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Take to New Heights with SWIFT on Bluray

sWIFT Bluray cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray and DVD from directors Andrea Block, Christian Haas and Shout Studios comes the story of a brave little SWIFT.

Manou (voiced by Josh Keaton) is a little bird who has lost his parents. Taken in by seagulls Blanche (Kate Winslet) and Yves (Willem Dafoe) they try to teach him what it means to be a seagull. Even brother Luc (Mike Kelly) adores Manou and can’t imagine a day without him.

The problem is that the rest of the seagulls aren’t too happy with Manou, especially when on guard duty over the eggs from the pesky rats that try to steal them. Trying to fight them off, one egg is stolen, and the rest of the gulls want Manou to leave – especially when Manou discovers he is adopted and not a gull – in fact he is a swift!

swift 1

Meeting up with other swifts, Manou learns how to fly, find food he likes and make friends. He starts to have feelings for Kalifa (Cassandra Steen), a girl swift who is ready to teach Manou about swift life! He also has Percival (David Shaughnessy) who knows a thing or two about being a different kind of feathered friend along with Kalifa’s brothers Poncho (Arif Kinchen) and Yusuf (Nolan North).

When Manou learns that he has the ability to foretell the weather, it is a storm like no other where he brings swift and seagull together and shatters a belief system that needs it!

Keating voicing Manou is so delightful. From the moment he hatches he just gets cuter and cuter and with the help of Keating, the little swift finds his voice and shares his feelings with us all. I have to say the animation for Manou couldn’t be more stunning.

Swift 2

Dafoe as Yves is a father who wants to try to change Manou into forgetting who he truly is. Very protective and loving in his own way, he gives in to gull pressure and makes a decision that puts his family’s feelings and feathers in jeopardy. Winslet as Blanche is an accepting and loving mother who is heartbroken when Manou goes his own way. She gives the little swift love from the moment she sees him and believes in everything that he is, not what others want him to be.

Kelly as Luc is a beautiful, loving and supportive brother who would do anything for Manou. It literally comes through the screen when the family is torn. Steen as Kalifa is full of spirit and fun yet doesn’t make fun of Manou’s ways but instead is intrigued by them!

The comic relief also comes in the form of Shaughnessy, Kinchen and North with their antics and outlook on the world. Sometimes bird of a feather can flock together in ways that are extraordinary and full of life lessons for us non feathered folk!

Shout! Studios is the filmed entertainment production and distribution arm of Shout! Factory, specializing in all aspects of distribution, including theatrical, VOD, digital and broadcast. Reflecting Shout! Factory’s ongoing commitment to innovation and excellence, Shout! Studios champions and supports like-minded filmmakers and creators at the forefront of pop culture, driving creative expression and diversity in independent storytelling. Shout! Studios finances, produces, acquires and distributes an eclectic slate of movies, award-winning animated features, specialty films and series from rising and established talent, filmmakers and producers.

Swift 3

The Bluray Special Features include A Look At The Making Of SWIFT, An Interview With Actor Willem Dafoe and Theatrical Trailer.

SWIFT is a delightful and though provoking film and mixed in that is comedy and stunning scenery. It made me want to be a bird of any kind to be able to live on the cliffs above a vast and beautiful ocean. The characters are so memorable in every way with their distinguishable personalities.

I have to throw in a shout out to the Sandpipers because they had me laughing so much from the very start. I adore them but also agree that how they are portrayed in the film is pretty much how I thought they would react to water, hilarious.

The animation is so colorful and full of life that is drew me in deeper to the story. I truly loved every moment of the story with an ending that gave me even more giggles. SWIFT is a story about acceptance, love, family (no matter who you include in the gang), lessons, fighting for what’s right and, most of all, believing in yourself so you can soar!

In the end – find your place in the sk

SPIES IN DISGUISE is Family Fun on Bluray

Sppies cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray, DVD and Digital bringing family fun from directors Nick Bruno, Troy Quane, Blue Sky Studios and 20th Century Home Entertainment is an unlikely team for SPIES IN DISGUISE.

Lance Sterling (voiced by Will Smith) is a well-dressed spy who is keeping the world safe. Well-liked by everyone at work, one person who wants to impress him is Walter Beckett (Tom Holland). He has so many inventions that he believes are an alternative to blowing things up and finding a peaceful solution, including his glitter cat bomb.

But there is evil afoot in the villain Killian (Ben Mendelsohn) who has created drones that are the worst seen in the agency. Joy Jenkins (Reba McEntire) informs Sterling that he is going to have to do whatever is necessary to find him before the agent data is stolen. In the process, Killian has set up Sterling to take the fall for everything that has happened.

spies 3

Now hunting for Sterling is Marcy Kappel (Rashida Jones) who is tough as nails and just as focused as her target. The only person he can run to is Walter to get his invention that will make him disappear. Not paying attention he accidentally drinks Walter’s disappearing potion but instead of becoming invisible, Sterling becomes a pigeon.

Angry, he doesn’t understand that being a pigeon will help him do more than he could even have imagined. Along to help Sterling clear his name and get the agent data base, Walter not only shares his other inventions but must make a remedy to Sterling’s feathered problem.

Smith as Sterling has no trouble playing the agent who likes himself a whole lot and isn’t use to not being in control. Smith gets a chance to rap a little in a ‘Fresh Prince’ style but it’s fun for the kids. This seems an easy voice role for him to play but it also seems as if he is having a bit of fun doing it.

Holland as Walter is a young man who was raised with a supportive mother and working with the agency, he gets the chance to perfect some inventions and create new ones. Especially the one that changes Agent Sterling into a flying agent! Holland is endearing but then again, this young actor has been one to watch for years. He gets a chance to be on the other side of Spiderman for sure.

spies 2

Jones as Marcy is like a dog with a bone when it comes to finding Sterling believing him to be a traitor to the agency. Always one step behind, she begins to understand what is truly happening and isn’t about to let evil win. McEntire as Jenkins knows that Sterling does things his own way but when it comes from being a traitor to the agency, she knows that is just not true.

Mendelsohn as Killian is a man on his own mission and believes he has every reason to be as evil as he wants to be. Keep his identity a secret, he also uses his high tech to put the blame on Sterling and keep anyone who might be interested looking for him. Mendelsohn give his character all the right moods to stay a step ahead of Smith’s character.

Other cast includes Karen Gillan as Eyes, Rachel Brosnahan as Wendy Beckett, Masi Oka as Kimura, Carla Jiminez as Geraldine, DJ Khaled as Ears and Peter Kim as Joon.

Twentieth Century 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.

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.

Spies in Disguise

The Bluray Special Features include Super Secret Spy Mode, Infiltrating Blue Sky Studios Top-Secret Guide to Gadgets, Music Videos, Gallery and so much more!

SPIES IN DISGUISE is a fun family film that is fast paced, colorful, inventive and funny. Seeing Smith try to fit in with his new pigeon friends is one laugh after another and there is a twist on that as well but no spoilers here. He isn’t happy with being a pigeon, but it makes for one interesting premise of a spy story.

The film has just the right mixture of action and fun to make it a popcorn fun film and if I needed a thumbs up from anyone it would be my four-year-old granddaughter. She gave me a thumbs up during the film without a word because she was too busy laughing and eating popcorn. Now that’s how you know it’s a fun time so get your family together and have your own home fun together.

In the end – super spy to super fly!

Take to New Heights with SWIFT

Swift cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to selected theatres, AppleTV, Amazon and selected digital platforms from directors Andrea Block, Christian Haas and Shout Studios comes the story of a brave little SWIFT.

Manou (voiced by Josh Keaton) is a little bird who has lost his parents. Taken in by seagulls Blanche (Kate Winslet) and Yves (Willem Dafoe) they try to teach him what it means to be a seagull. Even brother Luc (Mike Kelly) adores Manou and can’t imagine a day without him.

The problem is that the rest of the seagulls aren’t too happy with Manou, especially when on guard duty over the eggs from the pesky rats that try to steal them. Trying to fight them off, one egg is stolen, and the rest of the gulls want Manou to leave – especially when Manou discovers he is adopted and not a gull – in fact he is a swift!

swift 1

Meeting up with other swifts, Manou learns how to fly, find food he likes and make friends. He starts to have feelings for Kalifa (Cassandra Steen), a girl swift who is ready to teach Manou about swift life! He also has Percival (David Shaughnessy) who knows a thing or two about being a different kind of feathered friend along with Kalifa’s brothers Poncho (Arif Kinchen) and Yusuf (Nolan North).

When Manou learns that he has the ability to foretell the weather, it is a storm like no other where he brings swift and seagull together and shatters a belief system that needs it!

