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Friday, October 10, 2008

Random Movie News....

Finally, some substantial happenings...

First up, one of my favorite Black directors F. Gary Grey is slated for a new movie. From Variety (thanks Sergio):

Millennium Films is plotting a remake of 2004 French heist drama "Le Convoyeur," and the studio is negotiating with Eric Bana to star and F. Gary Gray to direct.

Scripted by David Ayer and Andrew Kevin Walker, the drama has been retitled "Armored" and relocated to Michigan. Story follows a man who takes a job for an armored car company and ingratiates himself with his co-workers, who trust him enough to make him part of their heist plans. Unbeknownst to his colleagues, the man had his own motives for taking the job.

From IW: Could be good, tho I find Eric Bana pretty bland as an actor.

Many of you expressed strong feelings about the Forest Whitaker's "too black and ugly" debacle. I must admit, I'd rather look at his mug than all of these endless, nondescript, vanilla faces in film and TV as of late. I'm so very glad my man keeps it moving by producing and directing his own sh*t, eff that Hollywood Jim Crow:

Award-winning actor, producer and director Forest Whitaker will direct and star in jazz great Louis Armstrong's biopic "What a Wonderful World" for Paris-based Legende, the company behind La Vie En Rose. "Armstrong left a monumental mark on our lives and our culture," Whitaker told "He lived an amazing life and, through his art, shifted the way music was played and would be heard after him, not just here in the United States but all over the world."

From IW: Good for him. I just hope it's better than "Bird", where he played jazz legend Charlie Parker. I'm sorry but I thought that movie was disastrous, not to mention boring as hayell.

File this one under *sigh*. I know a lot of you are fans of so-called "nigglature" and I try to stay away from that subject. However, when I see more McDonald's-like mess being brought to the screen, I must speak up. From Black Talent News:

Arthur Wylie, the Atlanta-based investor and self-made millionaire, has acquired the film rights of New York Times Best-selling author Omar Tyree's work. Wylie's company, Arthur Wylie Productions, not only holds the film rights to the current novels, but to any future literary works as well.

From IW: OK, I must confess, I don't know anything about this Wylie dude, and I'll google him later (his pic above). But what I want to know more is...isn't there an author out there just a little more worthy of your investment? Octavia Butler just to name one out of say...maybe 100, I'm just saying. I read about 2 chapters of one of Tyree's books, and my eyeballs went into cardiac arrest....more junk food for the masses.

Tyler Perry opened his new studio, and everybody and their mama showed up--you know our folkses love some free scrimps! Here's to hoping he does some positive and progressive things with this massive opportunity.

Holly Robinson Peete and her undercover bitch-on-wheels mama, Dolores Robinson, at the opening.

"The Express" opens today, starring Rob Brown, which is the story of Ernie Davis, the first Black Heisman trophy winner. Is anyone checking for this movie? Let me know....

Got this in my email from reelblack, a group of folks that I absolutely adore-show them some love y'all, they are always doing great things related to Black Cinema:

Mike D's latest short film, THE 13TH AMENDMENT is currently part of CNN's IREPORT ONLINE FILM FESTIVAL. We Need your vote.

The 5 minute film concerns Helen Dennis, a 90-year old great-grandmother and her trek to vote for Barack Obama in the 2008 Pennsylvania Primary election. It's the first time she's had the chance to vote for someone of her race for the office of President. The film has screened successfully at the Urbanworld Film Festival in New York, The Reel Soul Festival in Charlotte and will make it's television premiere on BET-J later this month.

But the CNN IReport Festival is perhaps the most important screening opportunity we have for the film. There will be a jury award and an audience award. The winners will be flown to Washington, DC to attend the Presidential Inauguration on January 20, 2009.

It would be awesome for Mrs. Dennis to witness firsthand what promises to be a history-making event. So we are asking that you view the film online at and give it a 5 star rating and leave a brief comment.

Please spread the word. We are already one of the top 5 highest rated clips. With your support we can be #1.

And finally for those of you that were outdone with the Jennifer Hudson/Punk union, feast your eyes on this:




David Ayer and Andrew Kevin Walker are usually reliable writers, so F Gary Gray should have something strong to work from. Let's hope he delivers.

Omar who? Flipping through TV channels a few nights ago, I saw a trailer for an upcoming late night "adult" series on Showtime based on the writings of one of Tyree's contemporaries, also known as Zane. It looked like those silly Troi/Pandora's box movies from a few years ago.

While Tyler Perry was living it up at his studio opening, protesters (fired writers) were picketing outside. I too hope he does some progressive things with his studio, and not give us more of the same. I assume he'll open it up to other filmmakers to use for their own individual projects.

BTW, I'm helping put together an NYC screening of Dennis Dortch's film, "A Good Day To Be Black & Sexy." I think Sergio knows a thing or two about the film. It'll happen on November 12th and is the film's NYC premiere. I'll email you details for you to disseminate.

Invisible Hand said...

