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Archives for : Susan Kamyab Stephens

Critics Choice Super Awards Winners

WINNERS ANNOUNCED FOR THE INAUGURAL “CRITICS CHOICE SUPER AWARDS” HONORING SUPERHERO,  SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY, HORROR, ACTION, AND ANIMATION  MOVIES AND SERIES 

“PALM SPRINGS” AND “SOUL” LED FILM WINS WITH THREE,  “THE BOYS” LED SERIES WINS WITH FOUR 

NETFLIX EARNED A TOTAL OF FIVE AWARDS 

PATRICK STEWART AND SONEQUA MARTIN-GREEN ACCEPTED LEGACY AWARD FOR “STAR TREK” FRANCHISE 

Kevin Smith and Dani Fernandez Hosted The CW Broadcast Special 


(Los Angeles – January 10, 2021) – Tonight, the Critics Choice Association (CCA) announced the winners of the inaugural Critics Choice Super Awards during a special presentation broadcast on  The CW. Produced remotely following COVID safety protocols, the ceremony was hosted by  writer/director/podcaster Kevin Smith and actress/writer Dani Fernandez, and honored the most  popular, fan-obsessed genres across both television and movies, including Superhero/Comic Book,  Science Fiction/Fantasy, Horror, Action and Animation. The full show will be available to stream for  free on The CW App and cwtv.com starting tomorrow. 

Hulu and NEON’s “Palm Springs” and Disney+’s “Soul” led the film winners, each earning three trophies. “Palm Springs” was recognized for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy Movie, Best Actor in a Science Fiction/Fantasy Movie (Andy Samberg), and Best Actress in a Science Fiction/Fantasy Movie (Cristin Milioti). “Soul” earned Best Animated Movie, as well as Best Voice Actor in an Animated Movie (Jamie Foxx) and Best Voice Actress in an Animated Movie (Tina Fey). 

In the series categories, Amazon’s “The Boys” took home the most awards, earning a total of four including Best Superhero Series, Best Actor in a Superhero Series (Antony Starr), Best Actress in a Superhero Series (Aya Cash), and Best Villain in a Series (Antony Starr). Starr was the only actor to take home multiple awards for his work. 

With wins in both the film and series categories, Netflix led the studio/network count with a total of five. 

The Critics Choice Association also presented the Legacy Award to the “Star Trek” franchise, recognizing the cultural impact it has had across multiple decades while continuing to

appeal to and grow its loyal fanbase with new stories and characters. “Star Trek” icon Patrick Stewart, and “Star Trek: Discovery” trailblazer Sonequa Martin-Green were on-hand to  accept this special honor, which came as the franchise celebrates its 55th anniversary.  

The inaugural Critics Choice Super Awards show was produced by Bob Bain Productions. The CCA  is represented by Dan Black of Greenberg Traurig. 

FILM WINNERS FOR THE INAUGURAL CRITICS CHOICE SUPER AWARDS 

BEST ACTION MOVIE 
Da 5 Bloods (Netflix) 

BEST ACTOR IN AN ACTION MOVIE 
Delroy Lindo – Da 5 Bloods (Netflix) 

BEST ACTRESS IN AN ACTION MOVIE 
Betty Gilpin – The Hunt (Universal) 

BEST ANIMATED MOVIE 
Soul (Disney+)

BEST VOICE ACTOR IN AN ANIMATED MOVIE 
Jamie Foxx – Soul (Disney+) 

BEST VOICE ACTRESS IN AN ANIMATED MOVIE 
Tina Fey – Soul (Disney+) 

BEST SUPERHERO MOVIE* 
The Old Guard (Netflix) 

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPERHERO MOVIE* 
Ewan McGregor – Birds of Prey (Warner Bros.) 

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPERHERO MOVIE* 
Margot Robbie – Birds of Prey (Warner Bros.) 

BEST HORROR MOVIE 
The Invisible Man (Universal) 

BEST ACTOR IN A HORROR MOVIE 
Vince Vaughn – Freaky (Universal) 

BEST ACTRESS IN A HORROR MOVIE 
Elisabeth Moss – The Invisible Man (Universal) 

BEST SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY MOVIE 
Palm Springs (Hulu and NEON) 

BEST ACTOR IN A SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY MOVIE 
Andy Samberg – Palm Springs (Hulu and NEON) 

BEST ACTRESS IN A SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY MOVIE 
Cristin Milioti – Palm Springs (Hulu and NEON) 

BEST VILLAIN IN A MOVIE 
Jim Carrey – Sonic The Hedgehog (Paramount) 

