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It is the Return of What Scares Us about HALLOWEEN

hallo

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this Friday just in time for the spooky season from Miramax and writer/director David Gordon Green, Danny McBride and Jeff Fradley from the characters created by John Carpenter and Debra Hill is the return of HALLOWEEN.

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

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

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

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

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

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

And this time pour some gas on it!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the end – believe in the Boogie-man!

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THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME Lands on Bluray and DVD

 

spy cover

Jeri Jacquin

On Bluray/DVD and Digital from writer/director Susanna Fogel and Lionsgate come the girls who take on THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME.

Audrey (Mila Kunis) and Morgan (Kate McKinnon) are the best of friends that do practically everything together. When Audrey’s birthday roles around of course bff Morgan throws a party. The problem is Audrey is still getting over the fact that she believes boyfriend Drew (Justin Theroux) has broken up with her.

Deciding this is no way to spend her birthday, Morgan suggests they have a little house warming fire to purge Drew from existence. While the ceremony is taking place, Audrey receives a call from Drew who tries to explain that he only left for her protection. Not understanding what that means, the line goes dead.

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The very next day while at work cashiering, Audrey meets Sebastian (Sam Heughan) and they seem to have a connection. Leaving work, Sebastian shows up only to force her into a van to tell her who he really is and what Drew’s true occupation is – a spy. Returning home to tell Morgan the serious news, Drew shows up and bullets start to fly. Hit by one of them, he manages to tell her to take a small statue to Vienna where someone is waiting to take it.

Audrey and Morgan take off to LAX and the adventure starts! Following Drew’s final instructions, Audrey is stunned to see Sebastian show up and another hail of bullets. Once again the two women escape the mayhem as Morgan calls her parents Carol (Jane Curtin) and Arnie Freeman (Paul Reiser) who inform them that they are on the news. Determined to help they are sent to a friend Prague and the women discover a flash drive hidden by Drew.

Now they have Sebastian following along with killer model/gymnast Nadedja (Ivanna Sakhno) and others who can’t be trusted all wanting what they girls have. When it all goes horribly wrong Sebastian is under the thumb of his boss but that doesn’t stop them from discovering what’s on the flash drive and how to stop everyone killing for it.

It’s time for the girls to gun up, show what they are made of and what happens when a spy dumps you!

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Kunis as Audrey is the young woman who thought she’d found love but instead found a boyfriend who isn’t exactly boyfriend material. Coming off the hot streak of BAD MOMS, Kunis has proven she has the ability to do straight comedy and then wrack up the points until she comes out kissing or shooting. In this case she has a chance to do both.

McKinnon as Morgan, ummmm, Freeman, yes, that’s her characters name, plays off fantastically against Kunis. They each have their strengths and it works like magic with McKinnon having the slight quirky edge. She reminds me of, well, me in allot of ways in that people don’t expect some of the things I do or things that fly out of my mouth, this character has both of those traits and I loved every second of it.

Theroux as Drew is the spy who uses people to get what he wants and Audrey is no exception. Having an eye for what people are good at and their weaknesses, he may be good in a fist fight or gun battle but he certainly underestimated the power of a woman who can only be pushed so far. Theroux gets to be a bit of an action hero wrapped up in a second hand James Bond suit and it works.

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Heughan as Sebastian is just the hot, sexy Scotsman that women still go crazy over. Of course it’s difficult to get away from his role as Jamie in the series OUTLANDER (and I’m not helping by mentioning it but hey…) but Heughan is giving it one heck of a lovely try. Playing third fiddle to Kunis and McKinnon isn’t easy but he makes it work out just fine.

Sakhno as the model/gymnast/psycho killer Nadedja is frakken fantastic! She has the right amount of creepy and a dash of psycho all wrapped up in the Brigitte Nielsen haircut and spooky eyes. I bought every second of it and cracked up more than a few times.

Now lets talk about Curtis as Mom Carol and Reiser as Dad Arnie – why can’t these two by my parents? They give such an endearing, charming, hilarious bit to the film and I couldn’t get enough of them. The quirk works and I’d love to see these two do a movie as these characters!

Other cast include Hasan Minhaj as Duffer, Fred Melamed as Roger, Tom Stourton as Edward Snowden, James Fleet as Tom, Mirjam Novak as Verne and Gillian Anderson as Wendy.

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 it’s 16,000 motion picture and television titles you can see everything coming soon as well as available now at http://www.lionsgate.com.

