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HALO: The Complete Video Collection Stuns on Bluray

halo bluray

 

Jeri Jacquin

Get ready for awesomeness as SHOUT! Factory, Kew Media Group and 343 Industry brings a franchise that has captured the world with HALO: The Complete Video Collection.

Let’s dive right in with HALO 4: Forward Unto Dawn that is directed by Stewart Hendler begins as the United Nations Space Command. Students of this military academy go through intense training for the war on the outer colonial planets expanding worlds under the UNSC.

A long lasting peace is about to come to an end as a war that will span the galaxy is about to break out. Tom Lasky becomes an unwitting leader when the academy falls under alien attack. Fighting to protect the students, Lasky also finds help from super-soldier Master Chief John-117.

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In HALO: Nightfall is directed by Sergio Mimica-Gezzan and executive produced by Ridley Scott and David Zucker. The story is of Jameson Locke, a man hunter who finds himself caught up in an attack on the colony of Sedra. When agents of the ONI (Office of Naval Intelligence) come to the planet, Locke isn’t about to trust any of them. They do find a frightening artifact that forces them all to come together to survive and trust one another.

HALO: The Fall of Reach is directed by Ian Kirby and produced by Sequence telling the story of the origins of Master Chief and a Spartan program. Designed to train the children kidnapped for military training as most ultimate weapons to fight against invaders, they will be tested when The Covenant makes it clear they intend to wipe out humanity.

The next saga, HALO LEGENDS is an anthology that brings seven stories with Master Chief, what the Spartans are capable of and the in-depth look at a rivalry with the Orbital Drop Shock Troopers.

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

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The Kew Media Group provides premium content to over more than 150 countries worldwide. Currently the Kew Media Group contains over 275 theatrical feature titles along with television content that includes drama series, non-fiction, special event programming, kids’ series and mini-series. To see more of what they have to offer please visit www.kewmedia.com.

Get prepared Halo fans because this 6-disc Bluray and DVD set has over nine hours of galaxy-spanning action. The Special Features of each disc includes a commentary from The Halo Team, Remaking the Legend: Halo 2 Anniversary, Halo 4: A Hero Awakens, Halo 4: Forerunner ViDoc, Halo 5: A Hero Reborn, Halo Waypoint: Heroes Never Die and so much more bonus content!

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This is an absolute must-have not only for Halo video game fans but those who are into the mythology of the Halo universe. I have to say I remember my sons talking about Halo and that drew me into wanting to see this amazing collection. There is something very cool about now understanding what is going on around me when Halo is in the house.

Each piece is intense and done with amazing animation. The episodes are seamless in the telling and kept me completely riveted moment to moment. HALO absolutely stretches out into this universe that explains why fans keep coming back for more.

Created with the world’s leading animators from Japan, HALO LEGENDS brings the viewer to battle between humans and the Covenant. The animation is cutting-edge and masterfully brings breathtaking visuals with gripping adventure.

This is a collection for loyal fans and pop-culture enthusiasts and SHOUT! Factory is making it available October 31st and pre-orders are available now.

In the end – here is your chance to go beyond the game!

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MY LITTLE PONY Friendship is Magic with Holiday Hearts on DVD

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Jeri Jacquin

On DVD from SHOUT! Kids Factory and Hasbro Studios comes stories to begin the holiday season with MY LITTLE PONY Friendship is Magic – Holiday Hearts.

Staring with Applebuck Season it is apple harvest time and Applejack’s big brother McIntosh is hurt. Refusing the help of her friends, Applejack believes she can do it on her own. It doesn’t take long before she realizes that maybe she was wrong. All of her friends know that it is all too much and don’t hesitate to let her know they are there for the farm.

Winter Wrap Up has Twilight Sparkle wanting to be a part of the Ponyville fun when everyone prepares for spring and by not using magic. Struggling to be a part of the no-magic event, she worries about being able to truly help. Hearing the other leaders are having trouble keeping things straight, Twilight might have just found what she is non-magically good at.

In Castle Sweet Castle Twilight Sparkle doesn’t want to tell the others that she doesn’t feel at home at the castle. Wanting to help their friend, the others plan to redecorate but keep running into wanting to do it in their own style. Knowing Twilight misses the Golden Oak Library, the group comes on a plan to truly make the castle her home.

