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November 2015

VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN Shocks and Delights

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Jeri Jacquin

If you’re looking for something to begin your holiday weekend from 20th Century Fox and director Paul McGuigan is another take on the story of the man we all know as VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN.

A young man with a hunched back is the ridicule of the circus. The punching bag for those who run the circus, he takes the beatings if only to see the smile of acrobat Lorelei (Jessica Brown Rindlay). One particular night, the circus had another unique visitor in Victor Frankenstein (James McAvoy). When Lorelei falls from the trapeze, both the young man and Victor run to her aid.

Within moments Victor would see this sad faced clown save Lorelei’s life. The circus owner was not as impressed throwing the clown into a cage. That wouldn’t last long as Victor invites him to taste freedom.

After escaping, Victor jumps quickly into action to put the young man right, including giving him the name of Igor (Daniel Radcliffe) and realizing the medical knowledge he can bring to the lab. In a few days posters were being circulated looking for two men who were responsible for the ruckus at the circus. Leading the charge was Inspector Turpin (Andrew Scott), a man of religion who feels it his duty to find sinners.

When an experiment goes wrong at the medical college, Victor and Igor disagree on what will happen next. Ready to help Victor financially is Finnegan (Freddie Fox) who doesn’t mind spreading the money around if it will get him the fame that goes with it. Igor only wants to be with Lorelei and after a disagreement, Victor and Igor part.

What happens next brings Igor back to the man who saved him.

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McAvoy as Victor Frankenstein is a whirl wind from beginning to end. From the moment his character enters the scene it is clear this Frankenstein is like none we’ve seen before. Flitting in and out and all around, it is completely exhausting trying to keep up with what he was thinking or planning. McAvoy not only makes it look good, but look fun! I have always enjoyed his performances and with VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN he has elevated it to loving his performances.

Radcliffe as Igor has spent the last several years moving away from ‘the boy who lived’ and he continues to widen the gap. As Igor he gives this character such a depth of emotion that, at first, is hidden by disfigurement and clown make up. Taking on the name and becoming Victor’s assistant, he introduces himself into the world to discover love, friendship, loyalty and fighting for what is decent and just. It was amazing watching this character grow and Radcliffe excels.

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Rindlay as Lorelei is lovely. She sees the best in Igor and although doesn’t see the benefit of what they are both doing, steers clear. Fox as Finnegan is a rich kid who has no problem spreading his family’s money around. Making sure he does get his worth, he sees a brilliant madness in Victor and wants to be part of it.

Scott as Turpin is a cop with serious problems. Investigating the animal parts stealing becomes an obsession that leads him to Victor. When he doesn’t get the support of his superiors, there is a disconnect that becomes a tad scary. Scott gives the dead-stare a whole new meaning.

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Other cast include: Bronson Webb as Rafferty, Daniel Mays as Barnaby, Robin Pearce as Baron Bomine, Callum Turner as Alistair and Spencer Wilding as Prometheus 2.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN four and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. Told from Igor’s perspective of events, I have to say I was thrilled with every aspect of the film. The vintage feel is absolutely brilliant and the costuming, as I always say, is an important aspect to getting that feel so well done.

The story telling was extremely fast paced and that is due mainly to McAvoy’s hyperactive speech and actions. Frankly he wore me out trying to keep up with him. There is a scene where Radcliffe joins into the fast paced madness and they both made it look so damn easy.

One of the things I most enjoyed about the film was the infusion of humor into a story that, previously, didn’t find much to laugh about. Of course that is with the exception of Mel Brooks’ 1974 YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN but that’s pure comedy. Here it is in an incredible infusion of everything with McAvoy and Radcliffe zapping us along for a fantastic ride I can’t wait to see again.

This is definitely a can’t-miss film to see on the big screen so add it to your wish list this weekend and enjoy!

In the end – get ready to meet your makers!

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ASSASSINATION Hits it Right on Bluray

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Jeri Jacquin

Action packed on Bluray from director/writer Choi Dong-hoon and Well Go USA Entertainment comes a history about ASSASSINATION.

It is the 1930s and Korea is under the rule of Japan. Based in Manchuria are resistance fighters who have been in hiding. When orders come down for the assassination of Kawaguchi Mamoru (Shim Cheol-Jong) governor of Gyeongseong and businessman Kang In-gook (Lee Geung-young), they only want to send their best to do the job.

