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On Bluray Comes the Amazingly Successful Series THE HANDMAID'S TALE

Jeri Jacquin

This week on Bluray from creator Bruce Miller based on the 1985 novel by author Margaret Atwood and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is the stunning THE HANDMAID'S TALE.

The Unite States is coming out of a civil war and a new government called the Gilead is ruling with an iron fist in a twisted mixture of totalitarianism and Bible verses of their own choosing. The first to be put under subjugation are women who are lower than second class citizens. Actually, the only thing lower would be Handmaids, women who still have the ability to bear children in a world of infertility. 

June (Elisabeth Moss) is one such woman. After she, husband Luke (OT Fagbenle) and daughter Hannah try to escape the clutches of the Gilead, she is now under the thumb of Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd) who takes her job of instructing the Handmaid's extremely seriously. Hannah is taken away and she has no idea where to find her or how. Once a woman named June, the red robes and white hat have transformed her into Offred and assigned to bear a child for Commander Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) and wife Serena Joy (Yvonne Strahovski).

While acclimating to this new life, Offred remembers how it all began when her life was normal and she spent time with friend Moira (Samira Wiley). She recalls everything in her old life with such detail that it begins to take its toll on how she handles it all. She also learns that there could be someone in the house that can't be trusted.

Offred becomes nervous when she learns from the Commander's driver Nick (Max Minghella) that the Commander wants to see her in private, something that is strictly forbidden. Explaining it to Ofglen, she learns that there is a resistance group and is told to be very careful. When one of the other Handmaid's gives birth, Offred remembers her life with Luke and the birth of their own daughter. 

When Serena Joy wrongly believes there will be a child, Offred is punished and it brings back the memory of how she and Moira tried to get away from what was to happen to them. It is a Latin phrase that Offred discovers in her room that gives her the strength to find another way to survive. Especially when it is suspected that the Commander might not be able to get Offred pregnant and there is a chance that she could be reassigned elsewhere. They both agree to seek out another way.

The Commander is dealing with a Mexican trade delegation that comes to their home for dinner and one of the women of the delegation asks to speak with Offred. Wanting to know about her life and happiness, Offred lies in order to keep the peace in the Waterford home. The story takes a turn when the history of Serena Joy and the Commander comes to light and how a book written before the civil war has come back around. Offred learns that what she thought to be true about Luke has more to the story.

Putting Offred in more danger, the Commander decides to dress her up and take her out for the night. Nick drives them to an unscrupulous part of town where an old friend appears and Offred sees hope for escape but its going to take every ounce of will. Trying to convince the Commander that she has true feelings for him is part of her plan. It all comes under suspicion when another Handmaid named Ofwarren turns the tables on her Commander and puts the fate of a child in danger. 

In the finale, what happened to June once she was captured and taken to the Red Center comes to light. It is what happens when Serena Joy discovers what Fred has been doing and in anger tells him something that could threaten everything. Moira finds her way to freedom and Offred finally catches a glimpse of Hannah and in a verbal showdown with Serena Joy – all gloves are off! 

The chaos becomes intense when the man responsible for Ofwarren's actions is given his sentence, Aunt Lydia hands down the sentence for Ofwarren and when the Handmaid's refuse to do what they are told - it is Aunt Lydia that saves them from death but at what price?

When the black van pulls up, Offred leaves quietly but June walks out on her own terms!

Moss as June/Offred has the unique ability to give this character such an intense range of emotions. Her anger is barely below the surface and sometimes when she smiles I am quite literally scared of what she may do. That's what brings this character to another level and very deep into that level. When she does have the rare moment to say how she feels, it is a volcanic eruption that should scare everyone around her. Moss has given her own stamp to June/Offred and it is uniquely and underlying brutal. 

Fiennes as Waterford is a man who once knew what having a normal life is like. Becoming a Commander has put his life in a place I don't think even he saw coming. When he is kind to Offred, she sees it as a chance to have something normal in her life but he is a man who uses what he needs to in this Gilead world and that includes Offred. His kindness comes at a price and the humiliations he heaps on his wife is a clear message that he has embraced the new ways. Fiennes is handsomely clever in his delivery of every word he speaks.

Strahovski as Serena Joy is a woman who has watched her life turn into something she never expected. The further and further the Gilead take over, the colder and more distance she becomes. She too remembers a life before this new world and who she was in it. Supporting her husband at all times, they begin to become farther and farther apart as she tolerates more and more. Turning to Offred is a chance to have something of her own - a feeling Offred understands. Don’t think Strahovski’s portrayal of Serena Joy is anything less than spectacular but stay away from those retractable claws and venomous actions.

Minghella as Nick has a plan of his own and that is to lay low and watch everything that is happening around him. What he didn't expect is having feelings for Offred. The situation he is put in by Serena Joy makes it even more difficult for him to keep perspective. The dark and brooding look helps keep this character at arms length. He keeps his emotional distance and in doing do gives him the opportunity to observe everything.

Wiley as Moira is that outspoken friend we all have who isn't afraid to make sure the world hears her yell. Her story becomes twisted in a world underneath Gilead. I love Wiley's portrayal of Moira because it’s full of fire and an anger that comes from knowing she isn't going down without a fight. Fagbenle as Luke is a man who believes his family is gone. He believed running was the only possibility for them and when his story is finally told it adds another dimension to a complex story and oh goodness what a twist it is. 

Dowd as Aunt Lydia is a woman that is shrouded in mystery. I love Dowd and she can do no wrong in my eyes. I never would have pictured her in this role because, of course, when you read a character you sort of have a picture in mind. Now that I have seen Dowd - she is the true Aunt Lydia. When she played Patti Levin in another series called THE LEFTOVERS along side Justin Theroux, I have come to appreciate her thrilling ability to make you love and hate the character she is wrapped up in all at the same time. Well done Ms. Dowd, extremely well done. 

Other cast include Alexis Bledel as Ofglen, Madeline Brewer as Janine, Amanda Brugel as Rita, Nina Kiri as Alma, Ever Carradine as Naomi, Stephen Kunken as Commander Putnam, Sydney Sweeney as Eden, Jenessa Grand as Ofsamuel, Robert Brown as Pryce, Birgitte Solem as Putnam Martha, Angela Vint as Leah, Kristen Gutoskie as Beth and Jordana Blake as Hannah.

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment brings award-winning global product and new entertainment to DVD, Bluray, and Digital HD. There amazing collection offers fans an opportunity to expand their own home libraries with the best films. To discover what other titles they have please visit www.fox.com. 

The Bluray and DVD includes three discs with the episodes Offred, Birth Date, Late, Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum, Faithfully, A Woman's Place, The Other Side, Jezebels, The Bridge and Night. The Special Features include Script to Screen and Hope in Gilead.

The soundtrack for this series is absolutely amazing and I wouldn't mind having it for myself. The music just adds so much to the story as it unfolds, especially considering that I don't think music would have been accepted in the Gilead world.

I read the book when it came out in 1985 and to be perfectly honest I still have that very same copy in my bookshelf. Having read it countless times, I was surprised when I heard it was becoming a series. Of course the first season is very familiar to me yet I was still riveted. The storyline is even more drawn out and has the opportunity to put in the details that the film didn't have time to. 

The look of the series is gripping, twisted, and plays out every emotion whether it is directly in front of you or deep within a characters eyes. This is a cast that has taken a story and made absolutely sure that not one moment is wasted in its telling. This series should definitely be filed under 'binge watching' because there is no way to watch one episode and walk away (she says at 12:30 a.m. after a day of binging). 

The flash backs are perfectly placed and enrich the story rather than cause confusion as the characters each have a story that needs telling. In this grey and dingy world that leads to a civil war, there is so much to know and after the rise of Gilead, it is extremely cool to be let in on how it all came to be. 

THE HANDMAID'S TALE has won eight of its 13 nominations from the Primetime Emmy Awards including Outstanding Drama Series. The Golden Globes gave the series two awards that included Best Actress for Elisabeth Moss and Best Television Series. Be prepared as THE HANDMAID'S TALE returns to Hulu this April!

In the end - we will bear no more!



READY PLAYER ONE is Fun Spielberg Style!

Jeri Jacquin

This Friday in theatres is the highly anticipated film based on the Ernest Cline novel and director Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainments vision with Warner Bros. presenting READY PLAYER ONE.

Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) is a young man living in the future, far into the future in fact is the year 2045. Living in The Stacks with an Aunt and the one of many boyfriends, Wade seeks escape into the virtual world of the OASIS under the name Parzival. In this imaginary world he can be what ever he wants to be with no judgments and as many adventures as one wants to have.

The Oasis was created by the very unusual James Halliday (Mark Rylance) and encouraged by friend Ogden Morrow (Simon Peg). When Halliday passes away his dying wish was a contest - who ever could find the Easter Egg hidden in the OASIS would gain financial freedom and control of the Oasis. Of course it isn't that easy as there are three keys that need to be located and to find those, someone would have to really know the idiosyncrasies of creator Halliday.

Wade wants to find the keys and joined by friends Aech (Lena Waithe), Sho (Philip Zhao) and Daito (Win Morisaki) they begin with a race that no one can seem to get past. Preparing for the next race, Parzival meets virtual Art3mis aka Samantha (Olivia Cooke) who also wants to find the keys. When neither wins the race, Parzival realizes that he is 
not looking deeply enough into Halliday's life.

Off to the virtual museum of Halliday's life, he takes it slowly taking in all the information again when it comes to him how to get the first key. Once he does, he shares the information with other. Everyone is thrilled - well, not everyone! In charge of OASIS is Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn) and his goal is to make sure that no one ever finds the keys and inside OASIS uses I-Rok (T.J. Miller) to keep an eye on things.

Sorrento is unconcerned on the outside that Parzival obtained the first key but begins to find ways to make sure that he doesn't find another. That means attacking Wade in the real world and hurting those he cares about. When The Stacks are attacked, Wade is grabbed and taken to safety and it is the first time Wade and Samantha meet in person. They both realize that if they are to stop Sorrento, it is going to have to be both in the real world and the virtual one.

Along with Aech, Sho and Daito, they plan to not only find the final keys but where the Easter Egg is hidden. Calling upon all of those who love the OASIS to help protect it and a battle royale begins. 

Sheridan as Wade/Parzival is a young man who just wants to escape life in The Stacks. From an Aunt who seems to find the biggest losers to be with to the stacked neighborhood he lives in, the Oasis is a place to forget real life and discover a virtual life that is seen as amazing. Sheridan does a good job as a young man who is smart and willing to do whatever it takes to find the keys but that turns into something larger than himself.

Cooke as Samantha/Art3mis is a young woman who seems to be a thrill seeker and although that may be true, she is also a young woman with a goal - to stop Sorrento from controlling the Oasis. Cooke lends such empowerment to her character and not just because she sees herself as facially defective, instead she has humor and the smarts necessary to prove to Wade that there is more at stake than just a few bucks to be made in the Oasis. That's not a bad character to be!

Mendelsohn as Sorrento is perfectly happy being in charge of everything - literally and virtually. There is so much at stake and Sorrento isn't about to give up any inch of it. Mendelsohn has proven time after time that he is an actor to keep an eye on. If you get the opportunity, see his work as Danny Rayburn in the series BLOODLINE because that will give you more than enough reason to see why his character of Sorrento is so deliciously twisted. 

Waithe as Helen/Aech is a supportive friend and has the ability to create amazing works in the Oasis but also happily joins with Samantha to fight Sorrento. Zhao as Sho is 'just an 11 year old' who is a pretty tough 11 year old if you ask me. He believes in the fight and doesn't want anyone telling him that age should stop him from helping. Morisaki as Daito knows a good fight when he sees one and isn't about to let down his companions. 

Pegg as Morrow is a character that builds to the very end. His story isn't as big and bright as Halliday or Sorrento, but it is important none-the-less and it's always good to see Pegg. Miller as I-Rok is hilarious and when Sorrento takes his virtual character into the Oasis, these two play off one another.

Now, lets talk about Rylance as Halliday/Anorak - what an amazing performance. Now, there are moments when I capture a bit of the BFG but who cares! This character is smart, funny, sweet, endearing and is the most harmless human being and virtual character I think I've ever seen. Rylance has the amazing ability to draw the viewer into his characters world and invite you to sit for tea (which I gladly would). Of course I would tell you more but that would spoil it and I'm not about that. Just know that Rylance was the perfect choice to play Halliday. and I loved it. 

Other cast includes Perdita Weeks as Kira, Susan Lynch as Alice, Clare Higgins as Mrs. Gilmore, Ralph Ineson as Rick, and Hannah John-Kamen as F'Nale Zandor. 

I had an absolute blast watching READY PLAYER ONE and there are several reasons why. First, of course it was a thrill to see all the characters that I watched my sons play with their videos games back in the 80's and early 90's. It was such a different time 
when my boys taught me how to play and it was something we started doing together. So much so that the three of us entered a DONKEY KONG contest at Blockbuster (yes, Blockbuster!) and it was so much fun. 

Added to that was the pop culture drops here and there mixed in with music that, to this day is something that I listen to because to me - that's when music was music. When Parzival says that Halliday's favorite song was from A-Ha, it made my heart melt. What a
 perfect reference if those my age remember the awesome artistry that went into making 'Take On Me'. 

