Archive for "Jamie Foxx"

Movie Review: “Django Unchained”

Published by Clay Cane on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 12:00 am.

(Photo: The Weinstein Company)

Summary: Bounty hunter King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) frees Django (Jaime Foxx) for him to point out three overseers he is ordered to kill. Quickly realizing Django has a knack for shooting, Schultz hires Django as his right-hand man. Django only agrees if Schultz will help him rescue his enslaved wife, Bromhilda (Kerry Washington).

Review: The antebellum was a heinous time in American history, yet, it is a sacred era. Anyone who touches slavery on screen will get a cynical side-eye (Beloved, Amistad, Queen). In this review, I will not argue the trite debate whether the film is or isn’t that hot-button word: racist. Racism is the Central Park Five, the execution of Troy Davis and wannabe cops who “stand their ground” to unarmed Black boys — not a Hollywood film, which is meant for entertainment and includes some of the most respected and intelligent Black actors of today. My perspective: Is Django Unchained a good or bad film?  Neither — Quentin Tarantino’s seventh film is phenomenal.

Surprisingly historically correct for Hollywood, the pre-Civil War western is a serious take on the cruelty of slavery, but not without Tarantino’s signature style: sensitive, bloody, witty, comedic and respectful in all of the right places.  The Oscar winner authentically breathes life into characters that have morphed into spectacles on the big screen over the years — from the slave master to the slave, Tarantino dug for depth.  He found a new way to tell a story that should never be dismissed. The Black characters aren’t the docile “Negros” we’ve seen in the past. These are fully realized roles and when they are unchained, the tables turn.

The casting of Django Unchained is perfect. Jaime Foxx gives the best performance of his career since Ray. Leonardo DiCarpio as Master Calvin Candie is like we have never seen him before. Kerry Washington is core-shaking, disturbingly letting out the roars of whippings and, again, not the stereotypical mammy, maid or temptress that Black women are relegated to in films about the antebellum South. Christopher Waltz as a smooth-talking bounty hunter provides much needed comic relief and the grace in which he handles King Schultz will certainly shower him with awards. But the king of the show (and the most controversial) is Samuel L. Jackson as a “house Negro” named Stephen. The fervor Jackson brought to the character is historically correct and wonderfully three-dimensional. Cry me a river to anyone complaining Jackson is playing a house Negro, see the film before judging — he is a inventive actor whose résumé speaks for itself.  Damn it — give Samuel L. Jackson his Oscar!

Over the years, Tarantino has been criticized for his use of the N-word. Well, Tarantino didn’t hold back this time around — the N-word is said approximately 108 times in the two hours and 45 minutes. Every main character spat the racial slur with the exception of Kerry Washington. While I could go without hearing the N-word ever again in movies (I love that Nicole Kidman refused to say the word in The Paperboy), as a writer, Tarantino wrote characters, not historical figures (although it is important to note the N-word was used more during Jim Crow, not the Antebellum South).

Django Unchained thunders across the big screen as a fireball of celluloid flawlessness. Part western, part Black exploitation but absolutely stunning film-making, it’s Quentin Tarantino’s greatest work since Pulp Fiction and, undoubtedly, the best film of 2012.

Django Unchained is in theaters December 25.

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Ten Things We Want to See in Film

Published by Clay Cane on Tuesday, March 8, 2011 at 12:00 am.

Now that awards season is over, we are hoping for a more diverse and interesting 2011 in the year of film. 2010 didn’t give us much, but we have high hopes for this year. Check out 10 things we want to see in film for 2011.

10. The Aaliyah Movie
This year marks the 10th anniversary of Aaliyah’s passing. So, where is the Aaliyah movie? Last we heard, the director of Dreamgirls, Bill Condon, was set to direct and Canadian actress Keisha Chante would play Aaliyah. Hopefully, we at least get a release date in 2011.

9. No More Horror Movie Remakes
I’d love to go through a year without these horrible horror movie remakes that consistently bomb (Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, etc.). Freddy and Jason need to stay in the ’80s and ’90s. They had their run—let someone else think of a new horror movie plot.

8. Imitation of Life Remake
Now, if someone wants to remake a movie, they should take on Imitation of Life, the classic story about a light-skinned Black girl who tries to pass for white. With a solid cast, this could be award-worthy.

7. A Lady Gaga Movie
Considering her epic music videos, I would love to see Lady Gaga on screen. Not in some silly romantic comedy but more of a Quentin Tarantino/Lee Daniels/Rocky Horror Picture Show–type experience. Bring Gaga to the big screen!

