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Archives for : Susan Kamyab Stephens

Review: “Firestarter” & “Candy”

This week I review the remake of a Stephen King classic, “Firestarter” and Hulu’s new crime drama series, “Candy”.

“Firestarter is currently playing in theaters and “Candy” is available to stream on Hulu.

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Review: “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” & “The Girl from Plainville”

This week I have reviews of the highly anticipated Marvel film, “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse” (SPOILER FREE) and Hulu’s new mini-series starring Elle Fanning, “The Girl from Plainville”.

“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse” opens in theaters May 6, 2022 and “The Girl from Plainville” is currently streaming on Hulu.

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Movie Review: “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” & “Bridgerton” Season 2

This week I review the hilarious new Nicolas Cage action/comedy, “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” and the new season of the popular Netflix series, “Bridgerton”. 

“The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” opens in theaters April 21, 2022 and “Bridgerton” Season 2 is currently streaming on Netflix.

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“Father Stu” Interview with Mark Wahlberg

“Father Stu” follows the true story of Stuart Long, a boxer-turned-priest who inspired many people during his journey from self-destruction to redemption. Susan Stephens sat down with the star and producer of the film, Mark Wahlberg. He talks about the movie and shares a memory of his dad that he holds close to his heart.

“Father Stu” opens in theaters April 13, 2022.

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Predicting the Winners: 94th Academy Awards

Performance by an actor in a leading role

  • Javier Bardem in “Being the Ricardos”
  • Benedict Cumberbatch in “The Power of the Dog”
  • Andrew Garfield in “tick, tick…BOOM!”
  • Will Smith in “King Richard”
  • Denzel Washington in “The Tragedy of Macbeth”

Will Win: Will Smith

Could Win: Benedict Cumberbatch

Want to Win: Will Smith

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

  • Ciarán Hinds in “Belfast”
  • Troy Kotsur in “CODA”
  • Jesse Plemons in “The Power of the Dog”
  • J.K. Simmons in “Being the Ricardos”
  • Kodi Smit-McPhee in “The Power of the Dog”

Will Win: Troy Kotsur

Could Win: Kodi Smit-McPhee

Want to Win: Troy Kotsur

Performance by an actress in a leading role

  • Jessica Chastain in “The Eyes of Tammy Faye”
  • Olivia Colman in “The Lost Daughter”
  • Penélope Cruz in “Parallel Mothers”
  • Nicole Kidman in “Being the Ricardos”
  • Kristen Stewart in “Spencer”

Will Win: Jessica Chastain

Could Win: Nicole Kidman

Want to Win: Jessica Chastain

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

  • Jessie Buckley in “The Lost Daughter”
  • Ariana DeBose in “West Side Story”
  • Judi Dench in “Belfast”
  • Kirsten Dunst in “The Power of the Dog”
  • Aunjanue Ellis in “King Richard”

Will Win: Ariana DeBose

Could Win: Aunjanue Ellis

Want to Win: Ariana DeBose or Kirsten Dunst

Best animated feature film of the year

  • “Encanto” Jared Bush, Byron Howard, Yvett Merino and Clark Spencer
  • “Flee” Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sorensen and Charlotte De La Gournerie
  • “Luca” Enrico Casarosa and Andrea Warren
  • “The Mitchells vs. the Machines” Mike Rianda, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller and Kurt Albrecht
  • “Raya and the Last Dragon” Don Hall, Carlos López Estrada, Osnat Shurer and Peter Del Vecho

Will Win: Encanto

Could Win: The Mitchells vs. the Machines

Want to Win: The Mitchells vs. the Machines

Achievement in cinematography

  • “Dune” Greig Fraser
  • “Nightmare Alley” Dan Laustsen
  • “The Power of the Dog” Ari Wegner
  • “The Tragedy of Macbeth” Bruno Delbonnel
  • “West Side Story” Janusz Kaminski

Will Win: Dune

Could Win: The Power of the Dog

Want to Win: West Side Story

Achievement in costume design

  • “Cruella” Jenny Beavan
  • “Cyrano” Massimo Cantini Parrini and Jacqueline Durran
  • “Dune” Jacqueline West and Robert Morgan
  • “Nightmare Alley” Luis Sequeira
  • “West Side Story” Paul Tazewell

Will Win: Cruella

Could Win: West Side Story

Want to Win: Cruella

Achievement in directing

  • “Belfast” Kenneth Branagh
  • “Drive My Car” Ryusuke Hamaguchi
  • “Licorice Pizza” Paul Thomas Anderson
  • “The Power of the Dog” Jane Campion
  • “West Side Story” Steven Spielberg

