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THE HOUSE WITH THE CLOCK IN ITS WALLS is Family Fun!

The House cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this Friday from director Eli Roth and DreamWorks comes a magical and mystical tale about THE HOUSE WITH THE CLOCK IN ITS WALLS.

Young Lewis (Owen Vaccaro) is still grieving over the loss of his parents when finding himself on a bus to Michigan. There he is met by his Uncle Jonathan (Jack Black) who Lewis realizes quickly is quite quirky. Arriving at his new home, he also meets his Uncle’s friend and neighbor Mrs. Zimmerman (Cate Blanchett).

Immediately Uncle Jonathan tries to make Lewis feel at home with an amazing room of his own and free reign with only one rule – in the library is a locked bookcase and it is to be left alone. Lewis begins his first day of school as well finding himself on the outside until Tarby Corrigan (Sunny Suljic) befriends him.

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At home, Lewis suspects there is something different about his Uncle’s house and learns why from Mrs. Zimmerman. Isaac Izard (Kyle MacLachlan) was once a magical partner with Uncle Jonathan but after coming home from war – he returned a very changed man. Marrying Selena (Renee Goldsberry), the two created a clock that will count down to doomsday.

Lewis notices that Tarby isn’t as friendly anymore and tries to find a way to keep their friendship. Inviting him back to Uncle Jonathan’s, Tarby sees the cabinet and even with Lewis begging him to not open it, what happens next is even worse. The boys take the book to the local cemetery and Lewis tries to wow Tarby with what he can do.

Instead, Lewis releases something that is part of the strange happenings around Uncle Jonathan’s house. As the walls tick, Lewis, Jonathan and Mrs. Zimmerman must use all their powers to locate the clock before evil does!

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Black as Jonathan Barnavelt is quirky, funny, strange, animated and everything we have come to know expect from him. This is definitely the type of character he is not only good at portraying but makes it fun. Black was in last years film JUMANJI: Welcome to the Jungle and we can expect to see him again next year for a sequel.

Blanchett as Mrs. Zimmerman is just stunning to look at in her beautiful costuming and equally as stellar to watch. What I have come to love most about her performances is that she always has a look in her eye that says, “I know something you don’t”. In this film she bounces off Jack Black’s character in a game of table tennis that is just pure enjoyable to watch.

Vaccaro as Lewis is a young man trying to find his place after losing his parents. Being reserved, he is definetly different than his Uncle Jonathan. The thing is that although they may be different to begin with, they also discover that they are not so different after all. His performance is that of a young boy trying to fit in only to discover that being himself can be quite enjoyable. Suljic as Corrigan is a boy who uses a sad young man and when done – throws him back to the wolves. The thing is – the Lewis wolf came back leader of the pack!

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MacLachlan as Izard is so much fun to watch, mainly because I am a fan of MacLachlan no matter what he does. Here he gets the chance to have a little fun while being a little maniacal at the same time and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. Goldsberry as Selena stands by her man, even when he’s a tad gooey and I give her props for that.

Other cast include Colleen Camp as Mrs. Hanchett, Lorenza Izzo as Mom, Braxton Bierken as Woody, De’Jon Watts as Clark, Christian Calloway as Azazel and Vanessa Anne Williams as Rose.

THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS is definetly a family fun film. Of course I’m not sure I’d recommend it for smaller children as there are a few creature that might scare them so lets say six years plus to be on the safe side. There are jumps and spooky elements mixed in a story line of family and new friendships.

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The special effects are amazing and I want to know where I can find a cute chair like the one in Uncle Jonathan’s house. Every effect has it’s place and is done so colorfully well that I was captivated through the entire film. I wouldn’t even mind having a lion topiary!

It is the cast of Black, Blanchett and Vacarro that make the film with the added dash of MacLachlan. They play off each other with comedy and affection which is what can be the cherry on the cake of any film.

In the end – this house knows what makes you tick!

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LIFE ITSELF Reminds Us We Are All Connected

Life itself cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this Friday from writer/director Dan Fogelman, Stage 6 Films and Amazon Studios is a look at the connecting we all have to LIFE ITSELF.

Will (Oscar Isaac) and Abby (Olivia Wilde) are New Yorkers who have a love that is enriched with laughter, love and the arrival of their first child. That’s what makes it all the more difficult for Will to handle Abby leaving him. Dr. Cait Morris (Annette Bening) is treating Will to help him deal with his life since leaving the hospital by talking about how they met.

Javier (Sergio Peris-Mencheta) is a worker on an olive farm who captures the attention of owner Saccione (Antonio Banderas). Taking Javier under his wing, it changes life and allows him to bring a good life to wife Isabel (Laia Costa). Raising their young son Rigo (Adrian Marrero), a trip to New York would change his world entirely.

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Rigo (Alex Monner) is thrilled to be going to college but soon discovers that his mother is not well. The young man must decide whether to give up on his dream or continue learning about the olive business to be with her.

Dylan (Olivia Cooke) is a young woman being raised by grandfather Irwin (Mandy Patinkin). As the years pass she tries to find herself in different ways much to the worry of Irwin. After a night of feeling that life has treated her a bit unfairly, Dylan meets a young man and life begins to find its center.

Finding love, understanding, life as well as the humanity to bear it all knows no bounds.

Isaac as Will almost killed me in this role. Of course I realize that writer/director Fogelman is responsible for the hit television series This is Us which also kills me so I should have expected it. That being said, Isaac in this role just knocks me around emotionally and then leaves me to deal with the aftermath. Strong, powerful and brilliant is all I can say.

