Trailer Roundup: All Hail the Charm City Kings of Planet Dune

Charm City Kings (2020); Dune (2020)
Charm City Kings (2020); Dune (2020)
Screenshot: HBO Max/YouTube, Warner Bros. Pictures/YouTube

Today is your lucky day because the fact that you’re reading this means you got a two-for-one special of trailers this week! Yes, we are back to regularly scheduled Friday programming. Let’s get to it...


Billie (Virtual Cinemas; Release Date: Nov. 13, 2020)

Billie official trailer / YouTube

First Impressions: We’re already waiting to see how Lee Daniels’ upcoming biopic turns out, but until then, I was pleased to see there’s a new documentary on Billie Holiday coming soon! This one will feature unheard interviews and showcase big performances restored and enhanced in color for the first time. Well, stick a white gardenia in my hair and consider me perched in the (virtual) front row for this!

Star Trek: Discovery (CBS All Access; Season 3 Release Date: Oct. 15, 2020)

Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Official Trailer / YouTube

First Impressions: I’ve admittedly been way behind on catching up to this, but I do know one thing—Sonequa Martin-Green (Commander Michael Burnham) is an attention-stealer! The crew is picking up from when they dove into the wormhole in the Season 2 finale and finding themselves in an unknown land. At the top of this trailer, Burnham says, “Let’s show them who we are.” Hell yeah! Also, insert “emoji eyes” right here for David Ajala (Cleveland “Book” Booker).

Charm City Kings (HBO Max; Release Date: Oct. 8, 2020)

Charm City Kings trailer / YouTube

First Impressions: This is one of those times where I’m glad an indie film I saw at a festival got an acquisition so I can talk about it! I didn’t get a chance to write a review out of Sundance, but now that HBO Max has acquired this endearing gem, I’m looking forward to writing about it soon. Jahi Di’Allo Winston will break your heart and this film is filled with a raw grittiness that I really appreciate. Charm City Kings also stars Meek Mill, Will Catlett, Donielle Hansley, Kezii Curtis, Chino, Lakeyria “Wheelie Queen” Doughty and Teyonah Parris.


Soulmates (AMC; Release Date: Oct. 5, 2020, at 10 p.m. ET)

Soulmates trailer / YouTube

First Impressions: I’m always here for a good anthology and I see the co-writer of one of my all-time favorite anthologies, Black Mirror is involved in this! Woo! Speaking of familiar involvement, I see Kingsley Ben-Adir (who we just had a big interview with). This series will follow 6 different stories that are interconnected by one thing—a scientific test “that can unequivocally tell you who your soulmate is.” Wow. I’m in. Soulmates also stars Shamier Anderson and Georgina Campbell.


Dune (Theaters; Release Date: Dec. 18, 2020)

Dune trailer / YouTube

First Impressions: Y’all know what the fuck Dune is about? Me either, but it looks epic as fuck. Maybe I should preface that assumption of confusion with “those of us who aren’t familiar with the novel or the 1984 film.” But what I am familiar with is Denis Villeneuve’s work so I know I’ll be there. Oh, and there’s Zendaya! She looks badass. Whew, I miss big theatrical experiences so much, but we’ll see how the state of the nation goes toward the end of the year, which is when this film is on the calendar.


Uncensored: Tyrese (TV One; Release Date: Sept. 13, 2020 at 10 p.m. ET)

Uncensored: Tyrese trailer / YouTube

First Impressions: Throw in the tile because Tyrese is going up on an episode of TV One’s Uncensored series. If you factor in his social media participation, this man is never censored anyway, so imagine him with even fewer inhibitions! In this trailer, he talks about how he didn’t exactly have that handsome status he grew into, speaking on his childhood experiences with colorism (they called him ‘Blurple,’ can be so cruel). And yes, he’ll be talking about his long career (from those teen Coca-Cola days), but most folks will be waiting until he says some wild shit that makes it into the Black Twitter conversation rotation.


Hubie Halloween (Netflix; Release Date: Oct. 7, 2020)

Hubie Halloween trailer / YouTube

First Impressions: So, Adam Sandler had his fun with his critically acclaimed and chaotic movie and is back to his routinely ridiculously horrible comedies again and all is right with the world, I suppose. There are Black-ass appearances by Kenan Thompson, Maya Rudolph, Shaquille O’Neal, George Wallace, Tim Meadows, China Anne McClain and more.


Sneakerheads (Netflix; Release Date: Sept. 25, 2020)

Sneakerheads trailer / YouTube

First Impressions: Did the Very Smart Dads at The Root pitch this one in their Slack channel, or nah? Like, I’m surprised I didn’t see a Panama Jackson and Damon Young cameo (assuming Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele were booked) in this trailer. Allen Maldonado plays Devin, a reformed sneakerhead-turned-stay-at-home-dad who relapses in a very costly way. Welp. Sneakerheads also stars Andrew Bachelor, Jearnest Corchado, Matthew Josten, Yaani King Mondschein, Justin Lee, Lil Rel and Aja Evans.


Underplayed (Toronto International Film Festival; Release Date: Sept. 19, 2020)

Underplayed trailer / YouTube

First Impressions: It’s always good to see documentaries based in scenes where you otherwise don’t see Black talent highlighted, such as the electronic dance music scene. Brooklyn-based producer and DJ Tygapaw and DJ Duffey (French Montana’s official DJ) are two of the listed leading talents to appear in this project. Underplayed will dive into “the current status of the gender, ethnic, and sexual equality issues through the lens of the female pioneers, next-generation artists, and industry leaders who are championing the change, and inspiring a more diverse pool of role models for future generations.”


That’s all for this week, folks! Catch you next Friday!

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.



Thanks for that; those looks like a great selection.

Have been a really big Dune fan for years; on one hand it’s kind of an epic sci-fi space opera that spans the galaxy and multiple millenia, but it’s got a ton of relatable abuse of power politics built in, with a whack of philosophy and mysticism added on. The first book takes a while to establish the setting, as it’s a whole universe, but it’s basically about overthrowing a corrupt government that is ruthlessly abusing the native population of the planet to harvest it’s natural resource and send it back to the empire, and then taking back control.

The movie looks great, and even if you leave the heavy philosphy and other stuff that it gets into, there is a lot of big, epic action scenes and a great story line to enjoy.

The original series has something like 6 pretty thick books, and it can get pretty heavy and hard to follow some of the politics, but the characters are pretty interesting and well written, and every book has a list of characters and some other notes that you can flip to if you start getting lost. I think GoT tried to do the same kind of thing but added in a porno filter.

His son has followed it on with another 15 or 20 books to flesh out the backstory and dive into some of the other things, so you could probably spend a year or two getting through them all, but pretty awesome if your local library happens to have e-books to borrow. Not for everyone, but it is a pretty impressive body of work that picks apart power dynamics, how that’s used/abused by religions, and all kinds of other interesting things about people being people.

There was a pretty good mini series on the Sci-fi network around 2002 or so that was pretty good too.