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Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner (1967)

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Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner (1967)


Spencer Tracy
Sidney Poitier
Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Houghton

Directed by Stanley Kramer

The first interracial movie i think i saw and enjoyed was the 2005 film Guess Who starring Ashton Kutcher and the late Bernie Mac. Although here the racial roles are reversed; Guess Whois loosely based on this movie, but it is done in a comic tone rather than the drama tone that this Poitier version took.

This is a nice movie by its own right one that i think many should see. The acting of Hepburn is masterful, and touching.

The movie is about an interracial couple, Dr. John Wayde Prentice (Sidney Poitier, Black) and Joanna “Joey” Drayton (Katharine Houghton, White). At that time interracial marriage was more like a taboo, and Joanna’s family were really worried for their daughter. John’s parents too were worried about the future that their child and possible grandchildren would have by their son marring a white girl, and the whole movie revolved round both families trying to resolve their differences.

The funny thing that happened during filming is Sidney Poitier becoming a bit tongue tied when he had to be in the presence of both Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, the starstruck effect of their presence got to him, as he was standing in front of people he considered to be giants when acting is concerned.

The film is notable for being the ninth and final on-screen pairing of Tracy and Hepburn (at that time they were live in partners, with Tracy never divorcing his first wife) because after filming was done Spencer Tracy died 17 days later.

Hepburn is said to have never seen the completed film, saying the memories of Tracy were too painful.

Well, this is the first Spencer Tracy film I got to see, so I may not be the best judge of how great his acting was compared to the others, but as said above Katharine Hepburn was in a class of her own all through the movie, at times I was wondering if she was crying because of what was happening or because of the fact that her lover is dying.

The movie was a commercial and critical success winning two Academy Awards for Best Actress (Katharine Hepburn) and Best Writing (Original Screenplay).

Sidney Poitier’s acting in this movie is not as grand as the one I saw him dish out in, In the Heat of the Night (1967), but regardless this is a good movie for all to see also.

The Best Man Holiday (2013)

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The Best Man Holiday (2013)


Taye Diggs
Terrance Howard
Morris Chestnut

Directed by Malcolm D. Lee

The Best Man Holiday was very funny, I really laughed hard while watching this movie, there were just some scenes in the movie and some lines that will catch you off guard. And the way the movie ended was more like Malcolm D. Lee was making room so in case another movie about these four best friends and the women in their lives should be written, there is a place they could pick it up from.

The movie is set to have happened during Christmas time. And it is a comedy drama, directed and written by Malcolm D. Lee, who also directed and wrote The Best Man (1999) serving this up as a sequel to the movie.
Here in this holiday get together we get to see how their lives have turned out after the weird events of the wedding between Lance and Mia in the first movie.

The producers went all out to get Taye Diggs, Terrence Howard, Harold Perrineau, Morris Chestnut, Monica Calhoun, Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long, Melissa De Sousa and Regina Hall all to come back, reprising their roles from the 1999 film.

The whole crew came together acknowledging Mia’s invitation for a get together, but not all the wound have healed over their time apart, as Lance still held a grudge against Harper for sleeping with his wife (although this happened long before they got married in the first film). And Julian married the stripper Candace which he fell in love with in the first movie. While Harper and Robin are expecting their first child, and Quentin is still single, but a lot weirder than he was in the first movie.

The movie’s tragic tone in the end, had some light shed on it with a birth, something I kind of liked, although it is not new, I know I have seen it in a movie somewhere.

The movie went on to be a commercial hit and because of that I heard that Universal Pictures and Malcolm D. Lee are in talks for third installment. I think they should quit now that they are ahead.

Should you get this movie? Hell yeah, it is funny and somewhat emotional, the plot is not airtight though and the screenplay was at times just dull or irritating.
Imagine, someone thought it was good to add some singing into the movie. I felt all the singing parts were just crap and unnecessary.

Go see this movie.

The Family (2013)

The Family (2013)


Robert De Niro
Michelle Pfeiffer
Tommy Lee Jones

Directed by Luc Besson

Regardless of what has been said or what I’m going to say I liked the movie. I think it is because of the Teenagers in it. They were very violent and smart in a way that proved that truly a Mafia Boss was their father, and they learned a lot from him.

