Archive for "Chris Rock"

Kevin Hart to Play Chris Rock’s Agent in Finally Famous

Published by Smriti Mundhra on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 10:00 am.

(Photo: Paras Griffin /Landov)

Kevin Hart is squeezing one more film into his already packed schedule. The actor/comedian, whose popularity in Hollywood has skyrocketed since his breakthrough role in Think Like a Man, has joined the cast of Chris Rock’s comedy Finally Famous.

The film centers on Rock (who is also directing), playing a comedian-turned-movie-star who tries to reinvent himself as a serious actor. He’s also a recovering alcoholic who owes his sobriety to his fiancée (Gabrielle Union), a reality TV star eager to stage their wedding on her show.

Hart will cameo as Rock’s Ivy-educated agent who supports his client’s upcoming televised wedding.

Rosario Dawson co-stars as a journalist assigned to interview Rock’s character for a magazine. A former party animal, she’s now sober and in a committed relationship, but sparks fly between her and the movie star. J.B. Smoove will play Rock’s “security guard-slash-assistant” who is never far from his boss’ side

Sherri Shepherd is also in the cast, playing Rock’s ex-girlfriend from high school who still lives in the neighborhood he grew up in and thinks about what could have been.

Hart is close to wrapping production on Think Like a Man Too, the sequel to last year’s hit comedy, and drops his latest comedy concert film, Let Me Explain, on July 3. He also has leading roles in About Last Night and Ride Along, slated for release later this year.

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Review: Chris Rock’s “The Motherf**ker With the Hat” on Broadway

Published by Clay Cane on Thursday, April 14, 2011 at 10:45 pm.

The legendary Chris Rock is making his Broadway debut in The Motherf**ker With the Hat, which opens Monday, April 11, at the Schoenfeld Theatre. The dark comedy is written by Stephen Adly Guirgis and tells a wild yet sophisticated story of addiction. Directed by Tony-winner Anna D. Shapiro, the play focuses on Jackie (Bobby Cannavale), an ex-con who is trying to stay drug-free. He’s been in a tumultuous relationship with his girlfriend (Elizabeth Rodriguez) since the eighth grade. Jackie insists she is cheating after he finds a hat in her apartment that doesn’t belong to him. He becomes obsessed with “the motherf**ker with the hat.”

Chris Rock has a supporting role as Jackie’s sponsor and sketchy friend. Annabella Sciorra, who is best known for playing opposite Wesley Snipes in Jungle Fever, makes her Broadway debut as Rock’s wife.

While Chris Rock is the headliner on the playbill, this isn’t a play about Rock. The witty and verbally raunchy production focuses on Jackie and his girlfriend, played well by Cannavale and Rodriguez. The smart dialogue is heavy at times, but these two add enough soul that their characters bounce off the stage. Flawless comedic timing mixes with emotional sensibility to bring out memorable performances. Cannavale and Rodriguez gave it all they got. Yes, Rock is the draw, but once you are in your seat, the overall jourmey is worth the ride.

Considering there is profanity in the title, the audience gets tons of it in each scene, but it’s never gratuitous—these are characters struggling with addiction, so they go with their first emotion.

It’s no secret that Chris Rock hasn’t received the most favorable of reviews when it comes to acting.  However, this is a man who knows the stage and grew up coaxing the toughest of crowds as a stand-up comedian in New York City. That said, Rock’s performance shines better than any film role.  He seems more at home, and the Brooklyn native shows he has some acting chops. As he recently said to David Letterman, Broadway is “real acting.”

The Motherf**ker With the Hat exceeds expectations. It’s a theatrical experience that is refreshing next to the typical, over-the-top glam of Broadway.

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Nelson George Is Bringing Old Brooklyn Back To Life

Published by Clay Cane on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 12:00 am.

Anyone who has trekked through Brooklyn over the past ten years might notice a distinct change — it’s not the Brooklyn you know and love. Brooklyn has birthed legends like Notorious B.I.G., Spike Lee and Rosie Perez but some of the soul that made BK urban folklore has vanished.  What’s happened to Brooklyn and, many cities across the country, is gentrification.

Filmmaker and historian, Nelson George, has a documentary, Black Boheme, on the black arts community that came from pre-gentrified BK, which includes commentary from Chris Rock, Spike Lee, Talib Kweli and many others.

Check out the trailer below — and like many independent projects, the funds need to be raised. If you can donate to the cause, click here – if not, be sure to pass this to someone who might be interested.

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Woman Suing Over ‘Death at a Funeral’

Published by Clay Cane on Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 12:00 am.

