Archive for "Laurence Fishburne"

Movie Review: “Man of Steel”

Published by Clay Cane on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 2:00 pm.

(Photo: Warner Bros.)

Superman returns to theaters tomorrow. But this time it appears the man of steel got some life coaching from Iyanla Vanzant. Mr. Kent is contemplative, stoic and Henry Cavill’s voice is nearly in the same lower register as Christian Bale’s Batman. Clark Kent is grappling with what life truly means … he somberly wanders the Midwest, pondering the struggles of being an incredibly handsome alien with perfect hair, steel pecs and a natural six pack — plus, he’s a single man in his early thirties whose impressive gifts remain on the down low. Not to mention childhood memories of being bullied, daddy issues and trying to save Earth from his native people. This is some heavy weight on the hero’s shoulders and audiences should prep themselves to soak up two hours and twenty-three minutes of a reflective Clark Kent/Kal-El (the title of Superman is only used a handful of times).

Directed by Zack Snyder, Man of Steel’s kryptonite is following The Dark Knight formula. The reboot of Mr. Kent is produced by Christopher Nolan and written by David S. Goyer — who were also behind The Dark Knight. Batman was reinvented with a darker storyline, making the flick less comic book and more of a thriller. However, at the heart of Bruce Wayne, there is a bit of a horror element, especially for a story set in cryptic Gotham City. But Clark Kent/Superman/Kal-El is an All-American hero who doesn’t have a similar dark side similar to the Caped Crusader.  Superman is the granddaddy of all superheros and storyline we already know.  Therefore, Snyder, Nolan and Goyer’s epic rehashing of every molecule of Kryoton’s last son was exhausting. The film tumbles and crumbles with 90 minutes or so of tiresome back-story and, eventually, typical summer movie CGI’d action scenes.

Like most films based on comics, can the action save the day? While visually stunning, how many times can we see New York City suffer the blows of good and evil? Buildings fall, New Yorkers run for their lives, the battle travels from Lower Manhattan to Times Square to Grand Central and you can always predict who will be victorious. Loud, huge and explosive, even the action was anti-climactic.

Appropriately cast, Man of Steel actually works when Superman isn’t on screen — the supporting characters stayed true to their roots versus the star. Lois Lane is still the nosy reporter, played enjoyably by Amy Adams — plus, her boss at the Daily Planet is the great Laurence Fishburne. The villains are ferociously entertaining. Clark’s adoptive mother (Diane Lane) and father (Kevin Costner) are fitting, but the clinically depressed Superman fails to engage, which is no fault of Henry Cavill. He clearly delivered what Snyder and the creators of Man of Steel wanted.

On another note, Superman is not the patriotic hero in the 1978 version by Richard Donner, which some might find disappointing. But I was less concerned about patriotism and more focused on a solid film. Even without comparing Man of Steel to the original, the film struggles, never finding the balance of action and the “deep” storyline.

Man of Steel is not a terrible film. With editing, less exposition and a bit more fun, the film could’ve been a critical and box office success. Nonetheless, even with all of the obvious flaws this does not mean Man of Steel will not break box office records faster than a speeding bullet — sorry, I couldn’t resist!  The fan base is there, even if the story isn’t.

Man of Steel is in theaters tomorrow.

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Movie Review: “Contagion”

Published by Clay Cane on Friday, September 9, 2011 at 9:52 am.


Summary: After traveling to Hong Kong, Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow) dies from an unknown virus. The mysterious and highly contagious virus spreads rapidly, wiping out populations across the globe. With no vaccine and treatment, the world is in hysteria.

Review: Before you go see Contagion grab the Lysol and buy everything anti-bacterial — this apocalyptic thriller is not for hypochondriacs.  The movie plays on our worst fears — invisible germs polluting our daily lives. Random shots of handrails, cellphones and a quick touch of the face haunt the viewer like Freddy Krueger or Jason Voorhees. Then there is the one-liner that echoes in your mind long after you leave the theater: “The average person touches his face three to five times every waking minute.” The villain is germs and no one can escape!

Considering the avian flu, West Nile virus and the swine flu, a viral thriller was overdue. Yes, we’ve all seen when-virus’-attack films, especially in 1995’s Outbreak, which starred Morgan Freeman and Cuba Gooding Jr. The newest remix of an overly told tale is not groundbreaking  and could’ve easily been titled: Contagion: Outbreak 2011 Bird Flu Remix. But hey, this is Hollywood — who’s looking for originality?

Directed by the always stylish Steven Soderbergh and written by Scott Z. Burns, the audience gets a day-by-day glimpse at the tragic results of a killer virus. The conclusion? We’d all turn into savages, from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) to the average American.

The bulk of Contagion is the scientific and sometimes exhaustive details of the who, what, where and when of the virus. Burns wrote a smart script which appears to be fairly accurate. However, a wave fatigue can easily weigh down audiences with the high context language and stuffy characters. Jargon like “R naughts,” “MEV-1″ and “protean” minimize the thriller to a 3 a.m. documentary for the Discovery Channel.  Nonetheless, the first hour is effective, focusing on  how quickly the virus jumps from person to person. Despite the film’s lack of heart and soul, Soderbergh generated enough tension to mutate some solid scares — even though you might need a science whiz to interpret the Mr. Spock-like lingo.

