Tag: Omari Hardwick

Jay-Z’s ‘Family Feud’ Video Directed by Ava DuVernay Enlists A-List Cast

Jay Z released his video for his single “Family Feud” last night exclusively on Tidal, although it was more than a standard music video premiere. Much like anything else he and Beyoncé create, it was a cultural event to punctuate 2017 with the most inclusive, woke A-list cast you will ever see in a music video.

Helmed by Ava DuVernay, the seven-minute-plus video is a short film, serves up some sci-fi, futuristic realness that can very well be a taste of what’s to come in the celebrated director’s adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time. Joining JayZ, Beyoncé and the heiress to their throne, Blue Ivy, includes an inspiring roster of actors from every part of the color spectrum: Michael B. Jordan, Trevante Rhodes, Thandie Newton, Jessica Chastain, Irene Bedard, Omari Hardwick, David Oyelowo, Emayatzy Corinealdi, America Ferrera, Aisha Hinds, Henry G. Sanders, and Storm Reid — who is the star of Wrinkle in Time. Rounding out the cast is the “founding mothers”, which feature Mindy Kaling, Rashida Jones, Rosario Dawson, Janet Mock, Brie Larson, Constance Wu, Niecy Nash, and Susan Kelechi Watson, who, as the video shows, are different women from all walks of life who are enlisted to change the country’s constitution.

Even though there is a cinematic scope to the video, which was co-written by Jay-Z and DuVernay, it is highly personal for the Grammy-nominated rapper, who uses the track from his critically acclaimed 4:44 album to confess his sins to his wife and all-around queen of everything, Beyoncé. Where Beyoncé used her visual album, Lemonade as a platform for working through her personal issues with Jay-Z, he used 4:44 to respond and tell his side of the story. In other words, it’s an artistic way of saying, “Yea, I messed up.”

Jay’s track serves as an atonement and one key lyric sets the tone for the short film: “nobody wins when the family feuds.” Of course, he is referring to his familial relationships, but it goes beyond that and applies it to feuding within the country and the world. There’s layers of meaning in the short that starts off with a poignant James Baldwin quote and goes into a Godfather-meets-Game of Thrones scene, moments of war, moments reflecting today’s volatile political climate, and a group of empowering females looking to build a utopian rather than dystopian future.

DuVernay took to Twitter to share her thoughts, inspiration and behind-the-scenes photos from the video.

To read more, go to:  Jay-Z’s ‘Family Feud’ Directed By Ava DuVernay Enlists A-List Cast | Deadline

50 Cent-Produced Drama “Power” Lands 3rd Season Renewal From Starz

Power Starz Renewed
(PHOTO COURTESY OF STARZ)

Starz has ordered a third season of drama “Power,” on the heels of the show’s record-setting season-two premiere on Saturday.  The June 6 premiere set a new Starz benchmark as the most-watched episode of an original series in the pay cabler’s history. In live ratings the episode brought in 1.43 million viewers, a tally that rose to 3.62 million in the live-plus-same-day ratings.

Starz has ordered 10 episodes for season three.

The CBS Television Studios drama stars Omari Hardwick as a drug lord who lives a double life as a chic nightclub owner. Courtney Kemp Agboh is executive producer and showrunner along with Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Mark Canton, Randall Emmett and Gary Lennon.

“I am thrilled to learn that season three of ‘Power’ has been officially ordered by Starz. It is an honor to work with Chris Albrecht, Carmi Zlotnik, Ken Segna and the whole Starz team. Their support has been steadfast from the beginning, and I look forward to a bright future together,” Agboh said.

“’Power’ is a project I have been passionate about since day one,” added executive producer and co-star Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. “I am glad the audience loves the show as much as we do, and we are just getting started.”

article by Cynthia Littleton via Variety.com

Starz Renews 50 Cent’s “Power” For Season Two After Just One Episode

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Apparently 50 Cent’s new STARZ series, “Power,” was a major hit. After just one episode, the cable network has announced that the series will be renewed for a second season, Deadline reports.

