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SHARP OBJECTS Gives Twists and Turns a New Meaning

sharp objects cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray and Digital from HBO Home Entertainment, director Jean-Marc Vallee based on the book by Gillian Flynn is family dysfunction with SHARP OBJECTS.

Camille Preaker (Amy Adams) is a reporter with her own unique set of problems that she drowns in alcohol. When editor boss/friend Frank (Miguel Sandoval) asks her to cover the story of two girls who were killed in her hometown of Wind Gap, Camille goes but not without hesitation.

The first reason to be wary is the tension filled relationship Camille has with mother Adora (Patricia Clarkson) and strained step-father Alan (Henry Czerny). Going to stay in the family home, the only person who seems happy to see her is little sister Amma (Eliza Scanlen). All of this brings Camille to flashbacks of her own young life and the young death of a sister Marian years before.

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Jumping right in to the story she meets Det. Richard Willis (Chris Messina) and they both begin to wonder about the murder of the two young girls. Looking for a connection, the local chief of police Bill Vickery (Matt Craven) is keeping his eye on Det. Willis.

At home Camille notices that Adora still keeps Marian’s room like a shrine and that starts a conversation between the two that is filled with hurt and venomous words. Amma is behaving like a teenager as she tries to break away from Adora’s control. Coming home drunk, Adora instantly blames Camille and the bad influence she brings to the family.

Back to the story, Camille speaks to father of the second girl murdered; Bob Nash (Will Chase) who believes teen John Keene (Taylor John Smith) is responsible. That sends her to visit the young man but also meets cheerleader girlfriend Ashley (Madison Davenport) who defends her boyfriend fiercely.

More of Camille’s life comes to the forefront and she can’t seem to avoid it. Her time in a psychiatric hospital, death of friends and hurting herself as a way to deal with it all. Adora takes great pains in making sure that Camille knows of the ‘trouble’ she has always caused and continues to cause. Especially with the town celebration of Calhoun Day and Camille’s articles about the murders become the talk of the event.

To pay her daughter back, Adora takes Richard on a guided tour of their home and when alone, lets the officer know that Camille is dangerous. At the same time cheerleader Ashley is upset with Camille that she wasn’t given enough attention in the article that came out. Amma performs for the crowd and when she sees that sister Camille isn’t giving her enough attention, she flees sending everyone into a frenzy.

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Adora decides that she has had enough of Camille and wants her to leave but wants husband Alan to do the deed. While out, she runs into Amma and her friends agreeing to go off to a party where sisters end up high roller skating through Wind Gap. While the family drama takes a turn, Richard decides to investigate Camille and find out what everyone in the family is hiding and why Adora considers her own daughter dangerous. In that investigation he also finds out what killed sister Marian. Richard had no problem finding people who wanted to talk and the paper trail to back it up.

When Keene is arrested for murder, Richard is shocked to discover that he is with Camille. Feeling defeated once again, she turns to long time family friend Jackie (Elizabeth Perkins) only to discover that what has been happening is now moving closer to home. Feeling as if she is losing control, she calls boss-friend Frank who is worried now more than ever that Camille is falling apart and may hurt herself.

She returns home and sits for a family dinner where everyone is calm but sister Amma looks ill. When Adora takes her to bed, Camille also begins to feel ill. Relying on mother Adora, mother finally gets the wish to take care of her daughter as she tells Camille how much it all means to her.

What happens when Richard knocks on the door starts a domino effect into a shocking conclusion that Camille can not even begin to grasp.

Adams as Camille is everything that is stunning about this series! She carries the film through so many twists and turns and it is her undisputed talent that made me want so much more. Of course the finale had me as shocked as the look on her character Camille’s face when the whole story comes to the surface. Adams is an actress who continues to surprise me in her role choices but in SHARPER OBJECTS I can’t imagine anyone who could have pulled off Camille better than she.

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Clarkson as Adora is another actress who I personally have come to adore. She is bold, brave and also surprises and delights me with the choices in roles she plays. I first saw Clarkson in the 1987 film THE UNTOUCHABLES, the 1999 film THE GREEN MILE, the 2010 film SHUTTER ISLAND and one of my favorite and deliciously guilty pleasures Netflix hit House Of Cards. As Adora she is sharp and there are moments where if looks could kill – Clarkson’s beautiful eyes would leave prints on the two daggers!

Scanlen as Amma has me cringing from the first scene to the last. Actually she drove me completely nuts with her teenage attitude and mean streak with everyone letting her get away with a lot. But isn’t that what teens do? Drive us all nuts with their cell phones, sense of entitlement and sneaking off to do gawd knows what. Yet there are moments where she just wants her family close and the love of both her sister and mother. Scanlen made it all look so easy and she definitely gets high fives from me.

Messina as Det. Willis jumps right into the case whether the town sheriff likes it or not. He is immediately drawn to Camille but can’t understand what it is about her that screams secrets and lies. Messina takes his character’s job seriously and isn’t about to let anyone stop him from finding out who is killing teenage girls. Craven as Vickery doesn’t want help with the case and seems to have a strange closeness to Adora that Camille doesn’t quite understand. Craven’s character may seem laid back but don’t let the daily habits fool you.

Smith as Keene has a story to tell but it’s hard to make people believe you when gossip is stronger than the truth. Smith is a quiet character letting the town make their own judgment calls. Davenport as Ashley is a cheerleader who craves attention and believes supporting her boyfriend will make that happen. It isn’t hard to believe that a young girl would act this way and Davenport makes sure we buy into it.

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Sandoval as Frank is a boss who is more of a friend to Camille. Wanting the story on one hand and worrying that he made a mistake choosing his young reporter on the other. Czerny as Alan is a man who cares deeply for his wife but is the strangest husband I think I have ever laid eyes on. Putting his wife first above everything else, he attempts to put Camille in her place but is only met with a fingers reply.

