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Biopics & Movies Based on Real Events: Articles


'Barry' Obama & Me: Finding Common Ground with the Future U.S. President

Barry Obama (Devon Terrell) reads Ralph Ellison's 1952 sociopolitical novel 'Invisible Man' – not to be confused with H.G. Wells' 1897 sci-fi novel 'The Invisible Man.' 'Barry' & me: Finding common ground between this reviewer and U.S. President Barack Obama While thinking about Barry, Vikram Gandhi's 1981-set film about a young Barack Obama as he arrived in New York City to attend Columbia University, I found myself thinking about me in 1981, as I arrived in New York City to attend Columbia University. To be frank, I've been thinking about President Obama in juxtaposition to myself for years, ever since his keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Like many Black folks that evening, I looked up the tall, […]


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'Barry' Obama & Me: Finding Common Ground with the Future U.S. President



'Sully' Movie: Tom Hanks Is Latest Clint Eastwood All-American Hero

'Sully' movie with Tom Hanks as pilot Chesley Sullenberger: Clint Eastwood homage to 'the durable, honorable American male.' 'Sully' movie review: 'Taut, straightforward' drama features Clint Eastwood's latest all-American hero When considering Sully, Clint Eastwood's taut, straightforward account of heroism on trial, it helps to remember that the title character's name works as both noun and verb. And one can see how Eastwood was drawn to both meanings. The noun, of course, is the nickname of airline pilot Chesley Sullenberger, who saved the lives of 155 passengers and crew on January 15, 2009, by pulling off a daring water landing after a flock of birds took out both engines of his US Airways flight minutes after it took off from […]


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'Sully' Movie: Tom Hanks Is Latest Clint Eastwood All-American Hero



'The Aviator' Movie Review: Miscast Leonardo DiCaprio & Cate Blanchett in Heavy-Handed Biopic

'The Aviator' movie with Leonardo DiCaprio as bizarre billionaire Howard Hughes: Bloated biopic. 'The Aviator' movie review: What's not good for the Spruce Goose… Imagine Citizen Kane directed by the Steven Spielberg of The Color Purple, Schindler's List, Amistad, and Saving Private Ryan. The final result would look something like a Barry Levinson film – for instance, the superficial and phony Bugsy. Or, an even more appropriate example, the superficial, phony, and bloated The Aviator. Except, of course, that Levinson is not the man responsible for the 2004 mega-production starring Leonardo DiCaprio as the eccentric, billionaire ladies' man Howard Hughes. Strangely enough, that man is Martin Scorsese, the director of hard-hitting films such as Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, and Gangs of […]


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'The Aviator' Movie Review: Miscast Leonardo DiCaprio & Cate Blanchett in Heavy-Handed Biopic



'The Fighter' Movie Review: Marketable Real-Life Inspired Drama

'The Fighter' movie stars Mark Wahlberg as boxer Micky Ward: Only key cast member not shortlisted for the Academy Awards. 'The Fighter' movie review: 'Smart' – i.e., 'marketable' – filmmaking David O. Russell's The Fighter is a smart film; smart in the way it's constructed and executed as a means to appeal to a wide audience. People tend to like sports movies. They also tend to like movies where the good guys win and where the hardships the characters go through can all get tidily worked out by the time the credits start rolling. The Fighter is smart from a business standpoint. That also means Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, and Eric Johnson's screenplay is predictable and much too “safe” as […]


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'The Fighter' Movie Review: Marketable Real-Life Inspired Drama



'Finding Neverland' Movie Review: Johnny Depp as James M. Barrie Disney Style

'Finding Neverland' movie: Johnny Depp as James M. Barrie, with the Llewelyn Davies family: Kate Winslet, Freddie Highmore, Joe Prospero, Nick Roud and Luke Spill. 'Finding Neverland' movie review: Losing reality Back in 2001, German-born director Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace, World War Z) brought a much welcome non-Hollywood touch to the independently made psychological drama Monster's Ball. Besides the daring (if way overlong) sex scenes, that film imparted a refreshingly realistic atmosphere that was much enhanced by Forster's minimalist approach. As the title implies, his follow-up effort, Finding Neverland (2004), has absolutely nothing to do with reality, whether Peter Pan author James M. Barrie's or anyone else's. Even so, Forster's early, no-nonsense directorial touch is sorely missing from what […]


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'Finding Neverland' Movie Review: Johnny Depp as James M. Barrie Disney Style



'Steve Jobs' Movie: Michael Fassbender Career-Making Performance in 'Riveting' Biopic

'Steve Jobs' movie poster. 'Steve Jobs' movie: 'Riveting, high speed' biopic starring Michael Fassbender at his best On the outside, computers are clean, symmetrical slabs of molded polycarbonate; pleasant, or at least inoffensive, to look at. On the inside, however, the part most consumers don't see, is a bento box of circuit boards, memory chips, wires, graphics cards, and cooling systems, busily processing and moving the innumerable pieces of information that make the unit work flawlessly or, occasionally, crash. What director Danny Boyle's ferocious three-act rocket ride, Steve Jobs, teaches us about its eponymous tech icon, is that he was much like a computer: on the outside, clad in his signature black turtleneck and jeans, he was trim, bespectacled and […]


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'Steve Jobs' Movie: Michael Fassbender Career-Making Performance in 'Riveting' Biopic



Cate Blanchett in Lucille Ball Biopic: Oscar Winner Aaron Sorkin to Write Screenplay

Lucille Ball: The glamour look. Cate Blanchett to play Lucille Ball: Actress won Oscar for incarnating Ball's fellow RKO contract player Katharine Hepburn Two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett is reportedly slated to star in a biopic of former RKO and MGM actress and big-time television comedienne Lucille Ball. Aaron Sorkin, Oscar winner for David Fincher's The Social Network, will be responsible for the screenplay. According to Entertainment Weekly, the Lucille Ball film biopic will focus on Ball's two-decade marriage to her I Love Lucy co-star Desi Arnaz. In 1960, the couple had an acrimonious divorce that supposedly “shocked” clueless fans unable to tell the difference between TV reality and real-life reality. Their children, Desi Arnaz Jr. and Lucie Arnaz, had […]


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Cate Blanchett in Lucille Ball Biopic: Oscar Winner Aaron Sorkin to Write Screenplay



Amy Winehouse Documentary: 'Heartbreaking' and 'Impressive' Work

Amy Winehouse. Amy Winehouse documentary: 'Heartbreaking' and 'impressive' In an era of disposable pop music, the songs of the late Amy Winehouse feel timeless. Her sound spans the decades: bluesy and jazzy, a little bit punk and a little bit gansta. She was an old soul belting out new school lyrics that were confessional, profane, clever, and withering. She has been compared to Billie Holiday (in more ways than one, alas) and Winehouse herself has noted Sarah Vaughn as an influence. Her phrasing could turn any note into an adventure, bending and stretching it until it made multiple emotional statements. Her voice was both propulsive and brittle with a vibrato that could pound like a jackhammer or purr like Eartha […]


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Amy Winehouse Documentary: 'Heartbreaking' and 'Impressive' Work





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'Paul Robeson' & 'Best Boy': Oscar Documentaries
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Film Music Awards 2009
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Ivor Novello: British Stage Legend and Hitchcock Star in 'Autumn Crocus'
'To Each His Own' Movie Review: Oscar Winner Olivia de Havilland in Classic Tearjerker