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Disney Delights to Bring Home FROZEN 2 on Bluray

frozen 2

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray, DVD and Digital from director Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee and Walt Disney Home Entertainment is the return to Arendelle and FROZEN 2.

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.

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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 parent’s 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.

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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 Olaf 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. Thank Gad for bringing life to such an sweet, gentle and loving character.

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.

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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.

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

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.

The Bluray and Bonus Extras include over an hour of bonuses including A Sing-Along Version of the Movie, Outtakes, Deleted Scenes, Deleted Songs, Do You Know ????, Music Videos and more! The soundtrack to FROZEN 2 have been in our car since the day of its release so now it will be fun to sing along with the film.

FROZEN 2 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? In FROZEN 2 we are asked to go “Into the Unknown” and Olaf brings his delightful “When I am Older”.

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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 2 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.

I am hardly about to tell every detail of the film because it’s FROZEN 2 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.

Disney has been on a very cool winning streak with their animated films and FROZEN 2 seals the 2019 deal for them. The launch of Disney+ this week means that you can enjoy Disney films all year long which I know my granddaughter intends to do.

FROZEN 2 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. Now, FROZEN can take a well-deserved Bluray break from the player and FROZEN 2 can step up to continue the joys of Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven as well as new friends!

At home we can embrace our children and grandchildren as the story unfolds because we share a connection with our friends in the film. We understand the struggles, the love, friendship and caring and that makes FROZEN 2 just about everything we need in family time.

In the end – they are going into the unknown!

The Thrill Returns Us to DOWNTON ABBEY

Downton Abbey Cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatre this Friday from director Michael Engler and Focus Features from the characters created by Julian Fellowes is the return to DOWNTON ABBEY.

The Crawley family continues normal life at Downton Abbey until Robert (Hugh Bonneville), the Earl of Grantham, receives word that the King George V (Simon Jones) and Queen Mary (Geraldine James) are about to make a visit. Cora (Elizabeth McGovern) is thrilled but Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) goes into immediate panic especially with husband Henry (Matthew Goode) off on business. Barrows (Robert James-Collier) is now the head of the staff but Lady Mary feels as if things aren’t getting done properly.

Bringing her concerns to Lord Grantham there is only one choice, ask a retired Mr. Carson (Jim Carter) to resume his duties as Downton Abbey until the visit is over and Barrows isn’t happy. Mr. Carson gets the staff in order with Andy (Michael Fox) and the return of Mr. Molesley (Kevin Doyle). Mrs. Hughes (Phyllis Logan) also has her hands full as every nook and cranny must be cleaned and there isn’t a lot of time. Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nicol) and Daisy (Sophie McShera) begin creating a menu fit for royalty.

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Violet Crawley (Maggie Smith) doesn’t seem as nervous about the King and Queen’s visit but is concerned about seeing relative Maud Bagshaw (Imedla Staunton). The Dowager believes that Maud is trying to cut Robert out of any inheritance since being seen about with her companion Lucy (Tuppence Middleton). Isobel (Penelope Wilton) agrees to help Violet discover the true story behind Maud’s decision as husband Lord Merton (Douglas Reith) stays out of it.

Tom Branson (Allen Leech) is happy to be back at Downton Abbey and with his car business. When he learns about the King and Queen’s visit, some think that perhaps he wouldn’t be pleased out it. So much so that Mary senses something is wrong and isn’t sure what to do. Up for the festivities is Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) and husband Bertie Hexham (Harry Hadden-Paton) as they make their way home.

With everything buzzing and plans being made, there is a damper on the happiness when the staff are told that they will not be handling the royal visit. Enter the very stuffy Kings manservant Mr. Wilson (David Haig), Queen’s dresser Mrs. Webb (Richenda Carey) and royal chef Monsieur Courbet (Philippe Spall). Hardly ready to relinquishing their pride in Downton Abbey, Mrs. Bates (Joanne Froggatt) and Mr. Bates (Brendan Coyle) come up with a plan that is brilliant and wonderful. Barrows is also being watched by Captain Chetwode (Stephen Moore) as being upset with Mr. Carson leads him down a bad road.

When the King and Queen finally arrive, the household is in high gear as the royal family is treated to dinner with a party to follow the next evening. That is when secrets are revealed, loyalties are tested and everyone who lives and works at Downton Abbey once again remembers how they have all come together for so long and can’t imagine anything else.

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Bonneville as the Earl of Grantham returns to his role as the leader of a family who go their own way no matter what he might say about it. This character has grown to understand that things change and if he doesn’t then the Downton Abbey could fall at his feet. I adore Bonneville in this role because he has the facial expressions that say everything even if he says nothing. He clearly loves his family and what’s more is he respects those who keep his household running.  McGovern as Cora is the American who has embraced the world she married into. When she is stern, it comes with a smile most often and when she is giddy her face lights up. Her character is the opposite of Robert which is why these two actors make such an awesome pairing.

Dockery as Lady Mary is such an unusual character because she gives off an air of superiority but when she lets her humanity and frailty show it is a sight for the heart to see. Carmichael as Lady Edith has finally found her niche in the world along with daughter Marigold. Now she needs to find the order of it all. Staunton as Bagshaw is a relative full of secrets and some in the family are going to make sure they know every little juicy detail. Middleton as Lucy has her own secrets but a certain Irishman only sees a lovely young girl.

Leech as Branson has become a character that was once on the outside looking in and now on the inside looking out. Finding the middle ground has always been such a difficult process for this character but now he seems to have found it. Happy with his business and equally happy at Downton Abbey, he carries himself with such grace and still finds humor in his adopted family. Goode as Henry just goes along to get along and is happy in his marriage to Lady Mary, I wish there would have been more of him but I’m thinking it will happen. Hadden-Patton as Hexam is being pulled away by a King who has taken a liking to him and Edith finds herself being meek about it once again. I kept thinking ‘come on Edith, stand your ground!’. Reith as Lord Merton has found happiness in his life and plans to keep it that way by staying out of any family drama.

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Jones and James as the King and Queen are lovely and bring their own personal baggage to Downton Abbey. They prove that even royals have family issues and through it all a sense of humor as well. Moore as Chetwode protects the royal family but has a few secrets of his own. Haig as Mr. Wilson is a man I’d throw out on his ear if it wouldn’t get me put in the Tower! Carey as Mrs. Webb would be in the pig mud right night to Mr. Wilson and to complete the threesome would be Spall as the royal chef. Those three brought enough aggravation and did it extremely well – kudos!

The return of Carter as Mr. Carson brought joy to every moment he is on screen. His presence, even when he is a bit frazzled, lets you know that everything will be alright. Right by his side is Logan as Mrs. Hughes. Never let it be said that this very elegant lady doesn’t know how to take care of her position and life with Mr. Carson. Nicol as Mrs. Patmore is a character I see as the fire that is always keeping everyone warm. Food is one thing but the obvious caring she has for those around her comes through the screen. McShera as Daisy once again puts her foot in it and manages to not be concerned with how some people love traditions and pageantry.

James-Collier as Barrows has been in Mr. Carson’s shoes for some time and isn’t all that thrilled when he returns. So instead of dealing with it, which he never does very well, he once again finds destructive ways of handling things. Nothing he does surprises me! Doyle as Mr. Molesley is over excited and willing to put his teaching position on hold just to be in the same room as the King and Queen. Of course with this excitement comes the usual missteps that had me responding with a slap to my forehead. Fox returns as Andy who is in love with Daisy and discovers he might have a bit of a jealous streak in him.

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My favorite couple ever in the entire series is Froggartt as lovely Mrs. Bates and Coyle as Mr. Bates. If there was ever a couple that went through everything horribly imaginable and came out the other side the same honorable people it is the Bates’. Froggartt is beautiful, sweet, gentle yet has a sarcastic side I love. Being the dresser for Lady Mary for years, she still wants to be at Downton Abbey and in the film gets her chance to show a side that is epic. Coyle as Mr. Bates has gone through the gambit if I do say so myself. Through it all his life has changed dramatically and yet he never once looked for an excuse for anything. That being said, planning what is planned for the staff at Downton Abbey, this husband and wife duo show they will fight for what they believe in and do it as they always have done it – together.

Now let’s talk Maggie Smith as Violet – can it be said that she is the cherry on top of a very large and very ostentatious Downton Abbey cake? Well, she is on the one in my mind. Smith is sharp, witty, and doesn’t take anything lightly. One moment she is watching everything and the next jumping in the fray to mix it up. Of course she wouldn’t be able to do some of it with her partner-in-sort-of-crime Isobel. Wilton in her supporting friendship with Violet is the yin to her yang. When these two ladies get together you can be sure it will be hilarious and the repartee a feast for the mind.

Other cast include Raquel Cassidy as Miss Baxter, Kate Phillips as Princess Mary, Max Brown as Richard Ellis, Mark Addy as Mr. Bakewell, Michael Fox as Andy Parker, Susan Lynch as Miss Lawton, James Cartwright as Tony Sellick, Fifi Hart as Sybbie, Oliver & Zac Barker as George, Alice McCarthy as Nanny Harewood, Marina Balbara as Baroness Valerenay, Andrew Havill as Henry Lascelles, Eva & Karina Samms as Marigold, Diane Halling as Countess of Harrowby, and Perry Fitzpatrick as Chris Webster.

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I discovered the series DOWNTON ABBEY completely by accident as it was on KPBS the same night as my other favorite  The Great British Baking Show. It didn’t take long before I became completely engrossed in the story of the families both upstairs and downstairs. I hated when the seasons ended and I broke out the tea set when the next season came around. Little did I know that the series was exploding all over the United States.

Created by writer Julian Fellowes, it aired in 2011 telling the story of Downton Abbey in the mid-1900s of a Yorkshire estate and the Crawley family but it also told the story of the servants. There was everything imaginable happening and the cast made every bit of it magical to watch for those of us who watched week after week. Downton Abbey is actually Highclere Castle in north Hampshire and although there was filming in Ealing Studios, most of it is Highclere Castle both inside and out.

Fellowes himself has had an amazing career as an actor, to launching his own series on BBC and writing a miniseries about the Titanic. He won an Oscar for Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen in 2002 for the script GOSFORD PARK and won Best Directorial Debut from the National Board of Review for SEPARATE LIES. His credit also include VANITY FAIR, THE TOURIST, FROM TIME TO TIME and one of my absolute favorite Emily Blunt films THE YOUNG VICTORIA.

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DOWNTON ABBEY has become and I believe will continue to be an iconic series and now film for years to come. There is nothing that can hold a candle to it. In the four years since fans cried their eyes out at the television show finale, the film will not only make us forgive everything but thrill us once again. The story, the character, opulence, splendor, feistiness, heart, gumption, and so much more wrapped in a castle most of us know from a mere glance.

How does one thank Julian Fellowes for giving us just a little more of what we crave and an even bigger thank you to every original cast member that came back and made us feel like they didn’t miss a beat. DOWNTON ABBEY is such a beautiful film in every way and I love period pieces of all kinds but this film has a special place in my heart because the characters.

This is not just a reunion of characters, but a reunion of us along with the characters we embraced back in 2011. We want to know they are all fine in the world of Downton Abbey and that it is possible (please let it be possible) that there might be another film to continue their story.

In the end – they’ve been expecting us!

 

SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK

Scary stories

 

Jeri Jacquin

In theatres now from director Andre Ovredal, Entertainment One and Lionsgate comes the tale of kids and SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK.

It is fall in Mill Valley, PA in 1968 and Halloween has brought out mischief. Stella (Zoe Colletti) and friends Auggie (Gabriel Rush) and Chuck (Austin Zajur) had plans of their own as town bully Tommy (Austin Abrams) is the object of their pranks. When it doesn’t turn out well, the three have to hide and find protection in Ramon’s car (Michael Garza).

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Getting to know their rescuer, the gang decides to do their own Halloween by visiting the local haunted house. Once owned by the Bellows family, it has a history for spookiness and rumor. Stella tells the story of Sarah Bellows, a woman who was kept in the basement of her family home but no one really knew why.

Finding the room in the basement, Stella finds a book of her stories while at the same time Tommy found all of them! Taking it with them when they manage to get out, they have no idea what they have unleashed.

The book begins to tell stories and Stella is shocked to learn that the tales come true. Beginning with Tommy, she realizes that everyone that was in the basement is now a target. Ramon stays in town to help find the answers as they dig into town records about the Bellows and discover the truth.

They are running out of time and friends!

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Colletti as Stella is front and center of the film as a young girl dealing with feelings about her mother while taking care of her father. Growing up with her two buddies, she still feels alone and spends her time writing. Colletti gives her character vulnerability, smarts and a fearlessness that I found myself cheering for without realizing I was doing it.

Garza as Ramon is passing through town but has a nosey sheriff keeping tabs on him. Helping Stella and friends brings him problems from the town bully but those are minor compared to what follows them all. This young actor keeps it together while friends Auggie and Chuck don’t.

Rush as Auggie is a little different than most boys his age and that is the reason Stella hangs out with him. Zajur as Chuck not only is the smarty pants of the bunch but also loves to make sister Ruth, played by Natalie Ganzhorn, miserable. Ganzhorn is the drama queen in every sense of the word and with very good eight legged reason to be.

Other cast include Gil Bellows as Chief Turner, Lorraine Toussaint as Lou Lou, Will Carr as Ephraim Bellows and Kathleen Pollard as Sarah Bellows.

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SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK has everything suspenseful and very cool special effects. The story is set in an era that is becoming more popular in film and you won’t get a complaint out of me about that. There is something very special about films that are filled with cell phones, loud music, guns, and all the things we’ve become desensitized to.

This film is a good scary yarn that is filled with a few jumps, creepy music, a back-story and kids so that’s a start. That being said, the premise of the film is one I have seen before. Not a reinvention of the horror genre wheel by any stretch, it’s a nice get-a-big-tub-of-popcorn-to-share film with friends (but go to the matinee).

In the end – stay out of scary houses!

Get ready to Experience ALTERED MINDS

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Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD from creative mind of writer/director Michael Z. Wechsler and Entertainment One is a psychological thriller that reaches into ALTERED MINDS.

Dr. Nathaniel Shellner (Judd Hirsch) is a Nobel Prize winning psychiatrist who now at 75 years of age is facing death because of a serious illness. Bringing his family together for quality time is the goal of the weekend. Wife Lillian (Caroline Lagerfelt) is happy to have her children home even though 37 year-old Tommy (Ryan O’Nan) seems to be showing signs of mental illness.

Elder son Leonard (Joseph Taylor) is also a psychiatrist who is upset by Tommy’s behavior. Along with siblings Julie (Jaime Newman) and Harry (C.S. Lee), they aren’t quite sure what to do. Knowing they don’t want their father upset anymore than he needs to be, everyone takes a turn trying to keep Tommy calm.

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But that isn’t going to work because Tommy wants answers from his father believing that the mental issues comes from psychological experiments done when they were kids. Nathaniel repeats time after time that it just isn’t true and that Tommy’s problems are all in his head, literally. Wanting to believe, Tommy has moments where he wants to share time with dad until disturbing images flash and the lashing out begins again.

Julie and Harry, at first, constantly tell Tommy to stop. Then, out of no where, both Harry and Julie start remembering things about the family home that begin to freak them out. With each moment that passes, family secrets emerge, memories become clearer and it is time to tell the truth no matter what the cost.

O’Nan as Tommy makes sure this characters feelings and suspicions are known by all from the moment he appears on screen. Displaying an air of serious creepiness, I was captivated every time he went on a rant. Piecing together what may or may not be true in the things Tommy believes becomes as serious as a game of Jenga! Awesomely done.

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Hirsch as Dr. Shellner is living the end of his life with a cargo container full of secrets and not just family kind. Trying to keep the family calm isn’t an easy task as each of them begins to question their own memories. Personally I am just happy to see Hirsch again and yes this is an awesome role for him to take on.

Taylor as eldest son Leonard has his own personal issues feeling as if his parents care more about his younger siblings than they ever did him. Tired of Tommy’s issues and wanting to spend time with his father, Leonard isn’t about to put up with more crap than he has too. Taylor gives his character a little bit of “feel bad for me” but the tables do have a way of turning when the truth comes out.

Newman as Julie is the middle kid, as it were, and sees everyone’s issue until her own come into play. She wants to spend time with her ailing father without the family drama and still be supportive of her troubled brother Tommy. When a photograph calls into question her own memories, she wants to know more. Lee as Harry seems the quiet son, but as the memories rattle him, Harry almost become a casualty of the fears they share.

Lagerfelt as Lillian is a mother who just wants her family to get along, especially with the impending death of her husband. As each of the kids shares what they remember, Mom shows her own doubts as to what her husband could possibly have done to the children to cause all of this to happen.

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Other cast include Jake Miller as Sasha, Lily Pilblad as Sylvia, Hayden Signoretti as Young Tommy, Isaac Solstein as Young Harry, Dana Konner as Young Julie, Marilyn Chris as Elizabeth Robbins, and Dennis Flanagan as Sgt. Joseph Robbins.

Entertainment One has more than 4,500 hours of programming and growing. From script development to global distribution, Entertainment One creates and distributes the compelling content that everyone wants to watch. For more of what they have to offer please visit http://www.entertainmentone.com.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give ALTERED MINDS four tubs of popcorn out of five. Oh my goodness where to begin! This film is a prime example of how hard it can be to write a review sometimes. The story is twisted, full of turns, and takes the viewer on a family ride of dysfunction and disturbing secrets. The cast does such a fantastic job at keeping the flow in such a way that when the story abruptly turned it rattled me!

The cinematography gives the film a fantastic bit of creepiness as well. I love when a cast is basically ‘house bound’ for a film adding that caged-animal feeling from start to finish. There isn’t a moment I don’t like about this film and highly recommend ALTERED MINDS to those who absolutely love a thriller with a jaw dropping story and an ending that is nothing short of shocking.

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Coming in at 93 minutes, ALTERED MINDS shows how a good film can be made for about a million dollars when the story is well done, the director knows his vision and takes away all the cgi garbage and loud distractions, and knows who can play the roles.

The DVD includes some pretty cool bonus features with Deleted Theatrical Scenes, Two Audio Commentary tracks with director Wechsler and Composer Edmund Choi who shares anecdotes from the shoot and post-production as well as different aspect of the filmmaking process, Director Video Logs from pre-production and table reads through every shooting day and post production. ALTERED MINDS is currently available for download on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube, Vudu, Xbox and Playstation.

In the end – if a man fails his family he fails life!

THE WINTER Is a Journey Through Family Secrets

the winter

 

Jeri Jacquin

From director Konstantinos Koutsoliotas and IndiePix films comes a film that is a journey of one man’s upside down life during THE WINTER.

This film tells the story of Niko (Theo Albanis), a Greek writer who hasn’t come up with a paying piece. Living in a flat in London, the bill collectors are banging at his door or calling on the phone. Realizing that he must escape and regroup, Niko sneaks out the door and out of town.

The only choice is to return to his hometown of Siatista in Greece where no one would think to look for him. Arriving at the gate, it is clear that the home of his youth has seen better days. The condition in the middle of winter isn’t good but Niko keeps his arrival quiet.

While looking around, floods of childhood memories come to him that include why his mother took Niko away from father Dimitri (Vangelis Mourikis) who he adored. But, Niko isn’t clear on what pushed his mother over the edge and she refuses to talk about it.

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Through his memories and speaking with the neighbor woman and the town priest, Niko pieces together what happened to his father. He also falls into a world of dreams that take this young man into a place of a mixture in dreams and tattered memories.

Albanis as Niko is absolutely stellar in this role. Although his quirky dress and top hat grab attention, it is this actors haunting mannerisms and eyes that truly are a hallmark of this role. Trying to discover the truth of his family, reaching out for love, at the same time closing himself off, Albanis doesn’t break in the slightest. Instead, this character goes deeper and deeper until the moment I realized I was in just as deep! Just so well done bringing out every emotion one could have watching someone else’s journey.

Mourikis as Dimitri is a man who believes in his home and dreams. The problem is that his wife doesn’t but instead believes there is damage being done to their son. Every scene with Mourikis and a young Nikos is filled with story telling and all the love a parent has for a child. It is when the grown up Nikos remembers those stories that the break between childhood and being an adult is hard.

Cizek as Yiannis is the exact kind of neighbor lady I’d love to have around. Someone who knows who she is and where she belongs and at the same time believes every child is worth remembering. Her concern for Niko runs family deep.

Other cast include: Efi Papatheodorou as Philio, Andreas Andreopoulos as Father Chrysostomos, Petroula Christou as Hermioni Gounaras, Manos Cizek as Yiannis and Vasiliki Panali as Eri.

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IndiePix Films delivers highly-curated independent films from around the world. Offering a singular catalog of nearly 2,000 films across genres, the IndiePix team selects only the best from the international film district. From download-to-own, streaming rental and DVD, there is so much to offer so please visit http://www.IndiePixFilms.com for more.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give THE WINTER four tubs of popcorn out of five. This is such a beautiful film filled with themes of family secrets, dreams, life failures and the reality of what we remember as children and what truly was. There were moments where I so wanted something to happen for Niko that would bring him some hope or joy – but life doesn’t work like that does it.

The cinematography is stunning with its hues of darkness and momentary flashes of color. The cuts between remembering the past and the present are brought out beautifully. The film gives off such an ethereal feeling with fantastic use of dark animation in the fantasy story telling. There truly isn’t a moment of this film I didn’t enjoy.

Director Koutsoliotas is a VFX artist and THE WINTER makes it very clear that he is an artist indeed. THE WINTER is Koutsoliotas’ directorial debut.

In the end – it is the memories that haunt his present!

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