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Monday
Feb252008

ABC Says Next Year They Will Remake "Alex Haley's Roots"---Was I the Only One that Thought ABC BUTCHERED "A Raisin in the Sun"?

THIS JUST IN.... ABC has announced that next year, they are going to remake Alex Haley's Roots with Sean Combs reprising the role of Kunta Kinte, David Banner will play Toby, Beyonce will play Binta, Lil Boy Wow will play Fiddler, T.I ( if he can beat the charges) will play Bud and O. J. Simpson (if he can beat the charges) will reprise his role as Kadi Touray. Basically any Black non-actor with enough money to purchase an executive producing credit can be in ABC's remake of "Roots" Just kidding, but I mean what great American classic is going to be butchered next?

You know how in professional sports, once a great athlete has retired, they will sometimes retire the jersey. Hang it from the rafters. They are basically saying that there will never be another player on earth quite as good as the guy who wore the jersey. They need to do that with movies too. In fact, they need to do that with every role Sidney Poitier has ever played okay. Can we just all agree that Sidney Poitier is a character career killer. Once he plays a role, its a wrap for all eternity. I could almost have seen Denzel MAYBE pull off Walter Younger, but PUFFY? Come on. Now to understand just how atrocious the ABC re adaptation was, take a look at the end of the original movie.



That was just painful to watch. Money may have purchased him an executive producer credit and an acting role, but it did not buy him TALENT. TALENT, y'all remember that? I am embarrassed for Puffy. I mean Sean Combs, I mean Walter Younger-- and I am embarrassed for Phylicia Rashad for having to fix her lips to say that she has seen the growth in Puffy's acting abilities. Really? He's grown? I love Phylicia Rashad from her days as Clair Huxtable and I also loved those "Polly" movies she did with Keisha Knight Pulliam, but either it was written into your contract that you had to compliment Puffy's acting abilities, you are an extremely nice person, or you are no judge of acting abilities.

If Sean Combs ( let's use his "professional" acting name) was the only problem in the movie, then I could write if off as my anti-Puffy animus kicking in, on account that he is a practitioner of the Concubine Conspiracy and whatnot, however, it was not just Puffy's horrific, truly dreadful, did I mention his tragic acting? Anywho, it wasn't just Puffy's act-by-numbers rendition of Walter, but Audra McDonald's, Ruth Younger, can't TOUCH Ruby Dee.

Sorry Audra, I love your voice and I love you in musicals, but when it comes to long suffering wives, Ruby Dee has you beat. On stage I am sure it worked, but on the tiny screen, I just couldn't buy you putting up with Puffy. I mean Walter. It was like watching Baryshnikov star in a 5th grade dance recital. No matter how wonderful an actress you are, when your co star's ability is so limited, you end up overpowering him and I know you tried, I know you do, but stick to stage. You have a gift. Television made for TV movies ain't yours.

Sanaa Lathan, I can't really say too much about you. Diana Sands was better just because she was first and she didn't have to deal with that tragic wig that the Mickey Mouse network stuck you with the whole movie. It showed that you probably have a few movie credits under your belt, but you basically reprised your role in "Love and Basketball" and "Something New". Watch out now or you are going to get type cast as the daughter who has conflict with your mother who doesn't get you and you want more for your life blah blah blah. The only difference is that this time Alfrie Woodard didn't play your mom the way she did in both L&B and "Something New", although now that I think about it, she would have been a better casting decision than Phylicia Rashad.

Yes, I know, that brings me to Phylicia Rashad... Y'all know I loves me some Claire Huxtable and it just hurt my HEART to see you brought so low as to have to act opposite some young rap producer because he has money and ABC thinks that you can just throw any hip hop artist in a made for TV movie and it will be a hit. Forget the CRAFT of acting. Forget TALENT. Forget Training. Forget Diction. Forget it all! You were good... but I am sad to say, I liked the original Lena Younger better. When you slapped Sanaa Lathan, I mean Beneatha and said "Now you say after me. In my Mother's house there is still GOD!" it didn't quite carry the weight of the original version.

