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His Story and Life Collide in TOLKIEN

TOLKIEN

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this Friday from director Dome Karukoski and Fox Searchlight Pictures comes the story of stories told about the life of TOLKIEN.

The story begins with war as Private Sam Hodges (Craig Roberts) finds a very ill Tolkien and makes it his mission to help him survive. Out in the field as bombs rage and gas explodes, he once again sees how his life began and led him to the field of inhumanity.

J.R.R. Tolkien (Nicholas Hoult) was a young man living with his mother and brother in a small English house in the middle of vast fields. One day Father Francis (Colm Meaney) helps the family move to the city to start again but it doesn’t last long as once again Father Francis moves Tolkien and his younger brother to the house of Mrs. Faulkner (Pam Ferris). Becoming their guardian, she starts with the boys’ education and Tolkien dives deeper into his drawings and writings.

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Eventual Mrs. Faulkner takes in Edith Bratt (Lily Collins) and Tolkien is quite taken with her. Continuing to be watched over by Father Francis, the young man is told that he can’t share his feelings about her and still go to university. He makes the sad choice to leave her and joins childhood friends Rob Gilson (Patrick Gibson), Geoffrey Smith (Anthony Boyle) and Christopher Wiseman (Tom Glynn-Carney), also known as the TCBS, to university.

As the group continues to meet, Tolkien is one step away from having to leave school when he discovers Professor Wright (Derek Jacobi). Sharing his story’s with the Professor, both men become thrilled at the possibilities of the story and language. Finally finding his place in school, the war breaks out and Tolkien is called up.

Before shipping out he once again sees Edith and he finds himself still smitten with the young girl. They have a chance to explain to one another the situation as it was then but their hearts never let go of one another only to be parted again by battle.

Tolkien fights to stay alive, fights to find his friends and without realizing it would soon take all the horrors of war and create one of the most iconic stories ever written.

Hoult as Tolkien takes on the monumental task of playing a character that became famous for his books and his name becomes world wide again when the films come to the screen. I will be honest, I wasn’t sure that justice could be done in the story telling of a writer who impacted my life so profoundly yet Hoult did so. The struggles of youth followed Tolkien and he could have ‘gone wrong’ as the sayings goes but instead he found a path that Hoult walks honorably.

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Collins as Edith is a young girl understanding Tolkien much more than anyone else (other than his brother). She pushes him to continue to write stories because she saw something magical about the world Tolkien creates. Collins gives her character strength, dignity and a forwardness not seen by women of Edith’s day. Meaney as Father Francis takes the role of father, protector and if that doesn’t work he uses good old fashioned guilt to ‘guide’ Tolkien’s life choices. I have to say I wasn’t happy with this character and that’s probably because I’m not much for emotional bullying which means Meaney did a fantastic job!

Gibson, Boyle and Glynn-Carney as Rob, Geoffrey and Christopher are three friends I’d love to have had growing up. Although they started out prickly, the story of each of these young men would impact Tolkien in ways they would never see coming. These four actors when on screen together are gripping and I enjoyed watching their friendship grow.

Now, as for Roberts as Private Sam Hodges, I have only one thing to say – stellar and well done young man, extremely well done. From beginning to end it was the life of Tolkien that was his mission and he took it so seriously that nothing would turn him from it. Sound like a story character you might know?

Other cast include Laura Donnelly as Mabel Tolkien, Guillermo Bedward as Hilary Tolkien, Nia Gwynne as Browen, Tony Nash as Mackintosh, Owen Teale as Headmaster Gilson, Lara Maguire as Rose, Holly Dempster as Beryl, Genevieve O’Reilly as Mrs. Smith and David Birkbeck as Porter.

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TOLKIEN is well done, beautifully put on screen and gives the viewer a deep look inside what it took for THE LORD OF THE RINGS to make it to the page. Watching the story unfold is like seeing how characters were born in his mind. I caught myself a few times pointing at things I saw on the screen with an inhale and then a smile. Okay, so being a raging Tolkien fan it was like being part of a mental treasure hunt.

The cast brings together with such intensity the moments in Tolkien’s life that he held on to for dear life. The story is raw and beautiful at the same time to the point where I didn’t want it to end. The good news is that sitting on my library shelf are the books and films which are a wonderful solace brought by a man who took what he experienced in his life and shared it in the most magnificent way with the world.

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In the end – a life of love, courage and fellowship!

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THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING is Crowned on Bluray

kid cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray from writer/director Joe Cornish and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment comes a story of honor for THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING.

Alex (Louis Ashbourne Serkis) is a young boy living in England being raised by single mother Mrs. Elliott (Denise Gough). At school he isn’t having a much better time except for his friendship with Bedders (Dean Chaumoo) who can’t help with the bullying from Lance (Tom Taylor) and Kaye (Rhianna Dorris).

