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Timeless Classic that just got better - Annie (2014 film) Tags: annie 2014 Jamie Foxx Quvenzhané Wallis Rose byrne Bobby Cannavale Cameron Diaz

Annie is a 2014 American musical comedy-drama film directed by Will Gluck and produced by Village Roadshow Pictures and Will Smith's Overbrook Entertainment for Sony Pictures' Columbia Pictures. A contemporary adaptation of the 1977 Broadway musical of the same name, which was in turn based upon the 1924 comic strip Little Orphan Annie by Harold Gray, the film stars Quvenzhané Wallis in the title role and Jamie Foxx in the role of Will Stacks, an update of Daddy Warbucks. The film co-stars Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, and Cameron Diaz.

The third film adaptation following Columbia's 1982 theatrical film and Disney's 1999 made-for-television film, Annie began production in August 2013 and opened on December 19, 2014amidst a scandal over accusations of government hacking in North Korea. The film received generally negative reviews.

In Harlem, a class of young children are doing presentations on former presidents. 10-year-old Annie Bennett (Quvenzhane Wallis) does her report on Franklin D. Roosevelt as a performance piece, and she gets her classmates to join her in by stomping their feet and making noises.

Annie visits a restaurant called "Lou's" where she waits for her parents to show up and finally reclaim her. They never come. Annie gets back to her foster home and rejoins her foster sisters - Isabella, Tessie, Mia, and Pepper. They're looked over by the mean Colleen Hannigan (Cameron Diaz), who used to be a performer and is now miserable for having to take care of the girls. The girls lament not being adopted ("Maybe").

Hannigan wakes the girls up early on Saturday to make them clean their house as an inspector from Social Services is set to arrive ("It's The Hard Knock Life"). The inspector visits, and Hannigan flirts with him. After he leaves, the girls notice that he dropped a document containing their records. Annie takes it and seizes the opportunity to seek out her real parents. Annie stops by Lou's to do some work to get the money needed to get the documents.

Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx), a cell phone mogul and owner of "Stacks Mobile" is running for mayor. He is supported by his adviser Guy (Bobby Cannavale), his assistant Grace (Rose Byrne), and bodyguard Nash (Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje). Will is a germaphobe and not very popular with voters compared to the current favorite Harold Gray (Peter Van Wagner). Will goes to feed the homeless and tries to eat the mashed potatoes to show how much he cares, only for him to spit it out in the face of a homeless man.

Annie is unable to learn anything about her parents since she's not in the system. She walks home depressed ("Tomorrow"). She sees two boys annoying a dog. Annie runs, yelling at them to stop. Will saves Annie from being hit by a vehicle.

A video of Will's heroic act hits the web, and he moves up several points. Guy suggests to him that he find Annie and use her to make himself look good for the public. Will sends Grace to get Annie.

Will offers Annie his place for a temporary stay. She knows there's a catch, and he admits the plan. She jokes that he could be president if she moved in. The adults get somebody to approve the temporary guardianship for Will. Annie then takes a tour around the place and is impressed with everything ("I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here").

Will sets the plan in motion by allowing Annie out to do whatever she wants. They adopt the dog from the streets (to Will's dismay), and Annie names it Sandy. He later takes Annie and the foster girls to the premiere of a movie called MoonQuake Lake'. The girls are taken back to the foster home, and Hannigan orders them to take back all the nice things they got. She once again bemoans her current position in life ("Little Girls"). Gray gets endorsed by Michael J. Fox, leading Will to get a bit desperate. He decides to take Annie on a ride over the city in his chopper ("The City's Yours").

Annie joins Will, Grace and Guy at the Guggenheim Museum for a Stacks Mobile event called "A Night at The Museum". Will invites Annie up on stage for the people to see her in her red dress. She sings "Opportunity", and the orchestra joins in. After the performance, Guy tells Annie to read a speech that he wrote. Annie is quiet and leaves the stage upset. Will and Grace run after her, and Annie admits that she doesn't know how to read. Will says he will get her a tutor.

Guy devises a plan to get fake parents for Annie to get her off Will's hands. Guy teams up with Hannigan to set their scheme in motion ("Easy Street"), because, if Will looks heroic and reunites Annie with her parents, Guy gets a nice reward. Hannigan later auditions a bunch of actors to play the part, but is not pleased with any of them.

While the film incorporates notable songs from the original Broadway production, written by composer Charles Strouse and lyricist Martin Charnin, the songs themselves were rearranged by Sia and Greg Kurstin to reflect its new contemporary setting. Executive music supervisor Matt Sullivan explained that there was a desire to make the film's use of music "seamless" rather than "abrupt", and to maintain the integrity and familiarity of the musical's most iconic songs, including "Tomorrow" and "It's the Hard Knock Life". The songs were rearranged with a percussive, pop-inspired style: in particular, "It's the Hard Knock Life"—whilst maintaining the use of "natural" sounds for its rhythm, was updated in a hip hop style. Lyrics to some songs were also updated to reflect the differences in the film's storyline and settings. Sia and Kurstin wrote three new songs for the soundtrack, including "Opportunity", "Who Am I", and "Moonquake Lake". Sia additionally co-wrote "The City's Yours" with Stargate.

Sony first announced the remake in January 2011, with Jay-Z and Will Smith serving as producers and Smith's daughter Willow, attached to play the lead role. In February 2011, Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy became front-runner to direct the film, but by March, he had declined.

The production soon began seeking a screenwriter, with actress Emma Thompson being considered. No developments arrived until May 2012, when Will Smith appeared on Good Morning America and provided updates, including that the film would be set in modern-day New York City, that Thompson was providing a script, and that Jay-Z would also provide newly written songs for the film. In July 2012, We Bought a Zoo screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna wrote a second draft of the script. In August, it was announced production was to begin in Spring 2013.

In January 2013, Easy A director Will Gluck was hired to direct, but Willow Smith had dropped out.

By February 2013, Beasts of the Southern Wild star and Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis had replaced Smith in the lead role, and the film had scheduled a Christmas 2014 release.

In March 2013, the search for the rest of the cast continued, with Justin Timberlake rumored for the role of Daddy Warbucks. This was proven false when Jamie Foxx signed on for the role, now named Will Stacks. In June 2013, Cameron Diaz was cast as Miss Hannigan, after Sandra Bullock declined.

In July 2013, Rose Byrne joined the cast as Grace Farrell, Stacks's faithful assistant and in August, Boardwalk Empire star Bobby Cannavale joined the cast as a "bulldog political adviser" to Will Stacks. In September, the rest of the cast was announced with Amanda Troya, Nicolette Pierini, Eden Duncan-Smith, and Zoe Colletti as Annie's foster sisters.

As of September 19, 2013, principal photography had begun. Shooting was done at Grumman Studios. Other scenes were filmed at the new Four World Trade Center.

While "rooted in the same story" according to Gluck, the 2014 film adaptation is a contemporary take on the 1977 Broadway musical and contains some differences from the original: The setting was changed from the 1930's—the era of Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidency and the Great Depression, to present-day New York City. The opening school scene features class presentations by both the new Annie, and a student representing her classic appearance, discussing aspects of and parallels between the economic states of the two settings, such as the New Deal and the modern lower class.

