Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The BEST Horror Movie I've Seen in a Long Time - Coming Soon

Attack the Block

Written & Directed by: Joe Cornish

Produced by: Nira Park, James Wilson, Mary Burke, Edgar Wright

Cinematography by: Thomas Townend

Released: July 29, 2011 (USA)

Summary: A teen gang in South London defend their block from an alien invasion.


I usually post movie (and other media) reviews at Cool Black Media . I don’t usually post movie reviews here at the ‘Nother Brother Entertainment Blog, UNLESS it is an independent film worthy of distinction and Attack the Block is such a film.

This is absolutely the best horror movie I’ve seen in a long time. Even though I’ve grown tired of the Final Destinations and Saws I have seen others like the remakes to Friday the 13th (2009) , A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) and sequels like Scream 4 (2011) and felt woefully unimpressed like I have from those original films. These new films failed to capture the peril and excitement and plain ole fun of those original films.  Attack the Block made me feel like I did when I watched those originals - with black people to boot! To digress a little, these are black kids because it’s not set in America so they can’t be African American even though they are “negroes”. You can’t call someone like the British Idris Elba African American can you?

Back to the “Block” this movie had the usual horror movie prerequisites, teens trying to make sense out of numerous murders, and then trying to stop it themselves. This film took a conventional plot and injected a lot of originality and fun into it. The humor was balanced with real fear and suspense along with a kickass climax.

But don’t just trust what I say, and I don’t know why you shouldn’t, these are some other blurbs I found about the film.

Following its premiere at SXSW, Scott Wampler of The Examiner rated it A+ and said it was officially the best film of the festival and likened it to other debuts such as Neil Blomkamp's District 9 and Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs.
Matt Patches writing for Cinemablend said "Attack the Block, even on its small scale, may wind up as one of the best action movies of the year".
IGN gave it four stars saying "Cornish directs with the confidence of a seasoned pro" and calling the film "a blast from start-to-finish."
Block is fun and with its cast of mostly unknowns features some nice standout performances, particularly the kid who plays the leader of the hoodies, John Boyega (who's got great screen presence). –Hollywood Reporter
I cannot agree more with the last quote. Those who know me and have read my writing know that I'm discerning and I don't really recommend anything that I don't think is of high caliber. When I see a great performance I recognize it.

Last year when I saw True Grit I thought the movie was good, but I was WOWED by the performance of Hailee Steinfeld (the little girl in the film) and was SHOCKED that she was only nominated for “Best Supporting Actress” and not “Best Actress” at the Academy Awards®  for she was excellent. (You can read what I said about True Grit here )

Having said that, I think John Boyega (pictured center above) gave another excellent youth performance. Like the above quote stated, he had “great screen presence” which A LOT of actors do not have.

It’s a difference between being a “star” and having enough screen presence to be a lead. You not only rooted for this unlikely hero, but when he gave orders you could see why everyone in the film listened to him. He wasn’t just the hardass all the time either. You could see his vulnerability when dealing with his boss and the plight he was faced with in the film. I hope he has a long and prodigious career unlike other child phenoms like that Sixth Sense kid. Where is homeboy? LOL. In any case remember this guy.

John Boyega
UPDATE: September 1, 2011: John Boyega has been cast in the lead of a HBO boxing drama being helmed by Spike Lee. Read more about it here

Their trailer is below


UPDATE: September 15, 2012: Attack the Block is coming to Blu-Ray/DVD on October 25, 2011. Read all about it here

UPDATE: November 1, 2011: John Boyega has been cast in the lead of a HBO boxing drama being helmed by Spike Lee called Da Brick read all the news about the show at our sista blog Cool Black Media via the link more about it here

UPDATE: August 1, 2011
Attack the Block opened last weekend July 29-31 and became the HIGHEST GROSSEST FILM...however, according to the great site Shadow & Act-
The film opened in only 8 theaters across the country making a total of $130,000 with an average of $16,250 per screen.

That makes it the highest grossing film per screen, better than The Smurfs which came in second with $10, 660 per screen average, though it opened in 3,395 screens nationwide.
If you know the business of film,  "Per Screen Average" is a huge barometer of a film's success. Hopefully Attack the Block will soon be coming to a screen near you.