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During Hearth’s Warming in Hearthbreakers, Pinkie Pie wants to invite her friend Applejack to spend time with her family at Pie rock farm. Both families discover that the way we spend holidays and have traditions is different in every family. With the two families differences, the Apples leave but Applejack wants to make things right for the holidays.

A Hearth’s Warming Tail has Twilight reading to her friend Starlight the story of A Hearth’s Warming Tail as Snowfall Frost is a unicorn that doesn’t like anything good, including Hearth’s Warming. Coming up with a brew to get rid of the holiday she instead has to deal with three spirits to help her understand what the holidays truly means.

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Finally, in Not Asking for Trouble, Pinkie Pie is asked to be a part of the holiday in Yikslurbertfest. In this yak holiday, Pinkie and the yaks do the customary stomping ritual and it causes a disaster when snow covers the village! Trying to get Prince Rutherford to get help, he’d rather wait until the snow melts. Well, Pinkie Pie isn’t about to let that happen asking her friends to help get rid of the snow which garners the thanks of a Prince becoming an official honorary yak.

It’s just another holiday season for the Pony’s!

SHOUT! Factory brings the best to fans offering up feature films, classic television series, animation and specials. For more of what they have to offer go to www.shoutfactory.com.

Hasbro Studios is an iconic brand with some of the best in animation and family programming with MY LITTLE PONY, and LITTLEST PET SHOP. Since its formation in 2009, Hasbro Studios has received seven Daytime Emmy’s!

MY LITTLE PONY Friendship is Magic – Holiday Hearts includes the episodes Applebuck Season, Winter Wrap Up, Castle Sweet Castle, Heartbreakers, A Hearth’s Warming Tail, Not Asking for Trouble along with the bonus feature of a Sing-Along for even more fun. Also included are Christmas present tags!

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I have to say that Applejack is one of my favorite pony’s but my granddaughter will tell you her favorite is Twilight Sparkle. That is what makes this series so amazing; everyone in the family can have their favorite and enjoy the series together.

The best part of this DVD is that each episode one again brings the most beautiful animation along with stories that are filled with holiday fun and friendship. MY LITTLE PONY Friendship is Magic – Holiday Hearts is a fantastic edition to anyone’s home entertainment library. It has to be there if you want fun, friendship and magic!

In the end – gather around for pony holiday tales!

Time Life Brings Back a Reason to Exercise with RICHARD SIMMONS SWEATIN’ TO THE OLDIES

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Jeri Jacquin

On DVD celebrating its 30th Anniversary Edition is exercise done with lots of fun as Time Life brings Richard Simmons back our homes with SWEATIN’ TO THE OLDIES.

Richard Simmons worked his way into the hearts of those trying to lose weight with his first gym in Beverly Hills, California. Promoting exercise before exercise became such a big industry, Simmons did not hesitate to share the story of his early childhood obesity weighing over 260 pounds at his heaviest.

In the early 70s after his own weight loss, Simmons became interested in fitness and wanted to reach out those who were really unfit and needed help. Opening The Anatomy Asylum, he helped his clientele learn to eat right and be supportive of their goals.

Slowly Simmons became a media darling and even had a spot on the daytime soap opera General Hospital (yes, my mother and I saw every episode he was on!). He also became a regular on such game shows as Win, Lose or Draw and Match Game.

His career would continue with over twelve books as well as audio and almost thirty visual media including Sweatin’ to the Oldies and thirty-six other video cassettes. That is a health empire that is just staggering.

Time Life continues to bring never before released anywhere classic collections of television shows for fans to revisit and remember what has made television so special. Time Life has released Mama’s Family, CPO Sharkey and The Tonight Show and they now reminds of us of a time when sex and politics were up for grabs with ROWAN & MARTIN’S LAUGH-IN. For more of what Time Life has to offer fans of classic television visit www.timelife.com.

The 30th Anniversary Edition of SWEATIN’ TO THE OLDIES includes the Uncut Original Releases of Sweatin’ to the Oldies Volume 1-5, Love Yourself and Win – Six Steps to Self-Esteem & Permanent Weight Loss and over 100 Minutes of Bonus Material that includes: Exclusive interview with Richard Simmons, Testimonials and Success Stories from Richard’s Students, Twenty Page Album of Rare Personal Photos and Memories Personally Selected by Richard and More!

This is a six-disc collection can exclusively be found at Amazon.com and has so much to offer that Richard Simmons believes is everything you will need to succeed. Using the lively music hits from the 1950’s and 1960’s as well as low impact routines is mixed in with Simmons humor that makes working out fun. Songs such as It’s My Party, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Gimme Some Lovin’ and Oh Pretty Woman are just some of the songs you will remember.

