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DOLITTLE Brings Charm to the Big Screen

Dolittle cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this Friday from writer/director Stephen Gaghan and Universal Pictures is the story of animals who live with none other than DOLITTLE.

Dr. John Dolittle (Robert Downey, Jr.) began as a doctor who has the unique ability to speak with animals. Known far and wide, even the Queen called upon him to help with her animals. In gratitude Dolittle is given an estate to continue his work with animals and given them shelter.

When tragedy strikes the good doctor, he closes the gates to everyone and becomes secluded from the world. That is until meeting the young Tommy (Harry Collett) who discovers a squirrel that needs a doctor! It is the flying parrot Polly (voiced by Emma Thompson) who leads the lad to Dolittle’s door.

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At the same time, the young Lady Rose (Carmel Laniado) is sent to Dolittle on behest of Queen Victoria (Jessie Buckley) to come to the palace and help the monarch. Quickly is snapped back to his self by all the animals who know that he needs to do what’s right. Visiting the Queen he is met by Lord Thomas Badgley (Jim Broadbent) and the nefarious Dr. Blair Mudfly (Michael Sheen).

It seems a plot is in the works against the Queen and only Dolittle knows how to stop it. The mysterious illness that has taken the Queen has a cure and Dolittle knows where it can be found.

Taking along Tommy, their journey begins with a ship full of animals and a mission – to save the Queen

Downey, Jr. as Dolittle is perfect casting with his unique ability to be quirky and humorous in his own way. It could also be that I’m happy to see him on the big screen again taking on a role that is lighthearted and warm in character. Downey, Jr. has a flair to entertain an audience, so much so that I can easy overlook the mushiness of his accent.

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Collett as Tommy is a young man unlike the rest of his hunting family. He sees the grace in loving animals and once meeting Dolittle, knows his path in life. The adventure is just a bonus! Collett is charming and fun to watch alongside Downey, Jr. and that makes for wonderful storytelling.

Sheen as Mudfly has become good at being bad. This time he is able to add a little slap stick comedy to his role but never go against Downey, Jr.! Broadbent as Badgley is supposed to be taking care of the Queen but is he?

Laniado as Lady Rose is sweet, elegant and wants to protect her Queen. A strong young woman who isn’t afraid of much and that serves her well against both man and animal. The spark between herself and Tommy is very sweet as well.

The animal cast include: Rami Malek as Chee-Chee, John Cena as Yoshi, Kumail Nanjiani as Plimpton, Octavia Spencer as Dab-Dab, Tom Holland as Jip, Craig Robinson as Kevin, Ralph Fiennes as Barry, Selena Gomez as Betsy, Marion Cotillard as Tutu, Frances de la Tour as the Dragon and Jason Mantzoukas as James the Dragonfly.

Other cast include Kasia Smutniak as Lily Dolittle, Oliver Chris as Sir Gareth, Clive Francis, and Antonio Banderas as King Rassouli.

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DOLITTLE is a charming fun adventure for the entire family. This is an introduction to Dolittle like we have not seen before and it does leave the door open in case Downey, Jr. wants to return. The audience was taken with the bounty of talking animals and all their own personalities and it did bring lots of laughs with side jokes.

The human cast is fun and ready to take on the journey which is unexpected and full of twists and turns. DOLITTLE is the reason families come to the movies together on a Saturday and escape into a magical world for a time and still talk about it after.

So, gather the entire family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins – everybody!) and enjoy time together with the animals.

In the end – he’s not just a people person!

THE BIG TRIP

Big Trip DVD cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD from writer/director Vasili Rovenskiy and Lionsgate comes an animated adventure of an unlikely friendship and together taking THE BIG TRIP.

Mic-Mic (Pauly Shore) is a bear who wants to enjoy his leisurely uninterrupted life but that’s all about to change. A stork making his deliveries doesn’t do such a good job when mis=delivering a baby Panda. Immediately irritated, it is decided to take him to family in China.

Going along for the big trip is rabbit Oscar (Drake Bell) because he seems to be the only animal capable of calming the crying panda. On the road they pick up a pelican, a tiger who likes to chat and a wolf with issues.

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Their journey is one of learning to understand their differences but all toward the goal of one thing – returning the baby panda to his family!

Bell as Mic-Mic is not in the mood to be any other animals caretaker let alone nanny! Deciding to take the panda home is his only way out of the situation. Bell certainly uses his voice to project his character and gives it the right amount of grump.

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Shore as Oscar is a rabbit who truly wants to be friends with all the animals they are traveling with. Mic-Mic isn’t to keen on sharing the big trip and Oscar makes darn sure that he hops his way into their hearts. Shore is sassy and funny as always.

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

The DVD Special Features include Giving the Characters a Voice: At the Recording Studio with Drake Bell and Pauly Shore Featurette.

Here is how I feel about animated films – I want them to be fun and colorful of course but also have a point to the adventure and even a few lessons about how to work out difficult problems and have fun at the same time.

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THE BIG TRIP is a story of differences and unlikely friendships and that is what I’m taking from it. My granddaughter loved the animal characters who made her laugh and even ‘awwww’ a few times. She loves pandas so watching the togetherness to protect this particular little panda captured her attention from start to finish.

The is most definitely a family film that is a good way to spend time together cuddled up on the sofa during these winter months with a soft blanket and a tub of popcorn. This is how you go on an adventure without leaving home.

In the end – big dreams, big travel and big trouble!

Fast & Furious Presents: HOBBS & SHAW Bring Action to Bluray and 4K Ultra

Hobbs and Shaw Cover
Jeri Jacquin
This week Bluray/DVD, Digital Code and also available on 4K Ultra HD from director David Leitch and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment comes the double team of action with Fast & Furious Presents: HOBBS & SHAW.
Trying to obtain a virus that could kill people all over the world, MI6 Agent Hattie Shaw (Vanessa Kirby) is sent in with other agents. What they couldn’t have foreseen is Brixton Lore (Idris Elba) arriving to steal the virus for himself. Hattie has no choice but to get the virus out the only way possible.
Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) is notified that he will be working with someone else on the case. Imagine his surprise when it turns out to be Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson)! They are not thrilled to see one another in the slightest and make it known as loudly and verbally as possible.
When Hattie hits the news that she is a rogue agent, Hobbs and Shaw are told they need to find her and both go about it in their own way. When she is finally captured it doesn’t take long before Brixton breaks the door down to take her away. She is now the virus and someone powerful wants her.
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After getting her back, the only way save her is to find Professor Andreiko (Eddie Marsan) who created the virus. There is a machine that can help retrieve it but the company Etheon has it which means finding a way inside, get it and get away and – it’s in the Ukraine.
Time isn’t something these three have and Brixton isn’t about to stop till he gets what he wants. That means it’s time to get off the grid and go someplace no one would think to look and much to Hobbs’ dismay its home in Samoa.
Getting his family and disgruntled brother Jonah (Cliff Curtis) to help proves to be difficult, but then again even when family is a little upset – no one messes with them. It’s time to let the enemy know that you can’t get past Mama!
Now it’s time to go old school and take down Brixton!
Johnson as Hobbs is funny, charming, and everything we have come to expect from an action hero. There is something absolutely fantastic about the way Johnson handles his roles to the point where he makes it all look so darn easy. This time he gets a chance to bring in his own heritage in a way of family and the strength of those who will stand up for you even if they only have large clubs to do it with.
Statham as Shaw can’t help but bring his driving skills to bear in this film. Always behind the wheel, he doesn’t bat an eye when turning corners like they are on rails and jumping anything that stands in his way. Playing opposite Johnson, these two are meant to be in action films together because as much as the characters think they are different, lets be honest they are pretty much the same. They are full of quickness, silliness, brotherly quarreling and everything that goes with this twisted friendship.
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Kirby as Hattie is very smart, doesn’t hesitate to act when the moment is right and has to deal with Hobbs and Shaw like a babysitter. I enjoyed her character in that she actually is a seriously more than capable agent and slick as they come and although her ‘wards’ are necessary they sort of aren’t.
Elba as Brixton is a genetically modified man who has been changed by the voice behind Etheon. A history with Shaw that is nothing short of lethal, Brixton is a man who feels superhuman and has no trouble letting everyone know that the human race itself is weak. Elba is deliciously evil and there isn’t a dang thing wrong with that!
Other cast include: Lori Tuisano as Sefina, John Tui as Kal, Joshua Mauga as Timo, Joe Anoa’I as Mateo, Rob Delaney as Agent Loeb, Alex King at Lt. Grapefruit, Eliana Sua as Sam, Eiza Gonzalez as Madam M and Helen Mirren as Queenie. Also, look for a surprise that will make you laugh and cheer!
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment has just added an amazing film to their library and making it available for us to all experience and re-experience in our own home theaters. There are film of every genre available from scary to drama to family films. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.uphe.com.
There are 80+ minutes of Bonus Features including Alternate Opening and Deleted Scenes and even more content not seen in theatres! You want more? Well, how about Johnson & Statham: Hobbs & Shaw, Progress of a Fight Scene with Director David Leitch, Practical Action, The Bad Guy, The Sister, The Hobbs Family Tree, The Matriarch, New Friends, Elevator Action, Stunt Show and Tell, Keeping it in the Family: A Conversation with Roman and Dwayne, Blind Fury, Dwayne and Hobbs: Love at First Bite and Feature Commentary with Director David Leitch.
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MOVIES ANYWHERE gives viewers the ability to download the Movies Anywhere App. With that you can view films by downloading or streaming to your favorite device using a Digital Code. For more information on Movies Anywhere please visit www.MoviesAnywhere.com.
Fast and Furious Presents: HOBBS & SHAW is 135 minute thrill ride of action, crazy humor and everything fans have come to expect from the F&F franchise. You can help but cheer, laugh and cheer even more as the story draws to a close. It is clear that Johnson and Statham have a chemistry that everyone watching absolutely loved. I kinda liked it myself!
There are a few surprises that bring even more laughs and I think I was grinning from ear to ear a lot. That is saying something. So if you are looking for a reason to spend quality time with two pretty awesome dudes, then join Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham for a ride that only these two can provide with Fast and Furious Presents: HOBBS & SHAW.
In the end – they may not like each other but they dislike bad guys even more!

