Search

moviemavenspeaks

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

Tag

Friendship

BLOW THE MAN DOWN

Blow the man cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Amazon Prime from writer/directors Bridget Savage Cole, Danielle Krudy and Amazon Studios comes a story of twists and a town singing BLOW THE MAN DOWN.

Priscilla (Sophie Lowe) and Mary Beth Connolly (Morgan Saylor) are mourning the death of their mother, Mary Margaret. Living in a small fishing village, everyone comes to try and support the girls including their mother’s friends Gail (Annette O’Toole), Doreen (Marceline Hugot) and Susie (June Squibb).

Hearing people talk, Mary Beth finds out that they might lose the house and gets upset with Priscilla. To get away she heads to the local bar and meets Gorski (Ebon Moss-Bachrach). Going back to his place, things don’t go very well, and chaos breaks out. Going home to get help from Priscilla, they try to cover up the mess.

man 3

The next morning at the store owned by their mother, Priscilla discovers she is missing something that could get themselves in trouble. Opening their front door, she sees Enid (Margo Martindale), also a friend of their mother’s but not welcomed by the other three in the group.

Officer Coletti (Skipp Sudduth) also knocks wanting to borrow their boat since they’ve found a body. Pricilla goes along but doesn’t recognize who the girl is but Alexis (Gayle Rankin) knows exactly who the victim is. Now, there are more secrets than that of Pricilla and Mary Beth, secrets that go further than they could ever have imagined.

The shock has ripples that show no mercy.

Lowe as Priscilla is the calm and collected sister who thinks things through and realizes that their mother’s death brings a new set of realities. As mad as she gets at Mary Beth, there isn’t anything she wouldn’t do for her – anything. Lowe is such a presence in the film and I just couldn’t take my eyes off her.

Saylor as Mary Beth is outrageous and has anger towards what she feels is a year of her life wasted. Making a crazy decision is what gets the sisters into a mess that doesn’t seem to have a way out – even if she thinks she’s found a way out. Saylor goes with the flow of craziness in a way I never could.

Moss-Bachrach as Gorski isn’t happy with the life in this small town and how he makes his living. There is a streak about him that is disconcerting and he’s so good at it. Sudduth as Coletti is an officer who is trying to discover who murdered the girl, but he isn’t getting help from anybody in town. They have their secrets and aren’t about to share them with the law.

O’Toole as Gail, Hugot as Doreen and Squibb as Susie are the three ladies I’d love to hang out with. They keep their eye on everything that happens in their little town and don’t take any nonsense. That seems to be the difference between them and Martindale as Enid. Enid is trouble waiting to explode and the three ladies aren’t happy with the nonsense she is causing in their town. When they see Alexis played by Rankin, it is time to put their foot down, but Enid isn’t the type to take anything from anyone – even her ‘so-called’ friends. Martindale has the unique ability to play the most amazing characters, from a loving character to a down right bitch, she excels and in this film she doesn’t disappoint.

man 2

Shout out to the Singing Fisherman, I absolutely loved their singing and thought where they were placed in the film was absolutely stellar.

Other cast include Will Brittain as Officer Justin Brennan, Owen Burke as Paulie, Thomas Kee as Declan Crawley, David Coffin, David Pridemore, Adam Mayerson and Mark S. Cartier as the Singing Fisherman.

BLOW THE MAN DOWN is a story of sisters, friendships and the secrets a little town can have that are almost impossible to penetrate. The characters are completely memorable, and I don’t think I will forget any of them for a very long time.

I absolutely love the originality of the film and the way writers/directors Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy left my jaw dropping constantly. This isn’t just one storyline – it is several and they all mesh in an amazing way and wrap up beautifully.

If you are looking for something twisted, unusual and stunning to watch then you need to see BLOW THE MAN DOWN because discussions will be had after.

In the end – it is a small town with big secrets!

 

Take to New Heights with SWIFT on Bluray

sWIFT Bluray cover

Jeri Jacquin

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

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

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

swift 1

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

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

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

Swift 2

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

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

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

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

Swift 3

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

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

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

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

In the end – find your place in the sk

JUMANJI: The Next Level Brings Another Adventure

Jumanji next level cover

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray, DVD and Digital from writer/director Jake Kasdan and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is the return for another adventure with JUMANJI: The Next Level.

