The Book of Eli (* 1/2)

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic It’s the end of the world, as we know it… Road Warrior, Waterworld, The Postman, The Road, I Am Legend… Post-apocalypse films are a dime a dozen, so what makes The Book of Eli so different? Not much, except an evangelical subplot that is not strong enough to be […]

Ten Best Films of 2009

By Dwight Brown Film Critic NNPA In this sweeping year of change, good films have remained a constant.  Looking back on the high-quality movies of 2009, there are memorable stories, outstanding performances, high-drama, romance, lots of laughs and wild thrills. Certain films stand out and will vie for OscarÆ awards.  Some may never win a […]

The Princess and the Frog

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic “When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are.” For decades Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures has been the king of animation, going back to Snow White (1937) all the way up to WALL…E (2008).  It has made the world safe for young kids who want […]

Passing Strange: The Movie

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic “Life is a movie starring you,” says Stew. Over the years, film (Why Did I Get Married), TV (The Cosby Show) and theater (Love in The Nick of Tyme) have portrayed the black middle-class. What they’ve yet to do is capture the antics of adolescent rebellion within this social […]

The First Grader (***1/2)

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic In this fact-based story about an 84-year-old former Mau Mau warrior who desires an education, the human spirit gets tested, ageism goes on trial, tribal conflict reigns and Kenyan history is made. In 2002, after years of strife the Kenyan government promised a free education to all its citizens. […]

Jumping the Broom (***)

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic In sickness and in health. For better or for worse. And that’s before the wedding! The irreverent, satiric, laugh-provoking “The Funeral” showed us just how crazy people could be when handling the passing of a loved one. This mercurial, amusing send up of pre-marital woes and social class conflict […]

Night Catches Us (**)

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic For some, the 1960’s Black Panther Party is a complete enigma. For those people who are looking for a revealing glimpse into that social/political/cultural movement, this poorly conceived ode to the Panthers is not illuminating. However, strong performances and some tight family drama make this period film worth viewing.Time […]

Rejoice & Shout (***)

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic “Gospel music has kept us afloat. It’s very important to black people,” says Mavis Staples. Staples and Smokey Robinson narrate “Rejoice & Shout,” a comprehensive, historical and enligtening look at the phenomenon of gospel music. Gospel music has evolved along with the African American experience for over 100 years. […]

Fast Five (***1/2)

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic It’s like jumping into a car, shoving it in gear, stomping on the accelerator and driving recklessly without a seatbelt. From the opening, adrenalin-pumping prison bus escape to a heart-pounding car theft aboard a fast-moving train, Fast Five throws it down from the jump… Car thief Dom Torreto (Vin […]

Life, Above All (***1/2)

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic Thirty years after the AIDS epidemic first rattled the world, it still rages in sub-Sahara Africa. Few films have captured the plague’s fury on the motherland, until now. This enligtening, sensitive and inspiring screen adaptation of Allan Stratton’s novel “Chanda’s Secrets” puts a human face on a cure-defying disease. […]