Netflix to Bow Limited Series With Amy Adams and Adam McKay

Netflix announced a limited series drama “Kings of America” with Amy Adams and Adam McKay, who last teamed on the Oscar-lauded film Vice.

The series centers on the stories of three powerful women whose lives were inextricably intertwined with the world’s largest company: a Walmart heiress, a maverick executive, and a longtime Walmart saleswoman and preacher who dared to fight against the retail giant in the biggest class action lawsuit in U.S. history.

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Adams (“Sharp Objects”) will star as one of the leads and executive produce via her production company Bond Group Entertainment along with Stacy O’Neil.

McKay (“Succession”) is attached to direct the first episode and executive produce along with Betsy Koch via Hyperobject Industries.

Adams and McKay most recently working together on Vice, which went on to receive eight Academy Award nominations, including a Best Supporting Actress nod for Adams. They first collaborated on McKay’s 2006 comedy Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.

Season One of ‘The Great’ Due on DVD Oct. 20 From Paramount

Season One of “The Great” arrives on DVD Oct. 20 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

It is now available for purchase on digital platforms.

Created and executive produced by Academy Award and Golden Globe nominee Tony McNamara (The Favourite​), “The Great” is a satirical, comedic drama — and occasionally true story — about the rise of Catherine the Great (Elle Fanning) from outsider to the longest reigning female ruler in Russia’s history. An idealistic romantic young girl, she arrives from Prussia for an arranged marriage to the mercurial Emperor Peter (Nicholas Hoult) hoping for love and finds instead a dangerous, depraved, backward world that she resolves to change. All she has to do is kill her husband, beat the church, baffle the military and get the court on her side.

“The Great” debuted on Hulu in the U.S. in May and has been renewed for a second season.

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The four-DVD set features all 10 episodes, plus exclusive bonus content including interviews with the cast and creator Tony McNamara about the provocative and irreverent depiction of Catherine’s extraordinary story; behind-the-scenes tours of the sets with members of the cast; a look at the makeup, hair and costume designs; and a gag reel.

Uplifting Films ‘Supa Modo’ and ‘Don’t Be Nice’ Available on DVD From MVD and Juno

Two uplifting films, the drama Supa Modo and the documentary Don’t Be Nice, are available on DVD from MVD Entertainment Group and Juno Films.

From first-time feature filmmaker Likarion Wainaina comes the Kenyan drama Supa Modo, about Jo, a witty 9-year old terminally ill girl who is taken back to her rural village to live out the rest of her short life after being diagnosed with cancer. Her only comfort during dull times are her dreams of being a superhero, which prove to be something her rebellious teenage sister Mwix, overprotective mother Kathryn and the entire village of Maweni think they can fulfill. With the entire village’s support, they decide to make dreams a reality and turn Jo into the superhero they know she is. Newcomer Stycie Waweru delivers a captivating and earnest performance, imbuing her character with a subtle strength that ignites the screen. The 2018 film was Kenya’s Oscar submission.

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In the documentary Don’t Be Nice, the upstart Bowery Slam Poetry Team, made up of five young African-American, Afro-Hispanic and queer poets, prepares for the national championships. Mentored by a demanding coach who pushes them past their personal boundaries to write from a painfully honest place, the poets break down, break through, and compose their best work ever. Will their soul-searching pieces about police violence and the whitewashing of black culture be able to compete against choreographed crowd-pleasers for the title? Lauren Whitehead coaches the Bowery Slam Team with the credo “Don’t Be Nice.” She explains that to “be nice” is to stay on the surface of things, is to perpetuate the status quo, and is, for black people, to be what white culture demands. Her team of poets brave their inner demons and buck societal expectations to write truthful poems, and to ultimately celebrate black joy.

‘Emperor’ Due on Digital and DVD Aug. 18 From Universal

Inspired by a true story, Emperor arrives on digital, DVD and on demand Aug. 18 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

The drama is an account of an extraordinary uprising in the pre-Civil War South led by the American freedom fighter Shields “Emperor” Green (Dayo Okeniyi, Terminator: Genisys, “Shades of Blue”), a descendant of African kings turned outlaw slave. He risked his life to fight against the horrors of slavery and save his family.

The film tells the astonishing tale of Green’s escape from slavery and his transformation into an American hero. Seeking freedom for his family, Emperor fights his way north, joining the daring raid on Harper’s Ferry, the key battle of the abolitionist movement that helped spark the beginning of the Civil War and alter the course of American history.

