Life-Size 2

Release Date:  12/2/18; Freeform
Genre:  Fantasy
Rating:  Unknown
Director:  Steven K. Tsuchida
Studio(s):   Walt Disney Television, Freeform
Running Time:  Unknown
Cast:  Tyra Banks (Eve), Francia Raisa (Grace Manning), Alison Fernandez (Lex), Gavin Stenhouse (Calum), Shanica Knowles (Tahlia), Lindsey Lohan (Casey Stuart).

Story:  Grace Manning, the confident and funny CEO of Marathon Toys, a huge toy company started by her mother that is most famous for manufacturing the iconic Eve doll. Grace is also a hot mess in the middle of her quarter-life crisis and realizing that she is in over her head as CEO. To make matters worse, her wild-child ways are causing the company’s stock to plummet.

Details:  18 years in the making, Life-Size 2 is finally happening and it has Tyra Banks back in the lead as a life-size doll that comes to life. The model-turned-actress is promising that her original co-star Lindsay Lohan will be showing up too.  Tyra Banks is excited to be returning to the fictional town of Sunnyvale in Life-Size 2. She stars as Eve, a living doll who has already dabbled in a medical career, aerospace design and the fashion industry, really giving Barbie a run for her money.  The original premiered as a Disney Channel original movie in 2000. Lindsay Lohan was just getting started, starring as Casey Stuart, a girl who transformers her favorite doll into the perfect living, breathing, thinking woman. Banks was initially disappointed that Lohan couldn’t return for the sequel, but she says that Lohan will be in the movie in some kind of way.  Life-Size 2 will be part of Freeform’s 25 Days of Christmas line-up, hinting at a Christmas themed story this time around.  Source(s):  Movieweb, IMDB.

Trailer:

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Rituals Of Guilt

Release Date:  11/6/18 – DVD
Genre:  Thriller
Rating:  NR
Director:  Larry Clark
Studio(s):   LCTCity Productions, Maverick Entertainment
Running Time:  87 minutes

Cast:  Ronrico Albright (David), Delvyn Brown (John), Sylvester Brown (Detective Brown), Dawn Coleman (Dawn), Adrian Dent (Vince), Lavelle Mays (Mona), Natasha J. Ones (Voodoo Lady), Allonya Payne (Mom).

Story:   When a young black suburban woman named Mona is devastated by the death of her first husband John, little did she know that dreams of his murder and voodoo would threaten to wreck her whole life with deadly consequences!  Will she ever be able to live happily ever after?  Rituals of Guilt will take you deep into the abyss of love, dreams, psychosis and voodoo!  Source:  Maverick Entertainment.

Trailer:

Pimp

Release Date:  11/9/18; In Theaters & VOD
Genre:  Drama
Rating:  NR
Director:  Christine Crokos
Studio(s):   Adrenaline Entertainment, 1821 Pictures
Running Time:  110 mins.
Cast:  Keke Palmer, Haley Ramm, Aunjanue Ellis, Vanessa Morgan, Mike E. Winfield, Edi Gathegi, DMX.

Story:   Keke Palmer plays a struggling pimp named Wednesday whose fortune changes after her girlfriend Nikki (Haley Ramm) hits the streets. But when Wednesday comes face to face with another pimp (Edi Gathegi) who plays a much more dangerous game, her dreams of ever escaping the life are put at risk.  Source:  Entertainment Weekly; IMDB.

Trailer:

Running Out Of Time

Release Date:  11/17/2018 – BET;
11/19/18 – Digital & VOD
Genre:  Thriller
Rating:  NR
Director:  Chris Stokes
Studio(s):   Footage Films
Running Time:  Unknown
Cast:  Tasha Smith, RonReaco Lee, Telma Hopkins

Story:  Brenda Harper (Tasha Smith) recently suffered the loss of her husband from a sudden death. Newly widowed, taking care of her teenage daughter and ailing mother (Telma Hopkins), Brenda is the sole beneficiary of her husband’s assets, which include millions of dollars, property, and most importantly, a secret file that she has yet to discover.  Brenda finds out from her husband’s closest friend, Cain (RonReaco Lee) that the file is hidden inside their home, so they think, when they are all taken hostage at Brenda’s Summer home by two masked men, who are now threatening to kill them all if they don’t turn over the file. Having no answers, Brenda, her daughter, mother and Cain are tied up and held hostage until the masked men get what they want.  With time running out, Brenda has to do whatever she can to ensure her family’s survival.  The film was co-written by Marques Houston.  Source:  Black Film.