Keating voicing Manou is so delightful. From the moment he hatches he just gets cuter and cuter and with the help of Keating, the little swift finds his voice and shares his feelings with us all. I have to say the animation for Manou couldn’t be more stunning.

Dafoe as Yves is a father who wants to try to change Manou into forgetting who he truly is. Very protective and loving in his own way, he gives in to gull pressure and makes a decision that puts his family’s feelings and feathers in jeopardy. Winslet as Blanche is an accepting and loving mother who is heartbroken when Manou goes his own way. She gives the little swift love from the moment she sees him and believes in everything that he is, not what others want him to be.

Kelly as Luc is a beautiful, loving and supportive brother who would do anything for Manou. It literally comes through the screen when the family is torn. Steen as Kalifa is full of spirit and fun yet doesn’t make fun of Manou’s ways but instead is intrigued by them!

Swift 2

The comic relief also comes in the form of Shaughnessy, Kinchen and North with their antics and outlook on the world. Sometimes bird of a feather can flock together in ways that are extraordinary and full of life lessons for us non feathered folk!

Shout! Studios is the filmed entertainment production and distribution arm of Shout! Factory, specializing in all aspects of distribution, including theatrical, VOD, digital and broadcast. Reflecting Shout! Factory’s ongoing commitment to innovation and excellence, Shout! Studios champions and supports like-minded filmmakers and creators at the forefront of pop culture, driving creative expression and diversity in independent storytelling. Shout! Studios finances, produces, acquires and distributes an eclectic slate of movies, award-winning animated features, specialty films and series from rising and established talent, filmmakers and producers.

SWIFT is a delightful and though provoking film and mixed in that is comedy and stunning scenery. It made me want to be a bird of any kind to be able to live on the cliffs above a vast and beautiful ocean. The characters are so memorable in every way with their distinguishable personalities.

Swift 3

I have to throw in a shout out to the Sandpipers because they had me laughing so much from the very start. I adore them but also agree that how they are portrayed in the film is pretty much how I thought they would react to water, hilarious.

The animation is so colorful and full of life that is drew me in deeper to the story. I truly loved every moment of the story with an ending that gave me even more giggles. SWIFT is a story about acceptance, love, family (no matter who you include in the gang), lessons, fighting for what’s right and, most of all, believing in yourself so you can soar!

In the end – find your place in the sky!

It is the Return of THE ADDAMS FAMILY on Vivid Bluray

Adams Family Cover

Jeri Jacquin

Double snapping onto Bluray/DVD and Digital this week from directors Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon, Bron Studios and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is the return of our favorite differences with THE ADDAMS FAMILY.

After being chased out of their home, the Morticia (Charlize Theron) and Gomez (Oscar Isaac) Addams decide to start over and find a place where no one would bother them landing on a hill in New Jersey. As time goes by the couple have daughter Wednesday (Chloe Grace Moretz) and son Pugsley (Finn Wolfhard) along with Lurch and Thing.

Down below in the valley, television star and home renovator Margaux Needler (Allison Janney) has created the town of Assimilation. When she sees the house on the hill the plan for her show finale is born. Trying to get the Addams to allow her to make that happen falls on death ears as Morticia isn’t about to ruin her beautifully dark home. Agreeing with her is Gomez’ brother Fester (Nick Kroll) who is more than happy to say so.

adams 4

Wednesday meets Parker (Elsie Fisher), an unhappy teen who is a different kind of unhappy that Wednesday’s usual unhappy unhappiness. A friendship blossoms and she wants to attend school to see the world. Morticia is a little hurt but she takes her mind off it with the special family event planned for Pugsley.

Margaux is also planning an event of her own and to make it happen, she begins a campaign of fear with the people of Assimilation. Using social media to get the job done, daughter Parker can’t believe she is doing it. Both Wednesday and Parker decide to make their teenage protests known loud and clear.

The Addams’ are under scrutiny from their own family and the town which means only one thing – family sticks together no matter what!

Theron as Morticia has the calming voice of a mother on the death side of life. She only wants her family to be terribly unhappy and that means letting go of things a bit. What she learns is that if she is patient, all her fears will be realized. Isaac as Gomez wants Pugsley initiated into the family with tradition but learns that we are all good at some things and not all and perhaps that’s okay too. Both of these are loving parents that only want the worst for their children and I love that about them.

adams 3

Moretz as Wednesday is a young girl who just wants to see what’s beyond the metal toothed gates of the Addams home. Once she does, no one worries for her because this girl isn’t to suffer fools lightly. Wednesday knows who she is and it’s time for everyone else to know that too. Wolfhard as Pugsley is more like his Uncle Fester than Gomez realizes. He is good at creating destruction but not so light on his feet.

