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Movie Review: MINIONS: THE RISE OF GRU

MINIONS THE RISE OF GRU poster | ©2022 Universal Pictures

Rating: PG Stars (voices): Steve Carell, Pierre Coffin, Alan Arkin, Michelle Yeoh, Taraji P. Henson, Julie Andrews Writer: Matthew Fogel, story by Brian Lynch and Matthew Fogel Director: Kyle Balda Distributor: Universal Release Date: July 1, 2022 With their origin story taken care of in 2015’s MINIONS, the little yellow hench-beings (all voiced by Pierre Coffin) first seen in 2010’s DESPICABLE ME and its sequels now get another flashback feature. MINIONS: THE RISE OF GRU shows (very briefly) how the Minions came to work for Gru and, at greater length, their early adventures with him. We first met Gru, as […]Read On »

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Movie Review: GOOD LUCK TO YOU, LEO GRANDE

GOOD LUCK, LEO GRANDE poster | ©2022 Fox Searchlight/Hulu

Rating: R Stars: Emma Thompson, Daryl McCormack, Isabella Laughland Writer: Katy Brand Director: Sophie Hyde Distributor: Hulu/Fox Searchlight Release Date: July 17, 2022 GOOD LUCK TO YOU, LEO GRANDE feels in a way like 2022’s answer to PRETTY WOMAN. It’s not a traditional romance, as such, but it does present a very upbeat view of sex work and that profession’s practitioners, to say nothing of the good it does for the customers. Nancy (Emma Thompson) has been widowed for two years, a former teacher who has never been with any man except her husband. Despite whipsawing ambivalence, she has booked […]Read On »

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LUCIFER: Co-executive producer and writer Mike Costa on the ramifications of Rory – Exclusive Interview – Part 6

Tom Ellis stars as Lucifer in Fox's LUCIFER | © 2016 Brendan Meadows/FOX

LUCIFER’s sixth and final season – all seasons are now streaming on Netflix – is largely propelled by the time-traveling arrival of the angel Rory (Brianna Hildebrand). Spoiler alert: Rory is the grown child of Chloe (Lauren German) and Lucifer (Tom Ellis). Rory adores her mom and sister Trixie (Scarlett Estevez). However, Rory’s fury at Lucifer for apparently abandoning her and Chloe before Rory’s birth in the present has magically swept Rory from twenty years in the future to present-day Los Angeles for a confrontation. This dovetails with Lucifer’s ultimate decision to return to Hell as a new kind of […]Read On »

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Movie Review: A TOWN FULL OF GHOSTS

A TOWN FULL OF GHOSTS movie poster | ©2022 No Sleep Films

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Mandy Rubio, Andrew Fisher, Ali Alkhafaji, Lauren Lox, Keekee Suki, Mike Dell Writer: Isaac Rodriguez Director: Isaac Rodriguez Distributor: No Sleep Films Release Date: June 17, 2022 A TOWN FULL OF GHOSTS is a relatively decent found-footage horror movie. Director/writer Isaac Rodriguez, who also serves as cinematographer, makes good use of the J. Lorrain Ghost Town location in Austin, Texas. The film is economical and also brief, clocking in at just sixty-seven minutes, including end credits. On the one hand, suspense doesn’t get much time to build. On the other hand, this allows the characters t […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE BLACK PHONE

THE BLACK PHONE poster | ©2022 Universal Pictures

Rating: R Stars: Mason Thames, Madeleine McGraw, Jeremy Davies, James Ransone, Ethan Hawke, E. Roger Mitchell, Troy Rudeseal, Miguel Cazares Mora Writers: Scott Derrickson & C. Robert Cargill, based on the short story by Joe Hill Director: Scott Derrickson Distributor: Universal Pictures Release Date: June 24, 2022 THE BLACK PHONE is an adaptation of Joe Hill’s short story. Directed by Scott Derrickson, who co-wrote the screenplay with C. Robert Cargill, THE BLACK PHONE alternates its primary point of view between thirteen-year-old Finney (Mason Thames) and his little sister Gwen (Madeleine McGraw). It’s 1978, and Finney and Gwen live with their […]Read On »

