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African American


Eyes on The Prize: America's Civil Rights Years 1954-1965

Eyes on The Prize: America's Civil Rights Years 1954-1965 Lowest new price: $16.24
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Brand: PBS Video
Model: 6633059

Eyes on the Prize tells the definitive story of the civil rights era from the point of view of the ordinary men and women whose extraordinary actions launched a movement that changed the fabric of American life, and embodied a struggle whose reverberations continue to be felt today. Winner of numerous awards, Eyes on the Prize is the most critically acclaimed documentary on civil rights in America.

One of the essential documentary series from 20th-century television, Eyes on the Prize is an extraordinary, grassroots history of the civil rights movement in 1950s and '60s America. Leaving punditry and debate to others, this six-hour program concerns itself with the individuals who were there, who participated on the front lines, who witnessed and survived to tell about the crusade's tragedies and victories. Starting with a pair of mid-'50s heroic actions in the South that helped galvanize black and white activism against institutional racism (actions that included Rosa Parks's refusal to give up her bus seat to a white passenger in Montgomery, Alabama), the series winds its way through the exponential growth of the movement to the passage of the Voting Rights Act and beyond. The epochal battle between states-rights advocates and federal authorities is well-covered, as are the many sacrifices made and enormous risks taken by Mississippi Freedom Riders and advocates of black voter registration. --Tom Keogh

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Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom

Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom Lowest new price: $5.99
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Secret Life Of Bees, The

Secret Life Of Bees, The Lowest new price: $3.55
Lowest used price: $1.30
List price: $6.92
Brand: TCFHE
Model: 5071596

THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES, based on the New York Times best selling novel and set in South Carolina in 1964, is the moving tale of Lily Owens (Fanning) a 14 year-old girl who is haunted by the memory of her late mother (Burton). To escape her lonely life and troubled relationship with her father (Bettany), Lily flees with Rosaleen (Hudson), her caregiver and only friend, to a South Carolina town that holds the secret to her mother's past. Taken in by the intelligent and independent Boatwright sisters (Latifah, Okonedo and Keys), Lily finds solace in their mesmerizing world of beekeeping, honey and the Black Madonna.

Headed by an all-star cast of women, The Secret Life of Bees is the heartwarming and well-told story of a young girl who finds love and acceptance from a trio of independent sisters. The Secret Life of Bees is based on the bestselling book of the same name by Sue Monk Kidd and centers around the plight of 14-year-old Lily (Dakota Fanning). Assuming the burden for her mother's premature death, she has a precarious relationship with her abusive father T. Ray (Paul Bettany). Lily's only friend is her caregiver Rosaleen (Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson). Set in South Carolina in 1964, when civil rights wasn't a given, Rosaleen's life is threatened by racists who'd just as soon see her dead than exercise her right to vote. Lily runs away with her to a town she believes may hold the secrets of her mother's life. There the pair meet the Boatwright sisters August (Queen Latifah), June (Alicia Keys) and May (Sophie Okonedo)--who produce the area's famous Black Madonna honey. They eventually provide Lily with the unconditional love she never felt she had and also show Rosaleen that being a black woman in the South doesn't mean she can't have a sense of worth. The Secret Life of Bees doesn't try to pass itself off as a historical documentation of race relations in the 1960s. But the fictional slice of life still resonates because of the feelings of injustice that it stirs up. Though the film is written to show the disparity between blacks and whites, there is always a strong sense of hope, thanks to the lead actresses who bring empathy and dignity to their roles. Hudson exhibits some of the same quiet grace that Regina Taylor brought to her role as the family housekeeper in the superb TV series I'll Fly Away. Latifah has the part of wise matriarch down pat, even when she's playing a sister rather than a mother. And it's clear that Fanning is making a seamless transition from kid to young adult roles. Whether she's giving an impassioned monologue or listening thoughtfully, Fanning brings nuance and intelligence to her role. --Jae-Ha Kim



Stills from The Secret Life of Bees (Click for larger image)


   

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Black Dynamite [Blu-ray]

Black Dynamite [Blu-ray] Lowest new price: $12.88
Lowest used price: $9.29
List price: $19.99
Brand: Sony Pictures Home ENT
Model: 6639423

Meet Black Dynamite (Michael Jai White), the smoothest, baddest cat on the street. He’s a ladies’ man and the man with a plan. He’s also a former C.I.A. agent out to avenge his brother’s death. Whether he’s taking down drug dealers or sweet-talking foxy mommas, he’s the man on the streets out to stop The Man. Take a wild ride from the mean streets of the ghetto to the pool halls of the inner city, all the way to the “Honky House” with this bad-ass, tough-as-nails action hero. BLACK DYNAMITE is a kung-fu-fighting, pimp-slapping, gun-blasting, outrageously over-the-top parody of ’70s-era blaxploitationfilms that delivers big action and even bigger laughs like nobody’s bizness.

