Miles and Frances
Django Unchained: The Graphic Novel
Order your copy at www.reggiesworld.com and I’ll autograph it, if that’s what you want. But you want it. Christmas is coming, you can gift it AND keep one for yourself. Don’t take my word for it, read this review:
by Cody "The Thorverine" Ferrell
The seven-issue comics adaptation of the Oscar-winning movie by Quentin Tarantino is now collected in hardcover! Don’t miss this blood-soaked tale of a bounty-hunting dentist and his partner Django, a recently freed slave, as they search the post-Civil War South for Django’s wife!
Today sees the release of the Django Unchained trade paperback. The hardcover book collects all seven issues of the comic adaptation of the Oscar-winning movie from Quentin Tarantino. Of course it’s written by Tarantino since it’s the first draft of his script, but it’s adapted into comic book form by Reginald Hudlin. Issues 1, 2, 4, 7 feature art from R.M. Guera and Jason Latour. Issues 3 and 6 features pencils from Denys Cowan with inks by John Floyd. Issue 5’s art is handled by Danijel Zezelj. Giulia Brussco and Jose Villarubia handle colors while Sal Cipriano and Taylor Esposito provide lettering. The movie was a hit with critics and fans, but how does the adaptation hold up to the source?
The story doesn’t deviate too far from the finished project. Django is “freed” by Dr. King Schultz who then offers Django his freedom in exchange for helping him track down and kill the Brittle brothers. Their time collecting bounties forges a friendship and leads Schultz to train Django and offer to help him find his lost wife, Broomhilda, if he agrees to help him collect bounties over the winter. The duo track Broomhilda down to the villainous Calvin Candie, owner of the notorious Candyland. Django and Schultz will have to orchestra their most brilliant ruse yet if they hope to rescue Django’s love.
Hudlin adapts Tarantino’s first draft well. Things don’t differ too greatly from what we see on the big screen, but there is a large portion devoted to Broomhilda and her trip to Candyland. The final battle between Django and the white inhabitants of Candyland also goes down a little different than it does on film as well. Other than that, this is really just a great director’s cut of the film. The art is top notch all around. R.M. Guera is the prefect artist for this adaptation. He is probably best known for Scalped, and that was a comic series that was a fantastic Quentin Tarantino-ish film. Guera fits right in with the look and feel of Tarantino’s film. Cowan’s art on issues 3 and 6 are a good compliment to Guera. He has his own style, but the change isn’t drastic or jarring. Zezelji’s art on issue 5 is the most noticeable shift. The heavier line work and use of shading does work well with the introduction of Candlyand though.
Bottom Line: Django Unchained is just as good as its movie counterpart. There is enough here to keep it from feeling like a straight movie adaption comic, though most of the story plays out the same way. Like I said above, Django Unchained #1-7 is a stellar director’s cut of the film in comic book form. If you enjoyed Django Unchained, are a cinephile, or just love Tarantino films, this is well worth picking up. Tarantino proves it’s worth a comic book adaptation with his love letter to western comics in the book’s introduction. It’s a well put together trade to boot. 4.5/5
Summary: Django Unchained is just as good as its movie counterpart.
Lupita Nyong'o and Chiwetel Ejiofor
Lupita Nyong'o and Chiwetel Ejiofor
Prime Time - Janelle Monae with Miguel
Janelle Monae with Miguel – Prime Time.
Are you up on the DJANGO comic book series? There’s so much cool stuff in the books not seen the film. Order all seven issues at www.reggiesworld.com!
The AfroBeatles: Fela meets The Beatles... All Together Now
Miller Lite Commercial Parody
Here is a recent podcast with Barry Katz, talent manager and host of INDUSTRY STANDARD. It’s 90 minutes long, but people seem to like it. Click on it and you can listen while you check out the rest of the site.
Soiled Britches and Atomic Elbow from New Natin
Here are some of the online offerings from Soiled Britches and Atomic Elbow, two of the channels from New Nation Networks. These are just a few examples of a wide range of content we’re producing for YouTube. Please subscribe!
Shut Your Pie Hole Dave Chappelle’s new job
That’s A Friend with Damien Wayans
Shut Your Pie Hole Diddy shows what to do with a lot of money
Learning Stuff with Caitlin Upton
Bones Cast Members
Last Of The Django Interviews
I haven’t had a chance to post this Django interview until now, and while I liked the finished product, the whole interview should appear somewhere someday. It was good stuff. I got a few folks to laugh, cry, and rethink the whole black image question. Only a little of that is in this version.
