BILL VAUGHAN’S TASTY CLIPS: HBO Max debuts Denzel Washington’s ‘The Little Things’

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By Bill Vaughan

Entertainment Writer

Denzel Washington is counting on “The Little Things” to satisfy his many fans hungry to see him in a film since 2018’s “The Equalizer 2.”

In the suspenseful psychological thriller in which he co-stars with fellow Academy Award winners Rami Malek (“Bohemian Rhapsody”) and Jared Leto (“Dallas Buyers Club“), Washington portrays Deputy Sheriff Joe “Deke” Deacon, an empathetic law officer who joins forces with a police sergeant to search for a serial killer who is terrorizing Los Angeles.

The film, written more than 30 years ago by its director John Lee Hancock (“The Blind Side”), premieres in theaters around the country Jan. 29 and on HBO Max the same day. “The Little Things” will be available on the streamer for 31 days from its theatrical release in the U.S. included at no additional cost to subscribers.

It has been reported that Washington and the film’s producers were blindsided when “The Little Things” was included among the feature films like “The Suicide Squad” with Idris Elba, Lebron James’ “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” “The Matrix 4” with Keanu Reeves and “Godzilla vs. Kong” to be released simultaneously for home viewers.

“Macbeth,” Joel Coen’s adaptation of William Shakespeare’s classic work with Frances McDormand, Brenden Gleeson, Corey Hawkins and Sean Patrick Thomas, now looms as the next chance to see a Denzel movie on the big screen.   

AIN’T NO STOPPIN’: Philadelphia International Records, the groundbreaking label, founded in 1971 by innovative and prolific songwriters/producers Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, celebrates its 50th anniversary with Legacy Recordings and Warner Chappell Music teaming for a year-long campaign.

As part of the party, Sonos Radio HD is premiering a new station on Feb. 24, titled the Sound of Philadelphia, hosted and hand-curated by Gamble himself from the songbooks of The Jacksons, Patti LaBelle, the O’Jays, Teddy Pendergrass, Lou Rawls, Dexter Wansel & MFSB, and so much more.

For updates on more anniversary news and releases throughout the year, fans can visit www.SoundOfPhiladelphia.com and on Facebook or Instagram @soundofphiladelphia.

POP UP AT HOME: HBO Max will host Our Stories to Tell, a multi-day, virtual experience with various invite-only and public events to empower and celebrate the streamer’s commitment to African American, Asian American, LGBTQ+ and Latinx audiences during the first weekend of the Sundance Film Festival, beginning Jan. 29-31.

Among the highlights are a discussion highlighting the upcoming HBO Documentary “Black Art: The Absence of Light” featuring executive producer Henry Louis Gates Jr. and director Sam Pollard; Chairman Fred Hampton Jr., actress Dominique Fishback and costume designer Charlese Antoinette Jones diving into the new Warner Bros. film, “Judas and the Black Messiah;” a panel conversation with the comedy masterminds behind “A Black Lady Sketch Show;” and guided meditation and yoga with Lauren Ash, founder of Black Girl in Om. To register, visit OurStoriesToTell.com.

TASTY QUIP: “You know what, we are living in a very serious time in America. All of us as true Americans have to really think about what’s important. The whole world is laughing at the United States, the so-called cradle of democracy. We’re at the crossroads now. And everyone please be safe, this is not a game. These people got guns with ammunition. This president, President Agent Orange, will go down in history with the likes of Hitler. These guys, all his boys, they are going down on the wrong side of history.” – SPIKE LEE upon accepting an honorary award at the 86th New York Film Critics Circle Awards

CLIPPETTES: The U.S. Postal Service has dedicated the 44th Black Heritage Forever Stamp to August Wilson, the Pulitzer Prize winning playwright of “Fences,” “The Piano Lesson,” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and other gems of the ocean. For more info, visit usps.com/blackheritage-augustwilson or call 800-STAMP24

Nikki Giovanni and Walter Mosley are among the writers participating Jan. 30 in PEN Across America’s fifth annual Celebration of Diverse Literary Voices of Texas. Visit Eventbrite.com to register for the Zoom event

Later, L.A. native Steven Ellison, the experimental multi-genre music producer, electronic musician, DJ and rapper aka Flying Lotus, is headlining an exclusive live set via Bandsintown.com

Misha Green, the creative force behind TV’s “Lovecraft Country” and “Underground,” will make her feature directorial debut with “Tomb Raider 2,” which she will also write. Green is also attached to a remake of the 1970s action classic “Cleopatra Jones”

Jazz pianist Gerald Clayton and trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos team for a special performance Feb. 1 presented by The Athenaeum Music & Arts Library. Tickets are available through Eventbrite.com

