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January 2018

A BAD MOMS CHRISTMAS is an After Holiday Hilarious Gift on Bluray

Bad Moms Christmas Bluray cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray/DVD and Digital HD along with STX Films and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is the return of our favorite ladies to show us how to be part of A BAD MOMS CHRISTMAS.

The holidays have arrived and Amy (Mila Kunis) is hoping to have a quiet and comfy holiday with daughter Jane (Oona Laurence), son Dylan (Emjay Anthony) and boyfriend Jessie (Jay Hernandez) and his daughter Lori (Ariana Greenblatt). Carla (Kathryn Hahn) and Kiki (Kristen Bell) are also trying to hold down the home front.

Of course plans don’t apply to their Moms! Amy is distressed when Mom Ruth (Christine Baranski) shows up with Dad Hank (Peter Gallagher) in tow. Carla is happily surprised when Mom Isis (Susan Sarandon) arrives and Kiki breaks out in a sweat when Mom Sandy (Cheryl Hines) arrives wearing her face on a sweater.

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Knowing this is going to be a holiday for the books, Amy, Kiki and Carla decide there is only one thing to do – have drink and do a little tearing up for themselves. Making sure they vent to each other before the madness gets out of hand, they make sure to do one last thing before leaving the mall because, well, Amy needs a tree!

Amy and mom don’t waste any time annoying each other as Ruth continually tells her daughter that she obviously doesn’t care about giving her kids an amazing Christmas. Kiki can not handle the smothering mom Sandy is doing to the point of visiting a therapist! Carla is thrilled to have her rebel mom around but Isis has her own agenda for the holiday visit.

All three women are pushed daily to their limits and it comes to a freeze when each must decide how to handle their respective mothers with boundaries and maybe a bit of alcohol as well.

Okay, a lot of alcohol!

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Kunis as Amy is doing pretty well with her life and obviously happy with the continued relationship with Jessie. All seems to be going great with a quiet Christmas but that changes when Mom in the form of Christine Baranski, shows up. I love the combination of these two ladies as mother and daughter. Baranski is perfectly annoyingly adorable as Ruth and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Hahn as Carla is, and it I have to admit this, is my favorite character of the three ladies. Probably because she doesn’t hold back much in the way of sarcasm and the joy of just loving life. Also, can I be any happier that she finds something special in the way of the very talented Ty played by Justin Hartley of This is Us television drama fame. Sarandon as Isis is also the perfect Mom to Carla and I also loved her calling b.s. when she heard it.

Bell as Kiki found herself in the first BAD MOMS and it shows in this film. Having a little more control over her life, that gets a little setback when Mom Sandy shows up. What is even more frightening is that Bell and Hines are perfection together! Hines uses that mom-guilt to its highest level and I’m thrilled when Kiki remembers who she is and sets her life straight again!

It’s nice to see Hernandez return as Jessie and put up with all the nonsense that Amy’s mother brings to the holidays. Gallagher as Amy’s Dad spends the film just letting things go along until he finally has a say about it all – and it’s pretty sweet. Lawrence returns as Jane who knows how to push Amy’s buttons, Anthony as Dylan loves the gifts and Cade Cooksey returns as Carla’s son Jaxon.

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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.

The Bluray/DVD Features include an awesome Gag Reel, Additional Scenes, Crew Music Video and Trailers. Digital HD allows us all to watch anywhere we like on our televisions, computers, Tablets and even Smartphones.

Being busy over the holidays I didn’t have the opportunity to see this film in theatres so having the opportunity to see the Bluray was so much fun. I laughed so hard and couldn’t believe some of the topics these ladies decided to cover – including the apparently un-awkward talk between Carla, Ty and some hot wax. Yes, look for that because it’s worth ever jaw-dropping moment!

We have all had those moments during the holidays where the pressure makes us crazy, the gift buying is overwhelming, the gatherings mean baking as if we all don’t have enough to do and the star on the tree top is trying to remember that we love our crazy families no matter what.

These three ladies give us a few lessons on how to handle it all as A BAD MOM’S CHRISTMAS gives us 11 months to prepare!

In the end – celebrate the next holiday like a mother!

 

 

Want a chance to add this holiday fun to your own home entertainment library? Please visit http://moviemaven.homestead.com and find out how!

