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Alex Karpovsky

THE VANISHING OF SIDNEY HALL is Stunning Storytelling!

the vanishing

 

Jeri Jacquin

In theatres this week from writer/director Shawn Christensen and A24 is a film that allows us a look inside of a life of secrets with THE VANISHING OF SIDNEY HALL.

Sidney (Logan Lerman) is a young man who sees the world differently than his classmates. He finds solace in writing and is encouraged by his teacher who sees something special in him. Sidney also has a little mystery in his life when a girl who lives across the street lets a bit of her feelings show.

He introduces himself to Melody (Elle Fanning) and they begin a deep relationship that Sidney knows is life changing. What becomes life-altering is when school jock Brett Newport (Blake Jenner) asks Sidney to hold something for him and to tell no one. Happy to oblige, he is also curious about what had Brett so nervous.

What happened between the two young men becomes the subject of Sidney’s book that sky-rockets him to literary stardom. The fame becomes a whirlwind that begins to affect his relationship with Melody and when it all begins to fall apart – Sidney disappears without a trace.

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That’s when a detective (Kyle Chandler) begins searching for Sidney who is wanted for a series of fires set in places where there are books. Trying to follow the clues, the detective hopes it will lead to Sidney and answers as to what happened to push this young man toward a path filled with pain.

Lerman as Sidney carries this story and film brilliantly in a way that kept me wondering how much more one life can take. I literally couldn’t take my eyes off his performance because his character is so dedicated to everything he pursued that the pitfalls just crushed my heart. All of that emotion is because of Lerman’s portrayal which is a thing of true beauty.

Fanning as Melody clearly enjoys life, sees the beauty past the pain and loves Sidney. Her character sees the best in Sidney and supports when it all becomes too much for him. Trying to be his support comes at a price that Melody seemed more than willing to pay until it was no longer just she that would pay.

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Chandler as the Detective is absolutely amazing in this role. Watching him take each crime scene apart piece by piece to ‘get his man’, it also gives the viewer the same opportunity to go back into Sidney’s life and see what might have gone unnoticed because, like our own lives, it is all in the eye of the beholder. I loved this performance by Chandler but then again if you’ve seen the series Bloodline, you know this actor was certainly up to the challenge in this role.

The must-see breakout performance is Jenner as Brett Newport. This BMOC senior jock walks the hallways of high school in his letterman’s jacket without a care in the world. Sometimes what we think is so true of someone can turn at a moments notice. Jenner’s character brings harshness mixed with a sadness that feels so real for this young man.

Another shout out to Nathan Lane as Harold! Although his role isn’t large, Lane has the unique ability to make every second he is on screen count and playing Harold is no exception. As Harold, Lane is brash, bold and I loved it.

Other cast include Michelle Monaghan as Mrs. Hall, Janina Gavankar as Gina, Margaret Qualley as Alexandra, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Duane, Tim Nelson as Johan, Michael Drayer as Max, Christina Brucato as Jeanine, Alex Karpovsky as Bauer, Darren Pettie as Gerald Hall and David Basche as Senator Dale.

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TUBS OF POPCORN: I give THE VANISHING OF SIDNEY HALL four tubs of popcorn out of five. I know it is early in the year yet I feel like I’ve seen something stellar, heart felt wrapped in an honestly original story. Filled with a weaving of time periods that is done with such ease and yet so compelling to watch.

This is a cast that envelopes every moment of screen time stretching my emotional core and just when I thought I could take a deep breath – twist! Isn’t that what we want from good storytelling and good filmmaking? That’s what this film is all about, testing us all to our emotional limits and rooting for each to release the memories that hold them down.

Trust me when I say there is so much more to the film that I will not put in this review. I truly want everyone who sees this film to experience each moment for themselves and jaw drop at the twists that are nothing short of brilliantly done. The cinematography is equally well done and if you thinks places in the world are just geography – think again.

In the end – it’s all about beginnings.