The fast-moving drama debuted last weekend “with 462,000 Live+same day at 9 PM, 1.27 million for the three Saturday night airings and 2.022 million for the nine weekend runs on Saturday and Sunday.” In case you’ve been out of the loop for a bit, the 50 Cent-produced series is “set in two different worlds, the glamorous New York club scene and the brutal drug trade” and follows the story of Ghost St. Patrick, a drug dealer and businessman with dreams of going legit. Stars include “Being Mary Jane” actor Omari Hardwick, Naturi Naughton and Lela Loren.

“Tasha St. Patrick, she’s crazy,” Naturi recently described her character to Shadow and Act. “She really is Ghost’s sidekick, the other half of Bonnie and Clyde. She came up from the streets, grew up in Queens, and had a rough life. She had desires to be a singer but those desires got cut short because she was pregnant at 19 with Ghost’s child. He’s trying to choose between going legit and staying in the drug game, and she’s pretty much the woman who’s like look, we’ve built this empire together, I’ll ride with you to the end. She’ll throw the gun away, she’ll tell you how to dump the body. She’s an edgy character and not afraid to do whatever it takes to keep the family together.”

Production for season two begins in September.

See more at: http://madamenoire.com/438064/starz-renews-50-cents-power-season-2-just-1-episode/#sthash.bcWJ1fZa.dpuf

50 Cent-Produced Starz Drama Series “Power” Debuts June 7

Omari Hardwick

Starz’s highly anticipated new original series Power will debut on Saturday, June 7th at 9pm ET/PT. Ahead of that premiere, the network has released the season’s premiere episode online, as part of a multi-platform, nationwide sampling of the first episode.

From the press release:

Power is the first-ever television show to premiere on Twitter using the service’s new in-line video feature that enables one-touch playback. The new video experience is based on Twitter Cards, which extends user interactions beyond favoriting, retweeting and replying and makes it possible for people to do things like watch videos, download apps, or view articles and photos — all from within a Tweet. Select multi-channel video distributors will offer linear, on-demand and online sampling opportunities of the first episode beginning today, May 31, one week in advance of the TV series premiere next Saturday. Approximately 79 million multichannel video households will have access to the sampling opportunities through select cable, satellite and telco affiliates in the United States.

The first episode of Power will also be available at www.starz.com/power, and online through select Starz cable, satellite, telco, and online distributors’ websites, including the Starz Power Twitter page at https://twitter.com/starz_channel, Starz Power MySpace page, the Starz YouTube page at http://www.youtube.com/user/Starz, Starz Power Facebook page at www.facebook.com/power.starz, Amazon Instant Video, Vudu, Sony Entertainment Network and CinemaNow.

The series premiere of Power will also be available for sampling through the free Starz Play app for all users in the United States.

Executive produced by Curtis 50 Cent’ JacksonPower is a crime drama set in two different worlds – the glamorous New York club scene and the brutal drug trade.

Continue reading “50 Cent-Produced Starz Drama Series “Power” Debuts June 7″

MOVIE REVIEW: “Things Never Said” Speaks Volumes About Love and Life

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THINGS NEVER SAID  Cast: Shanola Hampton (Kalindra Stephney), Omari Hardwick (Curtis Jackson), Elimu Nelson (Ronnie), Tamala Jones (Daphne), Michael Beach (Will Jackson), Dorian Missick (Steve), Charlayne Woodard (Charlotte), Tom Wright (Daniel) Written & Directed by: Charles Murray  Rated: R  Ohio Street Pictures

Review by Lori Lakin Hutcherson
Review by Lori Lakin Hutcherson

I might as well get out the disclosure right up front: I have known Things Never Said writer/director Charles Murray for well over fifteen years, and at every turn of his career (executive at Magic Johnson’s production company, television writer on Third Watch and Criminal Minds, independent filmmaker) I have rooted for him.  Charles is smart, funny and more than a bit of an unapologetic iconoclast, which could only mean two things for him – career suicide or artistic success.  After seeing Things Never Said, I am thrilled to report he is a creative force only beginning to mine the gifts he has to share with this world.

