Kerry Washington

Lisa Kudrow in Scandal

Scandal is in a junior-year slump. Last season, ABC’s political soap was one of the best series on television, the writers expertly shoving characters together and wrenching them apart for maximum delicious conflict. Showrunner Shonda Rhimes achieved a kind of baroque storytelling that was grotesquely convoluted, yet stunning to behold. The season didn’t culminate in a single and-then-the-earth-stopped-spinning revelation, but four or five.  (Spoilers ahead.) The president had the election rigged for him — and didn’t know it. When he discovered the truth, the POTUS killed one of the people who got him his gig in retaliation: a dying Supreme Court justice. The First Lady threatened to expose her Republican husband’s interracial affair on live TV and use the sympathy vote to get herself elected to office. As a pre-emptive measure, the president’s gay chief of staff counter-threatened to “out” the FLOTUS as a lesbian. Oh, and he also used his assassin connections to order his baby-crazy husband dead.

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Django

Editor’s Note: This article contains spoilers for Django Unchained (and all of Tarantino’s other films). With Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino has taken a decisive shift in his approach to storytelling. Abandoning the non-linear, present-set depictions of an organized criminal underworld in Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown and the Kill Bill films, Tarantino has not only transitioned to more conventional linear storytelling (with the exception of the requisite flashback), but chooses familiar historical contexts in which to tell these stories. With the WWII-set Inglourious Basterds and now with the pre-Civil War-era Western Django, Tarantino has made a habit of mixing the historical with the inventively anachronistic, and has turned recent modern histories of racial and ethnic oppression, dehumanization, and extermination into ostensibly cathartic fantasies of revenge against vast systemic structures of power.

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DJANGO UNCHAINED

Quentin Tarantino has very quickly, but not so quietly, found a new niche for his filmmaking talents as a teller of tall tales with a historical bent. He’s less interested in historical accuracy than he is historical tomfoolery, but that never lessens the sheer entertainment he finds in mankind’s relatively recent foibles and misdeeds. From Inglourious Basterds‘ band of World War II Nazi-killers to his latest film’s vengeful slave turned bounty hunter, Tarantino has shown a knack for fitting his charismatic and electric characters into unexpected historical contexts with entertaining as hell results. It’s 1858 in America, and Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) is a dentist on a mission. It’s light on tooth decay, heavy on bloodshed and utterly unrelated to the field of dentistry. He’s a bounty hunter whose latest targets, The Brittle Brothers, present a challenge in that he has no idea what they look like. Undeterred, Schultz acquires, apprentices and befriends a slave named Django (Jamie Foxx) who can identify the brothers. In exchange the ex-dentist will help the newly freed Django reunite with his wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), who currently belongs to a cruel but undeniably charming plantation owner named Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). What follows is a tale that would have made American History class a hell of a lot more memorable as Schultz and Django cut a bloody swath across the post-Civil War South through racists, enforcers and recognizable TV actors (Tom Wopat! Lee Horsley!) from decades past. The cinematic violence is paired with […]

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If you want to go into Django Unchained unspoiled, then watching the second trailer isn’t the brightest idea. While the first teaser was all about attitude, this one is much more story heavy. It has the set up, the conflict, and some rather spectacular money shots. A few of those shots may be best to experience on the big screen first, so if you want to go in fresh, stick with the first trailer. However, if you want to see more of a slave owning Leonardo DiCaprio, then check it out:

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The Details trailer

Though Mean Creek director Jacob Aaron Estes’ latest project, The Details, debuted all the way back at Sundance 2011, it’s just finally gearing up for a real theatrical release come November 2. Why has it sat on the shelf for so long? Maybe it’s just because the idea of watching Spider-Man act like a jerk for a couple of hours is something of a hard sell. From the looks of the film’s new trailer, The Details is a character drama that sees Tobey Maguire cheating on his wife, banging Ray Liotta’s wife, getting another woman pregnant, contemplating murder, toilet training raccoons, appreciating latte art, chatting with Kerry Washington, chatting with Dennis Haysbert, and trying out religion. Okay, so maybe there isn’t anything wrong with those last few things, but the first couple are pretty bad. Is this going to be the sort of lead character who audiences can relate to?

