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TRAILER PARK: "THE HOBBIT," "THIS IS 40," "ZERO DARK THIRTY" AND MORE

Another strong week of trailers, including two longer looks at two of this fall's biggest movies; Clint Eastwood chilling out with Justin Timberlake; the indie flick to end all indie flicks; and Ron Perlman as a woman, and a rather ugly one at that. Roll 'em! THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY Release Date: December 14

And so, another, more revealing trailer for one of the year's most anticipated films has emerged from the shire, with the same dazzling imagery as Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy but some stark tonal differences. Witness: the harmonized singing. And the rundown of the wacky supporting characters. And, expectedly, way less action than "The Fellowship of the Ring," but just as much Gandalf greatness and even a sneak peak at a prequel-ready Gollum. Be real, you're gonna see "The Hobbit" when it invades theaters this holiday season, and this new trailer just serves to remind us of the breathtaking worlds that Jackson -- the biggest star of this trailer, despite never appearing onscreen -- can still conjure. TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE Release Date: September 21
Fun fact: this is Clint Eastwood's first starring role in a film he didn't also direct since 1993's "In The Line of Fire." This baseball-themed drama casts Eastwood as a "broken-down old man" (his words, not ours) being called up to scout for the MLB again, all while trying to connect with his crafty daughter -- who, in turn, is working out some abandonment issues while getting cozy with Justin Timberlake. After heavy-handed directorial efforts like "J. Edgar" and "Changeling," it's nice to see Eastwood mix it up with something a bit more family-friendly -- although the clunky dialogue in this trailer ("I didn't want you to have life in the cheap seats, that's all!" Eastwood seethes at his on-screen daughter) might make this one too smarmy even for those who enjoy a good heartstring-pulling. LIBERAL ARTS Release Date: October 5
Judging from this trailer, this indie dramedy about a 35-year-old who visits his old college and falls in love with a sophomore student simply could not look any more like "Garden State 2.0." Seriously: it's a story about a disconnected white guy who travels to familiar surroundings, falls in love with a quirky, whip-smart, beautiful girl (played here by Elizabeth Olsen), clashes with his dad about his choices, and offers sardonic quips f like "I was English [major] with a minor in history, just to make sure I was fully unemployable." It's even written, directed by and starring a TV sitcom veteran, "How I Met Your Mother's" Josh Radnor, in an attempt to spread some hipster fairy dust across awards season. "Liberal Arts" could be charming and grow into a "Juno"-sized crossover hit; just don't be too surprised if you hear a Shins song in there somewhere. THIS IS 40 Release Date: December 21
Judd Apatow's highly anticipated fourth directorial effort receives a new, longer trailer, with less one-liners and more of a focus on longer set pieces (Paul Rudd's fight for freedom on the toilet) and a deeper look into the supporting players (like Albert Brooks as Rudd's father and Melissa McCarthy as the mother of a Tom Petty lookalike). The tagline "This is not just their story... This is everyone's story" is way too presumptuous to swallow, but this sort-of sequel to "Knocked Up" looks like a return to that movie's warped sweetness after the bitter pill that was "Funny People." And another Apatow-helmed, hotel room-set drug freakout can only spell more fun. 3, 2, 1... FRANKIE GO BOOM Release Date: Fall
This dark comedy's first theatrical trailer buries its most unforgettable image -- "Hellboy" star Ron Perlman dressed in drag as a cross-dressing former prisoner named Phyllis -- deep within its two minutes and 22 seconds. It's a smart move. After all, "3, 2, 1... Frankie Go Boom" looks intriguing enough without Perlman's outrageous cameo: Charlie Hunnam is a protagonist perpetually tortured by his big brother ("Bridesmaids" standout Chris O'Dowd), and the mayhem resumes when Big Bro films Frankie's one-night stand with the mysterious Lassie (Lizzy Caplan). There are weird supporting parts -- Chris Noth as Caplan's grizzled dad! Whitney Cummings as someone who's funny! -- everywhere. And if the zig-zagging plot holds together, "Boom" could be dynamite. MUST-SEE TRAILER OF THE WEEK ZERO DARK THIRTY Release Date: December 19
Whoa: the first look at "Hurt Locker" director Kathryn Bigelow's chronicle of the hunt for Osama bin Laden is a pulse-pounding teaser that barely shows any actual action. Snippets of actors like Kyle Chandler and Jessica Chastain are shown, and black lines cleverly black out text before coming together into the shape of a pentagonal target. Despite not showing us much, the biggest accomplishment of this trailer is the creation of its puffed-up sense of importance: this is evidently an untold story of a crucial recent historical event, overseen by a gritty director who hit a grand slam with her last effort. Some of the best trailers only slightly tip their hand, and while "Zero Dark Thirty" is over four months away, it's already nestled in the back of our minds as a must-see.

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Daniel Kaluuya And Lakeith Stanfield To Star In Fred Hampton Movie

Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield are reportedly being considered for roles in the upcoming film, Jesus Was My Homeboy, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The movie, which will be produced by Ryan Coogler and distributed by Warner Bros., will depict the assassination of Black Panther activist Fred Hampton.

If the ink dries on the deal, Kaluuya will play Hampton. Stanfield will play William O’Neal, the FBI informant who went undercover and infiltrated the Black Panthers in order to obtain information that assisted in Hampton's assassination. Jesus Was My Homeboy will look at the rise and death of Hampton through the perspective of FBI informant O'Neal.

As previously noted, Fred Hampton was an activist and organizer of the Black Panther Party who quickly climbed the ranks to become its chairman of the Illinois chapter and deputy chairman. He was murdered in 1969 at the age of 21, by a tactical unit with orders from the FBI and Chicago Police Department.