UPDATE: August 23, 2011
Read about the current Box Office at More Attack the Block Updates at the post here

Related links-
Read more feedback about the opening weekend at Shadow & Act here

Read a great interview with the Writer/Director of Attack the Block Joe Cornish and star John Boyega at Ebony/Jet.com here

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Great Movies by Roger Ebert – My Review

The Great MoviesThe Great Movies by Roger Ebert

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not only do I like watching great films, but I like reading about them too. As a filmmaker people are always surprised that I haven’t seen some “classics”. Generally, I haven’t seen too many films before I was born (70s) and I really have no interest in several genres like war/military films and westerns. I have to say though that as a filmmaker I will watch ANY film when recommended.

When it comes to movies, no one knows them better than Roger Ebert. Forget the movie side; he is one of the best writer/journalist period! His essays are analytical without being too scrutinizing. They really celebrate what it is like to FEEL what the film is trying to convey and how they made him feel. He also has been watching films from around the world at a young age (25) and brings with him a wealth of knowledge of film technique and career of pretty much any given filmmaker in the last 50 years.

The essays in this book were deductive, insightful and most of all filled with fondness of something Roger Ebert perhaps knows just as well as any great filmmaker – film.

~Post Script~

The movies that I haven’t seen, but want to after reading this book are


The 400 Blows

The Apartment

Body Heat

* The Bicycle Thief

The Big Sleep

*Bonnie & Clyde


Double Indemnity

La Dolce Vita

*Lawrence of Arabia

The Maltese Falcon


*The Night of the Hunter

On The Waterfront

Raging Bull

Seven Samurai

Sunset Blvd

I published the below in 2011. Update after that.

With the exception of ‘The 400 Blows’ I have heard of all of these films, but have never seen them. Ebert covers A LOT of films and since there were so many I read only the essays of those films I heard of. I hope to see these films – eventually.

When I do I will more than likely review them on a public forum like Rotten Tomatoes http://bit.ly/DanksMovieRatings

I'll also try and put an * asterisk next to the ones I see as I see them.

View all my reviews (book reviews)

I have since started publishing my reviews on Instagram.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Inside Scoop on the Development of 'Jumping the Broom'

From Our Stories Films Inc., the company behind

Tracey Edmonds (Pictured right), long-time producer, and now President and Chief Operating Officer of Our Stories Films Inc. describes all of the details of getting the film from script to screen.

She talks about:

-Development of the script
-The budget
-The casting
-The marketing
-The shooting locations
-The test audiences with the studio executives present

Ms. Edmonds describes it all in the podcast below (45 minutes) courtesy of the great website Shadow & Act

Listen to internet radio with Shadow And Act on Blog Talk Radio

You can read more about Ms. Edmonds career at Wikipedia here

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Showrunner Transcripts

In last week's issue, New York Magazine surveyed fourteen of the top TV showrunners about their process and craft. All during upfront week, we'll be running longer transcripts of these conversations: some will include extended answers to our questionnaire, some will break free altogether, but all will provide a revealing and insightful look into the minds of the people who make our appointment television.
Showrunner is a term of art originating in the United States and Canadian television industry referring to the person who is responsible for the day-to-day operation of a television series — although such persons generally are credited as an executive producer.-Wikipedia
Showrunners are also typically the Head Writer of the series. They don't write every episode, but they shape the direction of the storylines and the direction of the show. They also typically write important episodes, Season Premieres, Season Finales etc., themselves. Whereas film is a director's medium, television is a writer's medium.

 Among the showrunners interviewed are

Grey's Anatomy's Shonda Rhimes

Community’s Dan Harmon

30 Rock's Robert Carlock

Breaking Bad's Vince Gilligan

How I Met Your Mother’s Carter Bays and Craig Thomas

The Good Wife’s Robert and Michelle King

Justified’s Graham Yost

Cougar Town’s Bill Lawrence and Kevin Biegel

Check out all of the interviews here

They also have a cool feature — Fourteen Creators on Influences, Failure, And the Shows They Wish They’d Written here


UPDATE: October 12, 2011

has announced their

Check it all out right here


UPDATE: October 3, 2012

has announced their 2012

Check it all out right here

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Best Film I Saw At The 2011 Maryland Film Festival…

Before I get to that film (I know I’m worse than Ryan Seacrest with his “we will reveal who’s eliminated…right after the break”, but give me one (a break) LOL. Allow me to digress for a moment.