The character of Oliver Warbucks was modified to create William Stacks, an entrepreneur in the technology sector (particularly, the mobile phone industry) turned politician, who is trying to run for Mayor of New York City. Annie also no longer lives in an orphanage, but is kept in foster care.

The film officially premiered at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York City on December 7, 2014.

On November 27, 2014, Annie was one of several films leaked by the "Guardians of Peace", a group that the FBI believes has ties to North Korea, following its breach of Columbia's parent company Sony Pictures Entertainment. Within three days of the initial leak, Annie had been downloaded by an estimated 206,000 unique IPs. By December 9, the count had risen to over 316,000. The chief analyst at BoxOffice.com felt that despite this, the leak was unlikely to affect Annie 's box office performance.

Annie opened on December 19, 2014 and earned $5,289,149 on its opening day. In the first weekend, the film made $15,861,939, ranking third in the domestic box office behind other new releases The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb. As of December 28, the film has grossed $45,835,000 in North America and $1,236,337 overseas for a worldwide total of $47,071,337.

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 29% approval rating, based on 115 reviews, with an average score of 4.4/10. The site's consensus reads, "The new-look Annie hints at a progressive take on a well-worn story, but smothers its likable cast under clichés, cloying cuteness, and a distasteful materialism." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 33 out of 100, based on 38 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".

Entertainment Weekly described its soundtrack as an autotuned "disaster", noting that "you won't ever hear a worse rendition of 'Easy Street' than the one performed by Diaz and Cannivale—I promise.", and concluding that "aside from an unintentional homage to Zoolander that is so tone-deaf it'll make you guffaw, Annie goes out of its way to make viewing it a hard-knock life for us."

PopMatters magazine rated Annie 3 out of 10, saying "In its aggravatingly choreographed frenzy, the party scene epitomizes Annie, its trying too hard both to be and not be the previous Annies, its trying too little to be innovative or vaguely inspired. It’s as crass as Miss Hannigan and as greedy as Stacks, at least until they learn their lessons. The movie doesn’t appear to learn a thing."

Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune gave Annie one-and-a-half stars, describing the adaptation as being "wobbly" and "unsatisfying", criticizing the commercialized nature of the plot changes, concluding that it was "finesse-free and perilously low on the simple performance pleasures we look for in any musical, of any period."

IGN.com praised Wallis and Foxx for being "on-point" throughout much of the film, but still felt that Annie was "miscast in a few places, overlong, and filled with unnecessary meta jokes (including one ill-timed Kim Jong-il jab) and social media 'upgrades.'", and that Diaz's performance was "terminally terrible", "making the film instantly un-fun whenever she's onscreen.

Source: Wikipedia

Back to the Future-Classic TV Tags: back future michael j fox christopher lloyd word life production new quality entertainment

Back to the Future is a 1985 American science fiction comedy film. It was directed by Robert Zemeckis, written by Zemeckis and Bob Gale, produced by Steven Spielberg, and stars Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover and Thomas F. Wilson. Fox plays Marty McFly, a teenager who is accidentally sent back in time to 1955. He meets his future parents in high school and accidentally attracts his mother's romantic interest. Marty must repair the damage to history by causing his parents-to-be to fall in love, and with the help of scientist Dr. Emmett "Doc" Brown (Lloyd); he must find a way to return to 1985.

Zemeckis and Gale wrote the script after Gale mused upon whether he would have befriended his father if they attended school together. Various film studios rejected the script until the financial success of Zemeckis' Romancing the Stone. Zemeckis approached Spielberg and the project was planned to be financed and released through Universal Pictures. The first choice for the role of Marty McFly was Michael J. Fox. He was busy filming his TV series Family Ties and the show's producers would not allow him to star in the film. Consequently, Eric Stoltz was cast in the role. During filming, Stoltz and the filmmakers decided that he was miscast, and Fox was approached for the part. Now with more flexibility in his schedule and the blessing of his show's producers, Fox managed to work out a timetable in which he could give enough time and commitment to both.

Back to the Future was released on July 3, 1985 and became the most successful film of the year, grossing more than $383 million worldwide and receiving critical acclaim. It won the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation and the Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film, as well as an Academy Award, and Golden Globe nominations among others. Ronald Reagan even quoted the film in his 1986 State of the Union Address. In 2007, the Library of Congress selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry, and in June 2008 the American Film Institute's special AFI's 10 Top 10 designated the film as the 10th-best film in the science fiction genre. The film marked the beginning of a franchise, with sequels Back to the Future Parts II and III released in 1989 and 1990, as well as an animated series, theme park ride and several video games.

Marty McFly lives with his unambitious family in Hill Valley, California. His father, George, is bullied by his supervisor, Biff Tannen, while his mother, Lorraine, is an out-of-shape drinker. Marty's underachieving older siblings, Dave and Linda, also live in the household. At dinner, Lorraine recalls how she and George first fell in love when her father accidentally hit George with his car.

Marty meets his friend, scientist Dr. Emmett "Doc" Brown, late at night in the parking lot of a deserted shopping mall, where Doc reveals a time machine made from a modified DeLorean DMC-12. The vehicle's time displacement is powered by plutonium, which supplies 1.21 gigawatts of power to a device Doc calls the "flux capacitor." Doc explains that the car travels to a pre-set date upon reaching 88 miles per hour; as an example, he enters the date November 5, 1955, the date he came up with the concept of the flux capacitor. Before Doc can make his first trip, Libyan terrorists, from whom he stole the plutonium, arrive in a van and shoot him. Marty attempts to escape using the DeLorean and inadvertently activates the time machine. He is transported back to 1955 and finds himself without the plutonium needed for the return trip.

While exploring the 1955 Hill Valley, Marty meets the teenage George, who is being bullied by Biff and is secretly writing science fiction stories, afraid of judgement, and bullying. As George is about to be hit by Lorraine's father's car, Marty pushes him out of the way and is knocked out by the impact. Consequently, Lorraine becomes infatuated with Marty instead of George. Marty goes to find Doc, telling him he is from the future and is seeking help for returning to 1985. Doc explains that the only available power source capable of generating 1.21 gigawatts of energy is a bolt of lightning. Marty shows Doc a flyer he received in 1985, which states that lightning will strike the courthouse clock tower the following Saturday at 10:04 pm. Doc makes plans to harness the lightning strike to power the DeLorean's flux capacitor. When they examine a fading photograph of Marty with his siblings, they determine that Marty has prevented his parents from meeting, jeopardizing his family's existence.

Marty makes several attempts to set George up with Lorraine. When Lorraine makes a date with Marty for the upcoming school dance, Marty plans to have George attend the dance as well and "rescue" Lorraine from Marty's inappropriate advances in a car. The plan goes awry when a drunken Biff unexpectedly shows up, pulls Marty from the car, and attempts to force himself on Lorraine. George arrives to rescue her from Marty but instead finds Biff. Standing up to him for the first time, George knocks Biff out. A smitten Lorraine follows George to the dance floor, where they kiss for the first time, ensuring Marty's existence.

