Archive for "Anthony Mackie"

Anthony Mackie Joins Chris Evans for “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”

Published by Smriti Mundhra on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 10:00 am.

(Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

He’s hunted vampires and diffused bombs for his country, and now Anthony Mackie is ready for the ultimate act of cinematic patriotism. The Gangster Squad actor is officially on board for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the sequel to last year’s smash hit. In the film, Mackie will play Sam “Falcon” Wilson, an ally to Chris Evans‘ Captain America.

No one is more excited about the news than Evans himself, who gushed about Mackie to MTV News: “He’s so great,” Evans said of his co-star. “I’ve known Mackie for a few years now. I’m really happy we got him. We got lucky.”

Also lucky? The millions of women who will soon get to see Mackie in a skin-tight latex suit.

Falcon, introduced by Marvel Comics in 1969, was the first African-American hero in mainstream comics. He was also — trivia! — the first Black superhero to not actually have “black” as part of his name. The Falcon’s super power? He has a strong mental link to birds and the ability to fly like one.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier hasn’t started shooting yet, but it won’t be long before we get a glimpse of Mackie in all his winged glory.

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Movie Review: “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”

Published by Clay Cane on Friday, June 22, 2012 at 11:46 am.

(Photo: Twentieth Century Fox)

Summary: After a nine year-old Abraham Lincoln sees his mother killed by a racist vampire, it’s his life’s mission to hunt all of the undead.

Review: Abraham Lincoln and vampire hunter is an unlikely match. What could these two possibly have in common? And although it was a best-selling novel by Seth Grahame-Smith, can it translate onscreen? It is a cinematic challenge to take a film seriously that shows Abe Lincoln, played by Benjamin Walker, doing Matrix-like butt-kicking with the backdrop of the Civil War. The critics already damned Abe and the vamps to hell the minute they heard the title. Therefore, it has no fighting chance.

Is the Timur Bekmambetov-directed film a brilliant piece of work? No. But expecting brilliance from a film with this title is like expecting a moral compass from pornography. But it’s just as good as Twilight (yeah, I said  it) and there isn’t a trite teen love story or a sexist ideology that says: “Lose everything for a man, including your soul.” In the genre of vampire films, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is a good flick. Outside of the genre, it’s below average.

Moving on to the part of the plot set during slavery, many are giving it the side-eye. Unlike high-brow flicks which tackle race and the South, there was no shuffling. Nor were there any deep country accents, mammies or slaves whistling “Dixie.” Anthony Mackie plays William Johnson, Abe Lincoln’s best friend (who existed in real life), a free Black man who was trying to avoid slave masters attempting  to take his freedom. William and Abe’s friendship is almost like Batman and Robin, but the topic of race is handled respectfully, which some argue even The Help couldn’t get right.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is uselessly in 3D and soaked with annoying CGI and slow motion action, which can account for the nearly $70 million budget.  If anything, the cheese-ball effects and superhero-like stunts give it a stake through the heart — I enjoyed the characters more than the action. Nonetheless, audiences just might latch onto Honest Abe and his disdain for vamps. I can’t deny it, there is enough fun to enjoy the quick running time. Be sure to revisit your history books, however – Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is not for history buffs.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is in theaters now.

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Movie Review: “The Adjustment Bureau”

Published by Clay Cane on Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at 11:30 am.

Matt Damon is David Norris, a politician who lost an election for the United States Senate. While rehearsing his losing speech in a restroom, he meets a mysterious woman, played by Emily Blunt. It was supposed to be a one-time encounter, but he falls for her. However, their union is not in the Adjustment Bureau’s plans. Who is the Bureau? A group of fedora-wearing men who control the behind-the-scenes of life—think The Matrix but with magical hats (the fedoras allow them to travel through a labyrinth of New York City doors).

If David stays in contact with the mysterious woman it will ruin his life’s preordained blueprint, but he can’t live without her. Can David challenge the Bureau’s plans for him? Will love conquer all?  Take a wild, Hollywood-ending guess…

The Adjustment Bureau is labeled as a “romance science-fiction thriller.” This three genres-in-one approach is the first sign that this flick needed some critical adjustments (maybe sticking closer to the short story by Philip K. Dick, which had less of a romance angle).