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Wilde as Abby is sweet, very funny, endearing and quick. I love the relationship she has with Isaac’s character because it doesn’t feel forced but in fact seems easy. The banter these two actors shares gave me a lot to laugh about. Bening as Dr. Morris has a short role but one that goes deep inside what is troubling Will. Her concern comes through as not only genuine but thought out.

Peris-Mencheta as Javier is a quiet spirit who doesn’t believe he needs to share his story – with anyone. That is the problem with his relationships with both his wife and boss. Staying quiet when he should be speaking up is what brings him the biggest pains of his life.

Banderas as Saccione is opposite of Javier in that he is happy to share the story of his life and in great emotional detail. Discovering what is missing in his life, he is unsure how to get it without hurting those he loves.

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Costa as Isabel tries her best to make a good home for husband and son. Even when Javier closes down more and more, Isabel moves forward attempting to keep their family together. Costa is lovely, endearing and more importantly – must make a choice she never asked to make. Monner as Rigo is a young man who clearly loves his mother and the life she has given him. Now it is his time and the decisions are now one an adult must make.

Patinkin as Irwin wants what’s best for his granddaughter and when wife Linda (Jean Smart) can no longer be a part of that, he takes it one event at a time. I have to admit that Irwin is the grandfather we probably all wish we had. Cooke as Dylan is an angry young woman who hides it in the changes from year to year. Rebellious teen to uber rebellious young woman, she squashes her emotions in sarcasm and raw humor.

Other cast include Isabel Durant as Shari Dickstein, Lorenza Izzo as Elena, Jake Robinson as Henry and Samuel L. Jackson as Samuel L. Jackson.

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LIFE ITSELF brings the world a little closer together in that our paths criss-cross in both time and place. This is a theme that Fogelman seems to have found his niche in writing. This Is Us is all about life, love, understanding, misunderstanding, insecurities, family, restraint, sadness, hopes and the emotions we all struggle with. LIFE ITSELF embraces all of those issues as well.

There are no special effects, no car chases, no action sequences and no super heroes. Instead, it is the story of people who are just trying to figure out how to be good people in a world where the word ‘good’ holds different weight for everyone. The films story puts the weakness and human frailties we all have forward and let us feel it with the characters.

In the end – we’re all part of a greater story!

Get your Dino Fix with JURASSIC WORLD: Fallen Kingdom

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom cover

Jeri Jacquin

On Bluray/DVD and Digital from director J.A. Bayona and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is the next chapter in the world of dinosaur’s with JURASSIC WORLD: Fallen Kingdom.

After the 2015 disaster of the dinosaur park, a new disaster is on the horizon. The island’s volcano is about to destroy what is left of any living creature. A committee in the U.S. debates whether to help them or let the volcano handle it is being watched by Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard).

She receives a telephone call from Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell) who wants to help. Working for Lockwood is Eli Mills (Rafe Spall) who explains that they have another island for the animals to go to where they will be safe. The problem is locating them all and they need Claire’s help.

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The location system on the island is shut down and Mills needs her to go back and start it up as well as find Blue. Claire knows there is only one person that can help with that part of the trip – Owen Grady (Chris Pratt). Finding him is easy but convincing him to come help Blue is trickier.

Loading up for the trip, Claire takes computer wizard Franklin (Justice Smith) and dino-vet Zia Rodriguez (Daniella Pineda). Also with them is back up Ken Wheatley (Ted Levine) and his band of gun toting men. Owen realizes he needs to help and off they go to the island.

It doesn’t take long before the group realizes they’ve been duped and Blue gets hurt. Wheatley only used the group to get their hands on Blue leaving them for dead. It becomes clear that Mills is actually only interested in selling the animals to the highest bidder. It is Lockwood’s granddaughter Maisie (Isabella Sermon) who catches on and tries to alert her grandfather.

Owen and Claire make their way to the caravan to discover that Mills is not only responsible for everything that is happening, but that underneath the Lockwood mansion lies another world that is about to be torn apart by something new and far more dangerous.

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Because once again the dinosaurs prove life will find a way!

Pratt as Grady jumps in once again because who can resist a lovely raptor creature named Blue. Of course he isn’t about to let Claire go into the fray alone and it doesn’t take long before he is running through an island for his very life. From start to finish Pratt is go-go-go and trying to put a stop to those who seemed destined to bring destruction – and I don’t mean the islands previous inhabitants.

Howard as Claire wants to save the dinosaurs so badly that she’ll take any opportunity to get help. Believing in Lockwood’s plan, she is also back to the island were running is a foregone conclusion – only this time she isn’t wearing heels! After she and Owen find out where Mills has taken the creatures, she eventually will have to make a decision about their fate.

Smith as Webb is clearly not happy with visiting an island full of creatures that want to eat him but he hangs in for the long haul. Pineda as Zia is the reason we still have Blue on our side! Spall as Mills is a total douche bag and I didn’t need five minutes to figure that out. Once again it seems that the millionaires put their bucks and trust into the wrong people.

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Jones as Eversol gets what he deserves and so does Levine as Wheatley – I mean seriously guys, you can’t crack a whip at a creature with large teeth and not expect something bad to happen right? Wong as Dr. Wu makes an appearance and I still can’t stand him – Dr. Wu that is.

Much love to Geraldine Chaplin as Iris because she is a woman I’ve absolutely adored since seeing her face in the 1965 brilliant film DR. ZHIVAGO. She always brings a gentle nature and in this film it returns with beauty.

Of course I can not let another line go by without saying how thrilled I am that Jeff Goldblum, the man, the myth, the Jurassic Park legend came back to give us a little more of Ian Malcolm.

Other cast includes Toby Jones as Mr. Eversol, BD Wong as Dr. Wu, Peter Jason as Senator Sherwood, the lovely Geraldine Chaplin as Iris and the incomparable Jeff Goldblum as Ian Malcolm.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has just added an amazing film to their library and making it available for us all to experience and re-experience in our own home theatres. There are films of every genre available from scary to drama to family films. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.uphe.com.

The Bonus Features include Chris Pratt’s Jurassic Journals, On Set with Chris & Bryce, Start the Bidding!, The Kingdom Evolves, Death by Dino, Birth of the Indoraptor, Malcolm’s Return, Rooftop Showdown, Monster in a Mansion and Much More!

You can also Play With Blue with an interactive experience inside the Bluray. JURASSIC WORLD: Fallen Kingdom includes a Digital Movie from Movies Anywhere so you can enjoy films with the Anywhere App through download or streaming.

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JURASSIC WORLD: Fallen Kingdom is furious, a tad predictable, full of dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes, bad men coming out of the woodwork and a few surprises. I think we can let the dinosaur’s rest for a bit while Maisie grows up to take over the sprint to catch those that got away.

I had a good time and am still very vocal during the film with ‘oh no!’, ‘did you see that?’, ‘oh my gawd’, ‘whoa!’ and other words not meant for print. That’s what makes the JURASSIC PARK films so much fun to see over and over again from the very first – it is a collective experience for dinosaur lovers everywhere. I mean come on, you have to admit that we actually root for them to get their pound or two of man-flesh!

There are genres of films that we all love to watch – scary movies, zombie movies and a good dinosaur movie. JURASSIC PARK: Fallen Kingdom is added to the Jurassic series making one heck of an iconic set of films for anyone’s home entertainment library.

The film is what summer blockbusters are all about and JURASSIC WORLD: Fallen Kingdom is just that in every sense of the word. So gather up the family (might want to let the smaller kids hang out with grandma and grandpa for this one) and prepare for the next chapter in the Jurassic saga. It calls for a big screen, a sound bar and feet up off the floor.

In the end – the park is gone!

 

AMERICAN HORROR STORY: Cult Comes to DVD with the Complete Seventh Season

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Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is the stellar hit FX series that brings questions, fright and jaw drops with AMERICAN HORROR STORY: Cult, The Complete Seventh Season.

The 2016 Presidential elections are happening and it is even reaching the city of Brookfield Heights, Michigan in an emotional way. Ally Mayfair-Richards (Sarah Paulson) can’t believe that the people of the United States would elect the likes of Donald Trump as President. Suffering from many ailments, this latest catastrophe isn’t exactly helping her feel emotionally secure. Ally isn’t the only person reeling from the news as Winter (Billie Lourd) is finding her own way of dealing with it all and it doesn’t help that her brother Kai (Evan Peters) is about to find a way to use that to his advantage. But I’ve jumped ahead a little…do let me slow down.

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Ally and her partner Ivy (Alison Pill) share a son named Oz (Cooper Dodson) who they both dote on lovingly. Since Ally can’t keep herself under control emotionally, she leans on her psychiatrist Dr. Vincent (Cheyenne Jackson) to help put it all into perspective. Winter becomes Oz’s nanny to help relieve some of the stress Ally is feeling and give her more time to help her restaurant succeed. What she doesn’t know is that Winter has a little bit of a different nanny style. Kai has a plan that requires unthinkable actions that he sees no problem with – beginning with the clown-deaths of Ally’s neighbors and paying someone to beat him up.

With the death of the neighbor, a city council seat magically opens up and Kai is all over it. But Ally is dealing with problems at the restaurant when one of her employees is found in the meat locker. The new neighbors, Harrison (Billy Eichner) and Meadow Wiltons (Leslie Grossman), help Ally get a gun for protection especially since Ally is now seeing killer clowns roaming the streets. Det. Jack Samuels (Colton Haynes) suspect Ally’s delivery man Pedro (Jorge-Luis Pallo) for the crime and that puts her in a position to defend herself with the same gun the Wiltons gave her. When the neighborhood is covered in a mysterious gas, Ally blames the Wilton’s and it’s only going to get worse when Meadow disappears.

Kai sees what’s happening with Ally and say’s he’ll help try to stop the protests at her business but he has motives for everything he does. As the election draws closer Ivy meets Winter at a rally. Upset that a man took advantage of her in the crowd, Ivy tells Winter and a plan is hatched to make his day a little less important. Thinking it’s harmless, Kai decides to make an example of the man by giving him a choice – stay chained up or do the unthinkable so he can vote.

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The election is in full swing and Kai moves onto bigger and better things and starts with getting himself in shape. Hiring a personal trainer, it becomes clear that he will have other uses. He also becomes interested in reporter Beverly Hope (Adina Porter) and uses his charm to prove he is dedicated to her. In return, Beverly gives Kai the scoop on the news coverage about Kai that shows her boss Bob is clearly not a fan of the new political figure. Things aren’t looking good for Bob at the moment when Kai and his friends visit him for a ‘friendly’ chat about his future. The journalist wants to know where Kai came from and what is the odd connection with Ally’s doctor.

