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July 2019

Happy 25th Anniversary to the Groundbreaking Comedy THE MASK

Mask cover

Jeri Jacquin

Can you believe it? It has been 25 years since the character of THE MASK came to screens everywhere. Currently streaming on HBO Now, Jim Carrey stars as Stanley Ipkiss, a fumbling push over bank clerk who is just getting through each day the best he can.

After a particularly bad day, he finds an interesting mask but what he doesn’t know is that it is the mask of the Norse god of royal badness – Loki. Of course the temptation to put it on only leads to craziness as mild mannered Stanley Ipkiss becomes a green faced, outspoken man of madness.

Someone else wants what The Mask has! Crime boss Dorian Tyrel played by Peter Greene will do almost anything to get it. Getting it includes using club singer girlfriend Tina (Cameron Diaz) to use her feminine wiles on Stanley.

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But The Mask has other plans which include falling for Tina and wreaking havoc at the Coco Bongo club. Taking notice is Detective Kellaway (Peter Riegert) and the media with Peggy Brant (Amy Yasbeck).

Stanley has no idea what he has unleashed but, quite honestly, we are all happy he did!

THE MASK was released in 1994 and became an instant comedy success. Of course my family paid up to see Carrey do his thing as only he could and can do. That year the film took in over $350 million dollars worldwide. I’d say that’s a success story and gave Carrey amazing clout for further project.

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To be able to watch the film again and again has brought such iconic lines as ‘sssssssssssmokin’, ‘Tell Scarlett I do give a damn!’ and ‘Somebody stop me!’ My family is partially responsible for the continued use of these phrases and we are kind of proud of that fact.

It’s time to get green again, put on the dancing shoes and remember what fun this film truly is. So head to HBO Now and, as The Mask would say, ‘It’s time to P, A, R, T. Why? Because I gotta!

In the end – he goes from zero to hero!

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ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD

Once Upon A Time

Jeri Jacquin

In theatres this week from visionary writer/director Quentin Tarantino and Columbia Pictures is a film that can only be called ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD.

It is 1969 Los Angeles and Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) is having an identity crisis. Once the lead in his own television series, he also makes time to do roles in other television shows. Living in the Hollywood hills on the secluded Cielo Drive, he is driven around town by his stunt double and friend Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt).

Also living on Cielo Drive next door is actress Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) and husband director Roman Polanski (Rafal Zawierucha). She is living and loving life taking time to enjoy her career.

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While working out life and where his career is going, Dalton has to take each phase like a scene with decisions that constantly plague him. Cliff is a little more free spirited and enjoys stunt work when he gets it and being a friend to Dalton. It is difficult for Cliff with a rumor that surrounds an incident in his life.

On several occasions he sees the young girl Pussycat (Margaret Qualley) hitchhiking through L.A. After dropping Dalton off on the set, he sees Pussycat again and offers her a ride. Strangely enough she is staying at the Spahn Movie Ranch where Cliff once shot scenes and she invites him to meet Charlie. Eager to see owner George Spahn (Bruce Dern), he is met with hostility by Squeaky (Dakota Fanning) and Tex (Austin Butler).

Dalton decides to go to Italy and do spaghetti westerns and returns home after six months with a wife and a need to simplify his life which includes having to let Cliff go as a driver. That doesn’t stop these old friends from whooping it up one last time. That same night, Dalton’s very pregnant neighbor Sharon and friends Jay (Emile Hirsch), Abigail (Samantha Robinson) and Voytek (Costa Ronin) are out celebrating as well.

What none of them could know was what would happen on Cielo Drive that hot night in 1969!

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DiCaprio as Dalton is absolutely stunning in this role. He is a paranoid, dysfunctional, insecure chain smoking alcoholic who believes the worst about himself as an actor. That is what makes his performance brilliant in that he is not only able to pull all of that off, but kept me convinces for two hours and forty-five minutes. DiCaprio’s acting within acting scenes is intense at times but so damn well done I forgot it was a scene within a scene of the movie itself. I will be thinking about this performance for a very long time.

Pitt as Cliff is laid back and happy with his life of being in the background of Dalton’s career. This character that has a past that gets in his way yet not enough to bother him. His true love is pittie Brandy who is just as adorable as she wants to be and very protective of her human. Pitt gives the audience charm, rooftop abs (oh sorry, should I not have mentioned that?), that insanely memorable grin and a threshold of no-nonsense that is amazing up to the point where it isn’t. I am crazy about every aspect of this character until the absolute…very…end and then I just fell head over heels once again for Pitt. There couldn’t have been a better pairing than these two actors and honestly I never would have thought of it which is why I’m not a director.

Robbie as Tate gives a performance of a sweet and simple woman who loved music, friends, and sitting in a movie theatre watching herself not out of narcissm, but to experience the audience reaction. Her character portrayal of the actress was beautiful.

Olyphant as Stacey gets a chance to don western gear and I loved watching him dual it out, so to speak, with DiCaprio. Fanning as Squeaky portrayed someone I wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley…ever. Butler, Madison and Beatty as the terrifying Manson trio are as frightening as they need to be and I’m leaving it right there.

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A shout out to young Julia Butters as Trudi is epic in her two scenes with DiCaprio. My reaction to her was immediate and filled with smiles. Her character is smart, witty, and perceptive all trapped inside the body of an 8 year old. I want to be her when I grow up!

Other cast include Sydney Sweeney as Snake, Timothy Olyphant as James Stacy, Harley Quinn Smith as Froggie, Damian Lewis as Steve McQueen, Mike Moh as Bruce Lee, Lorenza Izzo as Francesca Capucci, Rumer Willis as Joanna Pettet, Scoot McNairy as Bob Gilbert, Clifton Collins Jr. as Ernesto, Michael Madsen, and Kurt Russell as Randy.

Also, Rebecca Gayheart as Billie, Lena Dunham as Gypsy, Nicholas Hammond as Sam Wanamaker, Mikey Madison as Sadie, Madisen Beaty as Katie, Julia Butters as Trudi, Luke Perry as Wayne Maunder, and Al Pacino as Marvin Schwarzs.

This is as brief of a review as I could possible do for this film because I really don’t want to spoil any of it for anyone. I can say that I think I’ve seen a strong contender for an Academy Award nomination and many actors that could easily fill all the slots for Best Actor and Best Supporting nods.

What I love best about this film, and perhaps it shows my age, is that I remember all of it. The clothing, magazines, music, cars, the scenery, the places and the events of the era turned a light back on inside my head. All of it provided an emotional rollercoaster of staying in the story and trying not to let the eye candy distract.

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The story, and oh what a story it is, came from the mind of Tarantino absolutely. Every scene was a wonder of where it was going and what would happen when we (meaning everyone in the theatre with me) got there. Dalton and Booth took us on the ride and I didn’t fight on second of it. We wanted to know more about their personal issues and the six degrees of separation between every character we were introduced to. Trust me when I say this was definitely a theatrical experience.

Were there a few giggles? Of course! Tarantino has a twisted sense of that and he lets us in on it. Of course I caught myself giggling a few times to myself but that’s my own personal twisted sense of humor.

The audience walked out on a high of immediately talking about what they had seen and wondering if the people they were with shared in their thought process. No one left right away but instead mingled outside of theatre 5 to continue sharing the experience. Here I sit and I’m still thinking about it all.

Yes the film is 161 minutes long yet it is one of the best times I’ve had at the movies in a long time. Being in the desert of wanting-thirst for something amazing on screen, Tarantino has just given me a huge whiskey sour and I certainly wouldn’t mind another.

In the end – it is a story of Hollywood Tarantino style!

UGLYDOLLS Arrives on Bluray with a Sing-Along Edition

ugly dolls

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray/DVD and currently on Digital from director Kelly Asbury, STX Entertainment and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment are the every so cuddly UGLYDOLLS.

It is another fun filled day in Uglyville and Moxy (Kelly Clarkson) believes it is her day to make it to the big world. Ox (Blake Shelton) tries to tell Moxy that she should be happy where she is but nothing is going to stop her from believing.

That’s when Lucky Bat (Leehom Wang) tries to help Ox but instead gets it a little twisted. Now Moxy believes that she needs to go find her perfect kid in the big world instead of waiting for the big world to come to her.

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Moxy, Babo (Gabriel Iglesias), Uglydog (Pitbull) and Wage (Wanda Sykes) find a pipe and the consensus is that it leads to the big world. What they don’t expect is to find the Institute of Perfection for dolls led by Lou (Nick Jonas) who immediately tells the UglyDolls that they basically can’t handle the institute.

The group decides that they are going to stay and find help in Mandy (Janelle Monae), a doll who doesn’t believe she fits in either. She decides to help the UglyDolls by changing the way dress so they can get along easier but Lou makes it clear once again that it isn’t going to help.

Back in Uglyville, Ox realizes that Moxy and her friends are missing and go looking for them. He also discovers the Institute of Perfection but he has a secret of his own that isn’t going to be a secret for long. Lou may be trying to keep the UglyDolls down but when secrets are revealed, nothing will ever be the same.

This group finds their worth in a place that sees them as worthless!

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Clarkson as Moxy brings her vocal talents to the character but also a lot of spirit. There is certainly nothing wrong with wanting a kid of her own and Moxy believes that it is her destiny. Patience and happiness go a long way but when the chance presents itself, Clarkson sings and of hope and the possibilities her character longs for.

Shelton as Ox is the leader of Uglyville and he wants everyone who lives there to be happy with who they are. Keeping an eye on Moxy, Ox especially wants her to be happy with where she is and not go looking for anything else.

Wang, Iglesias, Pitbull and Sykes are just the right friends to follow Moxy through the pipe because it is no place to go alone. Their wariness are completely understandable and their humor is absolutely hilarious.

Monae as Mandy is a doll who doesn’t see herself as one of the others at the Institute for Perfection. It doesn’t help that she doesn’t have friends backing her up, that is until the UglyDolls arrived!

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Jonas as Lou is a doll unto himself making those around him feel less than they should ever feel. Lending his vocal talents as well, Jonas gets to sing his charming way through the film and when the time comes – reveal the secret between the Institute and Uglyville.

