Search

moviemavenspeaks

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

Author

moviemaven500

I am a film critic and write how I feel about a film. Whether it is good, bad or indifferent, I have no problem saying so!

THE TRACKER Crosses the Line on Bluray

TheTracker cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray and Digital from director Giorgio Serafini and Lionsgate comes a man who has the patience to wait because he is THE TRACKER.

Aiden Hakansson (Dolph Lundgren) is vacationing with his family in Italy when his nightmare began. His wife and daughter are abducted and killed when an exchange goes horribly wrong. Ten years has gone by when suddenly he receives a telephone call from a detective who has new evidence that can help Hakansson find out who killed his family.

He arrives back in Italy to discover that the detective has been murdered although authorities are ruling it a suicide and no one else wants to help him. There are things going on in the small town that can get a person killed. Also realizing that there is clearly something going on is detective Antonio Graziani (Marco Mazzoli) but he must be careful as his own wife is expecting.

Tracker 1

Hakansson isn’t about to let the silence of the police stop him from what he does best, track down those responsible for the death of his family and cross the line between tracker and hunter.

Lundgren as Hakansson has spent many years trying to understand the death of his family. It is only reasonable that he would hesitate when receiving a telephone call from a detective with information. Sometimes the best way to move on with life is to get the answers, no matter how painful and be free of it. Lundgren may do that but first – he’s going to go toe to toe with the killer.

Mazzoli as Graziani is a man who wants to do his job even if he is surrounded by corruption. Knowing what happened to Hakansson’s family, he doesn’t want the same thing to happen to his own. Trying to keep his expectant wife safe while not being able to tell her why is the only thing he can do if he is to help Harkansson and solve the ten year long case.

Other cast include Elizabeth Kinnear as April Graziani, Kai Portman as Leotrim, Bruce McGuire as Ray Martin, Justin Fischer as Palm Akansson, Johnny Sinclair as young Aiden Hakansson, Vito Facciolla as Sartori, Alvaro Gradella as Rodolfo Massi, Marta Gastini as Giada, Anna Falchi as Hanna, Bruno Bilotta as Lupo and Cosimo Fusco as Giordano.

tracker 2

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 its 16,000 motion picture and television titles you can see everything coming soon as well as available now at http://www.lionsgate.com.

THE TRACKER is clearly a film about revenge but at the same time, as much as revenge is the driving force, it is also about finding answers. Lundgren towers above his enemies which can be quite a weapon to get those answers. The cinematography is cloaked in darkness which is pretty much where evil hides right?

This character isn’t and out and out in-your-face person, instead he walks around the police and the bad guys. Even though everyone knows he’s out there, they are never really quite sure exactly where ‘there’ is! He wouldn’t be a very good tracker if they did.

Tracker 3

The film is straight forward in the storytelling and it is Lundgren that keeps it moving forward.

In the end – he’s come to bury his past and his enemies!

Advertisements

YESTERDAY Has Music and Love on Bluray

 

Yesterday cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Ultra 4K HD, Bluray/DVD and currently on Digital from director Danny Boyle and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment Is a story of a crazy moment in time, THE BEATLES and a bit of YESTERDAY.

Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) is a struggling musician in the UK who pushes his career but doesn’t seem to find that one break. Ellie (Lily James) has taken the mantle of friend/roadie and manager believing that he has something to offer through his music. Thinking that it’s time to give it all up, there is a strange blackout and Jack is knocked out.

He wakes up to the same world but with one interesting difference, no one seems to have heard of The Beatles. Jack knows every song and every note of their work and decides to play their songs to see what happens. Well, what happens is he is heard by Gavin (Alexander Arnold) who wants to immediately record everything Jack wants to record.

yesterday 1

It turns into a phenomenon and now everyone wants to hear his music, including music executive Debra Hammer (Kate McKinnon). Everything begins to move into high gear and Ellie can’t go where Jack is headed and brings Rocky (Joel Fry) in to look after him. On a whirlwind, Jack finds himself dealing with what is happening and the fact that Ellie now seems so very far away.

Taking notice is musician Ed Sheeran who believes Jack to be the most epic singer/songwriter of the ages. In fact he asks Jack to be part of his opening act. Jack is in awe of all these opportunities that he is being handed but in the back of his mind he knows they are being handed to the wrong person.

That doesn’t mean the weirdness has stopped either but one thing is for sure, Jack must decide if he wants to continue to ride the rollercoaster of fortune and fame or now.

Patel as Malik is a young man who at first doesn’t understand what has made his world turn and is then confused how no one knows who The Beatles are but finds himself wrapped in their musical history. There is the struggle playing the music and feeling a bit of euphoria in the attention. Of course, with all things dishonest, Patel comes to terms with what he could possible lose by continuing the farce. Patel shows every bit of emotion on his face and also in the way he sings.

James as Ellie believes in Malik and doesn’t mind being the roadie/manager on the weekend. Once Malik takes off musically, she comes to terms with the fact that she is not able to follow but also the feelings about her friend. James is sweet and lovely but then again she always is.

yesterday 3

McKinnon as Hammer becomes Malik’s agent but dang if she doesn’t creep me out with a dash of fright added to it. A very intense manager she doesn’t pull any punches and expects Malik to fall in line if he wants to be the biggest in music of all time. I love when McKinnon goes rogue in a character and here she really gets a chance to go off the rails.

It must be said that Rocky (Fry) is an absolute gem. He is the friend we all wish we had and for me it’s because his honesty is brutally funny, he truly cares for Malik and might even have a secret crush on Ellie. He tries to stay out of his friends way but always manages to get a word in anyway.

Ed Sheeran gets a chance to show his musical chops with acting – as himself. I love the interaction between Sheeran and Patel in the kitchen as a case of star struck and ‘who is this?’ happens in one room.

