Search

moviemavenspeaks

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

Month

March 2019

SHAZAM! Entertains the Kid in us All

 

Shazam cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres from director David F. Sandberg, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros comes the story of a boy who is about to become the one and only SHAZAM!

Billy Batson (Asher Angel) is a young boy who has seen his chair of heart ache. Lost from his mother when he was a child, Billy has bounced around the foster care system. He finds a family with Victor (Cooper Andrews) and Rosa (Marta Milans) who already have a full house.

He meets Freddy (Jack Grazer), Darla (Faithe Herman), Eugene (Ian Chen), Mary (Grace Fulton) and Pedro (Jovan Armand) who embrace him immediately. Trying to keep to himself, Billy has no luck as Freddy attaches himself quickly to his new brother.

shazam 1

But Billy has his own plan and has spent years trying to find the mother he lost so long ago. Carrying a list and coming to the end of it, he doesn’t know what to do next. That is until his new siblings offer a technological way to make his search easier and get to it.

While on a subway one day he is transformed into another world where the Wizard Shazam (Djimon Hounsou) tells Billy a story of how his world came to be. He also shares with the boy that all he has to do is say one word and the Wizard transfers his powers to Billy.

And now he is an adult in a superhero suit which freaks Billy (Zachary Levi) out immediately. He races home to tell Jack what has happened (who by the way is totally thrilled) and the two decide to have fun with social media.  What the new suited Billy doesn’t know is that there is someone else wants the power.

Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong) has had his share of bad times with family and makes it clear to them that he is about to take over, well, everything. Finding his way to the world where the Wizard lives, he still resents not being chosen the Champion and instead releases the seven deadly sins and takes them to Billy’s world.

shazam 3

Billy doesn’t really want to fight Dr. Sivana but once the evilness comes for his new family, it is clear that not only does he finally feel up to the task but gets a few friends to get in on the fun!

Levi as the adult Shazam is very, very funny. This is what I love the most about Levi playing this character – he has the wonderful ability to look surprised like a kid, get upset like a kid, become giddy like a kid and ask questions like a kid all the while in the body of an adult. He made me laugh so much and when he comes to care for his new family – it is done as a kid’s heart. Levi has captured so much in the film and I had such a good time watching him develop this role.

Strong as Dr. Sivana is an actor I love to see what he will do with a character. Look at his acting resume if you want to see how he can be a gentle character, a complex character, a strong character and even a funny character. Trust when I say that when he wants to portray and evil character – he can do it and do it well. As Sivana he gets another chance to make a character his very own. Yea, I dig Mark Strong.

Angel as the young Billy is a resourceful and slightly angry young man who spends his time searching and keeping people at arms length. All that aside, Angel has a side that sneaks out to let us know that he is vulnerable no matter how hard he fights it.

shazam 2

Grazer as Freddy is the absolutely perfect sidekick for both Angel and Levi’s Billy/Shazam. He uses humor for the complications of his own life and although it doesn’t always work, he doesn’t lose it. Coming face to face with the other kids at school, it is when he is bullied that Billy sees they have more in common than he wanted to think.

Chen as Eugene is smart and loves a good challenge, Fulton as Mary is getting ready for college but can’t decide if that’s what she really wants, Armand as Pedro goes along to get along with the sibling group.  It is Herman as Darla is the absolute cuteness of the group. She embraces Billy from day one and even when he gives her the cold-shoulder this young girl still radiates love.

Cooper as Victor and Milan as Rosa are happy with the home they’ve created. From the beginning they accepted Billy with all of his emotional standoffishness and believed that in time he would just blend into their already blended family.

Hounsou as the Wizard Shazam gets a chance to wear cheeky robes and wave around a walking stick that I’m sure he stole from Gandalf the Grey. He has the voice to share the scary story of why he is in the house of empty thrones and wicked statues so that’s cool.

Other cast include Ava Preston as Lillian, Meagan Good as Darla, Evan Marsh as Burke Breyer, Natalia Safran as Mrs. Sivana, Andi Osho as Ms. Glover, Carson MacCormac as Brett Bryer, Sarah Bennani as Simone, Ali Badsha as Mehmet Kotil, and David J. MacNeil as Mr. Bryer.

Shazam 4

FINAL WORD: This is our introduction to a new superhero with SHAZAM! I will admit that I kind of see him as a clean cut and child like Deadpool. Now understand there is nothing wrong with that at all except their comic homes are in different universes. Besides that, this is a fun film and I would absolutely recommend it for families.

