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Jamie Foxx, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Lena Waithe and more honored at ‘AAFCA Awards’ [PHOTOS]

Check out photos from Wednesday night’s 11th Annual AAFCA Awards.

The evening was hosted by actor and comedian Lil Rel Howery with honors going to Jamie Foxx for his role in Just Mercy, Eddie Murphy for the Netflix movie Dolemite Is My Name, Jordan Peele for Us, Lena Waithe and Melina Matsoukas for Queen & Slim and Kasi Lemmons for Harriet.

The event was sponsored by Nissan, Morgan Stanley and Deadline and took place at the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood, CA.

See the full list of winners below:

Best Film: “Us” (Universal Pictures)

Best Director: Jordan Peele (“Us,” Universal Pictures)

Best Actor: Eddie Murphy (“Dolemite Is My Name,” Netflix)

Best Actress: Lupita Nyong’o (“Us,” Universal Pictures)

Best Supporting Actor: Jamie Foxx (“Just Mercy,” Warner Bros. Pictures) 

Best Supporting Actress: Da’Vine Joy Randolph (“Dolemite Is My Name,” Netflix)

Best Breakout Performance: Kelvin Harrison, Jr. (“Waves,” A24)

Best Animated Film: “Abominable” (Universal Pictures)

Best Documentary: “The Black Godfather” (Netflix)

Best Foreign Film: “Parasite” (Neon)

Best Independent Film: “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” (A24)

Best Screenplay Presented with The Black List: Bong Joon-ho, “Parasite” (Neon)

Impact Award: “Queen & Slim” (Universal Pictures)

We See You Award: Taylor Russell (“Waves,” A24)

The AAFCA 2019 Top Ten Films

  1. “Us” (Universal Pictures)
  2.  “Dolemite Is My Name” (Netflix)
  3. “Just Mercy” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
  4. “Clemency” (Neon)
  5. “The Irishman” (Netflix)
  6. “Queen & Slim” (Universal Pictures)
  7. “Waves” (A24)
  8. TIE “Parasite” (Neon) and “Atlantics” (Netflix)
  9. The Farewell (A24)
  10.  “Harriet” (Focus Features)

Photo Credits: AAFCA

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Eddie Murphy stars in ‘Dolemite Is My Name’ (VIDEO)

Eddie Murphy is Rudy Ray Moore as “Dolemite” in the new film Dolemite Is My Name. It arrives in select theaters this fall and on Netflix.

Stung by a string of showbiz failures, floundering comedian Rudy Ray Moore (Murphy) has an epiphany that turns him into a word-of-mouth sensation: step onstage as someone else. Borrowing from the street mythology of 1970s Los Angeles, Moore assumes the persona of Dolemite, a pimp with a cane and an arsenal of obscene fables. However, his ambitions exceed selling bootleg records deemed too racy for mainstream radio stations to play. Moore convinces a social justice-minded dramatist (Keegan-Michael Key) to write his alter ego a film, incorporating kung fu, car chases, and Lady Reed (Da’Vine Joy Randolph), an ex-backup singer who becomes his unexpected comedic foil. Despite clashing with his pretentious director, D’Urville Martin (Wesley Snipes), and countless production hurdles at their studio in the dilapidated Dunbar Hotel, Moore’s Dolemite becomes a runaway box office smash and a defining movie of the Blaxploitation era.

Dolemite Is My Name also features Tituss Burgess, Kodi Smit-Mcphee, Snoop Dogg, Ron Cephas Jones, Barry Shabaka Henley, Tip ‘TI’ Harris, Luenell and Tasha Smith.

Watch the trailer below:

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BET orders scripted-comedy series based on 90s hit film ‘Boomerang’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Marcus Graham, Lady Eloise and Strangé are coming to BET! Well sorta…

According to THR, BET is beefing up it’s scripted series lineup by ordering a new half-hour comedy based on the iconic 90s film Boomerang. The 10-episode project comes from Paramount Television and will revolve around a successful executive who finds that his lifestyle choices have turned back on him when his new boss turns out to be a bigger deviant than he is.

