Covering Cinema From All Across The African Diaspora

Lots Of "Beautiful Things" To See!

I just received this yesterday via email.

It's actually quite refreshing when I get flyers like this, announcing some random screening(s) of my film, at some venue, in whatever city. It surprises me each time, in a good way of course, to know that there are people out there actually interested in screening it! It's encouraging! This is why people like me do what we do - we create art to share with the world. And it's always especially wonderful when your efforts are appreciated!

So, anyway... those of you in New York City, or who plan to be on any of the 3 days listed below (May 3rd, 9th and 10th), hop on over to Embora Studios and see a worthwhile flick... mine :o)

Details on the flyer:

Speaking Of Vin Diesel...

No need for the "milk carton" alert Invincible Woman! I found where the Diesel has been hiding for the past year or so... in Babylon, A.D.!

Yup, that's the title of his next film which is said to have wrapped production, and is scheduled for release later this year. It's labeled as a futuristic/sci-fi/action movie. The Diesel stars as a mercenary hired to deliver a package from the ravages of post-apocalyptic Eastern Europe to a destination in the megalopolis known as New York City. The "package" is a mysterious young woman with a secret.

It co-stars Michelle Yeoh and will hit theatres in late August. I haven't seen any real trailer for it... just a few teasers that don't give away much. I'm surprised about how quietly the project came to fruition. I knew absolutely nothing about it, until now anyway.

Here's the poster that's been promoted in parts of Europe. The director is Frenchman Mathieu Kassovitz best known for his critically acclaimed 1995 success, La Haine (a film I strongly recommend). You can check out the teaser trailer at the film's website -


Possibly Vin Diesel's Most Powerful Performance...

I just laid my eyes on the Diesel's very first acting performance - a 20-minute short film he wrote, directed and starred in titled Multi-Facial; a film produced in 1994 that played at the Sundance Film Festival, and won the attention of Steven Spielberg, who would later cast the Diesel in the award winning Saving Private Ryan a few short years later, based almost solely on his performance in Multi-Facial.

I'd heard a lot about this short, but couldn't find it anywhere online, until now anyway... thanks to YouTube! And I must say, it's a decent effort on Mr Diesel's part. It may actually be superior to much of what he's done since then - Saving Private Ryan aside.

In short, through a series of auditions, a young, bi-racial actor in New York City navigates the uncertain world of acting, in which his mixed racial make-up often determines the opportunities that he is presented with, regardless of his skills as an actor and obvious dedication to his craft. The film is based on real events plucked from Diesel's own life. It's an impressive debut, especially when compared to his other efforts, with a rather poignant overall message!

Watch it and share your thoughts below:


In Anticipation Of Summer Ennui...

Intro scenes from David Gordon Green's 2000 arthouse hit, George Washington, a film I recommend...

Wesley Snipes - From Day Walker To Gallow Walker

Apparently, while he was busy evading the tax man, Wesley Snipes found time to make this, his next film, entitled, Gallowwalker, a film labeled as a horror/western. The plot: When a nun broke her covenant with God to save the life of Aman, her unborn son, he was cursed for life. As an adult, Aman (Snipes) has killed those who have crossed him. But his curse brings his victims back to life, and as the undead, they pursue him endlessly for revenge. Forever suffering this curse, Aman enlists a young gunman, to fight by his side against his undead victims.

Sounds somewhat like The Blade Trilogy doesn't it?

The film was originally a vehicle for Chinese star, Chow Yun-Fat of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Pirates of the Caribbean fame, amongst many other notable titles. But apparently, nothing came of his involvement. I wonder why...

Anywho... looks like the film may get a theatrical release after all. According to the film's financial backer, Snipes's recent public tax woes have given the star and the film some much needed, unexpected, free press! No idea when it'll be released, and by whom. Although Lions Gate (home to Tyler Perry's library of work) does own USA home video (DVD) rights. You can check out the film's official website HERE and read all about it and more.

Here's the just released trailer:

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iTunes To Sell New Films Day-And-Date

Following Time Warner's day-and-date announcement yesterday...

iTunes to sell new films day-and-date.
Apple expected to announce deal with major studios
May 1, 2008

Apple is expected to announce Thursday that it has struck a deal with a wide array of major and mini studios to offer many new releases for purchase at its iTunes Store.

The move would allow a broad slate of top-shelf films to be offered day-and-date with home video releases, which risks cannibalizing DVD sales.

The new arrangement with the studios is expected to involve Fox, Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros., Paramount, Universal, Sony Pictures, Lionsgate and New Line. The deal does not include new titles from MGM but does extend to boutique firms such as Magnolia and Image Entertainment.

