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August 2016

HORRIBLE IMAGININGS Film Festival is Bringing Frights for Days

Horrible

 

Jeri Jacquin

It’s that time of year once again at the 7th Annual Horrible Imaginings Film Festival is getting ready to feed our ghoulish needs from September 7th to the 11th at the Museum of Photographic Arts.

Founded in 2010 by Miguel Rodriguez, Horrible Imaginings has made a name for itself with fans who aren’t interested in the norm of films. Instead, HIFFSD dives into the bloody pool of the horror genre and the Father of Horror himself has kept it all right here in San Diego.

Beginning Wednesday, the Animated Shorts Block offers up You Are Not the Strongest, Dad’s Fragile Doll, 3:14, Beware of Bunny, The Beach Boy, AD RE, Balloon Ride, Travel by Feet, The Detectives of Noir Town, Cat Killer, The Marshalls and the Opening Night film Tag!.

On Thursday the freak celluloid flies with the Feature Film The Last Pinoy Action King followed by the Comedy Shorts Block including The Phantom Hour, Zombie Playground: Ice Scream, First Like, Watchbear, #MurderSelfie, Hello, Stained, Kaddish!, Landscape, Dark Roast, A Zombie Next Door, The Procedure and Gemu.

The evening finished with Hail to the King: 60 Years of DESTRUCTION a documentary celebrating Godzilla, the most awesome creature I ever watched on Saturday mornings as a kid (did I just age myself?).

Friday evening ramps up with the VIP Only at Museum of Man Cannibal Exhibit with an Anthropophagia Panel and two short films Survivor Type and Earworm. The Film …In The Dark will feature as grad student Veronica Carpenter takes on the challenge of evil entities in the young Bethany. Demons, haunting and a few screams wait for fans. Writer/Director David Spaltro will also be there!

The evening will end with the shorts Hada and Mute with the Feature Film Sendero (Path) sending you freaked out into the night.

Get your scare on early as Saturday starts at noon with the SciFy & Creatures Shorts Block with A Matter of Trust, Roadside Assistance, Knob Goblins, Bionic Girl, Heir, They Will All Die in Space, When Susurrus Stirs, Ghengis Khan Conquers the Moon, and The Disappearance of Willie Bingham.

The LGBT Block includes the shorts: Zerch, The Black Bear, and the Feature Film Alena.

 The Horror and Cult Art Presentations introduce us to Viva Mexploitation with Aaron Soto, Horror in Literature panel, the Short Film Death Metal and Feature Film Beyond the Gates telling the story of two brothers who find a VCR board game that could tell them where their father disappeared to with deadly consequences.

The evening ends with Performance Art: The Horror Cabal of Anna Yanushkevich! followed by the Terrifying Campfire-Style Readings from Horror Authors.

Not frightened out of your senses yet? Well Sunday will take you to the genre overload with the Human Killer & Psychological Terror shorts and Dante’s Penance, Dissociative, Ellie, Surgery, Postpartum, Dogged, Bunker Game, Cuckold Picasso, Burlap, Night of the Slasher and Little Boy Blue.

 The Supernatural Horrors shorts include Eyes of Shadow, Mona, Summoned, Witchboard, The Birthday, Japanese Legends: Slit, Insomnolence, Madre de Dios, Mexican Flamenco, Deathly, and Leshy.

 The final evenings festivities include the short Z and Feature Film Idyll. The festival includes the Award Announcements before one more little bit of gory fun and the film short The Brentwood Strangler and the Closing Feature Film is The Greasy Strangler.

 Now that you have all the ghoulish knowledge of what will be happening at the HORRIBLE IMAGININGS FILM FESTIVAL head to http://www.hifilmfest.com/passes and buy your passes to all things bloody good.

There is also amazing goodies you can purchase at the site including a HIFFSD T-shirt, canvas Tote and Poster to hang on your wall which is awesome to freak out anyone you happen to share space with.

Go let your horror flag fly!

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THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS is Stunning

Light poster

 

Jeri Jacquin

In theatres this week from writer/director Derek Clanfrance and DreamWorks comes a tale of loss, something found and love based on the M.L. Stedman best seller THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS.

Tom Sherbourne (Michael Fassbender) has returned from war and he is looking for solitude. Off the coast of Western Australia is a light house that needs a keeper. Believing this is the perfect place to be, Tom takes the position believing it to be temporary.

