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Archives for : Angela Bassett

Movie Review: “Whitney”- I will NOT Always Love your Lifetime Biopic

If you thought that Lifetime’s new Whitney Houston biopic, directed by Angela Bassett, would be filled with excitement and thrilling drama; you thought wrong.  Whitney is just another unnecessary biopic that reveals no real insight into the singer’s life.  This story strictly focuses on Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston’s tumultuous relationship.

The film might as well air on Valentine’s Day as it feels much more like a romance.  Up until the last 15 minutes (when the real drama begins), we are forced to endure a painfully cheesy love story about how Bobby Brown was never good enough for “The Whitney Houston.”  Oh, but don’t worry, Whitney doesn’t care what her family or anyone else thinks!  She loves Bobby.  The audience will be constantly reminded of that love through the numerous amounts of times that it is said in the film, and by watching their ridiculous, soap opera styled sex scenes.

From what I have gathered from this biopic, Whitney was already into drugs before she met Bobby.  The two were, apparently, a very happy and cute couple.  It wasn’t until Bobby Brown realized Whitney Houston was more famous than him (Duh) that it all went downhill.

For all the Whitney Houston fans out there, the film is not entirely miserable.  Though Houston is played by Yaya DaCosta (America’s Next Top Model), her vocals are actually beautifully sung by Deborah Cox.  She sings all the favorite hits, “The Greatest Love of All,” “I’m Your Baby Tonight,” “I’m Every Woman,” and “I Will Always Love You.”

Whitney Houston on the left. Yaya DaCosta on the right.

Since America’s Next Top Model, DaCosta is slowly making a name for herself in the Acting Biz by making small appearances in notable films.  Whitney is a solid breakout performance for the rising actress.  Despite a few overly dramatic moments, DaCosta nails this role.  She embodies Whitney “from head to toe,” as Tyra Banks would say.  And even though it’s not her vocals in the movie, her movement and expressions would have you believing otherwise.  Not to mention the many times DaCosta strikes an uncanny resemblance to the singing sensation.

Even after all my ranting, I still recommend fans to give Whitney a one-time watch.  I think you will be pleased with the casting.  And if anything, you can turn your viewing into a fun sing-along.

“Whitney” premieres on Lifetime Saturday January 17.

Movie Review: “Black Nativity” is Passable for a Holiday Movie

Let me just say that this movie is lucky they had such a talented all star cast, otherwise it might have been unbearable to watch.

This is a simple and standard script.  The originality lies in its musical numbers and the interesting way they parallel the story of Jesus Christ’s birth with another pregnant couple who has nothing, but never seems to loose faith.  To be fair, the film is based on the 1961 Off-Broadway play.   I have a feeling this story works better on stage then on screen.

When his mom (Jennifer Hudson) is forced to foreclose their home, Langston (Jacob Latimore) must spend Christmas break with the grandparents he never knew.  Played by Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett, the two welcome their grandson with open arms.  Since it is clearly obvious his grandparents have been living a life of luxury, Langston becomes suspicious and angry as to why they haven’t helped him and his mom financially.  Langston begins to ask more and more questions.  Leading up to what some might call a “shocking” reveal, the family secret starts to unfold.

Now I did enjoy all the moments with Whitaker and Bassett.  The two are just such great actors.  Even in a mediocre film like this, they some how make it pleasurable with their performances.  The music is great, and once again Jennifer Hudson shows off her strength in her power ballads.  Everyone else sings well, but there is a clear “Idol” out of the bunch.

It’s not even so much the cheesiness of this film that bothers me.  I like musicals, so that was not a problem for me either.  Although, some of the songs ran longer than they should have.   It was more the fact that so many problems that occurred would get resolved so unrealistically quick.  Because this film is a family holiday movie, minor details like that can be overlooked.  Had it premiered during the Lifetime channel’s Christmas movie marathon, Black Nativity would have fit right in.  In fact, the film would have been a stand out TV movie.  Unfortunately, big screen holiday competitors like The Best Man Holiday and Frozen are likely to leave more lasting impressions this season.

Rated PG for thematic material, language and a menacing situation.

Black Nativity hits theaters November 27th.

Black Nativity Official Trailer HD

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