Contagion’s biggest problem is its overcrowded, A-list cast. The film does not have enough running time (105 minutes) for some of Hollywood’s biggest box office draws: Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet (the Oscar winner could play 2Pac in a biopic and I would believe her), Sanaa Lathan (unfortunately, no more than 15 minutes of screen time for the Broadway diva, but she was memorable) and others. Their screen time is evenly spread out, which results in never having an emotional interest in one of the many plots.  In addition, the instant ending will disappoint some viewers.  One can only assume there was no other way to tie the band of story lines together. The fictional MV-1 virus had more character development than any of the characters combined.

If politics-meets-science thriller is your type of flick, you’ll definitely enjoy. That said, as grim as the flick is, it should not be taken seriously. The movie is all Hollywood and has the same message as a Softsoap commercial — wash your hands. Furthermore, Contagion has more of an affect after you leave the theater. Mark my words: You’ll never hear a cough the same way again.

Side note: Why do these Hollywood “outbreak” films always have a disease that originates in Africa or Asia? Can’t Europe or North America harbor a deadly virus? But I digress…

Contagion is in theaters today.

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Laurence Fishburne’s ‘Contagion’ Trailer

Published by Michael Arceneaux on Monday, August 8, 2011 at 11:41 am.

(Photo: Warner Brothers Pictures)

Celebrated director Steven Soderbergh said he will be retiring from film making sooner rather than later. It appears one of the last movies from the man behind works like Oceans Eleven and Traffic will be a tribute to Spring 1995. In the pandemic thriller Contagion, Matt Damon leads an all-star cast including Gwyneth Paltrow, Laurence Fishburne and Jude Law that centers on a global panic spurred by bird flu.

Indeed, the lethal airborne virus kills within days — prompting the worldwide medical community to race to find a cure before the virus takes everyone out of the game. Did I mention that chaos ensues, too?

Now if the synopsis and the above trailer sound familiar, congratulations: You obviously remember the movie Outbreak.

The only difference between the films are the faces and the animal behind the deadline virus. Outbreak had a monkey and Contagion has a bird. I’m sure the movie might prove to be entertaining given the talent on and off the screen, but you’ve got to be a donkey not to notice the similarities.

Check out the trailer below.

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From Horror to Hollywood

Published by Clay Cane on Thursday, October 28, 2010 at 11:47 am.

As you run to the movies this weekend to watch a horror film for Halloween, keep in mind you might be watching the next Hollywood superstar. Check out just a few actors who got their start in the camp of horror and went on to be respected actors.

Kasi Lemmons in Silence of the Lambs
You may not think you know Kasi Lemmons, but she is the critically acclaimed director behind Eve’s Bayou and Talk To Me. In 1991, she was Jodie Foster’s friend in Silence of the Lambs. Although she was in a few roles before, Silence of the Lambs put her in one of the most famous films of all time.

Laurence Fishburne in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
Morpheus had been working for years before he sliced it up with Freddy Krueger. But in 1987, a 26-year-old Fishburne had a small role in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. By the ’90s, Fishburne would be an Oscar nominee.

Ving Rhames in People Under The Stairs
Ving’s resume goes back to the mid-’80s, but you can’t forget him in his small role in People Under The Stairs back in 1991. The horror classic was a huge success. Only three years later, Rhames was in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, considered one of the greatest films ever made.

Eva Mendes in Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror
Before Eva Mendes was in movies with Denzel Washington and Will Smith, one of her very first roles was in the straight-to-video Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror by 1998. By all accounts, the flick was pretty awful, but by 2001, Eva Mendes was playing opposite Oscar winner Denzel Washington in Training Day.

Johnny Depp in A Nightmare on Elm Street
Decades before Johnny Depp was a serious, soft-spoken actor, he was in one of the most iconic horror films ever made — the original A Nightmare on Elm Street in 1984. Only two years later, Depp landed a part in the critically acclaimed Platoon. Now, he has three Oscar nominations and is considered Hollywood royalty.

Usher in The Faculty
Usher was already a bona fide star when 1998’s The Faculty was released, but the alien horror flick was his first movie role. The “OMG” hit maker didn’t exactly conquer Hollywood, but he sure has made some good music on the ride to the movie theater!

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Montana Fishburne Says She’s Getting Acting Offers

Published by Clay Cane on Friday, September 3, 2010 at 8:55 am.

Montana Fishburne is continuing her porn media tour. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter she says she is getting mainstream film offers. Of course this isn’t shocking — sex tapes and now even straight porn might break you into Hollywood. But, Montana actually never had to go the porn route — she is the daughter of an Oscar nominee and extremely popular actor!  According to The Hollywood Reporter:

THR: Given the success of the film, has Vivid approached you to appear in additional features?

