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July 2017

Prepare for an ATOMIC BLONDE

atomic poster

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this Friday with a kick and a bang from director David Leitch and Focus Features is the ATOMIC BLONDE.

It is Berlin and the Cold War as Lorraine (Charlize Theron), a British agent with MI6 and a mean set of skills. Interrogated by Gray (Toby Jones) and Chief C (James Faulkner), they want to know about the mission to retrieve information stolen from another agent.

It is a list of top secret information that can hurt agents everywhere hidden in a watch. Landing in Berlin, Lorraine makes contact with Percival (James McAvoy), a twisted agent living a life more like a bohemian who is good at getting things. Under the cover of retrieving the agent killed, Lorraine begins to poke around given bits and pieces by Percival.

One thing she learns is that there is someone named Spyglass (Eddie Marsan) who has memorized the information. That brings more curiosity to Lorraine and she wants to know what other secrets everyone is keeping from her. Meeting Delphine (Sofia Boutella) might be the key to so very much more.

It is a game of cat and mouse with a high body count when dealing with an ATOMIC BLONDE!

Theron as Lorraine is not anyone I’d ever mess with. Focused, strong, smart and highly aware of her surroundings, she takes a beating but gives just as much in return. Theron doesn’t need tons of dialogue to get the job done. Her eyes and face are expressive until they are not. I love seeing her tear up the screen, not just physically but her intense presence.

McAvoy gets the chance to be sleazy once again. Trying to fit into the scene of Berlin he buys information with Jack Daniels and Jordache jeans (if you don’t know that name kids, ask your grandparents). McAvoy gives the slick chain-smoking character the right amount of angry charm that I enjoyed watching. He’s getting good at being bad!

Jones as Gray wants to know every detail of what happened to the mission yet doesn’t seem shocked at the answers. Goodman as Emmett gets the suspicion of Lorraine from the moment he steps into the room yet there is more to it than just being American.

Marsan as Spyglass is a timid man who knows a little too much about everything and uses it to try and save his family. Boutella as Delphine is the mysterious woman who captures Lorraine’s attention as she watches the chess pieces move all around the board.

Other cast includes Roland Moller as Alekander Bremovych, Bill Skarsgard as Merkel, Sam Hargrave as James Gasciogne, Johannes Johansson as Yuri Bakhtin, Tig Schweiger as the Watchmaker and John Goodman as Emmett.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give ATOMIC BLONDE four and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. Why? Simply put it’s a heck of a lot of fun to watch, the soundtrack is smokin’, the cinematography is fantastic and the action is none stop from start to finish. It truly is the reason we go to the movies!

The story isn’t geared toward any one demographic as it plays to its strengths and not the political correctness of it all. There just isn’t anything about ATOMIC BLONDE that I didn’t like. Theron is absolutely beautiful and coming off of THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS where she is a real bad gal, in ATOMIC BLONDE she is another type of real bad gal and this one I’d want on my side.

The soundtrack includes a few awesome songs such as 99 Luftballons performed by Nena (remember that video?), Father Figure by George Michaels, Der Kommissar by After the Fire, The Politics of Dancing by Re-Flex, Voices Carry by Til Tuesday, I Ran by Flock of Seagulls and Under Pressure by Queen and David Bowie. I spent a lot of time lip-synching while watching Theron drop kick a few bad guys!

ATOMIC BLONDE is taken from the Oni Press graphic novel series The Coldest City by Antony Johnston who also authored Wasteland.

In the end – she’s about to go atomic on summer!

The Legend Comes to Bluray with HICKOK

Hickok

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray and 4K Ultra HD from director Timothy Woodward Jr. and Cinedigm is a look at the frontier and the life of a gunslinger known as HICKOK.

It is 1870 and Wild Bill Hickok (Luke Hemsworth) is wandering trying to avoid the reputation that follows where ever he goes. The problem is he can’t seem to keep his hands off the pistol on his hip. Ending up in Abilene, Texas he is introduced to the town’s Mayor George Knox (Kris Kristofferson).

Knox realizes that the town has turned into the stereotypical Wild West town and the citizens are being hurt. Thinking that having Hickok as the town sheriff might be just what the town needs. Hickok also meets Phil Poe (Trace Adkins), the town saloon owner and his fiancée Mattie (Cameron Richardson) and son Joey (Hunter Fischer).

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When Hickok enforces the ordinance outlawing any guns inside the city limits, it is almost as if it’s a beacon for trouble. When John Wesley Hardin (Kaiwi Mersereau) comes to town, Hickok gives him a choice of which side of the law he wants to be on.

Hickok also tries to rekindle his friendship with Mattie which sends Poe off the deep end to the point where he offers up money to get rid of the town sheriff. Now, it is up to Hickok to do what is right instead of living up to a myth.

Hemsworth as Hickok gives his character the rough exterior of a man who has come to believe in the stories they tell. Putting on the lawman hat, Hickok must see what what’s been kept from him and reconnect with the man he was before all the stories were created. Hemsworth portrays that journey and comes around to and ending that needed to happen.

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Kristofferson as Mayor Knox believes having the name Hickok in the town will stop outlaws from continuing to hurt Abilene’s citizenry. At the same time, Knox sees something in the gun slinger that he’s forgotten about himself. I love seeing Kristofferson in roles such as this and am thrilled he continues to make films.

Adkins as Poe gets to be the outlaw saloon owner in HICKOK. I have seen his westerns before and it is clear that he can play both good guy and outlaw gunslinger. Of course he has used that deep voice to his advantage along with the ice cold stare that means business.

Richardson as Mattie is a woman who has a history with Hickok. Wanting him to leave town quickly, she knows Poe is a man who handles things violently. Fischer as Joey is a young man who idolizes the gunslingers without realizing the difference between lawmen and the lawless.

Other cast include Robert Catrini as Sheriff Akers, Britain Simons as The Kid, Kimberly Alexander as Lou-Ann, Max Bogner as Jenkins, Bruce Dern as Doc O’Roark.

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Cinedigm is a leading distributor of amazing content in storefronts, digital platforms, Internet and Demand platforms for cable television. With an extensive library of over 52,000 films and television shows, Docudrama films, next-gen Indies and Independent films. At its inception, Cinedigm has played a pioneering role in transitioning movie theatres from traditional film prints to digital distribution to advance worldwide cinema modernization. For more on what Cinedigm has to offer please visit http://www.cinedigm.com.

The 4K Ultra HD and Bluray includes the Special Features of The Road to Abilene: The Making of HICKOK, Three Deleted Scenes and Trailer.

HICKOK has a western feel with a cast that is full of tough as nails actors who have made the genre equally tough again. Hemsworth mixed with Adkins and Kristofferson becomes a triangle of storytelling. If you love Westerns filled with action and the addition of 4K Ultra HD or Bluray that means you can curl up at home with popcorn, then let HICKOK ride into your player.

In the end – you know the myth now meet the legend!

 

The Final Day of San Diego Comic Con International 2017 – Try to Keep Up!

get ready for

 

Jeri Jacquin

Here we are, at the final day of what has been a test of endurance for all but fun none-the-less. We are going to jump right in so you know where to go and what is going to be happening.

The morning is going to be amazing as the Star Wars Fan Clubs: Rebel Legion, Mandalorian Mercs, RS Builders and the 501st Legion bring a special tribute to actress Carrie Fisher with PRINCESS LEIA STAR WARS FAN CLUB TRIBUTE PRESENTATION. This is an amazing opportunity for fans to have tell their stories and say goodbye to the universes’ Princess!

In Hall H, the best Sunday morning ever and a year event as the cast and producers of SUPERNATURAL hit the day running. Season 13 is promising to be even more amazing but first there are questions about the two part finale that fans will be lining up to ask. Of course I will be waiting for the gag reel which gets better and better every year.

The TNT series THE LAST SHIP is back! The U.S.S. Nathan James helps with the global recovery of the Red Flu but there are other problems that need to be addressed as well. Eric Dane, Adam Baldwin, Bridget Regan and Steven Kane gives us all a sneak peak of what is it come.

DOCTOR WHO is making it’s BBC America appearance at Comic Con with Peter Capaldi and a bit of the DOCTOR WHO Christmas Special. Also on panel is Pearl Mackie, Matt Lucas, Michelle Gomez, Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffatt and moderated by Chris Hardwick.

After the Doctor has left the building, the convention hall is the place to be for one more go around and play in the exhibits. Hey, a girl’s got to have some fun too! When I’m done with that I plan to get out of the air conditioning that is the convention center and go outside to hit up all the playful and exciting exhibits that have been waiting for me to return.

That’s it sports fans – San Diego Comic Con International 2017! It’s time to go home, say hello to the cat and soak my feet for the next year. Just joking! This week is meant for fun, excitement; doing all the things we love from the comic world as well as film, television and animation.

It is the one week a year where everyone has something amazing in common with every person you meet, reconnect with friends and make new friends. There isn’t anything more exciting for the city and those who come from afar like San Diego Comic Con International.

See you in 2018!

The Stork Brings BOSS BABY to Bluray

Boss Baby Bluray

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming this week on Bluray, DVD and Digital HD Combo Pack from director Tim McGrath, DreamWorks and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is the arrival of the new boss in town with BOSS BABY.

Tim Templeton (Miles Bakshi) is a creative young man who has the best time with his parents. Encouraging his imagination for fun, Mom (Lisa Kudrow) and Dad (Jimmy Kimmel) always take time from their busy jobs at Puppy Co. working for Francis Francis (Steve Buscemi) to celebrate being a family.

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His life is about to change with the arrival of Boss Baby (Alec Baldwin) introduced as his new baby brother. Boss Baby is a well dressed brief case carrying kid who immediately takes over the house with his demands. Tim feels like he is being put on the back burner with Mom and Dad deciding to do something about it.

Doing his own recon, Tim soon discovers that Boss Baby can talk! Wanting to immediately tell Mom and Dad, Boss Baby tells Tim that there is a way to put everything back the way it was. Explaining he comes from BabyCorp, he tells of a plot to put babies out of business by Puppy Co. who is creating a puppy that stays a puppy forever and Boss Baby needs to stop it.

Tim is on board, especially if it means his life will go back to normal, and the brothers only have two days to stop the madness. A lot can happen in two days between brothers!

Who else could be the voice of Boss Baby but Alec Baldwin! He is hilarious and smooth at the same time with some of the best lines ever. I couldn’t stop giggling with his vocal performance mixed with amazing animation. Bakshi doing the vocals for Tim is a young man who just didn’t expect a baby brother and certainly didn’t expect to go on an adventure that would last a lifetime.

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Buscemi as Francis Francis is on a crime spree with a bigger connection that Boss Baby could have imagined. Kudrow as Mom clearly wants her two boys to bond and Kimmel as Dad is also pleased when his sons seem to be having fun together.

Other cast include James McGrath as Wizzie, Conrad Vernon as Eugene, ViviAnn Yee as Staci, Eric Bell Jr. as Triplets, David Soren as Jimbo, Edie Mirman as Big Boss Baby and narrated by Tobey Maguire.

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.

DreamWorks Animation brings amazing animated entertainment to films, television specials and series for the young and young at heart audiences around the world. DreamWorks Animations has brought iconic and beloved films such as the SHREK, MADAGASCAR, KUNG FU PANDA and HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON. For more of what they have to offer please visit http://www.dreamworksanimation.com.

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BOSS BABY Bluray/DVD and Digital HD include the Special Features of New Mini Adventure: The Boss Baby and Tim’s Treasure Hunt Through Time, The Forever Puppy Infomercial, BabyCorp and You, and Babies vs. Puppies: Who Do YOU Love?

Also included is The Boss Baby’s Undercover Team, Cookies Are For Closers: Inside BabyCorp, The Great Sibling Competition, Happy Accidents: The Deleted Scenes of THE BOSS BABY and Gallery.

BOSS BABY is a charming film that is also hilarious which means there is something for everyone. It is definitely a story about family and the expectations we place on each other but it all works out when love is in the mix. I would expect nothing less from DreamWorks where that is concerned.

The story of BabyCorp really did have me laughing and the deep secret behind Puppy Co. was a total and fun surprise. That’s hard to do with an animated film but BOSS BABY gives it all wrapped up in a really good time that can be watched again and again.

The animation is lively, colorful and absolutely fun from start to finish. What makes the combo pack so much fun is that if you didn’t get enough of BOSS BABY, there are new adventures to be had which means more family fun time.

In the end – Boss Baby means business!

Comic Con 2017: Day Four Keeps Everyone on the Go!

get ready for

 

Jeri Jacquin

We are on Day Four and the magic keeps happening. This definitely has been a Comic Con filled with surprises, a lot of fun and aching feet that are ignored (hey, a good soak does wonders). Being this is a Saturday; families will be out in full force to enjoy the outdoor experiences but also hitting the convention floor to find more one-of-a-kind toy or comic book.

The amazing day begins with MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000: The Return. This show was the highlight of my weekends and I will admit that I have not laughed that much in a long time. A panel will be held at the Horton Grand Theater so be there! Later Joel Hodgson along with Felicia Day, Jonah Ray, Hampton Yount and Rebecca Hanson will talk all things MST3K!

comic mst

Hall H begins with a Warner Bros. Pictures presentation to include what they have coming and exclusive footage. Chris Hardwick talks Steven Spielberg’s READY PLAYER ONE with Spielberg Tye Cheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn and Zack Penn to talk. Also on hand is BLADE RUNNER 2049 directed by Denis Villeneuve. Don’t think that the superhero universe goes without a blip on the radar as Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller and Ray Fisher are in it for JUSTICE LEAGUE. Want an early look at Aquaman? Well I’m sure you will be accommodated.

On television, ABC’s ONCE UPON A TIME brings teases for its seventh season and Henry all grown up with a daughter of his own! That’s going to be an interesting story to be told. Cast and crew will be on hand to talk about those moments we are all wondering about.

My guilty pleasure is the CW show THE ORIGINALS! Returning for another season there are so many questions I need answered and only the show’s executive producer Julie Plec can answer them – but she won’t and I know that. I’m still watching! The series RIVERDALE will also bring a presentation along with a Q&A that gives a take on small town life and a new season coming October 11 on the CW.

the originals

FOX brings the bad boy back for a Q&A and the series that has everyone talking LUCIFER. This is a show that isn’t exactly what one would think when hearing that name, Lucifer, which is probably why it is a smash hit. It is a world like no other!

STAR TREK: Discovery is the new show on CBS this fall that follows another crew on voyages. A panel with cast and the minds behind the new series will be there to ask all things Star Trekky!

DC’s LEGENDS OF TOMORROW offer up the story of 2017 Los Angeles where dinosaurs seem to be taking up parking spaces and Big Ben is there. Breaking time the superhero’s need to find answers and do what super heroes do!

THE EXPANSE comes to Comic Con as SyFy has once again created a world that is amazing and hundreds of years into the future. Catch up if you will as another season is here and the panel is eager to talk about it all.

What would Comic Con be without THE SIMPSONS. Matt Groening, Al Jean and Matt Selman are ready to share secrets, surprises and what’s coming in the new season.

FOX brings another favorite with FAMILY GUY with Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Mike Henry and John Viener preview next season and an exclusive look at their 300th episode. I mean seriously, 300 episodes means they level of epicness will be amazing. Following up is AMERICAN DAD! As the Smith’s of Wendy Schaal, Scott Grimes, Rachael MacFarlane, Dee Baker and executive producer Zack Rosenblatt talk about the July 24th season premier.

NBC rolls out its new show of the supernatural with MIDNIGHT, TEXAS. Fans will see the premiere episode along with a Q&A session with cast Francois Arnaud, Dylan Bruce, Parisa Fitz-Henley, Arielle Kebbel, Jason Lewis, Peter Mensah and Sarah Ramos as well as the author of Midnight, Texas Charlaine Harris.

westworld

HBO brings their mega-hit WESTWORLD with a panel discussion including Ben Barnes, Ingrid Bolso Berdal, Ed Harris (gawd I love that man!), Luke Hemsworth, James Marsden, Simon Quarterman, Rodrigo Santoro (okay I love him too), Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright and Thandie Newton back to talk all things dark and western!

NETFLIX brings the crazy hit STRANGER THINGS to Comic Call with a panel discussion on what is to come for Season 2 and giving fans of the show a look at footage of what is going to happen come this October! Are you kidding me…I have to wait that long??

starnger things

Marvel Studios is also bringing president and producer Kevin Feige in to talk about the expanding Marvel Universe and I’m sure there will be plenty of surprises for everyone.

Finally, bad-ass Charlize Theron heads up the Entertainment Weekly panel of Women who Kick Ass. Theron has made her popularity in diverse roles in such films as MAD MAX: Fury Road, THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS, SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN and PROMETHEUS. Her new film ATOMIC BLONDE is on my list of don’t miss…ever!

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There is only one more day of Comic Con and basically that means there is still a ton to see and do as well as make time to charge my cell phone – nah, let it go because there is too much fun to be had.

A good nights sleep and it’s off for the final day – stay with me kiddies!

Comic Con 2017: Your Friday Outlook is to Make Sure to Wear Comfortable Shoes!

get ready for

 

Jeri Jacquin

Day three (I count preview night because man, that’s a full day wrapped into a few hours) of Comic Con 2017 and it is a full one so let’s get right to it as television rules Hall H.

AMC rolls out the zombies in Hall H with AMC’s FEAR THE WALKING DEAD with Kim Dickens, Frank Dillane, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Daniel Sharman and Michael Greyeyes along with David Erickson, Robert Kirkman, Gale Ann Hurt, Dave Alpert and Greg Nicotero. The panel will of course be moderated by Chris Hardwick and talk about what is up in the midseason finale and what is coming in September.

Not enough zombie for you? Well, Hall H follows up with the gang that began it all with the AMC’s THE WALKING DEAD panel. Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Lennie James, and Chandler Riggs are on hand along with Scott M. Gimple and Robert Kirkman to talk about what is coming for the group and will Neegan get what we all think is coming to him! Celebrating the upcoming 100th episode – seriously can you believe that? – the cast will hint at what is coming in season 8 and October can’t come soon enough!

