Friday, April 26, 2013

Beyoncé & Jay-Z Dine with Blue Ivy in Paris [PHOTOS]

By MAGGIE COUGHLAN, People magazine
04/25/2013 at 12:25 PM EDT

The City of Light just got a little brighter, thanks to a visit from one superstar baby.

Beyoncé and Jay-Z were photographed stepping out for lunch with their daughter – who Beyoncé has also referred to as her "road dog," "homey" and "best friend" – Blue Ivy, in Paris on Thursday.

Wearing a black top and no makeup, the singer – who is currently on the Mrs. Carter World Tour – looked every bit the hands-on mom as she carried her 15-month-old daughter through the restaurant.

While Beyoncé has publicly doted on her daughter – sharing photos of matching tour chairs (pictured above) and dining together in Brooklyn – the tot might be a daddy's girl after all. With a blue pacifier in her mouth, Jay-Z was snapped giving her daughter a sweet smooch as he carried her.

The couple recently celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary by visiting Havana.

RELATED: [PHOTOS] Peek-a-Blue – Ivy!

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our blog posts about Jay-Z

Monday, April 15, 2013

Opening Weekend Numbers for '42'

—Nikki Finke,
April 14, 2013

Exit polling for Legendary Pictures/Warner Bros’ 42 showed the audience composition was males 48% females 52%; under age 25 was 17%, age 25 and up 83% (with a predominantly older audience), and the main reason for attending the movie was subject matter 84%. A Warner Bros exec tells me: “While we do not poll race breakdown, I can tell you we performed extremely well in all the large urban markets. But the highest grossing theaters were the country’s most commercial screens.” Pic’s $9.1M Friday opening received an impressive +25% Saturday bump to $11.3M for what should be a greatly overperforming $27.3M weekend and #1.

The Jackie Robinson biopic 42 (3,003 theaters) nicely overperformed tracking which was in the mid-teens for an original movie about race and baseball with no hot stars. (Granted Harrison Ford is a legend but not box office nowadays.) The opening number is a record for a baseball flick in terms of straight dollars, topping the $19.5M debut of 2011′s Moneyball.

Even factoring in higher ticket prices and inflation, the $13.7M debut of 1992′s A League Of Their Own would have been on par with 42. The moderately budgeted film ($38M) received an ‘A+’ CinemaScore which will help word of mouth. Grosses on MLB’s Jackie Robinson Day – which is April 15 - when every player wears Robinson’s #42, could even stay level because of the attention. In addition to the $38M marketing spend, the film has generated a ton of national media and awareness that didn’t cost any
money. “Just watching the film’s box office growing at a rapid pace all day,” a Warner Bros exec gushed on Friday. “Great news for Thomas Tull and his team at Legendary.”

Still, I wondered whether Academy Award winning writer-director Brian Helgeland’s soft-focus storyline would turn off moviegoers to Thomas Tull‘s passion project, especially without the street cred of African-American filmmakers involved. But no. ‘All you can do is put these things together in the way you think is best,” Tull told me Thursday. Instead he relied on Rachel Robinson. ”Her voice helped us with authenticity. That was the person who lived it,” Tull said. “And that was a really important story for us to tell.” Tull
does admit that, had Rachel herself not been so involved, there may have been
more focus on the tough stuff.

The filmmakers wound up with the highest testing movie that Legendary has ever had. Rachel Robinson had been promised over the last two decades that Hollywood would make this movie – and never did. Then, at 90 years old, she was approached by Tull two years ago. ”She looked me in the eye and asked, ‘Are you going to make this movie?’ and I said we’d make it happen,’” Tull recalled.

Read my review of 42 at the 
'Nother Brother Entertainment blog
by clicking the graphic below

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Jackie Robinson 'SportsCentury' [VIDEO]

Galvanized by the terrific film 42, I wanted to know more about the legend Jackie Robinson.

To be clear, of course I knew about Jackie Robinson, but nothing in depth until now. Like many I am a slave to the media and I'm more liable to see a movie about a public figure before I'll read about them. I HAVE read books about public figures, I'm just more liable to see a movie about them.

No movie though no matter how good will encapsulate a person or subject and if you are so inclined about the person or subject you should ALWAYS seek more information.