Claudia Mcneil's Lena looked like she was going to put Beneatha in the ground.

Now some might say, "WAOD lady, you ought jes' be grateful ABC don' thought enough of ze' Black people to do the remake" I call FOOLISHNESS. The truth is that ABC should have just re aired the original. THAT would have been Black HISTORY right there. Teaching these kids what real acting looks like and not the Tyler Perry squint your eyes and furrow your brow and look confused/angry method acting we saw in this most recent remake.

It is time to retire "A Raisin in the Sun". Either play the original movie version, or don't air it at all. Seriously. ABC should burn the remains of whatever that was they aired tonight because I could have gotten a group of high school kids to put on what we saw tonight. To all of you who said you were not going to watch because you were such fans of the original version. YOU WERE RIGHT! Lord Y'all were right. To all the critics who praised this movie, y'all are either blind or y'all are under the same contract poor Phylicia Rashad signed not to trash Puffy's acting.

But sreiously, if they remade "A Raisin in the Sun" what's next?? Roots? Imitation of Life? The Grinch that Stole Christmas? Oh i forget, they already remade that one... and it sucked too!


Reader Comments (45)

I'll take "Sean Combs" seriously as an actor when he stops throwing chairs at people.

February 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenternOva

I've seen the original RITS when I was in Middle school and several times since. Honestly, this wasn't that bad. I think Syndey Potier is overrated and I've taken theatre for 3 years. Sometimes, in the movie, I felt he over-acted scenes to the point where you couldn't understand him. The accent was also a distraction. Combs wasn't the absolute best, and the stoicism during key parts was hard to swollow... but overall...not too shabby. It could've been worse. And Beyonce for Roots??? Hell no! I demand we protest and shut this movie down.
http://www.hairsmystory.com" REL="nofollow">hairsmystory.com

February 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLeAnne@Hairs My Story Team

"Syndey Potier is overrated" -

Then he is overrated by those who know the job, his fellow actors and actresses of the last 60 years.

Still I appreciate Combs bringing it to television. It allowed me to share it with my children.

February 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commentertusk91

As soon as I saw that Sean Combs was attached to this project, I was like "NEXT"......I was not going to waste a minute of my life on that.

I see that was the correct decision.

pinky

February 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMiss Pinky

Leanne,

overrated? Oh goodness. The Roots comment was a joke.

If you saw puffy last night, you would think Tyler Perry should be winning Academy Awards.

Tusk, you could have shared the original version with the kiddies.

I guess that is my point. Why not re air it instead of a remake. They ain't remaking "Gone with the wind" or "the Wizard of Oz"

February 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterg-e-m2001

I haven't seen the original version of The Raisin in the Sun. I didn't care for the version showed last night, and it's quite possible that it was the acting. Have to agree P. Diddy was definitely the weakest link, and that's coming from someone who hasn't seen the original. You know who I think could have done a good job? Chiwetel Ejiofor (spelling is probably wrong). Not well-known or recognized, but I think he has serious range.

Although, to be honest, I think what hindered my enjoyment was the story itself. The juxtaposition of the brother and sister following their dreams and finding their way and their mother's reaction to each was rather telling. Beneatha gets slapped because she dares to question God, but Walter loses all of their money because of poor decision-making (it was a mistake, I know, but he still made a bad decision), and he needs love because of what he's been through? I'm not implying that Walter should have been slapped, but the phrase "Mothers raise their daughters but love their sons" kept running through my mind as I watched it last night.

February 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdaphne

I got home around 10 and tried to watch the last hour of it. I agree with you Gina. Puffy can't act. It was so hard to watch I turned and watched Mary on VH1.

And why in the Hell Beyonce keeps getting all these roles and this she is playing Etta James in a new movie. This is why we as Black fans need to start supporting lesser but more talented writers and performers. We are becoming too caught up in marketing and star quality. We keep accepting mediocrity and superficiality.

February 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMiss Issues

@Daphne, you caught that too! I kept thinking the same thing.

