Tyler Perry

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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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s interested only in providing you with movie news, it does not seek to earn your affection. Alright, maybe not your affection, but definitely your obedience. So be a good little soldier and read it every night before you lay your head down to sleep. We open tonight with a peek at the French poster for Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life, which may or may not be debuting in the UK right before it opens at the Cannes Film Festival. All I know is that I’m interested to see it, because reports have been all over the place. And all over the place usually isn’t a bad thing when it comes to a Terrence Malick film.

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Alex Cross is a reoccurring character in the novels of James Patterson. His stories have already been adapted for the screen a couple times with Morgan Freeman playing the lead role. Those films were Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. Well now the character is looking to get a reboot with Tyler Perry as the lead. It’s old news that I, Alex Cross is being directed by xXx and The Fast and the Furious director Rob Cohen, but there is some new casting news to report. Mathew Fox has signed on in a key role as an assassin. Add to that the fact that Ed Burns is going to play Cross’ assistant Tommy Kane, and this looks like a movie that is starting to come together. But I’m not sure how I feel about it. I think a lot of people have been trained to see Tyler Perry’s name and treat it as a joke, but he’s made some things that are more dramatic than those cheesy black family sitcoms and cross dressing Madea movies that he is known for. And I saw him act in Star Trek and it wasn’t bad. Rob Cohen’s movies I can’t really defend, but they’ve managed to make a lot of money from what I can tell. Still, just give me those two names and I, Alex Cross sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.

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Morgan Freeman was already a bit too old to play Alex Cross – the iconic James Patterson detective – in Kiss The Girls and Along Came a Spider, but he was still Morgan Freeman. You don’t turn that man down, and the job he did was more than capable. Now, QED wants to bring back the character to the big screen. At one point, Idris Elba was in the starring seat. Now, it’s Tyler Perry, who can’t even be described as the poor man’s Idris Elba. Perry will play the master psychologist for I, Alex Cross – based off the novel of the same name. According to Deadline Lincoln, distributors are currently being sought out, and Paramount (who released the other Cross flicks) might be interested. To say this is terrible casting is understatement. Cross is a terribly complex character – compassionate yet tough, an intellectual giant who self-imposes a life of solitude while also managing to volunteer in one of the poorest communities in DC. So far, Perry just hasn’t shown the depth to bring this character to life. There’s also always that tiny fraction of a possibility that it turns into Alex Cross-dress. Jokes aside, Tyler Perry is no Morgan Freeman. He’s also no Idris Elba, and it’s a damned shame that we won’t get to see the Elba version of Alex Cross. Perry will have to have a lot of surprises up his sleeve that he hasn’t tapped into yet in order to pull this off.

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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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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Tyler Perry of Jesus Christ, stop making movies fame, has inexplicably decided to develop It Had to Be Murder, the Cornell Woolrich short story that went on to influence Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window.

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kevin-reportcard-header

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr damns the gods with reviews of Clash of the Titans, The Last Song and Why Did I Get Married Too?

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Fat Guys at the Movies

Neil and Kevin clash in the Magical Studio in the Sky as we head into pre-summer movie season. They will damn the gods with reviews of Clash of the Titans, question whether Miley Cyrus has grown up in The Last Song and demand a 3D experience for Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too?

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Fat Guys at the Movies

Neil squeals about Team Jacob in his review of the highly anticipated The Twilight Saga: New Moon while Kevin struts around the Magical Studio in the Sky with no shirt on, desperately hoping people will mistake him for Taylor Lautner. There’s also a bizarre discussion of where Somali Pirates might fit into one of this week’s movies… how does that all work? Listen and find out!

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rr-tylerperry

It was the most predictable first place finish ever this weekend, as Tyler Perry continued his usual domination of the box office against all the usual September also-rans and flops. Such is life in September at the theaters.

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kevin-reportcard-header

Kevin Carr takes a look at this week’s movie releases, including 9, Sorority Row, Whiteout and Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself..

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Fat Guys at the Movies

Gremlins of all kinds invade the Magical Studio in the Sky. It’s either a sign of the apocalypse or a sign of bad movies in September. The first wave caused a glitch in Neil’s gender clarification surgery, so he had to return to the Netherlands to reclarify. Fortunately, David Medsker from Bullz-eye.com filled in.

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TylerPerryForColoredGirls

The master of producing a movie a year featuring himself in a Grandmama costume has just been hired to adapt the Shange play “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf.”

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FSR

Kevin Carr reviews this week’s new movies: Star Trek and Next Day Air.

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rr-jonasbros

Well, once again I look dumb here at the Reject Report, and it’s all because of the Jonas Brothers. You know that Jonas Brothers movie that I had picked to win the weekend? Turned out it was Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail that won the weekend with $16.5 million dollars.

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So here we are in the official Hollywood hangover week. Hugh Jackman was praised for doing less than anyone else had in the past. We have only two non-reviewed movies releasing this weekend. And Tyler Perry in a fat suit is box office gold.

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rr-madeajail

I’m not surprised that a Tyler Perry movie did well at the box office. I’m not surprised it finished in first place. I wouldn’t even have been shocked with a haul of $30 or $35 million dollars. But $41 million dollars?

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FSR

Kevin Carr reviews the movies the studios didn’t allow him to see early this week: Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail, Fired Up and Fanboys.

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+
published: 12.15.2014
B


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