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Jeri Jacquin aka Movie Maven and Jenise Jacquin aka Film Brat
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Also coming to Bluray!
TOY STORY 4 Reunited Our Favorite Friends on Bluray

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray, DVD and Digital Code from director Josh Cooley, Pixar Animated Studios and Walt Disney Pictures Home Entertainment brings back our friends for TOY STORY 4.

Sheriff Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and the gang are still living with Bonnie. As time has gone on, Woody has found himself spending more time in the closet and less time with Bonnie. Yet Buzz, Jessie (Joan Cusack), Dolly (Bonnie Hunt), Trixie (Kristen Schaal), Rex, (Wallace Shawn), Hamm (John Ratzenberger), Slinky Dog (Blake Clark), Mr. Potato Head (Don Rickles), Mrs. Potato Head (Estelle Harris) and the gang are still supportive of Woody.

But he has other things to worry about when Bonnie (Madeleine McGraw) is upset about going off to kindergarten. Taking the initiative, Woody decides to make sure she has a good day! When things don't seem to be going in that direction, he helps Bonnie create a new friend, Forky (Tony Hale) and she is delighted.

Before the real school year starts, Mom and Dad decide it's time to go on a little road trip. The toy-gang is thrilled as well and wait to be packed into the RV for a little adventure. When Forky escapes the RV, Woody tells he gang he will meet them at the RV park in the next town while he goes off to settle their new toy friend down a bit.

It gives time for Woody and Forky to bond as the sheriff gets time to explain the situation to him. Getting close to the RV park, Woody sees something in an antique store window. A lamp that his friend Bo Peep (Annie Potts) once called her home with the three sheep Billy, Goat and Gruff. Taking a small detour to find out if she is in the shop, he and Forky meet Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks) who only wants one thing from Woody!

When she doesn't get it, Gabby Gabby takes Forky as hostage at the same time Woody finds Bo Peep. Now she needs to bring her friends to help including Duke Caboom (Keanu Reeves) because Bonnie and her parents are about to leave the RV park and not everyone is aboard. Buzz jumps into action to help as the gang in the RV make a little plan of their own.

It's pretty much help your friends, help your new friends and make a decision that will change the lives of everybody all while getting back to Bonnie.

Because that's what friends do for one another!

Hanks as Woody will now and forever be considered a beloved icon in both movies and animation. He has brought all of us so much love and teachable lessons in the character of Sheriff Woody. From the very first TOY STORY in 1995, I knew this was going to be a ride from adults to children, little did I know now that it would include grandchildren. Woody can be found in kids' rooms still because he is the friend we all wish we could have for a lifetime.

Allen as Buzz is once again the lighthearted friend who tries to keep Woody's spirits up and when it comes time to bring him home, it is Buzz who go to find him. They are an unbeatable pair and even if he is still a little confused sometimes, he doesn't let that stop him from hearing his own 'inner voice'.

Potts as Bo Peep is sweet, strong and has a little fight in her swagger. She has a story to tell and it is about where she has been and how she now sees the world. McGraw as Bonnie is such a young girl learning to be outside of her bedroom and toy world into something much bigger – but she still needs her toy friends.

Cusack, Hunt, Schaal, Shawn, Ratzenberger, Benson, Clark, Rickles, Harris return as their respective and beloved characters and, of course, we wouldn't have it any other way. As much as there wouldn't be a TOY STORY without Woody and Buzz, there equally wouldn't be a Woody and Buzz without Jessie, Dolly, Rex, Hamm, Barbie and the Potato Heads.

Hendricks as Gabby Gabby can be a little bit off putting and a tad-bit like Lotso from TOY STORY 3 in that she wants to be large and in charge. It is clear that there are deeper issues and Woody needs to get to the bottom of it.

Reeves as Duke Caboom may have only been in the film briefly but man did he make me laugh! This was a fantastic chance for Reeves to show his comedic side in a way that most would see as unexpected and awesome at the same time.

Other cast include Bill Hader as Axel the Carnie, Ally Maki as Giggle McDimples, Jay Hernandez as Bonnie's Dad, Lori Alan as Bonnie's Mom, Emily Davis as Billy/Goat/Gruff, Carl Weathers as Combat Carls, Jeff Garlin as Buttercup, Jordan Peele as Bunny Timothy Dalton as Mr. Pricklepants, Jodie Benson as Barbie, Jeff Pidgeon as Aliens, and especially Mel Brooks as Melephant Brooks, Carol Burnett as Chairol Burnett, Betty White as Bitey White and Carl Reiner as Carl. Reineroceros.

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

The Bonus Extras include Deleted Scenes, Bo Rebooted - Bo Peep is Back and Stronger Than Ever, Toy Stories - Cast and Crew Remember Their Beloved Childhood Toys, Woody & Buzz - A Look Back At A Legendary Friendship, Toy Box - Meet the New Cast of Characters, Let's Ride! With Ally Maki - A Humorous Lesson in Voice Recording AND MORE!

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. 

TOY STORY 4 is a chance for the toys themselves to actually have an adventure that is about – well – them! Of course there is the continuing story of Bonnie but it is also about how these toys are still caring of one another.

They have their own attachments and feelings about the years they have spent together and TOY STORY 4 has a chance to tell that side of it all and do so in a way that brings closure we didn't even know we needed. The best part is that now we can all watch again and again toys that have become part of our lives as much as Andy and Bonnie's. Something tells me they don't mind.

In the end – on the road of life there are old friends, new friends and stories that will change you forever!


THE WARRIOR QUEEN OF JHANSI

 Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres from director Swati Bhise and Roadside Attractions is a tale of battle and the unexpected warriors who fight it with THE WARRIOR QUEEN OF JHANSI.

Rani Lakshmibai (Devika Bhise) is a young woman married into the royal family becoming Queen of Jhansi. Happy in her marriage, the only unhappiness is the loss of a child yet the adoption of a nephew means a prince and the royal line to continue. Witnessing the adoption is Major Robert Ellis (Ben Lamb) and Sir Robert Hamilton (Nathaniel Parker). Not long after that, husband Gangadhar Rao passes as well.

As the years move on, the East India Company attempts to crush Indian provinces and Lakshmibal is a Queen in their way. Queen Victoria (Jodhi May) understands and makes it clear that she doesn't want the people hurt. The one person who doesn't care about that is Sir Hamilton. He considers all the people of India savages and wants to crush them under his boots.

Major Ellis has been a friend to Lakshmibai for years and tries to explain to Major General Sir Hugh Rose (Rupert Everett) that the Queen only wants what is best for her people. Attack after attack, Lakshmibai reaches out to the Indian people to come together because the British soldiers no longer have respect for their friendship.

Bhise as Lakshmibai is stunning in her portrayal of the Jhansi Queen. Learning from the men around her, there comes a time when she must say out loud 'I am capable' and when she does they listen. Bhise gives her character a fearlessness wrapped in the beauty of a sari that is belted with a sword. I see it as saying 'never forget that I may be the woman but can fight like a man'. Remember a certain red-headed Queen who believed that about herself?

Lamb as Ellis watches the Queen grow into her responsibilities. He may have feelings for and want to protect her but he also understands what she is doing. There is a conflict for him in being an officer and a man. He tries his best to be on both sides but in this case it may just be too much to ask.

Parker as Hamilton is just a plain out and out cruel, savage human being. He doesn't want there to be a peace, he wants to kill every last person who gets in his way. He lies, manipulates and lay in wait when no one is around to do his dirty deeds. The character of Parker is just a reflection of others in that time who felt the exact same way. Parker really does this character evil.

Everett as Maj. Gen. Rose hears both sides but has his orders. The only problem is I'm never really sure what his side is? He says one thing and yet does another knowing that Hamilton is just an instigator. He trusts Ellis but yet doesn't show it. He is truly a confusing character but I'm happy to see Everett on the screen once again.

May as Queen Victoria is a monarch who doesn't want to choose sides but it is her friendship with Saleem Khan that helps her see the sadness of it all. The orders she gives are not followed and there fall out (but not enough for my liking). Omar Malik as Saleem makes certain that Queen Victoria understands the struggle and isn't afraid of any Englishman.

Other cast include R. Bhakti Klein as Walrus Moustache, Glenn Webster as Lord, Nagesh Bhonsie as Bakshish Ali and Derek Jacobi as Lord Palmerston.

This film once again speaks about the era where one group of people feel that another group are savages because they have their own culture, beliefs, traditions and spirit to hold onto their country.

Under the leadership of Lakshmibai, the fight didn't start because of her and it certainly didn't stop because of her. She instilled a sense of right for her people and it carried on to others even when The East India Company was abolished much to the hostility of Sir Hamilton.

India is a country filled with a history that is absolutely stunning and majestic and THE WARRIOR QUEEN OF JHANSI shows just that. The richness of tradition is equal to the costuming and music that is so haunting but hits the soul. The cast brings this story full circle with all of these elements combined.

This film is a history lesson yes but more than that. It is a story of a people who understand that it is their duty to fight to keep who they are. They continually make it clear that no one has the right to take away what they hold dear and I couldn't appreciate that more.

In the end - she fought and died for the freedom of her people.
CINDERELLA and the SECRET PRINCE Delight on DVD


Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD from directors Lynne Southerland and Paulette Victor-Lifton and SHOUT! Kids Factory comes a new twist to a fairytale we all know as CINDERELLA and the SECRET PRINCE.

Ella (Cassandra Lee Morris) is taking care of her step-mother and two step-sisters but also of the creatures that live in the home. Her three furry mice friends, Alex (Chris Niosi), Manny (R. Martin Klein) and Walt (Tony Azzolino) have started her day with a little bit of trouble in the kitchen. It doesn't last long when it is announced that there is to be a ball at the castle where the prince is looking for a wife.

No interest in it at all, Ella is encouraged by the mice to attend and take a chance that she might be the next princess to the kingdom. Her thoughts turn to what to wear when it is suggested that they seek out the fairy godmother who lives in the woods for guidance. Once there, they can't find the fairy but instead her apprentice named Crystal (Kirsten Day). At first she doesn't seem interested but then realizes it's much more fun than standing around doing nothing. 

