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Kevin Hart: A Look At How Hollywood Comedy Would Have Been Saved If Chappelle Never Left

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As another Kevin Hart movie is released (Get Hard), I comparatively wonder what the career of Dave Chappelle could have been. I say COULD because Hart’s career is certainly nothing like what Chappelle had in mind. Hart has fully embraced Hollywood and his newfound stardom, where Chappelle rebelled against almost everything that came with reaching that certain level of success. Chappelle feels that when you reach a certain level of “success” you become dehumanized. He never went crazy as was reported. The Africa trip wasn’t about drugs, but rather getting away from the Hollywood “game”, which scared the shit out of him. Hart on the other hand, seemingly becomes more and more comfortable as he climbs the ladder of fame.

As he continues to climb to the top, and stars in a few dozen movies every year, for some reason I’m drawn back to the career of Dave Chappelle. Sure these guys have slightly different styles, but they are both stand-up comedians who put in their time playing the Hollywood game to eventually becoming leading men. They were both in multiple films before hitting that level of notoriety that tends to lead to the staring role of a Hollywood feature.

While they are different ages, (Chappelle 41- Hart 35), and differing levels of films to their credit (13 for Chappelle and 35 for Hart), whenever I see Hart in a new film I long for Chappelle. My desire to see Chappelle in more movies is completely selfish. It was never Chappelle’s goal to reach Kevin Hart’s level of fame, however he’s forever immortalized and will no doubt leave more of a lasting impact on popular culture than Kevin Hart could ever reach. It’s a shame (for everyone other than Chappelle and his family) that we may never see Chappelle in another film or television show, but are force-fed stereotypically bland performances and dozens of terrible Kevin Hart films.

Before I truly begin I want to make a five quick points:

1. I find Kevin Hart extremely funny; otherwise I wouldn’t make this comparison to begin with.

2.What I don’t like about Kevin Hart are his movies. His standup is without a doubt fantastic.

3. Chappelle doesn’t want and never desired a career like Kevin Hart’s. At all.

4. While I typically find Hart’s films awful, he is not the reason why. It’s usually a combination of terrible writing/directing/stereotypes/clichés.

5. Again, this is coming from the selfish place of wondering “what could have been” if Hollywood didn’t drive Mr. Chappelle away. What did we (his fans) miss out on? What would he be starring in now? Was he genius enough to elevate the entire landscape of Hollywood and comedies in general? Or was the system that chewed him up and spit him out turning their back on one of the most naturally gifted comedians of all-time. Was he blacklisted and not given the opportunities after proving he wouldn’t simply be a pawn in the game?

My theory is that if Dave Chappelle had chosen to stay within the system, Hollywood would be completely different. Chappelle is a genius, and certainly would have changed the current comedic landscape that has become stale, repetitive, clichéd, lazy, and almost entirely forgettable.

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I compare the current state of Hollywood comedies to the terrible state of mainstream American horror films. We’ve become so accustomed to mediocrity that when a decent effort is released, it garners more praise than otherwise deserved. Take James Wan’s 2013 horror film The Conjuring. I’m not saying the film isn’t good; it’s just not great. This “good” movie was however better than 99% of the other feature length horror films (and better than some Oscar nominated films) released that year, so it has the appearance of being great. It’s not. Sure there are cool camera tricks, but the film relies on clichés and jump scares to entertain the audience.

There’s almost nothing original in the film, or anything truly memorable, yet it’s regarded as a classic. Again, it’s not. I only bring this up because the same thing is happening to our comedies. Every year the Oscars (not that it’s necessarily a true representation of the “best films”) chose drama after drama for award contention. Horror, and especially comedies never try anything risky or original and are content with mediocrity.

Looking at Kevin Hart’s film career only backs up this sentiment. He’s an extremely talented standup and comedic actor who is in one terrible movie after another. Not to say he’s terrible in them, he’s just not given much to work with. For example, last year’s film Ride Along was a commercial success raking in $154 million at the box office against a budget of $25 million. That kind of profit puts blinders on the studios eyes, as all they see is cash money. This doesn’t give the studios any incentive to try to make a better movie; they simply green-light a sequel, and do more of the same. Everyone cashes in, including Hart, but hey, Chappelle would never play that game. Look for Ride Along 2 in theaters next year. I’m sure you can already guess the plot and a majority of the jokes.