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The film also stars Academy Award nominee James Cromwell (The Green Mile, “The Young Pope”), Kat Graham (“The Vampire Diaries”), Naturi Naughton (“Power”), Mykelti Williamson (Fences, Forrest Gump), Ben Robson (The Boy, “Vikings”) and Academy Award nominee Bruce Dern (Hateful Eight, Once Upon a Time In Hollywood).

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Produced by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Reginald Hudlin (The Black Godfather, Marshall, Django Unchained) along with fellow producers Mark Amin (Frida, Eve’s Bayou) and Cami Winikoff (Peaceful Warrior), Emperor is directed by Amin from a script by Pat Charles (“Black Lightning,” “Sons of Anarchy”) and Amin.

‘Washington’ Due on DVD Aug. 25 From Lionsgate

Washington, about the nation’s first president, is coming to DVD Aug. 25 from Lionsgate.

Narrated by Jeff Daniels, Washington tells the story of a young soldier who becomes the leader of men in a liberty-or-death campaign to forge a new nation. At the zenith of his power, George Washington retires to live out his days as a farmer. But with the young country on the verge of collapse, he is once again called to lead, creating the most powerful democracy in history.

Executive produced by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and best-selling author Doris Kearns Goodwin, the program features commentary from former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and a number of esteemed historians.

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It stars Nicholas Rowe, James Robinson, Nicholas Audsley and Nia Roberts.

New Season of ‘Frankie Drake Mysteries,’ ‘Secrets of Highclere Castle’ Among Titles Available on PBS Masterpiece Prime Video in July

A new season of “Frankie Drake Mysteries,” the “Worricker Trilogy,” Secrets of Highclere Castle and several “Walter Presents” series are among the titles available on the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video channel in July.

The subscription rate for the channel is $5.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.

“The Worricker Trilogy”

“The Worricker Trilogy” is David Hare’s spy trilogy that exposes the battles raging inside the intelligence community in the name of security. It stars Bill Nighy as Johnny Worricker, a long-serving MI5 officer whose life, both personal and professional, has just been turned inside out. The three installments of the trilogy are “Page Eight,” “Salting the Battlefield” and “Turks & Caicos,” and each episode features a host of guest stars, including Rachel Weisz, Michael Gambon, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Christopher Walken, and Winona Ryder.

In Secrets of Highclere Castle, viewers get the insider story about the famous mansion from the multi Emmy award-winning series “Downton Abbey.” Viewers step inside one of Britain’s best-known manor houses. It may be more famous now than any time in its 1,300-year history as the setting of “Downton Abbey,” but England’s Highclere Castle has its own stories to tell. In its heyday, Highclere was the social epicenter of Edwardian England. Viewers see how all the inhabitants of Highclere lived, from the aristocrats who enjoyed a life of luxury to the army of servants toiling “below stairs.” They also find out how the current inhabitants, Lord and Lady Carnarvon, spend their $1 million in annual upkeep funds, and what life in the castle is like today.

“Walter Presents: Imperial”

“Walter Presents: Imperial” is an Italian series set in 1905. The young and handsome Pietro Neri, from a nearby agricultural town, arrives at the Imperial, a luxury hotel in the Italian Alps. Posing as a waiter, he is there to investigate the mysterious disappearance of his sister Caterina, who also worked at the hotel. But Pietro is unprepared for what awaits him at the Imperial Hotel. On one of his first days there he crosses paths with the beautiful Adele Alibrandi. She is the aristocratic daughter of the hotel’s owner, Donna Vittoria Alibrandi, a woman with her own secrets, lies and crimes who will stop at nothing to keep them hidden. However, the difference in class will not stop Pietro and Adele from falling in love and starting a tumultuous affair, complicating everything for them.

Three Sovereigns for Sarah

Nineteen people were hanged and one man pressed to death, while hundreds went to jail during the witch hysteria of 1692. Three Sovereigns for Sarah is a true story based on transcripts from the Salem Witch Trials and stars Academy Award winners Vanessa Redgrave, Kim Hunter and Phyllis Thaxter. Sarah Cloyce (Redgrave), and her two sisters, are accused of being a witches in 1690s Massachusetts. After the trial, her sisters are found guilty and burned at the stake and Sarah is given a life in prison sentence. For years she is kept in brutal and terrible conditions until her family rescues her, after which she sets about trying to clear her family’s name. With real characters and original transcripts woven into the dialogue, the film is a moving story about three sisters accused of witchcraft and what happened to those who were found guilty.

