Archive for the Movie and DVD News Category

Dear White People: A Guide To Inter-Racial Harmony In “Post-Racial” America

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Book Reviews and More, Movie and DVD News, Racism, Women's Interests with tags , , , , , , on October 28, 2014 by Gary Johnson


By Black Men In Staff

Right out of college, Justin Simien wrote a screenplay about the nuanced experiences of four black students on a predominantly white college campus. The film, Dear White People, garnered a Sundance Award for “Breakthrough Talent” and has been hailed by critics everywhere. Channeling the sensibility of the film into this book, Simien will keep you laughing with his humorous observations, even if you haven’t seen the satiric film.

News Flash—the minimum number of black friends needed to not seem racist has just been raised to two. Rather than panic, readers are advised to purchase a copy of Dear White People. Whether you are a dear white person wondering why your black office mate is avoiding eye contact with you after you ran your fingers through her hair, or you’re a black nerd who has to break it to your white friends that you’ve never seen The Wire, this myth-busting, stereotype-diffusing guide to a post-Obama world has something for you!

With decision-making trees to help you decide when it’s the right time to wear Blackface (hint: probably never) and quizzes to determine whether you’ve become the Token Black Friend™, Dear White People is the ultimate silly-yet-authoritative handbook to help the curious and confused navigate racial microaggressions in their daily lives.

Based on the eponymous, award-winning film, which has been lauded as “a smart, hilarious satire,” this tongue-in-cheek guide is a must-have that anybody who is in semi-regular contact with black people can’t afford to miss!

Click here to view the official “Dear White People” trailer.

About Justin Simien

Justin Simien is the writer / director and a producer of the critically acclaimed feature, Dear White People, which won the Special Jury Award for ‘Breakthrough Talent” at the 2014 Sundance film festival. The film was also awarded with the “Audience Award” at the 2014 San Francisco International Film Festival, and also earned Justin a spot in in Variety magazine’s “10 Directors to Watch”.

Justin gained national attention after making a “concept trailer” for his then unproduced screenplay of “Dear White People” that went viral on YouTube garnering over a million views and fifty thousand dollars in donations from fans around the world. Before entering the world of content creation, Justin worked as a Publicist and Marketing specialist for film companies such as Paramount Pictures, Focus Features, and Sony Television.

Justin currently lives in Los Angeles, CA where he continues to write, direct and produce for film and television.  Click here to learn more about Justin by visiting his official website.

“Hoodwinked,” “Black People Don’t Read” and The World According To Janks Morton

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Links, Black Men In America, Movie and DVD News, Racism with tags , , , on August 18, 2012 by Gary Johnson

By Gary A. Johnson, Black Men In

My main man Janks Morton and I will be getting the band back together next week to promote his new movie “Hoodwinked,” the much anticipated and long awaited sequel to the movie “WHAT BLACK MEN THINK.”  Janks Morton is one of the best storytellers in the business.  He is to many, the voice of the unheard.  Janks is part of a growing underground that is beginning to surface and gain more attention.  He’s his own man and is deserving of wider recognition.

This is where guys like me come in.  People who own and control their own media who work together with other media owners to collectively educate our community and facilitate a constructive dialogue.  Black Men In has a wide reach in the Black community.  Janks and I living proof that black folks can come together and work toward a common goal.  We’ve done it for years.  Do we agree on everything?  No!  However, we agree on the IMPORTANT things.  Actually, we agree on most things.  Janks Morton is a “submarine deep” thinker who works tirelessly doing the work of others to help dispel myths and stereotypes about Black people.  He is not to be taken lightly.

For those of you who don’t know about Janks Morton read the information below from his official web site and watch the movie trailer for “Hoodwinked.”

Here’s some of the thoughts and logic that drive the behavior of my friend Janks, who I affectionately call, “The Man from Mars.”

For over four-hundred years, the majority white society has used many tools to reinforce a message that the peoples of African descent are less-than, not-equal-too or not-good enough. In this modern era of information, the media, government and special interests use statistics to further promote the message of Black inferiority. What troubles me most, is that we as a people have internalized the misinformation, embraced the myths, and perpetuated the stereotypes, sadly reinforcing a collective misperception of our own identities.

