Thursday, May 31, 2012

Movie Trailer: ‘The Bourne Legacy’ Official Trailer #2

Ever since The Bourne Legacy was announced, I’ve felt nothing but skepticism.  The first three films wrapped up Jason Bourne’s story quite nicely, and wasn’t eager to see it rehashed with a “new” character.  There didn’t seem to be anyplace else to go with the material, especially if they wished to coast on the style established by the first three.  I also wasn’t keen on seeing an installment that wasn’t based on one of the Robert Ludlum novels.  As far as I was concerned, the only saving grace of the entire endeavor was the presence of Jeremy Renner.  I loved him in The Town and I like him well enough in The Avengers.  While the first teaser trailer did absolutely nothing for me, the new one has caused me to put my skepticism in check.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Music Video: Jay Z & Kanye West Featuring Frank Ocean - No Church in the Wild

Anarchy seems to be on everyone’s minds lately, and for good reason.  The economy is still in shambles.  Not too long ago, the Occupy Wall Street movement had the one percent fearing that their day of reckoning might be soon be at hand.  Americans of all races watch the George Zimmerman murder trial unfold, fearing the violent repercussions a “not guilty” verdict could bring.  Artists have caught wind of the popular zeitgeist and allowed it to inform their work.   Well, some artists have.  Mainstream rappers are too busy living their dreams to care.  It’s surprising then, that Jay-Z and Kanye West have allowed “No Church in the Wild” to become the soundtrack of the coming rebellion.  At least that’s how the video makes it seem. 

Music Video: Pusha T - Exodus 23.1

Okay, I admit it.  When it comes to Young Money Entertainment, I am indeed a hater.  Their roster is chockfull of annoying “characters” masquerading as cutting edge rap artists.  Even the more exceptional among them (The perpetually sappy Drake, for example) apply their talents in an obnoxious way.  It is for such reasons that I take sadistic pleasure in just about anything that gets a rise out of them and/or their fans.  Pusha T’s new diss record “Exodus 23.1” has managed to do just that.  Now, in a clear bid to add insult to injury, it also has a video.

Jamie Foxx Swaggers through Quentin Tarantino’s Version of the Old West in New Photos from ‘Django Unchained’

Last week, a seven minute trailer for Django Unchained wowed audiences at the Cannes Film Festival.  The rest of the world will have to wait until the release of Ridley Scott’s Prometheus to see any of it, as Ridley Scott’s film will carry a teaser for the highly anticipated spaghetti western.  Until then, British film publication Empire Magazine has provided a batch of new photos to satiate the lust for all things Tarantino.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Jedi Since Birth: My Connection To Star Wars

The force has always been strong with me.  I was born in the same calendar year that Star Wars made its worldwide debut..  I’ve always taken it as something of an omen that I was born the exact same year as the film franchise that redefined the movie industry as we know it.  It played a large part in shaping my tastes as a movie buff.  I’ve been a Star Wars fan for so long, that I sometimes forget that the relatively unconventional way I initially became acquainted with it.  I was indoctrinated long before I was even old enough to truly understand it. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Music Video: Nas – Daughters

A theme in both The Sopranos and Road to Perdition is the double life that gangsters are forced to lead, especially the ones that attempt to be good fathers.  The lead characters commit any number of sins that put their mortal souls in jeopardy, supposedly so their families can lead comfortable lives.  They also indulge in the worldly pleasures that their underworld status affords them.  They hide that side of their lives from their children, going to great pains to ensure that the sins of the father are not visited upon the heads of the sons and/or daughters.  On one hand, it’s the worst kind of hypocrisy.  On the other, it’s totally understandable.  Those who provide for their own by morally questionable means don’t want their kids to follow in their footsteps.  Though it has nothing to do with gangsterism, the video for Nas latest single “Daughters” wreaks of reeks of a similar brand of guilt.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Book Review: Seth Ferranti - The Supreme Team: The Birth of Crack and Hip-Hop, Prince's Reign of Terror and The Supreme/50 Cent Beef Exposed

Queens, New York has a storied Hip-Hop history.  It has produced some of the most popular and influential rappers of all time.  It also has another legacy, albeit one much darker.  During the 1980’s, it served as ground zero for New York City’s drug trade.  The Southside was a hotbed of activity, lorded over by a new generation of violent and ambitious hustlers.  The most fearsome and remarkable of this new breed was the fabled Supreme Team.  Headed by the charismatic Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff, the team set up shop in the Baisley Park housing projects, from which they instituted a reign of terror.  Their style and swagger left an impression on a generation of rappers, many of whom would take their crack game gospel worldwide.