As I said in my review of the film about the Tuskegee Airmen, Red Tails
It’s a MOVIE, it’s made to entertain not be your only basis for history. Historical films like this are good for just that the entertainment and maybe it’ll spark broader interest where you can go to your local library or in this day and age Google and Wikipedia. Even those sources aren’t the authority, but good places to begin your research.
So taking my own advice I am seeking more information on Mr. Robinson and presenting such to you below. HUGE THANKS to Reelblack for hipping me to this episode of ESPN Classic's SportsCentury on YouTube about Jackie Robinson. Below is the whole episode in seven parts.

My Review of '42'

Opening Weekend Numbers for '42'

Friday, April 12, 2013

What Roger Ebert Said About Black Films

By: Lauren Williams, The Root
April 5, 2013 

When Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert died on April 4 after a battle with cancer, a cross-cultural, countrywide coalition of fans expressed grief over the loss of the 70-year-old Pulitzer Prize winner. You didn't have to be a Chicagoan to have heard of his work, which had a national audience. And you certainly didn't have to be a journalist or a film buff to appreciate his writing (check out his July 2012 personal essay about his wife, Chaz).

Much has been made of his unique ability to destroy what he deemed a subpar film with a few choice, biting words. But he also showed a remarkable capacity for thoughtfulness and insight, and nowhere is this more evident than in some of his reviews of black films. We dug into his archives to pull his reviews of the films that made the Final Four in our March Movie Madness bracket challenge to see what he had to say about the movies that would become -- as evidenced by your votes -- some of our most beloved big-screen classics. You might be surprised.

Spike Lee's "Malcolm X" is one of the great screen biographies, celebrating the whole sweep of an American life that began in sorrow and bottomed out on the streets and in prison before its hero reinvented himself ...
Walking into "Malcolm X," I expected an angrier film than Spike Lee has made. This film is not an assault but an explanation, and it is not exclusionary; it deliberately addresses all races in its audience. White people, going into the film, may expect to meet a Malcolm X who will attack them, but they will find a Malcolm X whose experiences and motives make him understandable and finally heroic.
Reasonable viewers are likely to conclude that, having gone through similar experiences, they might also have arrived at the same place.
Watching "Glory," I had one recurring problem. I didn't understand why it had to be told so often from the point of view of the 54th's white commanding officer. Why did we see the black troops through his eyes -- instead of seeing him through theirs? To put it another way, why does the top billing in this movie go to a white actor? I ask, not to be perverse, but because I consider this primarily a story about a black experience and do not know why it has to be seen largely through white eyes…
"Glory" is a strong and valuable film no matter whose eyes it is seen through. But there is still, I suspect, another and quite different film to be made from this same material.

As the characters move from coffee bars to record stores to restaurants to the Sanctuary, we realize how painfully limited the media vision of urban black life is. Why do the movies give us so many homeboys and gangstas and druggies and so few photographers, poets and teachers? ...
Many love stories contrive to get their characters together at the end. This one contrives, not to keep them apart, but to bring them to a bittersweet awareness that is above simple love. Some audience members would probably prefer a romantic embrace in the sunset, as the music swells. But "love jones'' is too smart for that.
I was also impressed by Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall in terms of what they did on the screen. I thought that both of them showed an enormous range of comic ability. What surprised me, though, Gene, was the screenplay. First of all, this plot is so old-fashioned and so hackneyed and so recycled out of 100 other fairy tales and other movies that I was waiting to see what kind of twist or spin Eddie Murphy was going to put on it, and there wasn't any.
And the second thing is, the energy level of the movie is so low. This is the first Eddie Murphy movie I've ever seen that can accurately be described as lethargic. You talk about how he's sweet and laid-back. I think he's way too laid-back. I wanted to see Eddie Murphy take this prince and not play him so straight and so sweet but give him a little bit of an edge ... And the whole idea of judging women on the basis just of their physical appearance and their external qualities ... [Did I like it?] No ... They're both talented guys. Give them a screenplay.
Click Roger Ebert's picture below to see all my post about him 
at the 'Nother Brother Entertainment blog

 CHECK OUT The Root's March Movie Madness bracket challenge here