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So what exactly happened to Mr. Chappelle to cause him to turn away from inevitable cinematic success? Chappelle’s story is a familiar one… up until a certain point. Chappelle was almost instantly successful at comedy. His standup was making waves and then he landed a role in Mel Brooks’ Robin Hood: Men in Tights. He continued his standup routines, which led to specials (although I’m certainly not arguing that Chappelle is a better standup comedian, Hart’s had unreal box office returns for his standup specials). Chappelle continued to land roles in movies like The Nutty Professor and Con Air, until he was given a chance to star in a movie he also wrote. That movie is the classic stoner comedy Half Baked.

While not perfect, almost everyone within a certain age demographic has seen the film once, if not multiple times. This was 1998 and he’d continue starring in roles until 2002. In 2003, his life changed forever. He created and starred in The Chappelle Show, which led to his eventual downfall. In a now classic interview with James Lipton on Inside the Actors Studio, Chappelle stated: “Did I get too big? Cause I like people. I like entertaining and the higher up I go, for some reason the less happy I am”. At this point in 2006, Chappelle left his show and went on a spiritual journey to Africa, to escape the madness. The media calling him crazy and a drug addict only reassured him that he made the right decision to escape the sickness that is Hollywood.

What if he never left? I think we would have gotten one or two more seasons of The Chappelle Show, until he eventually moved to movies. His move to movies would have differed from Hart’s because Chappelle would be given more creative control of the roles he decided to take. Scripts would be written by him or tailored for his strengths. Hart’s at a disadvantage here, never writing his own scripts and choosing roles that could be interchangeable for any comedian. Chappelle is the type of guy who doesn’t care about fame or money, so his roles would be selected based on quality and not finances.

The comedy world is missing something. That’s not to say there aren’t funny people working; the gatekeepers may be keeping everyone at bay and at a distance, never allowing one person to transcend the landscape. In Hollywood, this may be exactly what they want. Where Kevin Hart is merely a pawn in this game, Chappelle is the guy that could have changed things.

I mean the guy walked away from a $50 million contract, because he knew the price of admission to this level of fame wasn’t worth it. If Hollywood had this guy mentoring and working with guys like the Kevin Harts, the quality of productions could have only risen. Hart’s an extremely smart guy, but Chappelle is much more realistic in his way of looking at things. I really wish this guy could work with all the new talent coming out, because their philosophy and perception of reality would inevitably be shifted. While I know that no one player is bigger than the entire game, Chappelle is that voice that’s so desperately needed as we cross into a new age in Hollywood. Gone are the classic comedies like Caddyshack, Trading Places, Young Frankenstein, Beverly Hills Cop, Blazing Saddles, and even more recent films like Office Space, Friday (one of my personal favorites), and Moonrise Kingdom. Things are changing, and if not Chappelle, we need more guys that echo similar sentiments.

Dave Chappelle stood up to the Hollywood system, and in return, may have gotten himself blacklisted, meaning nobody would work with or hire him. This forced him to turn his back on any of this stuff and focus on what truly makes him happy. He lives the lifestyle he wants. He does his standup, spends time with his family, and isn’t living this weird isolated lifestyle that comes with reaching the top of the ladder of “success”. He’s doing what he wants, and I’m happy for him. I just know that we missed out on something truly special and for that I’m sad. Maybe things wouldn’t have drastically changed and they would have squashed his creativity to the point where he accepted terrible roles and just went through the motions. But I don’t believe this. The Hollywood comedies missed out, and most of all, the world missed out on groundbreaking comedy that would have questioned everything from race to gender equality, instead we have subsequently been force fed mediocre meals that are beginning to taste more and more bland as the years tick away.

This post first appeared on AgeOfTheNerd.com!

The post Kevin Hart: A Look At How Hollywood Comedy Would Have Been Saved If Chappelle Never Left also appeared on Movie News & Reviews.

Deadpool Movie News: Can Deadpool Win the Fight For R Rating?

little-pee-pee-500(PCM) Deadpool is in the fight of his life. Not a fight for his personal life, he’s in the fight for his irreverent life. He’s fighting for what makes Deadpool, Deadpool. A bloody killer and a foul mouth’d wise crack.

