Tag Archives: Angela Bassett

Teyonah Parris, Nick Cannon & Wesley Snipes star in a New Clip from Spike Lee’s ‘Chi-Raq’

Courtesy of: http://blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact
Written by Tambay A Obenson
20th Nov 2015




Amazon Studios has set the release date for Spike Lee’s much-discussed next joint, “Chi-Raq,” for December 4, 2015 in a theatrical release deal that involves both Roadside Attractions and Lionsgate (noteworthy as both have previously teamed up on prestige film fare).

The film’s cast includes rising star Teyonah Parris and multihyphenate and Nick Cannon, as well as lauded veterans like Angela Bassett, Samuel L. Jackson, John Cusack, Harry Lennix, Steve Harris, Wesley Snipes, and D.B. Sweeney. Singer/actress Jennifer Hudson also features.

“Chi-Raq” is a modern day adaptation of the ancient Greek play “Lysistrata” by Aristophanes. After the murder of a child by a stray bullet, a group of women led by Lysistrata (played by Parris) organize against the on-going violence in Chicago’s Southside, creating a movement that challenges the nature of race, sex and violence in America and around the world.

Spike Lee directed the film from a screenplay he co-wrote with Kevin Willmott (writer and director of the woefully underseen 2004 mockumentary, “C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America”) – an effort to shed light on the very serious, but often overlooked issue of violence in inner city Chicago.

At the time of the film’s pickup by Amazon Studios, Ted Hope, Head of Motion Picture Production, said, “Spike Lee is one of the most distinct and visionary filmmakers of our time. It would be impossible to find a better filmmaker with whom to launch our studio. He has a unique voice, a distinct eye, and he tackles important subjects with humor and heart, pointing to solutions and not exploiting the problems. ‘Chi-Raq’ may be his greatest, and definitely his boldest film yet–everything about it is distinctive.”

Spike Lee added: “I’m honored to be part of the film that will launch Amazon Studios and to tell a story that is so important. Please don’t be fooled by the title of ‘Chi-Raq.’ This new Spike Lee joint will be something very special.”

As noted, although it has yet to be released, the film has been at the center of much debate, at first over the use of the portmanteau “Chi-Raq” as its title, and currently, criticism of the still unseen film based solely on its recently-released trailer.

Spike Lee has been candid about all the controversy surrounding “Chi-Raq,” directly addressing the uproar, emphasizing that it is indeed a serious film – a work of satire that’s essentially designed to shake up the status quo: “People, this film is not a joke,” Lee has said repeatedly.

With December 4 looming, everyone will finally get to actually see “Chi-Raq” and hopefully then have informed discussions on its merits.

Ahead of its release, watch the official trailer for the film featuring Samuel L Jackson, Teyonah Parris, Nick Cannon, Michelle Mitchenor, Jennifer Hudson, Harry Lennix, DB Sweeney, Angela Bassett and Wesley Snipes.





Hey to celebrate the UK release of the fantastic musical film “Black Nativity” starring Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Jennifer Hudson, Tyrese Gibson, Nasir ‘Nas’ Jones, Mary J Blige and Jacob Latimore we have some goodies to give-away to 5 lucky people.

Is your luck in – have a go and let’s see – and here’s wishing you the best!


Answer this question:

Q: Name 3 Black musical films in total that have been made since the early 1920’s to present?

Send your answer to us via email with Subject Heading ‘BN COMPETITION‘ to: info@kushfilms.com

(5 winners will be randomly chosen from a draw of correct answers; winners announced: Monday 23rd December).

