Born in Alaska where his dad was stationed in the Army after serving in the first Gulf War, actor Khleo Thomas has in his short career developed into a promising young talent. With only a few films un...
It's 1978 and in the suburbs of Chicago every day begins and ends at the roller-skating rinks. For X (Bow Wow) and his friends the news that their home-base rink is going out of business is devastating. They were men amongst boys on the rink and now they're forced to try to fit in at another more classy skating joint--the Sweetwater Roller Rink. There they must face Sweetness Sweetwater's resident celebrity and roller-skating champion and his pirouetting entourage. Everyone except X is intimidated by this daunting obstacle. See although everyone has it rough in their neighborhood X's mom just died and his disapproving dad (Chi McBride) is out of work so the rink is his only outlet. And he's pretty darn good at skating. Eventually X and his crew stand up to Sweetness challenging him and his cast of flamboyant flunkies to a skate off. It's the moment X has been waiting for and what he might lack in skating ability he more than makes up for in heart.
Hollywood seems to have found a remedy for the conundrum of casting the parts of precocious teens: either hire Dakota Fanning or find older actors who can look the part. But in the case of Roll Bounce charismatic star Bow Wow is actually not too far off his character's young age. Now all grown up the actor has the ability to grasp his character's urban attitude as well as his internal strife involving some genuine dramatic scenes which a href="/celebrities/1123746/Shad_Gregory_Moss" >Bow Wow pulls off with surprising conviction. Chi McBride--something of a hot film commodity these days but best known for his stint on TV's Boston Public--interacts convincingly with Bow Wow as X's widower-father struggling to be everything to everyone while butting heads with X on a number of issues primarily his obsession with skating. Then there's X's posse played with joie de vivre by a few up and coming actors. They include Khleo Thomas (Holes) as the sweet-natured Mixed Mike; Marcus T. Paulk as the shy Boo; Brandon T. Jackson as the brazen Junior; and Jurnee Smollett (Eve's Bayou) as the only girl in the bunch. The camaraderie is certainly evident.
For what it's worth director Malcolm D. Lee is Spike Lee's cousin who has no doubt lent a helping hand to his cousin's own flourishing career. Whereas Spike makes movies that are usually topical Malcolm tends to make parodies of the inequalities his cousin tries to solve which would include Malcolm's most well-known film Undercover Brother. Accordingly Roll Bounce is able to get away with some crude juvenile humor because it wouldn't dare take itself too seriously. Of course the coming-of-age story is sticky sweet and poignant but really the best part is the roller skating sequences to the groovin' '70s disco soundtrack. Roll Bounce is all about the fun which is achieved rather seamlessly.
The cast and filmmakers behind the upcoming Roll Bounce are doing their part to help with the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
They have announced that when the film is released this weekend, they will donate 10 percent of its proceeds to the Operation USA for Hurricane Katrina disaster relief.
In a partnership with DirecTV, Roll Bounce will also be screened for thousands of people at more than 80 shelters across the Gulf Coast region the night before its theatrical release.
In addition, DirecTV has launched a 24/7 "Hurricane Katrina Information" channel. The channel displays vital information regarding the Katrina relief and recovery efforts to evacuees in shelters (where DirecTV has installed services) and to customers nationwide.
Viewers can now have a personal message scroll across the bottom of the screen in hopes of contacting friends and family separated by the storm. All they need to do is send an e-mail to Katrina@directv.com.
As for Roll Bounce, director Malcom D. Lee (Undercover Brother) and producers Robert Teitel and George Tillman, Jr. (Barbershop) stated in a press release: "We are so proud that the love, laughter and creative force that was poured into making this heart-warming family film will be channeled toward the support of those families in need."
The film's star, Bow Wow, said: "Tragedy can strike any of us at any time. We are honored that Roll Bounce can help to support our communities at such a crucial time."
Roll Bounce is a late '70s-inspired coming-of-age comedy featuring an all-star cast led by Bow Wow, Chi McBride, Mike Epps, Wesley Jonathan, Kellita Smith, Meagan Good, Khleo Thomas and Nick Cannon.
Based on the award-winning children's novel by Louis Sachar Holes is essentially the story of young Stanley Yelnats (Shia LaBeouf) a goodhearted kid who unfortunately lives in a family where the men are plagued by an ancient curse thanks to the stupidity of Stanley's "no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing great-great grandfather " as we learn in a subplot that unfolds in flashback. Given the curse it's not surprising that Stanley is falsely accused of stealing a pair of shoes and sent to Camp Green Lake a grossly misnamed boys detention camp. Home to a thriving town in the late 1800s the lake has now dried up into a desert wasteland filled with venomous creatures and its history--and secret--is detailed as part of another subplot also told in flashback. Stanley soon discovers the campers' rehabilitation consists of digging holes which according to the menacing Warden (Sigourney Weaver) her right-hand men Mr. Sir (Jon Voight) and Dr. Pendanski (Tim Blake Nelson) will help Stanley and his fellow D-tent inmates--including tent leader X-Ray (Brenden Jefferson) stinky Armpit (Bryan Cotton) crazy ZigZag (Max Kasch) thief Magnet (Miguel Castro) thug Squid (Jake M. Smith) and little Zero (Khleo Thomas)--build character. The boys are under orders however to immediately report to their keepers if they find something "special." Naturally Stanley does and he starts a chain reaction that culminates in a daring escape--and a chance to break the Yelnats family curse.
