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TAG Reminds Us You’re Never Too Old to Play

tag

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this week from director Jeff Tomsic and New Line Cinema is a game that takes childhood into adulthood just by a simple TAG.

Hoagie (Ed Helms), Chili (Jake Johnson), Callahan (Jon Hamm), Sable (Hannibal Buress) and Jerry (Jeremy Renner) have been friends since childhood. Following them into adulthood is a game they look forward to for a whole month – tag!

Well, May has rolled around and it’s on beginning with Hoagie recruiting the guys with a new plan aimed at the one man who hasn’t been tagged in thirty years. Jerry is a pro at the game and plays with precision and, well, ingenuity really. This time Hoagie convinces the guys that the best place to finally make it happen is at Jerry’s wedding.

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Following the group is Rebecca (Annabelle Wallis), a reporter who started one story but found this to be much more interesting. Also, Hoagie’s wife Anna (Isla Fisher), a very intense and hands on supporter of her husband’s dream of getting Jerry.

Heading home for the wedding, the boys meet Jerry’s bride Susan (Leslie Bibb) who knows about the game and begs them all too please hold off and let her have her dream day. Signing a pact to be off limits to certain events, it doesn’t stop them from trying.

Jerry brings in the big guns when Cheryl (Rashida Jones) manages to keep Chili and Callahan emotionally busy, Sable just goes with the flow and Hoagie continues to plot. Mayhem and friendship go hand in hand with these boys in the longest running game of tag ever.

Helms as Hoagie is dedicated to one goal – getting Jerry. Putting himself in crazy situations to make that happen is something Helms is used to doing because he does it so damn well. Johnson as Chili may have started out with a few goals but finds himself pretty much back to life’s square one. As much as he fights getting into the game, it doesn’t take much to become all in.

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Hamm as Callahan wants to go for the gold where Jerry is concerned and looks good in a suit while doing it. Buress as Sable is easy going and the quiet under-comic relief. His sassy comes in smaller waves but it hilarious just the same.

Renner as Jerry is the obvious ninja in the group having perfects his moves and ability to remain untouched after 30 years. Looking sharp and having all the right connections, Renner’s character is sharp and prepared for anything.

Fisher as Anna can be hostile, explosive and charming all in 2.5 seconds and I loved it. Supporting her man she wants in the game so badly but a rule created in the initial tag agreement doesn’t include girls. That’s not going to stop her from trying! Bibb as Susan smiles her way into the group wanting a beautiful wedding without boyish tricks. Jones as Cheryl is a diversion sent in by Jerry with a history that plays to his advantage.

Other cast include Brian Dennehy as Chili’s father, Nora Dunn as Linda, Sebastian Maniscalco as Pastor, and Steve Berg as Lou.

TAG is based on an article written in The Wall Street Journal about a group of men from Spokane, Washington who played the game of tag one month a year for 23 years.

TAG is just that, a romp of a film that proves boys can still be boys in the most epic way possible. Personally I think it’s fantastic that this band of mischief (great name guys if you want to start a rock group!) continue to find the most creative ways of keeping the game alive. The film is also about a rock solid friendship that has just found a way to stay connected.

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Isn’t that what we are all trying to do in this world of disillusion and disconnect? These men who really continue to do this are defying the odds in that childhood friendships are just memories for most of us. The game of tag for these tag-artists is based around the one thing we seem to forget as we get older – mashing memories, fun and a genuine effort to stay connected through a simple game.

TAG is fun, funny, charming and doesn’t ask a lot of its audience. It’s more of a ‘sit back – we got this’ kind of movie and I’m more than okay with that. The laughs are there and a bucket of popcorn is icing on the cake. The ending is a tad hokey but then again who said it stops there?

In the end – based on a true story and we’re not kidding!

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INCREDIBLES 2 is Exactly That – Purely Incredible!

Incred 2

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this week from writer/director Brad Bird, Pixar and Walt Disney Studios is the return of the family we love to love with INCREDIBLES 2.

After the Parr family has dealt with the Mole and his attack on the city, the Supers once again find themselves on the outs. Sitting in a motel room wondering what they are going to do next, Lucius aka Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson) arrives with news.

