Search

moviemavenspeaks

It's a dirty job but someone has to view 'em!

Month

March 2018

STAR WARS:  The Last Jedi Hits Bluray

 

the last Jedi

 

Jeri Jacquin

This week on 4K Ultra HD and Bluray from writer/director Rian Johnson based on characters created by George Lucas and Walt Disney Home Entertainment comes the next installment on the epic adventure STAR WARS: The Last Jedi.

Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) has found Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) on a remote island and is trying to convince him to help the Rebellion once again. General Leia (Carrie Fisher) is being followed after their attack on General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) with one goal, to destroy what is left of the rebel fighters on orders from Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis).

Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and Finn (John Boyega) must find a way to save the last of the fighters. Learning they are being tracked, Poe and Finn must find someone who can help them. Rey isn’t having much luck either with Luke as he has makes it clear that he is staying right where he is. As the two get to know one another, Rey feels a mysterious connection to Kylo Ren and Luke sees it as well.

last 2

Finn meets Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) who sees him as a hero for the cause. Wanting to help she discovers that there is much more to being a fighter than she realized. Up against Kylo Ren, General Hux and Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie), the minutes are ticking away to save what is left of the rebel fleet.

Once again a brother and sister face their fate, friends rely on one another and the force is there for them all!

If you haven’t seen the film in theatres then there will be no spoilers here until you get your own copy! There is no way in hades that I am or even thought of giving anything away. Of course the above description of the film is generic but I will not be responsible for any spoilers.

That being said, this is the STAR WARS fans have always loved. For me, well, I was giddy the moment the music cued and the scrolling of the yellow words upward into space began. From that moment on I was riveted and thrilled to once again to be in the galaxy far, far away.

Ridley as Rey takes on her next challenge which is to learn from Jedi Master Luke Skywalker. Discovering that the process is the balance of mental and physical, she gets to add the grumblings of an island hermit. It has taken me some getting use to the character of Rey but with this film she is definitely cementing her place in the Star Wars franchise.

last 4

Driver as Kylo Ren is going through serious intensity in this chapter of the saga. Driver has the ability to show nothing and yet everything about what his character is going through. Still dealing with the death of his father, his confusion about Rey is apparent.

Boyega as Finn still feels the sense of responsibility for Rey and isn’t about to let anyone stop him. Now he has the chance to once again pair up with Poe as they put their plan for the rag tag left over fleet into action. Isaac as Poe is hard headed and strong willed. He wants to jump in first and not think through the consequences. The good news is that General Leia sort of has a soft spot for him.

Tran as Rose is the newest fighter for the rebellion and although not trained she fits right into the gang. Christie as Captain Phasma seems to have one goal – to get her hands on Finn. I just love Christie in this role because it feels like the bad side of Brianne of Tarth.

Gleeson as General Hux just wants to destroy everything in the name of Supreme Leader Snoke and don’t think for one second he and Kylo Ren are going to be bffs! Speaking of the Supreme Leader, Serkis once again lends his voice to a twisted character with facial problems.

last 3

Now, onto my two beloved characters of Luke Skywalker and General Leia. Mark Hamill has a scene in this film that reminds me of why I fell so hard for this franchise and the character of Luke Skywalker. Everyone will know it when they see it because it is stunningly beautiful and moving bringing back every emotion felt in 1977. Hamill’s return is such a joy for me and seeing him just as aged as myself is fun and nostalgic at the same time.

Fisher as Princess/General Leia is wonderful and still a wound in my heart. As Leia she has always been a strong and, pardon the pun, a force to be reckoned with. Making decisions to save what is left of the rebellion means sacrifice and courage which is everything Leia has stood for. Fisher has given us an iconic character that will last forever and anyone who wants to challenge me on this need just bring your light saber and we’ll duel it out in her honor.

Other cast include Laura Dern as Vice Admiral Holdo, Benicio Del Toro as DJ, Justin Theroux as Slicer, Lupita Nyong’o as Maz Kanata, Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, Jimmy Vee as R2-D2, Tim Rose as Admiral Ackbar, and Billie Lourd as Lt. Connix.

last 5

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment began distributing under its own label in 1980 and continues to bring quality programming to kids and kids at heart. Home of the most beloved animated features including SNOW WHITE, PINOCCHIO and SLEEPING BEAUTY to name a few is what keeps families coming back for more. To see what is currently available to add to your own family library please visit. www.movies.disney.com for their At Home titles!

The 4K Ultra HD Disc has Ultra Play to jump instantly to the movie, 4K Resolution, High Dynamic Range, Wider Color Spectrum and Immersive Audio. The Bluray Disc includes the Audio Commentary, The Director and the Jedi, Balance of the Force, Scene Breakdowns – Lighting the Spark: Creating the Space Battle, Scene Breakdowns – Smoke and Mirrors, Scene Breakdowns – Showdown on Craft, Andy Serkis Live! (One Night Only) and Deleted Scenes.

That is all anyone is getting from me for now. There is so much to experience with this film and it doesn’t disappoint in the slightest.

Of course there was concern by fans that the world re-created by J.J. Abrams might be a problem for director Rian Johnson. There isn’t a moment’s concern for me as the cinematography captures the world we have all come to know. The recognizable music never lets the audience forget where they are – as if it could.

last 1

The next installment is too far away for fans yet there are other stories that will be told about the world created by George Lucas. Keeping with the theme of Star Wars, the characters are jumping to light speed with their destinies and we are all just willingly along for the ride.

In case you are at all wondering, I have seen STAR WARS: The Last Jedi more than a few times! Get the popcorn ready because there is a comfortable spot in front of my television and I’ll be there watching the film again and again. Of course gathering up a crowd and adding pizza to the mix can bring a bigger experience that needs to become generational.

In the end – the force is with them all!

 

Advertisements

READY PLAYER ONE is Fun Spielberg Style!

 

ready cover

Jeri Jacquin

This Friday in theatres is the highly anticipated film based on the Ernest Cline novel and director Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainments vision with Warner Bros. presenting READY PLAYER ONE.

Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) is a young man living in the future, far into the future in fact is the year 2045. Living in The Stacks with an Aunt and the one of many boyfriends, Wade seeks escape into the virtual world of the OASIS under the name Parzival. In this imaginary world he can be what ever he wants to be with no judgments and as many adventures as one wants to have.

The Oasis was created by the very unusual James Halliday (Mark Rylance) and encouraged by friend Ogden Morrow (Simon Peg). When Halliday passes away his dying wish was a contest – who ever could find the Easter Egg hidden in the OASIS would gain financial freedom and control of the Oasis. Of course it isn’t that easy as there are three keys that need to be located and to find those, someone would have to really know the idiosyncrasies of creator Halliday.

ready 1

Wade wants to find the keys and joined by friends Aech (Lena Waithe), Sho (Philip Zhao) and Daito (Win Morisaki) they begin with a race that no one can seem to get past. Preparing for the next race, Parzival meets virtual Art3mis aka Samantha (Olivia Cooke) who also wants to find the keys. When neither wins the race, Parzival realizes that he is not looking deeply enough into Halliday’s life.