Out in the middle of the ocean is a beautiful island with a tall lighthouse that he gives his attention to. On the mainland lives Isabel Graysmark (Alicia Vikander), a young woman full of life who begins writing to Tom making him feel alive once again. When the position at the lighthouse is offered to him on a permanent basis, Tom happily accepts.

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They are soon married and living happily on the lighthouse island. Trying to have a family brings sadness to their lives but at the same time a raging storm delivers life to their shores.

Isabel begs Tom to let them have the joy of the little girl who needs them. Reluctantly he agrees and Lucy (Florence Clery) grows into a happy little girl. During a mainland visit to Isabel’s family, the town comes together to celebrate the lighthouse and Tom’s contribution as its keeper.

They meet Hannah Roenneldt (Rachel Weisz) who is still in mourning over the loss of her husband and daughter at sea. Her father Septimus Potts (Bryan Brown) never approved of Hannah’s marriage to Frank (Leon Ford) and is a constant reminder.

Hannah sees Lucy and is immediately moved but it is Tom who understands most of all. Wanting to do the right thing becomes an impossible life as he is torn between the love of his wife and daughter and keeping a secret that is tearing them all apart.

The effects are like ripples on the ocean.

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Fassbender as Tom is stoic yet introspective with the presence of a man wanting solace after fighting a war. The island lighthouse is the answer to a prayer but what he didn’t expect is to share it with such a free spirit. Fassbender is one of my favorite actors and it is because he takes such risks in every role he does. This character was absolutely meant for him to play and play it he does.

Vikander as Isabel is a spirited young woman who knows what she wants immediately with Tom. Escaping the bonds of her family, the island holds fascination and love with a life that is what ever the couple makes of it. The pain of wanting a child is hard for her, yet her life become a happy one again the moment the boat hits the shores. I enjoyed Vikander’s performance.

Weisz as Hannah doesn’t come in until much farther into the film but her characters pain can be felt throughout. As her story is revealed, it is just as true at heart as Tom and Isabel’s and therein lies the drowning of these hearts with love for one child. Ford as Frank is in flashbacks but enough to be such an important part of the story being told.

Brown as Potts brings in his sternness but, as with us all, age has a tendency to mellow and when in the presence of a child – there is nothing but love. Let us not forget Florence Clery as Lucy as her cherub face and innocence keep us all smiling one minute and horrified at her own pain the next.

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Other cast include: Thomas Unger as Bluey Smart, Jane Menelaus as Violet Graysmark, Garry Macdonald as Bill Graysmark, Emily Barclay as Gwen Potts, Stephen Ure as Neville Whittnish, Jonathan Wagstaff as Constable Lynch, Gerald Bryan as Captain Hasluck and Jack Thompson as Ralph Addicott.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS four tubs of popcorn out of five. This is not an action packed or cgi laden story but instead a visually beautiful and ensemble cast acting piece done gracefully. If you need any other reason to be drawn into this piece, the soundtrack is stellar!

The slow pace is a draw with cinematography that entices the viewer to wonder what it might be like to live on an island responsible for only one thing – keeping the light shining. From the flow of the grass in the wind to a wet violence that only the sea can provide, there isn’t a frame of this film not worthy of praise.

In the end – love demands everything.

CENTER STAGE: On Pointe Dances in on DVD

center poster

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD from Director X and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is a chance like no other to be CENTER STAGE: On Pointe.

The American Ballet Academy led by Jonathan Reeves (Peter Gallagher) is in financial trouble. No long able to stick strictly to ballet, Reeves is challenged to expand and bring in modern and contemporary dance to the Academy. He enlists the help of Charlie (Sascha Radetsky), Cooper (Ethan Stiefel) and Tommy (Kenny Wormald) to find new blood.

A competition is the foundation of their new company at a camp where the dancers will be put to the paces. An unexpected choice is a young woman named Bella Parker (Nicole Munoz). It isn’t easy being the sister of a world renowned ballet dancer and Bella would understand that better than anyone. To give herself a chance she changes her last name.

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As the competition begins the egos take center stage keeping Bella feeling out of place. Making friends is also a challenge but when she is paired up with Damon (Barton Cowperthwite) she begins to feel like a dancer in her own right. It doesn’t help when instructor Lorenza (Sarah-Jane Redmond) sees no value in Bella’s dance and doesn’t hesitate to tell her so.

