Movie Maven is powered by Homestead. All images and photographs are property of their owners (although most of them I took!). All links will be given credit. The opinions and reviews given here are solely my own. We are the dreamer of dreams! Copyright 2010 Translated - if you wanna use mah stuff just ask!
Jeri Jacquin and Jenise Jacquin
It's a dirty job but someone has to view 'em and we do!
Tell a friend about this page
MOVIE MAVEN'S MENU OF GOODIES

Movie Maven and Film Brat Join CineMunn for a Podcast of film talk and other Mayhem!
RAVE & RAGE
with Movie Maven and Film Brat
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!
RED SPARROW Brings Twists and Vengeance

Jeri Jacquin

This week on Bluray/DVD and Digital from director Francis Lawrence and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment comes a thriller in the form of a RED SPARROW.

Dominika (Jennifer Lawrence) is a beloved Russian ballet dancer who lights up a stage. When an accident forces her to give up the stage, her uncle Vanya Egrora (Matthias Schoenaerts) wants to help. Knowing the state pays for the apartment she shares with her ill mother Nina (Joely Richardson, Dominika is asked to do a specific job.

That one event sends her to a secret program that trains people to be agents and do whatever – whatever it takes for Russia. That’s more important now with the suspicion of a mole right under their noses. Watching Dominika is the school Matron (Charlotte Rampling) and General Korchnoi (Jeremy Irons).

Setting up a coincidental meeting with American Nate Nash (Joel Edgerton) the game of cat and mouse begins. Deals are made, money is exchanged and lives hold little value in the game to win.

But they’ve never met this Red Sparrow!

Lawrence as Dominika gives a performance that is stoic and all the while it is clear the wheels in her mind are in motion. Discovering who to trust, who has the most to lose and how to use the schools programming in her favor takes chess like maneuvering. Lawrence makes it all thrilling and at times jaw-dropping to watch. This character is strong and very smart and with Lawrence doing all the heavy lifting, it works stunningly.

Edgerton as Nash looks like a man who has played this game many, many times. Dominika is sent to get his attention and the message is clearly received. Nash also sees that she isn’t just any sparrow. Working together is going to have a high price attached to it and let me just say OMG the price tag is considerable. Irons as the General has a small role here but that doesn’t make his presence any less felt. Irons still has the amazing power to compel a watcher and it still happens to me.

Schoenaerts as Vanya has been in the game for a long time and clearly sees nothing wrong with sacrificing his niece to it all. His goal is to find the mole and rise even farther up the ranks of the spy game. Schoenaerts is clever in this role and equally disturbing – well done.

A shout out to Charlotte Rampling as the scary Matron of the Sparrow School, you go girl! One thing she shares in common with Dominika is the stoic way she handles every situation – no matter how disturbing. Rampling is a personal favorite for me to watch so thumbs way up every time I see her.

Other cast include: Mary-Louise Parker as Stephanie Boucher, Ciaran Hinds as Zakharov, Bill Camp as Marty Gable, Thekla Reuten as Marta, Douglas Hodge as Maxim Volontov and Sakina Jaffrey as Trish Forsyth.

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. 

RED SPARROW is a film that has so much going on and is so fascinating while its happening. The intrigue sets in quite early in Dominika’s life realizing you can’t trust anyone. Becoming an agent seems to be her only way out of a bad situation. The fact that she has no qualms about smacking someone around helps her cause in a weird way.

The story takes us down so many different rabbit holes and just as I thought I knew the destination – wrong! RED SPARROW is a true spy thriller that doesn’t give itself away until it’s damn good and ready!

The Bluray/DVD include the Special Features of A New Cold War: Organization & Adaptation, Agents Provocateurs: The Ensemble Cast, Tradecraft: Visual Authenticity, Heart of the Tempest: On Location, Welcome to Sparrow School: Ballet & Stunts, A Puzzle of Need: Post Production, Director Commentary by Francis Lawrence and Deleted Scenes: Commentary by Francis Lawrence.

There is 90+ minutes of extras and include Movies Anywhere! Watch anywhere with the Movies Anywhere App and a Digital movie is included.

The cast led by Lawrence comes together with each playing their part so well that I certainly wouldn’t be unhappy if they came back for more.

In the end – she’s seductive, deceptive and deadly!

