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June 2017

TRANSFORMERS: The Last Knight

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Jeri Jacquin

Landing in theatres once again tomorrow from needing-to-be-stopped director Michael Bay and Paramount Pictures is the next loud landing of TRANSFORMERS: The Last Knight.

Well, Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) is still floating about somewhere in space while Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) is rescuing Transformers where he finds them. While roaming about he comes across an ancient Transformer who entrusts him with a medallion. It comes alive and won’t let go of Yeager.

It is a relic from the time of King Arthur (Liam Garrigan) and Merlin (Stanley Tucci). The Autobots were part of the round table helping the humans as they were needed. The medallion needs to seek out a knight that will help find the staff of immense power keeping it out of the hands of evil.

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While trying to save the Transformer he meets Izabella (Isabela Moner), a young girl without a family who has a knack for fixing Autobots. They all end up back at Yeager’s home station where Jimmy (Jerrod Carmichael), Bumblebee (Erik Aadahl), Drift (Ken Watanabe), Hound (John Goodman) and Daytrader (Steve Buscemi) hide from the government agency TRF.

When they are discovered, Sir Edmund Burton (Anthony Hopkins) sends his ‘butler’ Cogman (Jim Carter) to take Yeager to England. Along with Vivian Wembley (Laura Haddock), Burton explains the history of the medallion Yeager has and how Vivian is the only one that can handle the staff of power.

Which is more important now that a nasty wench named Quintessa (Gemma Chan) wants to return Cybertron to its former glory – but not in a good way. When Optimus Prime arrives to discover things are chaotic, he becomes part of Quintessa and Megatron’s (Frank Welker) plan to retrieve the staff and take over Earth. Yeager, Burton, Wembley, Cogman and Col. Lennox (Josh Duhmel) push themselves to save the planet once again.

Because the Decepticons aren’t going to get it without a fight!

Wahlberg as Yeager is once again running around without a story. His relationship with Bumblebee is an awesome one and there are humorous moments with the other Autobots. The thing is I don’t really care about this character because it’s the same metal clanging… different day but not really. There are quipps back and forth with Hopkins, Cogman and Vivian that are chuckle worthy but not enough to sustain the story.

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Hopkins as Burton is a curious character and I do love me some Anthony Hopkins but really? Your giving one of our greatest actors a story to tell that involves King Arthur and the Autobots? I think I laughed more at that garbage because it was only a few weeks ago that I sat in the same theatre watching Guy Richie’s version of KING ARTHUR.

Duhamel as Lennox is a character that is all muddled from beginning to end. I wasn’t sure what side he was on but then again does it really matter? He shows up guns blazing hoping it all works out for the best. Moner as Izabella is, and I’m going to get crap for saying this but a totally unnecessary character. Really? Your going to throw this kid into a war zone and she gets out without a scratch? Suspension of disbelief…poof…gone.

Haddock as Wembley is clearly a Megan Fox look alike and that’s sad because it isn’t that her role is bad, just whatever. Cool to be related to a historic figure but I didn’t buy it for a second which means, yep, don’t care about her character in the slightest.

Carter as Cogman is hilarious and his recognizable “yes my lord” brings back the heady days of Downton Abbey Sundays and good television over crappy film. His language was a little testy but I don’t think its going to stop parents from bringing their kids.

The recognizable voices of Goodman, Buscemi and Watanabe are funny, especially since they argue and wrestle around like metal-brothers-from-another-Autobot. Bumblebee still wins hands down and the storyline brings in some weird ‘he once was a soldier for England’ story which just falls flat. Not your fault B!

Other cast includes Santiago Cabrera as Santos, Martin McCreadie as Lancelot, Rob Witcomb as Percival, Marcus Fraser as Gawain, John Hollingworth as Tristan with Stanley Tucci as a drunken Merlin and John Turturro as Agent Simmons.

