January 22, 2017

Tag Archives: Keith David

“The Nice Guys” is a phenomenal comedic showcase for Ryan Gosling

As a huge fan of Ryan Gosling and Shane Black’s underrated Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, I had a pretty good feeling that The Nice Guys was right up my alley. So, perhaps it wasn’t a shock that I loved this movie. Still, it was an absolute pleasure to watch Black again ace the buddy cop genre. As much fun as anything I’ve seen this year, it’s an absolute hoot. Opening this week after a successful debut at the Cannes Film Festival, it really should be a big hit, provided audiences are actually aware of its existence and subsequent quality. My fingers are crossed, but I’ll do my part here to sell you on it too. It’s one of 2016’s best to date.
The film is an action comedy film noir, if that makes sense. Set in the late 1970’s, it follows two private investigators who are brought together to look into the disappearance of a young lady that may be tied to the death of a porn actress. The private eyes couldn’t be more mismatched, but they do make a good team. Holland March (Gosling) is an alcoholic bumbler, but also an occasionally talented sleuth, someone holding it together for his daughter Holly (Angourie Rice). Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) is a straight laced enforcer, one we meet as he’s being paid to break Holland’s arm. Of course, as they bicker and investigate the case, things aren’t as they seem and a large scale conspiracy is revealed. Black directs and co-writes with Anthony Bagarozzi, while the supporting cast includes Kim Basinger, Matt Bomer, Keith David, Jack Kilmer, Beau Knapp, Margaret Qualley, and more.

I loved just about every aspect of The Nice Guys, so kudos to Black there, but in particular what I want to highlight is how I loved the physical comedy put forward by Gosling. He can do slapstick in a way that’s just an utter delight. Crowe is very good here too, but Gosling steals the show in a big way. Black knows how utilize actors, and just like he did in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, he gives Crowe and especially Gosling room to both play and shine. For my money, it’s one of the best performances of his career and a comedy highlight for an actor who really should do this thing more often.
Awards wise, I suspect we won’t really see too much attention paid to this one, but […]

Cloud Atlas is visually dazzling – Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Sturges, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant

HollywoodNews.com: Wow… just wow. This is exactly the kind of film that we claim Hollywood lacks the nerve to make and yet here it is. It’s based on an acclaimed science fiction novel. It stars the likes of Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturges, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant, Keith David, Jim Broadbent, and James D’Arcy.
It cost $100 million to make yet looks like it cost $500 million. It’s rated R. It runs 164 minutes. For those who claim that Hollywood doesn’t make movies for adults anymore, you kinda have a duty to check this out in three months. Warner Bros. is seemingly showing some of that old-school hands-off courage that made them my favorite major studio for most of my life, letting Tom Tykwer and the Wachowskis run wild once again. Since I have not read the 2004 book that this film is based on, I cannot say how spoiler-ish this footage is, but considering how under-the-radar this picture is 90 days before its debut, I’d argue that this is a necessary marketing tool to get people talking. Long story short, this looks spectacular and instantly shoots to the upper-realms of my ‘must-see’ list for fall/winter 2012. To be fair my secret wish is for Cloud Atlas to be so good that it causes people to reevaluate the inexplicably undervalued brilliance of Speed Racer and even (to a lesser extent) the Matrix sequels. Cloud Atlas opens on October 26th. I suppose ‘we’ll see’, but yeah, go see it regardless.

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Bow Wow’s ‘Lottery Ticket’ releases new featurette

HollywoodNews.com: Erik White’s new film “Lottery Ticket” starring Bow Wow, Ice Cube, Brandon T. Jackson, Naturi Naughton, Keith David, Charles Q. Murphy, Loretta Devine, and Terry Crews has just released a new featurette for the film.
Kevin Carson (Bow Wow), a young man living in the projects, wins $370 million in a nationwide lottery. When his opportunistic neighbors discover he has the winning ticket in his possession, Kevin must survive their greedy and sometimes even threatening actions over a three-day holiday weekend before he can claim his prize.
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Watch the new featurette below:

Hollywood Movie Roundup: Give me “Kick-Ass” or give me “Death”