SERIES WINNERS FOR THE INAUGURAL CRITICS CHOICE SUPER AWARDS 

BEST ACTION SERIES 
Vikings (History) 

BEST ACTOR IN AN ACTION SERIES 
Daveed Diggs – Snowpiercer (TNT) 

BEST ACTRESS IN AN ACTION SERIES 
Angela Bassett – 9-1-1 (Fox) 

BEST ANIMATED SERIES 
BoJack Horseman (Netflix) 

BEST VOICE ACTOR IN AN ANIMATED SERIES 
Will Arnett – BoJack Horseman (Netflix) 

BEST VOICE ACTRESS IN AN ANIMATED SERIES 
Kaley Cuoco – Harley Quinn (HBO Max) 

BEST SUPERHERO SERIES* 
The Boys (Amazon) 

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPERHERO SERIES* 
Antony Starr – The Boys (Amazon)

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPERHERO SERIES* 
Aya Cash – The Boys (Amazon) 

BEST HORROR SERIES 
Lovecraft Country (HBO) 

BEST ACTOR IN A HORROR SERIES 
Jensen Ackles – Supernatural (The CW) 

BEST ACTRESS IN A HORROR SERIES 
Jurnee Smollett – Lovecraft Country (HBO) 

BEST SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY SERIES 
The Mandalorian (Disney+) 

BEST ACTOR IN A SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY SERIES 
Patrick Stewart – Star Trek: Picard (CBS All Access) 

BEST ACTRESS IN A SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY SERIES 
Natasia Demetriou – What We Do in the Shadows (FX) 

BEST VILLAIN IN A SERIES 
Antony Starr – The Boys (Amazon) 

About the 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 established in 2019 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.

Top 10 Best Films of 2020

10. Soul

“Soul” follows, Joe (Jamie Foxx), a music teacher who has lost his passion for music and sense of purpose. But when he is transported into another realm to help someone find their spark, he discovers a new appreciation for life.  The timing couldn’t have been more perfect for this movie. Whether you have a dream you haven’t accomplished yet, or you feel as though your life hasn’t amounted to anything; take a second to reflect on all the good you already have. Your health, your family, your friends; our life is not as bad as we sometimes make it out to be. And remember to appreciate all the little things, even if it’s as small as a good slice of pizza.

9. Words on Bathroom Walls

“Words on Bathroom Walls” follows Adam(Charlie Plummer), a passionate cook who appears to be a typical teenage boy until an incident in his High School reveals he has schizophrenia. He is expelled, and forced to finish out his senior year at a Catholic High school. It’s there he meets, Maya (Taylor Russell). Their relationship in the film is tender and sweet, but the beauty of “Words on Bathroom Walls” is getting to see perspective on a mental illness that isn’t shown often, especially through a romance. This is something else that deserves representation and understanding. And though the film centers around Adam and Maya, the relationship between Adam and his mom is just as powerful. Her tenacity shows us a mother’s love is unconditional.

8. Let Him Go

After the death of their son, Margaret and George Blackledge (Diane Lane and Kevin Costner) have held on to the light in their life, their grandson, Jimmy. But when their daughter-in-law (Kayli Carter) remarries to an abusive man, Donnie Weboy (Will Brittain), he takes both her and Jimmy away to his family’s secluded home in North Dakota.  Margaret and George leave their ranch in Montana, and go on a mission to save what’s left of their family. Some may not find this movie special, but it transported me back to the theaters with how well it was shot and the incredible performances. You can’t help but feel for this couple, and want them to do whatever is necessary to get their grandson back.

7. On the Rocks

Bill Murray plays, Felix, a playboy art dealer who, long ago, walked out on his wife and children for the first of many women. He’s selfish and self-centered, yet you can’t help but love the guy. When he hears his daughter, Laura (Rashida Jones), is concerned about her husband’s many work trips, he assumes the worse and encourages her to look into the matter with him.  This film is such an easy and humorous watch. This is in big part due to the natural chemistry between Murray and Jones. Felix is trying to make up for lost time by taking this unfortunate circumstance as an opportunity to spend quality time with his daughter, who he genuinely cares for. “On the Rocks” highlights a sweet, yet unconventional father/daughter relationship, while also shedding a light on marriages that could use a little refresher.

6. Irresistible

I know politics is a touchy subject, but the beauty of “Irresistible” is that it really doesn’t try to sway you on either side. They focus more about how ridiculous a campaign can get and how much it costs. It’s not about conservatives versus liberals. Instead, the film makes you question the two party system. The all-star cast which includes Steve Carrell, Rose Byrne, Chris Cooper, and MacKenzie Davis all give top-notch, hilarious performances. The banter between Carrell and Byrne alone makes this film such a delight. “Irresistible” is the insightful, laugh-out-loud comedy we needed during this election year. Putting into perspective what is truly important in any leadership role. 

