THE POWER OF THE DOG
Rating: About Ratings
Opens: 12/01/2021
Running Time: 126
Rated: R
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Thomasin McKenzie, Genevieve Lemon, Keith Carradine and Frances Conroy.
Crew: Director: Jane Campion. Producers: Jane Campion, Iain Canning, Rogger Frappier, Phil Jones, Andrew Marshall, Tanya Seghatchian, Libby Sharpe, Emile Sherman and Chloe Smith. Executive Producers: Rose Garnett, Simon Gillis and John Woodward. Screenwriters: Jane Campion and Thomas Savage (Novel, "The Power of the Dog"). Cinematographer: Ari Wegner.
REVIEW: By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA-- Filmmaker Jane Campion (“The Piano”) had not directed a movie since the 2009 period piece, “Bright Star,” but she makes a triumphant return to the big screen with “The Power of the Dog,” a gritty and nuanced western that is based on Tom Savage’s 1967 novel of the same name.

“The Power of the Dog” has absolutely nothing to do with a dog. The title is derived from a Bible verse, Psalm 22:20 which reads, “Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.”

So, whose soul needs delivering? And why? Well, that’s what drives this riveting and complex drama.

During a recent interview at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, Campion sat down with N2Entertainment.net and other movie critics to discuss how “The Power of The Dog” novel inspired her to make the movie. Click here to listen

Set in Montana--although locations throughout New Zealand stand in for the state--“The Power of the Dog” centers around two wealthy rancher brothers Phil Burbank (a terrific Benedict Cumberbatch, (“Spider-Man: No Way Home”) and George (the always fantastic Jesse Plemons, “Antlers” and “Judas and The Black Messiah”).

They are opposites. Phil is a cantankerous and tough old cowboy who has little patience or empathy for anyone including George who he refers to as “Fatso.” George is a quiet, methodical guy who initially doesn’t let Phil get under his skin.

Maybe there is a reason George always takes the high road when Phil directs such animus toward him. Does George know why Phil carries so much bitterness and anger? Is Phil hiding something?
Even so, Phil and George’s relationship becomes even more strained while at a restaurant owned by a pretty widow named Rose Gordon who is excellently played by Plemons real life significant other, Kirsten Dunst, ( TV’s “On Becoming a God in Central Florida”).

It doesn’t take long for Phil to find a new target to bully. And boy does he unload. Rose’s reticent son Peter (a fabulous Kodi Smit-McPhee, “Dolemite is my Name” and TV’s “Interrogation”) is a skinny, effeminate, and artistic kid who likes drawing and making paper flowers for the restaurant tables.

Phil can’t help but mock Peter’s lisp and his girly mannerisms. It’s an embarrassing moment and one which makes Rose cry, but George is the perfect gentleman who comforts her. George and Rose soon realize they have a lot in common. So much so, they get married and Rose is living at the big ranch with the men. Naturally, this arrangement angers Phil even more and he ratchets up his unruly behavior.

As much as Rose tries to dismiss Phil’s antics, she can’t. Seeing Peter in such a bad place along with the pressure of trying to fit into George’s world and please his family, becomes too much and she begins to drink excessively to ease her pain.

Although Phil begins to take a surprising and sudden interest in Peter when he returns from college--Phil even teaches him how to braid ropes and such--it still doesn’t keep Rose from spiraling downward into alcoholism and depression.

Just when you think “The Power of The Dog” is going to wrap up all nice and neatly, Campion’s surprise ending adds to the masterful and powerful bite of this “Dog.”

Editor’s Note: Check out the Q&A with the film's powerful cast of Benedict Cumberbatch, Jessie Plemons, Kirsten Dunst and director/screenwriter Jane Campion. REEL MOVIE NEWS

“The Power of the Dog” is currently available on Netflix.

Editor's Note: Be sure to catch my N2Entertainment.net movie talk segment on the Kitty...
 

Rated: PG-13
Opens: 11/19/2021
King Richard

Rated: PG
Opens: 11/24/2021
Encanto

Rated: PG-13
Opens: 11/19/2021
Tick, Tick... Boom!