Kroll as Fester is just funny but then again I’d expect nothing less. Thing and Lurch aren’t about to be left out of this story nor should they because even though they don’t say much – action speaks louder than words or in Lurch’s case a good ole fashioned eye roll.

Janney as Margaux Needler is viciously hilarious with her crazy idea regarding the town she rebuilt and the pressures from the networks. If she wasn’t so normally insane I’d think she’d make a fantastic Addams! Fisher as daughter Parker just wants something different in her life – enter Wednesday!  Each girl wants to walk in the other’s shoes and once given the chance they learn it’s only a step up to being even better friends.

Other cast include Snoop Dogg as It, Bette Midler as Grandma, Martin Short as Grandpa Frump, Catherine O’Hara as Grandma Frump, Tituss Burgess as Glenn, Jenifer Lewis as Great Auntie Sloom, Aimee Garcia as Denise and Conrad Vernon as Lurch.

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 http://www.uphe.com.

adams 2

The Bluray Bonus Features include Deleted and Extended Scenes, Welcome to the Family, Charades with Thing, Life of a Scene, Addams Family Throwback 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 http://www.MoviesAnywhere.com.

This version of THE ADDAMS FAMILY comes directly from the comic by Charles Addams that appeared in The New Yorker in 1938.  Television would bring their own version of these characters in the 1960’s with Carolyn Jones and John Astin as the devoted Morticia and Gomez.

In 1991 and 1993, THE ADAMS family appeared on the big screen with Raul Julia and Anjelica Houston in the roles of Gomez and Morticia. They actually gave the characters a darker look but still kept the loving side of their relationship. Although I adore the original television series, I came to embrace the films because that was the Morticia and Gomez I wanted to see and didn’t even realize it.

Now animated and on Bluray/DVD, this isn’t the first time they have been ‘cartooned’. What is a little different with this film is taking the characters from their original 1938 visual form. What I can say is that my granddaughter had a great time laughing, snapping and wide eyed that I knew the words to the song.

adams 1

There is something for everyone in this version of THE ADDAMS FAMILY and it will reach all age groups from the first of us to watch the television series to the next who experienced the 90’s films. Each iconic character brings what we’d expect wrapped up in animation that is fun. It’s about family, friendships, love on their own terms and seeing the world in a unique way makes THE ADDAMS FAMILY someone I’d love to live next door too!

In the end – think your family is weird, think again!

