Comedian/actor Lil Rel Howery is two things to the core: a Chicagoan and a basketball fan. So when he was asked if he wanted to star in a feature film adaptation of the popular Uncle Drew commercial shorts (all made by Pepsi), with NBA legend Kyrie Irving returning as the titular character, he was quick to say yes without even looking at a script. The film also stars such basketball luminaries as Chris Webber, Reggie Miller, Nate Robinson, Shaquille O’Neal, and the WNBA’s Lisa Leslie, all playing elderly former players, recruited by Howery’s Dax to play in the Rucker Classic street ball tournament in Harlem against much younger players. Uncle Drew also stars Tiffany Haddish as Dax’s ex-girlfriend, who breaks things off with him and immediately begins dating his lifelong arch nemesis on the court, Mookie (Nick Kroll).
Already a prominent comedian throughout Chicago and a rising star nationally since the beginning of the 2000s, Howery beginning getting smaller film roles and starring roles on such series as “The Carmichael Show” and “Insecure.” But it was his role as life-saving TSA agent/best friend Rod Williams in writer/director Jordan Peele’s Get Out (2017) that served as his calling card performance to the world. In addition to Uncle Drew, Howery has a very funny cameo in the current release Tag, and audiences will see him at the end of the year in director Susanne Bier’s ensemble sci-fi thriller Bird Box, co-starring Sandra Bullock, Sarah Paulson, Jacki Weaver, Trevante Rhodes, David Dastmalchian, and fellow Chicagoan John Malkovich.
/Film spoke with the 38-year-old Howery in Chicago recently about his love and connection to the game of basketball (including the film Space Jam, starring his all-time hero, Chicago Bulls superstar Michael Jordan); how his long-time friendship with Kroll translated into playing bitter enemies in Uncle Drew; and his experience on the Bird Box set. Read More »
Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) may have the one who swept Daniel LaRusso’s (Ralph Macchio) leg in The Karate Kid, but John Kreese was the one who told him to do it.
The original Cobra Kai sensei played by Martin Kove was the cruel karate master who preached “no mercy” to the bullies in the Karate Kid series, but perhaps mercy is what we’ll feel toward John Kreese when Cobra Kai season 2 is over.
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If the return of the Nickelodeon game show Double Dare wasn’t enough of a trip down nostalgia lane for you children of the 1990s, we’ve got some exciting news.
The revival of Double Dare started airing on Nickelodeon last night, bringing back all the trivia, physical challenges and family fun you remember. But later this summer, a special episode will bring back some of Nickelodeon’s most beloved stars, and they’ll be getting down and dirty in the game show just like all the other contestants. Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell will return to Nickelodeon to compete against each other on the show. Read More »
Last week we got a peek at the next installment in the Rocky franchise in the form of the trailer for the sequel spin-off Creed II. Sylvester Stallone is back as Rocky Balboa, but he’s still outside of the ring, mentoring Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan), the son of the late Apollo Creed. But let’s not forget what brought us here, starting all the way back in 1976.
Rocky is the Best Picture winning sports drama that helped defined what made a movie like this great. Artist JC Richard has created a magnificent print paying tribute to Rocky showing the iconic Philadelphia boxer out on one of his training runs. The wide shot of the docks makes for a beautiful background as Rocky runs towards victory. Read More »
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Adonis Creed and Rocky Balboa are back in Creed II, the sequel to Ryan Coogler‘s fantastic 2015 Rocky spin-off Creed. Also back: Rocky IV‘s Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) – the man who killed Adonis’ father Apollo Creed in the ring many years ago. Watch the Creed II trailer below.
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Luke Cage showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker spoke with /Film by phone this week about the second season of his show. We’ll bring you the full interview next week, but during the interview, we got to ask him about writing the sequel to Creed, which brings back Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), with a son of his own to fight Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan).
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I grew up in a sports household.
Perhaps this explains why Friday Night Lights has always occupied a rather sizable space in my heart (beyond the rather obvious qualitative reasoning). It amalgamates an incredibly singular storytelling style – taking the “fly on the wall” camera techniques Executive Producer Peter Berg employed on his eponymous 2004 motion picture – with a CW-ready teen melodrama that plays like a heightened approximation of my own experiences. If you transplanted these kids’ struggles in life, love and games into Eastern Pennsylvania, made everyone a little (OK, a lot) less beautiful, and then had them play basketball instead of football, it’d hit so close to home I’d probably have to sue Berg for likeness rights (again, kidding). Playing for teams dominated my formative years, as I was part of a collection of brothers formed through competition.
But beyond all that, what Friday Night Lights provides is an idealized coach and father in Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler) – captain of the ship for both the West Dillon Panthers and then (after being forced out by bastard parent Joe McCoy) the East Dillon Lions – who may just be the greatest screen dad of all time.
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Gallery 1988 is back with another outstanding art show, and this one continues a splendid collection of trading cards featuring the outstanding illustrations of artist Cuyler Smith.
Trading Cards 3 features a whole new batch of original trading cards taking characters from various sports movies and TV shows. Modeled after real vintage trading cards from decades past, these are meticulously detailed pieces that you can throw in a plastic sleeve like all your other trading cards. Or you can frame them on your wall where they deserve to be displayed proudly. Read More »
With LeBron James continuing to dominate the court during the NBA Finals, the debate about whether or not he’s better than basketball icon Michael Jordan continues to rage on. Next year, a new documentary series might have some new insights to keep the argument going strong.
Netflix and ESPN Films have announced a joint production called The Last Dance, a 10-part documentary series looking at the life, career and legacy of Chicago Bulls point guard Michael Jordan, believed by many to be the greatest professional basketball player of all time. Read More »
Ralph Macchio is The Karate Kid. Having portrayed Daniel LaRusso in three movies, Macchio returns to his iconic role 30 years later in the YouTube Red original series Cobra Kai (available today). Now Johnny Lawrence, his bully from The Karate Kid played by William Zabka (who we also interviewed), wants to reopen the Cobra Kai dojo.
LaRusso is still profiting off his victory in the All Valley Karate Tournament. He advertises LaRusso Motors saying he kicks the competition and gives out bonzai trees with purchases. You can even see LaRusso Motors billboards around majors cities right now, all in an effort to promote Cobra Kai.
Macchio spoke with /Film by phone before the premiere of Cobra Kai. He caught us up on where Daniel LaRusso is 30 years later and reflected on some of the less talked about Karate Kid sequels. There are mild spoilers for the first two episodes, but still plenty to see in the first season. Read More »