5. The Kid Detective

To all my fellow “Harriet the Spy” lovers, this movie is what I imagine happened to the male version of Harriet. Abe Applebaum (Adam Brody) was a once celebrated kid detective. Even adults used his services. But after he fails to solve the mystery of a kidnapping of a young girl/friend, he is no longer the same quality detective. Fast forward to his 30’s, he’s a washed up drunk, taking any minor case he can get to make end’s meat. That is until he is presented with his first murder case. I know a lot of you probably haven’t heard of this film, but it’s a really fun watch. Brody carries the movie with his wit and charm, but the story is just as engaging. “The Kid Detective” is truly the hidden gem of 2020.

4. Onward

I’m surprised by how high I have this film on my list, but since January I can’t get this movie or the ending out of my head. It’s one I get emotional just thinking about. On the day of Ian Lightfoot’s (Tom Holland) 16th birthday, he and his older brother (Chris Pratt) are given a gift from their late father. Turns out it’s a spell that will bring their dad back to life for 24 hours,  giving Ian a chance to finally meet his father. But the spell doesn’t go exactly as planned. At first glance, this seems like a possibly boring, one disaster after another road trip that will end predictably. It’s safe to say that’s not the case. Although this is a film about a son seeking a relationship with his father, it also recognizes those in our lives who unexpectedly became a father figure and shaped us into the person we are today.

3. Palm Springs

Not since “Groundhog Day” has any film with the similar formula been worth raving about (Except for maybe “Happy Death Day”). That is until “Palm Springs”. It manages to put a refreshing spin on the romantic comedy genre and time loop narrative. Nyles (Andy Samberg) and Sarah (Cristin Milioti) are two wedding guests reliving the same day. Samberg and Milioti are a dynamic duo with amazing chemistry. The film is heavier than you might expect. Nyles and Sarah are stuck together without even death as an escape. A romance grows, and soon they are partners in crime making the most of their care-free new existence; even if it comes with a rapid loss of meaning. “Palm Springs” is funny, sweet, and has a surprising little twist. 

2. Uncle Frank

If I could give anyone the Oscar right now, it would be Paul Bettany for his powerful and gut-wrenching performance in this film. I really hope this movie doesn’t go under the radar during award season, because it deserves recognition for its performances alone. Set in 1973, the film follows a teenager named Beth (Sophia Lillis) who leaves her rural Southern home to study at a New York University where her beloved Uncle Frank (Bettany) teaches. While there she discovers Frank is gay, and has been living with his long time partner, Wally (Peter Macdissi) – a secret he’s been keeping from his family for years. After the passing of his father, the three of them take a road trip home to North Carolina, and Frank is forced to face the worries and trauma he’s been running from. This film is my biggest tear-jerker of the year. I’m talking ugly crying. Watching Bettany play a character who has to hide his true self from his family in fear of how they might react is heartbreaking, and sadly, still relevant. “Uncle Frank” is a film everyone should watch.

1. Promising Young Woman

If you’ve heard me talk about this film, it should come as no surprise that it would make the top of my list. The movie has romance, comedy, mystery, revenge, and an all-star cast. “Promising Young Woman” features Carey Mulligan as Cassie, a med-school dropout who seeks revenge on a traumatizing past event. Not since “Hard Candy” have I enjoyed such an enticing revenge story. Mulligan is at her best, showing such complex emotions. She varies from cold-hearted to heartbreaking. This is a cautionary tale that would serve well in high school and college classrooms. Especially geared towards men who don’t seem to understand what consensual sexual activity means. The film goes beyond the actions of the men responsible for the sexual assaults. It also highlights those who turn a blind eye, and even the parties responsible for defending the guilty. “Promising Young Woman” is funny, dark, unforgettable, and for me, it’s the best film of the year.

The Best of the Rest:

11. Black Box

12. Shithouse

13. A Secret Love

14. Yes God Yes

15. The Trial of the Chicago 7

16. The Mauritanian

17. Da 5 Bloods

18. Freaky

19. Another Round

20. The Broken Hearts Gallery

Top 5 Worst Films of 2020

5. The Rhythm Section – I except more from Jude Law and Blake Lively at this point in their careers.

4. Underwater- A Knockoff underwater version of “Alien”. But bad, so bad.

3. The Sunlit Night- Terrible movie with the most forced and awkward sex scene.

2. The Prom – Had no idea James Corden was a bad actor until this film. Honestly, I couldn’t pay attention anything else.

