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ARCTIC Brings Life and Death into a Cold Reality

 
 
Jeri Jacquin

 
In theatres from writer/director Joe Penna and Bleeker Street comes the harsh reality and decisions that pit him against the ARCTIC.

Overgard (Mads Mikkelsen) is stranded after an airplane crash in the desolate part of the Arctic. Living day to day he rises, fishes, makes sure a message can be seen from the air and sits on a hill to send out a signal to anyone who may be listening. Living inside the wreckage of his plane is the only thing between himself and the elements.

While sending out his usual signal, he suddenly sees a helicopter and couldn't be more surprised. Glee turns to horror when the crafts swings out of control and crashes to the ground. Racing towards the wreckage, Overgard discovers one pilot dead and another, a young woman (Maria Smaradottir), still alive.

Gathering what medical supplies are on board, he loads the young woman onto a sled and takes her back to the plane. Returning to the wreckage, he gathers up anything that can be used to help continue their survival. One such item is a map!

As the days pass, Overgard continues to study the map and use the limited medical supplies but it is clear that his patient needs more than he can provide. That's when he makes the decision to load up and pull her to the nearest station to find help for them both.

The trip is long, arduous and Overgard is faced with decisions that bring him to the breaking point!

Mikkelsen as Overgard is a man who seems to have fallen into a day to day routine of survival. He always keeps his safe haven of a wrecked plane within visual distance, especially when there is a chance to encounter animals who live in the Arctic. There is a back-story to how he came to survive the crash but there are only glimpses of it which leaves the rest to the viewer. Mikkelsen is a tremendous actor and I will watch absolutely everything he is in. There is something mysterious about the way he portrays characters and with one look he can stop the world from spinning - well, at least in my world.

Smaradottir as the young woman tries her best to not only communicate with Overgard but hang on, especially when seeing all he has done to keep them both alive. Her role is limited to be sure but each time he checks on her, it becomes clear that there isn't much time as he pleads with her to just hold on a little longer. That is pretty much what I was saying to myself through the entire film!

There isn't much dialogue in the film but then again there doesn't need to be. There are a few moments when Overgard talks to himself that made me chuckle and there are times when he attempts to communicate with the wounded pilot. Again that is what makes
Mikkelsen engaging to watch, everything you want to know you need only watch his expressions, the way he carries himself and the anger that comes with wanting to survive.

The cinematography is absolutely breathtaking with the vastness of wilderness, the peaks and valleys and the unforgiving moments where nature has its own way of doing things. Each time they stopped, Overgard would MacGyver a way to bring them shelter with the minimal supplies he dragged across the snow.

There are many survival films but there is something extremely breathtaking about a storyline that strips away all the trappings and forces choices that none of us would ever want to make. Throughout the film, this character makes those choices with every step he takes because now survival isn't just about him - he now has a reason to continue that is about more than one person.

ARCTIC is truly a visual and emotional ride that is beautiful, challenging, heartbreaking and will bring about a breath holding ending that you will long remember after the film has ended.

In the end - survival is its own journey.


Otzi the ICEMAN is a Find that Comes to Screen


Jeri Jacquin


The story ICEMAN comes from Omnibus Entertainment and director/writer Felix Randau to portray a time in history that is still being discovered and constantly changes today.

The film tells the story of Kaleb (Jurgen Vogel), a man who is part of a small village. Surrounded by his woman and other members, they lived a quiet and productive life. When Kaleb ventures out one day to do some hunting up in the hills, he doesn't know that a band of men is about to destroy everything he knows.

Seeing the smoke from his village, Kaleb returns to discover everyone is dead and those responsible are lingering nearby. After they leave, he goes from house to house looking for survivors. Away from the village next to a young boy, the newest member of their tribe has been protected from the savagery.

Kaleb clearly makes the decision to track down those responsible and holding them accountable. Taking the child with him, their travels are difficult and slow. As he closes in on the men responsible, he makes a decision regarding the child that becomes a necessity.

The weather begins to change but Kaleb pushes on until he finds what he is looking for and makes the second biggest decision of this journey. Sometimes when you are blinded by vengeance, you don't see what's coming.

Vogel as Kaleb plays a man of few words but then again this is a film with few words. He is a strong man among his people and when it is all stripped away, he has nothing to lose regarding his decisions. This actor has the unique ability to let his acting speak volumes and I understood every message he is trying to convey. It takes a lot to impress me and Vogel has done just that with this performance. Inviting me into this journey and then keeping me there through the entire story is what I love about this film.

In playing the role of Kaleb, Vogel says, "The great thing about being an actor is that there are always roles that present a challenge. Roles like this one make you learn a lot. It got me interested in Otzi and the time he lives in and the script is really exciting. I didn't have to think about it for long. I found the idea of playing Otzi fascinating because this role is something completely new for me."

The theme of revenge for the character of Kaleb is front and center after discovering his family and friends are dead. Vogel says, "Ortiz is compelled by revenge to extremes and only then does he sense that he has gone too far. In this early period, the rule of force was applied to exercise justice, but men also have feelings, a conscience, this is not an invention of the modern age. That is what links us today with this Stone Age man. We can identify with his conflicts and challenge just as much today".

Other cast include Andre Hennricke as Krant, Sabin Tambrea as Tasar, Susanne Wuest as Kisis, Martin Schneider as Gosar, Violetta Schurawlow as Mitar, Anna F. as Rulan, Paula Renzler as Rasop and Franco Nero as Ditob.

Where did the idea of this character come from, well I'm about to tell you.

In 1991, two hikers were walking near Tisenjoch/Giogo di Tisa in the Senales Valley when they discovered a human corpse. Believing it was someone who had died due to exposure on the mountain, what they did not realize is exactly what they had found and how it would change what we know about early man.

Unable to bring the body down due to the weather, they did manage to bring an axe that was found and showed it to Reinhold Messner who realized it was very old. Returning to finally retrieve the body, they would also make a discover of personal items and a bow. Taking their find to Otztal Valley in Austria, the forensics could begin.

Testing concluded that the man was over 5,000 years old and when researchers returned to where he was found, they uncovered other possessions. As the study of the mummy continued, they would discover tattoos and what seemed to be his understanding of illness and how to treat what ailed him like the use of birch bracket fungus.

The clothing found with Otzi consisted of leather and grass fibers and a fair amount of braiding. His tools consisted of a copper axe, a dagger and tools to make repairs. He was also found with a woven map and other items.

The question became, how did Otzi die? It quickly became clear that he was shot with an arrow but may have also been attacked days before he died. The question then became was he hunted down and murdered? All of this would come into play in making of the film ICEMAN.

Writer/director Randau says about the story, "When we started getting into the material, I had been searching for a mythical figure from our culture who could provide me with the basis for an archaic story - the drama of man, as it were. Then Otzi simply arrived at my doorstep, a gift that I gladly accepted."

Producer Jan Kruger adds, "I have to frankly admit that Otiz hadn't really been on my radar before Felix game me this script to read. I was reminded of films like DANCES WITH WOLVES and QUEST FOR FIRE which I found brilliant. A native subject from Europe and on top of that, an uncopyrighted protagonist."