Other cast include Sophia Di Martino as Carol, Ellize Chappel as Lucy, Meera Syal as Sheila Malik, Harry Michell as Nick, Vincent Franklin as Brian, Sanjeev Bhaskar as Jed Malik, Alexander Arnold as Gavin and Robert Carlyle as John. Cameo appearances by James Corden and Ed Sheeran.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment has just added an amazing film to their library and making it available for us to all experience and re-experience in our own home theaters. There are film 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.

yesterday 2

The Bonus Features on 4K Ultra HD, Bluray, DVD and Digital include Alternate Opening, Alternate Ending, Deleted Scenes, Gag Reel, Live at Abbey Road Studios and Watch Himesh Patel Perform the Song ‘Yesterday’ and More, Ed Sheeran: From Stadium to Screen, Agent of Comedy: Kate McKinnon, A Talented Duo, Playing for Real, Soul Mates, A Conversation with Richard & Ed and Feature Commentary with Director Danny Boyle and Writer/Producer Richard Curtis.

YESTERDAY is a film that takes on our memories of The Beatles in such a way that I found myself thinking ‘wow, what if no one did remember The Beatles?’. It is such an impossibility in my world which makes the film even more endearing. Here is this musician without a cause and when he finds one it happens to be due to one of the biggest influences in music history.

I was actually very honored to hear Himesh Patel perform one of The Beatles songs and he is amazing. Clearly talented in his own right, I can’t imagine anyone else playing the role of Jack. It is a crazy whirlwind film that even in a world without The Beatles, the same conflicts, human relationships, friendships and vices don’t really change much. What Jack brings to the film is that he is constantly in flux with the decisions he is making and never once truly becomes sucked into the world Hammer wants to create.

YESTERDAY is fun and a romantic comedy that just happens to have the fantastic songs of The Beatles in it which is the beautiful music kiss we want. There is a moment between Patel and Carlyle is about as hopeful and tearful as it gets when it comes to the original four musicians we still hold dear as The Beatles.

In the end – everyone in the world has forgotten The Beatles – except Jack!

Amazon Studios CARNIVAL ROW brings Mystery and Fantasy

Carnival cover

Jeri Jacquin

Currently on Amazon Prime is the first season of an original mystery and fantasy along CARNIVAL ROW.

Vignette Stonemoss (Cara Delevingne) is a fae who has escaped from an attack on her homeland from the Pact. Finding her way to a ship, a storm then sinks it and she is the sole survivor. The ship belongs to Ezra Spurnrose (Andrew Gower) and seeing Vignette as an indentured servant on the ship expects her to now work in his home as a maid. Knowing she must survive in this new place, Vignette visits Carnival Row and finds Tourmaline (Karla Crome). They have so much to catch up on but the biggest surprise is discovering that the man she loves, Philo (Orlando Bloom) is actually alive. Living the past seven years believing he was dead, Vignette is shocked and angry.

Philo is investigating the recent attacks on what are known as fae-folk as a police inspector. Aisling is one of the fae that is murdered and Philo continues to follow the clues. Taking it step by step he talks to everyone involved with the victims only to come up against a man warning him that a creature he calls the “dark-god” is responsible. If that isn’t freaky enough, Vignette makes herself known to Philo and she does so with a vengeance. She doesn’t understand how he could have gone all this time letting her suffer thinking she had lost him and Philo has no answers for her.

Spurnrose lives in the richer part of town with his sister Imogen (Tamzin Merchant) and both are horrified to learn that their new neighbor Agreus (David Gyasi) is a faun which is unacceptable to them. It is considered ridiculous that a creature would try to make his way into society. When Spurnrose finally confides in Imogen that their finances aren’t what they should be, a deal is struck with Agreus – his backing for a new ship for introduction into high society. Imogen agrees to make that happen.

carnival 1

The Chancellor Absalom Breakspear (Jared Harris) is trying to keep the peace in the city along with his wife Piety (Indira Varma) and son Jonah (Arty Froushan). He knows something is going on and advises them to steer clear of Carnival Row. That doesn’t stop Jonah from being kidnapped but they don’t know who is responsible.

It is finally revealed how Burguish soldier Philo met Vignette. Her village becomes a station for the soldiers are looking for the best location for keeping an eye out for the Pact while fixing the telegraph line. While out, Philo, Vignette and his friend Darius are attacked by wolves. When the Pact attack the village in a brutal way, Vignette is taken away but told that Philo has been killed.

Now, more people are being killed and it is becoming clear that what they have in common is knowing Philo. Vignette is trying to separate herself from him as her anger toward what has happened to her people outweighs any feelings she might have for him. To that effort Philo takes his landlady out for dinner and tries to begin something but he is still in a dark place.

The Chancellor believes that Longerbane (Ronan Vibert) is responsible for the kidnapping but after he meets with disaster, his daughter Sophie (Caroline Ford) steps in and Jonah is actually found. The young man believes he knows who is actually responsible for his capture but doesn’t want to call it out in case he is wrong. Seeing Sophie in chambers for the first time, he is captivated by her but mom Petrie isn’t as happy about it.

As more secrets are brought out in the open, Philo and Vignette realize that they must work together to find out what is killing those in Carnival Row. The landlady isn’t as happy and tells Philo’s officers a secret that she knows about him leading to his arrest for murder.

carnival 4

The relationship between Agreus and Imogen has her brother aggravated and wants it to stop. He understands that they may need his money but as others in town start offering to socialize with Agreus, he sees no need to keep up appearances for his sister. Chancellor Breakspear wants to help Philo and Vignette but doesn’t realize that he is about to have his life altered by a Puck, the last group that would ever be suspected.

The dominos are starting to fall and it is leading a showdown on Carnival Row that no one could have ever imagined!

Bloom as Philo has the look of a man tortured by his orphaned past, losing his love and seeing the worst of mankind in his role as an officer of the law. When Philo sees Vignette, he is reminded of so much of the past that it could interfere with what is happening right in front of him. Bloom has taken on such a dark character but it wouldn’t be the first time. In CARNIVAL ROW he has the added bonus of so many dark characters all around him and a story that is filled with twists that he fits right in.