Because of the kid/adult transformation, there are jokes, fun and situations that almost everyone can relate too. The audience I saw the film with didn’t hide their excitement about seeing the film and during spend their time laughing, applauding and smiling from ear to ear.

That’s what these films are all about, having a good time and doing it with family and friends. SHAZAM! is a film where it’s okay to act a little giddy and maybe even a little kid-ish and nobody will mind in the slightest.

In the end – if you want to save the world just say the magic word!

 

An Emotional and Startling Film from Beginning to End with HOTEL MUMBAI

 

Hotel Mumbai cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres from writer/director Anthony Maras and Bleeker Street comes the terrifying attack on the crown jewel of India with HOTEL MUMBAI.

It is 2008 and Arjun (Dev Patel) is a husband and father who works at the Taj Hotel. His boss Chef Hemant Oberoi (Anupam Kher) and hotel butler Jamon (Alex Pinder) strives to each employee that the hotel has a reputation so the staff must constantly strive for perfection. Stressing that whatever a guest needs is what a guest gets.

Arriving for their stay are couple Zahra (Nazanin Boniadi) and husband David (Armie Hammer) along with their baby and nanny Sally (Tilda Cobham-Hervey). Also Vasili (Jason Isaacs), a Russian who owns a company and knows how to enjoy himself arrives with many more guests checking in.

What no one in Mumbai knows is that a group of men led on the phone by the Bull has a plan for the city. Imran (Amandeep Singh), Abdullah (Suhail Nayyar), Houssam (Manoj Mehra), Rashid (Dinesh Kumar), Ismail (Amriptal Singh) and Ajmal (Kapil Netra) are about to wreak havoc.

hotel 1

Beginning with a restaurant the shooting starts and no one is spared, and as the gunman run, again they shoot and this time at police. The crowd starts running and come to the doors of the Taj Hotel. Begging to be let in, what they don’t know is that the gunman are among them.

Within minutes the hotel is under siege as Oberoi tries to get as many guests as possible into a room where Arjun helps all he can. From the reception desk and going room to room, the gunman are indiscriminate and unstoppable. Eating at the hotel restaurant, David, Zahra and Vasili hit the floor and remain quiet but Zahra is frantic that the nanny Sally and her baby don’t know what’s coming.

The gunman are guided by their constant telephone calls from the Bull who keep the frenzy going. Police can only sit by and watch helplessly as most of their force has been killed and the Special Forces are coming from Delhi.

The survivors must work together under the most unimaginable horror to survive and save as many as they can.

hotel 2

Patel as Arjun portrays such a humble man who wants to do a good job. It doesn’t help that on this particular day he has footwear issues. He immediately goes into his job and is pleasant, knowledgeable and very endearing. That is what Patel does, he takes a character like Arjun and gives him such relatability and heart and in a second has a role in THE WEDDING GUEST and turns into something completely different. In HOTEL MUMBAI he puts himself second, third and fourth sometimes and always ahead of everyone else. The final scene with Patel just tore me up. THAT is how good Patel is on the screen.

Kher as Oberoi is the father figure of the hotel and his staff listens to him. Doing his best to keep everyone calm and, more importantly, quiet, he never forgets to treat them with dignity (even if some fly off the hinges). Pinder as Jamon has a small role but he constantly reminds everyone that the Taj Hotel is home to the staff and they will defend it.

Boniadi as Zahra is a mother who is going to do anything for her child and husband. Her  plans are daring, dangerous and actually made me catch my breath a time or two. Hammer as David wants to bring the family back together which means finding a way to get back up to their room without the gunman discovering him.

hotel 4

Isaac as Vasili is a Russian who isn’t afraid of the gunman but knows not to tangle with them either. He takes a protective role for Zahra when she needs it most. He usually is a good guy or a bad guy but in this role he has the opportunity to be both but has his reasons.

Singh, Nayyar, Mehra, Kumar and Amriptal Singh have the most difficult of all roles in this film. As the gunman they are wrapped up tightly in this story with their weapons and their belief that the voice of Bull is guiding them correctly. When I say this isn’t an easy role I absolutely mean it. From the moment the first shots are fired, these characters are going to be absolutely disgusted by anyone viewing the film. Of course that is the point but man it takes some acting guts to put yourselves in a role that even though absolutely necessary to the story.

Other cast include Adithi Kalkunte as Simple, Vipin Sharma as Dilip, Gaurav Paswala as Sanjay, Natasha Bordizzo as Bree, Angus McLaren as Eddie, Chantal Contouri as Mrs. Karvelas, Carmen Duncas as Lady Wynn and Sachin Joab as Vijay.

FINAL WORD: To the actors may I say a heartfelt thank you. This is not an easy story to tell, nor could it have been easy to put on film, yet you all took a leap of belief that it is a story that needed to be told. To the writers John Collee and Anthony Masas, it is important that HOTEL MUMBAI not be sugar coated and you both wrote that extraordinarily well.

hotel 3

This is based on true events and no event could have been more terrifying than this one. We all know a little of the story that comes out from the news but until the details are put in front of you it is quite easy to forget. I do not think I will ever now forget what happened at the Taj Hotel. There have only been a handful of true event films that have hit me hard and the hardest was the 2012 film THE IMPOSSIBLE.

I can honestly say that now, said film will have to share the top spot with HOTEL MUMBAI. This film brings the brutality, the humanity, the intensity and the utter heartbreak with each frame of the film. In the midst of the constant barrage of gunfire is the bravery and courage of those who would not let a moment go by without helping – even if it cost them dearly.

There wasn’t a moment where I couldn’t catch my breath, found myself whispering at the screen, put my hand over my mouth and yes, even felt my eyes well up with tears. This is an extraordinary film from the beginning until the end scene that reminds us of what is truly important – and it isn’t shoes.

In the end – in November of 2008 terror struck the heart of the India.

 

HOLMES & WATSON Solve a Mystery on Bluray

holmes and watson cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray/DVD and Digital from writer/director Ethan Cohen and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment brings together HOLMES & WATSON.

In the year 1881, Sherlock Holmes (Will Ferrell) and Dr. Watson (John C. Reilly) becomes friends from childhood to adulthood. Working on the criminal trial of nemesis Professor James Moriarty (Ralph Fiennes), Holmes believes that the man on trial is a doppelganger. Inspector Lestrade (Rob Brydon) isn’t happy when the fake Moriarty is set free.

But Holmes and Watson can’t stand around and babble about it because they need to go to Buckingham Palace where a party given by Queen Victoria (Pam Ferris) is happening. The two men lock eyes with Dr. Grace Hart (Rebecca Hall) and her companion Millie (Lauren Lapkus) but that is interrupted by a body falling out of the Queen’s cake. Adding to that a threat on the Queen’s life has the Big Ben ticking down.

Holmes 1

Now Watson works with Dr. Hart on the autopsy while Holmes stays outside with Millie – all four are having unusual feelings towards each other. Snapping back quickly, Holmes realizes that he must go to his brother Mycroft (Hugh Laurie) to get a little help and is told that he should look at someone close to him.

Trusting his brother leads Holmes to make a major mistake that he needs to correct because the pieces have fallen into place and there is no way Holmes will finish the case without his best friend Dr. Watson.

Ferrell as Sherlock Holmes is totally ridiculous yet he lands his lines in such a way that I had to think about what he was saying. His thought process is fast paced and has math in a way which is not my strong suit! That being said, only Ferrell could bring such a twistedness to a beloved icon of mystery solving. It also shows that Ferrell sees humor in the sense that no one is safe!

Reilly as Dr. Watson is really a twisted character who has an unusual and emotional heaviness towards Holmes and the Queen. That being said, the minute he walks in to take a selfie with her majesty, mayhem ensues and I couldn’t imagine any other two actors that could pull it off.

Holmes 2

Hall as Dr. Hart has a GHOST moment with Reilly’s Dr. Watson that was so comically disturbing that I can’t imagine they did it in one take. I personally would have cracked up repeatedly. Her character is strong and deals with the men trying to handle the fact that she is a doctor.

Fiennes as Moriarty is just as bad as he wants to be. I love Fiennes so whether the character he plays is good, bad or indifferent – I’m all in. Lapkus as Millie will never, ever, ever make me forget why I don’t like onions. She is a straight faced character that I basically waited every time she was on screen for her to crack. Well done young lady, well done.

Ferris as Queen Victoria brings a presence that I thought was so cool. She carried herself with the grace of a Queen but took the slapstick and made it her own.