From the kids to the adults there's isn't a bad egg among the cast. Of course you expect great things from veteran actors such as Weaver Nelson (The Good Girl) and Voight--even if latter has been known to take a misstep here and there. (Anyone remember Anaconda? [Shudder].) Playing the three villains in Holes the actors expertly combine their skills to find a delicate balance between understated malevolence (the Warden) mean-spiritedness (Pendanski) and just plain over-the-top badness (Mr. Sir). Yet it's the younger acting ensemble you have to truly admire especially the shaggy-haired LaBeouf (Disney Channel's Even Stevens) and the sweet-faced newcomer Thomas. As Stanley and Zero the two young actors have a very natural rapport together which makes their characters' immediate bond believable. The rest of the D-tent boys inhabit their individual and quirky personalities with ease with Cotton's debut performance as Armpit a standout. There are also some nice cameos especially by Henry Winkler as Stanley's inventor father who's trying to find a way to make shoes odorless and by Eartha Kitt as Madame Zeroni the gypsy who puts the curse on the Yelnats family.
It's not always possible to get the writer of a beloved novel to adapt his own work into a screenplay but it's highly recommended if you want the film to capture the book's true essence--and keep its fans happy. Holes director Andrew Davis recognized this and convinced Sachar to adapt his extremely popular novel and for the most part it works out pretty darn well. The main difficulty Sachar and Davis face is trying to incorporate Holes' many subplots within the main story; Sachar doesn't seem to want to let anything go so the film drags a little in places. But the Golden Globe-nominated Davis known for maneuvering through intricate action stories such as The Fugitive does a nice job keeping things flowing intercutting between the history of how treasure came to be buried at Camp Green Lake and the present and giving audiences a thrill.
Made his debut as a child-guest on Bill Cosby's "Kids Say the Darndest Things"
Moved to Los Angels with family and starred acting in commercials at the age of six
Had a small role in "Friday after Next"
Cast as Pete in the remake of the 1973 film "Walking Tall"
Cast as young Mario in "Baadasssss!" Mario Van Peebles homage to his father Melvin
Guest starred on the NBC drama "ER"
Played Zero in the movie "Holes" based on the bestseller by Louis Sachars
Born in Alaska where his dad was stationed in the Army after serving in the first Gulf War, actor Khleo Thomas has in his short career developed into a promising young talent. With only a few films under his belt to date, Thomas has gone from complete unknown to sought-after commodity in a short span of time. Originally named Khaleed Leon Thomas, the young actor shortened his name-a combination of his first and middle names-when he started acting in commercials at the age of 6. <p> Thomas grew up in a culturally diverse family-his mother was from Morocco and spoke five languages. Thomas and his siblings-two brothers, Khadeem and Khamle, and a sister, Khaleea-were exposed to Judaism and Islam by way of their mother, Christianity from their father. After appearing in a few commercials, Thomas made his debut as a child guest on Bill Cosby's "Kids Say the Darndest Things" (CBS, 1997-2000). He then had a small role in "Friday After Next" (2002) before going back to the small screen. <p> Thomas appeared as Jordan in an episode of "City Guys" (NBC, 1997-2001), a comedy about the friendship between two transfer students at Manhattan High School, one African-American from the inner city, the other a Caucasian from Park Avenue. In 'ER' (NBC, 1994- ), he played Brian in the episode "Forgive and Forget". He also appeared in the movie-of-the-week, "Going to the Mat" (Disney Channel, 2004), about a 14 year-old blind musician who joins the wrestling team in order to cope with culture shock. <p> Segueing back into films, Thomas starred in the critically acclaimed Disney film, "Holes" (2003). As Zero, Thomas played a denizen of Camp Green Lake, a detention center for kids where the inmates are forced by a menacing warden to dig holes in order to build character. Nobody knows the real reason they're digging holes, but they soon begin to question why the warden is so interested in anything "special" about they find. In "Walking Tall" (2004), Thomas got to star opposite his self-proclaimed hero, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson. And in "Baadasssss!" (2004), Thomas starred as a young Mario Van Peebles in the latter's semi-autobiographical telling of the making of Melvin Van Peeble's blaxsploitation phenomenon, "Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song" (1971).
Jewish and Islam from mother, Christianity from his father