Of course there is video, music, and pop culture references everywhere but then adds film references and oh my what a cherry on top of the cake. THE SHINING makes an appearance and I couldn't have been more thrilled, delighted and I even laughed (which of course I didn't do watching THE SHINING all those years ago!) at how it blended perfectly.

As a bonus, like chocolate shavings on the cake is seeing so many characters in the epic battle scene between Parzival, Art3mis and the gang along with every other virtual person and Sorrento with his own evil crew. There is one character I didn't expect to see but 
then again why not? See if you can see the iconic favorite Bugs Bunny friend running across the battlefield and then hit me up when you see who it is.

So, READY PLAYER ONE is going to be a hit for the 80's and 90's crowd most definitely. It has almost everything and the kitchen sink thrown in for a fun time at the movies. I'm not giving anything away by saying that a beloved giant friend makes an appearance in the film which just tugs at my heart. The CGI is amazing and truly fun to watch. 

This is the film to gather the family together to see and have such an amazing time. There is nothing, and I mean nothing about this film that I didn't enjoy. Of course I realize there is a book which I have not read but it doesn't take away from the fun I had in the theatre. It was actually quite nice to not take a film so seriously but instead let it take me on a journey to a conclusion that I'm pretty happy with. 

Mr. Spielberg, prior to seeing the film I posted a pic and stated, "please don't let me down" and I'm here to say that your track record for entertaining me throughout all these years is still in tact. Well played sir, very well played.

In the end - a better reality awaits!

BALLERS Tackles Bluray with Season Three

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray this week from HBO Home Entertainment and executive producers Mark Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson is a series that takes on sports with both hands as Dwayne Johnson stops at nothing to expand his base dealing with BALLERS.

Spencer Strasmore (Dwayne Johnson) is back with another season as a financial manager dealing with players! Along with partner Joe Krutel (Rob Corddry), its all about to become even more stressful than life usually is. First, Ricky (John David Washington) questions his relationship with Amber (Brittany Hall) but TDD (Carl McDowell) notices that something isn't quite right about him lately. Charles (Omar Miller) is dealing with a very calculating boss in Siefert (Dule Hill) and learns he needs to stand up for himself.

A meeting between Spencer and Wayne Hastings Jr. (Steve Guttenberg) finally takes place and the idea of a Vegas team is put on the table. Joe needs to remember to look in his office before he speaks when Kisan (Kris Lofton) lets him know it's time for a new agent. He also discovers that Reggie and Vernon are promoting their business called High Powered with a symbol that just puts the NFL on the edge. Now Joe and Charles have to come together to find a way to convince Vernon that his days in the NFL are numbered if they keep up their shenanigans.

In Vegas, Spencer runs into Chloe (Serinda Swan) and sparks fly but acting on it has to cool in the desert sun for a money because he has to work his charm and magic on the Mayor of Vegas and Council people to get a thumbs up on the football team idea. Joe is still dealing with Reggie about his Colorado business venture and gets a little caught up in the well lit moment. New agent Jason (Troy Garity) discovers that Kisan hasn't been totally forthcoming with his past. 

The stress is starting to get to Spencer and Joe (even if Spencer gets some down time with Chloe) and they continue to talk with Anderson about the potential for raising money. Anderson (Richard Schiff) isn't thrilled when a plane trip to speak with investors turns into a stop orchestrated by his snarky brother Julian (Steven Weber) There are serious family issues between the two that put Spencer and Joe in a weird place.

Ricky goes to see Charles wife Julie (Jazmyn Simo) for a doctor referral and it makes Charles nervous when he sees a telephone call to his wife. She informs him that she can't talk about it and suggests he focus on what is going on with the team. Siefert is still making things difficult so after an unsuccessful dinner between Siefert and head coach Berg (Peter Berg), Charles decides its time to take his life into his own hands.

Deciding what he wants for his life, Ricky tries to fix the things that are wrong and live his life honestly - and Jason is about to pass out when he learns his clients secret. Things with Spencer and Chloe heat up and it gets him to thinking about what he wants for his life but Chloe sets him straight immediately.

As the deal for a team in Vegas begins to take shape, Anderson, Spencer and Joe need to have a meeting with the NFL, who isn't really happy that all of this even began without their approval, only to discover there is another offer on the table and that the balance of power is shifting. While in San Francisco, Spencer meets someone who makes him rethink how things have been handled with the business and his idea for a Vegas team.  

The players aren't the only ones that can be head strong ballers!

Johnson as Spencer once again turns on the charm and the intensity this season trying to break into a world of the NFL by bringing a team to Las Vegas. Cutting corners he immediately has a target on his back and no one is going to make it easy for him, in fact every time he thinks it is all going in the right direction, he's thrown a curve ball. What I enjoy about this character is that even when things are in panic mode, Spencer takes a deep breath and reaches up to pluck the next big move out of nowhere. In the midst of the chaos, there are moments of comedy and even a bit of drool for the ladies as there is no question that Johnson is ripped and endearing. Yes, its just fun to love the guy!

Corddry as Joe is equally as fast on his feet when chaos shows up but Joe handles things in such a unique and crazy way that when he has moments of brilliance it is actually quite stunning. The scene after Spencer and Joe had to literally run to a meeting with Hastings; it is Joe who gives a quick save that made my jaw drop thinking ‘wow where did that come from?' I do enjoy Corddry because I never know what character he is going to play next and yet never surprised by his performances. 

Washington as Ricky takes on several issues this season with a strong willed woman, reexamining his life and dealing with family. McDowell as TDD is keeping his eye on Ricky and questioning whether he realizes the extent of what is going on in his life and ice cream is very important to him. Lofton as Kisan is introduced to his new agent but has trouble keeping secrets that could affect any deal going forward. Garity as agent Jason starts out being taken advantage of and moves on to dealing with the screwed up personal lives of players.

Miller as Charles is finding his place in the NFL. Not realizing what it takes to be part of the head office, he also never realized that the game isn't only on the field. This season he finds his voice and discovers what it is he wants from his post NFL career. Simo as wife Julie wants her husband to succeed and is a serious cheerleader for her husband. Simo is strong, sweet and lets it be known that what ever her husband wants is something she supports feeling that he does the same for her. Dule as Siefert has no problem grabbing the limelight for decisions that help teams and equally grabbing credit for things he didn't do which is what causes the rift between he and Charles. 

Schiff as Anderson wants to do what ever it takes to make the Las Vegas team idea a reality, well almost anything it takes. When brother Julian, played by Weber, comes into the mix it becomes more personal than business. Getting the issues out of the way is the only way any plans will be successful. Schiff and Weber as brothers is something to see to the very last scene together. Swan as Chloe works with Hastings Jr. and has a relationship with Spencer and that proves to be a little strange for them both. Swan is lovely in a character that doesn't change her life for Spencer and makes it clear that she knows exactly who he is and what he's about yet still likes hanging with him. 

