Rating: About Ratings
Opens: 05/20/2016
Running Time: 97
Rated: PG
Cast: Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Kate McKinnon, Sean Penn, Tony Hale, Keegan-Michael Key, Bill Hader and Peter Dinklage.
Crew: Director: Clay Kaytis. Producers: John Cohen, Catherine Winder and Kimberley Gray. Executive Producers: Mikael Hed and David Maisel. Screenwriters: John Cohen, Jon Vitti, Mikael Hed and Mikko Polla.
REVIEW: By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

Ever since the “Angry Birds” video/computer game debuted in 2009 as an app for Apple iOS, kids of all ages have flocked to their mobile devices and in turn made the game one of the most popular and lucrative entertainment video franchises in the world.

So a big screen adaptation of the wildly popular game—in 3D I might add--just makes sense and is a great way for Columbia Pictures to cash in on the “Angry Birds” phenomenon with "The Angry Birds Movie."

First time directors Clay Kaytis (“Frozen” animator) and Fergal Reilly (“Hotel Transylvania” animator) gets the best out of their impressive voice cast that includes: Jason Sudeikis as Red, Josh Gad (Chuck) Maya Rudolph (Matilda), Keegan-Michael Key (Judge Peckinpah) and Peter Dinklage as Mighty Eagle and Leonard the green pig leader (Bill Hader).

“The Angry Birds Movie” is a dazzling and action packed adventure that will hook even the most fidgety kids since it zips through its 97 minutes run time.

The angry birds live on Bird Island. Some have major issues. Red (Sudeikis, "Horrible Bosses 2") is the angriest of the bunch and is prone to outbursts. When he’s not throwing tantrums, he’s responsible for entertaining the newly hatched birds.

His temper gets the best of him and he’s forced to go to the bird court, which is run by the honorable Judge Peckinpah (Keegan-Michael Key, “Keanu”). Judge Peckinpah sentences Red to anger management classes that are taught by Matilda (Maya Rudolph, TV’s “The Grinder”) who was a former “angry” bird, but is now a therapist.

Red is joined by other birds in the class like Chuck (Josh Gad, TV’s “Sofia the First”), a fast yellow bird who has problems with bird cops. Bomb (Danny McBride, TV’s “Animals”), is a generally easy going bird, but he tends to blow up at the slightest provocation. Terence, (Sean Penn, “The Gunman”) is an intimidating, giant red bird that just growls.

The class does little to change Red’s attitude, which in the long run turns out to be kind of a good thing especially when Stella (Kate McKinnon, “Ghostbusters” remake) informs everyone in the class that an unidentified boat is approaching their island.

Red (Sudeikis) isn’t sure what to do and looks to Mighty Eagle (Peter Dinklage, TV’s “Game of Thrones”) for answers since he’s considered the protector of everyone and he’s the only bird that can fly. The problem is he’s a bit lazy.

Things run afoul when an army of pigs and their leader, Leonard (Bill Hader, “Trainwreck”) get off the boat and claim to come in peace, but they really have ulterior motives.

Just when the birds start to relax and adjust to the pigs, they devise a plan to steal every bird egg on the island.

Realizing they’ve been bamboozled, Red and the rest of the birds--even Mighty Eagle who hasn’t flown in years--get their anger back on and seek revenge on these porky piggies.

“The Angry Birds Movie” is quirky and fun and should resonate with its core fans, but it also has enough charm and raucous appeal to take flight and perhaps win over some new ones as well.

Editor's Note: Be sure to catch my movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays at 6:40 p.m. on radio station KFBK 1530 AM and 93.1 FM.

Check Out This Trailer For "THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE."

Rated: R
Opens: 05/20/2016
The Nice Guys

Rated: R
Opens: 05/20/2016
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising

Rated: R
Opens: 05/13/2016
Money Monster

Rated: R
Opens: 04/29/2016

Rated: R
Opens: 04/29/2016
Green Room

Rated: PG
Opens: 04/15/2016
The Jungle Book


Brian's Song Title: Brian's Song
Year Released: 1971
Running Time: 90
Production Company: Sony (Screen Gems)
Director: Buzz Kulik
Director of Photography: Joseph F. Biroc
Screenwriter: William Blinn
Author: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

REVIEW: Now with summer behind us, the arrival of fall means weekends attending and watching plenty of football games. Whether they’re college, pro or high school, I’m all over them. I’m looking forward to attending a few games at the San Francisco 49ers new Levi’s Stadium.

On the college front, my husband Rickey is a former UC Davis player/alum and...

The Finest Hours <b>(May 24)</b> Title: The Finest Hours (May 24)
Year Released: 2016
Running Time: 113
Production Company: Walt Disney Studios
Director: Craig Gillespie
Review By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs


It hasn’t been smooth sailing lately for seafaring adventure movies at the box office. Last year’s “In the Heart of The Sea” from Ron Howard capsized and even director Craig Gillespie’s recent historical drama, “The Finest Hours” couldn’t find an audience during its theatrical run which is unfortunate because “The Finest Hours” is a very good movie.

“The Finest Hours” is based on a true story that’s adapted from Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman’s 2009 best-selling book, “The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard's Most Daring Sea Rescue.”

On February 18, 1952, a horrendous storm struck off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass. It was so powerful that it split in half the 500-foot long oil tankers, (T-2’s), the “Fort Mercer” and “SS Pendleton” which were located 30 miles apart from each other.

While the “Fort Mercer” was at least able to signal an S.O.S to the Chatham Coast Guard headed by Chief Warrant Officer Daniel Cluff (Eric Bana, “Lone Survivor”), the “SS Pendleton’s” fore section was so quickly enveloped by the sea that the crew wasn’t even able to issue a distress call. With the ship’s captain now dead, no radio communication and failed engines, it was looking awfully dismal for the remaining crew.

Fortunately a tow truck driver named Carl Nickerson (Matthew Maher, “A Most Violent Year”) notices a light shining from the “SS Pendleton and he immediately contacts the Coast Guard. Yet, with most of the “Guard” already in route to the “Fort Mercer,” Chief Warrant Officer Cluff (Bana) didn’t have many resources to mount another rescue attempt, but he had to. Complicating matters was the fierce weather which was no match for even the most experienced seamen to brave.

However, when the Chief issues the rescue order, it forces Boatswain Mate Bernie Webber (Chris Pine, “Star Trek Beyond”) to assemble a crew willing to make the dangerous voyage with him aboard a small CG-36500 motor lifeboat that can barely hold 12 people.

Webber’s rag tag team consists of Seamen Richard Livesay (Ben Foster, “Lone Survivor” and “Contraband”), Ervin Maske (John Magaro, “Carol” and “The Big Short”) and engineer, Andrew Fitzgerald (Kyle Gallner, “Dear White People” and “American Sniper”).

Time is not on their side as the remainder of the “SS Pendleton” is about to go down too.

Fear and anger have taken hold of the men. Now it’s up to the young, self-assured engineer Ray Sybert (a terrific Casey Affleck, “Interstellar”) to get them through this nightmare which has them trapped inside the tanker’s stern. Adding to the drama are the 60 foot waves and hurricane force winds hampering Webber and his men’s rescue attempt.

Director Craig Gillespie capture’s these scenes of peril exceptionally well.

The film’s other side story involves Bernie’s relationship with his fiancée Miriam (Holliday Grainger, “Cinderella”). She’s nervously huddled at the command center along with other seamen and their family members who are waiting to hear from the rescuers.

Miriam isn’t happy that the Chief (Bana) has put her future husband in harm’s way with this “suicide” mission and she lets him know it.

But fate is kind to the Coast Guard team and not just because this is a Disney movie. Against extraordinary odds these men do the unthinkable and pull off the most dramatic sea rescues imaginable. It’s fascinating to see.

Editor's Note: The DVD Extras include:

Against All Odds: The Bernie Webber Story. Visit the quaint and close-knit town of Chatham, and experience the events surrounding the most heroic Coast Guard rescue ever through the eyes of the people who witnessed them.

