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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!
PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray and Digital from director Emerald Fennell and Focus Features is the story of a woman on a mission away from being a PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN.

Cassie (Carey Mulligan) works in a coffee shop with Gail (Laverne Cox) and is content with that. Living at home with her parents Susan (Jennifer Coolidge) and Stanley (Clancy Brown) can be a bit contentious at times. Dropping out of medical school does not help Cassie but after her friend Nina was raped, it became clear that the affect it has had on Cassie is extreme.

Her evening hours are spent at bars picking up strangers and then putting a notation down in a book. That is until meeting Ryan Cooper (Bo Burnham), a pediatric doctor who remembers Cassie from medical school. Not wanting to get serious with anyone, Cassie does not want to be distracted from her goal.

But, finding someone who makes her laugh and spend time with has made Cassie a bit softer but no less determined. One of her visits to talk about Nina is to Dean Elizabeth Walker (Connie Britton) and remind her of what happened to her friend. Dean Walker is given a dose of reality as Cassie makes it clear that she has not forgotten what happened.

When Cassie begins to put even more of the pieces of Nina night together and discovers that the horror is more than she could have possibly imagined. She knows there is only one thing left to do and they are never going to see it coming – none of them.

Mulligan as Cassie is completely and unequivocally stunning in this role. From the moment the story begins there is something about Cassie that you can not take your eyes off of. Clearly, she is a woman who has been through something tragic and it has had a lasting impact on her. There are moments she seems checked out of everything and then she becomes laser focused on the only thing she understands – making others pay for how she feels. Mulligan is just brilliant to the point where I watched the film a second time, that is how incredible she is.

Burnham as Ryan is the calm in the midst of Cassie’s emotional storm. He makes her laugh, does not judge what she has been through and tries to bring her some happiness in her life. Remembering Cassie from medical school, their friendship blossoms and Burnham gives us hope that good guys do exist. Britton as Dean Walker is someone Cassie is not going to forget or let get away with what she pretends not to know. 

Shout out to Coolidge as Mom Susan and Brown as Stanley who, as parents, just do not seem to understand their daughter and the choices she has made. Cox as Gail shows up on the screen with her beautiful self, brought sarcasm along for the ride and does it so damn well. 

Other cast include Chris Lowell as Al Monroe, Adam Brody as Jerry, Max Greenfield as Joe, Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Neil, Sam Richardson as Paul, Alfred Molina as Jordan, Angela Zhou as Todd and Molly Shannon as Mrs. Fisher.  

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

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

The Bluray, DVD and Digital Bonus Features Include: A Promising Vision -Writer/Director Emerald Fennell discusses her inspirations for writing this bold, genre-bending film, Two-Sided Transformation – A look at why Carey Mulligan was the perfect choice to play “Cassie” and how filmmakers used wardrobe, hair, and makeup to express the balance between light and dark.

Also, Balancing Act – Cast members discuss their unexpected reactions to the careful balance of levity and tragedy in director Emerald Fennell’s take on female revenge, and Feature Commentary with Writer/Direction Emerald Fennell. 

PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN is a film that deserves award after award for several reasons. First and foremost is Mulligan’s engrossing performance down to the last frame of the film. It has been a while since I invested so much into a film only to be shocked by the final ten minutes. 

Second, a screenplay that does not hold back in its feeling and that includes revenge, fear, love and a deep friendship. A character like Cassie has layer upon layer and the way the story is told brings an unpredictability that I thoroughly enjoyed. It brings about a rollercoaster with deeps valleys and high highs and anyone watching will be more than happy to take the ride.

Finally, this has been a year where good films are few and far between with a pandemic keeping theatres mainly closed. It is my hope that everyone has a chance to see PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN in whatever platform they can because this is definetly a film you do not want to miss.

Hear that Oscar?

In the end – revenge never looked so promising! 

On Brilliant Bluray is NEWS OF THE WORLD

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to 4K, Bluray and DVD and currently on Digital from director Paul Greengrass and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is the journey that is filled with NEWS OF THE WORLD.

It is 1870’s Texas as Confederate Army 3rd Texas Infantry Captain Jefferson Kidd (Tom Hanks) has a new career going from town-to-town reading newspapers for townsfolk who donate ten cents. He is well received as the news of the world brings so much to those who live in relative seclusion.

After one such reading, Captain Kidd is on the road again and comes upon an overturned wagon. In the tree is a man hanging and in the bushes he finds a very defiant young girl. Finding papers that identify her as Johanna (Helena Zengel), it is twist that this young blonde-haired blue-eyed girl is wearing the clothing of the indigenous people and has lost her family. 

Told to take her to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, they let the Captain know that no one can care for her for months. He decides that it is his responsibility to make sure that Johanna is taken to next of kin. There are those who see it another way and want Johanna for themselves. That is their first encounter with problems and Johanna begins to understand that the Captain is protecting her.

Their journey is arduous, perilous and yet Captain Kidd and Johanna begin to understand one another and with each new day they help one another survive human and mother nature. A bond forms that is difficult to break once Johanna meets her next of kin. She is a child of two worlds, and he must decide which will bring her joy.

Hanks as Captain Kidd has once again turned in a touching performance that does not allow for a moments peace without heart string pulling. As this character he has a past of war pain and what was waiting for him when he returned. Trying to stay away from it all, he keeps busy on the road making others informed and even happy with the stories he reads. I would expect nothing less from Hanks than the performance he gives us as Captain Kidd. He is intelligent, crafty and has the heart to protect someone he does not even know. Just a beautiful character brought to life by Hanks.

Zengel as Johanna, in this performance, has already shown the wide range needed for such a young actress. She gives her character heart, fierceness and shares the same ability to think quickly through a problem for answers that save them both. What most would see as defiant, I see as a young girl trying to understand where she fits in because she truly is a child of two worlds. Zengel is a talent to be watched and appreciated in the years to come.

Other cast include: Michael Covino as J.G. Almay, Fred Hechinger as John Calley, Neil Sandilands as Wilhelm Leonberger, Thomas Francis Murphy as Merritt Farley, Ray McKinnon as Simon Boudlin, Mare Winningham as Doris Boudlin, Elizabeth Marvel as Ella Gannett, Chukwudi Iwuji as Charles Edgefield and Bill Camp as Willie Branholme. 

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

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

Bonus Features on 4K, Bluray, DVD and Digital include Deleted Scenes, Partners: Tom Hanks & Helena Zengel, Western Action, Paul Greengrass Makes NEWS OF THE WORLD, The Kiowa and Feature Commentary with Co-Writer/Director Paul Greengrass. 

NEWS OF THE WORLD is a roller coaster of emotions but focused on one thing – Captain Kidd protecting the young Johanna. As each event happens, his protection becomes stronger not realizing they share so much in common. Both have to come to terms with a past that is painful before they can each look toward a future they could never possible have imagined. Zengel and Hanks work together, and it looks flawless and seamless. 

The cinematography is vast and impressive, and the costuming has once again added such a richness to the story being told. Writers Greengrass and Luke Davies took their time in telling the tale through writing and Greengrass allowed this story to unfold in its own time and in its own way. That is amazing directing and powerful.

In the end – find where you belong!

GATTACA Arrives in a Stunning Steelbook

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to 4K Ultra HD in a Limited Edition Steelbook from director Andrew Niccol and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is the newly remastered and intense look at the road to GATTACA.

Vincent Freeman (Ethan Hawke) lives in a future of eugenics where biometrics is used to conceive children known as ‘valids’. Deciding to forego lab conception, Vincent’s parents have a child who they discover has a heart problem and is labeled an ‘invalid’ with a very short life span. That does not stop him from having boyhood dreams of going to space while brother Anton (Loren Dean) is conceived by genetic selection. 

Years later, Vincent meets Jerome (Jude Law) who volunteers to exchange his genetics, or borrowed ladder, so that Vincent can pass as a valid. All of this done so that Vincent, now Jerome, can work at the Gattaca Aerospace Corporation as a navigator for a trip to the Saturn moon of Titan. Daily he must rid himself of everything that is Vincent to pass for Jerome.

A short time before the mission he is to leave on, he meets Irene (Uma Thurman), who shares that she is a valid but with her own defects, so the chance of a mission is none. They become close but fall to being leery of one another when an administrator of Gattaca is murdered. Irene is directed by Mission Director Josef (Gore Vidal) to help the police in any way possible.

Enter Detective Freeman and partner Detective Hugo (Alan Arkin) who tear Gattaca upside down to find the killer. When an eyelash is discovered that leads to someone names ‘Vincent’, the police and Irene are not far behind in discovering the true relationship between Vincent and Jerome. 

A dream is about to get lost in space!

Hawke as Vincent/Jerome has a deep story to tell and will go to any lengths to prove that he is just as good, if not better qualified to go on a mission. Society believes otherwise which makes his transformation even more important. Hawke gives us a calm, cool and well-dressed navigator of Gattaca where no one suspects a thing – until death begins to unravel things.

Law as Jerome is amazing portraying a young man who has had his life changed in such a way that letting Vincent in keeps his life comfortable. Providing him with all the things that make a human being a human being, Law has his moments of screw ups but begins to see Jerome’s vision and what he will do to go on a mission. Experiencing something like that can change a person, even someone like Jerome.

Thurman as Irene is also a straightforward, tightly wound worker of Gattaca who sees something in Vincent/Jerome that is close to her own feelings. She takes it upon herself to protect him at all cost. Thurman keeps us all wondering if she is will see everything through to the end. Dean as Anton is suspicious of everything and everyone which brings him closer to discovering the murderer than he could have realized. The problem is he is to focused on a trail he has created for himself to deal with issues from the past so he is a tad jaded.

Arkin as Detective Hugo is like a dog with a juicy bone and he senses that Anton is distracted by something he couldn’t possibly understand. Following orders in front of Anton does not mean he won’t do his own digging into the discovery of a murderer. 

Other cast include: Jayne Brook as Marie, Xander Berkeley as Lamar, Elias Koteas as Antonio, Mason Gamble as young Vincent, William Scott as young Anton, Ernest Borgnine as Caesar

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

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

The GATTACA Steelbook contains the Bonus Material of Deleted Scenes, Blooper Reel and Welcome to Gattaca Featurette. 

GATTACA was released in 1997 and I can tell you that every time it has showed itself on my television, I stop to watch it. There is something intense and memorable about this film from the cinematography to the idea behind the story that is worth every watch. Director Niccol wrote and brought us GATTACA for $20 million after his first film THE TRUMAN SHOW.

Even in 1997 the question of humanity in technology was difficult to imagine and here we are in 2021 and it is still difficult even in the midst of a pandemic. He says of Gattaca, “characters are scared of leaving a trace of themselves, so the world is very sterile”, sound familiar? Hand cleaning, no touching and six feet of distance bring us closer to a GATTACA existence.