Yeom Seok-jin (Lee Jung-jae) sets out to look for a group who can do the job. He begins by locating the best sniper Ahn Ok-yun (Jun Ji-hyun) – a woman who doesn’t take her job lightly. Also, Big Gun (Cho Jin-woong) in prison for stealing weapons and Hwang Deok-sam (Choi Deok-moon), an explosive expert, round out the team.

What the team doesn’t know is that two hired assassins – Hawaii Pistole (Ha Jung-woo) and Old Man (Oh Dal-su) have been sent in by a mole to take them all out.

Ahn has another reason for wanting to finish the job, she believes that Kang In-gook is responsible for the death of her mother. While preparing for the mission, Ahn is shocked to see that her twin sister Mitsuko is alive. As their plan is put into motion, it seems that at every turn there plans are thwarted.

It isn’t until the secrets are revealed and the twists are turned that Ahn finds the strength to set it all right for herself and her comrades!

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Ji-hyun as Ahn is absolutely stunning. Here is this young woman who is a marksman yet knows very little about the things a young woman her age should which makes her completely endearing. This character is sharp and determined and understands the importance of loyalty and Ji-hyun brings it all to the screen. To the very end she is as relentless as she is patient. Playing this dual role was pretty cool as well. Smashingly well done!

Jung-woo as Hawaii Pistol is hired to do a job, what he doesn’t know is that being set up doesn’t bring in any extra benefits. When he and Ahn meet it is memorable! His charm is only equaled to his aim. Dal-su as Old Man wants the pay for the job and never lets “Money Girl” out of his sight. This character made me laugh several times and with the biggest grin, Dal-su made me forget a time or two what his job really was!

Geung-young as In-gook began the film with a plan that went wrong. Never bothering to correct it, it became clear that what goes around comes around but not exactly in the way he thought.

Well Go USA Entertainment once again provides the best in action and independent films from the US and around the world. Well Go’s titles can be seen in theatres, digital, subscription and VOD as well as broadcast television. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.wellgousa.com.

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TUBS OF POPCORN: I give ASSASSINATION four tubs of popcorn out of five. Holy moly what a film filled with action, twists and turns, a storyline that is intense, history and by the end I was worn out but thrilled! I truly enjoyed every moment of the film because of everything listed above. There are more than a few things I’m leaving out of my review strictly because I don’t want to spoil anything.

ASSASSINATION comes in at 139 minutes and the Bluray makes it all worth it from start to finish. The era sets are so well done and the costuming is perfection. There isn’t anything about this film that I do not like.

The film won Best Actor for Lee Jung-Jae and Best Art Direction from the 24th Buil Film Awards. The 35th Korean Association of Film Critics gave ASSASSINATION Best Cinematography, Technical Award and Top 10 Film of the Year which it richly deserved. ASSASSINATION is currently nominated for 12 awards from the 36th Blue Dragon Film Awards.

For action, adventure, martial arts, storytelling, cinematography and more, give yourself an early holiday gift by picking up ASSASSINATION on Bluray.

In the end – there are snipers, marksmen, hired guns and double agents oh my!

 

 

 

For more films with Martial Arts and epic storytelling please visit: http://moviemaven.homestead.com/contact.html

MEET THE PATELS Comes Home

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AVAILABLE ON DVD JANUARY 26, 2016
ON DEMAND AND EST ON DECEMBER 15

Alchemy is thrilled to announce the home entertainment release of the real life romantic comedy, MEET THE PATELS, directed by Geeta V. Patel and Ravi V. Patel. The charming documentary stars family members, Ravi V. Patel (TV’s “Grandfathered”), Champa V. Patel, Vasant K. Patel and Geeta V. Patel. MEET THE PATELS has a running time of 88 minutes, is rated PG and will be available on DVD January 26, 2016 and On Demand/EST December 15..

MEET THE PATELS is a laugh-out-loud real life romantic comedy about Ravi Patel, an almost-30-year-old Indian-American who enters a love triangle between the woman of his dreams…and his parents. This hilarious and heartwarming film reveals how love is a family affair.

Come January, it will be your chance to see the lighter side of a family that could only be the Patels!

 

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ABOUT ALCHEMY

Alchemy is the largest independent distributor of film and television content across all platforms and windows in North America. Under CEO Bill Lee’s direction, the company has distributed the work of some of the world’s finest filmmakers including Richard Linklater, Werner Herzog, Gregg Araki, Dito Montiel, John Hillcoat, John Turturro, Lee Daniels, Oren Moverman and James Cameron. The company’s current releases include Ravi and Geeta Patel’s MEET THE PATELS, and Gaspar Noe’s LOVE, with past successes including WELCOME TO ME, FADING GIGOLO, WHAT MAISIE KNEW, RAMPART, and BERNIE. Upcoming releases include Nanni Moretti’s MIA MADRE, Rob Zombie’s 31, Yorgos Lanthimos’s THE LOBSTER, and Lucile Hadzihalilovic’s French horror film EVOLUTION.

FEAR THE WALKING DEAD: Season One Gives us the Undead on Bluray

fear the walking dead bluray

 

Jeri Jacquin

From AMC and Anchor Bay Entertainment along with creators Robert Kirkman and Dave Erickson comes the first season filled with more questions than answers with FEAR THE WALKING DEAD.

In the city of Los Angeles, high school counselor Madison (Kim Dickens) and English teacher Travis (Cliff Curtis) are raising their families. Madison has her hands full with son Nick (Frank Dillane) who is dealing with drug addiction and daughter Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) who is just a mouthy teen who resents interference in her love life with boyfriend Matt (Maestro Harrell).

Travis still has dealings with ex-wife Liza (Elizabeth Rodriguez) and resentful son Christopher (Lorenzo Henrie). While all this is going on it isn’t surprising that no one really notices what is happening all around. People are becoming sick and it is spreading quickly.

It all becomes real to Madison and Travis when, while with Nick, they see for themselves that the dead are rising. Not only are they rising, they are eating the living creating even more of the walking dead.

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Deciding to leave town, the family begins to pack as Travis goes to get Liza and Christopher. What is happening on the streets quickly turns into a mob mentality.  Trying to save them from the crazed crowds, Travis talks Daniel Salazar (Ruben Blades) into letting them into the shop. Also in the shop is Daniels’ wife Griselda (Patricia Spindola) and daughter Ofelia (Mercedes Mason).

Once they are able, everyone goes back to Madison and Travis’ home. It is now too late to leave and they must wait as the military encloses neighborhoods looking for more of the undead.

What they are all soon to discover is that outside the fence is a monster of a different kind.

Dickens as Madison is a mother who clearly needs to snap into reality, not just the reality of what is happening around her – but the reality that her son is a drug addict with Mom as an enabler. Spending more time dealing with Nick, Madison has a strained relationship with daughter Alicia. I have always enjoyed Dickens performances form HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG to GONE GIRL; this is an actress who stands out.

Curtis as Travis is a father who needs to get in touch with a son who isn’t happy with the divorce of his parents or interested in becoming part of a new family unit. Trying to be everything to everyone, Travis knows something is wrong but doesn’t know who to trust.

Blades as Daniel Salazar, to my way of thinking, is the straight forward no-nonsense character who tends to say exactly what he thinks. He sees exactly what is happening around all of them and doesn’t want to do anything but take care of his wife. Of course once she is taken away, he too knows something is wrong.

Dillane as Nick is a character that isn’t embraced happily. I say this hearing from my own readers they want to strangle themselves. Nick is a young man with serious problems who enables everyone around him. Let’s hope in season two things turn around! Debnam-Carey as Alicia is smart but tends to do what she wants and also enables her brother. Yep, a totally dysfunctional family in the modern world.

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Henrie as Chris isn’t enjoying a second-family life but is observant to what is going on around him. Rodriguez as Liza is a nurse who wants to help at every turn of the epidemic and volunteers to help at a makeshift hospital for those who are sick. She also sees for herself what happens to the dead.

AMC has brought itself to the forefront of cable television in the past few years. With such series as Mad Men, Hell on Wheels, and Breaking Bad, AMC has also blown television away with the series The Walking Dead and now, Fear the Walking Dead.

Anchor Bay brings amazing entertainment to those extending their media library and is also celebrating their 20th Anniversary. From theatrical to home release, Anchor Bay brings STARZ Original series, AMC Network series, The Weinstein Company, Radius, children’s entertainment, fitness, and sports to fans. To discover more of what Anchor Bay Entertainment has to offer, please visit www.anchorbayentertainment.com.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give FEAR THE WALKING DEAD three and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. Of course my heart (and probably brain) is stuck in what happened after the zombies take over the world so it took warming up to this first season. Once again the walkers are in the background of this family that can not escape their problems just because the dead want to eat them.

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Having it set in Los Angeles puts all of the madness in the middle of a big city seeing how large groups of people react to it all. Fans have become use to deserted highways, broken down towns and small groups of people – FEAR THE WALKING DEAD puts havoc by the thousands front and center.

The series still put human emotions front and center with Kirkman and Erickson making sure that nothing is left to chance. FEAR THE WALKING DEAD Season 2 will premier on AMC with 15 new episodes in 2016. Kirkman says, “We are going to see zombies unlike we’ve ever really seen before. All of this is something that is going to hit these characters really hard.”

The FEAR THE WALKING DEAD Bluray includes the bonus features of A Look at the Series, Inside the Characters of FEAR THE WALKING DEAD and all six episodes coming in at almost three hundred minutes of intensity.

In the end – fear begins here!

 

 

For more entertainment, film reviews, DVD reviews and interviews go to:http://moviemaven.homestead.com

GRACE OF MONACO is Elegant on Bluray

 

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Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD from director Olivier Dahan, The Weinstein Company and Anchor Bay Entertainment is a story of beauty led by GRACE OF MONACO.

In 1956, world renowned actress Grace Kelly (Nicole Kidman) became royalty when she married Prince Rainier III (Tim Roth) of Monaco. Six years later, Grace begins to have difficulty in her marriage. Never quite feeling as if she fit into her new country, Alfred Hitchcock tries to lure her back with a starring role in his film MARNIE.

Monaco is itself in a crisis as Charles de Gaulle has threatened the country from without but there are also secrets and dissention from within. Grace leans on Francis Tucker (Frank Langella) who advises her that it is time to decide where her own heart and loyalty can be found – with Hollywood or Monaco.

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Kidman as Grace gives this beloved character all the charm and grace one would expect not only from Hollywood royalty but royalty of the crown kind. Kidman isn’t the spitting image of Kelly but that isn’t the point for me but instead, how this actress carried herself in the role of Kelly. Her speech at the Red Cross Ball is proving Kidman embraces the emotion needed to believe she is Her Serene Highness, Princess of Monaco.

Roth as Rainier gives the Prince the look of a man who wants the best for his country without the shackles and threats of France. Having spent so much time dealing with Monaco on his own, the slow change is well performed by Roth.

Langella as Tuck has a minor role but one that is important to Grace. Trying to help her adjust to life in Monaco, there comes the eventual realization that it is Grace that needs to decide and then stand behind either Hollywood or Monaco.

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Other cast include: Paz Vega or Maria Callas, Parker Posey as Madge, Milo Ventimiglia as Rupert Allan, Geraldine Somerville as Princess Antoinette, Nicholas Farrell as Jean-Charles Rey, Robert Lindsay as Aristotle Onassis, Derek Jacobi as County Fernando D’Aillieres, and Jeanne Balibar as Countess Baciochi.

The Weinstein Company has brought outstanding films to fans including INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, THE KING’S SPEECH, THE ARTIST, DJANGO UNCHAINED and THE IMITATION GAME. Coming up in theatres in December is the new release of THE HATEFUL EIGHT.

Anchor Bay brings amazing entertainment to those extending their media library and is also celebrating their 20th Anniversary. From theatrical to home release, Anchor Bay brings STARZ Original series, AMC Network series, The Weinstein Company, Radius, children’s entertainment, fitness, and sports to fans. To discover more of what Anchor Bay Entertainment has to offer, please visit www.anchorbayentertainment.com.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give GRACE OF MONACO four tubs of popcorn out of five. I truly enjoyed the film and mainly due to the performances of both Kidman and Roth. This is a couple like no other in that a Prince of a country and a Princess of Hollywood must find a middle ground at a time in history that needs them – together.

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Watching them both work their way through those that don’t accept Grace to the ruler of France threatening, Kidman and Roth give everybody a royal what-for! Watching their strong and stern scenes together, these two actors may start out on a bumpy road but not for long.

The costuming is absolutely elegant and lovely which adds so much to the film-era piece. From the gorgeous gowns and accessories to the cars and the palace, I have a secret love of any film that digs in deep using every aspect of storytelling to keep my interest.

GRACE OF MONACO is a 2015 Primetime Emmy Award Nominee for Outstanding Television Movie.

In the end – it is the greatest role she would ever play!

