HALLOWEEN KILLS
Rating: About Ratings
Opens: 10/15/2021
Running Time: 106
Rated: R
Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton, Thomas Mann, Anthony Michael Hall, Kyle Richards, Nancy Stephens and Charles Cyphers.
Crew: Director: David Gordon Green. Producers:M Malak Akkad, Laura Altmann, Bill Block, Jason Blum, Rick Osako, Ryan Turek and Atilla Salin Yucer. Executive Producers: David Gordon Green, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ryan Freimann, Danny McBride, Couper Samuelson and Jeanette Volturno. Screenwriters: John Carpenter, Deborah Hill and Scott Teems. Cinematographer: Michael Simmonds.
REVIEW: By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

“Halloween Kills” is brutal. The slasher film from director David Gordon Green is the follow-up to 2018’s semi-reboot hit movie “Halloween.”

This one is messier, bloodier, and downright chilling with its brutality much of which comes at the hands of that maniacal murderer, Michael Myers played by Nick Castle and James Jude Courtney. “Halloween Kills” picks up right where the last movie left off.

Laurie Strode (a sensational Jamie Leigh Curtis, TV’s “Archer”), her daughter Karen (Judy Greer, TV’s “Archer”) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak, “Son”) have been through the wringer. They have beaten, burned, and finally killed Michael Myers, the walking nightmare who for years has terrorized them and every resident of Haddonfield, Illinois.

Or so they think.

Myers’ resiliency is mindboggling. Turns out, he is alive and angrier than ever and has returned to Haddonfield eager to carry out his bloody rampage. This time, Laurie (Curtis) realizes it’s going to take a village to finally rid the town of this nightmare. So, she calls on everyone to stand up to this evil monster. Most all are on board including Tommy Doyle (Anthony Michael Hall, TV’s “The Goldbergs”) who Laurie used to babysit and who also years ago survived the wrath of Myers. No one is more eager to lead this emboldened group and hunt down the stone, cold killer than Tommy.

With “Halloween Kills,” director David Gordon Green and co-writers Danny McBride, (TV’s “The Righteous Gemstones”) and Scott Teems, “The Quarry”) have upped the ante with all the ghastly shenanigans.

I'll spare you the gory details of the vicious ways in which Myers murders his victims, but the light bulb and kitchen scene are something else. Believe me, even for someone who enjoys this grisly stuff, it shook me good. “Halloween Kills” is not for the squeamish.

The movie also nicely pays homage to the John Carpenter original 1978 horror classic.

Aside from Pennywise, the killer clown, Michael Myers is my other favorite big screen villain. The “Halloween” series will culminate with “Halloween Ends” next year. After “Halloween Kills,” fans of the horror franchise should prepare for another bloody, good time. See you next October.

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 "HALLOWEEN KILLS"

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...
 

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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
NO TIME TO DIE By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs:

"NO TIME TO DIE: THE IMAX EXPERIENCE" OPENS AT THE ESQUIRE IMAX THEATRE OCT. 6

In “No Time To Die,” Bond has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. His peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) from the CIA turns up asking for help. The mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist turns out to be far more treacherous than expected, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.

“No Time To Die: The IMAX Experience” opens a day early at the Esquire IMAX Theatre on October 6 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are on sale at the theater box office and online at www.imax.com/sacramento.

The IMAX release of No Time To Die 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 provided by IMAX publicity.


WILL PACKER OSCARS By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs:

WILL PACKER TO PRODUCE THE 94TH OSCARS AIRING LIVE MARCH 27, 2022 ON ABC TV

Will Packer will produce the 94th Oscars, Academy President David Rubin recently announced. It will be Packer's first involvement with the Oscars, which will air live on ABC and broadcast outlets worldwide on March 27, 2022.

“Will (Packer) is a powerhouse producer who has enjoyed success across all movie genres. He’s already bringing a boundless energy and a focus on innovation to this year’s Oscars, to entertain the widest spectrum of fans. Many wonderful surprises ahead!” said Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson.

“The power, the beauty, the romance of the imagery in movies has always attracted me. I’m fully embracing the challenge of bringing an ode to one of the most iconic mediums in the world to life. What an honor!” said Packer.

“There is no one better than Will Packer to celebrate our collective love for cinema,” said Craig Erwich, president, Hulu Originals and ABC Entertainment. “Will is a world-class hitmaker and the ideal producer to capture the prestige of The Oscars and deliver a powerful and moving event.”

Packer has produced or executive produced a wide range of movies, including such films as “The Photograph,” “Little,” “What Men Want,” “Night School,” “Breaking In,” “Girls Trip,” “Ride Along 2,” “Straight Outta Compton,” “No Good Deed,” “Think Like a Man Too,” “Ride Along,” “Think Like a Man,” “Takers,” “Obsessed” and “Stomp the Yard.” His television credits include “That Girl Lay Lay,” “Blackballed,” “Ambitions,” “Bigger,” “Being Mary Jane,” “Uncle Buck” and the remake of “Roots,” for which he received an Emmy nomination.

