Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Retrieval (DVD REVIEW)



The Retrieval
DVD Review by Kam Williams

Bounty Hunter Befriends Runaway Slave in Civil War Drama
           
It is 1864, and the bloody conflict between the Union and the Confederacy is raging. Against the ominous backdrop of battle and cannon fire in the distance, we are introduced to Will (Ashton Sanders), a 13 year-old orphan ostensibly wrapped up in his own struggle to survive near the front lines.
            Separated at birth from the mother he’s never known, the vulnerable black boy is trying to save enough money to track down his long-lost dad. He works as the assistant to Burrell (Bill Oberst, Jr.), a bounty hunter in the fugitive slave business. Will does the white Southerner’s bidding by first ingratiating himself with unsuspecting escapees, and then betraying them once they confess to being runaways.
            Today, we find him on a mission in search of an ex-slave named Nate (Tishuan Scott). Will gains his confidence by offering to escort him back below the Mason-Dixon Line for a deathbed visit with a dying brother.
That establishes the absorbing premise of The Retrieval, a riveting road saga with escalating tension. Will Nate catch on before he’s turned over to Burrell? Or might the kid have second thoughts about striking a bargain with the devil?
            Written and directed by Chris Eska, The Retrieval made a splash on the festival circuit including at South by Southwest last year where Tishuan Scott won the Special jury Prize in the Breakthrough Performance category. Besides being blessed with great acting, this atmospheric mood piece features eerie cinematography that manages to transport you back to the Civil War era more convincingly than either 12 Years a Slave or Django Unchained.
         Slavery revisited as a sick institution occasionally making for strange bedfellows.
  
Excellent (4 stars)
Rated R for violence and ethnic slurs. 
Running time: 94 minutes
Distributor: Kino Lorber
DVD Extras: Deleted scene; stunt rehearsals; audio commentary by director Chris Eska; and the theatrical trailer.

To see a trailer for The Retrieval, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8HmcHTtOKg

To order a copy of the Retrieval on DVD, visit:



Dear White People (DVD REVIEW)



Dear White People
DVD Review by Kam Williams

Ensemble Comedy Examines State of Race Relations in the Ivy League

The academics are tough enough at Winchester University, a mythical Ivy League institution. It’s too bad that black students there also have to worry about making themselves comfortable socially.
            That’s precisely the predicament we find a quartet of African-American undergrads facing at the point of departure of Dear White People, a sophisticated social satire marking the directorial and scriptwriting debut of Justin Simien. Earlier this year, the thought-provoking dramedy won the Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent at the Sundance Film Festival. 
The picture’s protagonists are as different from each other as night and day. Lionel Higgins (Tyler James Williams) is gay and uncomfortable around his own people because blacks teased him the most about his sexuality back in high school. So, he lives in a predominately-white dorm where he’s ended up being bullied anyway.
Then there’s Troy Fairbanks (Brandon P. Bell), a legacy admission to Winchester courtesy of his father (Dennis Haysbert), an alumnus and the current Dean of Students. Troy’s dating an equally-well connected white girl, Sofia Fletcher (Brittany Curran), the daughter of the school’s President (Peter Syvertsen).
Political activist Samantha White (Tessa Thompson) sits at the other extreme, being a militant sister who lives in the all-black dorm ostensibly serving as a refuge for the “hopelessly Afro-centric.” She also hosts a talk show on the college’s radio school’s station, “Dear White People” where she indicts Caucasians about everything from their racism to their sense of entitlement.  
Finally, we have Coco Conners (Teyonah Parris) who just wants to assimilate into mainstream American culture. In fact, she’s more concerned with whether she might make the cut for the reality-TV show conducting auditions on campus than with challenging the status quo, ala rabble rouser Samantha.
So, the premise is set by establishing that the four lead characters have little in common besides their skin color. And the plot subsequently thickens when Pastiche, a student-run humor publication, decides to throw a Halloween party with an “unleash your inner-Negro” theme.
Now they share the prospect of being stereotyped by white classmates cavorting around in blackface dressed as pimps and gangstas, and as icons like President Obama and Aunt Jemima. En route to a surprising resolution, director Simien pulls a couple of rabbits out of his hat while lacing his dialogue with pithy lines (“Learn to modulate your blackness up or down depending on the crowd and what you want from them.”) and touching on a litany of hot button issues ranging from Affirmative Action to Tyler Perry.
A delightful dissection of the Ivy League that stirs the pot in the way most folks mean when they issue a call for a national discussion of race.
  