Brotherhood: Cast members reflect on the bonds they forged during the shoot.

Two Crews: Pine and Affleck share insights into Bernie Webber and Ray Sybert, men who led their respective crews against all odds.

What Is Your Finest Hour?: A Coast Guard member recounts an incredible rescue.

The Finest Inspiration: The US Coast Guard – Meet the people who put their lives on the line for others.

Deleted Scenes: "A Desperate Idea" and "The Story of How They Met."

Risen <b>(May 24)</b> Title: Risen (May 24)
Year Released: 2016
Running Time: 107
Production Company: Columbia Pictures
Director: Kevin Reynolds
Review By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs


Director/screenwriter Kevin Reynolds’ redemptive, biblical drama, “Risen” stays pretty faithful to the scriptures.

It chronicles the powerful Roman Centurion Clavius (a riveting Joseph Fiennes, “Hercules”) and his investigation of a risen Jewish messiah.

Clavius is tasked with locating the missing body of Yeshua, the Hebrew name for Jesus (a terrific Clifton Curtis) in order to quell an imminent uprising in Jerusalem during the first 40 days following Christ's resurrection.

Clavius’ orders come from Pontius Pilate (Peter Firth, TV’s “Dickensian”) who governs the Roman province.

So Clavius along with Lucius (Tom Felton, “Belle” and “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”) searches and searches. He talks with many of Christ’s followers and even repentant sinner Mary Magdalene (Maria Botto, TV’s “Mad Dogs”). Few give them much to go on despite their bribes and threats.

Yet, when Clavius stumbles upon Jesus, he can’t believe his eyes. How is it possible that the man who he helped nail to a cross is alive?

Clavius is completely transfixed on Christ’s interaction. When he sees Christ transform a hideous looking man then fill a net with fish it doesn’t take long before he’s a believer in this miracle worker too.

Hollywood has cranked out numerous Jesus/faith-based movies over the years such as Mel Gibson’s excellent 2004 epic drama, “The Passion of the Christ” and more recently the surprise box office hit, “Heaven is for Real.”

But Reynolds’ “Risen” feels fresh and even daring as it’s told from a different perspective. It’s a very solidly entertaining drama.

In addition, the storyline isn’t likely to offend its target audience. Plus, with the charismatic Fiennes in the leading role, “Rise” should also attract an even broader audience.

The Witch </b>(May 17)</b> Title: The Witch (May 17)
Year Released: 2016
Running Time: 93
Production Company: A24 Productions
Director: Robert Eggers
Review By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs


“The Witch” is a dark, mysterious and wicked scary movie. It slowly creeps you out and that’s what makes it so incredibly beguiling.

The filmmakers put some thought in this one. There’s no herky-jerky hand-held camera action going on here either and no cheap jump scares and silly things that go bump in the night.

Instead, Robert Eggers, who has spent much of his time as a production and costume designer (“The Tell-Tale Heart” (2008) and “Hansel and Gretel” 2007), makes his major screenwriting and directorial debut with this little ditty. It’s a well-crafted, suspenseful, 17th-Century spooky tale.

After being banished from their Puritan town/church and farm in New England (1630), William (Ralph Ineson, “Guardians of the Galaxy” and the upcoming “The Jungle Book”), his wife Katherine (Kate Dickie, TV’s “Game of Thrones”) and their kids Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy), Caleb (Harvey Scrimshaw, “Oranges and Sunshine”), Mercy (Ellie Grainger, TV’s “The Village”), Jonas (Lucas Dawson) and baby Samuel are forced to live on the outskirts of the woods.

Everything about their lives soon changes. In hindsight, perhaps old William wishes he could have dialed it back a bit with his radically religious rants that riled up so many of the church folk.

Is it possible someone has cast a spell on all of them?