Packer is also the founder and CEO of the film production company Will Packer Productions and Will Packer Media, a television, digital and branded content company.

Shayla Cowan, chief of staff of Will Packer Productions and Will Packer Media, will serve as co-producer alongside Packer. Cowan manages and oversees all the operational activities of both companies, advises on marketing, communications and business strategies, and provides support on the development and production of the company’s films, television and digital programming.

The 94th Oscars will be held on Sunday, March 27, 2022, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood and will be televised live on ABC and in more than 200 territories worldwide.

ABOUT THE ACADEMY:

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a global community of more than 10,000 of the most accomplished artists, filmmakers and executives working in film. In addition to celebrating and recognizing excellence in filmmaking through the Oscars, the Academy supports a wide range of initiatives to promote the art and science of the movies, including public programming, educational outreach and the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

Editor’s Note: Information used in this report and photo obtained from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.


CELEBRATION OF CINEMA 2021 By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs:

The Critics Choice Association announced on Oct. 5 select honorees for the annual Celebration of Black Cinema & Television, taking place on Dec. 6 at the newly reimagined Fairmont Century Plaza Hotel.

Since 2014, the Celebration of Black Cinema has honored standout achievements in Black filmmaking. This year, for the first time, the awards ceremony will also celebrate achievements in television. The event will feature 20 award categories (10 from film and 10 from television). A full list of honorees and presenters will be announced in the coming weeks.

Academy Award-winning actress Halle Berry will receive the "Career Achievement" Award as a tribute to her extraordinary roles over the years, as well as her highly anticipated directorial debut in her new film in which she also stars as the disgraced MMA fighter Jackie Justice in Netflix’s “Bruised,” which will release in select theaters on Nov. 17 and globally on Netflix Nov 24. Berry’s career has spanned three decades, including performances in “Die Another Day,” “Jungle Fever,” “Losing Isaiah,” “Bulworth,” “Swordfish,” “John Wick,” and as legendary actress Dorothy Dandridge. She’s the first and only Black woman to win the Oscar for "Actress in a Leading Role" for her performance in “Monster’s Ball” in 2002.

“Berry’s iconic performances throughout her career have showcased her brilliance as an actor and blazed the trail for Black performers who have come after her,” said Shawn Edwards, CCA Board Member and Executive Producer of the “Celebration of Black Cinema & Television.” “She has become the personification of excellence as she transcends from being in front of the camera to sitting in the director’s chair.”

Emmy nominated Anthony Anderson will receive the Producer Award for Television for his celebrated work on the critically acclaimed ABC series’ “black-ish,” “ grown-ish” and “mixed-ish.” Anderson, who serves as an executive producer on all three series, has become a major force in Hollywood in front of and behind the camera.

Academy Award-winner Jennifer Hudson will be honored with the Actress Award for Film” for her outstanding performance in the Aretha Franklin biopic, “Respect.” Hudson’s unique combination of singing and acting, perfectly captured the essence of the ‘Queen of Soul.’

Academy Award-winner Barry Jenkins will receive the Director Award for Television for his critically acclaimed Amazon series “The Underground Railroad,” based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Colson Whitehead. The series was a transformative work of art that explored the perilous journey of an enslaved woman, Cora Randall, during her desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South as she hopes to realize a life she never thought possible.

“2021 was an incredible year of creativity and growth in film and television, and we’re thrilled to be able to honor the changemakers who are making a difference,” said Critics Choice Association CEO, Joey Berlin. “Jennifer both starred in and executive produced “Respect,” giving the performance of a lifetime. Barry transformed the small screen with his innovative and thought-provoking series, “The Underground Railroad” which he wrote, executive produced and directed, and Anthony has become one of the most prolific and admired producers on television with “black-ish,” “grown-ish,” and “mixed-ish,” Berlin added.

All “Celebration of Black Cinema & Television” honorees will be introduced by a prestigious group of presenters who will celebrate their work and their ongoing commitment to telling Black stories.

A portion of the proceeds will be designated to provide scholarships to students from underrepresented communities participating in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Gold Rising Program. The Academy Gold Rising Program is an industry talent development, diversity and inclusion initiative that provides individuals access and resources to achieve their career pathways in filmmaking.

“The Celebration of Black Cinema & Television” will be produced by Madelyn Hammond and Javier Infante of Madelyn Hammond & Associates and Swisher Productions, an event production agency specializing in live events. Stayed tuned for show time.

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. Yours truly is a proud, card-carrying member. 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 article obtained from the Critics Choice Association (CCA). #CelebrateBlackCinema #CriticsChoice.