Off to the virtual museum of Halliday’s life, he takes it slowly taking in all the information again when it comes to him how to get the first key. Once he does, he shares the information with other. Everyone is thrilled – well, not everyone! In charge of OASIS is Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn) and his goal is to make sure that no one ever finds the keys and inside OASIS uses I-Rok (T.J. Miller) to keep an eye on things.

Sorrento is unconcerned on the outside that Parzival obtained the first key but begins to find ways to make sure that he doesn’t find another. That means attacking Wade in the real world and hurting those he cares about. When The Stacks are attacked, Wade is grabbed and taken to safety and it is the first time Wade and Samantha meet in person. They both realize that if they are to stop Sorrento, it is going to have to be both in the real world and the virtual one.

ready 2a

Along with Aech, Sho and Daito, they plan to not only find the final keys but where the Easter Egg is hidden. Calling upon all of those who love the OASIS to help protect it and a battle royale begins.

Sheridan as Wade/Parzival is a young man who just wants to escape life in The Stacks. From an Aunt who seems to find the biggest losers to be with to the stacked neighborhood he lives in, the Oasis is a place to forget real life and discover a virtual life that is seen as amazing. Sheridan does a good job as a young man who is smart and willing to do whatever it takes to find the keys but that turns into something larger than himself.

Cooke as Samantha/Art3mis is a young woman who seems to be a thrill seeker and although that may be true, she is also a young woman with a goal – to stop Sorrento from controlling the Oasis. Cooke lends such empowerment to her character and not just because she sees herself as facially defective, instead she has humor and the smarts necessary to prove to Wade that there is more at stake than just a few bucks to be made in the Oasis. That’s not a bad character to be!

Mendelsohn as Sorrento is perfectly happy being in charge of everything – literally and virtually. There is so much at stake and Sorrento isn’t about to give up any inch of it. Mendelsohn has proven time after time that he is an actor to keep an eye on. If you get the opportunity, see his work as Danny Rayburn in the series BLOODLINE because that will give you more than enough reason to see why his character of Sorrento is so deliciously twisted.

ready 1a

Waithe as Helen/Aech is a supportive friend and has the ability to create amazing works in the Oasis but also happily joins with Samantha to fight Sorrento. Zhao as Sho is ‘just an 11 year old’ who is a pretty tough 11 year old if you ask me. He believes in the fight and doesn’t want anyone telling him that age should stop him from helping. Morisaki as Daito knows a good fight when he sees one and isn’t about to let down his companions.

Pegg as Morrow is a character that builds to the very end. His story isn’t as big and bright as Halliday or Sorrento, but it is important none-the-less and it’s always good to see Pegg. Miller as I-Rok is hilarious and when Sorrento takes his virtual character into the Oasis, these two play off one another.

Now, lets talk about Rylance as Halliday/Anorak – what an amazing performance. Now, there are moments when I capture a bit of the BFG but who cares! This character is smart, funny, sweet, endearing and is the most harmless human being and virtual character I think I’ve ever seen. Rylance has the amazing ability to draw the viewer into his characters world and invite you to sit for tea (which I gladly would). Of course I would tell you more but that would spoil it and I’m not about that. Just know that Rylance was the perfect choice to play Halliday. and I loved it.

ready 2

Other cast includes Perdita Weeks as Kira, Susan Lynch as Alice, Clare Higgins as Mrs. Gilmore, Ralph Ineson as Rick, and Hannah John-Kamen as F’Nale Zandor.

I had an absolute blast watching READY PLAYER ONE and there are several reasons why. First, of course it was a thrill to see all the characters that I watched my sons play with their videos games back in the 80’s and early 90’s. It was such a different time when my boys taught me how to play and it was something we started doing together. So much so that the three of us entered a DONKEY KONG contest at Blockbuster (yes, Blockbuster!) and it was so much fun.

Added to that was the pop culture drops here and there mixed in with music that, to this day is something that I listen to because to me – that’s when music was music. When Parzival says that Halliday’s favorite song was from A-Ha, it made my heart melt. What a perfect reference if those my age remember the awesome artistry that went into making ‘Take On Me’.

Of course there is video, music, and pop culture references everywhere but then adds film references and oh my what a cherry on top of the cake. THE SHINING makes an appearance and I couldn’t have been more thrilled, delighted and I even laughed (which of course I didn’t do watching THE SHINING all those years ago!) at how it blended perfectly.

As a bonus, like chocolate shavings on the cake is seeing so many characters in the epic battle scene between Parzival, Art3mis and the gang along with every other virtual person and Sorrento with his own evil crew. There is one character I didn’t expect to see but then again why not? See if you can see the iconic favorite Bugs Bunny friend running across the battlefield and then hit me up when you see who it is.

ready 3

So, READY PLAYER ONE is going to be a hit for the 80’s and 90’s crowd most definitely. It has almost everything and the kitchen sink thrown in for a fun time at the movies. I’m not giving anything away by saying that a beloved giant friend makes an appearance in the film which just tugs at my heart. The CGI is amazing and truly fun to watch.

This is the film to gather the family together to see and have such an amazing time. There is nothing, and I mean nothing about this film that I didn’t enjoy. Of course I realize there is a book which I have not read but it doesn’t take away from the fun I had in the theatre. It was actually quite nice to not take a film so seriously but instead let it take me on a journey to a conclusion that I’m pretty happy with.

Mr. Spielberg, prior to seeing the film I posted a pic and stated, “please don’t let me down” and I’m here to say that your track record for entertaining me throughout all these years is still in tact. Well played sir, very well played.

In the end – a better reality awaits!

LEGION Takes us on an Unexpected Trip on Bluray

Legion 111

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray from creator Noah Hawley from the Marvel Comics and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment comes an intense series on the search for what is truly real when part of the LEGION.

David Haller (Dan Stevens) has had problems most of his life. Hearing things and feeling out of control has landed him in the psychiatric ward. The problem is, Haller also has psychic abilities yet no one believes him. Haller also has a friend in another patient Lenny (Aubrey Plaza) and tries to help him stay together. Keeping him sane is when he falls for another patient Sydney Barrett (Rachel Keller). The difficulty in their relationship is that Sydney doesn’t like to be touched. When it does happen, she has the ability to change places with that person.