Excellent (4 stars)
Rated R for profanity, ethnic and sexual preference slurs, sexuality and drug use
Running time: 109 minutes
Distributor: Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Blu-ray Extras: Audio commentary with writer/director Justin Simien; The Making of Dear White People; “Get Your Life” music video by Caught a Ghost; deleted scenes; outtakes; Racism Insurance Skits; The More You Know about Black People (a PSA Web Series); DVRS: Black Friends When You Need Them; LEAKED: Banned Winchester U Diversity; and audio commentary with Justin Simien, and cast members Tessa Thompson, Tyler James Williams, Teyonah Parris and Brandon Bell.

To see a trailer for Dear White People, visit:

To order a copy of Dear White People on Blu-ray, visit:

Kam's Movie Kapsules for 2-6-15



OPENING THIS WEEK
Kam's Kapsules:      
Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun         
by Kam Williams
For movies opening February 6, 2015


BIG BUDGET FILMS   

Jupiter Ascending (PG-13 for violence, partial nudity and some suggestive content) Mila Kunis stars as the title character in this futuristic sci-fi as a humble housekeeper who learns from an intergalactic emissary (Channing Tatum) that she’s actually an alien aristocrat and the heir apparent to planet Earth. With Eddie Redmayne, Terry Gilliam, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and James D’Arcy.

Seventh Son (PG-13 for intense violence, frightening images and brief profanity) Screen adaptation of “The Last Apprentice,” Joseph Delaney’s fantasy epic about a righteous knight (Jeff Bridges) who, with the help of a young apprentice (Ben Barnes), attempts to thwart an evil witch (Julianne Moore) bent on world domination. Cast includes Djimon Hounsou, Alicia Vikander, Antje Traue and Olivia Williams. 

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (PG for mild action and rude humor) Screen adaptation of the animated TV series finds everybody’s favorite, sea-dwelling invertebrate (Tom Kenny) coming ashore with his friends to retrieve a stolen recipe from a dastardly pirate (Antonio Banderas). Voice cast includes Bill Fagerbakke, Rodger Bumpass, Thomas F. Wilson and Slash.


INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS 

3 Nights in the Desert (Unrated) Intriguing romantic romp revolving around the awkward love triangle drama which arises when a musical trio reunites in the desert a decade after the band members went their separate ways. Co-starring Wes Bentley, Amber Tamblyn and Vincent Piazza.

5 Hour Friends (Unrated) Romantic dramedy revolving around an unrepentant womanizer (Tom Sizemore) who gets a taste of his own medicine when he finally meets his match (Kimberlin Brown). With Musetta Vander, Dan Hewitt Owens and Leilani Sarelle. 

1971 (Unrated) Freedom of Information documentary recounting the break-in at a Pennsylvania FBI office by whistleblowers who found proof of the existence of an illegal surveillance program monitoring the movements of thousands of U.S. citizens.

Ballet 422 (PG for mild epithets) Behind-the-scenes documentary following wunderkind Justin Peck around backstage as he choreographs an upcoming New York City Ballet production.

Enter the Dangerous Mind (Unrated) Psychological thriller about a reclusive musician (Jake Hoffman) who starts dating a homeless woman (Nikki Reed) he meets at a shelter until he is manipulated into sabotaging the budding relationship by his skeptical roommate (Thomas Dekker). With Jason Priestly, Scott Bakula and Gina Rodriguez.

