Release Date:11/3/21 – 11/28/21 (American Black Film Festival) Genre: Drama Rating:TV-14 Director:Harold Jackson, III Studio(s):8 Picture House, Legacy Distribution Running Time:87 mins. Cast: Shaun Woodland, Jasmine Guy, Terrence “TC” Carson, Brave Williams, Tamieka Chavis.
Story:For author Liam White (Shaun Woodland), his career has peaked, to put it kindly. His agent and manager are frustrated with his lack of enthusiasm to make public appearances and finish the next novel. His life and work are uninspired. Adding to his problems, Liam is told by his oncologist that his cancer has returned. He is hesitant to once again go through chemotherapy and considers other options – including doing nothing. Now resigned to the fact that his life will soon come to an end, Liam begins a journey of reflection. Unfortunately for him, it involves his always disappointed and emotionally distant father, Liam Sr. (Terrence ‘T.C.’ Carson), and his mother (Jasmine Guy), who left him and his father as a small boy. Helping him along the way is an old flame, Adrianna (Sasha Wakefield), who gives Liam a much-needed perspective on being a man and a human being. Yet all is not lost. Just at the moment when Liam is about the give up, he meets a woman at a support group. She tells him about a potential treatment that extended the life of her brother for several more years. Source: IMDB; ABFF.com.
Cast:Eddie Murphy (Vernest “Quick” Brown), Richard Pryor (Sugar Ray), Redd Foxx (Bennie Wilson), Della Reese (Madame Vera Walker), Danny Aiello (Phil Cantone), Michael Lerner (Bugsy Calhoune), Berlinda Tolbert (Annie), Stan Shaw (Jack Jenkins), Jasmine Guy (Dominique La Rue), Lela Rochon (Sunshine), Thomas Mikal Ford (Tommy Smalls), Vic Polizos (Richie Vento), David Marciano (Tony), Arsenio Hall (Reggie), Charlie Murphy (Jimmy), Robin Harris (Romeo), Miguel A. Nunez, Jr. (Man with Broken Nose).
Details: Harlem Nights was written, executive produced, and directed by Eddie Murphy. Murphy co-stars with Richard Pryor as a team running a nightclub in late-1930s Harlem while contending with gangsters and corrupt police officials. The film also features Redd Foxx in his last film before his death in 1991.
Story:In 1918, small-time hustler Sugar Ray takes in seven-year-old orphan and errand boy Vernest Brown, who he nicknames “Quick” after the boy saves his life. Twenty years later, Ray and Quick, now wealthy gangsters, run a Harlem nightclub called Club Sugar Ray, with gambling and dancing in the front, and a brothel in the back that’s run by Ray’s old friend Madame Vera.
A white gangster by the name of Bugsy Calhoune, sends a corrupt detective to threaten Ray with having the Club shut down unless Colhoune gets a cut of the profits. Ray decides to shut down rather than pay, but makes sure his friends and workers are taken care of. After Ray and Quick steal bets made by Calhoune’s friends and associates on an upcoming boxing match, Calhoune sends his mistress, Dominique LaRue, to seduce and kill Quick but Quick turns the tables and kills LaRue with a gun he had hidden under his pillow.
The championship fight begins. With Calhoune’s gang distracted, Ray’s men seize the opportunity to blow up Calhoune’s “Pitty Pat Club”. Vera, seemingly angry with Ray over a business dispute, visits Calhoune and tells him where to find Ray and Quick. Calhoune and his men go to Ray’s hideout, but they unknowingly trigger hidden explosives that kill them all. Ray and Quick take one last look at Harlem, knowing they can never return and that there will never be another city like it. Despite this, the two, along with their associates leave for an unknown location as the credits roll.
Notes:Harlem Nights was Eddie Murphy’s brother Charlie first film role.The part of Dominique La Rue, played by Jasmine Guy, was originally cast with actress Michael Michele. Michele was fired during production because, according to Murphy, she “wasn’t working out”. Michele sued Murphy, saying that in reality she was fired for rejecting Murphy’s romantic advances. Murphy denied the charge, and the lawsuit was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.