When Sydney is discharged from the hospital, Haller kisses her and that’s when things get even more out of control. The minds of Haller and Sydney change places and no one believes them. That becomes even more problematic when Syd can’t control Haller’s reactions and hospital staff are hurt and his only recourse is to escape. The switch between the two is only temporary and Haller wants Sydney back.

legion 1

Going to his sister Amy (Katie Aselton) for help it actually sets her up to be hurt by those who want Haller for themselves. Quickly enough Ptonomy Wallace (Jeremie Harris) and Kerry Loudermilk (Amber Midthunder) help Haller escape with the help of Melanie Bird (Jean Smart). He is taken to Summerland and discovers there are more people who have abilities. Bird explains that Haller isn’t ill at all and that they need to go into his past to understand where he is now. While in an MRI, he sees that the group called Division III has taken Amy and his anger does something that shocks everyone at Summerland. Wanting to save her, Amy tells him that he has to control his power first before he can help anyone.

Working with Ptonomy on memories of a time when he did drugs, Haller is still plagued by the figure called the World’s Angriest Boy in the World from a childhood book. Unable to control his powers again, Haller and Sydney end up at Division III where he sees someone called the Eye (Mackenzie Gray). Bird has to explain that his name is Walter who was one of the founders of Summerland. Everything gets so out of control that Haller has to be sedated enough so that Bird, Ptonomy and Sydney can get a better look inside his head but he is too strong for them.

When Haller doesn’t wake up, Bird has to find out what happened to him before he ended up in the hospital and the only person that might have a clue is his ex-girlfriend Philly. Ptonomy gets a chance to see inside Philly’s memory and learns that Haller attacked his previous therapist named Poole. Haller is on a journey of his own but Lenny comes to him to escape.

As Haller is dealing with problems in the astral plane, Cary believes that Haller’s brain has been infected by something he calls the gruesome Devil with Yellow Eyes. The creature isn’t at all done with Haller when it attacks Sydney but worst of all; the entire group at Summerland is now at Clockworks with Lenny as their caregiver!

legion 3

Now under her control, Lenny takes on each of them and their issues but it is Sydney that notices something is different which costs her. Lenny isn’t about to let any of them get the upper hand, especially when she knows things about Haller and has no problem demonstrating her control over his mind. Cary Loudermilk (Bill Irwin) thinks they’ve had it all wrong and that it is actually the powerful mutant Shadow King Amahl Farouk who is messing with Haller.

Haller believes that Farouk and his real father might have had issues that led to an altercation and that was the reason he was put up for adoption. Finding Haller as a kid, Farouk managed to place a device in his mind which is what has caused all the havoc. Trying to get back to Summerland, the group is intercepted by Division III!

In the finale, Haller manages to break free of Division III but it should have been seen as all too easy. Clark (Hamish Linklater), his interrogator, wants to get in on the action and goes with the soldiers to Summerland. Haller believes that Clark is their hostage but what they don’t know is that Division III can see and hear everything happening. It’s a chance for some serious body exchanging to happen, Clark changes sides and Haller becomes doesn’t see something little coming his way.

legion 2

Stevens as Haller is truly doing some serious acting! This is a role that keeps the viewer guessing as to where Haller actually is in the grand scheme of things. What is trippy about this whole thing is that I like it! Stevens first caught my attention in the role of Matthew Crawley in the amazing series Downton Abbey followed by Sir Lancelot in NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB and more recently the role of Charles Dickens in THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS. The role of Haller is so complex and original that LEGION is the perfect place for Stevens to just let loose and explore all the avenues.

Keller as Sydney is a girl with her own set of powers that is equally as frightening as Haller’s. He learns quickly that touching her can transform and change their situations. This also means that she is detached out of fear and can not allow her emotions to get any deeper for Haller. Smart as Bird is a woman who seemingly wants to help those with powers at Summerland. Jumping into the memories of the group has her unraveling the mysteries and Haller is proving to be her most difficult case.

Plaza as Lenny is just out and out creepy and I love it. You can never tell from one appearance to the next whether she is going to be on Haller’s side or just messing with his memories. Aselton as Amy thought Haller was just dealing with serious mental issues, imagine her surprise to discover that those mental issues were nothing like she was raised to believe.

legion 4

Harris and Midthunder still have their roles to play knowing that there are mysteries about Haller that are going to take digging and it seems it is harder than they have ever explored before. Gray as the Eye is another character that creeped me out because I was never quite sure what he was up to or what is place was in it all. Linklater still has a part to play but will it be for the good of those in Summerland? We shall see, we shall definitely see.

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.

The Bluray includes the Special Features of Fractured Reality: A Different Kind of Hero, Uncanny Romance, Production Design, Powers, Make-Up (Making The Devil with the Yellow Eyes), Visual Effects, Costume Design, Locations and Deleted Scenes. Also included in the 2-disc Set are Episodes Chapters One Through Eight.

LEGION has definitely been on the radar with nominations for awards and wins like TVLine’s Performer of the Week going to Aubrey Plaza, Best Sound Editing given by the Golden Trailer Awards, and tied for Runner Up for Best Action Series by the IGN’s Best of 2017 Awards and the People’s Choice for Best New Series.

If you want to watch the most interesting and twisted trip you’ll every take, then LEGION is exactly the show you want to watch. From twists and turns in the story line to singing and dancing trips, this series isn’t about to give you one little hint about the direction it plans to go.

I am going to be thrilled when Season Two begins but let’s be clear, I had to watch Season One of LEGION twice because there is so much to take in I wanted to be prepared for what is to come. This is definitely a series that needs to continue to think out of the box and go places no one expects the story to go and don’t ever put on the brakes!

In the end – there is no door to this rubber room!

 

The Boys of Summer are back to Delight us with THE SANDLOT on Bluray

sandlot cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray from writer/director and film narrator David Mickey Evans and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment comes one of the most amazing stories that has become iconic with THE SANDLOT.

It is 1962, a time of pretty much being outdoors from sun up till sundown in the San Fernando Valley. It is also time for America’s favorite pastime – baseball! Scotty Smalls (Tom Guiry) is new to the neighborhood and looking to find others his age to hang out with. His Mom (Karen Allen) hopes that he is able to get outside and make it happen.

At the town’s sandlot, Smalls makes the 9th player on the team and is welcomed. The problem is that Smalls doesn’t know how to play baseball. One bad play makes him feel horrible and it doesn’t help that Benny “the jet” Rodriguez (Mike Vitar) breaks out into laughter. Really wanting to learn, Benny takes the time to teach him and it pays off as Smalls is back on the team. The roster also includes Ham Porter (Patrick Renna), Squints Palledorous (Chauncey Leopardi), Yeah-Yeah McClennan (Marty York), Timmy (Victor Di Mattia), Kenny Denunez (Brandon Adams) and Repeat Timmons (Shane Obedzinski).

