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Interviews
UserpicParanormal Marlon
Posted by Kam Williams
13.01.2013

Marlon Wayans
“A Haunted House” Interview
with Kam Williams

 

Multi-talented Marlon Wayans graduated from the prestigious High School of Performing Arts in New York and Howard University’s Film School. He is best known for getting his start in Hollywood as a cast member of the Emmy Award-winning comedy series, In Living Color. Marlon then went on to create executive produce and star in The Wayans Bros on the WB.

Together with brothers, Keenen and Shawn Wayans, and producer Rick Alvarez, he formed the successful production company, Wayans Brothers Entertainment. Some of his noteworthy credits include: The Ladykillers, directed by the Coen Brothers; the record breaking Scary Movie and Scary Movie 2, Little Man, White Chicks, Norbit, Behind the Smile and Dance Flick.

Marlon’s compelling dramatic performance as a drug addict in Darren Aronofsky’s Requiem for a Dream proved he could do more than comedy. Most recently, Marlon was seen starring opposite Channing Tatum in the box-office smash, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

Projects in development include: Super Bad James Dynomite, based on his comic book series of the same name, Pretty Ugly, The Year of Living Biblically, and an animated series for TBS entitled The Black Family.

Next, he will be seen playing the title role in Sony Pictures, Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said? Marlon will also star in the upcoming Harmony Korine film Twinkle, Twinkle.

Marlon continues to publish books under the 101 Ways title including 101 Ways to Know You're a Golddigger, 101 Ways You Know It's Time to Get Out Of Your Mama's House and 101 Ways to Know You’re Having a Ghetto Christmas as well as the children’s series Boo Crew which stemmed from the animated series the Wayans’ created for Nickelodeon.

Here, he talks about his latest film, A Haunted House, a spoof of the Paranormal Activity franchise.  

Kam Williams: Hi Marlon, thanks for another interview. How ya’ been, bro?

MW: I’m good, Kam. Thanks for having me.

 

KW: Where did you find the inspiration to write this film?  

MW: I was watching Paranormal Activity 1 and 2, which were very successful hits at the box-office, and I just thought to myself, “If I want to do a movie, how am I going to approach this?” Then, I had this epiphany that, “Damn, white people do a lot of stupid stuff in these movies.” Wouldn’t it be funny if a lot of paranormal activity happened to a black couple? Now, how do I keep them in the house longer than five minutes? That became the comic premise for the movie. From there, it just snowballed into a bunch of jokes. So, I got together with Rick Alvarez, my producing partner, and we decided to write it together.

 

KW: Are you the only Wayans in this film?

MW: Yeah.

 

KW: That must be a first. How do you explain that? We’re used to seeing multiple Wayans in a Wayans production.

MW: Nobody loves me. [Chuckles] No, everybody wanted me to do this one by myself, and I wanted to do it by myself. So, this is sorta like my first solo album. I didn’t pull any tricks out of my hat, and just went with the natural flow of the film.

 

KW: How did you go about assembling the cast?

MW: Just from meetings and readings. Everybody was game to do it, and I was very happy about that.

 

KW: What audience are you trying to attract? The same crowd that went to see Scary Movie?

MW: Not just them. They’re older now. I really want to hit the next generation of kids, the Youtube Generation. And also women, because it’s a relationship movie with romantic elements. I think anybody who wants to laugh is the intended audience.

 

KW: Is there any question no one ever asks you, that you wish someone would?

MW: No, people ask me everything.

 

KW: The Teri Emerson question: When was the last time you had a good laugh?

MW: I was just watching The Campaign on video. Will Ferrell makes me laugh. So, does Zach Galifiniakis. But when Will punched the kid in the face, I was hurting. And then when he punched the dog, too, I was hurting some more. Those two scenes made me laugh hysterically.

 

KW: What is your guiltiest pleasure?

MW: My piano. Although I don’t know if playing piano is a guilty pleasure. My guiltiest pleasure would be wine. 

 

KW: The bookworm Troy Johnson question: What was the last book you read?

MSN: 50 Shades of Grey. I’m almost through it.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/034580404X/ref=nosim/thslfofire-20

 

KW: The music maven Heather Covington question: What was the last song you listened to? 

MW: ASAP Rocky’s album.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B006Y9ZHLI/ref=nosim/thslfofire-20

 

KW: What is your favorite dish to cook?

MW: None, because I hate cooking. But I do make the candied yams every year at Thanksgiving. And they’re awesome! You could definitely get diabetes and cavities from them, but they’re delicious!

