Dolemite Is My Name

Release Date:  September 2019 – Toronto International Film Festival; 10/25/19 – Netflix
Genre:  Biography
Rating:  R
Director:  Craig Brewer
Studio(s):   Netflix
Running Time:  118 mins.

Cast:   Eddie Murphy (Rudy Ray Moore), Wesley Snipes (D’Urville Martin), Keegan-Michael Key (Jerry Jones), Kodi Smit-McPhee (Nick), Chris Rock, Craig Robinson (Ben Taylor), Tituss Burgess (Theodore Toney), Mike Epps (Jimmy Lynch), Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Snoop Dogg.

Details:   In Dolemite Is My Name, Murphy plays the comedian and singer Rudy Ray Moore, who was inspired to branch out and develop an alter-ego he could use on stage, a foul-mouthed pimp named Dolemite. When the character’s direction couldn’t take off on stage or in a comedy album, he took Dolemite to the screen and made a series of Blaxploitation movies starring his alternate persona.

“Dolemite is my name and f—in up motherf—ers is my game,” Murphy says while donning a garish suit and a afro wig.  The Dolemite character ended up appearing in three films, Dolemite from 1975, followed by The Human Tornado and The Return of Dolemite.  But this new biography specifically follows the rise of Moore as he struggled to bring the Dolemite character to the screen and make something that black audiences specifically could get behind.  Source:  The Wrap.  Photo Source:  IMDB.

Trailer:

The Marcus Garvey Story

Release Date:  9/13/19; In Theaters
Genre:   Biography
Rating:   Unknown
Director:  Steven Anderson
Studio(s):   A KB Toy Production, Kinowelt Entertainment
Running Time:  Unknown
Cast:  Kevin Navayne, Dennis Haysbert, Janet Hubert, Tobin Bell, Dan Gauthier, Lili Mirojnick, Christian Campbell, Rhashan Stone, Tobias Truvillion, Ross Partridge, Rick Pasqualone, Kristinia DeBarge, Scot Williams, Rolonda Watts, Atheana Ritchie, Rayven Symone Ferrell, Adrian Makala, Vincent Grass, Rico E. Anderson, James Lewis, Spencer Garret, Kyle Marasciulo.

Story:   Story based on the life and death of Marcus Garvey.  Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr., was a Jamaican political leader, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, and orator who was a staunch proponent of the Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanism movements, to which end he founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL). He founded the Black Star Line, which promoted the return of the African diaspora to their ancestral lands.  Source:  Dream13media.

The Bobby DeBarge Story

Release Date:  6/29/19; 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.

Teaser:

BlacKkKlansman

Release Date:  8/10/18; In Theaters
Genre:  Drama/Biography
Rating:  NR
Director:   Spike Lee
Studio(s):   Blumhouse Productions, Monkeypaw Productions, Perfect World Pictures, QC Entertainment, Focus Features
Running time:  128 mins.

Cast:  John David Washington, Adam Driver, Topher Grace, Laura Harrier, Ryan Eggold, Paul Walter Hauser, Corey Hawkins, Harry Belafonte, Robert John Burke.

Story:   BlacKkKlansman tells the true story of Stallworth (Washington), who began as Colorado Springs’s first African-American police officer, then later rose to the rank of detective. In one of the most unlikely cases of undercover infiltration imaginable, Stallworth and his partner Flip Zimmerman (Driver) penetrated the ranks of the KKK at the highest levels in order to thwart the organization’s attempt to take over the city.  The movie will release on August 10th, which coincides with the one-year anniversary of the  Charlottesville incident, when a white supremacist protest against the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue erupted in violence, claiming the life of counter-protester Heather Heyer on August 11, 2017.  Lee and co-producer Jordan Peele adapted the film from Ron Stallworth’s 2014 memoir “Black Klansman.”  Sources:  Screenrant, Color Lines.

