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November 2018

ALPHA Brings Mans Best Friends Story to Bluray

Alpha

 

Jeri Jacquin

Now on DVD and Bluray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and writer/director Albert Hughes comes the story of a young man and a wolf he calls ALPHA.

Keda (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is a young man finding his place in the Paleolithic tribe. Being the son of Tau (Johannes Johannesson) isn’t easy, especially when Keda must prove himself worthy to hunt as bison season approaches. Preparing, it is easy to see that Keda wants to be everything his father expects but has insecurities of his own.

Out in the wilderness the group catches a boar and Tau expects Keda to prove his worth by killing the creature. Later that night, in the blink of an eye they lose a member of their group but there is no time to mourn. A heard of bison is close and they need everyone to do their part to corral the stampede in one direction. As one breaks away, the bison has his eye on Keda.

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Rushing the boy it only takes a moment before Tau sees his son go over the edge of a cliff. Believing him lost, he must walk away for the sake of the others and return home. But Keda isn’t dead, in fact through a fluke of weather he manages to make it back to the top where the group was last seen. There he discovers a cairn left by the tribe and knows he is on his own.

With an injured foot, he is suddenly chased by wolves sending him up a tree but not before he wounds one of them. Staying up high, Keda wakes the next day to see the pack gone but not the wounded wolf. Knowing he can not kill the animal, he decides to help him get better.

Finding them a place to be safe, both young man and wolf take the time to heal from their wounds and get to know one another. Trust isn’t that easy to come by but they both have time. Keda calls the animal Alpha and preparing for his journey home is surprised to see the wolf following him.

Their friendship blooms as they face more animals and a bitter tundra that isn’t about to show either man nor beast any mercy. They lean on one another with each step taken but both realize they are becoming weaker with the village no where in site.

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Smit-McPhee as Keda basically carries this film through some of the worst weather imaginable. From the beginning it is clear that the character Keda isn’t exactly the hunter his father would like but his own mother knows that Keda does everything with a big heart. Even when confronted with the boar kill, it is all over the young man’s face that he can’t find it in him to do it. Smit-McPhee has that unique ability to give us all of that emotion with very little dialogue. The relationship with Alpha is a joy to watch.

Johannesson as Tau has a duty to the village to feed them all through the winter and the bison hunt is a chance to show what his son can do. Unfortunately, Tau is keenly aware that his son has a heart but is hoping that won’t stop him from being part of the tribe’s hierarchy. It is heartbreaking to watch this actor grieve because he is totally believable in a father’s ache for the loss of his son.

Other cast includes Marcin Kowalczyk as Sigma, Jense Hulten as Xi, Natassia Malthe as Rho, Spencer Bogaert as Kappa, Mercedes de la Zerda as Nu, Lenor Varela as the Shaman Woman and narrated by Morgan Freeman.

Sony Pictures Entertainment encompasses motion picture production for television, digital content and theater releases. The studios include Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems, TriStar Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, Stage 6 Films and Sony Picture Classics. To see what is coming to theaters and to home entertainment please visit www.sonypictures.com.

The Bluray and Digital Bonus Materials Include: Director’s Cut, Alternate Opening and Ending with Commentaries by Director Albert Hughes, Deleted Scenes with Commentaries by Director Albert Hughes: Starscape, Fighting For Survival and Dream Sequence. Also, Four Featurettes: The Wolf Behind Alpha, Boy & Wolf and Building the World. Finally, A Hero’s Journey is also included. The DVD includes Two Featurettes: The Wolf Behind Alpha and Boy & Wolf.

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ALPHA is the film for those who love to see the relationship between the young man Keda and the first friendship that comes from Alpha. The wolf has a personality all its own and made me giggle quite a few times. Besides being stunningly beautiful, Alpha’s facial features were strong and lovely at the same time.

The cinematography is stunning with its wide open spaces and harshness that is believable for the times. There are moments of beauty and then frightening moments where every step can either bring them closer to their destination or farther away.

Director Albert Hughes is also responsible for such films as DEAD PRESIDENTS, THE BOOK OF ELI and now ALPHA. Receiving numerous nominations and a win for Best Director from the Black Reel Awards for THE BOOK OF ELI, Hughes is currently in pre-production for the film THE FURY OF A PATIENT MAN.

ALPHA is a film I enjoyed from start to finish with its lovely story of a young big hearted boy who would find the best friend he would ever know. It’s a story of trust, loyalty, friendship and survival all wrapped up a beautifully shot film.

In the end – mankind discovers man’s best friend!

 

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THE ORIGINAL CHRISTMAS COLLECTION is Iconic and Beloved

 

Christmas

Jeri Jacquin

Now on DVD and Bluray in the Deluxe Edition from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment are five holiday favorites that let us all know the fun is here with THE ORIGINAL CHRISTMAS COLLECTION.

What is on the collection you ask? Only the best of Rankin & Bass with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman,  Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, The Little Drummer Boy and Cricket on the Hearth.

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On December 6, 1964, the shape of holiday programming was about to change as Sam the Snowman tells the story of Santa and Mrs. Claus in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Rudolph is born to the lead reindeer on Santa’s team, Donner. The parents are quite surprised when they see that their young son’s nose glows a bright red. Santa sees it and Donner realizes that they will have to cover the glow so Rudolph can be seen as normal.

Going out for reindeer games a year later, Rudolph meets doe Clarice and one word from her makes him fly – literally. Unfortunately, the covered up nose comes off and he ends up being pushed away by the other reindeer. Deciding to run away, Rudolph meets Hermey, an elf who is having a similar identity crisis. He wants to be a dentist and not be just a toy maker.

While on the snowy road, they meet Yukon Cornelius who wants nothing more than to find silver and gold. Following them is the Abominable Snow Monster and they manage to allude him to the Island of Misfit Toys and King Moonracer who asks Rudolph that if he ever go home to tell Santa about all the toys on his island looking for homes.

Taking off on his own to avoid troubling his friends, Rudolph becomes a young stag and returns home only to find from Santa that his parents and Clarice have also been gone a long time. Looking for him has put them in danger and now he must find them. With the help of Hermey and Yukon, Rudolph finally discovers who he is and where his place is among his family, friends and the community he loves.

cricket on the hearth

Cricket on the Hearth tells the story of a cricket that seems to be the guardian angel of the Peerybingle family. The 50-minute production contains Animagic and songs that were composed by Maury Laws and Jules Bass.

