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September 2018

SMALLFOOT is Total Family Fun

 

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Jeri Jacquin

In theatres from directors Karey Kirkpatrick, Jason Reisig and Warner Bros. is the story high in the clouds about SMALLFOOT.

Migo (voiced by Channing Tatum) is a yeti who lives in a village high in the clouds. His father Dorgle (Danny DeVito) has a very important job of helping the sun come up each morning and Migo wants to be just like him.

When the village Stonekeeper (Common) bestows on Migo his own helmet, the training begins. After a few practice runs, he is set across the sky aiming for his gong target when distracted by the lovely Meechee (Zendaya), daughter of the Stonekeeper. Shooting over the mountain, Migo lands in a snowy patch and tangles with an airplane where he sees the mythical Smallfoot!

Running back to the village to tell everyone, Migo is banished by the Stonekeeper until he tells everyone the truth – there are no Smallfoots. Deciding to find one Migo takes off but finds himself followed by Gwangi (LeBron James), Kolka (Gina Rodriguez) and Fleem (Ely Henry).

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They take Migo to Meechee who is the head of the S.E.S. (Smallfoot Evidentiary Society). The group believes that all the rules set in stone for the yeti’s are not true, that there has to be something more. Migo still takes it upon himself to find a Smallfoot in the local town and meets Percy (James Corden), a television personality who spends his time discovering new animals but has lately fallen on hard times.

When the pilot of the downed airplane makes it to the town, he tells Percy that he saw a yeti which gives Percy a great idea. Trying to convince Brenda (Yara Shahidi) to dress up as a yeti, he could get his ratings back and once again be a hit.

But Migo has other plans and after a verbal exchange of sorts, takes Percy to his village. Stunning that the yeti’s are congenial, Percy finds himself making friends and explaining any questions, well sort of, that they might have. Meechee realizes that something is wrong with Percy and that he needs to get off the mountain.

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That’s when Migo discovers through the Stonekeeper that some things are better left untold to the people and making Percy go away is the best thing for them all. Not everyone agrees and when the two groups meet – someone has to bend!

Tatum as Migo is adorable and my three-year-old granddaughter is my proof. She was immediately drawn to Migo with his fast talking curious ways and when the singing began – that’s all it took. Laughing, clapping and cheering Migo on became her mission all through the film and it was as delightful as the film to watch. Thanks Channing for making our film experience so entertaining!

Corden as Percy is a fast talking personality who is losing his perspective and, according to Brenda, his integrity. Willing to do anything to bring back the fame he once knew, it takes a group of furry yeti’s to remind him of his humanity and ability to care for someone other than himself.

Zendaya as Meechee is charming and stubborn when it comes to doing what her father the Stonekeeper says. She believes that there is something more to their life and wants to be able to find out what that is. Common as the Stonekeeper is convinced he is doing the right thing by his yeti-people and is equally as stubborn to make sure the village is kept safe. Tatro as brother Thorp does his father’s bidding but does get an eventual wake up call.

DeVito as Dorgle comes from a long line of yeti’s who have made it their life (and flat headed work) to bring in the sunrise and enjoys knowing Migo will someday follow…or will he? Rodriguez as Kolka follows Meechee with no hesitation but is keeping an eye on Migo. James as Gwangi is another follower who believes with or without any proof. Henry as Fleem is the yeti that would drive me nuts always weighting the pros and cons of life until what he’s weighing becomes over rated.

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SMALLFOOT is fun, musical and giggly mixed in with lessons of loyalty to both family and friendship no matter how big or small your foot might be. The fun comes in the slap stick comedy of snowy pratfalls and snowballs that I will even admit to enjoying. In a theatre full of children, it is easy to see the delight on their faces.

The music is fun, lighthearted, engaging and, I’m sure, will create a few hits that will be sung by children again and again. While the characters were singing the catchier tunes, the children would stand up and dance a little which always makes the adult laugh and smile.

Giggling is inevitable with this film as its jokes get the adults and the antics get the kids, or maybe it’s the other way around but does it matter? The antics are there and its meant for every age group.

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The lessons of friendship and differences are what is wonderful and colorfully done with SMALLFOOT. Whether you are furry or have a small foot, each side saw the other as monsters and that is when the opportunity presents itself to either change that or continue to live in fear. I choose the change!

SMALLFOOT’s animation is colorful, vibrant and stunning which is just icing on the cake of a film, and I saw for myself, that everyone truly, truly enjoyed.

In the end – no every legend is a tall tale!

 

 

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Ant-Man & The Wasp Comes to Bluray and You Can Win!

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Ant-Man & The Wasp is available on digital 10/2 and Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD on 10/16!
They can be buzzing to your own home entertainment library as well. Go to 
with ANTMAN in the subject line along with your name and address and good luck!

WHEN CALLS THE HEART: Year Five Brings their Movies to DVD with a Blessed Bonus

when calls year five

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD from Shout! Factory and “Hearties” everywhere is an amazing set of films that touch us all with life, love and always knowing WHEN CALLS THE HEART: Year Five.

The Heart of Homecoming shows the people of Hope Valley at their very caring best as Christmas comes to town. Wanting to make sure everyone’s holidays are special and bright, the town gets ready for a Christmas parade. Elizabeth (Erin Krakow) is volunteering to take her mind off of missing Jack (Daniel Lissing) who is still on Mountie assignment.

