Furlough

Release Date:  3/16/18; In Theaters & VOD
Genre:  Comedy
Rating:   R
Director:  Laurie Collyer
Studio(s):   EFC Films, Furlough Productions, IFC Films
Running Time:  83 mins.

Cast:  Tessa Thompson (Nicole Stevens), Whoopi Goldberg (Mrs. Stevens), Melissa Leo (Joan Anderson), Anna Paquin, La La Anthony (Brandy)

Story:   When a rowdy inmate (Melissa Leo) gets one weekend out of prison to visit her ailing mother, the rookie corrections officer (Tessa Thompson) assigned to keep an eye on her struggles to keep her in line during their emergency furlough.  Source(s):  Indiewire, IFC Center.

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First Match

Release Date:  3/12/18 – 3/16/18 – SXSW Film Festival; 3/30/18 – Netflix (2017)
Genre:  Drama
Rating:  NR
Director:  Olivia Newman
Studio(s):   CreativeBionics, Clubhouse Pictures, Netflix.
Running Time:  102 mins.

Cast:  Elvire Emanuelle, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Colman Domingo, Jharrel Jerome, Jared Kemp

Story:   Hardened by years in foster care, a teenage girl from Brooklyn’s Brownsville neighborhood, decides that wrestling boys is the only way back to her estranged father.  Source(s):  SXSW.com; Flickeringmyth.

 

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Jinn

Release Date:  2017
Genre:  Drama
Rating:  NR
Director:  Nijla Mumin
Studio(s):   Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, Morgan’s Mark,
Sweet Potato Pie Productions
Running Time:  91 mins.

Cast:  Simone Missick (Jade), Zoe Renee (Summer), Hisham Tawfiq (Imam Khalid), Kelvin Harrison, Jr. (Tahir), Dorian Missick (David).

Story:   Summer is a 17-year old carefree black girl, whose world is turned upside down when her mother, a popular meteorologist named Jade, abruptly converts to Islam and becomes a different person, prompting Summer to reevaluate her identity.  But, while Summer initially resists Islam, she eventually becomes drawn to its teachings, particularly around the “Jinn,” supernatural beings who occupy a parallel world and have free will, like humans. Summer soon realizes that the religion is more complex than she thought, and that people interpret it in different ways. Yet, Summer’s need to be free and untethered to any one way of being clashes with her mother’s strict interpretation of the faith and causes a growing rift between them.

When Summer meets Tahir, a fellow Muslim classmate who attends the same masjid, she is further drawn to the religion and especially to his parents’ fluid, freeing practice of it. As Summer and Tahir build a connection based on laughter, curiosity, and beef pepperoni, a budding sexual attraction ignites, causing a major conflict between physical desire and piety.  Source(s):  Official site – jinnfilm.com; sxsw.com.

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Blindspotting

Release Date:  7/20/18 – Limited/In Theaters
Genre:  Comedy
Rating:  NR
Director:  Carlos López Estrada
Studio(s):   Foley Walkers Studio, Snoot Entertainment
Running Time:  95 mins.

Cast:  Daveed Diggs (Collin), Rafael Casal (Miles), Janina Gavankar (Val), Jasmine Cephas Jones (Ashley), Tisha Campbell-Martin (Mama Liz), Utkarsh Ambudkar (Rin), Kevin Carroll (James), Nyambi Nyambi (Yorkie).

Story:   Daveed Diggs plays Collin, who is trying to make it through his final days of probation for an infamous arrest he can’t wait to put behind him. Always by his side is his fast-talking childhood bestie, Miles (Rafael Casal), who has a knack for finding trouble. They grew up together in the notoriously rough Oakland, a.k.a. “The Town,” which has become the new trendy place to live in the rapidly gentrifying Bay Area.  When Collin’s chance for a fresh start is interrupted by a life-changing missed curfew, his friendship with Miles is forced out of its comfortable buddy-comedy existence, and the Bay boys are set on a spiraling collision course with each other.  Photo Source/Source(s):  Deadline.

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Den of Thieves

Release Date:  4/24/18; DVD
Genre:  Action/Crime
Rating:  R
Director:  Christian Gudegast
Studio(s):   Diamond Film Productions, G-BASE, Tucker Tooley Entertainment.
Running Time:  140 mins.

Cast:  Gerard Butler (‘Big Nick’ O’Brien), Pablo Schreiber (Ray Merrimen), O’Shea Jackson, Jr., (Donnie Wilson), Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson (Enson Levoux), Meadow Williams (Holly), Maurice Compte (Benny Borracho’ Magalon) Brian Van Holt  (Murph Connors), Evan Jones (Bo ‘Bosco’ Ostroman), Mo McRae (Gus Henderson).

Story:   A Los Angeles crime saga in the vein of Heat, Den of Thieves follows the intersecting and often personally connected lives of an elite unit of the LA County Sheriff’s Dept. and the state’s most successful bank robbery crew as the outlaws plan a seemingly impossible heist on the Federal Reserve Bank of downtown Los Angeles.  Source(s):  Movie Insider.

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Honor Up

Release Date:  4/17/18; DVD
Genre: Action
Rating: R
Director: Damon Dash
Studio(s): Grindstone Entertainment Group, Lions Gate Films, Lionsgate Home Entertainment.
Running Time:  94 mins.
Cast:  Damon Dash, Cam’ron, Stacey Dash, Nicholas Turturro, Michael Rispoli, Murda Mook, Smoke DZA, Blackface.
Story:  State Property producer Damon Dash and executive producer Kanye West present this epic, explosive crime saga that stars rappers Cam’ron, Murda Mook, Blackface, and Smoke DZA. Dash stars as OG, a drug lord’s lieutenant struggling to maintain the code of honor–protect the family–within his unruly crew after a Harlem shootout. Also featuring Nicholas Turturro and Stacey Dash, this film reveals a deadly underworld where beats pound as bullets fly and even outlaws must live by the code. Source: Rotten Tomatoes.

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