PRIDE (2007)

Directed By: Sunu Gonera 
Written By: Kevin Michael Smith, Michael Gozzard, J Mills Goodloe & Norman Vance Jr. 
Story By: Kevin Michael Smith & Michael Gozzard 
Cinematography By: Matthew F. Leonetti 
Editor: Billy Fox 

Cast: Terrence Howard, Bernie Mac, Tom Arnold, Kimberly Elise, Evan Ross, Nate Parker, Scott Eastwood, Gary Sturgis, Brandon Fobbs, Alphonso McAuley 

The determined Jim Ellis starts a swim team for troubled teens at the Philadelphia Department of Recreation.


There must be a cliche that says if you are making an African American period piece that the Afro wigs that are used must be ridiculously, horribly fake that almost distracted me from this film as a whole. While not as terrible as the wigs in the movie THE WOOD. These were pretty bad. This film suffers from more than that, while I did enjoy this film. Call me biased but intend to like heartwarming films especially African American ones because it is rare that we see them.

I also have a weakness for sports story of triumph. With this film like most sports films is predictable and when it’s not predictable it’s cliche ridden. They Coach goes up against his word, but for a good reason. The saintly character had a dark and sordid past. The racist whites who will come around at the end to give respect to the people they were calling animals only minutes earlier.

This film even has Tom Arnold doing a dramatic performance though it doesn’t offer too much dramatic depth. As he is more a villain as one of the racist white coaches.

Bernie mac does a good job, though anytime it calls for him to be emotional. You feel like cracking up. It’s not because he is bad. He actually is good but that is the reaction it seems to garner.

Terrence Howard while a good actor is not usually one of my favorites. He has this quality sometimes that seems to suggest he feels he is too good to be in whatever role he is playing, plus his eyes while pretty always look like they are on the verge of watering or crying.

The film also takes on a romantic subplot, out of nowhere that not only has no steam behind it but also no chemistry.

The film also adds in the fact that education is key to the future. The looming criminal or gangster of the neighborhoods influence. The sole female member joining the team because it also gives voice to women’s rights to this story of success and struggle. Because we all are equal after all.

We don’t know all of the facts behind this true story. So I can’t say which aspects are true or embellished.

The film tries to be earnest and tell it’s story, that while actions happen the film is teaching the characters and viewers life lessons. not sensationalizing it. So for that I must give it the proper respect and it didn’t waste my time or sicken me. It was the acting, directing, editing, staging, cinematography, writing and production values. The script could use some work to be maybe more subtle rather than cookie cutter.

Still give the film it’s props, but I can’t really say there was anything really that special about the film. More a heroic tale that allows for a chance to show black excellence.

GRADE: C+

OLD DOGS (2009)

old_dogs

Directed By: Walt Becker
Written By: David Diamond & David Weissman
Cinematography By: Jeffrey L. Kimball
Editor: Ryan Folsey 


 Cast: John Travolta, Robin Williams, Rita Wilson, Lori Loughlin, Kelly Preston, Amy Sedaris, Seth Green, Bernie Mac, Matt Dillon, Ann-Margaret, Elle Bleu Travolta

Charlie and Dan have been best friends and business partners for thirty years; their Manhattan public relations firm is on the verge of a huge business deal with a Japanese company. With two weeks to sew up the contract, Dan gets a surprise: a woman he married on a drunken impulse nearly nine years before (annulled the next day) shows up to tell him he’s the father of her twins, now seven, and she’ll be in jail for 14 days for a political protest. Dan volunteers to keep the tykes, although he’s up tight and clueless. With Charlie’s help is there any way they can be dad and uncle, meet the kids’ expectations, and still land the account?

Continue reading “OLD DOGS (2009)”

WHO’S THE MAN? (1993)

whostheman1_758_427_81_s

Directed By: Ted Demme
Written By: Seth Greenland
Story By: Doctor Dre, Ed Lover & Seth Greenland
Cinematography By: Adam Kimmel
Editor: John Gilroy & Jeffrey Wolf 

Cast: Ed Lover, Doctor Dre, Nick Moody, Ice-T, Badja Djola, Denis Leary, Bill Bellamy, Colin Quinn, Bernie Mac, Kurt Loder, Vincent Pastore, Fab 5 Freddy, Richard Bright, Krs-One, Karen Duffy, Terrence Howard

Ed Lover and Doctor Dre are two inept barbers. Deciding that maybe they ought to find another line of work, they join the police. A big mistake, as far as their duty sergeant, Sgt Cooper is concerned, who proceeds to harass them at every turn. Despite this, they discover a major crime, and proceed to solve them in their own unusual fashion.

