All Articles Tagged "movies"

Why The 2016 Academy Awards Might Be The Most Controversial One Yet

January 19th, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

Image Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

As the #OscarsSoWhite tweets come pouring in, once again, the 2016 Oscars seems to be under fire more than ever before. But between the Academy president’s apology and the actors boycotting, here’s why the 2016 Academy Awards might be the most important Oscars yet. Will you be tuning in?

Lucy Liu On Balancing Parenting, Her Career, and Kung Fu Panda 3

January 13th, 2016 - By Chad Milner
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Dreamworks Animation

Dreamworks Animation

After defeating Lord Shen and coming to grips with his past, Kung Fu Panda 2 teased that Po’s long-lost father is seen living in a land in which pandas live in a hidden enclave and senses that his son is still alive.  On January 29, Po and the gang return pick up where the cliffhanger left off in Kung Fu Panda 3.

Po (voiced by Jack Black), now a highly revered hero and fulfillment of the prophecies of the Dragon Warrior/Warrior of Black and White, reunites with his father (Bryan Cranston), who takes him to the secluded land in which pandas live in peace and harmony…just to realize that he doesn’t fit in there.  In order to defeat an ancient evil spirit, Kai, Po and his friends must train his newfound family and equally clumsy compatriots into an army of kung fu pandas.

 

On a recent afternoon at the Ritz-Carlton in Battery Park, we had an opportunity to screen the film and ask Lucy Liu-the voice of Viper-about the film and her most coveted role as a new mother.

Mommynoire: How do you balance being a parent and the many projects that you have going?  Do you have a schedule or do you just find a way to make it work?  

Lucy Liu:  The reality is that my work was crazy before.  My schedule was 16 to 18 hour days and very little sleep.  And then, when I did have free time, I was learning my lines or doing publicity or whatever it was.  

And so, when I had my son, it wasn’t really significantly different.  He wasn’t messing up my schedule, you know?  He’s already on a schedule even though he’s very young.  But, he gets up every four hours and he eats.  And he’s already sleeping, like, seven hours overnight, which I don’t understand.  I’m like *pantomimes feeling his head* Is he alive?  Is his head warm?  

Enjoy it, yes.  

I know.  He’s sleeping way more than I am. But, he wasn’t really in any way fostering more stress for me.  I already had a very rigorous and intense schedule.  So I knew that when I took the job that I was considering having a family.  So, I was kind of like, okay, so the best thing to do is lay the groundwork and have a job that is in one place, which would be television and something that is secure for the time being.  

Since the schedule wasn’t necessarily a shock, how else did you prepare for this new little person in your life?

I’m honest with myself and I tell myself that I’m not going to be able to do it alone, period.  I’m not going to do that.  I’m not going to sacrifice his health and well-being because my schedule is so crazy.

So I have one person that helps me on a regular basis.  And I have a team of people that I’ve been working with since my initiation into this business 20 plus years ago who I trust and rely on.  But, you know, my schedule even without him has been crazy.  And I’ve asked for the ability to cut down on my lines or something like that but that hasn’t happened.  

It’s never going to be easy.  And if I acknowledge that, I’m aware of what I’m doing.  And I know a lot of people want to be there every second.  But, now since he’s fairly portable I take him to location and to set with me.  And if it’s going to be a night shoot, I don’t take him.  I’m realistic about it.  

Are you one of those guilty moms who feels bad about working?

I’m always going to be connected to him.  I have to trust that, and I know that.  I don’t ever feel like, “Oh, my gosh!  I haven’t seen him all day.”  I’m not that kind of mother.  I’m somebody who really trusts that our connection was meant to be in the way that it is and he’s going to know that I’m always going to be with him no matter where he is.  And his job in life is to become the best person that he can be in his life.  And it’s not going to be me, like, hovering over him necessarily.

I think that sometimes as parents, for some reason people guilt each other into feeling like you have to be there at absolutely every single second, you know?  I think that it can be smothering and it also can create an unhealthy environment for yourself, because eventually your child is going to go to school and they’re going to break away from you.  That’s their job, to be independent.  And you have to allow them to be that, because they’re going to be who we are, like here in this room having a conversation without your parents with you.

You have to be able to socially engage with other people and go to work, get a job, have confidence in yourself.  You should always have them in your heart and your spirit, but you have to really be aware of that.

What do you love most about your son?  

I’m not going to pretend that I know everything about him.  He’s getting to know himself every day, what his quirks are.  And, if you listen, you really understand what it is that he needs, because he doesn’t need a lot right now.  Those are the things I can absolutely provide.  It makes you feel good that you can.

But down the road when he’s feeling sad or has gotten heartbroken, you can’t provide anything but your security.  That’s down the road, but I’m going to be in the present moment now.

And I’ve been hearing a lot, “You’ll see.”  And I’m like, “You know what?  Let me see then.  Let me just be here now.”

Everything that we do as parents, I think, is the right thing, you know?  

 

Kung Fu Panda 3 can be seen in 3D at theatres nationwide on January 29.

