Category Archives: Film & TV

BHERC Presents 24th Annual Sistas Are Doin’ It For Themselves

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*(Hollywood, CA) – Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center proudly announces its 2017 Filmmakers at the 24th Annual Sistas Are Doin’ It For Themselves and will screen 8 short films on Saturday, April 29, 2017, at Raleigh/Chaplain Studios, 5300 Melrose Ave in Hollywood, CA at 7:00 p.m. The films are by emerging African American Female Filmmakers and the event will be moderated by award-winning editor, Lillian E. Benson, ACEBHERC encourages Men and Women to #BringYourDaughterToTheMoviesDay, to be inspired, uplifted, motivated, entertained and educated. Continue reading

Deborah Cox Stars in ‘The Bodyguard’ at Hollywood Pantages, and Has New Album to Boot!

Deborah Cox in The Bodyguard
Deborah Cox in The Bodyguard

*After having been compared vocally to the film’s original star for her entire professional career, R & B star and Broadway legend Deborah Cox has decided to take the comparison head-on.

She has been touring the country — and earning rave reviews — in the lead role in The Bodyguard musical, which was first introduced to audiences via film in 1991.

Cox has also just released I Will Always Love You, an exceptionally well-sung collection of  covers including anthems, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” and “The Greatest Love Of All.”

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Fans can breathe a sigh of relief. Cox has done the legend justice, and in a couple of cases, her versions actually improve upon the originals.   Continue reading

New Beauty and the Beast Flips the Script on Gender, Race Roles

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*The new live action Beauty and the Beast succeeds on almost every level, and actually surpasses the original in a couple of key aspects.

I know.  I was shocked, too!  

I had trouble believing that Hermione from the Harry Potter franchise would be believable as one of Disney’s most engaging princesses, but within minutes, Emma Watson made me a believer. I should have known she’d be able to handle the CGI-intensive role, as she spent over a decade perfecting her gaze into a green screen in eight Harry Potter smashes.

Watson finds her vocal footing quickly and by the time she scales that clover-lined hillside singing “I want adventure in the great wide somewhere,” she gives Julie Andrews a run for her money. I fell in love with Watson’s Belle at the exact moment that the Beast did, as will every other father of a daughter. I won’t give the moment away, but have some Kleenex ready. And Watson absolutely nails that critical scene at the end that precedes Belle’s “happily ever after.”

Watson and director Bill Condon conjure up a new image in this Beauty that’s been ignored or missed by other critics. When Belle rides up on her white horse to save the day, as she does two or three times during the film, the image effortlessly reverses over a century of Hollywood’s almost exclusive positioning of men in that critical “hero” role. It’s an image that I won’t soon forget — nor will any girl who sees this film. Belle beat Hollywood’s Wonder Woman to the punch in the hero department by a month or two. Continue reading

Jackson Fans Go Nuts Over FB Live Videos of Author Shana Mangatal and EURweb’s DeBorah B. Pryor

L-R Shana Mangatal and DeBorah B. Pryor

*Oh boy! We couldn’t let this one go by.

Apparently, EURweb senior editor DeBorah B. Pryor has been steppin’ out on us. As it turns out, she and ‘Michael and Me’ author, Shana Mangatal, have been hosting Facebook Live videos, and from the number of views and active participation, MJ fans have been overjoyed at the teaming — with some even saying they should get a talk show!

In this, the 2nd of their FB Live videos, Shana reveals exclusive never-before-released naughty lyrics dictated to her by Michael Jackson over the phone, when she was a receptionist at the office of his management team, Sandy Gallin and Associates. Continue reading

Former Celebrities Who Left Hollywood for ‘Regular’ Jobs

Freddie Prinze, Jr.
Freddie Prinze, Jr. I remember your daddy!

*You’ve heard the saying, “Everything that sparkles ain’t gold” right? Well, suffice it to say that doesn’t only apply to jewelry. In this case, it represents all of the people who have made it to the celebrity list…without the celebrity money. So what do they do?

Like the chorus of the old Silhouettes song sings: “Get A Job.”

Listen, the reality of the entertainment industry, in the event you didn’t know, is, everyone has a periodic lull. Nobody is working and getting paid in their craft all the time. Now let’s be real, if you’re making several million dollars an episode on a network TV gem or a blockbuster film, your pain is going to be different than the pain of someone making a fraction of that.

So it should be no big surprise that there are people whose name we may recognize that we may very well see standing behind the counter at the post office saying, “How can I help you.”

I’m not even going to front, I would have the hardest time keeping a straight face if I happened upon this. Continue reading

See Kong and Brie Larson’s Tank Top On As Big A Screen As You Can Find

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*Back in the old days, you had to wait for summer for a cinematic summer blockbuster. Sounds reasonable, right? Well, thanks to Kong: Skull Island, summer has arrived — at the movies, at least — a few months early.

It only took 84 years for Hollywood to make a worthy successor to the original King Kong. which terrified audiences when it debuted in 1933 as one of Tinsel Town’s first “talkies.” No, I was NOT there…but I’m told theaters had to hire medical professionals to be on hand during screenings, as audiences members routinely fainted when Kong showed up on screen.

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Successors to the king’s throne have always fallen a little short. 1933’s Son Of Kong was cute but not thrilling, the 1976 version was downright cheesy (with a guy in an ape suit in the title role), and Peter Jackson’s 2005 version improved upon the special effects of the original but never found Kong’s heart. And let’s not even mention 1962’s awful King Kong vs. Godzilla.

This time around, they finally got it right. Kong: Skull Island debuts just a week before Hollywood will trot out another “beauty and the beast” tale that’s as old as time, but THIS beast isn’t singing Alan Menken tunes. Continue reading

How Moonlight Muted Me, and Gave Us A New Paradigm For Gay Black Men

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*I saw the Academy Award-winning Moonlight for the first time at the beginning of its initial run in theaters, last fall. I walked into a screening of the movie with every intention of reviewing it. I walked out having been profoundly moved, forever changed, and temporarily muted. I simply couldn’t find the words to describe the movie.

I’d not felt that way after seeing a film since Precious, another film with honest, gritty performances, flawed, human characters that commanded my attention, and a character arc that left me literally exhausted and speechless. I felt the same way after seeing Monster’s Ball and, to a somewhat lesser extent, Dreamgirls.

In all of those prior cases, the films went on to win Academy Awards, and I’d accurately predicted them. In the case of Monster’s Ball, I knew that if Halle Berry hadn’t gone on to win the Oscar for Best Actress, it would have been due to racism in the industry. Berry’s performance, particularly a critical scene during which her character is processing an unfathomable loss, earned that trophy.

Similarly, after watching Moonlight, I called Mahershala’s Oscar, the screenplay award, and the Oscar for Best Picture. I knew if Moonlight didn’t win on Oscar night, homophobia — not racism — would have been the primary culprit.

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Mahershala Ali as “Juan” in Moonlight

Continue reading

‘Big Bang Theory’ Cast Members Make Generous ‘Pay Cut’ Gesture for Fellow Cast Members to Get Raises

Mayim Bialik (back left) and Melissa Raunch (right left)
Mayim Bialik (back left) and Melissa Rauch (right left)

*Sometimes you just can’t pass up an opportunity to show what human kindness really looks like. I was touched when I learned that the original actors from the popular comedy The Big Bang Theory offered to take a pay cut so that two other cast members who came onto the show later, and don’t make as much, can get raises when new contract time comes around.

Wow! Talk about putting your money where your mouth is! Continue reading