Marty arrives at the clock tower, where Doc is making final preparations. Doc discovers a letter Marty had written to warn him of his impending 1985 murder and tears it up, fearing it will lead to altering the future. Marty successfully returns to 1985 and, although he arrives ten minutes earlier than his original departure to warn Doc, he does not get to the mall in time to prevent him from being shot. Doc, still alive thanks to a bulletproof vest, reveals that he had repaired the letter and read it.

Doc drops Marty off at his house and travels 30 years into the future. Marty awakens the next morning to find his family changed; Lorraine is physically fit, a self-confident George is a successful science fiction author, Dave is a white-collar worker, and Linda no longer has trouble finding boyfriends. George and Lorraine now have a closer relationship, while Biff has become an auto detailer who is on good terms with the McFly family. As Marty reunites with his girlfriend Jennifer Parker, Doc arrives insisting they accompany him to the future to sort out a problem with their future children. Marty and Jennifer enter the DeLorean with Doc and depart for the future.

Writing

Writer and producer Bob Gale conceived the idea after he visited his parents in St. Louis, Missouri after the release of Used Cars. Searching their basement, Gale found his father's high school yearbook and discovered he was president of his graduating class. Gale thought about the president of his own graduating class, who was someone he had nothing to do with. Gale wondered whether he would have been friends with his father if they went to high school together. When he returned to California, he told Robert Zemeckis his new concept. Zemeckis subsequently thought of a mother claiming she never kissed a boy at school, when in reality she was highly promiscuous. The two took the project to Columbia Pictures, and made a development deal for a script in September 1980.

Zemeckis and Gale set the story in 1955 because, they claimed, mathematically, a 17-year-old traveling to meet his parents at the same age meant traveling to that decade. The era also marked the rise of teenagers as an important cultural element, the birth of rock n' roll, and suburb expansion, which would flavor the story. Originally the time machine was a refrigerator and its user needed to use the power of an atomic explosion at the Nevada Test Site to return home. Zemeckis was "concerned that kids would accidentally lock themselves in refrigerators", and found that it would be more convenient if the time machine were mobile. The DeLorean was chosen because its design made the gag about the family of farmers mistaking it for a flying saucer believable. In addition the original climax was deemed too expensive by the executives of Universal and was simplified. Spielberg later used the omitted refrigerator and Nevada nuclear site elements in his film Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.[8] The writers found it difficult to create a believable friendship between Marty and Brown before they created the giant guitar amplifier, and only resolved his Oedipal relationship with his mother when they wrote the line "It's like I'm kissing my brother." Biff Tannen was named after Universal executive Ned Tanen, who behaved aggressively toward Zemeckis and Gale during a script meeting for I Wanna Hold Your Hand.

The first draft of Back to the Future was finished in February 1981. Columbia Pictures put the film in turnaround. "They thought it was a really nice, cute, warm film, but not sexual enough," Gale said. "They suggested that we take it to Disney, but we decided to see if any other of the major studios wanted a piece of us." Every major film studio rejected the script for the next four years, while Back to the Future went through two more drafts. During the early 1980s, popular teen comedies (such as Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Porky's) were risqué and adult-aimed, so the script was commonly rejected for being too light. Gale and Zemeckis finally decided to pitch Back to the Future to Disney. "They told us that a mother falling in love with her son was not appropriate for a family film under the Disney banner," Gale said.

The two were tempted to ally themselves with Steven Spielberg, who produced Used Cars and I Wanna Hold Your Hand, which both flopped. Spielberg was initially absent from the project because Zemeckis felt if he produced another flop under him, he would never be able to make another film. Gale said "we were afraid that we would get the reputation that we were two guys who could only get a job because we were pals with Steven Spielberg." One producer was interested, but changed his mind when he learned Spielberg was not involved. Zemeckis chose to direct Romancing the Stone instead, which was a box office success. Now a high-profile director, Zemeckis approached Spielberg with the concept, and the project was set up at Universal Pictures.

Executive Sidney Sheinberg made some suggestions to the script, changing Marty's mother's name from Meg to Lorraine (the name of his wife, actress Lorraine Gary), to change Brown's name from Professor Brown to Doc Brown and replace his pet chimpanzee with a dog. Sheinberg also wanted the title changed to Spaceman from Pluto, convinced no successful film ever had "future" in the title. He suggested Marty introduce himself as "Darth Vader from the planet Pluto" while dressed as an alien forcing his dad to ask out his mom (rather than "the planet Vulcan"), and that the farmer's son's comic book be titled Spaceman from Pluto rather than Space Zombies from Pluto. Appalled by the new title that Sheinberg wanted to impose, Zemeckis asked Spielberg for help. Spielberg subsequently dictated a memo back to Sheinberg, wherein Spielberg convinced him they thought his title was just a joke, thus embarrassing him into dropping the idea.

Casting

A photo of the first time travel test with Eric Stoltz as Marty McFly

Michael J. Fox was the first choice to play Marty McFly, but he was committed to the show Family Ties. Family Ties producer Gary David Goldberg felt that Fox was essential to the show's success. With co-star Meredith Baxter on maternity leave, he refused to allow Fox time off to work on a film. Back to the Future was originally scheduled for a May 1985 release and it was late 1984 when it was learned that Fox would be unable to star in the film. Zemeckis' next two choices were C. Thomas Howell and Eric Stoltz. Ralph Macchio was also approached for the role of Marty McFly but turned it down. Eric Stoltz impressed the producers enough with his earlier portrayal of Roy L. Dennis in Mask – which had yet to be released – that they selected him to play Marty McFly.  Because of the difficult casting process, the start date was pushed back twice.

Four weeks into filming, Zemeckis determined Stoltz had been miscast. Although he and Spielberg realized reshooting the film would add $3 million to the $14 million budget, they decided to recast. Spielberg explained Zemeckis felt Stoltz was too humorless and gave a "terrifically dramatic performance". Gale further explained they felt Stoltz was simply acting out the role, whereas Fox himself had a personality like Marty McFly. He felt Stoltz was uncomfortable riding a skateboard, whereas Fox was not. Stoltz confessed to director Peter Bogdanovich during a phone call, two weeks into the shoot, that he was unsure of Zemeckis and Gale's direction, and concurred that he was wrong for the role.

Fox's schedule was opened up in January 1985 when Meredith Baxter returned to Family Ties following her pregnancy. The Back to the Future crew met with Goldberg again, who made a deal that Fox's main priority would be Family Ties, and if a scheduling conflict arose, "we win". Fox loved the script and was impressed by Zemeckis and Gale's sensitivity in releasing Stoltz, because they nevertheless "spoke very highly of him".Per Welinder and Bob Schmelzer assisted on the skateboarding scenes. Fox found his portrayal of Marty McFly to be very personal. "All I did in high school was skateboard, chase girls and play in bands. I even dreamed of becoming a rock star."

