Hudlin Entertainment

The Movie Expo

Reginald Hudlin

Sun, Mar 21, 2021

https://www.movie-expo.com/event-info

  • SPEAKER INFO: REGINALD HUDLIN, Writer, Producer, Director, Executive Oscar and Emmy nominated producer and director Reginald Hudlin is one of the most influential filmmakers of his generation. Hudlin’s latest directorial effort is SAFETY, a sports drama that just debuted on Disney Plus and is a critically acclaimed hit. Hudlin recently directed THE BLACK GODFATHER, an award-winning documentary  streaming on Netflix. He also recently directed the legal thriller MARSHALL, starring Chadwick Boseman as Thurgood Marshall, with Josh Gad, Kate Hudson and Sterling K. Brown.Hudlin is the first African American to executive produce the Emmys. Hudlin also produced The Oscars, for which he received an Emmy nomination. Additionally, he has been the executive producer of the NAACP Image Awards for the past seven years.In 2012, he was nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award as one of the producers of Quentin Tarantino’s Academy Award and Golden Globe-winning film DJANGO UNCHAINED, which is one of the top-grossing Westerns of all time.Hudlin wrote and directed his first film HOUSE PARTY which was one of the most profitable films of its decade and spawned a franchise.His second film BOOMERANG was a hit for Eddie Murphy and helped launch the careers of Martin Lawrence, Chris Rock and Halle Berry. Hudlin wrote and produced the first African American feature film BEBE’S KIDS. In television he was an executive producer of THE BOONDOCKS and wrote and produced THE BLACK PANTHER animated series based on the Marvel comic book series he wrote for 4 years.  He is a co-owner of Milestone Media, who in partnership with Warner Media is developing multi-ethnic superhero properties for print, movies and television. Reginald received the Icon Award at the San Diego Comic con for his contributions to the medium.Hudlin is one of the few filmmakers to also run a major media company.  He was the first president of entertainment for Black Entertainment Television, the biggest black media company in the world.  He created B.E.T.’s first full slate of original shows and an award winning news division. Hudlin has produced award winning special BEAR WITNESS, TAKE ACTION for YouTube.  Using roundtables of experts, short films by young filmmakers, music and more, the show explores the causes of recent civil unrests and proposes solutions to heal our nation. The show was so successful Hudlin recently completed a sequel.Hudlin is a longtime board member of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. He is also a member of Wasatch, a community of leaders in entertainment, technology and politics who focus on solving global problems. He has been a governor of the Motion Picture Academy, a member of the Television Academy, has been a Vice President of the Producers Guild, and a member of the Directors Guild, the Writers Guild and the Screen Actors Guild. Hudlin has been honored by the NAACP, The American Civil Liberties Union, The United Negro College Fund, The Sundance Film Festival, The American Film Institute, The San Diego Comic Con, The African American Film Critics Association, and many more venerable organizations.
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Milestone Returns

Author(s): Reginald Hudlin

Artist(s): Denys Cowan, Nikolas Draper-Ivey, Chris Cross

Colorist(s): Nikolas Draper-Ivey, Chris Sotomayor, WIl Quintana

Letterer: AndWorld Design

Publisher: DC Comics

Genre: Action, Drama, Slice of Life, Superhero

Published Date: 03/16/2021

By Tyson Yurai

 on 

Recap

Some said that it would never happen –  that it could never happen, but here we are. Milestone is finally back and with a vengeance. Tapping into the heart of a divided America, can Milestone Comics re-cement their place as one of the most progressive group of storytellers under the banner of DC Comics or will they prove themselves to be a flash in the pan with the comic book audiences of the modern day?

Review

I feel so vindicated.

I have been pushing for a Milestone comeback since the 2015 and 2017 announcements never materialized into anything tangible and have been angrily shouting into the void (and at Jim Lee on Instagram) to bring back the rich, and often timely, universe of Milestone. Thankfully, with Milestone Returns #0, that dream is slowly becoming more real with a bevy of new books and stories set up and announced – and thankfully the lead up was well worth the wait.

