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Jeri Jacquin aka Movie Maven and Jenise Jacquin aka Film Brat
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RIDERS OF JUSTICE

Jeri Jacquin

Coming from Magnet Releasing, Zentropa entertainmentS3 and writer/director Anders Thomas Jensen is the story of a man who is taking on the RIDERS OF JUSTICE.

Markus (Mads Mikkelsen) is dealing with a tragedy while parenting daughter Mathilde (Andrea Heick Gadeberg). When a survivor Otto (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) from the train wreck comes forward believing that it was no accident, it brings out the soldier in Markus who wants to find out who is responsible for turning his family’s life upside down.

Otto convinces Markus that he can help enlisting friends Lennart (Lars Brygmann) and Emmenthaler (Nicolas Bro) to use their skills to find answers. When they are attacked, Markus brings them to his home where they can work on leads in relative safety. When the group of men go to the house of someone that can perhaps give them answers, Markus shows the depths of his anger.

Mathilde is being kept from all of this under the pretense that Markus is going through therapy and she is thrilled by it. She also finds herself getting close to everyone and even her boyfriend has a chance to spend time with the group. That is when things take a turn as social media might be the death of them all.

Mikkelson as Markus has the opportunity to play a rough, gruff, no nonsense character that can not but help bring people around him that are his exact opposite. The only reason he tolerates any of them is because they can help him do what he believes needs done – take out the person responsible for hurting his family. Let us be honest, Mikkelson does this type of role well in the first place but as Markus, we get to see him deal with the little bit of craziness his new house guests bring. I really enjoyed his role in this because he has to find a way to not only deal with his own issues but everyone else’s as well. 

Kaas as Otto truly believes he knows exactly who is responsible and it is his way of dealing with his own guilt about the accident. A tad twitchy, he tries to reach Markus on a level that will allow the two to work together. Even after irritating Markus beyond belief, Kaas jumps into the family dynamic that is sometimes very charming even if it irritates the parental unit.

Brygmann as Lennart is another emotional bag of hot mess, but he brings to the group more ways to get information to help Markus. It is Otto that tries to keep the situation together and Lennart needs Otto to keep him together. Bro as Emmenthaler is the computer whiz but again, he is someone who can go off the rails just by touching his precious computer parts. He makes it clear he will help but no one is to make his life crazier than it already is.

Gadeberg as Mathilde is a young woman dealing with the loss of the family she loved so much. Turning to her boyfriend for some stability, it irritates her father more than it would any other father because Markus responds quickly. Mathilde lets him know how she is feeling and shares her feelings with the new group that has taken up residence in her home.

Other cast include Roland Moller as Kurt, Albert Lindhardt as Sirius, Anne Lind as Emma, Jacob Lohmann as Kenneth, Henrik Olesen as Noah, Gustav Giese as Adrian and Gustav Lindh as Bodashka. 

Magnet Releasing is a part of Magnolia Pictures that specializes in films from the vanguard of horror, action, comedy and Asian cinema. It is also the home of classics like Tomas Alfredson’s LET THE RIGHT ON IN, Ti West’s THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL, Andre Ovredal’s TROLLHUNTER, Neil Marshall’s sword and sandals bloodbath CENTURION and Tony Jaa’s ONG BAK trilogy. Recent released include the terrifying anthologies V/H/S and V/H/S/2, Xan Cassavettes’ stylish vampire film KISS OF THE DAMNED, and the sci-fi thriller THE LAST DAYS ON MARS. To find out more please visit www.magnetreleasingfilms.com.

RIDERS OF JUSTICE is such a mash up of emotion, action, reaction, family, loss, and revenge – and that’s just the role of Markus! Adding three other people to the mix who bring their own brand of insecurities and knowledge that it is no wonder our main character feels like he is more of a babysitter than a man on a mission.

That being said, this group of five does an amazing job of checking all the boxes through every human emotion imaginable and even humor from time to time seeps its way into the story. This is also a story of revenge that gets caught up in itself to the point where it is impossible to know how each character will stop before it’s too late.

In the end – someone is going to pay!


DREAM HORSE

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres and then On Demand From writer/director John Gatins and Bleeker Street comes a story of surprise, a community together and a DREAM HORSE.

Jan Vokes (Toni Collette) lives in a small Welsh town where everybody knows everybody. Getting up and going to work at the market and then at the local pub, Jan is feeling the itch to do something more with her life. That's when she gets the idea to buy a mare and breed a race horse.

Husband Brian "Daisy" (Owen Teale) cannot believe what his wife could be thinking but finds himself building a stable in their back yard. Knowing it is going to take a flow of money to make this happen, Jan enlists the help of Howard Davies (Damian Lewis) who has some experience with horses.

Calling a town meeting, Jan explains her plan and soon discovers that there is excitement brewing and many want to be included. Now comes the hard part, finding a mare and finding the right horse to breed her with. As things begin to fall into place - a foal is born, and the town is abuzz. The group comes together and names their spirted young foal Dream Alliance.

Now it is time for the alliance to see what their faith and money have brought them. It is time to race until Dream finds himself and his alliance at the Welsh Grand Nationals.

Collette as Jan is perfect for this role in that she has the ability to make her role look easy. Pushed by life and a strong belief in something better for everyone, Collette gives her character the same feistiness as the foal she is truly fond of.

Lewis as Davies is a man who has a history, both good and not so good, with horse racing. Not so sure about Jan from the beginning, Lewis gives his character a second chance to make things right with the choices he has made in his life and making good on a past mistake with his family. Lewis also gets the opportunity to play a role that is not as intense as his HOMELAND and BILLIONS character and it is nice to see.

Vokes as Owen is a man who has been letting the television tell him about the world around him. Once Dream comes into their lives, he finds that passion for life can be found in a smelly stable - and he is happy about it. Trying to support his wife and do right by the townspeople is where his difficulties lie.

The townsfolk and family round out the rest of the cast and provide laughs, smiles and a sense of community so thank you goes to Nicholas Farrell as Phillip Hobbs, Sian Phillips as Maureen, Karl Johnson as Kerby, Peter Davison as Lord Avery, Steffan Rhodri as Gerwyn, Anthony O'Donnell as Maldwyn, Alex Jordan as Johnson White, Max Hutchinson as James Lingsford, Lynda Baron as Elsie, Asheq Akhtar as Peter, and Darren Evans as Goose.

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

DREAM HORSE has many facets to it for a wide-ranging audience. First, it is a story based on the life of Dream Alliance and the history of his races. There were many other races than the ones shown in the film and he did exceedingly well and retired in 2012 to a life of leisure.

The film is also the story of a Welsh community who came together for something that gave them all great joy and excitement. There is something to be said for that, especially in times where a community can feel apart and disconnected.

Finally, it is the story of a woman who did something unique and saw it through till the end. She didn't hesitate to make decisions and made it perfectly clear that her objective was to protect Dream at all costs. Standing up for herself brought others around her to do the very same and that is everything.

So gather the family to watch a story that is filled with determination, love, friendship and understanding for both the two legged and four legged creatures of the earth and enjoy DREAM HORSE.

In the end - hearts will race!

SPIRIT UNTAMED is Filled with Family and Horses

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres from director Elaine Bogan and DreamWorks comes the story of family, friendship and being SPIRIT UNTAMED.

Lucky Prescott (voiced by Isabela Merced) is a young girl raised with her grandfather and Aunt Cora (Julianne Moore) after an accident took the life of her mother. Father Jim (Jake Gyllenhaal) felt that sending Lucky to live with his family would keep her safe. The problem is Lucky seems to be just a little too much now for the Prescotts.

Aunt Cora packs Lucky a bag and off they go into the West to see Jim in the town of Miradero. Looking for a little excitement, she gets her first taste when a horse runs next to the train and Lucky is thrilled. Getting to Miradero, there is an odd reunion between Lucky and her father but she takes the opportunity to get to know the town.

She meets Abigail (Mckenna Grace) who is just a ball of song and Pru (Marsai Martin) the amazing horse rider whose father Al (Andre Braugher) owns the local coral. In the coral she is surprised to find the horse that was chasing the train! She wants so much to make a connection with him, but her father warns her to stay away!

Well, he does not know that Lucky is determined to bond with the horse she names Spirit and is appalled when she sees an underhanded wrangler (Walton Coggins) treating him so badly. A few apples later, Lucky has made a friend and wants to help Spirit. 

With the help of her friends and a long perilous journey, Lucky and Spirit will reunite and create a friendship that will last them both a lifetime. 

Merced voicing Lucky gives her animated character a unique personality. She is feisty, curious and a bit wild but that is what makes her amazingly wonderful. At a young age Lucky thinks she knows who she is until that all changes learning who her mother was to so many people. Fighting for the right thing is never wrong but can be a little dangerous for Lucky without the help of friends and a horse named Spirit.

Moore as Aunt Cora is actually quite hilarious to me. She seems to have the water on a ducks back mentality because nothing gets to her. It might grab her attention for a second, but she always adjusts. She sees a need for Lucky to be with her father and also to straighten out Jim’s household for Lucky’s sake. Gyllenhaal as Jim is a man that has not come to terms with his wife’s passing or how to handle a young daughter that is growing up quickly. Trying to be a father is not easy and Lucky does not exactly make it easy either!

Grace as Abigail is too lively, spirited and knows how to handle little brothers. Give her a horse and a rope and its all good and together. Seeing the relationship grow between Lucky and Spirit, she encourages it along with friend Pru. Martin as Pru is a young lady made for a horse and loves every moment of it with the support of her dad. She also sees how patient Lucky is with Spirit and helps her learn how to be a friend to the wild mustang.

Coggins as the wrangler is as evil as he wants to be but that is the best part of being in an animated film. He gives us the face of someone you would never want to meet in a dark alley and just as stubborn as Lucky – and they both want Spirit.

DreamWorks Animation brings amazing animated entertainment to films, television specials and series for the young and young at heart audiences around the world. For more of what they have to offer please visit http://www.dreamworksanimation.com.

SPIRIT UNTAMED is the story of friendship, love, loyalty and justice all wrapped up in a young girl discovering her heritage and a horse that knows exactly who he is and where he belongs. Finding each other began a test of patience and trust for both Lucky and Spirit that grows into something extremely special.

Having friends like Abigail and Pru who also see the injustice caused by the wrangler, are just as determined to help Lucky and Spirit make things right again. Lucky is learning that you can know true friends from both the two legged and four legged creatures of the world. 

The film is also about family for both Lucky and Spirit. In Lucky’s case, she is learning about her mother and the heritage shared in Miradero. Meeting so many people who not only remember Lucky’s mother but see the same fire in the young girl. Spirit learns to trust the humans learning what they are about but also holds fierce to his herd as their leader.

Lucky and Spirit come to understand one another and that is everything. 

In the end – nothing will break their spirit!

Hulu Brings the Ruthlessness in SALEM

Jeri Jacquin

Currently playing on HULU from creators Brannon Braga and Adam Simon is the haunting series that has three exciting seasons when telling the story of terror in SALEM. 

It is the 17th Century, and the puritanical town of Salem is experiencing the punishment for going against the church. Leading the way to seek out more punishment is George Sibley (Michael Mulheren) who seems to enjoy his leadership role. Not afraid of what is happening is John Alden (Shane West) and makes his feelings plain stopped only by his friend Giles Corey (Kevin Tighe). Going off to war he says a final goodbye to his love Mary (Janet Montgomery) and does not know that she is left behind to face motherhood.

Helping her is Tituba (Ashley Madekwe) and into the woods they go to do what is clearly against the church. Upon hearing the news of Johns death, Mary once again must make a decision that will change her life believing John has died. Imagine the surprise when years later John returns alive, and war torn. Drowning his sorrows, John finds himself helping Reverend Lewis (Thomas Murphy) with a little problem of the young Mercy Lewis (Elise Eberle) possession, but he does not believe in it.

Magistrate John Hale (Xander Berkeley) is trying to learn how Reverend Lewis plans to weed out the witches he claims are still among the people of Salem. Isaac (Iddo Goldberg) who was branded before the war, seeks out John and tells him that the witches are real. They need to look no further than Mary herself when she is responsible for the condition her husband George is in as an act of vengeance. 

Hale’s daughter Anne (Tamzin Merchant) is fascinated by Captain John Alden and his experiences with the Indians. At a dinner hosted by Mary, she and John have a chance to be alone and talk about what has happened the past few years. Sad by it all, it is Tituba that reminds Mary of what she has gained and what she has to lose and, more importantly, what is to come during the night.