Simmons says, “I can’t believe it has been thirty years since the beginning! For the first time ever, I have compiled the complete Sweatin’ to the Oldies COLLECTION. It’s the original and still the best way to get your heart racing and your blood pumping!”

The best part of this Time Life collection is that everything that is found in this collection is still everything needed to exercise with fun. There is no time line for taking care of ourselves and Simmons still believes that today.

It is amazing to have the opportunity to once again gather up a few friends that remember when exercise was fun and Richard Simmons made it so. I am actually using this collection now because it is fun and has some of the best songs that have always made me dance around. Why not incorporate that into remembering that it’s never too late to start taking care of ourselves!

In the end – Richard says ‘so many sparkly tank tops so many memories’ and I agree!

ONLY THE BRAVE Brings Bravery and Heartbreak to Theatres

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Jeri Jacquin

In theatres from director Joseph Kosinski and Columbia Pictures is a story of bravery, camaraderie and heartbreak that comes with ONLY TO THE BRAVE.

In Prescott, Arizona, Brendan McDonough (Miles Teller) is a young man has no direction except drugs and can’t seem to handle his life. Discovering that he is going to be a father and being kicked out of mom’s house, he finally makes a decision.

Marsh (Josh Brolin) aka Supe runs a Wildland Firefighting team and his goal is to be certified as a Hotshot crew. Venting to Duane Steinbrink (Jeff Bridges) who can help make that goal happen, Marsh wants what is best for his crew.

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These two come together when Brendan applies with Station 7 and comes face to face with Marsh and his questions. Not so happy to have Brendan aboard if Chris MacKenzie (Taylor Kitsch) believing the new guy has nothing to offer the team.

That team includes Travis (Geoff Stults), Andrew (Alex Russell), Scott (Thad Luckinbill), Wade (Ben Hardy), Clayton (Scott Haze), Anthony (Jake Picking), Travis (Scott Foxx), Dylan (Robert Caldwell), Sean (Kenneth Miller), William (Ryan Cook), Garret (Brandon Bunch), Joe (Matthew Van Wettering), Kevin (Michael McNulty), John (Nicholas Jenks), Grant (Sam Quinn), and Brian (Howard Ferguson).

Immediately the team must come together on a fire that is also finally being observed in order to finally certify Station 7 as an elite Hotshot Crew. Finally, the Granite Mountain Hotshots come together and the they all celebrate with family and friends.

Brendan finally finds a connection with his baby daughter that brings him to wondering if he can continue with the crew. Now roommates, Chris has also taken an uncle role to Brendan’s daughter. Marsh is also dealing with family matters when wife Amanda (Jennifer Connelly) decides she wants to have a family.

It is their final fire together that brings the bravery and heartbreak to families and the only survivor.

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Brolin as Marsh is a tough Supe who wants more than anything to have his crew become an elite Hotshot crew. His own past issues give him an understanding when hiring Brendan. Brolin is masterful at taking this role to the audience to show what it takes to be responsible for 19 other men and a keen knowledge on firefighting. His presence is strong and I am all in with this role. Brolin was actually a volunteer firefighter in Arizona, trained and fought some wild-land fires in Mescal in his earlier years.

Teller as Brendan is a man clearly out of control with his life and on a path of self destruction. Choosing to change for the little life that comes into his own motivates him to reach for a goal. Even walking in to meet Supe, Teller’s portrayal of Brendan is a broken man that is reaching out to become something bigger than himself. Watching this character grow, Teller doesn’t hesitate to show the difficulties that Brendan faced and the emotion of confusion and loss. Kitsch as Chris starts out as a guy who is going to make Brendan’s life difficult, that is until the brotherhood kicks in and a deep friendship happens that brings a lightness to the film– so much so that he’s practically an uncle to Brendan’s daughter.

Connelly as Amanda has her horses while husband Marsh is gone on long stretches. Having the deal of no children starts to become an issue for the couple causing a strain that adds to an already stressful job. Bridges as Steinbrink clearly cares about Station 7 and Marsh and is always there when anyone needs him. The cowboy hat and southern drawl seems to be Bridges new type role and I say hey, if it works.

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Other cast includes Natalie Hall as Natalie Johnson, Forrest Fyre as Mayor Worthington, Jenny Gabrielle as Desiree Steed, Nicholas King as Caden Steed, Barbie Robertson as Marsena Thurston, Jade Kammerman as Stephanie Turbyfill, Pell James as Claire Caldwell and Andie MacDowell as Marvel Steinbrink.

ONLY THE BRAVE is a film that is challenging, humorous, heart thumping and heart breaking all rolled into 133 minutes. It is told with a mixture of the harshness of being a firefighter in all categories from structural to Wildland to Hotshots to the gentleness of their homelives. Not a job for everyone, these men and women do what ever is necessary to save life and property asking for nothing in return.

In that lies the bravery of what these men and women do. Far be it from to tell anyone how to say thanks but I personally make it a point to do so because I respect anyone who can do what most of us can not for whatever reason. The story is based on true events and the article in GQ by Sean Flynn called No Exit.

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Watching ONLY THE BRAVE I felt such intensity of emotion and what makes that so is knowing that there is no changing the outcome of the film. There is also no way to leave this film without choking back the tears or waves of emotion. The iconic photograph of the team in front of the town’s beloved juniper tree is not just a photo, it’s a glimpse into a brotherhood of men who not only did what they loved but did so with bravery.

In the end – it’s not what stands in front of you but who stands behind you!

GI FILM FESTIVAL Comes to San Diego!

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Jeri Jacquin

Yes, the GI FILM FESTIVAL is once again here and it is bringing the best films about the military world. Here is some of what you will see from October 18th till October 22nd from filmmakers with a story to be told.

On October 18th, the Opening Night Screening of THE 2 SIDES PROJECT tells the story of six U.S. sons and daughters who meet with sons and daughters of Vietnamese soldiers. What they have in common is the death of their fathers on opposite sides of the war. Visiting the sites where their fathers died, they are profoundly moved by their journey.

WORLD WAR II REMEMBERED – Part 1 begins the festival on October 19th with a block of shorts that include All American and a look at D-Day 72 years later from hero Les Cruise, The Rifleman’s Violin that follows the 90-year-old virtuoso violinist Stuart Canin and his time as a 19-year-old GI in Germany, WE CAN DO IT: Stories of Rosie the Riveter tells of the courageous laborers who came to be known by that name and changed the world, and finally HAPPY that tells the story of Larry ‘Happy’ Powell who flew 68 missions over Europe in World War II.

The final film of the night is THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE that tells the story of Adam Schumann, a young soldier who returns home only to find that home isn’t how it use to be. Dealing with trying to return to his life, Adam discovers that needing help is harder to get than he realized.

Family Movie Night is the Warner Bros. Pictures and DC Comics blockbuster WONDER WOMAN on October 20th. Presented on the flight deck of the USS Midway Museum, all attendees will get a bag of popcorn and see an exclusive preview of the upcoming animated film SGT. STUBBY: An American Hero. The best part is that costumes are absolutely encouraged!

On Saturday October 21, WORLD WAR II REMEMBERED – Part 2 continues with Pearl Harbor Survivors Relive the Infamous Day and filmmakers speak to survivors about their experiences December 1941, Aircraft Warning Service Volunteer is the story of Betty Tenney of Carlsbad who volunteered with the Aircraft Warning Service, and Buddy’s Odyssey as B-17 Pilot Robert “Bud” Kingsbury and a sole survivor when he is shot down and his road to healing.

Also, USS Pearl Harbor gives us insight by Commander Ted Essenfeld through his thoughts and artifacts, Remembering Pearl Harbor: Mary Lou Mawhiney is a 94-year-old woman who shares her memories of surviving Pearl Harbor and finally The Last Ring Home with the story of World War II Lt. Minter Dial and a ring he wanted returned to his wife after being a prisoner of the Japanese for 2 ½ years.

AMERICAN VETERAN is the film about Army Sgt. Nick Mendes who became paralyzed serving in Afghanistan in 2011. The film talks about his life and where it has taken him. Julie Cohen is the filmmaker’s director and the founder of BetterThanFiction Productions. AFTER THE FIRE, set on a San Antonio outpost speaks to the challenges facing women veterans. Telling of their personal experiences and adjusting to military life, the film talks of combat injuries, bureaucratic dysfunction and sexual trauma.

Bill Cooper has just been discharged from the army and isn’t home long before disappearing. When his brother Joe comes to bring him home, there is a family that needs to come back together in HIGH LOW FORTY.

