THE LION KING
Rating: About Ratings
Opens: 07/19/2019
Running Time: 118
Rated: PG
Cast: Donald Glover, James Earl Jones Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, Billy Eichner, John Kani, Beyoncé John Oliver and Knowles-Carter.
Crew: Director: Jon Favreau. Producers: Jon Favreau, John Bartnicki, Debbi Bossi, Karen Gilchrist, Jeffrey Silver, David H. Venghaus Jr. Mario Zvan. Executive Producers: Tom C. Peitzman, Thomas Schumacher, Jim Shamoon and Mario Zvan. Screenwriters: Jeff Nathanson, Brenda Chapman, Irene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts and Linda Woolverton. Cinematographer: Caleb Deschanel. Music: Hans Zimmer.
REVIEW: By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

Disney continues to tap into its treasure chest of animated movies and turn classics like “Dumbo,” “The Jungle Book” and “Aladdin” into live action re-makes. The latest is “The Lion King.” It’s a stunning, re-imagining of the 1994 movie.

This latest version of “The Lion King” is directed and produced by Jon Favreau (“Spider-Man: Far from Home”) who also helmed 2016’s outstanding movie, “The Jungle Book.”

There’s a large camp whose sentimentality and nostalgia runs deep, and they believe none of the Disney classics need a make-over. Then there are others who aren’t as diehard and are open to changing things up a bit.

There’s also many who will experience the magic and wonder of “The Lion King” for the first time.

They won’t be disappointed as this one is a real delight.

Aside from the live setting, Favreau didn’t change much from the original. Even the dialogue is pretty much word for word.

What makes “The Lion King” really roar is how spectacular it looks and how realistic the animals are. It’s as if while watching the film you’re transported to an African Savanna.

While much has been made about the talking animals, I didn’t find them distracting at all.

Favreau and his talented filmmaking crew utilized state of the art motion capture technology and it’s a seamless transition that makes it appear as if the lions: Mufasa (voiced by the legendary James Earl Jones, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”), young Simba, played by JD McCrary (“Little” and TV’s “American Soul”) and Donald Glover (TV’s “Atlanta,”), Nala (a terrific Beyoncé), Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years a Slave” ) really can talk.

“The Lion King” is just a fabulous story. You’d have to go to great lengths to mess this up which is why I appreciate the few subtle liberties the filmmakers did take with it.

I like its dark moments that play out especially among the hyenas which are led by Kamari (a terrific Keegan-Michael Key, “Toy Story 4”). Ejiofer is also outstanding as Scar, the low-down dirty brother of Mufasa and the uncle of Simba. Scar manipulates his way to become king of the Pride Lands.

Seth Rogan as Pumbaa and Billy Eichner as Timon the meerkat are hilarious and have scene stealing moments. Although I would have enjoyed seeing and hearing more from Sarabi (Alfre Woodard, TV’s “Luke Cage”).

Simba also reconnects with his childhood friend Nala first voiced by (Shahadi Wright Joseph, “Us”) and later as Beyoncé who shines.

They all convince Simba of his rightful place and that he must retain control of the Kingdom which is everything the light touches.

The music of “The Lion King” is unforgettable this time around too. When Nala/Beyoncé and Simba/Glover belt out “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” it’s palpable.

Equally moving is McCrary and Wright Joseph’s snappy, “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” and McCrary holds nothing back on “Hakuna Matata.”

Elton John’s new track “Never too Late” is a winner too.

I loved the original “Lion King” and I love this one too. It stands on its own. It’s a classic for a new generation.

Editor's Note: Be sure to catch my N2Entertainment.net movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays now at 6:20 p.m. on radio station KFBK 1530 AM and 93.1 FM.

Check Out This Trailer For"THE LION KING"

Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics’ Association (BFCA), The Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC), The Alliance Of Women Film Journalists (AWFJ) and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.

Editor's Note: Be sure to catch my N2Entertainment.net movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays now at 6:20 p.m. on...
 