Other cast include Ice-T as Peggy, Emma Roberts as Wedgehead, Jane Lynch as Scanner, Natalie Martinez as Meghan, Stephen Zimpel as Michael, Bebe Rexha as Tuesday, Charli XCX as Kitty, Lizzo as Lydia, and Enrique Santos as Nolan.

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.

STXFilms and Entertainment is a global next-generation company who has taken on the mission to unlock the value of direct connection stars have with their fans through the development, production and distribution of film, television, VR, digital video, music and live entertainment content. It is the industry leader in transforming beyond traditional platform-driven content to creating talent-driven enterprises. To experience more please visit www.stxfilms.com.

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The Bonus Features on Bluray and DVD include Sing-Along Edition, Sing-Along Tease – a small taste of the big fun the Sing-Along Edition provides, Fun with the Cast of UGLYDOLLS– watch the cast of UglyDolls play fun games that showcase their unique talents, Making UGLYDOLLS – a closer look at the music behind the film and the talents voice cast that brings these rich characters to life and Theatrical Trailers.

UGLYDOLLS is a lesson on how we treat one another and the words we use. The split between Uglyville and the Institute only further the misunderstanding between them. Moxy is such a lovely character who believes that she has a destiny and discovers that she isn’t the only one who believes that.

This film is colorful, friendly, inviting, funny and toe tapping with the musical numbers. That is what parents want in films they taken their entire family to see. If it all happens to be wrapped up in life lessons then its all the better.

This is a classic underdoll story!

THE JUNGLE BUNCH Brings Fun and Family to DVD

jungle bunch

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD from writer/director David Alaux and SHOUT! Kids Factory is the story of family, friendship and protecting the home of THE JUNGLE BUNCH.

It is another day in the jungle or is it? Tony the sloth (Frantz Confiac), Natasha the tiger (Marie-Christine Darah), Goliath the rhino (Alain Dorval) and Ricky the porcupine (also called The Champs) are chasing Igor the koala (Richard Darbois) through the jungle. Igor is up to no good and attempting to ruin the jungle for all who live their.

When he succeeds all the animals must find their own way. Natasha finds herself the foster-mother of Maurice (Philippe Bozo), a young penguin who takes to jungle life. Her ward has plans of his own as he grows to create a new team that fights for justice.

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Mom Natasha isn’t too thrilled about Maurice’s goal but he sets out into the jungle to find others who want to be aprt of it. He brings his team including Junior the fish, Miguel the gorilla (Pascal Casanova), Gilbert the tarsier (Laurent Morteau) and Batricia the bat (Celine Montsarrat) and call themselves ‘The Jungle Bunch’.

Igor has been busy as well on his secluded island, he wants to get back and take on The Champs once again. When he discovers there is another justice fighting team in town he is equally thrilled. Especially when he learns Maurice is Natasha’s son.

The Jungle Bunch knows their new mission is to save the jungle and everything they love about their home. When Igor kidnaps Junior, it is Natasha that wants to put The Champs back together to save him. Feeling left out, Maurice realizes that he must do what ever it takes to rescue his family but with a little help from his friends.

Other characters include Emmanuel Curtil as Al the Toad, Paul Borne by Bob the Toad, Michel Mella as Fred the warthog, Jean-Philippe Puymartin as Snake, Barbara Tissier as Ping, and Alexis Tomassian as Pong.

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

The characters are all delightful and, well, animated! This is a story about many things but mainly that differences don’t seem to matter one bit to these jungle creatures. They love who they love and that includes Natasha taking in Maurice and Maurice taking in Junior.

The story of Igor being cast out because of the harm he wants to cause is believable in that the other animals would ban together to put him in his place. There is also a generational issue that I found a great theme to talk about. Natasha protecting her son caused her to say things that she should have thought about more carefully. Taking to heart the words of his mother was tough and a lesson to parents – even parents who have grown children.

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It is a treasure when there is an animated film that actually brings family and community together like THE JUNGLE BUNCH. The actors truly bring the animals to life with their vocal performances. Oh don’t worry, there is plenty of fun to be had and my own family laughed a lot at the antics.

So gather up your own jungle herd with a big bowl of popcorn and enjoy a film that brings so much of everything we love animated films for!

In the end – things are getting wild!

Time Life Brings CMA AWARDS LIVE: Greatest Moments from 1968-2015 on DVD

 

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Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD is one of the most amazing collections Time Life has ever put together. For those who love country music this is an opportunity to see five decades of country music’s biggest stars perform with CMA AWARDS LIVE: Great Moments from 1968-2015.

The CMA Awards have spent the last 50 years showcasing country music by capturing the artists at work giving us some of our most favorite songs. The show has captured performances that have become historic as well as iconic and seen on television capturing it all.

In 1967, performers of country music came to Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium for the very first CMA’s. Performers such as Bobby Gentry, Sonny James, Jim Reeves, Red Foley and Jack Green were there. It was Green who would win the Male Vocalist Award, Album, Song and Single of the Year for his song There Goes My Everything.