It’s the holidays and the gang make plans to return to Nora’s Diner for a bit of catching up. Bethany (Madison Iseman), Martha (Morgan Turner), Fridge (Ser’Darius Blain) and Spencer (Alex Wolff). Actually, Spencer is finding any way to avoid getting together at home with Mom (Marin Hinkle) and Grandpa Eddie (Danny DeVito) who is recovering from hip surgery.

The reason for seclusion is that Spencer and Martha have taken a break from their relationship and he’s having a hard time. So much so that he goes into the basement and finds a certain video game and does the unthinkable. Grandpa Eddie is dealing with his own grumpiness when friend Milo (Danny Glover) comes to visit but Eddie isn’t exactly having it.

When the gang can’t reach Spencer, they head over to his house and meet Eddie and Milo and then hear a sound that stops them in their tracks. Running down to the basement, they realize that Spencer has jumped back into the game. The only thing to do is to go in after him, except this time there are a few changes they don’t see coming.

juman 3

In the game the basic rules are the same but the game has changed! It is more challenging and the players are a tad different. Martha (Karen Gillan) keeps her character but Eddie (Dwayne Johnson) has a much bigger stature, Bethany (Jack Black) is back and Milo is Mouse Finbar (Kevin Hart). Confused yet? Well it gets better!

They begin searching for Spencer who is now Ming (Awkwafina) who is looking for a stone that will save the world but is being stopped by Jurgen the Brutal (Rory McCann). Getting it requires the help of Alex (Nick Jonas) who is happy to see everyone.

Now that all the players on in place, it’s time to put Jurgen in his place and return the beloved and precious stone before dinner time!

Johnson as Eddie gets a chance to be even more comedic than before. It is even more hilarious when you realize he is doing his best Danny DeVito Eddie. His flexing, jumping and stare into the abyss is full on fun and we’d pretty much expect nothing less from him. DeVito as the grumpy Eddie isn’t really into life and can’t seem to find a moment to be happy about. Becoming the player Eddie is the most fun he’s had in, well, forever.

Wolff as Spencer is having an early 20’s crisis and the only thing he can think to do is go somewhere where he felt special. This is a young man who didn’t think things through to well and when he shows up in the game as Ming, it’s a new character with new abilities. Awkwafina as Ming is hilarious as always and since her introduction to people in the film CRAZY RICH ASIANS, she has made a name for herself doing comedy but also can pull off true emotions when needed.

juman 2

Hart as Milo doesn’t understand what is happening except that he seems much more knowledgeable about language and animals. Hart doing Glover is probably the best I’ve seen and it just kept cracking me up. Glover as Milo wants to fix the friendship he has with Eddie and it’s not as if the grumpy guy is going to make it easy.

Black as Fridge isn’t happy about his less than perfect body and doesn’t understand why he can’t be the same character he was before. Black jumps into his role and I can see him playing any of them with ease. There is a scene with Martha that is pretty funny in the pool of change. Blain as Fridge is happy to see his friends but not so much when they have no choice but to return to the game to find Spencer.

Gillan as Martha is back in her shorts and a tank top making sure that she gets a chance to jump off things and flip around tree branches with ease. The comedy for her comes when trying to explain to Eddie and Milo that they are in a game and what the rules are. Iseman as Bethany is the monkey in the works and she has to turn to Alex (Colin Hanks) for help in a very brave way. Hanks as Alex has a small role but I’m always happy to see him.

Shout out to McCann as Jurgen the Brutal and I don’t want to say that it’s a bit of type casting but let’s through it out there and see if it sticks. As the Hound in Game of Thrones he was loud, had no problem swinging a sword and was a tad frightening, hmmmm…sounds like Jurgen the Brutal. Who cares! It’s good to see him.

Other cast include Ashley Scott as Ashley, Rhys Darby as Nigel, Deobia Oparei as Gromm, Sarah Bennani as Andi Tow, Massi Furlan as Switchblade, Jared Hasmuk as Dagfin and Sal Longobardo as Tony.

juman 1

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

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 Digital Bonus for JUMANJI: The Next Level include Gag Reel, Rhys Darby Wants to Jingle – How do you top Jack Black and Nick Jonas’s unforgettable theme song for the first one? Everyone’s favorite Non Player Character, Rhys Darby is ready to take it to the next, next level and Body Swapping: Snapping Into Character – In the latest Jumanji adventure, the avatar roles are turned on their heads with new characters and hilarious performances.

