You can always count on Quentin Tarantino to go big and take chances to offer up some of the most wildly engaging, entertaining and all-around enjoyable experiences cinema’s got to offer.
Amidst a treacherous trek across the country, Django (Jamie Foxx) and his new slave owners are intercepted by the bounty hunter, Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz). The next kill on Schultz’s list are the notorious Brittle Brothers, but he doesn’t know what they look like. However, Django does. After a little unorthodox bartering, Schultz makes off with Django, but not as his slave, rather as an associate.
Django rides by Schultz’s side, learning the ways of the bounty hunter and helping Schultz complete his gigs. In turn, Schultz offers to help track down and rescue Django’s wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), from her new owner, Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). Trouble is, Candie isn’t a particularly nice guy, and he’ll never sell Broomhilda to Schultz if Schultz rides up to the estate alongside a black man and simply asks. If Schultz and Django are going to get her back, they’ll need to make Candie think he’s got the upper hand in an incredible deal.
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The first rule of San Diego Comic-Con is that there’s absolutely no way to get to everything. The second rule of San Diego Comic-Con (or SDCC) is … try to get to everything. And we here at Movies.com will attempt to do just that, or at the very least bring back a taste of the big events everyone will be talking about come this time next week.
What are some of those events, and what should you expect from our coverage? Click through to find out what we’re looking forward to most as the country’s biggest geek-friendly convention prepares to infiltrate our nerdy hearts later this week.
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Considering Night Catches Us is just her first feature film, odds are, you aren’t very familiar with writer-director Tanya Hamilton. Hamilton was always an artist, but made a natural transition from painting to filmmaking turning her ability to create a story on the canvas to creating one on the big screen and after over a decade of work, Hamilton brings us Night Catches Us.
The film stars Anthony Mackie as Marcus, an ex-Black Panther who mysteriously left town, leaving his family and friends behind without any explanation. Now it’s 1979 and Marcus is back. While everyone he’s ever known is eager to turn their backs on him, embarrass him and attempt to run him out of town, his best friend’s widow, Patricia (Kerry Washington), and her daughter, Iris (Jamara Griffin), welcome him into their home and lives with open arms.
Night Catches Us is a monumental accomplishment on a number of levels. Not only is it the result of a lengthy and trying process, especially in terms of financing, but Hamilton also captures the time period in an impressively sincere fashion. In honor of the film’s December 3rd release, Hamilton took the time to explain every step of her journey from changing artistic mediums to recruiting her top-notch leading duo and even a little about her next project. Check out all of that and much more in the video interview below.
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Ten years is a very long time to be working on just one film, but that’s just how it goes for most up-and-coming filmmakers. However, in first time feature writer-direct Tanya Hamilton’s case, I’d imagine she looks back fondly on every minute she spent working on Night Catches Us, for the final product truly represents not only the time she put into the project, but her passion for it as well.
It’s 1979 and Marcus (Anthony Mackie) is returning home to Philadelphia after having left town for quite a while without an explanation for his departure. When he arrives, everything has changed and nearly all of his friends and family have turned their backs on him. Marcus’ brothers, now ex-Black Panthers, are eager to humiliate him, threaten him and do just about anything to drive him out of town for they blame him for the slaying of their former leader years ago. However, Marcus finds a surrogate family in his best friend’s widow, Patricia (Kerry Washington), and her young daughter, Iris (Jamara Griffin).
Night Catches Us is rich in every facet. The story is gripping, the characters are enthralling, the performances are honest, the set is vivid, the camerawork is powerful and, to top it all off, the music really makes you feel as though you’re part of the film. There are very few movies that achieve such a level of greatness in so many areas that it’s easy to forget how much stronger a film can be when every layer gets its due attention. Hamilton has a firm grasp on every aspect of the filmmaking process and it shows.
