April 23, 2014

Tag Archives: Kimberly Elise

These movies could interrupt the ‘Whites Only’ Oscars

By Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith
HollywoodNews.com: Will the 2010 Oscars be a whites-only club? Gregg Kilday and Matthew Belloni projected the possibility in the ‘Hollywood Reporter’ back in September, and as this awards season has moved forward, indeed, the focus has been on a collection of Caucasian colossi.
Where are the faces of color? Minority stars have been busy cranking out big commercial movies this year rather than Oscar-type fare, goes the prevailing industry wisdom — Denzel Washington in “Unstoppable,” Don Cheadle and Samuel L. Jackson in “Iron Man 2.” The dearth of African-American, Latino and Asian players in the critics’ awards picks is either 1) just a coincidence or 2)another result of the recession, as distributors fail to pick up independent films that feature minorities, and studios “play it safe.”
Before we get too carried away with this theme, however, the picture could still change. There are Oscar-worthy performances by non-whites in this year’s crop of films, performances that merit more attention than they’ve been getting, starting with Djimon Hounsou in Julie Taymor’s “The Tempest.”
Two-time Academy Award nominee Hounsou plays the enslaved island native Caliban as quite literally a force of nature, the offspring of a witch and the devil. The actor studied Butoh, an ancient form of Japanese dance that represents nature, to prepare for the role. He moves with raw, animalistic grace. He went through five hours a day having makeup applied to his nearly naked body, a process the actor admits always left him in a terrible mood — which he used in his performance as a not-quite-human being consumed by rage.
Taymor continues to have the artistic audacity to follow her own creative instincts rather than playing to critics’ or audiences’ expectations, which has resulted in a “Tempest” that’s excited passionate responses both negative and positive. That this film, with its flawless performances and unforgettable stark imagery, will stand the test of time is without doubt, whether the Academy pays more attention than critics’ groups or not. “The Tempest” opens tomorrow
(12/10).
Meanwhile, would Kimberly Elise be getting more notice for her heart-wrenching portrayal of a woman who submits to abuse in “For Colored Girls” if it weren’t for the fact that Tyler Perry directed the film, and critics don’t like Perry?
To read more from this article go to Beck/Smith Hollywood.
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‘For Colored Girls’ from the world’s only (?) white, Jewish Tyler Perry fan.

By Scott Mendelson
hollywoodnews.com: For the record, I have not seen the original play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf. This is my first exposure to this material and should be treated as such. Anyway, as a film, For Colored Girls represents only a token departure for Mr. Perry. The film is basically the classic Perry melodrama. Again we are treated to African-American women who have been beaten down by life, but like most Perry stories, these tales have little to do with race and only a token amount to do with class. But this one is stripped down to its bare essentials. There is no real comic relief of any kind. There are no religious overtones and reassuring gospel music. There are no knights in shining armor to save the proverbial day. In fact, there isn’t really much of a narrative beyond the establishment of each woman’s respective crisis and whether or not there is any resolution at the end. It is a tone poem, and thus works best as a piece of performance art.
Perry’s neat trick is to turn the film into a quasi-musical, with the monologues from the show serving as ‘musical numbers’. Each actress gets one or two of these little monologues, and it’s a clever way to insert the overly obtuse original text into a conventional piece of narrative fiction. Yes, the film kinda stops in its tracks whenever someone starts into their respective poem, but it indeed feels like a conventional film musical, where a character stops in their tracks to sing about their feelings. This allows the rest of the film to generally avoid over-the-top melodrama and hysterics. Yes, there are moments of emotional grandstanding and spirited arguments, but they are relatively rare and always life-size. There’s a great scene in the otherwise mediocre Why Did I Get Married Too when Tyler Perry and his wife (Sharon Leal) have an argument involving fidelity that never rises above a whisper. Perry seems to have taken that moment to heart, as many of the more openly emotional moments are delivered as low-key as possible. Of course, this makes the third-act moments of full-bodied emotion that much more potent. Even a second-act scene of shattering violence is staged more for tension and suspense than emotional manipulation.
If it needs to be said, all of the actresses are relatively superb. Janet Jackson is [...]

