted by when I saw its numbers last week. I figured it would have done far better. Its widest release was just 66 theaters simultaneously. I now have to wonder what the point of all those free preview screenings were the held before its release. I figured they were prepping for a nationwide roll-out. Guess not. Maybe they’re shooting for home video profits. -Tambay, Shadow & Act
You can check out the (sad) Box Office Totals I posted in Attack the Block Updates

You can read more comments about the DVD release at Shadow & Act by CLICKING their logo below.

Read my review of Attack the Block

Monday, September 12, 2011

Why There Hasn't Been a Definitive 9/11 Movie Yet

Blog Post #6

has a realy comprehensive blog article about why there hasn't been a definitive movie about 9/11.

Blog graphic featuring the movie posters for United 93 (left) and World Trade Center (right)

Personally I think the two films pictured above, Paul Greengrass's United 93 and Oliver Stone's World Trade Center both released in 2006, did a very good job at depicting several factors of the events. World Trade Center was very good and United 93 was excellent!

Like the blog article also states “The National Geographic Channel's Inside 9/11 is a clinical, documentary-style breakdown of the events leading up to that day, the day itself and the aftermath. It's as comprehensive as you could want.” And I completely agree. I only saw Part 1 of Inside 9/11, but WOW was it detailed and excellent.

Like the blog article states extensively, ten years later this is still a touchy subject and you must make something that will make money. As the article also states “It's called "show business" after all -- if there's no business, there's no show.”

Read the blog on Moviefone here

Kevin Hart's Stand-Up Movie Opens Big

Kevin Hart's limited-release 'Laugh at My Pain' scores $2 million

Kevin Hart

Amy Kaufman
L.A. Times Blog
September 11, 2011 | 12:51 pm

Stand-up comedy specials often earn strong ratings on television and sell briskly on DVD, but rarely do they make it to the big screen. That's what makes the success of "Kevin Hart: Laugh at My Pain" at the box office this weekend all the more implausible. The film, comprised primarily of footage shot during one of the comedian's shows at the Nokia Theater last February, opened this weekend in 99 theaters and collected $2 million. That amounts to a solid per-theater average of $20,000 for the movie, which played in 25 markets this weekend including Los Angeles, Dallas and Atlanta. The film was produced for only $750,000 by Jeff Clanagan, chief executive of the independent production company Codeblack Entertainment, which distributed the movie domestically in AMC Theaters.

"We all bet on the back-end to manage the cost," Clanagan said via telephone Sunday morning. "Laugh at My Pain," he added, is not merely made up of material from Hart's stand-up concert. The comedian is also shown visiting his Philadelphia hometown in a brief documentary-style segment, and later acts in a short action clip spoofing the movie "Resevoir Dogs." Clanagan said he did not spend a lot of money promoting the movie through traditional marketing channels. He purchased one national advertising spot on "Basketball Wives," VH1's highest-rated program, as well as a few others on MTV2 and BET.

Hart hosted the BET Awards in June and appeared in a number of vignettes during MTV's Video Music Awards last month. The majority of the word-of-mouth about the movie spread on social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter, where Hart has more than 2 million followers. "It's a lot easier to reach your target audience these days," Clanagan said. "On Facebook we just asked our fans, 'Hey, we're gonna expand the movie, what market are you in?' And we had 6,000 responses in an hour that showed me, for instance, that we need to go to places like Boston next. We asked fans what key art we should use, and they had a different opinion than what we'd initially chosen -- so we changed the art based on that feedback."

In recent years the few comedy special-based films that have made it to theaters have a mixed track record. The Original Kings of Comedy with Cedric the Entertainer made a respectable $38.2 million in 2000, and Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat grossed $19.2 million two years later. But just a few years ago, Vince Vaughn's "Wild West Comedy Show" flopped with a weak $603,984 in 2008. Meanwhile, "Laugh at My Pain" will expand domestically to 58 additional theaters next weekend." The film is also being released in East Africa and West Africa through a partnership with Silverbird Cinemas, the sole theater chain servicing countries in that region.

Empire State of Mind

For the 10th anniversary of 9/11, State Farm insurance company hired Spike Lee to direct a tribute.The wonderful ad featured the song Empire State of Mind (Part II) the Alicia Keys version of the collaboration between her and Jay-Z featuring only her vocals.