Will Win: Jane Campion

Could Win: Steven Spielberg

Want to Win: No preference

Best documentary feature

  • “Ascension” Jessica Kingdon, Kira Simon-Kennedy and Nathan Truesdell
  • “Attica” Stanley Nelson and Traci A. Curry
  • “Flee” Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sørensen and Charlotte De La Gournerie
  • “Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)” Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Joseph Patel, Robert Fyvolent and David Dinerstein
  • “Writing with Fire” Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh

Will Win: Summer of Soul

Could Win: Flee

Want to Win: Summer of Soul

Best documentary short subject

  • “Audible” Matt Ogens and Geoff McLean
  • “Lead Me Home” Pedro Kos and Jon Shenk
  • “The Queen of Basketball” Ben Proudfoot
  • “Three Songs for Benazir” Elizabeth Mirzaei and Gulistan Mirzaei
  • “When We Were Bullies” Jay Rosenblatt

Will Win: The Queen of Basket Ball

Could Win: Audible or When We Were Bullies

Want to Win: The Queen of Basket Ball or Audible

Achievement in film editing

  • “Don’t Look Up” Hank Corwin
  • “Dune” Joe Walker
  • “King Richard” Pamela Martin
  • “The Power of the Dog” Peter Sciberras
  • “tick, tick…BOOM!” Myron Kerstein and Andrew Weisblum

Will Win: Dune

Could Win: Don’t Look Up or King Richard

Want to Win: Don’t Look Up or King Richard

Best international feature film of the year

  • “Drive My Car” Japan
  • “Flee” Denmark
  • “The Hand of God” Italy
  • “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom” Bhutan
  • “The Worst Person in the World” Norway

Will Win: Drive My Car

Could Win: Flee

Want to Win: Drive My Car

Achievement in makeup and hairstyling

  • “Coming 2 America” Mike Marino, Stacey Morris and Carla Farmer
  • “Cruella” Nadia Stacey, Naomi Donne and Julia Vernon
  • “Dune” Donald Mowat, Love Larson and Eva von Bahr
  • “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” Linda Dowds, Stephanie Ingram and Justin Raleigh
  • “House of Gucci” Göran Lundström, Anna Carin Lock and Frederic Aspiras

Will Win: The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Could Win: Cruella

Want to Win: The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)

  • “Don’t Look Up” Nicholas Britell
  • “Dune” Hans Zimmer
  • “Encanto” Germaine Franco
  • “Parallel Mothers” Alberto Iglesias
  • “The Power of the Dog” Jonny Greenwood

Will Win: Dune

Could Win: Encanto

Want to Win: Encanto

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

  • “Be Alive” from “King Richard”
    Music and Lyric by DIXSON and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter
  • “Dos Oruguitas” from “Encanto”
    Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda
  • “Down To Joy” from “Belfast”
    Music and Lyric by Van Morrison
  • “No Time To Die” from “No Time to Die”
    Music and Lyric by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell
  • “Somehow You Do” from “Four Good Days”
    Music and Lyric by Diane Warren

Will Win: “No Time to Die”

Could Win: “Dos Oruguitas”

Want to Win: “Be Alive”

Best motion picture of the year

  • “Belfast” Laura Berwick, Kenneth Branagh, Becca Kovacik and Tamar Thomas, Producers
  • “CODA” Philippe Rousselet, Fabrice Gianfermi and Patrick Wachsberger, Producers
  • “Don’t Look Up” Adam McKay and Kevin Messick, Producers
  • “Drive My Car” Teruhisa Yamamoto, Producer
  • “Dune” Mary Parent, Denis Villeneuve and Cale Boyter, Producers
  • “King Richard” Tim White, Trevor White and Will Smith, Producers
  • “Licorice Pizza” Sara Murphy, Adam Somner and Paul Thomas Anderson, Producers
  • “Nightmare Alley” Guillermo del Toro, J. Miles Dale and Bradley Cooper, Producers
  • “The Power of the Dog” Jane Campion, Tanya Seghatchian, Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Roger Frappier, Producers
  • “West Side Story” Steven Spielberg and Kristie Macosko Krieger, Producers

Will Win: The Power of the Dog

Could Win: CODA

Want to Win: King Richard, CODA, Don’t Look Up

Achievement in production design

  • “Dune” Production Design: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Zsuzsanna Sipos
  • “Nightmare Alley” Production Design: Tamara Deverell; Set Decoration: Shane Vieau
  • “The Power of the Dog” Production Design: Grant Major; Set Decoration: Amber Richards
  • “The Tragedy of Macbeth” Production Design: Stefan Dechant; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh
  • “West Side Story” Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Rena DeAngelo

Will Win: Dune

Could Win: West Side Story

Want to Win: Dune

Best animated short film

  • “Affairs of the Art” Joanna Quinn and Les Mills
  • “Bestia” Hugo Covarrubias and Tevo Díaz
  • “Boxballet” Anton Dyakov
  • “Robin Robin” Dan Ojari and Mikey Please
  • “The Windshield Wiper” Alberto Mielgo and Leo Sanchez

Will Win: Robin Robin

Could Win: The Windshield Wiper

Want to Win: Robin Robin or The Windshield Wiper

Best live action short film

  • “Ala Kachuu – Take and Run” Maria Brendle and Nadine Lüchinger
  • “The Dress” Tadeusz Łysiak and Maciej Ślesicki
  • “The Long Goodbye” Aneil Karia and Riz Ahmed
  • “On My Mind” Martin Strange-Hansen and Kim Magnusson
  • “Please Hold” K.D. Dávila and Levin Menekse

Will Win: The Long Goodbye

Could Win: Please Hold

Want to Win: Please Hold or The Long Goodbye

Achievement in sound

  • “Belfast” Denise Yarde, Simon Chase, James Mather and Niv Adiri
  • “Dune” Mac Ruth, Mark Mangini, Theo Green, Doug Hemphill and Ron Bartlett
  • “No Time to Die” Simon Hayes, Oliver Tarney, James Harrison, Paul Massey and Mark Taylor
  • “The Power of the Dog” Richard Flynn, Robert Mackenzie and Tara Webb
  • “West Side Story” Tod A. Maitland, Gary Rydstrom, Brian Chumney, Andy Nelson and Shawn Murphy

Will Win: Dune

Could Win: No Time to Die

Want to Win: West Side Story

Achievement in visual effects

  • “Dune” Paul Lambert, Tristan Myles, Brian Connor and Gerd Nefzer
  • “Free Guy” Swen Gillberg, Bryan Grill, Nikos Kalaitzidis and Dan Sudick
  • “No Time to Die” Charlie Noble, Joel Green, Jonathan Fawkner and Chris Corbould
  • “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” Christopher Townsend, Joe Farrell, Sean Noel Walker and Dan Oliver
  • “Spider-Man: No Way Home” Kelly Port, Chris Waegner, Scott Edelstein and Dan Sudick

Will Win: Dune

Could Win: Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Want to Win: Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Adapted screenplay

  • “CODA” Screenplay by Siân Heder
  • “Drive My Car” Screenplay by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Takamasa Oe
  • “Dune” Screenplay by Jon Spaihts and Denis Villeneuve and Eric Roth
  • “The Lost Daughter” Written by Maggie Gyllenhaal
  • “The Power of the Dog” Written by Jane Campion

Will Win: The Power of the Dog

Could Win: CODA

Want to Win: The Lost Daughter

Original screenplay

  • “Belfast” Written by Kenneth Branagh
  • “Don’t Look Up” Screenplay by Adam McKay; Story by Adam McKay & David Sirota
  • “King Richard” Written by Zach Baylin
  • “Licorice Pizza” Written by Paul Thomas Anderson
  • “The Worst Person in the World” Written by Eskil Vogt, Joachim Trier

Will Win: Don’t Look Up

Could Win: Belfast or Licorice Pizza

Want to Win: Don’t Look Up

THE OSCARS SET TO AIR LIVE, MARCH 27, ON ABC

“Infinite Storm” Interview with Naomi Watts & Malgortzata Szumowska

“Infinite Storm” tells the powerful, true story of Pam Bales, a climber who encounters a stranded stranger during a blizzard and must get them both down a mountain before they freeze to death. I got the chance to speak with the star of the film, Naomi Watts and director Malgortzata Szumowska about the movie. They discuss why an act of kindness from strangers can have a lasting effect, the person in their life that had the biggest positive impact, and more.

“Infinite Storm” opens in theaters on March 25, 2022.

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2nd Annual Critics Choice Super Awards Winners

WINNERS ANNOUNCED FOR 2ND ANNUAL CRITICS CHOICE SUPER AWARDS

HONORING SUPERHERO, SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY, HORROR, AND ACTION MOVIES AND SERIES

“SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME” LED FILM CATEGORIES WITH THREE WINS, “SQUID GAME” AND “WANDAVISION” LED SERIES WINS WITH THREE EACH

Watch Winner Acceptance Speeches HERE

(Los Angeles, CA – March 17, 2022) – The Critics Choice Association (CCA) announced today the winners of the 2nd annual Critics Choice Super Awards, honoring the most popular, fan-obsessed genres across both movies and television, including Superhero, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Horror, and Action.