February 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMiss Issues

There was no need for a remake, Gina.... But, Syndney is no acting god, now. He didn't put the lock on the part for Walter Younger, either.

http://www.hairsmystory.com" REL="nofollow">hairsmystory.com

February 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLeAnne@Hairs My Story Team

@ Daphne and Miss Issues

That was the point Lorraine Hansberry was trying to get across. The purpose of the play was to convey what TRULY happens to a dream defered. Black women's dreams never manifest themselves because there will always be a black man's who dream is more important. The conflict in the play is sometimes we put all our hopes into the black man, set our own dreams aside, and he doesn't even do right.
http://www.hairsmystory.com" REL="nofollow">hairsmystory.com

February 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLeAnne@Hairs My Story Team

You're right, this was just plain painful. I watched a grand total of about a half hour before I had to turn off the tv and pick up a book.

I'm always a little miffed for actors when studios choose to put a rapper/model/other of questionable talent into a role, with the hopes of attracting attention in lieu of simply producing good work.

Exquisitely Black
www.myafricandiaspora.com/WordPress

February 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterVeronica Henry

First of all, I must say that I never saw the original movie. I must also say that I don't care for Puffy, but I appreciated him for producing this movie. At first I was disappointed and insulted to see Tony award winner Phyllicia acting opposite Puffy.

His acting abilities were definitely substandard. To me, his emotions were singular and it reminded me of what it would be like to see Shaq play a dramatic role. Also, he didn't enunciate his words, so I had a hard time understanding him at times.

Obviously Phyllicia and Audra killed it. They both made the movie in my opinion. Because these women overpowered Combs in their acting abilities, the movie was not as strong as it could have been.

Do you all think that the movie would have garnered the same attention if the role of Walter had been played by a lesser known actor with greater acting abilities? I think for black folks yes. But the larger community may have watched it only because Puffy was in it.

I think we need to support independent black films so that are cinematic palates are trained to appreciate real acting. Martin Lawrence, Tyler Perry and even Will Smith do not compare to the likes of Samuel L. Jackson, Forrest Whitaker and Denzel Washington, all trained actors. There is a difference. Call me ugly, but I think Samuel L. Jackson had a point for not wanting to reduce his craft by acting opposite rappers.

All in all, I would give the movie a C+.

February 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commentertryexcellence

I agree that the mother raising daughters and love their sons phrase was running through my mind in this movie. Walter Lee is 35, and 35 back in those days ways like 45 today. I hope no single black mother was inspired by the mothers actions by watching that movie. Grown men today going from their mothers house to the girlfriend house

February 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNaima

I agree that the mother raising daughters and love their sons phrase was running through my mind in this movie. Walter Lee is 35, and 35 back in those days ways like 45 today. I hope no single black mother was inspired by the mothers actions by watching that movie. Grown men today going from their mothers house to the girlfriend house

February 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNaima

I watched the movie and I thought it was ok. Diddy's acting left alot to be desired. The movie would've been alot better if they had a stronger actor to play that main part.

February 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commentertasha212

I watched all of 5 minutes, just out of curiosity when I was channel surfing, and it ended up being the moment where Lena slapped Beneatha. Even though I love Phylicia as an actress, she can't touch Claudia McNeil during that scene. I turned off the tele and finished folding laundry...

February 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWoman in Transition

"The conflict in the play is sometimes we put all our hopes into the black man, set our own dreams aside, and he doesn't even do right."

- I think another theme of the play was Walter Lee Younger finally coming into man hood. Finally becoming the man his father was and in the end it was his wife "Ruth", his mother, and his sister who's dream did materialize.

I will admit that my biggest shock was is that was her "Lorraine Hansberry" only play ;-(

February 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commentertusk91

I mean really, isn't this story universal. The Black mother matriarch the spiritual guide and long suffering, the younger daughter, not putting up with it anymore and ticked off by all the crap the brother gets away with, the long suffering wife sacrificing and then they risk all of their dreams for his, he screws up, Mama manages to save something, but she then AGAIn places what remains of their dreams in his hads in order to allow him to prove himself to be a man. DESPITE the fact that he is 35 YEARS OLD!!