The one thing the team has to watch out for is ‘The Beast’ and his owner Mr. Mertle (James Earl Jones). When a ball ends up in the Beasts yard, the gang stops Smalls from trying to get it back. Not understanding why they are afraid of the Beast, Smalls gets the down low on the man eating dog that has no problem downing a human being. They basically tell him that once a ball goes into the yard, it is never seen again.

sand 3

The lazy sunny days brings the group to the local pool where Squints continues his crush on lifeguard Wendy Peffercorn (Marley Shelton). The boys know and tease him a little about it and Wendy isn’t thrilled to be stared at by Squints. That’s when he gets the brilliant idea to do the one thing the other guys can’t – get Wendy to put her lips on his. The guys have a new found respect for their friend!

Back on the field, when Benny gets a little to hard on their ball, they have no choice but to find another. Smalls says he can get one from home belonging to step-dad Bill (Denis Leary) and it ends up with the Beast. What makes things even worse is that the ball is very special to his step-father and the gang has a week to get it back! The gang tries but nothing seems to work because the Beast is on to them.

It would take a dream and sage advice from Babe Ruth to find a way to get the ball back. PF Flyers, the most awesome shoes of the day, were suppose to bring speed to any kid wearing them. Thinking he has finally beat the blocks monster, the Beast snaps his chain sending Benny running for his life through pretty much every part of town only to end up back at the sandlot. That’s where a piece of fence falls on the creature as Benny and Smalls start to see the Beast differently.

They also finally talk to Mr. Mertle and discover that what they thought was true about the Beast, was actually not. They explain to Mr. Mertle about the ball and a change takes place that helps them understand a little more about the world around them and learns what true friendship truly is.

sand 2

That’s what happens when friendship and baseball come together!

Guiry as Smalls is the outward feeling of the group. Wanting to make friends, he learns that he needs to relax and accept everything that comes his way. He can thank Vitar’s Benny for everything he came to experience that summer and the obvious friendship that would follow him into adulthood. Vitar is the inward feeling of the group knowing that Smalls needed a teaching friend.

Leopardi as Squint is a hero beyond heroes! Watching his young self come up with the plan to get his lips on Wendy Peffercorn is nothing short of brilliant. He is the kid I’d probably have hung out with back in the day. Renna as Ham is the red headed kid who has the amazing ability to shut out the team who tries to take down the Sandlot and yet be horrified at the snort of the Beast. York, DiMattia, Adams and Obedzinski round out the boys of summer and without them, the chase between Benny and the Beast wouldn’t have been as funny or the contraptions they came up with to get Smalls Babe Ruth ball back wouldn’t have been as genius.

Leary as Bill is the uncomfortable step-dad who is still trying to find that relationship with Scotty and baseball would turn out to be the key. Allen as Mom just wants her son to be happy and Allen has the look of just that, a Mom of the times who just wants everyone to be happy.

sand 4

James Earl Jones as Mr. Mertle is larger than life, but then so is Hercules. When the boys discover they were all wrong about the situation, it is a man who also loves the game of baseball that would show them that baseball has no age limits or boundaries. Then again, James Earl Jones is a iconic and timeless actor who I still adore.

Other cast include Karen Allen as Mrs. Smalls and Art LaFleur as The Babe.

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.

THE SANDLOT Bluray comes with some amazing Special Features including a Featurette, Theatrical Trailer and Television Spots. The best part is the 10 Exclusive Topps Baseball Cards featuring Smalls and the gang as well as an All-New Booklet and Poster that is so very cool to have. My son saw the Topps Baseball Cards and is thrilled that each of the characters he has come to remember fondly is on Topps cards!

THE SANDLOT Bluray: 25th Anniversary contains amazing treats and surprises for everyone. The Special Features include the Featurette, Theatrical Trailer and original television spots. What’s even more amazing are the set of 10 Exclusive Topps Baseball Cards featuring Scotty, Benny and the rest of the ragtag roster. There is also an all-new booklet that contains behind-the-scenes photos from the film director’s personal archives and a full-color poster.

With the opening day of baseball upon us, THE SANDLOT is a film filled with the reason baseball has become a game that excites millions and brings us all together for America’s greatest pastime. Baseball film reach down deep to that place inside us that holds fond memories. For me it is the memory of being with my Grandfather at Wrigley field to watch his beloved Cubs team play. The sights and sounds of that magical place is so ingrained into me that when I close my eyes I can quite easily remember the warm peanuts, the amazing hotdogs and the cold pop.

sand 1

THE SANDLOT is exactly like that – memories of a sweeter time and an amazing time where being outside with your buddies was the end all be all of our existence. Leaving first thing in the morning and being home by the time the street lights came on, there were no cell phones, computers, internet or anything else distracting. Instead it was talking with our friends, doing things we hoped our parents never found out about, climbing on things we shouldn’t, getting dirty and running around with our mitts dangling from our pant belts, a ball is someone’s pocket and if a bat wasn’t handy then a strong stick would do just as well.

“You’re killin’ me Smalls” is an iconic phrase that is used constantly and, of course, I use it myself – on almost anyone who has just pushed me to my limits. That it just the tip of the bat of reasons that THE SANDLOT has become a staple on the list of baseball films and also a film that has ingrained itself on our hearts.

It is amazing that it has been 25 years since THE SANDLOT first hit the big screen and now that it is on Bluray and Digital – it will be the perfect addition to any baseball library. Seriously, who doesn’t love these boys of summer!

In the end – a piece of paradise a half block wide and a whole summer long!

ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME: In Concert Delivers the Best Music from Iconic Musicians

Rock and roll cover

 

 

Jeri Jacquin

Time Life has put together another amazing and brilliant Bluray reminding me why I live for music with ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME: In Concert.

This collection begins with the 29th Annual Induction Ceremony in 2014 with one of my favorite musicians Peter Gabriel who has given audiences some beautiful music through different genres. Starting with a speech by Chris Martin from Coldplay with a very funny biblical speech, it is Gabriel who reminds us that music moves us in ways that are unexplainable. He encourages musicians to be different and doesn’t forget to thank those who have allowed him to live his musical life. His performance with Chris Martin is stirring, heartfelt and personally brought a smile to my face. His finish of ‘In Your Eyes’ gave me a moment to remember my wedding day when the song played as I readied to walk down the aisle to marry my own Lloyd Dobler. Perfection!

rock 3

Simon Garfunkle shows up to tell the story of Cat Stevens and how he has affected lives welcoming the seeker into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Stevens comes to the stage and is forthcoming about his music and his life to the point of reminding us all what his music truly brought to the world. His rendition of ‘Father and Sons’ is just as moving today as it was the very first time I heard it. ‘Baby It’s a Wild World’ and ‘Peace Train’ is so emotional and the audience is completely mesmorized by this once in a lifetime performance.

Glenn Fry inducts Linda Rondstadt into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with Carrie Underwood, Bonnie Raitt and Emmy Lou Harris giving a performance of ‘Blue Bayou’. Cheryl Crow is added to the musical mix for the beloved song ‘You’re No Good’ with the final addition of Stevie Nicks to add her vocals to ‘It’s So Easy’ and ‘When Will I Be Loved?’

There are so many more on the first disc alone! Bruce Springsteen and his E Street gang as well as Michael Stipes inducting Nirvana to the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame. Joan Jett comes to the stage with Dave Grohl to rock and smash on the song ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth to grunge ‘Aneurysm’ and Lorde finishes with ‘All Apologies’. I have to say I was thrilled to see Dave Grohl back on the drums for Nirvana.

The 30th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame happened on April 18th, 2015 and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts are now taking the stage themselves to bring us ‘Bad Reputation’, one of my favorite songs ‘Crimson and Clover’ as Joan is joined by Miley Cyrus, Gary Ryan, Dave Grohl and the one and only Tommy James. The Paul Butterfield Blues Band brought out Zac Brown, Tom Morello, Jason Ricci and Paul Shaffer for ‘Born in Chicago’.

rock 5

Stevie Wonder inducts Bill Withers as the two also share the stage for ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ and ‘Lean on Me’ along with John Legend. Green Day is inducted by Fall Out Boy as fans once again get to hear such songs as ‘American Idiot’, ‘When I Come Around’ and a song many of us could relate to with ‘Basket Case’.

Stevie Ray Vaughn and Double Trouble are inducted by John Mayer and I couldn’t wait to hear the song ‘Texas Flood’ once again! Patti Smith inducts Lou Reed as Laurie Anderson accepts on his behalf. Beck leads the song ‘Satellite of Love’ which is a song that has endured.

Receiving the Award for Musical Excellence is Ringo Starr and who better to give him the award than his brother in music Sir Paul McCartney. Green Day joins Ringo Starr for ‘Boys’ and Joe Walsh joins him for ‘It Don’t Come Easy’. Of course the finale wouldn’t be  a finale without Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney joined by Joe Walsh for ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’.

The 31st Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony held on April 6, 2016 brings Lars Ulrich to tell the story of how the group Deep Purple into his life and they have an impact bringing the audience ‘Highway Star’ and ‘Smoke on the Water’ (Ulrich causes the beginning rift of that song the first thing guitar players learn and the rift that has been banned from music stores). Ulrich isn’t lying because it is the first thing I learned on my guitar because I too wanted to be cool even if for a moment.

rock 2

Bert Berns is inducted by Steven Van Zandt with the Ahmet Ertegun Award for Lifetime Achievement with a very touching acceptance speech by Cassandra and Brett Berns. Kendrick Lamar inducts N.W.A. as Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, DJ Yella and MC Ren take the stage with their own acceptance speeches.

Rob Thomas inducts the group Chicago as the group takes the stage for ‘Saturday in the Park’, ‘Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?’, and ’25 or 6 to 4′. These are amazing songs that had me toe tapping and Rob Thomas said it best, ‘these songs are the sound of a city, they are the sound of a melting pot, they are the sounds of unity and they are the sounds of Chicago’ and I couldn’t agree more. These are songs of my teen years and every time I hear them I remember the sites and sounds of my life. Nothing wrong with that!

Kid Rock is the perfect person to induct Cheap Trick into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with a speech that might have some parents either cheering him on (the younger version of ourselves at least) or jaw drop but mentally doing the right on hand gesture. He says, “You can’t not watch them. Their front man is a matinee idol that can croon with swagger and their guitarist looks like a Bowery Boy on acid. No studio could do them justice, they were so big, so loud and so fast that no one could capture their fury.” Cheap Trick rocks on the stage with ‘I Want You To Want Me’, ‘Dream Police’, ‘Surrender’ and the finale ‘Ain’t That A Shame’.

Finally, The 32nd Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony starts with the induction of ELO (Electric Light Orchestra for those hatched from an egg yesterday) as Jeff Lynne brings to the stage ‘Roll Over Beethoven’, ‘Evil Woman’ and ‘Mr. Blue Sky’. They are inducted by Dhani Harrison (who looks beautifully like his father) which is an awesome way to start the ceremony!

rock 1

Jackson Browne has the honor of inducting Joan Baez as she brings her recognizeable voice to ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’, then joined by Mary Chapin Carpenter, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers for ‘Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos) and finally ‘The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down’. Baez’ voice still carries the glory of faith, hope and the hope for a better tomorrow.

Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson from the group Rush induct the band Yes as Geddy Lee joins in with ‘Roundabout’ and Yes performs one of my favorite songs ‘Owner of a Lonely Heart’. Lifeson says that his first experience with Yes was as a teenager letting the music wash over him and that this was his gateway band at the age of 17. It is as if he is speaking for all of us who first came across the band in our teen years.

Snoop Dogg inducts Tupac Shakur into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to the cheer of the crowd. It has been 21 years since the death of Shakur and Snoop Dogg tells the brief story of his life. He says, “To be human is to be many things at once, strong and vulnerable, hard headed and intellectual, revolutionary and gangster so while we are here to celebrate a prolific artist – I am here to make sure Pac is remembered the way he wanted to be – a strong black man”.

Setting my brain on fire is Pat Monahan from Train who inducts my beloved band Journey into the Hall of Fame. I could hardly contain myself to see the band Jonathan Cain, Aynsley Dunbar, Gregg Rolie, Neal Schon, Steve Smith and Ross Valory on stage.

32nd Annual Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony - Show

Feeling as if I was once again in a concert hall (as I did so many times when they were on tour), I had the chance to once again hear ‘Separate Ways (Worlds Apart), ‘Lights’ and ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ and my heart just swelled up knowing that these guys were  on my record player so many times I warped the album (yes kids, albums, round discs that when you put a needle on it played glorious sounds with the occasional popping sound that I love to this very day).

Monahan said it best, “There music has transcended all things that separate us as humans”. My Journey collection remains in my safe keeping and anytime I need to go to an deep music place, the needle hits the vinyl and I hear the one and only voice of Steve Perry.

Finally, David Letterman inducts Pearl Jam into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The music of Pearl Jam includes ‘Alive’, ‘Given to Fly’ and ‘Better Man’. Letterman calls them cultural icons as well as friends and lists songs that bring the fans to screams. Telling their story along with the list, there doesn’t seem to be a song that doesn’t cause a reaction. Having the chance to experience Pearl Jam playing together again is just a ridiculous joy! Eddie Vedder still has the voice that stands out with its storytelling righteous anger as his band makes irock 5t all sound easy.

This not enough for you? Then awesome news because Time Life will also be releasing the ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME IN CONCERT Digital Album Collection. Comprised of five digital releases respectively spanning the ceremonies from 2010-11, 2012-13, 2014, 2015 and 2016-17 contain the same groundbreaking live performances from the home entertainment sets. There are also bonus performances by Rush, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Alice Cooper, Donovan, Dr. John, Heart, The Hollies, Darlene Love, Leon Russell, Small Faces/Faces, The Stooges, Tom Waits and others. The digital release will be available on iTunes, Amazon and all other leading digital retailers.