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On December 19, 1968 The Little Drummer Boy the story of Aaron, and orphan boy, plays drums for the animals. After a tragedy at home, Aaron joins a caravan that performs in Jerusalem but in his anger he lashes out at the townspeople. When the troupe comes across a Magi, Aaron discovers they are following a star to Bethlehem. When one of his friends his hurt, he wishes to play his drum to make him well but something even more special changes for the young boy.

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Frosty the Snowman sang and danced its way into homes on December 7, 1969 as a group of kids build a snowman and name him Frosty. What they don’t realize is that once they place a hat on his a little holiday magic brings him to life. Young Karen notices that the temperature is starting to melt her friend and, along with rabbit Hocus Pocus, know they must get him to the North Pole as quickly as possible.

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On December 14, 1970, Fred Astaire becomes a part of our holidays at S.D. Kluger, the special delivery mailman who knows the story of Santa Clause. The ruler of Sombertown is the grouchy ole Burgermeister Meisterburger. When a baby is left on his doorstep with the name Claus, he is suppose to be taken to an orphanage. Instead a wind takes him to the Mountain of the Whispering Winds and taken to Tanta Kringle who names him Kris.

As Kris grows up, he wants to deliver toys to the kids in Sombertown only to discover that the Burgermeister has banned them. That doesn’t seem to stop Kris, especially when he meets the town’s school teacher Miss Jessica. The Burgermeister has taken all the toys that Kris delivered away but Kris promises to fix the problem even though he knows there is a trap set for him. Instead, he finds a safe place to make toys and one night a year makes us all believe in everything good.

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 Enchanting Bonus Features in the include The Animagic World of Rankin/Bass – An all new documentary celebrating the legacy of the holiday specials created by Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass including interviews with the filmmakers and historians, Restoring the Puppets of Rudolph – Discover how the puppets from the beloved special were restored and Reimagining Rudolph in 4D – A behind-the-scenes look at the making of the new Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer attraction film.

Also, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Attraction Film A short stop-motion film originally created for a Rudolph 4D experience, T.E.A.M. Rudolph and the Reindeer Games – A video storybook including the untold story of the Reindeer Games, Frosty the Snowman Pencil Test and Commentaries on Frosty the Snowman and Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town.

There hasn’t been a Christmas since I was four that I haven’t watched these classic holiday specials. It was quite easy to pass that tradition on to my own kids who are now sharing them with children of their own. What makes this such a magnificent set to own is that now we can watch them any time we like!

Also, as they only air once during the holiday season, the entire family can watch them again and again leading up to Christmas Day. For my family that’s pretty important because we can’t get enough of Rudolph, Santa, Frosty, the Drummer Boy or having a Cricket watching over us all.

Rankin/Bass brought so many animated specials to television and these five particularly stand out. The company was founded by Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass with holiday specials that led to equally beloved specials. It must be said that in 1977, Rankin/Bass gave me such a gift when it animated J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and it still is one of my very favorites today.

The Animagic and animation of these specials are still as stunning and lovely today as they were beginning in 1964. It did not take long for each of these characters to become iconic and recognized in an instant by children and children at heart. Now having them all on DVD and the magnificent and stunning colors of Bluray, THE ORIGINAL CHRISTMAS SPECIALS COLLECTION needs to have a special place in everyone’s home entertainment library.

Now, if you will excuse me, my granddaughter and I have a holiday date starting with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer!

In the end – the holiday season has arrived as old friends wait to celebrate with the entire family!

HBO Introduces Us to a Family All Wanting SUCCESSION: The Complete First Season

 

Succession cover

Jeri Jacquin

Now available on Bluray and DVD from HBO is one of the most startling series created by Jesse Armstrong to hit our screens and a family in SUCCESSION: The Complete First Season.

The Roy Family, led by patriarch Logan Roy (Brian Cox) is one of the most powerful in the global media world. Adult kids starting with sons Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Roman (Kieran Culkin), Connor (Alan Ruck) and daughter Shiv (Sarah Snook) are still trying to find their place in the world.

Kendall believes he is about to become CEO of Waystar Royco the family business and sees this as a comeback from his previous life problems with addiction. Currently separated from wife Rava (Natalie Gold), he is ready to take the place of leadership. Of course he is in for a big surprised when Logan announces he’s staying on.

That doesn’t last long when Logan has an attack and it’s clear that Kendall is going to step in. With the consent of the board, he jumps into the position bringing along brother Roman. Upset by this move is Logan’s second wife Marcy (Hiam Abbass) who also refuses to let anyone see Logan.

That’s when daughter Shiv decides its time to step in and check on who Marcy really is. Shiv’s fiancé Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) supports her decision to try and see her father. The only good thing is that Shiv has her own life outside the family business in politics which doesn’t make her father happy either.

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Son Connor is all over the place and sides with who ever has the most votes – on anything. His only interest seems to be on girlfriend Willa (Justine Lupe) who has a shady past that is often brought up by the others in the family. Watching the family dynamic unfold is Greg (Nicholas Braun), Logan’s great-nephew who is given a job to keep him occupied.

As Logan is recuperating, Kendall is making moves when he discovers that his father is deeply in debt. Trying to make the company more stable, he makes a major decision that has his father furious. Tom, given a position in the Parks department, discovers there is such a serious problems that could come back to hurt him and uses Greg to make it go away.

Shiv and Tom are getting married and as that day approaches, she meets up with Nate (Ashley Zuckerman) trying to prove they can still be friends after a prior romance. Working together they want to help Gil Eavis (Eric Bogosian) become the next president of the United States and he doesn’t like Logan Roy.

Kendall decides the only way to keep control of Waystar Royco is by calling for a vote of no-confidence against his father. Getting the board members to side with him means pulling out all the stops and convincing them it is the right thing to do. When a disaster happens, Kendall and half the board members are escorted out of the building. That’s when he knows who he can truly depend on from this point forward.

Connor has found a place in the desert and invites the family to come down for a visit. Logan feels that it is the perfect opportunity for a little family therapy and a few photos. Everyone agrees to go except Kendall who hasn’t forgiven any of his family members for the fiasco in the board room.

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Logan is furious when he learns that Shiv is helping Eavis with his presidential campaign, so much so that he decides not to attend her wedding. Shiv acts as if this is no problem but won’t stop working for Eavis either.

He is approached once again by someone who wants to bring down Logan Roy and discovers that someone he thought a friend has been playing a dangerous game all along. Kendall also sees that there is an opportunity to get back in the game and after Tom’s bachelor party, begins to move once again against Logan Roy.