Other cast includes Steve Coogan as Gustav Klinger, Hugh Laurie as Mycroft Holmes, Bella Ramsey as Flotsam, Scarlet Grace as Pickle, Noah Jupe as Doxy, Braun Strowman as Brawn and Kelly Macdonald as Rose Hudson. Look out for a familiar Billy Zane that made me laugh.

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 Exclusives include Line-O-Rama: Laugh Out Loud Outtakes with the Cast, Deleted & Extended Scenes, Will & John: Together Again, Seriously Absurd: A Look a the Cast, and Mrs. Hudson’s Men: Exclusive Testimonials with Mrs. Hudson’s Suitors.

Holmes 3

MOVIES ANYWHERE gives viewers the ability to download the Movies Anywhere App. With that you can view films by downloading or streaming to your favorite device using a Digital Code. For more information on Movies Anywhere please visit www.MoviesAnywhere.com.

FINAL WORD: HOLMES & WATSON is a comedy that only Ferrell and Reilly could pull off. It is nice to see them together again as they seem to have a comedy chemistry. Starting off with TALLEDEGA NIGHTS: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby to STEP-BROTHERS, it is clear that these two men enjoy bringing laughs to fans.

There is a lot of adult humor, slapstick, twists, turns and silliness that make HOLMES & WATSON everything that these two actors do together. I can’t imagine there wasn’t a fun day on the set with these two. I will admit there were moments where I had to rewind things in my head as the story does twist a lot so be ready for that or just don’t and laugh.

In the end – they are weapons of mass deduction!

WONDERCON Anaheim 2019 is Just a Week Away

WonderCon logo

Jeri Jacquin

This year’s WonderCon is being held again at the Anaheim Convention Center March 20-31st.

Beginning on Friday 20th Century Fox brings fans DARK PHOENIX and TOLKIEN so head over to the arena to check that out. AMC brings their fantastic shows with Into the Badlands and Marvel’s Clock & Dagger. FX brings their hit show Legions with a Q&A so go and get all your questions answered.

Also going on a WonderCon is Warner Archive’s Johnny Quest: Better in Blu, Scott Shawl’s Oddball Comics Live, A Conversation with Joelle Jones, What is the Best Superpower? and Cosplay Makeup.

Also to keep you busy is DC: 80 Years of Batman Comics, 30th Anniversary: BACK TO THE FUTURE II, and The Science of Game of Thrones.

On Saturday DreamWorks brings She-Ra and the Princess of Power, AMC is back to bring frights with NOS4A2 and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Warner Bros. and New Line also brings their own presentations.

Other exciting events are Everyone’s a Critic: Being a Journalist in an Online Age, Vallant: How I Broke into Comics, Godzilla: Secrets of the Monsterverse, Man from Atlantis: The Other Aquatic Super Hero, Cobra Kai Season 2: Meet the Senseis and Students, and The Golden Age of Dungeons & Dragons and so much more.

Finally, on Sunday there is a Q&A for The 100 and is readies for its Season 6, AMC brings Fear the Walking Dead and the World Premiere of Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. AMC along with BBCA brings their new series A Discovery of Witches. Archer: 1999 brings a Q&A for fans of the animated series.

There is also the DC Batman Art Academy, Are Superheroes Social Justice Warriors?,  Space Command Conquers The Universe, Women on the Dark Side, and Starship Smackdown Anaheim.

Of course the evening also brings Remembering Stan Lee and the Buffy Musical: “Once More with Feeling”.

WonderCon is a fast paced, fun filled weekend to catch up on what’s new, what everyone is doing in the comic world, writers workshops and all things we love about entertainment. So grab your badges and a good pair of shoes and we will see you at WonderCon 2019.

US Brings Terror to a California Boardwalk

US cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this Friday from director Jordan Peele and Universal Pictures comes the tale of what happens when you look into the heart of US.

The Wilson family is heading on a little summer R&R at the beautiful coastal town of Santa Cruz, California. Gabe (Winston Duke) and wife Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) along with daughter Zora (Shahadi Joseph) and young son Jason (Evan Alex), each sees this time together in a different way.

Gabe’s first outing is to go to the beach in front of the Santa Cruz boardwalk but Adelaide isn’t as thrilled about the idea. When she was a child, something mysterious happened to her but she hasn’t shared it with anyone. Talked into it, she tries her best to make the day good for the family.

Returning home and evening falls, there are mysterious people in the Wilson driveway and when Gabe confronts them – the horror knocks down their front door. A family that looks like them has a mission and it could cost each family member their lives.

