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Thread: Proud Mary

  1. #1
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    Proud Mary

    Gene Ching
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  2. #2
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    Opens this Friday!

    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  3. #3
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    John is irked

    He has a point. Fogerty has had issues with his music before - remember when his former record label sued him for his solo work sounding too much like Creedence Clearwater Revival? That was surreal.

    People always think of Ike & Tina Turner's version of this tune, especially for this film, but it was originally Fogerty. Both versions rock but have quite different tones and messages, given the performers.

    John Fogerty Strikes Out at New Taraji P. Henson Film, 'Proud Mary' for Using His Classic Song Title
    1/11/2018 by Melinda Newman


    Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

    John Fogerty performs onstage during 2016 Stagecoach California's Country Music Festival at Empire Polo Club on April 30, 2016 in Indio, Calif.

    "This movie has nothing to do with me, or my song. They simply picked the title and wrote a completely fictitious story around it."
    Proud Mary, which features “Empire” star Taraji P. Henson as a hit woman, opens in theaters Friday and it’s a safe bet that John Fogerty will not be in the audience.

    The rocker, who wrote the rock classic from which the movie takes its name, penned a scorching rebuke of the movie and its attempt to capitalize on the popularity of his song on Thursday (Jan. 11). While he has not seen an advance of the film, his ire comes from seeing the words of the 1969 Creedence Clearwater Revival hit changed from “working for the man every night and day” to “killing for the man every night and day” on the movie poster and the film's appropriation of his song title.

    In his statement, Fogerty says, “My songs are special to me. Precious. So it irks me when people seek to capitalize on the popularity of my music and the good will it has earned with the public for their own financial gain. Over the years, I have often found myself directly opposed to these uses… This movie has nothing to do with me, or my song. They simply picked the title and wrote a completely fictitious story around it.”

    John Fogerty performs at the 2017 Starkey Hearing Foundation So the World May Hear Awards Gala at the Saint Paul RiverCentre on July 16, 2017 in St. Paul, Minnesota.

    While the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer's representative says he plans no legal action -- he could not come after the filmmakers for using the song title -- he remains miffed that no one from the film asked about using his song this way and makes it clear that if he has been asked, he would have declined.

    Fogerty’s statement in full is below:

    "There is a movie in current release called ‘Proud Mary.’ I don’t know much about it other than this. The main character is a black woman who is also an assassin. And apparently, her name is Mary. I wrote the song ‘Proud Mary’ 50 years ago, and I was very excited to have written such a good song. In fact, it was my very first good song. My songs are special to me. Precious. So it irks me when people seek to capitalize on the popularity of my music and the good will it has earned with the public for their own financial gain. Over the years, I have often found myself directly opposed to these uses. This movie has nothing to do with me, or my song. They simply picked the title and wrote a completely fictitious story around it. Back in the day, I had decided that I needed to become more professional, more organized about my songwriting efforts. I bought a little notebook and after few days, I wrote down the words. Proud Mary. It was the very first entry in this book. At first, I didn’t even know what those words meant. No one ever asked me about using my song this way, or even about the meaning of ‘Proud Mary.’ The movie poster has my lyrics changed to read…. ‘killing for the Man every night and day.’ I wrote the song about a mythical riverboat, cruising on a mythical river, in a mythical time. Perhaps, the setting was ‘back in time’ on the Mississippi River. It was obviously a metaphor about leaving painful, stressful things behind for a more tranquil and meaningful life.

    Far from a story about killing people for money."
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  4. #4
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    But never mind John...

    ... I do like Taraji and still want to see this. She's totally right in that the 'Female Strong' genre in the wake of Wonder Woman is full of young white starlets (unless you count all the Asian action starlets, but that's not quite Hollywood, is it?) Apart from this, there's really only who... Pam Grier?

    JANUARY 05, 2018 7:30am PT by Ashley Lee
    Taraji P. Henson on Taking Action in 'Proud Mary' and (Not) Selling "Black Culture" Overseas
    The actress also tackles the idea that women over 40 can't kick ass onscreen: "If a man can do it, why can’t we? I feel like women get better as we age. Give us the same chances as you give men."


    Dana Starbard/Sony Pictures
    'Proud Mary'

    The actress also tackles the idea that women over 40 can't kick ass onscreen: "If a man can do it, why can’t we? I feel like women get better as we age. Give us the same chances as you give men."
    Proud Mary is a rare project in Hollywood: an original action movie starring a 47-year-old woman of color.

