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October 2016

THE HANDMAIDEN Brings Beauty and Twists

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Jeri Jacquin

This week in theatres is a stunning story by writer/director Chan-wook Park along with  Amazon Studios with THE HANDMAIDEN.

Set during the Japanese occupation of Korea in 1930, a young pickpocket name Sook-Hee (Kim Tae-ri) is sent to be the handmaid of Lady Hideko (Min-hee Kim). Living on a beautiful estate, the two women lean on one another for friendship. It is clear that Lady Hideko is unhappy being at the beck and call of her Uncle Kouzuki (Jin-woong Jo).

Arriving to sweep the Lady off her feet is Count Fujiwara (Jung-woo Ha) but this slick dresser is not all he seems. Knowing that she has wealth of her own, it is more reason for the Count to lay it on thick. What he doesn’t know is that the two women have begun a relationship of their own in secret.

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But everything begins to twist as the Count convinces Lady Hideko to run away and get married. Knowing that the twisted Uncle Kouzuki would never allow the Lady to leave his presence, everything escalates quickly.

Part of the deal is that Sook-Hee join the couple in their escape. Devastated that the Lady has chosen the Count, the handmaid goes as a protector. Once arriving in their hiding space, the wedding takes place quickly and a satchel of money is not far behind. Trying to cover their tracks, the couple pull a fast one and get doctors to agree that Lady Hideko needs to be in an institution.

But who is actually crazy? Sook-Hee for taking the position as handmaiden? Lady Hideko who knows more than she’s telling? The two women together having a forbidden relationship? The Count who is less than he seems? The Uncle who has a disturbing secret?

It all begins with a handmaiden.

Kim as Lady Hideko is stunning and brings all the grace one would expect from a her character. Being turned every which way from an Uncle who has serious issues, she is looking for any way out of her life. I swear keeping up with Kim’s Lady Hideko was a challenge and a happy one at that.

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Ha as the Count is slick in every way possible, from his character to his clothing. From the moment he decides the goal of getting Lady Hideko until the very end, I was completely riveted by his performance. That isn’t surprising however as I have come to appreciate his work with KUNDO: Age of the Rampant in 2014 and CHRONICLES OF A BLOOD MERCHANT in 2015.

Jo as Uncle Kouzuki is a character that is seriously twisted and shocking in many ways. As the tale unfolded my jaw dropped a time or two with where the story goes. Jo however is another actor I have come to know because of the two films THE FRONT LINE in 2011 and THE ADMIRAL in 2014, if you have the opportunity to see these films – do it!

The winner for me is Tae-ri as Sook-Hee. This young actress carries such a heavy role for her first time out in a major film. From beginning to end Tae-ri portrayed her character like a seasoned professional. Every gambit of emotion is not wasted on Sook-Hee as Tae-ri tells us a deeper story with every expression on her young face. Stunning!

Director Chan-wook Park has consistently brought amazing storytelling to the screen. From the 2003 film OLDBOY to the 2005 Lady Vengeance to one of the best horror films and one of my favorites to this day with the 2009 film THIRST.

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TUBS OF POPCORN: I give THE HANDMAIDEN four and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. This film is cleverly written and stunningly executed by director Park. The cinematography is rich and beautifully done adding to the layers of the film. Speaking of those layers, each is filled with love, plot twists, eroticism, uncomfortable moments, revenge and transformation of characters as it all comes together to a heightened ending.

I have to say that I absolutely loved the costuming and it added to the divide between the Lady and Sook-hee but even the fabric fell eventually. These two women are caught up in the whims of men and their treatment isn’t that far off from each other. Remember that as the story develops to see strength of the mind become the smile at the ending.

In the end – never forget who you are!

INFERNO Heats Up a Mystery

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Jeri Jacquin

In theatres this Friday from director Ron Howard based on the books from author Dan Brown with Imagine Entertainment and Columbia Pictures is INFERNO.

Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) returns but this time in fog and in Italy. In the hospital he meets Dr. Sienna Brooke (Felicity Jones) who is treating him for a gunshot wound to the head. It doesn’t take long before he realizes where he is and that someone is trying to kill him.

Dr. Brooke and Langdon are on the run being chased by a crazed cop but they aren’t the only ones chasing. The W.H.O.’s Elizabeth Sinskey (Sidse Babett Knudsen) is on the chase up against Christoph Bouchard (Omary Sy) and these two are not friends.

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Starting out with the clues leading to Dante himself, the two are racing against the clock when they discover that Bertrand Zobrist (Ben Foster) is prepared to release a virus. His intention is to clear the globe of overpopulation. Enter Harry Sims (Irrfan Khan), another mysterious chaser who may hold the final piece of the puzzle.

Once again Langdon is out of time!

Hanks as Langdon has solidified his status as this character and there are traits that have popped up from film to film. An example is when he stares at something followed by talking to himself until his eyes are roaming fast like his brain is the actual inferno. This time he has no idea who to trust because even though his historical memory is in tact, who is who in past days – not so much.

Jones as Dr. Brooke goes along for the chase and already knows the famous Dr. Langdon. In this role Jones ‘goes along to get along’ following Langdon keeping an eye on her patient.  Sy as Bouchard wants what he thinks Langdon has and that makes for one gun toting batch of meanness.

Zobrist as Foster is brief but the reason for the entire viral chaos. His story comes in pieces yet every time he is on screen I’m happy about it. Khan as Sims has the opportunity to break away from the pack with his focus on business and mixture of shocking humor.

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Knudsen as Elizabeth will always win in my book. If you haven’t seen the television series Borgen then you are truly missing the extent of what this actress can do. She has a range that had me hating when Borgen wrapped up but thrilled to see her return on the HBO series Westworld.

Extended cast include Ana Ularu as Vayentha, Ida Darvish as Marta Alvarez, Paolo Simioni as Dr. Marconi, and Fausto Sciarappa as Parker.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give INFERNO three and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. This is another installment in the Dan Brown series of Da Vinci Code books and I looked forward to seeing it. I don’t know whether I’m just turning into Langdon myself (which is very cool) because I did figure out several things and I’m keeping it to myself. This is a complete no-spoiler zone when it comes to anything Hanks!

Foster looked amazing but then again he always does and Khan gets the amazing opportunity to bring humor to a dire situation yet I loved it. Both of these actors are high on my list of must-see in everything they do because they are so diverse. I don’t mind being partial as Tom Hanks will win at everything he does because he is has become an icon in a way that is rare and pretty dang cool.

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The tour of Europe and its stunning treasures but then again Academy Award winning director Ron Howard wouldn’t have it any other way I’m sure. Author Dan Brown has grabbed book lover’s attention since the 2006 release of The Da Vinci Code and it’s follow up of Angels & Demons in 2009. Now, if anyone is curious, The Lost Symbol is next on the list of books that I’m sure will have us all waiting for screen.

In the end – his greatest challenge and humanity’s last hope!

HELL ON WHEELS: The Final Episodes Season Five Volume 2 Says Farewell

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Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray from Entertainment One is an AMC series saying goodbye one more time with HELL ON WHEELS: The Final Episodes Season Five Volume 2.

Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount) is looking for revenge on Union soldiers for killing his wife. It is this reason that he goes west ending up in Truckee, California which is the home of the Central Pacific Railroad.

Cullen takes work tunneling through the Sierra Nevada Mountains dealing with the Swede (Christopher Heyerdahl), Chang (Byron Mann) and Thomas Durant (Colm Meaney).

Year have passed and now there is a meeting in Salt Lake City as President Grant arrives. At that meeting, a new terminal located in Promontory, Utah was suggested. Cullen is playing his own game suggesting perhaps the terminal should be in Ogden, Utah. Also, Brigham Young is in danger as The Swede and Phineas plan to assassinate him.

