House Party

Release Date:  1/13/23; In Theaters
Genre:  Comedy
Rating:   R
Running Time:  100 mins.
Director:  Calmatic
Studio(s):  New Line Cinema, SpringHill Entertainment, The Hideaway Entertainment, Warner Bros.

Cast Jacob Latimore as Kevin, Tosin Cole as Damon, DC Young Fly as Vic, Karen Obilom as Venus, Andrew Santino as Peter, LeBron James as himself, Allen Maldonado as Kyle.  Cameo appearances by Lena Waithe, Tinashe, Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, Bill Bellamy and original cast members, and hip hop duo Kid-N-Play.

Story:  Aspiring club promoters and best buds Damon and Kevin are barely keeping things together. Out of money, down on their luck and about to lose the roofs over their heads—and freshly fired from their jobs as house cleaners—the pair needs a huge windfall to make their problems go away.  In a ‘what the hell?’ move, they decide to host the party of the year at an exclusive mansion, the site of their last cleaning job, which just happens to belong to none other than LeBron James. No permission? No problem. What could go wrong?  How about a time traveling DJ, undependable security, a runaway guest list, one borrowed Lamborghini, angry rival promoters, a stolen championship ring, escalating property damage, an angry koala..?  Reboot of the 1990 film of the same name. Source:  Official site, WarnerBros.com.

Trailer:

To Live and Die and Live

Release Date:  1/20/23; Sundance Film Festival

Genre:  Drama

Rating:  NR

Running Time:  105 mins.

Director:  Qasim Basir

Cast:  Amin Joseph, Skye P Marshall, Omari Hardwick, Cory Hardrict, Dana Gourrier, Maryam Basir.

Story:  Muhammad, a strong, handsome Hollywood film director, makes his way through the gorgeous and alluring landscapes of a rebuilt Detroit — the glistening legacy of his newly deceased stepfather Khalid, a beloved and highly regarded building contractor. Muhammad has returned for the funeral, but his own battle with addiction, which he hides from the world, drives him to immediately fade away into the sultry, late-night, drug-saturated after-hours of Detroit and an equally intoxicating romantic relationship. As he struggles to cope, Muhammad’s family and friends look to him as a leader and provider, and he forges ahead shouldering all of their needs, claiming he’s got this, even though it’s a lot — maybe too much.  Source/Photo Source:  festival.sundance.org.

A Thousand and One

Release Date:  1/22/23; Sundance Film Festival

Genre:  Drama

Rating:   NR

Running Time:  116 mins.

Director:  A.V. Rockwell

Studio(s):  Sight Unseen Pictures, Focus Features, Hillman Grad, Makeready

Cast:  Teyana Taylor (Inez), Will Catlett (Lucky), Josiah Cross (Terry), Aaron Kingsley Adetola (Terry, Age 6).

Story Struggling but unapologetically living on her own terms, Inez is moving from shelter to shelter in mid-1990s New York City. With her 6-year-old son Terry in foster care and unable to leave him again, she kidnaps him so they can build their life together. As the years go by, their family grows and Terry becomes a smart yet quiet teenager, but the secret that has defined their lives threatens to destroy the home they have so improbably built.  Source/Photo Source:  festival.sundance.org.

Young. Wild. Free.

Release Date:  1/22/23; Sundance Film Festival & 3/31/23; In Theaters
Genre:  Drama
Rating:   NR
Running Time:  105 mins.
Director:  Thembi Banks
Studio(s):  Confluential Films, MACRO, No Label

Cast:  Cory Hardrict (Desmond), Algee Smith (Brandon), Sanaa Lathan, Mike Epps, Sierra Capri, Jahking Guillory (Apollo).

Story:  Being a teenager is rough, and Brandon is no different. Between struggling in school, caring for his two younger siblings, and having just been let go from his job, Brandon often uses his art as an escape from the confines of his subdued day-to-day life. Enter Cassidy, a bedazzled bad girl dripping in confidence, freedom, and danger. Lured in by her whimsy, Brandon teams up with Cassidy, seamlessly slipping into the role of Clyde to her Bonnie as they make their way down an increasingly perilous path.  Source/Photo Source:  festival.sundance.org.

Magazine Dreams

Release Date:  1/20/23; Sundance Film Festival
Genre:  Drama
Rating:  NR
Running Time:  124 mins.
Director:  Elijah Bynum
Studio(s):  Los Angeles Media Fund (LAMF), Tall Street Productions

Cast:  Jonathan Majors (Killian), Haley Bennett, Taylour Paige (Pink Coat), Mike O’Hearn (Brad Vanderhorn), Harrison Page (William Lattimore), Harriet Sansom Harris.

Story:  Killian Maddox lives with his ailing veteran grandfather, obsessively working out between court-mandated therapy appointments and part-time shifts at a grocery store where he harbors a crush on a friendly cashier. Though Killian’s struggles to read social cues and maintain control of his volatile temper amplify his sense of disconnection amid a hostile world, nothing deters him from his fiercely protected dream of bodybuilding superstardom, not even the doctors who warn that he’s causing permanent damage to his body with his quest.  Source/Photo Source:  festival.sundance.org.

AVAILABLE Now on Amazon

BOO!  The Essential Guide to Black Horror 

 

More than 200 titles from the silent era to the present are detailed in this definitive book on African American horror films and television series. Some featured titles are The Devil’s Daughter, Night of the Living Dead, J.D.’s Revenge, The People Under The Stairs, April Fools, and Lovecraft Country. For each entry, the following information is included: title, release date, MPAA rating, main cast, director(s), and a brief plot synopsis. An introduction to the history of Blacks in horror movies is also provided. This guide is a must-have resource for anyone interested in discovering more about the relationship between the horror genre and the African American experience.

 

This is the first entry in Black Cinema Connection’s Essential Guides to Black film and television book series.