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OLD SCHOOL VIDEO PICK OF THE MONTH

<b>“The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings.”</b> Title: “The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings.”
Year Released: 1977
Running Time: 110
Production Company: Universal Pictures
Director: John Badham
Director of Photography: Bill Butler
Screenwriter: William Brashler
Author: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

REVIEW: It must have been my recent chance meeting with former Dodger legend Dusty Baker that turned my attention to the Dodgers and baseball in particular. Then again, baseball season is right around the corner, so this review was just meant to me.

The truth is, I realized I hadn’t reviewed any baseball movies in a long time. One of my favorite...
NEW ON DVD

Little <b>July 9</b> Title: Little July 9
Year Released: 2019
Running Time: 109
Production Company: Universal Pictures
Director: Tina Gordon Chism
Review By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

"LITTLE"

“Little” is big on laughs thanks to the pint-sized comical wonder Marsai Martin from TV’s “Blackish.”

It seems Martin was merely using “Blackish” as a warm-up drill because she really gets to cut loose in “Little” which is directed and written by Tina Gordon Chism (“What Men Want”). Martin and Regina Hall (“The Hate U Give”) also co-executive produced the movie.

With the scene-stealing Issa Rae (TV’s “Insecure”) in the “Black Girl Magic” mix “Little” hits on all cylinders.

This body-swapping comedy, takes a page from other entries such as “13 Going on 30,” “Freaky Friday” and “Big” among others, but it stands out with its slick style.

Martin plays Jordan Sanders and we first see her at Middle School showing off a science project to her classmates. It should have worked without a hitch, but a mean girl spoils Jordan’s big show. All that humiliation and bullying stayed with Jordan for years. It’s really defined her.

Fast forward today and Jordan is now a hard-working, successful, determined and yes, selfish woman (a terrific Regina Hall) who now heads a prominent tech company in Atlanta.

On the surface it appears Jordan has it all, the killer wardrobe, a palatial pad, the sexy sports car (BMW i8 coupe) and an even sexier boyfriend named Trevor (a very funny Luke James, TV’s “American Soul” and “The Bobby Brown Story”).

Nobody bullies this boss anymore. Jordan calls all the shots now. Yet, the very type of bully that Jordan despised growing up is who she’s become.

Her employees work for her out of fear and really can’t stand her, especially her whip smart assistant April Williams (a scene stealing and funny Issa Rae).
April has her own dreams and goals she’d like to present to the company but doesn’t dare because Jordan will shoot her down.

Actually, Jordan is being squeezed by one of the company’s demanding investors (Mikey Day, TV’s “Saturday Night Live”) to come up with a new app/product in 48 hours. Her nerves are frazzled.

So, when a young girl named Stevie (Marley Taylor, “Almost Christmas”) visits the office and starts butting in Jordan's business, she lets her have it.

Stevie is so mad and says she wishes Jordan was little like her so she could beat her up. Using her toy wand, Stevie pretends to cast a magic spell to make Jordan little. Turns out, it works.
Like magic, Jordan is soon transformed into a younger and smaller version of herself played by Marsai Martin.

Little Jordan doesn’t miss a beat either. She has every bit of her older counterpart’s rudeness, sassiness and obnoxiousness.

And this is when “Little” flies into funny land.

Much of the humor comes when Little Jordan (Martin) attempts to find Stevie and get her to reverse the curse as well as when Little Jordan does everything that the older Jordan would do, from drinking wine—which she doesn’t of course—flirting with her hunky teacher, Mr. Marshall (Justin Hartley, TV’s “This is Us”) to rocking smaller versions of her fine designer clothes and throwing plenty of shade to anyone that gets in her way.

Jordan’s road to finding herself and becoming a better person takes all sorts of twists and turns, the biggest involves reliving her school days which results in some hard-earned lessons for her. The movie’s message to preteens about not bowing to peer pressure and standing out from the crowd is a good one too.
(Recommended).