Well, things get pretty crazy and become difficult to explain especially when Tomasin (Taylor-Joy) is outside playing peek-a-boo with Samuel. When she uncovers her eyes, Samuel is gone. I mean gone, baby gone, like in a flash. She looks out towards the woods and doesn’t see a thing. Was Samuel taken by some evil cult group? Is it witchcraft? Mama Katherine (Dickie), who is more of a religious zealot than William, sure does think so.

But that would be too predictable.

And “The Witch” thankfully dodges and darts, twists and turns in ways that will have you squirming because you don’t see what’s around the bend.

When Caleb (Scrimshaw) gets sick and becomes possessed by something, well the entire family loses it.

As more supernatural terror reigns down on them—their crops die and food supply suddenly becomes scarce--accusations begin to fly that maybe one of them is a witch and has cursed the family.
Mercy and Jonas have good reason to believe it’s Thomasin. And Black Philip the goat might have something to do with this too.

“The Witch” gets better as it rolls along. And I’ll tell you Jacob Tremblay (“Room”) and Abraham Attah (“Beasts of No Nation”) obviously raised the child actor bar because every single one of these kids in “The Witch” turns in amazing performances.

With “The Witch” Eggers is on to something here and proves he’s capable of directing even bigger and better things to come.
(Highly Recommended).

Deadpool <b>(May 10)</b> Title: Deadpool (May 10)
Year Released: 2016
Running Time: 108
Production Company: 20th Century Fox
Director: Tim Miller
Review By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs


After crashing and burning in comic book movie adaptations such as “R.I.P.D” (Dark Horse Comics) and “Green Lantern” (2011, DC Comics), Ryan Reynolds has finally found a superhero character that suits him well.

In "Deadpool," Reynolds stars in the title role as the Marvel Comics antihero. Reynolds also co-produced the film which is directed by Tim Miller (“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” and written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (“Zombieland”).

“Deadpool” is pretty hard-core stuff. It’s the raunchiest of all Marvel characters.

Reynolds plays Wade Wilson; a special ops veteran turned mercenary who is diagnosed with cancer. He’s tricked into taking part in an experiment conducted by a villainous scientist named Ajax (Ed Skrein, “The Transporter Refueled”) and his sidekick Angel Dust (Gina Carano, “Fast & Furious 6”) who promises they have a cure for him.

Something goes terribly wrong during the infusion and grotesquely disfigures Wade’s face and skin. He’s now shamed into wearing a mask for fear his stripper girlfriend, Vanessa (Morena Baccarin, TV’s “Gotham”) will no longer consider him the sexiest man alive.
Even his best friend Weasel (T.J. Miller, TV’s “Gravity Falls”) can’t stand the sight of him.

The good news is Wade can heal quickly and even regenerate parts of his body, plus, he has developed incredible super powers.

And Wade uses them to go all in—copping a red suit and special name to boot-- and get some bloody revenge against his tormentors who also have kidnapped Vanessa. He enlists the help of the humongous steel beast Colossus (Stefan Kapicic ) and a highly skilled fighter known as Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand).

“Deadpool” isn’t for the faint of heart. It goes to extremes during its blood soaked actions sequences.

Reynolds handles much of the sophomoric humor which includes some cheeky, pop culture references to Wham! Salt-N-Pepa, Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart along with some pretty explicit sex gags. They are hit and miss, but also give the movie its edge.

“Deadpool” may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for those looking for a different kind of superhero; Ryan Reynolds proves that he is the man.
Alice Through By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs:


In Disney’s “Alice Through the Looking Glass: An IMAX 3D Experience,” the unforgettable characters from Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories, Alice returns to the whimsical world of Underland and travels back in time to save the Mad Hatter.

“Alice Through the Looking Glass: An IMAX 3D Experience” opens at 7:30 p.m. on May 26 at The Esquire IMAX Theatre. Tickets are on sale at the theatre box office and online at

“Alice Through the Looking Glass: An IMAX 3D Experience” will be digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of An IMAX 3D Experience with proprietary IMAX DMR (Digital Re-mastering) technology. The crystal-clear images, coupled with the Esquire IMAX Theatre’s six story high and 80 feet wide screen, customized theatre geometry and powerful digital audio, create a unique environment that will make audiences feel as if they are in the movie.