Disney Brings Home A WRINKLE IN TIME

Jeri Jacquin

Coming soon to Bluray-DVD and Digital Code in a Multi-Screen Edition is from director Ava DuVernay and Disney is a search for A WRINKLE IN TIME.

Meg (Storm Reid) is a young girl having a difficult time. Since her scientist father Murray’s (Chris Pine), she feels the only connection to her life are Mom (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and little brother Charles Wallace (Dedric McCabe).

Hearing talk around school on the anniversary of her father’s disappearance, both Meg and Charles Wallace find themselves in trouble at school. Later that same night, the Murray family is visited by Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) leading to a cryptic message about her father’s work on time travel.

The next day Charles Wallace recruits Meg’s friend Calvin (Levi Miller) and they meet Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling) who takes them to meet Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey). She explains to the children that they came because of a call for help.

In order to find her father, Meg is told about The It. Woven through the universe, it is a bad energy that always wants something more. Meg just wants to find her father and it’s up to the three kids to discover where he is and get out before The It can work its worse on them all.

This is how warriors are born!

Reid is lovely as Meg, a young girl that has enough going on without the added pressures of being a bully’s target. Knowing her father is out there somewhere gives her strength to search no matter what it takes, She is also a pretty cool big sister who knows her brother is quite special. Reid gives her character soul and strength wrapped up in such a small girl with a big heart.

McCabe as Charles Wallace almost steals the film half way through. Watching the amazing energy he puts out to try and change the course of Meg’s journey. I was gobsmacked at his small stature taking center stage in a pivotal moment and making his small size mean nothing – just wow!

Miller as Calvin wants to help Meg and she eventually learns that she isn’t alone in the life she leads. Calvin has a few secrets of his own to keep hidden inside himself. A strong side-kick to have if you are going to be time travelling.

Winfrey as Mrs. Which is the mother figure of the unusual trio. She wants Meg to find her own strength in being exactly who she is. Kaling as Mrs. Who is lovely and supportive. Witherspoon as Mrs. Whatsit is scatter brained and delightful but all with a purpose.

Pine as Mr. Murray doesn’t realize what his scientific obsession would cost him or his family until it is too late. Mbatha-Raw as Mrs. Murray keeps the family together and the hope alive for her husbands return.

Other cast include: Zach Galifianakis as Happy Medium, Michael Pena as Red, Andre Holland as Principal Jenkins, Rowan Blanchard as Veronica Kiley, Bellamy Young as Camzotz and David Oyelowo as The It.

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment began distributing under its own label in 1980 and continues to bring quality programming to kids and kids at heart. Home of the most beloved animated features including SNOW WHITE, PINOCCHIO and SLEEPING BEAUTY to name a few is what keeps families coming back for more. To see what is currently available to add to your own family library please visit. www.movies.disney.com for their At Home titles!

The Bluray/DVD of A WRINKLE IN TIME includes Bloopers, Deleted Scenes, A Journey Through Time: Director Ava DuVernay, Oprah Winfrey and Some of the Cast and Crew Give an Up-Close Look at the Making of This Extraordinary Film, Music Videos: ‘I Believe’ by DJ Khaled Featuring Demi Lovato, ‘Warrior’ by Chloe x Halle and Audio Commentary with Director Ava DuVernay, Producer Jim Whitaker, Co-Writer Jennifer Lee and some of the Production Crew.

A WRINKLE IN TIME is a beautiful story of childhood that includes secret pain and the issue of bullying, keeping a family together and never giving up hope. That’s what Meg does, although she turns away from people to hide her feelings, the one thing she will stand up brazenly for is her family.

The film is also filled with grand imagination, special effects that set the tone for the story being told and stunning imagery. There is certainly nothing wrong with having a film that not only can be enjoyed by the whole family but is filled with such intense life lessons. Sometimes it only takes a good movie to get the family talking.

In the end – be a warrior!

