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Jeri Jacquin and Jenise Jacquin
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On Bluray Comes the Amazingly Successful Series THE HANDMAID'S TALE

Jeri Jacquin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the end - we will bear no more!

Monsters Test Your Ability to Live in 
A QUIET PLACE 

Jeri Jacquin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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


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

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

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

In addition to Season 1 episodes, fans can go beyond what started it all, with hours of gripping bonus features, from behind-the-scenes, making-of sequences, audio commentaries and much more.


Email us at hellomoviemaven@aol.com with THE IRON THRONE in the subject line with your name and address and we'll choose a winner!
INCREDIBLES 2 is Exactly That – 
Purely Incredible!

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this week from writer/director Brad Bird, Pixar and Walt Disney Studios is the return of the family we love to love with INCREDIBLES 2.

After the Parr family has dealt with the Mole and his attack on the city, the Supers once again find themselves on the outs. Sitting in a motel room wondering what they are going to do next, Lucius aka Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson) arrives with news.

It seems someone wants to help bring Supers back! A meeting with Winston (Bob Odenkirk) and Evelyn Deavor (Catherine Keener) brings Bob/Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) and Helen/Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) a chance to prove that Supers should be brought back.

The idea is to make Elastigirl the face of the Supers which takes them by surprise, especially Bob’s ego. The Deavor’s provide the Parr family with a spacious and, well incredible new home and Helen an awesome two wheel ride. All of this means Bob is home to tend to teen-angst ridden Violet (Sarah Vowell), Dash (Huck Milner) and Jack-Jack (Eli Fucile).

Home life problems include Violet’s confusion about her date with Tony (Michael Bird), Dash’s rambunctiousness and Jack-Jack being Jack-Jack. As Helen leaves to resume ‘hero’ work, Bob is now Mr. Mom and learning the ropes. It doesn’t take long before he becomes over whelmed but can’t let Helen know so calls on Lucius who is equally confused about it all. His last hope is Edna Mode (Brad Bird)!

Helen on the other hand is busy saving Ambassador’s and meeting new Supers. Winston wants to create a summit where everyone comes together once again. The problem is a new villain is using technology to turn the Supers into not-so-nice Supers putting the possibility of bringing Supers back on the back burner! You follow?

Don’t worry, you will, and what an incredible ride it is!

Hunter as Helen/Elastigirl takes the lead in this film as a working Mom in the most Super of ways. I love Hunter’s character for so many reasons but mainly she is the glue that holds the Parr family together. Not taking anything away from Bob, it’s just a Mom thang!

Nelson as Bob/Mr. Incredible is a little distraught about being put aside but slowly begins to see that he can be equally incredible being an dialed-in Dad as well. When he is finally called to help save the world once again, a twists comes in and the loyalty of family suits up!

Vowell as Violet is having the double issue of teen and super confusion. The one thing she does know for sure is that family is everything. Milner as Dash continues his wise cracking sense of humor and ability to test his parent’s limits – which isn’t always a bad thing.

Jackson as Lucius/Frozone is thrilled at the possibility of being free to freeze, even if his wife might have other ideas. Odenkirk as Winston is a man who truly believes that the Supers need to come back. He has his own personal reasons for it which are endearing. Keener as Evelyn is laid back and the technical brains of the very rich duo.

Fucil as Jack-Jack steals the film from everyone and it must be said. This kid-character had me cracking up from start to finish – probably because that’s exactly how I see most toddlers. Fiery one minute and happy with a cookie the next, Jack-Jack is coming into his own and the family better learn to deal!

Other cast include Sophia Bush as Voyd, Phil LaMarr as Krushauer/Helectrix, Adam Gates as Chad Brentley, Jonathan Banks as Rick Dicker, Isabella Rossellini as the Ambassador.

INCREDIBLES 2 has my whole family jumping in our very incredible Incredible pajamas. Yes, when we like something we go all in and this film is definitely family fun from start to finish. It is so great to have the gang back together dealing with the duality of trying to have a normal life while trying to save the world from itself.

I believe the reason for the films success in 2004 is because this family is so dang cute for one but totally relatable for another. They have work problems, family issues, sibling rivalry – basically everything we non-supers deal with every day. The fact that they are animated just makes all of those things sort of enjoyable.

What I enjoy as well is the fact that writer/director Bird doesn’t really deviate from that winning formula. In fact, once again the story deals with losing a home, being unemployed, Mom having to be the bread winner and Dad discovering what really goes on at home and, of course, turning to true friends in time of need.

