Tag Archives: The Equalizer

Director Antoine Fuqua directs Gyllenhaall in Southpaw

Written by Graeme Wood
11.05.15

Southpaw_Jake_Gyllenhaall

Director Antoine Fuqua’s ‘Southpaw’ opens in the UK this July, the drama stars Jake Gyllenhaall as a boxer fighting his way to the top of his profession only to have his personal life fall apart around him.

Fuqua’s previous films include Training Day, The Replacement Killers, Olympus Has Fallen and The Equalizer. In ‘Southpaw’ Gyllenhaall plays Billy ‘The Great’ Hope a Junior Middleweight Champion whose fighting stance, the ‘Southpaw’, is an ineloquent and brutal display of offensive fighting. Billy Hope has it all; a beautiful home, family and financial security but when a tragic accident leaves his wife dead it sends him on a downward spiral of self destruction. His days become drug and alcohol fuelled, his home is reposed and his daughter taken by Child Services. All seems lost until a washed up former boxer Tick (Forest Whitaker) agrees to take Billy under his wing and train him to mount a comeback in the ring. Billy must become a new man, fight to regain his title and to take back custody of his daughter.

Fuqua has been nominated for several awards previously and won the ‘Black Reel’ Best Director Antoine_Fuquaprize in 2002 for Training Day, though he has not been nominated for an Academy Award even though Training Day’s lead actor Denzel Washington was nominated and won Best Actor in 2002.

The screenplay for ‘Southpaw’ comes from Kurt Sutter who says he was inspired by the struggles of Marshall Mathers, “He shared so much of his personal struggle in this raw and very honest rap album, one that I connected with on a lot of levels. He is very interested in the boxing genre and it seemed like an apt metaphor, because his own life has been a brawl. In a way, this is a continuation of the 8 Mile story, but we are doing a metaphorical narrative of the second chapter of his life. He’ll play a world champion boxer who really hits rock bottom, and has to fight to win back his life for his young daughter”.

Eminem was originally in line to play the lead role when the film was at Dreamworks, they later dropped the project and then everything was put on hold when Eminem decided to focus on his music career. Antoine Fuqua came on board to direct in 2014 with The Weinstein Company taking over distribution of the movie. The stellar cast also includes Rachel McAdams, Rita Ora, Naomie Harries, Forest Whitaker and 50 Cent.

Gyllenhaall fresh from his acclaimed performance in ‘Nightcrawler’ has undertaken a stunning physical transformation for the role. The 33 year old method actor, who lost 30lbs to play Lou Bloom in Nightcrawler, added 15lb of muscles to his usual weight to play Billy Hope. Fuqua told Deadline; “Jake is going to change how people see him. I had him training twice a day in the boxing ring, seven days a week. I pretty much had him with me and my trainer every day. He’s a very electric, powerful fighter in this movie.”

Southpaw opens in July in the US and the UK and Fuqua’s next project will be a remake of ‘The Magnificent Seven’ with his Training Day/Equalizer star Denzil Washington, the pair are also in talks regarding a sequel to 2014’s The Equalizer.

View the Southpaw trailer here:

Sony US Producer alludes to Black Lead Stars & Racism Encountered with Failing International Box Office

Taken from Buzzfeed.com
Written by: Mary Ann Georgantopoulos18.12.14

Denzil-Washington-The-Equalizer

 

An unnamed producer wrote in an email to Sony chairman Michael Lynton that films with black actors — using Denzel Washington in The Equalizer as an example — don’t perform well because the international audiences are “racist,” according to documents found in the Sony hack.

The producer suggested that the two-time Oscar winner should not star in big-budget films as the international audience will not accept him in a leading role because of his race.

“I believe that the international motion picture audience is racist — in general pictures with an African American lead don’t play well overseas. When Sony made Equalizer they had to know that Denzel opens pics domestically, however the international gross would be somewhat limited,” the producer wrote in an Oct. 27 e-mail.

Lynton wrote back asking if he was saying The Equalizer “shouldn’t have been made or that African American actors should be excluded?”

“No, I am not saying ‘The Equalizer’ should not have been made or that African American actors should not have been used (I personally think Denzel is the best actor of his generation),” the producer responded. “Casting him is saying we’re ok with a double if the picture works,” the producer wrote, using a baseball analogy.

Washington is “reliable at the domestic [box office], safe, but has not had a huge success in years. I believe whenever possible the non event pictures, extra ‘bets’ should have a large inherent upside and be made for the right price. Here there isn’t a large inherent upside,” the producer wrote.

The producer also wrote that he or she hoped the statement wasn’t “inappropriate or provocative.”

