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Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
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Forest Whitaker on the Weinsteins dumping his movie: 'It's a travesty'

Lil' Wayne may be the hottest rapper in the business and Forest Whitaker may be an Oscar-winner for "The Last King of Scotland," but that didn't stop the not-so-deep pocketed Weinstein Co. from dumping the duo's film, "Hurricane Season," which showed up earlier this month in the direct-to-video bins.

You'd think with all the money the Weinsteins are spending on full-page ads trying to win an Oscar for Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" that they'd have a little extra dough stashed away to actually promote a new film, especially one that recounts the inspirational story of a New Orleans high school basketball coach whose team of cast-off kids wins the state championship.

Hurricane-season-movie-poster5-643x902 You can't say the film, directed by "Fantastic Four" filmmaker Tim Story, doesn't have enough star power. In addition to Whitaker, who plays the coach, the picture features Wayne, Isaiah Washington, Taraji P. Henson, Bow Wow and Michael Gaston. The Weinsteins have been claiming that the film didn't test well, but that hasn't soothed Whitaker's hurt feelings. In fact, he's royally peeved that the Weinsteins promised him a theatrical release and then -- prepare to be shocked -- went back on their word.

According to this post from the Playlist, Whitaker, who's now at work on a biopic about Louis Armstrong, minced few words. "I think that was a travesty," he said of the video dump. "... It's not just about me, the fact that they didn't do what they said they were going to do is amazing to me. I think that is the modus operandi. But a lot of people are telling me they saw the video on DVD and really responded to it and don't understand why it wasn't released and I say, 'You'll have to talk to the Weinsteins [about that], I can't help you.' "

This is hardly the only Weinstein project that, thanks to the company's financial woes, has ended up going straight to  video. But it's a movie that deserved better, especially from Harvey Weinstein, who used to be the guy filmmakers went to with their passion projects, not the guy who was strapped so thin that he couldn't deliver the goods.

Comments () | Archives (7)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Way to not go out on a limb and tell us what you actually thought of the movie, other than to write, elliptically, that it "recounts and inspirational story" and that it "deserved better." My guess is the movie's really bad and Goldstein didn't want to be blurbed.

Unfortunate that mass audiences won't get to see a truly inspirational story with a talented cast of Black entertainers. But this is nothing new in Hollywood.

Hallelujah! I saw this movie on DVD and loved it. It IS a travesty that it didn't get the distribution, advertising, and press that it deserved. This could've been another Oscar contender if the Weinsteins hadn't been so short-sighted.

Sorry, but, THE BLIND SIDE aside, this is another one of those "inspirational" dramas that should never have been made as a theatrical feature. How many sports films, especially involving black characters, have bombed over the last decade? I've never considered Harvey Scissorshands a hero and this is not the first supposedly good film that he's sent directly to video in his years in distribution, but in this case I think he was right to put what money he had on INGLORIOUS BASTERDS.

Rick Mitchell
black Film editor/film historian

This has nothing to do with being black or white. I am black and I just watched this movie on DVD. It was an awful version of every other feel-good sports movie that has already been done a hundred times in Hollywood. The Weinsteins made the right choioce.

Q: How do you know when Weinstien is lying?
A: When he opens his mouth.

Having lil wayne in the movie, is reason enough to go
straight to video!


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