US 1

Escaping the house the family tries to get help from friends Kitty (Elisabeth Moss) and Josh (Tim Heidecker) but it isn’t going to turn out as planned. What only one of the Wilson family knows is who they are and what they truly want – and they will never again be the same.

Nyong’o as Adelaide has a hidden secret in her character and the film takes its time in telling that part of the story. This actress invests not only the character of Adelaide number one but the absolutely terrifying version of Adelaide 2. She is captivating and has a mission that the Wilson family makes sort of easy for her to carry out – why? I’m not going to tell you why.

Duke as Gabe is that Dad who wants to make everyone happy while also having a good time with a beer in his hand and warm sand between his toes. He is also the Dad that has a baseball bat and isn’t afraid to swing it – the problem is that Dad 2 has an advantage and that’s his refusal to hesitate. Don’t let his size fool you as he is a husband who knows that Adelaide is strong willed so happy life, happy wife number one.

US 3

Joseph as Zora is a teenager plugged into social media and making it perfectly clear that she is not happy about the beach or talking about college. When she literally runs against Zora number 2, trust me when I say the creepy factor is huge and it’s a look I’ll never forget. That being said, don’t think Zora 1 doesn’t get hip quick.

Alex as Jason is definitely a mama’s boy and Jason 2 is as well – with a gruesome exception. This young actor was seriously amazing and once again I don’t think it’s a face I am likely to forget anytime soon.

Moss as Kitty is that woman who just isn’t happy with anything and finds any reason to be a total bitch. Moss has the ability to be very sweet in her character portrayals but this is her chance to just totally let loose and go insane. Heidecker as Tim is like Gabe in some ways in that he just wants to sit back with a beer and relax but Kitty isn’t about to let him do that. It takes Tim 2 to at least have a chance to just be as crazy as he wants to be.

Other cast include Yahya Abdul-Matten II as Russel Thomas, Anna Diop as Rayne Thomas, Cali Sheldon as Becca Tyler, Noelle Sheldon as Lindsey Tyler and Madison Curry as young Adelaide Wilson.

FINAL WORD: Peele has taken the classic suspense film and given it just enough blood to keep me invested in the film. I am not a huge fan of gore films which I know may be a shock to anyone who knows I love thrillers. There is a difference between a thriller and a slasher film that has no storyline.

US 2

US has a storyline and it doesn’t take long before you are whipped through the mental roller coaster mind of Peele. He doesn’t give away much, still adds a little cheesiness here and there, and picks an unlikely place to make it all work.

The cast makes this story work and work extremely well. There is a togetherness in the way these actors played the Wilson clan that brings you in quickly and keeps you there until the very…last…frame.

I adore Santa Cruz and, of course, never pictured it as a place where something like this story would take place. Recognizing every single location in the film from the boardwalk to the streets, just made it even more fun once I bought into the fact that yes, this could happen in Santa Cruz!

US 4

This is a fun thriller romp through my favorite stomping grounds and don’t let the story get you all twisted. Go with the flow and let the Wilson family introduce you to the wonderful world of frights, fights and survival at all costs – and oh my what a high cost!

In the end – we are our own worst enemy!

THE MUSTANG

MUSTANG cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to limited release from director Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre and Focus Features comes a story of self-redemption with the help of THE MUSTANG.

Roman Coleman (Matthias Schoenaerts) has been in prison for twelve years. Mainly keeping to himself in solitary, his temper flares in a second bringing him even more problems. Transferred to a new prison, he refuses to help anyone understand how to get through, not even daughter Martha (Gideon Adlon).

Outside the prison walls are horse stalls and a man named Myles (Bruce Dern) who teaches inmates how to prepare horses for sale. These are mustangs captured by the government and land management and all sale proceeds go back to them. At first Roman has no interested until he hears continual banging from a stall away from the corals.

mustang 1

Then he comes face to face with a very angry mustang and Roman is captured in another way. Myles sees that there is something between the two and brings the convict into the prisons program. Put in the hands of inmate Elijah (Keith Johnson), Roman gets a lesson here and there about how to reach the untouchable horse.

Newly named Marcus, Roman works his new ward daily and something happens to them both. So much so that when daughter Martha comes to visit, Roman confesses what brought him to jail and hopes there can be something between father and daughter once again.