This Week In Movies – “Megamind,” “Due Date,” “For Colored Girls”

By Pete Hammond
HollywoodNews.com: For the third time this year Dreamworks Animation has scored strongly at the boxoffice in their continuing challenge to Disney and Pixar to top the ‘toon parade. “Megamind,” a really funny twist on the superhero genre featuring the voices of Will Farrell, Tina Fey , Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill scored an estimated $47.7 million to lead all comers, following in the footsteps of DWA’s early 2010 hits, “How To Train Your Dragon” and “Shrek Forever After” which between them have earned over 1.2 billion dollars worldwide. One of the distinguishing secrets to the success of the Dreamworks formula, if there is one has been in the voice casting of their animated movies. Using comedians in key roles has provided those stars with film vehicles for some of their best work. It’s a conversation I had with DWA chief Jeffrey Katzenberg recently in which we both said it’s interesting that stars like Eddie Murphy, Jerry Seinfeld. Robin Williams, Mike Myers, Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jack Black, Jim Carrey, Steve Carell and others have had some of their biggest box office and critical success going the ‘toon route. I told him I thought Will Farrell’s work as the inept villain-turned-hero, “Megamind” was the best thing I have ever seen him do in movies to date and Katzenberg agreed there is something about the animation process that frees these great comedy talents to really let loose and deliver. I caught up with Katzenberg at DWA’s DVD release party for “How To Train Your Dragon” where he also mentioned that the company is now beginning work on a sequel and has a sequel to “Kung Fu Panda” coming in 2011. A sequel to “Megamind” would also seem to be a no-brainer if it continues to perform at the boxoffice this holiday season and its A- Cinemascore rating bodes well for that happening even with intense upcoming competition from “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1″ and Disney’s Thanksgiving ‘toon release, “Tangled.”

Sunday morning I also got the opportunity to moderate a Q&A at the DGA with Zack Snyder, the director of another of the Fall’s animated entries, “Legends Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga’hoole,” a stirring beautifully made 3D adventure based on a series of well-known children’s books. Snyder who made his first foray into animation with the picture [...]

“Megamind” ends the weekend with $47.6 million

By Scott Mendelson
HollywoodNews.com: There weren’t a lot of surprises at the box office this weekend. “Megamind” opened right in line with most Dreamworks animated originals, with $47.6 million. The standard for non-sequels in the Dreamworks cartoon library is $43-47 million. Opening just above “A Shark Tale” ($47.6 million) and “Madagascar” ($47.2 million), the supervillain epic has the third biggest opening for a non-sequel in the Dreamworks animation catalogue, behind “Monsters Vs. Aliens” ($59.3 million) and “Kung Fu Panda” ($60.2 million). It was their seventh biggest animated opening overall. More impressive was the 3.8x weekend multiplier, which is their biggest weekend multiplier in recent memory.
The film didn’t open anywhere near the $56 million debut of “Despicable Me,” but Universal used the yellow minions to sell the film to the kids, while using the whole ‘root for a super-villain’ angle for the grownups. “Megamind” didn’t really have a kid-friendly angle, so it was up to the parents to drag their kids along. The film played 57% female and 52% over 25 and scored an A- from Cinemascore. 66% of the tickets were sold for the 3D version (7% in IMAX 3D), which says something as it was the first major 3D release in a long time where 2D options were plentiful. Point being, if you give audiences, especially large families with young children, a 2D option, they will take it. I can say that the film looks just fine in 2D, and Paramount bought just a little bit of goodwill for not making me have to track down a 2D theater not-so near me in order to take the family on opening night.
Where it goes from here is an open question. Thanks to “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part I” forgoing 3D conversion, “Megamind” will keep those 3D screens for at least an extra half-week (“Tangled” and “The Nutcracker” both open in 3D on the 24th). Still, “Harry Potter 7″ will still get the IMAX screens, and the film will be a brutal bit of direct-demo competition. Legs like “How to Train Your Dragon” ($43m opening/$217m finish = a stunning 5x weekend-to-final multplier) are unlikely, as the former film had no real kids competition (nor competition for IMAX and 3D screens) for a good two months, and the film was a more traditionally crowd-pleasing, heartwarming tale than the more aloof superhero/super-villain deconstruction comedy (that’s not a knock, “Megamind” is yet another [...]

Weekend Box Office Review: Megamind, Due Date, For Colored Girls open well, 127 Hours explodes in limited release

