A Journal For Jordan

Release Date: 
12/10/21; In Theaters – Limited; 12/22/21; In Theaters – Wide
Genre:  Drama
Rating:  Not Yet Rated
Director:  Denzel Washington
Studio(s):  BRON Studios, Escape Artists, Outlier Society, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), Columbia Pictures.

Cast:  Michael B. Jordan (Charles Monroe King), Chanté Adams (Dana Canedy),  Robert Wisdom, Johnny M. Wu, Jalon Christian, Tamara Tunie.

Story:  Directed by Denzel Washington and starring Michael B. Jordan, A Journal For Jordan is based on the true story of Sergeant Charles Monroe King, a soldier deployed to Iraq who begins to keep a journal of love and advice for his infant son. Back at home, senior New York Times editor Dana Canedy revisits the story of her unlikely, life-altering relationship with King and his enduring devotion to her and their child. A sweeping account of a once-in-a-lifetime love, the film is a powerful reminder of the importance of family.  Based on the book by Dana Canedy.  Sources:  sonypictures.com.


Black Mafia Family

a/k/a BMF

Release Date:  9/26/21 – Series Premiere; Starz
Genre:  Drama/Biography
Rating:  NR
Directors:  Tasha Smith, Solvan Naim
Studio(s):  G Unit, Lionsgate Television, Starz!
Cast:  Russell Hornsby as Charles Flenory; Steve Harris as Detective Bryant; Demetrius Flenory, Jr. as Demetrius Flenory; Da’Vinchi as Terry Flenory; Michole Briana White as Lucille; Ajiona Alexus as Kato; Eric Kofi-Abrefa as Lamar; Myles Truitt as B-Mickie; Kash Doll as Monique; Wood Harris as Pat; Snoop Dogg as Pastor Swift; La La Anthony as Markaisha Taylor; Serayah as Lori Walker; Markice Moore as Filmel; Eminem as White Boy Rick.

Story:  Black Mafia Family is inspired by the true story of two brothers who rose from the decaying streets of southwest Detroit in the late 1980’s to give birth to one of the most influential crime families in the country.  Demetrius “Big Meech” Flenory’s charismatic leadership, Terry “Southwest T” Flenory’s business acumen and the fraternal partnership’s vision beyond the drug trade and into the world of Hip Hop would render the brothers iconic on a global level.

In addition to launching a cocaine empire infamously known as the Black Mafia Family, the Flenory brothers also entered the music industry as a way to curry favor, create a legitimate business and launder money. The financial foray further helped the Black Mafia Family become one of the most famous, flashy and mythicized crime organizations in America. The Flenorys promoted hip-hop artists such as Fabolous and Young Jeezy as a part of their music business.  But that level of prestige for the Black Mafia Family happened in the early 2000s. The series will break down their origin story growing up on Detroit’s rugged Southwest side as their oversized ambitions and dreams took them to unthinkable but nefarious heights. The drama also unpacks how the once incredibly close and loving brothers eventually became estranged.

Details:   Demetrius “Lil Meech” Flenory, Jr., the son of Demetrius “Big Meech” Flenory will make his acting debut starring as his father and Da’Vinchi will portray Demetrius’ brother Terry “Southwest T” Flenory, Jr.  From executive producer Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and writer/executive producer and Detroit native Randy Huggins.  Additionally, Tasha Smith will direct the first episode and multiple others. Black Mafia Family is produced through Jackson’s G-Unit Film and Television in association with Starz and Lionsgate Television.

Cast:  Flenory Jr.’s “Big Meech” is a charming and ambitious Detroit legend-in-the-making, who becomes the face of the operation. Hungry for his slice of the American dream, Meech quickly advances from a corner boy to a mid-level man, who knows when to use the carrot or the stick as he and his brother set out to become the Kings of Detroit.

Da’ Vinchi’s Terry “Southwest T” Flenory is the quiet and calculating brains behind the scene. Terry is torn between two competing identities: being a new father and becoming the first male in their family to graduate high school, or tight-roping as a serendipitous dealer who must protect his brother from himself as well as secure their safety.

Wood Harris will play Pat, the revered O.G. who gives Meech and Terry their first shot in the game. He instills a family first attitude that the Flenorys adopt until they begin to outshine their mentor and pursue their own independence.

