THE EDGY AND CHARMING "CHARM CITY KINGS" DEBUTS ON HBO MAX OCT. 8.
By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
One of the best dramas you’ll see on TV this week is the Warner/Max feature film “Charm City Kings” which premieres on HBO Max Oct. 8.
Directed by Angel Manuel Soto, "Charm City Kings" is the film adaptation of the 2014 documentary “12 O’clock Boys” by Lotfy Nathan.
"Charm City Kings" is written by Sherman Payne, with a story by Chris Boyd, Kirk Sullivan and Academy Award winner Barry Jenkins (“Moonlight”). It’s produced by Caleeb Pinkett, Clarence Hammond and Marc Bienstock. Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith and James Lassiter executive produced the film through their company Overbrook Entertainment.
The gritty and riveting coming-of-age story features an exceptional cast that includes: Jahi Di'Allo Winston (“The Upside"), Grammy nominated recording artist Meek Mill, William Catlett, “Malcolm”), Donielle Hansley (TV’s “Containment”), Kezil Curtis (“Dolemite Is My Name”), Lakeyria "Wheelie Queen" Doughty (TV’s “Kings”) and Teyonah Parris (“The Photograph”).
In "Charm City Kings" Jahi Di'Allo Winston is superb in the role as Mouse. He desperately wants to join The Midnight Clique, an infamous group of Baltimore dirt bike riders who rule the summertime streets. Mouse’s brother was a member of the biker’s club before he was tragically killed.
Consequently, Mouse’s mother Terri (a fabulous Teyonah Parris, “The Photograph”) is understandably overprotective of Mouse and his little sister Shay (Milan Ray, TV’s “Boomerang”). She doesn’t want him running around with any gangs. The kid is smart, has a love for animals and wants to become a veterinarian. He even works part-time at the local vet and the owner (Gina Jun, “The Handmaid’s Tale”) is impressed by how well Mouse can diagnose some of the animal’s illnesses. His future is college and not the streets.
Still, the lure of “riding” pulls at Mouse and his best friends Lamont (Hansley Jr.) and Sweartagawd (Kezil Curtis, “Dolemite is my Name”). Quite a few people have Mouse’s best interest at heart. Among them are a police mentor (William Catlett, “Malcolm”), a young girl he meets (Chandler DuPont, “Clean”) and falls for, and even Midnight Clique leader Blax (Meek Mill) who takes 14-year-old Mouse under his wing. Yet, Mouse soon finds himself torn between the straight-and-narrow and a road filled with fast money and violence.
“Charm City Kings” oozes with raw authenticity and the acting is downright fierce. It’s a film that will move you and it’s easy to see now why it won the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Prize for Ensemble Acting at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. It’s a stunning and impressive cautionary tale.
Be sure to check out “Charm City Kings” Oct. 8 on HBO Max.
Editor's Note" Some information used in this report obtained from HBO MAX.
OTHER TV NEWS:
“SOCIAL DISTANCE “PREMIERES OCT. 15 ON NETFLIX
Set in the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic, “Social Distance” is an eight-part anthology series that showcases the power of the human spirit in the face of uncertainty and isolation. Each standalone episode is told through a virtual lens and captures the unique emotional experience of being forced apart by circumstance and having no choice but to communicate remotely and rely on technology to maintain any sense of connection. Through these varied and deeply human stories, “Social Distance” aims to provide some much-needed catharsis during a tumultuous time while also capturing a snapshot of this singular moment in history.
Conceived, cast and executed entirely remotely during quarantine, “Social Distance” is created and executive-produced by showrunner Hilary Weisman Graham and executive-produced by Tara Herrmann, Blake McCormick and Jenji Kohan. Diego Velasco serves as co-executive producer.
Editor's Note: Information used in this report provided by Netflix.