TOY STORY 4 Reunited Our Favorite Friends

toy story 4 cover
Jeri Jacquin
Coming to Bluray, DVD and Digital Code from director Josh Cooley, Pixar Animated Studios and Walt Disney Pictures Home Entertainment brings back our friends for TOY STORY 4.
Sheriff Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and the gang are still living with Bonnie. As time has gone on, Woody has found himself spending more time in the closet and less time with Bonnie. Yet Buzz, Jessie (Joan Cusack), Dolly (Bonnie Hunt), Trixie (Kristen Schaal), Rex, (Wallace Shawn), Hamm (John Ratzenberger), Slinky Dog (Blake Clark), Mr. Potato Head (Don Rickles), Mrs. Potato Head (Estelle Harris) and the gang are still supportive of Woody.
But he has other things to worry about when Bonnie (Madeleine McGraw) is upset about going off to kindergarten. Taking the initiative, Woody decides to make sure she has a good day! When things don’t seem to be going in that direction, he helps Bonnie create a new friend, Forky (Tony Hale) and she is delighted.
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Before the real school year starts, Mom and Dad decide it’s time to go on a little road trip. The toy-gang is thrilled as well and wait to be packed into the RV for a little adventure. When Forky escapes the RV, Woody tells he gang he will meet them at the RV park in the next town while he goes off to settle their new toy friend down a bit.
It gives time for Woody and Forky to bond as the sheriff gets time to explain the situation to him. Getting close to the RV park, Woody sees something in an antique store window. A lamp that his friend Bo Peep (Annie Potts) once called her home with the three sheep Billy, Goat and Gruff. Taking a small detour to find out if she is in the shop, he and Forky meet Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks) who only wants one thing from Woody!
When she doesn’t get it, Gabby Gabby takes Forky as hostage at the same time Woody finds Bo Peep. Now she needs to bring her friends to help including Duke Caboom (Keanu Reeves) because Bonnie and her parents are about to leave the RV park and not everyone is aboard. Buzz jumps into action to help as the gang in the RV make a little plan of their own.
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It’s pretty much help your friends, help your new friends and make a decision that will change the lives of everybody all while getting back to Bonnie.
Because that’s what friends do for one another!
Hanks as Woody will now and forever be considered a beloved icon in both movies and animation. He has brought all of us so much love and teachable lessons in the character of Sheriff Woody. From the very first TOY STORY in 1995, I knew this was going to be a ride from adults to children, little did I know now that it would include grandchildren. Woody can be found in kids’ rooms still because he is the friend we all wish we could have for a lifetime.
Allen as Buzz is once again the lighthearted friend who tries to keep Woody’s spirits up and when it comes time to bring him home, it is Buzz who go to find him. They are an unbeatable pair and even if he is still a little confused sometimes, he doesn’t let that stop him from hearing his own ‘inner voice’.
Potts as Bo Peep is sweet, strong and has a little fight in her swagger. She has a story to tell and it is about where she has been and how she now sees the world. McGraw as Bonnie is such a young girl learning to be outside of her bedroom and toy world into something much bigger – but she still needs her toy friends.
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Cusack, Hunt, Schaal, Shawn, Ratzenberger, Benson, Clark, Rickles, Harris return as their respective and beloved characters and, of course, we wouldn’t have it any other way. As much as there wouldn’t be a TOY STORY without Woody and Buzz, there equally wouldn’t be a Woody and Buzz without Jessie, Dolly, Rex, Hamm, Barbie and the Potato Heads.
Hendricks as Gabby Gabby can be a little bit off putting and a tad-bit like Lotso from TOY STORY 3 in that she wants to be large and in charge. It is clear that there are deeper issues and Woody needs to get to the bottom of it.
Reeves as Duke Caboom may have only been in the film briefly but man did he make me laugh! This was a fantastic chance for Reeves to show his comedic side in a way that most would see as unexpected and awesome at the same time.
Other cast include Bill Hader as Axel the Carnie, Ally Maki as Giggle McDimples, Jay Hernandez as Bonnie’s Dad, Lori Alan as Bonnie’s Mom, Emily Davis as Billy/Goat/Gruff, Carl Weathers as Combat Carls, Jeff Garlin as Buttercup, Jordan Peele as Bunny Timothy, Dalton as Mr. Pricklepants, Jodie Benson as Barbie, Jeff Pidgeon as Aliens, and especially Mel Brooks as Melephant Brooks, Carol Burnett as Chairol Burnett, Betty White as Bitey White and Carl Reiner as Carl. Reineroceros.
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment began distributing under its own label in 1980 and continues to bring quality programming to kids and kids at heart. Home of the most beloved animated features including SNOW WHITE, PINOCCHIO and SLEEPING BEAUTY to name a few is what keeps families coming back for more. To see what is currently available to add to your own family library please visit. www.movies.disney.com for their At Home titles!
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The Bonus Extras include Deleted Scenes, Bo Rebooted – Bo Peep is Back and Stronger Than Ever, Toy Stories – Cast and Crew Remember Their Beloved Childhood Toys, Woody & Buzz – A Look Back At A Legendary Friendship, Toy Box – Meet the New Cast of Characters, Let’s Ride! With Ally Maki – A Humorous Lesson in Voice Recording AND MORE!
MOVIES ANYWHERE gives viewers the ability to download the Movies Anywhere App. With that you can view films by downloading or streaming to your favorite device using a Digital Code. For more information on Movies Anywhere please visit www.MoviesAnywhere.com.
TOY STORY 4 is a chance for the toys themselves to actually have an adventure that is about – well – them! Of course there is the continuing story of Bonnie but it is also about how these toys are still caring of one another.
They have their own attachments and feelings about the years they have spent together and TOY STORY 4 has a chance to tell that side of it all and do so in a way that brings closure we didn’t even know we needed. The best part is that now we can all watch again and again toys that have become part of our lives as much as Andy and Bonnie’s. Something tells me they don’t mind.
In the end – on the road of life there are old friends, new friends and stories that will change you forever!

Disney’s MARY POPPINS RETURNS Lands Down on Bluray

Bluray Cover

Jeri Jacquin

On Bluray/DVD and Digital from Walt Disney Home Entertainment and director Rob Marshall comes our favorite Nanny as MARY POPPINS RETURNS.

Back in 1930s London, Michael Banks (Ben Whishaw) is living with his three children Annabell (Pixie Davies), John (Nathanael Saleh) and Georgie (Joel Dawson) after the passing of his wife. Sister Jane (Emily Mortimer) visits the childhood home regularly and living a busy life.

The Fidelity Fiduciary Bank is back with a new chairman in Weatherall Wilkins (Colin Firth) who is in their lives as Michael has borrowed money and the Banks family is being threatened with repossession of the family home. Remembering that their father left them shares, the two go through the attic to desperately find them – instead they find a kite but Michael throws it away.

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Annabel, John and Georgie find the kite and decide to take it to the park. That is where they meet a very straight forward and no-nonsense nanny named Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) who takes the children home. Much to the surprise of Michael and Jane, Mary Poppins announces she is taking charge of the children.

That gives Michael time to go and look for the shares but Wilkins is no help. That’s when Annabel and John get the idea to sell something of their mother’s hoping it will help pay off the debt. Georgie has an accident and Mary enlists the help of her friend Jack (Lin-Manuel Miranda) as they set off on an adventure to fix the bowl.

When that doesn’t work, Mary takes the children to visit Topsy (Meryl Streep) who tells them the bowl won’t help their problem. The children decide to go straight to Wilkins to ask for help only to discover what is really going on.

The family learns that it only takes a moment to turn back time but will it be enough to save their iconic home?

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Blunt as Mary Poppins is charming and looks like she is having an amazing time. To me that’s important when you are taking on such an iconic character. It is good to see those shoes back in the house on Cherry Tree Lane and Blunt makes sure that we remember every minute of the return.

Whishaw as Michael is now raising his own children in the house of his childhood. It makes the transition for those of us who remember everything from 1964. Dealing with the bank is such an adult issue but then again it is nothing new to Michael. Mortimer as Jane has much of her mother’s women empowerment issues but doesn’t forget where they came from as children.

Davies, Saleh and Dawson as the new Banks children have some big shoes to fill and they do it quite nicely thank you very much. They are charming, sweet, funny and have hearts as big as their father and aunt. There isn’t anything they won’t do for their family and with Mary Poppins’ help, they are about to prove it.

Firth as Wilkins has the wonderful ability to be absolutely sympathetic on one hand (and be believable about it) and in the next breath he is as horrible as he wants to be – all while grinning with no shame. Streep as Topsy is very funny and of course she has the pipes to pull off any song you put in front of her.

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Miranda as Jack gets a chance to be the next generation chimney sweet as well as “Jack” of all trades. He fits in with his soot laden face and dancing on the London night cobblestone streets with all of his friends – including Mary Poppins.

Shout out to Julie Walters as Ellen because I have adored her since first seeing her in the 1983 film EDUCATING RITA. She is a chameleon and there isn’t a role she has done that I am not enthralled with. As Ellen she is hilarious!

It must be said, this film could NOT have been any more endearing without Dick Van Dyke who just made me absolutely giddy. Returning as Dawes was the smartest thing Disney could have done allowing us slightly older movie lovers to embrace someone who still dances in paintings that are drawn on our hearts.

Other cast include Julie Walters as Ellen, David Warner as Admiral Boom, Jim Norton as Mr. Binnacle, Jeremy Swift as Hamilton Gooding, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith as Templeton Frye, Angela Lansbury as the Balloon Lady, Noma Dumezweni as Miss Penny Farthing, Sudha Bhuchar as Miss Lark, Tarik Frimpong as Angus and Dick Van Dyke as Mr. Dawes Jr.

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

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The Bluray Bonus Extras contain over an hour of Bonus Including a Sing-Along Edition Deleted Song: The Anthropomorphic Zoo, Bloopers, The Practically Perfect Making of MARY POPPINS RETURNS, Deleted Scenes and so much more!

MARY POPPINS RETURNS is absolutely a must have on Bluray to sit right next to the 1964 original MARY POPPINS. You can have both, love both and binge watch both with what I think could be three or four generations of family members loving every moment.

MARY POPPINS RETURNS is colorful, musical, fun, animated and everything we would expect not only from Disney but from Mary Poppins’ herself.

In the end – in a place we hold dear where wonder once lived…soon from above, a new story begins – again!

CAPTAIN MARVEL Joins the Universal Fight

captain marvel cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this Friday from directors Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck, Marvel Studios and Walt Disney Pictures is a mystery unraveled in space and on Earth with CAPTAIN MARVEL.

Vers (Brie Larson) is a warrior who is part of the Kree race and has powers she received during an accident. Plagued with dreams of people she doesn’t know, she turns to mentor Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) who is a commander of the Starforce. He tries to instill the need to keep her powers in check.

Given a mission by the Supreme Intelligence (Annette Bening), Yon-Rogg, Vers and the crew are sent to retrieve one of their own that has information they need. Instead they are ambushed by the Skrull, a tribe of shape shifters who want what is locked up in the mind of Vers and led by Talos (Ben Mendelsohn).

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Escaping the Skrull, Vers finds herself on Earth which is the last known location of a scientist who can help her unravel the mystery. Yon-Rogg is relieved that Vers is still alive but they both know the Skrull are not far behind. Enter Agent Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) who question Vers.

She is open with them but they don’t believe her until a Skrull comes out of no where and the chase begins. Fury follows and now believes her story! Trying to help her discover more information about who the Skrull are looking for, Vers begins to piece together some of her own dreams that have haunted her.

She finds Marie Rambeau (Lashana Lynch) and a life that included the name Carol Danvers as everything begins to fall into place. Talos discovers where Danvers is and she learns there is more to all of this than meets the inter-galatic eye!

Larson as Captain Marvel is fairly straight forward in her role. She has a bit of a temper, doesn’t mind knocking people around a bit, has a biting sense of humor and wants answers. Trying to fit in with the Kree and trying to fit in on Earth, it is what is locked in her memory that can help her bridge the two worlds.

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Jackson as a younger Nick Fury gives us a little more of his back story and the beginnings of what is to come in the Marvel universe. There is no mistaking Jackson’s humor and attitude but along with that are a few answers as to how Nick Fury became Nick Fury. I always enjoy Jackson when he is being sarcastic but he also gets a few surprises of his own along the way.

Mendelsohn as Talos is a fighter, charming in his own way, equally witty as Captain Marvel and knows a things or two about a good fight. He has his reasons for wanting what she has locked in her brain and he isn’t going to stop until he gets it. I’ve always enjoyed Mendelsohn as an actor and I absolutely love that he branches out in unpredictable roles.

Law as Yon -Rogg prides himself on mentoring Vers and wants to make sure that the Skrull are all but wiped out. He is a strong character that believes in what he is doing and has a skilled crew to back him up.

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Lynch as Rambeau is the only person on Earth, literally, that can help bring Danvers memory into focus. Along with daughter Monica played by Akbar, they aren’t at all frightened by what is in front of them by way of the Skrull and what lies in outer space waiting for them.

Bening as the Supreme Intelligence keeps a watchful eye over Vers and has an agenda of her own. Her role isn’t a big one but its impact is important on the storyline and it’s pretty cool to see her take on the dual role.

Other cast include Mckenna Grace as young Carol Danvers, Gemma Chan as Minn-Erva, Lee Pace as Ronan, Djimon Hounsou as Korath, Rune Temte as Bron-Char, Colin Ford as Steve Danvers, and Akira Akbar as Monica Rambeau.

CAPTAIN MARVEL joins the ranks of the Marvel Universe and is given the opportunity to tell her story. She is animated, can handle her own and has a few witty remarks in her almost skin tight uniform. Of course there is more to the story and I’m sure Marvel will be telling it but there is also that little nudge of where she fits in with the Avengers.

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Super heroine fans are going to be pleased well enough with what is on the screen and it is a nice two hour get away from the real world. That being said, it is also fairly predictable in its telling and the special effects are becoming a little common place – translated that means I’m not absolutely wow’d by it all.

What I did love as it hurt my heart was the opening sequence as a fantastic nod to everything Stan Lee has done for us all. His cameos always had audiences cheering and at the beginnings of CAPTAIN MARVEL is no exception. The man who made comic books legends and iconic characters deserves nothing less and everything more.

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The film comes in at around two hours and if that’s not enough don’t worry; she will be back again and sooner than you think.

In the end – discover what makes her a (her)o!

 

THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS is Brilliant on Bluray

nutcracker bluray

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray, DVD and Digital from directors Lasse Hallstrom, Joe Johnston and Walt Disney Home Entertainment comes the delight of THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS.

It is Christmas Eve in Victorian London but not cheerful for the Stahlbaum family. Mr. Stahlbaum (Matthew Macfadyen) tries to make the holidays memorable but the sadness at the death of his wife Marie still holds on. Daughter Clara (Mackenzie Foy) is not giving an inch of happiness where the holidays are concerned.

Receiving a beautiful egg-shaped box from her Mother, Clara is intrigued until she discovers that no one has the key to open it. There is a note attached telling the young girl that inside is everything she would ever need. Putting it away until later, the family leaves for the Christmas Eve ball where she is thrilled to spend time with Drosselmeyer (Morgan Freeman).

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Clara shows him the egg which he instantly recognizes telling her that she will find a way to open it. Returning to the ball, the young girl’s father is upset that she isn’t keeping with their traditions, such as the father-daughter dance. Clara speaks horribly to him and knows she caused pain.

That is when Drosselmeyer tells the children to find the string with their name on it and at the end will be their presents! Clara finds her and at the end she is shocked to find herself in another place all together. Going through the strange snow forest she sees a key dangling from a tree but a small mouse sees it sooner, grabs it and runs!

Trying to follow Clara comes across Captain Hoffman the Nutcracker (Jayden Knight). Discovering who she is, he follows her into the dark Land of Amusements now called the Fourth Realm only to come close to the outcast Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren). Instead, the Captain takes Clara to the palace learning that her mother was a Queen. She is introduced to the Sugar Plum Fairy (Kiera Knightley), Shivers (Richard E. Grant) and Hawthorne (Eugenio Derbez).

They are thrilled to meet Clara and are equally sad to learn that their Queen has passed away. Embracing Clara they want her help in protecting the kingdom from Mother Ginger. They show her the story of the land through ballet explaining that Clara’s mother created this kingdom when she was a girl. The Sugar Plum Fairy also shows Clara the inventions that would help them but they need a key, the same key she has been looking for.

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Helping the Sugar Plum Fairy, Clara learns that she is not as sweet as she would seem and that Mother Ginger isn’t the bad character after all. Now they must all come together to help the kingdom from the creations being made with Clara’s mother’s invention.

It is time to save her mother’s kingdom!

Foy as Clara has definitely made her way clear from being a very young half human-halfvampire into an amazingly beautiful and talented young lady. As a young girl who can not seem to grasp losing her mother, her pain lashes out against those who truly love her. Discovering that her mother was a queen of a realm of her own creation, Foy takes Clara on a journey surrounded by beauty, danger and creativity. She is completely lovely in this role.

Knightley as the Sugar Plum Fairy proves the old adage that looks can be deceiving. Tricking an impressionable young girl is one thing, going on an anger tangent of power is totally another. Not sure I can ever look at this character again during the holidays and not be suspicious. It is definitely a different role for Knightley and well done.

Knight as Captain Hoffman the Nutcracker is a soldier dedicated to his post (even if it is in the middle of nowhere in snow). Once he meets Clara and realizes who she is, it takes no time at all before he is joining in on the adventure to save the kingdom. Knight is gentle and soulful in this role.

Mirren as Mother Ginger is not about to let anyone show her up – not even Clara. At least that is the way she seems at their first meeting. Mirren is everything I love her to be but then again she is one of my favorite actresses so it is a joy to watch her in this film. I have to say that I love the wild red hair!

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Macfadyen as Stahlbaum is a grieving husband who is trying to be a good father to his children. Wanting to create a beautiful and memorable Christmas, he is met with the hurt of a young daughter. Macfadyen is perfect in this role as he continues his recent streak of role that stand out. Freeman as Dosselmeyer is in on the secret of the realm and misses Clara’s mother almost as much as she does. He has but one job and he does it exceptionally well.

Other cast include Misty Copeland as the Ballerina Princess, Anna Madeley as Marie Stahlbaum, Sergei Polunin as The Sweets Cavalier, Ellie Bamber as Louise Stahlbaum, Tom Sweet as Fritz Stahlbaum, Jack Whitehall as Harlequin and Charles Riley as The Mouse King.

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

The Bluray Bonus Extras Include On Pointe: Misty Copeland, Unwrapped THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS, Music Videos ‘Fall On Me’ by Andrea Bocelli featuring Matteo Bocelli and ‘The Nutcracker Suite’ by Lang Lang as well as Deleted Scenes.

The Digital Code is also included using Movies Anywhere – watch Anywhere with the Movies Anywhere App for Download and Streaming.

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THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS is visually stunning in the story that it is telling. That is important because although many have seen the ballet version in some form, this is an amazing opportunity to see the combination of ballet and live action. Exploring the characters even further with vivid characters and graceful movement is a true treat.

This film in stunning Bluray is everything my family wants to add to our growing family traditions. There is everything from wonderful music, dancing, wild characters, fun, laughter, a little sadness, adventure and an ending that we can all embrace.

It is a story of love, hope, loyalty, goodness and working together to save something bigger than themselves – and isn’t that what we want not only from the holidays but all year long? I think so.

In the end – let the mystery unfold!

THE ORVILLE: The Complete First Season is Out Of This World on DVD

Orville Season One

Jeri Jacquin

On DVD from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment comes a ship and its crew filled with adventure and awkwardness on the deck of THE ORVILLE: The Complete First Season.

Ed Mercer (Seth MacFarlane) is living in the 25th century with 21st century problems. After finding his wife Kelly Grayson (Adrianne Palicki) cheating on him with something blue between the sheet, it is a year before he can even talk about it. When a captain’s chair becomes available on the USS Orville, Mercer jumps at the chance bringing Lt. Gordon Malloy (Scott Grimes) as his helmsman.

Arriving on the ship looking spiffy, his happiness is immediately taken down a peg when he is told that Kelly has been assigned as his first officer. After a time acceleration deal with a Krill Captain, Mercer and Kelly find themselves trapped in a Calivon zoo! Alara (Halston Sage) is commanding the Orville because Bortus (Peter Macon) had laid an egg and needs to be a good parent with mate Klyden (Chad Coleman). Claire wants to help Alara but it is Admiral Tucker (Ron Canada) who orders that the ship return home without Mercer.

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Bortus and Klyden are upset that their hatchling is a girl and turn to Doctor Finn (Penny Johnson Jerald) to make it ‘right’. The Doc refuses as does everyone else the two talk with about it. Upset they can’t get help, they turn to a Mocian vessel to have it done. Mercer even goes as far as to find one of their kind that has lived happily as a female and the choice between the two must be made.

Mercer and the crew of the Orville come across a 2000 year old ship drifting in space. They are shocked to discover that there are people called the Dorahl who don’t know they are on a ship! Their leader Hamelac refuses to let anyone tell the Dorahl about the outside world. The truth comes out when Captain Jahavus Dorahl (Liam Neeson) explains the truth.

Captain Pria Lavesque (Charlize Theron) and her ship are saved by The Orville and immediately Mercer is taken with her. There is a nagging feeling that something isn’t quite right yet she saves the Orville from a weird storm. Of course she did it for a reason as Pria turns out to be a time-traveling artifact dealer and puts Mercer’s head in just as much of a wormhole as she does the Orville!

On Sargas 4, Grayson is sent to find two missing anthropologists along with Alara and Claire. Mercer is keeping himself busy bringing Lysella onto the Orville to explain about a dancing feed that will teach her the difference between opinion and knowledge. Taking a little break, Isaac, Finn, Marcus (BJ Tanner) and Ty (Kai Wener) crash on a planet light years away from where they should be. It’s not a pretty planet either as the local cannibals are hungry and the dinner bell has been rung.

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The Orville is sent to mediate between the Navarians and the Bruidians. Mercer isn’t happy to learn that Darulio (Rob Lowe) is also at the meeting. Darulio has a pheromone problem and it has a major effect on the crew – most especially Grayson as well as Mercer, Finn and Yaphit (Norm Macdonald). Having such a big effect a battle between the Navarians and Bruidians breaks out and a they need something to bring out a cease fire. Grayson might also get the answer to the question that’s been following her for the last year – maybe.

After feeling guilty about the death of a ship mate, Alara wants to resign her post but Mercer refuses. The Orville is about to be hit by several interesting phenomena including scary clowns, giant spiders and murdering ship mates. Alara and Mercer have a confrontation that bring captain and crew to an understanding.

Mercer has to find a new chief engineer for the Orville and Grayson tries to convince him to give the post to LaMarr. Keeping that decision on hold, the crew comes in contact with someone who has plasma rifles that belong to the Krill. To get out of a potential problem with the Krill, Mercer discovers that his hesitation about LeMarr turn out to be unnecessary.

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Grayson and her team crash land on a Bronze Age planet and they quickly realize they only have 11 days to get home or else 700 years will pass. Grayson becomes a deity of sorts and a theocracy happens very quickly. Mercer is in hot water with Admiral Ozawa Kelly Hu) and is told to stay away from the planet. Mercer and Grayson don’t listen (what a surprise right?) and see how much the planets history continues to shift. Isaac Mark Jackson) stays for a planet rotation only to come back to the Orville to explain that they are now on the right path and far ahead time wise!

MacFarlane as Mercer is unsure, depressed and neurotic as anyone would be when finding a blue alien in a wife’s bed! Getting sympathy orders to be the captain of the Orville seems like the lowest blow he could deal with but instead, Mercer takes it in stride and gets comfortable in the captains chair. Of course that moment of happiness is fleeting but he accepts the challenge that the Orville brings and it can only be done by MacFarlane. The guy still makes me laugh after all these years!

Palicki as Grayson is dealing with her own issues of guilt and bedding a blue guy can do it to a gal. Trying to make things right by joining the crew of the Orville certainly puts the ex’s relationship to the test on several occasions but I enjoy the banter. Grimes as Malloy is the character I can’t wait to see what he says next. He is cocky and doesn’t seem to have a problem voicing his opinion on just about anything. I kinda like the guy!

Sage as Alara is smart and sweet which can be a bad combination. As the season goes on don’t let the interesting face fool you. Macon as Bortus is an alien with some serious issues from egg laying to egg raising. Along with Coleman as mate Klyden, this is a family that needs to figure things out quick as space waits for no one. Jerald as Finn is always one step back watching the craziness the crew comes up with and tries to guide when she can and stays out of the mayhem when necessary.

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Other cast include J. Lee as Lt. John LaMarr, Gavin Lee as Nurse Park, Mike Henry as Dann, Brian George as Doctor Aronov, Victor Garber as Admiral Halsey, Jeffrey Tambor as Ben Mercer, Holland Taylor as Jeannie Mercer, Rena Owen as Heveena, James Horan as Sazeron, Steven Culp as Wilks, and Brian Thompson as Drogen.

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.

The DVD episodes include Old Wounds, Command Performance, About a Girl, If the Stars Should Appear, Pria, Krill, Majority Rule, Into the Fold, Cupid’s Dagger, Firestorm, New Dimensions and Mad Idolatry.

The Special Features include Q&A with Cast and Creative Team from PaleyFest 2018, Inside Look, Directed By, The First Six Missions, Designing the Future, The Orville Takes Flight, The Science of The Orville: Quantum Drive and Alien Life, Crafting Aliens and A Better Tomorrow.

THE ORVILLE is such a good time and I want more. The cast of characters and the actors that portray them are spot on and actually look like they are enjoying it more than they probably should be allowed to. Having so many guests on the show also means that the street-cred of the crew is universal.

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In the midst of the comedy there are subtle issue tackling bits of space housecleaning that are sure to catch anyone’s attention. Prime example is Bortus and Klyden raising a female in what clearly is a male dominated alien species but its also not without its secrets and its idea of acceptance.

So this is the perfect cold weather marathoning series to watch in prep for a second season that is certainly sure to have even more outrageous aliens and Captain Mercer at the helm. I mean really, would we have it any other way? I’m all in!

THE ORVILLE Season Two is docking to your television set in the new year!

In the end – they are our future gawd help us!

THE MEG Brings Cool Relief from the Beach into Theatres

The Meg

Jeri Jacquin

Starting off the weekend with a bite in theatres from director Jon Turteltaub and Warner Bros. comes a reason to stay off the beach and sit in the theatre to ride the wave of THE MEG.

Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) was an expert driver but on one mission he had to choose between two of his crewmen or a whole submarine full of wounded men when something attacks their vessel. Five years later that decision had career and marital consequences but he seems to be doing fine living in Thailand.

Out in the middle of the ocean, billionaire Morris (Rainn Wilson) is helicoptering onto platform to see where his money is going. The Mana One research facility off the coast of China is still under construction as Zhang (Winston Chao), daughter Syuin (Bingbing Li) and crew consisting of Mac (Cliff Curtis), Jaxx (Ruby Rose), DJ (Page Kennedy), Heller (Robert Taylor) and Suyin’s eight year old daughter Meiying (Sophia Cai).

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Ready to go to the deepest part of the Marianna Trench, Suyin believes it is possible to go deeper and that a thermal layer separates our world for another ocean discovery. Sending sub driver Lori (Jessica McNamee), Toshi (Masi Oka) and The Wall (Olafur Olafsson), they dive. Breaking through they are surprised by what they see and quickly become shocked when their sub comes under attack and communications are cut off. The last words they hear is from Lori saying, “Tell Jonas he was right!”

Trying to put together a rescue plan, Mac brings up Jonas Taylor saying he is really the only man who would take such a risk to rescue the three trapped in the sub. Off to Thailand Mac and Zhang go to convince Taylor that he is needed. After some fast talking, Taylor arrives on the research platform and is immediately set to diving because Suyin took it upon herself to try and rescue her friends.

Preparing to dive, Taylor meets Meiying and learns that eight year olds hear everything. Meeting up with Suyin, they too are immediately hit by something big and fast. Working together they manage to get their friends and get out and back to the platform. As they all regather their thoughts, Meiying comes face to face (thank goodness for very thick plastic) with something that wants to let it be known it is there – a Megalodon.

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Discovering how it came to the surface, the crew knows they can not let it get to a populated area. Hopping on a large ship, they take off looking for the Meg and once again Taylor does the incredibly shocking jumping into the water to tag the beast. Almost everyone believes the only thing to do is kill it but Suyin wants to study it alive.

Thinking they have stopped a disaster, there is an even bigger beast swimming in the water around them. Once it has made its point with the crew, the Meg heads towards the beaches that are littered with people like meaty human krill! Taylor and the crew are not about to stop trying to stop the biggest creature in the water who has only one goal – destruction!

Statham as Taylor proves why we continue to love this guy! Of course I can honestly say that the towel scene (oh you will know exactly what I’m talking soon) had the guys impressed and the gals drooling. Now with that out of the way, Statham has the perfect bad boy swagger to play this role. The character gives zero-frakks about what people think of him and gives stone face when someone tries to tell him what to do or not to do. He proves it by jumping into danger with a smirk on his face and a mischievous twinkle in his eyes. Also, it doesn’t hurt that he plays opposite an equally quick 8-year-old! That’s is what makes a good action star and THE MEG solidifies Statham’s status and truth be told we love to love the guy!

Li as Suyin is a researcher who certainly doesn’t count on finding a living Megalodon but once she does, killing it is not something she wants to do. Equally as hard headed as Taylor, she has a few quick one-liners and also doesn’t hesitate to jump into the deep end of the ocean. Cali as the magnificent 8-year-old Meiying was one of the best characters in the film. She doesn’t get in the way yet doesn’t hesitate to put in her two cents. I do wonder who would put their kid on a boat and chase a Meg but then again it isn’t like social services are on board!

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Curtis as Mac is on Taylor’s side in all things believing that he was wronged all those years ago and makes it clear that his expertise is necessary to rescue friends but then also to take out the Meg. Rose as Jaxx it smart but honestly there isn’t a lot here for her to do but look concerned and throw out a line now and then. Taylor as Heller is the idiot character that I looked forward to the Meg chomping down – a girl can dream.

Chao as Zhang just wants success for the research crew but when things start to go wrong, he is with Taylor 100 per cent. Olafsson as The Wall has reason to be afraid after his experience in the sub. Wilson as Morris is a rich guy who thought everything was cool – until it wasn’t. There was actually a moment where I thought he was smarter than everyone else but it passed quickly. His character was one of the comic reliefs of the film.

Kennedy as DJ had a line for everything and was not at all thrilled with any aspect of the rescue or anything that happened after that. Everything he said made me laugh because Kennedy was basically saying what everyone was thinking at some point in the film.

Other cast include: Jessica McNamee as Lori, Masi Oka as Toshi, Rob Kipa-Williams as D’Angelo, Tawanda Manyimo as Marks, James Gaylyn as David, Kelly the Dog as Pippin.

Okay, let’s face it, we all love shark movies – good, bad or indifferent we secretly love them all. I, like allot of my generation probably took a liking to sharks films right around the summer of June 1975. Shark films have made their way to us ever since in some form or another in films, television and documentaries. The teeth baring sea creatures have even managed to finally get a whole week on television as the Discovery Channel gets us all worked up with Shark Week. I mean they get a whole week and we don’t get enough of it.

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THE MEG is going to have its place among very cool shark movies because it all comes together in such a fantastic way. In the 113 minutes of the film there is not a frame wasted and look homage’s to shark films that have come before it. THE MEG is based on the Steve Alten book MEG: A Novel of Deep Terror. I’m sure there will be readers who will be watching every move the film makes.

Personally I was excited as the release of THE MEG drew closer. I wanted to be taken away, entertained, made to jump, laugh, hide my eyes, holler a little bit and cheer. That’s exactly what happened and it felt like a group theatre experience as everyone around me was doing the same exact thing.

THE MEG gives us a reminder of why we gather up in a group (for safety purposes of course), grab the biggest tub of popcorn and soda we can hold, get great seats and prepare to be thrilled. Sitting through this film was fun and when it’s over we get to stand up and walk away from the big bad Meg with all our pieces in tact. Might as well know now – I’m going back to see THE MEG again with friends and…I can’t wait!

In the end – before chasing seas monsters you had better check your place on the sea food chain!

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