For Your Viewing Pleasure: Films & Shows On Your Favorite Streaming Services & In Theaters This Summer

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Catching a great film is one of America’s favorite pastimes and some of the most anticipated films of the year drop during the summer.

Source: Netflix / Netflix

The movie and streaming slates have been booming since June 20 and will continue to do so until summer wraps up on September 23. With that in mind, we’re giving you all of the forthcoming favorites for our 2023 summer watchlist.

From The Blackening to Kokomo City check out some summer season standouts for your viewing pleasure.
Haunted Mansion

Justin Simien directs this modern film rendition of Disney World’s famed attraction.
Haunted Mansion is about a woman and her son who enlists a tour guide, a priest, a psychic, and a historian to help rid their home of supernatural squatters.
As if the classic storyline isn’t reason enough to tune in, the film boasts stars including Lakeith Stanfield, Tiffany Haddish, Rosario Daws0n, Owen Wilson, and Jared Leto!

They Cloned Tyrone

Netflix describes the film as a pulpy mystery caper in which a series of eerie events thrusts an unlikely trio onto the trail of a nefarious government conspiracy.
They Cloned Tyrone hit select theaters on July 14 and Netflix on July 21.
John Bodega, Teyona Parris, and Jamie Foxx star as a drug dealer, a sex worker, and a pimp who go on a striking adventure to get the bottom of an unlikely mystery.

“They Cloned Tyrone” also stands firmly on its glossy style — the evocatively smoky John Carpenter-esque cinematography and the Blaxploitation-inspired costumes — and its spirited performances,” reports Robert Daniels, of The New York Times. 

Survival of the Thickest

Michelle Tubeau, Tasha Smith, and Tone Bell make for the perfect casting in this body-positive dramedy series.
Survival Of The Thickest, which premiered on Netflix on July 13, follows the story of plus-sized stylist Mavis Beaumont who is newly single, Black, and struggling to find her way in the fashion industry.

This show is filled to the brim with guest stars who all happen to be longtime friends IRL, and this really elevates the chemistry between everyone in the show, reports Buzzfeed. 

The film was actually based on a book of the same title – a recollection of real-life experiences which inspired the character Mavis.
Buteau spoke with BOSSIP before the SAG-AFTRA strike about the show and shared that she hopes watchers give in to the not-so-perfect aspects of their lives and enjoy themselves unapologetically.

“I hope they get messy too,” said Buteau. “I hope they get drunk and put something in their mouth they didn’t expect I hope they open their mind, their heart, and their legs to love. Own your sexuality, everything is a spectrum. It isn’t like I’m a good person, or I’m a hoe—you could be both and there’s a lot in between.”
“We only get the one body and we only get the one life,” she added. “So let’s just poke around and see. It’s not 1920 We’re not dying at 37 because we didn’t wash our hands. We’re living quite long now. So do it!”

Kokomo City

In this riveting documentary, filmmaker D. Smith introduces us to four Black trans women telling their stories of survival sex work in New York City and Atlanta.
Daniella Carter, Liyah Mitchell, Dominique Silver, and Rasheeda “Koko Da Doll” Williams give first-hand accounts of the life, labor, and danger which comes with sex work for a Black trans woman.

“Violence doesn’t happen before the orgasm,” Silver explains in one scene featured in the trailer. “It happens after,” reports Them.

The detailed experiences can be a hard pill to swallow, but Kokomo City is here to show how the connotations of being Black and trans or being black, cis, and attracted to trans women, can often lead to tragedy.

This tragedy reached the doorstep of the cast and crew when Koko Da Doll was fatally shot and killed on April 18th. According to The Hollywood Reporter, a 17-year-old was taken into custody on April 26 and is being held at Fulton County Jail in connection to the fatal shooting of Koko Da Doll.

“I wanted to create something fresh and inspiring. I did that. We did that! But here we are again.”  – D. Smith

Even after such an unfortunate event, Kokomo City won multiple awards from this year’s Sundance Festival and has been highly anticipated among many in the Black community.

Killing It
An official synopsis courtesy of Peacock TV reads:

Killing It is a comedy about class, capitalism, and one man’s quest to achieve the American Dream. But first, he has to overcome vicious criminals, nature run wild, and worst of all, corporate America.

The series stars Craig Robinson and Claudia O’Doherty, with the second season premiering on August 17th.

The Blackening

Seven friends go away for the weekend, only to find themselves trapped in a cabin with a killer who has a vendetta. They must pit their street smarts and knowledge of horror movies against the murderer to stay alive.
The Lionsgate original stars Grace Byers, Dewayne Perkins, Melvin Gregg, and Sinqua Walls.

“The Blackening” comes with a horror movie’s requisite skittish and stalking camerawork, its creaks and breath-holding hushes, its gore and payback. But it is the friends’ flee, fight, freeze — or throw under the bus — banter that makes the film provocative fun,” reports The NY Times

Which of the summer flicks will you be watching?