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TOP PICK – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom has Landed on Netflix

It’s got a 99% score on Rotten Tomatoes!

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SYNOPSIS – Tensions and temperatures rise over the course of an afternoon recording session in 1920s Chicago as a band of musicians await trailblazing performer, the legendary “Mother of the Blues,” Ma Rainey (Academy Award® winner Viola Davis).

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020): Viola Davis as Ma Rainey. Cr. David Lee / Netflix

Late to the session, the fearless, fiery Ma engages in a battle of wills with her white manager and producer over control of her music. As the band waits in the studio’s claustrophobic rehearsal room, ambitious cornet player Levee (Chadwick Boseman) — who has an eye for Ma’s girlfriend and is determined to stake his own claim on the music industry — spurs his fellow musicians into an eruption of stories revealing truths that will forever change the course of their lives.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020): (L to R) Chadwick Boseman as Levee, Glynn Turman as Toldeo, Michael Potts as Slow Drag, Colman Domingo as Cutler. Cr. David Lee / Netflix

Adapted from two-time Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson’s play, MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM celebrates the transformative power of the blues and the artists who refuse to let society’s prejudices dictate their worth.

Directed by George C. Wolfe and adapted for the screen by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, the film is produced by Fences Oscar® nominees Denzel Washington and Todd Black. Colman Domingo, Glynn Turman, Michael Potts, Taylour Paige, Dusan Brown, Jeremy Shamos and Jonny Coyne co-star alongside Grammy® winner Branford Marsalis’ score.

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Movies

Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard in Cinemas June 16th

Starring Ryan Reynolds, Salma Hayek, Samuel L. Jackson, Morgan Freeman, Antonio Banderas.

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The world’s most lethal odd couple – bodyguard Michael Bryce and hitman Darius Kincaid – are back on another life-threatening mission.

Still unlicensed and under scrutiny, Bryce is forced into action by Darius eve more volatile wife, the infamous international con artist Sonia Kincaid. As Bryce is driven over the edge by his two most dangerous protectees, the trio get in over their heads in a global plot and soon find that they are all that stand between Europe and vengeful & powerful madman.

Joining in the fun and deadly mayhem is Morgan Freeman as – well, you’ll have to see. Starring Ryan Reynolds, Salma Hayek, Samuel L. Jackson, Morgan Freeman, Antonio Banderas. Directed by Patrick Hughes

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Entertainment

Thuso Mbedu to Star Side-By-Side Viola Davis

Thuso Mbedu Scores Another Big Role Alongside Viola Davis

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If it seems like we are have a big crush on Thuso Mbedu, which we do, it wouldn’t be the only ground to shine the spotlight on the actress. As luck and sheer talent would have it, she’s just landed another big role alongside American actress and producer, Viola Davis.

Mbedu let the cat out of the bag in an Instagram Live Video session where she detailed the first time meeting the multi-award winning actress. Captioned as an hour-long catching up session, she revealed tidbits about life in Hollywood, kicking things off with an update on the Underground Railroad press run.

The conversation was very insightful, none more appetising than when the star shared details on how she got the chance to work with the Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom actress in the duo’s upcoming film The Woman King.

“I found out about the project in 2019, right.” she explained. “And I went to meet Viola Davis and her husband’s production company JuVee Productions. And they had just told me about this project,” said Thuso.

 

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A post shared by Thuso Mbedu (@thuso.mbedu)

Viola and Julius Tennon of JuVee Productions gave a glowing endorsement of the Mzansi actress, saying they were “mesmerised by Thuso”. As it was reported on Deadline, they thought she was perfect for the project.

“The depth and complexity of emotional life, her authentic beauty, and regalness is potent. We were mesmerised by Thuso Mbedu. We wanted Woman King / Nawi to be the vehicle to introduce her on the big screen,” they said.

It seems that part of production for the movie will also be filmed in South Ah. Thuso shared that “it’s set in the 1800s in Africa and it’s based on real life events of women warriors”.

There is no doubt that the red carpet treatment awaits Thuso Mbedu when she returns home for all her exploits abroad.

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Documentaries

Wendy Williams Biopic + Doccie Premiere in South Ah this Weekend

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Last month, popular American television talk show host Wendy Williams caused a frenzy in South Africa after claiming that April 10th was an official Wendy Williams holiday in the country. We understand it happened after a chat with local media personality Anele Mdoda.

But while such a holiday does not exist anywhere in our calendar, this Saturday does come with a special event on Lifetime, where Wendy’s biopic and documentary will be airing back to back at 19:20 and 20:50 respectively. We’re getting the popcorn all sorted for that one!

Both autobiographical projects distill the award winning broadcaster’s iconic career and her life journey, which includes intimate details of her life that ended up making her the hot topic. Wendy Williams: The Movie will be screening for the first time on Lifetime, DStv channel 131 tonight, with the documentary Wendy Williams: What A Mess’ coming on right after.

Williams co-executive produced the biopic, which covers her entire life. The movie reveals all the highs and lows through the years as she became the most talked about radio shock jock in the late 1990’s to mid 2000’s, when she became known as the undisputed Queen of radio in America. Wendy has cultivated the reputation of being the exclusive celebrity tea on her radio shows, before successfully leveraging that into her eponymous talk show, The Wendy Williams Show.

In recent years, however, Wendy found herself being the at the main topic on the blogs. Amongst other things, rumours of her now former husband cheating on her and settling with the mistress, who also got pregnant, were splashed all over the media.

The Lifetime feature provides a revealing look at Wendy’s journey, from her scrappy upstart days in urban radio to the success of her own syndicated talk show. In it, she explores the fast paced world behind mic and camera, which includes battle with drug addiction in the early years, dealing with infidelity with her husband, the heated climate that resulted from her shock jock career, and more. Ciera Payton takes on the lead role while Morocco Omari stars as Wendy’s ex-husband Kevin Hunter.

The doccie, on the other hand, is Wendy Williams talking about absolutely everything.

Wendy Williams: The Movie and Wendy Williams: What A Mess air on Lifetime, DStv channel 131 on Saturday, April 10th at 19:20 and 20:50 respectively.

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