Hearts and Minds has Elizabeth’s sister coming to Hope Valley. Julie (Charlotte Hegele) has decided that perhaps she would follow Elizabeth into teaching and shadow’s her sister at the school house. Abigail (Lori Loughlin) believes that the railroad can be a good thing for Hope Valley but she needs the towns help. Bill (Jack Wagner) must leave on official business and with Jack gone the only other person he trusts to be the law in the town is Lee (Kavan Smith) who also gets a taste of being town sheriff.

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Home is Where the Heart is finally has Jack returning home to a very happy Elizabeth. It also means that she can begin to plan their wedding and Abigail is excited to help. One of Elizabeth’s students, Hattie, is chosen to start a school newspaper. Trying to find stories to tell is more difficult that the young girl imagined but it doesn’t stop her from telling a story she didn’t check facts on first.

My Heart is Yours is the day all the ‘Hearties’ have been waiting for. Jack and Elizabeth’s wedding day is close and the plans are moving forward. A telegram arrives for Jack sending him on a Mountie assignment but Bill won’t let anything get in the way of Jack’s big day. Instead, Bill rides out of town to do a prisoner transfer but things go awry putting his best man duties in jeopardy. Elizabeth has chosen students to be part of her wedding day and while rehearsing brings danger to the school. Abigail is thrilled that Pastor Frank (Mark Humphrey) has returned for the big day but they also need to decide how to go forward with their relationship.

Weather the Storm has Abigail continues to try and find investors to keep Hope Valley’s bank afloat. Elizabeth gets the idea and the towns help to have children follow one business in the town to learn how things work. The children are excited and chose only to discover that the adults are doing everything they can to make their town successful. AJ Foster (Josie Bissett) is back and Bill must deal with what happened a year ago between them.

Close to My Heart has Rosemary (Pascale Hutton) and her fluttery nature front and center. Lee’s former business partner who passed away brings his widow Eleanor to Hope Valley. Rosemary doesn’t understand all of her questions about business and success in their town. Eleanor finds Henry (Martin Cummins) and offers him a position wanting to open up a business. He is happy thinking he finally can get rid of the bad reputation he has with the townspeople. This is his chance but will he do the right thing? Finally, tragedy comes to Hope Valley and the entire town is in shock and devastated.

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But life always shows us faith and hope!

Krakow as Elizabeth takes her character in a direction that is so lovely and difficult and heartbreaking for the viewer. A beloved person in Hope Valley, Elizabeth has cemented her place and when she deals with life-trials, it is those who have made her beloved that are there for her. Krakow has taken her character steps further each episode and season. That means those of us who love the show have grown right along with her and it has been an amazing journey.

Lissing as Thornton has done his role proud and with that said I’m saddened that he will no longer be Mountie Jack. That is a role that is strong, steadfast, endearing and what it means to be dedicated to one’s profession and the community where he lives. Those are characteristics some might say are lacking in our world today, yet Lissing has shown that although the series is set in another time, his actions are timeless. We will miss you Mountie Jack and we wish you well Daniel Lissing.

Loughlin as Abigail continues to be a pillar of the town taking on the role of mayor, mother to two orphaned children and run the town’s café. If that isn’t enough, she is trying to save the town’s bank by looking for investors. Loughlin is such a strong character in this series and yet hasn’t forgotten her humanity or what the word love truly means.

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Wagner as Bill is the town law and has found his place in Hope Valley. He is equally dependable and has a grumpy kind of caring towards the people of the town. Wagner makes me laugh at times with how much he wants to pretend to be annoyed by something yet is the first to jump in when needed.

Hutton as Rosemary is continually delightful, thoughtful in her way, bold, flamboyant and oh so colorful. The way she thinks is a little self-serving at times but never in a hurtful or aggressive way. Instead she just wants everyone to be as happy as she is in life. Hutton is such a joy to watch as she keeps Rosemary moving forward with married life, friendship and town life.

Smith as Leland is as busy as ever with the lumber business while balancing married life. He has become such a strong part of the community and keeps the people of the town working. Smith brings charm, personality and humor to his marriage (which is cute beyond belief) and concern for the town he calls home and all his loved ones who live there.

Humphrey as Frank became important to Hope Valley but things change and Abigail knows it. This character has been embraced and emotionally necessary to balance everything that has happened to the people in town. Added to that is Greene as Carson, the town doctor, and they finally can be physically well.

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Other cast include Paul Greene as Carson Shepherd, Andrea Brooks as Faith Carter, Eva Aren Bucholz as Jesse Flynn, Carter Evancic as Cody Hastings, Ava Cooper as Opal, and Max Lloyd-Jones as Tom Thornton

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.

The six-disc DVD includes all the movies seen during the 5th season of WHEN THE HEART CALLS.

Inspired by the books of Janette Oke, The Hallmark Channel has been home to the series. WHEN THE HEART CALLS is brought by executive producer Michael Landon, Jr. A spin off of the series When Hope Calls is expected to begin airing in 2019 on the Hallmark Movies Now service.

Included with WHEN CALLS THE HEART: Year Five is an amazing and truly emotional book When God Calls the Heart: Devotions from Hope Valley by Brian Bird, Michelle Cox and a forward from creator Janette Oke. Each chapter brings remembrance of a story told by Elizabeth Thatcher and other characters leading to a scripture, a simple prayer and questions that we can all relate to answering.

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WHEN CALLS THE HEART is a series that gracefully makes its way into ones heart, whether they are expecting it to happen or not. The characters created by Oke are strong, solid, endearing, tough, caring and filled with all the complexities that come along with being a human being. Yet in all of that, these characters never forget how to love, be compassionate and give to those who have less.

That is how we all truly want to see the world despite what we see on television or the news these days. Ann Frank said it best that, “I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.”

That is Hope Valley and the characters who live there – being good at heart even when there are moments that are questionable. Each of the townspeople has their story that we have all come to know and it’s not always good. Yet, at the heart of those not-so-good stories are the people who believe that everyone is good at heart – like Abigail feels towards Henry Gowen.

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Country life or city life – the key word is life and that’s what WHEN CALLS THE HEART brings viewers. It may be another era but the values and beliefs are universal and timeless. This is a series that the entire family can watch together and embrace and, let’s be honest, there are not too many shows that can fly that flag.

WHEN CALLS THE HEART: Year Five is the DVD that deserves a place next to all the series DVD’s in everyone’s home entertainment library. Hallmark Channel and Shout! Factory not only make it possible but a blessing.

In the end – it is a town filled with hope and heart!

FOX Brings the Intensity of the Job with 9-1-1: The Complete Season One

911 cover

Jeri Jacquin

Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuck and Tim Minear have created a series for FOX that follows Los Angeles first responders and its time to catch up before the new season with 9-1-1: The Complete Season One.

The series begins with an introduction to Abby (Connie Britton), a 9-1-1 operator who has been caring for her mother. Patricia (Mariette Hartley) suffers from dementia which puts Abby’s life on hold being a working caretaker. Athena Grant (Angela Bassett) is a police officer whose home life is another kind of stress. When her husband breaks unexpected news, Athena must find a way to make it work with her two children.

Buck (Oliver Stark) is a firefighter who witnesses a tragic event and isn’t sure how to deal with it. During a call with Abby, the two seem to find solace in speaking to one another. Athena and partner Hen (Aisha Hinds) are called to a home where a dog has kept the homeowner at bay but it’s at home where Athena almost loses her daughter.

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LAFD Captain Nash (Peter Krause) is not a personally outgoing person but as a captain he knows what needs to be done. When Chimney (Kenneth Choi) is on his way to work, he is involved in an accident and relies on his Captain to keep him calm. Athena is dealing with the consequences of her daughter’s serious actions trying to figure out how to make the family heal itself.

Not even a plane crash can slow down what is going on in the lives of these first responders as it becomes clear that Bobby has a drinking problem and it’s not the first time. Abby realizes that she might not be able to care for her mother without serious help when a situation arises. As much as the rest of the family wants to place Patricia in a facility, Abby can not bring herself to do that. Athena believes that the only way she can help her daughter is, reluctantly, to confine herself to desk duty.

Hen is devastated when her Eve, an ex-girlfriend, makes a request in helping her get out of prison. The problem is that Hen is married now to Karen (Tracie Thoms) and hides the information about Eve until she can figure out how to make it all work. Buck and Abby grow closer when they work together about Patricia. It finally becomes clear why Bobby remains aloof from his team when coming clean about what happened to his family and how he is involved.

Buck and Abby want to celebrate Valentine’s Day together so Bobby and Chimney take over duty. It doesn’t exactly go as planned and Abby ends up performing a tracheotomy! Athena isn’t doing much better when she meets a woman who is having a difficult time with Valentines Day. Trying to help, she discovers that there is more lurking on this day than she could have imagined.

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As if Abby didn’t have enough to deal with, a 9-1-1 call she took has her believing that there is something missing. She isn’t about to give up until she has a chance to go back to the calls and listen carefully for clues. Hen is about to put her marriage in jeopardy as Eve becomes a problem.

The team tries to stay one step ahead of a flood of calls when Bobby discovers that he has blood that can save lives. He must decide if he wants to be a part of something that could bring a change in his life. Athena’s husband Grant (Rockmond Dunbar) must finally come clean with his children about the reason for their divorce.

Buck begins to question his relationship with Abby after they’ve already taken it one step further than just talking on the phone. All of Eve’s intentions become clear when Hen must now take on a custody battle hoping that Karen is going to be a part of it.

If the life of the first responders isn’t difficult enough, a death at the local psychiatric hospital brings a raising from the grave, per se. Abby is about to make a major life change as she finally does something for both her mother and herself. Karen isn’t happy when she discovers what Hen has been doing feeling that she sacrificed their family for someone who only plays games.

In the biggest twist of all – Bobby and Athena go on a date and discover they not only enjoy each other’s company but understand the struggles of each one’s job.

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Britton as Abby takes on the role of a 9-1-1 operator who has the calmness it takes to handle situations from people who are struggling for help. At the same time she is also struggling herself taking care of a mother with Alzheimer’s and realizing that she has cut herself off from a personal life. Britton is so very good in this role and I am hoping she returns soon.

Krause as Nash is the Captain of his firefighting team and leads them with a manner that is a little off putting to some of the crew. He has a story to tell that explains his demeanor and it is one of sadness and guilt. Trying to find a way to live with his past, it is the team he works with that show compassion and care that can change everything. Krause is a strong character with human frailties and I am betting season two will be when he grows past his demons.

Bassett as Athena is a police officer that can claim to almost seeing it all in human nature. She is quick and doesn’t let much get past her – professional that it. At home there are changes happening that she avoids until it can’t be avoided any longer. She sees the family as falling apart instead of seeing that it is just changing. Bassett has always been a strong actress and having a television role gives us a chance to see more of her chops.