Reverend Lewis is working with a young girl tries to tell him who are the witches in Salem. Since she can not speak, Lewis chains her and takes her out among the townsfolk to point a finger at all those responsible with disastrous results. As John intends to leave Salem, Isaac shows him a hideousness in the night at the same time tat Tituba performs the Grand Rite with Mary. Now more lives are in danger!

When John learns that Giles is being punished by Lewis, he becomes enraged but what he does not know is that Mary has plans for Salem. Plotting to use a sad birth as a way to declare a religious war against the midwife and townspeople as everything that is deep and disturbing could very well be the end of the faithful of Salem. 

Montgomery as Mary is a woman who had been living with a broken heart until the return of John Alden. One night in the woods turns a sweet young woman into something that will bring terror and mayhem to the town of Salem. Montgomery gives her character strength and the will to do what Tituba thinks necessary to keep her power but there is also the part of her character that remembers a love that haunts her. This is a powerful series and Montgomery does her character justice.

West as Alden is a man in love but going off to war. When he returns there is nothing left of the Salem he remembers, instead there is chaos, fear and a woman who no longer resembles the young girl he left behind. West gives his character a no-nonsense attitude and a disbelief that is about to be changed in a major way. Admitting there is something happening, West’s character also knows when to call out wrong.

Berkeley as Hale follows Mary’s instructions, but it is clear he does not share in the way she wants things done. Trying to find a middle ground, he many of his family members suffer a fiery fate and is trying to keep the family he has left from. Berkeley always turns in a stellar performance. Goldberg as Isaac is the town man marked with the F and everyone stays away, everyone except Alden. Turning to him for help will not keep him safe but he is a strong character who is going to give the town a run for its coin. 

Murphy as Reverend Lewis gives us the duality of character that does not mind screaming from the pulpit and pointing at sinners when he partakes of the thing he preaches against. Murphy gives his character complexity and lots of confusion as to what he truly believes. Mulheren as Sibley started something that has turn against him. Not a liked man in the beginning, what goes around comes around and it is harsh.

Merchant as Anne is a young strong-minded red-headed woman who does not know her father has a bigger role in what is happening than she could ever imagine. Questioning everything puts her at odds with Mary and puts her life in jeopardy. Madekwe as Tituba knows how to deal with the forces of darkness and leads Mary through it all. She is smart and does not take kindly to being questioned, and actually I would not think it a good idea at all!

Other cast include Azure Parsons as Gloriana Embry, Stephen Lang as Increase Mather, Morgana Shaw as Mab, Christopher Berry as The Seer and Diane Salinger as Rose Browning.

Hulu is the leading premium streaming service offering live and on-demand television and movies. The platform gives viewers instant access to current shows, libraries of hit television series and film as well as Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning originals such as The Handmaid’s Tale and The Act. For more of what Hulu has to offer please visit www.hulu.com.

SALEM is an absolute binge-watching series. The story deals with an era of fear and finger pointing of witchcraft with results that became legendary. Each of the characters has a role that is equally important in the telling of the story created by Braga and Simon. The world they have created is harsh and a struggle to survive and when you add the story of witchcraft well, terror abounds.

There are very few characters that can be taken at face value and very few characters that are not in service of the darkness in one way or another. The shadows are around every corner and never have a drink with anyone else find out you have been given something that could put you on the pyre. 

The set design and costuming is perfection as again I am drawn to watching anything that has such an amazing unspoken character that blends in beautifully without saying a word. Instead, it shows itself to be an unstoppable visual treat from start to finish. 

So, if you are looking for an very cool three season binge-worthy series, might I suggest you become a fly on the wall to view what is happening in SALEM. 

In the end – everything in Salem has gone to hell!


SESAME STREET: Cool Counting Collection 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD and Digital from Shout! Kids and the Sesame Street Workshop is family fun and learning with SESAME STREET: Cool Counting Collection. 

Sesame Street brings the favorite character of counting with the Count. Starting out with learning about the number 0 with a superhero and celebrating the number of the day which is still a tune we sing in this family. Also being part of a lot of teaching moments is Elmo, the Grouch, Abby and enjoying the numbers with a little bit of dancing and singing.

Feist shares counting to four with many of the Sesame Street gang with penguins and chickens who visited the local shore. Continuing with the number four are adults who are a band of unique sounds that makes four fun! The group Train joins the Count in being excited about being a song group of five.

The Count now has us all stomping our feet because the number of the day is 6! But nothing can prepare use for the seven dancing chickens who are clucking to represent the number 7. Leave it to our favorite vampire to remind us that 8 is great followed by 9 dancing dinosaurs which is always cool. 

Count decides to hang out in space to count to the number 10 along with Elmo and Abby. It is an adventure to count ten unusual space creatures! He also brings good friend Dale to show us an interesting way to reach the number 11. Cookie Monster is more than willing to help with the counting of 12 because, of course, there are cookies involved.

The numbers are getting bigger and bigger as we see how many it takes to represent 13 with jumps, pears, silly muddy dogs, and lovely bees. Down on the farm the twin monsters learn about 14. On to the supermarket, the question of how many ingredients does it take to make a dinner comes to 15. The aliens are back to give us a look into the magical 16. 

The number of the day brings Snuffy and Big Bird to talk about 17. Nothing is better than visiting a garden and counting the garden to find that there are 18 lovely blooms to admire. Count decides he wants to give a popular 80’s song a face lift all the way to 19. Finally (and perhaps the best) is when the Count makes the emotional count to 20 with the help of actor Liam Neeson. 

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

Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit media and educational organization behind Sesame Street and the amazing television show. Teaching children since 1969, Sesame Workshop is a force for change and a mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger and kinder. Reaching over 150 countries, Sesame Workshop tailors to the needs of the culture and communities they serve. For more information, please visit www.sesameworkshop.org. 

The Bonus Features include Street Story: Numeric-Con, Street Story: Elmo and Zoe’s Hat Contest, Abby’s Flying Fairy School: Sheepytime and Elmo’s World: Counting. 

There is never a need to tell anybody about the importance and fun of what Sesame Street has brought to families worldwide. Everyone knows Big Bird, Elmo, Cookie Monster, the Grouch, Abby and, of course, the Count.

My own granddaughter spent the first three years of her life living off of Sesame Street and singing along to the songs that, at the age of six, she remembers and still sings to. That is the impact that this program has brought to my own family, can you imagine the other children in this country and the other 149 countries? That is a stellar accomplishment of being a part of educating and reaching children through song, fun, humor and loveable characters.

There is always something new, informative, in the way they teach they basics of numbers. It is every changing to fit the needs of children because learning is constantly changing, and Sesame Street knows that. It is colorful and reaches a level that children understand and want to know more about. Let’s admit it adults, we still get a kick out of watching as well.

Sesame Street is currently celebrating its 51st season on television and is the country’s longest running children’s television program receiving more Emmy Awards than any other television show in history – and it is more than well deserved.

In the end – you can count on your friend and count with them too!

It all comes in a FLASHBACK on Bluray 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray from writer/director Christopher MacBride, Grindstone and Lionsgate comes a story of a world in FLASHBACK.

Fredrick Fitzell (Dylan O’Brien) is a hard-working husband to Karen (Hannah Gross). When his mother is taken ill, life begins to take a strange turn. Trying to deal with his emotions, Fred finds himself unable to sleep and returning to something he once loved – drawing. It is also when flashbacks of his childhood begin to happen.

The memory of Cindy (Maika Monroe), Andre (Keir Gilchrist) and Sebastian (Emor Cohen) during high school comes forward. There is something that blocks him, something that is disturbing, and he cannot seem to face. Reconnecting with Sebastian, Fred is not getting many answers, but they find Andre and the conversation turns to Cindy. 

Remembering the last time they were together brings bad memories to Andre and Sebastian and want nothing more to do with what ever it is Fred is looking for. That night, each took a drug called Mercury with consequences they could have never imagined. Fred finds himself in the past and the present jumping from a life he once had to the life he is living now.

His work is suffering under the watchful eye of Evelyn (Amanda Brugel) When he finally finds Cindy, his life changes again but this time there is a nagging feeling calling him but to where next? Putting the pieces together he joins Cindy in the memory jumps on Mercury and experiences yet another life but is it all truly enough?

O’Brien as Fred has the unique opportunity to play a character that must see his life from different remembrances and for a time that he thought he wanted. He can not seem to piece together what is happening, what has happened and what is going to happen without anxiety pushing its way into it all. Of course, who would not yet O’Brien follows the leads he feels he is getting. Going from THE MAZE RUNNER to FLASHBACK is definetly a serious change and well done.

Monroe as Cindy disappeared from the group after high school, and she cannot be found by Fred. She is living a life that has kept her secluded with people she trusts yet when Fred crosses her path again, so does their high school relationship. Cohen as Sebastian is somewhat happy to see Fred but not to happy about the topics he keeps bringing up. Gilchrist as Andre has the biggest fear about that last night. 

Gross as Karen is trying to keep her husband focused on his work and spending time with his mother, but Fred keeps slipping away. She sees the results of the memories that have come flooding with no idea what is causing them. Brugel as Evelyn has a distinctive look and if she looks familiar, think The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu because she is awesome!

Other cast include Liisa Repo-Martell as Mrs. Fitzell, Landon Norris as the Scarred Man, Jackie English as Violet, and Aaron Poole as Pierced Man. 

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

The Special Features include Director’s Commentary, Deleted Scenes and Theatrical Trailer. 

FLASHBACK is a film that digs deep into a world that is darker and more twisted up than anything a matrix can throw out. It takes one memory to open up a vastness of confusion for Fred and even as he tries to put the pieces together, the roads are narrow and hard to navigate. Following what ever lead comes his way, I was invested and had the same quizzical look on my face as Fred.

When he begins to believe everything that is happening, watching Fred challenge all he has come to believe is something relatable because don’t we all do that? Piecing thing together in our lives to find out what life it is we want against a life we thought we have missed? There are so many ways to see the message that FLASHBACK is trying to bring from politics to reality to choices – endless possibilities. Prepare to be taken on a wild ride.

In the end – in the blink of an eye your life can turn upside down!


There is Charm and Learning with STILLWATER

Jeri Jacquin

Currently streaming on Apple TV+ from directors Jun Falkenstein, Amber Hollinger, Roy Burdine and Gary Hartle is a friendship with STILLWATER.  

Karl (voiced by Judah Mackey), Abby (Eva Binder) and Michael (Tucker chandler) are sister and brothers who spend their days looking and creating adventures. Living next door is Stillwater, a panda (voiced by James Sie) who enjoys their children’s company. 

The youngest Karl wants to fly into space and begins building a rocket. Michael and Abby are not very supportive, and it hurts Karl’s feelings. Stillwater takes the time to listen to Karl and because of that, Abby and Michael are in for a big surprise.

Having a little brother can sometimes be a testing proposition as Abby finds out. Karl has taken charge of a game that she wants to play. Trying to be patient with him, Abby becomes frustrated and runs into Stillwater. Telling him the problem, it is Stillwater that offers support and perhaps another way to handle her sibling.

Apple TV+ is a streaming service featuring Apple Originals, award-winning series, compelling dramas, groundbreaking documentaries, kids’ entertainment, comedies, and more with new Apple Originals added every month. To see more of what they have to offer please visit www.appletvplus.com. 

Stillwater is based on Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth. His other art works include Moonshadow by J.M. DeMatteis and Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman: The Wake. Muth is a comic artist and children’s book illustrator and studied brush calligraphy called shodo in Japan. 

STILLWATER is such a charming series for children to watch with their families. The relationship between siblings is filled with believability for any family who has a household of children. There are disagreements and misunderstandings between the youngsters as they try to navigate growing up.

Their neighbor Stillwater has a beautiful garden that is, well, zen in its look and feel. It as well as Stillwater invite the children to take a moment to think about their situation and find a solution that is loving for everyone and that is worth every moment of watching. 

Each episode brings 30 minutes of wonder, beauty and a calm that, especially in the last year, is a welcome treat. Listening to Stillwater’s words and huge amount of patience is a reminder of what we need to do for children who have had their lives change as well through this pandemic.

So it is time for the family to get together and get cuddly on the sofa and enjoy the creativity and the adventures with the help of STILLWATER. 