The Best Of Enemies <b>(July 2)</b> Title: The Best Of Enemies (July 2)
Year Released: 2019
Running Time: 133
Production Company: STX Films
Director: Robin Russell
Review By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

"THE BEST OF ENEMIES"

Taraji P. Henson has been a fierce force on both the big and small screen. The hit TV show “Empire” made her star shine brighter and Henson has continued to impress with powerful roles like her Oscar nominated performance as NASA mathematician Katherine G. Johnson in the 2016 movie “Hidden Figures.”

She delivers once again, this time in the Civil Rights drama, “The Best of Enemies” from director Robin Bissell (“The Hunger Games” and “Seabiscuit”).

“The Best of Enemies” is based on a true story and adapted from the book “The Best of Enemies: Race and Redemption in the New South” by Osha Gray Davidson.

The movie is set in Durham, N.C. and is a startling, feel-good, race relations drama. Henson stars as Ann Atwater, a fearless activist who works tirelessly to better the educational and economic plight of blacks in her community. Her latest fight is ensuring that their housing needs are adequately met.

It’s not easy because she must constantly battle the lily-white city council members. Many of them are members of the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan that’s run by C.P. Ellis (a terrific Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”), a gas station owner whose wife Mary (Anne Heche, TV’s “Chicago P.D.”) can barely tolerate him. He also has three sons. One is in a psychiatric facility.

It pains C.P. that he can’t do nearly as much as he’d like for his disabled son or the rest of the family.

While those issues are a major concern, they soon pale in comparison to what C.P. is about to encounter.

The town is shaken when an electrical fire breaks out at the all black school and makes it unsafe for the students there to attend. It puts the city council on edge as they now must decide if the black kids should be bused to the white school while it’s being repaired. Doing so would integrate the schools and that has most of the whites in town mad as hell.

Mayor Carvie Oldham (the always excellent Bruce McGill, TV’s “Suits”) isn’t about to let integration happen on his watch. So, he instructs C.P. and others to do whatever it takes to make sure blacks stay in their place.

However, tensions rise when an outside Black mediator named Bill Riddick (Babou Ceesay, TV’s “Into the Badlands”) is brought in to organize and facilitate a charrette committee.

The hope is this two-week gathering of blacks and whites will bring about some constructive plans on how to move forward on the integration issue.

At first blush, this sounds like a horrible idea, especially since Riddick wants C.P. and Ann to co-chair the committee. After rounds of heated arguments from black and white residents, a bit of a compromise is reached about organizing these meetings.

But the bigger story is what occurs during the process. C.P. and Ann start listening to each other and he comes around and agrees on voting for the integration change. What’s more surprising as other personal family issues surface, is that these two develop an unlikely friendship that seriously alters their lives in a meaningful way.

That Ann and C.P. were able to find some sort of common ground and change their attitudes is remarkable.

If someone had told me about this story prior to seeing this movie, I wouldn’t have believed them. Honestly, it’s hard to wrap my head around it even after seeing it.

“The Best of Enemies” is an unbelievable, inspiring and uplifting story. Henson, Rockwell and really the entire cast make it an exceptional and timely movie.
(Highly Recommended).

Dumbo <b> (June 25) </b> Title: Dumbo (June 25)
Year Released: 2019
Running Time: 110
Production Company: Walt Disney
Director: Tim Burton
Review By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

“DUMBO”

Director Tim Burton (“Beetlejuice 2” and “Alice Through the Looking Glass”) and screenwriter Ehren Kruger’s (“The Ring”) live-action, re-imagined version of “Dumbo” is an ambitious effort, but still lacks that overall, big screen Disney magic.

Burton pays homage to the original 1941 “Dumbo” movie. There aren’t any talking animals here and he manages to keep things fairly interesting throughout the film’s 112 minutes run time.

In “Dumbo” Danny DeVito (TV’s “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”) plays Max Medici, a flamboyant ringmaster and owner of the Medici Bros. Circus. He has all the notable attractions, a snake charmer, bearded lady and even the strongest man alive. But these acts have kind of worn out their welcome. Max is looking for the next big thing to pack the Big Top.

