This Year, Night Catches Unstoppable Colored Girls Faster. The upcoming holiday motion picture season brings forth a nice mix of some of our favorite Black artists in a variety of films with appeal for both your cerebral and visceral natures.
In theater one, Denzel’s back in a taut thriller, while Janet Jackson, Loretta Devine and Phylicia Rashad headline Tyler Perry’s version of a beloved Broadway classic in theater two. Dwayne Johnson, the actor formerly known as “The Rock”, switches out of comedy mode for a minute to go blasting his way through a hot action flick in theater three. Meanwhile, in theater four, Anthony Mackie and Kerry Washington’s holiday vehicle is sure to be on everyone’s short list for recognition during the upcoming awards season.
1. Unstoppable finds Denzel Washington working for a railroad company frantically working to prevent an unmanned, half-mile-long freight train carrying combustible liquids and poisonous gas from wiping out a city. As veteran locomotive engineer “Frank Barnes”, Washington desperately chases the runaway train in a locomotive in an attempt to bring the runaway under control before it is too late. Rosario Dawson is featured as the dispatcher keeping Washington’s character “Barnes”, uh, “on track”.
2. The film version of the 1975 play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf, teams Tyler Perry with a cast that reads like a who’s-who of Black American actresses. Thandie Newton, Janet Jackson, Loretta Devine, Phylicia Rashad, Kerry Washington, Anika Noni Rose, Whoopi Goldberg, Kimberly Elise, Tessa Thompson, and Macy Gray bring author Ntozake Shange’s critically acclaimed Broadway play to the movies. With For Colored Girls, a Perry-directed film might finally be recognized by the Academy.
3. In Faster, “Driver”—played by Dwayne Johnson—after 10 years in prison, is out to avenge the murder of his brother during the botched bank robbery that led to his imprisonment. Now a free man with a deadly to-do list in hand, he's finally on his mission, but with two men on his trail—a veteran cop, just days from retirement, and a young egocentric hitman with a flair for the art of killing. Yes, you can rightly assume a whole lot of gunfire and explosions ensue.
4. In Night Catches Us, written and directed by Tanya Hamilton, “Marcus” (played by Anthony Mackie) returns to the Philadelphia neighborhood where he came of age in the midst of the Black Power movement. There, he quickly finds himself at odds with the organization he once embraced—whose members suspect he orchestrated the slaying of their former comrade-in-arms. In a startling sequence of events, “Marcus” must protect a secret that could shatter everyone's beliefs, even as he rediscovers his forbidden passion for “Patricia” (played by Kerry Washington).
This holiday movie season absolutely promises something for just about everyone.