After a run in with the two and detentions handed out, Lance and Kaye are after Alex once again but he hides in a construction site. There he finds a sword and takes it out of the rocks. Taking it home, Alex shows it to Bedders and they do some internet searching and discover that the markings are that of Exaclibur, the sword of King Arthur.

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What the two don’t know is that Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson), a sorceress is also looking for the sword and weird creatures are sent to find it. Shaken by what’s happening, things get even weirder when the next day at school, Merlin (Angus Imrie)  shows up as a boy of 16 and has to prove to Alex that he is actually the wizard Merlin by changing to an older version of himself (Patrick Stewart).

Merlin explains that in a few days things are going to become horrible for everyone in the town Alex lives in and all because of Morgana. Needing a few more knights, he shows Tom and Kaye what is going on and now they are, along with Bedders, Alexs’ knights of the round kitchen table.

Alex also believes that his father might be the key to knowing how to find and defeat Morgana going to a place call Tintagel where Arthur was born. On the way, Merlin trains the four in ways that will help their quest. The problem is Morgana knows where they are and Merlin has to save them but not before Alex and Tom have a fight that breaks Exalibur and they all meet the Lady of the Lake.

Discovering the family truth, Alex feels defeated but it is Merlin that explains that the story may not be what he knew but it changes nothing. Morgana is still on a path of destruction so Alex must call upon the most unlikely people to create an army.

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Morgana has no idea who she is dealing with!

Serkis as Alex is a young man who is perfect for this role. He looks like any other little boy and is very smart except for one thing – he is a king. Of course that might comes a quite a shock to the royal family but Serkis gives his character a good heart and an adventuresome spirit. Once he understands what must be done, his heart is as big as Excalibur.

Chaumoo as Bedder is such a sweetheart and very supportive friend to Alex. He is excited about the quest they are on and wants to be a part of it in every way. Even when things seem down, it is Bedders that lifts his friend up to move forward.

Taylor as Lance is a bully who just can’t get enough of Alex. The problem is once the detention hits, he is even more ready to cause the young boy problems. That is until he sees that Alex isn’t joking about what is going on and it does take him time but it seems being a knight suits him. Dorris as Kaye follows the same path as Taylor but finds a bit of power in her new role as a knight. She begins to see what is happening and wants to help but in the same way as the boys.

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Imrie as Merlin is smart, funny and jumps through two worlds with a simple flick of his hands. He also knows what he needs to do to help Alex. Imrie gives his Merlin a sense of humor and a wicked way of getting his point across. He made me laugh – A LOT. Stewart as the older Merlin brings his usual wit and charisma to this iconic character.

Ferguson as Morgana is pretty upset at Merlin and being the half-sister of Arthur. Getting ahold of the sword is all she is interested in, oh and probably finding a way to get back at Merlin, Arthur and anyone else that gets in her way.

Other cast includes: Norma Dumezweni as Mrs. Lee, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett as Mr. Kepler, Mark Bonnar as Mr. Jeffreys, Alexandra Roach as Ms. Foster, Nick Mohammed as Mr. Hyde and Genevieve O’Reilly as Aunt Sophie.

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.

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The Bluray and DVD includes over an hour of Quest Features including: Deleted Scenes, Origins of a King, Young Knights, Knight School, The Two Merlins and so much more.

THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING is a fun adventure not only for kids but for the kids at heart. This is actually a great family film to watch together (or even with grandkids if you have them!). It’s a story of the struggles each of us face when we aren’t understood by others, how to deal with those who want to cause harm, what can happen when everyone works together and the power of belief and friendship.

I enjoyed the story and the bringing together of four people who probably wouldn’t have been friends if it hadn’t been for fate and a sword called Excalibur. The film is filled with everything one would want from King Arthur and the round table mixed in with a young boy telling the story of his part in history.

Gather the family, break out the armor and pop the royal corn because it’s time for a weekend adventure.

In the end – An army to fight, a demon to slay, a world to save…no pressure!

SHAZAM! Entertains the Kid in us All

 

Shazam cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres from director David F. Sandberg, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros comes the story of a boy who is about to become the one and only SHAZAM!

Billy Batson (Asher Angel) is a young boy who has seen his chair of heart ache. Lost from his mother when he was a child, Billy has bounced around the foster care system. He finds a family with Victor (Cooper Andrews) and Rosa (Marta Milans) who already have a full house.

He meets Freddy (Jack Grazer), Darla (Faithe Herman), Eugene (Ian Chen), Mary (Grace Fulton) and Pedro (Jovan Armand) who embrace him immediately. Trying to keep to himself, Billy has no luck as Freddy attaches himself quickly to his new brother.

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But Billy has his own plan and has spent years trying to find the mother he lost so long ago. Carrying a list and coming to the end of it, he doesn’t know what to do next. That is until his new siblings offer a technological way to make his search easier and get to it.

While on a subway one day he is transformed into another world where the Wizard Shazam (Djimon Hounsou) tells Billy a story of how his world came to be. He also shares with the boy that all he has to do is say one word and the Wizard transfers his powers to Billy.

And now he is an adult in a superhero suit which freaks Billy (Zachary Levi) out immediately. He races home to tell Jack what has happened (who by the way is totally thrilled) and the two decide to have fun with social media.  What the new suited Billy doesn’t know is that there is someone else wants the power.

Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong) has had his share of bad times with family and makes it clear to them that he is about to take over, well, everything. Finding his way to the world where the Wizard lives, he still resents not being chosen the Champion and instead releases the seven deadly sins and takes them to Billy’s world.

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Billy doesn’t really want to fight Dr. Sivana but once the evilness comes for his new family, it is clear that not only does he finally feel up to the task but gets a few friends to get in on the fun!

Levi as the adult Shazam is very, very funny. This is what I love the most about Levi playing this character – he has the wonderful ability to look surprised like a kid, get upset like a kid, become giddy like a kid and ask questions like a kid all the while in the body of an adult. He made me laugh so much and when he comes to care for his new family – it is done as a kid’s heart. Levi has captured so much in the film and I had such a good time watching him develop this role.

Strong as Dr. Sivana is an actor I love to see what he will do with a character. Look at his acting resume if you want to see how he can be a gentle character, a complex character, a strong character and even a funny character. Trust when I say that when he wants to portray and evil character – he can do it and do it well. As Sivana he gets another chance to make a character his very own. Yea, I dig Mark Strong.

Angel as the young Billy is a resourceful and slightly angry young man who spends his time searching and keeping people at arms length. All that aside, Angel has a side that sneaks out to let us know that he is vulnerable no matter how hard he fights it.

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Grazer as Freddy is the absolutely perfect sidekick for both Angel and Levi’s Billy/Shazam. He uses humor for the complications of his own life and although it doesn’t always work, he doesn’t lose it. Coming face to face with the other kids at school, it is when he is bullied that Billy sees they have more in common than he wanted to think.

Chen as Eugene is smart and loves a good challenge, Fulton as Mary is getting ready for college but can’t decide if that’s what she really wants, Armand as Pedro goes along to get along with the sibling group.  It is Herman as Darla is the absolute cuteness of the group. She embraces Billy from day one and even when he gives her the cold-shoulder this young girl still radiates love.

Cooper as Victor and Milan as Rosa are happy with the home they’ve created. From the beginning they accepted Billy with all of his emotional standoffishness and believed that in time he would just blend into their already blended family.

Hounsou as the Wizard Shazam gets a chance to wear cheeky robes and wave around a walking stick that I’m sure he stole from Gandalf the Grey. He has the voice to share the scary story of why he is in the house of empty thrones and wicked statues so that’s cool.

Other cast include Ava Preston as Lillian, Meagan Good as Darla, Evan Marsh as Burke Breyer, Natalia Safran as Mrs. Sivana, Andi Osho as Ms. Glover, Carson MacCormac as Brett Bryer, Sarah Bennani as Simone, Ali Badsha as Mehmet Kotil, and David J. MacNeil as Mr. Bryer.

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FINAL WORD: This is our introduction to a new superhero with SHAZAM! I will admit that I kind of see him as a clean cut and child like Deadpool. Now understand there is nothing wrong with that at all except their comic homes are in different universes. Besides that, this is a fun film and I would absolutely recommend it for families.

Because of the kid/adult transformation, there are jokes, fun and situations that almost everyone can relate too. The audience I saw the film with didn’t hide their excitement about seeing the film and during spend their time laughing, applauding and smiling from ear to ear.

That’s what these films are all about, having a good time and doing it with family and friends. SHAZAM! is a film where it’s okay to act a little giddy and maybe even a little kid-ish and nobody will mind in the slightest.

In the end – if you want to save the world just say the magic word!

 

Disney’s RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET Smashes onto Bluray

 

ralph cover

Jeri Jacquin

On Bluray, DVD and Digital from directors Rich Moore, Phil Johnston and Disney Home Entertainment comes RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET.

Ralph (John C. Reilly) and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) are still hanging out as the best of friends. Still part of the Litwak’s Family Fun Center and Arcade, they are happy with how their lives have changed since their last adventure.

Well, at least Ralph is happy as Vanellope is looking for something exciting to break up the routine. Her bff decides it is up to him to make that happen and adds a bonus track to her race. She is thrilled but the player of the game isn’t able to control things and the steering wheel becomes broken in the real world.ralph 1

Mr. Litwak (Ed O’Neill) knows that the maker of the game Sugar Rush has been out of business for some time and discovers that a replacement wheel is to expensive. That’s when Ralph and Vanellope decide that they are going to get one themselves in a place called the Internet. Going to eBay they place a wild bid on the wheel and now have to come up with the money!

