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August 2019

MAYANS M.C.: The Complete First Season Prepares us for What is to Come

Mayans DVD

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD from creators Elgin James, Kurt Sutter, FX and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment comes the high anticipated MAYANS M.C.: The Complete First Season.

In the small California border town of Santo Padre, Ezekiel ‘EZ’ Reyes (JD Pardo) has served time in prison for killing a cop and is now a prospect with the Mayan motorcycle club. The club’s president Bishop (Michael Irby) is working on drugs that are being transported to Las Vegas and making the trip with EZ is brother Angel (Clayton Cardenas).

Before they go, EZ stops by the local high school and remembers being enrolled at Stanford and coming home to visit then-girlfriend Emily (Sarah Bolger). Visiting father Felipe (Edward James Olmos), EZ assures him that he is being careful and before leaving gives him something wrapped up and gets a poetry book. Brother Angel is outside dealing with his own issues about Felipe.

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Making a delivery, the Mayans are jumped and EZ comes to the rescue. The problem is that now they have to tell Miguel Galindo (Danny Pino), a cartel boss, what has happened to his drugs. Angel and EZ go through tunnels to get into Mexico looking for help for one of its members.

At the Mayans clubhouse, El Padrino (Emilio Rivera) comes to talk about the cartel issues but tells EZ to stop outside. Knowing the Samoans made the hit, it is agreed to reach out for help with the problem. After getting their hands on the leader of the Samoan group, Galindo takes over and shows them what happens when you take something that doesn’t belong to you. Besides a big mess, Galindo believes there is someone in their ranks giving out details and he wants whoever it is.

EZ is personally still dealing with the fact that Emily, his high school and college love, is now married to cartel boss Galindo. Angel has his own secrets as well when EZ learns that he is helping a woman named Adelita (Carla Baratta) who leads a group called the Olvidados. She makes it clear that she wants to help the families affected by what is happening by Galindo.

After an evening out, Galindo and Emily, along with their baby, go their separate ways. Emily’s car is attacked and the baby is kidnapped quickly. This is just the beginning of the deception, lies, secrets, twists and terror and that’s just the first episode!

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Pardo as EZ has a story to tell and most of it is sad and full of misunderstandings. There is a part of this character that has the same feel as Jax Teller in that he knows what he wants but getting there might be tricky. I think Pardo is doing an amazing job and with the cast surrounding him it is only going to get more epic to watch EZ’s story unfold.

Cardenas as brother Angel has a serious magazine rack full of outdated issues. Not speaking to his own father and keep secrets from his brother EZ is going to cost him. Always trying to keep his brother out of trouble, sometimes it’s Angel who actually gets him IN trouble.

I’m so thrilled to see Rivera return as El Padrino Marcus Alvarez because it is a thread to SONS OF ANARCHY that I can grab onto while watching this new web be woven by the Mayans. Irby as Bishop is the club’s president who is moving at a glacial pace trying to understand what works best for the club while keeping an eye totally on everything. Baratta as Adelita is a woman who is just plain nuts in my book. She knows what she wants from Galindo and doesn’t care who gets in the way of making that happen. Of course there is a history she needs to settle and it’s close to EZ’s front door.

Bolger as Emily is the one time love of EZ who got away. He’s not over it and neither is she although you wouldn’t know it. Currently married to cartel boss Miguel Galindo isn’t helping her cause any. Trying to navigate her way through the family history and where they are going, she might be a force for them all. Pino as husband and cartel boss Miguel Galindo is a vicious leader who isn’t afraid to get his hands bloody, and the first episode proves that! Pino is sharp, fast and effective and even when you think he’s cornered, remember what happens to trapped tigers!

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Olmos as EZ and Angel’s father Felipe is a daunting role. He has a history that neither son knows about but, like all secrets, will make its way out slowly and painfully for Felipe. I am thrilled to see Olmos once again on the screen because this man is an icon who has blazed the way in some man arenas that I know his character will be memorable. Personally I’ll be cheering for him what ever happens.

Other wonderful cast includes Richard Cabral as Coco, Maurice Compte as Jiminez, Frankie Loyal as Tranq, Vincent Vargas as Gilly, Gino Vento as Nestor, Tony Plana as Devante Cano, Michael Ornstein as Chucky Marstein, Joseph Lucero as Creeper, Ada Maris as Dita Galindo, Salvador Chacon as Pablo, Melany Ochoa as Mini, Curtiss Cook as Bowen, Emily Tosta as Leticia Cruz, Alexander Bedria as Heimler, Joe Ordaz as Paco and Ray McKinnon as Lincoln Potter.

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.

Special Features of MAYANS M.C. are The Creation of MAYANS M.C., Hit the Ground Roaring, Customizing the Mayans’ Signature Bikes and Promotional Featurettes.

The DVD includes the episodes Perro/Oc, Escorpion/Dzec, Buho/Muwan, Murcielago/Zotz, Uch/Opossum, Gato/Mis, Cucaracha/K’uruch, Rata/Ch’o, Serpiente/Chikchan and Cuervo/Tzikb/uul.

