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Jeri Jacquin aka Movie Maven and Jenise Jacquin aka Film Brat
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​CORALINE and PARANORMAN Are Classics on 4k UHD

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to 4K UHD from Laika and Shout! Factory are two classic films with CORALINE and PARANORMAN.

In 2009, writer/director Henry Selick took a story by Neil Gaiman and brought the most amazing dark stop-motion film with CORALINE. 

Coraline (voiced by Dakota Fanning) is a young girl who lives with parents Melanie (Teri Hatcher) and Charlie (John Hodgman) she is dealing with the new move a pink house in Ashland, Oregon. Almost instantly she makes friends with Wybie (Robert Bailey) and an interesting black cat. Living in another apartment of the house is the very limber and eccentric Sergei Alexander Bobinsky (Ian McShane), actress April Spink (Jennifer Saunders), and Miriam Forcible (Dawn French).

Wybie gives Coraline a doll that he thought looked a lot like her but the doll has a few things to teach the young girl. A door into a parallel universe opens and waiting for her is another Mother and Father who spend their time paying attention to her. Her parents are still busy with their workaholic lives that they don’t notice their daughters’ comings and goings.

The problem comes when Coraline is visiting her other parents and they want her to stay. The only caveat is that she has to exchange her eyes and she is stunned. When she tries to leave, other mother keeps her, well, hostage. The ghosts that are trapped as well finally tell Coraline everything she needs to know to stop the madness before her real parents become part of this nightmare!

Fanning gives life to the character of Coraline as a young girl dealing with a new home and parents who seem to be lost in their work. Finding her own place, she had no idea she would also be finding her own second world. Through everything she comes to understand how the world is and that she is loved.

CORALINE Special Features include Disc One New 4K Restoration and Dolby Atmos 7.1 Mix. Disc Two Inside Laika – Discovering the Characters of CORALINE Featuring Rare Test Footage, Inside Laika – Revisiting the Puppets with Laika’s Animation Team, Character, Concept Art and Behind-The-Scenes Photo Galleries, Audio Commentary with Director Henry Selick and Composer Bruno Coulais, The Making of CORALINE, Original Featurettes, Deleted Scenes and Feature Length Storyboards. 

In 2012, writer/directors Chris Butler and Sam Fell’s stop-motion film PARANORMAN came to the screen. 

Norman (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is a young boy who has the unique ability to speak with his grandmother who just happens to be dead. No one believes what he can do and it causes Norman to spend a lot of time alone. Neil (Tucker Albrizzi) is also a kid who sort of understands Norman. As a school play is rehearsing a play about witch-executions, Norman’s great-uncle Prenderghast (John Goodman) tells him he has to help protect the town of Blithe Hollow.

While the play is going on, Norman has a ghoulish site of what happened in the past. His father Perry (Jeff Garlin) and mother Sandra (Leslie Mann) know that there is something happening and are more than concerned. Learning that his great-uncle has passed, imagine Norman’s surprise when he sees him in the afterlife as he tells the boy to get a book that can help. 

Going with the local graveyard he thinks to read from the book but school bully Alvin (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) wants to have his own twisted fun. Trying to complete his reading, Norman, Neil, his sister Courtney (Anna Kendrick) and Mitch (Casey Affleck) are chased by what could only be called zombies! That slows everything down and when a witch causes mayhem, Norman is knocked out only to see Aggie Prenderghast (Jodelle Ferland) and what happened to her.

Mayhem is hitting Blithe as vengeful spirits go after the town and Norman is the only person that knows how to stop it all and become the hero he never thought he’d be! 

Smit-McPhee as Norman is a young boy also trying to find his place in this world even though he has a look inside the next. Loving his family, he also struggles with knowing that people he loves don’t truly understand him. When the other world reaches out to him, Norman does not hesitate to find out what is causing the problems and realizing that he is the key to helping!

SHOUT! Factory has grown into a tremendous multi-platform media company. Releasing new animated features such as the exquisite Long Way North, and the epic fantasy Beauty and The Beast. Also, their own original horror film, Fender Bender gives fans a good scare. For more of what SHOUT Factor has to offer please visit www.shoutfactory.com.

Laika is an American stop-motion animation studio specializing in feature films. The studios is best known for THE BOXTROLLS, KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS and MISSING LINK. To see more of what Laika has to offer please visit www.laika.com. 

PARANORMAN Special Features Include Disc One New 4K Restoration and New Dolby Atmos 7.1 Mix. Disc Two Inside Laika – Discovering the Characters and Effects of PARANORMAN Featuring Rare Test Footage, Inside Laika – Revisiting the Puppets with Laika’s Animation Team, Feature-Length Storyboards, Character, Concept Art and Behind-the-Scenes Photo Gallery and Audio Commentary with writer/director Chris Butler and Co-Director Sam Fell. 

CORALINE and PARANORMAN are such iconic characters and bringing them back gives everyone another chance to update their home entertainment library. The deep darkness feeling and colors are stunning and add depth of richness to the story being told. 

CORALINE started it all for my family and every film since is a joy for us. To be honest, we watch it several times a year and when it pops up on television, we know its time to pop some corn and watch again! The story is one of family, understanding and love mixed in with all the crazy stuff we love to experience.

PARANORMAN is charming and thrilling keeping in line with our favorite Laika films. Norman is a young boy also trying to find his place in two worlds. We love what he is able to do and watching this film, we constantly cheer as he tries and tries to help the people who have not shown him much understanding.

Laika always tells such amazing stories and uses stop-motion that allow families to embrace such fantastic characters. Now, both films return on 4K UHD (Limited SteelBook Edition) for the first time and that makes the holiday gift giving season even more special. Perennial favorites and critically acclaimed, CORALINE and PARANORMAN stop-motion and CG hybrid techniques were both nominated for Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature Films.

In the end – these are stories of unusual kids who we love to watch again and again!


KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS and THE BOXTROLLS Make Their Way Home!

Jeri Jacquin

Coming on 4K Ultra HD and Bluray (and limited SteelBook Editions) from Shout! Factory are two of the most beloved films from Laika Studios with KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS and THE BOXTROLLS.

In 2014, directors Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi brought the stop-motion animated story of the small Victorian town of Cheesebridge, Norvenia. As with all towns, there are rumors and in this particular town, underneath are trolls who kidnap babies! Leader Lord Portley-Rind (Jared Harris) and his White Hats have better things to do with his cheese eating time and hires Archibald Snatcher (Ben Kingsley) to find and get rid of the named Boxtrolls. 

What they don’t understand is that Boxtrolls are actually very peaceful creatures who wear boxes and like to invent things. Someone who understands this is Eggs (Issac Hempstead Wright), a human boy who lives with the Boxtrolls and raised by Fish (Dee Bradley Baker). Trying to keep Eggs safe and away from harm, there comes the day when Eggs realizes that his family is being taken one by one!

When Fish is taken, Eggs goes above ground and is seen by Winnie (Elle Fanning) during a fair that is held to remember the disappearance of a certain Trubshaw Baby. The town believes the Boxtrolls are responsible. Winnie decides to help Eggs and in trying to rescue Fish, they discover something truly horrible about the leaders of their town and uncover those responsible! 

Other cast include Steve Blum as Shoe and Sparky, Toni Collette as Lady Cynthia Portley-Rind, Nick Frost as Mr. Trout, Richard Ayoade as Mr. Pickles, Tracy Morgan as Mr. Gristle, Toni Collette as Lady Cynthia Portley-Rind and Simon Pegg as Herbert Trubshaw.

Special Features: Inside LAIKA - Discovering the Characters of The Boxtrolls with Never-Before-Seen Test Footage. Inside LAIKA - Revisiting the Puppets with LAIKA’s Animation Team. Feature-Length Storyboards, Foreword by Ramin Zahed, the Editor in Chief of Animation Magazine, Audio Commentary with Directors Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi, The Making of The Boxtrolls and Original Featurettes.

The year 2016 brought one of the most beautiful Laika stories ever and our family’s personal favorite. Director Travis Knight brought the most amazing KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS to fans who instantly fell in love.

Kubo (Art Parkinson) is a young boy growing up in feudal Japan with his ill mother. They live in a cave near the local village and Kubo earns money by performing with origami while he plays his shamisen for the villagers. His most daring story is that of his samurai warrior father Hanzo. He always leaves the audience in suspense because, in reality, he does not know how the story ends.

Being told by his mother to never stay out after dark, Kubo knows the story of how he lost his eye to his mother’s sisters and grandfather, the Moon King (Ralph Fiennes). They are looking for Kubo and will take him away if they get the chance. During the Bon festival, Kubo attends to speak to those who have passed but realizes quickly that it is sunset. Almost immediately he is attacked by The Sister (Rooney Mara) but his mother tells the boy to go find his father’s armor and then uses magic sending Kubo away. 

When Kubo comes too, he is looking into the eyes of his wooden snow monkey charm in real life! Monkey (Charlize Theron) tells him the sad news of home but Kubo makes a oragami Little Hanzo to lead them to the mysterious armor. Along the way they meet Beetle (Matthew McConaughey), a bumbling protector who doesn’t remember much about who he is or how he came to be. The one thing he does believe is that he had to be Hanzo’s apprentice!

On their adventure to retrieve the amor and the Sword Unbreakable, Kubo knows he must return home and set things right for his mother, the village and the father he never knew. That means taking on the last siter and his grandfather, the Moon King. 

Other cast include Brenda Vaccaro as Kameyo, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as Hashi and George Takei as Hosato. 

Special Features: Feature-Length Storyboards, Inside LAIKA -Revisiting the Puppets with LAIKA’s Animation Team, Inside LAIKA—Confronting the Epic Challenges of Kubo and the Two Strings, Audio Commentary with Director/Producer Travis Knight, “Kubo’s Journey” and
Original Featurettes.

KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS was one of the first films my granddaughter watched and I knew immediately that she would love them all, and she does. Kubo is the story of a young man who could have easily just given way to all the sadness in his life but chose another path instead. What an amazing story to tell and it was very successful.

Parkinson as Kubo is the voice that is so memorable because it is filled with emotion, love, insecurity and a fierceness that comes in handy at the end of his journey. Theron as Monkey is wise and patient, well, most of the time but is absolutely wonderful. McConaughey is so delightful as Beetle and very funny. Fiennes as The Moon King is ferocious and focused but he’s never met anyone like Kubo!

SHOUT! Factory has grown into a tremendous multi-platform media company. Releasing new animated features such as the exquisite Long Way North, and the epic fantasy Beauty and The Beast. Also, their own original horror film, Fender Bender gives fans a good scare. For more of what SHOUT Factor has to offer please visit www.shoutfactory.com.

The scrupulous remastering process for both titles was overseen by the team at LAIKA, led by LAIKA CEO (and Kubo and the Two Strings Director) Travis Knight, and Visual Effects Supervisor Steve Emerson, who pored over each film shot-by-shot, paying close attention to every last detail and color to present these groundbreaking films in the most dynamic format.

The use of Dolby Vision has made these films look more spectacular than ever before, with vivid colors and exacting picture quality, and with highlights brighter and essential dark elements darker, unleashing the full potential of HDR technology. The films were also mixed in Dolby Atmos spatial audio, bringing out more details and clarity in the sound, resulting in an even more immersive experience for fans.

KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS and THE BOXTROLLS are an absolute must have (or don’t talk to me every again) in your own home entertainment library. The stories are so rich and wonderful with message of hope, family, love, courage and triumph. Laika has cornered something wonderful here and I can not wait to see what they do next!

The stop-motion is flawless, smooth and glides along with the story and becomes a subtle character in the film as well. That is how it’s done kids – with excellence and a lot of thought into the process of not just the stop-motion but the story as well making a combination that is unmatched. 

Gather the family because I do believe it is time for a Laika marathon because, like a good bucket of popcorn, you can not have just one! Now excuse me, we are preparing for our own marathon! Enjoy the shows!


He is OPPENHEIMER

Jeri Jacquin

On Bluray, DVD and Digital from writer/director Christopher Nolan and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is the intense story of our time about a man named OPPENHEIMER.

J. Robert Oppenheimer is a young man in 1926 studying theoretical physics in Germany after transferring from Cambridge. Earning a PhD. he continues to study in Switzerland and takes to quantum physics back in the United States. Marrying biologist Kitty (Emily Blunt) and starting a family, he begins teaching at the University of California at Berkeley.

Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy) learns in 1928 that nuclear fission has been discovered and he knows that it can be used as a weapon. A few years later he is approached by Army General Leslie Groves (Matt Damon) and asked to lead the creation of the atomic bomb also called the Manhattan Project. The war with Germany is making the project a priority and Oppenheimer is dealing with an affair with Jean Tatlock (Florence Pugh).

Groves says he knows of Oppenheimer’s past but it doesn’t negate the need for the project. So, the team comes together with Isidor Isaac Rabi (David Krumholtz), Edward Teller (Benny Safdie), Enrico Fermi (Danny Deferrari), Leo Szilard (Mate Haumann) and David Hill (Rami Malek) moving them all to Los Alamos, New Mexico. Oppenheimer even consults with Albert Einstein (Tom Conti) but when Hitler’s reign is destroyed, the question of needing the bomb becomes paramount.

President Truman learns that the Trinity test worked and now his eyes are on Japan. What happens after is the U.S. government comes for Oppenheimer starts with AEC Chairman Lewis Strauss (Robert Downey, Jr.) opening up his life book but has personal goals as well. There are hearings and truths that come out and all in an attempt to use Oppenheimer as a scapegoat. 

Murphy as Oppenheimer is stunning in this role. From the moment he is on the screen, his character is surrounded by louder voices yet my eyes are focused on Murphy. This is a look at a man who is made to look like a villain and a mad scientist who had no thought about what his creation could do. Instead, Nolan gives us a look at everything and everyone surrounding his life only to discover that the path is not as diabolical as history tried to portray. Murphy is flat out brilliant and that doesn’t seem enough praise for this work.

Blunt as Kitty is woman/wife/mother who had struggles of her own. Seeing her life with Oppenheimer going in one direction, she learns that it had the potential to take away who she was. Knowing her husbands work is important, Blunt’s portrayal of Kitty is of a woman who turned a blind eye to just about everything around her. 

Downey, Jr. as Strauss is a man on a mission and it has nothing to do with the United States, it is his own selfish and personal goals. He spends his time trying to convince everyone around him of what is good and evil and when it boils down to it, evil lives close to home. To be clear, I love almost everything Downey, Jr. has ever done on screen and as his career has grown (and past Iron Man – don’t get me started on that or I’ll cry), the role of Strauss was brilliantly cast and Downey, Jr. makes it his very own.

Pugh at Tatlock is a woman who has her own issues and can not seem to let go of Oppenheimer. Pugh gives her character a combination of allure, insecurity and intelligence with more questions about her life than the movie has time to answer. 

Other cast include Ronald Auguste as J. Ernest Wilkins Jr., Christopher Denham as Klaus Fuchs, Devon Bostick as Seth Neddermeyer, Trond Fausa as George Kistiakowsky, James Urbaniak as Kurt Godel, Gustaf Skarsgard as Hans Bethe, Josh Peck as Kenneth Bainbridge, Tom Jenkins as Richard C. Tolman, David Rysdahl as Donald Hornig, Jack Quaid as Richard Feynman, Olli Haaskivi as Edward Condon, Louise Lombard as Ruth Tolman, Emma Dumont as Jackie Oppenheimer, Guy Burnet as George Eltenton, Michael Angarano as Robert Seber, Rory Keane as Hartland Snyder, and Alex Wolff as Luis Alvarez.

