Genius:  Aretha

Release Date:  3/21/21; National Geographic
Genre:   Biography
Rating:  TV-14
Director:  Anthony Hemingway

Studio(s):  EUE / Sokolow, Fox 21 Television Studios, Imagine Television, MWM Studios, National Geographic Channel

Cast:  Cynthia Erivo (Aretha Franklin), Shaian Jordan (Little Re, young Aretha), Courtney B. Vance (C. L. Franklin), David Cross (Jerry Wexler), Malcolm Barrett (Ted White), Patrice Covington (Erma Franklin), Kimberly Hébert Gregory (Ruth Bowen), Rebecca Naomi Jones (Carolyn Franklin), T.I. (Ken Cunningham).

Story:  National Geographic’s Genius is an anthology series focusing on the untold stories of the world’s most brilliant innovators.  Season 3 of the series will explore Aretha Franklin’s musical genius, her incomparable career, and the immeasurable impact she has had on music and culture.  The four-night broadcast event will culminate on March 25th, which will mark the late Aretha Franklin’s 79th birthday.  Source(s):  nationalgeographic.com; yahoo.com; slashfilm.com; IMDB.

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The Affair

Release Date:  10/14/1995
Genre:  Drama
Rating:  R
Director:  Paul Seed
Studio(s):   Black Tuesday Films, HBO Pictures, Home Box Office (HBO)
Running Time:  105 mins.

Cast:  Courtney B. Vance (Travis Holloway), Kerry Fox (Maggie Leyland), Ciarán Hinds (Edward Leyland), Leland Gantt (Barrett), Ned Beatty (Colonel Banning), Bill Nunn (Sgt. Rivers).

Story:   Black American troops stationed in war-torn England prepare to fight the Germans in Europe.

One soldier, Travis befriends Maggie, an English woman whose husband, Edward, is fighting overseas. Lonely and confused by her husband’s infidelities, Maggie soon finds comfort in the arms of Travis.

When Edward suddenly returns home from battle, he discovers his wife’s secret romance which unleashes his rage and fuels his desire for punishment and retaliation. In a time of war, punishment can be swift and revenge can be taken regardless of the law. As a result, Travis finds himself on trial for his life. The only way Travis can be saved is if Maggie betrays her husband, their family and the world they have built together.

Sources:  tcm.com; Wikipedia.  Photo Sources:  moviepostershop.com; memorabletv.com; truetvmovies.net; videodetective.com.

Lovecraft Country

 


Release Date:  8/16/20, Series Premiere; HBO
Genre:  Drama
Rating:  NR
Director:  Yann Demange
Studio(s):  Bad Robot, Monkeypaw Productions, Warner Bros. Television, HBO.

Cast:   Jurnee Smollett-Bell (Letitia Dandridge), Michael Kenneth Williams (Montrose Freeman), Aunjanue Ellis (Hippolyta Black), Courtney B. Vance (George Black), Jonathan Majors (Atticus Black), Wunmi Mosaku (Ruby Dandridge), Demetrius Grosse (Marvin Baptiste), Abbey Lee (Christina Braithwhite), Jamie Chung (Ji-Ah), Jordan Patrick Smith (William).

Story:   Drama series based on the 2016 novel by Matt Ruff, follows Atticus Black as he joins his friend Letitia and his Uncle George to embark on a road trip across 1950s Jim Crow America in search of his missing father. What follows is a struggle to survive and overcome both the racist terrors of white America and the terrifying monsters that could be ripped from an H.P. Lovecraft paperback.

Atticus (Majors) is a Korean war vet who always has a pulp novel in his back pocket, and wears his heart on his sleeve despite the daily injustice of living in Jim Crow America. His father, Montrose (Williams), however is hard headed and secretive, and always believed you can’t live in a fantasy world — making him less-than-thrilled about his son’s love for pulp novels.  It’s Atticus’ uncle (Vance) who’s always been more like a father to him. Warm, funny, and well read, he was the first to introduce Atticus to the wonderful and strange world of pulp novels. As the publisher of the “Safe Negro Travel Guide” he’s been on enough adventures to understand there’s no place like home.

Letitia “Leti” Lewis (Smollett) hustled her way across the country as an artist protesting for civil rights and now finds herself back home to plant some roots. Her half-sister Ruby (Mosaku) is also a hustler, but her hustles haven’t paid off. Her family ties are tested when she’s presented with an offer she can’t refuse. Hippolyta Freeman (Ellis) is a star-gazer who’s been a housewife most of her life, but has dreams of getting into some adventures of her own. Her itch for adventure will eventually, literally and figuratively, take her to the stars and beyond.

Eustice Hunt (Harris), is a sundown county sheriff with a NAACP complaint file a mile long, and a marine tattoo on the back of his neck so the enemy has something to aim at, gets more than he bargained for when he crosses paths with Atticus; Ji-Ah (Chung) is a seemingly naive nursing student who is thrust into active service when war breaks out, and a rash of soldier disappearances suggests she is more than what she seems.

Christina Braithwhite (Lee) is the only daughter of the leader of a secret order calling themselves the “Sons of Adam.” She’s gone to great lengths to earn her father’s respect, but to no avail. She’s going to pave her own path to power, and use Atticus and his family to do it. William (Smith) is Christina’s henchman, lover, bodyguard, spy, or whatever else she may need him to be. Blonde-haired, blue-eyed, he’s the “perfect specimen” for the Aryan race.

Produced by Misha Green, J.J. Abrams, Jordan Peele, Bill Carraro, Yann Demange, Daniel Sackheim and David Knoller.  Source:  HBO.

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The Photograph

Release Date:  2/14/20; In Theaters
Genre:  Drama/Romance
Rating:  PG-13
Director:  Stella Meghie
Studio(s):  Universal; Will Packer Productions
Running Time: Unknown
Cast: Issa Rae, LaKeith Stanfield, Chelsea Peretti, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Chante Adams, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Y’lan Noel, Courtney B. Vance, Lil Rel Howery, Teyonah Parris.

Details:  The Photograph stars Issa Rae as Mae Morton, the estranged daughter of famed photographer Christina Eames. When her mother suddenly passes away, Mae ends up on a journey to learn more about Christina’s life, and finds herself in a romance with Michael Block (LaKeith Stanfield), a journalist who’s writing an article about Christina, along the way.

Trailer:

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Release Date:   4/22/17; HBO
Genre:  Drama/Biography
Rating:  NR
Running Time:  Unknown
Director:  George C. Wolfe
Studio:   Your Face Goes Here Entertainment, Harpo Films, HBO Films and Cine Mosaic.
Cast:  Renée Elise Goldsberry, Oprah Winfrey, Courtney B. Vance, Rose Byrne, Rocky Carroll, Kyanna Simone Simpson, Leslie Uggams, Reg E. Cathey, Reed Birney, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, John Douglas Thompson, Adriane Lenox, Roger Robinson, Melvin Van Peebles.
Story:  The film tells the true story of Henrietta Lacks, an African-American woman, whose cervical cancer cells were harvested without permission in 1951, and were used to create numerous medical breakthroughs – including the first immortal line of cells.  Told through the eyes of her daughter, Deborah Lacks, the film chronicles Deborah’s search to learn about the mother she never knew and to understand how the unauthorized harvesting of her cancerous cells changed countless lives and the face of medicine forever.  It’s a story of medical arrogance and triumph, race, poverty and deep friendship between the unlikeliest of people.  Source(s):  Deadline, We Got This Covered.

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