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Things change when Confederate soldiers capture The Swede and take him to prison and when released, this man is going to take his revenge on everyone at Hatch farm. Cullen will finally see justice for everything The Swede has done.

Back at Hatch farm, Naomi and Isaac Vinson are wanting to move to Zion with Brigham Young. Cullen agrees to help them on their journey and to help them find peace in their new home.

When Cheyenne is made the terminal hub for the railroad, Durant is furious and wants to buy the land back but it will cost him. He needs more workers and turns to Mickey for help which will come at the cost of railroad shares.

Mei can not get over the death of her father and goes back to Truckee where she is surprised to see Cullen. Returning to working on the railroad, Cullen helps with tunneling to get the job done. Durant however, is trying to make money by faking a kidnapping and it all twists horribly and an innocent person dies.

Cullen is afraid for Mei and sends her to Cheyenne still wanting to buy her contract from Chang. He refuses and Cullen realizes that Mei will continue to be in danger, she knows this as well leaving Cullen behind with only a note that he can not read.

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But all of the history comes together as the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific work towards meeting but it is the Central Pacific that hits the end marker first. The golden spike ceremony happens but not before the Congress want answers from Durant about bribery, fraud and corruption.

Cullen is summoned and President Grant wants him to be an army colonel and work for the western territories as an undersecretary. Cullen refuses which means there is no one to help make the charges against Durant stick!

Cullen has somewhere he has to be and boards a ship to his future!

I LOVED watching Mount play Cullen Bohannon. This has to be one of the moodiest characters in western history but I wouldn’t want to watch it any other way. In the five seasons of HELL ON WHEELS, Mount consistently delivered some of the best acting giving fans a reason to tune in each week. I am actually sad the series didn’t go a season or two longer.

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Meaney as Durant gave his fair share of treachery, deceit and bad guy-ness! Heyerdahl as The Swede started the series with a bang and didn’t let us off the hook until the very end. What a fantastic role for this actor and it kept me in suspense a time or two.

McLeavy as Eva was continually stunning and her role was strong and solid. Living the only life she could in this time period, McLeavy gives it such strength of character. Burke as Mickey is pretty much every bit of a casino/whorehouse owner who turns politician.

Entertainment One continues to bring amazing home entertainment to fans with their own library of over 40,000 films and television titles and 45,000 music tracks. I mention those numbers because that is so impressive bringing something for everyone. For more of what they have to offer please visit http://entertainmentone.com/home.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give HELL ON WHEELS Season Five Volume Two five tubs of popcorn out of five. That is the best send off I can give of a series that I came to enjoy from the first episode to the last. Of course I am a fan of the western genre and everything about it.

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I really enjoy the fact that the storytelling is based on a part of history that needed to be explored and it did that plus so much more. The frontier of hardships isn’t held back at all in any part of the HELL ON WHEELS series and I fully intend to watch the show again and again.

The Bonus Features include a Featurette: A Look at the Final Episodes, Featurette: Golden Spike, Wrap Up and 7 Inside the Episodes.

In the end – HELL ON WHEELS has hit the end of the tracks!

BAD MOMS Goes Rogue on Bluray: Speaking with David Walton

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Jeri Jacquin

On Digital HD now and Bluray/DVD November 1st from writer/directors Jon Lucas, Scott Moore and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment comes a comedy that is hilariously relatable when dealing with BAD MOMS.

Amy (Mila Kunis) is a Mom feeling stretched to her absolute limits with kids Jane (Oona Laurence) and Dylan (Emjay Anthony) who don’t take responsibility for anything, a husband Mike (David Watson) who is absolutely clueless and the perfection demands of PTA President Gwendolyn (Christina Applegate).

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When enough is enough, Amy takes a day off to take a drink and meets outspoken Carla (Kathryn Hahn) and meek Mom Kiki (Kristen Bell). That’s when all hades breaks loose and Amy changes up her life. When Gwendolyn and her cohorts Stacy (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Vicky (Annie Mumolo).