Also, Josh Zuckerman as Giovanni Lomanitz, Gregory Jbara as Sen. Magnuson, Tim DeKay as Sen. Pastore, Harry Groener as Sen. McGee, John Gowans as Ward Evans, Macon Blair as Lloyd Garrison, Scott Grimes as Counsel Strauss, Jefferson Hall as Haakon Chevalier, Tony Goldwyn as Gordon Gray, Dane DeHaan as Kenneth Nichols, James D’Arcy as Patrick Blackett, Dylan Arnold as Frank Oppenheimer, Casey Affleck as Boris Pash, Josh Hartnett as Ernest Lawrence, Jason Clarke as Roger Robb, Casey Affleck as Boris Pash, Matthew Modine as Vannevar Bush and Kenneth Branagh as Niels Bohr.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment has just added an amazing film to their library and making it available for us to all experience and re-experience in our own home theaters. There are films of every genre available from scary to drama to family films. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.uphe.com.

MOVIES ANYWHERE gives viewers the ability to download the Movies Anywhere App. With that you can view films by downloading or streaming to your favorite device using a Digital Code. For more information on Movies Anywhere please visit www.MoviesAnywhere.com.

Special Features include The Story of Our Time: The Making of OPPENHEIMER, Meet the Press Q&A Panel: OPPENHEIMER, To End All War: Oppenheimer & the Atomic Bomb and more!

The cast is so large that it would be impossible to speak on all the performances but know that they are absolutely stellar. I do want to shout out to Conti as Einstein and although he isn’t on the screen much, the moments are important. Also, Branagh as Bohr and again, it is not a huge role but he puts his stamp on the beginning and the end.

Although most viewers may not grasp quantum physics or hydrogen bomb theory etc. (honestly, I can barely do algebra), it is fascinating to see it come to life. It is an actual character to be watched in the film, it is a character that takes up the screen both verbally and physically with only one purpose – to scare the living daylights out of us all.

OPPENHEIMER is one of the best movies of the year and it is intense, jaw dropping, thought-provoking and worthy of conversations. The cinematography is equally all of those things but I would expect nothing less from Nolan. Writing and directing this film means he was totally invested in the outcome and that, my friends, is unique and filled with originality. I can say it’s going to be difficult for Nolan to beat this, but I have a feeling he will.

In the end – the world forever changes!


They Fight with DUMB MONEY: The GameStop Story

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray and Digital from director Craig Gillespie and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is the story of the underdog taking on Wall Street with DUMB MONEY: The GameStop Story.

It is 2020 and Keith Gill (Paul Dano) spends his spare time as Roaring Kitty on YouTube talking about the stock market. His day job is a financial analyst and husband to Caroline (Shailene Woodley) while dealing with brother Kevin (Pete Davidson) who still lives with his parents. Covid is running rampant when Keith notices that stock in his favorite place is falling.

GameStop is a place for all those who play games and Keith buys stock telling his viewers on YouTube all about it. He believes that hedge fun firms like Melvin Capital founded by Gabe Plotkin (Seth Rogen) have been short selling the stock. Listening to Roaring Kitty is Jennifer (America Ferrera) and she buys into the stock as well. Joining the ranks are college students Riri (Myha’la Herrold) and Harmony (Talia Ryder) and GameStop employee Marcos (Anthony Ramos).

They aren’t the only ones as people start aggressively buying stock and begin really following Roaring Kitty. Using the trading site Robinhood co-owned by Vald Tenev (Sebastian Stan), there is a huge surge of stocks and people begin to see they can make real money. Plotkin realizes he is in trouble when Ken Griffin (Nick Offerman) of Citadel finds a way to turn things around. That is when the United States House Committee on Financial Services decides to step in and find out what is truly going on and who is responsible.

Those who invested are stunned at what is happening and Keith stands firm in his belief only to discover there are those who stand with him, no matter what it takes.

Dano as Keith is a very quiet man who tries not to rock the boat in his life. Spending time on his YouTube just allows him a chance to talk about what he is interested in and that is the pattern of what happens on Wall Street. GameStop is, as for a lot of gamers, a place that brings them the joy of gaming so owing stock seemed the right thing. Dano gives his character the complexities of a man trying to take care of his family, working a straight job and having a few moments of online fun who never expected it to blow up. I enjoyed his portrayal and it is believable down to its core. 

Davidson as Kevin looked like he was having so much fun because this role is not, in any way, a far-reaching stretch. Most of Davidson’s roles are like this but Kevin stands out as the brother who just likes to be a pain – and it works! Woodley as Caroline stands behind her husband, even when things get strange and believes in him. There really isn’t huge chemistry between the two characters but it doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of the story.

Rogen as Plotkin spends most of the film running, with a phone stuck to his ear and sweating – a lot. I mean I would too if I was losing billions (yes, millions with a b). Rogen has the unique ability to play nervous and he does it so well. Ferrera as Jennifer is a nurse that just wants a financial break, not the world, just a small break and her nerves are just as intense as Plotkin’s but for different reasons.

Herrold as Riri, Ryder as Harmony and Ramos as Marcos are people who believed in the Roaring Kitty and are willing to hold as long as he does. They not only hold but begin to understand the workings of Wall Street and are all in when it comes to stopping them from squashing the little guy! Stan as Tenev is a man who claims he is for the people but when a large chunk of money is thrown his way, he becomes worse than Robinhood. 

Shout out to Offerman and D’Onofrio because I was watching these two giggle at each of their characters. They know they are sleazy and enjoy it with a side order of rich. 

Other cast include Kate Burton as Elaine Gill, Clancy Brown as Steven Gill, Rushi Kota as Baiju Bhatt, Larry Owens as Chris, Dane DeHaan as Brad, Deniz Akdeniz as Briggsy, Olivia Thirlby as Yaara Plotkin and Vincent D’Onofrio as Steve Cohen.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment encompasses motion picture production for television, digital content and theater releases. The studios include Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems, TriStar Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, Stage 6 Films and Sony Picture Classics. To see what is coming to theaters and to home entertainment please visit www.sonypictures.com.

MOVIES ANYWHERE gives viewers the ability to download the Movies Anywhere App. With that you can view films by downloading or streaming to your favorite device using a Digital Code. For more information on Movies Anywhere please visit www.MoviesAnywhere.com.

Special Feature include Fat Cats vs. The Roaring Kitty, Diamond Hand Ensemble, Join the Cast & Discover the Insane True Story!, Deleted Scenes and Filmmaker Commentary. 

DUMB MONEY is a great way for people to learn about what happens when you don’t understand what the rich are doing on Wall Street. Just the fact that they use the term ‘dumb money’ would make me want to find a few bucks to invest with. It is a shame that Roaring Kitty isn’t still around because I’d follow him!

The cast is brilliant at keeping the intensity up for the entire film. I found myself yelling at the screen as well before I realizes I was doing it. There are relationships in the midst of the madness but what is clear is that along with the learning comes a new found understanding that life is full of chances but only to those who are willing to risk losing a little.

In the end – bank on humor!




THE HOLDOVERS

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray, DVD and Digital from director Alexander Payne and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is the togetherness of THE HOLDOVERS

It is 1970 and Paul Hunham (Paul Giamatti) is considered a teacher at Barton Academy that no one wants to be around, students or staff. Known for his rules and strictness, it comes as no surprise when he is asked to stay behind at Barton Academy for the Christmas holidays and the ‘holdover’ students who have no place to go. 

Agnus Tully (Dominic Sessa) is a forward student who doesn’t mind speaking his piece. Getting ready to go to Saint Kitts, he challenges Hunham’s decision about a test taking but karma has other plans. Tully’s mother burst the young man’s holiday bubble and now he is one of the holdovers. Also staying behind is Mary Lamb (Da’Vine Joy Randolph), the cafeteria administrator is grieving the loss of her son killed in Vietnam. 

After a few days, some of the kids are taken off by one of the boys’ parents with the approval of staff. The only one left is Tully, now it is just a student, professor and cafeteria lady left behind. Hunham and Tully continually butt heads and argue with each other but something begins to happen between them as well. 

Taking a trip to Boston, professor and student start talking, asking questions and realizing they have more in common than they could have ever imagined. Truths are told and pain is felt together when it becomes clear the reasons for Tully’s behavior and Hunham’s attitude about life in general.

They travel the road of redemption together.

Giamatti as Hunham is a man that is by the book and living with the ridicule of others. Being a professor, he is almost met with the distain of his students who do not see any reason to learn all that is learnable. When he tussles with student Agnus, there is verbal shots fired but when the smoke clears, there begins an understanding that is deep and palpable. This is a man who has been living a secluded life at the Barton Academy for reasons of his own and shut himself off from anyone that comes close to him. Giamatti always gives such a strong performance no matter what character he is playing but, in this film, Giamatti blossoms wonderfully.

Sessa as Tully is a young man who is trying to find his place in the world but in all the wrong ways. Constantly challenging Hunham at every turn, it becomes slowly clear what is driving his hostility and anger. Sessa gives his young character heart that is broken by the adults that are in his life that should be there for him instead of their own selfishness. When the layers begin to peel back, he sees that the man he has despised will be the adult who doesn’t let him down.  

Randolph as Mary is a woman grieving for the loss of her son trying to find a way to move forward. She isn’t happy about the holdover situation but does her job and surprisingly gets to know Hunham through the quiet of the school and the chance to just talk. Trying to deal with her grief over the holidays becomes a challenge and Hunham is there for her. Randolph gives her character moments of weakness where the grief becomes too much but also finds those who will be there for her. Randolph gives a gentle and heartbreaking performance.  

Other cast include Naheem Garcia as Danny, Carrie Preston as Lydia Crane, Tate Donovan as Stanley, Darby Lily as Elise, Andrew Garman as Dr. Hardy Woodrip, Brady Hepner as Teddy, Stephen Thorne as Thomas Tully, Gillian Vigman as Judy, Jan Dolley as Alex, Jim Kaplan as Ye-Joon, Michael Provost as Jason Smith, 

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment has just added an amazing film to their library and making it available for us to all experience and re-experience in our own home theaters. There are films of every genre available from scary to drama to family films. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.uphe.com.

MOVIES ANYWHERE gives viewers the ability to download the Movies Anywhere App. With that you can view films by downloading or streaming to your favorite device using a Digital Code. For more information on Movies Anywhere please visit www.MoviesAnywhere.com.

Collector’s Edition Bonus Feature include Alternate Ending – “Mary Continues On”, Deleted Scenes, Introduction by Alexander Payne, New Room, Making a Scene, The Road Back to Barton, Ancient History, The Cast of THE HOLDOVERS – Sit down with the cast of THE HOLDOVERS, including Paul Giamatti, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, and newcomer Dominic Sessa while they discuss getting into the minds of their characters, Meet the boys of Barton and learn more about director Alexander Payne’s casting process, and Working with Alexander – Hear the cast and crew about their on-set experience working with acclaimed director Alexander Payne.

THE HOLDOVERS is a film in the same vein as TO SIR WITH LOVE (1967), DEAD POETS SOCIETY (1989), STAND AND DELIVER (1988), LEAN ON ME (1989), GOOD WILL HUNTING (1997), and MONA LISA SMILE (2003) and what makes these so memorable is the story, character and emotion that is relatable.

Having the right person lead the ensemble, meaning the teacher, is so very important and Paul Giamatti is absolutely the right person. Keeping the ensemble to three people allows us to get to know these characters and become truly invested in their lives. We all have had the school experience, the disappointment in grown-ups and the life challenges as adults. THE HOLDOVERS lets us in and allows us to be angry, grieve and celebrate what it means to be a growing human being in every aspect. Well done!

In the end – it is the season of discomfort and joy!

They are in FREUD’S LAST SESSION

Jeri Jacquin

In theatres from director Mathew Brown and Sony Picture Classics comes a stunning look at two men questioning their own existence with FREUD’S LAST SESSION.

Jack, C.S. Lewis (Matthew Goode), finds himself meeting with Sigmund Freud (Anthony Hopkins) and the conversation between has Jack thrown. They begin by discussing their differences in religion which is taking place as all around them in England they are preparing for World War II. Jack also notices that there is something peculiar in Freud’s physical behavior.

Taking care of her father is Anna (Liv Lisa Fries) who is also in the field of psychology and teaches at the university along with friend Dorothy Burlingham (Jodi Balfour). She is tied to her father in such a knot that Dorothy worries that her friend does not have a will of her own. That causes tension in their friendship but Anna, in fact, knows she speaks the truth.

The afternoon between Jack and Freud stops briefly as there is a bomb-dropping threat and Freud begins to see his companion’s pain. They discuss Jack’s experience in World War I and Freud openly discusses the relationship with his own father. Both men are ardent in their beliefs and change might not happen for either.

Freud, however, is curious about Jack’s friendship with J.R.R. Tolkien and where his desire to write about fantasy comes from. There begins Freud’s openness with the discussion of sex and tries to explain to Jack that everything is about sex but not in the way most people think. Although Jack, at times, is frustrated with Freud, there is also a clear bond forming between the two men as realizations come forefront with no escape emotionally for either of them.

Hopkins as Freud is stellar, stunning and absolutely perfect for the role. In this character he gives us a man who is confrontational, a bit manipulative, believes in what he is saying but could be persuaded with a bit of humor. The character of Freud seems, at times, almost amused by the questions Jack asks and always has an answer that either stuns or brings on another question. Astounding. Surrounded by statues of ‘gods’ and saints, Hopkins shows Freud as a man who has lived a painful life in his own right and someone who is considering his own mortality. I adored watching Hopkins mastery in this film, pure perfection.

Goode as Jack (C.S. Lewis) is a man also sure of his convictions about God and man. Goode performs his character as catching out Freud in such a smooth way but never really cornering the very smooth Freud. Jack doesn’t seem to have a malicious bone in his body but sparing with Freud seems to bring him to thinking more about his beliefs and the fears that are still following him. I must say that Goode stunned me in this role, he brought out a deep sense of me wanting to protect Jack in a way from ‘the monster’ which means this actor did his job also with pure perfection. 

Fries as Anna is a woman who is tied to her father in ways that are so deep that even Jack brings it up to Freud. She has grown to be a respected professor in child psychology and teaches but the moment her father calls, she is panicked to the point of terror. Fries portrays her character with grace and left me wanting to know more of her story. Balfour as Jodi is a friend who sees what Anna is going through and interjecting means causing Anna more pain. Her role might be small but it has big significance.

Cast also includes Jeremy Northam as Ernest Jones and Orla Brady as Janie Moore, Stephen Moore as JRR Tolkien, Rhys Mannion as a young C.S. Lewis, Padraic Delaney as Warren Lewis, Tarek Bishara as Jacob Freud and Lukas Sweeney as young Sigmund Freud. 

Sony Pictures Classics brings television, digital content, new entertainment services, independent films and technologies to viewers. Such films as GREED, THE BURNT ORANGE HERESY, THE CLIMB, CHARM CITY KINGS, I CARRY YOU WITH ME and THE FATHER are just a few of the current and upcoming releases. For more information on what Sony Pictures Classics has to offer please visit www.sonyclassics.com.  

FREUD’S LAST SESSION is a brilliant piece of filmmaking telling the story of two men who are coming to terms with their fears during a terrifying time in history. The backdrop of World War II brings a sense of urgency for these two men to talk before there is no time to talk. As people pack up to go anywhere but where they are is prevalent, so is seeing children being put on trains in order to save them from what might be coming.

I have read many books on Freud and although he is revered, I recognized a few quirks in his life and can be linked to the parts of his life that were traumatic. Reading C.S. Lewis (and Tolkien) has been part of my life since I was a child. So, having these two men in a film together portrayed by Hopkins and Goode in such an amazing way, FREUD’S LAST SESSION is award worthy.

