OVERSEEN & OVERHEARD
LOVE ON THE HORIZON...Just as "Gray's Anatomy's first lesbian storyline was heating up between Dr. Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez) and Dr. Erica Hahn (Brooke Smith), Smith got the boot from Series creator and executive producer Shonda Rhimes. Word is Rhimes didn't think the chemistry was hot enough. Even though ABC seems to be leading the way for gay and lesbian characters, a snag has been hit. Rhimes is said to take the Torres (pictured) love story featuring a Latina actress on network TV very seriously. So be on the lookout for a steamy romance coming up.
LADIES OF CINEMA...If you're in New York next week be sure to check out the11th Annual International Film Festival (http://www.aawic.org/) hosted by African American Women in Cinema and Save Africa Concerts on November 12-15. This four-day, star-studded event celebrates and highlights the work of aspiring and prominent women filmmakers of African, Latin and/or Asian Descent throughout the Diaspora. Look for Hollywood Actresses Tamara Tunie ("Law & Order," "Days of Our Lives") and Phyllis Yvonne Stickney (New Jack City) and Nollywood Superstars Patience Ozokwo (Mama G) and Ini Edo to host various events. Not to industry: Diverse voices can drive sales, so a trip to check out this unique fest makes for good busienss.
OPRAH's NEW TV DIGS...This just in: Oprah Winfrey will take her talk show out of broadcast syndication and move it to her own cable channel, the Oprah Winfrey Network, by 2011, according to the Discovery Channel. With a new TV home, to win and boost ratings Winfrey might consider revamping the show.
LOOKING FOR MR. RIGHT....Chilli's manager/agent recently brokered a deal with VH-1, which may leave the network current bachelorette--Ms. New York--behind. The formerly of the Grammy winning group TLC, the R&B singer is on the lookout for the "love of her life" and the network is going to help her find him with a new reality show. No name for the program just yet, but look for it this next season. To draw in ratings like New York and Flavor Flav, Chilli is going to have to really turn up the heat.
MORE O TO COME...We promised to keep you up to date on actor-turned-filmmaker Edward Norton's untitled Obama doc. Well, HBO has announced it picked up the film from Norton's Class 5 Films and will premiere it in 2009. The documentary crew followed Obama from his trip to Africa in the summer of 2006 and will go through through the inauguration. While it seems we all know everything we want to know about Obama, Norton promises exclusive access and behind-the-scenes insight to the 44th President. Norton, writer/producer/actor Stuart Blumberg and actor/producer Bill Migliore are producing the feature, with newcomer Amy Rice and producer-turned-director Alicia Sams directing.
CAN WE TALK?...Finally, late night television may get some color. Everyone's buzzing about the possibility of comedian George Lopez landing in late night with his own talk show. Warner Bros. is producing the program although it has yet to find a network home. We'll keep you posted.
HIP HOP HOLLYWOOD
KISS MY CONVERSE...Remember Berry Gordy's The Last Dragon? Well, the 1985 flick will receive an upgrade from Samuel L. Jackson and Wu-Tang Clan rapper/producer RZA. According to insiders, Jackson has signed on as "Sho'nuff, the Shogun of Harlem," a role previously played by the late Julius Carry, and write the screenplay. The RZA will co-produce the Columbia Pictures remake with Dallas Jackson, John Davis of Davis Entertainment and Berry Gordy's son Kerry Gordy.
RADIO ONE PROFITS PLUMMETS
Radio One Inc. has reported a loss of $266.1 million, compared to a net income of $4.7 million. Radio One's radio stations are seeing the most drop in ads and CEO Alfred Liggins said they will instead focus on TV and new media. “Our focus remains on increasing our radio market share, cutting costs and diversifying into TV and online revenues. We continue to make progress on each of these goals, by outperforming our radio markets by 170 bps year to date, restructuring our radio workforce, and generating solid revenue growth in TV One and Interactive One.” Radio One owns and operates 53 radio stations in 16 markets.
NOAH'S ARC: JUMPING THE BROOM, Blueprint/Logo
Not Ready For The Big Screen
In Jumping The Broom Noah falls flat on his face.
