Friday, December 07, 2007

95: Dirty Laundry/Duck Down


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WE GOT NEXT...You may not know his name yet, but you will soon. Filmmaker Maurice Jamal is taking no prisoners in Hollywood and surely one-to-watch. His new film, Dirty Laundry, is opening in NY and L.A. this weekend with a national release to follow beginning Dec. 28; and he's already hard at work on his next--a film adaption of the best-selling book by James Earl Hardy, B-Boy Blues. No scoop on casting just yet, but Jamal says the late summer 2008 release will star a bevy of well-known young, hot shot actors and musicians. His Dirty Laundry ( stars Rockmond Dunbar, Loretta Devine, Terri Vaughan, Sommore and Jenifer Lewis, and the industry buzz has been strong--and falls right in line with the trend of family friendly African-American films with crossover appeal. "I've always wanted to do a Black family film," says Jamal. "Something that would minute you're laughing, the next minute you're crying. The ultimate goal of film making is to tell a wonderful story. Before you can have a Brokeback Mountain you have to have a Birdcage...Dirty Laundry is our Black Birdcage."

MOVE OVER MATT DAMON...Guess which actor has snagged the “The Most Beautiful Black Man Alive" title? Well, according to "TV One Access," the "Access Hollywood" spinoff hosted by Shaun Robinson and Jamal Munnerlyn, it's two-time Oscar nominee Djimon Hounsou (pictured). The runner-ups? Denzel Washington, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Boris Kodjoe, Will Smith, Idris Elba, Blair Underwood, Taye Diggs, L.L. Cool J, and Shemar Moore. But you know we can't help but say that it would be even nicer if these men landed starring roles. Aside from the Rock, Denzel and Will, none of these hunks have carried a film solo. Here's hoping in the new year that this beauty may just translate to some actual power.

FEELING THE HEAT...Speaking of men, Clifton Collins Jr. seems to be hitting a beautiful stride himself. The Emmy nominated actor has five films in the can--The Perfect Game, The Horsemen, Stingray, Still Waters, Jacob Sunshine Cleaning--and is currently filming the latest Star Trek installment. With his penchant for edgier roles such as his turn as killer Perry Smith in Capote, the go-to actor is becoming known as the Mexican-American Sean Penn. You better go, boy.


BEHIND THE SCENES...Everyone now knows the global impact of Hip Hop, but a new rap documentary from Mouths to Feed Filmworks aims to get to the roots of the worldwide explosion by examining the influence of New York City Urban radio from the early '70s to present. Filmmaker Mychal Michelle will soon unveil his four-hour doc entitled Behind The Mic and On The Set (, featuring a number of Hip-Hop heavyweights and industry insiders. Set for release winter 2008, the film has been in the works for four years. "I did it with my own money and credit cards--it's been a labor of love. I wanted to do it my way--I wanted to have control over the content," says Michelle. "We've been getting a lot of good feedback and people wanting to buy it, but I am only going to do certain partnership focusing on licenses. I did this to preserve history." Sounds like this will be an eye-opening experience for all.

DUCK DOWN ON THE COME-UP...Talk about unique media reach. Hip-Hop record label Duck Down Records has just announced a content partnership with YouTube for its own channel ( Seems YouTube heard how hot Duck Down was getting and proposed this special offer, which allows Duck Down to customize its page, upload larger video files, and receive video placement throughout YOUTUBE's featured playlists. This comes on the heels of The History Channel tapping Duck Down artists Black Moon and Boot Camp Clik's Buckshot to create the original theme and promo music for The History Channel's new "Gangland" series, which debuted Nov. 1st. The series goes inside some of America's toughest prisons to learn about the jail gang culture. Obviously, Duck Down is a label to watch as Hip Hop further converges with all forms of media.


American Films Banned In China For Three Months

Chinese authorities have announced they have banned the release of all films from the United States for at least three months, as of Nov. 30th, 2007. Among the speculated reasons, according to industry experts, are disagreements with U.S. trade policy, the U.S.'s continued arms sales to Taiwan as well as the recent success of American movies versus local films. The ban is considered by Hollywood to be the toughest clampdown on foreign movies by China.


Loretta Divine celebratin' at the premiere party for her new flick, Dirty Laundry, in West Hollywood.