Rated: R
Opens: 11/24/2021
House Of Gucci

Rated: PG-13
Opens: 11/12/2021
Passing

Rated: R
Opens: 11/05/2021
The Harder They Fall


OLD SCHOOL VIDEO PICK OF THE MONTH

Book Of Numbers Title: Book Of Numbers
Year Released: 1973
Running Time: 81
Production Company: AVCO Embassy Pictures
Director: Raymond St. Jacques
Director of Photography: Gayne Rescher
Screenwriter: Raymond St. Jacques
Author: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

REVIEW: As a kid growing up in San Bernardino, California, I remember this cute, curly-headed, green eyed young guy coming over my family’s house with his handyman/electrician father to do some repair work. Little did I know the shy teen would become an iconic TV star.

Yeah, Philip Michael Thomas who played Ricardo “Rico” Tubbs alongside Don Johnson in the...
NEW ON DVD

Meat Me Halfway Title: Meat Me Halfway
Year Released: 2021
Running Time: 80
Production Company: Reducetarian Productions
Director: Brian Kateman
Review By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

"MEAT ME HALFWAY"

“Meat Me Halfway” is a new eye-opening documentary directed and written by Brian Kateman, founder and leader of the Reducetarian Organization. Kateman’s movement takes a guided and practical approach to addressing the harmful effects that eating meat has on people and the planet.

In case you are wondering what "Reducetarianism" is, well, it’s a concept that Kateman--a former vegetarian--crafted that encourages people to not avoid meat entirely, but simply reduce their consumption of it. Kateman believes this a more realistic approach rather than brow-beating people into becoming a strict vegetarian or vegan.

It’s a smaller step, but nevertheless he says is an effective one since people would still be helping to save the environment from increased greenhouse gas emissions and climate change as well as safeguard their health.

However, as Kateman, who is based in New York City discovers during his investigative journey—which leads him to a pig slaughterhouse in Los Angeles and a “ethically raised/slaughter” animal farm in Georgia and several points in between--there are strong and varying viewpoints from meat lovers and vegetarians/vegans.

Kateman is often ridiculed--even by his own skeptical parents--and other meat-eaters for his stance of “eating less meat.” He also angers animal rights activists who believe his position is counterproductive to theirs.

“Meat Me Halfway” features several notable scholars, scientists, doctors, and writers sharing their views on climate change and the cost of eating healthy. Michele Simon who is the founder of the Plant Based Foods Association notes that “taste,” “price” and “convenience” are the three most powerful drivers of food choices. She states that marketing and the environment people live in shapes their everyday food choices.

That’s a big reason why Olympia Auset started SUPRMARKT, the first organic produce pop-up in South Los Angeles to provide fresh and healthy vegetables and fruits to her community. The lack of major grocery stores in black and brown communities is alarming and that needs to change adds Eric Adams, Borough President of Brooklyn New York. Auset and Adams maintain it's important to make healthy food accessible and affordable to everyone.

“Meat Me Halfway” lays it all out there but doesn’t take a stand in the end. Instead, the viewer is left to chew on all the information, draw their own conclusions and make their own decisions. It is a highly informative and well-done documentary.
(Highly Recommended).

"Meat Me Halfway" is available July 20 on VOD and streaming platforms.

No Ordinary Love Title: No Ordinary Love
Year Released: 2020
Running Time: 99
Production Company: 1091 Pictures
Director: Chyna Robinson
Review By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

"NO ORDINARY LOVE"

“No Ordinary Love” the new movie from screenwriter/director Chyna Robinson (“Greenwood: 13 Hours”) is a compelling drama that centers around two vastly different couples who are in abusive marriages. Incredible circumstances bring them together.

“No Ordinary Love” deserves attention as it shines a spotlight on domestic violence and women who feel trapped in their relationships and are afraid to leave them.

Elizabeth Jeffries (April Hartman, “American Zombieland”) has tried to be the perfect wife to her husband, Michael (Eric Hanson, “90 Feet from Home”). He is a pastor at the local church in their small hometown. Their pre-teen son Matthew (Houston Ries, “Adventures in Zeroworld”) has to put up with a lot from his parents whose marriage is shattering right before his eyes.

