On today’s edition of the HOLLYWOOD INSIDER, Dean on the Scene talks to John David Washington. The Morehouse grad got his acting by playing a small role in the biopic “Malcolm X” working with director Spike Lee. Twenty-five years later, he not only stars in the HBO drama “Ballers” but he’s also working with Spike Lee once again in the new Focus Features film “BlacKkKsman”. Based on a true story, the movie follows Ron Stallsworth, a newly minted Colorado Springs detective who sets out to infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan. I sat down with J.D. to talk about playing Ron on the big screen and playing football again on the small screen.
Nola Darling has everything – intelligence, beauty, an artistic talent that is actually recognized during her lifetime – and three boyfriends.
She’s Gotta Have It is Spike Lee’s first foray into series television and this update of his first, incredibly good (not to mention controversial) film seems likely to be as impactful.
She’s Gotta Have It launches globally on Netflix on Thanksgiving Day, November 23rd.
The 60th Annual Grammy Awards® is returning to New York City. Music’s Biggest Night® will be held in Madison Square Garden on Sunday, June 28th.
To celebrate the event’s return to New York, The Recording Academy worked with creative agency TBWA\Chiat\Day and director Spike Lee on a star-studded short film, titled “NY Stories,” featuring New York artists sharing New York musical stories.
The 60th Annual Grammy Awards® will be broadcast by CBS on Sunday, June 28th (7:30/6:30C).
Spike Lee can serve up sharp, subtle satire and he can serve up the blunt-upside-your-head kind with equal facility.
With Chi-Raq, he looks at the moment in time the death toll in the city of Chicago outpaced the death toll on American soldiers in Iraq – and both of his satirical big guns are fully loaded via, of all things, a classic ancient Greek play – Lysistrata, in which the women of Greece withheld sex from their men until they ended the Peloponnisian War.
Check out the cutting first trailer for Chi-Raq following the jump. Chi-Raq is in theaters on December 4th.
The 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival has added some more big names to its lineup.
Following the screening of Lenny (1974) Dustin Hoffman will sit down with Alec Baldwin, former co-host of TCM’s The Essentials, for an extended discussion of the film for which Hoffman received an Oscar® nomination for his portrayal of legendary, groundbreaking comedian Lenny Bruce.
Spike Lee will present the screening of Malcolm X (1992), starring Denzel Washington in one of his most acclaimed roles.
The 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival – which runs from March 26-29, will also feature tributes to two artists whose contributions behind the camera have been enormous: Film Editor Anne V. Coates, CSE (Lawrence of Arabia, Out of Sight), and Stuntman and Stunt Coordinator Terry Leonard (Raiders o the Lost Ark, The Wind and the Lion). For further details, follow the jump.
Spike Lee, Josh Brolin and other cast members talk about Lee’s take on Oldboy in a new featurette after the jump. Oldboy is in theaters on November 27th.
FilmDistrict has released a red band trailer for Spike Lee’s remake of Chan-wook Park’s Oldboy. Lee’s take on Oldboy stars Josh Brolin as the man who has been held captive by a mysterious person and then released – seemingly for no good reason.
Oldboy will be in theaters open in theaters on November 27th, 2013. Check out the NSFW trailer after the jump.
FilmDistrict has released a red band trailer Spike Lee’s remake of the Korean revenge thriller Oldoy. At first glance, it seems possible that Lee may have done right by Chan-wook Park’s original. One thing’s for sure, Josh Brolin has himself another terrific role!
See for yourself by following the jump.
Its been 10 years since I last spoke with the icon, Spike Lee and I believe it’ll be another 10 years before I get to talk with him again. He was recently in DC to talk about his new movie Red Hook Summer and his upcoming Michael Jackson Documentary Bad 25 about the 25th Anniversary of Michael Jackson’s Thriller follow up BAD.
Rachel, Leah and David have VERY different opinions about this new Spike Lee ‘Joint’. Is it worth a trip to theater? See what our three reviewers have to say about this controversial movie.
Starring Rachel Appelbaum, Leah Aldridge(@leeleereads)and David Freedman.
Directed by Amy Taylor (@WalknCandyApple).
Edited by Zack Delman.
Produced by David Freedman, Aaron Fink(@AaronEvanFink), Pedro Raposo and Cooper Griggs.
Synopsis: Flik is forced to spend the summer with his preacher grandfather and the two immediately clash over just about everything. But just as they find a common ground, their family bond is severely tested in RED HOOK SUMMER.
Red Hook Summer stars Jules Brown, Thomas Jefferson Byrd and Toni Lysaith. This drama was written, directed and produced by Spike Lee.
Spike Lee’s latest joint, Miracle at St. Anna, has a number of incredibly good moments. Unfortunately, the movie as a whole sucks big. The film, which is intended to show how black soldiers figured in World War II [and every war the U.S. has fought], has several plot threads and character arcs – enough to fuel two – or even three – sleek, ninety minute films that could make his point with benefit of sledgehammers or piledrivers.
Of course, Lee has never been known for his subtlety, but sitting through Miracle at St. Anna is somewhat akin to being hammered by a sack of flying mallets. The plot twists and turn are many and varied [there’s even a flashback in the middle of a flashback], but just in case that’s not enough, we get three different tones for each piece of this unnecessarily large puzzle. The one main theme – the treatment of blacks, even in the armed forces – is hammered home time and again. If the Buffalo Soldiers aren’t been treated like imbeciles by their prejudiced commanding officer, they’re commenting on how they’re being treated like real people by the citizens of the Italian village where they spend a few days hiding from the Nazis.
Then there’s the shining hypocrisy of a character called Axis Sally [Alexandra Maria Lara] – a version of the infamous Tokyo Rose, only she aims to sew dissension among the Buffalo Soldiers so that they will turn on their white officers and join the Nazis – who would kill them outright. You need a major appliance to cut the irony – it’s that thick.
The only really compelling arc in the film is the bond that develops between the somewhat slow Private Samuel Train [Omar Benson Miller] and an orphaned Italian boy named Angelo [Matteo Sciabordi]. The two mange to figure out a way to communicate the basics, and give each other strength.
An arc that’s meant to be compelling is the triangle developed between a village woman, Renata [Valentina Cervi], Private Hector Negron [Laz Alonzo], who is falling in love with her, and Sgt. Bishop Cummings [Michael Ealy], who just wants to get in her pants. It is clichéd and trite and again, badly handled. And let’s not forget the framing device for the film, in which the postal employee kills a customer – it was in the trailers, and in the actual film, it’s just preposterous.
At two hours and forty minutes, Miracle at St. Anna is more enervating than inspiring. I can’t put it any more plainly than that.
Final Grade: D