Then when things turned sour their actions were just annoying and I started to resent the film, but their actions didn’t last long, soon they picked up a gun and started to kill the other bad guys.
The Family is a 2013 film that is not going to be in the list of many high scorers this year or ever, but I liked it and wished I could rate it higher, but the story is very glitcy and the plot had many holes. Then the character of Giovanni played by Robert De Niro was lacking in the finesse that I would have expected knowing fully well that he has had training in being a Mafia Boss in The God Father II (1974).

The movie is about a Mafia Boss Giovanni, who ratted out his other Mafia friends to the FEDs now he is on witness protection and also has a $20 Million rate on his head.
He and his family are finding it hard to make a life anywhere, anytime they settle in a place, something always go wrong causing them to move.

The movie is based on a novel Malavita by Tonino Benacquista and it’s directed by Luc Besson (Taken (2008)) it is an English French action crime comedy, which would have been great if the producers had just put more effort into it and hired someone else to adapt the story.

In the end the movie is critical failure but a commercial success in its own rights. I did think that Tommy Lee Jones is getting too old to be acting tough guy roles, even if it meant the tough guy did nothing, but stood around looking tough.
I can never get tired of seeing Michelle Pfeiffer, that is one woman I always love seeing on TV, and it was because she is in the movie that I decided to watch it in the first place.

Is this a movie I would recommend for you to go see? Nope. I may have enjoyed it, but I cannot boast that anybody else will, so if you get to see it on TV one nice evening, just sit through it.

L.A. Confidential (1997)

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L.A. Confidential (1997)


Guy Pearce
Russell Crowe
Kevin Spacey
Kim Basinger
Danny DeVito

Directed by Curtis Hanson

L.A. Confidential is a 1997 classic that has a 99% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and after seeing the movie yesterday, I now know why.

L.A. Confidential is very captivating, the twists and turns in the movie take you on aware, at the time of its release both Guy Pearce and Russell Crowe were unknowns, yet they were cast as the leads in the movie, while Kevin Spacey, Kim Basinger, and Danny DeVito, were cast in supporting roles.

The movie presents itself as a narration by Danny DeVito, who is writing for a newspaper and then it switches to different gear when DeVito’s character’s status in the movie was compromised.

The movie is based on James Ellroy's 1990 novel of the same title, L.A. Confidential also happened to be the third book in his L.A. Quartet series.
L.A. Confidential is a little different from the usual police taking down a mafia script. It started with the mafia boss already busted by the police and every available gun loaded gang around with enough balls was trying to feel the space that was made available when the Mafia Boss was taken away.

The movie tells the story of a group of LAPD officers; one (Edmund "Ed" Exley (Guy Pearce)) is a son of a legendary detective Sergeant who was determined to live up to his father’s reputation and even surpass it. The other is Officer Wendell "Bud" White (Russell Crowe) who is obsessed with violently punishing women beaters. Their path crossed when there was an outburst in the station, which resulted in Ed being promoted to Det. Lt.

From there a rape case, a drug scandal and celebrity look alike prostitutes led to plot of a new man trying to take over the mafia boss position.

Before filming started the cast and crew held a "mini-film festival", showing one film a week, and the leads (Crowe and Pearce) spent some time in L.A. watching police films and also mixing with real life police officers; all in the aim of getting the cast acquainted with what life was as in 1950 and to know what being a police officer was like.

L.A. Confidential went on to be both a critical and commercial success. It was nominated for nine Academy Awards, but if we can all remember that was the same year that Titanic (James Cameron) was released, so it had its work cut for it.
It was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Original Dramatic Score and Best Sound Mixing, but lost all the categories to Titanic.
Regardless of that it went home with two Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor (Kim Basinger) and Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay).

It is a nice film and it is one film I know that you will enjoy seeing, but rent the DVD, it is not one movie I think you will like to see twice.

