Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fox may bring back Showtime's 'Soul Food' TV series

by Britni Danielle
Clutch Magazine

Word on the street is Fox is looking to revive the popular Showtime series Soul Food, based on the hit 1997 film.

The original Soul Food series ran on Showtime from 2000 to 2004 and was a hit with viewers. It followed the lives of a black family in Chicago, struggling with life's ups and down (marriage, divorce, owning a business, etc.). According to the industry blog Fishbowl LA, Twentieth Century Fox is looking to capitalize on the African-American demographic who is hungry for shows.

Fishbowl LA reports:

Now, Fox is looking to revamp the series for a new generation. The project is still in the very early stages of development, but executives at the company are said to be keen on it. It isn't yet clear whether the new Soul Food would be for the Fox broadcast network, or whether the company would try and sell it to other channels.
Although many networks have been slow to create shows that target African-Americans, the audience is out there. Cable networks such as TBS, VH1, and BET have scored hits with original programming targeting African-Americans, and the web is exploding with quality shows each day. So it would be wise for Fox, or any other network, to create well-written and well-acted shows that target black viewers.

Friday, October 21, 2011

More Info on the Tupac Shakur Biopic

John Singleton May Direct the Tupac Shakur Biopic

Claude Brodesser-Akner - New York Magazine's Vulture
10/12/11 at 10:00 AM

Almost twenty years after directing Tupac Shakur in Poetic Justice, John Singleton is in negotiations to direct a biopic about the slain rapper for Morgan Creek and Universal Pictures. The project had been set up with Training Day director Antoine Fuqua, but we’re told he had difficulty casting the role of Shakur; even a nationwide talent search failed to yield candidates of which Fuqua approved. As such, Fuqua has moved on and is looking at other projects, most notably attaching himself to direct Relativity Media’s Hunter Killer, a thriller about an American submariner and a Navy SEAL team who must work together to rescue the Russian president during a military coup d'état. (Vulture also hears exclusively that Relativity is in talks with Sam Worthington to star in that production.)

Singleton, meanwhile, had also been rumored to be in the running to direct the rapidly coalescing N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton at New Line Cinema, but insiders tell us that he’s instead taking the Tupac gig after the studio said it wanted to see how rival Compton candidate Craig Brewer fares with his update of Footloose, which opens this weekend. (Our prediction: Not well. The latest NRG tracking numbers shared with Vulture show that 80 percent of moviegoers surveyed said that they were aware of Footloose, but only a little more than one in four — just 28 percent — expressed "definite interest" in seeing it. Only 6 percent of moviegoers said it would be their "first choice" at the box office.) Plus, there’s the old “bird in the hand” theory; after Singleton’s Abduction flopped, we can’t imagine too many other studio offers were forthcoming.

The Tupac script comes from Oscar-nominated screenwriters Stephen J. Rivele and Chris Wilkinson (Ali, Nixon), though we’re told the most recent draft is by Brian Tucker; his neo-noir script Broken City starts shooting next month with Allen Hughes directing, and Russell Crowe, Mark Wahlberg, and Catherine Zeta-Jones starring. That project was acquired for distribution by the Fox-based New Regency only last week.

Shakur and Singleton became quite friendly during the filming of 1993’s Justice, which is readily apparent in their easy camaraderie in this brief BET Rap City clip dating from June 1994 (in which — spoiler alert! — Tupac leaves Singleton in the dust in a sidewalk sprint-off). As such, it will be intriguing to see whom Singleton plans to cast in the title role of his former friend and colleague.


Details revealed of Tupac Shakur biopic
Jeff Weiss-Pop & Hiss, The L.A. Times music blog
August 27, 2010 - 1:06 pm

Unlike the title of his George Clinton collaboration, you apparently will be able to see Tupac Shakur on the silver screen, with New York Magazine's Vulture blog reporting that screenwriters have been drafted to pen a long-gestating biopic on the legendary rapper.

Indeed, the Oscar-nominated team of Stephen J. Rivele and Chris Wilkinson ("Ali," "Nixon") will team up with Antoine Fuqua ("Training Day"), with production reportedly to begin as soon as mid-November. According to to Wilkinson's interview with Vulture, the script will not be in "any way biopic-y," a stark contrast to a previous draft that took a more verite approach. Wilkinson's interview also reveals that the script will pivot on the final day of 2Pac's life in Las Vegas, with a series of flashbacks depicting his previous four years. As for casting, no one has yet been chosen to play the mercurial MC, with reports claiming that the producers and director are searching for an unknown.