* Only one entry per person; please abide by the rules

Film Review: Black Nativity

Written by Michael Dequina
Nov 2013 ©

I know you don’t believe a word I say, but today I’m not lying. I cannot forgive myself for what I did to you. Only you have the right to do that. But I hate myself, and I will keep hating myself as long as I live… ”

I hate making reductive comparisons, most especially in relation to  so-labelled urban films, as the mainstream movie media too often lazily and  ignorantly resorts to them. (Read, or better yet *don’t*, for instance,  any mixed-to-negative review of The Best Man Holiday to vividly illustrate my point.) That said, watching Kasi Lemmons’s holiday musical inspired by the Langston Hughes holiday perennial play Black Nativity couldn’t help but reinforce my feeling that Tyler Perry’s one key miscalculation in nearly all of his very loose film adaptations of his stage plays is the consistent choice to remove the song numbers. Not for nothing did he first build his fervent audience on the stage and that his theatre work still generally works a lot better than his work in other media (though he has shown growth): his plot lines and characters all generally operate in the realm of archetype, but once voices are raised in soaring, rafter-raising melodies, the broad narrative strokes are suddenly, powerfully infused with palpable, urgent emotion and genuine, relatable soul.

How does this relate to Black Nativity exactly? Lemmons adapts that approach quite effectively in a cinematic context for her take on the Hughes play, which in its original form for the stage is exactly what the title suggests: a more gospel-infused take on the Nativity story, and less of a set-in-stone libretto than a general guiding framework for any director and performance troupe to express their own individual creativity. Lemmons takes both principles to heart, crafting her own original story to contextualize an in-narrative production of Black Nativity–an original story that also falls within the traditional modern gospel play mold of a fairly simple, on-the-nose story. When her financial struggles become too much to bear, a single mom (Jennifer Hudson) in DC sends her teenage son (Jacob Latimore) to live with her estranged parents, a preacher (Forest Whitaker) and his prototypical church lady wife (Angela Bassett), in Harlem  for the holiday season.

On that most basic level, this isn’t anything new, a hugs ‘n healing holiday heart-warmer for the whole family. And while this is handily her most generally accessible film to date, Lemmons affirms her maverick status by boldly, unapologetically embracing the undiluted gospel play spirit on the screen in a way never quite fully done before, and from early on the results touch an intangible black-nativity-jacob-latimore-teaser640nerve the way any movie musical uniquely should. Hudson’s farewell to Latimore is a key emotional moment on its face, but it’s taken to a new level of weight with the heartbreaking ballad (one of a number of original compositions by Raphael Saadiq, in collaboration with Lemmons), and the rest of the film follows suit. Whether they be quieter moments like a gorgeously harmonized duet-across-distance between Hudson and Bassett or more elaborate pieces like a full-blown Nativity play production number that beautifully incorporates one of Hughes’s major stage hallmarks–dance–or my personal favourite number, the at once contemporary and classic “Hush Child (Get You Through the Night),” performed by Hudson, Latimore, and Grace Gibson and Luke James (as the modern day Mary and Joseph avatars), even the must programmatic of scenes and plot points are taken to an elevated plane by the passion of and in the music.

But like its genre counterparts on the stage, the film remains decidedly earthbound when it is not literally singing.  Thankfully the presence and abilities of solid actors such as Whitaker (who reveals a stunningly smooth singing voice), Bassett, Hudson, and promising newcomer Latimore lend the proceedings some real grounding even when Lemmons’s script falls into more contrived, conventional, and/or melodramatic trappings, particularly in its overblown non-sung climax of uber-dramatic reveals and confrontations.  But for all the bluster of those moments, what drowns them out and lingers more strongly in the memory and heart is, as it should be, the sweet, celebratory sensation of song.


Read Michael Dequina’s other reviews at:

Black Nativity Hits UK Cinemas – Friday 6th December 2013

Fox Searchlight Pictures announces UK release date for


Starring Jennifer Hudson, Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Jacob Latimore, Tyrese Gibson, Mary J. Blige and Nasir ‘Nas’ Jones.