“Walter Presents: The Hunter”

Based on real events, the Italian series “Walter Presents: The Hunter,” which begins streaming July 10, is the true story of the “hunting season” in Italy during the 1990s. In Palermo, after decades of bloodshed and government officials turning a blind eye to the crime and corruption of the mafia, a new lawyer decides it’s time to go after the two rivaling bosses who have been causing the deaths of criminals and the innocent alike for years. Saverio Barone is a young and ambitious prosecutor who is fighting for what’s right through the legal system. When he reports his own boss as being a part of the mob corruption, his colleagues criticize and blame him for the trouble he causes. Barone is uniquely equipped for the job, with a distinct set of skills that will make him known as “The Hunter.” Thanks to a number of brilliant hunches that he follows, spectacular raids and arrests are made, taking 300 Mafiosi into police custody.

“Frankie Drake Mysteries: Season 3”

In season three of “Frankie Drake Mysteries,” which begins streaming July 17, the ladies of the Drake Detective Agency are back solving the crimes the police can’t handle, from cases in London with new mystery novelist friend Agatha Christie, to a mermaid-themed jazz club, to swanky Toronto private schools, to busy telephone exchanges filled with busybody operators. Mary is still at the police station where her newfound confidence at work and life leave her feeling frustrated with her status as a morality officer and push her toward new professional goals. Meanwhile Flo finishes her classroom portion of medical school and is looking forward to her clinical in-hospital training, all while juggling a long-distance beau and the varied demands of Drake Detective cases. As Trudy’s love life with Bill Peters heats up, she also excels at her investigative work, taking on some truly hair-raising risks as she works to solve cases. And finally, Frankie continues to lead the team with aplomb and ingenuity, while exploring a romantic connection with boxer Moses Page.

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“Walter Presents: The Inner Circle”

Mixing political intrigue with personal drama, the Swedish series “Walter Presents: The Inner Circle,” which begins streaming July 17, is a thriller that plays out over the course of several days as enterprise minister David Ehrling is in the running to become the next prime minister, all while his press officer Lena Nilsdotter attempts to keep his past misdemeanors from prying journalists. Adding to his troubles, David must also juggle the demands of his job with his family life, which is under threat of falling apart.

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“Walter Presents: Rocco Shiavone”

In the Italian series “Walter Presents: Rocco Shiavone,” streaming beginning July 24, due to disciplinary reasons, the unorthodox, weed smoking, foul-mouthed Italian police detective Rocco Schiavone is transferred far from his beloved Rome to the small mountain town of Aosta. The sophisticated but cranky Roman despises the mountains, the cold and the provincial locals as much as he dislikes his superiors and their petty rules. But he loves solving crimes, the only thing that is keeping him from losing his sanity.

“Walter Presents: Hide and Seek”

Finally, the Ukrainian series “Walter Presents: Hide and Seek” streams beginning July 31. In a small industrial town, a father and daughter love playing hide and seek, but during one of their usual playdates, the daughter mysteriously disappears and is nowhere to be found. Later, a video is released that shows the girl holding a sign with an unusual set of numbers, but no one knows what they mean. She becomes the first of several children to disappear without a trace. Two young detectives, Varta Naumova and Maksim Shumov, take on the complex case and their own demons during the investigation. They are total opposites, but both have experienced trauma and this case affects them each on a deep level. They become personally vested in finding the children and apprehending the kidnapper as they confront their pasts.

Oscar-Lauded ‘Whiplash’ Coming to 4K UHD Sept. 22 From Sony

The Oscar-launded film Whiplash is coming out on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Sept. 22 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Written and directed by Academy Award-winner Damien Chazelle and starring Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons in an Oscar-winning performance, the 2014  film is newly remastered in 4K with High Dynamic Range and Dolby Atmos audio. The 4K Ultra HD release also includes the film and special features on Blu-ray, plus a digital version of the film.

The story follows Andrew Neyman (Teller), an ambitious young jazz drummer, single-minded in his pursuit to rise to the top of his elite east coast music conservatory. Terence Fletcher (Simmons), an instructor known equally for his teaching talents and his terrifying methods, discovers Andrew and transfers him into his band. Andrew’s passion to achieve perfection soon spirals into obsession, as his ruthless teacher continues to push him to the brink of both his ability and his sanity.

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Bonus materials include:

  • commentary with writer/director Chazelle and Simmons
  • “An Evening at the Toronto International Film Festival” with Teller, Simmons and Chazelle
  • “Timekeepers,” in which famous drummers discuss their craft and passion for drumming
  • the Whiplashoriginal thort film with optional commentary
  • a deleted scene
  • the theatrical trailer.