The last ten minutes of the film had my jaw dropping as the visitation between Freud and Jack come to a challenging point. Yet, at the same time, I saw some truth in both of these beautiful characters. The film is based on the stage play Freud’s Last Session written by Mark St. Germain and that is based on the book The Question of God by Armand Nicholi.

In the end – so many questions, so little time!

Return of THE RAID REDEMPTION

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to 4K Ultra HD and Steelbook from writer/director Gareth Evans and Sony Pictures Classics is THE RAID REDEMPTION.

Officer Rama (Iko Uwais) is part of the Mobil Brigade Corps that is led by Sgt. Jaka (Joe Taslim) and Lt. Wahyu (Pierre Gruno). There is a plan raid on an apartment building and their target is crime lord Tama Riyadi (Ray Sahetapy) but to get to him, the group must get past most tenants that are criminals and live under his protection. With a plan in place, they arrive at the building and met by a tenant who is trying to take care of his ill spouse.

Gaining entry, the brigade makes its way floor by floor and by the 6th floor they are detected and now dealing with Tama’s men coming from below and above. Knowing they are trapped, Jaka asks Wahyu to call for reinforcements and learns the truth about what they are doing. Finding momentary reprieve in an empty apartment, they aren’t safe for long. 

Seeing all of this from Tama’s cameras that are strategically placed everywhere in the building is Andi (Donny Alamsyah) who feels the need to help Rama. The biggest threat is Mad Dog (Yayan Ruhian) who is laser focused on doing as much damage as possible to every cop he meets. As Jaka gets up higher and higher in the building, more secrets are revealed and his determination to survive and bring out the surviving officers 

Uwais as Rama is a man who is just trying to get home to a wife who is expecting their first child. Trusting in the men he is being led by, going into the criminal apartment complex that is filled with those who will protect their gangster leader at all costs. Once Rama realizes what he is up against, Uwais puts his character into full steam ahead with swift and spectacular martial arts. 

Alamsyah as Andi is working for Tama but there is a secret he is keeping from his crime boss. Once he teams up with Rama, there is only one person standing in their way and don’t let his size fool you. Ruhian as Mad Dog is that size! He is a one-man death-wrecking crew who doesn’t need to say much as his action make it clear who he is.

Sahetapy as Tama is ruthless and has control of more than just the apartment building. He is feared by everyone and crossing him is a death sentence. With almost everyone in his pocket, Rama knows that he is not going to give up. Taslim as Sgt. Jaka leads his men into the building and realizes too late that they are not going to be walking back out the front door alive. 

Other cast include Alfridus Godfred, Henky Solaiman, Fikha Effendi, Verdi Soliman, Ananda George, Yusuf Opilus, Iang Darmawan as Gofar, Tegar Satrya as Bowo, Eka Rahmadia as Dagu.

Sony Pictures Classics brings television, digital content, new entertainment services, independent films and technologies to viewers. Such films as GREED, THE BURNT ORANGE HERESY, THE CLIMB, CHARM CITY KINGS, I CARRY YOU WITH ME and THE FATHER are just a few of the current and upcoming releases. For more information on what Sony Pictures Classics has to offer please visit www.sonyclassics.com.  

MOVIES ANYWHERE gives viewers the ability to download the Movies Anywhere App. With that you can view films by downloading or streaming to your favorite device using a Digital Code. For more information on Movies Anywhere please visit www.MoviesAnywhere.com.

Special Features include Unrated Version of the Feature Presented in 4K Resolution with Dolby Vision,5.1 Indonesian and English Audio, Commentary with Gareth Evans, Behind-the-Scenes Video Blogs, Inside the Score, In Conversation with Gareth Evans and Mike Shinoda, An Evening with Gareth Evans, Mike Shinoda and Joe Trapanese, Behind the Music with Mike Shinoda and Joe Trapanese, Anatomy of a Scene with Gareth Evans, Claycat’s THE RAID, THE RAID TV Show Ad (circa 1994) and Theatrical Trailer. 

This is definetly an epic martial arts film as the cast goes floor to floor meeting some of the most vicious criminals that the crime lord Tama could gather together. Director Evans, who also wrote the script, had a vision that played fantastically on the screen. The apartment building itself plays a pivotal role in the fight scenes and ultimate survival of Rama and his team. 

The cinematography is stunning keeping the greyish danger lurking around every corner. The skill of the martial arts is intense and exactly what I would expect and, of course, Uwais, Ruhian and Alamsyah are the stars. The scene between these three men had my own bones aching after it was all over. 

If you are needing an intense one hundred and two-minute thrill ride of action and suspense then curl up, popcorn bowl in hand and be prepared to cheer for survival with THE RAID REDEMPTION. 

In the end – survival is their mission!  

The New Year Brings a New Thriller with I.S.S.

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres from director Gabriela Cowperthwaite, LD Entertainment and Bleecker Street is a welcoming in of the new year with a thriller in space aboard the I.S.S.

The Americans and Russia are having their difficulties on earth but up on the I.S.S. The American crew with Gordon Barrett (Chris Messina), Christian (John Gallagher Jr.) and newcomer Dr. Kira Foster (Ariana DeBose) each have a job to do. The Russian crew with Nicholai (Costa Ronin), Weronika (Maria Mashikova) and Alexey (Pilou Asbaek) do their job as well.

But in tight quarters, of course they have their moments to share a bit of alcohol, laughs, music and together time. Showing newcomer Kira the ropes, she settles in quickly and discovers a camaraderie among her shipmates. They even show her an amazing view of their world from an observation bubble.

All of it quickly brings chaos when Kira notices bright lights coming from Earth. At first, she believes it is a volcano but the other crew quickly get back inside the craft and seal the hatch. Each side of the crew try to contact their commands but they are getting nothing, no information, no contact, nothing.

That is until Barrett receives a message telling him that the United States and Russia are at war and to take control of I.S.S. Believing that the Russians have received the same message, a feeling of distrust begins to take over each side. The problem with mistrust and being friends is a very thin line – duty vs. friendship come into play.

Until contact can be resumed, orders are orders, by any means necessary.

Messina as Barrett seems to be the figurehead for the group and he maintains a close friendship not only with Nicholai but Weronika as well. Barrett is the level head on the ship from the get go. I enjoy the roles that Messina choses to play because they are so uniquely different. In this role he truly does try to keep a level head when it seems all others are losing theirs. Ronin as Nicholai truly does have a friendship with Barrett as they talk of home and chess. Ronin’s character is the figurehead for the Russian group as he makes it clear what his goals are from the start. I must admit I absolutely loved his character in the Showtime series HOMELAND, unpredictable and sly which is a role he is so deliciously good at playing

DeBose as Kira chose space to explore medical experimentation in space. She is tough, reasonable and realizes as the ‘newbie’ to the group, she knows less about her shipmates which just might be to her advantage. DeBose embraces what is happening and rather than lose it, she takes it step by step. Asbaek as Alexey, Kira’s Russian experimentation counterpart, gets a chance to break away from his GOT role and board a different kind of ship. He is that character in the middle of it all and making decisions gets difficult as well. I have been a fan of Asbaek’s since first seeing him in 2010 in the hit series BORGEN (find and binge immediately!). He is every changing and I’m always surprised at what he accomplishes with a role.  

Mashikova as Weronika is a woman who seems to love being in space and knows how to make it more bearable which she immediately shares with Kira. In space she has also found a care for Barrett and cannot comprehend nor agree with what is being asked of them. I like a woman who doesn’t take any guff and stands her ground. Gallagher Jr. as Christian is the odd duck on ship, but then again there is always one in space films. He knows the inner workings of the ship and makes it clear to Kira that they need to stick together. That being said, space and fear make people do crazy things.

Bleecker Street is a New York City film company that has brought outstanding films to the public. Their library includes TRUMBO, DENIAL, THE LOST CITY OF Z, BEIRUT, HOTEL MUMBAI, ORDINARY LOVE and THE ROADS NOT TAKEN. For more information on the titles from Bleeker Street please visit www.bleeckerstreetmedia.com.

Director Cowperthwaite has chosen her projects so very well beginning with the 2013 documentary BLACKFISH that stunned audiences world-wide, MEGAN LEAVEY became her first feature film in 2017, and in 2019 she squeezed hearts in the drama OUR FRIEND. Watching her films, I see a director that is very clear about her vision and with I.S.S. she takes risks in every scene and I went for it absolutely.

With a cast of six, let us not forget the seventh character – space itself. It has a big part to play from its view of what people on earth are doing to one another to the reality that outside the ship you are on your own. When I watch films about space, that last one is always on my mind because if you can’t trust those inside to have your back, you might as well unhook and float away!

On the International Space Station, the room inside the I.S.S. is very tight not leaving much room to do things quietly. Space station cameras everywhere and everyone having access to the same places, that is what gives the story its intensity and thrill. It is all out in the open and being secretive won’t work as each of the characters discovers.

I usually don’t have much hope for films in January but I.S.S. has given me a glimmer of hope. It goes straight into survival mode immediately and we hang-on until literally the end credits as the paranoia become so palpable. It becomes a who-do-you-trust game in a place that will call out each character for who they are and what they are willing to do. 

There are a few more surprises but I think definetly I.S.S. is a film for everyone to experience for themselves. You don’t need me spoiling it for you so suffice to say I had a grand time from start to finish with this so well done film. Put on your space suits – the ride is going to get a bit rough!

In the end – the war on earth will be decided in space!

Disney Gives us a WISH Once Again


Jeri Jacquin

On 4K Ultra HD, Bluray and DVD from directors Chris Buck, Fawn Veerasunthorn and Walt Disney Home Entertainment comes a big WISH.

Asha (Ariana DeBose) is a young teen girl who lives on an island in the kingdom of Rosas. Ruled by King Magnifico (Chris Pine) and the lovely Queen Amaya (Angelique Cabral), this is no ordinary kingdom. After studying sorcery, the King is able to grant heart’s desires by collecting wishes and protecting them. He does hold ceremonies where he chooses wishes to grant.

The one thing that Asha truly wants is for her grandfather Sabino’s (Victor Garber) to have his wish granted. He has waited so long that Asha believes if she can become an apprentice of King Magnifico, he can possibly help. When Asha is interviewed, she actually sees who the King truly is and is saddens her. She feels it best to tell her grandfather and mother Sakina (Natasha Rothwell) that the wish isn’t going to happen.

Knowing the king is deceiving the people of Rosas, Asha goes to a special spot on the island and makes her own wish. Quickly, a ball of light lands causing quite a stir and upsets Magnifico! Asha names the light and Star gives the forest animals the ability to talk, along with her goat Valentino (Alan Tudyk). Magnifico sees the light as a threat and turns to a dark magic to find who is responsible for what is happening.

That’s when Asha and Star call up her friends Dahlia (Jennifer Kumiyama), Bazeema (Della Saba), Dario (Jon Rudnitsky), Hal (Niko Vargas) and Safi (Ramy Youssef), along with the people of Rosas to stand against a power that could destroy it all.

DeBose as Asha lends her voice to a strong teen character who learns that what she believes to be true is not exactly the same as what is true. Disappointed in learning that someone she looks up to is human after all, she takes it upon herself to bring the true meaning of Rosas and the people together with the help of a little ball of light.

Pine as King Magnifico starts out as quite a showman but it is what is behind the wall in the top of the castle that shows the truth. Pine gives his character the voice of a leader who isn’t all quite in favor of the good of the people. Cabral as Queen Amaya has supported her husband but becomes suspicious of what is happening when he turns Amaya away. She tries to help the King find his path and has no problem standing up for what is right.

Tudyk as Valentino is the comic relief of the animal kingdom. Once he finds his voice, he doesn’t hesitate to use it and I am all for it. Kumiyama, Saba, Rudnitsky, Vargas and Youssef are the supporting characters who are just delightful to watch. The group shows exactly what friendship is all about and also stand up for what is right.

Other cast include Harvey Guillen as Gabo and Evan Peters as Simon.

Walt Disney Studios continues to bring quality programming to kids and kids at heart. Home of the most beloved animated features including SNOW WHITE, PINOCCHIO and SLEEPING BEAUTY to name a few is what keeps families coming back for more. To see what is coming from Walt Disney Studios please visit. www.movies.disney.com.  

Bonus Features include Sing Along with the Movie, Featurette: Once Upon a Studios, 100 Years in the Making, What Makes Disney Disney, The WISH Equation, Looking Backward to go Forward, Where Dreams and Reality Collide, Asha Means WISH, The Return of the Disney Villain, Star is Born, Those Who Stand Beside Me, and When Wishes Come True.

Also, Featurette: WISH D- Classified, Featurette: Outtakes, Featurette: Deleted Song “A Wish Worth Making”, Deleted Scenes, and Song Selection. 

WISH is a charming film from beginning to end. The story is one of family, love, loyalty, friendship and the kind heartedness of a young girl. She wants what is best for her family and knows that she cannot change things without the help of her loyal friends.

Star is the silent star of the film with the lightness, playfulness and steadfastness Disney has come to be generationally known for. There is silliness mixed into it all and a togetherness when it comes time for the final confrontation.

We see the film as a family and really have a wonderful time together. This is a story that reaches into children’s hearts but also gives adults something amazing as well and there is nothing wrong with that.

In the end – be careful what you wish for!

Apple TV+ Flies with MASTERS OF THE AIR

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Apple TV+ from Executive Producers Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman and developed by John Orloff is the miniseries about World War II fliers who are MASTERS OF THE AIR.

It is World War II and Major Cleven (Austin Butler), Commander of the 350, and Major Egan (Callum Turner) are leading the 100th Bomb Group to join up with the 8th Air Force in England to go up against Germany. Cleven is saying his goodbyes to sweetheart Marge (Isabel May) and makes his way with the group to fly some of the most dangerous missions of the war. 

Major Harry Crosby (Anthony Boyle), Capt. John D. Brady (Ben Radcliffe) and Lt. Biddick (Barry Keoghan) are more pilots who meets up with Cleven as the later pilot shows how dangerous landings can be. There is no time for them to learn the lay of the land as their first mission comes in to bomb a U-boat factory. Knowing they are flying into enemy territory; each man prepares in his own way. Cleven comes back from the mission a bit shell shocked wanting to know why buddy Egan didn’t warn him how brutal it could be.

Sgt. Lemmons (Rafferty Law) is a young man who is keeping the planes in the air. He and his on the ground crew patch, fix, repair and send up the planes going on the missions. Those staying at the base would spend every moment preparing each plane and its crew for the next mission, and in this case after German submarines. 

Clevens learn who will be going on the next flight to Africa and getting there as a precision placed group of flyers is the only way to make the mission a success. Each mission is different, sending these men into different parts of the world to make it clear to Germany that what is coming toward them from the air is bravery and determination.

This is only a small part of a larger pictures with these masters of the air!

Butler as Cleven is a man who doesn’t indulge in the same things as his fellow pilots. Often made the end of jokes, he takes it all in stride with his very calm presence for his team and those who serve with him. Butler has that down home boy swagger and it comes across on the screen as his character is truly respected among the men.

Turner as Egan is the opposite of his friend Cleven. He is open, opinionated and sometimes can cause a bit of trouble but knows the mission and takes it very seriously. Turner gives his character a presence that enhances the friendship between Cleven and Egan and it works so very well. Boyle as Crosby is a pilot who is part of this group of flyers but there is a quiet about him until he is in the pilot’s seat. Then, Boyle’s intensity comes out as he tries to hold it together for the sake of his crew. 