Those are awesome things to take away from a film that also entertains at every turn. I walked into the theatre giddy with excitement to see one of my favorite families (if you must know, The Adams Family is also in that list) come together once again and, well, be a family that just happens to have something extra to share with us all.

So gather up your own super family and prepare for adventure, laughs and a little learning with a family that shows us all how it’s possible to be incredible in our own ways.

In the end – it’s back to work!

ANT-MAN and the WASP Prove Super Hero Size Doesn’t Matter

Jeri Jacquin

In theatres this Friday from director Peyton Reed and Marvel Studios comes the next adventure bringing together ANT-MAN and the WASP.

Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is still under house arrest after the fiasco with CAPTAIN AMERICA: Civil War. Under the watchful eye of Agent Woo (Randall Park), Scott spends time with daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson) and his business with partner Luis (Michael Pena).

With days away from the removal of his ankle tracker, Scott is doing his best to behave. Of course that’s all about to change when Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) decides to kidnap him. Freaking out about being out of the house, Hope explains that she and father Dr. Pym (Michael Douglas) need his help. 

Both Hope and Pym are still unhappy with what Scott did but there is something more important they need. Working on a way to save her mother Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer), Hope reaches out to Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins), a man who knows how to get things that are – shall we say – slightly illegal.

Once Sonny realizes who Hope is and what her father can do, he makes demands to get a piece of the action. They are interrupted by what can only be describes as a Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) and an all out brawl breaks out forcing Scott back into his Ant-Man suit to help.

Now the chase is on as it seems both Sonny and this Ghost want the same thing, to steal Dr. Pym’s lab and discover the secrets inside. Of course Scott also has to keep a low profile but that’s hard to do when you are trying to do what’s right!

Rudd as Scott reminds me of a clean Deadpool in a sense. He is funny, charming, constantly trying to do what’s right even if it goes wrong and wears a tight super hero costume. He brings out the best in his character while being put in the worst situations possible. I have to admit that the scene between Rudd and Fishburne is pretty funny when they are comparing size. I just enjoy Rudd as an actor and ANT-MAN and the WASP proves why that is.

Lily as Hope is smart, tough and has no problem whizzing between sizes to put the bad guys in their place. She is still a little bent out of shape with Scott but believing that her mother might still be alive is much more important. John-Kamen as Ghost has the chance to go a little one-on-one with Lily’s character as they both worked on their martial arts skills perfectly.

Douglas as Dr. Pym is totally p.o.’d at Scott but, like his daughter, sees the necessity of getting Scott’s help. Using his smarts to stay one step ahead of both Sonny and the Ghost, coming up against an old friend might be the hardest to deal with. Fishburne as Dr. Foster has a bone to pick with Pym and it will all come out in the wash.

Pena as Luis finally has his chance to see how the super hero half lives. Making sure Scott is protected and getting a chance to shrink seems to make his life complete. Fortson as Cassie is sweet and wants what is best for her Dad and, of course, has a few ideas on being a super hero herself.

Goggins as Sonny can do no wrong and brings bad guy humor to the film. He is a little greedy and at the same time a little charming with a few one liners that cracked me up. Park as Agent Woo also brings in the laughs trying to stay one step ahead of Scott. Pfeiffer as Janet has a small role (no pun intended) but a necessary character none the less.

Other cast include Bobby Cannavale as Paxton, T.I. as Dave, David Dastmalchian as Kurt, Divian Ladwa as Uzman and Lawrence Fishburne as Dr. Bill Foster.

ANT-MAN and the WASP is a fun superhero film that the whole family can enjoy filled with fun, total action and characters zipping from small, medium to large with lightening speed. The film comes in at a little over two hours yet never felt like I was being dragged along the story line.

Rudd and Lily work so well together that they made it look effortless. Douglas adds his grumpy salt to the mix and waalaa – a super hero film that will have everyone leaving the film feeling pretty darn good. 

Of course I can tell you to definitely stay past the credits because, as the Marvel Cinematic Universe is know for, a jaw drop or two might be waiting. The interconnection between the Marvel films is becoming tighter and tighter.

As the summer heats up for blockbuster superhero movies, ANT-MAN and the WASP looks to be right up there with the rest. 

In the end – real heroes come in all sizes!