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Inglourious Basterds was one of 2009’s best films, and depending on who you ask (re: me) it’s also writer/director Quentin Tarantino‘s finest film to date. His first real foray into a period piece mixed World War II action and intrigue with memorable characters and performances, sharp wit and a smart script. The Academy Award-nominated result was also his highest grossing film worldwide. And now he’s back hoping to recreate that success with Django Unchained. Once again he’s pairing high profile actors and a historical setting, but this time his genre mash-up combines the spaghetti western with 70’s era blaxploitation. The film stars Jamie Foxx as a slave freed by a bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) in exchange for help in catching and killing a pair of wanted men. Django’s ultimate goal however is to find his wife (Kerry Washington) who’s fallen into the hands of a dastardly fellow named Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) whose plantation, Candie Land, is home to gladiator-like battles between slaves forced to fight for their survival. EW.com has just posted the first two pics from the film showing DiCaprio, Waltz and Foxx in character. Christmas Day can’t come soon enough.

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Kevin Carr

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr heads to the desert to hide in a cave, hoping against hope that some mystical bald alien will beam him to Mars so he can make a pass at the ridiculously gorgeous Lynn Collins in a brass bikini. Unfortunately, no one came to his rescue, so he snuck into an abandoned house in upstate New York to terrorize some people. Again, no one came. That left Kevin to skip his movies this week so he could go to the library and find a book that would allow him to curse Eddie Murphy into not speaking. He hasn’t been heard from since.

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All throughout the casting process of Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained we’ve watched the director recruit big name actor after big name actor to fill out the male roles in his script. But there was one character who kept getting named, danced around, but never announced as being officially cast. We got news of the man who would be playing Django, the titular character and husband to Broomhilda. We got news of who would be playing Calvin Candie, the slave owner that kept Broomhilda under lock and key. Everything that happens in this movie seems to hinge on the character of Broomhilda, yet their hasn’t been much speculation as to who would be cast to bring her to life. Today that oversight ends, and most of the principle casting of Django Unchained seems to get wrapped up, with the casting of actress Kerry Washington in the Broomhilda role. Washington is a pretty face, who’s been known to do things like appear in L’Oréal ads, but she has a pretty lengthy film career behind her at this point as well. Perhaps most memorably she played the role of Kay Amin in The Last King of Scotland, and she’s even already had some experience playing Jamie Foxx’s significant other in Ray. Apparently the role took so long to fill because Tarantino was interested in casting an unknown for Broomhilda, but try as he might he just couldn’t find anyone to top Washington’s auditions. Despite the fact that Tarantino won’t be able to wow […]

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Night Catches Us, the drama featuring Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker) and Kerry Washington (For Colored Girls), aims its sights on racial tension in 1970s Philadelphia to show another side of brotherly love. Director/Writer Tanya Hamilton got to speak with Black Panther artist and Minister of Culture Emory Douglas who gives some fascinating insights into the goals of the divisive group and the personal elements of the racial struggle. The film hits theaters this Friday.

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In For Colored Girls, Tyler Perry trades in Madea for a high end, high-minded source — a beloved 1975 Ntozake Shange play — and comes away with the same sort of overheated, overstuffed kitchen sink cinematic work that’s become his calling card. It’s a mess, proving once again that the mega-rich Atlanta one-man studio’s business acumen surpasses his filmmaking talents. Granted, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf could not have been an easy work to adapt, consisting as it does of 20 loosely conjoined prose poems centered on such hot-button issues as rape and abortion. Using Shange’s reflective, elliptical prose as a starting point, Perry crafts an interwoven ensemble of women, who face some serious, pressing crises while largely sharing the same Harlem apartment building’s roof.

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Thandie Newton. Whoopi Goldberg. Anika Noni Rose. Kerry Washington. Janet Jackson. Loretta Devine. Kimberly Elise. Phylicia Rashad. A litany of strong talents given the weight of For Colored Girls and hopefully allowed to carry it as far as they can. The original play by Ntozake Shange was written as a set of poems, but Tyler Perry and company have woven them into a narrative story for the screen. This trailer is exciting. Perry has built an empire, but this may be the film that finally pushes him out of the soap opera make-up smear and proves he has the talent to deliver real drama. Not bad for a guy who started out in elderly drag.

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The Sundance drama just got picked up, and it’s going to be put down this Fall. Just in time for Awards season.

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Samuel L Jackson in Lakeview Terrace

Lakeview Terrace is meant to be a taut thriller. However, the script violates a cardinal rule… it has the characters act unrelentlessly stupid in order to force a conflict. By the end, I really didn’t care about any of them.

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Samuel L. Jackson is looking for underage drinkers

Join in the housewarming party for Patrick Wilson and Kerry Washington, and have a drink to celebrate their new neighbor, Samuel L. Jackson.

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post-fatguys.jpg

Kevin and Neil are recovering from the righteous wind storm that swept through the Midwest… or at least they’re using that as an excuse for not having seen all the movies this week.

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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