1. The Witches (2020) – I almost forgot this movie happened. I’d like to keep it that way.

Trevor’s Top 10

10. Yes God Yes
9. Sonic the Hedgehog
8. Freaky
7. The Mauritanian
6. Palm Springs
5. The Old Guard
4. The Kid Detective
3. Promising Young Woman
2. Irresistible
1. Uncle Frank

Movie Review: “Wonder Woman 1984” Fails to Soar as High as its Predecessor

It pains me to write this review, as the first “Wonder Woman” movie was one of my favorite films of 2017. Patty Jenkins directed/wrote a simple, yet, thrilling, and charming story. It still holds up today as an incredible film. Sadly, the sequel, “Wonder Woman 1984” does not carry that same merit.

First off, what the heck!? I mean who approved this script!? Did they even refer to the last movie??

I just had to get that out. It is extremely frustrating, because we know DC can’t seem to figure out how to create the same kind of quality superhero movies like Marvel. That was until the first “Wonder Woman”. They found a gem in Patty Jenkins, and I know she is capable of much better than this.

“Wonder Woman 1984” picks up 66 years after Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) helped end World War 1 with the help of her friends and self-sacrificing boyfriend, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine). She’s now in Washington DC curating ancient artifacts; working with a socially awkward Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig). She is still saving the world, but she’s unhappy and living a lonely life without any loved ones.

Diana’s life is pretty routine until a foiled mall robbery shakes everything up. The incident leads to the discovery of an old artifact known as the dream stone, which grants wishes, but also takes something in return. It’s a dangerous tool that leads to a series of catastrophic events when it falls into the hands of a ponzi scam artist, Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal).

The acting in “Wonder Woman 1984” is good. Gadot has some stand out moments, particularly in a heartbreaking, emotional scene with Pine. And Pascal plays a hilarious, wacked out nut job. And Wiig does a fantastic job as Barbara/The Cheetah. She was actually my favorite part of the film. I just wish they utilized her more as a villain. Though Pascal is great to watch, I would have loved seeing Wiig in her full evil mode for much longer than what we’re given.

The problem here is in the writing. It goes beyond campy into cheesy territory. The opening sequence of the film is promising. But early on after Pascal steals the artifact, the movie just goes downhill. It gets muddled, and doesn’t even make that much sense. Maybe too many people were involved in writing the story, or maybe they were trying too hard to make a unique plot. But it didn’t work. They focused on corny jokes and a fluffy subject matter instead taking the route of the previous film’s darker tone. There are minimal action scenes, and the few we see have no real impact or awe factor. And I can’t go into detail, but there are so many problems with the ending. I would vent about if I could.

As a fan of the first “Wonder Woman”, I still have to advise you watch this sequel, and form your own opinion. There’s still some fun moments, and the characters are enjoyable. My only advice is to go in with the lowest of expectations.

Rating: 3/5

“Wonder Woman opens in theaters and streams on HBOMax December 25.

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Interview: Writer Mike Jones talks “Soul”

“Soul” follows Joe (Jamie Foxx) , a music teacher who has lost his passion for music and sense of purpose. But when he is transported into another realm to help someone find their spark, he discovers a new appreciation for life. I chatted with writer Mike Jones to discuss the film, what little things he appreciates about life, the value in asking people questions, and much more.

“Soul” is available to stream on Disney+ December 25.

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Movie Review: News of the World is an Enjoyable Ride

The last time director Paul Greengrass and Tom Hanks worked together was for “Captain Phillips”. A solid movie that was strong in its performances, but lacking in its story. Now, the two have teamed up again, and Hanks plays an even better Captain in the film, “News of the World”.

Hanks stars as Captain Kyle Kidd, a war veteran who travels from town to town five years after the Civil War, to read the news across Texas. But this man doesn’t just read the news, he brings life to it with his energy and storytelling; almost like a performance. He entertains the crowds at each stop with his loud, commanding voice.

While on his news tour, Kidd stumbles across a 10-year old girl which he names Johanna (Helena Zengel). She’s found abandoned on the road. She was raised by the Kiowa tribe, and doesn’t speak any English. Once Kidd realizes Johanna has no one to help her, he takes it upon himself to get her to her aunt and uncle’s farm near San Antonio. But this is no easy journey, and Kidd still must complete his work. Johanna tags along and watches in admiration as Kidd reads his “stories” to the towns they visit before their final destination.

“News of the World” does have some action, and there is enough intensity to keep you engaged. But be prepared for a lot of quiet and slow moments. With the exception of one shoot-out, this isn’t a very wild western. The enjoyment of the film comes from Kidd and Johanna. The two have great chemistry, and a very natural father/daughter like relationship. The dialogue between them is never forced or cheesy. The progression of the care and trust they build is incredibly heartwarming. They are both troubled and lost, but they find a home in each other.