Russell Hornsby is cast as Charles Flenory and Steve Harris as Detective Bryant.  Entertainer Arkeisha “Kash Doll” Knight, will recur as Monique.

Michole Briana White will play Lucille, the strong-willed, dignified mother of Demetrius and Terry Flenory.  Lucille is a devout Christian who does everything she can to protect her marriage on one hand, and her sons on the other, while navigating the toughest storm of their life.

Ajiona Alexus will portray Kato, the fierce and ambitious corner girl in Meech and Terry’s crew. Kato is a brilliant and troubled young woman, and the Flenory brothers are the first to treat her like family. She wants to prove her trust and do right by them, but she has a secret that could get everyone killed.

Eric Kofi-Abrefa is Lamar. A cross between a serial killer and a court jester, Lamar is an erratic street legend whose unbelievable stories of conquest are part of hood lore. Lamar returns to Southwest Detroit to reclaim his turf and his lady. But Demetrius Flenory is occupying both, forcing a battle between old school and new.

Myles Truitt will play B-Mickie, the third OG in Meech and Terry’s drug crew. A laid-back, philosophizing stoner who marches to the beat of his own drum, B-Mickie is getting tired of taking orders from the Flenorys, especially when he knows he could do better.

The iconic Snoop Dogg will play “Pastor Swift,” the Flenory family’s spiritual advisor. He’s a man of The Word, with the aura of an ex-con. The Pastor believes in the power of the Lord, and does his best to keep Meech and Terry in good graces. But Pastor Swift eventually ingratiates himself into every part of the Flenory’s life, including helping find a lawyer, and becoming a confidante. Meech and Terry’s father resents all the attention the Pastor showers over the Flenory’s family, but no one can deny all the good the Pastor does for them.

La La Anthony will play “Markaisha Taylor,” the wife of a flamboyant drug dealer that Meech and Terry befriend. She sees something in Terry, a seriousness and a sense of purpose she feels she can harness to make herself rich and powerful. She develops a friendship with him and his confidant and eventually, his lover, putting everything Terry has built out on the streets at stake.

Serayah will play Demetrius Flenory’s girlfriend, “Lori Walker,” who is also the mother of his child “Neeka.” Walker is a smart, driven, yet naive college athlete who once fell for Meech’s bad boy charm. Walker is more mature and clear-eyed now. Her world centers more around her daughter, and she expects less out of Meech, which makes him want her more.

Eminem  will costar as White Boy Rick   Sources:  Deadline; Yahoo Entertainment; IMDB.


The Killing Of Kenneth Chamberlain

Release Date:  8/17/21; In Theaters; (Original Release:  2020)
Genre:  Drama
Rating:  NR
Director:  David Midell
Studio(s):  Redbird Entertainment, Shushu Entertainment
Running Time:  83 mins.

Cast:  Frankie Faison, Anika Noni Rose, LaRoyce Hawkins, Steve O’Connell, Enrico Natale, Ben Marten, Angela Peel, Tom McElroy, Christopher R. Ellis, Antonio Polk.

Story:  Based on the true story of the events that led to the death of Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr., an elderly African American veteran with bipolar disorder, who was killed during a conflict with police officers who were dispatched to check on him.  Source:  Redbirdentertainment. com; abff.com/2020; IMDB.


29 Days Of Black History – Day 21: Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures

Release Date:  1/6/17
Genre:  Drama
Rating:  NR
Running Time:  127 mins.
Director:  Theodore Melfi
Studio:  20th Century Fox

Cast: Taraji P. Henson (Katherine Johnson), Octavia Spencer (Dorothy Vaughn), Janelle Monae (Mary Jackson), Kevin Costner (Al Harrison), Kirsten Dunst (Vivian Michael), Jim Parsons (Paul Stafford), Mahershala (Jim Johnson), Aldis Hodge Aldis Hodge (Levi Jackson).