At first, the film started surprisingly strong. The concept that one decision in one second can change the trajectory of your life was handled interestingly by first-time director George Nolfi. Furthermore, the cinematography in CGI-ed New York was rich and polished. Nonetheless, all of the shine is pointless with a weak story. By the time we reach the second act, The Adjustment Bureau became Sex and the City meets The Butterfly Effect.  A potentially fresh and original flick morphed into something dreadfully conventional.

The film also includes Anthony Mackie in a small role as one of the trenchcoated men in the Bureau. There is no character that Mackie can’t play, and although there wasn’t enough depth in this role for him to shine, Hollywood will hopefully sooner than later give him a lead role in a mainstream film.

The film’s vacillation between sci-fi, thriller, and romance ruined it for all audiences. In the end, The Adjustment Bureau stalls as another “love conquers all” dud.

The Adjustment Bureau is in theaters Friday.

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Movie Review: ‘Desert Flower’

Published by Clay Cane on Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 11:57 am.

Summary: The biopic of Waris Dirie, a model from Somalia who became an international star. The story follows her incredible journey, from her upbringing in a desert in Africa, to female circumcision and its longstanding effects, to homelessness and eventually her dreams coming true.

Review: Desert Flower is a once-in-a-lifetime story. This is not your typical fashion movie, packed with narcissism and eating disorders. Waris Dirie’s powerful life, which she detailed in her biography of the same name, tugs right at your heart, whether or not you’re interested in the modeling world. Directed by German filmmaker Sherry Hormann, Desert Flower is a superbly told story with unapologetic conviction, noticeable fire, and the purest intentions of moving your soul.

Despite creaky transitions from high-fashion modeling to the deserts of Somalia, Desert Flower has a clear, engaging direction. Each scene blends into the next, whether it’s the horrors of female circumcision or a young girl surviving the brutality of living in the third world; Hormann gives the viewer a vivid journey.

Ethiopian model Liya Kebede stars as Waris. One might think a model playing another model in a biopic isn’t much of a stretch. However, Kebede gives a breakthrough performance, leaving the glamour on the catwalk. Her walk, her talk, and the vulnerable look in her eyes are everything a great performance is made of; she has certainly earned the right to be called an actress.

The film also includes the always polished Anthony Mackie as her potential boyfriend and Sally Hawkins as her kooky roommate.

Desert Flower is not your typical “message” flick. Being that the main focus is female circumcision, no matter how great the film is, some audiences will not want to see it. Most importantly, this is Dirie’s life—she is not condemning the culture, only asking for education and evolution. The most serious moment is the reenactment of Dirie being circumcised as a three-year old girl, which is difficult to watch. As in 2009’s Precious, the abuse is recounted with compassion and cinematic sensitivity.

Presented by National Geographic Entertainment, this is the first must-see movie of the year. With complaints that not enough black films were released in 2010, we have already started the new year on a high note with Desert Flower. Hopefully by this time next year, the creators of this unforgettable flick will get the recognition they deserve during awards season.

Desert Flower opens in select cities Friday, March 18.

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2Pac, Anthony Mackie and Madea

Published by Clay Cane on Friday, February 11, 2011 at 12:00 am.

It’s official! The 2Pac film starts filming this summer in Los Angeles, New York, Georgia and Las Vegas. Directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Brooklyn’s Finest), the movie will be distributed by Morgan Creek and appropriately titled TUPAC. However, there is no word on the cast and who play the legendary hip-hop icon.

Anthony Mackie is a name in the mix but he told BET.com back in December, “I am sure Fuqua has a very precise vision that he has for that film. So, I don’t know. I haven’t talked to him. I have not seen him. The first I’d heard of it was a few weeks ago. It is still early in the process, I don’t even know if they have a script. By the time it comes around I will probably be too old, but Black don’t crack!”

