The first Christmas movie of the year is released November 11.
The new holiday comedy-drama Almost Christmas gathers an all-star African-American cast let by Gabrielle Union and Omar Epps, plus Danny Glover, Mo'Nique, Romany Malco, Kimberly Elise and J.B. Smoove.
Union also produced the film, and was drawn to the project because it's more than a comedy. "It's about a family getting together for the holidays on the first Christmas after their matriarch has passed away," she says. "And they're trying to keep all their traditions alive even without her."
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.
Continue: Almost Christmas Trailer
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.
Continue reading: Big Trouble Review
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.
Continue reading: Love And Basketball Review
Witness The English Patient, which turned out to be filmable after all. And then there was Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which wasn't. But maybe unfilmable is the wrong word. Breakfast of Champions might have proved filmable, but it sure isn't watchable.
Continue reading: Breakfast Of Champions Review
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.
Continue reading: In Too Deep Review
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.
Continue reading: Love & Basketball Review
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.
Continue reading: The Wood Review
Japan's king of the artistically extra-violent yakuza flick, Takeshi Kitano (aka "Beat" Takeshi), makes his English language debut in "Brother," a heavy, moody L.A. gangland drama that has all the bloody shootouts the writer-director-actor is known for, but loses its grip as it tries to grab for an emotional hook.
Kitano stars as a hunted Tokyo mob enforcer who escapes to Los Angeles after a turf war that left his clan decimated and his own brother acquiescing to the enemy. He muscles in on the operation of another, younger half-brother (Claude Maki) who is scraping by as a petty thug, and quickly organizes the brother's shabby crew into a merciless force poised to take over the local territories of both street and Mafia gangs.
There's a vicious circle, rise-and-fall element to Kitano's story in "Brother," as he rapidly builds a minor empire with his brother and another fiercely distrusting lieutenant, played by Omar Epps ("In Too Deep," "Love and Basketball") at his side. Just the gang's move from a small room in the back of a warehouse to a swanky office in a converted gymnasium (complete with leather couches, a redwood conference table and an accountant) should be enough to signal impending and violent storm clouds on the horizon in the minds of savvy moviegoers.
Continue reading: Brother Review
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
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