ONCE UPON A TIME IN SOUTH CENTRAL L.A… IT AIN’T NO FAIRY TALE. John Singleton’s first film has become a classic portrait of African-American youth, following Tre in South Central Los Angeles from childhood to manhood, enduring violence, guns, racist cops and the consequences of broken families – but there’s also typical teenage issues and … Continue reading Boyz N the Hood
A LOT CAN GO DOWN BETWEEN THURSDAY AND SATURDAY… The director’s first film is a simple low-budget event that turned into a hit, introducing us to two unemployed layabouts (Ice Cube, Chris Tucker) in South Central who spend their Friday on the porch, watching the neighborhood. Underneath all the bad jokes and half-baked intrigue involving … Continue reading Friday
In the clip above, director John Singleton talks about the process he went through writing the movie that launched his career, Boyz N the Hood (1991). He followed the old rule “write what you know” and grounded the film in South Los Angeles, the place where he grew up. Boyz N the Hood earned Singleton an Oscar nomination … Continue reading John Singleton, 1968–2019
GUNS, GIRLS, GLOBAL DOMINATION. After a satellite is deliberately made to crash in Brazil, the CIA tracks down Xander Cage (Vin Diesel), who’s faked his death; he and his team must now find a lost device that controls satellites. This second sequel to xXx (2002) came 12 years after the last one and brings Diesel … Continue reading xXx: Return of Xander Cage
IT WAS THE PERFECT HOUSE… UNTIL HE DECIDED TO FIX IT. After getting married, Nick and Suzanne (Ice Cube, Nia Long) start looking for a house in the suburbs… but the place they find needs more work than they can imagine. The sequel to Are We There Yet? (2005) is also a remake of Mr. … Continue reading Are We Done Yet?
IT WILL TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY. A group of filmmakers shooting a documentary in the Amazon are joined by a Paraguayan snake hunter (Jon Voight) who’s looking for a giant anaconda… Our fascination for what kind of monsters might be hiding in the jungle was likely the reason why this schlock adventure became a box-office … Continue reading Anaconda
IN A WAR WITHOUT HEROES THEY ARE KINGS. After the Gulf War, a group of Army officers get their hands on a document showing the location of bunkers that might contain gold bullion that Iraqi soldiers stole from Kuwait… Director David O. Russell’s first major critical breakthrough may look like Kelly’s Heroes (1970) on paper, … Continue reading Three Kings
THEY’RE NOT 21 ANYMORE. Schmidt and Jenko (Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum) are back undercover, this time at a college where they’re looking for a dealer who’s been supplying students with a deadly new drug. The sequel to 21 Jump Street (2012) has such a loose attitude that it’s a wonder the two stars even remember … Continue reading 22 Jump Street
THEY THOUGHT THE STREETS WERE MEAN. THEN THEY WENT BACK TO HIGH SCHOOL. Best buddies Schmidt and Jenko (Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum) are assigned to an undercover unit that infiltrates high schools, but as they hunt for drug dealers they also grapple with the overwhelming emotions of being teens again. A completely irreverent take on … Continue reading 21 Jump Street
24 HOURS. 350 MILES. HIS GIRLFRIEND’S KIDS. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG? Nick Persons (Ice Cube) agrees to take his girlfriend’s (Nia Long) kids to Vancouver to help her out, but he hates kids and they plan to make him disappear out of their lives. One of those horrible family comedies that want to be … Continue reading Are We There Yet?
YOU DON’T STAND A GHOST OF A CHANCE. In 2176, Melanie Ballard (Natasha Henstridge) and fellow cops are assigned to transfer James Williams (Ice Cube) to a prison on Mars, but are faced with ghosts of the planet’s original inhabitants. Director John Carpenter showed a new low by virtually remaking Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) and setting it … Continue reading Ghosts of Mars
THE GREATEST THREAT TO OUR NATION COMES FROM WITHIN. After an attack on the NSA, Augustus Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson) hires a new XXX agent, an imprisoned former Navy SEAL (Ice Cube); they soon stumble onto a huge military conspiracy. Vin Diesel’s agent has been killed off for this sequel and Ice Cube is here … Continue reading xXx: State of the Union