John Ridley

John Ridley

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John Ridley , Gayle Ridley - 27th Annual Producers Guild of America Awards held at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza - Arrivals at Hyatt Regency Century Plaza - Los Angeles, California - Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 23rd January 2016

John Ridley and Gayle Ridley
John Ridley and Gayle Ridley
Malcolm Mcdonald and John Ridley
John Ridley

John Ridley , Malcolm McDonald - 27th Annual Producers Guild Awards at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, Producers Guild Awards - Century City, California, United States - Sunday 24th January 2016

John Ridley and Malcolm Mcdonald
John Ridley and Gayle Ridley
John Ridley and Gayle Ridley
John Ridley and Gayle Ridley
John Ridley and Gayle Ridley
John Ridley and Gayle Ridley

John Ridley , Gayle Ridley - 27th Annual Producers Guild Awards (PGA) - Arrivals at Producers Guild Awards - Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 23rd January 2016

John Ridley and Gayle Ridley
John Ridley and Gayle Ridley

Richard Cabral , John Ridley - Disney ABC Television Group's 2015 TCA Summer Press Tour held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel - Arrivals at The Beverly Hilton Hotel, Disney, ABC, Beverly Hilton Hotel - Beverly Hills, California, United States - Tuesday 4th August 2015

Richard Cabral and John Ridley
Richard Cabral and John Ridley
Richard Cabral
Richard Cabral
Richard Cabral
Richard Cabral

Is John Ridley's 'American Crime' The Best New Drama On TV?


Felicity Huffman John Ridley

John Ridley's new drama American Crime premieres on Thursday (March 5) on the back of a wave of fanfare. The series follows the aftermath of a murder in California when war veteran Matt Skokie is killed during a home invasion. It uses the legal system to explore complex issues, of race, class and gender politics though the lenses of the victims and suspect's families.

Felcity Huffman American CrimeFelicity Huffman [L] and Timothy Hutton [R] at the American Crime premiere

The show stars Felicity Huffman, Timothy Hutton and W. Earl Brown and has received critical acclaim ahead of its premiere. 

Continue reading: Is John Ridley's 'American Crime' The Best New Drama On TV?

John Ridley - "American Crime" Premiere Screening, an ABC-TV series beginning to air in the United States in March 2015 at The Theater at Ace Hotel - Los Angeles, California, United States - Sunday 1st March 2015

John Ridley
Gayle Ridley and John Ridley
John Ridley and Michael Macdonald

Jimi: All Is By My Side Review


Weak

Exploring a year in the life of Jimi Hendrix just before he hit the public consciousness is a fascinating idea, but this biopic misses every opportunity to say something interesting. The filmmakers certainly invest this movie with plenty of stylish period detail trying to make up for the fact that they didn't secure the rights to use Hendrix's music. With a better sense of character or story, they might have got away with it. But this movie feels all wrong.

It opens in 1966, when Jimi (Andre Benjamin) is quietly working in a New York bar as a member of Curtis Knight and the Squires. One evening, he's spotted by Linda (Imogen Poots), Keith Richards' girlfriend, who thinks he should be a star. Linking him with manager Chas (Andrew Buckley), a former member of the Animals, Linda takes Jimi to London to record an album and build his reputation. Over the next year, Jimi hones his sound, puts together his band The Jimi Hendrix Experience and hooks up with local girl Kathy (Hayley Atwell). And it starts to work: the band breaks into the UK pop charts with a series of hit singles. On the other hand, across the Atlantic the Americans seem to be rather apathetic. And the organisers of the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival hesitate before inviting him to perform.

The rest is history. And it's not in this film. But then the story here centres on Hendrix's pre-fame year, which allows writer-turned-director John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) to dig further into the artist's motivations than most biopics do. Hendrix's stroke of genius was to fuse rock instruments with the blues, creating all new sounds with his guitar. But then these aren't in the film either. Instead there are just sound-alike tunes, plus one audacious performance on a London stage: singing Sgt Pepper just after it was released, with the Beatles in the audience. Whether it actually happened like this is anyone's guess; like much of the film, this scene feels mythical.