“Spider-Man: No Way Home” led the film winners this year, garnering three awards overall. The film was awarded Best Superhero Movie, while Andrew Garfield took the prize for Best Actor in a Superhero Movie, and Willem Dafoe won Best Villain in a Movie.

“Squid Game” and “WandaVision” tied for most series wins, earning three awards each. “Squid Game” swept the Action Series categories, with Lee Jung-jae winning Best Actor in an Action Series, HoYeon Jung winning Best Actress in an Action Series, and the show taking home the Best Action Series award. “WandaVision” was named Best Superhero Series, and Elizabeth Olsen was awarded Best Actress in a Superhero Series, while her co-star Kathryn Hahn won Best Villain in a Series.

“This year’s slate of Critics Choice Super Awards nominees and winners represents the absolute best in genre storytelling,” said Sean O’Connell, Critics Choice Super Awards Branch President. “It’s an honor to showcase these incredible accomplishments in Horror, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Comic Book films and television. The Super Awards will proudly continue to shine a brighter light on the talented people telling stories in these fields.”

The full list of winners can be found below.

Watch Acceptance Speeches Here:

Best Superhero Movie – Spider-Man: No Way Home:

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Best Horror Movie – A Quiet Place Part II:

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Best Actor in a Horror Movie – Yahya Abdul-Mateen II – Candyman:

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Best Action Series – Squid Game:

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Best Actor in an Action Series – Lee Jung-jae – Squid Game:

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Best Actress in an Action Series – HoYeon Jung – Squid Game:

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Best Horror Series – Yellowjackets:

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Best Actor in a Horror Series – Hamish Linklater – Midnight Mass:

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Best Actress in a Horror Series – Melanie Lynskey – Yellowjackets:

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Best Science Fiction/Fantasy Series – Station Eleven:

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Best Actor in a Science Fiction/Fantasy Series – Daveed Diggs – Snowpiercer:

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Best Villain in a Series – Kathryn Hahn – WandaVision:

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FILM WINNERS FOR THE 2ND ANNUAL CRITICS CHOICE SUPER AWARDS

BEST ACTION MOVIE

No Time to Die (United Artists)

BEST ACTOR IN AN ACTION MOVIE

Daniel Craig – No Time to Die (United Artists)

BEST ACTRESS IN AN ACTION MOVIE

Jodie Comer – The Last Duel (Disney)

BEST SUPERHERO MOVIE

Spider-Man: No Way Home (Sony)

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPERHERO MOVIE

Andrew Garfield – Spider-Man: No Way Home (Sony)

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPERHERO MOVIE

Florence Pugh – Black Widow (Disney)

BEST HORROR MOVIE

A Quiet Place Part II (Paramount)

BEST ACTOR IN A HORROR MOVIE

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II – Candyman (Universal)

BEST ACTRESS IN A HORROR MOVIE

Agathe Rousselle – Titane (NEON)

BEST SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY MOVIE

Dune (Warner Bros.)

BEST ACTOR IN A SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY MOVIE

Dev Patel – The Green Knight (A24)

BEST ACTRESS IN A SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY MOVIE

Rebecca Ferguson – Dune (Warner Bros.)

BEST VILLAIN IN A MOVIE

Willem Dafoe – Spider-Man: No Way Home (Sony)

SERIES WINNERS FOR THE 2ND ANNUAL CRITICS CHOICE SUPER AWARDS

BEST ACTION SERIES

Squid Game (Netflix)

BEST ACTOR IN AN ACTION SERIES

Lee Jung-jae – Squid Game (Netflix)

BEST ACTRESS IN AN ACTION SERIES

HoYeon Jung – Squid Game (Netflix)

BEST SUPERHERO SERIES

WandaVision (Disney+)

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPERHERO SERIES

Tom Hiddleston – Loki (Disney+)

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPERHERO SERIES

Elizabeth Olsen – WandaVision (Disney+)

BEST HORROR SERIES

Yellowjackets (Showtime)

BEST ACTOR IN A HORROR SERIES

Hamish Linklater – Midnight Mass (Netflix)

BEST ACTRESS IN A HORROR SERIES

Melanie Lynskey – Yellowjackets (Showtime)

BEST SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY SERIES

Station Eleven (HBO Max)

BEST ACTOR IN A SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY SERIES

Daveed Diggs – Snowpiercer (TNT)

BEST ACTRESS IN A SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY SERIES

Mackenzie Davis – Station Eleven (HBO Max)

BEST VILLAIN IN A SERIES

Kathryn Hahn – WandaVision (Disney+)

Movie Review: “The Outfit” is a Stylish Thrill

Zoey Deutch (left) stars as “Mable” and Mark Rylance (right) stars as “Leonard” in director Graham Moore’s THE OUTFIT, a Focus Features release. Courtesy of Focus Features

All is not what it appears to be in Graham Moore’s directorial debut, “The Outfit”.

