Tyler Perry

Too Sequel Trio

This may just be a pet peeve involving semantics, but the use of the word “too” in sequel titles over the past 30 years has been really irritating. The logical reason for having a title ending in the word — as opposed to the explanation that it’s simply different from using the homophonic number, as “2,” “II” or “Two” — is to indicate that the new movie is not so much a continuation of the original as a fresh start with a similar protagonist or premise. “Too” in this case means “also,” as in another. Sure, it can also mean “more,” but it makes greater sense if Think Like a Man Too is about new characters who must think like men rather than the same guys who must further think like men. But it isn’t. I’m not sure of any kind of literary precedent to the “too” sequel prior to Hollywood’s apparent first use in 1984. There isn’t an easy way to filter through the history of books for examples. But it is something that occurs, and just recently there was a work of erotic fiction called “Checking Her Cherry, Too,” which must be commended for getting the usage correct. According to the official description on Amazon, “It’s not necessary to have read the first ‘Checking Her Cherry’ to enjoy this story, but after reading it, you’ll certainly want to! This sequel features different characters, but shares the same title theme.” Clearly it’s not too difficult to understand when “too” is appropriate […]

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Charlie Chaplin in A Busy Day

Tomorrow is the 100th anniversary of the release of A Busy Day, a half-reeler in which Charlie Chaplin plays an angry suffragette (an alternate title was actually A Militant Suffragette) who becomes jealous of her husband during a parade of some kind. It probably isn’t the first instance of a man playing a woman in cinema (there’s no way it took 20 years), but it is the first film that’s really known as the original precursor to something like Tyler Perry‘s Madea character and others like it. Note that this isn’t the same as a Tootsie or Mrs. Doubtfire type, though Chaplin would do parts of that sort, playing a man who dresses as a woman, later on. Interestingly enough, he’s much prettier in one of those parts, that of The Masquerader (100 years old this August), than he is in A Busy Day. When I claim in the headline above that Chaplin began his filmmaking career as the Perry of his time, I am not really just referring to their comparative angry women characters. Chaplin didn’t direct A Busy Day, contrary to some claims, for one thing. However, he did helm a one-reeler around the same time titled Caught in the Rain. That was in fact his directorial debut, and its own 100th anniversary was this past Sunday. The reason I compare it to Perry’s own first film as a director is that both featured the filmmakers on screen as the iconic characters they’re most associated with. For Perry that’s Madea. For […]

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commentary-startrek

The reboot of Star Trek in 2009 was a risky move for Paramount. However, it paid off, reinvigorating the franchise that had died with the poorly performing film Star Trek: Nemesis in 2002. J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek became one of the biggest hits of that summer and introduced a whole new generation to the classic franchise. Abrams was not a Star Trek fan before working on the film (and arguably even less of one after making the movie), but that didn’t stop him and his production team from making a solid science fiction update. Throughout the commentary with his writers and producers, recorded only a month after Star Trek came out in 2009, it’s clear that the Star Wars films had a greater impact on the production team’s childhood. Maybe the search for a Luke Skywalker in the character of James T. Kirk was what made the film work so well.

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tyler-perry-as-madea

  Another week bites the dust, and here we are to digest what we’ve swallowed over the last seven-day stretch. It hasn’t been a very monumental week. Mostly we complained about Hollywood stretching its previewing potential to death with something now termed a “tweaser.” And we prepared the world for another release date crowded with unbearable crap (unless you’re lucky to see some of the indies, foreigns and docs we consider worth seeing). Not that we don’t have the usual contrarian or defensive perspectives going to bat for all that junk. These cases of labeling mostly panned productions as underrated or simply “not that bad” or at least “having some good ideas” was also interesting following a huge response at the beginning of the week to the latest Criticwire Survey asking writers, “What movie widely regarded as a cinematic masterpiece do you dislike (or maybe even hate)?” That turned into a discussion of the difference between something being bad or just disliked and some semantics about the term “overrated.” Surely there’s something to be said about the term “underrated,” as well. Anyway, once again the Reject Recap features ten significant stories — news, features, lists, opinions, etc. — that people were talking about this past week. As usual there’s a mix of FSR content and outside links. And we’ve additionally found some videos worth sharing, too, both this week being recut trailers playing with genre (this meme will never get old). Start your weekend right after the jump.

