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April 2016

THE AMERICAN SIDE Brings Sleuthing to Niagara Falls

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Jeri Jacquin

In theatres today from director/writer Jenna Ricker, writer/actor Greg Stuhr and The Orchard comes a who-done-it on THE AMERICAN SIDE.

Charlie Paczynski (Greg Stuhr) is a modern day detective-for-hire and when he doesn’t have a juicy case he invents them to pay the bills. Working with partner Kat (Kelsey Siepser), they trap cheating husbands for cash. One night a job goes horribly wrong and Charlie’s partner is in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Trying to follow a trail it leads him to Tom Soberin (Harris Yulin), a man who has a secret that has the name of Nikola Tesla written all over it. Before Charlie can get answers, Soberin goes swimming with the fishes at Niagra Falls. Now the gum-shoe is back at square one with Sterline Whitmore (Robert Forster) popping up and being cryptic. A short conversation leads him to Borden Chase (Matthew Broderick) and his sister Emily (Camilla Belle).

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They pretend to be unaware of what Tom Soberin was up to and Charlie knows he has to keep digging. Finding Nikki Meeker (Alicja Bachleda) finally gives him the answers he’s looking for.  Everyone, including Agent Barry (Janeane Garofalo) wants the ‘MacGuffin’ page from the fabled missing notebook belonging to Tesla and the chase is on.

Finding the page could change the world!

Stuhr as Charlie Paczynski is really well done. This is a character that has been thrown around, taken advantage of, doesn’t mind smoking, runs pretty good, can’t pay his rent, loses women like I lose my glasses and is constantly being taken down the wrong sandbar but when his brain’s light bulb goes off he isn’t about to let anyone off the hook.

Forster as Whitmore is not only a clever guy but one who pops in at all the right moments. Along with sidekick Stickney played by Stephen Henderson, I couldn’t think of two more people I’d get a good history lesson from.

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Bachleda as Nikki is a smart and beautiful girl who also has her Tesla down pat. Knowing more than anyone would like her too, she is one tough cookie. Belle as Emily keeps Charlie guessing as to whether she really can help or is just as nutty as her brother. Both of these actresses did a fine job bringing their characters up front and center.

Broderick as Borden is a man who thinks money solves everything and he doesn’t mind spending it. Seeing Charlie as a mere spec on the planet, Borden doesn’t mind expressing exactly how he feels about the private eye. I enjoyed seeing Broderick flex his bad guy muscles and there is a little twinkle that tells me he enjoyed it as well.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give THE AMERICAN SIDE four tubs of popcorn out of five and let me tell you why. Anything that has can bring Tesla into a storyline I like and the script is really different. Greg Stuhr’s Charlie is completely and utterly the kind of detective I would root for. I should also mention I love Charlie’s inability to put up with to much b.s.

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How does Tesla fall into this story? Well, the Niagara Falls Construction Company asked Tesla the best way to generate power using the falls. When Westinghouse took over the AC generating system of the falls, Tesla turned over his patents after some persuading. Interestingly enough, two days after Tesla’s death the FBI seized all the inventor’s belongings. What did they expect to find I wonder!

THE AMERICAN SIDE gives the viewer a lot to take in as the story twists, turns and then twists again just to make sure you were paying attention. The cinematography lends to the look and feel of a solid mystery thriller. The entire film is reminiscent of the detective films I loved watching with my mother as a kid.

The film definitely needs a score card. Speaking of score, it is actually done by David Shire who is responsible for the music of THE CONVERSATION and ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN.

In the end – there are three sides to the story with truth, lies and the American side.

JANE GOT A GUN Gives Nod to Women in Westerns

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Jeri Jacquin

On DVD this week from The Weinstein Company and Anchor Bay Entertainment comes a tale of strength with steel in JANE GOT A GUN.

In the rugged west on a quiet farm, Jane Hammond (Natalie Portman) has made a life with a little girl and husband Bill Hammond (Noah Emmerich). Believing their life is good, it is disrupted in a moment when Bill comes riding up to their home riddled with bullets. He manages to tell Jane that John Bishop (Ewan McGregor) has discovered where they are and is coming for them.

A man from their past has put together a gang of men and their target is both Bill and Jane. Having no other choice, Jane turns to a love from her past Dan Frost (Joel Edgerton). Dan is still carrying hostility towards Jane but when her life is in danger he can not help but agree to help.

