All Articles Tagged "black movies"

When The Bough Breaks Has Hit Weekend And Proves Black Romantic Thriller Work

September 12th, 2016 - By Ann Brown
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When the Bough breaks

It was a great weekend at the box office for When The Bough Breaks. The thriller, starring Morris Chestnut, Regina Hall, and Jaz Sinclair, racked in $15 million its debut weekend.

The movie has been highly promoted with TV commercials, print ads, Internet ads, etc., which is not normally the case for a feature film starring majority Black actors. But When The Bough Breaks is a whole new breed of Black movie– the Black romantic thriller.

If you’ve been on a deserted island and don’t know the plot, the Sony-Screen Gems film is about a successful couple–Hall and Chestnut (who produced the flick)–who hire a young surrogate (Sinclair) to carry their baby. Of course, the beautiful surrogate is more than a bit crazy and becomes obsessed with Chestnut’s character.

Normally such storylines don’t feature Black actors, but obviously in this case it worked–and worked well. “The formula for the Hollywood romantic thriller is fairly consistent…But historically, never are any of the main characters Black,” wrote the Los Angeles Times.

Another plus is When The Bough Breaks cost just $10 million to make, so the film has already made its money back and then some in just three days. So it seems Black actors can lead successful romantic thrillers.

How The Dallas Shooting Might Affect Nate Parker’s The Birth Of A Nation

July 12th, 2016 - By Charing Ball
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Image: Mandalay Pictures

Image: Mandalay Pictures

I have a feeling that we as a people are going to be feeling the effects of the mass shooting of police in Dallas for a very long time.

And that includes Black Hollywood. Specifically, the upcoming Nate Parker film, The Birth of a Nation.

The film, which is about the 1831 rebellion at a Southampton County Virginia slave plantation, is slated to open nationwide the first week of October. If you haven’t seen the trailer, check it out below:


I’m not going to lie, this looks like it will be pure fire – although word on the street is that we can expect some very interesting feminist critiques. So femmes, prepare yourself.

Still, the film itself also has an interesting backstory. It took Parker no less than seven years to write the script. And it had taken him another three years to raise the funds (which he did himself) to get it produced, filmed and eventually to Sundance. The star of the 2013 romance drama Beyond the Lights even quit his day job as an actor to focus full time on bringing Nat Turner’s story to the big screen. And all that hard work and determination would pay off as Birth of a Nation not only found a distributor, by way of Fox Searchlight, but inked a $17.5 million deal, making it the largest deal signed at Sundance to date.

The film is also extremely anticipated by many, particularly in Black households. And it has already received a lot of critical acclaim, particularly at the Sundance Film Festival, where it received a standing ovation during its premiere. Some are saying that it might even win an Academy Award.

It appeared as if the Black historical folk hero would finally get the respect he deserved.

But then the shooting in Dallas happened. According to published reports, 25-year-old Micah Xavier Johnson opened fire on police during what was supposed to be a peaceful march to protest police violence. He killed five officers.

And as some have argued, he might have killed the movement, too.

Particularly, the empathy for Black lives, which we were beginning to see in the court of public opinion. Now that has shifted in the aftermath of the shooting. Media outlets that were once asking police to “stop killing us,” are back to empathizing with police. Black Lives Matters protesters have gone from demanding justice to doing their best to disassociate what remains of the movement’s image from the violence it never promoted. Even President Obama, who was this close to saying #BlackLivesMatter after the police shooting death of both Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile, is now calling for “mutual respect.”

So what does this all have to do with The Birth of a Nation?

Well, it wasn’t that long ago when James Holmes walked into a screening of the The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado and opened fire, killing 24 and injuring up to 70 others. And it wasn’t that long ago when a man killed two at a screening of Trainwreck in Louisiana. Neither of those films are what you would call political.

Whereas, a film about the time in American history when an enslaved Black man rounded up a bunch of other enslaved persons and went on a White people killing spree around a plantation might not sit well with theater owners, particularly, in this climate.

We already have former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh openly declaring war against Black Lives Matter and President Obama on Twitter. And we also have Rudy Giuliani calling the movement inherently racist.” You can only imagine the narrative many of these jokers will come up with once this movie hits theaters. And that’s when the crazies might come out…

While published reports suggest that the two recent shootings at movie theaters haven’t had much impact on ticket sales, some theatergoers, particularly Black moviegoers, might opt to skip the in-theater screening out of fear for their safety. Likewise, the theater owners themselves might not want the financial burden of hiring new security and taking other precautions. Right now, it is only speculation.

But we all know how hard we have to fight to get our films on the big screen. And unfortunately for Birth of a Nation, this shooting might give theaters all of the legitimate incentive needed to ensure that very few get to see it.

Charing Ball is a writer, cultural critic, free-thinker, slick-mouth feminist and queen of unpopular opinions from Philadelphia. To learn more, visit

Bet You Didn’t Know: Secrets Behind The Making Of “Sister Act 2: Back In The Habit”

August 31st, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: Touchstone Pictures

Source: Touchstone Pictures

As a child of the ’90’s, Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, was on the required viewing list. We knew the plot, the songs and chuckled at all the nuns with the huge personalities. Many of us love that movie and know it like the back of our hands. And while that might be the case, there are some behind the scenes details that we never learned. Well, all of that is about to change today.

