Saturday, April 28, 2012

Films I Saw @ The Maryland Film Festival 2011


Click the links below to go to the reviews of the films I saw at the 2011 Maryland Film Festival and reviewed EXCLUSIVELY on the 'Nother Brother Entertainment Facebook page

Film #1- RESTLESS CITY

Film#2- VIVA RIVA




In case ya wondering CLICK the graphic below to read my review of...

Friday, April 27, 2012

How Boomerang had the same budget as Malcolm X [QUOTE & VIDEO]


I was listening to the commentary for the above film again and I had to share what the director said. I'll probably write more later.

From the commentary for the 1992 film Boomerang by director Reginald Hudlin (pictured above right)

"Boomerang was my second movie. I did House Party which is a movie that I wrote and directed for 2 ½  million dollars, took it to Sundance was a surprise hit there...again relative to what it cost did fantastic in the box office again spent 2 ½  made 27 million just in domestic theatrical box office alone, huge in home video, so we had a great hit out the box and we had offers from every studio so it was a great time.
poster for House Party (1990)
And then to top all that off with a call from Eddie Murphy saying you know hey let's make a movie together...once we decided on Boomerang suddenly you go from 2 ½  million dollar budget to a 40 million dollar budget.

And at the time I remember Spike Lee was really under a lot of pressure because he was spending 40 million dollars on Malcolm X. And I was like I'M NOT TELLING ANYBODY I GOT 40 MILLION DOLLARS TOO (laughs) because he can take that heat by himself."

Hudlin and Murphy on the set of Boomerang

ADDITIONAL INFO

I couldn't find documentation on either film's budget, but Wikipedia reports around $30 million for Malcolm X—Dankwa

Wikipedia reports that Boomerang "By the end of its theatrical run, the film had grossed over $70 million domestically, and $61 million outside of the U.S., making a total of $131,052,444. It was the 18th highest grossing film in the U.S. in 1992."

Box Office Mojo reports Malcolm X’s Domestic Total Gross: $48,169,910.


You can also read more about Malcolm X's budget issues @ Wikipedia


 @ IMDb Boomerang (1992)

Related Link
Read all of my posts about the Malcolm X film @ Cool Black Media here

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Maryland Film Festival 2012 Drama Shorts




SHORTS: DRAMA


A CHJÀNA  (Jonas Carpignano)
True events inspired this compelling tale of an African migrant worker and his best friend in the wake of the most significant race riot in Italian history. A stirring story of rebellion, solidarity, and friendship.


THE CHRISTMAS TREE  (Angel Kristi Williams)
A struggling single father prepares to spend his first Christmas alone with his daughter, but when their tree is lost on Christmas Eve, he’s placed in a troubling predicament.


THE FATHER (David Easteal)
Haunted by his past, a man searches for forgiveness. Getting it however, may come at a cost.


FIRST MATCH (Olivia Newman)
Fourteen year-old Monique "Mo" Morris is the only girl on what has been the all-boys wrestling team. As she prepares for her first, co-ed high school match, we learn that her desire to dominate the male opponent she will face on the mat is about more than proving to her skeptical teammates that she has earned her starting position. She is also wrestling to connect to her father, a former wrestler, and struggling single dad.


SPARK (Annie Silverstein)
While a boy waits out his father’s tryst, he is unexpectedly forced to deal with the lady-friend’s daughter.  Set on a ranch in Bastrop, Texas, Spark uses the environment to explore the internal space of children. Shot on 16mm over 3 days.


WAITING ROOM (Robert Machoian and Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck)
After a significant event takes place, a man experiences unexpected suspension of time.

Maryland Film Festival 2012 Opening Night Shorts


I Am John Wayne

!OPENING NIGHT SHORTS AND PARTY!
The MFF 2012 Opening Night Shorts are: 
I Am John Wayne (Christina Choe)
The Kook (Nat Livingston Johnson and Gregory Mitnick)
Modern Man (Kerri Lendo and John Merriman)
Cork’s Cattlebaron (Eric Steele)
Fishing Without Nets (Cutter Hodierne)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Martin Scorsese On Set [PHOTOS]

has a photo gallery of Martin Scorsese on the set of his films Click his picture below to check them out 
Martin Scorsese 


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Random Thought on the Tupac Hologram

Tupac hologram
Random thought while listening to 2Pac on Pandora and thinking about the 2Pac hologram

I was reminded of this quote from the 1993 film Jurassic Park
"Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should."
MTV News has good points in their article Tupac Coachella Hologram Continues To Spur Debate HERE

Saturday, April 21, 2012

HBO—Whether By Intent or Design


The level of set design, costume design & cinematography on Boardwalk Empire & Game of Thrones is SO OUTSTANDING I can see why HBO passed on Da Brick.

In March 2012 "HBO has passed on its Spike Lee/Ellin-produced boxing drama Da Brick, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. The premium cable network has opted to pass on the boxing drama, which was described as a contemporary exploration of what it means to be a young, black man in a supposedly post-racial America." The Hollywood Reporter

A show like The Wire looks so passé, in production quality, compared to shows like Boardwalk Empire & Game of Thrones.

June 1, 2012
I recently came across this quote that seems to back up my argument.
In a January 2010 Entertainment Weekly interview HBO programming chief Michael Lombardo said about Game of Thrones that ''We are taking shots on shows that we wouldn't have taken a shot at five years ago,''.

Additional Links

Check out the IMDb page for Da Brick here

@ Wikipedia
Game of Thrones

Boardwalk Empire

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Walking Dead Season 2 — My Reaction


Nearly a month after the Season 2 Season Finale aired (March 18, 2012) I finally saw the second half of season 2
The second season of AMC's television series The Walking Dead premiered on October 16, 2011 on AMC and featured 13 episodes. The series is based on the series of comic books of the same name by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard; it was developed for television by Frank Darabont, who serves as executive producer for the second season along with Robert Kirkman and Glen Mazzara. The season finale episode was viewed by a record-breaking 9.0 million viewers, making it the highest rated episode of the series, and the most viewed episode of an original series on AMC, in history. -Wikipedia
 For the record the 13 episodes were broken in half with the first seven airing, a mid season break and the last six airing about 2 months later. Below are the comments I jotted down with my reactions. I would usually LIVE TWEET it with the rest of my film/TV friends @NotherBrother, but I don’t like watching week to week on too many shows and this one was one of them. In retrospect I’m glad I did which I will explain at the end.

WARNING: There will be some spoilerish stuff, but nothing major and as the title of this blog states PROFANITY MAY BE NECESSARY.

NEBRASKA 

  • About the shooting at the end of the previous episode the “Mid Season Finale”, Rick self booking his own guilt trip? Shock-kerr

  • Shane still being a dick Shock-kerr

  • Ok where TF was Laurie going? (the car stuff) She’s causing more problems that she's solving. Smh  

  • “Hershel goes missing, but Rick and Glenn find him in the town bar, drinking and lamenting the folly of his hope of a cure for his family.”

  • Well GOTDAMN Rick in that bar scene! Show em why they call you Dirty Rick…well they don’t, but they should!

TRIGGERFINGER

  • Just finished S2:E9 Triggerfinger & *YAWN* this should be called “The Walking Said” they talk so much
  • Did not like the shaky ass camera movement from director Billy Gierhart
18 MILES OUT 
  • Starts off STRONG in the pre-credits

  • About time Rick confront Shane. He's already on the f*cking edge and delusional.

  • The credits say directed by Ernest Dickerson. Kewl! 

  • About time Rick & Shane go Mano o Mano 

  • The scenes with Rick, Shane & dude were great. The scenes with suicidal girl at the farm *YAWN*
  • Ricky's triple shot with the pile on—F*CKING HOT!

JUDGE, JURY EXECUTIONER
Mostly talk as well, but very good story with a major death

BETTER ANGELS

  • KICK.ASS.OPEN!