A serious shout out to Steve Guttenberg for showing that he can play a douchebag rich guy. I swear every time he was on screen he cracked me up with his attempt at being suave and then becoming steely eyed when facing Spencer. What a great character! Another shout goes to Steven Weber for being a brother who doesn’t mind making his older brother absolutely uncomfortable and why? – well because it’s a brother thing! Yet when it comes down to it they are family.

BALLERS has cameo appearances by Larry Csonka, Travis Scott, Steve Guttenberg, Cheryl Ladd, Peter Berg, Dule Hill, Anabella Acosta, LeToya Luckett, Ella Thomas, Antoine Harris, Taylour Paige, Sanai Johnson, Richard Schiff, Clifton Collins Jr., Angelina Assereto, Christine Allocca, Carl McDowell, Terrell Suggs, Jay Glazer, Serinda Swan, Andy Garcia and Steve Guttenberg and Peter Berg.

HBO Home Entertainment has an extensive array of critically-acclaimed and groundbreaking programs found on Bluray, DVD and Digital HD. They have provided viewers with some of the most amazing programs with huge fan bases that include the shows True Blood, Sex and the City, The Sopranos, True Detectives, The Wire, Entourage and Game of Thrones. Launched in 1984, HBO is world wide in viewed entertainment in more than 70 territories around the world! For more of what they have to offer please visit www.hbo.com. 

The Bluray includes the episodes Seeds of Expansion, Bull Rush, In the Teeth, Make Believe, I Hate New York, Ricky-Leaks, Alley-Oops, Crackback, and Yay Area. Also included is the Digital Copy that makes it great to watch anywhere on not only a television but also a computer, Tablet and Smartphone.

I always love watching BALLERS because it has so much crazy to offer and it is fast paced. Watching Johnson in this series is different than films because most of the movies show a character that is larger than life in larger than life situations like the remake JUMANJI and RAMPAGE. In BALLERS, the character of Spencer is totally believable in a Jerry McGuire sort of way but on a much cooler scale. I love how he interacts with the other characters and with Corddry as his sidekick - it totally works.

This series can easily be seen as a 'guys' series but those who think that would be totally wrong. Although I enjoy an occasional football game or any sport for that matter, I'm not an avid sports fan yet BALLERS is enjoyable to watch and I do look forward to each episode. The character interaction and stories along with the show's running time of thirty minutes invites the viewers into the mad world of Spencer and Joe and never leaves us unsatisfied.

I'm letting you know now that the finale let me cheering because the good guys can win on their own terms! 

In the end - if you build it they will come!

Monsters Test Your Ability to Live in 
A QUIET PLACE 

Jeri Jacquin

Silently making its way into theatres this Friday from director John Krasinski via storytellers Bryan Woods and Scott Beck is Paramount Pictures directions to A QUIET PLACE.

Living in a world built on survival by being silent, Lee (John Krasinski) and wife Evelyn (Emily Blunt) along with sons Beau (Cade Woodward), Marcus (Noah Jupe) and daughter Regan (Millicent Simmons) are in a drugstore looking for medications. Young son Beau sees a toy he wants but Dad Lee explains that it makes noise. He does this by use of sign language as Regan is deaf.

The whole family communicates now using sign language because the creatures that hunt them have uber hearing and any sound will bring them within seconds. On the way home to their farm there is an incident that changes the family and makes survival even harder. Evelyn is pregnant and the family finds clever ways to prepare for the new arrival.

Lee takes Marcus out with him to find food and Regan isn't happy that she isn't asked to go. Feeling that her father doesn’t care about her, she takes off down the road. Evelyn is alone taking care of the house when the first sign that the baby is coming and a cry out brings the creatures. She has only moments to send a signal to the others that there is danger and it all sends each in another direction trying to redirect the creatures.

From the house to the field, they each use what they have learned to try and save one another from the creatures that can't see but most certainly can hear ... every ... sound.

Krasinski as Lee is a man who is continually trying to find ways to keep his family safe. When there is a moment to breathe, he is working on a way to help his daughter or showing Marcus how to survive in the creature infested world. Blunt as Evelyn is in total Mom-mode and certainly takes a quiet childbirth to a whole new level. This is not the world she ever intended for her children to live in but knows it's the one they now must survive in.

Simmonds as Regan deals with this world a little differently than the rest of the family. She doesn't hear the screeching and the loud presence of the creatures but knows what they are capable of. Jupe as Marcus is rightfully petrified of the creatures but his father teaches him what he needs to survive and a secret that might just have given him more courage than he imagined he had for such a young kid.

So, A QUIET PLACE is truly scary in the sense that there are only fractions of moments where you hear the actors actually speak, the rest is sign language and pure adrenaline with every bit of acting on the faces of the characters. I absolutely loved every second of watching this cast because of that very reason. 

I loved jumping, actually yelled and didn't realize it was me that yelled, held my breath and didn't realize I was doing it, and felt amazingly sad for this family. The storyline doesn't start out with any explanation as to what happened leaving that to the newspaper headlines that are about in Lee's workshop which means my mind was free to fill in the blanks. 

This is actually a yarn spun in such a way that I was intrigued when the film first sent out the trailers. A film done mostly in silence? Wow, I knew then it was a film I had to see for myself. The audience for the screening was totally into every moment of the film and I had an extra jump as the lady next to me grabbed my arm! The scariest part of the film is actually seeing the fears that are totally believable by everyone in the audience unfold on the screen.

Let me make it clear - I would not survive in a silent world purely because, as I learned during the teen years, trying to be quiet meant the pressure to make that happen would definitely produce noise (just ask my sister Ellen!). That being said I also cringed at ever little creak, every little muffled sound and held my breath with every footstep the family took. That's what makes an amazing movie going experience - when you unknowingly become physically invested.

The story didn't give me a moment’s peace and I couldn't work on my bag of popcorn because I didn't want to be jumped by any creatures! In the midst of all the silence and insane creepy creatures - the writers and director Krasinski manages a moment of beauty between Lee and Evelyn and it made my heart melt. Of course I had to snap out of that quickly and walking out of the theatre my first thought was that I wanted to see A QUIET PLACE again. 

John Krasinski took the story by Woods and Beck and directed right where it needs to be, straight into our fears. Well played sir, well played.

In the end - if they can hear you they can hunt you!