Other cast include Jackson Hurst as Kirk Lacey, Lulu Wilson as Marian, Sophia Lillis as young Camille, Jennifer Aspen as Jeannie Keene, David Sullivan as Chris, Reagan Pasternak as Katie Lacey, Sydney Sweeney as Alice, Hilary Ward as Becca Barbara Eve Harris as Eileen and Emily Yancy as Gayla.

HBO Home Entertainment has an extensive array of critically-acclaimed and groundbreaking programs found on Bluray, DVD and Digital HD. They have provided viewers with some of the most amazing programs with huge fan bases that include the shows True Blood, Sex and the City, The Sopranos, True Detectives, The Wire, Entourage and Game of Thrones. Launched in 1984, HBO is world wide in viewed entertainment in more than 70 territories around the world! For more of what they have to offer please visit www.hbo.com.

The Bluray contains the episodes Vanish, Dirt, Fix, Ripe, Closer, Cherry, Falling, and Milk. Bonus Features include Creating Wind Gap: The Cast and Crew discuss the creation of the fictional town of Wind Gap.

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SHARP OBJECTS is an intense story that isn’t easy to figure out (thank goodness!) leaving every episode with more questions than answers. This is totally worth binge watching because I would have gone crazy in my own way to have to wait each week for the next episode.

The ensemble cast is absolutely spectacular as each character has their own story to tell in a mix that resembles water but is really deadly quicksand. There isn’t a character in this series that I don’t absolutely love because of their uniqueness to the show and the ease in which they all drew me in so quickly.

The intensity only adds to the mystery surrounding Wind Gap and sets a deep tone. There is no doubt that HBO has taken the lead in what is quickly becoming daring story telling and SHARP OBJECTS adds grit and not an ounce of fear in being dark and powerful.

In the end – going home was never so dangerous!

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BARRY Has Got a Gun and Acting Skills with the Hit Series on HBO Coming to DVD

 

Barry CoverJeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD from HBO Home Entertainment is another highly successful series from HBO about Barry.

Barry Berkman (Bill Hader) is a hit man who is making ends meet living in the midwest. Working for Monroe Fuches (Stephen Root), he is sent to Los Angeles for his next hit. Meeting with Chechen mobster NoHo Hank (Anthony Carrigan), Barry discovers who the next mark is, an actor named Ryan.

Following the hit, Barry finds himself walking in on the middle of an acting class. He is mesmerized by what he is seeing, especially with Sally Reed (Sarah Goldberg) center stage doing an intense scene. Teacher Gene Cousineau (Henry Winkler) wants the best out of his students and is equally intense. Barry is taken in and Gene announces he must do a monologue if he wants to stay in class.

Determined to finish the hit-job, he isn’t to happen when he discovers that someone else got to the target first – the Chechens. They aren’t through with Barry or Fuches kidnapping them and pulling a little torture to get another hit out of the hit-man. Meantime, Gene announces to the class that Ryan is dead and the distraught class plans a service. Barry freaks out at the funeral and Sally is a little unnerved that he won’t sleep with her.

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Barry gets his next order from NoHo but has to bide his time but there is a twists coming for them both. The police question the students in Gene’s class while Barry helps Sally prepare for an audition for a show she really wants. When he gets the chance to take out NoHo’s target but instead Sally calls begging for him to come see her when the audition doesn’t go as planned.

Fuches is still getting work and tells Barry his next hit has Bolivian ties and he isn’t happy about it. Barry is, however, falling for Sally and wants to help her all he can. He also sees a future with the lovely blonde but doesn’t really have the disposition to deal with anyone cutting in on the action. Of course the first step of letting Sally know should have been a hint for him when she gets angry at his claim on her.

The police are still on the case and come back to talk to the acting students and they are interested in Barry but he has an alibi. In return Fuches tells Barry that he has to take out his Marine buddy Taylor (Dave Pavinski). Making the hit together it is clear that Taylor does most of the work and he rats on Barry to Fuches about it all.

The Bolivian drug lord is to arrive in the desert where Barry and Fuches keep watch and the boss still wants Taylor gone. Barry would rather Taylor take over his job so he can go back to acting class and a new life only later to discovers a stash of money in his backpack put there by his ‘good’ buddy. Going back to the airfield, the men discover an ambush and only Barry and Chris (Chris Lucado) make it out alive. That’s not going to stop Barry from going to the Shakespeare rehearsal but is in such a state that he is about to hear it all from Gene.

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Gene has a houseguest as Detective Moss (Paula Newsome) knows that they could both be in trouble if anyone finds out. Moss believes that Barry is her suspect but she can’t prove it. The Chechens and drug lord Cristobal Sifuentes (Michael Irby) says he will gladly share the money but you know there is no honor among thieves. Barry prepares to deliver an emotional performance at Shakespeare night and all because he did the one thing he didn’t want to do.

Barry wants out but Fuches isn’t about to let that happen without a fight – literally. That means a little bit of a war between employer and employee as Fuches puts it out that Barry needs to go. NoHo puts a dent in Fuches’ plan because he wants to become bigger in the dangerous world he lives in.

Now that the police aren’t looking at Barry, he feels great about acting class and his relationship with Sally. Gene decides to have a couples weekend and brings Det. Moss, Sally and Barry out to his home in the country. It doesn’t take long before the cop in Moss comes out and she begins to piece together who Barry is. Trying to stop her from continuing on with her suspicions, Barry has to again do the one thing he is trying to get away form.

Hader as Barry gives a performance that is so different from what most of us are use to seeing. Known for his comedy, this is a darker side to his acting career and I love it. As the killer Barry he has no problem drawing his weapon with a cold steel look but on the flip side, Hader’s portrayal of this character has moments of simplicity, a gentleness and the want of a life he can only imagine. He takes everything in and with this new life isn’t sure how to work it all out and Hader gives us every emotion that goes along with that.

