Search

moviemavenspeaks

It's a dirty job but someone has to view 'em!

Tag

family

THE TRACKER Crosses the Line on Bluray

TheTracker cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray and Digital from director Giorgio Serafini and Lionsgate comes a man who has the patience to wait because he is THE TRACKER.

Aiden Hakansson (Dolph Lundgren) is vacationing with his family in Italy when his nightmare began. His wife and daughter are abducted and killed when an exchange goes horribly wrong. Ten years has gone by when suddenly he receives a telephone call from a detective who has new evidence that can help Hakansson find out who killed his family.

He arrives back in Italy to discover that the detective has been murdered although authorities are ruling it a suicide and no one else wants to help him. There are things going on in the small town that can get a person killed. Also realizing that there is clearly something going on is detective Antonio Graziani (Marco Mazzoli) but he must be careful as his own wife is expecting.

Tracker 1

Hakansson isn’t about to let the silence of the police stop him from what he does best, track down those responsible for the death of his family and cross the line between tracker and hunter.

Lundgren as Hakansson has spent many years trying to understand the death of his family. It is only reasonable that he would hesitate when receiving a telephone call from a detective with information. Sometimes the best way to move on with life is to get the answers, no matter how painful and be free of it. Lundgren may do that but first – he’s going to go toe to toe with the killer.

Mazzoli as Graziani is a man who wants to do his job even if he is surrounded by corruption. Knowing what happened to Hakansson’s family, he doesn’t want the same thing to happen to his own. Trying to keep his expectant wife safe while not being able to tell her why is the only thing he can do if he is to help Harkansson and solve the ten year long case.

Other cast include Elizabeth Kinnear as April Graziani, Kai Portman as Leotrim, Bruce McGuire as Ray Martin, Justin Fischer as Palm Akansson, Johnny Sinclair as young Aiden Hakansson, Vito Facciolla as Sartori, Alvaro Gradella as Rodolfo Massi, Marta Gastini as Giada, Anna Falchi as Hanna, Bruno Bilotta as Lupo and Cosimo Fusco as Giordano.

tracker 2

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 TRACKER is clearly a film about revenge but at the same time, as much as revenge is the driving force, it is also about finding answers. Lundgren towers above his enemies which can be quite a weapon to get those answers. The cinematography is cloaked in darkness which is pretty much where evil hides right?

This character isn’t and out and out in-your-face person, instead he walks around the police and the bad guys. Even though everyone knows he’s out there, they are never really quite sure exactly where ‘there’ is! He wouldn’t be a very good tracker if they did.

Tracker 3

The film is straight forward in the storytelling and it is Lundgren that keeps it moving forward.

In the end – he’s come to bury his past and his enemies!

Advertisements

THIS IS US: The Complete Third Season Revisits on DVD for the News Season to Come

thisis us DVD
Jeri Jacquin
Coming to DVD from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is the highly successful television series comes to DVD with THIS IS US: The Complete Third Season.
The season begins with Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) preparing to take Rebecca (Mandy Moore) on a date. Going to a carnival turns up a wash when Jack somes clean that his life hasn’t exactly been as he planned since returning from Vietnam. Agreeing to another date, Jack sees something that is difficult. Deja (Lyric Ross) is still with the family and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) is doing his best, especially when she sees her biological father. Zoe (Melanie Liburd) and Kevin (Justin Hartley) are still together but Beth (Susan Kelechi) has her opinion on the matter. Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Toby (Chris Sullivan are determined to have a child and she must convince a fertility specialist that it’s what they truly want.
Us 1
Looking into the Pearson’s past, Rebecca must find a new home and each of the kids are having their own difficulties. Realizing that she is barely functioning with Jack gone it all have consequences. Now Randall tries to help with a rec center but it seems the residents aren’t impressed. Kevin finally has his film premier but not everyone is there to cheer on his success. Rebecca puts in her two-centers with Kate and Toby and gets a response she isn’t expecting.
More of Rebecca and Jack’s past are explored and in one fell swoop Rebecca tells Jack they should drive to Los Angeles together. After making a comment about Jack at Kevin’s movie premier, Randall gets a little hot with his sister. As the IVF begins for Kate, she has a moment under anesthesia that changes her perspective. Beth gets an unexpected shock from work and Randall decides he can’t help people unless he runs for city council. It is Kevin now that needs to know more about Jack and decides he needs to know more.
Jack and his brother Nick (Michael Angarano) have a story that has long been kept quiet but now we see it played out.  Nick is on the draft list to go to Vietnam and Jack wants him to go to Canada to get away but Nick has other ideas. Jack knows he has to go as well to keep an eye on his brother and lies to be accepted into the military. Doing his own time after a battle, Jack discovers where Nick is and flies in to see him.
Miguel (Jon Huertas) buys Rebecca a piano and finds himself more and more at the Pearson’s place as each of the kids go through their own emotions. In adulthood Kate and Toby wait to hear if she is pregnant and she discovers Toby has been avoiding his own issues. Beth and Randall are dealing with their career changes and Kevin learns more about his father and a necklace he wore.
us 4
Randall and Kevin need each other as the campaign goes into full swing and Deja knows something is wrong between her foster family. Rebecca and Kate talk about motherhood and Zoe tells Kevin she will follow him to Vietnam.
While in Vietnam Jack helps a young boy who is injured and his mother gives him a gift. Nick isn’t about to get his hands dirty after everything that happened.  In the now Beth isn’t thrilled with an event in Randall’s campaign. Kate and Toby are in town and making dinner at the Randall’s house. That’s where Tess (Eris Baker) tells her Aunty something she hasn’t told her parents yet. The only thing missing is Miguel and Rebecca who are visiting his adult children.
In Vietnam Jack discovers that Nicky has a problem and it brings them to brotherly blows. Jack would do anything to avoid fighting yet all Nicky wants to do is fight. Now Kevin and Zoe are in the village his father and uncle were at and a family secret is uncovered. Kate decides to teach music but has one obstacle to get through with Toby’s support.
Kevin and Zoe move in together but there is something odd about it all. Kate and Toby are getting ready by vamping the baby’s room but she makes a mistake that sends Toby over the edge. They both realize they are stressed about the coming baby and do something extraordinary for each other.
us 5
After a tragedy in Vietnam, Jack ignores incoming mail from Nicky until he can’t any longer. Kevin begins to realize the substance of what secrets do to a family and turns to his siblings to find an answer to the nagging questions they all admit to having. All of it prompts to a slip by Kevin as they all begin to remember things only to discover everyone has their own perception of how it really was.
Beth’s story comes to light showing her story of being accepted into a ballet school and the struggle her parents went through to make sure she could go. The struggle continues for Beth and as the family yet there are things that haven’t been said between mother and daughter.
It is graduation time for the Pearson Three as Randall plans to attend college, Kevin wants to go to New York and Kate is floundering. Back to the now, Randall deals with news about Deja and her schooling and telling Beth he needs her at home with the girls. Toby does one of the most loving things ever creating a party for Kate where Kevin has problems. Taking him home, Kate’s water breaks and they are stuck.
Everyone waits impatiently on the baby news which gives Randall and Beth time to argue about careers and child raising. Miguel has an opinion that isn’t well received, Rebecca is quiet, Zoe is full of information that doesn’t please Beth, Kevin and Randall can’t seem to stay civil and Toby saves the day with an announcement.
Toby is having trouble being a Dad and Kate won’t spend a moment away from their son. Kevin decides that maybe couples therapy is the way to go and Zoe drops a little bomb on him. Randall needs Beth for support and does something horrifically stupid that he can’t take back. The struggle for both of them to be married, parents and have careers of their own continue to bring strife to them both.
us 2
As Kate’s worry for her son increases, Rebecca starts stepping a little bit out of her grandmother lane. Kate doesn’t exactly know how to handle this until her frustration spills over. Kevin and Zoe have a difficult decision to make and babysitting seems to be the way to find an answer. Randall is put in his place by a teenage Deja who reminds him how wonderful Beth truly is. This is their family…
… this is us!
Ventimiglia as Jack and Moore as Rebecca are the characters we thought we would never see, always wanted and are imperfectly perfect together. Every time they are on my television screen together I am moved, heartbroken, hopeful, understanding, a little angry, joyful and everything in between all of those. Growing up in their “time” I get it, I understand it and, in a way I miss it. A time I hold in my heart as simple in some aspect was also totally fraught with issues that are only coming to light in the past few years. Even after Jack’s death I knew there was more of his story to tell and happy to see him in flashbacks. Moore has the tough part of not only flashbacks but a different life in the present for her character. Just both so well done.
Brown and Kelechi as Randall and Beth are going at it full bore this season. They have both been used to having careers and family that go along smoothly.  Now that there are bumps in the road, either have to come to face their youthful disappointments, separate family issues never resolved and a future that seems so uncertain for their marriage. There is so much going on that they forget there are kids right in front of them seeing every bit of it, it happens.
Metz and Sullivan as Kate and Toby are about to embark on something neither believed possible. They are also dealing with the emotions of their lives and it’s time for them both to find their lane with it. Metz as Kate continues to struggle with Jack’s death which interferes with her decisions on motherhood and Sullivan is continually there for his wife and makes a decision about his own health that is dangerous. I love their humor together and admit that Toby just absolutely has my heart.
This Is Us - Season 3
Hartley and Liburd as Kevin and Zoe are a couple that I never saw fitting together. Kevin is just a hot mess trying to find his place in the world – still. Every time I think he’s finding it and happiness along with it, the pieces on his life board get moved quicker than he can adjust too. Hartley is a master of his Kevin character and this past season he kept it fast paced and uncertain. Liburd as Zoe is a woman with her own issues and good at keeping them away from Kevin.
Huertas as Miguel comes into more focus this season as we see how his own family has dealt with his marriage to Rebecca. I’m sure there is much more to has story and I hope we see more this next season. Ross as Deja is a young girl turning into a young woman with smarts beyond her years. She sees what is happening in her home and feels the needs to straighten the adults out. Kudos girl…always step in when it seems the adults are acting childish!
Angarano as young Nick is a kid just looking for a way to escape everything. When Jack follows to Vietnam, the two brothers have to deal with the home issues. He literally is a one man wrecking crew and it’s easy to see where Kevin gets it from. Baker as Tess has something important to tell her parents but that’s difficult when the household is upside down and you can’t get next to your cactus parents!
Other cast include Faithe Herman as Annie Pearson, Caitlin Thompson as Madison, Porter Duong as Hien, Wendie Malick as Mary Damon, Joy Brunson as Shauna, Phylicia Rashad as Carol, Carl Lumbly as Abe, Alexandra Breckenridge as Sophie and Griffin Dunn as Nick Pearson.
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.
THIS IS US: The Complete Third Season includes the episodes Nine Bucks, A Philadelphia Story, Katie Girls, Vietnam, Toby, Kamsahamnida, Sometimes, Six Thanksgivings, The Beginning is the End is the Beginning, The Last Seven Weeks, Songbird Road: Part One, Songbird Road: Part Two, Our Little Island Girl, The Graduates, The Waiting Room, Don’t Take My Sunshine Away, R&B and Her.
us 3
The Special Features include THE AFTERSHOW on all Episodes and this is us AT Paleyfest 2019.
THIS IS US started out with a slowly lovely burn letting the story continually unravel about the Pearson family. I was actually hooked the very first episode and haven’t missed one since. There are shows that just reach deep inside and won’t let go and THIS IS US is that show for which millions don’t mind the hold. Instead, we want to know more and more. Granted we all waited for Jack’s death and when it happened it broke our hearts, but, like most people who watch the show, knew then as we know now that there is so much more of this family’s story left to be told.
Each of the characters brings something different to the series with intensity, humor, love and complexity to which we’d expect. I mean seriously, there isn’t a family out there who doesn’t have their problems and histories – it’s just that the Pearson’s have invited us in to see all of theirs – raw and unfiltered.
The fourth season of THIS IS US is about to begin on NBC and along with millions of others we have more questions we hope are answered but even if they all aren’t, we don’t mind sharing our evening with the Pearson’s. Actually, we don’t mind one little bit.
In the end – they are us all!

CURIOUS GEORGE: Royal Monkey Delights on DVD

Curious George DVD

The iconic monkey is back for another adventure!

Coming to delightful DVD, Digital and streaming on Hulu from Imagine Entertainment and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is the iconic furry fellow we know as CURIOUS GEORGE: Royal Monkey.

George is one again having as much fun as possible with his friend in the yellow hat Ted. Spending his days being, well a monkey, he is tempted even more when he sees an advertisement for Castleland.

 

Ted tells George that he’d be happy to go to Castleland once he finishes a very important meeting. Taking George to the museum is where the mix up happens.

Also in town is Philippe, a very well mannered monkey belonging to a King. Daughter Princess Isabel is feeling excited that her coronation is being held at Castleland.

The King, along with Princess Isabel and Philippe, brings a precious artifact to share at the museum. After a mishap brings a mix up, George goes with the royal family and Philippe discovers a life outside being royal and a confused Ted.

It’s definitely a royal adventure like no other for George!

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

Curious George is a timeless character that was first introduced to the world of children’s literacy over 75 years ago. Created by Margret and H.A. Rey in 1941, Curious George remains one of the most beloved classics in children’s literature, television and film with more than 108 episodes of the Emmy award-winning animated series on PBS and over 80 million books in print worldwide in 26 languages. In addition, Curious George has provided the inspiration for a flourishing line of education and entertaining properties, an original live musical stage show, interactive games and toys, national touring museum exhibits and an interactive attraction at Universal Studios Japan theme park. Not bad for a little curious monkey!

CURIOUS GEORGE: Royal Monkey features four new songs that are so much fun to listen to. What makes this piece so much fun is watching it with my granddaughter who delighted in every moment which in turn delighted me!

This is quite an adventure for George as well as discovering that Philippe learning that there is more to life than being waited on. CURIOUS GEORGE: Royal Monkey is full of fun, life lessons, color and song. That’s what we have come to expect from everything George.

What strikes me even more is that the film teaches youngsters of all ages that we are not so different even if the geography is. George learns to appreciate his friendship with Ted and Philippe discovers that there is something to having fun after all.

The relationship between the King and Princess Isabella is also very precious and the changes they make are only for the funner and better. There is certainly nothing wrong with a little silly in royal life, just ask George.

In the end – Curious George is making a royal debut!

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).

scary 4

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!

scary 1

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.

scary 3

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!

A DOG’S JOURNEY Continues to be Heartwarming on Bluray

dogs journey cover

Jeri Jacquin

On Bluray/DVD and Digital from director Gail Mancuso, Amblin and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment comes the continuing story of Boss Dog in A DOG’S JOURNEY.

Bailey (voiced by Josh Gad) is with Ethan (Dennis Quaid) and Hannah (Marg Helgenberger) on the farm. Also living at the farm is granddaughter CJ which makes Bailey very happy. Not so happy is her mother Gloria (Betty Gilpin) who seems to be centered on her own life and less on CJ’s.

That leads to Gloria taking CJ away from Ethan, Hannah and Bailey and running off. Saddened, Ethan discovers that something is wrong with Bailey and before he moves on knows that he must find CJ.

dog 1

Many years have passed and Bailey, now Molly, smells CJ! She takes the dog home as her best friend Trent adopts fur-brother Rocky. Eventually Mom Gloria finds out and wants Molly gone but CJ puts her own foot down.

Growing up together, CJ tells Trent that she wants to move to New York to pursue music with her inheritance. She believes the story that Gloria told her about how the grandparents tried to take it. Surprisingly enough, Ethan and Hannah try to visit but CJ doesn’t know they are there – but Molly does. Immediately Ethan recognizes who Molly is and reminds him to take care of CJ.

Years go by and CJ (Kathryn Prescott) is in New York writing music and walking dogs and comes to the attention of a little Biewer named Max aka Bailey. Max discovers that childhood friend Trent (Henry Lau) lives in the same building as CJ and finds a way to reunite them.

This isn’t the only relationship that needs to be reunited as CJ finds the will to help a friend in need, discover that all mother’s aren’t the same, that her grandparents are amazing and that dogs have always been in her life for a reason!

It is a dog’s journey along side those who need him!

dog 2

Gad as Bailey, Molly, Big Dog and Max returns to do what he does best, make everyone fall in love with what ever character he is playing. From Olaf from FROZEN and now Bailey the loveable and sweet dog, Gad doesn’t just let us in, he hugs us the entire way. I’m so pleased he stayed with A DOG’S series of films.

Prescott as CJ is all grown up and comes to terms with her relationship with Gloria, Trent and the grandparents who have been waiting for so long to see her. She is sweet and endearing from beginning to end. Lau as Trent believes in his friend CJ and knows that she is more special than she could ever have imagined. Gilpin as Gloria is a woman who gets lost in her own loss life and forgets that CJ needs her.

Quaid as Ethan returns as the only person who realizes that Bailey returns again and again with the promise to keep all of them safe. Helgenberger as Hannah is devastated when CJ leaves and does her best to believe that someday they will be together again.

Other cast include Abby Fortson as young CJ, Ian Chen as young Trent, Emma Volk as toddler CJ, Johnny Galecki as Henry, Jake Manley as Shane, Daniela Barbosa as Liesl, Conrad Coates as Big Joe, Arlene Duncan as Hilda and Kevin Claydon as Barry.

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.

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.

FILM-JOURNEY-REVIEW

The Bonus Features include Gag Reel, A Dog’s Sequel, Everyone’s Best Friend, Working with Dogs, A Healing Journey, Scoring the Journey, and Feature Commentary with Director Gail Mancuso.

 Also Deleted and Extended Scenes including It’s Gonna Work, A Song for Molly, You Can Stay Here, Just Do the Laundry, Let’s Get Started, Gloria Looks at Henry’s Things, This Place is Huge, It’s Really Happening and I’ve Loved You Forever.

A DOG’S JOURNEY is completely beautiful, heartwarming, and touching filled with everything dog lovers want in a film. The added sweetness of this film is that it is relatable on so many levels because it isn’t just about a dog. It’s about friendship, loyalty and love whether you have two legs or four.

We should all be so rewarded in life with a friend like Boss-Dog who loves unconditionally, protects fiercely and only wants the best for us. Let us remember that that goes both ways.

In the end – some friendships transcend lifetimes!

THE KITCHEN

The Kitchen cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this Friday from writer/director Andrea Berloff, DC Vertigo and Warner Bros. is a story of three women who know what it’s like to be left in THE KITCHEN.

It is the 1970s in New York in a neighborhood known as Hell’s Kitchen where Kathy Brennan (Melissa McCarthy) lives with her criminal husband Jimmy (Bryan d’Arcy James). Friend Claire Walsh (Elizabeth Moss) lives with her abusive husband Rob (Jeremy Bobb) and Ruby O’Carroll (Tiffany Haddish) lives with her degrading husband Kevin (James Dale) and equally degrading mother-in-law Helen (Margo Martindale).

All three husbands work for Little Jackie (Myk Watford) who is the muscle in Hell’s Kitchen but find themselves popped by FBI agents Gary Silvers (Common) and Gonzalo Martinez (E.J. Bonilla). Now serving a two year sentence, Little Jackie tells the three women left behind to not worry; they would be taken care of in their husband’s absence. Well, that isn’t exactly the case when the envelopes arrive with practically nothing in them, at least not enough to buy food and pay the rent.

kitchen 1

Kathy and Ruby go to talk with Little Jackie only to discover that he is full of excuses and hostility but what they do discover is that people aren’t paying him. The women want to know why only to discover that no one can count on him. That’s when they get the bright idea to offer their services of protection. The surprise is that the businesses would rather pay the women! Thinking they have a bit of muscle, it becomes clear that there is going to be a skirmish for power…enter Gabriel O’Malley (Domhnall Gleeson), a Vietnam vet with a certain set of skills and an eye for Claire.

As the business grows, it captures the attention of Alfonso Coretti (Bill Camp) who would rather work with the women than whack them for being so bold in their dealings. Now their empire begins to expand but with expansion comes the cracks in the three women’s friendship. Especially when they discover that their husbands have all had their sentences commuted and they will be home in months rather than years. Kathy doesn’t see a problem but Ruby and Claire both know that their husbands aren’t about to sit still for the business they’ve created as Helen makes perfectly clear to Ruby.

Now decisions aren’t being discussed, fear is beginning to set in and a paranoia that puts all the women in jeopardy but that’s what happens when you take on something as big as THE KITCHEN.

McCarthy as Kathy starts out as a very sweet woman who just wants to be a good wife and mother. When hubby is sent off to the big house she realizes that its time to get things right for her kids. Her parents might not be too happy about it all but Kathy is determined to make it work. McCarthy gives her character heart until it’s time to leave heart out of it. She begins to find her place and isn’t about to let anyone, not even her friendships, get in the way. Yes, I love McCarthy in comedy but lets be real here, she does a bang up job (pun intended) when it comes to twists, turns and backbone.

kitchen 2

Moss as Claire is in an abusive relationship that becomes her world. She only knows what Rob has dished out and can’t see a life past that, until she gets with Kathy and Ruby and discovers there is more to her than she dared imagine. Things that might not be great for the other women to experience, she’s all about it without batting an eye. It is easy to believe Moss in the role of a strong woman and anyone who has seen THE HANDMAID’S TALE on Hulu can attest to her ability to smile when needed and get a point across when absolutely necessary. She is a little scary in this role and I loved it. Gleeson as Gabriel is perfection in this role as a man who clearly has lost his way yet knows he has a trade he can offer the trio. It doesn’t hurt that his relationship with Claire is nothing short of beautiful in a very twisted way.

Haddish as Ruby not only has to deal with the insults of her husband but the rantings of a mother-in-law who makes it perfectly clear that she will always, always side with her son (even if he is so wrong). Once she feels the power that what they are doing brings, she realizes that there is no turning back – not that she would want to. She gets bolder in the way she deals with people and it starts to become noticeable to Kathy and Claire. Common as FBI Silvers makes sure to capture the husband and isn’t happy when he learns that they are getting out early. He, along with partner Martinez, are now watching the women to see what is going on.

Camp as Coretti hides his criminal activities behind the doors of his piano store which is a good cover if you ask me. He plays it smart when he realizes that the bet way to expand his business is to work with the women. There is a scene in which things could have gone horribly wrong for Kathy yet it is Coretti who shows, if you will, loyalty. Watford as Little Jackie is just the worst which means he did a really good job in making sure I didn’t like him. That’s talent right there!

kitchen 3

Other cast include Manny Urena as Guy, John Sharian as Cousin Duffy, Rob Yang as Jeffrey, Tina Benko as Donna, Joseph Russo as Tony, Angus O’Brien as Mark, Matt Helm as Colin, Tom Stephens as Father Monoghan and Brandon Uranowitz as Schmuli Chudakoff.

THE KITCHEN is based on the comic book series by Ollie Masters and Ming Doyle. What makes the film initially work is taking the 70s era and putting it up on the screen. Nothing says ‘I wanna see this!’ more to me than a 70s film that goes for the style, cars and music and everything else I love about the 1970s. No need to ask my age because it’s pretty clear that if I loved the 70s then I lived in the 70s.

McCarthy, Moss, Haddish, and Domhnall bring the story its depth and brutal factor that one would expect of Hell’s Kitchen at that time. Businesses paying for muscle, everyone trying to survive by the seat of their pants and always someone trying to take is the messy theme of the film and the intensity comes from never knowing who to trust.

That all being said, I do have a serious problem with the ending and I was thrilled to discover that I wasn’t the only one. The last fifteen minutes was unsatisfying and had people saying out loud, ‘are you serious? that’s how it ends?’ So let’s just say that the film was going somewhere and it seemed as if writer/director Berloff just didn’t know how to cut it off satisfactorily.

I have this little noise I make when I feel like I’ve been cinematically jilted and trust when I say I made that sound the whole drive home. Okay, once I got past it I relished in the first hour of the film and thought I wish we had seen more of Claire and Gabriel because those two are a pair that would be worthy of more of my time. The Bonnie and Clyde of the 70s except, well, sweeter if they could be called that considering their chosen profession.

In the end – it’s time for these women to show what they’ve got!

 

AFTER THE WEDDING Brings the Past Present

after the wedding cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres from director Bart Freundlich and Sony Pictures Classics comes a family that once was and what can be AFTER THE WEDDING.

Isabel (Michelle Williams) is living in Kolkata, India and a co-founder of an orphanage that is in serious need of funding. In New York, Theresa Young (Julianne Moore) is a woman who not only has made a lot of money but is about to sell her business to come into even more money. She contacts Isabel asking her to come to New York to discuss the details.

Isabel steps into a world wind as Theresa is also in the middle of planning the wedding of her daughter Grace (Abby Quinn). Thinking the deal was done, it is upsetting to Isabel to learn that it might not be the case. Theresa wants to get to know her better an invites her to the wedding.

after 1

Arriving a little late, Isabel settles in to witness the rest of the ceremony and looking around she sees Theresa and her husband Oscar (Billy Crudup) and is shocked. It quickly becomes clear that she knows him which means a past trust has been broken.

Now there are three adults that need to talk about what has happened in the past and how it will affect the future. Grace learns about the secrets Isabel, Theresa and Oscar are hiding but one secret leads to another. Time is something none of them have as they each must decide how far forgiveness and family are to go.

Williams as Isabel is a quiet woman who wants what is best for the orphanage and the children she wishes to help. When their funding runs low, she must decide how important life in India is and what she will give up to keep it all going. Williams has the unique ability to keep a strong face when her character’s past comes knocking. Then again there isn’t a performance where I have much wrong to say about Williams, she is amazing.

Moore as Theresa is a woman making changes in her life selling her business, raising twin boys, marriage to Oscar and putting on a wedding for Grace. An actress that always put something more into a role that shines through, once again Moore gives us everything and so much more. Opposite Williams it is two of the best in a story that challenges every human emotion.

after 2

Crudup as Oscar is a man with a past and now it is come front and center deserving answers. He is rather calm and collected for a man who’s world is about to come crashing in different directions. Of course his decisions of the past don’t cause him to be sorry in the present either. Yes, I’m being vague; I mean I can’t give you everything!

Quinn as Grace is the one who is confronted with the secrets but then again she might have one of her own about her own life choices. Quinn gives a strong performance trying to fit all the pieces together so she can also find peace.

Other cast include Azhy Robertson as Otto, Alex Esola as Jonathan, Alex Cranmer as Eddie, Eisa Davis as Tanya, Susan Blackwell as Gwen, Mackenzie Owens as young Grace, Jeff Kim as Simon and Greta Quispe as Cibele.

AFTER THE WEDDING comes face to face with three adults and life choices. Of course some are difficult and some are life-altering but then again that is life itself right? We all do things we wish could have been changed somewhere along the line and there are family issues we don’t want to think about any more than we have to. That is the case with this film.

after 3

Isabel, Theresa and Oscar are connected on so many levels by those choices and these three actors brought the pain front and center forcing us to become involved whether we want to or not. That is because everything they are saying and feeling we have all said or felt in some shape or form so we want them to do better. Perhaps we want it all to be cleaner than our own situations but then again that would make the film fantasy wouldn’t it.

AFTER THE WEDDING will test heartstrings, bring tears and make us all ask ourselves ‘what would I do?’ The conversation is there to be had and that’s what makes this film worthy to watch.

In the end – every family has secrets!

BREAKTHROUGH Inspires Faith

break

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray/DVD and Digital from director Roxann Dawson and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is a true story about faith in family that has a BREAKTHROUGH.

The Smith family is going through a difficult time as 14-year-old John (Marcel Ruiz) is struggling. Mom Joyce (Chrissy Metz) and Dad Brian (Josh Lucas) are divided on how to handle it. Mom wants to find answers and Dad wants to give John his space. Strong in their faith, they attend church where Pastor Jason (Topher Grace) is also struggling as his congregation isn’t quite sure how to handle a progressive leader.

All of that seems ridiculous when the real struggle of life happens for John. Having a day with his friends, they slide around on Lake Saint Louis even after being warned from a bystander that it might not be such a great idea. In a sudden movement, the ice gives way and all three boys find themselves in the ice waters.

break 1

Two boys manage to stay above water but John can not hold on and begins to sink. Paramedics and law enforcement arrive as Tommy Shine (Mike Colter) jumps in the water to find John. After a few moments the young boy is retrieved and off to the hospital where Dr. Sutterer (Sam Trammell) tries everything he knows to bring the boy back.

Joyce has minutes to watch her sons heart start beating again as he is transferred to a hospital where specialist Doctor Garrett (Dennis Haysbert) takes over. Joyce makes it very clear that he is to do everything to save her son. Brian can not even bare to see his son and waits with family and friends who begin a firestorm of prayer.

The power of love can make believers of us all.

Metz as Joyce is a strong woman who becomes a fierce mother. She demands positivity from everyone around John and when fear comes into play it can seem harsh. Personally I don’t think she was as I would do anything for my kids. That being said it is during John’s time in the hospital that change occurs in many people and Metz’s character is the main focus of that change. Lucas as Brian is a little disconcerting in many ways but we all handle stress differently. It is what happens in the end that will define this character.

Ruiz as John is struggling as any teenager would be trying to find his place in a world that doesn’t seem to quite fit. Colter as Tommy is a man who outwardly claims to not believe yet wants to understand what really happened out on the lake that tragic day.

break 2

Haysbert as Dr. Garrett answers the family’s questions according to what he sees on the charts. Only when he is challenges by Joyce does he begin to realize that sometimes it’s not what’s in the charts but what the patient is capable of on his own. Grace as Pastor Jason does what a pastor knows is right, being with the Smith family even if there is a wedge in the relationship with Joyce. Grace’s character has his own insecurities and Joyce doesn’t make it easy but his line after she mentions it’s not a good time is “I know, that’s why I’m here” is a smacker.

Other cast include Rebecca Staab as Cindy Reiger, Victor Zinck Jr. as Joe Morrow, Ali Skovbye as Emma, Lisa Durupt as Paula, Stephanie Czajkowski as Melissa, Nancy Sorel as Mrs. Abbott, Isaac Kragten as Josh and Chuck Shamata as the Fire Chief.

The Bluray and DVD include the Special Features A Tapestry of Miracles: Making BREAKTHROUGH, “Carry My Soul” Phil Wickham Deleted Scene, Trapped in Icy Waters, Audio Commentary by DeVon Franklin and Roxann Dawson and Gallery.

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.

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.

break 3

BREAKTHROUGH is based on a true story of the Smith family and their struggle with family, faith and individual self doubts. Falling through the ice, it is over an hour later before the hospital can get a heart beat. John says of his ordeal, “When I fell through the ice I felt cold, the shock. I remembered my life flashing through my eyes and my family. Sixteen days later I walked out of the hospital. I had physical therapy but only for a bit of problems with my wrist. God still does the impossible!”

The film is a story of family, faith, community and those who stood by the Smith family even if they didn’t quite understand how it all happened and learned what a miracle looks like in the face of John.

In the end – it’s all about divine intervention!

THE LION KING Comes Alive

Lion King poster

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres from director Jon Favreau and Disney is the 1994 iconic animated story now come to life with THE LION KING.

In case you come from another solar system I’ll give the story a run down. There is a young cub named Simba (Donald Glover) who is born a prince. Father King Mufasa (James Earl Jones) tries to teach his young son what it is to be a king. He is also learning side lessons from his jealous Uncle Scar (Chitwetel Ejiofor) that get him into a few scrapes.

Lion 2

Along with his best friend Nala, the two explore much to the fright of Mufasa, even if the royal bird Zazu (John Oliver) can’t keep up. Scar gets an idea enlisting the help of the hyenas and their leader Shenzi (Florence Kasumba) to take what he thinks is his.

Simba is caught up in a stampede that brings death and sadness to the pride and the young prince decides to run. He walks away and meets meerkat Timon (Billy Eichner) and faithful companion Pumbaa (Seth Rogen) who embrace Simba as one of their own.

In the meantime Scar is destroying the valley and Nala (Beyonce) knows it is time to get help. What she doesn’t plan on is running into Simba who is now fully grown. Explaining what has happened, Simba meets Rafiki (John Kani) who shows him why it is important to remember who he is and what it means to be a king.

Glover as Simba is a little less animated vocally than I would have expected. The younger cub prince was delightful and brought a bit of playfulness that made the little furry growler even cuter. Beyonce as Nala stayed in her lane so to speak meaning I had thought she would have song-wise taken over but instead they kept it easy and lovely.

Lion 1

Several characters that I enjoyed so much are Oliver as Zazu making me laugh several times with his antics, Kasumba as Shenzi with a tad less humor than her 1994 Goldberg counterpart but still very good and Ejiofor getting a chance to be the devious Uncle Scar.

Eichner and Rogen got all the silliness that made the animated version so much fun. I giggled so much as the antics of Simba’s smaller friends. It must be said that my four year old granddaughter couldn’t stop smiling when these two were on the screen.

Finally, James Earl Jones is the one and only Mufasa and having him once again accept the mantel of King was a wise choice. He is Mufasa and his presence at the beginning and at the most important point of the film’s emotion is something only his voice could capture. It also soothes the ruffled feathers of those not happy with Disney and its live action choices as of late.

Other cast include Keegan-Michael Key as Kamari, Eric Andre as Azizi, JD McCrary as Young Simba, Shahadi Wright Joseph as Young Nala and Alfre Woodard as Sarabi.

Lion 3

Now, let me get this out of the way – do I think THE LION KING needed to have a live-action version? Nope. Am I a fan of live-action films? Not really. I just think it’s a huge waste of money when we could easily enjoy the animated versions of stories on the big screen and my family would love it. Plus, after seeing the trailer for MULAN and the latest LITTLE MERMAID ruckus – I’m still not a fan.

THAT being said, I can’t fault THE LION KING at all. From the moment the screen is lit up with a beautiful sunrise and music that continues to be recognized with The Circle of Life and I Just Can’t Wait to be King, this is absolutely how it’s done folks!

Lion 4

Favreau should be applauded on several fronts – first of all he stayed ever faithful keeping to the original 1994 story that has become so iconic and also allowed the songs to once again bring joy. I saw this on the faces of not just the children at the screening but the adults as well. Oh trust me when I say I caught a woman six seats down singing along to Hakuna Matata and thrilled to be doing it.

The cinematography in the live-action is colorful and lively to the point that it was easy to forget that these lions, hyenas, birds, and the rest weren’t actually real. From the look of joy in Rafiki’s eyes to the sadness in Simba’s eyes, everything that needed to be related emotionally is there. The humor is wonderful in the film and there is a moment between Timon and Pumbaa that gives a nod to a beast of another kind so listen for it.

In the end – the King has returned!

 

 

 

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