Details:  As the United States raced against Russia to put a man in space, NASA found untapped talent in a group of African-American female mathematicians that served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history. Based on the unbelievably true life stories of three of these women, known as “human computers”, we follow these women as they quickly rose the ranks of NASA alongside many of history’s greatest minds specifically tasked with calculating the momentous launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, and guaranteeing his safe return. Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Gobels Johnson crossed all gender, race, and professional lines while their brilliance and desire to dream big, beyond anything ever accomplished before by the human race, firmly cemented them in U.S. history as true American heroes.  Source(s):  20th Century Fox, official site; IMDB.

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Stolen By My Mother:  The Kamiyah Mobley Story

a/k/a Kidnapped: The Kamiyah Mobley Story

Release Date:  1/18/20; Lifetime
Genre:   Drama/Based on a true story
Rating:   Unknown
Director:   Jeffrey W. Byrd
Studio(s):   Lincoln Square Productions, Rock’n Robin, Lifetime Network
Running Time:  Unknown
Cast:   Niecy Nash, Rayven Ferrell, Ta’Rhonda Jones

Story:   Stolen by My Mother: The Kamiyah Mobley Story, is the first movie greenlit by Lifetime under the Robin Roberts Presents movie and documentary banner, from Rock’n Robin and Lincoln Square Productions.  The film portrays the true story of a young woman who discovers at age 18, she was abducted as a baby and the family she knew to be hers, wasn’t hers at all. The film will be followed by a companion documentary featuring the real-life people depicted in the movie.

In the summer of 1998, Gloria Williams (Nash), reeling from a recent miscarriage, drove from her home in South Carolina and walked into a Jacksonville, Florida hospital posing as a nurse and took newborn Kamiyah Mobley (Ferrell) out of her mother Shanara Mobley’s (Jones) arms. By the time police were alerted, Gloria was long gone. Renaming the baby Alexis, Gloria raised her as her own, providing her with unconditional love and nurturing.  It wasn’t until years later, when Alexis applied for her first job and couldn’t provide a social security card or a birth certificate, that she realized something was wrong.  After confronting Gloria, Alexis learned the truth, that she was really Kamiyah Mobley and abducted as a baby. Despite discovering the mother she knew was really her kidnapper, Alexis kept the secret as long as she could, until an anonymous tip soon led to Gloria’s arrest and their world came tumbling down.   Source:  Black Film.  Photo Source:  Deadline/Lifetime.



The Banker

Release Date:   3/6/2020 – Theatrical; 3/20/20 – Apple TV Plus
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.

Update 11/24/19:  On 11/23/19 Fortune reported that weeks into the launch of its nascent streaming service, Apple TV+, the technology giant finds itself navigating potential scandal centering around its first major theatrical release.  The Banker was set to arrive in theaters next month ahead of its TV+ release.  But sexual abuse allegations leveled against the film’s co-producer, Bernard Garrett Jr. — son of the movie’s main subject — led Apple to delay the release indefinitely, as the filmmakers investigate the claims.

It raises questions about the potential impact on the film and it’s success with Apple. The Banker was scheduled to premiere and close out AFI Fest on Thursday ahead of a theatrical release on December 6, a prime calendar date for awards consideration. Early reports buzzed about the high-profile drama’s potential for Oscars gold. Even a nomination or two just months after Apple’s streaming launch would be a big statement and source of interest for on-the-fence consumers unsure about Apple TV+. Now, with a release date yet to be determined, it’s possible The Banker misses the Dec. 31 deadline to qualify for next year’s Academy Awards.

“We purchased The Banker earlier this year as we were moved by the film’s entertaining and educational story about social change and financial literacy,” Apple said in a statement to Deadline on Wednesday. “Last week some concerns surrounding the film were brought to our attention. We, along with the filmmakers, need some time to look into these matters and determine the best next steps. In light of this, we are no longer premiering The Banker at AFI Fest.”

The Banker was Apple’s first big narrative feature starring an A-list cast. Now, it’s not even clear if it will appear on Apple TV+. The company has not yet said anything about the fate of the film on its streaming service.  Assuming The Banker eventually does premiere on the service or in theaters, it risks having a cloud hang over it depending on the result of Apple’s investigation. “The outcome has to be positive. If not, [the film’s] just going to be buried,” said Jeff Bock, a senior box office analyst at Exhibitor Relations. “There’s no way around social media. The onslaught never ends if you’re found out on the negative end of that.”  Source:  Fortune.com.