You don’t need me to write out the lyrics between the line breaks. And you probably don’t need me to write out the tales of their misdeeds—from assault accusations to bigotry to XXX 2. No, the Internet is swarming with heavy-handed think-pieces on the place of NWA in a #BlackLivesMatter world—as it should be. It’s a matter worth discussing, the effect of the one of the most profitable, aggressive hip-hop groups on the state of black America.
Let’s just talk about the shitty movie they made.
The only character the viewer feels closer to after seeing Straight Outta Compton is Eazy-E, with whom the director and producers (NWA survivors Dre and Cube) feel exclusively willing to fuck around with, because he’s dead and therefore can’t personally object to his on-screen portrayal. The film is largely an exploration of the rise and fall of Eazy as paralleled by the meteoric careers/sell outs of his teammates. In one of the only instances of character development, we see Eazy coached by Dre as he sheepishly tries to throw down the opening line of Boyz n the Hood, only to be bolstered by proper encouragement by the brotherly Doc, framing the warped reality that the movie wants us to believe.
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Tina Fey and Amy Poehler ended their multi-year hosting gig on the Golden Globes last year, but their fancy-Hollywood-awards MCing duties may not quite be finished. Time and multiple other outlets are reporting that Academy Awards producer David Hill hinted that next year’s show will have not one but two hosts, sparking speculation it will be Upper Darby darling Fey and her partner-in-crime Poehler.
“There will be multiple hosts for sure – there will be two,” said Hill. “Two is better than one. … Just imagine, you’re in there. One of your hosts drops dead from cardiac arrest. What do you do? Second host goes on! And you keep going. … Note to self. Check out their heart rates.”
Though that’s all the info we’re getting, Entertainment Weekly is betting on Fey and Poehler or Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele of Key & Peele.
The last time a duo hosted the Oscars was in 2011, when James Franco and Anne Hathaway did it. Anything would be better than that–but few could out-do Fey and Poehler. We’ll be crossing our fingers until the updates roll in.
Gore Vidal (facing) and William Buckley in Best of Enemies.
Best of Enemies is a documentary celebrating the fabulous enmity and erudite verbal brawling between liberal author Gore Vidal, and his arch-nemesis, conservative scholar and writer William F. Buckley Jr., on a series of ABC news specials during the 1968 political conventions. Co-directors Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville (Twenty Feet From Stardom) came across the unedited footage back in 2012 and knew instantly they wanted to make a movie out of it.
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Disney and Lucasfilm made like Beyoncé today and surprise-dropped the second Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer on Instragam. Yea, Instagram, which means it’s only 15 seconds long.
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Adam Pally and Sarah Burns in Slow Learners. | Courtesy of Chase Bowman
With six documentaries under their belts — including the critic-loved Rock School and The Art of the Steal — Philly filmmaking duo Don Argott and Sheena M. Joyce are embarking on new cinematic territory in a film that premieres in Philadelphia this weekend.
Slow Learners is the real-life couple’s first foray into narrative features. It’s a comedy starring Adam Pally and Sarah Burns as platonic friends who set out one summer to add some zest to their humdrum existence in Media, Pa. In the end, as you may surmise, the pair wind up falling in love. Joyce describes it as a summer-sex comedy from the teachers’ perspective, with influences from funny films like 40-Year-Old Virgin and Step Brothers. It gets its Philadelphia premiere on Friday, September 28th, when it opens at the Roxy.
I caught up with Argott and Joyce over the telephone to discuss their experience making the film. Here’s what they had to say on …
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To be fair, there were back-to-school sales as early as June (which, if I were a kid, I would be enormously offended by), but now we’re truly coming into the homestretch. Summer’s winding down folks, time to flip up the dark glasses and peer into the frigid grayness to come off in the far distance. I mean, not to bum you out or anything, but you have a month left of low-key, relaxed-office, quasi-vacation time left before the grind begins anew and with depressing vigor. Maybe it’s a good time to stock up on some fine visual entertainment before the onslaught, hey? Here are some of our picks for the best and most interesting offerings from Netflix streaming this month.
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UPDATE [2:29 pm, 8/25/2015]: An earlier version of this story said Three Seconds will shoot in the Pittsburgh area, but that isn’t so, according to Greater Philadelphia Film Office Executive Director Sharon Pinkenson. She emailed to say the project has been completely scrapped and it “will not shoot anywhere.”
ORIGINAL: Philly paparazzo HughE Dillon reports on PhillyChitChat.com that plans to shoot A-list indie flick Three Seconds in Philadelphia have been scrapped.
The film, directed by Otto Bathurst, was set to begin filming in Philadelphia on Sunday. It stars Luke Evans, David Oyelowo, Josh Brolin, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Olivia Munn. According to Dillon, the crew had already opened production offices, scouted locations, and the cast had moved into apartments they would stay in throughout the duration of the shoot. (I actually saw Maggie Gyllenhaal riding through town on her bike one day!)
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Benjamin Jones (Jeremiah Trotter) carries Lewis (John Wooten) in The North Star.
The feature film debut of former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Jeremiah Trotter will premiere at the Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center on September 17th. It is Trotter’s first film acting credit.
The North Star was helmed by first-time film director Thomas K. Phillips, who wrote, directed and produced the film. It was shot over 24 days in Bucks County in the summer of 2012 and tells the story of Benjamin Jones (Trotter) and Moses Hopkins (Thomas C. Bartley Jr., a Washington, D.C. native). The two characters are slaves who escaped from Virginia to Buckingham, Pa., in 1849. Read more »
Scene from “Cabin In the Woods,” which earned a top spot on a list of the 21 best films of the 21st century.
Movies, Films and Flix! (MFF), a blog and podcast devoted to all things film, has come up with a list of the 21 Best Horror Films of the 21st Century. The writers generated the list by culling user and critic scores from multiple film-review sites, and then asking readers to vote on the ones that were ranked highest.
The result is a pretty solid and extremely varied list, though there’s not a ton of Philadelphia on it. Local thriller-film god M. Night Shyamalan is nowhere to be found—either here or on the original list—but PAFA alum David Lynch‘s Mulholland Drive makes a nice show in the top ten. I know what you’re thinking—is Mulholland Drive really a horror film? MFF writer and list curator Mark Hofmeyer explains that, “that question infects most of David Lynch’s films, as the narrow-minded idea of tropes and sub-genres does not really apply to them. Lynch is an original; he does not follow any rules or aesthetic cues of horror, he creates them.”
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Theater-goers scurried to movie multiplexes around the country this weekend to catch the debut of Straight Outta Compton, Ice Cube’s biopic about the lives of N.W.A. The film came in at No. 1 at the weekend box office, pulling in an impressive $56.1 million in ticket sales.
A sizable chunk of that came from Philly rapper Meek Mill and Nicki Minaj, who rented out an entire theater so they could watch the film privately with some of their crew. “When u & bae rent out the entire theatre to watch #StraightOutttaCompton with the team,” she shared in an Instagram post. The photo shows her peeking her head in from the side, while Meek, with tons of bling around his neck, gets ready to dig into what looks like a box of movie nachos.
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