As everyone arrives at a castle in Wales for Shiv’s wedding, Tom begins to feel as if there isn’t something his bride isn’t telling him. It doesn’t help when Greg wants to clear his own conscious either. As the wedding approaches, they are all surprised when Logan shows up for his daughters wedding in grand style.

Roman, who is still playing COO of the company, is pushing to have a satellite deal all worked out to prove to his father once and for all that he has what it takes. Conor decides that this is a good time for him to tell everyone that he wants to run for President of the United States which makes his siblings jaws drop.

After the ceremony and during the reception, Kendall learns that he has give Logan the papers that show he is once again out for the CEO position. He is then put up against his siblings to explain what he is doing but the conversation doesn’t go so well as Logan enters the room and lets him know that he is ‘nothing’.

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Shiv works out a deal between her father and Gil Eavis but the details are kept under wraps. Especially after now husband Tom lays out the disaster he knows about the family business. Roman’s satellite deal isn’t fairing any better and he has to keep that to himself for now.

Kendall isn’t getting any support from those who should be helping him through this latest battle with his father. So, he turns towards the one thing he knows works for him every time. When he can’t get his hands on the white powder, he turns to a waiter at the party who agrees to meet up with a connection.

What happens next is the stuff nightmares are made of and once again Kendall’s dreams are about to come under someone’s very heavy foot.

Cox as Logan Roy is absolutely, positively and without a doubt stunning in this role. There is nothing more frightening than a man who isn’t afraid of losing everything and Logan isn’t afraid of that at all. He has the uncanny way of always landing on his feet even when most mortals wouldn’t. I can’t take my eyes off the screen when he is about to set someone right or tell them off, either way he is riveting and powerful. If Logan Roy wasn’t so bad he’d be so good and it’s all due to Brian Cox!

Strong as Kendall is one hot mess of a man who is struggling to become CEO of a company that isn’t his. I mean truthfully it isn’t his but boy does he want it badly! So bad in fact he is willing to continually strike at his own father without thinking things through. I have to give him points for trying but damn boy, how many times are you going to go down? That’s what Strong does for this character, makes us root for him but when it doesn’t work you yell ‘stay down’ at the screen. With the shocking finale, once the blank stare has worn off, I have to wonder how long it will be before he is ready to go at it again.

Culkin as Roman is one step away from being considered for some kind of special room with a view. He is sharp, witted, snappy, sloppy and has a story to tell in the little bits and pieces of his sometimes out of sync trains of thought. You have to keep up with this one because you never know where he has been, where he is going and what the hell he is aiming for. Culkin is stellar and a force in this role absolutely.

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Snook as Shiv is a woman who just wants to have her family without all the problems that go along with it. She finds safely in her soon-to-be husband Tom and gets to be a bit of a shark in her political career. Shiv is equally snappy with the one liners and doesn’t take smack from anyone – except her father. I am actually rooting for Shiv to end up on the iron throne of Waystar Royco. Snook knocks this role right out of the park!

Ruck as Connor is just completely out there and I don’t know that he’s ever going to be coming back. He is an agree-er with the rest of the family when it comes to decisions because he refuses to be confrontational at any point. He is okay with his girlfriend and seems oblivious to what anyone else thinks of it all but, the most recent jaw dropper is his announcement that he wants to become President. Ruck just takes this role and zig zags everyplace leaving the viewer unsure what will happen with him next.

Braun as Greg is a combination of so many of the men on this show. Presenting himself as a big simple, he seems to always need the help of his mother but slowly starts to rely on the Roy family. He allows himself to be somewhat abused by them all but has a moment of clarity that might just come in handy later. Braun keeps his eyes open and forgets to keep his mouth shut. Lets see if he learns his lesson on the latter.

Macfadyen as Tom is one of the most insecure characters I think I’ve ever seen on television. He loves Shiv but one moment he is drowning her with his insecurities and the next he is brow beating Greg like it is an Olympic sport. Once he realizes he has been exposed like fresh meat in a lion’s cage, Tom has to decide who to trust. Macfadyen is scary one moment, head shaking the next and jaw dropping to the end.

Abbass as Marcy is a woman I just plainly don’t like. I know there is a story mixed into this that hasn’t been explored so I’ll save my list of reasons I wouldn’t put up with her trash for season two!

Two shout outs: Bogosian as Gil Eavis just because I’m thrilled to see him once again and his character has just signed a deal with the devil so I have to see how that’s going to turn out.

Second, to James Cromwell as Logan’s brother Ewan. This isn’t a big role but it certainly has its moments where I know Ewan isn’t about to stand by and watch the mess without having a front row seat!

Other cast includes Parker Sawyers as Alessandro, Rob Yang as Lawrence Yee, J. Smith-Cameron as General Council Gerri, David Rasche as Karl, Arian Moayed as Stewy, Juliana Canfield as Jess, Dagmara Dominczyk as Karolina, Peggy Scott as Jeane, and Harriet Walter as Caroline Collingwood.

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

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The DVD Bonus Features includes The Cast and Crew of SUCCESSION Break Down the Action of the First Season’s Heart-Stopping Finale and Anatomy of a Scene.

SUCCESSION has a strong bunch of Executive Producers including Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Frank Rich, Kevin Messick and Ilene Landress as well as comedy television veteran and Oscar nominee Adam McKay.

This series had me on the edge of my seat each of the ten episodes and I absolutely hated it when it was over. I didn’t want the madness to end. Let’s be honest, I feel like I did an amazing job raising my kids compared to Logan Roy and his band of out of control adult kids. That being said, I really wouldn’t have these characters any other way.

It is absolutely stunning how creator Armstrong could keep up with what these characters were doing while writing. I imagine a huge blank wall with a lot of post it notes and sharpie markings of all colors with arrows pointing every which way. Actually that sounds like a pretty cool way of keeping track of all the misfits.

Every time I thought I had them pegged, a big nopity-nope-nope would escape my lips. Even though I have a soft spot for Kendall, he had me shaking my head so much I think I actually have a case of whip lash. I mean seriously dude! Culkin brought me shocking laughs with his portrayal of a kid who just lets everything fly out of his mouth with absolutely no filter what so ever and I have to admit – I loved it.

Snook is a woman after my own heart in that her character really is very strong and extremely smart but still wants the heart of her daddy on her side. Well lady, you don’t have that kind of dad. Ruck has the role of a lifetime in that he doesn’t have to fit into any of the Roy family molds, he just does him and he seems content with that.

They are bitchy, sarcastic, uncompromising, vicious, back stabbing, back biting, loving, secretive, under handed but they are family!