Kai is having lady problems and when a lady’s feelings aren’t being returned, well, all sorts of mayhem ensure and there comes a time when Ally discovers that all friends aren’t true friends. Thinking that the only way to keep her family safe is to expose Kai turns badly, Meadow has no choice but to take matters into her own armed hands. Surviving Meadow’s instructions, Kai decides to take his political bid one step further and announce a run for Senate publically, but privately he asks his followers to prove their loyalty. The problem is by the time the event is over, Ally is left holding evidence and the police want to arrest now and ask questions later.

Once again Ally is the victim of people with their own agendas and driving her crazy is just a bonus that gets her out of the way and into the hospital. There are still women in the group that have a plan of their own as Kai keeps moving forward.

Winter isn’t sure what to make when Kai announces his divinity and believes that she should carry a child. In the meantime Ally is finally released from the hospital and  has had time to formulate a little plan of her own that includes getting her son Oz back from the group and settling little fires here and there and see what burns – and joining the group is step number one. Ivy isn’t thrilled but Ally tries to show that having her family back is the most important thing. Using a little psychology of her own, Ally’s steps are slow but very, very deliberate as she edges closer to her mark.

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She needn’t have worried about Kai because his own delusions have taken him down a dark road and visions of Charles Manson. Believing there is a mole in the group, Ally shuffles the information around with deadly accuracy.

Stronger by the deed, Ally secretly puts everyone on notice and knows it is what has to happen in order for the group and Kai to be stopped. Even when she begins to get her life together, Kai tries to strike one more time. Of course you can’t keep a good woman down!

Paulson as Ally continues to just own her parts in the American Horror Story seasons. There is not one part that she has played that isn’t filled with every human emotion possible and maybe a few inhumane ones as well. She can freeze up one minute and pour it on the next and she has the most stunning facial expressions to pull it all off. She continues with each season to broaden the characters she plays and take them just one step further never truly knowing until the end whether she’s gone over or rides the edge of insanity with unique perfection.

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From the beginning, along with Lange and Bates, Paulson has made this series ever changing and ever glorious to watch. With the new season premier of American Horror Story already airing its first episode, it is clear that she is going full bore.

Peters as Kai leaves no doubt almost immediately that this character is a force to be reckoned with and showing no fear of repercussions means he is well past being dangerous. He has a little bit of someone else we all know in that Kai can be very endearing to your face while planning your demise at the very same time – to your face. This character seeks out like minded crazies and if you don’t follow the rules – a new crazy will emerge. Watching Peters take on such depth with each of his characters has also proven that from the moment he came aboard AHS, it isn’t going to be over until he damn well says its over.

Lourd as Winter has such duality in this season. There are moments when Lourd’s portrayal of Winter gives you hope that she isn’t going to be like her brother and then she flips the script and I’m saying, “oh there is the crazy lady now!”. The character of Winter is cold, harsh, loving, loyal and every bit as whacked out as her brother – but which brother? I have so enjoyed watching Lourd come into her own and she is her mother’s daughter when it comes to talent and the ability to give us all a reason to keep watching.

Pill as Ivy is another actress that has just managed to keep me guessing as to whether her character has the ability to be real or has her nose right on too tight which makes it easy to lead her around. Becoming one of the group wasn’t something I thought was going to happen but then again, that’s AHS for you!

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Other case include Emma Roberts as Serena Belinda, Mare Winningham as Sally Effler, Lena Dunham as Valerie Solanas, Frances Conroy as Bebe Babbitt, Chaz Bono as Gary Longstreet, Dermot Mulroney as Bob Thompson, Cameron Cowperthwaite as Speedwagon, John Carroll Lynch as Twist the Clown, Zack Ward as Roger, Laura Allen as Rosie, Dot-Marie Jones as Butchy May and Jamie Brewer as Hedda.

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.

FX continues to provide viewers with amazing programming including the new series Mayans M.C. along with favorites Legion, Archer and You’re the Worst. For more of what FX has to offer as well as shows, apps and information please visit www.fxnetworks.com.

The DVD also includes the Special Bonus Features of the FX Promo Spots which are artistic, misleading, strong, telling, mysterious and everything else every season manages to bring to American Horror Story fans. It’s like the biggest most colorful tease in the world. The three disc set contains all eleven episodes including Election Night, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, Neighbors from Hell, 11/9, Holes, Mid-Western Assassin, Valerie Solanas Died for Your Sins: Scumbag, Winter of Our Discontent, Drink the Kool-Aid, Charles (Manson) in Charge and Great Again.

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American Horror Story began it’s run on FX in 2016 and hasn’t shown any signs of slowing. Fans have waited patiently year after year to see how all the seasons connect yet don’t mind if its not so straight forward in the explanation.

In 2016, viewers had no idea what to expect from the show and it has continued to be the case since then. Already, people I know who watch AHS are trying to guess where the 2018 story is going to take them and all I say to them is, ‘why are you trying to guess?’. I mean seriously folks, that’s what makes good television when you sit back and let the ride take you wherever it may.

Nominated for two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for Sarah Paulson and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for Adina Porter is validation that the show is award worthy (as if AHS followers needed that to know how fantastic the show is!).

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What truly makes this show is the cast that returns to show us the range and diversity of AHS. I just love their dedication to the show and the storyline which, I believe, is another reason fans of the show come back time and time again.

In the end – know your neighbors and politicians!

 

 

 

 

 

Time Life Gives Us a Four Year Dose of Music with ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME IN CONCERT: Encore on Bluray

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Jeri Jacquin

Time Life has always been ahead of the game when it comes to bringing back the music we have come to love and pass on to our own kids and grandkids. Now, they continue with their musical tradition of excellence bringing the best and amazing people who still rock in our hearts with ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME IN CONCERT: Encore on Bluray.