The Esquire IMAX Theatre is located at 1211 K Street in downtown Sacramento, CA. For information on tickets and showtimes, please call 916-443-IMAX (4629) or visit the website at

Villa Capri By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs:


Broad Green Pictures has finalized a deal to distribute Academy Award nominee Ron Shelton’s “Villa Capri“ starring Academy Award winners Morgan Freeman (Now You See Me 2, Unforgiven, Lucy) and Tommy Lee Jones (“Jason Bourne,” “The Fugitive,” “JFK”) in the United States and to co-produce the film with Entertainment One (eOne), Billy Gerber and Endurance’s Steve Richards. John Mass and Alan Simpson are executive producers on the film.

“Villa Capri” will be released nationwide just ahead of the Labor Day weekend on August 25, 2017 and is slated to begin principal photography in New Mexico this summer.

The two-hander action comedy is in the vein of “Midnight Run” about an ex-FBI agent (Jones) and an ex-mob lawyer in the witness protection program (Freeman) having to put aside their petty rivalry on the golf course to fend off a mob hit.

It was previously announced that the film is being financed by eOne and Endurance Media. eOne will directly distribute the action comedy in Canada, the UK, Australia/New Zealand, Benelux and Spain. Sierra/Affinity is handling foreign sales for the remaining international rights at the 2016 Cannes Film Market.

A Labor Day targeted opening has proven successful for Broad Green in the past. In September 2015, the studio successfully opened the comedy adventure “A Walk in the Woods” about two friends (played by Robert Redford and Nick Nolte) who make the improbable decision to hike the 2,190-mile Appalachian Trail. The film outperformed expectations, grossing nearly $30 million.

President of Acquisitions and Co-Productions Marc Danon negotiated the deal on behalf of Broad Green Pictures.

Freeman and Jones are both represented by CAA. Shelton is managed by Oasis Media Group.


Entertainment One Ltd. (LSE: ETO) is a leading international entertainment company that specializes in the acquisition, production and distribution of film and television content.

The company’s comprehensive network extends around the globe including Canada, the U.S., the UK, Ireland, Spain, Benelux, France, Germany, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Through established Film and Television divisions, the company provides extensive expertise in film distribution, television and music production, family programming, merchandising and licensing, and digital content.

Its current rights library is exploited across all media formats and includes more than 40,000 film and television titles, 4,500 hours of television programming and 45,000 music tracks.



Broad Green Pictures is developing “The Fight Before Christmas,” a comedic holiday pitch from “Daddy’s Home” writer Brian Burns.

Burns, who is also known for writing hit shows including the CBS dramatic TV series “Blue Bloods” and HBO’s “Entourage” will pen the script. The film will be produced by Matt Alvarez (“Straight Outta Compton,” “The Ride Along” franchise).

After 700 years of marriage and feeling unappreciated for her continued Christmas contributions, Mrs. Claus leaves Santa just two weeks before the holiday. With the fate of the Christmas in jeopardy, Santa flies from the North Pole to New York to win her heart back and save Christmas.

“Brian has a talent for creating dynamic and hilarious stories that audiences gravitate towards,” said Alvarez. “It will be a pleasure to work with him and I know that together we will make a memorable holiday film."

Broad Green Pictures’ Gabriel and Daniel Hammond add “as we continue to grow, original productions like “The Fight Before Christmas” will become a bigger focus for the studio. We are confident that this film, under the leadership of Matt will help build a strong base for our library of audience favorites.”

Josh Reinhold will oversee the project on behalf of Matt Alvarez’ production company, while Lauren McCarthy will oversee the project on behalf of Broad Green Pictures.

The deal was brokered on behalf of Burns by Karl Austen. Christopher Tricarico, EVP, Business & Legal Affairs and General Counsel handled for Broad Green.

Burns is represented by CAA and Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein.

The studio’s upcoming slate includes “The Infiltrator,” “Brain on Fire,” “The Dark Horse” and “Bad Santa 2,” a co-production with Miramax. The studio will also release Terrence Malick’s Voyage of Time and his untitled project starring Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara and Michael Fassbender.