Also in this film is the will to exceed human expectations by any means possible (without hurting someone in Vincent’s case). He is willing to push the limits that are so extraordinary that I had to shake my head and say, ‘nope, I’m good’. Vincent/Jerome is smart, creative and yet so very unlike the Jerome he is forced to be while employed with Gattaca. Perhaps that is why he is such a believable character. Hawke gives him heart, soul and the so unexpected emotion of love.

The Steelbook is awesome to have and 4K Ultra HD, Bluray and Digital copies all in one stunningly done artwork that, as a GATTACA fan, I could relate to for my own home entertainment library.

In the end – a life is a dangerous thing to share!

Have a Tissue When Seeing the Story of OUR FRIEND

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD from director Gabriela Cowperthwaite and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment comes the story of love and friendship with OUR FRIEND.

Nicole Teague (Dakota Johnson) is a young stage actress married to Matt (Casey Affleck) and hangs out with best friend Dane (Jason Segel). Matt is a reporter for the local paper and Dane is a funny guy who is looking for, well, life. Excited for a new reporter position, Matt is covering the news of the world.

Nicole takes the family back to her hometown to be closer to family and Matt continues his career as their daughters grow. Dane is the manager of a sporting goods store and in a good relationship. When the pressures of his life become a serious crisis, he decides that getting away from it all means getting away from everyone. He is not the only one going through a crisis.

Several years later Dan takes a trip to the town of Fairhope, Alabama to visit Matt and Nicole, along with daughters Molly (Isabella Kai) and Evie (Violet McGraw) during the Christmas holiday. He sees the Teague family’s life is in turmoil and decides he needs to step in and bring a little order to it all. 

Deciding to stay, Nicole comes home from the hospital and Matt takes care of her while Dane takes care of the girls staying in touch with girlfriend Kat (Marielle Scott). Watching the Teague family struggle right before his eyes, it is time for acceptance and making every moment count. 

Affleck as Matt is a man that has jumped head-first into his career that is doing very well, but the cost is time away from his family. When best friend Dane tries to make it clear that he is missing out, Matt does not know how to adjust. When Nicole becomes ill, he is forced to come to terms with the years he was not around and the emotions that come with it.

Johnson as Nicole is a woman who has found love with Matt, family with her girls and a best friend that can not be replaced. Everyone in Fairhope loves her and when she becomes ill, life around her changes but she makes sure everyone feels loved. Johnson gives us those emotions but underneath that warmth is a genuine sadness that comes through and brings out the tissues. 

Segel as Dane is a man who sees the world through laughter and caring. His friendship with Matt and Nicole are an important part of his life and when his friends need him desperately, it causes problems with his relationship and life. The Teague family are like his touchstone of life. Segel gives us moments of brevity, lightheartedness and reality checks.

Kai as Molly is a teenager with a long memory and takes every opportunity to let her father know that is absence has had an effect. McGraw as Evie is a darling little girl who finds Dane always amusing. Both girls know there is something wrong and its not just their mother’s illness.

Shout out to Gwendoline Christie as the hiking Teresa who Lets Dane know there is so much more to life. Also, Cherry Jones as Faith the Hospice care giver and anything Jones does I’m all in for. 

Other cast include John McConnell as Glen Hattaway, Denee Benton as Charlotte, Jake Owen as Aaron, Jason Bayle as Rick Bragg, Jacinte Balkenship as Jeanette, Azita Ghanizada as Elizabeth, Sampley Barinaga as Kenny, and Ahna O’Reilly as Gale.

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

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

Exclusive Bonus Feature on Digital, Bluray and DVD include Behind the Scenes with Cast & Crew as Filmmakers and cast including Jason Segel, Dakota Johnson and Casey Affleck discuss why they were drawn to this true story and how they work together to honestly portray the real people at its center. 

OUR FRIEND is a story of the realities of life, love, friendship, anger, crisis, change, betrayal, loyalty, hope, hopelessness, fear, anxiety and all the emotions that come with things we can not control. Segel, Johnson and Affleck carry the film with such grace and respect of their characters truths that sometimes there is not enough tissue in a Kleenex box. 

It is, at times, difficult to watch what these characters endure because it is so close to the reality of how things tend to work when someone is ill. The film holds nothing back by way of emotional exhaustion and the physical appearance in watching someone you love slowly stop being the person you have always known.

This story is breathtaking, heartbreaking and stunningly beautiful.

LET HIM GO

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray, DVD and Digital from writer/director Thomas Bezucha and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is the story of love when one couple demands they LET HIM GO.

Retired lawman George (Kevin Costner) and Margaret Blackledge (Diane Lane) are living a quiet life with their son James (Ryan Bruce) and daughter-in-law Lorna (Kayli Carter). With the arrival of their grandson Jimmy, George and Margaret are loving ever moment they spend with him. 

After a tragedy, Margaret cannot seem to find herself again but returns to life. That is until Lorna decides to marry Donnie Weboy (Will Brittain) and move into a town apartment. Feeling the empty nest, Margaret and George once again continue on. While shopping one day, Margaret sees how Donnie is treating both Lorna and Jimmy and is not sure what to do. 

Returning to their apartment the next day, she is shocked to learn that during they night they left taking everything with them. Running home to George, she tells him everything and that she is packing up the car to go find their grandson. Margaret makes it very clear that she is willing to take to the road with or without George.

Once on the road, George looks up friends he knew on the force to see if any of them can help find the couple. The more north they go the more the name Weboy seems to cause people to shut down. Parking for the evening they meet Peter Dragswolf (Booboo Stewart) who offers the couple food and a place to stay for the night. 

The next morning, they finally find Bill Weboy (Jeffrey Donovan) who knows exactly where Lorna and Jimmy are. Taking them to the furthest backroad, they come across a house where Blanche Weboy (Lesley Manville) waits for George and Margaret. The moment they enter the house there is tension and mystery behind this family who has their grandson. 

It becomes clear that the Weboy’s are a savage family who are not about to let Margaret or George walk away with what they think is rightfully theirs. When the couple go to Lorna to try and make a plan, the treachery of the Weboy’s comes out which means only one thing – someone is going to pay dearly. 

Costner as George Blackledge is a man of few words. It is clear he cares about what happens to his family but seems a bit lost when it comes to what happens to grandson Jimmy. Trying to keep things together, he finally realizes that the danger is to great walk away. Costner seems a gentle giant in this role and when he takes action, its best to stand back and let it be done. 

Lane as Margaret is a stubborn woman who loves her son and grandson. When life brings her unexpected and saddening changes, it also brings out the mother tiger inside toward her grandson. There is not anything she did that I would not do but that being said – there is a moment when she goes to far and the family pays for it dearly. Lane does not take garbage from anyone and when she and Blanche Weboy have a knock-down staring contest, it gave me chills!

Manville as Blanche is a woman no one wants to be left in a room alone with. She is powerful, fearless and does not mind spending a bullet or two on someone who gets in her way. Her reach is far, and no one will cross her. Manville is stunning and frightening at the same time. Nothing wrong with being a frightening character if you do it well and she most certainly does. 

Carter as Lorna is a woman who goes from one extreme to the other when it comes to family. The undercurrent of her newest marriage is one that rings of such fear it is palpable thanks to Carter. Brittain as Donnie is nothing short of a man who is used to doing whatever he wants to whoever he wants – except for Mama! 

Donovan as Bill is a Weboy that will smile while stabbing you in the back. His character made me so uncomfortable and in need of a shower. When Donovan has a chance to be bad, he takes it running and leaves the rest of us breathless with it all. Well played sir, well played. 

For the stunner of the film, Booboo Stewart plays Peter, the loner Native American who just wants to be left to live his life. Getting away from schools trying to change him, he clearly sees that George and Margaret are in over their heads yet when Margaret asks – he answers.

Other cast include Bram and Otto Hornung as Jimmy, Bradley Stryker as Sheriff Nevelson, Connor Mackay as Elton Weboy and Greg Lawson as the Glastone Sheriff. 

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

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

The Bonus Features include The Blackledges: Kevin Costner & Diane Lane: Stars Diane Lane and Kevin Costner share personal insights into their characters and why finally having the chance to work together was an opportunity neither party could pass up, The Making of LET HIM GO: Take a deeper look at the emotional journey the Blackledges embark on, the period specific production design and director/Writer Thomas Bezucha’s inspiration in adapting the novel for screen.

Finally, Lighting the Way: Thomas Bezucha: Director/Writer Thomas Bezucha shares his process in developing the story while the cast and crew discuss what makes him the perfect person to bring this film to life.  

The film is actually based on Larry Watson’s novel as Bezucha wrote the screenplay from that source material. It is a film about love, family, sacrifice, vengeance, and all the ugly mess that goes on in families. It is clear the Blackledge family believes in one kind of family while the Weboy’s believe in something most of us would disagree with.

The story is skillfully told with the backdrop of the times and with the bonus of stunning cinematography. The entire film is masterfully simple yet tells a complicated tale of two families and what it takes to keep family.

In the end – fight for family!

They are Staying Alive on the HORIZON LINE

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray from director Mikael Marcimain and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is the thriller of being upon on the HORIZON LINE.

Sara (Allison Williams) has come to be part of bestie Pascale’s (Pearl Mackie) wedding. She didn’t expect to run into ex-boyfriend Jackson (Alexander Dreymon) and it does not take much for them to spend time together. Waking up the next morning, Sara is having a problem dealing with it and runs off to the airport to get to the wedding.

Asking for a plane ride from dear friend Freddy Wyman (Keith David), she is surprised to also see Jackson again realizing he too is getting a lift on the plane. Taking off, Freddy tells Sara how much he misses having her around and asks that she take the wheel like old times. Knowing her pleas not to would go unheard, Sara takes the controls at just the right time.

Freddy becomes ill and can no longer fly the plane. Jackson tries to help but its clear that it is something she will have to do on her own. What is ahead of them is nothing but a vast ocean, an ugly storm and time ticking away before they run out of fuel.

It is time to get creative!

Williams as Sara is a young woman who made the decision to leave her relationship to find a life. Unfortunately, ex-boyfriend Jackson decided that his life was more important and let Sara go. Now in the same place once again, those issues sit in the back of the plane when Sara must remember what she learned about flying and hope they survive.

Dreymon as Jackson is dealing with his emotions once he sees Sara and decides its better if he just keeps his distance. That is easier said than done when its time to help Sara stay in contact with the only person on the radio they can find and get brave when it comes time to go outside the plane – while in the air! 

David as Freddy is a dear friend to both Sara and Jackson, sharing with her his feelings about the last time they flew together, who knew it would be everything. David always plays such unique characters and in this film, he is more laid back with a sense of humor till the end. 

Other cast include Jumayn Hunter as Samuel, Amanda Khan as Nadia, Anouchka Massoudy as Theresa, Kate Shepherd as Leah and Daisy Tong as Grace.

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

STX Films and Entertainment is a global next-generation company who has taken on the mission to unlock the value of direct connection stars have with their fans through the development, production and distribution of film, television, VR, digital video, music and live entertainment content. It is the industry leader in transforming beyond traditional platform-driven content to creating talent-driven enterprises. To experience more please visit www.stxfilms.com.

The Bonus Features include Deleted Scenes. 

HORIZON LINE is the kind of film that everything that could possibly go wrong does go wrong and it gives me even more anxiety about small planes (not that big planes are any comfort either actually). This is a film that takes place mainly inside a small plane and those are the angles the director must work with. It is a very tight space in that plane, yet you can feel the wind everywhere around the center of it all.

There are a few scenes that are absolutely crazy in what this couple must do to keep the plane in the air. Of course, it is not as if they have a choice, especially if they want to survive. This story is about all the creative things that can keep the plane in the air and a few mistakes that the duo did making their flight even more dangerous. 

HORIZON LINE is an action film that has an ending that keeps the viewer guessing. The story is creative making sure we all do not get comfortable until the director says we can! 

In the end – it is fly or die!

Delighting on Bluray is WILD MOUNTAIN THYME

Jeri Jacquin

Coming from director writer/director John Patrick Shanley and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment comes the story of life and land in WILD MOUNTAIN THYME.

Tony (Christopher Walken) has lived his life on a beautiful plot of land in Ireland with his son Anthony (Jamie Dornan). In the land next to them is Aoife (Dearbhla Molloy) and daughter Rosemary (Emily Blunt) who keeps her heart out for Anthony. 

When Anthony learns that his father might be selling the land to him, he is devastated. He also learns that nephew Adam (Jon Hamm) from America is coming for Tony’s birthday and that is who is considered front runner for the land. There is also a piece of land between Tony and Aoife that belongs to Rosemary! 

When tragedy hits Rosemary, Tony wonders if his idea of selling the farm is a very good one and Adam returns to New York. When Anthony’s life changes, he suggests to Rosemary that maybe she should go and see the world and leave the farm. She takes off for New York and meets up with Adam and finally sees a dream on stage. 

Anthony lets Rosemary know that he believes Adam is looking for a wife. This is where things get pickled as Anthony cares for Rosemary, Rosemary cares for Anthony and Adam will either make or break them or maybe the secrets they have will explain it all!

Blunt as Rosemary is just so dang cute its ridiculous. Of course, everything Blunt has done is amazing to watch so I did not expect this to be any different. As Rosemary, she is a dreamer and the most patient woman I think I have ever heard of. What I love about this character is that she knows there is something keeping them apart and pulls and pulls again believing that even in her dreams there is something to hold on to. 

Dornan as Anthony is a painfully shy man who just does not know his worth to himself and those around him. Dornan is so sweet in this role and even the awkwardness of Anthony only makes him more endearing. Practicing a way to reach the point where he can speak to Rosemary, he constantly is being pulled back by his own fears. Playing opposite Walken is the father-son realities that there is a history in every one’s life, even a father.

Hamm as Adam is not happy when Tony keeps him dangling on a string. Returning to New York, he is surprised to see Rosemary again and that is when he wonders if he has what it takes to be an Irish farmer.  

Walken as Anthony is crotchety, pushy and has a goal – to see his son alone no longer. Although his accent gets a little muddled at times, it changes nothing about his performance. There is a scene between father and son that is not only tissue worthy but thumps the heart because it was a moment of pure love between the two.

Other cast includes Jon Tenney as tommy, Danielle Ryan as Maeve, Lydia McGuinness as Eleanor, Abigail Coburn as young Rosemary and Darragh O’Kane as young Anthony. 

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

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

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

WILD MOUNTAIN THYME is the kind of film that I adore during a stressful time. It is set in the glorious green of Ireland with vast open land, animals and streams. There is something wonderful just seeing that scenery mixed with something we do not see a lot of in Southern California – rainstorms!

This is a story of generational families and stories that are not told until time has its way. Watching Walken play Dornan’s father is full of emotion, bold, brassy and loud emotion. In case anyone is wondering if Irish families are like that, well, my grandmother’s side certainly was and is. Outspoken, vocal, and no nonsense were the order of the day in her household. That in itself made me laugh at the film watching Blunt be everything I saw in my own grandmother.

It is also a story of love and longing by two people who have such different dreams yet have known each other since childhood. Even then, a fence did not stop them from consistently being pulled toward one another because everything they did not say are the things that could have brought them together sooner. Isn’t that how we all are?

Grab your own love, cuddle up with a huge comfy blanket on a fluffy sofa and be whisked away to Ireland and cheer on the couple who wants what you have – minus the fence.

In the end – there is nothing more dangerous than an Irish woman in love!

GREENLAND 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray, DVD and Digital from director Ric Roman Waugh and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is a disaster that is hard to escape from when getting to GREENLAND.

John Garrity (Gerard Butler) is an engineer that is in hot water with wife Allison (Morena Baccarin). Trying to make things right again, he comes home to help with a party that brings their friends over to watch the passing of comet Clarke.

Taking son Nathan (Roger Floyd) to the store to pick-up last minute items, a message comes over his phone that takes him by surprise. Rushing home to talk to Allison about it, it isn’t long before Clarke, who was supposed to pass them by – doesn’t. The shockwave is immediate, and the message appears once again to John and his family. 

With only moments to pack, John makes sure to get the medicine young Nathan needs and after confronting neighbors, he must speed past them. The message they received made it clear that without proper instructions, all will be turned away. Getting to the base, everything that can go wrong does go wrong and the family is separated.

Trying to get back together will take everything John and Allison have if they are to make it to Greenland and survive the extinction level event. 

Butler as Garrity is a man who knows he has messed up royally with his family and if there was ever a time to prove his worth, it is now. It is no surprise that Butler gets his hands completely dirty in this film at every turn. He has but one single focus, finding his family and getting them to safety. Butler gives it everything and I would expect nothing less.

Baccarin as Allison is not a shrinking violet in this film either. She gives her character the ability to be strong when she must and do whatever she can for her child. It is fantastic to have a female lead character that pulls her weight in the storyline and cares as much for the safety of her family as husband does.

Floyd as young Nathan does not have any easy time of it from start to finish. I will say that when the scariest thing that can happen to a child does, Floyd keeps his cool (as much as a kid can) knowing his parents are not going to sit idly by and do nothing. 

Shout out to Scott Glen as Dale, Allison’s father. Anytime this fine actor is on screen I know that not only will he do what he must, but he will do it in his own unique style. 

Other cast include: Randal Gonzalez as Bobby, Scott Poythress as Kenny, Claire Bronson as Debra, Madison Johnson as Ellie, Gary Weeks as Ed, Tracey Bonner as Peggy and Merrin Dungey as Major Breen.

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

The Bonus Features include Deleted Scenes, “Humanity” Featurette and Filmmaker Commentary. 

GREENLAND is the perfect mixture of disaster, humanity and survival with just a few small chunky pieces of a comet thrown in. I am not about to give anything away but trust me, what I have written here is a snippet of what you will see. The film has so much in the way of how we treat one another and what happens when things go terribly wrong.

There is definetly a love of family and what we will do to protect those we love. I highly recommend tissue when you see Scott Glen. What I think I love about the film as well is there is no holding back, it is messy, it is sad and yet in the midst of it is the will to live and love – and some of us can totally understand that right now.

So gather the family, crank up the big screen, pop the corn and get ready for the survival ride of the year with GREENLAND. 

In the end – they will struggle together to survive!

He Wants to Reach ELYSIUM

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to 4K Ultra HD, Bluray and Digital from writer/director Neill Blomkamp and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is the thriller to get to ELYSIUM.

Max Da Costa (Matt Damon) lives in the year 2154 Los Angeles in utter poverty. Above them is a spaceship called Elysium where the rich live. Elysium has a cure for almost anything that could be imagined but, only the powerful living on the ship get it.

Those barely surviving on Earth want what Elysium has and that includes Max who was hurt working for Armadyne, a factory that makes weaponry and robots policing Earth. CEO Carylyle (William Fichtner) refuses to help Max so he is taking matters into his own hands deciding to find Spider (Wagner Moura), a human smuggler that can get he and Julio (Diego Luna) to Elysium.

The Defense Secretary on Elysium, Delacourt (Jodie Foster) finds out about ships smuggling humans and shoots them down. President Patel (Faran Tahir) is furious but that does not stop Delacourt from making a deal with Carylyle for more weapons. Spider finds out about it and says he can get Max to Elysium if he stills the information Carylyle has. 

Max agrees and when he gets his hands on the program, Deacourt is furious and brings in Agent Kruger (Sharlto Copley) to retrieve it. Now the rush is on to stay alive and fight their way to Elysium first! 

Damon as Max is a man who has lived the best he can under the circumstances. When the CEO of the company he worked for treats him badly, Damon gives his character of Max a reason to go on – and that is to get to Elysium. He had not intended to help others, but Max is given the chance to do so and puts himself front and center when Kruger is on the hunt. I enjoyed Damon in this role because it is different and a dip into the sci-fi world.

Foster as Delacourt, well, what can I say but I actually adore Foster when she has the chance to play the bad gal. She does it so damn well that I find myself wickedly laughing when her character pulls stunts. As Delacourt, she has no use for the people living on Earth and her only concern is keeping the rich and powerful clean and healthy.

Copley as Kruger has some idea of how to go about playing this role because he was on the other end in the 2009 film DISTRICT 9 (another of my personal favs). Here he gets to be under the thumb of Delacourt but there is something about this character that does not seem to mind a good chase. Copley came on the film scene fast and has made his mark. Secretly I was hoping to see a District 10 and perhaps I still am hoping. 

Other cast include Alice Braga as Frey Santiago, Brandon Auret as Drake, Josh Blacker as Crowe, Emma Tremblay as Matila Santiago, Jose Cantillo as Sandro, Adrian Holmes as Manuel, and Jared Keeso as Rico. 

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

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

The 4K Ultra HD gives this film an epic look and since my kids were nice enough to get me a 70” 4K television for Christmas, trust me when I saw seeing this film again is awesome in scope, color, cinematography and action. 

ELYSIUM is a thrill ride of a sci-fi film with the good guy who isn’t about to let a little the rich living in the sky stop him from doing what must be done for every guy (and gal). This is an futuristic underdog story that Damon takes on full force.

Also, in this film is those much less fortunate taking on those who believe they are above, literally, the rest of the world. That is where the story really gets interesting so buckle up for the Blomkamp ride because no one is holding back!

In the end – rebel against!

BORN A CHAMPION

Jeri Jacquin

On DVD from director Alex Ranarivelo and Lionsgate Home Entertainment is the story of redemption when you are BORN A CHAMPION.

The story is told by Taco (Maurice Compte) about his friend Mickey (Sean Patrick Flanery), a man who has found the one thing in his life that has meaning – jiu-jitsu. It is the 1990’s going to Dubai for a match as a guest of the Sheik (Ali Afshar), Mickey meets Layla (Katrina Bowden) who is being harassed by the wealthy Dimitris (Costas Mandylor). 

Up against fighter Blaine, Mickey does not anticipate that he would cheat leading to the worst injuries he could have imagined. Returning to the United States he finds Layla and starts a family while teaching privately here and there. His other two jobs include being a janitor at a jiu-jitsu business and a bouncer.

Mickey and Taco are more than friends, they are brothers and keep one another steady through their lives. Another friend of Mickey’s is Pittman (Reno Wilson) who brings Mickey into his business to teach which means he does not have to work three jobs any longer. 

The first person to be thrilled by this is Years go by and a video of the fight between Mickey and Blaine soon captures the internet by storm as the issue of Blaine cheating comes to the forefront. Someone else who sees the video is Mason (Dennis Quaid) who is interested in Mickey. When a rematch is set between Mickey and Blaine, Mason makes sure that it does not take place because of injuries from the previous match.

When tragedy hits Mickey’s family, it is Dimitris who makes the match happen again in Dubai. Now is his chance to prove that even at his age, he can make what was wrong then become right now. 

Flanery as Mickey is a man who has a history that he keeps to himself. Finding something he enjoys doing, meaning jiu-jitsu, he is willing to take whatever job keeps him going. Once Layla comes into his life, he is even more dedicated to taking care of his family and holding down as many jobs as he needs to. Flanery portrays Mickey as a humble man who does not have the same mindset as those around him. 

Compte as Taco is clearly Mickey’s best friend and has brought him into his family. That means helping him when he needs it and supporting him even if he does not agree with his fighting choices. The way Compte portrays his character is with nothing but care and love for a friend. Wilson as Pittman remembers Mickey from the first fight in Dubai and sees that he still has the skills. Offering him a teaching job was the best thing for him and Wilson’s portrayal is that of man who believes in supporting all those in the jiu-jitsu community. 

Bowden as Layla is a young woman that sees something special about Mickey and their life together is all about love and support. Even if she does not always agree, Layla is willing to bend for Mickey’s happiness. 

Quaid as Mason is a promoter of these fights and is very curious about Mickey. Watching the video fight between Mickey and Blaine, he sees danger for his fighter. It is only until later when meeting Mickey face to face does Mason see something totally different. 

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 and Digital Special Features include: Director’s Commentary, “The Final Fight” with Alternate Score Music and “The Jimmy Fight” with Alternate Score Music. 

Flanery has a deep love for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and continues to study the art today. It is very cool that not only did he write the story but has the opportunity to play Mickey, a character he wrote into existence. 

The film is very deliberate in its telling and definetly has the 1990’s feel to it. It is definetly a story about redemption but not something Mickey strives for from day to day. That is something I do not think the other characters understood about him. He wanted to be happy with his family and teach something he loves to others. 

That being said, given the chance, he takes it but on his own terms – and oh what terms they are!

In the end – once in a lifetime opportunity knocks twice! 


MONSTER HUNTER Faces Creatures From Another Time

Jeri Jacquin

Currently on 4K HD, Bluray and Digital from writer/director Paul W.S. Anderson, based on a video game and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is the challenge of dimensions being a MONSTER HUNTER. 

Army Captain Natalie Artemis (Milla Jovovich) and the security team she is in charge of are looking for a team that has gone missing in the desert. Out of no where comes a lightening storm that pulls the team into it and on the other side is a world unlike our own. They discover what is left of the team they were searching for and it does not take long before a creature destroys everything.

Trying to hide in a cave, a new pack of monster’s attacks as Artemis is stabbed by one of the creatures. Believing their Captain to be dead, the others run for their lives. When Artemis wakes up, she discovers that she is the only one left alive. She runs into Hunter (Tony Jaa), and another fight for survival takes place but ends with the realization that they need each other to live – even if they do not understand one another. 

Traveling across the desert after a major attack, Artemis meets The Admiral (Ron Perlman) who actually speaks English! He tells Artemis a little of what he knows about the history of where she is but also explains that the door between their worlds must be closed at the Sky Tower if both sides are to avoid being wiped out. However, they must get past the monster known as Gore Magala and it is not going to be easy. 

Now, Artemis must work with people who she does not quite understand if she is to get to the place she calls home.

Jovovich as Artemis gives us the performance that she has become known for. An action heroine filled with the ability to use weaponry, pick up on new moves and become stronger instead of afraid (which I would have been trust THAT!). From Leeloo in THE FIFTH ELEMENT, to Joan of Arc in THE MESSENGER, to Alice in RESIDENT EVIL, Jovovich makes it clear that she knows her way around evil of the two legged and many legged kind.

Jaa as Hunter is fantastic on every level. He can hold his own against and Army Captain and once he realizes they can learn from each other, he allows his humanity and sense of humor to come out. Jaa has a great way of showing his abilities through fighting skills and handling weapons that are not, well, from this world. I truly enjoyed watching him on the screen!

Perlman as The Admiral floats a ship along the sand and has a goal, taking his crew to the Sky Tower and find a way to close it before its too late. He knows the history of where Artemis is and knows there is only one way to stop the tower but getting there means taking on a very large creature. Of course Perlman gets to wield an extraordinary weapon on his own and is not afraid of swinging it full force.

Other cast include: T.I. as Lincoln, Diego Boneta as Marshall, Meagan Good as Dash, Josh Helman as Steeler, Jin Au-Yeung as Axe, Jannik Shumann as Aiden, Nanda Costa as Lea, and Nic Rasenti as Captain Roark. 

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

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

Bonus Material of MONSTER HUNTER includes Deleted Scenes, THE MONSTER HUNTERS: Cast and Characters, Monstrous Arsenal: Weaponry in the Film and For the Players: From Game to Scream. 

Jovovich and Jaa carry this film for a major part of the action and I have to say I was pretty swept away with what they did. From the fight scenes with each other and fight scenes with absolutely creepy creatures, the action is continuous. I did not know that this film was based on a 2004 PlayStation 2 video game and Capcom Production Studio so well done on their part.  

MONSTER HUNTER is a turn out the lights, huge tub of popcorn, Saturday night on the couch with the family film. Its got tons of action, tons of adventure and its centered around basically only a few characters which lets you invest in Artemis, Hunter and The Admiral and the goal they oddly are working together towards.

The door seems to be open for more of the story to be told and it will be interesting to see if that comes to pass. In the meantime, prepare for a trip into another world!

In the end – they come together for the ultimate showdown!

THE LAST SHIFT

Jeri Jacquin

Currently on Digital, Bluray and DVD from writer/director Andrew Cohn and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment are two men doing THE LAST SHIFT.

It has been thirty-eight years working at Oscar’s Chicken and Fish graveyard and time for Stanley (Richard Jenkins) to retire. His replacement is Jevon (Shane McGhie) has a problem with letting whatever he thinks slide out of his mouth. Spending the weekend training the recruit, Stanley does not understand Jevon’s lack of enthusiasm. 

Jevon tries to break it down to Stanley leaving the lifelong employee wondering if what he is saying could be true. Jevon has problems of his own with a girlfriend who is questioning his commitment to their relationship and their very young son. 

Preparing to go to Florida to take care of his Mother and having a verbal tumble with Jevon, Stanley does something that is completely out of character. The effects of that decision will come to define everything for both men.

Jenkins as Stanley is a man who has accepted his life as being the graveyard guy at Oscar’s and occasionally hanging out with buddy Dale (Ed O’Neill). Thinking this is all life has to offer him, it takes a young man named Jevon to give him not only a reality check but a voice that does not seem to suit him. Jenkins once again turns in a performance that shows how this actor has always been slightly under-appreciated as far as I am concerned. Big fan here!

McGhie as Jevon is a young man who has found himself on the other end of the law, relationships, fatherhood and what his future needs to be. Always having an opinion and happy to share it whether its asked for or not, McGhie’s character is strong in that area of his life but needs some help with his emotions. 

O’Neill as Dale is someone who has always been there for Stanley but does not really do a lot to support his decision to go to Florida. Also, a shout out to Allison Tolman as Evelyn, Jevon’s probation officer who realizes she knows this young man and wants to help if she can.

Other cast include Deron J. Powell as Perry, Julian Parker as Brandon, Tracey Bonner as Crystal, and Da’Vine Randolph as Shazz.

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

Jenkins and McGhie’s performance of these two men starts out contentious, then moves on to charming, then gets tense and turns into something unexpected and sad. Yes, that’s all you are going to get out of me because I want it all to play out as director Cohn intended.

THE LAST SHIFT is an emotional ride through the lives of two people who are both disappointed by where they are and how they got there. They both also seem to be self-blinded by the possibilities of anything the future may hold. I think that is the saddest part of the film for me – that Stanley sees nothing else and Jevon only expects the worst in life.  

The story does seem to rush through which makes it a little difficult to embrace each of these characters but, that being said, it is easy to embrace them together. Jenkins and McGhie are wonderful together and I will always be grateful to them for teaching me how to use a frozen hamburger patty correctly!

In the end – it was always more than a job!


There is Terror with COME PLAY

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray, DVD and currently on Digital from writer/director Jacob Chase Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is the unbelievable way it asks them to COME PLAY.

Oliver (Azhy Robertson) just wants a friend and so he turns to electronic devises to keep him occupied. Unable to speak, he also uses the devises to communicate with his mother Sarah (Gillian Jacobs) and dad Marty (John Gallagher Jr.). One day he discovers a story about a monster named Larry that also wants a friend. 

The problem is that this particular story-book friend has evil intention. Using electricity, Larry can travel and wreak deadly havoc on their lives. Oliver begins to understand how Larry works and tries to share with his parents through drawing how it is all happening.

Believing that becoming device free would save them, Larry learns quickly what he must do to finally have the friend he is dying for.

Robertson as Oliver is a young man dealing with several issues. Recently losing a friend because of a misunderstanding, Oliver goes deeper inside himself. Using devices to communicate is necessary if his parents are going to help him. Once he discovers Larry, he begins to see the result of going further and further into the story. Robertson does not need words because he is absolutely able to convey every horror emotion with his face and that’s talent.

Jacobs as Sarah is trying to keep her family together and help her son. It is when she is brought into Larry’s web of terror that she finally understands what her son has been trying to tell her. Staying on step ahead of Larry, Jacobs is fast on her feet and gives her character the tiger protecting her cub.

Gallagher Jr. is trying to understand the stress his wife is under but the problems with Oliver seem to be driving them apart. It is when he takes the opportunity to spend time with Oliver, he learns about Larry and is not about to let the creature have his son. Gallagher Jr. is a strong father but at the same time has the frailties all fathers have. 

Other cast includes Winslow Fegley as Byron, Jayden Marine as Mateo, Gavin Wright as Zach, Dalmar Abuzeid as Mr. Calarco, Eboni Booth as Dr. Robyn and Rachel Wilson as Jennifer.

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

COME PLAY is certainly a thriller/horror film with a creature that has come from Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. I personally think that is amazingly cool and just hearing the footsteps of Larry coming across the floor brings huge anticipation of seeing him on screen. 

I enjoyed the film and writer/director Chase’s use of electronics as a mode of transport for Larry. There are many people who see electronics as becoming a horror show and I do not disagree. For Chase to wrap that feeling into a film is stellar and hugely creative. I can honestly say if something like that happened on my cell phone or Ipad – I would find the nearest woodchipper! 

This is also a fun rainy evening film with the lights out and a huge tub of popcorn and I am very fond of evenings like this. COME PLAY fits everything that I want in a dark and creative horror film with intense thrills and an ending that is different yet amazing. Lights out and have fun!

In the end – he is good at taking friends! 

AMMONITE

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray, DVD and Digital from writer/director Francis Lee and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is a story of two women in search of something more than AMMONITE.

Mary Anning (Kate Winslet) is a renown fossil hunter who spends her days on the shores of Lyme Regis in 1840 England. Day after day the self-taught paleontologist has an amazing eye for finding fossils that she sells to tourists. Taking care of her ailing mother Molly (Gemma Jones), Mary keeps to herself. 

One day, at her shop door is Roderick Murchison (James McArdle) looking to learn about how Mary finds fossils. Along with him on the visit is his wife Charlotte Murchison (Saoirse Ronan) who is quiet and meek. A few days pass when Murchison offers Mary a large amount of money to watch over the depressive Charlotte while he goes on his next adventure.

Knowing the money would help, she begrudgingly agrees. Almost right away Charlotte becomes seriously ill and as she starts to get well, she and Mary start to show signs of friendship toward each other. Both have pasts that are haunting their ability to be happy with thin veils of uncomfortableness that wakes up with them each and every day. 

What comes from that friendship is complicated, loving and forces life choices that are painful for them both but needed to break free.

Winslet as Mary is a woman set in her ways. Taking care of an ailing mother, Mary, in a way, hides behind her as I see it. Diving into her work finding fossils is another way to avoid people totally. Making sure they have enough money to survive is important, but the years have created a bubble around Mary’s life. I actually love when Winslet takes on roles that are a challenge to understand and grasp as the tale unfolds. 

Ronan as Charlotte has a depression she is fighting through and does not see any light in her life. Even with Mary, the first days she remains aloof and dangerously closed off. Ronan is always a light on the screen and following her career is a joy. With every role she chooses there is simplicity mixed with complexity that is all wrapped up on her face that does not give anything away until she is ready for us to know – and then only in doses.

Jones as mother Molly has become use to living the secluded life her daughter provides and sees Charlotte as an interloper. Shaw makes herself known as Elizabeth Philpot who has a connection to Mary that is endearing and telling. 

McArdle as Murchison is a husband who says openly that he wants his wife back but does not seem to be heart broken over leaving her with Mary. Do not think we didn’t notice that Murchison!

Other cast include Claire Rushbrook as Eleanor Butters, Alec Secareanu as Dr. Lieberson and Fiona Shaw as Elizabeth Philpot. 

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

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

The Special Feature includes The Making of AMMONITE: Stars Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan join filmmakers to discuss how they were able to convey the extraordinary depth of the film’s two main characters, Mary Anning and Charlotte Murchison.  

Director Lee says, “I wanted to explore what this relationship might mean to someone who has not only been socially and geographically isolated but who has had to close off to any emotional life, where you replace affection and intimacy with work and duty. Where you have been overlooked and ignored your whole life because of your gender and social class. Given this world, would Mary be able to access how she feels for Charlotte? Would she be able to let her guard down to allow the possibility of something new and wonderful to enter her life?”

When asked about the importance to telling Mary’s story, Winslet says, “She is so important. Her strength, her courage – I admire those qualities very much, but also her vulnerability, which she had to keep hidden. Now more than ever we’re living in a time when women are absolutely obsessed with other women and when, more than what we look like or how we feel when we walk down the street, it’s about what women have to say. Women are greater together; the stronger female voices we have, the more togetherness we show.

When asked what she wanted audiences to take away from seeing AMMONITE, Saoirse Ronan says, “Everyone’s going to take away something different from it, which is always wonderful, when you have people coming up to you saying “I really got this bit” or “I felt like that was me…”. You’re watching two people really discover themselves as individuals and within a partnership, and I think that’s a really beautiful thing to watch and it doesn’t necessarily come easy.”

The film has a quiet character which is the shoreline itself with its secrets waiting for Mary to discover but also a gray and cold feel. You could say that both women can sit before the waves and feel a kinship with the waves showing outside what they feel inside. 

AMMONITE is a simple tale with a not-so-simple story that pushes hard to be told. Winslet and Ronan carry the entire film and bring out the characters fears, hopes and desires is so well done. This might be the story of two women but know it is also the story of two people who are learned to break through the closed off life they had come to know.

In the end – it is simply love. 

The Ultimate Disaster of 2012 

Jeri Jacquin

Currently on 4K Ultra HD, Bluray and Digital from writer/director Roland Emmerich and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is the disaster of 2012.

Jackson Curtis (John Cusack) is a frustrated writer who has found himself now a chauffer driver of rich Russian Yuri Karpov (Zlatko Buric). Spending the weekend with kids Noah (Liam James) and Lilly (Morgan Lily), ex-wife Kate (Amanda Peet) is not surprised that he is late picking them up.

That is not the biggest worry in the world, that would come from Adrian Helmsley (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who has been given bad news about the planet. Getting that bad news to Carl Anheuser (Oliver Platt) at the White House means telling the President Wilson (Danny Glover) as well. 

Jackson takes the kids camping and meets Charlie (Woody Harrelson) who tries to explain that the world is about to experience its end. Believing that Charlie is a one card short of a full deck, Jackson takes it in stride. That is until a phone call from Kate after a hard earthquake brings them all home. While taking Yuri’s kids to the airport, Jackson feels the ground shake under his feet – now he is a believer.

Grabbing Kate, the kids and her husband Gordon (Tom McCarthy) – they all hit the road just as everything around them is literally coming down. The one thing Jackson knows now is that getting back to Charlie to get more information is essential. Helmsely must break the news that everything he predicted is now speeding up rapidly and their plan for survival must start now.

Meeting up with Yuri in Las Vegas, Jackson and his crew and the Russian and his family jump on the plane to find the arks Charlie spoke of. What they never expected was what they will find and how much harder their journey will be to survive the destruction of their world.

Cusak as Curtis is trying to recover from writing a book that did not do so well and a family that has moved on without him. Once the planet become erratic, the character of Curtis goes into hyper-survival mode and Cusak does what he does best – gives us a character that you can believe even with all his flaws. Peet as Kate still cares about Curtis even though he makes her nuts. Convinced that Curtis is their only hope, she stands by him and protects her children.

Ejiofor as Helmsley is a man who must bring the news to the President. Then a plan is put in place but even as that is happening, Helmsley knows that something is not quite right with how it is playing out. When it becomes clear, Helmsley fights for saving as man human beings as they can – no matter who they are. Platt as Anhauser is just how everyone sees a politician – a little crooked and a lot concerned for himself more than anyone else. 

Buric as Yuri is a rich Russian who get the tickets for his family the usual way – lots of money paid. The strange thing is I find Yuri an amusing character. McCarthy as Gordon isn’t happy with having to be saved by his wife’s ex-husband but he does his part to get the family away from danger. 

Harrelson as Charlie is terrific, trippy, funny, a little left of center and I absolutely loved his time on the screen. 

Other cast include Thandie Newton as Laura Wilson, Beatrice Rosen as Tamara, Alexandre Haussmann as Alec, Philippe Haussmann as Oleg, and Johann Urb as Sasha.

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

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

The Special Features include Discovery Channel’s 2012 Apocalypse, Theatrical Trailers, Picture-in-Picture Roland’s Vision, Commentary with Writer/director Roland Emmerich and Co-writer Harald Kloser, Alternate Ending, Interactive Mayan Calendar, Designing the End of the World, Roland Emmerich: The Master of the Modern Epic, Science Behind the Destruction, The End of the World: The Actor’s Perspective, Countdown to the Future, Deleted Scenes, “Time for Miracles” Music Video by Adam Lambert. 

It is no secret to anyone who knows me or knows my film habits that I love a disaster film. I mean I LOVE watching things fall apart around the human race because it also shows the best in people. Of course, you will have a few characters that you want to throw in the nearest hole in the earth but, in general, its about survival and helping those around them to survive. 

There is also this amazing creativity in that survival by the characters in these films and Roland Emmerich knows how to get that into all his films. Let’s face it, he has shown us some serious disasters with the films INDEPENDENCE DAY and DAY AFTER TOMORROW. The film 2012 takes that even further because there is not a moment to take a breath but instead feeling part of the group trying to survive.

That is what makes these films so great and 2012 is stunning in scope, special effects (that you forget are special effects) and the fight for humanity against mother nature.

In the end – the end is just the beginning!


He is an HONEST THIEF

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray/DVD and Digital from director Mark Williams and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is the story of an HONEST THIEF.

Tom Dolan (Liam Neeson) is looking for a storage unit when he is taken with Annie Wilkins (Kate Walsh). A year later they are still going strong, but something is bothering Tom. He has a past that he’s trying to steer clear of, but Tom knows it is time to face it.

Calling Sam Baker (Robert Patrick) at the FBI, he confesses to a crime and makes certain requests when they come and get him. Waiting and waiting, he calls again and speaks to Baker’s partner Sean Meyers (Jeffrey Donovan) who passes the file down to John Nivens (Jai Courtney) and partner Ramon Hall (Anthony Ramos) to follow up on.

When they get to Tom’s hotel room, they hear his story and go to check it out. Finding that the story is true, Meyers and Hall hatch a plan of their own and their boss is caught in the crossfire. Tom realizes that instead of clearing his life, things just got more complicated and Annie could be in danger.

That is when Tom decides that no one is going to hurt the woman he loves or get away with taking his chance of a life.

He is determined.

Neeson as Dolan is a man who has done something illegal and knows that the time is coming to face it. When he does, it is because a woman has come into his life and he does not want to go one step further without clearing everything up. As an action star, Neeson has proven himself time and time again and with good films being hard to come by, HONEST THIEF is 99 minutes of a straight story with solid action and Neeson carries it well.

Walsh as Annie is a woman who embraces her relationship with Tom. Not knowing about his past is what is going to cause her to be in danger. Once she knows what is happening, she does not hesitate to stand by her man. Patrick as Baker is not thrilled with Tom’s continual phone calls wanting to confess and his first mistake is passing off the file. It is nice to see Patrick in the film.

Courtney as Nivens is a cop who is as bad as he wants to be. Not seeing an issue with the problems, he and partner Hall keep creating, he continues to take it one step further than it needs to go. Courtney has the ability to give bad all the badness it needs. Ramos as Hall is Nivens partner that has every opportunity to stop what is coming but instead falls is swayed by fear.

Donovan as Meyers is a cop who is furious about Baker and wants Dolan found, and found immediately. When he finally has a chance to meet Dolan, he realizes something is not right with everything that is happening. Donovan can do both a good and bad character and I like his ability to do both extremely well.
Other cast include and Beth Hall as Jasmine, Lewis Wheeler as ER Doc, Jose Alves as Jose, Patty O’Neil as Sharon and Tazzie as Tazzie.

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

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

HONEST THIEF is a wild ride of a story that does not let up from start to finish. The plot is not complicated, but it is fun to watch unravel. Neeson continues his roles as a man looking for redemption but there is always someone in his way. That means he is going to make it clear that no one is going to get away without paying a price.

As I said, this is a 99-minute thrill ride that is a nice break from the world around us and a fun way to bring in the New Year. So, buckle up and remember Dolan isn’t about to sit around and let someone else dictate his past sins!

In the end – never steal a man’s second chance!


THE CLOSET Opens Up on Bluray

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Digital Platforms and DVD from writer/director Kwang-bin Kim, Cape Light Pictures and Dark Sky Films.  

Sang-Won (Jung-woo Ha) is dealing with the loss of his beloved wife and raising their young daughter Yi-Na (Yool Heo). Living in a secluded house in the woods, Sang-Won keeps himself busy with work and trying to keep his job. This leave Yi-Na to try and understand everything that has happened and with a father that seems to be pulling away. 

One gray day, Yi-Na realizes there is something in her closet, something that is reaching out to her. In seconds, she is gone! Sang-Won tries everything he can to understand where his daughter has gone and can get no one to listen.

That is until Kyeong Hoon (Nam-gil Kim) comes into the picture. He tells Sang Won what has happened and where his daughter has gone. At first, he does not believe the unusual and mysterious man – until he becomes wrapped up in the thing that has his daughter. This isn’t the first time evil has come calling and if they don’t stop it, Yi Na won’t be the last child taken!

Ha as Sang Won plays into the storyline brilliantly. Dealing with the death of his wife, he seems to forget that there is a little girl that is also suffering and grieving. It is not until she is missing does Ha realize that his life means nothing without the little girl in it. Ha plays a man who does not believe until, like most believers, he sees for himself. Well done and well played!

Heo as Yi Na is amazing considering she is such a young girl playing in a film that asks a lot emotionally from her. Of course, she is adorable as well! She has the remarkable ability to say so much with her expression and that is important when most of us know that kids are not always forthcoming with their frightening emotions. 

Kim as Kyeong is quite cool even though you get the feeling from the first that he is a little full of himself. Deep into the world of mythology and parapsychology, he has gadgets that are going to prove to Sang Won who has his daughter and what it is going to take to bring her back to the world of the living. I enjoyed Kim’s performance even to the last frame.

Other cast include Si-ah Kim as Myung Jin, Soo-jin Kim as Myung Jin’s Mother, Hyun Been Shin as Seung Hee and Park Sung-Woong as Myung Jinn’s Father. 

Capelight Pictures has brought THE MAN STANDING NEXT, SECRET ZOO and the Russian sci-fi movie ATRRACTION. Their first theatrical release in the US market is the Korean film ASHFALL.

MPI Media Group is one of the largest independent entertainment companies with a compelling slate of the world’s most respected cinema, documentaries, performances and television programs along with Dark Sky Films. Films such as THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL and THE INKEEPERS and STAKE LAND brings original talent and projects to a vibrant slate.

THE CLOSET is the perfect thriller with the lights out and the family gathered around to experience terror of another kind. I am a fan of films that do not use blood and guts to tell a good scary yarn. This one does it clean, straight forward and does not mess about. Instead, it has the perfect jumps and jaw drops to keep the suspense going until the FILM is darn good and ready to let us go. 

Thanks to director Kwang-bin Kim, THE CLOSET is beautifully presented, the cinematography and special effects give the film such authenticity for the creepy factor. The casting is excellent, and I honestly cannot wait to see the film again. 

In the end – it is calling you!

SKY FIRE​
Jeri Jacquin

Coming to On Demand from director Simon West and Screen Media comes a look at disaster coming from below shooting out into SKYFIRE.

As a young girl on the beautiful island of Tianhuo, Xiao Meng would see it all crumble before her eyes as the volcano wipes out everything. Now, years later, Xiao Meng (Hannah Quinlivan) is back on Tianhuo doing research and surveillance on the volcano that took her mother. 

What stands now is an island resort for people to come see a live volcano. Making plans to expand is Jack Harris (Jason Isaacs), up to his eyeballs in debt and needs the investors who have come to see the resort. Xiao Meng tries to have a conversation with Harris to let him know she has a bad feeling about the readings from the volcano.

Someone else who has a bad feeling is Wentao Li (Wang Xueqi), Xiao Meng’s father who she has a tenuous relationship with. She is even more irritated when fellow researcher Bo Teng (Lingchen Ji) lets her know that Wentao Li has arrived and almost immediately, both Xiao Meng and Wentao Li are being proven right.

What happened before is about to happen again!

Quinlivan as Xiao Meng is a young woman who has a history with the island, and it is not a pleasant one. Trying to make sure that the resort now on the island is safe, people see her as an alarmist instead of someone who not only knows what is possible but has created a model that ensures she is right. The only one who does not think she is overreacting is the person she does not want to talk to! Quinlivan gives her character strength, intelligence and daddy issues, but it does not stop her from doing what is right.  

Xueqi as Wentao Li is a father who has made many mistakes based on his own emotions about the island. When he sees his daughter has returned to the place of their nightmares, he just wants to get her away. That is hard to do when Xiao Meng has made up her mind and is just as stubborn as he is. Xueqi finally gets it and instead of questioning her actions, he makes sure that he is there every lava filled step of the way. 

Isaacs as Harris is the resort builder who thinks he knows better than science and brings more and more people to a dangerous place. He sees money instead of seeing the danger and lets everyone around him know that he is the final word. That is until mother nature decides he is just a little too arrogant for his own good. Nothing like a lesson from something you can’t buy!

Other cast include Bee Rogers as Young Xiao Meng, Shawn Dou as Zhengnan, An Bai as Jiahui Dong, Liang Shi as Professor Jiang, Tongjiang Hou as Grandpa, Yiqing Li as Shanshan and Alice Rietveld as Sue Miller. 

Screen Media is an international distributor of television series and films, licensing content through theatrical, home video, pay-per-view, free, cable and pay television, and subscription and advertising video-on-demand platforms. In 2017 Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, Inc. acquired Screen Media which is in its 23rd year as a leading global independent distribution company. With one of the largest independently-owned libraries of filmed entertainment in the world and license agreements across all forms of media, Screen Media’s distribution capability enables direct distribution of all rights in all countries, thus enhancing the profitability of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment productions. The company is continually looking to add films and television series to its content library.

SKYFIRE is a disaster movie just like I like them. Fast paced, a little romance, family issues, research deniers, the arrogant rich, and mother nature saying ‘here, hold my beer’. From the first screen to the last there are jumps, turns, drones and a few smart people who figure out how to get around a few streams of lava. 

With a mixture of English and Mandarin, the flow is smooth, and the results are disaster with warm fuzzies for the surviving carbon-based units. The actions is very cool and the special effects are almost seamless which lets the viewer go on a thrill ride knowing one things said in the film by Isaacs character – that we love to go into places that are dangerous because part of us knows we are safe.

In the end – it can happen twice on the same island!

LEON: THE PROFESSIONAL Comes to Steelbook

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to a Limited Edition Steelbook from writer/director Luc Besson AND Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is the 1995 film LEON: The Professional.

Leon (Jean Reno) is a hitman living the quiet life in a New York City apartment building and occasionally called upon by a man named Old Tony (Danny Aiello). Down the hall is the Lando family who are about to have the DEA knocking down their door lead by Norman Stansfield (Gary Oldman). Coming back from the store is Mathilda (Natalie Portman), a 12-year-old girl who realizes what is happening in her family in the apartment and walks past.

Knocking on Leon’s door, she wants to be let in which he does. Mathilda is realizing what Leon does and begs him to teach her how to be a hitman. Her goal is to take revenge for the death of her family. A deal is struck that Leon teaches her the ‘hitman’ ropes and she takes care of the apartment. It seems the perfect solution and quickly the two form a strange bond.

That is until Leon is sent on an assignment by Old Tony and Mathilda takes it upon herself to grab a few weapons and look for Stansfield. It is not long before Stansfield is in her sites, but Leon has other plans for his men. Now He wants Leon and the only person that can give him that information is Tony.

Leon knows that he must do more to protect Mathilda, especially when he realizes that Stansfield isn’t about to let what happen go without repercussions. Telling the young girl to go to Tony as the explosions and gunfire break out in the apartment building, Leon has one more surprise in store for Stansfield. 

Mathilda now must try and start a new life which includes heading back to school giving up her dream of being a hitman!

Reno as Leon could not have been any more perfect for this role if he tried. Giving the air of a man who wants to be left to himself, Reno gives us that and a lot more. There is a sense of danger to him of course and his facial expressions are frozen but in those eyes are something completely different. The first time I saw Reno was in the 1990 film LE FEMME NIKITA as the cleaner Victor, so I suppose that was a practice run for Leon. 

Portland as the young Mathilda is a girl who has seen much in her young life. An abusive father starts her down the road of rage and a trip to the store keeps her from experiencing the same fate as her family. Destroyed but it, she sees a chance for revenge, especially when you have a hitman living practically right next door. She is smart and sassy and yet, like Leon, her eyes betray what is really going on inside her. A difficult performance for a young girl but Portland made is look easy.

Oldman as Stansfield has the opportunity to be as bad as he wants his character to be. That’s the thing about Oldman, one role he can be the sleaziest bad guy out there and the next he can be the best of a good guy. His career is filled with such a vast array of characters (okay, DRACULA is my favorite followed by THE FIFTH ELEMENT as I love seeing unusual roles) and I never would have imagined him as Commissioner Gordon in the BATMAN films but there he was on the screen, doing it to perfection. As Stansfield he is the worst of the bad guys and I loved every moment of it.

Aiello as Tony has a history with Leon since he was practically a boy and there definetly was schooling of a different kind for him. Aiello is another actor that has left an indelible impression on my movie going heart and seeing him once again as Tony reminded me of why that it.

Other cast include Peter Appel, Michael Badalucco, Ellen Greene, Joseph Malerba, Maiwenn, George Martin, Jean-Hugues Anglade and Keith A. Glascoe as Benny. 

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

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

The Bluray Special Features include Cast and Crew Look Back, Jean Reno: The Road to Leon, Natalie Portman: Starting Young, Fact Track (Extended Version) and Theatrical Trailer. Both the 4K Ultra H and Bluray include both theatrical and extended version of the film. 

Having the Steelbook of LEON: The Profession is cooler than anything with fantastic artwork on the outside, especially the back with a very vulnerable looking young Portman. Inside are the two discs that are tucked nicely into the book making sure nothing happens to one of the most fantastic films made by writer/director Besson. 

Tis the season so ask Santa to stuff your stocking with a Steelbook to remember.

In the end – if you want the job done right hire a professional!

SWORD OF GOD

Jeri Jacquin

Currently on DVD from writer/director Bartosz Konopka and Film Movement comes a story of faith and the misunderstanding of men in SWORD OF GOD.

Willibrord (Krzysztof Pieczynski) is a holy man sent on a specific mission, to find the man Jan (Karol Bernacki). On the boat with other men, he barely makes it to shore but the other men do not. The young man he is looking for finds Willibrord and nurses him back to health. That is when he tells the young man Jan that the king is on his way and it is not to make friends with him or the indigenous people on the island. 

Jan takes him to the people and Willibrord is shocked at what he sees. Their leader is Geowold (Jacet Koman) and the people are covered in clay and chanting. Not speaking their language, Willibrord must move slowly with what he does. The goal is to build a chapel and convert the population in order to keep the King appeased. 

But when Willibrord challenges the shaman, that is when Jan begins to question the elder’s ability to lead the people in faith. In an act of defiance, Jan turns away and pulls half of the people toward him with Prahwe (Wiktoria Gorodecka). The other half with their leader Karenga (Jeroen Perceval) follow Willibrord.

But all the pull back and forth means nothing once the King (Jan Bijvoet) arrives and a secret is revealed followed by what Willibrord feared the most.

And it is all done in the name of God.

Pieczynski as Willibrord is a man on a mission but is it really a mission to bring the indigenous people closer to God? For me that was the biggest question about this character. Piecynski gives a performance of a man confused and turned in so many directors and once he has the fallout with Jan, he seems cemented in moving forward against him. This actor gives a stunning performance of a man who on the outside seems put together but is struggling on the inside.

Bernacki as Jan is a young man who has made the island home. The arrival of Willibrord with news from home does not seem to unsettle him. Taking the elder to meet the indigenous people, he is shocked at the result of their meeting. Turning toward his own faith, it is now Willibrord’s turn to be shocked. Bernacki gives his character a crisis of conscience.

Koman as Geowold has a secret of his own that Willibrord is unaware of at the time he first meets the indigenous people. Keeping an eye on him, he knows where all of this is going, and it is the people he is concerned with. Perceval as Karenga believes in Willibrord because of what he saw during the trial by fire with the shaman. He watches everything but refuses to break away from him. 

Other cast include Konrad Beta as Ateb, Marcel Borowiec as Mynothe, Izabela Chlewinska as Juda, Halina Chmielarz as Khari, Olivier De Sagazan as Pem, Dominik Bak as Uwe, Marta Cichorska as Triske, Kamil Dobrowolski as Sentan and Karol Dus as Ahum. 

Film Movement, founded in 2002, is an award-winning independent and foreign film company that has released more than 250 feature films and shorts. Theatrical releases include American independent films, documentaries, and foreign arthouse titles catalog such directors as Hirokazu Kore-eda, Maren Ade, Jessica Hausner and Ciro Guerra and Melanie Laurent. Bluray and DVD films bring such directors as Eric Rohmer, Bolle August, King Hu, Sergio Corbucci and Luchino Visconti and many more. To discover what Film Movement is all about and find out more about what they have to offer please visit www.filmmovementplus.com.

SWORD OF GOD is the story of men who spout the word of God and use any means necessary to scare the indigenous people. It is Willibrord versus Jan and the people who pay for their break from each other are the people they claim to want to help. Both men believe they are right but right does not stop what is to come.

This is the story throughout history of religion believing they are saving indigenous people. The United States has history of its own with those claiming to be men of God and the Native Americans of this country. SWORD OF GOD is a film that is a lesson to be learned if we so choose to learn it.

The grey and lack of color in the film is perfection because there is certainly nothing here that is colorful or cheerful. Instead, the darkness of the film is almost a precursor to the darkness in the hearts of those who hold secrets for their own gain.

SWORD OF GOD is an Official Selection at Sitges and Moscow International Film Festival and Winner of Best Cinematography at Cinepocalypse and the Polish Film Festival. 

In the end – it is a battle between salvation and damnation!


RESIDENT EVIL Brings the Entire Franchise Collection to Start the Holidays

Jeri Jacquin

Are you ready for the holidays? Did you make your list and check it twice? Well check it again because Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is bringing all six RESIDENT EVIL films in 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and Digital (and watch 4K UHK movies on PS5) in a fantastic pack that will stuff any stocking to the brim!

Beginning in 2002, director Paul W.S. Anderson brings Milla Jovovich into the role of Alice and she makes it her own. Alice wakes up in a dilapidated mansion not knowing what is happening to her. Soon learning who she is, she seeks out the Umbrella Corporation, zombies, the Hive and the Red Queen. To do that she needs help because Umbrella and its scientists are not going down with a fight but then again, neither is Alice! 

Along with Jovovich is Michelle Rodriguez as Rain, Eric Mabius as Matt, James Purefoy as Spence and Michaela Dicker as Red Queen to name a few to this large cast.

In 2004 director Alexander Witt begins his vision with RESIDENT EVIL: Apocalypse and Umbrella investigating what has happened at the Hive only to run into a hoard of the undead that make their way to Raccoon City. That is when Umbrella tries to get everyone out and STARS op Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory) telling them to get out.

Alice (Milla Jovovich) wakes up in a hospital that is deserted and knows she needs supplies now. At the bridge, Major Cain (Thomas Kretschmann) seals off the only way out but soldier Carlos (Oded Fehr) and Ginovaef team up with STARS to fight off the hoard. When they are surrounded, Alice saves them, and Dr. Ashford (Jared Harris) finds a way to use CCTV to stay in contact with the survivors while looking for his daughter Angela (Sophie Babasseur). 

Escaping may be what they planned but it is also what someone else at Umbrella has planned!

Also cast is Sandrine Holt as Terri Morales, Zack Ward as Nicholai Ginovaef, Razaaq Adoti as Sgt. Wells and Matthew G. Tayor as Nemesis. 

In 2007, Alice is back with RESIDENT EVIL: Extinction directed by Russell Mulcahy. Waking up in a mansion, Alice must use powers to escape. Umbrella is on to her and she is thrown into a hole with other Alices’. That means the real Alice is somewhere else when she finds that there is an uninfected place in Alaska. Hooking up with a convoy, Alice tells them what she knows.

Dr. Isaacs wants Alice back believing that her blood can tame the zombies and creates a new strain of zombies. Going against orders, Isaacs sends his new friends out to find Alice and they attack a convoy she is with. In the meantime, Umbrella tries their own method to turn Alice off, but it fails, and she finds their underground labs. 

Along with the convoy, Alice, Claire (Ali Larter) and Carlos (Oded Fehr) see thousands of Isaacs creations and rescuing anyone from the labs is going to be difficult. Isaac panics and creates something even more evil than the zombies – a Tyrant. Coming up against the Red Queen brings results Alice could not have seen coming but they aren’t even close to finished with those responsible.

The cast include Iain Glen as Isaacs, Ashanti as betty, Mike Epps as L., Spencer Locke as K-Mart and Christopher Egan as Mikey. 

RESIDENT EVIL: Afterlife sees the return of director Paul W.S. Anderson in this 2010 story franchise. A year has passed as Alice and the clones are in Tokyo attacking Umbrella’s HQ trying to get to Wesker who is not about to be captured. On a ship, Alice is injected with something that takes her abilities away. Thinking he will be the only one with superpowers does not go well. 

In Alaska, Alice finds Arcadia but not as she hoped it would be. Claire (Ali Larter) has problems of her own that Alice manages to control as they leave for Los Angeles. There are survivors living in a prison with West (Boris Kodjoe), Wendell (Fulvio Cecere), Waters (Kacey Clarke), Bennett (Kim Coates), Yong (Norman Yeung) and Angel (Sergio Mencheta). 

There, Alice discovers that there is an Arcadia and needs the help of Chris Redfield (Wentworth Miller) to find it. When they do it is deserted but functional. Checking it out, Alice finds Wesker in a condition that needs to be removed from the ship before it can be a haven. But, not all haven’s can last in Alice’s world!

Other cast include Mika Nakashima as J-Pop girl and Ray Olubowale as the Axeman.

In 2012, director Paul W.S. Anderson returns for the fifth installment with RESIDENT EVIL: Retribution as Alice is with the others on the Arcadia as its under attack headed by Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory). But something else has happened, Alice is with her family when the zombies coming, and horror ensues in Raccoon City. Is this a dream? 

The captures Alice is being interrogated by Jill, but Alice finds her way out and inside a simulation! She must fight her way out but not before Wesker tells her what has happened with the Red Queen and Umbrella. Managing to get the crew of Kennedy, Burton and Luther West and Ada, their plan is to blow up Umbrella but there is a horde around them. 

But now Alice is fighting two worlds that have collided! She gets to Wesker new headquarters – the White House. Meeting there she is given the ultimate weapon and told the Red Queen wants to wipe out humanity completely. Alice has other plans!

The cast also includes Michelle Rodriguez as Rain, Li Bingbing as Ada, Johann Urb as Kennedy, Boris Kodjoe as West, Kevin Durand as Barry, Oded Fehr as Carlos and Shawn Roberts as Wesker. 

Finally, in 2016 director Paul W. S. Anderson brings the founder of the Umbrella Corporation forward in the story. Dr. Marcus’ (Mark Simpson) daughter Alicia has progeria. Using a drug from Dr. Ashford leads to tragic results, a web of deceit is created by Wesker (Shawn Roberts). 

Now in Washington D.C., Alice (Milla Jovovich) wakes and the Red Queen tells her she has 45 hours to get to the Hive or the humans that are left will be wiped out. Finding a convoy learning Claire (Ali Larter) survived the attack on the Arcadia, they go to the Hive where Wesker is in control.

Alice also learns from the Red Queen that she cannot hurt an Umbrella employee but also must value human life which conflicts her program. Showing Alice what the plans are to restore Hive, she also tells Alice that there is a mole in her group. Running into Isaacs (Iain Glen), the traitor is revealed, and Alice learns who she is. 

That does not stop her goal of destroying the hive and with Claire and Isaacs, Wesker knows his moments are numbers in milliseconds. The Red Queen tries to make it right with Alice but until the virus is controlled, she knows her work will never be done!

Cast also includes Eoin Macken as Doc, Fraser James as Razor, Ruby Rose as Abigail, William Levy as Christian, and Rola as Cobalt.

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

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

There are Blu-ray as well as 4K Special Features in this box set. Including Filmmaker and cast commentaries, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Alternate Endings, Picture-in-Picture, Outtakes, and Extended Scenes. Each film brings its own unique special features that add so much information and entertainment to each film. 

Let us be clear, Milla Jovovich is and always will be Alice. She has made such a name for herself with this franchise. To be honest, the first time I saw Jovovich was in one of my all-time favorite films, the 1997 film THE FIFTH ELEMENT with Bruce Willis. I can not go past that film when channel surfing without watching it to the finish, no matter how far into the movie it is. The combination of Jovovich and Willis is undeniable and let me to watch more of her films.

As Alice she is the total badass before her time and paved the way for so many actresses to go on to do films like the RESIDENT EVIL franchise. She is powerful, does not have a lot to say but when she does you might want to listen. Jovovich gives Alice a fierceness that even when she does not have a weapon, you know by a look that things are not going to work out well for the other guy.

This is an amazing series of stories told from a video game franchise that has been amazingly successful. Each film takes the viewer further down the rabbit hole of bad guys, the undead, good guys, clones and a world that has been turned upside down by one person. Sounds eerily close to what is going on in the world right now (minus the zombies though the year is not over yet!). 

So, when you are making out your Christmas list of goodies that are a tad different than a necktie or a new vacuum – why not stretch your imagination to include a series of films that will keep the family captivated over and over again. This is definetly a cuddle-up-winter-time-rainy-snowy-coco-blanket-on-the-sofa marathon worthy of every moment.

In the end – she gives us a different kind of heroine but a heroine all the same!

BETTER CALL SAUL

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is another of AMC’s hit series with BETTER CALL SAUL.

Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) finally tells Kim (Rhea Seehorn) about the name Saul Goodman, the cellphones and how it gave him business. Offering to help her run a con on a client, Kim declines – at least while he is in the room. Nacho (Michael Mando) discovers that Gus (Giancarlo Esposito) is dealing with bad cocaine and Lalo (Tony Dalton) helps him prove it. 

One problem is that Lalo is up to something and Gus wants to know what it is by asking Nacho. The tables quickly turn when Nacho sneaks into the Salamanca house and rescues Lalo’s cocaine that Domingo dropped right as the cops show up. Mike (Jonathan Banks) is reeling from Werner’s death and decides to drown his sorrows and then turns on Kaylee for asking to many questions. Jimmy wants to settle things with Kim and ends up in the elevator with the DA and works on more plea bargains. Leaving the courthouse, he is met by Nacho and they get in a car.

They end up going to see Lalo who makes a demand of him, to get Domingo out of prison. After a bit of legal Saul shuffling, Jimmy realizes that this will not be the last time Lalo uses him. Wanting his father to get out of drugs and live a safer life, Nacho wants to sell his fathers’ shop and dad is not happy. Kim pushes for a Mr. Acker to leave his home to make way for another business, wanting to help him, he makes it clear her help is not wanted.

So, she asks the developer to use another site for the build and leave Mr. Acker his home, to no avail. That is when she turns to Saul to do more than she can. Stacey (Kerry Condon) makes it clear she is not thrilled to have Mike watching Kaylee and later that night, what happens to Mike confirms her fears. Jimmy thinks the only way to help Kim and Mr. Acker is to find something incriminating to use on the developer.

Once they find something useful, Jimmy takes on the meeting to make sure that the developer knows they are in for serious money. Kim gets a little upset about it demanding that she and Jimmy need to get married or she is gone. Nacho tells Mike that Lalo intends to rat out dealers to the police and that brings the cops out.

Now that each other’s secrets are safe, Jimmy and Kim seal it with a kiss. No time for anything else as Lalo wants Saul to get bail. That does not mean the chaos is finished as Nacho is asked to take out something that belongs to Gus. In the meantime, Saul gets Lao bail and Jimmy has to deal with Howard. 

In Mexico is Lalo’s bail money and Jimmy is told to pick it up with a pay out for himself. Kim hates the idea feeling it puts him in a bad position. He should have listened as a shoot out occurs from an unexpected Mike and the two men now must walk home. When Kim asks Lalo where he and does not get an answer. Finally, back home, Jimmy pays Lalo’s bail and is told Lalo is going back to Mexico. He does not tell Lalo or Kim what really happened. 

However, Lalo is a little itchy about the story and asks Jimmy to repeat it, but Kim is angry that her husband even has to and makes that clear. Moving on with business, Lalo and Nacho go on to another business proposal that leads to a set up on Lalo. He is not going down without a fight and information about who is trying to end him.

Odenkirk as Jimmy/Saul is such an amazing actor to pull off the craziness of these two roles meshed into one. He is surrounded by an awesome cast which does make him shine but lets not, for one moment, not shine the spotlight on Odenkirk. I have although thought he has the amazing ability to choose such interesting roles and Jimmy/Saul is perfection.

Seehorn as Wexler is a woman who wants to be seen as straight forward but that’s hard to do when the man you love is Jimmy/Saul. Giving the ultimatum this season is probably the only thing keeping them both safe from the secrets of their lives. Banks as Mike is an actor who I have been watching for so many years and it is not surprising that he just slides into this role with such ease.  

Dalton as Lalo is makes it all look so smooth and easy. Jimmy/Saul certainly does get the short end with him and it is difficult not to realize this is a character that runs deep and secretive. Esposito as Gus is a man who is in one hell of a mess from different sides. Using legitimate fronts for his dealings, keeping the cartel happy is not going to be easy. Mando as Nacho is playing what ever side is going to save his life and that is not a bad way to go in this environment.

Esposito as Gus is the character I am always fascinated by and it is quite possible due to the fact that I’m fascinate with Esposito as an actor. He always brings something unique to the roles he plays and as Gus he does the same thing but I think with a touch more. 

Other cast includes Patrick Fabian as Howard Hamlin, Juan Carlos Cantu as Manuel Varga, Dennis Boutsikaris as Rich Schweikart, Rex Linn as Kevin Wachtell, Javier Grajeda as Juan Bolsa and Jeremiah Bitsui as Victor. 

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

The Bluray includes the Bluray Exclusive of Deleted Scenes, Tell Me Again, The Good, The Bags and The Ugly, Bagman – The Ambush, Bagman – The Cannon Roll and Effects for This! Also included is Cast & Crew Commentaries on Every Episode, Gag Reel, Commercials & Training Videos and Crystal Balls. 

The Episodes include Magic Man, 50% Off, The Guy for This, Namaste, Dedicado a Max, Wexler v. Goodman, JMM, Bagman, Bad Choice Road, and Something Unforgivable. 

BETTER CALL SAUL has seven Prime Time Emmy Nominations in 2020 including Outstanding Drama Series. 

The series brings AMC another feather to its cap as its programming getting better and more amazing with every how it creates. Each series brings such a diversity of storytelling that is unique, unusual, intense, and unexpected. There is something to be said for the platinum age of television and BETTER CALL SAUL shines in it.

Just when I think I have the next move figured out – I do not and I completely okay with being proven wrong. These characters and the actors who portray them give so much that I am riveted from start to finish. 

With so much down time, catching up to the fifth season of BETTER CALL SAUL is a fantastic way to spend some couch time! Coming in on three bluray discs, there is 522 minutes of catching up and getting a look at the inside world of Jimmy/Saul.

CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON

Jeri Jacquin

Now available in a Limited Steelbook is Sony Picture Home Entertainment and director Ang Lee is the stunning film CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON. 

Li Mu Bai is a Wudang swordsman (Chow Yun-fat) living in China during the time of the Qing dynasty in the 18th century. The person he cares for is Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh) but honor keeps them apart because of the death of her fiancé Meng Sizhao. Deciding to lay down his sword Green Destiny, asking Shu Lien to take it to Sir Te’s (Sihung Lung) estate in Peking where she meets the Governor’s daughter Jen (Zhang Ziyi). 

Later in evening, someone steals Green Destiny, and it is traced back to the Governor’s house and Jade Fox (Cheng Pei-pei), a woman who wanted to learn the Wudang way. Shu Lien tells Mu Bai what happened when he arrives and when a showdown between Mu Bai and Jade Fox happens, she tells him about her anger at not being trained. Mu Bai is not swayed and that is when a masked fighter appears to save Fox. 

Jen has her own interest in love when Lo (Chen Chang) sneaks into her room to ask her to run away from her arranged marriage. At the wedding, Shu Lien and Mu Bai want to help Lo telling him they will send Jen to Mount Wudang. What happens from that moment on are rivals, mercy, final words and a sword that will not be destroyed.

Yun-Fat as Master Mu Bai is perfect to put opposite Yeoh as Shu Lien. There is something extraordinary about these two actors sharing a story line together. It is breathtaking and heart breaking at the same time. Of course, once the action comes into play, they glide as they are meant to with such timeless grace. 

Pairing Zhang as Jen and Chang as Lo is another stroke of beauty. It is interesting that Zhang’s portrayal of Jen comes out as a girl who has more secrets than the rest of the characters put together and she pulls it off magnificently. Chang as Lo is the rugged desert pirate that may have no trouble cutting down anything that gets in his way, but he sure has a heart for Jen. 

Cheng as Jade Fox is out for one thing and one thing only, to make darn sure that everyone who has hurt her in the past will feel her wrath now and in the future. She is swift, vengeful and has someone on her side who will have her back, front and anywhere else someone is pointing a sword at.

Other cast include: Li Fazeng as Governor Yu, Hai Yan as Madam Yu, Wang Deming as Police Inspector Tsai, Huang Suying as Aunt Wu, Li Li as May, Li Kai as Gou Pei, Feng Jianjua as Gou Sinung, Ma Zhongxuan as Mi Biao, Xian Gao as Bo, Li Baocheng as Fung Chang, Zhang JinTing as De Lu, Du ZhenXi as Uncle Jiao, Wang WenSheng as JiangHu Jia and Song Dong as JiangHu Yi. 

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

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

The Special Features include: 2 Feature-Length Audio Commentaries, Exclusive Introduction from Director Ang Lee, Six Deleted Scenes, The Making of CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON, CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON: Retrospective with Ang Lee, James Schamus and Tim Squyres, “A Love Before Time” Music Videos, A Commentary by Cinematographer Peter Pau, Photo Gallery, Theatrical Trailer and A Conversation with Michelle Yeoh. 

The cinematography is stunning with a mixture of the old and new surrounded by a lushness that adds depth to the story director Lee is trying to tell. I love a film that uses beauty as a character that is just outside the story but always in front of our eyes. 

The soundtrack is ethereal and moving which is just another layer the film cannot do without. The stunts are nothing short of a ballet with the boldness of swordplay that never took away my belief in what I am seeing on the screen. 

Inside the stunningly beautiful and colorful Limited Edition Steelbook are two discs coming in at 120 minutes and in Mandarin. This is a fantastic way to own one of the most stunning films of 2000. 

CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography (Peter Pau), Best Music-Original Score (Dun Tan), Best Art Direction (Tim Yip) and Best Foreign Language Film and six more nominations. The film won Best Foreign Language Film, and Best Direction-Motion Picture (Ang Lee) at the Golden Globes. 

In the end – it is a timeless story of strength, secrets and two warriors who would never surrender!