Truth Be Told

Release Date:   12/6/19; Apple TV+ – Limited Series
Genre:   Thriller
Rating:  NR
Studio(s):  Chernin Entertainment, Endeavor Content, Hello Sunshine, Orit Entertainment, Apple TV+

Cast:  Octavia Spencer (Poppy Parnell), Michael Beach (Ingram Rhoades) Aaron Paul (Warren Cave), Lizzy Caplan, Elizabeth Perkins, Mekhi Phifer, Tracie Thoms, Haneefah Wood, Brooklynn MacKinzie (young Poppy), Tami Roman (Lillian Scoville) and Ron Cephas Jones.

Story:  The limited drama series follows podcaster Poppy Parnell (Octavia Spencer) as she is compelled to reopen the murder case that made her a national sensation and comes face-to-face with Warren Cave (Aaron Paul), the man she may have mistakenly helped to put behind bars. Based on the novel by Kathleen Barber, Truth Be Told provides a unique glimpse into America’s obsession with true crime podcasts and challenges its viewers to consider the consequences when the pursuit of justice is placed on a public stage.

Beginning December 6, the first three episodes of Truth Be Told will be available to watch on Apple TV+ in over 100 countries and regions around the world. New episodes will continue to roll out weekly, every Friday.  Executive producers include Reese Witherspoon Octavia Spencer.  Source:  Apple.com.

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The Banker

Release Date:   12/6/19; Apple TV+
Genre:   Drama
Rating:   PG-13
Director:   George Nolfi
Studio(s):   Romulus Entertainment, Iam21 Entertainment, Apple TV+
Running Time:  120 mins.

Cast:   Samuel L. Jackson (Joe Morris), Anthony Mackie (Bernard Garrett), Nicholas Hoult (Matt Steiner), Nia Long (Eunice Garrett), Taylor Black (Susie), Jessie T. Usher (Tony Jackson).

Story  Based on a true story, The Banker centers on revolutionary businessmen Bernard Garrett (Anthony Mackie) and Joe Morris (Samuel L. Jackson), who devise an audacious and risky plan to take on the racially oppressive establishment of the 1960’s by helping other African Americans pursue the American dream. Along with Garrett’s wife Eunice (Nia Long), they train a working class white man, Matt Steiner (Nicholas Hoult), to pose as the rich and privileged face of their burgeoning real estate and banking empire – while Garrett and Morris pose as a janitor and a chauffeur. Their success ultimately draws the attention of the federal government, which threatens everything the two have built.  Source:  filmstories.co.uk.

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Hell on the Border

Release Date:  12/13/19; In Theaters – Limited & VOD
Genre:  Biography/Western
Rating:  R
Director:  Wes Miller
Studio(s):  Sweet Unknown Studios, Future Proof Films, Wing and a Prayer Pictures, WrenLee Pictures, Lionsgate
Running Time:  Unknown

Cast:  David Gyasi (Bass Reeves), Ron Perlman (Charlie Storm), Zahn McClarnon (Sam Sixkiller), Frank Grillo (Bob Dozier).

Story:  Based on the true life story of Bass Reeves, a legendary tough African American cowboy in the Wild West. David Gyasi stars as Bass Reeves, the first black deputy U.S. Marshal west of the Mississippi River who worked mostly in Arkansas and the Oklahoma Territory. During his long career, he was credited with arresting more than 3,000 felons and had shot and killed 14 outlaws in self-defense. Hell on the Border also stars Frank Grillo, Zahn McClarnon, Randy Wayne, Manu Intiraymi, Rudy Youngblood, Ashley Atwood, and Ron Perlman.

Having escaped from slavery after the Civil War, Bass arrives in Arkansas seeking a job with the law.  To prove himself, he must hunt down a deadly outlaw (Frank Grillo) with the help of a grizzled journeyman (Ron Perlman).  As he chases the criminal deeper into the Cherokee Nation, Reeves must not only dodge bullets, but severe discrimination in hopes of earning his star—and cement his place as a cowboy legend. Source:  Firstshowing.net.

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Hip Hop Holiday

Release Date:  11/30/19; BET & BET Her
Genre:   Holiday/Comedy
Rating:   NR
Director:  Terri J. Vaughn
Studio:   Nina Holiday Entertainment
Running Time:  Unknown

Cast:   Wendy Raquel Robinson (Paris), Ta’Rhonda Jones (Leesa J), Andra Fuller (Caleb), Melba Moore (Granny Fran), Elijah Everett (Christian), Trina Braxton (Karen Corvey), Natalie Lymor (Angela).