We are left wondering what their lives were like in their new home because the choice he made was risky as well.

This blog has made entertainment no fun at all because I deconstruct everything. but then again, I think that was her point.

But like someone said yesterday, when are they going to take some plays from a new generation of writers and bring those to the big screen?

February 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterg-e-m2001

@ Miss Issues

Etta said that she's gonna have to train Beyonce on how to bring her life to film because Bey's http://www.sohh.com/articles/article.php/13847" REL="nofollow">"bougie." Beyonce's the exec producer of Cadillac Records flick. This I've gotta see --- on Netflix.

To see Beyonce play Etta James, oh my. Me and the audience in the movie theater gasped when Bey cursed in Dreamgirls.

February 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymiss

I was actually joking about Beyonce being in a remake of Roots. PLEASE tell me she is NOT playing Etta James. Please tell me that if she is, it isn't a major picture and is one of those made for Showtime movies.

I have a friend who swears up and down that Stephanie mills will ALWAYS be Dorothy from the Wiz, Diana Ross does not even exist to them in the movie version

February 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterg-e-m2001

Hi All,

I watched last night's broadcast. I have no complaints about it except that I would have preferred to see another actor play Walter Lee.

There are so many stereotypical and demeaning images of African Americans on TV and film that I'm pleased to see African Americans who are realistically portraying a slice of Black life in America.

So maybe this version won't win any Emmy's but it's a thousand times better than anything on BET/ VH1.

February 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMes Deux Cents

Like Sean Combs, Beyonce is trying to buy her acting credibility. She is just a little bit jealous of Jennifer Hudson getting roles in three serious roles and buzz upcoming movies. When I read the plot and say the actors in the Cadillac movie, I wasn't impressed. My daughter is a Beyonce fan, so I have suffered through and paid for her bad acting. Even Tina Turner had the sense enough to let Angela Bassett play her in a movie. Like someone said earlier,Samuel Jackson is right on this one.

She wants an Oscar, but Oscars don't go by name or notoriety they are based on artistic credit(as they should be). She has her talent, but it just isn't acting.

February 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMiss Issues

@ miss issues

You're right about Blk screenwriters. I've been saying for years that Halle Berry is the only Black actress in Hollywood in the sense that she's treated as such.

The Blk film industry is notorious for not introducing new talent. It's so played to see Gabrielle Union and Morris Chestnut in the same type of films way too often.

I feel as though the Blk film industry doesn't give us any credit when they pump out the same thing and ppl over and over. But then are ppl who are satisfied with seeing the same actors. My cousin told me that he wouldn't be interested in seeing a flick unless he knew the actor. SMH.

February 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymiss

Yikes! I'm not sure if I want to see this now.

I agree with Leanne. I think Sidney overacted in his role. Of course he has decades of experience now but at the time he did not. Since I've gone there, I'll go ahead and say I wasn't that impressed with Ruby Dee's early work either. LOL Maybe it was the method of acting during that time period that bothers me. I could go on and on about some of the "great" white actors, too. TCM and AMC are my fave cable channels.

February 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercocoa kitty

tryexcellence,
I respectfully disagree with lumping Will Smith in with Tyler Perry and Martin Lawrence. Granted, he's not a classically trained actor and he likes to do the blockbuster fluff, but I actually think he's talented as a thespian, unlike the other two. Many may disagree, as the film itself took a nosedive in the last twenty minutes, but I really thought he killed it in I Am Legend. Not many actors can carry a film without chewing the scenery, and I thought he did a good job as a man psychologically disturbed due to isolation. Not that there are a lot of well-known black actors anyway, but there's only a handful of actors who could handle such a role (maybe Denzel, although that's not really his type of role, definitely Don Cheadle or Chiwetel - can you tell I really like him, lol). All in my humble opinion, of course.

I also thought he provided the public with a glimpse of true talent back in Six Degrees of Separation, although I admit to going off memory - I haven't seen it in years.

