Queen Latifah

3.3988616462428 (2284)
Posted by motoman 05/04/2009 @ 08:12

Tags : queen latifah, rap and hip-hop, artists, music, entertainment

News headlines
Queen Latifah launches her debut fragrance - TheInsider.com
Initially a lot of the ingredients smelled nice, but they weren't how I wanted to be represented for my first fragrance — they were a little too mature or a little too sweet,” said Queen Latifah, who had to smell about 50 different scents before she...
Queen Latifah speaks out on sexual abuse - Feministing
I have been a fan of Queen Latifah for...well, forever. And I think it's wonderful that she's talking about her experience in a way that recognizes just how common sexual abuse is. The US Department of Health and Human Services reports that 15-33% of...
COMMON, LATIFAH HAVE THE 'WRIGHT' STUFF: Pair cast in sports ... - Eurweb.com
*Fox Searchlight has tapped two rapper-turned-actors, Common and Queen Latifah, for a sports-themed romantic film titled "Just Wright." Directed by Sanaa Hamri, the film revolves around a sports trainer who finds herself falling in love with a...
Queen Latifah says she was sexually abused as child - Entertainment Weekly
Queen Latifah reveals in the July issue of Essence magazine that she was sexually abused when she was a child by a teenager who was taking care of her. "He violated me," she told the magazine. "I never told anybody; I just buried it as deeply as I...
Common added to Just Wright with Queen Latifah - Scorecard Review
“We are so happy to continue our long and fruitful relationship with Queen Latifah. As the smart and charismatic female lead, her chemistry with rising star Common will be great,” said Lewis. “Sanaa is a wonderfully talented director with a keen eye...
Queen Latifah Launches Signature Scent - MediaPost Publications
Now Queen Latifah will see if she can sell high-end perfume, too -- Queen by Queen Latifah will hit shelves of US department stores this fall, and roll out internationally soon after. The scent -- in partnership with Parlux, which also sells fragrances...
Queen Latifah waiting for right role to make Broadway debut - Press Trust of India
London, June 18 (PTI) Rapper-turned-actress, Queen Latifah is keen to make her debut on Broadway but says she is waiting for the right role. 'The Secret Life of Bees' star says that she is holding on the big step for a dream role, Contactmusic reported...
Queen Latifah picked to host BET Awards after-party show June 28 - The Canadian Press
NEW YORK — Queen Latifah will be around to make sure the party doesn't stop after the BET Awards are over. The entertainer is hosting the post-awards televised bash for the network, which will air after the live show June 28....
From the future to the Ice Age - The Sun
In the video, QUEEN LATIFAH and RAY ROMANO voice the two woolly mammoths Ellie and Manny. They are trying to decide on a code word that Ellie can shout if she goes into labour. Manny says: "We need something short and punchy. Peaches! I love peaches....

Queen Latifah

QueenLatifah08TIFF.jpg

Dana Elaine Owens (born March 18, 1970), better known by her stage name Queen Latifah, is an American rapper, model and actress. Latifah's work in music, film and television has earned her a Golden Globe award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, two Image Awards, a Grammy Award, six additional Grammy nominations, an Emmy Award nomination and an Academy Award nomination.

Latifah was born and raised in the projects of Newark, New Jersey, the daughter of Rita, a schoolteacher who worked at Irvington High School, and Lancelot Owens, a policeman. Her parents divorced when Latifah was ten. Latifah performed the number "Home" from the musical The Wiz in a high school play. Her stage name, Latifah (لطيفة), meaning "delicate" and "sensitive" in Arabic, was given to her when she was eight by her cousin. Latifah was raised in the Baptist church and, while in high school, was a power forward on her basketball team.

Latifah started her career beatboxing for the rap group Ladies Fresh. Latifah was one of the members of the original version of the Flavor Unit, which, at that time, was a crew of MC's grouped around producer DJ Mark the 45 King. In 1988, DJ Mark the 45 King heard a demo version of Latifah's single "Princess of the Posse" and gave the demo to Fab Five Freddy, who was the host of Yo! MTV Raps. Freddy helped Latifah sign with Tommy Boy Records, which released Latifah's first album All Hail the Queen in 1989, when she was nineteen. That year, she appeared as Referee on the UK label Music of Life album "1989—The Hustlers Convention (live)". In 1998, Co Produced by Ro Smith now CEO of Def Ro Inc. she released her fourth hip-hop album Order in the Court.

After Order in the Court, Latifah shifted primarily to sung lyrics in soul music and jazz standards, which she had used sparingly in her previous hip-hop-oriented records. In 2004, she released the soul/jazz standards The Dana Owens Album.

On July 11, 2007, Latifah sang at the famed Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles as the headlining act in a live jazz concert. Before a crowd of more than 12,400, she was backed by a 10-piece live orchestra and three backup vocalists, The Queen Latifah Orchestra. Latifah performed new arrangements of standards including "California Dreaming," first made popular by '60s icons The Mamas & the Papas.

In 2007, Latifah released an album entitled Trav'lin' Light. Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Joe Sample, George Duke, Christian McBride, and Stevie Wonder made guest appearances. It was nominated for a Grammy in the "Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album" category.

In 2009, Latifah, along with the Jubilation Choir, recorded the title track on the album Oh Happy Day: An All-Star Music Celebration, covering the song the Edwin Hawkins Singers made popular in 1969.

In 2008, Latifah was asked if she would make another hip-hop album. She was quoted saying the album was "already done" and it would be called "ALL HAIL THE QUEEN II".

It was rumored that the album would be named "THE 'L' WORD". When asked about the rumor, she stated it was her attempt to "mess with people's heads" refering to the rumors that she is lesbian.

On September 12, 2008, Rolling Stone reported that Queen Latifah is working on a new album that is due in sometime in 2009. This album will be, at least partially, produced by Dr. Dre. She will also work with Missy Elliott.

From 1993 to 1998, Latifah had a starring role on Living Single, a FOX sitcom; she also wrote and performed its theme music. She began her film career in supporting roles in the 1991 films House Party 2, Juice, and Jungle Fever. She had her own talk show, The Queen Latifah Show, from 1999 to 2001. She also had recurring roles during the second season (1991-1992) of the NBC hit The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Also, in 1991, she appeared in the music video for Naughty by Nature 's O.P.P.

Latifah appeared in the 1996 box-office hit, Set It Off and subsequently had a supporting role in the Holly Hunter film Living Out Loud (1998). She played the role of Thelma in the 1999 movie adaptation of Jeffrey Deavers' The Bone Collector, alongside Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. Although she had already received some critical acclaim, she gained mainstream success after being cast as Matron "Mama" Morton in the Oscar-winning musical Chicago, the recipient of the Best Picture Oscar. Latifah received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her role, but lost to co-star Catherine Zeta-Jones. Latifah is one of two hip-hop artists to receive an Academy Award nomination in an acting category (Best Supporting Actress, Chicago, 2002). The other is Will Smith (Best Actor, Ali, 2001, and Best Actor, The Pursuit of Happyness, 2006).

In 2003, she starred with Steve Martin in the film Bringing Down the House, which was a major success at the box office. She also recorded a song "Do Your Thing" for the soundtrack.

Since then, she has had both leading and supporting roles in a multitude of films that received varied critical and box office receptions, including films such as Scary Movie 3, Barbershop 2: Back in Business, Taxi, Kung Faux, Beauty Shop, and Hairspray.

In early 2006, Latifah appeared in a romantic comedy/drama entitled Last Holiday. Film critic Richard Roeper stated that "this is the Queen Latifah performance I've been waiting for ever since she broke into movies". Also in 2006, Latifah voiced Ellie, a friendly mammoth, in the animated film, Ice Age: The Meltdown (her first voice appearance in an animated film), and also appeared in the drama Stranger Than Fiction.

The summer of 2007 brought Latifah triple success in the big-screen version of the Broadway smash hit Hairspray, in which she acted, sang, and danced. The film rated highly with critics. It starred, among others, John Travolta (Grease), Michelle Pfeiffer (Stardust), Allison Janney (Juno), James Marsden (Enchanted) and Christopher Walken (Balls of Fury). Also in 2007, she portrayed an HIV-positive woman in the film Life Support, a role for which she garnered her first Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award and an Emmy nomination.

Latifah produced the 2007 film The Perfect Holiday penned by Marc Calixte and Lance Rivera in Westfield, NJ. In addition to producing the film, Latifah starred alongside Terrence Howard, Morris Chestnut, Gabrielle Union, Charles Q. Murphy, Jill Marie Jones, and Faizon Love.

In 2008, Latifah appeared in the crime comedy Mad Money opposite Academy Award-winner Diane Keaton as well as Katie Holmes and Ted Danson. She appeared on Saturday Night Live on October 4, 2008, as moderator Gwen Ifill impersonator in a comedic sketch depicting the recent vice-presidential debate.

In 2009, Latifah was a presenter at the 81st Academy Awards, presenting the segment honoring film professionals who had died during 2008 and singing "I'll Be Seeing You" during the montage.

For her work, Queen Latifah received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, on January 4, 2006, located at 6915 Hollywood Blvd.

Latifah is a celebrity spokesperson for CoverGirl cosmetics, Curvation ladies underwear, Pizza Hut and Jenny Craig. She represents her own line of cosmetics for women of color called the CoverGirl Queen Collection and has starred in several commercials for the line, as well as a commercial with fellow spokeswoman and singer Faith Hill.

Raised in East Orange, New Jersey, she has been a resident of Rumson, New Jersey. Latifah's older brother Lancelot Jr. was killed in 1992 in an accident involving a motorcycle that Latifah had recently bought him. Latifah still wears the key to the motorcycle around her neck, which can be seen throughout her performance in her sitcom Living Single. She also dedicated Black Reign to him. In 1993, Latifah was the victim of a carjacking, which also resulted in the shooting of a friend. In 1996 she was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and possession of a loaded handgun. In her 1999 autobiography, Ladies First: Revelations of a Strong Woman, Latifah discussed how her brother's death led to a bout of depression and drug abuse, from which she later recovered.