When drug dealers take out his kid brother, ex-CIA agent Black Dynamite (Spawn's Michael Jai White) makes like a karate-chopping dynamo to track them down. Armed with a .44 Magnum, a set of nunchucks, and a sexy 'stache, Big D starts out in the City of Angels, where his buddies Cream Corn (In Living Color's Tommy Davidson), a hustler, and Bullhorn (co-writer Byron Minns), a club owner, offer to lend a hand. The deeper Dynamite digs, the more endangered his life becomes as he uncovers a conspiracy to keep the black man down by flooding the streets with malt liquor and filling the country's orphanages with smack. Since the smooth operator has a way with the ladies, he also enlists Gloria (I Am Legend's Salli Richardson-Whitfield), a socially-conscious soul sister, to aid in his clean-up campaign. Director Scott Sanders and White, who co-wrote the script, collaborated on 1998's Thick as Thieves, and their chemistry shines through. If the supporting cast can be a little wooden, White gives Shaft's Richard Roundtree a run for the money with his cool-cat charisma. Set in 1972, Black Dynamite doesn't just act like a movie from the Superfly era, it looks and sounds like one, too, courtesy Adrian Younge's old-school funk score, Shawn Maurer's 16mm cinematography, a cartoon credit sequence, and some carefully choreographed boom mic appearances. And dig those crazy cameos: Arsenio Hall as Tasty Freeze, Brian McKnight as Sweet Meat, and NBA veteran John Salley as Kotex. --Kathleen C. Fennessy



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  • Format: Blu-ray
  • AC-3; Color; Dolby; Subtitled; Widescreen

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Moving / Greased Lightning

Moving / Greased Lightning Lowest new price: $9.08
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Brand: WHV
Model: 81520

Moving/Greased Lightning (DVD) (DBFE) (Multi-Title)

Comedy and screen legend Richard Pryor hits the comedy road in Moving, a good-time tale of a flustered suburbanite trying to relocate with his family from New Jersey to Idaho. Dave Thomas, Dana Carvey and Randy Quaid are among the comic ensemble in this movie that packs "a houseful of laughs" (V.A. Musetto, New York Post). Next, Pryor has a driving ambition in Greased Lightning, the decades-spanning true story of Wendell Scott, who cracked the all-white world of stock-car racing, built cars from junkyard parts, endured taunts, overcame setbacks and won NASCAR and Grand National crowns. "There's not a more likable movie currently on view," Time reviewer Richard Schickel wrote about this biopic that marks Pryor's first lead film role.

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Martin Luther King Jr.

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In Living Color - Season 1

In Living Color - Season 1 Lowest new price: $12.82
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Brand: TCFHE
Model: 2218265

The complete first season of the TV series In Living Color.

Unlike the original Saturday Night Live cast, the In Living Color ensemble was definitely ready for prime time. But, was prime time ready for In Living Color? This subversively funny 1990 sketch-comedy series boldly went where SNL feared to tread, particularly in matters of race relations and cultural stereotypes. Series creator Keenen Ivory Wayans was hot after his hilarious blaxploitation spoof, I'm Gonna Git Ya Sucka. But In Living Color was hotter. According to a "Looking Back" segment included in this three-disc set, it took him a year to sell the pilot. He fronted a young, gifted, and mostly black cast, including David Alan Grier, Tommy Davidson, Damon Wayans, Kim Wayans, and T'Keyah "Crystal" Keyman. "James" Carrey and Kelly Coffield were the white Garret Morrises.

Like the first season of SNL, In Living Color played provocateur, with such politically incorrect sketches as "Homeboy Shopping Network," "This Old Box," and "Ted Turner's Very Colorized Classics." Other sketches, such as "Riding Miss Daisy," have a stick-it-to-the-man brazenness. Don King, Mike Tyson, Milli Vanilli, and Arsenio Hall are easy targets, but In Living Color did not spare such icons as Richard Pryor. There is the inevitable Oprah roasting, but also a brilliant Star Trek spoof, "The Wrath of Farrakhan." Among the first season's breakout characters are Damon Wayans and David Alan Grier's finger-snapping "Men on Film," and Damon's Homey D. Clown. Carrey struts his stuff as "female" bodybuilder Vera DeMilo. Coffey is a scream as Samantha Kinison and Andrea Dice Clay. While much of the topical humor has dated, sketches such as "Michael Jackson Potato Head" are timeless. The fun of revisiting this groundbreaking series is watching these fearless and talented performers go for broke, and make the most of their unlikely opportunity. --Donald Liebenson