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Preparing for a battle that is to come, Jane and Dan tell their stories of survival and refocus where their need for revenge truly lies. The planning begins as the gang led by Bishop has no idea what they are in store for when taking on a woman and her family.

The past finally clears the way for the present and nothing will stop Jane from a future with her child!

Portman as Jane gives this character a toughness that I would expect to see of a woman living in the middle of the vast frontier. Cooking, cleaning, farming and raising her child is a way of life, but it wasn’t her only way of life. Portman takes away the makeup and frills stripping this character down giving Jane what it takes to draw in the audience.

Edgerton as Dan is a quiet man in more ways than just not speaking. He keeps his feelings hidden from Jane and anyone else who wants to get inside his head. Carrying his anger with Jane close, it is what he doesn’t know that will be the biggest anger of all. Edgerton carries this character strongly but also has no problem showing moments of human frailty.

McGregor as Bishop gives the right amount of evil and giving his look a bit of dapper change. Darkening his hair and giving himself a mustache that any western bully would be proud of, he gives credence to the western bad guy in tweed clothing. He says all the right words in all the wrong ways which is such a change of character we are use to seeing from McGregor.

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Emmerich as Hammond spends most of his time feeling the pain of a few gunshots to the back. The history with Jane comes from a dark place filled with anger and revenge. Dan may not understand it but as their journey to stopping the gang that plagues them gets close, Hammond’s role becomes clear and heroic in many ways.

Other cast include: Boyd Holbrook as Vic Owen, Rodrigo Santoro as Fitchum, James Burnett as Cunny Charlie, Sam Quinn as Slow Jeremiah, Maisie McMaster as Kate, Alex Manette as Buck, and Piper Sheets as Mary.

Anchor Bay Entertainment has an amazing theatrical and home entertainment library that include STARZ original series, children’s entertainment, fitness and sports on DVD and Bluray formats. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.anchorbayentertainment.com.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give JANE GOT A GUN four tubs of popcorn out of five. It is quite easy to talk me into watching a western but it’s even more fun when it’s a fantastic western (add popcorn and a great sound system and I’m watching it several times!). There are several stories woven into the film but it is what Jane has gone through that is the center of it all. I love the strength of character and the passion of protecting her family that is portrayed here. Nothing this character does has more importance than protecting those she loves and that have gone out of their way for her. Jane’s loyalty runs deep and I respect that.

Without giving to much away, be prepared for an ending that has all the richness JANE GOT A GUN truly deserves!

Women in films that have the Western theme have always been part of Hollywood but never in the foreground and they truly shouldn’t have been and shouldn’t be! To find women in westerns is opening up a treasure of history that is wonderful. From Gene Tierney playing Belle Starr in 1941 to Barbara Stanwyck playing the title role in ANNIE OAKLEY it was clear that actresses had an interest in playing these roles. Betty Hutton would give comedy to the 1950’s ANNIE GET YOUR GUN and the then heart-throb Robert Taylor in 1951 took a group of women west in WESTWARD THE WOMEN.

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As for these films standing out, it was a hard Hollywood sell. Many of the starlets were beautiful in most of their films which made it difficult to see them in these hard hitting, less than glamorous roles. From Anne Baxter to Rachel Welch, there is a long list of actresses who wanted to take a shot at breaking the western genre glass ceiling.

In the last 30 years the most memorable women westerns would be Sharon Stone in THE QUICK AND THE DEAD, Rene Zellweger in COLD MOUNTAIN, Hailee Steinfeld in TRUE GRIT and Hilary Swank in THE HOMESMAN that would garner lead roles but they are few and fear between. Adding Portman to this list is a must after experiencing her performance.

JANE GOT A GUN is beautifully written and performed in the surroundings that make an amazing western possible. The cast bring it home, literally, with strong and intense performances. If you are a fan of amazing westerns then add JANE GOT A GUN to your own home library.

In the end – she turned to her past to protect her family!

WAR & PEACE: The Complete Miniseries is Elegant on Bluray

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Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray and DVD on May 10th from Anchor Bay Entertainment, TWC and the BBC is the beautifully told story of WAR & PEACE: The Complete Miniseries.

It is 1805 Russia when only the rumors of Napoleon coming to Moscow were on the wind. Pierre (Paul Dano) is the illegitimate son of Count Bezukhov, the richest man in Russia. Prince Kuragin (Stephen Rea) is doing everything possible to make sure that Pierre doesn’t inherit a thing, but the young man has many on his side.