BY Kevin Crust
You can put your 3D glasses away because for the first time in weeks a 2D movie should rule the box-office roost. Two modestly budgeted genre movies will duke it out for the top spot with “How to Train Your Dragon” a threat to slip back into second place should either stumble. The first up is the highly marketed movie:
Director Matthew Vaughn (“Layer Cake”) co-wrote (with Jane Goldman) this adaptation of the hyper-violent Michael Millar comic book series about a regular teen who tries to be a superhero and discovers that he is not alone. Nicolas Cage is the big name, but he’s in a supporting role with Aaron Johnson and Chloe Moretz poised to breakout if this catches on.
Critics are giving “Kick-Ass” a surprisingly warm welcome with Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times citing its exacting knowledge of its largely adolescent male, comic-collecting audience’s fantasies. Manohla Dargis of the New York Times reps those more impressed by the then-11-year-old Moretz’s performance as Hit Girl. Ebert and fellow Chicagoan Michael Phillips of the Tribune are simply not that interested with Ebert finding it “morally reprehensible.”
This one’s been buzzing since Comic-Con 2009 and the positive reviews will only bolster the online echo chamber of the fanboys. With nine months of gestating anticipation built up, the film looks like it could join titles such as “Sin City” and “Kill Bill, Vol. 2” among the biggest gross R-rated April openers ever with a take between $25-$30 million.
A remake of the well-regarded 2007 British-American comedy, its been relocated to L.A. and stocked with a mostly African American cast, but it’s faithful enough that original screenwriter Dean Craig still gets the credit. Chris Rock and Martin Lawrence head the cast as the battling sons of the deceased. Peter Dinklage reprises his key role from the first movie, while Tracy Morgan, James Marsden, Loretta Devine, Regina King, Keith David and Danny Glover are also on hand. Director Neil LaBute steps away from his prolific playwriting career and indie films to give mainstream comedy a shot.
The reviews have mostly been middling, but Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times writes that it’s funnier than the original. Most critics, however, such as Stephen Holden of the New York Times and Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times, acknowledge some laughs but deride the plug-and-play mentality that went into making it.
The original was an […]

Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence upstaged in “Death at a Funeral”

Death at a Funeral (**1/2 out of 4)
Someone needs to get James Marsden his own comedy. He’s seriously funny. Sure, he showed glimpses of personality as variety show host Corny Collins in Adam Shankman’s “Hairspray.” And his Prince Edward helped make “Enchanted” feel … well, enchanted.
But would you have guessed Marsden would outright steal scenes away from Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence, Tracy Morgan, Keith David and other very talented comedians as he does during Neil LaBute’s “Death at a Funeral” remake? His performance as a nervous fiancée tripping on a hallucinogenic relies on facial maneuverings, surprised reactions, fearless physical antics and the knowledge of when to underplay the joke. It could have been very broad, but Marsden keeps it in check … which somehow makes it feel overblown. It’s a high-wire act, and he walks it well. “Funeral” will serve as his sizzle reel the next time he auditions for his own comedic franchise. A wise studio executive would sign him before this weekend’s box office results drive up his asking price.
The rest of “Funeral” is consistently amusing but rarely laugh-out-loud funny — a bit of a disappointment considering the comedic potential of this cast. Part of the problem is that all of this has been done before, and recently. LaBute’s “Funeral” is a near shot-for-shot remake of a dark British comedy that came out in 2007. Rock’s character, Aaron, has to juggle an army of cartoonish personalities during his father’s funeral. There’s Ryan (Lawrence), his young and far-more-successful brother who is the family’s prodigal son. There’s mean Uncle Russell (Danny Glover), who makes it his business to abuse his obedient handler, Norman (Morgan). And there’s Frank (Peter Dinklage, reprising his role from the 2007 original), who has compromising photos of Aaron’s father which he wants to use as blackmail.
“Funeral” has some of the same issues that derailed “Harlem Nights,” Eddie Murphy’s lone directing credit that attracted comedic heavyweights Richard Pryor, Redd Foxx and Arsenio Hall, but never figured out how best to use them. “Funeral” handcuffs Rock to the straight-man role, neutering his ability to be funny. Lawrence’s character is defined by his clichés, while Morgan stoops to a disgusting (but admittedly hilarious) toilet joke to score the film’s biggest laugh.
In between the cracks lurks Marsden, who snatches laughs from thin air while his co-stars can only stand around and watch. When it […]