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Goldberg as Sally is a woman who wants an acting career so badly that she is forced to  reach deep inside to prove it to everyone. Her friendship with Barry is sweet and fun but she is confused as to why he doesn’t make a move while at the same time professing that it’s not a good idea for him to make a move. She supports Barry to come to class and leans on him when her auditions don’t pan out. Goldberg rides this role with ease.

Root as Fuches is the poor-man-hit-man’s boss and he just cracks me up. I’m sure I’m supposed to take him somewhat serious but I have a hard time doing that. What I do know is that he certainly uses Barry and sees everyone as a way to make money. Root is such an amazing actor and this role shows why. Carrigan as NoHo wants to be the king of everything and, like Fuches, will do whatever it takes and take out who ever it takes to make that happen. Another character who cracks me up!

Winkler as Gene is a joy to watch every moment he shows up on screen. As Gene he is overblown, over exaggerated and over the top as the acting coach that his class seems to need. Seeing something special in Sally, Gene reaches her in the deep recesses of her insecurities and brings out the best. His relationship with a cop makes things a little tense, especially for Barry. I am thrilled Winkler has a role like this where he can go all out and I’m all in!

Other cast include Gleen Fleshler as Goran Pazar, Darrell Britt-Gibson as Jermaine, Andy Carey as Eric, Rightor Doyle as Nick, D’Arcy Carden as Natalie, Mark Ivanir as Vacha, Marcus Brown as Vaughn and Nicholas Johnny as Theo.

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HBO Home Entertainment has an extensive array of critically-acclaimed and groundbreaking programs found on Bluray, DVD and Digital HD. They have provided viewers with some of the most amazing programs with huge fan bases that include the shows True Blood, Sex and the City, The Sopranos, True Detectives, The Wire, Entourage and Game of Thrones. Launched in 1984, HBO is world wide in viewed entertainment in more than 70 territories around the world! For more of what they have to offer please visit www.hbo.com.

The DVD includes the episodes Chapter One: Make Your Mark, Chapter Two: Use It, Chapter Three: Make the Unsafe Choice, Chapter Four: Commit…To You, Chapter Five: Do Your Job, Chapter Six: Listen With Your Ears React With Your Face, Chapter Seven: Loud Fast and Keep Going, and Chapter Eight: Know Your Truth.

Barry was created by Alec Berg and Bill Hader and has won two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for Bill Hader and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for Henry Winkler. Both well deserved and, if that isn’t enough, BARRY has been green lit for a second season.

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I truly enjoyed this series because it is so different, unexpectedly twisted, funny, and never lets Barry take a moment off. Watching Hader take this character through all the hoops to get away from his profession is filled with pitfalls and emotional pratfalls.

The cast is exceptional together and make it look so smooth with all the twists and who wants who rubbed out. Watching Barry transition into what he thinks is a normal life, what better way than trade the drama of a hit man to the drama that can be found on stage and screen. His fellow students have their own drama to bring to the table so musical chairs of it all is the best of the series BARRY.

In the end – he is a hit man searching for some direction!

HBO’s SILICON VALLEY Brings Its Fifth Season to DVD

Silicon Valley

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD and Digital from HBO Home Entertainment is one of the networks most successful series with SILICON VALLEY: The Complete Fifth Season.

Things at Pied Piper are finding its speed but Dinesh (Kumail Nanjiani) and Gilfoyle (Martin Starr) are in the middle of hiring staff. Matt Belson (Matt Ross) isn’t happy about what they are doing and attempts to bring over new coders but none of them want to work on his new mainframe box. Monica (Amanda Crew) and Laurie (Suzanne Cryer) are still keeping their eyes on the bottom line. Jared (Zach Woods) wants to jump into a company that is falling by the way side and hire their employees. Optimoji’s CEO Kira agrees but wants to bring her staff along.

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Duncan isn’t going to make this easy but Richard (Thomas Middleditch) has his own idea with Sliceline and it works out with new employees and no old dead weight. Having new employees means Richard is going to have to work on his people skills. That’s causing a rift of respect and a walk out with Dinesh and Gilfoyle still standing. All of this in the midst of a little business espionage as a mole has reared its ugly head. Jian-Yang (Jimmy O. Yang) is doing just about anything he can to get a judge to agree that Erlich is dead. Agreeing to take over his problems, Jian-Yang slides right in leaving the gangs belongings outside.

Richard is invited to a party along with Jared and meets Ben Burkhart who works for Quiver and says he’s looking forward to seeing what Richard’s new project will bring. He also butters up Richard with offering to be the new COO for Pied Piper. Jared isn’t so sure this is a good idea given Ben’s history with other company’s. Belson is still trying to find ways to make a dent in Pied Pipers business by hitting them in the wallet. Ben immediately tries to pit Richard, Dinesh, Jared and Gilfoyle against each other at the same time they agree there is a leak in the company.

Richard goes around to eight other companies and sways them into being part of PiperNet. In the meantime finding the mole is left up to Jared and Gilfoyle who have to decide what to do about what they discover. In other good news Jared puts a dent in Jian-Yang’s take over of Erlich’s belongings and property but not before the little sneak takes what he wants and high tails it to China with a duplicate of Pied Pipers and Richards project.

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Laurie decides to make a decision and bring in a new company to PiperNet which Richard decides is not cool with him. He can’t exactly say anything since the investment money is being spent. The new company Eklow and its CEO Ariel are about to pull more on PiperNet when more sabotage happens. Richard isn’t about to let any more craziness happen to PiperNet and gets a little creative himself. Belson moves forward with the Box 3 launch even though he momentarily thought he should leave the tech game.

Laurie has taken over as CEO of Eklow Labs when Ariel dashes with the company’s big product. Richard is getting nervous that Jian-Yang might launch his stolen ideas before PiperNet has they have a chance to get the jump. He has every right to be nervous when Belson runs into Jian-Yang and they come together to exchange information!