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THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME includes the Special Features of Covert Operations: The Making of THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME, Gary Powell: The King of Action, Makin’ Friends with Hasan Minhaj, Deleted Scenes, Outtakes and Off Script.

You know, it’s hard to do a buddy comedy film and even more difficult when the gals get in on the act. It’s important to find two actresses who can handle a script like this – Kunis and McKinnon handled it hilariously. This film has laughs and action in equal measure with twists and turns just in case the other two weren’t enough for you.

THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME is so much fun that it is one that can be watched again and again and find something new to giggle about. Available on Bluray and DVD is cool but the film is also available in 4K Ultra HD to include both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos in a combo pack. You know, just in case you want to turn up the stunning picture and awesome volume.

The gals get Theroux and Heughan and the guys get Kunis and McKinnon in action, laughs and a few surprises so prepare for it all with THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME!

In the end – minimum experience and maximum damage but they got this!

Saddle Up and Prepare to Ride with the Bluray of CITY SLICKERS

city slickers bluray

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray from SHOUT! SELECT and director Rob Underwood is a classic buddy comedy that is riding back into our homes with CITY SLICKERS.

Mitch (Billy Crystal) is having another birthday but this one seems to be hitting him a little harder that the last. Now 39, Mitch is finding his life a bit tedious at best and his wife Barbra (Patricia Wettig) notices. That’s when she suggests that he ‘go find himself’ which is exactly what he does.

He talks best friends Ed (Bruno Kirby) and Phil (Daniel Stern) into joining him in the fresh air and cow pie sky for a little rid in the saddle. They join up with others to herd cattle in New Mexico to Colorado and meet their leader Curly (Jack Palance).

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Curly isn’t exactly your friendly type but that doesn’t stop Mitch from trying to learn a little more about him. There is also Barry (Josh Mostel) and Ira (David Paymer) Shalowitz, Bonnie (Helen Slater) along with doctors’ Ben (Bill Henderson) and Steve Jessup (Phill Lewis). They begin to work as a team and Mitch even delivers a cow who takes to his new Mitch-Mom and is named Norman.

All the warm fuzzies cool off in the night desert air when the cook gets drunk, food goes wrong and Curly leaves without a word. That leaves trouble makers Jeff (Kyle Secor) and T.R. (Dean Hallo) who themselves get drunk and threats are thrown like punches. The rest of the group believes the fun is over and decide to head back.

That is except Mitch who wants to get the cattle to Clay Stone’s (Noble Willingham) ranch as promised – along with Ed and Phil they beat the elements doing what could have been seen as the impossible.

Find themselves!

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Crystal as Mitch embraces this character or maybe its just that I love him in this character. As a man who isn’t happy with his life and thinks an adventure might just be what he needs to get the pep back in his step. Crystal spent a greater part of the 80’s making such films about changes in life and what truly makes us happy. With CITY SLICKERS he takes it a step further and literally looks farther than even I would have to discover happiness is closer than you think.

Kirby as Ed is that friend who isn’t afraid of much but yet secretly afraid of allot. Keeping his life closed off to his two best buddies, it takes a night by the fire and herding cattle to come clean about the status of his own happiness – and the truth about it all.

Stern as Phil is the friend who is hiding behind life to get through life. Realizing he has spent a great deal of his life being a ‘yes man’ to keep everyone happy – including his own wife, has cost him years of happiness. Stern is awkward but does it so that I can’t help but want to save him. Slater as Bonnie comes in with a broken heart and an eye for Phil as well as proving to herself that she is just as tough a cowboy as the rest.

Palance as Curly is the clear winner in all of this. He doesn’t outshine his cast mates but his presence is such that even this quiet role screams awesomeness. I have been watching him in films for longer than I want to admit and I have to say that as Curly – he stole my film loving heart.

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Other cast include: Tracey Watter as Cookie, Jeffrey Tambor as Lou, Karla Tamburrelli as Arlene, Yeardley Smith as Nancy, and Walker Brandt as Kim Furillo.

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

The Bluray also includes the Special Features of Audio Commentary by director Ron Underwood and Stars Billy Crystal and Daniel Stern, Back in the Saddle: CITY SLICKERS Revisited, Bringing in the Script: Writing CITY SLICKERS, A Star is Born: An Ode to Norman, The Real City Slickers and Deleted Scenes you won’t want to miss!

Designed with the film lover in mind, SHOUT SELECT shines a light on films that deserve a spot on your shelf. From acknowledged classics to cult favorites to unheralded gems, SHOUT SELECT celebrates the best in filmmaking, giving these movies the love and attention they deserve.