Coming to 4K Ultra HD/Bluray and Digital and here is your chance to win your own copy! Email hellomoviemaven@aol.com with PACIFIC RIM in the subject line along with your name and address. Good Luck!!
Here is your chance to travel with Meg and Charles Wallace to find their father through A WRINKLE IN TIME by getting your own copy of the film! That's right...just email hellomoviemaven@aol.com with I WANT TO TRAVEL in the subject line along with your name and address and good luck!
We have a copy of SATELLITE GIRL and MILK COW up for giveaway! Email hellomoviemaven@aol.com with GIRL AND COW in the subject line along with your name and address and we will choose a winner! Good Luck!
This Doctor Brings a DEATH WISH to Bluray

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray/DVD and VOD from director Eli Roth, MGM and Fox Home Entertainment is a man with a DEATH WISH.

Dr. Paul Kersey (Bruce Willis) is a respected physician with a good life supported by wife Lucy (Elisabeth Shue), college bound daughter Jordan (Camila Morrone) and brother Frank (Vincent D’Onofrio). Saving lives by day he is about to celebrate Jordan’s acceptance to college and a birthday.

Preparing for a night out of celebrating, Kersey is called to the hospital for an emergency. Still wanting to celebrate, Lucy and Jordan return home with the goodies to make a cake. Lucy becomes alarmed realizing that there is someone in the house and while trying to get out with Jordan, they are confronted by the burglars.

Giving them what they want isn’t enough as things go horribly wrong. Kersey is called into the ER to discover his family has been attacked. Police Det. Kevin Raines (Dean Norris) and Det. Lenore Jackson (Kimberly Elise) are on the case and swear they will get the criminals responsible.

Kersey isn’t happy with that as time goes by and they still aren’t apprehended. Haunted by what has happened to his family, he begins a journey into being a vigilante that the public dubs ‘The Grim Reaper’. That is until he comes face to face with the man responsible for it all and will not be broken again!

Willis as Dr. Kersey is a trusted doctor and clearly loves his family. Believing he has played life by the right rules, his thought process changes when his family is attacked. It goes even further when he is attacked for trying to help someone which flips the switch for The Grim Reaper to be created. His goal may be to make those who hurt his family pay but Willis gives Kersey a creepier feel with his low-key, frozen emotion performance. Willis has still got the stuff. He scared me more than the criminals!

D’Onofrio as brother Frank is beloved by the family, even if he hits his brother’s wallet on occasion. Worried about his brother and family, D’Onofrio turns on the protective mode. 
Shue as Lucy is lovely and charming and I’m thrilled anytime she appears on the screen.

Morrone as Jordan is fighting for her life and that’s what keeps Kersey going. Norris as Raines along with Elise as Jackson are trying to find the criminals but this Grim Reaper keeps getting in their way. 

Other cast include: Beau Knapp as Knox, Len Carious as Ben, Jack Kesy as The Fish, Ronnie Blevins as Joe, Kirby Blanton as Bethany and Wendy Crewson as Dr. Jill Klavens.

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 includes the Special Features of Commentary with Eli Roth and Roger Birnbaum, Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary with Eli Roth and Roger Birnbaum, Mancow Morning Show Extended Scenes, Sway in the Morning Extended Scene, Vengeance and Vision: Directing Death Wish and Grindhouse Trailer. 

DEATH WISH is actually based on the 1972 novel of the same name by Brian Garfield. It was followed in 1975 by a sequel Death Sentence which DEATH WISH II used elements of the story. 

From 1974 until 1987, Charles Bronson brought us the DEATH WISH series of films. He was quiet, raw and extremely dangerous. Now, in 2018, Willis once again gives us the quiet, raw and extremely dangerous Dr. Kersey. 

Willis has given fans so many dimensions to the roles he has played. It is clear that comedy started out as his forte but the big screen quickly learned that he has a powerful dramatic side. Oh let us not forget that he can always use that voice to lull us all into a false sense of security before lowering the boom aka THE SIXTH SENSE and SIN CITY. 

This is a story of family, madness, acts of a vigilante and fear one man’s acts have on a city. It all starts with a good man living an average life until not-so-good men turn his life upside down. The film brings about a duality in understanding his anger but not condoning his actions. DEATH WISH is definitely a conversation worth having.

In the end – how far would you go to protect your family?

It is a Life of Discover with LOVE, SIMON

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to 4K UHD, Bluray/DVD and Digital from director Greg Berlanti and Fox Home Entertainment is the journey he takes to LOVE, SIMON.

