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The story of Henrietta Lacks has long been one that needed to be told on screen, and now, HBO has done just that.

Starring Oprah Winfrey and Rose Byrne, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, tells the story of an African-American women who, in 1951, became the unwitting donor of the HeLa cell. That cell has been described as one of the most important in medical research and has been used for cancer and AIDS research and it also helped develop the polio vaccine.

Unfortunately, Lacks’ cells were taken without her permission and their continued use brings into question patients’ rights and privacy.

Adapted from the book of the same name, the film debuts on HBO April 22nd. Will you be watching?

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EXCLUSIVES

‘It’ Review: How Scary Is It?

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As one can imagine, It is scary as sh*t.

The big screen adaptation has all the scares from the classic novel and the TV miniseries, following Pennywise as he haunts the small fictitious town of Derry, Maine, popping out of the sewer, snatching kids left and right.

But what makes this one a little more tolerable, in my opinion, is the focus director Andres Muschietti pays to these seven kids, or “The Losers,” as they call themselves.

This time around, we really get to know who they are, understand their stories and personalities, and they are quite lovable and hilarious, riding around on their bikes during their summer break, chasing down a horrifying monster.

Unlike the TV miniseries, Muschietti (known for horror flicks like Mama) focuses on them as pre-teens, not adults.

In a lot of ways, It will remind you of Rob Reiner’s 1986 Stephen King adaptation of Stand By Me … but who cares. You’re going to be relieved by moments of comic relief in between the haunting imagery.

I’d say it’s 50 percent scare and 50 percent story, and that story has a message about your facing fears. These kids really come of age in this film and find out how tough they really are.

You’ll also be pleased to know it’s only 135 minutes long –  but to do so they had to ditch all that vision quest stuff, the cosmic turtle and that ridiculous child orgy.

In the end, that leaves more screen time for Pennywise (and some of his other shapeshifting characters) to scare the crap out of you with his creepy clown face and razor-sharp teeth.

My verdict is go see It (pun intended).

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