Rider on the Storm: ‘The Road Warrior’ Celebrates its 30th Anniversary

Though the Western fell out of favor with audiences decades ago, the action genre has been faithfully carrying on its traditions ever since.  However, some action films aren’t satisfied with placing the archetypes and tropes of their forebears in a more modern setting.  Some filmmakers have gone so far as to create dystopian futures where the stories and images of the old west can thrive.  These imaginary landscapes functioned in much the same way as the western frontier of popular American myth.  The most famous and influential of these was writer/director George Miller’s Mad Max trilogy, the second entry of which proved to be revolutionary.  So effective was its presentation, that it arguably spawned its own sci-fi subgenre.  

LBP Stunts Chicago Pays Homage to ‘The Raid: Redemption’

Imitation is indeed the sincerest form of flattery, and the internet has made it easier to exhibit such tributes to the masses.  It used to be that the influence of an instant classic would take time to show up in popular culture.  Now, thanks to video sharing websites like YouTube, homages and imitations can show up in a matter of months, weeks, or even days.  LBP Stunts Chicago has taken full advantage of such resources, and frequently uses them to channel their various influences into a number of creative ventures.  They have recently done so with The Raid: Redemption, offering their take Gareth Evan’s martial arts masterpiece in less than 60 seconds.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Two New Batman Banners From 'The Dark Knight Rises'

With all the posters, images, and banners comin down the pike lately, one would think the fictional character was running for president this November.  Warner Brothers is clearly working overtime to remind audiences just who rules the night, or in this case the summer Blockbuster season of 2012.  Two more banners have emerged, and both are just as good as the four released yesterday.

‘The Dark Knight Rises’ and Unleashes A Flurry of Marketing Materials

While The Avengers has been taking the world by storm, The Dark Knight has been brooding in his cave and waiting for the right time to strike.  The earth’s mightiest heroes are a box office behemoth the likes of which no one could have foreseen.  They’ve proven to be much more than just formidable opponents.  Not to be outdone, the Batman has finally and truly arisen from his slumber with a bevy of gifts, some of which are quite wonderful.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

‘The Dark Knight Returns’ in Animated Form Courtesy of DC Comics Premiere Movies

Batman will perhaps never escape the shadow of Frank Miller.  His take on the character has left such an indelible mark that almost every iteration since has been a variation of what he established.  Ironically, as influential as both Batman: Year One and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns have been, the latter has never received a proper adaptation in either live-action or animated form.  Alas, The DC Animated Universe provides a wonderful platform to explore non-canonical takes on beloved characters.  This fall, the highly popular series will welcome Frank Miller’s dystopian (and some would say definitive) take on the caped crusader into the fold.  The Hollywood Reporter has recently published photographic evidence of this endeavor.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Fuse Unearths Rare Footage of Brooklyn’s Finest, and I Don’t Mean the Movie!

Today would have been the Notorious B.I.G’s 40th birthday.  Many people continue to wonder what Hip-Hop would be like in the current era had he and Tupac lived.  Though I suspect things would be pretty much the same way they are now, Jay would have surely added at least one more collaboration album to the three that he has already done.  Both he and B.I.G were planning on forming an east coast supergroup called The Commission.  The Brooklyn dream team would have been its flagship members.  Alas, B.I.G’s murder put the kibosh on such plans.  Still, I wonder what it would have sounded like, especially if it would have been made in the late 1990’s.

James Bond Gets a Psyche Evaluation in the Teaser Trailer for ‘Skyfall’

As far as reboots go, Casino Royale was a damned good one.  It gave the world a James Bond that was every bit the modern action hero. Sullen and strictly business, Daniel Craig clearly did not enjoy his work in the same way that previous Bonds had.  Unfortunately, Quantum of Solace erased all the goodwill generated by its predecessor.  As a result, I haven’t exactly been counting the days until Skyfall’s release.  What’s more, I didn’t expect the teaser trailer to change that position one iota.  Having now seen it, I can gladly say that the film in question is now on my radar.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Paradise Lost: 'City of God' Celebrates Its Decennial

In America, so-called epidemics often give rise to new and interesting artforms.  The crack era produced not only gangsta rap, but “hood” films as well.  The earliest “hood” films were among the most notable and successful.  Memorable though they were, they often exuded a certain level of xenophobia.  They seemed to assume that poverty, racism, and street crime were uniquely American phenomena.  However, a trip to any number of foreign countries quickly proves such notions wrong.  On this very weekend ten years ago, a powerful film revealed just such a place when it premiered at that year’s Cannes Film Festival.  It showed life in a Brazilian favela, and told a generational tale of the criminal factions that warred in its streets.  Its title was Cidade de Deus, but it’s now better known to American viewers by that title’s literal English translation: City of God.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Tom Hardy and Guy Pearce Square Off In a New Clip From ‘Lawless’

No gangster film would be complete without an ample amount of macho bravado.  Stare downs and threats are every bit as important as actual bloodletting.  One precedes the other.  A well worded ultimatum can properly foreshadow a pivotal event, thus keeping the audience both expectant and on edge.  It’s like the press conference before the title bout.  The challengers have to ramp up the tension and sell the event.  That way, they get the audience blood pumping long before the actual fireworks ever start.  It’s all about facilitating the necessary catharsis.  A new clip from Lawless shows the film to have the necessary tools to do so.

Friday, May 18, 2012

New Images From ‘Alex Cross’ Show Tyler Perry as…an Action Hero?

The release of a new Tyler Perry movie is hardly a cause for celebration as I’ve become quite indifferent to such things over the last three years.  Tyler has an audience, and each year will bring at least one new film for them to fawn over.  Despite my personal tastes, my less hateful side refuses to let me completely write the man off.  Atrocious though his filmography may be, I keep hoping against hope that he will one day sire other, more talented Black filmmakers than himself.  For right now, the world will just have to settle for more Medea films…or will it?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

“Prometheus” International Poster Possibly Reveals a Crewmember’s Fate

Some people avoid marketing materials like the plague so as not to encounter dreaded spoilers.  I’ve never believed in that, seeing as how today’s marketing campaigns can be quite fun with all the viral videos and such.  Prometheus has me strongly reconsidering my position, as its onslaught of advance marketing has me feeling like I’ve seen the movie already.  It’s getting even more intense as the release date draws closer.  Surprisingly, the biggest possible spoiler yet comes by way of a still image in a poster rather than a trailer or a viral video.

The Gentlemen’s Club Talk Radio: Obama’s Change of Heart, Sports, Spirituality and Much More!

Tonight on The Gentlemen’s Club Talk Radio, we tackle the hot button topic of gay marriage.  The president’s recent change of heart will mean big changes for the country at large.  How, if at all, will it affect the institution of marriage?  Is the sanctity of said institution at stake?  Is the Black church being hypocritical in it's stance on the subject?  Is this all simply much ado about nothing?  The GC crew will offer insightful and funny commentary as only we can.  We’ll also include our usual helping of sports talk, entertainment news, and spirituality.  As always, we keep the drinks flowing and the topics varied.  The party jumps off every Thursday at 9pm EST.  Call in at 858-357-9159 or join us in the online chatroom at

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

‘The Boondocks’ Returns!

Some people love it.  Some people hate it.  Some people believe that it has no place on the airwaves.  Whatever one may think of The Boondocks, one thing is for sure: There was nothing else on TV like it.  The show’s third season (Its best by any measurable standard) was widely believed to be its last.  Not so, sayeth the suits at Cartoon Network.  A new banner over at the Adult Swim website for the show has announced the inevitable.

New ‘Prometheus’ Viral Video Gives A Whole New Meaning to the Term “Call Screening”

Once upon a time, “Calling Line Identification” and “Last Call Return” were the very height of telephone technology.  Cell phones have long since rendered such things obsolete, as they allow one to instantly see who is calling (unless it’s from a “restricted” or blocked number).  Of course, plenty of films about the future have people conferring via video phones and holograms.  While humanity hasn’t yet made it to the point where such technology is widely available (or affordable), Prometheus has already taken things many steps further.  A new viral video entitled “Quiet Eye” allows one to do amazingly thorough and efficient background checks on any and all callers as the call is taking place.  How’s that for call screening?

The Yakuza Will Get a Heroic Bloodshed Makeover in John Woo’s ‘Day of the Beast’

Director John Woo is no stranger to the world of eastern gangsters.  His seminal heroic bloodshed classics were considered by the authorities in Hong Kong to be moving recruitment posters for the Triads, whose membership swelled greatly during the 1980’s.  Despite their romanticism, or perhaps because of it, Woo’s collaborations with actor Chow Yun Fat became perennial favorites.  Their influence can still be felt today.  Now, Woo will be lending his distinct touch to a different kind of eastern crime film.  He is slated to produce and direct Day of the Beast, a remake of the 1963 “yakuza eiga” classic Youth of the Beast.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Prometheus Comes in For a Smooth Landing in New Clip

The script for Alien endured several rewrites before finally making it to the screen.  One element that survived each draft was the arduous process of landing the Nostromo on LV-426.  The late Dan O’Bannon took great pains to portray the process as being both complicated and dangerous.  He was quite pleased at how Ridley Scott visualized his ideas.  The landing was indeed clunky and painstaking.  One wonders what O’Bannon would think of this clip from Prometheus.  It shows the title ship arriving at its destination as smoothly as a leaf being carried on the wind.

Sony Treats Fans to a 4 Minute Preview of ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’

Tim Burton’s Batman committed a great many crimes against fandom.  Perhaps the most unforgivable was the moment when Alfred not only allowed Vicki Vale access into the Batcave, but walked her right over to an out-of-costume Bruce Wayne.  It violated one of the fundamental rules of superhero comics: The hero NEVER reveals his true identity.  Even if he did, he certainly wouldn’t do so in such a frivolous manner.  Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man took quite a bit of inspiration from Tim Burton’s dark blockbuster.  Each film in Raimi’s trilogy featured an unmasked Spider-Man at some point.  While the context often made more sense than in Batman, it was nonetheless perplexing.  By the end of Spider-Man 3, it seemed that nearly half of New York City knew our hero’s biggest secret.  Judging by the new four minute preview for The Amazing Spider-Man, director Marc Webb believes this tradition to be well worth preserving.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Movie Poster: ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’

Sin City is not only Robert Rodriguez’s best film, but one of the best comic book adaptations of all time.  Since its release in 2005, Frank Miller has become a full blown right wing crackpot, and his creative output has gotten progressively worse.  In addition, Robert Rodriguez has continued to be the very definition of mediocrity.  Such massive disappointments aside, Sin City is still a one of kind film.  Its kind is sorely needed these days, as the term “comic-book movie” has become synonymous with superheroes and not much else.  Thankfully, the sequel was confirmed on April 13th.  Now, before it even goes in front of the cameras, the first piece of marketing has emerged: An official teaser poster for Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.

New ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ Video Blog Explores the Mind of Dr. Curt Connors

I’ve always considered David Cronenberg’s remake of The Fly to be the dark side of Spider-Man’s origin story.  In that film, a scientific accident blesses a bookworm with amazing new abilities, but those new found gifts come at a horrific price.  Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy largely ignored that side of the character’s world.  Director Marc Webb seems willing to court it, if only slightly, in this summer’s The Amazing Spider-Man.  Hints of it can be seen in the latest video blog from the production, which focuses squarely on actor Rhys Ifans and his portrayal of Dr. Curt Connors, aka The Lizard.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Short Film: Claycat's THE RAID