Rivele informed Vulture that "he knew nothing about [Shakur]" before diving into research, but upon immersing himself in just about everything ever written about the rapper, "it became clear that he was essentially a 19th century Romantic poet who found himself in the 21st century ... an artist whose character is at odds with his medium ... a really sensitive, very romantic, talented young poet who also could sing, dance, and act. But the realities [of the hip-hop record business] were that he had to create this persona of the gangster."

Of course, it's pure subjectivity as to whether you accept that interpretation. Anyone well-versed in the intricacies of mid-'90s hip-hop is aware that Shakur was a protean individual who shifted between several well-defined personas. Suffice to say, one of his first rap names was MC New York, but he died repping the West Coast. And though Shakur's career dovetailed with the peak of gangsta rap, to define him as being beholden to hip-hop convention seems to underestimate the power of his personality and willful defiance.

Had he the desire, Shakur could've inevitably bucked the prevailing trends to indulge his most starry-eyed visions. By the time he was murdered, his acting career was on stable enough footing that he could have turned his back on the recording industry to write poems a la Jim Morrison in Paris. But there was a dark and glamorous appeal to the thug life and any biopic of Shakur would be well served to focus on his internal contradictions rather than external conflicts.

The interview with Rivele goes onto indicate that he believed that Shakur was in the process of breaking free from his past associations and images, an act which may have led to his downfall. Of course, it's all mere speculation. Although if you're really into over-reaching, perhaps "Tintern Abbey" and "To Live and Die in LA" aren't all that far apart.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

'The Avengers' First Trailer - Shot for Shot

Below is the first trailer

Below is the first trailer shot for shot

Cool Black's Acronym Commentary: LMFAO!

February 5, 2012

Avengers" - Extended Super Bowl Spot (HD)-

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

John Boyega Talks Spike Lee’s HBO project Da Brick

By Wilson Morales-BlackFilm.com

October 10, 2011

One of the hottest new actors to emerge in 2011 is John Boyega (Pictured left), who captivated audiences with his role as Moses in the alien invasion dramedy ‘Attack the Block.’

For the 19-year old British native, his performance attracted the attention of many producers and directors who wanted to cast him in their next project and the guy who got him first is director Spike Lee, who made Boyega the lead character of his upcoming drama series on HBO.

‘Da Brick’ is loosely based on former heavyweight boxing champion and recent Hall of Fame inductee Mike Tyson’s early life in the ring. 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. Also featured in the series are Julito McCullum and Kamahl Naiqui.

Blackfilm.com caught up with Boyega recently as he spoke about his new project and ‘Attack the Block,’ which comes out on DVD on Oct.25.

How were you approached for the HBO project?

John Boyega: I auditioned for it. While I was doing a tour for ‘Attack the Block,’ I went back to LA and auditioned for ‘Da Brick.’ I had two auditions and a test and I just got the part.

Is this based on Mike Tyson’s early life?

JB: It’s loosely based on his life so you will see stuff that he’s spoken about in his world renowned documentary. So, a lot of things are taken from that and the struggles of being a black male in that area. There’s that political side but you will also the growth of a young boy to a champion. It’s a cool story and
very inspirational.

Had you see all of Spike’s films?

JB: Yes, I’ve seen all his movies. Recently, I saw ‘Inside Man.’ I think it’s going to be fun. Spike’s cool. I can’t wait to do it. I’m getting in shape now and working on my jump rope and throwing some punches so I can be a beast in the ring.

Will there be any deleted scenes on the ‘Attack the Block‘ DVD?

JB: I don’t know about deleted scenes, but you may see a lot of outtakes, and behind the scenes stuff to see how we were getting in character.

Do you think a sequel can be made?

JB: Yes. I have some ideas for it.

Related Links
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Monday, October 17, 2011

George Lucas African American Fighter Pilots Film

'Star Wars' Creator George Lucas Self-Finances Movie About First African-American Fighter Pilots
5:32 AM PDT 10/17/2011 by Georg Szalai - The Hollywood Reporter

The filmmaker put $58 million of his own money into making "Red Tails" and is spending $35 million more on its distribution.

NEW YORK - George Lucas is self-financing a film inspired by the first organized group of African-American fighter pilots in the U.S. armed forces, known as the Tuskegee Airmen, the Wall Street Journal reported. The airmen, whose story will be featured in Red Tails, fought in World War II.