Also included Back Together: Reuniting the Cast – Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan and Jack Black are back and better than ever as they share their excitement to reunite, Level Up, Scene Breakdown: Ostrich Chase, Scene Breakdown: Mandrill Bridges, Awkwafina Cat Burglar, NPC Confessions: Jurgen the Brutal, Grow Up, Telenovela, VFX Pre-Vis: Zepplin Battle, VFX Pre-Vis: Ostrich Chase and AR Game.

JUMANJI: The Next Level is family fun and especially for those who love the idea of these actors in a video game. There is fun, humor, adventure and it’s all wrapped up in the story of family, friendship, loyalty, acceptance and fighting off bad guys with your best friends. Of course, I am a fan of the Robin Williams version of JUMANJI and will always see that as the standard but at the same time it is easy to see why this generation is having such fun with he franchise.

This version of the film has more characters than the 1995 JUMANJI and the comedy is sillier with Johnson and Hart at the helm. These two clearly share the same humor and their off-screen friendship and Twitter ‘war’ adds to the charm of their film.

If you want to take a break from the crazy outside and be taken away on a fun adventure, then JUMANJI: The Next Level is the right film to see with the whole family. Make sure there is popcorn for all!

In the end – it’s the very next level!

THE ADVENTURES OF A.R.I. MY ROBOT FRIEND Brings Technology Adventure to DVD

TheAdventuresofARIMyRobotFriend_3DDVD-scaled

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD, Digital and On Demand from director Stephen Shimek, Grindstone and Lionsgate Home Entertainment comes a story of friendship with THE ADVENTURES OF A.R.I. MY ROBOT FRIEND.

Noah (Jude Manley) is a teen spending his time in school and with good friend Bethany (Sophia Alongi). Dad Peter (J.R. Brown) is pretty busy with his tech job but tries to very hard to have time with Noah. A movie night is interrupted with Peter has to go to the lab for an emergency and asks Noah to join him.

ari 2

Once at the lab while Dad is busy, Noah notices workers taking an odd table through the lab. Curiosity gets the best of him and he discovers a small robot that seems to be discarded. While testing is being doing throughout the lab, Noah decides to take the small robot in his backpack. Well, this is when life gets interesting.

The robot comes to life and is equally curious about Noah. What they both don’t know is that back in the lab, people are looking for their robot and want it back! Dr. Simon (Cait Brasel) along with Director Raddock (Greg Lutz) will stop at nothing to find A.R.I. and bring him back.

While A.R.I. learns from Noah, their friendship grows and as much as the scientists want their robot back, Noah and Bethany discover that there is more to this than a missing robot. Finding Professor Eggy (Bill Jenkins) is the key to saving their A.I. little friend from disaster!

ari 4

Manley as Noah is a young man who is growing up in the technology world. He understandings A.R.I. and is constantly amazed at what he can do, no more so than A.R.I. himself. Alongi as Bethany is the total teen having a social media following and uses that to help their new friend keep the bad guys away.

Lutz as Raddock is singularly focused on finding A.R.I. but if not – there is always plan B. Brasel as Dr. Simon tried to make A.R.I. work but doesn’t understand why everyone wants him so badly but does do her techno part to find him. Brown as Dad Peter gets a chance to help his son do something amazing. Jenkins as the Professor has his own story to tell about A.R.I. and is thrilled to tell it to Noah and Bethany.

Other cast includes: Kyle Henry as Titan, Jeremy Miller as Todd, Christy Tate as Rita Haley, and Craig Cole as Mr. Stanny.

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 ADVENTURE OF A.R.I. MY ROBOT FRIEND is a fun family film that also talks about technology and what it is capable of. It also shows the good and bad people who are involved with A.R.I. and what each of their goals really are. That’s important for families to discuss in the sense that technology can be amazing for teaching and entertaining, but kids need to understand the perils that can sometimes happen when not used properly.

ari 3

That’s where A.R.I. comes in with his friendship with Noah and Bethany. He learns about friendship and what it means to care for someone to the point of doing everything possible to protect them. In turn Noah and Bethany begin to see A.R.I. as so much more than metal and motherboards and it is delightful to see.

So gather the family together and make it a movie night to watch friendship and technology become the best of friends with THE ADVENTURE OF A.R.I. MY ROBOT FRIEND.

In the end – the extraordinary story can begin!

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.

frozen 1

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.

frozen 222

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.

frozen 3

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”.

frozen 2

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!