Christopher Lloyd was cast as Doc Brown after the first choice, John Lithgow, became unavailable. Dudley Moore and Jeff Goldblum were also considered for the role. Having worked with Lloyd on The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai (1984), producer Neil Canton suggested him for the part. Lloyd originally turned down the role, but changed his mind after reading the script and at the persistence of his wife. He improvised some of his scenes, taking inspiration from Albert Einstein and conductor Leopold Stokowski. Brown pronounces gigawatts as "jigawatts", which was the way a physicist said the word when he met with Zemeckis and Gale as they researched the script, rather than with an initial hard "g", although both pronunciations are acceptable. Doc Brown's notable hunch came about because at 6'1" Lloyd was considerably taller than Fox at 5'5", and they needed to look closer in height.

Crispin Glover played George McFly. Zemeckis said Glover improvised much of George's nerdy mannerisms, such as his shaky hands. The director joked he was "endlessly throwing a net over Crispin because he was completely off about fifty percent of the time in his interpretation of the character". Due to a contract disagreement, Glover was replaced by Jeffrey Weissman in Part II and Part III.

Lea Thompson was cast as Lorraine McFly because she had acted opposite Stoltz in The Wild Life; the producers noticed her as they had watched the film while casting Stoltz. Her prosthetic makeup for scenes at the beginning of the film, set in 1985, took three-and-a-half hours to apply.

Thomas F. Wilson was cast as Biff Tannen because the producers felt that the original choice, J. J. Cohen, wasn't physically imposing enough to bully Stoltz. Cohen was recast as Skinhead, one of Biff's cohorts. Had Fox been cast from the beginning, Cohen probably would have won the part because he was sufficiently taller than Fox. Tim Robbins was also in the running for the role of Biff Tannen.

Melora Hardin was originally cast in the role of Marty's girlfriend Jennifer, but was let go after Eric Stoltz was dismissed, with the explanation that the actress was now too tall to be playing against Michael J. Fox. Hardin was dismissed before she had a chance to shoot a single scene and was replaced with Claudia Wells. Actress Jill Schoelen had also been considered to play Marty's girlfriend.

Production

Courthouse Square as it appeared in Back to the Future on Universal Studios backlot.

Following Stoltz's departure, Fox's schedule during weekdays consisted of filming Family Ties during the day, and Back to the Future from 6:30 pm to 2:30 am. He averaged five hours of sleep each night. During Fridays, he shot from 10 pm to 6 or 7 am, and then moved on to film exterior scenes throughout the weekend, as only then was he available during daytime hours. Fox found it exhausting, but "it was my dream to be in the film and television business, although I didn't know I'd be in them simultaneously. It was just this weird ride and I got on." Zemeckis concurred, dubbing Back to the Future "the film that would not wrap". He recalled that because they shot night after night, he was always "half asleep" and the "fattest, most out-of-shape and sick I ever was".

Lyon Estates set used in the film

The house used as the McFly residence in the Back to the Future trilogy

The Hill Valley town square scenes were shot at Courthouse Square, located in the Universal Studios back lot (34.141417°N 118.349771°W). Bob Gale explained it would have been impossible to shoot on location "because no city is going to let a film crew remodel their town to look like it's in the 1950s." The filmmakers "decided to shoot all the 50s stuff first, and make the town look real beautiful and wonderful. Then we would just totally trash it down and make it all bleak and ugly for the 1980s scenes." The interiors for Doc Brown's house were shot at the Robert R. Blacker House, while exteriors took place at Gamble House.The exterior shots of the Twin Pines Mall, and later the Lone Pine Mall (from 1985) were shot at the Puente Hills Mall in City of Industry, California. The exterior shots and some interior scenes at Hill Valley High School were filmed at Whittier High School in Whittier, California, while the band tryouts and the "Enchantment Under the Sea" dance were filmed in the gymnasium at Hollywood United Methodist Church. The scenes outside of the Baines' house in the 50s were shot at Bushnell Avenue, South Pasadena, California.

Filming wrapped after 100 days on April 20, 1985, and the film was delayed from May to August. But after a highly positive test screening ("I'd never seen a preview like that," said Frank Marshall, "the audience went up to the ceiling"), Sheinberg chose to move the release date to July 3. To make sure the film met this new date, two editors, Arthur Schmidt and Harry Keramidas, were assigned to the picture, while many sound editors worked 24-hour shifts on the film. Eight minutes were cut, including Marty watching his mom cheat during an exam, George getting stuck in a telephone booth before rescuing Lorraine, as well as much of Marty pretending to be Darth Vader. Zemeckis almost cut out the "Johnny B. Goode" sequence as he felt it did not advance the story, but the preview audience loved it, so it was kept. Industrial Light & Magic created the film's 32 effects shots, which did not satisfy Zemeckis and Gale until a week before the film's completion date.

Music

Alan Silvestri collaborated with Zemeckis on Romancing the Stone, but Spielberg disliked that film's score. Zemeckis advised Silvestri to make his compositions grand and epic, despite the film's small scale, to impress Spielberg. Silvestri began recording the score two weeks before the first preview. He also suggested Huey Lewis and the News create the theme song. Their first attempt was rejected by Universal, before they recorded "The Power of Love". The studio loved the final song, but were disappointed it did not feature the film's title, so they had to send memos to radio stations to always mention its association with Back to the Future. In the end, the track "Back in Time" was featured in the film, playing during the scene when Marty wakes up after his return to 1985 and also during the end credits.

Although it appears that Michael J. Fox is actually playing a guitar, music supervisor Bones Howe hired Hollywood guitar coach and musician Paul Hanson to teach Fox to simulate playing all the parts so it would look realistic, including playing behind his head. Fox lip-synched "Johnny B. Goode" to vocals by Mark Campbell (of Jack Mack and the Heart Attack fame), with the guitar solo played by Tim May.[33]

The original 1985 soundtrack album only included two tracks culled from Silvestri's compositions for the film, both Huey Lewis tracks, the songs played in the film by the fictional band Marvin Berry and The Starlighters (and Marty McFly), one of the vintage 1950s songs in the movie, and two pop songs that are only very briefly heard in the background of the film. On November 24, 2009, an authorized, limited-edition two-CD set of the entire score was released by Intrada Records.

Release

Back to the Future opened on July 3, 1985, on 1,200 screens in North America. Zemeckis was concerned the film would flop because Fox had to film a Family Ties special in London and was unable to promote the film. Gale was also dissatisfied with Universal Pictures' tagline "Are you telling me my mother's got the hots for me?" Yet Back to the Future spent 11 weeks at number one. Gale recalled "Our second weekend was higher than our first weekend, which is indicative of great word of mouth. National Lampoon's European Vacation came out in August and it kicked us out of number one for one week and then we were back to number one." The film went on to gross $210.61 million in North America and $173.2 million in foreign countries, accumulating a worldwide total of $383.87 million. Back to the Future had the fourth-highest opening weekend of 1985 and was the top grossing film of the year. This film received a 25th anniversary theatrical re-release in the U.K. and the U.S. in October 2010 to coincide with the Universal Studios Home Video 25th Anniversary DVD and Blu-ray Disc releases of the trilogy. For its re-issue, Back to the Future was restored and re-mastered.