Anyway, I watched 30 seconds of Poitier as Walter. All I needed to see. He conveyed more bitterness and heartbreak in those 30 seconds than Diddy in the entire film. As miss issues said, you can't buy acting talent (although I think the Oscars aren't exactly credible, either). You can certainly produce and star in films - it's nothing new, I think - but either you have it or you don't. Although, frankly, I was all that impressed with Jennifer Hudson, either. (ducks tomatoes!) But when you're playing opposite Beyonce, it's hard not to come off better. Anika Noni Rose quietly outdid both of them.

Apologies for the long post - I really like movies, lol.

February 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdaphne

While I think we can all agree that Diddy sucked, we have to look at it from the view of the (I think director or producer) who waited until all of the major players from the revival of the play to film the movie. I guess he had higher hopes. I didn't get the movie either. I was kinda mad when my bf made me watch South Park instead at around last 9pm, but by the time we were done, the bit I did manage to watch wasn't worth my time anyways...

February 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRainy

Sorry - typo. I meant:
Although, frankly, I was NOT all that impressed with Jennifer Hudson, either.

Don't hurt me.

February 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdaphne

I was in high school when Roots aired. I will NOT be watching the Roots remake. This just shows that there is NO writing talent ANYWHERE in Hollywood or the media outlet owners are too chicken to try anything new because of greed. Why is at least half of what is produced remakes???? I rarely watch TV or go to movies. The Great Debaters was the first movie I went to in years. Looks like it may be the same for TV.

February 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPamela

This is why I get so disgusted with the rappers and singers turning into actors, or getting turned in them. I think the directors just see the publicity and $$$$$$ that will come from using that celebrity, instead of taking a chance on a good actor that can actually act to make a name for him/herself.
I didn't watch ABC's rendition last night...I'll just catch the original on TCM when I can. I know I've seen it about 5 times (just like Guess Who's Coming to Dinner), and I still watch them like the first time.

February 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRandi523

A Waste of My Life- that is how I will describe watching "A Raisin in the Sun" last night. Sean Combs CANNOT act or rap. He did a disservice to that play by acting in it. Oprah did the same thing with "Beloved;" made it a hot mess by acting in the lead role. Just because you produce a movie does not mean you need to act in it!

February 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNikylan

My comment is what happens when you comment (late in the day) before reading the previous comments-you basically inadvertently repeat what others have said. SORRY!
OR, it is true that GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE! :-)

February 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRandi523

I have seen the original movie and I thought it was good. I saw parts of this one and I thought it was pretty good too. Sean Combs isn't a great actor but I never thought this was such a great play. Personally, I'd rather watch "The Wire."

February 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLittleEva

MORE INSULTS TO BLACK WOMEN!!!!!

VH1 has cancelled a proposed series, another variation of their horrible "Reality" relationship shows -- good riddance, but get this -- it's because the show would feature middle class AA women! VH1 is basically saying out loud that if the show is not featuring "ghetto" black women -- the show "won't sell."

http://www.vh1realityworld.com/2007
/08/10/interracial-love-reality
-show-editorial/

Here's where we are in 2008 -- let your voice be heard to Stop this Foolishness!!

February 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterurnumbersix

I'm sorry to say that I missed the movie. But I will be sure to see it when the DVD comes out. To Sista leanne@hairs my story team who said that Mr. Potier is overrated, I'm afraid my dear that you simply don't know what you are talking about. You say you took theatre for 3 years, well I majored and recieved a degree in Theatre and Have taught and performed for many years so I think that carries a great deal of weight. I know great acting when I see it and in the case of Sidney Potier,the man lives and breathes acting excellence and royalty.I suggest you watch some of his films. Raisin, Lillies of the Field, Edge of the City, The Defiant Ones and In The Heat of the Night are good ones to start off with.

Also, does anyone remember the PBS remake of Raisin in the Sun that came out about 20 years ago? It starred Danny Glover and Esther Rolle and it was a good version. It doesn't top the original but is worth seeing. I think that yu can find it on DVD.

February 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermrshadow33

To be fair, I do appreciate Puffy for producing this movie. But honestly, he should not have acted in this movie. I only saw the last 15 or 20 minutes, but what I saw from Puffy was poor acting. And no amount of acting from Philicia Rashad.