The story of Things Never Said is deceptively simple: Kalindra (Shanola Hampton), a young woman haunted by a miscarriage and stuck in a bad marriage to former basketball star Ronnie (Elimu Nelson), seeks an outlet through spoken-word poetry.  Kal succumbs to an affair with Curtis (Omari Hardwick), a fellow poet who seems to see into her soul, but has his own heavy baggage Kal may not want to take on.  While that might sound prosaic and maybe even a little pretentious (note: the poetry is extremely well-performed and relatable, so if you weren’t a poetry fan before, you will be after this), what’s special about this movie is the nuanced, complex and unpredictable ways Murray has his characters grapple with their conflicts.

At first, you don’t want Kal to cheat on her husband – she is too intelligent and creative a woman to fall for the game the sexy-but-mysterious Curtis spits at her.  But then again, you also wonder why Kal is staying with the sullen, unsupportive Ronnie, who seems to be going nowhere in his life and holding her back from hers.  As the layers start to unfold, you learn not only has Ronnie gone through the hardship of losing his future, but also that Kal was brought up by her mother Charlotte (Charlayne Woodard) to believe that sticking with one’s husband no matter what is what defines a woman as a good person and wife.  So when Kal finally does give in to her attraction to Curtis, they have so much chemistry and tenderness and understanding between them you want her to get away with the affair… until you realize Curtis may have even less to offer Kal than Ronnie when it’s revealed he’s an ex-con and why he landed in jail in the first place.  

Actress Shanola Hampton carries the organic twists and turns of this movie so beautifully it’s surprising she’s never had a major role in a film before.  She has an equally able partner in Omari Hardwick, who makes you root for Curtis despite the palpable possibility he may be more trouble than he’s worth.  Which, I think, is Murray’s point – no matter how much you connect to another person and no matter how they make you feel about yourself or even challenge you to become your better self – the real romance and discovery lies within knowing and healing oneself.  This is the thing not said about love – it alone does not conquer all.  This is the thing not said about art or creative outlets – they alone do not solve deep issues.  Kalindra is not “saved” by Curtis or her poetry, but rather, they both shed light on her path to saving and healing herself from all of the preconceived notions she’s grown up on, from all the ways she’s limited herself, and from all of the abuse she’s accepted – external and internal.

Things Never Said is an important addition to African-American independent cinema and humanistic storytelling that should not be missed.  Its Los Angeles run has been extended through September 19 and the film opens in Atlanta, Boston, Washington DC, and Gary, Indiana on September 13 – TODAY!  Please get out and support the movie — you can get updates on other showings around the country from thingsneversaid.com or on the Things Never Said Facebook Page.  Also, check out the trailer below:

Lionsgate’s Codeblack Films Picks Up Charles Murray’s Romantic Drama ‘Things Never Said’

According to Deadline.com, two weeks before its stand-up pic Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain opens in theaters, Lionsgate’s Codeblack Films  has acquired U.S. rights to the romantic drama Things Never Said.

Writer/Director Charles Murray
Writer/Director Charles Murray

The film is written and directed by Charles Murray, who is making his feature debut after a decade in television (Criminal Minds, Castle, V, Third Watch). Shanola Hampton stars as an aspiring poet in a dangerous marriage who dreams of taking her work to New York. A surprise new love (Omari Hardwick) helps her find her artistic voice. Brian “Skinny B” Lewis produced the film, which is executive produced by Nicole Elliot, Steven LaBroi and Geofrey Hildrew. Codeblack Films, the Lionsgate unit that recently acquired Sundance drama The Inevitable Defeat Of Mister And Pete, will release Things Never Said this year.

article via Deadline.com with additions by Lori Lakin Hutcherson

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