Chad Milner is a New York-based writer who founded the blog Single Dadventures, where he pens his (mis)adventures with his daughter, Cydney. He regularly contributes to Madamenoire, as well as various websites, giving insight on parenting, dating, relationships and music from the perspective of a young, single black father. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Ever Seen That Awful Coming To America Pilot? Movies That Sparked TV Spinoffs

December 23rd, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Paramount Pictures

Image Source: Paramount Pictures

Would you want to see a Coming to America spinoff on TV? You would probably say no if you saw the pilot. But it’s not the only classic movie that has had either tried to have a spinoff or currently has one on television.

The Parents Guide To Watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens With Kids

December 18th, 2015 - By Chuck Creekmur
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Shutterstock

Shutterstock

The new Star Wars movie is a must-see for the family. Some people – my myself – are going gaga over the series that spawned a culture of science fiction. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the latest movie that will collectively convene, unify and enthrall fans of all walks, colors and creeds. Now, you may not be into the pageantry of nerd-dom the way some of us are, but you are likely to go see this movie.  The kids, the significant other…you are going to see this movie. My daughter and I are here to assist you so we put together a guide on how to “survive” the potential mayhem of opening week for all parents and kids too.

Prep The Kids

I attempted to get my daughter to watch the original Star Wars trilogy before The Force Awakens and she kept falling asleep. It was a mission aborted. You have to go into the movie and prep your kids about the concepts and characters in this movie. It is a continuation of the original series with Return of the Jedi being the last one. Give them some insight on the concepts of good versus evil. Tell them about the characters lightly so they at least have a clue. My daughter asked a lot of questions even though she was loosely familiar with the characters. She absolutely wants to watch all the prequels to Star Wars now. By the way, I know plenty adults who are not into Star Wars like that so this applies to you too.

Snitch

When we went to the movie, there were a lot of snitches. Why? People in the movie were talking a lot. I had to get gangsta on some 11 or 12-year-olds in the movie theater, because they were chattering a lot. It was simply disrespectful to everybody around. Now, I didn’t snitch but somebody did because the cops and other forms of security came into the theater in an effort to quell the nonsense. I simply told them, “You’re too loud” and we did not have any further issue. You are welcome to wait a week or so and risk the social media spoilers. I could not take that risk. Plus, my daughter recently got Honor Roll in school. She deserved it.

Get There Early

Now, this is relative. Star Wars: The Force Awakens has already sold over $100 million in pre-sales so you may have trouble getting tickets at this time. However, I did not, because I went in the middle of the boonies. I have friends with kids going to a 5 a.m. viewing of this movie. After the movie, they will drop their kids off at school. I might add these are all highly-motivated and reasonable people. Get the tickets early and get your seat even earlier even if you have to sit for a bit. #boutthatlife.

Snacks

I am not one of these people that likes to spend crazy money on popcorn. Its not particularly good for you and its also criminally overpriced. Some people, somewhere aren’t going to want to hear this, but bring snacks. Star Wars is a really good movie and you cannot leave once the movie starts. Bring you and the family some snacks and ration them out accordingly. My daughter and I ran through ours before the movie was half over. All the suspects of The Force Awakens had us eating like savages. If we had gotten popcorn, we would have ripped through that large bucket during the previews.

Common Sense

I drank a big cup of coffee before I went to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens, because I needed an insurance policy that would keep me awake. You may need to do something else, but think it through. Use the bathroom before the movie starts. Make sure the kids do the same. If you’re going with a group of six people, you already know you’ll have difficulty getting seats in a row. Think things through. All of these minor details will help you have a great experience at one of the best movies series of all time.

First Look: Spike Lee’s “Chiraq” Trailer Released

November 4th, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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First Look: Spike Lee's "Chiraq" Trailer Released

IMDB

Amazon has debuted Spike Lee’s Chiraq trailer exactly one month before the film’s December 4 release. The project, which has attracted its share of controversy, is described by IMDB as “a modern day adaptation of the ancient Greek play Lysistrata by Aristophanes, set against the backdrop of gang violence in Chicago.”

The film’s stars include Nicki Cannon, Teyonah Parris, Wesley Snipes, Samuel L. Jackson, Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson, and Lala Anthony—just to name a few.

In the satirical film, Parris plays Lysistrata, who spearheads a sex strike among women in the Chicago, Illinois community in hopes of putting an end to gun violence.

Chiraq‘s limited release is scheduled for December 4, after which, it will be made available via Amazon Instant Video.

Peep the trailer below.

Beyonce, Blue And Jay Z Channel Coming To America For Halloween

November 2nd, 2015 - By Kweli Wright
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Instagram

The Carter’s do not play when it comes to their family costumes for Halloween. While the trio were artists last year (Beyonce was Frida Kahlo, Blue dressed up as Picasso Baby and Jay donned his best Jean-Michel Basquiat gear), this year they spent Halloween as characters from Eddie Murphy’s 1988 classic, Coming to America.

A photo posted by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

No need to hit Netflix for who they were, the exact costumes are as follows: Jay Z is Prince Akeem of Zamunda, Beyoncé is Queen Aoleon of Zamunda, and Blue Ivy is Imani Izzi, the woman who will never become Princess of Zamunda, no matter how long she jumps on one foot and barks like a dog. But please, go check out this classic flick and you’ll see how perfectly they nailed the regal characters.

Paramount Pictures

Paramount Pictures

Beyonce’s colourful costume was a gorgeous two-piece from a brand called Demestiks from New York City. Selected by stylist Ty Hunter, it was complimented by a headwrap and ornate beaded necklace. She paired the look with a skunk-printed fur, chunky earrings and black and white fringed sandals and carried a large golden goblet filled with rose petals (just like the one in the movie). She later removed her fur and larger head wrap, revealing a smaller, yellow leopard-printed one.

Meanwhile, her hip-hop mogul hubby’s costume was also on point in a tuxedo complete with a leopard-skin stole. He even nailed Akeem’s long braid, bedazzled wedge cap, and we hear he used Akeem’s accent while joking with photographers.

But the star of their movie tribute was definitely Blue Ivy. As seen in a family pic Bey posted on Instagram on Sunday, their daughter wore a gold patterned dress and high ponytail, resembling Imani Izzi, Akeem’s submissive bride and “queen-to-be,” played by Vanessa Bell Calloway.

Coming to America🎃

A photo posted by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

After watching the Halloween parade as a family, word is that the couple went out for some adult time at a party at the 1 OAK nightclub.

Last weekend, Bey also dressed up for a party, wearing an X-Men outfit to fellow R&B star Ciara’s costume-themed birthday bash.

Times Characters In Popular Films Were “Whitewashed”

October 28th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Tumblr

Image Source: Tumblr

Actor Harold Perrineau has been outspoken about critics who said his daughter, Aurora, wasn’t “Black enough” to play the character of Shana in Jem and the Holograms. But she’s not the only performer who has been criticized for playing a character they look nothing like. Did these casting choices bother you?

Surprising TV And Movie Remakes Coming Your Way Soon

October 13th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Hollywood has been busy rebooting all of our favorite movies lately. But will you actually tune into these remakes, or are all of the not-so-new movies coming to theaters turning you off?

Why Everything About This “Rebel Than A Slave” T-Shirt Is Wrong

October 6th, 2015 - By Desiree Bowie
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Meryl Streep has found herself at the center of a major controversy due to the ad campaign for her new movie, Suffragette. With an all-white cast, the movie has all ready received its fair share of naysaying for participating in the erasure of women of color from the suffrage movement. So when its core cast of white actresses appeared in a campaign donning shirts that read: “I’d rather be a rebel than a slave,” it was inevitable that backlash was soon to follow. When I saw the shirts I clearly understood the message, which was essentially, “I’d rather die on my feet than live on my knees.” But still I thought to myself, Rebel? Slave? Now why on earth would they think was a good idea?”

 

After a quick google search, I found the full quote, which happened to be from Emmeline Pankhurst, the British women’s rights activist whom Streep plays in the  film:

“I know that women, once convinced that they are doing what is right, that their rebellion is just, will go on, no matter what the difficulties, no matter what the dangers, so long as there is a woman alive to hold up the flag of rebellion. I would rather be a rebel than a slave.”

With or without context, this quote comes across as incredibly tone-deaf to people of color in the US and abroad who still suffer the repercussions of slavery. Not long after finding this quote my Google search gave me even more reason to be appalled by this ad campaign. Emmeline Pankhurst once stated that women not being allowed to vote had “grown the most appalling slavery, compared with which negro slavery becomes insignificant.” Pankhurst thought that women not being allowed to vote was a problem so terrible that it shaded chattel slavery in comparison. Is this really a woman on whom you want to base a feminist campaign in 2015, let alone a movie?

Regardless of reactions that are soon to follow over the backlash, like charges we’re being overly sensitive about a simple “t-shirt,” the campaign and all things associated with it are hurtful and trivialize one of the most grotesque eras in American history. Surely, white people will explain to us how we don’t “get” the meaning and the cycle — a sick cycle — of ignorance will continue with our feelings being rebuked and dismissed. No one would dare minimize the Holocaust or Japanese Internment Camps or any of the other shameful acts of inhumanity in our global history (except maybe the elimination of Native Americans) to make a point about a separate human rights issue, and yet here we stand with the reality of  what 400 years of slavery does to a people 150 years later and we’re constantly told in one form or another to get over it.

With current voter ID laws still negatively impacting the Black vote in America, this PR move is simply a further slap in the face to those among us still dealing with suffrage issues, not to mention a missed opportunity, particularly on the feminist front. There will always be pushback as long as there are people who aim to erase and rewrite history. Unfortunately, this film, its campaign and the history it aims to echo, only serve to illustrate how racially unaware and divided we remain.

ATL 2? The Next Soul Food? 15 Surprise Movie Sequels To Get Really Excited About

October 5th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Need a reason to get excited about going to the movies again? Check out these surprise sequels to everyone’s favorite box office hits!