Stark as Buck is the cocky firefighter that believes his charm will get him everywhere. That is until he learns that being cute doesn’t do a darn thing for the job that he has to perform. Wanting to make different choices, he finds himself drawn to Abby wanting tohelp make things easier for her. Sometimes people change to fast and in Buck’s case it means questioning everything. Stark has the good looks and attitude to get my attention but when the story line moves forward, we should see Buck go through it the hard way.

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Hinds as Henrietta ‘Hen’ also takes her police job serious and is happy at home with wife Karen and family. In one instant she puts that all in jeopardy and knows that getting it all back is going to take every emotion she has to set things right. Thoms as Karen is a strong woman who deals with the long nights away from Hen but once a line is crossed, she must decide what she will and will not tolerate in her life.

Choi as Chimney is a bit of comic relief in a strange way. He enjoys his job and those he works with but one accident puts things in perspective.  Hartley as Patricia is a Mother who is being looked after by her daughter. That’s difficult enough but when things start getting tougher, Hartley’s character is heart wrenching to watch. Amazing performance.

Other cast include Connie Massiah as May Grant, Marcanthonnee Reis as Harry Grant, Cocoa Brown as Carla Price, JC Gonzalez as Kyle, Todd Williams as Aaron Brooks, Rachel Breitag as Tatiana and Brielle Barbusca as Cooper and Josephine Lawrence as Georgina.

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

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The three-disc DVD includes the episodes Pilot, Let Go, Next of Kin, Worst Day Ever, Point of Origin, Heartbreaker, Full Moon (Creepy AF), Karma’s a Bitch, Trapped and A Whole New You.

 9-1-1 explores the intensity of being a firefighter, police officer, paramedic and operator. On any given day these jobs call on people to go in where other people run out. From helping injured and sick people to accident victims to rescues, each of these jobs is one that calls for dedication and stamina – both emotional and physical.

The first season of 9-1-1 introduces us to these characters that are dedicated to what they do even in the midst of their own personal problems. There are stories that unfold in this first season that are going to be continued on 9-1-1’s Second Season which begins next week.

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9-1-1’s first season didn’t mince storylines and kept each episode moving and I enjoyed that most of all. First seasons are for getting to know the players and in the cast of this series there is a duality of professional life and home life which brings an intensity and a lot of emotion that works perfectly.

In the end – they are on the line every day!

 

 

THE GIFTED: The Complete First Season Has Mutants on the Run on DVD

the gifted cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD from creator Matt Nix and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is the new series that is ready to take us on the run with THE GIFTED: The Complete First Season.

Reed Strucker (Stephen Moyer) is a Sentinel Service Agent in Atlanta, Georgia who has a family including wife Caitlin (Amy Acker), daughter Lauren (Natalie Lind) and son Andy (Percy Hynes). Reed’s job is to prosecute mutants for different offenses and he takes his job serious. That’s all about to change when he discovers that Lauren and Andy are mutants themselves!

Now the Sentinel Services is after the family who is on the run and find a mutant underground that tries to protect mutants. Trying to get away proves to be difficult as Reed is captured by police along with Lorna Dane aka Polaris (Emma Dumont). Polaris is put in a cell and Reed is being questioned by SS officer Coby Bell (Jace Turner).

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The other mutants are dealing with problems of their own when Clarice aka Blink (Jamie Chung) loses consciousness and her abilities put the others in danger. Lauren tries to help with her powers while Caitlin tries to find medication that will help. The police are surrounding them when John aka Thunderbird (Blair Redford), Sage (Hayley Lovitt), Ed (Joe Nemmers), Fade (Jeff Phillips), and Shatter (Jermaine Rivers) try to stop an attack by the police.

Turner tries to use all the interrogation methods that Reed used in his work as well but it isn’t working. Doing anything to get what he wants, Turner uses Reed’s mother Ellen (Sharon Gless) as a scare tactic and then puts Polaris and Reed together in a cell. Caitlin decides to find her brother for help in getting Reed released.

Marcos aka Eclipse (Sean Teale) finds himself back in his old neighborhood as Carmen Guerra (Michelle Veintimilla) demands that he work for her anytime she calls. A bit of information that Marcos keeps from John when he returns to the group. Roderick Campbell (Garret Dillahunt) is a scientist who is showing a keep interest in Lauren and Andy Strucker. He asks for help from Turner who seems to have no interest.

Reed and Polaris are being moved to a military instillation called the SS Relocation Center but the mutants have other plans. Marcos received information about the route the convoy is taking as Lauren and Andy finally use their powers to rescue their father. That doesn’t last as a surprise mutant, Pulse (Zach Roerig) is found to be working with the SS by disrupting their powers.

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After the rescue, a new mutant, Esme (Skyler Samuels) joins the group. She knows that other mutants have been taken to Trask Industries and given a drug called Kick. Reed knows that his father Otto (Raymond J. Barry) worked for Trask years before but is disturbed to learn that being a mutant is in the family. Otto worked to suppress the mutant gene and used his son to stop abilities. The SS aren’t far behind and Reed, along with Thunderbird, see his father in action.

Reed tells Caitlin what he learned about his family and test what happens when Andy and Lauren are put together power-wise. Esme needs the group to rescue her own family and uses her powers to get Clarice, Dreamer (Elena Satine) and the Strucker’s to help to get into Trask. Polaris, Eclipse, Thunderbird and Esme attack Trask and Turner get their before the mutants. Now, Reed sees his own children in Turner’s hands.