The film is beautifully shot with luminous cinematography by Dariusz Wolski, and has a fantastic production design by David Crank. The exteriors of this film are wonderful, but what gives this movie life is the heart behind the two lead characters.

“News of the World” is an unconventional western. But regardless of your genre preference, Hanks and Zengel will win you over.

Rating: 4/5

“News of the World” opens in theaters December 25 and On Demand in January.

Nominations For the inaugural Critics Choice Super Awards!

Kevin Smith and Dani Fernandez To Host Special Airing on The CW on January 10, 2021

(Los Angeles – November 19, 2020) – The Critics Choice Association (CCA) announced today the nominees for the inaugural Critics Choice Super Awards, a special event honoring the most popular, fan-obsessed genres across both television and movies, including Superhero, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Horror, Action and Animation.  The winners will be revealed in a special television presentation, which will be produced remotely following COVID safety protocols, hosted by writer/director/podcaster Kevin Smith andactress/writer Dani Fernandez.  The ceremony will air on The CW Network on Sunday, January 10, 2021 (8:00-10:00pm ET/PT) and will stream the next day for free on The CW App and cwtv.com.

The Critics Choice Association will also present the Legacy Award to the “Star Trek” franchise, recognizing the cultural impact it has had across multiple decades while continuing to appeal to and grow its loyal fanbase with new stories and characters. “Star Trek” icon Patrick Stewart, and “Star Trek: Discovery” trailblazer Sonequa Martin-Green will personally accept this special honor, which comes as the franchise celebrates its 55th anniversary.  

Hulu and NEON’s “Palm Springs” leads this year’s film nominees, with a total of five including Best Science Fiction/Fantasy Movie, Best Actor in a Science Fiction/Fantasy Movie for Andy Samberg, Best Actor in a Science Fiction/Fantasy Movie and Best Villain in a Movie for J.K. Simmons, and Best Actress in a Science Fiction/Fantasy Movie for Cristin Milioti.  Several films followed close behind with four nominations including “Birds of Prey” (Warner Bros.), “Freaky” (Universal), “Onward” (Disney+), “Sonic the Hedgehog” (Paramount), “The Hunt” (Universal), “The Old Guard” (Netflix), and “The Willoughbys” (Netflix). 

“Lovecraft Country” (HBO) received the most television nominations, with a total of six possible wins, including Best Horror Series, Best Actor in a Horror Series for Jonathan Majors, Best Actor in a Horror Series for Michael K. Williams, Best Actress in a Horror Series for Wunmi Mosaku, Best Actress in a Horror Series for Jurnee Smollett, and Best Villain in a Series for Abbey Lee.  Amazon’s “The Boys” received five nominations including Best Superhero Series, Best Actor in a Superhero Series and Best Villain in a Series for Antony Starr, Best Actor in a Superhero Series for Karl Urban, and Best Actress in a Superhero Series for Aya Cash. 

Several performers received recognition for both their film and television work.  Hilary Swank was nominated for Best Actress in an Action Movie and Best Villain in a Movie for “The Hunt” (Universal), as well as Best Actress in a Science Fiction/Fantasy Series for “Away” (Netflix), making her the most nominated individual.  Maya Rudolph was nominated for Best Voice Actress in an Animated Movie for “The Willoughbys” (Netflix) as well as Best Voice Actress in an Animated Series for “Big Mouth” (Netflix).  Jurnee Smollett was nominated for Actress in a Superhero Movie for “Birds of Prey” (Warner Bros.) and Best Actress in a Horror Series for “Lovecraft Country” (HBO).   

“What a celebration this is going to be!” said Critics Choice Association CEO Joey Berlin.  “We are so pleased to be spotlighting the brilliant work of so many artists who bring to life some of the most engaging and beloved movies and television series!  We are certain that Kevin and Dani will serve as tremendous hosts, who, as fans themselves, will bring energy and enthusiasm to the stage, as we honor these genres that so often go overlooked and underappreciated.” 

The inaugural Critics Choice Super Awards show will be produced by Bob Bain Productions.  The CCA is represented by Dan Black of Greenberg Traurig.

FILM NOMINATIONS FOR THE INAUGURAL CRITICS CHOICE SUPER AWARDS

BEST ACTION MOVIE

Bad Boys For Life (Sony)

Da 5 Bloods (Netflix)

Extraction (Netflix)

Greyhound (Apple TV+)

The Hunt (Universal)

Mulan (Disney+)

The Outpost (Screen Media)

Tenet (Warner Bros.)