6. I Will Follow by Ava DuVernay
We raved about this film last year, and it was selected as the best movie of 2010 by BET.com.  The film deals with family, loss, love and life. It’s a tour de force of emotions. The film is getting a release in select cities this Friday. It’s a must-see for 2011!

5. Nicki Minaj Movie
Nicki Minaj went to a New York arts school for theater. So, we would be interested to see what her acting chops are like on the big screen. Maybe a small, supporting role just to get her feet wet, but Minaj in movies is a good look for 2011.

4. Juice DVD Re-Release?
2Pac’s classic, Juice is a masterpiece of minimalism on DVD. No special features, no commentary, just an extreme disappointment. Can we get a re-release with deleted scenes, cast interviews, and commentary? Paramount needs to make it happen!

3. More Viola Davis!
I need more Viola Davis! We are looking forward to The Help, her first starring role about a Black maid in the ’60s. According to IMDB.com: “Set in Mississippi during the 1960s, [the fiml is about] a Southern society girl who returns from college determined to become a writer, but turns the town upside-down when she interviews the Black women who have spent their lives taking care of prominent Southern families. Aibileen (Viola Davis), Skeeter’s best friend’s housekeeper, is the first to open up—to the dismay of her friends in the tight-knit Black community.”

2. Wanda and Sheneneh in Skank Robbers
Jamie Foxx and Martin Lawrence need to halt all production on all other projects and get this film off the ground. Last we heard, Halle Berry and George Lopez signed on and it got the green light. Oh—and let’s hope they don’t forget Tichina Arnold as Pam—she needs a cameo or a full role. We need a release date for Skank Robbers in 2011!

1. Wesley Snipes Out Of Jail
I’m still confused on why Snipes was jailed for three years on misdemeanor charges, especially after a juror admitted that two other jurors said they thought he was guilty when they “looked” at him. Free Wesley, because I think it’s about time for a Jungle Fever sequel—and Keeping Up With the Kardashians don’t count!

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10 Actors Who Turned Down Famous Roles

Published by Clay Cane on Monday, December 13, 2010 at 12:00 am.

Roles make the rounds in Hollywood several times before it lands its actor.  Check out some of the huge films that big stars passed by; some for the good and some for the bad.

10. Denzel Washington as Curtis in Dreamgirls (2006)?

I could not see Denzel Washington playing Curtis in Dreamgirls, but it would’ve made the cast even more A-list.  Dreamgirls was “The Jennifer Hudson Movie,” saving the entire story. Nonetheless, Washington gave the right answer on this one and Jamie Foxx took the role.

9. Halle Berry in Gigli (2003)?

The movie that nearly ruined Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck’s careers is a role that Berry thankfully passed on. She was offered to play Lopez’s character. While she passed on Gigli, Catwoman was released in 2004… no comment.

8. Samuel L. Jackson as Morpheus in The Matrix (1999)?

We always think Sam Jackson never turns down a role, but he actually rejected Morpheus from The Matrix. The film went on to become one of the most successful films of all time.

7. Dave Chappelle as Bubba in Forrest Gump (1994)?

David Chappelle turned down the role as the shrimp-obsessed Bubba in Forrest Gump. He supposedly said no because he thought the film would “bomb.” Bad call!

6. Tina Turner as Shug Avery in The Color Purple (1985)?

Steven Spielberg campaigned to get Tina Turner to play Shug Avery in The Color Purple. Anna Mae declined saying she lived that life with Ike Turner. Spielberg had the right vision; Turner would’ve channeled her country roots and sang “Sister” from her Nutbush, Tennessee soul. Nonetheless, Margaret Avery was spectacular and nominated for an Oscar.

5. Jada Pinkett Smith in Charlie’s Angels (2000)?

Jada Pinkett Smith was the original angel, in the movie that starred Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore. Jada declined and starred in Spike Lee’s Bamboozled (2000). Bamboozled was a critical and box office disaster; however, it is one of my favorite Spike Lee films and I adored Jada in the role. Plus, Jada is Mrs. Smith… ain’t like she is struggling. Lucy Liu took Jada’s role in Charlie’s Angels.

4. Queen Latifah in Monster’s Ball (2001)?

Rumors have buzzed for years that Angela Bassett was truly offered the lead (the creators claimed Bassett was never approached for the role) in Monster’s Ball and turned it down because she felt it portrayed Black women in a negative light. Queen Latifah is the only actress who clearly said she had the role and wanted it, “I actually had that role before Halle. But they couldn’t set it up. It would have been me, Sean Penn and Robert De Niro.”