Delevingne as Vignette is a fierce fae who isn’t about to put her people or their culture ahead of anything else, except for maybe love. Not a fan of Philo in the beginning, she begins to realize that he doesn’t mean her or the fae any harm. When she thinks him gone, it breaks her heart but not her spirit. She can easily take care of herself but once on Carnival Row, Vignette realizes that her anger at Philo is far down the list of what it takes to survive. Delevinge is quite perfect for this role in that she has the fae look and makes the role her very own and I love that about this character.

Gower as Spurnrose is absolutely yucky from top to bottom of his character and this actor plays it dripping with distain. That’s what makes it such a fantastic role! I can’t stand Spurnrose yet I also can’t wait to see how he’s going to make me dislike him even more and Gower doesn’t disappoint. Merchant as Imogen is as stuck up as one would expect from a woman of her time and station. She doesn’t care about anything or anyone but herself and her finery and yet it takes a Puck to make her see past all of that.

carnival 3

Gyasi as Agreus is a Puck to isn’t about to let anyone, human or otherwise, tell him how to live his life. Enjoying the fine home he purchased for himself and man-servant Jim, he also has the uncanny knack of knowing what humans are thinking. His relationship with Imogen is not one either is happy about but it does have its clever perks. Crome as Tourmaline sees what her friend Vignette is going through and it hurts her heart but for more reason that either wants to openly admit.

Varma as Piety is a woman who understands the politics that her husband is part of but also enjoys the lifestyle it provides. She also knows that something is changing on Carnival Row and wants her son to stay away. When he is kidnapped, she suspects everyone. Froushan as Jonah is a young man who is use to a certain lifestyle and doesn’t have much expected of him. Smothered by his mother and feeling like he is disappointing his father, he finds a strange solace at Carnival Row. Ford as Sophie begins to provide Jonah with another kind of distraction and no one is pleased about it. She is a strong character who doesn’t mind breaking the rules in order to get higher up in the ranks.

Harris as the Chancellor continues to be on an amazing streak of roles in the last few years. I absolutely love everything he does including the recent HBO mini-series CHERNOBYL, the AMC series THE TERROR, and the series THE CROWN. There is a presence about this actor that I’m drawn to see what role he will take next and in CARNIVAL ROW he once again is full of human frailty hidden under the robes of politics – even if it is the politics of the different.

Shout out to Alice Krige as Aoife who also is an actress that I follow because she is so multi-dimensional and in CARNIVAL ROW she is creepy yet honestly a character I was never afraid of. Of course Aoife could probably turn me into a toad if she wanted but there is something straight forward in this role that I appreciated and was fascinated by.

carnival 5

Other cast include Ariyon Bakare as Darius, Maeve Dermody as Portia Fyfe, Jamie Harris as Sgt. Dombey, Waj Ali as Constable Berwick, James Beaumont as Constable Cuppins, Jim High as Fergus, Erika Starkova as

Aisling and Simon McBurney as Runyon Millworthy.

This year CARNIVAL ROW made a showing at San Diego Comic Con International 2019 and the crowd couldn’t have been happier. Of course what made it even more special was that Bloom and Delevingne hid underneath costumes so that the big reveal brought the crowd to their feet with cheers. The audience was then treated to a special screening of the series and some even lucky enough to walk away with a pair of very luminescent wings. I knew then that the show was something special and am pleased to say that there will a second season.

I absolutely love the darkness of the show and I don’t mean the less than colorful costuming but the story and the characters that are wrapped up in every fiber of it all. Just when you think it’s all figured out – nope! Let’s be honest, the show starts out in a million knots and we are left, episode by episode, to unravel it like a fine chain necklace. Those who have ever tried to get knots out of a fine chain necklace know exactly what I’m talking about.

Vague in this review? Absolutely. There is no way I want to dive to deeply into the story because that is what makes CARNIVAL ROW such a draw. There is a lot going on so instead of giving it all away, I brought out some of the characters that I appreciated because something tells me we haven’t heard the last from any of them (well, maybe a few of them).

The story is based in a fantastical mythology of fae, pucks, spells, history, culture and a tale that is all too familiar in that what is different people are afraid of. By the end of the series you will understand why a second season is not only needed but necessary. I personally want to see where Philo and Vignette are going to take this journey of theirs and for reasons you will see when you binge watch the first season of CARNIVAL ROW on Amazon Prime.

In the end – they each have a story to tell!

MMA Legends Cast in World War II Film D-DAY

DDAY cover

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres and Video-On-Demand as well as across digital platforms is director Nick Lyon and Cinedigm is the story of a brave group of men among thousands of brave men during wartime and D-DAY.

Allied soldiers are storming the beaches of Normandy during World War II and Lt. General Omar Bradley (Chuck Liddell) is about to tell Lt. Col. James Rudder (Weston Cage Coppola), Sgt. Lommell (Jesse Kove) and Maj. Cleveland Lytle (Randy Couture) that they will be going behind enemy lines.

What is waiting for them is a continual firefight from one place to the next as they tried to locate the weapons hidden by German soldiers. Along with soldiers Sgt. Kuhn (David Tom), Carbone (Isaac Cruz), Hodges (Kellan Rhude) and Sgt. White (Geoff Meed), they take one position after another but – no guns.

dday 1

Capturing German soldiers they discover that the weapons are on the move and the 2nd Battalion is right behind them. On their way each soldier gets to know the other and their stories of home. The Germans don’t let them get to close as they continue to open fire to keep their weapons out of the hands of these brave American soldiers. Fighting on land and sea, the 2nd Battalion hold out until help can arrive.

Each step forward is one step closer to going home!

Liddell as Bradley is a man on a mission and he knows that lives will be lost. I have to say that he looks like a general with his hard chiseled features so it works to his advantage here. Coppola as Rudder takes over the Battalion when it becomes clear that Lytle doesn’t see the war eye to eye with Bradley. Coppola is a man pushing forward with each position captured and does it the best way he knows how – keeping them men focused.

Kove as Lommell is one of the men who is trying to work through what he is seeing. It is difficult for all the men and its clear there is a weight they will take home with them, but Rudder once again makes it clear to stay hard and get the job done.  Meed not only stars in the film but he is the writer which gives him a little insight to his character and how to play the role.

DDay 2

Other cast include Martin Kove as Nikolai, Tyler Bryan as First Lt. Powers, Sam Gipson as Wiley, Matthew Lewis as Robbins, Mike C. Manning as Dennis, Philip Nathanael as Treadwell Recruit, Christian Oliver as Corporal Jurgen, Brandon Root as Pickens, Sherrod Taylor as Sgt. Francis and Ben van Diepen as Horst.

CINEDIGM has strategic relationships with over 60,000 physical retail storefronts and digital platforms with Wal-Mark, Target, iTunes, Netflix, and Amazon as well as national cable and satellite Video On Demand with an impressive distribution footprint that reaches ninety-three percent of all connected devices in the United States. The company’s vast content library boasts over 52,000 feature films and television episodes. To learn more please visit www.cinedigm.com.

DDay 3

D-DAY is a corner in a full pages of a book that tell the story of bravery on D-Day. The story embraces this small band of men from their landing until finding the weapons they were sent out to locate. It is fight after fight with very little leading the way except the men knowing they had a job to do. There are major losses and yet these men kept going forward with strength and leadership.

That’s not to say there aren’t moments where the men feel as if they have just had about enough but that’s to be expected when their fellow soldiers and friends fall. They must find that place that gets them past their anger and remember that there are those alive who still need them if they are to succeed.

In the end – it is the day that changed the world!

GI Film Festival Coming to San Diego

GI Film
Jeri Jacquin
The GI Film Festival is returning to San Diego for another opportunity to show some of the most amazing films, documentary’s and shorts created and performed for our military. This year the festival begins on Tuesday, September 24th with an Opening Night at the Theatre of Photographic Art and a showing of TAKE ME HOME HUEY.
TAKE ME HOME HUEY documents contemporary artist Steve Maloney’s transformation of a wounded warbird, into a colorful sculpture. As the battered helicopter becomes whole, stories of Vietnam veterans and their families parallel the healing journey of Huey #174, and viewers begin to understand what veterans must face finding relief from trauma sustained during the war.
Following the opening film is a reception to discuss the film with a panel in the museum’s David C. Copley Atrium. There is so much more at the G.I. Film Festival continuing on Wednesday, September 25th at the Museum of Photographic Arts with the 5:15 showing of the film MOSUL.
 The film tells the 2014 story of a city that is overrun by ISIS fighters. By 2016 Iraqi soldiers and others fight to liberate Mosul. Iraqi journalist Ali Mula goes along to discover the stories and asks the question ‘is the fight with ISIS over?’.
The second film of the evening is HOMEMADE, a film that follows Marine Adam Sorensen and his life after the war. This is an emotional film of readjustment to life and the transition of military to civilian life. Six years of filming from being wounded in combat to what can only be described as traumatic transition, I think we all know someone who can relate to this journey.
On Thursday, September 26th at the Museum of Photographic Arts, the film THE WHISTLEBLOWER screens. Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson saw what happened on March 16th, 1968 and the incident in the My Lai village in Vietnam during the war. Unable to stop what killing around him, Thompson reports the massacre to military high command that brought about a trial for the ages. The film also sees the after affects through the lives of others to teach a generation about war.
Following the film WHISTLEBLOWER is the Drama Block: The Intense Stories of Service with shorts including That’s Mine, Escape by Sea, Breaking Point, A Soldier’s Way, Reddog, and Entrenched.
Friday, September 27 at the Museum of Photographic Art is the Drama Block: Not Your Everyday Story with #3 Normandy Lane, A Rodeo Film, The Man I Want to Be, Last Taxi Dance, Polka, The Real Thing, This One Step, and Deviant. Each of these shorts is either made by or stars military or veterans. Following the screening there are discussions with the filmmakers and the actors which is a fantastic way to learn more about each of these pieces.
Following the shorts is the film twisted thriller THE BLACK STRING, starring Frankie Munoz. The writer/director Brian Hanson served in the US Army with the 75th Ranger Regiment deployed several times to Afghanistan. He volunteers with Veterans in Media & Entertainment (VME) and grew up in Escondido studying film at Palomar College and SDSU.
Producer Richard Handley is also familiar with San Diego as he began his medical career stationed on the USS Constellation at a Lieutenant in the US Navy. He earned an MFA in Film from Mount St. Mary’s University and a Graduate Certificate in Producing from UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television.
Saturday, September 28th is a full day of film at UltraStar Cinemas at Hazard Center in Mission Valley. Starting with the documentary SUNKEN ROADS: Three Generations After D-Day. This is the story of those who were there on June 6th and their return to Normandy. This documentary will squeeze your heart and open your mind.
Next is the documentary DONUT DOLLIES about the Red Cross Donut Dollies who were brought in to help the troops but truly had no idea what they were getting into. Forty-seven years later these women come together to share their stories and talk about the memories they kept to themselves.
The next documentary is ISLAND SOLDIER that introduces a story that I had only hear faint stories of but now know so much more. It is the story of Microneasians who joined the US military and were sent to Afghanistan. This story tells the effects to the people and island they leave behind.
Later in the evening is the Awards Celebration at the Parq Event Center. It is an opportunity to recognize those who have shown excellence in filmmaking. The event will be hosted by Navy Officer Jamie Kaler.
The final day of screening, Sunday, September 29, begins with Doc Block: True Stories of Survival and Heroism at UltraStar Cinemas at Hazard Center in Mission Valley. Beginning with Team River Runner – Beyond Padding, Ocean Station November, The Invalid Corps, XVII Carvings, Under the Needle and Finding Satan.
Next is the Vietnam Block of shorts with Vietnam Aftermath, Others May Live: American Patriot, and Remains: The Search for SFC Samuel J. Padgett. These are documentaries about Vietnam and the Veterans who served. There is a panel discussion with filmmakers and actors to follow.
Finally, SCRAMBLE THE SEAWOLVES is a documentary about the US Navy’s first and only Attack Helicopter Gunship Squadron. Started in 1967, it has only taken fifty years for their story to finally be told.
This is an amazing schedule of films, documentary’s and shorts as only the G.I. Film Festival can bring to San Diego. The GI Film Festival San Diego ‘aims to reveal the struggles, triumphs and experiences of service members and veterans through compelling and authentic storytelling. ‘
Partnering with KPBS, the GI Film Festival has continued to bring such amazing pieces that bright about thought provoking discussion and so much emotion. Each day brings a new aspect of history through filmmaking for everyone to learn what may not be in the history books about war but also hearing from those who experiences it.
Although I highly recommend this festival to family’s who have service members but also everyone else as well. It is such an education in so many ways in the stories that are told about war but how our society in recent years has had to reach out more and more. We can no longer let our military return from war and veterans suffer in silence with their experiences.
Attending the GI Film Festival San Diego is amazingly easy, please visit www.gifilmfestivalsd.org to see the listing of screening times and purchase tickets. There is also an All Access pass that allows you into the screenings and events which is the best way to spend the week!
The GI Film Festival San Diego represents the best and brightest is film making telling the stories that we all need to not only see but experience.

THIS IS US: The Complete Third Season Revisits on DVD for the News Season to Come

thisis us DVD
Jeri Jacquin
Coming to DVD from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is the highly successful television series comes to DVD with THIS IS US: The Complete Third Season.
The season begins with Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) preparing to take Rebecca (Mandy Moore) on a date. Going to a carnival turns up a wash when Jack somes clean that his life hasn’t exactly been as he planned since returning from Vietnam. Agreeing to another date, Jack sees something that is difficult. Deja (Lyric Ross) is still with the family and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) is doing his best, especially when she sees her biological father. Zoe (Melanie Liburd) and Kevin (Justin Hartley) are still together but Beth (Susan Kelechi) has her opinion on the matter. Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Toby (Chris Sullivan are determined to have a child and she must convince a fertility specialist that it’s what they truly want.
Us 1
Looking into the Pearson’s past, Rebecca must find a new home and each of the kids are having their own difficulties. Realizing that she is barely functioning with Jack gone it all have consequences. Now Randall tries to help with a rec center but it seems the residents aren’t impressed. Kevin finally has his film premier but not everyone is there to cheer on his success. Rebecca puts in her two-centers with Kate and Toby and gets a response she isn’t expecting.
More of Rebecca and Jack’s past are explored and in one fell swoop Rebecca tells Jack they should drive to Los Angeles together. After making a comment about Jack at Kevin’s movie premier, Randall gets a little hot with his sister. As the IVF begins for Kate, she has a moment under anesthesia that changes her perspective. Beth gets an unexpected shock from work and Randall decides he can’t help people unless he runs for city council. It is Kevin now that needs to know more about Jack and decides he needs to know more.
Jack and his brother Nick (Michael Angarano) have a story that has long been kept quiet but now we see it played out.  Nick is on the draft list to go to Vietnam and Jack wants him to go to Canada to get away but Nick has other ideas. Jack knows he has to go as well to keep an eye on his brother and lies to be accepted into the military. Doing his own time after a battle, Jack discovers where Nick is and flies in to see him.
Miguel (Jon Huertas) buys Rebecca a piano and finds himself more and more at the Pearson’s place as each of the kids go through their own emotions. In adulthood Kate and Toby wait to hear if she is pregnant and she discovers Toby has been avoiding his own issues. Beth and Randall are dealing with their career changes and Kevin learns more about his father and a necklace he wore.
us 4
Randall and Kevin need each other as the campaign goes into full swing and Deja knows something is wrong between her foster family. Rebecca and Kate talk about motherhood and Zoe tells Kevin she will follow him to Vietnam.
While in Vietnam Jack helps a young boy who is injured and his mother gives him a gift. Nick isn’t about to get his hands dirty after everything that happened.  In the now Beth isn’t thrilled with an event in Randall’s campaign. Kate and Toby are in town and making dinner at the Randall’s house. That’s where Tess (Eris Baker) tells her Aunty something she hasn’t told her parents yet. The only thing missing is Miguel and Rebecca who are visiting his adult children.
In Vietnam Jack discovers that Nicky has a problem and it brings them to brotherly blows. Jack would do anything to avoid fighting yet all Nicky wants to do is fight. Now Kevin and Zoe are in the village his father and uncle were at and a family secret is uncovered. Kate decides to teach music but has one obstacle to get through with Toby’s support.
Kevin and Zoe move in together but there is something odd about it all. Kate and Toby are getting ready by vamping the baby’s room but she makes a mistake that sends Toby over the edge. They both realize they are stressed about the coming baby and do something extraordinary for each other.
us 5
After a tragedy in Vietnam, Jack ignores incoming mail from Nicky until he can’t any longer. Kevin begins to realize the substance of what secrets do to a family and turns to his siblings to find an answer to the nagging questions they all admit to having. All of it prompts to a slip by Kevin as they all begin to remember things only to discover everyone has their own perception of how it really was.
Beth’s story comes to light showing her story of being accepted into a ballet school and the struggle her parents went through to make sure she could go. The struggle continues for Beth and as the family yet there are things that haven’t been said between mother and daughter.
It is graduation time for the Pearson Three as Randall plans to attend college, Kevin wants to go to New York and Kate is floundering. Back to the now, Randall deals with news about Deja and her schooling and telling Beth he needs her at home with the girls. Toby does one of the most loving things ever creating a party for Kate where Kevin has problems. Taking him home, Kate’s water breaks and they are stuck.
Everyone waits impatiently on the baby news which gives Randall and Beth time to argue about careers and child raising. Miguel has an opinion that isn’t well received, Rebecca is quiet, Zoe is full of information that doesn’t please Beth, Kevin and Randall can’t seem to stay civil and Toby saves the day with an announcement.
Toby is having trouble being a Dad and Kate won’t spend a moment away from their son. Kevin decides that maybe couples therapy is the way to go and Zoe drops a little bomb on him. Randall needs Beth for support and does something horrifically stupid that he can’t take back. The struggle for both of them to be married, parents and have careers of their own continue to bring strife to them both.
us 2
As Kate’s worry for her son increases, Rebecca starts stepping a little bit out of her grandmother lane. Kate doesn’t exactly know how to handle this until her frustration spills over. Kevin and Zoe have a difficult decision to make and babysitting seems to be the way to find an answer. Randall is put in his place by a teenage Deja who reminds him how wonderful Beth truly is. This is their family…