TRANSFORMERS: The Last Knight is a two and a half hour metal clanging story that gives Bay a reason to waste $217 million dollars. That’s right folks, enough to save a small town or education thousands of kids is vying for your dollars. Of course if it doesn’t do well here there is always the overseas market waiting to gobble this up.

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Look, I’m tired…tired of a story that lasts into five films that tells the same story beginning and ending with Optimus Prime boring monologue about how the Autobots are there to save the human race. Didn’t Wonder Woman just do that? Or Batman, Superman, the Justice League, Thor, or any of those others?

It was easy to entertain myself with thoughts like ‘doesn’t that robot look like Darth Vader’s fighter?’ and ‘Wow! They used pieces off the alien ship from THE ABYSS for decoration’ and ‘They stole an Imperial Walker – I wonder if Grand Tarkin knows?’ and ‘Is Robocop going to show up?’ and ‘Stonehenge? Oh the Queen isn’t going to like this’.

I swear if I listen to Optimus go into his schpeel I’m going to strain my eyes from the constant rolling and the hand gestures of ‘blah! blah! BLAH!’  Honestly I lost interest once Shia decides to exit stage right although the film does touch on the Witwicky family tree. He brought comedy of a different kind that broke the monotony of the metal banging.

Seriously, I miss the cool rantings of Mom and Dad…and I miss Mojo the dog!  Oh well, I can always not wait for Transformers 6, trust me, someone will give Bay the money to do it.

In the end – they have been here forever…and ever…and ever…(yawn)…and ever!

THIS BEAUTIFUL FANTASTIC Grows on DVD

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Jeri Jacquin

This week on DVD and Digital HD from writer/director Simon Aboud is a lovely tale of growth in many ways in THIS BEAUTIFUL FANTASTIC.

Bella Brown (Jessica Brown Findlay) isn’t your ordinary young woman. Obsessively neat, precise in every way and a bit of a shut in, she works at the local book store. Staying to herself, an unexpected storm brings an accident that puts her face to face with cranky neighbor Alfie (Tom Wilkinson).

Not wanting to do any more than is necessary to help; Bella also meets Vernon (Andrew Scott), Alfie’s cook who is berated constantly by the elderly gentleman. When Vernon decides to cook for Bella, Alfie goes ballistic and fires him. Not that Vernon minds especially when Bella hires him.

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Bella tells the young cook that she can’t pay him; Vernon is fine with that considering Alfie still has to pay him for a few months. Well, Alfie isn’t about to let it all go without a fight and Bella is introduced to it when her landlord shows up for an inspection and dismayed at the condition of the back yard.

Giving her thirty days to restore it, Vernon can’t help due to hay fever and Bella hates the outdoors! Yet the prospect of being homeless brings her gloves and shovel out of retirement. Frustrated and to the point of giving up, Alfie makes a deal that will keep him fed by Vernon’s deliciousness and put Bella on good terms with her landlord.

Then she meets Billy (Jeremy Irvine), a young man who captures her imagination with his creations. Believing she had found something special, is devastated when both her heart and her garden are ravaged by an emotional and literal storm.

Soon she learns that her world is about to become more beautiful than she could have ever imagined.

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Findlay as Bella is so lovely as a young woman who clearly has kept herself to herself. She has the potential to be so much more but doesn’t realize it until three of the most different men come into her life to show support, friendship, loyalty and love. In that she blossoms beautifully.

Wilkinson as Alfie is as amazing as he always is. A gentleman who lives by himself and sees little in life but his garden, he isn’t all that different than Bella. When the two get past their differences, they see their differences aren’t different at all.

Scott as Vernon is funny with his hay fever and pretty amazing chef. Although constantly irritated by Alfie, there is a bond between the two that Vernon nourishes and even appreciates even if he doesn’t show it.

Irvine as Billy is a young man who sees something in Bella and it is the thing she doesn’t see in herself. Seeking her out at every moment, he wants to know more about her and loves the story her mind has created.