CITY SLICKERS is a buddy film that is full of everything we love this type of genre for. There are life crisis that we can all relate to, friends that will do everything with you even if they are a little bit scared of life, good times to be had even in a saddle and becoming the parent of an animal as lovely as Norman – perhaps not quite as big though.

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This is a fun family film that brings out just about every human emotion and I’m more than okay with that. Laughs, a tear or two, surprise and finding yourself becoming a cheering section is pretty much every cool thing about CITY SLICKERS.

So, gather up your own herd of friends and family and revisit a trail ride that is still as much fun today as it was when released in theatres in 1991!

In the end – yesterday they were businessmen, today they’re cowboys and tomorrow they’ll be walking funny!

It’s Time to Return to the Scene of Hilarious Crime as DRAGNET Comes to Bluray

 

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray for the first time in a special Collector’s Edition from SHOUT! Factory and director Tom Mankiewicz is the buddy cop comedy DRAGNET.

Sgt. Joe Friday (Dan Aykroyd) is a by-the-book cop who doesn’t take nonsense in the slightest. Cut from the family cloth of policemen, Joe learns that he is about to have a new partner in the form of Pep Streebek (Tom Hanks).

Streebek isn’t necessarily a by-the-book cop who occasionally is the cause of nonsense every chance he gets. Immediately Joe Friday isn’t happy with the way his new partner dresses or his attitude for that matter but knows at this point he doesn’t have a choice in the matter.

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Assigned to their first case together, they investigate is a porno magazine called Bait owned by one Jerry Caesar (Dabney Coleman) who wants his property back. The person they think might have some idea is Reverend Jonathan Whirley (Christopher Plummer) who wants moral order in the city.

Then there is a cult about town called P.A.G.A.N. or People Against Goodness and Normalcy where Friday and Streebek meet Emil Muzz (Jack O’Halloran). After questioning they learn of a secret ceremony that will include a virgin sacrifice. Enter the virgin Connie Swail (Alexandra Paul) and her date with an anaconda.

Of course all of this sets off their boss Gannon (Harry Morgan) who takes Friday’s badge and tells them they are off the case. After the rescue and a zing between Friday and the virgin Connie Swail, she identifies Whirley as the one responsible for her snake pit scare. Muzz is back in business capturing Friday and the virgin Connie Swail for Whirley who monologues his plans for killing Caesar with gas made from another theft job.

In on it is Kirkpatrick (Elizabeth Ashley) but she quickly learns that Whirley doesn’t need her help any longer when he fly’s off with the virgin Connie Swail. That isn’t about to stop Friday who makes damn sure that he gets the bad guy – and the girl as well!

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Aykroyd as Sgt. Joe Friday is absolutely stunning. He has the face for it with a demeanor that holds its own in any situation. As Friday he gets a chance to be the straight man to Hanks’ Pep and I love every moment of it. It is clear that he captures the original and beloved Joe Friday aka Jack Webb and even a few of his idiosyncrasies are there and timeless. That being said, Aykroyd puts a few of his own quirky habits in the mix and it all comes out brilliantly.

Hanks as Pep is the perfect person to have been cast for this role. He is hilarious, snappy with the comebacks and doesn’t seem to be at all affected by Friday’s jabs. That’s what I love about Hanks in almost every character he plays, he may be a duo in the film but he can certainly hold his own. These are two stunning actors that deserved every moment on screen together making this such a fun film.

Plummer as Reverend Whirley is deliciously bad in every sense of the word and its all covered in this thick icky icing of his voice. That’s what makes his performance so cool in that he got to jump into a character that manages to be as slippery as the snake in the ceremony pit. Plummer is a gem for film lovers and when he takes on a comedy like this one, you can be sure he will put his mark straight on it.

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Paul as the virgin Connie Swail is adorable, fresh, innocent and perfect for someone like Sgt. Joe Friday. She will cook, clean and service her beloved police man and all the while be embraced by Granny Mundy. It is a family Joe needs and Paul is sweet to the very end!

Coleman as Caesar is in the same category as Plummer in that he can play a good guy as good as he can play a bad guy. This looked like allot of fun for him and he made me laugh with his attitude and voice. Morgan as Bill Gannon comes back to give the force a little remembrance of a Dragnet that once was and still is with a new Joe Friday. I really loved seeing him in the film.

Other cast include Kathleen Freeman as Enid Borden, Bruce Gray as Mayor Peter Parvin and Lenka Peterson as absolutely adorable Granny Mundy.