hollywoodnews.com: There weren’t a lot of surprises at the box office this weekend. Megamind opened right in line with most Dreamworks animated originals, with $47.6 million.
The standard for non-sequels in the Dreamworks cartoon library is $43-47 million. Opening just above A Shark Tale ($47.6 million) and Madagascar ($47.2 million), the supervillain epic has the third biggest opening for a non-sequel in the Dreamworks animation catalogue, behind Monsters Vs. Aliens ($59.3 million) and Kung Fu Panda ($60.2 million). It was their seventh biggest animated opening overall. More impressive was the 3.8x weekend multiplier, which is their biggest weekend multiplier in recent memory.
The film didn’t open anywhere near the $56 million debut of Despicable Me, but Universal used the yellow minions to sell the film to the kids, while using the whole ‘root for a super-villain’ angle for the grownups. Megamind didn’t really have a kid-friendly angle, so it was up to the parents to drag their kids along. The film played 57% female and 52% over 25 and scored an A- from Cinemascore. 66% of the tickets were sold for the 3D version (7% in IMAX 3D), which says something as it was the first major 3D release in a long time where 2D options were plentiful. Point being, if you give audiences, especially large families with young children, a 2D option, they will take it. I can say that the film looks just fine in 2D, and Paramount bought just a little bit of goodwill for not making me have to track down a 2D theater not-so near me in order to take the family on opening night.
Where it goes from here is an open question. Thanks to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part I forgoing 3D conversion, Megamind will keep those 3D screens for at least an extra half-week (Tangled and The Nutcracker both open in 3D on the 24th). Still, Harry Potter 7 will still get the IMAX screens, and the film will be a brutal bit of direct-demo competition. Legs like How to Train Your Dragon ($43m opening/$217m finish = a stunning 5x weekend-to-final multplier) are unlikely, as the former film had no real kids competition (nor competition for IMAX and 3D screens) for a good two months, and the film was a more traditionally crowd-pleasing, heartwarming tale than the more aloof superhero/super-villain deconstruction comedy (that’s not a knock, Megamind is yet another dynamite cartoon [...]

Tyler Perry’s ‘For Colored Girls’ gets first official trailer

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Though it just recently crossed our radar, Tyler Perry’s “For Colored Girls” seems to be coming together at a rapid clip.
First, there was the rumor that Lionsgate might movie Perry’s adaptation of Ntozake Shange’s 1975 stage play from 2011 to the thick of the Oscar race … a rumor that was later confirmed when the studio claimed a Nov. 5 release sate. Shortly after that, the studio released posters from the film, showcasing Janet Jackson, Whoopi Goldberg and the rest of Perry’s cast. And now, we have a full-length trailer for “For Colored Girls,” giving us our first view of Perry’s ensemble drama.
Here’s an official synopsis of the film:
“For Colored Girls” brings to the screen Ntozake Shange’s Obie Award-winning play, a poetic exploration of what is to be of color and a female in this world. It stars Janet Jackson, Loretta Devine, Michael Ealy, Kimberly Elise, Omari Hardwick, Thandie Newton, and more.
Watch the trailer below:

“For Colored Girls” opens Nov. 5.
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Tyler Perry’s “For Colored Girls” moving up to November release date

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Lionsgate and Tyler Perry appear to be tossing their hat into this year’s Oscar race.
The studio announced this morning that Perry’s next picture, “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf,” will premiere on Nov. 5 … and not in 2011 as was expected.
The star-studded film, an adaptation of Ntozake Shange’s landmark 1975 stage study of the African-American female experience, packs Anika Noni Rose, Kerry Washington, Janet Jackson, Kimberly Elise, Phylicia Rashad, Loretta Devine, Tessa Thompson and Thandie Newton into its ensemble.
Clearly, the studio feels Perry’s drama can compete in the annual awards race. Perry had success just last year as a producer for Lee Daniels’ “Precious,” which won two Oscars (for screenplay and co-star Mo’Nique).
More on “Colored Girls” as it begins to screen, but this is a very good sign for Lionsgate, a vote of confidence for Perry, and a shakeup for the still forming Oscar picture.
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Tyler Perry generating Oscar buzz ‘For Colored Girls’?

HollywoodNews.com: Oscar pundits are warming up to Tyler Perry. The director, who has been a staple at the Lionsgate box office with his urban family dramas during the fall, winter and spring has a new title expected to bow in January, “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf.”
While it is quite early in awards season, it’s believed by some that the film could be given an Oscar run before the end of the year.
In Contention describes “Enuf” as “Perry’s filmization of Ntozake Shange’s landmark 1975 stage study of the African-American female experience. The play, a poetry-based piece taking on issues of abuse, rape, abortion and eventual empowerment, is pretty strong medicine; it’s difficult to imagine how it might work on film, and how it’ll mesh with Perry’s brash creative sensibility.”
It is assumed that “Enuf” could have the dramatic heat of last year’s “Precious,” however that film was propelled by the acclaim it received on the festival circuit. Perry raised his profile among Oscar voters last year by serving as the executive producer on “Precious.”
“Enuf” headlines an-all star wattage cast: Whoopi Goldberg, Thandie Newton, Kerry Washington, Janet Jackson, Phylicia Rashad, Anika Noni Rose, Kimberly Elise, Loretta Devine and Macy Gray.
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Photo Credit: Lionsgate
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