Archive for "Nia Long"

Five Movies That Needed Sequels

Published by Clay Cane on Friday, February 4, 2011 at 8:00 am.

Sure, most sequels equal disaster but there are some characters that audiences fall so in love with that we want to see again. Here are a list of movies that should’ve had a sequel.

Love Jones (1997)Yes! We needed to know the outcome of Darius and Nina after kissing in the rain. Did Darius move to New York? Maybe Nina moved back to Chicago. Did Lisa Nicole Carson’s character continue to give bad advice and did she ever find a man? We all could’ve used a Love Jones sequel – now, the moment is gone.

City of God (2002)This is one of the greatest films ever made, which is about life in the favelas of Brazil. A follow-up to the boys of City of God would’ve been incredible and the main character, Rocket, played by Alexandre Rodrigues, was an interesting enough character. There was a Brazilian television show called City of Men that was inspired from the film and latest four seasons. However, there hasn’t been anything that brought together the surviving characters of the original.

Jackie’s Back (1999)Jackie’s Back should be an epic franchise like Harry Potter. Starring Jenifer Lewis as Jackie Washington, Jackie’s Back is a mockumentary on an aging star. The original included cameos from Whoopi Goldberg, Dolly Parton, Rosie O’Donnell and Loretta Devine. There has been talk of a sequel for years but it has never happened.

To Wong Fo (1995)Of course a sequel is no longer possible with the passing of Patrick Swayze but they should’ve had a follow up in the works as soon as production finished!  This Golden Globe nominated film is a cult classic. Although Swayze has passed, I would pay good money to see Wesley Snipes as Noxemma Jackson again!

Do The Right Thing (1989)
With the right script and the original cast, a sequel to Do The Right Thing would’ve been doable. The issues in Spike Lee’s classic are still the same — however, Brooklyn is so gentrified now that Do The Right Thing would need to be titled What The Hell Happened To Brooklyn?

What movies do you think needed sequels?

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This Day in Film: ‘The Best Man’

Published by Clay Cane on Friday, October 22, 2010 at 11:38 am.

Eleven years ago today, The Best Man opened in theaters nationwide.  The film starred Nia Long, Taye Diggs, Morris Chestnut, Terrence Howard and Sanaa Lathan, and was directed by Spike Lee’s cousin, Malcom Lee with Spike as a producer. The Best Man was the last of the classic Black films of the ’90s, solidifying Nia Long and Morris Chestnut (who starred in 1991’s Boyz N The Hood) as forces in Hollywood.

The film follows the story of Harper, whose autobiographical book is about to be released. He is the best man to Lance, but the book reveals that he slept with Lance’s bride-to-be. Drama ensues with commentary on relationships and friendships.

With only a $9 million budget, The Best Man grossed over $34 million. At the 2000 NAACP Image Awards, Nia Long and Terrence Howard won awards. The film nabbed Outstanding Motion Picture. Of course this was the time when every film needed a killer soundtrack, and The Best Man soundtrack had songs from Beyonce, Faith Evans and Maxwell.

Check out the video for “Turn Your Lights Down Low” by Lauryn Hill and Bob Marley, which was the first single from the soundtrack.

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Movie Review: ‘Mooz-Lum’

Published by Clay Cane on Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 12:00 am.

Summary: Tariq, played by Evan Ross, is just entering college and is reinventing himself without Islam. Born and raised Muslim, he rejects his background, but after the horrors of 9/11 Tariq is forced to confront his roots, family and religion.

Review: Mooz-Lum made its debut at the 14th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival. In many ways, the film is a first of its kind, exposing the prejudice many Black Muslims faced post-September 11th. Starring Evan Ross as Tariq, this is a movie that is sure to spark a discussion about fear of Islam.  Directed by Qasim “Q” Basir, there is a clear vision to educate with some of the movie-making flaws redeemed by the powerful, often ignored content.

Believe it or not, Mooz-Lum has no political agenda. While you might think a movie that has 9/11 and Islam as part of the plot will be packed with politics, it’s not. This is a film about family. Evan Ross bears the weight of making this a universal experience and he succeeds. The boy has proven he has some acting chops, but I would be interested to see him in something else outside of the dark, mildly depressed characters we’ve seen him play in the past few years such as Life Support and Life Is Hot In Cracktown. But, Mooz-Lum is another acting home run for Diana Ross’ son.

Nia Long delivers the best acting of her career as a Muslim mother who leaves her husband because he is more obsessed with his religion than family. We all know the Hollywood veteran can act, but she breaks through with some extreme emotionality that we haven’t seen since her Boyz N the Hood days. Every time she wasn’t on the screen, she was missed.

Mooz-Lum stumbles here and there with some weak acting moments from the more unseasoned cast members. However, this is a memorable and important flick that I hope gets the attention it deserves.

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Happy Birthday, Larenz Tate!

Published by Clay Cane on Wednesday, September 8, 2010 at 12:00 am.

In the ’90s, Larenz Tate was one of the hottest actors in Black Hollywood. His career started in television with small roles on Family Matters, The Royal Family and Oprah Winfrey’s The Women Of Brewster Place. It was his role in 1993’s Menace II Society, playing O-Dog, that officially made him a star.

Tate could’ve easily got lumped in the gangster films of the decade, but he would expand his horizons in films like The Inkwell, Dead Presidents and playing Frankie Lymon in the biopic Why Do Fools Fall In Love, which also included Vivica Fox and Halle Berry.

But, it was his role as Darius Lovehall in 1997’s Love Jones that made him a sex symbol. Playing opposite Nia Long, the film captured a time in young Black America where the poetry scene was huge, neo-soul music was about to explode and folks were tiring of the gangster films.

There was talk of a sequel, but Nia Long told, “I heard that it’s possible there might be a sequel in the works that’s going straight to video with two other actors because I would never do that and Larenz [Tate] wouldn’t either. I think that’s going to be the biggest mistake they could ever make. It’s a cult classic and people love that movie. If you try to serve that up with different actors and a sequel straight to video, you’re going to piss a lot of people off.”

Larenz Tate’s career has continued to flourish with roles in 2004’s Crash and Ray, and he is currently on the FX Network’s Rescue Me. Larenz turns 35 today!

Check out the clip below of Larenz and Nia at this year’s BET Awards.

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This Day in Film: ‘Made in America’

Published by Clay Cane on Friday, May 28, 2010 at 8:48 am.

made_in_americaBefore Will Smith was a major movie star he was doing supporting roles in films like 1993’s Made in America, which starred Ted Danson, Whoopi Goldberg and Nia Long. Seventeen years ago today, the film hit theaters and brought in $12 million opening weekend. Worldwide, Made in America earned $100 million and was a bonafide hit movie with a majority Black cast.

Made in America follows the story of Zora Matthews (Nia Long), a teenager who is searching for her father — her mother Sarah (Whoopi Goldberg) conceived her by artificial insemination. In her search, Zora finds out that her father is White (Ted Danson). Sarah is shocked because she asked for a Black sperm donor and Danson’s character is a car salesman who doesn’t have the best manners. Will Smith plays Nia Long’s boyfriend.

The film was met with majority good reviews and legendary film critic, Roger Ebert, said in his ‘93 review, “Made in America, a movie that could have been all over the map emotionally, but turns out to be surprisingly effective.”  He also praised Goldberg’s performance.

Made in America is often a film that is forgotten. But, it is part of the beginning of Black films that came out in the ’90s that brought in money at the box office and showed that Black actors are profitable.

If you don’t remember — check out the trailer below!

MADE IN AMERICA: Movie Trailer – Watch more top selected videos about: Movie_Trailers, Made_In_America, Jennifer_Tilly, Nia_Long, Paul_Rodriguez, Ted_Danson, Whoopi_Goldberg, Will_Smith, Richard_Benjamin

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‘Love Jones’ Sequel?

Published by Clay Cane on Friday, October 9, 2009 at 12:00 am.

LoveJonesMovieThe 1997 film Loves Jones is one of the most beloved films in the history of African-American cinema.   The romantic drama was set in Chicago and followed the story of Nina Mosley (Nia Long) and Darius Lovehall (Larenz Tate).  The cult classic captured a generation of twenty-something African-Americans — all wanting a romance like Nina and Darius.