GAME OF THRONES®: SEASON 1 
Coming to 4K Disc This Summer


All 10 Episodes of the Epic First Season of Emmy® and Golden Globe® Winning Series Arrive on 4K Ultra HD on June 5th

Relive the warmer days and calmer nights of Westeros when Game of Thrones: Season 1 makes its highly-anticipated debut on 4K Ultra HD optimized for Dolby Vision High Dynamic Range on June 5th from HBO Home Entertainment. Heralded as an “HBO triumph” (Boston Globe), Season 1 of the visually stunning fantasy epic, described as a “menacing, brutal and complex solid start” (The Guardian), includes all 10 episodes beautifully redone in 4K format to give fans the ultimate clarity and detail on HDR TVs.

A perfect gift for Father’s Day or way to kick off summer break, the 4K Ultra HD format for Game of Thrones: Season 1 comes with eye-catching key art featuring the iconic, all-powerful Iron Throne. With this release, fans and those new to the series alike can now catch more than 600 minutes of one of the most critically acclaimed first seasons of episodic television in striking clarity.

In addition to Season 1 episodes, fans can go beyond what started it all, with hours of gripping bonus features, from behind-the-scenes, making-of sequences, audio commentaries and much more.
THE GREATEST SHOWMAN is Even Greater on Bluray!

Jeri Jacquin

This week on Bluray/DVD and Digital from writers Jenny Bicks and Bill Condon along with director Michael Gracey and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment comes THE GREATEST SHOWMAN.

P.T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman) has promised the lovely Charity (Michelle Williams) that he will give her a wonderful life. Spending the first few years together struggling, Barnum has two more lovely reasons to succeed in daughters Caroline (Austyn Johnson) and Helen (Cameron Seely). 

That’s when he decides to start his own circus business and invites the bearded woman Lettie (Keala Settle), Tom Thumb (Sam Humphrey), Anne Wheeler (Zendaya) and W.D. Wheeler (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) among others to join in his vision of the unusual in entertainment. He also brings Phillip Carlyle (Zac Efron) to learn and help manage the business and immediately he is taken with Anne.

While on a trip to Europe, Barnum and the troop meets the famous Jenny Lind (Rebecca Ferguson). He knows that this is a pure act that will show the nay-sayers like journalist James Bennett (Paul Sparks). Taking Jenny on the road means being away from his family and leaving the show in the care of Phillip.

When Jenny abruptly stops the show, Barnum returns to see what a vengeful crowd can do to his dream. The dream begins to unravel when he discovers that those who helped bring the circus to life are the same people who will see it rise from the ashes.

Never forget who you really are!

Jackman as Barnum does what he does best – embrace a character, make it larger than life and do it while singing and dancing. There are complexities in being a big dreamer who embraces things that are different. That also means dealing with people who clearly are afraid of those differences and getting a little lost along the way to the top. 

Williams as Charity always believed that her husband would succeed and at the same time was never unhappy with their life. She is absolutely lovely in this role and patient with a man who sees everything larger than life. Ferguson as Jenny is a woman who is swept up in the romance of becoming world renowned at the hands of Barnum. Being beautiful with a voice doesn’t stop pain from dropping a curtain.

Efron as Carlyle gets wrapped up in everything that Barnum wants in entertainment. He is also working against people who have nothing better to do than ruin a good time for all. It doesn’t stop him from making it work and finding love with the lovely Anne. Zendaya as Anne finds a family in the circus and even when confronted for being different, she knows who truly loves her.

Settle as Lettie is a powerful presence and her voice just rocks this film to its core. Her character also focuses on keeping the family together and never letting anyone say they are not amazing human beings. Humphrey as Tom Thumb is sweet and hilarious at the same time. 

Other amazing cast includes Eric Anderson as Mr. O’Malley, Ellis Rubin as the young Barnum, Skylar Dunn as the young Charity, Daniel Everidge as Lord of Leeds, Radu Spinghel as O’Clancy, Will Swenson as Philo Barnum, Timothy Hughes as the Strong Man, Linda Larson as Mrs. Stratton, Byron Jennings as Mr. Carlyle, Betsy Aidem as Mrs. Carlyle and Gayle Rankin as Queen Victoria. 

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment brings award-winning global product and new entertainment to DVD, Bluray, and Digital HD. There amazing collection offers fans an opportunity to expand their own home libraries with the best films. To discover what other titles they have please visit www.fox.com. 

The Bluray/DVD and Digital experience includes over two hours of Special Features with a Sing Along, The Family Behind THE GREATEST SHOWMAN, The Songs, The Spectacle, Music Machine with Sing Along and so much more!

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN was nominated for an Academy Award this past season and won a Golden Globe for Best Original Song “This is Me”, winner of the Heartland Film Truly Moving Picture Award, winner of Favorite Movie Actress for Zendaya from the Kids’ Choice Awards and eighteen other nominations ranging from Best Performances and Best Song to Best Music and Best Costuming. 

This is the reason why musicals will never die! A combination of great story telling, spectacular eye candy, songs that stick and a cast that melts together in such a way that the tale embraces the heart. 

It must be said that the films costuming, cinematography and set designs are absolutely stunning to see. Colorful, beautiful and dramatic the film in striking adding depth that engrains itself in the tale being told. I absolutely loved the dresses with the detail and flow that would make any woman feel regal and gorgeous. 

If you are fond of Friday night movies at home then THE GREATEST SHOWMAN needs to happen!

In the end – this is where the impossible comes true!

BLACK PANTHER Brings the Marvel Super Hero to Bluray

Jeri Jacquin

The story is coming home soon and ready to be told again and again on Bluray-DVD and Digital as director Ryan Coogler, Marvel Studios and Walt Disney Pictures bring the tale of BLACK PANTHER.

The death of now King T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) returns to his kingdom of Wakanda in Africa but not before making a pit stop with General Okoye (Danai Gurira) to pick up ex-love Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o). 

Standing before the other factions, Zuri (Forest Whitaker) asks if there is anyone who would challenge for the throne. After a brief altercation with M’Baku (Winstone Duke) it becomes clear that T’Challa would rule Wakanda. His mother Ramonda (Angela Bassett) and technology wiz kid-sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) join in the ceremony as they watch T’Challa’s victory.

But there is something that needs his immediate attention when friend W’Kabi (Daniel Kaluuya) wants the capture of Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) who has stolen some of Wakanda’s source of technology. Klaue however is not alone as Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) has a score to settle with Wakanda.

Looking for Klaue as well is CIA Agent Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman) and isn’t happy when he sees T’Challa, Nakia and Okoye at a sting operation in an underground casino in Asia. Trying to strike a deal on who gets Klaue, chaos breaks out and the chase is on.