When the film was released on VHS, Universal added a "To be continued..." graphic at the end to increase awareness of production on Part II. This caption is omitted on the film's DVD release of 2002 and on subsequent Blu-ray and DVD releases.

Critical response

Back to the Future received universal acclaim. According to review aggregator Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100, the film received an average score of 86/100, which indicates "universal acclaim", based on 12 reviews. As of October 2013, review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 96% of critics gave the film a positive review, based on 68 reviews, certifying it "Fresh", with an average rating of 8.6 out of 10 and the consensus: "Inventive, funny, and breathlessly constructed, Back to the Future is a rousing time-travel adventure with an unforgettable spirit."

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times felt Back to the Future had similar themes to the films of Frank Capra, especially It's a Wonderful Life. Ebert commented "[Producer] Steven Spielberg is emulating the great authentic past of Classical Hollywood cinema, who specialized in matching the right director (Robert Zemeckis) with the right project." Janet Maslin of The New York Times believed the film had a balanced storyline: "It's a cinematic inventing of humor and whimsical tall tales for a long time to come." Christopher Null, who first saw the film as a teenager, called it "a quintessential 1980s flick that combines science fiction, action, comedy, and romance all into a perfect little package that kids and adults will both devour." Dave Kehr of Chicago Reader felt Gale and Zemeckis wrote a script that perfectly balanced science fiction, seriousness and humor. Variety applauded the performances, arguing Fox and Lloyd imbued Marty and Doc Brown's friendship with a quality reminiscent of King Arthur and Merlin. BBC News applauded the intricacies of the "outstandingly executed" script, remarking that "nobody says anything that doesn't become important to the plot later."[46] Back to the Future appeared on Gene Siskel's top ten film list of 1985.

Awards

 

At the 58th Academy Awards, Back to the Future won for Best Sound Editing while "The Power of Love" was nominated for Best Song and Bill Varney, B. Tennyson Sebastian II, Robert Thirlwell and William B. Kaplan were nominated for Best Sound Mixing. Zemeckis and Gale were nominated for Best Original Screenplay, but lost to the critically acclaimed thriller Witness. The film won the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation and the Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film. Michael J. Fox and the visual effects designers won categories at the Saturn Awards. Zemeckis, composer Alan Silvestri, the costume design and supporting actors Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover and Thomas F. Wilson were also nominated. The film was nominated for numerous BAFTAs at the 39th British Academy Film Awards, including Best Film, original screenplay, visual effects, production design and editing. At the 43rd Golden Globe Awards, Back to the Future was nominated for Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy), original song (for "The Power of Love"), Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy (Fox) and Best Screenplay for Zemeckis and Gale.

Legacy

The retrofitted DeLorean DMC-12

President Ronald Reagan, a fan of the film, referred to the movie in his 1986 State of the Union address when he said, "Never has there been a more exciting time to be alive, a time of rousing wonder and heroic achievement. As they said in the film Back to the Future, 'Where we're going, we don't need roads'." When he first saw the joke about his being President, he ordered the projectionist of the theater to stop the reel, roll it back, and run it again.

The movie ranked number 28 on Entertainment Weekly's list of the 50 Best High School Movies. In 2008, Back to the Future was voted the 23rd greatest film ever made by readers of Empire. It was also placed on a similar list by The New York Times, a list of 1000 movies. In January 2010, Total Film included the film on its list of The 100 Greatest Movies of All Time. On December 27, 2007, Back to the Future was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". In 2006, the original screenplay for Back to the Future was selected by the Writers Guild of America as the 56th best screenplay of all time.

In June 2008, the American Film Institute revealed the AFI's 10 Top 10 – the best ten films in ten classic American film genres – after polling more than 1,500 people from the creative community. Back to the Future was acknowledged as the 10th best film in the science fiction genre.

Skateboarding

The scenes of the Marty McFly character skateboarding in the film occurred during the infancy of the skateboarding sub-culture and numerous skateboarders, as well as companies in the industry, pay tribute to the film for its influence in this regard. Examples can be seen in promotional material, in interviews in which professional skateboarders cite the film as an initiation into the action sport, and in the public's recognition of the film's influence.

Source: Wikipedia

In Living Color is one of the most hilarious comedy sitcoms Tags: in living color damon waynes kim waynes jamie fox shawn marlon jim carey tommy

In Living Color is an American sketch comedy television series that originally ran on the Fox Network from April 15, 1990, to May 19, 1994. Brothers Keenen and Damon Wayans created, wrote and starred in the program. The show was produced by Ivory Way Productions in association with 20th Century Fox Television and was taped before a live studio audience at stage 7 at the Fox Television Center on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California. The title of the series was inspired by the NBC announcement of broadcasts being presented "in living color" during the 1950s and 1960s, prior to mainstream color television. It also refers to the fact that most of the show's cast were black, unlike other sketch comedy shows such as Saturday Night Live whose casts are usually mostly white.

Other members of the Wayans family—Kim, Shawn and Marlon—had regular roles, while brother Dwayne frequently appeared as an extra. The show also starred the previously unknown actor/comedians Jim Carrey, Jamie Foxx, and David Alan Grier. Additionally, actress Rosie Perez, Dancing with the Stars judge and choreographer Carrie Ann Inaba and dancer Jennifer Lopez (now best known as a singer and actress) were members of the show's dance troupe The Fly Girls. The series won the Emmy for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series in 1990.

The sketch comedy show helped launch the careers of male comedians/actors Jim Carrey (then credited as "James Carrey"), one of only two Caucasian members of the original cast, Jamie Foxx, who joined the cast in the third season and David Alan Grier (an established theatre actor, who had worked in Keenen Ivory Wayans' 1988 motion picture I'm Gonna Git You Sucka).

The series strove to produce comedy with a strong emphasis on modern black subject matter. For instance, Carrey was frequently used to ridicule white musicians such as Snow and Vanilla Ice, who performed in genres more commonly associated with black people. A sketch parodying Soul Train mocked the show as Old Train, suggesting the show (along with its host, Don Cornelius) was out of touch and only appealed to the elderly and the dead.

Opening credits

For the first half-dozen episodes, an exotic-looking logo was used for the opening credits. However, after the band Living Colour claimed in a lawsuit that the show stole the band's logo and name,[1] the logo was changed to one with rather plain-type letters of three colors.

In the first two seasons, the opening sequence was set in a room covered with painters' tarps. Each cast member, wearing black-and-white, played with brightly colored paint in a different way (throwing globs of it at the camera by hand, using a roller to cover the camera lens, etc.). The sequence ended with a segue to a set built to resemble the rooftop of an apartment building, where the show's dancers performed a routine and opened a door to let Keenen Ivory Wayans greet the audience.