    "When women get older in this business, they tend to send us out to pastures; meanwhile, you have Liam Neeson, however old he is, still kicking ass in Taken and Denzel Washington, who, at any given drop of a dime, will do an action film," says star Taraji P. Henson, who is more than a decade younger than both of those male actors. "**** that. If men can do it, why can't we? I feel like women get better as we age. Give us the same chances as you give men."

    In the Jan. 12 release, Henson — who grew up adoring the Rocky and Superman movies, as well as the '70s TV shows Bionic Woman and Charlie's Angels — plays an assassin whose life is altered by a pivotal kill. Since she didn't have much time to train for the Babak Najafi-directed flick due to her shooting schedule on Fox's Empire, the actress leaned on her previous training in weaponry (she played a cop for four seasons on CBS' Person of Interest) to master the fight sequences quickly. "And thank God I have training in dance choreography since that's basically what fight scenes are," she says. "Instead of five, six, seven, eight, plié, it's five, six, seven, eight, punch."


    Courtesy of Sony Pictures

    Henson also serves as executive producer on Proud Mary, a role that has her "begging and pleading my connections and doing whatever I can to make this movie the best it can be. I don't just put my name on stuff just to say it; I get down and dirty." Among her asks: "I'm still trying to get a Beyonce song on this soundtrack," she tells THR in a pre-Christmas interview. She's also trying to persuade Sony's Screen Gems to secure an international press tour to promote the film as it's released outside the U.S. — which she says is a tougher battle than she can believe. (A representative for Sony says they're "definitely exploring" the press tour and working to set the dates).

    "[Studios] never expect [black films] to do well overseas," she says. "Meanwhile, you go overseas and what do you see? People trying to look like African-Americans with Afros and dressing in hip-hop fashions. To say that black culture doesn't sell well overseas, that's a lie. Somebody just doesn't want to do their job and promote the film overseas. Do you not have people streaming my Christmas specials in Australia? Come on, y'all! I don't understand the thinking. Send me over there, and if it fails, then we don't do it again, but why not try? If I knew this movie was gonna make money domestically, I would try to get more money overseas. It's business!"

    Henson, however, has high hopes for Proud Mary, domestically and internationally. "I don't even sweat my movies opening in the States anymore; I know they will. I'm not even trippin' off of domestic success anymore, and that's not even me being conceited," Henson explains. "They weren't even gonna sell Empire overseas — you know what forced them to sell it? The people, because they were streaming it illegally. Then [studio executives] go, 'We can make some money,' and all of a sudden they want to sell the show [internationally]. What? You don't even expect us to do well."

    Later this year, Henson reprises her role as the Lyon family matriarch of Empire, but continues her streak as a leading lady on the big screen. She reunites with writer-director Tyler Perry for the Fatal Attraction-esque thriller Acrimony, out in March. Also on her docket: her portrayal of activist Ann Atwater opposite Sam Rockwell (as a ranked KKK member) in the indie drama The Best of Enemies. "She's very boisterous like Cookie — oh, she's a barracuda — but that story is very relevant and needed now," she says of playing the real-life civil rights activist.

    Henson hopes her film projects — including Paramount's gender-bending 2019 reboot of What Women Want, which she's also executive producing — will wake Hollywood up to the box-office value of women of color. "They give us a lower budget, and we take that budget and make magic and break all kinds of records — we're making a dollar out of 15 cents with these projects," she says, referencing the 2017 hit comedy Girls Trip. "I wish we wouldn't see color, we'd just see talent. It's stupid that I'm not getting paid what I should be getting paid because of the color of my skin, but I'm turning in the performances, hand over fist. But I'm not gonna complain, because then I become bitter. What I do is I keep fighting, I keep fighting for my money until I don't have to fight anymore."

    Proud Mary, with a modest $14 million budget of its own, showed the star "I can do anything, that we can do anything as African-American women," she says. "And I want to do it again. The stunt coordinator was impressed with how fast I caught on, and I said, 'Just imagine if we had weeks to train!' If we make a sequel, we'll be ahead of it." She laughs while recalling one of the film's fight sequences she watched with her boyfriend, former NFLer Kelvin Hayden. "He was looking at me scared. He's sleeping with one eye open now!"
    Unfortunately, I don't think I'll have time to get out to the movies soon.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  5. #5
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    Tara Macken

    Just one more on this today. After all this, I sure hope this movie is good. It has certainly broached some interesting topics today. I love whenever a stunt person is showcased. Kudos to ESPNW for this.