 

 

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THE JACKIE GLEASON SHOW In Color Brings Back an Icon of Comedy on DVD from Time Life

Jackie DVD

 

Jeri Jacquin

Time Life is bringing some of the best in comedy for the next generation as THE JACKIE GLEASON SHOW In Color comes in February.

John Herbert Gleason who came to be known as Jackie brought his unusual comedy styling’s through the character of Ralph Kramden the bus driver in the television series The Honeymooners. His life didn’t start out quite as funny being raised by a single mother after his father walked out with hat in hand and didn’t come back.

When his mother Mae passed away when Jackie was 19, he was taken in by a friend who introduced him to his first comedy job. A few years later he would be signed by Jack Warner and appeared in such films as the 1941 NAVY BLUES and in a film with Humphrey Bogart in 1941 with ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT.

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Television came to call in 1949 and after several shows, he would host The Jackie Gleason Show in 1954-55 that brought audiences iconic characters such as Joe the Bartender, The Poor Soul, Charlie Bratton and Fenwick Babbit with so many more.

In 1966, Jackie Gleeson returns with a new season and color episodes of The Honeymooners. His guests would include Milton Berle, Red Buttons, George Carlin, Nipsey Russell, Phil Silvers in color.

This DVD gives viewers a look at four never-before-seen released episodes that have been beautifully remastered. There are also three Honeymooners sketches that haven’t been seen since originally aired.

The show was recorded in Miami Beach and happily had bragging rights as the place of sun and fun. Taped there until the final 1970 season, the master tapes stayed in the vault until now.

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Staring off with Jackie spending a little time with Red Buttons is comedy and timing that is nothing short of delightful. Seeing the very handsome and young Frankie Avalon singing once again is such a treat for me as he was one of my mother’s favorite singers.

Not to be outdone, Jackie spends time with Phil Silvers are they dance and annoy one another over the word ‘aluminum’. On stage with a cigarette in one hand and an comedic insult in the other, Jackie lets everything fly. Instead, Phil gives us a bit of his own version of a mix of romantic song with an operatic flare.

The most amazing part of the DVD is the revisit of The Honeymooners as Jackie returns as Ralph Kramden, Art Carney as Ed Norton, along with Sheila MacRae as Alice Kramden and Jane Kean as Trixie Norton. When a dog’s doctor report comes into Ralphs hands, comedy is inevitable.

Sammy Spear as Jackie’s orchestra leader, he musically announces guests such as song-bird Florence Henderson and the very funny Morey Amsterdam who also provides a little cello entertainment. There is also more from those amazing Honeymooners.

Nipsey Russell brings song, dance and clever poetry with his comedy and Jackie knows a talent when he sees it. The comedy of Jan Murray decides to teach Jackie how to golf just a little better.

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Milton Berle stops by to exchange humor with Jackie and the show also includes Edie Adams singing about the famous cabaret and sharing some famous impressions. A suit wearing young man you may know as funny man George Carlin has short hair and no bear but still hilarious.

Time Life continues to bring never before released anywhere classic collections of television shows for fans to revisit and remember what has made television so special. Time Life has released Mama’s Family, CPO Sharkey and The Tonight Show and they now reminds of us of a time when sex and politics were up for grabs with ROWAN & MARTIN’S LAUGH-IN. For more of what Time Life has to offer fans of classic television visit www.timelife.com.

That’s what makes this collection so amazing; revisiting the weekly entertainment that kept families laughing can now be experiences once again. The comedy is superb and even racy at times (especially for the time period), the music is very nostalgic yet the ladies are lovely and the fun was clearly had by all.

Jackie Gleason came to be known as The Great One and for good reason. He gave us all laughs and from stage, television and the big screen, Gleason made an impact in every genre he undertook. Even in his later years nothing stopped him from making us all laugh from his character in SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT to his final film role in that is beautiful with NOTHING IN COMMON along side Tom Hanks.

In the end – he reminds us all of ‘how sweet it is!’

 

 

MY LITTLE PONY Friendship is Magic: Spring Into Friendship Brings Color and Fun on DVD

My little

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD from SHOUT! Kids Factory and Hasbro Studios is the next batch of adventures from our favorite hoofed friends with MY LITTLE PONY Friendship is Magic: Spring Into Friendship.

When Rainbow is invited to a party at Princess Celestia’s castle in The Ticket Master is becomes clear there is a dilemma. As much as she wants to go, so do all the other ponies and each one tries to do something special to show how much they want to go. Stressed out, Rainbow makes a decision that surprises them all showing how selfless one can truly be and rewarded just the same.

Rarity in Sisterhooves Social, her parents need to go out of town for a few days leaving sister Sweetie Bell in her care. Discovering that trying to keep a little sister occupied while keeping everything in order is a big job. Making Sweetie Bell feel unloved, Rarity learns that perhaps she may have been wrong about so many things.

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Just for Sidekicks has Spike taking care of Angel while Fluttershy works on celebration plans at the Crystal Empire. That gives him an idea that he can collect more jewels by babysitting the pets of the other Pony’s. His real plan is to pawn the pets off on the smaller Pony’s so he can get back to doing what he really wanted to be doing – baking a cake. Spike is in for more than he ever bargained for!

Princess Twilight Sparkle (Part 1) has Twilight learning how to be a princess in her first Summer Sun Celebration. What she doesn’t expect is a black vine coming after Princess Celestia! Even more surprising is that the sun and the moon are both sharing the sky. Twilight must return to Ponyville and get the Elements of Harmony along with her friends to try and find answers. Trusting Zecora puts Twilight in front of Princess Luna who isn’t quite right.

In Princess Twilight Sparkle (Part 2) Twilight discovers that Luna’s new look has come about by the potion. More importantly, she discovers that it all began with a visit to the Everfree Forest. Knowing that she and her friends must also go in the forest, they seek out the Tree of Harmony only to discover it also is covered in a strange vine. Of course there is one thing Twilight doesn’t know that someone back in Ponyville does. Will they all make it to the Summer Sun Celebration?

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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.

MY LITTLE PONY Friendship is Magic: Spring into Friendship is a delightful look at the power of friendship, being loyal, the importance of family and the importance of giving ones word. Those are pretty wonderful lessons to see, especially when My Little Pony’s are the ones showing us all how.

The DVD includes the episodes of The Ticket Master, Sisterhooves Social, Just for Sidekicks, Princess Twilight Sparkle Part 1, and Princess Twilight Sparkle Part 2. There is the fun Bonus Feature of the Sing-Along and if that isn’t enough, how about the Spring into Fun with special Egg-Decorating stickers!

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MY LITTLE PONY has been a staple of programming in my family’s home for so many years that I’m thrilled it continues today with the grandkids. The storytelling is funny and colorful with so many elements of animation that are captivating.

These characters have become so iconic that you’d have to be from another universe not to recognize them. The best part of this franchise is that it is for everyone to enjoy. One of the best experiences is to sit with a young child and watch to see the wonder through their eyes.

I still do this with my own family because when you know something has made such an impression of goodness and fun – you definitely want to share it!

In the end – these Pony’s know how to spring into friendship!

 

HOSTILES

Hostiles

 

Jeri Jacquin

On the vast plains of the 1800’s from writer/director Scott Cooper and Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures comes a story of redemption between HOSTILES.

Capt. Joseph Blocker (Christian Bale) has spent his military career fighting both wars and himself. Making it clear he has no compassion for Native Americans, he is shocked when the outpost Colonel instructs him by Presidential order to take Chief Yellow Hawk (Wes Studi) and his family home to Montana after serving seven years in prison. Being defiant, Blocker tells his superior that he refuses the order but is forced to realize that a court martial is possible.

Along with a detail including Lt. Kidder (Jesse Plemons), Wilks (Bill Camp), Corp. Molinor (Stafford Douglas), and Corp. Woodsen (Jonathan Majors), they lead Chief Yellow Hawk and his family Black Hawk (Adam Beach), Elk Woman (O’orianka Kilcher), Little Bear (Xavier Horsechief) and Living Woman (Tanaya Beatty) across the plains to Montana.

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Preparing to stop for the night they come across a burned out home and while investigating discover Rosalie Quaid (Rosamund Pike) who is in shock over the death of her family. Capt. Blocker and the men are immediately struck to the bone by what they
see and what she has been through knowing they must accompany her fragile self to the next town.

Chief Yellow Hawk knows that the men who caused the chaos are not far away and tries to get the Captain to understand that they want to help but the mistrust is intense. Continuing on their way, the group is attacked by renegade Comanche’s who don’t care who is in the group. Trying to reach Montana safely the group is now unsure of how they will survive the attacks from all sides.

In the next town, Capt. Blocker asks that the post Lieutenant to see that Mrs. Quaid is taken care of but that’s not what she wants. Feeling safer with Blocker, she makes it clear that the journey to Montana is something she needs to see to the end. The Lieutenant asks Blocker to escort a prisoner to the next town stop to be turned over for trail after
committing murder.

He agrees but is equally surprised at who the prisoner turns out to be. Getting closer their destination, the two sides begin to see the pain and sadness each has experienced and in one moment Capt. Blocker sees his world shift in the most unexpected way.

That’s what happens when you walk a mile in real life.

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Bale as Captain Blocker is an angry man who lived his military life surrounded by heinous acts. When those acts begin to reflect back onto his life, watching Bale slowly take in every bit of it is something to experience. There is not a lot of dialogue for his character but instead being continually riveted by the duality of how he handles each step towards Montana.

Studi as Chief Yellow Hawk is the calm in the middle of a storm. I adore when Studio shines on the screen in this way and having spent more than his fair share of time portraying Native Americans, this portrayal is stunningly beautiful. He also has little dialogue but when he does speak it is from the heart of a wounded people. There is something to be said for quiet strength but don’t get me wrong; Chief Yellow Hawk still has fight left in him.

Pike as Rosalie is a pioneer woman who has ever reason to be broken, fearful and angry. Finding a sense of security with Capt. Blocker, she also begins to understand the people considered the enemy because of a honorable gesture. Pike grows with each mile they put behind them and doesn’t hesitate to pick up a weapon and make her feelings known.

Beach as Black Hawk follows the wisdom and ways of his father Chief Yellow Hawk wanting to do what’s best for his family. It is good to see Beach once again in a film that does him justice. Kilcher as Elk Woman takes in everything going on around her making
sure to protect her son. Horsechief as Little Bear is thoughtful, smart, and embraces everyone with a gentle smile and my heart just melted ever scene he was in.

Plemmons as Lt. Kidder turns in a performance that keeps me believing that he is such an under utilized actor. Here his character experiences events that jolt him but it doesn’t change the part of him that is wants to do what’s right. Camp as Wilks is at the end of his career and throwing unexpected events toward Captain Blocker. Camp’s performance is stoic and heartbreaking at the same time.

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Other cast also include Rory Cochrane as Master Sgt. Metz (Rory Cochrane), Timothee Chalamet as Pvt. DeJardin, John Hickey as Capt. Tolan, Robyn Malcolm as Minnie McCowan, Peter Mullan as Lt. McCowan, Stephen Lang as Col. Biggs Paul Anderson as Corp. Thomas, David Midthunder as Buffalo Man, Ryan Bingham as Sgt. Malloy and Ben Foster as Sgt. Wills.

HOSTILES will give audiences a experience with a story that I believe offers up the question of ‘who really are the hostiles?’ The cinematography is stunning with a wide open view of the elements giving the characters space to truly bring the story and the wide spectrum of human emotions.

Bale carries the load of a man fighting between the hostile man he’s become towards Native Americans and now being confronted with that hostility. Studi’s character of Chief Yellow Hawk sees the pain Capt. Blocker is in and understands it more than the military
man realizes. These are two men who have seen and done things towards one another and it is fitting that they must stand face to face, accept and forgive.

HOSTILES has already received attention from the Central Ohio Film Critics Association with a nomination for Breakthrough Film Artist Timothee Chalamet and has won the Capri Photoplay Award for Masanobu Takayanagi by Capri, Hollywood.

In the end – we are all hostiles.

BILAL: A New Breed of Hero

 

Bilal

Jeri Jacquin

Coming soon from directors Khurram H. Alavi, Ayman Jamal and Barjaoun Entertainment is a story of family, hope, survival and breaking the chains for freedom with BILAL: A New Breed of Hero.

Many generations ago surrounded by his sister and mother, Bilal is a young boy who dreams of being a great warrior. In a fraction of a second Bilal and sister Ghufaira watched in horror as they are separated from their mother and become slaves to the vicious overlord Umayya (voiced by Ian McShane).