BLACK NATIVITY will be released in the UK by Fox Searchlight on 6 December 2013. A contemporary adaptation of Langston Hughes’ celebrated play, BLACK NATIVITY is an uplifting, seasonal story told through soulful sounds of gospel music, and brought to you by a lineup of R&B superstars. The story unfolds as Langston (Jacob Latimore), a street-wise teen from Baltimore, journeys to New York City to spend Christmas with his estranged relatives Reverend Cornell (Forest Whitaker) and Aretha Cobbs (Angela Bassett). Unwilling to live by the imposing Reverend Cobbs’ rules, a frustrated Langston is determined to return home to his struggling single mother, Naima (Jennifer Hudson). Langston embarks on a surprising and inspirational journey and along with new friends, and a little divine intervention, he discovers the true meaning of faith, healing, and family.

Award winning director and writer Kasi Lemmons (Talk to Me, Eve’s Bayou, The Caveman’s Valentine) shines at the helm of this festive urban musical. BLACK NATIVITY stars a talented ensemble cast of artists and actors, including award winning singer Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls, Sex in the City), Academy® Award winner Forrest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland, Vantage Point, The Butler), Angela Bassett (Malcolm X, Meet The Robinsons), recording artist Jacob Latimore (The Maze Runner), Tyrese Gibson (Fast and Furious, Transformers), GRAMMY winner Mary J. Blige (Rock of Ages), and hip hop star Nasir ‘Nas’ Jones.


Watch Trailer:


See Selected Cinemas:

Theatre Name
AMC Manchester 16
Cineworld (The O2) 11
Cineworld Aberdeen 10
Cineworld Ashton 14
Cineworld Birm Broadst 12
Cineworld Bolton 15
Cineworld Bradford 16
Cineworld Cardiff 15
Cineworld Castleford 14
Cineworld Crawley 15
Cineworld Dublin 17
Cineworld Enfield 15
Cineworld Falkirk 12
Cineworld Feltham 14
Cineworld Glasgow Renf 18
Cineworld High Wycombe 12
Cineworld Ilford 11
Cineworld Luton 11
Cineworld Milton Keynes 16
Cineworld Newport 13
Cineworld Nottingham 14
Cineworld Shaftesbury 7
Cineworld Sheffield 20
Cineworld Staples Cnr 6
Cineworld Stevenage 16
Cineworld Wandsworth 14
Cineworld Wolverhampton 14
Cineworld Wood Green 12
Empire Basildon 18
Empire Newcastle 16
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Empire Slough 10
Empire West End 8
Movie House City Side Belfast 14
Odeon Birmingham Broadway Plaza 10
Odeon Birmingham New St 8
Odeon Bradford 13
Odeon Greenwich 14
Odeon Holloway 8
Odeon Kingston 14
Odeon Lee Valley 12
Odeon Streatham 8
Odeon Surrey Quays 9
Odeon Trafford Centre 20
Odyssey Belfast 12
Omniplex Lisburn
Omniplex Mahon Point
Peckham Multiplex 6
Premiere Cinemas 8
Safari Harrow
Showcase Bluewater 12
Showcase Bristol 14
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Showcase Coventry 14
Showcase Derby De Lux 12
Showcase Dudley 14
Showcase East Glasgow 14
Showcase Leeds 16
Showcase Leicester De Lux 12
Showcase Liverpool 12
Showcase Manchester 14
Showcase Nantgarw 12
Showcase Newham 14
Showcase Nottingham 13
Showcase Paisley 14
Showcase Peterborough 13
Showcase Reading 12
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Showcase Walsall 12
Vue Acton 9
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Vue Shepherds Bush 12
Vue Star City Birmingham 25
Vue Thurrock 9
Vue Westfield Stratford 17
Vue Wood Green 6

Leading Men Age, But Their Love Interests Don’t!


Recently, Kristen Stewart fell out of the con-artist comedy Focus after Will Smith replaced Ben Affleck as the male lead; according to Variety, she was nagged by “the feeling that the age difference between the two would be too large a gap.” For the record, Smith is a mere four years older than the 40-year-old Affleck, and if it seems a little odd that either of them would be considered a romantic partner for the 23-year-old Stewart in the first place … well, welcome to Hollywood. It seems like time and time again, male movie stars are allowed to age into their forties, fifties, and even sixties while the ages of their female love interests remain firmly on one side of the big 4-0, but is this a perception borne out of reality? To find out for sure, Vulture has analyzed the data of ten middle-aged leading men and the ages of the women they’ve wooed onscreen; you’ll see the results in the charts below.

