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March 2016

ARCHER: The Complete Season Six Brings More Laughs Than Should Be Allowed!

archer bluray

 

Jeri Jacquin

On Bluray this week from FX and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment comes yet another hilarious season of ARCHER: The Complete Season Six.

The world’s most handsome and hilarious agent Sterling Archer (H. Jon Benjamin) is in the jungles of Borneo looking for a plane that has crashed carrying information he needs. Instead he finds Sato Kentaro who is still on the island and still thinks a war is going on. Back home Cheryl (Judy Greer) and Pam (Amber Nash) are revamping the office for Malory (Jessica Walter) but their idea of revamping leaves alot to be desired.

Now Archer and Lana (Aisha Tyler) are being sent to Buenos Aires to meet up with Agent Conway Stern (Coby Bell). Immediately after meeting he and Archer have a throw down, the agent tells them he is looking for computer files that have operative’s identities. Do they trust Conway? Well, that’s the question isn’t it.

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Jumping around the world again, Lana, Archer and Ray are in the Alps to find an assassin but Archer forgot the dossier so they actually don’t know who it is but knows it is one of the Axis powers nation leaders. When they begin to drop like flies, leave it to Archer to be thrilled to have a chance to pull out his gun and fire at someone – anyone!

Pam isn’t happy as her sister Edie (Allison Tolman) doesn’t ask her to be a maid of honor. Going to the wedding anyway, she takes Archer as her plus one. The two are spotted by Barry Dylan who kidnaps Pam but Barry messed with the wrong family! If that isn’t stress enough, Malory calls a early morning office meeting but everyone gets stuck in the elevator – this isn’t going to be pretty!

Then Lana takes off leaving A.J. with Archer and she isn’t gone five minutes before Slater shows up with an agent named Farouk (Kumail Nanjiani) who also happens to have a bullet hole in him. This isn’t exactly the kind of babysitting Lana had in mind I’m sure. When Archer discovers Lana was testing him, Archer heads off to Vegas on a drinking spree and ends up on a no-travel list. Now he has to call Cheryl for her family’s jet and instead of coming home the end up in Area 51.

Lana finally take A.J. to meet her parents with Archer in tow. Instead of a nice family visit, Lana and Archer end up on a family mission when her father’s research is stolen. Now they are all on an adventure to San Francisco to get it all back. There is a moment of romance once again as Archer and Lana give it a go much to the unhappiness of the office staff. Now, their new mission is to do what ever is necessary to stop the nausea!

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So Archer and Lana take off for Wales for a little ‘we’ time but aren’t having fun long when they help Welsh separatists. I mean isn’t that what happens when we all try to get a little romantic time? Of course their next adventure is an attempt to save the life the scientist who created miniaturization by going inside his body to find a blood clot that is killing him. All in the days work of a special agent.

Finally, when that inner bodily voyage goes crazy, the group is blacklisted by the CIA – but then what would you expect to happen? These are the best of the best of the best – in screwing up!

Benjamin as Sterling Archer has the most amazing vocal timing and there is no one, and I mean NO one that could ever take his place. From the very first season I have been in awe of this actor’s ability to deliver a line with such perfection. I have to admit though that ever time I hear Benjamin’s voice I see Archer. I think I might have a little animated-character-crush thing happening but its all worth it. Benjamin continues to amaze me season after season and I do so hope there will be many, many more.

Tyler as Lana is equally perfect in her animated role. She is smart, sassy, takes no crap from Archer (well, most of the time), has an answer for everything and cares more for her colleagues than she will ever admit to. Adoring Tyler takes absolutely no effort what so ever! Walter as Malory is the Mother we all hear in our heads whether we want to or not. It is easy to see where Archer gets his personality traits! Walter is stunningly hilarious.

Greer at Cheryl continues to make my jaw drop, probably not as much as Nash who plays Pam – oh wait, I think they are about even. The things that come out of their mouths can have me stop in my tracks to laugh. They each are unpredictable and that’s what I adore about them both.

Other cast include: Chris Parnell as Cyril Figgis, Lucky Yates as Doctor Krieger, Carlos Alazraqui as Mario Savino, Tom Kane as Hans Hessler, Rina Hoshino as Michiko Ishikawa, Rob Huebel as Patrick Crash McCaren, Allison Tolman, Matthew Rhys as Lloyd Llewellyn, Justin Edwards as Bardsley, Jason Hughes as Dafydd, Gary Cole as Special Agent Hawley, Carrie Brownstein as Dr. Sklodowska, Ona Grauer as Katya Kasanova, Ron Leibman as Ron Cadillac and Christian Slater as Slater.

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Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is amazing to once again bring just what fans want for their home library. Continually bringing new entertainment content for everyone’s media library, their format includes DVD, Bluray, and Digital HD. To discover more of what they have to offer please visit www.foxconnect.com.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give ARCHER: The Complete Season Six five tubs of popcorn out of five. Of course I would give it a perfect score because this is perfectly delicious comedy that has me laughing so hard I hurt. I have loved ARCHER from the very first episode and to have it going into its seventh season is just amazing and I couldn’t be happier.

The Bluray includes the special features of Conan & Archer Battle Russian Mobsters, Stay-J and Cooking with Milton. There is 272 minutes of side splitting inappropriate laughter and every moment of it is more fun than should even be allowed. There are 13 episodes that include: The Holdout, Three to Tango, The Archer Sanction, Edie’s Wedding, Vision Quest, Sitting, Nellis, The Kanes, Pocket Listing, Reignition Sequence, Achub Y Morfilod, Drastic Voyage: Part 1, and Drastic Voyage: Part II.

ARCHER has been on the air since 2009 created by Adam Reed and it became clear from minute one that this is an adult ‘cartoon’. ARCHER skyrocketed bringing legions of humor-hungry adults just like me who wanted a little something more that pushes the jaw-dropping envelope. FX has always taken shows that are on the cutting edge of thrill, action, storytelling and comedy – ARCHER mashes them all up and keeps us coming back for more. ARCHER’s seventh 13-episode season begins this week and I, for one, can’t wait to see where the gang is going to take me!

In the end – this sexy spy gives us all something to laugh about!

 

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THE HEAVY WATER WAR Shares an Untold Story

heavy water wars dvd

 

Jeri Jacquin

This week from MHz Choice on DVD is an intense telling of war time and decisions that changed history with Per-Olav Sorensen direction of THE HEAVY WATER WAR.

It is 1933 and Werner Heisenberg (Christoph Bach) has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics and soon after begins his secret work for the Nazi’s called Uranverein. Believing that the atom bomb can only be made with hydrogen infused water, the Germany government uses a Norsk Hydro factory in Norway. The reason being is that this particular factory can make the water in mass quantity.

Alarmed at learning what is happening in his country, Professor Leif Tronstad (Espen Hoiner) escapes to England so he can help the Allied Forces stop what could escalate the war. Working with Wilson (Pip Torrens) and Julie Smith (Anna Friel) they work up plans to send a group of men into Norway so sabotage the Norsk factory.

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As The Grouse team arrives, a winter storm throws them off course leaving no chance to reach the factory. Poulsson, Kjelstrup, Haugland and Helberg are hold up in a cabin with little food and water waiting for more instructions. The second group, The Gunnerside Team of Ronneberg, Haukelid, Kayser, Idland, Storhaud Stromsheim and Tronstad take extraordinary risks when the original plan of action changes.

In charge of the factory is Bjorn Henriksen (Dennis Storhoi) who knows that the Nazi’s are watching his handling of the plant and holding him responsible when things go wrong – and things keep going wrong. Knowing there are attempts from the outside, it isn’t as easy when the plots are also coming from inside the plant itself. So invested in the plant that wife Ellen (Maibritt Saerens) makes friends with the people of the town including a little girl named Lise.

When the tides turn on the war, the Allies move faster toward the factory to ensure that not one single drop of heavy water falls into German hands!

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Hoiner as Tronstad is the first to leave his family to help the Allies when it comes to the potential of the Nazi’s working toward a nuclear weapon. Tronstad jumps from the get-go in putting together a team that will go into Norway with the intent of sabotaging the factory. Hoiner in this character role wears his heart out on his sleeve as the responsibility for the lives of the men taking on the mission is intense. He takes Tronstad through every emotion and the viewer will feel it absolutely and that’s one of the biggest ways to keep my interest in a story. Hoiner isn’t all pomp and military and although he wants to be, sending these men that include a close friend takes its toll.

Bach as Heisenberg is clearly a man with not only the inability to understand that what he was trying to prove was just as insane as war itself but narcissistic about it too drove me nuts. Also the sign of good acting! Continually trying to prove his theory, this character has nothing to lose really. I enjoyed Bach’s portrayal because as the story continues, he is forced to come face to face with what it is he is actually trying to accomplish and for who.

Friel as Julie is a woman who is all military minded, that is until her story comes out. She is totally dedicated and there isn’t anything about her character I didn’t cheer for. Friel brings strength, meaning, intelligence, no-nonsense and a dedication to a job that can sometimes be tough to take. Even when that toughness is tested, Friel gives her character the ability to question but know there won’t always be an answer.

Storhoi as Henriksen takes the position of director at the factory knowing full well the repercussions of what will happen once the war is over. His dedication to the factory has little to do with the Nazi’s as much as he wants to keep the plant open and the workers with a job to take care of their families. That is all well and good but doing good doesn’t erase the wrong. Storhoi gives this character a poker face when confronted both on the job and at home playing to who ever is testing him.

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Saerens as Ellen is such a multi-layered character as she must accept what her husband is doing for the Nazi’s. Trying to be supportive to her husband, it often comes into conflict as she tries to help the household staff survive what is happening around them. She also takes little Lise under her wing to find solace and to have someone to care for. I absolutely enjoyed Saerens performance and felt sorry for her on more than once occasion.

