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THE BIG TRIP

Big Trip DVD cover

Jeri Jacquin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE GALLOWS ACT II Frights on Bluray

the Gallows cover
Jeri Jacquin
On Bluray/DVD and Digital from writer/directors Travis Cluff, Chris Lofing and Lionsgate is the return of evil with THE GALLOWS ACT II.
Auna Rue (Ema Horvath) is a young girl that has decided to go live with her sister Lisa (Brittany Falardeau) and start at a new school. Wanting to be an actress, Auna is looking to start with her YouTube channel that doesn’t have very many viewers.
Starting out in the drama class, teacher Mr. Schlake (Dennis Hurley) calls on a student to do a piece on stage and Auna willing accepts. The problem is that when she stands up, the words just don’t come. Frustrated, she looks for works that she can perform and finds The Gallows and reads it online.
Almost overnight people watch her channel and the views skyrocket and people want to become her friends. She meets Cade (Chris Milligan) and the two hit it off well. So much so that Cade introduces Auna to his parents who were once famous actors.
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Just when Auna thinks life is finally going her way, strange things begin to happen. Day by day there is something evil coming through and The Gallows is responsible. Auna wants to find a way to make it stop and with the help of Cade they find someone who can give them answers.
Other cast include Jener Dasislva as Nick, Anthony Jensen as Scott Lamont, Pfeifer Brown as Pfeifer Ross, Erika Miranda as Lex, Deandre Pierre as Scott, Lupe Cobain as Marcus, Alan Crop as Craig, and Amy Cooke as Kate.
Lionsgate is a global leader in motion picture production and distribution for theatres, television, home entertainment and more. Theatre franchises include THE HUNGER GAMES, and DIVERGENT along with JOHN WICK. Now, adding this film to its 16,000 motion picture and television titles you can see everything coming soon as well as available now at http://www.lionsgate.com.
The Special Features of THE GALLOWS ACT II are Audio Commentary with Writers and Directors Travis Cluff and Chris Lofing, Summoning The Hangman: Staging THE GALLOWS ACT II and Deleted Scenes.
THE GALLOWS ACT II is about as creepy as you’d want a horror film to be. The Hangman and Charlie Challenge pretty much pushes the limits to what is real, what is illusion and what is driving everyone just a little crazy. This all began with a game that took the internet by storm and ends up with victims all around.
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What is the most interesting about this film are the twists, turns and things I didn’t see coming. As a fan of horror films from way back in the good old days of Freddy Kruger, I like films that shake things up. That is what brings the conversation up at the coffee machine when someone says ‘did you see….?’ and THE GALLOWS ACT II is such a film.
The cast is small and that keeps it interesting as well staying laser focused on Auna and the things she wants most not realizing that everything comes with a price – especially wanting fame.
In the end – evil chooses you!

THE SIMPSONS: The Nineteenth Season Going Strong on

Simpsons DVD
Jeri Jacquin
Coming to DVD from its 19th (yes I said 19th) season is one of the most hilarious animated series on television from creator Matt Groening and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment with THE SIMPSONS: The Nineteenth Season.
The Simpsons had a very humble beginning in 1987 as a short on the equally hilarious Fox series with Tracey Ullman Show. It jumped from a half hour Christmas special in 1989 and regularly on 1990. For those of us who hate age-math, just know that in those 19 years all the laugh lines we have are 95% caused by this animated family we have come to embrace as our own.
Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and baby Maggie along with Grampa Simpson introduced us to characters that most of us could pin point as someone in our own. Who could realize that 19 seasons later, these characters would still be with us and, more importantly, still going strong with no signs of stopping (which those of us who love to laugh truly appreciate!)
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The season begins with Homer being very upset that he isn’t rich after saving boss Burns from dying. It takes only one flight on a jet with an awesome dinner to feed his already insecure insecurities. Next, Homer becomes an opera singer after an accident but he can only do it lying down!
Louie is a tow-truck driver who becomes friends with Homer and gives him a tour of the tow-truck life. Maggie has become too attached to Marge so she thinks a school to learn independence might not have been the best idea. Marge decides to be friends with a guy in prison and it doesn’t turn out exactly how she planned.
Going into Halloween, the Simpsons do it up right with parodies of movies and their take E.T. GOES HOME with Bart finding alien Kodos, MR. & MRS. SMITH as Homer and Marge team up to assassinate Kent Brockman, and HECK HOUSE with Ned Flanders asking God for bad powers and the ability to teach about the seven deadly sins.
Homer is in deep do-do when not knowing the color of his wife’s eyes while Bart’s popularity is threatened when Millhouse takes over with a life without parents. Marge decides the world needs a gym for regular sized women and Homer’s insecurities lead him to a little knife work from the local plastic surgeon.
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Sideshow Bob still has it in for the family Simpson but it all goes a slide side-ways when Bart makes it impossible for Bob to get what he needs to survive. Of course this turns everyone against Bart. Homer is dealing with no memory and Marge, Bart, Maggie and Lisa seems to be missing along with his memory. Then Homer sets off election mayhem with a fast-food burndown, Ralph Wiggum being a joke and then it turns out not to be so funny after all.
Homer reminisces about being a musician big giving it up for Marge and all because he found her diploma. Valentine’s Day turns into a little bit of a ride down famous couple lane when Homer and Marge become Bonnie and Clyde, Lady and the Tramp along with Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen. Bart has to rethink hid pranks when realizing that someone might be causing them all to go wrong.
Marge thinks Homer may be cheating so makes a call to a reality show to track him down and get answers. Lisa and Bart are fearing they may be sent to the big house for murder! Chazz Busby accepts Lisa into his ballet school and her dancing feet get better with a strange odor around.
Mayor Quimby is after anyone late on their taxes and sultry seductress Lurleen Lumpkin is back and Marge is not in a forgiving mood. When Bart’s 4-H Club friend Lou is being considered for hamburger, he tries to find a way to keep her – forever! Making a family film turns big time for Lisa as they all head to the Sundance film festival where her work is adored. Homer’s Mom Mona is back and informs her son she is done with protesting but her final act turns out to be more of a protest than ever.
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Finally, Lisa is Krusty the Clown’s newest replacement and Sideshow Mel tells that story. Bart and Homer have other fun plans deciding to be the ones to find the Kissing Lincolns penny.
Special guests include Steve Buscemi, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Ted Nugent, Matt Dillon, Stephen Colbert, Maya Rudolph, Placido Domingo, Lionel Richie, Maurice LaMarche, Alan Moore, Jack Black, Dan Clowes, Kelsey Grammer, Keith Olbermann, David Hyde Pierce, John Mahoney, Jon Stewart, Dan Rather, Weird Al Yankovic, Kurt Loder, Terry Gross, Topher Grace, The Dixie Chicks, Beverly D’Angelo, Zooey Deschanel, John C. Reilly, Jim Jarmusch, Drew Carey, Lance Armstrong and Glenn Close.
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment brings award-winning global product and new entertainment to DVD, Bluray, and Digital HD. There amazing collection offers fans an opportunity to expand their own home libraries with the best films. To discover what other titles they have please visit www.fox.com.
The DVD includes the Special Features of 4-Disc Set Containing The Complete Nineteenth Season With All 20 Episodes listed below, “A Plea for Santy” by Matt Groening, Special Language Feature, Thank You Audio Commentary on Every Single Episode with Writers, Actors and Directors.
Episodes include He Loves to Fly and He D’ohs, The Homer of Seville, Midnight Towboy, I Don’t Wanna Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Treehouse of Horror XVIII, Little Orphan Millie, Husbands and Knives, Funeral for a Friend, Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind, E Pluribus Wiggum, That ’90s Show, Love Springfieldian Style, The Debarted, Dian “N” for Nerder, Smoke on the Daughter, Papa Don’t Leech, Apocalypse Cow, Any Given Sundance, Mona Leaves-a, and All About Lisa.
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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.
Creator Groening has had an amazing career as a cartoonist, writer, producer, animator and, in many cases added his own voice to The Simpsons. His work has brought home a slew of awards including Primetime Emmy(s) Award(s) for Outstanding Animation as well as Outstanding Character Voice-Over, Outstanding Achievement in Animation, Outstanding Original Music, Kids’ Choice Award for Favorite Cartoon and TV Show, People’s Choice Award for Favorite New TV Comedy and Favorite TV Family and Favorite Animated TV Show, NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing, Teen Choice Award, TCA Award, TCA Heritage Award, Satellite Award, British Comedy Award, GLAAD Media Award and Peabody Award. Many of these awards have been won several times over.
That all being said and kudos by the way, The Simpsons have been in my home from the very beginning. It has affected our humor in a major way and brought us into the world of merchandising buy outs. My sons had to have Bart Simpson tee-shirts, what can I say. The show was constantly on in our house and anytime there was a marathon you could find this family front and center with snacks and pajamas at the ready.
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The amazing thing about The Simpsons is that we all feel like they are a part of us in a way that no other animated series ever has. We know them inside and out and still we tune in and laugh ourselves into a tizzy. We know Homer is just a walking disaster area, we know Marge is a saint in the way she deals with her family even if she makes a mistake a time or two, we know Lisa won’t ever let herself be put in a box with labels, and we know Maggie is never going to give us more than the smacking sound of her pacifier.
What we know even more is that Bart is always going to be Bart and in a way gives us all hope to be the best naughty versions of ourselves. He is the prankster we all strive to be and has given us over the years one liners that are still in use 19 seasons later. That’s something to be awesomely proud of.
Watching THE SIMPSONS: The Complete Nineteenth Season together with my family is a continual journey for our animated friends and this family is thrilled to be a part of seeing it again and again. It is equally pretty cool to have it now as part of our home entertainment library in the “frikken awesome animated stuff” section.
So prepare for the next season by bringing on the iconic 19th season with Homer, Marge, Lisa, Bart, Maggie and the rest of the Springvillians because their home is our home.
In the end – do’h!

A REINDEER’S JOURNEY is Full of Heart

Reindeers Journey cover
Jeri Jacquin
Coming to DVD from writer/director Guillaume Maidatchevsky and Screen Media comes the fascinating story of Ailo from birth onward with Donald Sutherland narrating A REINDEER’S JOURNEY.
In Lapland in Finland, a young reindeer named Ailo is born in the cold but up on his feet because he lives in a world that doesn’t let you wobble long. His Mom is on her own to raise her baby and get him strong enough to be able to join the herd once again. Young Ailo begins to see the world he lives in with the ever present danger, species different from himself and growing into a young reindeer with his own destiny.
A REINDEER’S JOURNEY is just an absolute delight that captured my four-year-old granddaughters attention immediately. She couldn’t take her eyes off the young reindeer, the forest, snow and other animals. Yet, she wasn’t the only on delighted by what was on the screen.
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I’ve always been an avid watcher of stories about the animals that live in our world but, and perhaps it’s because it is the holiday season, watching baby Ailo just made my heart melt more. Adorable from birth, watching his bond with his mother and be so curious about the world around him is everything.
The other animals from the fox, bunny, badger, white owl and the very hyperactive ermine (it is a very white, beautiful and hilarious weasel) are equally stunning to see in their own environment. This is the world these beautiful animals live in and it is almost as if watching is a weird encroachment on their privacy but I thank them for sharing.
Screen Media Ventures, a Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment acquires the rights to high quality, independent television series and feature films for the US and Canada. Screen Media has a library of over 1,500 television series and motion pictures and is one of the largest independent suppliers of high-quality tv series and motion pictures to US and international broadcast markets, cable networks, home video outlets and a new media venues. For more information please visit www.screenmedia.net.
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A REINDEER’S JOURNEY has the Bonus Feature of Making of A REINDEER’S JOURNEY.  For more information please visit www.areindeersjourney.com.
This is the type of film that is absolutely made for families to watch together. It is a great way to bring everyone to the sofa and cuddle up watching the story of Ailo. It is a story of his struggles to survive the land he lives in, learn to be a reindeer and know when it is time to leave to begin a life all his own.
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Surrounded by stunning cinematography of a location I could only dream of visiting in person, that’s what filmmaking like this does. I think I’ll have to add Finland to my list of places to visit. Listening to the calming and entertaining voice of Donald Sutherland is just an added bonus that certainly pleased me. He is a treasure in his own right.
In the end – every day is a new adventure!

TURTLE ODYSSEY: Bunji’s Big Adventure Swims to 4K and Bluray

Turtle Odyssey cover
Jeri Jacquin
Coming to 4K Ultra UHD, Bluray and DVD from SHOUT! Factory, directors Caspar Mazzotti and Paul Phelan is the adventure of a the sea and a TURTLE ODYSSEY: Bunji’s Big Adventure.
Narrated by Russell Crowe, this is the story of Bunji, a small sea turtle who has popped out of the Australian sand facing the race to the sea. Facing predators who want a small snack, Bunji isn’t finished facing troubles. Once away from the hazards on land, she faces the creatures from the sea!
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Learning how to survive, she gets stronger, bigger and smarter in the ways of being a sea turtle. What she has on her side is over 100 million years of DNA flowing through her as easy as she flows through water. An ancient creature, Bunji travels thousands of miles and (insert human jealousy here) sees and experiences some of the most beautiful things to be found in the sea.
When she reaches adulthood, Bunji finds a mate and the cycle that brought her into the sea begins to happen for her. Including the long journey back to the same sandy beach she popped out from. It truly is the circle of life and Bunji has let us join her through it all.
Majestic and beautiful, Bunji is truly a unique creature.
IMAX TURTLE ODYSSEY: Bunji’s Big Adventure joins Shout! Factory’s exising catalog of 4K films that includes the incredible critically acclaimed and award-winning odysseys WE, THE MARINES, JOURNEY TO SPACE, FLIGHT OF THE BUTTERFLIES, THE LAST REEF: Cities Beneath the Sea,  NATIONAL PARK ADVENTURES and so many more.
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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.
The Special Feature of TURTLE ODYSSEY: Bunji’s Big Adventure is an Interview with Dr. Ian Bell, Senior Conversation Officer.
TURTLE ODYSSEY: Bunji’s Big Adventure is such a wonderful look at a creature that most know so little about. Bunji shares with us the history of her species from sand back to sand. We are witness to her surviving birth and trying to stay away from any other creatures dinner menu. All of this is hard enough but with the encroachment of human kind, they brings a new struggle to her survival. The interesting part of this is that with creature predators it is part of, and forgive me for using the phrase, but circle of life, but human encroachment is something we can and should do something about.
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What this film does is gives us all more of a reason to want to do everything possible to help Bunji and her species survive and, more importantly, thrive!
In the end – her epic journey becomes our very own!

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!

CINDERELLA and the SECRET PRINCE Delight on DVD

Cinderella cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD from directors Lynne Southerland and Paulette Victor-Lifton and SHOUT! Kids Factory comes a new twist to a fairytale we all know as CINDERELLA and the SECRET PRINCE.

Ella (Cassandra Lee Morris) is taking care of her step-mother and two step-sisters but also of the creatures that live in the home. Her three furry mice friends, Alex (Chris Niosi), Manny (R. Martin Klein) and Walt (Tony Azzolino) have started her day with a little bit of trouble in the kitchen. It doesn’t last long when it is announced that there is to be a ball at the castle where the prince is looking for a wife.

No interest in it at all, Ella is encouraged by the mice to attend and take a chance that she might be the next princess to the kingdom. Her thoughts turn to what to wear when it is suggested that they seek out the fairy godmother who lives in the woods for guidance. Once there, they can’t find the fairy but instead her apprentice named Crystal (Kirsten Day). At first she doesn’t seem interested but then realizes it’s much more fun than standing around doing nothing.

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At the ball she dances with the prince but the mice and Crystal seek out the kitchen. Instead they find that there is a Witch (Wendee Lee) practicing evil! In fact they discover that Alex isn’t really a mouse – he is the rightful prince to the kingdom. Telling Ella what is happening they decide to find the one thing that could restore Alex and reclaim the kingdom from evil.

They are going to have to act fast because the Witch isn’t about to give up quite so easily!

Morris as Ella lends her voice to this delightful character who finds herself on an adventure of a lifetime. Ella is fun, has a sense of humor but also knows when an injustice has been done and wants to help make it right. There is nothing better than a strong young girl who sees her world as an opportunity to do right by all.

Niosi as Alex is a young man who has had his life taken by the greed of another. It is meeting Ella that sets in motion all the decisions he makes and the ultimate decision that may change everything he has come to love.

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Klein and Azzolino as Manny and Walt are charming, funny, and have no problem admitting when they aren’t comfortable doing something. Of course if there are snacks involved you can get a little more out of them!

Day as Crystal doesn’t start off as the happiest of people as she is looking for her mentor with no luck. Understanding that she can be friends with Ella, Alex, Manny and Walt opens up the doors for relationships she has been lacking and becomes a trusted friend. Lee as the Witch is scary and, well, for a better term a pretty nasty person. Taking away Alex’s life for her own greed certainly qualifies as a nasty person but she goes after them all to make sure she keeps what she thinks is hers.

Other cast include Stephen Mendel as Olaf, Terrence Stone as the Eagle and Stephanie Sanditz as Step-mother.

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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CINDERELLA and the SECRET PRINCE is heartwarming, entertaining, funny and, of course, enchanting. This is a twist on the classic story with a witch that makes Ella’s step-mother seem tame by comparison. The focus clearly is on Ella’s friendships and her meeting the mouse-prince. Their goal is to make things right in a world that has been forced into evil by someone the prince trusted.

It is a story of friendship, loyalty, adventure, doing right no matter the cost and a little bit of love as well. That is why families enjoy these story’s. We want to sit with our family and enjoy a film that is fun but also teaches lessons that everyone can embrace.

In the end – it is a tale of friendship and love wrapped in magic!

Prepare for the Holidays with ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE

Anna cover

Currently on DVD from director John McPhail and Cinedigm comes a biting end to the beginning of the holidays as we know it with ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE.

In the town of Little Haven, Anna (Ella Hunt) is a young girl with big dreams out of high school. Unable to talk about it with Dad (Mark Benton), her big plans include traveling with a ticket hidden from view. The only other person who knows is best friend John (Malcom Cummings) who supports her but has a secret of his own.

Singing their way through teen angst, they are more involved in their mundane teenage-hood lives of unrequited love and parental misunderstandings to notice something different going on. That is until they see a snowman who seems a little friendlier than it should be but Anna takes care of it.

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Walking through town they notice the destruction and everyone heads for the school. Anna and John meet up with Steph (Sarah Swire) and Chris (Christopher Leveaux) at the local bowling alley. The Headmaster (Paul Kaye) has a group locked down at school telling everyone it will be fine.

Trying to pass the time, Chris and John wonder who has been turned from the upsetting thought that Robert Downey, Jr. and Taylor Swift might be among the undead! Anna and Sarah are just trying to keep the bowling dead off of them.

Even in the midst of destruction and no internet access (selfie withdrawn imminent), the group still has the one thing the shuffling dead can’t take from them – breaking out into lamenting song!

Hunt as Anna first of all has an amazing singing voice but even more than that she has a presence that I just love. Portraying Anna as a strong young woman who questions everything but still knows that she wants to experience more than the town of Little Haven, Hunt nails it.

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Cumming as John as the look of a young man in love and not knowing the rules of how to make that known. Joining in with Anna, he tries to put his mind in a different place because zombies aren’t exactly in his life lane. I love his portrayal of John because in the midst of chaos there is a little bit of a sweet naivetés.

Swire as Steph is dealing with her own issues feeling as if her parents dumped her in this little town and no one understands her. This actress also has an amazing voice as well and her snide comments and standoffish attitude is one that servers her will during this unusual holiday film.

Leveaux as Chris is the zombie resident expert on how to avoid getting bit and seems to be enjoying it all a little too much. Another great surprise here is Ben Wiggins as Nick, notably the school jock, he certainly knows how to swing a bat and is having a good time with his boys fighting the zombie war and singing about it too.

Other cast include: Marli Siu as Lisa, Sean Connor as Graham, John Winchester as Tibbsy, Euan Bennet as Jake, Ella Jarvis as Katie, Janet Lawson as Mrs. Hinzmann, Ruth McGhie as Bea, Kirsty Strain as Ms. Wright, Therese Bradley as Julie, Jake Richardson as Chas and Paul Kaye as Arthur Savage.

CINEDIGM has strategic relationships with over 60,000 physical retail storefronts and digital platforms with Wal-Mark, Target, iTunes, Netflix, and Amazon as well as national cable and satellite Video On Demand with an impressive distribution footprint that reaches ninety-three percent of all connected devices in the United States. The company’s vast content library boasts over 52,000 feature films and television episodes. To learn more please visit www.cinedigm.com.

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The DVD includes the Bonus Feature of ANNA & THE APOCALYPSE: Behind the Scenes.

 

ANNA & THE APOCALYPSE might just become a holiday classic in my home. We love all things zombie but this, THIS has everything else. From teen singing and dancing to surviving the holidays in a unique way, the film doesn’t mind adding a little camp like sprinkles on holiday sugar cookies.

Trying to reach their families for holiday dinner is kind of like fighting traffic through L.A. on Christmas Eve – except they are on the menu! The film had me laughing, toe tapping, rooting for the teenagers (I know, I mean what???) and feeling like this is the Undead Breakfast Club meets High School Musical.

The film is also about friendships, truth, the craziness of being a teen, family, loss and discovering that each of them isn’t so different than the other. One thing we can all be sure is that a zombie apocalypse can certainly bring out the good and bad in them all.

One thing is for certain, they are all in this together and they don’t care about the naughty or nice part of the holidays.

In the end – zombies are coming to town!

Beware of THE DRONE

THE DRONE cover
Jeri Jacquin
Coming to DVD from director Jordan Rubin And Lionsgate is a look at those who use technology for destruction while flying THE DRONE.
After a city wide manhunt for a killer using a drone to find his victims, the police take care of it and take his drone for evidence. Unfortunately it never makes it to the evidence locker. Newlyweds Richie (Christopher Cook), Rachel (Alex Essoe) their dog Hector have moved into a beautiful new house and are in the midst of settling in.
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Richie is surprised to find a drone in his recycling bin and really happy about it. The only thing is he doesn’t have a remote but after getting one he is even more excited. Later that night the drone is on the dresser in their bedroom and recording.
Rachel starts noticing that the drone is flying in the house by itself and thinks Richie is responsible. He tries to tell her it’s not true which leads to a bit of an argument. What they aren’t aware of is that the drone is watching their every move and beginning to take control of the technology in the house.
When a neighbor is attacked and Richie is questioned by police, Rachel is confronted by the drone. It is now on a mission but that isn’t going to stop the couple from finding out what that is and stop it cold.

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Essoe as Rachel is a pretty strong woman in the sense that  she picks up on the drone quickly and isn’t about to let a piece of flying junk take her out. She is more aware of the situation and quicker to track down why this is happening.
Cook as Richie is taken in by the drone and sees it as a toy. What he doesn’t expect is that his ‘toy’ has other plans. As more and more things begin to happen, he realizes that Rachel is right, especially when the cops come knocking on the door.
Other cast include John Brotherton as Chris, Harvey Jackson as LAPD Boubier, Rex Lin as Baker, Gonzalo Menendez as Det. Ramirez, Simon Rex as Jeffries, and Anita Briem as Corrine.
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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Special Features include Making THE DRONE, Commentary with Director-Co-Writer Jordan Rubin, Actor Alex Essoe, Cinematography Jonathan Hall and Drone Operator Travis Geske and Trailer Gallery.
THE DRONE is a film that doesn’t fall far from the fears people have about electronics and drones in particular. They represent an quiet invasion of privacy especially when there are very few laws regulating their use.
I don’t want to give anything away because there are some twists here that I didn’t see coming. Once the first twist happens, it keeps happening and happening until the very last frame of the film. Pretty cool to my way of thinking.
In the end – your remote has no control.

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