How’d we arrive at our conclusions? For each of our leading men, we tried to pick a representative sample of films — usually ten — where that A-lister had a notable love interest or wife, then we plotted the age gaps on our charts over the course of that star’s career. (Because production dates for older movies can be hard to come by, we measured the stars’ ages on the day the film in question was released.) The results confirmed our suspicions: As leading men age, their love interests stay the same, and even the oldest men on our list have had few romantic pairings with a woman their own age (or even one out of her mid-thirties). If our actor was sharing the screen with an A-lister of commensurate star power like Julia Roberts or Angelina Jolie, the age difference would drop somewhat, but in movies that relied solely on our guy’s big name, the lesser-known love interests would nearly always be decades younger.

Scroll down to check out our findings in-depth.

Denzel Washington love graph

Denzel Washington’s pushing 60, but you wouldn’t know it from his love interests, who tend to stay 35 and under. Perhaps that’s because Washington rarely gets to romance an actress as formidable as he is (a fact of life that may owe more to Hollywood’s racial prejudices than gender inequality), because when he went toe-to-toe with Angela Bassett for Malcolm X and Whitney Houston in The Preacher’s Wife, the age differences weren’t quite as egregious. (He did pair with Julia Roberts and Angelina Jolie when they were newbie superstars, but those films — The Pelican Brief and The Bone Collector — were cautious and chaste when it came to suggesting a love connection). The older Washington gets, the less it seems to matter to his love interests, as the last three notable ones — Paula Patton, Lymari Nadal, and Kelly Reilly — were all more than twenty years younger than he was.

Harrison Ford love graph
Ford rose to stardom in his late thirties, but the first time he had a notable love interest in her late thirties, it was in 1999’s Random Hearts … when Ford was an age 57 to Kristin Scott Thomas’s 39. The vast majority of Ford’s love interests have been at least fifteen years younger than him, and some were far younger than that: When Six Days Seven Nights came out in 1998, pundits debated whether the sexuality of Ford’s co-star Anne Heche might prove a distraction, paying little mind to the fact that Ford was 26 years older than the woman he was supposed to woo.
Johnny Depp love graph

Johnny Depp likes ’em young: Nearly all of his notable love interests have been 25 or under, and a few of them — including Winona Ryder, Juliette Lewis, Christina Ricci, and Keira Knightley (who shared a kiss with Depp in the second Pirates film) — would have been carded at the time they swapped spit with the star. In fact, the cradle-robbing Depp has only had two notable love interests in their mid-thirties, and all Juliette Binoche and Angelina Jolie had to do to make that cut is win an Oscar beforehand. Easy!

Tom Cruise love graph

Tom Cruise has had an interesting romantic trajectory onscreen: At the start of his career, almost all of his love interests were older than him. Shelley Long in Losin’ It, Rebecca De Mornay in Risky Business, Kelly McGillis in Top Gun … time and time again, an older woman would seduce the sexually inexperienced Cruise onscreen. It’s no wonder women used to love him! In the nineties, though, Cruise began squiring the five-years-younger Nicole Kidman, and he’s remained the older man in all of his romantic encounters since. From Vanilla Sky on, the closest Cruise will let a woman get to his age is ten years; in the new Oblivion, he’s a full seventeen years older than his female lead, Olga Kurylenko.

George Clooney love graph

Compared to Cruise, the women that George Clooney screen-dates are a smidge more age-appropriate (most of them are only eight or nine years his junior), and twice he even wooed actresses who were three older than him: Michelle Pfeiffer in One Fine Day and Holly Hunter in O Brother, Where Art Thou? When it comes to co-stars, Clooney tends to have his pick of classy actresses in their mid-thirties, though as he gets older — Clooney will turn 52 in May — the age of his love interests still seems to have plateaued.