Continue reading: Jimi: All Is By My Side Review

Jimi: All Is By My Side Trailer


Jimi Hendrix started earning money from his musical career as a simple backing guitarist at the Cheetah Club in New York City. Soon enough though, he was brought to England by former Animals member Chas Chandler where within a year he blew up into the legend that everyone sees today; the man who spectacularly set his guitar alight on stage at the Monterey Pop Festival. Within that year he began dating Kathy Etchingham, who stuck by him throughout his rise to fame despite the immense pressure it put on their relationship as he struggled to make it as the world's greatest guitarist. His journey was tough for everyone around him, but unbeknownst to him, it was only going to get tougher as he decided to break America too.

Continue: Jimi: All Is By My Side Trailer

First Jimi Hendrix Biopic Clip Released, See Andre 3000 In His New Role [Video]


Andre 3000 Imogen Poots John Ridley Hayley Atwell

The first clip has been released from the upcoming Jimi Hendrix biopic, All Is By My Side, in which Outkast's Andre 3000 plays the legendary guitarist. Having premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last year and now gearing up to screen at the nearing South By Southwest, the film is making fans wait until August for a general release.

Andre 3000 Hayley Atwell
Andre 3000 & Hayley Atwell As Hendrix & Kathy Etchingham.

Andre 3000, AKA Andre Benjamin, will play the guitarist before he became super famous in the year leading up to his landmark performance at the Monterey Pop Festival. The film follows Hendrix on his journey from working as a backing musician in New York City to relocating to London. Whilst there he meets model/muse Linda Keith (played by Imogen Poots) who fiercely encourages him to start playing original material.

Continue reading: First Jimi Hendrix Biopic Clip Released, See Andre 3000 In His New Role [Video]

So Here's Why '12 Years A Slave' Writer Snubbed Steve McQueen At The Oscars [Video]


Steve McQueen John Ridley

Did it not cross your mind that, when John Ridley won the Oscar for best adapted screenplay on Sunday (March 2, 2014), he was sat nowhere near the rest of the '12 Years a Slave' team and bypassed director Steve McQueen to hug American Hustle filmmaker David O' Russell?

12 Years a SlaveBenedict Cumberbatch [L] and Chiwetel Ejiofor [R] in '12 Years a Slave'

Ridley did not mention McQueen in his acceptance speech and the director hardly rose to his feet when the screenwriter took the award. Later in the evening, when 12 Years won Best Picture, McQueen failed to mention the man that wrote the movie deemed the best of the year. 

Continue reading: So Here's Why '12 Years A Slave' Writer Snubbed Steve McQueen At The Oscars [Video]

12 Years A Slave Review


Extraordinary

Much more than a film about 19th century slavery in America, this sharply well-told true story has a lot to say about the world we live in today. And as he did in Hunger and Shame, filmmaker Steve McQueen puts us right into the middle of the story so we live it ourselves. Watching this film is a riveting, unnerving and ultimately moving experience.

It's based on a firsthand account by Solomon Northrup (Ejiofor), a musician who is living with his family in 1841 Saratoga, New York, when two friendly men offer him a great gig. But they drug him and sell him to slave traders, who send him to New Orleans and strip him of his identity. He spends the next 12 years working for two masters. Ford (Cumberbatch) is a fair man who puts him under the watchful eye of the cruel Tibeats (Dano). Then he is sold to Epps (Fassbender), a harsh boss who sends him into cotton fields and angrily suspects that Solomon is more educated than he admits.

Made with an earthy, realistic style, there's a clear sense that McQueen and screenwriter Ridley stuck closely to the details of Northrup's memoir, which was published shortly after his release and became a bestseller at the time. By never indulging in Hollywood-style exaggeration, the events remain grounded in the characters, drawing on the spiky interaction between them. At the centre, Ejiofor is utterly magnetic, delivering a transparent performance that takes our breath away. In his terrified eyes, we experience this horror ourselves.