3. Cuba Gooding, Jr. in Amistad (1997)?

Spielberg wanted Cuba Gooding, Jr. to play Djimon Hounsou’s role in Amistad. A regretful Gooding once said, “Steven Spielberg came to me and said, ‘I want you to be in Amistad,’ and I said, ‘It’s a slave role; show me the money. I’m so a big thing,’ and he goes, ‘I can direct you,’ and I said, ‘No, I have to pass.’” Cuba admits he was too big-headed after winning the Oscar for Jerry Maguire.

2. Lauryn Hill as Deena Jones in Dreamgirls (2006)?

Over ten years ago, word on the street was that Lauryn Hill was picked to play Deena Jones (played by Beyonce) in the film version of Dreamgirls.  However, it fell through. I think Hill would’ve been a stellar pick for Deena Jones. She is immensely talented and more focused on the art than awards.

1. Dorothy Dandridge as Tuptim in The King and I (1956)?

This probably isn’t a movie you’ve seen, but the legendary Dorothy Dandridge pursued the role. When she discovered the role was not the lead and a slave role, she turned it down with her management’s advice. Dandridge, like many Black actresses of her time, was torn with playing a slave or maid. As Hattie McDaniel once said, “I’d rather play a maid then be one!” The iconic Rita Moreno took the role Tuptim and it was an international success. Dandridge once said she believed her turning down that character was the beginning of her downfall in Hollywood.

Still, Dandridge was one of the Black actors who set a standard and was selective of their movies. We don’t have to take what we don’t want. From Cuba to Tina, this is our decision… even if they made some regrets along the way.
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Halle Berry Signed On For ‘Skank Robbers’

Published by Clay Cane on Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 9:35 am.

Any news about Skank Robbers is like a ray of sunshine! In case you didn’t know, Skank Robbers is the Sheneneh and Wanda film that was inspired by a 2009 BET Awards skit. The movie is a go and supposedly the script is in the works.

Jamie Foxx revealed on 106 & Park that Oscar winner Halle Berry has officially joined the cast. Halle doesn’t have much experience in comedies. Her last comedic film was 1997’s B.A.P.S., which some loved or absolutely hated.

Foxx also revealed a bit more of the plot. Sheneneh and Wanda will be robbing banks from Northern to Southern California.

Glad to hear this — but I need Pam, played by  Tichina Arnold, to return. This is a must! Check out the clip from Skank Robbers!

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Looking For A Valentine’s Day Movie?

Published by Clay Cane on Monday, February 8, 2010 at 12:46 am.

valentines-day-2010-9477295-450-681V-Day is this weekend and there is a movie that fits the bill — Gary Marshall’s Valentine’s Day. The cast is endless with names that include Jamie Foxx, Queen Latifah, Julia Roberts, Taylor Lautner, Taylor Swift and George Lopez.

There are so many people packed into the movie it will be interesting to see how the flick works.  Check out the trailer below!

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Sheneneh and Wanda Movie A Go!

Published by Clay Cane on Friday, November 20, 2009 at 12:00 am.

wandashenenhIt all started right here at BET! One of the funniest moments at this year’s BET Awards had to be the Sheneneh and Wanda skit “Skank Robbers” with Jamie Foxx and Martin Lawrence.  Well, the fans spoke and the film is a go.  According to Variety.com:

Foxx will write the script, which he and Martin will produce through Foxx’s FoxxKing and Lawrence’s Runteldat production banners.

The project originated as a parody of a movie trailer for a film called “Skank Robbers,” which Foxx and Lawrence made for the BET Awards. The reaction was strong enough that the duo decided to turn the concept into a real film.

In case you forgot, Sheneneh Jenkins was a character from the 90s sitcom Martin.  She lived across the hall from Martin and consistently harassed his wife, Gina, and Gina’s best friend, Pam.

Wanda was from In Living Color, always on the hunt for a man with her “naturally” blond hair and outlandish outfits.  Her catch phrases like, “I’m reat’ to go!” and “I’m gonna rock your world!” made her one of the show’s most popular characters.

Congrats to Foxx and Lawrence on sealing the deal.  No word on a release date but let’s hope we don’t have to wait too long.  I wonder if Madea will make a cameo?

Check out the clip that started it all!

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Movie Review: ‘Law Abiding Citizen’

Published by Clay Cane on Tuesday, October 20, 2009 at 12:00 am.

law_abiding_citizen_postersSummary: After the killer of Clyde Shelton’s (Gerard Butler) family is released on parole, he seeks revenge on all who were involved in the lack of justice for his wife and daughter.