The Equalizer grossed about $191 million worldwide. Approximately $90 million was earned overseas. The producer said this figure would have been higher if a black man wasn’t in the lead role.

According to the emails, a sequel to the movie was set for 2017, but would be “a double, with a remote chance of a home run.”

Calls to Denzel Washington’s publicist were not immediately returned.

Film Review: The Equalizer

 

 

 

Review by Michael Dequina
Oct 2014

 

The Equalizer was released in the UK on 26th September 2014 and was well received by critics, so far after 4 weeks in UK cinemas the film has grossed £6,370,768 which is fairly decent but not overly fantastic but overall it has done well globally, last check taking over $79,885,000 and still going.

I must say when I saw the film I loved it, it is extremely violent & brutal but I loved that it had a few surprises and did not play out in the usual formulaic revenge action picture fashion, the film definitely had me hooked to the screen throughout, seems Denzil could be back (well I in particular thought he was on his way out, like DeNiro!).

Read our American film critic Michael Dequina review of the film; below.

 

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The Equalizer’ sees Denzel Washington in action-hero mode as Robert McCall, a former government agent who is forced out of retirement after a chance encounter with a young girl.

After faking his own death, former black ops commando Robert McCall is trying to leave his past behind him. But when he witnesses a young girl in trouble, he finds himself unable to turn the other way and deploys his skills to save her. This act of kindness has huge consequences and McCall soon finds himself squaring up against some ultra-violent Russian mobsters.

‘The Equalizer’ reunites Denzel Washington with ‘Training Day’ director Antoine Fuqua.
Starring: Denzel Washington, Dan Bilzerian & Chloe Grace Moretz.

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FILM REVIEW:
Equalizer_Film_Still

It’s a bit of a truism, to put it mildly, to say that Denzel Washington is one of the all-time acting greats and film stars.  But for all of his serious dramatic chops and performances and the many awards to show for them, it is in the seemingly undemanding action programmers like The Equalizer where, to me, he truly proves the singular depths and scope of his talents and presence.  To the credit of screenwriter Richard Wenk and director Antoine Fuqua, they have found the right, refreshing angle for this feature film adaptation of the 1980s CBS series of the same name.

Like that Edward Woodward starring vehicle, Washington plays Robert McCall, a man using the certain skills from his shady past doing the dirty work for a government agency to help the innocent, needy, and or helpless.  But the angle here is one that, if I recall correctly, never was explicitly explored in the original TV show’s four-year run: the superhero-esque origin story of how he was lulled out of a quiet, anonymous, unremarkable, but content post-service existence to become the righteous avenger who solicits his services for free via advertisement.  In a move that may not please those seeking instant action gratification, Wenk and Fuqua take the nature of an origin story very seriously–that is, patiently setting up McCall’s status quo working at a Home Depot-esque warehouse store and how his casual acquaintance with a teen prostitute (Chloe Grace Moretz, effective in a smallish but pivotal role) prompts him back into action.  But even once it reaches that point, the film does not suddenly become all about ass-kicking, with Wenk and Fuqua continuing to organically build the dramatic stakes as the shockwaves from McCall’s actions reverberate through the Russian mob, who send a ruthless enforcer (Marton Csokas, spot-on) on the hunt.

That he takes his time to build dramatic momentum is a measure of the familiarity and faith Fuqua has in his star, who is the primary reason why the character and film remain such a consistently Equalizer-stillcompelling event without wall-to-wall action.  There really isn’t a whole lot to McCall on the page: shady past and requisite regret, strict moral code of justice, a nigh-invulnerable baddest of badasses when push comes to shove.  And this is where having someone like Washington in the lead is invaluable, who not only has such commanding charisma but can convey so much in his stillness and the most subtle of choices.  Training Day fans may bemoan the lack of a big, bellowing “King Kong ain’t got nothin’ on me!” display of histrionic firepower, but Washington’s choice to very rarely ever raise his voice speaks volumes about the character, from his moral code to his self-awareness of the brutality within; to how much conscious effort he has to exert to keep it under control–making those outbursts all the more brutal, frightening, and, honestly, satisfying.

And do Fuqua and Washington ever make the first two-thirds’ carefully built foundation pay off when they finally let loose and blow the roof off the ‘emma effa’ with a terrifically tense, unusually extended climax.  Fuqua knows to make this sequence more than just about the flying bullets and violent ass-and-all-other-parts kicking, for beyond the expected visceral thrills and bone-cracking and -smashing brutality, it is a wonderfully paced and suspenseful cat-and-many-mice standoff  game between McCall and a large crew of bad guys, with that smartly established narrative groundwork and the innate gifts of the star lending gravitas and resonance to the explosive goings-on–and lending that much more satisfaction and excitement, most especially to see where Washington and Fuqua can take this in future instalments.