Trying ways to get the cash, it is Ralph and when he becomes a viral sensation, they also learn the dark side of the internet. When things go wrong, Vanellope gets very upset at Ralph and all video game breaks loose. When a virus is unleashed, Ralph knows he has to make everything right AND still get the wheel to help his best friend.

Things in the game world is about to change!

Reilly reprises his vocal role as the animated and loveable Wreck-It Ralph. In this adventure he is happy with how things have been going but when Vanellope needs something more – her friend provides it. Even when things go a little wackadoodle Ralph wants to make it right for his friend and their next adventure begins.

Silverman as Vanellope loves her friendship with Ralph and isn’t surprised that he would want to add something fun to her life. Their adventure together takes them into the internet and a whole new group of characters and all because her friend Ralph wants to save her game Sugar Rush. These two were destine to be friends no matter what happens.

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Other cast include: Gal Gadot as Shank, Taraji P. Henson as Yesss, Jack McBrayer as Felix, Jane Lynch as Calhoun, Alan Tudyk as KnowsMore, Alfred Molina as Double Dan, Bill Hader as J.P. Spamley and John DiMaggio as Arthur.

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. www.movies.disney.com for their At Home titles!

The Bluray and DVD contain the Bonus Extras of Deleted Scenes, How We Broke the Internet – Go Behind the Scenes at Disney Animation Studios and discover how they made the Internet come alive on screen, Easter Eggs and more!

Also the Digital Code can be used with the Movies Anywhere App meaning families can watch the film just about anywhere on their Computer, Smartphone, TV and Tablet.

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Watching the friendship of Ralph and Vanellope was entertaining in 2012 and it is just as entertaining in 2019. Ralph is the loveable big guy who is completely misunderstood and only wants what’s best for his friends – especially his bff Vanellope. He wants her happy and would do anything to make that happen. Now there is a good friend!

And that’s what the pair has together (even when they sometimes don’t see eye to eye), a friendship that is so full of caring and fun that it’s hard not to watch every single second with a bit of a grin. I have to admit that having the Disney Princess’ in the film sure does bring a lot of fun and watching Vanellope give them a make-over is pure classic fun.

Basically, this is good animated fun for the entire family and with all the rainy days it’s a great chance to cuddle up together with a Ralph size popcorn and enjoy!

In the end – they are best friends no matter what!

Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID Returns to Us on Bluray

 

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Jeri Jacquin

On Bluray, DVD and Digital from the Walt Disney Signature Collection is the return of our favorite underwater characters in THE LITTLE MERMAID.

Ariel (voiced by the amazing Jodi Benson) is a curious little mermaid who lives under the sea with her father Triton (Kenneth Mars). Constantly worried about his youngest daughter, Triton gives orders to Sebastian (Samuel E. Wright) to keep an eye on her.

Ariel’s constant companion is Flounder (Jason Marin), a fish who enjoys all the trinkets and treasures she finds. When neither knows what an object is, they ask their friendly neighborhood seagull Scuttle (Buddy Hackett) who has a name for everything.

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The one thing Ariel wants to know about are those who live on the land. Deciding that’s her next adventure she makes a deal with the less than friendly Ursula (Pat Carroll) and in exchange for legs, she gets Ariel’s voice.

Once on land she meets Eric (Christopher Barnes), a young prince who is intrigued by the young girl. Spending time together makes her very happy but it’s Sebastian who is all a flutter. Not only does he have to keep away from the kitchen but help Ariel find happiness with the prince before Ursula gets what she really wants!

Benson as Ariel has become the iconic and ethereal voice of THE LITTLE MERMAID. Her voice is so endearing and her laughter seems so genuine that its easy to smile at her adventure. That is important especially to little kids who might be experiencing THE LITTLE MERMAID for the very first time. Musker and Clements knew exactly what they were doing when casting Benson. Her singing is a bit magical and every bit stunning!

Wright as Sebastian is as smooth a lobster as there ever was one. He is funny, sweet, hilarious and clearly loves his ward. Their relationship is funny from the start and continues to the very last frame. Marin as Flounder is such a sweet young friend to Ariel and that’s important when everyone else sees you as different.

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Barnes as Eric is a young man who finds there is something different about the young girl washed ashore, he could never imagine how different. Mars as Triton has the deep fatherly voice but also comes to understand that his daughter has a path all her own.

Carroll as Ursula is absolutely fantastic and even though her character is a tad evil we can’t help but sing along to her songs. Lets face it…she’s just misunderstood. She can make even this bad girl sound good.