In The Heat of the Night (1967)

In The Heat of the Night (1967)


Sidney Poitier
Rod Steiger
Warren Oates

Directed by Norman Jewison

I don’t know why I just heard about this movie, it is one movie that I sure liked so much that I’m going to tell everybody I know to go see it.

They call me Mister Tibbs! Is the memorable phrase in this movie, and then there is the groundbreaking scene in the movie that got a huge support from black people, the scene where Sidney Poitier slapped a white man for daring to strike him. I had to rewind and watch that scene like twice before I was satisfied.

Sidney Poitier was just too much in this movie and I felt that he was denied the Academy Award for Best Actor, which went to Rod Steiger (a white man) instead, I guess after Poitier had won the Best Actor award in 1963 for Lilies of the Field, and also being the first black man to do so they didn’t want him to win it a second time.
You just need to see this movie and ask yourself, “why will the supporting actor win the best actor award?” It is just ridiculous.

No matter, it didn’t hold this movie down in any way; the movie is a masterpiece I just could not believe how it turned out from the way it started, while watching you have to bear in mind the limitations of being black in the 60s, and how one man’s tenacious spirit to bring a white man down, led him to solving a murder and getting two innocent people off murder charges.

In the Heat of the Night is based on a 1965 book of the same name by John Ball, and it tells the story of Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier) a black police detective from Philadelphia who was passing through a small town called Sparta in Mississippi.

While there, a man was killed and a patrol man who was just driving around saw him at the train station and arrested him as the suspect, all because he was black.
In the police station, the Police Chief (Rod Steiger) also believed he was the culprit because Tibbs had a huge amount of money on him, and he was not known in the town.

But the chief was embarrassed when he found out that Tibbs was a police detective and was rated the best homicide detective in Philadelphia. The Police Chief in Philadelphia commanded Tibbs to stay behind and help, which Tibbs didn’t want to and the Sparta Police Chief didn’t want him to either. But Tibbs stayed, and boy did he make the local police in Sparta look like a bunch of school kids.

The movie was both a critical and a commercial success and I tell you, you have to see this movie it is one of the best films that there is out there. There is no slack in the story nor is there any slack in the acting, it was pure and true.

The Departed (2006)

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The Departed (2006)


Leonardo DiCaprio
Matt Damon
Jack Nicholson

Directed by Martin Scorsese

The Departed is a movie that I can tell you that you will enjoy from the get go. The way the story unfolds is not going to be the way you would have expected it to go, that is the beauty of it.
Hollywood would have loved to take credit for this masterpiece story, but The Departed is a remake (a great remake if I can say so myself) of a Hong Kong crime thriller in 2002 called Internal Affairs written by Alan Mak and Felix Chong. It was directed by Andrew Lau and Alan Mak.
The Departed is an almost story for story replica of the Hong Kong version, which received critical acclaim for its original plot and its concise and swift storytelling style.

The Departed also achieved critical acclaim, winning four Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director (Martin Scorsese), Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Film Editing.

The movie is filled with a wonderful cast, with each bringing their a-game. In The Departed we had Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, and Mark Wahlberg, with Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga, Anthony Anderson, and Alec Baldwin in supporting roles.

The film's plot takes place in Boston, where Irish Mob boss Francis "Frank" Costello (Jack Nicholson), trains a young boy Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) and plants him as a mole in the Massachusetts State Police. Ironically, at the same time, the police assign undercover trooper William "Billy" Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) to infiltrate Costello's crew, Billy's identity is kept from all, and only Capt. Oliver Charles Queenan (Martin Sheen) and Staff Sgt. Sean Dignam (Mark Wahlberg) were aware of his identity.
Soon both sides realize that there was a mole in their midst, prompting both Sullivan and Billy to try and discover the other's true identity before his own cover is blown.

All through the movie, there is this father and son relationship theme being presented, with Sullivan having Costello as his father figure and Billy having Queenan to be like his father figure, as both fathers were dead.

Although Internal Affairs sprung out two sequels Internal Affairs II and Internal Affairs III I don’t think that this great movie will have a sequel, even though the movie was a commercial success. It is a nice one off film and they should live it as such.

If you have not been privileged to have seen The Departed, hurry to the video store now, and get this movie you will be glad you did.