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THE ORIGINAL CHRISTMAS COLLECTION is Iconic and Beloved

Jeri Jacquin

Now on DVD and Bluray in the Deluxe Edition from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment are five holiday favorites that let us all know the fun is here with THE ORIGINAL CHRISTMAS COLLECTION.

What is on the collection you ask? Only the best of Rankin & Bass with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, The Little Drummer Boy and Cricket on the Hearth.

On December 6, 1964, the shape of holiday programming was about to change as Sam the Snowman tells the story of Santa and Mrs. Claus in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Rudolph is born to the lead reindeer on Santa’s team, Donner. The parents are quite surprised when they see that their young son’s nose glows a bright red. Santa sees it and Donner realizes that they will have to cover the glow so Rudolph can be seen as normal.

Going out for reindeer games a year later, Rudolph meets doe Clarice and one word from her makes him fly – literally. Unfortunately, the covered up nose comes off and he ends up being pushed away by the other reindeer. Deciding to run away, Rudolph meets Hermey, an elf who is having a similar identity crisis. He wants to be a dentist and not be just a toy maker. 

While on the snowy road, they meet Yukon Cornelius who wants nothing more than to find silver and gold. Following them is the Abominable Snow Monster and they manage to allude him to the Island of Misfit Toys and King Moonracer who asks Rudolph that if he ever go home to tell Santa about all the toys on his island looking for homes.

Taking off on his own to avoid troubling his friends, Rudolph becomes a young stag and returns home only to find from Santa that his parents and Clarice have also been gone a long time. Looking for him has put them in danger and now he must find them. With the help of Hermey and Yukon, Rudolph finally discovers who he is and where his place is among his family, friends and the community he loves.

Cricket on the Hearth tells the story of a cricket that seems to be the guardian angel of the Peerybingle family. The 50-minute production contains Animagic and songs that were composed by Maury Laws and Jules Bass.

On December 19, 1968 The Little Drummer Boy the story of Aaron, and orphan boy, plays drums for the animals. After a tragedy at home, Aaron joins a caravan that performs in Jerusalem but in his anger he lashes out at the townspeople. When the troupe comes across a Magi, Aaron discovers they are following a star to Bethlehem. When one of his friends his hurt, he wishes to play his drum to make him well but something even more special changes for the young boy.

Frosty the Snowman sang and danced its way into homes on December 7, 1969 as a group of kids build a snowman and name him Frosty. What they don’t realize is that once they place a hat on his a little holiday magic brings him to life. Young Karen notices that the temperature is starting to melt her friend and, along with rabbit Hocus Pocus, know they must get him to the North Pole as quickly as possible.

On December 14, 1970, Fred Astaire becomes a part of our holidays at S.D. Kluger, the special delivery mailman who knows the story of Santa Clause. The ruler of Sombertown is the grouchy ole Burgermeister Meisterburger. When a baby is left on his doorstep with the name Claus, he is suppose to be taken to an orphanage. Instead a wind takes him to the Mountain of the Whispering Winds and taken to Tanta Kringle who names him Kris. 

As Kris grows up, he wants to deliver toys to the kids in Sombertown only to discover that the Burgermeister has banned them. That doesn’t seem to stop Kris, especially when he meets the town’s school teacher Miss Jessica. The Burgermeister has taken all the toys that Kris delivered away but Kris promises to fix the problem even though he knows there is a trap set for him. Instead, he finds a safe place to make toys and one night a year makes us all believe in everything good.

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 Enchanting Bonus Features in the include The Animagic World of Rankin/Bass – An all new documentary celebrating the legacy of the holiday specials created by Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass including interviews with the filmmakers and historians, Restoring the Puppets of Rudolph – Discover how the puppets from the beloved special were restored and Reimagining Rudolph in 4D – A behind-the-scenes look at the making of the new Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer attraction film.

Also, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Attraction Film A short stop-motion film originally created for a Rudolph 4D experience, T.E.A.M. Rudolph and the Reindeer Games – A video storybook including the untold story of the Reindeer Games, Frosty the Snowman Pencil Test and Commentaries on Frosty the Snowman and Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town.  

There hasn’t been a Christmas since I was four that I haven’t watched these classic holiday specials. It was quite easy to pass that tradition on to my own kids who are now sharing them with children of their own. What makes this such a magnificent set to own is that now we can watch them any time we like!

Also, as they only air once during the holiday season, the entire family can watch them again and again leading up to Christmas Day. For my family that’s pretty important because we can’t get enough of Rudolph, Santa, Frosty, the Drummer Boy or having a Cricket watching over us all.


Rankin/Bass brought so many animated specials to television and these five particularly stand out. The company was founded by Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass with holiday specials that led to equally beloved specials. It must be said that in 1977, Rankin/Bass gave me such a gift when it animated J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and it still is one of my very favorites today.

The Animagic and animation of these specials are still as stunning and lovely today as they were beginning in 1964. It did not take long for each of these characters to become iconic and recognized in an instant by children and children at heart. Now having them all on DVD and the magnificent and stunning colors of Bluray, THE ORIGINAL CHRISTMAS SPECIALS COLLECTION needs to have a special place in everyone’s home entertainment library. 

Now, if you will excuse me, my granddaughter and I have a holiday date starting with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer!

In the end – the holiday season has arrived as old friends wait to celebrate with the entire family!

ERNIE KOVACS: The Centennial Edition Comes to DVD

Jeri Jacquin

Currently on DVD to celebrate the 100th birthday of a comic genius from SHOUT! Factory is an amazing collection with ERNIE KOVACS: The Centennial Edition.

Ernie Kovacs came from a family that immigrated to Hungary and although not a great student still managed to receive a scholarship to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Struggling to live in New York City, he managed to go to the movies that he would later say influences him.

Finding acting work in summer stock, it would be an almost fatal illness that would be a school of another kind. After spending time in several hospital, he returned home to take care of his mother after his parents separated. His first job in television was in 1950 and a show called Pick Your Ideal, then hosting Deadline For Dinner, Now You’re Cooking and Three to Get Ready.

In 1954, Kovacs began a late-night talk show called The Ernie Kovacs Show so now he could be seen almost everywhere on television. He even took a few nights a week for Steve Allen on The Tonight Show, part of the game show Gamble on Love, One Minute Please, Time Will Tell and Take a Good Look.

Kovacs also did television specials which were popular in the 50’s and 60’s as Silent Show contained no dialogue but instead only sound effects and music. Now Kovacs would be noticed receiving movie offers, the Sylvania Award and the cover of Life magazine. 

His theatrical films included OPERATION MAD BALL, IT HAPPENED TO JANE, STRANGERS WHEN WE MEET, NORTH TO ALASKA, FIVE GOLDEN HOURS and SAIL A CROOKED SHIP to name a few.

That’s not all Kovacs is known for as he was a music lover from the days of being in the hospital. He would often use classic music as part of his comedy as well. He also wrote the book Zoomar: A Sophisticated Novel about Love and TV, Silent Show, How to Talk at Gin as well as articles for Mad magazine. 

Kovacs was killed in a car accident in 1962 but he left behind some of the most iconic legacy of original comedy that we are not likely to ever see again.

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 9 DVD set includes 22 hours of landmark hilarity featuring Episodes from his Local and National Morning Shows, Episodes from his NBC Prime-Time Show, Kovacs on Music, Five ABC TV Specials, The Color Version of His Legendary Silent Show Eugene, His Award-Winning Commercials for Dutch Masters Cigars, Short Films, Tributes, and Rarities.

Eighteen Bonus Sketches Featuring Man of his Most Beloved Characters, Three Complete Episodes of his Offbeat Game Show Take a Good Look, “A Pony for Chris” – his Rare TV Pilot for Medicine Man Costarring Buster Keaton, The Lively Arts Featuring the Only Existing Filmed Solo Interview with Ernie Kovacs and the 2011 American Cinematheque Panel. 

Ernie Kovacs was one of the first funny men that I can remember watching on television with my mother. His sense of humor was hilarious to me and I knew his voice on television even if I was in another room. The comedy of Kovacs continues to be what I consider the gold standard and can see how comedy throughout the years has some similarities to his creativity. 

This man had so much talent that it isn’t surprising to me that he found so many outlets for it. From radio, music, television and films, as well as in book form, Kovacs found a way to reach his fans. 

ERNIE KOVACS: The Centennial Edition is not only a great way to remember everything he brought to us through the years but a stellar way to introduce a new generation to comedy that is enduring. There is so much in this collection to share and let me say, it is totally worth a marathon with everyone who enjoys laughing with characters that are original and so full of fun.

In the end – happy 100th birthday to an original genius!

NIGHT SCHOOL Rings in the New Year Laughs on Bluray

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray/DVD and Digital in time to ring in the New Year from director Malcolm D. Lee and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is a life lesson for us all while attending NIGHT SCHOOL.

Teddy (Kevin Hart) is a man who wants to show his love Lisa (Megalyn Echikunwoke) that he can take care of her and provide the finer things in life. The problem is that Teddy has champagne tastes on a beer budget. Selling bbq equipment, and doing it quite well, he sees a future of promise for them both.

So much so that he finally asks Lisa to marry him with a large ring and an even larger explosion – literally. Now out of a job he has to find a quick way to get into another business so she doesn’t find out the emotional and financial fine line he’s been riding. The problem is that Teddy never graduated high school which means he is limited in the jobs he can get.

That’s when he decides to go to night school and get his GED and, of course, he runs into his first problem in the principal. Stewart (Taran Killam) is someone that Teddy bullied in high school and he has daggers for him big time. That means Stewart doesn’t want him any where near his school – even if night school teacher Carrie (Tiffany Haddish) doesn’t agree.

From night on Teddy is getting on everyone’s nerves including classmates Mackenzie (Rob Riggle), Jaylen (Romany Malco), Luis (Al Madrigal), Theresa (Mary Lynn Rajskub), Mila (Anne Winters) and the man behind prison Facetime Gerald (Keith David). He also learns that instructor Carrie isn’t taking any excuses or charming behavior for anyone who doesn’t want to learn.

The band of GED’ers also share with one another that they never were the best of students and are afraid they aren’t going to cut it. Even when they try their hardest it seems that the only solution to graduating is to take a few well places short cuts. When they are all confronted, it boils down to Teddy as the culprit and instigator.

Given one final chance after a lot of chaos and knowing that his love for Lisa is on the line, the group comes together in friendship that no one, not even Principal Stewart can mess with. That and a few well place knocks on the mat as Carrie continues to believe in her students!

Hart as Teddy once again plays the role of a man who is out of place in life and spazzy at the way he deals with things. The humor is there and Hart is also credited with the script for NIGHT SCHOOL. Bringing together what he knows in the way of comedy with a cast of characters that have equally made their own mark in comedy makes this a silly film filled with chuckles, plus he does look good in a chicken costume.

Haddish as Carrie puts her verbal foot down from the moment she sees Teddy on the street to realizing he is the student that drives teacher’s crazy. Of course that doesn’t mean that Haddish doesn’t bring her own brand of comedy to the character. She had made a name for herself and continues to jump into comedies that make her look good.

Riggle as Mackenzie the coach takes a fall or two that had me cringing but still laughing. Malco as Jaylen has a whole speech on not being ‘woke’ yet and I went with it. Madrigal as Luis is hilarious with his speech about the pube cheese cake!

Rajskub as Theresa is a Mom who loves being a Mom but is a little psycho about it. Once you meet her husband you begin to understand why her screws are slightly loose. Winters as Mila is a girl who doesn’t see the benefit of schooling without social media. David as Gerald cracks me up trying to get an education while keeping an eye on who might be creeping up on the webcam.

Echikunwoke as Lisa is a woman who doesn’t need anything more than Teddy although he doesn’t quite get that. She begins to suspect he is cheating on her with his long nights and weird work days. Killam as Stewart loves to carry a bat and speak in a way that worries even me. Trying to make sure Teddy is kept as down as he has always felt, he keeps his eye on everything that goes on in the classroom.

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/DVD comes with an Extended Cut that also includes the Theatrical Version. Bonus Features are Alternate Opening, and Deleted Scenes, Gag Reel – prepare to laugh (or cry) yourself silly through this hilarious montage of behind-the-scenes antics performed by the cast of NIGHT SCHOOL. 

And Night School’s in Session – ring the bell as we introduce you to NIGHT SCHOOL’S band of misfits, Who’s the Student? Who’s the Teacher? – fans were thrilled to see friends Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish star in their first film together, Prom Night Revisited, Cap ‘n Gown ‘n Giggles, Making of the Dance Battle, Christian Chicken, Game Over, Extended Performance “El Sueno” and so much more! 

Also, Movies Anywhere is part of the package that allows you to watch anywhere with the Movies Anywhere App!

Other cast include Fat Joe as Bobby, Ben Schwartz as Marvin, Yuvonne Orji as Maya, Bresha Webb as Denise, Jeff Rose as Isaac and Zach Osterman as Little Mac.

NIGHT SCHOOL is a story about where we have been, where we are and where we could go and teaches that lesson with hilarious laughs. It is such a large cast of funny people which makes the story so much fun to watch. 

In the end – bring an apple for the teacher because NIGHT SCHOOL has begun!

THE PREDATOR Stalks on 4K and Bluray

Jeri Jacquin

On 45K Ultra HD, Bluray and Digital from writer/director Shane Black and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment comes a new generation of terror with THE PREDATOR.

Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook) is part of a Ranger team that is sent on a mission to find out about a ship that has crashed on Earth. After a very close range fire fight, McKenna gets part of a Predator’s armor because he wants to prove they exist. Sending what he needs for proof to ex-wife Emily (Yvonne Strahovski) and son Rory (Jacob Tremblay), the government holds him.

Also at the crash site is agent Will Traeger (Sterling K. Brown) who takes the Predator to a lab where Casey Bracket (Olivia Munn) is assigned to study it. Thinking they have everything under control was their first mistake when the Predator wakes up and begins to wreak havoc in the lab. Bracket hides and is surprised when the creator walks away from her.

McKenna has been put on a bus with other government prisoners that include Nebraska Williams (Trevante Rhodes), Coyle (Keegan-Michael Key), Baxley (Thomas Jane), Lynch (Alfie Allen) and Nettles (Augusto Aguilera). It doesn’t take long before after shareable moments between fellow military men, turns into a mission to save McKenna’s son.

Taking charge of the bus, they group finds Bracket on the road and she tells them what has happened. Especially the part where she informs them that they found human DNA in the Predator believing they are becoming hybrids. 

McKenna’s son Rory has gone trick-or-treating and after finding the armor his father sent, it becomes clear it is a beacon for the Predator to find him. The group comes under fire from the creature and Traeger knows that it is the boy that can tell him exactly what he needs to know. Taking Rory to the ship only brings more trouble because McKenna isn’t about to let Traeger or the Predator hurt his son.

Arriving at the ship, it doesn’t take long before they all begin to understand what it is the Predator wants. None of them could have predicted who the creature wants but the Predator isn’t going to get it without a fight.

Holbrook as McKenna is a man on a mission with the biggest problem being no one believes what is actually happening. It’s hard to do the job when the government is keeping its own secrets about what is really happening. Holbrook is tough and isn’t about to let his character be seen as anything other than a bad ass.

Munn as Bracket is brought in to studying the Predator and discovers what the creatures DNA contains and what they’ve been doing on our planet. Munn is fast, smart and is up for a good fight, especially when she has alien-dogs on her side. 

Tremblay as Rory is a young boy who is interested in the gadget his father has sent. He knows there is something more to it all and discovers quickly that it isn’t a video game! Strahovski as Emily knows McKenna is a good man and an even better soldier and makes it clear to the group to not mess with him.

Brown as Traeger is part of the “Stargazer Project” and wants to keep anyone who has any knowledge about it under wraps – and that includes especially McKenna. The problem is once the Predator escapes, the one guy he has put away is the one guy he needs. Jane as Baxley is a character and a half and suffers from post-traumatic stress after his time in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Allen as Lynch, Aguilera as Nettles, and Key as Coyle are the rest of the group who have no problem joining in with McKenna. They are eager to strap on some weaponry and help not only find the Predator but show it who’s planet it really is!

Other cast include Jake Buey as Sean Keyes, Niall Matter as Sapir and Brian Prince as The Predator. 

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

The Bluray Special Features include Deleted Scenes, a Touch of Black, Predator Evolution, The Takedown Team, Predator Catch-Up and Gallery. There is over an hour of Bonus Content with Inside the Evolution of The Predator. The 4K Ultra HD is the Ultimate Movie-Watching Experience and you can have it at home. Also there is Movies Anywhere and to watch anywhere all you have to do is download the app! 

Taking a different perspective from the original 1987 film PREDATOR, director Black expands the alien’s world with a few new plot twists. Of course it wouldn’t be a Predator film without lots of action and because this creature isn’t going out without a fire fight of some kind.

The group of fighters quickly understand what they are up against and this is definitely a film that needs a sound bar attached to an absolutely stunning 4K television. It’s the kind of film you gather up a group of friends with some popcorn and pick a side till the end.

In the end – the hunt has evolved!

THE ORVILLE: The Complete First Season is Out Of This World on DVD

Jeri Jacquin

On DVD from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment comes a ship and its crew filled with adventure and awkwardness on the deck of THE ORVILLE: The Complete First Season.

Ed Mercer (Seth MacFarlane) is living in the 25th century with 21st century problems. After finding his wife Kelly Grayson (Adrianne Palicki) cheating on him with something blue between the sheet, it is a year before he can even talk about it. When a captain’s chair becomes available on the USS Orville, Mercer jumps at the chance bringing Lt. Gordon Malloy (Scott Grimes) as his helmsman.

Arriving on the ship looking spiffy, his happiness is immediately taken down a peg when he is told that Kelly has been assigned as his first officer. After a time acceleration deal with a Krill Captain, Mercer and Kelly find themselves trapped in a Calivon zoo! Alara (Halston Sage) is commanding the Orville because Bortus (Peter Macon) had laid an egg and needs to be a good parent with mate Klyden (Chad Coleman). Claire wants to help Alara but it is Admiral Tucker (Ron Canada) who orders that the ship return home without Mercer.

Bortus and Klyden are upset that their hatchling is a girl and turn to Doctor Finn (Penny Johnson Jerald) to make it ‘right’. The Doc refuses as does everyone else the two talk with about it. Upset they can’t get help, they turn to a Mocian vessel to have it done. Mercer even goes as far as to find one of their kind that has lived happily as a female and the choice between the two must be made.

Mercer and the crew of the Orville come across a 2000 year old ship drifting in space. They are shocked to discover that there are people called the Dorahl who don’t know they are on a ship! Their leader Hamelac refuses to let anyone tell the Dorahl about the outside world. The truth comes out when Captain Jahavus Dorahl (Liam Neeson) explains the truth. 

Captain Pria Lavesque (Charlize Theron) and her ship are saved by The Orville and immediately Mercer is taken with her. There is a nagging feeling that something isn’t quite right yet she saves the Orville from a weird storm. Of course she did it for a reason as Pria turns out to be a time-traveling artifact dealer and puts Mercer’s head in just as much of a wormhole as she does the Orville!

On Sargas 4, Grayson is sent to find two missing anthropologists along with Alara and Claire. Mercer is keeping himself busy bringing Lysella onto the Orville to explain about a dancing feed that will teach her the difference between opinion and knowledge. Taking a little break, Isaac, Finn, Marcus (BJ Tanner) and Ty (Kai Wener) crash on a planet light years away from where they should be. It’s not a pretty planet either as the local cannibals are hungry and the dinner bell has been rung.

The Orville is sent to mediate between the Navarians and the Bruidians. Mercer isn’t happy to learn that Darulio (Rob Lowe) is also at the meeting. Darulio has a pheromone problem and it has a major effect on the crew – most especially Grayson as well as Mercer, Finn and Yaphit (Norm Macdonald). Having such a big effect a battle between the Navarians and Bruidians breaks out and a they need something to bring out a cease fire. Grayson might also get the answer to the question that’s been following her for the last year – maybe.

After feeling guilty about the death of a ship mate, Alara wants to resign her post but Mercer refuses. The Orville is about to be hit by several interesting phenomena including scary clowns, giant spiders and murdering ship mates. Alara and Mercer have a confrontation that bring captain and crew to an understanding.

Mercer has to find a new chief engineer for the Orville and Grayson tries to convince him to give the post to LaMarr. Keeping that decision on hold, the crew comes in contact with someone who has plasma rifles that belong to the Krill. To get out of a potential problem with the Krill, Mercer discovers that his hesitation about LeMarr turn out to be unnecessary.

Grayson and her team crash land on a Bronze Age planet and they quickly realize they only have 11 days to get home or else 700 years will pass. Grayson becomes a deity of sorts and a theocracy happens very quickly. Mercer is in hot water with Admiral Ozawa Kelly Hu) and is told to stay away from the planet. Mercer and Grayson don’t listen (what a surprise right?) and see how much the planets history continues to shift. Isaac Mark Jackson) stays for a planet rotation only to come back to the Orville to explain that they are now on the right path and far ahead time wise!

MacFarlane as Mercer is unsure, depressed and neurotic as anyone would be when finding a blue alien in a wife’s bed! Getting sympathy orders to be the captain of the Orville seems like the lowest blow he could deal with but instead, Mercer takes it in stride and gets comfortable in the captains chair. Of course that moment of happiness is fleeting but he accepts the challenge that the Orville brings and it can only be done by MacFarlane. The guy still makes me laugh after all these years!

Palicki as Grayson is dealing with her own issues of guilt and bedding a blue guy can do it to a gal. Trying to make things right by joining the crew of the Orville certainly puts the ex’s relationship to the test on several occasions but I enjoy the banter. Grimes as Malloy is the character I can’t wait to see what he says next. He is cocky and doesn’t seem to have a problem voicing his opinion on just about anything. I kinda like the guy!

Sage as Alara is smart and sweet which can be a bad combination. As the season goes on don’t let the interesting face fool you. Macon as Bortus is an alien with some serious issues from egg laying to egg raising. Along with Coleman as mate Klyden, this is a family that needs to figure things out quick as space waits for no one. Jerald as Finn is always one step back watching the craziness the crew comes up with and tries to guide when she can and stays out of the mayhem when necessary.

Other cast include J. Lee as Lt. John LaMarr, Gavin Lee as Nurse Park, Mike Henry as Dann, Brian George as Doctor Aronov, Victor Garber as Admiral Halsey, Jeffrey Tambor as Ben Mercer, Holland Taylor as Jeannie Mercer, Rena Owen as Heveena, James Horan as Sazeron, Steven Culp as Wilks, and Brian Thompson as Drogen.

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

The DVD episodes include Old Wounds, Command Performance, About a Girl, If the Stars Should Appear, Pria, Krill, Majority Rule, Into the Fold, Cupid’s Dagger, Firestorm, New Dimensions and Mad Idolatry.

The Special Features include Q&A with Cast and Creative Team from PaleyFest 2018, Inside Look, Directed By, The First Six Missions, Designing the Future, The Orville Takes Flight, The Science of The Orville: Quantum Drive and Alien Life, Crafting Aliens and A Better Tomorrow. 

THE ORVILLE is such a good time and I want more. The cast of characters and the actors that portray them are spot on and actually look like they are enjoying it more than they probably should be allowed to. Having so many guests on the show also means that the street-cred of the crew is universal.

In the midst of the comedy there are subtle issue tackling bits of space housecleaning that are sure to catch anyone’s attention. Prime example is Bortus and Klyden raising a female in what clearly is a male dominated alien species but its also not without its secrets and its idea of acceptance.

So this is the perfect cold weather marathoning series to watch in prep for a second season that is certainly sure to have even more outrageous aliens and Captain Mercer at the helm. I mean really, would we have it any other way? I’m all in!

THE ORVILLE Season Two is docking to your television set in the new year!

In the end – they are our future gawd help us!

ODDSOCKEATERS Explains it all on DVD

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD from director Galina Miklinova and Omnibus Entertainment comes the answer to the question we’ve been asking for centuries with ODDSOCKEATERS.

Hugo is an Oddsockeater who is very close to his grandfather. He has learned to only take the odd sock when it is needed and no more. One day his grandfather tells him that he must go find his uncle because his time in the sock world is coming to and end. With a heavy heart Hugo leaves him home in search of his uncle.

Along the way he meets the Professor who totally believes in the existence of the Oddsockeaters and is trying to prove it. He also discovers The Blades who are a shady bunch of sock thieves who would like nothing more than to take over the odd sock world.

Hugo finds his uncle Big Boss also learns he has two cousins that are actually quite a handful. That’s when the adventure begins as the leader of The Blades will do anything to get every sock that the Big Boss has – even kidnapping Hugo!

These socks may be odd but they will stick together!  

The character of Hugo is so striking as is his ultraistic nature and love for his grandfather. Believing in the simplistic life and being a good Oddsockeater, he never takes more than is needed and wants what is best for the small family he lives in.

When his world is expanded and he realizes there are those who don’t share his beliefs, including his own family, he tries to listen to others and learn a little. When it comes to his new family, Hugo believes very much in the same values that he learned from his grandfather – that family is everything and loyalty cost nothing.

Omnibus Entertainment is the genre imprint for Film Movement, founded in 2002 as one of the first-ever subscription film services with its DVD-of-the-Month club. Now, Film Movement is a North American distributor of award-winning independent and foreign films based in New York City. It has released more than 250 feature films and shorts culled from prestigious film festivals worldwide. 

ODDSOCKEATERS is based on the international best selling books by Pavel Srut and has been given the Dove approval for the best in family entertainment.

The story of the ODDSOCKEATERS is absolutely stunning in its telling with animation that is colorful and memorable. There is so much to learn in the film but it doesn’t get mired down in so much heavy sentimentality that it forgets to be so much fun.

The characters each have such unique looks and, after a time, it is easy to forget that you are watching a story about socks! I would love to actually own stuffed dolls of Hugo and the gang just to keep the fun going. 

Srut has taken the question of the ages and given it an absolutely wonderful explanation that people of all ages will not only remember, but share with families looking for a marvelous opportunity to spend time together.

If you have ever wondered where missing socks go then might I suggest you get comfy with the kids and a bowl of popcorn and treat yourself to the ODDSOCKEATERS on DVD. Enjoy it once, enjoy it twice – enjoy it always!

In the end – hold onto your socks!

It is the Return of What Scares Us about HALLOWEEN and Now He's Home on Bluray

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray/DVD and in time to remind you there are only 309 shopping days left until the spooky season from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment and writer/director David Gordon Green, Danny McBride and Jeff Fradley from the characters created by John Carpenter and Debra Hill is the return of HALLOWEEN. 

It has been forty years since Lorie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) has had to deal with the likes of Michael Meyers in Haddonfield. When two documentary filmmakers come knocking on her door to ask about the night all that long ago, she gives her opinion and throws them out of her fortress laden house. 

Strode has been living a secluded life much to the dismay of daughter Karen (Judy Greer) who still holds a grudge about her childhood and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) who wants a relationship with her grandmother. The problem is Strode believes that a time will come when Michael will return.

Her fears are actually being relocated to another facility and Dr. Sartain (Haluk Bilginer) isn’t happy about it at all. When other patients along with Michael are loaded onto the bus, the good doctor makes it clear that he will see his patient checked into the new facility. Sheriff Frank Hawkins (Will Patton) knows about the transfer and sees how it is affecting Strode.

When the bus mysteriously crashes, the carnage begins immediately as Michael makes his way back to the place where it all began. Surviving the crash is Dr. Sartain who makes it very clear that Michael is the property of the state and can’t be harmed. One call after another leads Sheriff Hawkins to body after body with no sign of Michael.

Strode isn’t about to sit around and wait for something to happen and joins in the hunt to find the psycho killer. Granddaughter Allyson is at a high school party but after being upset by boyfriend Cameron (Dylan Arnold), she takes off towards home escorted by friend Oscar (Drew Scheid) and within moments she learns how cruel Michael can be. 

Strode gets daughter Karen and her husband Ray (Toby Huss) back to her fortress while the police try and locate Allyson. When everyone else is knocked down one by one, it is up to the women in the Strode family to come together and finish what was started over forty years ago.

And this time pour some gas on it!

Curtis as Lorie Strode jumps into character without missing a beat. It is ridiculous how good she jumped back in and how much I believed that this is how it would play out. Admit it – we all wondered where the character would go and now we get to see it for ourselves. Oh I’ll just say it – I just love Curtis as an actress and a person. Having listened to her speak about her career and embracing the success that the HALLOWEEN franchise brought her then and now is a testament to just how frakken cool she is. She takes Strode to another character level and she does it with grey hair and a bad ass attitude.

Greer as Karen is a bit of a downer for me in that she has totally moves away from understanding her mother. Instead she lies to her own daughter about communication and basically treats Mom/Lorie like a whack-job. Of course she jumps on the whiny ‘oh my poor childhood’ band wagon but hey, suck it up chickie, your mother taught you to survive – remember that because we all certainly would want her on our side!

Matichak as Allyson is the screamer of the family apparently. Strode in her younger years didn’t scream as much as this kid does. I mean serious, stop running down the empty street screaming like a banshee – it’s like ringing the dinner bell for a starving lion for gawd’s sake. Other than that, you did a good job kid and if there is another HALLOWEEN I’m sure you’re on the menu again so keep those track shoes handy.

Patton as Hawkins is a cop who remembers what happened forty years ago just as much as Strode does. Once the word is out that Meyers is on the loose, he doesn’t waste any time hitting the streets and doesn’t mind when Strode steps in with her loaded weapon to do what needs to be done. I’m a Patton fan in case anyone was curious about that. 

Bilginer as Dr. Sartain is a doctor who needs a doctor. His agenda is pretty much the reason there are medical boards that take away your license – know that mister! 

Shout out to the two gentlemen that brought us the scares both mentally and physically – James Jude Courtney and Nick Castle – thank you sirs for your valiant successful efforts in freaking us out forty years later. Well played sirs, well played.

Other cast include Rhian Reese as Dana Haines, Jefferson Hall as Aaron Korey, Virginia Gardner as Vicky, Miles Robbins as Dave, Jibrail Nantambu as Julian and, of course James Jude Courtney and Nick Castle as Michael Meyers.

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 Bonus Features for HALLOWEEN is not to be missed! There is deleted and extended scenes that I’ve watched twice with Extended Shooting Range, Shower Mask Visit, Jog to a Hanging Dog, Allyson and Friends at School, Cameron and Cops Don’t Mix, Deluxe Banh Mi Cops, and Sartain and Hawkins Ride Along. Also included is Back in Haddonfield: Making HALLOWEEN, The Original Scream Queen, The Sound of Fear, Journey of the Mask and The Legacy of Halloween.

MOVIES ANYWHERE is the digital app that simplifies and enhances the digital movie collection and viewing experience by allowing consumers to access their favorite digital movies in one place when purchased or redeemed through participating digital retailers. For more information please visit http://moviesanywhere.com. 

HALLOWEEN is an epic horror film that doesn’t hesitate to nod here and there to the original 1978 film that scared the living acorn candy out of most of us. Of course you can once again expect Michael Meyers to get creative in the way that he disposes of those who get in his way and this time age doesn’t seem to matter. He gives equal horror to all!

I jumped, hollered a bit, put my hand over my mouth, said ‘ewwwwwwww’ a lot, applauded, said ‘daaaaaaaaaaang’ many, many times and cheered. Lorie Strode and family had to make a few sacrifices but darn it if Michael doesn’t make them all work for ever second of survival.

I can honestly tell you that I am still excited about the film. Look, this isn’t rocket science but it’s enough rocket fuel to make those who remember 1978 happy and horror fans giddy to once again remember why we freak out seeing rubber Shatner masks coming our way.

This is a fun, spine chilling film that is a bloody run down memory lane and I can’t wait to see it again and again – with my hands off my face this next time!

In the end – believe in the Boogie-man!

FROM CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED DIRECTOR AND CAST COMES ONE OF THE BEST HEIST THRILLERS EVER MADE 
WIDOWS 
ARRIVES ON 4K ULTRA HD™, BLU-RAY™ AND DVD FEBRUARY 5
Inspired by E.T.A. Hoffmann’s classic tale and the beloved ballet, Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms arrives on Digital, Movies Anywhere, 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray™ and DVD Jan. 29, 2019. Relieve the magic of this classic tale instantly through bonus features and never-before-seen extras such as a behind-the-scenes look at how the four realms were created to such dazzling effect. Experience the Disney magic and adventure in what is destined to become an annual viewing tradition for adventurers of all ages.
ACADEMY AWARD® NOMINEE VIGGO MORTENSEN AND ACADEMY AWARD® WINNER MAHERSHALA ALI DELIVER TIMELESS PERFORMANCES IN THE HEART-WARMING FILM

GREENBOOK

WINNER OF THREE GOLDEN GLOBES® INCLUDING BEST PICTURE

AVAILABLE ON DIGITAL FEBRUARY 19, 2019 AND ON 4K ULTRA HD, BLU-RAY™ AND DVD MARCH 5, 2019 FROM UNIVERSAL PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT 
ONCE UPON A DEADPOOL


A FAIRYTALE TWIST ON DEADPOOL 2 THE WHOLE SQUAD CAN ENJOY ARRIVES ON DIGITAL WITH MOVIES ANYWHERE AND BLU-RAY™ JANUARY 15
Bring Home the Foot-Stomping Box Office Sensation 

Bohemian Rhapsody

 Featuring Never-Before-Seen Music Performances

The Number One Music Biopic of All Time Now Nominated for 2019 Golden Globe® and SAG Awards

Bohemian Rhapsody Arrives on Digital and Movies Anywhere January 22 and 4K Ultra HD™, Blu-ray™ and DVD February 12


Death is only the beginning in the heart pounding horror thriller

 THE POSSESSION OF HANNAH GRACE 

debuting on Digital February 19 and on Blu-ray™ and DVD February 26 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. 

Scare up a copy of your own! Enter here at hellomoviemaven@aol.com with POSSESSION in the subject line and good luck!!
FIRST MAN Lands On Demand - Coming to 4K and Bluray

Jeri Jacquin

Currently On Demand and coming to 4K UHD, Bluray and DVD from director Damien Chazelle and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is outer spaces’ FIRST MAN.

It is 1961 and Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) is about to bounce off the atmosphere testing the X-15 rocket for NASA in the Mojave Desert. He is not as phased by that as he is the illness of his very young daughter Karen. Devastated, Armstrong turns to the Project Gemini and is accepted in the astronaut group.

Deke Slayton (Kyle Chandler) tells Armstrong and his fellow trainees Elliot See (Patrick Fugit) and Ed White (Jason Clarke) that the United States is behind in the space race. Their goal is to pull in front of the Soviet Union and Armstrong is all in. Wife Janet (Claire Foy) supports and prepares for the move to Houston. 

Another tragedy hit Armstrong hard with the death of two friends while at the same time he is slated to command Gemini 8. After an aborted mission for Gemini and determined not at fault, Armstrong is selected along with Gus Grissom (Shea Whigham) and Roger Chaffee (Cory Michael Smith) for the Apollo 1 mission.

Once again tragedy strikes again and again as Armstrong is pushed back down the line. Finally, he is told that Apollo 11 will likely be the first lunar landing and Neil begins to withdraw form his family more and more. Janet has had her fill and tells him that it is his responsibility now to explain to their children what he is doing and why.

The mission isn’t without its rough patches but Neil Armstrong steps on the moon, has a moment of reflect and returns home to his family. Their, President Kennedy reminds us all that ‘we choose to go to the moon’!

Gosling as Armstrong gives a stoic performance of a man who spends years mired in tragedy. It seems he doesn’t see his own close calls with the same amount of deepness than he does with the loss of family and friends. There is so much hiding in this character that it was like waiting for Gosling to just burst out of his skin at any moment. Yet, he doesn’t but instead occasionally lets the steam out of the kettle and keeps everyone at bay.

Foy as Janet is a woman who clearly supports her husband but, at times, can not seem to get past the wall that Armstrong continues to build with every event in their lives. A strong performance that speaks out when she needs to and waits patiently when she must. 

Chandler as Slayton sees what has happened to Armstrong yet embraces what he can do for NASA strongly. Chandler is an actor that can take any role and make it his own and in this film he once again proves his steadiness. 

Other cast includes: Corey Stoll as Buzz Aldrin, Pablo Schreiber as Jim Lovell, Christopher Abbott as David Scott, Lukas Haas as Michael Collins, Brian d’Arcy as James Walker, Steve Coulter as Gunter Wendt, Ben Owen as John Hodge, Ethan Embry as Pete Conrad, John David Whalen as John Glenn and Ciaran Hinds as Robert Gilruth.

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 includes Deleted Scenes, Shooting for the Moon – Take an intimate look at the production of FIRST MAN and the collaborative relationship between Director Damien Chazelle and Ryan Gosling, Preparing to Launch – It’s difficult to believe that FIRST MAN is the first major feature film to tell the story of this Apollo 11, and Giant Leap in One Small Step – A heroic character study, FIRST MAN sheds light on all the hard working individuals that got us to the moon and back.

Also, Mission Gone Wrong – Watch as Ryan Gosling reenacts a test piloting sequence gone horribly wrong and see how he trained to nail the landing, Putting You In the Seat – Filmed in IMAX to show the vastness of the moon, find out all that it took to recreate the most famous moment in NASA history, Shooting at NASA – Hear from Ryan Gosling and Director Chazelle on how shooting at NASA brought unparalleled authenticity to FIRST MAN, Astronaut Training – Go behind the scenes of the three day boot camp each of the actors underwent prior to filming FIRST MAN and finally Feature Commentary with Director Damien Chazelle, Screenwriter Josh Singer and Editor Tom Cross.

MOVIES ANYWHERE is the digital app that simplifies and enhances the digital movie collection and viewing experience by allowing consumers to access their favorite digital movies in one place when purchased or redeemed through participating digital retailers. For more information please visit http://moviesanywhere.com. 

FIRST MAN is filled with a cast that may seem like small roles but in this film, no role is small in telling such a big story. Although the film deals mainly with Neil Armstrong, it doesn’t forget those who also made the journey through the space program and their contributions to the space race. 

The film also acknowledges how difficult the struggle was and the personal sacrifices that were made that allowed Armstrong to put his foot on the moon. That is important when telling the story of our space history and I appreciated it.

In the end – it was a pivotal moment in the history of mankind!

JOHNNY ENGLISH STRIKES AGAIN on Bluray

Jeri Jacquin

Our favorite spy, well my favorite spy, is returning to Bluray from director David Kerr and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment with JOHNNY ENGLISH STRIKES AGAIN.

British Intelligence is in the middle of a hack and all of their agents have been exposed through a cyber attack. The Prime Minister (Emma Thompson) has no choice but to call in retired MI7 agents and among them is the one and only Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson).

English has been keeping himself busy as a geography teacher but actually teaching his students a little bit about being an agent. Happy to be back, he requests his old partner Angus Bough (Ben Miller) and a car that is a little less 007 and a lot more Agent English.

They take off to France to find out how the cyber attack started. While staking out the yacht ‘Dot Calm’, English comes into contact with the lovely Ophelia (Olga Kurylenko) as they both see suspicious server activity but have to escape being caught. 

Back at MI7, the Prime Minister decides it’s time to get a hold of Jason Volta (Jake Lacy) for help. Jason is a Silicon Valley billionaire who has his hands in all kind of tech world wide. As more cyber attacks happen, the PM needs to make an agreement at the G12 meeting.

Back with English, he is totally taken with Ophelia and doesn’t know she’s been sent by Russia to take out English but instead, she starts to like him. Working together they discover what Volta is really up to and try to reach the PM to tell her all about it. Not getting any help from MI7, English and Bough have a little help from wife Captain Lydia (Vicki Pepperdine) who gets the boys to the meeting.

But it isn’t that simple because nothing with English ever is. One phone call to close to the sub wreaks havoc but only this agent knows how to throw a tablet and change the course of destruction. 

Seriously, the kids need him back at school!

Atkinson as Johnny English is quirky suave, dedicated to his belief in something even though it’s wrong and the luckiest retired agent to ever turn something wrong into something right. I have been a huge fan of this actor/comedian since I can remember. I suppose we could go way back to Lord Blackadder and Mr. Bean days. As a matter of fact, my son (now well into his 30’s) and I use to absolutely lose it watching Mr. Bean together. We are twisted like that. Here we all these years later and still get together to get our fix of Atkinson and his brand of comedy. 

Kurylenko as Ophelia is certainly getting her share of spy’s as this isn’t the first time she’s been sexy chasing a guy in a tux with a gun and spiffy car. Here she takes a hand a comedy and is pulled in to Johnny English just like the rest of us. Thompson as the Prime Minister is hilarious because I actually think her portrayal would make that position in Parliament more believable. 

Miller as Bough is the perfect sidekick to Atkinson’s English because he’s a little more concerned with safety than looking good in a tux. Oh lets just say it, he’s too sweet to be put in such crazy situations yet, he manages well. This time he has a little help from Pepperdine as wife Lydia who thinks he’s just as adorable as I do.

Lacy as Volta attempts to portray himself as the good guy but English, Bough and Ophelia know differently. Never let your billions get in the way of psycho I always say and Lacy gives us plenty of well groomed world domination psycho-ness. 

Other cast include Adam James as Pegasus, Pippa Bennett-Warner as Lesley, Miranda Hennessy as Tara, Irena Tyshyna as Viola, David Mumeni as Fabian, Samantha Russell of Prime Minister of Sweden, Pauline McLynn as Mrs. Trattner, and Matthew Beard as P. 

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 Bonus Features Exclusive to Bluray, DVD and Digital include: The Comedy Genius of Rowan Atkinson – A look at Rowan’s comedic talents – the meticulous attention to detail that is the hallmark of his work. Johnny English combines the best of Rowan – a skillful use of dialogue and slapstick, and The Johnny English Legacy - What has changed in the series this time around, for Johnny, and for the world? In this piece, we learn form the cast and filmmakers how the character has evolved and what’s changed without changing the core of the incompetent agent we have come to know and love.

Also, Virtual Reality JOHNNY ENGLISH STYLE – Virtual reality might be everywhere, but no one does it quite like our intrepid agent English, The Gadgets – Rowan leads us through his notable collection of gadgets as the team provides insights into their creation, The Cars – Rowan is a well-known auto enthusiast, and had a big say in the choice of cars used in the film, Locations and Design, a Cast of Characters – With a lead like Rowan Atkinson, the supporting cast has to be just as strong and finally, Feature Commentary with Director David Kerr.

JOHNNY ENGLISH STRIKES AGAIN gives us everything we love about spy comedies but Atkinson style! He is Johnny English through and through and with a pretty cool cast to support the madness there is no way laughing isn’t part of the plan. This is fun and funny and I personally wouldn’t have it any other way. 

In the end – only the best will do ---- and no one else is available!

GLASS is About to Shatter

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this Friday from writer/director M. Knight Shyamalan and Universal Pictures comes the gripping gathering of fear with GLASS.

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

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

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

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

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

That’s all you are getting from me.

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

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

Stealing the entire film is McAvoy as Kevin Wendell Crumb/ The Beast, Patricia, Dennis, Hedwig, Barry, Jade, Orwell, Heinrich, Norma and a host of others. There are moments where the camera doesn’t leave his face and characters flash seamlessly like the strobe lights in his room. Since the 2016 film SPLIT of which I’ve watched more times that I can even count, McAvoy slides right into the role of sheer madness and I’m in complete awe of his performance. Playing one or two roles is hard enough but man, oh man, does McAvoy ever show that being about twenty people including rock-hard cut Beast had me totally invested in the film.

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

There is so much here that I’m not talking about because on the screen before the film started was a message from Director Shyamalan asking, “If you guys could please keep the secrets of the film so all audiences on opening day can have the experience you are going to have, it would mean the world to me and the cast and crew”. Well, he did ask nicely so I’m going to do exactly that.

I ain’t tellin’ you sh*t in the way of details and I’m okay with doing that actually. Living in this social media world I will let someone else spoil it for you but it certainly won’t be me. The story M. Knight Shyamalan started telling nineteen years ago works for me completely in 2019.

There were a few moments where my jaw dropped as I looked around the crowd to see if anyone else had the same reaction and was thrilled. It seemed the audience was right with me when the secrets started twisting, turning and spilling in all aspects of these three characters.

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

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

THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS is Brilliant on Bluray

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray, DVD and Digital from directors Lasse Hallstrom, Joe Johnston and Walt Disney Home Entertainment comes the delight of THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS.

It is Christmas Eve in Victorian London but not cheerful for the Stahlbaum family. Mr. Stahlbaum (Matthew Macfadyen) tries to make the holidays memorable but the sadness at the death of his wife Marie still holds on. Daughter Clara (Mackenzie Foy) is not giving an inch of happiness where the holidays are concerned.

Receiving a beautiful egg-shaped box from her Mother, Clara is intrigued until she discovers that no one has the key to open it. There is a note attached telling the young girl that inside is everything she would ever need. Putting it away until later, the family leaves for the Christmas Eve ball where she is thrilled to spend time with Drosselmeyer (Morgan Freeman).

Clara shows him the egg which he instantly recognizes telling her that she will find a way to open it. Returning to the ball, the young girl’s father is upset that she isn’t keeping with their traditions, such as the father-daughter dance. Clara speaks horribly to him and knows she caused pain.

That is when Drosselmeyer tells the children to find the string with their name on it and at the end will be their presents! Clara finds her and at the end she is shocked to find herself in another place all together. Going through the strange snow forest she sees a key dangling from a tree but a small mouse sees it sooner, grabs it and runs!

Trying to follow Clara comes across Captain Hoffman the Nutcracker (Jayden Knight). Discovering who she is, he follows her into the dark Land of Amusements now called the Fourth Realm only to come close to the outcast Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren). Instead, the Captain takes Clara to the palace learning that her mother was a Queen. She is introduced to the Sugar Plum Fairy (Kiera Knightley), Shivers (Richard E. Grant) and Hawthorne (Eugenio Derbez).

They are thrilled to meet Clara and are equally sad to learn that their Queen has passed away. Embracing Clara they want her help in protecting the kingdom from Mother Ginger. They show her the story of the land through ballet explaining that Clara’s mother created this kingdom when she was a girl. The Sugar Plum Fairy also shows Clara the inventions that would help them but they need a key, the same key she has been looking for.

Helping the Sugar Plum Fairy, Clara learns that she is not as sweet as she would seem and that Mother Ginger isn’t the bad character after all. Now they must all come together to help the kingdom from the creations being made with Clara’s mother’s invention.

It is time to save her mother’s kingdom!

Foy as Clara has definitely made her way clear from being a very young half human-half vampire into an amazingly beautiful and talented young lady. As a young girl who can not seem to grasp losing her mother, her pain lashes out against those who truly love her. Discovering that her mother was a queen of a realm of her own creation, Foy takes Clara on a journey surrounded by beauty, danger and creativity. She is completely lovely in this role.

Knightley as the Sugar Plum Fairy proves the old adage that looks can be deceiving. Tricking an impressionable young girl is one thing, going on an anger tangent of power is totally another. Not sure I can ever look at this character again during the holidays and not be suspicious. It is definitely a different role for Knightley and well done.

Knight as Captain Hoffman the Nutcracker is a soldier dedicated to his post (even if it is in the middle of nowhere in snow). Once he meets Clara and realizes who she is, it takes no time at all before he is joining in on the adventure to save the kingdom. Knight is gentle and soulful in this role.

Mirren as Mother Ginger is not about to let anyone show her up – not even Clara. At least that is the way she seems at their first meeting. Mirren is everything I love her to be but then again she is one of my favorite actresses so it is a joy to watch her in this film. I have to say that I love the wild red hair!

Macfadyen as Stahlbaum is a grieving husband who is trying to be a good father to his children. Wanting to create a beautiful and memorable Christmas, he is met with the hurt of a young daughter. Macfadyen is perfect in this role as he continues his recent streak of role that stand out. Freeman as Dosselmeyer is in on the secret of the realm and misses Clara’s mother almost as much as she does. He has but one job and he does it exceptionally well.

Other cast include Misty Copeland as the Ballerina Princess, Anna Madeley as Marie Stahlbaum, Sergei Polunin as The Sweets Cavalier, Ellie Bamber as Louise Stahlbaum, Tom Sweet as Fritz Stahlbaum, Jack Whitehall as Harlequin and Charles Riley as The Mouse King.

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

The Bluray Bonus Extras Include On Pointe: Misty Copeland, Unwrapped THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS, Music Videos ‘Fall On Me’ by Andrea Bocelli featuring Matteo Bocelli and ‘The Nutcracker Suite’ by Lang Lang as well as Deleted Scenes.

The Digital Code is also included using Movies Anywhere – watch Anywhere with the Movies Anywhere App for Download and Streaming. 

THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS is visually stunning in the story that it is telling. That is important because although many have seen the ballet version in some form, this is an amazing opportunity to see the combination of ballet and live action. Exploring the characters even further with vivid characters and graceful movement is a true treat.

This film in stunning Bluray is everything my family wants to add to our growing family traditions. There is everything from wonderful music, dancing, wild characters, fun, laughter, a little sadness, adventure and an ending that we can all embrace. 

It is a story of love, hope, loyalty, goodness and working together to save something bigger than themselves – and isn’t that what we want not only from the holidays but all year long? I think so.

In the end – let the mystery unfold!