Other cast include Peri Baumeister as Elisabeth Heisenberg, Torstein Bjorklund as Arne Kjelstrup, Benjamin Helstad as Jens-Anton Poulsson and Corey Johnson as General Pritchard.

MHz Networks is bringing the best of world programming to American viewers. BORGEN is just one of many programs they have to offer with more including SPIRAL, THE YOUNG MONTALBANO, BECK and ANNO 1790 plus more! MHz networks have stations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Denver, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas and Washington, D.C. MHz can also be found on iOS, Android, Google TV, VOD and the MHz Home Entertainment with more at www.mhznetworks.org.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give THE HEAVY WATER WAR four tubs of popcorn out of five. This is a truly well done not only in the believability of the characters but the set design, costuming, score and direction. This is a part of history that I had only heard a tad bit of this history so it is extraordinary to watch each episode. The story not only unfolds but shares the drama of everyone involved in war.

From families struggling to survive both physically but dealing with the uncertainty of whether they will all stay together. It is the story of the sacrifices of the soldiers running into the fray to do what is right not just for the people of Norway but knowing their success will trickle down to everyone and lives will be saved.

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The history of the story is so in depth that I had to do more looking myself into a part of this history I didn’t know.  During my education I had no idea that the Germans were even attempting to create a bomb or how close they came. This series brought that curiosity out and now I’m actually reading a book about it.

This is one of those series that you have to watch in its entirety with a binge watch because it is that engrossing! Each of the characters brings a performance that is riveting to watch and, in some cases, very intense as the minutes passed between mission and headquarters. It’s not like now where communications are instantaneous, but instead messages would go out and sometimes go unanswered or not received because the technology was in its infancy.

The DVD includes all six episodes on three discs culminating in 267 minutes of an amazing story of the struggle that would shape the destiny of Europe. The episodes are Norwegian with English subtitles although there are instances where episodes include English speaking characters.

So plan ahead to grab onto one of the most brilliant series to come from MHz on DVD with THE HEAVY WATER WAR.

In the end – with a nuclear weapon the enemy would have won the war!

CPO SHARKEY: The Best of Season Two is Pure Laughter

CPO

Jeri Jacquin

This week on DVD from Time Life is high seas hilarity and military madness from the man who brought us the best in fun, Don Rickles is CPO SHARKEY: The Best of Season Two.

U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Otto Sharkey (Don Rickles) is a veteran who is taking over new seaman recruits in San Diego.  Sharkey has seen everything and heard even more. Taking his job seriously he attempts to get his recruits into shape and has no problem calling it as he sees it.

His men, Daniels (Jeff Hollis), Kowalski (Tom Ruben), Skolnick (David Landsbergh), Mignone (Barry Pearl) and Rodriguez (Richard Beauchamp) Company 144 are considered bunglers and blockheads.

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Joined by friend Chief Dave Robinson (Harrison Page) and Seaman Pruitt (Peter Isacksen), they deal with their own superior Lt. Whipple (Jonathan Daly).

Dealing with Sharkey keeps everyone on their toes but he also goes above and beyond the call of duty for his men – no matter what trouble they seem to get into!

CPO SHARKEY aired in 1976 created by Aaron Ruben for NBC. In the two seasons it appeared on television, fans saw the best of Don Rickles. Serving in the Navy during World War II, this role was perfect for the comedian.

This DVD brings six of the broadcast episodes from the final season as they aired on NBC. The New Captain if the episodes where Sharkey is upset as his beer belly has caught the attention of a new captain. When he goes in for a check up he is mistaken for a psychiatric patient (I wonder why!) in Sharkey Flies Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

When Sharkey’s gal Natalie thinks he is being insensitive it becomes Close Encounters of the Worst Kind. Sharkey isn’t happy when Captain Buckner takes him as a personal aide in Captain’s Right Hand Man.

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Sharkey shows us what a fear of flying really looks like in Fear of Flying and the final episode is The Used Car Caper in which Sharkey takes on a used car dealer!

The DVD includes all six episodes selected by the CPO. Time Life has brought this 144 minute comedy to fans and in color. For more of what Time Life has to offer fans of classic television visit www.timelife.com.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give CPO SHARKEY four tubs of popcorn out of five. This really does bring back memories of my father, a Chief in the United States Navy, waiting weekly to have a few laughs. Of course there was a little extra love with the premise of the series taking place on a San Diego naval base!

I have to say that CPO Sharkey on DVD is an experience in pushing the limits like no other. The television show didn’t hesitate to push boundaries and wasn’t exactly politically correct but then again in 1976 no one had heard that term.

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Rickles has always been considered mouthy and even a tad crazy! That is what made him tremendously famous – he had no filter that would stop him from saying exactly what he felt. At no time ever seeing him on television did he hold back and I often wondered if he could hold back. His comedy was cutting and biting yet we all laughed. Taking on the role of CPO Sharkey just gave him a wider audience to bite at!