In early 2003, Latifah had breast reduction surgery to relieve back pain. She also works out with a trainer and kickboxes.

Latifah appeared in advertisements in January 2009 for Jenny Craig chronicling her weight loss while on the diet. She was hired as the new spokesperson due to her 35 pound loss on the Jenny Craig program.

To the top



List of awards and nominations received by Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah 3.jpg

Queen Latifah is an American Grammy Award-winning rapper, singer, and actress.

The BET Awards were established in 2001 by the Black Entertainment Television network. Latifah has received one award from three nominations.

To the top



The Queen Latifah Show

The Queen Latifah Show is an American talk show hosted by Queen Latifah. Aired in syndication, the series ran from 1999 until it 2001.

To the top



Queen Latifah discography

These are the discography and certification of American rapper and jazz/blues singer Dana Owens, better known by her stage name Queen Latifah. Throughout her career she has released a total of six studio albums, four Hip-Hop/R&B influenced and two all-singing jazz influenced. She has released a total of nineteen singles, and released her first compilation album in 2002.

A medley of the O'Jays' "For the Love of Money" and Stevie Wonder's "Living for the City" was recorded by Troop, LeVert, and Queen Latifah discography. The medley was featured prominently in Mario Van Peebles' 1991 film New Jack City.

In 2009, Latifah, along with the Jubilation Choir, recorded the title track on the album Oh Happy Day, covering the song the Edwin Hawkins Singers made popular in 1969.

To the top



Weekend Love (Queen Latifah song)

Weekend Love was a single from Queen Latifah's 1993 album, Black Reign. The song features reggae singer, Tony Rebel. Queen Latifah does not rap in the song. Instead shows off her singing skills in the song. The song was never officially released as a single although a video was made. The song along with its instrumental can also be found on Queen Latifah's single to Black Hand Side.

To the top



Beauty Shop

Beauty Shop.jpg

Beauty Shop is a 2005 comedy film, directed by Bille Woodruff. The film is a spin-off of the Barbershop film franchise, and stars Queen Latifah as Gina, a character which was first introduced in the 2004 film Barbershop 2: Back in Business. This film also stars Alicia Silverstone, Andie MacDowell, Djimon Hounsou, Kevin Bacon, and Mena Suvari.

Gina Norris (Queen Latifah) is a hairstylist that has moved from Chicago to Atlanta so her daughter (Paige Hurd) can attend a private music school. She's made a name for herself as a stylist, but after her self-centered boss (Bacon) berates her work, she leaves and sets up her own shop, purchasing a rundown salon.

She hires a range of stylists, including her rebellious sister-in-law, Darnelle (Keshia Knight Pulliam). The shop gets a wide range of clientele, including wives of professional athletes, and several wealthy white women. She also hires Joe (Hounsou), an electrician from Africa who's also skilled on the piano. Because the ex-boss Jorge, is jealous that his shop is losing clients to Gina's Shop, he hires a Health Inspector to find various ways to shut down Gina's business. But tragedy strikes when the shop gets destroyed and vandalized. When Willie (Lil' JJ) finds the Health Inspector and Gina's old boss on camera "talking" business he shows Gina the tape of the two. Later on that night, Gina goes to her old salon and tells him that she knows about his "little secret" and has a couple of guys to rough him up.

Later on, a radio talk show host (who is unknown to the stylists at the shop including Gina) comes to the shop in desperation for a touch up and later gives Gina's Beauty shop a shout out live on the air.

Reviews for the film were mixed. It earned a 39% rating on Rotten Tomatoes from the users, and a higher 54% from the critics, with the consensus being that the film itself was not the equal of Queen Latifah's strong performance. Allmovie gave the film 3/5 stars, with reviewer Derek Armstrong saying that while the film sticks to the same formula which made the Barbershop films so successful, it still "bursts with life, having attracted a spectrum of enthusiastic performers and a script that exceeds broad character types." At Metacritic, the film has averaged a 53% rating from critics, and an almost identical 5.4/10 rating from users. The best reviews for the film have come from Yahoo! Movies, where the critics have given the film a B- average, and users helped it to earn a B+.

To the top



Hairspray (2007 film)

Hairspray2007poster.JPG

Hairspray is a 2007 American musical film produced by Zadan/Meron Productions and distributed by New Line Cinema. It was released in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom on July 20, 2007. The film is an adaptation of the 2002 Broadway musical of the same name, and loosely based from John Waters's 1988 comedy film of the same name. Set in 1962 Baltimore, Maryland, the film follows the "pleasantly plump" teenager Tracy Turnblad as she simultaneously pursues stardom as a dancer on a local TV show and rallies against racial segregation.

Adapted from both Waters's 1988 script and Thomas Meehan and Mark O'Donnell's book for the stage musical by screenwriter Leslie Dixon, the 2007 film version of Hairspray is directed and choreographed by Adam Shankman. Hairspray features songs from the Broadway musical written by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, as well as four new Shaiman/Wittman compositions not present in the original Broadway version.

Opening to positive reviews, Hairspray met with financial success, breaking the record for biggest sales at opening weekend for a movie musical, which the film held until July 2008 when it was surpassed by Mamma Mia! and later High School Musical 3: Senior Year in October. Hairspray went on to become the fourth highest grossing musical film in US cinema history, behind the film adaptations of Grease, Chicago, and Mamma Mia!. Available in a variety of formats, Hairspray's Region 1 home video release took place on November 20, 2007. USA Network has purchased the broadcast rights to Hairspray and is scheduled to debut the film on cable television in February 2010.

Adam Shankman and John Waters are currently working on a sequel to the film.

May 3, 1962. Tracy Turnblad (Nikki Blonsky), a cheerful, rotund high school student living in Baltimore, Maryland steps out of her apartment ("Good Morning Baltimore"), only to endure a day’s worth of school so she and her best friend Penny Pingleton (Amanda Bynes) can race home to view their favorite TV show, The Corny Collins Show. The program, a teen dance show, is broadcast from Baltimore’s station WYZT on weekday afternoons ("The Nicest Kids in Town").

The teenagers featured on the show attend Tracy and Penny's school, among them the arrogant and wealthy Amber Von Tussle (Brittany Snow) and her boyfriend Link Larkin (Zac Efron), the lead male dancer on the show. Amber’s mother, Velma (Michelle Pfeiffer) manages station WYZT and goes out of her way to make sure that Amber is prominently featured and that The Corny Collins Show remains a racially segregated program. Corny Collins (James Marsden) and all of his "Council Members" are white; black kids are only allowed on The Corny Collins Show on "Negro Day", held the last Tuesday of each month and hosted by local R&B radio disc jockey Motormouth Maybelle (Queen Latifah), who also owns her own record shop on North Avenue.

Tracy's reclusive laundress mother Edna (John Travolta) and Penny's strict Catholic mother Prudy (Allison Janney) disapprove of their daughters' fascinations with the program; Tracy's father, Wilbur (Christopher Walken), a joke-shop proprietor, is far more lenient. On one day's show, Corny Collins announces that one of his Council Members is going on a leave of absence, and that auditions for a replacement will be held the next morning during school hours. When Tracy attends, Velma rejects her at the audition for being overweight and supportive of integration ("(The Legend of) Miss Baltimore Crabs"). Tracy is sent to detention for skipping school, where she learns that the “Negro Day” kids practice their dances in the detention hall. Tracy befriends the students' best dancer, Motormouth Maybelle's son Seaweed (Elijah Kelley), who teaches Tracy several R&B dance moves. As Tracy leaves detention, she accidentally bumps into Link and dreams of a life with him ("I Can Hear the Bells"). At a record hop, Tracy’s new moves attract the attention of Corny Collins ("Ladies' Choice") and he appoints her to the Council ("The Nicest Kids in Town (Reprise)").

Tracy quickly becomes one of Corny's most popular Council Members. This threatens Amber's chances to win the show's yearly "Miss Teenage Hairspray" pageant ("The New Girl in Town") and her relationship with Link, as he grows fonder of Tracy, whose popularity earns her a sponsorship offer from clothes salesman Mr. Pinky (Jerry Stiller). The slightly off-centered salesman suggests that Tracy be the spokesgirl for his Hefty Hideaway boutique. Tracy convinces Edna to accompany her to the Hefty Hideaway and act as her negotiating agent, and in the process, ends her mother's agoraphobia ("Welcome to the 60’s").

At school, Tracy introduces Seaweed to Penny, where the two are instantly attracted to one another. One afternoon, Amber deliberately arranges for Tracy to be sent to detention. Link soon follows by purposely causing a disturbance. There, Seaweed invites the girls and Link to follow him and his sister Little Inez (Taylor Parks) to a platter party at Motormouth Maybelle's record shop ("Run and Tell That"). When Edna finds Tracy at the shop, she tries to take her home, until Maybelle convinces her of staying and makes Edna prouder of her image ("Big, Blonde and Beautiful"). At the party, Maybelle informs everyone that Velma has canceled "Negro Day". Tracy, in reply, suggests that Maybelle and the others stage a protest march, which they plan for the next afternoon, a day before the "Miss Teenage Hairspray" pageant. Realizing that he has a chance at stardom by singing at the pageant, Link does not attend the demonstration, disappointing Tracy. After the party, Edna decides to go to Wilbur's shop and flirt with him. Velma, suspecting such, goes to Wilbur's shop to seduce him ("Big, Blonde and Beautiful (Reprise)"). Edna arrives and, as Velma expects, accuses Wilbur of infidelity. Edna, out of hatred for Velma, forbids Tracy from being on the show. Wilbur and Edna eventually reconcile, being influenced to do so by Tracy ("(You’re) Timeless to Me").

The next morning, Tracy sneaks out of the house to join the protest march ("I Know Where I’ve Been"), which comes to a halt at a police roadblock set up by Velma. The entire company of protesters is arrested; of them, Tracy manages to escape. She flees to the Pingleton household, where Penny hides her in a basement fallout shelter. Prudy catches Tracy trying to hide and calls the police before tying Penny to her bed upstairs with a jump rope. Seaweed and his friends, having been bailed out by Wilbur, help Tracy and Penny escape. The kids then plan to enter and join the Miss Teenage Hairspray pageant. Meanwhile, Link visits Tracy’s house to look for her and realizes that he is as much in love with her as she is with him. Seaweed and Penny also acknowledge their love during the escape from her house ("Without Love").