The Local Film Showcase are films Made By or Starring Veterans with Once Guilty, Now Innocent, Still Dead brings a 19th century legendary assassin to clash with a cattle baron, Fletcher & Jenks as a detective and rookie are on the case of a serial murderer, Forgotten Hero is a thriller of downed Soviet fighters who support North Korea in 1952, Black Christmas is the story of a man accused of a crime by just going out to the store, Child’s Play takes a jab at the Naval Academy, Refuge is 2049 and women are enslaved to bring back the male population, Call Me Ma’am is the true story of being a Navy officer from a woman’s point of view and USO San Diego 75 Anniversary tells the story of the volunteers who help bring home away from home to military personnel.

 The Local Film Showcase: Deported Veterans begins with the story of Daniel Torres who was recruited into the Marines by lying that he was an American in Deported Veterans of American: Daniel Torres and Exiled tells of two green card hold immigrants who join the military and now find themselves deported.

The evening ends with the awards celebration to honor the filmmakers featured in the Local Film Showcase.

On the final day, Sunday October 22nd brings REMEMBERING THE VIETNAM WAR with Distinguished Wings Over Vietnam recounting the personal lives of four combat pilots who flew in the Vietnam war, risking their lives and how it changed their lives. The Vietnam War is the documentary series by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick that tells the story of the consequences, divisive and controversial events that are now part of our history.

TOUR THE FESTIVAL brings a collection of shorts beginning with The Colonel and Marine Colonel Hap Tasker being told heart problems could stop him from military service, Charlie & Sam shows us the World War II veterans that are still alive in 2016 and Charlie Edwards and Sam Takis reunite, finally Gary Sinise: Always Do a Little More tells the story of Gary Sinise and the origins of his commitment to the US military, veterans and first responders as well as their families and his dedication to them all.

Finally, the GI Film Festival closes with HOW WE HEAL and the unique ways our veterans become whole again in their way. Places Like This is a group of veterans who take a six-day winter trip into the Colorado wilderness through the Outward Bound program, and Comedy Bootcamp: The Documentary follows veteran comedians who use humor to share their stories through the Comedy Bootcamp program.

There is so much more to the GI Film Festival in San Diego so please visit http://gifilmfestivalsd.org/2017/ to see more of the schedule and purchase tickets. This is an amazing festival of talented filmmakers and the stories they share with us all.

 

ESCAPE ROOM Brings Survival to DVD

escape room

Jeri Jacquin

This week on DVD, Digital HD and On Demand from director Will Wernick and Lionsgate is a thrill in tight spaces and what it takes to survive from the ESCAPE ROOM.

Christen (Elisabeth Hower) wants to do something unique for her boyfriend Tyler’s (Evan Williams) big thirtieth birthday. Boarding a chauffer bus, they all turn over their cell phones and purses being told they are participating in mysterious escape room game.

Toasting with champagne, they drive around the city with blacked out windows waiting to arrive at their destination. Walking in the building it is dark and has an eerie look about it but that doesn’t stop their excitement of the game. Along with Natasha (Annabelle Stephenson), Anderson (Dan J. Johnson), Conrad (John Ierardi) and Tabby (Kelly Delson), they begin to explore their surroundings.

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Coupled in separate room, they each are set a task of getting out of what ever restraints they have been put in. The only one alone is Tyler who isn’t sure what his task is going to be and Christen isn’t with him. Discovering Anderson and Natasha in the next room, now the three of them work on the next clues to get out of their rooms.

That leads them to lovebirds Tabby and Conrad who make quick work of their puzzle. In each room they also find a mysterious card. Still looking for Christen they are weirded out when they see her in a cage and realize they have 45 minutes to get her out.

Room by room they look for clues but things begin to go horribly wrong and panic sets in. Tyler, Natasha and Anderson are now fighting for the life of Christen as the clock shows them no mercy and escape seems hopeless.

It’s not a game any longer.

Williams as Tyler is sharp and leads the group in solving the puzzles. With the exception of a momentary breakdown, he knows it’s time to focus and get them all out alive. To be honest I think I’d follow him before the others who seem to be losing it. Stephenson as Natasha begins with other things on her mind, or perhaps I should say some other person. She doesn’t let go of it and it becomes her crazy trigger.

Johnson as Anderson seems to get plenty of grief from girlfriend Natasha and I’m fairly sure I’d be setting her up if I were him. Ierardi as Conrad is just a guy that is pretty crazy about girlfriend Tabby (they are cute if not a little saccharin laden) who happens to be celebrating a friends’ birthday. I might rethink ever going to a friend’s birthday ever again.

Hower as Christen has the crazy role of sitting in a cage and watching everything that happens to her friends. The good news is that at least her friends thought enough of her to try and figure out how to rescue her.

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I have to give a serious shout out to the blue eyed sexy Billy Flynn who opens the film. Yes, I knew right away that Chad from the soap Days of Our Lives was going to be cool to watch. My only downside is the big question – why couldn’t he have been in it more?

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.

ESCAPE ROOM has the Special Features of a Director’s Commentary, Deleted Scenes, Bloopers and a Trailer Gallery. I had to watch the bloopers and they totally cracked me up which is a little twisted for a thriller/horror film right?

ESCAPE ROOM is a thriller that has some real cool bite to it. The clues are crafty and clever and if I was ever in that situation you might as well take me out early. I never would have thought of (without giving anything away) the intricacies of the clues – well played!

This is also the perfect film if, like me, you happen to love spending the entire month of October watching one thriller-horror a night! I mean isn’t that what everyone does? It’s a way to bring together the love of being scared out of our wits and ESCAPE ROOM certainly qualified!

In the end – will you survive?

 

 

 

The Best of THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW Brings Giggles and Nostalgia

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Jeri Jacquin

Now on DVD from Time Life is 50 years worth of celebrating with an amazing collection of laughs, fun and one of the best comedy teams ever to grace the smaller screen with The Best of THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW.

A new variety show came to our homes in September of 1967 with a red headed mad cap lady named Carol Burnett as its hostess. The Carol Burnett Show personally I was swept in right away with the show and its way with comedy and skits!

This is a chance for those of us who loved our weekly laughs to share with a new generation what real comedy looked like. From the character of Mrs. Wiggins, Carol and Sis, The Oldest Man and my personal favorite As the Stomach Turns kept us all in giggles.

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Another fan-favorite of The Carol Burnett Show were the movie and commercial spoofs and the bloopers – although anyone who knows the show remembers the constant cracking up of the cast during skits. If you’ve never seen Harvey Korman try to keep it together, that in itself is hilarious!

The show had some of the most incredible sets for their skits and costuming that way eye grabbing, yes; even for early color television it was pretty cool. Viewers never knew what they were going to see from week to week but coming from a large family, we would gather around just to see what comedy madness The Carol Burnett Show was going to bring.

Lets talk guests – are you kidding me? There were so many and probably the reason I do what I do today. There was Ella Fitzgerald, the lovely Bernadette Peters, Liza Minnelli, Steve Lawrence, the ever suave Rock Hudson, Burt Reynolds, Jimmy Stewart, Rita Hayworth and another comedy legend Carl Reiner.

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Carol Burnett opened up to her studio audience with a question & answer session that brought even Carol some of the best laughs ever. She was herself and I believe to this day that it is one of the reasons fans found her so endearing.

Closing the show was equally touching as she sang her little ditty “I’m so glad we had this time together, just to have a laugh or sing a song, seems we just get started and before you know it, comes the time we have to say so long”, and I know you were singing while reading this!

Time Life continues to bring never before released anywhere classic collections of television shows for fans to revisit and remember what has made television so special. Time Life has released Mama’s Family, CPO Sharkey and The Tonight Show and they now reminds of us of a time when sex and politics were up for grabs with ROWAN & MARTIN’S LAUGH-IN. For more of what Time Life has to offer fans of classic television visit www.timelife.com.

Time Life is also one of the world’s pre-eminent companies that brings unique music and video/DVD’s that evoke memories of yesterday and capture the spirit of today. They are amazingly preserved to share with our families!

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The DVD set features sixteen episodes from all eleven seasons of The Carol Burnett Show along with Beloved Stella Toddler, The Oldest Man, Mr. Tudball and Mrs. Wiggins, Mother Marcus and Eunice and Mama Harper, The very first episode with Jim Nabors and the very last and emotional double length series finale.

The also includes new bonus features such as A New Interview with Carol Burnett, Specially Produced Featurette: 11 Years of Laughter on The Carol Burnett Show, The End of 11 Years: Saying So Long and Never-Before-Seen Bloopers.

The Carol Burnett Show became an Emmy Award winning series for eleven seasons. To celebrate the 50th Anniversary, Time Life brings this six DVD set to families that includes the best of those eleven seasons for fans to see again and again in their own home entertainment library.

In the end – she’s so glad we can once again spend this time together!

MARK FELT: The Man Who Brought Down the White House

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Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this Friday from writer/director Peter Landesman and Sony Picture Classics is the story of the man only known in 1974 as Deep Throat in MARK FELT: The Man Who Brought Down the White House.

Mark Felt (Liam Neeson) is a man dedicated to his work with the FBI. Serving under the Hoover administration as Assistant Director, he knew what was expected of him and demanded the same of everyone he worked with. Living in Washington D.C. with wife Audrey (Diane Lane) he is comfortable and satisfied with his life.Mark 1

Notified of Hoover’s passing, Felt takes immediate action to remove any files belonging to Hoover to protect the Bureau. Also having a belief that he would be next to take charge of the FBI, Felt is shaken when the position is given to Pat Gray (Marton Csokas) by President Nixon. It is clear that changes are happening and not to the benefit of the Bureau. He stays close with Charlie Bates (Josh Lucas) seeing him as a likeminded agent.

Giving Gray a chance to see how the department works, Felt is notified when the Watergate Hotel is broken into. Almost immediately he begins to see people involved in the investigation that shouldn’t be, particularly Bill Sullivan (Tom Sizemore). Felt has never experienced the level of deceit and makes a decision to stop it if he can.

Reaching out to Sandy Smith (Bruce Greenwood) of Time and Bob Woodward (Julian Morris) of the Washington Post, Felt begins to plant the seeds of inquiry. Everyone knows there is a leak of information that carries the weight of a cover-up that goes to the highest office in the land and all orchestrated by a man hiding in plain sight.

Neeson as Felt is just a bad ass stone cold FBI man who doesn’t let his composure slip for one second. Even when he is disappointed he keeps a straight face that almost says ‘you will not break me’. Of course this is Neeson we are talking about here and in this film his certain set of skills is the stare of a man who isn’t about to let anyone mess with his beloved bureau. He’d rather take apart the highest office in the land than see one brick of the FBI’s building damaged in any way. I just loved watching Neeson take this role and run with it!

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Lane as Audrey is a wife of the man she believed should be the head of the FBI. When that doesn’t happen the alcohol flows and so does the realization that she has given everything to WashingtonD.C.

Lucas as Bates is clearly a man who believes in Felt and does not hesitate to follow any order given. Even when this man that he trusts is clearly doing something Bates can’t even fathom, he never does anything to undermine what Felt is trying to do. Sizemore as Sullivan comes on strong as a man that can not be trusted and continues it until the bitter end. The character of Sullivan is that guy who walks into the room and immediately everyone shuts up because he isn’t to be trusted with anything. The resentment of that is what drives Sullivan and Sizemore makes sure we are all officially creeped out.

Greenwood as Smith only has a little air time but let me tell you something, I love me some Greenwood. The scene between Greenwood and Neeson in the diner is one for the books because nowadays it would be impossible to meet in such a way without the world not knowing about it. Greenwood’s character knows what all of the Watergate scandal is going to cost Felt and is a little scared for him.

Other cast include Tony Goldwyn as Ed Miller, Maika Monroe as Joan Felt, Kate Walsh as Pat Miller, Michael C. Hall as John Dean, Wendi McLendon-Covey as Carol Tschudy, Ike Barinholtz as Angelo Lano, Noah Wyle as Stan Pottinger and Brian d’Arcy James as Robert Kunkel.

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TUBS OF POPCORN: I give MARK FELT: The Man Who Brought Down the White House four tubs of popcorn out of five. First off it must be said that I can not go past a channel if ALL THE PRESIDENTS MEN is on. I will watch it every single time (thanks Redford and Hoffman!) and that’s how I feel about this film.

The story takes its time in the telling and when the craziness began all I could see in Neeson’s portrayal of Felt is ‘keep your head when all others are losing theirs’. Once Felt sets things in motion, the story doesn’t flinch.

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Mark Felt is a man who kept all of this a secret and even when he was tried in 1980 for violating the civil rights of those individuals from the Weather Underground for which he only paid a fine, even then, almost no one knew he was Deep Throat.

Not until 2005 when a Vanity Fair article came out did the rest of the world discover who Mark Felt was and the role he played in bringing down the highest office in the land.

In the end – one man brought it all down!

MARSHALL

Marshall cover

 

Jeri Jacquin

In theatres this week from director Reginald Hudlin and Open Road Films is a case that would bring a name to life with MARSHALL.