    Tumbling out of cars and battling bad guys -- Tara Macken on doubling Taraji P. Henson in 'Proud Mary'
    By Katie Barnes | Jan 12, 2018
    espnW.com


    Courtesy of Tara Macken
    Tara Macken doubles Taraji P. Henson in the new action film "Proud Mary."

    Tara Macken was born in a car in Kuwait. Her mother was en route to a hospital when Macken just couldn't wait anymore. She was ready to greet the world at that very moment.

    "When I tell people that story, they're like 'that makes sense,'" Macken said in a phone interview.

    It does make sense. Macken is always high-energy and constantly moving. It is literally her job to fall out of windows, get hit by cars, and fight off bad guys. She's a stunt woman who has previously doubled everyone from Eva Longoria, Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Alba -- and now Taraji P. Henson in "Proud Mary," which hits theaters on Friday.

    Henson plays Mary, a hit woman working for an organized crime family in Boston, a role that required many action sequences. Macken was one of three women who doubled Henson in the film, and she handled the reshoots. Veteran stuntwoman Cheryl Lewis participated in the original shoot of the film.

    "My background is in martial arts and film fighting, so ["Proud Mary"] was right up my alley," Macken said. "It was a cool experience."

    Macken worked with the Academy Award-nominated Henson on fight choreography and prepped her for action sequences. After prep, Henson would film the sequence and do the choreography herself, and then Macken followed it up with her version of Henson's performance. The editors would do their magic, and suddenly, there's a film. The end product is usually a combination of the actress and the stunt performers.

    "She is super talented and able to pick things up quickly," Macken said of Henson. "[Taraji] is such a good performer, she was like a sponge and absorbed it all."

    Macken has been working in stunts for about a decade, including double performances in "The Hunger Games" series and upcoming roles in "Avengers: Infinity War" and "A Wrinkle in Time." Macken, who is of Filipino and Irish descent, also credits her ability to double a wide range of diverse actresses as helping open a few more doors for her in the competitive stunt-double business.

    "I've noticed in the past 10 years there has been a transition in casting," Macken said. "Everybody is in this melting pot, and casting has gone toward it, which works in my favor."

    Macken fell in love with movement as a child. She started in gymnastics at a young age and played in the jungles of Brunei, in Southeast Asia, when her family moved from Kuwait. She later picked up dance, which she would go on to study in college, and rock climbing. While at Santa Clara University in Northern California, Macken began studying martial arts. She started with Judo and added kickboxing and Filipino martial arts to her training regimen. The blend of gymnastics, dance and martial arts styles allows Macken to bring a unique and varied skill set to productions.

    "It's a way to explore movement, be creative, and use your whole body," Macken said. "It does come in handy when you're doing action scenes for a lot of characters. For example, how would an alien fight? They wouldn't do traditional boxing, so you start morphing everything you learn into an interesting movement idea."


    Courtesy Screen Gems
    Macken doubles Taraji P. Henson, who plays Mary -- a hired assassin, in "Proud Mary."

    Macken studied theater and dance in college with the intention of moving to Los Angeles and becoming an actress. She was always interested in action, but she had no idea that there was an entire profession dedicated to making the action come alive on film.

    "When I found out about stunts, I thought it was just a bunch of guys flipping over cars and setting themselves on fire," Macken said. "I didn't know it was martial arts related. I thought actors did that. So I figured out I could have a whole career doing the best part of acting. Fantastic!"

    Macken's favorite stunt in "Proud Mary" was tumbling out of a car. Turns out that jumping out of a moving vehicle is more complicated than just opening a car door and going for it. She had to jump a specific way so that she could roll away from the car, not get run over, and not smash her face into the asphalt. Luckily, there was lots of padding.

    "Not something you probably want to get into, but if you do, there's a way," Macken said.

    She was still stiff the next morning. Though, she has no regrets.

    And it's just par for the course. Additionally, Macken has been set on fire, and knows how to reload and fire multiple weapons. She trains in martial arts for three hours every day (except for the weekends), and she rides horses for her stunt-double role on HBO's "Westworld."

    "I'm just training myself to be a super spy," Macken joked. "All I need now is a couple more languages, and I'm good to go."

    Katie Barnes is a writer/reporter for espnW. Follow them on Twitter at Katie_Barnes3.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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