Archive for "Gabourey Sidibe"

Movie Review: “Tower Heist”

Published by Clay Cane on Friday, November 4, 2011 at 12:00 am.

(Photo: Universal Pictures)

Summary: Disgruntled employees at a luxury apartment complex in Manhattan (a mock version of the Trump Tower) are seeking revenge on Arthur Shaw, their boss and a corrupt Wall Street businessman, who lost their pensions in poor investments. With the help of a ‘hood criminal, various employees plan to steal 20 million dollars that they believe is stored in Shaw’s penthouse.

Review: Directed by Brett Ratner, Tower Heist stars Ben Stiller and includes a diverse cast, including Gabourey Sidibe and newcomer Michael Peña. Surprisingly smart, especially in the days of Occupy Wall Street, cutesy funny and one of the better comedies this year, the Universal Pictures film might be a hit.  Fortunately, there are few novices in Tower Heist: Ben Stiller, Matthew Broderick and the great Eddie Murphy all appear in the film.  The all-star cast smoothed out a layered, unpredictable and sometimes ridiculously implausible comedy that is right on time in this disastrous economy.

That said, the good news is that edgy comedy icon Eddie Murphy has returned to the big screen in the role of “Slide,” a loud-mouthed criminal. It is easy to forget how raw the New York native used to be and, judging by the box office numbers, audiences have grown tired of “Disney Eddie.”  We missed the cussing, hollering and one-liners that made Eddie a star, from the days of Trading Places, 48 Hours and Beverly Hills Cop.  Although a supporting cast member, Murphy is the one you want to watch in this movie.

In addition, there is Gabourey Sidibe, who is shutting down everyone who said she wouldn’t work after her Oscar-nominated role in Precious. Sure, there might be some who will whine about her playing a maid named Odessa in Tower Heist — she licks cake off her face and plays up the “sassy big girl.”  Nonetheless, she is funny and holds her own with comedic heavyweights — even, and despite, an unnecessary and sometimes distracting Jamaican accent.

For everyone who has been duped by Wall Street or hit hard by the economy, Tower Heist delivers the fantasy that you can get your revenge. Yes, the flick is deeply silly at times, and not anything fresh plot-wise, but it is a fun, no-brainer ride.

Tower Heist is in theaters today.

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Movie Review: “Yelling to the Sky”

Published by Clay Cane on Wednesday, August 24, 2011 at 11:30 am.

Summary: Sweetness (Zoë Kravitz) is a good girl–gone–bad who is suffering with teen angst that ranges from racial identity issues t0 bullying to drugs and more.

Review: There is a quiet anticipation for writer-director Victoria Mahoney’s semi-autobiographical film Yelling to the Sky. The indie drama screened last week at the 12th annual New York Latino International Film Festival, starring Zoë Kravitz and including Gabourey Sidibe in her first major feature film role since her Oscar nomination for Precious.

In Mahoney’s debut feature length film, there is an attractive gloom about her work but, unfortunately, the film struggles to translate to the viewer.  Mahoney juggles a hodgepodge of stories, bouncing from one conflict to another, never allowing the audience to fully invest in one direction.  Mahoney’s script falls into one of the biggest trappings of dramatic indie films: over-stuffing the plot.

Yelling to the Sky
tries wrestles all of the following: biracial issues, domestic violence, bullying, unwed mothers, mental illness, drugs abuse, death and more. Every ten minutes there is a new plot twist to grasp, which often has no link to the drama in the previous scene.  Heavy editing would’ve resulted in a polished, cohesive film.  In moments, you can see the story’s potential, but it’s dissolved into a gumbo of plots.

The film begins with Zoë’s character and a friend (who vanishes after the first scene) violently bullied for being “high yellow” — Gabourey Sidibe’s character is the bully. While this might be the director’s own story, there was something uncomfortable about watching the “evil” dark-skinned teens abuse the “tortured” light-skinned kids without proper backstory to explain this strife. Yelling to the Sky channeled elements of the “tragic mulatto” Hollywood stereotype.  However, before you can get offended or the film can redeem itself, the audience is thrown in a different plot.  Sweetness’ sister is an unwed mother. Her father is an abusive drunk. Her mother has a mental illness. Sweetness likes to lie under the kitchen table. She is besties with a drug dealer.

Yelling to the Sky delivers solid performances. Even though Kravitz’s acting can translate as indifferent, she is believable as a 16-year-old (Kravitz is 22) from the gutter of American poverty.  As the child of actor Lisa Bonet and musician Lenny Kravitz, we all know that the actress’ background is privileged, but she captures the sadness and vengeance of her character.

Antonique Smith, who played Faith Evans in Notorious, is clearly the stand-out. No shocker — the New Jersey native’s acting chops were once honed playing “Mimi” in Rent on Broadway.

Sidibe’s role is minimal, which is surprising considering she is an Oscar nominee.

Mahoney is obsessed with random images, bouncing between random edits that look like an attempt to make  cinematic poetry, but weakens an already shaky film.

Even though Yelling to the Sky tumbles, Victoria Mahoney shows great promise as a director.  The process of making an independent film is no easy task, so one can imagine the struggles she endured to get the flick to where it is today.  Mahoney is clearly a filmmaking talent who needs a bit more polish, but I look forward to seeing more of her work.

Yelling to the Sky was presented at at the 12th annual New York Latino International Film Festival.

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‘Tower Heist’ Trailer

Published by Michael Arceneaux on Friday, July 29, 2011 at 8:49 am.

(Photo: Imagine Entertainment)

Has anyone been saying to themselves, “I wish they’d make a movie similar to The Italian Job or Ocean’s Eleven, but like…funny?” Yeah, me either but that’s never stopped Hollywood from making slight alterations to an old story for a new movie before, now has it? This time the latest celebrity-centered robbery flick comes courtesy of the action-drama Tower Heist.

Ben Stiller leads the all-star cast that includes Eddie Murphy, Gabourey Sidibe, Casey Affleck, Matthew Broderick, and Alan Alda. In the movie, a group of angry maintenance workers at a luxury apartment building seek to rip off a Bernie Madoff-like Wall Street tycoon who is guilty of depleting them of their pension funds. Seeking revenge and their lost funds, the workers are led by their manager (played by Stiller), and plan a mission to find the missing money. Murphy will play a known thief who helps them learn the ways of stealing.

The Brett Ratner-directed Tower Heist, opens November 14th.  Check out the trailer below.

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‘Yelling to The Sky’ Trailer, Starring Zoe Kravitz and Gabourey Sidibe

Published by Clay Cane on Tuesday, February 8, 2011 at 1:00 am.

Zoe Kravitz has been taking her time with Hollywood. She made her film debut in 2007 with No Reservations and she’s had small roles in Terrence Howard’s The Brave One and Twelve, which also included 50 Cent. Now she stars is in the film Yelling To The Sky, which is premiering at this week’s Berlin Film Festival.  The cast includes Oscar nominee Gabourey Sidibe and Antonique Smith, who played Faith Evans in the film Notorious.

Here is the synopsis:

In a depraved New York neighborhood, the youngest of three mixed-race sisters named Sweetness O’Hara, spends the better part of being seventeen navigating an identity between the known: a violent life of crime, and the unknown: a life of purpose and meaning.

Check out the trailer:

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Sidibe Still Brushing Off Haters; Lands an Eddie Murphy Movie

Published by Clay Cane on Wednesday, October 20, 2010 at 3:20 pm.

Remember those folks who said Gabourey Sidibe wouldn’t have any work outside of her brilliant performance in last year’s Precious? Well, she has clearly proved the haters wrong. Sidibe was a host on Saturday Night Live in April, her Showtime series The Big C is renewed for a second season and Deadline.com is reporting she just landed a role in an upcoming Eddie Murphy movie.

Brett Ratner has set Oscar-nominated Precious star Gabourey Sidibe and Michael Pena to join Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy and Alan Alda in Tower Heist, the action-comedy that Universal Pictures is gearing up to start production in New York next month. Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer is producing. Sidibe and Pena will play employees who work in a luxury high-rise and discover their pension funds have been drained by a Bernie Madoff-like Wall Street crook who is living under house arrest in the opulent penthouse apartment. Led by the building’s manager (Stiller), the employees figure out a way to use their knowledge of the building to rip him off.

Congrats to Sidibe!  She is making her own way in Hollywood!

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Gabourey Sidibe Has Another Crush

Published by Clay Cane on Monday, July 19, 2010 at 2:01 pm.