Boomerang is being described as an updated version that explores contemporary workplace dynamics, including the changing role of gender, office politics, relationships and the conflicts between Generation X and millennials.

In the original film, Eddie Murphy played the popular womanizer Marcus Graham who met his match in the sexy Robin Givens. Rounding out the all-star cast is Halle Berry, the late Earth KittGrace JonesTisha Campbell Martin, Lela Rochon, Martin LawrenceDavid Alan Grier, John Witherspoon, Chris Rock and the late Goeffrey Holder.

The film’s soundtrack was produced by L.A. Reid and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and featured Boyz II Men, TLC, Johnny Gill, Grace Jones, P.M. Dawn and Toni Braxton, who performed the classic “Love Shoulda Brought You Home.”

Personal Note: I am a huge fan of Boomerang and remember watching it every weekend when I worked as a movie usher in high school. It was the first time I had every seen a black man as an advertising executive. Every aspect of the film was first class…from the hair to the costumes to the banging soundtrack. I hope it translates well into a television series and have the same affect on the millennial audience as it did on me.

Stay tuned…

Photo Credit: JustWatch.com

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Kenya Barris to write ‘Coming to America’ Sequel #PowerMoves

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

DEADLINE is reporting that “Black-ish” creator and CAU Alumni Kenya Barris has been tapped to write the long awaited sequel for “Coming to America.” Barris is reportedly rewriting the script that was originally penned by Barry Blaustein and David Sheffield. The film is being directed by Jonathan Levine and produced by Kevin Misher.

“Coming to America” is the 1988 hit movie that featured Eddie Murphy as  a wealthy African prince who wanted a wife to love him in spite of his title. So he set out on an adventure to Queens, NYC to find his bride-to-be.

The film also featured iconic characters played by Murphy along with Arsenio Hall, Shari Headley, Vanessa Bell Calloway, John Amos, James Earl Jones and the late Madge Sinclair.  Murphy is reported going to reprise his role for the sequel.

RC will keep you posted as this project continues to develop.

Do you want to see a sequel of “Coming to America?”

Photo Credit: RayCornelius.com

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Watch Trailer for Eddie Murphy’s new movie ‘Mr. Church’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Eddie Murphy returns to the big screen in a heart warming film titled, “Mr. Church.”  It tells the real-life true story of a unique friendship that develops when a little girl and her dying mother retain the services of a talented cook – Henry Joseph Church. What begins as a six month arrangement instead spans fifteen years, and creates a family bond that lasts forever.  Murphy stars as Church alongside Britt RobertsonLucy Fry, Natascha McElhone, Xavier Samuel and Mckenna Grace. It opens in theaters on September 16.

Check out the trailer and poster below:

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Photo Credit: ShadowandAct.com

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OH NO! Lee Daniels parts ways with ‘Richard Pryor’ Biopic

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Say it ain’t so!  Award winning-director Lee Daniels is no longer attached to the highly anticipated Richard Pryor biopic that features Mike Epps as the late comedian and actor.

According to S&A, Daniels is leaving the project not over creative differences but simply because he doesn’t have the time. His schedule has become quite hectic between his current Fox series “Empire” and his new series “Star” which was just ok’d by Fox last month. Remember, this is the one-hour show that follows the careers of three aspiring singers trying to survive Atlanta’s cut throat music industry and stars Queen Latifah.

With Daniels’ out of the picture, its now up to the Weinstein Company to search for another director.  The film already stars Epps as Pryor along with Taraji P. Henson as Pryor’s mother, Eddie Murphy as Pryor’s father, Oprah Winfrey as Pryor’s grandmother and Kate Hudson as Jennifer Lee Pryor.

Stay tuned as this story continues to develop!