My friend Vince Munn offers up his view of

ANT MAN AND THE WASP

In the aftermath of 'Captain America: Civil War,' Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) grapples with the consequences of his choices as both a Super Hero and a father. 

On house arrest for violating probation, helping his friends start up a small security business, his responsibilities as Ant-Man, he's confronted by Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) and Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) with an urgent new mission. 

Scott must once again put on the suit and learn to fight alongside The Wasp as the team works together to uncover secrets from their past. Pitted against Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins) who’s looking to use quantum tech for monetary gain, and the mysterious Ghost (Hanna John-Kamen) who has plans of her own, Ant Man and the Wasp is a site fire hit for summer fun! 

Marvel Studios has found a nice way to balance big budget event films like Infinity War, with smaller budget solo films like this. Peyton Reed returns to the director’s chair to bring a second installment in the surprise hit of 2015. 

This movie moves smooth, tight, and with amazing effects. Paul Rudd is the most unassuming hero and he pulls it off perfect. Meeting the physical appearance and peppering the role with his style of humor and personality, Ant Man would be a lesser character in other hands. His chemistry with Evangeline Lilly is great, in both quiet moments as well as big action set pieces. 

The nice surprise is Michelle Pfeiffer returning to the comic book genre as Janet Van Dyne. Her scenes, though limited, work well and her relationship with Hank Pym is loving and sincere. 

The return of Scott’s gang of friends, as well as his family are nice ties, neither ever overstaying their time and doing what a good supporting cast is supposed to. Elevate the performance of the lead. With some deep cut nod to the both Stature and Goliath, the Easter eggs are ever prevalent for the geeks and fans. 

While still part of the overall MCU, this one stands on its own two feet, no matter what size!

Bring all Your Monsters to See HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: Summer Vacation 

Jeri Jacquin

In theatres this week from director Genndy Tartakovsky and Sony Pictures Animation is a return to visit one of our favorite monster family’s at HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: Summer Vacation. 

The hotel is busier than ever as Dracula (Adam Sandler) and daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) miss spending family time together. Son-in-law Johnny (Andy Samberg) thinks Mavis’ idea of a family vacation is fantastic and along with son Dennis (Asher Blinkoff) pack immediately. 

Mavis has booked passage on a monster cruise and invites the extended family with Frank (Kevin James), Eunice (Fran Drescher), Wayne (Steve Buscemi), Wanda (Molly Shannon) and their brood, Griffin (David Spade), Murray (Keegan-Michael Key) and Grandpa Vlad (Mel Brooks). 

At first Dracula isn’t thrilled about the idea but when Mavis implores him to use the time for family, he can’t exactly turn her down. Captain Ericka (Kathryn Hahn) welcomes everyone aboard and promises them a fantastic vacation. Seeing all the ship has to offer, the gang is excited. Even Dracula changes his tune when he sees Erika because the one thing he thought would never happen is happening – zinging! 

Worried how Mavis will react, he keeps his feelings under his proverbial cape. What he doesn’t know and that’s who is hiding below deck, what plans are taking shape and more importantly – who is Bob?

All of this and more will be answered because after all – they are family!

Sandler as Dracula once again puts on the cape to run the hotel and spending time being a good Dad and Grandpa. Wanting to spend more family time, the monster cruise is certainly something different. It’s good to see Sandler keep his character goofy and loveable even for a vampire.

Gomez as Mavis wants to spend quality time with the family having fun. Having her father ‘zing’ certainly isn’t on her itinerary. It doesn’t help that her suspicions about the ships captain are accurate but everyone deserves a second chance.

Hahn as Captain Erika is nimble, fun and very sneaky. She has her eye on Dracula but zinging isn’t why! Erika’s story of hereditary, history and revenge but she also hasn’t met anyone like Dracula.

Frank, Eunice, Wayne, Wanda, Griffin, Murray all return because this wouldn’t be HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA without them. They bring fun, charm and a gentle reminder that extended family hold an important place in our lives. This bunch is so loveable that I was “awing” every five minutes. This is a monster family that started it all and continues to keep us together. 

Shout out to Mel Brooks as Grandpa Vlad for bringing the jokes and fun on deck. Of course any time Mel Brooks shows up to a party it’s going to be awesome!

Other cast include Chris Parnell as Stan, Joe Jonas as The Kraken, Chrissy Teigen as Crystal, Aaron LaPlante as the Gremlin, Genndy Tartakovsky as Blobby, Sandie Sandler as Winnie, Sunny Sandler as Sunny, Tara Strong as Frankenlady, Libby Dickey as Lucy, and Joe Whyte as Tinkles.

