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TV Review: Roots “Night 4”
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Olympus Athens   |  @   |  
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Roots Night 4-09

Roots
Night 4
Directed by Bruce Beresford
Written by Lawrence Konner
Based on the novel by Alex Haley
Starring Laurence Fishburne, Regé-Jean Page, Anika Noni Rose, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Mekhi Phifer, T.I., Erica Tazel, Anna Paquin, Sedale Threatt Jr., and Malachi Kirby
The History Channel | A&E | Lifetime
Air Date: Thursday, June 2nd, 2016, 9:00pm

The past 3 nights, A&E, The History Channel, and Lifetime have simultaneously aired the first 3 parts of the “Groundbreaking Series Reimagined” – Roots, based on Alex Haley’s 1976 novel. The original 1977 series starring Levar Burton and John Amos as warrior turned slave (but a warrior forever in his heart), Kunta Kinte, followed him and his generations of family through the brutal history of America. This week we cried and cringed and laughed and raged with these strong characters and brilliant actors. On Night 1, we met Kunta Kinte (Malachi Kirby) ripped away from his happy life in Africa, to be whipped and chained as a slave in America, always trying to escape. On Night 2, Kunta loses half a foot for running, and settles down with his wife Belle (Emayatzy Corinealdi) and his daughter Kizzy (E’myri Lee Crutchfield), teaching her the ways of a warrior. Kizzy is sold to another, ripped from her parents loving arms. Night 3 was the story of Kizzy (Anika Noni Rose) and her son George (Regé-Jean Page), product from a rape by her new owner, Tom Lea (Jonathan Rhys Myers). As much as George tried to gain Tom’s approval and love, in the end Tom sold him for a debt, and George was ripped away from his wife, babies, and mother.

Spoilers below.

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TV Review: Roots “Night 3”
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Olympus Athens   |  @   |  
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Roots Night 3-07

Roots
Night 3
Directed by Thomas Carter
Written by Charles Murray
Based on the novel by Alex Haley
Starring Laurence Fishburne, Regé-Jean Page, Chad L. Coleman, Shannon Lucio, Anika Noni Rose, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Michael James Shaw, and Malachi Kirby
The History Channel | A&E | Lifetime
Air Date: Wednesday, June 1st, 2016, 9:00pm

Last night on Roots, time passed and Kunta Kinte (Malachi Kirby) still dreamed of running away. He almost made it too, joining the British against the rebels for his freedom. That didn’t work out well, and soon he was back at the Wallers minus 5 toes. Doc Waller (Matthew Goode) took him in, and the beautiful Belle (Emayatzy Corinealdi) nursed him back to health. They married and had Kizzy (E’myri Lee Crutchfield), and Fiddler (Forest Whitaker) died saved their lives. Kizzy grew up friends with the Wallers’ daughter Missy, as much as a slave and an owner’s daughter can be friends. After the boy Kizzy loved was shot to death, she was sent away because it was found out she could read (and betrayed by her “friend” Missy). She was brought to Tom Lea’s (Jonathan Rhys Myers) farm, and he raped her. She had his baby and named him George the Mandinka way.

Spoilers below.

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TV Review: Roots “Night 1”
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Olympus Athens   |  @   |  
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Roots Header

Roots
Night 1
Directed by Phillip Noyce
Teleplay by Lawrence Konner and Marc Rosenthal
Based on the novel by Alex Haley
Starring Laurence Fishburne, James Purefoy, Matthew Goode, Anika Noni Rose, Forest Whitaker, and Malachi Kirby
The History Channel | A&E | Lifetime
Air Date: Monday, May 30th, 2016, 9:00pm

Roots, the 1977 miniseries based on Alex Haley’s 1976 novel, turned America upside down with its powerful story of warrior and slave, Kunta Kinte, and his descendants. With Levar Burton and then John Amos as Kunta Kinte/Toby, Roots made television history with unprecedented ratings and tons of Emmy nominations. A+E Networks brings Roots back tonight, in a reimagined series simulcast on three of its networks, The History Channel, A&E, and Lifetime. With Malachi Kirby in the lead role, it’s starting out as powerful as the first.

Spoilers for Roots: Night 1 below.

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Disney In Depth: 25 Best Disney Animated Film Voice Artists (Part 3)
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Brett Nachman   |  @   |  
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Disney In Depth banner

What do Jodi Benson, Jim Cummings, and Patrick Warburton have in common? They’re some of the greatest individuals to lend their voices to Disney animated films!

