Movies: Spring 2020

Monarch Movie Recommendations

Director: Angel Manuel Soto
Starring: Meek Mill, Jahi Di’Allo Winston , Teyonah Parris

This film can be described as Fast and the Furious meets Boyz in the Hood. A film set in West Baltimore, Charm City Kings captures a summer with pals Lamont (Donielle Tremaine Hansley) and Sweartagawd (Kezii Curtis) who come together with their crew every Sunday to watch bikers zipping down the streets in makeshift derbies, “doing the 12” as they pitch backward in elaborate wheelies. This excitement is the allure that pushes Jahi Di’Allo into doing whatever it takes to join the local bikers, who also are involved in criminal activity. Charm City Kings is a story loaded with a lot of street narrative and emotion that comes alive when the cyclists speed through the streets.

Director: Cate Shortland
Starring: Florence Pugh, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr.

Scarlett Johansson reprises her role as Black Widow, tying together storyline plots and alliances that helped shape her identity. The film takes place after Captain America: Civil War and presumably before Avengers: Infinity War. Shot in Budapest, the Hungarian capital can be traced through the earlier films.

Director: Liesl Tommy
Starring: Jennifer Hudson, Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Mary J. Blige

Hudson was handpicked by Aretha Franklin herself before she passed away in 2018. Respect covers the life of Aretha from singing as a child in her father’s church choir, to becoming an iconic superstar and civil rights activist. Producers have yet to fully reveal what years we can expect to be covered, but it sounds like it will be about Franklin’s entire life and career. Born March 25, 1942 in Memphis, Tenn., she began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, where her father, CL Franklin, was the minister. In 1960, aged just 18, she started a secular career, recording for Columbia Records but with only minor success. Seven years later, she signed to Atlantic Records, achieving huge commercial and critical acclaim with songs such as “Respect,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “Spanish Harlem” and “Think.” She achieved her “Queen of Soul” status by the end of the decade. Franklin recorded a total of 112 charted singles in the U.S., becoming the most charted female artist in the chart’s history.

Director: Michael Showalter
Starring: Issa Rae, Kumail Nanjiani, Kyle Bornheimer

A couple (Issa Rae & Kumail Nanjiani) experiences a defining moment in their relationship when they are unintentionally embroiled in a murder mystery. As their journey to clear their names takes them from one extreme – and hilarious – circumstance to the next, they must figure out how they and their relationship can survive the night.

Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga
Starring: Ana de Armas, Léa Seydoux, Daniel Craig, Rami Malek

The next installment in the James Bond franchise is titled No Time To Die, and it brings back veteran star Daniel Craig as the iconic secret agent. Craig’s character is introduced to a female fellow agent played by Lashana Lynch. The two spies form an uneasy alliance as they’re recruited to take down a megalomaniac played by Academy Award winner Rami Malek.