Reginald Hudlin, who wrote both this and the Fandome Preview, was likely very inspired and angry about the rampant police brutality going on in America over the last decade and decided that comics needed to face the issue head on, much like Milestone had done back in the early ’90s under Dwayne McDuffie, Derek T. Dingle, Michael Davis and Denys Cowan. They wanted to show what the black experience was like through the eyes of comic book characters that would go on to inspire a new generation of writers and artists, showing them that they too could be welcome in the spaces of comic book fandom.

The Fandome Preview, which released digitally in August 2020, showed off what I would say were some of the initial ideas that Hudlin and the rest of his creative teams had in mind and probably will still do down the line with Xombi, Dharma and other possible series. That book was framed around the idea of Rocket and Icon looking towards the hopes and possible threats of the Milestone Universe and it felt a bit wonky in places with a lot of exposition dumping trying to bring new readers up to speed with old concepts.

Acting as more of a retooling of the Milestone Returns Fandome Preview (which is also included at the end of the book), The Big Bang story acts as the linchpin to hook readers in to the modernized world of Milestone – taking inspiration from the recent Black Lives Matter Protests after the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, police with military-grade armaments and an experimental chemical agent fire into the crowd of protestors. This causes a series of deaths, maimings and physiological changes to many of those involved, giving several attendees super powers!

Where The Big Bang succeeds over the Fandome Preview is that, as previously stated, it finds a way to make the incident the biggest throughline between the various parties of Milestone with villainous inventor and businessman Edwin Alva’s company being the supplier of the chemical agent. This leads to its creator, Curtis Metcalf, to anticipate the heat that’s going to come down on him as he becomes Hardware to clear his name. At the same time, Icon and Rocket, two more of Milestone’s flagship characters, are conducting a drug raid in Colombia when they hear the news of what’s going on in Dakota. This draws their concern, especially since Rocket attends the same school as Virgil Hawkins – aka. Static.

The art for this story was absolutely fantastic. Starting off with relative newcomer, Nikolas Draper-Ivey, the book is immediately injected with an immense amount of energy and optimism rivalling that of original Static artist John Paul Leon – with highly expressive faces, Ivey captures the anger and division between the residents of Dakota and the paramilitary police that the city has hired to disperse the “riots.” Even the “exaggerated swagger of a black teen” that Virgil himself displays further endears the young hero to new and old readers alike through sly smiles and serious looks when talking to love interest Frieda and rival Francis “Hotstreak” Stone respectively. His clean lines and vibrant colors give Static’s story a sleek feel for a smooth character.

In stark contrast to Ivey’s style, Denys Cowan returns for the Hardware segments and injects a little bit of grime into the comic with the hero’s more industrial and darker edge. Cowan shows the cold, unforgiving side of being a black man in a multi-billion dollar company by illustrating how Curtis isn’t surprised that he’ll be the scapegoat for the Dakota Big Bang. Through calculated body movement and stone-cold, determined looks, Hardware prepares himself to push back against the corporation that would destroy him. Alongside Bill Sienkiewicz’ dark inks and Cowan’s own hatched shading, the story feels a lot more serious to match Hardware’s character and does well to show what the future ongoing series will look and feel like.

And finally, ChrisCross, Juan Castro and Wil Quintana do an amazing job with the Icon and Rocket story by showing the seriousness and power of Icon next to the youthful exuberance of Rocket, giving them perfect complementary personalities to each other. ChrisCross and Quintana come together to show Rocket’s power with explosive blasts of purple that sling drug dealer debris everywhere and Icon’s deep red heat rays and also purple telekinesis. Castro’s inks accentuate these colors by making them pop through his very thick lines and black shadows.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve been a fan of Milestone Comics and have been seeking more stories that represent black people in positive lights, Milestone Returns is the book for you! Through Reginald Hudlin’s charge and the awesome teams that have been put together, the Milestone resurgence is well underway and I can’t wait to see just how amazing all of the upcoming stories will be!

