Category: I Love L.A.


No movie review to start this week but here’s a video from Vanity Fair interviewing ‘The New Hollywood Guard’ of writers trying to expand the narratives you see.

You may see a very familiar face among those interviewed.

Enjoy!

https://video.vanityfair.com/watch/the-new-hollywood-guard-writers/

Got to see this on the big screen last night. If this is presumably the last time we see these four (Marty, Pacino, DeNiro and Pesci) go into this genre that they didn’t invent but essentially defined, they’ve left us on a very pleasing note.

I have a vague memories as a kid of hearing the name Jimmy Hoffa with the immediate followup being he’s buried under Shea Stadium or something to that effect, so I knew it was a mob story. ‘The Irishman’ is the tale of the man who claims to have killed him (DeNiro), the mob bosses who protected him (Pesci) and the close relationship he built with Hoffa (Pacino) before he whacked him.

First, the effects. The first time they use it, the Uncanny Valley thing is there, but at least for me, there were only a couple of other times over the three and a half hours where I really noticed it. Most of the time it really looked like wigs and makeup (which might not be great for the makeup departments across town, but that’s another story).

Is Marty retiring? Cause I really felt like he brought back every bit player from his classic gangster flicks to fill out the bit parts here. Not even getting into Ray Ramano, Harvey Keitel, and seemingly 80 percent of the working New York actors who would fit into this world. This isn’t ‘Goodfellas’ or ‘Casino’ but in some ways it feels like the definitive Scorsese picture.

Which brings us back to the main guys. It’s a three and a half hour movie yes, but that translates into really living in the relationships between Pesci, Pacino, and DeNiro’s characters. Pacino’s Oscar is for ‘Scent of a Woman’, Scorsese finally won for ‘the Departed’, yeah… next year history might market correct and give them wins for a superior film. Not even counting Bob. Nominations feel like locks right now.

Definitely worth making time for when it starts streaming in a couple weeks.

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 07: (L-R) Vishnu Vallabhaneni, Lena Waithe and Malik Aziz attend the AT&T Filmmaker Mentorship Program Premiere at NeueHouse Los Angeles on November 07, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for AT&T Filmmaker Mentorship Program)

‘1 Out of 30’

Written by Malik Aziz

Directed by Vishnu Vallabhaneni

Produced by Lena Waithe and Rishi Rajani

An AT&T Hello Lab Short Film

Enjoy.

Saying ‘Eddie Murphy is back’ is a little insulting, but I think it’s fair to say ‘Dolemite Is My Name’ definitely leans as far into R rated Eddie Murphy as we’ve seen in a long time.

Based on the come up of Rudy Ray Moore, ‘Dolemite is My Name’ on paper feels like a traditional ‘A Star is Born’ rags to riches story. But how many movies have you really seen that takes you into the chitlin circuit (the stand up road tour for black stand up comics)? How many movies have this cast list: Eddie, Chris Rock, Snoop Dogg, Titus Burgess, Mike Epps, Craig Robinson, and Wesley Snipes just off the top of my head? What about the meta irony of ‘I know there’s an audience for my movie but I don’t know how to get it to them? (wayyyyyyy before Netflix was a thing). This is a fun time capsule movie for that reason alone.

As long as you know what you’re getting into (the language and themes), definitely worth seeing. ESPECIALLY if you kind of know what you’re getting into.

Recommend.

So, for those who missed the post yesterday or just want to see it on its own, here’s the trailer for ‘1 Out of 30’, the short I wrote for the AT&T Hello Lab Mentorship Program.

Trailers can overhype or oversell the wrong things to pull you in, but bias aside, this one is pretty accurate in teasing what’s coming to you in a couple of weeks.

Enjoy!

Two weeks from now, ‘1/30’ goes live to the world.

Here’s a roundtable that got the class back together to introduce you all to the trailers for each of the short films.

Part of a special group, have a special mentor, in a special moment.

Enjoy!

Episode 7 of the behind the scenes making of the AT&T shorts takes you to the set of ‘Postmarked’. Angela wrote a beautiful story and Malakai is a committed director and if you watch film and television at all you’ll probably recognize an actor or two who appear in this short.

Enjoy!

New episode of the behind the scenes of the AT&T shorts.

You know Lena, you know Ava, most of you don’t know Shooter yet…

She’s a sweetheart, she’s genuine, and of course very talented.

Episode 6…

Episode of the ‘making of’ webseries of the AT&T Hello Lab shorts focuses on Fragile.com. Alison and Brittany have created this dark horror story that speaks to the times we live in.

Enjoy!

One thing I’ve been asked about more than a few times referencing ‘1/30’ is how has it been having someone who is not Black or Muslim directing this story. I’ve told anyone who would listen that Vishnu (the director) from pre-production on has been hyper sensitive (in all the right ways) about not being disrespectful to my point of view.

Lena backs this up (which should surprise no one) in the intro to today’s behind the scenes webisode for the AT&T Hello Lab.

Enjoy!