Rating: About Ratings
Opens: 06/16/2021
Running Time: 99
Rated: R
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayek, Morgan Freeman, Frank Grillo, Richard E. Grant and Antonio Banderas.
Crew: Director: Patrick Hughes. Producers: Christa Campbell, Valentin Dimitrov, Thomas A. Giovine, Lati Grobman, Matthew O'Toole and Paul Ritchie. Executive Producers: Boaz Davidson, Jeffrey Greenstein, Avi Lerner, Heidi Jo Markel, Lonnie Ramati and Jonathan Yunger. Screenwriters: Tom O' Connor, Brandon Murphy and Phillip Murphy. Cinematographer: Terry Stacey.
REVIEW: By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

I was in the mood for a few good laughs and caught an early screening of “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard,” the follow-up to the 2017 break out hit, “The Hitman’s Bodyguard.”

Thankfully, this sequel didn’t disappoint. It’s as ridiculously silly and funny as I had hoped.

Patrick Hughes who directed the first movie, is back in the saddle again. With “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard,” Hughes and screenwriters Tom O’Connor, (“The Courier”), Brandon Murphy (“Snow Valley”) and Phillip Murphy (“The Last Drop”) have doubled down on the action and comedy and deliver a lively, funny, and wildly entertaining movie.

“The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” sure does earn its “R-Rating.” It's not just because of the f-bombs and profanity laced diatribe spewing from hitman Darius Kincaid (a funny Samuel L. Jackson, “Spiral”), but also from his feisty, international con artist wife Sonia (a fabulous Salma Hayek, “Like a Boss”). She’s even told by shamed bodyguard Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds, “Deadpool 3”) that her mouth is “in need of an exorcism.”

Then again, Michael (Reynolds) hasn’t been himself lately either. He still can’t shake losing his Triple A bodyguard certification. It’s got him all torn up and on edge as he awaits word if he’ll be reinstated.

He’s even seeing a psychiatrist (Rebecca Front, TV’s “The Other One”) and he is really driving her crazy with all his ramblings about not being recognized as a bodyguard. She suggests he take things easy, put away his guns and go on vacation to Italy and unwind.

Michael does, but that tranquility is short-lived when Sonia (Hayek) shows up out of the blue. She needs his help to rescue Darius (Jackson) who is caught in more of his usual mess of owing money to mobsters and the like.

Their mission gets even more complicated and dangerous when an Interpol agent named Bobby (Frank Grillo, “Black and Blue”) enlist their services to help him track down the sought-after criminal and shipping tycoon, Aristotle Papadopolous (Antonio Banderas, “Pain and Glory”).
Apparently, Aristotle isn’t happy with the EU and how its placed sanctions on Greece. So, he’s got something up his sleeve and is out for revenge.

Their big plan doesn’t exactly pan out and soon Michael, Sonia and Darius find themselves on the run from Aristotle’s crew and are forced to reach out to Michael’s adoptive father who is none other than Morgan Freeman (“Coming 2 America”). Michael sure has some “daddy” issues. The encounter with Michael, his father and when Sonia and Darius meet him, is just flat-out hilarious.

The stunts in “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” are impressive too and the movie moves at a fast clip. As good as Reynolds and Jackson are together here, it is Hayek who steals the show.

Hayek’s the sweet treat in “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard.” It’s good to see the “wifey” shine even more the second time around.

Editor's Note: Be sure to catch my 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.


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 Awards.

Rated: PG-13
Opens: 06/11/2021
In The Heights

Rated: PG
Opens: 06/03/2021
Spirit Untamed

Rated: R
Opens: 06/04/2021
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

Rated: PG-13
Opens: 05/28/2021
Shepherd: The Story Of A Jewish Dog

Rated: PG-13
Opens: 05/28/2021

Rated: PG-13
Opens: 05/28/2021
A Quiet Place: Part II


Year Released: 2020
Running Time: 94
Production Company: Paramount
Director: Arthur A. Seidelman
Director of Photography: Hanania Baer
Screenwriter: Mark McClafferty, Clint Smith, Mark E. Corry, Lin Marlin and Sam Egan
Author: By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

REVIEW: There are a handful of Christmas movies that I absolutely must watch the week before Christmas.