It's funny... of all the stories I've heard about people out here, there hasn't been ONE positive story about Holly Robinson and her Mama. I'm just saying.

As far as Tyler Perry... if he's not willing to pay union wages and guarantee union protections, he's not going to get quality work.

sdg1844 said...

Oh Jennifer. I have zero words.

I've never read Omar Tyree because I always viewed him as part of the whole "urban genre" that bugs the hell outta me.

I like F. Gary Grey as well. I guess we'll see what happens.

I wish Forest all the best as always. I haven't seen "Bird" in forever & don't really remember much about it.

bklyn6 said...

Re: Jennifer Hudson I sense some Terry McMillan/Starr Jones-type drama in her future.

Anonymous said...

Can't knock the hustle of Tyler Perry, however it's like I said before, what goo is it to have a black studio, if sub par is coming out of it.

I liked bird it was ok.

Omar Tyree, well I checked out his book "The Last Street Novel" on cd from the library to see what all the fuss was about him. It was somehing to feel the air while I drove, nothing really great, it had flashes of some good stuff, but overall it was just ok.

Villager said...

I have your blog on my RSS-feed ... so I read each post, however, I don't come and leave comments. As I completed reading this post I wanted to come online and let you know that many of us are ~lurking~ and enjoying the information that you provide on the entertainment industry.

Keep doin' what you're doin'...

peace, Wayne

clnmike said...

I'll reserve judgement on Omar Tyree's work going to the big screen. His books might translate better there and like Tyler perry's work it's something we dont see enough of on the big screen regardless how bad the writing.

The Express should of been a TV movie.

Anonymous said...

Now it's Louis Armstrong. I swear, this shit never ends. Black actors always have to play real people in order to land a meaty script (and an Oscar nod), because nobody will write them a comparable part based in fiction. And it's not only our entertainers who've led cinematic lives, either. This overused source material only reinforces our place in society - we have no substantive contributions to make besides those of our singers and point guards. What about films concerning Frederick Douglas, James Baldwin, Mae Jemison, Mandela, etc.?

Exquisitely Black said...

Omar Tyree on film...sigh. From another Octavia Butler fan (ok she is my favorite writer and inspired me to write too), I would so rather see some of her work or even Charles Saunder's Imaro on the big screen.

Wonder Man said...

I don't know what to say about Jen and David

Invisible Woman said...

@wue: yeah, tyree and zane specialize in that *cough* "urban fiction", that is made of stuff like "trois"

please keep me posted re. "agdtbbas"--i would love to post it

@invisible hand: never had a problem with holly...but that mom--i'm sure everything you heard is a massive understatement---here's to hoping you never have first hand experience...that woman is certifiable.

@sdg1844: glad to see an intelligent woman agrees with me about tyree. it's funny, but you never really see/hear any references to Bird, tho i think that's with good reason, haha.

@brooklyn 6: good to see you :-)

and just like star and terry, everybody can see it except jennifer!

@midnight raver: spot on about Tyler--let's hope he has an epiphany of sorts...

Invisible Woman said...

@villager: so glad to see you!i was thinking about you last week, kinda missing your comments, kinda sad you weren't i feel much better :-)thanks for the encouragement...

@clnmike: it does look like a tv movie yes? and not even good enough for hbo or showtime, imho.

@anan: used your comment in my post today

@e. Black: why, why, why can't anyone with the power to make projects like that happen just do it? I just don't get it....

@wonderman: that's why all i could say was "wow"

madame z said...

Omar Tyree, his work, his canon, the canon to which his works belongs has never interested me. I tried to read some of those type urban fictions but dear God, when it comes down to me thinking "I" can write just as well...then why am I wasting my time reading theirs? LOL.

Congrats to Tyler on the studios, now lift yourself out of the mediocrity you've been wading in.

I saw Bird once. Didn't realize until now who directed. I think I might've been a youngin' back then. At any rate, don't remember much of it.... meh.

I love F. Gary Gray and where the hell is The Brazilian Job??? Did they shelve that project or what?

Invisible Woman said...

@madame z: I don't know what happened to the Brazilian Job. It seemed to just quietly go away, never to be brought up again. Maybe they realized it was really just unnecessary....

As far as Tyree and all the other so-called "nigglature" out there, I always think I could write a better book to--it's pulp fiction as far as I'm concerned. The difference is, those authors are actually out there writing books---so until I write one, I can't really say too much.

D.J. said...

I said it before and i will say it again....GURL I thought he was gay!!!!!!

Regina said...

LOL@Bklyn6!!! I still can't wrap my brain around that mess, and he appears to have gained the weight she lost...

I don't do Omar Tyree books, as a matter of fact I don't do those kinds of books (Black, hot ghetto mess, love, drama, sex books) they are a waste of my time.

Invisible Woman said...

@dj: lol!!!!

@regina: dude does look like he's been eating some meals, fo sure.

and i agree with your statement about those books--i know some people like them, but for me they are a waste of time and money.