Other cast include Anna Chancellor as Bramble, Sheila Hancock as Mother Superior, and Eileen Davies as Milly.

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment brings award-winning global product and new entertainment to DVD, Bluray, and Digital HD. There amazing collection offers fans an opportunity to expand their own home libraries with the best films. To discover what other titles they have please visit www.fox.com.

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THIS BEAUTIFUL FANTASTIC gets four sunflowers out of five for beautiful storytelling if nothing else. Just an ethereal look at a young woman who may be different in the eyes of many with her OCD compulsions and outlook on life but truly is as easy to love.

The characters are complex yet drawn to each other in the most amusing way filled with insecurities and a great capacity of love and understanding. Something those rough edges can be smoothed with a little bit of time and a good gardening tool.

Every one in the cast brings so much to the story and I am in awe of them all. I absolutely love this film and everything about it with an ending that is heartfelt and giving.

In the end – grow your own happiness!

THE TONIGHT SHOW: Johnny and Friends Opens the Curtain on DVD

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Jeri Jacquin

Now available on DVD from Time Life is another amazing three-disc collection from a television late-night icon with THE TONIGHT SHOW: Johnny and Friends.

There is something amazing about remembering the phrase, ‘heeeeeere’s Johnny’ every evening coming from America’s television sets. Settling down for the night Johnny Carson became a staple of entertainment that made us all laugh before falling asleep.

That’s just a fraction of what most people know about this late night star. For instance, Carson was a Nebraskan boy who loved magic tricks and created The Great Carson quickly earning a few dollars for it. He also was a military man joining the US Navy and serving as a communications officer.

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After his service, Carson returned to Nebraska going off to college receiving his BA in Radio and Speech and, here is a surprise, minored in physics! He began his broadcasting career in 1950 and continued to move up with television spots on To Tell the Truth, Who Do You Trust? and met Ed McMahon.

By 1962 after Jack Paar’s departure, NBC finally signed Carson and once the show took off, McMahon joined his partner in crime. From then on characters and sketches included Art Fern, Carnac the Magnificent, Floyd R. Turbo, Aunt Blabby, El Mouldo and The Maharishi just to name a few.

Both New York and Hollywood sent Carson as many stars as there were in the sky to the show. From Bob Hope, Dean Martin, Richard Pryor, Paul McCartney, Muhammad Ali, Bing Crosby, Jack Benny, Burt Reynolds, Don Rickles, Charlton Heston, Jerry Lewis, Sean Connery and so many, many more filled each evening’s time slot. With this collection you can add Steve Marin, Robin Williams and Eddie Murphy. The comedy was never ending!

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Carson spent thirty years hosting The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and received Emmy Awards and in 1987 was inducted to the Television Academy Hall of Fame. In 1992 Carson would receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom only to be followed up by the Kennedy Center Honor.

Time Life has brought this never before released anywhere classic collection of the series to fans. For more of what Time Life has to offer fans of classic television visit www.timelife.com.

This 3-disc set of Johnny Carson and friends Steve Martin, Robin Williams and Eddie Murphy celebrates amazing comedy with side splitting laughs for three of my own personal favorite funny men.

On Disc 1 is one “wild and crazy guy” with Steve Martin who, as a young comic, almost didn’t get another chance at The Tonight Show. Once he polished his act, Martin came back several times to bring audiences serious laughter that continued on to his film career.

Disc 2 brings one of the most beloved comics who made his mark in comedy, television and film. Robin Williams was unpredictable and off-the-cuff fun brought fans quickly to see what he would do next. Sitting across from Carson was always an experience to witness with results that had me laughing to tears.

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Finally, Disc 3 brings Eddie Murphy to the forefront on Carson’s couch and to our late night. His break out in Saturday Night Live meant that being on the show gave us all the opportunity to hear what laughs were to come and what project he was working on next.