AMC continues to kill it with fans and their panel for another hits series AMC’s PREACHER. Seth Rogen and Garth Ennis bring Dominic Cooper, Ruth Negga, Joseph Gilgun, Ian Colletti and Graham McTavish in to talk about mid-season 2 and a sneak look at the next episode.

Television has the undead of their own with the series iZOMBIE as the zombie is out of the bag in Seattle. Executive producers Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright are on panel that follows a video presentation with the stars that have made the CW series a hit!

Adult Swim (and you know it’s going to be good) brings an exclusive look to their new animates series The Jellies! They invite everyone to see an exclusive look at their animated series. They are also bringing fans more of RICK AND MORTY and if you haven’t checked it out we may not be able to continue to be friends. Beginning their third season, do me a favor and check it out – you won’t be sorry. Also on Adult Swim’s agenda is MIKE TYSON MYSTERIES.

The Walking Dead, Season 8. Photo Credit: Courtesy AMC

FOX joins the fun with BOB’S BURGERS and the cast including Jon H. Benjamin (did I ever mention I love this guy?), Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman and more showing never-before-seen-footage and a Q&A to follow.

ARCHER – that’s all that really needs to be said because fans lose their animated minds when the world’s best secret agent is on the move. FXX bring their award winning fun with Season 8 and the voice cast of H. Jon Benjamin, Aisha Tyler, Jessica Walter (she is hilarious), Chris Parnell, Judy Greer, Amber Nash and Lucky Yates to talk all things spy-like.

STREET FIGHTER is celebrating its 30th anniversary at Comic Con 2017 and that just made a gray hair pop out of my head. It has been 30 years since Capcom brought their fighting game to the world and they are taking a look back and ahead to what it in store.

SPIKE & MIKE’s Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation is always one that I can not miss. It probably has something to do with the ‘sick and twisted’ part of it all. Fans now have the opportunity to be part of it all as voting on the films they see is a must. Spike will be in attendance so get your cameras ready.

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HBO is driving us all crazy with their universally beloved series (I’m sure they watch on Mars!) GAME OF THRONES. The seventh season began July 16th as fans wait for the big question to be answered – who will take the Iron Throne? The panel will have Alfie Allen, Jacob Anderson, John Bradley, Gwendoline Christie, Liam Cunningham, Nathalie Emmanuel, Conleth Hill Isaac Wright and the ever lovely Sophie Turner. There is no telling who will moderate but fans are going to be thrilled no matter who it is! See me front row dead center for details!

SHOWTIME is bringing my all time favorite ultimate geek out television series to cable with their limited series and the return of TWIN PEAK: A Damn Good Panel. The cast and creator will be there to talk everything Agent Cooper played by the guy who gets me every time, Kyle MacLachlan.

Speaking of cable, STARZ is geared up with the panel many of us are waiting for as OUTLANDER returns to drive us all crazy with questions. Executive producers Ronald D. Moore and Maril Davis along with author Diana Gabaldon are joined by cast Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughnan (I’m sorry, if he’s wearing a kilt I’m going to fall out of my chair), Tobias Menzies, Sophie Skelton and Richard Rankin.

Netflix brings MARVEL The Defenders with Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. A panel will be on hand to share along with an exclusive look into August 18th launch.

OUTLANDER

HISTORY’s VIKINGS returns to Comic Con with an exclusive peek at the new season along with Katheryn Winnick, Gustaf Skarsgard, Alex Anderson and Alexander Ludwig who will set the room to screaming with excitement. Also writer Michael Hirst will be on hand and boy do I have some questions for him!

Am I exhausted? Absolutely! Will I continue? Is that even a question? This is just a small look at what Friday brought and continues to bring well into the wee hours. Tomorrow is another long day as many people are thrilled with Saturdays as downtown booms even more with the hustle and bustle of all things Comic Con!

Be prepared for Saturday’s onslaught as more people have the opportunity to come downtown and experience all the outdoor exhibits because no badge is required! Don’t you love that? I certainly do as San Diego Comic Con International wants everyone to come down and enjoy the experience so dress accordingly, drive carefully, be safe crossing the streets and bring plenty of water. Once again San Diegans know this is the warm time of year so if you are visiting our fair city from out of town, heed our advice!

With that – Happy Comic Con 2017!

DUNKIRK is Astounding!

dunkirk

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres from writer/director Christopher Nolan and Warner Brothers is a story that tells of the dangers, the ravages and the bravery of those at DUNKIRK.

Let’s begin with a tad bit of history behind the film’s story. It is World War II in 1940 and the Germans have pushed their soldiers into Northern France and Belgium. Allied forces are trapped on the beach as bombardment comes from both land and sea. There are almost 400,000 troops on the shores with no where to go.

The larger military vessels were under constant attack and sunk with devastating losses of life. Across the channel were smaller boats consisting of fishing boats, merchant marines, personal boats, speed boats, ferry’s and even life boats that took to the call to rescue soldiers. Over 800 of these boats made it to the beaches of Dunkirk and a mass evacuation would come to be known as the Miracle of Dunkirk.

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Christopher Nolan has brought this incredible story to the screen and it is grand, beautiful and heart stopping. The audience is taken into the story from land, air and sea as filming began in Dunkirk, France. In his style, DUNKIRK is filmed in IMAX 70 mm film with the score of the incredible Hans Simmer.

On the beach, Commander Bolton (Kenneth Branagh) is the ranking officer attempting to get the men off the beaches of Dunkirk along with Colonel Winnart (James D’Arcy). As each ship leaves, it is met with either U-boat fire or planes dropping artillery either killing the men or putting them back in the water.

Soldiers Tommy (Fionn Whitehead) and Alex (Harry Styles) attempt time and time again to find a way off the beach. Finally making it onto a ship, they do not get far before they are back in the water and headed to shore where bombs are going off.

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In the air is Collins (Jack Lowden) and Farrier (Tom Hardy), two Royal Air Force pilots who are hell bent on keeping the enemy off their fellow soldiers. Their fuel consumption is of concern but they will not stop until they take out the danger.

Across the channel, Mr. Dawson (Mark Rylance), son Peter (Tom Glynn-Carney) and their family friend George (Barry Keoghan) take off for Dunkirk. Knowing what needs doing, Dawson has the knowledge not only of the Channel but of how to handle the enemy. The crew finds their first shell-shocked soldier (Cillian Murphy) sitting on the turned over hull of a sunken ship. D’Arcy as Col. Winnart follows by example keeping the soldiers as calm as possible.

From air, sea and land the struggle for survival is moment by moment under circumstances that are unimaginable.

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I have to start with Mark Rylance as Mr. Dawson; there is something about this actor that I believe from the moment he speaks. As this character, Rylance is the strong silent type who knows what needs to be done and doesn’t need to be told how to do it. Watching how he explains things to Peter and George, this character gets every ounce of the audiences trust. When they have their own problem on board, Mr. Dawson keeps the atmosphere calm in the emotional storm.

Hardy as pilot Farrier is straight on point and although I had a Bane moment (please stop putting stuff over his face!), it is a minor point because everything you need to know is found in this actors eyes. The message is clear ‘do what you must to save as many as you can’ and his actions are evident. Lowden as pilot Collins is equally as powerful to watch and gives a suspenseful scene that needs to be talked about later.

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Whitehead as Tommy and Styles as Alex are two very young men that are trying anything to get off the beach. It just breaks the heart to see these two young men and as clever as they are, it is living from one moment to the next. Well done performances by both of these young men.

Branagh as Commander Bolton stands tall for his men even when he knows that the clock is ticking – literally. Having to change tactics quickly, he is the strong face for the men to follow. Murphy as the shocked soldier is intense and frightening because of his unpredictability. Glynn-Carney is strong as Peter as he learns the price of war along with Keoghan as George playing a character I can’t even begin to talk about.

Other performances that need recognition are Damien Bonnard as the French Soldier, Aneurin Barnard as Gibson, Lee Armstrong as Grenadier, Will Attenborough as Second Lieutenant, Richard Sanderson as Heinkel Spotter and so many, many more.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give DUNKIRK five tubs of popcorn out of five. There isn’t a massive amount of dialogue and I didn’t need it. The ensemble of actors brought out every emotion without saying much at all. DUNKIRK is an intense experience as the volume, literally, of the film is pure cinema.

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Yes, it is a film of war and there is no doubt in every flicker of film of it being anything else. Nolan meshes the inescapability of war with the human story with a cast that gives the audience a heart stopper that will not stop from start to finish.

I tell you now that the film is so powerful and strong that you will leave the theatre drained both physically and emotionally. The visceral moments that take us so deep that there was one moment during a water scene when I realized I was holding my breath!

Hans Zimmer brings on an epic score that will not let us all get away. At the screening I saw for myself what an amazing score does to people. There is a moment where a clock is ticking, which by the way is the sound of Christopher Nolan’s watch, and people were putting their hands on their chest or over their mouths knowing something was coming.

DUNKIRK is cinematically stunning and beautiful which seems weird to say considering it is a war film with human causalities. In that is the exquisite gift that director Nolan seems to have and I hope he never changes it. His films give us a duality we are forced to reckon with. DUNKIRK gives us that with the defeat of battle but the pyrrhic victor of humanity.

In the end – when 400,000 men couldn’t get home, home came for them!

 

VALERIAN and the CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS

valerian

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this Friday from director Luc Besson and STX Entertainment from the comic book by Jean-Claude Mezieres is VALERIAN and the CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS.

There once was a planet of alien beings that lived peacefully taking care of one another and giving back to the planet that provided for them. A little creature on their planet provides pearls that are important to their existence and powerful. Their idyllic life comes to an apocalyptic end when ships crash on their planet taking the life of a Limai Princess.

It is the 28th century and a city known as Alpha floats in space. Filled with thousands of cultures and thousands of languages, they must all work together for the survival of the ship and its crew. Commander Arun Filitt (Clive Owen) is doing what ever he needs to ensure that it all works.

Major Valerian (Dan DeHaan) and Sgt. Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are sent on a secret mission. The assignment from the Minister of Defense is to retrieve a one-of-a-kind creature that is sought after by unknown forces. Once Valerian and Laureline find it, they also have to fight there way back to Alpha city with it.

Back on duty, the two soldiers are set to protect Command Filitt but it all goes wrong when they are attacked and he is taken. General Okto Bar (Sam Spruell) takes over and isn’t happy when Valerian takes it upon himself to go after the ship with the Command inside. Laureline does what she can to track him but Valerian is lost in the Dead Zone. It is a zone where anyone that goes in does not come back.

But Laureline won’t take no for an answer and finds a way to Valerian. Immediately captured by alien creatures, Laureline now needs rescuing herself. He meets Bubble (Rihanna) who has the ability to shape shift which is a neat skill especially when it may be the only way to rescue Laureline.

General Bar begins to believe what Valerian told him about the alien beings on the lost planet beginning to investigate. What he finds will not stop what the Commander has planned all along but it may be the destruction of Valerian, Laureline and a race thought to be extinct!

DeHaan as Valerian plays a straight forward action hero who has a past with the women but wants a future with his partner. Always looking for answers, the Major isn’t going to let anyone or anything stop him from discovering the truth. DeHaan jumps right in action wise yet his character finds a moment here and there to remind Laureline that she’s the one.

Delevingne as Laureline, oh gawd I know I’m going to get it for this, just drove me absolutely nuts. I wish I had a clicker to count how many times she said ‘Valerian’ per scene. I know one scene that’s all she said and when the camera cut away I couldn’t have been happier about it. I’m sure her character is meant to be an example of female empowerment but I didn’t see it. Instead I saw a girl trying to be standoffish yet always felt the need to rescue someone who isn’t her man that she wants as her man but pretends she doesn’t want her man. Yea, that’s about how I felt.

Spruell as General Bar doesn’t care for his commander very much so it’s not surprising that he’s willing to listen to Valerian and not make extremely hasty decisions. Owen as Commander Filitt gets a chance to be secretive and down right devilish. It’s an interesting look for him even if his role is sporadic.

Director Luc Besson is responsible for some of the most memorable films such as THE BIG BLUE and my family’s favorite THE FIFTH ELEMENT. There are several things in this film that remind me of THE FIFTH ELEMENT which means VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS will probably end up being a cult classic.

Other cast include Elizabeth Debicki as Haban Limai, Ethan Hawke as Jolly the Pimp, Aymeline Valade as Haban-Limai, Kris Wu as Sgt. Neza, Diva Cam as Maatri, Alexander Willaume as Captain Kris and Rihanna as Bubbles.

VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS is an interesting sci-fi film with special effects for days. Besson brings bright colors, crazy aliens, space ships and special effects like an oven on broil. There is so much to visually take it that it’s almost a story within itself.

The film takes an air of predictability with a few things I am calling out. So, I felt like I was watching a bit of other sci-fi films over the years and a bit of THE FIFTH ELEMENT mixed with characters that are changed up. When seeing the film tell me that you see Jessica Rabbit because I swear I did.

That’s probably the part of the film that I liked the most – the special effects and characters that were created. Of course I’m probably a little bias since I think most ‘human’ roles are overplayed and overly spent acted. Bring on the colorful aliens!

If anything it is certainly a film about loyalty and accountability no matter what species you associate with. There’s nothing wrong with that at all.

In the end – a universe without boundaries needs heroes without limits!

HBO says Farewell to GIRLS: The Final Season on Bluray

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Jeri Jacquin

Time to bring out the Kleenex people as HBO Home Entertainment brings to Bluray the sixth and final season of GIRLS.