Let us make it clear that even with all its weaknesses, we've been fans of the LOGO TV show "Noah's Arc." No where else have we seen such embracing warm positive images of Black Gay
men on the small screen. We were dismayed over the untimely cancellation of the series on LOGO to pursue "a big screen theatrical expansion" of the story. We were sceptical from the beginning as the series wasn't given enough time to reach its television peak (like other shows such as "Sex In The City"). And, surprise, upon viewing this Movie
version of the popular TV series, our scepticism and fears were realized.
To put it bluntly, the movie is a "Hot Ghetto Mess."
From the opening scene of Jumping The Broom, you get the feeling that this movie is doomed, a fish out of water. There is Noah (Darryl Stephens), dressed flawlessly for a wintry day on a boat by Martha's Vineyard but actually filmed in Nova Scotia. Yea, you read right, NOVA SCOTIA! If LOGO wanted to find a way to doom a Black gay urban drama/comedy, the best thing to do is to film it where there are no Black gay people of color.
That's just one of the many problems with Jumping The Broom.
All of the main characters are back, two years after the car accident that left Wade (Jensen Atwood) either dead or badly hurt. We didn't know for sure in that last episode but he's fine and in love with Noah in the movie and has whisked him to a home owned by his folks (who still don't know he's gay) to marry in a small ceremony. All of Noah's friends--Alex (Rodney Chester), Chance (Doug Spearman), and Ricky (Christian Vincent)--tag along. It just all felt incomplete. Having Trey (Gregory Kieth) in the movie by video phone and an adopted child was wasteful. Moments of intense drama cut short by either bad editing or the fear of going too deep for the 'target audience' made some of the more promising scenes flat.
But I have to give kudos to the actors for making the best of a bad situation. The best performance by far was given by Baby Gat (Jason Steed) and Brandy (Jennia Fredrique). They were colourful, flawless, and added much needed depth and comedy to a rather trite boring story.
The ending of the movie was very unceremonious. With Wade and Noah being married, one would expect to feel joy and excitement. Instead you feel like someone was cleaning up a mess they made. A show with such talent and potential gone to waste. TV series turned into movies are suppose to make the characters larger than life. In Noah's Arc: Jumping The Broom, they all seemed to be minimized to a speck of dust. Rating: C+--Anthony Davis
Stargate: Continuum, MGM Home Entertainment
Stargate: Continuum is the second straight-to-DVD movie of the popular Sci-Fi Channel series (and original motion picture). In this movie, the SGI team are on a mission to witness a Tok'ra extraction ceremony of Baddie Ba'al (Cliff Simon) but things go horribly wrong when members of the SGI team began to disappear and soon everyone else. The remaining SGI members, Colonel Cameron Mitchell (Ben Browder), Colonel Samantha Carter (Amanda Tapping), and Dr. Daniel Jackson (Michael Shanks) realize that Ba'al somehow has gone back in time on Earth and altered their history to which SGI was never created. Through a series of traveling to other systems and times, the remaining members try to set their timeline straight and keep Ba'al from conquering Earth.
The whole someone goes back in time to change the present/future story line has been done so many times, and badly, that when one is presented with the synopsis that their favorite characters are going back in time to create a different future and sustain the present, one rolls their eyes. There are way too many logical questions like if Baal went back in time to stop SG1 from ever coming into existences, why didn't he just conquering Earth at the same time? How was Ba'al able to do this in the first place? And the questions continue.
It's entertaining, if you're a die heart fan and you like mediocre Sci-Fi. But if you're looking for something to too Wow you, this is not the movie for you. Rating: B- --A.D.
Dream Believe Achieve Inspiration Gala
was an evening fill
ed with musical performancesand messages of hope to benefit the children and families of South Los Angeles. Hosted by Don Cheadle
(pictired with Alfre Woodard
) and featuring musical performances by Jackson Browne, Earth Wind & Fire, Smokey Robinson
and others, the Gala will benefit three non-profit organizations who work together to provide educational, recreational and cultural opportunities for the children and families of South Los Angeles: Challengers Boys & Girls Club, ICEF Public Schools, and the Success Through the Arts Foundation. In addition to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
, other luminaries in attendance included Herbie Hancock, Halle Berry, and Louis Gosset Jr
. (Photo by Anthony Davis