Continue reading: 12 Years A Slave Review

Red Tails Review


Good
An inspiring true story from American military history provides plenty of drama and adventure, even if the over-earnest approach makes it seem rather silly at times. If it weren't for the engaging cast and thrilling aerial combat sequences, the film would be hard to get through.

During WWII, black pilots trained in Tuskegee, Alabama, were sidelined in the segregated US forces. But Colonel Ballard (Howard) gets them an assignment accompanying bombers on raids in Italy. Led by Major Stance (Gooding), the team includes hot-shot Lightning (Oyelowo), self-doubting Easy (Parker), eager Junior (Wilds) and the even less-defined Smoky (Ne-Yo) and Joker (Kelley). As they square off against their Luftwaffe nemesis (van Riesen), the Tuskegee airmen's distinctive red-tailed planes develop a first-rate reputation that begins to break down racial barriers.

Continue reading: Red Tails Review

U Turn Review


Excellent
I can't imagine U Turn in any director's hands except Oliver Stone's. Breaking free from his political obsessions, Stone explores new territory, giving the material a stark edge, innovation, and a thick, memorable atmosphere. In one film he investigates adultery, incest, bad luck, Indian philosophy, gambling, paranoia, murder, deception, fraud, money, and the Russian Mafia. This is an original tale with a full plate, but surprisingly U Turn never feels crowded, contrived, or recycled. It's a feast for the senses, as long as you have a strong stomach.

Similar to Natural Born Killers in style, the film includes black & white inserts, frequent use of hand-held cameras, overexposed shots, vivid close-ups, zip-switches from smooth to grainy, unique camera angles, time-lapse sequences, and hallucinogenic effects. Stone rounded up some of his Nixon crew to establish the technical aspects of the film, including director of photography Robert Richardson, production designer Victor Kempster, and editors Hank Corwin and Thomas Nordberg. The crew shot U Turn in just 42 days, entirely on location in the actual town of Superior, Arizona, fully utilizing the vast landscape. According to the film's production information, the filmmakers revamped four blocks of Superior's main street, even creating new restaurants out of unused storefronts.

Continue reading: U Turn Review

Undercover Brother Review


Weak
The Blaxploitation films of the 1970s starred relatively unknown black actors playing new kinds of male and female superheroes that had all of the style, funk, and butt-stomping moves to tackle any foe. With the exception of the Samuel L. Jackson's remake of Shaft and Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown, very few films in this genre have emerged in the last 30 years. Undercover Brother is a throwback to those classic films, but sadly, contains too little of the fashion or the funk that made its predecessors so much fun.

The film stars Eddie Griffin as Undercover Brother, a modern day black man with a wild afro and everything a '70s man could want, including a solid gold caddy, platform shoes, and polyester bell-bottoms. Brother is recruited by the B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D. organization to help overpower the evil efforts of "The Man." The Man, along with henchmen "The Feather" (Chris Kattan) and "White She-Devil" (Denise Richards) are causing havoc with race relations between blacks and whites. In "Operation Whitewash," The Man has influenced black General Boutwell (Billy Dee Williams) to not run for President, but rather to open a chain of fast food chicken restaurants.

Continue reading: Undercover Brother Review

John Ridley

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John Ridley Movies

Jimi: All Is By My Side Movie Review

Jimi: All Is By My Side Movie Review

Exploring a year in the life of Jimi Hendrix just before he hit the public...

Jimi: All Is By My Side Trailer

Jimi: All Is By My Side Trailer

Jimi Hendrix started earning money from his musical career as a simple backing guitarist at...

12 Years a Slave Movie Review

12 Years a Slave Movie Review

Much more than a film about 19th century slavery in America, this sharply well-told true...

Red Tails Movie Review

Red Tails Movie Review

An inspiring true story from American military history provides plenty of drama and adventure, even...

Undercover Brother Movie Review

Undercover Brother Movie Review

The Blaxploitation films of the 1970s starred relatively unknown black actors playing new kinds of...

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