Becoming the new Count Bezukhov takes Pierre from a simple life to extravagance like he has never known. That is when Anna Povlovna Scherer (Gillian Anderson) sets her sites on matchmaking with Helene (Tuppence Middleton). Before Pierre has a time to catch his wealthy breathe, he is married.

Happy for all his success is the Rostova family and his good friend Natasha (Lily James), Nikolai (Jack Lowden), parents Count Rostov (Adrian Edmondson) and Countess Rostova (Greta Scacchi) along with Cousin Sonya (Aisling Loftus).

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Also friends of Pierre are the Bolkonsky family including Prince Andrei (James Norton), his sister Princess Marya (Jessie Buckley) and their very loud father Prince Bolkonsky (Jim Broadbent).

Prince Andrei and Nikolai are soldiers who are preparing for what might happen if Napoleon Bonaparte (Mathieu Kassovitz) enters their country. After losing his wife, Prince Andrei begins to have feelings for Natasha but father Prince Bolkonsky wants them to wait a year and Natasha agrees.

Meanwhile Sonya and Nikolai have had an unspoken relationship but he is having trouble making the commitment. His mother the Countess decides its time for her son to help the family financially and wants Nikolai to marry a wealthy woman.

In the meantime Pierre discovers that his wife Helena has been less than faithful yet he looks the other way until he can’t any longer. Having a hard time knowing what to do, he becomes involved in the lives of his friends.

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War is on the horizon as Napoleon invades Russia, in the midst of it all relationships are being torn apart, friendships put to the test, loyalties under scrutiny, secrets kept, families in ruin and all in the name of love.

This is the story of life.

Dano as Pierre is absolutely perfect for this role. Subdued and a humble young man, Pierre is thrust into this world that he isn’t prepared for. Dano has the amazing ability to look fragile and wallflower-ish when he wants to and for this role works his magic. The wounded wealthy bird is only one of the many hearts broken in this series and Dano leads the way. I always want to just wrap him up and take him home (Hope you don’t mind Zoe!)

This actor’s career has proven over and over again that his performances are worth seeing. From LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE to THERE WILL BE BLOOD to RUBY SPARKS and PRISONERS, Dano has riveted audiences. In 12 YEARS A SLAVE he all but scared the beejeezus out of me and in YOUTH Dano surprised me again! Ask how excited I am about the upcoming Joon Ho Bong film OKJA to see what he will do next.

James as Natasha is also perfect for this role. She is a spit-fire and has no problem standing up for the cause of love. Natasha is dedicated to family, loyal to friends and when she loves it can be confusing. Ah, such is youth! James caught my eye because I am a huge Downton Abbey fan so imagine my surprise when she appeared as Lady Rose MacClare, another spit-fire young lady who knows her own mind and stands up for her family. In PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES she got to kick a little zombie tale and still stand with family. Family is a big thing for James and we don’t mind one little bit!

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Norton as Prince Andrei has the total look of royalty but hides his true feelings. It’s just sad to watch what he goes through which means Norton is portraying the Prince beautifully. Buckley as sister Marya is dark, pensive, dutiful and a little dowdy for a Princess who really just wants to find love for who she is.

Lowden as Nikolai is the dashing son who goes off to war not really and truly understanding what that means. When he does, it sets of a chain of events that affect his family more than him. I enjoyed Lowden’s performance very much. Loftus as Sonya felt like the twin-sister-from-another-mother in Marya. She has all the same qualities without the crown. Dealing with an Aunt who doesn’t see her as fit and a man who doesn’t see her at all, I’m surprised she even stuck around so kudos to Loftus.

Anderson as Scherer is the socialite who likes to be in the middle of everything and has no problem forwarding the gossip she hears. Rea as Prince Kuragin had other plans for Pierre which included continued poverty but Rea can pull off a smooth bad guy like no other.

Middleton as Helene played a character that pretty much deserved everything she got. Scacchi as Countess Rostova is a tad ruthless but if one can look past that it is a bit based on fear of losing everything. Edmondson as Count Rostov is the caring father who wants only the best for his family and is forgiving no matter what they do.

Broadbent as Prince Bolkonsky is loud, dismissive towards his children, lacks feelings about others, and holds his children emotionally hostage. That’s quite a busy character to play and Broadbent gives it his all.

Supporting cast includes: Tom Burke as Fedor Dolokhov, Callum Turner as Anatole Kuragin, Aneurin Barnard as Boris Drubetskoy, Kenneth Cranham as Uncle Mikhail, Ken Stott as Osip Bazdeev, Kate Phillips as Lise Bolkonskaya, Ben Lloyd-Hughes as Czar Alexander and Brian Cox as General Mikhail Kutuzov.

The Weinstein Company encompasses an array of film from TWC as well as Miramax. To date they have received 351 Oscar nominations and won 81 Academy Awards. For more about TWC please visit http://weinsteinco.com.

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Anchor Bay Entertainment has an amazing theatrical and home entertainment library that include STARZ original series, children’s entertainment, fitness and sports on DVD and Bluray formats. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.anchorbayentertainment.com.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give WAR & PEACE: The Complete Miniseries four tubs of popcorn out of five. It is the cast that make this miniseries to brilliant to watch. I am a huge fan of period pieces and this is one you don’t want to get wrong and TWC and BBC get it absolutely right. The costuming is beautiful, the setting and scenery lend itself to the telling and the music is emotional.

It is truly the cast that brings this story life and believable characters that we want to find life, love and happiness. WAR & PEACE gave me the nostalgia of such films as DR. ZHIVAGO and BURNT BY THE SUN. The miniseries truly gives Tolstoy’s story time to unravel slowly letting everything play out beautifully.

That’s where director Tom Harper and story adaptor Andrew Davis come in. They brought together the beautiful tale of a time in Russia so deep and rich that holds every human emotion imaginable. Add WAR & PEACE to your own home media library because this is a jewel to be had.

Tolstoy was himself born into a well-to-do family that he would eventually walk away from.  After spending time in the Army in 1857, Tolstoy declared that he would ‘never serve any government ever again’. Meeting Victor Hugo, author of Les Miserables, in 1860 while still in Europe influenced Tolstoy politically and in his writings as War and Peace came to the page in 1869.

The Bluray includes special features of From Page to Screen, The Read Through, Making the Music, Count Rostov’s Dance, Rundale Palace, What is War & Peace?.

In the end – it is an era that is about to change them all!

ONE MORE TIME Brings Walken Home on DVD

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The charming comedic drama, One More Time starring Christopher Walken (The Family FangCatch Me if You Can), Amber Heard (The Danish Girl, The Adderall Diaries), Kelli Garner (Lars and the Real Girl), Hamish Linklater (Fantastic Four, 42), Ann Magnuson (Panic Room) and Oliver Platt (Love & Other Drugs, 2012) arrives on DVD on June 7, 2016 from Anchor Bay Entertainment. One More Time is written and directed by Robert Edwards (Land of the Blind), with original music by Joe McGinty (The Psychedelic Furs) and Robert Edwards.

Beautiful aspiring rock star Jude (Heard) is stuck in a rut – relegated to recording commercial jingles and lost in a series of one night stands. When she is evicted from her Brooklyn apartment, she is forced to move into the Hamptons home of her wealthy – and selfish – father Paul Lombard (Walken), an over-the-hill, Sinatra-esque crooner angling for a musical comeback. As the two reunite, Jude is forced to confront her problems, including troubled relationships with her father and overachieving sister (Garner), as well as her wobbly career and faltering love life. As Jude and Paul butt heads, they unexpectedly find themselves on a journey that may redefine their lives.

One More Time was released theatrically and on Digital HD from Starz Digital on April 8, 2016 and will be available on DVD from Anchor Bay Entertainment on June 7, 2016.
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Anchor Bay Entertainment is a leading independent home entertainment company that acquires and releases select programming from The Weinstein Company, AMC Networks and RADiUS, among others. For more on Anchor Bay Entertainment and their releases please visit www.anchorbayentertainment.com

 

One More Time DVD
June 7, 2016

THE HUNTSMAN: Winter’s War

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Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this Friday from director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan is the next chapter in the story that involves THE HUNTSMAN: Winter’s War.

Two sisters, Ravenna (Charlize Theron) and Freya (Emily Blunt) rise as royalty in a kingdom created by Ravenna. When Freya falls in love and becomes pregnant, sister isn’t happy about it. Creating a horror, Freya finds her powers and they are icy cold. Leaving Ravenna behind, Queen Freya is re-born.