A family that needs serious therapy, although that didn’t work out so well in the desert, so I think the only way it would work is if they are locked in a concrete room with armed guards so none of them could escape and let them duke it out. In the meantime, you must, must, must put SUCCESSION: The Complete First Season on your Christmas list!

In the end – they give the term dysfunctional family a whole new meaning!

FANTASTIC BEASTS: The Crimes of Grindelwald

fantastic

 

Jeri Jacquin

First of all, is there really ANYTHING in the world I could say, good or bad, that is going to stop people from seeing this film – absolutely not but I’m going to give my review a shot here without giving away anything gooooooood!

So, from director David Yates and Warner Bros. Pictures comes the witches, wizards and creatures we have come to love from author J.K. Rowlings with FANTASTIC BEASTS: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

It seems that Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) has been kept under lock, spell and key waiting to be picked up by the Ministry of Magic. With the help of Abernathy (Kevin Guthrie) and Seraphina Picquery (Carmen Ejogo), Grindelwald gets to continue the plans he made clear before capture.

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Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) however is facing a panel at the Ministry of Magic. He wants them to lift the travel ban places on him but they will only do so if he works at the Ministry with his brother Theseus (Callum Turner). Happy for his brother’s betrothal to Leta Lestrange (Zoe Kravitz), he also learns to Grindelwald.

He meets up with Dumbledore (Jude Law) who explains that he trust no one else to handle the problem with Grindelwald. Newt makes it clear that he wants to find Tina (Katherine Waterston) and return to his creatures. Imagine his surprise when Jacob (Dan Fogler) and Queenie (Alison Sudol) arrive suddenly.

After a misunderstanding, Jacob helps Newt find Tina and discovers a circus where Nagini (Claudia Kim) and Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller) were held. He now is part of another mystery without realizing it.

Credence wants to find his mother and love Nagini wants to help. What he doesn’t know is that Gindelwald knows a few things and is willing to share, but for a price. Someone else is looking for Credence, Yusuf Kama (William Nadylam) and his search holds a purpose.

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The chases, magic, creatures, mysteries, friendships, enemies and secrets are back in the wizarding world!

Redmayne reprises his role as Newt Scamander, the awkward young man with a penchant for creatures and a stumbling heart for love. It doesn’t take long before he is pulled away once again from his friends place right in the middle of more wizarding mysteries.

Depp as Grindelwald does exactly what Depp can do – create a character and make it his own. Now that he calmly gathered an army, there is no one else who can be Grindelwald – ever. I enjoyed his performance and I can’t wait to see what he does with it next.

Law as Dumbledore absolutely surprised me because I wasn’t sure how I felt about him taking the role. I needn’t have worried at all because he slides right in like he has always been part of the story. Thrilled at his portrayal, I know as the story unfolds even more, he is going to have to make decisions that are as painful as the ones he makes when Harry comes along.

Waterston as Tina giving Newt a hard time continually but also doing her duty as an agent for the American Ministry of Magic.  Fogler as Jacob doesn’t miss a beat partnering with Newt to do whatever needs doing. It amazes me how he just goes with the magical flow and although he rolls his eyes occasionally, he’s in it all. Sudol as Queenie is cute and just wants to be able to be with Jacob without fear, she is going to have to figure that out.

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Miller as Credence Barebone is fantastic and I can see where his character will be going but there are tons of questions that I’m going to have to be patient in getting the answers for. Kim as Nagini just set my brain ablaze and I have so many thoughts about that! Nadylam as Yusuf Kama is a strong character that doesn’t realize that what he’s always believed might not be true!

Kravitz as Leta has a past that is difficult and jaw dropping and that’s all I will say about that. Turner as Theseus is a brother who wants what’s best but at the same time sees how easy it is for Newt to get himself into trouble.

Other cast include Jamie Bower as Young Grindelwald, Toby Regbo as Young Dumbledore, Victoria Yeates as Bunty, Wolf Roth as Spielman, Derek Riddell as Torquil Travers, Ingvar Sigurosson as Grimmson, Poppy Tuech as Rosier, Andrew Turner as MacDuff, Maja Bloom as Carrow, Simon Meacock as Krafft and Fiona Glascott as Minerva McGonagall.

Law says of playing Dumbledore, “I was clearly thrilled and excited because my children grew up with the books and films. I was a huge fan of the FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM film. There getting to be part of the film there was so much reference material and J.K. was so gracious with her time. David told me that we weren’t trying to recreate an older Dumbledore but instead look back at who he was and how he was sorting out his demons as a younger man. I felt free in that way and excited to be this character.”

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Redmayne says, “Working with Jude as Dumbledore, from our very first scene he manages to capture the qualities of Dumbledore, the gravitas and the playfulness was there. I thought ‘oh my gosh he’s good’. It was amazing!”

FANTASTIC BEASTS: The Crimes of Grindelwald will disappoint no one! The story if intense, complex, a little dark and full of special effects but then again what did you expect? From the moment the screen flickers and the iconic music begins it is a 134 magical thrill ride with everything that I personally want from the return to the wizarding world.

Okay, so I was giggling pretty good seeing people and places that I have missed for the last few years. I can’t even tell you how many times I held my breath looking wide eyed at the screen wanting more and more. Of course I’m a woman of a certain age and probably shouldn’t be this giddy but nothing or no one is going to stop it from happening.

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The special effects are awesome (as I expected them to be) and brings so much to this darker chapter. I can not even begin to say enough about the cast for not only the returning characters but the new as well. For me, there wasn’t one thing out of place! Trust that I will be watching it again and again because that’s what’s needed to keep up with what’s to come. There is so much I didn’t expect.

Gather up all of your houses whether they be Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Slytherin, get your wands at the ready and have an amazing time as FANTASTIC BEASTS: The Crimes of Grindelwald is finally here!

In the end – the fate of one will change the future for all!

THE FAVOURITE Stars Three Dazzling Women

the Fav

Jeri Jacquin

I absolutely love period pieces so I have been anxiously waiting for director Yorgos Lanthimos and Fox Searchlight Pictures offering of THE FAVOURITE.

Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) sits on the throne in 18th Century England and Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) is her constant companion. Their relationship is one of straight forwardness and longing. England is also at war with France and Lady Sarah is keeping an eye on it while taking care of the Queen’s frailties and occasional childlike temper tantrums.