Release Date:3/14/20; BET & BET Her Genre:Drama/Romance Rating: NR Director(s):Cas Sigers-Beedles Studio(s):Nina Holiday Entertainment Running Time: 87 mins.
Cast: Essence Atkins (Wren), Keith Robinson (Cameron), Matt Cedeño (Mars), Kerri J. Baldwin (Tea Cup), Franceli Chapman (Viv), Imani Duckett (Luna), Marquita Goings (Courtney), Jason Graham (Ed), Chantal Maurice (Kendall), Roxzane T. Mims (Ruth), Margaret Morris (Paula), Ernestine J. Morrison (Zoey) and Jasmine Guy.
Story: Open is a romantic drama that showcases the alternative perspective of open relationships. As a child of divorce and a woman noticing the infidelities in the world, main character Wren (Essence Atkins) decides to ask her husband Cameron (Keith Robinson) for an open marriage, after eight years, to avoid the pain of him cheating behind her back. Navigating the struggles of her bakery business, social life and marriage, Wren finally thinks she has it all figured out until she reconnects with a childhood friend. Looking through the lens of polygamy, Open teaches viewers the full scope of these oftentimes taboo relationships. Source: IMDB; Blackfilm.
Release Date:5/8/16; TV One Genre: Drama Rating: NR Running Time: Unknown Director: Ryan Richmond Cast: Drew Sidora, Jasmine Guy, Tim Reid, Joyful Drake, Daniel May, Kisa Willis.
Story: Chasing Waterfalls is the modern telling of the biblical Book of David transported to the cut-throat world of fashion.
Olivia, an up-and-coming fashion designer gets the opportunity of a lifetime to work for icon Salma Barrie. But things go out of control when Olivia must step up to save the company and fight against a former co-worker who has started a competing company.
Chasing Waterfalls navigates the treacherous, cutthroat waters of the fashion industry while gently teaching viewers about obedience, faithfulness and God’s grace. The story follows the journey of Olivia (Sidora), an aspiring fashion designer, who is striving for success while working for Salma Barrie, the owner of a once fruitful, eponymous clothing brand. As she jumps at the opportunity to become the new fashion “It Girl,” Olivia must balance her family responsibilities, especially the caring of her aging father Quincy (Tim Reid) and troublesome sister Coco (Kisa Willis).
As a result of Salma Barrie’s lead designer Hiram Locke (Daniel May) defecting to launch a high-profile competing line, Olivia is given an opportunity to help her suffering firm by introducing her own designs. Her life quickly spirals out-of-control as she takes advantage of and hurts the people who helped her along the way including her closest ally, Salma’s son Cabot (Redaric Williams). Matters become dire when Salma’s daughter Doreen (Joyful Drake) hatches her own plan for the company. Salma, who though pleased with the success of her brand, her jealousy towards Olivia could bring this fashion house toppling down. Sources: TV One, It Needs To Be CED.
Release Date: 9/21/14 (Made-For-TV, UPTV) Genre: Drama Cast: Lynn Whitfield, Essence Atkins, GregAlan Williams, Jasmine Guy, Angie Stone
Story: Candace “Candy” Meyers (Essence Atkins) is a successful anchor on a top-rated national magazine show. Fiercely independent and committed to her job, Candy doesn’t make many friends with her demanding, gruff nature. In fact, her only true friend might be her long-time manager Lewis (Kendrick Cross). Candy discovers that an anonymous fan she’s had for years has passed way – and he was her biological father, Freddy Nelson.
Content with the love and support of her adoptive family, Candy has never been curious about her biological parents. That all changes when she travels back for her father’s funeral, meets the Nelson family – including biological uncle Abner (GregAlan Williams), Freddy’s wife Delores (Angie Stone) and her two step-brothers – and discovers that her reclusive, angry and stubborn birth mother, Mary Jo (Lynn Whitfield) is going to be a challenge. The journey these two surprisingly similar women take getting to know each other will break down walls and open them up to a life they never knew was possible. Source: UpTV.