It seems someone wants to help bring Supers back! A meeting with Winston (Bob Odenkirk) and Evelyn Deavor (Catherine Keener) brings Bob/Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) and Helen/Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) a chance to prove that Supers should be brought back.

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The idea is to make Elastigirl the face of the Supers which takes them by surprise, especially Bob’s ego. The Deavor’s provide the Parr family with a spacious and, well incredible new home and Helen an awesome two wheel ride. All of this means Bob is home to tend to teen-angst ridden Violet (Sarah Vowell), Dash (Huck Milner) and Jack-Jack (Eli Fucile).

Home life problems include Violet’s confusion about her date with Tony (Michael Bird), Dash’s rambunctiousness and Jack-Jack being Jack-Jack. As Helen leaves to resume ‘hero’ work, Bob is now Mr. Mom and learning the ropes. It doesn’t take long before he becomes over whelmed but can’t let Helen know so calls on Lucius who is equally confused about it all. His last hope is Edna Mode (Brad Bird)!

Helen on the other hand is busy saving Ambassador’s and meeting new Supers. Winston wants to create a summit where everyone comes together once again. The problem is a new villain is using technology to turn the Supers into not-so-nice Supers putting the possibility of bringing Supers back on the back burner! You follow?

Don’t worry, you will, and what an incredible ride it is!

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Hunter as Helen/Elastigirl takes the lead in this film as a working Mom in the most Super of ways. I love Hunter’s character for so many reasons but mainly she is the glue that holds the Parr family together. Not taking anything away from Bob, it’s just a Mom thang!

Nelson as Bob/Mr. Incredible is a little distraught about being put aside but slowly begins to see that he can be equally incredible being an dialed-in Dad as well. When he is finally called to help save the world once again, a twists comes in and the loyalty of family suits up!

Vowell as Violet is having the double issue of teen and super confusion. The one thing she does know for sure is that family is everything. Milner as Dash continues his wise cracking sense of humor and ability to test his parent’s limits – which isn’t always a bad thing.

Jackson as Lucius/Frozone is thrilled at the possibility of being free to freeze, even if his wife might have other ideas. Odenkirk as Winston is a man who truly believes that the Supers need to come back. He has his own personal reasons for it which are endearing. Keener as Evelyn is laid back and the technical brains of the very rich duo.

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Fucil as Jack-Jack steals the film from everyone and it must be said. This kid-character had me cracking up from start to finish – probably because that’s exactly how I see most toddlers. Fiery one minute and happy with a cookie the next, Jack-Jack is coming into his own and the family better learn to deal!

Other cast include Sophia Bush as Voyd, Phil LaMarr as Krushauer/Helectrix, Adam Gates as Chad Brentley, Jonathan Banks as Rick Dicker, Isabella Rossellini as the Ambassador.

INCREDIBLES 2 has my whole family jumping in our very incredible Incredible pajamas. Yes, when we like something we go all in and this film is definitely family fun from start to finish. It is so great to have the gang back together dealing with the duality of trying to have a normal life while trying to save the world from itself.

I believe the reason for the films success in 2004 is because this family is so dang cute for one but totally relatable for another. They have work problems, family issues, sibling rivalry – basically everything we non-supers deal with every day. The fact that they are animated just makes all of those things sort of enjoyable.

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What I enjoy as well is the fact that writer/director Bird doesn’t really deviate from that winning formula. In fact, once again the story deals with losing a home, being unemployed, Mom having to be the bread winner and Dad discovering what really goes on at home and, of course, turning to true friends in time of need.

Those are awesome things to take away from a film that also entertains at every turn. I walked into the theatre giddy with excitement to see one of my favorite families (if you must know, The Adams Family is also in that list) come together once again and, well, be a family that just happens to have something extra to share with us all.

So gather up your own super family and prepare for adventure, laughs and a little learning with a family that shows us all how it’s possible to be incredible in our own ways.

In the end – it’s back to work!

GAME OF THRONES: Season 1 is Stunning on 4K This Summer!

got bluray

Jeri Jacquin

This summer is going to be scorching and with the help of battles and dragons, HBO Home Entertainment is adding to the heat by returning us all to the beginning with GAME OF THRONES: Season One.

The story begins with the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros but more importantly those who rule the Seven Kingdoms. Castle Winterfell and the Warden of the North is led by Eddard Ned Stark (Sean Bean). At King’s Landing, Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy) and wife Queen Cersei (Lena Headey) are making a marriage pact between the two friends and their kids Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) and Sansa (Sophie Turner).

In Essos, Prince Viserys Targaryen (Harry Lloyd) has no problem sending his sister Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) off to marry the leader of the Dothraki Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa). Viserys wants Drogo’s army to help him claim the Iron Throne of Westeros. The intrigue only deepens when Stark’s son Bran (Isaac Wright) sees something between Cersei and her brother Jamie Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau).

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Stark’s wife Catelyn (Michelle Fairley) believes the Lannister’s are behind the injury to her son and tries to convince her husband. Jon Snow (Kit Harington) becomes part of the Night’s Watch to protect the wall between the Kingdoms and the creatures known as the White Walkers that live on the other side.

Learning that Westeros isn’t really being managed, Stark becomes a member of the King’s Small Council but is suspicious of a man from Catelyn’s past. Councillor Baelish (Aidan Gillen) is a schemer who knows everything about everyone and that is a dangerous thing. A danger of another kind is Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), a man who does what he wants knowing what the family thinks of him.

Daenery’s is adjusting to life as part of the Drogo clan and finds that she is quite happy learning the ways of her new people. What she doesn’t know is that a plan is being put into motion that is going to cause a rift in the Houses. Stark learns alarming information about the family he is loyal too but can not find reason to continue with plans that he doesn’t agree with.

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King Robert wants Ned as the Hand of the King while off on a hunting trip. Tyrion is in the Vale and Lysa (Kate Dickie), Catelyn’s sister, wants a duel and sends her champion while Tyrion calls out for one of his own. Drogo has had enough of his wife’s brother and when Viserys pushes things to far, the leader shows what the Dothraki are made of.

When Robert is injured, Ned is given the higher rank of Protector of the Realm and when he tries to do as the King wishes; the entire throne room turns on him. The family begins to scatter as Arya (Maisie Williams) runs, Sansa is captured and Bran escapes Winterfell. Joffrey takes the throne and his grandfather Tywin (Charles Dance) becomes the Hand of the King.

After making their way to the Twins castle and making an agreement for a marriage between Robb Stark and, they capture Jamie Lannister. Robb becomes the King of the North, Ayra manages to escape with the help of Yoren, Sansa is to become Joffrey’s Queen and Daenerys becomes the epic Mother of Dragons!

It is only the beginning of the battle for the Iron Throne!

Of course it is the amazing writing of the story’s author that gives GAME OF THRONES its amazing complexity but it is also the cast is what has made this show hugely successful. This series has shown from the very beginning that no one, no matter how popular the character, is beyond the reach of the sword.

The treachery, honor, deceit, underhandedness, loyalty, lies and changing of power is what GAME OF THRONES brings to fans. Every season is a new twist, a new shock and more information that has caused jaws to drop everywhere. Fans of the series are loyal to a fault and know that is a character has displeased them then just wait because it all comes out in the bloody wash.

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Sean Bean as Ned Stark became the standard of what a true leader should look like, we all followed his family and the struggles every episode. The intensity and the plots became thicker and thicker and there isn’t a person I hang out with that doesn’t look forward to every season because of the set up of Season One.

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

The HD Bonus Features of GAME OF THRONES: Season One include Animated Histories: Learn about the Mythology of Westeros as Told from the Varying Perspectives of the Characters Themselves, Anatomy of an Episode; an In-Episode Experience that Explores the Creative Minds and Colossal Efforts Behind Episode Six ‘A Golden Crown’, Cast Auditions: Watch Rarely-Seen Footage of the Cast Auditioning for GAME OF THRONES, Making of Game of Thrones – An Exclusive 30-minute Feature Including Never-Before-Seen Footage from the Set and Interviews from the Cast and Crew.

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 Also, Character Profiles – Profiles of 15 Major Characters as Described by the Actors Portraying Them, Creating the Show Open – An Inside Look at the Creation of the Emmy-Winning Opening Title Sequence for GAME OF THRONES, From the Book to Screen – Executive Producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss along with author George R.R. Martin Talk about the Challenges of Bringing Martin’s Epic Fantasy Novel to Life on HBO.

The Night’s Watch – An In-Depth look at the Unique Order of Men Who Patrol and Protect the Wall, a 700 Foot Ice Structure that Separates the Seven Kingdoms from the Darkness Beyond, Creating the Dothraki Language – An Insightful Glance into the Comprehensive Language Created for the Dothraki people in GAME OF THRONES, Audio Commentaries – Seven Audio Commentaries with Cast and Crew and Digital Download Code for the Ten-Episode Season in HD.

The highly successful HBO series is based on A Game of Thrones which is a series of books written by George R.R. Martin. The first novel A Song of Ice and Fire was published in 1996 when Martin moved away from short stories and script writing. The entire book series is intended to be a seven volume series with the final book Fire and Book released earlier this year.

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GAME OF THRONES continues to be the most successful franchise in HBO history with the most awarded drama series with 38 Emmy’s to date!

From the first episode I was hooked, there wasn’t a single thing that didn’t appeal to me about this amazing show. What brought me in quickly, besides the cast, was the stunning costuming, set designs and how all of it brought me in and kept me there. That’s what makes an amazing series and gives us all a chance to escape into a realm where it is all about a game of thrones!

In the end – the battle for the Iron Throne has just begun.

PACIFIC RIM: Uprising Fights Once Again

pacific rim

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray/DVD and Digital from writer/director Steven S. DeKnight and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is the return of the warriors of PACIFIC RIM: Uprising.

Jake Pentecost (John Boyega) is the son of hero Stacker Pentecost but not exactly following in his fathers footsteps. Making his own mark in what is left of the post-Kaiju world, he is constantly at odds with everyone. While trying to make another score in the abandon Jaeger warehouse, he meets fifteen-year-old Amara Namani (Cailee Spaeny) who has amazing hacking skills for a young girl.

Trying to run from the law, they both are going to be called for something a little more important. A different kind of Jaeger is running lose and more powerful than they have ever seen. Not understanding how this is happening, Jake is paired up once again with Nate Lambert (Scott Eastwood) to discover what is happening.

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Dr. Gottlieb (Burn Gorman) is on it trying to discover where the source of the new Jaeger’s power is coming from. Of course Dr. Geiszler (Charlie Day) might have a little something to do with it all.

That’s when they discover that the Kaiju are not gone but instead have found a way to integrate quietly back into our world. Pentecost and Lambert immediately regroup and make it clear that there is no way the Kaiju are going succeed. Now they both call on the very smart Amara and the rest of the cadets to be just as creative as the creature who wants them gone.

It is a fight they are prepared for!

Boyega as Jake is a man who understands the large shadow cast by his father Stacker. Trying to find his own place in a world still recovering from the last Kaiju attack, he uses his smarts in the wrong way. When he realizes he is truly needed, the best comes out.

Eastwood as Lambert is full on Jaeger to the core. He wants what’s best for the planet and Kaiju aren’t it. He has a chip when it comes to Jake but it is something that isn’t as important as what is coming after them all.

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Spaeny as Amara is smart, quick and doesn’t respond well to authority, something Jake knows a little something about. She may be young but her hacking skills are spot on and creating a Jaeger that needs one user is epic.

Gorman as Gottlieb is running like a chicken with his head cut off trying to figure out how this new Jaeger has such tremendous power. Day as Geiszler is a little bit off his game and seems to have a plan of his own. A little bit nutty and a little bit evil, this is Day’s chance to show us what he’s got.

Other cast include Tian Jing as Liwen Shao, Jin Zhang as Marshal Quan, Adria Ajona as Jules Reyes, Rinko Kikuchi as Mako Mori, Karan Brar as Cadet Suresh, Wesley Wong as Cadet Jinhai, Ivanna Sakhno as Cadet Viktoria, Mackenyu as Cade Ryoichi, Lily Ji as Cadet Meilin and Shyrley Rodriguez as Cadet Renata.

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

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The Bluray and DVD contain the Bonus Features of Deleted Scenes with Commentary by Director Steven DeKnight, Hall of Heroes, Bridge to Uprising, Becoming Cadets, Unexpected Villain, Never Level Jaegers and much more!PACIFIC RIM: Uprising gets the gang back together after years of believing that the war was over.

What a surprise when a very large, very powerful Jaeger doesn’t have good will towards humans. The story brings out story twists and clashing metal battles that have one goal – to make sure the Kaiju never come back again.

The action is fast paced and doesn’t leave much time for dallying around but then again I don’t think the Kaiju are interested in talking. They are more along the lines of destruction and take over so go along for the battle of PACIFIC RIM: Uprising!

In the end – nothing will stop their victory!

HOTEL ARTEMIS Has a Unique Clientele

Hotel art

Jeri Jacquin

Coming this Friday from writer/director Drew Pearce and Global Road Entertainment is the story of membership to the exclusive HOTEL ARTEMIS.

It is 2028 and the city of Los Angeles is about to be taken over by riots when the residents decide they’ve had enough. In the middle of the mayhem are two brothers who pick the wrong time to pull a heist.

Shot up and running from the cops, the end up at the Hotel Artemis, an exclusive hotel that caters as a secret and safe place for criminals. Running the floor is The Nurse (Jodie Foster), a woman who clearly has seen the rear-end of life but knows her stuff. She is assisted by the very large Everest (Dave Bautista) who handles anyone that gets out of line.

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The Nurse immediately gives the brothers the names Waikiki (Sterling K. Brown) and Honolulu (Brian Henry) according to their suites. Waikiki managed to avoid harm with a kevlar vest but brother Honolulu isn’t so lucky. She immediately goes to work but it definitely is a hot mess.

There are other guests already on the floor with the ever complaining Acapulco (Charlie Day) and the lovely Nice (Sofia Boutella). All The Nurse asks is that the guests have no weapons on the floor, no cops and don’t kill the other guests.

While working on Honolulu, she gets a call from Crosby Franklin (Zachary Quinto), the arrogant offspring of the Hotel Artemis owner Niagara (Jeff Goldblum). He threatens that if anything happens to his father, The Nurse will pay – dearly.

If she didn’t have enough to worry about with a full house, she catches on her camera a young woman calling out her name. Helping her is going to cause problems but it seems The Nurse specializes in solving the unsolvable.

As the riot moves ever closer, the Hotel Artemis starts to break down as the guests get nervous about the outside getting in. Maybe they should worry more about how to get out before that happens!

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Foster as The Nurse is absolutely brilliant! I love this character with her frailties, flaws, uncertainties and memories yet she can put a body back together in no time flat. Spending years on this special floor, Foster’s character is run down having seen almost everything – almost. I have always been a fan of Ms. Foster’s (CONTACT is a guilty pleasure) and this character is just stunning.

Brown as Waikiki is dealing with a brother who consistently screws things up, a run in with a former lover and getting the inside scoop on the inner workings of Hotel Artemis. All of that will come in handy when what his brother innocently took turns out to the be one thing that will get them killed. Brown does a remarkable job of being smooth under pressure and never once raises his voice although he certainly has plenty of reason too.

Boutella as Nice is simple a woman who has a job to do and no one or nothing is going to get in her way. Knowing her worth, it is a joy to see her take on the employer! Day as Acapulco is annoying, narcissistic and out for himself – yet he does it so damn well.

Bautista as Everest is a body guard as well as a ‘health care provider’ who shows intense loyalty to The Nurse and doesn’t suffer fools. Knowing what is the right thing and actually doing it doesn’t seem to be an issue for him, he just wants to follow the rules and get through the riot alive.

Goldblum as Niagara has some explaining to do but then again it’s Goldblum, his mere presence tends to be enough for me. Quinto as Crosby needs to be slapped several times but that’s the parent in me talking, and Slate as Morgan shows us that there is more to The Nurse than anyone has ever known.

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Other cast include Kenneth Choi as Buke, Josh Tillman as P-22, Evan Jones as Trojan Nash, Nathan Davis Jr. as Rocco and Ramses Jiminez as Tariq.

HOTEL ARTEMIS is a place where bad guys go to find safety and be patched up if needs be. What it doesn’t know how to do is survive this batch of crazy people in the middle of a rioting city. Managing to keep it together long enough for the audience to learn the back story in the 93 minute film is perfect, anything longer would have ruined it.

It twists and turns down the hotel hallways giving us quick stories and an equal amount of action to go along with it. I suppose what made me the happiest is that it wasn’t a prequel, sequel, retelling or remaking of another story. That in itself deserves high praises and I’m sending it their way.

Director Pearce gives us something different and although I followed along a little too easily, I had a good time. There is something to be said for quick and to the point and HOTEL ARTEMIS gives exactly that.

In the end – no guns, no cops and no killing the other patients!

Frankenstein’s Story Hauntingly Told Through MARY SHELLEY

Mary Shelly cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres from director Haifaa Al Mansour and IFC Films is the story of Frankenstein told from his lovely creator MARY SHELLEY.

Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin (Elle Fanning) is a young girl who misses the mother she never knew and deals with step-mother Mary Jane (Joanne Froggatt) she wishes she didn’t. Her father William (Stephen Dillane) is a renown philosopher who sees something wild in his daughter. Consistently putting her thoughts to paper, she is looking for a life that is not the norm.

Seeing all this, Mary’s father sends her to visit Isabel Baxter (Maisie Williams), family who understands her in a surprising way. When the Baxter’s hold a gathering, Mary sees Percy Shelley (Douglas Booth) and is moved to hear he is a poet. They begin spending time together discussing things she has not been able to with anyone else.

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But their time is short lived when Mary is recalled home to sister Claire (Bel Powley) who misses her. The tension that was there before has returned and the only light is a gentleman caller who wishes to be mentored by Mr. Godwin. Mary is stunned when it is Percy who comes through the door.

Wanting to be together, Mary’s father is outraged and Claire only begs to go when she does. Packing up to start a new life, the two meet with Percy moving into a place of their own. Mary and Percy’s happiness is hanging by a thread as she tries to recover from tragedy as well as the cruel gossip.

Out for a night, they all meet Lord Byron (Tom Sturridge) who invites them to come to his country estate for a visit. Claire is more than thrilled as she tells Mary that she’s not the only one that can land a poet. There is constant drinking and discussion but Mary can not find her words. That is when Byron throws a challenge for them each to write a ghost story.

The only horror is when Claire is devastated by Byron and Mary doesn’t want to live the craziness of a poet’s life. Returning to London, she puts pen to paper and creates Frankenstein: Or the Modern Prometheus yet no one will publish her works. Even friend John Polidori (Ben Hardy) writes his ‘ghost story’ and it was stolen from him.

Mary wonders if anything is going to change when the two people she needs to stand by her most do just that. She made her own rules and wrote her own way to being Mary Shelley.

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Fanning as Mary is delicate, determined, soft-spoken, fierce attitude and lyrical in her writings. It is easy to forget that this was life in 18th century London and Mary’s role as a woman was carved in unmovable stone. Fanning’s performance gives us all and more with her alabaster and frail appearance. Underneath that is a fire this actress gives to a woman who knows that she doesn’t fit in to the mold. Her thought process and creativity are bursting and only the distraction of Shelley slows her down. Taking her life experiences to further her quest is not only staggering but breath taking at the same time.

Booth as Percy is everything a rogue poet would look like to me. He is dark in his writings and seductive when he focuses on something – singularly Mary. Believing he can have the bohemian life with her, it is his narcissism and entitlement that gets in the way of them both. Booth gives that performance from beginning to end with a hope of redemption for the man he is portraying.

Dillane as Godwin is a father who sees his daughter has not been happy most of her life. Dreaming of a mother she never knew, he can only encourage her to find the words to make her life have meaning. Froggatt as Mary Jane does a fantastic job in getting me not to like her which is so weird because she was one of my favorite Downton Abbey characters.