CAA/Blackhouse Event Smiles
Some of the lovely ladies at the CAA/Blackhouse event.
2013 Oscar nominees Denzel Washington (best actor), Quvenzhane Wallis (best actress) and Reginald Hudlin (motion picture of the year).
Earlier that week my old Harvard roommates were wishing me luck, which led into a cool conversation about the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. The short version is that anything could be in the envelope until it is opened. I share the observation with others, but Christoph is the only person who gets it…and builds on the notion.
Here’s what’s crazy. Our friends rewound and did a freeze frame of the live shot, shot this screen grab and texted to us in the theatre as it was happening. I love living in the future.
I later find out this is the first of a half dozen times I ended up camera during the show. Sitting near Christoph, Reese Witherspoon and the star of LIFE OF PI worked out well for me.
Quentin’s Oscar. He earned it.
QT, my agent Cameron Mitchell and I strike a pose. After the Award show is over, we hit the Governor’s Ball. We had not eaten since 2pm so thank goodness there was great food from our friends Wolfgang Punk and his wife Galila.
After the Governor’s Ball, we headed to the Fabled Vanity Fair Party. Here is Jamie Foxx with the beautiful daughter. He usually has family with at important events like this.
Jamie is always great with the media. A total entertainer.
We came, we saw, we were seen, we partied. Time to go home, sleep, and get up and start climbing the mountain again tomorrow.
CAA/Blackhouse Dinner For Reggie!
Black achievement in Hollywood really isn’t recognized, let alone celebrated as much as you think it is. It’s usually a fight for respect from white institutions and maybe a well intended but poorly executed tribute from black institutions. So when Blackhouse (and black film support organization) and CAA (my new agency) came together to throw this incredibly nice event for me, it was shocking just because it happened. One of the attendees, one of the highest ranking black executives in music, told me he was totally inspired because “this NEVER happens”.
Verdine White of Earth Wind and Fire, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, me, Ali LeRoi, creator/producer of ARE WE THERE YET? and many other fine entertainments. Thanks for the classy picture Ali!
Django Comic Book Update
Did you know that the first issue of the DJANGO comic book has gone into its THIRD printing? Did you know you can order AUTOGRAPHED copies of the first three issues at www.reggiesworld.com? Well, now you do so order yours TODAY!
The Oscar Luncheon
The Oscar Luncheon is one of the three key Oscar events. First is the Governor’s Ball, which I attended, but took no pictures of. It was great, but since I have no documentation to share, I”ll just move on to the next event, which was the Oscar Luncheon. This is an event where you can take a guest, which is not always the case. So most of these fine pictures are by my wife.
The event itself is at the Beverly Hilton, which we were just at for the Golden Globes. In the lobby, I run into Phil Alden Robinson. Phil is an amazing filmmaker (FIELD OF DREAMS, SNEAKERS, the last TOM CLANCY movie), a deeply committed social activist, and a fun and wonderful person. I never spend as much time with him as I want to. Last time we talked we discussed doing an adaptation of a comic book property together…I think I’ll try again this year.
Anyway, here we are. He immediately got me involved in doing more the Academy, which I’d like to do anyway.
Once you get inside, there’s a line of press and you take a picture with Hawk Koch, who is running the Academy. Hawk has already made some good innovations this year, like making the shorts films available on DVD. This is a great step forward in making the membership able to make an informed vote on all the films.
Inside, the room is cool and blue. There are sexy red drinks everywhere. All the nominees are there. It’s a star studded room.
There’s a black guy in the room I don’t know. In a room with very, very few black people, I can’t believe there’s a guy there I don’t know. So I go meet him. Turns out that Christopher White is ALSO an Oscar nominee for his special effects work on THE HOBBIT. He went to New Zealand ten years ago for a six month gig and has been there ever since. He’s now got dual citizenship. What a success story!
After lunch, they start calling names one by one. When you name is called, you go stand at the amphitheater set up in one corner of the room for the official photo.
It goes on a long time. My fellow producers are up there. Most people are. Not me. I quietly start to panic. Has there been some horrible mistake?
Then…it’s my turn. I step up. The only other time I felt like this is when I graduated from college. We are the class of 2013. It feels glorious.
