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Archives for : Netflix

Never Have I Ever Season 2 Interview w/ Cast

Mindy Kaling’s hit Netflix, comedy series is back! Season 2 of “Never Have I Ever” offers more laughs and romance than the first. The show is inspired by Kailing’s own childhood. It follows the complicated life of a modern-day first generation Indian American teenager. I spoke with the cast of the show to discuss whose voice would calm them down when feeling stressed, characters they saw themselves in when growing up and more.

“Never Have I Ever” season 2 is now streaming on Netflix.

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THE LAST LETTER FROM YOUR LOVER | Dallas Virtual Screening

Register to get access to the virtual advance screening of Netflix’s “The Last Letter from Your Lover”. To watch the film from home and attend the screening on July 21st RSVP HERE by Tuesday, July 13th. Please note the screening doesn’t require a Netflix subscription to view.

THE LAST LETTER FROM YOUR LOVER

A pair of interwoven stories set in the present and past, THE LAST LETTER FROM YOUR LOVER follows Ellie Haworth (Felicity Jones), an ambitious journalist who discovers a trove of secret love letters from 1965 and becomes determined to solve the mystery of the forbidden affair at their center. As she uncovers the story behind Jennifer Stirling (Shailene Woodley), the wife of a wealthy industrialist, and Anthony O’Hare (Callum Turner) the financial journalist assigned to cover him, a love story of Ellie’s own begins to unfold with the assistance of an earnest and endearing archivist (Nabhaan Rizwan) who helps her track down more letters. Based on the novel by JoJo Moyes and directed by Augustine Frizell.

THE LAST LETTER FROM YOUR LOVER Releases on Netflix on July 23rd

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Movie Review: The Mitchells vs. The Machines is Heartfelt Entertaining Journey

The movies of 2021 have had a slow start. Aside from “Raya and the Last Dragon”, there’s not a whole lot of stand outs. But Netflix’s new animated, action-comedy, “The Mitchells vs. The Machines” is easily one of the best films of the year.

Katie Mitchell (Abbi Jacobson) has felt like an outcast during most her teen years. She spends a lot of her free time making funny, unique videos of her brother Aaron (Michael Rianda) and their dog. Though she has a loving family, she has yet to find “her people” that share her similar artistic interests. Her dad, Rick (Danny McBride), especially seems confused by Katie’s “art” and worries making videos won’t be a profitable way to make a living. This doubt is part of the reason why Katie and her father always butt heads, and no longer have the bond they once shared when she was a little a girl.

As luck would have it, Katie gets accepted to her dream film school. She’s already clicking with her future classmates, and can’t wait to fly off to orientation. But her father has another idea in mind. In order to rebuild their relationship, he cancels Katie’s flight; and plans a surprise road trip for the whole family to spend one last hurrah before they drop Katie off to college. An already bumpy ride turns into a disaster when the newest service of AI robots- known as the PAL go haywire, and all humans are under attack by the robot mercenaries. And somehow, the only people that can now save the world are the Mitchells!

“The Mitchells vs. The Machines” has a lot of shining parts. Directors/Writers Michael Rianda and Jeff Rowe have created a film that is original, clever, funny, touching, and an absolute blast. This is a movie that both kids and adults will connect with and enjoy. Yes, though Katie and her dad have had their arguments, the entire family has drifted by burying themselves in their phones and electronics. Katie’s mom, Linda (Maya Rudolph), is obsessed with other families’ online personas; admiring a life she wished she had. And her brother is obsessed with everything dinosaurs. Rick is the only one in the family who hates technology, and enjoys more of the outdoors. It’s enough to make you think twice before pulling out your phones when you’re spending time with your family.

I know Danny McBride is funny, but this is hands down his best role. He is hilarious and endearing. He’s the parent that we either have or we hope to be. His desire to rebuild his relationship with his daughter is incredibly moving. And his character is only elevated by his on screen wife. Rudolph plays a badass mom who might have some insecurities but she loves her children and will stop at nothing to protect them. Of course, the star of the film, Abbi Jacobson is fantastic. She’s a character you empathize with and root for.