In regards to the lack of language in the film (which by the way I felt was in no way needed), Randau said, "I wrote the story in such a way that language does not have any dramaturgic function in the classical sense. The plot is not driven forward by the spoken word". Of course there are moments in the film where there is a language that although no one knows how language was used at that time, Randau called on linguist Chasper Pult to help.

ICEMAN takes us on the journey of a man who feels the need for justice. From the moment the film began I was taken in and never turned away from the screen. Every movement the peoples of this time made was not wasted - from living life, making food, rituals of death, making clothing, hunting and even revenge. This film does exactly the same thing - wastes nothing.

Using the surroundings to bring the story even more believability, I have to give the cast and crew so much credit because it looked rough, cold, wet and uncomfortable. That being said the places chosen to bring the story to film are sheer perfection in keeping me invested in the storyline.

If you given the opportunity see ICEMAN and share in the wonder of someone who once lived in our world and the story that needed to be told.

In the end - they found a man but not his story!


 It's time for A to Z with Sesame! Elmo and his Sesame Street friends explore every letter of the alphabet in this new collection, brought to you in Sesame Street’s 50th anniversary year. Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection comes to DVD and digital download May 7, 2019 from Shout! Factory and Sesame Workshop.

Kids will love to practice their ABCs with Awesome Alphabet Collection. Highlights include classics "The Beetles Perform Letter B" and "C is for Cookie," animations, pop culture parodies, and favorite segments from recent seasons. Exploring the alphabet alongside their furry friends is an all-star lineup of celebrity guests. Norah Jones duets with the letter Y, Tori Kelly tries a little kindness, and Pharrell Williams belts it out for the letter B. Maya Angelou stops by to talk hugs, Sheryl Crow helps "I" soak up some sun, and Ricky Gervais tries singing a lullaby to a sleepy Elmo.

Click -->>  hellomoviemaven@aol.com with AWESOME ALPHABET in the subject line along with your name and address and Good Luck!
JAMES McAVOY, SAMUEL L. JACKSON, BRUCE WILLISAND SARAH PAULSON STAR IN M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN’S

COMIC-BOOK THRILLER 20 YEARS IN THE MAKING


GLASS


AVAILABLE ON DIGITAL APRIL 2, 2019

4K ULTRA HD, BLU-RAY™, DVD AND ON DEMAND APRIL 16, 2019

FROM UNIVERSAL PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT

THE MUSTANG

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to limited release from director Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre and Focus Features comes a story of self-redemption with the help of THE MUSTANG.

Roman Coleman (Matthias Schoenaerts) has been in prison for twelve years. Mainly keeping to himself in solitary, his temper flares in a second bringing him even more problems. Transferred to a new prison, he refuses to help anyone understand how to get through, not even daughter Martha (Gideon Adlon).

Outside the prison walls are horse stalls and a man named Myles (Bruce Dern) who teaches inmates how to prepare horses for sale. These are mustangs captured by the government and land management and all sale proceeds go back to them. At first Roman has no interested until he hears continual banging from a stall away from the corals.

Then he comes face to face with a very angry mustang and Roman is captured in another way. Myles sees that there is something between the two and brings the convict into the prisons program. Put in the hands of inmate Elijah (Keith Johnson), Roman gets a lesson here and there about how to reach the untouchable horse.

Newly named Marcus, Roman works his new ward daily and something happens to them both. So much so that when daughter Martha comes to visit, Roman confesses what brought him to jail and hopes there can be something between father and daughter once again.

Roman has other worries as well when top inmate Dan (Josh Stewart) decides he wants something from his cell mate and is willing to hurt Martha to make that happen. Both Roman and Marcus become a mixture of emotions and just when they are in sync – one sudden jolt forces them both to come to terms with who they are and where they are meant to be.

It is all in how you define love and freedom!

Schoenaerts as Roman gives absolutely everything to this role. There is anger, confusion, heart, soul, rage, revenge, and confession – just a gambit of where he once was to where we meet him. Strong willed from the film’s beginning, Schoenaerts character is broken down slowly and surely by a beautiful animal that has so much in common with Roman. I could not take my eyes of this actor who portrays a man who slowly comes to terms with a mistake brought on by anger that just can’t seems to subside.

Dern as Myles is a horse trainer who sees something click between Roman and Marcus. He puts a skittish faith and sees it pay off daily. Even when the unthinkable happens, Dern is strong in character and lends it to Roman when he needs it the most. Dern has always been on my list of amazing actors and it is satisfying to see him continue to jump in and lasso a role that suits him.

Aldon as Martha has just as much anger as her father but she is less physical about it. Instead hiding it in the way she speaks as bits of anger seep out with anger at being left alone growing up. Johnson as Elijah is very happy working with horses and takes a keen interest in seeing that Roman succeeds. The problem is that is outside the prison, what happens inside is something else.

Other cast include Jason Mitchell as Henry, Thomas Smittle as Tom, Noel Gugliemi as Roberto, George Schroeder as Officer Peters and Connie Britton as the Psychologist.

THE MUSTANG has a storyline that tugs every fiber of a being. From the beginning of the film and the horses are captured, it plants the seed of emotion wondering why these beautiful creatures can’t just be left alone. In that instant, the film becomes personal to watch.

It is personal in regards to the horses and everything after that. There is a mental encouragement that happens as the film goes on – encouraging the horse to let go of its anger but not let go of its spirit and encouraging Roman to stop hiding from the world. The final encouragement is that they both realize they are cut from the same universal cloth.

There is also a constant shift in the film that takes the two steps forward and five steps back in both Roman and Marcus yet there is no way as the viewer to lose hope. Schoenaerts and the lovely mustang we know as Marcus invite us into a story that only the two of them can possibly tell.

The film is cinematically beautiful with the surrounding wilderness and plopped in its center is a brick building holding men. Between the wilderness and the prison is a place of hope that, at times, makes you forget about the other two worlds. Unfortunately, the other two worlds are very, very powerful.

In the end – they are both untamed souls and kindred spirits!

An Emotional and Startling Film from Beginning to End with HOTEL MUMBAI


Jeri Jacquin


Coming to theatres from writer/director Anthony Maras and Bleeker Street comes the terrifying attack on the crown jewel of India with HOTEL MUMBAI.

It is 2008 and Arjun (Dev Patel) is a husband and father who works at the Taj Hotel. His boss Chef Hemant Oberoi (Anupam Kher) and hotel butler Jamon (Alex Pinder) strives to each employee that the hotel has a reputation so the staff must constantly strive for perfection. Stressing that whatever a guest needs is what a guest gets.

Arriving for their stay are couple Zahra (Nazanin Boniadi) and husband David (Armie Hammer) along with their baby and nanny Sally (Tilda Cobham-Hervey). Also Vasili (Jason Isaacs), a Russian who owns a company and knows how to enjoy himself arrives with many more guests checking in.

What no one in Mumbai knows is that a group of men led on the phone by the Bull has a plan for the city. Imran (Amandeep Singh), Abdullah (Suhail Nayyar), Houssam (Manoj Mehra), Rashid (Dinesh Kumar), Ismail (Amriptal Singh) and Ajmal (Kapil Netra) are about to wreak havoc.