… this is us!
Ventimiglia as Jack and Moore as Rebecca are the characters we thought we would never see, always wanted and are imperfectly perfect together. Every time they are on my television screen together I am moved, heartbroken, hopeful, understanding, a little angry, joyful and everything in between all of those. Growing up in their “time” I get it, I understand it and, in a way I miss it. A time I hold in my heart as simple in some aspect was also totally fraught with issues that are only coming to light in the past few years. Even after Jack’s death I knew there was more of his story to tell and happy to see him in flashbacks. Moore has the tough part of not only flashbacks but a different life in the present for her character. Just both so well done.
Brown and Kelechi as Randall and Beth are going at it full bore this season. They have both been used to having careers and family that go along smoothly.  Now that there are bumps in the road, either have to come to face their youthful disappointments, separate family issues never resolved and a future that seems so uncertain for their marriage. There is so much going on that they forget there are kids right in front of them seeing every bit of it, it happens.
Metz and Sullivan as Kate and Toby are about to embark on something neither believed possible. They are also dealing with the emotions of their lives and it’s time for them both to find their lane with it. Metz as Kate continues to struggle with Jack’s death which interferes with her decisions on motherhood and Sullivan is continually there for his wife and makes a decision about his own health that is dangerous. I love their humor together and admit that Toby just absolutely has my heart.
This Is Us - Season 3
Hartley and Liburd as Kevin and Zoe are a couple that I never saw fitting together. Kevin is just a hot mess trying to find his place in the world – still. Every time I think he’s finding it and happiness along with it, the pieces on his life board get moved quicker than he can adjust too. Hartley is a master of his Kevin character and this past season he kept it fast paced and uncertain. Liburd as Zoe is a woman with her own issues and good at keeping them away from Kevin.
Huertas as Miguel comes into more focus this season as we see how his own family has dealt with his marriage to Rebecca. I’m sure there is much more to has story and I hope we see more this next season. Ross as Deja is a young girl turning into a young woman with smarts beyond her years. She sees what is happening in her home and feels the needs to straighten the adults out. Kudos girl…always step in when it seems the adults are acting childish!
Angarano as young Nick is a kid just looking for a way to escape everything. When Jack follows to Vietnam, the two brothers have to deal with the home issues. He literally is a one man wrecking crew and it’s easy to see where Kevin gets it from. Baker as Tess has something important to tell her parents but that’s difficult when the household is upside down and you can’t get next to your cactus parents!
Other cast include Faithe Herman as Annie Pearson, Caitlin Thompson as Madison, Porter Duong as Hien, Wendie Malick as Mary Damon, Joy Brunson as Shauna, Phylicia Rashad as Carol, Carl Lumbly as Abe, Alexandra Breckenridge as Sophie and Griffin Dunn as Nick Pearson.
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.
THIS IS US: The Complete Third Season includes the episodes Nine Bucks, A Philadelphia Story, Katie Girls, Vietnam, Toby, Kamsahamnida, Sometimes, Six Thanksgivings, The Beginning is the End is the Beginning, The Last Seven Weeks, Songbird Road: Part One, Songbird Road: Part Two, Our Little Island Girl, The Graduates, The Waiting Room, Don’t Take My Sunshine Away, R&B and Her.
us 3
The Special Features include THE AFTERSHOW on all Episodes and this is us AT Paleyfest 2019.
THIS IS US started out with a slowly lovely burn letting the story continually unravel about the Pearson family. I was actually hooked the very first episode and haven’t missed one since. There are shows that just reach deep inside and won’t let go and THIS IS US is that show for which millions don’t mind the hold. Instead, we want to know more and more. Granted we all waited for Jack’s death and when it happened it broke our hearts, but, like most people who watch the show, knew then as we know now that there is so much more of this family’s story left to be told.
Each of the characters brings something different to the series with intensity, humor, love and complexity to which we’d expect. I mean seriously, there isn’t a family out there who doesn’t have their problems and histories – it’s just that the Pearson’s have invited us in to see all of theirs – raw and unfiltered.
The fourth season of THIS IS US is about to begin on NBC and along with millions of others we have more questions we hope are answered but even if they all aren’t, we don’t mind sharing our evening with the Pearson’s. Actually, we don’t mind one little bit.
In the end – they are us all!

IT Chapter Two Brings on the Jumps

IT cover

This Friday from director Andy Muschietti, New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. is the closing saga of kids and clowns with IT Chapter Two.

It has been twenty-seven years since ‘The Losers’ took out the thing they call ‘it’. Still in town is Mike Hanlon (Isaiah Mustafa) and he sees a familiar pattern happening in town. People are missing and he sees the all too familiar red balloon.

His only recourse is to call the gang one by one starting with Bill (James McAvoy) who is a writer, Richie (Bill Hader) who has become a stand-up comedian, Ben (Jay Ryan) who is a real estate mogul, Eddie (James Ransone) who is assessment analyst, Beverly (Jessica Chastain) who is repeating her childhood and Stanley (Andy Bean).

it 1

With hardly a memory of the incident years ago, they all come because of a promise made. Meeting up they begin to remember the good times hanging out together and the not so good times because of Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard).

When they learn that one of them won’t be joining them, it becomes all to real. Mike has a plan and has spent all his time trying to find a way to destroy It. Their first response is to run but as they remember more and reconnect their friendships, it becomes clear that they can’t escape.

Each of them journey’s back to what happened that summer and what is the one memory they need to defeat Pennywise. Once they all come to terms with that, there is only one thing left to do – head for the gutters and a showdown with the thing that has haunted their lives.

Pennywise has other plans!

McAvoy as Bill knows that he must go to Derry no matter how much his brain says ‘run!’. Seeing the friends of his youth is wonderful, until it isn’t. He still grieves the death of his brother Georgie and once Mike explains things, Bill knows he must see it through. McAvoy stands out in everything he does but here, as part of an ensemble cast, he melds in beautifully into the second part of the story.

it 3

Chastain as Beverly comes to terms with her childhood because she is forced too, especially with the life she has set up for herself since the last time she met Pennywise. Chastain is solid with her “all-guy” club as a kid but even more so as an adult. Ransone as Eddie is a man who is almost frozen by fear in all things, including his marriage. As each discussion with the group happens, he becomes the voice of ‘lets get OUT of here!’.

Ryan as Ben is the kid with his own secrets and not all of them have to do with Pennywise. He is a totally different adult and only wants to get away for a second until he also realizes that Bill is right, they’d only be back at 70!

Two outstanding performances here are Hader as Richie because his character, even though holding his own secret, was the comedy of the entire film. Yes, this is a scary movie and Hader’s character makes sure that there are moments to break the tension. Of course Skarsgard as Pennywise is just to damn creepy for words. He is frightening, horrific and the very reason some people absolutely don’t like clowns! Tim Curry may be my youth Pennywise but Skarsgard has given it a different face in a different way that works.

Other cast includes Jaeden Martel as young Ben, Wyatt Oleff as young Stan, Finn Wolfhard as young Richie, Sophia Lillis as young Beverly, Chosen Jacobs as young Mike and Jeremy Taylor as young Ben.

it 4

IT Chapter Two is a long movie because there is so much more here than the story of a scary clown. There are answers to questions I didn’t even know I had! The story is intense at times and sad in other frames. In between that is intensity, jumps, yells, frights, a few disgusting characters that I hope to never see again and an audience that joined in every single second of it.

I have to give it two jumps up because I usually don’t yell or jump but I’ll give the special effects their props because I caught myself. What I loved about the ‘horror’ of this horror film is that there isn’t gore for the sake of gore but part of the story and, in a weird way, placed appropriately. In simpler terms it means I was so all in that the one scene where there was a lot of blood made sense to me (I know, I know…weird right?).

From the moment I heard they were remaking IT I wasn’t happy because I’m a fan of originals and believe their day in the sun isn’t over. This retelling puts people in theatre seats to see it on the big screen and it works. Especially since we all love to be scared and if it can be done well then kudos.

The pair of the young characters to their adult counter parts will always remain high on my list. It is very easy to see who is who and that’s because of careful and meticulous casting. I enjoyed the kid version of course because I can relate to that time period when all fun was with friends on bikes riding through town from dawn to dusk in the summertime.

it 2

In the matter of Pennywise, well, we all have one don’t we. That’s what I always took from the crazy clown in that he forced the gang to face what made them afraid and in their stories, those fears are relatable for some of us.

There are a few things that I wasn’t sure were necessary (including the time of two hours and 49 minutes) and one door chain goose egg but I’ll save those for a face to face conversation. I truly want everyone to enjoy every scare, jump, sadness and humor that IT Chapter Two has to offer.

So grab a group of friends and spend some time getting closure as well because Pennywise and The Losers Club are going to provide it.

In the end – you’ll float again!

BOOKSMART Brings Teen Comedy to Bluray as School Year Begins

booksmart bluray cover

Coming to Bluray from director Olivia Wilde and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is the story of the last night of the first night of their lives after being BOOKSMART.

Molly (Beanie Feldstein) and Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) are two girls who have spent their years in libraries and studying. In those years Molly and Amy became the best of friends and know each other secrets and habits. Their idea of fun isn’t exactly like most seniors in high school.

Even Principal Brown (Jason Sudeikis) knows that about the two girls. Molly being class president and valedictorian on the class, she is making sure that all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed before saying goodbye to the halls that educated her.

Overhearing a conversation, Molly learns that students she thought didn’t take school seriously are attending colleges just as prestigious as hers! The thought sends her into a tizzy and tells Amy that they are not going to sit home in their pj’s on their final night.

book 1

That’s when she learns that Nick (Mason Gooding) is having a final wild party and convinces Amy that going is the only way they are going to redeem themselves. It also gives Amy a chance to hang out with Ryan (Victoria Ruesga) and Molly can visit with Nick.

The problem is that with every move they make to try to get to the party, something else gets in their way and mayhem ensues. From Jared (Skyler Gisondo) leading them astray to Gigi (Billie Lourd) freaking them out every place they go, Molly is not going to let anything to her from getting to Nick’s.

When they finally arrive, everything changes – even Molly and Amy! Their friendship is riding on the party and put to the test. Then again…it’s only high school right?

Feldstein as Molly is the spokesperson for the dynamic duo. She knows what she wants and pretty much tells Amy every bit of it. Yet there is a believeability in the way she speaks to her friend and their relationship from beginning to end. I enjoyed Feldstein so much and she reminded me a little of someone I know.

Dever as Amy is charming, sweet and in love with someone who doesn’t know she exists. It is clear she loves her friendship with Molly and although reminding me a bit of Cameron Frye from FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF. She goes along to get along and even if she’s having fun, there are moments where fun makes her very nervous.

book 2

Gisondo as Jared is absolutely outrageous yet there is something sweet about him. Perhaps it’s because he understands Molly and Amy more than he is given credit for. Gooding as Nick is the guy in school who just wants to have a good time and isn’t seen as a serious student. Sudeikis as the Principal is hilarious and in a role that totally gives him the opportunity to just totally go crazy in a great way.

Okay, it must be said Lourd as Gigi is absolutely hysterical. I just love this character but mainly because of what she says and what she does. A free spirit that’s a little bit on the nutty side and no one more than Lourd deserves to just let loose.

Other cast include Will Forte as Doug, Diana Silvers as Hope, Molly Gordon as Triple A, Eduardo Franco as Theo, Nico Hiraga as Tanner, Austin Crute as Alan, Jessica Williams as Miss Fine and Lisa Kudrow as Charmaine.

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 http://www.fox.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 http://www.MoviesAnywhere.com.

book 3

The Bluray Special Features include Booksmart: The Next “Best High School Comedy”, Plies and Jazz Hands: The Dance Fantasy, Dressing Booksmart, Gallery, Audio Commentary by Olivia Wilde and Deleted Scenes.

BOOKSMART is charming, funny, silly, and gives the audience a look at pieces of their own high school days. There are the usual misunderstandings, cliques, misconceptions and chances to have one last opportunity to a make a mark that could be memorable forever.

After all, isn’t that what high school is all about? The mistakes that are made, the plans that change every other day, friendships that in some cases become life long (I happen to know a few of those) and broken hearts, oh yes, the high school broken hearts most everyone has experienced. Most of all, the pure laughs about who we were and hopefully who we all turned out to be.

In the end – getting straight A’s and giving zero F’s.

CANAL STREET is Thought Provoking on DVD

 
canal street dvd cover


Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD from director Rhyan LaMarr and Cinedigm comes the story of two young men and when the media get it wrong with CANAL STREET.

Kholi (Bryshere Y. Gray) is a young man is dealing with the emotional separation with his mother. Father Jackie Styles (Mykelti Williamson) is a lawyer who has started with a new firm while Kholi starts in a new school in Winnetka. Almost immediately he meets Zoey (Juani Feliz), a young lady with a glowing smile. At the same time he meets Brian Sudermill (Kevin Quinn) but their meeting isn’t such a good one. 

The challenge of a one on one in basketball is given to Kholi and as they move closer to the bet being over, Brian offers up a bit of roughness. Zoey lets Kholi know that he should keep it together and don’t give in to what Brian and his group are dishing out. To ease tensions, Zoey invites him to a party and sees it as a way for everyone to get to know the new student.
canal 2

During music class, Kholi and Brian discover they share the same interests with an acknowledged fist pound. At the party, Kholi brings two friends and the night actually goes quite well, even to the point of Kholi giving Brian a ride home. On the drive with his friends in the back seat, the two young men discover even more about one another.

Dropping off Brian, Kholi is feeling good until he turns the car around down the street and comes up on Brians body in the middle of the street. Jumping out, his two friends tell him he must get back in because they will be blamed. Kholi refuses to leave and screams out for help. That’s when Brian’s father Bill (William R Moses) runs out of the house to find the two boys in the street. 

Kholi is arrested and it sends shockwaves through the town as the public begins to take sides and the media is taking over. There are people using the situation for their own gain and those who believe there is more to the story – like the very disturbing truth.

Gray as Kholi is a young man who has dealt with a lot of hard knocks. Keeping his mother close in his mind, it is probably the only thing helping him while awaiting trial. It seems that everyone has an agenda except what is going to happen to Kholi. Gray looks like an angry young man but then again I think I’d have the same face if enough people tried to change the course of my life.
canal 1

Quinn as Brian is the school jock who is in a clique wanting to teach the new guy who is who. Of course when he realizes that he’s misjudging Kholi and as a new friendship actually begins to happen. It is what happens on the street in front of his house that he can’t do anything about.

Williamson as Jackie is a father who happens to be a lawyer but it doesn’t stop him from feeling every bit a father. When he realizes that all eyes are on him, he also knows they are judging a son he believes is innocent. Feliz as Zoey knows both boys and doesn’t appreciate being put on the stand to pit one against the other. Moses as Bill is a man grieving for the loss of his son. In his anger he believes what is easy to believe and cannot come to terms with his grief.

Other cast include Lance Reddick as Jerry Shaw, Michael Beach as Ronald Morgan, Jamie Hector as Pastor Sam Billings, Jon Seda as Det. Mike Watts, Will Yun Lee as Officer Hank Chu, Harry Lennix as DJ Terrance Palmer, Nora Dunn as Marge Sudermill, LaRoyce Hawkins as Amari Crawford, Ashley Black as Ashley, Rachel Cerda as Det. Regan, Katie Chang as Elizabeth Chu, and Mekhi Phifer as Prosecutor A.J. Canton. There are also cameos by Don Benjamin, Casper Smart, Da Brat, Charlamagne Tha God, Emily Walker, DeStorm Power, HeadKrack, and Angela Lee. 
canal 2

CINEDIGM has strategic relationships with over 60,000 physical retail storefronts and digital platforms with Wal-Mark, Target, iTunes, Netflix, and Amazon as well as national cable and satellite Video On Demand with an impressive distribution footprint that reaches ninety-three percent of all connected devices in the United States. The company’s vast content library boasts over 52,000 feature films and television episodes. To learn more please visit http://www.cinedigm.com. 

I am purposely being vague about this review because I want the viewer to take it in for themselves. With the tide of shootings in our country and the stories out in the media before the facts are in, CANAL STREET is a perfect example of it all. Finding myself with a case of the head shakes, it is everyone talking about something and making judgements before the facts are in.

The worst part of it is that it is the media in all forms that consistently do exactly that. Instead of focusing on investigating the true facts it is easy to cast dispersions here and there. CANAL STREET forces everyone to take a look at themselves if they are part of the problem or part of the solution.
canal 3

I would use this film in high school classrooms if I could because although it is about two young men, it is also about how those two young men treat each other and how all of that can be a catalyst for pain and suffering where there doesn’t need to be. 

In the end – guilty until proven innocent!

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