Beats

Release Date:  6/19/19; Netflix
Genre:   Drama
Rating:   TV-MA
Director:  Chris Robinson
Studio(s):   51 Minds Entertainment; Global Road Entertainment; Netflix
Running Time:  109 mins.
Cast:  Khalil Everage, Anthony Anderson, Uzo Aduba, Emayatzy Corinealdi
Story:   An agoraphobic hip-hop prodigy and a disgraced former music manager cross paths in Chicago’s South Side and help each other face the demons of their pasts.  Source:  Netflix.

 

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See You Yesterday

Release Date:   5/17/19; Netflix
Genre:  Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Rating:  TV-MA
Director:   Stefon Bristol
Studio(s):   40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks, Netflix.
Running Time:  86 mins

Cast:  Eden Duncan-Smith (Claudette ‘CJ’ Walker), Dante Crichlow (Sebastian J. Thomas), Astro (Calvin Walker), Marsha Stephanie Blake (Phaedra Walker).

Story:   As two teen prodigies try to master the art of time travel, a tragic police shooting sends them on a series of dangerous trips to the past.

After her brother is killed in a miscarriage of justice, aspiring inventor Claudette ‘CJ’ Walker uses her scientific mind to create two time machines, one for her, and the other for her friend Sebastian. As they use the machines to try and alter the day CJ’s brother died, they come to learn the ultimatum of time travel: All Actions Have Consequences. Produced by Spike Lee.  Source:  Netflix, official site; IMDB.

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When They See Us

a/k/a Central Park Five

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.
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.

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Juanita

Release Date:  3/8/19; Netflix
Genre:  Drama/Romance
Rating:  TV-MA
Director:  Clark Johnson
Studio(s):   Homegrown Pictures, Netflix.
Running Time:  Unknown
Cast:  Alfre Woodard (Juanita), Adam Beach, Ashlie Atkinson (Peaches), Blair Underwood, Lindsley Register (Candice), LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Gil Birmingham.

Story:   At forty-one, Juanita Lewis is running away from home, courtesy of a one-way ticket to Montana, a place that seems about as far away from the violence and poverty of the Columbus, Ohio, projects as the moon.  She wants adventure and excitement–if such things exist for a pre-menopausal African-American woman with three grown, deadbeat children.

Juanita’s new life in Paper Moon, Montana, begins at a local diner where a culinary face-off with chef and owner Jess Gardiner finds Juanita in front of Jess’s stove serving up home cookin’ that lures the townsfolk like a magic spell. And suddenly Juanita, who was just passin’ through, now has a job by popular demand.

Out here in this wide-open space, Juanita’s heart can no longer hide, especially when she sees herself through the eyes of the wonderful and eccentric people of this down-to-earth town.  She’s happy in Paper Moon; she’s found a home, but can she stay?  And then there’s Jess.  She has always dreamed of romance, but she never planned on falling in love.  The film is based on Sheila Williams’ book Dancing on the Edge of the Roof.  Source:  Eurweb.com.

Trailer:

The Holiday Calendar

a/k/a Christmas Calendar

Release Date:  11/2/18; Netflix
Genre:  Romance/Holiday
Rating:  NR
Director:   Bradley Walsh
Studio(s):   Netflix

Cast:  Kat Graham (Abby Sutton), Ethan Peck, Quincy Brown (Josh), Ron Cephas Jones (Gramps Sutton), Romaine Waite (Mitch), Genelle Williams (Sarah Sutton), Laura de Carteret (Judy Sutton), Rodrigo Fernandez-Stoll (Fernando), Harris Shore (Ralphie).

Story:   A talented photographer, stuck in a dead-end job, inherits an antique Advent calendar that may be predicting the future — and pointing her toward love.  Source(s):  Netflix, Country Living Magazine.

Trailer:

First Match

Release Date:  3/12/18 – 3/16/18 – SXSW Film Festival; 3/30/18 – Netflix (2017)
Genre:  Drama
Rating:  NR
Director:  Olivia Newman
Studio(s):   CreativeBionics, Clubhouse Pictures, Netflix.
Running Time:  102 mins.

Cast:  Elvire Emanuelle, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Colman Domingo, Jharrel Jerome, Jared Kemp

Story:   Hardened by years in foster care, a teenage girl from Brooklyn’s Brownsville neighborhood, decides that wrestling boys is the only way back to her estranged father.  Source(s):  SXSW.com; Flickeringmyth.

 

Trailer:

Step Sisters

Release Date:  1/19/18; Netflix
Genre:  Comedy
Rating:  PG-13
Director:  Charles Stone, III
Studio(s):  Los Angeles Media Fund (LAMF), Ascot Elite Entertainment Group, Netflix
Running time:  104 mins.
Cast:  Megalyn Echikunwoke (Jamilah), Naturi Naughton (Aisha), Eden Sher (Beth), Alessandra Torresani (Amber), Gage Golightly (Libby), Matt McGorry (Dane), Lyndon Smith (Danielle).
Story:   Step Sisters centers on Jamilah who is willing to do what it takes to achieve her goals. So far, she is the black sorority president, captain of the dance crew, student representative to the college dean, and she hopes to join Harvard Law School. Overall, she has achieved what a student at her age can consider as an on-going success in school. That’s until she is ordered by the school to help the white girls of the Sigma Beta Beta win the Steptacular dance competition. If she fails, her dreams to join the Ivy League university will come to naught, which is something she cannot take. As the show continues, romance blossoms, cultures clash, but sisterhood prevails as they all step out of their comfort zone to face their challenge.  Source:  TVovermind.com; IMDB.

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