Confirmation

Confirmation stillRelease Date:  4/16/16; HBO
Genre:  Drama
Rating:  NR
Running Time:   Unknown
Studio(s):  ABC Signature Studios, Groundswell Productions, HBO Films.
Director:  Rick Famuyiwa
Cast:  Kerry Washington (Anita Hill), Wendell Pierce (Clarence Thomas), Erika Christensen (Shirley Wiegand), Zoe Lister-Jones (Carolyn Hart), Greg Kinnear (Joe Biden), Grace Gummer (Ricki Seidman), Jeffrey Wright (Charles Ogletree), Eric Stonestreet (Ken Duberstei), Kimberly Elise (Sonia Jarvis), Jennifer Hudson (Angela Wright), Alison Wright (Virginia Thomas).

Story:  Confirmation, the HBO original movie details the 1991 Clarence Thomas Supreme Court nomination hearings.  Kerry Washington portrays law professor Anita Hill, who accused Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment.  With Wendell Pierce as Judge Thomas and Greg Kinnear as Democratic Senator Joe Biden, who presided over the hearings as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Jeffrey Wright plays Harvard law professor Charles Ogletree, Professor Hill’s lead attorney during the hearings.

Also Kimberly Elise plays Sonia Jarvis, a civil rights attorney on Anita Hill’s legal team. Jennifer Hudson portrays Angela Wright, another Thomas accuser.  Erika Christensen plays Shirley Wiegand, Hill’s close friend and Alison Wright portrays Ginni Thomas, Thomas’ wife.  Source:  Shadow and Act.

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Black Songbird

Black Songbird

Release Date: TBA
Genre:  Thriller
Rating:  Unknown
Running Time:   Unknown
Studio(s):  Seven Clubs Entertainment
Director:  Raquel Deloatch
Cast Jenique Bennett (Knight Daye), Antwan Mclaurin (Dixon Hayden), Felicia White (Faye Daniels), Brynn Lloyd Mosley, Jr. (A. J.)

Story:  Blinded by ambition to find the killers of her childhood friends and advance her career, rookie journalist Knight Daye is recruited by the FBI to go undercover as a party hostess at a club that fronts for organize crime. Knight enters there glamorous world, but learns that there is something more sinister lurking behind all the glamour.  Source(s):  IMDB.

Roots

Roots (2016)Release Date:  5/30/16 (Made-for-TV)
Genre:  Drama/Historical
Rating:  NR
Running Time:  Unknown
Studio:  History Channel
Directors:  Bruce Beresford, Thomas Carter, Phillip Noyce, Mario Van Peebles

Cast:  Emayatzy Corinealdi (Belle), Laurence Fishburne (Alex Haley), Carlacia Grant (Irene), Malachi Kirby (Kunta Kinte), Rege-Jean Page (Chicken George), Mekhi Phifer (Jerusalem), Anika Noni Rose (Kizzy), T.I. (Cyrus), Forest Whitaker (Fiddler).

Story:  Remake of the classic TV mini-series that remains one of history’s most watched U.S. broadcasts.  The historical portrait of American slavery recounts the journey of one family and their will to survive and ultimately carry on their legacy despite hardship. Roots will be simulcast on the History Channel, A&E and Lifetime with a May 30th.  Source:  Dark Horizons.

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Love Under New Management: The Miki Howard Story

The Miki Howard Story stillRelease Date:  6/1/16 (TV One)
Genre:  Biography
Rating:  NR
Running Time:  Unknown
Director:  Christine Swanson
Cast:  Teyonah Parris (Miki Howard), Gary Dourdan (Augie Johnson), Darius McCrary (Gerald Levert), Amari Cheatom (Eddie Phelps), LisaRaye McCoy (Sylvia Rhone), Vanessa Bell Calloway (Josephine Howard).

Story:  Teyonah Parris stars in the TV One Original Movie The Miki Howard Story. Parris plays the R&B/Jazz singer and actress who enjoyed mainstream success in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with a string of top 10 hits including “Come Share My Love,” “Baby, Be Mine,” “Love Under New Management,” and others.