Enter Abigail (Emma Stone) a fall aristocrat turned servant girl who isn’t well received in the kitchen of the Queen. Sarah sees how her cousin is treated and becomes a mentor to the young girl. Abigail wants nothing more than to return to the life she once knew and realizes this just might be the way for that to happen.

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During one of the Queens outbursts, Abigail takes pity on her and starts a friendship over the royals “children” (rabbits). The Queen is delighted as they spend the afternoon sharing and laughing together. Sarah catches wind of what is happening with the Queen and lets it be known in her own way that trying to weasel in to the Queen’s favor might not be such a good idea.

Now that the gauntlet is thrown down – Abigail and Sarah go toe to toe for the Queen’s attentions and who truly cares for the monarch is at stake.

I must start with Colman as Queen Anne because she is absolutely stellar, absolutely. From her tantrums to her insecurities to her loyalties, Colman portrays the woman as most would never see a monarch – vulnerable. Knowing that parliament is consistently against her, she attempts to turn to those she should be able to trust. I love Colman’s performance with ever emotion lay plainly before us, I do so hope her performance is recognized and that accolades are given. She most definitely deserves them for this role.

Weisz as Lady Sarah is the smart, politically savvy and is the no-nonsense taking companion to the Queen. She works hard at keeping the crown on her royal head and makes it her business to know what everyone is doing at all times. Weisz can pull off sassy and sarcastic in the same breath better than other actress I know. Of course she does have her hands full with Ms. Stone.

Stone as Abigail is a fallen aristocrat who doesn’t want to stay that way. Getting into the Queen’s kitchen is the first step and getting into her heart may just get Abigail off her knees and high in the rankings. Stone begins as a fawn-eyed girl who is thrilled to have Lady Sarah show an interest in her, but of course we all know that Stone can pull off fawn-eyed girl with the best of them. I loved her antics from start to finish and kept thinking about Abigail, ‘just because you can play the game doesn’t mean you should!’

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Other cast include Jennifer White as Mrs. Meg, LillyRose Stevens as Sally, James Smith as Godolphin, Mark Gatiss as Lord Marlborough, Edward Aczel as Earl of Stratford, Carolyn Saint-Pe as Madame Tournee, Joe Alwyn as Masham and Nicholas Hoult as Harley.

THE FAVOURITE is a gloriously fascinating film about three women who are filled with so much want that goes in so many different directions. That being said, Abigail and Sarah have much different relationships with Queen Anne although you’d have a tough time convincing Abigail of that.

Sarah and the Queen understand one another clearly and it is also clear that Sarah runs the part of the kingdom that the Queen is to busy being petulant to deal with. That’s the crux of their relationship – one is clearly and adult, the other is drowning from the weight of the crown. Yet in that is a relationship of hilarity and sadness mixed together.

Abigail being the new girl to all of this is a distraction for the Queen when Sarah is gone. The Queen believes she has a new and understanding friend when it is clear Abigail has decided to get what Sarah has and take a lot of short cuts to get there. She doesn’t have the understanding of the other two and that’s where she makes mistakes.

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This is a film that spans every human emotion possible in that you don’t know at times whether to laugh, cry or be outright shocked. In an era of excess and political gain, this cast revels in that history with marvelous results. The surroundings only adds to the story telling with its opulence and grandeur along with stunning clothing and jewelry.

THE FAVOURITE has already been recognized by the British Independent Film Awards, Camerimage, and Ghent International Film Festival Gotham Awards. The Hollywood Film Awards gave a win for Rachel Weisz and Costume Designer Sandy Powell. The Venice Film Festival win came for Director Yorgos Lanthimos and Best Actress for Olivia Colman (well done!).

This is one of my favorite films of the year so when deciding what regurgitation to see in theatres, chose something new and amazing with THE FAVOURITE!

In the end – some wounds do not close!

 

TIME LIFE Has Stolen My Heart Because of Robin Williams!

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Jeri Jacquin

From Time Life, the re-creator for generations who thought their favorite shows and music were gone, is the ultimate heart stealer for me with the DVD Collection ROBIN WILLIAMS: Comic Genius.

Born in Chicago (which should have early on given me some clue for my admiration – Go Cubs!), he would be transplanted in his teens to Marine County, California. Choosing acting over anything else, he received a full scholarship to Juilliard in New York City.

Williams’s career began on the West Coast. Starting in San Francisco to Los Angeles, he hit the club circuit. Taking on twists and turns, in 1977 HBO would came calling to air one of his stand-up performances.

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But, it is in 1978 that a character known as Mork would invade an episode of the Garry Marshall television hit Happy Days. From that performance, the series Mork & Mindy starring Robin Williams and Pam Dawber was born. Set in Boulder, Colorado, Mork from Ork lands on our planet in an egg and what follows is a hatching of pure genius. Williams had the chance to be what ever he wanted to be and his face graced the cover of Time Magazine followed by Rolling Stones magazine.

HBO once again came calling which led to five comedy specials starting with 1978’s Off the Wall, in 1983 An Evening with Robin Williams and finally in 1986 Robin Williams: Live at the Met, Live on Broadway in 2002 and finally Weapons of Self Destruction in 2009. All five of these specials are still played in my home because nothing changes a mood quicker than when HBO allowed Williams to just be – well – Robin Williams.

His call to the screen was the next step and in 1982 he absolutely stunned me in the film THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP but it was in 1987 when GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM hit the screen that once again Williams sky rocketed. Using his wit and ability to create the voices of memorable characters, he cemented his career as a comedian.

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But there was one character he excelled at with heart and soul and that is dramatic roles. Starting in 1997 with GOOD WILL HUNTING and 1990’s AWAKENINGS, it was the tragic and soul crushing role in the 1998 film WHAT DREAMS MAY COME that tore me apart.

Off the big screen and small, Williams teamed up with friends Whoopi Goldberg and Billy Crystal and brought Comic Relief USA to HBO raising $80 million dollars to help anyone in need. He also worked with the USO to bring laughs to over 100,000 troops and they, to this day, have not forgotten that.

Time Life is making sure that we don’t and in such a stunning and beautiful way! ROBIN WILLIAMS: Comic Genius is a 22-disc collection that brings us all through the years and reasons Williams is a beloved and iconic genius.

In the box set are all five HBO stand up specials, Never-before-seen released concert specials, including Robin’s full MGM Grand Garden stand-up from 2007 and the Montreal stop on his last tour, a conversation on stage between Williams and comedian David Steinberg, Memorable talk show and late night TV appearances on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, The Tonight Show starring Jay Leno, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Graham Norton Show, Saturday Night Live and more.

