Tag Archives: Movie

Reel Recap: Harlem International Film Festival

The Harlem International Film Festival countdown has come to a close. The festival took place September 14th – 18th at Mist Harlem showcasing 99 films in four days! The films and shorts presented this year were so diverse and inspiring. Reel Reality had the privilege of working at the festival taking pictures and recording a few interviews with great directors. Check out some pictures from HIFF below:

 

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The Black Women Behind NASA’s First Space Shuttle Launch!

Article by Meah Denee via ReelReality

Finally stories about people of color are becoming more of a conversation for Hollywood production companies. Doors are slowly starting to open for non slave narratives to be represented on big screens by big name production companies.

Hidden Figures tells the story of a group of African American women who changed history by calculating the trajectory for the first American astronaut to orbit the earth.  This was no easy accomplishment or job for women of color in the 1960s when African Americans were battling for equal rights in every part of their lives. Nonetheless these women used their minds and talents to help change history forever, and now we get to see their journey on the big screen.

Taraji P. Henson plays Katherine Johnson alongside Octavia Spencer (Dorothy Vaughan) and Janelle Monae (Mary Jackson) who were a group of African American mathematicians who became the brains behind NASA’s biggest mission. In a time before electronic computers these women become the “computers” for NASA helping to launch monumental space shuttle missions including the success of Apollo 13 landing on the moon.

The movie trailer premiered Sunday night during the Rio Olympics and began with a prodigy child, Katherine Johnson, who was fascinated with numbers. The trailer goes on to show the struggles these women faced not only being black women but also being educated and how it effected their love life and families.

One scene with Henson, her daughter says, “You’ve been gone 300 hours.”

Henson responds back, “Was momma gone for twelve and a half days.”

Her daughter nods her head no saying, “No but it felt like it.”

Even though the sacrifices were grand the accomplishments that were made were even bigger. Last year Katherine Johnson received the nation’s highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, given to her by President Barack Obama.

Hidden Figures hits theaters January 13, 2017. Catch the trailer below.

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“Hands Of Stone” Trailer With Usher Raymond as Sugar Ray Leonard

Article by Meah Denee via ReelReality

Usher Raymond makes an acting comeback to play Sugar Ray Leonard in the film Hands of Stone. The film is about the legendary boxing match between Panamanian boxer Roberto Duran (Edgar Ramirez) and the undefeated lightweight champion Sugar Ray Leonard.

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Written and directed by Venezuelan Jonathan Jakubowicz the film is set in the 1980s and tells the story of Duran’s famous re-match against Leonard. Hands Of Stone also stars Robert DeNiro as legendary boxing coach Ray Archel who came out of retirement, at age 72, to coach Duran. Known for his powerfully strong hands Duran won world championships in four weight divisions and was nicknamed “Manos de Piedra” (Hands of Stone). Over his career span he won over 100 matches and became one of the few boxers to have a five decade long career continuing to win matches until he retired in 2002, at 49 years of age.

Hands Of Stone hits theaters on August 26. Check out the trailer below!

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Want to know more about Duran and Leonard’s legendary fight check out this BleacherReport article.

Loretta Devine Spills The Tea On Waiting To Exhale Sequel

 

For over two decades Waiting to Exhale fans have wondered if they would ever see a sequel to the 1995 hit movie! Well you can finally exhale because actress Loretta Devine spills a little tea about the Waiting to Exhale sequel.

Now if you are too young to remember this iconic movie, Waiting To Exhale, told the story of a group of friends and their struggles to balance their love life, family, and career. Savannah (Whitney Houston) and Robin (Lela Rochon) find themselves in relationships with married men believing these men will make them a priority by leaving their wives. While Bernadine (Angela Bassett) deals with a messy divorce after her husband leaves her for his younger mistress. Luckily, someone finds a bit of romance, Gloria (Loretta Devine) finds love with handyman and neighbor Marvin (Gregory Hines).

This movie sounds a bit dramatic and heartbreaking, which it is, but in the end love and friendship continue to prevail and help these women transition into a better season in their lives.

What should the fans expect from the sequel? Starlet Devine speaks about the Waiting to Exhale sequel in an interview with Hollywood Today Live stating, “They’re still writing on it for all we know…Everything happened so quick because Gregory passed and then Whitney passed and it’s like you can’t start a movie with two funerals and they were like the key characters and so everything just sort of got scattered after that but I think Terry McMillan is still trying to make it happen.”

Director Forrest Whitaker and writer Terry McMillian can go so many ways with this storyline and I know Reel Reality is excited to see what happens to Robin, Bernadine and Gloria’s characters, and what escapades they will get into in the sequel.

Watch the full interview to hear Devine discuss more about Waiting To Exhale and her new role on The Carmichael Show and how she had to audition for the role.

 

Director’s Cut: Will Smith’s Newest Movie Concussion

Counting all the men you know that played football, either recreationally or professionally at some point in their life, it would not be a fun task. Well after watching “Concussion” I did exactly that, sat down, and started to think about those men and young boys. The fact that playing football as a child may cause mental health issues later in life is a chilling thought. Even though it is not too surprising considering the physicality of football. The results of Dr. Bennet Omalu’s research are very disturbing and the exact reason the National Football League had a frenzy when they heard about his findings over ten years ago.

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Concussion starring Will Smith dissects how professional football players are affected mentally, physically, and emotionally by hard hits and an excessive amount of games. The movie beautifully shows the tragic stories of Pittsburg Steelers hall of famer Mike Webster, Andre Waters, Dave Duerson and others, and how pathologist Bennet Omalu discovered that these athletes had the crippling disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

I had the privilege of attending a prescreening of the movie (thank you Blogxilla and Global Grind) and for me the experience of seeing how these athletes’ entire lives was centered around football to only have the center of their world be the cause of their demise was heart breaking. The movie so gracefully shows the dirty truths of CTE and how the disease not only kills these athletes mentally, spiritually and emotionally, but also affects their families and friends. Concussion had clever and strategically placed humor, which made the movie feel less somber. Ultimately, it was the drive for survival through Omalu and the players that made the biggest impact for me. Not only was Omalu fighting for his career he was fighting for the players and the voice they lost from CTE. It is interesting to see how football caused all these men including the coaches, players and Omalu to fight for something bigger than themselves. Unfortunately, that same drive caused some athletes their lives, but their need to succeed and support their families was powerful. Concussion is definitely one of the most groundbreaking and impactful sports movies to date. I strongly encourage you to see the movie Concussion hits theaters on Christmas Day!