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Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

BIG BUDGET FILMS

"American Hustle" (R for sexuality, pervasive profanity and brief violence) David O. Russell wrote and directed this crime drama about a couple of con artists (Christian Bale and Amy Adams) forced by an overzealous FBI agent (Bradley Cooper) to infiltrate a New Jersey underworld inhabited by mobsters protected by a crooked, big city mayor (Jeremy Renner). Support cast includes Jennifer Lawrence, Louis C.K. and Michael Pena.

"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" (PG-13 for intense violence and frightening images) Second installment of the fantasy trilogy based on the J.R.R. Tolkien classic finds Bilbo (Martin Freeman), Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and company continuing their epic journey to Lonely Mountain for a showdown with a fearsome dragon (Benedict Cumberbatch). Cast includes Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett and Stephen Fry.

"A Madea Christmas" (PG-13 for profanity, crude humor and sexual references) Tyler Perry's back in drag in this adaptation of his holiday-themed play, set in a small Southern town, as a moralizing, motor-mouthed granny straightening out sinners while spreading Christmas cheer. Ensemble includes Tika Sumpter, Larry the Cable Guy, Anna Maria Horsford, Kathy Najimy and Chad Michael Murray.

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Rashida Jones calls out female pop stars for thongs

Rashida Jones calls out female pop stars for thongs

Rihanna's jeans shorts thong featured in her video for "Pour it Up" made culture watchers wonder whether this "good girl gone bad" has gone too far.

The Bajan performer is part of a trend among female pop stars towards baring their booties to sell songs.

Feminist web site Jezebel.com published an essay in response to ladies such as Rihanna and Miley Cyrus frequently appearing in videos scantily clad (and bent over). Fashion blog The Cut also offered its analysis, "Pop Stars Only Wear Thongs Now; Going Pantsless Is Not Enough."

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  • Written by Alexis Garrett Stodghill/theGrio

‘(1)ne Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race’

‘(1)ne Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race’

Traditionally, in America, if you were just a teeny-weeny bit black, you'd always been considered black. This arbitrary color line was even codified by the Supreme Court decision in Plessy v. Ferguson, an 1896 case brought by an octoroon light enough to pass who sued for the right to sit in the "white only" section of a segregated train traveling through the South.

Much to Homer Plessy's chagrin, the Court sided with the State of Louisiana, taking judicial notice of the "one-drop rule," ruling that "a Negro or black is any person with any black ancestry." In other words, you could be black without looking black.

Fast-forward to the present, the arguably post-racial age of Obama, a time when the country has a biracial president, who nevertheless refers to himself to African-American. The nation's population has more mixed ancestry than ever nowadays, which is reflected in the latest census offering over a dozen race options to check off, as well as "Other," if none of the above is to your liking.

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Kam’s Kapsules: Opening This Week

Kam’s Kapsules: Opening This Week


For movies opening Dec. 6, 2013

BIG BUDGET FILMS

"Inside Llewyn Davis" (R for profanity and some sexual references) Oscar Issac plays the title character in this Coen Bros musical dramedy, set in Greenwich Village in 1961, chronicling a week in the life of a struggling folk singer. With Justin Timberlake, Carey Mulligan and Max Casella.

"Out of the Furnace" (R for profanity, drug use and graphic violence) Vigilante crime thriller revolving around a just-paroled ex-con (Christian Bale) who ventures from the Rust Belt to the Northeast to rescue a younger brother (Case Affleck) who's gotten mixed up with mobsters. Ensemble cast includes Forest Whitaker, Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, Willem Dafoe and Sam Shepard.

 

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Is Kanye West losing it?

Is Kanye West losing it?

The colossally egocentric self-proclaimed genius who subjects concertgoers to his "visionary stream of consciousness" rants during his performances may be wearing his audience thin.

On Tuesday, Kanye West's roadside attraction of a hip-hop concert played to fewer than 4,500 people at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, a venue that holds 19,000. It's a paltry attendance number for the man who compares himself to Walt Disney and Steve Jobs, the Kansas City Star reports.

The low numbers are just one in myriad problems on the Yeezus tour. West was forced to cancel several shows on the tour because a truck carrying lighting equipment was involved in an accident that damaged "all of the lights."

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  • Written by Stephen A. Crockett Jr./The Root

‘Black Nativity,’ ‘Best Man Holiday,’ Madea and parties galore

‘Black Nativity,’ ‘Best Man Holiday,’ Madea and parties galore

In the midst of what is turning out to be a very busy holiday season, I have somehow found time to catch a couple of movies! As far as the African-American moviegoer is concerned, this holiday season has been very nice. We have at least three major films that are geared toward "us" that will be in theatres by Christmas day.

Of course, the first was "Best Man Holiday," which was a great film that I'd go see again and you should see at least once. Then there was "Black Nativity," which opened this past weekend and stars Jennifer Hudson, Tyrese, Angela Bassett and Forrest Whitaker. Not quite the blockbuster that I hoped for, however, it still was a really good film.

"Black Nativity" had a lot of good moments, most of which came with music. If you watched the trailers, it should have come as no surprise that this film was actually a musical. If you get to check it out, be sure to pay close attention to Mary J. Blige's scene where she sings. That had to have been the most soulful Christmas music I have heard in a long time. I'm not sure if this was actually lip-synced, but both Bassett and Whitaker's characters sang as well. If it wasn't actually them, it was at least great acting.

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