Now, to create her own army, Queen Freya begins abducting children including Eric (Chris Hemsworth) and Sara (Jessica Chastain) to train them to become Huntsman. In this kingdom there is one unforgiveable rule – never to love!

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When Eric and Sara’s affections become known by the Queen, she makes sure that they will never be together. Eric manages to escape and that is how he came into service of Snow White.

When William (Sam Claflin) comes to Eric in the woods, he asks that the mirror used by the now dead Ravenna be taken to a safe place and far away from Snow White. Agreeing to help, Eric also becomes stuck with the very small Nion (Nick Frost) and Gryff (Rob Brydon).

But nothing is as it seems and Eric is reunited with Sara who has serious unresolved issues with Eric. That has to be put aside if the group is going to find the mirror and keep it from Queen Freya who is now also looking for it.

With the help of the equally small Mrs. Bromwyn (Sheridan Smith) and Doreena (Alexandra Roach), the group fights to do what’s right. When the clash between sisters begins, they must all hang on for the fallout.

Sibling rivalry will have no bounds!

Blunt as Queen Freya is absolutely stunning and I say that because I am so partial to her. I absolutely love everything that she does so even if I’m not all in regarding the film I am definitely loving her frosty look.

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Hemsworth as Eric gets his story told and a ginger love interest to boot! Wielding his ax in service of trying to keep the mirror from anyone who would use it for evil, its going to be a big fight. He is big, he is bad and he gets the job done – I mean what would you expect from a Huntsman who is a part time hammer thrower in another life?

Chastain as Sara is the badass arrow shooter in leather who ‘never misses’ according to Eric. Wearing leather and touting a bow and arrow there isn’t really anyone that’s going to question what she’s up to. That being said not everything is at it seems.

Frost as Nion is cute and makes me laugh, his buddy Brydon as Gryff is equally as funny – even when they are pretending to be hostile. Smith as Mrs. Bromwyn is as bad as she wants to be proving that dynamite does come in small packages. Roach as Doreena is so sweet that it’s obvious she’d have a soft spot for Nion.

Theron as Ravenna is obviously awesome! She can just stand there and say nothing and the evil rolls off of her into the audience. Yep, she makes one heck of an evil Queen in her own right and no one or nothing is going to stop her from taking what she wants – not even an Ice Queen of a sister!

Other cast include Sope Dirisu as Tull, Sam Hazeldine as Leifr, Sophie Cookson as Pippa, Conrad Khan as Young Eric, Niamh Walkter as Young Sara and Nana Agyeman-Bediako as Young Tull.

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TUBS OF POPCORN: I give THE HUNTSMAN: Winter’s War three tubs of popcorn out of five. Honestly I felt like I was in the middle of a LORD OF THE RINGS and NARNIA mash up – and Liam Neeson narrates so I’m not so far off the mark. Even Queen Freya comes up on a polar something or other not unlike the White Witch in Narnia.

I was also expecting a heck of a lot more of Ms. Theron so I’m not sure how they can call it a war of sisters if one of the sisters isn’t really there all that much. It’s more like a war with Queen Freya herself. Apparently narcissism mixed with hostility runs in that family. There is plenty of action, back story and special effects.

Look, its fine that it’s meant to be a grown up fairy tale I suppose – I guess I just don’t really want a grown up fairy tale. I’m perfectly content with Snow White and her seven friends, I’m okay with Cinderella and her mice friends, I’m certainly thrilled with Sleeping Beauty and singing in the woods with her furry and feathered friends.

In the end – it is the story before Snow White!

Bob Hope – Entertaining the Troops is an Absolutely Joy to Reminisce with on DVD!

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Jeri Jacquin

On DVD from Time Life is one of the most beloved entertainers of this century. In three very special television performances is BOB HOPE: Entertaining the Troops.

Bob Hope (aka Leslie Townes Hope) has spent 80 years in the business with a career that includes television, films and entertaining on the road. Of course he wow’d audiences in the theatres but his biggest audience would come in the form of our military troops.

Between 1941 and 1991, Bob Hope would pack up his own duffle bag and head out entertaining military personnel in over 57 USO (United Service Organizations) tours. It began in 1939 when Hope volunteered to perform for the passengers on the RMS Queen Mary.

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Two years later, his first official USO performance was at March Field, California and that’s practically in his own back yard. Hope would go global and travel during World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam War, the Lebanon Civil War, Iran-Iraq War and the Persian Gulf War.

That is what an amazing human being does for his fellow human beings. For his service, Hope was awarded the Sylvanus Thayer Award by the United States Military Academy in West Point in 1968. President Bill Clinton signed an act of Congress in 1997 giving Hope Honorary Veteran status.

‘Thanks for the Memory’ is a song Hope became famous for on that first volunteer gig and made the tune iconic on every tour and to this very day.

Time Life brings this DVD that contains three television Christmas Specials, a rare, never-before-seen-released 1951 special from The Korean War Era, along with shows from 1970-1971 – two of the most watched shows in history!

Of course there are monologues with guest stars that come in at two and a half hours of Hope’s house calls of troop shows!

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The Bob Hope Christmas Special: Around the World with the USA which originally aired in January of 1970 takes the 16-day tour through Germany, Italy, Turkey, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, Guam and aboard the USS Ranger and USS Sanctuary. Connie Stevens brought her Wedding Bell Blues!

The Bob Hope Christmas Special: Around the Globe with the USA originally aired in January of 1971. Bringing Christmas cheer to West Point, England, Germany, Thailand, Vietnam, Korea, Alaska and aboard the USS John F. Kennedy in the Mediterranean and the USS Sanctuary in the South China Sea. Lola Folana brought song and dance while Johnny Bench swapped humor with Hope.

Also added is Chesterfield Sound Off Time that aired in December of 1951. The special was filmed during the Korean War aboard the carrier that included Hope and Connie Moore singing I Wanna Go Home. Hope brought his song and dance and command of humor – oh and the ship!

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BOB HOPE: Entertaining the Troops is just an amazing DVD to experience some of the best comedy by a man who has brought so much to us all. Yes, in theatres and on stage for sure but more importantly to our military service people who truly needed the laughs and good feelings from home.

I grew up watching Bob Hope through his film and didn’t realize until I was in my teens that he was part of the USO. Having family that fought over seas, it is so good to know that this wonderful man along with his crew brought something fine to those that served us all!

Time Life continues to bring stellar DVD products to those wanting to expand their home media libraries as well as introduce their families to a look at yester-year. Time Life captures the spirit of today that can be enjoyed for a lifetime.

This is truly an amazing visit into the past of good entertainment that families can still enjoy today.

 

MOJIN: The Lost Legend Gives Us Treasure on Bluray!

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Jeri Jacquin

On Bluray this week from director Wuershan and Well Go USA Entertainment comes a story based on the #1 Best Selling treasure hunting novel in China with the action adventure of MOJIN: The Lost Legend.

Three explorers and tomb-raiders Hu Bayi (Chen Kun), Wang Kaixuan (Huang Bo) and the lovely Shirley Yang (Shu Qi) are deciding to give it all up and retire to the city of Manhattan.

But they didn’t move fast enough as cult leader Ying Caihong (Liu Xiaoqing) is looking for something very precious and needs help. Talking Wang into helping, he returns to the desert without his friends looking for the tomb of a Mongolian princess.

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Figuring out what Wang is up to, Hu and Shirley decide they must go help their friend. What they don’t expect is to be dealing with Ying and her cut throats who are more than happy to slap a body around.

It doesn’t take long before Hu, Wang and Shirley realize that what Ying is really looking for is the Equinox Flower that has the ability to raise the dead.

This is an adventure that will definitely keep them on their toes!

Kun as Hu Bayi is the quiet one, except when he’s dealing with Shirley. Having a hard time expressing his feelings he pretty much goes from one slip up to another with her. That being said he has the uncanny ability to figure out the clues to finding the Equinox Flower, especially when Ying takes Shirley!

Shu Qi as Shirley is a woman who knows exactly what she wants and how she feels. Making it clear that Hu has the problem it makes me laugh. She is extremely tough and proves it every chance she gets. I wouldn’t mess with her!

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Bo as Wang is dealing with his memory of love Ding Sitian (Angelababy) and that’s why he follows Ying in the first place. Believing she might still be alive is how the cult-tress gets her hooks in him. He is certainly the comic relief of the group and has his moments of screw up but funny!

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.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give MOJIN: The Lost Legend four tubs of popcorn out of five. The story is one of adventure and has a bit of an Indian Jones feel but that’s okay by me. The special effects are pretty awesome as they try to figure out how to get to the center of the mystery. There is action, adventure, blow ‘em up, chases and tons of wrong moves to be made in order to set off tons of cgi that is fun to watch. Hey, any time there are zombies – no matter what kind they are – I’m in!