Shaka King will reportedly direct the film and and produce from a script he wrote with Will Berson. Jesus Was My Homeboy does not have a release date at this time.

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HBO Releases 'Leaving Neverland' Trailer And March Premiere Date

Since the reveal of a contentious documentary on Michael Jackson was announced, the conversation surrounding HBO's upcoming project has continued to increase. Now, the powerhouse cable network unveiled the Leaving Neverland trailer which depicts the recollections of two men who were reportedly sexually abused when they were boys by Jackson.

Within the trailer, James Safechuck and Wade Robson discuss certain moments that they held as secrets for decades. "He told me if they ever found out what we were doing, he and I would go to jail for the rest of our lives," Wade says in the visual. The Dan Reed-directed film also features interviews with the two men's families and significant others.

In response to the doc's Sundance premiere, Jackson's family issued a statement calling out the reel's developers. "The creators of this film were not interested in the truth," the family's statement reads. "They never interviewed a single solitary soul who knew Michael except the two perjurers and their families. That is not journalism, and it's not fair, yet the media are perpetuating these stories."

Watch the trailer below ahead of its two-night premiere on March 3-4.

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Don Cheadle as Mo in 'Black Monday,' Episode 4 ("295")
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'Black Monday' Recap: Mo Feels The Weight Of Playing God

Another week, another dive into Black Monday. In this week's episode, “295,” Mo tries to salvage his plan to get the Georgina company’s shares after Blair and Tiffany Georgina’s surprise breakup in the previous episode threw a wrench in that plan. By the end of this week’s episode, Mo gets what he wants but it doesn’t go as planned. Don Cheadle told VIBE that Black Monday was “insane...in a good way,” and this episode shows just that, starting with Mo’s God complex.

Stop Trying To Be God

You need a certain cocktail of self-aggrandization and delusions of grandeur to walk around with a God complex. Mo has that cocktail coursing through his veins. The entire episode revolves around Mo’s attempt to control the actions of humans by placing them in certain situations he is sure will yield his desired results. Only someone blinded by their obsession with being right wouldn’t see having to fix a “foolproof” plan makes him a fool.

The writing expertly showed that when you play God your creation is your reflection, especially in the tense scene at Mo’s dining room table with Blair and Dawn. He turned Blair into a cocaine-addicted party animal to show him how empty life is without having someone you love. Then, in one scene, Dawn exposed how all Mo did was build Blair in his image without realizing that part of his plan was to inadvertently show Blair just how miserable Mo really lives.

Even ostensibly innocuous details carry a huge emotional weight thanks to Black Monday’s writing and Cheadle’s consistently engaging performance. The writers literally had Mo on the outside looking in at forces out of his control at the end of the episode when he’s looking into the bar. It’s at this climactic moment of the show that Mo realizes his own mortality by getting what he wants but missing out on what he knows he needs.

It’s also at this moment that the show’s most boring lead character grew into someone worth watching.

Blair Is Here

For the first three episodes, Blair was as interesting as paint on the wall; always in front of your face but in the back of your mind. Before a single character utters a word in this episode, Blair is chain-smoking cigarettes, snorting coke and dressed like a Saturday Night Fever extra. He died “for a song and a half” and was electroshocked back to life, all in the first minute of the new episode. Blair has finally joined the Black Monday party and the show is better for it.

Mo molding Blair into his image allowed Blair to tap into a new level of confidence.  Blair’s exchange with Dawn about the implicit racism and sexism in 1980s films like Teen Wolf was rewind-worthy hilarious and ends with Blair remarking, “My favorite line from the movie is, ‘I’m not a f*g, I’m a werewolf. Oh, Michael J,” easily one of the funniest 1980s critiques on a show full of them.

The episode also entangled Blair in the show’s first love triangle, ensuring that Blair’s character growth is probably not done. With Blair now being compelling, following Dawn and Keith’s character-defining performances in the previous episode, Black Monday has set up its four most accomplished actors to be able to carry entire story arcs without relying on each other. But, the Black Monday world got bigger than those four in this week’s episode.

The Wall Street Mythology

There’s not enough time in a 30-minute episode to flesh out every character’s backstory and fully formed personality. The most surprisingly funny part of episode “295” was the story arc of Jammer Group traders Keith and Yassir (Yassir Lester) trying to stop Wayne (Horatio Sanz) from completing a “The LaGuardia Spread”. The arc showed that Black Monday has an ingenious way of speeding up character development: mythologize Wall Street.

On Black Monday, “The LaGuardia Spread” is when a trader takes a huge position on a stock, goes to LaGuardia Airport and waits to see if they made a huge profit or debilitating loss. If you guess right, you come home. If you guess wrong, “you don’t come home ever. You get on a plane and you f**king disappear,” according to a frantic Keith. Wayne was nothing more than a bumbling joke punchline of a trader before this episode. In only a few minutes of screentime we find out Wayne slept with his wife’s sister, has some weird dislike for The Howard Stern Show’s weekly guest Jackie Martling, and is so money hungry that he’d be giddy at the news of a mad cows disease epidemic and it’s positive effect on his “LaGuardia Spread” trade.

A similar result happened before on Black Monday. In the series premiere, the Lehman twins (Ken Marino) laid out the Georgina Play, the foundation of Mo’s plans to get all the shares from the Georgina company from Blair after he marries Tiffany. That Wall Street myth led to their grandfather setting himself on fire. That myth also showed that at any moment any person you see on screen become valuable because of what they about know how this fictionalized world works. As long as Black Monday continues to use the inherent absurdity of Wall Street as a machine for character development, this show could begin entering the conversation for one of the best ensemble casts on television.

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