These 13 episodes are filled with Rickles, who was also known as Mr. Warmth, who played every episode to its fullest. Quite honestly there isn’t anyone who could get away with the lines Rickles could – and still can. The cast, with Rickles at the helm, all had such a sense of comedic timing. “Enjoy the adventures of CPO Sharkey and company!” says the leader of the pack himself – Don Rickles.

In the end – get ready to set sail once again!

 

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2

Fat wedding 2

 

Jeri Jacquin

Bringing back all things Greek this week from director Kirk Jones, writer Nia Vardalos and Universal Pictures is the return of everyone’s favorite Portokalos family with MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2.

Seventeen years has passed as Toula (Nia Vardalos) and husband Ian Miller (John Corbett) met and married. Now, their daughter Paris (Elena Kampouris) is feeling the heat of having a Greek mother, oh and a huge Greek family. She wants to get as far away from her family as possible to attend college which is causing Toula and Ian to stress hard core. Grandpa just wants her to find a nice Greek boy and settle down.

Grandpa Gus (Michael Constantine) has other problems when he decides to make it official that he is a descendant of Alexander the Great by looking online. Filling out the paperwork he discovers that the marriage certificate to Maria (Lainie Kazan) was never signed by the priest. Oh yes, you absolutely know that this is disaster.

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To the family this is a chance to have another very big fat Greek wedding and all become involved from son Nick (Louis Mandylor) who is now married with his own children, Nikki (Gia Carides) who is running the beauty shop, Angelo (Joey Fatone), Uncle Panos (Mark Margolis) and Aunt Voula (Andrea Martin).

Toula also has it brought to her attention that her own marriage needs a little lifting. With Paris leaving the nest, she realizes it may be time to reconnect with hubby to re-discover their life and give romance a little boost again.

This is the family who isn’t going to do anything any other way – but Greek!

Vardalos as Toula re-captures the role without missing a beat. Reverting back to the insecure Toula of seventeen years ago, this character is back to looking a little haggard and becoming exactly like her mother.

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Spending more time with being the perfect Mom and working back at the restaurant, I pretty much hoped she would snap out of it quickly. Of course had she done it there wouldn’t have been much of a film right? Vardalos is sweet and delivers her lines with snap and personally I think she just wanted to kiss Corbin again!

Speaking of Corbin as Ian, he is now the principal of the school where his daughter attends so he is also always a step away from her. Being understanding with Toula and her Mom issues, he finally brings it to his wife’s attention that it may be time to remember why they got together in the first place. Corbin doesn’t reinvent the character but instead embraces it and goes along with the Greek of it all.

Constantine as Grandpa is still hilarious. It is even funnier that his grandsons have taken over the tradition of finding the Greek root of words. When they are finished and say “there you go”, you hear Constantine say softly “there you go” and it is just endearing. Kazan as Marie is still in the mix with the family but when she hears that the priest forgot to sign the marriage certificate, she sees it as an opportunity to have a beautiful wedding but she’s going to make Gus work for it!

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Kampouris as Paris is a teenager embarrassed by the over-love of her family. She is grouchy, snappy, a little bitchy and that’s what I would expect – I’m just not a big fan of it. Toward the end the calmer Paris comes into play and I can handle that. The story isn’t totally focused on her but what is fits the family’s reactions with the right amount of comedy.

I love Toula’s brother because he is the mixture of sweet and funny without even realizing he is. Fatone is also there to lend his comedy and cuteness. Uncle Panos just goes along with whatever the family wants and I think that’s how he manages to keep from going crazy.

The winner, of course, is Aunt Voula! Martin as Voula is adorable, hilarious, informative in her own explanation of things, insightful, and in this film the sane one of the bunch. I wish she was my Aunt just so I could hear her speak daily about life, love and more about her own love life!

Other cast include: Ian Gomez as Mike, Jayne Eastwood as Mrs. White, Bruce Gray as Rodney Miller, Fiona Reid as Harriet Miller, Rob Riggle as Northwestern Rep, Rita Wilson as Anna and John Stamos as George.

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TUBS OF POPCORN: I give MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2 four tubs of popcorn out of five. Mainly the score is because there is no other family like this one. They are based on total love for one another and even though they might screw up in the funniest of ways, it is done with the idea of what is best for all. Yes, they can be over bearing; yes they are loud and yes they are strong willed but let’s face it – they are Greek!

I am equally as thrilled that the cast all came together to make this happen again, even the actors playing Ian Miller’s parents. The film wouldn’t have the same familiarity to it without each and every person bringing their character back to audiences who will feel as if time hasn’t really passes.

In the end – people may change but these Greeks don’t!

BATMAN V SUPERMAN: Dawn of Justice

batman v superman

 

Jeri Jacquin

In theatres Friday is the highly anticipated battle royale between two of most iconic super heroes with director Zack Snyder and Warner Brothers film BATMAN V SUPERMAN: Dawn of Justice.