BEST ACTOR IN AN ACTION MOVIE

Tom Hanks – Greyhound (Apple TV+)

Chris Hemsworth – Extraction (Netflix)

Caleb Landry Jones – The Outpost (Screen Media)

Delroy Lindo – Da 5 Bloods (Netflix)

Will Smith – Bad Boys For Life (Sony)

John David Washington – Tenet (Warner Bros)

BEST ACTRESS IN AN ACTION MOVIE

Betty Gilpin – The Hunt (Universal)

Yifei Liu – Mulan (Disney+)

Blake Lively – The Rhythm Section (Paramount)

Iliza Shlesinger – Spenser Confidential (Netflix)

Hilary Swank – The Hunt (Universal)

BEST ANIMATED MOVIE

Onward (Disney+)

Over the Moon (Netflix)

A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (Netflix)

Soul (Disney+)

The Willoughbys (Netflix)

Wolfwalkers (Apple / GKIDS)

BEST VOICE ACTOR IN AN ANIMATED MOVIE

Jamie Foxx – Soul (Disney+)

Will Forte – The Willoughbys (Netflix)

Tom Holland – Onward (Disney+)

John Krasinski – Animal Crackers (Netflix)

Chris Pratt – Onward (Disney+)

Sam Rockwell – The One and Only Ivan (Disney+)

BEST VOICE ACTRESS IN AN ANIMATED MOVIE

Tina Fey – Soul (Disney+)

Honor Kneafsey – Wolfwalkers (Apple / GKIDS)

Maya Rudolph – The Willoughbys (Netflix)

Phillipa Soo – Over the Moon (Netflix)

Octavia Spencer – Onward (Disney+)

Eva Whittaker – Wolfwalkers (Apple / GKIDS)

BEST SUPERHERO MOVIE*

Birds of Prey (Warner Bros.)

The Old Guard (Netflix)

Secret Society of Second-Born Royals (Disney+)

Sonic The Hedgehog (Paramount)

Superman: Man of Tomorrow (Warner Bros. Animation)

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPERHERO MOVIE*

Skylar Astin – Secret Society of Second-Born Royals (Disney+)

Jim Carrey – Sonic The Hedgehog (Paramount)

Chiwetel Ejiofor – The Old Guard (Netflix)

Ewan McGregor – Birds of Prey (Warner Bros.)

Ben Schwartz – Sonic The Hedgehog (Paramount)

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPERHERO MOVIE*

Kiki Layne – The Old Guard (Netflix)

Peyton Elizabeth Lee – Secret Society of Second-Born Royals (Disney+)

Margot Robbie – Birds of Prey (Warner Bros)

Jurnee Smollett – Birds of Prey (Warner Bros)

Charlize Theron – The Old Guard (Netflix)

BEST HORROR MOVIE

Freaky (Universal)

The Invisible Man (Universal)

Relic (IFC Films)

The Rental (IFC Films)

Sputnik (IFC Films)

BEST ACTOR IN A HORROR MOVIE

Ṣọpẹ Dìrísù – His House (Netflix)

Pyotr Fyodorov – Sputnik (IFC Films)

Michiel Huisman – The Other Lamb (IFC Films)

Dan Stevens – The Rental (IFC Films)

Vince Vaughn – Freaky (Universal)

BEST ACTRESS IN A HORROR MOVIE

Haley Bennett – Swallow (IFC Films)

Angela Bettis – 12 Hour Shift (Magnet Releasing)

Elisabeth Moss – The Invisible Man (Universal)

Kathryn Newton – Freaky (Universal)

Sheila Vand – The Rental (IFC Films)

BEST SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY MOVIE

Love and Monsters (Paramount)

Palm Springs (Hulu and NEON)

Possessor (NEON)

Synchronic (Well Go USA)

The Vast of Night (Amazon Studios)

BEST ACTOR IN A SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY MOVIE

Christopher Abbott – Possessor (NEON)

Jake Horowitz – The Vast of Night (Amazon Studios)

Anthony Mackie – Synchronic (Well Go USA)

Andy Samberg – Palm Springs (Hulu and NEON)

J.K. Simmons – Palm Springs (Hulu and NEON)

BEST ACTRESS IN A SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY MOVIE

Ally Ioannides – Synchronic (Well Go USA)

Katherine Langford – Spontaneous (Paramount)

Sierra McCormick – The Vast of Night (Amazon Studios)

Cristin Milioti – Palm Springs (Hulu and NEON)

Andrea Riseborough – Possessor (NEON)