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.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s mission is to engage, teach and inspire through the power of rock and roll. The institution carries out its mission by giving voice to the stories of the people, artifacts and events that shaped rock and roll. For more information on the Museum please visit http://www.rockhall.com.

These four ceremonies to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame are absolutely beyond description. I’ve tried my best here but let me tell you that revisiting each of these ceremonies just reiterates David Letterman’s sentiments of ‘what a gift live music truly is and never take it for granted’. These are words to live by!

This is an opportunity for those who have missed the performances to see how beautiful each ceremony is captured on Bluray and gives us every bit of the action. From heart felt speeches to spot on performances, there is nothing but beauty, music and emotion from some of the best that music has to offer. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame never disappoints with its inductees and the performances bringing the audience to their feet and had me toe tapping and head rockin.

In the end – Long Live Rock!

The Complete Season Eight of ARCHER: Dreamland is Locked and Loaded on DVD

bcb3a206-05f2-4c03-a4ee-416243ebf71dJeri Jacquin

This week on DVD from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is the coolest and smoothest spy who sees the world in his own unique way with The Complete Season Eight of ARCHER: Dreamland.

The season finally brings relieve when it left Archer (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin) face down in a swimming pool after being shot! In a coma, Archer is in a dream of being a private-eye who is looking for who killed Woodhouse. Detectives Figgis (Chris Parnell) and Poovey (Amber Nash) are irritating Archer so he takes it upon himself to a known crime boss called Mother (Jessica Walter).

Making a deal, Archer gets help and Mother gets the dirty on mobster Len Trexler (Jeffrey Tambor). The deal of course is even sweeter when Archer lays his eyes on nightclub siren Lana (Aisha Tyler) Detective Poovey finds the mobster has been dealing in sex trade and Archer returns to his office to find Charlotte VanderTunt (Judy Greer) who has a request of Archer.

archer 1

For a huge chunk of change, Charlotte asks Archer to help her fake death which will be easy since she’s set everything up. On their way to sending Charlotte’s car off like a Thelma & Louise stunt, the detectives catch and haul Archer and Charlotte off to the pokey!

In jail he finds Lana’s back up band behind bars and uses bartender Barry (Dave Willis) and the musicians to escape. That means Lana can’t sing so decides to try her hand at comedy via syphilis. Archer can’t leave until he gets Charlotte back and the arrest cards for his cohorts.

Trexler and Figgis decide they want to make use of Charlotte’s imprisonment but are slow on the draw. Of course Poovey catches on and makes sure that no one is getting out without a fight – a big fight. Getting back to Dreamland, the gang is pretty beaten up and Mother isn’t surprised and turns the tables on Trexler by using Charlotte as bait.

archer 3

Of course that really means everything is screwed up when Mother sends Archer to the Vandertunt estate to get ransom for Charlotte. Figgis realizes that Charlotte is gone but figures he can make a phone call claiming to have the woman for ransom. Mother informs Archer that Figgis is in deep with Trexler which might explain where the money is.

When they all regroup and head to Trexler’s house, they are shocked to find that crazy-loves-to-melt-humans-with-acid Dutch has some upgrades from the crazy Nazi Tin Man (Lucky Yates). The chase is on and Archer is in the midst of a nervous breakdown rant about Woodhouse when he is told disturbing news.

Finally, Archer knows who is responsible for Woodhouse and Det. Poovey can’t find the sex slaves! Then again it’s all in an Archer dream that he needs to wake up from.

Jon Benjamin as the voice of Archer has done everything right with this character. I have been taken with this rogue spy since day one and Benjamin is totally responsible for that. The edge, humor, wit and sarcasm is stunningly brilliant and there is no one else who could give Archer the life he has except Benjamin.

Tyler as Lana is just the absolute everything that I love about this show. She is smart, witty, vulnerable and has no problem saying exactly what is on her mind. I realize that Lana is an animated character but damn if Tyler just doesn’t make it easy to forget that.

archer 2

Walter as Mother is ruthless, maniacal, twisted and quite the little liar and uses Archer as only Mother can. I love when Walter lends her voice in such a way that is only heightened by the clinking of the ice in her constant glass of liquor.

Greer as Charlotte is clearly clueless about the way of the world and all she wants is to get away from her family. Irritated that she can’t get on with her plans, she is dragged from event to event and clearly not happy about it. Nash as Poovey is just twisted every which way but loose and has a vision of her future boat family.

Parnell as Figgis is a little bit of a double crosser with his partner as well as anyone else that he gets next too. Yates as the Tin Man wanted to create perfect creatures but actually should have chosen his creations more carefully. Tambor as Trexler isn’t sure where his slaves are, where the money is or how he ended up in his underwear.

Guest stars include Wyatt Cenac, Keegan-Michael Key, Wendell Pierce, and Eugene Mirman as Cecil Vandertunt.

archer 4

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.

The DVD includes the episodes No Good Deed, Bernice, Ladyfingers, Sleepers Wake, Waxing Gibbous, Gramercy Halberd!, and Auflosung. The 2-Disc set also contains the Special Features of Audio Commentary on Select Episodes.

In 2009 I began to see commercials on FX for an animated series about a company of spy’s. Intrigued by what seemed to be an adult animated comedy and always up for a challenge, I watched the first episode. Needless to say not only did I laugh myself crazy but have spent the last eight seasons cheering on my favorite group of characters (and I do mean characters!)

Each season creator Adam Reed comes up with the most insanely brilliant stories and crazy laughs. The twists, turns and outrageousness is so up my alley of humor that each week it’s like a party I don’t need guests for! A glass of wine, a few snacks and I am ready for a great time! This is an adult animated series so trust me when I reiterate the word – adult!

This season with its detective-noir dreamlike storyline, Archer gets a chance to be – well, Archer while everyone else is shrouded in mystery. Finding Woodhouse’ killer is his main goal but like any good season of ARCHER, it wasn’t going to be easy and it certainly wasn’t going to be predictable. The only thing you can count on is that it is filled with side splitting – an occasionally drink spitting – laughter.

Knowing that ARCHER is getting ready for it’s 9th season and with a promise from creator Adam Reed for a tenth – I have more time to recruit followers so that maybe we can get an 11th season. The madness and mayhem between Archer, Lana, Mallory and the gang is cut with quick humor, rapid fire comments and comebacks and the occasional pause glance by Archer that causes antici………pation makes me giggle and sometimes even applaud.

So in preparation for the new season, grab The Complete Season Eight ARCHER: Dreamland and take a trip to noir-land with the gang!