Other cast include: Rene Auberjonois as Louis, Paddi Edwards as Flotsam & Jetsam, Edie McClurg as Carlotta, Ben Wright as Grimsby and Will Ryan as Seahorse.

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. www.movies.disney.com for their At Home titles!

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The Bluray and DVD contains the Bonus Extras of Alan Menken & The Leading Ladies: Iconic Disney Leading Ladies Share Their Musical Memories with Alan, Jodi Benson who voices Ariel, Paige O’Hara who voices Belle from BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, Judy Kuhn who is the voice of Pocahontas and Donna Murphy who is the voice of Mother Gothel from TANGLED as we celebrate the music of their films in honor of the one that started it all – THE LITTLE MERMAID.

In the discussion, the ladies will share their memories of musically creating their characters with Alan, discuss what it means to be part of the Disney Princess/leading lady legacy and create new memories as they sing with Alan around a baby grand piano!

Also included is the Sing-Along Mode, “What I Want From You Is Your Voice” An Inside Look at the Casts Original Recording Sessons, Stories from Walt’s Office: Gadgets & Gizmos, Class Bonus Features of Deleted Character: Harold the Merman, Under the Scene: The Art of Live Action Reference, Howard’s Lecture and Audio Commentary with Ron Clements, John Musker and Alan Menken and so much more!

Also the Digital Code can be used with the Movies Anywhere App meaning families can watch the film just about anywhere on their Computer, Smartphone, TV and Tablet.

THE LITTLE MERMAID is back with this Anniversary Edition that reminds us how much we loved it the first time in 1989. Each generation that is introduced to this film comes away with singing the songs and loving the characters.

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My family is into its third generation of singing along and loving every moment together as my granddaughter now reminds us of ‘Gizmo’s & Gadgets’. Flounder and Sebastian have their proper place among her Disney stuffed animals and we couldn’t be happier.

That’s what Disney brings us, the animated stories that become generational with characters we can count on to share friendship, family, love, loyalty and adventure. I know this to be true because my first Disney film was FANTASIA and have followed everything animated since.

So bring the family together to take another trip under the sea to visit the fin and leg friends we have come to cherish with Disney’s Anniversary Edition of THE LITTLE MERMAID on Bluray, DVD and Digital.

In the end – love has no boundarie

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY Brings Mercury Back on Stunning Bluray

Bohemian Bluray

 

Jeri Jacquin

On Bluray/DVD and Digital from director Brian Singer and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment comes the story of a legend that lives on today through a BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY.

Farrokh Bulsara (Rami Malek) isn’t about to conform to his parents expectations and when he has the opportunity to change his path it is because he meets Brian May (Gwilym Lee) and Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy) who have a band and just lost their front man. At first the two men think Freddie is joking about what he has to offer – but proven surprised as Queen is born.

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Now Freddie Mercury openly, he meets Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton) and is madly in love. She supports his musical dream and is always there to help him through anything life throws at him. The band plays a few gigs adding John Deacon (Joseph Mazzello)  to the group when John Reid (Aidan Gillen) notices them bringing in attorney Jim Beach (Tom Hollander) to protect the gang.

Freddie and the band decide they don’t want to be just like every other music group but instead be daring and bold. This doesn’t go over well with record executive Ray Foster (Mike Meyers) not believing people want to hear six minute songs. Of course Freddie is out to prove him wrong and Bohemian Rhapsody makes its way onto airwaves.

As with all bands, the tension, touring and egos are starting to get in the way of the music. It doesn’t help that Freddie has started a relationship with Paul (Allen Leech) with Brian and John none to pleased, not to mention Mary. The blow up blows Queen apart and they all go their own way.

Freddie meets Jim Hutton (Aaron McCusker) who makes it very clear that he is not the type that will be taken lightly, especially since others are running the singers life. Then, there is the illness he never saw coming and once he did, turns to the people in his life that will always love him – family, friends and fans!

Because Queen is all about rocking us!

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Malek as Freddie Mercury does the job that needs doing and carries enough weight behind it with the cast and music. It is obvious that he put all into portraying a man who was larger than life so keeping that in mind I willingly went into suspension of disbelief. The performance scenes are so much fun because the music is stellar and ingrained into many of our lives.

Lee as May believes in what Queen is doing and totally understands Freddie’s idiosyncrasies. Writing and putting it all together in the studio is what makes the group the happiest but there are moments that twinge in the ego about who is running the band. Rogers as Taylor wants more of a say in what the group puts out but would rather not butt heads with Freddie on it. It doesn’t mean there isn’t resentment simmering just below the surface. I enjoyed Taylor’s performance, especially doing his high pitch part in the song Bohemian Rhapsody. Mazello as Deacon lets the status quo rule even though he doesn’t always agree with Freddie.

Boynton as Mary is a woman who has a bigger heart than mine that’s for sure. She loves Freddie and consistently looks past what is right in front of her. Calling her his ‘soul mate’ means she can’t walk away not matter how hard she tries. There comes a point when thinking about yourself is not only right, it is necessary for happiness and Freddie has to understand that. Boynton gives an amazing performance that I won’t soon forget.

Gillen as Reid definitely wants to see what the band is capable of and more times than not he lets it all flow as it will – even when it comes to Freddie. I love seeing Gillen on screen outside of the Seven Kingdoms so well done sir! Hollander as Jim, aka Miami, is one of the most laid back lawyers I think I’ve ever seen. He has moments of important input but the rest of the time, he nods and goes along to get along. I love Hollander in everything he has done so you’ll never hear a complaint from me.

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Meyers as Foster has no idea what he’s getting into and even more clueless that Freddie is a strong personality and loves to prove the world wrong. Meyers cracked me up to the very end. Leech as Paul totally had me seeing a blood-sucking-groupie in his character and wanted to jump through the screen and wring his little neck myself. Good thing I refrained but just goes to show how powerful his performance is.

McCusker as Jim is probably the only sane one of this bunch! Knowing that Freddie is his own worst enemy but also realizing that people abuse him, he is still not going to fall into it all. It was good to see someone throw life-coffee into Freddie’s place and humbling for him at the same time.

Other cast include Meneka Das as Jer Bulsara, Ace Bhatti as Bomi Bulsara, Priya Blackburn as Kashmira Bulsara, Max Bennett as David, Dermon Murphy as Bob Geldof and Dickie Beau as Kenny Everett.

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment brings award-winning global product and new entertainment to DVD, Bluray, and Digital HD. There amazing collection offers fans an opportunity to expand their own home libraries with the best films. To discover what other titles they have please visit www.fox.com.

The Bluray and DVD Special Features include The Complete LIVE AID Movie Performance Not Seen in Theatres, Rami Malek Becoming Freddie, The Look and Sound of Queen and Recreating LIVE AID.

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY tells the story of a young man born Farrokh Bulsara and reborn into Freddie Mercury. From a baggage handler at Heathrow to meeting May and Taylor, life had bigger plans for them all – especially Freddie.  When the band goes through harrowing times, sleazy Paul managed to work on Freddie’s insecurities leading to firings and a blow out.

It is once again Mary who sets him straight about remembering who he is and how he got there and, more importantly, who was there with him every step of the way! Learning that Bob Geldof had a concert called Live Aid at Wembley, Freddie knows it is the way back to what made Queen stellar.

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But that’s only part of it; Freddie’s parents go through pains with their son even if his siblings are supportive. It is the Zoroastrian belief of ‘good thoughts, good words, and good deeds’ that truly begin to come to light.

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY has so far earned two Golden Globe Awards for Best Motion Picture and Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama for Rami Malek. Also for Malek’s mantel is a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role.

Currently, BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY is nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Motion Picture of the Year for Graham King, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for Rami Malek, Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Achievement in Sound Editing and Best Achievement in Sound Mixing. It’s going to be a tense evening for the film!

The soundtrack is amazing! If you are a Queen fan then this film will rock you, if you think you are a Queen fan this film will rock you, and if you want to be a Queen fan then go get rocked as BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY coming to Bluray, DVD and Digital from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

In the end – fearless lives forever!

 

Now on Bluray and DVD is DR. SEUSS’ THE GRINCH

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Jeri Jacquin

This week on Bluray/DVD and Digital from directors Yarrow Cheney, Scott Mosier, Illumination and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is the one we know as THE GRINCH.

In Who-ville it is that time of year as the Who-ville-ians prepare themselves for their favorite holiday of Christmas. Of course there is always one who isn’t quite so thrilled about the excitement and that’s The Grinch (Benedict Cumberbatch). Living atop Mount Crumpit with his dog Max, Grinch gets a little grumpier when he realizes that he has to make a grocery stop in Who-ville which is the last thing he wants to do.

Also in Who-ville is Cindy Lou Who (Cameron Seely), a very sweet six-year-old who is very aware that her mother is overworked. Taking care of twin boys Buster and Bean, Mom Donna (Rashida Jones) keeps a happy face for her family but Cindy reaches out to Santa for a little help. The Grinch and Cindy meet and the outcomes is that Cindy Lou decides to go to the North Pole and ask Santa straight out for help. The problem is that the traveling she would have to do to make that happen means that Cindy Lou has to go to plan B – trap Santa!

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The Grinch has his own idea for messing with Who-ville and the holidays he hates so much. On Christmas Eve with the help of Max, he decides to be Santa Claus  and take  every little gizmo and gadget  from the towns people. While heisting the Who’s house, he meets Cindy Lou again as she explains that she wants nothing for herself, only her mother and there is a crack in the Grinch’s nasty ole heart.

