Streaming Review: “Soul City”

  • Soul City
  • Starring: Omar J. Dorsey and Deneen Tyler
  • Directed by: Coodie & Chike 
  • Not Rated
  • Running Time: 15 minute episodes (3)
  • Topic
  • First Look Media

“In the City of a Million Dreams….Nightmares Come Knocking At Your Door.”


Fans of the horror anthology subgenre have had plenty to feast on these past few years. A resurgence of the format has seen success in Netflix’s Black Mirror, Hulu’s Into The Dark and, most recently, horror-specific streaming service Shudder’s Creepshow. The short run-time format allows for creative risk taking in stories that might be a gamble as a full length feature and, often, the result is evidence of a focused passion for storytelling and intention with little to no room for any unnecessary fluff.


Soul City, a new anthology series from the streaming service Topic, delivers its first season of three psychological horror mini-sodes from creators and directors Coodie and Chike. The season specific landscape set to explore multicultural, urban populations: this inaugural season set in New Orleans. 
Each of the three episodes are a tight fifteen minutes, each succinctly exploring the New Orleans vibe in different ways. An easy time investment to soak in the ambiance of perusing the city and all its gritty corners, haunts within odd street shops, southern religious fanaticism and dark magic. While there is certainly room for Coodie and Chike to grow as directors within the genre, they’re most definitely a welcome addition to the scene where persons of color still remain a minority despite the demand for representation of the genre’s viewership demographics. Soul City is thrilling for providing a platform to showcase New Orleans on screen as a locale that’s perfect for genre lovers to further examine its lush, spooky history. Coodie and Chike’s previous history within the music video sector brings a definitive confidence in visual storytelling that shines in the series especially in its second episode. 

The potential for a revolving city-specific format is intriguing and exciting. Think American Horror Story but regionally based. With New York and Los Angeles so outrageously over-represented on film it’s encouraging to see the possibilities for overlooked cities, domestic and abroad, to be dissected and celebrated for their own unique regional terrors.

SOUL CITY will be premiering on April 30, 2020 exclusively on Topic, the streaming service from First Look Media.

Win a Family (4) Pack to the Kansas City Screening of “My Spy”

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at STX Entertainment to give (25) readers the chance to win a family pack of (4) passes to attend the Kansas City screening of the new comedy “My Spy.”

The film will be screened on Wednesday, March 11th, at the AMC Studio 28 Theatre in Olathe, Kansas and will begin at 7:00 pm.

All you have to do is click HERE. The first (25) readers to do so will receive a family pack of (4) passes to attend the screening. This is a first come/first serve giveaway. Once all allotted passes have been claimed the giveaway is ended. Good luck!

Win Passes to the Kansas City Screening of “I Still Believe”

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at Lionsgate to give (50) readers and a guest the chance to be among the first in Kansas City to see the new film “I Still Believe,” which will be screened on Tuesday, March 10th at the Screenland Armour Theatre in North Kansas City, Missouri. The film begins at 7:00 pm

All you have to do is click HERE. The first 50 readers to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening. This is a first come/first serve giveaway. Once all allotted passes have been claimed the giveaway is ended. Good Luck!

Win Passes to the Kansas City Screening of “The Way Back”

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at Warner Bros. to give (25) readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the new film, “The Way Back,” in Kansas City.

The film, starring Ben Affleck, will be screened on Wednesday, March 4th at the Cinemark 20 and XD Theatres in Merriam, Kansas and starts at 7:00 pm.

All you have to do to attend is click HERE. The first (25) readers to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening. This is a first come/first serve giveaway. When all allotted passes have been claimed the giveaway has ended.

Win Passes to the Kansas City Screening of “The Invisible Man”

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at Universal to give readers the chance to be among the first to see the new film “The Invisible Man” at an advance Kansas City screening.

The film, starring Elizabeth Moss, will screen on Tuesday, February 25 at the AMC Studio 18 Theatre in Olathe, Kansas. The screening will begin at 7:00 pm.

All you have to do for a chance to attend is click HERE! On Monday, February 24th, random entries will be selected and will be sent their passes via email. Good Luck!

Win Passes to the Kansas City Screening of “The Call of the Wild”

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at 20th Century Studios to give (50) readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the new film “The Call of the Wild,” starring Harrison Ford.