During the battle of Superman (Henry Cavill) and General Zod, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) watches the death and destruction of his employees. Angry and feeling he must take a stand, Bruce contemplates putting on the cowl once again. Alfred (Jeremy Irons) tries to talk his grown ward out of his plans.

When Senator Finch (Holly Hunter) takes on a committee to look into not only what Superman has done, but what could happen in the future, she gets the attention of Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg). Offering the Senator a chance to be part of creating a deterrent against Superman, she declines realizing Luthor just isn’t right.

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Lois (Amy Adams) and Clark talk about what can be done with the bad press Superman is getting. There isn’t much time to contemplate that as Batman decides it’s time to take action. During a confrontation, Superman warns the caped crusader that he isn’t welcome in Metropolis.

That doesn’t stop Bruce Wayne from attending a little gathering by Luthor giving him a chance to dig into his computers. Slowing him down is the well coiffed Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) who seems to want the same information.

Superman decides to appear before the Senator’s committee to answer any questions they have. In a swift moment everything changes as two horrified cities and there is only one person responsible – and he will gladly take credit.

Luthor sets in motion the confrontation between Batman and Superman that once again puts innocent lives in the balance. When a bigger and stronger creature comes after both of them, Wonder Woman appears to help not only stop the battle between the two super heroes but refocus on a new enemy.

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They must come together or watch their world fall apart.

Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman is pretty much an eye fest from start to finish. He brought the dark into this character and with so much grief about playing the role in the first place, he should be happy with the outcome. He is smooth, suave, ripped and totally angry. The only downside for me is at Bruce’s age he really needs to put his mommy-daddy issues on the back burner and man up.

Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman is a sad faced puppy who wants everyone to love him. Well Sups, that’s what happens when you bring down your evil friends from Krypton and tear up an entire city – people tend to get a little cranky! It’s nice that Mom and girlfriend got your back but taking on Batman doesn’t help your cause. Especially when that little incident with the politicians gets added to your destruction resume. Hey, not taking sides here, just tired of brooding and cgi being exchanged for actual acting.

Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman just didn’t do it for me. Perhaps it’s because I’ve grown up with a picture in my head and Gadot isn’t it. I wasn’t taken with her performance and although I’m sure every male head will be turning at her nice outfit and badassness, my say will have little effect.

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Adams as Lois is standing by both personalities of her man. Trying to reassure Clark that the media doesn’t know the truth and support Superman in his attempt to fix everything.  Lane as Martha also supports son Clark and comes into close contact with the Batman which I thought was funny.

Irons as Alfred is wonderful and I’m probably bias because almost everything Irons has ever done I love. It’s very cool to have him take on the role of Alfred because I honestly can’t think of anyone else I’d rather have (except for Caine) do it. Hunter as Senator Finch is looking to bring blame to Superman but at what cost? Taking on Luthor isn’t a smart idea but yet she does with destructive results.

Eisenberg as Luthor doesn’t mind giving crazy a try. Not sure I bought into it because after a while it just seemed like he was really stretching it. Oh lets be honest shall we? The crazier he got the more I wasn’t interested. I’m not sure if he was doing impressions of a combination of crazy bad guys or I was overdoes on grown men with daddy issues.

Other cast include: Callan Mulvey as Anatoli Knyazev, Scoot McNairy as Wallace Keefe, Tao Okamoto as Mercy Graves, Brandon Spink as Young Bruce Wayne, Lauren Cohan as Martha Wayne, Mark Taylor as Jack O’Dwyer, Michael Shannon as Zod, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White and special cameos.

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TUBS OF POPCORN: I give BATMAN V SUPERMAN: Dawn of Justice three and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. I have to be honest and say I wasn’t expecting too much so I couldn’t be disappointed. So, with that said, the mashing of the storylines between these two iconic characters sort of baffled me. Jumping between past and present with both Batman and Superman having parental issues was sort of boring enough but then there is this drive that brings in a couple minute futuristic story line and all I could think was “what the hell is this?”

Look, I’m sure the film will do well because fans are die hard when it comes to seeing what will happen to their heroes and wanting to see the cool surprises embedded in the film. For me, that isn’t enough. When someone asked me later what I thought of the film I said, “its a two and a half hour cape-measuring contest”. Watching the destruction of these cities for the sake of these two men just seems a bit much.

What I heard from the audience was a lot of silence, that was until a few goodies were shown giving hints of what is to come from the next batch of super heroes. Nope, I won’t be giving anything away because spoilers suck! So gather up the gang and head out for yourselves to see the Snyder battle of the capes.

In the end – the time has finally come!

THE HUNGER GAMES: Mockingjay – Part 2 Comes to Fans on Bluray!

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Jeri Jacquin

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

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.

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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!

While more secrets are revealed, her life will never be the same again.

Lawrence as Katniss wraps up her role as the ‘girl on fire’. Growing up before our eyes, fans have experiences every bit of her path as the Mockingjay with love, family and the strength of a warrior trying to bring everyone together against their common foe – President Snow and the Capitol. Lawrence is intense and knows that this characters path has never been an easy one and the end is not what she expected.

Hutcherson as Peeta gets to play crazy for a bit of the film. Trying to fight the urge of the brainwashing, Peeta has to work extra hard to win back the trust of those who are now leery of him. Hutcherson gives his character one final push towards the finishing line wanting a simple life once again.

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.

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I’d go through each character but there are just too many put together in the finale. Moore as Coin is a character with an agenda that is too similar for Katniss to deal with. Moore can keep a straight face better than any actress I know. I never believe for a moment that she had anyone’s best interest at heart except her own.

I enjoyed Harrelson finishing up his role of Haymitch and sometimes there is a look on his face that honestly makes me laugh. Check out the final scene at the table with Katniss voting on the new games.

Banks as Effie is a character that has always made me laugh. That and the ability to bring a tear, especially regarding her feelings for Katniss. With each film her tender heart came out – no matter how outrageous her outfits. Banks just gave this character such style and I have to say I will miss her.

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Hoffman as Plutarch is heart tugging to see but good. Hemsworth as Gale has problems of his own, Malone as Johanna is another kind of nutty, Dormer and Claflin aren’t on the screen long enough to follow but good to see them.

Shields as Primrose is so grown up and all this time Katniss spent protecting her, it seems the Capitol wasn’t finished with the young woman. Wright as Beetee has a few scenes but always good to see him. Finally, Tucci as Flickerman who we mainly see in video but we still get to see him!

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.

Lionsgate Home Entertainment is a premier next generation global content leader with a diversified presence in motion pictures. THE HUNGER GAMES is not their only successful franchise as fans may well know with the DIVERGENT franchise has one more film before its story completion. Also, films such as JOHN WICK (one of my favorites!), NOW YOU SEE ME as well as LOVE & MERCY are also part of the Lionsgate library.

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THE HUNGER GAMES: Mockingjay – Part 2 on Bluray/DVD/Digital HD is giving fans so much more than ever before.  There is over five hours of Special Features included in the Bluray covering Audio Commentary with director Francis Lawrence and producer Nina Jacobson, “Pawn No More: Making THE HUNGER GAMES: Mockingjay-Part 2” 8-Part Documentary” which is a total must-see that goes in depth with Walking Through Fire, Real or Not Real, High-Value Targets, From Head to Toe, Navigating the Minefield, Collateral Damage, Tightening the Noose and A Different World.

That’s not all! There is also THE HUNGER GAMES: A Photographic Journey, Cinna’s Sketchbook: Secrets of the Mockingjay Armor, Panem on Display: THE HUNGER GAMES: The Exhibition and Jet to the Set.

THE HUNGER GAMES Complete 4-Film Collection on Bluray and DVD includes over fourteen hours of bonus content including 12 Never-Before-Seen Deleted Scenes from THE HUNGER GAMES, 6 Deleted Scenes from THE HUNGER GAMES: Catching Fire, 9 Deleted Scenes from THE HUNGER GAMES: Mockingjay-Part 1, 2 All-New Featurettes: “Picturing Panem” and “Capitol Cuisine”, 70 Additional Featurettes, 69 Additional Featurettes on DVD, Audio Commentaries, Music Videos and more!

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This brings an end to author Suzanne Collins’ THE HUNGER GAMES series. She is also responsible for The Underland Chronicles which is a children’s novel that tells the story of 11-year-old Gregor who should have been watching his sister. When sister Boots fall into the basement, Gregor goes after her. The two end up in a place called the Underland! Yes, you should read all of these book.

In the meantime, THE HUNGER GAMES: Mockingjay-Part 2 is waiting for you in stores tomorrow. Pick up your copy and make sure to set aside quality time to not only enjoy the film but all of the special features.

In the end – the revolution is all about us!

HELLO, MY NAME IS DORIS is Absolutely Endearing!

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Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this Friday from writer/director Michael Showalter and Roadside Attractions comes an awakening with HELLO, MY NAME IS DORIS.

Doris Miller (Sally Field) is a sixty-something single woman living with her mother and working in a cubicle minding her own life. When her mother passes, brother Todd (Stephen Root) and his wife Vivian (Isabella Acres) want to sell the house. Trying to persuade Doris to de-clutter and move into a smaller place in the city sets Doris’ mind on edge.

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A creature of habit, Doris is not about to let go of her things or the house. Hanging out with friend Roz (Tyne Daly), they go to see motivational speaker Willie Williams (Peter Gallagher) who gets through to Doris about making the impossible things in her life possible.

Her first step is to embrace a crush she had on co-worker John Fremont (Max Greenfield). From Facebook she learns what John likes and immerses herself in music and finds joy in life she had forgotten. Connecting with him also begins to pull her away from Roz and the traditions they shared.