That doesn’t stop him from stealing everything in Who-ville and back up to Mount Crumpit. What he doesn’t expect is that all the people of Who-ville see past the trappings of Christmas and celebrate the holiday with love in their hearts. Well, the Grinch can’t get away from the feelings that snowball to the point of doing the right thing and becoming part of Who-ville the way it always should have been.

The Grinch toasts, “To kindness and love, the things we need the most”!

Cumberbatch as The Grinch is funny and charming in his grumpy way but that is what is expected of this iconic character. It is difficult to carry on the tradition of the Dr. Seuss’ from it’s 1966 Boris Karloff voice narration that I grew up with to the 2000 Jim Carrey hilarious version that my daughter grew up with but Cumberbatch has a little help from Illumination to make his version come to life.

Seely as Cindy Lou Who is a very sweet girl who sees the day to day struggles of her mother and although tries to help the best she can, she feels it might not be enough. That’s a child with an amazing heart that should all be blessed to know.

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Jones as Donna is a Mom who is trying to be everything to everyone and does so with the Who-ville positive attitude – even if it is exhausting. I found her creative, skillful and someone I’d like to have around my kitchen at breakfast time.

Lansbury as the Mayor is a voice I can say that I always love to hear and am thrilled that she is The part of the Grinch memorable universe.

Other cast include: Kenan Thompson as Bricklebaum, Tristan O’Hare as Groopert, Ramone Hamilton as Axle, Sam Lavagnino as Ozzy, Scarlett Estevez as Izzy and Pharrell Williams as the Narrator and the glorious Ms. Angela Lansbury as Mayor McGerkle.

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

The Bluray of THE GRINCH includes the Bonus Features of 3 Mini-Movies, The Making of the Mini-Movies, From Green to Screen, Who’s Who in Who-ville, My Earliest Grinch Memories, “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” Lyric Video, Songs from His Little Heart, Grinchy Gadgets, Anyone Who Can Draw: The Grinch, Max, Fred, Cindy Lou’s Yule Log and so much more!

The Digital Movie included in this pack has Movies Anywhere and with the Movies Anywhere App you can download and stream from any device which means you can go to Who-ville from almost anywhere.

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THE GRINCH is a film that will be part of holiday viewing for years to come. The animation is green and vivid which is what we’d expect of the world created by Dr. Seuss and it adds to the fun of the film.

What is also in this film is the importance of family and helping one another because if you do that, it is so easy to reach out that feeling to a Grinch we all might know. Let’s face it, no one wants to be left out of the holiday fun and watch it from afar. THE GRINCH invites us to be caring, giving, loving and full of holiday fun.

Now that’s something we can all get behind all year long.

In the end – it’s never too early to be annoyed by Christmas!

PJ MASKS are Ready to take on the BUTTERFLY BRIGADE on DVD

 

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Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD from eOne and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is the trio with night time superpowers to save the day with PJ MASKS: Butterfly Brigade.

Connor aka Catboy, Amaya aka Owlette and Greg aka Gekko decide to spend the day at the zoo. Connor wants to see the lions but Maya and Greg convince him to visit the butterfly exhibit first. That’s when the three discover that Luna Girl has taken all the butterflies for her new sidekicks.

Connor is having some trouble with things happening in a weird way. Even his powers are a little out of whack and he doesn’t know why. But after watching footage of the town, they discover that everyone has been affected in some way. There are mysterious happenings and when they see Romeo they know the answers aren’t far behind.

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Greg is at home with a case of the sneezes but wants to join Connor and Amaya at the comic books store, especially when a special copy has been taken. The problem is that when Greg becomes Gekko his simple sneezes becomes super sneezes! Gekko realizes Luna Girl is behind the comic book heist and needs to tell Catboy and Owlette before it’s to late.

Amaya wants the gang to go bike riding and Connor is thrilled because he got a new set of wheels for his birthday. Looking out the window they see school buses going by and behind those set of wheels are Ninjalinos. Even worse, Owlette is impressed with the buses are parked outside of the PJ Masks headquarters and Night Ninja lets it be known he is about to take over.

While outside playing at the park, the gang discovers that all the equipment has been taken! It’s time for Owlette, Gekko and Catboy to find out who has taken everything and get it back to the kids who miss having it. At the PJ Masks headquarters they discover that Romeo might have a hand in the mystery. It’s not the missing equipment that Romeo was really after – it’s the trio’s superpowers!

Finally, in class it is time to build rockets and Greg is absolutely thrilled until he sees that there isn’t much left of the props to help build one. Thinking they can all get ideas from the museum, their teacher announces that the field trip is cancelled because of a strange power outage. Well, that means only one thing – Owlette, Gekko and Catboy are about to discover that Romeo has a big box of bad and that isn’t good!

