Even as a young suburban kid growing up in the 1990s, the music of A Tribe Called Quest found its way into my life. Their smooth rhymes and lyrical beats wore out my cassette player, CD player but then they seemingly disappeared for a while. At the time, without the internet or viable entertainment news, finding out what happened to the hip hop legends wasn’t the easiest thing. This summer, you’ll find out in a theater near you.

One of the most entertaining documentaries to play this year’s Sundance Film Festival (read my glowing review here) Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest, directed by Michael Rapaport, will enjoy a limited release on July 8 and you can see its first trailer after the jump. Read More »

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Sundance Invades The Summer of 2011

Everyone’s talked ad nauseam about how the summer of 2011 is going to be a blockbuster bloodbath. Week after week of high concept, big budget sequels featuring superheroes, robots and wizards. But those aren’t the only movies that’ll be playing at your local theater during the long, hot months of May, June, July and August. A huge chunk of movies we reviewed in January at the Sundance Film Festival – from award winners to our personal favorites – are also finding their way into theaters during that time. As the heat quickly approaches, we’ve decided to highlight over 20 Sundance films that are scheduled to open opposite the traditional Hollywood fare. See images, read reviews and find release dates all below. Read More »

While Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest isn’t the best documentary I saw at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, it’s far and away the most fun. Directed by actor Michael Rapaport, it tells the rise, fall and rise again, of one of the most influential hip hop groups of all time: A Tribe Called Quest. Infused with their music, behind the scenes footage and deeply personal and revealing interviews, Rapaport has crafted both a love letter to Tribe while also telling the simple story of what success does to friendship. Read More »

The announcement of the movies playing the 2011 Sundance Film Festival is like looking into our film futures. It’s December and most movie fans are looking back at the last 12 months, picking out award winners, writing top ten lists, and chances are we haven’t even heard of the Sundance films. They’re just titles, people, words on a computer screen. Then in January they unspool on screens across Park City, Utah and become something more. Finally, months later, these are the movies we discuss with our friends and choose on ballots at awards parties. Yet we get to read about them now, a year in advance.

Last year at this time, who had heard of Four Lions, Catfish, Exit Through The Gift Shop, Blue Valentine, The Kids Are All Right, Winter’s Bone, Restrepo or Animal Kingdom? Sundance, that’s who. All those films screened at the 2010 festival and now many have become not only personal favorites, but critical darlings and award contenders too.

Wednesday, Sundance announced the 58 films eligible for awards in four categories that will play the 2011 festival, taking place January 20-30. The 57 out-of-competition films in six additional categories will be announced Thursday. After the jump, we’ll give you the full list as well as highlight five in each category that sound particular promising. Read More »

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