Roman has other worries as well when top inmate Dan (Josh Stewart) decides he wants something from his cell mate and is willing to hurt Martha to make that happen. Both Roman and Marcus become a mixture of emotions and just when they are in sync – one sudden jolt forces them both to come to terms with who they are and where they are meant to be.

It is all in how you define love and freedom!

Schoenaerts as Roman gives absolutely everything to this role. There is anger, confusion, heart, soul, rage, revenge, and confession – just a gambit of where he once was to where we meet him. Strong willed from the film’s beginning, Schoenaerts character is broken down slowly and surely by a beautiful animal that has so much in common with Roman. I could not take my eyes of this actor who portrays a man who slowly comes to terms with a mistake brought on by anger that just can’t seems to subside.

mustang 2

Dern as Myles is a horse trainer who sees something click between Roman and Marcus. He puts a skittish faith and sees it pay off daily. Even when the unthinkable happens, Dern is strong in character and lends it to Roman when he needs it the most. Dern has always been on my list of amazing actors and it is satisfying to see him continue to jump in and lasso a role that suits him.

Aldon as Martha has just as much anger as her father but she is less physical about it. Instead hiding it in the way she speaks as bits of anger seep out with anger at being left alone growing up. Johnson as Elijah is very happy working with horses and takes a keen interest in seeing that Roman succeeds. The problem is that is outside the prison, what happens inside is something else.

Other cast include Jason Mitchell as Henry, Thomas Smittle as Tom, Noel Gugliemi as Roberto, George Schroeder as Officer Peters and Connie Britton as the Psychologist.

THE MUSTANG has a storyline that tugs every fiber of a being. From the beginning of the film and the horses are captured, it plants the seed of emotion wondering why these beautiful creatures can’t just be left alone. In that instant, the film becomes personal to watch.

It is personal in regards to the horses and everything after that. There is a mental encouragement that happens as the film goes on – encouraging the horse to let go of its anger but not let go of its spirit and encouraging Roman to stop hiding from the world. The final encouragement is that they both realize they are cut from the same universal cloth.

mustang 3

There is also a constant shift in the film that takes the two steps forward and five steps back in both Roman and Marcus yet there is no way as the viewer to lose hope. Schoenaerts and the lovely mustang we know as Marcus invite us into a story that only the two of them can possibly tell.

The film is cinematically beautiful with the surrounding wilderness and plopped in its center is a brick building holding men. Between the wilderness and the prison is a place of hope that, at times, makes you forget about the other two worlds. Unfortunately, the other two worlds are very, very powerful.

In the end – they are both untamed souls and kindred spirits!

Coming to Bluray is the Family that Fights IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK

Beal Street Cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray/DVD and Digital from writer/director Barry Jenkins and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is a family that fights for what is right IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK.

Tish Rivers (Kiki Layne) is a young woman in love with Fonny Hunt (Stephan James). Knowing each other since childhood, it seemed beautiful natural that they would fall in love. They start to plan their lives together once they break the pregnancy news to Tish’s Mom Sharon (Regina King), Dad Joseph (Colman Domingo) and sister Ernestine (Teyonah Parris).

Fonny’s family isn’t quite as happy about the news as and make it clear they don’t see Tish as nothing more than trouble for their son. That doesn’t stop the couple from continuing to plan and they are happy.

beale 1

That is until a woman named Victoria (Emily Rios) charges that Fonny has hurt her badly and the claim is supported by Officer Bell (Ed Skrein). The family continues to fight to understand how they system continues to prosecute Fonny when Victoria goes missing.  Even if they do find her, it might not do any good.

So the Fonny and Tish must come to terms with a new reality and it is one that their Harlem community is familiar with.

Layne is stunning as Tish, a young girl who could never have imagined that her childhood sweetheart could be treated so wrongly. In the process, she does what she must to make ends meet and keep their family together.

James as Fonny is a man who never once, not even through plexiglas, sees Trish as anything other than the love of his life. The pain shows on his face with every family visit yet he holds it together with love in his eyes focused on when they can be together outside the bars.

King as Sharon turns in a scene as her character is in Puerto Rico looking for Victoria that is stellar. It is not a large section of the film but it is intense and reactive for the viewer. It is not a surprise that Ms. King would win an Academy Award as her body of work in film is extensive and ever changing in the choices of characters she portrays. Well done indeed!