With the pageant underway ("(It’s) Hairspray"), Velma places police officers around and inside station WYZT to prevent Tracy from entering. She also changes the tallies of the pageant's telephone lines so Amber is guaranteed to win. Penny arrives at the pageant with Edna incognito, while Wilbur, Seaweed, and the Negro Day kids help Tracy infiltrate the studio by hiding her in a decorative "Ultra Clutch" hairspray can outside the studio. The officers use it as a battering ram to beat down the doors after the Negro Day kids lock them out. Tracy is able to escape and sneak into the pageant in time to participate in the Miss Teenage Hairspray dance contest. Link breaks away from Amber to dance with Tracy; later, he pulls Little Inez, who has just arrived at WYZT with Maybelle, to the stage to dance in the pageant.

Against all expectations, Little Inez receives the most votes and wins the pageant, officially integrating The Corny Collins Show. A perturbed Velma loudly declares her frustration, informing her daughter of the tally-switching scheme. Unknown to Velma, Edna and Wilbur have turned a camera on her, and Velma's outburst is broadcast on the air, causing her to be fired from the program. Meanwhile, The Corny Collins Show set explodes into a celebration as Tracy and Link cement their love with a kiss ("You Can’t Stop the Beat").

Following the success of the Broadway musical Hairspray, which won eight Tony Awards in 2003, New Line Cinema, who owned the rights to the 1988 John Waters film upon which the stage musical is based, became interested in adapting the stage show as a musical film. Development work began in late 2004, while a similar film-to-Broadway-to-film project, Mel Brooks' The Producers, was in production.

Dixon was primarily hired to tone down much of the campiness inherent in the stage musical. The 2007 film's script is based primarily on the stage musical rather than the 1988 film, so several changes already made to the plot for the stage version remain in this version. These include dropping several characters from the 1988 version (such as Arvin Hodgepile, Franklin Von Tussle, Tammy Turner, the beatniks, et al.), removing the Tilted Acres amusement park from the story, and placing Velma in charge of the station where The Corny Collins Show is filmed.

One notable difference between the stage musical, the original movie, and the 2007 film version of Hairspray is that Tracy does not go to jail in the 2007 version. In both previous incarnations of Hairspray, Tracy is arrested and taken to jail along with the other protesters. Edna is presented in this version as an insecure introvert, in contrast to the relatively bolder incarnations present in the 1988 film and the stage musical. Among many other elements changed or added to this version are the removal of Motormouth Maybelle's habit of constantly speaking in rhyming jive talk, and doubling the number of teens in Corny Collins' Council (from ten on Broadway to twenty in the 2007 film).

Dixon restructured portions of Hairspray’s book to allow several of the songs to blend more naturally into the plot, in particular "(You're) Timeless to Me" and "I Know Where I've Been". "(You're) Timeless to Me" becomes the anchor of a newly invented subplot involving Velma's attempt to break up Edna and Wilbur’s marriage and keep Tracy off The Corny Collins Show as a result. The song now serves as Wilbur's apology to Edna, in addition to its original purpose in the stage musical as a tongue-in-cheek declaration of Wilbur and Edna's love for each other. Meanwhile, "I Know Where I've Been", instead of being sung by Maybelle alone after being let out of jail, now underscores Maybelle's march on WYZT (which takes place in the stage musical only briefly during "Big, Blonde, and Beautiful").

The song "Big, Blonde, and Beautiful" was inspired by a line that Tracy delivered in the original film ("Now all of Baltimore will know: I'm big, blonde and beautiful!"), but in the stage version and in this film, Motormouth Maybelle performs the song. A reprise of the song was added to the 2007 film, which is sung by Edna and Velma.

Hairspray was produced on a budget of $75 million. An open casting call was announced to cast unknowns in Atlanta, New York City, and Chicago. After auditioning over eleven hundred candidates, Nikki Blonsky, an eighteen-year-old high school senior from Great Neck, New York who had no previous professional acting experience, was chosen for the lead role of Tracy. Relative unknowns Elijah Kelley and Taylor Parks were chosen through similar audition contests to portray Seaweed and Little Inez, respectively. John Travolta was finally cast as Edna, with Christopher Walken ultimately assuming the role of Wilbur. Several other stars, including Queen Latifah, James Marsden, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Allison Janney were chosen for the other supporting adult roles of Motormouth Maybelle, Corny Collins, Velma Von Tussle, and Prudy Pingleton, respectively. Teen stars Amanda Bynes, and Zac Efron were cast as Tracy's friends Penny and Link, and Brittany Snow was cast as her rival Amber. Jerry Stiller, who played Wilbur Turnblad in the original film version of Hairspray, appears as Mr. Pinky in this version.