The deal comes on the heels of Apple's announcement in January that it had signed all of the studios to movie rentals, with each title costing just $3-$4 for consumers to access for a 30-day period. Movie purchases, however, could cost as much as $15.Apple hasn't moved as aggressively to date on film as it has in TV, with most download-to-own devoted to older titles in studio libraries. But Apple's success with those deals, which included MGM, Disney and Paramount, likely encouraged studios to take the next step.In March, Disney CEO Bob Iger publicly estimated that the conglomerate had sold 4 million movies via iTunes since it became the first studio to try download-to-own in 2006. A few major new releases already have been made available day-and-date in recent weeks on iTunes, including Fox's Juno. The announcement is expected to contain new data on the success of Apple's movie revenue to date.

The news follows Wednesday's disclosure by Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes that Warner Bros. will experiment with VOD releases day-and-date with DVD.

The announcement originally was expected to be released earlier in the week, perhaps timed to the fifth anniversary of iTunes, which was Monday. But the announcement was pushed to early Thursday.

Such a move would put significant pressure on iTunes competitors ranging from Amazon's Unbox to Microsoft XBox Live Marketplace.Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

Apple iTunes

Time Warner Going Day-And-Date For VOD

It's a start, I suppose... I expect the other studios to eventually follow TW's lead.

I think it's only a matter of time before the theatrical experience loses even more of its luster and every film will see a simultaneous multi-platform release - in theatres, on DVD, and VOD, both over cable TV as well as the Internet, for download onto portable handheld devices, all at the same time, instead of the current staggered method, giving audiences an immediate selection of film-watching options.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

NEW YORK -- Time Warner will this year make available all its DVD film titles on VOD on a day-and-date basis, CEO Jeff Bewkes said Wednesday.

With the first mover advantage among studios, TW expects to "capture a disproportionate VOD share," he said on the conglomerate's first-quarter earnings call. The day-and-date VOD decision comes after extensive trials with Comcast and TW Cable last year, which Bewkes -- who has been the industry's biggest champion of the day-and-date model -- said proved the high margins and positive business effects of this release strategy. For one, DVD sell-through was up a bit in the trials. Also, margins from day-and-date VOD run at 60%-70%, compared with 20%-30% for physical DVD rentals, Bewkes said. "It's very good for the film companies," the TW CEO said.

It is now up to TW and cable operators to work out specific day-and-date deal arrangements before consumers will get to enjoy the benefits. The timing of the first full launches is unclear for now.

Handango Inc.

Groan... Sigh... Bleh...

I don't know about everybody else, but I've just about had enough of the race for the democratic party nomination. I'm quickly becoming indifferent to it all, with all the trivial b.s. being tossed around... from all sides. I groan every time I hear words like primary, or pledged delegate, or superdelegate. I don't recall any recent party contests being this strenuous and prolonged. It all helps the other guy (McCain), unfortunately.

The entire nomination campaign process seems unnecessarily lengthy and complicated.

Enough already!

I think those voting between the two (HC and BO) know very well who their man (or woman) is by now. If you don't know, then you haven't been paying attention.

August can't come quickly enough...


Akon Calls T-Pain - Wednesday Funnies!

Akon Calls T-Pain

I'm not a fan of either, but it's almost impossible to avoid them completely... so I know just enough about each one to think this was funny...

What happens when the two most vocoded voices in music come together… with some butternut reduction?

Hancock Trailer

For those who haven't seen the full trailer for Hancock yet, here it is. There've been a couple of TV spots that have popped up on the net as well. But this trailer includes just about every clip I've seen thus far. I must say, it looks a lot better than the earlier teaser trailer which was released late last year. I remember feeling quite underwhelmed when I watched it, and even a little concerned. But this looks more promising than that teaser. I'm sure Hancock will be yet another Will Smith summer box office hit! It reaches theaters over the 4th of July holiday weekend.

Angela Bassett Reports To The 'ER'

I never caught the ERbug, even during its peak period. It's certainly nowhere near as popular as it once was, especially when George Clooney was a cast member. But at least she'll be working on a decent show, I guess...

From Hollywood Reporter:

Angela Bassett to take on a regular role for 'ER' final season
By Nellie Andreeva

"ER" is adding star power for its final season.

Angela Bassett will join the cast of the Emmy-winning medical drama as a regular next season.In her first full-time series gig, Bassett will play a tough attending with a troubled past who's coming back to Chicago after a few years in Indonesia doing tsunami relief. Her arrival in the second episode next season promises to shake County General's ER to the core.

"Angela is a wonderfully talented actress whom I've long hoped to work with," said "ER" exec producer John Wells.