BEST VILLAIN IN A MOVIE

Jim Carrey – Sonic The Hedgehog (Paramount)

Kathryn Newton – Freaky (Universal)

Martin Short and Jane Krakowski – The Willoughbys (Netflix)

J.K. Simmons – Palm Springs (Hulu and NEON)

Hilary Swank – The Hunt (Universal)

TELEVISION NOMINATIONS FOR THE INAUGURAL CRITICS CHOICE SUPER AWARDS

BEST ACTION SERIES

9-1-1 (Fox)

Hanna (Amazon)

Hunters (Amazon)

S.W.A.T. (CBS)

Vikings (History)

Warrior (Cinemax)

BEST ACTOR IN AN ACTION SERIES

Daveed Diggs – Snowpiercer (TNT)

Andrew Koji – Warrior (Cinemax)

Logan Lerman – Hunters (Amazon)

Alexander Ludwig – Vikings (History)

Shemar Moore – S.W.A.T. (CBS)

Al Pacino – Hunters (Amazon)

BEST ACTRESS IN AN ACTION SERIES

Angela Bassett – 9-1-1 (Fox)

Jennifer Connelly – Snowpiercer (TNT)

Esme Creed-Miles – Hanna (Amazon)

Mireille Enos – Hanna (Amazon)

Katheryn Winnick – Vikings (History)

Alison Wright – Snowpiercer (TNT)

BEST ANIMATED SERIES

Archer (FXX)

BoJack Horseman (Netflix)

Big Mouth (Netflix)

Central Park (Apple TV+)

Harley Quinn (HBO Max)

Rick and Morty (Adult Swim)

Star Trek: Lower Decks (CBS All Access)

BEST VOICE ACTOR IN AN ANIMATED SERIES

Will Arnett – BoJack Horseman (Netflix)

H. Jon Benjamin – Archer (FXX)

Nick Kroll – Big Mouth (Netflix)

John Mulaney – Big Mouth (Netflix)

Jack Quaid – Star Trek: Lower Decks (CBS All Access)

Justin Roiland – Rick and Morty (Adult Swim)

J.B. Smoove – Harley Quinn (HBO Max)

BEST VOICE ACTRESS IN AN ANIMATED SERIES

Kaley Cuoco – Harley Quinn (HBO Max)

Tawny Newsome – Star Trek: Lower Decks (CBS All Access)

Maya Rudolph – Big Mouth (Netflix)

Amy Sedaris – BoJack Horseman (Netflix)

Aisha Tyler – Archer (FXX)

Jessica Walter – Archer (FXX)

BEST SUPERHERO SERIES*

The Boys (Amazon)

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (The CW)

Doom Patrol (DC Universe and HBO Max)

The Flash (The CW)

Lucifer (Netflix)

The Umbrella Academy (Netflix)

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPERHERO SERIES*

Jon Cryer – Supergirl (The CW)

Tom Ellis – Lucifer (Netflix)

Grant Gustin – The Flash (The CW)

Antony Starr – The Boys (Amazon)

Karl Urban – The Boys (Amazon)

Cress Williams – Black Lightning (The CW)

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPERHERO SERIES*

Melissa Benoist – Supergirl (The CW)

Aya Cash – The Boys (Amazon)

Diane Guerrero – Doom Patrol (DC Universe and HBO Max)

Elizabeth Marvel – Helstrom (Hulu)

Lili Reinhart – Riverdale (The CW)

Cobie Smulders – Stumptown (ABC)

BEST HORROR SERIES

Evil (CBS)

The Haunting of Bly Manor (Netflix)

Lovecraft Country (HBO)

The Outsider (HBO and MRC Television)

Supernatural (The CW)

The Walking Dead (AMC)

BEST ACTOR IN A HORROR SERIES

Jensen Ackles – Supernatural (The CW)

Mike Colter – Evil (CBS)

Michael Emerson – Evil (CBS)

Jonathan Majors – Lovecraft Country (HBO)

Ben Mendelsohn – The Outsider (HBO and MRC Television)

Jared Padalecki – Supernatural (The CW)

Michael K. Williams – Lovecraft Country (HBO)

BEST ACTRESS IN A HORROR SERIES

Natalie Dormer – Penny Dreadful: City of Angels (Showtime)

Cynthia Erivo – The Outsider (HBO and MRC Television)

Katja Herbers – Evil (CBS)

T’Nia Miller – The Haunting of Bly Manor (Netflix)

Wunmi Mosaku – Lovecraft Country (HBO)

Victoria Pedretti – The Haunting of Bly Manor (Netflix)

Jurnee Smollett – Lovecraft Country (HBO)

