And we're off… as already noted in a previous post, January will probably see one of the most *active* months throughout 2012 where *black cinema* is concerned – active in terms of releases, premier festival screenings, and discussion/debate about the films that make up the first 2.
I won't even look ahead to next week yet (I feel like I'm talking football or something) when the *big game* comes – aka when Red Tails opens in theaters nationwide. We'll deal with that next week :)
This weekend, starting today, January 13th, opening wide is the Queen Latifah, Keke Palmer, Courtney B. Vance, Dolly Parton, Jeremy Jordan musical/drama Joyful Noise.
Short description: Two women, one a mother of two teenagers, the other a widow of the recently deceased choir director, join forces to save their small-town gospel choir.
It's not high on my to-see list, and I skipped press screenings for it. It's not faring very well as only 39% of critics give it a favorable rating; although 72% of audiences who've seen it say they liked it – all this according to RottenTomatoes.com.
It's opening on 2700 screens, which is a sizable number. If you have already seen it today, or will see it over the weekend, come on back and tell us what you thought of it.
Next… a double-dose of Courtney B. Vance this weekend as another film he features in – a thriller called The Divide – opens today as well; so we've got 2 Courtney B. Vance movies dueling at the box office.
I was sent a screener of that, but couldn't even get through it, which tells you what I think of it.
Directed by French filmmaker Xavier Gans, the film centers on a group of survivors trapped in an underground bomb shelter in an NYC apartment building; things get "graphic and violent" when the survivors start fighting among themselves for survival.
Courtney's is a supporting role in it though.
No info on how many screens it's opening on.
Next is Sing Your Song – the Harry Belafonte documentary that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last year; HBO later acquired US TV rights, and it premiered on the network on October 17th.
And now it's getting an official theatrical release, staring today, opening at NYC's IFC Center, where it'll play for at least a week, and then travel to other cities around the country, including San Francisco; Santa Fe, NM; Portland, OR; Seattle, WA and others.
The documentary-styled biopic covers Belanfonte's life as an actor, musician and Civil/Human Rights activist.
And finally… Atlanta readers, Joe Doughrity's comdey/drama CornerStore (which stars Roger Guenveur Smith, Greg Mathis and others, opens today in your city at the AMC Southlake 24, 7065 Mount Zion Circle, Morrow GA 30260.
Visit amctheatres.com/Southlake/ or calll the theater at 1-888-AMC 4FUN for ticket and time info.
As a refresher, here's a synopsis for the film:
“CornerStore” is a lighthearted, down-to-earth comedy, chronicling one eventful day at a convenience store on Detroit’s Six Mile Road. Owned by the Earl Jenkins, the store serves as center stage for an extraordinary day-in-the-life perspective of his son Gerard’s birthday. After his sister Gail, a playful and popular twenty-something leaves aspiring chef Gerard unexpectedly manning the store, the neighborhood dynamics bring the story to life with verve at every plot turn.
Words from director Doughrity: “I’m excited to have this opportunity to have my work shown on the big screen in the ATL… At its heart, CornerStore is a story of forgiveness and a community banding together. I think that’s central to its appeal… The film is uniquely relevant to the underserved urban audience, the audience for CornerStore is truly anyone who appreciates the humor in our communal human experience. We hope that folks in Atlanta looking for a fun night out or a memorable family excursion for MLK Day, will come and enjoy the film.”
So there ya have it ATL!
We interviewed director Doughrity earlier this week, and that interview should be posted today, so look out for it.
And finally, of course, as already mentioned in an earlier post, Dee Rees' Pariah expands to 10 more theaters acros the country; so check out that entry for where those theaters are, especially if if hasn't already screened in your city.