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Baraka: A World Beyond Words

Baraka: A World Beyond Words Lowest new price: $17.02
Lowest used price: $9.60
List price: $34.98
Brand: MPI
Model: 4193862

FULLY RESTORED - The only movie ever transferred with an 8K HD Scan

Shot in breathtaking 70mm in 24 countries on six continents, BARAKA is a transcendent global tour that explores the sights and sounds of the human condition like nothing you ve ever seen or felt before. These are the wonders of a world without words, viewed through man and nature s own prisms of symmetry, savagery, harmony and chaos.

BARAKA produced by Mark Magidson and directed and photographed by Ron Fricke, award-winning cinematographer of KOYAANISQATSI and creators of the IMAX® sensation CHRONOS has now been fully restored from its original camera negative via state-of-the-art 8K UltraDigital mastering to create the most visually stunning Blu-ray ever made.

INCLUDES OVER 80 MINUTES OF ALL NEW BONUS FEATURES:
Baraka: A Closer Look
Baraka: Restoration

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Crooklyn

Crooklyn Lowest new price: $9.48
Lowest used price: $5.49
List price: $9.94
Brand: UNI DIST CORP. (MCA)
Model: 3162863

Make yourself at home with the Carmichael family as they experience one very special summer in their Brooklyn neighborhood that they've affectionately nicknamed "Crooklyn". Renowned director Spike Lee fashions a bold, flavorful picture of family life that People Magazine calls his "most affectionate work."Academy Award nominee Alfre Woodard stars as Carolyn, a loving, but fiercely independent mother who along with her musician husband (Delroy Lindo) struggles to raise her family in difficult but often wonderful circumstances.Complemented by an energizing, vintage R&B soundtrack, this tender, colorful film is a fitting tribute to an American family.

Spike Lee's semiautobiographical, 1994 film about the good and bad times for a Brooklyn family in the '70s has passion and nostalgic good feeling, but it is also a mess of random reflections and arbitrary storytelling. The centerpiece of the movie is a little girl (Zelda Harris) who views the ups and downs of her parents' experiences (mom and dad are played by Delroy Lindo and Alfre Woodard), and who navigates the life of her neighborhood. Lee tosses in a lot of '70s detail (watching The Partridge Family) and other diversions (Harris's journey through suburbia), but he has no master sensibility controlling the flow of it all. The film is more wearying than anything, although bright spots include Lindo's fine performance as a talented man suffering from irrelevance. --Tom Keogh

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The Original Kings of Comedy

The Original Kings of Comedy Lowest new price: $5.00
Lowest used price: $1.47
List price: $8.99
Brand: HARVEY,STEVE
Model: PARD339244D

Spike Lee directed this rousing look at two nights in Charlotte, North Carolina, in which four black comedians-Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer and Bernie Mac-take the stage and tell it like it is. 2000/color/115 min/R/widescreen.

The Original Kings of Comedy achieves the seemingly impossible task of capturing the rollicking and sly comedy routines of stand-up and sitcom vets Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer, and Bernie Mac and the magic of experiencing a live concert show. Director Spike Lee and his crew plant a multitude of cameras in a packed stadium and onstage (as well as backstage, as they follow the comedians) to catch the vivid immediacy of the show, which is as much about the audience as it is about the jokes. And the jokes are funny.

All four riff fast and furiously (and with much swearing) on the world in terms of race, family, sex, and in one routine, outer space. Hughley takes comedic aim at extreme sports and eating disorders, while Cedric harks back to the day when gang fights meant calling opponents out onto the dance floor. Bernie Mac, the self-confessed id comedian of the group, presents a routine that is simultaneously offensive and hilarious--an apt reminder that comedy can and should be vicious if we are ever to learn to laugh at ourselves and hopefully be the better for it. Harvey, who acts as the MC for the show, has some transcendent moments with the crowd (a '70s slow jam sing-along, anyone?) that have to be seen to be believed. There's no doubt as to why Kings was a hit with concert and movie audiences; the laughs keep coming, in the tradition of Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy, with a sharp eye on the nuances of today's racially affected culture. --Shannon Gee

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  • Paramount
  • Rating: R (restricted)

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