These are three stellar comics sitting on the sofa of an icon and now, with the wonderful help of Time Life, we get the chance to revisit their early years and remember how they made us laugh. Sharing each disc with family and friends is a great way to step into a time machine while still introducing the younger generation to some of the most side-splitting comics ever.

In this 499 minute 3-disc set from time life is nine full shows that include the commercials of the time. Seriously, the commercials added to the laughs but at the same time aged me a bit. All in great fun!

In the end – prepare for greatness!

BOB HOPE Salutes the Troops Brings the Best to Our Best

Bob Hope Salutes

 

Jeri Jacquin

It is an opportunity to see the best in one of our greatest entertainers of all time as Time Life brings to DVD BOB HOPE Salutes the Troops.

Bob Hope has been a mainstay of troop entertainment for generations bringing laughs, singing, dancing and a thankful heart to those who have served. Over fifty Christmases of his life were spent entertaining our military from battleships and battlefields all over the world.

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From Vietnam, Korea, Japan, Thailand and the South China Sea on board the Midway, USS Hancock and the USS New Jersey, there isn’t any place that Bob Hope wouldn’t go for a show. That includes Guan, Okinawa, the Philippines and Formosa on the USS Kitty Hawk to Thailand, Los, Spain and Cuba and Saudi Arabia.

All of the performances in appreciation to the troops as Hope did his part to bring moments of joy and laughter in a tense time.

This commemorative 3-disc set is available exclusively at WalMart bringing some of Bob Hope’s historic television specials across five decades. The set is packed with patriotic memories, laughs and the stars who shared the stage on military bases from Vietnam to Saudi Arabia.

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Time Life has brought this never before released anywhere classic collection of the series to fans. For more of what Time Life has to offer fans of classic television visit www.timelife.com.

The DVD includes Bob Hope’s Christmas Cheer in Saudi Arabia that originally aired in January of 1991 during Operation Desert Shield, The Bob Hope Christmas Special: Around the World with the USO that originally aired in January of 1969, and Bob Hope: Memories of WWII as he looks back to the war with his wife Dolores.

The Bob Hope Christmas Special airing January 1965, The Bob Hope Christmas Show in January 1963, The Bob Hope Christmas Special: Around the Globe with the USA airing in January 1972 and The Bob Hope Christmas Special airing in January 1973.

Each of these shows bring guests such as Maria Osmond, Dick Elbers, Ann Margaret, Jill St. John, Lana Turner, Vida Blue, Lola Falana and LA quarterback Roman Gabriel and astronaut Alan Shepard just to name a few!

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The most amazing part of this collection is that the entertainment is not only for the troops now, audiences everyone can once again revisit the fun. That’s what makes Time Life so amazing! They have brought back memories for many of us but also a chance to share with our families some of the best comedy by an iconic star that isn’t really seen anymore today.

His dedication was astounding and the troops loved him, Bob Hope will always been thought of with fondness and light – I’m sure he wouldn’t have it any other way. BOB HOPE Salutes the Troops is over 395 minutes of Hope for the Holidays bringing happiness that can now continue to do so for years to come.

In the end – thanks for the memories Mr. Hope!

MINE Will Test the Mind and Body on Bluray and DVD!

 

 

Jeri Jacquin

On Bluray and DVD from directors Fabio Guaglione and Fabio Resinaro is a film about the dangers of warfare with MINE.

There are thirty-three million mines scattered in the desert during the war. Sgt. Mike Stevens (Armie Hammer) is a marine sniper who is tasked with finding the leader of a terrorist cell and stopping more destruction.

A hesitation puts Sgt. Stevens smack dab in hostile territory all by himself with his foot on an active mine. Knowing a convoy won’t arrive in the area for two days, he must find a way to survive thirst, the heat of the day and the cold of night.

That isn’t all, with the saying “we are our own worst enemy”, Sgt. Stevens must fight the biggest adversary of all – himself!

Here is an exclusive deleted scene of the film starring Armie Hammer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARYGl0ZzSCk&feature=youtu.be

This story is all about standing your ground!

 

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CARS 3 Revs Up Their Engines for the Weekend!

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Jeri Jacquin

Racing into theatres this weekend from writer/director Brian Fee, Pixar Animated Studios and Disney is everyone’s favorite racers with CARS 3.

Lightening McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) has been a winner on the track race after race. That is until one day a big race that he felt was a win suddenly changes when a new generation car speeds past to take the win. Shocked, McQueen meets Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer), a new race car that is all teched out and he isn’t sure how to deal with it.

When an event on the track happens, McQueen goes back to his little town to basically hide. That is until his friends Sally (Bonnie Hunt), Luigi (Tony Shalhoub) and Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) convince him that he needs to reach out Rust-eze, the sponsor who is now owned by Sterling (Nathan Fillion).

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Sterling gives McQueen trainer Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo) who makes her duty to get him up to speed, literally, before the next big race in Florida. Wanting to go back to training the old-school way, McQueen and Cruz begin to understand one another.

But there is still one more thing McQueen needs to do and that’s return to where his mentor Doc (Paul Newman) lived and discover what motivated him! He meets Smokey (Chris Cooper) who introduced him to old-school racers who push McQueen.

When they arrive in Florida, McQueen begins to realize that the racing world is changing and it might be time for him to change too!

Wilson as McQueen once again brings humor and fun to his vocal role. This is a character that just continues to grow, even if he doesn’t understand why he has to. Wanting to be the best for as long as he can isn’t a new concept in life and McQueen eventually shows us all that being the best only changes when we realize change can be oh so good!

Alonzo as Cruz is a young lady car that absolutely needs to know her worth. As McQueen begins to understand her drive, he realizes that he can either help his new friend or be part of the problem. I love Cruz’s get up and go but also her dreams.

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Cooper as Smokey brings in the old school gang to straighten out McQueen letting him know that Doc has always been with him. Those scenes are extremely touching. Hammer as Storm is a car that plays to the cameras but his wit even though it is stingingly aimed at McQueen. The addition of Fillion as Sterling is an owner that seems committed to McQueen but, of course he’s only in it for what he can get out of it and not the love of racing.

Larry the Cable Guy as Mater is till the sweetest and sometimes smartest car of them all. He wants what is best for his friends, believes in them and will drop everything to help them. He helps McQueen in ways that even Mater doesn’t realize. Larry will always be Mater!

Other cast includes Ray Magliozzi as Dusty, Kerry Washington as Natalie Certain, Bob Costas as Bob Cutlass, Margo Martindale as Louise Nash, Darrell Waltrip as Darrell Cartrip and Isiah Whitlock Jr. as River Scott.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give CARS 3 four tubs of popcorn out of five. It is fantastic that Pixar and Disney have returned to the original formula that made the original CARS so much fun. Having come full circle with the inclusion of Paul Newman’s character just brought a tear.

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The story gives each character an added depth of loyalty, belief in one another, can-do attitude and even when feeling defeated the uplifting of friends. It is thrilling that the original cast came together bringing all the comedy and laughs I felt missing in the second film.

Everyone in the audience truly had a great time and with school ending it is a great beginning to the summer family movie going experience. Lightening McQueen and the gang have brought their story full circle and it is nothing short of well done and fun.

Grab the family and head to the theatre this weekend for an amazing story from beloved friends who just happen to be CARS.

In the end – It’s not over until lightning strikes!

THE HERO is an Absolute Winner

The Hero poster

 

Jeri Jacquin

In theatres from writer/director Brett Haley and The Orchard is a performance that brings us THE HERO.

Lee Hayden (Sam Elliott) is an out of work actor who is about to discover his mortality. Given medical news that requires almost immediate action, Lee isn’t sure what he wants to do.