Domingo as Dad Joseph follows Sharon’s lead in how to handle what is happening with their daughter. Once they realize that Fonny’s family isn’t exactly going to help with the problem, Domingo’s character steps up for the love of his daughter and his family. Parris as Ernestine is a sister who has no problem harassing Tish but gawd forbid anyone else attempt it because big sis lays down the verbal law and isn’t afraid to back it up.

Beale 2

Rios as Victoria is clearly a woman who experienced something horrific, but when confronted all she wants to do is get as far away from it as possible. That means Fonny continues to suffer unless she does the right thing. Skrein as Officer Bell is completely skin crawling to watch, he is that officer that no one wants even five feet from us let along right in the face.

Other cast include Ebony Obsidian as Adrienne Hunt, Dominique Thorne as Sheila Hunt, Michael Beach as Frank Hunt, Aunjanue Ellis as Mrs. Hunt, Diego Luna as Pedrocito and Pedro Pascal as Pietro Alvarez.

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

The Bluray and DVD Special Features include Commentary with Director Barry Jenkins, Deleted Scenes, IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK: Poetry in Motion and Gallery.

MOVIES ANYWHERE gives viewers the ability to download the Movies Anywhere App. With that you can view films by downloading or streaming to your favorite device using a Digital Code. For more information on Movies Anywhere please visit www.MoviesAnywhere.com.

IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK was nominated for three Academy Awards with Regina King winning for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture. That wasn’t all for King, she also won Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture at the 2019 Golden Globes.

Beale 3

The character of Trish is a pillar of amazing strength, intelligence and not afraid to hang onto love with condition. If I had to pick one thing from the film that grabbed at my heart the most, she would be it. Telling her story in such a poetic way, she is also brutally honest and straight forward. Perhaps not as much as her sister Ernestine in the delivery but she is clear about what she sees.

IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK is a film worth watching, taking into your soul and having a conversation about on several levels.

In the end – trust love all the way.

GLORIA BELL

Gloria Bell cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres from director Sebastian Lelio and A24 comes the story of a woman trying to find her place with GLORIA BELL.

Gloria (Julianne Moore) is a divorced 50-something woman who is trying to find her way. Escaping occasionally to dance at a local nightclub, it helps her deal with life. When she isn’t tripping the lights, she sees her daughter Anne (Caren Pistorius) and son Peter (Michael Cera).

On one of her dancing nights she meets Arnold (John Turturro) and there is a connection as they start seeing one another. What Gloria doesn’t understand is the mysterious relationship Arnold has with his two grown daughters but she lets it alone. Deciding its time for her own family to meet him, Gloria invites him to Peter’s birthday party.

gloria 1

While there, Gloria’s ex-husband Dustin (Brad Garrett) makes Arnold feel as if he doesn’t exist so he sneaks away from the party. Upset beyond belief, Gloria won’t listen to anything Arnold says when he attempts to apologize.

She ignores his calls, ignores the flowers but the calls keep coming. After Anne leaves, Gloria gives in for a trip with Arnold to Las Vegas hoping they can get past any issues but it takes an instant for it all to change.

Now Gloria must decide whether to remain stagnant or remember that she can be everything and that includes happy!

Moore as Gloria has the serious chops to pull of this role. There is a vulnerability needed here to make this character believable and Moore gives it her all. Gloria is a woman who is trying to find her place in a world that doesn’t recognize her as a young woman any longer and doesn’t exactly embrace the number 50 when it comes to meeting a good man. Instead, she flounders with her family and the ability to let go adding a complicated relationship with Arnold. I just love Moore!

gloria 3

Turturro as Arnold is a complicated character because from the beginning you are never quite sure where he stands with the way he deals with things. One moment he is completely happy with and the next he is tortured by family issues that he can not seem to ignore.

Other cast include: Sean Astin as Jeremy, Cassie Thomson as Virginia, Chris Mulkey as Charlie, Barbara Sukowa as Melinda along with Jeanne Tripplehorn, Holland Taylor Tyson Ritter and Rita Wilson as Vicky and I just love her spunk which is exactly what Gloria needs!

GLORIA BELL is a film that dives in the deep end of the complications that come with older relationships. Being divorced with a family is one thing but trying to also be with someone who also has a family brings in every complication you can imagine. Director Lelio doesn’t hesitate to tackle these issues head on no matter how messy.

gloria 2

There is something about Moore’s portrayal of this character that brings about every range of the over-50 female experience. She is vulnerable, guilt ridden, lives slightly dangerously, reaches out to life only to pull back when it comes close and finds herself completely alone.

The music for the film is perfect but then again I found myself singing along with ease. Every song fit perfectly in the scene and working its way toward the end I would expect to see Gloria dancing madly!

In the end – this is her life.

Life Can Change When Given a Chance for a SECOND ACT on Bluray

second act bluray

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray from director Peter Segal, STX Entertainment and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment comes a chance to turn dreams into reality with SECOND ACT.

Maya (Jennifer Lopez) works for a grocery story and has made her way up the ladder hoping that she would finally cement a managerial position. Boyfriend Trey (Milo Ventimiglia) is supportive and lets Maya know he is ready to start a family. But Maya has a secret which is keeping her from taking that step.

When she doesn’t get the job, bff Joan (Leah Remini) believes she is meant for better things anyway but not before Maya and Trey end their relationship. Her son Dilly (Dalton Harrod) and Joan decide they are going to help Maya along a little. After a run-in at work, Maya walks away but not before Joan lets her know that Anderson Clarke (Treat Williams) and his company want to interview Maya for a big job.

act 2

Maya is stunned when she realizes that Dilly has highly inflated her resume and even more when she gets the job. Someone who isn’t so happy is Zoe Clarke (Vanessa Hudgens) seeing Maya as a problem, especially when it comes up that their ‘organic’ products aren’t truly ‘organic’.

That’s when a challenge is placed before Maya and Zoe, to see who can truly make an organic product that will make the company a serious profit. Using her smarts, Maya is put to the test while trying to hide exactly who she is from everyone around her, remembering who she is for herself and discovering that her past is right in front of her.

That’s what happens in a second act!

Lopez as Maya is playing a character that she has done before and the formula works for her. In this film she is a woman who has a secret in her past that keeps her from moving forward in her relationships. Jumping into the new job, Maya does so with constant pitfalls that, like Lopez,  makes work to her advantage. We have seen that in her films THE WEDDING PLANNER and MAID IN MANHATTAN so stay with what works.

Hudgens as Zoe is a young woman who is also dealing with a past and putting her life aside to help her father. Starting out as competitors, Hudgens gives her characters scowl a few smiles and befriends Maya. Both have secrets and both have goals that are not far from one another’s dreams.

Act 1

Ventimiglia as Trey starts out the film using his charm and wit which is nice and everything we expect from him. Of course he is first and foremost Jack on the hit series THIS IS US but we ladies certainly don’t mind seeing him in this film.

Remini as Joan is hilarious as the bff who really wants her friend to be happy in more than just being a manager of a grocery story. What totally cracks me up about her character is the relationship she has with her two kids – one in college and one with a trash mouth. She handles them both beautifully and hilariously.

Williams as Clarke is a man who knows how to make a company successful. He sees something in Maya that has the potential to be amazing for his company. I have watched Williams over the years and know one thing for sure, he is one of Hollywood’s most underrated actors.

Two stand outs for me in the film are Yi as Ariana, a very smart young girl who is constantly squashed for her knowledge until Maya steps in. The other is Annaleigh Ashford as Hildy who is the outspoken assistant to Maya who is the squasher. There is something about both of these actresses that I truly enjoy and can see such fantastic potential for both.

Other cast include Annaleigh Ashford as Hildy, Charlyne Yi as Ariana, Alan Aisenberg as Chase, Reddie Stroma as Ron Ebsen, Dave Foley as Felix Herman, Larry Miller as Weiskopf, Lacretta as Suzi, Dan Bacatinsky as Arthur and Diedre Friel as Big Ant.

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.

act 3

The Bonus Features include Explore the Themes of SECOND ACT with Cast and Filmmakers, Connecting with Milo Ventimiglia, The Empowering Women of Second Act, Friendship On and Off Screen, Working with the Ones You Love and SECOND ACT Trailer.

SECOND ACT is a relatable story in that circumstance can sometimes be a punch in the gut but it is up to each of us to find our way through it. Of course I don’t suggest padding resumes but the character of Maya absolutely had something to offer in so many ways. Her creativity and ability to read people is something that isn’t taught in college. There are many people who have that!

On a less serious note, the cast makes the film emotional and fun with its twists and turns. I suppose you could call the film a rom-com if you agree that sometimes you have to court yourself to see what you are all about.

So plan to take a ride up the ladder with the film SECOND ACT coming to Bluray.

In the end – the only thing stopping you is you!

 

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