Gareth Evan’s The Raid: Redemption is easily the most intense experience I’ve had in a movie theater so far this year.  It’s a fearsome, untamed beast of an action film that offers the viewer no respite.  I don’t expect any other action movie this year to match it, much less top it.  I also didn’t expect a truly effective parody of the film to surface so quickly, especially not one featuring…claymation cats!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Movie Trailer: Killer Joe

William Friedkin is nothing if not daring.  That quality has proven to be a gift and a curse.  His inability to reign himself has proven quite costly to him commercially.  Still, it’s unwise to write off an immense talent, even one who appears to be well past his prime.  Unhindered by the commercial expectations of the mainstream, a man like Friedkin is free to explore undiscovered country.  This year, he delves headfirst into the seedier side of Middle America with Killer Joe.

Tonight on The Gentleman's Club Radio: Interracial Dating & Injuries in Youth Sports

By Torrey Fields

Tonight on The Gentleman's Club Radio...Do you like a little cream in your coffee? Or prefer chocolate in your milk?  How about wanting some flavor in your everyday mix? We're talking interracial dating. Share your stories and views tonight on the GCR.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Movie Trailer: Gangster Squad

It’s one of the most familiar stories around.  A group of law men band together (or are put together) for the purposes of cleaning up a bad town.  In order to deal with a wily and ruthless opponent, they adopt methods that fall outside the rules of their given profession.  So goes the prevailing theme in almost every “clean-up-the-town” flick ever made.  American citizens are always taught to play by the rules.  Yet, there is an undying belief that those who do so will almost always lose.  Hence the latest western in a gangster movie setting: Gangster Squad.

Short Film Review: Ninjito: Mexican Ninja

An old man sits quietly among the cacti on a cold desert night, warming himself by a small campfire.  His peaceful little scene is disturbed by when he senses the presence of another: the mythical chupacabras.  The beast has designs on the old man’s goat.  Before it can pounce, a ninja appears from the darkness to challenge the beast.  As the battle unfolds, the old man testifies to the legend of Ninjito, the Mexican Ninja!

Movie Trailer: End of Watch

Over the past decade, increasingly relaxed censorship rules on basic and pay cable channels have allowed for grittier cop dramas than one can see on regular broadcast television.  Excellent shows like The Shield and The Wire opened the floodgates.  That trend continues today with shows like Southland.  By contrast, big screen police procedurals have dwindled in number over the last ten years.  During such time, writer/director David Ayer has been keeping the genre alive with films such as Street Kings.  His latest, End of Watch, pairs the cop film with the found footage genre.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Wicked Lasers Takes Its First Step into a Larger World with the LaserSaber

If you know anyone who doesn’t wish they could have a real lightsaber, expel that poor soul from your social circle immediately and advise them to seek professional help.  The lightsabers is the coolest fantasy weapon ever conceived, period.  Alas, The History Channel’s Star Wars Tech made it emphatically clear light could not be made to form solid blades to be used as swords.  Well, reality has never stopped fans from dreaming, and it obviously hasn’t stopped Wicked Lasers from attempting the impossible.  Behold, boys and girls: The LaserSaber!

Birth of a Box Office Hero: Spider-Man’s Big-Screen Debut Celebrates it's Tenth Anniversary

On the weekend of May 4th, 2012, The Avengers took superhero cinema to new box office heights.  On it became the first film ever to reach the double century mark in its first three days of release.  That number is staggering, but it isn’t the first time a Marvel property made such a grand entrance.  Ten years ago, on the exact same weekend, a certain wall crawler pulled off a similar feat.  He took his sweet time getting to movie screens, but when he finally did, fans responded with a level of enthusiasm rarely seen.  On the weekend of May 3rd, 2002, Spider-Man showed Hollywood just how mighty Marvel’s movie muscles were.


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Requiem For a Beastie Boy: A Tribute to MCA

Adam Nathanial Yauch, better known to millions of Beastie Boys fans as the rapper MCA, died yesterday at the age of 47.  He finally succumbed to cancer of parotid salivary gland, which he’d been which he’d been diagnosed with just three years ago.  He lived a full life, both personally and professionally.  Though his death was not violent, it is nonetheless saddening.  He was one third of a trio that not only carved out its own unique niche in a revolutionary artform, but continued to innovate and remain commercially viable throughout their careers.  Yauch’s contribution to that legacy is beyond measure.