Actor Ryan Reynolds revealed in a recent tweet (March 29, 2015) that the fight for the film to be R rated is not over.

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It’s clear from the Ryan Reynolds tweet (March 30 – see image above), he and others are  pushing internally to have Fox agree in making the Deadpool movie fans expect.

At issue is money. R ratings traditionally cost films in earnings immediately cutting the audience in half. If Fox could get the message from fans that an R rating will make them more money than a PG-13 rating, they would gladly green light Deadpool production with R rated material.

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Internal players are doing their part. Screen writer Rhett Reese is up for an R rating. Deadpool’s Comic Book Universe writer Fabian Nicieza is part of the Cinematic Deadpool writing team. Nicieza along with director Tim Miller and staff are also arguing for the R rating. Tim Miller is specifically on this film as a passion project. He has hardly any directing experience in full films, yet he brought Deadpool to life through the test footage short leaked in October 2014 which created the major uproar causing Fox to green light the film immediately after.

Ryan Reynolds tweet is call to fans to retweet and show the same support they provided when that leaked 2012 test footage production piece hit the Internet. If enough fans of Deadpool can exhibit enough support in sales of an R rating, Fox would gladly allow production of an R rated Deadpool. Re-tweeting Ryan Reynolds #Deadpool tweet is one way.

If you expect to see a Deadpool like the images you see in this article, the only way to do that is with an R rating and you must share this article and tweets surrounding Deadpool with an R rating.
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Deadpool is set for release in theaters February16th 2016.

The post Deadpool Movie News: Can Deadpool Win the Fight For R Rating? also appeared on Movie News & Reviews.

Deadpool Movie News: Brianna Hildebrand as Ellie Phimister, AKA Negasonic Teenage Warhead

(PCM) Deadpool Movie News is fast flowing in recent days. From Ryan Reynolds tweeting the Deadpool suit and Fox dropping logos and synopsis, the latest Deadpool Movie News is Brianna Hildebrand as Ellie Phimister, AKA Negasonic Teenage Warhead.

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Who is Brianna Hildebrand? She’s a relative unknown with two films under her belt.

What other characters do we get from the Marvel Mutant Universe?

  • TJ Miller as Weasel
  • Gina Carano as Angel Dust
  • Morena Baccarin as Copycat
  • Daniel Cudmore won’t be reprising Colossus but we’ll get Colossus!

We are still looking for Cable. He won’t appear in this origin story, but is a major player in Deadpool’s universe and he too is another HUGE Marvel character which may break-out and should break-out if he appears in any Deadpool movie.

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For now, it looks like small disposable players are being used in this first Deadpool movie.

Negasonic Teenage Warhead  will most likely never be called this name in the Deadpool movie, if referenced at all she can’t be called Warhead as another Marvel character known as Warhead exists and Fox only has rights to mutants.

New_X-Men_Vol_1_115Negasonic’s abilties are extra sensory, both  telepathy and pre-cog. Created for use in the New X-Men (2001) by Grant Morrison during a Marvel writing stint, Negasonic Teenage Warhead was given her name by fellow telepath and mentor, Emma Frost in issue 116 of New X-Men. Frost apparently gave Ellie Phimister the name Negasonic Teenage Warhead as Ellie confided in Emma her recurring dreams of Genosha’s destruction. It’s reported Brianna Hildebrand is undergoing stunt training for the Deadpool film.

Negasonic has had no contact with Deadpool in the comic universe. She certainly did not die at the hands of Deadpool. In the comic universe Negasonic was a victim of Genoshan genocide and her death came at the hands of Cassandra Nova by way of her wild sentinels.

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Creator’s Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly gave the character her name from a 1995 song by Monster Magnet. Negasonic has no known meaning.

The character first appeared and died in issue 115 of New X-Men in the E Is For Extinction story Arc where the mutant sanctuary Genosha is blown up. Ellie was later used in titles: X-Force, Nation X and Astonishing X-Men as a villain member of the Hellfire Club.

The post Deadpool Movie News: Brianna Hildebrand as Ellie Phimister, AKA Negasonic Teenage Warhead also appeared on Movie News & Reviews.