At the ball she dances with the prince but the mice and Crystal seek out the kitchen. Instead they find that there is a Witch (Wendee Lee) practicing evil! In fact they discover that Alex isn't really a mouse - he is the rightful prince to the kingdom. Telling Ella what is happening they decide to find the one thing that could restore Alex and reclaim the kingdom from evil.

They are going to have to act fast because the Witch isn't about to give up quite so easily!

Morris as Ella lends her voice to this delightful character who finds herself on an adventure of a lifetime. Ella is fun, has a sense of humor but also knows when an injustice has been done and wants to help make it right. There is nothing better than a strong young girl who sees her world as an opportunity to do right by all.

Niosi as Alex is a young man who has had his life taken by the greed of another. It is meeting Ella that sets in motion all the decisions he makes and the ultimate decision that may change everything he has come to love. 

Klein and Azzolino as Manny and Walt are charming, funny, and have no problem admitting when they aren't comfortable doing something. Of course if there are snacks involved you can get a little more out of them!

Day as Crystal doesn't start off as the happiest of people as she is looking for her mentor with no luck. Understanding that she can be friends with Ella, Alex, Manny and Walt opens up the doors for relationships she has been lacking and becomes a trusted friend. Lee as the Witch is scary and, well, for a better term a pretty nasty person. Taking away Alex's life for her own greed certainly qualifies as a nasty person but she goes after them all to make sure she keeps what she thinks is hers.

Other cast include Stephen Mendel as Olaf, Terrence Stone as the Eagle and Stephanie Sanditz as Step-mother.

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.

CINDERELLA and the SECRET PRINCE is heartwarming, entertaining, funny and, of course, enchanting. This is a twist on the classic story with a witch that makes Ella's step-mother seem tame by comparison. The focus clearly is on Ella's friendships and her meeting the mouse-prince. Their goal is to make things right in a world that has been forced into evil by someone the prince trusted. 

It is a story of friendship, loyalty, adventure, doing right no matter the cost and a little bit of love as well. That is why families enjoy these story's. We want to sit with our family and enjoy a film that is fun but also teaches lessons that everyone can embrace.

In the end - it is a tale of friendship and love wrapped in magic!


SCARFACE: The World is Yours Limited Edition!

Jeri Jacquin

In celebration of the 1983 classic film with a screenplay by Oliver Stone, director Brian De Palma and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment comes the SCARFACE "The World Is Yours" Limited Edition 4K UHD/Bluray and Digital.

Tony Montana (Al Pacino) is a Cuban refugee arriving in Miami along with friends Manny (Steven Bauer), Angel (Pepe Serna) and Chi-Chi (Angel Salazar). Given green cards they become dishwashers which is totally distasteful for Tony who feels he is meant for something bigger.

Involved in a hit gone bad, Tony wants to meet Miami drug dealer Frank Lopez (Robert Loggia) to deliver his drugs and money in person. Taking the initiative, Tony and Manny are hired to work for Frank which sets them up to bring his mother Georgina (Miriam Colon) and sister Gina (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) to Miami. Once Tony's mother discovers what he is doing she refuses to have him around.

Tony has his first opportunity when Frank sends him to Bolivia to meet another drug kingpin in Alejandro Sosa (Paul Shenar). His sidekick Omar (F. Murray Abraham) isn't happy with what's happening and Sosa takes the opportunity to deal with him as well as warn Tony not to ever mess with him. This isn't the only thing that upsets Frank as word gets out that Tony is going solo behind his back sending an attack. Tony isn't about to let that slide and with moves of his own he marries Elvira (Michelle Pfeiffer) and builds an empire bringing in more money than anyone could have imagined.

Years go by and Manny isn't happy with what Tony is doing. Expanding into money laundering, the boss is also addicted to his own product. All of this leads to tension with Elvira and a mild disdain between husband and wife. Looking for the next big thrill, it comes when he is arrested and charged with tax evasion.

Sosa agrees to help Tony with his little problem but Sosa also has a little problem that Tony needs to take care of in the form of a journalist about to blow up the kingpins life. Frustrated with the whole thing Tony takes it out on Elvira in a public place but she's had enough and walks away. Heading for New York to do what Sosa asks, Tony has a moment of conscious and returns to Miami.

Promising Tony that he would pay for not doing the job, he learns that Gina is missing. Finding her with Manny after asking him to stay away turns ugly. Feeling everything crumbling, Tony takes Gina and returns to the mansion and a cocaine face dive.

That’s when hell comes knocking at the door and one of the biggest gun fights reminds Tony that "The World is Yours", even if only temporarily.

Pacino as Tony is a man who wants to get away from everything he knows in Cuba to start over. Discovering that starting over isn't as easy as he thought, it takes a hot second before he finds the best way to get what he wants. The problem is that the best way in his mind is the worst way for everyone around him. Pacino is totally absorbed in portraying this character and after years of watching it trust me when I say I've looked for an opening - there isn't one. Pacino makes damn sure with this performance that no one can ever touch it again.

Bauer as Manny is a friend to Tony and wants to succeed. I have to say he has more of a conscience than his friend but that probably isn't saying too much. As the years pass and the danger becomes even crazier, it is Manny who seems to want to walk away but doesn't know how. Bauer gives a strong performance and that could be considered saying something standing next to Al Pacino.

Pfeiffer as Elvira is a woman who falls for a smooth talking man promising her a good life. It may have started out that way but, as with all things sinister, it begins to force itself into her life. She becomes no better than Tony as they both begin to drown in their dislike of one another because it's like looking in a mirror for each of them. What started out as the potential for a good life was based on lies and false promises, nothing good can ever come of that. Elvira is just one sniff away from destroying any chance of a life period and Pfeiffer makes you believe it.

Mastrantonio as Gina quickly assimilates into the Miami scene which completely drives her brother insane. He wants a sweet and innocent sister but Gina has other plans. This is a character that cries out to be saved but when everyone is in self-destruct mode it turns into 'if you can't beat them, join them'. Loggia as Frank shows Tony what it takes to have the drug business and after creating a monster suffers a creators fate.

Abraham as Omar has always been such an interesting character because Abraham is always in my head as the underhanded Salieri from AMADEUS or the underhanded Dar Adal from the series Homeland. I forget that Omar was the first underhanded character I'd ever seen him portray and he did it so well then as he does now. Shenar as Sosa was always a force to be reckoned with but Tony thought he was always one step ahead. Trust me, when someone says 'don't cross me' I suggest you not cross them, especially in the violent world created by drug kingpins!

Other cast include Harris Yulin as Mel Bernstein, Michael P. Moran as Nick the Pig, Al Israel as Hector the Toad, Mark Margolis as Alberto the Shadow, Geno Silva as The Skull, Dennis Holahan as Jerry, Ted Beniades as Seidelbaum and Gregg Henry as Charles Goodson.

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 film of every genre available from scary to drama to family films. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.uphe.com.

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

The combo includes SCARFACE (1983) 4K UHD, SCARFACE (1983) Bluray, SCARFACE (1983) Digital, and SCARFACE (1932) Bluray. The Bonus Features include SCARFACE 35th Anniversary Reunion: An All-New Conversation with Director Brian De Palma and Actors Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer and Steven Bauer from the Tribeca Film Festival, The SCARFACE Phenomenon, The World of Tony Montana, The Rebirth, The Acting, The Creating, Deleted Scenes, SCARFACE: The TV Version and more!

Pacino saw the 1932 version of SCARFACE and saw potential in remaking the film. After a shift in writers, Oliver Stone was brought on to create the iconic script. De Palma brought his direction and SCARFACE would become an iconic film making list after list for villains, movie quotes and gangster films (Body count: 42). "Say hello to my little friend" (which was an M16 assault rifle with an M203 40mm grenade launcher on the barrel) is uttered at least once a day somewhere on the planet in so many ways and in so many situations.

There is actually nothing that can touch SCARFACE and even though there are rumors always abound of a remake or a sequel, I personally wouldn't see it. I love everything about this film from its intrigue to cinematography to the cast who create the whole story with the nuances of the characters they portray.

SCARFACE is a film that is memorable for my generation and it continues to stun the next generation of audiences because, despite the polyester suits, what happens to Tony and the gang is not so far off what is happening today. There is a mentality and a way of life that lends itself to the kinds of danger and violence these characters bring on themselves.

That being said, I love the cinematography, the costuming and the music choices. It is as if Pacino, Bauer, Pfeiffer and the rest of the actors gave it everything and the rest is pure icing on this magnificent cake of a film. It is as if Pacino dares us to go along for the ride and when we are shocked, Tony laughs at our squeamishness. His idea of the American dream sends most of us running the other way and he makes no apologies as he doesn't suffer fools and the weak.

SCARFACE is iconic, epic and is a totally uncomfortable film to watch but like all train wrecks you can't look away. The characters are bad, that's clear from the start but maybe there is something in us that hopes someone, anyone will find redemption. Once again, our definition of redemption and Tony's is what brings on the final scene of the film. 

In the end - he loved the American dream with a vengeance!
Fast & Furious Presents: HOBBS & SHAW 
Bring Action to Bluray and 4K Ultra

Jeri Jacquin

This week Bluray/DVD, Digital Code and also available on 4K Ultra HD from director David Leitch and Universal Pictures comes the double team of action with Fast & Furious Presents: HOBBS & SHAW.

Trying to obtain a virus that could kill people all over the world, MI6 Agent Hattie Shaw (Vanessa Kirby) is sent in with other agents. What they couldn't have foreseen is Brixton Lore (Idris Elba) arriving to steal the virus for himself. Hattie has no choice but to get the virus out the only way possible.

Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) is notified that he will be working with someone else on the case. Imagine his surprise when it turns out to be Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson)! They are not thrilled to see one another in the slightest and make it known as loudly and verbally as possible.

When Hattie hits the news that she is a rogue agent, Hobbs and Shaw are told they need to find her and both go about it in their own way. When she is finally captured it doesn't take long before Brixton breaks the door down to take her away. She is now the virus and someone powerful wants her.

After getting her back, the only way save her is to find Professor Andreiko (Eddie Marsan) who created the virus. There is a machine that can help retrieve it but the company Etheon has it which means finding a way inside, get it and get away and – it's in the Ukraine.

Time isn't something these three have and Brixton isn't about to stop till he gets what he wants. That means it's time to get off the grid and go someplace no one would think to look and much to Hobbs' dismay its home in Samoa.