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There are actually more to the initial series of Ghost Blows Out the Light including Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe. This series would be amazing because the three main characters are really awesome together and it would be fun to see more adventure and story with them.

Add MOJIN: The Lost Legend to your home library of action!

In the end – these three know exactly what they are looking for!

The CW is Going to Keep Audiences Riveted with CONTAINMENT

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Jeri Jacquin

As if watching shows on the CW isn’t keeping my DVR running at full capacity, they bring along another series that is just going to keep us on the edge with fright of CONTAINMENT.

In Atlanta, something mysterious is happening. An outbreak of a deadly disease moves city officials into action. The only swift way to keep what-ever-this-is from spreading, a barrier is placed around the city.

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Heading the task of making it happen is Police Officer Lex Carnahan (David Gyasi) who takes the assignment knowing that it is nothing like the city has ever seen. He also has a personal stake in what is happening as girlfriend Jana (Christina Moses) is in the hot zone. Carnahan looks to officer Jake (Chris Wood) to not only keep Jana safe but help keep him informed about what is happening.

Elementary school teacher Katie (Kristen Gutoskie) couldn’t be more in the wrong place at the wrong time with her entire class on a field trip that includes her own son. Now they are trapped at a hospital inside the containment area and Katie has very little help in keeping the kids occupied.

Feeling the urgency is Dr. Victor Cannerts (George Young) with the CDC who is also inside the zone. So who is on the outside? Dr. Sabine Lommers (Claudia Black) who is trying to contain the outbreak but with the separation of families the public is lashing out.

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Of course journalist Leo (Trevor St. John) smells a conspiracy and isn’t going to sit around and just take the information being handed to him.

Whether inside the cordon or out – there is fear and a breakdown of everything around the survivors.

Who will rise and who will survive CONTAINMENT!

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TUBS OF POPCORN: I give CONTAINMENT three tubs of popcorn out of five. Of course as the episodes air I will come back and adjust my popcorn. The story is based on the Belgian drama series CORDON written by Carl Joos and broadcast on the BBC in 2015.

Writers Marguerite MacIntyre has put pen to script to bring CONTAINMENT to the CW and she is also responsible for another one of my guilty television pleasures with THE ORIGINALS. Michael Jones-Morales, Matt Corman and Chris Ord along with Julie Plec have writing credits as well.

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This could be considered just another disease-apocalypse based series and of course I’d agree with that. There are some unique differences here however with storylines depending on what side of the fence a character is on. I don’t have a problem with it but that may be because I’m a sucker for a good survival-gooey-mystery-bug type show.

Touted as a limited series I can see early on that it has the potential to push even further but the characters need to tighten up a bit and grow a spine. Anyone who knows me even in passing will tell you that whiny characters irritate the crap out of me. I have been known to yell at a television screen from time to time to either ‘put their big people apocalyptic panties on’ or kiss someone with the disease and put me out of my misery!’

I am totally willing to see this series all the way through and know CW fans are going to want to give it a look-see as well. It’s got intensity, special effects and bloody creepies! CONTAINMENT airs Tuesday April 19th on the CW. Check it out and let the discussions begin.

Prepare to live in a world of CONTAINMENT!

THE REVENANT is Stunning on Bluray and Again a Must See!

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Jeri Jacquin

On Bluray with week director Alejandro González Iñárritu and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is a film inspired by true events with the will to live of THE REVENANT.

Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a hunter and trapper working with Captain Andrew Henry (Domhnall Gleeson). Along with his son Hawk (Forrest Goodluck) they search for any animal with a pelt that can be sold. Out taking down an elk, the camp is viciously attacked by Indians and the men, along with Bridger (Will Poulter) and John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy) get to the boats and escape.

A plan is forged to hide the pelts under rocks and send the boat down the river with the men who died to throw off their attackers. Captain Henry and Glass work out the route as Fitzgerald tries to rally the survivors into his mode of thinking about what should happen. When told to back down, he does so begrudgingly.

Beginning the journey back to the fort, Glass takes point clearing the way for the others. Instantly he is attacked by a bear and when the group finds him, Captain Henry jumps into action trying to save his life. Hawk stays with his father every minute to keep his focus on survival. Putting him on a wooden stretcher, the men try to get Glass back to the fort.

