Tag: Movies

The Problem With Zoe

#NinaSimone

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It’s not that Zoe Saldana is a Latina playing the role of legendary singer Nina Simone. Really, it isn’t. Because we all know that Latinas come in all colors and flavors. But its the fact that Hollywood had to go through such troubling lengths to give off the slightest impression that Ms. Saldana is a Blacker than Black singer. From the blackface and prosthetic nose, to her previous lightweight roles, Zoe Saldana neither carries the weight, soul, or appearance of one of the greatest, soul singers of our time. Did they really think that Nina Simone fans would be down with that? Especially when there are dozens of actresses who could tackle the role with aplomb. It says something when even Ms. Simone’s family disapproves!

BET founder Bob Jonson, whose production company is backing this disaster tries to save face by standing behind the casting decision:

Zoe Saldana delivers an exceptional and mesmerizing tribute to Nina Simone. She gave her heart and soul to the role and displayed her extraordinary talent. The most important thing is that creativity or quality of performance should never be judged on the basis of color, or ethnicity, or physical likeness. Quality entertainment should be measured by the sheer force of creativity and the commitment that an actor or actress brings to the performance. We are proud to distribute the film headlined by Zoe Saldana and David Oyelowo on April 22, 2016.

We’re not buying it. You’d be 1,000 times better off watching the amazing Netflix documentary instead.

Lavish Movies: Chi-Raq New York Premiere

#Chiraqthemovie #putdowntheguns

This is a movie to see. It’s been a long time since Spike Lee put out something that I got hyped about, but he did it with Chi-Raq. Set in Southside Chicago, this film tells the tale of one woman who starts a movement to end the violence, using the oldest and most powerful tool known to mankind: sex.

The film is urgent, arresting and thought-provoking. Based on the Greek play “Lysistrata”, Chir-Raq follows as a group of women, lead by a woman of the same Greek name,  begin a sex strike to convince men of rival gangs to end the gun violence after yet another death of  a child, senselessly murdered by a stray bullet. The film is led by a smart group of actors including, Teyonah Parris, along with Samuel L. Jackson, Angela Bassett, Wesley Snipes and Jennifer Hudson among many others.

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Following the film premiere was a march led by Al Sharpon and the National Action Network, along with Lee, Nick Cannon, and a host of local leaders from New York and Chicago who shed light on the ongoing plight of gun violence in the inner city.

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Chi-Raq premieres in theaters December 4.

David Oyelowo is Terrifying in Nightingale


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Well. That was disturbing.

I think I might even have nightmares. It takes a certain type of talent to carry an entire film with only yourself and a single set, but David Oyelowo, of Selma fame, plays it off to shocking effect. I stumbled upon Nightingale a few nights ago while burning the midnight oil, intent on simply having the movie play in the background while I worked. But I found myself caught up in the gripping tale as I watched Oyelowo’s psychotic character document himself on social media videos, engage in conversations with a mirror, and conjure up elaborate relationships that devastatingly jarred with reality. This film is black, haunting, and unredeeming. You may want to watch this with a friend. And sleep with the lights on.

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