|Rating: About Ratings
|Running Time: 110
|Cast: Melissa Barrera, Mason Gooding, Jenna Ortega, Jack Quaid, Marley Shelton, Courteney Cox, David Arquette and
|Crew: Directors: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett. Producers: Paul Neinstein, William Sherak and James Vanderbilt. Executive Producers: Gary Barber, Cathy Konrad, Ron Lynch, Marianne Maddalena, Peter Oillataguerre, Chad Vilella and Kevin Williamson. Screenwriters: James Vanderbilt, Guy Busick and Kevin Williamson. Cinematographer: Brett Jutkiewicz.
|REVIEW: By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
With the fifth installment of "Scream," Paramount pictures looks to breathe new life into this successful movie franchise.
The late, great Wes Craven (“Red Eye”) who died in 2015, directed the original 1996 “Scream” movie as well as the 1997, 2000 and 2011 box office hit follow ups.
Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett ("Ready or Not") along with executive producer Chad Villella, ("Ready or Not") take the helm this time around. "Scream," which the filmmakers call a "Requel"--a cross between a remake and sequel--has its moments, but they are short-lived. Still, nostalgia goes a long way and "Scream" features pop culture references and other clever winks and nods to the franchise.
The more things change in the fictional town of Woodsboro, California, the more they remain the same. We are introduced to new characters such as Jack Quaid (TV's "The Boys"), Jenna Ortega (TV’s "Wednesday") and Melissa Barrera ("In the Heights") and other teens who become prey for the new masked Ghostface Killer that is terrorizing their hometown.
"Scream" original heroes, former sheriff Dewey Riley (David Arquette, TV's "High Heel"), news reporter Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox, TV's "Modern Family"), (Neve Campbell, "The Lincoln Lawyer"), and Deputy Judy Hicks (Marley Shelton, TV's "Manhunt") become major players in this bloody nightmare.
This installment will probably satisfy diehard "Scream" fans itching for a trip back down memory lane. Plus, it should do well at the box office and could even take down "Spider-Man: No Way Home" which has held the No. 1 spot for four straight weeks.
However, for me the thrill is gone from this series and much of the reason is because of the absence of Wes Craven. He was a master at bringing the right amount of shocks, thrills, and humor.
Call it what you want, but this "Scream" requel/sequel/reboot doesn't have much to shout or scream about.
Editor's Note: Be sure to catch my N2Entertainment.net movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays at 6:20 p.m. on radio station KFBK 93.1 FM and 1530 AM.
Watch This Trailer For "SCREAM"
Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), The Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC), The American Film Institute (AFI), and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image...
OLD SCHOOL VIDEO PICK OF THE MONTH
Title: Book Of Numbers
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.
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
Yeah, Philip Michael Thomas who played Ricardo “Rico” Tubbs alongside Don Johnson in the...
NEW ON DVD
Title: Meat Me Halfway
"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” 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.
"Meat Me Halfway" is available July 20 on VOD and streaming platforms.
Title: No Ordinary Love
"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” 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.
Title: The Unhealer
Year Released: 2021
Running Time: 94
Production Company: Shout! Studios
Director: Martin Guigul
Review By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
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.
Title: Endangered Species
Year Released: 2021
Running Time: 101
Production Company: Blue Sky Films
Director: M.J. Bassett
Review By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
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.
By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs:
N2ENTERTAINMENT'S TOP 20 MOVIES OF 2021
The seemingly never-ending pandemic continues to alter most every aspect of our lives. Hollywood has certainly had to pivot and adjust many of its movie premieres, junkets and awards shows.
While most everything on the entertainment front remains in a state of flux, the good news is that these changes/delays allowed N2Entertainment.net additional time to watch, re-watch and review more movies to consider for its list of The Top 20 Movies of 2021.
Once again, the Black experience was celebrated and showcased through dynamic storytelling in outstanding dramas like director Reinaldo Marcus Green's, "King Richard" along with the Revisionist Western, "The Harder They Fall," and Jennifer Hudson's amazing portrayal of Aretha Franklin in the biopic, "Respect."
