Spoiler-Free “Scream” Review

The latest addition to the “Scream” franchise came out last month after decades of sequels, remakes, television series, and parodies that would have left most franchises completely devoid of any good content. 

I’m a huge horror movie fan and the original “Scream” film is one of my all-time favorite movies so while I was excited to see the new installment, I went in with low expectations. However, I was pleasantly surprised by one of the most enjoyable horror films to come out in recent years. Unlike many films that have followed the same formula in the past, the new film seemed to capture and update what made the original 1996 “Scream” movie great. Clever writing with the self-awareness to the horror genre’s tropes, a cast of suspicious characters with potential motives, relevant comedy, and of course great kills. It took the basic “Scream” formula, the mysterious killer in the Ghostface mask violently picking off people in the town until the big reveal, and updated it without forcing modernity.

The script of the film read to me like it was written by someone who really loved and understood the original “Scream” movies. It started with an homage to the iconic opening phone call scene in the original Scream with Drew Barrymore (“what’s your favorite scary movie?”), but with updated dialogue to reference newer horror movies and current discourse surrounding what makes a scary movie good. The film followed the rules and pacing of the original story in the way a lot of horror remakes didn’t. The new Ghostface kept all the classic personality traits that made them a menacing but entertaining killer to watch. Stars Jenna Ortega and Melissa Barrera held their own as the film’s protagonists who would become both the victims and possible suspects of Ghostface’s violent acts. And while the dialogue was updated for a modern audience, the writing didn’t try too hard to push social commentary or create an exaggerated version of how adults think teenagers talk.

What made the movie so fun for me was the meta self-awareness. I was expecting another gory slasher packed with references to previous horror movies where we watch a group of protagonists fight for survival against Ghostface while they try to unmask the killers, but the film provided a more clever rendition of this. This film takes place within the world of film where the town is known for the bloody Ghostface murders of the ’90s, and the “Scream” movie franchise exists but is instead called “Stab,” a series of movie adaptations based on the “real” events of the past “Scream” movies. The main characters in the film are all aware of their town’s gruesome past and it helps inform their decisions throughout the movie. Both the real-life murders and the movies are referenced throughout the film in a variety of clever ways. The original characters also tie back in with the original story in a clever way. 

For example, there’s a scene in the film where a character watches the iconic scene from the 1992 “Scream” where Randy, the film’s horror movie nerd who lays out rules for survival throughout, watches a scene from an old horror movie while complaining about how dumb and unrealistic it is that the characters in horror movies never look behind themselves in movies. The irony of that scene is he is then killed because he didn’t see Ghostface sneaking up behind him. In the new film, this self-aware irony is taken to a new level when Mindy, the horror movie nerd of the new group of teenage protagonists who lays out rules for survival throughout the film, watches the reenactment of that scene in the “Stab” movie while laughing at the irony of Randy making fun of the character while not following his own rules despite that being his main character trait. In traditional “Scream” fashion, as she yells “look behind you,” Ghostface is creeping up behind her on the couch.

My main critique of the otherwise enjoyable film was some of the performances of the supporting cast. Because most of the main characters were teenagers there were a lot of newcomers in the supporting cast who didn’t match the energy of the stars. There were some characters I found unnecessary or annoying but I understood why they had to be there to add suspects for who the new Ghostface would be. They didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the film.

The movie was a lot of fun and the experience of seeing it went above any new horror movie experience in recent memory. It was the perfect blend of scary, funny, and over-the-top that made me love the original Scream. Because the reveals are what makes this movie so interesting, it’s hard to fully discuss without spoiling, but when the killers are revealed it’s a great payoff that feels like it could be joining the list of iconic scenes from the entire franchise. Without giving it away,  I thoroughly enjoyed the film as a whole and I’m looking forward to seeing the direction the franchise goes in.

3.5/5 Stars

Written by: Naiima Paul

Disney+ Announces New Shows and Movies to Streaming Service

[Cover Photo] (Photo Credit: Disney+ on Twitter)

Happy 2nd Birthday Disney+!

The popular streaming service, Disney+ is officially two and to celebrate the second anniversary of the streaming service, the company has announced a bunch of new shows and movies coming to the service.

The announcement comes in a series of tweets beginning with a new Ice Age film called “The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild,” releasing Jan 28, 2022.

Fans of Big Hero 6 will get a new original series based on the hit movie called “Baymax” which will be available next Summer.

Enjoyed the initial Cheaper by the Dozen? A new version will hit the service in March 2022. The new film will feature a multi-racial family. Cast members include Gabrielle Union and Zach Braff at the parents.

A sequel to “Enchanted” is coming to the service, fall 2022. It will be called “Disenchanted.” The original movie is on the platform now.


Photo Credit: Disney+ on Twitter

A new animated version of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” is hitting Disney+ on Dec. 3 along with an animated movie called “Diary of a Wimpy Kid – Rodrick Rules” in 2022.


Photo Credit: Disney+ on Twitter

A documentary about the popular music group The Beatles is coming to Disney+ as part of a three-part series called “The Beatles: Get Back” Part I releases Nov. 25, and you can catch a sneak peek here

“Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers” will get a reboot as an original movie. Starring John Mulaney and Andy Samberg, the movie will be available starting in Spring 2022. Also in Spring 2022, An original movie called “Better Nate Than Ever” will star Aria Brooks, Michelle Federer, Rueby Wood, Norbert Leo Butz, Lisa Kudrow, and Joshua Bassett.