Continue reading “WHO’S THE MAN? (1993)”

HOUSE PARTY 3 (1994)

houseparty31

Directed By: Eric Reza
Written By: Takashi Bufford
Based On A Story By: David Toney & Takashi Bufford
Based on characters by: Reginald Hudlin
Cinematography By: Anghel Decca
Editor: Tom Walls

CAST: Christopher Reid, Christopher Martin, Bernie Mac, Chris Tucker, David Edwards, Angela Means, Khandi Alexander, Joe Torry, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Marques Houston, Eddie Griffin, Michael Colyar, TLC, Immature, Yvette Wilson, Reynaldo Rey, Gilbert Gotfried, 

Come to a new House Party, where Kid, after a lifetime ‘playing the field’, falls in love and is about to get married. ‘Play’ plans to throw the rockin’est bachelor party ever – until ‘Kid’s’ three wise-crackin’ nephews come to town, intent on showing ‘Kid’ and ‘Play’ what parties are all about…

Continue reading “HOUSE PARTY 3 (1994)”

MO’ MONEY (1992)

momoney

Directed By: Peter MacDonald
Written By: Damon Wayans
Cinematography By: Don Burgess
Editor: Hubert C. de La Bouillerie 


Cast: Damon Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Stacey Dash, Joe Santos, John Diehl, Harry Lennix, Jackie Hoffman, Bernie Mac, Irma P. Hall, Salli Richardson-Whitfield. Mark Beltzman, Almayvonne 


Trying to get his act together, a con artist gets a job in a credit card company. He falls in , love with a fellow employee, he steals a couple of cards, everything is going great. But soon, the chief of security drags him into the big leagues of criminals.

Continue reading “MO’ MONEY (1992)”

GUESS WHO (2005)

guess_who29

Directed By: Kevin Rodney Sullivan
Written By: David Ronn, Jay Scherick & Peter Tolan
Story By: David Ronn & Jay Scherick
Based on The Original Screenplay “GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER” By: William Rose
Cinematography By: Karl Walter Lindenlaub
Editor: Paul Seydor 

 

Cast: Bernie Mac, Ashton Kutcher, Zoe Saldana, Judith Scott, Hal Williams, RonReaco Lee, Sherri Shepherd, Niecy Nash, Paula Newsome, Phil Reeves, Nicole Sullivan, Jessica Cauffiel, Kimberly Scott, Richard Lawson 

Percy and Marilyn are renewing their vows for their anniversary, and their daughter Theresa brings her boyfriend Simon for them to meet. Unbeknownst to her parents, the kids plan to announce their engagement during the weekend. The Jones family is Black; Theresa neglects to tell them Simon is White. Race complicates Percy’s general mistrust of any boyfriend, so he instigates an investigation of Simon, discovering he’s recently lost his job and hasn’t told Theresa. Mistrust rears its ugly head, and in the process of Theresa and Simon’s argument, Marilyn and Percy fall out. What can the men do to cross the divide between each other and between men and women? Will anyone be exchanging vows?


Continue reading “GUESS WHO (2005)”

HOW TO BE A PLAYER (1997)

howtobeaplayer

Directed By: Lionel C. Martin
Story By: Mark Brown
Written By: Mark Brown & Demetria Johnson
Editor: William Young 


Cast: Bill Bellamy, Pierre, Natalie Desselle, Mari Morrow, Lark Voorhies, Bernie Mac, Jermaine Hopkins, A.J. Johnson, Beverly Johnson, Gilbert Gottfried, Max Julien, Amber Smith, Elise Neal, Jazsmin Lewis 


Dray is a young playboy whose only objective in life seems to be to have sex with as many girls as he can without getting caught by his girlfriend Lisa. Dray’s sister Jenny and her friend Katrina plan to show him that the way he lives is wrong and organize a party in Malibu, inviting all of his girlfriends.

Continue reading “HOW TO BE A PLAYER (1997)”