Sony and Netflix Bring us the Story of Friendship with WISH DRAGON

Jeri Jacquin

Currently on Netflix from Sony Animation, writer/director Chris Appelhans and Jackie Chan comes the heartwarming story of friendship and understanding with WISH DRAGON.

Din (voiced by Jimmy Wong) and Lina (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) discover in elementary school that they have so much in common. From their love of mischief comes a friendship so deep that when Lina moves away with her father, it is a sad day for Din. As the city grows around him, Din still finds a bit of trouble missing school and keeping up with his delivery job.

Making a delivery, he is given a teapot for no reason at all but is told all the answers he needs is with the teapot. There is someone who is equally interested in the teapot and that’s the slightly villainous looking Mr. Wong (Will Yun Lee) who will stop at nothing to get his hands on it.  

After a chastising from Mom (Constance Wu) about his schoolwork, Din is more interested in who he is excited to see. The teapot has other plans when it opens up and he meets Long (John Cho), a dragon who let him know that he gets three wishes. After trying to get to know one another, Din lets Long the Dragon know he wants to see his friend Lina again.

That can be kind of difficult as Lina is now living a big life. Din crashes her birthday party only to discover that the change from childhood to adulthood can be painful. Trying to explain things to Long is difficult but the very colorful dragon has another take on how humans behave and there is a very good reason for it. It is time for each of their stories to be told and friendship to find them once again and not just the two-legged friendships! 

All that glitters is not gold. 

Wong as Din is a young man who has hung onto his childhood memory and the belief that one day he will see Nina again. When Long enters his life, things become more complicated than Din could ever have imagined. Wong gives his character a wonderful sense of life, love, friendship, loyalty and a bit of comedy thanks to his dragon friend. 

Bordizzo as Nina is as mischievous as Din when they are children. As the years go by, Nina’s father is part of the business world, and it affects her life in ways she could not have imagined. Bordizzo gives her character such a lovely and fun aspect but also a sense of responsibility that keeps her away from the people she truly wants to be with.

Wu as Mom only wants the best for her son and works hard to make sure he is taken care of. There is a sense of community and family that are there with her and it is something that Nina gets to experience. 

Other cast include Bobby Lee as Tall Goon, Jimmy O. Yang as Small Goon, Ian Chem as Young Din, Alyssa Abiera as Young Lina, and Gabriel Lee as Wen. 

Sony Pictures Animation produces a variety of animated entertainment for audiences around the world. The visually groundbreaking and critically acclaimed SPIDER-MAN: Into the Spider-Verse is the studio’s latest release, and the winner of the 2019 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Other amazing films include THE SMURFS, CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS and HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.sonypicturesanimation.com.

WISH DRAGON is a colorful, beautiful, loving story of friendships and loyalty surrounded by community. It is also the story of Din and Lina and, with a little push of faith, remembering what is important in life once you tear down the materialistic things that become traps.

There is also the story of Long and his journey of being a dragon which is equally important. Watching Long experience the modern world is entertaining to be sure, but it is also rediscovering his connection with people that is sweet, caring and sometimes very funny. 

The animation is stunning and brilliant which lends to the enjoyment of the film in so many ways. So gather the family and prepare to make a few wishes of your own when the WISH DRAGON comes into your home for a visit. 

In the end – three magical wishes and one life changing adventure!

Disney+ and Pixar Brings Us the Charming LUCA

Jeri Jacquin

Currently streaming on Disney+ from writer/director Enrico Casarosa, Simon Stephenson, Jesse Andrews and Mike Jones comes the story of an unusual young boy named LUCA.

Luca Paguro (Jacob Tremblay) is a young man living with father Lorenzo (Jim Gaffigan), mother Daniela (Maya Rudolph) and grandma Paguro (Sandy Martin). Let us be clear, they actually live under the sea! Luca and his family are sea monsters living int the waters off the Italian Riviera.

The young sea monster looks up daily and wonders what is on the surface but has been raised to be afraid of humans. One day, while discovering more unusual objects on the sea floor, Luca meets Alberto Scorfano (Jack Dylan Grazer) who just happens to also be a sea monster. He also shares with Luca a secret that changes his life.

On dry land, Luca and Alberto become amazing friends with a goal, to get on a Vespa and see the world. When his parents discover what their son has been up to, they make arrangements for him to go stay the summer with an uncle and that makes Luca even more determined to find his own two feet.

Deciding they need to win the Portorosso race to buy their own Vespa, they meet Giulia (Emma Berman) who agrees to train the boys and discovers they need a lot of help. Massimo (Marco Barricelli) is the town bully that tries to stand in the way of three friends reaching their dreams. In a matter of seconds, a friendship is tested, and secrets do not stay secrets for long. 

It is a whirlwind above and below the sea!

Tremblay as Luca is a young boy who is finally discovering that the world is a much larger place than he could ever have imagined. He is so charming, endearing and full of wonderment. It is characters like Luca that make sitting together as a family and watching a story unfold so enjoyable. Tremblay vocals bring delight from start to finish.

Grazer as Alberto is a character filled with fun and a bit of mischief that Luca finds so enjoyable. Having a friend who wants the same things he does; Alberto is even more determined to expand his travels. Berman as Giulia is a young girl who has been part of the Portorosso race before but sees more of a chance to win with her new friends Luca and Alberto. She also opens up an educational world to Luca that she loves sharing with him. 

Rudolph as mom Daniela is not going to let her son become part of the dry land world. Rudolph gives us the worried mother with a sense of humor mixed in. Gaffigan as dad Lorenzo is so funny in the way he is perfectly imperfect as a dad who pays attention in short spurts and is silly. 

Barricelli as Massimo is the town bully that will stop anything or anyone from getting in the way of his winning a race or taking away his thunder. 

Other cast include Saverio Raimondo as Ercole Visconti, Peter Sohn as Ciccio, Lorenzo Crisci as Guido, Marina Massironi as Signora Marsignliese, Gino La Monica as Tommaso, Giacomo Gianniotti as Giacomo, Elisa Gabrielli as Concetta Aragosta and Mimi Maynard as Pinuccia Aragosta. 

Disney+ is the subscription home streaming entertainment with Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic and more. There are exclusive originals with new feature films, shows, short form content, documentaries, and actions series such as THE MANDALORIAN. For more information, please visit www.disneyplus.com.

Pixar is responsible for some of the most amazing, animated stories and films from the TOY STORY franchise, FINDING DORY, THE INCREDIBLES, MONSTERS INC., CARS, BRAVE and this year’s newest film SOUL. For more information, please visit www.pixar.com. 

Once again, the combination of Disney and Pixar have taken a story that is heartwarming, funny and full of life lessons and given it something even more special – heart. The animation is spectacular and colorful which is a like another character that adds such richness to every frame. 

The wonderful Italian songs, the celebration of Italian food and a wonderful sense of the Italian community is so lovely to see. By the end of the film there is an understanding by all once they push past the fear mongering and it is a lesson for us all.

There is an amazing friendship between Luca, Alberto and Guila that is filled with everything we would want for these three. Being brought together once they cemented their friendship – each of them would do anything for the other. Make sure you keep the tissue handy as with all Disney and Pixar films, a tear might happen to find its way out.

In the end – above or below it is all about friendship, understanding and love!


Netflix Brings the Original Story of SWEET TOOTH

Jeri Jacquin

Currently streaming on Netflix from writer/director Jim Mickle is the story of a world that is wracked with a virus that brought about SWEET TOOTH.

The world is experiencing a deadly virus called H5G9 causing the Great Crumble and children being born are something to behold. Called hybrid-children, they are half human and half animal. One father knows it is time to get away as human beings become unpredictable to raise Gus (Christian Convery) who is a hybrid child being half boy and half deer. Gus and Pubba (Will Forte), which he calls his father, raise their own vegetables and survive wonderfully in the woods.

Ten years later, the problem is that Gus is starting to be curious about the outside world. Pubba reminds him all the time that it outside world is dangerous, but Gus is longing for his mother. As Gus grows so does his curiosity about the fence that has been protecting them and his world is about to change. In an attempt to be caught by poachers, Tommy Jeppard (Nonso Anozie) saves him and Gus calls him "Big Man" and lays out his plans to go to Colorado to find his mother.

In the world, Dr. Aditya Singh (Adeel Akhtar), not only learns the signs of the Sick but deals with his wife Rani Singh (Aliza Vellani) having gone through it and now he is trying to save her. Trying to hide it from everyone, they gone on with their lives the best way they can. As Gus and Big Man travel together, they meet Bear (Stefania LaVie Owen) and through a series of events begins to travel with them.

Aimee Eden (Dania Ramirez) makes a home for herself in the local zoo and raises daughter Wendy (Naledi Murray) who is also a hybrid-child. Trying to create a safe space for hybrids is making it easier for General Abbot (Neil Sandilands) to find any hybrid-children. As he looks for anyone who knows about a potential cure for the Sick, he takes Dr. Singh and his wife and his wife to a place where he can work.

They are all intertwined in a world that is unsettling and dangerous.

Convery as Gus is absolutely stunning, charming and a delight to watch. It is a challenge for any actor to play something different but in Convery's case it is different in so many ways. Playing a deer (who loves sweets hence the name Sweet Tooth), he gives Gus all the characteristics of a deer and not just the look about him. He is curious, has a look when he hears or smells something, and these are all to the characters advantage. I love the fire of Gus and Convery is responsible for that. Well done young man.

Anozie as Big Man is the perfect person to look after Gus even though that was never in his original plans. He has his own story to tell that is just as shocking as what has happened to Gus. As the two travel together, they learn from one another and Anozie becomes more and more protective of Gus. At first it is merely to point him in the direction of Colorado and send the little bother on his way - but it changes with each stop they make. Anozie allows his character to be who he is and then remember what it is like to care for someone. He is strong, grumpy and quietly caring and I like it very much.

Akhtar as Dr. Singh is completely taken by surprise at the Sick and feels guilty when his wife comes down with it. He makes it his mission to keep her alive and also keep the neighbors at bay with their questions about how he can help the masses. From the first moment we meet his character there is so much about him that can be intense one moment and flighty the next, especially when he discovers the truth about the lab and the hybrid-children. I expect the second season to tell more about his story.

Owen as Bear is a strong girl who has brought a group of likeminded kids and teens together to fight for the hybrid-children. She sees something special in Gus and when her group has other plans, Bear is going to do whatever possible to save her little friend. Owen gives her character the wisdom of someone much older but then again this is not a world where being naïve helps anything - ask Gus!

Ramirez as Eden finds herself taking over the zoo and making it self-sustainable for herself and daughter Wendy. She is just as curious as Gus and learns everything that her mother has to teach about surviving and staying away from those who would hurt her. In those lessons however are questions about the world that Eden is cautious to answer until she absolutely has to. Murray as Wendy is so dang cute it is ridiculous as she is a hybrid half pig half little girl and terrible smart. Her world revolves around her mother and joins in the desire to help those just like her.

Sandilands as General Abbott is the worst kind of villain in that he can be nice, but you know by the way he talks that there is nothing nice about him. He has a mission that takes him to find Dr. Bell (Sarah Peirse) and it only leads to Dr. Singh's door. Trust me this is not a house call I'd want to have happen. Cannot wait to see his story!

Shout out to Forte as Pubba, his story is slowly told and it is one of love, protection and trying to create a safe world for Gus. He shares the backstory with Birdie (Amy Seimetz) who Gus believes is his mother. They both lay the groundwork for the story of Gus to give us many seasons of enjoyment.

Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with over 158 million paid memberships in over 190 countries. Enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films, Netflix is across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere and on any internet-connected screen. For more information please visit www.netflix.com.

Based on a DC Comic, this is an amazing cast narrated by James Brolin that has been brought together to bring a beloved story to the screen. SWEET TOOTH is executive produced by Robert Downey, Jr. (yes, Ironman has a soft spot), wife Susan Downey, Amanda Burrell and Linda Moran with Team Downey. 

SWEET TOOTH is such a wonderful series that takes us into a world that, for the past 18 months, makes the series seem a bit believable. Starting with Gus and his story, the young actor gives us so much to be emotional about as his begins to navigate a world he has been protected from. Gus is a very fiery young man who is also a boy who has all the fears of a kid his age. I admit that I cannot wait to see where the story goes next.

This is a story that is like ivy that has entwined itself in each of the characters’ lives. It is not just that everyone is dealing with the Sick or that there are hybrid-children to understand (or misunderstand depending on who is asking or looking), this is a story about humanity and how it handles having the world turned upside down.