Throughout the 60’s, performers such as Eddy Arnold, Loretta Lynn, Chet Atkins, Bob Wills, Glen Campbell, Tammy Wynette, Johnny Cash, Porter Wagoner, Dolly Parton, Jeannie C. Riley, and Bobby Russell would bring show stopping performances that can be found in this collection.

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The CMA’s moved to the Ryman Auditorium by the 1970’s when Loretta Lynn would be called the First Lady of Country Music. Merle Haggard became the voice of patriotism for the United States during a difficult time and it showed with his song Okie from Muskogee.

As change came over the CMA’s, it was reflected in the awards when Charlie Pride won for Male Vocalist and Entertainer of the Year in the 70’s. A little surprise came when Olivia Newton John won for Female Vocalist of the Year but no surprise for me when John Denver won for Entertainer of the Year.

There were outlaws in country music when Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Jessi Colter and Compall Glaser won Album of the Year for Wanted! The Outlaws. Other stars during the decade included Kris Kristofferson, Jerry Reed, Lynn Anderson, Ray Price, Sammi Smith, Freddie Hart, Jimmie Davis, Tanya Tucker, Donna Fargo, Roy Clark, Charlie Rich, Ronnie Milsap, Cal Smith, Don Wayne, Freddy Fender, Crystal Gayle, Kenny Rogers, Dottie West, Barbara Mandrell, Charlie Daniels and Johnny Gimble.

During the 1980’s, country music became even more popular if that was possible. New groups and a new generation of singers hit the television and airwaves bringing love songs and story telling. Barbara Mandrell started off with songs such as I was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool.

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This is the era of Emmylou Harris, George Jones, Mac Davis, Alabama, Oak Ridge Boys, Chet Atkins, Janie Fricke, Ricky Skaggs, Lee Greenwood, Reba McEntire, The Judds, Sawyer Brown, Hank Williams, Jr., George Strait, and Randy Travis.

The careers ending the 80’s would become the next big stars of the 1990’s but there would also be newcomers such as Lonestar and Diamond Rio. Billy Ray Cyrus would have everyone growing a mullet and singing Achy Breaky Heart. The women also broke through in a big way with Shania Twain, Deana Carter and Sara Evans.

At the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee, the CMA’s would see the likes of Kathy Mattea, Clint Black, Travis Tritt, Kentucky HeadHunters, Garth Brooks, Vince Gill, Don Henry, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Brooks & Dunn, Alan Jackson, John Michael Montgomery, Pam Tillis, Martina McBride, Alison Krauss, Trisha Yearwood, LeAnn Rimes, Dixie Chicks, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, and Randy Skruggs.

The 2000’s saw another shift not only in country music but the changes at the Grand Ole Opry. Reba McEntire was on top and The Dixie Chicks were riding high as an all girl country group. It is also a time when country would stop for a moment and talk about the grief of 9/11 as Alan Jackson asked in song Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning).

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Other performers in this fifteen year span included Rascal Flatts, Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Gretchen Wilson, Lee Ann Womack, Toby Keith, Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, Kellie Pickler, Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift, Sugarland, Darius Rucker, Jason Aldean, Kelly Clarkson, Zac Brown Band, Lady Antebellum, Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, Little Big Town, Hunter Hayes, Florida Georgia Line, Kacey Musgraves and Chris Stapleton.

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 10-disc set (that’s 11 hours plus extras) also includes the bonus of Newly Produced Bonus Interviews with Country Legends including Charley Pride, Kenny Rogers, Naomi Judd, Ronnie Milsap and more. Plus CMA bonus features with Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert, Vince Gill, George Strait, Carrie Underwood and many other country music stars.

Also, 44-Page Memory Book including show photos, a history of the CMA Awards, plus a year-by-year guide to 50 years of Award winners.

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For country music lovers this is a collection of music and performances that are to be truly experienced. Having grown up in a country music family, there are performances here by legendary musicians that I had completely forgotten about. That is why Time Life has once again brought back some of my favorite family memories of music. I couldn’t be more pleased to have had the opportunity to watch these musicians once again but this time share them with my own family.

There is a heart and soul to country music and after spending time watching the CMA AWARDS LIFE: Great Moments from 1968-2015, it becomes clear that the heart and soul is still viable and so worth revisiting.

In the end – these are truly the greatest moments!

 

 

The Final Day of SDCC Brings Goodbyes, Tears and MAYANS MC

 

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Jeri Jacquin

We all made it, every one of us! The final day of San Diego Comic Con International 2019 is in the bag. Now all that’s left to do gather all the swag, goodies, Funkos and characters and find a place for it all in our homes. I mean that in good fun because I really love all the Comic Con goodies because they continue to be a reminder of just how much fun there is to have.

The morning started off with the Supernatural final appearance in Hall H. A friend of mine reminded me of how this show started in 6BCD and grew into Ballroom 20 and grew so big that it had to be moved into Hall H. Every Sunday morning the fans would gather to celebrate the Winchester brothers and attendees never knew what was going to happen. I do have to admit that my favorite year was when the band Kansas came to perform Carry On Wayward Son which is the theme song of the show.