For the third and fourth seasons, an animated sequence and different logo were used. Here, the real-life cast members were superimposed over pictures hanging in an art gallery and interacted with them in different ways (spinning the canvas to put it right-side up, swinging the frame out as if it were a door, etc.). The final image was of the logo on a black canvas, which shattered to begin the show. The fifth season retained the logo, but depicted the cast members on various signs and billboards around a city (either New York or Chicago), ending with the logo displayed on a theater marquee.

The hip-hop group Heavy D & the Boyz performed two different versions of the opening theme. One version was used for the first two seasons and remixed for the fifth, while the other was featured in the third and fourth seasons.

Live musical performances

In Living Color was known for its live music performances, which started in Season 2 with Queen Latifah as their first performer (appearing again in the third season). Some of the other music acts who performed on the show were Heavy D, Public Enemy, Kris Kross, En Vogue, Eazy-E, Monie Love, Onyx, 3rd Bass, MC Lyte, Arrested Development, Jodeci, Mary J. Blige, Tupac Shakur, Us3, and Leaders of the New School.

The Fly Girls

The show employed an in-house dance troupe, known as the "The Fly Girls". The original lineup consisted of Carrie Ann Inaba (who would later become a choreographer and judge on Dancing with the Stars), Cari French, Deidre Lang, Lisa Marie Todd, and Michelle Whitney-Morrison. Rosie Perez was the choreographer for the first four seasons. Perhaps the most notable former Fly Girl was future actress/singer Jennifer Lopez, who joined the show in its third season.

The Fly Girls would sometimes be used as extras in sketches, or as part of an opening gag. In one sketch, they were shown performing open-heart surgery (in the sketch, the girls are dancing in order to pay their way through medical school). The troupe's name is the same as the 1969 book title The Fly Girls by Bernard Glemser, which was popularized by the movie Come Fly with Me (based on the book).

Controversies

Departure of the Wayans family

Keenen Ivory Wayans stopped appearing in skits in 1992 after the end of the third season, over disputes with Fox about the network censoring the show's content and rerunning early episodes without his consultation. Wayans feared that Fox would ultimately decrease the syndication value of In Living Color.[2] Damon left at the end of the third season to pursue a movie career, though he made a few "special guest appearances" in the fourth season. During the fourth season (1992–1993), Keenen appeared only in the season opener, though he remained the executive producer and thus stayed in the opening credits until the tenth episode. Marlon left shortly after Keenen resigned as producer; and Shawn and Kim both left at the end of the fourth season.

Censorship

Fox censorship of scripts increased after In Living Color produced a live Super Bowl halftime special (branded by the network as The Doritos Zaptime/'In Living Color' Super Halftime Party). During the "Men on Football" sketch, Damon Wayans and David Alan Grier ad libbed a suggestion that Richard Gere and track and field star Carl Lewis were homosexuals, much to Lewis' dismay. The programming stunt lured 20 to 25 million viewers from CBS' telecast of the halftime festivities during Super Bowl XXVI on January 26, 1992. Also, the originally-aired version of another sketch unrelated to the Super Bowl special ("Men on Fitness" – February 7, 1993) included a simulation of Damon Wayans' character Blaine enjoying receiving facial ejaculation while being sprayed with a water bottle. These two segments were initially cut from reruns, but have been airing on the Centric cable channel. The DVD releases have the Gere and Lewis references cut but retain the facial ejaculation simulation.

Reruns of the program on BET have questionable words and phrases (such as "ho" and "@!$%#") muted. One line ("drop the soap") during the second "Men on Film" sketch was muted out by Fox censors before ever airing on TV for its implications of prison rape. The DVD releases have the language intact (except for the "drop the soap" line), but have numerous sketches edited to remove song lyrics and music video parodies due to copyright and licensing issues (for example, the "Fire Marshall Bill Christmas" sketch originally had Jim Carrey singing "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire" before the house exploded; on the DVD version, the short scene was cut, making it look like the house immediately exploded after the last person ran out).

On the May 5, 1990 broadcast, Keenen Ivory Wayans did a parody of a Colt 45 commercial featuring Billy Dee Williams (in which the purpose of the beverage is to get one's date drunk enough to have sex) that ended with a woman (played by Kim Coles) passed out on her back on a dining table, and "Billy Dee" moving in on her unconscious body to have sex with her. The "Bolt 45" sketch was seen only once during the original broadcast and omitted from repeats due to complaints from censors and viewers that it was mocking date rape.[citation needed] The Season 1 DVD set of ILC did not include the cut sketch from the pilot. This sketch was cut by Fox censors, and the necessary modifications were made to the master tape. Keenen Ivory Wayans accidentally mixed up the master tape of the pilot, and the edited master was broadcast instead. The sketch has never been broadcast since, not even in syndication, on FX, or on BET, and is considered lost forever. It has been replaced by "The Exxxon Family" (a fake promo for a sitcom about a clumsy Exxon boat captain and his wife, played by Jim Carrey and Kelly Coffield) in syndication and DVD box sets.

The final season

By the fifth and final season, none of the Wayans family had any involvement with the show. The show's reliance on character-driven sketches gave way to an increasing reliance on celebrity cameos and guest appearances, including Nick Bakay (who played the host of The Dirty Dozens game show sketches), Barry Bonds, James Brown, Rodney Dangerfield, Bret Hart, Sherman Hemsley, Biz Markie, Peter Marshall, Ed O'Neill, Chris Rock, Macho Man Randy Savage, Tupac Shakur, and players from the NBA. Kelly Coffield, who, prior to Alexandra Wentworth's arrival in the fourth season was the lone white female cast member, left at the end of the fourth season.

Jim Carrey, David Alan Grier, Tommy Davidson, T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh, and "Fly Girl" Deidre Lang are the only cast members who remained on the show from beginning to end, although Jim Carrey's appearances became very limited due to his rising movie career while Tommy Davidson missed a few episodes for undisclosed reasons.

Chris Rock appeared (as a "special guest star") in a number of skits in the fifth season, and reprised his "Cheap Pete" character from I'm Gonna Git You Sucka. In the early years of In Living Color, Rock was parodied as being the only African American cast member on Saturday Night Live (despite SNL also having Tim Meadows at the time). In an SNL episode honoring Mother's Day, Rock's mother states that she is disappointed in him for not trying out for In Living Color, to which Rock states he is happy with his job on SNL.

Other recurring guest stars in the fifth season include Nick Bakay (for The Dirty Dozens sketches) and Peter Marshall (for several editions of East Hollywood Squares). Rapper Biz Markie also appeared in various roles as a guest star in the fifth season, such as being in drag as Wanda the Ugly Woman's sister or as "Dirty Dozens" contestant Damian "Foosball" Franklin.

Where it was originally produced by 20th Century Fox Television on Fox, the series was in reruns on local affiliates and on the News Corporation-owned FX cable channel, where it was distributed by Twentieth Television.

Reruns of the show aired on BET from 2005–2008, and returned in 2010. Reruns have also aired on MTV2, VH1, nuvoTV, and on BET-owned Centric.