  • 15 min Lori apologizes to Shane. Shane must be going to die

  • WTF is Shane doing with prisoner dude. 

  • Oh that's what. Shane is effing nuts 

  • About time Rick!

  • HOLY F*CK that ending!

BESIDE THE DYING FIRE

  • REALLY GREAT open showing the migration of the walkers! 

  • Ok so the show saved their entire makeup budget for the season finale!

  • That’s all I’m going to say about the plot details. An EXCELLENT Season Finale. Bar none!

  • There was scuttlebutt that one of the show creators Frank Darabont left the show over budget concerns. It was stated that the network was worried about the huge make-up budget the show would have if they had lots of zombies every week. 
  • I totally get the whole concept behind The Walking Dead. It’s about the survivors after this zombie apocalypse and what happens to them. It’s about what happen to regular people after the world goes to hell. I get that, but GEE WHIZ did they need to talk as freekin much? There were like whole episodes where 80% was TALK. As I said above “this should be called “The Walking Said” they talk so much”. 

  • It seems like “The Walking Said” somehow acknowledged that those rumors about budget were true. Besides the exposition purposes, it seemed like they were REALLY trying to save money on zombie make-up especially in these last six episodes. Of course there was zombie stuff, but a HUGE budget was spent in the Season Finale. HUGE! 

  • In the end, in the last six episodes of Season 2, the first three were eh, but the last three ROCKED! I’m glad I didn’t have to wait week to week for the first three and especially the last three! They were awesome. Hopefully Season Three will just as good!

ADDITIONAL INFO


 TWO great article reactions to the Season Two Finale

Hollywood Reporter
'The Walking Dead' Dissection: Glen Mazzara and Robert Kirkman Spill on the Bloody Finale
Who was the sword-wielding woman? Who almost was killed off but survived? What did Jenner whisper to Rick and how did the group respond? The showrunner and executive producer/comic book creator answer burning questions about the season finale and look ahead to their biggest year yet.

[Warning: This story contains major spoilers about the Season 2 finale of AMC's The Walking Dead, titled "Beside the Dying Fire."] Read it HERE

 Huffington Post
'The Walking Dead' Finale Recap: The Best Episode Since The Pilot?
Maureen Ryan TV critic, The Huffington Post

Note: Do not read on if you have not watched the Season 2 finale of AMC's "The Walking Dead," entitled "Beside the Dying Fire." Read it HERE

Monday, April 16, 2012

My Thoughts on this 5th Anniversary of the VA Tech Shootings

On this 5th anniversary I remember this tragedy well. Couldn't believe something like this happened on a college campus. I was also working with an Asian guy @ the time and he felt "racial embarrassment" because the killer was Asian and all over the news. I said now you know how black people feel like everyday.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Princess & The Frog Confession

CONFESSION: While I thought the story & songs were only ok, I bought the BluRay because I've never seen such beautiful animation with black characters

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Acting & Theater [QUOTE]

I TOTALLY AGREE with this quote about acting

"I get a lot of the actors I work with from theater. I like theater actors a lot, they have a discipline & preciseness that sometimes lacking in people that don't have theater experience." Joe Wright, Director of Hanna

The Disc Factor


I keep Netflix discs way longer than I have to because if I like the film or show, I watch all the Extras & listen to all the Commentaries.

The "commentary factor" is another reason I prefer discs over streaming. As a filmmaker, Film/TV is much more than entertainment to me, it's an education!