SANTA’S LITTLE HELPER Delivers with a Big Bow on DVD

 

Santa's Little Helper DVD

Jeri Jacquin

Ready to start the holidays from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and WWE Studios is the story behind SANTA’S LITTLE HELPER.

Dax (Mike ‘The Miz’ Mizanin) is a man with little cares in the world. What I mean is that Dax literally doesn’t care about anyone or anything but himself. Of course things are about to change because slick businessman Dax get’s fired from his job and the good life is about to be repossessed.

Tis the season as Santa (Eric Keenleyside) has been keeping an eye on him. Enlisting the help of Billie (AnnaLynne McCord), Santa wants to discover if Dax has what it takes to become his second-in-command.

One elf who isn’t happy about it all is Eleanore (WWE’s Diva Paige) who wants the job and is going to do whatever it takes to get it. But we all know that being naughty doesn’t look good on a resume.

Dax, Billie and Santa know what needs to be done to bring ho-ho-ho back into the holidays!

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Mizanin as Dax takes his role to the limits of entertaining. Starting off as the narcissistic care-not-at-all, he becomes desperate when Santa’s elf shows up at his door. Being tested for all the right qualities, Mizanin gives his character the right amount of silliness to make the story endearing.

McCord as Billie must deal with her insecurities about having round human ears instead of pointy elf ones. Wanting to be Santa’s second-in-command, she believes in doing what is best for Santa and the children of the world. McCord is charming, sweet and doesn’t fall to hard for Daxs’ shenanigans.

Paige as Eleanore gets a chance to be as bad as she wants to be. Finding all ways and means to stop Dax from becoming Santa’s second-in-command, Paige is the right amount of snide and equally sporting.

Keenlyside as Santa is everything one would expect from jolly old Saint Nick. Popping in and out you can be sure Santa’s agenda has a purpose.

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Other cast include: Kathryn Kirkpatrick as Mrs. Claus, Geoff Gustafson as Fitz, Tom McLaren as Harvey, Dyland Schmid as Marcus and Karen Holness as Miriam.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment brings family entertainment to DVD, Bluray, Digital HD and VOD all around the globe. To discover more of what they have to offer please visit www.fox.com.

WWE Studios develop and produce feature films as well as television and digital content. From theatrical, direct to home and across digital platforms, WWE has brought such films as THE CALL with Halle Berry, OCULUS, THE MARINE 4: Vendetta, DEAD MAN DOWN and INCARNATE to fans of quality entertainment.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give SANTA’S LITTLE HELPER three and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. This is a very cute way to start the holidays for families looking for a fun storyline with recognizable characters from the WWE.

The DVD includes Special Features such as instantly streaming and download to your television, computer, Tablet and Smartphone. The 90-minute disc also includes Ho Ho Ho – In the film, ‘Ho Ho Ho’ is Santa’s right hand man. But what exactly does this job entail? Cast and crew talk about the ‘Ho Ho Ho’s’ duties and what really goes on behind-the-scenes of Santa’s workshop when the deadline for the big day is looming.

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Also included is Introducing Paige – WWE Diva Paige has had quite a year. She debuted on Monday Night Raw just over a year ago and in that time has been WWE’s Divas Champion twice, become a star on the E! hit series Total Divas AND NOW IN HER FIRST MOVIE. Fans get an in-depth look at how she prepared for and successfully executed her role as Eleanor.

Finally, the DVD includes Holiday Cast & Crew – A fun behind-the-scenes look at the cast and crew, talking about what the holidays mean to them and the greatest gifts they ever received.

So when out doing your holiday shopping, pick up SANTA’S LITTLE HELPER to bring the family together for laughs and love.

In the end – let the holidays begin!

THE HUNGER GAMES: Mockingjay – Part 2

 

 

Jeri Jacquin

Expected to make fans crazy starting tomorrow from director Francis Lawrence and Lionsgate is the conclusion of the series with THE HUNGER GAMES: Mockingjay – Part 2.

After Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) was attacked by Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), things are heating up even more in Panem. President Snow (Donald Sutherland) is hatching more plans to stop the rebels from reaching the Capitol. President Coin (Julianne Moore) puts together a special team to reach their target.

Katniss teams up with Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Finnick (Sam Claflin) Boggs (Mahershala Ali), Johanna (Jena Malone), Cressida (Natalie Dormer), Messalla (Evan Ross) and Pollux (Elden Henson). But what upsets Katniss is that Peeta is with them as well. His mind is still not right and proves it when the group is attacked.