Photo Credit: avclub.com

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Amber Riley to star in UK Production of ‘DREAMGIRLS’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

CONGRATS to “GLEE” singer and actress Amber Riley. “The Wiz Live” star will portray “Effie White” in a London-based production of “Dreamgirls” at the Savoy Theatre this winter.

In a statement, Riley said working on the London stage is “a dream realized” and “I just feel like this is going to be something special!”

“Dreamgirls” tells the story of a young female singing trio, from Chicago, Illinois called ‘The Dreams’, as they learn the hard lesson that show business is as tough as it is fabulous and features the classic songs “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” “I Am Changing” and “One Night Only.”

The original show, which debuted over 35 years ago at the Imperial Theater on Broadway, starred Sheryl Lee Ralph, Loretta Devine, Jennifer Holliday, Ben Harney, Cleavant Derricks and Obba Babatundé. A film adaptation was release in 2006 starring Beyoncé, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Hudson, Eddie Murphy, Anika Noni Rose and Sharon Leal.

Previews begin in November with an opening set for December!

Check out a photo of Riley with original Dreamgirls stars Sheryl Lee Ralph and Loretta Devine after last night’s NAACP Image Awards + Riley below singing the show’s signature hit, “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.”

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https://youtu.be/VG3rOVB9WeI

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Photo Credits: OfficialLondonTheater.co.uk and Facebook/Sheryl Lee Ralph

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Bob Sumner talks ‘Laff Mobb’s We Got Next’ + Top 12 Comedians of All Time (VIDEO)

Written by | Ray Cornelius

Tonight is the season 2 premiere of ASPiRE’s hilarious comedy series, “Laff Mobb’s We Got Next.”  The show airs at 10 p.m. EST and is hosted by Bob Sumner, co-creator of HBO’s groundbreaking program,“Def Comedy Jam.” Filmed before live audiences at the El Portal Theater in North Hollywood, CA, “Laff Mobb’s We Got Next” promises to deliver some of the best new comedians in the country.  Sumner should know a thing or two about spotting good talent considering he was also there when many of today’s comic titans like Kevin Hart, Dave Chappelle, Tracy Morgan, Martin Lawrence and the late Bernie Mac, were all making a name for themselves on his stage.  Now he’s bringing that same formula for success to Magic Johnson’s ASPiRE network, just minus the profanity.

“For me, it’s all about being funny. A lot of people think that profanity needs to be placed in stand up. But I really think that profanity can be used to put an accent on a joke or something like that if it’s needed. When you have people who constantly throw out the F-Bomb, it’s really unnecessary, says Sumner.  “It’s funny because I kind of blame myself to a certain extent for people thinking that way because of my previous shows. We gave comedians a platform to do their night club acts and the networks we were on allowed that.  Now that we’re over at ASPiRE, I want to show the world that you don’t have to use profanity in order to be funny. On this show, we have about 16 comedians and none of them are using profanity and it’s all about the flavor.  Now, the content may be a little edgy at times.” (LOL)

When asked who the standout faces are in the bunch, Sumner immediately names Rob Powell and Amberia Allen, who recently won the 2014 American Black Film Festival (ABFF) Comedy Wings Competition.

“She [Allen] is a young lady who is definitely a force to be reckoned with. A lot of her humor comes from her upbringing and her family. See, that’s the beauty of this show because it’s that type of comedy that the whole family can watch together,” says Sumner.

He also mentioned that good stand up is not about the gimmicks but rather the authenticity of the comedian.

“I’ve seen it all, trust me. As a matter of fact, I’ve seen it all three times. But then again, I didn’t see it all because when I see “it,” something I haven’t seen, I know it right off. I believe in originality, stage presence, and I want to hear about you. I don’t want to see someone using a bunch of props and doing flips or gyrating on stools. I want you to stand there and say something that I can relate to and make me laugh!”