In addition, Love Jones helped launch the acting careers of Lisa Nicole Carson, Isaiah Washington and Bill Bellamy.

In my interview with Nia Long for Good Hair, which is in theaters today, she talks of a Love Jones sequel — one that would not include a Nia or Larenz…

I have to ask you about “Love Jones.” Are you surprised how people are obsessed with that movie even to this day?
Making the movie, it was just so close to what I know as being Black – Black love.  It’s the closest that you were going to ever get in my opinion — that film is timeless. For years, they’ve been saying, “Let’s do a sequel.” I heard that it’s possible there might be a sequel in the works that’s going straight to video with two other actors because I would never do that and Larenz [Tate] wouldn’t either. I think that’s going to be the biggest mistake they could ever make. It’s a cult classic and people love that movie. If you try to serve that up with different actors and a sequel straight to video, you’re going to piss a lot of people off.

I need Nina Mosley! [Laughs]
Right! It’s not even about my own ego, it’s just I do understand what it means to us. I do understand what people expect. Larenz and I made a pact, I haven’t talked to him in years, we would never do it unless it was done properly. There is no reason to touch something that was done so beautifully. Not even us as actors but just the story, the visuals, the dialogue and the music. It was rich with textures.

I think every Loves Jones fan would co-sign with Nia.  This supposed Love Jones sequel sounds like it would just be a romance flick with the label “Love Jones” slapped on it.  I don’t think the fans would be interested.  As Nia said — there is no reason to touch something that is so beautiful.

However, I would like a proper DVD release with some bonus features like deleted scenes, cast interviews and audio commentary.  The current DVD is bare bones!

Would you be interested in a Love Jones sequel with new actors?
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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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Is Beyonce making it harder for Black actresses?

Published by Clay Cane on Thursday, July 16, 2009 at 12:00 am.

aniaBy now you’ve heard Nia Long’s comments on singers and rappers turned actors, especially Beyonce Knowles, who starred in roles like Obsessed, Dreamgirls and Cadillac Records.  In case you missed it, Long told U.K. magazine Pride:

If you’re a singer, not an actress, you should sing. If you’re a rapper, you should rap.

On Beyonce’s last movie Obsessed.

I didn’t see ‘Obsessed,’ so I can’t comment, but it’s just not about how talented you are anymore. It’s about how much box-office revenue will this person generate.  When you see certain people – we won’t name names – they just don’t have the skill, and no one on their team has said, ‘You need acting classes.

Nia Long was one of the most popular Black actresses from the ’90s, starring in films like Boyz N The Hood, Love Jones and The Best Man.  While Long makes a good point – are Beyonce and musicians really to blame for the lack of African-American roles in Hollywood?  Isn’t the bigger issue what movies get the green light, the void of African-Americans owning film studios and little to no Black screenwriters?  It’s a heavy burden to put this issue on the back of Beyonce, which goes back to the days of Hattie McDaniel and Dorothy Dandridge.

On the other hand, Bey is the current media darling.  Imagine if a seasoned actress played Etta James in Cadillac Records, Deena in Dreamgirls, or the angry wife in Obsessed.  If someone like Beyonce were around in the ’90s would she have snatched up the role of Nina in Love Jones?  Bird in Soul Food?  Yes, once upon a time, pop stars like Janet Jackson (even despite her few movie roles), Jody Watley and Paula Abdul stayed in their lane when it came to Hollywood.  Actresses like Halle Berry, Angela Bassett, Nia Long and Jada Pinkett Smith were offered roles because they were the actors.  Maybe there is a lack of respect for acting — you can get by being an awful actress and still do well at the box office.  However, if you are an awful singer who was once an actor — the door is not as open.

Do you agree with Nia Long’s comments or is she pointing fingers in the wrong direction?

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‘Blackout At Sundance’ By Nelson George

Published by on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 at 3:59 pm.


Tuesday was the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States. You don’t need me to tell you what went down in Washington, D.C. It was a moment of triumphant American history. I watched this amazing event from a bar in Park City, Utah, where I was a small part of American cinematic history. I was in Park City to screen a film I executive produced titled Good Hair at the 25th Sundance Film Festival, an annual event that is America’s leading showcase for independent filmmaking. This was my fourth time out there.

Read the rest of this entry »

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