Friday, February 9, 2018

For the Love of Black Cinema

February is easily one of my favorite months for two very distinct celebrations: Black History Month and Valentine's Day. So, it made sense to make this month's blog post about something that is very near and dear to my heart: black cinema. From a best picture Oscar win last year (Barry Jenkins' "Moonlight") to a best picture Oscar nomination this year (Jordan Peele's "Get Out"), movies written, directed, starring, and produced by and for black people--and delivered across a spectrum of time periods and experiences--are finally being recognized as cinematic forces to be reckoned with. And let's just say I could not be more proud and excited. So, without further ado, grab a snack and enjoy these sneak previews of a few melanin-flava'd 2018 films heading your way that will have you cheering, crying, and clutching your pearls (or neckties).

Black Panther - February 16th

The buzz, excitement, accolades and, its near-to-100% Tomatometer score on review aggregation film and television website,, makes this Marvel big screen bonanza easily one of the most anticipated films in its franchise and, possibly, one of its first to grab a 2019 Oscar nomination and win. Introduced into the Marvel comic world in July 1966, this big-screen adaptation finds Black Panther a.k.a T'Challa returning home to the African nation of Wakanda, after the death of his father, to take his rightful place as king. When a powerful enemy suddenly reappears, T'Challa gets tested when he's drawn into a conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people. Starring Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong'o, and Michael B. Jordan.


A Wrinkle in TimeMarch 9th

Staying in the world of fantasy, two of entertainment's most powerful women--Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey--team up to bring a children's story classic to life. Wrinkle follows Meg Murry played by actress Storm Reid, who stars as a young girl struggling with the disappearance of her scientist father, until she finds herself on an interplanetary journey with a schoolmate and her younger brother to find him, aided by a trio of supernatural beings: Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which. Starring Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey, and Mindy Kaling.


Acrimony - March 30th 

From sci-fi thriller to hold-on-to-your-seat suspense, the end of March ends with a bang, when Taraji P. Henson returns to the big screen for a second time this year (after a her action-packed role in "Proud Mary"). Henson plays Melinda, a faithful wife tired of standing by her devious husband, who becomes enraged when it becomes clear she has been betrayed. Produced, written, and directed by Tyler Perry, "Acrimony" also stars Lyriq Bent of Netflix's "She's Gotta Have It" and Tika Sumpter.


Breaking In - May 11th

Black heroines will continue to keep theaters"darkly lit"when Gabrielle Union hits the big screen Mother's Day weekend as Shaun Russell, a woman who, after the sudden death of her father, takes her two children on a weekend getaway to her late father's secluded, high-tech estate in the countryside. She soon finds herself in a desperate fight to save all of their lives when four men break into the house in search of something. Union also serves in a producer role alongside super-producer, Will Packer. 


Equalizer 2 - September 14th 

The ladies may have kicked off the summer, but the men will help bring it to an action-packed close. In August, "The Equalizer 2" hits theaters, as a sequel to its 2014 remake. Not much is known about the plot of the movie, based on the 1980s TV series of the same name, but we do know these two things: 1) Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington will reprise his role as vigilante Robert McCall and 2) Academy-winning director Antoine Fuqua of "Training Day" fame climbs into the director's seat again to command this thriller. 


Creed 2 - November 21st 

Photo Credit: Gerardo Moreno
Cue the music, pan to the Philadelphia Museum of Art stairs, and brace yourself for another one-two-punch in the form of a sequel to the movie that introduced Michael B. Jordan to mainstream audiences: "Creed 2." The upcoming film, set to drop Thanksgiving week, continues to follow Jordan as Adonis Creed (son of Apollo Creed) and his life inside and outside of the ring as he deals with new-found fame, issues with his family, and his continuing quest to become a champion. Up-and-coming African-American director, Steven Caple Jr., directs and Ryan Cooler will serve in an executive producer role.


There's no debating that from the fictional country of Wakanda to the real-life streets of Philly, 2018's adventures on the big screen are sure to offer something for everyone to love. So, mark your calendars, make your plans, and prepare to support black film "Sho Nuff...Ya Digg...By Any Means Necessary." Thanks Spike. 

Sources: Movie Insider; Rotten Tomatoes; YouTube; Wikipedia