Simon (Nick Robinson) is a young man counting down the days until graduation and off to college. Supported by his Dad Jack (Josh Duhamel), Mom Emily (Jennifer Garner) and sister-chef Nora (Talitha Bateman), he actually likes his life.

Adding to that are his lifelong friends Leah (Katherine Langford), Nick (Jorge Lendeborg Jr.) and newer lifelong friend Abby (Alexandra Shipp), things are all good. Except one little-big thing – Simon hasn’t shared with anyone that he is gay except for one person, an online friend he calls Blue.

Blue has become an important part of Simon’s life because they seem to have the ability to share anything about themselves with no judgment or fear. Martin (Logan Miller) makes a move to upset the balance of Simon’s life. Discovering emails between he and Blue, Martin screenshots them to his phone and makes a deal with Simon.

Martin likes Abby and wants Simon to do the footwork to get them together in exchange for his silence. Immediately panicked for his friend Blue, Simon agrees. Putting the pieces into play makes him miserable knowing these are his friends’ lives.

Then moment of teenage outburst from Martin brings the house of fragile cards falling down. Simon is left to either hide from it all or just clear the path of least resistance to the life they are all meant to have – one that includes being who you really are.

He’s done keeping his story straight!

Robinson as Simon is as charming and sweet as he wants to be. Feeling the best he can under his secretive circumstances, this young actor gives a performance that is heartfelt, believable and endearing. That’s important when telling this story as the pitfalls in the life of a teenager are already demanding in this sometimes technological terror of a world we have created. Robinson’s performance unravels that with depth and I for one appreciate that.

Langford as Leah is also dealing with the perils of the heart and high school. She has known Simon practically forever (as they say) and wants only what is best for him, even if he screws up now and then. Shipp as Abby is the outgoing new girl of their group and the first to know Simon’s secret.

Miller as Martin is the guy who doesn’t really understand how friendships work but clearly knows how blackmail does! This character is the one who wants to just be part of something special but goes about it the wrong way. Lendeborg Jr. as Nick is dealing with trying to hook up a love life of his own and gets in the cross hairs of Simon’s inability to get away from Martin’s scheme. 

Garner as Emily is the fun Mom who sees her son has something going on. Trying to do the ‘give him space’ thing, it all finally makes sense to her which doesn’t stop her from being just as supportive. Duhamel as Jack is the Dad who struggles with ‘not seeing it’ and failing as a father for it and embraces his son as he always has. 

Shout out to Rothwell as Ms. Albright as the high school drama teacher! I swear I had the same drama teacher in Junior High so thank you for reminding me that Ms. Spencer was the best and the side comments are hilariously familiar.

Other cast includes: Tony Hale as Mr. Worth, Natasha Rothwell as Ms. Albright, Miles Heizer as Cal, Joey Pollari as Lyle, Drew Starkey as Garrett and Clark Moore as Ethan.

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 Special Features include Deleted Scenes, The Adaptation, The Squad, #FirstLoveStoryContestWinner, Dear Georgia, Dear Atlanta, Audio Commentary by Director Greg Berlanti, Producer Isaac Klausner and Co-Screenwriter Isaac Aptaker and Gallery.

LOVE, SIMON is a story definitely from the heart and if you don’t feel every second of it then you need a chisel to get it out of its stone casing! This is a film about teenagers doing what teenagers do – struggle to know who they are and how to fit in. What makes this story relatable is that we have all been there in some form if you take a second to remember.

Of course it is harder to have secrets in high school with social media poking into every aspect of someone’s life. There isn’t a platform where one wrong word won’t make it around the planet faster than finding out it’s been posted. It is also a technological world where bullying has found another platform. Simon takes the higher ground in a way that is breath taking.

This film should be shown in junior and senior high schools as a teaching tool! Yes this is a story of a young man’s journey finding acceptance for his secret, but it’s also clearly a story of realizing that each of these kids has something they are afraid for anyone to know. 

LOVE, SIMON is brilliantly written, the cast is stellar and the ending is how it should be – honest, upfront and a trip to Starbucks for a day on the road. 

In the end – everyone deserves a great love story!

GAME OF THRONES: Season 1 is Stunning on 4K This Summer!

Jeri Jacquin

This summer is going to be scorching and with the help of battles and dragons, HBO Home Entertainment is adding to the heat by returning us all to the beginning with GAME OF THRONES: Season One.