Keoghan as Biddick has his own flying ways and even has a few misses of his own. Keoghan is coming off recognition for his role in the film SALTBURN but in MASTERS OF THE AIR, he is showing his diverse talent in uniform. Law as Lemmons is an extremely young man of 19 who has great responsibility on the airfield. Being a bit of a kid still, he has come to make friends with the kids from the surrounding area. I enjoy when he is on the screen as he adds a little lightheartedness to the story.

It is important to mention as many actors as possible as MASTER OF THE AIR is brimming with talent and they should all be recognized for their stunning performances. 

The extensive cast includes Nikolai Kinski as Col. Huglin, Stephen Moore as Major Bowman, Sawyer Spielberg as Lt. Claytor, Nate Mann as Major Rosenthal, Josipah Cross as Lt. Macon, Branden Cook as Alexander Jefferson, Ncuti Gatwa as Lt. Robert Daniels, Kai Alexander as Sgt. Quinn, James Murray as Major Harding, Fred Carter as Lt. Friedkin, Oaklee Pendergast as Sgt. Hinton, and Louis Greatorex as Capt. Payne.

Also, Adam Long as Capt. DeMarco, Jordan Coulson as Lt. Hamilton, Fionn O’Shea as Sgt. Bosser, Max Hastings as Lt. Allen, Nitai Levi as Sgt. Vrabec, Jr., Laurie Davidson as Lt. Nash, Fracis Lovehall as Captain Pruitt, Luke Whoriskey as Lt. Biller, Bradley Banton as Lt. Archer, Edward Ashley as Lt. Kidd, Kieron Moore as Sgt. Starkey, David Shields as Major Blakely, Luke Coughlan as Sgt. Johnson, Neil Pendelton as Sgt. Stewart, Jon Ewart as Lt. Couch, Daniel Briggs as Sgt. Crabb, George Smale as Lt. Nutting, Jonathan Halliwell as Sgt. DeBlasio, John Schwab as Lt. Lann, James Meunier as Lt. Lorch, and Elliott Ross as Lt. Strout.

Sam Hazeldine as Col. Clark, Darragh Cowley as Lt. Graham, Elliot Warren as Lt. Douglass, Adam Silver as Lt. Solomon, Josh Bolt as Lt. Lewis, Louis Sparks as Sgt. Saunders, Sonny Serkis as Lt. Evans, Jack Franklin as Charles Mylius, Kwame Agyei as Lt. Gordon, Phillip Lewitski as Lt. Harper, Alex Boxall as Sgt. Thornton, Rahshan Wall as Lt. Funderburg, Christopher Lakewood as Col. Jeffery, Ian Dunnett as Lt. Bailey, Sid Phoenix as Ralph Nist, Robert Hands as Major Smiloleit, Jojo Macari as Captain Petrich, George Webster as Lt. Dye, John Hopkins as Dr. Stover, Sam Rosenthal as A. Jacobs and Nathen Solly as Lt. Hoerr.

Joanna Kulig as Paulina, Bel Powey as Alexandra Wingate, Lauren McQueen as Rose, Amelia Gething as Isabel and Mimi Slinger as Sally. 

Apple TV+ is a video on demand web television that debuted in 2019 viewable through the Apple TV app. CEO Tim Cook wanted original content calling it “a great opportunity for us from a creation point of view”. From THE MORNING SHOW to TRYING and THE BANKER and Jason Momoa in SEE, there is plenty of choices for everyone. Plenty of genres? That is exactly what they are bringing to viewers and to see more of what they have to offer please visit www.apple.com/tv/.

The series includes the first four episodes directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, episodes five and six directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, episodes seven and eight directed by Dee Rees and episode nine by Tim Van Patten. 

The series is based on the 2007 book by Donald Miller Masters of the Air: America’s Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany. Executive Producers Steven Spielberg (Amblin Television), Tom Hanks (Playtone) and Gary Goetzman are also responsible for bringing the series BAND OF BROTHERS in 2001 and THE PACIFIC in 2010. 

One of the most important things I can say about this film is that the cast is seamless in portraying their characters. It is not only the story of war, but of these men who are trying to live some semblance of a life knowing that with every mission comes the severely high risk of not coming back. There is a camaraderie, even when they are tense with each other, that comes through when it counts the most. 

The cinematography and special flying effects are stunning to watch and add richness, and intensity, to the story that is being told. We live in such a modern warfare and technological age that it can be incomprehensible what these pilots, crews and ground crews went through with the crudest of weapons to win the war again a cruel enemy. 

Costuming and choice of where shooting the series brought me deep into each episode as I found myself feeling tensed up and a lot of the time with my jaw dropped and strong inhales of ‘whoa!’. I would expect nothing less from Spielberg, Hanks and Goetzman as they have proven with their other collaborations. They are truly interested in the authenticity, depth and intensity of the stories they put on screen and the result is another series that will keep audiences captivated. 

This is a very vague review of this series and that is because I honestly believe that the entire series is one worth the time to experience on one’s own. So, knowing that, Apple TV+ brings nine episodes of MASTERS OF THE AIR and you can believe when I say that every single one of these episodes is iconic, historic and stunning!

In the end – join them in the air!


Revisiting the Horror of THANKSGIVING

Jeri Jacquin

Coming from infamous director Eli Roth and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment comes a serving up of the bloody kind on THANKSGIVING.

It’s the holiday season in Plymouth, Massachusetts and a time for family gathering and good food. That is unless you own the local RightMart store that is having a Black Friday sale. Jessica’s (Nell Verlaque) knows all to well of the chaos as her father Thomas (Rick Hoffman) owns the store. Store manager Mitch (Ty Victor Olsson) has missed his family’s dinner to run to the store and handle the out-of-control crowd. 

Jessica takes boyfriend Bobby (Jalen Brooks) and friends Evan (Tomaso Sanelli), Yulia (Jenna Warren), Scuba (Gabriel Davenport) and Evan through a side store door but see what is happening outside. When the people outside see them, it causes a break through the store doors and the horror is captured, posted on social media and Bobby disappears. 

A year later, RightMart is having another Black Friday sale and residents are not happy about it, especially Mitch. Jessica, new boyfriend Ryan (Milo Manheim) and friends wake up to be tagged in a social media post. It is eerie with a photo of a well-set Thanksgiving table with their names on the plate tags. Not long after, murder begins to happen in their small town by someone in a John Carver mask. 

Sheriff Eric Newlon (Patrick Dempsey) is on the case and knows everyone that is involved in the posting. He tries to reassure everyone that he is following all leads. As the killings continue, Jessica and Bobby try to figure out what is causing it all. From axes to buzzsaws, it leads them ever closer to who is responsible for tearing up their Thanksgiving once again.

Verlaque as Jessica is a young woman dealing with a future step-mother, a father who has checked out a bit and a boyfriend who has disappeared. A year after the incident, Jessica is trying to live a normal life with very little success. When Bobby reappears, she is confused but that doesn’t last as the killings begin. Verlaque gives a strong female role but that doesn’t mean horror is put on the back burner.

Brooks as Bobby is dealing with his own serious trauma from the RightMart tragedy. Coming home Brooks’ character Bobby wants the chance to make things right with Jessica. That gets put on hold when he also wants to find out who is killing off everyone from the tragedy. Manheim as Ryan is the show off of the group and the loudest which isn’t the smartest thing if you are trying to avoid an axe murderer.

Dempsey as the town sheriff knows the families and kids involved. He makes it clear that he wants to find the killer. Dempsey definetly fits the look of a town law man as he navigates trying to put the pieces together of why anyone would kill in such a cruel manner. 

Other cast include Addison Rae as Gaby, Tim Dillon as Manny, Russell Yuen as Peter Chu, Derek McGrath as Mayor Cantin, Jeff Teravainen as Bret Labelle, Joe Delfin as McCarty, Karen Cliché as Kathleen, Gina Gershon as Amanda Collins and Adam MacDonald as the voice of John Carver.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment encompasses motion picture production for television, digital content and theater releases. The studios include Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems, TriStar Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, Stage 6 Films and Sony Picture Classics. To see what is coming to theaters and to home entertainment please visit www.sonypictures.com.

MOVIES ANYWHERE gives viewers the ability to download the Movies Anywhere App. With that you can view films by downloading or streaming to your favorite device using a Digital Code. For more information on Movies Anywhere please visit www.MoviesAnywhere.com.

Special Features on Bluray and Digital include Exclusives, Deleted & Extended Scenes, Outtakes, Massachusetts Movies: Eli & Jeff’s Early Films, Behind the Screams, Gore Galore and Commentary with Eli Roth and Jeff Rendell. The DVD Special Features include Behind the Screams, Gore Galore and Commentary with Eli Roth and Jeff Rendell. 

THANKSGIVING puts the gore in horror and doesn’t forget to add bits of twisted humor, the reality of Black Friday store shopping and plenty of ‘who-dun’ it’. Roth puts it all in a shaker and, like blood splatter, throws it up against the wall to see what it will look like. There is nothing left to the imagination and a few creative bits of gruesome that I hadn’t even considered, well done Mr. Roth.

My family loves Thanksgiving, the preparation, eating but not so much the clean-up. So, we find a way to distract ourselves from it and watch a some of our favorite movies. We are always looking for new and interesting additions and are quite picky. There should be no surprise to anyone who knows us as a family that ‘feel good rom-coms’ are not on the list. THANKSGIVING is now the top of our list!

There was cheering, groaning, laughing – you know, all the inappropriate reactions to a good horror film. That makes Roth practically family!

In the end – this year there will be no leftovers! 



Welcome Back to WILLY’S WONDERLAND

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to 4K Ultra HD and Bluray from director Kevin Lewis and Scream Factory comes camp and horror at WILLY’S WONDERLAND.

Driving down the road in Hayesville Nevada, a quiet man’s (Nicholas Cage) car hits a spike strip that causes him to have to call for a tow truck. Being told by Jed (Chris Warner) what the cost to replace his tires and having no funds, he is offered a one-night position that would take care of the bill. All he has to do is be the janitor at Willy’s Wonderland for owner Tex Macadoo (Ric Reitz) and clean up the place.

Liv Hawthorne (Emily Toasta) bucks against her Sheriff Lund (Beth Grant), she plans to take her friends to Willy’s Wonderland to burn it to the ground. Inside, the new Janitor takes his word seriously yet feels like something is odd about the animatronics in the place. There is Willy Weasel, Arty Alligator, Cammy Chameleon, Ozzie Ostrich, Tito Turtle, Knighty Knight, Gus Gorilla and Siren Sara and he is keeping an eye on them all.

Kicking up the music, drinking energy drinks and finding a pin ball machine, the Janitor passes the time by himself. That is until Ozzie Ostrich decides to be the very first of the animatronics to attack him. While this is happening, Sherriff Lund is telling Deputy Olson (David Sheftell) the story about the town and Willy’s Wonderland which includes who the animatronics really are.

That is when Liv arrives with her friends with the intention of burning the place but first, they want to rescue the Janitor who is still inside. None of her friends believes that the animatronics are moving until they are forced to believe, and the Janitor must repeatedly step in.

They must somehow make it till morning!

Cage as the unsuspecting Janitor is cool from beginning to end without ever giving anything away. Loaded up on energy drinks, music and pinball, the animatronics do not stand a chance. He is calm, cool, collected and ready to kick some metal and plastic ass. I actually love Cage in this role because he is the only one in the film that is not losing his focus both in cleaning Willy’s Wonderland and dealing with taking out the trash. Fantastic!

Toasta as Liv is a young girl with a story of her own that is linked to Willy’s Wonderland and she has one goal – to see it turned into ashes. What she does not expect is a night filled with terror running from something that does not make any sense. Toasta is just as wild as the Janitor so they make an excellent pairing to survive.

Grant as the Sherriff tells the story of Willy’s Wonderland and it makes one’s jaw drop to think that knowing what she does, that going along to get along is okay. Let me tell you, if animatronics were freaking out my community, trust when I say it would be all hands-on deck for a fight like no other.

Warner and Reitz are in it together from start to finish playing off one another in a bid to keep Willy’s Wonderland, well, operational. Sheftell as Deputy Olson does not have a clue about the town he is living in and even after he is told there does not seem to be much of a chance that he will help the overnight janitor.

Other cast include Kai Kadlec as Chris Muley, Caylee Cowan as Kathy Barnes, Terayle Hill as Bob McDaniel, Christian Del Grosso as Aaron Powers, Jonathan Mercedes as Dan Lorraine, and Grant Cramer as Jerry Willis.

Scream Factory releases genre and horror films and television shows under Shout! Studios. They have grown into a tremendous multi-platform media company. Releasing new animated features such as the exquisite Long Way North, and the epic fantasy Beauty and The Beast. Also, their own original horror film, Fender Bender gives fans a good scare. For more of what SHOUT has to offer please visit www.shoutfactory.com.

The WILLY’S WONDERLAND Collector’s Edition Special Features include “Inside Fun” Featurette, Set Tour with Actor Christian Del Grosso, “Fresh Meat” Featurette, “Colorful Darkness and the Demon-Atrons” Featurette, Trailer and Image Galleries. 

Cage absolutely makes the film with his portrayal of the leather jacket turned Willy’s Wonderland t-shirt wearing one night janitor. Just everything he does has a purpose, and every situation gets the same ‘oh this?’ attitude. There is nothing that seems to surprise him which is pretty cool since everyone else around him keeps losing their minds.

I had such a fantastic time watching this film. It has a gitchiness to it as well as the feel of films from the 70’s. The story is campy, but the action is non-stop and spine tingling, literally. This is the new Friday night go to for fun times on the couch with popcorn and a group of like-minded twisted friends.

In the end – let playtime begin!


Prime Brings the Twists of Being EXPATS

Jeri Jacquin

Streaming on Prime Video from writer/director Lulu Wang based on the novel The Expatriates BY Janice Y.K. Lee comes the connected story of people who are trying to understand their lives as EXPATS.

Hong Kong is in an uproar in 2014 and in the midst of it is Margaret Woo (Nicole Kidman), husband Clarke (Brian Tee), children Philip (Bodhi del Rosario), Daisy (Tiana Gowen) and little Gus (Connor James) are living their best life. Helping with the children is Essie (Ruby Ruiz) who the Woo clan feels is part of their family.

On another floor is Hilary Starr (Sarayu Blue) and husband David (Jack Huston) who are trying to decide whether they want family. Dealing with fertility problems, it seems that perhaps it is more than that as a potential answer enters their lives through the twisted hand of fate. Also in the Starr household is housekeeper Puri (Amelyn Pardenilla) who knows more about what happens in their home than they do.

College graduate Mercy (Ji-young Yoo) is living in Hong Kong trying to find her place in the world. Working jobs as a catering server, she feels as if her life has been preordained to be a disaster because of a book she found as a child. Weaving her way through the streets of Hong Kong she tries to make the right choices but gets caught up in her own way.

Each woman discovers that happiness can be stripped away in a matter of a few text messages as their worlds come into question. The questions that arise from tragedy are what is right, what is wrong and what is fair are all in their own hands as they being to understand themselves and one another. 

Kidman as Margaret is a woman who has accepted her life following husband Clarke through his career. Taking care of the household and children have become her life, but when tragedy strikes, Margaret becomes obsessive with everyone around not knowing how to handle it. Kidman character becomes unhinged that her life has been thrown in a direction she isn’t prepared for. Tee as husband Clarke is the calming influence, his character is that of a man who loves his life, family and pretty much has a ‘water off a duck’s back’ to difficulties. Again, here is a character that now has to come face to face with a difficulty that is unimaginable. I enjoyed Tee’s performance as Clarke becomes truly raw and it hits hard.

