How High 2

Release Date:   4/20/19; MTV
Genre:  Comedy
Rating:  NR
Director:  Bruce Leddy
Studio(s):   Universal 1440 Entertainment, Smith-Garr Productions, Music Television (MTV).
Running Time:  Unknown
Cast Mike Epps, Lil Yachty, D.C. Young Fly, Alyssa Goss, DeRay Davis, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Blac Youngsta, NeNe Leakes, Cynthia Bailey, Lil Baby, and Justine Skye.

Story:   Follow-up to the 2001 film, chronicles two young “potrepreneurs” on a magical hash-fueled journey to fund their on-demand munchies delivery start-up.  Sources:  Deadline; Movieweb.

When They See Us

Release Date:  5/31/19; Limited Series – Netflix
Genre:  Drama
Rating:  NR
Director:  Ava DuVernay
Studio(s):   Forward Movement, Harpo Films, Participant Media, Tribeca Productions, Netflix.
Running Time:  Unknown
Cast:  Jovan Adepo, Chris Chalk, Justin Cunningham, Freddy Miyares, Jharrel Jerome, Michael K. Williams, Vera Farmiga, John Leguizamo, Felicity Huffman, Niecy Nash, Blair Underwood, Chris Jackson, Joshua Jackson, Omar J. Dorsey, Famke Janssen, Aurora Perrineau, William Sadler, Aunjanue Ellis, Kylie Bunbury.

Story:  Four-part limited series about the Central Park Five, a group of teenagers from Harlem — Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise — who 30 years ago were wrongly convicted of rape.  The series will span 25 years, highlighting their exoneration in 2002 and the settlement reached with the city of New York in 2014.

Ava DuVernay, who created and directed the film, said in a statement, “In 1989, five black and brown teen boys were wrongly accused of a crime they did not commit and branded The Central Park Five, a moniker that has followed them since that time.  In 2019, our series gives the five men a platform to finally raise their voices and tell their full stories.  In doing so, Korey, Antron, Raymond, Kevin and Yusef also tell the story of many young people of color unjustly ensnared in the criminal justice system.  Sources:  TV Line; Coming Soon.

Trailer:

 

The Bobby DeBarge Story

Release Date:   June 2019; TV One
Genre:  Drama/Biography
Rating:  NR
Director:  Russ Parr
Studio(s):   Swirl Films, TV One
Running Time:  Unknown

Story:   The movie explores the tumultuous life of the former lead singer of 70’s R&B/funk band Switch, also the eldest sibling of the world-famous pop group DeBarge. Despite his success in music, the iconic falsetto found his life in peril as he struggled with fame and fortune while coping with the memories of his dysfunctional childhood.  Bobby, born in 1956 Detroit to Etterlene and Army soldier Robert DeBarge, Sr., the latter whom he says was abusive, was introduced to heroin at the age of 15. Heroin would soon become his lifelong addiction. After his parents divorced and Etterlene and the children moved to Grand Rapids, Bobby, a talented musician and vocalist, began playing in local bands along with his younger brother Tommy. In 1976, Bobby DeBarge, along with Tommy DeBarge, Phillip Ingram, Jody Sims, Eddie Fluellen, MC Clark and Arnett Hayes, formed the group Switch and a year after signing to Motown, they dropped their debut album. In the late 80’s Bobby joined his younger siblings’ group, DeBarge but his personal problems, drug use and legal troubles caused major issues both internally and within the group. After contracting HIV in the 1980s Bobby died of AIDS complications in 1995.

The film’s stars include Roshon Fegan in the lead role as Bobby DeBarge, Tyra Ferrell as Etterlene DeBarge, and Adrian Marcel as James DeBarge.  Big Boi portrays legendary music mogul Berry Gordy, while Lloyd appears as Switch member Gregory Williams.  Sources:  Official Site, TV One.com; Global Grind; The Philadelphia Tribune.