It could be any disaster meaning that you can strip down the hybrid situation and the Crumble and just look at how people treat each other with something like a virus - sound familiar? Even the character of General Abbott or "Doug" can be seen as a narcissistic leader being followed by people who cannot even think for themselves and trust every word he says or follow out of fear. Sound familiar?

Netflix has once again brought an amazing series and once again we will have to wait to see where the story goes next. Just do me a favor Netflix, do not leave me hanging to long please. SWEET TOOTH has captured my attention, imagination and emotions for a world created for understanding, friendship and a loyalty that is found in a young boy.

In the end - the end of our world is just the beginning of his.

Arriving on Bluray is the Surprise of NOBODY

Jeri Jacquin

Currently on Bluray from director Ilya Naishuller and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment comes the story of a man who seems content with being NOBODY.

Hutch Mansell (Bob Odenkirk) is a man living a routine. Getting up, silent morning coffee with wife Becca (Connie Nielsen), going to work at his father-in-law Eddie’s factory, coming home, seeing his kids Blake (Gage Munroe) and Sammy (Paisley Cadorath). The routine also means that Hutch has lost the connection with everything around him.

Startled out of sleep one evening, Hutch makes his way downstairs to hear two robbers break into his home. What happened after that is waking a sleeping giant! Listening to his in-laws make fun and when Sammy cannot find her bracelet, Hutch decides he wants to track down the two that upset his routine of life.

On the bus, a group of men decide they are going to make everyone’s life miserable, but Hutch is already walking a razor’s edge. Putting a few in the hospital, one of them happens to be the brother of the Russian mobster Yulian (Aleksei Serebryakov). All of this is explained to him by The Barber (Colin Salmon) who makes sure Hutch knows that what happened is not going to go away. 

Yulian makes it clear he is going after Hutch and anyone else in the family including Dad David Mansell (Christopher Lloyd). Now, Hutch is going to let his true colors come through and protect his family any way he knows how, but then again, they are going to find out he knows exactly how. 

Odenkirk as Hutch is the perfect person to play this role. Using his mild-mannered abilities to mold him into a guy with a mild mannered, however imperfect life, Odenkirk gives his character all of that and more. I love that he wants more, keeps his cool and tries to work things out before going to the next level because everything he ends up doing is exactly that – next level. 

Serebryakov as Yulian is not interested in working things out with Hutch. He has a reputation of violence to protect, and he is not about to let the man who hurt his brother off the hook with a slap on the wrist. Serebryakov gives us the bad guy Russian who happens to enjoy karaoke and taking fast car rides at night. 

Nielsen as Becca is a wife that is trying to understand where her marriage is at. When Hutch finally opens up, she begins to understand that this is their life together – good, bad and bullets. Munroe as Blake is the typical teenager who makes it clear he does not have much respect for his father. Personally, I’m tired of these bratty teen roles so let this be the last for a while. Cadorath as Sammy loves her daddy and makes it known more than anyone else.

Lloyd as Dad Mansell is terrific, and I am happy to see him take on a bad ass role. Just because he is an actor “of a certain age” does not mean he is out of the game. He actually made me laugh quite a few times. Ironside as father-in-law Eddie is a man who likes his son-in-law but is not really ready to sell him the business without a big price point. It has been a while since I have seen Ironside in a film so even though the role is small, it’s still Ironside.

Other cast include RZA as Harry Mansell, Billy MacLellan as Charlie, Araya Mengesha as Pavel, Aleksandr Pal as Teddy, J.P. Manoux as Darren, and Michael Ironside as Eddie.

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

Bonus Features on 4K UHD, Bluray, DVD and Digital include Deleted Scenes, Hutch Hits Hard – Discover how Bob Odenkirk Trained to bring his character “Hutch Mansell” to life, Breaking Down the Action, Just a NOBODY, Feature Commentary with Actor/producer Bob Odenkirk and Director Ilya Naishuller and Feature commentary with Director Ilya Naishuller. 

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.

NOBODY is a really fun and jaw-dropping film that probably has the same amount of bullet casing flying around as the 1984 film RED DAWN. Odenkirk gives the character of Hutch smarts, strength, the ability to be vulnerable, quick on the draw and takes as good as he gives! I really enjoy an action film where the “hero” takes his punches.

From the moment of the break-in, the film goes from 0-100 in break-neck speed in the telling. There are car chases, actions sequences, creative weaponry and a great story that brings exhaustion at the end of the 92 minutes. It is very cool to have fun watching a film again that is mean to totally entertain, and NOBODY does not let us down.  

In the end – never underestimate a nobody! 

Be Ready to Make a FRENCH EXIT

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD from director Azazel Jacobs and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment comes the story of family and truth when making a FRENCH EXIT.

Frances Price (Michelle Pfeiffer) is an heiress with financial difficulties. When her husband passes, Frances lives as if the money will last forever and, well, it does not. When the bank seizes her Manhattan home, a friend offers a rarely used Paris apartment for Frances and her son Malcolm (Lucas Hedges).

Malcolm does not know how to feel about moving since he is in a relationship with girlfriend Susan (Imogen Poots) and Frances has no idea. But staying loyal to his mother, they pack up along with feline Small Frank and head to Paris. 

Frances settles in quickly as a change in location does not mean you can not be impeccably dressed or make sure the accessory martini glass is always full. Malcolm is not sure what he is supposed to do with his life now, but he is kept in the loop with Joan (Susan Coyne) entering into their life along with neighbor Ms. Reynard (Valerie Mahaffey).

If having the new two women in their life, and a lot of times in the apartment, is not interesting enough, when they call Madeleine the medium (Danielle Macdonald) it becomes serious. Joined by Small Frank, the medium gives a shocking affirmation to who has been with them for years. 

They might be experiencing a change of address but more importantly they are experiencing a change in life.

Pfeiffer as Frances knows that her life is slowly and irreversibly changing but yet you would never know it by her attitude or her attire. She takes the attitude of not having to explain anything because nothing can be done anyway. Her sarcasm and one-liners remind me of a younger version of the Dowager from Downton Abbey. Of course, I love characters like that, so Frances kept me totally amused and enthralled.

Hedges as Malcolm does not understand how his mother has let them get into their current predicament. Not getting any real reason other than ‘the money is gone’, he accepts that they have to move and even goes along with it because, after all, it is what needs to be done for his mother. Yet, there is almost a freedom in this new life and Malcolm starts to give me hope that he will see it (I am always the hopeful for the underdog).

Mahaffey as Ms. Reynard is the stable person although her delivery is a tad different. That difference is misunderstood when Reynard and Frances meet but they are more alike than Frances would like to admit. Mahaffey is just so lovely! Coyne as Susan is an unexpected friend to both Frances and Malcolm. Coyne gives her character a no non-sense attitude but at the same time, clearly fits into the Frances-Reynard love fest.

Shout out to Macdonald for being the one to make it clear that this group belongs together with the addition of one more to complete the circle of their life change in Paris.

Other cast include Matt Holland as Headmaster, Robert Higden as Mr, Baker, Larry Day as Ralph Rudy, Isaach De Bankole as Julius, Daniel di Tomasso as Tom, Christine Lan as Sylvia, Eddie Holland as young Malcolm and Tracy Lets as Small Frank.

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.

The Bluray, DVD and Digital Bonus Material include Deleted and Extended Scenes.

FRENCH EXIT is a uniquely different film that has the sense of family, loyalty, and friendship – its just that they do not know it yet. These characters are so removed from what we would know as reality, but it works for them in a hilarious way. Pfeiffer takes the lead as the person who accepts the world she has created and even when it comes crumbling around her, she raises a glass to the next life adventure or death, whichever comes first.

The cast together is sublime as they find ways to fit into each other’s lives because they do not seem to belong anywhere else. There is a connection between them that is undeniable although Frances would sarcastically say otherwise. They each have something to bring to the new posse they have created and its worth watching how it all fits.

In the end - it is about a mother, her son and a cat that start again in Paris.


He is Surviving SIBERIA

Jeri Jacquin

Coming this week to DVD from writer/director Abel Ferrara, Christ Zois and Lionsgate Home Entertainment comes a man’s journey in SIBERIA.

Clint (Willem Dafoe) is a man struggling with his life in a place that very few people would find themselves in. Running a sort of tavern store, Clint comes into contact with the locals who he does not quite understand in language but sort of does in the harshness of the wilderness around them. 

Telling the story himself, Clint gives an overview of his life up until that point being a boy moving to Canada with his father and learning about the Inuit's who frequent the establishment. The arrival of two Russian women is where the break between fantasy and reality cause him to break. Dealing with his demons is someone he recognizes and that would be himself and it is harsh.

The massive depression leads him to load up his sled and dogs to go out into the unknown. Knowing things are getting gravely heavy, Clint discovers a cave where he must come to terms with everything about his life – the good, the bad and the tragic. His father and ex-wife are not going to let him get away without having their say.

What is real and what is a wish is for us to decide.

Dafoe as Clint carries this film from start to finish. There are scenes that are so intense, yet Dafoe carries that emotion as far as he can to just before the tension snaps and eases off to give us a moment to take in the next emotion. It is clear within the first 10 minutes that SIBERIA is going to take us someplace we have never been before, and Dafoe is our guide, and we cannot stop ourselves from following. Well done sir!

Other cast include Dounia Sichov as his wife, Simon McBurney as the magician, Daniel Gimenez Cacho as the doctor, Fabio Pagano as the monk, Phil Neilson as the Woodsman, Cristina Chiriac as the Russian woman, Anna Ferrara as Clint’s son and Laurent Arnatsiaq as the Eskimo. 

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

Dafoe literally carries the film from start to finish as each of the cast brings him into a deeper and deeper realization that he can no longer hide from his life. As much as we might not truly be allowed into the meaning of his journey, it is not difficult to understand that the tragedy and life traumas that would bring the character of Clint to this point.

The amazing choice of locations adds to the uncertainty of what Clint is going through. In the wilderness you can only hide emotions and realities for so long before the past arrives howling on the wind and knocking down the door. 

Each hallucination brings the question of ‘is this real?’ then you realize that Dafoe’s character is asking the same question. After some time, it is easy to jump onto the sled because I had to see where Clint was going, and would he survive this obvious pain he was going through. That’s what Dafoe brings to this character.

It is clear that director Ferrara is asking a lot of the viewer because he does not stop for any explanation but instead gives us the ‘wait, there’s more’. It actually becomes quite difficult to break the story down while the story is still happening but let me tell you, once the film is over there will be plenty to discuss. 

In the end – this is a journey with an emotional destination!


Freeform Show Us a CRUEL SUMMER

Jeri Jacquin

Currently on FreeForm and streaming on Hulu created by Bert V. Royal is the story of perspective, truth and lies that bring out a CRUEL SUMMER.

In Skylin Texas, Jeanette Turner (Chiara Aurelia) is a young girl who feels like she is invisible in her awkwardness. Hanging out with friends Mallory (Harley Quinn Smith) and Vince (Allius Barnes) gives her friendships that hold them all together. She even has a great relationship with older brother Derek (Barrett Carnahan). Kate Wallis (Olivia Holt) is the popular blonde girl who is loved by everyone and has a great life. Sharing her days with friends and love Jamie (Froy Gutierrez), mom Joy (Andrea Anders) share in keeping up their lifestyle.

Jeanette, Mallory and Vince love making challenging lists of things to do. Jeanette’s father Greg (Michael Landes) is a local real estate broker which made it easier for her to grab keys to an empty house so the gang can play hide and seek. The problem is the house is not empty as she meets Martin Harris (Blake Lee) and discover he is the new Vice-Principal as Skylin High School where they all attend.

One evening Kate Wallis disappears sending the town into an uproar. Parent Joy and Rod (Ben Cain) try everything to find her and are devastated as the days pass. As times does, an interesting change happens, Jeanette Turner blooms and becomes the popular girl and finds love with Jamie, Kate’s boyfriend.

The change does not go unnoticed by friends Vince and Mallory and Jeanette does nothing to include them in her ‘new life’. When Kate Wallis reappears, the questions surface about where she has been and during a television interview, Kate faces the camera and names Jeanette Turner as someone who knew she was being held captive and did nothing.

Discovering that boyfriend Jamie has moved on and her friends being totally unsympathetic to what happened during her time away, Kate finds herself befriended by Mallory. It seems as if Mallory totally understands Kate and offers her ways to handle the stress that plagues her every day. 