The story begins with the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros but more importantly those who rule the Seven Kingdoms. Castle Winterfell and the Warden of the North is led by Eddard Ned Stark (Sean Bean). At King’s Landing, Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy) and wife Queen Cersei (Lena Headey) are making a marriage pact between the two friends and their kids Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) and Sansa (Sophie Turner). 

In Essos, Prince Viserys Targaryen (Harry Lloyd) has no problem sending his sister Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) off to marry the leader of the Dothraki Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa). Viserys wants Drogo’s army to help him claim the Iron Throne of Westeros. The intrigue only deepens when Stark’s son Bran (Isaac Wright) sees something between Cersei and her brother Jamie Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau).

Stark’s wife Catelyn (Michelle Fairley) believes the Lannister’s are behind the injury to her son and tries to convince her husband. Jon Snow (Kit Harington) becomes part of the Night’s Watch to protect the wall between the Kingdoms and the creatures known as the White Walkers that live on the other side.

Learning that Westeros isn’t really being managed, Stark becomes a member of the King’s Small Council but is suspicious of a man from Catelyn’s past. Councillor Baelish (Aidan Gillen) is a schemer who knows everything about everyone and that is a dangerous thing. A danger of another kind is Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), a man who does what he wants knowing what the family thinks of him. 

Daenery’s is adjusting to life as part of the Drogo clan and finds that she is quite happy learning the ways of her new people. What she doesn’t know is that a plan is being put into motion that is going to cause a rift in the Houses. Stark learns alarming information about the family he is loyal too but can not find reason to continue with plans that he doesn’t agree with. 

King Robert wants Ned as the Hand of the King while off on a hunting trip. Tyrion is in the Vale and Lysa (Kate Dickie), Catelyn’s sister, wants a duel and sends her champion while Tyrion calls out for one of his own. Drogo has had enough of his wife’s brother and when Viserys pushes things to far, the leader shows what the Dothraki are made of.

When Robert is injured, Ned is given the higher rank of Protector of the Realm and when he tries to do as the King wishes; the entire throne room turns on him. The family begins to scatter as Arya (Maisie Williams) runs, Sansa is captured and Bran escapes Winterfell. Joffrey takes the throne and his grandfather Tywin (Charles Dance) becomes the Hand of the King.

After making their way to the Twins castle and making an agreement for a marriage between Robb Stark and, they capture Jamie Lannister. Robb becomes the King of the North, Ayra manages to escape with the help of Yoren, Sansa is to become Joffrey’s Queen and Daenerys becomes the epic Mother of Dragons!

It is only the beginning of the battle for the Iron Throne!

Of course it is the amazing writing of the story’s author that gives GAME OF THRONES its amazing complexity but it is also the cast is what has made this show hugely successful. This series has shown from the very beginning that no one, no matter how popular the character, is beyond the reach of the sword. 

The treachery, honor, deceit, underhandedness, loyalty, lies and changing of power is what GAME OF THRONES brings to fans. Every season is a new twist, a new shock and more information that has caused jaws to drop everywhere. Fans of the series are loyal to a fault and know that is a character has displeased them then just wait because it all comes out in the bloody wash.

Sean Bean as Ned Stark became the standard of what a true leader should look like, we all followed his family and the struggles every episode. The intensity and the plots became thicker and thicker and there isn’t a person I hang out with that doesn’t look forward to every season because of the set up of Season One.

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

The HD Bonus Features of GAME OF THRONES: Season One include Animated Histories: Learn about the Mythology of Westeros as Told from the Varying Perspectives of the Characters Themselves, Anatomy of an Episode; an In-Episode Experience that Explores the Creative Minds and Colossal Efforts Behind Episode Six ‘A Golden Crown’, Cast Auditions: Watch Rarely-Seen Footage of the Cast Auditioning for GAME OF THRONES, Making of Game of Thrones – An Exclusive 30-minute Feature Including Never-Before-Seen Footage from the Set and Interviews from the Cast and Crew.

Also, Character Profiles – Profiles of 15 Major Characters as Described by the Actors Portraying Them, Creating the Show Open – An Inside Look at the Creation of the Emmy-Winning Opening Title Sequence for GAME OF THRONES, From the Book to Screen – Executive Producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss along with author George R.R. Martin Talk about the Challenges of Bringing Martin’s Epic Fantasy Novel to Life on HBO.

The Night’s Watch – An In-Depth look at the Unique Order of Men Who Patrol and Protect the Wall, a 700 Foot Ice Structure that Separates the Seven Kingdoms from the Darkness Beyond, Creating the Dothraki Language – An Insightful Glance into the Comprehensive Language Created for the Dothraki people in GAME OF THRONES, Audio Commentaries – Seven Audio Commentaries with Cast and Crew and Digital Download Code for the Ten-Episode Season in HD. 

The highly successful HBO series is based on A Game of Thrones which is a series of books written by George R.R. Martin. The first novel A Song of Ice and Fire was published in 1996 when Martin moved away from short stories and script writing. The entire book series is intended to be a seven volume series with the final book Fire and Book released earlier this year.

GAME OF THRONES continues to be the most successful franchise in HBO history with the most awarded drama series with 38 Emmy’s to date!

From the first episode I was hooked, there wasn’t a single thing that didn’t appeal to me about this amazing show. What brought me in quickly, besides the cast, was the stunning costuming, set designs and how all of it brought me in and kept me there. That’s what makes an amazing series and gives us all a chance to escape into a realm where it is all about a game of thrones!

In the end – the battle for the Iron Throne has just begun.

PACIFIC RIM: Uprising Fights Once Again

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray/DVD and Digital from writer/director Steven S. DeKnight and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is the return of the warriors of PACIFIC RIM: Uprising.

Jake Pentecost (John Boyega) is the son of hero Stacker Pentecost but not exactly following in his fathers footsteps. Making his own mark in what is left of the post-Kaiju world, he is constantly at odds with everyone. While trying to make another score in the abandon Jaeger warehouse, he meets fifteen-year-old Amara Namani (Cailee Spaeny) who has amazing hacking skills for a young girl.

Trying to run from the law, they both are going to be called for something a little more important. A different kind of Jaeger is running lose and more powerful than they have ever seen. Not understanding how this is happening, Jake is paired up once again with Nate Lambert (Scott Eastwood) to discover what is happening.

Dr. Gottlieb (Burn Gorman) is on it trying to discover where the source of the new Jaeger’s power is coming from. Of course Dr. Geiszler (Charlie Day) might have a little something to do with it all. 

That’s when they discover that the Kaiju are not gone but instead have found a way to integrate quietly back into our world. Pentecost and Lambert immediately regroup and make it clear that there is no way the Kaiju are going succeed. Now they both call on the very smart Amara and the rest of the cadets to be just as creative as the creature who wants them gone.

It is a fight they are prepared for!

Boyega as Jake is a man who understands the large shadow cast by his father Stacker. Trying to find his own place in a world still recovering from the last Kaiju attack, he uses his smarts in the wrong way. When he realizes he is truly needed, the best comes out.

Eastwood as Lambert is full on Jaeger to the core. He wants what’s best for the planet and Kaiju aren’t it. He has a chip when it comes to Jake but it is something that isn’t as important as what is coming after them all.

Spaeny as Amara is smart, quick and doesn’t respond well to authority, something Jake knows a little something about. She may be young but her hacking skills are spot on and creating a Jaeger that needs one user is epic.

Gorman as Gottlieb is running like a chicken with his head cut off trying to figure out how this new Jaeger has such tremendous power. Day as Geiszler is a little bit off his game and seems to have a plan of his own. A little bit nutty and a little bit evil, this is Day’s chance to show us what he’s got.

Other cast include Tian Jing as Liwen Shao, Jin Zhang as Marshal Quan, Adria Ajona as Jules Reyes, Rinko Kikuchi as Mako Mori, Karan Brar as Cadet Suresh, Wesley Wong as Cadet Jinhai, Ivanna Sakhno as Cadet Viktoria, Mackenyu as Cade Ryoichi, Lily Ji as Cadet Meilin and Shyrley Rodriguez as Cadet Renata.

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.

The Bluray and DVD contain the Bonus Features of Deleted Scenes with Commentary by Director Steven DeKnight, Hall of Heroes, Bridge to Uprising, Becoming Cadets, Unexpected Villain, Never Level Jaegers and much more!