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MAYANS M.C.: The Complete First Season is a must have to add to the SOA/MAYAN library. There isn’t an episode that doesn’t just cause the jaw to drop or a few cheers. The cast is extensive and I wish I had the space to cover them all but here and now I say the show wouldn’t be the SHOW without each and every one of them.

There are familiar faces and an Easter Egg I won’t talk about because I want the viewer to find it too. Of course there is always one face that is bad news and trust me you will know him when you see him because honestly I threw something at the television myself. I think it’s fantastic that Sutter and James kind of gave SOA fans a few kisses here and there to remind us that SAMCRO isn’t forgotten but also asks us to embrace MAYANS M.C. – and I fully intend to.

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I can’t wait for season two to begin because my jaw hit the floor at the finale moments at the end of season one. Without giving anything away let me just say I was shocked, horrified and all I could say was ‘no, no, NO, NO!’

In the end – Mayans have their own story to tell.

MAYANS M.C. Talk About Upcoming Season Two

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Jeri Jacquin

At San Diego Comic Con International, Sunday’s had a long standing history with the FX series SONS OF ANARCHY and you can believe that I was their ever single year the crew made an appearance. The final year of panel was insanely sad for us SOA fans because it was the end of something we held dear – family. That’s what creator Kurt Sutter had done, created a family of the millions of fans.

Well, we all got a chance to expand that family when Kurt Sutter along with co-creator Elgin James got together and brought the first season of MAYANS M.C. on FX. The show turned out to bring in the number one new hit show of the season (as I suspected it would). Season one brought out the characters and what they are all about, now fans are getting ready for season two airing September 3rd because there is a lot of explaining to do.

Of course the panel couldn’t give much away because, and let’s face it, what fun would that be? What they could share was their thoughts on characters and storyline without facing the wrath of Sutter and James.

The panel included co-creator Elgin James, executive producer Kevin Dowling, 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 Rocco Vargas along with moderator Lynette Rice.

EZ is in deep now and there is no turning back right JD [Pardo]?

JDP: There is no turning back and we are going full throttle. I think what is going to be surprisingly easy it’s going to be for EZ.

Michael Irby, your hammer thing is like Thor’s, how heavy is that weapon?

MI: It’s about eight pounds right there.

EJO: It’s a judge, jury and executioner right there.

There are so many awesome key moments to talk about. [The scene were Galindo extracts information in a ‘special’ way that is very graphic]

DP: To play a character that has so much rage to be a family man and yet be capable of that [bad things] is a gift.

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That must have taken some serious special effects.

ER: Who said those are special effects? [The crowd cheers]

EJ: Actually is just shows how bad-ass Miguel Galindo is and we wanted that iconic scene. Also I think everyone loves Danny Pino and we also wanted to show you a very different Danny Pino, one that people haven’t seen before.

DP: I tell you what, reading that scene from the very beginning set the tone for Miguel and what he is capable of.

A few kids lost their lives in season one.

EJ: Carla Baratta who plays Adelita couldn’t be here so let the character of Angel (Clayton Cardenas) answer that.

CC: If you guys remember this from season one, this little rat was infiltrating us and this is how we handle rats.

It was a big deal because you did kill a kid, was there any pushback from the networks on that?

JDP: No, the kid took it all.

EJ: They trust Kurt Sutter and they trust what we are doing that it isn’t gory just to be gory or violent just to be violent. It is part of a certain story and in this world it happens.

JDP: It was interesting because you have to imagine it. You have to pretend and have all the senses to imagine that horrible feeling. It is part of this dark world the Mayans are in.

EJ: One of the things with our show is that we have inherited a violent language with SONS OF ANARCHY that Kurt Sutter and some really smart people created. When the world is so violent how do you say something about the violence. We have to find really smart ways of going around the truth. This is one of those moments.

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Michael Ornstein as Chucky comes to MAYANS M.C., can you go back to the call from Kurt that said ‘please join us’? How did that work?

MO: I got a call from Kurt asking if I was in town and I said yes. He said alright and two weeks later I found out about this. I went to my first casting fitting and here I am.

EJ: Michael is part of our soul and I’m so happy he could be here with us today. He is part of the ligaments that bring us back to the SONS OF ANARCHY as does our Padrino Marcus Alvarez. We have been so lucky to have Michael who is such a special, special person and wonderful artist.

Who started the whole ‘my bad’ that Angel does?

EJ: It was written in the script from the first reading we ever did and ‘my bad’ was kind of a throw away line. It killed it in the room so we thought ‘okay, let’s use it’ and it kept happening. Then his daughter Lettie had a ‘my bad’ and that was it. We had no idea what it was going to get into.

Does it crack you guys up or can you keep a straight face?

JD: My bad.

I mean he is very cute with it.

JD: He IS very cute with it.

Will you keep it as part of his shtick?

EJ: Everyone is going to have to watch to find out.

I don’t know about the rest of you but I don’t know of any evil villain in pop culture history that wore French braids. Why?

EJ: I was eating brunch, which I never did until I moved to Los Angeles. This dude showed up with wild hair with tattoos all over his body and neck and he said, ‘Yo, Elgin!’ I tried to figure out where I knew him from, like was it Mayans, or gangs or prison – I had no idea [meaning Gino Vento]. He was living in New York and he kept saying he wanted to be a Mayan. He came in and read and we found a way to place him. I mean Nestor wasn’t meant to have French braids but we wanted to work with Gino.

So where do the French braids come in?

EJ: Because his hair is huge. It takes a team.

Can you tease what we will see in this season?

EJ: Yes, we can see what Marcus Alvarez will be doing this season.

Marcus looks good in a suit by the way.

ER: Thank you.

JDP: I think he looks better in a cut.

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So let’s talk about a shirtless EZ.

JDP: They give you a few days warning before the shirt comes off which I appreciate.

Is that when you go all protein or what’s the plan?

JDP: I try to eat as much as I can and work out. Plus the guys are constantly giving me grief so it’s a lot of pressure.

I’m going to admit that my guilty pleasure of the show is all the men at the end of the table. What is it like to sit around the Mayans table in scenes?

FL: I think it’s the best acting lessons I can get from these gentlemen on stage. It’s a blessing everyday to be on set. I think some of the days with the guys is intense when we are filming. It hit me that even though we aren’t present in some shots we are present. So I think it’s a beautiful feeling, like Clayton’s poncho.

JL: Humanity is key and there is a lot of alpha males in this group. We embrace each other as a family and all have hardships that we relate to. It’s nice to be in this position coming from where I come from and to be in front of this crowd and be on t.v. Just lets me know that change is possible.

Mr. Olmos, you have made it your mission in life to make sure there is representation in both film and television and it culminates with this new show. In our political climate now, does it scare you or worry you that this is a show that portrays Latinos as bad guys?

EJO: It’s not that it’s scary but part of understanding that we are honestly looking at stereotypes and looking at people in a stereotypical way but at the same time with every stereotypes there is truth. There is a lot of truth in this show. Really, the darkness of the show is what is giving everyone energy to watch it. It’s like SONS OF ANARCHY is a show people gravitate to. This is a show filled with things people need to see. I believe in Elgin a lot and season two is a lot darker. Season three will be even darker. We deal with the truths of what it is we are working on. It’s a very difficult show to shoot.

DP: In terms of stereotypes, its easy to identify a stereotype and what I love about what Elgin and Kurt do is that they set up a stereotype and then proceed to break it down the duality within the character. Miguel is a sociopath and is an agent for change and even with the violence I believe is what I respond to. We are addressing difficult things to look at. We are hoping that through the writing and acting and the fans we are allowed some latitude to explore that and find our way out of it.

The character of Emily played by Sarah Bolger isn’t the angel we’d like to think she is right?

SB: Sometimes I’m an angel on set right? No one supports me on that. Emily was somewhat of an innocent bystander last year, her child was taken and her marriage was in flux. She didn’t really understand what she was getting into marrying into a cartel. I think in season two we are going to see her settle into that role to easily. Everyone is coming to terms with the situations they are in, who they are and who they are with. I think you will be happy with the choices Elgin and Kurt have made?

What’s it like to be on set with all these guys?

SB: These men are incredible to work with and we all respect each other. We go to each others trailers and hang out doing lines together.

DP: She is one of the most prepared and smartest, instinctual and most fun scene partner I’ve had the chance to work with. She handles herself on set just fine.

ER: Watching Danny and Sarah work together is like watching a master class. I am always learning from them.

 

JDP: That’s beautiful because working with Clayton is the total opposite!

CC: I’m a wreck.

Are we going to see anything about the border play out in the storyline?

EJ: Kurt has always been very clear that we are not a political show. We will find a way to bring that within the story. It will fit into our universe.

JDP: I have to say that we needed to kill it with the SONS OF ANARCHY fans because we wouldn’t be here without them. Those actors, cast, crew and production – we are so grateful that they’ve given us this opportunity. We run into each other at auditions and usually competing, now we have a place where we can work together. Hopefully we can also create opportunities for others.

EJO: I want to thank a thousand times over Elgin, Kurt and the writing staff. You have to realize something, when we see our strips; we see it at the table read. We see the script when we sit down at the table to read it. We are shocked like you guys. There are tears, laughter and real anxiety. Without the writers we’d have nothing to say.

Will Nero ever make an appearance?

EJ: You never know. We are really careful about the mythology that was created so we are careful about picking our time. Chucky was our first one obviously and we got him. Of course Happy is now part of it as well. Names get brought up a lot but we will see where the show takes us.

When is EZ going to go from being a Prospect to a Member?

MI: I think I will decide that. When he learns to ride a motorcycle.

JDP: Prospect life is hard but it’s a journey to get there. With SONS OF ANARCHY Jax was the Vice President and jumped right into it. Season one is the rise of EZ and see how his journey progresses.

That’s what Season Two will bring as EZ continues his journey with the Mayans but there is so much more as Galindo still runs the cartel, Alvarez is now part of it, Emily finds her place, Angel still has a story and oh so much more!