Award-winning actress Anna Maria Horsford (“Amen,” “The Wayans,” “Friday”) chats with film director Radha Blank about the creative process, ideas and themes in her Netflix film “The Forty-Year-Old Version,” where a struggling New York City playwright finds inspiration by reinventing herself as a rapper. It takes place Feb. 3 as part of NYU’s Revolutionary Re-Imaginings: Black Joy In Resistance (nyuiaaa.org/event-items/2021-spring-calendar/)

VIEWERS DELIGHT: SCAD, a TV Fest, arrives Feb. 4-6 with exclusive screenings of the upcoming season of OWN’s “Queen Sugar” with stars Rutina Wesley, Dawn-Lyen Gardner and Kofi Siriboe; “Delilah,” from “Greenleaf” creators Craig Wright and Charles Randolph-Wright; and “Kenan” with its cast of Kenan Thompson, Don Johnson, Chris Redd and Kimrie Lewis.

Awards presentations to Cynthia Erivo (“Genius: Aretha”), Bryan Cranston (“Your Honor”), Chrissy Metz (“This Is Us”), Jurnee Smollett (“Lovecraft Country”), Javicia Leslie (“Batwoman”), and the cast of “Good Girls” are planned along with a panel with “-ish” stars Laurence Fishburne, Anthony Anderson, Tika Sumpter and Mark Paul Gosselaar. Head to atvfest.com for further information.

TC ON TV: Jan. 29 – “We Are: The Brooklyn Saints” (Netflix): Emmy winner Rudy Valdez directs this documentary series from executive producers Brian Grazer and Ron Howard about a Brooklyn youth football program and its selfless coaches who provide a safe haven for kids. “Live With Kelly & Ryan” (ABC): Cicely Tyson “The View” (ABC): Keegan-Michael Key “In Concert at The Hollywood Bowl” (PBS): Herbie Hancock, Santana, Kamasi Washington, Dianne Reeves, Wayne Shorter, Miles Mosley and more in this jazzy edition.  “The Tonight Show” (NBC): Urbano stars Anuel AA and Ozuna perform a selection from their first joint album “Los Dioses.”

Jan. 30 – “Wendy Williams: The Movie” (Lifetime): Talk show host Wendy Williams executive produces the biopic on her life starring Ciera Payton in the lead role and Morocco Omari (so good) as her ex-husband Kevin Hunter. It will be followed by the two-hour documentary “Wendy Williams: What A Mess.” “Behind Every Man” (OWN): Melody Holt returns to host stories of strong Black women who have supported the famous men in their lives, this season featuring Sabrina Parr, fiancée of Lamar Odom; Faith Evans, wife of Stevie J; Myra Anderson, mother of Big Sean; Keonna Green, fiancée of Nick “Swaggy P” Young and Heather and Will Packer.

Jan. 31 – “The Long Song” (PBS): Tamara Lawrance and Hayley Atwell (“Agent Carter”) star in this mini-series following the hardships and survival of plantation slave July and her odious mistress Caroline during the final days of slavery in 19th century Jamaica. “Yum and Yummer” (Cooking): “Black-Owned Restaurants” are explored by host Eddie Jackson. “Desus & Mero” (SHO): The Bodega Boys check in for season three.

Feb. 2 – “Tiffany Haddish Presents: They Ready” (Netflix): The comic’s Emmy-nominated stand-up spotlight is back for a second season featuring Dean Edwards, Kimberly Clark, Tony Woods, Barbara Carlyle, Godfrey and Erin Jackson. “Chopped: Grudge Match” (Food): Chef Marcus Samuelsson is a finalist competing for the $100,000 prize. “Fake Famous” (HBO): Following three L.A.-based people with relatively small followings and what happens with trying to turn them into famous influencers by purchasing fake followers and bots to “engage” with their social media accounts. “Struggle Gourmet” (Fuse): Rapper, singer and songwriter Melii makes rice and beans.

Feb. 4 – “Mary McCartney Serves It Up” (Disc+): The British photographer and cookbook author shares recipes and stories promoting a vegetarian lifestyle with her celebrity friends including Gayle King, Nicole Richie and Cameron Diaz.

TASTY QUIP: “Hey preachers and pastor! You should re-think liking the pictures of ladies in sexy bikinis, especially when you’re married. Even when the caption is deep and spiritual! You shouldn’t double tap!! IJS” – Singer and radio host ERICA CAMPBELL on IG

As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment columns in the nation, serving nearly one million weekly readers. Bill Vaughan may be reached at tastyclips@yahoo.com, via Twitter @tastyclips, or Instagram @tasty_clips.