Now, the story rewinds and is told from the years 1993, 1994, 1995 as Kate continues to point the finger at Jeanette and Jeanette defends herself to the point of seeing her life crumble day by day. It is in those years that secrets are revealed, and the truth is told – but what is the truth?
That depends on who you ask.

Aurelia as Jeanette is a young girl who sees and envy’s the fantastic life of Kate Wallis. At home she has Mom, Dad and brother Derek who is heading off to college, but they are together as a family when all of the problems begin. The show gives us a change from gangly young teen to flowered young teen to dark teen. Watching Aurelia navigate this complex story is so impressive that I found myself just jaw dropped when there was a twist exposed and Aurelia plays it so smoothly.

Holt as Kate gives everyone around her the image of a fresh faced young popular girl who has friends and a wonderful home life. When she goes missing and then returns, there is more to having that life than anyone could have imagined. Holt also navigates her character through a complex tale of choices and the result of those choices. Aurelia and Holt take the show neck and neck with the portrayal of their characters. Holt gives a stunning performance as her story takes us deeper into the mystery.

Smith as Mallory is a larger-than-life person who pretty much gets Jeanette and Vince to go whatever she wants. From the beginning I though her such a push individual who did not mind sacrificing friendship to feel justified for her behaviors. Smith gives Mallory free reign and at the same time learns from her friendship with Kate. Barnes as Vince is a young man living during a time where making his sexuality known could be dangerous for him. 

Landes as Greg is a father who believes in his daughter, he believes in her so much that he sacrifices his happiness, life and marriage to make sure his daughter is safe. Even as the story begins to unfold, Landes makes sure that no one tries to sway his decision to protect what he can of his family. Gutierrez as Jamie is confused by the relationship he once had with Kate to the relationship he now has with Jeanette. At the same time, he must come to terms with his own behaviors and reactions to what has happened and realize who it is he trusts.  

Andes as Mom Joy is a woman who is concerned with optics about her life, business and marriage. Even when Kate becomes aware that everything is not as it seems, Joy has a way of talking anyone out of whatever it is they think they see. Andes does a bang-up job of making the viewer love and hate her in the same scene. 

Lee as Harris becomes the casualty in all of this. That is not to say he is not guilty of everything because as the story unfolds, it becomes clear that trying to be the good guy of the high school is going to backfire in his face. Lee gives his character a bit of naivete and at the same time a feeling that there is a part of Martin Harris that is caught up in something he can not get out of. 
Other cast include Nathaniel Ashton as Ben Hallowell, Brooklyn Sudano as Angela Prescott, Sarah Drew as Cindy Turner, and Nicole Bilderback as Denise.

Freeform is part of the ABC Family Worldwide and a subsidiary of Walt Disney Television. Freeform’s platform is geared toward a younger audience and brings about original series and feature films. Freeform can be found in over 92 million households and includes such shows as Motherland Fort Salem, The Bold Type, Good Trouble and Love in the Time of Corona. For more information of original shows and all other content please visit www.freeform.com.

Hulu is the leading premium streaming service offering live and on-demand television and movies. The platform gives viewers instant access to current shows, libraries of hit television series and film as well as Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning originals such as The Handmaid’s Tale and The Act. For more of what Hulu has to offer please visit www.hulu.com.
CRUEL SUMMER is an amazing series that had my whole family captivated from start to finish. The flash between years takes an episode or two to get acclimated but once that happens, it is a ride through years and tears. 

As one of the executive producers, Jessica Biel says of CRUEL SUMMER, “This project was such an exciting and creative thing for Michelle Purple and I. To sit in a space with the younger generation and really give them this platform to really talk about some intense, hard things that these young people [especially for women and for girls] are going through is really exciting for me.” 

She continues with, “It really shines a light on the complex part of being a teenager and trying to figure out who you are and the midst of a million things that are going on.” The best part of that statement is that as the viewer we follow along what all the teens are trying to figure out about their lives. The adults are there yes, but they are mainly adding to the complexity of being a teen.

I guarantee that once the season starts, it is a binger from then on to the shocking conclusions. Once the season is done it absolutely becomes a conversation about so many topics. Parental relationships, teen relationships, inappropriate relationships, lies, deceit, friendships, loyalty – the list is endless. 

Start your season with a CRUEL SUMMER!

Prepare for THE UNHOLY

Jeri Jacquin

Currently on Bluray, DVD and On Demand from writer/director Evan Spiliotopoulos and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment comes unsuspecting faith in THE UNHOLY.

Gerry Fenn (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is a reporter who is on the outs because of something he did years ago. Trying to find a good story to cover, he arrives in the town of Banfield, Massachusetts to hear about strange activity in a field next to the local church taken care of by Father Hagan (William Sadler). While in the field, Fenn finds a doll and after he is told what it is, decides to step on it.

Preparing to leave town at night thinking there is nothing worth covering, he almost hits young Alice (Cricket Brown) on the road. Following her, he witnesses her speaking to a tree in the middle of the field. Taking her to the church, he learns Father Hagan is Alice’s uncle and that the girl is deaf. 

That is the first miracle that starts to bring people to see Alice and also catches the attention of those who need to witness it all to be able to call is a true miracle. Bishop Byles (Cary Elwes) and Delgarde (Diogo Morgado) become involved when Alice says that Mary is a beautiful woman in white robes who want the people to come and believe in her, but Alice also performs healings that become newsworthy.  

But Fenn begins to see something is not quite as it should be and does what a good reporter would do, dig into the history of the town and discovers it is dark and filled with stories that have brought something evil out – and who is responsible!
Fenn and Alice must stop the unholy!

Morgan as Fenn is a man who has all but ruined his career by a bad choice. Finding himself in cow-pattied Banfield, he does not expect the story to pan out. It is when he meets Alice and becomes part of the story himself in a way does he get excited to revive his career. Morgan gives us the charming smile we have come to know but no Neegan bat to forcing us want to follow the story. Instead, Fenn does what we would do – follow the story to its conclusion no matter what it takes.

Brown as Alice is a young woman who gets the chance to see life differently because of her seeing Mary and helping the sick. She honestly believes in everything she is doing and becomes friends with Fenn trusting that he sees the good that can be done by bringing the people to Mary. Brown gives her character an air of innocence and wonder and yet when it comes to protecting those she has brought together, Brown sticks to her characters faith.

Sadler as Hagan has his life invested in his young niece and gets the feeling that what is happening is not exactly heavenly sent. No matter how much Alice tries to convince him, he takes it up on himself seek answers. Morgado as Delgarde may not believe in the beginning but that is his job, and his job is about to get tougher. Elwes as Byles is a bishop that has only one thing on his mind, the flock that can give him cred with the church and is kind of creepy himself.
Shout out to Katie Aselton as Natalie Gates, a character that should have had a more specific story for her character but is a friend to Alice and cares about the community of Banfield.

Other cast include Bates Wilder as Geary, Christine Adamas as Monica Slade, Dustin Tucker as Dan Walsh, Gisela Chipe as Sophia Walsh and Marina Mazepa as Mary of Elnor.

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 UNHOLY is a combination of creepy and pretty cool visual effects. This is the type of film where you turn off all the lights, make sure the home screen is huge and dive right into a Friday night creep show. These are the best types of movies for that and THE UNHOLY gets to take top spot on the horror film binge party pile.

Everything I love about horror films is in THE UNHOLY. I am a fan of slow story presenting, spooky things happening that are not directly in-your-face and characters taking a chance on getting in evil’s face, so this film had me wide eyed and popcorn eating from beginning to end. 

In the end – be careful who you pray to!

They Are Watching for the WEREWOLVES WITHIN

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres and to other platforms from director Josh Ruben and IFC Films is a story of a small town and a WEREWOLVES WITHIN.

Finn Wheeler (Sam Richardson) has arrived in small town Beaverton as the new Forest Ranger. He is greeted by townsfolk and learns their story whether he wants to or not. Happy to provide further information is Cecily Moore (Milana Vayntrub), the postal woman who takes to Finn rather quickly. 

Staying at the local hotel owned by Jeanine (Catherine Curtin), Finn learns that her husband left her for another woman in a warmer place. She is also dealing with Sam Parker (Wayne Duvall) who wants everyone to sell their land rights to him so he can continue with his pipeline. That is a lot for a newcomer to take in, but Finn goes along with the flow.

What he does not expect, nor does anyone in the town, is that attacks begin to happen. They seek out Emerson Flint (Glenn Fleshler) to help track whatever it is. Then they turn to Dr. Ellis (Rebecca Henderson) for answers, it is decided that with a huge storm getting ready to set itself down in Beaverton everyone will stay at Jeanine’s hotel where it will be safe. Well, it seems that perhaps no where is safe as long as whatever is on the loose manages to evade them.

It is hard to fight what you can not see in the dark!

Richardson as Finn is the calm and collected man in the middle of the strange and unusual town of Beaverton. Taking it all in while dealing with his own love life, Richardson gives his character a naivete that is charming and when things get tough, he might be freaked out by the new towns happenings, but Finn is the first one in the mix.

Vayntrub as Cecily gets an opportunity to shed her AT&T image and jump into the film as a postal carrier who knows everybody’s business. She is smart, funny and seems to be attracted to Finn. When the craziness begins, Vayntrub’s Cecily is right with Finn the entire time trying to solve the towns mystery.

Curtin as Jeanine as runs the local hotel but still has issues understanding why her husband decided to leave her. The hotel is the center of town and now with a mystery happening, it is a place to hide. Duvall as Sam makes his way through those who live in Beaverton trying to convince them to sell and even become abrasive towards those who will not.

Henderson as Dr. Ellis is trying to discover the secrets behind the mystery of what is happening to the towns people. Finn and Cecily look to her for answers, but they are slow in coming and might be too late. Fleshler as Flint may not know about Mr. Rogers but he does begin to understand what it means to be a good neighbor. 

Other cast include Pete Anderton, George Basil as Marcus, Harvey Guillen as Joaquim Wolfson, Cheyenne Jackson as Devon Wolfson, Michaela Watkins as Trisha Anderton, Glenn Flesherler as Emerson, Patrick Walsh as Dave Sherman, Anni Krueger as Charlotte and Ritz as Cha-Chi. 

IFC Films is a leading distributor of quality talent-driven independent films. Some of the company’s successes include BOYHOOD, FRANCES HA, MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN, TOUCHING THE VOID, CHE, TINY FURNITURE and CARLOS. For more information on films from IFC please visit www.ifcfilms.com.

WEREWOLVES WITHIN is a funny, fun, fantastically acted with a cast that takes this horror and gives it a lining of comedy. Based on a video game of the same name, I am hoping to get my hands on it to play for a bit of fun myself. 

The cast is so well put together, and each has a part to play, and plays is it extremely well. It is a who-done-it from start to finish and I must admit to enjoying that aspect of the film. The music adds an awesome touch as I enjoy films that have tunes to reminisce too. 

There is something fun when a mix of horror, comedy and music come together in such a way that it all looks easy and flows well. So much so that WEREWOLF WITHIN is worth seeing again and enjoying with friends because there is nothing better than a lights-out movie night for horror and laughs.

In the end – it is a whodunnit with teeth!

BOSS BABY 2: Family Business Bring Brothers Back Together

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres from director Tom McGrath and DreamWorks animation is the story of two brothers who might just have to be reminded about family in BOSS BABY 2: Family Business.

Tim Templeton (James Marsden) is a grown-up family man with wife Carol (Eva Longoria) and daughters Tabitha (Ariana Greenblatt) and baby Tina (Amy Sedaris). Also, a stay-at-home Dad, he makes sure that his family is happy and filled with fun. Missing from his life is brother Theodore (Alec Baldwin) who has grown into a very rich CEO hedge fund businessman.

Recently daughter Tabitha seems to be growing apart from Dad Tim and he can not understand why. Going to the Acorn Center for Advanced Childhood run by Dr. Erin Armstrong who teaches the kids to be free thinkers. Tabitha is also preparing to take part in the school performance and does not want any help from Dad.

As the holidays approach, an unexpected visitor bursts into the Templeton home. Uncle Ted has come believing that something is wrong with Tabitha. That is when the brothers and Tina spend some alone time and they realize that she is on a mission for BabyCorp. Tina tells the brothers that they must infiltrate the Acorn Center because something is not right and to do that – that is right – they need to work together. 

The brothers make a plan that turns their world upside down, but it is all done in the name of family!

