Growing up in suburban Maplewood, New Jersey, Solána Imani Rowe felt she had a chip on her shoulder. In high school, she recalls, “I wanted to be liked and have a good time, but it just wasn’t in the books for me.” She skipped her prom to go to South Beach with her mom and a few close friends, and one night found herself partying in the VIP section of a club, not far from Lil Wayne and Diddy. The trip, she says, “kind of cracked the door open. I was like, ‘Fuck this, I don’t have any friends anyway. There’s nothing to stick around for. I might as well go chase more.’ ” … [Read more...] about The Rebirth of SZA
Fractured fairy tales 3 little pigs
If The BFG had been made by a lesser filmmaker or put out by a less prolific studio, it might be a big concern. But Disney is dominating the worldwide box office and can afford for a movie here or there to not run away with it at the box office. Spielberg is a massive talent and odds are, The Big Friendly Giant might not have been made at all were it not for him championing the project. At the end of the day, Steven Spielberg is still easily one of the best directors working today, and nobody is going to write him off just because he made a good movie that just got dealt a bad hand at the box office. He will be fine, and we are going to get a lot more (hopefully) great Spielberg movies in the future. … [Read more...] about The BFG Is a Big Flop, What Does That Mean for Spielberg?
The fact that this version of Mulan is a large-scale war epic inspired more by the ancient Chinese ballad than the original animated film may also help win fans in Beijing, but the choice carries its own significant risks: The film needs to satisfy Chinese audiences raised on the legend while not disappointing a generation of fans in Asia (and elsewhere) for whom the animated film is foundational. "People would come in to audition and would say, 'Sorry, I know this is really unprofessional, but before I start, I just want you to know, the animated movie was the first time I saw someone that looked like me speak English in a movie theater,' " says producer Jason Reed. "The stakes couldn't be higher." … [Read more...] about Inside Disney’s Bold $200M Gamble on ‘Mulan’: “The Stakes Couldn’t Be Higher”
The press has to cover this subject. But it can’t do it with glibness and excitement, laughing along to SNL routines, before it knows for sure what it’s dealing with. Reporters should be scared to their marrow by this story. This is a high-wire act and it is a very long way down. We might want to leave the jokes and the nicknames be, until we get to the other side – wherever that is. … [Read more...] about Why the Russia Story Is a Minefield for Democrats and the Media
Daniel Lawrence Whitney, better known to most as Larry The Cable Guy, has become the headlining act on the Redneck stand-up circuit, taking the nickname The Freight Train of Comedy. He serves the lowest common denominator, appealing to slack-jawed yokels who like their jokes southern fried. A sampling of his punchline etiquette reveals this corndog delight of a guffaw: "I love McDonalds. I get the same thing every time I go...Diarrhea!" There's no denying that the man has stage presence, and he can sell out concert halls in the Deep South 356 days a year. But when it comes to turning that prowess into box office gold, the man has been less than successful. It doesn't help matters that he's played a guy named Larry in all of his attempts at big screen glory (with the exception of the animated tow truck Mater in the lucrative Cars franchise, where he goes sight unseen.) Things started off bad when he took his stage persona and parlayed it into the almost unbearable Larry the Cable Guy: … [Read more...] about 8 Actors We Never Need to See in Another Movie Ever Again