Getting his family and disgruntled brother Jonah (Cliff Curtis) to help proves to be difficult, but then again even when family is a little upset – no one messes with them. It's time to let the enemy know that you can't get past Mama!

Now it's time to go old school and take down Brixton!

Johnson as Hobbs is funny, charming, and everything we have come to expect from an action hero. There is something absolutely fantastic about the way Johnson handles his roles to the point where he makes it all look so darn easy. This time he gets a chance to bring in his own heritage in a way of family and the strength of those who will stand up for you even if they only have large clubs to do it with.

Statham as Shaw can't help but bring his driving skills to bear in this film. Always behind the wheel, he doesn't bat an eye when turning corners like they are on rails and jumping anything that stands in his way. Playing opposite Johnson, these two are meant to be in action films together because as much as the characters think they are different, lets be honest they are pretty much the same. They are full of quickness, silliness, brotherly quarreling and everything that goes with this twisted friendship.

Kirby as Hattie is very smart, doesn't hesitate to act when the moment is right and has to deal with Hobbs and Shaw like a babysitter. I enjoyed her character in that she actually is a seriously more than capable agent and slick as they come and although her 'wards' are necessary they sort of aren't.

Elba as Brixton is a genetically modified man who has been changed by the voice behind Etheon. A history with Shaw that is nothing short of lethal, Brixton is a man who feels superhuman and has no trouble letting everyone know that the human race itself is weak. Elba is deliciously evil and there isn't a dang thing wrong with that!

Other cast include: Lori Tuisano as Sefina, John Tui as Kal, Joshua Mauga as Timo, Joe Anoa'I as Mateo, Rob Delaney as Agent Loeb, Alex King at Lt. Grapefruit, Eliana Sua as Sam, Eiza Gonzalez as Madam M and Helen Mirren as Queenie. Also, look for a surprise that will make you laugh and cheer!

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 film of every genre available from scary to drama to family films. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.uphe.com.

There are 80+ minutes of Bonus Features including Alternate Opening and Deleted Scenes and even more content not seen in theatres! You want more? Well, how about Johnson & Statham: Hobbs & Shaw, Progress of a Fight Scene with Director David Leitch, Practical Action, The Bad Guy, The Sister, The Hobbs Family Tree, The Matriarch, New Friends, Elevator Action, Stunt Show and Tell, Keeping it in the Family: A Conversation with Roman and Dwayne, Blind Fury, Dwayne and Hobbs: Love at First Bite and Feature Commentary with Director David Leitch.

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.

Fast and Furious Presents: HOBBS & SHAW is 135 minute thrill ride of action, crazy humor and everything fans have come to expect from the F&F franchise. You can help but cheer, laugh and cheer even more as the story draws to a close. It is clear that Johnson and Statham have a chemistry that everyone watching absolutely loved. I kinda liked it myself!

There are a few surprises that bring even more laughs and I think I was grinning from ear to ear a lot. That is saying something. So if you are looking for a reason to spend quality time with two pretty awesome dudes, then join Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham for a ride that only these two can provide with Fast and Furious Presents: HOBBS & SHAW.

In the end – they may not like each other but they dislike bad guys even more!
Celebrating the 25th Anniversary with THE SWAN PRINCESS

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray celebrating the 25th Anniversary of its 1994 release from director Richard Rich and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is a story filled with magic and enchantment with THE SWAN PRINCESS.

Odette is a young princess born to King William (Dakin Matthews) and he couldn't be happier. Not so happy is the evil sorcerer Rothbart (Jack Palance) who has vowed revenge to take the kingdom for himself until he is banished. As Odette (Michelle Nicastro) begins to grow, Queen Uberta (Sandy Duncan) wants to introduce her to son Derek (Howard McGillin) and after years of learning about one another, fall in love.

But Odette thinks he only loves her for beauty and nothing more. Returning home the vengeful Rothbart attacks their carriage and takes Odette leaving the King injured. Derek goes after his love but it is too late as the King informs him that she is gone and the kingdom believes her to be gone forever. Determined to find Odette, Derek is joined by Bromely (Joel Miller) and Lord Rogers (Mark Harelik) honing their skills to face what the King called the Great Animal. 

Rothbart has Odette at Swan Lake and wasting no time he casts a spell turning the young girl into a swan during the day and human for a short time at night. He tells her that this will continue until she agrees to marry him. Knowing his plan to rule her father's kingdom, she continues to refuse. While a swan, Odette makes friends with a turtle Speed (Steven Wright), French frog Jean-Bob (John Cleese) and an Irish puffin named, well Puffin (Steve Vinovich).

It is Odette the swan and Puffin that look for Derek discovering him looking for the Great Animal. Having the chance to speak with the human Odette, she tells him the only thing that can break the spell is an open declaration of love. Derek tells her to come to the castle where a ball is taking place to do just that - declare his love.

Rothbart has heard the plan but has a plan of his own. The real Odette is thrown into a dungeon turning a woman named Bridget into a copy of Odette, it is she who goes to the ball which starts a chain of doom. Even as the animals come to her aid as much as they can, Derek will do what he must to fight the Great Animal and save the only happiness he has ever known.

But will he be in time to save their love?

Nicastro as Odette lends her lovely voice to a young girl who spends her whole life trying to find true love. When she does, she isn't quite sure whether it is her outer beauty he loves or also sees her inner beauty. In a snap decision to leave Derek behind, it leaves the door open for Rothbart to swoop in and change her life. McGillin as Derek is a young man who, at first, isn't thrilled with the idea of Odette in his life but soon realizes she is what he didn't know he was looking for. Realizing his mistake he takes it upon himself to find her and set the world right again.

Palance as Rothbart does what he has always been good at, being a tough guy and in this case a tough kind of evil guy. Being nasty in order to get a kingdom is his plan and nothing is going to stop him from accomplishing his goal. Well, that's what he thinks anyway because love has a way of changing the evilest of plans.

Vinovich as Puffin is adamant that he get Odette where she needs to be to make the world of love right again. He is such a strong character and his accent just makes him oh so more endearing. Wright as Speed is a turtle who is in a hurry to not be in a hurry. His friendship with Odette is very important to him as he wants his friend to be happy first and foremost. Cleese as Jean-Bob the frog just continually cracked me up but that's what he's always been good at as well, entertaining everyone with his humor.

Matthews as King William absolutely adores his daughter and only wants her every happiness. When she is taken it is heartbreaking for him but he knows she isn't gone forever. Duncan as Queen Uberta wants her son married as soon as possible and if it's not Odette then another girl would do just as well. Having the ball at the castle gives her a chance to find a quick replacement.

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 Special Features include Looking Back at 25 Years of THE SWAN PRINCESS, The Swan Princess: The Original Making of and Five Sing-A-Longs.

Director Rich has taken the German tale of Swan Lake and brought it to animation in such a beautiful way. Taken over four years to create due to original hand painted cels, over 275 animators and artists brought the film to life. THE SWAN PRINCESS is the winner of the Film Advisory Board Award of Excellence and the Parents' Choice Award.

This animated version of THE SWAN PRINCESS is so entertaining, fun, and covers about ever theme you can imagine when it comes to love, family and friendship. The songs are catchy and it is quite easy to catch yourself toe tapping or shoulder bobbing along, even when Rothbart breaks out into his 'No More Mister Nice Guy' routine.

What is most amazing about THE SWAN PRINCESS is that the film is celebrating its 25th year but there is nothing on the Bluray that would show its age. Instead it is stunningly colorful and could easily fit into place in any family's home entertainment library. It feels as fresh as the day it was released and my daughter is thrilled to be able to share with my granddaughter a story and film that she was raised on and remembers with heartfelt fondness. Now, three generations of gals can sit together and share THE SWAN PRINCESS.

In the end - it is an enchanting classic destined to capture your heart and free your spirit!

Ready for the Holidays Because Iconic Characters Are!

Jeri Jacquin

Ready to start celebrating the holidays? Well you should be as DreamWorks and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment have a way to start us all off with ULTIMATE HOLIDAY COLLECTION!

Starting with TROLLS HOLIDAY, Poppy realizes that the Bergens have lost their only holiday and she is determined to help them find happiness. Wanting to make sure there is as much glitter as possible, Poppy and Branch head to Bergentown to meet with friends Bridgett and King Grissom To discuss what can be done. Happiness is what Poppy and the Trolls are all about and creating a new holiday is what they are all about.

Poppy get a little carried away and it causes a little problem in her friendship with the Bergen queen. You can imagine that friendship can heal so much and it happens for Bergentown and the Trolls as well. So come aboard the love train and prepare your feet to dance and new songs to sing!

Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, James Corden, Zooey Daschnel, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and James Corden return in their iconic character roles to show us the awesomeness that is creating a Bergen holiday that everybody can enjoy.

SHREK THE HALLS brings Shrek, Donkey and Fiona along with their new family to celebrate the holidays. The problem is that Shrek doesn't really know how to celebrate it. Getting a quick lesson on what needs to be done, Shrek takes it upon himself to create his own version of decking the halls.

Of course Donkey has to put in his opinion but Fiona knows exactly what Shrek is trying to do so, as a family, they decorate and create their own magic. Shrek's friends crash to bring all the mayhem Shrek was trying to avoid not being a party person. After being 'ogreish', the secret about Shrek's idea of a holiday comes out.

In DONKEY'S CAROLING CHRISTMAS-TACULAR has Donkey thrilled about the holiday parties and the apple bobbing, stockings and everyone singing Christmas carols. Of course depending on who you are, the songs are a little different. The ogres sing about rat pies and Puss n' Boots sings about itching and a bit of fairy tale rocking!

Mike Meyers, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas and Eddie Murphy gives us everything we love about these story book characters celebrating the first Shrek family holiday!

MERRY MADAGASCAR brings Alex, Marty, Melvin and Sylvia heading back to New York for the holidays, well that is until their balloon is brought down my Julian and the gang. They thought the balloon was their dreaded Red Night Marauding Goblin who turns out to be Santa Claus!

Now sporting a case of amnesia, the jungle gang must do what Santa can't, deliver the presents to the world and hitch a ride home to New York. It is a holiday chore that reminds us of why these hilarious animals are friends till the end. On the island Julian is learning about giving and Santa has a special gift for them all.

Ben Stiller, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Chris Rock, Cedric the Entertainer, and Danny Jacobs return to give us their idea of the holidays!

THE MADAGASCAR PENGUINES A Christmas Caper has everyone celebrating at the New York Zoo as the Private tells Skipper that the Polar Bear isn't as jolly as everyone else. When the Private sneaks out to find a gift for the sad polar bear, the Skipper notices him gone. Now the penguins are on a mission to find their missing friend!

DRAGONS GIFT OF THE NIGHT FURY takes us back to the town of Berg where Hiccup and Toothless prepare for the towns own brand of holidays. Without warning, all the dragons take off leaving the night fury behind. Realizing its because he can't fly without Hiccup, a new tale is created and off Toothless goes. The whole town truly begins to miss their dragons.

When Hiccup discovers one dragon hidden away, he is taken on a long flight to an island where the dragons are together with their young for a season of nesting. Back on Berg, Astrid and the gang discover that a batch of eggs left behind bring a big bang of a surprise and when all are reunited there is such a celebration that only Berg can dream up.

Jay Baruchel, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, T.J. Miller, Kristen Wiig and Gerard Butler and the gang return to Berg giving us a little dragon with our holiday grog. 

KUNG FU PANDA holiday brings our favorite Dragon Warrior dealing with the Winter Feast. Shifu tells Po that the festival is very formal and very traditional with all the Kung Fu Masters coming to celebrate. With this traditional feast comes a lot of things to learn but upsetting Po the most is that he is not allowed to invite his dad.

Now Po must decide between being the host to the traditional Winter Feast as the Dragon Warrior and making Master Shifu proud or to be with his father Ping being a good son. Holidays are about family and everyone is about to learn a lesson from the Dragon Warrior!

Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, Jack McBrayer, Dan Fogler, Jackie Chan and James Hong lend their voices for the holiday animated fun.

HOME For the Holidays tells the story of Oh learning about Christmas and all of the traditions that include baking, songs, snowmen and connecting with everyone about the warmth of the holidays. In this animated holiday story, everyone can be sure that Oh will give us a chance to see everything through his eyes.

The Boov got carried away when Oh tried to explain the workings of the holiday. This causes a rift between Oh and Tip and the town is blaming them both for ruining Christmas. Chicago is now floating and someone's got to fix it. Oh also learns about the different customs and how we all celebrate with the ones we love. Kelly Clarkson brings her voice to Oh Holy Night!

As an amazing bonus the full film of RISE OF THE GUARDIANS which has become a holiday must-see in my family. Jack Frost (Chris Pine) is being called on by North aka Santa (Alec Baldwin), the Bunny (Hugh Jackman), the Sandman, the Tooth (Isla Fischer) to help them fight the very dangerous Pitch (Jude Law).

Pitch wants to make children forget about the wonderful holidays that bring them so much joy by replacing it all with fear and darkness. The Guardians aren't about to let that happen and Jack, although not quite a Guardian, is also in to help. He has friends as Jamie (Dakota Goyo), Caleb (Khmani Griffin), Claude (Kamil McFadden), Sophie (Georgie Grieve) and Monty (Jacob Bertrand) are about to show Jack what true friendship means!

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 film of every genre available from scary to drama to family films. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.uphe.com.

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.

The Bonus Features of this collection are Shrek's Yule Log, 12 Days of Christmas Pop-up Book, 4 Penguins Sing-Along Videos and so much more!

This is just an absolutely fantastic edition to anyone, like me, who has a home entertainment library section dedicated to the holidays. Growing up in the 60's and 70's, I had my share of holiday favorites that are still being shown yearly even to this very day. That being said there is certainly nothing wrong with opening up hearts and homes to additional stories.

All of these are about home, love, friendship, family (and everyone you love is family), standing up for the right thing, defending those who need defending and all the craziness that can be found during the season.

Of course there is chaos and a little mayhem, but there is also singing, dancing, sharing and enjoying each other's company through it all. What this ultimate collection truly does is remind us of the season in ways that we sometimes forget during the year and to seriously lighten up a little, okay a lot!

In the end - if you are going to have the ultimate of holidays then you need the ultimate collection!

Now on Bluray and DVD is DR. SEUSS' THE GRINCH

Jeri Jacquin

This week on Bluray/DVD and Digital from directors Yarrow Cheney, Scott Mosier, Illumination and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is the one we know as THE GRINCH.

In Who-ville it is that time of year as the Who-ville-ians prepare themselves for their favorite holiday of Christmas. Of course there is always one who isn't quite so thrilled about the excitement and that's The Grinch (Benedict Cumberbatch). Living atop Mount Crumpit with his dog Max, Grinch gets a little grumpier when he realizes that he has to make a grocery stop in Who-ville which is the last thing he wants to do.

Also in Who-ville is Cindy Lou Who (Cameron Seely), a very sweet six-year-old who is very aware that her mother is overworked. Taking care of twin boys Buster and Bean, Mom Donna (Rashida Jones) keeps a happy face for her family but Cindy reaches out to Santa for a little help. The Grinch and Cindy meet and the outcomes is that Cindy Lou decides to go to the North Pole and ask Santa straight out for help. The problem is that the traveling she would have to do to make that happen means that Cindy Lou has to go to plan B - trap Santa!

The Grinch has his own idea for messing with Who-ville and the holidays he hates so much. On Christmas Eve with the help of Max, he decides to be Santa Claus and take every little gizmo and gadget from the towns people. While heisting the Who's house, he meets Cindy Lou again as she explains that she wants nothing for herself, only her mother and there is a crack in the Grinch's nasty ole heart.

That doesn't stop him from stealing everything in Who-ville and back up to Mount Crumpit. What he doesn't expect is that all the people of Who-ville see past the trappings of Christmas and celebrate the holiday with love in their hearts. Well, the Grinch can't get away from the feelings that snowball to the point of doing the right thing and becoming part of Who-ville the way it always should have been.

The Grinch toasts, "To kindness and love, the things we need the most"!

Cumberbatch as The Grinch is funny and charming in his grumpy way but that is what is expected of this iconic character. It is difficult to carry on the tradition of the Dr. Seuss' from it's 1966 Boris Karloff voice narration that I grew up with to the 2000 Jim Carrey hilarious version that my daughter grew up with but Cumberbatch has a little help from Illumination to make his version come to life.

Seely as Cindy Lou Who is a very sweet girl who sees the day to day struggles of her mother and although tries to help the best she can, she feels it might not be enough. That's a child with an amazing heart that should all be blessed to know.

Jones as Donna is a Mom who is trying to be everything to everyone and does so with the Who-ville positive attitude - even if it is exhausting. I found her creative, skillful and someone I'd like to have around my kitchen at breakfast time.

Lansbury as the Mayor is a voice I can say that I always love to hear and am thrilled that she is The part of the Grinch memorable universe.

Other cast include: Kenan Thompson as Bricklebaum, Tristan O'Hare as Groopert, Ramone Hamilton as Axle, Sam Lavagnino as Ozzy, Scarlett Estevez as Izzy and Pharrell Williams as the Narrator and the glorious Ms. Angela Lansbury as Mayor McGerkle.

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

The Bluray of THE GRINCH includes the Bonus Features of 3 Mini-Movies, The Making of the Mini-Movies, From Green to Screen, Who's Who in Who-ville, My Earliest Grinch Memories, "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" Lyric Video, Songs from His Little Heart, Grinchy Gadgets, Anyone Who Can Draw: The Grinch, Max, Fred, Cindy Lou's Yule Log and so much more!

The Digital Movie included in this pack has Movies Anywhere and with the Movies Anywhere App you can download and stream from any device which means you can go to Who-ville from almost anywhere.

THE GRINCH is a film that will be part of holiday viewing for years to come. The animation is green and vivid which is what we'd expect of the world created by Dr. Seuss and it adds to the fun of the film.

What is also in this film is the importance of family and helping one another because if you do that, it is so easy to reach out that feeling to a Grinch we all might know. Let's face it, no one wants to be left out of the holiday fun and watch it from afar. THE GRINCH invites us to be caring, giving, loving and full of holiday fun.

Now that's something we can all get behind all year long.

In the end - it's never too early to be annoyed by Christmas!
GO FISH is Animated About Saving the Ocean


Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD from writer/director Sean Patrick O'Reilly, Arcana and Lionsgate comes a look and lesson from below the sea with GO FISH.

Alex the parrot fish (Sean Patrick O'Reilly) is the janitor of his fish town and happy with what he does. Also in their little fish village is sea horse Christine (Kathleen Bar), loner eel Eelanore (Asia Mattu), and Ed the blowfish (Tobias the Owl). It is Mary (voiced by Allison Wandzura) that discovers something wrong in the sea.

Calling it goop, fish are getting stuck in it and they want lion fish King Charles (Scott McNeil) to do something. Alex approaches the King's assistant Paul for a meeting. The request is not well received as he gets a loud lecture about nothing happening and to keep his fish lips shut on the matter. That's not good enough for Alex or his friends and a plan is formed.

Upon the surface, a company called Quoquo Modo is drilling into the ocean floor. Callie (iJustine) loves her job and wants to make sure everything is done to keep the ocean safe. Dennis (Mark Hamill) is grumpier and less on the ball thinking that 100% no leaking doesn't necessarily mean 100%. 

Alex, Eelanore, Ed and Christine go out in search of the goop and meet a whole group of characters that just want to make their adventure a little more difficult. Maria the shark (Summer O'Reilly) and her friend Bernardo the tiger shark (Ron Perlman) are two particularly toothy characters that try to get in the way.

But once they find the goop, Alex and the gang try to get the attention of the humans in funny diving outfits to show them where there is a leak. Try as they might, the diver just shoo's them away. The next step is an even bigger plan that gets the attention of everyone on the platform and just in time to save them all from a total ocean disaster. 

O'Reilly as Alex is a spunky and happy parrot fish who truly does love his job as a janitor. Keeping everything nice and clean for his fellow fishes and friends is very important. When the goop appears, he knows that it will hurt all of them if they don't at least try to stop it. He's such a cutie of a fish!

Bar as Christine is another happy sea creature and the cutest color of pink for a sea horse. Trying to grow up a little out of the shadow of her overbearing Mom and baby carrying Dad, going with Alex to find the goop is her chance to do just that. Mattu as Eelanore would prefer to be left alone in her comfy cave where she can watch the world go by or take a nap whenever she likes. Going with Alex may have started out as protection but quickly became a thrill for her first adventure.

Tobias as Ed is a little grumpy by that doesn't stop him from being part of the gang to stop a disaster. I personally think he just liked being part of something bigger than his little puffy self. McNeil as King Charles is a fish on a power trip caring nothing for his 'subjects' but instead wielding his fishly powers.

iJustine as Callie is a happy person who really does love her job and wants everyone, above the water and below to be safe. When it becomes clear that both of those things are in jeopardy, Callie is on it to make it right. Hamill as Dennis is just a cranky unhappy employee who just isn't on the ball when it comes to what's best for everyone.

Other cast include Michelle O'Reilly as Joanne and Geoff Gustafson as Vincent. 

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 DVD Special Features include 'Go Fish' (Side by Side) Music Video Sing-Along, The GO FISH Digital Comic Book and a GO FISH Fish Guide.

GO FISH is a very charming and educational look at life in the ocean. The animation is colorful and fun and in the mix of that is a story about how precious the eco system is in the ocean. It shows how, if fish could talk (and maybe they do!), they could tell us when pipes are leaking or trash is choking them out. Explaining these things to younger children, GO FISH does so in a way that is relatable for them.

Yet, it's also enjoyable for the adults as well and gives families something to talk about after the film. The Special Features of the DVD also provide some fun things to do together as a family. Whether it's singing or learning about other fish, it is always a wonderful way to spend quality time together. 

In the end - just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water - it really is!

It is the Holidays with FEAST OF THE SEVEN FISHES

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres and on VOD and Digital in November from writer/director Robert Tinnell, Allegheny Image Factory, Witty Michaels Entertainment and Shout! Studios is a family you might recognize during the holidays who creates the FEAST OF THE SEVEN FISHES. 

It is 1983 and the Oliverio family is preparing to celebrate Christmas their way. Tony (Skyler Gisondo) is an artist who works in his father's grocery store and has been accepted into art school. He doesn't want to share the news because he feels his very opinionated Italian family isn't going to go for it. Cousin Angelo (Andrew Schulz) to the rescue talking him into a night out with him, girlfriend Sarah (Jessica Darrow) and her friend Beth (Madison Iseman).

Slick talking Angelo works his magic and Tony begrudgingly agrees. What is happening at home is Uncle Frankie (Joe Pantoliano), Uncle Carmine (Ray Abruzzo), and Johnny (Paul Ben-Victor) are preparing to make the holiday dinner. Of course all of this is happening under the watchful eye of Tony's Nonnie (Lynn Cohen), Mom (Nancy Telzerow), and Marian (Jean Zarzour).

As the uncles argue about salting with fish, Tony takes off with Angelo and Sarah to pick up Beth. Almost immediately they hit it off with a few beers and he explains about the Feast of the Seven Fishes to Beth who is intrigued. Just as the conversation gets interesting, he hears that ex-girlfriend Katie (Addison Timlin) might be in trouble. All four jump in the car, rescue the damsel but not before Tony get a knuckle sandwich for his trouble.

Katie tries to make a move but Tony makes it clear that he's moved on from their relationship and she isn't at all happy about it. Getting a lecture from his friends, it is Beth who convinces him to stay out and have a good time. In the meantime, Katie decides to hang out with Vince and that doesn't go well either. It is Juke (Josh Helman) who takes the time to really talk to her finding out that Katie just misses Tony's family and the holiday coming up. 

After the nights events, Tony and Beth share some time in his artists shed in the back of his house. Beth is taken with his work and loves what he has done. He shares a little about his dream and she thinks whatever he dreams he would do! Falling asleep overnight, they are discovered by Noonie who can't unsee what she sees and goes on a little bit of a verbal rant. Back in the house, everyone starts arriving and Beth is about to meet the craziness of the Oliverio family.

Uncle Frank tells Tony to invite her to dinner to celebrate with the family and truly understand them. While in the car he also gets from Beth who is responsible for the mayhem of the night before intending to make it right. Imagine the surprise when Beth informs her mother that she is going to spend time with the Oliverio family and the rant that ensues but it isn't going to stop Beth from going.

Arriving, she witnesses the men in the family argue and fuss over the fish dishes that have to be perfect. Tony is surprised to see her there but thrilled as the family holidays are officially in full on mode. After eating they go to church and Beth actually has the chance to get to know Nonnie much better as she explains that there is a different life between she and Tony. 

The funny thing - Tony should never have been worried about his very chaotic family because the real chaos and heartbreak is about to come from a place he should have suspected. Seems like perhaps both Tony and Beth might need to come clean about their lives and feelings.

It's the Feast of the Seven Fishes for their holiday!

Gisondo as Tony is perfection and I loved his reactions when the family was, well, being themselves. There is an innocence about his character yet he has the same look we all do when an older relative finds the chink in our embarrassment armor and exploits it. There is also a knight-ness about this character because he knows what the right thing is and puts himself before others. Gisondo makes it look effortless and perhaps it's because he has the face of someone you not only totally trust but also expect generosity of spirit.

Iseman as Beth is considered a girl from the rich part of town. That isn't relatable for the Oliveria family but that doesn't mean they don't know how to treat a guest. Tony is taken with her because she can hold a conversation and isn't afraid to challenge him and gets along with the family. Well, perhaps all but Nonnie played by Cohen who I absolutely love. She is almost exactly how I hope to be as a grandmother some day with anyone who wants to be part of our family, well, maybe without the slights. 

Pantoliano as Uncle Frankie knows just what to do for the holiday feast and also will do anything to protect the family and those they consider family. Abruzzo as Uncle Carmine who tackles anyone who tells him how to rinse the fish. He sees what Tony is dealing with and makes it clear he stands by him no matter what. 

Timlin as Katie is a young woman who can't get over Tony and also can't stop making bad decisions because of hurt feelings. Helman as Juke seems to be the only person around that understands her feelings and isn't afraid to ask her why she doesn't treat herself well. Schulz as Cousin Angelo is a character unto himself with his tough talk and big car, Darrow as Sarah is his girlfriend who has an opinion and isn't afraid to share it. She loves Angelo but wishes he be a bit more like Tony. 

Other cast include Ben Martin as Nunnzio, Jackson Nunn as Sab, Isabella Tinnell as Phyllis, Tony Bingham as Tony Sr., Allen Williamson as Prentice, Tommy Lafitte as Bernard. 

Writer/director Tinnell says, " As a kid, I didn't even know it was called the Feast of the Seven Fishes. It was just something we did every Christmas Eve and it was fun and the food was incredible. It wasn't like the food you ate in restaurants or at school or even at other kids' houses. It was anything but bland, anything but mass-produced. It was magic." 

Owing his love of the holiday to his great-grandmother who prepared the food in an old fashioned way, it became clear that he holds on to the memories of family and all those who were around the table. Writing the graphic novel Feast of the Seven Fishes (which won the prestigious Eisner Award at Comic Con in my hometown of San Diego), it also has recipes for the authentic feast that was brought by wife Shannon Tinnell. The novel and film represent Christmas, Food, Italian culture and the best part of the film - the sights and sounds of the 1980's. 

When talking to a filmmaker and director, I often ask what they hope people take away from seeing a film they've made. Tinnell has one of the best answers I've ever heard to the question because it is filled with heart, soul and memories of a time that isn't coming back any time soon. He says, " I'm really hoping when you watch this movie you get hungry and maybe you try to fix some of this stuff yourself. Because like we always say on Christmas Eve - around here everyone is Italian. I can't make you like this movie but I can promise you one thing, it is authentic. It is real. It is as it was on Christmas Eve in 1983 in our little town on the banks of the Monongahela River. When all the people I loved in my family were still alive. When the food was still a delicious mystery and when the love of your life was out there, somewhere, maybe listening to Spandau Ballet on the jukebox just waiting to meet you. Enjoy."

FEAST OF THE SEVEN FISHES is just a beautifully told story about a family that is loud, opinionated and knows how they feel about one another - even if an outsider might not understand. They hold onto traditions like gold and aren't about to change them for anything and there are still families who believe in traditions. The world moves so fast now that sometimes traditions get lost in the shuffle.

I adore the way Tinnell brings each character aboard, almost as if he's giving us a moment to adjust to them because, and let's be honest, they are a handful. Those 'handfuls' are family and they are loved and respected as such which brings back so many memories for me personally. The food is made with love, the yelling is done with love, and the chaos is fueled by love. Who could ask for anything more than that?

This is a holiday film that can be watched again and again because the Oliverio family are teachers and reminders of what we hold dear about our own families. Whether we want to admit it or not, all the craziness in the world can't replace our Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and extended family who come together even if for only one meal a year during the most precious time of year.

In the end - it's time for food, family and love!

BATTLE OF LENINGRAD

World War II’s Siege of Leningrad – in which Nazi Germany blockaded the major Soviet city for 28 months – ranks as perhaps the single most brutal and devastating military campaign in modern history. Now, the story of this unspeakable siege is told through the lives of people caught in the middle of it in BATTLE OF LENINGRAD. This monumental production will premiere on digital platforms and also on Blu-ray and DVD, on December 3, 2019. 

We have Blurays up for grabs! Email hellomoviemaven@aol.com with LENINGRAD in the subject line along with your name and address!
A REINDEER'S JOURNEY

Meet Ailo, a newborn reindeer who embarks on an incredible odyssey with the help of his mother.

Narrated by Donald Southerland and set against the frozen majesty of northern Finland, their journey is an uplifting story for the whole family.

We have DVDs up for giveaway! Email hellomoviemaven@aol.com with REINDEERS in the subject along with your name and address!! 

The Big Trip 

Arriving on DVD, Digital, & On Demand January 14 from Lionsgate. From the writers of Madagascar, Vasiliy Rovenskiy and Billy Frolick, The Big Trip features the voice talents of Pauly Shore and Drake Bell. 

From a writer of Madagascar comes this funny, outrageous adventure about a gang of misfit animals on an exciting quest to return a panda cub to its family when a stork accidentally delivers it to the wrong place.

We have copies for giveaway so email hellomoviemaven@aol.com with BIG TRIP in the subject along with your name and address!
Disney Delights with FROZEN II


Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres in time to welcome us all into the holiday season from director Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee and Walt Disney Pictures is the return to Arendelle and FROZEN II.