The film will be shown on Thursday, February 13th at the B &B Overland Park 16 in Overland Park, Kansas and will start at 7:00 pm

All you have to do to attend is click HERE. The first (50) readers to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening. This is a first come/first serve screening. Once the allotted number of passes have been claimed,t he giveaway is ended. Enjoy the show!

Win Passes to the Kansas City Screening of “Downhill”

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends from Fox Searchlight to give (35) readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the new comedy “Downhill,” starring Will Farrell and Julia Louis Dreyfuss.

The film will be screened on Monday, February 10th at the AMC Town Center 20 Theatre in Leawood, Kansas and will start at 7:00 pm

If you want to attend the screening, just click HERE. The first (35) readers to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening. This is a first come/first served giveaway. Once all allotted passes have been claimed the giveaway is ended. Good luck!

Win Passes to the Kansas City Screening of “The Photograph”

Media Mikes has teamed with their friends at Universal Pictures to give their Kansas City readers the chance to be among the first to see the new romantic comedy “The Photograph,” starring Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield.

The film will be screened on Wednesday, February 12th at the Cinemark 20 and XD Cinemas in Merriam, Kansas and will start at 7:30 pm.

If you’d like to attend, please click HERE. Random entries will be chosen on February 10th and the winners notified. Good luck!

NO PURCHASE REQUIRED.

THE PHOTOGRAPH has been rated PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned – Some Material May Be Inappropriate for Children Under 13) for sexuality and brief strong language.

Kansas City Stage Review: “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – the Musical

  • “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”
  • The Kauffman Center – Kansas City, Missouri
  • January 21, 2020 

Oh, how sweet it is! Filled with colorful costumes, magical set designs, and wonderful songs that will put a smile on your face, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” now performing at the Kauffman Performing Arts Center in Kansas City, Missouri, is a terrific musical the whole family can enjoy. Based upon the 1964 children’s novel of the same name by British novelist Roald Dahl (1916-90), “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” was first adapted for the silver screen in 1971 and then again in 2005 before premiering as a musical in 2013 in London.

 The musical version takes us to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory where, after being shut up for 40 years, the legendary chocolatier (Cody Garcia) decides to venture out into the real world to find an heir. Disguised as a chocolate shop owner, Willy ends up befriending, in a small way, a local boy named Charlie Bucket (Ryan Umbarila). Charlie lives an impoverished life just down the block with two sets of grandparents, who never leave their bed, and his widowed, overworked mother. 

Charlie is a dreamer to the tenth degree and so, it’s only natural that he becomes enamored with the idea of getting a Wonka chocolate bar in order to get a golden ticket. The five lucky recipients of which will get to go on a tour of Willy’s factory with the chance to win a lifetime supply of chocolate. Of course, the whimsical and quirky Willy has other plans. Charlie ultimately proves himself to be a good-hearted lad, especially when compared to the other four children who reveal themselves to be brats, each meeting their own unique, laughable fate during the tour. 

The first half of the show contained a couple of heartfelt moments between Charlie and his Grandpa Joe (Steve McCoy) that pulled at the heartstrings. Umbarila had an overall nice stage presence but was overshadowed a bit by McCoy’s charismatic delivery of his comedic lines. Despite Charlie’s underdog nature, the most fascinating character remained Wonka himself. However, his portrayal during the first act was a little flat, which was accompanied by a sluggish pace even with a few entertaining dance sequences. 

The true highlight of the night’s show was the second act. It was fun, lively, colorful and thoroughly entertaining. Garcia delivered a superb performance down the stretch run with a portrayal that was reminiscent of a blend between Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp. Supported by a solid orchestral performance, the musical’s second act was punctuated by well-choreographed Oompa Loompas who generated the biggest laughs of the night. 

In the end, don’t wait for a golden ticket in a candy bar to see “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” because it will be gone before you know it. 

“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” runs in Kansas City at the beautiful Kauffman Center through January 26th. For tickets in KC or for the rest of the tour, click HERE.

Win Passes to the Kansas City Screening of “The Gentlemen”

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at STX Entertainment to give (50) readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the new film from director Guy Ritchie, “The Gentlemen.”

The film will be shown on Wednesday, January 22 at the Screenland Armour Theatre in North Kansas City, Missouri. The screening will begin at 7:00 pm.

If you’d like to attend all you have to do is click HERE! The first (50) readers to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening. This is a first come/first serve giveaway. Once the allotted number of passes have been claimed the giveaway is over. Good Luck!!