Love, Rosie (R for profanity and sexuality) Romantic comedy, based on “Where Rainbows End,” the best-seller by Cecelia Ahern about a couple of lifelong BFFs (Lily Collins and Sam Claflin) who take forever to realize they were meant for each other. Support cast includes Suki Waterhouse, Tamsin Egerton and Art Parkinson.

Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine (Unrated) Reverential biopic about Matthew Shepard (1976-1998), the University of Wyoming student sadistically beaten and left to die tied to a fence for being gay. An intimate portrait painted from the perspectives of the friends and family members who knew him best.

On the Way to School (Unrated) Thirst for knowledge documentary illustrating the great efforts which four children (one each from Kenya, India, Morocco and Argentina) make on a daily basis to get to school, whether by foot, wheelchair or horseback. (In French with subtitles)

One Small Hitch (Unrated) Romantic comedy about best friends sice childhood (Shane McRae and Aubrey Dollar) who make believe they’re engaged for the sake of dying dad’s (Daniel J. Travanti) last wish. With Janet Ulrich Brooks, Mary Jo Faraci and Robert Belushi (son of Jim).

The Other Man: F.W. De Klerk and the End of Apartheid (Unrated) Revisionist biopic reassessing the legacy of the last president of apartheid-era South Africa.

Pass the Light (Unrated) Faith-based drama revolving around a 17 year-old, high school senior (Cameron Palatas) who decides to run for Congress mounting a grassroots campaign with a Christian platform. With Dalpre Grayer, Alexandria DeBerry and Colby French.

The Voices (R for profanity, sexual references and graphic violence) Crime comedy about a factory worker (Ryan Reynolds) whose crush on a colleague (Gemma Atherton) takes a sinister turn after she stands him up on a date. Cast includes Anna Kendrick, Jacki Wea

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Above and Beyond (FILM REVIEW)



Above and Beyond
Film Review by Kam Williams

Reverential Retrospective Recounts U.S. Pilots’ Role in Israel’s War of Independence  

            Israel found itself losing its War of Independence in 1948 because it had no fighter planes with which to respond to air attacks on the part of its Arab adversaries. Luckily, a number of World War II fighter pilots from half a world away would answer its desperate plea for assistance.
Though this ragtag band of brothers considered themselves more American than Jewish, they were nevertheless willing to risk their U.S. citizenship and their very lives by volunteering to come to the rescue. So, they started by smuggling planes out of the country in order to train behind the Iron Curtain in Czechoslovakia.
Next, they flew to the war-torn Middle East where they would play a pivotal role in turning the tide of the conflict, while cultivating an unexpected Jewish pride in the process. The daring exploits of these unsung aviators are recounted in vivid fashion in Above and Beyond, a reverential documentary directed by Roberta Grossman.
Among the octet feted here is Leon Frankel, a bomber pilot who had received a Navy Cross for the heroism he’d exhibited over Okinawa. Another is Coleman Goldstein, who had been shot down over France in 1943 and declared missing in action. However, he survived WWII by making his way over the Pyrenees to Spain where he was rescued and reunited with his squadron. Then there’s the late Milton Rubenfeld, fondly remembered here by his son Paul, better know as comedian Pee Wee Herman.
Inter alia, we learn that the members of the 101st painted “Angels of Death” as a logo on their aircrafts’ fuselages. On one mission, a former commercial pilot for TWA tricked Egyptian air traffic controllers into believing that he was about to land in Cairo before dropping explosives on a city which had never been bombed before.
Another recounts observing refugees from Hitler’s death camps kissing the ground upon arriving in Israel. Besides fighting, the 101st not only flew supplies to the front lines but evacuated wounded soldiers from the Negev Desert battlefields.
As the curtain comes down, one ace waxes rhapsodic with, “God allowed us to survive World War II, so we could come to Israel and help the remnants of our people survive.” Hear hear!