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This year was bittersweet as every person in line, and it stretched from Hall H around the back to the embarcadero, wanted a chance to say goodbye to the cast they have come to enjoy. The show will be ending it’s fifteen season run later this year which means you have enough time to binge watch fourteen seasons before it all wraps up.

Entering into Hall H, each attendee was given a small replica of the Winchester Bros. car ‘Baby’ and I have to say it’s pretty cool. The panel this year included Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins, Alexander Calvert and executive producers Robert Singer, Andrew Dabb, Eugenie Ross-Leming, Brad Buckner and Robert Berens. Each took terms talking about the past season, making jokes and only giving hints on the final season.

When asked about their feelings regarding the final season and the fans, Ackles and Padalecki both broke into tears and leaned on each other. They followed with an emotional thank you to the fans that have made the series such a success. All the of sadness would soon be put away as the announcement was made that any of the fans who asked questions were now in the running of a car – a replica of Baby. When I say replica, I mean a real car! The lady who won it is now going to have a million new friends.

Thunderous applause broke out as the panel hugged it out and made their way off the stage.

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The CW series Riverdale took the stage next and began when the show’s creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa arrived to talk about the passing of Luke Perry. “I remember when Luke auditioned, I was so socked that Luke Perry was auditioning. He came up to me and said ‘I read the script and I love the character Fred because he’s just like me. I have a son and this character speaks to me’”. Playing a video tribute was very touching.

Aguirre-Sacasa also shared that Shannon Doherty will make an appearance in the show. It was something Perry had asked for and now the show is fulfilling that request.

Coming to the stage was the cast including Madelaine Petsch, Camilla Mendes, KJ Apa, Lili Reinhard and Cole Sprouse. It must be said that Sprouse has been my favorite because he seems like such a jovial handful. In regards to the series, the theme is wondering if Archie and the gang can possibly have a simple life both in school and at home. It’s unlikely to my way of thinking and the show would be short lived if they did but the next season promises to be intense. The show returns in October on the CW.

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The final panel in Hall H for Comic Con is the new FX hit series Mayans MC. Taking over the motorcycle club helm from its predecessor Sons of Anarchy, creator Kurt Sutter, Elgin James and executive producer Kevin Dowling bring the new club to fans. On the panel were JD Pardo, Clayton Cardenas, Edward James Olmos, Sarah Bolger, Michael Irby, Antonio Jaramillo, Raoul Max Trujillo, Danny Pino, Emilio Rivera, Frankie Loyal, Joseph Lucero and Vincent Vargas.

The panel discusses their roles and how intense the show is with its portrayal of the Mayans motorcycle club and their dealings with the cartels. A fan asked if they were worried about stereotyping and it was Olmos who said that in all stereotypes there are rings of truth to some of it. He also says that season two, airing in over a month, promises to get even darker than the first season.

If you haven’t seen the new series Mayans MC yet, might I suggest you do so. There are people you will remember from SOA and a storyline that is a tad familiar but taken to places you wouldn’t expect.

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What I can tell you about this cast is that they have the same spirit as the cast from Sons of Anarchy. They are very funny, seem to know each other very well and joke in a way that tells me this is a strong group of actors. That is important when you have an ensemble series, to feel as if they true are a family in their sense of the word. This is a storyline that is violent, telling and contains turns that put every character on notice – no one is exempt from danger!

That’s it, that’s all there is for this year. It was filled with stories, meeting with friends that although I might be friends with on Facebook or other social media platforms, I can be guaranteed we can see each other once a year. SDCC is a place to share in our likes and try to convert each other to see or experience something we don’t think we’d like. Trust when I say I’ve been taken in by shows I didn’t think would hold the slightest interest for me.

SDCC is a time to catch up, dress up, play up, and enjoy all of that with over a hundred thousand of your closest people. That is why SDCC keeps coming back and especially why we all go year after year.

With that said – it’s time to pack up for another year. I hope everyone had an amazing time and, as we say, meet you hear next year!

STAR TREK and MARVEL Took Over Day Three of Comic Con!

picardJeri Jacquin

It was to be expected right? Hundreds and hundreds of fans waiting in line over a two day periods and for what you ask? Because both STAR TREK and MARVEL were in Hall H and they weren’t about to disappoint with a flimsy few minutes on stage. Nope, there were surprises to be seen and heard and I’m about to tell you everything I know.

Beginning with Enter the Star Trek Universe, CBS All Access is continuing to expand that universe. Star Trek Discovery takes the story 1,000 years into the future says showrunner Alex Kurtzman. The series stars Sonequa Martin-Green, Michelle Paradise, Heather Kadin and David Ajala. Production is currently ongoing in Iceland so there might be a bit of a wait for Season Three.

Star Trek: Picard brought its thrilling trailer to Hall H as Sir Patrick Stewart returns in his iconic role of Jean-Luc Picard. This being Stewarts first time at Comic Con, he seemed to be relishing every moment and enjoying the panel time. The story revolves around Picard realizing that he never has quite felt at home with his feet on Earth but then again we all could have guess that. We want him at the helm and engage!

Not enough Star Trek? Well, how about Star Trek: Short Treks which is a miniseries to keep your imagination in space where it belongs. There are characters from the original series that you might all remember and I’m keeping that bit of information to myself. No spoilers here! The show is also brought by CBS All Access.

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The official HBO trailer for WESTWORLD 3 – The New World has dropped into Hall H and available for everyone. The world has changed and now Jonathan Nolan, Lisa Joy, Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Ed Harris, Tessa Thompson, Aaron Paul, Jeffrey Wright and Luke Hemsworth have to find their way through it. It seems like fans have been waiting forever but now these characters find themselves in Nazi Europe but you’ll have to wait a while longer to know more.

Project Blue Book from the History Channel brings characters Hynek and Quinn dealing with 1947 and Roswell, New Mexico. The show has just started production and will return later this year. If you haven’t seen season one, I have to ask you…why not? The Good Place brought a bit of a downer to attendees when executive producer Michael Schur announced that it would be the final season for the show. Telling everyone the final script was complete, the statement was met with a loud awwww-ing and man it was brutal to hear.

The Expanse is a show I have been watching from the very beginning. Throwing out props to Amazon for giving it a new home so we can see how the next chapter of this saga plays out. Due to return in December, it’s plenty of time to watch the first three seasons since I have a feeling things are going to get very intense.

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TBS is about to take on one of my favorite films by putting it into a series with Snowpiercer. If you have an opportunity to see the film prior to the show beginning, do so. You will get a feel for the post-apocalyptic train ride that has a twisted structure that contains human beings trying to survive a caste system. What does everyone want? They want what is in first class!

Women Who Kick Ass comes to Hall H with ladies Shohreh Aghdashloo from The Expanse, Freema Agyeman from Doctor Who, Betty Gilpin from Glow, Ruby Rose from Batwoman and Cobie Smulders from the new series Slumptown.

 Ripley’s Believe It or Not! will air on The Travel Channel hosted by The Evil Dead star Bruce Campbell. This is a perfect outlet for the star we all love for being…well…different!

Finally, what a packed Hall H has been waiting for. The Russo Bros. mix it up with the audience to get things started and Jessica Chobot introduces Kevin Feige. He thanks fans for what the Marvel Universe has become (and we thank him as well). He quickly moves on to The Eternals and director Chloe Zao along with cast Richard Madden, Jumail Najiani, Lauren Ridloff, Bryan Henry, Salma Hayak, Liam McHugh, Don Lee and Angelina Jolie. Ms. Jolie seemed beside herself with smiles at being part of the panel.

Falcon

Falcon and the Winter Soldier brings Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie to panel. Baron Zemo aka Daniel Bruhl is back and purple once again making a promise with, “Gentlemen, I’ll be seeing you very soon”. It didn’t sound promising for either the Falcon or the Winter Soldier!

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has a release date of 2-2021 with Tony Leung as The Mandarin. Feige announced that Simu Liu has been cast in the title role of Shang-Chi. Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is a series that Feige also says “ties directly into the world of Dr. Strange” and that sends the audience into a happy place. Directed by Scott Derrickson, the series stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen.

Speaking of Olsen, WandaVision is an original series coming to the new streaming service Disney+. The show also stars Paul Bettany and Teyonah Parris and due out in the spring of 2021.

My dream has come true! Loki from Marvel Studios is also coming to Disney+ and Tom Hiddleston is reprising his role. Don’t ruin my day by trying to talk me out of the clouds, it isn’t possible. I am on a full lady-high right now and don’t expect to come down until the series airs, and maybe not even then.

Zemo

Taika Waititi returns to direct Thor: Love and Thunder with Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson and Natalie Portman and is due in theatres November of 2021. Be prepared when a lady Thor comes into the picture!

Black Widow is slated for May of 2020 with Cate Shortland as director and the return of Scarlett Johansson. The film also stars David Harbour, Florence Pugh and Rachel Weisz. It will be nice to see the back story of this iconic Marvel character before things got dicey in the last two Avengers films.

Finally, fans were so surprised to learn that Blade is being brought back to life. The announcement was made that Mahershala Ali would be taking over the role and is now part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

thor

That is a lot to take in isn’t it? I can tell you that everyone in Hall H was exhausted by the end of the panel. It is another phase for Marvel and it is going to keep fans happy for many, many years to come.

It is hard to believe but we are one day away from putting San Diego Comic Con International 2019 into the books. Outside the Convention Center is a very fun atmosphere as everyone is finding their favorite places to visit only to discover that every place is a favorite place.

Tomorrow gets here quick so rest up and let’s make a final run on the last day!

San Diego Comic Con International Zombies its Day Two

day 6 f

Jeri Jacquin

It is day two and what a day it’s been! There is no doubt it is Friday as the crowds are getting bigger and trust when I say that Saturday is going to be a day to bring plenty of patience and humor.