I stand where they tell me. I look behind me – Robert DeNiro. Then Helen Hunt stands next to me. Then Stephen Spielberg (the last name called) stands next to her.
I feel very good about where I am in my life.
Afterwards there’s mad press by the pool so me and my fellow producers Stacey Sher and Pilar Savone go take pictures and do interviews with different outlets.
At this point we’ve got the three people talking thing down smooth.
People rarely use an interview with a producer –stars and directors are preferred – but we had fun!
One of the best parts of being nominated for an Oscar is that they interviewed my mom for an Oscar special. She got the first and last word!
Reginald Hudlin on 'Django' Oscar Nod
By Aisha I. Jefferson
Black Academy Awards Series: The producer reflects on his diverse career and the n-word in the film.
As we gear up for the 2013 Academy Awards, airing Feb. 24, The Root is speaking with black Oscar winners and nominees -- past and present -- about the prestigious honor.
(The Root) -- There's a chance that Django Unchained producer Reginald Hudlin could make Oscar history. His controversial Quentin Tarantino film, which premiered last Christmas, garnered five Academy Award nominations, including best picture, a nod that Hudlin shares with its two other producers. Even though Hudlin, 51, is the fourth African-American producer to be up for a best picture statuette, a win could make him the first to actually snag it.
This honor may be the Centreville, Ill., native's first by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, but he's been a player for more than 20 years. In 1990, a few years after graduating from Harvard University, Hudlin teamed with his older brother, Warrington, who served as a producer, for his feature film directorial debut with the hit House Party, starring Kid 'n Play. Two years later, he followed up with another hit, Boomerang, starring Eddie Murphy, Halle Berry and Robin Givens. The movie's soundtrack launched singer Toni Braxton's career.
Since then, Hudlin's added an array of projects to his repertoire including directing episodes of hit TV shows such as The Office and Modern Family, as well as writing and producing for the Marvel Comics series Black Panther and its animated series. He also did a three-year stint as BET Networks president of entertainment and executive-produced this year's NAACP Image Awards. And Hudlin's not done yet. "I just took my coat off. I still have a lot of work to do," he jokes.
The Root caught up a busy Hudlin, who talked about Django Unchained's feedback, African Americans' depiction in the media and the criticism BET receives.
The Root: How has your life changed professionally since you were announced as an Oscar nominee?
Reginald Hudlin: Things are lot more intense. There's certainly a lot of excitement. There's a lot of opportunity. I think what's encouraging is that people look at me and my interests in a broader way. When you're fortunate to have early success, you kind of get typed in a certain way. So with the success of House Party and Boomerang, it's like, "Oh, he's a funny guy. He makes really classy funny movies." But obviously in the 20 years since then, I've done a lot things. I think Django has made people look at the whole body of work that I've done. People have taken a reassessment of who I am, saying, "Yes, we've been looking at you one way but now we have to reconsider you in a broader way." And that's great.
TR: Were you surprised by some of the feedback Django Unchained received?
RH: Well, you know, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive … People have seen it multiple times. Afeni Shakur -- Tupac Shakur's mother -- has seen it four times. Dick Gregory has seen it, I don't know, 16 times. [Laughs.] I get these emails that are so touching. This woman wrote me [saying] she had to get out of her seat and go into the lobby; she was crying because all her life she was taught that black men don't support their [black] women. And when she saw the film she just realized she had been told a lie, and she just had to compose herself and go back in and watch the rest of the film.
The tragedy is that there are a million movies about men going to save their women, going to save their wife. But I can't think of the past 10, maybe 20 years, where there's a story of a black man who's going in to help save his woman.
TR: For the number of people who really enjoyed this movie, there's a sizable group who did not -- with many of the detractors citing the use of the n-word as reason. Does this surprise you?
RH: The fact is that the movie is very honest about the horrors of slavery, and the linguistic violence is the least of what's shocking and hurtful and provocative in this film. So when people latch on to that, I just presume that they haven't seen the movie, which means they don't know what they're talking about. And I can't be concerned with people who talk and don't know what they're talking about, because if you're talking about something that you don't know, then you're embarrassing yourself.