Milestone Returns #0: Return of the Cool
  • Writing – 8.5/10
  • Storyline – 9/10
  • Art – 9/10
  • Color – 9/10
  • Cover Art – 8.5/10

8.8/10

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This article was posted on the Sumner High School website. Sumner was one of the high schools built during segregation for black students which became a place for great teachers and students.

Lapall Wilson

BULLDOG PRIDE

RICHARD HUDLIN – TENNIS CHAMPION

A legendary teacher at Sumner High School. Sumner was one of those legendary high schools that black communities often had that educated generations of high achievers.

Richard Hudlin played tennis for the University of Chicago from 1926 to 1928. He served as captain of the 1928 team, establishing himself as the first African-American to serve as captain of a tennis team at a “Big Ten” college. This accomplishment is made even more remarkable when one realizes that Richard was the only Black man on the team from 1926-1928.

But, he didn’t stop there. In 1945 he filed a lawsuit against the MUNY Tennis Association of St. Louis to open public tennis facilities to all players, most particularly to players of color. He won the legal battle, thus enabling Blacks to participate in tournaments at St. Louis municipal facilities.

Champions Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe spent time with Mr. Hudlin in St. Louis honing their skills at the Armory tennis courts. On the slick, lightening-fast wood surface Arthur was transformed from a back-court player into a serve-volley specialist, a game that would serve him well during his professional career. Arthur completed his final year of High School at Sumner High under Mr. Hudlin’s tutelage.

Mr. Hudlin was a champion as well as a champion maker. He was a teacher, leader, mentor, supporter, donator and defender.

Althea Gibson became the first African American player of either gender to be allowed to compete in both national and international tennis competition.

Ms Gibson wasted little time in justifying tennis’ wisdom in granting her the right to play. In 1956 she became the first African American to win a grand slam, the French Open. The following year, she won Wimbledon. She repeated as Wimbledon champion in 1958.

Arthur went on to become a three-time grand slam champion. He is still the only black American male to win a slam. He won three, Wimbledon, the U S Open, and the Australian Open.

Richard Hudlin passed away in 1976, living long enough to see both Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe win the U.S. Open and the prestigious Wimbledon titles.

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A Look Back At ‘House Party’ With Kid ‘n Play Being Funky Fresh, Dressed To Impress, Ready To Party

By Brian Richards | Film | March 4, 2021 

Some people may find this incredibly hard to believe, but … Black people like to have fun and enjoy themselves and have a good time in each other’s company, despite what we’re regularly shown in the news and in movies and television shows that are largely focused on Black people suffering from all kinds of trauma. And when it comes to Black people having a good time with one another onscreen, particularly young teenage Black people, we don’t get to see that very often either, as most of the teenagers that we see having fun in movies like Porky’sAnimal HouseGreaseSay Anything…, and the films of John Hughes are mostly white, with barely any diversity to be found.

House Party, which was written and directed by Reginald Hudlin, and was originally intended to star DJ Jazzy Jeff and Will Smith, opened in theaters on March 9, 1990, and though it wasn’t the first film to ever show Black teenagers living their lives, doing their thing, and getting into a little bit of trouble while doing so, but it’s certainly one of the best and most memorable.

Chris, a.k.a. “Kid” (Christopher “Kid” Reid), lives with his stern and overprotective father, Pop (Robin Harris), and would love nothing more than to attend a party being thrown later that evening by his best friend, Peter, a.k.a. “Play” (Christopher “Play” Martin), a party that Play himself describes the “super-def, throw-down, jizzam of the year” that everyone else will be going to, including Bilal (Martin Lawrence), who will be acting as DJ for Play’s party, as well as Sidney and Sharane (Tisha Campbell and Adrienne-Joi Johnson), who are best friends and are also considered the two most attractive girls in their school. Unfortunately for Kid, he ends up crossing paths with school bullies Stab, Zilla, and Pee-Wee (Paul Anthony George, Brian “B-Fine” George, and Lucien “Bow-Legged Lou” George Jr. of the R&B group Full Force), and when they make a crude remark about Kid’s recently deceased mother, their encounter ends in a fight that leaves Kid getting his ass whooped for all of his fellow students to see and him getting sent to the principal’s office to be reprimanded. Once Pop receives a letter from Kid’s school and discovers what happened, he forbids Kid from going to Play’s party and tells him that he is staying home. Which only results in Kid sneaking out while Pop is asleep, and going to Play’s party anyway, a party that will lead to all sorts of unforgettable hijinks before the night is over.