Little does he know that the elephant he bought will be the key to his success. Mrs. Dumbo is pregnant. When she has her baby, it surprises everyone. That’s because the little elephant with the big, baby blue eyes seems like it would fit in to the circus freak show since it has such enormous ears. But, when World War I veteran and former circus star Holt Farrier ( a very good Colin Farrell, “Widows”) returns home shockingly injured and sees that his two kids Milly (an adorable Nico Parker, “Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Parade”) and Joe (Finley Hobbins) have not only been taking care of little Dumbo, but teaching it a few feathery tricks, he senses that Max may have something special to offer audiences after all.

Little Dumbo is uniquely talented. Those big ears are like wings and allows him to fly like a bird whenever he sees a floating feather.

Surely, that will entice people to come visit. Sure enough, Max is eager to promote little Dumbo and he’s a rousing success. Soon Max is making loads of money off this pachyderm.

He’s not the only one who wants to cash in on Dumbo. Amusement Park magnate and sleaze ball extraordinaire V.A. Vandevere (an over the top Michael Keaton, “Spider-Man: Homecoming”), his French trapeze artist girlfriend Colette Marchant (Eva Green, “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”) and Wall Street tycoon, J. Griffin Remington (Alan Arkin, TV’s “The Kominsky Method”) can’t wait to get their hands on Dumbo for investment purposes as well as showcase the elephant at Dreamland Park.

Vandevere wants Max and his troupe to join him. They offer to buy him out with a ton of money. Max agrees, but it’s not long before he realizes Vandevere’s villainous plans.

Now, Max’s eccentric crew must band together and rescue Dumbo and his mother and escape from the maniacal Vandevere.

Burton’s artistry is apparent throughout “Dumbo” and the little elephant is without a doubt a showstopper especially when it takes flight. It’s unfortunate the rest of the movie doesn’t always soar as high.
(Recommended).

Editor’s Note: The special Blu-Ray and DVD Features include:

CIRCUS SPECTACULARS: Dumbo’s cast share their experience of making the film—and get to the heart of a story about family and believing in yourself.

THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM: Explore how one of Disney’s most lovable characters went from an animated classic to a stunning live-action retelling.

BUILT TO AMAZE: Get a closer look at the film’s production and costume design.

DELETED SCENES: A compelling collection of scenes that almost made the final film.

1. Roustabout Rufus
2. Pachyderm Plans
3. The Other Medici Brother
4. Monkey Business
5. A Star Is Born
6. Where’s Dumbo
7. Elephant Heist
8. A Seat at the Show.

EASTER EGGS ON PARADE: Discover the hidden and not-so-hidden nods to the animated Dumbo in this narrated tribute to the Disney classic.

CLOWNING AROUND: Laugh along with the cast in a collection of big-top bloopers and goofs from the set.

“BABY MINE”: Visual video performed by Arcade Fire.

DIGITAL EXCLUSIVE:
DREAMLAND – ANATOMY OF A SCENE: From Final Script to Final Scene. Hear the cast discuss how each scene was planned.

US <b> (June 18) </b> Title: US (June 18)
Year Released: 2019
Running Time: 116
Production Company: Universal Pictures
Director: Jordan Peele
Review By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

"US"

Anyone who thought that Oscar winning director/screenwriter Jordan Peele couldn’t top his 2017 hit movie “Get Out” had to be surprised by his clever, jarring, haunting psychological thriller, “Us.”

If you’re a horror fan, this is one DVD you’ll want to have among your collection especially since the 4K Ultra HD, Blu-Ray and digital discs have some very cool bonus features. More on that in a minute.

When I first saw the trailer for “Us” during Super Bowl LIII I was nearly floored. I was actually completely floored by the final score of the game. The New England Patriots beat my Los Angeles Rams 13-3. That’s haunted me more than this movie, but I digress.

In “Us” Lupita Nyong’o (“12 Years a Slave”) and “Black Panther” star Winston Duke play Adelaide/Red and Gabe Wilson/Abraham, a married couple with two pre-teen kids, Zora/Umbrae (Shahadi Wright Joseph, TV’s “Hairspray Live”/“The Lion King”) and Jason/Pluto (Evan Alex, TV’s “Kidding”).