Today I was in Hall H and there was more than enough to keep everyone’s eyes and ears happy. Beginning with Writing Avengers: Endgame moderator Jeff Goldsmith talks to screenwriters/producers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely about the process of creating an immersive story. From ideas onto storyboards to making sure timelines mash up, it was a conversation that was enlightening and has everyone scratching their heads with more ways to expand the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Day 3 c

That wasn’t the end of it as the Russo Brothers, Joe and Anthony, took the stage as moderator Steven Weintraub broken down the years and films the two creative minds have brought to screen. Talking about the stories and showing their own boards, the audience was keen to know if they would take on the SECRET WARS storyline but no straight answer was given. The fun came when the cast ‘phoned in’ their questions and Paul Rudd walked away with the laughs. When Robert Downey, Jr. took to the screen the entire audience just about lost it seeing their one and only Iron Man again.

The morning was about to be taken over by zombies and the crowd couldn’t be happier. The moderator and host of the AMC after show The Talking Dead, the audience was thrilled at the return of Chris Hardwick to the stage for AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead. Along with Scott M. Gimple was Andrew Chambliss, Ian Goldberg, Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, Dave Alpert and Greg Nicotero and new comer Michael Satrazemis. They all spoke on the apocalyptic universe and where the show might be headed.

After, the cast took to the stage including Lennie James, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Maggie Grace, Colman Domingo, Danay Garcia, Austin Amelio, Alexa Nisenson, Karen David, Jenna Elfman and Ruben Blades telling their stories of their characters arc and the antics that can be found on the set. The audience was treated to a preview of Sunday’s mid-season finale with the announcement of its return to finish the season on 8/11/10. Also a teaser from Gimple about a third show being planned for this universe coming soon.

On the heels of one group of zombie survivors comes the next panel for AMC’s first hit show The Walking Dead. Taking the stage first to moderate again was Chris Hardwick along with Scott M. Gimple, Angela Kang, Gale Anne Hurd, Dave Alpert and Greg Nicotero. So much has changed with Daryl, Michonne, Carol and the gang with the Whisperers wreaking havoc which, we are told, will continue.

day 6 f

Then the cast including Norman Reedus, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Avil Nash, Ryan Hurst, Nadia Hilker, Eleanor Matsuura, Cailey Fleming and a video message from Samantha Morton all take a seat. The hardest part of the panel was hearing it confirmed that Danai Gurira who plays Michonne will not be returning after the 10th season is finished airing. The crowd was not happy and Danai herself became emotional. To try and make it better, the crowd gave her a standing thunderous applause because, after all, once a part of TWD – always a part.

The audience had a chance to ask their questions and without giving anything away, each cast member used humor to make sure they didn’t. This was the first Comic Con for Cailey Fleming who plays Rick Grimes’ daughter Judith and she immediately enchanted the audience. At one point an attendee asked Norman Reedus if he’d consider being the leader to all those who will be invading Area 51. Once filled in on what that was all about, his reply was, “yea, sure” and the audience went wild. Of course if that were to happen I’d be there!

Netflix has a new original series coming to their programming with The Witcher starring Superman himself Henry Cavill. Of course in his role as Geralt of Rivia, he looks more like Legolas from LORD OF THE RINGS. As awesome as Legolas is, I have a sneaky suspicion that Geralt, or the White Wolf, might have a thing or two on the bow carrying elf. He is a wanderer who doesn’t realize destiny has another fate for him that involve a sorceress and a princess. The series also stars Freya Allan, Jodhi May, MyAnna Buring, Anya Chalotra, Hlynur Haraldsson, Millie Brady and I can’t wait to see it.

The Witcher

Game of Thrones made its final appearance in Hall H and fans had the opportunity to talk out all their feelings regarding the ending of this HBO mega hit series. Based on the George R.R. Martin books A Song of Ice and Fire, fans have embraced the characters and, I feel, needed the closure. The panel included Jacob Anderson, John Bradley, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Liam Cunningham, Conleth Hill, Maisie Williams, Isacc Wright and Miguel Sapochnik.

Pennyworth is a new cable series that takes viewers back in time when Alfred Pennyworth, Batman’s serious awesome butler, was a younger man. It is 1960s London and Pennyworth is a former British SAS Soldier who begins working with Thomas Wayne. The cast includes Jack Bannon as Alfred, Ben Aldridge as Thomas Wayne in this DC series created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger. The show can be found on EPIX beginning July 28th.

Amazon Prime is also bringing something unique and very mysterious with their new series Carnival Row. Orlando Bloom stars in this Victorian fantasy world of mythological creatures and learning how to live with humans. Cara Delevingne stars as the refugee fairy who has a thing for Bloom’s character Rycroft Philostrate (and lets be honest, who wouldn’t?!) There is also a screening of Carnival Row on Saturday that is going to give attendees a sneak peak at what’s to come.

carnival row

Comic Con wouldn’t be, well, Comic Con without the FX series Archer having its moment in the sun. The animated series is one of my absolute guilty pleasures with the sarcasm of Archer and Lana Kane, Archer’s mother Mallory and the rest of the crew that makes this show hilarious. The panel included H. Jon Benjamin, Aisha Tyler, Jessica Walter, Chris Parnell, Judy Greer, Amber Nash and Lucky Yates. The new season is coming soon and it is in space aboard the M/S Seamus. Of course there will be aliens, pirates and the works because Archer needs something to keep his wit razor sharp!

