May 2001

Memorial Day Weekend marks the official beginning of summer for blockbuster films replete with marquee stars, overwrought special effects, and computer-generated animation. Summer 2001 is no exception; science fiction comedies & dramas, action-adventure heists, sequels and remakes lead the pack of studio “tentpoles” expected to gross at least $100 million per film in domestic ticket sales. 

Given the major $$$ at stake for the Super Seven (Warner Bros., Disney, Fox, Universal, DreamWorks, Columbia and MGM), it seems only fitting to take inventory of these lucrative gigs to see just how well black Hollywood is faring in this year’s line-up. Compared to last summer’s lackluster slate of memorable flicks, Summer 2001 is shaping up to be a promising movie season for a few of the brothers and sisters.  To that end, presents the official summer edition of THE REPRESENTIN’ TOP 20, a list of films released between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends featuring black talent in lead or major supporting roles. Conversely the BIG BUZZ, BUT NO BLACK FOLK list places on notice those “hot” flicks where African-American actors are noticeably absent.   Mark your calendars, and save us a seat at the cineplex!

PREDICTIONS: Ya gotta love anything co-starring scene-stealer Don Cheadle, so expect decent reviews & healthy box-office numbers on “Swordfish” and “Rush Hour 2”.   Killer R&B/hip hop soundtracks may rejuvenate the familiar premises of “All That Glitters” and Urbanworld Films’ “Higher Ed”. Singleton’s “Baby Boy” and Edmonds Entertainment’s “Punks” will garner just enough controversy to provide fodder for the morning DJs on urban contemporary radio.

Till next week,
the crew

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Freelance writer Roslyn Bradford is a New Jersey native enjoying life in La Land and its surrounding communities.

THE REPRESENTIN’ TOP 20 (listed by scheduled release date)


  1. Pearl Harbor (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) – May 25
  2. What’s The Worst That Could Happen? (Martin Lawrence, Bernie Mac) – June 1
  3. Swordfish (Halle Berry, Don Cheadle) – June 8
  4. Evolution (Orlando Jones) – June 8
  5. Dr. Doolittle 2 (Eddie Murphy) – June 22
  6. For Da Love of Money* (Pierre, Reynaldo Rey + written/directed by Pierre) – June 22
  7. Baby Boy* (Tyrese, Ving Rhames + written/directed by John Singleton) – June 27
  8. Scary Movie 2* (starring, written & directed by The Wayans Brothers) – July 4
  9. Final Fantasy:  The Spirits Within (voice of Ving Rhames) – July 11
  10. The Score (Angela Bassett) – July 13
  11. Brother (Omar Epps) – July 17
  12. Higher Ed* (Pras, Aries Spears, Hill Harper) – July 27
  13. Planet of the Apes (Michael Clarke Duncan) – July 27
  14. Rat Race (Whoopi Goldberg, Cuba Gooding, Jr.) – August 3
  15. Rush Hour 2 (Chris Tucker, Don Cheadle) – August 3
  16. Osmosis Jones (voices of Chris Rock and Laurence Fishburne) – August 10
  17. Rollerball (LL Cool J) – August 17
  18. John Carpenter’s Ghosts of Mars (Ice Cube) – August 24
  19. Punks* (Rockmond Dunbar, Vanessa Williams + written/directed by Patrik-Ian Polk) – August 24
  20. All That Glitters* (Mariah Carey, Da Brat + directed by Vondie Curtis Hall) – August 31

    * Denotes a predominately African-American cast and/or production team  

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  1. A.I. Artificial Intelligence (shame on you, Mr. Spielberg, sir)
  2. Tomb Raider (a star vehicle for Angelina Jolie and product placement)
  3. America’s Sweethearts (a comedic look at [white] Hollywood couples)
  4. Jurassic Park III (more dinosaurs, less Samuel L. Jackson)
  5. The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (it’s a Woody Allen movie, nuff said)

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