The family is vacationing at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Well, everyone except for Adelaide. As a kid she had a traumatic experience while inside the Boardwalk’s haunted mirror house and she hasn’t been able to shake it after all these years.

Although she’s back with her family, Adelaide still has an uneasiness about being in Santa Cruz despite their best friends Kitty Tyler/Dahlia (Elisabeth Moss, TV’s “The Handmaid’s Tale”) and her husband Josh/Tex (Tim Heidecker, “Ant-Man and the Wasp”) joining them.

Kitty and Josh are quite the couple. How they’ve managed to stay married this long without killing each other is anyone’s guess. It must be because of their cute, twin daughters Becca (Cali Sheldon) and Lindsay (Noelle Sheldon).

When Jason goes looking for the bathroom, he notices a bizarre figure plopped smack dab in the middle of the beach. Its hands are dripping with blood.

When Adelaide realizes Jason has been gone for some time, she starts to panic and all those emotions she had as a child come rushing back.
It’s just the beginning of the terror that’s about to take hold of this family.

When the Wilsons arrive home and get settled in, they notice a family standing in their driveway wearing red clothes and each are holding a pair of big scissors. What’s odder is they look exactly like them.

Who are they? Where did they come from? What do they want?

Peele uses creative metaphors, a biblical reference—Jeremiah 11:11—rabbits, along with numerous layers of subtext, spot on humor and even music to ramp up this fright fest.

With “Us” Peele shows he isn’t afraid to shake up the horror genre.While I liked “Get Out” slightly more than “Us,” Peele sure is winning me over with his talents. I’m eager to see what other cinematic tricks he has up his sleeve.
(Recommended).

Editor’s Note: Check Out The Exclusive Bonus Features On 4K Ultra HD, Blu-Ray and Digital:
Scene Explorations: The making of three iconic scenes from the film including the Tyler house massacre, Jason’s abduction and Adelaide’s underground flashback.
Seven Second Massacre:
It’s a Trap:
I Just Want My Little Girl Back

BONUS FEATURES on 4K ULTRA HD, BLU-RAYTM, DVD AND DIGITAL:

THE DUALITY OF “US” – Jordan Peele goes in-depth on some of the key themes and imagery in “Us”– including Doppelgängers, Hands Across America, The Nutcracker dance scene, rabbits and the infamous 11:11 coincidence.

“THE MONSTERS WITHIN US” – Examines how the great cast were able to find their characters, whether they were playing one of the Wilsons or their sinister doppelgängers.

Tethered Together: Making “Us” Twice” – Making of a movie is hard. Making a movie where all the main cast play dual roles can be downright mind-bending. In this piece, filmmakers, cast, and crew discuss some of the technical challenges to making the film, as well as some of the design choices for the characters.

REDEFINING A GENRE: JORDAN PEELE’S BRAND OF HORROR--In the space of two films, Jordan Peele has set himself apart as an invaluable artistic voice.

Hear cast and filmmakers highlight what makes him so unique, as well as Jordan’s own thoughts on his inspirations and the relationship between horror and comedy.

Becoming Red – Using behind-the-scenes footage from between takes, we take a closer look at Lupita Nyong’o’s intense and mesmerizing performance as “Red.”

DELETED SCENES:
1. I Am Not Even Near You:
2. Rabbit Season:
3. That’s Badass:
4. Driftwood:
5. The P is Silent:
6. I Wanna Go Home:
7. We’re All Dying”: Hilarious outtakes from the conversation between Winston Duke and Tim Heidecker on the beach.
8. As Above, So Below: Grand Pas de Deux: An extended version of the dance sequence from the film, cutting between adolescent Adelaide at her recital to Red in the Underpass.
  MOVIE TRIVIA
 
Which Of The Following Stars of "The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings" Won A Tony Award As "Best Supporting Actor In A Musical?"
"Ted Ross"
"Richard Pryor"
"Billy Dee Williams'"
" James Earl Jones"
 
  "REEL" MOVIE NEWS
LION KING By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs:

THE LION KING: THE IMAX EXPERIENCE OPENS AT THE ESQUIRE IMAX THEATRE ON JULY 18

Director Jon Favreau’s all-new “The Lion King” journeys to the African savanna where a future king is born. After the murder of his father, the young lion prince flees his kingdom only to learn the true meaning of responsibility and bravery.