Dark New Featurette For Ryan Gosling’s Lost River

Lost_River_Ryan_Gosling(PCM) Warner Bros. Pictures released a new featurette for Lost River, the directorial debut from writer-producer Ryan Gosling, opening on April 10 for a theatrical run in NY and LA and on national digital release.

The new featurette, clocking in at a solid three minutes and playing more like a trailer than a behind-the-scenes look, contains dark imagery, metallic booming bass, Christina Hendricks peeling off her face, and a hazy surreal atmosphere, mirroring the description of Lost River as a “dark fairy tale.”

Lost River stars Christina Hendricks (Mad Men), Saoirse Ronan (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Iain De Caestecker (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Matt Smith (Doctor Who), Reda Kateb (Zero Dark Thirty), Barbara Steele (TV’s Dark Shadows), with Eva Mendes (The Place Beyond the Pines), and Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises).

Lost River is a dark fairy tale about love, family and the fight for survival in the face of danger. In the virtually abandoned city of Lost River, Billy (Christina Hendricks), a single mother of two, is led into a macabre underworld in her quest to save her childhood home and hold her family together. Her teenage son Bones (Iain De Caestecker) discovers a mystery about the origins of Lost River that triggers his curiosity and sets into motion an unexpected journey that will test his limits and the limits of those he loves.

In addition to making his directorial debut, Ryan Gosling also wrote and produced Lost River. Marc Platt (Into the Woods), Adam Siegel (Drive), Michael Litvak (Nightcrawler) and David Lancaster (Nightcrawler) also served as producers.

Lost River reunites the collaborative efforts of writer-director Ryan Gosling and critically acclaimed composer Johnny Jewel, who first worked together on the soundtrack success of Drive.

Visit LostRiverMovie.com and Facebook for more info on Ryan Gosling’s Lost River,  opening for a theatrical run starting April 10 in New York and Los Angeles and available same day via national digital release in the U.S.

The post Dark New Featurette For Ryan Gosling’s Lost River also appeared on Movie News & Reviews.

Deadpool Movie Synopsis Revealed

(PCM) Fox is riding the Deadpool news for all it can get. Fox has dropped the Deadpool logo, banner and synopsis.

Logo:

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Banner:

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Synopsis:

Based upon Marvel Comics’ most unconventional anti-hero, Deadpool tells the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson, who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humor, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life.

It is clear we are getting an origin story. Let’s hope it moves through the origin quickly and gives fans real action. As for hunting down his creator… read the synopsis carefully. It does not say Deadpool will hunt down his creator.  Of course if you are real heavy duty Deadpool fan you found the script online back in 2014.

The post Deadpool Movie Synopsis Revealed also appeared on Movie News & Reviews.

Is Deadpool Image Ryan Reynolds Real or CGI?

(PCM) Ryan Reynolds had great fun with tweeting his image as Deadpool on the bearskin rug which played up that Burt Reynolds Playgirl shot from the 1970’s.

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What most people have begun to take away from the image is that it may be CGI and not actually Ryan Reynolds in the Deadpool suit.

What are the clues? The front lighting is absent. Any photographer would use front lighting on a shot even this low to the ground. The back lighting of the fire comes over the front of the arms and the light of the fire should be bouncing off the side of Deadpools head too but does not. In addition the texture is exactly the same as the 2014 leaked Deadpool short but the most obvious two major giveaways are:

1. The opaque white eyes.
2. The facial expression with the mask on.

The eyes of the mask are not translucent white which makes it impossible for an actor to perform blindly. Sure a mask can be worn in filming that doesn’t have fully opaque eyes and they can be covered in post production, but this image has not been photoshopped for the eyes.

If the mask is true to spec, it would operate like the Spider-Man masks made for film. That is it would have a form that is worn beneath the fabric mask which is hard and rigid. In the image provided by Ryan Reynolds the mask clearly shows one eye with no expression and the other implying a wink through a squint.

Does it matter that this is a CGI photo? Not at all, but the truth is the image does not appear to be an actual photo of Ryan Reynolds in the Deadpool suit.

The post Is Deadpool Image Ryan Reynolds Real or CGI? also appeared on Movie News & Reviews.

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