Since Hairspray's plot focuses heavily on dance, choreography became a heavy focus for Shankman, who hired four assistant choreographers and put both his acting cast and over a hundred and fifty dancers through two months of rehearsals. The cast recorded the vocal tracks for their songs as coached by Elaine Overholt in the weeks just before principal photography began in September.

Principal photography on Hairspray took place in Toronto, and Hamilton, Ontario, Canada from September 5 to December 8, 2006. Hairspray is explicitly set in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, and the original 1988 film had been shot on location there, but the 2007 film was shot primarily in Toronto because the city was better equipped with the sound stages necessary to film a musical. The opening shots of the descent from the clouds and the newspaper being dropped onto the stoop are the only times that the actual city of Baltimore is shown in the film.

The majority of the film was shot at Toronto's Showline Studios. Most of the street scenes were shot at the intersection of Dundas Street West and Roncesvalles Avenue. Some of the signs for the 1960s-era stores remain up along the street. Toronto's Lord Lansdowne Public School was used for all of the high school exteriors and some of the interiors, while the old Queen Victoria School in Hamilton was also used for interiors. Scenes at Queen Victoria were shot from November 22 to December 2, and the school was scheduled to be demolished after film production was completed.

Thinner than most of the other men who have portrayed Edna, John Travolta appeared onscreen in a large fat suit, and required four hours of makeup in order to appear before the cameras. His character's nimble dancing style belies her girth; Shankman based Edna's dancing style on the hippo ballerinas in the Dance of the Hours sequence in Walt Disney's 1940 animated feature Fantasia. Although early versions of the suit created "a dumpy, Alfred Hitchcock version of Edna," Travolta fought for the ability to give his character curves and a thick Baltimore accent. Designed by Tony Gardner, the fat suit was created using lightweight synthetic materials, consisting of layered pads and silicone, which was used from the chest upwards. The suit provided the additional benefit of covering Travolta's beard, eliminating the problem of his facial hair growing through his makeup midday.

The film is set in the city of Baltimore, Maryland in 1962, in the time of John F. Kennedy's presidency. As shown in the movie, the houses in Baltimore's early residential neighborhoods are directly attached structurally, and are usually set up in the form of loft houses, mostly due to the construction of a store below. In the opening of the movie, a trolley runs down the road's center. Since then, these have been removed in favor of rapid transit systems. In addition, many people can be seen with various styles of Beehives.

Many 1960's cultural references are shown in the movie. For example, an Esso station can be seen in the opening song, "Good Morning Baltimore". Esso changed its name to Exxon since then, but still operates in Canada as a division of ExxonMobil.

Music producer/composer/co-lyricist Marc Shaiman and co-lyricist Scott Wittman were required to alter their Broadway Hairspray song score in various ways in order to work on film, from changing portions of the lyrics in some songs (e.g., "(The Legend of) Miss Baltimore Crabs", "Big, Blonde, and Beautiful", and "You Can't Stop the Beat") to more or less completely removing other songs from the film altogether.

The performance of a vintage dance called The Madison, present in both the 1988 film and the stage musical, was replaced for this version by a newly composed song, "Ladies' Choice". Portions of the Madison dance steps were integrated into the choreography for the musical number "You Can't Stop the Beat", and the song to which the dance is performed on Broadway can be heard during Motormouth Maybelle's platter party in the film, re-titled "Boink-Boink". "The Big Dollhouse" was the only song from the musical not used in the film in any way.

Shaiman and Wittman composed two new songs for the 2007 film: "Ladies' Choice", a solo for Link, and "Come So Far (Got So Far to Go)", a song performed during the end credits by Queen Latifah, Nikki Blonsky, Zac Efron, and Elijah Kelley. Another "new" song in the 2007 film, "The New Girl in Town", had originally been composed for the Broadway musical, but was deemed unnecessary and discarded from the musical. Director Adam Shankman decided to use the song to both underscore a rise-to-fame montage for Tracy and to showcase Maybelle's "Negro Day", which is never actually seen in either of the earlier incarnations of Hairspray.

One additional Shaiman/Wittman song, a ballad entitled "I Can Wait", was composed for the film as a solo for Tracy, meant to replace the stage musical's reprise of "Good Morning Baltimore". "I Can Wait" was shot for the film (Tracy performs the number while locked in Prudy's basement), but was eventually deleted from the final release print. The audio recording of "I Can Wait" was made available as a special bonus track for customers who pre-ordered the Hairspray soundtrack on iTunes, and the scene itself was included as a special feature on the film's DVD release.

Post-production took place in Los Angeles. Composer/co-lyricist Marc Shaiman continued work on the film's music, employing the Hollywood Symphony Orchestra to record instrumentation for both the songs and the incidental score.