Beginning with a restaurant the shooting starts and no one is spared, and as the gunman run, again they shoot and this time at police. The crowd starts running and come to the doors of the Taj Hotel. Begging to be let in, what they don't know is that the gunman are among them.

Within minutes the hotel is under siege as Oberoi tries to get as many guests as possible into a room where Arjun helps all he can. From the reception desk and going room to room, the gunman are indiscriminate and unstoppable. Eating at the hotel restaurant, David, Zahra and Vasili hit the floor and remain quiet but Zahra is frantic that the nanny Sally and her baby don't know what's coming.

The gunman are guided by their constant telephone calls from the Bull who keep the frenzy going. Police can only sit by and watch helplessly as most of their force has been killed and the Special Forces are coming from Delhi.

The survivors must work together under the most unimaginable horror to survive and save as many as they can.

Patel as Arjun portrays such a humble man who wants to do a good job. It doesn't help that on this particular day he has footwear issues. He immediately goes into his job and is pleasant, knowledgeable and very endearing. That is what Patel does, he takes a character like Arjun and gives him such relatability and heart and in a second has a role in THE WEDDING GUEST and turns into something completely different. In HOTEL MUMBAI he puts himself second, third and fourth sometimes and always ahead of everyone else. The final scene with Patel just tore me up. THAT is how good Patel is on the screen.

Kher as Oberoi is the father figure of the hotel and his staff listens to him. Doing his best to keep everyone calm and, more importantly, quiet, he never forgets to treat them with dignity (even if some fly off the hinges). Pinder as Jamon has a small role but he constantly reminds everyone that the Taj Hotel is home to the staff and they will defend it.

Boniadi as Zahra is a mother who is going to do anything for her child and husband. Her plans are daring, dangerous and actually made me catch my breath a time or two. Hammer as David wants to bring the family back together which means finding a way to get back up to their room without the gunman discovering him.

Isaac as Vasili is a Russian who isn't afraid of the gunman but knows not to tangle with them either. He takes a protective role for Zahra when she needs it most. He usually is a good guy or a bad guy but in this role he has the opportunity to be both but has his reasons.

Singh, Nayyar, Mehra, Kumar and Amriptal Singh have the most difficult of all roles in this film. As the gunman they are wrapped up tightly in this story with their weapons and their belief that the voice of Bull is guiding them correctly. When I say this isn't an easy role I absolutely mean it. From the moment the first shots are fired, these characters are going to be absolutely disgusted by anyone viewing the film. Of course that is the point but man it takes some acting guts to put yourselves in a role that even though absolutely necessary to the story.

Other cast include Adithi Kalkunte as Simple, Vipin Sharma as Dilip, Gaurav Paswala as Sanjay, Natasha Bordizzo as Bree, Angus McLaren as Eddie, Chantal Contouri as Mrs. Karvelas, Carmen Duncas as Lady Wynn and Sachin Joab as Vijay.

FINAL WORD: To the actors may I say a heartfelt thank you. This is not an easy story to tell, nor could it have been easy to put on film, yet you all took a leap of belief that it is a story that needed to be told. To the writers John Collee and Anthony Masas, it is important that HOTEL MUMBAI not be sugar coated and you both wrote that extraordinarily well.

This is based on true events and no event could have been more terrifying than this one. We all know a little of the story that comes out from the news but until the details are put in front of you it is quite easy to forget. I do not think I will ever now forget what happened at the Taj Hotel. There have only been a handful of true event films that have hit me hard and the hardest was the 2012 film THE IMPOSSIBLE.

I can honestly say that now, said film will have to share the top spot with HOTEL MUMBAI. This film brings the brutality, the humanity, the intensity and the utter heartbreak with each frame of the film. In the midst of the constant barrage of gunfire is the bravery and courage of those who would not let a moment go by without helping - even if it cost them dearly.

There wasn't a moment where I couldn't catch my breath, found myself whispering at the screen, put my hand over my mouth and yes, even felt my eyes well up with tears. This is an extraordinary film from the beginning until the end scene that reminds us of what is truly important - and it isn't shoes.

In the end - in November of 2008 terror struck the heart of the India.


SHAZAM! Entertains the Kid in us All

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres from director David F. Sandberg, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros comes the story of a boy who is about to become the one and only SHAZAM!

Billy Batson (Asher Angel) is a young boy who has seen his chair of heart ache. Lost from his mother when he was a child, Billy has bounced around the foster care system. He finds a family with Victor (Cooper Andrews) and Rosa (Marta Milans) who already have a full house.

He meets Freddy (Jack Grazer), Darla (Faithe Herman), Eugene (Ian Chen), Mary (Grace Fulton) and Pedro (Jovan Armand) who embrace him immediately. Trying to keep to himself, Billy has no luck as Freddy attaches himself quickly to his new brother.

But Billy has his own plan and has spent years trying to find the mother he lost so long ago. Carrying a list and coming to the end of it, he doesn't know what to do next. That is until his new siblings offer a technological way to make his search easier and get to it.

While on a subway one day he is transformed into another world where the Wizard Shazam (Djimon Hounsou) tells Billy a story of how his world came to be. He also shares with the boy that all he has to do is say one word and the Wizard transfers his powers to Billy.

And now he is an adult in a superhero suit which freaks Billy (Zachary Levi) out immediately. He races home to tell Jack what has happened (who by the way is totally thrilled) and the two decide to have fun with social media. What the new suited Billy doesn't know is that there is someone else wants the power.

Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong) has had his share of bad times with family and makes it clear to them that he is about to take over, well, everything. Finding his way to the world where the Wizard lives, he still resents not being chosen the Champion and instead releases the seven deadly sins and takes them to Billy's world.

Billy doesn't really want to fight Dr. Sivana but once the evilness comes for his new family, it is clear that not only does he finally feel up to the task but gets a few friends to get in on the fun!

Levi as the adult Shazam is very, very funny. This is what I love the most about Levi playing this character - he has the wonderful ability to look surprised like a kid, get upset like a kid, become giddy like a kid and ask questions like a kid all the while in the body of an adult. He made me laugh so much and when he comes to care for his new family - it is done as a kid's heart. Levi has captured so much in the film and I had such a good time watching him develop this role.

Strong as Dr. Sivana is an actor I love to see what he will do with a character. Look at his acting resume if you want to see how he can be a gentle character, a complex character, a strong character and even a funny character. Trust when I say that when he wants to portray and evil character - he can do it and do it well. As Sivana he gets another chance to make a character his very own. Yea, I dig Mark Strong. 

Angel as the young Billy is a resourceful and slightly angry young man who spends his time searching and keeping people at arms length. All that aside, Angel has a side that sneaks out to let us know that he is vulnerable no matter how hard he fights it.

Grazer as Freddy is the absolutely perfect sidekick for both Angel and Levi's Billy/Shazam. He uses humor for the complications of his own life and although it doesn't always work, he doesn't lose it. Coming face to face with the other kids at school, it is when he is bullied that Billy sees they have more in common than he wanted to think.

Chen as Eugene is smart and loves a good challenge, Fulton as Mary is getting ready for college but can't decide if that's what she really wants, Armand as Pedro goes along to get along with the sibling group. It is Herman as Darla is the absolute cuteness of the group. She embraces Billy from day one and even when he gives her the cold-shoulder this young girl still radiates love.