Amy’s life changes include making her family responsible, finding a fun interest in Jessie (Jay Hernandez) and taking on Gwendolyn for the PTA Presidency. Oh yea, it’s on!

I have the fantastic opportunity to speak with David Walton who plays clueless husband Mike in the film BAD MOMS. We speak about the cast, being a clueless husband and the fun in playing the role.

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Jeri Jacquin: Hello David, thanks for talking with me this afternoon.

David Walton: You as well

JJ: Other than the obvious, what drew you to play this character?

DW: I’ve always loved playing despicable people and do things I can’t do in real life. I won’t say I’m despicable in the film, more like an idiot husband! I think in a weird way men want to be able to say and defend themselves the way he does in this movie. Also I think they want to behave they way he does in the film. There is a part of them that instinctually want to do that but they know better [laughing]. This guy just doesn’t know any better. I actually thought he was hilarious. When we were shooting my character did a lot more weird stuff that wasn’t in the movie but is on the Bluray. I think men believe my character is hilarious and women are either liking the humor or are appalled. I’ll leave it to the professors to tell me why that is.

JJ: How were you approached to play the role of Mike?

DW: The classic Hollywood tale! I was given the script and told I had a 10:30 a.m. appointing. I read the lines and had my wife, who is also an actor, read with me and she said, ‘oh you are going to get this!’

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JJ: Did she say that because there was something there that was relatable for the two of you?

DW: Yes, she heard me read it and she is always concerned at how well I play these kinds of people [we are both laughing at this point]. When we met I was playing these kinds of characters so she knows its all just in fun.

JJ: I guess that’s the great part of what you do, it’s a chance to let the crazy escape a little hidden in characters.

DW: Seriously, the best part of what I do is getting to do all those things and I think most actors love that part of the job as well. If you want to be a law abiding citizen and not have people hate you then it’s a good idea to just do this stuff acting.

JJ: And be a living husband as well.

DW: Absolutely.

JJ: This is such a huge cast, how is that for you to be surrounded by all these women?

DW: I actually felt honored. You know there are only a few guys in the film so I felt very honored to be one of them. I grew up with four sisters around me so I always feel very comfortable in those situations. It was very nice and they couldn’t have been sweeter. I’m so happy that all these extremely talented women don’t rely on male stardom to do well. I was just so happy that the movie did so well. It’s just wonderful women in Hollywood.

JJ: There are so many women in the film, can you say you learn anything comedically about them that you didn’t know before?

DW: They are all so talented and I guess I didn’t realize how funny they all were. Kathryn, Kirsten and Mila are just so amazing. I had worked with Annie Mumolo before on a show called About A Boy so I knew how out-of-control hilarious she was. At this level, it is one of the great pleasures of being able to work on an upper tier film because the people involved are so talented. This is a difficult business to make it and the people that do have extraordinary gifts and work ethics and you hope it rubs off on you!

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JJ: You have been in some major shows yourself such as Masters of Sex, New Girl and as you said About A Boy and in the film POINT BREAK. Give yourself a little credit too!

DW: I feel very fortunate and I sometimes take stock and wonder how the heck I got where I am. There is that itch of wanting more so sometimes you have to temper yourself and look at the work already there. I would like to do roles that are different and there are genres of television-film that I would also like to do. Hopefully that will all come to fruition.

JJ: You have played so many diverse characters and done both comedy and drama, which is your favorite?

DW: I just did Masters of Sex which is a drama and even dramas have light moments. It was weird because it is a different mindset. I think that I will always come back to comedy because that’s where I’d inherently like to be. I definitely am into the drama world now as well. I’ll be searching for those types of roles.

JJ: Were you raised around a comedic atmosphere?

DW: Just like everyone, my dad is funny with a good sense of humor. I mean I am one of seven kids so there’s that.

JJ: Ouch!

DW: Right? I’ll tell my Mom you said that.

JJ: I’m second of five, I get it!

DW: I just always had a goofball, goofy quality and instinct. That’s where I like to rest but I’m very interested in the deeper layers of the human condition. Obviously humor is a part of that but there are circumstances where humor isn’t appropriate.

JJ: Masters of Sex, although a dramatic show does have it is light hearted moments.

DW: All good drama does and there is humor in anything. Ideally you are doing something with some gravitas and part of the power comes from that.

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JJ: With BAD MOMS, besides the obvious comedy, if you are explaining the film to someone how would you put it?

DW: It is a laugh riot, R-rated for language and subjects in the film but I think the reason it resonated with so many people who went to see the film several times is because there is truth to it. There is this story that is not being told about how hard it is to be a woman in this modern day with raising kids and what is required of this enormous job. I think it’s an unfair world for a modern day mother and I think this movie kind of makes light of it but touches on it in a way that resonates with everyone. That’s what I want people to take away from it. I mean laugh your ass off!

JJ: I couldn’t agree with you more. I do want to know from you, what was your favorite scene to do?

DW: I think in a weird way the therapy scene is where I laughed the most but the scene that stays with me the most is when I come back after she kicks me out and I’m eating the cereal. I don’t know why, may I just like eating cereal on camera. We did so many takes of it. I mean her line is ‘what are you doing here’ and I spend 20 seconds just eating cereal. That’s the kind of weird stuff I like to do. Of course you can’t have 20 seconds of dead silence and it didn’t make it in but I had a blast doing it. I mean here I am an obvious husband coming back and having no concept of the severity of everything he’s done. Of course he’s trying in his idiotic way to get back in the good graces of his wife.

JJ: Your character resonated with my daughter because she says it’s just like her husband!

DW: That’s hilarious. I mean lets be honest, I guarantee you that part of the instinct of most guys is to behave in this lazy way of staying a little bit of an idiot. I tried to get that and just be that inspiration for those guys who are hanging on to their idiocy.

JJ: We should make you a cape – Super Mike!

DW: Yes, Super Mike!

JJ: Thank you for your time, BAD MOMS is one of my favorite films this year.

DW: Oh thanks so much Jeri and stay cool!

I love it when an actor not only enjoys the film he’s made but reminds me to ‘stay cool’. BAD MOMS is an absolutely hilarious comedy filled with every reason to watch it again and again because laughter has been known to make me miss a thing or two.

This is such an amazing cast of characters that bring reality and comedy together! BAD MOMS is being released on Bluray/DVD/Digital HD November 1st filled with Deleted Scenes, a Gag Reel along with Cast & Mom Interviews: A collection of intimate moments between Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Christina Applegate, Jada Pinkett Smith and Annie Mumolo and their moms.

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Universal Studios Home Entertainment has just added an amazing film to their library and making it available for us all to experience and re-experience in our own home theatres. There are films of every genre available from scary to drama to family films. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.uphe.com.

Kunis as Amy is hilarious and she reminded me when I went “rogue mom” a time or two! Hahn as Carla is that friend who talks us into doing things we probably wouldn’t do normally and I love her character for it! Bell as Kiki is meek and observant and both of those things lead her finding a voice. Applegate as Gwendolyn is smart, impeccably dressed and has a mouth worse than the Bad Mom group yet she is still perfection in this role. Smith as Stacy and Mumolo as Jane are both strictly well dressed ‘yes’ Mom’s.

This is the perfect Bluray for a party so gather up Mom’s of all ages with bad food, bad drink and bad funny bones to reminisce and laugh with BAD MOMS on Digital HD now and Bluray/DVD November 1st.

In the end – party like a Mother!

 

 

INTO THE BADLANDS: The Complete First Season

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Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray and Digital HD is a television hit for AMC with the fantastic martial arts series INTO THE BADLANDS: The Complete First Season from Anchor Bay Entertainment.

Sunny (Daniel Wu) is a martial arts hit man, or Head Clipper, for Baron Quinn (Marton Csokas) who is looking for a boy named M.K. (Aramis Knight). This young boy has something special and when he is delivered to The Fort, it is because he is to be trained as a Clipper also called a Colt.