“The Lion King: The IMAX Experience” opens at the Esquire IMAX Theatre on July 18 at 7 p.m.

Tickets are on sale at the theatre box office and online at www.imax.com/sacramento.

The IMAX release of “The Lion King: The IMAX Experience” will be digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of an IMAX 3D Experience and the IMAX Experience with proprietary IMAX DMRtechnology.

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.

ABOUT THE LION KING:

Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub’s arrival. Scar, Mufasa’s brother—and former heir to the throne—has plans of his own. The battle for Pride Rock is ravaged with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba’s exile. With help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba will have to figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his. The all-star cast includes: Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala, James Earl Jones as Mufasa, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa and Billy Eichner as Timon.

The Esquire IMAX Theatre is located at 1211 K Street in downtown Sacramento, CA. For information on tickets and showtimes, 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 can 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 Esquire/IMAX Theater Publicity.


APOLLO FINAL.. By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs:

EMBARK ON A THRILLING JOURNEY TO THE MOON WITH “APOLLO 11: FIRST STEPS EDITION”

Audiences will experience one of humanity’s greatest achievements when Todd Douglas Miller’s “Apollo 11: First Steps Edition” opens at the Esquire IMAX Theatre on July 12.

Produced by Statement Pictures in partnership with CNN Films and distributed by MacGillivray Freeman Films, “Apollo 11: First Steps Edition” is a special giant screen version, made exclusively for science centers and museum theaters, of Miller’s critically-acclaimed theatrical documentary Apollo 11.

The film is timed to the much-anticipated celebration of the 50th anniversary of NASA’s Apollo 11 mission – the first to put men on the Moon.

“The Apollo 11 mission was humanity’s greatest adventure and we’re pleased to be bringing this edition to science centers and museums everywhere,” says director Todd Douglas Miller. “This film was designed to take full advantage of the immersive quality of IMAX and giant screen theaters.”

“We aimed to honor the original Apollo 11 mission by creating a film event that would capture the spectacle of this most extraordinary of human achievements,” added Courtney Sexton, executive producer and vice president of CNN Films. "Todd's ambitious “Apollo 11: First Steps Edition” will thrill museum-goers with an incredible, unprecedented experience.”

Crafted from a newly-discovered trove of never-before-seen 70mm footage and more than 11,000 hours of uncatalogued audio recordings, “Apollo 11: First Steps Edition” puts audiences at the center of NASA’s historic lunar landing.

Miller and his team crafted “Apollo 11: First Steps Edition” entirely from archival materials. As the team was working closely with NASA and the National Archives (NARA) to locate all existing Apollo 11 footage, NARA staff members made a startling discovery that changed the course of the project: an unprocessed collection of 70mm large format footage, never before seen by the public, containing stunning shots of the launch, the inside of Mission Control, and recovery and post-mission activities. The other unexpected find was a massive cache of audio recordings that captured individual tracks from 60 key mission personnel throughout every moment of the mission.

“Apollo 11: First Steps Edition is a cinematic event and we cannot wait to see audiences experience the thrill of walking on the Moon with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin and becoming a part of history as the world celebrates this greatest of human accomplishments,” said Shaun MacGillivray, President of MacGillivray Freeman Films.

“Apollo 11: First Steps Edition” is a family friendly film and runs 47 minutes. For more information, visit http://apollo11firststeps.com/.

