Deon Taylor’s So Happy To Be Back With ‘Meet The Blacks’, Ellen Burstyn Flies In ‘Queen Bees’ – Specialty Preview

If you didn’t Meet The Blacks in 2016, they’re back this weekend in Deon Taylor’s second horror-comedy installment.

The first film was a send-up of The Purge. This one – The House Next Door: Meet The Blacks 2goes gothic. Star Mike Epps returns as Carl Black, about to face off with a neighbor from hell, Dr. Mamuwalde (Katt Williams). He’s a pimp who may or may not be a vampire and Carl’s got to figure out what he’s up to in the middle of the night before it’s too late for him and his family.

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Hidden Empire Film Group

“In 2016, I made this little movie that cost $900,000. We put it out there ourselves, independently, cut our own trailers, did our own marketing,” Taylor told Deadline. It made $9.1 million. His credits since include Fatale and Black and Blue, “but everywhere I would go, people would say, “Are you going to do another Meet the Blacks?’” (He said the budget for this one was $3.5M.)

The movie, distributed by Taylor’s Hidden Empire Film Group, hits 420 screens targeted to the African American demo. The rollout “comes from a place of knowledge and wisdom. We know our audience, we know who we made the movie for,” he said.

Written by Taylor and Corey Harrell, it stars Bresha Webb, Lil Duval (Scary Movie V), Zulay Henao (The Oath), Tyrin Turner (Menace II Society), Alex Henderson (Creed), Michael Blackson (Dutch), Andrew Bachelor (Holidate), Gary Owen (Ride Along), Snoop Dogg, Danny Trejo (Machete, From Dusk Till Dawn) and Rick Ross.

Producers are Deon Taylor, Roxanne Avent Taylor, Omar Joseph and Naptown Productions’ Epps, Angi Bones and Shannon McIntosh. Executive producers, Michael Finley, Joaquim Guedes, Niles Kirchner, Robert F. Smith, Bill Strauss and Katt Williams.

Here’s the trailer:

Also buzzing, on 500 screens, is Queen Bees with Ellen Burstyn, James Caan, Jane Curtin, Loretta Devine and Christopher Lloyd.

Burstyn is a fiercely independent senior, Helen, who moves into a nearby retirement community temporarily as her house undergoes repairs. Behind the doors of Pine Grove Senior Community, she encounters lusty widows, cutthroat bridge tournaments and a hotbed of bullying mean girls the likes of which she hasn’t encountered since high school — all of which leaves her yearning for the solitude of home. But somewhere between flower arranging and water aerobics she finds it’s never too late to make new friends and perhaps even find a new love.

The Gravitas Ventures release of the Astute Films production in association with Arclight is directed by Michael Lembeck, written by Donald Martin and based on the story by Harrison Powell. Producers are Powell and Dominique Telson. Executive producers, Richard L. Jackson and Claudine Marrotte.

Censor, from Magnolia Pictures/Magnet Releasing, on about 95 screens, is, as per the title, about a film censor Enid (Niamh Alagar) who takes pride in her meticulous work of guarding unsuspecting audiences from the deleterious effects of watching the gore-filled decapitations and eye gouging she pores over. Her sense of duty to protect is amplified by guilt over her inability to recall details of the long-ago disappearance of her sister, recently declared dead in absentia. The line between fiction and reality blurs as she sets out to solve the mystery.

The film is directed by directed by Prano Bailey-Bond from a screenplay by Bailey-Bond and Anthony Fletcher and produced by Helen Jones (Silver Salt Films). It stars Alagar, Nicholas Burns, Vincent Franklin, Sophia la Porta, Adrian Schiller and Michael Smiley.

IFC Films presents Holler, written and directed by Nicole Riegel with Jessica Bardem as Ruth Avery, a teenager in a forgotten pocket of Southern Ohio where American manufacturing and opportunity are dying. She finds a ticket out when she’s accepted to college and, alongside her older brother Blaze (Gus Halper) joins a dangerous scrap metal crew in order to pay her way. They spend a brutal winter working the scrap yards by day and stealing valuable metal from the once thriving factories by night. With her goal in sight, Ruth finds that the ultimate cost of an education for a girl like her may be more than she bargained for.

With Pamela Adlon and Becky Ann Baker.

In Sublet, from Greenwich Entertainment, a New York Times travel writer comes to Tel Aviv after suffering a tragedy. The energy of the city and his relationship with a younger man who becomes his tour guide bring him back to life in the film directed by Eytan Fox and written by Fox and Itay Segal. It stars John Benjamin Hickey and Niv Nissim.

Sublet is on about 40 screens in New York, Los Angeles and markets including Palm Springs, Chicago, St. Louis, Atlanta, San Francisco, Boston, Denver, San Diego, Washington, D.C., Kansans City, Philadelphia, Cedar Rapids, Dayton, Greensborough, Cleveland, Miami, Baltimore, Portland, Tucson, Phoenix, Butte and Raleigh.

And, Sony Pictures Classics’ 12 Mighty Orphans, the rousing Fort Worth sports story with a starry cast, opens just in Texas on 132 screens ahead of a wide release June 18. The true story of high school football team the Mighty Mites is showing at the Tribeca Festival next week.

The Mites emerged from a Fort Worth orphanage during the Great Depression and went from playing without shoes, or even a football, to the state championships. Over the course of their winning season the resilient underdogs inspired their city, state, and an entire nation in need of a rebound, even catching the attention of President Franklin Roosevelt.

The architect of their success was Rusty Russell (Luke Wilson), a legendary high school coach who shocked colleagues by giving up a privileged position so he could teach and coach at an orphanage. Few knew Rusty’s secret, he himself was an orphan. Recognizing that his scrawny players couldn’t beat the other teams with brawn, Rusty developed innovative strategies that would come to define modern football.

Directed by Ty Roberts, the film also stars Vinessa Shaw, Martin Sheen, Robert Duvall, Wayne Knight, Jake Austin Walker, Lane Garrison, Levi Dylan, Jacob Lofland, Treat Williams and Scott Haze. It had a red carpet premiere in Fort Worth on Monday.

It’s written by Roberts Lane Garrison and Kevin Meyer. Producers are Houston Hill, Brinton Bryan, Michael De Luca, Angelique De Luca, and Roberts. Executive producers: Mike Barr, Ryan R. Ross, Matt Barr, Kyle Stroud, Ryan R. Johnson, Martin Sheen, Rhett Bennet, Scott Helbing, J. Todd Harris, Greg McCabe and George Young Jr. Co-producers, Lane Garrison, Camille Scioli Chambers, Anne Fleitas.

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