Posted on 12/19/07 04:17 PM
Although "The Great Debaters" does not open until Christmas, I had the good fortune of seeing it at a preview -- and I can recommend it without reservation. It is a great story, based on real events that most of us never heard of, about a debating team from Wiley College, a small black institution in rural Texas, that performs extraordinary feats because the kids are good and the team is taught by Mel Tolson, a real person, acted by Denzel Washington, who also directs. Forest Whitaker, like Washington an academy award winner, plays James Farmer Sr., the school president and the father of one of the debaters, James Farmer Jr. (yes, that James Farmer Jr.). The participation in this enterprise of Washington, Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey and the Weinstein brothers should draw crowds (provided the film isn't cursed by being described as "uplifting," though it is). The revelation in this film are the performances of the three principal debaters: Jurnee Smollett as Samatha Booke (with an "e", as she proclaims when she tries out for the debate team), Nate Parker as Henry Lowe (also with an "e" as he announces in response to Samantha's declaration) and Denzel Whitaker as James Farmer Jr. (It's an amusing coincidence, but he is unrelated either to Denzel Washington or to Forrest Whitaker.) You may have seen Jurnee Smollett earlier in her career when she was a "cute kid" and a promising actress. This film could be her portal to stardom. In addition to being a gorgeous young woman, she's also an accomplished actress, ready for bigger parts in the future. You'll also be impressed with her colleagues, people whose names you may never have heard. You don't have to be black to find this film engrossing; I'm not. All you need to be is (a) a human being and (b) someone who appreciates a good movie. I hope it makes a ton of money at the box office but it is, above all, a quality film. It just happens to be about a difficult period in American history, the rural South in the 1930's. It just happens to be inspirational and uplifting and all that good, boring stuff that cause your eyes to roll when that's how the critics describe it. But it's better than uplifting. It's GOOD and it's REAL.
Posted on 12/06/07 01:16 PM
Posted on 10/27/07 03:25 PM
I loved it. Review will come later
Posted on 9/16/07 08:01 PM
I Love smart movies like these. it is a must go see movie.
Posted on 8/05/07 09:51 AM
Go see it.
Posted on 6/29/07 05:01 PM
Loved the film
Posted on 6/16/07 04:15 PM
Fantastic film[FONT=Lucida Console]
Posted on 5/03/07 05:23 PM
was really disappointing. I was looking forward to this. Even though I'm looking way way way forward for Shrek The Third. Only 15 more days can you believe it. Well back to the review. I saw it and it was just horrible. I was thinking to going in and seeing a major blockbuster but I came out seeing a worthless movie thinking it was put together by cavemen. I only liked the ending. It was good CGI work and acting. But all the other scenes and stuff, was HORRIBLE. It's like they ripped Tobey's acting right outta him. MJ doesn't seem like the girl she use to be. She is so much mature now. Harry is just plain worthless. He tries to kill Peter, then helps him at the end. A little messed up. If he tries to kill him first, he should stick with it. And another thing is the entire movie is basically CGI. Whatever happened to do your own stunts with strings and stuff. Maybe actors are getting lazy so they want it in CGI. I would give it a 49 out of 100. I really thought it would be good. And this Eddie Brock dude. One second he's a little geek like Pete was, all innocent and stuff, then he goes to a church and wishes Pete dead then turns into an alien life form. Another problem was it was a good running time, but they crammed it all together like they got separate parts from other movies and put them all together to make nothing. One second its Goblin, then talking to mj, then sandman, then black suit, its just too much crammed into one movie. And i thought Pirates 2 was too much stuff happening at once. Boy, I sure wish this was better.
So all together, I give it a 49 out of 100.
Posted on 4/07/07 01:24 PM
Are We Done Yet?
After a Wednesday opening and mediocre numbers over the first two days, Ice Cube's family comedy sequel performs very well on Friday, with $5.3 million. Are We There Yet? earned $18.5 million in January 2005, and had a 3.37 weekend multiplier. Are We Done Yet? is hurt by Easter Sunday, when box office declines a bit and by Meet the Robinsons, which this couldn't top even on Friday. Still, look for Are We Done Yet? to come in with a weekend estimate of $16.4 million, giving it $20.7 million in five days.
The Robert Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantion double feature lands in a somewhat disappointing fourth on Friday, with $5 million. Despite the advertising blitz and money shot of the assault rifle leg, this might be more cult classic than box office bonanza. I expect a below average mutiplier, with Easter not really having much of an impact (family stuff is hurt more). Figure a weekend of around $13 million.
The creepy-looking, Hilary Swank-starring The Reaping is another slight disappointment this weekend, it only earned about $3.9 million on Friday. While this looks better than most recent horror offerings, audience fatigue combined with demographic competition in the form of Grindhouse have left it lost in the shuffle. I see a mediocre weekend of $10.1 million.
A movie so silly I can't even keep a straight face while discussing its box office hangs onto a top ten slot on Friday, with $1.5 million. The number four option for families this Easter weekend (behind Meet the Robinsons, Are We Done Yet? and TMNT), I figure only about $4.5 million for it over the weekend, giving it $5.8 million since its Wednesday release.
None of the new releases this week could top Blades of Glory or Meet the Robinsons, both of which hold much better than expected. Blades of Glory is off only 26% from last Friday to $8.9 million, and Meet the Robinsons slips only 8%, an absolutely stunning figure. The Will Ferrell/Jon Heder comedy will still easily take the gold with around $26 million, while Meet the Robinsons will be hurt slightly thanks to Easter Sunday, but an overall 10% decline or so to a bit under $23 million is actually quite incredible.
Projected Estimates for the Top Ten (Three-Day)
Rank Film Estimated Gross
1 Blades of Glory 26.1
2 Meet the Robinsons 22.8
3 Are We Done Yet? 16.4
4 Grindhouse 13.0
5 The Reaping 10.1
6 300 9.2
7 Wild Hogs 7.2
8 TMNT 6.6
9 Shooter 6.1
10 Firehouse Dog 4.5
Posted on 3/23/07 03:11 PM
The movie is entertaining which is why we all spend money to go see them. Acting is above average - music score pleasant - theme while not unique is different enough to keep your interest. The fact that it is based on a true life person who is still active in coaching is the hook. If we could all have this kind of influence on kids - wow. Terrance Howard and Bernie Mac have a chemistry on screen that is fun to watch. Their settle looks and facial expressions give a reality to the characters. Supporting actors are well cast and lend credibility to each scene. Even though the end is predictable, the fun is in the journey. Not a MUST see but a SHOULD see film