Excellent (4 stars)
Unrated   
In English and Hebrew with subtitles
Running time: 87 minutes
Distributor: International Film Circuit

To see a trailer for Above and Beyond, visit: http://aboveandbeyondthemovie.com/trailer  

Dark Girls (BOOK REVIEW)



Dark Girls
By Bill Duke
Interviews by Shelia P. Moses
Photographs by Barron Claiborne
Hardcover, $35.00
192 pages, Illustrated
ISBN: 978-0-06-233168-7

Book Review by Kam Williams

“In today’s society, dark skin has become linked to longer prison time, higher unemployment rates, low self-esteem, lower standards of beauty, and higher psychological distress. The skin bleaching industry is a multimillion-dollar business. Women go to great lengths to lighten their skin in an attempt to be more attractive in the eyes of male partners and society as a whole…
Studies have also found that young girls… feel as if they are not as ‘pretty’ or ‘desirable’ as their friends with lighter skin. That is one of the reasons why this project is so important. It is showcasing dark girls from all over the world…
This book will be an inspiration to [help] people... realize that our dark skin tone makes us unique and beautiful as opposed to viewing it as a constraint that needs to be altered or avoided.”
-- Excerpted from the Postscript by Dr. Tenika Jackson (page 172)

Last year, the documentary Dark Girls was nominated for an NAACP Image Award. Now, the film’s director, Bill Duke, has published an equally-valuable companion piece celebrating the beauty of ebony-hued black women.
The classy coffee table book is comprised of over 80 full-page portraits of sepia-skinned sisters of every age and from every walk of life. Besides breathtaking photographs by Barron Claiborne, the opus includes the heartfelt reflections of each of the subjects about her coloring.
Retha Powers recalls being teased in grammar school by a mean classmate, before she expresses her concern about the welfare of her 6 year-old daughter, Isa. Sensitively answering her curious child’s questions about hair texture and styling, the supportive mom asserts that “90% of beauty is between the ears. It’s an inside job.”
 Another contributor is Camille Winbush, best known for playing niece Vanessa on The Bernie Mac Show. She admits that her feelings were hurt at the age of 12 while participating in a fashion show, when she was asked “What’s wrong with you?” backstage by a white girl pointing out her pigmentation. Fortunately, the gorgeous child actress had already been taught that “dark was normal and beautiful.”
Among the other luminaries weighing-in, here, are the comedienne Sommore, TV Judge Mablean Ephraim, Hip-Hop star Missy Elliott, actress Loretta Devine, Olympic gold medalist Dawn Harper-Nelson, and actress Sheryl Lee Ralph, to name a few. Artist/communications strategist Floydetta McAfee probably sums it all up best when she says, “I know and understand my history as an African-American. I come from the bloodline of many proud and self-assured people who are dark like me. I embrace that bloodline and our skin tone. In this dark skin I was born, grew up, traveled the world, and live proudly.”
            An uplifting collection capturing both the intelligence and elegance of darker-skinned sisters.

To order a copy of Dark Girls, visit:   

Monday, January 26, 2015

Voices of Auschwitz (TV REVIEW)