Polaris is angry and wants to go after Sentinel Services. Esme believes the parents should go to Turner and talk before acting out with the mutants but she really has other plans for her sister Phoebe and Sophie Frost. Telling the group what the Strucker’s plan to do, the others want to attack once again. Turner decides to ask Trask to return all the mutants to the SS.

Reed and Caitlin want to go to Mexico but something is keeping them constantly at bay from that. First, Esme and her sisters want to top the Hound program but in doing so it means bringing back the Hellfire Club. Polaris knows a little something about that as well but she is more concerned with Marcos and her own family. Turner isn’t about to stop tracking the group and the Frost sisters are playing both ends against the middle.

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Going to a safe house, Polaris, Eclipse, Thunderbird and Clarice learn that the truth about the X-Men and the Hellfire Club. Campbell meets with Senator Montez (David Norona) who is more than happy to expand the Hound program. Reed goes to his mother and tells her that she must go into hiding or the SS would continue to come after her. Ellen tells them of Madeline Risman who can help them more with Otto’s research.

Going to Washington, Campbell and Montez are in danger as the Frost sisters are once again using the other mutants to do what they want. The Strucker’s are tracked down by Turner and it’s only the combined powers of Lauren and Andy that help them escape. In Tennessee, they are introduced to the Hellfire Club.

Moyer as Reed is a man who believed that doing his job with the SS was the right thing. Wanting to make the world safe from mutants who were causing trouble, his tune changed quickly when he learns his own children have been keeping a secret. Moyer slides into this role with ease and picks up every nuance of his character quickly.

Acker as Caitlin finds herself doing triple duty as wife, mother and doctor to the mutants who are injured during the chases and attacks. Not having much time to understand that she didn’t know about her kid’s powers, she isn’t given much more time to embrace it thrown into the world of chaos. Acker is the emotional stabilizer between the mutants and her family when their loyalty comes into question.

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Lind as Lauren is a strong teen who knows that once her secret is out, she must do everything possible to be of help to those like her rather than a burden. Hynes as Andy is a young man who is still learning about his powers and what damage they can do. Both of these characters are also on the right side of the mutant fight and have to grow up quicker than they ever thought possible.

Bell as Turner is running his SS duties mostly out of loss and anger. He will come to understand that his superiors don’t care about either of those things. Dillahunt as Roderick also has his own agenda that is going to be tested again and again.

Redford as John Proudstar is one of the strong mutants who knows that they must stop what is happening to mutants. He is a fierce leader and wants his friends to stay safe but it isn’t easy. Teale as Marcos is keeping his own secret but will do anything to keep his love Polaris away from the SS. Dumont as Polaris is a girl who isn’t afraid to state her opinion and show that her abilities aren’t to be trifled with.

Chung as Clarice has a problem, although Dream had good intentions, she is seeing something with John that isn’t real and didn’t happen. Satine as Dreamer will have to deal with her good intentions when confronted by Clarice. Trying to fix this friendship may take a bit of time and forgiveness.

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Other cast include Dinarte de Freitas as Pedro, Angela Oh as Sarah, Josh Henry as Ben, Gino Vento as Juan, Ray Campbell as William, Jessica Goei as Naya, Danny Ramirez as Wes and Frances Turner as Paula Turner.

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 3-disc DVD includes the 11 episodes eXposed, rX, eXodus, eXit strategy, boxed in, got your siX, eXtreme measures, threat of eXtinction, outfoX, eXploited, 3 X 1, eXtraction, and X-roads.

 One of the very cool things about THE GIFTED is that you don’t have to be knee deep in mutant history to jump on this bandwagon. The story starts out strong enough that it is easy to not only catch on quickly but fall under THE GIFTED’s mutant spell.

The cast comes together and brings us the story of mutants and those who want them gone. From the unexpected places come friends but from the same unexpected places comes those with their own agenda. That is what this cast does, tries to put all the pieces to the puzzle together and do it so well.

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Through the years I have come to know some of the stories about the X-men and mutants and THE GIFTED is another chapter to that story. There is drama, action, twists and turns as well as an underlying story of being different and trying to survive in a world that clearly doesn’t want them in it.

Taking care of one another through hurt and struggle as they go through while trying to find their place in the world. Learning from one another about their strengths and weaknesses is what helps them bond together to stop anyone else from hurting them and finding their own loved ones.

In the end – family is the ultimate power!

ELMO’S WORLD: Elmo Explores! the Delightful World of Learning for Family’s

 

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Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD from SHOUT! Kids Factory and Sesame Workshop comes the most entertaining and educational fun led by the one and only ELMO’S WORLD: Elmo Explores!

Elmo, along with friend Smartie, explores the world of painting and all the different ways to make beautiful works. Showing how much fun it can be, it is also a creative way to explore all the ways to make our world colorful. Challenging us all with colors, shapes and sizes, it is an experience for us all.

Learning is something that Elmo continues to do as he decides that he wants to learn all about cooking. Understanding that there are ingredients and what it takes to mix it all up, he becomes even more excited about the possibilities.

Wondering about the different kinds of homes there are, he and Smartie look it up to discover there are houseboats, tree houses, apartments and even ice houses in the world. Elmo creates a game that asks where certain houses belong in what part of the world. Calling on Mr. Noodle, they get to see what kind of home he would make.

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Elmo learns about the word ‘habitat’ and he wants to understand more and what kind there are. He creates an amazing game that puts animals and other creatures with their right habitats.

Father’s Day is an important day for everyone and even Elmo wants to know more about how the day came about. He creates a game so that viewers can help him create a very special card for his own father. We also get to meet Mr. Noodle’s father – Papa Noodle who shows us all his moves.

Elmo learns there are all kinds of books that are printed and even on the computer. Filled with stories and people, he also learns that people can write books of their own. Creating a story, Elmo brings a selection of characters and gets creative in a story of a pirate.

This is a lesson like no other when Elmo wants to learn about skin. Smartie helps Elmo understand that skin comes in all shapes and colors! Even Elmo’s red skin gives him the idea to match crayon color to skin color on his friends. Mr. Noodle teaches us that protecting our skin is important especially when in the sun.

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Camouflaging is something Elmo wonders about and Smartie shows him a little more about it. Creating a camouflaging game, we get the chance to look for animals in a picture that hides them.

Elmo learns about the possibilities of recycling! There are plastics, bottles and aluminum cans that can be transformed into other things we use every day. He also begins to understand that there are bins for different types of recycling. Mr. Noodle teaches us even more about recycling.

The change of seasons are what Elmo wonders about now. Discovering there is spring, summer, fall and winter; Elmo can’t decide which one he likes the best. He creates a game that challenges us to know the season and asks Mr. Noodle what is his favorite season.

Learning about brothers and sisters, Elmo wants to know about siblings. He learns that siblings can be younger, older and even twins or maybe no sibling at all. Elmo also learns that siblings share and care for each other which is really important in a family.

Elmo loves colors and wants to learn more about them by asking Smartie to look it up with him. They both learn that colors are beautiful like in a rainbow but also that colors can mean important things and you can mix colors to create new colors. Mr. Noodles dog Schmoodle joins in on the colorful debate.

Finally, Elmo wonders about musical instruments and the sounds they make. Smartie is pretty happy about it too and is more than thrilled to discover all the different instruments there are and what sounds they make. All around the world, they learn that every culture has their own special instruments as well. Giving Elmo an idea for a game, its time to match the instrument to the sound they make. Mr. Noodle shows how he can play several instruments at once to make a lot of music.

Learning makes Elmo do the happy, happy, dance, dance!

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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.

Sesame Workshop is a media and educational organization behind Sesame Street pioneering educational television for children since 1969. Their mission is to help kids grow stronger, smarter and kinder meeting the needs and cultures of communities throughout the world. For more information please visit www.sesameworkshops.org.

The DVD includes the Bonus Features with two episodes of The Furchester Hotel that includes episodes The Count’s Vacation and Alien Party, and one classic Elmo’s World Episodes: Music, Pets and Drawing.

Sesame Street is in its 48th season of educating children and has received more Emmy Awards than any other show in the history of television. The characters have become beloved as well as iconic and will continue to be so because of what they teach and how they reach so many families around the world.

Elmo happens to be one of the first characters my granddaughter gravitated towards when she was barely two. Dancing, moving, singing and learning through the kindness of the red mopped character, it became clear that Elmo was going to be the reason that she continued and still continues to watch Sesame Street daily on our public network.

Having all the episodes in one DVD is fantastic so that the wondering and learning continues for two hours of fun. Elmo and Smartie cover everything from painting, colors, musical instruments, family, change of seasons and so much more!

ELMO’S WORLD: Elmo Explores! is an opportunity for Moms, Dads and kids, as well as extended family, to learn and explore together – and nothing is more important than that.

In the end – until next time Elmo loves you!

THE HOUSE WITH THE CLOCK IN ITS WALLS is Family Fun!

The House cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this Friday from director Eli Roth and DreamWorks comes a magical and mystical tale about THE HOUSE WITH THE CLOCK IN ITS WALLS.

Young Lewis (Owen Vaccaro) is still grieving over the loss of his parents when finding himself on a bus to Michigan. There he is met by his Uncle Jonathan (Jack Black) who Lewis realizes quickly is quite quirky. Arriving at his new home, he also meets his Uncle’s friend and neighbor Mrs. Zimmerman (Cate Blanchett).

Immediately Uncle Jonathan tries to make Lewis feel at home with an amazing room of his own and free reign with only one rule – in the library is a locked bookcase and it is to be left alone. Lewis begins his first day of school as well finding himself on the outside until Tarby Corrigan (Sunny Suljic) befriends him.

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At home, Lewis suspects there is something different about his Uncle’s house and learns why from Mrs. Zimmerman. Isaac Izard (Kyle MacLachlan) was once a magical partner with Uncle Jonathan but after coming home from war – he returned a very changed man. Marrying Selena (Renee Goldsberry), the two created a clock that will count down to doomsday.

Lewis notices that Tarby isn’t as friendly anymore and tries to find a way to keep their friendship. Inviting him back to Uncle Jonathan’s, Tarby sees the cabinet and even with Lewis begging him to not open it, what happens next is even worse. The boys take the book to the local cemetery and Lewis tries to wow Tarby with what he can do.

Instead, Lewis releases something that is part of the strange happenings around Uncle Jonathan’s house. As the walls tick, Lewis, Jonathan and Mrs. Zimmerman must use all their powers to locate the clock before evil does!

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Black as Jonathan Barnavelt is quirky, funny, strange, animated and everything we have come to know expect from him. This is definitely the type of character he is not only good at portraying but makes it fun. Black was in last years film JUMANJI: Welcome to the Jungle and we can expect to see him again next year for a sequel.

Blanchett as Mrs. Zimmerman is just stunning to look at in her beautiful costuming and equally as stellar to watch. What I have come to love most about her performances is that she always has a look in her eye that says, “I know something you don’t”. In this film she bounces off Jack Black’s character in a game of table tennis that is just pure enjoyable to watch.

Vaccaro as Lewis is a young man trying to find his place after losing his parents. Being reserved, he is definetly different than his Uncle Jonathan. The thing is that although they may be different to begin with, they also discover that they are not so different after all. His performance is that of a young boy trying to fit in only to discover that being himself can be quite enjoyable. Suljic as Corrigan is a boy who uses a sad young man and when done – throws him back to the wolves. The thing is – the Lewis wolf came back leader of the pack!

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MacLachlan as Izard is so much fun to watch, mainly because I am a fan of MacLachlan no matter what he does. Here he gets the chance to have a little fun while being a little maniacal at the same time and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. Goldsberry as Selena stands by her man, even when he’s a tad gooey and I give her props for that.

Other cast include Colleen Camp as Mrs. Hanchett, Lorenza Izzo as Mom, Braxton Bierken as Woody, De’Jon Watts as Clark, Christian Calloway as Azazel and Vanessa Anne Williams as Rose.

THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS is definetly a family fun film. Of course I’m not sure I’d recommend it for smaller children as there are a few creature that might scare them so lets say six years plus to be on the safe side. There are jumps and spooky elements mixed in a story line of family and new friendships.

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The special effects are amazing and I want to know where I can find a cute chair like the one in Uncle Jonathan’s house. Every effect has it’s place and is done so colorfully well that I was captivated through the entire film. I wouldn’t even mind having a lion topiary!

It is the cast of Black, Blanchett and Vacarro that make the film with the added dash of MacLachlan. They play off each other with comedy and affection which is what can be the cherry on the cake of any film.

In the end – this house knows what makes you tick!

LIFE ITSELF Reminds Us We Are All Connected

Life itself cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this Friday from writer/director Dan Fogelman, Stage 6 Films and Amazon Studios is a look at the connecting we all have to LIFE ITSELF.

Will (Oscar Isaac) and Abby (Olivia Wilde) are New Yorkers who have a love that is enriched with laughter, love and the arrival of their first child. That’s what makes it all the more difficult for Will to handle Abby leaving him. Dr. Cait Morris (Annette Bening) is treating Will to help him deal with his life since leaving the hospital by talking about how they met.

Javier (Sergio Peris-Mencheta) is a worker on an olive farm who captures the attention of owner Saccione (Antonio Banderas). Taking Javier under his wing, it changes life and allows him to bring a good life to wife Isabel (Laia Costa). Raising their young son Rigo (Adrian Marrero), a trip to New York would change his world entirely.

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Rigo (Alex Monner) is thrilled to be going to college but soon discovers that his mother is not well. The young man must decide whether to give up on his dream or continue learning about the olive business to be with her.

Dylan (Olivia Cooke) is a young woman being raised by grandfather Irwin (Mandy Patinkin). As the years pass she tries to find herself in different ways much to the worry of Irwin. After a night of feeling that life has treated her a bit unfairly, Dylan meets a young man and life begins to find its center.

Finding love, understanding, life as well as the humanity to bear it all knows no bounds.

Isaac as Will almost killed me in this role. Of course I realize that writer/director Fogelman is responsible for the hit television series This is Us which also kills me so I should have expected it. That being said, Isaac in this role just knocks me around emotionally and then leaves me to deal with the aftermath. Strong, powerful and brilliant is all I can say.

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Wilde as Abby is sweet, very funny, endearing and quick. I love the relationship she has with Isaac’s character because it doesn’t feel forced but in fact seems easy. The banter these two actors shares gave me a lot to laugh about. Bening as Dr. Morris has a short role but one that goes deep inside what is troubling Will. Her concern comes through as not only genuine but thought out.

Peris-Mencheta as Javier is a quiet spirit who doesn’t believe he needs to share his story – with anyone. That is the problem with his relationships with both his wife and boss. Staying quiet when he should be speaking up is what brings him the biggest pains of his life.

Banderas as Saccione is opposite of Javier in that he is happy to share the story of his life and in great emotional detail. Discovering what is missing in his life, he is unsure how to get it without hurting those he loves.

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Costa as Isabel tries her best to make a good home for husband and son. Even when Javier closes down more and more, Isabel moves forward attempting to keep their family together. Costa is lovely, endearing and more importantly – must make a choice she never asked to make. Monner as Rigo is a young man who clearly loves his mother and the life she has given him. Now it is his time and the decisions are now one an adult must make.

Patinkin as Irwin wants what’s best for his granddaughter and when wife Linda (Jean Smart) can no longer be a part of that, he takes it one event at a time. I have to admit that Irwin is the grandfather we probably all wish we had. Cooke as Dylan is an angry young woman who hides it in the changes from year to year. Rebellious teen to uber rebellious young woman, she squashes her emotions in sarcasm and raw humor.

Other cast include Isabel Durant as Shari Dickstein, Lorenza Izzo as Elena, Jake Robinson as Henry and Samuel L. Jackson as Samuel L. Jackson.

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LIFE ITSELF brings the world a little closer together in that our paths criss-cross in both time and place. This is a theme that Fogelman seems to have found his niche in writing. This Is Us is all about life, love, understanding, misunderstanding, insecurities, family, restraint, sadness, hopes and the emotions we all struggle with. LIFE ITSELF embraces all of those issues as well.

There are no special effects, no car chases, no action sequences and no super heroes. Instead, it is the story of people who are just trying to figure out how to be good people in a world where the word ‘good’ holds different weight for everyone. The films story puts the weakness and human frailties we all have forward and let us feel it with the characters.