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

Designed with the film lover in mind, SHOUT SELECT shines a light on films that deserve a spot on your shelf. From acknowledged classics to cult favorites to unheralded gems, SHOUT SELECT celebrates the best in filmmaking, giving these movies the love and attention they deserve.

The Bluray includes the Special Features of new A Quiet Evening in the Company of Connie Swail: An Interview with Co-Star Alexandra Paul, New Audio Commentary with Pop Culture Historian Russell Dyball, Just the Facts!: A Promotional Look at DRAGNET with Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks, Original Theatrical Trailers & Promos and Photo Gallery.

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DRAGNET is everything I love in a comedy with twists, humor, turns, humor and just out and out silliness in a few scenes. If your going to make a comedy, DRAGNET teaches you how to do it and writing team of Aykroyd, Zweibel and Mankiewicz made sure we laughed and made the term ‘the virgin Connie Swail’ and ‘just the facts ma’m, just the facts’ memorable.

SHOUT SELECT has done such an amazing job putting DRAGNET back on our police blotters reminding us of how good films such as this truly are. The actors in the film have gone on to bigger roles but it is films like DRAGNET that got them their showing their versatility and ability to make us all laugh for a little while.

DRAGNET can now be shared with those who might have missed their chance to see it in theatres when it was released in 1987. So pop that corn and sit in front of that big screen television and meet the next generation of Friday’s!

In the end – everything is by the book sort of!

A STAR IS BORN Sings onto the Screen

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Jeri Jacquin

In theatres this Friday from director Bradley Cooper and Warner Bros. is two people filled with the need for music when A STAR IS BORN.

Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) is a musician-singer who can fill a concert arena singing his songs. On stage or off he also has a problem with staying away from alcohol. Even with Bobby (Sam Elliott) keeping an eye on him and cleaning up the messes, Jack is one hot mess.

After a concert, Jack doesn’t have his liquid courage in the car and asks his driver to pull over to the local bar. Recognizing him at the door is Ramon (Anthony Ramos) who insists on bringing him to the bar and buying Jack a drink. That’s when he realizes that he is in a drag bar and watches the show.

Ramon insists that Jack prepare himself to see his friend Ally (Lady Gaga) perform and almost immediately he is taken in. Going backstage to meet her, they go out for a drink after to discuss her want of music. Seeing she is a straight shooter makes Jack go even weaker in the knees and he wants her to come to a concert the next night.

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After kissing their jobs goodbye, Ally and Ramon make it to the concert and Jack decides to get her onstage for a song. The next day on YouTube, dad Lorenzo (Andrew Dice Clay) can not believe what he is seeing. Excited beyond belief Ally begins a relationship with Jack that puts them on the stage together over and over again.

Ally is noticed by manager Rez (Rafi Gavron) who wants to blow her up everywhere. Believing in her talent is one thing and changing her is another and although she sees what is happening, Ally also knows she has to go to get. Jack begins to feel as if he is losing her in some way and responds accordingly.

His path of self destruction begins to have an effect on their relationship. In one instant Ally sees how destructive Jack’s life has become because of the past, his ability to have relationships and where they are both going musically. Yet she will not give up or give in when it comes to the man who brought her love and music.

Love has amazing powers as long as you believe.

Cooper as Jack is pretty much front and center of the film and although that may be fine, the character is not new. The only thing ‘different’ in this story is a brother and an alcoholic father but it is muddled which just drove me crazy. There was nothing unexpected here which again supports my theory that remakes need to have a 75 year stamp on them. What might surprise viewers is that he sings the heartfelt songs with ease and together with Gaga they are sweet performances.

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Lady Gaga as Ally is sweet in this role but again, there is nothing new for me to see here. Vocally she is outstanding but then again would anyone expect anything less? The songs are lovely and touching. I think what drove me nuts is that she goes from being Ally in the beginning to actually becoming ‘Lady Gaga’ by the middle to end. That means I don’t see Ally anymore and there goes the film!

Elliott as Bobby has a few scenes and makes the most of them. The problem is that the scenes seem so disjointed and I suppose that could be because their storyline has such an age gap. I love Sam Elliott so I’m happy to see him in anything but if you are going to use this iconic actor in a role, do it well and do it memorably.

Clay as Dad Lorenzo is a proud papa and I’ll admit I didn’t know for at least five minutes that it was him. There are appearances by Dave Chappelle and Eddie Griffin but I’m not sure how that storyline fit into it all, again disjointed. It was good to see both of them so there’s that.

Other cast include Bonnie Somerville as Sally Cummings, Michael Harney as Wolfe, Willam Belli as Emerald, Rebecca Field as Gail, Eddie Griffin as Pastor and Dave Chappelle as Noodles.

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Okay, here’s the rough part. I am an avid and devoted fan to the 1937 Janet Gaynor/Frederick March A STAR IS BORN. There is something amazing about that era so that the ’37 version is stunning, emotional and heartbreaking for me. The first time I saw it I knew I had to see it again and again (which I have). Gaynor and March cemented my love of black and white films.

In 1954, Judy Garland and James Mason brought their colorful film to the screen and man, oh man, did the voice of Judy Garland dig deeper into my heart. There is no one like her and there will never be again so to watch her in this version of A STAR IS BORN reminds me of how wonderful both of these actors were. I saw both of these films on television as a kid.

In 1976, Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson brought A STAR IS BORN to the big screen and I can not stress enough how blow away I was at 16 years old. The presence of Streisand and Kristofferson could have been enough but when they both sang their respective songs I absolutely couldn’t breathe. When they sang together I had a tear and a smile on my face. Yes, I remember every emotion the first time I saw the film because I spent several weekends after at the matinee to experience it all again and again. That is what this version of the film did for me and it is a memory as clear as if it were yesterday.

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So, here we are in 2018 and although the music is amazing and the two performers put it down emotionally, there is nothing in the story that is going to keep me going back again. I don’t want that to sound as if I’m saying the film isn’t good, it’s alright to my way of thinking but because I hold the other films so dear – there just isn’t room for another version. It just didn’t need to be re-told, re-imagined, re-thunk or any other re…the studio should have just released the original in theatres like they are doing with SUPERMAN.

I know, I know, I’m going to get chided for my opinion but we all know it’s the truth. Understand there is so many original scripts out there waiting to be discovered and made into films that I just do not understand why Cooper thought this was in any way necessary. Why Hollywood, why?

Okay, I’m done. I know there are many people who are excited about the film so go and be excited. Cooper and Gaga can sing so enjoy that and pick up the soundtrack which I think has the potential to be so successful (just please don’t do a sequel Gaga!)

In the end – the music brought them love!

 

 

VENOM Strikes

 

Venom cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming this Friday from director Ruben Fleischer and Marvel is the next superhero with the help of VENOM.

One night a space probe crashes to earth owned by the Life Foundation and tubes containing life forms are collected. Transported to a lab, Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed) is thrilled at what is brought back.

Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) is a reporter who goes out of his way to report on issues that need his style of uncovering. Good at what he does, it gives him time to enjoy his relationship with his lawyer love Anne (Michelle Williams).

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He is given his next assignment to interview Drake about the Life Foundation and realizes that Anne knows a little about his business. Nosing onto her laptop, he finds information about Drake that he uses the next day during their interview. Much to Drake’s dismay, he ends the interview sending Brock out on his ear.

That move cost Drake his job and his relationship as Anne also loses her job and refuses to forgive him. Everything he worked for is gone in a second at the payback hands of Drake.

Inside, Dr. Dora Skirth (Jenny Slate) who is working with Drake’s research and the creatures that he obtained. Watching what he is doing, she is horrified that Drake is using human beings for testing. She reaches out to Eddie for help in exposing what is happening and he gets inside the Life Foundation to see for himself. What he doesn’t expect is to be leaving wearing a symbiote suit!

Introducing himself as Venom to Eddie, it is clear that it is the beginning of a strange relationship in an effort to stop Drake and what he is doing. Eddie is being affected physically and looks to Anne and beau Dr. Dan (Reid Scott) for help. Venom knows there are other symbiotes and needs Eddie to stop the leader Riot.

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Drake just wants his ‘property’ back and sends head of security Reese (Scott Haze) to round up Eddie. When Drake decides that it’s time to erase humanity, he takes on Riot and now, more than ever, Eddie and Venom have to bring it to save the world.

Hardy as Eddie is going to win over people in the role because of the humor he brings to the role. The relationship he has with Venom is unique because of their ability to communicate and both have a line of sarcasm that is entertaining. Of course I’d prefer Hardy in his role in the television series Taboo, the cable series Peaky Blinders and the film DUNKIRK. It isn’t that I think his role in VENOM isn’t good, it was just predictable and I think I’m getting to old to sit in a theatre for predictable.