There were other movies too that captivated and resonated with a wide range of audiences such as "House of Gucci" and "The Power of the Dog."
So, after much careful consideration, I am pleased to report that N2Entertainment.net has compiled its list of The Top 20 Movies Of 2021. This year, I've also included my Top 5 picks for the "Best Animated Movies," "Best Horror Films" and the "Best Documentaries" of 2021.
Take a look at N2Entertainment.net's Top 20 Movies of 2021.
1. "King Richard"
2. "The Harder They Fall"
3. "House Of Gucci"
5. "The Power of The Dog"
7. "The Tragedy of Macbeth"
8. "West Side Story"
9. "Being the Ricardos"
10. "A Quiet Place II "
11. "A Journal for Jordan"
12. "The Tender Bar"
14. "In the Heights"
15. "No Time to Die"
16. "Shepherd: The Story of a Jewish Dog"
17. "Licorice Pizza"
TOP FIVE DOCUMENTARIES:
1. "Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised")
3. "1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything"
4. "Punch 9 for Harold Washington"
5. "The Beatles: Get Back"
TOP FIVE ANIMATED MOVIES:
2. "Raya and the Last Dragon"
3. "Sing II"
4. "Spirit Untamed"
TOP FIVE HORROR MOVIES:
2. "Halloween Kills"
3. "Spiral: From the Book of Saw"
4. "The Forever Purge"
5. "The Djinn"
By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs:
AND THE SAG NOMINEES ARE...
The Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAG) were announced on Jan. 12. On the movie front, director Ridley Scott’s drama, “House of Gucci,” and Jane Campion’s critically acclaimed Western “Power of the Dog,” led all films with three nominations.
Benedict Cumberbatch snagged the nomination for "Best Actor." "Kirsten Dunst" received a nod for "Best Supporting Actress" and Kodi Smit-McPhee garnered "Best Supporting Actor." The Netflix drama, “Power of the Dog,” didn't land a nomination for "Best Ensemble." That honor went to the movies "King Richard," "House of Gucci," “Belfast,” “CODA,” and “Don’t Look Up.”
N2Entertainment.net is also pleased that Ruth Negga, who stars in the excellent drama "Passing," captured a SAG nomination for "Best Supporting Actress."
The 28th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, presented by SAG-AFTRA with Screen Actors Guild Awards, LLC will air live on TNT and TBS on Feb. 27 at 8 p.m. (ET/PT). The SAG awards ceremony will also honor Helen Mirren with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
For more information about the SAG Awards or SAG-AFTRA visit sagawards.org/about.
In the meantime, here's a complete list of the film and television nominees. Stay tuned forN2Entertainment's list of The Top 20 Movies of 2021.