 

Renaissance 2014 Black Movie Preview

 

By ReBecca Theodore-Vachon
Dec 27, 2013

black movies 2014

2013 was a win-win for Black cinema with both critically acclaimed movies (“12 Years A Slave,” “Fruitvale Station”) and in the box office (“Best Man Holiday,” “The Butler”).  Now that Hollywood has gotten the message that movies with casts of color are indeed profitable, 2014 promises more dramas, romantic comedies and action thrillers for Black moviegoers.

We’ve compiled a list of some of our most anticipated projects for 2014:

“Ride Along” Starring- Kevin Hart, Ice Cube, Tika Sumpter

UK Release Date: 07/03/2014

Fast-talking security guard Ben (Kevin Hart)  joins his cop brother-in-law James (Ice Cube)  on a 24-hour patrol of Atlanta in order to prove himself worthy of marrying Angela (Tika Sumpter), James’ sister.

 

“About Last Night”  Starring- Michael Ealy, Joy Bryant, Regina Hall, Kevin Hart

UK Release Date: 21/03/14

New love for two couples as they journey from the bar to the bedroom and are eventually put to the test in the real world.

 

“Repentance” Starring: Sanaa Lathan, Forest Whitaker, Anthony Mackie, Mike Epps

US Release Date: 02/28/2014

An earnest life-coach/author, Thomas Carter (Anthony Mackie), is mysteriously abducted by a deranged client, (Forest Whitaker) who delves into Thomas’ teachings and uses his spiritual messages of Karma – action and reaction (Vipaka), against him to terrorize him and his family for their past sins.

 

“The Single Moms Club” Starring: Nia Long, Tyler Perry, Amy Smart, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Terry Crews, Cocoa Brown

US Release Date: 03/14/2014

Brought together by a vandalism incident at their children’s school, a group of single mothers from different walks of life bond, and create a support group that helps them find comedy in the obstacles of life.

 

“A Haunted House 2″ Starring: Marlon Wayans, Liana Mendoza, Dave Sheridan, Iva La’Shawn

US Release Date: 03/28/2014

Having exorcised the demons of his ex, Malcolm (Marlon Wayans)  is starting fresh with his new girlfriend (Jaime Pressly) and her two children. After moving into their dream home, however, Malcolm is once again plagued by bizarre paranormal events.

 

“Belle” Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Susan Brown, Tom Coulston

UK Release Date: 13/06/2014

An illegitimate mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral is raised by her aristocratic great-uncle.

 

“Think Like A Man Too” Starring: Gabrielle Union, Megan Good, Regina Hall, Michael Ealy, Romany Malco, Kevin Hart

Release Date: 19/09/2014

All the couples are back for a wedding in Las Vegas, but plans for a romantic weekend go awry when their various misadventures get them into some compromising situations that threaten to derail the big event.

Think-Like-A-Man-Too

 

“Get On Up” Starring:  Chad Boseman, Tika Sumpter, Octavia Spencer, Viola Davis, Jill Scott

US Release Date: 08/01/2014

A chronicle of James Brown’s rise from extreme poverty to become one of the most influential musicians in history.

Get-On-Up-Movie

 

“Addicted” Starring: Sharon Leal, Kat Graham, Boris Kodjoe, William Levy, Tasha Smith, Tyson Beckford

US Release Date: 09/05/2014

Based on Zane’s bestseller, a woman’s sex addiction threatens to ruin her family life.

Addicted-Movie

 

“No Good Deed” Starring: Idris Elba, Taraji P. Henson

US Release Date: 09/12/2014

A wife and mother of two (Taraji P. Henson), lives an ideal life that takes a turn when her family is threatened by a stranger who talks his way into her house, claiming car trouble. The unexpected invitation leaves her terrorized and fighting for survival.

 Idris-Taraji

 


“The Equalizer”
Starring – Denzel Washington, Chloe Grace Moretz, Melissa Leo, Marton Csokas

US Release Date: 09/26/2014

Denzel Washington and “Training Day” director Antoine Fuqua reunite for their second feature. Washington plays a covert operative who, seeking redemption for his dark deeds, quits a CIA-like agency and puts a classified advertisement in the paper that reads simply: “Got a problem? Odds against you? Call the Equalizer”

The-Equalizer-Denzel-Washington

 

“Annie” Starring: Quevanzhane Wallis, Jamie Foxx, Dorian Missick, Cameron Diaz, Tracie Thoms, Rose Byrne

US Release Date: December 19, 2014

Annie-Movie

Source: http://theurbandaily.com/2013/12/27/2014-black-movie-preview/
© 2013