A good number of laughs in the film can be credited to Olivia Coleman who does the voices for the digital villain PAL AI system. She’s snarky, yet serious. The very idea of her character is terrifying, but seeing such a villainess in the form of a phone is extremely comical.

The film never veers off course. From the start you’re immediately engaged by this quirky family, and quickly taken on an exciting adventure. Take in all the gorgeous animation scenery, and enjoy every thrilling stop. “The Mitchells vs. The Machines” is wild and fun ride everyone should take! 

Rating: 5/5

www.netflix.com/TheMitchellsVsTheMachines

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Zack Snyder’s ARMY OF THE DEAD New Trailer

From filmmaker Zack Snyder (300, Zack Snyder’s Justice League), ARMY OF THE DEAD takes place following a zombie outbreak that has left Las Vegas in ruins and walled off from the rest of the world. When Scott Ward (Dave Bautista), a displaced Vegas local, former zombie war hero who’s now flipping burgers on the outskirts of the town he now calls home, is approached by casino boss Bly Tanaka (Hiroyuki Sanada), it’s with the ultimate proposition: Break into the zombie-infested quarantine zone to retrieve $200 million sitting in a vault beneath the strip before the city is nuked by the government in 32 hours. Driven by the hope that the payoff could help pave the way to a reconciliation with his estranged daughter Kate (Ella Purnell), Ward takes on the challenge, assembling a ragtag team of experts for the heist. They include Maria Cruz (Ana de la Reguera), an ace mechanic and Ward’s old friend; Vanderohe (Omari Hardwick), a zombie killing machine; Marianne Peters (Tig Notaro), a cynical helicopter pilot; Mikey Guzman (Raúl Castillo), a go-for-broke influencer and Chambers (Samantha Win), his ride-or-die; Martin (Garret Dillahunt), the casino’s head of security; a badass warrior known as the Coyote (Nora Arnezeder) who recruits Burt Cummings (Theo Rossi), a slimy security guard; and a brilliant German safe cracker named Dieter (Matthias Schweighöfer). Scott finds an unexpected emotional hurdle when Kate joins the expedition to search for Geeta (Huma S. Qureshi), a mother who’s gone missing inside the city. With a ticking clock, a notoriously impenetrable vault, and a smarter, faster horde of Alpha zombies closing in, only one thing’s for certain in the greatest heist ever attempted: survivors take all.

ARMY OF THE DEAD is directed by Zack Snyder (who also served as director of photography) with a screenplay by Snyder & Shay Hatten and Joby Harold from a story by Snyder. The film is produced by Deborah Snyder, p.g.a.; Wesley Coller, p.g.a.; Zack Snyder, p.g.a. The film also stars Richard Cetrone and Michael Cassidy.

In Select Theaters May 14 and on Netflix May 21, 2021. Check out the new trailer below!

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Movie Review: “Bliss”

Amazon Studios new sci-fi thriller, “Bliss” is a mind-bending headscratcher. The film follows Greg (Owen Wilson) who, after losing his job and recent divorce, discovers he’s been living a computer simulated world. Susan Stephens shares her thoughts on the film along with suggestions of two romances to watch during this Valentine’s Day weekend.

“Bliss” is available to stream on Amazon Prime February 5, 2021.

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Fifth Annual Critics Choice Documentary Award Winners

(Los Angeles, CA  – November 16, 2020) – The Critics Choice Association (CCA) has unveiled  the winners of the fifth annual Critics Choice Documentary Awards, which recognize the year’s finest achievements in documentaries released in theaters, on TV and on major digital platforms, as determined by the voting of qualified CCA members. 

Dick Johnson is Dead takes home the most prestigious award for Best Documentary Feature as well as Best Director for Kirsten Johnson.  

My Octopus Teacher wins the awards for Best Cinematography and Best Science/Nature Documentary.

“We couldn’t be more excited about being able to celebrate such a diverse group of films and filmmakers and subjects this year of all years, on the fifth occasion of the CCDAs, and with 2020 being what it is,” said Christopher Campbell, President of the Critics Choice Association Documentary Branch. “The world needs this variety of storytelling now more than ever, and all of these documentaries moved us in unique ways. We are proud that we could still support these films and share the best of the best with nonfiction fans. Our only regret is that we couldn’t do so while also honoring the talented artists and their incredible work in person.”