Every year I try to see all of the black films I’m interested in. Not all of the films I see are black films, but the majorities are. I take this opportunity to see films I most of the time would not get from Netflix, Red Box or more than likely would not watch on Cable if I’m channel surfing. Sad to say, a lot of films must get media attention or a lot of attention through my grassroots networks for me to see it. Another reason why marketing and distribution is important. I saw a truly bad independent film because a friend of mine heard about it through marketing (I spoke of that film, though NOT by title, here ). Film festivals are also important for filmmakers, like me, and film lovers alike to seek out what a festival’s staff choose to put on. Don’t get it twisted I’ve seen movies at the festivals that wasn’t that great, but you can’t like everything ESPECIALLY a discerning chap such as myself.

So the Best Film I Saw At The 2011 Maryland Film Festival was…

Here’s what I said on our ‘Nother Brother Entertainment Facebook page-
I really enjoyed this documentary for it did what the best docs, which are not about really dense subjects; do…be informative, sometimes amusing, and sometimes tense. It also had an inventive visual style that I will not give away, but is clever. In the end this documentary was fun and informative about what it’s like to be in a band that throughout its history, while influential, has been teeter-tottering on success.
Of the five films I saw this year, this was easily my favorite. I liked all of the films I saw this year (not always the case), but this one was a whole buncha fun. From the very beginning with the “inventive visual style” I thought “this is good”. The first time I even heard of Fishbone was in the Damon Wayans comedy special ‘Damon Wayans: The Last Stand?’ (1990). He talked about this black rock group Fishbone and the only one I ever heard of before was Living Colour (NOT related to the television show ‘In Living Color’).

At the Q&A after the film, the directors Lev Anderson & Chris Metzler said that while Fishbone won’t necessary make money from their film, they do allow the group to show the film at their concerts for free and hopes that it will prompt interest in their music and that’s true. Even though punk-funk is not my cup of tea, after the movie I did check out their music at online music stores.

As a fan of “all black everything” I wanted to see this film and discovered that the group did indeed strive to combat racial stereotypes. A black punk group? Who ever heard of that? You mean “P-Funk”? No PUNK, as in a form of rock music. Black people play that? Yes and its name is Fishbone.

See what my favorite film from the 2010 Maryland Film Festival, a film you can see for FREE NEXT WEEK right here here

I wrote about ALL the films I saw at the 2011 Maryland Film Festival EXCLUSIVELY at our Facebook page and Twitter feed. Click the buttons below to check them out @ http://bit.ly/2011MFF

Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone Official Website

Watch their 'Everyday Sunshine' trailer below
(WARNING: Brief nudity (buttocks))

"Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone" - documentary trailer

You can see direct links to ALL the films I saw at the 2011 Maryland Film Festival HERE

Monday, May 2, 2011

Freedom Riders - An Excellent Documentary Premiering on TV

Last year this time I saw the EXCELLENT Freeom Riders at the Maryland Film Festival. I thought it seemed like an interesting film since I like seeing African American based films. When I saw it I had no idea I would have such a reaction and had to write about it. After screening around the country the doc is now premiering on PBS stations around the country as part of their American Experience program. American Experience airs documentaries about important or interesting events and people in American history.


They have a great extensive multimedia websitewhere you NOW WATCH THE WHOLE FILMCLICK the graphic below to check it out

Freedom Riders website

UPDATE: September 12, 2011
Freedom Riders wins Multiple Emmys

 Outstanding Picture Editing For Nonfiction Programming - 2011
Freedom Riders PBS A production of Firelight Films for American Experience Lewis Erskine, Edited By; Aljernon Tunsil, Edited By

 Exceptional Merit In Nonfiction Filmmaking - 2011
Freedom Riders PBS A production of Firelight Films for American Experience Stanley Nelson, Produced by; Laurens Grant, Produced by; Mark Samels, Executive Producer; Sharon Grimberg, Senior Producer
 Outstanding Writing for Nonfiction Programming - 2011
Freedom Riders PBS A production of Firelight Films for American Experience Stanley Nelson, Written By

Go back to the  TOP of this blog entry.

 Check out their Wikipedia page-

Related post-
You can see the trailer and read about what I said about Freedom Riders here