Told to always take care of his sister, Bilal is now the servant to Umayya and his narcissistic son Saad (Thomas Ian Nicholas) who clearly enjoys finding ways to hurt Bilal. As the years go by, Bilal (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) watches as the other slaves suffer and Umayya demands loyalty as well as coin but focuses on taking care of Ghufaira (Cynthia McWilliams).

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One day Bilal stops a boy from doing the wrong thing that could have gotten him beaten and it catches the attention of Al-Hakam also called the Lord of Merchants (Al Rodrigo). Asking why Bilal saved the boy, he explains that it was to help the boy. The conversation turns to being free and he remembers his own mother telling him something similar as a child.

It wasn’t until Bilal saw Hamza’s (Dave B. Mitchell) reaction to the poor treatment of slaves that he realizes that there is more to life than being a slave. During an evening serving Umayya, Saad makes it known that Bilal is part of a group that believes in
freedom. When confronted, Bilal lets it be known that he is an equal to every man in the room which causes him to be tortured much to the delight of Saad.

He is rescued by Al-Hakam who buys Bilal’s freedom and takes him to a place where he would be safe. Unfortunately, Bilal discovers that Umayya has given Ghufaira to Saad who has no intention of giving her up. Now Bilal must train to fight for the freedom of others until he can come to Saad face to face to reunite his family.

Bilal learns that he must control his anger and pain to ‘not let the weapon dictate decisions’ and although he has plenty of reason to be angry, he learns it serves nothing. As the years go by Bilal and his people finally come back to where it all began and Bilal
makes one more decision that could change his life.

Understanding and forgiveness is everything.

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The voice of Akinnuoye-Agbaje as the adult Bilal is powerful, strong, beautiful and verbally expresses so much emotion. Struggling with who he is and what his place is in the world, Akinnuoye-Agbaje offers up a vocal performance giving this historic character strength and beauty.

McWilliams as Ghufaira as well as McClain give their voice of caring and even fear knowing that Saad truly wants to hurt them both. She is such a lovely character who knows that their childhood was filled with pain but constantly strives to be a support for her brother Bilal. That is an endearing sentiment to share between siblings and these two ladies do a fantastic job of portraying that.

McShane as Umayya is a voice that I recognize without ever having to see his face. The amazing thing about this actor is that as much as I adore seeing him on the big and small screen, he has the unique ability to bring emotion with just his voice. He has the ability to be evil, charming, a bit sarcastic and even funny when called for. In the vocal role of Umayya, it is pure evil and has no difficulty making us believe that he has no care for anyone other than himself.

Nicholas as Saad is a chip off the ole block as a boy who has definitely learned how to be an angry and vindictive ‘master’. He relishes in the fact that people fear him for who his father is and delights in making Bilal suffer by using the love for his sister as a weapon
all its own.

Mitchell as Hamza is the man who sees what Bilal’s mother saw when he was a child. Although it is at times difficult to reach Bilal because of his anger, Hamza does not give up. Instead, he takes the time to explain how Bilal is responsible for his own life and all the decisions that come with that. Letting him know that even a free man must deal with the consequences of his actions, Bilal begins to transform before our very eyes. Mitchell’s voice is strong yet unwavering in conveying the belief that all men are free!

Other cast include Michael Gross as Okba, Jon Curry as Soheib, Mick Wingert as Safwan, Al Rodrigo as Abu Al-Hakam, Ghufaira as a teen China Anne McClain, Jacob Latimore as Bilal as a teen, Andre Robinson as Bilal as a child.

BILAL: A New Breed of Hero is a wonderful story that is told exceeding well in this animated film. The characters are well developed in such a way that the viewer has time to understand the era of time in the Arabian Peninsula. Fourteen hundred years ago the city of Makka was being controlled by a man who clearly believed that all were inferior – perhaps even his own son. Finding a way to fleece all and put the fear of a made up religion in their hearts is a story told time and time again throughout the world at this
time.

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The animation is absolutely stunning with its brilliance in bringing the story even more life and reflection. The scene where Bilal sees himself in the sand is breathtaking. There is so much detail in everything from the eyebrows to the hair on the horses that adds such depth to an already deep story.

