Mark Brown

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Cedric Yau, John Gregorio, Rachel Klein, Bryce Ryness, Shirine Babb, Jimmy Ray Bennett, Mark Brown and Stephen Guarino - 'Around The World In 80 Days' opening night party at The New Theatre at 45th Street. - New York, NY, United States - Friday 31st May 2013

Cedric Yau, John Gregorio, Rachel Klein, Bryce Ryness, Shirine Babb, Jimmy Ray Bennett, Mark Brown and Stephen Guarino
Cedric Yau, Randy Jones, John Gregorio, Rachel Klein, Bryce Ryness, Shirine Babb, Jimmy Ray Bennett, Mark Brown and Stephen Guarino

State's Evidence Review


Excellent
With a title like State's Evidence, and knowing nothing about the movie, I assumed it could be one of two things: Run-of-the-mill gangster flick, possibly with an informer being protected from mobsters looking to kill him, or urban drama/thriller, probably starring a collection of rappers and plenty of gunplay.

I'm pleased to report that neither was the case... I'm not sure I could bear to watch another one of either of those kinds of films. What State's Evidence is, rather, is an entry into the burgeoning teen violence genre, taking the form of, primarily, a home video confession of a high school student who's determined to commit suicide the next day. In chronicling his last day on earth, word gets out what Scott (Douglas Smith) is going to do, and he soon becomes a minor celebrity in school, as everyone wants to be a part of his last day on earth. But a few of his friends throw a wrench into things by deciding to join in, and a suicide pact is formed. As expected, this takes an even darker tone as the kids realize that, with no consequences facing them, morality may as well go out the window.

Continue reading: State's Evidence Review

Juwanna Mann Review


Bad
Hollywood's latest cross-dressing comedy comes from Warner Bros., a studio that up until now has been enjoying a successful summer run (Scooby-Doo, Insomnia, and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood). Juwanna Mann -- best described as Tootsie in high tops -- should stop the studio's momentum dead in its tracks when it finally hits screens, as this bland, tiresome and uninspired farce has been sitting in the can awaiting distribution for almost two years, gathering mold and cobwebs when it should have been polishing jokes and shoring up plotlines.

Miguel A. Nunez Jr. stars as Jamal Jeffries, egotistical bad-boy of the UBA (apparently the NBA didn't want their brand associated with this Mann), who gets suspended from the Charlotte Beat for repeated examples of lewd behavior on and off the court. His agent (Kevin Pollak) quits on him, claiming no one will employ a hothead, regardless of his talent. Desperate to fuel his extravagant lifestyle, Jeffries dons a wig, some padding, and his aunt's best sneakers to create Juwanna Mann, a muscular two-guard who tries out for and makes the Beat's female counterpart, the WUBA Charlotte Banshees. Whether he/she can maintain the ruse all season lies at the heart of this limp comedy.

Continue reading: Juwanna Mann Review

Two Can Play That Game Review


Excellent
Two Can Play That Game turns love into a brutal battleground of the sexes. It's not about relationships as much as it is about the "rules" they abide by (or don't abide by). A twisted version of Angela Bassett in How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Vivica A. Fox stars as a successful businesswoman named Shante Smith. She's a player, as she explains in the opening scenes, knowing as much as there is to know about the "rules" of love.

Shante has a bunch of friends, and a handsome, charming boyfriend named Keith Fenton (Morris Chestnut), a successful lawyer himself. One night, Shante finds her love dancing with another woman at a nightclub -- and so begins the vicious battles of the sexes. Will the two get back together, or will this be the end of their relationship?

Continue reading: Two Can Play That Game Review

Amy's O Review


OK
Check it out, it's the Julie Davis show!

The director of indie faves I Love You, Don't Touch Me! and All Over the Guy makes a star turn here (not to mention directing herself, writing for herself, and producing herself) in a role that is almost undoubtedly Julie Davis in the guise of "Amy."

Continue reading: Amy's O Review

Barbershop Review


Very Good
It seems every "black" ensemble film these days yanks at the same old yarn of bringing back good values to the 'hood - keep your nose clean, love thy neighbor, and treat your woman right. But Barbershop, swelling with the classic Horatio Alger-like "Pull your community up by the bootstraps" message, is populated by surprisingly well-rounded characters and comforting dialogue, managing to be both cliché and refreshingly unusual all in the same breath.

Ice Cube finally puts down the gun and bong (yes, he's doing another Friday movie after this) in his best role since Three Kings. Here he plays Calvin, a soon-to-be father with aspirations for greatness who's inherited his father's struggling barbershop in the south side of Chicago. In a moment of panic, he sells the shop to a local loan shark (Keith David). But soon after, we meet the colorful crew that spend their day at Calvin's: the loony old-timer barber Eddie (Cedric the Entertainer), educated but snotty Jimmy (Sean Patrick Harris), two-strike thug Ricky (Michael Ealy), shy but sweet Dinka (Leonard Howza), pimped out "wigger" Isaac (Troy Garity), and tough girl-done-wrong Terri (hip-hop queen Eve). Spending a good day with these regulars, Calvin starts to realize his mistake, and begins working to set his error straight.

Continue reading: Barbershop Review

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Mark Brown Movies

Juwanna Mann Movie Review

Juwanna Mann Movie Review

Hollywood's latest cross-dressing comedy comes from Warner Bros., a studio that up until now has...

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Two Can Play That Game Movie Review

Two Can Play That Game Movie Review

Two Can Play That Game turns love into a brutal battleground of the sexes....

Barbershop Movie Review

Barbershop Movie Review

It seems every "black" ensemble film these days yanks at the same old yarn of...

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