Fishburne: They offered it to me, and I’m talking with them about it, but I haven’t signed on to anything yet. I don’t know if I want to do it right away, I’m actually getting a lot of mainstream offers. I want to pursue those opportunities and then come back to it.

THR: Can you reveal what offers you’re considering?

Fishburne: I can’t be specific, but they are acting roles. I’m open to scripted and reality. It just all depends on what the project it is. If something truly interests me, I’ll get super involved and want to make it happen. That’s why I did this movie.

She continues on her rant about Kim Kardashian and how she “moved past” her sex tape.  I need Montana to let go of this Kardashian dream…

Do you think Montana could have a viable acting career?

SOURCE

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Laurence Fishburne Refuses To Talk To Montana

Published by Clay Cane on Tuesday, August 17, 2010 at 9:30 am.

Can you blame him?  Especially when his daughter is running to TMZ as much as possible to spill the dirt.  Allegedly, Montana reached out to Morpheus:

According to Montana, her dad said, “I’m not going to speak with you ’till you turn your life around.”  Laurence was referring to his daughter joining the ranks of Vivid Entertainment as a porn star.

Montana says Laurence added, “You embarrassed me.”

And this parting shot.  According to Montana, Laurence said, “You used your last name. No one uses their real name in porn.”

Today is Montana’s 19th birthday.  I wonder how long it will take for her to turn to rehab.  At least he said he won’t communicate with her until she turns her life around.  Unfortunately, this porn stint is going to go down in pop culture history.

SOURCE

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Montana Fishburne on Porn: It’s A Goal That I Had

Published by Clay Cane on Tuesday, August 10, 2010 at 8:53 am.

BlackVoices.com landed an exclusive interview with Laurence Fishburne’s daughter, Montana Fishburne, who is making the most talked about porn debut in years. In her interview with BlackVoices.com, she takes pride in being a Black female porn star (oh, okay), talks of the inspiration of Kim Kardashian (Kim refuses to even talk about her sex tape in interviews and has done everything possible to clean up her image) and that porn was always her goal — adding that Morpheus should be happy she accomplished one of her goals. Talk about goal settings!

With all respect to Montana, porn isn’t necessarily “goal setting.”  There is no porn college, no extensive training — if you are willing to do-the-do on cam and the daughter of a celeb, you are basically in the club. No judgment to anyone in the sex industry, but Miss Montana is taking herself way too seriously. Here are some shining moments from the interview:

On the media hype:
I’m excited that people are talking about it. I hope everything turns to more positive. I mean, they should be more excited about new porn coming out. I haven’t seen a young black female porn star in a long time.

On Laurence Fishburne:
I mean, no one wants to see their daughter have sex on TV. Fathers are usually upset when they hear about their daughters losing their virginity. So I don’t think he wants to see it blasted across the world. This is something I wanted to do; it’s a goal that I had. I think he’ll be proud that I accomplished one of my goals. So if I’m happy, I’m sure that he’ll be happy, too.

On Kim Kardashian:
She inspired me to go to Vivid. I always wanted to do porn. That was a given. So when I decided to start getting in to it, to see how I was going to go about it, I looked to her. Kim Kardashian released her sex tape with Vivid. Paris Hilton, Kendra Wilkinson, Pamela Anderson, all these people. And they’re well known for having celebrity sex tapes. And Kim’s is the one that did the best. Not did the best, but I felt like she got the most hype and buzz out of it.

SOURCE

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‘Predators’ Trailer

Published by Clay Cane on Tuesday, July 6, 2010 at 12:10 am.

Sequels twenty years later can be risky but the Predator franchise can takethe risk.  The original was a huge hit in 1987, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and grossing over 60 million at the box office. Predator 2 was in 1990 and starred Danny Glover.

Now, we have the third installment in the franchise and includes Laurence Fishburne and Adrien Brody.  The movie is in theaters July 9th – check out the trailer!

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This Day In Film: The Matrix

Published by Clay Cane on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 at 12:00 am.

matrix3Eleven years ago today, The Matrix opened in theaters nationwide changing the trajectory of sci-fi films forever. Staring Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne, the Wachowski brothers flick captivated the globe with it’s philosophical plot line — humans are being controlled by robots and living in a fake world known as the Matrix. This false reality must be destroyed and “The One” is the only person who can accomplish this task.

Originally, The Matrix seemed like an implausible idea. A-list stars like Nicolas Cage, Sean Connery, Sandra Bullock and Will Smith all turned down roles. However, when the film hit theaters it was showered with rave reviews and ended up racking in over 460 million dollars nationwide. In addition, The Matrix won four Academy Awards for sound, editing and visuals.

Two more followed, none equaling the critical or box office success as the original. Nonetheless, the series continued with a diverse cast which included Jada Pinkett Smith, Mary Alice, Nona Gay, Roy Jones, Jr. and even Cornell West.

The Matrix is an undeniable classic. Check out the clip below.

The Matrix – Subway Fight
Uploaded by stoinstoin. – Classic TV and last night’s shows, online.

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