SPIES IN DISGUISE is Family Fun

Spies in Disguise cover
Jeri Jacquin
Coming to theatres for holiday family fun from directors Nick Bruno, Troy Quane, Blue Sky Studios and 20th Century Fox is an unlikely team for SPIES IN DISGUISE.
Lance Sterling (voiced by Will Smith) is a well-dressed spy who is keeping the world safe. Well liked by everyone at work, one person who wants to impress him is Walter Beckett (Tom Holland). He has so many inventions that he believes are an alternative to blowing things up and finding a peaceful solution, including his glitter cat bomb.
But there is evil afoot in the villain Killian (Ben Mendelsohn) who has created drones that are the worst seen in the agency. Joy Jenkins (Reba McEntire) informs Sterling that he is going to have to do whatever is necessary to find him before the agent data is stolen. In the process, Killian has set up Sterling to take the fall for everything that has happened.
spies 1
Now hunting for Sterling is Marcy Kappel (Rashida Jones) who is tough as nails and just as focused as her target. The only person he can run to is Walter to get his invention that will make him disappear. Not paying attention he accidentally drinks Walter’s disappearing potion but instead of becoming invisible, Sterling becomes a pigeon.
Angry, he doesn’t understand that being a pigeon will help him do more than he could even have imagined. Along to help Sterling clear his name and get the agent data base, Walter not only shares his other inventions but must make a remedy to Sterling’s feathered problem.
Smith as Sterling has no trouble playing the agent who likes himself a whole lot and isn’t use to not being in control. Smith gets a chance to rap a little in a ‘Fresh Prince’ style but it’s fun for the kids. This seems an easy voice role for him to play but it also seems as if he is having a bit of fun doing it.
Holland as Walter is a young man who was raised with a supportive mother and working with the agency he gets the chance to perfect some inventions and create new ones. Especially the one that changes Agent Sterling into a flying agent! Holland is endearing but then again this young actor has been one to watch for years. He gets a chance to be on the other side of Spiderman for sure.
spies 2
Jones as Marcy is like a dog with a bone when it comes to finding Sterling believing him to be a traitor to the agency. Always one step behind, she begins to understand what is truly happening and isn’t about to let evil win. McEntire as Jenkins knows that Sterling does things his own way but when it comes from being a traitor to the agency, she knows that is just not true.
Mendelsohn as Killian is a man on his own mission and believes he has every reason to be as evil as he wants to be. Keep his identity a secret, he also uses his high tech to put the blame on Sterling and keep anyone who might be interested looking for him. Mendelsohn give his character all the right moods to stay a step ahead of Smith’s character.
Other cast includes Karen Gillan as Eyes, Rachel Brosnahan as Wendy Beckett, Masi Oka as Kimura, Carla Jiminez as Geraldine, DJ Khaled as Ears and Peter Kim as Joon.
spies 3
SPIES IN DISGUISE is a fun family film especially with the kids being home for the next two weeks. It is fast paced, colorful, inventive and funny. Seeing Smith try to fit in with his new pigeon friends is one laugh after another and there is a twist on that as well but no spoilers here. He isn’t happy with being a pigeon but it makes for one interesting premise of a spy story.
The film has just the right mixture of action and fun to make it a popcorn fun film and if I needed a thumbs up from anyone it would be my four year old granddaughter. She gave me a thumbs up during the film without a word because she was too busy laughing and eating popcorn. Now that’s how you know it’s a fun time at the theatre so get the family together and go have your own fun together.
In the end – super spy to super fly!

