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THE ORIGINAL CHRISTMAS COLLECTION is Iconic and Beloved

 

Christmas

Jeri Jacquin

Now on DVD and Bluray in the Deluxe Edition from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment are five holiday favorites that let us all know the fun is here with THE ORIGINAL CHRISTMAS COLLECTION.

What is on the collection you ask? Only the best of Rankin & Bass with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman,  Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, The Little Drummer Boy and Cricket on the Hearth.

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On December 6, 1964, the shape of holiday programming was about to change as Sam the Snowman tells the story of Santa and Mrs. Claus in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Rudolph is born to the lead reindeer on Santa’s team, Donner. The parents are quite surprised when they see that their young son’s nose glows a bright red. Santa sees it and Donner realizes that they will have to cover the glow so Rudolph can be seen as normal.

Going out for reindeer games a year later, Rudolph meets doe Clarice and one word from her makes him fly – literally. Unfortunately, the covered up nose comes off and he ends up being pushed away by the other reindeer. Deciding to run away, Rudolph meets Hermey, an elf who is having a similar identity crisis. He wants to be a dentist and not be just a toy maker.

While on the snowy road, they meet Yukon Cornelius who wants nothing more than to find silver and gold. Following them is the Abominable Snow Monster and they manage to allude him to the Island of Misfit Toys and King Moonracer who asks Rudolph that if he ever go home to tell Santa about all the toys on his island looking for homes.

Taking off on his own to avoid troubling his friends, Rudolph becomes a young stag and returns home only to find from Santa that his parents and Clarice have also been gone a long time. Looking for him has put them in danger and now he must find them. With the help of Hermey and Yukon, Rudolph finally discovers who he is and where his place is among his family, friends and the community he loves.

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Cricket on the Hearth tells the story of a cricket that seems to be the guardian angel of the Peerybingle family. The 50-minute production contains Animagic and songs that were composed by Maury Laws and Jules Bass.

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On December 19, 1968 The Little Drummer Boy the story of Aaron, and orphan boy, plays drums for the animals. After a tragedy at home, Aaron joins a caravan that performs in Jerusalem but in his anger he lashes out at the townspeople. When the troupe comes across a Magi, Aaron discovers they are following a star to Bethlehem. When one of his friends his hurt, he wishes to play his drum to make him well but something even more special changes for the young boy.

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Frosty the Snowman sang and danced its way into homes on December 7, 1969 as a group of kids build a snowman and name him Frosty. What they don’t realize is that once they place a hat on his a little holiday magic brings him to life. Young Karen notices that the temperature is starting to melt her friend and, along with rabbit Hocus Pocus, know they must get him to the North Pole as quickly as possible.

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On December 14, 1970, Fred Astaire becomes a part of our holidays at S.D. Kluger, the special delivery mailman who knows the story of Santa Clause. The ruler of Sombertown is the grouchy ole Burgermeister Meisterburger. When a baby is left on his doorstep with the name Claus, he is suppose to be taken to an orphanage. Instead a wind takes him to the Mountain of the Whispering Winds and taken to Tanta Kringle who names him Kris.

As Kris grows up, he wants to deliver toys to the kids in Sombertown only to discover that the Burgermeister has banned them. That doesn’t seem to stop Kris, especially when he meets the town’s school teacher Miss Jessica. The Burgermeister has taken all the toys that Kris delivered away but Kris promises to fix the problem even though he knows there is a trap set for him. Instead, he finds a safe place to make toys and one night a year makes us all believe in everything good.

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

The Enchanting Bonus Features in the include The Animagic World of Rankin/Bass – An all new documentary celebrating the legacy of the holiday specials created by Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass including interviews with the filmmakers and historians, Restoring the Puppets of Rudolph – Discover how the puppets from the beloved special were restored and Reimagining Rudolph in 4D – A behind-the-scenes look at the making of the new Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer attraction film.

Also, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Attraction Film A short stop-motion film originally created for a Rudolph 4D experience, T.E.A.M. Rudolph and the Reindeer Games – A video storybook including the untold story of the Reindeer Games, Frosty the Snowman Pencil Test and Commentaries on Frosty the Snowman and Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town.

