The Playlist

12 Films About Black History

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • August 14, 2013 4:00 PM
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  • 17 Comments
The Butler Forest Whitaker Oprah Winfrey
This Friday sees the release of “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” (our review) the true story of Eugene Allen (renamed Cecil Gaines for the film), an African-American butler who served multiple presidents through several generations in the White House. As played by Forest Whitaker, Gaines bears witness to pivotal moments in the nation’s evolution, watching as the intersection of American history and black history reveals truths about himself and his surroundings, understanding both where he’s been, and where he’s going.

Weekend Box Office: 'Underworld: Awakening' Sucks Its Way To #1, While 'Red Tails' Shoots Into #2

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • January 22, 2012 12:08 PM
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  • 9 Comments
If there was ever a weekend that better illustrated the divide between audience and critics, we certainly can't remember it. Following a financially successful franchise pattern thus far, "Underworld: Awakening" joined the other films in the series in opening to over $20 million. In the grand scheme of this vampires vs. werewolves franchise, this opening comes in lower than the second installment, but a shade beyond the first and third.

In Theaters: Go 'Haywire' With 'Miss Bala,' 'Red Tails' & 'Underworld: Awakening' Or Go Shakespeare With 'Coriolanus'

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • January 20, 2012 11:04 AM
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  • 0 Comments
What a weekend for female-oriented action movies! It's almost like Steven Soderbergh requested "Haywire" be released the same weekend as "Underworld: Awakening," the latest entry in the dum-dum vampire franchise. You know, as a commentary on the female action hero. Regardless, there's gonna be a whole lotta ass-kicking ladies at the multiplex this weekend. Everyone wins! Let us explore the three stages of the female in action movies below.

Review: 'Red Tails' Is A Hoary Mixture Of Jingoistic Clichés & Newfangled Technology

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • January 19, 2012 7:56 AM
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  • 7 Comments
George Lucas has been pretty outspoken about how difficult his "Red Tails" was to get made – that he had to finance it himself, and when he showed it to studio heads they weren't much interested. And he's framed these stories around race, saying that the reason that "Red Tails" was summarily rejected was because it featured an almost all-black cast, in Lucas' mind a very real reminder of Hollywood's stodgy cinematic racism. But watching "Red Tails," you realize that the reason that nobody wanted anything to do with the movie isn't because it was too black -- it's because it was too fucking awful.

Producer Rick McCallum Reveals 'Red Tails' Was Originally Conceived As A Trilogy

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • January 18, 2012 12:57 PM
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  • 2 Comments
It was 1984. In a studio in England, a small film called "Dreamchild" was shooting under producer Rick McCallum, with a crew of only twenty people. While they only used one room of the studio space, the rest of the area was taken over by the potential blockbuster "Return To Oz," overseen by George Lucas. When one producer decided to pay a visit to the other, few knew a massively successful partnership would emerge. But did anyone guess that Lucas would be the one to venture over to the smaller set? "I could tell George wanted to be on our set, and we all wanted to be on his!" smiles McCallum, the producer of "Red Tails," who recently sat down with us for an exclusive interview. "Because he had a crew of 150, they had cranes, everything you’d ever want as a filmmaker, and we had nothing."

'Red Tails' Cast Talks The FX Heavy Shoot; Film Earned The Approval Of George H.W. Bush

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • January 18, 2012 10:05 AM
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  • 0 Comments
"Red Tails" is not your average studio release. Distributed by Fox, it was wholly produced and financed by Lucasfilms, the first property under that label in years that wasn't "Star Wars"-related. But instead of a Rebel Alliance fighting an intergalactic war against The Dark Side, it deals with an unsung part of history, the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African American fighter pilots and their ascendance in the ranks. We recently caught up with the cast and producer as they spoke to press in New York City.

Nate Parker Says He Plays A Gang Member In Spike Lee's 'Red Hook Summer'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • January 13, 2012 10:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Despite a brief synopsis, we're still uncertain as to what to expect from Spike Lee's "Red Hook Summer." It looks and feels a lot different than Lee's previous offerings, but while it features "Do The Right Thing" protagonist Mookie in a small role, it will likely be a standalone piece from his breakthrough film. We sat down with one of the film's stars, Nate Parker, during press for "Red Tails," and he revealed a few tidbits about the production.

Watch: 7 Minutes From The George Lucas Produced WWII Film 'Red Tails'; George Lucas Says Black Cinema Riding On Its Success

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 10, 2012 2:11 PM
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  • 8 Comments
In the works for decades, the George Lucas-produced WWII film "Red Tails," about the famed Tuskegee Airmen, first started filming way back in 2009. And there is a lot riding on this movie, including no less the fate of financing for movies centered around or featuring black actors in the lead role. According to Lucas, the future of those types of films may inadvertently be in the balance as Hollywood eyes the success (or failure) of "Red Tails."

A Slew Of New Oscar-Bait Pics Hit The Web (And ‘One For The Money’ Sneaks In There Too)

  • By Ryan Sartor
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  • November 16, 2011 1:02 PM
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  • 1 Comment
As the Oscar season heats up, studios always get stills of their contenders up onto the web, creating buzz, allowing readers to say, “Oh, so that’s what it’ll look like,” and this year is no exception.

Watch: New 'Red Tails' Trailer Shows Off Spectacular Action, Wooden Acting

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 17, 2011 5:03 AM
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  • 8 Comments
We'll say this about George Lucas: If you have him helping you out with action scenes and special effects, there is probably no better guy in the business to have your back. So it's not too surprising the aerial battles in the forthcoming "Red Tails" -- directed by Anthony Hemingway and produced by George Lucas who has been shepherding the project for years -- are damned impressive. Everything else? Not so much.

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