CHICAGO – Mention the name Harry Lennix, and images of his many character roles are bound to emerge – Harold Cooper in the TV series “The Blacklist,” General Swanwick from “Batman v Superman” and Commissioner Blades from Spike Lee’s recent “Chi-Raq.” The deeply knowledgeable Lennix brings his years of dramatic expertise, as he directs the Congo Square Theatre Company’s world premiere stage play “A Small Oak Tree Runs Red.’
CHICAGO – Salim Akil’s “Jumping the Broom” is the sort of sociological comedy so hell-bent on smothering the audience in a sentimental love-fest that it quickly softens its potentially biting premise. Akil’s background in television (“The Game,” “Girlfriends”) may explain why the film feels like an uneasy melding of sitcom and soap opera clichés. Any time the film threatens to become interesting, it instantly goes into autopilot.
CHICAGO – There is a tradition within the African American community during weddings. It stems from the past, when marriage was deemed illegal for the race, and provides the title for a new film, “Jumping the Broom.” The now symbolic gesture is the basis for a clash between families and social classses in one seriocomic marriage weekend.
CHICAGO – In our latest comedy edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 35 admit-two passes up for grabs to the advance Chicago screening of the new film “Jumping the Broom”!
CHICAGO – Tyler Perry must have a bit of internal conflict. On one hand, he gets critically slammed for films that display little creative effort at all like “Madea Goes to Jail” or “Why Did I Get Married Too?” but those movies make money. Then he tries to do something clearly considered artistic with his adaptation of Ntozake Shange’s choreopoem “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf,” now truncated to simply “For Colored Girls” and recently available on Blu-ray and DVD, and it makes less than most of the films he’s directed.
CHICAGO – The comedy “Lottery Ticket,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, is so forgettable that it seems almost mean to pile on top of the negative reviews that greeted it in theaters. It’s not a horrible film, mostly because of the charms of its three leads, but there’s just not much nice to say about it either. It’s bearable and mildly-diverting, but with so many other great released on the market this month, don’t you want more than that faint praise?
CHICAGO – Ntozake Shange’s choreopoem “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf” was a landmark event in 1974, giving voice to a segment of society rarely seen on the stage. It took 34 years for a filmmaker to tackle this remarkable work in film form and Tyler Perry’s “For Colored Girls” retains some of the inherent power of it source and features some strong performances in the process but never finds the narrative cohesion needed to translate it to modern movie audiences.
CHICAGO – This 19-image slideshow contains all of the official press images for the highly-anticipated “For Colored Girls,” starring Janet Jackson, Loretta Devine, Michael Ealy, Kimberly Elise, Omari Hardwick, Hill Harper, Thandie Newton, Phylicia Rashad, Anika Noni Rose, Tessa Thompson, Kerry Washington, and Whoopi Goldberg. The film was written and directed by Tyler Perry. It will be released on November 5th, 2010.
CHICAGO – When David Lynch came to Chicago for an “Inland Empire” screening back in 2007, he offered memorable advice to a moviegoer baffled by his work. He said that his audience should meditate not on the “intellectual experience” provided by his films, but the emotional ideas that they conjure. Meditating on anything else would prove useless because, as Lynch put it, “If you meditate on buttermilk, you’ll end up going to the dairy.”