Just Mercy

Release Date:  1/17/2020; In Theaters
Genre:  Drama/Biography
Rating:  NR
Director:  Destin Daniel Cretton
Studio(s):   Netter Productions, Warner Bros.
Running Time:  Unknown
Cast:  Michael B. Jordan as Bryan Stevenson; Jamie Foxx as Walter McMillian; Brie Larson as Eva Ansley; O’Shea Jackson, Jr. as Anthony Ray Hinton; Tim Blake Nelson as Ralph Myers; Rob Morgan as Herbert Richardson.

Story:   A powerful and thought-provoking true story, Just Mercy follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Jordan) and his history-making battle for justice. After graduating from Harvard, Bryan might have had his pick of lucrative jobs. Instead, he heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned, with the support of local advocate Eva Ansley (Larson). One of his first, and most incendiary, cases is that of Walter McMillian (Foxx), who, in 1987, was sentenced to die for the notorious murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite a preponderance of evidence proving his innocence and the fact that the only testimony against him came from a criminal with a motive to lie. In the years that follow, Bryan becomes embroiled in a labyrinth of legal and political maneuverings and overt and unabashed racism as he fights for Walter, and others like him, with the odds and the system stacked against them.  Source:  Rotten Tomatoes.

Coming To America 2

a/k/a Coming 2 America

Release Date:  8/7/2020; In Theaters
Genre:   Comedy
Rating:  NR
Director:  Craig Brewer
Studio(s):   Paramount Pictures
Running Time:  Unknown
Cast:   Eddie Murphy, James Earl Jones

Story:   Eddie Murphy is poised to reprise his role as Akeem, the pampered African prince who became bored of potential marriage partners in a kingdom too in awe of him, and who traveled to Queens to go undercover and find a strong-willed woman he could respect.

In the sequel, Akeem learns about a long-lost son, and must return to America to meet the unlikely heir to the throne of Zamunda.  Source:  Deadline.

Candyman

Tony Todd Bees GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Release Date:   6/12/2020; In Theaters
Genre:  Horror
Rating:  TBA
Director:  Nia DaCosta
Studio(s):   Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Monkeypaw Productions
Running Time:  TBA
Cast:  Yahya Abdul-Mateen, II

Details:   There’s a new “Candyman” in town.  Jordan Peele’s retelling of the horror classic has cast Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, the actor best known for playing Black Manta in Warner Bros.’ Aquaman, as its star.  The studio is touting the upcoming film as a “spiritual sequel” to the original. It will return to the neighborhood where the legend began: the now-gentrified section of Chicago where the Cabrini-Green housing projects once stood. The original Candyman was released in 1992 and follows a graduate student who explores the legend of Candyman while writing a thesis on urban legends.  Source:  Variety, giphy.com.

Ma

Release Date:   5/31/19; In Theaters
Genre:  Horror/Thriller
Rating:  NR
Director:  Tate Taylor 
Studio(s):   Blumhouse Productions, Wyolah Films
Running Time:  Unknown

Cast:  Octavia Spencer as Sue Ann/Ma, Diana Silvers as Maggie, Juliette Lewis as Maggie’s mom, Luke Evans as a local dad, Missi Pyle as his girlfriend, and McKaley Miller, Corey Fogelmanis, Gianni Paolo and Dante Brown as Maggie’s friends.

Story:   Everybody’s welcome at Ma’s.  But good luck getting home safe.  Oscar winner Octavia Spencer stars as Sue Ann, a loner who keeps to herself in her quiet Ohio town. One day, she is asked by Maggie, a new teenager in town (Diana Silvers, Glass), to buy some booze for her and her friends, and Sue Ann sees the chance to make some unsuspecting, if younger, friends of her own.  She offers the kids the chance to avoid drinking and driving by hanging out in the basement of her home. But there are some house rules: One of the kids has to stay sober. Don’t curse. Never go upstairs. And call her “Ma.”  But as Ma’s hospitality starts to curdle into obsession, what began as a teenage dream turns into a terrorizing nightmare, and Ma’s place goes from the best place in town to the worst place on earth.   Source:  Mamovie.com, official site.

Trailer: