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DVD Reviews

There are the reviews of recently released DVD's so check it out before spending your hard earned cash! Also the shiny faces of DVD winners!
John Boorman’s Film of EXORCIST II: The Heretic Returns on Bluray

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray from director John Boorman and Scream Factory is the next chapter in a young girl’s life of danger with 1977 film EXORCIST II: The Heretic

Living with guardian Sharon (Kitty Winn), grown Regan (Linda Blair) works with Dr. Gene Tuskin (Louise Fletcher) to help children who are plagued by sleep disorders and memories they keep hidden. Regan understands what the kids are going through because of the event in her life four years earlier. 

Father Lamont (Richard Burton) receives his next order from the Cardinal (Paul Henreid) to find out what really happened to the beloved Father Merrin (Max von Sydow) that same night four years ago. It was during the exorcism of Regan that he died but that is all they know. 

Father Lamont isn’t happy about the assignment knowing he is only asked because of his previous exposure to Merrin’s teachings. Dealing with a failed exorcism in South America, he goes into his assignment with less than holy feelings.

With the help of equipment developed by Dr. Tuskin, Regan and the doctor can synch up their memories. In a session, the demon Pazuzu who took over the young girls body four years ago, seems to still be around and wants Regan once again. Father Lamont tries to question Regan but the good doctor isn’t about to let that happen. Sharon takes the Father to the house in Georgetown where it all took place but feels that using the device with Regan is the only way.

That’s when he sees a boy named Kokumo and a swarm of locusts fighting Pazuzu and realizes he must go to Africa and find the boy who is now a man. Learning things he didn’t know before from the grown Kokumo (James Earl Jones), its back to Regan and the house in Georgetown where once again a battle between good and evil must happen if they are all to be saved.

Blair as Regan returns as the lovely young woman Regan who struggles with the memory of what happened in her mother’s house four years earlier. Tackling the first film at a young age was an incredible feat for this actress and taking up the mantle of Regan again can only be done by Blair. Seeing the storyline all the way through she shares the screen with Fletcher, Sydow and Burton and that doesn’t look bad on a resume.

Fletcher as Tuskin is a strong influence on Regan and only wants what is best for her. Protecting her is one thing but finally reaching what is inside of the young girl is something she could never have imagined. I believe Fletcher is one of our finest actors and I will watch and have watched everything she has performed in. Good, bad and in between, Fletcher has played her roles strongly.

Jones as Kukomo is a very young actor in this film and I’d know that voice anywhere even then. In this role he goes from a young man taking on a demon to a scientist who wants to forget it. Henreid as the Cardinal makes his final film appearance as a part of the church that wants to know exactly what happened to the priests who died at the hands of a demon. Winn returns as guardian Sharon and makes it her purpose to make sure Regan is looked after. 

Two iconic actors share the screen in this film. Burton as Father Lamont has a history with Father Merrin having spent time with him as a younger priest. Dealing with his own failure at an exorcism, he is reluctant to deal with Regan. Max von Sydow – what an amazing iconic actor who returns to the film to give us more of the story behind the priest and his teachings.

Other cast include Joey Green as young Kokumo, Ned Beatty as Edwards, Belinda Beatty as Liz, Barbara Cason as Mrs. Phalor, Ken Renard as Abbott, Dana Plato as Sandra and Karen Knapp as the voice of Pazuzu.

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 2-disc Bluray includes the Special Features of Two Cuts of the Film, 117-Minute and 201 Minute Versions, New 2K Scan of Both Cuts from the Original Film Elements, New Audio Commentary with Director John Boorman (Longer Cut), New Interview with Actress Linda Blair, New Audio Commentary with Special Project Consultant Scott Michael Bosco, Teaser and Theatrical Trailers and Still Galleries. 

William Goodhard took on the screenplay and used the works of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin for the storyline. Director Boorman found the new direction of the film quite different than the first film. It was the director who convinced Max von Sydow to return as Father Merrin and Kitty Winn to return as Sharon.

EXORCIST II: The Heretic has its own set of frights and scares that may not be as shocking as the first film but equally as engrossing. I might be playing favorites a bit since Burton, Blair, Fletcher, von Sydow and Jones happen to be on my list of actors I think made an impact on films.  

We are getting closer and closer to the season of spooky time and scary movies are high on the list of things to stack up for at my house. After scaring the neighbor kids and handing out candy – its time to shut off the lights and hunker down for a night of lights out frights. 

EXORCIST II: The Heretic brings all that and more. I personally suggest watching the original and the new Bluray release back to back because that is four hours of spine tingles well worth every tingle!

If you would like the chance to win a copy for your own home entertainment library, please visit http://moviemaven.homestead.com to find out how.

In the end – four years later and what does she remember? 

SICARIO: Day of the Soldado Brings Deception to Bluray

Jeri Jacquin

This week on Bluray/DVD and Digital from writer Taylor Sheridan, director Stefano Sollima and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is an escalation of a drug was and SICARIO: Day of the Soldado. 

After a suicide bombing in Kansas City, Federal Agent Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) receives orders to find a way of stopping terrorists coming to the United States. The government suspects that the Mexican drug cartels are responsible and wants something done about it. The plan is to instigate a war between the big cartels starting with kidnapping the daughter of a kingpin.

Graver knows who he needs to help with this mission and seeks out Alejandro Gillick (Benicio del Toro). After creating a kidnapping-rescue to win the young Isabel’s (Isabela Moner) trust, her father ups the game even further by using Mexican police for a double cross on Graver, Gillick and the other soldiers. Returning fire is what also turns the game.

Isabel runs and the U.S. government is furious over the deaths of the Mexican police fearing it will cause more problems. Especially when it is discovered that the bombing suspects are not who they thought. To clean up the mess, Graver is ordered to stand down and do what is necessary to make everything that happened go away – and anyone involved. 

Gillick decides he is not about to do what Graver asks and works his way to the border with Isabel. The only way they can enter is by become illegal immigrants. Unfortunately Gillick is recognized and meets his fate at the hands of a kid. Graver finds Isabel and goes against orders bringing her to the United States.

But this isn’t over – for either Graver or Gillick!

Brolin as Graver jumps right into the assignment knowing what it will take to get the job done. Given the information about the mission he proceeds by finding the best to work with. Jumping from plan to plan, things become complicated when the information shifts and the cartels are infiltrating those who are suppose to protect them. I actually enjoy Brolin in these roles; he has the straight face needed to never let his hand show. Also, when he’s done being used, he is done being used!

Del Toro as Gillick is the perfect person to call on for the mission. The problem for him is that he doesn’t like it when the plan makes a U-turn and he’s on the other side of the fight. This actor has the same abilities as Brolin in that he can be as crazy as you want him to be but there are moments when he just takes a deep breath as if to warn the person he’s talking to that it’s not wise to push him further. Taking an interest in Isabel’s welfare also puts a target on his back – literally.

Moner as Isabel is one tough teenager, when she’s in school slapping around a fellow student. The minute the bullets fly and there isn’t a moment to think, she becomes exactly what she is – a vulnerable and terrified teenage girl who can’t smart mouth her way out of trouble. Now, she sees the horror of the business her father is a part of and it isn’t pretty. As the mission escalates, she has to learn what she is capable of and who to trust. Moner does a good job in what is needed to keep her character moving forward. 

Other cast include Jeffrey Donovan as Steve Forsing, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo as Gallo, Shea Whigham as Andy Wheeldon, Elijah Rodriguez as Miguel Hernandez, Howard Ferguson as Troy, Catherine Keener as Cynthia Foards and Mathew Modine as Secretary of Defense James Riley.

Sony Pictures Entertainment encompasses motion picture production for television, digital content and theater releases. The studios include Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems, TriStar Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, Stage 6 Films and Sony Picture Classics. To see what is coming to theaters and to home entertainment please visit www.sonypictures.com. 

The Bluray/DVD include the Special Features of From Film to Franchise: Continuing the Story, An Act of War: Making Sicario: Day of the Soldado, and The Assassin and the Soldier: The Cast and Characters.

SICARIO: Day of the Soldado is a continuation of the story that started with the 2015 film SICARIO also written by Taylor Sheridan. The film was a big hit and with Brolin, del Toro and Blunt at the helm of the story, it makes sense that this film would come to be. 

This time director Sollima jumps in the director’s seat and knows exactly how to make the story come to life. Using the countryside as another character in the story, it brings a depth to the film. He is responsible for the 2012 television series A.C.A.B. and Gomorroah. 

What makes this film work are the twists and turns in the plot as, like with Isabel, you aren’t always sure who to trust. The case is made that the good guys might not be so good and the bad guys can have a conscience too (as with Gillick). 

From beginning to end, SICARIO: Day of the Soldado is go, go, go with not much time to catch it’s breath but I like it that way. Even when walking through the desert, I found myself waiting for the next cactus to fall. 

I am on board with this thriller to bring Gillick and Graver back for a showdown because there is no way this is over – no way. 

In the end – no rules this time!

Time Life Gives Us a Four Year Dose of Music with ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME IN CONCERT: Encore on Bluray

Jeri Jacquin

Time Life has always been ahead of the game when it comes to bringing back the music we have come to love and pass on to our own kids and grandkids. Now, they continue with their musical tradition of excellence bringing the best and amazing people who still rock in our hearts with ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME IN CONCERT: Encore on Bluray.

Every year the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame honors those that have brought something stellar and amazing to Rock and Roll and music in general. In thirty years, the Hall of Fame has inducted those who have brought classy to classic rock from the 60s, 70s and 80s. These are the years that will never be again but thanks to Time Life we can once again experience some of those most touching moments and rock out to music that will never die! 

At the 25th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony held at the Waldorf Astoria on March 16, 2010 in New York, the opening is a performance by Phish with Watcher of the Skies in tribute to Genesis. Trey Anastasio has the honors of inducting the group for their long contribution to music with Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Steve Hackett and Mike Rutherford accepting.

Billie Joe Armstrong inducts The Stooges and the memorable performance of their songs Search and Destroy as well as I Wanna Be Your Dog. Steven Van Zandt inducts The Hollies with Bernie Calvert, Allan Clarke, Eric Haydock, Graham Nash and Terry Sylvester. The musical performance includes Adam Levine and Paul Shaffer with Bus Stop, Carrie-Anne and Long Cool Woman (In a Black Dress) and the audience clearly loved it so much they sang along. 

Paul Shaffer receives the 25 Years of Great Music Appreciation Award and it isn't surprising that he would only surprising that it took 25 years.

Barry Gibb and brother Robin take to the stage to induct Abba into the Hall of Fame with Benny Anderson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad accepting. Faith Hill takes the stage for her heart felt rendition of the classic Abba song The Winner Takes It All. 

At the 26th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, the list of attendees is even bigger. Beginning with John Legend's induction speech for the incomparable Dr. John, it is amazing to experience someone else’s feelings towards the amazing performer. 
Bette Midler has a chance to take the stage with her speech for the induction of the well deserved Darlene Love. Her speech about the career she has experienced was informative and long time in coming.

Growing up in this next inductees era, there was one song that rocked for years, oh lets face it EVERY year around June when it was time to leave our books behind and enjoy the sun and beach. Rob Zombie inducts Alice Cooper which also gave me a thrill to see him perform the songs that kept me riveted for years with Eighteen, Under My Heels and, of course, the iconic anthem that is still played to School's Out. The groups acceptance speech included Michael Bruce, Dennis Dunaway, Neal Smith and an endearing 'thanks to my wife', the irreplaceable Alice Cooper.

Neil Young inducts Tom Waits into the Hall of Fame and Waits comes to the stage with his unique voice thanking all he could and giving us a bit more of his humor as well. I have to say that although I am thrilled to say that I couldn't get enough of Tom Waits through the years, I do enjoy his film roles as well. He continues to be unique both in front of a music crowd but a theatre screen as well.

Elton John comes to the podium and gives a riveting speech to induct Leon Russell into the Hall of Fame. Sharing his memories of when he met Russell, Elton also recalls the time he listened to Russell and broke down in sobs. Knowing it needed to happen, Elton embarked on a journey to make music with Russell. The speech about the inductee almost had me in tears as well. 

That is when the concert of a lifetime begins as Tom Waits and Dr. John along with Paul Shaffer and the Hall of Fame Orchestra perform the songs Make It Rain, Rain Dogs, House Where Nobody Lives, and Right Place Wrong Time. It is followed by Leon Russell singing out Delta Lady, A Song For You with an amazing performance with John Legend. Darlene Love is joined by another legend onstage as Bruce Springsteen is introduced to join her in a musical set. Love and Bette Midler take on (Today I Met) The Boy I'm Gonna Marry and He's A Rebel. 

The 27th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony held at the Public Hall in Cleveland, Ohio begins with a performance by Green Day singing Letterbomb and Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill inducting Freddie King into the hall of fame with a speech by Wanda King followed by a performance of the songs Hide Away and Going Down. John Mellencamp inducts Donovan next with a performance by the inductee of his songs Catch the Wind, Sunshine Superman and Season of the Witch. 

Steven Van Zandt inducts Small Faces/Faces attended by Kenney Jones, Mollie Marriott (on behalf of Steve Marriott), Ian McLagan and Ron Wood. The band performs Ooh La La and Stay With Me. Chuck D and LL Cool J inducts the Beastie Boys with an acceptance speech by Michael "Mike D" Diamond and Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz. The audience is treated to their songs No Sleep Till Brooklyn, So What 'Cha Want and Sabotage. 

Chris Rock gets his time to induct the Red Hot Chili Peppers and there to accept is Flea, Jack Irons, Anthony Kiedis, Josh Klinghoffer, Cliff Martinez, James Slovak (on behalf of Hillel Slovak) and Chad Smith. A performance of their songs By The Way, The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie and Give It Away had me hopping around the house a little (don't tell anyone!). 

The finale caps off the event with the Red Hot Chili Peppers with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Jam Band with Higher Ground.

The 28th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles begins with Randy Newman, the beloved Tom Petty, John Fogerty and Jackson Browne doing the song that makes people everywhere wish they were there in I Love LA. Don Henley gives us a look at Newman's musical history and what he has accomplished. Newman and Henley take the stage to rock a little with I'm Dead (But I Don't Know It).

John Mayer arrives onstage to induct Albert King to the Hall of Fame as Gary Clark Jr. performs Oh, Pretty Woman and is joined by Booker T. Jones and John Mayer for Born Under a Bad Sign. If you don't know Albert Kings work, it is worth everything in your musical world to experience. The performance is stirring and filled with all the soul intended by Albert King the first time he played them. Born Under A Bad Sign performance is the reason we go to musical church time after time!

Chris Cornell inducts the band called Heart. The speeches include Michael DeRosier, Roger Fisher, Steve Fossen and Howard Leese. It is Ann and Nancy Wilson who prove that sisters can rock it like there is no music in the world. Their range and talent can not be matched and I dare anyone to try because you can't break sisters. As Ann Wilson said, they came at a time when there were only four career choices for women and being part of a rock band wasn't one of them. Performing Crazy On You and Barracuda, they are joined by Jerry Cantrell, Chris Cornell and Mike McCready. 

Oprah Winfrey inducts Quincy Jones into the Hall of Fame along with receiving the Ahmet Ertegun Award for Lifetime Achievement. Spike Lee and Harry Belefonte induct Public Enemy and the acceptance speeches include Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Terminator X and Professor Griff. 

Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins induct the band Rush into the Hall of Fame as Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart take the stage. Along with Grohl and Hawkins, Rush gears up to play the final set with 2112: Overture, Tom Sawyer and The Spirit of Radio. Watching Rush play gives the feeling of being transported back to being at one of their concerts in the early days. This group has made its mark and is the epitome of the era of music.

Time Life continues to bring never before released anywhere classic collections of television shows for fans to revisit and remember what has made television so special. Time Life has released Mama’s Family, CPO Sharkey and The Tonight Show and they now reminds of us of a time when sex and politics were up for grabs with ROWAN & MARTIN’S LAUGH-IN. For more of what Time Life has to offer fans of classic television visit www.timelife.com. 

The Bluray includes 44 iconic performances from 2010 to 2013 at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony's. Four years induction on two brilliantly mastered discs reminds us all why we love our rock and roll as well as other genres of music that has endured. It is over 481 minutes of extensive inductions and musical performances.

This collection has some of the most amazing collaboration of performances that has ever been seen and I personally am thrilled by them. It has been some time since I've seen many of these performers so having this Bluray makes sure that will never happen again. Memorable songs that have become iconic for so many reasons are only one of the added bonuses to this collection.

Adding this four year Rock & Roll Hall of Fame two-disc set to your home entertainment library is like having a concert in your home anytime you like and embracing the music that we keep listening, dancing and occasionally dance around our house in. Music has an amazing ability to transport us back into emotions, both good and maybe not-so-good, memorable times and places that are welcoming. 

Time Life once again takes us on a musical journey that is uplifting, soul searching, endearing, and empowering. That is what they do best with their CD's that I love but now adding the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony's so we can see the singers, bands and performers that have impacted our lives.

In the end - because..long live rock and roll!!!!

SAVED BY THE BELL: The Complete Collection is Binge Worthy

Jeri Jacquin

On DVD this week from SHOUT! Factory is an amazing box set of a ‘90s sitcom series that has made it’s was to the status of iconic with SAVED BY THE BELL: The Complete Collection.

Premièring in 1989, Saved by the Bell is the series about Bayside High School in Palisades, California and friends Zack (Mark-Paul Gosselaar), Kelly (Tiffani Thiessen), Slater (Mario Lopez), Jessie (Elizabeth Berkley), Lisa (Lark Voorhies) and Screech (Dustin Diamond) and their teachers Miss Bliss (Hayley Mills) to Mr. Belding (Dennis Haskins). 

In the Good Morning, Miss Bliss season, going through school together, these friends go through turmoil’s beginning with Zack beginning his school years with a bit of a lie. If he isn’t busy enough, Zack’s friend Screech has love life issues that only he can solve. Nikki decides that she isn’t about to do anything required to the class science frog.

Screech is dealing with a bully and the gang thinks its best to stand up to him. Teacher Miss Bliss and Mr. Belding trade places while Zack is invited to be part of a club that might not be what he needs. 

Season one Saved by the Bell has the gang back again beginning with icon Casey Kasem hosts a dance show. Screech manages to get hit by lightening and becomes clairvoyant and you can be sure Zack and Slater find a way to make that work for them. Jessie’s room is being listening in on when she has a girl’s sleepover and they are going to make who ever is responsible miserable.

Zack thinks it’s time for Screech to have a girlfriend. When substitute teacher Mr. Crane comes to class, the girls are beside themselves with a little bit of a teachers crush. Kelly wants to go to a George Michael concert but the only way that is going to happen is if she gets immediately better at science. 

It’s time for the yearly prank when Zack and Slater take off with the Valley’s mascot while the Valley gets a present of their own in the form of Screech!

In Season 2, Zack believes he is finally going to do something special with Kelly by going to the prom. When he learns that she has family problem, Zack does something unexpected. Discovering that Bayside once had a radio station, they convince Mr. Belding that it would be cool to put it back on the air.

Screech isn’t the only one who is a little accident prone when the group breaks something special that belongs to his mother. There is only one way to make it right and that’s to raise the money.

Zack is up to his money making scheme when he believes he can give good advice to students on their relationships with Screech and Lisa. This is going to be good – or is it? When it comes time to do a presentation about his heritage, Zack knows he has to make it work or he can’t be part of the track team. That is when he meets Chief Henry and learns about the culture and heritage.

Who can believe it when Zack, Kelly and Slater have a fall out and are all too stubborn to admit when they are wrong. Mr. Belding is in a similar jam at home and now everyone has to either reconcile with each other or break up an awesome batch of friendships and a marriage.

In Season Three, Kelly gets a job so that she can get a costume for the ball but instead finds herself falling for her boss. Zack is upset when he sees that Kelly and Jeff spent time at the movies so he’s going to give them both a taste of their own medicine.

Zack becomes a judge in the pageant that celebrates the Fourth of July. Thinking it will be fun he soon discovers that one of the contestants is being pushed to win. Fake ID’s are the order of the day when Zack gets a crush on Danielle who just happens to be a college student. The ID’s are so that the boys can get into a nightclub where she goes at night.

Jessie is horrified to learn that her stepbrother Eric uses people to get whatever he wants. Raising money for new cheerleader outfits, Jessie is again unsettled by the school having a date auction. Zack proves why Jessie isn’t happy when a girl wins Zack and he doesn’t want to date her.

Bayside High is about to be on the celebrity map when it is chosen to shoot an anti-drug commercial and are devastated to learn that someone was smoking pot. Imagine their surprise when they learn who it is and Kelly tells them of the pressures they face about trying it themselves. 

The group of friends attend a murder mystery weekend and freak out once they discover that the host is missing. They are determined to find out who is responsible for it all.

Season Four starts out with a true test of friendship when Zack and Slater can’t help but fall in love with the same young lady. Screech is busy with his grandma’s spaghetti sauce when he meets Robin. Thinking this is awesome for their friend, they soon discover that she has other plans and it isn’t good.

Slater isn’t happy when he argues with his father about the pros and cons of college versus a military academy and Jessie has college fears of her own. Zack is in another love mess when he falls for Slater’s sister. Slater isn’t about to have it and wants his sister to know of Zack’s ways.

Snow White and the Seven Dorks becomes a rap version that the group performs but a kiss might change everything. With a chance to do something awesome for Bayside High, a contest is started to see who can write the best school song. 

Graduation day is here and Zack discovers he needs one more credit to even graduate. Jessie believes that she is valedictorian until she discovers that someone else is chosen and comes to realize this is her chance to let someone else have their dream. 

In 1992 Hawaiian Style the group has a chance to go to Hawaii thanks to Kelly’s grandfather. Staying at his hotel, the gang soon learns that there is someone out to take it away from him and they are not about to let that happen!

The College Years start at Cal U where Zack, Slater and Screech discover that college isn’t anything like high school. Zack is going to have to remember the high school days a little bit when Kelly transfers into Cal U.

Slater begins to learn more about his Hispanic heritage when he becomes part of student activism. The girls decide they want to get a big screen TV and the only way to raise the money is by putting together a male pinup calendar. For Thanksgiving, Mike, Leslie and Screech decide to make a holiday meal for kids who truly need it.

Zack sees a copy of the midterm exam and group isn’t sure how to handle it with the new ethics professor. Kelly decides she wants to take a cruise for the summer and Zack instantly goes into a panic over it. There is truly only one way to make sure that Kelly stays with him. 

Talking about their futures, Zack and Kelly now have to deal with people who want to play an active part in their marriage decision. As if that isn’t enough, Slater makes it clear that he isn’t for it at all.

Finally, Wedding in Las Vegas brings more family drama than either Zack or Kelly could have anticipated. Especially when Zack’s father makes it clear he is not for the wedding and won’t give him one dime toward it. 

Packed and ready to go, the guys don’t get far before they have their first experience behind bars. The girls aren’t having any better luck when their cars radiator blows and belt fails. Along the road comes Kurt Martin who rigs the car and only wants a ride to Vegas as payment.

They boys get out of jail while the girls are already in the Stardust hotel lobby. After guys, gals, money problems, escorts, thugs, misunderstandings, car chases, and dirty diamond, there is a wedding as the group must say their goodbyes so another chapter of their lives can begin.

Hasbro Studios is an iconic brand with some of the best in animation and family programming with MY LITTLE PONY, and LITTLEST PET SHOP. Since its formation in 2009, Hasbro Studios has received seven Daytime Emmy’s! 

SHOUT! Factory brings the best to fans offering up feature films, classic television series, animation and specials. For more of what they have to offer go to www.shoutfactory.com.  

The box set includes the Bonus Features of New Documentary Features – Past Times at Bayside High: Making Saved by the Bell and Bayside’s Greatest Hits: The Music of Saved by the Bell, Saturday Morning: From Toons to Teens, It’s Alright: Back to the Bell, The First of Its Class: From Sit-Com to Icon, Audio Commentaries, Photo Galleries and a Sixteen-Page Episode Guide. 

That means this amazing SAVED BY THE BELL: The Complete Collection contains all 118 episodes from all three series – Good Morning, Miss Bliss, Saved by the Bell and Saved by the Bell: The College Years plus both movies and a locker full of special features.

SAVED BY THE BELL is an iconic series that is continually shared by those of us who watched it from the very beginning. I remember my grown kids spending their time with the Bayside High gang and I never worried that the show was too edgy for them. Instead I enjoyed how much fun they had watching the show and introduced me to it as well.

From the very beginning the show related to the kids about the issues they were facing at the time. From bullying, dances, life choices and friendship, SAVED BY THE BELL continually followed their growing up and into college years where their lives changed even more as the reached young adulthood. 

The cast of Gosselaar, Thiessen, Lopez, Berkley, Voorhies and Diamond along with Mills and Haskins truly made the show. None of the characters could have gone on without them because they truly gave faces to the characters they played from the first episode to the last. That is a rare thing for a television series and we are thrilled they did!

Here it is 2018 and the opportunity to revisit old friends once again is all in one box set. That means something to all of us who have come to embrace the show because now the next generation has the chance to see what we all laughed about then and discover that things are not so very different now.

In the end – we were all saved by the bell!

STRIKE BACK: Season Five Hits Hard on Bluray

Jeri Jacquin

This week on Bluray/DVD and Digital from Cinemax is a new team with a new attitude with the hard hitting series STRIKE BACK: Season Five.

The men are sent in to be a part the transfer of terrorist Omair Idrisi (Don Hany) but his wife Jane Lowry (Katherine Kelly) has other plans. Putting an escape plan together, the attack on the entire convoy kills many men but Sgt. Mac McAllister (Warren Brown) survives. 

Determined to re-capture Isrisi, Sgt. Brown is assigned to Section 20 and the first thing they have to do is find undercover soldier Sgt. Wyatt (Daniel MacPherson). He is also working to get information on Idrisi. The group includes Grace Novan (Alin Sumarwata) and Captain Natalie Reynolds (Roxanne McKee). 

But they have to deal with prince who may or may not be giving money to the terrorists. What Haptaini does tell them is who he deals with for arms and that’s Morgan Ives (Trevor Eve). Finding him turns out to be a hard mission when they find themselves in the middle of a sand storm. 

Lowry seems to be on a different path as the group works on what her intentions are. Rosa Varga (Kelly Gough) and her brother Josef (Mark Strepan) and now a part of an already confusing mix. Quickly they discover Lowry’s hideout and are shocked to see photographs of missions Section 20 has been a part of. 

McAllister has put himself in serious danger and set for hanging when he is taken to Zaryn’s training camp. Rosa is also wanting to change sides when Josef starts to become unhinged and she wants safety. General Lazslo (Attilla Arpa) is trying to put Section 20 down but Col. Adeena Donovan (Nina Sosanya) isn’t going to stop. Especially when she discovers who Zaryn really is Dr. Markov (Daniel Cerqueira). 

The Russians are putting their hands in everything and now having to deal without military back up, Donovan makes a serious decision. The group has also discovered who is dealing with Lowry’s money and another player is in the mix. Milos Berisovich (Peter Firth), is a mob boss who ends up with Markov. He isn’t happy about what went down and sends his own message for Section 20.

Apparently Berisovich doesn’t know who he’s dealing with as Reynolds gives him a lesson. They also learn that Markov has a lab in the Ukraine that makes the Novichok but Berisovich is one step ahead of them. Reynolds is exposed to the gas but it is Lowry and Berisovich that go head to head for revenge.

Lowry learns her husband is still alive and arrives in Germany to learn a company called Octagon is where he is. Owned by Johannes Krieger (Adrian Bouchet), she forces him to tell her that the only person who knows is Rachel Sheridan (Dervia Kirwan). Section 20 skips the trip to Germany and finds Krieger but not before another assault rains down on the team as Rachel is taken.

Wyatt discovers what is on the black site and sees that Idrissi plans to release other terrorists. When things go horribly wrong with that plan, McAllister actually has to work with Idrissi to regain control. That partnership is short lived and it becomes clear that Corp. Jensen (Phil Dunster) has proof that Lowry and Donovan are working together.

It becomes even more harsh when someone high up has given Donovan orders that put Section 20 in jeopardy. Wyatt and MacAllister pull a meeting in Croatia between Ives, Idrissi and Lowry. That too goes awry and when Novan is close to capture, she is surprised to see two familiar faces.

The two familiar faces are after Idrissi from getting their hands on Atlas but Russian special forces are also wanting to get their hands on him. Novan grabs the server as the team once again comes under fire with another group trying to kill them but this is Section 20 – they might want to rethink that.

Brown as McAllister is a strong character who knows that every step they take could be their last yet he goes in hard. He doesn’t flinch at all when it comes down to the grit and has a stare that can freeze anyone in its way. MacPherson as Wyatt is equally as intense and knows that the mission is becoming more and more complicated as the players shift. Even with that he isn’t distracted from the goal that is plain – stop the spread of terror.

Sumarwata as Novan is strong, fast, clever and doesn’t hesitate in the slightest. She also doesn’t hesitate and makes it clear she is an intense force of nature. McKee as Reynolds communicates everything with such ease and I have to say that the scenes she shares with Sumarwata makes them such a powerful duo to watch. They are pretty awesome gals I have to say.

Gough as Rosa is a complicated character with a history that drives her to do things that would make me want to run in the opposite direction. I don’t do messy! Strepan as Josef has a magazine rack full of intensely crazed issues and he isn’t about to let anyone from Section 20 get what he wants. 

Sosanya as Donovan has a role that is strong and she knows when its time to break the rules to get the job done. Dunster as Jensen is a whiz with the technology that the crew needs to stay one step ahead of the shut down. Cerqueira as Markov seems to have something everyone wants and now we wait to see who gets it. Firth as Berisovich is a character that comes out of no where but isn’t going to go quietly!

Kelly as Lowry may only be the wife in all of this but trust me when I say she isn’t baking cookies or doing the laundry for her family – she’s got a plan and a twisted reason for it. Hany as Idrisi is the terrorist who started it all and may not realize that someone knows a little more than she does. 

HBO and Cinemax have an extensive array of critically-acclaimed and groundbreaking programs found on Bluray, DVD and Digital HD. They have provided viewers with some of the most amazing programs with huge fan bases that include the shows BANSHEE, OUTCAST and THE KNICK. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.cinemax.com. 

The Bluray includes all ten episodes of the action packed series with the Bonus Features STRIKE BACK Season 5: Declassified: Get an inside look at each episode and THE NEW TEAM: Section 20’s new team and tactics they employ to fight terrorism around the globe. 

What I love best about having the entire fifth season is grabbing season four and doing a two season binge watch! This series is filled with action and suspense always leaving you guessing who is who and why trust is tough for Section 20. This may be a new team but it certainly slides right in and doesn’t miss a beat.

The chase leads all over Europe and putting the pieces of the puzzle together isn’t about to be easy. It is warfare from start to finish and Section 20 isn’t going to go away knowing there are people out there who want to do global damage. 

Good guys, bad guy, cat and mouse – it’s all here for the watching. What has made this season even more interesting is the swap around of the female characters never really knowing who is all in and who is playing the game. I loved watching it all unfold three bags of popcorn later!

In the end – it’s a new time with the same attitude!

HBO’s SILICON VALLEY Brings Its Fifth Season to DVD

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD from HBO Home Entertainment is one of the networks most successful series with SILCON VALLEY: The Complete Fifth Season.

Things at Pied Piper are finding its speed but Dinesh (Kumail Nanjiani) and Gilfoyle (Martin Starr) are in the middle of hiring staff. Matt Belson (Matt Ross) isn’t happy about what they are doing and attempts to bring over new coders but none of them want to work on his new mainframe box. Monica (Amanda Crew) and Laurie (Suzanne Cryer) are still keeping their eyes on the bottom line. Jared (Zach Woods) wants to jump into a company that is falling by the way side and hire their employees. Optimoji’s CEO Kira agrees but wants to bring her staff along. 

Duncan isn’t going to make this easy but Richard (Thomas Middleditch) has his own idea with Sliceline and it works out with new employees and no old dead weight. Having new employees means Richard is going to have to work on his people skills. That’s causing a rift of respect and a walk out with Dinesh and Gilfoyle still standing. All of this in the midst of a little business espionage as a mole has reared its ugly head. Jian-Yang (Jimmy O. Yang) is doing just about anything he can to get a judge to agree that Erlich is dead. Agreeing to take over his problems, Jian-Yang slides right in leaving the gangs belongings outside.

Richard is invited to a party along with Jared and meets Ben Burkhart who works for Quiver and says he’s looking forward to seeing what Richard’s new project will bring. He also butters up Richard with offering to be the new COO for Pied Piper. Jared isn’t so sure this is a good idea given Ben’s history with other company’s. Belson is still trying to find ways to make a dent in Pied Pipers business by hitting them in the wallet. Ben immediately tries to pit Richard, Dinesh, Jared and Gilfoyle against each other at the same time they agree there is a leak in the company.

Richard goes around to eight other companies and sways them into being part of PiperNet. In the meantime finding the mole is left up to Jared and Gilfoyle who have to decide what to do about what they discover. In other good news Jared puts a dent in Jian-Yang’s take over of Erlich’s belongings and property but not before the little sneak takes what he wants and high tails it to China with a duplicate of Pied Pipers and Richards project.

Laurie decides to make a decision and bring in a new company to PiperNet which Richard decides is not cool with him. He can’t exactly say anything since the investment money is being spent. The new company Eklow and its CEO Ariel are about to pull more on PiperNet when more sabotage happens. Richard isn’t about to let any more craziness happen to PiperNet and gets a little creative himself. Belson moves forward with the Box 3 launch even though he momentarily thought he should leave the tech game.

Laurie has taken over as CEO of Eklow Labs when Ariel dashes with the company’s big product. Richard is getting nervous that Jian-Yang might launch his stolen ideas before PiperNet has they have a chance to get the jump. He has every right to be nervous when Belson runs into Jian-Yang and they come together to exchange information!

None of this is over when Monica discovers Laurie has been doing what they agreed not to do run ads or sell user data. Richard is not going stand for it and just when you think the parting is amicable – Laurie meets up with Yao in China.

The day has finally come and PiperNet is up and running, but what they don’t see coming is who is going to usurp 51% of the company. Laurie and Yao have made it clear that they are going to do whatever they can to keep the team sweating closure. Richard has one more ace up his sleeve – Belson! Working his charm on Belson’s ego, Laurie finds herself on the outs and Gilfoyle makes a move that surprises them all. 

That’s what happens when you keep your eye on the prize and on those who would take down!

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

The DVD includes the episodes Grow Fast or Die Slow, Reorientation, Chief Operating Officer, Tech Evangelist, Facial Recognition, Artificial Emotional Intelligence, Initial Coin Offering, and Fifty One Percent.  

SILICON VALLEY’s fifth season garnered seven Emmy nominations including Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. Brought to HBO by Mike Judge and Alec Berg, this season brings an intensity for PiperNet and the gang with enemies coming from all sides. 

The season’s half hour episodes pack in an ever changing tech landscape and it is the cast that makes it look effortless. Continuing to jump through the Silicon Valley hoops each season, it is stunning that the storyline keeps moving forward. That is they may keep moving forward but it’s not without putting out little fires that are trying to move them back.

SILICON VALLEY has taught me a lot about the tech world along with a vocabulary that I didn’t know existed. Of course the series also brought a lot of laughs as well. I constantly tell people if they want to learn about the craziness of it all they should invest in a serious marathoning of previous seasons!

In the end – the future is now!

DEADPOOL 2: Super Duper $@%!#& Cut is on Bluray Bringing Christmas in August!

Jeri Jacquin

On Bluray and Digital this week from director David Leitch, Marvel and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment comes a man who needs no introduction other than the words DEADPOOL 2.

So I thought about how to start this Bluray review and all I could think of was – GO EFFIN GET THIS MOVIE IMMEDIATELY! But the reader deserves a little better than that so here we go!

Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is back as Deadpool and he is happier than ever with gal-pal Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). On their anniversary Wade has a little something planned except his mercenary work decides to follow him home and bring mayhem along with them. 

Sending his life in a tailspin and ready to do his worst, it isn’t until Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) brings Wade back to the Xavier Mansion that he sees a use for life. Agreeing to be an X-Men trainee along with Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), they meet Russell Collins (Julian Dennison). Calling himself Firefist, he refuses to be abused any further at the orphanage.

A few bad fighting choices puts both Deadpool and Firefist in a place called the ‘Icebox’ that stores mutants. That actually makes it easier for future arrival Cable (Josh Brolin) to find his target – which isn’t Deadpool much to his disappointment – but the young Russell.

Deciding that he must help the young boy, Deadpool puts together a group he calls X-Force and begins accepting applications with buddy Weasel (T.J. Miller). Their goal is to find the prison truck transport and get Russell back. What they don’t know is that Russell finds a friend in Juggernaut, who has his own issues with super heroes. 

Cable finally tells Deadpool why he wants the boy and that he must be stopped before reaching the orphanage or there is no turning back with a future fate sealed. Now Deadpool, Cable and his new recruit lucky Domino (Zazie Beetz) face off with Russell and Juggernaut but he is too strong. Thankfully Colossus and Warhead decide that Deadpool needs their help and the battle for good and evil begins.

It’s all being done the Deadpool way!

Reynolds as Wade Wilson/Deadpool has made damn sure that no one else, ever, will be able to remake-reimagine-rethink-rediscover or “re” anything else someone might want to do in ten years. He has made this character completely iconic and absolute in the minds of everyone who loves this smart-mouthed-one-liner-wit-o-rama. It is no big secret to anyone that I’m not a huge super hero person, I mean I see the films but then it’s like ‘next!’ to me. Not DEADPOOL – this is the number one character I looked forward to seeing in DEADPOOL circa 2016 and it is like Christmas morning opening the cellophane wrapper for DEADPOOL 2: Super Duper $@%!#& Cut. There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING to complain about in this film and its Reynolds fault completely. I’m sure he won’t mind taking the blame for this one. He gives this ole lady plenty to laugh about and that’s everything when your life clock is ticking away.

Brolin as Cable has me a little perplexed. Jumping between two comic book characters just isn’t something I’m thrilled about. I’m still not over Chris Evans going from his blaze-days to Captain America and it’s been more than a hot minute. Between the two I would prefer he stay in the Cable lane but a paycheck is a paycheck right? Okay, so as Cable I love the yin and yang between him and Deadpool. They both have issues and yet play off of them providing each other with a conscience and material. 

Dennison as Russell is a kid on a mission and although he has every reason to be pretty p.o.’d, ending up with Deadpool in an icebox might be a tad worse. He is going through his terrible teens and just happens to have fist that can destroy anything in its path. Then again I know toddlers who have that same super power that Deadpool might be interested in meeting. 

Beetz as Domino doesn’t take Wade or Deadpool seriously because she’s all about proving that luck favors her own brand of coolness. She’s smooth and doesn’t ruffle easily. Hildebrand returns as Negasonic Teenage Warhead with a few surprises for her favorite DP dude. Miller as Weasel gets a moment or two to shine with his favorite stool warmer. 

Kapicic returns as the understanding and patient Colossus and I think he is the only one that truly gets Wade/Deadpool. So much so that time and time again he cuts the skin-tight-red-wonder considerable slack. Baccarin as Vanessa is back to bring positive reinforcement and a good lap dance to her favorite super hero. 

A serious shout out to Leslie Uggams as Blind Al, the one person who knows that Wade is a miserable human being sometimes yet accepts him just the same. Blind Al completes Wade/Deadpool. She might not be able to see but I’d let her defend me anytime, provided I can point the gun.

Also, Karan Soni as Dopinder finally gets the opportunity to show what he’s made of – taxi and all. Shioli Kutsuna makes an appearance as Yukio who has the cutest exchanges with Deadpool that even had me grinning a time or two. Eddie Marsan is the butt-head-master of Essex Orphanage and we all know a butt-head-master who looks like Eddie Marsan or am I reaching to far back into my childhood.

Let’s give a round of applause to Terry Crews as Bedlam, Lewis Tan as Shatterstar, Bill Skarsgard as Zeitgeist, Rob Delaney as Peter and Brad Pitt as Vanisher. Also, who can forget the amazing Jack Kesy as Black Tom Cassidy.

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

The Bluray includes a huge load of extras with Gag Reel, Deleted/Extended Scenes, Until Your Face Hurts: Alt Takes, The Most Important X-Force Member, Deadpool Family Values: Cast of Characters, David Leitch Not Lynch: Directing DP2, Audio Commentary by Ryan Reynolds, David Leitch, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, Deadpool’s Fun Sack 2 and so much more!

The Bluray also includes 2 versions of DEADPOOL 2: Super Duper $@%!#& Cut – the theatrical and unrated cut. Also, Movies Anywhere means you can literally watch your films anywhere with the App that allows you to download and stream your Digital Copy of DEADPOOL 2. 

I think I’ve made if fairly clear that I am a huge Deadpool fan and if you thought I’d be giving any spoilers out well then I’m happy to disappoint you. From the moment the film begins to its very, very, VERY end (this is my way of saying stay through the credits), Reynolds and his band of merry misfits provide such a good time that a second, third, fourth…infinite viewing is going to be required.

Laughing just as much as in the theatre, I can say that I still missed jokes and I’m fairly certain that can mean only one thing – watching it again (and again etc.). I do know that I couldn’t catch my breath most of the time which means not only was I having a good time but if I did drop dead I would be alright if it was Deadpool’s fault.

So leave the other “superheroes” to fly away in a wind of feathers (not sure what that was but if you saw that ‘other’ movie you’ll understand) and gather up everyone who needs to laugh themselves silly and make it a pizza-ordering-beer-drinking night with people who are as twisted as we are for DEADPOOL 2: Super Duper $@%!#& Cut. 

Have an extraordinary experience and remember he’s only here to show you a good time and by Blind Al I’m going to let him – again and again.

In the end – experience your second time like it was your first!

See it all Happen Again as AVENGERS: Infinity War Comes to Bluray

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray from directors Anthony Russo, Joe Russo and Marvel Studios is the reuniting of super heroes against a common enemy with AVENGERS: Infinity War. 

Thanos (voiced by Josh Brolin) is on the move looking for the Infinity Stones. Already acquiring the Power Stone, along with Ebony Maw (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor), Cull Obsidian (Terry Notary), Proxima Midnight (Carrie Coon) and Corvus Glaive (Michael James Shaw), Thanos finds Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and takes him.

The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) is sent through space landing in New York City finding Dr. Strange to warn him of what is happening. In turn, Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) finds Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) as the other Avengers begin to understand what Thanos is doing. No one is safe as Midnight and Glaive attack Vision (Paul Bettany) to get the Mind Stone as Steve Rogers aka Captain America (Chris Evans) tries to get to them first. 

Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff), Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel) are in Thanos’ line of site as well when he kidnaps Gamora much to the dismay of her sister Nebula (Karen Gillan). He knows he must use her to retrieve the Soul Stone. Stark and Peter Parker aka Spider-Man (Tom Holland) are equally under pressure trying to rescue Dr. Strange but it may be for naught trying to protect the Time Stone. 

Coming together with T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and the people of Wakanda, an epic battle begins bringing War Machine (Don Cheadle), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Okoye (Danai Gurira), M’Baku (Winston Duke) in on the fight. 

Giving their all is worth every moment of the fight to stop Thanos!

This is such a huge cast that it would take pages and pages to talk about each one but let me give it a shot. Brolin as Thanos does an amazing job voicing the villain that takes the whole 149 minutes changing the landscape of the Marvel Universe. Not a bad role to have on your resume eh?

Of course Downey, Jr. as Ironman is always going to get high praise from me because I’m a huge Ironman fan as well as a Downey, Jr. fan. Yes, it is possible for a person who reviews films to have favorites…my list is endless actually. Hemsworth as Thor puts in his hard time in the film with no as many laughs as THOR: Ragnarok although there were a few in the midst of the darkest film. 

Cumberbatch as Dr. Strange is the calm in the group knowing what has to be done and understands that sacrifice might be inevitable. Ruffalo as Bruce Banner aka The Hulk is back in his less than green skin to be able to warn everyone of what is coming. Holland as Spider-Man is making a name for himself as a kid who is growing up and catching on quickly. Evans as Captain America has to put his feelings aside and make what is happening right before it gets out of hand. 

Chris Pratt as Quill gets his comedic moments but at the same time he jumps in like a kid who wants to do the right thing, Saldana as Gamora had to face Thanos some time and it looks like now is as good of a time as any, Bautista as Drax is the guy you want on your side always, and Klementieff as Mantis brings her gifts to the big show as well. 

Cooper as Rocket never fails to teach me a thing or two about space raccoons and cracks me up at the same time, Diesel as Groot is doing teen time and needs a time out and Gillan as Nebula changes her spots. 

Boseman as T’Challa (Chadwick) bring the people of Wakanda into the fight and they are more than ready for it. Of course Gurira as Okoye is as good with her Wakandan weaponry as she is with her sword on AMC’s The Walking Dead. Ironman can always count on Cheadle bringing War Machine to the party, Mackie takes flight as Falcon and Duke as M’Baku is in on the fight. 

Oh okay, lets talk Loki! Hiddleston is now and will forever be Loki and find myself constantly forgiving him for his indiscretions towards his brother, dad and his entire home planet. Am I letting him off to easy? Nahhhhhhh. 

Other cast include Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch, Winter Soldier as Sebastian Stan, Heimdall as Idris Elba, Peter Dinklage as Eitri, Benedict Wong as Wong, Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, Benicio Del Toro as The Collector and, of course, Stan Lee as the Bus Driver.

Marvel Studios has released sixteen films since 2008 in what is known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel is built on a library of over eight thousand characters featured in a variety of media content for over seventy years. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.marvel.com. 

The Multi-Screen Edition of Bluray with Digital Code using Movies Anywhere or iTunes also includes the Special Features of Bonus Extras of Intro by Directors Joe and Anthony Russo, Strange Alchemy –Explore the New Team-Ups and Analyze How These Creative Choices Will Influence the Future of the Universe, The Mad Titan – Delve into the MCU’s Biggest, Baddest Villain and the Events He’s Orchestrated Throughout the Films, Beyond the Battle: Wakanda, Beyond the Battle: Titan, Gag Reel, Deleted Scenes, Audio Commentary – By Joe and Anthony Russo, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.

Marvel Studios AVENGERS: Infinity War is an epic film that carries an epic cast which means you better take notes! There is constant action, suspense and everything fans have come to expect from the MCU. 

I must admit that this particular film had my jaw dropping a few times and I caught myself cheering a time or two. These Marvel characters are definitely putting it all out there in this film with an ending that shocked even me!

Yes, that’s all I’m going to tell you because, as with all Marvel films, it must be seen to be believed. Now on epic Bluray which means with a great sound bar and a big home screen, you can watch your favorite (or maybe not so favorite) superheroes go at it again and again because we know there is more to this story (especially if you have seen ANT MAN & THE WASP!).

In the end – it’s a fight for the entire universe once and for all! 

HERE AND NOW Brings A Series with a New Reality on DVD!

Jeri Jacquin

This week on DVD and Digital from HBO Home Entertainment and creator Alan Ball is a series that shows us a family dealing with HERE AND NOW.

Audrey Bayer (Holly Hunter) and husband Greg Boatwright (Tim Robbins) pride themselves on having a very strong family living in Portland, Oregon. Three grown children adopted Ashley (Jerrika Hinton) from Liberia, Duc (Raymond Lee) from Vietnam, and Ramon (Daniel Zovatto) from Colombia are joined by biological daughter 17 year-old Kristen (Sosie Bacon).

Greg is a philosophy professor who is badly preparing for his 60th birthday with an Asian prostitute heads home as the family prepares for a big party. Ashley, an already busy fashion designer who is married to Malcolm (Joe Williamson) and raising their young daughter helps and son Duc is a motivational speaker who seems to be missing something in his relationship with Greg but wishes Dad a happy birthday anyway.

Audrey is beyond thrilled when Ramon brings his new boyfriend Henry (Andy Bean) to the party and Kristen is interested in the model Ashley has brought to the party. All is going well until it’s time for the speech and Greg lets out his demons. That all comes to an abrupt halt when Ramon lets out demons of his own!

Greg and Audrey take Ramon to see Dr. Shokrani (Peter Macdissi), a therapist who is shocked almost immediately at what he has to say. Telling him of visions of things he knows can’t really be there, Shokrani isn’t sure how to handle it at first. Audrey, being a former therapist, is immediately sure that Ramon is suffering from schizophrenia since her brother Ike (Ted Levine) suffers from the condition.

Wanting her son on medication immediately, it is Ramon that takes the reigns of his treatment and how he wants to handle it. But the young man and his doctor think there is something much deeper in what others think is Ramon’s ‘illness’. After the mess at Greg’s party, Kristen turns to Ashley for sisterly help and it lands them in jail. 

Still reeling from turning 60, Greg is attending an ethic convention and things get a little sideways during his panel discussion. If the family didn’t have enough problems, Audrey tries to defend an event at her school but finds she is the scapegoat. Out on her own and with Greg’s support, Audrey wants to start an initiative to help kids handle their differences but they need funding. There only shot is an old friend Steven Benjamin (Trent Garrett) from Berkley who is rolling in dollars. 

Ashley and Malcolm screw up Haley’s party and turn to the family who makes them crazy to instead make an awesome birthday for their daughter. The day is going so well as everyone is getting along and enjoying each other’s company. Later in the day Ramon has another episode. 

Dr. Shokrani doesn’t know how to handle the connection he feels he has with Ramon and wife Layla (Necar Zadegan) has had just about enough of it. She suggests that he step away from it all but he isn’t listening. Heading for a gaming expo that would make his career, Ramon is doing well until – he isn’t. Rescued by Greg, both parents are frustrated with the lack of progress helping their son.

Audrey isn’t handling home life any better when she discovers what Greg has been up to. So much so that she starts flirting with Benjamin as her silent anger towards Greg has to go someplace. Kristen knows something is happening at home but she’s got bigger problems when the school girl bully’s try to pin racist spray painting on her. 

Kristen meets Dr. Shokrani’s son Navid (Marwan Salama) and an interesting relationship as well as a partner-in-crime situation begins to emerge and his therapist father isn’t happy about it. Especially when the two push their agenda on some at school who hurt them both.

Continuing to help Ramon, Greg and Audrey begin looking through their adoption files to see if there is anything they can uncover to help. What they uncover pushes them both to deal with the naïve way they once were. Ashley has been offered a great deal which might give her more time with the family – eventually. 

Dr. Shokrani can not seem to grasp what is happening now with what happened to him as a child. He returns to doing something that Layla and Navid can no longer stand by and watch happen. Shokrani turns to someone that even Layla would never see coming.

The visions are becoming regular now and during a family celebration for Kristen, Ramon is in the backyard tree house with his niece Haley. Fearing fire, he immediately drops the young girl out of the tree house causing the family to go on alert. Ramon takes off wanting to be left alone feeling his family is just to close.

Duc and Dad Greg look for Ramon but end up hashing out their family laundry in public. Calling out one another on their issues, Duc turns to Carmen who seems to be the only person that sees who he is and makes very little judgment about it.

At home, Ramon once again sees something on his computer that sets his feet on the road with a message to go to the mountain top. When Greg receives a phone call from Ike, he believes that there is something Ike knows that can help with Ramon. 

All of this leads to something that only Ramon and Ike saw coming – maybe now they will believe!

Hunter as Audrey is an absolute control freak and with that being said let me just say I couldn’t be happier to see her on the screen again. As Audrey she constantly feels the need to control everything about everyone in order to feel at peace with herself. What she fails to realize is that that same control is pushing everyone away – including her own husband who loves her dearly.

Robbins as Greg is a man realizing his own mortality even if he does try to hide it behind his philosophy degree. He is more laid back than his wife, clearly, but still struggles to decide what being 60 means for him. As family and friends begin to worry a little, Greg focuses on his son and trying to play a more active role in his kids lives. Greg loves his wife, he’s just stupid is all and I’ve seen enough of that in real life to kind of cut this character a little slack – only a little though.

Hinton as Ashley is trying to be all things to all people. A good daughter to her white parents, a good wife to her white husband, a good Mom to her daughter Haley and a great business woman. The problem is she is being pulled in all directions which means she isn’t sure who she is or what she believes about anything. I love this character but there comes a time when it’s okay to go a little nuts and Ashley needs to do that – just one good blow out. Williamson as husband Malcolm just wants what is best for his family – and is more forgiving about some of Ashley’s behavior than most husbands would be.

Lee as Duc thinks he has everyone figured out and makes observations so cut and dry. He wants to be the best motivational speaker and encourage others to have a good life. The problem is that the teacher isn’t following his own advice. Slowly it all begins to shift and he has to deal with the childhood memories that seem to plague him both mentally and physically. 

Zovatto as Ramon has the most complex character (although they are all pretty complex actually) with his extremely deep love of family and the new idea that he might be mentally ill. No one seems to believe what he is telling them and Mom wants to medicate him before he becomes like her brother Ike. Even boyfriend Henry brings a whole new bag of problems to an already disturbing situation. I think Ramon handles it all better than everyone else around him and trust when I say there are people around him that are truly disturbed!

Bacon as Kristen is the baby in a family of adults and she thinks they all have it so together. Imagine her surprise when she figures out that they have the same identity problems as she does. Just because you are a biological child in a family doesn’t mean it always works in your favor. Seeking out relationships in different ways, Kristen begins to understand how the world works and she isn’t thrilled at all.

Macdissi as Dr. Shokrani begins as a therapist who wants to help Ramon discover what is causing his visions but soon discovers that there is a wider connection between the two men. This is such a sad character to watch as he begins to experience a little of what Ramon is going through but his wife doesn’t really hear what he is trying to explain. There is something in his childhood that has never truly left Shokrani and its back with a vengeance. 

Zadegan as Layla is a woman who doesn’t like to make waves but instead live her life as true as she can. Her faith is something that sustains her even if it is distasteful to her husband Shokrani. She also accepts her son for who he is and what he believes about himself. Salama as Navid is exploring who he is but because of his beliefs he must hide just about every part of who he is. His friendship with Kristen is very important as they both explore what it is they want.

Levine as Ike takes a whack at trying to explain to Greg that Ramon isn’t crazy, he just knows something that other people don’t. As he tries once again to explain it to Greg, he sees something in his brother-in-laws eyes that says ‘this guy may not be crazy after all!’. 

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

The Bluray includes the episodes Eleven Eleven, It’s Coming, If a Deer Shits in the Woods, Hide and Seek, From Sun Up to Sun Down, Fight Death, Wake, Yes, Dream Logic, and It’s Here.

HBO’s HERE and NOW is a series that just hits the ground running and does so many twists and turns without ever stopping the running game. I know I had a big question mark over my head the first two episodes and then I had to binge watch the rest. There was no way I was going to sleep without knowing what in the hell was going on with this family.

Oh yes, they have the ‘normal’ family issues of life, love, family and relationships that are always filled with complications. Then you add the family dynamic, diversity, potential mental issues, lies, deceptions, hurt, memories and all the rest along with a bit of perhaps psychic stuff and boom – you have a snappy series on your hands!

Each one of these characters is deep in the telling and can not be removed without messing up the house of cards. It is watching some grow up, some remembering growing up, some dealing with pretending and some just dealing that makes this show riveting to watch.

Creator Alan Ball is known the film AMERICAN BEAUTY and the series that will forever be in my heart (and the soundtrack is still in my player) TRUE BLOOD. Winning award after award for his work, it is clear that he has the uncanny ability to write scripts about things that dance on the line of real and strange – both of which I’m absolutely okay with.

So if you are looking to indulge in something that can only be called a family-hot-mess-of-strange then HERE AND NOW is definetly for you. The DVD comes with all ten episodes so you can binge like I did and walk away asking yourself “who do I have to slap around to get more?”

In the end – we are living in a new reality!

The World Records Everything and Sometimes it Leads to THE BIG TAKE

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD from writer/director Justin Daly and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is one video and THE BIG TAKE.

Douglas Brown (James McCaffrey) is a huge Hollywood actor who has a night that he wants to forget. Vic (Slate Holmgren) has cameras running at the Universe Club and Brown has no idea what’s about to happen. Vic confiscates the incriminating video and has a serious plan.

Working on getting financing for their film The Night of the Fire, Vic hits up Max (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) with the good news that Brown will be a silent partner financing their film. The one condition, says Vic, is that Brown wants to remain anonymous. What Max doesn’t know is that Vic is blackmailing Brown for $200,000. 

Brown turns to his agent who in turn hires Frank Manascalpo (Dan Hedaya) who has seen worse in his day. Bea (Tara Westwood) works with Frank and knows the works at the Universal Club and discovers the missing hard drive from the security camera. She also discovers that underneath the ransom note is a clue leading to Max.

Frank talks to Max about what he knows and that’s where the confusion comes in. Frank wants to know what Max knows and Max doesn’t understand why the actor is going back on his anonymity. That’s about the time Max’s hot wife Oxana (Oksana Lada) comes to the rescue. 

Now Frank has to call in a specialist, Edie (Zoe Bell) has the look of someone you never want to deal with and she charges accordingly. Soon after Frank receives a call from Detective Aborn (Robert Forster) saying that Max and Oxana want to discuss a film project. Frank is seriously confused by it all and tries to call off Edie but she has plans of her own.

Gathering up the players, Edie wants to know what is happening, Max wants to know where Oxana is, Vic is wrapped up tight and Brown can’t explain why his money is in Panama. Confused yet? So is everyone else but sometimes confusion comes with the movie making territory!

Moss-Bachrach as Max is an easy going writer who just wants to get a movie made. Little does he know that he’s about to mentally go around in circles thanks to his buddy. 
Thinking he has been set up by Brown in some way, he tries to get answers that only make things a little worse. Moss-Bachrach is endearing and confused which is a good combination when you can pull it off which he does.

McCaffrey as Brown starts out the film with something that will shock him the next morning. Of course the film isn’t specific but I’m sure by the look on the faces of everyone who sees the blackmail DVD, it’s epic cause for disaster. McCaffrey is funny and plays this character as a man who has double worries – money in Panama and a nasty DVD. Forster as Det. Aborn is more confused than anyone else in the film and rightly so.

Hedaya as Frank is smart but not quick or else he wouldn’t have gotten a smack down. His call for back up brings Bell as Edie who is a tad curious of a character and totally psycho. Well done Bell!

Lada as Oxana is happy with her music and being skimpy for her husband but has no problem what so ever wielding a gun or loaded fire extinguisher. Holmgren as Vic is that friend you have to keep an eye out on – all the time! He wants to get the film made and will do pretty much anything to make it happen. 

Other cast include John Enose III as Rick, Joslyn Jensen as Laura, Taylor Black as Brigitte, Nick Daly as Wade and Matthew Kehoe as Matt.

THE BIG TAKE is a cheeky movie within a movie that has a lot going on for it. First of all, a hilarious cast of characters that truly have no idea what is going on. The one person who does ends up knocked out in the hospital and can’t straight anything out. 

That being said, it’s also a film about the misunderstandings of people who are doing shady stuff! The only innocent people in all this are Max and Oxana and I give them props for not letting anything or anyone get the better of them. 

The film made me chuckle a lot and found myself talking to the screen and I have to admit I actually enjoy doing that. Director Justin Daly comes from a film making legacy as his grandmother is screen legend Ingrid Bergman. He is currently working on his next feature film.

In the end – sometimes you gotta do a little killing to make a living!

SUPER TROOPERS 2 Comes To Bluray with Even More Laughs

Jeri Jacquin

Yes, it's true - the boys with badges are back again on Bluray/DVD and Digital with writer/director Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter and Erik Stolhanske (aka the Broken Lizard gang) along with 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is SUPER TROOPERS 2.

It has been a while since we last saw our favorite Vermont State Troopers as they have moved on since the Fred Savage incident. A telephone call from Captain O'Hagan (Brian Cox) is about to change their down trodden lives. Telling Mac (Steve Lemme), Rabbit (Erik Stolhanske), Foster (Paul Soter) and Thorny (Jay Chandrasekhar) to meet him in Canada for a fishing trip. The thing is that it turns out the boys are the catch of the day. Oh yes, and Farva (Kevin Heffernan).

The Captain along with Governor Jessman (Lynda Carter) has a proposal for them, discovering the lines between the United States and Canada are all messed up, it seems that a piece of Canada is about to become a piece of the United States...follow? Good, keep up because this is where it gets good.

The Governor puts the gang back in uniform and introduces them to Mountie Podien (Hayes MacArthur), Bellefuille (Tyler Labine) and Archambault (Will Sasso) who aren't thrilled at all about the changes coming. They are introduced to the town hockey hero Guy LeFranc (Rob Lowe) who owns the town bar & bordello and Genevieve Aubois (Emmanuelle Chriqi) who seems to be the only welcoming person.

As the changes begin to happen, like changing road way signs and listen to Canadians make it clear that the boys aren't wanted - they discover crates of illegal guns, phones and weapons. Not sure exactly what is happening, they start searching for who is responsible while, at the same time, deal with the barrage of shenanigans from their Mountie counterparts.

They may not be average law enforcement but one thing is for sure - they never quite!

Cox as O'Hagan is happy to bring his boys back together and this time completely understands that they aren't about to change their antics. Believing in second chances he's fully on board. Chandrasekhar as Thorny brings his mustache back into play and doesn't hesitate to take on Mounties or a bag of female hormone therapy (which is more than hilarious). I just love his laid back attitude and straight faced one liners.

Lemme as Mac is thrilled to be back and when the mystery of crates comes about, he is on the case. Stolhanske as Rabbit is on his game and not just solving the crate case as a certain French woman has his full and upright attention. Soter as Foster is definitely one of the boys and follows them and I secretly think hoping it will lead to even more trouble. 

Heffernan as Farva doesn't need a gun fired to get him off and running. I believe the best part of Farva being in Canada is - yes, his happiness in discovering there is somewhere in the world where you can get a liter of liquid. Heffernan is hilarious without question.

MacArthur as Podien, Labine as Bellefuille and Sasso as Archambault are proud of being Mounties and even prouder that their town has a bar and bordello. I have to say I loved their way of handling the Vermont crew. If it is possible to have Canadian twins, these guys are it for the American boys.

Lowe as LeFranc has a horribly funny Canadian accent but then again he does play a former hero hockey player AND is the owner of the bar and bordello so actually I found myself nodding, 'cool'. Lowe has still got it and I love when the takes roles that are just out and out fun to do. Chriqui as Genevieve wants to make the guys welcome, especially one warm and fuzzy guy.

Cameos and other cast include Seann William Scott as Trooper Callaghan, Clifton Collins Jr. as the Bus Driver, Damon Wayans Jr. as Trooper Wagner, Bruce McCulloch as Officer Lloyds, Paul Hauser as Lonnie Laloush, Jim Gaffigan as Larry Johnson, Marisa Coughlan as Ursula along with Lynda Carter and Fred Savage.

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

The Bluray and DVD include the special features of Making SUPER TROOPERS 2, Extended & Deleted Scenes, Kevin Heffernan: Method Actor and Theatrical Trailer. Included is Movies Anywhere which means you have options where you can enjoy your films so check that out.

SUPER TROOPERS came out in 2001 and here it is seventeen years later and these gents don't miss a beat. The comedy is on point, the gags are awesome, the band is back together and I don't know anyone who isn't thrilled about that fact. Simply stated, the anticipation for SUPER TROOPERS 2 was huge and worth the wait. There isn't one single thing about the film that doesn't bring about fits of laughter.

What really made it all worth the wait is that the Broken Lizard bang didn't try to reinvent the comedy wheel. Instead, they brought in subtle remembrances from 2001, kept the story close to what each character is known for and I am absolutely okay with both of those things. Watching the film again now on Bluray, it feels like comedy home and hilariously comfortable. 

Okay, so I've watched the Bluray several times and I can pretty much guarantee I'll be watching it more than a couple time in the future. SUPER TROOPERS 2 is a comedy that brings the laughs with ease and brings friends together for a double feature night of fun! Quite honestly I am secretly hoping the Broken Lizard boys are locked away somewhere in a secret location working on a script for a SUPER TROOPERS 3...a girl can dream right?

I might have the opportunity to ask just that as this week kicks off Comic Con here in San Diego. Seems The Broken Lizard Comedy Team will be at the Horton Grand Theatre on Saturday, July 21st. The team of Jay, Kevin, Steve, Paul and Erik will be sharing their stories and that’s when I’ll sneak in my question!

In the end - the mustache rides again!

BREAKING IN Breaks in on Bluray with an Unrated Director’s Cut

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray/DVD and Digital in an Unrated Director’s Cut (also includes Theatrical Version) from director James McTeigue and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is a fight when BREAKING IN.

Shaun (Gabrielle Union) learns her father has died and returns home to settle his affairs. Bringing along daughter Jasmine (Ajiona Alexus) and son Glover (Seth Carr), she is glad for the company.

Arriving at the house, Shaun sees that some things are out of the norm. Brushing it off just as quickly, what she fails to notice is that four men have quietly made their way onto the property and toward the house.

Eddie (Billy Burke), Sam (Levi Meaden), Peter (Mark Furze) and Duncan (Richard Cabral) are there for one thing and one thing only – what ever is in the home safe. First, they have to discover where in the house it is located.

Shaun immediately tries to fight back but finds herself on the outside while Eddie holds her children hostage on the inside. It becomes a game of cat and mouse but this cat has the claws and isn’t afraid to use them.

Now the battle between Mother and criminal begins!

Union as Shaun is clearly a mother tiger when it comes to her children. She is also clever and takes a hot second to think things through. With every move she makes, the burglars keep pace but they aren’t a mother – just greedy criminals. Union gives it her all and does what she must to end the nightmare.

Burke as Eddie has proven over and over that he can play the ‘nicest guy’ characters and equally ply a despicable criminal. In this case he is a laser focused criminal who just wants to get in and get out. It is the company he keeps and Shaun slowing him down at every turn. I have to be honest – I just love Burke.

Cabral as Duncan is also an actor that has no problem turning on the psycho full blast. In this film he is absolutely terrifying. I kept thinking he didn’t need a weapon because his looks could absolutely kill! I’m excited to see what he does as one of the MC boys in the new series MAYANS M.C. coming this fall to television.

Alexus as Jasmine could easily be Union’s daughter looking like her spitting image. She also has the same mindset in her character as a smart and determined daughter and sister. Carr as Glover tries to keep it all together but lets fact it – he’s a kid and there is a lot to be scared of. 

Meaden as Sam isn’t down for what’s happening while trying not to make Eddie or Duncan any angrier than they already are! As the situation becomes more complex – the more panicked he becomes. Furze as Peter doesn’t have an easy time of it and hangs on throughout the film.

Other cast include Jason George as Justin Russell, Christa Miller as Maggie Harris and Damien Leake as Isaac.

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

The Bluray and DVD include Alternate Opening – The Gas Station with Commentary by Director James McTeigue and Scriptwriter Ryan Eagle, One Bad Mother – Gabrielle Union shows that there is no limit to what a threatened mother will do to keep her children safe, and why a woman on a mission should never be underestimated, A Filmmaker’s Eye – The crew explores what makes Director James McTeigue’s vision and style uniquely valuable when it comes to creating the right mood for the film and A Lesson in Kicking Ass – a behind-the-scenes look at how physically demanding the role of Shaun was for Gabrielle Union, and the steps production took to ensure the most convincing execution of the stunts throughout the film.

Also, A Hero Evolved – An inspiring account of how leading roles are shifting to embrace the qualities that more diverse actors can bring to the table, Deleted and Extended Scenes as well as Feature Commentary by Director James McTeigue and Scriptwriter Ryan Engle. 

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. To find out more please visit www.moviesanywhere.com. 

BREAKING IN is a story of survival and the strength of family. These stories are popular with the example of the 1974 horror classic BLACK CHRISTMAS or 2002 film PANIC ROOM. More recently is the 2016 film DON’T BREATHE and the 2017’s film KEEP WATCHING.

This film uses the mother-tiger story because we all know a movie mom has no problem what-so-ever putting on a Super Mom cape and go full on parent. Taking chances and risks are calculating in the middle of chaos yet Union takes a moment to catch her breath then back to the action.

In its one hour and twenty-seven minutes there isn’t much down time and why would there be? The actions and re-actions are swift like watching a professional ping-pong game. 

In the end – payback is a mother!

TO AUSCHWITZ and BACK: The Joe Engel Story 

Jeri Jacquin

Currently on DVD from Ron Small, Anchor Media Group and the Holocaust Education Film Foundation is the amazing story TO AUSCHWITZ and BACK: The Joe Engel Story.

Joe Engel has an incredible story to tell in this documentary. He begins telling the story of his family in Zakroczym, Poland in 1927. They lived ten miles from the train station and his father used a team of horses to get anywhere. He learned early that being Jewish was a painful experience recalling when they were required to wear the yellow Star of David and others who were taken out and shot.

In the Warsaw Ghetto, the Nazi’s took all their belongings and they spent a two day train ride arriving in a demolished city. The war had taken its toll leaving them with no electricity or running water with 20-30 people to a room. Living in fear of the Gestapo, they also feared the Jewish police who were equally as cruel.

He tells about the loading of the trains with people from the Ghetto not knowing where they were going but knowing they didn’t return. Eventually, Joe was 14 when they came for him separating the entire family. The train he rode on arrived at Birkenau to see the ironwork sign ARBEIT MACHT FREI (If you work hard enough you might survive) and after having his head shaved and tattooed with a number, he learned that Joseph Mengle was there as well.

Thousands and thousands of Jews were dispersed throughout the camps and Joe was the third person in a four bunk bed. Living in the cold the got up at 5 a.m. for roll call and for breakfast a slice of bread and they were set to work. Coming home at days end everything was done in reverse. 

One day soldiers came looking for volunteers to go to Auschwitz and believing that Birkenau was the worse place on earth, Joe agreed to go. He learned to lay bricks and eat a little better but he also saw people starving and dying before his eyes. If anyone was sick, the doctor would report them to the Germans. 

Joe is horrified still that one man could have such control over the German people causing them to treat fellow human beings with such atrocity. He learned himself of that cruelty when he was punished for an infraction yet he survived. 

In January of 1945, Joe was 17 and was forced on the Death March where trains were waiting to take them to Germany. The trains did not have any roofs and it was snowing so feeling he had nothing to lose, Joe escaped. Now he is learning survival of a different kind not know who to trust.

He meets a man who introduces him to the Resistance and he becomes a freedom fighter going on missions to bomb German police stations. The Liberation in 1945 by the Red Army, he ate well for the first time since he could remember. Returning home, Joe was hoping that everyone would return to their home town. In the months that followed, no one came home. He left for the American DP camps until they sent him to the United States. Finding family in the U.S., he ended up in South Carolina.

After the war, Joe discovers that his some of his family survived the Holocaust but they wanted to know how he survived! As a way to never forget, his nephew Dr. Michael Engel tattooed the number 84009 – the number Joe was given when he arrived at the concentration camp.

In Charleston, South Carolina there is a wall that is in memory of six million Jews who suffered at the hands of the Nazis. Joe believes it is very important to not forget the past but remind ourselves so that it will never happen to anyone else in the future. 

The Holocaust Education Film Foundation was established in 2018 and has built an international, interactive online community one Holocaust survivor at a time. Through full-length documentaries, distributed globally through numerous platforms, the online site and educational programs, the 501c3 foundation seeks to ensure that we never forget.

TO AUSCHWITZ AND BACK: The Joe Engel Story is a story told exactly as it happened to a very young man in 1927 Poland. Joe tells it with such memorable detail that I could not help but soak in every word he said. Even when talking about what he did in the resistance, Joe held my attention as if holding my chin with his own hands and looking into my eyes. 

It is that presence that brings Joe’s story the ability to reach deep down and remind us that those who died are to be honored and those who lived should be listened to with every fiber of our being. Thank you Joe, thank you. 

The desert will bloom with flowers. It will be very glad and shout with joy! (Isaiah 35:2) and in that – Joe blooms.



This Doctor Brings a DEATH WISH to Bluray

Jeri Jacquin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is a Life of Discover with LOVE, SIMON

Jeri Jacquin

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

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

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

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

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

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

He’s done keeping his story straight!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the end – everyone deserves a great love story!

RED SPARROW Brings Twists and Vengeance

Jeri Jacquin

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

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

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

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

But they’ve never met this Red Sparrow!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy 30th Anniversary as
DIE HARD is Back on Bluray and Digital This Week!

Jeri Jacquin

Celebrating its 30 Year Anniversary this week on Bluray and Digital from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and director John McTiernan is the iconic and absolutely beloved classic action hero who is just one big DIE HARD.

John McClane (Bruce Willis) is visiting his family who have moved to the California Coast. Estranged wife Holly Gennaro (Bonnie Bedelia) is working for the Nakatomi Corporation and Mr. Takagi (James Shigeta) this sets John's ever loving badge on edge. Yes, he is a New York City cop and darn proud of it too. It is the Christmas season so he's being as gracious as he can at his wife's party.

What he doesn’t yet know is that a group of terrorists led by Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) are about to make John's visit a whole lot more interesting. Along with Hans is Karl (Alexander Godunov), Marco (Lorenzo Caccialanza) Franco (Bruno Doyon), and computer wizard Theo (Clarence Gilyard Jr.) all of who are not going to let anyone get in their way. 

Their will might be strong but John McClane's is much stronger! He realizes that the party has been raided and hides from the gang hoping limo driver Argyle (De'voreaux White) might have heard the commotion. John comes face to face with one of Hans' gang and when he can't get any help from the outside - he creates it getting the attention of off-duty cop Sgt. Al Powell (Reginald VelJohnson).Now it's a party!

The LAPD is on full alert with Al keeping communication open with John, who he now refers to as 'Roy', but it doesn't stop DP Chief Dwayne T. Robinson (Paul Gleason) from trying to muck up the works. All of the action gets the attention of hungry journalist Richard Thornburg (William Atherton) who immediately takes a crew to Nakatomi Plaza and begins recording everything that happens.

What's happening is that John McClane isn't sitting idly by while waiting for the LAPD to figure out its next move. Instead, he goes floor by floor drawing out who these guys are and taking them down one by one if he has to. This isn't all sitting to well with Hans, especially when he realizes that John has a bag of goods he needs. 

While all of this is happening, Holly is keeping the hostages calm - and a secret! A final showdown means John and Hans are going to finish what was started!

Willis as McClane is smart, funny, witty and in 1988 brought a brand of action hero that turned this role iconic in every way. Of course many of us were already in love with Willis but man did this character seal the deal. I think what made everyone falls for McClane was the average-Joe persona that was relatable. Here is a cop having martial problems with a bit of an ego who just happens to still love his wife and know how to do his job. Both of those things were necessary to draw us all into a building of chaos. Now, what makes this even cooler is that John McClane, whether intentional or not, became a Christmas staple in many households (including mine). There was no turkey without McClane in Nakatomi Plaza and here it is all these years later and still happening. 

Rickman as Hans is absolutely breathtaking to watch. He is the ultimate criminal but damn is he cool as a cucumber (even when he's not) and looks good in a suit. The scene between Hans and McClane on the rooftop is perfection for both of these actors but I give Rickman one up for whipping out his 'American' accent with no struggle at all. This was probably my first introduction to Rickman and I enjoyed his performance so much that I went looking for other things he had done and followed him ever since. Rickman went toe to toe with Willis and wasn't going to fall without a fight.

Bedelia as Holly knows her husband can be difficult but when she needed him to be 'himself' the most McClane comes through with flying colors. Her amusement on her face when realizing that John was upsetting the terrorists is classic! VelJohnson as Sgt. Powell is McClane's link to the outside world and that isn't always a good thing. VelJohnson adds his humor, honesty and concern on his sleeve for a man he doesn't know yet feels a connection too. It's the beginning of an awesome buddy situation that will come to play again later.

The a-hole group is as follows beginning with Atherton as Thornburg. I mean lets just say it out right now - this guy is becomes the poster dude for the reason people don't like reporters. We all get satisfaction at the hands of Bedelia so there's that! Gleason as Robinson is just a douche, let's get that right! There is always one and Gleason's character is absolutely it. Bochner as Ellis is another douche but his pearly whites and narcissism doesn't help him in the slightest. 

Terrorist shout out to Godunov as Karl the tall psycho who clearly has anger issues. Then again it doesn't help with your pulling a heist and your brother gets capped in the first 10 minutes. He has a grudge and revenge is his new mission and Goduov gives it everything. On a side note - this role shows a crazy side and only two years earlier shows his comedic side in the 1986 film THE MONEY PIT which is one of my all time favorites. Leong as Uli makes a heist and a candy bar worthy of a giggle.

Davi as Special Agent Johnson is a psycho of another kind looking for any reason to go rogue and Bush as the other Special Agent Johnson loves saying 'no relation' when introducing himself and his partner. White as Argyle has his own little show going on in the basement and reminds us all from time to time that he's there!

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 Commentary by Director John McTiernan and Production Designer Jackson DeGovia, Scene-Specific Commentary by Special Effects Supervisor Richard Edlund, Subtitle Commentary by Various Cast and Crew, The News Casts Featurette, Interactive Still Gallery, Interactive Articles from Cinefex and American Cinematographer, Full-Length Screenplay, Trailers and Television Spots.

Other cast include Andreas Wisniewski as Tony, Joey Plewa as Alexander, Hans Buhringer as Fritz, Matt Landers as Capt. Mitchell, Carmine Zozzora as Rivers, Dustyn Taylor as Ginny, David Ursin as Harvey Johnson, and Mary Ellen Trainor as Gail Wallens.

DIE HARD is just a fantastic piece of filmmaking that has brought us all iconic lines "Yipee-ki-yay mf", "oh, these are very bad for you", "come out to the coast, we'll get together, have a few laughs" and I will admit to using them all from time to time. The film doesn't waste any time or any frame which makes every minute of this film just loads of excitement, laughs and cheers for the good guys!

Here is some trivia about the nominations and awards won by DIE HARD. Nominated for Best Effects, Visual Effects, Best Sound, Best Editing by the Academy Awards, also nominated for awards from the DVD Exclusive Awards, and Edgar Allan Poe Awards. There were many awards won from the Awards of the Japanese Academy, Blue Ribbon Awards, BMI Film & TV Awards, Hochi Film Awards, Kinema Junpo Awards, National Film Preservation Board and Motion Picture Sound Editors Award.

It has been 30 years since John McClane came into our lives and he hasn't been out of our hearts. In 1990 John and Holly are back with another encounter in tight spaces with DIE HARD 2, in 1995 Die Hard with a Vengeance hit theatres, in 2007 we were told to LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD and in 2013 it all came together with A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD. In each of these films there is a bad guy but one thing doesn't change - John McClane. We all have Bruce Willis to thank for bringing us all in for the ride of our lives.

Now, DIE HARD is on Bluray which means that the action is brighter, the chaos is crisper and its just frakken fabulous all the way around. Make sure to get your Bluray of DIE HARD and celebrate other holidays with it as well.

In the end - the thrill is back and his name is McClane!

SPINNING MAN Brings Unexpected Twists

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray/DVD and Digital from director Simon Kaijser and Lionsgate comes the story of what happens when what you believe and what is real can cause one to become a SPINNING MAN.

Evan Birch (Guy Pearce) is a philosophy college professor living with wife Ellen (Minnie Driver) and daughter Zelda (Eliza Pryor) and son Adam (Noah Salsbury Lipson). Life is idyllic until a young high school cheerleader goes missing bringing Det. Robert Malloy (Pierce Brosnan) on the case.

Evan goes about his business until there is a knock on his door asking to search his car. Both he and Ellen aren’t sure what is happening or what Evan is being accused of. Reaching out to their family lawyer friend Paul (Clark Gregg), he is asked straight out if there is any chance of involvement.

Upset that anyone would think so, it becomes even more difficult when evidence is found in the car and stories don’t match up. Det. Mallory isn’t making it easy either by planting suspicions in Ellen’s mind. She immediately makes it clear to Evan that she isn’t going to cover for him.

The only light to his days is that of student Anna (Alexandra Shipp) who doesn’t ask much of him other than coffee and talk about his book. As Evan waits for the police to find the missing cheerleader, his mind begins to chase between what is real and the truth.

Both are a matter of life and death.

Pearce as Evan is a man who absolutely has command of the classroom and the subject he is teaching. Living the stereotype of an attractive man professor and yet he is jittery that no one believes in his innocence in all things. Trying to balance his life, his secrets and his persona is what could be his undoing. There is something about Pearce on the screen from PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT to L.A. CONFIDENTIAL to ALIEN: COVENANT that I know his role is going to be unique and memorable.

Brosnan as Det. Malloy isn’t ruffled in the slightest by anything that Evan says or does. He is one slick policeman when he plants little hints around the wife to get help in solving the case. There are even moments where it is easy to forget he is a cop when in the car with Evan which is, after all, what makes a good cop. Brosnan is still fun to watch and this role gives him grit.

Driver as Ellen is the dutiful wife and stands by her man, even if she’s done it more times that she would like. She also isn’t helping the police much in their investigation but that doesn’t mean she isn’t doing a little home detective work of her own. Driver gives character Evan a little public ‘what for’ shaming and I actually applauded her. It’s good to bend but Driver doesn’t break.

Shipp as Anna is a nice diversion to Evan’s problems and this is certainly the type of student a professor should run from – and run fast! Pryor as Zelda is at that age where parents can be embarrassing and this is just a few steps past the norm. Gregg as lawyer Paul is trying to get his client to stop talking and I suggest superglue to the lips!

Other cast include Jamie Kennedy as Ross, Sean Blakemore as Killian, Jeannie Austin as Barbara, Natasha Bassett as Carrie, Sterling Beaumon as Matt, Patrika Darbo as Kelly, Jennie Fahn as Irene and Odeya Rush as Joyce Bonner.

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

The Bluray and Digital include the Special Features of Deleted Scenes, Inside SPINNING MAN Director’s Commentary and Trailer Gallery. SPINNING MAN is based on the book The Spinning Man by George Harrar.

SPINNING MAN is a cat and mouse game and most of it is being played by Pearce’s character. All of his antics begin to meld together and that causes him to have problems knowing what the facts are and what is the mind just playing stress tricks. The addition of Brosnan’s character is that of a cop who will let a person hang themselves because he’s got all the time in the world to wait.

Pearce is definitely juggling this character and where it all falls is anybody’s guess – right up until the very last second. That’s what makes a good psychological thriller and this qualifies.

In the end – what you believe and what you know is all in how you spin it!

ALTERED PERCEPTION

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD from SKD, a Synkronized Company, and director Kate Rees Davies is a story of what happens when you have an ALTERED PERCEPTION.

A pharmaceutical company is dealing with a drug called DPTD that is meant to help people with PTSD and potentially end hostilities across the globe. They tested three couples who are in the middle of relationship problems and recorded them.

Andrew (Jon Huertas) and Lorie (Jennifer Blac-Biehn) seem to spend their relationship being hostile with one another. Beth (Nichola Fynn) and Emily (Hallie Jordan) are a couple with insecurities and one of them is Beth’s brother Justin (Matthew Ziff). Steve (Emrhys Cooper) and wife Kristina (Jade Tailor) are a couple that are to the point of not knowing what else they can do to save their relationship.

Preparing them for the trial is Rebecca (Christine Kapetan) and Claudia (Aileen Burdock) who answer their questions. Now the drug maker Darpa is under scrutiny for the reactions of the couples when their memories become impaired and emotional reactions lash out strongly.

Hiding behind what they think are successes, the company continues to present the video of the couples changes in behavior.

That’s what can happen when you are a human guinea pig!

Huertas as Andrew is a lawyer who uses his jargon to annoy Blac-Biehn as Lorie. This couple pokes at each other’s weaknesses verbally but with the drug the outbursts become more and more frightening. 

Fynn as Beth and Jordan as Emily are dealing with not trusting one another and past mistakes in the relationship. Once the drug takes effect, it seems that there is an honesty streak happening and questions are put out on the table.

Cooper as Steve and Tailor as Kristina seem to be the couple that are waiting for the drug to take effect. They have moments that flair up but it doesn’t seem as if they are responding as the other couples – until they do. 

Other cast include Larry Wade Carrell as Lewis, Danielle Artigo as Margo, Jenise Blanc as Janice and John Fallon as John.

SKD has distributed the work some of the world’s major directors and box office worthy movies. Synkronized is one of the only labels outside the major studios to be exclusively distributed by WalMart, Target, Best Buy and Sam’s Club. They also lead in supplying works to iTunes, Netflix and the VOD Market. To learn more about SKD please visit www.synkronized.us. 

The thriller comes from the mind of Travis Romero, the creator of the USA Network’s “White Collar” and executive producer Michael Biehn. 

ALTERED PERCEPTION tackles the question of clinical trials on human beings and those responsible for it. There are hundreds of sites that look for people to volunteer for clinical trials and offer financial incentives to participate. I have read them myself and often wonder how that works or if it really does work and who regulates it.

The film quotes Vanity Fair with, “Prescription drugs kill some 200,000 Americans every year. Will that number go up, now that most clinical trials are conducted overseas … in places where regulation is virtually nonexistent, the F.D.A. doesn’t reach, and “mistakes” can end up in pauper’s graves? The authors investigate the globalization of the pharmaceutical industry, and the U.S. Government’s failure to rein in a lethal profit machine.”

In the end – the implications can be deadly!

BLACK PANTHER Brings the Marvel Super Hero to Bluray

Jeri Jacquin

The story is coming home soon and ready to be told again and again on Bluray-DVD and Digital as director Ryan Coogler, Marvel Studios and Walt Disney Pictures bring the tale of BLACK PANTHER.

The death of now King T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) returns to his kingdom of Wakanda in Africa but not before making a pit stop with General Okoye (Danai Gurira) to pick up ex-love Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o). 

Standing before the other factions, Zuri (Forest Whitaker) asks if there is anyone who would challenge for the throne. After a brief altercation with M’Baku (Winstone Duke) it becomes clear that T’Challa would rule Wakanda. His mother Ramonda (Angela Bassett) and technology wiz kid-sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) join in the ceremony as they watch T’Challa’s victory.

But there is something that needs his immediate attention when friend W’Kabi (Daniel Kaluuya) wants the capture of Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) who has stolen some of Wakanda’s source of technology. Klaue however is not alone as Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) has a score to settle with Wakanda.

Looking for Klaue as well is CIA Agent Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman) and isn’t happy when he sees T’Challa, Nakia and Okoye at a sting operation in an underground casino in Asia. Trying to strike a deal on who gets Klaue, chaos breaks out and the chase is on.

It soon becomes clear who Killmonger is when he makes his way to Wakanda with one goal in mind – to get backing which he finds in W’Kabi and to take the throne. When the challenge goes horribly wrong, Nakia, Shuri and Ramonda are on the run and find an ally in the most unlikely place. Now the tribes begin to see the destruction of their world!

T’Challa learns that all families have secrets but that secrets don’t always stay hidden and sometimes it is the sons that pay the price!

Boseman as T’Challa aka Black Panther carries himself with the elegance that makes it totally believable that he is royalty. Trying to keep the traditional and secretive ways of Wakanda, especially about the unearthly vibranium, he becomes conflicted when it is suggested by ex-love Nakia that they could do so much more for the world. Unfortunately that falls far down his royal agenda as conflicts and bad guys need to be taken care of to stabilize the country and tribal factions. Boseman wears the suit and the position well.

Gurira as General Okoye is the only lady that could pull of a fight scene while wearing a stunning and flowing red gown. What I’m saying is that if I ever get into a fight in an underground dressy casino – I want Gurira on my side. Okoye is loyal but certainly conflicted. Nyong’o as Nakia wants to do as much as she can for the world outside of Wakanda much to the dismay of T’Challa. Don’t let the fact that Nyong’o’s character is quiet in nature because when she needs to talking isn’t necessary – action does!

Jordan as Killmonger is the man with the attitude and it’s not a good thing. Dealing with the death of his own father, he becomes a highly trained killer with only one goal – make everyone pay for what has made him hostile. Jordan gives every ounce of a bad guy in his performance. Kaluuya as W’Kabi is the friend you don’t ever want to deal with. It seems there is a strong bond between he and T’Challa yet when things don’t go in his favor he flips the script and Kalyyua makes it stick. 

Gollum and Bilbo are reunited for another round of good vs. evil! Freeman as the CIA Agent wants to help the people of Wakanda and definitely gets his chance. He might be a mild mannered agent but stands up for his new friends. Serkis as Klaue gets to be as evil as he wants to be and nothing seems to bother him and I have to admit to chuckling once or twice.

Whitaker as Zuri has a story to tell and I’m going to let him be the one to tell it so no spoilers from me. Bassett as Ramonda is the Queen who sees the kingdom in turmoil but would throw it all away for the safety of her family and people. Duke as M’Baku is big, bad and knows that things are changing and he must choose.

Special shout out goes to Letitia Wright as Shuri! She is her own brand of bad ass being smart, beautiful and very funny. She is the technology of Wakanda and Wright gives this character everything and then some. I just enjoyed what she brought to the story and embracing her characters dedication to family, country and science. There is more to her story as well but you didn’t hear it from me.

Other cast include Florence Kasumba as Ayo, John Kani as T’Chaka, David S. Lee as Limbani, Nabiyah Be as Linda, and Sterling K. Brown as N’Jobu.

Marvel Studios has released sixteen films since 2008 in what is known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel is built on a library of over eight thousand characters featured in a variety of media content for over seventy years. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.marvel.com  

The Bluray and Digital Code come with this Multi-Screen Edition with Movies Anywhere.

The BLACK PANTHER Bonus Extras are stunning with From Page to Screen: A Roundtable Discussion – Delving into the film’s making, Deleted Scenes and Gag Reel, Crowning Of A New King – Explore Black Panther’s world in all its color and complexity, The Warriors Within – Get to know Wakanda’s women, and the actors who portray them, The Hidden Kingdom Revealed – Wakanda’s diverse people, Wakanda Revealed: Exploring the Technology, Exclusive Sneak Peek at Ant-Man and the Wasp, Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years – Connecting the Universe and so much more!

BLACK PANTHER is the reason fans flocked to the theatre to experience an adventure, good story and characters that have jumped from page to screen. Now they can revisit Wakanda over and over with this stunning Bluray. I have no doubt that Marvel fans are biting at the bit to get their hands on a copy and I am secure in saying they will get their money’s worth.

BLACK PANTHER falls absolutely into the Marvel universe. The formula of conflict, family, bad guys and loyalty is found in every Marvel story and BLACK PANTHER follows it to the letter. Popcorn, friends and fun – now at home BLACK PANTHER will deliver consistently. Get a sound bar and make sure the screen is huge!

It just means I see exactly what I thought I would see and other than the ethereal Lion King moment I continue to go for the ride. It has action, adventure, tekkie stuff, special effects, music and eye candy for all so take that and run. The cast bring the story everything it needs to crowd please.

So couch up the gang and make it a great Marvel/Disney night at home!

In the end – long live the king!

BALLERS Tackles Bluray with Season Three

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray this week from HBO Home Entertainment and executive producers Mark Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson is a series that takes on sports with both hands as Dwayne Johnson stops at nothing to expand his base dealing with BALLERS.

Spencer Strasmore (Dwayne Johnson) is back with another season as a financial manager dealing with players! Along with partner Joe Krutel (Rob Corddry), its all about to become even more stressful than life usually is. First, Ricky (John David Washington) questions his relationship with Amber (Brittany Hall) but TDD (Carl McDowell) notices that something isn't quite right about him lately. Charles (Omar Miller) is dealing with a very calculating boss in Siefert (Dule Hill) and learns he needs to stand up for himself.

A meeting between Spencer and Wayne Hastings Jr. (Steve Guttenberg) finally takes place and the idea of a Vegas team is put on the table. Joe needs to remember to look in his office before he speaks when Kisan (Kris Lofton) lets him know it's time for a new agent. He also discovers that Reggie and Vernon are promoting their business called High Powered with a symbol that just puts the NFL on the edge. Now Joe and Charles have to come together to find a way to convince Vernon that his days in the NFL are numbered if they keep up their shenanigans.

In Vegas, Spencer runs into Chloe (Serinda Swan) and sparks fly but acting on it has to cool in the desert sun for a money because he has to work his charm and magic on the Mayor of Vegas and Council people to get a thumbs up on the football team idea. Joe is still dealing with Reggie about his Colorado business venture and gets a little caught up in the well lit moment. New agent Jason (Troy Garity) discovers that Kisan hasn't been totally forthcoming with his past. 

The stress is starting to get to Spencer and Joe (even if Spencer gets some down time with Chloe) and they continue to talk with Anderson about the potential for raising money. Anderson (Richard Schiff) isn't thrilled when a plane trip to speak with investors turns into a stop orchestrated by his snarky brother Julian (Steven Weber) There are serious family issues between the two that put Spencer and Joe in a weird place.

Ricky goes to see Charles wife Julie (Jazmyn Simo) for a doctor referral and it makes Charles nervous when he sees a telephone call to his wife. She informs him that she can't talk about it and suggests he focus on what is going on with the team. Siefert is still making things difficult so after an unsuccessful dinner between Siefert and head coach Berg (Peter Berg), Charles decides its time to take his life into his own hands.

Deciding what he wants for his life, Ricky tries to fix the things that are wrong and live his life honestly - and Jason is about to pass out when he learns his clients secret. Things with Spencer and Chloe heat up and it gets him to thinking about what he wants for his life but Chloe sets him straight immediately.

As the deal for a team in Vegas begins to take shape, Anderson, Spencer and Joe need to have a meeting with the NFL, who isn't really happy that all of this even began without their approval, only to discover there is another offer on the table and that the balance of power is shifting. While in San Francisco, Spencer meets someone who makes him rethink how things have been handled with the business and his idea for a Vegas team.  

The players aren't the only ones that can be head strong ballers!

Johnson as Spencer once again turns on the charm and the intensity this season trying to break into a world of the NFL by bringing a team to Las Vegas. Cutting corners he immediately has a target on his back and no one is going to make it easy for him, in fact every time he thinks it is all going in the right direction, he's thrown a curve ball. What I enjoy about this character is that even when things are in panic mode, Spencer takes a deep breath and reaches up to pluck the next big move out of nowhere. In the midst of the chaos, there are moments of comedy and even a bit of drool for the ladies as there is no question that Johnson is ripped and endearing. Yes, its just fun to love the guy!

Corddry as Joe is equally as fast on his feet when chaos shows up but Joe handles things in such a unique and crazy way that when he has moments of brilliance it is actually quite stunning. The scene after Spencer and Joe had to literally run to a meeting with Hastings; it is Joe who gives a quick save that made my jaw drop thinking ‘wow where did that come from?' I do enjoy Corddry because I never know what character he is going to play next and yet never surprised by his performances. 

Washington as Ricky takes on several issues this season with a strong willed woman, reexamining his life and dealing with family. McDowell as TDD is keeping his eye on Ricky and questioning whether he realizes the extent of what is going on in his life and ice cream is very important to him. Lofton as Kisan is introduced to his new agent but has trouble keeping secrets that could affect any deal going forward. Garity as agent Jason starts out being taken advantage of and moves on to dealing with the screwed up personal lives of players.

Miller as Charles is finding his place in the NFL. Not realizing what it takes to be part of the head office, he also never realized that the game isn't only on the field. This season he finds his voice and discovers what it is he wants from his post NFL career. Simo as wife Julie wants her husband to succeed and is a serious cheerleader for her husband. Simo is strong, sweet and lets it be known that what ever her husband wants is something she supports feeling that he does the same for her. Dule as Siefert has no problem grabbing the limelight for decisions that help teams and equally grabbing credit for things he didn't do which is what causes the rift between he and Charles. 

Schiff as Anderson wants to do what ever it takes to make the Las Vegas team idea a reality, well almost anything it takes. When brother Julian, played by Weber, comes into the mix it becomes more personal than business. Getting the issues out of the way is the only way any plans will be successful. Schiff and Weber as brothers is something to see to the very last scene together. Swan as Chloe works with Hastings Jr. and has a relationship with Spencer and that proves to be a little strange for them both. Swan is lovely in a character that doesn't change her life for Spencer and makes it clear that she knows exactly who he is and what he's about yet still likes hanging with him. 

A serious shout out to Steve Guttenberg for showing that he can play a douchebag rich guy. I swear every time he was on screen he cracked me up with his attempt at being suave and then becoming steely eyed when facing Spencer. What a great character! Another shout goes to Steven Weber for being a brother who doesn’t mind making his older brother absolutely uncomfortable and why? – well because it’s a brother thing! Yet when it comes down to it they are family.

BALLERS has cameo appearances by Larry Csonka, Travis Scott, Steve Guttenberg, Cheryl Ladd, Peter Berg, Dule Hill, Anabella Acosta, LeToya Luckett, Ella Thomas, Antoine Harris, Taylour Paige, Sanai Johnson, Richard Schiff, Clifton Collins Jr., Angelina Assereto, Christine Allocca, Carl McDowell, Terrell Suggs, Jay Glazer, Serinda Swan, Andy Garcia and Steve Guttenberg and Peter Berg.

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

The Bluray includes the episodes Seeds of Expansion, Bull Rush, In the Teeth, Make Believe, I Hate New York, Ricky-Leaks, Alley-Oops, Crackback, and Yay Area. Also included is the Digital Copy that makes it great to watch anywhere on not only a television but also a computer, Tablet and Smartphone.

I always love watching BALLERS because it has so much crazy to offer and it is fast paced. Watching Johnson in this series is different than films because most of the movies show a character that is larger than life in larger than life situations like the remake JUMANJI and RAMPAGE. In BALLERS, the character of Spencer is totally believable in a Jerry McGuire sort of way but on a much cooler scale. I love how he interacts with the other characters and with Corddry as his sidekick - it totally works.

This series can easily be seen as a 'guys' series but those who think that would be totally wrong. Although I enjoy an occasional football game or any sport for that matter, I'm not an avid sports fan yet BALLERS is enjoyable to watch and I do look forward to each episode. The character interaction and stories along with the show's running time of thirty minutes invites the viewers into the mad world of Spencer and Joe and never leaves us unsatisfied.

I'm letting you know now that the finale let me cheering because the good guys can win on their own terms! 

In the end - if you build it they will come!


THE GREATEST SHOWMAN is Even Greater on Bluray!

Jeri Jacquin

This week on Bluray/DVD and Digital from writers Jenny Bicks and Bill Condon along with director Michael Gracey and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment comes THE GREATEST SHOWMAN.

P.T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman) has promised the lovely Charity (Michelle Williams) that he will give her a wonderful life. Spending the first few years together struggling, Barnum has two more lovely reasons to succeed in daughters Caroline (Austyn Johnson) and Helen (Cameron Seely). 

That’s when he decides to start his own circus business and invites the bearded woman Lettie (Keala Settle), Tom Thumb (Sam Humphrey), Anne Wheeler (Zendaya) and W.D. Wheeler (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) among others to join in his vision of the unusual in entertainment. He also brings Phillip Carlyle (Zac Efron) to learn and help manage the business and immediately he is taken with Anne.

While on a trip to Europe, Barnum and the troop meets the famous Jenny Lind (Rebecca Ferguson). He knows that this is a pure act that will show the nay-sayers like journalist James Bennett (Paul Sparks). Taking Jenny on the road means being away from his family and leaving the show in the care of Phillip.

When Jenny abruptly stops the show, Barnum returns to see what a vengeful crowd can do to his dream. The dream begins to unravel when he discovers that those who helped bring the circus to life are the same people who will see it rise from the ashes.

Never forget who you really are!

Jackman as Barnum does what he does best – embrace a character, make it larger than life and do it while singing and dancing. There are complexities in being a big dreamer who embraces things that are different. That also means dealing with people who clearly are afraid of those differences and getting a little lost along the way to the top. 

Williams as Charity always believed that her husband would succeed and at the same time was never unhappy with their life. She is absolutely lovely in this role and patient with a man who sees everything larger than life. Ferguson as Jenny is a woman who is swept up in the romance of becoming world renowned at the hands of Barnum. Being beautiful with a voice doesn’t stop pain from dropping a curtain.

Efron as Carlyle gets wrapped up in everything that Barnum wants in entertainment. He is also working against people who have nothing better to do than ruin a good time for all. It doesn’t stop him from making it work and finding love with the lovely Anne. Zendaya as Anne finds a family in the circus and even when confronted for being different, she knows who truly loves her.

Settle as Lettie is a powerful presence and her voice just rocks this film to its core. Her character also focuses on keeping the family together and never letting anyone say they are not amazing human beings. Humphrey as Tom Thumb is sweet and hilarious at the same time. 

Other amazing cast includes Eric Anderson as Mr. O’Malley, Ellis Rubin as the young Barnum, Skylar Dunn as the young Charity, Daniel Everidge as Lord of Leeds, Radu Spinghel as O’Clancy, Will Swenson as Philo Barnum, Timothy Hughes as the Strong Man, Linda Larson as Mrs. Stratton, Byron Jennings as Mr. Carlyle, Betsy Aidem as Mrs. Carlyle and Gayle Rankin as Queen Victoria. 

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/DVD and Digital experience includes over two hours of Special Features with a Sing Along, The Family Behind THE GREATEST SHOWMAN, The Songs, The Spectacle, Music Machine with Sing Along and so much more!

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN was nominated for an Academy Award this past season and won a Golden Globe for Best Original Song “This is Me”, winner of the Heartland Film Truly Moving Picture Award, winner of Favorite Movie Actress for Zendaya from the Kids’ Choice Awards and eighteen other nominations ranging from Best Performances and Best Song to Best Music and Best Costuming. 

This is the reason why musicals will never die! A combination of great story telling, spectacular eye candy, songs that stick and a cast that melts together in such a way that the tale embraces the heart. 

It must be said that the films costuming, cinematography and set designs are absolutely stunning to see. Colorful, beautiful and dramatic the film in striking adding depth that engrains itself in the tale being told. I absolutely loved the dresses with the detail and flow that would make any woman feel regal and gorgeous. 

If you are fond of Friday night movies at home then THE GREATEST SHOWMAN needs to happen!

In the end – this is where the impossible comes true!

BENT Brings Mystery to Bluray

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray and Digital from writer/director Bobby Moresco and Lionsgate is a tale of deceit, corruption and a set up that give meaning to crime-thriller when everyone around you is BENT.

Danny Gallagher (Karl Urban) is a hard working cop who wanted to help his buddy in a drug bust when it goes horribly wrong. So wrong, in fact, that Gallagher ends up in prison and when released is seen as a cop killer. Knowing that he can't get his life back the way it was, he tracks down everything he remembers from that night including the car-bomb murder of an official’s wife.

Right away he knows there are people out to end him and at the same time people who want to help. Jimmy Murtha (Andy Garcia) is telling Gallagher to run as far away from everything as he can and buddy Eddie (Pat Asanti) is keeping the bugs off and the cars working. He also is being told by mystery woman Rebecca (Sofia Vergara) that there is more to this than he could possibly imagine but won't say more.

Gallagher knows that he is going to have to dig deeper into every aspect of what happened before going to prison, the trial and what ever else he might be missing. Rebecca is becoming scared when people who are part of everything start dying believing she and Gallagher are absolutely next.

That doesn't stop the ex-cop from pushing harder in every direction to bring who ever is responsible for everything that is happening out in the open. Could it be other cops, a drug lord with revenge in mind, a government agency or someone he never saw coming.

Urban as Gallagher comes on strong and always has that look like he knows when you are pulling his chain. This is a character that was happy pining for a singer and working cases and now spends his post-prison time just trying to stay alive. Urban gives a hard performance of a man who isn't untouchable and doesn't trust anyone - no matter how beautiful.

Vergara as Rebecca is a woman who knows more than she's saying but also realizes that what is happening around her is coming close to home. Knowing the players, she isn't always as candid with Gallagher and he knows it - and pillow talk doesn't make those answers come any quicker. She's in the same position as he is in that you don't know who to trust or what can be said without getting to those who want to kill you.

Garcia as Murtha greets Gallagher when is released from jail. Obviously wanting to make sure his friend is taken care of, he also sees that nothing he says will stop Gallagher from doing what ever he wants how ever he wants.

Other cast includes Grace Byers as Kate Trai Byers as Chuck, John Finn as Driscoll, Tonya Cornelisse as Helen, Patrick Brennan as Casey, Joe Pacheco as Bill Pierce, Andrea Bruschi as Tom Loach and Vincent Spano as Charlie. 

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 Bluray/DVD Special Features include Behind the Scenes of BENT Featurette along with Cast and Crew Interviews.

BENT is a thriller that will keep you guessing as to why all of this is happening, how did it get this far and ending with 'you have got to be kidding me!' in a good way. That's why the crime-thriller genre is still alive and well. It's fun to follow the clues and hope we get to the end faster than the film's ending.

It is the twists, turns and not wanting the facts to change our minds about the people we have invested in while watching the story unfold. When a crime-thriller is finally explained in its entirety, we are forced to decide who is right and who is justified in walking the fragile line of the law.

That's what BENT does, sends us on a journey to find out why anyone would do this to a good cop and jump on his every move to discover who is responsible. When that happens we all become part of the dilemma that Gallagher faces in the end. I think that's what 
I enjoy most about this genre and I'm not the only one.

BENT is currently On Demand and arrives on Bluray, Digital and DVD May 15th. 

In the end - follow your instincts!

Spielberg Brings History of THE POST to Bluray

Jeri Jacquin

On Bluray/DVD and Digital this week from director Steven Spielberg, DreamWorks and 20th Century Fox is a story of dedication to the truth in print from THE POST.

It is the 1970's and Kay Graham (Meryl Streep) is the woman who owns and runs The Washington Post with Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) as her editor. Knowing that there are those who don't support or trust her running of the paper, Kay takes in what is happening around her to find her voice. 

When it comes to their attention that there is someone who has documents that expose the governments plans in Vietnam, The Post wants them. There is a problem, the man who photocopied the papers, Daniel Ellsberg (Matthew Rhys) has gone into hiding and slivers of the information have also been shared with The New York Times. 

What is in the papers? That the United States government was not being truthful to the American public about involvement in the Vietnam War. The papers also show the level of involvement went through Robert McNamara (Bruce Greenwood) all the way up to the president.

The New York Times looks for advice about publishing the Pentagon Papers and the government wants an injunction against any further papers be published. In the meantime, reporter Ben Bagdikian (Bob Odenkirk) from the Post finds Ellsberg and is given boxes of papers and Kay must decide whether to go forward before they are also stopped by the courts. 

Bradlee gathers his writers and the clock is set to beat anything or anyone that wants to get in their way. Kay begins to feel the weight of what she is up against and realizes that she knows people that are involved and now must decide what the right thing is. Pressed by the papers all-male board, she realizes that the paper her father build is now 
Kay digs in deep and knows that Bradlee will follow her lead.

The truth is worth fighting for!

Streep as Kay Graham once again turns in a performance of a woman who is seen as a lovely decoration to the Post with men telling her what is important and what isn't for the paper. Of course her insecurities are clear and Streep portrays the era with perfection. Gaining strength throughout the film, I cheer the hardest when she realizes that if the board of the paper wants to play tough - then she must learn to as well. Nothing wrong with telling the good ole' boys club that it is 'her' paper and that's how she is going to run it. Streep always gives everything to these roles and makes them not only believable but exceptional.

Hanks as Ben Bradlee is perfection and yes I'm being hugely Hanks-struck. I adore this actor and find him to be the absolute best of Hollywood and that includes the much misunderstood film TURNER AND HOOCH! Of course I wondered how he was going to portray this character since I do have Jason Robards' version of Bradlee from the 1976 film ALL THE PRESIDENTS MEN stuck in my head. I had no reason to worry! THE POST is a perfect film to watch first and then take on the 1976 film because it is a history lesson about the government's shenanigans from The Washington Post's articles portrayed by two amazing actors.

Odenkirk as Bagdikian is on it to find the man with the papers. Knowing that this is the most important thing he will work toward, there is a moment where all of it might fall apart and Odenkirk keeps it straight. Rhys as Ellsberg has the worst case of paranoia I've ever seen and with good reason. He has what the government is looking for so he's not about to let go if the information isn't made public.

Greenwood as McNamara is a man trying to keep his head above water yet Greenwood makes it look smooth and controlled. That's what I love about Greenwood, whether he portrays a good, bad or indifferent character, he makes it look ridiculously smooth. The scene between Greenwood and Streep is hard to watch and strong for both of them in the scheme of the storyline.

Other cast include: Sarah Paulson as Tony Bradlee, Tracy Letts as Fritz Beebe, David Cross as Howard Simons, Zach Woods as Anthony Essaye, Bradley Whitford as Arthur Parsons, Alison Brie as Lally Graham, Carrie Coon as Meg Greenfield, and Jesse Plemons as Roger Clark.

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

The Bluray and DVD Special Features include LAYOUT: Katharine Graham, Ben Bradlee & The Washington Post, EDITORIAL: The Cast and Characters of THE POST, THE STYLE SECTION: Recreating an Era, STOP THE PRESSES: Filming THE POST, ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT: Music for THE POST. THE POST received an Academy Award Nomination for Best Picture. 

This is a story that needed to be told for so many reasons especially with what is going on in government now. I am an avid watcher of films based on history and THE POST 
not only falls into that category but totally served me up a history lesson. 

The caliber of actors and actresses in this film make it extraordinary bringing it to a level that can't be touched. That is what makes this film for me - a cast that seems to dive right in and take no prisoners mixed in with totally absorbing the time period of the 1970's. 

Watching each character take on their own beliefs about why they do what they do comes into play and it can't be hidden in the film. Spielberg takes his own risk bringing the real news story to the attention of a fake-news world. He keeps the storyline crisp and doesn't sugar coast anything about what it takes to hold the government accountable when caught lying to its own people.

What this should do for the press is remind them that people do want to know the truth about their government and that not only is that government accountable but so is the press that reports it. I can't imagine that anyone who reports the news of the world not finding an amazing place in their hearts for the papers/editors and reporters who came before.

In the end – truth be told!

Get Ready to Bolt with MAZE RUNNER: The Death Cure Coming to Bluray

Jeri Jacquin

On Bluray and DVD, as well as 4K Ultra HD, this week from director Wes Ball and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is the race for life with MAZE RUNNER: The Death Cure.

Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) is already back in the game becoming stronger as a leader to save their friends from WCKD. When they learn that Minho (Ki Hong Lee) is among the kids that have been taken by Janson (Aidan Gillen) to WCKD, Thomas doesn’t hesitate to want to jump in.

Vince (Larry Pepper) refuses to put more people on the line to save Minho even when Jorge (Giancarlo Esposito) knows where he is. Even worse, they group knows that the enemy is getting closer and have to abandon their base.

Thomas decides he can’t go with the group and attempts to leave camp, but not without Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) and Frypan (Dexter Darden). Not about to let them go alone, they are joined by Jorge and Brenda (Rosa Salazar) who are equally wanting to get their friend back.

Minho is shocked when he wakes up to find himself back inside the maze with the help of Ava Paige (Patricia Clarkson) – but it is a new maze. Her creation has created a potential antibody to the virus that has taken so many but she must convince the leaders to continue the trials. Help comes in the words of Teresa (Kaya Scodelario) who is working with Ava.

Trying to get into the city to find Minho, Thomas and the group are taken by a group and a familiar face. Gally (Will Poulter) sets them all on edge until he explains how it is that he survived. Explaining that he wants to help Thomas get inside the city, Gally takes them to see Lawrence (Walton Goggins) who might be able to help.

Making their way to WCKD one step at a time, Thomas and Newt have their first look at the big city. In the lab Ava and Teresa test more subjects but not before Janson is told that he needs to find Thomas while keeping another secret from Teresa. The virus is now inside the city and Teresa has been taken. Ava and Janson now realize that time is not on their side.

The fight is now inside the lab as Thomas and Newt get closer to Minho and Teresa has something that could be a game changer. Now, those on the outside that have been running are turning to fight strong.

Now, they have a chance!

O’Brien as Thomas returns to the role of a young man clearly on a mission that will save some and not others. Loyal to the people he met in the maze, he is not about to let Minho and the others stay inside the city of WCKD. O’Brien plays out his role in the trilogy as he began, intense and strong.

Scodelario as Teresa is the character everyone loves to hate. With the upset from the second film it is easy to want to give her character redemption but it might be to late. Poulter as Gally is the surprise as he also ends his time in the maze with a twist.

Clarkson as Ava tries to find a way to create an antibody to the virus that is now inside the city. What hope she has depends on Minho and Clarkson always stands out in every performance she gives. Gillen as Janson is clearly irritated with the fact that he can’t seem to always get what he wants out of life in WCKD. He has the amazing ability to be the perfect bad guy without getting to much flack on him.

Goggins as Lawrence is one jacked up human being yet he still attempts to help the gang get inside the city. Lee as Minho gets the worst end of the deal as the labs want more and more from him. Sangster as Newt truly believes in the friendships that have kept him alive. We have literally watched Sangster grow up in this series of films.

Salazar as Brenda continues to be a strong presence even if she is in the middle of wanting to be on her own and not helping others to being an amazing leader in her own right. Along with Esposito as Jorge, these two characters are trying to be better people while maintaining a rough exterior. 

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

The Bluray and DVD Special Features includes Audio Commentary by Director Wes Ball, Screenwriter T.S. Nowlin and Producer Joe Hartwick, Jr., Unlocking the Cure: The Final Run, Dystopia: The Completed World; Allies Reunited, A Look Back: The Director’s Journey, Deleted & Extended Scenes with Optimal Commentary, Going Out on Top, Gag Reel, Visual Effects Breakdowns and Visual Effects Reel with Optional Commentary and Gallery. 

Also included is Movies Anywhere which is just that, the ability to watch anywhere with the App as well as a Digital Movie included.

There is an epic and exclusive 24-page prequel origins comic book written by screenwriter T.S. Nowlin. The trilogy box set is also available that includes an exclusive MAZE RUNNER bandana chosen by fans.

MAZE RUNNER: The Death Cure brings about the finishing touches to a story that has been filled with twists, turns, intensity, trust issues, friendships, world colliding and a virus that can turn friends into foes and vice versa. 

Wrapping everything up means preparing to take on the emotions of characters saying goodbye and smiling knowing that there future is deserved. Grab the popcorn and prepare for a marathon run of the MAZE RUNNER trilogy!

In the end – the time for lies is over! 


THE DEUCE: The Complete First Season Brings the 1970’s New York to Bluray

Jeri Jacquin

HBO has brought a stellar look at the raw and grit of New York in the 1970’s story of THE DEUCE: The Complete First Season coming to Bluray.

Vinnie Martino (James Franco) is a bartender who is about to change his life. Working several bartending jobs and trying to keep the family together, the cost is his marriage. Wife Andrea (Zoe Kazan) isn’t exactly making things easier with her own wanton ways and bored homemakers life. If that isn’t enough, he constantly is mistaken for his twin brother Frankie (also James Franco) who has wracked up large gambling debts all over town. 

Frequent visitors to Vinnie’s bar are pimp C.C. (Gary Carr) and his girls Ashley (Jamie Neumann) and new girl Lori (Emily Meade). A few more pimps include Larry (Gbenga Akinnagbe) who has the very sweet is Darlene (Dominque Fishback) and Ruby (Pernell Walker), Rodney (Method Man) and Reggie Love (Tariq Trotter).  

One prostitute who doesn’t have a ‘man’ is Eileen (Maggie Gyllenhaal) or Candy as she is known on the street. Making her money without any interference, she sends what she can for the care of her young son. The police also know what is going down on the streets as Officer Alston (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.) keeps his eyes open and knowledge to himself. Even when Abby (Margarita Levieva) is brought to the station, Officer Alston knows she is a college student who has just done something stupid.

Brother-in-law Bobby (Chris Bauer) works construction and when an opportunity arises to make a few extra dollars, he and Vinnie find themselves working with Rudy Pipilo (Michael Rispoli) who is part of the Gambino family. Rudy is impressed with Vinnie and decides to bring him in on the way he wants to change the streets. He starts by starting a bar called the Top Hat and gives Vinnie full control of how it is run. Everyone follows Vinnie to the new place and it is a hit.