Hairspray debuted in 3,121 theaters in North America on July 20, 2007, the widest debut of any modern movie musical. The film earned $27,476,745 in its opening weekend, behind I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. This made Hairspray the record-holder for the biggest sales at opening weekend for a movie musical. This record was later broken by the release of Mamma Mia!, which grossed $27,605,000 on its opening weekend. Hairspray has since gone on to become the fourth highest grossing musical in U.S. cinema history, surpassing The Rocky Horror Picture Show ($112.8 million) and Dreamgirls ($103 million), released seven months prior. Ending its domestic run on October 25, 2007, Hairspray has a total domestic gross of $118,871,849 and $202,548,575 worldwide. Its biggest overseas markets include the United Kingdom ($25.8 million), Australia ($14.4 million), Japan ($8 million), Italy ($4.6 million), France ($3.9 million) and Spain ($3.8 million). This made Hairspray the third musical film in history to cross $200 million internationally, behind 1978's hit Grease ($395 million) and 2002's Chicago ($307 million). It is the seventh highest-grossing PG-rated film of 2007, and has grossed more than other higher-budgeted summer releases like Ocean's Thirteen ($117 million) and Evan Almighty ($100 million).

Two weeks after its original release, new "sing-along" prints of Hairspray were shipped to theaters. These prints featured the lyrics to each song printed onscreen as subtitles, encouraging audiences to interact with the film. On January 4, 2008, Hairspray was re-released in New York and Los Angeles for one week because John Travolta was present for Q&A and autographs.

Hairspray has garnered vastly positive reviews from film critics such as Roger Ebert, The New York Times, and The Boston Globe, as well as a smaller number of reviews comparing it unfavorably to the Waters original. The film is one of the top picks on Metacritic, with an average of 81%. It scored a 91% "Certified Fresh" approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, also indicating excellent reviews, making it one of 2007's best-reviewed films. Peter Rainer of The Christian Science Monitor named it the 4th best film of 2007. Lou Lumenick of the New York Post named it the ninth best film of 2007.

Hairspray was released in standard DVD and high-definition Blu-ray Disc formats in Region 1 on November 20, 2007. The Blu-ray disc is encoded with 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio. The standard DVD was released in two versions: a one-disc release and a two-disc "Shake and Shimmy" edition.

Bonus features on the two-disc release include two audio commentaries, a feature-length production documentary, featurettes on the earlier versions of Hairspray, dance instruction featurettes, deleted scenes including Tracy's deleted song "I Can Wait", and behind-the-scenes looks at the production of each of the film's dance numbers. The Blu-ray Disc release, a two-disc release, includes all of the features from the two-disc DVD, and includes a picture-in-picture behind-the-scenes feature, which runs concurrently with the film. An HD DVD version of the film was originally slated for release in 2008, but has since been canceled due to New Line Cinema's announcement that it would go Blu-ray exclusive with immediate effect, thus dropping HD DVD support.

Due to Hairspray's financial success, New Line Cinema has asked John Waters to write a sequel to the film. Waters will reunite with director/choreographer Adam Shankman for the project, and songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman are set to compose the film's musical numbers. The story will look at Tracy's entering the late '60s era of music and the British invasion. While no official casting has been announced, New Line has said that they hope to "snag much of the original Hairspray cast." The sequel is tentatively set for a mid-July 2010 release by Warner Bros. John Travolta has publicly announced that he will not return for the sequel.

Following is a list of awards that Hairspray or its cast have won or for which they have been nominated.

To the top



Chicago (2002 film)

Chicagopostercast.jpg

Chicago is a 2002 film adaptation of the satirical stage musical Chicago, the film explores the themes of celebrity and scandal in Jazz age Chicago. Directed and choreographed by Rob Marshall, and adapted for film by screenwriter Bill Condon, Chicago won six Academy Awards in 2003, including Best Picture. The film was the first musical film to win the Best Picture Oscar since Oliver! in 1968.

Chicago centers on Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart, two criminals-of-passion who find themselves on death row together in 1920s Chicago. Velma, a vaudevillian, and Roxie, a housewife with aspirations of having the same profession, fight for the fame that will keep them from the gallows. The film stars Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renée Zellweger, and Richard Gere, also featuring Queen Latifah, John C. Reilly, Christine Baranski, Lucy Liu, Taye Diggs, Colm Feore, and Mýa Harrison.

The film takes place in Chicago, circa 1924. Naive Roxie Hart (Renée Zellweger) visits a nightclub where star Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta-Jones) performs ("And All That Jazz"). Hart is having an affair with Fred Casely (Dominic West) in hopes that he will get her a gig as a vaudeville star. Velma is arrested after the show for murdering her adulterous husband and sister Veronica after finding them in bed together. Fred meets Roxie at the nightclub and they go home, both very drunk. They make love and then Fred reveals that he lied about his connections in show business and he only wants Roxie for sex. After Fred dismisses Roxie's chances for success in show business she grabs a gun off her dresser and shoots Fred three times. She then tries to make her husband Amos (John C. Reilly), who is even more naive than her, take the fall ("Funny Honey"). However, the police and Amos (realizing she has been unfaithful to him) see through her ruse and Roxie is arrested and sent to the Cook County Jail.

Once Roxie arrives and is booked, she is sent to Murderess' Row to await trial, under the care of the corrupt Matron "Mama" Morton (Queen Latifah), who supplies her girls with cigarettes and other materials if she is paid well enough ("When You're Good to Mama"). Roxie meets Velma in jail as the woman in charge, and learns the stories behind the other women in Murderess' Row ("Cell Block Tango"). Roxie decides that she wants Velma's lawyer Billy Flynn (Richard Gere) to get her off ("All I Care About"), and convinces her husband to talk to him. Billy decides to take Roxie's case and get her off by making her a star.