They include: "The Preacher's Wife," with Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston. It's a remake of the 1947 film, "The Bishop's Wife" starring Cary Grant and Loretta Young.

Then there's of course, "It's a Wonderful Life," followed by "Frosty the Snowman," Rudolph...

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” 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.

The Unhealer 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.
(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


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).

Deadly Illusions Title: Deadly Illusions
Year Released: 2021
Running Time: 114
Production Company: Dark Star Pictures
Director: Anna Elisabeth James
Review By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs


“Deadly Illusions,” the new drama from director/screenwriter Anna Elizabeth James (“Destined to Ride”) is a real tease.
At first you think you’re in for this dark, mysterious thriller, but there just aren’t many surprising twists or enough drama and it becomes a slow-moving film that strings you along but never heats up like you’d expect.

Kristin Davies (TV’s “Sex and the City” and “Deeds”) and Dermot Mulroney (“The Blazing World”) star as a married couple with two kids.

Mary Morrison (Davis) is a bestselling novelist who has been offered a $2 million dollar advance on her next book. However, she is just not feeling it and has writer’s block. She’s also kind of gotten used to the whole homemaker role.

Her domestic bliss doesn’t last for long because her husband Tom (Mulroney) has made a bad financial investment and now their money is funny. So, Mary needs to get those creative writing juices flowing if they intend to maintain their comfy little lifestyle.

She’s angered by Tom’s carelessness, but dives in anyway and even hires a babysitter named Grace (Greer Grammar, “Roe v. Wade” and TV’s “The Goldbergs”) to look after the kids while she’s working.

Mary is taken by Grace who is perfect. She very attentive and gets along well with the kids. Her attraction to Grace goes far beyond a casual friendship. It intensifies so much so, that Mary’s fantasies begin to consume her. Grace finds herself attracted to Mary and Tom too or maybe she’s just using them for her own selfish purposes.

Soon Mary’s real life--which also includes her best friend Elaine (Shanola Hampton, TV’s “Shameless”)-- and the novel she’s writing become inextricably tied.

”Deadly Illusions” is available June 1 on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu, Fandango Now, YouTube, Dish Network and through local cable providers.
Prior to his TV and film career, Michael Warren was a standout basketball player for which of the following colleges?
San Francisco State University--Gators
University California, Los Angeles--Bruins
Cal State University San Bernardino--Coyotes
University of San Francisco--Dons
IN THE HEIGHTS By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs:


The creator of “Hamilton,” Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Jon Chu, the director of “Crazy Rich Asians” invite you to the event of the summer, where the streets are made of music and little dreams become big.

“In The Heights: The IMAX Experience” opens at the Esquire IMAX Theatre on June 10 at 7 p.m. Tickets are on sale at the theater box office and online at


Lights up on Washington Heights…The scent of cafecito caliente hangs in the air just outside of the 181st Street subway stop, where a kaleidoscope of dreams rallies this vibrant and tight-knit community. At the intersection of it all is the likeable and magnetic bodega owner Usnavi (Anthony Ramos, “Hamilton”), who saves every penny from his daily grind as he hopes, imagines, and sings about a better life.

“In The Heights” fuses Miranda’s kinetic music and lyrics with director Chu’s lively and authentic eye for storytelling to capture a world very much of its place, but universal in its experience.

The IMAX release of “In The Heights” 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


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. More information about the Company can be found at You may also connect with IMAX on Facebook (, Twitter ( and YouTube.

Editor’s Note: Information used in this report obtained from IMAX publicity.