Eileen is also trying to make changes in her life as standing on the street corner is getting to be more and more dangerous. Learning that a man named Harvey Wasserman (David Krumholtz) makes porno films, she seeks him out to learn more if it will get her off the streets and making more money. She is quick to learn and isn’t about to let anything stop what is to come.

Seeing that the Top Hat is doing well, Rudy decides he wants to expand his business into the Massage Parlor trade which is nothing more than getting the girls inside. That means less police harassment but the pimps aren’t happy about it. 

All of this comes under the watchful eye of reporter Sandra Washington (Natalie Paul) who wants to do an expose of what goes on. Seeing how the girls are treated and the police basically hauling them in and letting them out along with payoffs from corrupt cops, she seeks out Officer Alston’s knowledge.

Each has a story to tell, each has a path and each live in a time of excess, corruption and using the oldest profession as their path to more money than they could have imagined. What they haven’t learned is money can bring out the worst in people and those who have it – rule.

Welcome to New York of the 1970’s!

Franco as Vinnie and Frankie and although they may look a like, clearly want different things. Vinnie wants a successful business that he can be proud of and Frankie wants everything and doesn’t care how he gets it. In that lies the problem for Vinnie who is constantly trying to protect a brother he obviously cares about. Playing both the roles is stellar for Franco as the duality is not being twins. Vinnie is the emotional one and Frankie is the ‘let the chips fall where they may’ brother. So well done!

Gyllenhaal as Eileen/Candy is a woman who makes her own way even if it is prostitution. The other girls know she doesn’t have a man and, in their way, respect her for it. The pimps however aren’t as happy about it as they don’t want their girls to get any funny ideas. Once Eileen/Candy realizes there might be a less dangerous way to earn money off the street she knows it’s just geography yet see the potential for so much more. Gyllenhaal is completely free with her portrayal of this character in every aspect and so much so that I believe her performance completely.

Levieva as Abby is a young woman who comes from an affluent family but is breaking away and still not knowing where she wants to be. Vinnie catches her eye but seeing The Deuce world affects her in ways she doesn’t expect. Levieva doesn’t say a lot and observes everything while clearly learning the New York ropes. Bauer as Bobby is a hard working brother-in-law that wants to work less hard and make more money. He talks Vinnie into helping that happen and the double life begins. It’s interesting to watch his morals change when money is no longer the issue in his life. 

Carr as C.C. the pimp is no one to be trifled with and the girls know it. Once he brings Lori into the group, previous favorite Ashley is on the back burner. Carr may seem caring but underneath that pimp like exterior of flash, he will cut you. Akinnagbe as Brown is the middle ground of the pimp-group meaning not as scary as some but scarier than Gentle Richie. 

Meade as Lori catches onto everything quickly; she caught on to C.C. and what she came to New York for. Rising quickly, she sees the world for exactly what it is and plans to make sure she gets her share of it all. Paul as Sandra wants to report the bigger picture and finds tension at her paper. Getting involved with Officer Alston irritated me a little because, well, come on – using people never works out well.

Speaking of Officer Alston, Gilliard Jr. is the eyes and ears of the street both inside and outside the precinct. He knows so much that I’m actually scared for his character! To much information isn’t always a good thing, especially when you don’t know who to trust. I do love his smooth tactic and non-judgmental attitude towards the ladies.

Rispoli as Rudy Pipilo is another character that presents himself so calmly yet, anyone with an understanding of the times, place and name knows not to underestimate him. There is a scene between Rudy and Vinnie where he tells him off and my jaw dropped yet the character of Rudy just stands there calmly with no anger what so ever. I loved that scene! Rispoli gives his character strength of knowing who he is and how fast he can squash someone with a word. 

My two shout outs go to Fishback as Darlene who pulled at my heart constantly! She is so endearing and knows that life has so many possibilities but I feel is stuck out of fearing those possibilities. Fishback is stunning, beautiful and amazing. Walker as Ruby is the gem of street walkers with her wit, twisted wisdom and understanding that this is her life. There is surrender about Ruby in that she knows this isn’t the life she wanted but it is the life she has and in that is a sadness that is even more heartbreaking than Darlene’s situation. These two women have given their characters a deepness that I bow to. Well done to you both!

Other cast include Don Harvey as Danny Flanagan, Michael Kostroff as Rizzi, Mustafa Shakir as Big Mike, Anwan Glover as Leon, Garry Pastore as Matthew Ianniello, Caroly Mignini as Joan Merrell, Finn Robbins as Adam, Kim Director as Shay, Olivia Luccardi as Melissa, Matthew Ballinger as Gentle Richie, Kayla Foster as Barbara, Gino Vento as Carlos, Aaron Eisenberg as Todd Lang and Chris Coy as Paul Hendrickson. 

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

The Bluray includes a Digital Copy to what anywhere on your television, computer, Tablet and Smartphone. The Bonus Features include The Deuce In Focus, The Wild West: New York in the Early ‘70s, Inside the Episodes, and Exclusive Audio Commentaries with James Franco, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michelle MacLaren, Nina Kostoff Noble, George Pelecanos and David Simon.

The 3-disc set includes the episodes Pilot, Show and Prove, The Principle is All, I See Money, What Kind of Bad?, Why Me?, Au Reservoir and My Name is Ruby.

THE DEUCE is an amazing series created and written by David Simon who was himself a police officer. Joining in is George Pelecanos who worked with Simon on a little series you may know as THE WIRE. THE DEUCE is the nickname for 42nd Street that is between 7th and 8th Avenue in New York. 

This series is the absolute grit and grim during the time New York became a boom for the porn industry. What THE DEUCE doesn’t do is sugar coat anything and that, I believe, is what surprised me the most. Lets actually be honest and said there are several things that surprised me and this is just the first.

There is a rawness to the way these characters are introduced to us because there isn’t a great way to say ‘hey, I’m a cheating spouse’ or ‘hey, I’m a prostitute’ or ‘hey, I’m a spoiled kid who wants to slum it to find myself’. Each of these characters has a history that has only been hinted at this first season. I am counting on Franco, Gyllenhaal, Pelecanos, Simon, Clark, MacLaren and the rest to let that history come forward.

The performances are so extreme and I marathoned completely the entire first season. There was no way I was going out, going to sleep or opening the front door until I saw what happened to each of these characters. They are fascinating and as each of their story’s unfold I become invested, heartbroken, majorly p.o.’d and yet still can not take my eyes off the screen.

It must be said that the finale just killed me, absolutely wrung me and hung me out to dry! I can not wait to see where Franco, Gyllenhaal and the rest of the cast take these characters next because this first season is filled with baby steps. Knowing there is so much more story to tell is what will bring me willingly back for the second season of THE DEUCE.

In the end – once upon a time in America pleasure because business!


THOR: Ragnarok Puts the Hammer Down on Bluray!

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray/DVD and Digital from director Taika Waititi, Marvel Entertainment and Walt Disney Pictures Home Entertainment is the next adventure from THOR: Ragnarok.

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is once again in a predicament but once the hammer is back in hands there is one place to go – Asgard. Knowing that brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) has been hiding behind the image of their father Odin, they both go looking for him. Not where Loki left him, they get a little unexpected help.

Thor and Loki speak with Odin and discover that they have sister named Hela (Cate Blanchett) and she is an angry individual and extremely powerful. He tells them about Ragnarok which is the destruction of Asgard by the hand of Hela. When she arrives unexpectedly, Loki panics bringing the gateway and Hela hitches a ride.

Pushing both Loki and Thor out into another world, Thor lands in a pile of junk on a planet that has piles of junk. Captured by Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), he is taken to the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) who has a little fighting arena to keep the masses entertained. Surprised to discover who he will be fighting, the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) bring entertainment to the masses.

Back on Asgard, Hela has found a new lackey in Skurge (Karl Urban) who is guarding the door of their world. Heimdall (Idris Elba) is now considered a traitor and no one knows where he is. The destruction of the beautiful civilization of Asgard has begun and the people are all looking for safety.

As Thor, Valkyrie, Loki and David Banner escape from the Grandmaster, their eye is on Asgard and nothing is going to stop them from saving what is left of their world! 

Oh yea Hela, it’s on now!

Hemsworth as Thor is physically still ripped (didn’t think I’d miss that did you?), expands his humor and keeps Loki in check and all while still calling him brother, and twists the Hulk/Banner to do what is right for Asgard. Is it me or does he smile a heck of a lot more in this film and join in on the jokes? I think cutting his hair made Thor much more at ease with being the God of Thunder. All of that just gives Hemsworth everything he needs to be the one and only Thor. 

Hiddleston as Loki is hilarious, saucy, charming, unpredictable, edgy and although still full of mischief, finds that helping can also be self serving to his way of thinking. I adore Hiddleston, there, I said it. He is so fun as Loki because lets be honest, it is fun watching him have fun being Loki. There are moments where the expressions on his face are just pure magic. That’s what Hiddleston brings to this character a sense of everything a good bad guy needs to have his own beloved army – meaning everyone who loves Loki even with his faults. I keep thinking ‘when will Loki get his own gig?’ but maybe just having him mischievous in the right amounts works just as well.

Blanchett as Hela is the opposite of Lady Galadriel from LORD OF THE RINGS. Hela is angry, sarcastic and certainly doesn’t walk away from a fight. Knowing her brothers aren’t about to embrace her takeover, she spends her time looking for Heimdall and using Skurge to get what she wants. Blanchett turns on her badass and has no intention of letting anyone find the off switch. It must be said – she is stunning!

Ruffalo as Hulk/Bruce Banner has been stuck being the big green guy for quite a while. He doesn’t want to get involved in any other skirmish but knows what the right thing to do is. Ruffalo also gets to be part of the humor that this film brings out and the audience loved it. 

Thompson as Valkyrie is a disillusioned Asgardian who just needs a little push to remember her honor. Goldblum as the Grandmaster is perfection with his zany outlook on things and I’d hire him to be a DJ at my party any day. Hopkins as Odin deserves to be Odin and every time I see this actor on screen it is such a joy. 

Urban as Skurge wants a position of importance in Asgard but serving a scary goddess means doing what he’s told and keeping his distance when she’s a bit upset. Elba as Heimdall isn’t about to let anyone get the sword, especially Hela since her plan is universal destruction and domination. 

I’m throwing a shout out to director Taika Waititi as the voice of Korg who I think is my newest funny creature. He is laid back yet tells it like it is and when things go wrong, well, he is the last to get all upset about it. Just know that we all could use a good Rock-guy on our side! I think he needs his own Funko actually. 

More cast include Rachel House as Topaz, Clancy Brown as the voice of Surtur, Tadanobu Asano as Hogun, Ray Stevenson as Volstagg, and Zachary Levi as Fandral.
Cameos include Luke Hemsworth, Sam Neill, Charlotte Nicdao, Benedict Cumberbatch and Matt Damon.

Marvel Studios has released sixteen films since 2008 in what is known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel is built on a library of over eight thousand characters featured in a variety of media content for over seventy years. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.marvel.com.  

The Bluray includes the stunning Bonus Extras Deleted Scenes, Gag Reel, Getting in Touch with Your Inner Thor, Unstoppable Women: Hela & Valkyrie, Finding Korg, Exclusive Short – Team Darryl: With Thor Gone, Darryl Runs an Ad for a New Roommate, Director’s Commentary and so much more! Also, THOR: Ragnarok can instantly be streamed or downloaded on Digital through iTunes!

THOR: Ragnarok is a wild ride from beginning to past the credits end! The story is strong, the special effects are pretty frakken cool and I don’t mind since it is part of this universe. The characters are absolutely amazing and the cross over in the film brought the audience to its comic book knees.

There is serious laughter, cheering and fun bringing the adventure on Bluray to us excitement like to kids in a candy store. I will say it here and now, I had so much fun watching THOR: Ragnarok again, and alright I’ll admit it – again! There is non-stop action with a cast that brought their adventurous A-game. This film is the reason people have Bluray collections so microwave a huge bag of popcorn and revisit that theatre feeling once again – and again.

In the end – No hammer? No problem!

VICTORIA & ABDUL is Perfection on Stunning Bluray!

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray/DVD and Digital from director Stephen Frears, Focus Features and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is the story of an unlikely friendship between VICTORIA & ABDUL.

Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal) is a clerk in a prison in India and his life is about to change. Queen Victoria (Judi Dench) is to be given a tribute coin and Abdul is the tall man for the job. Along with a shorter Mohammed (Adeel Akhtar), they sale toward England and Abdul is very excited.

There is no time for looking around much as Abdul and Mohammed are given a crash course on how to present to the Queen. Sir Henry Ponsonby (Tim Pigott-Smith) lets the two men know that everything is to be precise and quickly. 

During the dinner, Abdul and Mohammed make their way toward Queen Victoria and after a quick nap the presentation is made. Walking backwards, Abdul does the unthinkable and makes eye contact and gives a smile to the Queen and what turns into one moment becomes an unlikely friendship.

Much to the horror of Sir Ponsonby and Lord Salisbury (Michael Gambon) as well as her ladies Lady Churchill (Olivia Williams) and Miss Phipps (Fenella Woolgar), the Queen begins to prefer the company of Abdul. They inform the Queen’s son Bertie (Eddie Izzard) and a plan is formed.

Queen Victoria asks Abdul about his land, language and his story as they share walks and private times. It is clear that Abdul cares very much for the Queen and she for him, especially discovering he is married and demanding he get his family and return. That doesn’t stop the Queen’s staff, along with Dr. Reid (Paul Higgins), from looking into Abdul’s past. Believing they can stop him with what they know, it only manages to infuriate the Queen in Abdul’s favor.

Including a knighthood which sends the entire palace into a tizzy and a decision that will not only put their loyalty in question but show how Queen Victoria wasn’t napping any longer. 

This is a friendship that is filled with understanding, forgiveness and even unspoken love.

Dench as Victoria once again proves why she is a queen in her own right. She is smart, strong, delicate, wistful and a woman who sees so little to move forward for. Once the Queen’s inner light is ignited, Dench shines every moment of the film. I quite honestly could not take my eyes off her performance and the ending brought me to tears.

Fazal as Abdul is a man who doesn’t see the world in such an aggressive way as those around him. A simple jail clerk who happens to know how to write is sent across the world to do one simple thing and it turns into a friendship. Fazal delivers his lines with the innocence I see in Abdul in that how one sees the world is clearly different than the Queen. There are moments where he is clearly confused, moments of profound joy and deep sadness and Fazal gets every drop of emotion out of the audience who is just as enraptured as the Queen.

Izzard as Bertie is just the worst that a son could possible be. Instead of being happy for the emotional reviving of his mother, he sees Abdul as an interloper and acts like a spoiled child instead of a future ruler. Izzard just pours it on and gets the reaction he wants!

Akhtar as Mohammed just wants to go home, and when he sees that the Prince and others want to use that against his friend Abdul – his response is epic! Pigott-Smith as Ponsonby is confused by the relationship between the Queen and Abdul but at the same time has a faithfulness to the way things ought to be done. Higgins as Dr. Reid is just another lackey who isn’t happy about Abdul’s presence and finds himself faced with the wrath of the Queen. Gambon as Salisbury wants one thing only – for Abdul to be gone and the crown to go back to normal.

Williams as Lady Churchill isn’t happy to have the Queen’s ear and convinces Miss Phipps to do the extortion deed. Woolgar as Phipps has a moment in front of the Queen that is nerve wracking to watch but awesome to experience. 

Other cast include Julian Wadham as Alick Yorke, Robin Soans as Arthur Bigge, Ruth McCabe as Mrs. Tuck, Sukh Ojla as Mrs. Karim, Kemaal Deen-Ellis as Ahmed and Simon Callow as Puccini.

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 the Bonus Features of Judi & Ali and The Look of Victoria & Abdul. Included in the pack, DVD and Digital HD along with theatre quality sound. The Digital means you can enjoy VICTORIA & ABDUL on television, computer, Tablet and Smartphone!

VICTORIA & ABDUL is absolutely Oscar worthy in every sense. There is nothing about this film that goes wrong with me. The story between Queen Victoria and Abdul is delightful, funny, testing, sad, misunderstood and heartbreaking. 

Mixed in with that is the ugliness of those around the Queen with their jabbing, back biting, underhanded, and horrible treatment of Abdul and Mohammed. Instead of embracing the cultural differences of these two men, they found ways to cut them to the quick – and right to their face in some cases. 

The cinematography is amazing and it is a period piece which is going to grab me from the word go. I absolutely adore the costuming which is always an important part of a period piece because it adds such a richness to the storytelling. 

I’m warning anyone who sees this film on Bluray to keep a Kleenex handy because for the ending you are going to need it. The chemistry between Dench and Fazal is everything I wanted for this story to be told – thank you both for making me laugh, smile and shed a tear.

In the end – an extraordinary true story of a queen and her new best friend!