Though this year’s gala event was not held in person due to the ongoing pandemic, special acceptance videos from each of the winners can be found by clicking their links below. 

To view ALL of the acceptance videos, please click HERE.

To learn more about the Critics Choice Documentary Awards, see the full list of nominees, and all of the winner acceptance speeches, visit the Critics Choice Association website.


The winners of the fifth annual Critics Choice Documentary Awards are:


BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Dick Johnson is Dead (Netflix)

BEST DIRECTOR
Kirsten Johnson, Dick Johnson is Dead (Netflix)

BEST FIRST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Melissa Haizlip, Mr. SOUL! (Shoes in the Bed Productions)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Roger Horrocks, My Octopus Teacher (Netflix)

BEST EDITING
Lindy Jankura, Alexis Johnson and Alex Keipper, Totally Under Control (Neon)

BEST SCORE
Marco Beltrami, Brandon Roberts and Buck Sanders, The Way I See It (Focus Features)

BEST NARRATION
David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet (Netflix)
   David Attenborough, Narrator
   David Attenborough, Writer

BEST ARCHIVAL DOCUMENTARY
MLK/FBI (Field of Vision/IFC Films)

BEST HISTORICAL/BIOGRAPHICAL DOCUMENTARY 
John Lewis: Good Trouble (Magnolia Pictures/Participant)

BEST MUSIC DOCUMENTARY (TIE)
Beastie Boys Story (Apple)
The Go-Go’s (Showtime)

BEST POLITICAL DOCUMENTARY
Boys State (Apple)

BEST SCIENCE/NATURE DOCUMENTARY
My Octopus Teacher (Netflix)

BEST SPORTS DOCUMENTARY (TIE)
Ali & Cavett: The Tale of the Tapes (HBO)
Athlete A (Netflix)

BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY 
St. Louis Superman (MTV Documentary Films)
(Directors and Producers: Sami Khan and Smriti Mundhra. Producer: Poh Si Teng)

MOST COMPELLING LIVING SUBJECTS OF A DOCUMENTARY (HONOR)
Dr. Rick Bright – Totally Under Control (Neon)
Steven Garza – Boys State (Apple)
The Go-Go’s – The Go-Go’s (Showtime)
Judith Heumann – Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution (Netflix)
Dick Johnson – Dick Johnson is Dead (Netflix)
Maggie Nichols, Rachael Denhollander, Jamie Dantzscher – Athlete A (Netflix)
Fox Rich – Time (Amazon)
Pete Souza – The Way I See It (Focus Features)
Taylor Swift – Miss Americana (Netflix)
Greta Thunberg – I Am Greta (Hulu)

About CRITICS CHOICE AWARDS

The Critics Choice Documentary Awards are an off-shoot of The Critics Choice Awards, which are bestowed annually by the CCA to honor the finest in cinematic and televised/streaming achievement. Historically, the Critics Choice Awards are the most-accurate predictor of the Academy Award nominations.

The 26th annual Critics Choice Awards will air LIVE on The CW Network on Sunday, March 7, 2021, with acclaimed film, television, and stage star Taye Diggs returning to host for his third consecutive time.  The show will continue its combined Film and Television awards format, honoring the finest in both cinematic and televised/streaming achievement.


About CRITICS CHOICE ASSOCIATION (CCA)

The Critics Choice Association is the largest critics organization in the United States and Canada, representing more than 400 television, radio and online critics and entertainment reporters. It was organized last year with the formal merger of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association, recognizing the blurring of the distinctions between film, television, and streaming content. For more information, visit: www.CriticsChoice.com.

Movie Review: “Holidate” is the Holiday Cheer we Need this Year

Netflix has so graciously brought back the romantic comedy genre with a slew of rom-coms to choose from their library. Just in time for the holiday season, they have treated us with another delightful romance with the new film, “Holidate”.

It’s Christmas Day and Sloane (Emma Roberts) is, once again, being hounded by her family to meet someone and settle down before she gets “too old”; and becomes like her aunt Susan (Kristin Chenoweth). Instead of listening to her mom, she is inspired by her aunt’s holidate. Susan brings a different man to each holiday event, allowing her to avoid feeling lonely while having no emotional attachment.