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: Summer Vacation makes the difficult look easy in that the story is fresh and fun while leaving us the characters our own family’s have come to love. The comedy is there, family issues about our busy lives and, of course, how love shows up at the most unexpected time and place – no matter if your one or one thousand years old.

It is so easy to forget these are ‘monsters’ when there situations are not so different than our own. Another reason this series of films has and continues to be embraced by family film goers. It’s a film we can take our kids to see while still being kids ourselves.

So pack up your own brood and prepare them all for popcorn, fun and loads of giggles. HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: Summer Vacation is everything and so much more.

In the end – family vacations can suck the life out of you!  



SKYSCRAPER is Everything Anyone Can Want from the Rock!

Jeri Jacquin

In theatres from writer/director Rawson Marshall Thurber and Universal Pictures comes the story of a family man, bad guys and a tall building called a SKYSCRAPER.

Will Sawyer (Dwayne Johnson) is a former FBI man who has begun a small security business of his own. Through the help of Ben (Pablo Schreiber), a former member of his FBI team, Will has been given the opportunity of a lifetime. Doing the security check of the highest skyscraper in the world owned by Zhao Long Ji (Chin Han), Will is more than a little nervous.

Living in the family section of the building that is waiting to be open to the public is wife Sarah (Neve Campbell) who is a successful doctor in her own right. Also, their twins Georgia (McKenna Roberts) and Henry (Noah Cottrell) are enjoying the adventure living in Hong Kong. 

Meeting with Zhao, Will is given the okay to complete his security work and given a tablet that allows only him access to certain areas of the building. Headed to the off site facility, Will is attacked and his satchel is stolen. Ben is there to help and discovers that Will still has what it takes. It becomes clear that there is something more sinister happening when Kores Botha (Roland Moller) enters the building.

Seen by Sarah in the hallways, it is soon after that a fire alarm goes off! Will figures out that the building is under attack and tries to reach his family when he realizes they are in their apartment. He is surprised when it is put on the big screens around Hong Kong that he is the one responsible for it all.

A police headquarters is set up and led by Inspector Wu (Byron Mann) who is suspicious about everything that has been happening. Putting a call out to find Will, it doesn't take long. On a building next to the skyscraper, Will is finding his own way back into the building that has now been locked down with police hot on his trail.

Zhao is told by his handlers and Mr. Pierce (Noah Taylor) that Will's family is still in the building and they try to retrieve them. As the fire burns out of control and Zhao realizes that his building has been compromised, he knows it's time to go and who is responsible for everything.

None of that matters to Will, he wants his family safe and no billionaire, bad guy or skyscraper is going to stop him!

Johnson as Sawyer is a man with heart, soul and a deep understanding of family. Now, let’s get down to business with this role. Of course this is a 'disaster' film and it looks like a few we've seen over the years yet bit when Dwayne Johnson takes the lead it's all good with me. He always portrays a charmingly humble sort of guy who knows what the right thing is and doesn't hesitate to do it. His characters are always flawed in some way and as Sawyer; he is a man who has a physical disability that doesn't slow him down. He's smart, unwavering and determined to make sure his family comes first and that's what makes him a good dude.

I also must say that if the universe is looking for another Spiderman, they might want to consider Dwayne Johnson (you will understand when you see the film). I was also impressed with little tricks that I kept thinking, “I bet John McClane (DIE HARD) is mad he didn’t think of that”. Just a great homage to a lot of classic disaster and action films I happen to love.

Campell as Sarah is a pretty darn good woman in her own right. She is supportive of her husband, smart with an important career and equally as dedicated to her family. When it all starts to go down, Campell goes into beast mode and makes it clear she is a force to be reckoned with as well. I enjoyed that about her role, she gets her hands dirty and clearly isn't a pushover. That goes for Roberts as daughter Georgia and Cottrell as son Henry as these two are afraid (with every reason to be) yet are motivated by the example set by their parents. 

Moller as bad guy Botha is quiet, skilled and doesn't give a hoot who gets in his way. He has a score to settle and settle it he absolutely will. Schreiber as Ben is the man who starts it all using his friendship with Will. Taylor as Mr. Pierce is the guy I'd never trust in a million years which means a performance well done. Mann as Inspector Wu gives Will the chance to plea

Other cast include Kevin Rankin as Ray, Matt O'Leary as Skinny Hacker, Tzi Ma as Fire Chief Sheng, Adrian Holmes as Ajani Okeke, and Elfina Luk as Sgt. Han.

