Chi-Raq trailer

Days ago a release date for Spike Lee‘s newest film, Chi-Raq, was announced. Shortly after, a wild trailer for the picture was released, promising a passionate, energetic, and satirical story. The film deals with the overwhelming gun violence in Chicago in recent years, so some were taken aback by the somewhat humorous tone of the footage. As a response, a more serious trailer for Chi-Raq has been released.

Watch the new Chi-Raq trailer after the jump.

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Chi-Raq trailer

Spike Lee has been very, very busy. It was only about six months ago (a few months after he released his last film, Da Sweet Blood of Jesus) that we learned he was working on Chi-Raq, a retelling of the ancient Greek comedy Lysistrata set in a modern-day Chicago torn apart by gang violence, and today the first trailer is already here. The film is slated to be Amazon’s first full-length feature film, and from here, their foray into that realm seems to be off to a promising start. Watch the Chi-Raq trailer after the jump. Read More »

Jennifer Hudson in Empire

Two prominent actresses have just nabbed a couple of juicy roles in a pair of high-profile biopics. Jennifer Hudson is in talks to play Aretha Franklin in an upcoming biopic, as has long been rumored, while Laura Linney is joining Tom Hanks in Clint Eastwood‘s Sully Sullenberger movie.

Get details on the Jennifer Hudson Aretha Franklin casting and the Sully Sullenberger Laura Linney news after the jump. Read More »

Teyonah Parris in Dear White People

Not to be outdone by Netflix, Amazon is also jumping into the original features game. Their first foray into that realm will be Chi-Raq, Spike Lee‘s contemporary retelling of the classical Greek play Lysistrata.

The company’s latest statement on the project reveals some new details, including a full cast list that includes Teyonah ParrisAngela BassettJohn Cusack, and Samuel L. Jackson. Get all the details on the Amazon Chi-Raq project after the jump.  Read More »

Taken 3 (2)

This Sequel Bits is brought to you by the number 3. After the jump:

  • Yes, Ron Perlman still wants a Hellboy 3
  • Jennifer Hudson teases Sex and the City 3
  • Keegan-Michael Key will go on Vacation
  • Simon McBurney chooses to accept M:I5
  • Jeremy Renner is cool with Jason Bourne
  • Star Trek 3 is headed to Seoul, South Korea
  • More Hunger Games Mockingjay pics revealed
  • Check out the new poster for (sigh) Tak3n

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The Princess and the Frog

Even before Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland kicked off the current live-action fairy tale craze, Disney was casting big-name stars to portray beautiful princesses and handsome princes on a regular basis. They just weren’t for the movies.

The studio has revealed the latest in their gorgeous Disney Dream Portrait series, shot by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz. Earlier this year, we got Taylor Swift (who’s basically a real-life Disney princess already, but whatever) as Rapunzel. Now we have Jennifer Hudson in the role of Tiana from The Princess and the Frog. Check it out after the jump.

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The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete

There comes a moment in every person’s life when they realize that life just isn’t fair, and there’s fuck-all they can do about it but survive the best they can. Unfortunately, part of that injustice is that some folks are forced to learn that lesson much sooner than others.

Like the title characters of George Tillman Jr.‘s The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete. Mister (Skylan Brooks) is a 13-year-old whose recent flunking of the eighth grade is the least of his worries. His mom (Jennifer Hudson) is a drug addict who gets arrested and taken away, and he’s left to take care of the 9-year-old Pete (Ethan Dizon), a neighbor kid in a similarly sad situation.

Desperate to avoid being put in foster care by child protective services, Mister and Pete struggle to survive on their own in Brooklyn, while working toward Mister’s goal of moving to Beverly Hills to land a TV role. Watch the first trailer after the jump.

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Winnie Mandela

Nelson Mandela’s story will be brought to the big screen this prestige pic season in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, with a little help from director Justin Chadwick and star Idris Elba. But Mandela’s wife Winnie will get her own time in the spotlight next month with the unimaginatively titled Winnie Mandela.

Directed by Darrell Roodt, the biopic follows the South African politician from her rural upbringing, through her husband’s imprisonment and the scandal and controversy that dogged her in later years. Jennifer Hudson plays Winnie, while Terence Howard plays her Nelson.

If you’re wondering why it feels like this film came out of nowhere, it’s probably because it first hit TIFF two years ago before fading into obscurity. Now, as it finally prepares for a theatrical release, a full-length trailer has hit the web. Watch it after the jump.

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Produced by Grammy winner Alicia Keys and co-starring Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson and American Idol Jordin Sparks, The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete might sound like a kiddie movie. Quirky title, popular names, and two child leads make that assumption easy. But this one, written by Michael Starrbury and directed by George Tillman Jr. (Notorious, Faster), is anything but kids’ stuff.

While the film dramatizes the ultimate childhood wish fulfillment, spending a summer without parental supervision, it does so with brutal honesty in the harsh realities of modern Brooklyn. Mister (Skylan Brooks) and Pete (Ethan Dizon), two young boys whose mothers are both MIA drug addicts, decide that living on their own and scavenging for food, medicine and soap, is better than being brought to a boys home.

The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete features two beautiful lead performances and solid supporting turns by Hudson, Sparks, Anthony Mackie, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Jeffrey Wright. It is an emotionally effective, if not particularly resonant addition to the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Read more after the jump.

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