Trailer:

The Bobby Brown Story

Release Date:  9/4/18; BET
Genre:  Biography
Rating:  NR
Director:  Kiel Adrian Scott
Studio(s):   Jesse Collins Entertainment, Black Entertainment Television (BET)
Running time:  Unknown
Cast:  Woody McClain (Bobby Brown), Gabrielle Dennis (Whitney Houston), Mekhi Phifer (Tommy Brown), Laz Alonso (Louil Silas, Jr.), T.K. Carter (Herbert Brown), Lance Gross (Steven Sealy), LilRel Howery (Brian Irvine), Sandi McCree (Carole Brown), Alyssa Goss (Alicia Etheridge), Tyler Marcel Williams (Young Bobby), Donshea Hopkins (Bobbi Kristina Brown).

Story:   Whitney and Bobby’s roller-coaster marriage played out on the covers of tabloids and even reality TV, and the film will showcase their successes and struggles during their turbulent relationship.  The New Edition Story broke BET ratings records when it aired in January 2017, and The Bobby Brown Story picks up where that pic left off, following Brown’s successful solo run.  McClain is reprising his role as Brown, one of the genre’s original “bad boys” whose life epitomizes the meaning of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll.  His hits may have kept him at the top of the charts, but his antics kept him on the front page. 

Gabrielle Dennis will play iconic diva, Whitney Houston in the two-part miniseries while Bobbi Kristina will be portrayed by Donshea Hopkins.  Phifer plays Tommy Brown, Bobby’s brother. Howery is Brian Irvine, Bobby’s business manager. Carter plays Herbert “Pops” Brown, Bobby’s father. Alonso is Louil Silas, Jr., an MCA producer-executive who helps make Bobby a solo star. Gross is set as Steven Sealy, a childhood friend of Bobby’s who is killed in a gunfight after hanging with him at a hometown bar. Goss plays Bobby’s current wife, Alicia Etheridge, and McCree will reprise her New Edition Story role as Bobby’s mother Carole Brown.  Source:  Deadline; Photo Source:  Deadline (Rex/Shutterstock; Associated Press).

Trailer:

The Simone Biles Story: Courage to Soar

Release Date:  2/3/18; Lifetime
Genre:  Drama/Biography
Rating: NR
Cast:  Jeante Godlock (Simone Biles); Julius Tennon (Ron Biles); Tisha Campbell-Martin (Nellie Biles), Kathleen Rose Perkins (Aimee Boorman), Kelsey Scott (Shanon), Marilyn Norry (Martha Karolyi), Nakai Takawira (Young Simone).
Story  Based on her book, Courage to Soar: A Body in Motion, A Life in Balance, The Simone Biles Story: Courage to Soar follows Simone Biles (Jeanté Godlock) through the sacrifices and hard work that led her to win 19 Olympic and World Championship medals and ultimately cemented her stake as one of the greatest gymnasts of all time. After a field trip to a gymnastics training center when Simone was six years old, she caught the eye of a local coach who recognized that Simone had a remarkable gift for the sport. But pursuing her dream of becoming an elite gymnast also meant giving up high school football games, prom or starting college at UCLA. With her parents Ron (Julius Tennon) and Nellie Biles (Tisha Campbell) and younger sister Adria (Raven Bowens) supporting her every step of the way, Simone’s journey from foster care to the Olympic podium – with all of its triumphs and heartbreaks – can serve as an inspiration for every little girl with a dream.  Source:  Lifetime.

Trailer:

Behind The Movement

Release Date:  February 2018; TV One
Genre:  Drama
Rating:  Unknown
Director:  Aric Avelino
Studio(s):  Swirl Films, TV One
Running time:  Unknown
Cast:  Meta Golding as Rosa Parks, Roger Guenveur Smith as Raymond Parks, Loretta Devine as JoAnn Robinson, Isaiah Washington as E.D. Nixon, Shaun Clay as Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Derek Roberts as Fred Gray, Keith Bolden as Rev. Ralph Abernathy.

Story:   Behind the Movement is a fast-paced retelling of how Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat launched the history-making Montgomery Bus Boycott. The film reveals the untold story of how a group of everyday people decided this incident was the right time to take a stand for their civil rights and demand equal treatment.   Source:  TV One.

Trailer: