Trailer and Poster for THE INEVITABLE DEFEAT OF MISTER & PETE

by     Posted 1 year, 12 days ago

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The trailer and poster have been released for the indie The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete.  The story follows the eponymous young characters (played by Skylan Brooks and Ethan Dizon) who have been abandoned by their junkie parents, and must survive a sweltering summer in the Brooklyn projects.  I saw the movie at Sundance, and while Brooks and Dizon are terrific, the script is unrelenting in how much shit it throws at the characters for the sake of wringing out unearned tragedy from their circumstances.  It’s a nice trailer that doesn’t try to hide the hardships the characters face, and doesn’t try to hammer the audience with saccharine uplift.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer and poster.  The film also stars Jennifer Hudson, Anthony Mackie, Jordin Sparks, Jeffrey Wright, and Adewale Akinnuoye-AgbajeThe Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete opens in limited release on October 11th.

First Trailer for Kasi Lemmons’ BLACK NATIVITY Starring Jennifer Hudson, Forest Whitaker, and Angela Bassett

by     Posted 1 year, 63 days ago

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The trailer for Kasi LemmonsBlack Nativity premiered earlier tonight during the BET Awards.  The musical is about a single Baltimore mother (Jennifer Hudson) who sends her son Langston (newcomer Jacob Latimore) to stay with her estranged parents (Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett) in New York City during the holidays.  While there, Langston falls asleep in the Chistmas Eve sermon and dreams of a “Times Square Bethlehem.”  Judging by the trailer, this could be a solid holiday hit.  I’ve been eagerly anticipating Lemmons follow-up to Talk to Me, and I really like what I’m seeing in this trailer when it comes to taking holiday music like “Silent Night” and giving it a new R&B spin.  I’m eager to find out what Lemmons has done with the rest of the songs in the movie and how she’s filmed them.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  The film also stars Tyrese Gibson, Nasir Jones, and Mary J. BligeBlack Nativity opens November 27th.

First Images from BLACK NATIVITY Starring Jacob Latimore, Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson, and Mary J. Blige

by     Posted 1 year, 125 days ago

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Langston Hughes conceived of Black Nativity in the 1960s as a euphoric stage musical version of the birth of Jesus with a black cast.  The show is still regularly performed as written, but writer/director Kasi Lemmons (Talk to Me) chose to add material to create a more traditional narrative throughline for the feature adaptation.  In the movie, a single Baltimore mother (Jennifer Hudson) sends her son Langston (newcomer Jacob Latimore) to stay with her estranged parents (Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett) in New York City during the holidays.  While there, Langston falls asleep in the Chistmas Eve sermon and dreams of a “Times Square Bethlehem.”  Latimore says the songbook has something for everyone: “The music is just like the music nowadays.  Some R&B, soulful gospel and a little rap before I go through my spiritual journey.”

To give you an idea of the tone: Mary J. Blige, sporting electrified blonde curls, plays a mysterious guardian angel character named “Platinum Fro.”  That alone should compel you to check out the first images from Black Nativity after the jump.

Sundance 2013: THE INEVITABLE DEFEAT OF MISTER & PETE Review

by     Posted 1 year, 226 days ago

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Life isn’t fair, and that should piss us the hell off.  But as we grow older, we learn to accept that the world doesn’t owe us anything, and that some people get more rough breaks than others.  What we should never accept is allowing unfairness to come from our own selfishness.  George Tillman Jr.‘s The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete puts a friendship based on mutual survival at its center as an unfair and selfish world closes in on its helpless main characters, Mister (Skylan Brooks) and Pete (Ethan Dizon).  Brooks and Dizon’s tremendous performances keep Inevitable Defeat from the overwrought melodrama Tillman and screenwriter Michael Starrbury try to bring down on the picture.  Unfortunately, the filmmakers end up coming off as more uncaring than the world they want to depict.

BLACK NATIVITY Delayed by Fox Searchlight Due to Difficulty Casting a Male Lead; Samuel L. Jackson and Laurence Fishburne Both Pass [UPDATED]

by     Posted 1 year, 352 days ago

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Although Kasi Lemmons’ musical Black Nativity was scheduled to start production in New York this October, Fox Searchlight has put the picture on hold due to difficulty landing a male lead.  The picture is based off of a Langston Hughes play that re-imagines traditional Christmas carols in a gospel style.  Black Nativity was set to center on a young black teen who spends Christmas with the grandparents he’s never met: “Through his grandfather’s Christmas Eve sermon and a stylized, dream-sequence retelling of the classic Nativity story, he learns about the importance of faith and family.”  What’s strange about this news is that Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls) and Oscar nominee Angela Bassett (What’s Love Got to Do With It) are already set in supporting roles, yet top talent like Samuel L. Jackson and Laurence Fishburne have passed.  More on this after the jump.  [Update: We've updated this story with new information, which you can find after the jump.]

Samuel L. Jackson, Angela Bassett, and Jennifer Hudson in Talks for BLACK NATIVITY

by     Posted 2 years, 59 days ago

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Writer/director Kasi Lemmons (Talk to Me) is developing a feature adaptation of the Broadway musical Black Nativity at Fox Searchlight.  If all goes according to plan, Lemmons will do so with a trio of Oscar-nominated talents.  Variety reports Samuel L. Jackson, Angela Bassett, and Jennifer Hudson are in talks to join the project.  The gospel musical follows a young black teen who spends Christmas with the grandparents he’s never met: “Through his grandfather’s Christmas Eve sermon and a stylized, dream-sequence retelling of the classic Nativity story, he learns about the importance of faith and family.”  Jackson and Bassett would play the grandparents, and Variety suggests Jackson will “likely play multiple characters during the Nativity sequence.”  Hudson is making a deal for the role of the single mother who sends the boy to the grandparents.

Hit the jump for a clip from a recent performance of the Langston Hughes musical.

Jennifer Hudson to Star in Second Season of NBC’s SMASH

by     Posted 2 years, 70 days ago

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Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls) will star in a multi-episode arc in the upcoming second season of NBC’s Smash. That will make two American Idol alumnae appearing on the show as star Katharine McPhee is also set to return.  Hudson will play Veronica Moore, a Tony Award-winning Broadway star whose presence impacts the lives of Karen (McPhee) and Ivy (Megan Hilty).   Smash, a Television Critics Award nominee for Best New Program, needs to recoup some losses after axing a good portion of the cast earlier this year.  Hudson is certainly a worthwhile addition, even if it’s only for a short time.  Hit the jump for more on Hudson and the second season of Smash.

Garrett Hedlund, Richard Jenkins, Jessica Brown Findlay, Jennifer Hudson, Terrence Howard and Amy Adams Join Andrew Levitas’ LULLABY

by     Posted 2 years, 104 days ago

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Debut feature director Andrew Levitas has landed quite the cast for his upcoming comedy/drama, Lullaby.  Directing from his own script, Levitas will boast Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls) and Oscar-nominees Richard Jenkins (The Visitor), Terrence Howard (Hustle & Flow) and Amy Adams (Junebug, Doubt, The Fighter).  Lullaby also stars up-and-comers Garrett Hedlund (TRON: Legacy) and Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey) in a comedic drama that looks at the transformative moments in life, a picture that draws from Levitas’ career as a fine artist.  Cast and crew are set to shoot this June in New York City.  Hit the jump for the synopsis and more on the cast.

6 Clips from THE THREE STOOGES

by     Posted 2 years, 148 days ago

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Six new clips from The Three Stooges have gone online.  Yes, the movie looks terrible, but it also looks like it’s staying true to the source material.  The problem is that staying true to the source material and then trying to transport it into a modern setting doesn’t look like it will work.  There’s also the argument that the movie is for kids, who will enjoy the slapstick and goofy sound effects.  Unfortunately, there probably aren’t a lot of kids who are die-hard fans of a 1930s comedy trio.  It all comes back to “Who is this movie for?” and I don’t have a good answer.  But I will say this: Fox is screening the movie for critics, and despite the cringe-worthy trailers and clips, I’ll do my best to give the movie a fair shake when I see it in its entirety.

Hit the jump to check out the clips.  The film stars Sean Hayes, Will Sasso, Chris Diamantopoulos, Jane Lynch, Jennifer Hudson, Sofia Vergara, Craig Bierko, Stephen Collins, and Larry DavidThe Three Stooges opens April 13th.

First Trailer for THE THREE STOOGES

by     Posted 2 years, 268 days ago

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Fox has released the first trailer for The Three Stooges, directed by the Farrelly BrothersWill Sasso, Sean Hayes, and Chris Diamantopoulos star as Curly, Moe, and Larry in the new feature, divided into three segments.  It looks awful, but in a fascinating way.  This has been a passion project for the Farrellys and the final result makes me wonder: could The Three Stooges ever work in the present day?  Doesn’t their slapstick seem quaint while their antics come off as obnoxious?  And yet there’s also something mean-spirited mixed in.  I’m sure the Farrellys thought, “Hey!  Let’s poke Snooki in the eyes!  That will put the audience on our side!”  I almost feel sorry for Snooki.  Almost.

The film also stars Jane Lynch, Sofia Vergara, Jennifer Hudson, and Larry DavidThe Three Stooges opens on April 4, 2012.  Watch the trailer after the jump.

TIFF 2011: First Images from THE AWAKENING, HYSTERIA, WINNIE, and WUTHERING HEIGHTS [Updated]

by     Posted 3 years, 16 days ago

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With the announcement of new additions to this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, new images have gone online.  After the jump you’ll find the first images from The Awakening (starring Rebecca Hall, Dominic West, and Imelda Staunton), Hysteria (starring Hugh Dancy and Maggie Gyllenhaal), Winnie (starring Jennifer Hudson and Terrence Howard), and Andrea Arnold’s adaptation of Wuthering Heights.

Hit the jump to check out the new images and a synopsis for each film.  The 2011 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 8 – 18th. [We've updated the story with the trailer for Hysteria]

Casting Call: Susan Sarandon in I HATE YOU DAD, Jennifer Hudson Joins THE THREE STOOGES, Johnny Knoxville in FUN SIZE, and Seth Green, Michelle Trachtenberg and More in SEXY EVIL GENIUS

by     Posted 3 years, 92 days ago

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We’ve got quite a few casting stories for you today. First up, Susan Sarandon has joined the cast of the Adam Sandler/Andy Samberg comedy I Hate You Dad. The comedy revolves around a father who moves in with his son and his son’s fiancé just before they’re about to get married, with Leighton Meester set to play Samberg’s fiancée. THR reports that in addition to Sarandon, Will Forte, Milo Ventimiglia, Eva Amurri (Californication), Blake Clark, Meagan Fay (Party Down), Tony Orlando, Dan Patrick and previously announced James Caan are all in negotiations to join the Sean Anders-directed comedy. Sarandon will play a sexy teacher who is the mother of Samberg’s character.

Additionally, Jennifer Hudson is the latest actor to join the cast of the Farrelly brothers’ The Three Stooges. The film stars Will Sasso as Curly, Sean Hayes as Larry, Chris Diamantopoulos as Moe, Jane Lynch, Larry David, Stephen Collins and Craig Bierko. Deadline reports that Hudson will play Sister Rosmary at the orphanage that the Stooges are raised. Lynch and David play two other (presumably evil) nuns at the orphanage. The Three Stooges is currently filming. Hit the jump for the casting news of Johnny Knoxville and a lot more in Fun Size and Seth Green, Michelle Trachtenberg, Katee Sackhoff, Harold Perrineau and Billy Baldwin in Sexy Evil Genius.

Extended Trailer for WINNIE Starring Jennifer Hudson and Terrence Howard

by     Posted 3 years, 289 days ago

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An extended trailer (it’s about four minutes) for the Winnie Mandela biopic, Winnie, has gone online.  The film stars Jennifer Hudson as the title character and Terrence Howard as Nelson Mandela.  It looks like a made-for-TV movie and the real shocker is Howard.  I’ve always been a fan of the guy, but looking at the trailer, I was agape how terrible he looks as Mandela.  But the whole endeavor looks like a train wreck from the hammy narration to the awful old-age make-up on Hudson.  I’ll be surprised if this actually makes its way to theaters.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.

Casting News: Jessica Chastain joins THE HELP; Fred Ward in 30 MINUTES OR LESS; Elias Koteas is on for WINNIE

by     Posted 4 years, 68 days ago

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There’s nothing like starting off your Friday afternoon with a nice big bowl of casting news. For starters, Jessica Chastain (upcoming The Tree of Life, alongside Brad Pitt and Sean Penn) has signed on to The Help. According to THR, the DreamWorks film is adapted from the best-selling novel by Kathryn Stockett and the story will center around “black maids working in white households in the early 1960s in Jackson, Miss.” As we let you know back in April, Viola Davis (Doubt) is already set to star in the film and, since that time, Emma Stone has also joined the cast.

Hit the jump to catch up on the rest of your well-balanced afternoon casting news including Fred Ward joining 30 Minutes or Less and Elias Koteas signing up for the Winnie Mandela biopic, cleverly entitled Winnie.

Jennifer Hudson to Headline Winnie Mandela Biopic

by     Posted 4 years, 287 days ago

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Jennifer Hudson continues to amaze. For starters, thanks to her role in Dreamgirls, she’s the only person to ever go from a reality TV show (American Idol) to winning an Academy Award (in her debut role no less). Now, despite being an actress with no leading roles to her credit and with her latest film, Fragments, being released straight-to-DVD, she has scored one of the best roles in Hollywood.  Hudson will be portraying Winnie Mandela, the former wife of South Africa’s first black president, Nelson Mandela, in the titular bio-pic, Winnie. For more on this project, hit the jump.

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