And just some of those hijinks that Kid, Play, and their friends find themselves encountering before, during, and after the party? Being on the dance floor with someone who’s just a little too enthusiastic and needs to dial it down a bit (So much so that one of them keeps bumping into Bilal’s turntable and ruining the music that everyone else is dancing to). Making sure that your rap lyrics are just right so you can show your skills on the mic and impress everyone during a (friendly) rap battle with your best friend. Having that one friend who thinks that a party ain’t a party unless you’re drunk or high or just f—ked-up. Running for your life from bullies and having to hop over fences and into other people’s backyards to find a hiding spot, only to realize that your chosen hiding spot is right outside the window of a couple enjoying some very rough and very loud sex and who refuse to let themselves be interrupted, even if it means having to bust a cap in somebody else’s ass. (Followed by those same bullies chasing you yet again and getting you locked in an abandoned refrigerator that will cause many a disturbing flashback for those who grew up watching the Original Flavor version of Punky Brewster) And also finding out that one of the many guests invited to your party decided to make a large offering to the porcelain throne and leaving the whole thing broken as a result.

Then there’s Bilal, a.k.a. “Dragon Breath,” and seeing what he has to go through just to arrive at Play’s party will either remind or educate many viewers of how being a DJ was and still is very hard work. Especially when the equipment to do said work requires a turntable, a microphone, speakers, wires, lots and lots and lots of records, and a vehicle large enough to transport all of the equipment to your destination.

And one of the most memorable scenes in House Party is this dance-off between Kid and Play vs. Sidney and Sharane (both Sidney and Sharane’s dance moves were choreographed by Johnson) as they go from talking smack about each other’s dance moves to actually showing off their dance moves, and getting everyone else at the party to join them on the dance floor.

Much of what happens in House Party has entertained audiences (particularly African-American audiences) and made them laugh since its release, but underneath the surface, there is also a good amount of social commentary on several topics that Hudlin included in the film as well. The public-school system and how it’s often run by people who can barely understand or relate to the students who are under their supervision (“Can you tell me why in God’s name you called Kid’s mother a garden tool?”). Police harassment and brutality, and after years of seeing what police officers have done and continue to do to Black people they cross paths with, it’s difficult to watch the scene in which two white police officers (Barry Diamond, Michael Pniewski) arrest Stab, Zilla, and Pee-Wee and laugh with one another as they decide to physically beat them all down rather than take them into custody and deal with unwanted paperwork. Teenage boys, no matter the time or place or generation or ethnicity, not really knowing sh-t when it comes to dealing with teenage girls. The older generation of Black folk not understanding or relating to younger Black folk all that much, but knowing that discipline and a little tough love is far more necessary and effective than having them thrown in jail by the cops (whose idea of disciplining Black youths when not using their nightsticks is to hold them at gunpoint and have them repeat the phrase, “I AM SOMEBODY!”) and becoming state-raised in gladiator academies like Chino and Tracy* as a result.

*Yes, that was Heat reference. Please e-mail Dustin at dustin@pajiba.com to collect your genuine Pajiba No-Prize.

But despite there being so many things about House Party to enjoy and laugh about, there is one part of the film that isn’t very enjoyable or funny, nor has it aged well at all since 1990.

And that is the jailhouse scene.