The Best of In Living Color aired on MyNetworkTV from April 16 to June 18, 2008. Hosted by David Alan Grier, it was a retrospective show featuring classic sketches, along with cast interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. The show aired on Wednesdays at 8:30 pm Eastern/7:30 pm Central, after MyNetworkTV's sitcom Under One Roof.

At the 2006 BET Awards when the show returned from one of its commercial breaks, the show's host Damon Wayans played a character very reminiscent to "Men on ..." critic Blaine Edwards.

In Living Color alums Damon Wayans, Jim Carrey, and David Alan Grier reprised some of their In Living Color characters on Saturday Night Live:

Damon Wayans, a featured player during that show's eleventh season, hosted an episode from SNL's 20th season in 1995, where he brought on two of his famous In Living Color characters: homeless wino Anton Jackson and gay film critic Blaine Edwards.

Jim Carrey auditioned to be one of the repertory members on SNL 's ill-fated 1980-1981 season, but was dropped in favor of Charles Rocket (who later appeared in the 1989 film Earth Girls Are Easy and the 1994 film Dumb and Dumber with Carrey). Carrey hosted the season finale of SNL's 21st season in 1996, where he impersonated Fire Marshal Bill during the monologue.

David Alan Grier first hosted SNL during season 21 and reprised his In Living Color role as "Men on..." critic Antoine Merriweather, which the end of the sketch included a surprise on-set appearance from Damon Wayans as Blaine. Grier hosted SNL on December 9, 1995 (season 21) and March 18, 1997 (season 22).

Jamie Foxx reprised his role as Wanda in a short segment at the 2009 BET Awards.

In the 1997 film Liar Liar, Jim Carrey reprised his "Fire Marshal Bill" character (albeit with no lines) in the background of one of the closing scenes.

The February 10, 2001 episode of Saturday Night Live hosted by Jennifer Lopez included a sketch where Lopez "reunited" with the Fly Girls (played by Rachel Dratch, Jerry Minor and Tracy Morgan).

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has released all five seasons of In Living Color on DVD in Region 1. Unfortunately the sets have been edited due to music licensing issues, resulting in some episodes' having entire sketches removed. Additionally (as discussed above, under "Censorship"), the "Bolt 45" sketch (which aired one-time only on May 5, 1990) has been omitted, as has the simulated facial ejaculation scene in the "Men on Fitness" sketch (which aired February 7, 1993), and the "soap" portion of the "drop the soap" line in the second "Men on Film" sketch has been muted.

In 2011, there were plans to make a reboot of the original series that featured a new cast, characters, and sketches.The pilot episodes were hosted and executive produced by original series creator and cast member Keenen Ivory Wayans. In early 2012, Tabitha and Napoleon D'umo were hired as the choreographers. They cast the new line-up of The Fly Girls and shot pilot episodes for the show which were set to air on FOX, like the original. However, on January 8, 2013, Keenen Ivory Wayans confirmed the reboot had been canceled because he and FOX did not feel that the show was sustainable after one season.

Reported cast members included Cooper Barnes, Jennifer Bartels, Sydney Castillo, Josh Duvendeck, Jermaine Fowler, Ayana Hampton, Kali Hawk, and Lil Rel Howery.In addition, featured cast members were Henry Cho, Melanie Minichino, and Chris Leidecker. Members of the new Fly Girls included Christina Chandler, Tera Perez, Lisa Rosenthal, Katee Shean, and Whitney Wiley.

Wikipedia

This Week's Celebrity Pick is the Beautiful Vivica Fox
Category: Celebrity Pick
Tags: vivica fox celebrity pick week word life production feature blog

Vivica Fox was born on July 30, 1964, in South Bend, Indiana. In 1989, she earned a role on the soap opera Days of Our Lives and a bit part in Born on the Fourth of July. In 1996, she landed her breakout film role in Independence Day. She sought to create a more positive image with the 2001 film Two Can Play That Game. Since then, Fox has continued to land prominent film and TV roles.

Early Life

Actress Vivica Anjanetta Fox was born on July 30, 1964, in South Bend, Indiana. Her mother, Everlyena Fox, worked as a pharmaceutical technician, and her father, William Fox, was a school administrator. Vivica Fox's parents divorced when she was 3 years old, and she was raised primarily by her mother. Fox describes herself as a hyperactive child whose favorite pastime was roller-skating.

She attended Arlington High School in Indianapolis, where she threw herself into every after-school activity she could cram into her schedule: choir, cheerleading, volleyball, track and, especially, basketball. A 5-feet 7-inch forward, Fox played on the Indianapolis city championship basketball team in 1982. "I'm so proud of that because we worked really hard," she recalls. "I wish we'd known then that we could go to the WNBA. But hey, then I probably wouldn't have become an actress."

In addition to her passion for sports, Fox also had a childhood obsession with Hollywood celebrities. "As a child," she says, "I was fascinated with modeling, clothes and stars. I just thought, 'Ooh, I want to do what they're doing. That looks like fun.' I loved Michael Jackson and Diana Ross. They were inspirations for me. They lived in California, and they got to meet great people." Fox decided she wanted to be a performer one day when she went to see a Diana Ross concert. "I remember that concert, and that did it," she says. By her senior year of high school at Arlington, Fox's dreams of Hollywood stardom had taken over her life. "When I was a senior," she remembers, "I'd get in trouble all the time because I would finish my work and immediately open movie magazines."

Aspiring Actress

A month after graduating from high school in 1982, Fox decided to move to Los Angeles to try to make it as an actress. Fox's mother reluctantly agreed to let her daughter go and pursue her dreams. "She was only 17 years old," Everlyena Fox recalls. "I had to pray and ask the Lord what to do. I finally realized she could be nothing here, and I released her into His care." However, Vivica's mother also imposed one condition: Fox had to go to school as a backup plan in case acting didn't work out. Fox complied with her mother's wish, attending Golden Coast College and graduating with an associate's degree in social sciences. Fox then moved to New York to try her hand at modeling, but she returned to Los Angeles after only six months. "My modeling career just didn't jump off," she says. "Besides, I see myself as a West Coast girl."

Fox got her big break in acting in true Hollywood fashion when she was literally snatched off the street by producer Trevor Walton.

"I ran into this guy on Sunset Boulevard," she says. "He was like, 'Are you an actress?' I said 'No.' He told me, 'You've got a really good look and you should try acting.' I thought he was trying to hit on me at first because you know how these devils out here are. But Trevor Walton was legit, and I fell into it."

Fox's first role was a television commercial for Clearasil. Months of rejection then followed before she made her TV show debut in 1988 with a recurring role on the ABC drama China Beach. Fox followed that with a role on the popular daytime soap opera Days of Our Lives and a bit part as a prostitute in Oliver Stone's 1989 Vietnam War film, Born on the Fourth of July. Fox slowly graduated to roles on more popular prime-time shows. She made appearances on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1991), Beverley Hills, 90210 (1991) and Family Matters (1992), and then landed a starring role as Patti LaBelle's daughter on the NBC sitcom Out All Night (1992-1993).