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commentary-alexcross

Alex Cross is not a good movie. There’s no singular reason as to why that is, but you can take your pick from the messy script to the casting of Tyler Perry in the title role as a police detective previously played by Morgan Freeman. Director Rob Cohen sat down to record a commentary for the Blu-ray/DVD which hits shelves next week, and he speaks highly of his film, his cast and crew while detailing the making of the film. He makes it very clear that he’d like the series to continue too, so tell everyone you know to buy a copy. Keep reading to see what I heard with this week’s Alex Cross Commentary Commentary…

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Louis CK

What is Casting Couch? It’s the column that’s rounding up all the casting announcements the studios have released now that the buzz surrounding the Golden Globes has died down. They’ve been hoarding. Before his show on FX became such a well-respected thing, people thought of Louis CK mostly as being a stand-up comedian and not really as an actor, despite the fact that he’s shown up in a few small roles here and there. That might be about to change though, because not only does CK  star in Woody Allen’s upcoming movie, Blue Jasmine, but THR is reporting that he’s also in talks to join David O. Russell’s next project: that con-man movie starring Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, and Amy Adams that used to be called American Bullshit. If CK’s involvement becomes official, it will see him rubbing onscreen elbows with some of the biggest names in Hollywood, which is probably going to feel a little weird at first.

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Aaron Taylor-Johnson

What is Casting Couch? Today it’s the whitest casting round-up you know. Even though everyone knows that Godzilla is the true star of any Godzilla movie, there usually has to be some sort of human element on the ground to give the fire-breathing lizard’s destruction some sort of context. So Legendary Pictures’ Godzilla reboot is in the need of a principal actor, presumably a young and fresh-faced one, because Deadline is reporting that the newest actor they’re courting for the job is Aaron Taylor-Johnson. In addition to having the whitest name on the planet, you know Taylor-Johnson from recently blending into the wallpaper in Savages and shrinking into the background of Anna Karenina. Let’s hope that if he gets the Godzilla gig he’s able to rekindle a little bit of that spark he showed in Kick-Ass, because he certainly didn’t come out of 2012 looking like the next big thing.

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The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2

While many would like to think that snark was something born of the Internet age, the fact that the Razzie Awards for Worst Achievements in Film are now in their thirty-third year pretty demonstrably proves that to be untrue.  There’s an uncomfortable truth at the center of all this, which is, to snark, to pass judgment, to make fun of things that fail publicly and spectacularly—it’s all kind of fun, at least in a sick way. If it wasn’t, something like The Razzies wouldn’t be able to stick around this long. In recent years, however, the film industry’s laser focus on building franchises and sticking to the same formulas has taken a little bit of the fun out of seeing who gets picked on for being the worst of the year. A crop of usual suspects has developed, making the announcement that the latest Twilight movie and the latest Adam Sandler comedy have earned the lion’s share of the nominations something of a tedious formality. So, here we are, having yet again sat through another Twilight movie and another Adam Sandler comedy, and, sure enough, it seems that they’ve once again gotten the bulk of the nominations. If there’s any new narrative going on, it’s that Madea’s Witness Protection seems to have annoyed the people who vote for the Golden Raspberries more than usual. Perhaps that’s due to Jack & Jill making men in drag a more contemptible offense after last year, or perhaps it’s because they’re trying to set […]

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Bill Murray at Cannes 2012

What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting roundup that’s got news about what weird, clown-related thing Peter Stormare is going to do next. Read on for the juicy details. If your name is Dan Aykroyd or Ivan Reitman, then Bill Murray has been spending the last ten years or so trying to convince you that he doesn’t read scripts. That’s got to sting, because Deadline has a new report that proves this to be balderdash. Murray read Ted Melfi’s script for St. Vincent De Van Nuys and identified with the writer’s work so much that he called him up and invited him out for a drive. One negotiating process later and Murray is reportedly ready to sign on to star in the film, which is about a cantankerous old coot who bonds with a twelve-year-old boy over rounds of drinking, gambling, and generally despicable behavior. Sounds like it’s going to be a hoot.