Marsden as Timothy has grown up and being the father that not only loves his family but wants them to be happy in any way possible. Missing his brother, he buries that feeling and dedicates his life to Tabitha and Tina. Yet, the time has come for brothers to work together again and help BabyCorp keep their work going for all babies. 

Baldwin as Ted is back with his usual amazing sarcasm, stunning wit and perfect delivery. Okay, so I am thrilled that Baldwin gets to have such a character that is so hysterically memorable with a script that gave this actor the opportunity to entertain. As the older Ted it is grand to see that some things never change – and happily so!

Sedaris as Tina makes a surprise entrance letting her father know that things have not changed much in the baby world. Getting Tim and Ted together for a mission is like trying to round up penguins on ice – difficult but not impossible. Greenblatt as Tabitha is a young girl trying to find her way. Her changes affect the relationship with her father, but Tim is not about to give up what he loves.

Let us talk Goldblum as Dr. Armstrong, first of all – I laughed so hard watching his character on the screen with the matching wit of Ted and disguised sticky sweet sarcasm. Goldblum lends his recognizable vocals to a character that has plans of his own. He has his own secret to share and once exposed, it is up to Ted and Tim to do what they do best, be brothers!


Other cast include Jimmy Kimmel as Grandpa Ted Templeton Sr. and Lisa Kudrow as Grandma Janice Templeton.

DreamWorks Animation brings amazing, animated entertainment to films, television specials and series for the young and young at heart audiences around the world. For more of what they have to offer please visit http://www.dreamworksanimation.com.

BOSS BABY 2: Family Business is such a fun film for everyone, and I plan to watch it again and again. I love that DreamWorks makes their animated film with humor that reaches everyone. The story is about family and the disconnect that sometimes happens, but it is also wrapped up in adventure and humor with the end result of remembering who we love and why.

The film is brightly animated, fast paced and just a giggle fest from start to finish. Baldwin, Marsden and Goldblum keep us on our mental toes while Greenblatt and Sedaris give us a look at the next generation that will deal with BabyCorp. Showing us a side of a stay-at-home Dad and the pressures of a pre-teen invite us into the Templeton family and my family hopes they will come again.

Get the entire family together and see what the Templeton gang are up to bringing laughs, adventure and pure enjoyment in a time where we welcome them with open arms. 

In the end – playtime is over!


THE TOMORROW WAR

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to help ring in the fourth of July weekend from Amazon Originals and director Chris McKay comes the story of the future who want help fighting THE TOMORROW WAR.

Dan Forester (Chris Pratt) has fought in a war and taken his G.I. Bill bringing him to teaching science at the local high school. During daughter Muri’s (Ryan Armstrong) birthday party and watching a soccer game with wife Emmy (Betty Gilpin), a shock happens right before a goal with a lightening blast landing mid-field. 

Out of the light comes Lt. Hart (Jasmine Matthews) telling everyone listening that they are from the future of 2051. The planet is systematically being destroyed by a creature that wants nothing more than to exterminate human life and they need help. Soon after, a draft is begun to bring people from this time to the future aiding in the battle.

Teaching his science class, Dan does not know if or when he could be called, and that question is quickly answered. Emmy wants the family to run, and Muri just wants her Dad. Dan decides he must do what is asked of him if Muri is to have a future of any kind. With a quick fitting and relatively no training, Dan finds himself in the middle of a hellish situation.

He meets fellow soldier Charlie (Sam Richardson), Dorian (Edwin Hodge) and Romeo Commander (Yvonne Strahovski) but there is no time for fellowship! The creatures instantly fixate on the new arrivals, and it is the Commander who gets them to a place looking for scientists. What is important is to find the work that can stop the creatures in 2051 and save the time Dan is from.

The future can save the present!

Pratt as Dan gives us the facial expressions of a warrior that we all have come to expect and with THE TOMORROW WAR he once again delivers. As a man who wants a future for his child, there is nothing he would not do but guarantee he does not expect it to be like this. The thing with Pratt is that he can be as bad ass as he wants but you can bet there are going to be one liner that are memorable in every role he takes – and Dan is no exception. His wit is mixed in with his brawn and it makes the film from start to finish. 

Richardson as Charlie is a character I am never likely to forget. His nervousness brings a reaction that might be hard to keep up with but once you think about it – he makes sense. He is also a brain that when put together with Dan makes a team that is awesome. Hodge as Dorian is a man with issues of his own and he is not going to be talked out of how he handles his life. Dorian might be a little cold, but he has his reasons.

Matthews as Hart is a very strong soldier and even though what is happening in 2051 is truly horrendous, she knows her job and has to keep that strength and Matthews gives her the backbone to make it all happen. 

Armstrong as young Muri is a girl who has a great relationship with her Dad. She quickly becomes a young girl that has to see adult scary things but stands by him. Gilpin as Emmy does not want him to go to war (and who would), trying to find a way out of it. When Dan decides to go, Gilpin puts on her support face and does so the rest of the film.

Shout out goes to J.K. Simmons and I mean that seriously! Who ever decided to pair Pratt with Simmons needs to do it again because dang these two guys have mean stares, sharp wit and no fear of spikey creatures. Simmons has always been a favorite of mine so to see him buff up and gun up was pretty dang cool and I will not mind seeing that again.

Other cast include Mary Lynn Rajskub as Norah, Keith Powers as Major Greenwood, Mike Mitchell as Cowan, Jared Shaw as Tank, Alex Louder as Diablo, Seychelle Gabriel as Sgt. Diaz, Chibuikem Uche as Lt. Ikemba, Rose Bianco as Rose, Alan Trong as Lt. Tran, David Maldonado as Dodd and J.K. Simmons as James. 

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

There is something spectacular about a big action film that opens during the Fourth of July holiday, and I have always looked forward to them. THE TOMORROW WAR is one such film that lends itself to the resilience of the human spirit and, in this case, the future of the human spirit with the addition of creatures that think we are so easily wiped out.

Pratt and crew make a story full, and action packed which is, lets face it, why we love them. But this film gives us something so much more. Part of good action films is that sometimes the ending just leaves us wanting more and with a few more questions. THE TOMORROW WAR takes it all a step further.

Instead of just beating the aliens, director McKay makes darn sure that in the films two hours and twenty minutes, we get to experience everything. Not just the fact that the creatures want us all as a snack but the how, why and what are these characters going to do about it.

There are reminiscences of films I have seen before, and I see them more as a kudo to the alien-action genre like INDEPENDENCE DAY and even a bit of THE X-FILES, but I am thrilled with every moment of it. 

Honestly, I had a good time. I yelled, I hollered, had my own one-liners that probably are not fit for print, applauded and laughed so much. That is the sign of a good film in getting to just have a fantastic experience AND plan to see it again on my Christmas gift 70-inch TV with surround sound (you have been warned neighbors unless you care to join in…bring popcorn).

See it for what it is, THE TOMORROW WAR is why we love our movies loud, action packed and actors that make it just about the best way to spend time with family and friends.

In the end – to save the present they must fight the future!

The Story of THE LONELIEST WHALE

Jeri Jacquin

Coming from director Joshua Zeman and Bleeker Street is the story of the ocean and what creature has come to be known as THE LONELIEST WHALE.

Zeman takes us on a journey to tell a story that is unknown by most, yet we all are fascinated by the sea where it takes place. It is 1989 in the Pacific Ocean when the United States Navy is using under water surveillance called SOSUS to listen for enemy subs during the Cold War era. During a surveillance they discovered a sound that they could not identify registering at 52 hertz which was not a submarine. It was a low 52 hertz sound that repeated itself over and over with no reply.

Enter Dr. William Watkins of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution who deduced that it was a whale calling out for others of its kind. He called the whale “52” believing it was a solitary whale with no other of its kind. In 2004, after tracking 52 for over twelve years, the whale was about to become the focus of fascination worldwide.

Hearing about the 52 Hertz Whale is director Zeman, and it was then that the tale of a sad and lonely whale captivated him. Researching the story, he would soon discover that he was not the only won who could not stop thinking about 52. He discovered songs, paintings, and all manner of expression from those who connected with the whale. 

After a whale watching trip, Zeman wondered if it were possible to find 52 after all these years. Locating Bruce Mate from the Marine Mammal Institute, he asked if it was possible to look for the lonely whale. With no one ever actually laying eyes on 52, it became an even bigger adventure for Zeman and Mate. 

Another challenge would be to raise fund for such a search. They would need cameras, a boat, scientists, and research equipment. Adrian Grenier and Leonardo DiCaprio donated because of their concern for ocean conservation. After trial and error, it would be Dr. John Hildebrand from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography at UCSD who would help them. But there are so many more people that made the expedition to find 52 possible with their data and ears to the water. 

Hildebrand says, “Everybody loves whales. It is hard not to love them. They are very majestic animals, and they are mammals like us. I think the thing is most people think we know a lot more about whales and the ocean and marine mammals than we actually do. You can value and love and appreciate something and not know everything about it, and maybe that’s part of the attraction, the mystery.” 

This group of dedicated believers want only one thing, to hear 52 once again and know that perhaps he has found what his call has been looking for through the years. Their excitement and joy in the expedition can bring answers that the world has been asking for, ‘where is 52?’ 

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

Director Zeman says of 52, “No one’s loneliness is cut from the exact same cloth as anyone else’s, but this one story of a whale brought us all together. This creature is more alone than any of us could ever imagine, and yet refuses to give up, continues to call out, hoping to one day be heard. It is a story that I want to share with other – one that inspires us to have hope and reminds us that the bonds of love, friendship, and family we share must remain meaningful as we navigate the vast oceans of our ever-changing world.”

This is truly a lovely documentary because it is based on fascination and a wonderment that has lasted for years. The continual song of one whale changed so much about the way scientists and people see what was in our oceans. A song of longing is the way 52’s life has been seen until this point and Zeman is responsible for taking his fascination and bringing it to life.

The difficult expedition could have been daunting to some, but Zeman found the same fascination in scientists and others who wanted to be part of something amazing and wonderful. This documentary lets us share in their journey of discovery and the amazing range of emotions with a search that brings joy to us all.

In the end – it is a call that has kept us fascinated!


SNATCH Returns to 4k Ultra HD

Jeri Jacquin

Returning to 4K Ultra HD and Bluray this week from writer/director Guy Ritchie and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment comes the plan to SNATCH.

Franky "Four-Fingers" (Benicio del Toro) is told by Cousin Avi (Dennis Farina) to go see Doug "the Head" (Mike Reid) about an 86-carat diamond that has been conveniently stolen. Franky goes to see Boris "The Blade" (Rade Serbedzija) to pack some heat but an interesting phone calls brings up another twist and a big favor.

Turkish (Jason Statham) smooth talks Brick Top (Alan Ford) into putting his boxer "Gorgeous George" (Adam Fogerty) up for a fight. Tommy (Stephen Graham) and George take on a favor for Turkish that leads to a knuckle boxing in the streets with Mickey O'Neil (Brad Pitt) which adds to twist in favors. When that favor goes wrong, Furious and Brick Top decide they are going to take matters into their own hands.

Boris looks for Franky, Brick Top looks for Sol (Lennie James), Vinny (Robbie Gee), Tyrone (Ade) and Yardie "Bad Boy" (Goldie)! Avi hires "Bullet-Tooth" (Vinnie Jones) to find Franky but they take Boris who is being followed by Sol, Vinny, and Tyrone. The only way to fix things is for Mickey to fight again and that twists up things but the next morning brings a dog walk and a discovery of more than anyone can imagine.

Confused yet?

The cast has to be kept together because there is no way I can describe the amazing performances one by one. Del Toro starts the film and as each cast member comes in, they put their stamp on HARD to the film. Of course, I adore Pitt in the film as O'Neil throwing Stratham into the mixer along with James makes a strong Irish drink with shakes of Serbedzija, Fogerty, Graham, Gee, Ade, Goldie and Jones.

The cinematography also makes these gentlemen look amazing in everything that they do giving SNATCH its look and feel. Trust me when I say that all of this makes the story important. Yes, I just love this film in all its form and function.

Other cast include Velibor Topic as The Russian, Sam Douglas as Rosebud, Ewen Bremner as Mullet, Andy Beckwith as Errol, Dave Legeno as John, William Beck as Neil, Sorcha Cusack as Mrs. O'Neill, Jason Flemyng as Darren, Jason Buckham as Gary, Mickey Cantwell as Liam, Teena Collins as Susi, Nicola Collins as Alex, Andy Beckwith as Errol and William Beck as Neil.