Here’s a quick test of how we perceive ourselves – Excluding athletics, entertainment or religion, name a positive stereotype about African Americans. I’ll wait…

Most African-Americans have a challenging, if not impossible time summarizing our collective experience into one positive statement of group-worth. Sadly if I were to ask you the same question about other racial groups, you would rattle off quickly “smart,” “hard-working,” “and “good with money.” This is a testament to how we have allowed Black identity to be twisted and maligned, while also adopting this societal defamation of character as our own belief set.


Hoodwinked will be an exploration of the most recent data being released by the US Census, DOJ, DOE, DOC and the CDC to highlight strides and achievements in the African American community. It will feature expert contributors, man on the street interviews, anchor desk headline reporting, and the return of Janks Morton and his “Board of Education” to examine further the symbiotic relationship between media, government and special interest, as they exploit imagery, statistics and data that too often presents a skewed perspective of the modern era African American experience.

BLACK PEOPLE DON’T READ is a comprehensive summary of Data and Statistics from the most recent US Census Bureau, Department of Justice, Department of Education and other agencies around the state Blacks in America. BLACK PEOPLE DON’T READ is a tool to not only refute the plethora of misinformation that exists about Black Identity, but also as a conversation starter around many positive data points, too often missed by the media and seldom discussed at the barbershop.

Click here to learn more.

Celebrity Interviews with Valder Beebe

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men In America, Feature Interviews, Movie and DVD News, Music, Women's Interests with tags , on August 5, 2012 by Gary Johnson



Got 5 Minutes?  She’s Got The Interview.

Interviews with actors, directors, entertainers, and celebrities conducted at press junkets, movie premieres, and one-on-one interview session’s in-studio, via satellite, Skype and phone. Interviews conducted with the world’s most fascinating people in exotic locations: Istanbul, Israel, Canada, London, South Africa……with more to come

Check out a few of Valder’s interviews featuring Donald Faison, Mary, Mary, and Tyler Perry and Tasha Smith:

The Valder Beebe Show



You can keep up with Valder Beebe on our main web site located at

What Black Men Think Hits The Documentary Channel

Posted in Black America, Black Interests, Black Links, Black Men, Black Men In America, Movie and DVD News, Racism with tags , , , on May 22, 2012 by Gary Johnson

Our friend and a favorite filmmaker Janks Morton’s groundbreaking film “What Black Men Think” will be featured on the Documentary Channel.  Click here for more details.

Think Like A Man

Posted in African Americans, Black Interests, Black Links, Black Men, Comedy, Movie and DVD News with tags , , , , on April 18, 2012 by Gary Johnson

Do you seek relationship advice? “Think Like A Man,” in theaters April 20th, dons a plethora of complex characters that match their brains and wit with stellar advice, based on Steve Harvey’s bestselling book to navigate relationships. Top black actors- Michael Ealy, Meagan Good, Regina Hall, Kevin Hart, Taraji P. Henson, Terrence J. and Gabrielle Union take to the silver screen on April 20th, bringing the novel to life.

Advice…a necessary evil. Traditionally men are known for avoiding advice, especially when they need it. Gain the advantage by seeking out mentors and friends that can act as solid soundboards. Why not? Women do it everyday, especially when it comes to relationships. “Think Like A Man” is a classic example- in theaters April 20th.

Family to help your everyday life challenges? Check! Mentors that help you navigate the workforce? Check! Who helps you with relationships? Some try to manage on their own, others ask friends, but have you ever turned to a book for guidance? A classic example is in the new movie, “Think Like A Man,” hitting theaters on April 20th.

About the Movie

Based on Steve Harvey’s best-selling book, “Think Like A Man,” follows four interconnected and diverse men whose love lives are shaken up after the ladies they are pursuing buy Harvey’s book and start taking his advice to heart.  When the band of brothers realize they have been betrayed by one of their own, they conspire using the book’s insider information to turn the tables and teach the women a lesson of their own.  The movie is directed by Tim Story and written by Keith Merryman and David A. Newman.