Every year the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame honors those that have brought something stellar and amazing to Rock and Roll and music in general. In thirty years, the Hall of Fame haRock And Roll Hall Of Fame's It's Only Rock And Roll Benefit Concert And Women Who Rock Exhibit Opening Concerts inducted those who have brought classy to classic rock from the 60s, 70s and 80s. These are the years that will never be again but thanks to Time Life we can once again experience some of those most touching moments and rock out to music that will never die!

At the 25th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony held at the Waldorf Astoria on March 16, 2010 in New York, the opening is a performance by Phish with Watcher of the Skies in tribute to Genesis. Trey Anastasio has the honors of inducting the group for their long contribution to music with Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Steve Hackett and Mike Rutherford accepting.

Billie Joe Armstrong inducts The Stooges and the memorable performance of their songs Search and Destroy as well as I Wanna Be Your Dog. Steven Van Zandt inducts The Hollies with Bernie Calvert, Allan Clarke, Eric Haydock, Graham Nash and Terry Sylvester. The musical performance includes Adam Levine and Paul Shaffer with Bus Stop, Carrie-Anne and Long Cool Woman (In a Black Dress) and the audience clearly loved it so much they sang along.

Paul Shaffer receives the 25 Years of Great Music Appreciation Award and it isn’t surprising that he would only surprising that it took 25 years.

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Barry Gibb and brother Robin take to the stage to induct Abba into the Hall of Fame with Benny Anderson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad accepting. Faith Hill takes the stage for her heart felt rendition of the classic Abba song The Winner Takes It All.

At the 26th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, the list of attendees is even bigger. Beginning with John Legend’s induction speech for the incomparable Dr. John, it is amazing to experience someone else’s feelings towards the amazing performer. Bette Midler has a chance to take the stage with her speech for the induction of the well deserved Darlene Love. Her speech about the career she has experienced was informative and long time in coming.

Growing up in this next inductees era, there was one song that rocked for years, oh lets face it EVERY year around June when it was time to leave our books behind and enjoy the sun and beach. Rob Zombie inducts Alice Cooper which also gave me a thrill to see him perform the songs that kept me riveted for years with Eighteen, Under My Heels and, of course, the iconic anthem that is still played to School’s Out. The groups acceptance speech included Michael Bruce, Dennis Dunaway, Neal Smith and an endearing ‘thanks to my wife’, the irreplaceable Alice Cooper.

Neil Young inducts Tom Waits into the Hall of Fame and Waits comes to the stage with his unique voice thanking all he could and giving us a bit more of his humor as well. I have to say that although I am thrilled to say that I couldn’t get enough of Tom Waits through the years, I do enjoy his film roles as well. He continues to be unique both in front of a music crowd but a theatre screen as well.

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Elton John comes to the podium and gives a riveting speech to induct Leon Russell into the Hall of Fame. Sharing his memories of when he met Russell, Elton also recalls the time he listened to Russell and broke down in sobs. Knowing it needed to happen, Elton embarked on a journey to make music with Russell. The speech about the inductee almost had me in tears as well.

That is when the concert of a lifetime begins as Tom Waits and Dr. John along with Paul Shaffer and the Hall of Fame Orchestra perform the songs Make It Rain, Rain Dogs, House Where Nobody Lives, and Right Place Wrong Time. It is followed by Leon Russell singing out Delta Lady, A Song For You with an amazing performance with John Legend. Darlene Love is joined by another legend onstage as Bruce Springsteen is introduced to join her in a musical set. Love and Bette Midler take on (Today I Met) The Boy I’m Gonna Marry and He’s A Rebel.

The 27th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony held at the Public Hall in Cleveland, Ohio begins with a performance by Green Day singing Letterbomb and Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill inducting Freddie King into the hall of fame with a speech by Wanda King followed by a performance of the songs Hide Away and Going Down. John Mellencamp inducts Donovan next with a performance by the inductee of his songs Catch the Wind, Sunshine Superman and Season of the Witch.

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Steven Van Zandt inducts Small Faces/Faces attended by Kenney Jones, Mollie Marriott (on behalf of Steve Marriott), Ian McLagan and Ron Wood. The band performs Ooh La La and Stay With Me. Chuck D and LL Cool J inducts the Beastie Boys with an acceptance speech by Michael “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz. The audience is treated to their songs No Sleep Till Brooklyn, So What ‘Cha Want and Sabotage.

Chris Rock gets his time to induct the Red Hot Chili Peppers and there to accept is Flea, Jack Irons, Anthony Kiedis, Josh Klinghoffer, Cliff Martinez, James Slovak (on behalf of Hillel Slovak) and Chad Smith. A performance of their songs By The Way, The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie and Give It Away had me hopping around the house a little (don’t tell anyone!).

The finale caps off the event with the Red Hot Chili Peppers with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Jam Band with Higher Ground.

The 28th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles begins with Randy Newman, the beloved Tom Petty, John Fogerty and Jackson Browne doing the song that makes people everywhere wish they were there in I Love LA. Don Henley gives us a look at Newman’s musical history and what he has accomplished. Newman and Henley take the stage to rock a little with I’m Dead (But I Don’t Know It).

John Mayer arrives onstage to induct Albert King to the Hall of Fame as Gary Clark Jr. performs Oh, Pretty Woman and is joined by Booker T. Jones and John Mayer for Born Under a Bad Sign. If you don’t know Albert Kings work, it is worth everything in your musical world to experience. The performance is stirring and filled with all the soul intended by Albert King the first time he played them. Born Under A Bad Sign performance is the reason we go to musical church time after time!

