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REVIEW: Well-Intentioned Film 'Inevitable' Is A Next-Gen Coming-Of-Age Story

All seems final in George Tillman Jr.'s The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete, but the film is more than just drugs, guns and poverty.

The no-win contest sounding film, which was scripted by Michael Starrbury (Black Jack), depicts a gritty tale starring relative newcomers Skylan Brooks and Ethan Dizon. The two take on the task of carrying the brunt of the picture, as Mister and Pete who paint a picture of the crime children are exposed to in Brooklyn, New York City.

The life in the King County projects has changed since the tale of The Education of Sonny Carson hit the screen. Director George Tillman Jr. (Soul Food, Men of Honor) notes these changes in the environment, as critics are likened to compare this picture to Lee Daniels' Precious. While the early scenes do lay down the tough realities lived by the characters, thereby building promising foundations, Inevitable takes audiences on a journey developing into a new age coming-of-age story.

Desperate to avoid being put in foster care, Mister and Pete struggle to survive on their own in Brooklyn, after the former's mother gets arrested and taken away. Mister (Brooks) is a 13-year-old whose recent flunking of the eighth grade is the least of his concerns. With no one but themselves to rely on, Mister takes care of the 9-year-old Pete (Dizon), a neighbor kid in a similarly sad circumstance.

A film like this is made or broken by its child actors, and George Tillman, Jr. and casting director Jessica Kelley found an incredibly talented leading duo in Brooks and Dizon. In the titular roles of Mister and Pete, respectively, their performances are weighty, flawless, thought-provoking, as their on-screen chemistry lights up the screen. Their beyond impressive skill helps to make the supporting performances from Jennifer Hudson, Anthony Mackie and Jeffrey Wright unrecognizable in their respective roles. Julito McCullum plays familiar territory as a neighborhood terror known as Dip Stick. Meanwhile, Jordin Sparks gives a terrific turn as an old neighborhood friend of Mister who has found a way out of the projects.

Tillman, Jr.'s picture also freezes in time the rougher areas of Brooklyn's most recently gentrified areas. Although gone is the Crown Fried Chicken on Franklin Avenue and Fulton Street, Brooks' exchange with Jeffrey Wright in a scene would seem like anything less than reality if you witnessed it yourself no less than five years ago. Nostrand and Myrtle Avenue also makes a healthy appearance, and make compelling set pieces to outline the environment of which the characters exist in.

Hudson, who plays Mister's drug-addled mother, is deglamorized and mired in negativity. She displays those dramatic chops she flexed maturely in Dreamgirls, but this is very much Brooks', and to a lesser extent Dizon's picture. The two reflect a powerful sense that will have audiences rooting for them, not because of empathy, but because the duo exude so much heart. Armed with big dreams and big chutzpah, Brooks and Dizon win a bigger war at the end of Inevitable. The young boys themselves do not remain entirely innocent throughout the picture, yet their perseverance and humor, even at the most dire straits, will have audiences championing their raw power and emotion.

In the end, The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete brings the vivid textures of Kings County to the forefront. George Tillman, Jr. attempts to answer a new age question asked in New York City with this film: "It's 9:00 am, do you know where your child is at?!"

Skylan Brooks and Ethan Dizon amaze and astound as an odd-couple who push through the bleak public-housing corridors into audience's hearts.

Don't believe us?! Watch the trailer for yourself below:

The film is distributed by Codeblack Films / Lionsgates and will get a limited release starting October 11th. Don't miss this when it comes your way.

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The Game Reboot Lands At Paramount+ Streaming Service

A revival of the BET’s The Game is officially in development under the ViacomCBS digital subscription streaming service Paramount+, which was originally branded as CBS All Access.

