HAMILTON
Rating: About Ratings
Opens: 07/03/2020
Running Time: 160
Rated: PG-13
Cast: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Phillipa Soo, Leslie Odom Jr., Renée Elise Goldsberry, Christopher Jackson, Daveed Diggs, Okieriete Onaodowan, Anthony Ramos, Jasmine Cephas Jones and Jonathan Groff.
Crew: Director: Thomas Kail. Producers: Thomas Kail, Chris Rouchard and Jeffrey Seller. Executive Producers: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Dave Sirulnick and Justin Wilkes. Screenwriters: Ron Chernow (Inspired By Book: "Alexander Hamilton") and Lin-Manuel Miranda (Musical Book). Cinematographer:Declan Quinn.
REVIEW: By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

If you couldn’t catch the original Broadway production of the multi-Tony Award-winning hip-hop musical “Hamilton,” well, Disney+ is bringing the sensational show directly to your home this weekend.

Beginning July 3, the streaming service is releasing the original version of “Hamilton” which was filmed at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway in 2016.

“Hamilton” has been adapted for the small screen and features enhanced Dolby sound quality to give you a full-fledged theatrical experience all from the comfort of your couch.

It’s quite a gift for audiences especially when you consider that “Hamilton” was initially slated to open next year but got pushed up rather than back like most others movies have due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But, as they say, timing is everything. “Hamilton’s” arrival comes during a Fourth of July-stay-at-home-weekend which will likely be a huge coup for Disney. And as America continues to grapple with issues of systemic racism and ensuring liberty and justice for all, the social and political message of “Hamilton’ makes it even more relevant and significant.

“Hamilton” is based on the 2004 book “Alexander Hamilton” by Ron Chernow and directed by Thomas Kail who also helmed the Broadway version.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, who co-wrote and provided the music and lyrics, stars as Hamilton, a determined and feisty young man who is not about to let the “American Dream” pass him by. The movie chronicles Hamilton’s hard-knock life as an immigrant from the Caribbean who arrives in New York. Through perseverance and utter shrewdness Hamilton becomes an associate of George Washington (a fabulous Chris Jackson, TV’s “Central Park”) and helped author the Federalist Papers which supported the United States Constitution.

Miranda is remarkable in every way. So is the entire cast which features Broadway principals, Leslie Odom Jr., Philippa Soo, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Daveed Diggs, Christopher Jackson, Jonathan Groff, Okieriete Onaodowan, Jasmine Cephas Jones and Anthony Ramos, who by the way, you’ll also want to see in the upcoming movie musical “In The Heights.”

It is almost criminal to single out anyone in “Hamilton” since everyone is dynamic, but I was always mesmerized by Goldsberry who won the Tony Award for “Best Featured Actress in a Musical” for her portrayal of Angelica Schuyler. Goldsberry is fierce throughout “Hamilton,” but blows you away with the soul-stirring song, “Satisfied.”

Leslie Odum Jr. astounds as Aaron Burr and owns the stage when singing “The Room Where It Happens.” Daveed Diggs shines bright too as Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson and brings the fire and the funny to “Hamilton” with “What’d I Miss?”

Whatever you do, don’t miss “Hamilton.” It is stunning. Every single minute of it.

Check Out This Trailer For "HAMILTON"

Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics’ Association (BFCA), The Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC), The Alliance Of Women Film Journalists (AWFJ) and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.
 

Rated: R
Opens: 07/03/2020
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Rated: R
Opens: 06/26/2020
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Rated: PG-13
Opens: 06/19/2020
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Rated: PG-13
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Rated: R
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7500


OLD SCHOOL VIDEO PICK OF THE MONTH

<b>“The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings.”</b> Title: “The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings.”
Year Released: 1977
Running Time: 110
Production Company: Universal Pictures
Director: John Badham
Director of Photography: Bill Butler
Screenwriter: William Brashler
Author: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

REVIEW: It must have been my recent chance meeting with former Dodger legend Dusty Baker that turned my attention to the Dodgers and baseball in particular. Then again, baseball season is right around the corner, so this review was just meant to me.

The truth is, I realized I hadn’t reviewed any baseball movies in a long time. One of my favorite...
NEW ON DVD

Bombshell <b> (March 10)</b> Title: Bombshell (March 10)
Year Released: 2019
Running Time: 109
Production Company: Summit Inc/Lionsgate
Director: Jay Roach
Review By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

“BOMBSHELL”

In “Bombshell” director Jay Roach (“Trumbo”) doesn’t pull many punches and rips the skin right off to expose the Fox News organization for its alleged involvement in a shocking sexual harassment scandal in 2016 that nearly toppled the network and spawned the #MeToo movement.

Charlize Theron is spot on as newscaster Megyn Kelly. So is Nicole Kidman’s portrayal of Gretchen Carlson, Margot Robbie plays a fictional character and John Lithgow channels former Fox CEO Roger Ailes.

“Bombshell” earned three Oscar nominations at the 92nd Annual Academy Awards, “Best Actress” (Theron), “Best Supporting Actress” (Robbie) and it won for “Best Makeup and Hairstyling.”

The movie focuses on the women reporters and the sexist environment they stated they were subjected to. When Carlson (Kidman) is fired, she sues Ailes for sexual harassment and that sets this drama into motion.

While “Bombshell” is a film with an important message, it also feels rushed and limited and doesn’t go deep enough into the issues. Still, it shines a much-needed spotlight on women standing up, speaking up and refusing to be bullied and sexually harassed in the newsroom and beyond.
(Recommended).

Editor’s Note: Here are the “Bombshell” Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Special Features:

1. "No Easy Truths: The Making of Bombshell" 7-Part Documentary:
2. "Convergence: Genesis of the Film" Featurette
3. "Quid Pro Quo: Charlize, Nicole, Margot, John" Featurette
4. "Human Dynamics: The Ensemble Cast" Featurette
5. "Breaking the Fourth Wall: Visual Design" Featurette
6. "Layer by Layer: Makeup, Hair & Clothing" Featurette
7. "A Unique Skill Set: Jay Roach" Featurette
8. "Catalyst for Change: Parting Thoughts" Featurette.

Uncut Gems <b>(March 10) </b> Title: Uncut Gems (March 10)
Year Released: 2019
Running Time: 135
Production Company: A24 Productions
Director: Benny And Josh Safdie
Review By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

UNCUT GEMS:

In “Uncut Gems,” Adam Sandler gets serious and ditches his goofball comedy routine for a serious and impressive, hard-core turn as a slick, New York City jeweler and compulsive gambler.

Directed by Josh and Benny Safdie (“Good Time”), “Uncut Gems” is set in 2012 in New York City’s Diamond District. It’s here that Howard Ratner (Sandler) has a popular jewelry store that’s frequented by regular folks but mostly high-end clientele; pro athletes like NBA star Kevin Garnett who loves that bling.

When Howard’s right-hand man, Demany (Lakeith Stanfield, “The Photograph”) convinces KG to come in and see a rare opal stone that Howard somehow managed to hide in a dead fish and smuggle from Ethiopia, Kevin accepts the invite.

Once Kevin sees the piece, he wants to hold on to it as a good luck charm for his upcoming game. He offers to give Howard his championship in return.
Talk about tit for tat. Howard is a gambler. So, his instincts kick in and he hocks the ring and bets on it hoping to use his winnings to purchase the ring back.

Nothing quite goes the way Howard plans. Not only is Howard a bad gambler, but a terrible liar too.
His sleazy lifestyle has taken a toll on his wife, Dinah (Idina Menzel, “Frozen II”) who has had enough of him and his side chick Julia (Julia Fox, “PVT Chat”). The loan sharks are circling too because Howard owes them tons of money.

These goons are only going to wait so long before they make him pay one way or the other. The smartest thing Howard ever did was bullet proof his office glass doors and hire some intimidating guards out front to keep out the riffraff. However, trouble, still manages to find Howard at most every turn. The guy just never learns.

You know it’s just a matter of time before Howard runs out of luck. But the buildup to how it’s all going to come crashing down on him and watching as he tries to weasel his way out of every predicament, is what makes “Uncut Gems” a real gem.
(Recommended).

The Lion King <b>(Oct. 22)</b> Title: The Lion King (Oct. 22)
Year Released: 2019
Running Time: 118
Production Company: Walt Disney Pictures
Director: Jon Favreau
Review By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

“THE LION KING”

Disney’s “The Lion King” is a stunning re-imagining of the 1994 original movie.

Directed and produced by Jon Favreau (“Spider-Man: Far from Home”) who also helmed 2016’s outstanding movie, “The Jungle Book.”

When it comes to a classic like the original “Lion King,” sentimentality among fans runs deep. But, for those experiencing “The Lion King” for the first time, there is plenty of magic and wonder to be found in this beautifully rendered version.

Aside from the live setting, Favreau didn’t change much from the original. Even the dialogue is pretty much word for word.

What makes “The Lion King” really roar is how spectacular it looks and how realistic the animals are. It’s as if while watching the film you’re transported to an African Savanna.

Favreau and his talented filmmaking crew utilized state of the art motion capture technology and it’s a seamless transition that makes it appear as if the lions: Mufasa (voiced by the legendary James Earl Jones, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”), young Simba, played by JD McCrary (“Little” and TV’s “American Soul”) and Donald Glover (TV’s “Atlanta,”), Nala (a terrific Beyoncé), Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years a Slave” ) really can talk.

“The Lion King” is just a fabulous story. You’d have to go to great lengths to mess this up which is why I appreciate the few subtle liberties the filmmakers did take with it.

I like its dark moments that play out especially among the hyenas which are led by Kamari (a terrific Keegan-Michael Key, “Toy Story 4”). Ejiofer is also outstanding as Scar, the low-down dirty brother of Mufasa and the uncle of Simba. Scar manipulates his way to become king of the Pride Lands.


Seth Rogan as Pumbaa and Billy Eichner as Timon the meerkat are hilarious and have scene stealing moments. Although I would have enjoyed seeing and hearing more from Sarabi (Alfre Woodard, TV’s “Luke Cage”).

Simba also reconnects with his childhood friend Nala first voiced by (Shahadi Wright Joseph, “Us”) and later as Beyoncé who shines. They all convince Simba of his rightful place and that he must retain control of the Kingdom which is everything the light touches.

The music of “The Lion King” is unforgettable this time around too. When Nala/Beyoncé and Simba/Glover belt out “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” it’s palpable.

Equally moving is McCrary and Wright Joseph’s snappy, “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” and McCrary holds nothing back on “Hakuna Matata.”

Elton John’s new track “Never too Late” is a winner too.

It really is possible to love the original “Lion King” and this one too. It stands on its own and is a classic for a new generation.
(Highly Recommended).

Editor’s Note: The Blu-ray and Digital DVDs of “The Lion King” offers viewers bonus features:

AUDIO COMMENTARY – By Director Jon Favreau.

PROTECT THE PRIDE – Director Jon Favreau, the Lion Recovery Fund and conservationists highlight efforts to protect the majestic lions and their home.

PERFECTING THE PRIDE – Join the filmmakers on their research trip to Africa as they immerse themselves in the real world of “The Lion King.” From the animals in the pride, to the smallest of insects and the grasslands in the savanna, experience the attention to detail that brought the film to life.

DIGITAL EXCLUSIVE-- Pride Lands Pedia —Dung beetle shares the importance of his “roll” in the African Savanna in a fun, bug’s eye view of the land and its inhabitants.

BLU-RAY & DIGITAL BONUS: The Journey to “The Lion King”

THE MUSIC-- Go inside the studio with the cast and crew as they work to honor and elevate The Lion King’s beloved music.

THE MAGIC– Discover how the filmmakers blended the traditional filmmaking techniques with virtual reality technology to create amazing movie magic.

The Timeless Tale– Filmmakers and cast reflect on the story that has moved generations and share how this Lion King carries a proud legacy forward.

MORE TO BE SCENE – Recording studio and layer-by-layer progressions of some of most iconic moments in “The Lion King.”

“CIRCLE OF LIFE”– Peel back the layers of effects and go behind the scenes of this iconic musical moment from the film.

“I JUST CAN’T WAIT TO BE KING”-- See all the effects, talent and fun that went into creating this vibrant version of “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” for the movie.

“HAKUNA MATATA”-- Join Donald Glover (Simba), Seth Rogen (Pumbaa) and Billy Eichner (Timon) in the studio for the making of this memorable scene.

MUSIC VIDEOS: “Never Too Late” (lyric video) by Elton John and “Spirit” performed by Beyoncé Knowles-Carter.

SONG SELECTION: “Circle of Life,” “I Just Can’t Wait to be King,” “Be Prepared,” “Hakuna Matata,” “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” “Spirit” and “Never Too Late.”

Stuber <b> (Oct. 22)</b> Title: Stuber (Oct. 22)
Year Released: 2019
Running Time: 93
Production Company: 20th Century Fox
Director: Michael Dowse
Review By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

“STUBER”

The outlandish dramedy“Stuber” is an over-the-top, violent, actioner that features a hilarious star turn from Kumail Nanjiani (TV’s “Silicon Valley”) and Dave Bautista (Drax The Destroyer, “Avengers: Endgame”/”Guardians of the Galaxy”).

Nanjiani plays a mild-mannered Uber driver named Stu. When you put Stu and Uber together you get “Stuber.”
By day, Stu works as a sales associate at a sporting goods store run by his jerk boss Richie Sandusky (Jimmy Tatro, TV’s “Modern Family”). Stu hates him and the lame job. He drives an Uber to make ends meet, but it’s really to try and get next to the girl of his dreams, Becca (Betty Gilpin, TV’s “GLOW”).

Although they had a one-night stand, their relationship hasn’t taken off and it’s driving Stu crazy. He loves Becca, wants more than a friendship and is willing to take things to the next level. So much so, he even invested a chunk of his money in a new “Spinster” cycling-class business Becca is launching.

However, Becca is kind of in a relationship with a pro basketball player who has agreed to be a spokesperson for her new company. Despite his best intentions, Stu is pretty much an afterthought for Becca.

Can life possibly get any worse for poor Stu?

Oh yes, it can.

What should have been just another routine day of driving customers around in his nice, leased Nissan Leaf, becomes a real nightmare.

That’s because LAPD police detective Victor "Vic" Manning, (Bautista) got a lead on a heroin dealer named Tedjo (Iko Uwais, “The Raid 2”). He’s been after this guy for years. Tedjo killed Vic’s partner Sarah Morris (Karen Gillan, “Avengers: Endgame”) so it’s payback time.

Here’s the thing. Vic just had Lasik eye surgery and can barely see. The doctor told him he can’t really do anything for a few days until his vision is fully restored.

Vic refuses to just sit around and let Tedjo get away again. Plus, he has a lot to prove to his boss Angie (Mia Sorvino, TV’s “The Code”). So, Vic hops in his car, all blurry eyed and runs over his neighbor’s yards and ultimately lands in a ditch. He finally realizes he can’t drive. He decides to call an Uber. It’s a good thing his art sculptor daughter Nicole (Natalie Morales, TV’s “Abby’s) set up the app on his phone.

When Stu gets the call, he picks up Vic not knowing the wild ride he’s about to take. Really all Stu is worried about is getting that coveted 5-Star Uber rating.

Vic and Stu are such opposites. They bicker back and forth about pursuing Tedjo, you expect they’ll kill each other before they catch him.

Yet, watching Vic’s brash, super masculine persona clash with Stu’s meek and calm demeanor as they get into one dangerous and crazy predicament after the other, is when the film really revs into high gear.
(Recommended).
  MOVIE TRIVIA
 
Which Of The Following Stars of "The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings" Won A Tony Award As "Best Supporting Actor In A Musical?"
"Ted Ross"
"Richard Pryor"
"Billy Dee Williams'"
" James Earl Jones"
 
  "REEL" MOVIE NEWS
KURT WARNER By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs:

ZACHARY LEVI TO PLAY KURT WARNER IN “AMERICAN UNDERDOG: THE KURT WARNER STORY”

Kingdom Story Company and Lionsgate announced on July 1 that Zachary Levi will star as two-time NFL MVP and Hall of Famer Kurt Warner in “American Underdog: The Kurt Warner Story.” The film will be distributed wide by Lionsgate and is expected to begin production later this year.

“American Underdog “will be Levi’s next project, teaming him with the Erwin Brothers (Jon Erwin and Andrew Erwin), who will direct and produce through their Kingdom banner. The film is written by David Aaron Cohen (“Friday Night Lights”), Jon Gunn (“I Still Believe”) & Jon Erwin (“I Still Believe”). Mark Ciardi (“Invincible,” “The Rookie”) is producing. The film is also produced by Kevin Downes.

The screenplay will be based upon interviews with Warner as well as Warner’s memoir, “All Things Possible: My Story of Faith, Football and the First Miracle Season.” Kurt Warner and Brenda Warner will co-produce.

The drama chronicles the incredible true story of Kurt Warner, who went from stocking shelves at a supermarket to become a two-time NFL MVP, Super Bowl MVP, and Hall of Fame quarterback.

“Kurt’s story is one of relentless faith--in his own abilities but even more so in a higher power,” said Levi. “When I read Kurt’s story, I identified with the quiet strength he found to persevere – that’s something I think anybody can recognize in their own lives. This is the kind of underdog story that sports movies are all about, and the fact that it’s true makes it even more special. I’m thrilled to be part of bringing his story to audiences.”

“Zachary was our first and only choice,” said Jon Erwin. “He brings a combination of humble charm and charisma as well as an intense physicality to the role. For our last several films, we have brought inspiring real life stories to the big screen and there is something magnificent and magical to Kurt's rise as a champion."

Added Andrew Erwin, "This is about an everyman who never let his dream die. Zachary was born to play this role – and when you add in his uncanny resemblance to Kurt Warner, we’re thrilled to be working with him.”

Kingdom Story Company and Lionsgate are engaged in a long-term partnership to provide event-level entertainment for audiences of faith.

“American Underdog: The Kurt Warner Story” marks the third film to be greenlit by Lionsgate in the last 12 months. Jim Miller and Chelsea Kujawa are overseeing the film for Lionsgate. Phil Strina oversaw the negotiation on behalf of the studio.

ABOUT ZACHARY LEVI: He is one of the most versatile actors in Hollywood with critically acclaimed roles in TV, Film, and on Broadway. Zachary’s career catapulted as the lead and fan favorite, Chuck Bartowski, in the hit NBC series, “Chuck.” Zachary demonstrated his range as a Tony Award Nominee for Best Actor in a Musical in “She Loves Me.” His impressive vocals landed him a leading role in the Disney Academy Award nominated (Best Original Song) animated musical, “Tangled.” He also took home a SAG Award for “Best Ensemble in a Comedy Series” from his recurring role on Amazon Studios’ Emmy winning series, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”

Zachary starred in the 2019 blockbuster hit, Shazam!” for Warner Bros./ New Line Cinema that held the No. 1 spot at the box office for two weeks in a row and has grossed over $365M worldwide. Levi is also set to star in “Under Cover” for Lionsgate opposite Cole Sprouse. He just wrapped production on Kevin MacDonald’s “Prisoner 760” opposite Jodie Foster and Benedict Cumberbatch. Levi is repped by UTA, Untitled, and McKuin Frankel.

ABOUT THE ERWIN BROTHERS: The Erwin Brothers most recent film, “I Still Believe,” was their first for under their deal with Lionsgate through their shingle, Kingdom Story Company. The film opened ahead of expectations at the box office before a successful life on PVOD. The Erwins previously collaborated with Lionsgate and sister company Roadside Attractions on the film “I Can Only Imagine,” which was the highest grossing independent film of 2018. The film took in over $83 million domestically on a budget of $7 million and became fifth-highest-grossing musical biopic of all time. Other film titles include “Woodlawn,” “October Baby” and “Moms’ Night Out.”

ABOUT LIONSGATE: The first major new studio in decades, Lionsgate is a global content leader whose films, television series, digital products and linear and over-the-top platforms reach next generation audiences around the world. Lionsgate film and television properties also support a global network of location-based entertainment and other branded attractions as well as a robust video game business. Lionsgate’s content initiatives are backed by a nearly 17,000-title film and television library and delivered through a global sales and distribution infrastructure. The Lionsgate brand is synonymous with original, daring and ground-breaking content created with special emphasis on the evolving patterns and diverse composition of the Company’s worldwide consumer base.

Editor’s Note: (Photo credit: Courtesy Lionsgate/Kingdom Story Company).


A NIGHT AT THE DRIVE IN By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs:

AMAZON STUDIOS AND MICHAEL B. JORDAN’S OUTLIER SOCIETY PRESENTS “A NIGHT AT THE DRIVE-IN”

Starting July 1 and continuing every other week through the end of August, Amazon Studios and Michael B. Jordan’s Outlier Society are launching “A Night at the Drive-In”, a nationwide summer screening series featuring a wide selection of films celebrating multi-cultural voices in cinema.

In an effort to evoke the nostalgic joy of a summer evening at the drive-in with family and friends, attendance will be at no cost to local communities. In addition, as part of the concessions for the screenings, all attendees will receive FREE refreshments provided by Black and Brown owned businesses, such as Path Water, Pipcorn Popcorn and Partake Cookies.

“When Michael and our friends at Outlier proposed this idea, we instantly agreed there was no better time to celebrate these inspired films featuring diverse stories while bringing communities together to share in the experience” said Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios. “Drive-in theaters offer a unique experience in that they provide an inspiring and joyful communal experience while still maintaining safe social distance."

“With this drive-in summer series, I hope that friends and families are able to not only enjoy, but to learn and grow,” said Michael B. Jordan, Principal of Outlier Society. “Now more than ever, amplifying Black and Brown stories means engaging culture to speak to hearts and minds about the world we live in. As we use this opportunity to reimagine community and proximity, I am excited that these films will be shared and celebrated all across the country.”

Jordan and Outlier Society, who have a TV first-look deal with Amazon Studios, selected films from Prime Video’s vast portfolio of content. Each week the featured titles will focus on a specific theme:

MOVIES TO MAKE YOU FALL IN LOVE:

“Love & Basketball” (Warner Bros. / New Line)

“Crazy Rich Asians” (Warner Bros.)

MOVIES THAT MAKE YOU PROUD:

“Black Panther” (Disney)

“Creed” (Warner Bros.)

MOVIES TO INSPIRE YOUR INNER CHILD:

“Hook” (Sony Pictures)

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (Sony Pictures)

“MOVIES TO MAKE YOU OPEN YOUR EYES:

“Do The Right Thing” (Universal)

“Get Out” (Universal)

MOVIES TO MAKE YOU LAUGH:

“Coming to America” (Paramount Pictures)

“Girls Trip” (Universal)

“A Night At The Drive-in” kicks off July 1 and runs through the end of August. Here are the participating drive-ins.

Vineland Drive-In – Los Angeles, CA

Overlook Drive-In – New York, NY

Solano Twin Drive-In– San Francisco, CA (Concord, CA.)

Sacramento Drive-In 6 – Sacramento, CA

Las Vegas 6 Drive-In – Las Vegas, NV

Shankweiler's Drive-In – Philadelphia, PA

Galaxy Drive-In – Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX

Showboat Drive-In – Houston, TX

Ford Wyoming Drive-In – Detroit, MI

Springmill Drive-In – Cleveland, OH

South Drive-In Twin – Columbus, OH

Jesup Drive-In Twin – Savannah, GA

Bengies Drive-In – Baltimore, MD

Ocala Drive-In – Orlando, FL

Parkway Drive-In – Knoxville, TN

Midway Twin Drive-In – Cleveland, OH

Glendale Drive-in – Phoenix, AZ

Transit Drive-In – Buffalo, NY

Badin Drive-In – Charlotte, NC

Monetta Drive-In – Augusta-Aiken, SC

Editor’s Note: For additional details on locations, show times and ticket information, please visit: ANightAtTheDrive-In.com (http://amazonscreenings.com/anightatthedrivein)

ABOUT AMAZON STUDIOS:

Amazon Studios is the home for talent, creating and producing original films and television series for a global audience. Original series all premiere exclusively on Amazon Prime Video, which is available in over 200 countries and territories. Recent hit Amazon Original series include the Emmy Award-winning comedies Fleabag, created by and starring Emmy Award-winner Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” from Emmy Award-winners Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino, as well as the action thriller drama “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” starring John Krasinski, the irreverent superhero series “The Boys,” and fantasy drama “Carnival Row” starring Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne. Amazon Originals also include culturally relevant and buzzed about content such as Rihanna’s “Savage X Fenty” music and fashion event, Donald Glover’s “Guava Island” and “Chasing Happiness,” a documentary about pop superstars the Jonas Brothers.

In film, Amazon Studios produces and acquires original movies for theatrical release and exclusively for Amazon Prime Video. In 2017, Amazon Studios became the first streaming service to win Oscars for “Manchester by the Sea” and “The Salesman.” Recent Amazon original movies include “Troop Zero” starring Viola Davis and Allison Janney, Tom Harper’s “The Aeronauts” starring Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne, Scott Z. Burns” “The Report,” Alma Har’el’s “Honey Boy” and the Academy Award nominated “Les Misérables” directed by Ladj Ly.

The 2020 slate features: Marjane Satrapi’s “Radioactive” with Rosamund Pike, Mike Cahill’s “Bliss” starring Salma Hayek and Owen Wilson, “I’m Your Woman” starring and produced by Rachel Brosnahan, “Chemical Hearts” starring Lili Reinhart and a diverse slate of first time feature filmmakers. There's “Blow the Man Down” directed by Danielle Krudy and Bridget Savage Cole, “Selah and The Spades” from director Tayarisha Poe, “The Vast of Night” directed by Andrew Patterson, “7500” directed by Patrick Vollrath and “Boyz in the Wood” from director Ninian Doff.

ABOUT OUTLIER SOCIETY:

Outlier Society is a cutting-edge production company focused on bringing an eclectic and inclusive lineup of diverse stories and voices to market, meeting the viewers where they are. The company was founded by Michael B. Jordan in 2016 and was one of the first companies to publicly adopt the inclusion rider. In February 2019, Jordan and Outlier launched the Outlier Fellowship--an internship and mentorship program providing access, opportunity and community to underrepresented young people entering media, arts and entertainment.

Under the helm of President of Production Alana Mayo, Outlier Society has co-produced the Emmy-nominated HBO Films’ adaptation of “Fahrenheit 451”, which netted Jordan a Producers Guild Award, and the critically-acclaimed Warner Bros. film, “Just Mercy”, which was awarded a number of accolades including the NAACP Image Award for ‘Best Picture’, the ABFF Award for ‘Movie of the Year’, and a BET Award nomination for "Best Movie".

Their impressive slate of upcoming projects includes: Paramount Pictures’ ‘Without Remorse’, the Denzel Washington-directed feature “Journal for Jordan,” and the Danny Boyle-directed “Methuselah,” with Jordan set to star in each.

Additionally, Outlier Society’s upcoming slate includes the film adaption of the fantasy novel “Black Leopard, Red Wolf” by acclaimed author Marlon James; an untitled original monster movie from “Kong: Skull Island” filmmaker Jordan Vogt-Roberts; a WWII action drama “The Liberators,” psychological thriller, “The Ancestors,” starring Tika Sumpter for HBO Max; “61st Street” for AMC; the second season of “Raising Dion” which was one of Netflix’s most-streamed shows shows of 2019; and the second season of the OWN drama series “David Makes Man” from Oscar-winning “Moonlight” co-writer Tarell Alvin McCraney. The first season was nominated as “Best Drama Series” for a Critics’ Choice Award and a Broadcast Film Critics Association Award, as well as for a Peabody Award and a Gotham Award.

Editor’s Note: Information used in this report obtained from Amazon Studios and Outlier Society.


THE NIGHT HOUSE By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs:

SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES ACQUIRES WORLDWIDE RIGHTS TO DAVID BRUCKNER’S “THE NIGHT HOUSE”

Searchlight Pictures recently announced that it has acquired worldwide rights to David Bruckner’s psychological thriller “The Night House” following its world premiere in Park City as part of the Sundance Midnight program of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

Based on an original screenplay by Ben Collins & Luke Piotrowski (“Stephanie”), “The Night House” follows a widow (Rebecca Hall of “The Town”) who begins to uncover her recently deceased husband's disturbing secrets. Bruckner returns to Sundance with this film, having most recently premiered his first solo-directorial feature, “The Ritual,” at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.

“The Night House”financed and produced by Sébastien Raybaud’s company, Anton. David Goyer’s Phantom Four developed the script, and also produced. The producers are Phantom Four’s David Goyer (“The Dark Knight”), and Keith Levine (“47 Meters Down”), and Anton’s John Zois (“Hotel Artemis”). Executive Producers are David Bruckner, François Callens, Ben Collins, Rebecca Hall, George Paaswell, Luke Piotrowski, and Anton founder Sébastien Raybaud.

“The Night House” instantly drew us in,” said Searchlight Pictures Chairmen Nancy Utley and Steve Gilula. “David Bruckner’s masterful direction creates an unrelenting suspense thriller anchored by an astonishing performance by Rebecca Hall.”

“Searchlight is a beacon of quality and inspired curation. To be working with them on “The Night House” is nothing short of a dream come true,” said Bruckner. "This is the perfect home for this film. Searchlight's exemplary taste and their global campaigns are masterful,” added Anton’s founder Sébastien Raybaud.

"For a challenging, layered and lingering film like “THE NIGHT HOUSE, we couldn't be in better hands," said Phantom Four’s Keith Levine. "We are thrilled to bring the film into the Searchlight family."

“The Night House” features a musical score by Ben Lovett (“The Signal”), editing by David Marks (“The Last Black Man in San Francisco), cinematography by Elisha Christian (“Columbus”) and costumes by Samantha Hawkins (“Jonathan”). The deal was brokered by Searchlight Pictures’ EVP Business Affairs Megan O’Brien, SVP Acquisitions Chan Phung and SVP Legal Affairs Ben Wilkinson, with Endeavor Content and Sébastien Raybaud of Anton. “The Night House” is scheduled for a theatrical release in 2020.

Searchlight Pictures recently released Radio Silence’s hit horror-comedy “Ready Or Not,” which grossed nearly $60 million worldwide, and on April 17, 2020 unveiled Scott Cooper’s supernatural horror thriller “Antlers” starring Keri Russell. With “The Night House,” the trio of films mark a return to acclaimed genre filmmaking hearkening back to the company’s 2002 breakout hit “28 Days Later” directed by Danny Boyle.

Editor’s Note: Information used in this report obtained from Searchlight Films publicity.