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Powley as Claire is a young woman who wants the same thing as Mary and the only way to get it is to live in her shadow. Sturridge as Lord Byron plays a man who has no conscious at all and has no qualms in using anyone for anything he needs. What a strange place 18th century London was!

Williams has a small role as Isabel, the cousin who seems to understand the wild side of Mary and encourages it. She is swift and charming as only Williams can be.

Other cast include: Hugh O’Conor as Samuel Coleridge, Ciara Charteris as Harriet Shelley, Sarah Lamesch as Eliza and Jack Hickey as Thomas Hogg.

MARY SHELLEY is a deep and intense period drama about a woman who was clearly born in the wrong century. Her grasp of the written word came at an early age with her desire to get out everything hiding within her. Trying to live the best life by her terms, it seemed her terms were even to difficult for those around her to grasp.

Falling in love with Shelley could be considered the step off of a difficult life but who are we to judge that. How many of us have chosen to be with a person we know is wrong for us or will challenge our sanity – yet we still do it? That is exactly what happened to Mary to the day Percy died.

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I have read books about Mary Shelley’s life and to say it was a difficult one is an understatement. Deaths of family, children and constantly being questioned about the authorship of Frankenstein, I have long admired her tenacity to put all of it at bay and continue with her work while raising her son.

The film gives only a powerful glimpse of her life as a young woman but it is so well and beautifully done. The cinematography and costuming lend itself to bringing me into the story quickly and keeping me until the very end.

Mary Shelley wanted a life different than the women of her time and the difficulty in doing so is putting yourself in harms way with society. Like today, chatterboxes and gossipers can destroy a person with word and Mary couldn’t escape that. The truth is that it would take many Mary’s to get where we are today and that is enough reason to want to know more about this rare woman.

In the end – her greatest love inspired her darkest creation!

It is a Life of Discover with LOVE, SIMON

Love Simon Bluray

Jeri Jacquin

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

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

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

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

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

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

He’s done keeping his story straight!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the end – everyone deserves a great love story!

This Doctor Brings a DEATH WISH to Bluray

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Jeri Jacquin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RWBY Brings Volume 5 for More Adventure on Bluray

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Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray from Rooster Teeth and Cinedigm is the continuing adventure of RWBY.

The huntsman gang has made its way back to Haven Academy to discover that important relics are missing. The Spring Maiden has run away and Crow’s sister Raven has taken up with bandits and now Ruby Rose (Lindsay Jones), Crow Branwen (Vic Mignogna), Weiss Schnee (Kara Eberle), Blake Belladonna (Arryn Zech) and Yang Xiao Long (Barbara Dunkelman) have no choice but to track her down and retrieve what has been taken.

Leader Professor Leonardo Lionheart (Daman Mills) is upset that the kingdom is in shambles and knows he has to convince the council that they need to plan a rescue. What the group doesn’t is that Arthur has the Professor under close watch and he is answering to mystic power.

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While waiting for what is to come, a young man names Oscar Pine (Aaron Dismuke) surprises the group.  Still dealing with the repercussions of White Fang, Sienna of Mistral has Adam being chastised for not dealing with the humans. He introduces the idea of waring with the humans by believing they should serve the Faunus and a coupe takes place.

On the island, the group hear about the Fallen Beacon from the Chieftan and they know it is Adam’s order that caused it all. They know about the potential attack on Haven Academy and want to help bridge the gap between the Faunus and Humans and stop Adam!

With Crow and Ruby gone, Oscar takes over the training of the group with only one month until the Academy is back in session. He swears he will not go easy on them!  While Yang looks for the two, she is surprised to find her mother but it works in her favor when a portal can be used to find them.

Instead she finds Weiss who isn’t about to let her friend Yang be pushed around. While in training, Oscar learns that everyone in the group is inspiring and even when they remember how difficult the journey has been so far. Ilia (Cherami Leigh) is told that Adam is now the leader of the group and that the White Fang is going through a change and the Belladonnas need to be silenced.