In the end – there’s nothing like a trip to dreamland!

GONE ARE THE DAYS Brings Western Justice to Bluray

Gone are the days Bluray

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray/DVD and Digital from director Mark Landre Gould and Lionsgate Home Entertainment comes western justice with GONE ARE THE DAYS.

In the old West, Taylon Flynn (Lance Henriksen) is seriously ill and his life is beginning to flash before his eyes. Knowing that his days are numbered, he not only wants to leave the earth on his own terms but also to make amends for secret that has been in his heart.

One plan is to team up with fellow outlaw Virgil (Billy Lush) to make one final bank hit. Burning his old life to the ground, Flynn and Virgil head out on the long dusty trail. On their way Flynn meets the River Man (Danny Trejo) who makes it clear that crossing the river comes at a price.

gone 1

Anything to get to town, the trip is physically demanding for Flynn. Finally making it he asks stable owner Jaden (Steve Railsback) if he knows a girl named Heidi (Meg Steedle). Before answering questions, Jaden reveals that the town doesn’t allow the carrying of a gun inside the city limits. All of this on orders of Sheriff Will (Tom Berenger) who takes keeping the peace seriously.

When it is discovered that Flynn is carrying a large sum of money, Jaden and his thugs beat and dump him out in the desert. Much to his surprise, it is Heidi that comes to his rescue which changes all his plans. When Will discovers what Jaden has done, he realizes that the name Flynn means something to him.

The past has finally caught up to them all and it’s time to face it.

Henriksen as Flynn may be one of the sickest former outlaws I’ve ever seen on the screen but he’s also the most determined. Taking it step by step to finish his life on a set path, he isn’t about to come to terms with the one secret that has haunted him the most. Henriksen has always put his stamp on what ever role he takes and I can remember seeing him as far back as his short stint in the 1977 little film called CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND. Since then his career has become defined by the wide range of he has chosen and I am always interested to see what he does next.

gone 3

Berenger as Sheriff Will is another actor who has a career that stretches from starting in a soap opera to Jake Taylor in MAJOR LEAGUE, Lewis Gates in my absolute favorite LAST OF THE DOGMEN and, of course, Sgt. Barnes in the riveting PLATOON. In GONE ARE THE DAYS, he portrays a man who has a few secrets of his own. As the sheriff, he is stern in his no-gun rule and needs to redeem himself a bit as well.

Steedle as Heidi doesn’t realize that she is part of a bigger plan. Although she wants to get away from the situation she is in, it might take a bit of dangerous behavior to make it happen. Steedle has the look of a girl who is totally unaware of whom the players in her life have been.

Railsback as Jaden is just as creepy as he can possibly be. Running the town stable, he also runs another kind of stable – women. Heidi is one such woman who wants nothing more than to get away from a life that she has had no control over. Lush as Virgil is biting at the bit to get back to the bank robbing life and wants Flynn to be at his side.

Other cast include Lulu Wilson as Sally Anne, Jamie McShane as Doctor Jenkins, Carter Hastings as Jonathan, and Jackson Dunn as Henry.

gone 4

Lionsgate is a global leader in motion picture production and distribution for theatres, television, home entertainment and more. Theatre franchises include THE HUNGER GAMES, and DIVERGENT along with JOHN WICK. Now, adding this film to its 16,000 motion picture and television titles you can see everything coming soon as well as available now at http://www.lionsgate.com.

The Bluray and DVD include the Special Features Behind the Scenes of Gone Are the Days Featurette, Cast and Crew Interviews as well as a Trailer Gallery. The Digital Ultraviolet allows you to watch anywhere with instant Stream and Download on television, computer, Tablet and Smartphone.

gone 2

GONE ARE THE DAYS is a western with a few twists which makes this worth the watch. The cast of Henriksen, Berenger and Railsback brings us the work of talented actors with resumes that show why they were chosen to bring this western full circle. The cinematography lends itself to the feel of the dusty old western town and also the set design and costuming completed the look of the story.

In the end – save the last bullet for yourself!

PINOCCHIO is Singing and Dancing onto DVD

Pinnochio

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD, Digital and On Demand on April 10th from Lionsgate Home Entertainment is a colorful story we all know about a boy named PINOCCHIO.

Geppetto (Mino Caprio) is an elderly gentleman who wants a family. Taking a piece of log, he carves out a son he calls Pinocchio (Johnny Orlando) and gets more son than he bargained for. Running all about town causing mayhem and refusing to go to school, Geppetto sees the trouble he is headed for.

Going to the circus instead of school, Pinocchio meets Mangiafuoco who comes to learn that the wooden boy is trying to get home to his father. Giving him gold coins, Mangiafuoco tells the Fox (Ambyr Childers) and the Cat Leo (Jon Heder) to get Pinocchio home. However, the furry duo has other plans.

pin 1

Trying to get the gold from Pinocchio, the chase is on as he tries to escape them. After some time, the boy is rescued by the Fairy with the Blue Hair. Pinocchio knows that he needs to get back to his father soon.

Continuing to make dangerous choices and believe what people tell him, Pinocchio wants to become a real boy and learns that he must do good to accomplish that goal. In life things aren’t always so easy and even when he chooses wrong; he finds that there is always someone there who sees the good in him.

Orlando as Pinocchio is full of energy and the inability to listen to his father. Wanting to do what he wants brings turmoil to the relationship with Geppetto. His world is actually very narrow so the consequences aren’t clear to the young wooden boy. Once he is out in the world, he begins to understand that it is quite a responsibility to be human.

Childers as the Fox is a four legged creature on a mission to take what isn’t hers! Trying to rob the boy doesn’t work so well so turning to trickery is the only alternative. Heder as the Cat Leo goes along with pretty much everything his foxy friend says and does. He is equally excited to get his hands on the gold.

pin 2

Finding true friendship and love can be an eye opening experience!

Lionsgate is a global leader in motion picture production and distribution for theatres, television, home entertainment and more. Theatre franchises include THE HUNGER GAMES, and DIVERGENT along with JOHN WICK. Now, adding this film to its 16,000 motion picture and television titles you can see everything coming soon as well as available now at http://www.lionsgate.com.

This is a different version in the telling of the wooden boy. There is music and dancing that lights up the screen. PINOCCHIO has been awarded the Dove Seal of Approval from The Dove Foundation in that it has so many of the family values to its story.

PINOCCHIO is about family, love, friendship, trust and knowing when it is time to take responsibility for one’s actions. Geppetto is a worried father who will go to any lengths to save his son from those who would hurt him. When Pinocchio realizes everything he has done, that’s when his life begins to change and he sees what is truly important.

pin 3

PINOCCHIO won the Special Silver Ribbon by the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists and was also nominated for Best Feature by the Annecy International Animated Film Festival and the European Film Awards.

