Promised Land

Matt Damon re-teams with the director of Good Will Hunting.

River of No Return

Marilyn Monroe explores the Wild West.

Satellite Boy

Pete lives with his grandfather in an old abandoned outdoor cinema.

Wuthering Heights

Forbidden love in the United Kingdom.

Cafe de Flore

Vanessa Paradis in an emotional French tale.

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The Last Dragon


They're remaking The Last Dragon with Samuel L. Jackson as Sho'nuff!

If you've never heard of this obscure 1985 cult classic then let me inform you about all its stellar goodness. First, it features Vanity and she was Prince's "it girl" of the 80s. Now she's a Christian evangelist, so how's that for change? Second, Taimak was like the cutest dude from NYC to kick butt. He seemed so unassuming and nerdy, and I enjoyed every moment of it! Plus you get a Chico DeBarge appearance and offbeat lines that make you wanna laugh out loud. The Last Dragon is cheesy and campy but that's what makes it so great.



Director:
Michael Schultz
Writer: Louis Venosta
Starring: Taimak and Vanity
Soundtrack: "The Glow" by Willie Hutch

For Fans of...Xanadu and Enter the Dragon

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Blacks Without Borders: Chasing the American Dream on Foreign Soil


Thinking outside the box can be a good thing. Blacks Without Borders is an intriguing documentary that follows the quest of black Americans searching for their place in South Africa.

Because living in foreign countries always gives you a dash of uber coolness.



Director: Stafford U. Bailey

Official Website: www.blackswithoutborders.net

[Hat tip to BFA]

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Spin


This film takes your heart on an emotional roller coaster. Seriously.

Paula Garcés is such an underrated actress, yet she has real depth in dramatic roles. Same thing with Ryan Merriman. And when you throw in Stanley Tucci, Rubén Blades and Dana Delany as the supporting cast you get an all-round great movie. Spin is a coming of age story about an orphan who discovers family, love and friendship in a bittersweet way.

Click here to watch the trailer.

Director/Writer: James Redford
Starring: Paula Garcés and Ryan Merriman

For Fans of...La Bamba and Radio Flyer

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Tkaronto


Tkaronto is the story of "two Aboriginal thirty-somethings, Ray and Jolene, who make an unexpected connection at the pinnacle of a common struggle: to stake claim to their urban Aboriginal identity."



Director: Shane Belcourt
Starring: Melanie McLaren and Duane Murray
Soundtrack: Jordan O'Connor

Official Website:
www.tkaronto.net

For Fans Of...Before Sunset and Four Eyed Monsters

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Seven Pounds


I can't wait to see this movie!

When Rosario Dawson and Will Smith shared the screen in Men in Black 2 I wanted them to have more scenes together because the chemistry was there. Now with Seven Pounds I'll get just that. Dawson is one of my favorite actresses and this is exactly the kind of dramatic role I'd like to see her in. She's got an amazing range but she justs needs more opportunities to showcase it.

Anyone else excited to see this film?



Director: Gabriele Muccino
Starring: Will Smith and Rosario Dawson

Release Date: Dec. 19th, 2008

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The Other End of the Line



Any movie where the girl gets Jesse Metcalfe in the end sounds like a winner to me. The Other End of the Line seems cute and relevant but this isn't the first film that deals with an Indian/American phone connection. Cheetah Girls 3 had one, even though the situation seemed a little too implausible but this film seems to offer a more realistic storyline. I guess.



Director: James Dodson
Starring: Shriya Saran and Jesse Metcalfe
Writer: Tracey Jackson

For Fans of...
Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail

[Hat tip to Filmiholic]

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Medicine For Melancholy



Medicine for Melancholy
is "a love story of bikes and one-night stands told through two African-American twenty-somethings dealing with the conundrum of being a minority in a rapidly gentrifying San Francisco" (IMDb).

Sounds good to me! Bicycling is one of my favorite past-times. Throw in some Vespas and I'm pretty much hooked.



Director/Writer: Barry Jenkins
Starring: Wyatt Cenac and Tracey Heggins
Soundtrack: "Through The Backyards" by Au Revoir Simone


For Fans of...
A Lot Like Love and Before Sunrise

[Hat tip to Invisible Cinema]

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Nerakhoon (The Betrayal)


This Sundance film is a documentary about how Laos immigrants found their way to gang territory USA. It follows the story of Thavisouk Phrasavath and how his family relocated to America during the Vietnam War.



Directors: Ellen Kuras and Thavisouk Phrasavath

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Interview with Anthony Montgomery


Check out an interview I did with Anthony Montegomery, star of I'm Through With White Girls (The Inevitable Undoing of Jay Brooks) on my blog www.ThinkVirtue.com - Here's an interesting quote of his:

"As for the film, Jay Brooks was a fun character to play because we don't see characters like that portrayed very much. I would love to see minority filmmakers continue to raise the bar and elevate the images of minorities on screen. As a black man, I want to see more uplifting images of black men depicted in stories."

For more info on Anthony visit his official website.

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Premium


Premium is a story about 20-something angst. Marriage, jobs, love, etc.

Zoe Saldana plays a stressed out, emotionally confused 20-something quite well (see Guess Who and Drumline). Plus you get to watch Hill Harper look all suave and Dorian Missick portrays a funny but endearing man-child.



