Emancipation

Release Date:  12/9/22; Apple TV+
Genre:  Drama/Historical
Rating:  R
Director:  Antoine Fuqua
Studio(s):  Apple TV+, CAA Media Finance, Escape Artists, McFarland Entertainment

Cast:  Will Smith (Peter), Ben Foster (Fassel), Steven Ogg (Sergeant Howard), Charmaine Bingwa (Dodienne), Gilbert Owuor (Gordon), Mustafa Shakir (Andre Cailloux), Grant Harvey (Leeds), Ronnie Gene Blevins (Harrington), Timothy Hutton (Senator John Lyons).

Story:  After being whipped nearly to death, an enslaved man named Peter escapes from a Louisiana plantation, outwitting cold-blooded hunters, as he makes his way North, where he joins the Union Army. The film is based on the true story of Gordon or “Whipped Peter” an escaped American slave who was the subject of photographs documenting extensive keloid scarring on his back as a result of whippings he received while he was a slave. The “scourged back” photo became one of the most widely circulated photos of the abolitionist movement during the American Civil War.  Source:  Wikipedia.

Trailer:

Kindred

Release Date:  12/13/22; FX/Hulu (Series Premiere)
Genre:   Drama/Fantasy
Rating:   NR
Director(s):  Alonso Alvarez, Janicza Bravo.
Studio(s):  FX Productions, Protozoa Pictures, Disney+, FX Network, Hulu

Cast:  Mallori Johnson (Dana James), Micah Stock (Kevin Franklin0, Ryan Kwanten (Thomas Weylin), Gayle Rankin (Margaret Weylin), Austin Smith (Luke), David Alexander Kaplan (Rufus Weylin).

Story:  The series centers on Dana James, an aspiring writer who has uprooted her life of familial obligation and relocated to Los Angeles, ready to claim a future that, for once, feels all her own. But, before she can settle into her new home, she finds herself being violently pulled back and forth in time. She emerges on a 19-century plantation, a place remarkably & intimately linked with Dana and her family. An interracial romance threads through Dana’s past and present, and the clock is ticking as she struggles to confront secrets she never knew ran through her blood. Adapted from Octavia E. Butler’s celebrated, critically acclaimed novel of the same name.  Source:  firstshowing.net.

Teaser:

Chevalier

Release Date:  4/7/23
Genre:  Drama/Biography
Rating:   PG-13
Director:  Stephen Williams
Studio(s):  Element Pictures, Searchlight Pictures, Stillking Films

Cast:  Kelvin Harrison, Jr. (Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges), Samara Weaving (Marie-Josephine), Ronke Adekoluejo (Nanon), Lucy Boynton (Marie Antoinette), Marton Csokas (Montalembert), Alex Fitzalan (Philippe), Minnie Driver (La Guimard).

Story:  Based on the incredible true story of composer Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges. The illegitimate son of an African slave and a French plantation owner, Bologne rises to improbable heights in French society as a celebrated violinist-composer and fencer, complete with an ill-fated love affair and a falling out with Marie Antoinette and her court.  Source:  Searchlightpictures.com.  Photos Source:  IMDB.

Trailer:

Devotion

Genre:  Drama
Rating:   PG-13
Director:  J.D. Dillard
Studio(s):  Black Label Media, STX Entertainment, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), Stage 6 Films, STX Entertainment

Cast:  Jonathan Majors (Jesse Brown), Glen Powell (Tom Hudner), Christina Jackson (Daisy Brown), Joe Jonas (Marty Goode), Thomas Sadoski (Dick Cevoli), Serinda Swan  (Elizabeth Taylor).

Story:  Devotion, an aerial war epic based on the bestselling book of the same name, tells the harrowing true story of two elite US Navy fighter pilots during the Korean War. Their heroic sacrifices would ultimately make them the Navy’s most celebrated wingmen.  Sources:  Official site, devotion.movie.  Photo source:  Sony Pictures.

Fantasy Football

Release Date:  11/25/22; Paramout+
Genre:  Comedy; Family
Rating:  NR
Director:  Anton Cropper
Studio(s):  Awesomeness Films, Genius Productions (II), NFL Films, Nickelodeon Movies, Nickelodeon Network, The SpringHill Company, Nickelodeon Network, Paramount+.

Cast:  Marsai Martin (Callie Coleman), Kelly Rowland (Keisha Coleman), Omari Hardwick (Bobby Coleman), Rome Flynn (Anderson Fisher), Tony Gonzalez (Coach Lance Evans).

Story:  Everything changes when Callie A. Coleman discovers she can magically control her father’s performance on the football field. When Callie plays as her dad, Bobby Coleman, a running back for the Atlanta Falcons, in the videogame “Madden NFL 23,” Bobby is transformed from a fumbling journeyman to a star running back bound for superstardom alongside his daughter and wife Keisha. With the NFL Playoffs looming and the pressures of Callie’s new commitment to her friends on the robotics team mounting, the two must forge ahead to keep the magic a secret as they juggle the highs and lows of their newfound success, all as they rediscover what it really means to be a family.  Source:  IMDB.  Photo Source:  Just Jared Jr.

Trailer:

The Best Man: The Final Chapters

Series Premiere Date:  12/22/23; Peacock

Genre:  Dramedy

Director(s):  Malcolm D. Lee, Robert Townsend.

Studio(s):   Blackmaled Productions, Hivemind, Peacock, Universal Television.

Cast:  Morris Chestnut (Lance Sullivan), Melissa De Sousa (Shelby Taylor), Taye Diggs (Harper Stewart), Regina Hall (Candace Murchison), Terrence Howard (Quentin Spivey), Sanaa Lathan (Robyn Stewart), Nia Long (Jordan Armstrong) and Harold Perrineau (Julian Murchison).

Story:   The eight-episode series will catch up with the beloved cast as relationships evolve and past grievances resurface in the unpredictable stages of midlife crisis meets midlife renaissanceSource:  Deadline.  Photo Sources:  Shadow & Act.

Teaser: