Trailer Roundup: Let’s Boogie Down on TikTok Like the Fake Famous

Trailer Roundup: Let’s Boogie Down on TikTok Like the Fake Famous

Caption: Boogie (2021); Fake Famous (2021)
Caption: Boogie (2021); Fake Famous (2021)
Screenshot: Focus Features/YouTube; HBO/YouTube

Hey, January! I see you got your overstaying-your-welcome outfit on like you always do! Yes, y’all, we are in the last days of January 2021 and it went by at a snail’s pace, as per usual. Shit, this past week felt like three months, at the very least. Because I missed you last Friday, I have a bunch of trailers to get off my chest. Let’s go!

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.

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Two Distant Strangers (Coming Soon)

Two Distant Strangers (Coming Soon)

First Impressions: This is basically Groundhog Day, but make it police brutality—which sounds horrifying. Written by Travon Free, this short film stars Joey Bada$$, Andrew Howard & Zaria.

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Death Saved My Life (Lifetime; Release Date: Feb. 13 at 8 p.m. ET/PT)

Death Saved My Life (Lifetime; Release Date: Feb. 13 at 8 p.m. ET/PT)

First Impressions: Starring Meagan Good, La’Miya Good and Chike Okonokwo, this one is “ripped from the headlines” about a woman who fakes her death to finally get away from the abusive husband after he hires a hitman to kill her. Big yikes!

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4 / 28

Trans in Trumpland (Topic; Release Date: Feb. 25)

Trans in Trumpland (Topic; Release Date: Feb. 25)

First Impressions: Created by trans-owned production company TransWave Films, this four-part docuseries explores the intersectional challenges of the trans community during the Trump administration. Activist Miss Major Griffin-Gracy serves as an executive producer.

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5 / 28

Top Class: The Life and Times of the Sierra Canyon Trailblazers (IMDb TV; Release Date: Feb. 26)

Top Class: The Life and Times of the Sierra Canyon Trailblazers (IMDb TV; Release Date: Feb. 26)

First Impressions: In case you haven’t heard of Amazon’s premium free streaming service IMDb TV, here’s a good one to start with. Executive produced by LeBron James and Maverick Carter, this docuseries “follows the highs and lows of the team’s grueling, highly publicized quest for a third straight state championship.”

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Flack (Amazon Prime Video; Season 1 Available to Stream Now, Season 2 Coming in 2021)

Flack (Amazon Prime Video; Season 1 Available to Stream Now, Season 2 Coming in 2021)

First Impressions: Two words—Sophie Okonedo. When I find out this scene-stealer (seriously, watch her in Wanderlust...thank me later) is appearing, it is the only reason I need to try out any project. Plus, it’s about publicists cleaning up the messes of their high-profile clients? Oh, I need to binge this...especially given my current line of work. *wink*

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Test Pattern (Theaters & Virtual Cinemas; Release Date: Feb. 19)

Test Pattern (Theaters & Virtual Cinemas; Release Date: Feb. 19)

First Impressions: Written and directed by Shatara Michelle Ford, this film explores systemic racism, patriarchy and social conditioning. In the film, an interracial couple’s relationship is tested when a Black woman is sexually assaulted and she goes on a journey with her white boyfriend from hospital-to-hospital to obtain a rape kit. This film stars Brittany S. Hall, Will Brill, Gail Bean and Drew Fuller.

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8 / 28

Voice of Freedom (PBS; Release Date: Feb. 15 at 9 p.m. ET)

Voice of Freedom (PBS; Release Date: Feb. 15 at 9 p.m. ET)

First Impressions: Representation truly does matter because before I learned about Marion Anderson in elementary school, I had brushed off opera as some boring white people shit. But then, I learned of her—and was immediately fascinated. So, I’m down to watch this doc, hoping to learn even more.

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Forgotten Genius (PBS.org, NOVA’s YouTube channel, PBS Video App; Now Available to Stream Through Feb. 28)

Forgotten Genius (PBS.org, NOVA’s YouTube channel, PBS Video App; Now Available to Stream Through Feb. 28)

First Impressions: This is another name in Black History I learned about in school (and I went to the high school who rivaled the high school named after him!): Percy Julian. In case you didn’t know, Julian was a world-renowned chemist who pioneered several inventions that we use today and he was one of the first African-Americans to receive a doctorate in chemistry. Know him!

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Son of the South (Theaters, On Demand & Digital; Release Date: Feb. 5)

Son of the South (Theaters, On Demand & Digital; Release Date: Feb. 5)

First Impressions: Helmed by Barry Alexander Brown (and produced by Brown’s frequent collaborator and newly-named Funko Pop representative Spike Lee), this film is based on a true story of a Klansman’s grandson who is conflicted between worlds during the Civil Rights movement. Hollywood loves these reformed racist or racist-adjacent narratives, don’t they?! Cedric The Entertainer and Lex Scott Davis co-star.

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Fake Famous (HBO; Release Date: Feb. 2 at 9 p.m. ET/PT)

Fake Famous (HBO; Release Date: Feb. 2 at 9 p.m. ET/PT)

First Impressions: This is a hilarious social experiment where producers will pluck folks out of a lineup of auditioners and make them famous. That’s right, they give them the influencer treatment with fake photoshoots, fake followers, fake likes, etc. The point is to dive into what exactly makes someone famous in this digital age? This actually reminds me of the recent discussion around the reveal that a lot of influencers rent out pre-built sets to appear as if they’re traveling on private jets.

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12 / 28

Boogie (Theaters; Release Date: March 5)

Boogie (Theaters; Release Date: March 5)

First Impressions: This one comes from Eddie Huang (I’m a fan of his show Fresh Off The Boat) about a basketball player with NBA dreams and a love interest played by Taylour Paige (Zola). Plus, the late Bashar “Pop Smoke” Jackson co-stars in this film. From the trailer, I am curious to see how the racial relationships and complications (Asian and Black) will be handled here…

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Song For Our People (Digital; Release Date: Feb. 9)

Song For Our People (Digital; Release Date: Feb. 9)

First Impressions: As we all know, art can be used for many things—whether it’s a form of escape or a platform for a political message. Art is powerful. In this new film from director Mustapha Khan (Sesame Street, The Electric Company), several Black artists and musicians band together to create a song that honors our ancestors, dubbing it “a new anthem” for the beautiful struggle of Black folks.

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Encores! Inside the Revival: The Tap Dance Kid (New York City Center YouTube; Now Streaming)

Encores! Inside the Revival: The Tap Dance Kid (New York City Center YouTube; Now Streaming)

First Impressions: Dulé Hill, who was a part of the original Broadway cast, takes the stage to perform “Fabulous Feet” from the 1983 Tony-nominated musical The Tap Dance Kid, directed by Tony Award-winning director Kenny Leon. Book adapter Lydia Diamond and choreographer Jared Grimes also give behind-the-scenes insight in this revival special.

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Ìfé (EhTV Network; Now Streaming)

Ìfé (EhTV Network; Now Streaming)

First Impressions: This film tells the story of two Nigerian women named Ìfé and Adaora, who fall in love over a three-day date. Subsequently, they must tussle with various challenges including the fact one of them is ready for the love and the other isn’t...as well as a significant secret.

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Namaste Wahala (Netflix; Release Date: Feb. 14)

Namaste Wahala (Netflix; Release Date: Feb. 14)

First Impressions: When we typically see interracial couplings, it’s mostly the Black person-white person mix, which is frankly getting boring—it’s like the default interracial dating representative! This is especially true when there are so many more multiracial love stories to explore; Namaste Wahala centers on the love story of an Indian man and Nigerian woman (dubbed as “Bollywood meets Nollywood”), which will definitely lend to fascinating cultural conversations. It’s very fitting that this love story will premiere on Netflix on Valentine’s Day!

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The Prison Within (Digital & On Demand; Now Streaming)

The Prison Within (Digital & On Demand; Now Streaming)

First Impressions: Narrated by Hill Harper, this is a “relevant and timely documentary exploring the destructive impact untreated trauma has on individuals and communities through the powerful stories of survivors of violent crimes and prisoners incarcerated for murder in San Quentin prison.”

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18 / 28

Queen Sugar (OWN; Season 5 Release Date: Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. ET/PT)

Queen Sugar (OWN; Season 5 Release Date: Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. ET/PT)

First Impressions: Like many current TV shows, the fifth season of Queen Sugar will incorporate COVID-19 into the Bordelons’ storyline and respective character arcs, a decision made by show creator Ava DuVernay, who worked alongside showrunner Anthony Sparks and supervising producer Norman Vance to revamp the scripts to include the pandemic as well as the Black Lives Matter uprisings. Plus, fans don’t have to worry about the series ending any time soon because as OWN confirmed in a press release to The Root, it has been picked up for a sixth season.

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It’s aSin (HBO Max; Release Date: Feb. 18)

It’s aSin (HBO Max; Release Date: Feb. 18)

First Impressions: Omari Douglas (Wise Children) co-stars in this limited series set in 1981 following three young men who set off to live their adult lives in London at the tender age of 18 and are all thrust into the HIV epidemic which affects each of them in various challenging and heartbreaking ways—and ultimately bonds them all.

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The Milkmaid (New York African Film Festival; Screening Dates: Feb. 4 - Feb. 14)

The Milkmaid (New York African Film Festival; Screening Dates: Feb. 4 - Feb. 14)

First Impressions: You can view this film and many other rich films throughout the African diaspora at the 28th edition of the New York African Film Festival. Set in sub-Saharan Africa, this thriller from Desmond Ovbiagele follows a Fulani milkmaid named Aisha who is kidnapped by religious extremists along with her younger sister Zainab. After managing to escape, Aisha decides to go back on a complicated quest to rescue Zainab. This one seems extremely gripping!

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The Method (MTV News YouTube Page; Now Streaming)

The Method (MTV News YouTube Page; Now Streaming)

First Impressions: Hosted by correspondent Dometi Pongo, this new digital series premiered earlier this week, kicking off with the creative director of Cardi B’s “WAP” music video, Patientce Foster. The explanation of the series is right in the title—it’ll unpack “the method” behind creating a star, taking an in-depth look into the artists, songwriters, producers, choreographers, and music video directors who all factor into building the music industry’s biggest hits.

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Tuskegee Airmen: Legacy of Courage (The HISTORY Channel; Release Date: Feb. 10 at 8 p.m. ET/PT)

Tuskegee Airmen: Legacy of Courage (The HISTORY Channel; Release Date: Feb. 10 at 8 p.m. ET/PT)

First Impressions: Executive produced and narrated by Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts, this one-hour documentary “explores the history, legacy and impact of America’s first Black military pilots and how their significant contributions to this country inspired the next generation of activists and leaders pushing for racial equality and civic change.” Stay tuned for more in-depth coverage of this special from us!

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OWN Spotlight: (In)Visible Portraits (OWN; Release Date: March 2 at 9 p.m. ET/PT)

OWN Spotlight: (In)Visible Portraits (OWN; Release Date: March 2 at 9 p.m. ET/PT)

First Impressions: In Oge Egbuonu’s directorial debut, this documentary is described as “a powerful celebration of Black women sharing their stories of struggle, resilience and beyond. The documentary shatters the too-often invisible ‘othering’ of Black women in America and reclaims the true narrative as told in their own words.” This film is three years in the making per its press release and is forever relevant.

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White Gold (Santa Fe Film Festival; Screening Dates: Feb. 17-21)

White Gold (Santa Fe Film Festival; Screening Dates: Feb. 17-21)

First Impressions: This film “highlights the persecution of people with Albinism in Africa,” which still exists in the 21st century. Refilwe Modiselle stars as Mansa, a woman with albinism who has her arm chopped off by a witch doctor; she hunts him down with the goal to confront him and seek her revenge.

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President (Sundance Film Festival; Second Screening Date: Jan. 31 at 10 a.m. ET)

President (Sundance Film Festival; Second Screening Date: Jan. 31 at 10 a.m. ET)

First Impressions: This doc chronicles the first election since the removal of Zimbabwe’s former Prime Minister and dictator Robert Mugabe and focuses on the new leader of the opposition Nelson Chamisa as he faces off against Mugabe’s successor Emmerson ‘The Crocodile’ Mnangagwa. This film is currently screening at Sundance in its World Documentary Competition.

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The March on Washington: Keepers of the Dream (National Geographic; Release Date: Feb. 18 at 10 p.m. ET)

The March on Washington: Keepers of the Dream (National Geographic; Release Date: Feb. 18 at 10 p.m. ET)

First Impressions: In partnership with ESPN’s The Undefeated, National Geographic present a one-hour documentary special is a look at the events leading up to Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington and the 2020 March on Washington, 57 years later. The special will feature firsthand accounts and commentary from notables including author Wes Moore, University of Pennsylvania professor Dr. Mary Frances Berry, 1963 march attendee Dr. Vernon Allwood, journalist Chris Connelly, University of Southern California professor Dr. Todd Boyd, civil rights attorney Bill Murphy Jr., journalist Jemele Hill, social activist Clarissa Brooks and social activist Mariah Parker. Following its premiere on National Geographic, this special will be available on Hulu on Feb. 19.

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Buried by the Bernards  (Netflix; Release Date: Feb. 12)

Buried by the Bernards  (Netflix; Release Date: Feb. 12)

First Impressions: Y’all. It’s a reality show set in a Black-ass funeral home. OMG.

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Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.

All slides

  1. Trailer Roundup: Let’s Boogie Down on TikTok Like the Fake Famous
  2. Two Distant Strangers (Coming Soon)
  3. Death Saved My Life (Lifetime; Release Date: Feb. 13 at 8 p.m. ET/PT)
  4. Trans in Trumpland (Topic; Release Date: Feb. 25)
  5. Top Class: The Life and Times of the Sierra Canyon Trailblazers (IMDb TV; Release Date: Feb. 26)
  6. Flack (Amazon Prime Video; Season 1 Available to Stream Now, Season 2 Coming in 2021)
  7. Test Pattern (Theaters & Virtual Cinemas; Release Date: Feb. 19)
  8. Voice of Freedom (PBS; Release Date: Feb. 15 at 9 p.m. ET)
  9. Forgotten Genius (PBS.org, NOVA’s YouTube channel, PBS Video App; Now Available to Stream Through Feb. 28)
  10. Son of the South (Theaters, On Demand & Digital; Release Date: Feb. 5)
  11. Fake Famous (HBO; Release Date: Feb. 2 at 9 p.m. ET/PT)
  12. Boogie (Theaters; Release Date: March 5)
  13. Song For Our People (Digital; Release Date: Feb. 9)
  14. Encores! Inside the Revival: The Tap Dance Kid (New York City Center YouTube; Now Streaming)
  15. Ìfé (EhTV Network; Now Streaming)
  16. Namaste Wahala (Netflix; Release Date: Feb. 14)
  17. The Prison Within (Digital & On Demand; Now Streaming)
  18. Queen Sugar (OWN; Season 5 Release Date: Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. ET/PT)
  19. It’s aSin (HBO Max; Release Date: Feb. 18)
  20. The Milkmaid (New York African Film Festival; Screening Dates: Feb. 4 - Feb. 14)
  21. The Method (MTV News YouTube Page; Now Streaming)
  22. Tuskegee Airmen: Legacy of Courage (The HISTORY Channel; Release Date: Feb. 10 at 8 p.m. ET/PT)
  23. OWN Spotlight: (In)Visible Portraits (OWN; Release Date: March 2 at 9 p.m. ET/PT)
  24. White Gold (Santa Fe Film Festival; Screening Dates: Feb. 17-21)
  25. President (Sundance Film Festival; Second Screening Date: Jan. 31 at 10 a.m. ET)
  26. The March on Washington: Keepers of the Dream (National Geographic; Release Date: Feb. 18 at 10 p.m. ET)
  27. Buried by the Bernards  (Netflix; Release Date: Feb. 12)

DISCUSSION