Previously released films include: “A Walk in the Woods,” the critically acclaimed “99 Homes,” “I Smile Back,” “Learning to Drive” and “Knight of Cups.”

Battle... By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs:


Fox Searchlight Pictures’ Presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley announced that principal photography for “Battle of The Sexes” has begun in Los Angeles.

The film stars Oscar-nominees Emma Stone (“Birdman,” “The Help”) Steve Carell (“Foxcatcher” and “The Big Short”), and Elisabeth Shue (“Leaving Las Vegas,” “Chasing Mavericks”) along with Sarah Silverman (“Masters of Sex”, “I Smile Back”), Alan Cumming (“The Good Wife”, “X-Men 2”), Andrea Riseborough (“Birdman”), Eric Christian Olsen (“Csi: Los Angeles”) and Natalie Morales (“The Grinder”).

Rounding out the cast is Austin Stowell (“Bridge Of Spies” And “Whiplash”), Wallace Langham (“Ruby Sparks,” “Little Miss Sunshine”), Jessica Mcnamee (“Last Days Of Summer”), Mickey Sumner (“The End Of The Tour”) and Bill Pullman (“LBJ,” “The Equalizer”).

Directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, creators of the Oscar-winning “Little Miss Sunshine” And Indie Favorite “Ruby Sparks,” have turned their attention to a period in 1970’s America that presaged a cultural tsunami.

The electrifying 1973 tennis match between World number one Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and ex-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) was billed as the “Battle of the Sexes” and became the most watched televised sports event of all time.

The match caught the zeitgeist and sparked a global conversation on gender equality, spurring on the feminist movement. Trapped in the media glare, King and Riggs were on opposites sides of a binary argument, but off-court each was fighting more personal and complex battles. With a supportive husband urging her to fight the Establishment for equal pay, the fiercely private King was also struggling to come to terms with her own sexuality, while Riggs gambled his legacy and reputation in a bid to relive the glories of his past.

Together, Billie and Bobby served up a cultural spectacle that resonated far beyond the tennis courts and animated the discussions between men and women in bedrooms and boardrooms around the world.

The film is being produced by Cloud Eight Films’ Christian Colson and Decibel Films’ Danny Boyle, along with Robert Graf, with a screenplay by Academy Award-winning Simon Beaufoy (“Slumdog Millionaire,” “127 Hours” and “The Full Monty”).

Producer Robert Graf previously collaborated with the directors on “Ruby Sparks” and worked on such projects such as “Hail, Caesar!” and “No Country For Old Men.”

“If all men and women worked as well together as Jon Dayton and Valerie Faris,” said Boyle and Colson, “the world would be a more harmonious place. Together with Emma, Steve and the rest of our fabulous cast they are the perfect team to realise Simon Beaufoy's brilliant ballad of Billie and Bobby--the perfect odd couple.”

“The irony isn't lost on us that we are a husband-and-wife team directing the Battle of the Sexes. As soon as we read Simon's script we knew we had to make this film. We feel so fortunate to have gathered such an amazing group of artists, both behind and in front of camera,” said Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris.

"Jon and Val have been a part of the Searchlight family since their debut with “Little Miss Sunshine,” said Utley and Gilula. “Their ability to create real, believable characters and situations while also subtly commenting on culture is unique, and we can't wait to see their take on this watershed moment in sports history and social change. We are proud to be reuniting with them, along with Steve, Emma, Danny and Christian, all of whom are family to us."

"I'm extremely pleased to be working again with Jonathan and Valerie as well as with Christian and Danny whose work I have long admired,” said Robert Graf. “I remember watching the original Battle of the Sexes in 1973 and, even as a boy, recognizing it as both an irresistible pop spectacle and part of an important cultural conversation about equality and respect -- a conversation that continues vigorously today and to which we hope our film will contribute."

Editor’s Note: Some information used in this report obtained from publicity department press releases. Photos: Courtesy of movie studios.