As the group dwindles, it is up to Katniss and Gale to reach the steps of the Presidents mansion and bring the war to its end!

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Lawrence as Katniss wraps up her role as the ‘girl on fire’. Thinking she knows what or who she wants, it’s hard to tell sometimes. I enjoy Lawrence as an actress so I give her props for seeing her role to its final conclusion.

Hutcherson as Peeta gets to play crazy for a bit of the film. He’s not really much help to the group and I wondered why they would bother to bring him. I mean really, at this point I didn’t think even President Snow would care if Peeta showed up. It almost felt forced but hey, he needed to see it through as well.

Sutherland as President Snow is wonderfully evil from the first HUNGER GAMES to the last. Even when he is in the rose garden with Katniss acting a little crazy, he is not about to let her walk away thinking it was all about him. His facial expressions can be deceiving which makes his character even more amazing.

I’d go through each character but there are just too many put together in the finale. Moore as Coin is a character I always felt was so contrived. I never believe for a moment that she had anyone’s best interest at heart except her own. I enjoyed Harrelson and Banks very much because there characters always made me laugh. Hemsworth, Malone, Dormer and Claflin aren’t on the screen long enough to follow but good to see them.

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Other cast include: Jeffrey Wright as Beetee, Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman, Wes Catham as Castor, Sarita Choudhury as Egeria, Eugenie Bondurant as Tigris, Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket, Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch, Willow Shields as Primrose Everdeen and Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give THE HUNGER GAMES: Mockingjay – Part 2 three tubs of popcorn out of five. This is where I’m going to get myself into trouble because, personally, I was expecting so much more. Instead it seemed to be Katniss hurt, Katniss well, Katniss hurt, Katniss miraculously well, others die, quick surrender and a 15 minute monologue after the fact. I wasn’t captivated in the slightest.

Yes it has flash, bang, drama, intensity but everything that happened I expected to happen and, more importantly, I never read the books. Not a good thing when I can pretty much predict it to the very end how it was going to go.

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That being said, it’s the end of another series leaving the door open for anyone else coming up with a series of films with the finale unnecessarily broken up into two parts. I know fans will be happy and that’s all that matters right? When it comes out in a collectors set perhaps I’ll do a marathon in homage.

In the end – the revolution is all about us!

 

 

For more reviews, interviews and news go to:http://moviemaven.homestead.com

THE NIGHT BEFORE

the night

Jeri Jacquin & Jenise Jacquin

In theatres this week from director/writer Jonathan Levine and Columbia Pictures comes a Christmas tale of friendship with THE NIGHT BEFORE.

It is that time of year when friends Ethan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Isaac (Seth Rogen) and Chris (Anthony Mackie) get together to celebrate the holidays. It is a tradition the three have been following for years with one link holding them together even tighter – the Nutcracka Ball.

Spending years trying to find the mythic event much has changed with the guys. Isaac is married with a baby on the way and Chris has finally made it to the NFL. The only one who seems stuck in time is Ethan, especially after a break up with girlfriend Diana (Lizzy Caplan).

On this night, Isaac’s wife Betsy (Jillian Bell) has given her hubby permission for one final night of craziness before the baby comes and gives him a little illegal medicinal incentive. The big surprise is that Ethan has finally come across (that’s using the term stealing loosely) tickets to the Nutcracka Ball!

That doesn’t mean there won’t be problems – LOTS of problems – but it is a night none of them will ever forget!

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Gordon-Levitt as Ethan is the sad sack who can’t seem to move on with his life or make a commitment. Getting the Nutcracka Ball tickets seemed to be the high point of his life. That being said, Gordon-Levitt has moments of giggles and his unexpected sing-song with you’ll-see-who was a nice touch.

Mackie as Chris is a player of a different kind. Trying to impress his NFL friends and YouTube followers, he is more pretentious and don’t think his friends don’t notice.

Bell as Betsy is the expecting Mama who is trying her best to not freak out about having a baby. She calls hubby her ‘rock’ but it seems she is the one I’d count on! Caplan as the long missed girlfriend Diana isn’t sure about her feelings for a guy who can’t even meet her parents but that’s about as far as this role goes for the MASTERS OF SEX star.