Cooper as Victor and Milan as Rosa are happy with the home they've created. From the beginning they accepted Billy with all of his emotional standoffishness and believed that in time he would just blend into their already blended family.

Hounsou as the Wizard Shazam gets a chance to wear cheeky robes and wave around a walking stick that I'm sure he stole from Gandalf the Grey. He has the voice to share the scary story of why he is in the house of empty thrones and wicked statues so that's cool.

Other cast include Ava Preston as Lillian, Meagan Good as Darla, Evan Marsh as Burke Breyer, Natalia Safran as Mrs. Sivana, Andi Osho as Ms. Glover, Carson MacCormac as Brett Bryer, Sarah Bennani as Simone, Ali Badsha as Mehmet Kotil, and David J. MacNeil as Mr. Bryer.

FINAL WORD: This is our introduction to a new superhero with SHAZAM! I will admit that I kind of see him as a clean cut and child like Deadpool. Now understand there is nothing wrong with that at all except their comic homes are in different universes. Besides that, this is a fun film and I would absolutely recommend it for families.

Because of the kid/adult transformation, there are jokes, fun and situations that almost everyone can relate too. The audience I saw the film with didn't hide their excitement about seeing the film and during spend their time laughing, applauding and smiling from ear to ear.

That's what these films are all about, having a good time and doing it with family and friends. SHAZAM! is a film where it's okay to act a little giddy and maybe even a little kid-ish and nobody will mind in the slightest.
 
In the end - if you want to save the world just say the magic word!


MARY MAGDALENE Tells a Story from Another Perspective

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres from director Garth Davis, writers Helen Edmundson and Philippa Goslett along with IFC Films comes the story of MARY MAGDALENE.

Mary Magdalene (Rooney Mara) is a young woman living in Judea in 33 AD that is having a difficult time finding her place. Her family is constantly worried because of her emotional state and can’t understand why she doesn’t marry.

When her father tries to have her cleansed of what ails her, Mary falls into a serious state. That’s when she meets Jesus (Joaquin Phoenix) who speaks to her in a way no one else has. She finds comfort in his company and to the astonishment of her family, Mary decides to follow Jesus.

Followers Peter (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Judas (Tahar Rahim), James (Tawfeek Barhom), Philip (Uri Gavriel), and Matthew (Michael Moshonov) among others are not sure how they feel about Mary being with them. They are even more surprised that Jesus speaks freely with Mary and includes her in helping to speak with people.

But they have ideas of their own about what Jesus should be doing and how he should be freeing his people. Mary is surprised by what they think and does not hesitate to tell them so. The problem becomes more pronounced when Peter makes it clear that he believes Mary is weakening Jesus. 

That does not stop Jesus from sharing with Mary his feelings and also shares what is to come. Their next stop is to Jerusalem where Jesus is not welcome by the Roman’s or his own people. As what is to come draws close and Jesus feels the weight of the world, Mary makes it very clear that she will be with Jesus every step of the way and beyond.

It is what happens three days later when Mary tells Peter and the other apostles about Jesus that she is once again comes under scrutiny. She doesn’t let it stop her from the strength she has gained in her journey with Jesus nor do they change the path she is dedicated to faithfully continuing.

Mara as Mary puts in a performance of a struggling young woman ahead of her time. She doesn’t want to follow traditions of what her family thinks a woman should do and be. There is something more out in the world and she knows it is just waiting. The dilemma is the hurt she knows her family feels, especially when she turns down a marriage proposal. Mara puts in the emotional time showing every thought this character had up on the screen mixed in with her continuing struggle against those who would try to put her back in the box.

Phoenix as Jesus is Mary’s mirror in that he also struggles with not being a traditional man but instead going out into the world to do good works. He is in constant pull between what everyone else thinks his role is and what he knows his role is. Jesus and Mary discuss what they can together and come to understand their protection of one another. Phoenix gives his take of Jesus as a man who already knows the course his life is to take and even in his human frailty and questioning knows Mary will help him see it through.

Ejiofor as Peter is the man that stands between Jesus and Mary as I see it. He wants Jesus to be the symbol of Jewish freedom but by Peter’s standards and he wants Mary to just serve the wine at dinner and stop talking to Jesus. Ejiofor portrays Peter as another who struggles but his, it seems, comes from a sort of jealousy. Rahim as Judas decides to force Jesus to do what they all think he should and the repercussions of his decision are here with us today. Rahim definitely has the role of a character who doesn’t examine beyond the choices he makes and this actor does so exceeding well.

Other cast include Tsahi Halevi as Ephraim, Shira Haas as Heah, Ryan Corr as Joseph, Charles Babalola as Andrew, Tcheky Karyo as Elisha, Lubna Azabal as Susannah, Denis Menochet as Daniel, and Ariane Labed as Rachel. 

MARY MAGDALENE is, of course, the story of a woman who has been throughout history cast as a harlot, a prostitute and a woman of questionable morals. This film examines otherwise and shows instead a strong woman who sees herself as something more than a wife and a mother. In 33 AD, being anything else meant that there was something wrong and it had to be the devil working his ways.

When Mary does take a stand for what she wants and where she is going, Mara gives this moment a face we can all identify with. Now we see another side of a woman who not only boldly breaks with tradition but follows a belief that makes sense to her heart and soul. Phoenix Jesus treats her as an equal, speaks to her as an equal and allows her to stand as an equal.

This film is beautifully put together with a star filled cast yet each actor downplays their character in a way that is relatable. Each is also emotional, understandable and brings us into their personal struggle with who they are and the paths they take. 

In the end – her story will be told!

THE CHAPERONE 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres from director Michael Engler, writer Julian Fellowes and based on the book by Laura Moriarty and PBS Films with THE CHAPERONE.

Norma Carlisle (Elizabeth McGovern) is a married woman and mother of grown twin sons living in 1920’s Kansas. Her life has been turned upside down and she is feeling the need to do something different. When she hears that the young 16-year-old Louise Brooke (Haley Lu Richardson) needs a chaperone while she attends dance school in New York, Norma sees an opportunity.

Husband Alan (Campbell Scott) doesn’t seem thrilled to see his wife go but she makes it clear it is something she needs to do. Norma and Louise board the train for the trip and it takes only a moment before the young girl tries her hand at breaking away. Tired of the small town life, she is going to push every envelope possible.

Arriving in New York, both women are excited and Louise prepares to meet dance teachers Ruth St. Dennis (Miranda Otto) and Raymond (Matt McGrath) at the Denishaw School. While Louise is dancing during the day, Norma decides that she is going to visit the convent where she was an orphan. Hoping to discover anything about her parents, she is met by a nun who isn’t exactly helpful.

Both Louise and Norma are trying to find their way and with where they come from to where they are now. Louise is pushing the boundaries of propriety and the mindset that she’ll never return home. Norma is pushing her own boundaries of propriety to discover that life is full of lies, deceptions and realities that are continually tested.

Who will break away and who will break the rules?

McGovern as Norma is a woman who started off life as an orphan, raised on a farm and married off at a young age – all three of those things done to survive. Once married to Mr. Carlisle, she once again played the role as she had been told. It takes one moment and opening a door to discover that her life has been played out to please others and not herself. I loved watching McGovern take step after step to find Norma’s own truth and happiness. 