Korean Film ‘House of Hummingbird’ Flying to Digital and Blu-ray Aug. 4 From Well Go

The Korean coming-of-age story House of Hummingbird will debut on digital and Blu-ray Aug. 4 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

Ignored by her parents and abused by her brother, 14-year-old Eun-hee moves through life like a hummingbird searching for a taste of sweetness wherever she may find it. In a rapidly expanding Seoul in 1994, she roams the neighborhood with her best friend, attempts romantic relationships with both girls and boys alike and is sent to the hospital with an unclear diagnosis. When a new teacher arrives, she becomes the first adult the young girl feels really understands her.

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Bora Kim makes her feature film directing debut in this acclaimed film that stars Ji-hu Park (The Witness), Sae-byuk Kim (The Day After), Seung-Yeon Lee (Alive) and In-gi Jeong (Chaser).

The film won Best Feature Film at the 2019 Berlin International Film Festival and the 2019 Seattle International Film Festival. The Korean Association of Film Critics’ Awards named it one of the Ten Best Films of the Year and it won the awards for Best Actress (Park), Best Cinematography (Guk-hyun Kang) and Best International Narrative Feature at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival.  In addition, director Bora Kim has won numerous Best Director awards, including from the 2019 Athens International Film Festival, the 2020 Asian Film Critics Association Awards and the 2019 Korean Association of Film Critics’ Awards.

Ava DuVernay to Produce Scripted Series on Colin Kaepernick for Netflix

The adolescent life of athlete and activist Colin Kaepernick will hit Netflix in Colin in Black & White, a scripted limited series from Kaepernick and Academy Award nominee and Emmy Award winner Ava DuVernay.

The series will focus on Kaepernick’s formative high school years, lending meaningful insight into the acts and experiences that led him to become an activist. Emmy Award nominee Michael Starrbury writes and serves as executive producer, alongside DuVernay and Kaepernick who will appear as himself as narrator of the series.

The six-episode series, which was conceived in 2019 and recently completed writing in May, provides an introspective look at Kaepernick’s early life as a black child growing up with a white adopted family and his journey to become a great quarterback while defining his identity. The limited series reunites Starrbury and DuVernay who last worked together on Netflix’s acclaimed When They See Us, which received 16 Emmy Award nominations, including a nomination for Outstanding Writing for the duo and was recently honored with a Peabody Award.

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“With his act of protest, Colin Kaepernick ignited a national conversation about race and justice with far-reaching consequences for football, culture and for him, personally,” said DuVernay in a statement. “Colin’s story has much to say about identity, sports and the enduring spirit of protest and resilience. I couldn’t be happier than to tell this story with the team at Netflix.”

“Too often we see race and Black stories portrayed through a white lens,” said Kaepernick in a statement. “We seek to give new perspective to the differing realities that Black people face. We explore the racial conflicts I faced as an adopted Black man in a white community, during my high school years. It’s an honor to bring these stories to life in collaboration with Ava for the world to see.”

“We’re proud to bring Colin’s experience and his creative vision to life as he joins Ava to share his powerful story and message with all our members around the world,” said Cindy Holland, VP, original content for Netflix. “It is an unparalleled union of two strong and defining voices coming together to tell the story about what it’s like to be Black in America.”

Drama ‘Burden’ Available Now on Digital, on DVD June 23 From Universal

The drama Burden is available now on digital and on DVD June 23 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker (The Butler, Black Panther) and Garrett Hedlund (Mudbound) star in the true story of faith and love overcoming hate. Set in a southern community scarred from deep-rooted racism, an unlikely friendship forms when an African-American reverend (Whitaker) helps a KKK member (Hedlund) leave the Klan.

From 101 Studios, Burden is written and directed by Andrew Heckler in his feature debut and produced by Robbie Brenner, the Academy Awardnominated producer of Dallas Buyers Club.

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Academy Award nominee Tom Wilkinson (Selma, Michael Clayton), Andrea Riseborough (“Waco,” Battle of the Sexes), Academy Award nominee Tess Harper (No Country for Old Men), Crystal Fox (“Big Little Lies,” Driving Miss Daisy), Grammy Award winner Usher (People You May KnowShe’s All That) and Dexter Darden (Maze Runner series, Joyful Noise) also star.

The DVD and Digital versions feature an exclusive bonus content piece going behind the scenes of the unlikely friendship of the film’s two subjects.