Anna (Kristen Bell), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), Olaf (Josh Gad), Sven and Queen Elsa (Indina Menzel) are enjoying life in their city. Since their adventure it is nice for them all to just enjoy each other's company and the people. That is until Elsa starts to hear this strange call that no one else seems to hear.

Putting it out of her mind, the city prepares for a gathering but is suddenly interrupted by strange winds driving the towns people to a safe cliff outside Arendelle. Confused by what is happening, Queen Elsa feels as if the problems are caused by the voice that is calling out to her. Deciding that she must go and find answers, Anna and Kristoff make it clear she isn't going alone.

Loading up into the sled on wheels, Sven takes them to a place that both Anna and Elsa believed was only a tale their father told. A wall of mist blocks them from going forward but when Elsa touches it, a door is opened wide revealing people living on the other side. That's when the girls discover that there is truth to the tale and that there are still more questions to be answered.

With each step they take, more and more of their parents life become clearer. But, there comes a moment when Elsa realizes that she can no longer put Anna's life in danger and takes the final steps of the journey alone were all is revealed - but will it be too late for Arendelle!

Bell as Anna shows a lot more maturity in this film in that she feels even more protective over her sister Queen Elsa. Still googly eyed over love Kristoff, she is back in her happy place. When the wind changes in Arendelle and she sees that something is wrong with Elsa, Anna makes it very clear from the onset that whatever it is they will face it together. Bell brings her pipes back with song, love and a whole lot of fun.

Menzel as Queen Elsa is having a difficult time concentrating on Arendelle because of the mysterious voice. Still feeling a little out of place in life, she feels there is something in the wind that is calling to her. Fight as she may, the voice is too strong to ignore. Menzel brings her voice to belt out more than one song and it is with that voice that we are with Elsa every step of this next journey.

Groff as Kristoff is very happy with his life in Arendelle and even happier with Anna. Now ready to try something a little different, he seems to have great difficulty making it happen. Groff once again brings his charm that oozes through his voice to a character that is strong for those around him yet still has that goofiness I enjoy about this character. Oh let us not forget Sven, he is back and just as hoppingly endearing as ever with his extended family.

Gad as Olaff is still the loveable snowman who loves everyone around him and yet still maintains that bit of innocence that makes him unforgettable. That's what Gad brings to this character, a memorable giggle, a heart that runs over with love for Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and his good buddy Sven. He is the snowman we all wanted growing up, at least I did all those times building a snowman in Chicago. Thanks Gad for bringing my childhood character to life.

Shout out to Hinds for returning as the wise and round stone Pabbie. He gave out the first warning of what was to come for Arendelle and the royal family. Brown as Mattias has his own story to tell of what lies beyond the mist and it is a story worth hearing. 

Other cast include Sterling K. Brown as Mattias, Evan Rachel Wood as Iduna, Jason Ritter as Ryder, Alan Tudyk as Northuldra, Rachel Matthews as Honeymaren, Ciaran Hinds as Pabbie and Martha Plimpton as Yelana, Alfred Molina as Agnarr and Jeremy Sisto as King Runeard. 

FROZEN II brings songs, fun, giggles, color and a re-connection with characters that have stayed with us all since 2013. The song "Let It Go" became an anthem for anyone who wanted to do just that even though my personal favorite was "In Summer" and who doesn't love a loveable dreaming snowman?

It is such a precarious thing to make a sequel to such a highly successful animated film. It doesn't always work and sometimes it works badly. Some of it might be because I always feel slightly cheated by sequels like the idea is a second thought thrown on a screen hoping it will stick with viewers.

This film is not that in the slightest. What FROZEN II brings is a delightful return to embraced characters that doesn't feel like six years has even passed. It is a visually stunning feast for the eyes with rich colors which are completely dazzling. The story may have a few hiccups but seriously, let it go (and I said that).

The entire cast returns (which always is a great thing) with 8 new songs that are as powerful as the original film. Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez returned to write the new songs for the film. Composer Christophe Beck also returned to bring his magic to the score.

Am I being extremely vague in my description of the film…well, yes! I am hardly about to tell every detail of the film because it's FROZEN II and no one, and I mean no one has the right to ruin it. This is a film about family and community, wanting to understand where we come from, learning who we are and what we are made of, protecting those we love and, of course, loving each other unconditionally.

Disney has been on a very cool winning streak with their animated films and FROZEN II seals the 2019 deal for them. The launch of Disney+ this week means that in a few months you can FROZEN and FROZEN II all year long which I know my granddaughter intends to do. 

FROZEN II is a time for families to have a wonderful holiday beginning together. Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Sven and Olaf are part of our own families now and to spend 104 minutes together feels like home in many ways. In the theatre we embrace our children and grandchildren as the story unfolds because we share a connection with our friends on the screen. We understand the struggles, the love, friendship and caring and that makes FROZEN II just about everything we need in family time.

In the end - they are going into the unknown!

A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD is from the Heart


Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres to delight and remind us all of our potential from director Marielle Heller and Sony Pictures with A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD. 

Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys) is a writer who is making a name for himself and it's not a good one. As no one else will work with him, Esquire editor Ellen (Christine Lahti) gives him the only assignment left which is interviewing Mr. Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks). Unhappy with it, wife Andrea (Susan Watson) reminds him that Mr. Rogers is an icon and to "please don't ruin my childhood". 

Grumpy about all of it, he meets with Mr. Rogers at the studio where he makes his children's television show. Watching his interaction with others makes Lloyd uncomfortable but for more reasons than he is ready to grasp. When it only lasts a few moments, Lloyd packs up his wife and young newborn son and its off to sister Lorraine's (Tammy Blanchard) wedding. Also at the wedding his Jerry Vogel (Chris Cooper), Lloyd's estranged father.

An outburst at the wedding leaves both Lloyd and Jerry roughed up and at the next interview with Mr. Rogers, he notices. Talking it out makes Lloyd even more uncomfortable and can't seem to get away fast enough. That's when Lloyd realizes that things from his past are interfering with his present life. When Jerry tries to reach out but he just can't get past his anger.

Throwing himself into the article, Lloyd watches Mr. Rogers and how he speaks to people, the life topics he covers and his outlook on life. Trying to grasp it all, a family issue means that Lloyd might have the opportunity to see firsthand what Mr. Rogers has been trying to tell and show him about kindness and forgiveness.

Sometimes we all just need one person to believe in us!

Hanks as Mr. Rogers is completely stunning and leaves an imprint in the heart. Because I come from a generation that knew about Mr. Rogers, I cannot think of one actor besides Hanks that could have done this film. I believe so much in what Lloyd's wife says about not ruining our childhood and that could have easily happened. Instead, Hanks reminds us so much of why we embraced Mr. Rogers and why we hold his and our memories so dear. The calmness in the midst of so much sadness in Lloyd's life allows us to open our hearts even further to the story we see on the screen. But do we really expect anything different from Hanks? He gives us all something to think about through his performances and in being Mr. Rogers, we owe him that much.

Rhys as Lloyd is a man who is just living life one moment at a time and it all comes from a childhood anger that he carries like a bag of bricks. Everyone seems to give him a pass with the anger he carries for his father but, as with anyone who lives for anger, the pass is about to expire. He can't fathom how Mr. Rogers can keep his heart so open to others and feels that "Mr. Rogers" is a television persona. It's when he puts the bag of bricks down does Lloyd have a chance to truly connect with those who continue, through it all, to love him. Of course, Mr. Rogers isn't about to leave Lloyd to do all of it on his own.

Watson as wife Andrea accepts Lloyd for the emotional roller coaster he always seems to be on. With a new baby to tend to, she wants more for her family in the way of connection and love. It is easy to believe Watson's performance since it is very similar to Beth from the television drama series This Is Us. Blanchard as sister Lorraine understands Lloyds anger but in her own life is trying to make different choices. She may have made her own mistakes (such as marriages) but Blanchard shows a forgiving nature in the midst of it all.

Cooper as dad Jerry is rough around the edges and not very good at showing remorse or affection. Lloyd can't even look at him without remembering pain and Cooper plays a man who is not only dealing with issues but trying to find a way of saying 'I'm sorry'. Cooper has the amazing ability of playing roles that have so much depth to them once you get past the gruffness as with Jerry. 

Other cast include: Maryann Plunkett as Joanne Rogers, Enrico Colantoni as Bill Isler, Wendy Makkena as Dorothy, Noah Harpster as Todd, Carmen Cusack as Margy, Maddie Corman as Lady Aberlin and Daniel Krell as Mr. McFeely.

A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD is not exactly what I expected. Yes, it's about Mr. Rogers and yet it isn't. It is Lloyd Vogel's story about Mr. Rogers and how spending time with him changes everything. Then again most of us already know that it can happen because, as with my own experiences, it has before. 

Mr. Rogers embraces Lloyd, whether he likes it or not, to try and show that we need one another. Being patient isn't something Lloyd seems to have but it is something Mr. Rogers seems to have in abundance. The two most unlikely people to come together happens slowly throughout the film - and mainly due to the persistence and belief from Mr. Rogers.

Watching Rhy's Lloyd go through his struggle is at times heartbreaking and Hanks as Mr. Rogers almost encourages us to feel that heartbreak. There is acceptance and forgiveness in each frame of the film and, to be honest, it also felt as if we didn't we would let down Mr. Rogers! 

It is the perfect time of year for A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD and for reasons that are plain but I'll go ahead and mention them anyway. This is a film about listening to one another, offering help in any way that would ease pain, be there for those we love, forgive just as easily as we hold grudges and always embrace a couple of seconds longer just so the people we care about know that they are not alone. 

In the end - we could all use a little kindness!

AWAY is Visually Stunning and Artfully Told


Jeri Jacquin

Wanting to experience something truly spectacular? Coming from animator Gints Zilbalodis and Subliminal Films is the upcoming film AWAY.

A young boy finds himself hanging from a tree in the desert still attached to his parachute when he sees a huge dark figure coming towards him. In moments he feels enveloped by something he doesn't understand and manages to break free of it. Running away towards the mountains he is followed slowly by the figure but when he crosses under a half round sculpture, the figure stops outside of it.