SKYSCRAPER has pretty much everything you go to see an action film for. Although the storyline might seem familiar in a few ways, it certainly doesn't take away from what happens on screen. Johnson goes in full force and doesn't waste any time taking his character for a full on adventure but then again we have come to expect that from him - happily so.

Look, I've been a fan of disaster films since I was a kid. My earliest experience in disasters on film was watching the 1953 film TITANIC with Clifton Webb and Barbara Stanwyck which captivated me from start to finish much to my mother's dismay. After that I couldn't wait to see what Hollywood would come up with next and I followed fearlessly with each film. It's probably the notion that I get a thrill out of surviving the disasters or perhaps I just enjoy watching what human beings do when survival is on the line.

Now, SKYSCRAPER will be one of those films that I will stop and watch every time it comes my way. I enjoyed watching Johnson be a part of a family that fights for their survival and not be a victim of it which I'm sure the bad guys didn't anticipate. Instead, I cheered them all on and boo'd when the bad guys showed their ugly mugs. 

That's what makes films like SKYSCRAPER so enjoyable - the interaction that many in the theatre along with me enjoyed being a part of. There is something to be said for being outspoken when the characters on screen give us something to cheer about. Finally, this film is just one heck of a good time at the theatres with a bucket of popcorn and a comfy seat.

In the end - don't look down! 

SUPER TROOPERS 2 Comes To Bluray with Even More Laughs

Jeri Jacquin

Yes, it's true - the boys with badges are back again on Bluray/DVD and Digital with writer/director Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter and Erik Stolhanske (aka the Broken Lizard gang) along with 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is SUPER TROOPERS 2.

It has been a while since we last saw our favorite Vermont State Troopers as they have moved on since the Fred Savage incident. A telephone call from Captain O'Hagan (Brian Cox) is about to change their down trodden lives. Telling Mac (Steve Lemme), Rabbit (Erik Stolhanske), Foster (Paul Soter) and Thorny (Jay Chandrasekhar) to meet him in Canada for a fishing trip. The thing is that it turns out the boys are the catch of the day. Oh yes, and Farva (Kevin Heffernan).

The Captain along with Governor Jessman (Lynda Carter) has a proposal for them, discovering the lines between the United States and Canada are all messed up, it seems that a piece of Canada is about to become a piece of the United States...follow? Good, keep up because this is where it gets good.

The Governor puts the gang back in uniform and introduces them to Mountie Podien (Hayes MacArthur), Bellefuille (Tyler Labine) and Archambault (Will Sasso) who aren't thrilled at all about the changes coming. They are introduced to the town hockey hero Guy LeFranc (Rob Lowe) who owns the town bar & bordello and Genevieve Aubois (Emmanuelle Chriqi) who seems to be the only welcoming person.

As the changes begin to happen, like changing road way signs and listen to Canadians make it clear that the boys aren't wanted - they discover crates of illegal guns, phones and weapons. Not sure exactly what is happening, they start searching for who is responsible while, at the same time, deal with the barrage of shenanigans from their Mountie counterparts.

They may not be average law enforcement but one thing is for sure - they never quite!

Cox as O'Hagan is happy to bring his boys back together and this time completely understands that they aren't about to change their antics. Believing in second chances he's fully on board. Chandrasekhar as Thorny brings his mustache back into play and doesn't hesitate to take on Mounties or a bag of female hormone therapy (which is more than hilarious). I just love his laid back attitude and straight faced one liners.

Lemme as Mac is thrilled to be back and when the mystery of crates comes about, he is on the case. Stolhanske as Rabbit is on his game and not just solving the crate case as a certain French woman has his full and upright attention. Soter as Foster is definitely one of the boys and follows them and I secretly think hoping it will lead to even more trouble. 

Heffernan as Farva doesn't need a gun fired to get him off and running. I believe the best part of Farva being in Canada is - yes, his happiness in discovering there is somewhere in the world where you can get a liter of liquid. Heffernan is hilarious without question.

MacArthur as Podien, Labine as Bellefuille and Sasso as Archambault are proud of being Mounties and even prouder that their town has a bar and bordello. I have to say I loved their way of handling the Vermont crew. If it is possible to have Canadian twins, these guys are it for the American boys.