Now that you have heard from the cast about their first season, it’s time to catch up as MAYANS M.C.: The Complete First Season is out DVD filled with every moment. Get your helmet ready because season two of MAYANS M.C. on FX September 3rd is about to unravel even more secrets, stories and surprises.

ALADDIN Brings Live Action and Animated to Bluray

Aladdin

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray from director Guy Ritchie and Walt Disney Home Entertainment is the story of a princess and a thief named ALADDIN.

Aladdin (Mena Massoud) is a young man who finds his way around the city of Agrabah stealing to survive along with his friend, the monkey Abu. He also sees what the people of the city endure and tries help when he can. One day he meets Jasmine (Naomi Scott) who also wants to help those in need.

Telling Aladdin that she is the hand maiden to the Princess, they outrun the guards and spend a little time together. While looking out over the city, Jasmine realizes that a new suitor has landed and makes her leave from Aladdin to get back to the palace.

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Once there she is introduced to Prince Anders (Billy Magnussen) by her father the Sultan (Navid Negahban) with Jafar (Marwan Kenzari), the Sultan’s Vizier watching on. Jasmine isn’t impressed and along with her real hand maiden Dalia (Nasim Pedrad) and tiger Raja, she saunters away.

That’s when Aladdin makes his way to the palace to return a bracelet and is apprehended by Jafar. Sitting on the desert floor, Jafar explains that he doesn’t stand a chance with the princess but, if he does one thing for him, Aladdin could be paid handsomely. All he has to do is enter the Cave of Wonders and return a lamp – and just a lamp.

Things go awry and Aladdin along with Abu get caught in the cave. It is what comes out of the lamp that could save them – a Genie (Will Smith). Given three wishes, Aladdin tries to choose a life with Jasmine by becoming a Prince. Of course the one person who isn’t happy about this is Jafar. He has plans that don’t include the Sultan or Aladdin.

Jasmine finds herself thrilled with Prince Ali but plays a little hard to get. The Genie has an eye for someone as well so both are enjoying life. That is until it is all about to come crashing down as Jafar has his own little spy in a parrot named Yago.

In Agrabah, anything and everything is possible if you believe!

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I’m sure families are going to be thrilled to add ALADDIN to their home entertainment library because it is always a joy to be able to see a film that is oriented for kids. Making of colorful characters along with song and dance is always a good afternoon. That’s what Disney has been known for and attempts with this film to follow in its history.

Massoud and Scott as Aladdin and Princess Jasmine play their roles and although difficult to break the mold of the 1992 animated version, this is cartoon come to life. The same can be said of Smith attempting to fill the role that Robin Williams made so iconic.

In the case of these three characters I applaud their attempt to embrace their animated counterparts. Massoud and Scott work well together bringing Jasmine and Aladdin to live action/

Smith as the Genie is blue, he sings and he is charming bringing his own brand the character. Pedrad as Dalia get to throw out a few clever lines and be thrilled that a man has taken interest in her.

Kenzari as Jafar doesn’t exactly give the same frights and sense of doom as his animated counterpart but he did make me laugh. I’m not sure that was the point of his performance but he does give it a different perspective.

Other cast include Jordan A. Nash as Omar, Taliyah Blair as Lian, Aubrey Lin as Omi, Amir Boutrous as Jamal, and Numan Acar as Hakim.

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

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.

The Bluray Bonus Extras include Deleted Scenes, Bloopers, Deleted Song ‘Desert Moon’, and Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Magic of ALADDIN and Much More!

ALADDIN is colorful, filled with music, dance and filled with special effects and as I said, that’s the Disney way. Enjoy ALADDIN with your family with a big tub of popcorn, a fluffy sofa and sing along because you’ll know the words – that hasn’t changed.

The magic is live but wait – there is more! It is a perfect time to revisit the 1992 animated ALADDIN as Walt Disney Home Entertainment Signature Collection is added. Hearing Robin Williams as the animated blue Genie is absolutely everything we have all come to love about this version. The splendor, spectacle and hilarity along with song, dance, Abu and Yago back to win our hearts.

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The animated Bluray of ALADDIN includes the Bonus Extras of Two Ways to Watch: Original Theatrical Version and the Sing Along Mode, Alternate Ending, Aladdin on ALADDIN with Scott Weinger’s Personal Journey as the Voice of Aladdin, Let’s Not be Too Hasty – Join the Cast in the Recording Booth, Plus Classic Bonus Including Genie Outtakes and Filmmaker Commentary and so much more!

It was my own children’s favorite film for many, many years as we went from VHS to DVD now to Bluray. The film has grown along with my family and it is equally thrilling to watch it with my grandchildren who find it just as funny as we all did back in 1992. It hasn’t lost any of its charm and fascination and I’m guessing it never will.

So there is no reason to give up one for the other because Disney has made it clear that we can love them both and to prove that, both can be found on astounding Bluray. Make it a magical marathon as ALADDIN rides in on a carpet we all want to ride.

In the end – magic still comes alive!

MIB INTERNATIONAL is Back to Save the Universe

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Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray/DVD and currently on Digital from director F. Gary Gray and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment are those who serve with MIB INTERNATIONAL.

Agent H (Chris Hemsworth) is on top of the Eiffel Tower with Agent High T (Liam Neeson) to stop an invasion from, where else, outer space. Twenty years earlier, a little girl named Molly has her first encounter with an alien which leads her to want to be part of something bigger, someone who wears a black suit.

Molly’s (Tessa Thompson) day job pays the bills but her interest is in looking for extra-terrestrials and she is wired to do just that. Finally discovering where MIB is located, she has caught the interest of Agent O (Emma Thompson). Seeing potential, Molly is trained and becomes Agent M.

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On probation, she is sent on a mission to London where she meets Agent H and tries to partner up. Their investigation begins with a trip to the local club meeting up with Fungus who is turned upside down while M & H are attacked by dancing alien twins! Fungus still manages to tell M that there is something wrong at MIB.

Upset by the attack is Agent C (Rafe Spall), M & H are subjected to his wrath and taken before Agent High T. Convincing him that there is a mole, T puts M on the case with C which is upsetting to H – are you following the alphabet? Now, M has an admirer in Pawny (Kumail Nanjiani) and size does matter when you want to put an alien in your pocket.

H looks for help through old flame Riza (Rebecca Ferguson) and discovers that everything has a history. Now secrets are revealed and the world needs saving once again and only Agents H & M can do what needs to be done!

Hemsworth as Agent H is a carefree agent who doesn’t seem to be ‘in’ the job. He is careless and always being confronted by Agent C that seems to rub him the wrong way. It is actually M who gets him to sharpen back up and be the agent he once was. That doesn’t stop his wit from being fast and sharp but then again we all knew this from his role as Thor.

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Thompson as Agent M knew as a young child that the MIB was something she wanted to be part of. As a grown up she never lost the desire to find where the MIB is located and become an agent. She is smart, perceptive and against her better judgment goes along with H. Thompson already worked well with Hemsworth in roles of the THOR franchise.

Spall as Agent C is just a pain in the butt who wants nothing more than to use the neuralizer on Agent H. He is quick witted in this role but then again Spall has truly become an actor that I’ve enjoyed watching. Here he gets to be a douche-bag in a suit who wants nothing more than to make H’s life miserable. Nanjiani is funny as Pawny who decides to declare loyalty to M without realizing the ride he’s about to go on.

Ferguson as Riza is colorful, lovesick and holding a big grudge. Neeson as Agent High T is sharp and looks amazing in “the last suit” he’s ever going to wear. Another suit wearing delight is Thompson as Agent O who sees something in Molly’s persistence and I see something in Thompson’s awesomeness!

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Other cast include Marcy Harriell as Molly’s Mom, Inny Clemons as Molly’s Dad, Spencer Wilding as Luca Brasi, Kayvan Novak as Bassam, Larry and Laurent Bourgeois as Alien Twins.

Sony Pictures Home 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 Special Features on the 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack and Bluray Exclusive include Deleted Scenes, Alien-cestry.com, and Neuralyser: Like It Never Happened.

The Bluray, DVD and Digital Bonus Materials include Gag Reel, New Recruits Classic Suits, Let’s Do This! Inside the Action & Stunts, Look Right Here: Gadgets, Weapons & Rides, Expanding the Universe of MID, Frank & Pawny’s Peanut Gallery, Les Twins Leave It on the Floor, In Case You’ve Been Neutralized: MIB Recap and The MIB Meets the NBA.

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MIB International is just a fun alien film that does its job well by having a few good laughs, plenty of action and a storyline that gives us another chapter in the MIB franchise. There are definitely plenty of alien creatures and a thumbs up to the twins which gives me a MATRIX Reloaded vibe.

There is plenty of eye candy with gizmos, gadgets and weaponry that MIB has come to be known for and an appearance of the ‘noisy cricket’.

In the end – the world is not going to save itself!

MAYDAY Brings Mystery in Mid-Air

Mayday DVD

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD from director Massimiliano Cerchi and Lionsgate comes a odd happenings on a flight that needs a MAYDAY.

Adam Anderson (Michael Pare) is an air marshal on a flight from Los Angeles to London. They aren’t in the air long before something mysterious begins to happen, passengers go missing. Penny Tillman’s (Elise Muller) husband disappears after the cabin lights flash! Anderson alerts the pilots but also questions the other passengers about what they saw.

Everyone begins to get a little edgy and tensions rise when there doesn’t seem to be any answers. Stewardess’ Lynn (Chanel Ryan) and Aeryn (Sadie Katz) are trying to keep their panic under control. The only passengers that seem to be unaffected by it all are Rochelle (Crystal Santos) who tells Anderson the story about death and Smokey (Scott Engrotti).

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Looking for answers, passenger Nero (Michael Wainwright) is in a world all his own and everyone notices. Anderson gets a hold of a briefcase he has and finds a book on the occult that may tell the story. Aeryn notices that those who disappear aren’t belted into their seat so everyone starts out belted in but when the aircraft begins to shake and flash, total panic and the lights go out.

Once they come back on, the only people left are Anderson, Lynn, Aeryn, Smokey, Rochelle, Dr. Singh (Raj Kala), and co-pilot David Esparza (Carlos Mendez) but that doesn’t last long. Oddly enough it is Smokey who understands the book found in Nero’s briefcase.

Now everyone knows they are dealing with a shape-shifter and no one can be trusted.

Pare as Anderson is such a talent that has hardly been given the roles he so richly deserves. As the air marshal he is trying to keep everyone cool and focused on not losing anyone else. Ryan and Katz as Lynn and Aeryn are as nervous as two cats on a hot tin roof and every time the lights flash it sets their finger nails on edge.

Santos as Rochelle is creepier than I could imagine any passenger being. I mean seriously, how is she not freaking out? Engrotti as Smokey is the guy who seems to understand what is happening and doesn’t mind jumping in to help. Kala as Dr. Singh jumps in to help get what ever is on the ship – off!

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Other cast include Larry Fleming as Mr. Chase, Christopher Drummond as Mark Tillman, Jack Waggon as Ace, Wilfred Lopez as Benjamin and Bernadette Perez as Susan.

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

MAYDAY mixes mysticism with a flight that could possibly be doomed. There are different twists and turns that kept me wondering what could possibly happen next. Then again, as long as Pare is onboard I know I’m good with it.

It’s a flight filled with terror and things that go bump aboard and although I personally don’t want to be on that flight, I don’t mind seeing it on film.

In the end – terror flies high!

READY OR NOT Really Means it!

Ready or Not cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres from directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett and Fox Searchlight Pictures comes the usual lethal family drama in READY OR NOT.

It is the happiest day of Grace’s (Samara Weaving) life as she is marrying Alex Le Domas (Mark O’Brien). Even as he uses humor to warn about the Le Domas family, Grace is just happy to finally be part of one.

After the wedding, Grace and Alex take a few moments for each other but are interrupted by the eerie Aunt Helene (Nicky Guadagni). She announces that the family is gathering wanting Grace and Alex to join them.

Surrounding the Le Domas table are Alex’s brother Daniel (Adam Brody), his wife Charity (Elyse Levesque), mother Becky (Andi MacDowell), father Tony (Henry Czerny), sister Emilie (Melanie Scrofano), and husband Fitch (Kristian Bruun).

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Tony announces that every time a new person comes into the family, they spend the first evening playing a game as a welcome. All Grace has to do is pick a card from a box which seems simple enough to her. The card ‘hide and seek’ is drawn and the entire family becomes silent and Alex gets pale.

Going along to get along Grace is given a head start and once gone the rest of the family start getting ready – by arming up. You see, the Le Domas family believes that if they don’t seek Grace, something horrible will happen to the family.

Alex sneaks away to find Grace and finally fesses up as to what is happening. Grace is about to taken on a whole family proving she can take whatever nonsense they dish out, including crazy butler Stevens (John Ralston). The in-laws are on the hunt and they aren’t about to stop!

Just another family get-together that goes crazy till dawn!

Weaving as Grace is absolutely fantastic and I loved every minute she was on screen. To go from a happy bride to Rambo-ette was very, very cool. I watched the audience when she was on screen and they shared my feelings about her playing this role. Weaving says, “We had an amazing cast to pull this off and everything just fell into place”. She made a grand entrance in white and she made an even grander exit leaving us all wanting more so that’s exactly falling into place!

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O’Brien as Alex marries Grace knowing full well what is about to happen. I’m was not sure how I felt about him throughout the film. I mean your fiancé knows his family is crazy but waits till after the ‘I do’ to say something? Every bride’s worst fear right? Brody as brother Daniel has his own issues with the family but he’d rather go numb with alcohol than deal with any of it.

Czerny as Tony is just plain nutty but made me laugh a LOT. He wants to keep the family together and doesn’t mind doing it with a shotgun. Bruun as Fitch just goes along to get along because being married to Emilie means happy crazy life-happy crazy wife! mother Becky (Andi MacDowell),

Scrofano as Emilie is just a little to tender to do what her family thinks must be done and Levesque as Charity doesn’t have a problem with it what so ever. Guadagni as Aunt Helene is absolutely priceless and she cracked me up repeatedly even though I’m sure she was meant to scare me instead. Now Ralston as Stevens scared me more – well done sir!

MacDowell as mom Becky just stuns in this role. She is happy to have her son back home and thanks Grace for doing it. Hard to believe when she has a weapon in her hand right? Talking about the making of the film she says, “It’s scary to think how everyone was perfectly cast in the film, especially with the role I play. I had a lot of fun being cast in this type of role because I’ve played so many sweet characters and I’m not sweet”. She about sums it up perfectly!

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Other cast include Liam MacDonald as Georgie, Ethan Tavares as Gabe, Hanneke Talbot as Clara, Celine Tsai as Tina and Daniela Barbosa as Dora.

READY OR NOT is a fabulous film filled with terror and laughs which, if you think about it, is an odd combination. That’s what makes the film a must-see for me because of the combination of terror and laughs. I mean yes it has violence but it’s by a bunch of people who are just completely out of their minds.