The boy decides to continue away from the figure into a beautiful green, lush and relaxing forest. Discovering fresh water he revives himself from the desert and even finds fruit. He also finds a small bird who is unable to fly and grateful for any morsels the boy cares to share. 

Exploring further he discovers a motorcycle and teaches himself to ride, a backpack that holds the key to where he needs to go and the figure still standing outside the half round sculpture. To his surprise he also finds something in the caves that motivates him to leave even more. Loading up and preparing, the boy knows that he has to be swift to get away from the figure.

Food, water and a feathered passenger flies past and begins to follow the other half round sculptures that are the visual road to where he needs to be. Along the way the boy finds challenges, nature and the ability to survive more than he ever thought possible. 

It is a journey of wonder to be sure!

Writer/director Zilbalodis is responsible for such short films as Aqua (2012), Priorities (2014), Followers (2014), Inaudible (2015) and Oasis (2017), the last of which was developed further into the feature version of AWAY. He worked on AWAY for over three years single handedly before it premiered in 2019 in such festivals as Annecy, Fantasia, Animafest, Shanghai, Anima Mundi, Strasbourg, Sitges and Tokyo. 

In the three years it took Zilbalodis to bring AWAY to the screen let me say that every single solitary moment of that time is breathtaking to behold. The most amazing part of it is that not a single word is spoken, not - a - single -word! It doesn't need any to understand everything that is happening. In fact, had I heard a word I honestly believe I would have been taken out of the spell I was completely under.

There are so many things to take away from this film (no pun intended) but for me it was a combination of the will to take life into your own hands, respect fear but don't let it rule you, look at the stunning beauty around you, explore everything even if you can only do it in your own back yard and, above all, embrace the little feathery things in this life because they won't be around forever.

I know that might seem too simplistic of a list but that's just my personal take. Let's talk about the animation because even though I am a huge animation film fan, this is so much more than that. I loved the foliage, the birds, lake, elephants, elements and the cats. I loved the colors, the imagery, the voids and everything in between.

To be honest I wasn't sure what I would be seeing with this film but something tremendous drew me to it and whatever that something was - I thank it from the bottom of my film loving heart. Sharing every emotion with the boy, catching my breath here and there, cheering him on and yet a little sad when it was over - that is what AWAY did to me and for me.

The music and sounds are everything to the imagery we are shown on the screen and it is nothing short of stellar and spectacular. A triumph of life with whimsy and hope, it is a powerful film that I will see again and again.

In the end - he is going home!

BY THE GRACE OF GOD is a Story Praying to be Told


Jeri Jacquin

In theatres this week from writer/director Francois Ozon and Music Box Films comes a true story of a continual fight BY THE GRACE OF GOD.

Alexandre Guerin (Melvil Poupaud) is a married father of five who is a devout Catholic. Enjoying his family holds only one part of life in secret. When Alexandre was a child, Father Bernard Preynat took away part of his childhood in a series of unspeakable acts. When he is confronted with the information that Father Preynat is still working with children, Alexandre is forced to make a decision about what to do next.

Understanding that there is a statute of limitations legally, he goes directly to Cardinal Barbarin (Francois Marthouret) with his story. Listening patiently, the Cardinal sends him to speak with Regine Marie (Martine Erhel) who sets up a meeting with Father Preynat (Bernard Verley). Worried how he is going to handle the situation, wife Marie (Aurelia Petit) is supportive knowing it's also time to tell his older sons. 

During the meeting with Regine Maire and Father Preynat, Alexandre feels every panic emotion possible as the priest admits he has a problem and that he suffers. It is the "he suffers" that sends Alexandre into a tailspin and more emails to the Cardinal. Both Alexandre and Marie are starting to feel as if they are being placated instead of serious action being taken, especially when Father Preynat shows up in their church.

That is when Alexandre decides to file charges which does something he could not have expected. As he looks for more victims (and finds them), he also comes to meet Francois Debord (Denis Menochet). Francois is a man who has always had the support of his parents as they tried to do everything they could informing the church of Father Preynat which came to nothing. 

At first Francois isn't interested in being part of anything to do with it, but when he and wife Odile (Helene Vincent) research they discover that Preynat has been working with children ever since. Finding the emotional strength, his righteous anger leads him to staying silent no longer. 

Filing his own charges, Francois also begins looking for victims and helps to creates the Lift the Burden of Silence. Believing that the police and the church aren't going to much in the way of helping, the newly formed group take it step by step to get the word out through a media campaign. Hearing about it is Emmanuel (Eric Caravaca), a young man who is tormented by what happened and feels there has been nothing in his life. Encouraged by mother Irene (Josiane Balasko), he meets with Francois and learns that he now can speak out and have the emotional support to do so.

Continuing together to fight with whatever means possible, they create a website for other survivors to reach out and get the justice they deserve for a childhood taken by someone who is so trusted by families. 

Poupaud as Alexandre is such a calm man considering the hurt he has carried since childhood. Looking for guidance still in the church, it becomes a daily struggle when the unresolved past comes back. He is a man who isn't looking for money, fame or to bring down the church - just to make it safe for children and the child still inside him. There are such strong moments that Poupaud is clearly angered but he doesn't let it control every step he takes after realizing that the church isn't going to make it right. Poupaud's performance actually kept my own anger in check and shared his hope until the very end of the film.

Menochet as Francois begins his story not wanting to bring up the past. Feeling he put his parents through enough when he was a child, just tries to wave it away. That is until he discovers that the man who left a scar on his soul is still being allowed to be around children. That's when his anger begins to find its way out and he takes a strong stand against those who claim to care but don't, those who claim to want to tell the story but don't and a religious system that will try to stonewall them all. Menochet gives it to us straight and without apology and there isn't a moment where his character should ever think to apologize. If Alexandre is the calm then Francois is the fierce storm.

Caravaca as Emmanuel is the openly tortured soul of the trio the film tackles. He has been unable to find his place in the world because of the constant internal struggle. His ability to hold relationships is shaky at best and the only thing stable in life is the support of his mother. Once he speaks with Francois and realizes there is a way out of the hole they've all been put in, he reaches for the light totally. He begins to see the world as it can be for him and that is everything for Emmanuel.

Verley as Father Preynat has the most difficult job of not caring that by the end of the film we despise his character. Throughout the film I became so engrained in the story I found myself shouting at him. Of course I realize he is the actor portraying Father Preynat but he is brilliant in getting the desired emotional effect. Marthouret as Cardinal Barbarin is another actor who had my total disgust by the films end. Barbarin should receive the same punishment as anyone else who covers their rear end with a cardinals robes and Marthouret gave us the performance needed to make that emotion come to the surface. 

Erhel as Regine Maire is another character that just about send me over the edge. Her surface demeanor is one of care and concern, but each time she is on the screen I am less and less a believer that Regine Maire is someone I'd ever trust. Well done Erhel!

Other cast include Eric Caravaca as Gilles Perret, Helene Vincent as Odile Debord, Frederic Pierrot as Captain Courteau, Jeanne Rosa as Dominique Perret, and Amelie Daure as Jennifer. 

BY THE GRACE OF GOD is a difficult film from beginning to end for several reasons. One, beause of the mere fact that it has taken so long for these men to receive some peace (and not at the hands of the church) by taking control. Seeing their stories of faith being tested, memories difficult to bear and the anguish of families who also are struggling with what happened to their children is heartbreaking. It is also a look at the children of these men who learn that their fathers have experienced something they can't even imagine just to make sure they never have to.

These men live in a world where it became necessary to jump out of their childhood fears and feel worthy of standing up to say 'this can no longer happen to any other child…ever again!' Their road could not have been an easy one and every time they were slapped down by the powers that be, the rose up even stronger and in more numbers. Finding that strength in each other and accepting that the process could take a while, they still didn't give up.

There was nothing in these men that sought fame or money and that's what kept me watching the film. How do you tell someone that has never experienced anything like they have that fighting for what is right takes as much strength as the will to live with what comes after. It is time for the Vatican to stand with victims such as the Lift the Burden of Silence group and do what is morally, spiritually and criminally right. To accept anything less from the Vatican is unacceptable.

Director Ozon says of his film, "My starting point for this film came from a desire to explore masculine fragility and sensitivity. My films are often about strong women. This time, I wanted to show men suffering and expressing deep emotions. As a matter of fact, my working title for the project was The Crying Man."

He explains that, "In 2018, I discovered La Parole Liberee (Lift the Burden of Silence), a website created by men who had been abused as children by a Catholic priest in Lyon [France]. I was particularly touched by Alexandre, a fervent Catholic who was finally able to tell his story at the age of forty. The website was full of powerful personal accounts, interviews, articles and email exchanges with local Catholic authorities. I'd found my subject. I would tell the story of three men and how each of them decides to lift the burden of silence: one within the church, one through the media and one in the justice system."

In the end - they battle faith, hope and peace to find justice!

Disney+ Rolls Out its First Hit with THE MANDALORIAN


Jeri Jacquin


Currently on the new streaming service Disney+ from characters based on George Lucas' STAR WARS and creator Jon Favreau is a continuing story in the galaxy far, far away with THE MANDALORIAN.

It has been five years since the Galactic Empire's defeat and life has gone on. For a Mandalorian bounty hunter (Pedro Pascal) it means working hard for very little. When the need for a hunter slows down, there is one job that needs doing and Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) offers it up with what seems a veil of mystery.

The job is to go to Arvala-7 and find the bounty who happens to be fifty years old. Dr. Pershing (Omid Abtahi) makes it very clear that the bounty be brought back alive. The Mandalorian doesn't seem to care in the slightest as long as he can change a bar of Beskar into armorer.

Crashing onto Arvala-7, the Mandalorian is attacked by large creatures called Blurgg's and is saved by Kuiil (Nick Nolte) who wants only one thing in return. Kuill wants those who have invaded his planet to be removed so peace will return, oh, and the Blurgg! Taking him to the place where bounty hunters have gone previously, a quick showdown ensues with the help of a IG-11 droid. Finding the bounty, The Mandalorian isn't going to let anyone get near him.

A fifty year old infant is now in his hands but there are other mercenaries who want the kid. Trying to get away quickly, The Mandalorian discovers his ship has been stripped down by Jawas. Kuiil knows how to get it all back and with his help, plus a trip to get an egg, provides the parts to get off the ground again.