Did You Watch? Some Of The Highest-Grossing Black Movies Ever

August 24th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Straight Outta Compton is still blowing up at the box office and raking in the dollars. As that film continues to have major success, we were wondering, do you know what some of the highest-grossing Black films are? If you missed out on these box-office hits, it might be time to make it a Netflix night.

Bet You Didn’t Know: Secrets Behind The Making Of “Mahogany”

June 11th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: Motown Productions

Source: Motown Productions

Mahogany came out a little bit before my time. Still, I had always heard so much talk about how classic the piece was. And since the film is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, I decided to see what all the hype was about. If we’re being honest here, it’s far from classic film. Still, the movie is iconic, in several ways, for several reasons. So in honor of its anniversary and the doors it opened for other Black actresses and directors, we’re sharing a few secrets you might not have known.

Watch: Micheal Ealy Plays Deranged Ex Boyfriend In “The Perfect Guy”

June 2nd, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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the perfect guy trailer intro

I’m all here for diversity in Black film. While I love the classic Black rom coms like Love Jones and the coming of age stories like Boyz in The Hood, I’m also excited for Black actors, writers and directors tapping into other genres.

Last year, Taraji and Idris had No Good Deed and now, three of our faves: Sanaa Lathan, Michael Ealy and Morris Chestnut are starring in another put-you-on-the-edge-of-your-seat flick called The Perfect Guy.

Movie Insider described the movie as follows:

Leah Vaughn (Sanaa Lathan) appears to have the ideal life. She enjoys a challenging, fast-paced career as a lobbyist; Dave (Morris Chestnut), her long-term boyfriend loves her. And yet, at 36, she’s ready to move to the next phase. Marriage and a family seem a logical and welcome step. Dave is not so sure. A bit commitment phobic, his misgivings lead to a painful break up.

Enter Carter Duncan (Michael Ealy), a handsome, charming stranger whose path keeps crossing with Leah’s. Caring and solicitous of Leah and her family and friends, their relationship rapidly progresses. It seems Leah has met the perfect guy. But if it seems too good to be true… Soon Carter’s protective nature morphs into something more sinister. It’s clear Leah has to end this new relationship and when she does, her onetime lover becomes her ultimate enemy. It will take every bit of her cunning and resolve to escape and outwit him.

Ooo wee.

If you aren’t convinced, check out the trailer for the film in the video below.

Michael Ealy and Morris Chesnut will both star in the upcoming film “The Perfect Guy.” in Madame Noire Polls on LockerDome

Bet You Didn’t Know: Secrets Behind The Making Of “Monster’s Ball”

May 18th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: Lions Gate

Source: Lions Gate

When you say the title Monster’s Ball, you’re liable to get a few reactions. Some people will immediately and only remark on the sex  scene with Halle Berry and Billy Bob Thorton. Others will tell you how, aside from all the hoopla, it was actually a really good film; and others think it was completely overrated. Everybody’s got an opinion. It’s something like a polarizing film, particularly in the Black community. But we’ll get into that later. Check out some of the lesser known facts behind the making of this movie.

Flashback Friday: 10 Family Movies We Loved Most

April 24th, 2015 - By Rich
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They are the people we can’t stand but they are the people we can’t live without. No literally, we couldn’t live without them because our family created us. Good, bad, or indifferent, we all have been raised by someone in a familial setting.

Being that this is a parenting site, virtually all of us can attest to the fact not only are all families dysfunctional; but we contribute to the chaos as well. I think this is one of the reasons that we love movies about families. We see a little of ourselves or our loved ones in the characters. We love seeing them come together in the midst of conflict because we know that if whatever is onscreen happened to us we know who would be there. So for this week’s flashback is dedicated to 10 movies about family that we loved and which remind us to bring it altogether.

Flashback Friday: 10 Family Movies We Loved Most

Flashback (Good) Friday: 10 Faith-Based Films We Loved

April 3rd, 2015 - By Rich
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For those of the Christian faith, this Sunday is Easter. Preparations have been made for the Easter Bunny to visit children and we have to remind them that whenever a mythical person comes overnight to deliver presents it is a religious holiday. We have bought a new outfit for church so we can stunt because it’s tradition and because it is the one Sunday that everyone goes to church (which means unless you’re early you’ll be in the overflow room with the metal folding chair). These are all secondary to what the day is really about.

It’s the most important day of the Christian calendar because it is the resurrection of Jesus’ death to save us from sin. It is considered the supreme sacrifice that represents all that we stand for.

If you turn on the television after church and brunch you will see all kinds of movies based around some theme of love, faith, religion, and/or all of the above within a historical context. If none of those interest you, here is a list of some to enjoy with your family to remind us all valuable lessons while being entertained.

Flashback (Good) Friday: 10 Faith-Based Films We Loved

Throwback Thursday: 10 Inspiring Movies On Moving Forward

April 2nd, 2015 - By Rich
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On January 2nd, I walked into my local gym at 8 am and it was packed. By yesterday evening, it looked the same way it did two weeks prior to NYE. I say this to say that many have already broken the resolutions they mentally prepared for just months ago. For those who haven’t yet done so, I salute you. To those who already have given up on their resolutions, I say the year is just entering it’s second quarter and it’s no time like the present to get back at it! With that said, this week’s Throwback Thursday is dedicated to films in which there was a theme of moving forward… something we can all aspire to as spring ushers in a new season.

Throwback Thursday: 10 Inspiring Movies On Moving Forward