Of course, at San Diego Comic Con International, the nighttime comes alive even more than usual. The outside events are in full swing and parties can be found everywhere for the enjoyment of attendees and non-badge holders alike. It is such a great time to meet up with friends and walk all around to just have a little fun.

Pennyworth Epix

Saturday promises to be once again filled with activities, shopping and panel discussions. It also means that the Marvel panel might just have a little something in store for those who have spent days waiting in line.

We will be there to cover it all!

 

 

The First Day of SDCC is in the Hands of the Terminator

 

 

Jeri Jacquin

The first day of San Diego Comic Con International is always filled with excitement and anticipation. Of course every day is exciting but the first day gets attendees a glimpse of how extensive it all is both inside and outside the Civic Center downtown.

At the Indigo Room at the Hilton Bayfront, the morning began with a panel discussion and Unreal Gaming headed by Sinclair Fleming. The ideas and magic of what we see on the screen is discussed along with what is to come in the future. The technology that is used in almost device we use today comes from the creativity of those who are bold enough to continue learning.

van Helsing

SyFy brings their cast for a look at the next season of their hit series Van Helsing. Moderated by Bevin from the magazine Den of Geeks, the cast includes Kelly Overton, Jonathan Scarfe, Christopher Hyerdahl, Neal McConough, Jennifer Cheon Garcia, Tricia Helfer, Aleks Paunovic, Keeya King and Nicole Munoz. Showrunner Jonathan Walker also tried to keep secrets together and executive producers Chad Oakes and Michael Frislev talking about their excellent cast. Also, a teaser about what is to come and let me tell you – it’s pretty wild!

Netflix brought their own original series with The Order along with the cast. Their first time at Comic Con with Jake Manley, Sarah Grey, Adam DiMarco, Devery Jacobs, Thomas Elms, Katharine Isabelle, creator Dennis Heaton, writer Shelley Eriksen and returning to the state is executive producers Chad Oakes and Michael Frislev. From the moment they stepped on stage it became clear that these castmates have created their own ‘family’. Their sparring and stories are funny and bring a heart to an otherwise crazy series. The attendees were given a treat of a script reading and it was riveting to watch the actors right in front of us.

From Amazon Prime and creators Kate Purdy and Raphael Bob-Waksberg is a series that is bound to capture attention with Undone. Rosa Salazar plays Alma, a young girl dealing with the mystery of her father’s death. After an accident brings visions that bring her the ability to deal with time and space. It becomes a difficult time for the young girl as it begins to show a strain in the way she handles the people in her life.

slumptown

Stumptown is a new drama based on a graphic novel by Jason Richman as Cobie Smulders plays Dex Parios, ex-military turned P.I. has a lot going on in her life. All of it gives her an edge that isn’t always popular with local law enforcement. Cast members Jake Johnson, Michael Ealy, Camryn Manheim, Tantoo Cardinal, Cole Sibus and Adrian Martinez join on stage to discuss what viewers can expect from this ABC show.

Ballroom 20 had its share of cool offerings with the Exclusive Screening of Evil that takes a closer look at the mystery of where evil comes from and can be found on CBS this fall. The CW this fall will bring Nancy Drew who is a young detective living in Horseshoe Bay and after a bit of time away from detecting, finds herself back in it when a local crime needs her expertise.

Arnold Schwarzenegger brings the hall down when he takes the stage to talk about the upcoming film TERMINATOR: Dark Fate. Of course the audience is completely under his spell along with the cast and the return of Sarah Connor played by Linda Hamilton That isn’t the end of the surprises when James Cameron makes his big screen appearance with a little more information about the film and a certain kid who has grown up in the Terminator world – John Connor.

arnold

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. gets its first inside look at Hall H along with cast including Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet, Elizabeth Henstridge, Iain De Caestecker, Henry Simmons, Natalia Cordova-Buckley and Jeff Ward. Joining in on the conversation is executive producer Maurissa Tancharoen, Jed Whedon, Jeff Bell and Jeph Loeb. The discussion is lively and the director of where the show will be going is touched upon and, what makes me always smile, is the actors trying not to give to much away. The series airs on Fridays from ABC.

That’s enough of what is going on indoors, let’s visit the outdoors because there is something for everyone. In the parking lot across from Petco Park is family fun provided by the Twilight Zone and Sponge Bob just to start. Pepsi has brought an amazingly huge unicorn to give you direction along with a cool sip of their product, a ball pit for the kids and a few photo opps as well.

Spongebob Squarepants has a cool set up with bubbles and sunglasses for all. Of course the awesome Spongebob car is something to sit in and behold. There is food and fun for the whole family and I can almost predict that this weekend, this family spot is going to be the place to hang out.

SHIELD

FX is getting ready with their display of fun from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia to the next installment of American Horror Story. Across from the Convention Center is the set up for Detective Pikachu, Shazam!, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and, of course, The Walking Dead. Now you know I’m not about to miss that. In between all of these set ups is so much more to explore and most of it doesn’t require a SDCC badge! That’s the best part of all!

So with Day Two only a few hours away, I’m charging up all my electronics! Keep up with me if you dare!

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