 

 

HBO says Farewell to GIRLS: The Final Season on Bluray

girls

 

Jeri Jacquin

Time to bring out the Kleenex people as HBO Home Entertainment brings to Bluray the sixth and final season of GIRLS.

It has been a while since Hannah’s (Lena Dunham) article in The New York Times about Jessa and Adam (Adam Driver) and she is off to the Hamptons. She meets Paul-Louis there which makes the trip not as bad as she thought.

The happiness between Ray (Alex Karpovsky) and Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) are clearly evident which is driving Marnie (Allison Williams) a little nuts. It happens to divorce people who just aren’t ready to see that sort of goings on. When the group goes on a trip to Poughkeepsie, Desie (Ebon Bachrach) is busted for using Oxycontin and Marnie is not about to have any of it.

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Hannah has a clear moment and realizes that she is so into her own life that she didn’t even notice that her friend was in trouble. If that isn’t drama enough, Elijah (Andrew Rannelis) and Shoshanna get into a hot mess bringing up past-peeves and accusations and maybe even a tad bit of jealousy towards Jessa (Jemima Kirke).

Once again Hannah has to answer for something she did, or in this case wrote. Chuck Palmer isn’t pleased with an article Hannah has written accusing him of funny business with his students. Instead of a lecture, Chuck and Hannah talk about their work, how he treats women and how she needs to work on her fact checking skills. Just when she thought all was well, in a single second it all changes.

Ray isn’t having an easy time either not feeling appreciated by Marnie but that seems to be the least of his worries. He learns that life is fleeting only in Ray’s case a little more fleeting on this particular day.

Not feeling well physically, Hannah heads to the ER and runs into Joshua from “One Man’s Trash”. Not ready to deal with that? Well, then she isn’t about to deal with the news that someone is pregnant!

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Adam and Jessa want to make a movie together and they want it based on what happened with Hannah, and ask for her okay on it. Loreen shows up and Hannah blurts out the news which is a bad idea since Loreen is dealing with a cannabis situation of her own. When Loreen goes missing, Elijah and Hannah track her down and she blurts out Hannah’s news. Sending Elijah into a blunt moment, he announces his feelings about the matter.

Ray is on an emotional roller coaster about Hermie and Marnie doesn’t really care and Ray spills how he’s feeling about it all. Marnie finds out about Hannah but wants to know who the father is and in a moment of frustration Hannah tells Adam her little secret which in turn frustrates Marnie who finds out from Adam!

Knowing she can’t put it off any longer, Hanna tries to find Paul-Louis to no avail and sees part of Adams film and is surprised by it. Babysitting an ex-boyfriend for Elijah so he can go on an audition only to come back and find the two eating pizza.

Marnie gets a wake up call with a notice on her door, a parents who won’t enable and the eye opening realization that some things in her life just aren’t as real as she thought. Having a moment of clarity she reaches out to Desi. Speaking of moments of clarity, Adam decides that he wants to be a baby-daddy and for a second there is a recons illation for he and Hannah.

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Ray hits it off with Shoshanna’s former boss, Hannah interviews for a college job, there is an engagement party, Marnie wants to clear the air with everyone and Jessa knows who she wants in her life.

That doesn’t stop Hannah from the biggest decision of her life and that’s leaving the city but she didn’t expect a new roommate as Marnie goes with her. It also doesn’t mean that drama doesn’t follow as the finale episode gives us all one more reason to love these GIRLS.

This has been a story about friendship, craziness and the life of GIRLS!

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.

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The Bluray includes the Bonus Features of Enjoy a Goodbye to Girls: Extended Cut – a special version of the series’ finale – and an exclusive Audio Commentary with Lena Dunham, Judd Apatow and Jennie Donner. Plus get Inside the Episodes and Favorite Moments Features spotlighting each of the girls most memorable scenes.

Also includes on the Bluray is two-discs of over 310 minutes of girl time (yes we love you too Adam!) along with a Digital HD Ultraviolet copy that can be played on your television, laptop, tablet or Smartphone.

GIRLS premiered on HBO in 2012 with a story created by Lena Dunham with Judd Apatow as executive producer. This comedy-drama has allowed audiences to follow the lives of four completely different though all together same women. In 2013, GIRLS won a Golden Globe Aware for Best Television Series.

Dunham has taken us on a wild ride through relationships, hardships, sadness and the realities of life with GIRLS and we are truly sorry to see them go but – in our hearts wish them well. Yes, we get that involved with our characters sometimes and its okay with me.

In the end – they were our GIRLS!

 

GIRLS®: THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON as They Say Goodbye on Bluray!

girls

Final Season of the Hit HBO® Series Available July 25, 2017 on Blu-ray™ and DVD
Digital Download Release Set for May 15, 2017

It’s the end of an era! Over the course of its first five seasons, Girls, the hit HBO comedy series created by and starring Emmy® nominee and Golden Globe® winner Lena Dunham, and executive produced by Judd Apatow and Jenni Konner, has continued to be one of the most critically acclaimed and buzzed about shows on television. Now fans can finally find out how this instantly-iconic HBO series ends when Girls: The Complete Sixth Season will be available for Digital Download on May 15, 2017 and on Blu-rayTM and DVD on July 25, 2017. All formats feature exclusive new bonus content, including an extended version of ‘A Goodbye to Girls’ featuring never-before-seen behind-the-scenes footage, ‘Inside the Episodes’ featurettes and more.

In the sixth and final season of Girls, HBO’s hit comedy continues to follow the assorted humiliations and triumphs of a group of 20-something friends in NYC. Season 6 picks up six months after the end of Season 5, with Hannah (Dunham), enjoying new success as a writer while her roommate and bestie Elijah (Andrew Rannells) considers getting serious about his acting career. Marnie (Allison Williams), now in a relationship with Ray (Alex Karpovsky), seeks to maintain her independence post-divorce from Desi (Ebon Moss-Bachrach). Now also a couple, Jessa (Jemima Kirke) and Adam (Adam Driver) decide to embark on a creative project to channel their passions, which could become a source of contention. And Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) finds herself professionally on the right path, though personally she realizes that her friendships may be holding her back. A time for closing chapters and new beginnings, Girls follows our four familiar friends as they attempt to get closer to becoming the women they always envisioned – even as life sometimes gets in the way.

Girls has continued to inspire critical raves in its sixth season, with The Washington Post hailing the show for achieving “overall excellence” and The New York Times praising it’s “poignant hilarity”. For fans of the show, it was difficult to say goodbye, but now you can relive the hilarious “4 star” (US Weekly) series and complete your collection with the upcoming release of Girls: The Complete Sixth Season.

 

 

 

Ready to bring the girls home? We have your chance! Go to http://moviemaven.homestead.com and find out how!

GIRLS: The Complete Fifth Season Share Their Lives on Bluray from HBO

girls

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray from HBO Home Entertainment is another brilliant series to be watched time and time again with GIRLS: The Complete Fifth Season.

The season begins with the Marnie’s (Allison Williams) wedding to Desi (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) as she tries to figure out how her makeup and hair got out of control. Hannah (Lena Dunham) is still working out her relationship with Fran (Jake Lacy) while also having a meltdown. Adam (Adam Driver) also can’t get past his feelings for Jessa (Jemima Kirke).

As if Hannah didn’t have enough to worry about, while in class she gets an urgent telephone call from her father who is having a dating crisis. Elijah (Andrew Rannells) finds himself attracted to news anchor Dill Harcourt (Corey Stoll).

Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) loves her job in Japan and has a crush on her co-worker Yoshi (Hiro Mizushima). Thinking she is finally happy, Shoshanna gets the news that her job is going in another direction. Now she must decide how her life is to play out.

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When Fran and Hannah have a run in over how to be honest in correcting a students poem, she turns to Jessa for company. The problem is Jessa is feeling guilty about not telling her that she has feelings for Adam.

Taking off for a retreat with Mom Loreen (Becky Ann Baker), Hannah hopes the time away from Fran will be a good thing. Hannah has an eye opening experience of her own while Mom thinks that maybe her marriage is worth saving.

Marnie and Desi are already having marital issues, especially when Desi decides to renovate their already tiny apartment. Going for a walk, Marnie meets someone from her past that could have an effect on her future.

Elijah has serious feelings for Dill but after a party he wonders if his feelings are seriously shared. Jessa is still dealing with her last encounter with Hannah and is even more nervous when they come face to face.

Hannah is pushed to her limits with school and with Fran so breaking up seems to be the next illogical step. Adam visits Caroline (Gabby Hoffmann) and unexpectedly helps out with baby duty when Laird (Jon Glaser) has to look for Mom.

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Shoshanna returns home and decides to help Ray’s business by doing marketing and coming up with an anti-hipster idea that just might work. Deciding that its time to make her own changes, Hannah takes the leap and returns to writing. Elijah’s curiosity about Dill leads him to ask the ultimate question.

Finally Hannah decides to enter a Moth Story Slam with support from Elijah and Loreen. It is what she overhears later when deciding to make peace with Jessa about Adam that ends the season.

Dunham as Hannah is blunt, forceful and a spirit that has every insecurity ever conceived. I love her delivery lines when this character is frustrated or hurt. The scene between she and Jessa in the coffee shop is completely brutal yet you can feel every word spoken is filled with pain. Well done Dunham.

Williams as Marnie is a woman who looked forward to being married but completely unaware of what that entailed. Moss-Bachrach as Desi was insecure right before the vows and even more so after and its driving Marnie to do things causing regret.

Mamet as Shoshanna is thrilled with her life in Japan and becomes crushed at the thought of losing it. Rannells as Elijah is such a lovely character that is endearing and sees an opportunity for love but has a nagging feeling it is might have many faces.

Lacy as Fran is about as irritating as a person can be and maybe its because he is constantly yanking Hannah’s chain – or maybe I’m just siding with Hannah. Hoffmann as Caroline cracked me up but in the sense that I understand what she is going through as a Mom. Glaser as Laird is one of the most patient people I think I’ve seen on television!

Other guest appearances include Peter Scolari as Tad Horvath, Rita Wilson as Evie Michaels, Corey Stoll as Dill Harcourt, Douglas McGrath as Principal Cook and Alex Karpovsky as Ray.

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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.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give GIRLS: The Complete Fifth Season four and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. I have to save the other half a star for the next season! I love the way these characters interact in these crazy life situations. From the insecurity of Hannah and Marnie to the raw emotion of Jessa and Adam that make me root for them all.

The Bluray includes the episodes Wedding Day, Good Man, Japan, Old Loves, Queen for Two Days, The Panic in Central Park, Hello Kitty, Homeward Bound, Love Stories, and I Love You Baby. The Bonus Features also include Deleted and Extended Scenes as well as Inside the Episodes.  

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 GIRLS is a Golden Globe-winning series from HBO that was created by star Lena Dunham along with executive producers Judd Apatow and Jenni Konner. It continues to be an amazing series as each season allows us inside the crazy lives of these characters we have come to love. I am already prepared for season six that begins in February of 2017 because I have so many questions!

Until then, break out seasons one through four of GIRLS and pick up your copy of season five and make it a marathon. These are complicated characters going through life the best way they can with love, friendship and family at the core of their being. That is what makes them so relatable for us all.

In the end – sometimes its tough being one of the girls!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go to http://moviemaven.homestead.com to find out how you can win a copy of GIRLS: The Complete Fifth Season for your own home entertainment library from HBO.

GIRLS: The Complete Fourth Season is Growing Up

girls bluray

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray and Digital HD from HBO with Golden Globe winner Lena Dunham is the amazing series GIRLS: The Complete Fourth Season.