Richardson as Louise is a rebellious young woman who doesn’t like playing by the rules. Instead she wants to break away from a family that doesn’t seem to care what she does, as long as she does it without rumors starting. Instantly in New York Richardson lets her character loose wanting McGovern’s Norma to join in. I think the final scene between Richardson and McGovern just shook my heart – and I believe it will shake yours too!

Scott as Mr. Carlisle is everything a man of that era would be. He is an impeccably dressed lawyer who keeps home and hearth comfortable while keeping his reputation sterling. He also does as is expected of him by marrying and having children. Scott keeps everything level headed and even when McGovern’s Norma tries to break away, he keeps it calm so no one asks questions or wonders what is going on in their own home.

Otto as Ruth St. Dennis keeps an eye on Louise, especially since she seems to have captured the attention of her partner Raymond played by McGrath. Both of these characters are serious about their dance school and even when Louise becomes a little reckless, it is Norma who steers her back.

Other cast include Victoria Hill as Myra Brooks, Robert Fairchild as Ted Shawn, Tyler Weaks as Howard Carlisle, Kate Grimes as Ms. Burton, Andrew Burnap as Floyd, Bill Hoag as Jack, Ellen Toland as Greta, George Hampe as Earl Carlisle, Sean Hudock as Norman Ross and Blythe Danner as Mary O’Dell. 

THE CHAPERONE is a look inside the life of women in the 1920’s and what was considered respectable, acceptable and expected. Marrying and having children seemed to be the only choices that Norma had but it is Louise who wants to break away. Dancing her way to New York, Norma mentally dances along to get some answers of her own. 

Even though both women see a freedom in the big city, they first must come to terms with the lies and deceptions of the past. Each has choices to make and, for me, some of those choices are groundbreaking. I will let you decide who breaks the mold and who becomes trapped by it.

I am a period piece person so THE CHAPERONE is in my wheelhouse of films. In this case not only is the casting brilliantly done but the set design and costuming just take me away deeper into the film itself. This is truly and enjoyable film!

Moriarty wrote The Chaperone in 2012 but is also the author of four other books including The Center of Everything, The Rest of Her Life, When I’m Falling and American Heart. 

In the end – one trip can change everything!

GLASS is About to Shatter

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray from writer/director M. Knight Shyamalan and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment comes the gripping gathering of fear with GLASS.

Here we are and it has been 19 years since David Dunn (Bruce Willis) discovered he had an unusual ability and has attempted to live a low profile life. Not laying so low after two years is Hedwig (James McAvoy) and the Horde who have struck again and again. Dunn wants to find him before he can destroy more lives.

Discovering where his newest victims are held, Dunn finds them and has a showdown with The Beast. That isn’t the highlight of their meeting, the sudden surrounding of police catches them both off guard. Taken down they are both escorted to the same facility as another famous patient.

Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson) is a psychiatrist who deals with patients suffering from delusions of grandeur and that includes Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson). She isn’t pleased that he has been kept sedated like a zombie since his capture. Having all three, Dr. Staple has only a few days to treat, or convince, all three that they are not super heroes of any kind.

Dunn keeps his cool and doesn’t say much because it seems that the Horde is upset and confused about the confrontation and Mr. Glass is unresponsive. The goal of all three is to get out before Dr. Staple makes sure they are committed for good.

But there are secrets to be revealed coming from unexpected places and those who will do whatever it takes to make sure it is all exposed!

That’s all you are getting from me.

Willis as Dunn slides right back into a role he took on nineteen years ago and it feels like no time has passed. That’s what I have always loved about Willis, the roles he has chosen over his career and, although a few bumps here and there, it never has changed my enjoyment of his performances. Dunn was a broken man who found a connection in his life he didn’t know existed and that is how Willis embraced the character. Nineteen years later, his personality has barely changed but his abilities have sharpened.

Jackson as Mr. Glass (yes, I said Mr.) spends a lot of time comatose but that doesn’t stop his mind from churning. Still believing in who they all are, his twitchy eye isn’t happy with the insights spouted by Dr. Staple. Speaking of her, Paulson is the monologuer of the film and she does her best to convince the gang (because the Horde does constitute a gang) that it’s all in their minds. 

Stealing the entire film is McAvoy as Kevin Wendell Crumb/ The Beast, Patricia, Dennis, Hedwig, Barry, Jade, Orwell, Heinrich, Norma and a host of others. There are moments where the camera doesn’t leave his face and characters flash seamlessly like the strobe lights in his room. 

Since the 2016 film SPLIT of which I’ve watched more times that I can even count, McAvoy slides right into the role of sheer madness and I’m in complete awe of his performance. Playing one or two roles is hard enough but man, oh man, does McAvoy ever show that being about twenty people including rock-hard cut Beast had me totally invested in the film.

Other cast include Luke Kirby as Pierce, Marisa Brown as Carol, Charlayne Woodard as Elijah’s Mother and Adam Thompson as Daryl. Look for Spencer Treat Clark as Joseph and Anya Taylor-Joy as Casey.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has just added an amazing film to their library and making it available for us all to experience and re-experience in our own home theatres. 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. 

Bonus Features Exclusive to 4K Ultra HD, Bluray and Digital include The Collection of Main Characters – A look at all the main players and how they fit in the universe created by filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan and David Dunn, Elijah Price, Kevin Wendell Crumb and the rest of the family. 

Also Bringing the Team Back Together, David Dunn vs. The Beast, Glass Decoded, Breaking Glass: The Stunts, Connecting the Glass Universe, M. Night Shyamalan: Behind the Lens, The Sound of Glass, Enhancing the Spectacle, Raven Hill Memorial and Night Vision. 

Adding the DVD Bonus Features with Alternate Opening, Deleted Scenes of David Alone at Bar, Patricia Talks to Cheerleaders, David Encounters Pierce, Casey in Art Class, Dr. Staple Explains Machine, Mrs. Price in Waiting Room and so much more!

I’m not saying anything in the way of details and I’m okay with doing that actually. Living in this social media world I will let someone else spoil it but it certainly won’t be me. Not everyone has had the chance to see it in theatres but with the release of the Bluray and DVD are going to be thrilled. The story M. Knight Shyamalan started telling nineteen years ago works for me completely in 2019.

There were a few moments where my jaw dropped and seeing it again on Bluray there was no change in my behavior. The film is still filled with secrets that still twist, turn and spill in all aspects of these three characters. Watching it once again on Bluray there are so many little subtle nuances that just add to the story and make me think ‘why didn’t I see that before?’ Well, probably because I was into it on the big screen and equally as into it on the small.

Well done Mr. Shyamalan! You chose the right actors to bring your story out nineteen years ago and two years ago only to reunite us with them – all of them and what a thrill ride it is!

In the end – the world of Superheroes will be shattered!


ARCHER Danger Island: The Complete Season Nine is Here!

Jeri Jacquin

Now on DVD from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment comes the hilarious and cutting edge comedy from a few animated friends from FX with ARCHER Danger Island.

