By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act January 31, 2014 at 1:56PM
More Black History Month commemorations, as you'd expect, with February just around the corner. This one from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, via press release below...
To commemorate Black History Month and the cinematic achievements of African-Americans, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment has unveiled the ‘Real Black History Month Collection,’ an abundant collection of timeless and trailblazing titles featured on DVD, including for the first-time-ever on Blu-ray™, The Five Heartbeats, the Motown-flavored masterpiece that tells the story of five friends drawn together by music, success and personal tragedy.
Available now on Blu-ray™ (BD) and DVD at major U.S. retailers, including Walmart, Best Buy and Target, and online at Amazon.com, these multi-genre titles feature a collection of comedies, dramas and real-life stories that have played a part in African-American history. The diverse collection features six Anniversary films, and also highlights two dynamic, daring and esteemed African-American actresses, Angela Basset and Queen Latifah. The ‘Real Black History Month Collection’ showcases some of the most influential, touching, triumphant and entertaining productions featuring African-American actors and themes. While the complete collection highlights 97 revered titles, 25 of them have been selected to receive redesigned DVD faceplates that focus on four key themes in African-American heritage: Real Classics, Real Legacies, Real Women and Real Comedies.
The five films featured in Real Classics are timeless tales showing talented African-Americans setting the standard for today’s generation of actors. These theatrical treasures span themes such as overcoming odds, taking chances and rising to the challenges of life and love. They include The Great White Hope, featuring James Earl Jones in the unforgettable role that made him a star; Carmen Jones, a classic story of betrayal and jealousy starring the barrier-breaking actress, Dorothy Dandridge, the first African-American to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress and Claudine, a big-hearted romantic comedy that tells the story of a woman (the legendary Diahann Carroll) who, along with her six children, fall for a cheerful garbage man (James Earl Jones).
Inspired by real people and their real-life stories, the Real Legacies titles are comprised of films highlighting African-Americans that have left an indelible mark, enriched others and impacted African-American culture and history in a significant way: Amazing Grace, the inspiring story of an 18th century abolitionist (William Wilberforce) who fought to end slavery. Today, Wilberforce’s legacy lives on at the nation’s oldest, private historically black university that bears his name, Wilberforce University; Notorious, chronicling the extraordinary life of Christopher “Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace and how his remarkable talent solidified his legacy as one of hip-hop’s greatest MC’s, influencing many of today’s popular rappers; Men of Honor with Cuba Gooding, Jr. as Carl Brasher, an African-American who dared to dream of becoming a U.S. Navy Master Diver. The collection also features ordinary people who found a way to survive and overcome adversity and unspeakable tragedy, The Antwone Fisher Story and Hotel Rwanda.
Before Being Mary Jane, there were many other independent, hard-working Real Women looking for love and finding it successfully. This collection of films peeks into the lives of creative, passionate, focused African-American characters played by equally-matched actresses. From the hip-hop love story, Brown Sugar starring Sanaa Lathan, Taye Diggs and Queen Latifah andWaiting to Exhale, the refreshingly honest, funny and touching film that follows four women and their special friendship to the poetic drama, Jason’s Lyric with Jada Pinkett Smith and Forrest Whitaker and Phat Girlz with Monique, a sassy comedy about living life to the fullest, these female-driven films depict the range of diverse stories, perspectives and experiences of African-American women.
Finally, the five Real Comedies from the ‘Real Black History Collection’ puts the LOL gifts of African-American comedians and actors front and center: Soul Plane, the get-out-of-your-seat-funny film with Kevin Hart, Snoop Dogg and Sophia Vergara about a tricked-out airline complete with sexy stewardesses, a mack casino and the hottest dance club at 30,000 feet; the comedic trilogy, Big Momma’s House, featuring funnyman Martin Lawrence and Nia Long and the basketball buddy comedy, White Men Can’t Jump starring Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson.