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PJ MASKS Makes Anytime Time to be a Hero!

PJ Masks bluray

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is Gekko, Catboy and Owlette ready to save the day with PJ MASKS – Time to be a Hero!

Are you ready for some awesome animated super heroes like you’ve never seen before? Well, PJ MASKS is just that as Greg becomes Gekko, Cannon becomes Catboy and Amaya becomes Owlette to help make things right when they go wrong. They take adventure to new heights!

Gekko’s Blame Game has the trio solving the mystery of who has taken Cameron’s car. Greg/Gekko isn’t happy about being blamed and they head out to find it only to discover that Luna Girl has it. Squaring off at the playground, they still can’t get the car! That doesn’t mean this trio is going to give up.

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Catboy and Master Fang’s Sword brings the gang to Connor’s house to watch the Master Fang television show. When they learn that Master Fang’s sword is stolen, PJ Masks put on their crusaders outfits and look for clues. They see Night Ninja’s footprints and take to the streets to find the sword! Becoming frustrated, Catboy realizes he needs to calm down and trust in the friendship of the trio to rescue his friends and retrieve the sword.

Speak UP Gekko has Connor standing up in front of the class to read a poem. Connor has his voice stolen by Romeo and he’s using it against Catboy and Owlette. Listening to Gekko’s own voice say hurtful things, they are even more determined to stop Romeo who wants all their voices. Taking their voices is not about to stop these brave heroes!

Catboy vs. Robo-Cat forces Catboy to have to find Connor and Amaya on his own. Soon he discovers that Romeo has captured his friends and created two robo-copies. Now the trio must take on, well, themselves to take down Romeo’s copies.

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Owlette’s Two Wrongs has Amaya upset when someone has stolen the artwork of her class. She realizes that they must discover who has done such a thing before they come back for more. They see Night Ninja taking more art and Owlette misjudges the situation letting them get away. Knowing Night Ninja is looking for more art, the gang is off to the museum to stop more art from becoming ruined and discover the real reason for all the art theft.

Take to the Skies Owlette as the gang discover that Night Ninja has stolen the planes meant for the air show. Using Owlettes owl glider they try to stop him but it isn’t enough to stop him. They must beef up the glider if they are to stop Night Ninja from stealing more air planes and balloons from the show.

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.

PJ MASKS is quickly becoming an amazing sensation. How do I know this? Because my granddaughter discovered the show and doesn’t go a day without watching. She also has her own costumes for Gekko, Catboy and Owlette and dances to the theme song with total excitement. That’s how parents know this is such a special trio.

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Each episode brings stories of life lessons of sharing, being true to one’s self, understanding how to be a good friend, doing what’s right and having fun with your friends. That’s what PJ MASKS has done for so many kids and parents know this is a series that they can watch together and have such a good time.

The PJ MASKS Time to Be a Hero DVD includes the episodes Gekko’s Blame Campaign, Catboy and Master Fang’s Sword, Speak UP Gekko, Catboy vs. Robo-Cat, Owlette’s Two Wrongs and Take to the Skies, Owlette. There is Bonus Content of PJ Masks Are Feeling Great! Music Video and PJ Masks Printable Activity Sheets.

In the end – bedtime is the right time to fight crime!

Hawn and Schumer are in Trouble When SNATCHED on Bluray

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Jeri Jacquin

This week on Bluray, DVD and Digital HD from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and director Jonathan Levine is a mother-daughter duo that get SNATCHED.

Emily Middleton (Amy Schumer) is excited for her vacation with boyfriend Michael (Randall Park) to the exotic country of Ecuador. Of course what she isn’t expecting is that Michael is about to break off their relationship leaving Emily high and dry.

Sitting at home with her cats is Linda Middleton (Goldie Hawn) who misses her daughter Emily. She calls her daughter and discovers that Emily is single again. Immediately Linda wants her home to help through the heartbreak. Not home five minutes, Emily is confronted by brother Jeff (Ike Barinholtz) and sibling craziness happens.

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Trying to find someone to take the trip, Emily finds a scrapbook of her mother’s early adventurous years and decides to convince Linda to go. Using the words “non-refundable tickets” might have been the catalyst as the two women find themselves in Ecuador.

Trying to catch sun and enjoy themselves, Linda tends to be a bit of a helicopter Mom. Emily just wants Mom to have a good time and loosen up a bit. They also meet Ruth (Wanda Sykes) and militant partner Barb (Joan Cusack) who tell the duo to be careful and trust no one on their trip.

That doesn’t stop Emily from meeting James (Tom Bateman) who sweeps her up as they get out on their own adventure. Mom Linda is happy sitting in her room reading a book when Emily returns to let her know that James wants them both to take off on a jeep ride.

Linda isn’t thrilled but agrees to go and after less than half an hour on the road, the jeep is t-boned out of the blue. When the ladies wake up they are not where they started out. It becomes clear that they are being held for ransom. Trying to escape brings even more trouble as Morgado (Oscar Jaenada) is determined to take out both women.

Trying to get through the jungle they meet Roger Simmons (Christopher Meloni) who isn’t much help and Dr. Armando (Arturo Castro) who has an ingenious way to get out a tape worm. While all this is going on, brother Jeff has contacted the US Government in the form of Morgan Russell (Bashir Salahuddin) demanding help or else as an exchange of testosterone happens between the two.

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But this is women’s work, especially when Linda is taken leaving Emily, Ruth and Barb to get badass and go commando (not literally thank gawd) to set things right in a crazy showdown!

Schumer as Emily gives us a wise cracker city girl who doesn’t have it together in the slightest. Boyfriend Michael attempts to make her aware of this fact but doesn’t get very far. It is quite easy to see Schumer in this role which is probably why it seemed effortless. Undetermined to lose out on a trip and no one else wants to go; taking Mom is the last resort. I mean who really wants to take an exotic trip with their mother (says the Mom writing this review).

Hawn as Linda has cut herself off from the world and become not only a cat lady, but a cat lady who has a grown son still living at home that she cooks for. That might possibly be lower than a cat lady on the lonely lady scale actually. Hawn lets Schumer take the reigns on humor while she embraces the Mom-knows-best role.

Barinholtz as Jeffrey is just plain weird in the way he says “mama”, that being said he does take on a government official when he learns that both “mama” and Emily are in trouble. Okay, Barinholtz made me laugh up to the very end and his reference on GAME OF THRONES was awesome and I plan to use it myself someday.

Bateman as James is as cute as he wants to be and when he’s nice to Schumer’s character you kind of feel like ‘that’s sweet’ yet there is that pit that says ‘yea, not so sweet’. Sykes as Ruth is awesomely talkative delivering lines only Sykes could make you believe. Her stories are long and drawn out which makes you scream in your head ‘get to the frakken point’ yet not. Cusack as Barb is quiet and deadly which makes her only a fraction more frightening than Sykes’ character.

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Shout out to Park as boyfriend Michael because he couldn’t have explained himself any clearer and honest if he tried yet I still couldn’t stop laughing. Also Salahuddin as Morgan who doesn’t take garbage from anyone – except if you threaten with GAME OF THRONES!

Other cast includes Damion Scandrick as the Kidnapper, Nicholas Lockwood as Jacob, Pedro Haro as Maco, and Tom Choi as the Colonel.

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.

SNATCHED brings the comedy of Schumer and Hawn as a mother and daughter who won’t admit that they are a lot alike. Emily just wants to have some fun and maybe even a little romance in her unemployed life and Hawn just wants to read a book. Trying to find common ground is what being adults is all about, well maybe some adults.

This is a fast paced comedy that doesn’t have much down time in the telling. Jumping from screw up to screw up means fast lines and fast action so do try to keep up.

The Bluray and DVD have Special Features of Deleted Scenes, Extended and Alternate Scenes, Gag Reel and Director Commentary by Jonathan Levine. SNATCHED also comes with Digital HD making it easier to view from your television, computer, Tablet and Smartphone.

In the end – this is the closest they’ve been in years!

THE DARK TOWER

dark cover

 

Jeri Jacquin

In theatres this Friday from director Nikolaj Arcel and Columbia Pictures is a novel to screen with the highly anticipated THE DARK TOWER.

Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) is a young man dealing with the loss of his father. Continuing to have bad dreams, he tries to explain them to his mother Laurie (Katheryn Winnick). She and Jake’s step-father have been sending the young man for professional help but only he knows that it’s not needed.

He dreams about the Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey) and a world that includes a gunslinger named Roland Deschain (Idris Elba). The Man in Black named Walter is looking for a way to take down the Dark Tower and cause an apocalypse that reverberates into several worlds in the service of the Crimson King.

Jake holds the key with his ability known as ‘the shine’ and Walter wants it badly because it’s the only way to bring down the tower. Constantly fighting to stop it, Roland loses his father causing him to only focus on revenge in Mid-World.

When Jake puts together the pieces from his dreams, he finds his way to into Roland’s world. Roland takes the boy to a seer to discover what his dreams and drawings mean and if they can lead them to Walter. Instead, the two need to run into Jake’s world or as Roland calls it Keystone Earth to think of a plan that will get them swiftly to the Man in Black and stop his plan.

But the shine is calling out to Walter making it easier to find the two leading to a showdown where the two worlds work together to survive!

Taylor as Jakes gives the performance of a young man who is torn about the death of his father and the nightmares that plague him. There isn’t anyone who truly believes what he is drawing and even his therapist isn’t on board. Taylor’s character is withdrawn and sullen looking for answers but I think I saw him smile once.

Elba as Roland plays the troubled gunslinger that is angry about what is happening in his world. When revenge takes over, others begin to wonder if he is the gunslinger after all being the only one left. Elba says little except when reciting a creed taught to him by his father and keeps a brooding feel throughout the film which kind of bums me out because there isn’t ‘acting’ in his act.

McConaughey as the Man in Black is pretty much evil down to his core yet keeps his cool every moment. There is something between he and Roland that keeps his ‘magiks’ from penetrating the gunslingers mind. McConaughey has the perfect ensembles and hair while performing his evil deeds and Walter doesn’t mince words but that’s about it.

Winnick as Laurie wants to believe her son but with the pressure from hubby she believes that sending him away for the weekend could help things. Jackie Earle Haley as Sayre is the yes-man for Walter having one of the portals between worlds.

Other cast includes Jackie Earle Haley as Sayre, Abbey Lee as Tirana, Nicholas Hamilton as Lucas Hanson, Dennis Haysbert as Steven Deschain, Michael Barbieri as Timmy, Claudia Kim as Arra, Fran Kranz as Pimli and Joe Suniga as Dr. Hotchkiss.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give THE DARK TOWER three tubs of popcorn five. It is definitely an adventure and I can see how there could be more to it all which means I might have to read the books. Elba and Taylor work so well together even though that means the basically brood together. They are the yin and yang of each other which plays out.

I suppose my only problem with the film is that I expected so, so, so much more. The running time is about 90 minutes yet there was nothing that really wow’d me, made me giggle a few times but no wow at all. They called Jake’s gift ‘shine’ which is a nice homage to the young boy Danny from 1980 film THE SHINING and the tower looks much like the tall residence of both Saruman and the Eye of Sauron from LORD OF THE RINGS.

There is also reference to Excalibur which made my head do a questioning shake of “whaaaaa?” Maybe it’s that I had the film figured out from start to finish the moment Jake ran away which is irritating since I haven’t read the books.

Okay, perhaps I’m just getting cranky wanting more from Hollywood in general and THE DARK TOWER is a prime example of why. Lets be honest, there is no character development really which would have been nice for those of us who haven’t had the time to delve into the printed page.

There are so many references to other Stephen King films that if I wanted to see them I’d just stay home and watch – well – Stephen King films! I really hate it too because I’m a King fan (not to be confused with the Crimson King like I know who that is) from years and years of reading so it sucks to write a so-so review. Then again, it’s not like he’s going to lose a dime over this person’s opinion of the film.

A far more interesting tidbit is that THE DARK TOWER began with a book written by Stephen King based on a poem by Robert Browning called Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came.

In the end – in a world of superheroes there is only one gunslinger!

MY LITTLE PONY EQUESTRIA GIRLS Magical Movie Night on DVD

My little Pony dvd

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming soon to DVD from SHOUT! Kids Factory and Hasbro Studios is more fun with the beloved MY LITTLE PONY EQUESTRIA GIRLS Magical Movie Night.

The girls come together to have a car wash to raise money to make repairs to Camp Everfree. Twilight has to break the news that they haven’t raised enough and another plan needs to be made. That’s when Rarity tells the girls she has the ultimate plan to raise the funds they need by entering a dance contest with a cash prize.

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When A.K. Yearling invites the Equestria Girls to the set of the Daring Do movie, the girls are totally thrilled. Rainbow Dash is just taken with the set and the props and when she meets Yearling’s niece Juniper, they get to visit more than just the movie set. She also gets to see Chestnut Magnifico’s diva behavior! A prop goes missing and Rainbow Dash feels a mystery that needs solving coming on!

Going through the magic mirror to Equestria, Sunset is back to her four-legged self meeting up with Starlight Glimmer. Wanting to visit Sunset’s world, Starlight Glimmer has the chance to see how the other half lives on two legs. At the theater for the premier, Juniper is still angry with the girls and with one wish the girls are gone. Keeping an eye on Juniper, Starlight Glimmer knows she must get the mirror to save her friends!

Once again SHOUT! Kids Factory and Hasbro Studios brings some real home entertainment for families. My granddaughter is a huge fan of the My Little Pony series and I remember her mother watching it as well when she was a little girl. That’s what’s amazing about this series; it has become generational and has crossed gender and racial lines. What other series can say that!

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Rainbow Dash is always ready for a challenge, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, and Fluttershy always do what’s best for their friends. Rarity, Sunset Shimmer, and Twilight Sparkle are always at the ready with a plan – it’s whether it works is the fun filled question.

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!

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.

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MY LITTLE PONY EQUESTRIA GIRLS Magical Movie Night is colorful animation with characters that each has their own distinct personalities. They are funny, delightful, emotional, caring and admit to making crazy mistakes. That is important to families that want quality programming for their kids that also teach valuable lessons about friendship, responsibility and a chance to make things right.

Dance Magic, Movie Magic and Mirror Magic are the episodes on the DVD along with the Bonus Feature of the fun and memorable Sing-Along.

In the end – they always find a way to have a magical time!

BRAVE NEW JERSEY Takes on War of the Worlds

Brave New Jersey

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres and On Demand this Friday from writer/director Jody Lambert and Gravitas Ventures is a town you will come to know as BRAVE NEW JERSEY.

It is 1938 small town New Jersey, USA and everyone is getting ready for a fun town gathering for Halloween. Lorraine Davison (Heather Burns) is helping her husband Paul (Sam Jaeger) by being the perfect homemaker. Happiness doesn’t seem to be part of the formula of their marriage but Lorraine does what she can to make family life easy.

Daughter Ann (Grace Kaufman) just wants to be free of babysitting her Polish cousin Ziggy (Harp Sandman). The fact that he doesn’t speak English gives her leeway to complain but Mom isn’t having it.

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Teaching school is Peg (Anna Camp) who is being courted by Chardy Edwards (Matt Oberg) who believes she has her place and it’s by his side. Clark Hill (Tony Hale) has lived in this small town and believes it is the perfect place to be, even if he has a secret of the heart he is keeping.

Reverend Rogers (Dan Bakkedahl) is all about the town and keeping his flock coming every Sunday. His sermons are straight to the point and reach to the heart of his parishioners that include Helen (Erika Alexander) and Stan (Leonard Howze).

That was the intent until the towners turns on their radios and discover that the Martians are invading the world! Running to the church for a meeting, Sheriff Dandy (Mel Rodriguez) doesn’t seem to have any answers either. The one person who wants to immediately plan to defend their town is Captain Collins (Raymond Barry).

In the middle of the preparations, town’s people begin to reevaluate their lives and what is important while waiting for the Martians to arrive. That means being honest about how they feel and, as Captain Collins put it ‘what would you do if you had only one more day to live?’

Martians are the least of their worries!

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Burns as Lorraine is the stereotypical woman of the era in that it doesn’t matter what she wants because her job is to keep her husband and family well taken care of. As the invasion comes closer and closer, Lorraine realizes there is more to her life than cooking and cleaning. Hale as Hill is such a lovely character and I rooted for him every step of the way. His inability to speak his heart is running out of time if the Martians have a say in it.

Camp as Peg is the sweet schoolteacher who manages to hide her true feelings under her cute smile. As each moment brings the town closer to what they think is their doom, Camp gives Peg a pair of lady-balls and she let’s loose going against the era grain.

Jaeger as Paul is just everything women now would absolutely cringe about yet he does it with a Don Draper (Mad Men) glittering smile. Rogers as Bakkedahl is a pastor who apparently needs said aliens to get mouthy with God! The scene in the church is actually quite funny. Alexander as Helen calls on the Pastor to explain why this is all happening plus Howze as husband Stan has completely lost it!

Barry as Collins doesn’t care if there are Martians or not, this is the chance of a lifetime to put on his uniform and command the troops. Rodriguez as the Sheriff doesn’t seem to know much about anything except following the townsfolk.

Kaufman as Ann is a young girl who doesn’t believe everything she hears. Deciding to roam the town with her cousin and watch how the adults deal with their fear. I love how she has little fear (except maybe the Captain for a second) and takes a moment to realize that perhaps what was heard on the radio might be something else.

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Other cast include Adina Galupa as Shannon, Sandra Lafferty as Farm Lady, Evan Jonigkeit as Sparky, Bill Coelius as Mac, Noah Lomax as Peter, Patrick Miller as Mr. Pepper and Gabriel Landis as Jimmy.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give BRAVE NEW JERSEY four tubs of popcorn out of five. First of all I love that the film looks exactly like the era from the clothing, behaviors and the town. That’s what drew me into the story immediately plus the fact that the cast captures it all.

The comedy is mixed with an awakening for its female characters not only in what was expected of them in marriage and relationships but it didn’t take some long to grab a gun! I was laughing, then ‘awwwww’ing’ which was followed by more laughing and I don’t mind that one little bit.

I’m keeping a little mum about the story because this film is just so dang cute that going any deeper into it isn’t cool. Just see the film and enjoy every minute of it!

The storyline is pretty cool with how I would have thought people reacted to the 1938 Orson Welles’s radio broadcast of War of the Worlds. Performed Halloween night on The Mercury Theatre on the Air, Welles directed and narrated the story that supposedly caused mass panic. By the way, that event still remains high on my list of the most brilliant things ever done.

In the end – it is an alien comedy with no aliens!

 

ROARING ABYSS Proves Music is Universal

abyss cover

 

Jeri Jacquin

On DVD from director Quino Piñero and IndiePix Films is a journey of music that is life affirming and beautiful found in the ROARING ABYSS.

Across the mountains, deserts and forests of Ethiopia, this documentary is a music journey as 80 different languages and 100 million people live in this country. A binding feature of these people is the universal language of music.

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The genre is a mixture of western sounds with Armenian brass instruments called Ethio-Jazz. Adding in the people’s traditional folk and religious culture, it makes this genre an even deeper musical experience. As happens with much of the older music, a new generation is looking towards other music in popular culture.

This is where Quino Piñero comes in! For two years Piñero and others working on his audio ethnographer team take a moment to stop and document the music and the stories of the people making that music. In the two years that followed comes the most amazing collection of music that might have gone unheard by the world.

The group records the wind orchestras from the time of Emperor Haile Selassie to the Azmari to the Ethiopian of European bands playing on the five or six stringed lyre called a Krar, a Washint which is a type of flute, a Masenqo or a Kebero drum.

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This is a collection of remarkable and hauntingly beautiful music and we should all be grateful that Piñero and his crew gave of their time to bring it to us all. There are moments of music that made me close my eyes and lean back to just take it all in. It is almost as if one can understand the story they tell in their own language because it resonates with each note and word.

It would be remiss if I didn’t mention the tribes here so please, allow me, Anyuak Tribe, Nuer Tribe,Ato Mengesha Abera, Ato Zelalem Fisseha, Awassa Sidamo Ibahal Aderash Band, Awrus Traditional Band, Basketo Tribe, Bena Tribe, Damot Azmari Bet Band, Dorze Music Group, Gashe Assefa, Gashe Chane, Girma Asefaw, Gurage Band, Hadiya Bahil Band, Hadiya Tribe, Hagerignya Band, Haileyesus Aragaw, Hammer Tribe, Harar Adagar Band, Harar Police March Band, Hidase Habru Traditional Band, Jazzmaris, Kaffa Band, Konso Band, Maekel Bahil Tigray, Marako Tribe Band, Mebtu Adugna, Sambe Gore Band, Selam Band, Shenen Gibe Band, Surma Tribe, Tezera, The Three Amzari Kids, Tigray Arts College Band, Tigray Police March Band, Welayita Tribe, Weldie Almaw, Wello Bahil Amba Band, Yayneabeba Nigus, Yem Tribe and Yohannis Tadesse.

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Each of these tribes and groups deserve to be commended and applauded for sharing their culture and music with the world. Just when I think I’ve heard all the music out there, along comes a country that proves I am far from hearing it all.

Piñeo is not only making his DVD debut but ROARING ABYSS has been a Festival-Favorite Documentary. This film is also available on IndiePix’s streaming service, IndiePix Unlimited and Amazon Channels.

ROARING ABYSS has been shown at the African World Documentary Film Festival, Antropofest, iREP International Documentary Film Festival, Rotterdam International Film Festival, Athens Ethnofest, Aurora, Marburg International Film Festival, Washington DC International Film Festival and WOMEX Film Festivals.

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IndiePix Films delivers a highly-curated collection of the best independent films from around the world. Their library consists of nearly 2,000 films from across all genres and chosen from the international film festival circuit. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.indiepixfilms.com.

It is with great pleasure that I push for everyone to see ROARING ABYSS. The music is life affirming and the stories bring out such emotion and I mean every emotion you can imagine. I know that those who seek musical adventure, this documentary will give you that and more.

In the end – it is a magical road trip through Ethiopia!

A New Hero will Rise from the DEEP!

 

 

Deep Cover

When a playful octopus named Deep gets his undersea fish colony in trouble, the tribe’s stern leader Kraken orders Deep to go find help. Joined by his splashy BFFs—a sassy shrimp and a silly anglerfish—Deep takes an epic, colorful journey through submerged cities and sunken ships, where they meet outrageous creatures that help the trio on its way. Throughout the adventure, Deep and his buddies laugh, sing, and bond with one another, proving that friendship can be a very “deep” subject.

The ThinkLab, UMedia, and Silver Reel present a The ThinkLab production in coproduction with The Kraken Films in association with Grid Animation Ufund with the participation of Televisión Española with the support of ICAA with the financing facilities of ICO with the support of Media.

Directed by Julio Soto Gúrpide the cast includes Justin Felbinger as Deep, Stephen Ezra Hughes as Evo, Lindsey Alena as Alice, Elisabeth Catherine Gray as Maura, Anna Vocino  as Norma, and Dwight Schultz as Kraken.

DEEP will be in theaters and On Demand August 25 from Lionsgate.

It’s Time to Experience HBO’s BIG LITTLE LIES on Bluray

Big little lies

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray this week from creator David E. Kelley, director Jean-Marc Vallee and HBO Home Entertainment is the unbelievable limited series BIG LITTLE LIES.

The story begins in Monterey when a death occurs on the steps of the local school. Through the investigation, the police speak to Madeline Mckenzie (Reese Witherspoon), a well known Mom who takes no guff from anyone as she raises her elementary school daughter Chloe (Darby Camp) as well as a teenager Abigail (Kathryn Newton).

Also, Celeste (Nicole Kidman) who is a mother of twin boys is a seemingly close friend to Madeline. New to Monterey is Jane (Shailene Woodley) who is raising her son Ziggy (Iain Armitage) all by herself. This is where the stories begin!

Madeline and Jane meet the first day of school when Madeline discovers her teenage daughter is acting out. At a stop sign there is a confrontation and Madeline ends up on the asphalt. Jane stops to help and their friendship begins from there.

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Being new to school, Ziggy is accused by his classmate Amabella (Ivy George) of hurting her. Her mother Renata (Laura Dern) isn’t about to have it and wants something done. Jane meets with the principle and says that Ziggy denies hurting anyone but that’s not good enough for Renata.

If that isn’t bad enough, Madeline is dealing with ex-husband Nathan (James Tupper) who pushes constantly. Part of it is due to his new wife Bonnie (Zoe Kravitz) who doesn’t know her limitations when it comes to Abigail who drives Madeline to distraction. That distraction upsets her husband Ed (Adam Scott) who thinks she spends way to much time worrying about everyone else – except him.

Celeste and her husband Perry (Alexander Skarsgård) are also having issues when he has a problem with not knowing every little thing that goes on in the family. Their relationship is based on physical issues and not always good ones. Perry tends to resolve issues with an angry frightening tone.

Jane’s story is unclear to Madeline and Celeste but they both figure she will tell them in time. Yet Ziggy is coming to the age where he is asking questions about his father and where he might be. Jane continues to say she doesn’t know but Madeline believes there is more that she isn’t telling.

To keep from losing her mind completely, Madeline works with the local theatre on a production of Avenue Q which now the mayor objects to. Not about to give up, she talks Celeste into legal intervention to get city hall of their stage. Perry isn’t happy about this either.

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Celeste and Perry begin therapy with Dr. Reisman (Robin Weigert) and she immediately asks questions that have the couple very uncomfortable. With Perry always traveling out of town, Celeste continues with therapy as she is confronted with the issues that are plaguing her.

Jane finally tells Madeline about Ziggy’s father and a search begins for the man. Jane isn’t sure how to handle all of her feelings as she plays out in her heard what could happen.

Renata is wielding her ugliness towards Jane and Ziggy by not making him welcome to a party. Madeline is furious and decides it is probably best that she put together a little fun of her own to keep Renata at bay. Of course the fact that she has a long arm means that there will be more problems between the two later.

Jane has finally had enough of Renata when she discovers there is a petition to have Ziggy suspended from school. The two come together for a confrontation that could either help or hurt but they are still no closer to the truth about the bullying.

The night of Avenue Q, Madeline is thrilled that everyone has shown up, that is everyone but Celeste and Perry. When Celeste is defending herself, Perry is hurt and a statement he makes later has her realizing that maybe it’s time to leave.

In the meantime Nathan discovers that having Abigail living with him is harder than he could have imagined, especially when he discovers she has found an interesting way to raise money for Amnesty International.

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As with all secrets, there comes a tipping point as Celeste deals with Perry, Madeline has a moment of realization about her life with Ed and Jane learns the truth about the bullying that is more shocking that she could have imagined and in one snap of time everyone’s life will change.

It is a moment that could save them or ruin them all.

Witherspoon as Madeline is a total spit-fire who doesn’t take crap from anyone. She goes from 0 to bitch in a split second but she had me cracking up the entire time. Probably because I recognize some of those qualities in someone I know. Witherspoon is fast talking, fast paced and tries to give this character so much to occupy her mind; it’s easy to see she has real problems that can not be avoided forever. I just loved her in this role.

Kidman as Celeste has the role of a woman torn by a life and a husband that she seems to adore. Being a part of her kid’s life is so important to this character that she is willing to put aside the mounting issues that are a frightening reality that can’t be hidden much longer. Kidman handles this role with elegance, grace and with a manner that puts everyone else’s needs before her own life. An amazing performance!

Woodley as Jane is a woman who is full of secrets and the time is coming where those secrets can’t stay hidden much longer. It served her well for a long time but as her son gets older it becomes clear daily that she needs to face her fears and face the truth of the life she has been hiding behind. Just so well done!

Dern as Renata is a woman who is in dire need of something, anything! This character is that woman who will do anything to make sure that everyone else follows her directions. That form of control is hiding the fear that she really feels and to watch it unravel is truly interesting. Dern has always been a favorite of mine and between BIG LITTLE LIES and her returning role in TWIN PEAKS: The Return, she continues to be high on my list.

Skarsgård as Perry is a nightmare to watch. His presence is loving at times but there are moments where you can see something else, something frightening and that means has Skarsgård done his role proper. Scott as husband Ed has more patience with his wife than I ever could have. Trying to be supportive and understanding, Madeline pushes the boundaries of that until he lets her know things have to change. I applauded when he stood up for himself!

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Kravitz as Bonnie is a yoga-practicing-health-food-eating step-mother to Abigail who drives Madeline to distraction. It is an interesting dynamic that happens in a lot of extended families. Tupper as Nathan is an ex-husband who doesn’t embrace his mistakes because he’s to busy trying to be super dad to make up for them.

Newton as Abigail is a teen character that just drives me nuts. Yes, I raised four teens and I can assure you none of them ever talked to me like that. It might have had something to do consequences because Abigail certainly didn’t seem to have any.

Other cast include Larry Bates as Stu, Larry Sullivan as Oren, Virginia Kull as Ms. Barnes, Merrin Dungey as Detective Quinlan, Hong Chau as Jackie, Santiago Cabrera as Joseph, PJ Byrne as Principal Nippal, Sarah Burns as Gabrielle, Sarah Baker as Thea Cunningham, Jeffrey Nordling as Gordon Klein and Joseph Cross as Tom.

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 Bluray and Digital HD includes the bonus features of About BIG LITTLE LIES – An extended behind-the-scenes look at the series with never-before-seen cast & crew interviews and Inside the Episodes with director Jean-Marc Vallee and writer David E. Kelley. Included as well is the Digital HD Ultraviolet that allows viewing on iTunes, television, computer, tablet and Smartphone.

BIG LITTLE LIES is an amazing limited series and I couldn’t help but binge watch on Bluray. There was no way I could sleep without knowing what was going to happen next and this cast made it all look so effortless. Witherspoon, Kidman and Woodley gave performances that were both intense, hilarious and stunning.

It is the story of the lives lived behind closed doors and the faces we put on to everyone else. It is about the secrets we keep from one another and the excuses given when the cracks begin to show. Most of all, BIG LITTLE LIES is a coming together when lives are torn apart which is stunningly done by Kelley and director Vallee.

I didn’t know what to expect from this HBO limited series but I can tell you that I would absolutely love if it were continued – at least for another season maybe? There is so much more of their stories to tell and by the end you will want to see more as well.

It’s time to experience BIG LITTLE LIES for yourself! We are giving away copies of the series and to discover how to get yours please visit http://moviemaven.homestead.com.

In the end – a perfect life is a perfect lie!

HBO’s CRASHING is Looking for the Nearest Sofa!

Crashing

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray this week from the mind of Pete Holmes and HBO Home Entertainment is the comedy series CRASHING: The Complete First Season.

Pete (Pete Holmes) is a Christian comedian who is trying to make his way onto the comedy circuit. Married to Jessica (Lauren Lapkus), Pete is happy with his life and where it is all going. Off to hand out flyers for his time on stage at the club, Pete comes home to find Jessica is bed with art teacher Lief (George Basil).

That’s when Jessica tells him she wants a different life and is moving to Florida with Lief. Pete goes on a comedy bender and meets Artie Lange who lets Pete spend a few nights crashing on his couch. When Lange goes on the road he takes Pete with him as a protector to keep from going on a drug or alcohol bender.

When that goes haywire, Pete meets T.J. Miller who gives Pete a day or two crashing on his couch. But when Pete learns he has to go save his belongings from Jessica’s yard sale, T.J. is along for the ride for sure. Lief tries to make amends with Pete by helping him retrieve comedy notebooks.

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When the annual parent dinner comes around, Pete begs Jessica to go with him. She is surprised that he hasn’t told his parents of their divorce but feels the need to help him through it. Unfortunately, when Pete’s Mom begins on Jessica, all hades breaks loose.

Pete calls into Lange’s podcast and his guest Sarah Silverman encourages him to come and join the show. He arrives and begins sharing his messed up relationships and how it is being a Christian and a comic with Silverman. Later that night she sees Pete handing out flyers and invites him to come crash at her place.

Being cool with him, Silverman offers to help Pete get a ‘warm-up’ job with the Rachel Ray Show that goes amazingly well. Happy to have a job doing something fun, he has a new pep in his step. Of course after meeting Liefs wife and a few drinks, things go a little awry and so does the job.

Finally, Pete and Lange goes to the party of a friend back home at his church. After going through some serious talk with the pastor, he sees Jessica who seems to be having a crisis of faith of her own. This isn’t your ordinary baptism and Lange decides that perhaps he is missing something about it all.

This is the life of the ones who make us laugh!

Holmes as Pete is a seriously confused but hilarious guy who just wants to succeed at comedy. It’s hard to do when there isn’t any money and only so many couches you can crash on. Yet he manages to go from place to place meeting some hilarious individuals in their own comic right along the way. He is charming, sweet and in some sense innocent and that’s how he stumbles onto so many sofas. There is a part of this character that any soft hearted person would want to protect but then again he’s to fun to watch just how he is. Wonderfully done Pete!

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Lapkus as Jessica also looks so sweet and innocent, that is until Lief comes out of the bathroom to Pete’s surprise. She wants something different and since she can’t get it from Pete, she’s happy to sell everything and start over again. Basil as Lief is a guy who just seems to not get it, or he does but is trying to take the Zen attitude and be buddy-buddy with Pete. He certainly made me laugh a few times.

The appearances of Arte Lange, T.J. Miller, Sarah Silverman are just fantastic because they see something in Pete and yet it feels like they weren’t acting at all.

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 Bluray includes the episodes Artie Lange, The Road, Yard Sale, Barking, Parents, Warm-Up, Julie and The Baptism. CRASHING includes the bonus content of Guest Star Fan Club – Pete Holmes talks about his experience working with Lange, Miller, Buress and Silverman, Comedy Extras – the stylings of Miller, Nancheria, and Holmes performing scenes from Season One, About Crashing – the hilarious lowdown on CRASHING with Pete Holmes and executive producer Judd Apatow, The Art of Crashing – What it takes to make it in the comedy business from Pete Holmes and his cohorts.

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CRASHING: The Complete First Season is truly a good time with a few tugs at the heartstrings along for the ride. Pete Holmes does a fantastic job of bringing a mixture of laughter and life to the series. If you haven’t seen enough, check out the Bluray as his first ever HBO stand-up comedy special Pete Holmes: Faces and Sounds is included.

Want a chance to experience Pete Holmes and the HBO series CRASHING for yourself? Well, we can help with that as we have a giveaway happening. Please visit http://moviemaven.homestead.com to find out how you can win!

In the end – God help him!

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