There hasn’t been a Christmas since I was four that I haven’t watched these classic holiday specials. It was quite easy to pass that tradition on to my own kids who are now sharing them with children of their own. What makes this such a magnificent set to own is that now we can watch them any time we like!

Also, as they only air once during the holiday season, the entire family can watch them again and again leading up to Christmas Day. For my family that’s pretty important because we can’t get enough of Rudolph, Santa, Frosty, the Drummer Boy or having a Cricket watching over us all.

Rankin/Bass brought so many animated specials to television and these five particularly stand out. The company was founded by Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass with holiday specials that led to equally beloved specials. It must be said that in 1977, Rankin/Bass gave me such a gift when it animated J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and it still is one of my very favorites today.

The Animagic and animation of these specials are still as stunning and lovely today as they were beginning in 1964. It did not take long for each of these characters to become iconic and recognized in an instant by children and children at heart. Now having them all on DVD and the magnificent and stunning colors of Bluray, THE ORIGINAL CHRISTMAS SPECIALS COLLECTION needs to have a special place in everyone’s home entertainment library.

Now, if you will excuse me, my granddaughter and I have a holiday date starting with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer!

In the end – the holiday season has arrived as old friends wait to celebrate with the entire family!

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WHEN CALLS THE HEART: The Heart of Homecoming Is a New Year Gift on DVD

 

when calls

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD from Shout! Factory is another holiday in beloved Hope Valley with WHEN CALLS THE HEART: The Heart of Homecoming.

It is Christmas time again but this year carries a little sadness for Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow) as Mountie Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing) is still in the Northern Territories. Trying to keep busy, she works with town Mayor Abigail Stanton (Lori Loughlin), Rosemary Coulter (Pascale Hutton) and other townswomen on ideas to help celebrate the holidays.

They decide that this year that the tree in the middle of town will be decorated with wishes. Each person of Hope Valley writes down something they wish for and anyone is free to take a wish to help grant it. Immediately Elizabeth finds the wish from Robert, one of her students who wants a crib for a baby coming. It also keeps her from putting up her own wish ornament.

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The town also begins to design a parade and when Abigail’s boy Cody (Carter Evancic) discovers a Christmas list from her son Peter, he is excited about his idea for a float. Rosemary is flustered as husband Lee (Kavan Smith) decides to close his business to allow families to prepare for the holidays. This means he is around the house more and getting underfoot! Inviting Elizabeth out to dinner, Rosemary convinces Elizabeth that she must put up her Christmas wish.

Jesse (Aren Buchholz) wants to get Clara (Eva Bourne) something beautiful for Christmas and when he learns that their is something special she wants, the money becomes the problem. In the spirit of the season, Jesse is able to find a bit of work that will allow him to buy the gift. While working, he discovers something that is tempting and knowing he already has been accepted by the town means he has to make a choice about what is right.

Elizabeth is stunned to learn that Bill Avery (Jack Wagner) called in a favor and managed to have Jack back in Hope Valley, even if only for a few days. Abigail learns from Bill that there is prisoner overcrowding and that some of them are sleeping in extremely cold tents making her think of Henry Gowen (Martin Cummins). She asks Bill to have Henry brought to Hope Valley where he can spend the night in the jail cell and do community service during the day.

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Now that Jack is back for the holidays, Rosemary practically begs Elizabeth to help give Lee something to do. Even Lee is thrilled when Jack asks him to help with the holiday floats! As the celebration gets closer, Abigail and Cody are disappointed to learn that the snow is so bad that daughter Becky won’t be able to come home.

But it is the holidays in Hope Valley, a place of people who are not always what they seem and a town of people who want what is best for one another which is love and extended family celebrating the most precious time of year.

Krakow as Elizabeth continues to be so endearing as Hope Valley’s beloved schoolteacher. This character has such a good heart to the point of feeling selfish about putting a wish on the town tree and it is Krakow that brings those emotions to the screen. Her infectious smile and sense of lightness makes me root for her and Jack so much more.

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Speaking of Jack, Lissing as Mountie Jack is equally as endearing as his co-star. Being away in the Northern Territory, it is when he returns to Hope Valley that he is torn. Instead of becoming down, Lissing’s character embraces the time with Elizabeth and gives of himself to the town he cherishes. Who can’t love a guy like that?

Loughlin as Abigail is now Hope Valley’s Mayor while still running the Cafe. Discovering what it takes to run a town, she doesn’t shy away from the problems left by Henry Gowen. Happy to have her kids Cody and Becky home for the holidays, she is excited about all the fun planned for the town. She also still believes that there is something good in Henry.

Wagner as Avery is the law in Hope Valley and although not happy with Abigail’s request to have Henry in town, he wants to believe as she does but is also leery. Cummins as Gowen doesn’t understand why Abigail would do such a giving thing for him and keeps to himself while doing community service.

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Hutton as Rosemary is always so delightful, lovely and has surprising moments where she completely says all the right things! This season she learns that it isn’t always necessary to be the brightest star in the sky. I love Rosemary’s relationship with her husband always wanting to do special things for him and even when it’s a little quirky; it isn’t any less special to him. Smith as Lee is taking it easy for the holidays; at least it starts out that way! When he has the chance to be part of the holiday makings for Hope Valley, Lee is all in!

Evancic as Cody is a young man who clearly loves Abigail and wants her to know how much. Finding a way to bring son Peter back into her heart and not let him be forgotten for the holidays means everything and Hope Valley helps him accomplish his goals. Bourne as Clara is a young woman who is falling hard for the rogue Jesse. She knows he has a past but the longer he stays in the town, the more he is accepted. Buchholz as Jesse is put in a position where he must decide whether his old life means more or what he feels now for his adopted home and the young lady he has eyes for.

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

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Inspired by the books written by Janette Oke, the series began airing in the United States in 2014 and quickly found a loyal following of fans who love the storyline. WHEN CALLS THE HEART is executive produced by Michael Landon Jr. and can be seen on The Hallmark Channel.

WHEN CALLS THE HEART: The Heart of Homecoming is a very sweet treat for the New Year. Who doesn’t want to return once again to the people and place that is Hope Valley and be a part of their holiday celebration. There is something extremely special about this series because, in truth, we all want to be a part of such a caring and strong community.

Perhaps that’s what draws everyone back season after season, the sense of nostalgia of when people were not buried by the fast-paced daily living. Instead, we can stop for a moment and breathe becoming enveloped in Hope Valley and the people doing the best they can. In the midst of it all they remind each other to embrace life and remember to care for everyone – and I mean everyone.

Also, with every episode reminds me of what I came to believe about the series from its beginning. WHEN CALLS THE HEART continues to hold precious the simple values we hold dear. There is nothing like a community that builds on love, family, friendship, and faith – and nothing has changed my opinion about that.

I personally would give just about anything to be there when they finally film the wedding between Jack and Elizabeth. That is actually a shared feeling between myself and other watchers of WHEN CALLS THE HEART – we’ve spent time getting to know these characters and nothing beats a good country wedding filled with love!

In the end – join in their celebration!

 

 

Dr. Seuss’ HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS on Fuzzy Bluray is a Must Have for the Holidays!

 

grinch box

Jeri Jacquin

On Bluray/DVD and Digital HD from director Ron Howard and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is amazing holiday fun with Dr. Seuss’ HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS.

In the land of Whoville lives a little Who named Cindy Lou (Taylor Momsen). Feeling rather blue about the holidays she is watching her parents Lou Lou Who (Bill Irwin) and Betty Lou (Molly Shannon) relish the holidays.

Mayor Maywho (Jeffrey Tambor) along with his sidekick Whobris (Clint Howard) are preparing for the Who-bilation that brings everyone close – well, except for one person. Up on the mountain lives the Grinch (Jim Carrey), an unhappy Who-villain who doesn’t see how anything good can come of Christmas.

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Cindy Lou has the idea to get to know the Grinch and starts by talking to those who knew him growing up. Martha May Whovier (Christine Baranski) told her story about a young Grinch has how badly he was treated by Who-children but it is clear she still has feelings for the Grinch.

Going up the mountain, Cindy Lou meets the Grinch and tells him that he is chosen to be the Cheer-meister at the Who-bilation. Convincing him to join them in town, the Grinch dresses for the occasion in his own unique way. Once in town he joins in the festivities but all too quickly it turns into mayhem.

Returning to his lair, he plans to make Christmas less jovial for the town people. The best way for him to do this is by stealing their holiday. Waiting until Christmas Eve, the Grinch slinks and slithers through every Who home taking anything that might bring cheer!

That’s when the unexpected happens and the holiday as they all know it changes them all!

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Carrey as the Grinch is absolutely stunning and he has been welcome into our homes since the film’s release in 2000. He brought humor, laughter, craziness and green to levels that will never be duplicated. The original animated classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas first arrived on television in 1966 and it was a revelation for the holidays. Carrey brought the character alive in ways that continue to delight families. No one else could have pulled this off – no one.

Irwin and Shannon as Cindy Lou’s parents are delightful and loving towards their daughter and crazy about the Who holidays. They are festive and fun wanting love and joy for the holidays. Tambor is crazy good as the Mayor and Howard as his sidekick is equally hilarious. Baranski as Martha May is Who-ville’s Jessica Rabbit! She is sweet and feeling a bit nostalgic towards the Grinch and I loved her performance.

The absolute winner here is Taylor Momsen as Cindy Lou. She is delightful, adorable, sassy, hilarious, giggly and a voice that just resonate into all of our childhoods. I love her gutsy spirit and no nonsense when it comes to believing that the Grinch has every right to be considered a member of Who-ville’s citizenry.

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

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The Bluray/DVD includes the Bonus Features of Deleted Scenes, Spotlight on Location, Who School Makeup Application and Design, Seussian Set Decoration, Visual Effects, Faith Hill’s song “Where Are You Christmas”, Theatrical Trailer and Feature Commentary by Director Ron Howard.

How can anyone not have this film for the holidays? Especially now that it is wrapped in a fur cover that is totally awesome and Grinchy! Dr. Seuss’ HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS has become an iconic part of the holidays for everyone.

The message of love, friendship, belief, reconnection and forgiveness are everything we have come to celebrate about the holidays. From memorable moments of song to watching the Grinch’s heart go from two sizes to small to enormous, gather the family together one more time to laugh and love Dr. Seuss’ HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS.

In the end – He puts the mean in gree

HOME ALONE 2 Lost in New York Arrives for the Holidays to Celebrate the 25th Anniversary on Bluray

Home Alone 2 Bluray

Jeri Jacquin

This week on Bluray from writer John Hughes, director Chris Columbus and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is a signal that the holidays are upon us with HOME ALONE 2 Lost in New York.

Once again the Christmas season is here and there is a mad dash to the airport for the McCallisters. Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) becomes confused and separated from his family. Taking the plane he thinks his family is on, Kevin ends up in the Big Apple!

Checking into a swanky hotel, Kevin takes advantage of life in the big city and a twitchy hotel manager Mr. Hector (Tim Curry) to live it up a little. He meets the Pigeon Lady (Brenda Fricker) in the park and after hearing her story knows things must change. He also is drawn to a toy store owned by E.F. Duncan (Eddie Bracken) that is magical for many.

He also sees Harry (Joe Pesci) & Marv (Daniel Stern), the burglars who made his life difficult back home and learns what they have planned – and it isn’t good. When Harry and Marv see Kevin – their lust for revenge brings them right into the hands of a master kid who knows how to set traps!

In the meantime mom Kate (Catherine O’Hara) and dad Peter (John Heard) realize they have once again lost their son and will do what they have to when it comes to having the family together for the holidays.

It is another McCallister Christmas to remember!

Culkin as Kevin is now and forever the kid who brought a twist to Christmas and also brought this series of films into everyone’s holiday. Now that the film is on Bluray, it means that family’s can actually plan a movie night that includes the antics of Kevin and the gang. In this film Culkin is still that kid who has a twinkle in his eye and really isn’t afraid of much once he gets it in his head that no one is going to ruin another holiday!

Pesci as Harry is hilarious, continually and amazingly hilarious. Of course Pesci can play a bad guy with the best of them as he has proven over and over again. When it comes to comedy, Pesci is equally as talented and no one can say differently. Stern as Marv is the guy who follows along with everything – even when it knows it might not end well. I love Stern in this role because he has such a childlike quality and yes, he sure can do a pratfall like no one else!