28th Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony - Show

Chris Cornell inducts the band called Heart. The speeches include Michael DeRosier, Roger Fisher, Steve Fossen and Howard Leese. It is Ann and Nancy Wilson who prove that sisters can rock it like there is no music in the world. Their range and talent can not be matched and I dare anyone to try because you can’t break sisters. As Ann Wilson said, they came at a time when there were only four career choices for women and being part of a rock band wasn’t one of them. Performing Crazy On You and Barracuda, they are joined by Jerry Cantrell, Chris Cornell and Mike McCready.

Oprah Winfrey inducts Quincy Jones into the Hall of Fame along with receiving the Ahmet Ertegun Award for Lifetime Achievement. Spike Lee and Harry Belefonte induct Public Enemy and the acceptance speeches include Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Terminator X and Professor Griff.

Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins induct the band Rush into the Hall of Fame as Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart take the stage. Along with Grohl and Hawkins, Rush gears up to play the final set with 2112: Overture, Tom Sawyer and The Spirit of Radio. Watching Rush play gives the feeling of being transported back to being at one of their concerts in the early days. This group has made its mark and is the epitome of the era of music.

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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 Bluray includes 44 iconic performances from 2010 to 2013 at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony’s. Four years induction on two brilliantly mastered discs reminds us all why we love our rock and roll as well as other genres of music that has endured. It is over 481 minutes of extensive inductions and musical performances.

This collection has some of the most amazing collaboration of performances that has ever been seen and I personally am thrilled by them. It has been some time since I’ve seen many of these performers so having this Bluray makes sure that will never happen again. Memorable songs that have become iconic for so many reasons are only one of the added bonuses to this collection.

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Adding this four year Rock & Roll Hall of Fame two-disc set to your home entertainment library is like having a concert in your home anytime you like and embracing the music that we keep listening, dancing and occasionally dance around our house in. Music has an amazing ability to transport us back into emotions, both good and maybe not-so-good, memorable times and places that are welcoming.

Time Life once again takes us on a musical journey that is uplifting, soul searching, endearing, and empowering. That is what they do best with their CD’s that I love but now adding the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony’s so we can see the singers, bands and performers that have impacted our lives.

In the end – because..long live rock and roll!!!!

John Boorman’s Film of EXORCIST II: The Heretic Returns on Bluray

Exorcist II Bluray

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray from director John Boorman and Scream Factory is the next chapter in a young girl’s life of danger with 1977 film EXORCIST II: The Heretic

Living with guardian Sharon (Kitty Winn), grown Regan (Linda Blair) works with Dr. Gene Tuskin (Louise Fletcher) to help children who are plagued by sleep disorders and memories they keep hidden. Regan understands what the kids are going through because of the event in her life four years earlier.

Father Lamont (Richard Burton) receives his next order from the Cardinal (Paul Henreid) to find out what really happened to the beloved Father Merrin (Max von Sydow) that same night four years ago. It was during the exorcism of Regan that he died but that is all they know.

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Father Lamont isn’t happy about the assignment knowing he is only asked because of his previous exposure to Merrin’s teachings. Dealing with a failed exorcism in South America, he goes into his assignment with less than holy feelings.

With the help of equipment developed by Dr. Tuskin, Regan and the doctor can sync up their memories. In a session, the demon Pazuzu who took over the young girls body four years ago, seems to still be around and wants Regan once again. Father Lamont tries to question Regan but the good doctor isn’t about to let that happen. Sharon takes the Father to the house in Georgetown where it all took place but feels that using the device with Regan is the only way.

That’s when he sees a boy named Kokumo and a swarm of locusts fighting Pazuzu and realizes he must go to Africa and find the boy who is now a man. Learning things he didn’t know before from the grown Kokumo (James Earl Jones), its back to Regan and the house in Georgetown where once again a battle between good and evil must happen if they are all to be saved.

Blair as Regan returns as the lovely young woman Regan who struggles with the memory of what happened in her mother’s house four years earlier. Tackling the first film at a young age was an incredible feat for this actress and taking up the mantle of Regan again can only be done by Blair. Seeing the storyline all the way through she shares the screen with Fletcher, Sydow and Burton and that doesn’t look bad on a resume.

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Fletcher as Tuskin is a strong influence on Regan and only wants what is best for her. Protecting her is one thing but finally reaching what is inside of the young girl is something she could never have imagined. I believe Fletcher is one of our finest actors and I will watch and have watched everything she has performed in. Good, bad and in between, Fletcher has played her roles strongly.

Jones as Kukomo is a very young actor in this film and I’d know that voice anywhere even then. In this role he goes from a young man taking on a demon to a scientist who wants to forget it. Henreid as the Cardinal makes his final film appearance as a part of the church that wants to know exactly what happened to the priests who died at the hands of a demon. Winn returns as guardian Sharon and makes it her purpose to make sure Regan is looked after.

Two iconic actors share the screen in this film. Burton as Father Lamont has a history with Father Merrin having spent time with him as a younger priest. Dealing with his own failure at an exorcism, he is reluctant to deal with Regan. Max von Sydow – what an amazing iconic actor who returns to the film to give us more of the story behind the priest and his teachings.

Other cast include Joey Green as young Kokumo, Ned Beatty as Edwards, Belinda Beatty as Liz, Barbara Cason as Mrs. Phalor, Ken Renard as Abbott, Dana Plato as Sandra and Karen Knapp as the voice of Pazuzu.