But when John falls for Brooklyn (Beth Behrs), Doris takes things way out of her comfort zone and becomes someone she doesn’t recognize.

It’s not easy being Doris.

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Fields as Doris has just made me love her all the more. I’ve actually grown up watching Fields grow up on the screen taking on every role I could ever have imagined. Doris is another well chosen character by Fields where she takes us on this amazing journey exploring every human emotion. That’s what makes Doris so believable, because Fields pulls at our heart strings and twirls a double-dutch! I laughed, got a little misty; jaw dropped, laughed more and had moments of thought (also including thinking it may be time to declutter my home!).

Greenfield as John is just a kind hearted, simple, insecure, and outgoing young man. From the moment he and Doris meet it isn’t hard to understand why she is drawn to him. He sees her uniqueness that those in the office who have spent much longer around her have managed to overlook. Is it because she’s older – well of course it is. The generation gap is clearly there but John helps make that gap useless.

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Daly as Roz is completely hilarious. Her friendship with Doris is so very important to her but since the death of her husband Roz finds comfort in her besties company. I truly enjoyed her performance and wanted to hug it out with her! Root as Todd is a brother that needs to find a mind of his own. He wants to help his sister but I always got the feeling not in the way that his wife pushed him towards. Speaking of wife, Acres as Vivian had the audience practically hissing at the screen. Not a nice person at all but Acres performance is so good!

Gallagher as the motivational speaker needs a shout out because even though he seemed like such a ridiculous speaker – he did reach Doris so I can’t fault the guy for that.

Other cast include: Wendy McLendon Covey as Cynthia, Kyle Mooney as Niles, Natasha Lyonne as Sally, Kumail Nanjiani as Nasir, Caroline Aaron as Val, Rebecca Wisocky as Anne, Amy Okuda as Des, Don Stark as Uncle Frank, Rich Sommer as Robert and Elizabeth Reaser.

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TUBS OF POPCORN: I give HELLO, MY NAME IS DORIS four tubs of popcorn out of five. I absolutely love Sally Fields in this film and for so many reasons. She gives Doris such quirkiness and charm and that makes her so endearing. The storyline flowed so well and the ensemble cast deserves more kudos than I could ever give.

At the screening of the film I can honestly say that the audience embraced the film totally. There was laughter, a few sniffles, a lot of ‘awwww’s’, more laughter and a few whispers of ‘oh no!’ That’s means HELLO, MY NAME IS DORIS reached each of them in a way that will leave a lasting impression and be talked about for a while to come.

In the end – she’s not ready to act her age.

THE DIVERGENT SERIES: ALLEGIANT – Part 1 Breaks Out!

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Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this Friday from director Robert Schwentke and Summit Entertainment comes the beginning of the battle to come with ALLEGIANT.

Now that the secrets of Chicago are out Tris (Shailene Woodley) wants to go beyond the wall even more than she ever did. Evelyn (Naomi Watts) has begun inciting mayhem in the people against the wishes of another member of the new leadership Johanna (Octavia Spencer).

Four (Theo James) isn’t happy with what Evelyn is doing and decides to join Tris along with Tori (Maggie Q) and Christina (Zoe Kravitz) in jumping the wall. Before they leave, Caleb (Ansel Elgort) is freed and before they can get out of the city Peter (Miles Teller) joins.

Once away, they quickly are picked up another group that takes them to David (Jeff Daniels). There Tris is told she is more important than ever before in helping the people of Chicago and it watched over by Matthew (Bill Skårsgard). David tells Tris about the experiment and even the history of where her mother came from.

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Four doesn’t trust anything he sees and they are all soon to discover that Janine wasn’t the word of their problems. Jumping into soldiering quickly, there is so much more going as Four and Christina know they must reach Tris with the information.

Tris is once again learning that absolutely power corrupts absolutely as the people of Chicago are once again in danger and there is little time to stop it!

Woodley as Tris has once again taken this role and given it empowerment and strength but also mixed with that is the sadness of everything she has experienced. Knowing that is something more out in the world doesn’t mean it’s always a good thing as Tris discovers. Woodley has grown into the character so much that I can almost predict her reactions now, especially when she’s thinking things through.

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James as Four has become quite the heart throb for DIVERGENT fans. His smoldering looks and suspicious nature, he has hero written all over him. It is clear that Four isn’t going to fall into another mess with his mother, with the fanatical survivors of Chicago or David. There is nothing damaged about this character in the slightest!

Watts as Evelyn is another Janine in so many ways and perhaps even more destructive ways. What is it about power in this city that just makes people a little crazy!? Kravitz as Christina is supportive as always and has whose ever back needs her.

Elgort as Caleb is in hot water most of the film. Tris isn’t happy about her brothers behavior as keeps a distance between them, but when push comes to shove it is always family that will step in. Skårsgard as Matthew is relatively quiet, very observant and has a story of his own to tell you. That, my friends, is called not spoiling the film.

