Image's One Village Brings Eclectic Catalog Mix3 Feb, 2012 By: Ashley Ratcliff
From upbeat stage plays to hard-hitting dramas, One Village Entertainment, the urban film division of Image Entertainment, has much to offer this quarter.
“We’re just trying to make sure there that there is some content out there for everyone,” said Brett Dismuke, SVP of acquisitions with One Village.
The sports drama All Things Fall Apart arrives Feb. 14 on DVD ($27.97) and Blu-ray Disc ($29.97). The film stars rapper-actor Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson as a college running back gearing up for a career in the NFL, when he loses it all due to a sudden battle with cancer.
It also stars Ray Liotta, Lynn Whitfield and Mario Van Peebles, who also directs.
“This is 50 Cent’s defining role, thus far,” Dismuke said. “There’s been a lot of buzz about this film, particularly because of the weight loss for the character’s condition. I remember a year and a half ago or so, when pictures surfaced of 50 on the Internet at this size, social media went crazy, like, ‘What’s wrong with 50 Cent?’ That has definitely worked to our advantage.”
Another major release for One Village is I Ain’t Scared of You: A Tribute to Bernie Mac (DVD $14.98), a reminiscent look at the outspoken Chicago comedian, who passed away in 2008. Releasing Feb. 21, the part documentary, part stand-up comedy movie combines home video footage and family photos with interviews from the people who knew Bernie best: his wife, Rhonda McCullough; daughter, Je’niece McCullough; and colleagues such as Chris Rock, Cedric the Entertainer, D.L. Hughley, Samuel L. Jackson and others.
Bonus material for I Ain’t Scared of You includes additional stand-up featurettes and interviews.
“This is the only stand-up/documentary on Bernie Mac that you’ll ever see,” Dismuke said. “He never did a solo stand-up DVD. The only stand-up that you can see on Bernie in the marketplace is … the Def Comedy Jam boxed set or Kings of Comedy. … It’s just a wonderful film that really lets you into the life of Bernie Mac. And there’s a lot of material in it that people haven’t seen before. That’s a special project.”
Rounding out Image’s slate of urban films this quarter are several stage plays from renowned playwright David E. Talbert, who is celebrating 20 years in the industry.
What My Husband Doesn’t Know, Talbert’s latest show, arrives on DVD Feb. 7 ($14.98). Neglected by her entrepreneur husband (Clifton Davis), Lena Summer (Michelle Williams) meets an attractive young plumber (Brian White) who gives her the attention she’s been missing. However, their forbidden romance is met with an unexpected end.
“It’s funny; most of our Talbert plays are romantic comedies with a twist of drama, and What My Husband Doesn’t Know was a departure from Talbert’s usual theme because there was the whodunit and the suspense aspect to it,” Dismuke said, adding that it was the No. 1 stage play tour in America in 2011.
Another Talbert stage play, What Goes Around Comes Around (DVD $14.98), starring Reagan Gomez Preston, Wesley Jonathan, Tony Rock and Lavell Crawford, streets March 6. The romantic comedy centers on a woman, tired of her boyfriend’s infidelity, who sets him up to learn a lesson.
This play originally toured about 10 years ago.
“In addition to David’s current tours, we’ve gone out and re-cast some of those catalog pieces to present them as updated titles for DVD and television,” Dismuke said.
What My Husband Doesn’t Know, What Goes Around Comes Around and upcoming stage plays A Fool and His Money and Suddenly Single will air on BET.
“We pride ourselves on giving a diverse catalog mix,” Dismuke said. “A lot of times, African-Americans are considered one-dimensional … [but] because there are so many different layers within the black community, I want to offer something for all of them. You can’t look at One Village and say, ‘They only have such and such.’”