In the end – we’re all part of a greater story!

Get your Dino Fix with JURASSIC WORLD: Fallen Kingdom

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom cover

Jeri Jacquin

On Bluray/DVD and Digital from director J.A. Bayona and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is the next chapter in the world of dinosaur’s with JURASSIC WORLD: Fallen Kingdom.

After the 2015 disaster of the dinosaur park, a new disaster is on the horizon. The island’s volcano is about to destroy what is left of any living creature. A committee in the U.S. debates whether to help them or let the volcano handle it is being watched by Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard).

She receives a telephone call from Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell) who wants to help. Working for Lockwood is Eli Mills (Rafe Spall) who explains that they have another island for the animals to go to where they will be safe. The problem is locating them all and they need Claire’s help.

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The location system on the island is shut down and Mills needs her to go back and start it up as well as find Blue. Claire knows there is only one person that can help with that part of the trip – Owen Grady (Chris Pratt). Finding him is easy but convincing him to come help Blue is trickier.

Loading up for the trip, Claire takes computer wizard Franklin (Justice Smith) and dino-vet Zia Rodriguez (Daniella Pineda). Also with them is back up Ken Wheatley (Ted Levine) and his band of gun toting men. Owen realizes he needs to help and off they go to the island.

It doesn’t take long before the group realizes they’ve been duped and Blue gets hurt. Wheatley only used the group to get their hands on Blue leaving them for dead. It becomes clear that Mills is actually only interested in selling the animals to the highest bidder. It is Lockwood’s granddaughter Maisie (Isabella Sermon) who catches on and tries to alert her grandfather.

Owen and Claire make their way to the caravan to discover that Mills is not only responsible for everything that is happening, but that underneath the Lockwood mansion lies another world that is about to be torn apart by something new and far more dangerous.

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Because once again the dinosaurs prove life will find a way!

Pratt as Grady jumps in once again because who can resist a lovely raptor creature named Blue. Of course he isn’t about to let Claire go into the fray alone and it doesn’t take long before he is running through an island for his very life. From start to finish Pratt is go-go-go and trying to put a stop to those who seemed destined to bring destruction – and I don’t mean the islands previous inhabitants.

Howard as Claire wants to save the dinosaurs so badly that she’ll take any opportunity to get help. Believing in Lockwood’s plan, she is also back to the island were running is a foregone conclusion – only this time she isn’t wearing heels! After she and Owen find out where Mills has taken the creatures, she eventually will have to make a decision about their fate.

Smith as Webb is clearly not happy with visiting an island full of creatures that want to eat him but he hangs in for the long haul. Pineda as Zia is the reason we still have Blue on our side! Spall as Mills is a total douche bag and I didn’t need five minutes to figure that out. Once again it seems that the millionaires put their bucks and trust into the wrong people.

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Jones as Eversol gets what he deserves and so does Levine as Wheatley – I mean seriously guys, you can’t crack a whip at a creature with large teeth and not expect something bad to happen right? Wong as Dr. Wu makes an appearance and I still can’t stand him – Dr. Wu that is.

Much love to Geraldine Chaplin as Iris because she is a woman I’ve absolutely adored since seeing her face in the 1965 brilliant film DR. ZHIVAGO. She always brings a gentle nature and in this film it returns with beauty.

Of course I can not let another line go by without saying how thrilled I am that Jeff Goldblum, the man, the myth, the Jurassic Park legend came back to give us a little more of Ian Malcolm.

Other cast includes Toby Jones as Mr. Eversol, BD Wong as Dr. Wu, Peter Jason as Senator Sherwood, the lovely Geraldine Chaplin as Iris and the incomparable Jeff Goldblum as Ian Malcolm.

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 Bonus Features include Chris Pratt’s Jurassic Journals, On Set with Chris & Bryce, Start the Bidding!, The Kingdom Evolves, Death by Dino, Birth of the Indoraptor, Malcolm’s Return, Rooftop Showdown, Monster in a Mansion and Much More!

You can also Play With Blue with an interactive experience inside the Bluray. JURASSIC WORLD: Fallen Kingdom includes a Digital Movie from Movies Anywhere so you can enjoy films with the Anywhere App through download or streaming.

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JURASSIC WORLD: Fallen Kingdom is furious, a tad predictable, full of dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes, bad men coming out of the woodwork and a few surprises. I think we can let the dinosaur’s rest for a bit while Maisie grows up to take over the sprint to catch those that got away.

I had a good time and am still very vocal during the film with ‘oh no!’, ‘did you see that?’, ‘oh my gawd’, ‘whoa!’ and other words not meant for print. That’s what makes the JURASSIC PARK films so much fun to see over and over again from the very first – it is a collective experience for dinosaur lovers everywhere. I mean come on, you have to admit that we actually root for them to get their pound or two of man-flesh!

There are genres of films that we all love to watch – scary movies, zombie movies and a good dinosaur movie. JURASSIC PARK: Fallen Kingdom is added to the Jurassic series making one heck of an iconic set of films for anyone’s home entertainment library.

The film is what summer blockbusters are all about and JURASSIC WORLD: Fallen Kingdom is just that in every sense of the word. So gather up the family (might want to let the smaller kids hang out with grandma and grandpa for this one) and prepare for the next chapter in the Jurassic saga. It calls for a big screen, a sound bar and feet up off the floor.

In the end – the park is gone!

 

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