None of this is over when Monica discovers Laurie has been doing what they agreed not to do run ads or sell user data. Richard is not going stand for it and just when you think the parting is amicable – Laurie meets up with Yao in China.

The day has finally come and PiperNet is up and running, but what they don’t see coming is who is going to usurp 51% of the company. Laurie and Yao have made it clear that they are going to do whatever they can to keep the team sweating closure. Richard has one more ace up his sleeve – Belson! Working his charm on Belson’s ego, Laurie finds herself on the outs and Gilfoyle makes a move that surprises them all.

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That’s what happens when you keep your eye on the prize and on those who would take down!

HBO Home Entertainment has an extensive array of critically-acclaimed and groundbreaking programs found on Bluray, DVD and Digital HD. They have provided viewers with some of the most amazing programs with huge fan bases that include the shows True Blood, Sex and the City, The Sopranos, True Detectives, The Wire, Entourage and Game of Thrones. Launched in 1984, HBO is world wide in viewed entertainment in more than 70 territories around the world! For more of what they have to offer please visit www.hbo.com.

The DVD includes the episodes Grow Fast or Die Slow, Reorientation, Chief Operating Officer, Tech Evangelist, Facial Recognition, Artificial Emotional Intelligence, Initial Coin Offering, and Fifty One Percent.  

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 SILICON VALLEY’s fifth season garnered seven Emmy nominations including Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. Brought to HBO by Mike Judge and Alec Berg, this season brings an intensity for PiperNet and the gang with enemies coming from all sides.

 

The season’s half hour episodes pack in an ever changing tech landscape and it is the cast that makes it look effortless. Continuing to jump through the Silicon Valley hoops each season, it is stunning that the storyline keeps moving forward. That is they may keep moving forward but it’s not without putting out little fires that are trying to move them back.

SILICON VALLEY has taught me a lot about the tech world along with a vocabulary that I didn’t know existed. Of course the series also brought a lot of laughs as well. I constantly tell people if they want to learn about the craziness of it all they should invest in a serious marathoning of previous seasons!

In the end – the future is now!

HBO Brings PATERNO to DVD with a Tragic Story

Paterno

Jeri Jacquin

On DVD this week from director Barry Levinson and HBO Home Entertainment comes an intense story surrounding the legendary coach PATERNO.

It is 2011 and Joe Paterno (Al Pacino), coach of Penn State football, is about to have a life long career set on a path of destruction. Retired assistant coach Jerry Sandusky has been outed by reporter Sara Ganim (Riley Keough) of The Patriot-News for sexually abusing young men.

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Shocked by the Sandusky allegations, Paterno continues with his coaching responsibilities as wife Sue (Kathy Baker) and family Jay (Larry Mitchell), Scott (Greg Grunberg), and Mary Kay (Annie Parisse) doesn’t understand his seeming lack of concern. As the family reads the presentment, they are each horrified at what has happened. Speaking with them, Paterno says that in 2001 he had heard about an incident and reported it right away.

Telling athletic director Tim Curley and University President Graham Spanier, Paterno thought it was all handled. The Paterno family rallies together to try and discover the best way to handle the situation but the media frenzy is way ahead of them. Ganim also continues to investigate and loses friends in the process as they refuse to believe that Paterno had anything to do with a cover up.

When the university decides to end Paterno’s career, Penn State students begin to gather on campus for a night of protesting. Reporter Ganim tries to report the feelings of the students only to be surprised that although they believe in Paterno, they won’t go public with their feelings.

Now Paterno is facing his own mortality and has to think about what he was told and how things became so out of control. “I tried to spend my whole life making my name mean something” – and now it forever attached to a horrible crime.

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Pacino as Paterno is such a sad character to watch because here is a man who had one of the most notable football coaching careers of all time yet he seemed to not understand what is happening. The scene where he realizes his own kids once played in a pool with Sandusky forces Paterno to go into his own memory and live with the choices he made then. Pacino is powerful and intense showing the mortality and frail life of a man who focused on football and didn’t see the bigger picture – or did he?

Bates as wife Sue is horrified at the Sandusky allegations and is conflicted as to whether her husband truly understands what is at stake.  Mitchell as Jay does his best to understand his father’s explanations and along with Grunberg as Scott want people to focus on the victims and not their father. Parisse as Mary Kay is just as confused about her father’s reactions as her mother Sue yet wants to protect Paterno as much as possible.

Keough as Ganim is a young reporter who manages to do what the big networks can not – get those who are the victims to come forward and tell their truth. Elvis’ granddaughter does herself well in this film and although the role is small, it is important in following the trail.

Other cast include: Michael Mastro as Guido D’Elia, Joshua Morgan as Bobby, Mitchel Mack as Devon Smith, Darren Goldstein as Mike McQueary, Nicholas Sadler as Todd, Julian Gamble as Galen Hall, William Hill as Tom Bradley, Kaliswa Brewster as Mara Lewis, Josh Mowery as Ron Vanderlinden and Joseph Setticase as Drew Astorino.

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HBO Home Entertainment has an extensive array of critically-acclaimed and groundbreaking programs found on Bluray, DVD and Digital HD. They have provided viewers with some of the most amazing programs with huge fan bases that include the shows True Blood, Sex and the City, The Sopranos, True Detectives, The Wire, Entourage and Game of Thrones. Launched in 1984, HBO is world wide in viewed entertainment in more than 70 territories around the world! For more of what they have to offer please visit www.hbo.com.

The DVD includes the Bonus Features About Paterno: Director Barry Levinson and stars Al Pacino and Riley Keough discuss the story behind the film and its perspective and Joe Paterno’s Impact: Barry Levinson and Al Pacino talk about Joe Paterno’s responsibilities relating to the scandal.

PATERNO is a film that will brings into question ‘did he or didn’t he?’ know what was going on in his own organization. Is it possible that Paterno thought he had done all he could (of course we know the answer to that now) or did he believe it was being dealt with? Or, does Pacino’s portrayal of a man who was a genius on the gridiron truly not have one single clue about what he was reading in the Sandusky indictments.

What I find noticeable about PATERNO is that although at times what is described in the indictments is a disturbing, the storytelling can actually be seen as the problem within organize sports. How there are individuals who are willing to overlook anything (and this film proves anything) to keep their records and their fame status quo.

In the end – the greater the legend the harder the fall!

 

HBO’s MOSAIC Brings Murder and Mystery to Bluray

 

Mo cover

Jeri Jacquin

Now on Bluray and DVD from HBO Home Entertainment and director Steven Soderbergh is a story that could go as many ways as a MOSAIC.

Olivia Lake (Sharon Stone) is a famous author who is living on some of the most beautiful land in the United States. Watching this grand lady is Joel Hurley (Garrett Hedlund) who finds himself in a conversation about his own creativity. Interested in the young man, all too quickly Joel takes up residence on Olivia’s property in exchange for work that needs doing.

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Hoping for a connection of some kind, Olivia is surprised to discover that Joel already has Laura (Maya Kazan) and isn’t happy about it at all. Entering her life is Eric Neill (Frederick Weller) and Olivia finds herself hopelessly in love. She even turns to friend JC Schiffer (Paul Reubens) to share her feelings.

Everything is about to shift when after a night of sending Joel on his way and learning that Eric isn’t everything she thought – something horrendous has happened to Olivia. Enter Nate Henry (Devin Ratray), a mild mannered local cop who finds it his mission to discover what has happened to her, why and who is responsible.

Eric now has his feet to the fire when it is discovered that how he met Olivia and what his plans truly were put him on trial for murder and he is sent to prison. Four years go by and  Eric’s sister Petra (Jennifer Ferrin) begins an investigation of her own knowing that her brother, for all his faults, is not responsible for what happened to Olivia.

Seeking out Joel, they return to the scene of the crime literally and begin to piece it all together slowly with the help of Nate Henry. Joel also discovers what it is he has been hiding for years. Petra finds there is so much that was missed and secrets that have been busting at the seams to be known – and even Olivia has something to say about it all.

Murder is very, very patient for secrets to be revealed!

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Stone as Lake comes out of the gate kicking in this role. She is strong, vulnerable, opinionated, and would rather hurt others before they have a chance to hurt her. Finding that her fabulous life is lonely, she is always on the look out for someone to keep her from feeling anything but happiness. Stone saunters in as only she can and fights to the very end.

Hedlund as Joel has serious issues! Hoping that Olivia can help him with his creative dreams, he also has a drinking problem that causes him serious blackouts. Leaving for some time to get his life back on track, his return back to the town where everything happened brings him far more than he could have realized. Hedlund has the unique ability to be vulnerable without anyone seeing it and shaking on the inside without any of it showing on the outside. Well done!

Weller as Eric is a man who is on a mission, a paid mission that is. Sent to swindle Olivia, he finds that he actually cares for her. When the man cutting the checks threatens to expose him, Eric knows he has to do what’s right by Olivia and find a way to make things right.

Ferrin as Petra should have been a detective from the start. She has an instinct and follows every lead no matter where it leads. Believing her brother is innocent, Petra wants to make sure no stone is left unturned and knows that every story has a deeper meaning.

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Ratray as Nate Henry is absolutely brilliant in this role. He is a very outwardly easy going law enforcement officer who just wants to know what happened to Olivia. When he isn’t dealing with other officials who are on power trips getting in his way, he slowly begins to understand that the original case was a hot mess and he isn’t taking any chances when it case comes up again.

Shout out to Reubens as JC – anytime I see him on the screen I’m thrilled.

Other cast include: Beau Bridges as Alan Paper, James Ransone as Michael O’Connor, Jeremy Bobb as Frank Scott, Zandy Hartig as Melissa Henry, Michael Cerveris as Tom Davis, and Bridey Elliot as Tia.

HBO Home Entertainment has an extensive array of critically-acclaimed and groundbreaking programs found on Bluray, DVD and Digital HD. They have provided viewers with some of the most amazing programs with huge fan bases that include the shows True Blood, Sex and the City, The Sopranos, True Detectives, The Wire, Entourage and Game of Thrones. Launched in 1984, HBO is world wide in viewed entertainment in more than 70 territories around the world! For more of what they have to offer please visit www.hbo.com.

The Bluray includes a Digital Copy to watch anywhere or instantly stream on television, computer, Tablet or Smartphone. The Bonus Feature includes Heart of Homicide: Big Murder in a Small Town.

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MOSAIC is an absolutely twisted limited six-part mini-series that isn’t going to let you rest for one moment. The characters are each important to the story and what leads them to the finale is something to see. Stone leads the way, Hedlund keeps us paranoid and officer Nate takes us in to a place we never see coming.

That’s what makes MOSAIC so intense, because in each episode there are so many secrets and deceptions to the point of feeling crazy. The cast is exceptional and without that the story could have easily fallen but what each of them did was make me want to know more until I had to pick up my jaw on the very last frame.

In the end – it’s murder in a small town!

GAME OF THRONES: Season 1 is Stunning on 4K This Summer!

got bluray

Jeri Jacquin

This summer is going to be scorching and with the help of battles and dragons, HBO Home Entertainment is adding to the heat by returning us all to the beginning with GAME OF THRONES: Season One.

The story begins with the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros but more importantly those who rule the Seven Kingdoms. Castle Winterfell and the Warden of the North is led by Eddard Ned Stark (Sean Bean). At King’s Landing, Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy) and wife Queen Cersei (Lena Headey) are making a marriage pact between the two friends and their kids Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) and Sansa (Sophie Turner).

In Essos, Prince Viserys Targaryen (Harry Lloyd) has no problem sending his sister Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) off to marry the leader of the Dothraki Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa). Viserys wants Drogo’s army to help him claim the Iron Throne of Westeros. The intrigue only deepens when Stark’s son Bran (Isaac Wright) sees something between Cersei and her brother Jamie Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau).

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Stark’s wife Catelyn (Michelle Fairley) believes the Lannister’s are behind the injury to her son and tries to convince her husband. Jon Snow (Kit Harington) becomes part of the Night’s Watch to protect the wall between the Kingdoms and the creatures known as the White Walkers that live on the other side.

Learning that Westeros isn’t really being managed, Stark becomes a member of the King’s Small Council but is suspicious of a man from Catelyn’s past. Councillor Baelish (Aidan Gillen) is a schemer who knows everything about everyone and that is a dangerous thing. A danger of another kind is Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), a man who does what he wants knowing what the family thinks of him.

Daenery’s is adjusting to life as part of the Drogo clan and finds that she is quite happy learning the ways of her new people. What she doesn’t know is that a plan is being put into motion that is going to cause a rift in the Houses. Stark learns alarming information about the family he is loyal too but can not find reason to continue with plans that he doesn’t agree with.

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King Robert wants Ned as the Hand of the King while off on a hunting trip. Tyrion is in the Vale and Lysa (Kate Dickie), Catelyn’s sister, wants a duel and sends her champion while Tyrion calls out for one of his own. Drogo has had enough of his wife’s brother and when Viserys pushes things to far, the leader shows what the Dothraki are made of.

When Robert is injured, Ned is given the higher rank of Protector of the Realm and when he tries to do as the King wishes; the entire throne room turns on him. The family begins to scatter as Arya (Maisie Williams) runs, Sansa is captured and Bran escapes Winterfell. Joffrey takes the throne and his grandfather Tywin (Charles Dance) becomes the Hand of the King.

After making their way to the Twins castle and making an agreement for a marriage between Robb Stark and, they capture Jamie Lannister. Robb becomes the King of the North, Ayra manages to escape with the help of Yoren, Sansa is to become Joffrey’s Queen and Daenerys becomes the epic Mother of Dragons!

It is only the beginning of the battle for the Iron Throne!

Of course it is the amazing writing of the story’s author that gives GAME OF THRONES its amazing complexity but it is also the cast is what has made this show hugely successful. This series has shown from the very beginning that no one, no matter how popular the character, is beyond the reach of the sword.

The treachery, honor, deceit, underhandedness, loyalty, lies and changing of power is what GAME OF THRONES brings to fans. Every season is a new twist, a new shock and more information that has caused jaws to drop everywhere. Fans of the series are loyal to a fault and know that is a character has displeased them then just wait because it all comes out in the bloody wash.

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Sean Bean as Ned Stark became the standard of what a true leader should look like, we all followed his family and the struggles every episode. The intensity and the plots became thicker and thicker and there isn’t a person I hang out with that doesn’t look forward to every season because of the set up of Season One.

HBO Home Entertainment has an extensive array of critically-acclaimed and groundbreaking programs found on Bluray, DVD and Digital HD. They have provided viewers with some of the most amazing programs with huge fan bases that include the shows True Blood, Sex and the City, The Sopranos, True Detectives, The Wire, Entourage and Game of Thrones. Launched in 1984, HBO is world wide in viewed entertainment in more than 70 territories around the world! For more of what they have to offer please visit www.hbo.com.

The HD Bonus Features of GAME OF THRONES: Season One include Animated Histories: Learn about the Mythology of Westeros as Told from the Varying Perspectives of the Characters Themselves, Anatomy of an Episode; an In-Episode Experience that Explores the Creative Minds and Colossal Efforts Behind Episode Six ‘A Golden Crown’, Cast Auditions: Watch Rarely-Seen Footage of the Cast Auditioning for GAME OF THRONES, Making of Game of Thrones – An Exclusive 30-minute Feature Including Never-Before-Seen Footage from the Set and Interviews from the Cast and Crew.

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 Also, Character Profiles – Profiles of 15 Major Characters as Described by the Actors Portraying Them, Creating the Show Open – An Inside Look at the Creation of the Emmy-Winning Opening Title Sequence for GAME OF THRONES, From the Book to Screen – Executive Producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss along with author George R.R. Martin Talk about the Challenges of Bringing Martin’s Epic Fantasy Novel to Life on HBO.

The Night’s Watch – An In-Depth look at the Unique Order of Men Who Patrol and Protect the Wall, a 700 Foot Ice Structure that Separates the Seven Kingdoms from the Darkness Beyond, Creating the Dothraki Language – An Insightful Glance into the Comprehensive Language Created for the Dothraki people in GAME OF THRONES, Audio Commentaries – Seven Audio Commentaries with Cast and Crew and Digital Download Code for the Ten-Episode Season in HD.

The highly successful HBO series is based on A Game of Thrones which is a series of books written by George R.R. Martin. The first novel A Song of Ice and Fire was published in 1996 when Martin moved away from short stories and script writing. The entire book series is intended to be a seven volume series with the final book Fire and Book released earlier this year.

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GAME OF THRONES continues to be the most successful franchise in HBO history with the most awarded drama series with 38 Emmy’s to date!

From the first episode I was hooked, there wasn’t a single thing that didn’t appeal to me about this amazing show. What brought me in quickly, besides the cast, was the stunning costuming, set designs and how all of it brought me in and kept me there. That’s what makes an amazing series and gives us all a chance to escape into a realm where it is all about a game of thrones!

In the end – the battle for the Iron Throne has just begun.

School is in Session with HBO’s VICE PRINCIPLES: The Complete Series

Vice Principles Bluray cover

Jeri Jacquin

HBO brings class into session this week with the DVD and Digital Download pack of comedy that will test your take on laughter with VICE PRINCIPLES: The Complete Series.

When the Principal (Bill Murray) resigns from North Jackson High School, the position of principal is being carefully watched by two very different teachers. Neil Gamby (Danny McBride) is a no-nonsense teacher and counselor who isn’t about to change his tight ship ways and Lee Russell (Walton Coggins) who has a frightening side all wrapped up in a well dressed charming teacher. The outgoing principle knows neither of these men is fit to lead any high school.

That’s when the Superintendent of schools decides to go outside and finds Dr. Belinda Brown (Kimberly Herbert Gregory). Both Gamby and Russell are beside themselves and normally against the other knowing that the only way to win is to work, reluctantly together. Dr. Brown hasn’t even unpacked yet when she begins making changes at the school including having both teachers evaluated. Gamby makes it outwardly clear that his grumpiness isn’t going to change any time soon but Russell takes another tactic of being the coffee-getting brown nose to win Dr. Brown’s heart.

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Gamby has a minor distraction having a huge crush on fellow teacher Amanda Snodgrass (Georgia King) who doesn’t really feel the same. In fact, Amanda shares the feelings of most of the North Jackson High School staff which is that Gamby is wound too tight and has no social skills to speak of. Trying to change that image, he volunteers to go on a class field trip and proves them right. That is until he is needed to straighten out students who are out for trouble and that’s when Amanda and the other teachers need his toughness.

While Gamby is distracted, Russell is making plans to sabotage another one of Dr. Brown’s ideas when it comes to the hometown football game. Sharing his idea with his partner-in-crime, Russell sense that Gamby’s heart may not be all in. That isn’t going to matter as the plan takes a very mind blowing turn. Soon after, the two have a blow up and walk away. That is actually a good idea as Dr. Brown has decided that Gamby needs to reevaluate his discipline tactics exchanging harsh words for bean bag chairs. He talks with Amanda about it all to discover that she might be able to help re-direct more of his anger so that the relationship with daughter Janelle (Maya G. Love) can be better.

Imagine how that works for Gamby! Their buddy-breakup is a good thing for Russell too with the wife Christine (Susan Park) and mother-in-law Mi-Cha (June Kyoto Lu) driving him crazy and now a new neighbor who is pushing him to limits that could be deadly, or at least really, really stupid. When Dr. Brown suspects him of being absolutely nothing like she initially believed, it is time to bring him down a peg ordering him to keep an eye on her two mischievous sons.

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At this point Dr. Brown offers Gamby more responsibility with a title. Just when he thought life was going so well, a jealous Ms. Abbott (Edi Patterson) shares a little secret about Amanda. The stress on Gamby and Russell begins to show as they come together one final time to put a plan into motion that should seal Dr. Brown’s fate.

But not before Gamby ends up in a dark place and only Russell, now a Principle, knows how to bring him back to North Jackson High School. The dynamic and terrifying duo brings in Vice Principal Nash (Dale Dickey) who rams into lockers with the best of them. Gamby walks around the school to reacquaint himself with the insane changes Russell has been up to.

Gamby wants more than a look around the school as his goal is to find Dr. Brown. There are answers to be had and he isn’t going to like what he hears. Russell is having a crisis of his own when he discovers, and not by accident, that the teachers aren’t thrilled with him on many levels. Trying to be cool, he gets a wake up call in the most vicious way possible.

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To feel better about themselves, Gamby and Russell get back to what they know best – breaking absolutely ever rule possible. Amanda is now in his sites and the man she seems to be spending time with as the green eyed monster sets in. Russell can’t seem to get a break as the teachers continue to find a way to work under his skin. Of course it leads to insanity!

Adding fuel to the crazy train, Russell’s father passes and now he has to deal with two vengeful sisters who have no problem ruining his life. Gamby has taken the load of temporary Principle and it isn’t getting off to a great start either when Superintendent Hoss wants to why the Sweat Dogs are torturing teachers with exercise.

At Russell’s party he is given the biggest shock when college friend Kevin shows up and Amanda’s man-friend Brian (Fisher Stevens) works on Gamby’s last nerve.  Wife Christine (Susan Park) goes on a rampage with effects that are witnessed by all! That leads to some changes in both men and Gamby starts with a new wardrobe with the help of Jen Abbott.

After a night out, Russell ends the night with a shock at home but is glad he has the teachers’ friendship once again. The students take their state exams but the teachers have done something to make sure the school principal pays dearly. That is until Amanda and Gamby decide that hurting the students isn’t worth it.

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Spring Break is here and don’t think for one minute that the Principle and staff aren’t going to do it there way. Gamby and Russell end up at the beach and Amanda learns that her so-called boyfriend Brian is an attention hog. It is during spring break that things become a little clearer and the gauntlet is thrown down between Russell and Gamby.

The first shot (pun intended) is fired and Jen is the catalyst for a showdown that’s coming. After a knock down drag out between teachers, Gamby realizes he can’t change things alone and reaches out to the most unexpected people.

Finally, a friendship goes through its worse, the pieces of a weird puzzle start to fit, love conquerors all – well sort of, and it’s a grand end to a strange year at North Jackson High School.

It isn’t easy going from Vice to Principle!

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Lets jump right in, Danny McBride as Neil Gamby is perfection! He puts up a rough exterior that makes you think he enjoys being an ass but it’s plain to see he is protecting himself from just about everybody. His ex definitely did a number on him, the new husband is so nice it drives him nuts, he hates that his daughter might like him more, can’t figure out a way to not be weird around Amanda, would rather see Russell roasting on a spit and hates the idea of his dream job going to Dr. Brown. Is there anything else?

Oh yes, the only person who speaks to him regularly is Dayshawn (Sheaun McKinney) who works in the cafeteria. Although the last part isn’t so bad, I mean you want to be friends with the guy making your food right? Finally, he isn’t about to let the person responsible for a life changing event and everyone is suspect. McBride cracks me up, scares me and then makes me want to give him a huge and then back again to scaring and cracking me up. This character might have just made me question my own sanity.