Daniels as David gets the opportunity to test his bad guy wings in the film. He is charming, charismatic and looks good in a suit. Working on Tris’ heart strings regarding her mother, he wants something from her that I’m still not quite sure is truthful. We will have to wait and see in Part 2.

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Teller as Peter – gawd I just want someone to take him in a back alley and beat the crap out of him. That’s how you know Teller is doing a good job! I saw people yelling and hissing at the screen when Teller came on which at first made my jaw drop but then I had to laugh. That’s the sign of a good job when Teller hasn’t said a word yet and the audience is responding. Well done Teller!

Other cast include: Daniel Dae Kim as Jack Kang, Jonny Weston as Edgar, Nadia Hilker as Nita and Andy Bean as Romit.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give ALLEGIANT three and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. Once again the ‘finale’ of the film is broken into two parts <yes, that sound you heard was a loud-eye-rolling-growling-sigh> and yes I’ll see the second part only because I have scores to settle with some of the characters.

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The story is pretty straight forward with a few minor surprises but I think telling us just enough to work up to all answers being revealed in part two. That are a lot of lulls, more than I would have cared to feel quite honestly. The special effects were fairly cool but honestly it is what I would expect from the continuation of the story and that’s about it.

In the end – break the boundaries of your world!

MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN Moves Audiences

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Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this Friday from director Patricia Riggen and TriStar Pictures comes a story based on the book by Christy Beam that brings us MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN.

Anna Beam (Kylie Rogers) is a young girl who lives with her parents Christy (Jennifer Garner) and Kevin (Martin Henderson). Along with sisters Abbie (Brighton Sharbino) and Adelynn (Courtney Fansler) the family is happy and busy as dad Kevin begins his veterinary practice.

Attending church on Sundays listening to Pastor Scott (John Carroll Lynch), the Beams also invite everyone to their home for an outside BBQ to celebrate their blessings. Later in the evening Anna becomes very sick and is rushed to the hospital. When the doctors find nothing wrong, they all return home. But that isn’t the end of Anna being sick.

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More hospital runs happen as Christy begins to lose patience. Finally the doctors discover Anna is suffering from a rare and incurable stomach disease. As the little girls suffering increases, Christy begins the fight for her daughter to see specialist Dr. Nurko (Eugenio Derbez) in Philadelphia.

Kevin is keeping their two daughters, home and job together while Christy and Anna fly to Philadelphia for treatment. There they meet Angela (Queen Latifah) who embraces them both and becomes their friend and supporter while Anna receives treatments.

When the trips brings more sadness, Anna returns home and while out with her sisters has a freak accident that totally mystifies family, doctors and a community!

Garner as Christy is exactly what I would expect of a mother wanting only the best for her children. When Anna becomes sick it is clear that her mission is to find the doctor that is right for her and then – don’t take no for an answer! Garner is sweet, endearing and brought tears to the audience during the screening. Garner brings her smile and no nonsense performance and anyone watching is easily drawn in.

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Rogers as Anna is equally as endearing. It could not have been easy for this young actress to play the role that is wrapped in such pain and suffering. She wants to be strong for her family but there is one particular scene where she begins to question whether being strong is enough for her.

Henderson as Kevin is a father who knows he must be strong and keep things together. At times it becomes clear that the illness overtakes the family as each are impacted by something that has taken on an un-welcomed life of its own.

Sharbino as Abbie is the supportive sister even thought there are moments when she feels small and ignored. That’s hard for any teenager yet Sharbino remembers that what her sister is going through is difficult for them all. Fansler as little sister Adelynn is just adorable – period!

Derbez as Dr. Nurko is enchanting and all I could think is that all the children he helped are so blessed. If Dr. Nurko is a fraction of Derbez’s portrayal then it is clear that this man truly cares. Latifah as Angela has a small role but it is important to Christy and Anna. Latifah has played this type of role in other films and she is good at it so of course she is perfect here.

Lynch as Pastor Scott reminded me a little of Dr. Phil in the sense of his charisma and humor in the congregation scenes. There were a few ladies in front of me who said they’d love to have him preach in their church!

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Other cast include: Bruce Altman as Dr. Burgi, Wayne Pere as Ben, Brandon Spink as Billy Snyder, Kelly Lintz as Emmy, Kenny Alfonso as Dr. Dorsi, and Kevin Sizemore as Chief Garvey.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN three and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. This is definetly a family film that has all viewers questioning why this would happen to such a sweet little girl, how does a family remain strong and what do you do when your faith is shaken.

The ensemble cast bring this story as up close and personal as it could possibly get. The audience was engaged and emotional not only for the plight of the little girl but silently praying for a family in pain. That is why faith based films are becoming popular once again for families who want to go in groups to share an experience like MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN.

Christy Beam released Miracles from Heaven: A Little Girl, Her Journey to Heaven, and Her Amazing Story of Healing in April of 2015.

In the end – how do we explain the impossible?

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