Sitting with fellow out of work actor Jeremy (Nick Offerman), Lee has an opportunity to share the news with someone. Instead he tells Jeremy that he is getting ready to make another movie. He also meets Charlotte (Laura Prepon), a younger free spirited woman who happens to be a stand up comic. They take a liking to one another but Lee is distracted dealing with life.

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Visiting his ex-wife Valarie (Katharine Ross), he tries to tell her as well but ends up asking about their daughter Lucy (Krysten Ritter) who seems to be avoiding him. Lee tries to invite Lucy to be his date to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award but receives a cold response. So he takes Charlotte who introduces Lee to a night of induced fun.

Charlotte invites Lee to see her stand up comedy stylings. He is devastated by what he hears and a tail spin ensues as Lee being to feel every moment of his life on his shoulders. You can run or swim in any kind of bottle through life and Lee learns that the hard way.

To his surprise there is a great potential for forgiveness, friendship, love and a chance to make his life a good one.

It is never too late to see the love!

Elliott as Lee is everything audiences have come to love about this actor and more. His magnificent slow cowboy drawl and full on mustache has always been recognizable. From his debut in the 1969 BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID to THE SACKETTS in 1979 his cowboy persona wins. His side-eye and mischievous grin has become iconic and even more so in the 1989 film ROAD HOUSE.

Elliott was quoted as saying, “I think I might have been a more interesting actor, had more of a career earlier on, if I had more formal preparation”. Not taking away how you feel there Sam but audiences continue to be thrilled by past performances and are going to be stunned with THE HERO.

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Prepon as Charlotte is an interesting woman who sees past Lee’s age. To her there is a mystery too be unraveled about Lee but at the same time embraces her free spirit. That being said, he ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ attitude is also a bit of a façade.

Offerman as Jeremy is the relaxingly baked comic relief yet a gentle spirit for Lee. Enjoying Lee’s company since he was a young actor seems to be enough for him. Their scenes together are both funny and touching.

Ritter as Lucy has a years worth of bones to pick with her father and she gets her chance. The problem is, as in life, wanting to call someone out on their flaws doesn’t always feel as good as you think it will and Lucy learns that. Ross as Valarie is still stunning and I personally was thrilled to see her back on the screen across her husband.

Other cast include Doug Cox as the Doctor, Max Gail as Gary Babcock, Jackie Joyner as Betsy, Patrika Darbo as Diane and Frank Collison as the Man in Dreams.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give THE HERO five tubs of popcorn out of five. Elliott gives a powerful, intense, funny, charming and heartfelt performance without special effects, cgi or sappy music pulling the audience into the story. Instead, we go willingly into Lee’s life because the journey is one we all have faced.

Owning up to past mistakes, Elliott gives the character every bit of the complexities we understand and care about. We also get treated to knowing that no matter what age, we all can still do crazy stuff and be surprised by life.

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The one moving piece of THE HERO is that redemption maybe painful but it is a fleeting pain in comparison to the compassion and love that can follow. THE HERO is beautifully filmed, stunningly cast and had the screening audience thrilled to have experienced every moment.

THE HERO was nominated for a Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and nominated Best American Independent Feature Film by the Cleveland International Film Festival for Brett Haley. The film won Honors for Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking for actor Sam Elliott at the Newport Beach Film Festival.

Take a moment to experience a film that will bring out every human emotion we share in this journey through life.

In the end – this is where the past and his mortality collide!

GENIUS: The Last Chapter from National Geographic

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Jeri Jacquin

In a special two-hour presentation from National Geographic on June 20th at 9/8c is the finale of an amazing story developed by Noah Pink and Kenneth Biller with GENIUS: The Last Chapter.

Albert Einstein (Geoffrey Rush) and wife Elsa (Emily Watson) are settling in America but they constantly are thinking of those they left behind in Europe. Unsettling for Einstein is that scientists in Nazi Germany continue to study the splitting of the atom. He himself continues to work through quantum physics.

That all must be put aside when Elsa becomes ill and Einstein’s life becomes even more complicated. Being rushed by all sides to help with the formula needed for the atomic bomb, Einstein continues to avoid them all. He also becomes emotionally close to Marija Ruzic-Maric (Catherine McCormack) and doesn’t realize that there are two sides to her.

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Edgar Hoover (T.R. Knight) is one man who wants to see Einstein sent back to Germany. Feeling the scientist humiliated him, it becomes Hoover’s goal to ruin the man. In 1947, scientists come together to try and contain the use of atomic bombs. Einstein doesn’t believe their use can be contained but sees it all as a threat to humanity.

With his lifetime of work, Einstein is brought face to face with an outburst from his son Hans that every member of the family knows he sees them as a burden. To make matters worse, Einstein is outraged when one of their scientists is forced before a committee for communism.

Eleanor Roosevelt brings Einstein before a television audience so that he may give his view on what bombs can do and Hoover becomes outraged. Personal secretary Helene (Emily Laing) is worried about Einstein as his heath begins to wane but his voice to reach out against man’s destruction is what he has left.

When a letter to a judge falls into the hands of Congress, the papers begin to denounce Einstein much to Hoover’s delight. All of the bad press sends the scientist into a sort of quiet seclusions. That is until a young girl named Alice knocks on his door to remind him of how exciting mathematics is and it’s like an awakening for him taking on the unified theory.

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Learning of his illness, Helen encourages Einstein to reach out to his son and say the things that needs to be said between the two. It isn’t easy for him but it is a moment shared by father and son never to be forgotten. Albert Einstein would pass away in 1955.

To Einstein, every question must have an answer – and he wanted to find them!

Rush as Einstein is absolutely amazing. He might be one of the smartest men on the planet but he is equally flawed and Rush doesn’t hide that in his performance. From his frustration with his work, to the love of his wife, the constant pressure from the government and believing there was no hope for reuniting with his son – this is a performance that can only be called stunning.

Watson as Elsa is a woman who understands the complexities of her husband. That doesn’t mean she agrees with his behaviors but she forgives him in her own way for it all. McCormack as Marija offers Einstein a chance to love again but his heart gets in the way of the realities.

Laing as Helene is the one constant and steady thing in Einstein’s life and Elsa knew that before she died. She is the backbone of his life and I personally can’t imagine Einstein being able to keep his life going without her. Well done Laing in playing a role that isn’t front and center but is one of the most important in the series.

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National Geographic has brought a series that is a must-see for everyone. It is a story about the history of one man yes, but it is also the story of those around him. Knowing that it isn’t easy to being partly responsible for creating the road to destruction but Einstein tries to undue what he can.

GENIUS. The Last Chapter is from Academy Award-Winners Brian Grazer and Ron Howard which is thrilling in itself but adding Academy Award winner Geoffrey Rush is nothing short of brilliant. Based on the book Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson, there is so much that I never knew about this man. This finale doesn’t leave any stone unturned in telling the life of this complex man.

In the end – he wanted to answer the secrets of the universe!

47 METERS DOWN Brings Teeth with Little Bite

47 meters

 

Jeri Jacquin

In theatres this Friday from writer/director Johannes Roberts and Dimension Films comes blood in the water when you are 47 METERS DOWN.

Lisa (Mandy Moore) is dealing with a broken heart while on a trip to Mexico bring along sister Kate (Claire Holt). Deciding that Lisa needs more excitement in her life, Kate shows her sister the fun side of a night out. Meeting Louis (Yani Gellman) and Benjamin (Santiago Segura), the two men talk the girls into shark diving.

Knowing Captain Taylor (Matthew Modine) and for one hundred bucks the girls have the opportunity to go in a case surrounded by sharks. Lisa isn’t sure about doing any of this but is swayed by Kate to do something exciting in her life.