Pascal as The Mandalorian has already thrilled audiences in only two episodes. There is a mystery behind the helmet that he (so far) hasn't made an attempt to remove. This character obviously has a story to tell about his people, the Beskar, how he became a bounty hunter and why he is keeping his bounty safer than expected. Pascal seemed to have a steep road ahead of him but I'm thinking it's leveled off a lot more since the first episode. I can't wait to see what comes next.

Weather as Greef is a business man and his business is bounties. It is clear he has no problem stiffing The Mandalorian for his work but I always say what goes around comes around so Greef better be prepared. Nice to see Weathers again! Abhati as Dr. Pershing has me creeped out in that he is going to be the guy who wants to do things that is going to upset everyone. Nothing wrong with playing a bad guy as long as you do it extremely well.

Nolte as Kuiil is a character that has a lot of emotions but keeps them in check. Then again if Nick Nolte says, "I have spoken" you tend to believe him. I am hoping that we see more of this character because he certainly has something to offer.

Other cast include Werner Herzog as The Client, Taika Waititi as IG-11, Gina Carano as Cara Dune, Giancarlo Esposito as Moff Gideon with Horatio Sanz as Mythrol, Ming-Na Wen as Fennec Shand, and Julia Jones as Omera.

It was announced in 2018 that Jon Favreau would serve as a writer and executive producer of the series. Adding to that list is Dave Filoni, Colin Wilson, and Kathleen Kennedy to complete the producers list. When it comes to directors the line includes Taika Waititi, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rick Famuyiwa and Deborah Chow.

With that line up and the success of Disney+ and only two episodes airing to a hungry Star Wars audience, it is no surprise that the green light has been given to the second season. To be honest I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about the film having been disappointed by a few films in the Star Wars franchise.

That being said, by the end of the first episode I was squealing with delight and thrilled that the second episode wasn't so far behind. Telling anyone who will listen to watch THE MANDALORIAN immediately is probably wearing my friends out. It's true though, this is going to be a series that has such potential and the main reason is that it feels like Star Wars, and that above all is what will keep me coming back each week. 

This is out of the park for Disney+ in that they have everything Star Wars on their streaming service so while I'm introducing my granddaughter to the Star Wars saga, I can enjoy the continuation of that world. Mainly because the kid in me is totally geeking out over THE MANDALORIAN!

Thanks Disney+!
VIKINGS Sets to Return in December


Jeri Jacquin

Coming to The History Channel on December 4th is the long awaited return of one of the channels most stunning and epic series to date is VIKINGS.

The last season ended with a battle between Ivar the Boneless (Alex Hogh Andersen) and brother Bjorn Ironside (Alexander Ludwig). Now Ivar has escaped with his life and Bjorn has taken the throne of Kattegat. Immediately the new king lets his people know that he wants to expand the city becoming an important route for trade. This will help all the people of Kattegat prosper.

On the road, Ivar travels on The Silk Road discovering things he didn't know existed. While on the road he is captured and taken to the Russian leader and proclaimed old Viking Kievan Rus Prince Oleg (Danila Kozlovsky). Discovering he has Ivar the Boneless, the Prince makes it clear from the onset that he is more merciless than Ivar ever thought he was. When the Prince asks what it is that Ivar wants, the name Kattegat is uttered and Ivar is assured that his vengeance will come but first, the royal has his own family problems to deal with.

In Kattegat, Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) tells Bjorn that she no longer wants to be a figurehead of his reign. Instead, she is tired and wants nothing more than to go back to where she had a life with Ragnar and farm in peace leaving the life of a shield-maiden in the past. The women of the village come to see the famous Lagertha and tells her that most of the men have been killed in wars and attacks. The attacks aren't over as a new, formidable and the recognizable leader wants nothing more than to hurt everyone in his path and he has Lagertha in his sights. 

In Kiev, Ivar is beginning to understand what it is that motivates Oleg and his viciousness. Proving with ease that the Prince will destroy anyone who gets in his way, he takes young nephew Igor to raise. Ivar makes slow moves in order to place himself in a position that allows him to outwardly seem afraid but behind those eyes is a game that the Prince might not be prepared to play.

In Kattegat, Bjorn receives a message of help from a prior enemy and feels the need to do the right thing. Before leaving, he asks about Floki and what has happened to him. Not getting the answer he wants, Bjorn makes it clear that he will discover the truth and if anything has happened to Floki, someone will be held accountable. Ubbe (Jordan Patrick Smith) and Torvi (Georgia Hirst) are sent to the place now called Iceland to find answers. 

The message of help turns out to be something totally different as Bjorn, Harald (Peter Franzen) and Olaf come to a meeting of the minds and the suggestion that a vote be taken to find a King of Norway. Olaf believes that the ruler should be Bjorn Ironside but there are others who might have a different opinion. 

What happens at that vote might change everything as the leaders know it.

Ludwig as Bjorn Ironside has taken the helm of Kattegat just as his father Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) did in the Vikings series. From the beginning, Ludwig has always been in the shadows as we have watched him grow into a storyline that is harsh but the reality of history in the Dark Ages. The character of Bjorn has grown slow and steady rising further into the storyline and Ludwig has given us every reason to remain curious as to how his story will end. The character of Bjorn tries everything possible to not be like the leaders that have gone before, including his father, mistakes are made but Ludwig's Bjorn leans quickly.

Winnick as Lagertha has been through the wringer and back again. Starting as a farmer with husband Ragnar, becoming Queen, not Queen and then Queen somewhere else and back to Kattegat taking out enemies along the way has just worn this lady out. Winnick has returned season after season giving her character strength, courage and eventually the ability to weed out those who are trying to destroy her. In all of this she has kept her sense of family, even children that are Ragnar's she has tried to embrace.  

Andersen as Ivar continues to intrigue audiences with the duality of his insane brutality and moments where we all think he might have a chance to be human after all. He believes himself to be a god but certainly discovers that shouting it from the rooftops brings about unsavory characters who don't care about his divinity. Andersen continues to surprise with his performance and with this final season I am truly interested where this character will be taken.

Franzen as Harald is another Viking who has ideas of his own about how things should be done and who should do them. Always with the slight of hand in his planning I am keeping an eye on him. Smith and Hirst are the couple who are trying to help find answers in Floki's Iceland. That is a part of the storyline that I am so interested in and partly because I think Floki has been through just as much as the Lothbrok line.

Shout out to Marco llso as Hvitserk for what he is about to put everyone through!

This historical drama created by Michael Hirst began with the story of Norse hero Ragnar Lothbrok. We have seen almost everything possible with love, family, deception, intrigue and battles that hold nothing back. This is the final season and Viking fans, like myself, know that all good things come to an end but we aren't happy about it at all. 

In just the first few episodes, the stage is set for changes that all of this has been leading up to. The cast is doing a wonderful job of taking us on this final leg of the journey. 

Hirst created another of my favorite shows from Showtime with The Tudors followed with Camelot for Starz. Back to Showtime for the series The Borgias and MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS with Saoirse Ronan, ELIZABETH and ELIZABETH: The Golden Age. Hirst has such an amazing ability to bring a richness to the stories he tells but some outstanding actors to bring it all to the screen.

The History Channel brings Vikings back on December 4th so get through turkey day safely because once you are back at Kattegat, the ride will have begun and there is no turning back. Everything that we have come to embrace about each character is going to keep us coming back until the very last scene.

As salve to our open wound, it has been announced that Hirst is creating a series called Vikings: Vahalla that will be seen on Netflix. Said to be set one hundred years later there will be a new group of famous Vikings and their fight for survival in an ever-changing world.

Even with that, we all can agree that our excitement about Vikings came from Ragnar Lothbrok and all the intrigue that followed. Prepare to see how it all plays out with the return of Vikings on the History Channel December 4th!

TURTLE ODYSSEY: Bunji's Big Adventure Swims to 4K and Bluray



Jeri Jacquin

Coming to 4K Ultra UHD, Bluray and DVD from SHOUT! Factory, directors Caspar Mazzotti and Paul Phelan is the adventure of a the sea and a TURTLE ODYSSEY: Bunji's Big Adventure.

Narrated by Russell Crowe, this is the story of Bunji, a small sea turtle who has popped out of the Australian sand facing the race to the sea. Facing predators who want a small snack, Bunji isn't finished facing troubles. Once away from the hazards on land, she faces the creatures from the sea!

Learning how to survive, she gets stronger, bigger and smarter in the ways of being a sea turtle. What she has on her side is over 100 million years of DNA flowing through her as easy as she flows through water. An ancient creature, Bunji travels thousands of miles and (insert human jealousy here) sees and experiences some of the most beautiful things to be found in the sea.

When she reaches adulthood, Bunji finds a mate and the cycle that brought her into the sea begins to happen for her. Including the long journey back to the same sandy beach she popped out from. It truly is the circle of life and Bunji has let us join her through it all.

Majestic and beautiful, Bunji is truly a unique creature.

IMAX TURTLE ODYSSEY: Bunji's Big Adventure joins Shout! Factory's exising catalog of 4K films that includes the incredible critically acclaimed and award-winning odysseys WE, THE MARINES, JOURNEY TO SPACE, FLIGHT OF THE BUTTERFLIES, THE LAST REEF: Cities Beneath the Sea, NATIONAL PARK ADVENTURES and so many more. 

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

The Special Feature of TURTLE ODYSSEY: Bunji's Big Adventure is an Interview with Dr. Ian Bell, Senior Conversation Officer. 

TURTLE ODYSSEY: Bunji's Big Adventure is such a wonderful look at a creature that most know so little about. Bunji shares with us the history of her species from sand back to sand. We are witness to her surviving birth and trying to stay away from any other creatures dinner menu. All of this is hard enough but with the encroachment of human kind, they brings a new struggle to her survival. The interesting part of this is that with creature predators it is part of, and forgive me for using the phrase, but circle of life, but human encroachment is something we can and should do something about.

What this film does is gives us all more of a reason to want to do everything possible to help Bunji and her species survive and, more importantly, thrive! 

In the end - her epic journey becomes our very own!

HUSTLERS

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is bringing a little HUSTLE to Bluray/DVD and Digital Code. The awesome news is that we have a Bluray Combo pack up for grabs! So, email hellomoviemaven@aol.com with HUSTLERS in the subject line along with your name and address and we will choose a winner.