It's everyone's favourite time of year, the Christmas holidays when families come together every year to celebrate the birth of Christ, what could possibly go wrong? In the case of the family in Almost Christmas, everything! This new Christmas comedy film directed by David.E Talbert follows the story of how a beloved patriarch asks his family for a Christmas all together stress free, where they all get along.
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Omar Epps and Keisha Epps - Hollywood Domino & Bovet 1822's 8th Annual Pre-Oscar Hollywood Domino Gala & Tournament at Sunset Tower Hotel - West Hollywood, California, United States - Friday 20th February 2015
Pascal Raffy, Omar Epps and Keisha Epps - A variety of stars were snapped as they attended the 8th annual pre-Oscar Hollywood Domino Gala & Tournament which was held at the Sunset Tower Hotel in Los Angeles, California, United States - Friday 20th February 2015
Written, directed by, and starring the infamous Takeshi Kitano (Kikujiro, Sonatine) Brother is his first film made outside his familial Japan, bringing the yakuza tradition to Los Angeles. (Yakuza translated for the average American is the Japanese mafia.)
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But forget about September 11th for a moment and consider this: Is there ever a good time to release a film that endorses bribing airline personal for tickets to carry a suitcase containing a ticking nuclear bomb onto a plane? The answer is easy. Pre- or post-September 11th, there is no appropriate time for a comedy this poorly conceived. Big Trouble is irresponsible filmmaking; it doesn't even justify the space for an explanation. But since reviews are my business, let me try to sort out this movie's mess.
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Love and Basketball concerns Monica Wright (Sanaa Lathan), a basketball loving girl who wants nothing more than to be the first woman in the NBA. Her next door neighbor, Quincy McCall (Omar Epps) is the son of a NBA player and wants nothing more than to follow in his father's footsteps and get some booty along the way. When he realizes (at about age 18) that the booty he has been wanting all along has been living next door, he quickly hooks up with her. Both find themselves going to USC and both find themselves on the USC basketball teams.
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In case that hasn't tipped you off, my gripes about The Mod Squad, a movie based on a late-sixties, early-seventies TV show that wasn't that great to begin with, should probably clue you in. I am not saying starring, because anyone who would act in this film and consider themselves a star for it is either a drunk or has an agent that's a drunk, probably the latter. I can forgive Giovanni Ribisi, on the account of the fact that he's acted in good movies (unlike Epps and Danes, who rarely even get close to a good role). He's been in Gus Van Sant and he even does a good job among the twentysomething shoot-the-actors while making them popular sitcom of Friends, where several good actors seem to go to work the bad acting out of their system (i.e. Lisa Kudrow). I maybe can forgive Dennis Farina, who is at least killed off before the movie gets really bad.
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Jeff Collins (Omar Epps) is a recent Police Academy graduate. His first assignment is to infiltrate the city's largest narcotics ring and take down druglord Dwayne "God" Giddens (LL Cool J). In order to get close enough to God and make an arrest, Collins [alter ego J. Reed] is forced to plunge further and further into criminal activity himself. Clashes with the Captain (Stanley Tucci) over crossing the line between effective undercover work and unjustifiable violence, and a love affair (Nia Long), are mandatory sub-plots in the formulaic script. Every element of the story is underdeveloped and flat, none providing additional value or even distraction. It's too bad that Omar Epps' solid performance is buried almost as deeply as the pool queue God uses to torture a victim during one of his outbreaks.
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That fact that "The Mod Squad" opens with a dictionary definitionof "mod" appearing on the screen -- altered to include GenerationY hipsters -- did not bode well for the intelligence level to which thismovie was aiming.
The fact that this definition was followed by another forthe word "squad" left me with little hope that the pic wouldhave anything going for it besides 90 minutes of Claire Danes in tummytops.
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An inspired labor of love about sports and romance in which the female lead is an athlete, too, "Love and Basketball" is one for the "why didn't anybody think of this before?" file.
For decades, the women in sports movies have to settle for being glorified cheerleaders while the men took all the glory as athletic heroes of various varieties. But writer-director Gina Prince-Bythewood sets this picture in the world of college basketball where the couple in question (played by Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan) are both gifted ball players.
It's an idea whose time has definitely come, and what's more it makes for swell dramatic conflict since Quincy (Epps) has it easy as a heavily-recruited wunderkind and Monica (Lathan) is frustrated in her second-string role on the school's much-neglected women's team.
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In its first five minutes "The Wood" looks likeit's going to be a breaking-the-fourth-wall disaster, as Omar Epps ("TheMod Squad") narrates to camera, explainingto the audience that it's two hours and ticking until his best buddy'snuptials and the groom is AWOL.
Epps is not a good narrator -- at least at first. He lookslike he missed a rehearsal and has been stuck reading cue cards.
But the day is saved with the entrance of Richard T. Jones("Event Horizon"), as another groomsman who helpsEpps find their cold-footed friend (Taye Diggs) and talk him back to thealter.
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Playing an inveterate womanizer as a sympathetic hero didn't work especially well for Michael Caine in 1966's "Alfie." He was Oscar-nominated for the performance, but his title character was a misogynistic, egomaniacal cad -- taking advantage of vulnerable women, then disposing of them offhandedly. Even when a vague health problem became a plot point meant to turn his life around, there was still nothing redeemable about the jerk.
On the other hand, in this year's "Alfie" remake, the irresistible Jude Law plays a more credibly charismatic and playful playboy whose contented superficiality steadily gives way to emerging self-awareness and perceptible depth -- which surprises even Alfie himself.
As the wily rake admits -- frankly, charmingly and direct-to-camera -- his concurrent affairs with a bevy of Manhattan beauties are a product of good looks, practiced flattery, an upscale metrosexual wardrobe, his English accent and the fact that he drives a limo.
Continue reading: Alfie Review
It's everyone's favourite time of year, the Christmas holidays when families come together every year...
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