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Taking an outboard to a larger ship, the girls watch as Javier (Chris Johnson) chums the water and Louis and Benjamin get into the cage lowered into the water. Lisa and Kate watch in excited nervousness as 20 foot sharks swim around the boat.

When it’s the girls turn, Lisa still isn’t convinced and once again has to be convinced by Kate. Once in the water however, Lisa loosens up to see the beauty becoming excited by it all. It is all fun and games until a cable comes loose and the girls are sent screaming 47 meters down.

Immediately they realize that they will soon be out of air, Kate knows that the weak signal in their headsets means she has to get out of the cage. Reaching Taylor at the boat, he tells them help is on the way and to stay in the cage.

The sharks have other ideas as the girls deal with air, depth of water, potential bends, and fear of what is swimming in the deep.

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Moore as Lisa is a young woman who is dealing with the breakup of a man she thought was her life. Swayed into letting her hear down a bit, she goes one step to far into the waters. Holt as Kate is the fun loving sister and Lisa makes a point of saying so. Both of their performances brought the audience into a blood frenzy of their own (which I will explain later).

Modine as Taylor has a small role as the rusty boat captain and it was because of him that I chose to see the film. Call it supporting a fellow one-time IB’er as my motivation to see his performance. Hey, no matter how big or small, bad or good, there is something to be said for small town supporters! Gellman, Segura and Johnson are the supporting shark-bait potentials.

I’m not going to put a rating on 47 METERS DOWN because there is a duality here that I need to write about. First of all, this is the best-worst-best shark film I’ve seen in a long time. The dialogue is horrible and the story line totally unbelievable. From the moment the cage goes down it’s an epic underwater sh*tshow. Everything is wrong with it and sitting in the theatre I have to say biting my tongue became impossible. Come to find out I wasn’t the only one having that problem.

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Here is where it gets good-bad; the audience began to participate in the film verbally! There were hollers from the upper seats, popcorn being thrown at the screen coming from every direction, really loud head smacking, serious belly laughs, loud groans of frustration and the phrase, “oh hell no!” every 2 minutes.

There is one scene where Kate picks up an underwater flashlight and turns it on to which my friend Vince sitting next to me says out loud, ‘Turn the light off! Jeeeez!’ and sent the crowd cheering. During another scene I became so frustrated with the character Lisa I said, not as loudly, ‘you deserve to get eaten!’ and the lady behind me spit her soda laughing.

So, what happened is that 47 METERS DOWN turned into an audience participation film that was absolutely fantastic! We all became film-friends with total strangers and said out loud what each was thinking which brought even more cheers and fun to the event. I couldn’t believe what was happening around me since the last time I experienced something similar was in 1975 with THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW.

Look, 47 METERS DOWN, like all shark films have a difficult goal because of the 1975 film JAWS. That film is epic and although challengers to the throne come and go, it has yet to be de-toothed as the king of shark films. This film doesn’t have a hope in hades of being anything more than an under water court jester.

Now, for the cool news – there is about 10 minutes of the film that are frakken awesome. So much so that people were jumping in their seats, screaming out, hollering and yelling in such a way that you couldn’t even hear the film sound. Nicely done underwater work with sharks that I never want to see again – okay I’m going to see it again. Once again audience participation took over. Nope, that’s all you get from me on that!

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Walking out of the theatre it was agreed by mostly everyone leaving that the film was an audience event that made the poor story weirdly forgivable. People were laughing and yet talking about the film in a way that is normally reserved for, dare I say, a good film. That is the duality of this film that will continue to be talked about as I see 47 METERS DOWN becoming a cult classic and fodder for the Mystery Science Theater 3000 guys (and please invite me to be part of that when you do guys!)

Mandy – congratulations on This is Us and I can’t wait for season two! Claire – I’ve always loved you in The Originals and glad to see you back! Matt – what can I say dude, IB’ers in this town are kinda diggin’ you no matter what so kudos!

In the end – no help above and no

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