Lowe as LeFranc has a horribly funny Canadian accent but then again he does play a former hero hockey player AND is the owner of the bar and bordello so actually I found myself nodding, 'cool'. Lowe has still got it and I love when the takes roles that are just out and out fun to do. Chriqui as Genevieve wants to make the guys welcome, especially one warm and fuzzy guy.

Cameos and other cast include Seann William Scott as Trooper Callaghan, Clifton Collins Jr. as the Bus Driver, Damon Wayans Jr. as Trooper Wagner, Bruce McCulloch as Officer Lloyds, Paul Hauser as Lonnie Laloush, Jim Gaffigan as Larry Johnson, Marisa Coughlan as Ursula along with Lynda Carter and Fred Savage.

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

The Bluray and DVD include the special features of Making SUPER TROOPERS 2, Extended & Deleted Scenes, Kevin Heffernan: Method Actor and Theatrical Trailer. Included is Movies Anywhere which means you have options where you can enjoy your films so check that out.

SUPER TROOPERS came out in 2001 and here it is seventeen years later and these gents don't miss a beat. The comedy is on point, the gags are awesome, the band is back together and I don't know anyone who isn't thrilled about that fact. Simply stated, the anticipation for SUPER TROOPERS 2 was huge and worth the wait. There isn't one single thing about the film that doesn't bring about fits of laughter.

What really made it all worth the wait is that the Broken Lizard bang didn't try to reinvent the comedy wheel. Instead, they brought in subtle remembrances from 2001, kept the story close to what each character is known for and I am absolutely okay with both of those things. Watching the film again now on Bluray, it feels like comedy home and hilariously comfortable. 

Okay, so I've watched the Bluray several times and I can pretty much guarantee I'll be watching it more than a couple time in the future. SUPER TROOPERS 2 is a comedy that brings the laughs with ease and brings friends together for a double feature night of fun! Quite honestly I am secretly hoping the Broken Lizard boys are locked away somewhere in a secret location working on a script for a SUPER TROOPERS 3...a girl can dream right?

I might have the opportunity to ask just that as this week kicks off Comic Con here in San Diego. Seems The Broken Lizard Comedy Team will be at the Horton Grand Theatre on Saturday, July 21st. The team of Jay, Kevin, Steve, Paul and Erik will be sharing their stories and that’s when I’ll sneak in my question!

In the end - the mustache rides again!

Comic Con 2018 is Back!

Here is a look at Preview Night on Wenesday and the line-up for Thursday.

Jeri Jacquin

Has it been a year already? Apparently so as San Diego gears up for Comic Con 2018 and if you have been downtown in the last few days you see the commotion as preparations are being made and hotels are filling up quickly. The anticipation is always part of Comic Con as fans prepare to invade the Convention Center with all things fun.

It all beings Wednesday, June 18th with Preview Night and as the name suggests, those lucky enough to hold badges are privy to some of the most amazing sites and sounds that Comic Con has to offer. There are games, toys, shirts, bags, pins, comic books and so much more and preview night is the first chance to walk away with so many goodies.

But that's not all as Comic Con and Warn Bros. Television bring the exclusive screening of the new series MANIFEST and another advanced screening of THE 100. Finishing off the evening is a brand new episode from the second season of FREEDOM FIGHTERS: The Ray. At the Horton Grand Theatre, New Line Cinema "Scarediego" offers badge holders a look at the 2018-2019 slate of horror films along with panels of special filmmaker guests. 

Of course the town will be buzzing with parties and gatherings to celebrate the beginning of four more days of meeting up with friends, meeting new friends and experiencing everything from Ballroom 20 to Hall H and everything in between. 

On Thursday, June 19, the day for me will begin with a trip to Hall H (no surprise right?) as the morning begins with 20th Century Fox's THE PREDATOR. Director Shane Black brings cast members Olivia Munn, Sterling K. Brown, Keegan-Michael Key, Trevante Rhodes, Jake Busey,Yvonne Strahovski, Thomas Jane and Augusto Aguilera to panel. The talk will turn to bringing their story and take to the iconic and recognizable franchise.

BBC America is welcomed to Hall H with their panel of DOCTOR WHO and the 13th Doctor Jodie Whittaker and cast Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill, Chris Chibail and executive producer Matt Strevens. What makes this so special is that the is the first time DOCTOR WHO has come with a panel before the next season begins so I'm sure the question and answer session is going to be full of questions.