Actually, I wasn't going to watch this play at all. I thought the entire project would be starting out at a disadvantage, because the acting in the original was so darned good. Also, I strongly suspected that Puffy would bring this project down and, based on the part that I saw and the complaints about his acting that I got, I guess he did.

Maybe I don't know enough about this but I would like somebody to give me two reasons for doing remake of Raisin in the sun, especially when the original was so great? And the fact that the original is done in black and white makes it even greater, don't you think?

February 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMacDaddy

My computer is not working well and cut off my senstence. I tried to say that Puffy didn't act well and no amount of superb acting from Philicia Rashad could make up for it.

February 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMacDaddy

There is no comparison between Sidney Potier and Sean Combs...and I'm not just talking about acting.

Mr. Combs lacked the passion that was needed to play that role. The role was written for a man not a wanna be man.

This movie is timeless...however this version's time has come and gone.

The day that mothers learn to raise their daughters-- I hope and pray happens in my life time. I say this as I fight with myself on a daily basis not to love my son too much. :)

February 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAngela M.

oh and as for a remake of Roots--- PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE SAY IT AIN'T SO!!!!!!

JUST REPEAT THE ORIGINAL

February 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAngela M.

::Oh Sean::

I only half paid attention to the movie, I had a friend in crisis. I saw this cast on Broadway. In addition I have worked with the director and I'm pretty decent friends with one of the producers.

I found Diddy's performance to be sub-par. He definitely tried, he just falls a little short.

RE: Audra
I enjoy Audra whenever I see her on television. Currently, I'm enjoying seeing her on Private Practice. Gina, I wonder if your problem with Audra's performance speaks more to the fact that this play is dated more than the actual performance itself.

Given the fact that:
1. Audra McDonald has more dramatic onscreen experience, isn't it possible that Audra simply overpowered Sean with her performance.

2. In the 49 years since the play debuted on Broadway the reality is that many black women get to put their dreams first, especially in the absence of men (whether by choice or circumstance). Comparing Audra to Ruby Dee is a little unfair in this regard because this play was a contemporary play, and the actors were portraying a time that they lived through. Instead of "imagine having to push aside your dreams" they were directed to "remember the last time you pushed aside your dreams".
…not that I’m saying that Audra is BETTER than Ruby Dee, just that I don’t necessarily agree with your issue.

@tryexcellence

I wouldn't call this a black independent film. This is a made for tv movie, produced by ABC. They have been making movies of popular Broadway shows for about 10 years.

As someone who has studied theater my whole life, this incarnation of Raisin in the Sun poses the same questions as Tyler Perry stuff.

At what point do we sacrifice quality for getting an audience? When I saw this production of Raisin on Broadway I was finishing up my master's and I felt like I was spending countless hours arguing that it doesn't take discounts to get black people in to the theater, producers need to produce something blacks want to see. My classmate joined the producing team of Raisin and proved me right. Every single night, old, young, black, white, all piled into the small theater. The theater heads were there to see the train wreck. Others were there to see Combs. If a mediocre rapper is what it takes to get new people to Hansberry's work. Then maybe that's not so bad after all.

February 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThe Traveling Kimist

@macdaddy

I have two reasons for you:

1. Ego- The people in the cast are our Modern day Ruby Dee and Sidney Poitiers. You have one of the hotest stage directors in the country, everyone's favorite TV mom, (who has legit acting chops herself), and Black America's favorite ingenue (in Lathan).

2. Ego- This play with this cast was such a financial success on the stage, people couldn't resist doing it again and having it on film for posterity.

This doesn't necessarily translate into why we need see it again.

That said, black and white (in general) does not make viewing more enjoyable for me.

February 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThe Traveling Kimist

I wonder if the whole purpose of using these new 'actors' is to reduce the movies.

To bring it down to "hip -hop" level?

February 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMiriam

Also, does anyone remember the PBS remake of Raisin in the Sun that came out about 20 years ago? It starred Danny Glover and Esther Rolle and it was a good version. It doesn't top the original but is worth seeing. I think that yu can find it on DVD.