Universal Pictures recently announced that to celebrate the arrival of F9, the newest chapter in the “Fast and Furious” Saga, in theaters June 25, the studio and its theater partners across the U.S. has launched a free nationwide screening series of all eight previous “Fast” films, beginning April 30, 2021.

The eight-week program invites fans to watch all eight previous “Fast” films in participating theaters, free of charge, with one film screening each Friday. The films will be screened in chronological order, beginning with 2001’s “The Fast and the Furious” (April 30) and culminating with 2017’s “The Fate of the Furious” on June 18.

The screening series will launch in more than 500 theaters across the U.S. and will ultimately expand to more than 900 theaters. Theaters that join the screening series after April 30 will begin their screenings with whichever film is already scheduled to screen in that week.

Participating theaters include: AMC Theatres, Regal, Cinemark Theatres, Marcus Theatres, Harkins Theatres, Showcase Cinemas, Santikos Entertainment, B&B Theatres, Cinépolis USA, Georgia Theatre Company, Marquee Cinemas, Epic Theatres, EVO Cinemas, Megaplex Theatres, Maya Cinemas, Xscape Theatres, Silverspot Cinema, Golden Star Theaters, MovieScoop Cinemas and Premiere Cinemas.

Over the course of eight films that have stoked passion in an ever-expanding audience and have earned more than $5 billion at the worldwide box office, Universal Pictures’ record-smashing, homegrown “Fast” Saga has become the studio’s most-profitable and longest-running franchise. Across social media platforms, the fan following for the movies and cast has grown into the biggest of any active franchise.

On the heels of 2017’s “The Fate of the Furious,” which debuted in theaters as the biggest global opening of all time, the blockbuster franchise has expanded to a multitude of offerings – from toys and video games to an all-new animated series and a successfully launched spin-off franchise.

“The “Fast” films are all about family, and Universal wanted to find a way to thank our huge family of “Fast” fans around the country for their passion and loyalty over the past 20 years,” said Jim Orr, Universal’s President of Domestic Theatrical Distribution. “We’re grateful to our theater partners for their help in making this screening series possible and we are delighted to welcome audiences back to theaters to experience the wild “Fast” ride all over again. And we cannot wait to blow everyone’s minds with the release of “F9 “on June 25.”

Screening tickets will be distributed by each individual theater and will be available the Friday before each weekly screening, starting on Friday, April 30. Visit for further information on how to receive tickets.

The remaining schedule of screenings is as follows:

Friday 5/7– 2 Fast 2 Furious

Friday 5/14– The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

Friday 5/21- Fast & Furious

Friday 5/28– Fast Five

Friday 6/4– Fast & Furious 6

Friday 6/11– Furious 7

Friday 6/18– The Fate of the Furious.

In addition to the screening series, Entertainment Weekly’s popular Binge Podcast will take fans through each of the previous “Fast” films in an eight-week series featuring exclusive conversations with the stars who brought those movies to life. Each episode will focus on one movie in the franchise with a “Fast” cast member from that particular film. Beginning April 30, a new episode will drop each “Fast Friday,” every week, leading up to the release of “F9” on June 25.


No matter how fast you are, no one outruns their past. F9 is the ninth chapter in the “Fast & Furious” saga, which has endured for two decades and has earned more than $5 billion around the world.

Vin Diesel’s Dom Toretto is leading a quiet life off the grid with Letty and his son, little Brian, but they know that danger always lurks just over their peaceful horizon. This time, that threat will force Dom to confront the sins of his past if he’s going to save those he loves most. His crew joins together to stop a world-shattering plot led by the most skilled assassin and high-performance driver they’ve ever encountered: a man who also happens to be Dom’s forsaken brother, Jakob (John Cena, the upcoming “The Suicide Squad”).