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 Material includes: Newly Remastered in 4K Resolution from the Original Camera Negative, All New Dolby Tracks, Theatrical Trailer, Director and Producer Commentary, Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary, “Making Snatch” Featurette, Storyboard Comparisons, Video Photo Gallery and more! 

SNATCH is ridiculously smart and very funny with a story that keeps the action going and a cast that makes it all look so seamless. I happen to like films with this kind of humor, and it might be considered dark humor, but it still makes me laugh no matter what category it falls under.

This is a cast that puts their all into it with Ritchie at the helm guiding the mayhem. It is like my messy desk, and someone comes along and tries to clean it up and I scream, "don't tough that, I know where everything is" - that's Ritchie. Yes, I'm using a lot of analogies here because, dang it, this is a treasure chest of fights, sparklies, gangsters, getaways and a dog. Seriously, who could ask for more!

SNATCH has become a fan favorite and found cult status among those who enjoy a film that never lets its secrets out which is why this review is kind of vague. Released in 2000, This film has held up and is just as fresh to watch today as the day it found its way into theatres.

In the end - they are stealin' stones and breakin' bones!

Roth Brings a Different Horror with FIN

Jeri Jacquin

Coming from writer/director Eli Roth and Discovery+ Is the shocking look inside the world of creatures of the oceans with FIN.

Each year there are 100,000,000 sharks (yes, that is the correct number) killed worldwide. This is bringing about an effect throughout the world’s oceans. Writer and director Eli Roth, one of the masters of horror, shares the story of where he has gotten to with the movies he has created, directed and brought to fans.

He admits that his only fear is of sharks thanks to the 1975 film JAWS and let’s face it, that film scared most of us out of the water for a long time. Yet Roth also admits to being equally fascinated by the sharp toothed 'monsters' of the sea. So, it seems only fitting that Roth would take the talk show seat with Shark After Dark during the Discovery Channels annual and highly anticipated Shark Week.

Learning that sharks evolved over 400 million years ago, scientists hail them as 'doctors of the ocean' and that they are necessary for our own survival. In fact, they balance ecosystems in ways that when disrupted, may not be able to be reversed.

Roth has the opportunity to actually get into the water with sharks in the Bahamas. Facing his fears, he came to understand who they really are and their social structure. He also learned that the sharks that are killed is all to provide fin for shark fin soup. Twenty-five species of sharks are dangerously close to extinction because there is nothing stopping it.

This journey is about changing the perception of sharks and to do that, he must dive deeper, if you will, to learn about those that are finning the sharks. Starting in Mexico where fishing shark is legal, and nothing could have prepared him for what he was about to witness for himself.

In Hong Kong, Roth finds himself in the city where fifty percent of the caught shark fin comes in. It comes into the city and makes it way into China. Trying to expose the fin trade, a group called Sea Shephard is trying to find the illegality of the fin trade. Labeling the boxes inconspicuously, customs can only manage one percent of what comes into port.

Using the CITIES treaty, it becomes important to discover the data that shows the possible extinction of a shark species. Shark fin soup became a delicacy of Emperors and then became something to show how wealthy someone is. In fact, what is found is the unsanitary conditions of how shark fins are dried.

Roth finds himself in a restauraunt in Hong Kong that makes the soup and also discovers the truth about what it takes to make it. He discovers an ad campaign that stopped shark fin soup from being served by politicians and banquets. Unfortunately, the demand for the soup spread outside China.

In the United States, the fishing industry also has their hand in it by financing and blocking legislation that would regulate the commercial industry. In 2019, Congress introduced legislation as well where it still waits to be reviewed. To make matters worse, shark-finning is on the rise.

Going through the marketplaces in Hong Kong, Roth discovers that it is quite easy to find dried shark fin, but the shop owners are not pleased at all at his presence. When confronted, an official attempt to compare chicken feet to shark fin. In the conversation also comes the realization that it is more than the fin that is driving the market for sharks.

To get around the illegality of shark finning, the industry began using all parts of the shark in products. Most notably the advertisement of 'sharks don't get cancer' and selling supplements with shark oil in them. Instead, the shocking truth is something quite different and just as terrifying as a great white shark.

The idea is to stop the illegal shark-finning boats first and then work their way up the ladder of the others responsible. Facing the biggest problem is that finding the boats and boarding them is a dangerous undertaking and has already led to deaths. Roth is eager to find a way on board one of these vessels.

In Monrovia, Liberia that is desolated by war, is a prime example of a country that has been ravaged by illegal fishing and suffered for it financially. Sea Shepherd has stepped in to help the country with illegal fishing in their waters. In Robertsport, Liberia, small fisherman were being bullied by large commercial ships and ravaging fishing for the Liberian people.

Finally boarding a ship, Roth is not prepared once again for the shock of it all and keeps asking the question of 'how is this being allowed to happen'. It is explained to him what the oils are used for, and the answer hits close to home. He also learns that the ships are not owned by companies in Liberia but instead from other countries, like Spain.

In New Bedford, Massachusetts, Roth witnesses those who believe they know more than the scientists. It is the scientists who study the dead sharks these non-believers bring in and get the samples needed to study the animal’s life. Now the barbarity of what is happening is brought to the eyes of children. 

Roth arrives in the Bahamas to learn that they have become a shark sanctuary. It has become a place to study sharks and swim with them in their environment. They have learned the lessons that Roth believes needs to be the beacon for others to follow. 

Discovery is the global leader in real life entertainment, serving passionate fans around the world with content that inspires, informs and entertains. Discovery delivers over 8,000 hours of original programming each year across deeply loved content and genres. Available in 220 countries and fifty languages, Discovery reaches viewers on all screens and services including Discovery+. For more information, please visit www.godiscovery.com.

The documentary includes Paul de Gelder, biologist Dr. Reese Halter, Marine Ecologist Boris Worm PhD, activist Regina Domingo, Director of Sea Shephard Asia Gary Stokes, Marine Biologist Dr. Alison Kock, Food Critic Chua Lam, Alex Hofford of Wildaid, Chu Tak Wai of the Guangzhou Shark Fin Association, Liz Merly PhD from the University of Miami, Deputy Defense Minister for Operations Hon. Ernest Vafee, Minister of Defense Maj. Gen. Daniel D. Ziankahn, Jr., Cooperative Union Representative Johnny Weah, Neurosurgeon Dr. Mathew Phillips, Research Biologist Lisa Natanson, PhD from NOAA, Ocean Ramsey who is an activist and diving instructor and activist/photographer Michael Muller.

All of this brings the Oceana and the Leonardo di Caprio Global Fishing Watch (globalfishingwatch.org), have partnered with Google and SkyTruth to launch Global Fishing Watch. This allows fishing boats to be tracked and it will make illegal fishing boats easier to find. It is a good beginning, but the fight continues as the sharks are still being hunted. 

We need a healthy ocean and in order to obtain that, the killing of sharks must stop. The documentary makes it very clear that there are three ways to help, and they are amazing steps that we can take together and do our part for these majestic creatures of the sea. 

Roth gives us a documentary that is frightening on another level than this horror film maker could have ever imagined yet, it taught me a lot about what has been doing and continues to be done. Awareness means we can no longer pretend that what lies beneath the waves has nothing to do with us – it has everything to do with us. 

In the end – check the labels!

His Search is for PIG

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres from writer/director Michael Sarnoski and Neon is a story of a complex man who just wants his PIG.

Rob is a forager that has been living in the woods of Portland for over ten years. Along with his pig, they forage during the day for truffles and enjoy the solitude together. The only time he has a visitor is when young Amir (Alex Wolff) arrives to collect the truffles and delivery the hermit supplies. Not interested in conversation of any kind, Amir goes on his way.

Later in the evening, Pig wakes Rob grunting at the door and the unthinkable happens – Pig is taken! Making his way back into the world, he relies on Amir to take him where he wants to go in search of his bovine. Clue after clue, Rob is back in the place he once had a name for himself, and it is a name not forgotten.

Amir is stunned to watch Rob navigate his way back into a world he gave up on so long ago. Each person they meet has their own story to tell about him and it leads to who is responsible for taking Pig!

Cage as Rob is so moving as a man who has his reasons for living a secluded life. The two things that made his life continue are truffles and Pig. The occasional visit from Amir seem to make him more irritated than anything else. I have come to appreciate Cage taking roles where he is more action than talk because anything else I may need to know shows in every part of his face. He gives Rob a fragile humanity that seems to escape Amir until he sees interactions with others. 

Wolff as Amir is a young man who has made a business out of selling the truffles that Rob finds but also has a story of his own. Trying to make a life of his own away from a father who clearly has issues of his own, Wolff starts off Amir as a fast driving, narcissistic young man who weaves his way into a business with Rob that keeps him from needing anything from daddy dearest. Yet, there is a heartbreak he must come to terms with.

Other cast include Adam Arkin as Darius, Gretchen Corbett as Mac, Darius Pierce as Edgar, Julia Bray as Tweakette, Elijah Ungvary as Tweaker and Nina Belforte as Charlotte. 

Neon is a film production company that is best known for such films as I, TONYA and one of the most incredible Oscar winning film PARASITE. With a total of 12 Academy Award nominations, Neon appeals to audiences that are looking for in-your-face storytelling. For more information please visit www.neonrated.com.

Director Sarnoski says, “What began as a very personal project has transformed into a labor of love for so many talented people. I am thrilled for us all to be bringing this strange world to life.” 

PIG is such an amazing film that is a mixture of humanity, an unlikely friendship, food, and a pig. Cage and Wolff give us a mystery to be sure but as each of their story’s are told and we see Rob re-engage in the world (well, in the best way he emotionally knows how). His motivation comes in the form of a lovely pig who clearly enjoys his human’s company. Of course, those who know Rob is in the forest misunderstand their relationship.

Once Pig is taken, Rob snaps out of the forest haze and will do anything to track him down. That includes going places from his past and seeing people who are shocked to see him in one way or another. Mixed into the story are truffles and what is means to chefs looking to create something “exiting” in their industry which does not escape Rob in the slightest.

I can not say enough about Cage’s performance except he carries the story on Rob’s shoulders with the weight of an invisible anchor. As a die-hard Cage fan (and I love the film KNOWING so take THAT!), it is interesting to see the directions he takes in every movie he chooses. Fascinating and sometimes happily unexpected for me. Wolff gives his character attitude, but it is based on something much deeper, and this young actor expresses it so very well. Performing alongside Cage, this actor held his own and it was enjoyable from start to finish. 

PIG is a film that is mean to be enjoyed with a beautifully plated serving of love and a glass full of aerated soul. 

In the end – we do not get a lot of things to truly care about!



A Father and Son Journey with JOE BELL

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres from director Reinaldo Marcus Green and Roadside Attractions is a walk to finding answers for JOE BELL.

Joe Bell (Mark Wahlberg) lives in Oregon and is husband to Lola (Connie Britton) and son’s teen Jadin (Reid Miller) and young Joseph (Maxwell Jenkins). Rough and rugged, one day Jadin pulls Dad aside and tells him that he is gay. Joe tries the rugged approach and makes it out to be an ‘okay, is that it?’ reaction much to Jadin’s dismay.

Especially since the teen is dealing with difficulties at school with kids bullying him mercilessly. Jadin confides in friend Marcie (Morgan Lily) who tries to help him keep up a positive attitude about who he is. Even finding an unexpected romance can not ease the daily pain Jadin is feeling.

After the Bell family experiences tragedy, the only way Joe can deal with it is when he decides to walk across the United States to talk to kids about bullying. Doing it with the wisdom of Jadin, what begins to happen is that Joe discovers more about himself than he ever thought possible. More importantly, he is not the only one dealing with it as Marcie and Joseph wait patiently for Joe to come home.

Each step brings him closer to Jadin.

Wahlberg as Joe Bell brings the rough and tumble father character to this story. As what is happening to son Jadin unfolds, Wahlberg’s character tries to justify with a ‘well I supported your cheerleading what else do you want’ as his support. Frustrated because he refuses to admit that he does not know how to deal with his feelings, Wahlberg takes his character on the road. On the wide-open pavement, it becomes a story of memories, cringe worthy realizations and a hope to be a better person. 

Miller as Jadin is such a heart-breaking character to watch. Trying to fit in, keep his sexuality down low and stay away from the young raging bulls, Miller shows us on screen the pain behind it all. When pain becomes the first thing you feel in the morning and the last thing you feel at night, someone has to give. Miller reminds us of those consequences and what it does to those left behind.