BEST SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY SERIES

The Mandalorian (Disney+)

Outlander (Starz)

Raised by Wolves (HBO Max)

Star Trek: Discovery (CBS All Access)

Star Trek: Picard (CBS All Access)

Upload (Amazon)

What We Do in the Shadows (FX)

BEST ACTOR IN A SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY SERIES

Robbie Amell – Upload (Amazon)

Travis Fimmel – Raised by Wolves (HBO Max)

Sam Heughan – Outlander (Starz)

Kayvan Novak – What We Do in the Shadows (FX)

Pedro Pascal – The Mandalorian (Disney+)

Nick Offerman – Devs (FX on Hulu)

Patrick Stewart – Star Trek: Picard (CBS All Access)

BEST ACTRESS IN A SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY SERIES

Caitriona Balfe – Outlander (Starz)

Amanda Collin – Raised by Wolves (HBO Max)

Natasia Demetriou – What We Do in the Shadows (FX)

Sonequa Martin-Green – Star Trek: Discovery (CBS All Access)

Thandie Newton – Westworld (HBO)

Hilary Swank – Away (Netflix)

Jodie Whittaker – Doctor Who (BBC America)

BEST VILLAIN IN A SERIES

Tom Ellis – Lucifer (Netflix)

Abbey Lee – Lovecraft Country (HBO)

Samantha Morton – The Walking Dead (AMC)

Sarah Paulson – Ratched (Netflix)

Antony Starr – The Boys (Amazon)

Finn Wittrock – Ratched (Netflix)

Movie Review: “Freaky” & Preview of “The Last Vermeer”

“Freaky” is a re-make of the 70s hit comedy, “Freaky Friday” which features a mother and daughter who switch bodies. Except that the 2020 version is a comedy/horror movie, so there’s a lot of laughs and, well, a lot more blood. Susan Stephens says it’s not for the faint of heart, but there are some laugh out loud moments for horror fans. Keep watching for a preview of the historical thriller, “The Last Vermeer.”

“Freaky” is currently playing in theaters

“The Last Vermeer” opens in theaters November 20, 2020.

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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: “Let Him Go” – A Powerful Portrayal of a Grandparent’s Love

Diane Lane and Kevin Costner are heartbroken grandparents ready to do whatever is needed to protect their grandson.

Focus Features new drama, “Let Him Go” opens with retired sheriff George Blackledge (Costner) and his wife Margaret (Lane) at their ranch in Montana spending time with their son James (Ryan Bruce), his wife Lorna (Kayli Carter), and their baby boy. Later that day, James has a fatal accident while riding a wild horse.

Years later, Lorna remarries. Her son, Jimmy, is now a toddler. On her wedding day, she seems uncomfortable around her new husband, Donnie Weboy (Will Brittain). It isn’t until Margaret sees Donnie hit Lorna and Jimmy that she recognizes the problem. When she discovers they have mysteriously taken off to go stay with Donnie’s family; Margaret and George leave their Montana ranch, and set off to rescue their only grandchild from the dangerous Weboy family.

Based on Larry Watson’s novel, the film is directed and written by Thomas Bezucha (“The Family Stone”, “Monte Carlo”). Bezucha has a way of writing compelling family dynamics. Every character has depth. The relationships between the Blackledge family isn’t picture perfect. Margaret and George have a loving and respectable marriage, but they don’t always see eye to eye. And Margaret’s relationship with Lorna is a bit rocky, as Margaret can be overbearing.

The Weboy family is a special, terrifying case; led by their vicious and abusive mother, Blanche (Lesley Manville). She controls her sons and any other man in her life. What these men lack in brains, they make up for in strength and violence. They are an odd and horrifying bunch.

“Let Him Go” is a tense journey, but the scenic drive to their destination is beautiful and adds a brief unexpected tranquility. From the tragic beginning, you’re hooked till the very end. It’s unbearable to think about the pain parents must feel after the loss of a child, but to know their is still a piece of him in their grandchild makes their mission heroic and cathartic.

The film is heavy and there is some graphic violence, but it’s a fantastic story with incredible performances. Lane and Costner are a duo that deserve a longer screen time together than they had in “Man of Steel”. The two feed off each other so naturally. And Lesley Manville is an intimidating scene stealer. You dread her character, but you anxiously await her next appearance.

“Let Him Go” is not exactly groundbreaking, but it is an engaging script and exquisitely shot. The performances alone are enough for me to recommend this watch, but there’s also thrilling action and a powerful story. It’s the perfect movie to watch with the whole family.

Rating: 4.25/5

“Let Him Go” opens in theaters November 6, 2020.

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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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