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The six episodes include Catboy and the Butterfly Brigade, Clumsy Catboy, Gekko’s Stay-at-Home Sneezes, Owlette and the Battling Headquarters, Owlette of a Kind and Gekko and the Mayhem at the Museum.

For more on PJ Masks you can visit www.pjmasks.com and find them on Facebook @OfficialPJMasks and on Twitter @PJMasksUS.

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.

Entertainment One continues to bring amazing home entertainment to fans with their own library of over 40,000 films and television titles and 45,000 music tracks. I mention those numbers because that is so impressive bringing something for everyone. For more of what they have to offer please visit http://entertainmentone.com/home.

What can be said about PJ MASKS that every two and up child hasn’t already shown in their faces when they sing and dance to the opening song of PJ Masks. I have watched my granddaughter riveted by the dynamic trio to the point of having their toys and even masks and capes to fly around fighting household crime!

That is what makes the PJ Masks trio so very special! Each have their own special powers to be sure but working together is all they need to be successful. Being young doesn’t mean you can’t do what ever is necessary to help keep their town and the people in it safe.

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There are laughs and giggles here for adults to and if you aren’t careful – you may end up cuddled up on the couch with your favorite group of young ones enjoying the adventures as well.

PJ MASKS: Butterfly Brigade is fun but also filled with the important lessons we want our children to learn. They talk about togetherness, friendship, protecting one another against harm and trying to overcome difficulties. I, for one, am for all of those things being part of my own granddaughters time watching television.

In the end – they go into the night to save the day!

 

THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD

 

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Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this Friday from director Peter Jackson and Warner Bros. is a look at the first World War in THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD.

It has been one hundred years since the end of World War I and with over 600 hours of footage, director Jackson along with the Imperial War Museum archives and the BBC tell a story that has never been experienced before.

In those archives are also the voices of men who lived through the war from 1914 to 1918 and share every detail of their military time. When it is realized that war is coming, it wasn’t just men in their twenties signing up. Boys as young as 15 were lying about their age to join and make their way to training and to war.

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For some this was their first experience in the world let along a world at war. Their stories of coming together was a mixture of leaving home for the first time and not quite grasping what they were about to do.

Jackson takes the black and white footage and colorized it and within moments we are brought into their world. The film can be seen in 2D and 3D, I saw it in 3D and it is stunning. It is his hope that by telling a small fraction of a larger story of the war that viewers will see and hear for themselves what has not been before.

In the voices of the men unfolds their life once they became soldiers and that includes every detail of marching, eating, sleeping, friendships and the life of living day to day in the trenches. The German forces are on the other side of a field and in the middle is the constant barraging of bombs.

From the very beginning of the film it is clear that this is a documentary like nothing I had seen before. Every gambit of human emotion was happening on the screen but also the response of an audience who was totally invested in the experience. There were moments of gasping and moments of chuckling and in between moments of keeping emotions together.

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Transforming 100 year old footage, Jackson and his team have brought together an incredible accounting of World War I. By colorizing the footage he has brought this piece of a larger story into such perspective that it is almost hard to believe that the film is only 90+ minutes. There isn’t a moment that didn’t hold the audience captive and not one person left their seat until the film was finished.

I have spent days thinking about this film because of everything that Jackson managed to put together. He was not shy about the personal life of the soldiers nor was he shy about death in war. Once again the emotions of the film bring a quiet theatre even quieter.

THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD is an amazing documentary from beginning to end and what Jackson accomplished in four years is nothing short of stellar. Jackson also has an investment in the film as his own grandfather fought in the war and he did not receive compensation for the film. It is a documentary but I have not felt this moved by a documentary in quite a long time.

To see the young faces of the men who fought World War I in the way Jackson has presented them tugged at my heart. We have to remember that 100 years ago; these soldiers did not have the technology available today so when you wanted to get a message to someone else on the line, a soldier ran it. Tanks were experimental and crude at best and personal protection entrusting your life to the soldier next to you.

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Surviving on rations and taking care of ones self was done through creativity and ingenuity that most of us today can’t even wrap our minds around. That is what this documentary does, helps us all wrap our minds around something that we’ve only read about in books. Now, that word has jumped from page to screen and given faces to it all.

THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD is a must-see on ever level and I would even go so far as to say it is filled with teachable moments. Copies of the film are already in schools in the UK. As Jackson states in the beginning, this is only a small piece of a large war and it is my hope that he continues with this work and brings more to audiences. I would be the first to watch a series of this work!

This is a telling, visually confronting and soul searching film and worth every moment in the theatre to see and experience.

In the end – this is the true experience of being a soldier.

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