After a horrible Christmas, Sloane runs into, Jackson (Luke Bracey), another lonely single looking to date with out the commitment. They soon pledge to be each others’ platonic plus ones for every holiday in the year ahead. The film is as predictable as it sounds and is self-aware of that, pointing out that in every rom-com the two leads don’t have real obstacles. And in the “Holidate”, it’s pretty clear that there is no real issue besides the default “scared of commitment”.

What “Holidate” does offer is two strong romantic leads with great chemistry and hilarious banter. Emma Roberts shows off her comedic chops and Bracey might actually give Chris Hemsworth a run for his money. We all, at some point in time, have felt lonely during the holidays, and a holidate is a fun concept to see played out. It’s entertaining to see these how these two celebrate each occasion together. Who knew there were so many holidays?!

There are some messages you can take away from the film, like don’t let the of fear of getting hurt stand in the way of a potential love. But, you shouldn’t go into this film expecting anything deep. This is more of a raunchy, well-made Hallmark Christmas special. It’s a lighthearted escape that reminds us of how we use to celebrate the holidays before tragic times.

Rating: 4/5

“Holidate” is available on Netflix October 28, 2020.

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Movie Review: “Come Play”

This week I review “Come Play”, based on the 2017 short film. The story follows Oliver (Azhy Robertson), a young boy who feels isolated from everyone. He seeks comfort in his cellphone and tablet, and it is there that he mysteriously comes across Larry – a disturbing creature who wants to be his friend.

Watch my full review, followed by previews of “Holidate” and “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” in the video below.

“Come Play” opens in theaters October 30, 2020,

“Holidate” is available on Netflix October 28, 2020.

“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” is available on Amazon Prime October 23, 2020.

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2nd Annual African American Film Critics Association Award Winners

THE AFRICAN AMERICAN FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION (AAFCA) FETED TELEVISION’S BEST OF THE YEAR AT THE 2ND ANNUAL AAFCA TV HONORS ON SATURDAY, AUGUST 22

John Legend, Viola Davis, Sterling K. Brown, Mindy Kaling, Rashida Jones, Josh Gad,
 Leslie Odom, Jr. and more gathered virtually to celebrate

The full awards ceremony will be available to the public for viewing at 3:00pm Pacific Time today on the  AAFCA YouTube Channel


Photos of winners and honorees are available at the AAFCA TV Honors web site August 22nd, 2020 – The African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) handed out 11 awards, two honorary awards, and the inaugural AAFCA ADCOLOR Breakout Creative of the Year award today to celebrate the excellence, innovation and diversity in television this year.  In addition to celebrity presenters such as Octavia SpencerRashida Jones and William Jackson Harper, the virtual awards ceremony also celebrated the extraordinary work of our first responders, government leaders, firefighters, reporters, and others from around the country by featuring these local heroes as presenters during the event. A portion of the proceeds from the event were donated to the National Association of Black Journalists’ Covid-19 Relief Fund. The event, hosted by actress/comedian Aida Rodriguez, was sponsored by Morgan Stanley.

2nd ANNUAL AAFCA TV HONORS AWARD RECIPIENTS & PRESENTERS:

Best Animated Series: “Central Park” (Apple TV+)
Creator and star Josh Gad and cast member Leslie Odom, Jr. accepted the award, presented to them by Oscar® winning filmmaker Matthew A. Cherry (“Hair Love”) and the Honorable Hank Johnson, Congressman for Georgia’s 4th District.

Best Young Adult Series: “Never Have I Ever” (Netflix)
Co-Creators and Executive Producers Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher were joined by series star, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan to accept the award, presented to them by young actor Niles Fitch (“This is Us”) and Cherelle Barsdale, a frontline Nurse from the University of Michigan Medical Center.

Best Short Form: “I Promise” (Quibi)
Executive Producer, Jamal Henderson accepted the award, which is the inaugural award for short form at the AAFCA TV Honors, presented by actor Derek Luke and Dr. Christopher Emdin, Associate Professor of Science Education at the Teachers College at Columbia University.