The DVD includes the Special Features of Bringing the Characters to Life: At the Recording Studio with Johnny Orlando, Jon Heder and Ambyr Childres as well as the Trailer Gallery.

This is definitely a family friendly film that is filled with action, adventure and the journey of a little wooden boy on his way to being a transformed human Pinocchio!

In the end – an adventure like you wooden believe!

 

TOMB RAIDER

tomb poster

Jeri Jacquin

In theatres this Friday from director Roar Uthaug and Warner Bros. Pictures is the beginning adventure of Lara Croft becoming the Tomb Raider.

Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander) is a young woman trying to find her place by making it on her own. She really doesn’t need to since her father Lord Richard Croft (Dominic West), who has been missing for seven years, left his daughter an inheritance. When family friend Ana Miller (Kristin Scott Thomas) bails Lara out of a problem, she is told it is time to sign the papers legally declaring her father dead.

Agreeing to finally do so, family lawyer Mr. Yaffe (Derek Jacobi) is presented with a puzzle and in it is something that sets Lara off on a quest for answers. Finding clues to the last place her father went, she discovers a diary and maps along with a cryptex with a story about a Japanese Queen and a power that has the capability of world destruction.

tomb 6

Lara makes her way to the Far East in search of a man named Lu Ren, instead she finds the son, also Lu Ren (Daniel Wu) who is shocked to learn that they have something in common. Explaining that they both need answers about their fathers, Lu and Lara head off to a dangerous island that shows them no mercy.

So much so that the ship is grounded and Lara is washed ashore only to be taken by Mathias Vogel (Walton Coggins). He is thrilled at the new island arrival because she holds the answers he has spent seven years looking for. Lara has no plan on letting Vogel get away with what he is doing and manages to escape. In an adventure within an adventure, she is surprised to find someone else on the island she hasn’t expected to see.

Vogel finds the tomb and along with his well weaponized mercenaries forces Lara to go in first and lead them to the final resting place of the Queen of Death. The horror that awaits them is nothing they are prepared for but that isn’t going to stop Lara from doing the right thing and save the world!

tomb 1

Vikander as Lara shows the beginnings of Lara Croft and how hard headed and yet still an adrenaline junkie she is. Wanting to avoid signing the papers declaring her father dead, she is told by Ana that if it doesn’t happen, Lara will lose everything that her father built. Vikander literally jumps into action and I can clearly see why she was chosen to be a younger Lara Croft.

Coggins as Vogel has made being a bad guy so deliciously easy. All balled up with anger at being forced to live in a dangerous place for seven years, he isn’t very forgiving. Looking for the one thing that can bring him home means nothing or no one, not even Lara Croft, is going to get in his way. Coggins is an actor who can play a good guy (or gal), a mediocre guy and a bad guy – all with such skill. Can you tell I’m a fan?

Wu as the younger Lu Ren is a boat owner who doesn’t want to get involved with Lara’s mystery. Talking him into it isn’t hard and after being thrown on the island with Lara, he jumps into the action when seeing how wrong everything around him is. Of course I am a serious fan of Wu and if you’ve seen the AMC series Into the Badlands where he plays Sunny, you’d be hooked on him too.

tomb 3

West as Lord Richard Croft raises his young daughter but leads a very secretive life. As Lara gets older she accepts her father’s ‘business’ trips with ease knowing that her father loves her. West takes the role of Richard and gives the audience a little more back story and experience the father-daughter relationship.

Thomas as Ana has been keeping Croft Holdings up and running for Lara but knows its time for decisions to be made so she doesn’t lose what her father has left behind. I have to say I love seeing Thomas taken on a shady character.

Other cast includes: Alexandre Willaume, Tamer Burjaq, Adrian Collins, Keenan Arrison, Andrian Mazive, Milton Schorr and a cameo by Nick Frost.

Okay, time to get real and announce this is where there may be a few spoilers because there is no way to talk about the film without letting things slip here and there. So if you don’t want to know – check out right here – still here? Then prepare for a rant.

I want to be taken away and go on an adventure when I’m watching a movie that is suppose to be, well, an adventure. Then a scene takes me completely out of it and I’m spending the rest of the time seeing nothing but what’s wrong. Let’s begin being hit by a car, I realize she is Lara Croft but, um, yea, a car usually puts people out of commission for a day at least. Then again I guess that’s what one does when dealing with daddy issues.

tomb 5

Then there is a camera left behind seven years after Richard Croft’s disappearance. Lara finds it and – low and behold – it works. Really? REALLY? My cell phone can’t hold a charge for more than a day and this frikken camera is still working after seven years?Also, knowing a thing or two about keeping a house – is it me or shouldn’t there be more dust and cobwebs in an office that has been left untouched for seven years. I mean not a single cobweb?

Onward trying not to shake my head, the next jaw dropper – I could be wrong but when a tree stabs you in the side and you get sewn up, do you (less than 8 hours later) run top speed through the jungle like Katniss Everdeen hunting President Snow? It could be she is a descendant of Legolas from Lord of the Rings with the ability to run and shoot rapid arrows at close range. Maybe it’s Indian Jones figuring out the traps so that she can get her hands on the Grail? That can’t be possible since Dan Brown has taken care of that faux cup right? Professor Jones must feel sheepish.

I mean seriously we have had the Grail, Priory, Illuminati which, by the way, the original Lara Croft’s father was a part of. Since that’s been covered, it’s on to the new secret sect of crazies called the Trinity. My head is spinning.

Yes, I am completely over it which once again proves to my stubborn self that there is no reason to redo films that are perfectly okay as they are. The thought process should have been this; how about saving millions of dollars and have a Lara Croft: Tomb Raider marathon of the original films and pocket money without out really spending millions. Oh I know, I’m going to get garbage about how old the other film is or how a “new generation” needs a revamp of the story. I’m calling b.s. on that Hollywood.

tomb 4

And as far as the theme song does it really have to be ‘Survivor’? This song has been played into the dirt and this is the best you could come up with? What’s with calling the film TOMB RAIDER as if Lara Croft is an after thought. Did you think that leaving it off would mean people wouldn’t IMDB it to see that this is a remake, rethink, reimaging or anything else re?

So here is the deal – is the film heinous? No, it’s just annoying and I hate being annoyed. Is it a good cast? Yes, and in lies another dilemma for me. I don’t have issue with the cast at all, I am a Vikander, West and Wu fan and am completely in love with anything Walton Coggins does. I mean really, any guy who can pull off the ever so lovely Venus Van Damn with a heart of gold to sway Tig from Sons of Anarchy fame works for me completely. That’s where my thumbs up ends.

Come on studios! Are you going to rely on Steven Spielberg, Christopher Nolan, Alfonso Cuaron and Spike Jonze to do all the original film heavy lifting forever?

In the end – her legend begins.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