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series:
Murray Bartlett ("The White Lotus")
Oscar Isaac ("Scenes From a Marriage")
Michael Keaton ("Dopesick")
Ewan McGregor ("Halston")
Evan Peters ("Mare of Easttown")
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series:
Jennifer Coolidge ("The White Lotus")
Cynthia Erivo ("Genius: Aretha")
Margaret Qualley ("Maid")
Jean Smart ("Mare of Easttown")
Kate Winslet ("Mare of Easttown")
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series:
Michael Douglas ("The Kominsky Method")
Brett Goldstein (“Ted Lasso”)
Steve Martin ("Only Murders in the Building")
Martin Short ("Only Murders in the Building")
Jason Sudeikis ("Ted Lasso")
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series:
Elle Fanning ("The Great")
Sandra Oh ("The Chair")
Jean Smart ("Hacks")
Juno Temple ("Ted Lasso")
Hannah Waddingham ("Ted Lasso")
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series:
"The Great" (Hulu)
"Hacks" (HBO Max)
"The Kominsky Method" (Netflix)
"Only Murders in the Building" (Hulu)
"Ted Lasso" (Apple TV Plus)
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series:
Brian Cox ("Succession")
Billy Crudup ("The Morning Show")
Kieran Culkin ("Succession")
Lee Jung-Jae (“Squid Game”)
Jeremy Strong ("Succession")
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series:
Jennifer Aniston ("The Morning Show")
Jung Ho-yeon ("Squid Game")
Elizabeth Moss ("The Handmaid’s Tale")
Sarah Snook ("Succession")
Reese Witherspoon (“The Morning Show”)
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series:
"The Handmaid’s Tale" (Hulu)
"The Morning Show" (Apple TV Plus)
"Squid Game" (Netflix)
"Yellowstone" (Paramount Network)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role:
Caitríona Balfe ("Belfast")
Cate Blanchett ("Nightmare Alley")
Ariana DeBose ("West Side Story")
Kirsten Dunst ("The Power of the Dog")
Ruth Negga ("Passing")
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role:
Ben Affleck ("The Tender Bar")
Bradley Cooper ("Licorice Pizza")
Troy Kotsur ("CODA")
Jared Leto ("House of Gucci")
Kodi Smit-McPhee ("The Power of the Dog")
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role:
Jessica Chastain ("The Eyes of Tammy Faye")
Olivia Colman ("The Lost Daughter")
Lady Gaga ("House of Gucci")
Jennifer Hudson ("Respect")
Nicole Kidman ("Being the Ricardos")
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role:
Javier Bardem ("Being the Ricardos")
Benedict Cumberbatch ("The Power of the Dog")
Andrew Garfield ("Tick, Tick … Boom!")
Will Smith ("King Richard")
Denzel Washington ("The Tragedy of Macbeth")
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture:
"Belfast" (Focus Features)
"CODA" (Apple Original Films)
"Don’t Look Up" (Netflix)
"House of Gucci" (MGM/United Artists Releasing)
"King Richard" (Warner Bros)
Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture:
"The Matrix Resurrections"
"No Time to Die"
"Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings"
Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series:
"The Falcon and the Winter Soldier"
"Mare of Easttown"
Editor's Note: For more information about the SAG Awards or SAG-AFTRA visit sagawards.org/about.
TNT, a WarnerMedia brand, is watched by more people than any other cable network and known for big, lean-forward television that gives viewers the best seat in the house for electrifying stories, dynamic characters and thrilling events. TNT is home to some of television's most popular original series including "Snowpiercer," "Animal Kingdom," and "Claws." TNT is expanding its programming to include premium unscripted with the docuseries "Shaq Life." TNT also presents primetime specials and sports coverage, including the NBA and NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championships and the professional wrestling league All Elite Wrestling (AEW), which has exploded onto the scene with "AEW: Dynamite." Website: www.tntdrama.com.
TBS, a WarnerMedia brand, is a top-rated destination for television among young adults and known for escapist, lean-in 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," "CONAN," "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," and fan favorite "Wipeout," along with, new series "Friday Night Vibes" and "The Cube."
There's also the upcoming series "The Big D." TBS' lineup also includes comedy hits like "Family Guy" and "The Big Bang Theory," classic sitcom favorites "Friends" and "Seinfeld," 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.
For more info check out the website: www.tbs.com.
By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs:
Last week N2Entertainment.net attended a virtual Critics Choice Awards press conference with Lady Gaga and Jared Leto on behalf of their critically acclaimed movie, “House of Gucci.”
The event featured questions from CCA members and was moderated by Variety’s talented writer/reporter Jazz Tangcay.
N2Entertainment.net’s question is near the end of the interview.
Leto is being praised for his transformational role and performance. Lady Gaga is also a major frontrunner to snag a “Best Actress” award this year. Lady Gaga won her first Oscar at the 91st Academy Awards (2019) for the song “Shallow” from the movie “A Star is Born” which she performed with co-star Bradley Cooper (“Nightmare Alley”).
Take a listen to Lady Gaga and Jared Leto discuss the preparation that went into their roles for “House of Gucci.”
Click here to watch.