The movie is in theaters this Friday, April 20thClick here to visit the official “Think Like a Man,” web site.

Can I Burn A Copy Of Your DVD?

Posted in Black Interests, Movie and DVD News with tags , , , , on August 20, 2009 by Gary Johnson

(Or, How The ” I Got The Hook-up Mentality” Is Killing Black Independent Filmmakers)


By Janks Morton

August 19, 2009

This evening I finally decided to set aside an evening to blog.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy expressing myself through this venue; it’s just this one little obstacle I have to get over every time I sit down to hunt and peck at the keyboard (yep, never took a typing class)–I HATE WRITING! No exceptions, no quorums, lots of complaints, but at this stage in life, I’ve come to accept it as  just one of those things.

Over the past couple of years my posts have devolved from social, artistic and political commentary, to a “cut, copy and paste” of interesting articles followed by some pretty weak one line zingers. And good lord help me since I’ve discovered re-tweeting on twitter.  My seldom written and overreaching diatribes have been pretty much non-existent.  Not to say I haven’t been busy shooting off at the mouth in pretty much any forum that would have me, but enough of the rambling and on to the story…

So this past weekend I was having a conversation with a dear friend of mine some of you may know. Lamar Tyler of is also an up and coming filmmaker and between his website and the film, is becoming a force to be reckoned with.  Check out a sample of his work.

(I’m going to have to really keep my eye on him, his movie “Happily Ever After “just passed my film on  My competitive streak is kicking in and I will win!) Well Saturday morning, early in the conversation, he proudly announced on the phone, “Man, we just passed 10,000 fans on our Facebook fan page today!” Point for celebration correct? Maybe.  In a very cynical tone my follow-up question to this moment of reserved jubilee  was. “So how’s the DVD sales going?’  After a downturn of his emotions and a slight pause, Lamar said “…..well” at this juncture…” I interjected and saved him from having to express his frustrations and finished his sentence with “Yeah, you know how we do…”And therein lies the premise of this blog and the ongoing saga of the trials and tribulations of independent filmmaking.

The back story and underlying support for this blazing generalization of “you know how we do” are two fold, and while I have a lifetime of experience and perceptions to assert this negative stereotype, I will reference two recent incidents to make my point.

Incident #1:  After a stirring and heart-felt presentation at a very large mega church in Prince George’s County Maryland (a suburb of Washington, DC), a fine and upstanding member of the highly visible law enforcement division, walks up to me with the following statement. “Brother (I immediately begin to wonder if I paid those 4 parking tickets), I just wanted to say that your documentary and presentation is one of the most important messages I have ever seen, and the DVD would be a valuable resource for the young men we work with.”  (Whew!) The officer continued and asked:  “Would you mind if I burned a couple of copies for some of my team members so they can use them at their respective facilities?” Hopefully you can hear the sound of tires screeching in my head, or that scratching noise old record needles use to make.  And while the proper english, and professional demeanor of this gentleman was impressive, the logic seemed to escape me.

Fortunately I no longer swear in public because in my mind something along the lines of “Motherf%#@, don’t yawl arrest people for that stuff ?” (Feel free to insert your curse word of preference anywhere in the previous sentence).  Considering we were in church and he was carrying a firearm, I simply replied:  “C’mon brother, I ain’t got Sony pictures behind me, it’s just me, so can you….”  As I was speaking I could see the look of, “Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah” coming across his face as to have an epiphany and close the conversation with “Oh dag, my bad.”

Incident #2:  This past weekend at another church another heart-felt, passionate member began to speak.  This was right after I was trying to compose myself.  (My session on the topic of  forgiveness almost always brings me to tears.) Now I just delivered an inspiring message to about 100 members and had one of the best home cooked sausage eggs and home fry deals I’ve had since I’ve been on tour.  I don’t want to give a “purchase product” lecture after just had a free meal, a free movie screening and a free sermon. During the Q&A segment, a brother stands up in front of everyone and says:  “Brother, I love what you have put together here.  I got this (so and so)  hook up in Chicago, with these brothers that are doing (such and such).  Can I burn a copy of this to send to them to help you out?