 

KW: What’s the recipe?

MW: If I tell it to you, I’ll have to kill you. [Laughs]

 

KW: The Uduak Oduok question: Who is your favorite clothes designer?

MW: I have a few, because I like mixing and matching. I like All Saints. They make great leathers. I love Hugo Boss, especially the suits. I like James Perse for T-shirts, and Supra and Radii for sneakers. And God Is in the Details.

 

KW: When you look in the mirror, what do you see?

MW: I see a funny guy who’s imperfect, but has a great heart and no vanity when it comes to what he’ll do to get a laugh. I see a guy who loves his art and loves his family, and who is willing to live and die for both.

 

KW: If you could have one wish instantly granted, what would that be for?

MW: To cure death.

 

KW: The Ling-Ju Yen question: What is your earliest childhood memory?

MW: Watching while my brother Shawn was lying on my mothers lap when he was sick with asthma. I’m the youngest, but he was still the baby.

 

KW: Dante Lee, author of "Black Business Secrets,” asks: What was the best business decision you ever made?

MW: To make this movie. I took no money up front. I did it out of love and, hopefully, it will be successful, and keep the Wayans brand growing. It’s an extension of the brand, not a departure from it.   

 

KW: The Kerry Washington question: If you were an animal, what animal would you be?

MW: If you could cross a lion and a monkey, that’s what I’d be, because monkeys are funny and lions are strong.

 

KW: The JamieFoxx question: If you only had 24 hours to live, what would you do? Would you do the bad stuff, you never got a chance to do, or would you do good stuff to make sure you make it into heaven?

MW: I’d absolutely spend it with my family, laughing.

 

KW: Would you mind giving me a Marlon Wayans question to ask other celebrities?

MW: Sure, What’s your definition of happiness?

 

KW: That’s a good one, thanks. So, what’s your definition of happiness?

MW: Making other people happy.

 

KW: Attorney Bernadette Beekman asks: What is your favorite charity?

MW: The Wayans family. [Laughs] And the Hudson Guild. It’s a community center that helped us out when we were kids. So, we definitely give back to it.

 

KW: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps?

MW: Don’t follow mine, create your own, trailblaze your own. Success is not a destination, but the road that you’re own. Being successful means that you’re working hard and walking your walk every day. You can only live your dream by working hard towards it. That’s living your dream. 

 

KW: The Tavis Smiley question: How do you want to be remembered?

MW: As a guy who’s not going to change your life but who is going to change your mood. As a guy who made you smile and say, “I miss him. He was a lot of fun.”

 

KW: Thanks again for the time, Marlon, and best of luck with the film.

MW: Thanks, Kam.

To see a trailer for A Haunted House, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UA2Z-ZVMGsc

 

    


Reviews
UserpicLove and Opera in the Air in Charming Romantic Dramedy
Posted by Kam Williams
13.01.2013

Quartet
Film Review by Kam Williams


Sometimes a gem of a movie slips through the cracks that really has no business getting lost. Such is the case with Quartet, a delightful dramedy directed by Dustin Hoffman and starring Maggie Smith.

Since the film was released in late December by the esteemed Weinstein Company, one would naturally expect it to generate a lot of Academy Award buzz. But it was overlooked entirely, which means moviegoers might now be tempted to pass on the picture in favor of Oscar contenders. I just hope audiences don't dismiss Quartet because it lacks the Academy's stamp of approval.

The story is set at Beecham House, a sprawling estate in England which serves as a retirement home for accomplished classical musicians. At the point of departure, we are introduced to three of its residents Wilfred (Billy Connolly), Cecily (Pauline Collins) and Reginald (Tom Courtenay), opera singers who once shared the limelight as members of a famed quartet.

Melancholy Reggie is rather reserved in contrast to the comic relief coming courtesy of slightly senile Cissy and ladies man Wilf, a frisky codger quick to flirt with anything in a skirt. Otherwise, Beecham House is busy preparing to put on an annual concert, staged each year on Verdi's birthday.

The plot thickens when Jean Horton (Smith), a very demanding, former diva, moves in unannounced. For not only was she responsible for the breakup of the aforementioned quartet, but the adulteress was also to blame for the failure of her brief marriage to Reggie.

Jean is so narcissistic that she's initially oblivious to the effect that her arrival is having on her ex, who ostensibly never fully recovered from their divorce. Instead, she spends her time complaining about having to adjust to the relatively modest circumstances.