Blue as Hilary is a force to be reckoned with and don’t plan on trying to get a word in edgewise when her mouth starts motoring. It is her Indian heritage that has steeped her into playing many faces in order to maintain a look of calm and togetherness. Even when forgiving someone, she hides her emotions with talks. Huston as David is one of the people who is caught up in the web of Hilary’s inability to control her talking when things become difficult. Not knowing what is place is in their marriage takes him on reckless path. Huston gives his character a mixture of that recklessness and unreliability to his marriage.

Yoo as Mercy is a young woman emotionally lost in a very large city. Working hard just to pay the rent, Yoo’s character believes something she was told as a young girl. It is so engrained into her psyche that she allows it to be the reason for bad choices. Yoo’s portrayal of Mercy is that of a young woman who will come to terms with life, and those who have been affected by a moment that can not be taken back.  

Pardenilla and Ruiz are the two women employed by the families to help with their households and children but they are still in the middle of everything that goes on. There is this invisible wall between their lives to the point where they even speak so openly that when Essie and Puri are with their friends who also work in households, it doesn’t take long for rumors to become confirmed fact. Essie loves the Woo family and Puri sees the possibility of success away from housework.

Other cast include Poon Pak Shing as Sam, Bonde Sham as Charly, Flora Chan as Olivia Chu, Blessing Mokgohloa as Pastor Alan Mambo, Sudha Bhuchar as Brinder, Jennifer Beveridge as Tilda, Lesley Chiang as Philena Song, Gabrielle Chan as Jing Woo, Elizabeth Ng as Shellac, Steven Chan as Detective Chang, Edmund Ng as Andrew, Rasha Goel as Geeta, 

Amazon Prime offers television shows and original content included in its Amazon Prime subscription. Original programs such as CARNIVAL ROW, THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE, and THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL are hit shows. Coming soon is the next series with GOLIATH starring Billy Bob Thornton and it promises to another successful and intense series. For more information, please visit www.amazon.com/Amazon-Video.

EXPATS is a look at these women and how one moment changes so much. The lives they are each living seemed far removed from one another yet one deep hurt reaches further than their lives. It turns the lives of everyone they come into contact with and all that glitters is not gold. Like the rest of us, they lose their way, realize what they’ve given up for their own dreams and, in some cases, do not know how to walk away.

The men, Clarke and David are a bit of second players in this large cast of women. That being said, their moments on screen are filled with emotions they aren’t “supposed” to feel being men. Tee and Huston are surrounded by what is expected of them rather than being able to speak their truths. 

EXPATS brings the story of these characters in six episodes with the first two already aired on Prime. Each episode will be brought weekly until its final conclusion. This is a stunning piece of storytelling from start to finish. 

In the end – we are what we survive!

He Believes in THE PROMISED LAND

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres from writer/director Nikolaj Arcel and Magnolia Pictures is a drama of power, love and a belief in THE PROMISED LAND.

It is Denmark in the 18th century as Captain Ludvig Kahlen (Mads Mikkelsen), giving twenty-five years of military service, asks his King for land to farm and create a settlement on the Jutland. Fighting others in the King’s court, he tells them that his own money will fund the farming in exchange for land and title. This is enough to be allowed a patent as he gathers supplies and heads to a remote piece of land, he deems farmable to begin. 

Unhappy about it is Frederik De Schinkel (Simon Bennebjerg) of Hald Manor, a spoiled man and heinous landowner who believed the land Kahlen has taken actually belongs to him. Especially when two of his indentured servants, Ann Barbara (Amanda Collin) and Johannes (Morten Hee Andersen) have made a run for it. Needing help to start the farm, Kahlen takes in the two servants and also tries to hire Romani Tatere upsetting Schinkel further.

That is when Schinkel decides he will do whatever it takes to force Kahlen off the land. What he doesn’t realize is that the woman he is suppose to marry, Edel Helene (Kristine Kujath) wants Kahlen to help her get away. By becoming a nobleman, he would be able to marry her instead. The quiet Captain wants to be able to make his dream come true and moves forward with his settlement plan.

When Ann Barbara’s life changes, so does that of the young Anmai Mus (Melina Hagberg) who is taken in by Kahlen. After hard work, the first crop comes in of potatoes and it impresses the King so much that he grants him funding and settlers to expand the farm. Schinkel is so angry; he puts a plan in place that puts them all in more danger than they could have imagined. 

They have never met a man more determined than Kahlen.

Mikkelsen as Kahlen is just sheer perfection in this role. A quiet man who is quite stubborn and refuses to take no for an answer from just about anyone. Mikkelsen’s portrayal of Kahlen is strong, determined and doesn’t hesitate to protect what he is trying to do and, eventually, all those who help him get there. Personally, I have always enjoyed the characters that Mikkelsen has chosen to play as no two are even remotely alike. Here he shows the resilience and eventually a heart that understands what human beings are capable of, both good and evil.

Bennebjerg as De Shinkel is a greedy, brutal and power-hungry man in a place where no one would ever think to stop him. Living remotely away from the king’s power base, he is free to crush anyone that gets in his way. Living that way for so long, a man like Kahlen sets him immediately on edge and offers him a chance to be even more cruel to everyone around him. Bennebjerg does an exceedingly good job at his role because I certainly didn’t like De Shinkel in the slightest and thought Kahlen showed great restraint.

Collin as Ann Barbara knew of De Shrinkel’s cruelty and experienced it firsthand. It is clear why she ran and quickly made herself indispensable to Kahlen, whether he wanted to admit it or not. Taking charge of his household, Collin’s portrayal of Ann Barbara is strong and is the one person who could reach Kahlen at his peak of stubbornness. She stayed by his side and did what ever it took to keep everyone safe. 

Hagberg as Anmai Mus is a young girl who is turned on by almost everyone around her. Protected by Kahlen and Ann Barbara, she grows up to become part of the land and as life grows, so does she. 

Other cast include Jacob Lohmann as Trappaud, Olaf Hojgaard as Preisler, Gustav Lindh as Anton Eklund, Magnus Krepper as Hector, Morten Burian as Lauenfeldt, Thomas W. Gabrielsson as Bondo, Soren Malling as Paulli.

Magnolia Pictures is responsible for such releases as SLAY THE DRAGON, JOHN LEWIS: Good Trouble, the crime thriller THE WHISTLERS, documentaries such as THE PIECES I AM and films such as the directorial debut of Italian filmmaker Filippo Meneghetti. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.magpictures.com.

THE PROMISED LAND is based on the book by Ida Jessen entitled The Captain and Ann Barbara. The film’s cinematography is just stunning as it also plays a character in the film. Open, spacious, rugged and eventually forgiving, it lends itself to the story of a man determined to bring about a new life for himself. 

What I love about this story is that the dialogue isn’t run-on but instead lets the actors take control of their characters. It is in their actions that I found myself drawn to the story completely. Mikkelsen and Collin are astounding as their lead characters believe there is life to be had from the ground up. 

The film premiered at the 80th Venice International Film Festival in August 2023 and an entry for Best International Feature Film as the Danish entry for the 96th Academy Awards. There are nominations all over the spectrum of festival and each win is well deserved.

In the end – he is taking on so much more than the land!

The Return of the Iconic THE LABYRINTH and THE DARK CRYSTAL

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to digital from Shout! Studios is the return of director Jim Henson’s THE LABYRINTH and directors Jim Henson and Frank Oz with THE DARK CRYSTAL.

In THE LABYRINTH, Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) is a 16-year-old who is frustrated with her family. Late coming home from a trip to the park reading her book The Labyrinth, she has to babysit her constantly crying infant brother Toby (Toby Froud). Making matters worse is discovering that Toby has taken her beloved bear Lancelot! At her wits end, she calls out to the goblins from the book to take Toby away.

When the house goes silent, Sarah realizes something is wrong. Going to Toby’s room she discovers him missing and standing before her is the Goblin King Jareth (David Bowie) offering her a deal. When she doesn’t take it, he gives Sarah thirteen hours to solve the labyrinth or Toby will be gone forever.

In the King’s world, Sarah meets Hoggle (Brian Henson/Shari Weiser) and once escaping a trap, Hoggle runs into Jareth who uses him to get at the girl. Sarah meets Ludo (Ron Mueck/Rob Mills) by helping him get free but loses him quickly. When they meet up again, a trapdoor takes them to the Bog of Eternal Stench. Guarding the smell is Sir Didymus (Dave Goelz/David Shaughnessy) and his steed Ambrosius (Steve Whitmire/Kevin Clash/Percy Edwards). But a peach changes everything as once again Sarah is rescued by her friends.

Jareth learns that the group is close and sends in his army of goblins and as much as Ludo wants to help Sarah, she realizes that she must take on the Goblin King alone.

Connelly as Sarah portrays how most teens feel about babysitting any sibling let alone one that seems to spend his babyhood wrapped in a veil of tears. Once the chase is on to recover him, she begins to soften her feelings knowing that the only thing she wants from the whole experience is to have her little brother back. Connelly is so young, charming and endearing in this role and I hope she knows how many of us not only love this film but love her in it.

Bowie as Goblin King Jareth is absolutely wonderful. They found the right person to wear the costume and give us all in 1982 a reason to embrace this bad-guy character. Bowie lulls us with his unique and mystical voice all the while trying to find a way to trick a rather smart young lady. It truly is a thrill to see him in this film again and again.

Other cast/puppets include Karen Prell/Timothy Bateson as The Worm, Frank Oz/Michael Hordern as The Wiseman, Dave Goelz/David Shaughnessy as The Hat, and Karen Prell/Denise Bryer as The Junk Lady.


In THE DARK CRYSTAL directed by Jim Henson, is a darker story yet iconic and embraced by those who love the puppetry he uses in this tale.

On Thra, there was once a Crystal of Truth and when it was shattered, two new races came into being. The Skeksis who found ways to extend their life and the urRu/Mystics who live in the Valley of Stones. They are a gentler race and their leader is UrSu the Master. UrSu is raising a Gelfling who lost his family to the Skeksis and his name is Jen (Stephen Garlick).

Now, the Great Conjunction is happening and UrSu tells Jen he must find a way to heal the Crystal and to get the Shard from Aughra (Billie Whitelaw). If he doesn’t before the three suns meet, then the Skeksis will take over. In the meantime, SkekUng (Michael Kilgarriff) is the new emperor and wants to capture Jen.

Jen meets Aughra and he finally gets a lesson about the Conjunction as he chooses the correct Shard. Before they can talk any further, Garthim and the army arrive to take Aughra as Jen manages to escape. In the swamp, Jen sees another Gelfling in Kira (Lisa Maxwell) and discover they share memories.

Jen and Kira find a deserted Gelfling city and the prophecy that can help them. SkekSil (Barry Dennen) tells them about what happened to the Gelflings. Getting away once again, Kira, Jen and Fizzgig (Percy Edwards) are now in the catacombs trying to get inside the castle. SkekSil finds them and chaos breaks out.

Will Jen and Kira make it in time before the three suns Align to bring the Crystal of Truth together once again?

Other cast include Jerry Nelson as SkekZok, Steve Whitmire as SkekTek, Hugh Spight as Swee Lim, Toby Philpott as UrTih the Alchemist, Hus Levant as UrAc the Scribe, Simon Williamson as UrSol/ the Chanter, Jean Pierre Amiel as UrUtt the Weaver, Hugh Spight as UrAmaj the Cook,and Joseph O’Conor as UrSkeks and Narrator.

Launched in 2003, Shout! Studios is a multiplatform media company specializing in film and TV distribution, development, and production. Shout! Studios owns and manages a large portfolio of contemporary and classic feature films, series, animation, and documentaries. The company’s creative acquisition includes Aardman Animations, ALF, The Carol Burnett Show, Stephen J. Cannell Productions, the Roger Corman New Horizons Pictures Library, GKIDS, Studio Ghibli, ITV Studios, The Johnny Carson Show, LAIKA Studios, Mystery Science Theater 3000 (in partnership with creator Joel Hodgson), and Sesame Street, alongside many others. For more please visit www.shoutfactory.com.

The Jim Henson Company has remained a leader in family entertainment for over 65 years and is recognized as an innovator in puppetry, animatronics, and digital animation. Henson’s most recent credits include the Oscar®-winning Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio for Netflix, the Emmy®-winning Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock for Apple TV+, and the feature film The Portable Door for MGM+.

The bonus offerings for APPLE iTunes Extras include:

THE LABYRINTH - Commentary with Brian Froud, Reordering Time: Looking Back on Labyrinth, The Henson Legacy, Remembering The Goblin King, Anniversary Q&A, Inside The Labyrinth, Original Theatrical Trailer, Original Teaser Trailer and Original TV Spot.

THE DARK CRYSTAL - Commentary with Brian Froud, The World of “The Dark Crystal”, Storyboard Track, The Myth, Magic and the Henson Legacy, Light on the Path of Creation, Shard of Illusion, Deleted Funeral Scene, Original Skeksis Language and Photo Galleries.

These two films are the amazing creation of Jim Henson (along with Frank Oz) and they have become too iconic to the generations. I saw these films first, then my kids and now my grandchildren are seeing the wonders that were created and hold as timeless. The imagination and creativity it took to bring both of these films to the big screen is nothing short of genius.

Now, they are back to entertain families once again with their beauty because, and it must be said, that the craftsmanship of the characters and the puppets is breathtaking at the very least. The scenery that becomes another character in the story telling is a story in itself. That being said, it is time to cuddle up the family, bowls of popcorn to go around and watch LABYRINTH and THE DARK CRYSTAL back-to-back. It is generational must see!

In the end – return to the mystic and the magic!

The Conflict Begins with AIR FORCE ONE DOWN

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this Friday and available later on Digital from director James Bamford and Paramount Pictures is the chase with AIR FORCE ONE DOWN.

Agent Allison Miles (Katherine McNamara) is thrilled when her Uncle Sam Waitman (Anthony Michael Hall) brings her into the White House for duty. President Edwards (Ian Bohen) is working on a mission that has global impact and is getting ready to board Air Force One. Gathering the agents together that will be travelling with him, Agent Miles learns she is going on the trip.

What the President doesn’t know is that there is an enemy, Rodinov (Rade Sherbedgia) who wants to stop him from continuing on with his mission. There is a plan already in motion and it is about to do the unthinkable. Boarding the plane, Agent Miles is excited about the trip but keeping her feelings in check and professional.

The plane isn’t off the ground long before chaos erupts with the target being the assassination of the president. Agent Miles isn’t about to let that happen and gets the president out and away from the plane. Now they are in open territory as Rodinov sends him men to capture President Edwards with one goal, stop the mission or suffer the fatal consequences.

Agent Miles isn’t about to let either of those things happen.

McNamara as Miles is a young, eager and grateful Agent who has an uncle looking out for her. Very well versed on what her job is by protecting the president when called on, starting from the bottom-up shoots into high gear quickly. Boarding Air Force One, Miles is clear on the job but never anticipated being called on in chaos. McNamara gives her character a toughness that is equally measured by her escape partner.

Bohen as President Edwards isn’t a leader who is going to stand around doing nothing. When they come after him, along with Agent Miles, they work together to do what is necessary and both know the cost. Bohen is just as strong in character as McNamara which is what makes them a good pair in this film.

Shout out to Hall coming in as Uncle Sam who is looking out for his niece and not just because she is family but because he sees potential. I always enjoy seeing Hall in a film following his career since he was knee high to a pup!

Other cast include Max Kraus as Vlad, Paul s. Tracey as Mark Miller, Pavel Vladimirov as Toma Hasak, Trevor Van Uden as Agent Richards and Dascha Polanco as Vice President Hansen.