Williams as Anne broke character and lost me the minute Anne broke up with Eddie with a simple walk away. Yea girl, I believe you’d do that in real life…nope! This role just didn’t do her any favors (and neither did that short Catholic school girl skirt she ran around in) but I’m sure we’ll see it in the next VENOM movie.

Ahmed as Drake is instantly unlikeable but at least he hasn’t a problem with that. There isn’t anything redeeming about his character and Ahmed makes sure we see that without batting an eye about it. I like Ahmed and have seen his roles become more and more expanded. The mini-series The Night Of truly gave Ahmed the lift and notice that I was thrilled for.

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Slate as Dr. Skirth is daring to go against a powerful boss and it will cost her. Scott as Dr. Dan is oddly alright with an ex-boyfriend showing up out of nowhere but has a reason to freak out when something wicked jumps out of an MRI machine. Haze as Treece is a shark on wheels and his goal is to do whatever it takes to get Eddie and Drake’s extra-terrestrial guest back into his lab.

Other cast include Peggy Lu as Mrs. Chen, Malcolm C. Murray as Lewis Donate, Sope Aluko as Dr. Collins, Wayne Pere as Dr. Emerson, and an appearance by Stan Lee.

VENOM is an action packed film filled with humor, car chases, creatures and sarcasm from both humans and not-so-human. In the vein of all Marvel movies I’m sure fans will be happy to see another character go from page to screen.

For me, I went along for the ride but didn’t feel like I got anywhere by the end of it (and trust me I have to call my son now and ask about a character I don’t know about). This film seemed so busy trying to make the audience laugh while keeping the action going, it seems someone forgot to write a strong script.

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What kept me going was Tom Hardy (and not just because I adore him). It’s because he held his own in a film that needed to be held up by something good. He made me laugh and jump once or twice. I feel like this is a dark DEADPOOL and lawd knows no one, not even Mr. Hardy, is going to take my heart away from that man in a red suit (and we aren’t talking about Santa Claus).

So go, enjoy and move onto the next Marvel movie. When Venom 2 comes out, let us hope that Marvel will get their storyline together and remember that special effects don’t make an entire film.

In the end – embrace your inner anti-hero!

BARRY Has Got a Gun and Acting Skills with the Hit Series on HBO Coming to DVD

 

Barry CoverJeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD from HBO Home Entertainment is another highly successful series from HBO about Barry.

Barry Berkman (Bill Hader) is a hit man who is making ends meet living in the midwest. Working for Monroe Fuches (Stephen Root), he is sent to Los Angeles for his next hit. Meeting with Chechen mobster NoHo Hank (Anthony Carrigan), Barry discovers who the next mark is, an actor named Ryan.

Following the hit, Barry finds himself walking in on the middle of an acting class. He is mesmerized by what he is seeing, especially with Sally Reed (Sarah Goldberg) center stage doing an intense scene. Teacher Gene Cousineau (Henry Winkler) wants the best out of his students and is equally intense. Barry is taken in and Gene announces he must do a monologue if he wants to stay in class.

Determined to finish the hit-job, he isn’t to happen when he discovers that someone else got to the target first – the Chechens. They aren’t through with Barry or Fuches kidnapping them and pulling a little torture to get another hit out of the hit-man. Meantime, Gene announces to the class that Ryan is dead and the distraught class plans a service. Barry freaks out at the funeral and Sally is a little unnerved that he won’t sleep with her.

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Barry gets his next order from NoHo but has to bide his time but there is a twists coming for them both. The police question the students in Gene’s class while Barry helps Sally prepare for an audition for a show she really wants. When he gets the chance to take out NoHo’s target but instead Sally calls begging for him to come see her when the audition doesn’t go as planned.

Fuches is still getting work and tells Barry his next hit has Bolivian ties and he isn’t happy about it. Barry is, however, falling for Sally and wants to help her all he can. He also sees a future with the lovely blonde but doesn’t really have the disposition to deal with anyone cutting in on the action. Of course the first step of letting Sally know should have been a hint for him when she gets angry at his claim on her.

The police are still on the case and come back to talk to the acting students and they are interested in Barry but he has an alibi. In return Fuches tells Barry that he has to take out his Marine buddy Taylor (Dave Pavinski). Making the hit together it is clear that Taylor does most of the work and he rats on Barry to Fuches about it all.