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

The 2-disc Bluray includes the Special Features of Two Cuts of the Film, 117-Minute and 201 Minute Versions, New 2K Scan of Both Cuts from the Original Film Elements, New Audio Commentary with Director John Boorman (Longer Cut), New Interview with Actress Linda Blair, New Audio Commentary with Special Project Consultant Scott Michael Bosco, Teaser and Theatrical Trailers and Still Galleries.

William Goodhard took on the screenplay and used the works of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin for the storyline. Director Boorman found the new direction of the film quite different than the first film. It was the director who convinced Max von Sydow to return as Father Merrin and Kitty Winn to return as Sharon.

EXORCIST II: The Heretic has its own set of frights and scares that may not be as shocking as the first film but equally as engrossing. I might be playing favorites a bit since Burton, Blair, Fletcher, von Sydow and Jones happen to be on my list of actors I think made an impact on films.

We are getting closer and closer to the season of spooky time and scary movies are high on the list of things to stack up for at my house. After scaring the neighbor kids and handing out candy – its time to shut off the lights and hunker down for a night of lights out frights.

EXORCIST II: The Heretic brings all that and more. I personally suggest watching the original and the new Bluray release back to back because that is four hours of spine tingles well worth every tingle!

If you would like the chance to win a copy for your own home entertainment library, please visit http://moviemaven.homestead.com to find out how.

In the end – four years later and what does she remember?

HBO’s SILICON VALLEY Brings Its Fifth Season to DVD

Silicon Valley

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD and Digital from HBO Home Entertainment is one of the networks most successful series with SILICON VALLEY: The Complete Fifth Season.

Things at Pied Piper are finding its speed but Dinesh (Kumail Nanjiani) and Gilfoyle (Martin Starr) are in the middle of hiring staff. Matt Belson (Matt Ross) isn’t happy about what they are doing and attempts to bring over new coders but none of them want to work on his new mainframe box. Monica (Amanda Crew) and Laurie (Suzanne Cryer) are still keeping their eyes on the bottom line. Jared (Zach Woods) wants to jump into a company that is falling by the way side and hire their employees. Optimoji’s CEO Kira agrees but wants to bring her staff along.

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Duncan isn’t going to make this easy but Richard (Thomas Middleditch) has his own idea with Sliceline and it works out with new employees and no old dead weight. Having new employees means Richard is going to have to work on his people skills. That’s causing a rift of respect and a walk out with Dinesh and Gilfoyle still standing. All of this in the midst of a little business espionage as a mole has reared its ugly head. Jian-Yang (Jimmy O. Yang) is doing just about anything he can to get a judge to agree that Erlich is dead. Agreeing to take over his problems, Jian-Yang slides right in leaving the gangs belongings outside.

Richard is invited to a party along with Jared and meets Ben Burkhart who works for Quiver and says he’s looking forward to seeing what Richard’s new project will bring. He also butters up Richard with offering to be the new COO for Pied Piper. Jared isn’t so sure this is a good idea given Ben’s history with other company’s. Belson is still trying to find ways to make a dent in Pied Pipers business by hitting them in the wallet. Ben immediately tries to pit Richard, Dinesh, Jared and Gilfoyle against each other at the same time they agree there is a leak in the company.

Richard goes around to eight other companies and sways them into being part of PiperNet. In the meantime finding the mole is left up to Jared and Gilfoyle who have to decide what to do about what they discover. In other good news Jared puts a dent in Jian-Yang’s take over of Erlich’s belongings and property but not before the little sneak takes what he wants and high tails it to China with a duplicate of Pied Pipers and Richards project.

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Laurie decides to make a decision and bring in a new company to PiperNet which Richard decides is not cool with him. He can’t exactly say anything since the investment money is being spent. The new company Eklow and its CEO Ariel are about to pull more on PiperNet when more sabotage happens. Richard isn’t about to let any more craziness happen to PiperNet and gets a little creative himself. Belson moves forward with the Box 3 launch even though he momentarily thought he should leave the tech game.

Laurie has taken over as CEO of Eklow Labs when Ariel dashes with the company’s big product. Richard is getting nervous that Jian-Yang might launch his stolen ideas before PiperNet has they have a chance to get the jump. He has every right to be nervous when Belson runs into Jian-Yang and they come together to exchange information!

None of this is over when Monica discovers Laurie has been doing what they agreed not to do run ads or sell user data. Richard is not going stand for it and just when you think the parting is amicable – Laurie meets up with Yao in China.

The day has finally come and PiperNet is up and running, but what they don’t see coming is who is going to usurp 51% of the company. Laurie and Yao have made it clear that they are going to do whatever they can to keep the team sweating closure. Richard has one more ace up his sleeve – Belson! Working his charm on Belson’s ego, Laurie finds herself on the outs and Gilfoyle makes a move that surprises them all.

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That’s what happens when you keep your eye on the prize and on those who would take down!

HBO Home Entertainment has an extensive array of critically-acclaimed and groundbreaking programs found on Bluray, DVD and Digital HD. They have provided viewers with some of the most amazing programs with huge fan bases that include the shows True Blood, Sex and the City, The Sopranos, True Detectives, The Wire, Entourage and Game of Thrones. Launched in 1984, HBO is world wide in viewed entertainment in more than 70 territories around the world! For more of what they have to offer please visit www.hbo.com.

The DVD includes the episodes Grow Fast or Die Slow, Reorientation, Chief Operating Officer, Tech Evangelist, Facial Recognition, Artificial Emotional Intelligence, Initial Coin Offering, and Fifty One Percent.  