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There are rare, never-before-seen clips including early stand-up, raw footage from HBO’s promo shoots, a hilarious toast to Richard Pryor by Robin as Mrs. Doubtfire, Brand new interviews with close friends and family including Billy Crystal, Steve Martin, Jay Leno, Eric Idle, David Steinberg, Lewis Black and son Zack Williams.

There are eleven hilarious episodes of Mork & Mindy including the two-part pilot, James Lipton’s Emmy Award-nominated 90-minute interview with Robin on Inside the Actors Studio including deleted scenes which are the best! A comprehensive collection of Robin’s USO shows around the world, original and newly created bonus features including a behind-the-scenes footage, local highlights from tour stops, promos and more.

Featurettes including The Early Years, San Francisco: Where It All Started, Comic Genius and TV’s Best Guest. Critically acclaimed 2018 HBO documentary Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind from Emmy-winning director Marina Zenovich and Oscar-winning producer Alex Gibney.

Finally, Robin Williams: Uncensored which is a collectible 24-page, full-color memory book featuring rare, archival photos from award-winning photographer Arthur Grace, reminiscences from friends and colleagues, Robin’s personal tour notes and so very much more.

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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.

This collection brings every emotion possible and that isn’t an exaggeration. Calling this collection Comic Genius is perfection and well deserved by Robin Williams. On stage and screen he had the whole world laughing (and with Mork probably the whole universe!) His unique comedic timing was fueled by the laughter from the audience, the more outrageous the farther he would go.

Twenty-two discs and over fifty hours of Williams will light us all up once again and let us experience the laughs again and again. That is why we have home entertainment libraries, so we can, at any time, pull off the shelf a beloved comedian that continues to be a laughing light. This family happens to be a Williams fan from the very beginning and his comedy specials have never stopped bringing us laughs and even catching ourselves repeating his lines a time or two in our lives.

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That is what makes Williams iconic and beloved and those two words seem to be not enough. Passing in 2014, it did not bring his comedy to a stop but instead continues to allow us to remember who he was and all that he gave through stand-up, television, the big screen and all his personal endeavors to make the world a happier place.

Each DVD cover inside the very cool collector’s box shows us all Williams’ silly side as if to tease about what is inside and to join him in the ride. I, personally, would never turn down the request of a Comic Genius!

In the end – it’s all about the na-nu-na-nu!

THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB: A New Dragon Tattoo Story

 

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Jeri Jacquin

In theatres from director Fede Alvarez and Columbia Pictures is a continuation story of someone who finds herself once again as THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB.

Lisbeth Salander (Claire Foy) has once again become invisible although wanted by the police. Making it her goal to stop innocent people from being hurt, she manages to do so while faded into the background…but not for long.

She is approached by Frans Balder (Stephen Merchant) who has created a program called Firewall when he was a NSA employee. This program has nuclear codes all over the world and now believes that he created a monster that everyone else wants to control. He asks Lisbeth to retrieve it so it can be destroyed.

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She agrees and gets inside the NSA’s computer as a horrified Edwin Neeham (Lakeith Stanfield), NSA security, looks on trying to stop it. He immediately locates where the hack has come from and leaves for Europe. Neeham isn’t the only one looking for Firewall as Lisbeth is attacked. She turns to Mikael Blomkvist (Sverrir Gudnason), the Millennium journalist and even though their relationship turned rocky, she trusts him. He discovers that a group of Russian criminals are after Firewall.

Keeping track of Balder, she also worries for his young son August (Christopher Convery) as who ever else wants Firewall would have no trouble killing him. Keeping him safe becomes important to Lisbeth even if her hardened shell is still in tact.

Blomkvist turns to Gabriella Grane (Synnove Lund), Deputy Director of the Swedish Secret Service to discover who the men are with the spider tattoos. She has her own agenda keeping an eye on Neeham who she believes is also looking for Lisbeth.

With the cat and mouse happening between she, the spider tattoo goons and Neeham, there is one person she never expected to see. Someone from her past who has picked up the mantel of a father who is responsible for how Lisbeth came to be – Camilla (Sylvia Hoeks).

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Lisbeth Salander makes no exceptions for evil!

Foy as Salander gives a stoic performance in the role of a character that doesn’t show much emotion. Everything that she shares emotion wise is all in her eyes. With every plan you can see the wheels turning jumping the track whenever she needs to change gears. This is a far cry from her comfy life in highly successful series The Crown but that’s the point of growing as an actress – bowl cut your hair and don’t be afraid to jump on a motorcycle.

Merchant as Balder is a man clearly afraid that those who have Firewall are going to use it to harm more than protect. Balder’s role might not be a big one but it sets the story up for his castmate.  Convery as August is a young boy who is as smart as his father but that doesn’t mean his fate isn’t being determined but someone smart but psychotic. This character is like Lisbeth in that he keeps his emotions in check trusting that he will get home to his mother.

Stanfield as Neeham panics when he sees Firewall has been hacked and knows the only thing he can do is find out who took it and why. Neeham’s character is just as determined as Lisbeth but he has one obstacle. Lund as Grane is the SAPO and has already threatened Neeham with deportation if he tries to interfere with the investigation but trust goes only so far.

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Gudnason as Blomkvist is thrilled to hear from Lisbeth because his feelings for her haven’t changed. At the same time, the journalist in him sees the potential of cracking open the mystery of what is happening by following Lisbeth forward. Hoeks as Camilla is the sister none of us wants to deal with. The history that Camilla and Lisbeth share is of two survivors of an abusive father – one turns to trying to save others while the other turns to destruction. Hoeks is completely disturbing in her portrayal and scenes with Foy are intense.

Other cast include Carlotta von Falkenhayn as a young Camilla, Vicky Krieps as Erika Berger, Cameron Britton as Plague, Andreia Pelic as Maria, and Mikael Persbrandt as Zalachenko.

Let me first get this out of the way, the Noomi Rapace is my Lisbeth Salander and in 2008 when THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO was released I could not have been more thrilled with the film. This was followed months later with THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE and months later with THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST. This was the best three films I have ever seen and all released in one year proving that it is possible to make stunning films without two and three year gaps.

In 2011, the remake hit the theatres with Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig in THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO and as much as I enjoy these two actors, I wasn’t thrilled with the film. I don’t mind saying it either, there was absolutely no reason to remake it and I could not get behind the choice for Lisbeth Salander.

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The choice of Claire Foy as the new Lisbeth Salander has one thing in her favor, this isn’t a remake. Instead it’s actually more of an explanation of where this character came from and how the past is never far behind any of us. Foy captures bits of the 2009 Salander but clearly makes her own mark as well.

As for the film, I enjoyed it but also have to say that the plot was fairly straight forward and slightly predictable. I feel as if I’ve seen these plot points before in other films and wished there was more umph to it. The action is definitely something I would expect to see in the Millennium series and the film lives up to that most certainly.

Understand that with the death of the series creator Steig Larsson in 2004, the characters are picked up by David Lagercrantz. This is his first novel taking over the series and it was released in 2015. It is not an easy thing to bring in another writer to keep a series going because, and let’s be honest, they aren’t Larsson. That being said Lagercrantz manages to keep Lisbeth Salander alive by bringing her past forward for us all to understand. He also seemed to take great care in being true to the complexities created by Larsson

For those who love the Millennium series, this new story and film is interesting and full of action. Foy gives Salander new life and if they plan to continue the films, keep the stories fresh and the fan base will stay true.

In the end – the past never forgets!

BLACKkKLANSMAN Makes a Statement on Bluray

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Jeri Jacquin

This week on 4K Ultra HD, Bluray and DVD from director Spike Lee and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment comes the memoir to screen of BLACKkKLANSMAN.

In Colorado Springs, Colorado it is the 1970’s and Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) is about to become the first black officer in their department. Placed in the records department, he knows that the other officers are talking about him. Knowing he isn’t going to be able to take that much longer, he applies to do undercover work.

His personal life is also about to change when he meets Patrice (Laura Harrier) at a rally given by civil rights leader Kwame Ture (Corey Hawkins) at the black student union. On their way home, Patrice is pulled over by a local racist cop and Ron knows he must do something. Transferred to the intelligence division of the police department, immediately he finds his first case. Using his ‘white voice’, Ron calls Walter Breachway (Ryan Eggold) who is the leader of the Colorado Springs chapter of the KKK expressing interest in the group.

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Talking on the phone is one thing, but meeting up in person isn’t going to work out to well for Ron so he is joined by Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver) who is the white face behind the white voice. He meets Walter and listens to the rhetoric and meets more of the group members. Keeping it going, Ron takes it up a notch calling Grand Wizard David Duke (Topher Grace) and beginning regular conversations with him. But, one of the members thinks that the white Stallworth is really a Jew and they learn some of the KKK members are military.

Duke comes to Colorado Springs to be part of Stallworth’s joining of the Klan and they soon learn that someone is threatening Patrice’s life. As quickly as it all began, no one could have possibly seen the direction and lengths the Klan members are going to and Ron isn’t about to let any of it happen. There is also one more person that he isn’t about to let walk away from the things he has done.

Stallworth is going to have the last say!

Washington as Ron Stallworth is a man going through changes without even realizing he needed to see the changes. Becoming the first black officer in his department is clearly going to be emotionally strenuous but it is what happens after that appointment that truly has an impact. Meeting Patrice and taking on the KKK with the help of Zimmerman is going to be the most impactful and most dangerous thing he has ever done. Washington gives a stellar performance that doesn’t stop from the moment he is on screen to the films end.

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Driver as Zimmerman isn’t sure how to handle what Stallworth is suggesting for the investigation of the KKK. Once it begins, ever move he makes can be his last. He has to be in synch with Stallworth in order to be the face behind the voice of a supposed white man and racist. Driver continues with this film to give another memorable performance filled with the emotion of a man that can relate to the hate his partner feels.

Eggold as Breachway just scares the living dickens out of me with his performance. There is something sinister about the way he looks. Having seen his performances on the series THE BLACKLIST and his newest series NEW AMSTERDAM, this role is not only totally different from those but I can’t stop watching the depths in which he portrays this racist leader.

Grace as Duke is totally enraptured with Stallworth and their continuing conversations all the while showing that he is just another ignorant individual who hates for the pure sake of hating. That’s what Grace brings to the role, not being afraid of taking this character straight into our faces so we can join Washington in hurting our necks from shaking our heads in disbelief.

Harrier as Patrice has no idea that the man she is seeing is a police officer and that’s for her own safety. She is a strong woman who believes that everything is worth taking on and fighting for. She sees something in Stallworth and trusts that he believes in their cause of justice, even if sometimes he has to make sure she is as far away from what he does as possible.

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Other cast include Jasper Paakkonen as Felix Kendrickson, Paul Hauser as Ivanhoe, Ashlie Atkinson as Connie, Michael Buscemi as Jimmy Creek, Ken Garito as Sgt. Trapp, Damaris Lewis as Odetta, Isiah Whitlock Jr. as Mr. Turrentine, Harry Belefonte as Jerome, Robert Burke as Chief Bridges, Frederick Weller as Patrolman Landers, Nicholas Turturro as Walker and Alec Baldwin as Dr. Kennebrew Beauregard.

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 of BLACKkKLANSMAN include A Spike Lee Joint – Producer Jordan Peele, cast and film subject Ron Stallworth discuss the unique experience of working with iconic director Spike Lee and  BLACKkKLANSMAN Extended Trailer Featuring Prince’s ‘Mary Don’t You Weep’.

The 4K Ultra Combo Pack includes the 4K Ultra HD Bluray, Bluray and Digital and has the same bonus features as the Bluray version all in stunning 4K resolution. Also included is Movies Anywhere which is the digital app that allows consumers to access their favorite digital movies in one place through streaming and downloading.

The script for BLACKkKLANSMAN is written by Charlie Wachtel, Kevin Willmott and David Rabinowitz along with Spike Lee. The story comes from Ron Stallworth’s book BLACK KLANSMAN that was released in 2014. Immediately it received the Grand Prix at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.

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Spike Lee has once again brought a film that, although set in the 1970’s, resonates today with the themes of hate, anger, fear and those who will bring all of it down. They put their lives on the line to bring the dark evil out into the light and Lee is well known for it.

BLACKkKLANSMAN brings out stellar performances from a cast that clearly embraces the story Stallworth tried to tell. In the midst of what is going on in our world, it could be easy to forget that the film is set in the 1970s.

The use of humor gives a mixture of a momentary laugh followed by an uncomfortable shifting. Taking on racism full force, the film doesn’t seem to give one wit if it makes you laugh or makes you cry – just feel something, anything, as long as it resounds in the affirmative so acceptance becomes the norm and not the occasional. Fight for what is right for not just some but for all.

In the end – infiltrate hate!