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Yang and Weiss learn staggering truths about Oscar and the Haven Academy. They learn about the Grimm and what they are capable of. When the group finally comes together once again, they share stories about where they have been. Yang learns that what her mother Raven (Anna Hullum) has said is the truth and the group must decide whether to continue or break away.

Weiss realizes that Yang is having a difficult time with family matters. Ruby is concerned as well but trusts that things will be okay. Ilia meets with Blake but what happens to them both is shocking.

Discovering the Maiden Spring in the care of Yang’s mother, Cinder and Arthur are trying to cut a deal with Raven. Unlock the relic and Salem will be left in peace. Creating a plan to attack on the Haven Academy, Raven has a condition that Cinder is happy to comply with.

Forced to fight Blake, Ilia is now in confusion knowing she has a dangerous choice between a friend and the White Fang. Stopping Adam from his path of destruction, Blake knows she needs to Faunus to help.

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When Leonardo is exposed about where his loyalties lie, an internal battle begins when Cinder announces that the White Fang are about to destroy everything. Hazel is furious when discovering that Ozpin is near but she should be keeping an eye on Cinder as the vault is opened.

Raven has a surprise for Cinder and the battle for the Relic is on. Now Weiss must summon the Lancer Queen if they are to have any hope. Blake has one shot at stopping Adam as his plans to destroy the school come every closer.

Ghira becomes the new leader of the White Fang and despite being angry at Blake; they welcome her back into RWBY. Yang has a final row with Raven but it is what she does next that sets in motion the next chapter.

Cinedigm is a leading distributor of amazing content in storefronts, digital platforms, Internet and Demand platforms for cable television. With an extensive library of over 52,000 films and television shows, Docudrama films, next-gen Indies and Independent films. At its inception, Cinedigm has played a pioneering role in transitioning movie theatres from traditional film prints to digital distribution to advance worldwide cinema modernization. For more on what Cinedigm has to offer please visit http://www.cinedigm.com.

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Rooster Teeth is responsible for some of the biggest and award-winning online series. From RED VS. BLUE and RWBY, Rooster Teeth has left a global footprint on YouTube with over 45 million subscribers. This is a site you need to explore at www.RoosterTeeth.com.

The Bonus Features on the RWBY Bluray include 5 Years of RWBY is a behind the scenes retrospective that explores how the production of RWBY has changed over the years. This exclusive content includes never before seen interviews and Weiss Character Short – All her life, Weiss Schnee has lived a privileged and pampered life…but it did not come without its own hardships.

 Also included is Blake Character Short – The White Fang was once a peaceful organization fighting for true equality for the Faunus. Over the years, however, many members began to favor violent and extreme tactics in order to demand respect from the humans of Remnant. Though Blake Belladonna eventually decided to leave the White Fang and its growing acts of terror, not all of her friends made the same decision.

Yang Character Short– You know that Ruby is unstoppable with her scythe, but Yang knows the true power of hand-to-hand combat. In the midst of a weapon-free training session, can Yang convince her sister of the importance of fighting without a weapon? Finally, CRWBY Series – Have you ever wondered how RWBY is made? Each week, CRWBY: Behind the Episodes gives you a peek at the magic, highlights the animation process, and introduces you to the animator’s engineers, producers and artists who work tirelessly to bring the World of Remnant to life.

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 That’s not all as an Official Manga Anthology Sampler of RWBY with MIRROR, MIRROR – RWBY reads from right to left and turn it over to begin again!

 RWBY is created by Monty Oum for Rooster Teeth. In this anime web series, this show became a viral hit in July of 2013. The video game RWBY: Grimm Eclipse and a 2016 series RWBY Chibi that has been released as well. The music for RWBY is composed by Jeff Williams who was a Trocadero band member. He composed three seasons of Red Vs. Blue.

RWBY is an action packed animated series that will leave you constantly guessing as to who anyone can trust. Secrets are always being revealed but even then the viewer is never sure who is actually telling it all or their version. This two disc Bluray series is powerful in a strange world of creatures and magic.

This is an amazing series to experience and all 244 minutes and extras means it’s time to call friends, get the popcorn poppin’ and make it a binge anime time!

In the end – one destination is shared by all!

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