Monday, April 9, 2012

How Hollywood Works - Part 2

One of my favorite quotes describing the business of show business is below
Well, it's called "show business", it's not called "show". Even though it's called "show business", ain't no business, no show. You know, they ought to call it "business show", actually. - Denzel Washington
The article below describes another facet of Hollywood.
Left to Right: The Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence and director Gary Ross
'Hunger Games' Director Gary Ross in Tough Negotiation for Sequel
 - Hollywood Reporter

Despite the movie's box-office records, the director isn't locked up as Lionsgate could pull a "Twilight"-style switcheroo over money.
This story first appeared in the April 13 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Now that The Hunger Games is a hit with more than $363 million in the till, the question is whether writer-director Gary Ross will return for the next installment in the lucrative Lionsgate franchise.
Unlike stars Jennifer LawrenceJosh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth, Ross is not signed for a sequel. And negotiations for him to do the first movie were "a terrible experience," says a source with knowledge of the discussions, because Ross is a seasoned filmmaker (PleasantvilleSeabiscuit) and Lionsgate isn't accustomed to paying seasoned-filmmaker fees. He ended up taking a relatively low $3 million to write (with Billy Ray and novelist Suzanne Collins) and direct. But he will collect a very remunerative 5 percent of backend.
Sources say Ross, 55, would like a significant raise for a secondHunger Games, but Lionsgate didn't kick off negotiations with him until about three weeks before the first film's March 23 opening. By then, with tracking suggesting a huge opening weekend, Ross and his CAA reps were in no hurry to bargain.
Lionsgate has a script from Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire) that Ross has yet to revise. The studio is in a rush to start the next film in the fall, though Fox might upset Lionsgate's plan by exercising its option on Lawrence to start another X-Men movie first. (Fox's option would trump Lionsgate's hold on Lawrence, say sources.) Adding urgency: Lionsgate already has booked a November 2013 release for Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
With other big literary properties, directors have been seen as fungible. Warner Bros. entrusted the first two Harry Potter films to Chris Columbus before employing a host of other filmmakers, and Summit memorably did not invite Catherine Hardwicke back to direct the second Twilight, despite the success of the first installment. (And Summit's Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger now run Lionsgate's film division.)
But Ross will argue that his film was much better received than any in the Twilight series, with an A CinemaScore and an 85 percent "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes in addition to huge worldwide box office. He'll contend that the movie will play longer and stronger in theaters and that he could direct his pick of other movies should Lionsgate refuse to pony up. (But to state the obvious, Hunger Games' bi-gender story line appeals to a wider audience than Twilight.)
It's always striking when a giant hit leads to anger and hurt feelings in Hollywood, but that seems to be the case here. Nonetheless, sources involved with the franchise are betting that Ross will return. "Ultimately, it will be difficult, and yet everybody will do the sane thing, which is to work it out," says one. "Everybody will end up unhappy in their own way. It's just the nature of the beast."
♦♦♦♦♦
HUNGER GAMES: THR Film Critic Todd McCarthy suggests a few alternative directors:
Kathryn Bigelow: If The Hurt Locker and Bin Laden filmmaker wants a mainstream gig, she could elevate the pedigree of the Katniss saga.
Alfonso Cuaron: He notably upgraded the Harry Potter series with The Prisoner of Azkaban and could work his magic again here.
Mel Gibson: Don't laugh. If Catching Fire is one-third as exciting as Apocalypto, it would be dynamite. But can Mel do PG-13?
Walter Hill: The old-guard director (The Warriors) could provide style and an authentic feel for action that was missing in the first film.
Nicolas Winding Refn: If modern edginess and unexpected moves are desired for the sequel, then the Drive director could be the man to deliver them.

UPDATE:
Director Gary Ross Says No to 'Catching Fire' 
LOS ANGELES April 11, 2012 (AP)

Gary Ross says he won't direct "Catching Fire," the second installment in Lionsgate's blockbuster "The Hunger Games" franchise.

In a statement Tuesday, Ross says "after difficult but sincere consideration," he decided not to direct the film. He blames limited time to write and prep the film because of the fixed, tight production schedule.

Ross says making "The Hunger Games" was the happiest experience of his professional life. He also denies reports that negotiations with Lionsgate had been problematic.

Lionsgate officials say in response that they're "very sorry" Ross has chosen not to direct "Catching Fire" but they look forward to working with him on future projects. "Catching Fire" is the second installment in the franchise based on Suzanne Collins' book series. It's scheduled for release in November 2013.