Rogen as Isaac gets the chance to smoke, snort and eat his way through the medicine cabinet while embracing his Jewish-ness, sweater and all. His role is the funniest, especially during his cell-phone-at-the-dinner-table scene that had me laughing pretty hard.

The winner here is Michael Shannon as Mr. Green. We both love everything that Shannon has done because, it must be said, he always does the unexpected. Here he gets a chance to tackle his comedic side but in such a way that is epic.

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TUBS OF POPCORN: We give THE NIGHT BEFORE three and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. This film has everything you’d pretty much expect of a comedy that includes three guy friends. It has wicked humor, a few gross moments, more surprises than we can tell you about and a feel good ending.

Buddy comedy’s can be good but when you add the element of the holidays and the ability to make fun of just about anything without feeling offended then THE NIGHT BEFORE will give you some good laughs. The sweaters are the best and we want one or two of them!

There are many, many cameos and I’m not going to tell you who they are or where they pop up because I loved seeing it for myself and the audience reaction fuels even more laughter for the film. In other words – see it!

In the end – its three wise men and one wild Christmas!

 

 

For more entertainment news, interviews and reviews go to:http://moviemaven.homestead.com

NO ESCAPE Brings Full Action to Bluray!

no escape

Jeri Jacquin

From Anchor Bay Entertainment, The Weinstein Company and writer/director John Erick Dowdle comes a fast action drama that has NO ESCAPE.

Jack Dwyer (Owen Wilson) brings wife Annie (Lake Bell) and daughters Lucy (Sterling Jerins) and Beeze (Claire Geare) to exotic Southeast Asia. Beginning a position with a new company, it is clear the family is going to have to make many adjustments to their lives.

Thanks to Hammond (Pierce Brosnan), they find their hotel and begin the process of settling in. Finding his way around town, Jack finds himself caught up in what he thinks is a local problem in the middle of the street. Almost back to the hotel, he witnesses the execution of another new employee and runs.

The mob is making its way to the hotel as well and is determined to take out any foreigners they find along the way. Jack gathers up his wife and children as they begin a nightmare run through the night to escape.

It is their strength as a family that will see them through!

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Wilson as Jack gives a solid performance as a father who wants to do right by his family. Trying to start over he never would have seen events going so wrong so fast. I give him credit for being the strong person because goodness knows with a wife who isn’t very supportive and kids that are trying not to yell at every turn he had his job cut out for him. I really enjoyed his performance filled with action, suspense and a few breath-catching moments.

Bell as Annie isn’t happy about the move or the lack of modern conveniences or maybe it’s just that she wasn’t on board in the first place. Bell goes along to get along and does have her moments of action as well. Jerins as Lucy has probably learned her lesson to never go the hotel pool unless an adult is with you, just sayin! Geare as Beeze is adorable, scared, and adorable. I would think this film would have taken a lot out of this young actress but she holds up well.

Brosnan as Hammond comes off as a man with a plan and definitely has his Bond moments. When his story comes out full tilt, it makes his sacrifice very understandable. I really enjoy Brosnan’s role choices as of late and hope he delves back into action films more often.

Anchor Bay Entertainment is a leader in the home entertainment industry celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. There isn’t a DVD or Bluray they haven’t released that hasn’t been a hit with me or with fans of good programming that includes STARZ original series, AMC series, children’s entertainment and specialty films. To see more of what Anchor Bay has to offer please visit www.anchorbayentertainment.com.

The Weinstein Company has, since 2005, brought films such as INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, THE KING’S SPEECH, THE ARTIST, DJANGO UNCHAINED and more for fans of quality entertainment. Upcoming releases include BURNT, CAROL and the much anticipated THE HATEFUL EIGHT.

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TUBS OF POPCORN: I give NO ESCAPE three and a half tubs of popcorn. This is an amazing role for Wilson and a nice step away from the comedy roles everyone is use to seeing him do. I think he does a very cool job here. For those who are into drama and action then NO ESCAPE is definitely a must-have for the man cave collection.

The story is definitely intense, the action is non-stop and the cast brings it all together in a 103 minute ride. The Bluray includes: Feature Commentary with Writer/Director John Erick Dowdle and writer/producer Drew Dowdle, Deleted Scenes and Behind-the-Scene Gallery along with Bluray + DVD + Digital HD Combo pack!

In the end – all that matters is making it out alive!

 

For more entertainment news and review go to: http://moviemaven.homestead.com

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