PACIFIC RIM: Uprising gets the gang back together after years of believing that the war was over. What a surprise when a very large, very powerful Jaeger doesn’t have good will towards humans. The story brings out story twists and clashing metal battles that have one goal – to make sure the Kaiju never come back again. 

The action is fast paced and doesn’t leave much time for dallying around but then again I don’t think the Kaiju are interested in talking. They are more along the lines of destruction and take over so go along for the battle of PACIFIC RIM: Uprising!

In the end – nothing will stop their victory!

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!

TAG Reminds Us You’re Never Too Old to Play

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this week from director Jeff Tomsic and New Line Cinema is a game that takes childhood into adulthood just by a simple TAG.

Hoagie (Ed Helms), Chili (Jake Johnson), Callahan (Jon Hamm), Sable (Hannibal Buress) and Jerry (Jeremy Renner) have been friends since childhood. Following them into adulthood is a game they look forward to for a whole month – tag!

Well, May has rolled around and it’s on beginning with Hoagie recruiting the guys with a new plan aimed at the one man who hasn’t been tagged in thirty years. Jerry is a pro at the game and plays with precision and, well, ingenuity really. This time Hoagie convinces the guys that the best place to finally make it happen is at Jerry’s wedding.

Following the group is Rebecca (Annabelle Wallis), a reporter who started one story but found this to be much more interesting. Also, Hoagie’s wife Anna (Isla Fisher), a very intense and hands on supporter of her husband’s dream of getting Jerry.

Heading home for the wedding, the boys meet Jerry’s bride Susan (Leslie Bibb) who knows about the game and begs them all too please hold off and let her have her dream day. Signing a pact to be off limits to certain events, it doesn’t stop them from trying.

Jerry brings in the big guns when Cheryl (Rashida Jones) manages to keep Chili and Callahan emotionally busy, Sable just goes with the flow and Hoagie continues to plot. Mayhem and friendship go hand in hand with these boys in the longest running game of tag ever.

Helms as Hoagie is dedicated to one goal – getting Jerry. Putting himself in crazy situations to make that happen is something Helms is used to doing because he does it so damn well. Johnson as Chili may have started out with a few goals but finds himself pretty much back to life’s square one. As much as he fights getting into the game, it doesn’t take much to become all in.

Hamm as Callahan wants to go for the gold where Jerry is concerned and looks good in a suit while doing it. Buress as Sable is easy going and the quiet under-comic relief. His sassy comes in smaller waves but it hilarious just the same.

Renner as Jerry is the obvious ninja in the group having perfects his moves and ability to remain untouched after 30 years. Looking sharp and having all the right connections, Renner’s character is sharp and prepared for anything.

Fisher as Anna can be hostile, explosive and charming all in 2.5 seconds and I loved it. Supporting her man she wants in the game so badly but a rule created in the initial tag agreement doesn’t include girls. That’s not going to stop her from trying! Bibb as Susan smiles her way into the group wanting a beautiful wedding without boyish tricks. Jones as Cheryl is a diversion sent in by Jerry with a history that plays to his advantage.

Other cast include Brian Dennehy as Chili’s father, Nora Dunn as Linda, Sebastian Maniscalco as Pastor, and Steve Berg as Lou.

TAG is based on an article written in The Wall Street Journal about a group of men from Spokane, Washington who played the game of tag one month a year for 23 years. 

TAG is just that, a romp of a film that proves boys can still be boys in the most epic way possible. Personally I think it’s fantastic that this band of mischief (great name guys if you want to start a rock group!) continue to find the most creative ways of keeping the game alive. The film is also about a rock solid friendship that has just found a way to stay connected.

Isn’t that what we are all trying to do in this world of disillusion and disconnect? These men who really continue to do this are defying the odds in that childhood friendships are just memories for most of us. The game of tag for these tag-artists is based around the one thing we seem to forget as we get older – mashing memories, fun and a genuine effort to stay connected through a simple game.

TAG is fun, funny, charming and doesn’t ask a lot of its audience. It’s more of a ‘sit back – we got this’ kind of movie and I’m more than okay with that. The laughs are there and a bucket of popcorn is icing on the cake. The ending is a tad hokey but then again who said it stops there?

In the end – based on a true story and we’re not kidding!