I stopped and looked out into the audience.  The audience members looked at me.  I grinned, tilted my head with a “deer stuck in the headlights look,” and replied “Are you kidding me?” Once again, good fortune prevailed.  The audience was amused, and the gentleman made sure to come after the program and apologize profusely about his error, and of course I replied, “It’s cool, you know how we do…”

So back to my conversation with Lamar. Several days prior I realized that between all the YouTube, MySpace, FaceBook and other web outlets, I have over 500,000 views of my videos, and God only knows how many hits to the BlackPlanet, Washington Post, CNN and all that other stuff out there. “Man if I could just get 10% of these fans to buy the DVD I would be straight!” stresses Lamar. My final reply was “Man, if I just had one dollar from just the views on the PSA it would be over.  I would be set.”

“But you know cuz, it’s just the way it is. you know how we do…” I continued. Black people, you gotta love ‘em, but we missed the memo that seems to be circulating amongst a lot of other groups throughout this country. I hate to play the whole slavery card, and the subsequent socialization process of making something out of nothing, however on the topic of the intrinsic value of supportive commercewe seem to miss connecting all the dots. “I’ve been thinking about writing a blog about this for a very long time but it’s such a touchy subject and a very fine line to walk, I think it could tick more people off than inspire” was how I finished the conversation with Lamar.

So at this juncture I’ll do what it is I always do, provide a couple of case studies for your amusment. Exhibit A.  that dog gone Jeff Foxworthy (or the Caucasian version of the chittlin circuit). This dude basically drops these series of stand up comdeianic self deprecating, culture denigrating narratives, that are so uniquely, well, redneck, I have difficulty following the humor most times.  It took me two whole days to catch this joke about matching salad bowls and cool whip containers, but I digress. My point, self-described rednecks ate that stuff up, and the intrinsic value of supportive commerce we began to kick in. In other words, they began to support their own through purchases, word of mouth and other mechanisms. The other examples I would defer to would be Van Halen, Master P, and MC Hammer, but want to use them as a point of differentiation because they are musical entertainment (one of the few durable goods you’re allowed to consume, entirely, prior to purchase).  Point being, that these acts probably were supported by as little as 20,000 followers at the time of their “big record deals” and commanded high percentages and millions at the table.

I’ll closed out with my other, not so favorite Tyler (Perry), and how long he was on the scene as a playwright in the church circuit before he got any type of nod from Lionsgate. Both Lamar and I use a documentary style format to advance socio-political-spiritual ideologues, i.e. restoration of black families, or positive images of healthy black marriages, and while it may not be as dramatic as say, a grown man in a dress going to another family reunion, with the latest gospel track kicking at the climax, our works are actually capturing the heart, mind and souls of what is happening today in our community, and hopefully, about a 100 years from now, these films can truly be looked upon as documenting what the deal really was from our own lenses.

So what’s all the fuss about? What’s to stop us from continuing along our respective paths?

Let me give you insight to the world many of independent filmmakers live. Tim Alexander, Eric McKay, Andrea Wiley and a whole slew of “up and comers” are doing some things absolutely groundbreaking, totally unheard of, and by Hollywood’s standards, a little bit crazy.

What we do is pay for our own stuff. No backers, no financing, no grants, no foundations, just us. I think the challenge is making the general public understand what goes on behind the scenes to take on these efforts. The blood,the sweat and the tears I have seen most of us go through in order to deliver a quality product to market. I’ve seen 2nd mortgages, foreclosures, pawning of cameras, bankruptcies, and a slew of financial worries, to make most thankful for their 9 to 5’s. Hell I’ve even had to start plucking more gray hairs monthly because of these endeavors. And please let us NOT begin the narrative of early morning chest pains that jump up until that first cup of coffee.