Image used courtesy of

Friday, May 4, 2012

Movie Trailer: 'The Amazing Spider-Man' Trailer #2

Of all the superhero epics being released this summer, The Amazing Spider-Man seems the most ineffectual.  It’s hard to pinpoint why, but a certain excitement seems to be lacking here.  That’s a shame since this production seems guided by a distinct and sure handed vision.  Each subsequent trailer has been a bit better than the last one.  Overall it seems to be more in line with the classic Spider-Man mythos than any of Sam Raimi’s films.  While The Amazing Spider-Man might indeed end up being worthwhile, it doesn’t feel like one of this summer’s “must-see” films.  The new trailer doesn’t do much to change that, but it does inspire a modicum of hope.

Movie Review: The Avengers

In a massive, heavily secured research facility, the S.H.E.I.L.D Agency’s best scientists study the mysterious Tesseract.  Its energy personified, and its true capabilities have to be tapped.  One night, it suddenly becomes active, opening a portal across time and space.  Through that portal steps Loki, the exiled Norse God of mischief.  He arrives with a horrifying agenda: the complete and total subjugation of humanity.  He escapes the research facility with The Tesseract in tow, which plays a pivotal role in his master plan.  

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Gentlemen's Club Celebrates Summer Blockbuster Season and Much More On Tonight's Podcast

By Torrey Fields
Tonight on The Gentlemen's Club Radio... We have a special guest, singer/songwriter David M. joining us on the show, be sure to check it out. Also on GCR, get the inside scoop of this summer’s upcoming blockbuster movies w/Malice Intended, in a segment he likes to call Scottscope. Felicia VII will be stopping by to a little later to bring us the word in the Amen Corner. All of this and much, much more with your boy Chicago Wind, IronLion and the first lady of The Gentlemen's Club Raven A. So tune in at 9/8c at or call in at 858-357-9159

Cosplayer Anthony Le Creates a “Real” Iron Man Mark 7 Suit

Never underestimate a fanboy, especially one with a little ingenuity and a whole lot of time on his hands.  At the 2010 Nan Desu Kan (An anime convention in Colorado), cosplayer Anthony Le stole the show by wearing a fully functional (well, not quite) Iron Man Mark 7 suit to the event.  What’s more, he actually made the damn thing from scratch!  It has an arc reactor, repulsors on the palms, and eyelets on the helmet, all of which light up brightly.  The mask even comes down over his face like the top on a convertible.  On the back, flaps raise to reveal jet thrusters.  If this thing could actually take off and fly I wouldn’t be surprised.  Even though it obviously can’t, it’s still pretty amazing.


Documentary Review: VH1 Rock Docs: Uprising: Hip Hop and the L.A. Riots (Full Episode Included)

It was the straw that broke the camel’s back.  On the afternoon of April 29th, 1992, the long simmering tensions between the LAPD and the Black residents of Los Angeles finally exploded.  The Acquittal of four Los Angeles police officers in the brutal beating of motorist Rodney King proved to be one slight too many.  That the beating was caught on videotape ultimately didn’t make much difference to the jury.  Even in the face of irrefutable evidence, some people refused to acknowledge the obvious.  The destruction that followed proved shocking to many, despite the many warnings issued by the rap artists of the day.  In the years immediately preceding the riots, they had tried to alert Americans to the coming storm.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Movie Trailer: The Dark Knight Rises - Official Trailer #3 [HD]

As the all-out lovefest surrounding The Avengers continues unabated, many fans have already proclaimed it the victor of the 2012 superhero movie faceoff.  The marketing machine driving The Dark Knight Rises has been in relative hibernation, making the margin of victory seem all the wider.  Unwilling to concede defeat so early, the Batman emerged from his cave late last night to drop off a 3rd trailer for The Dark Knight Rises.  Like the film’s marketing campaign, this trailer alters its mood and intensity to maximum effect.  It wants us to know that something truly big is on the horizon.