How Elizabeth has been able to withstand the verbal abuse all these years from Eric is beyond me, because he’s a sexist and religious zealot whose backwards way of thinking is just mindboggling. Then again, Elizabeth is trying to keep up the “good wife” charade mainly for the sake of the church folk. Many in town consider him so wonderful and righteous. However, when Elizabeth finally realizes that she can’t live with him anymore and plans to leave, their relationship becomes even more dangerous.

Meanwhile, Derrick Anderson (Lynn Andrew III, TV’s “The Price of Fame”) is a well-respected police officer who is married to Tanya, (DeAna Davis), a beautiful and caring woman. They have an adorable young daughter named Faith, (Nya Cummings). Faith doesn't deserve to live in fear every time her dad comes home angry and then she has to watch him beat her mother. This guy is a punk and has some serious issues.
Every time Derrick apologizes for his abusive behavior, Tanya gives him another chance thinking he’ll change. He doesn’t. In fact, his anger issues worsen which forces Tanya to expose his secret to Elizabeth, the pastor’s wife.

That sets up a series of events for both couples, but the film’s unbelievable ending feels forced and incomplete. Still, the solid acting in “No Ordinary Love” is what carries the movie and keeps you locked in.
(Recommended).

The Unhealer Title: The Unhealer
Year Released: 2021
Running Time: 94
Production Company: Shout! Studios
Director: Martin Guigul
Review By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

"THE UNHEALER"

Last week, I had so many movies and TV shows to review that I almost tossed aside “The Unhealer,” a little supernatural thriller from Shout! Studios that was far better than I expected.

“The Unhealer” is available June 8 on Blu-Ray, DVD, digital, and On-Demand. This one isn’t your typical coming-of-age teen drama. It holds a few horrors and gory surprises and has ample doses of humor too. In other words, it’s my kind of movie.

In “The Unhealer” from director Martin Guigui (“Drama Drama”), Elijah Nelson (TV’s “9-1-1-: Lone Star”) plays a high school student named Kelly. He’s constantly bullied by his classmates. They call him “a human garbage disposal” because he has an eating disorder called “Pica.” Kelly eats really odd things like the plastic packaging of a Cup of Noodles and even chows down on his pencil erasers.

He’s a skinny kid and the lack of eating healthy food--or any food for that matter--makes him even more of an outcast. Kelly’s mother Bernice (Natasha Henstridge, “Night of the Sicario” and TV’s “Diggstown”) realizes her son’s condition is getting worse. Doctors have tried to get Kelly on a healthy regiment, but it’s not working. So, when Bernice finds out about a healer named Pflueger (Lance Henriksen, “The Dead of the Night”) who supposedly has cured many people, both young and old, of various afflictions, she decides to give him a shot.

The guy seems like a real shyster. But if it’s a scam, it’s a good one. Pflueger is somehow able to withstand the pain of others and in the process heal himself. If a guy punches Kelly in the face at school, Kelly will feel it for a brief second, but the guy will feel the brunt of the punch and Kelly’s face wouldn’t look like he’s been hit at all. The other guy however is a different story.

But just as Kelly is about to be treated, the session goes horribly wrong and somehow the powerful gift that Pflueger had is now within Kelly.

See where this is going?

Bring on the bullies. Soon everyone who picked on poor Kelly and his family is in for a royal beat down. He’s out for revenge. The hotshot school quarterback is taken aback when he picks a fight with Kelly this time. He can’t explain to his macho dad, how the pipsqueak Kelly turned the tables on him and beat him up.

Kelly’s newfound power isn’t limited to fighting. The horny teen can also fantasize and daydream about things he wants. In this case a couple of pretty girls in his class suddenly become sexually aroused and aren’t sure why.

“The Unhealer” isn’t a scary movie, but screenwriters J. Shawn Harris (“Star Quality”) and Kevin E. Moore sure have made it an entertaining and fun one.
(Highly Recommended).