Archer (H. Jon Benjamin) doesn’t waste any time getting into trouble as a married woman is found in his room and Mother (Jessica Walter) isn’t happy with gun fire erupting in her hotel. The hotel in French territory with illegal gambling on the island of Mitimotu in 1939. 

When Princess Lanaluakalani (Aisha Tyler) and her man Fuchs (Chris Parnell) want a ride off the island, one-eyed Archer gets the plane Lucy in the air. Pam (Amber Nash) is his co-pilot and the parrot Crackers (Lucky Yates) has a lot to say between drinks and crackers. As they all jump out of the plane, Archer is left to either land or make something magical happen.

Parachuting down it seems only Crackers makes that maneuver look easy but it’s Pam who shows that she’s no slouch when it comes to snakes and a good firearm. Saving Fuchs isn’t something she wants to do but it’s the only way to keep the Princess from doing something nutty. 

Back at the hotel, Mallory is dealing with a crazy Charlotte (Judy Greer) and a box of chocolates. Capitaine Ray (Adam Reed) has been convinced to let her out and put her in the custody of Mallory to work off what she owes to the hotel. Archer is still up in the air, literally, and his sweet talk to Lucy isn’t getting him anywhere. All of this is followed by an airplane-big-lizard-poo-poo-storm!

Now that the seaplane is a pile of non-winged metal, Mallory isn’t thrilled and making her usual threats. The Princess has a plan of her own to find a hidden idol and get rid of the French and the German Fuchs is all in. The thing is – Archer, Pam and Crackers also think they need to go idol hunting so they can get a new plane.

They need Charlotte to make that happen and since she’s working for Mallory now it should be an easy get right? Yea, maybe not. Archer breaks into Fuchs room and discovers pretty much everything needed to find the idol. Pam has also been busy getting ready to surprise Archer with a put together Lucy but instead of being happy it sets off some serious memories of Spanish war enemy Ziggler.

Fuchs has brought in backup to keep everyone away from the idol hunt and Charlotte might have something to say about that. Capitaine Ray isn’t happy with the influx of Germans either but threats from him don’t seem to cut it with the group either. Archer drowns his memory sorrows with sarcasm and bad beer deciding there is only one way to fix this – a fight in air.

Mallory is asking a lot of questions about what Archer is up to but there are ears all around who want to know the answer. The Princess isn’t happy, especially when Fuchs isn’t keeping his men in line. Pam and Archer have already taken off with a copy of the map that doesn’t exactly show all the traps. This leads to Archer having a huge meltdown, Pam crying and monkeys pitching coconuts!

While once again getting out of chaos, Archer and Pam discover that monkey’s aren’t the only thing in the jungle to be worried about. Tied naked to a stake, Pam has another one of her story’s to share with Archer but anthropologist Noah (David Cross) stops everything. He gets a chance to explain what is going to happen to them next.

The Princess is in trouble with her own parents when they discover that the map leading to the idol is missing from their home. The Tapua has powers and she now realizes that perhaps Fuchs has been using her. Meeting up with Mallory, Charlotte and Capitaine Ray, they are trying to find Archer and Pam before they get their hands on the idol first!

Escaping from a dinner where they are the guests, Pam and Archer try to make a getaway that turns them into official members of the tribe. As members, Archer works to train the tribe as they prepare to face Fuchs, Ziggler and…. Mallory!

As screwed up as the group is, they rally to fight against Fuchs and the Nazi storm troopers. Making their way out of the jungle, the Princess plots with Archer but they don’t realize they still have one nemesis eyeballing them. 

Finding the skull entrance below the volcano, the group is close to finding the idol. There are several problems like an angry volcano, lava, uranium, laughing cannibals, weird hieroglyphics and an ending that will leave us all scratching our heads!

The DVD Special Features include Inside Look: Making ARCHER and Crackers’ Costumed Playings. 

The episodes include Strange Pilot, Disheartening Situation, Different Modes of Preparing the Fruit, A Warrior in Costume, Strange Doings in the Taboo Groves, Some Remarks on Cannibalism, Comparative Wickedness of Civilized and Unenlightened Peoples and A Discovery. 

There are so many words to describe Sterling Archer and I’m sure in the last nine seasons I’ve pretty much used all of them. Hilarious, disturbing, entertaining, disturbing, jaw dropping and disturbing are just a few (yes I realize three of them are the same and truth be told ‘hilarious’ and ‘disturbing’ could go together and still work!).

The cast of ARCHER delivers every single season and I have not ever been disappointed. This is a series absolutely meant for adults and it should be. Animation isn’t just for kids just because our age numbers go pretty high into – shall we say – the 50+ range. I’m in it every season and proud to repeat many of the lines on a daily basis. 

That’s what makes this show so very special. We love to love to hate loving each character for what they say, who they are and how grossed out we can possibly get. I think at this point Pam is winning if we are being honest here (she types with an evil grin).

I believe Season Ten is going to bring another aspect to the show that is going to be even more fun, more exciting, more disturbing and more entertaining. If you don’t believe me make sure you sit out the very last episode.

So grab your copy of ARCHER Danger Island: The Complete Season Nine and marathon all nine seasons because I did and my sides still hurt. 

In the end – his mysterious and deadly worlds continue!

STOCKHOLM is Filled with Twists on a Bank Heist

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres from writer/director Robert Budreau and Smith Global Media is the story of a bank heist that would lead to a phrase we all know beginning with STOCKHOLM. 

It is 1973 and Lars Nystrom (Ethan Hawke) along with partner Gunnar Sorensson (Mark Strong) have decided that they are going to rob a bank in Stockholm, Sweden. Taking hostages including Bianca Lind (Noomi Rapace), they work with officials to get what they want.

What they want is money and an escape car and make it very clear to Chief Mattsson (Christopher Heyerdahl). Feeling they aren’t taking them seriously, Lars looses it a little giving officials till morning to meet their demands. In the meantime Bianca is trying to keep it together.

Then the telephone calls from reporters begin and Bianca seems to side with Lars and Gunnar. When the Prime Minister catches wind of the interview he tries to convince the hostages that they are in danger. That’s when Lars gets the idea to make sure that everyone watching believes they are dangerous and Bianca goes along with it.

Now the officials are taking them serious and Bianca, Christopher and Klara are all for helping their kidnappers. It is the beginning of ‘Stockholm Syndrome’

Hawke as Nystrom just wanted a simple bank robbery and when it doesn’t turn out to be simple, he starts showing a human side to his captives. They begin to connect and this puts Chief Mattsson in a mode of trying to break up what is happening inside the bank. But who is crazier – the robbers or the law?

Hawke as Nystrom seems to have all the bad guy moves in place to rob a bank but when it all goes awry; he is the first to sort of panic it out. Never quite sure about his partner or what the crazy Chief of Police will do, it just adds enough frustration to bring out moments of brilliance. Back in action Hawke gives a complex performance that isn’t going to end well.

Strong as Sorensson is like a brother to Nystrom and with that comes brotherly agitation and a few well thrown punches. I love everything Strong does and this is a bit of a strange character that never lets the viewer truly know what is deal is. I’m okay with that!

Rapace as Bianca is a woman who had no idea her day would include wondering if her husband can make dinner while she’s busy being a hostage. Not feeling much in the way of fear, it is more like curiosity about the two men who have the authorities guessing from one minute to the next. 