“F9” sees the return of Justin Lin as director, who helmed the third, fourth, fifth and sixth chapters of the series when it transformed into a global blockbuster. The action hurtles around the globe—from London to Tokyo, from Central America to Edinburgh, and from a secret bunker in Azerbaijan to the teeming streets of Tbilisi. Along the way, old friends will be resurrected, old foes will return, history will be rewritten, and the true meaning of family will be tested like never before.

The film stars returning cast members Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jordana Brewster and Sung Kang, with Oscar winners Helen Mirren and Charlize Theron along with Kurt Russell.

“F9” also features Grammy-winning superstar Cardi B as new franchise character Leysa, a woman with a connection to Dom’s past, and a cameo by Reggaeton sensation Ozuna.

“F9” is produced by Neal H. Moritz, p.g.a., Vin Diesel, p.g.a., Justin Lin, p.g.a., Jeff Kirschenbaum, p.g.a., Joe Roth, Clayton Townsend, p.g.a., and Samantha Vincent.

Universal Pictures presents an Original Film/One Race Films/Perfect Storm production in association with Roth/Kirschenbaum Films, a Justin Lin film.


Universal Pictures is a division of Universal Studios ( Universal Studios is part of NBCUniversal. NBCUniversal is one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group and world-renowned theme parks. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.

Editor’s Note: Information used in this report obtained from Universal Pictures Publicity.



The world’s most lethal odd couple – bodyguard Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) and hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) are back on another life-threatening mission. “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard: The IMAX Experience” opens at the Esquire IMAX Theatre on June 16 at 7 p.m. Tickets are on sale at the theater box office and online at


Still unlicensed and under scrutiny, Bryce is forced into action by Darius’s even more volatile wife, the infamous international con artist Sonia Kincaid (Salma Hayek). As Bryce is driven over the edge by his two most dangerous protectees, the trio get in over their heads in a global plot and soon find that they are all that stand between Europe and a vengeful and powerful madman (Antonio Banderas). Joining in the fun and deadly mayhem is Morgan Freeman as...well, you’ll have to see.

The IMAX release of “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” 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.

DISNEY JUNGLE CRUISE By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs:


Inspired by the famous Disneyland theme park ride, Disney’s “Jungle Cruise” is an adventure-filled, rollicking thrill-ride down the Amazon with wisecracking skipper Frank Wolff and intrepid researcher Dr. Lily Houghton. Lily travels from London, England to the Amazon jungle and enlists Frank’s questionable services to guide her downriver on La Quila—his ramshackle-but-charming boat.

Lily is determined to uncover an ancient tree with unparalleled healing abilities—possessing the power to change the future of medicine. Thrust on this epic quest together, the unlikely duo encounters innumerable dangers and supernatural forces, all lurking in the deceptive beauty of the lush rainforest. But as the secrets of the lost tree unfold, the stakes reach even higher for Lily and Frank and their fate—and mankind’s—hangs in the balance.

Jaume Collet-Serra directs the film, which stars Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, Edgar Ramírez and Jack Whitehall, with Jesse Plemons, and Paul Giamatti.

The producers are John Davis and John Fox of Davis Entertainment; Dwayne Johnson, Hiram Garcia and Dany Garcia of Seven Bucks Productions; and Beau Flynn of Flynn Picture Co., with Scott Sheldon and Doug Merrifield serving as executive producers. The story is by John Norville & Josh Goldstein and Glenn Ficarra & John Requa, and the screenplay is by Michael Green and Glenn Ficarra & John Requa.

Disney’s “Jungle Cruise” releases in U.S. theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access on July 30.


Premier Access provides an opportunity for consumers to watch newly released theatrical films on Disney+ for an additional one-time fee and an active Disney+ subscription. Disney+ subscribers can get Premier Access for a one-time fee of $29.99 per movie paid directly on or on supported platforms. Once Premier Access has been unlocked, subscribers can enjoy a cinematic experience at home through the Disney+ app on a wide range of mobile and connected TV devices, including gaming consoles, streaming media players, and smart TVs.