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What is Casting Couch? Today it’s proof that if you star in something about sexy young vampires, you will continue to get more work. Warner Bros.’ Lego movie already had names like Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, and Morgan Freeman signed for its voice cast, thus making a stupid-sounding idea suddenly seem promising, but now they’ve really gone and made Lego into a movie that you can start looking forward to. Deadline reports that the film has just added Will Ferrell to its cast as the bad guy, President Business, Liam Neeson as the bad guy’s main henchman, Bad Cop, Parks and Rec’s mustachioed Nick Offerman as a revenge-obsessed pirate, and Community’s cheery-voiced Disney Princess Alison Brie as a member of the protagonist’s team who holds a powerful secret. That may just be the weirdest/most fun cast ever assembled, and it almost makes up for the fact that the movie is going to be in 3D.

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Rob Cohen

Alex Cross director Rob Cohen has never been one what could label a “critical darling.” There are a few notable exceptions in Cohen’s filmography, like Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story or The Rat Pack, but even his most successful and well-liked blockbusters – xXx and The Fast and the Furious – didn’t get much love from the critical community. To Cohen, that doesn’t matter so much, especially if the audience eats it up. A bad review may hurt Cohen, as he compares it to someone calling your baby the ugliest baby of all, but it won’t ever match the power of having a mass audience enjoying one of his popcorn movies. Obviously Alex Cross, his latest film starring the box office overlord Tyler Perry, hasn’t been met with a kind response thus far. Considering who Cohen wisely cast in the lead, those reviews won’t matter much when he sees this weekend’s box-office receipts. Here’s what Rob Cohen had to say about crafting Alex Cross‘s bug-eyed villain, critics, his love for Seth MacFarlane’s Ted, and why Raiders of the Lost Ark wouldn’t get made today:

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Alex Cross Tyler Perry Matthew Fox

You’d think a thriller about a brilliantly dogged detective matching wits with a sadistically smart serial killer would be at least somewhat entertaining. You’d be right in thinking that too, and if that’s the kind of film you’re looking for I recommend Memories of Murder, Copycat or Seven to fill your needs. Because there’s nothing about the new film Alex Cross that comes even close to brilliant, smart or intentionally entertaining. Alex Cross (Tyler Perry) is a homicide detective and doctor (of some kind but probably a psychologist) in Detroit who’s grown weary of his police beat and is considering taking an adviser role with the FBI. Before he can convince his pregnant wife that the move to Washington DC is in their best interest he’s tasked with solving a multiple murder with a tortured woman at its center. Cross’ team includes his childhood friend, Det. Tommy Kane (Ed Burns), and the young but talented Det. Monica Ashe (Rachel Nichols), and their target is a determined and very capable killer whose name changes with the turn of the script’s page. Picasso aka the Four Roses Killer aka Cadillac spokesperson (Matthew Fox) is targeting high-ranking executives, but after he’s almost caught during an attempted hit he turns his focus towards Cross and friends. It doesn’t take long before you’ll start wishing him the best of luck.

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Matthew Fox in Alex Cross

It’s fair to say Matthew Fox is still in a transitional period post-LOST. After six years on the air, the rapid fanbase, and ending on that hugely divisive note, it’s naturally going to take time moving away from a show that big. Picasso, the egotistical psychotic assassin at the center of Alex Cross, is certainly a role which could assist Fox in that department. The actor transforms himself somewhat similarly to the way he did a few years ago with Speed Racer, a box office bomb he rightfully calls far ahead of its time. Racer X and Picasso may not be share personality traits, but both characters rely heavily on Fox’s physicality. As anyone can see in Alex Cross, making a transformation in achieving that physicality is a challenge the star embraces. Here’s what actor Matthew Fox had to say about defending a psychopath, avoiding villainous monologues, and his love for Speed Racer:

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Donuts Bitch

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that brings you only the best. Or the rest. At this point, it could go either way. It’s important to start your day off right with a hearty breakfast. After a long night of binge drinking and carefully placing typos in this very column (I know you’re watching), I often wake up feeling pretty rough. So a good breakfast is huge in my world. What could be better than some Breaking Bad blue meth donuts? No one motivates like Heisenberg. Donuts, bitch.

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Tyler Perry

Speaking exclusively with BlackFilm about Madea’s Witness Protection, Tyler Perry segued from saying he was disappointed in Prometheus to teasing a science fiction film that he’s writing. He declined to say anything specific about it, but it theoretically won’t contain any cross-dressing. “I love Sci Fi, I love the Alien movies and the Alien franchise. I was very disappointed with Prometheus, but I love that whole franchise. Those are my favorite movies. I’m actually working on a sci-fi movie right now,” said the writer/actor/director. To his credit, this came moments after talking about how The Wiz was the first movie he remembers seeing in theaters, and it caused him to dance all the way home. So, at least we know he’s human. On the inhuman front, Perry has been incredibly successful with his Madea franchise, he’ll be seen as a thriller star in the upcoming Alex Cross, and apparently he’s got a sci-fi flick in the works. Looks like he’s definitely branching out. Hopefully he can make a sci-fi film that won’t disappoint.