It soon becomes clear who Killmonger is when he makes his way to Wakanda with one goal in mind – to get backing which he finds in W’Kabi and to take the throne. When the challenge goes horribly wrong, Nakia, Shuri and Ramonda are on the run and find an ally in the most unlikely place. Now the tribes begin to see the destruction of their world!

T’Challa learns that all families have secrets but that secrets don’t always stay hidden and sometimes it is the sons that pay the price!

Boseman as T’Challa aka Black Panther carries himself with the elegance that makes it totally believable that he is royalty. Trying to keep the traditional and secretive ways of Wakanda, especially about the unearthly vibranium, he becomes conflicted when it is suggested by ex-love Nakia that they could do so much more for the world. Unfortunately that falls far down his royal agenda as conflicts and bad guys need to be taken care of to stabilize the country and tribal factions. Boseman wears the suit and the position well.

Gurira as General Okoye is the only lady that could pull of a fight scene while wearing a stunning and flowing red gown. What I’m saying is that if I ever get into a fight in an underground dressy casino – I want Gurira on my side. Okoye is loyal but certainly conflicted. Nyong’o as Nakia wants to do as much as she can for the world outside of Wakanda much to the dismay of T’Challa. Don’t let the fact that Nyong’o’s character is quiet in nature because when she needs to talking isn’t necessary – action does!

Jordan as Killmonger is the man with the attitude and it’s not a good thing. Dealing with the death of his own father, he becomes a highly trained killer with only one goal – make everyone pay for what has made him hostile. Jordan gives every ounce of a bad guy in his performance. Kaluuya as W’Kabi is the friend you don’t ever want to deal with. It seems there is a strong bond between he and T’Challa yet when things don’t go in his favor he flips the script and Kalyyua makes it stick. 

Gollum and Bilbo are reunited for another round of good vs. evil! Freeman as the CIA Agent wants to help the people of Wakanda and definitely gets his chance. He might be a mild mannered agent but stands up for his new friends. Serkis as Klaue gets to be as evil as he wants to be and nothing seems to bother him and I have to admit to chuckling once or twice.

Whitaker as Zuri has a story to tell and I’m going to let him be the one to tell it so no spoilers from me. Bassett as Ramonda is the Queen who sees the kingdom in turmoil but would throw it all away for the safety of her family and people. Duke as M’Baku is big, bad and knows that things are changing and he must choose.

Special shout out goes to Letitia Wright as Shuri! She is her own brand of bad ass being smart, beautiful and very funny. She is the technology of Wakanda and Wright gives this character everything and then some. I just enjoyed what she brought to the story and embracing her characters dedication to family, country and science. There is more to her story as well but you didn’t hear it from me.

Other cast include Florence Kasumba as Ayo, John Kani as T’Chaka, David S. Lee as Limbani, Nabiyah Be as Linda, and Sterling K. Brown as N’Jobu.

Marvel Studios has released sixteen films since 2008 in what is known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel is built on a library of over eight thousand characters featured in a variety of media content for over seventy years. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.marvel.com  

The Bluray and Digital Code come with this Multi-Screen Edition with Movies Anywhere.

The BLACK PANTHER Bonus Extras are stunning with From Page to Screen: A Roundtable Discussion – Delving into the film’s making, Deleted Scenes and Gag Reel, Crowning Of A New King – Explore Black Panther’s world in all its color and complexity, The Warriors Within – Get to know Wakanda’s women, and the actors who portray them, The Hidden Kingdom Revealed – Wakanda’s diverse people, Wakanda Revealed: Exploring the Technology, Exclusive Sneak Peek at Ant-Man and the Wasp, Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years – Connecting the Universe and so much more!

BLACK PANTHER is the reason fans flocked to the theatre to experience an adventure, good story and characters that have jumped from page to screen. Now they can revisit Wakanda over and over with this stunning Bluray. I have no doubt that Marvel fans are biting at the bit to get their hands on a copy and I am secure in saying they will get their money’s worth.

BLACK PANTHER falls absolutely into the Marvel universe. The formula of conflict, family, bad guys and loyalty is found in every Marvel story and BLACK PANTHER follows it to the letter. Popcorn, friends and fun – now at home BLACK PANTHER will deliver consistently. Get a sound bar and make sure the screen is huge!

It just means I see exactly what I thought I would see and other than the ethereal Lion King moment I continue to go for the ride. It has action, adventure, tekkie stuff, special effects, music and eye candy for all so take that and run. The cast bring the story everything it needs to crowd please.

So couch up the gang and make it a great Marvel/Disney night at home!

In the end – long live the king!

DEADPOOL 2 – Enough Said!

Jeri Jacquin

In theatres this weekend from director David Leitch, Marvel Entertainment and 20th Century Fox comes a man who needs no introduction other than the words DEADPOOL 2.

So I thought about how to start this review and all I could think of was – GO EFFIN SEE THIS MOVIE! But the reader deserves a little better than that so here we go!

Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is back as Deadpool and he’s happier than ever with gal-pal Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). On their anniversary Wade has a little something planned except his mercenary work decides to follow him home and bring mayhem along with them. 

Sending his life in a tailspin and ready to do his worst, it isn’t until Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) brings Wade back to the Xavier Mansion that he sees a use for life. Agreeing to be an X-Men trainee along with Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), they meet Russell Collins (Julian Dennison). Calling himself Firefist, he refuses to be abused any further at the orphanage.

A few bad fighting choices puts both Deadpool and Firefist in a place called the ‘Icebox’ that stores mutants. That actually makes it easier for future arrival Cable (Josh Brolin) to find his target – which isn’t Deadpool much to his disappointment – but the young Russell.

Deciding that he must help the young boy, Deadpool puts together a group he calls X-Force and begins accepting applications with buddy Weasel (T.J. Miller). Their goal is to find the prison truck transport and get Russell back. What they don’t know is that Russell finds a friend in Juggernaut, who has his own issues with super heroes. 

Cable finally tells Deadpool why he wants the boy and that he must be stopped before reaching the orphanage or there is no turning back with a future fate sealed. Now Deadpool, Cable and his new recruit lucky Domino (Zazie Beetz) face off with Russell and Juggernaut but he is too strong. Thankfully Colossus and Warhead decide that Deadpool needs their help and the battle for good and evil begins.

It’s all being done the Deadpool way!

Reynolds as Wade Wilson/Deadpool has made damn sure that no one else, ever, will be able to remake-reimagine-rethink-rediscover or “re” anything else someone might want to do in ten years. He has made this character completely iconic and absolute in the minds of everyone who loves this character. It is no big secret to anyone that I’m not a huge super hero person, I mean I see the films but then it’s like ‘next!’ to me. Not DEADPOOL – this is the number one character I looked forward to seeing the first time and it was like Christmas morning as a kid for DEADPOOL 2. There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING to complain about in this film and its Reynolds fault completely. I’m sure he won’t mind taking the blame for this one. He gives this ole lady plenty to laugh about and that’s everything.