Review: Like many action-revenge movies, Law Abiding Citizen starts strong. The intro scene is always graphic. There is a trigger for why he must take the law into his own hands and before you know it, he is Superman.

Of course, someone who takes the law into his own hands is no original plot. But, in pop movies like these I am not expecting fresh ideas and groundbreaking material. Give me some solid acting, hardcore action and most importantly, a respectably believable plot line and I’m happy. Law Abiding Citizen failed on the believable part, which unfortunately ruined a potentially enjoyable movie.

The director F. Gary Gray is clearly one of the most gifted directors of this generation. I can only assume he started with a messy script and tried his best to make it work. The implausible, like Butler’s character’s laughable demands and epic revenge sequences with no explanations, leave you with a “Huh?” rather than a “Wow!” The man seeking revenge might have been more believable if he was a psychic with X-Men gifts or a god sitting in jail, magically having the power to create chaos behind bars.

The action is good, but the scenarios are so outlandish that it’s hard to enjoy the big explosions. Butler as the family man-turned-psycho is a treat to watch.  Jamie Foxx effectively slips right into his role of the heartless lawyer. Viola Davis, who plays the Mayor of Philadelphia, doesn’t appear until an hour into the movie — you could basically describe her role as a cameo, which was a disappointment. Actually, what might’ve saved the movie is if Viola Davis was the one who was wronged by the justice system and seeking revenge. Ms. Viola could read the back of a Listerine bottle and make it award-worthy!

Law Abiding Citizen is in theaters now.

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‘Law Abiding Citizen’ Trailer

Published by Clay Cane on Monday, August 31, 2009 at 12:00 am.

law_abiding_citizen_postersJamie Foxx is returning to movies this fall with Law Abiding Citizen, which also stars Gerard Butler and Oscar nominee Viola Davis. Based in Philadelphia, the action-thriller follows the story of a man who wants revenge on the district attorney who prosecuted the case against the murders who killed his wife.

The movie is directed by F. Gary Gary, who also directed the classic Set It Off. Law Abiding Citizen is in theaters October 16th. Check out the trailer below!

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Jamie Foxx is a new dad?

Published by Clay Cane on Wednesday, August 12, 2009 at 10:34 am.

jamie-foxxTMZ is slacking off!  Oscar winner and 2009 BET Awards host, Jamie Foxx, should get a medal for somehow hiding this news — he is a new daddy!  His former co-star of The Jamie Foxx Show, Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon, revealed on The Wendy Williams Show yesterday that Foxx is a new father. It was an innocent slip of the tongue, but Beauvais-Nilon couldn’t take it back on live television. Beauvais-Nilon said, “He told me that he had a newborn child and I said, ‘Jamie, wow! Do I know the baby mama?’ and he goes, ‘No.’ And I go, ‘Do you know the baby mama?’”

Wendy, who was obviously excited to get some breaking gossip on her show, thanked the Haitian beauty for the news. She must’ve realized after the fact that this wasn’t known info and said, “J, I’m sorry!”

Jamie Foxx has never been married and has a daughter from a previous relationship.  Now we all want to know — who is the mama? Is it a boy or girl?  Not that I care, but I’m sure some folks are wondering if Jamie was down with the swirl

Congrats Jamie!  As of now, Foxx’s reps have not confirmed or denied Garcelle’s comments.

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Who else wants the Wanda and Sheneneh movie?

Published by Clay Cane on Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 12:00 am.

wandashenenhHands down — one of the funniest moments of Sunday night’s BET Awards was to see the return of Wanda and the legendary Sheneneh Jenkins.  Haven’t we all been waiting for over a decade to see these two divas on screen?

In case you don’t know, Wanda’s classic lines like “No, you didn’t,” her overly confident attitude and cockeyed look were huge in the nineties.  Then, there was the iconic Sheneneh Jenkins.  She was considered another character of the popular television series Martin.  Sheneneh was an independent woman, owned her own hair salon (Sho’ Nuff Hair Salon) and kept Pam and Gina in their place. Honestly, Sheneneh could’ve had her own television series and it would’ve been a hit!

Well, I know it was just a skit but someone needs to start an online petition for Jamie Foxx and Martin Lawrence to pull a script together and get this movie green lit as soon as possible.  I see a cross between B.A.P.S. and Beauty Shop — with a lil’ Set It Off. Hey, if Tyler Perry can do it — why not Foxx and Lawrence?  I know it would be a hit considering all the people who texted me asking, “When is that Sheneneh and Wanda movie coming out?”  Come on Jamie and Martin — the people want it!

In case you missed it, check out the video clip below.

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