It has been a while since Hannah’s (Lena Dunham) article in The New York Times about Jessa and Adam (Adam Driver) and she is off to the Hamptons. She meets Paul-Louis there which makes the trip not as bad as she thought.

The happiness between Ray (Alex Karpovsky) and Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) are clearly evident which is driving Marnie (Allison Williams) a little nuts. It happens to divorce people who just aren’t ready to see that sort of goings on. When the group goes on a trip to Poughkeepsie, Desie (Ebon Bachrach) is busted for using Oxycontin and Marnie is not about to have any of it.

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Hannah has a clear moment and realizes that she is so into her own life that she didn’t even notice that her friend was in trouble. If that isn’t drama enough, Elijah (Andrew Rannelis) and Shoshanna get into a hot mess bringing up past-peeves and accusations and maybe even a tad bit of jealousy towards Jessa (Jemima Kirke).

Once again Hannah has to answer for something she did, or in this case wrote. Chuck Palmer isn’t pleased with an article Hannah has written accusing him of funny business with his students. Instead of a lecture, Chuck and Hannah talk about their work, how he treats women and how she needs to work on her fact checking skills. Just when she thought all was well, in a single second it all changes.

Ray isn’t having an easy time either not feeling appreciated by Marnie but that seems to be the least of his worries. He learns that life is fleeting only in Ray’s case a little more fleeting on this particular day.

Not feeling well physically, Hannah heads to the ER and runs into Joshua from “One Man’s Trash”. Not ready to deal with that? Well, then she isn’t about to deal with the news that someone is pregnant!

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Adam and Jessa want to make a movie together and they want it based on what happened with Hannah, and ask for her okay on it. Loreen shows up and Hannah blurts out the news which is a bad idea since Loreen is dealing with a cannabis situation of her own. When Loreen goes missing, Elijah and Hannah track her down and she blurts out Hannah’s news. Sending Elijah into a blunt moment, he announces his feelings about the matter.

Ray is on an emotional roller coaster about Hermie and Marnie doesn’t really care and Ray spills how he’s feeling about it all. Marnie finds out about Hannah but wants to know who the father is and in a moment of frustration Hannah tells Adam her little secret which in turn frustrates Marnie who finds out from Adam!

Knowing she can’t put it off any longer, Hanna tries to find Paul-Louis to no avail and sees part of Adams film and is surprised by it. Babysitting an ex-boyfriend for Elijah so he can go on an audition only to come back and find the two eating pizza.

Marnie gets a wake up call with a notice on her door, a parents who won’t enable and the eye opening realization that some things in her life just aren’t as real as she thought. Having a moment of clarity she reaches out to Desi. Speaking of moments of clarity, Adam decides that he wants to be a baby-daddy and for a second there is a recons illation for he and Hannah.

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Ray hits it off with Shoshanna’s former boss, Hannah interviews for a college job, there is an engagement party, Marnie wants to clear the air with everyone and Jessa knows who she wants in her life.

That doesn’t stop Hannah from the biggest decision of her life and that’s leaving the city but she didn’t expect a new roommate as Marnie goes with her. It also doesn’t mean that drama doesn’t follow as the finale episode gives us all one more reason to love these GIRLS.

This has been a story about friendship, craziness and the life of GIRLS!

HBO Home Entertainment has an extensive array of critically-acclaimed and groundbreaking programs found on Bluray, DVD and Digital HD. They have provided viewers with some of the most amazing programs with huge fan bases that include the shows True Blood, Sex and the City, The Sopranos, True Detectives, The Wire, Entourage and Game of Thrones. Launched in 1984, HBO is world wide in viewed entertainment in more than 70 territories around the world! For more of what they have to offer please visit www.hbo.com.

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The Bluray includes the Bonus Features of Enjoy a Goodbye to Girls: Extended Cut – a special version of the series’ finale – and an exclusive Audio Commentary with Lena Dunham, Judd Apatow and Jennie Donner. Plus get Inside the Episodes and Favorite Moments Features spotlighting each of the girls most memorable scenes.

Also includes on the Bluray is two-discs of over 310 minutes of girl time (yes we love you too Adam!) along with a Digital HD Ultraviolet copy that can be played on your television, laptop, tablet or Smartphone.

GIRLS premiered on HBO in 2012 with a story created by Lena Dunham with Judd Apatow as executive producer. This comedy-drama has allowed audiences to follow the lives of four completely different though all together same women. In 2013, GIRLS won a Golden Globe Aware for Best Television Series.

Dunham has taken us on a wild ride through relationships, hardships, sadness and the realities of life with GIRLS and we are truly sorry to see them go but – in our hearts wish them well. Yes, we get that involved with our characters sometimes and its okay with me.

In the end – they were our GIRLS!

 

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