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  • Shadow and Act
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    On DVD/Blu-ray/VOD This Week - "The Weird World of Blowfly" (The Original Dirty Rapper)

    He's known as the original dirty rapper! Blowfly - the stage name for Clarence Reid, who wrote songs for several hit R&B groups in the 1960s and '70s. But he also recorded albums as Blowfly, his alter-ego usually seen in an ostentatious superhero costume, known especially for his x-rated raunchy raps, starting with a track called Rapp Dirty released in 1965.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    TRAILER WATCH: Pixar's Brave Stars Athletic Feminist Princess

    The exciting trailer for Disney/Pixar's "Brave" -- featuring Kelly Macdonald ("Boardwalk Empire") as the voice of Princess Merida -- has arrived. Merida, complete with Scottish accent, is a free-spirited tomboy with fiery red hair. (Think of her as a young William Wallace in "Braveheart.") Bravo to male-dominated Pixar for finally introducing their first female lead. "Brave" premieres June 22, 2012.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    HBO Teams with Sports Illustrated, Endgame & Playground for Sport in America: Our Defining Stories - Submit Yours

    HBO, Sports Illustrated and Endgame Entertainment, in association with Playground for Sport in America have teamed up for "Sport in America: Our Defining Stories," a documentary series set to air on HBO in 2013. Their goal: "a sweeping cross-platform examination of how the universal thread of sport has shaped America’s character." HBO Sports exec producer Rick Bernstein says: "This is one of the most ambitious sports projects that HBO has launched." Sports Illustrated editorial packages and content on HBO and SI's social media platforms will accompany the series.

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    More: News, Genres, TV, Media, HBO
  • The Playlist
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    Michael K. Williams Won't Be In 'Django Unchained' But Books 'Snitch'

    Bummer! Though once mooted for the lead role that eventually went to Jamie Foxx, Quentin Taraninto has long had his eye on Michael K. Williams (aka Omar from "The Wire") for a role in "Django Unchained." The actor himself chatted up the prospect of starring in the movie, saying earlier this year that the director was writing a part for him and following that up shortly thereafter with the tease that his participation looked "good to go." But a long time has past since, with a ton of casting along the way and unfortunately, Williams won't be in the film.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Michael K. Williams Will Be Narcotics Kingpin Opposite Dwayne Johnson In Thriller "Snitch" + "Django" Role

    UPDATE: Deadline just added that his Django Unchained role has been scrapped completely, due to scheduling conflicts with Boardwalk Empire.

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    More: casting
  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Happy Feet Two' Feels Stuck, Motionless & Terribly Cold

    There is some precedence for being genuinely excited about "Happy Feet Two" (yes, the number is spelled out). For one, the original film, 2006's "Happy Feet," was more slyly subversive than a movie about tap-dancing penguins has any right to be, with a strong thematic undercurrent that championed not only individualism but, more boldly, atheism. Plus, director George Miller, who co-directed the original (with Warren Coleman and Judy Morris) assumes chief creative control this time around, has a history of whacked-out sequels, having not only crafted the glorious "Mad Max" flick "The Road Warrior," but also the darkly hued follow-up to the sunny Best Picture-nominated "Babe," the altogether unclassifiable "Babe: Pig in the City." Plus, the trailers for "Happy Feet Two" promised a subplot about a pair of shrimp-like crustaceans (voiced by Matt Damon and Brad Pitt) on a journey of their own, which is pretty fucking weird. Sadly, though, "Happy Feet Two" is neither as visually inventive or politically in-your-face. Like many of its feathered stars, the sequel feels stuck, motionless, and terribly cold.

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  • The Playlist
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    Maybe It Doesn't Sink This Time? Trailer For 'Titanic 3D'

    The second highest grossing movie of all time, winner of 11 Academy Awards and the movie that launched the careers of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, this is no denying that James Cameron's "Titanic" was as big as the iceberg that sunk the fabled ship. And now, on the 15th anniversay of the movie's release and the 100th anniversary of the ship's maiden (and final) voyage, "Titanic" is wading back into theaters, this time in 3D.

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    More: Titanic
  • The Playlist
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    Watch: Trailer For The Extensive PBS Presentation 'Woody Allen: A Documentary'

    With a career spanning over four decades, with a new movie every year, there has never been a filmmaker both as omnipresent and mysterious as Woody Allen. Despite being thrust in the public eye thanks to his wildly popular films -- this year's "Midnight In Paris" is one of the highest grossing of his career -- and for the scandals that have surrounded him, the writer, actor and director has always played it close to chest when it comes to his process, influences and thoughts on his films (other than his own low regard for his work, and his repeated claim that once a movie is finished, he never watches it again). Well, the director is opening up as he never has before in a sprawling "American Masters" documentary hitting PBS this weekend, and a trailer has arrived to give a sneak peek.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Giving Away 2 Premium All-Access Passes To 2011 African Diaspora International Film Festival

    The African Diaspora International Film Festival kicks off its 2011 festivities next week Friday, November 25th, right here in New York City, and I'll be covering it.

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    More: Contest
  • The Playlist
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    A Fourth 'Friday' In The Works, Chris Tucker To Return?

    As we already know, Chris Tucker doesn't work very often. 1995's "Friday" launched the comic actor's film career thanks to his hilarious turn as the pot loving Smokey, but while the film became a hit spawning two sequels -- "Next Friday" and "Friday After Next" -- Tucker went on to other things, mostly involving Brett Ratner. Next year will mark a decade since the last installment in the franchise, but it looks like New Line wants to take another puff.

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