Speaking of Mackie, this brother is steadily working. According to Deadline.com, he is in talks to star in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter for 20th Century Fox — yep, a Vampire film based on Abe Lincoln. Mackie would play Lincoln’s best friend.

Lastly, Madea is officially back and the trailer for Madea’s Big Happy Family has hit the web. Check it out below!

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Best Films of 2010

Published by Clay Cane on Monday, December 27, 2010 at 12:00 am.

We already talked about the bad, now check out the best movies of 2010.

10. Children Of GodIf there were any faults in this movie, Margaret Laurena Kemp’s performance redeemed every moment. All I could think was – why haven’t I heard of this woman before?  Children of God is gloriously shot, each frame strikingly beautiful, despite its low budget. It’s refreshing to see an independent filmmaker who knows his craft. Unfortunately, the discipline of independent film-making has gotten lost in the age of the Internet, where anyone with web clips can claim they are a director.

9. Night Catches UsThis might be Tanya Hamilton’s debut film, but this was not a movie for amateurs. She clearly took her time and did research. A Columbia University grad, she made a movie that is leagues ahead of that of a typical first-time filmmaker.

8. AftershockAftershock is a fresh movie-going experience that people of all backgrounds can enjoy. Most beautifully, the flick honors those who lost loved ones in the tragic earthquake 34 years ago. This is not just a movie, but an appropriate memorial for such a sad moment in China’s history.

7. 127 HoursDanny Boyle and James Franco made127 Hours another reason to never lose your faith in the magic of movie making.

6. The Social Network The closest to a John Hughes film this generation will get, which is a huge compliment.

5. La MissionWithout a big budget and little promotion, the creators of La Mission brought together one of the more memorable movies of the year.

4. I Love You Phillip MorrisPresented with sincerity, not ‘fruity’ buffoonery; I Love You Phillip Morris is easily the best comedy of 2010.

3. The Kids Are All RightStarring Annette Benning and Julianne Moore, The Kids Are All Right has been universally praised for its deeply emotional stories mixed with real-life comedy. Regardless of your background, the superbly written film is easily relatable. The viewer walks away with teachable moments and, even though it’s cliche, realizing we are more alike than different.

2. Joan Rivers: A Piece of WorkJoan Rivers is an absolute piece of work and her revealing but hilarious documentary on her life is the best doc of the year. Rivers is a survivor in the entertainment industry and has the warrior marks to prove it.

1. I Will FollowAt every angle, I Will Follow is a hailing achievement for writer and director Ava DuVernay. If you need explosions, guns, gratuitous sex, or epic CGI, then I Will Follow is not for you. But, if you want a movie with a flawless script, passionate actors, tears and laughs that result in inspiration, then this is a must-see. This is a story that will stay with you for many days after. Without question, I Will Follow is a full dose of humanity and makes me proud to be associated with the film industry.

Honorable mentions: Waiting For Superman, Conviction, Inception

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Exclusive VIDEO: ‘Night Catches Us’

Published by Clay Cane on Monday, November 29, 2010 at 12:00 am.

Tanya Hamilton’s directorial debut, Night Catches Us, is in theaters a week from today.  Based in 1976 Philadelphia, former Black Panthers reconnect. Haunted by their pasts and the residuals of a community picking up the scraps of life after the Panthers, they are forced to face their present and their future.

The movie reunites Anthony Mackie and Kerry Washington, two actors who have immense chemistry — plus, Kerry is rocking an afro!

Check out the exclusive BET.com video clip below and mark your calendars for Friday, December 3rd.

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Movie Review: Night Catches Us

Published by Clay Cane on Monday, August 2, 2010 at 8:30 am.

Summary: Based in 1976 Philadelphia, former Black Panthers reconnect. Haunted by their pasts and the residuals of a community picking up the scraps of life after the Panthers, they are forced to face their present and their future.

Review: Directed by Jamaican-born Tanya Hamilton and featured at the New York International Latino Film Festival, Night Catches Us is exactly what independent filmmaking should be. No lofty special effects, no extreme violence, or gratuitous sex.  A movie that is not agenda-driven; it is about the dialogue and acting, but will still make the viewer think.