DRAGON BALL SUPER brings Sean Schemmel and Christopher Sabat into the Dragon Ball world to bring special surprises and reveal things not before seen about the new movie. 

AMC brings BETTER CALL SAUL and Bob Odenkirk, Rhea Seehorn, Patrick Fabian, Michael Mando and Giancarlo Esposito along with producers Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould to chat up about the fourth season returning on August 6th. Also, AMC brings a BREAKING BAD 10th Anniversary Celebration as Bryon Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte, Bob Odenkirk and Giancarlo Esposito talk about their time on the series and the legacy of the series.

ASSASSINATION NATION brings the Russo Brothers to Comic Con to talk about how difficult this particular high school becomes when every phone in town is hacked meaning everyone sees everything! Director Sam Levinson and Bill Skarsgard, Suki Waterhouse, Hari Nef and Abra will be on hand to talk about the film. 

Ballroom 20 brings their best as well with BEHIND THE SCENES OF FREEFORM'S SIREN. The cast and producers of the first season hit show are debuting at Comic Con to talk about what fans can expect from the next season at Bristol Cove. CHARMED comes to Comic Con in time to celebrate it's 20th anniversary and to talk about the reboot of the new series staring Melonie Diaz, Sarah Jeffery, Madeleine Mantock and Rupert Evans along with producers Jennie Snyder Urman, Jessica O'Toole and Amy Rardin. 

TELL ME A STORY comes to Ballroom 20 and is the project of Kevin Williamson who tells his version of such fairy tales as the Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood. Stars Paul Wesley and James Wolk are there to discuss the new series. Following this panel is another new series A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES as Teresa Palmer, Matthew Goode, Alex Kingston, and Owen Teale discuss the story created by author Deborah Harkness.

Bobcat Goldthwait's MISFITS AND MONSTERS brings panelists Jake Hurwitz, Amir Blumenfeld, Tara Lynne Barr and Karan Soni to talk about the series and the inspiration behind the truTV's anthology series. SYFY WIRE brings Aisha Tyler to Host the Great Debate with Felicia Day, Joe Manganiello, Adam Savage, Janet Varney, Orlando Jones and John Barrowman in to debate anything and everything with the fans casting a vote for the best argument - now that's going to be fun! 

Netflix brings Marvel's IRON FIST and scoops about Danny Rand and Colleen Wing on season 2. Marvel's head of television Jeph Loeb will be on hand and a few surprises as well. 

At the Indigo Ballroom Hilton San Diego Bayfront, the day begins with the 6th ANNUAL MUSICAL ANATOMY OF A SUPERHERO as the panel gives a peek into the music that makes films even more amazing. Composers Tyler Bates, Marco Beltrami, Christophe Beck, Kurt Farquhar and Blake Neely talk about their projects and share more of their work.

SYFY brings the new series from George R.R. Martin set in 2093 with NIGHTFLYERS. 
The most expensive ship every built journey's through space and the crew learns the horrors aren't on the outside, but actually on the inside of their ship. Producers Jeff Buhler, Gene Klein and David Bartis join stars Eoin Macken, Gretchen Mol, David Ajala, Jodie Turner-Smith and Angus Sampson are on hand to talk about the new and exciting series. 

Z NATION brings cast members DJ Qualis, Kelita Smith, Russell Hodgkinson and Karl Schaefer to the panel to talk zombies and what is coming to the 5th season of the series. The Netflix Original Series BLACK SUMMER is the spin off to Z NATION as fans get a first hand look at what is to come and how shocking the story might be.

The day wouldn't be complete without wandering downtown to see all the exhibits and hands on fun that can be had where ever you look. I have to admit that's probably the best ending to my day is experiencing all that keeps downtown lively! So this is just a little peek inside what is coming on Preview Night and Comic Con's first full on Thursday.

There are so many panels that discuss everything from art work in comics to story ideals and voice work for all things animation. Costumes and cosplay galore will be everywhere and all I can say is make sure your camera battery is charged and you are carrying a spare. 

I hope to see you all at the Convention Center and remember, even if you didn't get a badge this year, there is so much to do, see and experience at Comic Con. Come early, dress appropriately, wear comfy shoes and bring water to stay hydrated while going from fun to fun. 

I'll have Friday's line up for you next!