I love the cinematography, costuming and the interesting choices of weapons (like Clue with Fitch-in-the-library-with-a-crossbow feel to it). The story behind the family gathering is pretty interesting as well because it is never let on whether it is true or not – until it is.

Go with a group and prepare to have a good time because when you leave the theatre you might not complain so much about your own family ever again.

In the end – let the game begin!

 

 

ANGEL HAS FALLEN

FALLEN cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this Friday from writer/director Ric Roman Waugh and Lionsgate is the return of an agent who is set up with ANGEL HAS FALLEN.

Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) is once again guarding a President, this time its President Trumbull (Morgan Freeman). Now a family man, he begins to think it may be time to take a higher position in the agency that affords him less danger. Even military friend Danny Huston (Wade Jennings) offers him a position with his company.

On a fishing trip with President Trumbull, Banning briefly discussed his options and is told to think about what he wants to do. Changing shifts with another agent, Banning heads towards shore but notices something odd coming their way. That’s when all hell breaks loose and he must turn around to save the President.

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Waking up in the hospital he is told the President’s condition is serious and that he is considered the prime suspect in an assassination attempt. Vice President Kirby (Tim Nelson) has taken the oath to temporarily become the President. Assigned to investigate the attack is FBI Agent’s Thompson (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Ramirez (Joseph Millson).

Banning knows that he can not stay handcuffed to the hospital bed if he is to discover who is after President Trumbull and when they will strike next. He turns to the only person he can trust but the history between them is sketchy at best. Clay (Nick Nolte) isn’t a fan of the government and sure knows how to protect himself which is what Banning counts on.

As the truth comes to the surface, and it is brutal, Banning isn’t about to let anyone get their hands on the President and he’ll bulldoze through anyone who tries!

Butler as Banning once again dons a suite and tie to begin with but ends up dirty and beat by the end. It’s what happens in between that makes Butler a perfect Banning. Not afraid in any way to get his hands, or anything else, dirty to make this film as action packed as it is. He’s not so much as a one-liner guy, more like a few questions and then an ass-kicking kind of agent.

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Nolte as Clay is absolutely killer – literally and figuratively – and he brought cheers from the audience. This character is perfect for Nolte and the scenes with Butler are gems. Jennings as Houston once again plays the role he was born to play, a man with a mission who, like a dog with a bone, isn’t about to stop until he gets what he wants.

Smith as Thompson throws her tiny weight around and along with her partner Ramirez are also on a mission – to capture Banning (good luck with that!). Nelson as Kirby takes over while Turnbull is in the hospital. Keeping the country running is his goal as he decides how to move forward in case Turnbull doesn’t come back.

Freeman as Turnbull does what he does best – act very Presidential. Lets be honest, he’s played the commander-in-chief before so we know he’s good at it. I adore Freeman so I don’t mind if he repeats a character because he does it with class.

Other cast include Michael Landes as White House Chief of Staff Sam Wilcox, Piper Perabo as Leah Banning, Lance Reddick as Secret Service Director David Gentry, Mark Arnold as CIA Director James Haskell and Frederick Schmidt as Travis Cole.

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ANGEL HAS FALLEN is an action packed film from beginning to end with a lot of twists and turns. That makes writing about it a little difficult but I’m not about to give anything away.

The audience I screened with was applauding, hollering, cheering and more than happy with the film. Alright, I’ll admit I was having a good time as well. This is the kind of film that cries out ACTION and delivers every bit of it. This film isn’t rocket science or trying to reinvent the wheel.

Instead, it does exactly what I go see action films for – twists, turns, chases, slips and oh so much more. Butler makes sure we get that because, as with the previous FALLEN films, it is what drew us all into the theatres in 2013 with OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN. The story brought us in again in 2016 with LONDON HAS FALLEN.

ANGEL HAS FALLEN falls into line and makes me wonder, what will Mike Banning bring us in 2022?

In the end – loyalty has fallen under fire!

MA Brings Terror to Teens on Bluray

 

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Jeri Jacquin

On Bluray/DVD and Digital from director Tate Taylor and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is the very twisted story of MA.

Erica (Juliette Lewis) has returned to her hometown with daughter Maggie (Diana Silvers) after accepting a new job. On Maggie’s first day she meets Haley (McKaley Miller) who brings her into the fold of friends. Along with Andy (Corey Fogelmanis), Chaz (Gianni Paolo) and Darrell (Dante Brown), her first outing is getting party supplies.

After charming Sue Ann (Octavia Spencer), she agrees to help the group their alcohol party supplies. A second trip for supplies, she offers her basement as a place for the gang to party safely. The next gathering, Sue Ann joins in with the crowd as more kids come to the basement and the party gets bigger.

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Now the kids call Sue Ann ‘Ma’ but some are feeling that something is not quite right. Haley makes things worse by trying to convince everyone to cut themselves off from Ma. Heading to Ma’s house along with Maggie, they both make a stark discovery that even they don’t believe.