Fricker as the Pigeon Lady is lovely, endearing, sweet and reminds me of the bird-lady in Mary Poppins. I don’t mind that at all because she gives Kevin focus on the true meaning of love and friendship – even with bird droppings on her shoulder. Bracken as E.F. Duncan is a man who still has a heart for the holidays and an even bigger heart for knowing what his city needs.

O’Hara as Kate is a mother on a mission as she once again navigates the terror that is getting home. Heard as Peter seems less stressed but then again Kate has enough for everyone.

It must be said that seeing Tim Curry in the role of the Concierge is nothing short of fantastic. His facial expressions are perfection and every scene he is in I savor. Yes, a Curry fan most definitely and in this film he deserves a shout out!

Other cast include Devin Ratray as Buzz, Hillary Wolf as Megan, Maureen Shay as Linnie, Michael Maronna as Jeff, Gerry Bamman as Uncle Frank, and Terrie Snell as Aunt Leslie. The film also hosts Rob Schneider as the Bellman, Bob Eubanks as the Ding-Dang-Dong Host, Rip Taylor, Jaye P. Morgan, Jimmie Walker, and Ally Sheedy.

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.

HOME ALONE 2 Lost in New York is such an amazing family film filled with humor, family, life, love and all the insanity that goes with that (even if you have to nutty burglars chasing you around). My own kids watched all of the Home Alone films over and over never tiring of the antics and now they are sharing their memories to a new generation.

So when out doing early holiday shopping (admit it – you are doing it!) pick up a copy for your own home entertainment library and let Kevin, Harry and Marv along with the entire McCallister family help you celebrate with HOME ALONE 2 Lost in New York.

In the end – he is up past his bedtime in a city that never sleeps!

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment Brings the Best Christmas Gifts!

Have you been naughty or nice this year? Well, it might be time to have a little heart-to-heart with Santa and get on his good side!

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has a stellar collection of Bluray’s that belong in everyone’s home library. This is just a drooling sampling of what they have to offer making your wish list an even cooler one.
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AMERICAN HORROR STORY: Freak Show – Nominated for 20 Emmy Awards how can you resist? This season had terrifyingly twisted and shocking twists. Jessica Lange is back and beautiful along with Kathy Bates, Angela Basset, Sarah Paulson and Michael Chiklis. The Bluray includes special features:
AMERICAN HORROR STORY: Freak Show Extra-Orindary Artists
Two Heads are Better than One
The Camp
Freaklore: The Spectre of Edward Mordrake
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VIKINGS: Season Three is back on Bluray to rage war once again! Ragnar, Rollo, Lagertha and Bjorn are making their way to Paris and finding trouble along the way with alliances shattering. It isn’t easy being King! To go deeper inside VIKINGS the special features include:
The Guide to the Gods
Bluray Exclusive – Extended Versions of All Episodes
Athelstan’s Journal (Parts 1 and 2)
Heavy is the Head: The Politics of King Ragnar’s Rule
A City Under Siege: Creating and Attacking Paris
Audio Commentary on “Born Again” and “Breaking Point”
Deleted Scenes

VIKINGS Has an Axe to Grind in Season Three Bluray!

Jeri Jacquin

Television shows have been working hard for viewers these past few years. One of the shows that has fans on the edge of their seats is from MGM and Fox Home Entertainment with the saga on Bluray of season three of VIKINGS.

The story follows the very serious Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) who begins as a farmer but before long takes to claiming he is family to the Viking god Odin. It isn’t long before Ragnar has claimed the throne of Denmark along with his wife Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick).

Brother Rollo (Clive Standen) has a love-hate relationship with brother Ragnar, but when it comes to fighting he is the first to swing a weapon. Wanting to make Ragnar even greater is Floki (Gustaf Skarsgard) whose shipbuilding skills help Ragnar’s plans. During a raid, Ragnar takes the monk Athelstan (George Blagden) into his family.

Now Ragnar, Lagertha with son Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) and Rollo are in the middle of learning who is loyal and if blood truly is thicker than water. Ragnar has so many plans and only he knows them all moving from Essex to take on the city of Paris. But there are old scores than need settling.

Queen Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland), Ragnar’s new wife is keeping the home fires burning in Kattegat. But there is something else burning as the stranger Harbard (Kevin Durand) charms his way into the family. 

There are alliances to be made and broken, battles to be fought and won, and the city of Paris that gleams in the eyes of Ragnar Lothbrok!

Fimmel as Ragnar hits the screen from moment one with a blast that has fans crazy. If you have never been to San Diego Comic Con International let me tell you that the cheering for this cast was deafening! It must also be said that the women had no problem expressing to me their adoration for Fimmel and his, and I quote, “piercing eyes”. Actually, that is a good thing to say because when Fimmel is all dirtied up after a good battle, it’s those piercing eyes that let the audience know what Ragnar is feeling. This character is as bad as he wants to be, especially when he’s thinking! Fimmel just gives so much in his actions (or inaction) and I can not imagine anyone else playing this role. 

Fimmel has appeared in other shows including Tarzan, Rocky Point, The Big Valley and films such as PURE CUROUNT 2: The Gift, NEEDLE, and THE EXPERIMENT. His next project is the live action video game film WARCRAFT.

Winnick as Lagertha is the strongest female character in the VIKING series. A shield maiden of course but so much more than that. This character has no problem, I mean ZERO picking up a weapon and taking on anyone that stands in her way. She is also intelligent and realizes the games that leaders play. They don’t believe she has it in her to lead and Lagertha probes them wrong. It is a joy to watch Winnick perform every episode as her character is constantly full of surprises. When looking for a strong female character in a series, Winnick pulls out all the stops and gives an outstanding performance!

Standen as Rollo is clearly what we call a big strapping guy! Hot headed and quick to respond, he is a little to quick and hot headed. Wanting what his brother has, Rollo takes a season or two to screw his head on straight and stand with his brother, even if he doesn’t always agree with him. There are bits of rogue still left in Rollo so I’m interested in seeing where he takes the character, especially in Paris!

Ludwig as Bjorn has such a large role in the third season. Following his parents in what ever direction they take, he is joined by the love of his life. Believing that she can handle the fight, it takes a saddening turn. Ludwig truly does jump in to this character and as a fan of this young actor it’s great to see Bjorn get stronger.  

Skarsgard as Floki is a character you love to hate. He has such brilliant ideas but at the same time his ideas turn with the tide but with a madness. Blagden as Athelstan is such a lovely character filled with forgiveness but at the same time a self loathing that pushes him to decide who he truly is. Blagden is lovely, I don’t care how that sounds but he is and playing Athelstan is a joy to watch.

Sutherland as Queen Aslaug is another strong female character in the VIKING series. Taking care of the village and her family is a strong weight which she takes on well. That is until a stranger appears! Durand as Harbard is the mystery guest in the village. There are some who don’t trust him and others who trust him completely. It is a arc that gives audiences more questions than answers.

MGM has one of the world’s deepest libraries of film and television content. To view that library please visit http://www.mgm.com.

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment also has an amazing selection of entertainment content with theater releases, DVD, Bluray, Digital HD and VOD. To find more of what they have to offer fans for their media library please visit http://www.fox.com.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give VIKINGS: The Complete Third Season five tubs of popcorn out of five. What can I say, I absolutely love this series. Michael Hirst is the creator and writer of the hit HISTORY channel series and he has given fans exactly what they’ve asked for. The story lines are complex and character driven in such a way that he sets us up for shocks and jaw drops.

The Bluray includes the special features: The Guide to the Gods – an interactive exploration of the various Gods in Nordic Mythology lore, which include: Odin, Thor, Loki, Frigg, Baldr, Hel, Freyja, Freyr and Njordr, Extended Versions of All Episodes, Althelstan’s Journal (Part 1 and 2) – Provides insight into the character of “Athelstan” as he seeks answers about his direction in life and seeking the honorable path, Heavy is the Head: The Politics of King Ragnar’s Rule, A City Under Siege: Creating and Attacking Paris, Audio Commentary on “Born Again” and “Breaking Point” featuring Michael Hirst and Linus Roache along with Deleted Scenes.

This Bluray for VIKINGS has so much that I suggest taking a weekend to go through everything. Every special feature has so much that adds to the excitement of watching VIKINGS and a little more knowledge for what’s coming in Season Four, which I personally am jazzed about.

In the end – they are on a journey to take the world!



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SPY is locked and loaded on Bluray as director Paul Feig sets Melissa McCarthy loose to go undercover in one of the funniest films of the year! The Bluray comes with an Unrated Cut, the Theatrical Cut and more than two hours of outrageous bonus features that include:
Unrated Cut
3 Redacted Scenes
15 Classified Alternate Scenes
Top Secret Gag Reel
Extra Top Secret Behind-the-Scenes Gag Reel
Director of Intelligence Feig Makes the Cast Do His Bidding
Susan and Her Men
Super Villain Rayna Can’t Keep it Together
How Spy was Made – 8 Behind the Scenes Featurettes
… and so much more it would take a book to list!

SPY is Locked and Loaded on Bluray!

Jeri Jacquin

This week on Bluray and Digital HD from writer/director Paul Feig and 20th Century Fox is the comedy I’ve been waiting for with SPY.

This film tells the story of Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy), working with the CIA as an analyst and the voice in the ear of Agent Bradley Fine (Jude Law). Looking for bad girl Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne), Cooper knows all has gone horribly wrong when Agent Fine is taken out.

Cooper’s boss Agent Crocker (Allison Janney) now must deal with a very angry Agent Rick Ford (Jason Statham) whose swears vengeance on those who killed Fine. Pointing the finger at Boyanov and her accomplices Solsa Dudaev (Richard Brake) and Sergio De Luca (Bobby Cannavale) they need a plan as all agents covers are blown.

Cooper decides to volunteer with the thinking that no one would suspect her. Against Crocker’s judgment and the irritation of Agent Ford, the plan is a go! They must find Boyanov before she sells a nuclear weapon to the highest bidder.

Hooking up with the new voice in the ear is Nancy B. Artingstall (Miranda Hart) who is giddy that Cooper is becoming a field agent. Arriving in Europe Cooper is surprised by Agent Ford presence and he makes plan hating the idea of her even having any part of the operation. 

A last minute decision by Cooper places her directly, literally, in the line of fire with Boyanov and she must use her training and wits to stop the sale and prove she is one hell of an agent.

Of course not everything is as it seems in the spy world!

McCarthy as Cooper begins as a shy voice in the ear of a super Agent but that doesn’t stay so for long. Once out in the field Cooper comes into her own and McCarthy is responsible for every frakken minute of the change. Delivering line after line with razor sharpness and action scene after action scene in heels I am beyond impressed. She has the mouth of a drunken sailor and the smarts needed to pull it all together and seriously I can’t imagine anyone else but McCarthy pulling this off. 

Byrne as Boyanov is the straight on bad girl of the film with a little bit of a Natasha feel as well. With hair the 50’s would be proud of and legs for days, she gets to wield a weapon and attempt to match wits with Cooper. As a matter of fact I don’t think I saw her crack a smile one time. It’s hard to be happy I suppose when you are selling out the world.

Law as Agent Fine gives the cool and suave appearance of a 00-something or other. His role is short and sweet. Cannavale as De Luca gets to be suave in his tuxedo and plays both sides of the bad guy field. Cannavale can play both dramatic and comedic roles, I just prefer comedic.

Hart as Nancy is just so endearing. Tired of being in the basement along with Cooper, she seizes the opportunity to get in the game as it were. Her meeting with 50 cent will have me laughing for a good while.

Statham as Ford absolutely nailed this role. Seriously, normally we see him as the straight forward handsome no-nonsense action hero and this, folks, is not that role. He is hilarious, overbearing, full of himself, and can tell a whale of a tale – continually. I couldn’t get enough of his stories or the characters antics. Stay for the very end of the film if you didn’t laugh hard enough during the film.

Janney as Agent Crocker has a small role here but completely and insanely funny. Trust me when I say the scene in the conference room is one for the books. I don’t think I will ever look at pink eye the same way again. This is an awesome role for her.

Also a shout out to Peter Serafinowicz as Aldo, not only for taking on this hilarious character but for giving a shout out to Downtown Abbey! He pulled it off beautifully and I never saw that coming.

Other cast include: Michael McDonald as Patrick, Julian Miller as Nicola, Nargis Fakhri as Lia, Morena Baccarin as Karen Walker, Will Yun Lee as Timothy Cress, Katie Dippold as Katherine, Jessica Chaffin as Sharon and Peter Serafinowicz as Aldo with a cameo by 50 Cent.

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is responsible for creating the expansion of so many home libraries. From theaters to DVD, Bluray, VOD and Digital HD, they give fans of films what they want to see and own. To discover more of what they have to offer please visit http://www.foxmovies.com.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give SPY four and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. I can’t remember when the last time it was that I laughed till I almost fell out of my chair and pretty sure my jaw dropped a few times as well, oh yes I can, when I saw SPY in the theater. Now on crispy and stunning Bluray I get to laugh out of my comfy recliner all over again and happy to do so.  

From the beginning to the very end this film is hilarious! There are going to be some seriously repeated lines from the film and I can’t wait to use them myself. Between McCarthy and Janney there are enough lines to go around. 

From action to fight scenes, Feig has taken comedy to another level. It is fantastic to have it as part of my home library so I can laugh as hard as I want and rewind if I must and not worry about missing anything. 

The Bluray comes with the Unrated Edition with over two hours of locked & loaded laughs. There are 3 Redacted Scenes, 15 Classified Alternate Scenes, 2 Top Secret Gag Reels, Cutting Room Floor Outtakes Including Susan and Her Men, The Great Rick Ford, For Your Eyes Only: Jokes-A-Plenty, How SPY Was Made: 8 Behind the Scenes Featurettes, a Commentary and so much more! 

Listen to me when I say that all of these extras are going to leave your sides hurting as they are equally as hilarious as the Bluray. I am tickled, literally, that all of the above is included making movie night even more hilarious.

In the end – the world has never met a spy quite like this one!
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LOST IN SPACE: The Complete Series – Oh yea! Not only is this a great introduction to a series for the kids, it’s a great space journey down memory lane for those who remember DANGER WILL ROBINSON! Featuring over seven hours of bonus materials and All-New Featurettes, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment brings it all home in this 50th Anniversary set. The special features include:
New On-Camera Original Cast Interviews with Bill Mumy, Mark Goddard, Angela Cartwright, Marta Kristen, Guy Williams, Jr., and Tony Williams.
Original Cast Audio Commentary
“Lost in Space: The Epilogue” – Special Cast Reunion.
Archive Materials with the original Un-Aired Pilot
Screen Tests
Bob May’s Home Movies
Interviews
Never-Before-Released 20th Anniversary Interview with Irwin Allen
…and more, more, more!
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THE LAST MAN ON EARTH: The Complete First Season – Nominated for four Primetime Emmy’s including Outstanding Lead Actor for Will Forte. It is 2020 and after a deadly virus has swept the planet there is only one man left on earth. In his RV he searches the country for other survivors – preferably a woman. This is a series that you will get addicted to along with Special Features:
Deleted Scenes
Commentary on “The Elephant in the Room”
“The Last Man on Earth” Q&A Panel
Survival of the Funniest: Creating THE LAST MAN ON EARTH
Commentary on “Screw the Moon”
Gag Reel
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EMPIRE: Season One – Set within a world of music, glamour, danger and power, EMPIRE in a collectible package with uncut music performances but oh so much more! A few of the Special Features are:
Pilot Episode – Director’s Cut
Exclusive Soundtrack including never-before-released songs
Collectible packaging for the Ultimate EMPIRE Fan
Featurette: EMPIRE: It’s in the Music
Featurette: The EMPIRE of Style
Special Commentary for the Pilot

So make your own list and check it twice! See what the kids might be wanting and while you are at it, throw in a few for yourself – I mean it’s a season of giving so give to yourself. It’s beginning to look a lot like a 20th Century Fox Bluray Christmas! Visit them at http://www.foxconnect.com

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