Story:   When hip hop diva, Leesa J, rekindles an old friendship over Christmas, her walk down memory lane causes her to shed her prima donna persona, and soon opens her heart to receive love.  Source:  blackfilm.com.

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A Christmas Princess

Release Date:   12/1/19; ION
Genre:   Holiday/Romance
Rating:   NR
Director:  Fred Olen Ray
Studio(s):   Hybrid, DeInstitutionalized
Running Time:  Unknown

Cast:   Travis Burns (Prince Jack), Shein Mompremier (Jessica Byrnes), Erin Gray (Queen Alice), Cameron Jebo (Ernie).

Story:   Jessica (Shein Mompremier) is a struggling chef living in a trendy borough in New York. Her restaurant just hasn’t received the kind of attention that it takes to survive, especially with Christmas on the way. Prince Jack is from a small European country and arrives in New York to plan his family’s annual Christmas charity dinner. After firing the cantankerous chef, he finds himself lost in the big city and wanders into none other than Jessica’s restaurant. He immediately falls in love with Jessica’s cooking and comes up with a brilliant plan: why doesn’t she cater his Christmas gala? As romance blossoms, so do the obstacles. His parents, a would-be girlfriend and a pushy socialite (and ex-girlfriend) from Jack’s home country all stand in the way. But love is a powerful force. And as the day of the big event arrives, she decides she doesn’t care what anyone else says. She’s going to make the best dinner the annual Christmas gala has ever seen! And, in the process, she might just land herself the best Christmas present of all, her very own Prince!  Source:  blackfilm.com.

Ghosting:  The Spirit of Christmas

a/k/a Ghosting

Release Date:  12/4/19; Freeform
Genre:   Holiday
Rating:  NR
Director:   Theresa Bennett
Studio(s):   Freeform, Is or Isn’t Entertainment, Midwest Livestock
Running Time:  Unknown

Cast:    Aisha Dee (Jess), Kimiko Glenn (Kara), Kendrick Sampson (Ben), Jazz Raycole (Mae), Missi Pyle (Chrissy), LisaGay Hamilton (Deb).

Story:   The protagonist Jess is a free-spirited young woman, who is content with her near-perfect life. However, destiny had different plans for her when she heads back from a rather pleasant first date.  Following her demise in a car accident, her spirit possesses the body of the man she went on a date with. The story revolves around the adventures and struggles of Jess’ unsettling spirit to achieve the ideal afterlife.  However, there’s more to this story! Jess’s friend Kara is the only one aware of the former’s presence even after her death, as she can see the spirit and even communicate with her. But will Kara be able to help Jess’ soul rest in peace with her New Age rituals and practices? Find out as the movie unveils the answer.  Source:  meaww.com.

T’was The Chaos Before Christmas

Release Date:  12/7/19; BET & BET Her
Genre:   Holiday/Family
Rating:  NR
Director:  Terri J. Vaughn
Studio(s):   May 3rd Films, Octet Productions
Running Time:  83 mins
Cast:   Cynthia Kaye McWilliams (Jayla Mitchell), Sherri Shepherd (Valerie Russell), Affion Crockett (Ed Russell), Victoria Rowell (Hazel Mitchell), Malachi Malik (Morgan Mitchell).

Story:   When polar opposite families book the same vacation home for the Christmas holiday, chaos and confusion ensue as they both attempt to celebrate the holiday in their own way under the same roof.  Morgan and Jayla Mitchell are an affluent family from New York City. In an effort to keep the family together over the Christmas holidays, they decide to rent a luxurious home in Washington, DC. Morgan’s mother can easily join the Mitchells and their teenaged daughter, Raven to celebrate Christmas there. Val and Ed Russell are a working-class family and parents to teenagers Deshawn and Destiny Russell from Walkertown, North Carolina.

When Val hits the lottery, she chooses to spend her winnings on a luxurious rental in Washington, DC over the Christmas holidays. That way, they can spend time doing free tourist activities and celebrate Christmas with Ed’s sister Shanice, a Howard University student who can’t afford to go home for the holidays. In the perfect storm, Jayla and Val, one unbeknownst to the other, book the same holiday rental on different websites, but over the same period of time. When the families all arrive at the same property, chaos erupts. The two families cannot be more different. With the holidays in full swing, the families are stuck trying to figure out how to celebrate their Christmas holidays in their respective manners without losing it.  Source:  Blackfilm.com.

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