*HBO Max takes over initial U.S. distribution from Sony Picture Classics of the gritty drama Charm City Kings digitally releasing the presentation on August 21, 2020.
Charm City Kings is an adaptation of the Lotfy Nathan motion picture documentary “12 O’clock Boys.” Theatrical release, by Sony Picture Classics, was originally slated for April 14th, but has been delayed by the health pandemic. An Overbrook Entertainment production, Charm City Kings, is a mirror image of urban life lived on the streets of Baltimore. “Charm City,” the nickname given to Baltimore, and “kings” is what talented street dirt-bikers call themselves.
Charm City Kings stars Grammy nominated rapper Meek Mill (Lids sports-wear, Reform Alliance), who brings the grit to the film with an outstanding performance, playing Blax an ex-con trying to make an honest living as a mechanic. He meets a young teen with what he sees as the potential to succeed and it sparks in him the need to save the teen from what he see is coming – gang-life.
Rated R, Charm City Kings is directed by Angel Manuel Soto and also stars Jahi Di’Allo Winston (Proud Mary) as Mouse the young teen Blax is trying desperately to save from the streets of Baltimore. Winston, 16 years-old at the time, does an incredible job playing a 13 year-old. It seems the streets are already swallowing-up Mouse’s two neighborhood buddies played by Donielle T. Hansley, Jr. (“Amazing World of Gumball”) as Lamont and Kezii Curtis (Dolemite Is My Name) as SwearTaGawd.
The three teens, surrounded by street gangs, want to join a group of street dirt-bikers called The Midnight Clique, which was led by Blax before his incarceration. The Midnight Clique is famous for their spectacular dirt-bike riding on the streets of Baltimore. This summertime activity is a neighborhood event that always has the police, led by Detective Rivers played by William Catlett (“Black Lightning”) – a friend of Mouse’s mother, trying to get the dirt-bike riders off the streets without having to arrest Mouse. One of his friends is successfully being lured by Blax’s former street-gang to do illegal activities for money. In the mean-time Mouse gets the help of Blax in building his own dirt-bike in exchange for working at his mechanic’s garage. This working relationship develops a bond between the two that results in Blax making the ultimate sacrifice for Mouse and Det. Rivers allowing him to do so.
Mouse’s street influences provoke him one day to disrespect his single hard-working mother Terri, played by Teyonah Parris (“Empire”). Terry sees Mouse being swallowed up by the streets, like her eldest son – a gang-member – who was killed, but with another younger child to care for and a job she has to go to, she too makes the ultimate sacrifice that allows Mouse to learn the hard way. That lesson results in the death of one of his friends, which helps Mouse grow-up. Mouse is being pulled back-and-forth by the street life, his desire to be a dirt-biker, and his desire to do bigger-better things with his life. Confused about what to do – follow his friends in the exciting street-gang life until he is killed or imprisoned or follow his heart, which is in love with Nicki played by Chandler Dupon (The Prayer Box), by using his intellectual skills.
Filmed in Baltimore, Charm City Kings is executive produced by Jada Pinkett-Smith and James Lassiter (Overbrook Entertainment), Warner Bros. Pictures and Warner Max. It is produced by Caleeb Pinkett (Annie), Marc Bienstock, and Clarence Hammond. Charm City Kings also stars Milan Ray (Troop Zero), Charles D. Clark (“Empire”), Hero Hunter (“Young Dylan”), Marcellus Bassman Shepard (“Cool Jazz Countdown”), Marvin Raheem, and Lakeyria Doughty (Lost Kings).
SYNDICATED COLUMN: Eunice Moseley, MS, MBA, MPhil has an estimated weekly readership of over ¼ million with The Pulse of Entertainment. She is also a Public Relations Strategist and Business Management Consultant at Freelance Associates, and is Promotions Director (at-large) for The Baltimore Times. www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com. EVENTS: “Uplifting Minds II” Entertainment Conference (ULMII), founded by Eunice in 1999, is into its 21st year. Next events are coming to Los Angeles Saturday, November 7, 2020 via Zoom Video Conferencing and to Baltimore Saturday April 17, 2021 at Security Square Mall. The ULMII event is a free conference offering an Entertainment Business Panel Q&A Session, a Talent Showcase and Talent Competition (vocal, songwriting, dance and acting) where aspiring artists have a chance to receive over $15,000 valued in prizes/product/services. Log onto www.UpliftingMinds2.com for more information or to RSVP for Zoom Access email [email protected]