Disney Delights with FROZEN II

Frozen cover
Jeri Jacquin
Coming to theatres in time to welcome us all into the holiday season from director Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee and Walt Disney Pictures is the return to Arendelle and FROZEN II.
Anna (Kristen Bell), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), Olaf (Josh Gad), Sven and Queen Elsa (Indina Menzel) are enjoying life in their city. Since their adventure it is nice for them all to just enjoy each other’s company and the people. That is until Elsa starts to hear this strange call that no one else seems to hear.
Putting it out of her mind, the city prepares for a gathering but is suddenly interrupted by strange winds driving the towns people to a safe cliff outside Arendelle. Confused by what is happening, Queen Elsa feels as if the problems are caused by the voice that is calling out to her. Deciding that she must go and find answers, Anna and Kristoff make it clear she isn’t going alone.
frozen 4
Loading up into the sled on wheels, Sven takes them to a place that both Anna and Elsa believed was only a tale their father told. A wall of mist blocks them from going forward but when Elsa touches it, a door is opened wide revealing people living on the other side. That’s when the girls discover that there is truth to the tale and that there are still more questions to be answered.
With each step they take, more and more of their parents life become clearer. But, there comes a moment when Elsa realizes that she can no longer put Anna’s life in danger and takes the final steps of the journey alone were all is revealed – but will it be too late for Arendelle!
Bell as Anna shows a lot more maturity in this film in that she feels even more protective over her sister Queen Elsa. Still googly eyed over love Kristoff, she is back in her happy place. When the wind changes in Arendelle and she sees that something is wrong with Elsa, Anna makes it very clear from the onset that whatever it is they will face it together. Bell brings her pipes back with song, love and a whole lot of fun.
Menzel as Queen Elsa is having a difficult time concentrating on Arendelle because of the mysterious voice. Still feeling a little out of place in life, she feels there is something in the wind that is calling to her. Fight as she may, the voice is too strong to ignore. Menzel brings her voice to belt out more than one song and it is with that voice that we are with Elsa every step of this next journey.
frozen 1
Groff as Kristoff is very happy with his life in Arendelle and even happier with Anna. Now ready to try something a little different, he seems to have great difficulty making it happen. Groff once again brings his charm that oozes through his voice to a character that is strong for those around him yet still has that goofiness I enjoy about this character. Oh let us not forget Sven, he is back and just as hoppingly endearing as ever with his extended family.
Gad as Olaff is still the lovable snowman who loves everyone around him and yet still maintains that bit of innocence that makes him unforgettable. That’s what Gad brings to this character, a memorable giggle, a heart that runs over with love for Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and his good buddy Sven. He is the snowman we all wanted growing up, at least I did all those times building a snowman in Chicago. Thanks Gad for bringing my childhood character to life.
Shout out to Hinds for returning as the wise and round stone Pabbie. He gave out the first warning of what was to come for Arendelle and the royal family. Brown as Mattias has his own story to tell of what lies beyond the mist and it is a story worth hearing.
Other cast include Sterling K. Brown as Mattias, Evan Rachel Wood as Iduna, Jason Ritter as Ryder, Alan Tudyk as Northuldra, Rachel Matthews as Honeymaren, Ciaran Hinds as Pabbie and Martha Plimpton as Yelana, Alfred Molina as Agnarr and Jeremy Sisto as King Runeard.
frozen 3
FROZEN II brings songs, fun, giggles, color and a re-connection with characters that have stayed with us all since 2013. The song “Let It Go” became an anthem for anyone who wanted to do just that even though my personal favorite was “In Summer” and who doesn’t love a lovable dreaming snowman?
It is such a precarious thing to make a sequel to such a highly successful animated film. It doesn’t always work and sometimes it works badly. Some of it might be because I always feel slightly cheated by sequels like the idea is a second thought thrown on a screen hoping it will stick with viewers.
This film is not that in the slightest. What FROZEN II brings is a delightful return to embraced characters that doesn’t feel like six years has even passed. It is a visually stunning feast for the eyes with rich colors which are completely dazzling. The story may have a few hiccups but seriously, let it go (and I said that).
The entire cast returns (which always is a great thing) with 8 new songs that are as powerful as the original film. Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez returned to write the new songs for the film. Composer Christophe Beck  also returned to bring his magic to the score.
Am I being extremely vague in my description of the film…well, yes! I am hardly about to tell every detail of the film because it’s FROZEN II and no one, and I mean no one has the right to ruin it. This is a film about family and community, wanting to understand where we come from, learning who we are and what we are made of, protecting those we love and, of course, loving each other unconditionally.
frozen 2
Disney has been on a very cool winning streak with their animated films and FROZEN II seals the 2019 deal for them. The launch of Disney+ this week means that in a few months you can FROZEN and FROZEN II all year long which I know my granddaughter intends to do.
FROZEN II is a time for families to have a wonderful holiday beginning together. Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Sven and Olaf are part of our own families now and to spend 104 minutes together feels like home in many ways. In the theatre we embrace our children and grandchildren as the story unfolds because we share a connection with our friends on the screen. We understand the struggles, the love, friendship and caring and that makes FROZEN II just about everything we need in family time.
In the end – they are going into the unknown!

AWAY is Visually Stunning and Artfully Told

away cover
Jeri Jacquin
Wanting to experience something truly spectacular? Coming from animator Gints Zilbalodis and Subliminal Films is the upcoming film AWAY.
A young boy finds himself hanging from a tree in the desert still attached to his parachute when he sees a huge dark figure coming towards him. In moments he feels enveloped by something he doesn’t understand and manages to break free of it. Running away towards the mountains he is followed slowly by the figure but when he crosses under a half round sculpture, the figure stops outside of it.
The boy decides to continue away from the figure into a beautiful green, lush and relaxing forest. Discovering fresh water he revives himself from the desert and even finds fruit. He also finds a small bird who is unable to fly and grateful for any morsels the boy cares to share.
away 1
Exploring further he discovers a motorcycle and teaches himself to ride, a backpack that holds the key to where he needs to go and the figure still standing outside the half round sculpture. To his surprise he also finds something in the caves that motivates him to leave even more. Loading up and preparing, the boy knows that he has to be swift to get away from the figure.
Food, water and a feathered passenger flies past and begins to follow the other half round sculptures that are the visual road to where he needs to be. Along the way the boy finds challenges, nature and the ability to survive more than he ever thought possible.
It is a journey of wonder to be sure!
Writer/director Zilbalodis is responsible for such short films as Aqua (2012), Priorities (2014), Followers (2014), Inaudible (2015) and Oasis (2017), the last of which was developed further into the feature version of AWAY. He worked on AWAY for over three years single handedly before it premiered in 2019 in such festivals as Annecy, Fantasia, Animafest, Shanghai, Anima Mundi, Strasbourg, Sitges and Tokyo.
away 2
In the three years it took Zilbalodis to bring AWAY to the screen let me say that every single solitary moment of that time is breathtaking to behold. The most amazing part of it is that not a single word is spoken, not – a – single -word! It doesn’t need any to understand everything that is happening. In fact, had I heard a word I honestly believe I would have been taken out of the spell I was completely under.
There are so many things to take away from this film (no pun intended) but for me it was a combination of the will to take life into your own hands, respect fear but don’t let it rule you, look at the stunning beauty around you, explore everything even if you can only do it in your own back yard and, above all, embrace the little feathery things in this life because they won’t be around forever.
I know that might seem too simplistic of a list but that’s just my personal take. Let’s talk about the animation because even though I am a huge animation film fan, this is so much more than that. I loved the foliage, the birds, lake, elephants, elements and the cats. I loved the colors, the imagery, the voids and everything in between.
away 3
To be honest I wasn’t sure what I would be seeing with this film but something tremendous drew me to it and whatever that something was – I thank it from the bottom of my film loving heart. Sharing every emotion with the boy, catching my breath here and there, cheering him on and yet a little sad when it was over – that is what AWAY did to me and for me.
The music and sounds are everything to the imagery we are shown on the screen and it is nothing short of stellar and spectacular. A triumph of life with whimsy and hope, it is a powerful film that I will see again and again.
In the end – he is going home!

GO FISH is Animated About Saving the Ocean

Go Fish Cover
Jeri Jacquin
Coming to DVD from writer/director Sean Patrick O’Reilly, Arcana and Lionsgate comes a look and lesson from below the sea with GO FISH.
Alex the parrot fish (Sean Patrick O’Reilly) is the janitor of his fish town and happy with what he does. Also in their little fish village is sea horse Christine (Kathleen Bar), loner eel Eelanore (Asia Mattu), and Ed the blowfish (Tobias the Owl). It is Mary (voiced by Allison Wandzura) that discovers something wrong in the sea.
Calling it goop, fish are getting stuck in it and they want lion fish King Charles (Scott McNeil) to do something. Alex approaches the King’s assistant Paul for a meeting. The request is not well received as he gets a loud lecture about nothing happening and to keep his fish lips shut on the matter. That’s not good enough for Alex or his friends and a plan is formed.
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Upon the surface, a company called Quoquo Modo is drilling into the ocean floor. Callie (iJustine) loves her job and wants to make sure everything is done to keep the ocean safe. Dennis (Mark Hamill) is grumpier and less on the ball thinking that 100% no leaking doesn’t necessarily mean 100%.
Alex, Eelanore, Ed and Christine go out in search of the goop and meet a whole group of characters that just want to make their adventure a little more difficult. Maria the shark (Summer O’Reilly) and her friend Bernardo the tiger shark (Ron Perlman) are two particularly toothy characters that try to get in the way.
But once they find the goop, Alex and the gang try to get the attention of the humans in funny diving outfits to show them where there is a leak. Try as they might, the diver just shoo’s them away. The next step is an even bigger plan that gets the attention of everyone on the platform and just in time to save them all from a total ocean disaster.
O’Reilly as Alex is a spunky and happy parrot fish who truly does love his job as a janitor. Keeping everything nice and clean for his fellow fishes and friends is very important. When the goop appears, he knows that it will hurt all of them if they don’t at least try to stop it. He’s such a cutie of a fish!
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Bar as Christine is another happy sea creature and the cutest color of pink for a sea horse. Trying to grow up a little out of the shadow of her overbearing Mom and baby carrying Dad, going with Alex to find the goop is her chance to do just that. Mattu as Eelanore would prefer to be left alone in her comfy cave where she can watch the world go by or take a nap whenever she likes. Going with Alex may have started out as protection but quickly became a thrill for her first adventure.
Tobias as Ed is a little grumpy by that doesn’t stop him from being part of the gang to stop a disaster. I personally think he just liked being part of something bigger than his little puffy self. McNeil as King Charles is a fish on a power trip caring nothing for his ‘subjects’ but instead wielding his fishly powers.
iJustine as Callie is a happy person who really does love her job and wants everyone, above the water and below to be safe. When it becomes clear that both of those things are in jeopardy, Callie is on it to make it right. Hamill as Dennis is just a cranky unhappy employee who just isn’t on the ball when it comes to what’s best for everyone.
Other cast include Michelle O’Reilly as Joanne and Geoff Gustafson as Vincent.
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.
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The DVD Special Features include ‘Go Fish’ (Side by Side) Music Video Sing-Along, The GO FISH Digital Comic Book and a GO FISH Fish Guide.
GO FISH is a very charming and educational look at life in the ocean. The animation is colorful and fun and in the mix of that is a story about how precious the eco-system is in the ocean. It shows how, if fish could talk (and maybe they do!), they could tell us when pipes are leaking or trash is choking them out. Explaining these things to younger children, GO FISH does so in a way that is relatable for them.
Yet, it’s also enjoyable for the adults as well and gives families something to talk about after the film. The Special Features of the DVD also provide some fun things to do together as a family. Whether it’s singing or learning about other fish, it is always a wonderful way to spend quality time together.
In the end – just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water – it really is!