Richard Gere love graph

Former Sexiest Man Alive winner Richard Gere is a good-looking 63, but his love interests haven’t aged much in the three decades he’s been a star: From Pretty Woman on, Gere’s female co-stars have been 10 to 30 years younger than him, a trend that shows no signs of abating now that he’s in his seventh decade. To be fair, he’s played husband to the three-years-older Susan Sarandon in both Shall We Dance and Arbitrage … but in the former, he spends far more screen time with the much younger Jennifer Lopez, and in the latter, he’s stepping out on Sarandon with supermodel-turned-actress Laetitia Casta, who’s separated in age from Gere by a solid 29 years. At least Gere had the tables turned on him somewhat in Unfaithful, where his fifteen-years-younger screen-wife Diane Lane had an affair with a younger man, Olivier Martinez. How much younger than Lane was Martinez? Well … one measly year, actually.

Steve Carell love graph

When your breakout film is called The 40 Year Old Virgin, it ensures that audiences will forever be aware of your age … even if you were actually 43 when it came out, as Steve Carell was. In that movie, he fell in love with the three-years-older Catherine Keener, and ever since, Carell has looked most at home with romantic partners nearer to his age, like Lauren Graham, Tina Fey, and Julianne Moore. Every so often, though, Hollywood will insist at throwing a twentysomething starlet at Carell, and it’s just awkward: Movies like Get Smart, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, and The Incredible Burt Wonderstone had more than a few problems, but the main issue in all three is how ill at ease Carell seems when romantically paired with an actress who’s twenty years younger. Let’s hope Carell got the memo and will continue to be the rare male star who mostly sticks to love interests in their forties (as his new screen paramour Kristen Wiig will be when Anchorman 2 comes out this winter).

Brad Pitt love graph

Brad Pitt began his career as a romantic idol by taking a page straight out of the Tom Cruise playbook: After his roll in the hay with the eight-years-older Geena Davis in Thelma & Louise, he then began screen-dating the much younger women he was seeing in real life, Juliette Lewis and Gwyneth Paltrow, who were both around a decade Pitt’s junior. (That’s apparently his sweet spot, as Angelina Jolie would later be able to attest.) The rest of his romantic history runs the gamut, though Pitt did once take a screen-wife his own age: Mary-Louise Parker, who only got a handful of lines in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.

Liam Neeson love graph

Remember how Depp only allowed a love interest within striking distance of his own age if she was an Oscar-winning actress? The same more than holds true for Liam Neeson, who was partnered with older Oscar winners Jessica Lange and Meryl Streep in the mid-nineties. Aside from that brief moment in time, Neeson usually robs the cradle by wooing actresses around fifteen years younger than him, and ever since Taken re-established his box-office virility, the age of his love interests has dropped precipitously: More than two and a half decades separated Neeson from his screen-wife January Jones in Unknown, and in Paul Haggis’s next film, Third Person, the 61-year-old Neeson will bed 29-year-old Olivia Wilde.

Tom Hanks love graph

Well, here’s something novel: an A-lister whose leading ladies actually age alongside him (though they still tend, on the whole, to be a bit younger). There aren’t any egregiously age-inappropriate pairings in Tom Hanks’s portfolio, since Hanks keeps his love interests within at least ten years of him at all times. He also aims high: Most of his female co-stars are Oscar winners or nominees, from Helen Hunt to Halle Berry, and he’ll co-star with two-time nominee Catherine Keener (who’s only three years younger) in this year’s fact-based drama Captain Phillips. Then again, maybe it shouldn’t surprise us that Hanks is an A-list aberration in this group: For 25 years, he’s been married to the same woman, actress Rita Wilson … and both Hanks and Wilson are 56.

* The charts for Steve Carell and Tom Hanks have been updated.

Courtesy of:  http://www.vulture.com/2013/04/leading-men-age-but-their-love-interests-dont.html

copyright 2013 www..vulture.com