Marcus (Anthony Mackie) is accused of snitching on one of his Panther members who ends up dead. Patricia (Kerry Washington) is the widow of the slain Panther who is struggling with ghosts of the past, which is in turn deeply affecting her daughter Iris, played by an unforgettable Jamara Griffin.

In her directorial debut, Hamilton skillfully captures a transitional time in Philadelphia. Following the Black Panther movement, it is a community is in fear, not trusting the cops but not trusting the people in the neighborhood either. Using archival footage of the Black Panthers and unique imagery, Hamilton unfolds a unique story without making it a history lesson. This film is about the characters’ own transitions, not the politics.

Night Catches Us is a slow burn, smoldering through the first half. At times a bit lagging, it’s just good ol’ fashion character building, an art form that is lost in the junk food films of today.  A movie standing alone just on the script demands compelling acting, and Julliard-trained Anthony Mackie doesn’t let the audience down. Then, there is an Afro-wearing Kerry Washington in a motherly role, which we rarely see, smoothly gracing the screen.

This might be Hamilton first’s film, but this was not a movie for amateurs. Hamilton clearly took her time and did research. A Columbia University grad, she made a film that is leagues ahead of that of a typical first-time filmmaker — smartly written, beautifully photographed but with a raw edge. Plus, a booming soundtrack from The Roots helps finalize a solid film from a filmmaker with a bright future.

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Antoine Fuqua To Direct 2Pac Biopic

Published by Clay Cane on Thursday, June 3, 2010 at 12:41 am.

2pacIt was bound to happen, especially after 2009’s Notorious, a 2Pac biopic will officially start filming in September.  According to DigitalSpy.com, the film will be produced through Morgan Creek and directed by Antoine Fuqua, who is known for films like Training Day and Brooklyn’s Finest.

The big question is who will play 2Pac, and Fuqua says he wants an unknown. “That’s the goal, I want to discover someone new,” he explained. “I want to discover a lot of new people if I can. Obviously I’m going to have to put some people in it that you know, just because actors have different skills. I want to go to the streets and find him anywhere he might be in the world.”

I love the idea of giving an unknown actor a chance, but in the event an unknown wouldn’t work, I would like to see Anthony Mackie or Chiwetel Ejofor.

Check out the 2Pac interview below with Ed Gordon.



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Celeb News: Dawson, Mackie and Perry

Published by Clay Cane on Wednesday, August 19, 2009 at 12:00 am.

tylerperry2Word on the street is that Rosario Dawson has signed on for Denzel Washington’s new film Unstoppable.  As previously reported, Unstoppable was a go then stopped — however, after some negotiations the flick is back on its feet.  Now, the cast includes Rosario Dawson, Chris Pine and of course Denzel Washington.  Unstoppable is in theater November of 2010.

Anthony Mackie, who has received rave reviews for his performance in The Hurt Locker, has recently been cast in The Adjustment Bureau.  According to Variety:

The Adjustment Bureau,” adapted from Philip K. Dick’s short story, centers on a smooth-talking congressman whose political future is thrown in doubt by the arrival of a mysterious ballerina in his life.

Mackie is appearing in “The Bacchae” in Gotham as part of Shakespeare in the Park.  ‘The Adjustment Bureau’ will shoot in New York immediately following the wrap of the play.”

In other news, Tyler Perry has been a victim of Craigslist fraud. According to his web site:

I get an email from my staff saying that someone put an ad up on Craigslist saying that I was casting a movie in L.A., and in order to be considered for this (FAKE) Tyler Perry movie, you have to join their club for $29.95. THAT IS A LIE, don’t fall for it. These folks are trying to rip you off. I hate for people to prey on people’s dreams and hopes. Why don’t people get a job and stop trying to steal folks’ hard-earned money….Ugh, that makes me mad; let me breathe.”

Be on the look out actors — dreams can’t be bought on Craigslist!

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