You can just sue over anything can’t you?  A woman named Pamela Lawrence is suing the creators of  the two film versions of Death at a Funeral, claiming it stole from a book she wrote in 1995, Caught on Video … The Most Embarassing Moment de Funeral, July 11, 1994, Jamaican Volume 1The Hollywood Reporter detailed some of her complaints:

“The woman, Pamella Lawrence, is representing herself in court and has filed a lawsuit stuffed with outrageous claims, including racism, a plot to eradicate the female population of urban cities and allegations of inside jokes within the movie that were specifically intended to humiliate her.”

She also claims in 1998 she had a meeting with Columbia TriStar and left a copy of the book along with a videotape.  From there she was told to “get lost” and now her story has been plastered over the big screen.  Lawrence wants 20 million and 66% of the film’s gross profits.  The defendants include Sony, Columbia Pictures, Tristar, Target Media, Screen Gems, Lawrence Malkin, Frank Oz, Chris Rock and Neil LaBute.


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Chris Rock’s ‘Death at a Funeral’ Trailer

Published by Clay Cane on Friday, April 9, 2010 at 12:00 am.

deathatafuneralNext Friday, Chris Rock returns with his first non-documentary film since 2007’s I Think I Love My Wife. The flick has an all-star cast that includes Tracy Morgan, Zoe Saldana, Danny Glover, Columbus Short, Loretta DevineMartin Lawrence and of course Chris Rock.  The Screen Gems film is directed by Neil LaBute, who is known for films like Lakeview Terrace and produced by Mr. Rock.

Death at a Funeral is about a chaotic funeral service that reveals secrets, scandals and full blown comedic drama. Funeral is sure to be a huge hit.  Check out this web site and watch the trailer below.

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Movies To Look Forward To In 2010

Published by Clay Cane on Monday, January 4, 2010 at 12:00 am.

takers2010 is going to be filled with blockbusters, chick flicks, horror, comedy and probably some surprises — let’s hope for another Precious!  Just in case you are not sure what to expect, set a reminder in your Blackberry for the movies below.

Frankie & Alice (2010)
No word on a release date, but the film has reportedly been finished for some time. Halle Berry stars as a woman with a multiple personality disorder and one of her personalities is a racist White person. The flick also stars Chandra Wilson and Phylicia Rashad. I hope this movie gets a 2010 release date!

Takers (May 14)
This crime-thriller will be Chris Brown’s return to movies since 2007’s This Christmas. However, this time around things are much different for the R&B star’s career. Post-domestic dispute with his ex-girlfriend Rihanna and what some consider to be consistent bad press, there is no telling if Takers will be shunned by audiences. There have been rumors that Chris Brown has been “erased”  from the marketing plan. The film also includes Idris Elba, T.I. and Michael Ealy.

A Nightmare On Elm Street (April 30)
After Halloween and Friday The 13th — it was bound to happen. A remake of 1984’s A Nightmare On Elm Street will be haunting nightmares this spring. Supposedly, this flick will stay true to the original, but more eerie than campy.

Why Did I Get Married Too? (April 2)
What is a year without a Tyler Perry flick? Janet Jackson and Jill Scott return in this romantic comedy sequel. This time around the married couples are in the Bahamas for their annual reunion. As one can imagine, full drama will ensue. The film also includes Keyshia Cole, Monica and the legendary Cicely Tyson. I am looking forward to Tasha Smith reviving the hilarious Angela!

Sex and the City 2 (May 28)
You can’t deny the power of Sex and the City. Black, White, or Latino — Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte are not to be ignored. The first Sex broke records at the box office with the best opening weekend for a movie that had a film starring women. While I have some doubts about the plot, the girls will surely be a hit.

Death at a Funeral (April 16)
Chris Rock’s remake of the UK comedy is packed with so many comedy legends that it’s almost guaranteed to be hilarious — Martin Lawrence, Tracy Morgan and of course Rock. The cast also features Danny Glover, Loretta Devine, Columbus Short and the first Black and Latina sci-fi queen, Zoe Saldana.

Book of Eli (January 15th)
Denzel Washington’s Book of Eli is in theaters in a couple weeks and the apocalyptic thriller looks like another home run for the two-time Oscar winner. Set in 2043, Washington protects this book called Eli, which could save a fallen apart society. This movie is directed by Hughes Brothers, their first film since 2001.

What movies are you most looking forward to?

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‘Good Hair’ Shines At Box Office

Published by Clay Cane on Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 12:00 am.

goodhairIn a limited release, Chris Rock’s Good Hair brought in over one million at the box office, even though it was only playing in 186 screens. The film’s producer, Nelson George, told, “We did well over $1 million in only five markets in the opening weekend with high per screen averages. We are extremely pleased with that start. Word of mouth about the film online has been amazingly positive.”