From the life of Bilal ibn Rabah who was a slave known for a beautiful voice, he would also grow to be a loyal friend of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Chosen to be a muezzin he would call people to prayer with his voice. That is an amazing part of his life but trust me when I say everyone should read more about this person’s existence because he had the choice to be a product of the heinous things that happened to him but instead chose another path. In other words, he made his mother’s words proud.

BILAL: A New Breed of Hero is a solid and original story along with visually stunning animation that I enjoyed very much. This is an opportunity for families to learn a little history and grasp on to the universal beliefs of family, doing what is right and always
standing up for those who may not be able to do it for themselves. I always find it beautiful when these stories are shared that are set in ‘ancient’ times but aren’t so ancient at all.

In the end – a legend breaks free!

 

It’s Time for Some Serious POOP TALK

Poop Talk

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this February for a squat near you is director Aaron Feldman, Comedy Dynamics and Party of Seven Entertainment’s idea of POOP TALK.

First of all let me say this review is probably like none that I have ever done before because someone has finally decided to go where no camera, other than a colonoscopy cam, has ever gone before. Letting the lights, camera and action focus on what we don’t talk about – poop.

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Let’s be honest folks, we all try to avoid that awkward conversation about one of the most natural things in the world – going to the bathroom. This docu-comedy decides to break the toilet paper ceiling and let is all loose. Who better to get the conversation rolling than people who make us laugh about everything (sometimes until we pee), oh and a few experts in the field.

Starting with stories of their growing up and the family feelings toward pooping to how it affects relationships between men and women, there isn’t a moment that won’t make you laugh. Sharing their most embarrassing moments to the verbiage used to describe their experiences – there is no restroom barrier!

But the poop talk doesn’t stop there, now that the bathroom door is open we also get a look inside to discover if these funny people are one-ply, three-ply, baby wipes or even a bidet users not to mention Adam Carolla’s use of the brushed nickel toilet paper cover. The pride begins to slide out with descriptions of warming toilet seats, the temperature of bidet water and convenient remotes to be extra comfy on the porcelain throne.

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Come poop 2on – there are ads that tell us to ‘enjoy the go’ and ads featuring spray to cover up poop smell, or how about the ‘squatty potty’ complete with prince and unicorns?

Comedians like Kumail Nanjiani, Nicole Byer, Adam Carolla, Rob Corddry, Nikki Glaser, Pete Holmes, Eric Stonestreet, Randy and Jason Sklar, Nick Swardson and Dr. Drew Pinsky are just a monkey’s handful of people who openly share where they
have pooped and where they absolutely won’t.

Comedy Dynamics is one of the largest independent comedy production and distribution companies producing Kevin Hart’s GUIDE TO BLACK HISTORY, Animal Planet’s ANIMAL NATION with Anthony Anderson and HISTORY’S JOIN OR DIE with Craig Ferguson. Working with such comedic talent as Kevin Hart, Jim Gaffigan, Katt Williams and many more you can see what more they have to offer at www.comedydynamics.com.

 

Feldman says, “This film has been a labor of love. Done with friends and family help and support. The Sklar’s Jason and Randy, our Executive Producers are amazing and without them this could not have been made. I want to thank them for the faith in a vision and
a seemingly high brow approach to a low brow subject.”

POOP TALK really does bring humor to a topic that shouldn’t cause us all to get backed up or stressed but still does. Seriously, if you are a human being and you eat then you are going to end up, as Rob Corddry would say, working it out. This is the best docu-comedy I’ve seen in some time!

In the end – it’s comedy that goes right in the toilet!

A Story of Two Worlds Comes to Bluray with NAPPING PRINCESS

Napping Princess Bluray

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray & DVD from writer/director Kenji Kamiyama, Shout! Factory and GKids is a story of daring, family history and adventure for the NAPPING PRINCESS.

In 2020, Kokone Morikawa (Brina Palencia) is a young girl who has become well known for dozing off occasionally and when she does, she finds herself in world called Heartland. It is a dream world of factories, workers and a man who rules it all.

Believing they are all dreams, Kokone and her father Peach (Doug Erholtz) have been living a quiet life but Kokone knows little about her mother. Meeting up with her childhood friend Morio (Shinnosuke Mitsushima) they have a chance to reconnect as friends and it couldn’t come at a better time.

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In a twist she doesn’t fully understand, Peach has been kidnapped by a man named Watanabe (Lex Wutas) who is looking for a mysterious laptop containing important technology. It is the technology that Peach has been hiding from both worlds. Watanabe is now on the hunt for Kokone because she and Morio have decided to find her father on their own and nothing is going to get in their way.

Kokone also discovers that the world she lives in now and Heartland are not so far apart when secrets are revealed and a plot that could change everything becomes known with a little magic. They must come together in Heartland to reconcile old wounds and remember that family and friendship is everything.

SHOUT! Factory has grown into a tremendous multi-platform media company. Releasing new animated features such as the exquisite Long Way North, and the epic fantasy Beauty And The Beast. Also their own original horror film, Fender Bender gives fans a good scare. For more of what SHOUT Factor has to offer please visit www.shoutfactory.com.

GKIDS brings award winning feature animation for both adults and family audiences. The company has scored an astounding nine Best Animated Feature Oscar nominations with THE SECRET OF THE KELLS, A CAT IN PARIS, ERNEST & CELESTINE, SONG OF THE SEA and WHEN MARNIE WAS THERE. Also bringing Studio Ghibli library of films they include SPIRITED AWAY and PRINCESS MONONOKE.

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NAPPING PRINCESS is an amazing story of two worlds that actually aren’t so very different, except for the large engines of course, in that families makes mistakes and friendship can give us even more courage. Kokone is a young girl coming into her
own wanting to know more about the dreams and a family she knows so little about.

Those two things along make her character amazingly believable which is important to the story.

The animation is every bit spectacular filled with vibrancy and stunning color. This is a definite film that needs to be seen in Bluray. The journey between the two worlds is amazingly displayed with this animation and because the story is so dynamic I found myself totally wrapped up in every frame.

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Director Kamiyama is also responsible for the films GHOST IN THE SHELL: Stand Alone Complex and EDEN OF THE EAST so it is no surprise that NAPPING PRINCESS is equally as stellar and my favorite of his pieces is AKIRA. NAPPING PRINCESS is also titled ANCIEN and the MAGIC TABLET.

The Bonus Features include an Interview with Kenji Kamiyama, Special Interview with the Cast, Intro at Japanese Release, Okayama Scenery, Special TV Program and Trailers/TV Spots.

In the end – two worlds and one amazing girl!

 

12 STRONG: The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers Brings Two Sides to the Same War

 

 

12 strong poster

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres from director Nicolai Fuglsig and Warner Bros. is the a story of a group of soldiers who are dedicated to doing what is necessary by being 12 STRONG.

Cpt. Mitch Nelson (Chris Hemsworth) is ready to settle into a different military job that would allow him to be home with his wife and daughter. That is until September 11 as he sees on television what almost every American would see as the World Trade Center is under attacked. Knowing that he must return to his Special Forces team, he enlists the help of Chief Warrant Officer Hal Spencer (Michael Shannon) to get him back into the fold.

Quickly a team is sent to Afghanistan as Cpt. Nelson and his team including Sgt. Sam Diller (Michael Pena), Sgt. Ben Milo (Trevante Rhodes), Sgt. Pat Essex (Austin Hebert), Sgt. Bill Bennett (Kenny Sheard) and more arrive with gear in tow.

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Now, Cpt. Nelson must convince Col. Mulholland (William Fichtner) that his team is ready to meet with Northern Alliance General Dostum (Navid Negahban) to fight the Taliban and Al Qaeda. It becomes quickly clear that this will be a struggle as Cpt. Nelson makes contact with General Dostum and there are immediate trust issues that are understandable on both sides.

Another surprise for the Cpt. and men is that this war is going to be fought in a way they could never imagine – on horseback! To get across the desolate land to meet up with
other fighters, there is another leader bringing his own brand of despicable destruction that affects the General deeply.

What is necessary is that two men who have no reason to trust one another learn that they need each other and by working together it may not solve the war’s problems but does bring a surprising understanding of two unlikely leaders.

Hemsworth as Cpt. Nelson is a man dedicated to doing whatever he can, along with his men, to stop those responsible for the terror on American soil. His need to do so means he must say goodbye to his family once again with the belief that he will be returning home. Hemsworth gives a strong performance of a leader who cares about his men but also begins to understand that what he and the crew want are the same thing General Dostum wants. Trusting each other in a short amount of time proves to be frustrating as Cpt. Nelson’s goal is to finish the mission and bring the men home.