Thurgood Marshall (Chadwick Boseman) is a graduate of Howard University and now a lawyer with the NAACP who takes cases to help those who need it the most. One such case takes him to Connecticut to defend Joseph Spell (Sterling K. Brown), an African American who is accused of raping Eleanor Strubing (Kate Hudson) – a white woman.

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Not a lawyer in the state, Marshall must work with Sam Friedman (Josh Gad), a Jewish attorney who isn’t happy to be a part of the case. Trying to make introductions and slowly slip away, Judge Foster (James Cromwell) isn’t about to let that happen.

Prosecutor Loren Willis (Dan Stevens) is satisfied when Judge Foster allows Marshall to stay but he isn’t allowed to cross-examine witnesses or basically do anything inside the court room. Marshall is furious and has no choice but to make sure that Friedman stays with him on the case.

As each witness comes to the stand, it becomes clear that Spell might not have been honest about everything with Marshall. Now he must work with Friedman on how to present the case and not let anything get in the way of securing Spell’s freedom.

Neither of them could have known what they would discover and how it would end!

Boseman as Marshall gives the audience the angrier side of Thurgood Marshall. From the moment his character is up on the screen it is easy to see he isn’t going down without a fight – on anything. Trying to keep his cool, Boseman spends a lot time pursing his lips and squinting at the judge but once of the courtroom makes it clear he has a lot to say. Unfortunately the anger is aimed at Friedman who takes the lumps quietly.

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Gad as Friedman is a lawyer who just wants to take the simple town cases and enjoy his career. When Marshall comes to town, a sense of fear starts to take over as his family becomes a target for those upset with his new partner’s attitude. At one point he makes it clear that he and his family still have to live in the town once Marshall takes off for his next case elsewhere. Is does take time for Friedman/Gad finds the fighting lawyer in him!

Brown as Spell is a man in a situation that doesn’t have an easy way out. He sticks to his story and clearly has no animosity towards the woman who is accusing him. As the trial gets further and further along, it becomes clear that the truth might not be that easy to tell. Brown is coming off a high with the successful television series This is Us, of which I am a huge fan, and it’s nice to see him take on the bigger screen.

Hudson as Strubing is a very beautiful woman who is also in a situation that has no good ending. The questions are harsh and her story is uncomfortable at a time in the country when a jury is unforgiving of such a crime. Stevens as Willis takes great pleasure in making sure Marshall stays quiet and knows that his case is not only a strong one but can only have one outcome.

Cromwell as Judge Foster is not a man to be trifled with in the slightest. He makes it clear before a jury even sets food in his courtroom that Marshall is under a gag order. He watches every move Marshall makes and doesn’t allow for any wiggle room – period.

Other cast include Keesha Sharp as Buster Marshall, Roger Guenveur Smith as Walter White, Derrick Baskin as Ted Lancaster, Barret Doss as Bertha Lancaster, John Magaro as Irwin Freidman, Ahna O’Reilly as Mrs. Richmond, and Jussie Smollett as Langston Hughes.

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TUBS OF POPCORN: I give MARSHALL three tubs of popcorn out of five. I know, I’m going to get grief for this but here is my problem with the film. First, out of all the cases that Thurgood Marshall was a part of and made history with, this is the story the filmmakers chose to tell? Really? Not one other case stood out and made a greater impact worth telling on film? That was disappointing to me.

This is supposed to be a film about Thurgood Marshall yet I found the journey of Gad’s character of Friedman more compelling. Here is a Jewish lawyer who wanted to fly under the legal radar and completely happy doing so until he is pushed into situation where he excels! He comes out of a shell and lets Marshall know that he understands how it feels to be calls derogatory names and have stereotypes thrown at him. I am all for that storyline but isn’t this a movie about Marshall?

I wish I understood Marshall’s life more in the film instead of the bits and pieces thrown that flash by so fast. The relationship with his wife is another story that just seemed odd, thrown in quick and ripped away and on to the next scene. The quick flashes of relationships with Langston Hughes or the Lancaster family and I’m still not sure if they had a purpose and I just missing it.

I read a lot about Thurgood Marshall over the years and his career is remarkable leading to becoming the first African American Supreme Court Justice. His cases are stellar and his career a brilliant one and I’d rather read a good book about his life than see a film that misses the mark. That’s just my opinion folks!

In the end – his name means justice!

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