You can read all about the song at Wikipedia here

You can see the video for the Jay-Z version feat. Alicia Keys below.

Related posts-

See the State Farm ad directed by Spike Lee at our parent blog right here

See what I think are the best Jay-Z videos at Jay-Z - Cool Black's Favorite Videos .

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PHOTO - Pregnant Beyoncé and Jay-Z Take a NYC Stroll

Beyoncé and Jay-Z September 11, 2011
 September 11, 2011 07:30 PM EDT by Audrey Egan - Gather.com

A visibly pregnant Beyoncé and Jay-Z were spotted in New York City this weekend as they enjoyed the beautiful fall weather and each other's company. On this 10th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy, it's wonderful to see people loving the city that was so affected. Jay-Z famously sang "Empire State of Mind" which became an anthem to his hometown of New York.

Just Jared reports that "The 30-year-old pregnant entertainer was all smiles and walked hand in hand with Jay - an onlooker also spotted Bey touching her baby bump as she and Jay headed home after eating a late lunch at Locanda Verde." Beyonce and Jay-Z were spotted in Tribeca, a neighborhood in lower Manhattan.

The couple is continuing to go about their life like normal, even though the news of Beyoncé's pregnancy has turned them into two of the most photographed celebrities all of a sudden. This one celebrity couple that is certainly setting a wonderful example of family. Ever since news that Beyoncé is pregnant, the two have seemed inseparable, with Jay-Z always by his wife's side.

Cool Black's Mad Commentary: I kind of deplore posting paparazzi pictures unless they are related to an article, but people who read this blog (currently @ 52, 800 views :) might want to see the pic and I did post an article about her pregnancy revelation here so I guess this photo is warranted. *shrug*

Related Post-
Jay-Z Tops Best Sellers and Gets $2M gift from wife 

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

My OTHER Reviews

Blog Post #5
I usually post movie (and other media) reviews here at Cool Black Media. Sometimes when I think that an independent film worthy of singular distinction I usually post it at the blog for my company ‘Nother Brother Entertainment Blog. As you should know this blog Cool Black Media is devoted to African Americans in the media and other media musings I might have like this blog post the “Mad Meditation”. Below you can check out links to my other reviews by CLICKING the graphic for that media.


I reviewed Freedom Riders earlier together with another good film Night Catches Us at graphic below

There are also other reviews EXCLUSIVELY at the Facebook page for my company
'Nother Brother Entertainment

Yeah they’re about film too.

Of course you can always check out all of the Reviews here at Cool Black Media by clicking the graphic below

Thursday, September 8, 2011

New Michael Jackson Documentary Endorsed by his Family

Photo courtesy of Shadow & Act
Michael Jackson: The Life of an Icon, which is set for release on DVD and Blu-ray on Nov. 1 in the U.S. (Oct. 31 in the U.K.), features interviews with the late pop star's mother, Katherine; brother Tito; sister Rebbie; fellow recording artists including Smokey Jackson, Dionne Warwick and Whitney Houston; and concert promoter David Gest, who produced.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Eddie Murphy will Host Next Oscar Ceremony

Eddie Murphy named host of 84th Academy Awards

September 6, 2011
12:23 pm

The rumors became a reality Tuesday: Eddie Murphy (pictured left) will host the 84th Academy Awards, which will be telecast Feb. 26 on ABC, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced.

Buzz started circulating over Labor Day weekend that the 50-year-old comedian-actor was being considered for the host job. In some ways, it's no surprise, since Murphy is starring in the upcoming film "Tower Heist," which was directed by Brett Ratner -- who is also producing the Academy Awards show with Don Mischer. "Tower Heist" is set to open in November.

By selecting Murphy, the academy is returning to its comedic host roots. The academy attempted to court younger viewers, hiring James Franco and Anne Hathaway to host the 83rd Academy Awards in February. Franco, who in addition to hosting was nominated for a lead actor Oscar for "127 Hours," was roundly trounced by critics for his lackluster performance; reviews were kinder toward Hathaway.

Over the years, comics including Bob Burns, Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis, Johnny Carson, Chevy Chase, Billy Crystal, David Letterman, Chris Rock, Steve Martin, Whoopi Goldberg and Jon Stewart have hosted the awards. Crystal even admitted recently that he was available to host if the academy wanted him.