AAFCA ADCOLOR Breakout Creative of the Year: Janet Mock, “Pose” & “Hollywood” (Netflix)
Awarded to a creative of color whose career, in its early stages, demonstrates a vision and commitment to diverse and inclusive stories that reset and disrupt the industry across multiple platforms. Presented to writer/director/producer, Janet Mock by “Pose” stars MJ RodriquezHallie Sahar, and Indya Moore.

Best Docuseries: “Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children” (HBO) and “The Last Dance” (ESPN Films/Netflix)
The Executive Producers of “Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children,” John LegendMike JacksonTy StikloriusMaro Chermayeff, and Sam Pollard accepted the award, presented to them by “P-Valley” stars Brandee Evans and Nicco Annan and Chicago Fire Lieutenant Quentin Curtis who is also the founder and president of the Black Fire Brigade. “The Last Dance” team was unable to attend and AAFCA accepted the honor on their behalf.

Best TV Movie: “The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel” (Lifetime)
Music Director Donald Lawrence, Director Christine Swanson and Co-Executive Producer Holly Carter accepted the award, presented by Simone Missick, the star of CBS’ “All Rise,” the Emmy® nominated star of NBC’s “The Good Place” William Jackson Harper and Reverend Dr. Jamal H. Bryant from the New Birth Church in Atlanta, GA.

Breakthrough Performers: Jeremy Pope / Laura Harrier “Hollywood” (Netflix)
Jeremy Pope and Laura Harrier accepted the award, presented to them by “Entertainment Tonight” host Kevin Frazier and EMT professional Chief Tanya Rivers.

Best Male Performance: Sterling K. Brown “This is Us” (NBC)
This marks the second year in a row that Sterling K. Brown, the Emmy® winning star of “This is Us” has won the Best Actor award at the AAFCA TV Honors. Brown is currently nominated for two Emmys® – Best Actor in a Drama Series for “This is Us” and Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,”- making Emmy history as the first Black lead/supporting actor to be nominated in both drama and comedy categories.  Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph (“Ray Donovan”) and Dr. Ala Stanford of Stanford Pediatric Surgery, who founded the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium in Philadelphia, PA., presented the award.

Best TV Comedy: “Insecure” (HBO)
Showrunner Prentice Penny accepted the honor which was presented by actress Tichina Arnold (star of CBS’ “The Neighborhood”) and LAPD Deputy Police Chief Regina A. Scott.

Best TV Drama: “For Life” (ABC)
Creator Hank Steinberg and series star Nicholas Pinnock accepted the honor, presented by “Queen Sugar” stars Tina Lifford and Omar J. Dorsey and WeDat’s Chicken and Shrimp Restaurant Founder and Owner Greg Tillery of New Orleans, who has been on the front lines of Covid-19 donating food to frontline workers and others in need.

Inclusion Award: MACRO Television Studios
Marta Fernandez, the President of MACRO Television Studios accepted the award which recognizes a network or production entity that demonstrates a powerful commitment to diversity and inclusion. AAFCA Founder and President Gil Robertson and award-winning KNBC Journalist Beverly White presented the award.

Best Actress: Viola Davis, “How to Get Away with Murder” (ABC)
Viola Davis was presented the award by fellow Oscar® winner Octavia Spencer and Mayor of Montgomery, AL Steven Reed.

TV Icon Award: Kenya Barris
Kenya Barris, creator of ABC’s “Black-ish” and “#blackAF” on Netflix, accepted this honor which recognizes a veteran of television who has forged a path in greatness and demonstrates a commitment to telling diverse stories. The honor was presented by Rashida Jones.

ABOUT AAFCA
Established in 2003, AAFCA is the premier body of Black film critics in the world, actively reviewing film and television, with a particular emphasis on entertainment highlighting the Black experience in the US and throughout the rest of the African Diaspora. For more information on AAFCA and its programs visit http://AAFCA.com.

Movie Review: “The Kissing Booth 2”

This week I review Netflix’s ne teen, romantic comedy, “The Kissing Booth 2”! In this sequel to the 2018 film, “The Kissing Booth”, high school senior Elle (Joey King) juggles a long distance relationship, college applications, and a new crush.

“The Kissing Booth 2” is currently available on Netflix.

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