THE ANGRY BIRDS 2 Brings More Giggles on Bluray

Angry Birds 2 Cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray/DVD, Digital and also available on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack from director Thurop Van Orman and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment are our favorite birds with THE ANGRY BIRDS 2.

Everyone on Bird Island is in a pretty good place since Red (Jason Sudekis) has made a name for himself as a hero. Making sure the pigs stay on their island is a full time job and it comes with some adulation that Red has come to like.

Then, the green pigs on Piggy Island are being bombarded with, well, ice balls! Needing help, they reach out to Red and the other birds to see if they want to help find out what is going on. At first Red isn’t having it but when Leonard (Bill Hader) decides to sneak in to see the birds and explain what is happening.

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They talk to Mighty Eagle (Peter Dinklage) who discovers that his ex-gal Zeta (Leslie Jones) is the one responsible for the ice bombs. Seems she isn’t happy being stuck on the cold Eagle Island and she is going to make sure that she gets the sun in her life again!

Now Red, Leonard, Chuck (Josh Gad) and sister Silver (Rachel Bloom) get to Eagle Island only to discover something more sinister. Zeta has created lava ice balls and plans to destroy both islands. Red thinks he can handle everything on his own until, well, he can’t realizing that he needs all his friends to save their homes.

Sudekis as Red still has issues of not being liked by everybody and thinks he needs to continue to be a solo hero in order to keep his status. Hader as Leonard makes a daring move in asking for the birds help to stop the craziness that is plaguing them both. These two characters may always be after each other but together they are pretty darn funny.

Dinklage as Mighty Eagle likes his solitude and perch high up on the island, when that is threatened you’d think he’d help right? Right? Jones as Zeta is an angry eagle who is not only smart but really smart. A combination of a hurt heart and brains can be dangerous for everyone around her.

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Gad as Chuck is bouncy and fast! This actor has made quite a name for himself playing animated characters and I don’t mind one darn bit. Bloom as his sister Silver is equally as smart as Zeta but doesn’t have the broken heart to deal with. She doesn’t see herself and Red as compatible but there is a weird attraction if they can just get past the “destruction of their world” thing.

Other cast include Awkwafina as Courtney, Sterling K. Brown as Garry, Eugenio Derbez as Glenn, Tiffany Haddish as Debbie, Danny McBride as Bomb, Peter Davidson as Jerry, Dove Cameron as Ella, and Maya Rudolph as Matilda.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment encompasses motion picture production for television, digital content and theater releases. The studios include Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems, TriStar Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, Stage 6 Films and Sony Picture Classics. To see what is coming to theaters and to home entertainment please visit www.sonypictures.com.

The Bluray and Digital Bonus Features include All New Mini Movie!, 6 Classic Hatchling Mini Movies, DIY Family Fun with Hangry Birds: Popcorn Balls, Smarty Birds: Crafty Volcano, Crafty Birds: Pig Snot!, Bird Watching, Meet the New Birds & Pigs, Hatching to Hatchlings, Flocking Together: Making the Angry Birds Movie 2, Happy Thanks-pigging and Jingle Birds: A Holiday Song from the Cast of Angry Birds 2.

THE ANGRY BIRDS 2 is very colorful, full of action and both kids and adults will find it very funny. The story is interesting in that the birds and pigs, who are always trying to one up each other with pranks, finally have a reason to work together – to save their islands.

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Discovering a third island of Eagles who are kind of angry about being so cold is the right ingredient to discover more about these characters, especially Mighty Eagle. It’s a nice lesson for the kids to learn how to get along with everybody once you understand them.

In the end – this summer winter is coming!

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