05-29-2024  5:16 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather

In 2000, the Wayans Brothers made a big splash with "Scary Movie," a hilarious spoof of horror flicks ... Now the Wayans have returned to the genre with "Dance Flick," a spoof of dance films featuring plenty of their relatives both in front of and behind the camera. .... Recently, Shawn and Damien shared their thoughts with me not only about making the movie but about being members of a family which has become as associated with acting as families with pedigreed thespian lineages like the Barrymores, the Phoenixes, the Fondas, the Bridges, the Baldwins, the Arquettes and the Redgraves. . . .

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"X-Men Origins" is an over-plotted prequel devoted to developing the back story of Wolverine, aka James Logan, the short-fused superhero capable of morphing in an instant into a steel-clawed assassin. Hugh Jackman reprises the role he's played in the popular franchise's prior installments, and the versatile thespian rises to the demanding challenge of carrying a star vehicle. . . .

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... this 6-DVD set revisits the Yankees at their very best, as it focuses on a half-dozen no-hitters from the storied franchise's salad days. The first disc contains Don Larsen's perfect game thrown during the 1956 World Series against the. . . .

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On Nov. 2, 2000, drug enforcement agents executed a sweep of the black community in the tiny town of Hearne, Texas, arresting 27 African-American residents, including a grieving father who was taken into custody during the funeral of his young daughter. The bench warrants had been issued by the county on the word of an informant who claimed to have purchased crack from each of the accused, despite the fact that the ex-con was the sole eyewitness, had a history of mental illness, and was himself facing criminal charges at the time. . . .

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Since Barack Obama has decided to take the high road by not holding any members of the outgoing Bush administration accountable for war profiteering via no-bid contracts, for torturing terror suspects in violation of the Geneva Conventions, for outing a CIA agent or for other high crimes and misdemeanors, shouldn't Hollywood be prepared to forgive all those transgressions, too?
This is the question likely to cross your mind while watching "State of Play," a flick with a fairly transparent, political agenda posing as an edge-of-your-seat thriller. . . .

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What's the truth about Abraham Lincoln? Was he really the man mythologized as "The Great Emancipator" and a champion of equality for African-Americans? Or was he, as some detractors say, a racist only freed the slaves as a last resort to save the Union because the North was losing the Civil War. Or still again, was he, as unrepentant rebels still describe, a traitor of Southern whites who single-handedly ruined the nation forever with the Emancipation Proclamation.
These are the divergent points-of-view of the 16th President of the United States presented in Looking for Lincoln, a DVD of the PBS Series . . .

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Kam's Kapsules

"12 Rounds" (PG-13 for intense violence) Crime thriller, set in New Orleans, about a police detective (John Cena) who finds his fiancée (Ashley Scott) kidnapped by a revenge-minded escaped-con (Aidan Gillen) whose own girlfriend had been accidentally killed during their apprehension for a multi-million dollar heist.  
 "The Haunting in Connecticut" (PG-13 for intense terror and disturbing images) Haunted house tale, based on a true story, recounts the host of supernatural horrors visited upon . . .

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"Piney Ridge," an award-winning play written by La'Chris Jordan and directed by Isiah Anderson, Jr., runs through April 5, at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, 104 17th Ave. S., in Seattle.
After a race riot tears apart a small Virginia town in 1910, the residents of Piney Ridge are outraged when a young White girl from a sharecropping farm is physically attacked. 'Piney Ridge' explores the rifts of race, class, and social injustice.
The Skanner spoke to Isaiah Anderson last month about the show, his career, and the future of urban youth in the Pacific Northwest. . . .


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Will Smith and Rosario Dawson won NAACP Image Awards for their performances as ill-fated lovers in this relentlessly-depressing tearjerker. Smith stars as a suicidal widower wracked with guilt over killing his wife in a car accident while fiddling with his Blackberry, and Dawson comes along later in the story as the new flame he's agonizing over getting involved with.
The picture plays like a variation of The Millionaire, if you're old enough to remember that classic TV series about a reclusive philanthropist who, with the help of his loyal manservant, Mr. Anthony, gave away a fortune each week to a needy stranger, anonymously. . . .

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Film Review

Here, we have a fact-based bio-pic recounting the suicide by fasting of Bobby Sands (1965-1981), a latter-day revolutionary who led an Irish Republican Army (IRA) hunger strike at Long Kesh Prison located in Northern Ireland. Bobby and nine of his comrades would perish while behind bars in pursuit of elevating their status to political prisoners so that they would no longer be treated like common criminals. Curiously, this empathetic portrait was the brainchild not of an Irishman but of Steve McQueen (no relation), a Black Brit born in London. . . .

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The Skanner Foundation's 38th Annual MLK Breakfast