The film will cover 30+ years of Howard’s life, including both professional and personal trials and triumphs.  Also starring Darius McCrary as Gerald Levert, Gary Dourdan as Augie Johnson, LisaRaye is Sylvia Rhone, Amari Cheatom as Eddie Phelps and Vanessa Bell Calloway as Josephine Howard.  Christine Swanson is directing from a script written by Rhonda Baraka, which is based on a yet to be released biography by Miki Howard.  Source:  Shadow and Act.

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Boo! A Madea Halloween

Boo!  A Madea Halloween posterRelease Date:  10/21/16 (In Theaters)
Genre:  Comedy
Rating:  NR
Running Time:  Unknown
Director:  Tyler Perry
Studio:  The Tyler Perry Company, Lionsgate.
Cast:  Tyler Perry (Madea/Joe/Brian), Bella Thorne (Rain), Jimmy Tatro (Sean), Diamond White (Tiffany), Yousef Yousef Erakat (Jonathan), Cassi Davis (Aunt Bam), Andre Hall (Quinton).

Story:  Tyler Perry will write, produce, direct and star in Boo! A Madea Halloween.  The film originated from Perry and Chris Rock including a fictitious Madea Halloween movie in Rock’s 2014 film Top Five.  Lionsgate then approached Perry and suggested that they actually make the movie which will be the ninth Madea film since the release of the first – Diary of a Mad Black Woman – back in 2005.  This time Madea spends Halloween fending off killers, paranormal poltergeists, ghosts, ghouls and zombies while keeping a watchful eye on a group of misbehaving teens.  Source:  Variety.

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Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures

Release Date:  1/6/17 (In Theaters)
Genre:  Drama
Rating:  NR
Running Time:  Unknown
Director:  Theodore Melfi
Studio:  20th Century Fox
Cast: Taraji P. Henson (Katherine Johnson), Octavia Spencer (Dorothy Vaughn), Janelle Monae (Mary Jackson), Kevin Costner (Al Harrison), Kirsten Dunst (Vivian Michael), Jim Parsons (Paul Stafford), Mahershala (Jim Johnson),
Aldis Hodge Aldis Hodge (Levi Jackson)

Details:  the incredible untold story of Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughn (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) — brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big.  Source:  20th Century Fox, official site.

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Update 8/15/16:  Today People reported that the film tells the true story of Katherine Johnson, the African-American physicist and mathematician who calculated the trajectory for Project Mercury and later Apollo 11’s 1969 flight to the moon.

In the trailer, Johnson, along with her colleagues Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, work to discover the calculations that helped the first American astronaut make a complete orbit around the Earth.  Henson takes on the role of Johnson while Octavia Spencer and Monáe star as Vaughan and Jackson, respectively.

The clip gives the first look at Henson, Spencer and Monáe as the three legendary women who overcame adversity and discrimination to ultimately change the course of history and win the Space Race for NASA.  Source:  People.com.

Update:  3/7/16:  The Wrap reports that pop star Janelle Monae has landed the third lead alongside Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer in the Fox 2000 drama Hidden Figures. The story follows three African-American women who served as the brains behind NASA’s Friendship 7 mission, which saw astronaut John Glenn become the first American to orbit the Earth in February 1962.  Henson will play Katherine Johnson, Spencer will play Dorothy Vaughan and Monae will play the youngest member of the trio, Mary Jackson. Kevin Costner will co-star as the head of the space program.  Source:  The Wrap.

Story:  The project follows Katherine Johnson, a brilliant African-American mathematician who, along with her colleagues Dorothy Vaughn and Mary Jackson, served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history — the momentous launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, and his safe return.  The script is based on Margot Lee Shetterly’s upcoming book Hidden Figures: The African American Women Mathematicians Who Helped Nasa and the United States Win the Space Race.  Source:  Flickering Myth. Photo Sources:  More; Wikipedia.