"Eddie is a comedic genius, one of the greatest and most influential live performers ever," Ratner said in a statement Tuesday. "With his love of movies, history of crafting unforgettable characters and his iconic performances -- especially onstage -- I know he will bring an excitement, spontaneity and tremendous heart to the show Don and I want to produce in February."

Murphy, who earned a supporting actor Oscar nomination for his dramatic turn in 2006's "Dreamgirls," hasn't been seen on the screen since the 2009 flop "Imagine That," which made just $16.1 million domestically. In fact, another Murphy film, "A Thousand Words," which is now set to open in January, has been on the shelf for more than three years.

However, Murphy has been heard as the wisecracking Donkey in the popular animated "Shrek" franchise.

First coming to fame as a stand-up comedian, he joined NBC's "Saturday Night Live" in 1980 while still a teenager, performing such characters as Buckwheat and Gumby. Murphy made his film debut opposite Nick Nolte in Walter Hill's 1982 buddy action comedy, "48 Hrs.," followed by such hits as 1983's "Trading Places," 1984's "Beverly Hills Cop" and 1988's "Coming to America. " He made his film debut as a director with 1989's "Harlem Nights."

Murphy was named best actor by the National Socitey of Film Critics for his multiple roles in 1996's "The Nutty Professor." Other hits in the 1990s included 1998's "Doctor Dolittle" and 1999's "Life" and "Bowfinger." Save for "Dreamgirls," most of the films he's made recently haven been critically lambasted, including 2003's "The Haunted Mansion," 2007's "Norbit" and 2008's "Meet Dave," which made only $11.9 million.

Check out the trailer for Tower Heist below

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

VIDEO: Eddie Murphy pulls out of Oscars (0:57)

Friday, November 11, 2011
After eight years Billy Crystal will return as the host of the Oscars. The announcement follows days of drama at the Academy after producer Brett Ratner resigned after using a gay slur. One day later, Eddie Murphy, who had been lured by Ratner to host the telecast, canceled his hosting duties. The academy responded by hiring Hollywood veteran Brian Grazer, who chose Crystal as host. Crystal has MCd the show eight times, last hosting in 2004.

The Oscars will air live from Hollywood, California on February 26. Alicia Powell, Reuters.

Chris Tucker in Talks for Upcoming Movies

'Rush Hour' star in talks for Two Upcoming Films

By Jeff Sneider -Variety
Posted: Tue., Sep. 6, 2011, 1:16pm PT

Chris Tucker's (pictured left) latest hiatus appears to be coming to an end.

The motor-mouthed comic, who last appeared on the big screen in 2007's "Rush Hour 3," is in talks to join David O. Russell's "The Silver Linings Playbook" at the same time he's circling a key role in 20th Century Fox's comedy "Neighborhood Watch."

Prone to long stretches of inactivity, Tucker has made only three movies since 1998, all in the "Rush Hour" franchise. The last of these came after a break that dragged on for six years, in part because Tucker was in no hurry to make the film.

Late last year, Tucker was attached to Warner Bros. heist pic "The Rabbit," a project the studio is still developing; and earlier this year he was considered for a lead role in Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained," but the part went to Jamie Foxx.

"The Silver Linings Playbook" stars Bradley Cooper as a former high school teacher who's institutionalized for depression and then released into the care of his mother. He tries to win back his ex-wife but becomes involved with an eccentric neighbor with problems of her own. Jennifer Lawrence is set to play the neighbor, while Robert De Niro will play Cooper's father.

Tucker will play Cooper's spirited friend who lives in a mental hospital. He escapes on several occasions to visit the troubled protag, as the duo have a special understanding of each other.

The Weinstein Co. is behind Russell's adaptation of Matthew Quick's novel, and Harvey Weinstein will produce. TWC had no comment on Tucker's casting.

As for "Neighborhood Watch," Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill are set to star in the Akiva Schaffer-directed laffer, which follows a group of suburban neighbors whose Neighborhood Watch is really a front for them to escape their families -- until they discover a plot to destroy the world. Tucker is being eyed for the role of Jamarcus, who is recently divorced.

Shawn Levy is producing through his 21 Laps banner. Jared Stern wrote the original script, which Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg subsequently rewrote.