When Kid ends up in jail with Stab, Zilla, Pee-Wee, and a whole bunch of inmates who are very eager to take him out on a date with the Health Inspector by running a train and sexually assaulting him, Kid realizes that the only thing he can do until Play and his friends are able to bail him out is to rap for as long as he can to entertain and distract them. Unfortunately, most of his lyrics are incredibly homophobic, and like much of the material in Eddie Murphy: Delirious, they will quickly have you going from laughing hysterically to going “Oh, what the f-ck, man?” as you realize just what you’re being expected to laugh at.

Yeah. That was rough.

That disappointing misstep isn’t enough to ruin the rest of what House Party brings to the table, and the cast is a large part of what makes the film work so incredibly well, no matter how big or small the role. Kid ‘n Play, Martin Lawrence, Tisha Campbell, Adrienne-Joi Johnson, Full Force, Gene Allen, and Daryl Johnson as Groove and Chill, who have little to no Act-Right when it comes to going to a party and not ruining everyone else’s good time, Shaun Baker as Clinton X, who is willing to promise the world to his date even though he can’t remember her name, Kelly Jo Minter as LaDonna, who quickly loses patience with and interest in Play after having to deal with both him and Bilal in the middle of an argument and legendary singer/songwriter George Clinton as the DJ who is bored out of his mind at a fraternity reunion party until Kid shows up with bullies in tow.

And yet, even though the film is largely focused on teenagers running wild and partying all night long, it’s two of the oldest cast members in the film who got the most laughs and made the biggest impression on viewers. And those two cast members are the late, great John Witherspoon and the late, great Robin Harris.

As Walter Strickland, he spends nearly all of his time complaining and yelling out of his window about the house party happening right next door to his house, wondering if it’s Public Enemy (or as he calls them, “Public Enema”) over there with all of the loud music, and calling the poh-leece to have them come on over and bring the party to an end so he can go back to sleep with his wife, Edna, who seems to have a slight tendency to call her husband by the wrong name when they’re in bed.

And as Pop, when he’s not doing all that he can to make sure that Kid stays focused on going to school and getting good grades, he’s raising hell about being lied to by Kid about his fight with Stab and company, about the fact that Kid has the audacity to sneak out of the house and go to Play’s party even though he was told to stay his ass home, about the fact that he has to deal with being harassed by the cops while looking for Kid, and about having to deal with a bunch of annoying, smart-mouthed teenagers partying in someone else’s house while the adults are away. And the fact that he has to deal with all of this when he could be home watching Dolemite really doesn’t help. But while we see Pop go through all of this, he is dropping one hilarious and profane line after another as he makes it clear that his tolerance for other people’s bullsh-t and disrespect is damn near nonexistent. And at the end of the film, when Kid is foolish enough to sneak back into the house at the end of the night and climb into bed as if he never left…well, Pop and his leather belt are more than happy to remind him. (I’d still take that ass-whooping from Pop over getting screamed on by Clair Huxtable for sneaking off to Baltimore to have BIG FUN!!!! with The Wretched)

When House Party opened in theaters to positive reviews and box-office success, it was soon struck by tragedy about nine days later, as Robin Harris died of a heart attack at the age of thirty-six as he was asleep in his hotel room after performing to a sold-out crowd at the Regal Theater in Chicago. News of Robin’s death hit the stand-up comedy world (particularly for Martin Lawrence, who considered Robin to be his mentor), as he was and still is held in very high regard by his fellow comedians. At the time of Robin’s death, his wife was pregnant with their son, Robin Harris Jr. who would be born six months later and go on to become a rapper and co-founder of The Robin Harris Foundation, whose mission is to elevate youth in athletics and performing arts.

One of Robin’s best-known routines from his stand-up material focused on “Bébé’s Kids,” and how his girlfriend Jamika would regularly babysit the three poorly-behaved children of her friend Bébé, and even insist on bringing them along on their date, which of course wouldn’t turn out well. Reginald Hudlin and his brother, producer Warrington Hudlin, had originally planned to make a live-action film based on this routine but after Robin’s death, the project went from live-action to animated, with Bruce W. Smith in the director’s chair and comedian Faizon Love as the voice of Robin Harris in Bébé’s Kids.