Jealousy ignites as the rumors about Allegra (Maude Green) turn dancer against dancer. Bella tries to remain focused but at the most critical moment of performance day, she must decide on turning a bad situation in the right direction and give up her chance to finally be the moving dancer.

You never go wrong doing the right thing!

Munoz as Bella is a young woman feeling in the shadows of a sister she dearly loves. Excited and surprised at being asked to join the camp of the American Ballet Academy, she knows the situation is tenuous. It is hard to get out of your own head sometimes and Munoz lets her feet give her character immense freedom.

Cowperthwaite as Damon is almost as quiet as Bella until they come together as a pair and open up to one another. I have to say Cowperthwaite moves beautifully and the final performance is stunningly beautiful.

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Green as Allegra has, what I think, is the toughest character to deal with. She is caught in the swirl of rumors and no one bothers to discover if they are even true. Instead it becomes almost crushing and Green’s expressiveness is heart breaking at times. It must be said that she is flawless in her dance.

Gallagher as Reeves is put in a tough position to keep the Academy from going under. Fighting it quietly he begins to see the potential of expanding their dance card. Redmond as Lorenza is brutal! She is a purest about ballet and any other form putting a toe on her practice floor keeps her seething. Wormald as Tommy is excited at the opportunity to bring a group together to do something unique. If there is a happy medium it is Tommy!

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Other cast include: Kyle Toy as Ivan, Thomas L. Colford as Richard, Kane Nelson as Sam, Ethan Stiefel as Cooper, Ken Kramer as Myron, Lanie McAuley as Wendy, Gabrielle Rose as Beverly and Sascha Radetsky as Charlie.

CENTER STAGE: On Pointe is a feel good film that takes the viewer inside the intense nature of dancing. Not just ballet but the opportunity to expand from the narrow view of dancing to the creative and powerful world of music and movement.

Although the film centers on Bella and her journey to prove something to herself, the storyline brings in all aspects and characters in their own right. I really enjoy films about dancing and CENTER STAGE: On Pointe brings two of the most powerful forms of dance together and brings it together beautifully.

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The DVD has a running time of ninety-two minutes including the Bonus Materials of Dance Tutorial with Chloe Lukasiak.

In the end – 12 dancers, 6 weeks and one chance!

TRANSFORMERS – The Movie: 30th Anniversary Edition

the Transformers cover

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming from SHOUT! Factory Kids and Hasbro Studios is the 30th Anniversary Edition of the classic animated movie THE TRANSFORMERS-The Movie.

The war between the Autobots and Decepticons has caused the planet of Cybertron to become over-run. Optimus Prime and the Autobots are attempting to prepare for a counter strike but need supplies from Autobot City on Earth.

Megatron isn’t about to let that happen and destroys the ship with his next goal of attacking Autobot City. Escaping is Daniel Witwicky along with Autobots Ultra Magnus, Hot Rod, Kup, Blurr, Perceptor, Arcee, Springer, and Blaster.

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When Optimus arrives, he brings Dinobots along to help but they are no match for the Decepticons. Now Optimus Prime must give Ultra Magnus the Matrix of Leadership. Where there is loyalty with the Autobots, the same can not be said for the Decepticons as Starscream does nothing to help Megatron and shoots him into space.

But Megatron isn’t quite finished as the Unicron find him and offer to give him a chance to live but only if he destroys the Matrix. Megatron agrees to everything but his only goal at the moment is to stop Starscream in a major way and finish what he started at Autobot City by becoming Galvatron.

As Hot Rod and Kup are being put through a trial by the Quintessons, it is Wheelie and the Dinobots that get them away safely. Gathering the Autobots together they find themselves on Junk Planet but so is Galvatron who takes the Matrix. Trying to help their friend Magnus, they also must get to Cybertron before Galvatron begins his reign of destruction.

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If they are to take back their home planet, a light in their darkest hour must happen and it comes from the most unlikely place.

They are more than just robots in disguise!

It is such a thrill to once again experience THE TRANSFORMERS – The Movie and this time on Bluray which brings the color into clear and crisp awesomeness. There is something so fun about being my age and sitting down with a tub of popcorn, literally, re-experiencing this movie once again.