Endangered Species Title: Endangered Species
Year Released: 2021
Running Time: 101
Production Company: Blue Sky Films
Director: M.J. Bassett
Review By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

"ENDANGERD SPECIES"

Going on a wildlife safari isn’t at the top of my bucket list or even on my bucket list. However, if it was, I’m sure that I wouldn’t be as reckless as the Halsey family is in the new movie “Endangered Species” which arrives on DVD and Blu-Ray June. 1.

Of course, this wealthy family’s stupidity makes for an entertaining drama, and I found myself locked in despite several eye rolls within the first 20 minutes.

In “Endangered Species,” from director/screenwriter M.J. Bassett (TV’s “Power”), Phillip Winchester (“Rogue” and TV’s “Chicago Justice”) plays a father who is trying to unite his fractured family.

His wife Lauren (Rebecca Romijn, TV’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm”) is excited about taking their snooty, Ivy-League daughter Zoe (Isabel Bassett, “Rogue”), son Noah (Michael Johnston, “Drama Drama”) oh, and Zoe’s slacker boyfriend Billy (Chris Fisher, TV’s “Bulletproof”) to Kenya for vacation. Billy proves to be the smartest and most resilient of the bunch.

As soon as they check in for their exciting safari, they meet some guys, notably Jerry O’ Connell from “Ballbuster” and TV’s “Star Trek: Lower Decks” who claim to be assistants but are really poachers.

Jack can’t really afford to pay for the guided tour. Apparently, he’s been lying about his money and job. So, he continues the charade and tells his family that they get to do their own tour. With a map in hand, a van with no air conditioning and a few glass bottles of water they blow past the guards and head out on their excursion.
Since Lauren wants to see a rhino up close and personal, they go off the beaten path into a restricted area. There’s a reason it’s off limits. Wild, vicious animals roam there and they seem to love fresh, white meat.

When the Halseys come between a rhino and her baby, they are brutally attacked, their van overturned and now they are stuck in the middle of nowhere without any cellphone access, water—the bottles broke—and no diabetic medication for Lauren.

It’s about to get real.

Throw in a pack of hungry hyenas and a leopard ready to pounce and you’ll wonder if any of the Halseys will make it out alive in this gritty and silly wildlife adventure.
(Highly Recommended).
  MOVIE TRIVIA
 
Prior to starring in the 1980s hit TV show “Miami Vice,” Philip Michael Thomas made his Broadway debut in which of the following theatrical productions?
“Hair” and “Aquarius”
“Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Fiddler On The Roof”
“Pippin” and “The Wiz”
“No Place To Be Somebody” and “The Selling of the President."
 
  "REEL" MOVIE NEWS
CCA TBS CW By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs:

THE CW NETWORK AND TBS TEAM UP TO SIMULCAST THE CRITICS CHOICE AWARDS ON JANUARY 9, 2022

For the first time in its history, The Critics Choice Awards (CCA) will be made available to an expanded audience across broadcast and cable, as TBS joins forces with The CW Network to simulcast the upcoming 27th annual CRITICS CHOICE AWARDS scheduled to air LIVE on January 9, 2022 at 7p.m. (ET/PT).

The show will continue its combined Film and Television awards format, honoring the finest in both cinematic and televised/streaming achievement. The awards ceremony will be held at the Fairmont Century Plaza in Century City, Calif.

Critics Choice Awards are bestowed annually to honor the finest in cinematic and television achievement. Historically, they are the most-accurate predictor of Academy Award nominations.

27TH ANNUAL CRITICS CHOICE AWARDS TIMELINE:

Monday, November 15, 2021 – Submissions close for CCA TV categories (submissions are not required for film categories)

Wednesday, November 17, 2021 – NomComs begin deliberations

Monday, November 29, 2021 – NomComs render official recommendations

Monday, November 29, 2021 – Nominating ballots go out to Film Branch members

Wednesday, December 1, 2021 – Critics Choice Awards TV nominations announced

Friday, December 3, 2021 – Midnight (PT) deadline for final Film ballots

Monday, December 6, 2021 – 9 a.m. PT Film nominations announced

Thursday, January 6, 2022 – Final CCA ballots emailed to all members

Friday, January 7, 2022 – 9 p.m. (PT) Deadline for returning final ballots

Sunday, January 9, 2022 – 27th annual Critics Choice Awards presented live on The CW and TBS.

