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Entries in Keegan-Michael Key (5)

Wednesday
Jun262019

"The Prom" gets a starry cast for its film version.

by Nathaniel R

Two girlfriends in the midwest just want to go to their prom in "The Prom"

The Prom, running through August 11th at Broadway's Longacre Theatre, has defied expectations more than once in its short life. That starts with the plot synopsis which reads like a lecturing social justice message play (Broadway stars fight against discrimination to get a young lesbian to her prom when her school balks at the idea) but is in reality a sweet often hilarious comedy which has more targets than just homophobes in its sights. The musical began previews last October on Broadway and while it wasn't expected to be a big hit (given the sad state of Broadway where branding is all important - it came with no bankable stars, no jukebox score, wasn't based on a movie) it managed to stay open for months, snag high profile Tony nominations, and secure both touring and movie adaptation deals. (It is also a total delight, as Dan told us in his review which we co-sign.)

As you've undoubtedly heard, Netflix snapped it up some time ago. Originally we thought it was going to be a straight to streaming situation, given what Netflix is planning for the new Boys in the Band (with the all-gay Broadway cast reprising their roles for the camera), but it turns out they have an Oscar run in mind. And with that a starrier cast and some degree of a theatrical release in 2020 (so we'll have at least two musicals in the mix that year given Spielberg's West Side Story remake).

But are The Prom's days of defying expectations over?

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jun282017

Welcome to the Academy (2017 Invitee List)

The Academy continues its diversity push this year with a record 774 new invitations for membership including people from all over the world. The youngest this year is Elle Fanning and the oldest is Betty White. The list is 39% female this year and 30% people of color.

Chinese superstar screen partners Maggie Cheung & Tony Leung Chiu Wai are finally invited!We must also note that AMPAS's diversity push is also doubling as a major expansion. They're not just inviting differently (i.e. less white men and more women and people of color) but MORE in general. If all of the invitees accepted the invites from this year and last that's 1400ish new members in two years for an institution that previously kept its ranks steady around the 6,000 member mark. 

Everyone's gagging over Gal Gadot being invited but that's obvious. She's in a phenomenon sized hit at the moment and timing is everything -- see also Riz Ahmed whose career is also white hot at this very second and who is also invited... 

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Saturday
Jul232016

Review: Don't Think Twice

Manuel here with a review of Don’t Think Twice, which is out in Limited release this weekend.

Mike Birbiglia’s Don’t Think Twice is a movie about failure. Or rather, about what happens (and the choices we make) when success is not just elusive but altogether unattainable. It’s a film that papers over those platitudes about believing in yourself and following your dreams no matter what (terrible advice by itself) and presents us a story about what happens to those who can’t or won’t succeed at what they’re talented at.

The film, focused on an Improv group (“The Commune”) boasts a stellar ensemble led by Birbiglia himself. As the oldest member of the troupe, Miles—who was “inches away” from nabbing a coveted spot on the cast of the SNL-ish Weekend Live years ago and who’s seen friends actually get on the show, much to his chagrin—epitomizes the arrested development of the entire group...

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Saturday
Feb062016

Michael B Jordan is the Big Winner at the Image Awards

Michael B Jordan was top dog at the Annual NAACP Image Awards taking both Outstanding Actor and Entertainer of the Year prizes for his work in Creed, which obviously should have netted him an Oscar nominations (we honored him here). Creed was a big player, too, taking Writing and Directing and Supporting Actress (Phylicia Rashad) prizes only to lose the Outstanding Motion Picture prize to Straight Outta Compton

In other curious developments Idris Elba, fresh off a SAG win, lost the Supporting Actor prize to O'Shea Jackson Jr for Compton. As a reminder of the strange nominee list, of the central trio in Compton only Jason Mitchell (who played Easy E) was snubbed, despite being the actor who received the strongest reviews within the film. 

The image awards, now in their 47th year, are kind of an all purpose awards show for black artists so they also honor literature, music, and television. black-ish and Empire were the big television winners and Anthony Anderson hosted the awards show. 

After the cuteness of Gabrielle Union & Keegan-Michael Key, the full list of winners.

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Saturday
May232015

Review: Pitch Perfect 2

The standard formula for sequel-making is easy to remember: do it again, only bigger. Elizabeth Banks has taken this to heart while working both sides of the camera. Pitch Perfect 2 marks her feature directorial debut but she's still fully visible as one half of the insult-comic pundits that barrage the acapella groups with shade as we watch them perform. The absurd notion of live commentary during vocal performances continues to be a pretty good unspoken joke unto itself so naturally Gail (Banks) and John (John Michael Higgins), have larger roles this time. They're like the Waldorf & Statler to the Bardem Bella's Muppets only hornier and way more intrusive. The comparison may be fusty but so is the jokey tone - vaudeville sized in its caricature driven gags and completely shameless at wringing laughs from crude, repetitive and stereotype-loving jokes. In fact, it's so broadly cartoonish that it's easy to imagine virtually any of the cast members as muppets, especially Fat Amy (née Fat Patricia). 

Who among you didn't visualize Rebel Wilson as a Muppet just now; the resemblance is uncanny!

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