Voices of Auschwitz

TV Review by Kam Williams

CNN Special Revisits the Liberation of Notorious Concentration Camp

            While tracing his roots a year ago, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer learned for the first time that his paternal grandparents had perished at Auschwitz during the Second World War. That discovery made him a natural to host Voices of Auschwitz, a powerful documentary commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the infamous concentration camp.
Over one million Jews were murdered there at the hands of the Nazis, whether in the crematorium, by firing squad, as guinea pigs in experiments, or by other methods. This CNN special focuses on the reflections of a quartet of Auschwitz survivors, Renee Firestone, Martin Greenfield, Eva Kor, Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, members of an aging fraternity whose numbers are definitely dwindling. For that reason, it is important to hear how they not only miraculously managed to survive the ordeal, but went on to lead very productive lives after the war, despite losing most of their relatives.
Renee relates how upon arriving at Auschwitz, her mother was sent straight to the gas chamber, while she and her sister were sent into the prison where she bought time by offering her services as an aspiring fashion designer. Similarly, Martin worked as a tailor for the Gestapo, and was able to endure the bitter cold by sewing together scraps of discarded material.
Anita got a reprieve by playing the cello in a makeshift inmate orchestra, and eventually founded the English Chamber Orchestra. And Eva was only 10 years-old when her arm was branded “A-7063” at Auschwitz where she and her twin sister Miriam were subjected to torture on a daily basis at the hands of the diabolical Dr. Mengele.
Besides interviewing these survivors, Blitzer shares a tete-a-tete with film director Steven Spielberg, who credits shooting Schindler’s List and creating the Shoah Foundation for his renewal as a Jew. In sum, this moving memoir stands as a remarkable testament to the indomitability of the human spirit as well as a mighty reminder why the evils of the Holocaust must never be forgotten.

Excellent (4 stars)
Running time: 49 minutes
Distributor: CNN

Voices of Auschwitz premieres on CNN on Wednesday, January 28th @ 9pm ET/PT (check your local listings)

To see a trailer for Voices of Auschwitz, visit:  http://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2015/01/23/exp-promo-voices-of-auschwitz.cnn 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Kevin Costner (INTERVIEW)



Kevin Costner
The “Black or White” Interview
with Kam Williams

Oscar-Winner Reflects on Life, Career and His Latest Film  

Kevin Michael Costner was born in Lynwood, California on January 18, 1955. After landing a breakout role in Silverado in 1985, he enjoyed a meteoric rise in such hit pictures as The Untouchables, No Way Out, Bull Durham and Field of Dreams en route to winning a couple of Academy Awards for Dancing with Wolves.

Other films on his impressive resume include JFK, The Bodyguard, Message in a Bottle and Draft Day, to name a few. Here, he discusses his latest film, Black or White, a courtroom drama where he plays a grandfather caught up in a legal fight for custody of his biracial granddaughter with the black side of her family.       


Kam Williams: Hi Kevin, thanks for the interview. I’m honored to have this opportunity.
Kevin Costner: You can call me Kevin, Kam.  

KW: Thanks! I told my readers I’d be interviewing you, so I have a lot of questions for you from fans. Children’s book author Irene Smalls asks: What attracted you to this project, and do you think the plot is relevant, given the evolution of race relations in America?
KC: That’s what attracted me to the project. It reminded me of one of the things I like about movies. I remember how, after I read the script for Dances with Wolves, I just knew that I had to make it, when not everybody else wanted to. But I did end up making it. Similarly, Bull Durham and Fields of Dreams, didn’t strike people as giant movies, but I think the hallmark of all three of those pictures is that they have traveled through time and become classics. And when I read Black or White, I had the exact same feeling. I said, “Oh my God! This is about the moment that we’re living in right now. And this was before Ferguson, and all this stuff. You know, our problems didn’t just start in August. I’ve been living with this my entire life. But I thought there was a level of genius in the writing that I thought would make everybody rush to make this movie also. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, and so the journey of this project has been very much like the journey of others that I’ve had to push uphill. But I didn’t think Black or White had any less value, so I decided I would pay for it, and make this movie because I just thought it had a chance to be a classic, and because it said some things I think a lot of people need to hear and would even perhaps say themselves, if they could string the words together.  

KW: Sangeetha Subramanian says: Black or White looks like a great movie, Kevin. Did you give your on-screen granddaughter, Jillian Estell, any acting advice on the set?
KC: No I didn’t. I just tried to lead by example by the way I behaved on the set, and she understood. She’s a little girl, and I always had to keep that in mind. But she gave us the performance that we really needed. This movie depended on her being really good, which she was!