Paramount Pictures is the longest operating and remaining major studio in Hollywood that has been on the ground floor of every major development in film. From the advent of motion pictures to the emergence of television, through the digital revolution, Paramount Pictures has been there. During our 100-year history, we have served as the production site for thousands of notable movies and television shows. For more please visit www.paramountstudios.com.
AIR FORCE ONE DOWN joins in the genre of films that take on protecting the leader of the free world. McNamara gets to join the ranks of Butler, Tatum, and Ford in taking down the bad guys who want to tear into democracy. Nothing better than this particular duo working together to let the world know that bad guys don’t win.

The film is action packed from what McNamara’s character is capable of to the danger aboard Air Force One. When McNamara and Bohen get together it is clear that the enemy has plenty to worry about. As the bad guy’s monologue, Agent Miles and President Edwards already know how they will handle it and handle it they do.

It’s time to hit the theatre seats and watch the action on the big screen cheering once again putting the enemy on notice!

In the end – never take on the strong!

They are Coming OUT OF DARKNESS

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres from director Andrew Cummings and Bleecker Street is the dark and strange life when coming OUT OF DARKNESS.

Over forty-five thousand years ago humans were attempting to survive the world. A group led by Adem (Chuku Modu), a very pregnant Ave (Iola Evans), their son Heron (Luna Mwezi), daughter Beyah (Safia Oakley-Green), Adem’s brother Geirr (Kit Young) and forager Odal (Arno Luening) are looking for a new place to settle.

Finding land and a wide-open space, the group sets up shelter and start a campfire to rest while Adem and Geirr hunt for food. Almost immediately it becomes clear that something is out in the darkness. There are sounds, rattlings and a frightening reality that they are not alone. Then, the screams begin and so does the fight for survival.

On the move, Adem is now hunting for whatever has taken Heron but the very pregnant Ave can not move at the speed that they need. Settling again, there is more horror as whatever is hunting them leads them to a place where it is clear death is inevitable for anyone that gets in the creature’s way.

Sacrifices are about to be made to survive!

Oakley-Green as Beyah is the John Wick of forty-five thousand years ago as she shows no fear in anything that is needing to be done for survival. Making the ultimate decision as the group is starving and running into the fray even though she is terrified, Oakley-Green is stellar and trust when I say if I had been there (and thank gawd I wasn’t, I’d make a lousy early human), Beyah would be the person I’d stand behind. Her character doesn’t have a lot to say but when she speaks – listen!

Young as Geirr is Adem’s brother and whether he is straight out scared at everything that moves or perhaps continual berating by his brother reminding him that he is not the leader, Geirr doesn’t have leader ability. He sees Beyah as a strong warrior and looks to her when things start to get out of hand.

Modu as Adem is a brutal leader who holds a strong thumb over the group. He makes it clear that no one is going to tell him what to do and he is willing to sacrifice anyone who goes against his leadership. Evans as Ave is a very pregnant woman who is having a hard time from travelling and lack of food. Yet, when she is cornered, she is just as vicious as Adem.

Mwezi as Heron is the young boy who is the first taken. That is the hardest to take and the reason Adem goes so strong into the chase for the creature. Luening as Odal also has a tendency to question Adem’s decisions and gets a verbal beat down and a reminder of where he stands in the ranking. That doesn’t mean that Odal isn’t keeping a mental file of what is happening only to bring it up later.

Bleecker Street is a New York City film company that has brought outstanding films to the public. Their library includes TRUMBO, DENIAL, THE LOST CITY OF Z, BEIRUT, HOTEL MUMBAI, ORDINARY LOVE and THE ROADS NOT TAKEN. For more information on the titles from Bleeker Street please visit www.bleeckerstreetmedia.com.

This year director Cummings completed his debut feature film OUT OF DARKNESS with Escape Plan Productions (SAINT MAUD). In 2019, he directed the last two episodes of COLD FEET series 9 for ITV and BIG TALK, now streaming on Britbox, and in 2018 directed three episodes of BBC3's acclaimed thriller CLIQUE (S2). In 2015 he directed KAI, funded by i-D and VICE, which has been viewed over one million times on social media. Andrew's National Film & Television School graduation film RADIANCE, a supernatural thriller about a young woman with a dangerous condition, was nominated for best film at the BAFTA Scotland New Talent Awards, while his claustrophobic psychological drama BENEATH won Best Student Film at the Courant 3D festival in France.

OUT OF DARKNESS has received attention from the British Independent Film Awards for Best Debut Director Cummings, a win for Best Breakthrough for Oakley-Green, Best Music for Adam Bzowski, Best Hair and Makeup for Niamh Morrison and Best Debut Screenplay for Ruth Greenberg.

The story is that of the exploration of this group of humans looking to start their own village. Believing they had found a place that was unoccupied by others, it quickly became clear that humans weren’t the only thing that seem to be missing – there is nothing else either. The sounds coming from the dark seemed to be nothing like they had ever heard before.

Beyah is determined to not only find out what is happening but what is responsible. I enjoyed this character so much because there is the feeling of a young woman who was stronger than those around her realized and had leadership qualities. It reminded me of the articles I have read where women warriors are becoming more mainstream in history than realized, Beyah would certainly fit the bill.

Filmed in much darkness, it adds to the intensity, fear, shock and discovery of the story director Cummings is trying to tell calling it a “paleolithic horror” film. Filmed in the Gairloch in Scotland, the location offers up such a fantastic place with its vast lands, woods, fogs, just perfection. This is a mystery that can lead to death.

In the end – we are them!

THE PEASANTS   

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres from writers/director DK Welchman, Hugh Welchman and Sony Picture Classics is a story of forbidden love and a life of no choices with THE PEASANTS.

The young and beautiful Jagna (Kamila Urzedowska) is a talented artist who is constantly talked about by the 19th century Polish villagers. Stories are being told by the men of the village and Jagna just ignores them having only heart for Antek Boryna (Robert Gulaczyk) who is married. The leader and richest farmer in town is Antek’s father Maciej (Miroslaw Baka) who has recently lost his wife.

It comes to his attention that the women of the village are suggesting he remarry and after going down a list of candidates, Jagna’s name is put forward. Daughter Hanka (Sonia Mietielica) is not happy to think that Jagna will be living with them and wearing her mother’s beautiful clothes and Antek fights with his father and is kicked out of the home. When a deal for land of Jagna’s own is struck, down goes the vodka and a wedding happens quickly.

There is nothing Jagna can do but accept her life as Maciej’s wife while still being talked about by the villagers but in much lower tones to keep from upsetting the new groom. When tragedy strikes, Jagna’s life becomes one trauma after the other. The only one who sees this is Mateusz (Mateusz Rusin) who wants to save Jagna before anything else can possibly happen to her.

But once an idea is in the minds of the villagers – nothing and no one is going to stop it from its path of destruction.

Urzedowska as Jagna is beautiful and a free spirit who just wants to be happy in her life without being told who to love. When it becomes clear that a deal has been struck for her life, she is not a happy bride but instead a stoic woman following along with the rituals of the village. Urzedowska is stunning in this role as she portrays the downsize of being young, beautiful and a free spirit in a time when women had no say so in their own lives. So well done!

Gulaczyk as Antek has fallen hard for Jagna and has put his own family, including his father, into the gossip soup of the village. Tearing a family apart for love, Antek can afford to become the talk of the town with no consequences, unlike Jagna. Gulaczyk gives his character a bit of obsession, a bit of cowardice and a bit of rage and tops it with no accountability. The 19th and 21st century are not so far apart with this character’s issues.

Baka as Maciej is a man who takes his village power seriously. As the top farmer in the village, he has a great deal of say about what happens. When he decides to marry Jagna, it sets up anger from his own family but doesn’t stop the rumors from flying. Baka’s performance is that of an insecure man who has so many layers that are hidden behind power.

Mietielica as Hanka is a daughter who is already angry that her father has taken on a younger wife who will take her mother’s place. She wants the family’s reputation, farm and wealth to stay intact and not fall into the hands of Jagna. The one thing I can say about Mietielica’s portrayal is that she is not going to be swayed by anyone, including her family, about how she feels.

Shout out to Mateusz as Rusin as a man who truly cares for Jagna and when the village goes rogue, it is this character who sees who Jagna truly is. I just love Mateusz’s character because he is consistent in his belief that the village is in some need of common sense.

Other cast include Cyprian Grabowski as Witek, Ewa Kasprzyk as Marcjanna, Cezary Lukaszewics as Michal, Dorta Stalinska as Jagustynka, Andrzej Konopka as the Mayor, Andrzej as Kuba, Helena Korczycka as Jozka, Sonia Bohosiewicz as the mayor’s wife, Maciej Musial as Jasio, Anna Grzeszczak as Magda, Malgorzata as Organiscina, and Lech Dyblik as Jambrozy.

Sony Pictures Classics brings television, digital content, new entertainment services, independent films and technologies to viewers. Such films as GREED, THE BURNT ORANGE HERESY, THE CLIMB, CHARM CITY KINGS, I CARRY YOU WITH ME and THE FATHER are just a few of the current and upcoming releases. For more information on what Sony Pictures Classics has to offer please visit www.sonyclassics.com.

THE PEASANTS is a stunning story being told but what adds an even more mind-blowing element is the painted animation technique of the film. The telling is over four seasons that are captured in such rich depth of color. This is the same used in the film LOVING VINCENT which is also a personal favorite of mine. This film took over five years and 200,000 hours to flawlessly complete.

The Welchman’s know exactly what they are doing when it comes to creating such elegant cinematography lovingly wrapped in a fantastic story of love, gossip and treachery. Once the story comes to a jaw-dropping crescendo, the ending will either leave you totally drained or wanting to stand out in the rain.

In the end – her life is in seasons!


THE MONK AND THE GUN

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres from writer/director Pawo Choyning Dorji and Roadside Attractions comes the story of dedication from THE MONK AND THE GUN.

In the Kingdom of Bhutan, it is 2006 and they are looking to become a democratic country. As the king gives up his power for a new way for the country, the government decides to hold a mock election as a way to show the people how to vote. The Head of the Bhutan Election Commission Tshering Yangden (Pema Zangmo Sherpa) to oversee it all.

In Ura, and elder Lama (Kelsang Choejey) who has been meditating for a time, tells the monk Tashi (Tandin Wangchuk) who sees to his needs that the Lama needs two guns by the full moon four days away. Tashi does not ask questions but instead begins his journey to find what the Lama has asked for walking down to the village.

The villagers are split on the two contestants of Lordo and Thinley and one family in particular is dealing with the duo. Working at the polling station is Tshomo (Deki Lhamo) wants to be part of the election process and show daughter Yuphel (Yuphel Lhendup Selden) how it works. Husband Choephel (Choeying Jatsho) is working with the Thinley campaigns must to the irritation of his mother-in-law and causes Yuphel trouble at school.

Back in Bhutan, Ronald Coleman (Harry Einhorn) has landed after discovering an antique that he must have. Telling Ron to refer to him as a tour guide, Benji (Tandin Sonam) takes him to Ura to meet with Mr. Penjor who has the gun he has been looking for. Making a financial agreement, Ron is excited and has to go hours away to retrieve the funds.

When Tashi also goes to visit Penjor only minutes later, the monk informs him that the Lama is in need of a gun. Without hesitation, Penjor gives him the weapon as a way of saying thank you for all the peace there has been in the village. Ron and Benji find out about it now the race is on to find the monk.

As voting begins, so does the set-up of the Lama making a huge announcement that is meant to be good for everyone and, as the Lama says, to make things right again.

Wangchuk as Tashi is a devoted monk who serves his Lama faithfully and without question. Being asked to look for two guns, the young monk accepts the assignment and begins his trek. In this small village he follows the leads to his goal. Once he obtains it, his trek back is equally interesting as his dedication is tested. I enjoyed watching Wangchuk gentleness which is so endearing.

Sherpa as Yangden comes into the village thinking she knows the people and what she comes to discover is the saying ‘know your audience’. Her interaction starts out very straight forward but slowly comes to understand this small village of amazing people. Lhamo as Tshomo is having difficulty being the go-between with her mother, husband and protector of her daughter. Lhamo shows us the struggle of new politics in a system the village doesn’t seem to want.

Sonam as Benji is doing what he has to do to pay the bills and get his wife the medical attention she needs. He is a bit desperate and is a fast talker, the problem is you can’t fast talk a monk, especially this monk. Einhorn as Ron is a man on a mission to get his hands on the most sought-after weapon. He wants it with every fiber of his being. Here is another character that doesn’t understand the people of the village.

Jatsho as Choephel believes that he knows what is best politically and doesn’t like the oppositions way of handling the campaign that leaves his wife uncomfortable. Selden as Yuphel is dealing with her own problems of the bullies at school.

Shout out to Choejey as the Lama who is the actual and only Lama of the village.

Other cast include Tandin Phubz as Phurba and Ugyen Dorji as the police.

Roadside Attractions has, since 2003, grossed over $300M and garnered nineteen Academy Award nominations. They have had critical and commercial hits such as MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, BEN IS BACK, BEATRIZ AT DINNER, HELLO MY NAME IS DORIS, WINTER’S BONE and THE COVER as well as so many others. For more information of what Roadside Attractions has to offer please visit www.roadsideattractions.com.

THE MONK AND THE GUN is a stunning, delightful, beautiful story that has a few giggles mixed in. To me it is the story of a change that very few want and a Lama who believes that he knows how to make it right. In the mix is a gun that so many seem to want but each has their own reason. The cinematography is as simple as the people living in the village.

Writer/director Dorji says of his film, “I wanted the Lama and the monk characters in the movie to personify the Bhutanese veneration to the culture and traditions of Buddhism. A personification where there is so much respect for the ordained that the rural people don’t even seem to question or flinch at the audacity of the monk with a gun, because there is so much trust that stems from the Buddha’s teachings that the ‘motivation behind an act is much more important than the act itself’. It is also important to highlight the value of symbolism in Bhutanese culture, how the symbolic power of items can, at time, be even more important than the item itself.”

What I found even more important about what Dorji had to say about the film is that, “One of the main reasons I wanted to tell this story is because I wanted to share with the world, and remind my fellow Bhutanese of the unique circumstances that lead to the opening up and modernization of Bhutan”. It is such a wonderful way for Dorji to share his culture and in such a unique way.

THE MONK AND THE GUN is such a wonderful film of family, culture, a village, a bit of greed and a resolution that is nothing short of spectacular. In their world of guns and James Bond, this film shows an understanding of the world creeping into Ura but yet Ura does not give up their beliefs or their love and respect of peace. Who they are as a people says everything.

This film is the submission for Best International Feature Film for the 94th Academy Awards for 2024.

In the end – a different perspective on peace and a gun!

It is His Story of Being DARKMAN

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to 4K Ultra HD and Bluray in a Collector’s Edition from director Sam Raimi and Scream Factory is the story of the DARKMAN.

Dr. Peyton Westlake (Liam Neeson) is in the process of developing a synthetic skin but can’t get it to last more than 99 minutes. Keeping him in the lab, he wants to help burn victims with his discovery. Girlfriend Julie Hastings (Frances McDormand) is also hard at work when she discovers that developer Lous Strack Jr. (Colin Friels) has been dealing in bribery. Strack warns her that a memorandum that she found needs to be returned to crime boss Robert G. Durant (Larry Drake).

Back at the lab, Dr. Westlake are still working on the synthetic skin, they are close to fixing the problem making it work. They are interrupted when mobster Durant demands the memorandum that Westlake knows nothing about. Chaos erupts as Westlake is beaten, burned and the lab destroyed as Julie witnesses it all.

Blown into the river, Westlake is found and taken to the hospital as John Doe where he is given a treatment so that he no longer feels pain. Now he has unusual strength and after waking from a coma, escapes the hospital. Julie thinks Westlake is dead and goes on with her work while Westlake attempts to create a face for himself. His anger gives him motivation to go after Durant.