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Movie Review: ABANDONED

ABANDONED movie poster | ©2022 Vertical Entertainment

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Emma Roberts, John Gallagher Jr., Michael Shannon Writers: Erik Patterson & Jessica Scott Director: Spencer Squire Distributor: Vertical Entertainment Release Date: June 17, 2022 ABANDONED is a very particular kind of haunted house story. It begins outside an isolated home at night. The porch light is on. We hear a bloodcurdling scream, a crying baby, a young woman pleading, then gunshots. Forty years later, we see the same house in daylight, at the end of a tree-lined dirt road. We still hear a baby crying. This turns out to be little Liam, son of Sarah (Emma Roberts) […]Read On »

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MOTHERLAND: FORT SALEM: Creator Eliot Laurence talks Season 3 – Interview

MOTHERLAND: FORT SALEM Season 3 Key Art | ©2022 Freeform

MOTHERLAND: FORT SALEM launches its third and final season on Freeform on Tuesday, June 21, with more episodes airing on the network on subsequent Tuesdays. In MOTHERLAND, created by Eliot Laurence, we are in an alternate future, where witches (both women and men, though male witches are rarer) are a distinct race at the forefront of every country’s magic-using military. Our main characters Raelle Collar (Taylor Hickson), Abigail Bellweather (Ashley Nicole Williams), and Tally Craven (Jessica Sutton) bonded as cadets at the witch military academy Fort Salem, and have evolved into a powerful fighting unit. However, Season 2 saw the […]Read On »

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Movie Review: SCARE ZONE

SCARE ZONE poster | ©2022 Terror Films

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Arian Ash, Chris Burns, Neil Brown Jr., Simon Needham, Michele Feren, Jordan Woods-Robinson Writer: Jon Binkowski Director: Jon Binkowski Distributor: Terror Films Release Date: May 27, 2022 (Terror Films Channel); June 3¸ 2022 (wide VOD and digital); original theatrical release June 10, 2010 SCARE ZONE is a solid (though not exemplary) example of the horror subgenre set at Halloween fright attractions. Originally released in 2010, SCARE ZONE is now being distributed on VOD and digital by Terror Films, which also hosts the movie on its own channel. SCARE ZONE has the advantage, like 2006’s DARK RIDE, […]Read On »

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LUCIFER: Co-executive producer and writer Mike Costa on the spiritual side of the series – Exclusive Interview – Part 5

LUCIFER Co-executive producer Mike Costa | photo courtesy Mike Costa

It is said that God works in mysterious ways. This is certainly true in Season 5 of LUCIFER, now streaming all six seasons on Netflix, when we finally meet Him (played by Dennis Haysbert) when he visits Earth. This is ostensibly to break up a fight between his twin sons Lucifer and Michael – both played by Tom Ellis – and their sibling Amenadiel (DB Woodside). However, as the season unfolds and the story continues into LUCIFER’s sixth and final season, we question whether we’re meant to take events at face value, or whether it was God’s intention the whole […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE RIGHTEOUS

THE RIGHTEOUS movie poster | ©2022 Arrow Films

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Henry Czerny, Mimi Kuzyk, Mark O’Brien, Mayko Nguyen, Kate Corbett, Nigel Bennett Writer: Mark O’Brien Director: Mark O’Brien Distributor: Arrow Films Release Date: June 10, 2022 THE RIGHTEOUS deals with religion and has tinges of the possibly supernatural. Mostly, though, it is a Gothic thriller in which guilt and belief about the nature of repentance and punishment loom large. Henry Czerny plays Frederic Mason, who we meet as he is praying earnestly to God to make it clear to him what his penance should be for sins we do not yet know. From the way Frederic […]Read On »

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