Trailer:

The Holiday Calendar

a/k/a Christmas Calendar

Release Date:  11/2/18; Netflix
Genre:  Romance/Holiday
Rating:  NR
Director:   Bradley Walsh
Studio(s):   Netflix

Cast:  Kat Graham (Abby Sutton), Ethan Peck, Quincy Brown (Josh), Ron Cephas Jones (Gramps Sutton), Romaine Waite (Mitch), Genelle Williams (Sarah Sutton), Laura de Carteret (Judy Sutton), Rodrigo Fernandez-Stoll (Fernando), Harris Shore (Ralphie).

Story:   A talented photographer, stuck in a dead-end job, inherits an antique Advent calendar that may be predicting the future — and pointing her toward love.  Source(s):  Netflix, Country Living Magazine.

Trailer:

Drums O’ Voodoo

a/k/a Louisiana
a/k/a She Devil
a/k/a Voodoo Devil Drums
a/k/a Voodoo Drums

 Details:

Year of Release:  1934
B&W
Genre:  Horror
Runtime:  70 mins.
Studio(s): Sack Amusement Enterprises
Director:  Arthur Hoerl

Cast:

Laura Bowman (Aunt Hagar), Edna Barr (Myrtle Simpson), Lionel Monagas (Ebenezer), J. Augustus Smith (Amos Berry), Morris McKenny (Thomas Catt), A. B. Comathiere (Deacon Dunson), Alberta Perkins, (Sister Knight), Fred Bonny (Brother Zero), Paul Johnson (Deacon August), Trixie Smith (Sister Marguerite), Carrie Huff (Sister Zuzan)

 Story:

Thomas Catt, the proprietor of a “jook,” a Southern cabaret-brothel, desires young, virginal Myrtle Simpson, the niece of preacher Amos Berry and fiancée of the grandson of Aunt Hagar, the local voodoo high priestess.

Although Catt threatens to expose Amos’ past to his congregation if he refuses to “give” Myrtle to him, Amos resists Catt’s attempts at blackmail, while Aunt Hagar activates some of her voodoo spells.

Later, during one of Amos’ spirited revival meetings, Catt bursts in and, after drawing his razor, announces that he has come to claim Myrtle. Defied by both Aunt Hagar’s grandson and Amos, Catt starts to reveal to the congregation that Amos had once murdered a man. In the middle of his exposé, however, Catt is struck by a bolt of lightning and is blinded, a fate that had been predicted by Aunt Hagar. Catt is then smothered in a pool of quicksand, and Myrtle and Amos are at last freed from their tormentor.

 

Notes:

The New York State Censor Board records from 1934 indicate that the film was retitled The DevilDrums o’ Voodoo was re-released in 1940 under the title She Devil.  In 1981, the film was found in a warehouse by historian-producer Alex Gordon.

The screenplay was based on the stage play, Louisiana, by J. Augustus Smith.  Most of the all-black cast, including playwright J. Augustus Smith, also appeared in the stage play, which was produced on Broadway by the Negro Theatre Guild.  The play was one act long and was only performed eight times, partly because of the criticism of Brooks Atkinson of New York Times.

Modern sources list the title as Voodoo Devil Drums and Voodoo Drums.  Additional cast members from modern sources include James Davis (Brother Zumee), Ruth Morrison (Sister Gaghan), Harriet Daughtry (Sister Lauter), Bennie Small (Bou Bouche), Pedro Lopez (Marcon), Jennie Day, Gladys Booker, Herminie Sullivan, Lillian Exum, Edith Woodby, Mabel Grant, Marion Hughes, Madeline Smith, Theresa Harris, Dorothy St. Claire, Eleanor Hines, Pauline Freeman, Annabelle Smith, Jacquiline Ghant, Annabelle Ross and Harriett Scott (Members of the Flat Rock Washfoot Baptist Church), Cherokee Thornton, Arthur McLean, DeWitt Davis, Rudoph Walker, Marvin Everhart, Jimmie Cook, Irene Bagley, Sally Timmons, Beatrice James and Marie Remsen (Voodoo Dancers).  Source(s):  TCM, DAARAC,org, Movieposters.