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 SILICON VALLEY’s fifth season garnered seven Emmy nominations including Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. Brought to HBO by Mike Judge and Alec Berg, this season brings an intensity for PiperNet and the gang with enemies coming from all sides.

 

The season’s half hour episodes pack in an ever changing tech landscape and it is the cast that makes it look effortless. Continuing to jump through the Silicon Valley hoops each season, it is stunning that the storyline keeps moving forward. That is they may keep moving forward but it’s not without putting out little fires that are trying to move them back.

SILICON VALLEY has taught me a lot about the tech world along with a vocabulary that I didn’t know existed. Of course the series also brought a lot of laughs as well. I constantly tell people if they want to learn about the craziness of it all they should invest in a serious marathoning of previous seasons!

In the end – the future is now!

Going Back to School GOT Style!

stark stationary

As a GAME OF THRONES fan from the very beginning, these items would make any GOT fan thrilled! From the amazing journals from the different houses of the Westeros to write how you feel in the last seasons of a series that has come to mean so much to millions of viewers.

stark journal

While you are writing in the luxurious journals, relax with the pillows!

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With Back-to-School season in full swing HBO Licensing & Retail has everything students need – from dorm decor to school supplies, especially for Game of Thrones fans – to bring all their favorite HBO shows back to campus with them, with a wide selection of Back-to-School items currently 30% off at the HBO Shop (https://shop.hbo.com/collections/back-to-school)!

A SIMPLE FAVOR Challenges Friendship

a simple favor

Jeri Jacquin

This Friday in theatres from director Paul Feig and Lionsgate comes a film based on the Darcey Bell novel asking for A SIMPLE FAVOR.

Stephanie Smothers (Anna Kendrick) is a single Mom who passes her days raising a young son Miles (Joshua Satine), being the crafty-type and a vlogger. While at a school celebration, Stephanie meets Miles friend Nicky (Ian Ho) and they both want a play date. Of course it’s all up to Nicky’s Mom Emily (Blake Lively).

Stephanie introduces herself to Emily and is a bit nervous realizing she is an outgoing and verbally free woman. Agreeing to a play date, Emily introduces Stephanie to a martini and the two become acquainted. Spending time together occasionally becomes something Stephanie looks forward to.

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She also meets Emily’s husband Sean (Henry Golding) who is a writer and teaches at the local college. Seeing that the couple is really into each other, Stephanie comes to like them both very much. One day Emily calls and asks Stephanie to please watch son Nicky as Sean had to go take care of his injured mother and she is stuck with a business crisis.

That’s when a mystery begins as days go by and Emily is no where to be found. Sean returns home and joins in the search to find his wife. Stephanie uses her vlog to keep visitors up to date on the search. After the worst news possible happens, Stephanie and Sean find themselves trying to deal with it all.

As the police have their questions, Stephanie also has hers. It starts out with simple things that she notices but each day it becomes clear that something is not only wrong but that nothing is what it has seemed about Emily.

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Vlogger and DIY Mom goes into super sleuth mode to discover who Emily truly is, what does Sean know and will she have enough time to make her famous meatless meatballs for the next school function?

Stay tuned!

Kendrick as Stephanie pours it on as a woman with her own secrets who wraps them up in neat little cookie bundles. Volunteering and organizing everything around her, it doesn’t take long before Emily’s influence starts to her loosen up. Taking kindness for weakness, Kendrick gives Stephanie the kind of empowerment that can move mountains. I loved Kendrick in this role with her quirkiness mixed with a nervousness that sets of the hidden firecracker that her character is.

Lively as Emily is gorgeous, smart, wears it well and can spin a yarn with a straight face like no other. I loved every minute she was on screen just making every move look so damn easy. Even when her character was lying I didn’t know if she was lying even when I was 98% sure she was lying. The ride her character provides is fast, fun, crazy and filled with twists and surprises. Emily has a magazine rack full of issues and she’s not about to lay them out for the world to use against her. The match between Emily and Stephanie is definitely perfection.

Golding as husband Sean is a writer/teacher who fell hard for the lovely Emily. From the beginning of their relationship he knew there was something different but learned not to ask questions. Golding gives the role a bit of charm and innocent sexy all the way to the very end. He can also be seen in the hit film CRAZY RICH ASIANS and trust when I say he is an actor to keep watching for.

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Other cast include Dustin Milligan as Chris, Danielle Bourgon as Grace, Gia Sandhu as Valerie, Glenda Braganza as Mrs. Glenda, Kelly McCormack as Stacy, Andrew Rannells as Darren, Andrew Moodie as Sgt. Molloy, Rupert Friend as Dennis Nylon and Jean Smart as Mrs. McLanden.

A SIMPLE FAVOR is a mixture of fun, twists, jaw drops, hints, laughs, mystery, deception, friendship, love, illusion and so much more. The film moves along at a good pace and then the script is flipped half way through and the brake stick on the roller coaster is broken off!

Lively and Kendrick are magic together on the screen and I loved every minute of it. This is a film that is loaded from beginning to end and brought people at the screening together to talk about it after. Conversations spoke about the performances being some of the best seen in a while and how the story kept them off guard through out most of the film.

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For me there were a few things that I figured out but it didn’t stop me at all from enjoying the film. In fact, even though I may have figured this and that out, I didn’t expect the constant twists and turns! That is all due to Kendrick, Lively and Golding who kept me engrossed in their characters.

In the end – it all started with a simple favor!

 

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