Yes, I did see this version, and although I adore Sidney Poitier and think he's the greatest, I preferred Danny Glover's Walter Lee Younger. The "Willie" brought him down on his knees scene topped anything the dignified Poitier could do. Just my opinion. Let's give the great actors of today some credit (i.e. when is Danny going to get his Oscar?).

But that's the difference right there: the ACTORS, not wannabe thespians a la hip-hop artists.

And, again, to be fair, I never would have thought that certain rappers had it in them to act (Ice Cube killed it in Boyz n the Hood, as does Ice T on TV, and Tupac Shakur made Poetic Justice watchable), so I hate for us to generalize about all rappers. Sean Combs was awful in A Raisin in the Sun, but I wouldn't want to tarnish all rappers-turned-actors with this one bad performance (like the ones I previously mentioned).

February 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnxious Black Woman

This remake was TERRIBLE.
My thing is, its so bad that it would make someone not want to see the original.
I wanted to turn the channel everytime he was on camera.
he had NO emotion, which makes the movie.

February 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSaha

I know the original film version backwords and forward. And I am not a PDiddy fan AT ALL; however, people should watch and form their own opinion. LET PEOPLE DECIDE for themselves. I watched skeptically, but Sean Combs did bring something to the role that was different and which worked -- he was far more vulnerable and visibly hurt throughout. He looked like an overgrown, petulant baby. He was "full" that Black word for emotional and on the brink of tears. I felt that it worked. When Sidney did the role, his character was lean, dynamic, and angry -- on edge. Combs was less dynamic but his kind of loopy look worked. As for the bad wig on Sanaa I agree. It was absolutely distracting. Whoever did that needs their ass whupped. As for Audra, she did a creditable job. Ruby Dee was great. But let's not make it like Audra embarrased herself. And as far as the original being a classic, true. But it's a CREDIT to the original this went back on Broadway and Rashad won a Tony. And everyone cannot afford to fly to New York or pay for that show when it was up -- seeing her do it here was fine by me. As for Roots, what you've said is news to me, but for those who've never seen it, like MY college FRESHMAN, they won't watch the other one -- they will if it's full of people they know -- current artists. At the end of the day, it couldn't match the original -- IMPOSSIBLE. But in terms of a chance to re-instill some sense of history which these kids simply don't have -- that will BE PRICELESS, even if it is full of a bunch of celebrities who have no training. And even Roots pulled popular stars of the day whome people knew, includingBen Vereen, Leslie Uggams, Irene Cara and Dorian Harewood from Sparkle, James Hilton Jacobs from Welcome Back Carter, and let's not forget John Amos who portrayed Kunta Kinte as an adult -- James Evans from Good Times, Cicely Tyson, Maya Angelou, and even OJ Simpson and the white actors including Ed Asner, from Mary Tyler Moore, Sandy Denton, Chuck Connors from Rifleman for God's sake. So the complaint of non-actors or unlikely sounding people overlooks that networks always go for "marquee value" in order to get viewers. Using current celeb/actors gets ratings and that to me is what a business/tv company is going to do. Will the new Roots work better than the previous one -- probably can't since there is no way to replicate that initial impact it had on the country, but it's worth doing again to inject a shot in the arm of historical consciousness in today's generations. It seems to me you're being too hard on the new Raisin in the Sun and overreacting to the possible new Roots once you recognize or consider what I've pointed out about casting for that one -- the only new face was really Levar Burton.

February 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKen

I know it seems like we're all ganging up on Diddy...but he was flat, lacked passion, and generally he's just doesn't have the on screen presence when it comes to filling the shoes of Mr. Sidney Poitier.

Puffy bought himself a role as Executive Producer and no one had the guts to tell him that this role was not a proper fit.

Now I've read everyone's comments and I agree that its all politics. Rarely does a true actor get shine based on true talent. There's lot of butt to kiss, nepotism, marketability i.e translation to dollars, and who you know.

As an educated person it's just downright frustrating to know that many of our young great talents will go unrecognized because of PC.

February 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMelinda

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