Win Passes to the Kansas City Screening of “Dolittle”

WE’VE GOT YOUR CHANCE TO WIN TICKETS TO SEE

“DOLITTLE!”

SATURDAY, JANUARY 11

10:00 A.M.

FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A PAIR A TICKETS TO THE FILM, CLICK HERE

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. 

DOLITTLE has been rated PG (Parental Guidance Suggested – Some Material May Not Be Suitable for Children) for some action, rude humor and brief language.

Win Passes to the Kansas City Premiere of “Bad Boys for Life”

Media Mikes has teamed up with the friends at Sony Pictures to give (25) readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the new film “Bad Boys for Life” in Kansas City.

The film, starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, will be screened on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 at the AMC Olathe 28 Theatre in Olathe, Kansas. The show will begin at 7:30 p.m.

If you want to attend, just click HERE to register for the screening. (25) random winners will be selected from all that registered and will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening. You have until 5:00 pm on Saturday, January 11 to register for the passes. Winners will be randomly selected at that time and notified. Good luck!

  • BAD BOYS FOR LIFE
  • Tuesday, January 14, 2020 – 7:30 p.m.
  • AMC Olathe 28 Theatre – Olathe, Kansas

Kansas City Film Critics Circle names “1917” Best Film of 2019

“1917,” Sam Mendes’ look at a secret mission during World War I, was named the Best Film of the Year by the Kansas City Film Critics Circle.  The film also took home honors for Mendes’ direction and for its cinematography.  “1917” and “Us” were the only film to receive multiple awards, with “Us” star Lupita Nyong’o being named Best Actress while the film was chosen to receive the Vince Koehler Award for the year’s Best Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror Film.

Each year the Kansas City Film Critics Circle, the second oldest critics organization in the United States, votes on their choices for the groups James Loutzenhiser Awards.  2019 marks the 54th time the group has passed out its awards.  The South Korean film “Parasite” was named the year’s Best Foreign Film while “Toy Story 4” joined the first three films in the series by also being named the year’s Best Animated Film, an amazing achievement.

Below is a complete list of the winners of the 54th Annual James Loutzenhiser Awards

  • BEST FILM:                                        “1917”
  • ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD
  • FOR BEST DIRECTOR                      Sam Mendes for “1917”
  • BEST ACTOR                         Adam Driver in “Marriage Story”
  • BEST ACTRESS                                 Lupita Nyong’o in “US”
  • BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR           Joe Pesci in ‘The Irishman”
  • BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS        Da’Vine Joy Randolph in “Dolemite is My Name”
  • BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY     Rian Johnson for “Knives Out”
  • BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY      Greta Gerwig for “Little Women”
  • BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY Roger Deakins for “1917”
  • BEST ANIMATED FEATURE           “Toy Story 4”
  • BEST FOREIGN FILM                       “Parasite” – South Korea
  • BEST DOCUMENTARY                    “Amazing Grace” and “Apollo 11” (tie)
  • VINCE KOEHLER AWARD
  • FOR THE BEST SCIENCE                “Us”
  • FICTION/FANTASY/HORROR
  • FILM  
  • TOM POE AWARD FOR THE
  • BEST LGBT FILM                              “Portrait of a Lady on Fire”      

Win Passes to the Kansas City Screening of “Bombshell”

Media Mikes has teamed with their friends at Lionsgate to give (50) readers and a guest the chance to be among the first in Kansas City to see the new film “Bombshell,” starring Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron and Margot Robbie.

The film will be screened on Wednesday, December 18th, at the Screenland Armour Theatre in North Kansas City and will begin at 7:00 pm

To attend, all you have to do is click HERE. The first (50) readers to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening. This is a first come/first serve giveaway. Once the allotted number of passes have been claimed the giveaway is ended. ENJOY THE MOVIE!

Social Media: @BombshellMovie

Hashtag: #BombshellMovie

Website:  https://bombshell.movie/

Win Passes to the Kansas City Screening of “21 Bridges”

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at STX Entertainment to give (50) readers and a guest the opportunity to be among the first to see the new film “21 Bridges,” starring Chadwick Boseman.

The film will be shown on Wednesday, November 20, at the AMC Town Center Theatre in Leawood, Kansas. The screening will begin at 7:00 pm.

If you want to attend, all you have to do is click HERE. The first (50) readers to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening. This is a first come/first serve giveaway. Once the allotted passes have been claimed the giveaway has ended. Enjoy the shot!