STANDING UP, FALLING DOWN Brings the Comedy of Life

Standing cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres from SHOUT! Studios and director Matt Ratner is the story of life changes, unexpected friendships and knowing about STANDING UP, FALLING DOWN.

Scott (Ben Schwartz) has been in Los Angeles for years doing stand up comedy. When things become a little stagnant in his life, he returns home to live with supportive Mom Jeanie (Debra Monk), not so supportive Dad Gary (Kevin Dunn) and hilarious sister Megan (Grace Gummer). Trying to decide what to do Scott spends an evening out with best bud Murph (Leonard Ouzts) who has some things to say.

He lets Scott know that life is different for those that didn’t take off to California. Bringing up his fast scoot out of town when things got to serious with ex-girlfriend Becky (Eloise Mumford) hit close to home for Scott. Heading off to the men’s room he meets Marty (Billy Crystal) who has a few weird habits.

standing 1

Going to the dermatologist, Scott is amazed to discover it is Marty and a strange and unusual friendship begins to happen. Learning about one another is part of that friendship including the good, bad and the chance to make up for some of the mistakes they have both made in their life.

When Scott decides to go back to the stage, he might have finally broken the wall with his family…maybe. Marty decides to take a lesson from Scott’s playbook and reach out to the family he believes is lost to him.

Both wondering if its possible to drop the bag of bricks on their backs!

Schwartz as Scott is a man who thought going to Los Angeles for his comedy career was a great idea, and a good way to avoid a relationship. Coming home was the last thing he wanted to do knowing what wait for him walking through the front door. Finding Marty, although in an unusual way, became a friendship he counted on to avoid his own life because Marty didn’t judge. Schwartz gives his character the ability to verbally wrangle with his sister, avoidance with his Dad and avoid friends that ask to many questions.

Crystal as Marty gets a chance to do what he does best, be funny, have the best one-liners and a flow about him that gives his character ease. That’s all great but when its time to come to terms with Marty’s past, Crystal shows a side that is devastated, and I felt every bit of it. An amazing performance but not unexpected.

standing 2

Gummer as sister Megan is absolutely hilarious and quick witted. I loved every scene she was in and wouldn’t have minded more. Shout out to Castaneda as boyfriend Ruiz for holding his own in a dysfunctional family. Monk as Mom Jeanie just wants her son to find some peace in his life, Dunn as Dad Gary is, well a dad without humor. Ouzt as Murph is a friend who doesn’t hesitate to let Scott know that there is more to life than the one he has created in his comedy bubble.

Other cast include Nate Corddry as Adam, Jill Hennessy as Vanessa, Caitlin McGee as Taylor, David Castaneda as Ruis, John Behlmann as Owen, Wade Allain-Marcus as Bray, Kate Arrington as Tonya and Mike Carlsen as Tony.

STANDING UP, FALLING DOWN is a film that just smacks of reality and you don’t have to be in comedy to see it. There are so many moments where I found myself saying out loud, “you got that right” because the situations are so relatable.

The cast played off each other so well that the story just flowed. There are moments where I laughed, moments I kind of fell quiet (I know right?) and most of all, times I saw what great lessons there are for us all in the film.

Director Ratner says about the story, “Scott and Marty are two people who are at very different points in their life with similar shortcomings. Scott is a dreamer who wants desperately to believe he is in a love story. Marty is a man who wears a mask – and wears it so well he often succeeds at fooling himself. The life he lives now – that of a suburban dermatologist – is an attempt at stability after a life lived in the fast lane. Marty and Scott are both perpetually teetering on the brink of self-destruction”.

standing 3

The film was the Official Selection of the Tribeca Film Festival in 2019, Napa Valley Film Festival in 2019 and the Palm Springs International Film Festival. It won the Humor and Humanity Award from the Heartland International Film Festival.

STANDING UP, FALLING DOWN can also be found On-Demand, Apple TVm Amazon Instant, Vudu, GooglePlay, FandangoNow, Direct TV, Comcast, Dish Networks, Spectrum, Cox, Charter, AT&T U-verse. For more information please visit www.StandUpFallingDownMovie.com.

In the end – it’s a comedy about second chances!

A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD is from the Heart

Beautiful Day bluray cover

Jeri Jacquin

On Bluray, DVD and Digit to delight and remind us all of our potential from director Marielle Heller and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD.

Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys) is a writer who is making a name for himself and it’s not a good one.  As no one else will work with him, Esquire editor Ellen (Christine Lahti) gives him the only assignment left which is interviewing Mr. Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks). Unhappy with it, wife Andrea (Susan Watson) reminds him that Mr. Rogers is an icon and to “please don’t ruin my childhood”.

Grumpy about all of it, he meets with Mr. Rogers at the studio where he makes his children’s television show. Watching his interaction with others makes Lloyd uncomfortable but for more reasons than he is ready to grasp. When it only lasts a few moments, Lloyd packs up his wife and young newborn son and its off to sister Lorraine’s (Tammy Blanchard) wedding. Also at the wedding his Jerry Vogel (Chris Cooper), Lloyd’s estranged father.

beauty 1

An outburst at the wedding leaves both Lloyd and Jerry roughed up and at the next interview with Mr. Rogers, he notices. Talking it out makes Lloyd even more uncomfortable and can’t seem to get away fast enough. That’s when Lloyd realizes that things from his past are interfering with his present life. When Jerry tries to reach out but he just can’t get past his anger.

Throwing himself into the article, Lloyd watches Mr. Rogers and how he speaks to people, the life topics he covers and his outlook on life. Trying to grasp it all, a family issue means that Lloyd might have the opportunity to see firsthand what Mr. Rogers has been trying to tell and show him about kindness and forgiveness.

Sometimes we all just need one person to believe in us!

Hanks as Mr. Rogers is completely stunning and leaves an imprint in the heart. Because I come from a generation that knew about Mr. Rogers, I cannot think of one actor besides Hanks that could have done this film. I believe so much in what Lloyd’s wife says about not ruining our childhood and that could have easily happened. Instead, Hanks reminds us so much of why we embraced Mr. Rogers and why we hold his and our memories so dear. The calmness in the midst of so much sadness in Lloyd’s life allows us to open our hearts even further to the story we see on the screen. But do we really expect anything different from Hanks? He gives us all something to think about through his performances and in being Mr. Rogers, we owe him that much.

Rhys as Lloyd is a man who is just living life one moment at a time and it all comes from a childhood anger that he carries like a bag of bricks. Everyone seems to give him a pass with the anger he carries for his father but, as with anyone who lives for anger, the pass is about to expire. He can’t fathom how Mr. Rogers can keep his heart so open to others and feels that “Mr. Rogers” is a television persona. It’s when he puts the bag of bricks down does Lloyd have a chance to truly connect with those who continue, through it all, to love him. Of course, Mr. Rogers isn’t about to leave Lloyd to do all of it on his own.

beauty 2

Watson as wife Andrea accepts Lloyd for the emotional roller coaster he always seems to be on. With a new baby to tend to, she wants more for her family in the way of connection and love. It is easy to believe Watson’s performance since it is very similar to Beth from the television drama series This Is Us. Blanchard as sister Lorraine understands Lloyds anger but in her own life is trying to make different choices. She may have made her own mistakes (such as marriages) but Blanchard shows a forgiving nature in the midst of it all.

Cooper as dad Jerry is rough around the edges and not very good at showing remorse or affection. Lloyd can’t even look at him without remembering pain and Cooper plays a man who is not only dealing with issues but trying to find a way of saying ‘I’m sorry’. Cooper has the amazing ability of playing roles that have so much depth to them once you get past the gruffness as with Jerry.

Other cast include: Maryann Plunkett as Joanne Rogers, Enrico Colantoni as Bill Isler, Wendy Makkena as Dorothy, Noah Harpster as Todd, Carmen Cusack as Margy, Maddie Corman as Lady Aberlin and Daniel Krell as Mr. McFeely.

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

MOVIES ANYWHERE gives viewers the ability to download the Movies Anywhere App. With that you can view films by downloading or streaming to your favorite device using a Digital Code. For more information on Movies Anywhere please visit http://www.MoviesAnywhere.com.

The Special Features include Over 15 Minutes of Additional Scenes, Blooper Reel, Tom Hanks as Fred Rogers, The People Who Make a Neighborhood: The Making Of, Dreaming Big, Building Small: The Puppets & Miniatures, Daniel Tiger Explains: Practice Makes Perfect and Filmmaker Commentary.

beauty 3

A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD is not exactly what I expected. Yes, it’s about Mr. Rogers and yet it isn’t. It is Lloyd Vogel’s story about Mr. Rogers and how spending time with him changes everything. Then again most of us already know that it can happen because, as with my own experiences, it has before.