KW: Harriet Pakula-Teweles says: Field of Dreams’ message was, “If you build it, he will come.” What’s the takeaway built into Black or White?
KC: I guess the message of Field of Dreams, ultimately, was about things that go unsaid between people who really love each other, and about how it’s important that you try to say those things while you’re still alive, so that they have that level of meaning, that level of value, that you can carry with you for the rest of your life.
Field of Dreams, to me, was always about things that go unsaid that need to be talked about. I don’t know what the takeaway for Black or White is, but I do know that if you’re going to make a movie, and it’s going to deal with race, you have to make it authentic, and not pull any punches. You have to use the language that’s appropriate. And I thought this movie was a miracle because writer/director Mike Binder was able to just be authentic in dealing with race. These were things that wanted to be said, so I knew that I would have a kind of a role of a lifetime in Elliot Anderson.

KW: Director Larry Greenberg says: Black or White touches on how alcoholism and addiction impact parenting. Is this an issue that you feel needs more attention?
KC: Well, obviously, you were able to see the movie, Larry, and for that I’m grateful. The hope is that, if the movie did touch you, you’ll continue to tell other people about it. But alcohol, used in any excess, is always going to put a veil over how we behave… clouding our judgment… and affecting our ability to love and to be responsible. And certainly, in this instance, it’s pretty clear that what was driving the drinking was the loss of the love of his life, his wife, and the loss of his child seven years earlier. The discussion of alcohol, and where he is in terms of it, is pretty unique in this film, because at one point he suggests that maybe he isn’t an alcoholic, but just an angry person. And that clouds his judgment when he’s backed into a corner. Also, the movie deals with addictions on both sides, which makes it very balanced and enjoyable to watch.

KW: Sherry Gillam says: Happy Belated Birthday! [January 18th] I saw your picture on the cover of AARP Magazine a couple of months ago. You’re still just as handsome as ever.
KC: [Laughs heartily] Thank Sherry a lot. I have no choice, but that was really a high compliment. It’s been a pleasure making movies for people of my generation. I try to make films that will stand the test of time, so that the younger generations will be inclined to catch up to them. That’s what I tried to do with Black or White. It’s relevant to us now, but I’m hopeful that someone watching it twenty years from now will understand what’s at stake when you’re dealing with the welfare of a child, and of the problem that might come when you overlay it with race.

KW: Sherry did have a question, too. She asks: What makes you smile on the inside?
KC: [Laughs again] A good idea makes me smile. My children succeeding makes me smile. My wife looking at me and saying she’s proud of me makes me smile. Even just being surprised makes me smile.

KW: Professor/director/author Hisani Dubose says: You have such a broad range of movies, which I think is great. What attracts you to a script? Is there a unifying factor?
KC: Sometimes, it’s the chance to say something I want to say for myself. Other times, it’s having an opportunity to say something that I feel everyone in the world would like to say. And Black or White really matches up with that. There are some things said in this movie that I know people have wanted to say for a long time. I was given the speech of a lifetime in the courtroom, and I’m gratified to hear that audiences have been clapping when I’m done. A lot of people would never think that’s possible, given the movie, but I’ve seen it in theaters night after night. That’s been very pleasing to me.

KW: Documentary filmmaker Kevin Williams says: Thank you for making so many great, enjoyable films. When you look back upon your career, how do you remember your magical rise from Silverado to winning a couple of Oscars for Dances with Wolves?
KC: The truth is that I can remember it, I understand, yet I never thought my career would ever have that kind of success. Listen, I’ve had such good luck. I didn’t know it could ever be as wonderful as it has been, although it has had a measure of stress and pain. Still, it’s been an incredible ride. I appreciate my good luck and my good fortune, and I have loved every minute of it. Silverado, Fandango, No Way Out, The Untouchables, Open Range, Hatfields & McCoys, all these movies that I look back on, and now Black or White. Listen, I’ve had good luck, and I get that. I just hope the second half of my life plays out in a way that I am able to continue to make movies that are relevant not only to me but to people who like to go to the theater.