Mainstream Success

Nevertheless, Fox was discouraged by her inability to land more prominent film and television roles. "I was getting down to the last call and then sometimes they would pick a person with a bigger name," she remembers. "That's the politics of the business." Fox finally landed the breakout role she coveted opposite Will Smith in the 1996 blockbuster, Independence Day. Fox played Jasmine, a loving mother who works as a stripper at night and becomes the film's heroine when she saves the first lady from an alien invasion. Propelled by the success of Independence Day, Fox landed a series of starring roles in feature films such as Booty Call (1997), Batman & Robin (1997), Why Do Fools Fall in Love (1998) and Idle Hands (1999).

Already a potent Hollywood sex symbol, Fox sought to create a more positive image with the 2001 film Two Can Play That Game. Fox portrayed Shanté Smith, an advertising executive and black female professional role model. Fox said, "What we're trying to prove—and we're on a mission with this film—is that you can open up a film with an African-American female and that the images can be positive." Since then, Fox has continued to land prominent film and television roles. Her most notable recent film credits include Juwanna Mann (2002), Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) and Ella Enchanted (2004). Fox's notable television credits include City of Angels (2000), Alias (2004), 1-800 Missing (2004-2006) and Curb Your Enthusiasm (2007-2009). Fox also competed on the popular reality dance competition Dancing with the Stars in 2006, and she has hosted the reality TV shows Glam God with Vivica A. Fox (2008) and The Cougar (2009).

Personal Life

Vivica Fox married singer Christopher Harvest (who performs under the name Sixx-Nine) in 1998, and they remained married for four years before divorcing in 2002. Fox also briefly dated the rapper 50 Cent in 2003.

Now well into her 40s, Fox has developed into a well-respected actress who continues to land prominent film and television roles. And she is happier and more confident than ever. "I think the older I get, the better I look," Fox says. "I'm spiritually very happy, and the wisdom I've gained with age has made me a better and stronger person."

Source: Biography.com

© 2013 A+E Networks. All rights reserved.

This week’s celebrity pick is the dynamite actor, Mr. Jamie Foxx
Category: Celebrity Pick
Tags: celebrity pick dynamite actor jamie foxx word life production feature blog

Born Eric Morlon Bishop on December 13, 1967, in Terrell, Texas, Jamie Foxx has emerged as one of the most diversely talented entertainers of his generation. Foxx started out landing a spot on the TV's In Living Color in the early 1990s. He then proved himself as a dramatic actor, appearing in Ray in 2004, a role that earned him an Academy Award. Two years later,

Foxx impressed music fans with his hit collabration with Kanye West for the song "Gold Digger." More recently, he starred in Quentin Tarantino's western Django Unchained (2012).

Early Life

A talented singer, comedian, and actor, Academy Award-winner Jamie Foxx has proved to be a triple threat in the entertainment industry. After his parents' marriage dissolved, Foxx was adopted by his maternal grandparents when he was less than a year old. He enjoyed sports and music as a child, and attended Terrell High School in his hometown.

After receiving a scholarship, Foxx enrolled at the U.S. International University in San Diego where he majored in music. It was during college that he was encouraged by friends to take the open mike one night at a comedy club, and his career in entertainment began.

In Living Color

Leaving college, Foxx moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in comedy. In 1991, he was hired as a regular cast member on the Fox variety show In Living Color. Foxx also explored his interest in music during the 1990s, releasing the album Peep This, in 1994. With its traditional, smooth R&B sound, the album reached as high as No. 12 on the R&B and hip-hop charts with the single, "Infatuation," attracting some attention from listeners and radio stations.

That same year, Foxx left In Living Color, but he soon returned to television. Because of his huge popularity on the show, the network gave him his own series, The Jamie Foxx Show, in 1996. Foxx played a struggling Los Angeles actor who lived in a hotel owned by his aunt and uncle. During the show's five years on the air, his character had an on-again, off-again relationship with the front desk clerk played by Garcelle Beauvais.

Big Screen Debut

By the time the show ended in 2001, Foxx was beginning to be viewed a talented dramatic actor. This was due in large part to his performance in the sports drama Any Given Sunday (1999). Playing football star Willie Beamen, Foxx showed incredible range in his performance and held his own against one of film's greats Al Pacino. His next notable film role was in Michael Mann's Ali, followed by two powerful performances in 2004: opposite Tom Cruise in the thriller Collateral and starring in the eagerly anticipated biopic Ray. Foxx earned both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe award for his authentic turn as Ray Charles.

Following Ray, Foxx took an interesting array of roles with mixed results. The military action film Stealth (2005) with Josh Lucas and Jessica Biel was a critical and financial dud.

That same year, he garnered some critical praise for his turn as a marine serving in the Middle East in Jarhead (2005) with Jake Gyllenhaal, but the movie failed to attract much of an audience.

Commercial Success as a Musician

In 2006, Foxx released a new album, Unpredictable (2006). The recording reached the top of pop and the R&B and hip-hop charts, driven by the title track single, "DJ Play a Love Song," and "Can I Take You Home." At the 2006 Black Entertainment Television Awards, Foxx won Best Duet/Collaboration with Kanye West for his work on the single "Gold Digger." Foxx released his third album, Intuition, in 2008, which featured Kanye West and Lil Wayne, among others. The album's second single, "Blame It," hit No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 1 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

More Recent Roles

Foxx also teamed up with Colin Farrell for Michael Mann's big screen adaptation of the popular 1980s cop show Miami Vice (2006). Returning to his dramatic and musical roots, Foxx co-starred in Dreamgirls (2006) with Jennifer Hudson and Beyoncé. He played a scheming car saleman who becomes a manager for R&B star James Thunder Early (played by Eddie Murphy). His character then transformed Early's backup singers, the Dreamettes, into an all-female supergroup. The film is loosely based on the 60s pop group the Supremes.

Returning more action-oriented fare, Foxx starred in The Kingdom (2007), a thriller about a terrorist attack on Americans in Saudi Arabia. In 2009 Foxx portrayed Nathaniel Ayers in the drama The Soloist with Robert Downey Jr. and as Nick Rice in the film Law Abiding Citizen.

Returing to lighter fare, Foxx appeared in the 2010 romantic comedy Valentine's Day with Jessica Biel and Jennifer Garner. He also had a supporting role in the workplace comedy Horrible Bosses starring Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Spacey and lent his voice to the animated children's film Rio the following year.

In late 2012, Foxx burst back onto the big screen with a leading role in Quentin Tarantino's action western Django Unchained. He starred as Django, a freed slave who teamed up with a bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) and learned his trade. Django then searched for his wife, played by Kerry Washington, and had to face off against the plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio) who had her as his slave. The cast also included Samuel L. Jackson and Jonah Hill.

Moving to modern times, Foxx will appear in the 2013 action film White House Down co-starring with Channing Tatum. The pair play Secret Service agents fighting to keep the president safe after the White House is taken over.

Foxx has one daughter, Corinne, born in 1995.

© 2013 A+E Networks. All rights reserved. http://www.biography.com/people/jamie-foxx-12782283?page=2

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