It quickly becomes clear that M.K. has a power and The Widow/Minerva (Emily Beecham) knows it as well and wants the boy for herself. Sunny sees a pendant that the boy is wearing that has the image to Azra and he knows this place. Sunny also has a reason for answers, his woman Veil (Madeleine Mantock) is pregnant and he wants them both away from Quinn.

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M.K. accidentally meets Tilda (Ally Ioannides) who is the daughter of The Widow. The reason she wants the boy is to overthrow the other barons and Quinn wants Sunny and Quinn’s son Ryder (Oliver Stark) to set up an attack on her. That is when the boy helps Sunny and wants to help him get out of the Badlands.

But Quinn is furious with The Widow and wants revenge. At the same time Sunny starts to train M.K. so that their journey through the Badlands is safer. Quinn seeks out Veil when it is discovered that he is ill to treat him. This puts Sunny and Veil both in a dangerous situation.

Moving forward with M.K.’s training, the boy shows Sunny what his powers can do. He also learns that Veil is helping M.K. translate the Azra book. That all seems minute when The Widow takes out one of Quinn’s Clippers the Barons meet up to talk. But it’s Ryder who wants a war and he’s going to find people to back him up.

Sunny knows things are getting dangerous and tries to find a way out going to the River King (Lance E. Nichols) for passage. He is shocked to discover that the price is the head of M.K. That also leads to the danger when Tilda tells M.K. that every time he is cut, a power is released which takes part of his life force.

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There are more people looking for M.K. as well and the things Sunny is doing behind Quinn’s back catches up to him. The Widow sends Tilda out to take Veil needing help with her injuries which gives Veil the chance to warn the girl that The Widow has plans that don’t favor her.

Sunny gets away and knows he has to find M.K. before it’s too late and it might be as M.K. is convinced by Quinn to participate in sparing. Setting the boy off, it all goes horribly wrong. Sunny tries to stop it but it is three monks who take M.K. away leaving Sunny at the hands of the River King!

Wu as Sunny is freakin’ fantastic in this role. He is a smart, strong and compassionate character and it’s all wrapped up in a Daniel Wu. Adding characters like Quinn and The Widow just give Sunny the twists and turns to make INTO THE BADLANDS compelling in so many ways.

Speaking of Quinn, Csokas is amazing as the creepy bad guy. He has no problem ordering Sunny or any of his men to do the unspeakable. Stark as son Ryder might just be a lot like his father!

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Beecham as The Widow is just impeccable – not just her outfits but the way she completely has no shame making her way in a ‘man’s’ world. She is just as manipulative as her male counterpart barons and it’s never over till it’s over – and then it’s still not over. Ioannides as Tilda is a character that sways between what she wants to believe and what is true, I can’t wait to see where her character goes.

Knight as M.K. is a young man who just as so much space to grow character wise. I can’t wait to see where all these secrets will take him. Mantock as Veil is actually a quietly strong character for both Sunny and M.K.

Two of my secretly favorite characters are Lance Henriksen as Penrith and Stephen Lang as Waldo and mainly because I love these guys! Their careers have spanned so many characters that it’s fantastic to see them land on this very cool series.

Other cast include Orla Brady as Lydia, Sarah Bolger as Jade, Nick Frost as Bajie, Yohance Myles as Ringo, Benjamin Papac as Bale, Mike Seal as Petri, Teressa Liane as Angelica, Ellen Hollman as Zephyr, Lance Henriksen as Penrith, and Stephen Lang as Waldo.

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

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give INTO THE BADLANDS: The Complete First Season four tubs of popcorn out of five. I can not wait to see what Season Two brings to this series because I have tons of questions. But then again that seems to be what happens when AMC gets their hands on a series filled with possibilities.

Wu as Sunny just takes this storytelling into fantastic places with the center of his character. Surrounded by a versatile cast that brings in their own characters with an assortment of issues is what makes this series a winner. The action is intense, the martial arts are everything one would expect and the set design is a place I’d love to visit.

The Bonus Features of the Bluray are what will take you even further into the world of the Badlands with Inside the Badlands, Anatomy of a Fight, Building the World of Into the Badlands, The Characters of Into the Badlands: The Barons & The Clippers, The Master: Into the Badlands Fight Camp Episode 1, Creating Real Kung Fu: Into the Badlands Fight Camp Episode 2, Bringing It All Together: Into the Badlands Fight Camp Episode 3 and Into the Badlands Digital Comic. Also, for more of INTO THE BADLANDS go to www.amc.com and the AMC Apps.

In the end – we all want to know what lies in The Badlands!

MY LITTLE PONY EQUESTRIA GIRLS: Legend of Everfree

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Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD from SHOUT! Kids Factory and Hasbro Studios is a group of girls that have become beloved with MY LITTLE PONY EQUESTRIA GIRLS: Legend of Everfree.

The girls are off to Camp Everfree and their first task is to make something that will be a gift to future campers. Timber begins to assign assignments for the girls and they are thrilled with their new friendships. Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Rarity, Fluttershy, Sunset Shimmer are all embracing summer.

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Meeting their camp director Gloriosa Daisy, the girls also discover the very cute Timber Spruce who happens to be her brother. Getting settled it doesn’t take long before strange things begin to happen. There is a magical force that has an effect on the girls giving them different powers.

These aren’t good powers as the girls become worried about how they are unable to control it but more importantly how do they stop it from causing destruction to Camp Everfree?

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Twilight Sparkle becomes the focus of the darkness and with the help of Mane 6 and Sunset Shimmer, they all discover that there is one person in the camp who isn’t who she seems to be.

Turning bad into good is what friendship is all about!

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

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

The DVD and Digital Download includes an very cool Camp Everfree patch! MY LITTLE PONY EQUESTRIA GIRLS: Camp Everfree also comes in a Bluray/DVD/Digital Download combo pack from SHOUT! Kids Factory and Hasbro Studios.

There is absolutely everything to love about MY LITTLE PONY as a series and now that my granddaughter is watching animated shows she loves watching Equestria Girls with our whole family.

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That is fantastic for us because this series has always been based on the values that are important for families. There is love, friendship, loyalty, fun, laughs, lessons and it’s all wrapped up in colorful animation. Who knew that when my daughter was a young girl watching MY LITTLE PONY that she would one day be watching the series with her own little girl.

Then again that’s what SHOUT! Kids Factory and Hasbro Studios is all about. Bringing amazing family programming with iconic characters in new stories that are fun, colorful and very animated is an awesome reason to add MY LITTLE PONY EQUESTRIA GIRLS: Camp Everfree to your family home library.

In the end – get ready to camp out!

GERMAN CURRENTS SAN DIEGO Showcases its Festival Offerings This Weekend

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German Currents San Diego, celebrating its 6th Annual Festival of German Film, has unveiled a lineup of award-winning German feature films for this year’s festival. Presented by the German American San Diego Foundation, the festival will showcase five screenings in Balboa Park on October 22-23.

On Saturday, Oct 22, the festival will kick off with the screening of “Me And Kaminski” at the San Diego Natural History Museum’s state-of-the-art Kaplan movie theater, followed by a Q&A with director Wolfgang Becker and a gala reception with German food and drinks.

The brilliant tragic comedy “Me and Kaminski” also sees Becker reunited with Daniel Bruehl, his star from “Good Bye Lenin!” On Sunday, October 23, the festival will continue with two family matinee screenings at the Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA).

Also playing on Sunday, October 23 is the film HEIDI, OFFLINE – Are you ready for the next level?, 24 WOCHEN (24 Weeks) and ICH BIN DANN MAL WEG (I’m Off Then: Losing and Finding Myself on the Camino de Santiago).

All films are presented in German with English subtitles.

For more information on obtaining tickets please visit http://gcsd2016.brownpapertickets.com and for more details and preview trailers please visit www.germancurrentssd.org.

THE WHOLE TRUTH

the-whole-truth

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this week from director Courtney Hunt and Lionsgate is a courtroom drama that seeks THE WHOLE TRUTH.

Mike (Gabriel Basso) is a young man who finds himself in prison. Charged with murdering his father Boone (Jim Belushi), wife Loretta (Renee Zellweger) hires attorney Ramsey (Keanu Reeves).

Immediately Ramsey realizes that this is not going to be an easy case, especially when Mike refuses to speak even in his own defense. Ramsey brings Janelle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) in to help with fact finding what could have led Mike to do such a thing.

As the trial begins, Loretta is confronted with the problems that happened in the home and the dominance of Boone over his family. With each question she answers, a story unfolds of the father-son relationship and the difficulties.

When Mike finally decides to talk, the story he tells is shocking and takes the case into a direction Ramsey did not expect.

That’s what happens when the whole truth comes out!

Reeves as Ramsey is a lawyer looking for anything to help his client. It certainly doesn’t help when the young man says nothing to any questions he’s asked. Irritated that the boy isn’t helping with the case, he lets the courtroom drama speak. Reeves has the amazing ability to mix the dark and intensity of a situation and play it like a fiddle. The character of Ramsey is no exception.

Mbatha-Raw as Janelle looks for anything that will tell the story of Mike’s situation with his father. Drawn in quickly she not only takes finding the facts seriously but becomes equally stunned with every new discovery. If Mbatha-Raw looks familiar it is because she is responsible for the wonderful character of Dido in the 2013 film BELLE and more recently as Rachel in this years FREE STATE OF JONES.

Zellweger as Loretta is a bit standoffish towards the case but sits in the courtroom every day with her son. There is a bit of disconnect in her character and I’m not totally sure if that was intentional or not. It certainly is curious to be sure.

Belushi as Boone has a smaller role in the film but it certainly is one that raised my eyebrow a few times. This is a darker character than I’m use to seeing this jovial actor play and that’s what being unexpected is all about!

Basso as Mike spends most of his time in the film being absolutely silent. He doesn’t react to anything and no responding to questions. Instead he sits at the defendants table doodling letting the time pass. Just when you think that’s how his character is going to play out – he speaks! What he says changes the entire dynamic of the film until the very end. Well done.

Other cast includes: Jim Klock as Leblanc, Ritchie Montgomery as Judge Robichaux, Christopher Berry as Legrand, Nicole Barre as Angela Morley, Jason Kirkpatrick as Detective Graves, Sean Bridges as Arthur Westin and Jackie Tuttle as Trixie Westin.

THE WHOLE TRUTH is a nice courtroom drama that brings out twists and turns in the story. This is a film where nothing is as it seems and yet it is exactly what it seems. The revelations about certain characters bring more questions instead of the answers Ramsey is looking for.

I enjoy films that keep most of the storytelling in the courtroom although there are scenes outside of it of course but mainly in flashbacks. Having all the key players in the same room is keeping to a captive audience who don’t mind being captive because this is a puzzle that needs piecing together.

Reeves and Basso carry the film with one saying to much and one saying to little yet neither getting to the whole truth!

In the end – do you solemnly swear to tell the truth?

BAD MOMS Goes Rogue on Bluray!

bad-moms-blurayWhen three Moms are overworked and under-appreciated they decide that a little “me time” is in order. Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn and Kristen Bell take matters into their own hands in directors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore’s take on comedy with BAD MOMS.

Coming to Bluray Combo Pack it is now YOUR turn to gather up the girls and go rogue with “me time” and your chance to win a copy of BAD MOMS. Just email hellomoviemaven@aol.com with BAD MOMS in the subject line and please include your mailing address. A winner will be chosen at random! 

BAD MOMS is also available now on Digital HD and coming to Bluray, DVD and On Demand November 1st from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

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