KW: My favorite of your films, one which I’ve watched over a dozen times, is No Way Out.
KC: [Chuckles] That was a movie that wasn’t going to get made, either. It was sitting at Warner Brothers in a state of limbo known as turnaround. It just wasn’t on the minds of anybody. Orion Pictures wanted to do a picture with me, but they didn’t have anything in mind. They asked me what I was interested in, and I told them that there was this picture over at Warner Brothers I really loved called Finished with Engines. I brought the script to them and they decided they would do it, but they changed the title to No Way Out.  

KW: Environmental activist Grace Sinden asks: What do you enjoy the most about the moviemaking process?
KC: I really love rehearsal. I love being with people and working on something when no one else is looking. Another aspect I enjoy is having a job where you have breakfast, lunch and dinner with the people you work with. You always get to know people a lot better when you’re actually able to have meals with them. So, I was really perfectly suited for the movie business. I don’t know how I got so lucky, but I thank God for it every day.  

KW: Attorney Bernadette Beekman asks: Do you think this film will initiate a debate about interracial adoption?
KC: I think that if you see this movie with someone who doesn’t look like you, you’re going to have an incredible conversation afterwards. I believe Black or White will really foster conversation whether you see it with friends or with your sweetheart, and that you will be a little different when you come out of the theater. 

KW: David Roth says: In Black or White, your character, Elliot, is raising a black granddaughter, sheltering her from her junkie dad and the perceived instability of her black relatives. Does this picture pander to “white knight coming to the rescue of a person of color” stereotype avoided by Selma director Ava DuVernay in her downplaying President LBJ’s role in the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
KC: Audiences coming out of the theater say how refreshing Black or White is because of its evenhandedness in that regard. We know that humans are sometimes willing to fight unfairly, and what makes this picture great is that it feels very, very authentic. We’re not dealing with the same issue that David has with Selma. No one likes to go to a movie and fell like they’ve been manipulated. You smell a rat when you’re being manipulated. The truth is just as entertaining as a lie, so why not shoot the truth?

KW: When you look in the mirror, what do you see?
KC: I see a full life. And I’m raising young children, and my desire to stay healthy and to remain relevant is uppermost in my mind.

KW: The Ling-Ju Yen question: What is your earliest childhood memory?
KC: I remember everything from about 2½ or 3 years-old on. I remember my father coming home and unlacing his work boots... I remember my mom cooking in the kitchen… I remember the curtains… the couches… the smell of the linoleum. I even remember some of my dreams from back then.    

KW: I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that powerful eulogy you delivered for Whitney Houston. There were a lot of great eulogies that day, but yours eclipsed them all.
KC: Thank you. Well, Whitney and I had a unique relationship. I wasn’t even sure that I should be up there talking, but it seemed like the world demanded that because of our make believe relationship in The Bodyguard. The world has linked us together because of that movie. So when I was asked to speak, I could only talk about what it was I knew.

KW: Harriet also asks: With so many classic films being redone, is there a remake you'd like to star in?
KC: I don’t really think about that very much. There are a couple that I might redo, but I still just love breaking new ground on an individual movie. I appreciate great classics, and perhaps I’ll make one someday, but I have six or seven lined up, and not one of them is a remake or a sequel.  

KW: Are any of your kids interested in following in your footsteps?
KC: No, they’ve all charted their own paths. None of them has pivoted off my name. They’re all doing their own thing. That’s what I love about them. My daughter [Lily] sings in Black or White. That’s her singing in the funeral scene. She’s 28, and an amazing singer/songwriter.

KW: Lastly, what’s in your wallet?
KC: [LOL] What’s in my wallet? Well, at the premiere a few days ago, this Chinese fellow came up to me, handed me his card, and said, “I want to make movies with you.” I haven’t called him yet, but we’ll see if he really means it.

KW: Thanks again for the time, Kevin, and best of luck with the film.
KC: I’m glad you liked the movie, Kam, and thanks for writing about it.

To see a trailer for Black or White, visit:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqlE-7PP7Ho