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As a blizzard bears down on the group it becomes clear that Glass can not make the trip back. It is decided that Hawk will stay behind with his father along with Bridger to wait for help to come back. Surprising Captain Henry, Fitzgerald agrees to stay behind as well.

The days go by and Fitzgerald becomes more and more agitated and a plan to walk away from the situation forces Bridger to make a decision that will haunt him. What Fitzgerald doesn’t expect is Glass’ determination to live, even with an angry band of Pawnee following and the elements determined to end his life.

DiCaprio as Glass is stunning – and a million more descriptors – pick one and you won’t be wrong! This character is deep, burdened, scared, protective, loving in his own way, smart, a survivor and has the potential for serious revenge. I was riveted thoroughly watching this actor go from a lump of barely surviving flesh to a man having everything taken from him using that as a motivator to survive. Each challenge put in front of him brought out the frontier MacGyver that had me nodding my head with every move he made. From one scene to the next DiCaprio shows what many of us have known about this talented actor, give him a role with grit and stand back! Of course there is talk of this being an Oscar performance and for once I could not agree more. With the thin years of films with serious backbone, THE REVENANT is what the big gold dude is all about. If they don’t hand it to him then I can guarantee the screaming in the wind you hear is me!

Hardy as Fitzgerald gives this character every ounce of evil making it easy to dislike this character to the point of wanting to throw something at the big screen. Once again the descriptor of despicable only scratch the surface of this character that has no conscience or sense of decency. Once you see the film please feel free to add to the huge list I already have going. Hardy also brings a presence to the film that will be memorable for some time to come, at least by me.

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Gleeson as Captain Henry is a man who wants to do right by those who rely on him. Trusting Fitzgerald was his first mistake and believing was his second. Gleeson has certainly made a name for himself in recent films such as CALVARY (which I loved), EX MACHINA, BROOKLYN, STAR WARS: The Force Awakens and now THE REVENANT. He will be returning to his role as General Hux in the next installment of STAR WARS: Episode VIII.

Poulter as Bridger portrays a young man who followed his leaders. Easy manipulated by Fitzgerald, the cover up between the two men leaves Bridger with guilt. Coming up from his days in Narnia, Poulter has chosen such diverse roles from action and adventure to comedy with WE’RE THE MILLERS IN 2013. Goodluck as Hawk is Glass’ son who is caught up in a world that doesn’t see him as a human being. Even Fitzgerald tries to get under the young mans skin with the constant barraging.

Other cast include: Lukas Haas as Jones, Paul Anderson as Anderson, Kristoffer Joner as Murphy, Joshua Burge as Stubby Bill., Melaw Nakehk’o as Powaqa, Fabrice Adde as Toussaint, Christopher Rosamond as Boone, Brendan Fletcher as Fryman, Tyson Wood as Weston, McCaleb Burnett as Beckett and Anthony Starlight as Arikara Chief.

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 THE REVENANT five tubs of popcorn out of five. First of all ‘revenant’ is a person who has returned as if from the dead and I let you know this because there could be no other title for this film. I walked away with a sense of total awe for this film with a cast that is stellar from beginning to end. Against the backdrop of a harsh and unforgiving landscape, this story has little to offer in the way of solace for each character.

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It beautifully shot by cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, who was also cinematographer for BIRDMAN (2014), GRAVITY (2013) and CHILDREN OF MEN (2006), with continual one shot scenes. To cut away would have completely taken away from the experience and I’m so thankful Lubezki was there to make it happen.

Director Iñárritu takes a jarring tale that begs the question, in a story with Indians, animals, brutal weather and trappers – who is the true savage? The screen offers moments of majestic beauty before snapping you back into a shocking and ruthless reality for the main character.

Once again the film left me battered and drained of every emotion possible and thrilled at the same time. DiCaprio is the team leader in this powerful and amazing piece of filmmaking. Coming in at 156 minutes, there isn’t a second to be missed. Seriously people, if you don’t see the amazing beauty of this film we may not be able to continue being friends (j/k of course, maybe!)

THE REVENANT brought Academy Awards to Leonardo DiCaprio for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, to Emmanuel Lubezki for Best Achievement in Cinematography and finally to Alejandro González Iñárritu for Best Achievement in Directing and all three men deserve their golden statues.

The Bluray includes The World Unseen documentary and THE REVENANT is a Bluray that is a must-have for any home media library!

In the end – blood lost and life found!

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