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Alex Cross Matthew Fox

If you needed further proof that making your voice gravely doesn’t make you seem nearly as cool as you think it does, look no further than the trailer for Alex Cross. Tyler Perry – like Karl Urban’s constipated Eastwood in Dredd and Christian “Where are the Drugs?” Bale – forces out a low guttural that makes him sound like he’s doing a hard math problem in his head while recovering from a cold. Of course, it doesn’t help that he seems to be sleepwalking. Fortunately, Matthew Fox looks like he’s gone full-on insane to play a vicious serial killer obsessed with causing pain. Based on the James Patterson novel “Cross,” the trailer shows a bit of promise, but Perry is going to be a hard pill to swallow. Check it out for yourself:

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What is Movie News After Dark DRINKING? It’s the end result of a long work day, a half dozen mini doughnuts, a glass of cheap Canadian whisky, Robert Fure, and a keyboard. Suck on it, suckers! This week’s movie news after Drinking is brought to you by Revel Stoke spiced whisky (We should not get paid for this because I’m not drinking this again. Or no we should still get paid, but I’m not drinking this again). But basically the deal is I get kind of drunk and then try to type up a whole bunch of movie news before my arms stop working. If you’re wondering why I’m typing all this nonsense, it’s because we need a certain amount of buffer before we move into the news to put a proper text break in here. But totally keep reading because Will Smith NO JOKE SLAPS A RUSSIAN IN THE FACE IN THE FIRST STORY. (OH LOOK AT ME I’M FRILMCRIT HULK BECAUSE THIS IS ALL CAPITALS)

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Apparently Madea owns her own Witness Protection Program now, which is weird because cross-dressing in a fat suit didn’t exactly make Tyler Perry anonymous. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the incredibly successful writer/director/producer is continuing his Madea legacy with Madea’s Witness Protection, and it will inexplicably feature Denise Richards as the wife of Eugene Levy. Levy will co-star as an investment manager who is forced into witness protection after massive wrong-doing at his company. Fish out of water style, the uppity, rich Connecticut dweller will be forced into the sweaty South of Madea’s neighborhood. If it sounds like an episode of Family Guy, that’s because it pretty much is. No doubt, everyone will learn valuable lessons about acceptance and Perry will make valuable amounts of money while screaming at people and waving a gun around. The project, which also features Romeo Miller, will most likely shoot this year for a 2013 release. Fortunately, Perry will be in theaters next month in Good Deeds where he plays a rich guy who falls for a single mom just before he’s supposed to get married, and he’ll take up the mantle as iconic detective Alex Cross in I, Alex Cross which sees theaters in November. Just like any year, it’s going to be a big year for Tyler Perry. Jokes aside, he’s found a niche that works, and he’s used his powers this time around to let a middle-aged Jewish comedian play husband to the girl in the Wild Things threesome. Fiction at […]

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a movie news column set to the spectacle of a John Williams score. We begin tonight with the latest in scientific discovery. NASA and SETI have discovered a planet that has two stars. Their first thought? Name it “Tatooine.” We approve, but we can’t help but think this is a giant marketing campaign for the new Star Wars Blu-ray release. We’ll know when nude pics of the planet show up online.

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The Reject Report

The birds of Rio and the sugar-infused children were too much for the family crowd headed to see Madea’s latest outing this weekend. Madea’s Big Happy Family had anything but the worst opening for a Tyler Perry film, but it is the lowest opening film of his since 2007. It’s also the lowest of the three in terms of Tyler Perry films with Madea’s name branded on the marquee. That’s not to say Madea’s Big Happy Family had a bad opening. You can’t really scoff at over $25 million, and it isn’t like Rio completely trounced the #2 film. The gap is wide enough that we won’t be analyzing Monday’s official numbers to determine a clear-cut winner, but it’s way too soon to start the Madea retirement rumors. Big Happy Family is sure to be viewed as a success for everyone involved especially Perry who is sure to have another Madea film in the works by, say…oh, what time is it?

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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