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Lapacazo Sandoval

Stories by Lapacazo

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A day in Harlem with ‘Black Nativity’

Last night, we soaked up the soulful vibes of Harlem as the swinging hamlet welcomed the cast and crew of director Kasi Lemmons’ holiday musical “Black Nativity.”

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A Hollywood Weekend

This year, it seems that the industry has taken a deeper interest in films depicting the past struggles of African-Americans

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Aziz Ansari is ‘Buried Alive’ and loving it

"Aziz Ansari: Buried Alive” will debut on Netflix on Nov. 1

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Save the date, take a date: Holiday movie sneak peeks

New holiday films choices coming your way

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On the Verge: Barkhad Abdi on the seas with Tom Hanks

The film awards season—September through March—is upon us, and I’m confident that “Captain Phillips,” directed by Paul Greengrass and starring two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks, will receive a heap of nominations and awards—and it will be deserving of all of them.

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‘Gravity’ director Alfonso Cuarón says ‘If you need it, create it’

Some of the tools needed to make the new thriller “Gravity,” written by Alfonso Cuarón and his son, Jonás Cuarón, and starring Academy Award winners Sandra Bullock (“The Blind Side”) and George Clooney (“Syriana”), visually exciting didn’t exist when the team began their journey. Those visual innovations were born from creative necessity, and those brave innovators should stand tall and proud.

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‘Gravity’ dazzles with cinematic wizardry

Conception, birth and the journey called life. Rebirth and the effects of gravity. Why do I exist? That weighty question has been asked by people for ages. Our collective heads tilt toward heaven as we marvel at the canopy of stars and ponder our place in the vast and unknowing universe. That existential question still remains the topic of debates. These simple and immediately gripping topics are brilliantly explored in “Gravity,” written by Alfonso Cuarón and Jonás Cuarón and starring Academy Award winners Sandra Bullock (“The Blind Side”) and George Clooney (“Syriana”).

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'Captain Phillips' is taut, exciting, humanizing

“Captain Phillips,” starring two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks in the title role, examines the 2009 hijacking of the Maersk Alabama cargo ship by four Somali pirates.

‘Newlyweeds’ lights up the Film Forum

“Newlyweeds” is producer-writer-director Shaka King’s first feature, which grew from his New York University thesis project.

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Terry Crews—an artist in every sense of the word

“I am blessed, blessed, blessed!” That’s how former athlete, actor, voiceover star and fine artist (yes, fine artist) Terry Crews opened our conversation.

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In Harlem, kids get ready for Broadway!

I live in walking distance of the Harlem School of the Arts, and last weekend, along with Victor Maog, artistic director of 2g, we attended the fall open house of the 37,000-square-foot facility designed for multi-discipline art instruction, performance and exhibition.

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‘Getaway’ with Gomez

“I’m a terrible driver. I am really, really bad,” declared tween star Selena Gomez. The bold statement was unexpected and charming.

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Angry Spirits Return to ‘Breakfast with Mugabe’

The story of “Breakfast with Mugabe” is set in the State House in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, in October 2001 during the months preceding the presidential election of Robert Mugabe, which took place in spring 2002.

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Teeth-clenching action in ‘Getaway’

At the risk of upsetting the terrific actors in Warner Bros., I declare that “Getaway” is a directors’ film!

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Cedric the Entertainer is the new host of Who wants to be a Millionaire

Cedric the Entertainer will walk into millions of homes and ask a simple question: “Who wants to be a millionaire?” and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer, funnier man.

A seriously sexy blues revue at Ginny’s Supper Club

Second Generation Artistic Director Victor Maog recently introduced me to an iconic member of the entertainment industry with the preface: “You are going to love this man. He dreams and then makes it happen!”

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Old-fashioned entertainment with a Southern flair

“Savannah” (directed, produced and written by Annette Haywood-Carter) is a true story based on the bombastic and charismatic Ward Allen (Jim Caviezel), who turns his handsome, rugged back on his plantation heritage for an adventurous life on the mysterious river.

On the verge: Anne Marie Fox, unit photographer for ‘Butler’

Some argue that style can be taught, while others stand firmly on the conviction that’s it is a unique trait given at conception, that it’s a part of your DNA.

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Director Lee Daniels talks ‘Butler’

“This film is inspired by many true stories,” shared screenwriter Danny Strong. “I worked closely with Lee [Daniels] and others to bring as many amazing truths, as revealed to me, from their mouths to the screen.” “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” started with an article in the Washington Post about the real-life story of a Black man who worked in the White House for decades, serving eight presidents from Harry Truman to Ronald Reagan. His name was Eugene Allen, and he was born in the South during the Jim Crow era, when lynchings and segregation were accepted parts of life. Allen witnessed history from a unique vantage point and lived long enough to cast a vote for Barack Obama and meet him during his first term as president of the United States. In “The Butler,” Daniels took on Allen’s story through his protagonist, Cecil Gaines. This is a brief interview with Daniels, director of “The Butler.”

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History through the eyes of an extraordinary butler

Lee Daniels, the director of “Precious” and “The Paperboy,” keeps his legacy growing with “The Butler,” a sweeping, highly fictionalized biopic about real longtime White House butler Eugene Allen. It also smartly positions itself as a panoramic snapshot of the African-American experience across nine decades. The film stars Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker in the title role as butler Cecil Gaines, based on Allen. Gaines is a stoic witness to civil rights history; his humble beginnings in the cruel cotton fields of racist Georgia (circa 1920s) eventually lead him to the White House, where he silently and gracefully serves eight presidents.

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Get to know ‘the Millers’

“We’re the Millers ... in case anyone asks.” It’s true that you can’t choose your relatives—most of mine would have been exchanged years ago—but you can choose your family, sort of. That’s the basis of this hilarious, rib-tickling story featuring the Millers, an inventive collection of flawed, interesting and compassionate characters that I “kind of-sort-of” wish I knew.

‘But he’s Black!’ HBO documentary spotlights casting directors

“But he’s Black! The role isn’t written for a Black man,” sputtered “Lethal Weapon” film director Richard Donner during the casting process for one of Hollywood’s lucrative franchises.

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‘Art isn’t extracurricular; it’s extra-essential’

If you want to know how to heal an ailing world, just ask an artist, especially one who’s performed all over the world and has worked extensively with children.

‘Art isn’t extracurricular; it’s extra-essential’

If you want to know how to heal an ailing world, just ask an artist, especially one who’s performed all over the world and has worked extensively with children.

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