Sue Ann has a reunion with Ben (Luke Evans) from high school but it doesn’t go exactly as planned. Ma has a secret of her own, a deep, dark, terrorizing secret that puts everyone in dangerous – especially since her calm anger is slowly bubbling to the surface.

Never mess anyone’s Ma!

Spencer as Sue Ann is absolutely horrifying, especially when she grits her teeth and anger sparks shoot out her eyes or maybe that’s just what I’m seeing. It shows what a versatile actress that she can go from an Oscar winning role to a scary movie that will put everyone who sees it on edge! As Sue Ann she is deeply disturbing, scary dark and driven by the terror done to her – so well done.

Silvers as Maggie wants to be a part of a new group of friends and does what most teens do and that is whatever it takes to be accepted. Feeling a little ignored by Mom, she just parties until realizing that something isn’t quite right with it all. Silvers gives her character the right amount of teen angst but also isn’t about to take any guff from anyone’s Ma!

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Miller as Haley is just a party girl who has a tendency towards being a smart mouth which is what gets her in trouble with, well, almost everyone. Lewis as Erica is a mother trying to raise a teen daughter but she is also another kind of mother who doesn’t do well when her child is being used. Shout out to Tanyell Waivers as Genie and even though she has a small part to play, it is one that she plays extremely well.

Other cast includes Dominic Burgess as Stu, Heather Pate as Ashley, Tate Taylor as Officer Grainger, Luke Evans as Ben, Missie Pyle as Mercedes and Allison Janney as Doctor Brooks.

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.

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.

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The Bonus Features of MA are an Alternate Ending, Deleted Scenes, Creating Sue Ann, Party at Ma’s and a Theatrical Trailer.

MA is a psychological thriller and just enough blood to keep things interesting. The story unfolds quickly and everything that happens after that is gritty. I just love watching Spencer transform from a woman just getting by to a woman who tried to stuff down everything she has been feelings to the point where it all spilled out anyway.

This is a fantastic turn-down-the-lights-and-grab-a-tub-of-popcorn film that isn’t going to let you shy away from any scene. MA is the kind of suspenseful thriller that has become popular the past few years. Not blood soaked but instead slow, methodical and won’t be hurried to its conclusion.

In the end – it’s all about getting home safe!

The Ladies are Bringing on THE HUSTLE

The Hustle cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray/DVD and Digital from director Chris Addison and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment comes a double whammy comedy with THE HUSTLE.

Penny Rust (Rebel Wilson) is a bit of a grifter and takes a few bucks here and there.  When pickings start to get slim she decides its time to head for Europe to broaden her thieving horizons.

On a train watching Penny at work is Josephine Chesterfield (Anne Hathaway) and she is about to learn more about her. Realizing that Penny could be a problem, Josephine finds a little help to get her out of the country. The problem is at the airport is Penny learns who Josephine really is and isn’t about to sit for it.

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Finding where she lives, Josephine decides that the best way to keep Penny occupied is to train her in the ways of thievery just enough to use her. Going head to head a challenge is in place – choosing a mark and it is winner take all.

They find Thomas Westerburg (Alex Sharp), a rich app creator and both women know they have found their mark. Penny pretends to have an illness and is surprised when Tom finds a doctor and in walks Josephine. The two go head to head continually trying to win Tom and it’s about to get crazier than either of them could have expected.

Wilson as Penny plays a character in the lane she has become comfortable in. She is funny, pulls antics, doesn’t hold back and is sweet as well. I love watching Wilson and it’s quite possibly because she reminds me a little of me (minus the physical antics). She doesn’t miss a beat and opposite Hathaway is comedic fun.

Hathaway as Josephine gets an opportunity to play the straight thief of the film. She is elegant, smart and has obviously been around the bigger block than Penny. As Wilson is the loud character of the film, Hathaway gets to pull her punches quietly and with the help of trusted staff.

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Sharp as Thomas comes in later in the film and finds himself drawn to Penny with Josephine hot on his heels. Penny and Josephine both believe they have him in the proverbial purse but might find that their mark is nicer than either can handle.

A shout out to Nicholas Woodeson as Albert – if I could have a butler like that I’d be the happiest person ever. He is hysterical, irreverent and has a wicked smile that lights up a room!

Other cast include Timothy Simons as Jeremy, Douggie McMeekin as Jason, Ingrid Oliver as Brigitte Desjardins, and Casper Christensen as Mathias.

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 HUSTLE Special Features include Hitting the Mark, Comedy Class, Con Artists, Feature Commentary by Director Chris Addison. The Digital Copy is part of Watch It Anywhere including iTunes.

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THE HUSTLE puts Wilson and Hathaway in the role of con artists and lets the chips fall where they may. A pairing that is totally different and fun at the same time as they play off of one another with such snap.

I have to say the “training” part of the film was my favorite because of Wilson’s ability to just do the silliest and most unexpected things. I have to wonder how many takes it took because of everyone cracking up.

This is a fun comedy to just sit back and enjoy for what it is – two gals proving they have what it takes in the world of grifting and cons.

In the end – they’re giving dirty rotten men a run for their money!

 

 

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