When Julie sees Westlake is alive, he keeps himself in the dark fearing she would reject him if she saw his face. While together at a carnival, his anger overwhelms him as anger takes ahold and his face begins to fall apart. Durant is still watching them both and now he has Julie kidnapped and they try to kill Westlake. Westlake realizes that he can not return to his old life and knows he must walk away from everything he knows.

Neeson as Westlake takes on his role and gives it the darkness it needs. His towering tallness is perfect for giving that ominous feel of a man who wants revenge while also wondering if a life with Julie is possible. I just love Neeson’s portrayal and with Raimi guiding him, it all works. McDormand as Julie is a strong female presence in the film with a toughness of her very own. That’s important as this story needs both of them and McDormand has no difficulty standing up for her own character.

Other cast include Nicholas Worth as Pauly Mazzuchelli, Ted Raimi as Rick Anderson, Nelson Mashita as Yakitito Yanagito, Julius Harris as the Gravedigger, Jessie Ferguson as Eddie Black, Rafael H. Robledo as Rudy Guzman, Dan Bell as Smiley Rogers, Arsenio Trinidad as Hung Fat and Bridget Hoffman as the Computer Voice. 

SHOUT! Studios has grown into a tremendous multi-platform media company. Releasing new animated features such as the exquisite Long Way North, and the epic fantasy Beauty and The Beast. Also, their own original horror film, Fender Bender gives fans a good scare. For more of what SHOUT has to offer please visit www.shoutfactory.com.

Special Features include on Disc One are New 4K Restoration from the Original Negative in Dolby Vision Approved by Director Sam Raimi and Director of Photography Bill Pope, New Audio Commentary with Filmmaker and DARKMAN Superfan Josh Ruben, and Audio Commentary with Bill Pope. 

On Disc Two include New 4k Transfer from the Original Negative Approved by Sam Raimi and Bill Pope, New Audio Commentary with Josh Ruben, Audio Commentary with Bill Pope, “Dissecting DARKMAN” – Interview with Actor Liam Neeson, Interview with Actor Frances McDormand, “The Name is Durant” – interview with Actor Larry Drake, “The Face of Revenge” – Interview with Makeup Designer Tony Gardner, “Henchman Tales” – Interviews with Actors Danny Hicks and Dan Bell, “Dark Design” – Interview with Production Designer Randy Set and Art Director Philip Dagort, Vintage “Making-Of” Featurette – Interviews with Sam Raimi, Liam Neeson, Frances McDormand and More, Vintage Interviews with Sam Raimi, Liam Neeson and Frances McDormand, Theatrical Trailer, TV Spots, Still Galleries – Posters & Production Stills, Behind the Scenes, and Make-Up Effects and Storyboards. 

Director Raimi takes this story and mixes together action, horror, revenge, adventure and a bit of humor to bring a superhero movie to life. It is also a dark film take takes a comic book character and brings it from page to screen. As I am a fan of Neeson there isn’t anything I can say that would turn me away from seeing it again and again.

DARKMAN was ahead of its time with Raimi bringing this fourteen-million-dollar story to the big screen at a time when superheroes were looking for their spot is everything. Fire up that big screen television (the bigger the better) and crank up the soundbar because it’s time for his return!

In the end – he is everyone and no one!



The Return of THE CANTERVILLE GHOST

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD from director Kim Bordon, co-director Robert Chandler and Shout! Studios comes a treat for the family with THE CANTERVILLE GHOST.

Coming from America, the Otis family has purchased Canterville Chase, a mansion that has a history of being haunted and causing residents to go a little crazy. Husband Hiram (David Harewood), wife Lucretia (Meera Syal), young boys Kent (Bennett Miller) and Louis (Jakey Schiff) are thrilled when they enter the mansion as Mrs. Umney (Imelda Staunton) opens the door. The only one not happy is daughter Virginia (Emily Carey) who wants nothing more than to go back across the pond.

Immediately, the family wants to see Sir Simon de Canterville (Stephen Fry) and the twins run around the house calling him out. Virginia makes it clear she has no intention of being happy about any of it all and goes up to her room. It takes mere moments before Sir Simon tries to frighten Virginia out of his home. The problem is, she isn’t at all! Instead, she plays on him challenging that Sir Simon that he can’t chase out her family in two weeks!

On the grounds, Virginia meets the Duke of Cheshire (Freddie Highmore) and that makes Sir Simone furious as he has anger toward the family. It seems his beloved wife Eleanor came from the Cheshire family who blamed Sir Simon for her death. Now Virginia knows a big part of the story as to the reason Canterville Chase has a ghost!

As the days pass, Virginia and the Duke become closer and her parents decide to throw a party re-introducing society to Canterville Chase. The problem is that Sir Simon is still angry and decides that the dinner not go without his own unique brand of entertainment. When things don’t go as planned, the family is upset with their ghost but Virginia feels there is something more that Sir Simon isn’t saying.

She decides to take matters into her own hands and that’s when the truth finally comes out!

Carey as Virginia is an American girl who wants to go home. She decides to use Sir Simon’s ghostly abilities to try and scare her family back to the United States. Instead, she finds herself on an adventure that has unexpected consequences. Carey truly gives voice to Virginia and it is fun, delightful and charming.

Fry as the voice of Sir Simon is hilarious most of the time (when he isn’t angry) and cannot understand how the new occupants are not frightened to have a ghost in their house. Instead, they seem to be trying to have fun with the apparition, especially the twin boys. I have always loved Fry’s work and watching him take on the vocal role of Sir Simon is everything fun about the film.

Highmore as the Duke of Cheshire is so sweet and a bit bumbly. He is immediately taken by the feisty and free Virginia. He knows that the ghost is in the house and even comes face to face with Sir Simon but nothing is going to keep him away from Virginia and happily joins in the adventure. When her life is in danger, the bumbly Duke of Cheshire finds it within himself to safe her from a fate – well, you get the point.

Laurie as the Grim Reaper gets to have a bit of fun with this character. Hiding behind who he truly is and what he is up to, Laurie takes us on a story ride with what he wants and how he plans to get it!

Shout out to Schiff and Miller as the Otis boys because, to be honest, that is exactly how I would be at their age. Challenges of a haunted house – absolutely accepted. They have no fear of any ghosts and show just how unafraid they are and it made me laugh so much.

Other cast includes Toby Jones as Reverend Chasuble, Miranda Hart as the Ghost Catcher, Giles New as the Colonel, Georgia Small as Majorie Fairfax, Keiron Self as Professor Borsakov, Bill Lobley as Lord Monroe, Elizabeth Sankey as Eleanor de Canterville, and Hugh Laurie as the Grim Reaper.

SHOUT! Studios has grown into a tremendous multi-platform media company. Releasing new animated features such as the exquisite Long Way North, and the epic fantasy Beauty and The Beast. Also, their own original horror film, Fender Bender gives fans a good scare. For more of what SHOUT Factor has to offer please visit www.shoutfactory.com.

THE CANTERVILLE GHOST is absolute family fun for kids and the kids at heart. It has a fantastic story based on the writings of Oscar Wilde (and Stephen Fry actually played the role of the poet/playwright in the 1997 film WILDE). It is colorful, vibrant, action packed and has some very funny characters and moments.

This is the film that families can enjoy together because it is about a family and how they eventually come together. As nutty as some of the characters are, they are so much fun to watch as the story unfolds. Everyone can find something to love about the film and I can’t wait for everyone to see it.

The spooky season is here and if you are looking for a good time at the movies for the whole family then visit THE CANTERVILLE GHOST for a spooktacularly good time!

In the end – it is his house not yours!

Sony Brings the Stunning Columbia Classics Vol. 4

Jeri Jacquin

On 4K Ultra HD is the stunning COLUMBIA CLASSICS COLLECTION Vol. 4 to include such iconic films as 
HIS GIRL FRIDAY, GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER, KRAMER VS. KRAMER, STARMAN, SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE and PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE.

Director Howard Hawk brings a 1940 comedy to theatres with HIS GIRL FRIDAY. Cary Grant plays Walter Burns, the editor for The Morning Post, discovers that his ex-wife Hildy Johnson, played by Rosalind Russell, is getting remarried. Hildy use to be Walter’s star journalist, seems ready to be a suburban housewife to new husband Bruce. 

Walter has other plans as he tries to convince Hildy to do just one more story. A bookkeeper has been jailed and tried for the murder of a policeman and is to be executed. Hildy makes a side agreement with Walter but their past history makes working together full of ups and downs. But when the bookkeeper escapes, Hildy kicks her journalistic instincts into high gear and when chaos ensues, the two former spouses realize that nothing ever changes!

Grant and Russell together are a marvel in this film and director Hawk knew exactly how to bring the best out of both of them. The story is full of twists and turn but along with that is the camp that Walter and Hildy bring to it all. There is a reason that this will forever be a classic and the kudos go to Grant, Russell and Hawk for every bit of it.

The film also stars Ralph Bellamy, Gene Lockhart, Porter Hall, Ernest Truex, Cliff Edwards, Clarence Kolb, Pat West, and John Qualen as Earl Williams.

This disc includes 4K Ultra HD Feature Presentation in 4K Resolution with Dolby Vision Restored from the Original Camera Negative, Feature Presented in High Definition Sourced from the 4K Master, Audio Commentary Featuring Film Critic and Author Todd McCarthy, Screwball Style: The Iconic Costumes of Robert Kalloch Featurette, Breaking the Speed Barrier: The Dialogue of HIS GIRL FRIDAY Featurette, Lighting Up with Hildy Johnson Featurette, Ben Hecht Featurette and On Assignment: HIS GIRL FRIDAY Featurette

GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER lands in 1967 as director Stanley Kramer takes on the issue of family and belief systems engrained into them. Joanna Drayton, played by Katharine Houghton, is a young woman with a strong mind of her own which she gets from her mother Christina, played by the stunning Katharine Hepburn. Just as stubborn is her father Matt, portrayed by the equally stunning Spencer Tracy who seems set in his ways.

Joanna brings a special guest home to meet her parents and when she announces their intentions, the Drayton’s are shaken. Arriving with her is Dr. John Prentice, played by the incomparable Sidney Poitier and now it is time for the family to face their beliefs. These two people are in love and while Christina understands, Matt does not and so begin the back and forth of how to come to terms with what is said and what is done.

This is Hepburn (who won the Academy Award for her performance) and Tracy’s ninth time on film together and it would be their last as well as Tracy was ill at the time. What this film did and has done is bring all the questions of love, family and race straight to the forefront and has made it an instant iconic classic. I can watch this movie again and again because not only is it beautifully done, but these four actors put everything out in the open and their portrayal is legendary.

Other cast include Cecil Kellaway, Beah Richards, Roy E. Gleen Sr., and Isabel Sanford as housekeeper Matilda Binx.

The disc includes 4K Ultra HD Feature Presented in 4K Resolution with Dolby Vision Restored from the Original Camera Negative, Audio Commentary Featuring Eddy Friedfeld, Lee Pfeiffer and Paul Scrabo, Theatrical Teaser, Introductions: Karen Kramer, Steven Spielberg, Tom Brokaw and Quincy Jones, A Love Story for Today Featurette, A Special Kind of Love Featurette, Stanley Kramer: A Man’s Search for Truth Featurette, Stanley Kramer Accepts the Irving Thalberg Award, 2007 Producers Guild Stanley Kramer Award Presented to An Inconvenient Truth, and Photo Gallery

In 1979, director Robert Benton brought the story by Avery Corman to the screen with KRAMER VS. KRAMER. Dustin Hoffman plays Ted Kramer, a man who works tirelessly as an advertising exec living in New York. Wife Joanna, played by Meryl Streep, turns his life around in a single moment when he comes home to her announcement that she’s leaving. Not only is she walking out the door, but leaving behind their very young son Billy, portrayed by Justin Henry. 

Ted immediately goes into a mode thinking he knows exactly how to handle the situation, until he realizes he has no clue about what has been going on in his own home or raising a young son. Neighbor Margaret, superbly played by Jane Alexander, tries to not only clue Ted in on why Joanna left but then sees that they can be friends and help when she can.

Over a year later, after father and son finally have their life in a rhythm, Joanna returns and wants Billy back. Ted is hardly in the mood to give in to her demands and takes her to court. Once in front of a judge, Ted and Joanna go back and forth as to who is better for Billy as accusations fly. Somewhere in it all, it is Billy who will suffer the most.

Hoffman and Streep are not only superb in their roles but the issue of parents and children in a divorce are placed front and center. It is totally a heart-breaking story of a man who saw his career more important than his family and a woman who lost herself in the life of a wife and mother. In the middle is Billy, a young boy caught in the crossfire of the two adults who should be there for him. 

Director Benton keeps the scenes tight without the superfluous noise from the outside world but instead let us get deep into the story. This is another film I can watch again and again because of its simplicity yet in-your-face courtroom scenes as they are relatable to so many. Winning 5 Academy Awards tells you that KRAMER VS. KRAMER falls sweetly into the icon category. 

Other cast include Petra King, Melissa Morell, Howard Duff, George Coe, Howland Chamberlain, and JoBeth Williams as Phyllis Bernard. 

The disc includes 4K Ultra HD Feature Presentation Restored from the Original Camera Negative, Audio Commentary with Film Professor Jennine Lanouette, Five Never-Before-Seen Deleted Scenes, Robert Benton on Directing, Justin Henry on Acting, Mothers and Daughters, Points of Pride, Theatrical Trailer, and Finding the Truth – The Making of Kramer vs. Kramer.

The world is about to be introduced to the 1979 alien film STARMAN starring Jeff Bridges, Karen Allen and directed by John Carpenter. When an alien discovers a message on a disk sent with Voyager 2, the invitation is about to be accepted. Jenny Hayden is dealing with the death of husband Scott and is alone in her home not realizing that a very intense journey is about to happen. As the alien crash lands and finds Jenny’s home, he uses a piece of hair from Scott to bring himself into a human form, Jenny is shocked and scared.

But Starman wants only one thing, to go to the crater in Winslow, Arizona so that he can go home. Jenny agrees believing she doesn’t have any choice and as they start their road trip, they learn about one another. Jenny teaches about life on Earth and the Starman shows her that humanity isn’t just for humans. 

Following them is scientist Mark Shermin, played by Charles Martin Smith, who doesn’t want to hurt the Starman, but instead just talk with him. But once the military is involved, there is only one thing left to do – run!

STARMAN is an epic film about love, loss, adventure, understanding, learning, the list is endless. Bridges and Allen create such chemistry in these roles that it is hard to take your eyes off the screen. Their differences aren’t so different and Smith’s character is just so endearing that the film flows beautifully. Carpenter takes a story and gives it such life and richness proving he can scare us one minute and root for the alien the next. That is a gift and he shares it exceedingly well.

Other cast include George Fox, Robert Phalen, John David, Ted White and Lu Leonard as Roadhouse Waitress. 

The disc includes 4K Ultra HD Feature Presentation Restored from the Original Camera Negative, Audio Commentary with Director John Carpenter and Actor Jeff Bridges, Never-Before-Seen Deleted Scenes, Behind-The-Scenes Time Lapses, They Came from Hollywood: Revisiting STARMAN Featurette, Make-Of Featurette, Music Video, Still Gallery and Theatrical Trailer

Also included as a Bonus is STARMAN – The Complete 1986-1987 22-Episode Follow-Up Series, and Based on the Feature Film – Exclusively Presented in High Definition.