I like Gabourey Sidibe, she is no wilting flower afraid to say what kind of man she wants. She isn’t afraid of rejection and will probably land herself the hubby of her dreams with this confidence.  

It seems like in every interview she does she talks about the latest man-candy she is lusting for. The Oscar nominee told People that she has a crush on a member of the BET family – Trey Songz:

“I’m super crushing on Trey Songz,” she says. “I used to listen to his music when I worked in an office, and when I met him a few weeks ago, I couldn’t contain my excitement.”

During their first conversation Sidibe recalls asking the singer, “‘Now that we go to the same events, you think I’m cool, right? Do you want to date? We could just get married!’”

Well – the neighbors do know his name!  Sidibe’s circle of “super crushes” includes Anthony Mackie, Justin Timberlake, Gerard Butler, Jason Lewis (Smith Jerrod from Sex and the City) and Orlando Bloom.

SOURCE

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Robin Quivers Still Talking About Sidibe’s Weight

Published by Clay Cane on Tuesday, June 22, 2010 at 12:11 pm.

I thought this was a dead topic, especially considering the backlash Robin Quivers and Howard Stern received (not that they care) after mocking Gabourey Sidibe’s weight. However, Quivers is still talking and recently told Ebony, “People are being naïve when they say, ‘Oh, it’s great that she has this attitude.’ This girl is in trouble and people want to deny that. We have an epidemic of obesity in the black community, especially among Black women.”

I think everyone knows that Sidibe is overweight and I am sure the Academy Award nominee is aware of her size.  What type of attitude should she have?  Cry in every interview, complain she can’t control her eating, join Celebrity Fit Club — what does Quivers expect?  I’d rather Sidibe have a positive attitude than be the stereotypical “tragic big girl.”  Furthermore, in Sidibe’s private time we don’t know how she is bettering herself.

Quivers needs a new cause to rally for!

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Gabourey’s Mother on ‘America’s Got Talent’

Published by Clay Cane on Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 10:20 am.

Acting is not the only talent that runs in the Sidibe family.  If you are a New Yorker chances are you’ve seen Gabourey Sidibe’s mother, Alice Tan Ridley, performing in the subway — I actually saw her several times singing Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got To Do With It?”

On America’s Got Talent, which is hosted by Nick Cannon, Ridley sang Etta James‘ “At Last.”  She wowed the judges and made it to the next round.  There might be another award-winner in the Sidibe family.

Check out Ridley’s audition below!

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Sidibe Lusting For Hollywood

Published by Clay Cane on Tuesday, June 1, 2010 at 12:00 am.

Oscar nominee, Gabourey Sidibe, has made it known that she lusts for several men in Hollywood — Anthony Mackie, Justin Timberlake and Gerard Butler just to name a few. She asked Timberlake to be her date for the Oscars and told Gerard Butler, “I’d hit that!”

On the red carpet for Sex and the City 2 she told UK talk show host Jonathan Ross, “I use any event to hit on a young man! (I’ll do it) at the gas station! I just like hitting on people, I’m into boys!”

She admitted to giving her number to Jason Lewis (Smith Jerrod from Sex and the City) — she said he seemed scared a bit and admits she is quite aggressive.

Then, there is Orlando Bloom. “I hit on Orlando (Bloom) – eight straight minutes of hitting on him! I time it, I have a notebook for this!”

I love her confidence!  I just want to know when one of these menz are gonna hit back!

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Sidibe Hosting SNL On 4/24

Published by Clay Cane on Wednesday, April 14, 2010 at 12:00 am.

Hkg3344264As we reported earlier, Gabourey Sidibe is set to host Saturday Night Live.  However, no date was set and being that there are only a few episodes left for the season many were wondering when she would host.  Now, it has been confirmed the Oscar nominee will host on April 24th.  The week before Ryan Phillippe is hosting and the week after television icon, Betty White, is hosting — Sidibe is in great company!

Clearly, Sidibe is proving Howard Stern wrong — not that she has to.  However, I do hope SNL does a vicious parody on Stern.

It will be great to see Sidibe work with comedy, considering the only performance we have seen her in is such a heavy role in Precious.  For those who doubt Sidibe’s comedic skills, check her out in the clip below.

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