My point, you may ask again? You gotta love my people to do what we do. We all have always heard the clarion call of support our own. From the Black Buying Boycott day (still ticked at whoever came up with that idea, zero units sold for 2 days on AMAZON) to the Black Shopping Network, to the “I’m down for supporting Black products, Brother (fist raised) ” I meet no matter what city I’m in. The challenge is that more often than not, our attitudes just don’t seem to translate into actions when it comes to specific independent efforts outside of music. I know probably one of the greatest spoken word poets ever in Taalam Acey.

If talent equated to compensation for your efforts, this man would make Donald Trump look poor. Gary Johnson, of and author of book 25 Things That Really Matter In Life,” an inspiring book, should be part of your daily read for like a year. And finally Lamar Tyler with his 10,000 fans on FaceBook. What do we all have in common? All struggling to keep the electricity on, thinking about disconnecting the phone lines because of that HELOC loan that slipped behind, or dang, “If I could just manage to get 20 of the 100 people at this event to understand if they loved this so much, and you want to see more of it, you kind of have to buy something to support it.”

I know this is touchy with us, and I KNOW HOW WE DO, with that being said, I wanted to give anyone out their some direction around this whole deal; in the Jerry McGuire diatribe of “help me, help you”. This is a tough line to walk, I don’t want to instill guilt to manipulate. I don’t want to appear to be grumpy and definitely don’t want to seem like we’re begging. With that being said, here’s a stab at a specific course of action that will ensure that this art form doesn’t turn into, well, MC HAMMER, here today, gone tomorrow, and back in 20 years.

In bullet points, and summary:

  1. While you may see us on CNN, CSPAN or any MSN outlet, I have never met an independent (non-major studio associated) artist who is just out right looted.
  2. Most of us out here are self-financed in debt up to our necks and struggling to continue to advance this medium.
  3. We love what we do, and if everything was right with the world we would do it for free.
  4. We all are probably as guilty as the next guy of the “hook a brother up mentality,” by lifting free cable, downloading from Napster, or coping a bootleg at the barbershop. (Now I’m feeling guilty ~ sorry all of you 80’s stars like D-Train)
  5. I know right is right and wrong is wrong, and this instance, we need a “do the right thing mentality”. To sustain the lifeline of an emerging and necessary outlet, help us break the stranglehold that studios, networks and MSM have about the necks of the black community, this includes you Blacks Embarrassing Themselves.
  6. Please support your local independent filmmakers by more than kind words on a twitter entry. While we love and appreciate the encouragement, really hook a brother up, BUY the dag gone movie. And if you’re feeling super generous, send a dollar! Really it’s a simple best bit of encouragement we can get.
  7. And instead of burning a copy for your boys, please insists that your friends get their own.
  8. And if you really want to help us out, send out one of those emails that says “if you don’t forward this to all of your email friends, you’ll have seven years bad luck, and your dog is going to get measles.

Thanks, we love you, and truly appreciate the hook-up.


About the Author: Janks Morton is an award winning and critically acclaimed filmmaker responsible for bringing us “What Black Men Think,” and Men II Boys, two of the most talked about documentaries of the past two decades.

Slumdog Millionaire On DVD

Posted in Movie and DVD News with tags , on April 3, 2009 by Gary Johnson


Movie Review by Brandon Whitney

Wow. The film is about a poor kid from the slums, or a “slum dog” who is one question away from winning the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. The film begins with the police torturing him to find out how he cheated because it is assumed that an impoverished product of the slums could not possibly have known the answers to such difficult questions as those asked on the show. As he explains to the police how he knows the answers, we are shown flashbacks of the significant moments of his life that are tied to his knowledge.

The film is in both English and an Indian language with subtitles. We are able to see the plight of the Muslim minority in India. The abuse of women, children, and the poor is also highlighted in the film. The industry and grit of the Indian people is displayed in every moment of Slumdog Millionaire. The lead actor Dev Patel, is brilliant in the film, making the audience feel happy when he is happy, and sad when he is as well. His brother, Selim, is played by three different actors throughout his life, all of whom make you both love and hate the character.

Slum Dog Millionaire is a movie that has won many awards and much critical acclaim. You have doubtlessly heard of it. I want to let you know that, besides being a darling of the critics, it is also a watchable and engrossing movie that you will enjoy. It’s a buy.

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