Will the two reconcile, let alone be able to even share the same space? And can the quartet be reunited to perform as headliners at the recital, a fundraiser suddenly critical to Beecham's remaining afloat? These are the pivotal concerns that will keep you entertained and engaged every step of the way to the glorious resolution.

A charming, romantic romp revolving around a couple of unexpected encores.

 

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated PG-13 for suggestive humor and brief profanity

Running time: 98 minutes

Distributor: The Weinstein Company

To see a trailer for Quartet, visit

    


Michael MooreMichael Moore gracefully accepted the Cinema Eye award for co-Directors Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi.

New York, NY - January 10, 2013 - The critically acclaimed Palestinian and Israeli co-production 5 BROKEN CAMERAS, co-directed by Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi and distributed in the United States by Kino Lorber Inc., has been nominated by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences in the Best Documentary category for the 85th Academy Awards®.

5 BROKEN CAMERAS has also won the top prize (Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Filmmaking) at yesterday's Cinema Eye awards, presented at The Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens. Michael Moore gracefully accepted the award for co-Directors Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi.

    


News
Userpic2013 Oscar Nominations (FEATURE)
Posted by Kam Williams
11.01.2013

2013 Oscar Nominations
by Kam Williams

"Lincoln" and "Life of Pi" Lead Academy Award Sweepstakes
Quvenzhane Wallis, 9, and Emmanuelle Riva, 85, Nominated

Lincoln and Life of Pi emerged as the early favorites in the Academy Award Sweepstakes with 12 and 11 nominations respectively. Buy don't forget that just a year ago this critic warned of irrational exuberance when Hugo landed the most, only to ultimately be beaten by The Artist on Oscar night, thanks in part to an ad campaign carefully orchestrated by Harvey Weinstein.

And the Weinstein Company has a few horses in this year's race, most notably, Silver Linings Playbook, which has netted a nomination in every major category. So, don't be surprised to see that picture's stock rise considerably in the coming weeks. Another dark horse which might blossom into the favorite is Zero Dark Thirty, a film which suffered from political controversy and the fact that it only went into wide release on January 11th.

In terms of the acting categories, most of the buzz surrounds cutie-pie Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) and grand dame Emmanuelle Riva (Amour) as the youngest and oldest actresses ever to be nominated, at 9 and 85 years of age, respectively. A lot of attention is being been paid to the contenders in the Best Supporting Actor category, too, since they all are former winners.

But practically overshadowing the nominees is the conspicuous absence of Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained), Ben Affleck (Argo) and Kathryn Bigelow) in the Best Director category. Joining them in the snub club are actors John Hawkes (The Sessions) and Suraj Sharma (Life of Pi), as well as actresses Rachel Weisz (The Deep Blue Sea) and Ann Dowd (Compliance).
Regardless, the 85th Academy Awards show is set to air live on ABC on Sunday, February 24th at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT, and will be hosted by the ever-irreverent Seth MacFarlane.

 

Best Motion Picture of the Year

Amour

Argo

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Django Unchained

Les Misérables

Life of Pi

Lincoln

Silver Linings Playbook

Zero Dark Thirty

 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook)

Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)

Hugh Jackman (Les Misérables)

Joaquin Phoenix (The Master)

Denzel Washington (Flight)

 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)

Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)

Emmanuelle Riva (Amour)

Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)

Naomi Watts (The Impossible)

 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Alan Arkin (Argo)

Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook)

Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master)

Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)

Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained)

 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Amy Adams (The Master)

Sally Field (Lincoln)

Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables)

Helen Hunt (The Sessions)

Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook)

 

Best Achievement in Directing

Michael Haneke (Amour)

Ang Lee (Life of Pi)

David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)

Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)

Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild)

 

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

Amour: Michael Haneke

Django Unchained: Quentin Tarantino

Flight: John Gatins

Moonrise Kingdom: Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola

Zero Dark Thirty: Mark Boal


Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Argo: Chris Terrio

Beasts of the Southern Wild: Lucy Alibar, Benh Zeitlin

Life of Pi: David Magee

Lincoln: Tony Kushner

Silver Linings Playbook: David O. Russell

 

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Brave

Frankenweenie

ParaNorman

The Pirates! Band of Misfits

Wreck-It Ralph

 

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

Amour (Austria)

War Witch (Canada)

No (Chile)

A Royal Affair (Denmark)

Kon-Tiki (Norway)