There is everything fun about this film that a family could want plus amazing lessons about friendship, loyalty and doing what is right. Those are amazing values that kids who watch the series learn while wrapped up in fun and very cool animation.

Let us not forget the amazing voices that bring our Transformers to life with Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime, Judd Nelson as Hot Rod, legendary Robert Stack as Ultra Magnus, Neil Ross as Springer, Scatman Crothers as Jazz, Casey Kasem as Cliffjumper, Chris Latta as Starscream, along with so many, many more and especially Mr. Orson Wells as Unicron.

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

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

THE TRANSFORMERS – The Movie has been remastered from a brand new 4K transfer of the original film elements and is now ready for fans of this iconic series. In a collectible limited edition, the 30th Anniversary Steelbook comes with a special two-disc Bluray and DVD.

The Special Bonus Features include ‘Til We are One – a brand new comprehensive documentary looking back at THE TRANSFORMERS: The Movie with members of the cast and crew, including story consultant Flint Dille, cast members Gregg Berger, Neil Ross, Dan Gilvezan, singer/songwriter Stan Bush, composer Vince Dicola and others!, Audio Commentary with Direction Nelson Shin, Story Consultant Flint Dille and star Susan Blu, Featurettes, Animated Storyboards, and Trailer and TV Spots.

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THE TRANSFORMERS – The Movie is co-produced by Nelson Shin; produced by Joe Bacal and Tom Griffin; supervising producer Jay Bacal, executive producers Margaret Loesch and Lee Gunther with music score by Vince Dicola and Ed Fruge.

Don’t let this chance pass you by because this is as awesome as it gets!

Bringing the Stories of America’s Military Through Film with the GI FILM FESTIVAL SAN DIEGO

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Jeri Jacquin

Coming in September is a film festival dedicated to the United States Military with the GI FILM FESTIVAL SAN DIEGO showcasing from September 14th to the 18th.

This year the festival includes documentaries, narratives, shorts and feature length production. Also, there is a Local Film Showcase that features San Diego filmmakers along with San Diego locations and actors.

Beginning September 14th, the opening night of the festival includes the West Coast Premier of the film USS Indianapolis: The Legacy. This documentary took many, many years to bring together the story of this ship and after surviving attacks and secret missions; their ship would be destroyed by a torpedo attack leaving men floating in the ocean for over five days.

Now, survivors tell their own story through photographs and footage that will bring this amazing story of life to the screen. Along with an original score, director Sara Vladic brings this untold story to us all.

USS Indianpolis

The next evening, September 15th, follows with the three films The Unimaginable Journey of Peter Ertel tell the story of a man who was a German soldier during a war against the Jews. Almost Sunrise is a story of two friends who walk across America to deal with the combat experiences that won’t leave them. The film is a journey of hope and possibilities. Finally, Remembering Vietnam is a collection of perspectives during this war with Escape from Firebase Kate, Tom’s War and Return to Dak To.

On Friday, September 16th, the GI FILM FESTIVAL brings Family Movie Night Featuring the animated film Storks with three showings available for kids and kids at heart. Saturday, September 17th, brings a full schedule beginning with WWII POW Stories and two pieces with Forced Landing telling the story of World War II veterans who were held at camp Wauwilermoos in Switzerland. Also, Paper Lanterns which is a documentary about the morning in 1945 as two atomic bombs were dropped on Japan and the memories of those, including American POW’s, that survived.

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September 17th brings Salute to the Navy brings three films about Navy heroes with Frogman and the story of working in secret during Vietnam, Farewell to Connie as the USS Constellation spent 41 years in service from San Diego Bay and Heroes on Deck: World War II on Lake Michigan telling the story of the pilots training program in Chicago during World War II.

How We Heal puts the spotlight on those affected by war with Tourist as a veteran returns to Vietnam after 45 years to deal with the pain of war, Living for the Ones Who Can’t tells the story of two Rangers in Iraq, and The Last Time I Heard True Silence as a soldier tries to find his place in civilian life after returning from Iraq.

Also playing is Operation Allie as a Marine and his dog become a transformational story that needs to be seen and Adventurmentalism, a documentary about mental health in combat and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Facing Crisis tells two different stories about foreign policy as The Year of the Tiger – JFK 1962 talks about the Cuban Missle Crisis and American Umpire opens up the conversation about foreign policy around the world.

Defying the Nazis

Defying the Nazi’s: The Sharps’ War partially narrated by Tom Hanks tells the story of a family on a mission to help save Jews and refugees in Europe trying to escape Nazis and Thank You For Your Service that follows four Iraq War vets dealing with the lack of treatment for their medical needs.

Finally on September 18th, the GI Film Festival wraps up its fantastic program with Local Film Showcase including Honoring Flight: The Ride of a Lifetime that follows 42 WWII and Korean War Veterans who travel to visit memorials in Washington D.C and The Flying Greek which is the story of Steve Pisanos becoming a fighter ace in World War II.

Also included in the showcase is Living History: Our Hometown Hero that tells of the career of native San Diegan Ret. Commander Robert Noble, The Light Once Captured about a camera that has seen war, and finally A Return to the End is a documentary about a group of U.S. Marines who return to Vietnam having evacuated after the fall of Saigon.

Living History Our Hometown Hero

KPBS and So Say We All will be screening Permission to Speak Freely: KPBS’ Veterans Coming Home Project. There will be a discussion with actors and writers from the local veteran community. This promises to be a most informative presentation.

The final evening also brings a second showing of the U.S.S. Indianapolis along with the Military Pitch Fest and Mixer with the program showing American Girl and Love is No News.

To celebrate the GI FILM FESTIVAL and the amazing programming, there will be the Closing Celebration and Awards Ceremony recognizing the Local Film Showcase and an Audience Choice Award is to be given out.

Now, knowing everything the GI FILM FESTIVAL San Diego has to offer I know you are interested in finding out how you can be a part of it all. To get your tickets now before they sell out, please visit www.gifilmfestivalsd.org.

With screening prices at $10 per ticket, there are also discounts available for active military and veterans using the promo codes Military or Veteran. All Access Passes are $85 which includes admission to all screenings and events including the closing celebration and award ceremony.

Meet me there as we experience some of the most interest ring and informative films, narratives, shorts and documentaries that the GI FILM FESTIVAL San Diego has to offer. For even more detail please visit www.GIFilmFestivalSD.org.

MAX ROSE Brings Love Through a Legend

Max

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres from writer/director Daniel Noah and Paladin comes the story of a life that changes one more time in the man known as MAX ROSE.

Max (Jerry Lewis) is a retired jazz musician who is dealing with the death of his wife Eva. Taking him through the motions is Annie Rose (Kerry Bishe) as the relationship with son Christopher (Kevin Pollack) is a harsh one.

Looking for a reason to move each day, Max tries to find a rhythm to his life. All that is about to change when Max is going through Eva’s thinks and discovers a love letter from someone else. Not understanding how it is possible, Max becomes angry believing that the life he cherished may have been all a lie.

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Taking his frustration out even more on son Christopher, Max begins to pull away from everyone. There is only one way to find out the truth about the letter as Max decides to find the man who wrote it. He desperately needs to discover if everything he believed about the life he shared with Eva is an illusion or the truth.

He is about to discover more than he bargained for.

Lewis as Max Rose is absolutely stunning. The moment his sad face shows on screen he has me believing that this character is devastated by the death of his wife. Watching his interaction with family and how they immediately hover over him it endearing and hard at the same time. When Lewis takes this character into the fiery place of wanting answers, it is in the final moments of the film that just took my breath away.

Bishe as Annie is so caring, loving and wanting the best for Max. I actually started to feel a little confined by her character which means her portrayal of this character is a job well done. Pollack as Christopher has the tough role, that of a son who just wants the love of an aged father. Again, it is difficult to watch Lewis and Pollack go at it without really ever getting loud about it. All of it was on Pollack’s face – so well done.

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Other cast include Dean Stockwell as Ben Tracey, Ileana Douglas as Jenny Flowers, Lee Miller as Lee Weaver, Mort Sahl as Jack Murphy, Valerie Hurt as Kathleen and Claire Bloom as Eva Rose.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give MAX ROSE four tubs of popcorn out of five. Of course I’m a tad partial because I grew up in the era of Jerry Lewis and find him to be so under rated as a dramatic actor. It has taken until now perhaps for others to discover what I always knew. Each of the performances add so much to Lewis’ and how he plays off each is just beautiful.

It would be easy to say this is a simple tale simply told but it isn’t, not by a long shot. Instead of shooting a lot of unnecessary scenes, director Noah kept his eye on the story and let these marvelous actors do what they are legendary for doing – reaching down deep to bring viewers something beautiful and memorable.

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The story is one of looking back at life and discovering it isn’t anything like we remember. Maybe the details are a little sketchy and time has twisted things either into shape or out of shape and this film reminds us of the actual truth in it all.

Bring tissue because this one is going to bring it all close to home.

In the end – the legend is back!

ARROW: The Complete Fourth Season Shoots on Bluray This Week

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Bluray I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.

arrow bluray

Jeri Jacquin

 

Released on Bluray this week from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is the continuing story of ARROW: The Complete Fourth Season.

The last we see of Oliver Queen aka The Arrow (Stephen Amell) he is boarding a ship deciding leave Star City with Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards). Leaving behind John Diggle (David Ramsey), Thea Queen (Willa Holland) and Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy), they are dealing with Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) who is the new Ra’s al Ghul for the League of Assassins.

Becoming crime fighters in their city now called Star City; the group needs help from Oliver. Criminals calls Ghosts and they are led by Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) who want the city leaders taken out. Diggle isn’t about to let that be the end of it when he discovers that Darhk is leading HIVE.

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When Jessica Danforth runs for mayor, another attack happens by Darhk in the form of Lonnie Machin. Knowing HIVE is also part of this the team comes together to stop it. With the office of mayor still open, Oliver decides to run which doesn’t sit well with the group. Thea is still working through her aggression when Laurel takes her to Nanda Parabat asking Malcolm to help.

Diggle is still dealing with HIVE but now learns there is also the group ARGUS meeting with Darhk. Being challenged is not something Darhk takes kindly too and also has no problem stopping anyone who gets in his way.

The Lazarus Pit not only helped Thea but brought Sara back to life but not the same at all. Oliver asks friend John Constantine to please bring Sara back as a whole person. While they are distracted Darhk finds a way to bring in a computer virus that can delete individuals.

Oliver keeps his campaign alive wanting to clean up the waters around Star City. That isn’t going to stop Darhk from causing trouble as he tries to stop anyone who helps. Oliver decides that the only thing he can do it out Darhk as the leader of those terrorizing the city. In retaliation, Darhk kidnaps Diggle, Felicity and Thea and an even exchange with Darhk is never an honest deal.

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Felicity is the casualty of it all and left unable to walk. Adding to the discovery that Oliver has been keeping a very important secret, the thought of marriage is not a happy one between the two. Oliver needs the help of Vixen who has the powers needed as Darhk does everything he can to stop the mayors race.

Finally able to get Darhk in a courtroom, it doesn’t mean that he isn’t planning something interesting as Cupid returns to Star City. Targeting married couples, Oliver and Felicity stage a wedding to capture Cupid. With the testimony of Captain Lance, Darhk is kept in custody.

When Oliver is stung by a robotic bee, it is quickly clear that Brie Larvan is responsible. Darhk is working on getting out of prison and on of them will pay the ultimate price for his anger. Hardly finished, Darhk finds his way back to HIVE and starts his Genesis plan and takes control of nuclear missiles around the world.

No matter what they do, the evil Darhk manages to launch 15,000 missiles and the team has only two hours to stop the destruction of everything they know.

It is time to set things right.

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The cast of ARROW have truly brought the word ensemble to a higher level. When the presentation of the story is seamless then it is impossible to find flaws of any kind. Amell leads the way as a man who understands the responsibility of who he is, as much as he might want to run away from it all. Don’t think for one moment that he still doesn’t have his secrets because there are still a few to be had.

McDonough as Darhk is the perfect villain for Arrow. Okay, so personally I think McDonough makes a perfect villain anytime I see him on the screen. In this series the playing field between these two actors is fantastic. Being slippery about getting caught, Darhk takes villainy to new heights and McDonough makes sure the heights come with a fantastic view.

Rickards as Felicity Smoak definitely has her work cut out for sure. Fans are waiting for Arrow to put a ring on it but what they do will keep them apart. Ramsey as John Diggle is one of the busiest and most inquisitive characters and I couldn’t be happier about that. Holland as Thea gets a chance to be a good-girl-gone-crazy-gone0good and does it well.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment brings their home video, digital distribution and interactive entertainment to those looking to expand their own personal home media library. DC Entertainment is part of the Warner Bros. with their story telling and characters. There is so much for fans to choose from so please visit www.wbshop.com.

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DC Entertainment is responsible for Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and The Flash to name a few. Working together with Warner Bros., DC Entertainment has reached film, television, home entertainment and games. DC Entertainment continues to publish thousands of comic books and graphic novels as well.

The special feature of the Bluray are Star Crossed Hawks Featurette, Star Crossed Hawks: The Hunt for Vandal Savage Featurette, Smooth Criminal: The Damien Darhk Story Featurette, Arrow: 2015 Comic-Con Panel, Deleted Scenes and a Gag Reel.

 Also on the Bluray are the twenty-three one hour episodes plus The Flash crossover: Green Arrow, The Candidate, Restoration, Beyond Redemption, Haunted, Lost Souls, Brotherhood, The Two Part Episode Legends of Today & Legends of Yesterday, Dark Waters, Blood Debts, AWOL, Unchained, Sins of the Father, Code of Silence, Taken, Broken Hearts, Beacon of Hope, Eleven-Fifty-Nine, Canary Cry, Genesis, Monument Point, Lost in the Flood and Schism.

This is a series that has a fan base continuing to grow by leaps and bounds. ARROW offers action, adventure, flashbacks, flips, twists, turns and unexpected endings to characters (and no I won’t mention which ones so don’t ask!).

Just in time for the fifth season of ARROW to begin, catch up or revisit season four. Its marathon binge watching time and I have a sneaking suspicion it will be an epic binging!

In the end – it is a series of villains, heroes and challenges!

DON’T BREATHE Needs Oxygen!

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Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this Friday from writer/director Fede Alvarez, Rodo Sayagues and Screen Gems is a film that says DON’T BREATHE.

Three young kids Alex (Dylan Minnette), Rocky (Jane Levy) and Money (Daniel Zovatto) are tired of living in a town that they feel has nothing for them. Getting their kicks doing house burglaries, is never seems enough. Especially for Rocky who wants to leave with her little sister for California to start a new life.

Asking Alex to join them, it is clear that everything he does is based on being close to Rocky. Boyfriend Money is well aware of Alex’s crush but needs him to get inside the houses since his father has a security service and, more importantly, keys!

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That’s when Money gets a tip on a house that is surrounded by abandoned houses. The story is that a man’s daughter was killed and he received a huge settlement that is in the house. Money wants it, Rocky feels she needs one more hit to get away and Alex wants to help.

Casing the house they soon discover that the man (Stephen Lang) living in the house is blind. Feeling this gives them an edge they gain entrance to the house and begin looking. It isn’t long before the man senses something is wrong in his house.

Now the battle begins as the blind man defends his home and the money they are after. What Alex and Rocky never expected was the secret in this houses’ basement. They are no longer just fighting for the money; they are fighting for their lives.

What ever you do – don’t breathe!

Minnette as Alex is a young man doing the wrong thing for love. Crushing on Rocky he is charmed into helping the couple with one last score. With a chance to walk away it is the sound of a gunshot that keeps him from running as fast as he can. Minette has that innocent look and uses it fully.

Levy as Rocky is the female version of Eminem in 8 MILE living in a trailer with a mother who clearly has checked out of motherhood. Wanting to take her younger sister and run she needs fast cash to do it. Levy might be scared witless but she is money focused.

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Zovatto as Money is the guy you want to make sure your daughter never lays eyes on. He’s rough, rude and arrogant which aren’t the best combinations but a lesson from the Blind Man will cure that in a heartbeat.

Lang as the Blind Man is right on the mark as a bad guy. I mean he’s blind yet manages to get off a couple good shots. I almost want to say one should never underestimate the abilities of a person with disabilities but that seems weird right? Lang delivers creepy and scary up to the very end.

Other cast includes Emma Bercovici as Diddy, Franciska Torocisk as Cindy, Christina Zagia as Raul, Katia Bokor as Ginger, and Sergej Onopko as Trevor.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give DON’T BREATHE two and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. I’m going to be kind of brutal here and say within the first ten minutes I was done. Once these characters got inside the house I was really done. I kept wanting to shout ‘hey, the dude is blind NOT deaf!’ Once I get into that mood its downhill from there.