After the success of House Party, it didn’t take long for sequels of varying quality to follow. There was House Party 2, starring Kid ‘n Play, Tisha Campbell, Martin Lawrence, Full Force, Queen Latifah, Iman, Helen Martin, Georg Stanford Brown, and Kamron of the rap group Young Black Teenagers (which actually had no Black members).

Then there was House Party 3, which once again starred Kid ‘n Play, Tisha Campbell in a brief cameo appearance, Chris Tucker, Khandi Alexander, Michael Colyar, TLC, Immature, Anthony Johnson, Freez-Luv, Simply Marvalous, Reynaldo Rey, and the late, great Bernie Mac.

House Party 4: Down To The Last Minute starred Immature (now known as IMX), Meagan Good, and Kym Whitley. Kid ‘n Play, along with many other actors who appeared in the original House Party trilogy, chose not to appear in this sequel.

The next direct-to-DVD House Party sequel was House Party: Tonight’s The Night, which starred Tequan Richmond, Tristin Mays, Gary Anthony Williams, Rolonda Watts, and Kid ‘n Play in a brief cameo appearance.

And as a bonus, Kid ‘n Play both got their own Saturday-morning cartoon on NBC months after the release of House Party, though it only aired for one season.

In February of 2018, it was announced by LeBron James that he was planning to produce a reboot of House Party.

The megastar and his SpringHill Entertainment partner, Maverick Carter, are producing a new House Party, which will revive the Kid ‘n Play-fronted New Line comedy franchise that started in 1990 and was followed by sequels in 1991 and 1994. Atlanta’s Stephen Glover and Jamal Olori will pen the screenplay.

“This is definitely not a reboot. It’s an entirely new look for a classic movie,” James tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Everyone I grew up with loved House Party. To partner with this creative team to bring a new House Party to a new generation is unbelievable.”

As for Reginald Hudlin, he stayed booked and busy, and went on to direct such films as Boomerang, The Great White Hype, The Ladies Man, Marshall, The Black Godfather, and Safety. He was one of the producers for Django Unchained, an executive producer on the Adult Swim series The Boondocks before creative differences between him and creator Aaron McGruder resulted in Hudlin’s exit (though he was contractually obligated to be credited as executive producer in every episode), wrote several issues of Black Panther, including the storyline in which Black Panther and Storm become husband and wife. (Whether that storyline was your preferred brand of whiskey is entirely up to you, but it definitely inspired a lot of conversation), and was the President of Entertainment for BET from 2005 to 2008.

Fun fact: in the early 2010s, Hudlin’s attorney was a man named Doug Emhoff, who would later be set up by Hudlin’s wife on a blind date with the Attorney General of California. That Attorney General’s name? Kamala Harris.

For many Black people, House Party is still looked upon with fondness, not just because it showed the world their teenage experiences untouched by constant death and suffering, not just because it showed more people how to do the “Kid ‘n Play Kickstep” when out partying, but also because it was released in a decade when Afrocentrism and Black pride was reflected nearly everywhere they looked, in movies and music and television and literature and fashion. (And two years after House Party opened in theaters, there was Spike Lee’s Malcolm X, which largely contributed to this as well as to the popularity of the Malcolm X baseball cap). There is still a lot of work that needs to be done in reminding all of these industries of how much representation truly matters, and it can be easy and cynical to look back at the Nineties and say that much of the representation that companies made possible was simply to get Black dollars spent on their products, but giving more opportunities to writers and directors to tell more coming-of-age stories like House Party that show young Black people simply living their lives is a small but very important step.

This look back at House Party was brought to you by the classic commercial for the compilation R&B album Hey Love, a commercial that was created by Reginald and Warrington Hudlin, and is instantly familiar to anyone who grew up watching television in the Eighties. Which includes writer/director Cameron Crowe, who included a reference to the commercial in Say Anything…, though he changed the name of the album from Hey Love to Hey Soul.

(As one YouTube commenter so memorably put it: “White people have ‘I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.’ Black people have ‘No, my brother. You’ve got to buy your own.’)

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