Recent releases from the latter half of 2019 into 2020 have included films like Dolemite Is My Name (Netflix), The Upside, Shaft, and Queen & Slim.
2020 holds even bigger treats with a lineup of top actors, producers, and directors ready to serve up a feast on your screen. Let’s drop the word fluff, let us dig right into it:
Bad Boys for Life
Bad Boys for Life, the sequel to the Bad Boys II released in 2003 from the Bad Boys franchises premiered on January 17 in the UK and US. After a 17-year wait, the dynamic duo Miami PD officers Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett came back to our screens. Bring their A- game Lawrence and Smith return the roles of the two detectives Mike and Marcus respectively, reunited to take out a dangerous killer which brings up an old case.
Marcus, whose baby girl is now married, was ready to hang up his boots and be done with the police force; or so he thought before Mike roped him back in for one last job. The Miami PD creates a task force made up of a new younger team headed by the duo.
The task force is assigned to bring down notorious drug cartel leader Armando Armas, connected to the murders. In the chemistry is no lost and they together deliver enough action and laughter to keep you at the edge of your seat while at the same time some rib cracking laughs,
Directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, the film is said to have grossed $232.2 million worldwide against a production budget of $90 million. Producers: Will Smith, Jerry Bruckheimer, Doug Belgrad.
Legal drama Just Mercy based on a true story, narrates the journey of a young lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan) and his legal battle with a judicial system marred with institutionalized racism. Following his graduation from Harvard, Stevenson had his pick of lucrative jobs, but he turned them down and went to Alabama, where he defended wrongly accused people without the means to defend themselves.
One of the hallmark successes of his early career practicing law was when he took up the case of Walter McMillian (played by Jamie Foxx), a death row convict sentenced in 1987 for the murder of an 18-year-old girl. McMillian trial and sentencing to death was hinged on just one witness’ testimony, another convict gives false testimony to have his own sentence made lighter based on the testimony he gave against McMillian.
Stevenson embarks on a labyrinth of legal and political battles often slowed down by unabashed racism as he seeks justice and acquittal for McMillian. Despite the odds stacked against him and the system unwilling to help, McMillian gets his freedom thanks to Stevenson’s unrelenting pursuit for justice for all. The film was released on 17 January in the UK. Read our review here
Played against a background of a vibrant South Florida, Waves is a film about a suburban African American family steered by, though domineering, is a well-intentioned father. In the story, the protagonists navigate through love, forgiveness, and reunion after a loss.
This film is about a heart-pulsating journey on the human capacity for love, compassion, forgiveness, and growth. The film was released on 17 January in the UK. Read our review here:
Here’s a film where Terry Crews takes the lead role as John Henry in John Henry. This is an upcoming dramatic thriller film starring Terry Crews and Ludacris and directed by Will Forbes. Based on an African American folk tale of the same name. Though the original story revolves around a steel driver that won a race against a machine but died holding a hammer still in his hand.
In the film adaptation, John Henry has no choice but to reconcile with his past to protect two immigrant kids from a South Los Angeles gang leader (Ludacris). If you know anything about Crews, then it is that he brings raw muscle and solid energy to the set, and that’s the thrill in the John Henry film. The film was released on 24 January.
March to December releases
February is the month of ‘Love’ and which sets the theme for The Photograph. When famed photographer Christina Eames dies unexpectedly, she leaves her estranged daughter, Mae (Issa Rae), hurt, angry and full of questions. When Mae finds a photograph tucked away in a safe-deposit box, she soon finds herself delving into her mother’s early life — an investigation that leads to an unexpected romance with a rising journalist.
Through a letter left alongside the pictures, Mae discovers her mother’s life was centered on pictures instead of people. Then comes a young handsome man (LaKeith Stanfield) a journalist, interested in writing a story about Mae’s mother’s work.
In the process of collecting the story behind her mom’s beautiful picture, the journalist falls in love with Mae. Mae, although also interested in the man, is afraid of falling in love thinking she is just like her mother. The Photograph takes us through Mae’s journey of self-discovery. Directed by Stella Meghie. With LaKeith Stanfield, Issa Rae, Chelsea Peretti, Kelvin Harrison Jr, UK release date 6 March.
The Banker is based on a true story set in the 1950s and 60s about Joe Morris (Samuel L. Jackson), and Bernard Garrett Sr. (Anthony Mackie). Two black entrepreneurs with big dreams of getting into the white-dominated real estate industry by first owning a bank. A tall order for a black man to achieve, especially in the US of that time.
They came up with an ingenious plan of starting a bank, but giving it a white face, by enlisting the services of a young white man (played by Nicholas Hoult). While the duo, Joe and Bernard act as the chauffeur and janitor, respectively.
However, it became a matter of time before the government learned of their bright schemes, and the two savvy entrepreneurs started having a rough time with the law. Nonetheless, the duo became the first black bankers in the history of the United States.
This film is set for release on March 6, in the UK.
Well, this upcoming film is generating much excitement among the movie fans because of the mystery it has currently created. Yes, there is already a trailer out, but all it does is create a lot of suspense.
Nonetheless, all we know from the ‘flirty’ trailer is that the film is about a lead protagonist (Janelle Monae) caught up between a southern goth reality and the current time. This film is sort of like a time travel movie, a ghost movie, and a movie about slavery in the south, all mashed up into one.
Given it is produced by the same producers behind Get Out and Us, this horror-thriller movie has, without a doubt, elicited much interest, but keeps teasing with its suspense trailer. Set for release on 24 April.
Tenet is a sci-fi thriller in which the main protagonist, played by John David Washington, chooses death over giving up his colleagues. Except after his death, as he comes back to life in and works for an organization called the Afterlife.
The organization uses time travel technology to changes catastrophic events that could lead to WWIII. Washington’s job is to prevent the world from going at each other’s throats, and they use cutting edge technology to do so. The film will be released on July 17 in the UK.
Biopic of the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, played by the Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson. It is interesting to note that Franklin played a massive role in the production of this film, and she handpicked Hudson to play the part.
Hudson brings powerhouse vocals, something that has made her climb up through her music career, perhaps something that has made Franklin see a little bit of herself in Hudson.
Respect follows Franklin’s musical career since her days while in the streets of Detroit to becoming an international star singer. Though the trailer does not reveal much, we do know of the critical role Hudson plays in the film as we get a sneak peek of her singing Franklin’s great classic Respect.
Other roles are played by, Forest Whitaker as her father and a civil rights activist, Marlon Wayans as her first husband, and Mary J Blige as Dinah Washington. With Forest Whitaker, Tate Donovan, Release date on 14 August.
Coming 2 America
Prince Akeem from Zamunda will be back on the screen in Coming 2 America. 32 years since its first sequel, Coming to America, premiered in 1988.
And it is coming with the entire cast, starting with the legendary actor cum comedian Eddie Murphy. He still plays the role of Prince Akeem Joffer, but this time the play begins in the Zamunda nation in Africa, where he learns he has a long-lost son living in America, just when he is about to ascend the throne and become the king.
Prince Akeem then embarks on a quest to find his unlikely heir living in Queens, New York. In what makes for a hilarious journey and father-son introduction screenplay. The film comes with other legendary actors such as Wesley Snipes, Tracy Morgan, Arsenio Hall, Shari Headley, Jermaine Fowler, John Amos, James Earl Jones, and Vanessa Bell Calloway; who were also in the first sequel. … part of the film was filmed at the hip-hop artist Rick Ross’s Georgia mansion.
UK release 18 December.