The series reboot was announced on Tuesday (Sept. 15), along with a list of original and rebooted shows headed for the streaming outlet which includes a limited series chronicling the making of The Godfather, a new edition of VH1’s Behind the Music, and the true crime docuseries, The Real Criminal Minds. The programming will join CBS All Access’ list of more than 20,000 episodes and movies across BET, MTV, CBS, Comedy Central, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, and more.

Although no details have been released about The Game revival, the series will fall under BET’s Paramount+ programming from CBS Television Studios and Garment Productions. It’s unclear if any of the show's original cast members like, Tia Mowry, Pooch Hall, and Wendy Raquel Robinson, will be involved in the new installment.

The hit sports series was created by Mara Brock Akil, as a spinoff of her other hit sitcom, Girlfriends. Akil recently inked an overall deal with Netflix to develop new projects for the streamer. The company also acquired the rights to Girlfriends, Sister, Sister, Moesha, and The Parkers.

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50 Cent Developing Starz Series About Beef With The Game

Add a couple more credits to 50 Cent’s long list of TV projects. The rapper-turned-TV-producer inked a deal to develop two new series for Starz, one of which will explore his feud with The Game, the cable network announced on Monday (Sept. 14).

The seasonal anthology series tentatively titled, Moment in Time: The Massacre, chronicles “true stories in which iconic hip hop moments collided with the sensational and sometimes criminal events behind the scenes.” Season one focuses on the beef between Fif and Game that “led to an all-street war, pitting G-Unit against music impresario Jimmy Henchman.”

Henchman, The Game’s former manager, is currently serving life for the murder-for-hire of a G-Unit affiliate. Moment in Time will be written and executive produced by Abdul William, who penned The Bobby Brown Story, The New Edition Story, Lottery Ticket, and Lifetime’s forthcoming Salt-N-Pepa mini series.

Inspired by the life of sports agent and attorney Nicole Lynn, who serves as executive producer, the second series follows a Black female sports agent’s rise up the ranks in the male dominated industry of sports agents. Tash Grey will produce the series and pen the script. Grey’s notable credits include the Power spinoff Raising Kanan, Snowfall, P-Valley, and the true-crime drama, Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and Notorious B.I.G.

Both series will be executive produced by 50 Cent and his G-Unit Film & Television imprint.

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Netflix Acquires ‘Malcolm & Marie’ Starring Zendaya, John David Washington

Netflix has acquired the rights to the film Malcolm & Marie staring Zendaya and John David Washington in a $30 million deal during this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. The streaming giant beat out HBO, Amazon, Searchlight, Apple and MGM among others in a bidding war over the film, Deadline reports.

Shot on 35mm black and white film, Malcolm & Marie, tells the story of a filmmaker (portrayed by Washington) who returns home with his girlfriend after a celebrating the premiere of his latest movie. Things take a turn as revelations about the couple’s relationship rise to the surface, changing the mood of the evening.

Malcolm & Marie pic.twitter.com/99RWzgLFbD

— Zendaya (@Zendaya) July 8, 2020

Malcolm & Marie was written, directed and produced by Euphoria creator Sam Levinson, who penned the script in less than a week. Aside from starring in the romantic drama, Zendaya and Washington serve as executive producers on the project.

“I am so grateful to this cast and crew, many of whom are my ‘Euphoria’ family, for coming together during such uncertain times,” Levinson said in a statement. “We felt privileged to be able to make this film together and we did so with a lot of love. We are all thrilled that it has ended up with Netflix which is unparalleled in allowing filmmakers the freedom to tell their stories that reach audiences all over the world.”

The film was shot amid the COVID-19 pandemic at a quarantine location in California in mid-June. Over the course of the two week shoot, heavy precautions were taken to ensure the health and safety of the cast and crew including social distancing, increased sanitary measures, and daily temperature checks.

Netflix’s acquisition of Malcolm & Marie follows an onslaught of TIFF films scooped up by  the company, with Halle Berry’s Bruised among the lot. The film marks Berry’s directorial debut and was sold to Netflix for a reported $20 million.

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