Heyerdahl as Chief Mattsson is, in my opinion, crazier than the crazy bank robbers. With every moment that goes by, he isn’t exactly sure what is going to happen. Trying to keep Nystrom and Sorensson calm, his frustration begins to show and it isn’t pretty. 

Other cast include Thorbjorn Harr as Christopher Lind, Bea Santos as Klara Mardh, Mark Rendall as Elov Eriksson, John Ralston as Detective Jackobsson, Shanti Roney as Olof Palme, Ian Matthews as Detective Vinter, Vladimir Jon Culbrt as Davin and Christopher Wagelin as Vincent. 

It is easy to see where the term ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ comes from watching this film. It is Nystrom that shows Bianca a human side with all the frailties and insecurities that come with him. Klara and Christopher follow suit when they realize that the police don’t seem to care if they survive the whole thing. Their tactics pretty much are in line to take everybody out.

It is Hawke and Rapace that keep the story going as they get to know one another and basically what makes them want to survive. Strong is the silent partner who has every reason in the world to be exactly that – silent!

The story is based on the 1973 bank robbery that was written about by Daniel Lang in an article called “The Bank Drama” for the New Yorker in 1974. 

In the end – based on an absurd but true story!

THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING is Crowned on Bluray

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray from writer/director Joe Cornish and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment comes a story of honor for THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING.

Alex (Louis Ashbourne Serkis) is a young boy living in England being raised by single mother Mrs. Elliott (Denise Gough). At school he isn't having a much better time except for his friendship with Bedders (Dean Chaumoo) who can't help with the bullying from Lance (Tom Taylor) and Kaye (Rhianna Dorris).

After a run in with the two and detentions handed out, Lance and Kaye are after Alex once again but he hides in a construction site. There he finds a sword and takes it out of the rocks. Taking it home, Alex shows it to Bedders and they do some internet searching and discover that the markings are that of Exaclibur, the sword of King Arthur.

What the two don't know is that Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson), a sorceress is also looking for the sword and weird creatures are sent to find it. Shaken by what's happening, things get even weirder when the next day at school, Merlin (Angus Imrie) shows up as a boy of 16 and has to prove to Alex that he is actually the wizard Merlin by changing to an older version of himself (Patrick Stewart).

Merlin explains that in a few days things are going to become horrible for everyone in the town Alex lives in and all because of Morgana. Needing a few more knights, he shows Tom and Kaye what is going on and now they are, along with Bedders, Alexs' knights of the round kitchen table.

Alex also believes that his father might be the key to knowing how to find and defeat Morgana going to a place call Tintagel where Arthur was born. On the way, Merlin trains the four in ways that will help their quest. The problem is Morgana knows where they are and Merlin has to save them but not before Alex and Tom have a fight that breaks Exalibur and they all meet the Lady of the Lake.

Discovering the family truth, Alex feels defeated but it is Merlin that explains that the story may not be what he knew but it changes nothing. Morgana is still on a path of destruction so Alex must call upon the most unlikely people to create an army.

Morgana has no idea who she is dealing with!

Serkis as Alex is a young man who is perfect for this role. He looks like any other little boy and is very smart except for one thing - he is a king. Of course that might comes a quite a shock to the royal family but Serkis gives his character a good heart and an adventuresome spirit. Once he understands what must be done, his heart is as big as Excalibur.

Chaumoo as Bedder is such a sweetheart and very supportive friend to Alex. He is excited about the quest they are on and wants to be a part of it in every way. Even when things seem down, it is Bedders that lifts his friend up to move forward.

Taylor as Lance is a bully who just can't get enough of Alex. The problem is once the detention hits, he is even more ready to cause the young boy problems. That is until he sees that Alex isn't joking about what is going on and it does take him time but it seems being a knight suits him. Dorris as Kaye follows the same path as Taylor but finds a bit of power in her new role as a knight. She begins to see what is happening and wants to help but in the same way as the boys.

Imrie as Merlin is smart, funny and jumps through two worlds with a simple flick of his hands. He also knows what he needs to do to help Alex. Imrie gives his Merlin a sense of humor and a wicked way of getting his point across. He made me laugh - A LOT. Stewart as the older Merlin brings his usual wit and charisma to this iconic character.

Ferguson as Morgana is pretty upset at Merlin and being the half-sister of Arthur. Getting ahold of the sword is all she is interested in, oh and probably finding a way to get back at Merlin, Arthur and anyone else that gets in her way.

Other cast includes: Norma Dumezweni as Mrs. Lee, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett as Mr. Kepler, Mark Bonnar as Mr. Jeffreys, Alexandra Roach as Ms. Foster, Nick Mohammed as Mr. Hyde and Genevieve O'Reilly as Aunt Sophie.

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. 

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. 

The Bluray and DVD includes over an hour of Quest Features including: Deleted Scenes, Origins of a King, Young Knights, Knight School, The Two Merlins and so much more.

THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING is a fun adventure not only for kids but for the kids at heart. This is actually a great family film to watch together (or even with grandkids if you have them!). It's a story of the struggles each of us face when we aren't understood by others, how to deal with those who want to cause harm, what can happen when everyone works together and the power of belief and friendship.

I enjoyed the story and the bringing together of four people who probably wouldn't have been friends if it hadn't been for fate and a sword called Excalibur. The film is filled with everything one would want from King Arthur and the round table mixed in with a young boy telling the story of his part in history.

Gather the family, break out the armor and pop the royal corn because it's time for a weekend adventure.

In the end - An army to fight, a demon to slay, a world to save…no pressure!

They Don't See MISS BALA Coming on Bluray!

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray and Digital from director Catherine Hardwicke and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment comes a thriller that starts with MISS BALA.

Gloria (Gina Rodriguez) is preparing to drive to Tijuana, Mexico to watch her best friend Suzu (Cristina Rodio) compete in the Miss Baja beauty pageant. Before the festivities begin, Gloria and Suzu take a night out to dance and have a few drinks. That idea is short lived when out of nowhere gunmen break into the nightclub and try to grab Gloria but she escapes.

The next morning she can't find Suzu and begins making telephone calls. Going to the police turns into a detour when she discovers that her friend was taken by the Las Estrellas gang. Let by Lino (Ismael Cruz Cordova), he agrees to help her get Suzu back if, and only if, Gloria agrees to work for them.

That entails driving explosives that blow up a building, driving drugs and guns across the boarder and leading the DEA to Las Estrellas. In the meantime, Lino takes a liking to Gloria and shows her how to defend herself should the need arise again. No one around her, especially Poyo (Ricardo Abarca) seems to trust her but Lino and meeting Isabella (Aislinn Derbez), Gloria sees what happens to women they take.

The plans are about to get even more dangerous when Lino tells Gloria that he wants her to enter the Miss Baja pageant because it will lead him to the real target - the Mexican Chief of Police Saucedo (Damian Alcazar). Agreeing to let Gloria see Suzu, it is all a set up for the shootout that is going to change who is taking who.

Never point a weapon unless you intent to use it!