From Oprah to Wendy Williams, everyone has been talking about Good Hair. In addition, the film has received rave reviews from nearly every major outlet: The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and the legendary Roger Ebert.

George continues, “This Friday we open up in Canada and then Octobr 23rd we go wide in the States, hitting 600 theaters every place black folks rest their head. We hope to go down as one of the most important docs of 2009 and feel we are well on our way to fulfilling that goal.”

Congrats to Nelson George, Chris Rock, Nia Long and everyone else involved in Good Hair.  The movie is clearly one of this year’s best.

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Movie Review: Good Hair

Published by Clay Cane on Thursday, October 8, 2009 at 12:00 am.

goodhairSummary: Comedian Chris Rock tackles the epic history of hair in the Black community.

Review: The term “good hair” has lived with the African-American community for ions, cementing itself into the Black American lexicon. Most of us can remember, or some still say, lines like, “She got good hair!” While the term has often been brushed off as one of the things we just “do” as Black folks, Chris Rock has analyzed this mindset, the history and the choices behind Black folks and their hair.

Good Hair could have easily gone the way of judgmental and didactic — I’ve known many women who wear their hair “natural” and deem Black women who use perms and weaves as sell-outs and adhering to standards of Whiteness. On the other hand, I’ve known weaved out females who stress the natural looked is played and, “I’m not gonna get a job looking like Angela Davis!” Therefore, Rock had a risky topic on his plate — plus, he is a man. However, quite brilliantly, Rock skillfully peeled back the archaic layers, opening up a dialogue that could’ve been volatile.  His talent made the doc hilarious and thought-provoking, rising above race and gender.

One of the first steps to becoming a good documentarian is to realize you are not the star of the show. So, when a celebrity as A-list as Rock makes a documentary, you have to wonder if his star power will overshadow the message. Thankfully, it doesn’t. Rock uses himself as the vessel by interviewing women at salons, chatting with men at barber shops, talking with a chemist about the chemicals in hair products and even traveling to India to discover the origins of weaves.

Don’t think Good Hair is a rambling of facts and laughs. Skillfully moving the story forward, Rock highlights the Bronner Brothers International Hair Show in Atlanta, Georgia. This legendary hair show and the quirky yet extremely competitive personalities he features, give the movie a bloodline, linking together the profit of hair and style. One of the most astounding revelations: African Americans spend $9 billion a year on all things hair.

Rock has others voicing their thoughts on the good hair philosophy like Nia Long, Maya Angelou (she got her first perm at 70!), Salt-N-Pepa , Andre Harrell and two perm icons: Ice-T and Al Sharpton. Rock balances a story that could easily be too specific or agenda-pushing — with his style of humor and wit, even if you can’t relate to Good Hair, you will be informed, laugh and come away with sensitivity to the African-American experience.

Good Hair opens in select cities Friday, October 9th and nationwide Friday, October 23rd.

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Chris Rock Will Be a Black Friend

Published by Clay Cane on Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 12:00 am.

cr2Odd title for a post? Well, it’s true. The comedian turned documentarian will star in the movie Will You Be My Black Friend?, based on the GQ magazine article in November 2008 by Devin Friedman. In the article, Friedman is perplexed why has no Black friends and he makes it his American duty to find some.

Lionsgate is pairing up with Oprah’s company Harpo Films, Inc. to make the movie. The studio described the film as:

Inspired by a true story, a white, married journalist living in Manhattan comes to the unnerving realization one night at a cocktail party that virtually his entire social circle is white. Indeed his entire existence has become steeped in a certain style of “whiteness”: a rarefied industry (publishing); a weekend house in the Catskills; yoga; ambient music; and seasonal gourmet cooking. With help of the internet, a “white guy” sets off on a humorous journey to make “black friends,” only to discover that regardless of race, the older you get, the harder it is to make friends.

Interesting idea for a movie — I hope Rock is part of the script so he can inject that political but hilarious commentary.  It will be interesting to see who will play the White dude seeking out Black folks — I can see Brian Austin Green or anyone from The Hills in the role — they look like they don’t know any Black people!

Don’t forget Good Hair is in theaters Friday, October 9th!

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Submit Questions for Nia Long

Published by Clay Cane on Monday, October 5, 2009 at 2:16 pm.

nialongThis week, I’ll be interviewing the legendary Nia Long for Chris Rock’s upcoming film Good Hair, which is in theaters this Friday, October 9th. Let us know what questions you have for the Hollywood veteran. Read the rest of this entry »

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