EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT!
I've always wanted to say that.
The only reason I'm saying it is because the topic for this week's Thursday Movie Picks is journalist and/or reporters for print and/or TV. Make sure you check out Wandering Through the Shelves to see how to join in on the weekly fun. Anyhoo, lots and lots of movies out there that involve people who bring us news in some form or fashion. Yeah, I've seen that one. That one, too. Okay, maybe not that one. But have you seen these?
(1991)One of the effects of Spike Lee's success in the late 1980s is that the early 1990s saw a spike in films by black directors and/or black themed films making it to the screen. Pardon the pun. This fits the latter category as director Michael Schultz is not black. However, he wasn't just some white guy trying to suddenly jumping on the bandwagon. This is the man helmed such 'hood classics as Cooley High, Car Wash, Krush Groove, The Last Dragon, and several Richard Pryor vehicles. This one has become lost within Schultz's own filmography and was even little seen at the time of its release. It follows Dexter Jackson (T.C. Carson), a young man who, through some extraordinary events, achieves his goal of becoming a TV news anchor. Truth told, this isn't the greatest film in the world, not by a longshot. Still, it has some interesting things to say about racial identity and conformity.
(2002)Our two leads share a love of mine, hip hop, and they are making a living from it. The journalist is Sydney (Sanaa Lathan) who has just become editor-in-chief of XXL magazine (that is a real mag for the uninitiated). Her world is turned upside down when she finds out her lifelong friend Dre (Taye Diggs), a record company A&R, is getting married to someone else. Along with the standard rom-com machinations, it makes some poignant commentary about the direction of hip hop music that still holds water over a decade later. For people not into hip hop, it's a cute, light-hearted romance with a pair of extremely likable actors at the forefront plus Queen Latifah and the hugely underrated Mos Def in sizable supporting roles.
Resurrecting the Champ
(2007)Since we hit TV and magazines, let's get a newspaper guy in on the action. That guy is Erik (Josh Hartnett), a struggling young writer for The Denver Times. He gets a bit of inspiration when he discovers Champ (Samuel L. Jackson), a local homeless guy. Erik soon discovers that Champ is any ol' bum, he's former heavyweight boxing contender Bob Satterwhite whom most people presumed dead years ago. Naturally, Erik sets out to write Champ's story. Champ has no interest in having his story told, but the two men strike up an interesting bromance. The cast also includes Alan Alda, Rachel Nichols, and Teri Hatcher. Still, this is Samuel L. Jackson's movie. He delivers an outstanding performance that hasn't been seen nearly enough.
(1975)Because I can never pass up an opportunity to talk about Pam Grier. Here, she plays Friday, a
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