Brolin as Cable has me a little perplexed. Jumping between two comic book characters just isn’t something I’m thrilled about. I’m still not over Chris Evans going from his blaze days to Captain America and it’s been more than a hot minute. Between the two I would prefer he stay in the Cable lane but a paycheck is a paycheck right? Okay, so as cable I love the ying and yang between he and Deadpool. They both have issues and yet play off of them providing each other with a conscience. 

Dennison as Russell is a kid on a mission and although he has every reason to be pretty p.o.’d, ending up with Deadpool in an icebox might be a tad worse. He is going through his terrible teens and just happens to have fist that can destroy anything in its path. 

Beetz as Domino doesn’t take Wade or Deadpool seriously because she’s all about proving that lucky favors her own brand of coolness. Hildebrand returns as Negasonic Teenage Warhead with a few surprises for her favorite DP dude. Miller as Weasel gets a moment or two to shine with his favorite stool warmer. 

Kapicic returns as the understanding and patient Colossus and I think he is the only one that true gets Wade/Deadpool. Baccarin as Vanessa is back to bring positive reinforcement and a good lap dance to her favorite super hero. 

A serious shout out to Leslie Uggams as Blind Al, the one person who knows that Wade is a miserable human being sometimes yet accepts him the same. She might not be able to see but I’d let her defend me anytime, provided I can point the gun.

Also, Karan Soni as Dopinder who finally gets the opportunity to show what he’s made of – taxi and all. Shioli Kutsuna makes an appearance as Yukio who has the cutest exchanges with Deadpool and Eddie Marsan as the butt-head-master of Essex Orphanage.

Lets give a round of applause to Terry Crews as Bedlam, Lewis Tan as Shatterstar, Bill Skarsgard as Zeitgeist, Rob Delaney as Peter and Brad Pitt as Vanisher. Also, who can forget the amazing Jack Kesy as Black Tom Cassidy.

I think I’ve made if fairly clear that I am a huge Deadpool fan and if you thought I’d be giving any spoilers out well then I’m happy to disappoint you. From the moment the film begins to its very, very, VERY end (this is my way of saying stay after the credits), Reynolds and his band of merry misfits provide such a good time that a second viewing is going to be required.

Laughing so much I can say that I probably missed half the jokes and I’m fairly certain I’m lucky to be alive as I was eating popcorn during the film. I do know that I couldn’t catch my breath most of the time which means not only was I having a good time but if I did drop dead I would be alright if it was Deadpool’s fault.

So leave the other “superheroes” to fly away in a wind of feathers (not sure what that was but if you saw that ‘other’ movie you’ll understand) and gather up everyone who needs to laugh themselves silly and head to DEADPOOL 2. 

Have an extraordinary experience and remember he’s only here to show you a good time.

In the end – prepare for the ultimate second coming!

Happy 30th Anniversary as
DIE HARD is Back on Bluray and Digital This Week!

Jeri Jacquin

Celebrating its 30 Year Anniversary this week on Bluray and Digital from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and director John McTiernan is the iconic and absolutely beloved classic action hero who is just one big DIE HARD.

John McClane (Bruce Willis) is visiting his family who have moved to the California Coast. Estranged wife Holly Gennaro (Bonnie Bedelia) is working for the Nakatomi Corporation and Mr. Takagi (James Shigeta) this sets John's ever loving badge on edge. Yes, he is a New York City cop and darn proud of it too. It is the Christmas season so he's being as gracious as he can at his wife's party.

What he doesn’t yet know is that a group of terrorists led by Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) are about to make John's visit a whole lot more interesting. Along with Hans is Karl (Alexander Godunov), Marco (Lorenzo Caccialanza) Franco (Bruno Doyon), and computer wizard Theo (Clarence Gilyard Jr.) all of who are not going to let anyone get in their way. 

Their will might be strong but John McClane's is much stronger! He realizes that the party has been raided and hides from the gang hoping limo driver Argyle (De'voreaux White) might have heard the commotion. John comes face to face with one of Hans' gang and when he can't get any help from the outside - he creates it getting the attention of off-duty cop Sgt. Al Powell (Reginald VelJohnson).Now it's a party!

The LAPD is on full alert with Al keeping communication open with John, who he now refers to as 'Roy', but it doesn't stop DP Chief Dwayne T. Robinson (Paul Gleason) from trying to muck up the works. All of the action gets the attention of hungry journalist Richard Thornburg (William Atherton) who immediately takes a crew to Nakatomi Plaza and begins recording everything that happens.

What's happening is that John McClane isn't sitting idly by while waiting for the LAPD to figure out its next move. Instead, he goes floor by floor drawing out who these guys are and taking them down one by one if he has to. This isn't all sitting to well with Hans, especially when he realizes that John has a bag of goods he needs. 

While all of this is happening, Holly is keeping the hostages calm - and a secret! A final showdown means John and Hans are going to finish what was started!

Willis as McClane is smart, funny, witty and in 1988 brought a brand of action hero that turned this role iconic in every way. Of course many of us were already in love with Willis but man did this character seal the deal. I think what made everyone falls for McClane was the average-Joe persona that was relatable. Here is a cop having martial problems with a bit of an ego who just happens to still love his wife and know how to do his job. Both of those things were necessary to draw us all into a building of chaos. Now, what makes this even cooler is that John McClane, whether intentional or not, became a Christmas staple in many households (including mine). There was no turkey without McClane in Nakatomi Plaza and here it is all these years later and still happening. 

Rickman as Hans is absolutely breathtaking to watch. He is the ultimate criminal but damn is he cool as a cucumber (even when he's not) and looks good in a suit. The scene between Hans and McClane on the rooftop is perfection for both of these actors but I give Rickman one up for whipping out his 'American' accent with no struggle at all. This was probably my first introduction to Rickman and I enjoyed his performance so much that I went looking for other things he had done and followed him ever since. Rickman went toe to toe with Willis and wasn't going to fall without a fight.

Bedelia as Holly knows her husband can be difficult but when she needed him to be 'himself' the most McClane comes through with flying colors. Her amusement on her face when realizing that John was upsetting the terrorists is classic! VelJohnson as Sgt. Powell is McClane's link to the outside world and that isn't always a good thing. VelJohnson adds his humor, honesty and concern on his sleeve for a man he doesn't know yet feels a connection too. It's the beginning of an awesome buddy situation that will come to play again later.