Hannah (Lena Dunham) is a writer who is smacked with reality when her parents decide that she needs to make a change in her life. Heading to Greenpoint, Brooklyn she makes mistakes along with friends Marnie (Allison Williams), Jessa (Jemima Kirke), and Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet).

But this season Hannah decides to shakes things up attending the Iowa Writers’ Workshop hoping to be taken more serious. If that isn’t enough she is also beginning to question life with Adam (Adam Driver). Has the time for them passed?

Marnie is also shaking her relationship up with Desi (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) but her music career is becoming even more important. It seems that Shoshanna is also in the midst of relationship questions about Ray (Alex Karpovsky) while joining the ranks of those looking for a job out of school. Jessa decides to give AA a try but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t take drama to a whole other level.

They are all in when it comes to life, love and just being girls!

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GIRLS has continued to win awards such as the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay, Outstanding Directing-Comedy Series by the Directors Guild of America Awards, Best Television Series-Musical Comedy along with Best Actress by the Golden Globe Award, and Outstanding Director by the Gracie Allen Awards.

HBO Home Entertainment has a fantastic array of critically-acclaimed and groundbreaking programs in Bluray, DVD and Digital HD throughout the world. In the past four years HBO is responsible for such shows as TRUE DETECTIVE, THE SOPRANOS, SEX AND THE CITY, THE WIRE, ENTORAGE and, of course, TRUE BLOOD. Their new global hit GAME OF THRONES is their number one selling title and I wouldn’t expect anything less. HBO continues to bring fans groundbreaking series and to experience more of what they have to offer please visit www.hbo.com.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give GIRLS: The Complete Fourth Season four tubs of popcorn out of five. This is an amazing series that just bring out more of these characters with each and every season. I love the madness these girls seem to find themselves in only to remind me of what it was like trying to find a place in the world.

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Dunham is just amazing as Hannah and she continually makes me laugh and I’m not sure if it’s an uncomfortable laugh or something a little more twisted. It sure doesn’t stop me from enjoying the show. There are also moments where Hannah can be equally as heart breaking trying to figure out the puzzle of her young life.

Williams, Kirke and Mamet are absolutely perfect as Hannah’s friends. From the first season I could never imagine anyone else playing these roles. Each of these actresses has become a stand out character in their own right yet none of them pull more focus than the other. This is truly a female ensemble to be reckoned with.

On the guy side Moss-Bachrach has some decisions to make and Karpovsky as Ray is going to have to speak up if he wants to keep Shoshanna close. The most heartbreaking is to see Driver cry which is weird since I am thoroughly p.o.’d at him for taking away the most awesome man ever to step food on the Millennium Falcon!

The finale left me hanging and unsure so just know I have a wish list for Season Five for each of the girls and no I won’t share it with anyone!

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GIRLS came to HBO in 2012 and has continued to gain momentum with fans. The series creator and star Lena Dunham is joined by executive producer Judd Apatow and Jenni Konner bringing the story of twenty-something friends in New York City. This series is the best reason to hang around the coffee pot with friends as each woman I know has a favorite character bringing all out crazy laughter to the conversation.

The Bluray with Digital HD Features includes Deleted & Extended Scenes, Gag Reels, The Making of Girls – A Look Inside the creation of Season Four, Marnie & Desi’s Full “Breathless” Performance, and Marnie’s solo “Riverside” Performance. The DVD Features: Episodic Recaps, Season 3 Recap, Inside the Episodes, Audio Commentaries with Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet and more. That means over 300 minutes of program and then more with the added bonus materials.

There is so much to enjoy on the Bluray and a fantastic opportunity to catch up before the series premier of GIRLS on February 21st on HBO! Gather up friends and make it a marathon of pizza, wine and laughter talking about GIRLS: The Complete Fourth Season.

In the end – there is nowhere to grow but up!

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