The Academy Award winning writer takes a stab behind the camera and cuts out an intriguing gangster saga. “The Outfit” follows a quiet Englishman, Leonard (Mark Rylance), who tailors to the mob. His Chicago tailor shop is a “drop spot” location for the local mob Boyle Crime Organization, run by an intimidating senior boss, Roy Boyle (Simon Russell Beale).

Just when you think Leonard’s “business” is running smoothly, the contents of a simple envelope lead to an unexpected turn of events. Leonard witnesses an incident that now has him caught in an unfortunate situation. Now, if he wants to live, he must outwit the dangerous group of mobsters that won’t let him or his innocent secretary (Zoey Deutch) leave the store.

“The Outfit” does have a bit of a slow start. Moore has also co-written a film (Alongside Johnathan McClain) that almost reads like a stage play. The entirety of the movie takes place at the tailor shop, which at the beginning makes things a little stagnant. However, once two of the regular mobsters, Richie (Dylan O’ Brien) and Francis (Johnny Flynn), rush into the shop after Richie has been injured, things pick up really quick. From there the story keeps you on the edge of your seat and you can really see the fine threading in the plot. Every detail shot and written is well delivered. The film is a refreshing take on a beloved genre we rarely see anymore.

The shining elements to this dapper film are Moore and McClain’s sharp screenplay, AND the phenomenal performances by the entire cast. Dylan O’ Brien does a wonderful job as Richie, a cocky son of the boss, who’s constantly competing with his dad’s favorite employee. Johnny Flynn as Francis is witty, pompous, and terribly frightening. Zoey Deutch is fantastic as Mable, the secretary who knows more of the mystery than she lets on. And Mark Rylance as Leonard is a smooth operating tailor who masterly weaves the actions of that tragic night.

The less you know about “The Outfit” the better. Just sit back and enjoy this clever, nail-biting, twisted thriller.

“The Outfit” opens in theaters March 25, 2022.

Rating: B+

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Rapid Review: “Fresh” is a Deliciously Good Time


Mimi Caves directorial debut serves a familiar dish, but with a “fresh”, new taste. 

I hate to spoil anything about Fox Searchlight Pictures’ “Fresh”, so I’m going to keep it brief. 

The film follows, Noa (Daisy Edgar-Jones), a young woman whose tirelessly looking for love through dating apps. The opening scene of the movie is an awkward, horrible first date. Noa is left feeling hopeless, and thinking that she’ll ever find a good guy. Her best friend, Mollie (Jojo T. Gibbs) is always by her side to console her and tell her she doesn’t need a man, but Noa still hopes for that special someone. 

On a random evening at the grocery store, a handsome, charming man named Steve (Sebastian Stan) hits on Noa by the produce section. Sparks fly and they begin to date. They seem to have a true romantic connection. After a few dates, Steve suggests taking Noa away for the weekend. Unfortunately, this dream vacation quickly turns into an unthinkable nightmare.  

Cave’s debut feature goes from rom-com to a dark, provocative horror. Audiences may think they’ve seen this story before, but it hasn’t been told quite like this. For starters, the film features a Grade-A cast. Stan’s character is unlike anything he’s played before. Between this film and “Pam and Tommy”, he’s proving his incredible versatility as an actor. And Edgar-Jones gives an unforgettable performance, as she brings a whole new level to the “damsel turns badass” story arc. 

Screenwriter, Lauryn Kahn carves out a sharp, witty, and thrilling script. Caves brilliantly brings Kahn’s words to life with her directing. The film’s images range from picturesque to beautifully grotesque. “Fresh” delivers the whole package. It’s a deliciously, twisted horror/comedy that leaves you craving more. 

“Fresh” is available to stream on Hulu on March 4, 2022.

Rating: A

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Movie Review: “The Batman” & “Ted Lasso” Season 2

“The Batman” is finally here! I review the highly anticipated thriller and lets you know if Robert Pattinson earns the new title as the caped crusader. I also review and recommend the award winning series, “Ted Lasso”. Check out my full reviews in the video below!

“The Batman” opens in theaters March 4, 2022 and “Ted Lasso” is currently streaming on Apple TV+. For more reviews like this one, watch ICTN. For more information on ICTN, visit http://ictn.tv

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