It’s the Return of The Dude in THE BIG LEBOWSKI 20th Anniversary Limited Edition

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Jeri Jacquin

Coming to 4K HD and Bluray from writers/directors/producers Joel and Ethan Coen along with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is the film that has become an iconic classic with THE BIG LEBOWSKI 20th Anniversary Limited Edition.

The Dude (Jeff Bridges) is a laid back Los Angelino who remains in a chilled state of mind, that is until one night when two thugs breaks into his home and rough him up. Looking for a Jeff Lebowski, The Dude lays out the reasoning that there is another Jeff Lebowski who happens to be very rich and obviously they have made a mistake. Realizing their mistake, the one thing the two thugs can’t take back is a pee’d on carpet.

Upset with what happened, The Dude explains to bowling buddies Walter (John Goodman) and Donny (Steve Buscemi) and how he really liked that rug. Walter has an idea, go see the rich Jeff Lebowski and get some kind of restitution! That’s exactly what he does and meets the very cranky Jeffrey Lebowski (David Huddleston) who says that it’s not his problem.

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The Dude isn’t about to walk away empty handed when he tells Lebowski’s assistant Brandt (Philip Seymour Hoffman) that he has permission to take any carpet in the house. On the way out, The Dude meets Lebowski’s wife Bunny (Tara Reid) who is responsible for the attack because she owes loan sharks. Her greeting to The Dude is nothing short of money based and a proposition for which he walks away amused.

Happy with his new carpet, The Dude is surprised a few days later to receive a telephone call from Brandt with a financial offer. Bunny has been kidnapped with a demand for a million dollars and rich Lebowski wants to use poor Lebowski to drop off the ransom and get a bit of money for his trouble. Given a case and a cell phone, he is to wait for a call telling him where to drop off the money but Walter feels the need to be with his friend when it happens.

On the drive, Walter also comes up with his own plan. He believes Bunny has concocted this whole thing for the money so why don’t they just keep the money for themselves. Throwing a case off a local bridge, the two men see the kidnappers take the ransom and run. Later talking it over at the bowling alley, they discover that The Dude’s car is gone and so are their riches.

The Dude is contacted by Lebowski’s daughter Maude (Julianne Moore) who explains that her father’s wife is a porn star and that she also thinks Bunny is faking all of it. Upset that the ransom came out of the family’s foundation, she asks The Dude to get it all back. If that isn’t wacky enough, now Lebowski is mad that The Dude screwed up the drop and men with German accents invade his bath saying they are the real kidnappers.

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The cops find The Dude’s car but the cash is gone and the pee thugs take him to see porn maker Jackie Treehorn (Ben Gazzara) who wants the money to cover money Bunny owes him! After a drugging, cops and being thrown out of a car – who should drive by in a red sports car? Bunny. So what gives? Well, that’s what you will have to discover for yourself because, truth be told, you have to see it to believe it.

Yet, The Dude will abide!

Bridges as The Dude is absolutely and without a doubt pure perfection. He is a laid back human being who just lives in the moment and doesn’t want anything that will mess with his calm. Bridges just embraces every second of this and makes it look completely easy and smooth. I suppose it doesn’t hurt that he gets to be very comfortable in every stitch of clothing and appearance which might make being The Dude more of a joy than a job. This character is completely endearing and just wants his carpet and that basically leads to the chaos that follows. The moral of the story might be that bare floors are less of a hassle.

Goodman as Walter is the complete opposite of The Dude. He isn’t about to let anyone or anything challenge his way of dealing with things yet he sees nothing wrong with his solutions. The Dude truly cares about his friend but there are moments where his calm-rage is absolutely frightening. This is such an amazing role for Goodman because he gets to be as out there as he wants to be and it fits him well. Buscemi as Donny is such a loveable character who just wants to be in on everything but doesn’t have the ability to really keep up. This is probably the most endearing role I’ve seen Buscemi perform and he just proves he has always had the wide range ability but has gotten himself stuck in toughened roles. I’d like to have seen more of this type from him.

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Moore as Maude is just as creepy as she can possibly be. She is clearly a control freak and will do anything to keep things moving the way she wants them to move. The way she handles The Dude is emotional strong arming to my way of thinking and her seduction manner leaves allot to be desired – but hilarious. Huddleston as the elder and richer Lebowski believes he is better than his poorer counterpart and believes he is justified in using the loser. He has The Dude jumping through hoops and doesn’t exactly count on him to figure anything.

Hoffman as Brandt is, what I called, the Lebowski-bitch in that he is perfectly happy serving his boss and putting The Dude in one hell of a mess. Hoffman has always managed to stun me with every role he does and it is fantastic to revisit a film that gave us all a glimpse into what he became capable of on screen. Reid as Bunny plays the role of a trophy wife who wants more and more of the almighty dollar and doesn’t seem ashamed to make that known to, well, anyone.

Other cast include David Thewlis as Know Harrington, John Turturro as Jesus Quintana, Jon Polito as Da Fino, Peter Stormare as Uli, Torsten Voges as Franz and Flea as Kieffer, Jimmie Gilmore as Smokey, Jack Kehler as Marty and Sam Elliott as The Stranger.

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.

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The Ultra HD Combo Pack of THE BIG LEBOWSKI 20th Anniversary Limited Edition includes The Dude’s Life – , The Dude Abides: The Big Lebowski Ten Years Later, Making of THE BIG LEBOWSKI, The Lebowski Fest: An Achiever’s Story, Flying Carpets and Bowling Pin Dreams: The Dream Sequences of The Dude, Interactive Map, Jeff Bridges Photo Book, Photo Gallery and so much more!

On 4K Ultra HD included in the combo pack of Bluray, Digital and Movies Anywhere brings a sharper pictures delivering a multi dimensional experience, Bluray that has exclusive extras and theatre quality surround sound, Digital allowing viewing just about anywhere and Movies Anywhere with the app that keeps your films stored for viewing anytime!

THE BIG LEBOWSKI has become such an iconic film that has brought some of the coolest lines to ever be uttered. Of course The Dude also has made its way into costumes for parties and Halloween with a simple robe and slippers being totally recognizable.

The film is hilarious, crafty, absurd, twisted, rich vs. poor, dysfunctional family and unusual friendships all rolled into a story that is so far fetched it might even be believable.

Now, THE BIG LEBOWSKI is back to entertain us once again but this time in our own homes. The most amazing thing about this film is that it is just as hilarious today as it was 20 years ago and open to a new generation that can appreciate its comedy, originality and fantastic ensemble cast.

In the end – he’d rather be bowling!

 

 

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