I feel that the film does a service to people because it recouples the word with its original intent, which was to belittle and demean black humanity. One of the reasons there's so much debate over the use of the word [in the film] is because there's so much debate over the word, period. And obviously there's a long legacy of hurt with the word. There's also a large movement of people who are about transforming or defanging the word. In the past generation, kind of from Richard Pryor up through hip-hop, [there's been debate between those who embrace its usage and those who oppose it], and both sides feel pretty strongly about their attitudes about it. And Django is yet another field of skirmish on a very longstanding battle within the black community over the use of a term.
TR: Louis Gossett Jr. told The Root that he lived in a time when the n-word was used for malice, and that the word still bothers him.
RH: It should disturb you. You should not feel comfortable -- that was never the intent. It's a horrible word, and there's a horrible spirit behind it. That's very much the intent when you have a character like Calvin Candie played by Leonardo DiCaprio, who's very handsome, very charming, and at the same time you see the evil that that character's capable of. That's the lesson for all of us, because that's the world we live in.
TR: Some people feel Django Unchained was able to be made because a white man, Tarantino, told the story. Do you think a black man could have done a movie like this where the victimhood is taken out of slavery?
RH: Sure they could have. Look at the movie The Legend of Nigger Charley (1972) with Fred Williamson. That's a movie I saw when I was kid, and Fred "The Hammer" Williamson is not a victim. He whooped ass all through that film. It's not a film on the same scale of Django Unchained, but he wanted to get it made, and he got it made. And it was successful enough to be made into a sequel -- The Soul of Nigger Charley (1973) -- which they even had a quasi-sequel to that, Boss Nigger (1975). I have to note, if you may have noticed all three of those films have the word "nigger" in the title, yet somehow black people -- who are really the only people who went to see those films -- supported them enough for there to be three of them.
I guess some people would say we are more sensitive [today]; some people would say we're soft. I don't know. I think the point is that we are at a different place as a culture than where we were back then.
TR: How did your first film, House Party, contribute to the black cinematic landscape?
RH: It's a very important film because it was a genre film. That kind of teen comedy is a stable in Hollywood. And I grew up watching them myself, watching Animal House and watching American Graffiti, Risky Business and the John Hughes movies -- The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Those movies had a huge impact on me growing up. And I didn't understand why we didn't have movies like that about our lives.
So when [House Party] came out, and it cost $2.5 million and it made $27 million at the box office -- it made 10 times its money back. It was one of the most profitable independent films of that decade. It really sent a signal to Hollywood that wait a minute, these movies are just movies. We can make genre films from a black perspective, and audiences -- black, white and otherwise -- will embrace them. It was a very important milestone in contemporary black cinema.
TR: Despite your former employer BET's efforts to expand its programming beyond its BET: Uncut days, there are those who are holding a grudge against the network. Is this fair?
RH: I think there's a lot of frustration that black people have with their entertainment choices, period -- not just BET, but at everything that's been made available to us in movies and in television. And that's an interesting contradiction. We have more black entertainment product available than ever before -- more movies, more TV shows, more all of this stuff -- yet people are not happy with what they are getting.
I think that speaks to a couple of different issues: One, we as an audience are more diverse than ever before, and you're not going to get the consensus that you used to be able to get in terms of what black people want other than everything. And I think there's also a challenge where there's still too much formulaic product out that feels like it's more pandering to an audience as opposed to being -- and this may sound like a contradiction -- both crowd-pleasing and artistically ambitious.
TR: One of the primary complaints against reality shows such as All My Babies' Mamas -- which Oxygen scrapped after people petitioned it -- is about the limited and unfavorable depictions of African Americans.
RH: For white audiences, they can watch Here Comes Honey Boo Boo or Swamp People because they also have all of these doctor shows and lawyer shows that show what people presume is normal white households. Now, I don't know what is a normal white household. Maybe it's more like Honey Boo Boo than Modern Family. But there's a presumption from a media perspective that Honey Boo Boo is an outlier, but the presumption is the most extreme black behavior featured in reality shows is a normal, because we are not as well represented in scripted programming.
That's one of the reasons why people like a show like Scandal. First of all, it's a great show. Shonda Rhimes is great, Kerry Washington is great, the cast and ensemble are great. And those characters aren't perfect, but they're fascinating and wonderful, and we're completely engaged. And that's the example of "Hey, we want to have choices and options. And done at a certain quality level." And Scandal certainly does.
NAACP Image Awards on the Runway
Garcelle Beauvais, Frieda Pinto, Halle Berry and Kerry Washington at the Image Awards.
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