The film stars Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, Ne-Yo, David Oyelowo and Nate Parker, according to the Journal. The Star Wars creator put $58 million of his own money into the movie and is spending $35 million more for its distribution, the Journal said. It will be released by Lucas' production firm Lucasfilm Ltd. on Jan. 20, with News Corp.'s Twentieth Century Fox distributing it. Lucas told the newspaper through a representative that he has worked on the project for 23 years. He wanted to make an inspirational film for young people featuring role models, the paper added. "They are really the knights of the contemporary age," Lucas said in a statement.

Red Tails was directed by Anthony Hemingway (pictured left) and written by John Ridley and Aaron McGruder.

Cool Black's Mad Commentary: I found out about this film a while ago and saw the AWESOME trailer. Somehow I never posted it. Below you can see the trailer for yourself.

NOVEMBER 7, 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011

'Malcolm X' Coming to Blu-Ray

Spike Lee’s “Malcolm X” Finally On Blu-ray In January

Sergio-Shadow & Act
October 13, 2011

The motto being “if at first you don’t succeed try again”... As you may recall, Spike Lee’s Malcolm X was scheduled to come out earlier this year in January 2011 on blu-ray DVD, but was suddenly pulled out from the its announced release date because of a music rights clearance problem.

Now, finally it looks as if those issues have been dealt with now that it has been announced the film will make its belated blu-ray DVD release on Jan 31, 2012 on Warner Home Video. Extras on the BD disc will include audio commentary by Lee, cinematographer Ernest Dickerson, editor Barry Alexander Brown and costume designer Ruth Carter.

Other extras will include deleted scenes with an introduction by Lee, the By Any Means Necessary: The Making of Malcolm X featurette and the trailer. The 2 DVD set will also include a bonus disc containing the 1972 feature-length documentary Malcolm X.

Cool Black's Mad Commentary: I’ll probably get the Blu-Ray eventually, but I already own the Malcolm X (Two-Disc Special Edition, pictured right) and these extras sound like what I already have on that edition. :(

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Another Spike Lee Joint joins the National Film Registry

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Lil Wayne -Tha Carter IV Review

Tha Carter IV was going to be released in late May, but was pushed back to June. Mack Maine confirmed that the album's release was postponed because they still needed time to make it perfect. On June 2, 2011, the album was pushed back further, and the album is due for release on August 29, 2011.-MTV News
I thought too that Lil Wayne AKA Weezy was pushing back his album release date to fine tune and make it great. If this is the best they could come up with they should have pushed it back to 2012.

This is not a bad album, but it doesn’t bode well when interludes featuring other artists are among the best tracks on the album. As you should expect most of the best tracks were already released as singles.

The first three singles 6 Foot 7 Foot (featuring Cory Gunz), John (featuring Rick Ross) and How to Love respectively are all HOT.

It took me a LONG time to get 6 Foot 7 Foot because of the mad corny hook (Interpolations of "Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)" by Harry Belafonte. Yeah. Ok.) and the production by Bangladesh (responsible for ‘A Milli’ from Tha Carter III) left much to be desired as well. It was only after a YouTube video with the lyrics (embedded at the bottom of the review) that I could see what pure FIRE the lyrics were. That goes to show you boys and girls, unless you have a good production, people will dismiss your song.

John (featuring Rick Ross) is a hot all around song as well, but perhaps my favorite off of the album is How to Love. Produced by Noel "Detail" Fisher with LaMar and LaNelle Seymour, How to Love is more ballad than rap, more pop than hip hop, but still a great song. We all knew Weezy could sing from his star vocals on "Duffle Bag Boy" by Playaz Circle (In truth the best thing about the song aside from the production by M16) so it came as no surprise to me that he could deliver a heartfelt ballad.

As I stated at the beginning, most of the tracks on this album don’t work. Besides the occasional hot lyrics in some, most songs as wholes are only ok. Some have to grow on you like How to Hate (featuring T-Pain). When I first heard the opening salvos of T-Pain’s autotune I thought “For real dog? Autotune? Really?!” But after listening to it a couple of times I have to admit it’s a good track. If the lyrics of How to Love was exactly that, the lyrics of How to Hate is…exactly that.

There are songs like Nightmares of the Bottom that have good rhymes, but there is nothing special about the beat.

Songs featuring good hooks So Special (feat. John Legend. Produced by Cool & Dre), She Will (featuring Drake) and Mirror (featuring Bruno Mars) also work to a certain degree. Mirror being about the best. (The sixth single off the album is "Mirror" featuring Bruno Mars, was released to urban radio on September 13, 2011.) The iTunes Store Bonus Track Up Up and Away produced by Timbaland is also good.