Stephen Lang stars in Screen Gems' horror-thriller DON'T BREATHE.
Stephen Lang stars in Screen Gems’ horror-thriller DON’T BREATHE.

I really enjoy Stephen Lang as an actor because he takes his unusual talent of being rugged and tough to crazy heights and he does so here. So it’s not the acting that got me but perhaps the lack of a reason to act. I don’t mind a good scary movie but when the only time I jump is because of a dog then we have a problem. Instead of scary it annoyed me so there you have it.

Perhaps I have outgrown my horror movie phase (gawd forbid!). Maybe it’s that films like INSIDIOUS or THE CONJURING give me reasons to jump and have set the bar higher. This also reminded me of a reversed version of the 1967 WAIT UNTIL DARK. Now that film made me jump back in the day!

In the end – this house is not an easy target!

BLOOD FATHER Protects His Own

Blood Father

 

Jeri Jacquin

In theatres this week from director Jean-Francois Richet and Lionsgate is a chase from mistakes led by BLOOD FATHER.

Link (Mel Gibson) is an ex-con who doesn’t have much contact with his 16-year-old daughter. Living in a trailer part out in the middle of nowhere, he tattoos to make a few bucks. Kirby (William H. Macy) is Link’s sponsor to help keep him clean and sober.

That can’t be said for daughter Lydia (Erin Moriarty) who, along with boyfriend Jonah (Diego Luna), are on the road to destruction. When an accident happens Erin runs and the only place she thinks to go is Link.

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That doesn’t stop Jonah along with Joker (Richard Cabral) and Choop (Daniel Moncada) from going straight after Lydia. They use Links’ friend Kirby and Link uses his contacts in prison with Arturo Rios (Miguel Sandoval) to come to a meeting when Lydia is captured.

Now a showdown is inevitable and there will be no prisoners!

Gibson as Link is living a quite life out in the desert staying clean and sober while doing tattoos to earn a living. Knowing he has made mistakes to get in prison and not able to fix them outside of prison is quietly frustrating. That is until he receives the ‘help me daddy’ phone call. Gibson keeps his character a sliver above the law and bends that line when he needs to.

Moriarty as Lydia is the kid who thinks she knows how to live life better than anyone else. Hooking up with a guy that she ‘had a connection with’ was enough to make me laugh. That’s what happens when no one is watching the chick coup – the fox is waiting eagerly.

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Luna as Jonah gets to also be the crazy gun toting youngster who thinks he knows everything. The problem is when it comes out he doesn’t panic ensues leading down the dirty road of really bad ideas. Cabral as Joker gets to be a badass (for a while) but has definitely made a name for himself in the television series American Crime.

Macy as Kirby says to Gibson’s character ‘it’s really difficult to be your sponsor’ but I took it more that it was difficult to be Link’s friend. Sandoval as Rios gets a shot at the screen being the man in prison who knows pretty much everyone which isn’t good for those who think they know everything.

Two characters I thought were more menacing than any others were Michael Parks as the Preacher with the speech to Lydia and Dale Dickey who always looks like she is going to rearrange someone’s life in a really bad way. Well done by both!

Other cast include: Ryan Dorsey as Shamrock, Raoul Max Truillo as The Cleaner, Brandi Cochran as Lydia’s Mother, Katalina Parrish as Tattoo lady, Cameron Cipta as Freckles, Dale Dickey as Cherise and Michael Parks as The Preacher.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give BLOOD FATHER three of popcorn out of five. I have to say that even though I saw where the plot of the story was going, I enjoyed the film. Playing a crazy gun toting type isn’t a new character for Gibson and that’s because he does it exceedingly well.

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With a cast that includes Macy, Luna, Sandoval and Cabral it is made solid in their performances. Moriarty is a girl who thinks she knows everything – that is until she doesn’t and we all know a 16-year-old who is exactly like that.

The premise is simple, the cinematography is equally as simple and sometimes that makes the telling even better. No distractions, just straight forward telling that is run through the dust of the desert. I recognize many of the places where the film was done and saying it is hot in those areas doesn’t even begin to describe it. It’s definitely a wild ride and a cautionary tale of living life on the edge.

In the end – a father makes his own justice!

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