 Related
  • Sort of How Hollywood Works - Part 1 on the 'Nother Brother Entertainment blog here
  • My Mini Review of The Hunger Games here

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Hunger Games - Mini Review

Quick Synopsis: In the future the government initiates the Hunger Games—a televised annual event in which one boy and one girl from each of the 12 districts are selected in a lottery as "tributes" and are required to fight to the death in an arena until there is one remaining victor.

Mini Review
Jennifer Lawrence as the protagonist Katniss Everdeen was pretty much terrific as I knew she could be from her excellent Oscar nominated performance in Winter’s Bone. I really didn’t care for her performance in X-Men: First Class so it was good to know that her performance in Winter’s Bone wasn’t a fluke. Her “love interests” Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark and Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne were pretty bland in comparison.

I have to point out that Amandla Stenberg as Rue, whom I first saw do a really great job in Colombiana, was good in her role in this one also, especially in her crucial scenes. Woody Harrelson who was great fun as former Hunger Games victor Haymitch Abernathy.

The story was cool and the “fights to the death” were executed very well without being graphic. It didn’t desensitize what literally are children fighting to the death.  

I go into more plot related details in The Hunger Games Spoiler Room

Read more about The Hunger Games @ Wikipedia

The Hunger Games - Spoiler Room


Details of the film are below. SPOILERS ABOUND. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK





From Facebook

Ruby B. So...while I did enjoy the movie overall (I'm not that hard to please
with basic movie enjoyment), I don't feel most of the actors did well...in many
(most) scenes they wrote the characters using contemporary lingo, which annoys
me when it so obviously doesn't fit with the feel of the movie's era. At one
point in my head I thought "Ok...this is sounding a little more like it should
be called Disney Does The Hunger Games lol... Kato in particular sounded like a
bully from an after school special...he actually called someone a punk! Lol and
smh...come on writers, you couldn't create their culture any better than that???

They also didn't succeed in capturing Katniss' sharp personality she had in the
book...really...none of the characters or their relationships were well
developed in the movie...and I know that can be hard when you're taking a really
detailed book and squeezing it into a couple of hours...but it seemed to me like
the movie was based on Cliff's Notes lol, not the actual book (which is odd
since the author helped write the screenplay). And again, I understand many of
the changes that were made and why, but I think some things that were left
out/changed (esp easy, fine details like the pin, the goat cheese, the mutts,
the lamb stew, Cinna's assistants/the makeover, and much more) could've easily
remained true(r) to the book. Cinna's role and that relationship (or lack of)
was a disappointment. Gale (casting) was a disappointment. President Snow was a
disappointment (love Donald and all but not this time). Peeta often went from
impassioned, frightened youth to valley beach dude in his lines. Kato- just not
good acting at all....but...I do know it's hard to find truly talented young
actors...so this still didn't "ruin" it for me...but it registered.

Really...the movie didn't effectively pulled out anywhere near the level of
emotion or excitement that the book did but...it is enjoyable...just maybe try
not to think about the book and take the movie for what it is...

With all that said...I'll still probably see it again ...lol...
March 23 at 10:04am 

Ruby B. Oh...I will say that I appreciated the movie giving us views into the
Game Maker's control center and being able to see plotting/planning that was
eluded to or explained in the books but not written as first hand accounts... :)
March 23 

My response to a couple of other posts including the death of Rue.

Dankwa: Ok I just saw it less than hour ago and this is what I thought. I never read the book so a lot of those specific details are not lost on me.

I totally agree w/ the lack of character development, but the movie was already long AF so I'm fine w/ that.

I thought Rue's death was very emotional. No they didn't really give you enough time to develop their friendship, but w/ the time allotted they did great.

The aftershool special bully stuff is accurate, but *dankshrug* didn't mind it that much. It's hard to come up w/ an original villain.

Actor who played Peeta was a major drip so that explains why you didn't like his character.

Jennifer Lawrence brought it though like I knew she would. I really liked her performance in Winters Bone not so much in X-Men.
April 3, 2012

In case you saw this first my mini review of The Hunger Games here