Check out Amberia Allen and Rob Powell below as well as Bob Sumner’s “TOP 12 Comedians of All Time”:

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Bob Sumner’s TOP 12 Comedians of All Time:

12.  Martin Lawrence

11.  Robin Harris

10.  Chris Tucker

9.  Dave Chappelle

8.  George Carlin

7.  Carol Burnett

6.  Chris Rock

5.  Bernie Mac

4.  Eddie Murphy

3.  Redd Foxx

2.  Richard Pryor

1.  Jackie Mom’s Mabley

Photo Credit: ChristianReview.com

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Recap

Eddie Murphy to star in 4th installment of ‘Beverly Hills Cop’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

THE HEAT IS ON…AGAIN!

Deadline is reporting that comedic actor Eddie Murphy will reprise his role as the wise-cracking detective Axel Foley in a reboot of the Beverly Hill Cop  series.  Paramount announced the big news today with a premiere date of March 25, 2016.

Beverly Hills Cop was the popular 80’s film series that helped launched Murphy’s career as an actor. The movie featured him as a Detroit cop who goes to Beverly Hills to investigate the death of his best friend.  Its also starred Judge Reinhold, James Russo, Paul Reiser, John Ashton and Lisa Eilbacher. The film’s soundtrack included the hit singles, “Neutron Dance” by The Pointer Sisters, “New Attitude” by Patti LaBelle and “The Heat is On” by Glen Fry.

Beverly Hills Cop earned $234 million at the North American domestic box offices and was the biggest hit of 1984, according to Wikipedia.  Last year, we reported that CBS had ordered a pilot of the film as a TV series with Brandon T. Jackson as Foley’s son. However, the network passed on the project.

RC will keep you posted as this project continues to develop.

Photo Credit: zastavki.com

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Zoe Saldana in talks to play Eartha Kitt

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

BroadwayWorld.com is reporting that Avatar  beauty Zoe Saldana is in early talks to play the late singer, actress, activist, dancer and Broadway star, Eartha Kitt in an untitled biopic for the big screen.

Reportedly, the film will follow Kitt’s rise to fame through the late 60’s including her landmark role as Catwoman on Batman  as well as her vocal opposition to the war in Vietnam, which led to her being “blackballed” by Hollywood.

This is not Saldana’s first time portraying a musical artist. In 2012, we reported that she was playing the life of the high priestess of Soul, Nina Simone for a biopic that has yet to be released. Saldana received a lot of criticism for taking the role that many felt should have been played by an actress that resembled Simone such as Adepero Oduye or Viola Davis or even singer India.Arie.

Eartha Kitt 23.jpg23It will be interesting to see Saldana’s take on Kitt, who was known for her iconic growl  and was considered by the late Orson Wells as “the most exciting woman in the world.”

Kitt eventually regained her status as a Hollywood contender with her role as Shaleem-La-Lume in Broadway’s Timbuktu  in 1978.  She would later make guest appearances on numerous television shows and films during the 80’s and 90’s, including the scene stealing part of Lady Eloise in Eddie Murphy’s classic Boomerang.

She also enjoyed another Broadway revival in the 2000’s starring in such iconic musicals as The Wizard of Oz, Cinderella  and Nine.

Kitt died of colon cancer on Christmas Day, December 25, 2008, at her home in Weston, Connecticut. She was 81-years-old.

RC will keep you posted as more information about this project surfaces.

What are your thoughts about Zoe Saldana playing Eartha Kitt?

Photo Credit: WorldofBlackHeroes.com

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Lee Daniels to direct Richard Pryor biopic starring Michael B. Jordan?

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Last March, we reported that Academy-award winning actor and director, Forest Whitaker had been taped to direct the long-awaiting biopic on the tumultuous life of comedic icon, Richard Pryor.

Now it appears that Whitaker is out and Butler  director,  Lee Daniels has picked up the project along with backing from The Weinstein Company (TWC). According to THR, Daniels is on board to direct the film and will once again team up with TWC, who is fully prepared to finance and release the project.