Flynn and Roxie manipulate the press at a press conference, reinventing Roxie's identity to make Chicago fall in love with her ("We Both Reached for the Gun"). Roxie becomes the new infamous celebrity of the Cook County Jail, much to Velma's disgust and Mama's delight ("Roxie"). Velma, desperate to get back into the limelight, tries to talk Roxie into opening a vaudeville act with her once they get out of jail ("I Can't Do It Alone"). Roxie haughtily refuses and mocks Velma as Velma mocked Roxie earlier. Roxie and Velma become locked in a rivalry to outdo each other in stardom. The tables are turned on both women, however, when a new killer named Kitty (Lucy Liu) – a wealthy woman who killed her husband and both of his mistresses – enters the scene.

Roxie manages to steal back attention by claiming to be pregnant, which is falsely confirmed by a doctor (whom she seduced), much to Amos' delight; however, nobody notices that he even exists ("Mister Cellophane"). A Hungarian inmate, whose guilt is highly questionable, is considered guilty and hanged after losing her final appeal, which fuels Roxie's desire to be free. Roxie's trial date approaches, and she and Billy begin to plan their strategy to find her innocent of murder using her star power and sympathy vote ("Razzle Dazzle"). Her trial proceeds and becomes a media spectacle, fed off the sensationalist reports of newspaper reporter and radio personality Mary Sunshine (Christine Baranski). The trial goes Roxie's way, until Velma shows up with Roxie's diary and, in exchange for amnesty, reads incriminating entries that Roxie claims to never have written. Using some quick talking, Billy manages to get Roxie off the hook and she is proclaimed innocent. However, Roxie's publicity is short lived: as soon as the trial concludes, the public's attention turns quickly to a new murderess. Roxie leaves the courthouse after discovering that Billy wrote the false diary entries, and sent the journal to Velma to get Miss Kelly off death row. Roxie reveals to Amos she faked her pregnancy for the fame. It is implied, but never stated, that Amos leaves her at this point.

With nothing left, Roxie once more sets off to find a stage career, with little success ("Nowadays"). However, she is soon approached by Velma, who is willing to revive a two-person act with Roxie. Roxie refuses at first, because of the hatred that they share for each other, but relents. The two murderesses, no longer facing jail time, finally become the enormous successes they have been longing to be ("Nowadays"/"Hot Honey Rag").

The movie is based on the Kander and Ebb Broadway musical, Chicago, which was based on the Maurine Watkins play, Chicago, which was in turn based on the stories of two Jazz-era killers, Beulah Annan and Belva Gaertner.

The film follows a similar plot to William Wellman's 1942 film Roxie Hart, starring Ginger Rogers as Roxie and Adolphe Menjou as Billy Flynn. However, the only singing or dancing were performances by Rogers.

The film was to have been the next movie project for legendary stage and film choreographer and director Bob Fosse, who directed and choreographed the original Broadway production. Although he died before the film was made, the influence of his distinctive jazz choreography style can be detected throughout the film. In particular, the parallels to Cabaret are numerous and distinct. He is thanked in the movie's credits.

The satiric presentation of a criminal underworld that mirrors the "respectable" world of daily life goes back to The Beggar's Opera.

The film is based on the hit musical Chicago, the original Broadway production of which (in 1975) was not well-received by audiences due to the show's cynical tone. The minimalist 1996 revival was much more successful, however, and the influences of both productions can be seen in the film version. The original production's musical numbers were staged as vaudeville acts; the movie respects this but presents them as Roxie's fantasies, while scenes that take place in "real life" have a hard-edged realism.

Chicago was produced by the American companies Miramax and The Producers Circle in association with the German company Kallis Productions. Chicago was filmed in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The courthouse was in Osgoode Hall. Other scenes were filmed at Queen's Park, former Gooderham and Worts Distillery, Casa Loma, the Elgin Theatre, Union Station, the Canada Life Building, the Danforth Music Hall, and at the Old City Hall. All vocal coaching for the film was led by Toronto-based Elaine Overholt, whom Richard Gere thanked personally during his Golden Globe acceptance speech.

Producers were at first hesitant to cast Queen Latifah as Matron "Mama" Morton, as a black woman would not have been given a position as jail warden in the 1920s.

Catherine Zeta-Jones was originally meant to keep her hair long for the role of Velma Kelly, but she had it cut short so that viewers could see her face more clearly and therefore would be certain that she performed her own routines.

Chicago was received with very positive reviews. On the review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes, the film currently garners an 87% "Certified Fresh" approval rating, and a 92% (also "Certified Fresh) approval rating when narrowed down to include only the reviews of top critics; the notable critic Roger Ebert called it "Big, brassy fun." On Metacritic, the film averaged a critical score of 82/100 (indicating "universal acclaim") and averaged a user score of 7.9/10.

The film grossed $306,403,013 worldwide and has the highest gross of any film never to reach #1 or #2 in the weekly box office charts.

To the top



Source : Wikipedia