Fall of 2022 will shape to be a busy season. Hocus Pocus fans you are in for a treat. A sequel to the original will be coming next year. A live-action of Pinocchio will also be released in Fall 2022, starring Tom Hanks, Cynthia Ervo, Luke Evans. Special voices include Benjamin Evan Ainsworth, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Keegan-Michael Key, and Lorraine Bracco.

Marvel announced several new shows to hit the streaming service which include “X-Men 97,” “Moon Knight,” “She-Hulk,” “Ms. Marvel,” “Echo,” “Spider-Man: Freshman Year,” “I am Groot,” “Ironheart,” “Agatha: House of Harkness,” “Marvel Zombies,” and “Secret Invasion.”


Photo Credit: Disney+ on Twitter

What shows and or movies are you excited to see hit Disney+? Let me know by hitting me up on Twitter and Instagram @MikeStarkCA

Written By: Mike Stark | @MikeStarkCA

Freeform’s 25 Days of Christmas Line-Up Released

[Cover Photo] Photo Credit: Freeform

Adios spooky season and hello holiday movies.

Freeform has officially released its annual “25 Days of Christmas” schedule for the 2021 season.

The network begins the holiday season on December 1 with holiday programming classics like Home Alone and Dr.Seuss How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Other holiday classics on the schedule this season include Frosty The Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, A Christmas Carol. New this year will be the premiere of “Office Christmas Party”

What are some of your favorite holiday movies? Sound off by hitting me up on Twitter and Instagram @MikeStarkCA.

Here’s the complete line-up:


Photo Credit: Freeform

Written By: Mike Stark | @MikeStarkCA

Daniel Craig “No Time To Die” Movie Review and Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

[Cover Photo] Photo Credit: Nicola Dove MGM Pictures

It’s the end of an era for James Bond fans, including myself, and we say goodbye to Daniel Craig as he closes the chapter on the iconic role. 

The movie is called “No Time to Die” and runs two hours and forty-three minutes, and throughout the entire duration, you are in it from start to finish. Daniel Craig has played the role of Ian Fleming character for 15 years.

Photo Credit: MGM

Starting in 2006 with Casino Royale, then Quantum of Solace in 2008, Skyfall in 2012, Spectre in 2015, and closing things out with No Time To Die in 2021. Initially, the movie was supposed to be released in 2020 but postponed numerous times due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Now that society is returning to a “New Normal” we are heading back to the movies. My first movie back from the pandemic is “No Time to Die,” and I couldn’t be more excited because the trailer released presented a promising film, closing out the character’s storyline for fans of Craig’s character.

The film, directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga has everything you expect from a James Bond film. Action, Romance, plenty of tech, and a fantastic cast. Rami Malek, who plays Lyutsifer Safin, the main villain, was perfection. His dialogue with bond was pure art towards the end. Creating a similar pain, he endured in his past for bond.


Photo Credit: Nicola Dove | MGM Pictures

So what about the plot? It’s a familiar plot that we’ve seen in other science fiction movies. Science experiment from the past comes back to haunt the scientist with the bad guy wanting total world domination for himself. Felix Leiter, played by Jeffery Wright, comes back to recruit bond to stop Malek’s character from succeeding in this one. 

Even though he is MI6, Bond works with the CIA in this mission since he’s officially retired for five years now, and his 007 status reassigned to new character Nomi, played by Lashana Lynch. The rest of the cast from previous movies returns, including Ralph Fiennes as M, Rory Kinnear as M’s chief of staff, Ben Whishaw as Q, Naomie Harris as Moneypenny, and Madeleine Swann as Léa Seydoux (Bond love interest). 

With returning faces and new faces, the movie provides a balance to make up the emotional closure to Craig’s character as we say goodbye. All I will say is that the film’s ending will tug on the heartstrings if you’re a long-time fan of bond and have been part of the Daniel Craig era since the beginning. 


Photo Credit: Nicola Dove | MGM Pictures

Did the film provide the proper closure? Absolutely. It may not have been the outcome I specifically wanted, but fans will be happy with the movie knowing that the Daniel Craig era will come with complete closure. While I was hyped and ready at the beginning of the movie, the film did not disappoint. The film was bold, fun, and emotional and provided the proper send-off. I highly suggest you check out this film on the big screen. 

Craig, 53. Shared with CNN in a recent interview that seeing the movie in theaters is better than watching it a home. “That’s where movies like this belong, where all movies belong, in my opinion,” he shared, “We’re very social species ordinarily, and we need to get out there and experience a few things together.”


Photo Credit: Rich Fury | Getty Images

In addition to the movie release this week, the actor had the honor of receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame near the late Roger Moore, who passed away in 2017. Mr. Craig is the fourth Bond actor to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

No Time To Die is now playing in theaters and if you check it out, let me know your thoughts by connecting with me on Twitter and Instagram @MikeStarkCA 

Written By: Mike Stark | @MikeStarkCA