The story of LA rap group N.W.A is a fairly short one, and has been told already through the best means available — their records and the songs and albums that members released after the group started to disintegrate. But what the hell, let’s get a biopic together, anyway. Straight Outta Compton, titled after N.W.A’s breakout album from 1988, will seek to tell the tale of N.W.A’s rise and fall. And why not hire someone who seems, on the surface, like the least likely screenwriter to get things going? So Andrea Berloff, who wrote Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center, is drafting the script. Read More »
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I was thrilled a couple weeks ago to see that Oren Moverman will rewrite and direct Rampart, based on a story and script by James Ellroy. The film covers the scandal that engulfed the Rampart Division of the LAPD in the ’90s and now, perhaps appropriately, Ice Cube is in the cast. The guy went from being a full-on anti-authority spokesman to reformed family man and comedy filmmaker, and now he’s going back to the subject of crooked cops.
The irony is that Cube will play a cop in the film — he’s the homicide detective that investigates a dirty Rampart cop played by Woody Harrelson. Ben Foster is in the film, as well, but we don’t yet know his part. [Deadline]
After the break, Bryce Dallas Howard joins Viola Davis in The Help and Paul Reubens gets blue. Read More »
The ESPN documentary series, 30 for 30, continues a phenomenal and original run at uniting fans of sports history and cinema with Straight Outta L.A. Directed and narrated by Ice Cube, in O.G. gruff mode, the doc examines the stylistic endorsement of the Los Angeles Raiders in the mid-to-late ’80s by West Coast gangsta rap pioneers N.W.A., and proposes that Cube’s group cultivated everlasting, if unsolicited, street cred for the franchise as a multi-billion dollar brand. At this point in Ice Cube’s movie and music career, I was skeptical going in. Would his contribution to 30 for 30 play like self-serving promotion for N.W.A.’s back catalogue and the NFL’s fat merchandising arm? There’s a little hustle on hand, sure, but overall I enjoyed this well-organized, brisk look at the fashionable assimilation of a corporate/athletic identity by young black artists…with attitude.
For any guy who owned/stole a “Real Men Wear Black” t-shirt, more than one Starter jacket, or Dr. Dre‘s The Chronic in the early ’90s, Straight Outta L.A.‘s subject matter is enticing and nearly irresistible. This mix of enthusiasm and nostalgia is sensed in several of the interviewees enlisted from the world of old school hip hop (Ice-T, MC Ren) and Raiders’ record books (Howie Long, Marcus Allen). And Ice Cube goes the extra step by speaking with journalists, city employees, and figure-loving merchandising guys from the era. The biggest catch is his interview with aging “maverick” Raiders owner, Al Davis, regarding the team’s legacy and its controversial move from Oakland to L.A. and back again. (Note: Darth Vader after the jump.)
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I bet when everyone first heard Fred Durst scream the chorus of his rendition of George Michael’s late ’80s hit “Faith”, they had no idea he would someday make a feature-length film, never-mind two. Yes, TWO – he also helmed a indie drama titled The Education of Charlie Banks, which won an award at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival. The Limp Biscuit frontman’s second film, The Longshots, tells the true story of Jasmine Plummer who, at the age of eleven, became the first female to play in Pop Warner football tournament in its 56-year history. Written by the writers of Akeelah and the Bee and Prison Break, The Longshots stars Ice Cube and will hit theaters on July 25th 2008 from Dimension Films. It seems like the typical sports drama, but, who knew Fred Durst could direct a movie? Check out the trailer below and tell me what you think.
[flv:http://bitcast-a.bitgravity.com/slashfilm/trailers/longshots.flv 470 200]
You can also watch the trailer in High Definition on Yahoo.
“Fool, you betta call me!”
If John Singleton (Higher Learning, 2 Fast 2 Furious) needs someone to walk the Earth in search of the perfect gold dookie chains for his re-envisioning of the hit ’80s show The A-Team, I’ll do it for free shrimp. That’s right, the suspect action show that kept a million kids off the pot is headed to the big screen via 20th Century Fox on June 12, 2009. It will face off on that date with the Eddie Murphy extravaganza Nowhere Land.
None of the macho mercenary roles are locked, though Singleton, who has made this project sound promising and even hinted at an R-rating (I’d still bet on PG-13), tipped Woody Harrelson for the role of Murdock back in January.
And then Ice Cube (zzz) generously offered his services for the role of Mr. T’s B.A. Baracus, but Singleton replied to that with, “all this bullshit of who is saying who is this person and who isâ€¦nobody is playing Mr. T, the character’s name is B.A. Baracus, he will have a Mohawk and there is a moment in the movie where he actually gets the Mohawk cause he’s going crazy!” So, got that, Ice Cube, nobody is playin’ Mr. T.
Mohawks and overalls (on badass black dudes) forever.
Discuss: Sound like fun to you or sheer trash? Who deserves to rock the chains? Please, no rappers, especially Lil Mama.
If anyone out there knows Mr. T, please go check on him to make sure he hasn’t jumped off a bridge wearing his signature 700 pounds of fake gold. The Teddy Ruxpin of American gangstas, Ice Cube, hopes to play mohawked soldier of fortune B.A. Baracus in John Singleton‘s The A-Team. While we’re updating The A-Team, why not change the meaning of Baracus’ acronymic initials from “Bad Attitude” to either: “Bad Actor” or “Baby Accident”? The bankable star of the Are Weâ€¦Yet franchise explained why his “flavor” is best for the role to Blackfilm.com.
“Hell yeah, especially with John Singleton directing! …I wouldn’t try to duplicate what Mr. T did, but I will have the same impact on you when you were little watching the TV show. I’m going to bring my own flavor to it and I am going to do the mohawk.”
Laughably, he goes on to say that while the role can’t be classified as a “dream come true” per se, it’s a good way to earn a paycheck.
“They want me to do it if all the business works out right. I was a fan as a kid and that would be, not a dream come true, but it’s definitely a good thing to do and I would put it on my resume for sure.”
But I think we all know that the real reason Ice Cube wants this role. He wants to be known as Mr. T, thus finally sabotaging the similar identity of rapper-actor Ice T. Isn’t it great to live in a world where David Cross writes a 1,700 word manifesto justifying any guilt over his contribution to Alvin and the Chipmunks, while seconds ago Ice Cube probably sent a three word “Wassup with Alvin 2?” text message to his agent? I think so.
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