Trailer Roundup: Zola Does Not Have Bad Hair

Zola (2020); Bad Hair (2020)
Zola (2020); Bad Hair (2020)
Screenshot: A24/YouTube , Hulu/YouTube

I know I start all of these with a reflection on 2020, but it really is jarring just how fast this year is going, yet feels like it’s going so slowly. Maybe it’s because the year has been so dense with heavy events such as the global pandemic, uprisings, presidential election, etc. Speaking of dense, this is a packed trailer week (admittedly because I have some from last week since I didn’t get to post a roundup then)! Let’s get to it...


Coded Bias (Virtual Theaters; Release Date: Nov. 11, 2020)

First Impressions: We’ve previously reported on the systemic racism involved in facial recognition technology (it really gets as serious as threatening someone’s freedom), so this documentary is very relevant. Following computer scientist researcher Joy Buolamwini (a 2019 Root 100 honoree!), Coded Bias will seem to tackle the impactful effect of these algorithms in an engaging way. More info about upcoming screenings and showings can be found at the film’s official website.

Antebellum (OnDemand; Release Date: Sept. 18, 2020)

Antebellum final trailer / Lionsgate Movies (YouTube)

First Impressions: It’s been a while since we got the first teaser for this (which left me curious), so now I have a bit more insight into the film. “You’re not like the others,” says one of the white folks, this chronicling the horror of being the model minority?! And this Black girl (portrayed by Janelle Monáe) thrust into the slavery era?! Whew, lawd. I’m interested to see where this goes. Antebellum also Marque Richardson II, Eric Lange, Jack Huston, Kiersey Clemons, Tongayi Chirisa, Gabourey Sidibe, Rob Aramayo, Lily Cowles and Jena Malone.

The 24th (Virtual Theaters, Video On Demand, Digital; Release Date: Aug. 21, 2020)

The 24th trailer / Vertical Entertainment (YouTube)

First Impressions: From the trailer, this initially looks to be one of those movies that just pisses you off as a Black viewer. You know those movies, like Rosewood? But, then you see and hear the words “mutiny” or “riot.” Welp, looks like some fed-up energy! It is just that, as this story is based on real-life and follows the all-black Twenty-Fourth United States Infantry Regiment, and the Houston Riot of 1917, in response to the police brutality that occurred. The 24th is directed by Oscar-winning screenwriter Kevin Willmott (BlacKkKlansman) and stars Trai Byers, Aja Naomi King, Tosin Morohunfola, Mo McRae and Mykelti Williamson.


Critical Thinking (Virtual Theaters, Video On Demand, Digital; Release Date: Sept. 4, 2020)

Critical Thinking trailer / Vertical Entertainment (YouTube)

First Impressions: This film is also based on a true story, following five Latinx and Black teenagers from the Miami ghetto and their challenging journey toward the National Chess Championship in 1998. It’s giving me big Dangerous Minds vibes. I have to admit, I can’t help but think of the recent conversations sparked by John Leguizamo’s (who stars in and directs this film) tweet during Emmy nomination season. It makes me wonder even more how the relations between each community (and the intersections in between) will be represented in this film. Oh, and I see Michael Kenneth Williams and Angel Bismark Curiel!


Zola (Coming Soon)

First Impressions: This trailer showcases exactly what I meant when I said: “twinkly dreamy score” in my Sundance review. I couldn’t quite describe it as anything else at the time—you had to hear it. Now, you hear it! I can’t wait ‘til you get to hear it in the full context of this wild ride of a movie. As the header suggests, neither I nor A24 actually knows when it’s coming out, but when it does, it’ll be all over Twitter just like the original and real-life Zola’s epic Twitter tale.


The Way I See It (Theaters; Release Date: Sept. 2020)

The Way I See It trailer / Focus Features (YouTube)

First Impressions: Y’all know Pete Souza’s name by now, especially if you follow his Instagram account, which is rife with well-timed photos which are obviously trolling the current Not-So-Sweet-Potato-In-Chief. Well, now he has a documentary! Directed by Dawn Porter, the doc will follow the former Official White House photographer’s journey and work from the Reagan presidency to the Obama presidency, the latter of which made him a household name outside of traditional circles. I know a picture is worth a thousand words (and shades), but it will be hilarious to hear some more of that shade right from Souza and witness his personality in a more in-depth way.


Free Tuition With MK Asante (Snapchat; Streaming Now)

Free Tuition With MK Asante / Snapchat (YouTube)

First Impressions: Starring filmmaker, author and recording artist MK Asante (who seems to have a personality that jumps out the screen), Free Tuition With MK Asante “fuses education and entertainment for passionate, poetic, and inspirational conversations with celebrity guests about justice, equality, and change.” Taking advantage of the Snapchat demographic, MK Asante is here to drop some knowledge and says, “Tuition is free, you just gotta pay attention.” New episodes air weekly.


Spree (Theaters, On Demand, Digital; Now Available)

Spree trailer / Dreamcrew Entertainment (YouTube)

First Impressions: So, this initially looked like some white people shit, but then I saw Sasheer Zamata! I mean it still is some white people shit, but it’s not like, exclusively white people shit...there’s some mild inclusion! Spree gives a look into “the connection between social media as a desperate grab for attention and how this can make people immoral and dangerous.” This satire is filmed mockumentary style and this trailer ends with this crazy looking white boy generic rideshare driver just telling Sasheer that he’s taking her home... but not her home, his home. Yikes.


Trinkets (Netflix; Release Date: Aug. 25, 2020)

Trinkets Season 2 trailer / Netflix (YouTube)

First Impressions: Full disclosure, I haven’t seen this show (which apparently follows teen members of Shoplifters Anonymous) yet, but one thing stood out while watching this trailer. There was this line: “We need to be able to walk into these white spaces with our unapologetic Black faces,” Marquise (Austin Crute) says in the trailer. Then, Tabitha (Quintessa Swindell) says she has to do something bold and...steps out in box braids?! Y’all!! Do I even want to know the microaggressions that will come from this? Sigh.


Singletown (HBO Max; Release Date: Aug. 20, 2020)

Singletown trailer / HBO Max(YouTube)

First Impressions: Ah, we’re heading to the London dating scene! Singletown follows five couples living in the titular produced town and their neighbors are...their exes. In addition to racial representation, there’s some queer couple inclusion. This looks like it’s going to be juicy. So, if you need the mindless entertainment that has functioned as a salve for me during this stressful time, here you go!


Bad Hair (Hulu; Release Date: Oct. 23, 2020)

Bad Hair trailer / Hulu (YouTube)

First Impressions: So, I saw this at Sundance and it was not my cup of tea. I’ll say this: as ridiculous as it was (and it was; I am still at a lost as to what it was trying to say, at least in the iteration from the festival, not sure whether it’ll be a different cut on Hulu), I could see it possibly obtaining that cult movie/B-movie status...but, probably more so for white folks. This film is definitely going to be polarizing at the very least for Black folks, though. Folks are going to be talking about it...and it won’t be pretty. So, basically it’s gonna trend on Twitter, regardless.


In case you missed it, we already covered the Judas and the Black Messiah and Power Book II: Ghost trailers.


‘Til next Friday, folks!

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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.


Lord Whistledown

Listen up, streaming services, I would pay $30 to watch Zola without hesitation.