The a-hole group is as follows beginning with Atherton as Thornburg. I mean lets just say it out right now - this guy is becomes the poster dude for the reason people don't like reporters. We all get satisfaction at the hands of Bedelia so there's that! Gleason as Robinson is just a douche, let's get that right! There is always one and Gleason's character is absolutely it. Bochner as Ellis is another douche but his pearly whites and narcissism doesn't help him in the slightest. 

Terrorist shout out to Godunov as Karl the tall psycho who clearly has anger issues. Then again it doesn't help with your pulling a heist and your brother gets capped in the first 10 minutes. He has a grudge and revenge is his new mission and Goduov gives it everything. On a side note - this role shows a crazy side and only two years earlier shows his comedic side in the 1986 film THE MONEY PIT which is one of my all time favorites. Leong as Uli makes a heist and a candy bar worthy of a giggle.

Davi as Special Agent Johnson is a psycho of another kind looking for any reason to go rogue and Bush as the other Special Agent Johnson loves saying 'no relation' when introducing himself and his partner. White as Argyle has his own little show going on in the basement and reminds us all from time to time that he's there!

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment brings award-winning global product and new entertainment to DVD, Bluray, and Digital HD. There amazing collection offers fans an opportunity to expand their own home libraries with the best films. To discover what other titles they have please visit www.fox.com.

The Bluray Special Features include Commentary by Director John McTiernan and Production Designer Jackson DeGovia, Scene-Specific Commentary by Special  Effects Supervisor Richard Edlund, Subtitle Commentary by Various Cast and Crew, The News Casts Featurette, Interactive Still Gallery, Interactive Articles from Cinefex and American Cinematographer, Full-Length Screenplay, Trailers and Television Spots.

Other cast include Andreas Wisniewski as Tony, Joey Plewa as Alexander, Hans Buhringer as Fritz, Matt Landers as Capt. Mitchell, Carmine Zozzora as Rivers, Dustyn Taylor as Ginny, David Ursin as Harvey Johnson, and Mary Ellen Trainor as Gail Wallens.

DIE HARD is just a fantastic piece of filmmaking that has brought us all iconic lines "Yipee-ki-yay mf", "oh, these are very bad for you", "come out to the coast, we'll get together, have a few laughs" and I will admit to using them all from time to time. The film doesn't waste any time or any frame which makes every minute of this film just loads of excitement, laughs and cheers for the good guys!

Here is some trivia about the nominations and awards won by DIE HARD. Nominated for Best Effects, Visual Effects, Best Sound, Best Editing by the Academy Awards, also nominated for awards from the DVD Exclusive Awards, and Edgar Allan Poe Awards. There were many awards won from the Awards of the Japanese Academy, Blue Ribbon Awards, BMI Film & TV Awards, Hochi Film Awards, Kinema Junpo Awards, National Film Preservation Board and Motion Picture Sound Editors Award.

It has been 30 years since John McClane came into our lives and he hasn't been out of our hearts. In 1990 John and Holly are back with another encounter in tight spaces with DIE HARD 2, in 1995 Die Hard with a Vengeance hit theatres, in 2007 we were told to LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD and in 2013 it all came together with A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD. In each of these films there is a bad guy but one thing doesn't change - John McClane. We all have Bruce Willis to thank for bringing us all in for the ride of our lives.

Now, DIE HARD is on Bluray which means that the action is brighter, the chaos is crisper and its just frakken fabulous all the way around. Make sure to get your Bluray of DIE HARD and celebrate other holidays with it as well.

In the end - the thrill is back and his name is McClane!

Jim Carrey Hits Bottom in DARK CRIMES

Jeri Jacquin

This week in theatres and On Demand from Saban Films, Lionsgate and director Alexandros Avranas comes a dark tale in a country that is riddles with mystery and DARK CRIMES.

Tadek (Jim Carrey) is a detective who has been laying low over the years. Taking care of his mother and barely speaking to his wife, he is barely living himself. That is all about to change when he takes on a case of a businessman who has been murdered. Almost immediately he learns about a man named Kozlow (Marton Csokas), a writer who published a novel about murder that looks familiar to Tadek. 

Reading the book, Tadek begins to go to a dark pace and he meets sex-worker Kasia (Charlotte Gainsbourg), a woman knows about Kozlow. She shares with Tadek a world that he never knew existed. He also discovers the involvement of many who are not about to let him ruin their lives. Feeling bad for Kasia's situation, he also begins to have strong feelings for her and then crosses the line.

When the opportunity finally arises to question Kozlow, Tadek is met with distain, riddles and accusations. What he thought sense and was an open and shut case drastically turns bringing more questions and more danger than he could have possibly imagined.  

Carrey as Tadek is compelling to watch because this isn't going to be a full on character that is full of expression. No, Carrey lets us know from the get go that this man is falling down a rabbit hole and it seems as if he wants to go willingly. Having the opportunity to investigate a case he believes he has the answers to, Carrey gives this character a broken feel that makes his choices a little insane.

Gainsbourg as Kasia is a woman who is driven by the sexploited underworld that she can not escape from. Knowing the answers to the questions Tadek is asking, she downplays what she knows to protect herself. She is secretive and is just as mysterious as the man Tadek is tracking.

Csokas as Kozlow enjoys playing the cat and mouse game with Tadek. He is just as mysterious as Kasia and has no problem sitting in a dark room with him but it seems its more to get information than give answers. Csokas has always played an amazing bad guy character and this one goes particularly bad.

Other cast include Kati Outinen as Malinowska, Vlad Ivanov as Piotr, Agata Kulesza as Marta, Robert Wieckiewicz as Greger, Piotr Glowacki as Wiktor, Anna Polony as Tadek's Mother, and Zbigniew Zamachowski as Lukasz.

Launched in 2014, Saban Films has built an impressive slate of high-quality feature films in conjunctions with Lionsgate. Focusing on talent-driven films, Saban Films tailors each release on the uniqueness of their films that come to VOD release and mid-scale traditional theatricals. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.sabanfilms.com. 

The film is based on David Grann's article True Crime: A Postmodern Murder Mystery that appeared in The New Yorker in 2008. He writes that a writer named Krystian Bala killed a businessman in Poland. The crime was investigated by Detective Jacek but it was only years later after he read a crime novel did he look at the case again.

DARK CRIMES lives up to its title for many reasons. First, Carrey's performance is one of the darkest I have seen him do and it is disturbing as well. This character is caught in a rather mundane life and this case opens up a door for him to be a part of something again. The problem becomes the moment a toe is out of line, its quicksand and that's exactly what happens to this character. Carrey goes all in and it shows.

The is not a happy film in any frame of its ninety-two minutes. It is deeply stirring, and even shot to add the look and feel of a situation that has no happy ending. What made the film for me was I wanted to know where it was going because anything had to be better than the like Tadek was living.

In the end – finding answers only brings more questions.