Mr. Rogers embraces Lloyd, whether he likes it or not, to try and show that we need one another. Being patient isn’t something Lloyd seems to have but it is something Mr. Rogers seems to have in abundance. The two most unlikely people to come together happens slowly throughout the film – and mainly due to the persistence and belief from Mr. Rogers.

Watching Rhy’s Lloyd go through his struggle is at times heartbreaking and Hanks as Mr. Rogers almost encourages us to feel that heartbreak. There is acceptance and forgiveness in each frame of the film and, to be honest, it also felt as if we didn’t we would let down Mr. Rogers!

It is the perfect time of year for A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD and for reasons that are plain but I’ll go ahead and mention them anyway. This is a film about listening to one another, offering help in any way that would ease pain, be there for those we love, forgive just as easily as we hold grudges and always embrace a couple of seconds longer just so the people we care about know that they are not alone.

In the end – we could all use a little kindness!

DRAGONHEART: Vengeance Brings Dragons Home on Bluray

Dragonheart cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray, DVD and Digital this week from director Ivan Silvestrini and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is more adventures with DRAGONHEART: Vengeance.

Lukas (Jack Kane) is the son of a farmer who lives a quiet life helping to tend the farm animals. One day while basking in the sun in a field, he hears something horrifying – the sound of his family being murdered. Running to the house he sees through the boards The Snake (Carolina Carlsson), The Scorpion (Tam Williams), The Wolf (Richard Ashton) and The Bear (Ross O’Hennessy) commit the act.

Not understanding why they group did it, he does hear in which direction each is going. Lukas makes a solemn vow that he will hold each accountable in any way possible. Beginning his journey on the road he finds a Blacksmith (Cameron Jack) who trades lands for Lukas’ first weapon and the young boy also meets the daring Darius (Joseph Millson) who has a gift with nature.

dragon 1

But it is the Blacksmith who tells Lukas the story of the dragon hidden in the mountains and that taking it a gift might get Lukas the help he needs. Finding the dragon, he discovers that Siveth (voiced by Helena Bonham Carter) has no use for mankind. Yet, there is something about Lukas that draws her to him as she joins the journey even if Darius is disgusted by it all leaving with a sour word.

When the story between Siveth and Darius comes to light, Lukas now understands even more that King Razvan (Arturo Muselli) has brought such a rift and all because of so many terrible secrets. Lukas wants another path, one that does not make him worse than those he seeks to bring to justice. Especially since he has found a liking to the healer Oana (Fabienne Pilolini-Castle).

Now, thirty years later, the reason behind Lukas losing his family come down to a Kings fear but that isn’t going to stop Lukas, Darius and Siveth from exposing the truth!

dragon 2

Kane as Lukas is a young man who loves his life on the farm. In one fleeting moment it is all taken away and he must come to terms with his anger and decide which works, revenge or uncovering the truth. Kane is conflicted but as the truths reveal themselves, the character of Lukas remembers who he is and how that will change his destiny forever.

Millson as Darius is an unhappy man who goes around finding a reason to wield his sword yet has the wonderful ability to ‘speak’ to the earth and the creatures. Lukas sees this ability and is filled with wonder by it. As his story unfolds, it is easy to see how this character became so unsatisfied with life and angry at his own past story.

Carter as Siveth is a dragon who has spent many years in solitude. After what has happened in her own life, she is guarded but knows a bad person when she smells one. Her relationship with Lukas is one of protection but, as with the others, she has her own story to tell and the unique perspective here is that Lukas, Darius and Siveth are connected!

Other cast include Ioachin Ciobanu as Messenger, Laur Dragan as The Councilor, James Longshore as Guard Captain and Edouard Philipponnat as Igor.

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 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.

dragon 3

MOVIES ANYWHERE gives viewers the ability to download the Movies Anywhere App. With that you can view films by downloading or streaming to your favorite device using a Digital Code. For more information on Movies Anywhere please visit http://www.MoviesAnywhere.com.

The Bonus Features include A New Legend – Take an intimate look at what sets this film apart from previous installments of the iconic DRAGONHEART franchise, and how filmmakers and cast came together to make this fantasy epic and Creating Siveth – Siveth is a dragon unlike any we’ve seen before. In this piece, we get a peak behind the curtain into Helena Bonham Carter’s process for breathing life into this unique character.

DRAGONHEART: Vengeance is a wonderful addition to the series in that it is another look at the story of dragons, which I am pretty partial to. The story does have remnants of the very first DRAGONHEART but it is subtle and reminds us all of why the film continues to hold a place in our hearts.

There is action, adventure, dragons, good vs. evil, loyalty, holding steadfast against those who seek to hurt others and a friendship that will break your heart. What more could we ask for in a film that is the reason large sofas, soft blankets and family cuddle time.

DRAGONHEART: Vengeance is the completion of al all-new five-movie collection already available. They include DRAGONHEART, DRAGONHEART: A New Beginning, DRAGONHEART 3: The Sorcerer’s Curse, DRAGONHEART: Battle for the Heartfire and now DRAGONHEART: Vengeance.

In the end – vengeance can darken even the noblest heart!

DOLITTLE Brings Charm to the Big Screen

Dolittle cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this Friday from writer/director Stephen Gaghan and Universal Pictures is the story of animals who live with none other than DOLITTLE.

Dr. John Dolittle (Robert Downey, Jr.) began as a doctor who has the unique ability to speak with animals. Known far and wide, even the Queen called upon him to help with her animals. In gratitude Dolittle is given an estate to continue his work with animals and given them shelter.

When tragedy strikes the good doctor, he closes the gates to everyone and becomes secluded from the world. That is until meeting the young Tommy (Harry Collett) who discovers a squirrel that needs a doctor! It is the flying parrot Polly (voiced by Emma Thompson) who leads the lad to Dolittle’s door.

do 1

At the same time, the young Lady Rose (Carmel Laniado) is sent to Dolittle on behest of Queen Victoria (Jessie Buckley) to come to the palace and help the monarch. Quickly is snapped back to his self by all the animals who know that he needs to do what’s right. Visiting the Queen he is met by Lord Thomas Badgley (Jim Broadbent) and the nefarious Dr. Blair Mudfly (Michael Sheen).

It seems a plot is in the works against the Queen and only Dolittle knows how to stop it. The mysterious illness that has taken the Queen has a cure and Dolittle knows where it can be found.

Taking along Tommy, their journey begins with a ship full of animals and a mission – to save the Queen

Downey, Jr. as Dolittle is perfect casting with his unique ability to be quirky and humorous in his own way. It could also be that I’m happy to see him on the big screen again taking on a role that is lighthearted and warm in character. Downey, Jr. has a flair to entertain an audience, so much so that I can easy overlook the mushiness of his accent.

null

Collett as Tommy is a young man unlike the rest of his hunting family. He sees the grace in loving animals and once meeting Dolittle, knows his path in life. The adventure is just a bonus! Collett is charming and fun to watch alongside Downey, Jr. and that makes for wonderful storytelling.

Sheen as Mudfly has become good at being bad. This time he is able to add a little slap stick comedy to his role but never go against Downey, Jr.! Broadbent as Badgley is supposed to be taking care of the Queen but is he?

Laniado as Lady Rose is sweet, elegant and wants to protect her Queen. A strong young woman who isn’t afraid of much and that serves her well against both man and animal. The spark between herself and Tommy is very sweet as well.

The animal cast include: Rami Malek as Chee-Chee, John Cena as Yoshi, Kumail Nanjiani as Plimpton, Octavia Spencer as Dab-Dab, Tom Holland as Jip, Craig Robinson as Kevin, Ralph Fiennes as Barry, Selena Gomez as Betsy, Marion Cotillard as Tutu, Frances de la Tour as the Dragon and Jason Mantzoukas as James the Dragonfly.

Other cast include Kasia Smutniak as Lily Dolittle, Oliver Chris as Sir Gareth, Clive Francis, and Antonio Banderas as King Rassouli.

do 3

DOLITTLE is a charming fun adventure for the entire family. This is an introduction to Dolittle like we have not seen before and it does leave the door open in case Downey, Jr. wants to return. The audience was taken with the bounty of talking animals and all their own personalities and it did bring lots of laughs with side jokes.

The human cast is fun and ready to take on the journey which is unexpected and full of twists and turns. DOLITTLE is the reason families come to the movies together on a Saturday and escape into a magical world for a time and still talk about it after.

So, gather the entire family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins – everybody!) and enjoy time together with the animals.

In the end – he’s not just a people person!

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