Britton as Lola is a woman who already has her hands full with a house of men. Trying to support a husband who is evasive, a son in pain and another son feeling left out, Britton’s character turns to the one thing that does not require anything of her and kills the pain. Jenkins as Joseph is a young man caught in the middle of everything and getting lose in the conflicts of the family. Clearly, he loves his parents, brother and wants a few moments of recognition of his own and it gets lost.

Shout out to Gary Sinise because he deserves every shout out that can be mustered. In JOE BELL he once again plays a character, even if its briefly, of a caring man who recognizes the pain of another human being. 

Other cast include Tara Buck as Mary Ivy, Ash Santos as Kim, Blaine Maye as Boyd Banks, Igby Rigney as Chance, Austin Grant as Blake, Scout Smith as Colleen, Juan Antonio as Roy Holmes, Charles Halford and Gary Sinise.

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

JOE BELL is based on a true story, and it will tug at your heart. As a proud sister of a gay brother who lost his fight for this life, I recognized the pain that Jadin felt frame after frame. There were so many conversations that we had about how to make the family see that ‘gay’ was not about hurting them but instead loving him unconditionally – and that was in 1987. 

Watching the film also made me angry in the sense that if my brother David and I were dealing with this in 1987 and it is now 2021, how are we still having these discussions? Especially when the end results for some have been total and irreversible tragedy. 

JOE BELL is a film that I would hope could be a teachable moment and one to be shared in schools. That would be something that would move me beyond words as young adults in a group setting tend to listen more when they share an experience and talk about it openly.

The cast does an amazing job telling the story of this young man and his father. Wahlberg and Miller are everything and more with twists and turns that gave me jaw-drop. Tissue worthy absolutely!

In the end – redemption is a journey you cannot take alone!

It is the Beautiful Mystery of VAL

Jeri Jacquin

Coming from director Ting Poo, Leo Scott and Amazon Prime Originals is a documentary about an actor that has come forward to share the life of VAL.

Val Kilmer became an iconic actor in the 80’s and with his role as Iceman in the 1986 film TOP GUN, he solidified his place in Hollywood. More roles would come including the 1991 film THE DOORS, Kilmer had the opportunity to immerse himself in the role of Jim Morrison and the role of Doc Holiday in the 1993 TOMBSTONE. Even a quick stint as BATMAN FOREVER in 1995.

That is the actor side of Val Kilmer. The documentary VAL digs deeper into the actors’ younger years with his parents and two brothers. It is the tragedy, love, learning and sidetracks of Kilmer’s life that he allows to be shown on film. Narrated by son Jack at times who sounds eerily like his father in younger years, Kilmer allows us all into his life through films that he has been making and collecting since childhood.

From life acting with brothers, to school (including Juilliard), to fellow stage actors such as Seam Penn and Kevin Bacon, to Hollywood calling, Kilmer’s life in front of the camera kept leading him in places he never expected to go. Learning the price of being in the spotlight and having it all come to an end is a reality check and a reality change.

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

VAL are the stories that Kilmer tells us about an eye-opening journey inside the love, tragedies, frustrations and let downs of being human. Although the story starts out with life and acting as separate, through its telling the viewer sees it all come together slowly. As Kilmer makes it clear that the actor becomes the character and the character becomes the actor. 

For years there were mumbling of ‘what is wrong with Val Kilmer?’ and here are those answers but not in a way that is preaching the pitfalls of life. Instead, Kilmer gives us a door wide open view of his parents, marriage to Joanne Whalley, his two children Jack and Mercedes, returning to art and embracing Iceman.

Each moment of this documentary is such a mixture of joy to see Kilmer again, fascinating with the life he has led and the sadness for the tragedies. Through out his life when he felt out of control, VAL became a chance to be heard and deciding how deep he wanted to go and how much he wanted to say.

Using art (his own as well as his brothers) and music (his choice of songs just had my heart) along with amazing home movies, VAL is a journey of life. Not in a controlled sense because that gets thrown out the window completely and let us be honest, those who try to control their life end up the unhappiest. 

Kilmer learns to look for something deeper and, like us, is trying to find meaning when he can, solace in moments, love from those who love him and embrace the glorious moments in whatever way makes him laugh and smile. The best part? Without slamming his palm on the artistic pulpit, he challenges us all to do the same. 

From the moment I saw Kilmer in the 1985 film REAL GENIUS, and I absolutely fell for his humor and performance. Following his career, I was giddy when he played Madmartigan in the 1988 film WILLOW and will forever be sorry I never saw his live stage performance as Mark Twain. In VAL, he had my eyes watering with emotion watching his transformation and words as one of my favorite authors. 

This film will be with me for quite some time.

In the end – the life you live is the story you tell!





It’s the Holidays in July with THE CHRISTMAS DANCE

Jeri Jacquin


Coming to theatres and on demand from writer/director Michael Arcell and Gravitas Ventures is a little holiday reminder a few months early about THE CHRISTMAS DANCE.

Sarah (Kristen Vaganos) is a big city girl with a writing career that keeps her away from home. Never letting her forget that she is, brother Sherman Jr. (Miles Faber) pesters her with telephone calls letting her know that Mom Mary (Katherine Kelly Lang) and Dad Sherman (Richard Karn) want her home.

At work, Sarah is dealing with Mr. Davenport (Scott Bailey) who wants a story for the holidays but something told from a different standpoint than the way Sarah usually does her pieces. Complaining once again on the phone with Sherman Jr., she hears the sound of a crash!

Rushing back to her hometown, she finds her brother in the hospital along with Mom and Dad by his side. Also visiting is Jason (Carson Nicely) who recognizes Sarah from when they were young. Sarah prefers to forget things, especially the night she danced at the church Christmas pageant, and it did not go well.

Worrying about her brother and trying to write her article, Sarah gets talked into helping Jason with taking over for Sherman Jr. and the Christmas pageant. Needing some inspiration, Dad takes Sarah to visit Brother Moore (Master P), Sister Grace (Melissa Joe Bailey) and help with the local dinner. Also trying to keep her spirits up is Jason and it does not go unnoticed by the lovely Kate (Briana White) who still has issues with Sarah.

Sarah begins to see what it is she has been missing by finding excuses for not coming home and it is time to change, and it can all start with a dance!

Vaganos as Sarah is a young career woman who buries herself in her work and the city away from home. When it is time to acknowledge what she has been missing through the years, it is an awakening on levels she could not have imagined. Faber as Sherman Jr. has kept his faith and will not let his sister forget where it is she came from nor the love that is waiting for her.

Nicely as Jason is a good friend to Sarah's brother and believes in the community of faith he lives in. Seeing Sarah again reminds him of the night of the pageant and has memories of his own he would like to make right with Sarah. Long as Mom Mary is a caring and Christmas-y woman who is thrilled Sarah is home. Karn as Sherman is a man of faith who believes his daughter just needs a little push to see the world as a place of goodness.

Other cast include Symonne Harrison as Taylor, Jessica Richards as Karen, Josh Hooks as Brother Ron, Sinorice Moss as Dr. Leon McCoy, Cassady Jane Lorentzen as Young Kate and Brady Amaya as Young Sherman Jr.

Gravitas Ventures is a worldwide film distribution company that connections the global audience of over a billion people. Celebrating 15 years, they have had the honor to collaborate with thousands of artists to share important films. Gravitas was one of the first companies to develop a global network of digital media platforms like Video on Demand with a simple mission to deliver ideas that could bridge filmmakers to audiences. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.gravitasventures.com.

THE CHRISTMAS DANCE is a delightful look at what we can all relate too. First of all, letting our careers interfere with family life by excusing time after time the reasons we do not visit home. It also reminds us that there is so much to experience in a smaller community that allows people to be part of something that feels bigger than themselves - giving in all forms.

Sarah let one incident in her life cause her to continually break away from the family she clearly loves. Now we all do not get the opportunity to relive a moment so that it become a new memory, but we all have the same ability to see past our own excuses and open up to something wonderful.

THE CHRISTMAS DANCE is a nice little jingle in the middle of July as we all look forward to perhaps a better holiday season than 2020.

In the end - let the joy in early and celebrate a dance longer!

They are Beached and OLD

Jeri Jacquin

 
Coming to theatres from writer/director M. Knight Shyamalan and Universal Pictures based on the graphic novel "Sandcastle" by Frederick Peeters is the tale of OLD.
 
On a family vacation in what looks like paradise, Guy (Gael Garcia Bernal), Prisca (Vicky Krieps) and their two children Trent (Nolan River) and Maddox (Alexa Swinton) check in to the island resort. The children make a friend with Idlib (Kailen Jude) as they all hit the beach for sun and waves.
 
The resort manager tells Guy and Prisca of a special place that they may want to visit and he would be happy to arrange it. Looking forward to it, they are driven to their destination along with fellow travelers Charles (Rufus Sewell), Chrystal (Abbey Lee) and their daughter Kara (Mikaya Fisher), and couple Patricia (Nikki Amuka-Bird) and Jarin (Ken Leung).
 
Each setting up their spot, the location is beautiful but Maddox notices someone who is already there, rapper Mid-Sized Sedan (Aaron Pierre) is off to himself. Almost immediately things begin to happen as they find someone who has drowned as Dr. Charles checks out what could have been the cause. Wanting to get help, everyone with a phone notices there is no cell reception.
 
Minutes go and again the group of people are jolted by noticing that the Trent (Alex Wolff), Maddox (Thomasin McKenzie) and Kara have grown to the point that their parents are shocked. Trying to understand what is happening, the group decides it is time to go but something is keeping them on that beach - and even more shocking, aging is not the only frightening thing happening on the shocking shores.
 
Bernal as Guy is a man of data who does not know what to do with his emotions. Trying to keep things light on the family vacation, arriving at the secret location almost immediately messes with his data sense of common sense! Jumping from unexplainable event to the next, Bernal's character cannot control his deer in the headlights look. Krieps as Prisca wanted the family to have one good family vacation before the adults have to come clean about their situation. Prisca only concern is her children and what the cove is doing to everyone around her.
 
Wolff as the aging Trent is trying to understand what is happening to him and at the same time begin to decipher how it is all possible. Dealing with understanding everything through the mind of a six-year-old, time is not on anyone's side. McKenzie as Maddox is continually protective of her brother and even as she ages, dealing with emotions and coming to terms with adulthood is difficult enough without the effects of the cove.
 
Sewell as Charles is a doctor who seems to be in control of every aspect of his life and when he feels threatened, taking action is swift. As people become more and more affected, making sense of it all has an odd effect on Charles. Lee as wife Chrystal is a very attractive woman who does not mind trying to get attention from more than just her husband but as with all things - beauty fades.
 
Amuka-Bird as Patricia is a psychologist, but this is not exactly covered in any schooling or training she ever had. Leung as Jarin tries to help as much as possible with what he knows being a nurse but has to make a decision on how best to escape their circumstances. Pierre as Sedan can only tell the group next to nothing about what happened prior to their arrival.
 
Other cast include Eliza Scanlen as Kara, Embeth Davidtz as Maddox, Emun Elliott as Trent, Gustaf Hammarsten as the Resort Manager, Kathleen Chalfant as Agnes, Francesca Eastwood as Madrid, Luca Rodriguez as Trent, Mathew Shear as Sidney, Daniel Ison as Greg, Jeffrey Holsman as Mr. Brody, and M. Knight Shyamalan as the Hotel Van Driver.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment has just added an amazing film to their library and making it available for us to all experience and re-experience in our own home theaters. There are films of every genre available from scary to drama to family films. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.uphe.com.
 
OLD is an interesting mix of fantasy, a bit of horror, spotty acting and a story of losing control in a situation controlled by what is around them. The ensemble cast each brings their own story that comes in fast and furious as it all weaves in through the entire film. Keeping it strictly in one location allows for keeping tabs on each character and with the flip of the camera angle the change happens right before our eyes.
 
What makes Shyamalan's films work is that we cannot help but see what madness he will create film after film. Knowing his films are not for everyone, it certainly does not stop him from embracing some far-fetched, yet eerily simple plots based on the graphic novel. There are strokes of genius in the film and then it seems to revert back to a bit of predictability, yet I still watch every single second.
 
OLD is a good yarn to tell and if you are looking for a bit of fun and twists on a Friday night, then this film is right up the shoreline for you.
 
In the end - it is only a matter of time.