Rodriguez as Gloria puts in a stellar performance of a woman trapped in a web not of her own making. She takes her character into a place where it is safer to pay attention to even the smallest of details because they will come in handy later. Each step she takes brings her closer to even more danger but she can't exactly step back either. When Rodriguez finally gets to let her character loose, she still keeps it together and stays one step ahead of who ever is trying to stop her. I like that about this character and Rodriguez's portrayal.

Cordova as Lino is a smooth talking gangster who uses fear as a way to control Gloria. Even with the charm he is as ruthless as anyone can imagine. His character doesn't get loud, doesn't get physical but instead lets his weapon do the talking for him. There is no hesitation in distrusting anyone but there is a chink in his armor when it comes to Gloria.

Abarca as Poyo is a character you just can't stand from minute one. As one of Lino's "trusted" men, he keeps an eye on Gloria and tries to get Lino to turn on her every chance he gets. He definitely plays a bad guy you like to dislike immensely. Rodio as Suzu is used just as one would expect of a kidnapped woman and Gloria is determined to find her. Derbez as Isabella is also a kept woman who lives in as much fear as Gloria and manages to keep it under control doing what she is told when she is told, that's survival.

Other cast include: Erick Urbina as Tucan, Mikhail Plata as Chivo, Jorge Mardueno as Ortiz, Lilian Robles as Dona Rosita, Oscar Estrada as Owl Man and Matt Lauria as DEA Agent Brian Reich.

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. 

The Bonus Materials Include: Eight Deleted Scenes & Extended Scenes, Three Features including - Gina: The Unstoppable Strength of a Woman, The Bigger the Bang: Action on the Set and Making of MISS BALA, A Look into the Stunts and Costumes with Catherine Hardwicke and Feature Commentary with Director Catherine Hardwick, Executive Producer Jamie Marshall and Associate Producer Shayda Frost.

MISS BALA is a thriller that works its way into the final scenes. It allows the viewer to experience Gloria's journey step by step and what she must do to survive. Rodriguez also has the opportunity to share her views about her role playing a strong Latina woman and having a cast and crew that is 93% Latino led.

The story weaves its way through Gloria's smarts and Rodriguez truly does make the tale complete. I enjoyed every aspect of the film and can see how it could be possible to make more of them with the help of Jimmy played by Anthony Mackie. We shall see!

Anyone who lives in the San Diego area will recognize quite readily the scenes both in Mexico and across the United States border. I have to say that's almost a bonus for me as I know exactly where most of those locations are - it’s a fun bonus.

In the end - who would you become to save your family?


It is the 40th Anniversary of Our Worst Space Fears with ALIEN

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to 4K Ultra HD, Bluray and Digital from director Ridley Scott is the 1979 alien horror film that put everyone in fright mode with the 40th Anniversary of ALIEN.

Captain Dallas (Tom Skerritt), along with crew Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), Lambert (Veronica Cartwright), Brett (Harry Dean Stanton), Parker (Yaphet Kotto), Ash (Ian Holm) and Kane (John Hurt) are on the commercial space ship Nostromo. Awaken from hyper-sleep by Mother, they are told that a transmission of unknown origin needs to be investigated.

On LV-426 Dallas, Lambert and Kane land and discovers odd surroundings that make no sense. Kane is lowered down to a place he believes is some kind of hatchery and what happens next scares the crew beyond belief. Returning to the ship, Dallas explains to Ripley that something has attached itself to Kane's helmet and she refuses to let them aboard citing possible contamination.

Ash overrides Ripley opening the door allowing Kane in who is brought to the infirmary. The process then begins to remove what ever it is on Kane's face causing what could only be considered as acid to break through the metal of the ship. Surprising everyone, the organism falls off Kane's face and he seems fine. That is until a creature emerges from Kane that hides in the ship.

Now the survivors must go inch by inch through the ship to find the creature. Realizing it can hide in the smallest of spaces they must find a way to track and keep it from taking the entire crew.

Sometimes the scariest things come from inside!

Weaver as Ripley took 1979 by storm as a woman who is smart, inventive and questions everything around her. She took this role and made it iconic in showing another characteristic, that of true fear. Weaver made an impact that has reverberated for years (at least 40 of them with this film) and with her return in ALIENS in 1986, ALIENS 3 in 1992 and ALIEN: Resurrection in 1997, it has become clear she is Ellen Ripley and we will accept no other.

Skerritt as Dallas is a Captain who does what he is told by the computer Mother. Once he realizes that what was brought on board is nothing short of a holy terror, he is always the first one in much to his detriment. Cartwright as Lambert knows that what is now aboard is coming for them all and she has to do her part. Trust when I say that Cartwright's characters fear is palatable and frightening.

Stanton as Brett is a man with a plan and that plan is to make sure he gets more money for all the work he thinks he's done. Joining him in that chorus is Kotto as Parker because he too believes he is worth more than the company thinks he is. These two together bring a few chuckles but when things start to turn, so do their survival instincts.

Hurt as Kane has the most impactful performance because it is that moment on the table during dinner that let us all know our film world would never be the same. Hurt has spent years being a part of the ALIEN franchise because of that scene. I've even seen a comedy skit that he did which shows he not only took his role in stride but had a great sense of humor about it.

Holm as Ash would also be a character that would continue on through the franchise in ways we could never have imagined. Ash is a cold (and not just because he lacked blood) individual who only sees how magnificent the alien is holding no animosity for what it is capable of doing.

Of course we can not forget to give credit where terror credit is due and that is the alien itself. Acid for blood, a long narrow head, a whipping tale and a double set of jaws that show no mercy. If it wasn't for any of those things being put together in a terrifying package, the ALIEN franchise wouldn't have worked. To our pure enjoyment - it did and to this day still does.

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The Special Features of the 4K Ultra HD and Bluray include The 1979 Theatrical Version and the 2003 Director's Cut of ALIEN, Audio Commentary by Director Ridley Scott, Cast and Crew, Audio Commentary by Ridley Scott (Theatrical Version Only), Introduction by Ridley Scott (Directors Cut Only and Bluray Only), Final Theatrical Isolated Score by Jerry Goldsmith, Composer's Original Isolated Score by Jerry Goldsmith and Deleted and Extended Scenes.

ALIEN: The 40th Anniversary is just as magnificent today as it was in 1979. There isn't anything about this film that needs to be critiqued nor should anyone really try except to say that this film is a work of art. It has done what films that excel were meant to do - not withstand the test of time but not be affected by time.

Experiencing ALIEN now, every aspect of space, the ship, the surroundings, the technology feel as if it could have been film today. Each of the films does that actually and I am a huge fan of ALIEN binge watching several times a year. Only good filmmaking can bring that about for me.

Ridley Scott opens the film speaking about the 1979 film version saying he is really proud of it and now with DVD there have been adjustment and changes he felt were needed. He is reintroducing footage in the 2003 version making "minor adjustments because after 25 years you see little things you like to adjust. I hope you agree with me and enjoy it". 

What 4K Ultra HD/Bluray and Digital copy of ALIEN brings is the original 1979 theatrical version of the film and the 2003 Director's Cut. The 4K Ultra is absolutely clear and stunning in its color and presentation, just thought I’d through that personal observation in again. Having them both known as the best of both outer worlds!

In the end - in space no one can hear you scream.