"McFarland, USA" (2015)
Kevin Costner stars in Disney's latest sports drama, an upcoming film titled McFarland.
In this movie, which is based on a true story, Costner plays cross country coach Jim "Blanco" White, who puts together a high school track team of Latino students in the small, impoverished town of McFarland, California during the 1980s, then leads the struggling squad to victory. Initially an outsider who has trouble relating to students, White eventually gains the trust of his young athletes, then helps the team overcome social and physical obstacles to become championship contenders.
Queen Latifah portrays legendary blues singer Bessie Smith in the HBO biopic BESSIE.
The Dee Rees-directed Bessie Smith biopic, stars Queen Latifah stars in the title role. She's joined in front of the camera by Mo’Nique and Khandi Alexander, playing Ma Rainey "Mother Of The Blues," and Bessie Smith's older sister, Viola, respectively.
"Glory Road" (2006)
Walt Disney Pictures
Jerry Bruckheimer Films
GLORY ROAD succeeds "as the story of a chapter in history, the story of how one coach at one school arrived at an obvious conclusion and acted on it, and helped open college sports in the South to generations of African Americans." ROGER EBERT
"Glory Road" is satisfying for its sincerity, and also because it will acquaint audiences with a remarkable episode that had ramifications far beyond the basketball court." NEW YORK TIMES
"From its sepia-toned palette to the Motown hits that drive its terrific soundtrack, "Glory Road" is utterly authentic. But most astonishing is an unrecognizable Jon Voight as Adolph Rupp, head coach of the University of Kentucky Wildcats, whom the Miners played in the championship game." WASHINGTON POST
"Glory Road" is a slick enterprise buoyed by a Motown-flavored '60s soundtrack and an appealing ensemble cast. Box office should be in line with its predecessors and might go higher, provided today's urban teens can accept basketball players wearing short shorts." VARIETY
"The Mists Of Avalon" (2001)
Turner Network Television
Warner Brothers Studios
"Instead of glorifying these legendary characters, Avalon fleshes out their weaknesses, desires and ultimate failures. It renders whining into decent dialogue. For you fantasy-film purists, however, the film does have its share of magical elements. Aside from Morgaine's powers as high priestess of Avalon, good ol' Merlin (Michael Byrne) churns out the kind of wizardry you'd expect, complete with mist-filled sets that would make Yoda squint. Merlin's death alone fills the entire land with a thick, pervasive mist, suggesting the film's dry-ice budget approached six figures." HOLLYWOOD.COM
"This four hour TNT original miniseries transforms the traditional King Arthur tale, offering a female perspective through the matriarchal goddess cult of Avalon: a sect of priestesses upholding ancient pagan traditions of Celtic England against the rising tide of Christianity. In the traditional myth, Arthur is a Christian king advised by his faithful wizard Merlin, who unites England in the battle against the Saxons. In this version, Arthur (Edward Atterton) is a pagan king nurtured by enchanting sorceresses. They are played by a stellar cast: Anjelica Huston as Viviane, Avalon’s high-priestess and keeper of its flame; Julianna Margulies as her heir-apparent Morgaine (Arthur’s half-sister); and Joan Allen as Morgause, a conniving opportunist who’ll stop at nothing for a chance to rule the roost.." TV GUIDE
"The legends of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table are transformed from an adventure story into a grand-scale soap opera told from the women's perspective in TNT mini "The Mists of Avalon." Filled with incest, sorcery and violence, this adaptation of Marion Zimmer Bradley's novel has an awful lot going for it on the entertainment front, including Anjelica Huston and Joan Allen as battling sisters." VARIETY
"The Hurricane" (1999)
"If THE HURRICANE has been conceived as virtually a generic portrait of injustice, as prosaic in its bluntness as the 1975 Bob Dylan protest song that drew national attention to Carter's case, Washington's great, stirring performance leads us into far more unruly terrain. He plays Carter as fiercely intelligent and articulate (which is accurate), with an intensity of awareness that only heightens his tragedy. The result, for all its flaws, is a haunting parable of survival—of how a black man wills himself through the nearly Kafkaesque ordeal of being presumed, in America, to be a criminal. This movie about the nightmare of incarceration makes you taste the meaning of freedom. B+" ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
"It's almost impossible to imagine "The Hurricane," Norman Jewison's heartfelt political drama, without Denzel Washington in the lead role of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, the black boxer who was wrongly convicted of triple murder and sent to prison, where he spent 19 years before being exonerated and released in 1985. In what's easily his most zealous and fully realized performance since "Malcolm X," Washington elevates the earnest, occasionally simplistic narrative to the level of a genuinely touching moral expose. Inspirational and uplifting in the manner of old-fashioned American sagas about racial injustice, pic will likely be embraced by holiday-season audiences of all ages and races." VARIETY
"But what makes FIRE BIRDS truly riveting entertainment is not the conflict between good and bad guys, but the clash between the film's apparent intent and the loony subversiveness of its performances. Hardly routine actors, Cage, Jones, and Sean Young are cast in what amounts to a routine B programmer (albeit on an A budget) seemingly intended to serve as Disney's shameless public service contribution to the war on drugs. And this cast gives anything but routine performances. Cage, for instance, brings an almost frightening ferocity to his character's cockiness, giving even the most ordinary scenes--especially a training session in a computerized flight simulator--a deeply disturbing edge." TV GUIDE
"Triple Bogey On A Par Five Hole" (1990)
"In this independently produced black-and-white film, Remy Gravelle is trying to gather enough material from the story of a wealthy couple (murdered on a golf-course years before) to put together a screenplay for his Japanese employers. His investigations have put him in touch with the wealthy duo's children, who now live aboard a yacht, the Triple Bogey, which is in constant motion around New York harbor. There, the three grown or nearly grown children show the writer home movies of themselves and their parents and discuss the events of that bygone day." FANDANGO