The Bolivian drug lord is to arrive in the desert where Barry and Fuches keep watch and the boss still wants Taylor gone. Barry would rather Taylor take over his job so he can go back to acting class and a new life only later to discovers a stash of money in his backpack put there by his ‘good’ buddy. Going back to the airfield, the men discover an ambush and only Barry and Chris (Chris Lucado) make it out alive. That’s not going to stop Barry from going to the Shakespeare rehearsal but is in such a state that he is about to hear it all from Gene.

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Gene has a houseguest as Detective Moss (Paula Newsome) knows that they could both be in trouble if anyone finds out. Moss believes that Barry is her suspect but she can’t prove it. The Chechens and drug lord Cristobal Sifuentes (Michael Irby) says he will gladly share the money but you know there is no honor among thieves. Barry prepares to deliver an emotional performance at Shakespeare night and all because he did the one thing he didn’t want to do.

Barry wants out but Fuches isn’t about to let that happen without a fight – literally. That means a little bit of a war between employer and employee as Fuches puts it out that Barry needs to go. NoHo puts a dent in Fuches’ plan because he wants to become bigger in the dangerous world he lives in.

Now that the police aren’t looking at Barry, he feels great about acting class and his relationship with Sally. Gene decides to have a couples weekend and brings Det. Moss, Sally and Barry out to his home in the country. It doesn’t take long before the cop in Moss comes out and she begins to piece together who Barry is. Trying to stop her from continuing on with her suspicions, Barry has to again do the one thing he is trying to get away form.

Hader as Barry gives a performance that is so different from what most of us are use to seeing. Known for his comedy, this is a darker side to his acting career and I love it. As the killer Barry he has no problem drawing his weapon with a cold steel look but on the flip side, Hader’s portrayal of this character has moments of simplicity, a gentleness and the want of a life he can only imagine. He takes everything in and with this new life isn’t sure how to work it all out and Hader gives us every emotion that goes along with that.

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Goldberg as Sally is a woman who wants an acting career so badly that she is forced to  reach deep inside to prove it to everyone. Her friendship with Barry is sweet and fun but she is confused as to why he doesn’t make a move while at the same time professing that it’s not a good idea for him to make a move. She supports Barry to come to class and leans on him when her auditions don’t pan out. Goldberg rides this role with ease.

Root as Fuches is the poor-man-hit-man’s boss and he just cracks me up. I’m sure I’m supposed to take him somewhat serious but I have a hard time doing that. What I do know is that he certainly uses Barry and sees everyone as a way to make money. Root is such an amazing actor and this role shows why. Carrigan as NoHo wants to be the king of everything and, like Fuches, will do whatever it takes and take out who ever it takes to make that happen. Another character who cracks me up!

Winkler as Gene is a joy to watch every moment he shows up on screen. As Gene he is overblown, over exaggerated and over the top as the acting coach that his class seems to need. Seeing something special in Sally, Gene reaches her in the deep recesses of her insecurities and brings out the best. His relationship with a cop makes things a little tense, especially for Barry. I am thrilled Winkler has a role like this where he can go all out and I’m all in!

Other cast include Gleen Fleshler as Goran Pazar, Darrell Britt-Gibson as Jermaine, Andy Carey as Eric, Rightor Doyle as Nick, D’Arcy Carden as Natalie, Mark Ivanir as Vacha, Marcus Brown as Vaughn and Nicholas Johnny as Theo.

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

The DVD includes the episodes Chapter One: Make Your Mark, Chapter Two: Use It, Chapter Three: Make the Unsafe Choice, Chapter Four: Commit…To You, Chapter Five: Do Your Job, Chapter Six: Listen With Your Ears React With Your Face, Chapter Seven: Loud Fast and Keep Going, and Chapter Eight: Know Your Truth.

Barry was created by Alec Berg and Bill Hader and has won two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for Bill Hader and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for Henry Winkler. Both well deserved and, if that isn’t enough, BARRY has been green lit for a second season.

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I truly enjoyed this series because it is so different, unexpectedly twisted, funny, and never lets Barry take a moment off. Watching Hader take this character through all the hoops to get away from his profession is filled with pitfalls and emotional pratfalls.

The cast is exceptional together and make it look so smooth with all the twists and who wants who rubbed out. Watching Barry transition into what he thinks is a normal life, what better way than trade the drama of a hit man to the drama that can be found on stage and screen. His fellow students have their own drama to bring to the table so musical chairs of it all is the best of the series BARRY.

In the end – he is a hit man searching for some direction!

ANT-MAN and the WASP Prove Super Hero Size Doesn’t Matter on Bluray

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Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray and Digital from director Peyton Reed and Marvel Studios comes the next adventure bringing together ANT-MAN and the WASP.

Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is still under house arrest after the fiasco with CAPTAIN AMERICA: Civil War. Under the watchful eye of Agent Woo (Randall Park), Scott spends time with daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson) and his business with partner Luis (Michael Pena).

With days away from the removal of his ankle tracker, Scott is doing his best to behave. Of course that’s all about to change when Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) decides to kidnap him. Freaking out about being out of the house, Hope explains that she and father Dr. Pym (Michael Douglas) need his help.

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Both Hope and Pym are still unhappy with what Scott did but there is something more important they need. Working on a way to save her mother Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer), Hope reaches out to Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins), a man who knows how to get things that are – shall we say – slightly illegal.

Once Sonny realizes who Hope is and what her father can do, he makes demands to get a piece of the action. They are interrupted by what can only be describes as a Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) and an all out brawl breaks out forcing Scott back into his Ant-Man suit to help.

Now the chase is on as it seems both Sonny and this Ghost want the same thing, to steal Dr. Pym’s lab and discover the secrets inside. Of course Scott also has to keep a low profile but that’s hard to do when you are trying to do what’s right!

Rudd as Scott reminds me of a clean Deadpool in a sense. He is funny, charming, constantly trying to do what’s right even if it goes wrong and wears a tight super hero costume. He brings out the best in his character while being put in the worst situations possible. I have to admit that the scene between Rudd and Fishburne is pretty funny when they are comparing size. I just enjoy Rudd as an actor and ANT-MAN and the WASP proves why that is.

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Lily as Hope is smart, tough and has no problem whizzing between sizes to put the bad guys in their place. She is still a little bent out of shape with Scott but believing that her mother might still be alive is much more important. John-Kamen as Ghost has the chance to go a little one-on-one with Lily’s character as they both worked on their martial arts skills perfectly.

Douglas as Dr. Pym is totally p.o.’d at Scott but, like his daughter, sees the necessity of getting Scott’s help. Using his smarts to stay one step ahead of both Sonny and the Ghost, coming up against an old friend might be the hardest to deal with. Fishburne as Dr. Foster has a bone to pick with Pym and it will all come out in the wash.

Pena as Luis finally has his chance to see how the super hero half lives. Making sure Scott is protected and getting a chance to shrink seems to make his life complete. Fortson as Cassie is sweet and wants what is best for her Dad and, of course, has a few ideas on being a super hero herself.

Goggins as Sonny can do no wrong and brings bad guy humor to the film. He is a little greedy and at the same time a little charming with a few one liners that cracked me up. Park as Agent Woo also brings in the laughs trying to stay one step ahead of Scott. Pfeiffer as Janet has a small role (no pun intended) but a necessary character none the less.

Other cast include Bobby Cannavale as Paxton, T.I. as Dave, David Dastmalchian as Kurt, Divian Ladwa as Uzman and Lawrence Fishburne as Dr. Bill Foster.

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

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

The Bluray Extras include Deleted Scenes, Gag Reel, Back in the Ant Suit: Scott Lang – Hero and all-star dad Scott Lang brings the laughs, both in the film and on set, A Suit of Her Own: The Wasp – Check out how some of the Wasp’s craziest stunts and action-packed scenes were brought to life, Subatomic Super Heroes: Hank & Janet – Witness the legacy of these characters and the iconic actors who portray them, Quantum Perspective – Explore the movie’s VFX and production design, and much, much more!

Also, Movies Anywhere gives you a code to watch anywhere with the Movies Anywhere App for Download and Streaming! Ti watch on iTunes version requires an iTunes account.

ANT-MAN and the WASP is a fun superhero film that the whole family can enjoy filled with fun, total action and characters zipping from small, medium to large with lightening speed. The film comes in at a little over two hours yet never felt like I was being dragged along the story line.

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Rudd and Lily work so well together that they made it look effortless. Douglas adds his grumpy salt to the mix and waalaa – a super hero film that will have everyone leaving the film feeling pretty darn good.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is known for a jaw drop or two after its ending so don’t miss it. The interconnection between the Marvel films is becoming tighter and tighter.

ANT-MAN and the WASP is right up there with the rest of the Marvel films. There is fun, action, adventure, laughs, suspense and all of the reasons that people love superhero films. So find the biggest television in the house, crank up the sound bar and get read to be buzzed!

In the end – real heroes come in all sizes!

 

 

SAVED BY THE BELL: The Complete Collection is Binge Worthy

 

saved by the bell

Jeri Jacquin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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