Negahban as General Dostum is equally as dedicated as his American counterpart. Believing that there is only one way to fight the enemy who is taking over his country, he tries to believe that the American soldiers mean well but trust on both sides is slowing them down. The cultural misunderstandings are swift and bring about quick reactions from these leaders, as Negahban’s character begins to share the feelings of the Afghani people, he explains that they want the terrorists just as gone as Cpt. Nelson and his men do.

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Shannon as Spencer believes that the mission can only succeed if Nelson is with them. This is a strong character and what I mean by that is the person of Spencer fights through so much to be there for mission success. It is intense when the group realizes that getting help is difficult where they are embedded in the mountains. This role is a departure from the crazy mean character of Strickland in the stunning THE SHAPE OF WATER.

Pena as Sgt. Diller is another character who brings a little bit of laughter with his quick wit and straight delivery. At the same time Pena can put on a game face that is not to be messed with but also this isn’t his first go around playing characters close to war with
his role in LIONS FOR LAMBS and WORLD TRADE CENTER. I believe that Pena is such an under utilized actor and with every role he confirms it.

Fichtner as Col. Mulholland has to be convinced to send in Cpt. Nelson and his men in for a mission that could prove to be a disaster. Once he sends them to meet with General Dostum, it is one step at a time filled with intensity that there are so many pieces to the
fight.

More of the 12 STRONG include Geoff Stults, Thad Luckinbill, Ben O’Toole, Austin Stowell, Kenneth Miller, Kenny Sheard, and Jack Kesy as well as Elsa Patasky, Max Bowers, Marie Wagenman and Rob Riggle.

12 STRONG is a totally different look at the war in Afghanistan after 9/11 because it gives both sides of the fight through a story that deserves to be told. The American soldiers made their feelings quite clear as to why they wanted to go for a dangerous mission in Afghanistan but we also learn that General Dostum and his men have a view as well.

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To me that is a fantastic way to bring this story to the screen and see why each leader and their men mistrust. From the moment the two men arrive at the meeting point, the tension and mistrust is so thick on the screen. That is where the duality of emotion for the viewer kicks in because of course it is understandable that the American soldiers and Afghani soldiers each would be on high alert toward one another.

As the film continues and the Afghans explain what life has been like for them and their people – a change happens, not just between the characters on screen but the audience as well. There are such amazing scenes that either had my jaw dropped or found that I was holding my breath.

That’s what 12 STRONG does, takes you inside an unexpected war to learn about people who are trying to survive terror themselves and come together in unexpected ways.

Doug Stanton is the author of the book HORSE SOLDIERS and he says, “I wanted this to be a book that you would read about guys surviving a harrowing situation. They were told very little about their mission except to attack terrorist camps but not told they would have to ride a horse to do it”.

Also to celebrate these brave soldiers who fought on horseback, sculptor Douwe
Blumberg created the bronze statue De Oppresso Liber located in Liberty Park in New York guarding the attack site.

In the end – on September 11, 2001 the world watched in terror and on September 12, 2001 they volunteered to fight!

 

 

 

DEN OF THIEVES in Theaters Friday but What Hat Will You Wear?

Den of Thieves poster

Jeri Jacquin

In theatres this Friday from writer/director Christian Gudegast and STX Entertainment comes a crime and the law with DEN OF THIEVES.

The film stars Gerard Butler as Nick Flanagan, the leader of an elite LA County Sheriff’s unit the Regulators that is looking to stop bank outlaws who are looking to pull off the impossible with one hit in their sites – the Federal Reserve Bank! Pablo Schreiber as Merrimen is on the opposite side of the law with his own elite group the Outlaws.

Also starring Jordan Bridges as Lobbin Bob, Evan Jones as Bosco, Cooper Andrews as Mack, Eric Braeden as Ziggy, Brian Van Holt as Murph, Maurice Compte as Benny Borracho Megalon, O’Shea Jackson Jr. as Donnie and 50 Cent as Levi Enson – they round out the cast of cops vs. robbers.

To keep things interesting, we are giving away hats from DEN OF THIEVES and the great part is you get to decide which gang you want to be part of. Go to http://moviemaven.homestead.com and find out how!

So – what hat will you wear?

Den of Thieves

 

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