When you follow-up a classic album like Tha Carter III, it was probably impossible to top it, but I expected something more from Tha Carter IV.

Below are the tracks I thought were HOT.

1. Intro
2. Blunt Blowin HOT
3. Megaman
4. 6 Foot 7 Foot (featuring Cory Gunz) HOT
5. Nightmares of the Bottom
6. She Will (featuring Drake) warm
7. How to Hate (featuring T-Pain) HOT
8. Interlude (performed by Tech N9ne) HOT
9. John (featuring Rick Ross) HOT
10. Abortion
11. So Special feat. John Legend
12. How to Love HOT
13. President Carter
14. It's Good (featuring Jadakiss and Drake)
15. Outro (performed by Bun B, Nas, Shyne and Busta Rhymes) HOT


Deluxe Edition Bonus Tracks

16. I Like the View
17. Mirror (featuring Bruno Mars) warm
18. Two Shots

iTunes Store Bonus Track

19. Up Up and Away HOT

Here is the lyrics video I spoke of above. It goes without saying that this video contains EXPLICIT LYRICS.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

'The Best Man 2' is a Go!

Movie poster for the 1999 film
 Universal Pictures has set Malcolm D. Lee to write, direct and produce Best Man 2, a sequel to the 1999 film. The films revolves around the wedding of a football player (Morris Chestnut) and his best man (Taye Diggs) who has written an autobiographical novel with major implications on the pending nuptials. The film also starred Terrence Howard, Harold Perrineau, Nia Long and Sanaa Lathan.

Made on a relatively small budget of nine million dollars, the film went on to make over $34,000,000, nearly four times as much as it cost to produce the picture, by the end of its theatrical run. Mike Fleming of Deadline reports that "the whole idea came out of a reunion dinner he held with most of the cast members, and they sparked to the idea of a re-team and so did the studio." See a pic from the reunion and a link to more info here

Info from Deadline and Wikipedia

Cool Black's Mad Commentary: While the whole primary cast is steadily working, no one has become a breakout star to the point where it would be "too expensive" for them to return.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Feature article with Taraji P. Henson

Taraji P. Henson
The Washington Post magazine has a good feature article with Taraji P. Henson titled The real Taraji Henson. You can read the article here

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Tupac Sex Tape PHOTOS

TMZ-10/5/2011 1:00 AM PDT

For all the non-believers ... Here is photographic evidence there IS a Tupac sex tape.

TMZ broke the story ... Tupac received oral sex from a mystery woman back in 1991 ... and it was all caught on tape. The 5-minute video shows Tupac in a living room, holding a cocktail in one hand and a blunt in another.

An unreleased Tupac song is playing in the background, as the rapper sings along, wiggling his hips -- all the while getting serviced by the woman.
At one point, Money B from Digital Underground walks into frame, and Tupac puts his cocktail arm around him as the two gab away.

2Pac's Family: We Will Sue ANYONE Who Tries to Sell the Sex Tape
TMZ-10/6/2011 12:50 AM PDT

2Pac's 1991 sex tape will NEVER see the light of day ... according to the rapper's family, which has now threatened to SUE anyone who attempts to distribute the footage.

TMZ spoke with a spokesperson for Pac's estate, who was VERY clear, "We will sue anyone who tries to sell a Tupac tape."

The rep insists ... only the estate has the power to authorize the use of Tupac's image for commercial use ... and there's NO WAY the sex tape will ever get the proper approval.

We're told Tupac's mother, Afeni Shakur, is aware of the tape -- and has told her spokesperson, "Get the legal team ready because [we] will not allow someone to put it out."

The rep tells us ... the estate is trying to figure out who is marketing the tape by attempting to identify the individuals who appear on film, including the leading lady, believing one of them might be the culprit.

READ MORE about the sex tape here
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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

2011 The Root 100 List of influential African Americans

has published their annual list of influential African Americans.

Their methodology-
For 2011 The Root set out to identify the most influential African Americans between 25 and 45 years of age. We defined influence broadly to include anyone who is shaping our daily conversations with work that matters. To identify and rank The Root 100, we developed a formula that defines influence as the marriage of reach and substance.

To calculate the substance score, our editorial team reviewed what each person had accomplished in the last year. Was he or she leading transformative change, championing big ideas, creating breakthrough art, advancing civic engagement or innovating in business and beyond? If yes, then on a 0-10 scale, that person would get a bigger number.

We checked news, blogs, critical reviews, awards and our own sharp editorial instincts to nail down the substance score.
You can read more about their measurements here

Check out the FULL LIST by checking clicking the graphic below