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

ABOUT STATEMENT PICTURES:

Statement Pictures LLC was formed in 2011 in Brooklyn, NY to produce independent feature-length motion picture films and visual content. It is co-owned by filmmakers Todd Douglas Miller and Thomas Petersen. The company’s first feature film, Dinosaur 13, premiered on opening night at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and was acquired by Lionsgate and CNN Films for theatrical and broadcast exhibition, winning an Emmy Award for Outstanding Science and Technology Programming.

ABOUT CNN FILMS:

CNN Films produces and acquires documentary feature and short films for theatrical and festival exhibition and distribution across CNN’s multiple platforms.

Amy Entelis, executive vice president of talent and content development, oversees the strategy for CNN Films; Courtney Sexton, vice president for CNN Films, works day-to-day with filmmakers to oversee projects.

For more information about CNN Films, please visit www.CNN.com/CNNFilms and follow @CNNFilms via Twitter. CNN Films previously collaborated with Todd Douglas Miller for its presentation of “Dinosaur 13.” Recent acclaimed CNN Films include “RBG,” directed by Betsy West and Julie Cohen; “Love Gilda” directed by Lisa D’Apolito; and “Three Identical Strangers” from director Tim Wardle.

ABOUT MACGILLIVRAY FREEMAN FILMS:

MacGillivray Freeman Films is the world’s foremost independent producer and distributor of giant-screen 70mm films with more than 40 films for IMAX and giant-screen theatres to its credit. Throughout the company’s 50-year history, its films have won numerous international awards including: two Academy Award nominations for “The Living Sea” and “Dolphins” and three films inducted into the IMAX Hall of Fame, including “Everest,” the highest grossing giant screen film of all time.

MacGillivray Freeman’s films are known for their artistry and celebration of science and the natural world. It is the first documentary film company to reach the one-billion-dollar benchmark for worldwide box office.

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


NEVER RARELY... By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs:

FOCUS FEATURES PARTNERS WITH PASTEL AND BBC FILMS ON ELIZA HITTMAN’S “NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS”

Production recently wrapped on “Never Really Sometimes Always,” the third feature film from acclaimed writer/director Eliza Hittman (“It Felt Like Love” and “Beach Rats”).

Focus Features will distribute worldwide with Universal Pictures International, excluding Free UK TV rights, which are retained by BBC Films.

“Never Rarely Sometimes Always” is produced by PASTEL’s Adele Romanski and Sara Murphy, the production outfit behind Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight” and “If Beale Street Could Talk.”

Written and directed by Hittman, the film is an intimate portrayal of two teenage girls in rural Pennsylvania.

Faced with an unintended pregnancy and a lack of local support, Autumn and her cousin Skylar embark on a brave, fraught journey across state lines to New York City.

The film’s leads are played by Sidney Flanigan (“Autumn”) and Talia Ryder (“Skylar”). Cast also includes Théodore Pellerin (“Boy Erased” and “The OA”), Ryan Eggold (“New Amsterdam” and “BlacKkKlansman”), and Sharon Van Etten (“The OA”).

“Never Rarely Sometimes Always” reunites Eliza Hittman and “Beach Rats” cinematographer Hélène Louvart. The film was developed by BBC Films who also co-financed production alongside Tango Entertainment and Mutressa Movies.

Executive producers are Rose Garnett for BBC Films, Tim Headington and Lia Buman for Tango Entertainment, Elika Portnoy and Alex Orlovsky for Mutressa Movies.

Focus Features chairman Peter Kujawski said: “Eliza is an outstanding artist who elevates intimate tales into powerfully relatable stories, and Pastel consistently make courageous films that humanize topics too often polarized in the media. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be joining them on the journey of bringing this timely and moving film to the world”

PASTEL said: "We have been admirers of Eliza’s filmmaking since her debut “It Felt Like Love” and we are honored to have the opportunity to collaborate with her on “Never Rarely Sometimes Always,” a critical story for our time and one that we feel desperately needs to be told."

Rose Garnett, Director of BBC Films said: “Eliza is one of the most exciting filmmakers working today and in “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” she sensitively explores an experience women around the world can relate to. We’re proud to help Eliza tell this story.”

For more information please visit www.focusfeatures.com.