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Only Tyler Perry could get Kimberly Elise, Janet Jackson, Loretta Devine, Thandie Newton, Anika Noni Rose, Kerry Washington, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad and Macy Gray in one room for a press conference. As much as these women were eager to appear on the behalf of their beloved writer-director, they were also there to promote the words Ntozake Shange who wrote the play upon which their film is based, For Colored Girls Who have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf.
In their version, titled For Color Girls, each actress assumes the role of a woman struggling with a particular issue ranging from simple relationship troubles to more severe problems. Elise plays Crystal, a woman trying to manage her husband’s violent rage. Thompson is Nyla, a young girl thrilled to lose her virginity, but devastated with the consequences. Jackson is Jo, a magazine editor who’s so wrapped up in her work, she fails to notice when the people around her need help. Devine is Juanita who is frustrated with the fact that she never knows if the man she loves will still be there when she gets home from work. Newton plays Tangie, who has a habit of bringing a new man back to her apartment every night. This behavior doesn’t go over well with her watchful neighbor, Rashad’s character, Gilda, who only wants to help. Rose plays Yasmine, a dance instructor just looking for Mr. Right while Washington plays Kelly, a social worker pained by her inability to make a difference. Lastly, Gray appears as an abortionist who doesn’t exactly have the tools to perform a proper operation.
It may seem like a lot to keep track on in words, but on the screen each lady is given the opportunity to bring her character and Shange’s words to life. Thanks to the gravity of the material, this was no easy task, but with Perry’s assistance, each and every one of them were able to overcome their anxiety and do this iconic piece of literature justice. Check out all of the details for yourself below.
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It’s too bad Tyler Perry couldn’t take a cue from his film’s title, which was chopped down from For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf, the 1975 Ntozake Shange play upon which the film is based, to simply For Colored Girls. Just like his name attracts massive amounts of moviegoers, it works like a charm when it comes to casting, too. Yes, it’s thrilling to print a massive list of famous names on your roster, try to adapt an iconic play and express a hefty handful of heavy-duty messages, but when it came to actually making those elements thrive in a film, it proved to be far more than Perry could handle.
Phylicia Rashad is Gilda, the manager of a New York City apartment building and the unofficial housemother, especially when it comes to her next-door neighbor Tangie (Thandie Newton). Night after night Tangie brings a new guy back to her place and sends them packing early the next morning, however, her younger sister, Nyla (Tessa Thompson), is dealing with an entirely different situation. She’s thrilled about finally losing her virginity, but her world comes crashing down when she finds out she’s pregnant. Even worse? Her mother (Whoopi Goldberg) is entirely consumed by her religious beliefs and would only shun Nyla for her sin.
Then there’s Janet Jackson as the big time magazine editor with an attitude, Joanna. When she isn’t tossing folks seeking charitable donations like Juanita (Loretta Devine) out of her office, she’s busy bossing around her longtime assistant Crystal (Kimberly Elise). As if life at work isn’t hard enough, at home Crystal has to deal with her abusive husband and care for her two young children. Gilda’s got her eye on the situation and even takes it upon herself to summon a social services agent, Kelly (Kerry Washington). Kelly also ends up consoling Anika Noni Rose’s character, Yasmine, after a vicious sexual assault.
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After word spread last week that two music superstars, Mariah Carey and frequent Tyler Perry collaborator Janet Jackson, were being considered for the director’s next film, “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf,” fans wondered if the rumors could be true. And on Wednesday (March 31) at the junket for “Why Did I Get Married Too?,” Perry confirmed the casting news.
However, Perry pointed out that other women who have been rumored to be attached to the flick, like Halle Berry and Jill Scott, are still just rumors. “Let me tell you the cast,” he said, with “Why Did I Get Married Too?” star Jackson by his side. “It’s Janet, Mariah, Whoopi Goldberg, Phylicia Rashad, Jurnee Smollett, Kimberly Elise, Kerry Washington, Loretta Devine,” he said, adding that Anika Noni Rose has also been added.
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