Veteran actors Eddie Murphy and Marlon Wayans are still said to be top contenders for the lead role of Pryor. However newcomer, Michael B. Jordan has also become a top pick considering the entire buzz he’s received for his portrayal of Oscar Grant in Fruitvale Station. The only problem is that Jordan’s fairly young (26-years-old) and much of the film is supposed to cover Pryor’s life from his 30’s on up.

Pryor’s widow Jennifer Lee Pryor is still on board and will continue to serve as a consultant for the film.  She also owns the personal journals of her late husband and will use them as points of reference for the project.

A biopic about Pryor’s life would definitely be a hot ticket considering he is viewed by all comedians as the “most important and influential stand-up comic of all time.”

RC will keep you posted as this project continues to develop.

Who do you think should be play Richard Pryor?

Photo Credit: judao.com

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Recap

Look who’s joining VH1’s ‘Hollywood Exes’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Indie Wire is reporting that VH1’s break out reality-series Hollywood Exes is set to return for another season with 13 1-hour episodes and a new addition to the cast.

Reportedly, Martin Lawrence’s ex-wife, Shamicka Lawrence is joining the ex-wives club that already includes Nicole Murphy, ex-wife of Eddie Murphy, Sheree Fletcher, ex-wife of Will Smith, Andrea Kelly, ex-wife of R. Kelly, Jessica Conseco, ex-wife of Jose Canseco, and Mayte Garcia, ex-wife of Prince.

MartinHere is breakdown of what’s in store for the new season:

Drea, who has been spending her time between Chicago and Los Angeles, is not happy with Jessica for some choice words she shared with Drea on Twitter. After returning to L.A., she and Jessica will finally have it out, resulting in one of the most explosive – and honest – confrontations in the show’s history. Meanwhile, Jessica struggles with being the single mom of a rebellious teenager – Josie has been acting out and her grades are slipping. Mayte, who has been desperate to have a child, makes plans to adopt a one-year-old baby. The others worry that everything is happening too fast – what if something goes wrong and Mayte loses another child? Finally, Shamicka’s wounds from her divorce are still fresh – her divorce from Martin Lawrence was just recently finalized. Every day brings new challenges that only a Hollywood Ex can understand, but thankfully the others are there to help her find her way.

‘Hollywood Exes’ will premiere on July 8 at 10 p.m. EST on VH1.

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JUST BECUZ…

Posted by | Cyrena Rose

Nicole Murphy and Eddie Murphy saw their daughter off to the prom a few nights ago.  The proud parents watched as Shayne Murphy dazzled all before leaving for one of high school’s biggest events.

Shayne wore a Camille Flawless gown and posed for photos with her date and famous father.

Shayne is Eddie and Nicole Murphy’s second eldest daughter and third child.  The former couple have five kids together.

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RC Birthdays for the week of March 31-April 6

Grammy-winning singer-songwriter-actress-Jill Scott turns 41 on April. 4

Written by | Ray Cornelius

This week’s celebrity birthdays includes three hip hop stars, two “sangin” divas, a comedic icon, a leading man and one phenomenal woman.  Get plugged into the RC Birthdays for this week: March 31-April 6, 2013.

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 Mar. 31: Rapper and G-Unit member Tony Yayo, 35

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Apr. 1: Legendary Jamaican musician, singer and actor Jimmy Cliff, 65

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Rapper, producer and actor Method Man, 42

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Apr. 3: Stand-up comedian, actor, director and writer  Eddie Murphy, 52

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Apr. 4: Poet, actress and writer Dr. Maya Angelou, 85

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Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Kelly Price, 40

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Apr. 5: Rapper, producer and fashion designer Pharrell Williams, 40

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Apr. 6: Actor, artist and Star Wars  icon Billy Dee Williams, 76