The 27th annual Critics Choice Awards show will be produced by Bob Bain Productions and Berlin Entertainment. The CCA is represented by Dan Black of Greenberg Traurig.

Follow the 27th annual Critics Choice Awards on Twitter and Instagram @CriticsChoice and on Facebook/CriticsChoiceAwards.

ABOUT THE CW:

The CW Network launched in 2006 as America’s fifth broadcast network, with programming targeting younger viewers, a demographic highly sought after by advertisers. The CW, a joint venture between Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corporation, now broadcasts across the week, offering fourteen-hours of primetime programming, Monday through Sunday, beginning in Fall 2021. The CW’s primetime programming is also available to stream for free, without authentication, on the ad-supported CWTV.com and The CW app, now available on every major OTT platform. Additionally, The CW broadcasts a three-hour Saturday morning kids block. The CW’s digital network CW Seed launched in 2013 and offers original short-form digital content as well as past seasons of fan-favorite television series. For more information about the network and its programming, visit www.cwtvpr.com.

ABOUT TBS:

TBS, a WarnerMedia brand, is a top-rated destination for television among young adults and known for escapist, good-time entertainment, featuring smart, imaginative stories with heart and comedic edge. From scripted comedy series to late-night shows, game shows, and animated programming, TBS’ Originals slate is comprised of some of the most popular shows on cable — “Miracle Workers,” “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” “The Last O.G.,” “American Dad!” and “Chad.” The network’s slate of premium unscripted series includes “The Misery Index,” “Go-Big Show,” “Wipeout,” “Friday Night Vibes” and “The Cube” along with upcoming series, “The Big D”. TBS’ lineup also includes comedy hits like “Young Sheldon” and “The Big Bang Theory,” classic sitcom favorites such as “Friends,” blockbuster movies, and live event coverage of Major League Baseball, the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship and “ELEAGUE,” WarnerMedia’s eSports gaming competition. Website: www.tbs.com.

ABOUT THE CRITICS CHOICE ASSOCIATION (CCA):

The Critics Choice Association is the largest critics organization in the United States and Canada, representing almost 500 media critics and entertainment journalists. It was established in 2019 with the formal merger of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association, recognizing the intersection between film, television, and streaming content. For more information, visit: www.CriticsChoice.com.

Editor's Note: Information used in this report obtained from the Critics Choice Association.


ETERNALS AT IMAX By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs:

“ETERNALS: THE IMAX EXPERIENCE” OPENS AT THE ESQUIRE IMAX THEATRE ON NOV. 4

Marvel Studios' “Eternals” features an exciting new team of Super Heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ancient aliens who have been living on Earth in secret for thousands of years. Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, an unexpected tragedy forces them out of the shadows to reunite against mankind's most ancient enemy, the Deviants.

“Eternals: The IMAX Experience” opens at the Esquire IMAX Theatre on Nov. 4, at 7p.m. Tickets are on sale at the theater box office and online at www.imax.com/sacramento.

The IMAX release of “Eternals” will be digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of the IMAX Experience with proprietary IMAX DMR (Digital Re-mastering) technology. The crystal-clear images, coupled with the Esquire IMAX Theatre’s six story high and 80 feet wide screen, customized theatre geometry and powerful digital audio, create a unique environment that will make audiences feel as if they are in the movie.

The Esquire IMAX Theatre is located at 1211 K Street in downtown Sacramento, CA. For information on tickets, showtimes, and safety procedures please call 916-443-IMAX (4629) or visit the website at www.imax.com/sacramento.

ABOUT IMAX CORPORATION:

IMAX, an innovator in entertainment technology, combines proprietary software, architecture and equipment to create experiences that take you beyond the edge of your seat to a world you’ve never imagined. Top filmmakers and studios are utilizing IMAX theatres to connect with audiences in extraordinary ways, and, as such, IMAX’s network is among the most important and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event films around the globe.

