At the forefront of the cast of the upcoming crime drama Freelancers is one of America's most incredible living actors: Forest Whitaker. As monumental a cinematic identity as the Platoon and Last King of Scotland star might have, he nonetheless feels humbled by the professional company of certain actors — one being his Freelancers costar, the great Robert De Niro. Whitaker explains in the exclusive video below that De Niro, whom Whitaker grew up watching on the big screen, embodies a "centered" behind-the-scenes presence, which results in fantastic performance (for De Niro and those with the privilege of working with him).
The film, which is directed by Jessy Terrero and stars 50 Cent and centers around a young man who follows in his murdered father's footsteps and joins the New York Police Department, only to take up with some of the dangerous characters with whom his dad kept company, and to stumble upon the truth behind his father's death. Check out the exclusive video featuring an interview with Whitaker, and catch the film on Blu-ray and DVD on August 21.
[Photo Credit: David Edwards/Daily Celeb]
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The Dominican beauty admits she's been dogged by speculation about her relationship with Terrero - who has directed promos for artists such as Lionel Richie, 50 Cent and Akon.
But Ramirez insists she's a single woman, and the ex-couple has not been together for quite some time.
However, the star is refusing to go into further detail about the split in a bid to avoid fuelling the gossip.
She says, "You shouldn't believe everything you hear (sic) on the internet. He was a great guy (who) I was with for a while, and I'm not (now)."
After the death of their parents Rashad (Tip "T.I." Harris) and his younger brother Ant (Evan Ross) have to fend for themselves. Trying not to think about his pending high school graduation Rashad works as a janitor for his stingy uncle (Mykelti Williamson) and hangs out with his friends practicing for the Skate Wars competition at their local roller rink. Ant however approaches life differently after he hooks up with Marcus (Big Boi) a big-time drug dealer in the area. Marcus recruits Ant to do his dirty work and the kid gets himself tangled up in the harsh world of drugs money and violence. It’s up to his older brother to get him out of it and finally steer him in the right direction. ATL proves some rapper-turned-actors can indeed be in a movie not based on their real lives. Known as “The King of the South” in the rap world T.I. displays some notable acting skills. Born and raised in the ATL (that’s Atlanta to us lay folk) his southern slang and cool demeanor lend credibility. As well Big Boi (half of the Atlanta-based hip-hop group OutKast) does a nice job giving his drug lord character multi-layers. He plays it smooth recruiting high school kids and promising them more money then they have ever seen. When they don’t pay up he then turns on a dime and becomes quite menacing. And watch out for Evan Ross the youngest son of the legendary Diana Ross. In his debut performance as Ant he tugs at your heart even when you’re hoping Rashad will smack him for the bad choices he makes. Music video director Chris Robinson makes his feature directing debut with ATL a story loosely based on ATL producers Dallas Austin and Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins’ (of TLC fame) experiences growing up in Atlanta. With many of the hottest hip-hop artists coming out of Atlanta Robinson--along with first-time screenwriter Tina Gordon Chism--impressively incorporates the music without focusing on it. Sure the soundtrack crunks it up but this is not a film about a wannabe rapper trying to make it out of the ‘hood and into the spotlight. There aren’t any lengthy shootouts and no one dies. Instead ATL interweaves compelling themes of family dynamics rich vs. poor--and even a roller skating motif which seems to come out of left field but provides some fun moments. ATL is a breath of fresh air for a hip-hop movie that isn't about hip-hop.
Story? Here's the story: MGM grossed $140 million domestic from its sleeper hits Barbershop and its sequel and now they apparently think black audiences will flock in droves to whatever pile of drivel the studio chooses to make for them. The fact that this particular pile was written by a white man with a Jewish producer and a Latino director only makes that notion more convincing. Oh wait you mean the other story? Two words: Urban Airplane!. Kevin Hart plays Nashawn Wade whose dreams of owning an airline come true when he gets stuck in an airline toilet and sues the airline. On the maiden flight the pilot (Snoop Dogg) passes out in a haze of marijuana smoke and Nashawn with the help of his longtime ex-girlfriend (K.D. Aubert who somehow doesn't know that he's the owner) must land the plane.
The character is named Nashawn Wade see so they can call the airline he owns "N.W.A." This is
illustrative of every other joke in the movie: hopelessly contrived taking forever to pay off and not really worth it when it does. The co-pilot's name is Gaeman. When you need to set up your comedy by giving the characters funny names you're in serious trouble. And if Chris Tucker is Eddie Murphy Lite then Kevin Hart is Chris Tucker Lite. The laughs get farther and farther apart as the annoying voice becomes increasingly high-pitched and nasal. What this movie needed was a straight man a la Robert Hays in Airplane! some deadpan some Leslie Nielsen some wit. No actor in Soul Plane is close to supplying it. In fact no one here can even perform a simple double-take. In keeping with the movie's offend all comers mentality: Soul Plane is the Special Olympics
of comedy. Snoop Dogg is wasted literally and figuratively. So is Method Man who mostly stands around looking bored. Even Tom Arnold as the token cracker seems to be distancing himself with every line reading. Now John Gielgud and Peter O'Toole have slummed in comedies before and let us know they knew. But when Arnold is saying "I'm too good for this" well you might as well go straight to video.
Director Jessy Terrero has remade Airplane! without absorbing any of its lessons. Without question the original was amateurish puerile and lame for stretches. But it worked memorably for two reasons: With about four jokes per minute hitting the screen there was always something funny even when the batting average was low. Soul Plane has closer to one joke every four minutes. The movie feels long at 86 minutes. But most of all the dialogue in Airplane! was genius. Lines like "Looked like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue" and "I am serious and don't call me Shirley" are still repeated today. Soul Plane's lines will also be repeated in the future by anyone who thinks "F--- you N-----" is an acceptable conversation-starter. If the movie has one strong point the production design is consistently amusing. The plane itself is a vision of pimped-out purple velour glory. Coin-operated bus station lockers serve as storage in the "Low Class" seats. There is one laugh-out-loud sight gag involving Catholic priests. But even as you're laughing you're shaking your head thinking: They got their one laugh out of a Catholic priest joke. Ouch.