Santa Barbara Fetes Forest Whitaker

It was a cold night in Santa Barbara, one of the more beautiful places on the planet. The ocean stretches out longways on your left. On your right, giant homes dot the hillside, twinkling lights within. The Kirk Douglas award was being held at the Bacara resort, an opulent palace...
Posted On 06 Jan 2014

Lenny Kravitz and Lee Daniels’ The Butler

My eleventh birthday was at the beginning of 1998. I remember a series of very formative years growing up, where Lenny Kravitz was a dominating force on what we didn’t know at the time was the dying breath of commercial radio and televised music videos, both of which still felt...

Forest Whitaker to Receive Santa Barbara Film Fest’s Kirk Douglas Award

The first big get of the season is Forest Whitaker being honored for the Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence for the upcoming Santa Barbara Film Fest.  The fest is always in the best position — just before the Oscar race starts in full.  Whitaker’s work in Lee...
Posted On 25 Oct 2013

The State of the Race: The Ghosts of Our American Past Told Through Three Movies

2013 will end up being about a lot of things when the dust settles. It will be yet another year where most of the films in the Best Picture race are driven by the male narrative — give or take a Gravity. It will be the year that directing vets like Woody Allen, Martin...
Posted On 17 Sep 2013

Lee Daniels’ The Butler Takes Number One for Third Consecutive Weekend

Only three Best Picture nominees have ever been number one for 3 consecutive weeks, and no black writer/director is among them. This film should hit $100 million without blinking.  Here is how dominance at the box office has helped a film get a Best Picture nod, at the very...
Posted On 02 Sep 2013

Why The Butler, Why Now

Now that The Butler has taken the box office for the second week in a row, on fewer screens than its competition, the speculative conversation is upon us. In a private email chat with Kris Tapley and Anne Thompson, they said they were certain that Oprah single-handedly opened the...
Posted On 25 Aug 2013

The Butler, a Critics Pick by the NY Times, High Praise from Key Critics

These days, with film criticism, there aren’t many of the good ones left. Too many film reviews now seem like they are product reviews for shampoo or an airplane seat. Very few of them really deliver the kind of in-depth insight film criticism has always been at its best....
Posted On 15 Aug 2013

Fine early notices for The Butler, Oprah is “Electrifying”

The jury is still out on whether audiences will take to Lee Daniels’ The Butler. I suspect they might find in this film one of the more satisfying two hours at the movies in a good, long time.   The critics seem somewhat divided, with many offering up conditional raves...
Posted On 13 Aug 2013

New Clip from Lee Daniels’ The Butler

Oprah dances with Forest Whitaker in this new clip from Lee Daniels’ The Butler: Another clip is over at
Posted On 02 Aug 2013

New Poster for The Butler

I think this poster is a better teaser for the film – the embargo lifts on it fairly soon so I’ll be able to give you my thoughts.
Posted On 01 Aug 2013