Tucker broke out playing Smokey alongside Russell's "Three Kings" star Ice Cube in the 1995 New Line comedy "Friday." He stayed in demand through the mid-to-late '90s, working with a diverse group of helmers including Quentin Tarantino ("Jackie Brown"), Luc Besson ("The Fifth Element"), Brett Ratner ("Money Talks") and the Hughes brothers ("Dead Presidents"). It wasn't until Ratner cast Tucker opposite Jackie Chan in 1998's "Rush Hour" that the actor hit the bigtime, however, landing $20 million and $25 million paychecks for the pic's two sequels. Overall, the "Rush Hour" trilogy grossed more than $850 million worldwide.

This year, Tucker has been on a standup tour that started in July and runs through November. At a stop in Mountain View, Calif., last month, Tucker told the New York Times that his time off the bigscreen has more to do with the roles offered him and that he doesn't feel like he's been on a hiatus "until people say, 'Hey, where you been?' I'll be like: 'I've been here. I've been living.'"

Related post-
Read the August 18, 2011
article Chris Tucker Back Again, Whether or Not He Was Away here

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Cast is Revealed in HBO Spike Lee, Mike Tyson Boxing Drama

"Attack the Block's" John Boyega and "The Wire's" Julito McCullum join the HBO project from Lee and John Ridley.
5:43 PM PDT 8/31/2011 by (Lacey Rose), (Lesley Goldberg) Hollywood Reporter

Fresh off its pilot pick up, HBO has cast the lead and three supporting players in its Spike Lee boxing drama Da Brick.

The premium network has cast Attack the Block star John Boyega (pictured left) to play the project's titular character. (Read my enthusiastic review of Attack the Block here)

Boyega will play Donnie, who, after his release from juvenile detention on his 18th birthday begins an exploration of what it means to be a man for himself and those around him.

Milauna Jemai (NCIS, pictured left) will play Lynette, Donnie's mother, with him he reconnects with following a 14-month separation.

Julito McCullum (The Wire, pictured below right) will play Kevin, Donnie's best friend and the one person he can't leave behind, no matter how much he may want to.

Kamahl Naiqui Palmer (Gossip Girl) is set as Malik, the moral center of Donnie's tight group of friends who is looking for direction between his middle-class upbringing and the harder realities of his environment.

Da Brick is described as a contemporary exploration of what it means to be a young, black man in a supposedly post-racial America.

The project hails from Lee and L.A. Riots' John Ridley.

Former boxing heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, Entourage creator Doug Ellin and his producing partner Jim Lefkowitz are attached as nonwriting executive producers, along with Tyson's wife, Lakiha Tyson. Azim Spicer is attached as a nonwriting co-executive producer.

Lee is set to direct with Ridley on board to write and serve as showrunner.

It will be set in Newark, N.J., which is often dubbed "Brick City."

Much as Entourage was inspired by producer Mark Wahlberg's life, Da Brick will reflect aspects of Tyson's upbringing. It marks the latest in a string of Hollywood projects for Tyson, who has turned up in the Hangover franchise as well as Animal Planet's Taking on Tyson. Last season, he added a cameo on Entourage to his resume.

Cool Black's Mad Commentary: It must be said that this is JUST a pilot (first episode) order. HBO orders it, puts up the money to film it and THEN decides if they want to pay for the whole season. It's a good bet though that HBO will order a series from the pilot given the creative personnel involved.

MARCH 2012

HBO Passes On Drama Pilot ‘Da Brick’
March 13, 2012

HBO’s drama pilot Da Brick will not be going forward. The pay cable network just passed on the project, executive produced by Spike Lee, John Ridley, Doug Ellin and Mike Tyson. Written by Ridley and directed by Lee, Da Brick was inspired in part by Tyson’s youth and explored what it means to be a young, black man in supposedly post-racial America. The central character of troubled aspiring young boxer Donnie was played by newcomer John Boyega. Ellin, Ridley, Lee, Tyson and Jim Lefkowitz executive produced. The move comes on the heels of HBO also opting not to go forward with Ellin’s comedy pilot 40.

Cool Black's Mad Commentary 2: As stated above^^ in the previous commentary "HBO orders it, puts up the money to film it and THEN decides if they want to pay for the whole season." Well HBO decided NOT to pay for a whole season which I find unfortunate. I think it would have been the perfect venue for John Boyega to display his acting skills a la Idris Elba in Luther. (Read my review of Luther here)

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