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Yes Not Maybe So: Bombshell

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Entries in Boyz n the Hood (4)

Wednesday
May012019

John Singleton (1968-2019)

by guest contributor Alfred Soto 

Few young filmmakers get their scripts approved and direct a film in which most things go right, and John Singleton did with Boyz n the Hood. The 1991 depiction of life in blighted South Central L.A. starring a mesmerizing Ice Cube became the kind of phenomenon that absorbs cultural currents and creates new ones; for a few years pop music and MTV took their cues from Boyz n the Hood. It made $60 million and, in one of the Motion Picture Academy’s occasional gob-smacking beau gestes, earned Singleton a Best Director nomination, the youngest in history and, more crucially, the first nomination for a black director. 

Please consider the times...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jul122016

Boyz n the Hood Turns 25

Lynn Lee revisits the John Singleton classic on its 25th anniversary.

Four young boys walk along a railroad track, idly chatting but in search of something specific.  They find what they’re looking for: a dead body.  A group of older boys arrives and harasses them.  The most pugnacious of the younger group fights back in a way that foreshadows his destiny as an adult.

Stand by Me?  No, Boyz n the Hood, which opened in theaters 25 years ago today.  And the parallels are no mere coincidence. Writer and drector John Singleton was intentionally referencing the earlier Rob Reiner film – perhaps as much for the differences as the similarities between the two narratives of boyhood and the cultural spaces they occupy...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Sep232015

In Appreciation of Regina King

Kieran here to take a moment to praise the talents of the great underappreciated, enduring and (as of Sunday evening) Emmy-winning actress, Regina King. It was truly a wonderful moment when Taraji P. Henson, still reeling from that moment of Terrence Howard creepery, excitedly announced Regina King as the winner. The Emmys can often feel like a yearly recitation of the same list of names, but wins like Regina King's are what make awards shows that honor acting great. Like Melissa Leo or Octavia Spencer, it's always heartening to see hard working, talented and enduring character actresses finally get recognition.

My earliest memory of King was in Boyz N the Hood (227 is a little before my time) where she brought a welcome side-eye skepticism and levity to that male-centric outing, great as it was. I haven't seen the film in a couple of years, but her lines easily remain the most memorable and quotable. I feel similarly about her performance in Ray, a film that suffers from its trite biopic structure but comes to life most when King's Margie is on screen. She's consistently great, shoring up projects and roles that often don't deserve her, frankly.

King has worked steadily for the past three decades but prior to her nod for American Crime, she had never been nominated for an Emmy. Or a Golden Globe. Or a solo Screen Actors Guild Award (she was nominated with the cast of Ray in 2004). Or an Oscar. Given the breadth and longevity of King's career, this is a little shocking. She's clearly under-appreciated, even by me. I failed to cite her as one of my ten favorite Emmy nominees, though she was great on American Crime and wholly deserving of the win.

Hopefully seeing Regina King win an Emmy will prompt directors and producers, many of whom I'm sure she's already worked with (seriously...check out her IMDb. The woman never stops working) to unlock their imaginations about what she's capable of. She's shown her versatility in a wide range of genres and in roles of all sizes. The time has long passed for King to have her moment in a great leading role worthy of her talents.

What's your favorite Regina King performance? What director would you like to see her paired with? Discuss in the comments.

Tuesday
Jul302013

Goodbye Peacock. And Other Links

Los Angeles Times AMPAS elects their first African American president in Cheryl Boone Isaacs
IndieWire
on how newcomer Annie McNamara landed a supporting role in the otherwise starry cast of Blue Jasmine
Filmonic John Williams will score the new Star Wars trilogy 
Maps to the Stars on the Cronenberg exhibit at TIFF this year 
Fashionista thinks Claire Danes has lost a leg in this photoshoot 
IndieWire on the 25th anniversary of Midnight Madness at TIFF this year

Empire another big get for rising star David Oyelowo who was so good in Middle of Nowhere and also eye-catching in The Paperboy - he joins the increasingly crowded Insterstellar for Christopher Nolan
The Backlot on HBO's new gay series starring Jonathan Groff. Is it "special"? 
In Contention A Most Wanted Man could put Philip Seymour Hoffman back in the Oscar race
/Film oh dear god. they can't leave well enough alone. Dexter might get a spin-off series after 8 looooong seasons
Salon Before Fruitvale Station there was Boyz n the Hood
Cinema Blend new teaser poster for Gravity 

Finally, you have undoubtedly heard that the fine comic actress Eileen Brennan passed away earier today at 80 years of age. I have to admit a weird unfamiliarity with the most acclaimed turn in her filmography (unlike me I know!) as I never saw her Oscar-nominated work in Private Benjamin. I remember people being really into it when I was a kid but it was rated R and I somehow never caught up with it when I was old enough. I'll personally remember her most fondly as Peacock in Clue with her frazzled manner, soup sipping, and ungainly hat. Others will cherish her work in The Sting or The Last Picture Show or any number of TV appearances including time on Laugh-In with her future Benjamin co-star Goldie Hawn. What will you remember her for? RIP Mrs Peacock.