Nora Ephron makes her way into the collection as director in one of the most beloved stories as Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan show us how to be SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE. Hanks is Sam, a widow who moves from Chicago to Seattle with son Jonah, played by Ross Malinger. On Christmas Eve Jonah decides he wants to help his dad deal with the grief. Listeners from all over are hearing what Sam has to say, including Annie Reed. Ryan is Annie, a writer for the Baltimore Sun and is engaged to Bill Pullman’s character Walter.

Annie hears Jonah and Sam and is drawn to what has been said. Boss Becky, played by Rosie O’Donnell, begins to encourage Annie to write Sam. Well, it is Jonah who replies and a meet is set up for the Empire State Building on Valentines Day, reminiscent of the 1957 film AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER.

Jonah decides that if dad isn’t going to meet up with Annie, then he is just going to have to make it happen for himself. Sam realizes that his son has gone to New York City on his own and takes off after him. What happens next is the stuff that romance is made of!

Hanks and Ryan made the 90’s with their films because of the fantastic chemistry these two actors had with one another. In this film it is endearing, cute, sweet, charming and full of love which should give anyone diabetes but it doesn’t. Instead, we follow along on this journey and it is absolutely everything. Director Ephron gives us one of the best and most iconic rom-com’s (well that and YOU’VE GOT MAIL in 1998) of all time.

Other cast include Gaby Hoffman, Victor Garber, Barbara Garrick, Caroline Aaron, Carey Lowell, David Hyde Pierce, Dana Ivey, Rita Wilson and Rob Reiner as Jay Mathews.

The disc includes 4K Ultra HD Feature Presented and Restored from the Original Camera Negative, 30th Anniversary Critic Commentary with Karen Han and David Sims, A Conversation on SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE with Gary Foster and Meg Ryan, Audio Commentary Featuring Nora and Delia Ephron, Four Deleted Scenes, Love in the Movies Featurette, “When I Fall in Love” Music Video and Theatrical Trailer

Finally, in 2002, writer and director Paul Thomas Anderson bring together Adam Sandler as Barry Egan and Emily Watson as Lena Leonard to tell the story of PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE. Barry is single and works in his company selling novelty goods. Dealing with seven sisters, he has serious anxiety from what they put him through. Seeing an accident, he meets Lena who happens to work with one of his sisters.

At his sister’s birthday party, all hades breaks loose and Barry wants a therapist. Instead, he settles for a little phone time but the therapist would have been cheaper. When Lena goes to Hawaii on a business trip, Barry arrives to her surprise. After spending time together and returning home, Lena is in a car accident and now Barry is set in motion for chaos and only Lena can turn it all around.

Sandler and Watson play their roles together in such a way that it is crazy but, in a way, they seem perfect together. Sandler’s performance with the social anxiety and range makes for strange situations that either cause jaw drops or laughing hysterically. That’s the way a good love story should make us feel – a little crazy. It is also dark but some of us find humor in that dark space. PUNCH-DRUNK love actually won for Best Director at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival. 

Other cast include Mary Lynn Rajskub, Luis Guzman, Robert Smigel and Philip Seymour Hoffman as Dean Trumbell. 

The disc includes 4K Ultra HD Feature Presented and Approved by Director Paul Thomas Anderson, Two Deleted Scenes, Mattress Man Commercial, Blossoms and Blood, Twelve Scopitones, Jon Brion Featurette, Recording Sessions and Theatrical Trailer

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment encompasses motion picture production for television, digital content and theater releases. The studios include Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems, TriStar Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, Stage 6 Films and Sony Picture Classics. To see what is coming to theaters and to home entertainment please visit www.sonypictures.com.

Columbia Classics 4K Ultra HD Collection Volume 4 is a breathtaking group of films that are iconic and even beloved. To make it even more enticing, is the way these films are packaged. Encased in a colorfully designed box are the six films with three on each side that have unique cover. In the middle is a truly beautiful hard bound book Columbia Classics: Love at The Cinema.

The book contains The Romantic Professionalism of HIS GIRL FRIDAY by Julie Kirgo, Provocation, Not Prescription: The Role of Art in Effecting Social Change by Sarita Cannon, Kramer Vs. Kramer: Whose Side Are You On? by Esther Zuckerman, The Hopeful Humanity of John Carpenter’s STARMAN by Mike Ryan, SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE’s Affair to Remember by Katey Rich, and Stronger Than Anything You Can Imagine by Mark Kermode. The eighty-page book speaks on the history & Impact of Films.

Celebrating 100 Years of Columbia Pictures, this collection is a must have for film lovers for the generations!

Apple TV+ Delights with SNOOPY PRESENTS: Welcome Home, Franklin

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Apple TV+ and director Raymond S. Persi is a stunning look at one of the world’s most famous animated, the world’s most recognizable and beloved characters from Charles Schulz with SNOOPY PRESENTS: Welcome Home, Franklin.

Franklin (voiced by Caleb Bellavance) is a young boy who is used to moving about with his parents. Keeping a notebook given to him by his grandfather, he arrives in his new town hoping to fit in right away. His first meet is with Linus (Wyatt White) in the pumpkin patch and gets a lesson in pumpkin etiquette. Determined to make friends, he meets the very outspoken Lucy (Isabella Leo) who basically sets him straight, and Pig Pen who has an introduction of his own.

Snoopy and Woodstock are all about that surfs up but Franklin is beginning to feel a bit defeated. The cloud’s part when Franklin meets Charlie Brown (Etienne Kellici) and there is a connection. When a derby comes to town and the prize, the two become partners planning for the race. Franklin also shares with Charlie Brown what he knows about baseball and music.

Getting to know one another while building their derby car, Franklin and Charlie Brown are feeling confident of a win. But, what the two boys learn about friendship and loyalty is far more important than the group could ever have imagined.

Bellavance and Kellici as Franklin and Charlie Brown are just such wonderful characters and watching them interact is something totally new. Charlie Brown isn’t known for having close friends but I have a sneaking suspicion he has found that in Franklin and it is a beautiful and fun thing. 

Other voice characters include Lexi Perri as Peppermint Patty, Hattie Kragten as Sally, Arianna McDonald as Marcie, Lucien Duncan-Reid as Schroeder, Charlie Boyle as Violet, Will Bhaneja as Shermy, Maya Misaljevic as Frieda, Jackson Reid as Harold, Jacob Mazeral as Jose, Rob Tinkler as Woodstock and, finally, Terry McGurrin as Snoopy. 

Apple TV+ is a video on demand web television that debuted in 2019 viewable through the Apple TV app. CEO Tim Cook wanted original content calling it “a great opportunity for us from a creation point of view”. From THE MORNING SHOW to TRYING and THE BANKER and Jason Momoa in SEE, there is plenty of choices for everyone. Plenty of genres? That is exactly what they are bringing to viewers and to see more of what they have to offer please visit www.apple.com/tv/.

Produced for Apple TV+ by Peanuts and WildBrain, the special is directed by Emmy Award winner Raymond S. Persi (“The Simpsons,” “Wreck-It-Ralph”) and is co-written by Robb Armstrong (“Jump Start”) along with Craig Schulz, Bryan Schulz, and Cornelius Uliano, from an original story by Armstrong and Scott Montgomery (“The Snoopy Show”). Executive producers are Craig Schulz, Bryan Schulz, Cornelius Uliano, Paige Braddock, Josh Scherba, Stephanie Betts and Logan McPherson.

SNOOPY PRESENTS: Welcome Home, Franklin is such a wonderful way to introduce the character of Franklin. This young boy knows what it’s like to move from place to place and attempt to make friends everywhere he goes. Relying on good advice from his grandfather, Franklin does what he can to make himself likeable but it seems to go slightly off kilter. This is a fantastic family film with subject matters that are relatable to everyone.

Meeting Charlie Brown is a turning point for Franklin but what he doesn’t realize is that it is also something very special for Charlie Brown. When the derby is presented, the two strangers become friends learning about one another because they do what most people don’t – communicate. Their stories are so sweet that these two boys are quickly at ease with one another. 

Apple TV+ brings so much love with SNOOPY PRESENTS: Welcome Home, Franklin and it is a winner for fans. On race day, all of the Peanut’s characters learn a valuable lesson about friendship, loyalty and what is truly important in life. Pizza doesn’t hurt either!

In the end – friendship is the finishing line!





KUNG FU PANDA 4 Ticket Giveaway!!


This spring, the Dragon Warrior returns to the big screen! 
Military Press is giving out advance screening passes (each pass admits 2) 
to see KUNG FU PANDA 4.

The advance screening is on March 5 at 7 p.m. at AMC MISSION VALLEY


Claim your passes here, while supplies last: https://gofobo.com/KFP4Press Code: KFP4Press


Please note...Ticketing and seating availability is first-come, first-serve. This pass does not guarantee a seat.

Kung Fu Panda 4 is in theaters on March 8th.

#KungFuPanda @KungFuPanda

They Are No ORDINARY ANGELS

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres from director Jon Gunn and Lionsgate is a true story of life and connection with ORDINARY ANGELS.

Sharon Stevens (Hilary Swank) is a hairdresser with problems, namely alcohol, although she doesn’t seem to think so. When it is suggested she find something else to occupy her mind, she takes an interest in a story about Michelle (Emily Mitchell) who is in need of a liver transplant. Sharon seeks out her father Ed (Alan Ritchson), a recent widower, who is past his neck in bills and consistently looking for work that will pay medical bills as well.

Ed is a quieter person and Sharon is a tad louder as these two come together to try and figure out how to pay the medical bills and keep his house. Sharon begins to raise funds through hairdressing and donations talking with people about helping the struggling family. Sharon even helps with Ed’s older daughter Ashley Schmitt (Skywalker Hughes) to give her support.

All of the attention is difficult for Ed and when Sharon puts the girls in jeopardy, everything she has worked for begins to fall apart. When Michelle is back in the hospital, the doctor makes it clear that something has to happen soon or they could lose the little girl. When hope is so close, a major storm hits their town of Louisville, Kentucky. As roads close and the snow piles, Ed reaches out to the one person he knows who can get things done and Sharon answers the call. 

Ed and Sharon learn from one another about faith, hope and possibilities.

Swank as Sharon plays a loud, boisterous hairdresser who refuses to admit she might have a drinking problem. Throwing herself into helping Ed, Michell and Ashley, she avoids her own life issues until they can’t be ignored anymore. Swank is known for playing these characters and does not fail to deliver with conviction and emotion.

Ritchson as Ed is a man who is dealing with his own grief after the loss of his wife. Now he is dealing with his young daughter’s illness and the bills are piling up. All of a sudden this very boisterous woman shows up and his life begins to change in ways he could never have imagined. Ritchson gives his character a stoniness and pride that gets in his way sometimes but he melts as a father of his young loving daughters. 

Mitchell as Michelle is a young girl who wants the family to be happy and her father to be there. She is such a charmer and so endearing in this role. Well done young lady. Hughes as Ashley is the older sister who is trying to be strong for everyone. Sharon gives her a few moments of fun being lighthearted but when it comes to her little sister, she is all heart. Hughes gives us a look at a tough teenager who is dealing with her own grief.

Shout out to Nancy Travis who is there for her family with love, strength and acceptance of Sharon to help. 

Lionsgate is a global leader in motion picture production and distribution for theatres, television, home entertainment and more. Theatre franchises include THE HUNGER GAMES, and DIVERGENT along with JOHN WICK. Now, adding this film to its 16,000-motion picture and television titles you can see everything coming soon as well as available now at http://www.lionsgate.com.

ORDINARY ANGELS is a story of one family’s struggle through grief and illness and another story of a woman avoiding hers. When they come together, there is a different kind of struggle but one that can be overcome when the focus is saving a young girls life. This is a film that shows what is possible and how many people can actually make it happen – tenacity for sure!

The script was written by Kelly Freemon Craig and actress Meg Tilly based on the story of the family during the 1994 North American storms. From these two writers, director Gunn has brought and endearing story to the big screen filled with faith and when called upon, the humanity of the town around this little girl. These are films people can enjoy and talk about with the family, teachable moments absolutely.

In the end – find your purpose and make a difference. 




ALL OF US STRANGERS

Jeri Jacquin

Currently on Digital and coming to 4K Ultra HD from writer/director Andrew Haigh based on Taichi Yamada’s Strangers and Searchlight Pictures is ALL OF US STRANGERS.

Adam (Andrew Scott) is living a very secluded life in his high tower apartment in London. A screenwriter, he spends his time writing and being alone until one night he meets neighbor Harry (Paul Mescal). A bit drunk, Harry tries to entice Adam to spend the night. Trying to be polite, Adam makes it clear he isn’t interested. The next day, Adam is off to visit Mum (Claire Foy) and Dad (Jamie Bell) who are happy to see him.

Coming back home he sees Harry again but this time he invites him into the apartment. There begins their passionate relationship. They talk about their families as Harry tells Adam that there is a disconnect with his own parents. Spending a night out on the town, they drink and dance their troubles away. After a fitful night of dreams, Adam tells Harry about his own parents and wants them all to meet. 

But reality slowly makes its way to Adam and he holds on to the things he loves.

Scott as Adam is stunning in the role of a writer who is dealing with so much emotion in his life. Relying on his parents for support, he is trying to come to terms with the events of his life. When a love enters into the picture, it is just another piece of his life that is blissful but filled with intensity. Scott moves in and out of the story like his feet are not touching the ground. He flows so smoothly and I am with him every frame through joy and heartbreak. This is a stunning performance by Scott.

Mescal as Harry is the larger-than-life person that seems to awaken something in Adam. He is light, funny, charming and has no judgements toward Adam. At first glance, his character gives off vibes that even had me backing away a bit and that says everything about what Mescal’s performance brings. This character draws you in slowly, is too charming to be ignored and it is all Mescal.

Foy as Mum is supporting of her son and shows him love and understanding. She listens to how Adam is feeling and is such a calming presence for him. That is what Foy brings to the story, with the grace she has come to be known for (watch THE CROWN for another stunning performance) and the eyes of an old soul. Bell as Dad has a history with Adam that is a bit strained as clearly there are things that need to be said between them. I enjoyed Bell’s performance as a man who has a difficult time sharing his feelings. 

Searchlight Pictures is responsible for such films as SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, 12 YEARS A SLAVE, THE SHAPE OF WATER and THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING MISSOURI. They have an extensive film library as well as documentaries, scripted series, and limited series. For more information, please visit www.searchlightpictures.com.

Bonus Features include Featurettes Roots of the Story – Uncover how the director blended his own personal story into the making of this moving film. Hear the cast and crew and learn how the filmmakers approached recreating the look and feel of the ‘80s, from the sets to the hair and clothing and Building Adam’s World – Discover how Adam’s isolated existence was shaped through constructed sets. Visit the locations of exterior shots and learn about the director’s choice to have Adam’s world feel real, and yet not quite real. 

ALL OF US STRANGERS has won awards from the Valladolid International Film Festival, Montclair Film Festival, British Independent Film Awards, National Board of Review, Los Angeles Film critics Association Awards, Kansas City Film Critics Circle, and London Film Critics’ Circle.

This film is an emotional roller coaster from beginning to end with Adam at the helm. It is a story of loneliness, love, want of love and family. It is a powerful look at the complexity of life through the eyes of this haunted man. Director Haigh gives us nothing to hide behind when we feel as if there is an intrusion into Adam’s life. It is right before us and the emotion falls over us wave after wave.

Filmed beautifully with an amazing score, ALL OF US STRANGERS is insightful, complex, tender, and gauntlet of emotion. Might I suggest a box of tissue and someone to cuddle with as this moving piece of filmmaking doesn’t mind the teardrops nor our own family emotions mixing with Adams. In fact, I think it wants exactly that.

In the end – the paths to love are many!