Movie

Chloe Love Is Calling You

a/k/a Chloe

Details:

Release Date:  4/1/1934
Runtime:  62 mins/54 mins (DVD)
Black & White
Studio:  Pinnacle Productions
Director:  Marshall Neilan

 

Cast:

Georgette Harvey (Old Mandy), Olive Borden (Chloe/Betty Ann Gordon), Reed Howes (Wade Carson), Philip Ober (Jim Strong), Francis Joyner (Colonel Gordon), Augustus Smith (Mose), Molly O’Day (Joyce, the Colonel’s niece)

Story:

Mandy, a voodoo practicing nursemaid, returns to the swamps of the Everglades with her half-white daughter Chloe and helper, Jim Strong, to exact revenge on Colonel Gordon, the man she believes is responsible for the lynching of her husband Sam fifteen years earlier. The widowed colonel, whose daughter Betty Ann drowned in the swamps around the same time that Sam was killed, lives with his niece Joyce and oversees the family turpentine factory.  As Chloe, Mandy and Jim near the colonel’s home, Chloe expresses doubts about her Black heritage and rejects the proposal of the devoted Jim.

Wade Carson, the new “Yankee” foreman of the turpentine factory, meanwhile, impresses the colonel when he discovers shortages at the factory and establishes that Mose, one of the employees, has been stealing from the company. After Wade fires Mose, Mose swears revenge and then tries to force his attentions on Chloe. Wade comes to Chloe’s rescue, however, further aggravating Mose and Mose prepares to shoot Wade but is stopped by Joe, who is then crushed to see Wade walk Chloe home.

Later, while Mandy and Mose join forces and plan their voodoo revenge, Chloe and Jim argue about Chloe’s attraction to the “white northerner.”  Then, on the anniversary of Betty Ann’s disappearance, Mandy leaves voodoo switches on the colonel’s doorstep and initiates a drum-beating ceremony. During the ceremony, Mandy, who is also concerned about Chloe’s interest in Wade, drugs her tea and orders Jim to take advantage of her subsequent stupor to assure their marriage.  Jim refuses to seduce Chloe, but after seeing Wade kiss Chloe, he confronts Wade and tells him that she is half-Black and therefore “off-limits.”  Although Wade is reluctant to believe Jim about Chloe, he takes seriously his warning that Mandy and Mose are plotting against him and the colonel.

The Colonel and Wade then break into Mandy’s cabin and there discover clothes that Betty Ann was wearing the day she drowned. When Chloe identifies the clothes as ones she wore as a child, the colonel becomes convinced she is his daughter. Mandy, however, denies that she kidnapped Chloe to replace her own dead child, and the colonel’s niece, Joyce, who is attracted to Wade, also expresses doubts about Chloe’s white parentage.

At a party in her honor, a confused and distraught Chloe flees into the swamps, while the colonel and Wade, determined to prove their hunch, send the local doctor to dig up a grave that the colonel believes contains Mandy’s black baby. Meanwhile Mose ambushes Chloe in the swamp and brings her to Mandy’s voodoo ceremony, where they plan to sacrifice her.

 

Wade and the colonel, however, arrive in time to save Chloe, after which the doctor confirms that the baby buried at Mandy’s house is black. At last assured of her “whiteness,” Chloe is free to pursue her romance with Wade.

 

Notes:

Ohio banned the movie as “harmful.”  White actress Olive Borden plays Chloe, who is trying to avenge her Black father’s lynching but along the way falls in love with a White man who works for Col. Gordon, the rich factory owner who orchestrated the killing.  Later she discovers that Gordon is her biological father and that she is white.  The lynching, though not shown in the film, may have factored into Chloe’s censorship.  But the narrative twists trick audiences into believing she is black and then insists (on a string of unstable evidence – most notably, the dress she wore as a child) that she is white and can marry a white man.  Chloe was unlike Imitation of Life in that it admitted interracial desire and sex:  it accepted (perhaps because of its New Orleans setting) the premise of a half-caste “creole” Negro and allowed both Black and White suitors to pursue Chloe.

Source(s):  TCM; DAARAC.org; Cinema Civil Rights: Regulation, Repression, and Race in the Classical Hollywood Era.

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