Jesse L Martin

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Joyful Noise Review


OK
Life-affirming to the point of distraction, this comedy is so warm and cosy that it never even approaches believability. If only writer-director Graff had injected the film with half as much earthy energy as he puts into the terrific musical numbers. And let the cast out of the box.

At a down-home church in Pacashau, Georgia, GG (Parton) is peeved when she's not offered the job after her choir-director father (a brief Kris Kristofferson cameo) dies. The new leader is her rival Vi Rose (Latifah), who plans to win the upcoming regional competition with pure gospel. To further stir things up, GG's bad-boy grandson Randy (Jordan) is back in town, and he's smitten with Vi Rose's 16-year-old daughter Olivia (Palmer).

Continue reading: Joyful Noise Review

Joyful Noise Trailer


In the small Georgian town of Pacashau, Divinity Church Choir singer Vi Rose Hill (Queen Latifah) is made choir director over the feisty GG Sparrow (Dolly Parton). Their ever-increasing conflict threatens to weaken the strength of the choir's talent as they compete for the National Joyful Noise Competition. Vi wants to stick to what is traditional in the gospel choir whereas GG wants to shake up their sound and make it more appealing to the rest of the town.

Continue: Joyful Noise Trailer

Restaurant Review


Very Good
They might as well have called this movie J. T. McClure's, which is the name of the "restaurant" where all the film's characters work. That would have at least helped to add a little mystery and some flare to such a pitiable title. Thankfully, the film itself is a whole lot better than the name might indicate. Restaurant, directed by Eric Bross, spins the story of a group of young twenty-somethings struggling to reach their dreams of fame, while working at an upscale bar and grill in Hoboken, New Jersey. It's got that sort of Swingers humor and mentality, mixed with a diverse cast and much more serious themes.

Our protagonist is the restaurant's bartender, Chris Calloway (Adrien Brody - Summer of Sam, Six Ways to Sunday), a struggling playwright weaving his real life problems into his first play -- a work in progress that he can't seem to finish. When he meets the newest waitress Jeanine (Elise Neal - Mission to Mars) and they hit it off, he's faced with his second interracial relationship (the first being Lauryn Hill, who we see mostly as a picture on the refrigerator). Chris can't figure out why he likes black women so much, especially after his Italian father raised him to be a bigot. This dilemma is portrayed in his unfinished play, which is the story of a white man that can't deal with the external pressures of having a black girlfriend, even though he's madly in love. As he tries to make sense of his feelings, he gets caught up in the past when his ex (Hill) shows up at a friend's wedding. Because his relationship with her ended on such a bizarre note, he can't put it behind him, which prevents him from devoting his heart to Jeanine, and finally, thwarts him from finishing the play. Whew!

Continue reading: Restaurant Review

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Jesse L Martin Movies

Joyful Noise Movie Review

Joyful Noise Movie Review

Life-affirming to the point of distraction, this comedy is so warm and cosy that it...

Joyful Noise Trailer

Joyful Noise Trailer

In the small Georgian town of Pacashau, Divinity Church Choir singer Vi Rose Hill (Queen...

Rent - Trailer Trailer

Rent - Trailer Trailer

Jonathan Larson's Pulitzer Prize-winning revolutionary rock opera Rent tells the story of a group of...

Restaurant Movie Review

Restaurant Movie Review

They might as well have called this movie J. T. McClure's, which is the name...

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