Best Achievement in Cinematography

Anna Karenina

Django Unchained

Life of Pi

Lincoln

Skyfall

 

Best Achievement in Editing

Argo

Life of Pi

Lincoln

Silver Linings Playbook

Zero Dark Thirty

 

Best Achievement in Production Design

Anna Karenina

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Les Misérables

Life of Pi

Lincoln


Best Achievement in Costume Design

Anna Karenina

Les Misérables

Lincoln

Mirror Mirror

Snow White and the Huntsman


Best Achievement in Makeup

Hitchcock

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Les Misérables


Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

Anna Karenina

Argo

Life of Pi

Lincoln

Skyfall


Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

Chasing Ice: J. Ralph("Before My Time")

Les Misérables: Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg, Herbert Kretzmer("Suddenly")

Life of Pi: Mychael Danna, Bombay Jayshree("Pi's Lullaby")

Skyfall: Adele, Paul Epworth("Skyfall")

Ted: Walter Murphy, Seth MacFarlane("Everybody Needs a Best Friend")

 

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

Argo

Les Misérables

Life of Pi

Lincoln

Skyfall

 

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

Argo

Django Unchained

Life of Pi

Skyfall

Zero Dark Thirty

 

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

The Avengers

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Life of Pi

Prometheus

Snow White and the Huntsman

 

Best Documentary, Features

5 Broken Cameras

The Gatekeepers

How to Survive a Plague

The Invisible War

Searching for Sugar Man

 

Best Documentary, Short Subjects

Inocente

Kings Point

Mondays at Racine

Open Heart

Redemption


Best Short Film, Animated

Adam and Dog

Fresh Guacamole

Head Over Heels

Paperman

The Simpsons: The Longest Daycare


Best Short Film, Live Action

Asad

Buzkashi Boys

Curfew

Death of a Shadow

Henry

    


Reviews
Userpic Sean Penn Shines in Crime Saga about Legendary Mobster
Posted by Kam Williams
10.01.2013

Gangster Squad
Film Review by Kam Williams

Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) was born and raised in Brooklyn where he started out as a prizefighter before moving to Chicago during Prohibition to become an enforcer for Al Capone. In the Forties, he was sent by Meyer Lansky to Los Angeles to establish extortion, gambling, prostitution and loan shark operations on behalf of the Jewish Mafia.

Mickey gradually began to make inroads, which didn't sit well with LA Police Chief Bill Parker (Nick Nolte) who was determined to prevent any crime syndicate from gaining a foothold in his city. But that would prove easier said than done since the vicious mobster had already succeeded in bribing and/or intimidating many cops, judges and powerful politicians.

Given the frightening degree of corruption, Parker decided that the only way to bring down Mickey was to behave just as ruthlessly. So, he asked one of his most fearless officers, Sergeant John O'Mara (Josh Brolin), to form a top secret team whose mission would be to enforce the law by breaking it.

For, the so-called Gangster Squad's mission was simply to enter each of Cohen's establishments anonymously in order to break kneecaps and generally trash the place. Of course, if any of O'Mara's goons were killed or captured, the Commissioner would have to disavow any knowledge of their actions.

Thus unfolds Gangster Squad, a stylized costume drama with far more charm than one would ordinarily expect to find in an old-fashioned shoot ‘em up. Directed by Ruben Fleisher (Zombieland), the film is based on the clever Paul Lieberman best-seller of the same name.

The production was blessed with an A-list cast which includes Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Emma Stone, Nick Nolte, Anthony Mackie, Giovanni Ribisi, Michael Pena, Robert Patrick and Mireille Enos. Therefiore, there are no throwaway roles here, with even lesser characters benefitting from development as a consequence of veteran thespians putting their all into their performances.

As a result, you come to care not only about whether or not Mickey will ever be brought to justice, but about surprisingly-engaging subplots involving a lawman (Gosling) going gaga over the gangsta's moll (Stone), and about a pregnant wife's (Enos) worry about whether her gung-ho hubby's (Brolin) will live long enough to witness his baby's birth. Nevertheless, the front story does feature all the staples of the genre, from flashy Zoot suits to Tommy guns to street smart dialogue mixing slang and savoir faire in a manner reminiscent of Damon Runyon.

A high body-count showdown between rogue cops and the Kosher Nostra for the future of Los Angeles!

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated R for profanity and graphic violence

Running time: 113 minutes

Distributor: Warner Brothers

To see a trailer for Gangster Squad, visit