This final portion of my list of the 25 Best Disney Animated Film Voice Artists includes an eclectic mix of actors and actresses responsible for performing the studio’s most iconic characters. If you missed them, be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2 first!

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A&E Debuts Interactive Online Prequel To Stephen King ‘Bag of Bones’ Miniseries
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BAADASSSSS!   |  
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Bag of Bones

A&E is pulling out all the stops for the premiere of Bag of Bones, a two-part miniseries based on the bestselling novel by Stephen King, with the launch of an online narrative prequel to the story that will provide an interactive exploration into the characters and locales of the latest King tale to be adapted for television, once again by the ubiquitous Mick Garris.

In Dark Score Stories, the characters of Bag of Bones are featured in a series of seven photo-journalistic portraits and oral histories that will also provide visitors to the site with a detailed look at the story’s setting, Dark Score Lake.

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Blu-ray Review: The Princess and The Frog
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Vactor   |  
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Princess and the Frog blu-rayThe Princess and The Frog
Three Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo
Directed by Ron Clements, John Musker
Starring Bruno Campos, Jennifer Cody, Keith David, Jenifer Lewis, Jim Cummings
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Release Date: March 16, 2010

With 3D animated films suffocating the market these days, it truly is a breath of fresh air to watch The Princess and The Frog. Walt Disney Studio’s eagerly awaited return to traditional animation is an impressive 2D animated feature for the studio that mastered the art form so many decades ago.

Directed by John Musker and Ron Clements (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin), The Princess and the Frog moves the classic fairy tale setting to a stylish version of 1920s New Orleans (finally an American fairy tale!). Tiana (voiced by Anika Noni Rose), the first African-American Disney heroine, is not a princess, but a young woman who hopes to fulfill her father’s dream of opening a restaurant to serve food that will bring together people from all walks of life. Tiana may wish upon a star, but she believes that hard work is the way to fulfill your aspirations. Her dedication clashes with the visiting prince Naveen (Bruno Campos). A voodoo spell cast by Dr. Facilier (Keith David) (in a showstopping number by composer Randy Newman) initiates the events that will bring the mismatched hero and heroine together. Tiana finds comfort and support in three supporting characters — Louis (Michael-Leon Wooley), a jazz-playing alligator; Ray (Jim Cummings), a Cajun firefly; and the 197-year-old voodoo priestess Mama Odie (Jenifer Lewis). Spurred on by a little bit of courage and a great big dream, these new friends come to realize what’s truly important in life…love, family, and friendship.

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Watch Now: First Five Minutes Of Disney’s ‘The Princess And The Frog’
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The Movie God   |  @   |  
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Princess & Frog

Walt Disney Studios have released the first five minutes of their upcoming return to hand-drawn animation: The Princess and the Frog. The studio just recently released a brand new trailer for the movie, so they’re obviously planning to come at us hard and heavy with their marketing campaign.

The first five minutes is a good way to get a feel for the movie and if it’s able to win you over right away. Although many great movies take a while to get going, you can usually tell right off the bat if the table being set is your kind of meal or not. The Princess and the Frog starts off with our main character as a young girl, and sets up her eventual confrontation with a frog seeking her kiss to return him to his princely status. While watching, you can definitely feel the Disney in it, and it looks like it could be a really beautiful movie. You can even hear that old school tone in the dialogue that their actors delivered, which will go a long way in this return to traditional form.

Click on over for a plot synopsis and to watch The Princess and the Frog‘s opening moments!

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Disney’s ‘The Princess And The Frog’ Teaser Trailer
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The Movie God   |  @   |  
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Princess and the FrogIt’s been a long, long time since Disney has walked in the realm of 2D animated movies (barring any sequels and unknowns), but they are returning to their old ways — if only for one nostalgic rendezvous — and here is our first look at that return, The Princess and the Frog.

Check out the teaser trailer here below.

The Princess and the Frog is special in its own right as it is (surprisingly) the first time a Disney movie will have an African American princess. Anika Noni Rose will voice Princess Tiana, who will be joined by the voice cast of John Goodman and Keith David. Ron Clements and John Musker, who both wrote and directed Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, and Hercules, have again written and directed this film and even Randy Newman is involved, so they seem to have the proper ingredients to surprise us.

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