Director/Writer: Pete Chatmon
Starring: Zoe Saldana, Dorian Missick and Hill Harper
Soundtrack: TBD

For Fans of...
Last Kiss and Forces of Nature

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Sabah


Sabah delves us into the story of a 40-year-old Muslim woman (Sabah) who finds love in an unexpected white Canadian dude. The story is cute and charming, introducing us to a Muslim family in an engaging and fun way. Every character pops out, full of quirks and complexities giving the film an authentic and relatable vibe. Don't expect any one-dimensional boringness here. The scene where Sabah learns how to dance is priceless. Sabah is exactly the kind of movie that the American market needs, so Hollywood take note!

Click here to watch the trailer.

Director/Writer:
Ruba Nadda
Starring: Arsinée Khanjian and Shawn Doyle
Soundtrack: TBD

For Fans of...
My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Something New

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Rachel Getting Married


Rachel Getting Married has been getting some pretty good buzz from critics. Especially for the script, Anne Hathaway's performance and Jonathan Demme's portrayal of this offbeat wedding.




Screenwriter: Jenny Lumet [photo]
Director: Jonathan Demme
Starring: Anne Hathaway and Rosemarie DeWitt
Soundtrack: "Dancing With Shiva" by Black Bombay

Cool Fact: Jenny Lumet is the granddaughter of Hollywood film legend Lena Horne.

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Eagle vs. Shark


It's pretty hard to find a film more quirky than this one. "Eagle vs Shark is the tale of two socially awkward misfits and the strange ways they try to find love; through revenge on high-school bullies, burgers, and video games" (IMDb). The Māori filmmaker, Taika Cohen, proves that minority filmmakers can craft original pieces that garner worldwide critical acclaim. This film is one of my all-time indie favorites.



Director/Writer: Taika Cohen [photo]
Starring: Loren Horsley and Jemaine Clement
Soundtrack: Original film score by The Phoenix Foundation, also featuring music by M.Ward (it's pretty much an all-around stellar soundtrack)

For Fans of...Napoleon Dynamite and Mozart & The Whale

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Middle East International Film Fest


Oct. 10th - 19th

@ Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

www.meiff.com

Featuring...Marock, a film about teen girls in Morocco.

Director:
Leila Marrakshi. Starring: Morjana Alaoui

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Film Festival Update:


The 9th Annual San Diego Asian Film Festival Oct. 9th - 16th

Opening Night Film: Ping Pong Playa
Starring: Jimmy Tsai


Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival Oct. 9th - 12th.

Opening Night Film: Far North
Starring: Michelle Yeoh and Sean Bean

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Allah Made Me Funny


If the movie is as good as the trailer then I'm sure I'll be laughing. Stand-up comedy has a way of uniting people even when it comes to tough issues like racism. This documentary features three Muslim American comedians expressing some of their issues in a humorous way that can hopefully start a much-needed dialogue regarding stereotypes post 9/11.



Director: Andrea Kalin
Starring: Mohammed Amer, Preacher Moss and Azhar Usman.

For Fans of...The Original Kings of Comedy and The Original Latino Kings of Comedy

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Hav Plenty


Hav Plenty definitely fits the offbeat category. It's a film that explores the whole guy and girl friendship/romance dynamic. It's a little too odd and drawn out at times but you might like it. Most of the acting is lackluster yet there was something about the quirkiness of the main character, Lee Plenty, that made me stick it out until the end.

To watch a tiny trailer click here (it's the only one I could find).

Director/Writer: Christopher Scott Cherot
Starring: Christopher Scott Cherot and Chenoa Maxwell
Soundtrack: "Tears Away" by Faith Hill

For Fans of...When Harry Met Sally and Love Jones.

3 comments
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Drona


Drona is a Bollywood film infused with action and fantasy. It's the epic tale of an orphaned boy who grows up to find that his destiny is far greater than his job as a store clerk. Be prepared to be thunderstruck by stunning visual shots and dream-like fight sequences. Plus, Abishek Bachchan and Priyanka sizzle on the screen together.



Director: Goldie Behl
Writer: Jaydeep Sarkar
Starring: Abhishek Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra.
Soundtrack: "Drona" by Sunidhi Chauhan.

For Fans of...Wanted and House of Flying Daggers.

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Offside


Girls can be sports fanatics too! But it's not so easy for teenage girls to visit soccer games in Iran, it's actually forbidden. And soccer outside of the USA is big stuff. Could you imagine someone telling you that you couldn't go to the Superbowl if you already had tickets? That's what it's like for the girls in Offside. They have to dress up like boys and risk getting arrested in order to see a game that they love. For a film that deals with such a heavy social justice issue it has some pleasant moments that make you smile.



Director: Jafar Panahi
Starring: Sima Mobarak-Shahi and Ayda Sadeqi.
Soundtrack: TBD

For Fans of...Osama and Bend It Like Beckham.

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Wassup Rockers


South Central isn't the most skater friendly place so a group of Latino skateboarders set their sights on a Beverly Hills park. Their adventures are wild, silly and sad but always interesting. I enjoyed the music, the punk fashion and especially the insight on what it's to like to be an urban skater. Wassup Rockers is straight up indie cool.



Director/Writer:
Larry Clark
Starring: Jonathan Velasquez and Francisco Pedrasa.
Soundtrack: "La Guerra de la Muerte" by The Remains.

For Fans of...
Lords of Dogtown and Dazed and Confused.

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