IMAX, IMAX 3D, IMAX DMR, Experience It In IMAX, An IMAX 3D Experience, The IMAX Experience, IMAX Is Believing and IMAX nXos are trademarks of IMAX Corporation. More information about the Company can be found at www.imax.com. You may also connect with IMAX on Facebook (www.facebook.com/imax), Twitter (www.twitter.com/imax) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/imaxmovies).

Editor's Note: Information used in this report obtained from IMAX Publicity.


GOTHAM AWARDS THE HARDER THEY FALL By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs:

“THE HARDER THEY FALL” CAST TO BE HONORED AT GOTHAM AWARDS ON NOV. 29

The Gotham Film & Media Institute announced today that the cast of the Netflix movie “The Harder They Fall” will receive the Ensemble Tribute during the 2021 Gotham Awards Ceremony taking place live and in person on November 29, 2021 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. Nominations for the Gotham Awards were announced on Oct. 21.

“The Harder They Fall” features an ensemble cast of Jonathan Majors, Zazie Beetz, Delroy Lindo, LaKeith Stanfield, Danielle Deadwyler, Edi Gathegi, R.J. Cyler, Damon Wayans Jr., Deon Cole with Regina King and Idris Elba.

The film follows outlaw Nat Love, who discovers his enemy Rufus Black is being released from prison then rounds up his gang to track Rufus down and seek revenge. Directed by Jeymes Samuel, written by Samuel and Boaz Yakin, produced by Shawn Carter, James Lassiter, Lawrence Bender and Jeymes Samuel, the film was released in select theaters on Oct. 22 and will stream on Netflix globally on Nov. 3.

Jeffrey Sharp, Executive Director of The Gotham Film & Media Institute, stated: “Director Jeymes Samuel’s debut film is fully realized with this extraordinary company of actors who perfectly marry the key hallmarks of the ensemble film-- collaboration, community, and interconnectivity--resulting in one of the most entertaining movies of the year. We are so proud to recognize “The Harder They Fall” with this year’s Gotham Ensemble Tribute.”

“”The Harder They Fall” which recently premiered at the London Film Festival, has received rave reviews from critics. Whelan Barzey at Empire wrote, “Wildly entertaining… As exciting as the casting is Samuel’s style, full of verve and imagination. Packed with style, charm and a barrel-full of shrapnel for good measure, “The Harder They Fall” will still be standing when the smoke clears.”

The Premier Sponsor of the 2021 Gotham Awards is The New York Times and the Platinum Sponsor is GreenSlate. The Official Auto Partner is Cadillac, the Official Water Partner is FIJI Water, the Official Airline Partner is JetBlue, and the Official Wine Partner is Robert Hall Winery.

It was previously announced that Kristen Stewart will receive the Performer Tribute, and Eamonn Bowles the Industry Tribute.

As the first major awards ceremony of the fall season, the Gotham Awards provide critical early recognition and media attention to worthy independent films and series and their writers, directors, producers, and actors with twelve competitive awards categories. The awards are also unique for their ability to assist in catapulting award recipients prominently into national awards season attention.

ABOUT THE GOTHAM FILM & MEDIA INSTITUTE:

The Gotham champions the future of storytelling by connecting artists with essential resources at all stages of development and distribution. The organization, under the leadership of Executive Director and award-winning producer Jeffrey Sharp, fosters a vibrant and sustainable independent storytelling community through its year-round programs, which include Gotham Week, Gotham Labs, Filmmaker Magazine, the Gotham Awards, and Gotham EDU.

ABOUT THE GOTHAM AWARDS:

The Gotham Awards, one of the leading honors for independent film and television, provides early acknowledgement to groundbreaking independent films and television series. Selected by distinguished juries and presented in New York City, the home of independent film, the Gotham Awards are the first honors of the film awards season. This public showcase honors the filmmaking community, expands the audience for independent films, and supports the work that The Gotham Film & Media Institute does behind the scenes throughout the year to bring such films to fruition.

Editor's Note: Information used in this report obtained from Gotham Awards Publicity. Photo of Jonathan Majors and Zazie Beetz from "The Harder They Fall" courtesy of Netflix.