In addition to Bassett, original cast member Noah Wyle will join "ER" for its 15th and final season. Wyle will guest star in at least four of the show's planned 19 episodes.Bassett, who starred in Tyler Perry's "Meet the Browns," recently wrapped the B.I.G. biopic "Notorious." She is repped by CAA and Untitled.


How About A Quickie...

"One of us is gonna get that Negro... me and you... what do you say Johnny?"
"You're on your own sistah. "

A few interesting items (at least, to me) worth sharing on a busy Sunday afternoon...

- A foreshadowing of things to come? I certainly hope not. In the 2002 Eddie Murphy futuristic box office dud, The Adventures of Pluto Nash, there is a scene in which Pluto (Murphy) holds up a stack of American dollar bills that have Hillary Clinton's face on them. I just happened to catch this, earlier today, as I was getting my hair cut, flipping through TV channels, and pausing for a few minutes to see Eddie embarrass himself. Interestingly, I've never seen the film, although, like just about everybody else, I've heard and read all the negative reviews of it. The few minutes I did see today certainly justified the reviews it received. Flipping to the channel on which it was screening, right at the exact moment that Pluto flashes the Hillary-adorned dollar bills, was rather chilling, especially since those of us in the room happened to be talking about the race for the democratic party nomination. I hope Pluto doesn't know something that we don't :o) Scary...

- Speaking of Election '08, did anyone catch the story last week about the Jonesville, SC church that put up an exterior sign that read, "Obama, Osama, hmm, are they brothers?" According to Pastor Roger Byrd, he just wanted to get people thinking, claiming that the message wasn't meant to be racial or political. "It's simply to cause people to realize and to see what possibly could happen if we were to get someone in there that does not believe in Jesus Christ," he said. Obama has said repeatedly during his campaign that he is a Christian, not Muslim. Despite some initial criticism, Byrd and his congregation refused to take down the sign. However, after the story got some national attention and accompanying controversy, the sign has come down. I can't remember what the exact number is, but I remember reading somewhere that something like 17% or more of Americans still think Obama is indeed a Muslim. Ignorant actions like those taken by the Jonesville church congregation only help feed those "fears." How Christianlike of Pastor Byrd and his congregation... I'm sure Jesus Christ would approve of your obvious attempts at deception and intent to discredit and demean another human being. May God bless you sir!

- Speaking of God (the absence of God anyway)... what would philosopher and novelist Ayn Rand say about the above pastor and congregation? What would she say about the race for the democratic nomination, if she were still alive? Who is John Galt? The answers to those questions and more could probably be found in her novels, despite the fact that they were published decades ago - notably the literary gigantor for which she is most known, Atlas Shrugged. If you haven't read the tremendous, suspenseful,1100 page novel about "a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world, and does," no problem, because, LionsGate Studios, one of the mini-majors, responsible for all of Tyler Perry's films, is adapting the story for the big screen, with Angelina Jolie starring as protagonist Dagny Taggart - although the actor who will play John Galt, Ayn Rand's vision of the perfect man, is still a mystery. I've read 3 of Ayn Rand's novels (The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged and Anthem), and, to borrow Mr T's word, I pity the fool who attempts to make a film out of any of her works, especially something as dense as Atlas Shrugged. The Fountainhead was adapted in 1949, and starred Gary Cooper, as Howard Roark. I've seen that film, but it doesn't quite do the book justice; maybe it doesn't have to... after all, both are different mediums altogether. Trying to capture an 1100 page novel into a 2-hour movie is impossible. Sure, you could probably summarize the major themes within the novel, but that wouldn't quite be the same as an adaptation. You can read a recent interview with LionsGate chief, Michael Burns, talking about the project, as well as a few words on Akeelah and the Bee, a film that LionsGate also released HERE.

- I was supposed to catch Confessionsofa Ex-Doofus-ItchyFooted Mutha this evening, but I had to give away my ticket, because something else is in demand of my attention tonight. I wish I could say that the "something else" was a booty call but, alas, it's not :o) However, the person I gave my ticket to promised me a review after she sees it tonight. I still plan on checking it out before it leaves the Tribeca Film Festival, but that's not a guarantee. At worst, I'll post my friend's review when I get it...

- If you didn't catch Reverend Jeremiah Wright's interview with Bill Moyers on PBS last week, you should. Thanks to Wigger Lover for the heads up. Here's a piece of it courtesy of the PBS channel on YouTube, where you can find the rest of it (I think there are about 5 parts to it). I believe this is the first interview he's given since the "scandal" with Obama - at least on a major network.

Ok, back to work... later kidz :o)


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