Sunday, November 19, 2017
Reel Talk August 1
By Jennifer Bihm (Contributing Writer)
Published August 1, 2013


Winnie is a 2011 drama film adaptation of Anne Marie du Preez Bezrob’s biography Winnie Mandela: A Life. The film is directed by Darrell Roodt, and stars Jennifer Hudson, Terrence Howard, Wendy Crewson, and Elias Koteas. Image Entertainment will release the film in theaters September 2013


Following the life of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela (Jennifer Hudson), from her strict rural upbringing by a father disappointed she was not born a boy, to her giving up the chance to study in America in order to remain in South Africa where she felt more needed, through her husband Nelson Mandela’s (Terrence Howard) imprisonment. She then faces continuous harassment by the security police, banishment to a small Free State town, betrayal by friends and allies, and more than a year in solitary confinement. Upon her release, she continues her husband’s activism against apartheid and, after his release from prison, suffers divorce due to her infidelity and political pressures. She also faces accusations of violence and murder and in the end, must own up to her actions in court, while many still remain loyal to her because of her fight against apartheid.[2]


•           Jennifer Hudson as Winnie Mandela

•           Terrence Howard as Nelson Mandela

•           Wendy Crewson as Mary Botha

•           Elias Koteas as Colonel DeVries

The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, 2011.



Black Nativity premiered the first trailer during BET Awards. The new film from writer/director Kasi Lemmons adapted from Langston Hughes’ play

The Holiday-set musical stars Jacob Latimore in the role of Langston, a street-wise teen from Baltimore raised by a single mother, as he journeys to New York City to spend the Christmas holiday with his estranged relatives Reverend Cornell and Aretha Cobbs (Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett). Unwilling to live by the imposing Reverend Cobbs’ rules, a frustrated Langston is determined to return home to his mother, Naima (Jennifer Hudson). Langston embarks on a surprising and inspirational journey and along with his new friends, and a little divine intervention, he discovers the true meaning of faith, healing, and family.

Mary J. Blige, Tyrese Gibson and Nas co-star.

The talent in this film is too much to ignore and while I’m not sure it will have enough umph for a shot at the Oscars, the Golden Globe Awards are definitely in play.

Black Nativity hits theaters on November 27.



Wesley Snipes is back to his bad-ass self in the western GALLOWWALKER, but this time he’s ripping off zombie heads.

 One thing we love seeing Wesley Snipes do is fight the undead, but this time the Blade star takes his skills to the wild, wild west battling zombies. We think of zombies as a modern post apocalyptic problem, but the filmmakers are taking some creative liberties making the setting a western. After all, zombies are the new “it” monsters and if we could have a good time watching talking zombies in Warm Bodies, why not talking cowboy zombies.  Now that’s called escapism.

 The plot behind GALLOWWALKERS sounds similar to his Blade character. A cursed man (Snipes) must fight injustice in the form of the undead.  The film, directed by Andrew Goth, was directed before he went to jail for tax evasion in 2007.

 GALLOWWALKERS is scheduled to be release in the US Aug. 6.



Spike Says His Contemporaries Don’t Need ‘Kickstarter’ … He Does!

Lee also drops a hint that he and Tyler Perry ‘are cool’ now.   

This week, as we reported, Oscar nominated director Spike Lee launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund his next big screen production.

The prolific director joins a growing number of independent filmmakers in utilizing the funding platform to finance films that may not necessarily be the blockbuster material that Hollywood is looking for. Lee is  seeking to raise $1.25 million over the next month.

“I needed to go to Kickstarter to get this film made because this is not necessarily a Hollywood film, Lee told theGrio. “It’s more like an independent film.”

Lee has given out little detail about the plot of his upcoming film, but on Kickstarter describes the movie as “the newest hottest Spike Lee Joint.” But here’s what he told theGrio’s Chris Witherspoon:

“It’s the type of a film that for it best to work, you gotta go in knowing the least amount of information about it as possible. What I will say is that we’re calling it psychological bloody thriller, with naked black people… butt naked. Now who’s made a film like that? My man Tyler made a film like that… and I say that in all love, because me and Tyler are cool.”

Throughout his film career, spanning more than three decades, Lee has undeniably been a trailblazer creating a unique genre of storytelling all his own.

However, the 56-year-old Brooklyn native doesn’t envision his contemporaries in the industry, like Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg or Clint Eastwood, following in his footsteps and turning to Kickstarter to fund their future films.

“Anybody could do this, but Steven Spielberg,” Lee said while laughing. “Spielberg, Clint Eastwood, Scorsese, they don’t have to do that.” Why? “Because they don’t have to do it,” he said “They’re great filmmakers and they’re beloved by the studios.”

Lee’s next film, which is scheduled to hit theaters in October, will be his remake of the Korean thriller “Oldboy.”

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