LaMarr’s ‘Canal Street’ premieres on BET

Canal Street, Chicago director Rhyan LaMarr’s modern-day thriller telling the story of a teen who gets caught up in a mysterious death of a classmate, premieres tonight on BET. The 2017 film tells the story of a community that is torn apart and divided when the lives of two teenage boys (one Black and one white) collide and force those around them to question the “lens” through which they see and relate to others.

The exciting cast includes Bryshere Gray, known to millions as Empire’s Hakeem Lyon, plays Kholi Styles. Veteran actor Mykelti Williamson, who gained fame as the beloved character Bubba in Forest Gump and Gabriel in Fences, plays Jackie Styles. Mekhi Phifer, recognized for roles in AlligientRoots8 MileInsurgent and Divergent, is Prosecutor A.J. Canton. Jamie Hector — also known as Marlow Stanfield on The Wire, Detective Jerry Edgar on Bosch, and Devon Finch in Queen of The South — is Pastor Sam Billings. And that’s just a few.

LaMarr describes Kholi, the hero of Canal Street, as “a fish out of water” and the son of “a very up-and-coming powerful attorney.” He is intimately familiar with the scenario.

Kholi (Gray) is a young black man from the south side of Chicago who gets tangled up in a fatal coincidence on the suburban North Shore. The ensuing investigation provokes fear, resentment, and prejudice on a scale that compares to Native Son.

Along the way, Kholi’s struggle becomes real. It’s up to his father, Jackie Styles (Williamson), an up-and-coming lawyer from the slums of Chicago, to defend his son in court and battle an outraged public before time runs out. Jackie fights to keep his faith and prove his son is not the monster the world has made him out to be.

Chicago-born Adam George Edwardson (Batman Begins, NCIS) who shares writing credits with Jon Knitter and LaMarr, told Reel 360,

“I’m extremely thrilled and excited to have our film presented on BET tonight. It’s been a true labor of love for myself and my writing partners Jon Knitter and Rhyan LaMarr, who also directed the hell out it, since we first started writing on this project over a decade ago while at Columbia College Chicago. That fact that this story is still just as relevant today as it was then is insane. The fact is that this film represents a story… message that needs to be out there in the conversation more than it is. I just hope that when people see Canal Street they continue that conversation.”

Watch the trailer below:

Look for Canal Street tonight at 7 PM EST/PST, and 5 PM CST.

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Lion King’ now streaming on Disney+

Iron Man and Jungle Book director Jon Favreau presents this photorealistic computer-animated remake of the classic ’90s cartoon musical. Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Billy Eichner, John Oliver, and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter provide the voices.

Though Disney marketed the movie as “live-action,” it has surpassed the studio’s Frozen to become the highest-grossing animated film of all-time.

AT&T “bled” subscribers in 2019’s 4th Quarter

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the company, which also dropped 945,000 TV subscribers from its DirecTV and U-Verse services, made the disclosure as part of its Q4 2019 financial reports.

This brings total losses for the year 2019 to 4.1 million customers. On a conference call with investors, CFO John Stephens cautioned that the company would continue heavy spending on HBO Max content, a process that started at the end of 2019.

This includes an upfront investment in holding on to shows that could have otherwise been licensed, such as The Big Bang Theory, but could pay off later following a successful HBO Max launch.

WarnerMedia also reported a drop in fourth-quarter income over the previous year, when Warner Bros. released a string of hit holiday season films, including Aquaman and A Star is Born.