Now, Coggins, my dear, lovely Walton Coggins – this actor has come so far so fast I don’t know where to begin. Yes, I loved him in the series The Shield, hated/loved him in the FX series Justified along with films MIRACLE AT ST. ANNA, DJANGO UNCHAINED and THE HATEFUL EIGHT. But, it has to be said, his role as Venus Van Damme in the FX series Sons of Anarchy will always hold a special place in my heart because that character brought a richness to the already successful series. It became clear almost immediately that SOA fans fell hard for the lovely Venus!

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Now, in VICE PRINCIPLES Coggins brings a little of Venus back to me at least but with a whole new psychotic attitude and penchant for destruction the likes of which will have me fearing well-dressed-bow-tie-wearing-charming teachers for the rest of my life. I love everything about this character and he takes Season Two into an even darker place.

King as Amanda is a welcome surprise to the series for me. I saw her in COCKNEYS VS. ZOMBIES and, as anyone who knows me can testify to, anything zombie will get high praise from me. As Amanda she is just as unsure and she shares many of same insecurities as Gamby. That is what makes watching their interactions fascinating. There is an early scene between King and McBride that sets the stage for the confusion between the two of them, or maybe they just confused me. Oh amore!

Gregory as Dr. Brown comes in with the sweetest of intentions but when it’s time to get serious let the attitude commence. Knowing away from a bad marriage, she is dealing with two sons that aren’t happy to be in the new town and have no problems expressing it. Hanging around Gamby and Russell wasn’t a good idea from the very beginning because she isn’t dealing with two faces – but four and none of them have good intentions. Gregory takes her character dark and deep once she realizes that something fishy is going on in her life and not just as principal. There are a few jaw dropping moments, okay more than a few for her character so be prepared!

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Love as Janelle is Gamby’s daughter who loves her father but can’t stomach his controlling ways. Wanting to please him she also wants to find a relationship with her motor-crossing step-father. That’s when the tugging between the two Dad’s begins putting this young girl between a horse and a motorbike. Patterson as Ms. Abbott is pure hilarity but in an eye-widening-oh-no-she-didn’t way. There are adult crushes and then there are reasons to check the door locks – Ms. Abbott falls into the latter category.

Dickey as Nash totally gets into Gamby’s psychosis and I love that she’s in it to win it. Just goes to prove that crazy is as crazy does and two is even a biggest disaster. It seems the kids have the upper hand even though she thinks she’s as tough as nails.

Other cast includes: Ashley Spillers as Janice Swift, Busy Philipps as Gale Liptrapp, Jennifer Gatti as Mrs. Deets, Shea Whigham as Ray Liptrapp, Dale Dickey as Nash, Christopher Thornton as Mr. Milner, Brian Howe as Superintendent Haas, Marcius Harris as Officer Willows and Mike O’Gorman as Bill Hayden.

HBO Home Entertainment has an extensive array of critically-acclaimed and groundbreaking programs found on Bluray, DVD and Digital HD. They have provided viewers with some of the most amazing programs with huge fan bases that include the shows True Blood, Sex and the City, The Sopranos, True Detectives, The Wire, Entourage and Game of Thrones. Launched in 1984, HBO is world wide in viewed entertainment in more than 70 territories around the world! For more of what they have to offer please visit www.hbo.com.

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Season One includes the episodes The Principal, A Trusty Steed, The Field Trip, Run for the Money, Circles, The Foundation of Learning, The Good Book, Gin and End of the Line. Season Two episodes are Tiger Town, Slaughter, The King, Think Change, A Compassionate Man, The Most Popular Boy, Spring Break, Venetian Nights and The Union of the Wizard & The Warrior. The Bonus Features include Deleted Scenes (a must watch!), Blooper Reel (an even more must-watch!) and Audio Commentaries with Cast and Crew.

VICE PRINCIPLES: The Complete Series is a must-see for everyone with a twisted sense of humor. McBride and Coggins together are a duo that not only bring the best of dark comedy but man they can be disturbing in an awesome way. I love the show and nothing is going to change my mind. It is testing, irreverent, kind of gross, hilarious, jaw-dropping, insane and pretty much a good time.

I want conflict resolution, okay no I don’t, I want to see Gamby and Russell take another shot at their dream job and here it is done in a complete series to watch again and again. It is a twisted friendship that has seen the best and worst of each other and I don’t think Gamby or Russell would have had it any other way – well maybe not the tiger!

In the end – we all need someone to look up to!

BALLERS Tackles Bluray with Season Three

 

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Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray this week from HBO Home Entertainment and executive producers Mark Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson is a series that takes on sports with both hands as Dwayne Johnson stops at nothing to expand his base dealing with BALLERS.

Spencer Strasmore (Dwayne Johnson) is back with another season as a financial manager dealing with players! Along with partner Joe Krutel (Rob Corddry), its all about to become even more stressful than life usually is. First, Ricky (John David Washington) questions his relationship with Amber (Brittany Hall) but TDD (Carl McDowell) notices that something isn’t quite right about him lately. Charles (Omar Miller) is dealing with a very calculating boss in Siefert (Dule Hill) and learns he needs to stand up for himself.

A meeting between Spencer and Wayne Hastings Jr. (Steve Guttenberg) finally takes place and the idea of a Vegas team is put on the table. Joe needs to remember to look in his office before he speaks when Kisan (Kris Lofton) lets him know it’s time for a new agent. He also discovers that Reggie and Vernon are promoting their business called High Powered with a symbol that just puts the NFL on the edge. Now Joe and Charles have to come together to find a way to convince Vernon that his days in the NFL are numbered if they keep up their shenanigans.

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In Vegas, Spencer runs into Chloe (Serinda Swan) and sparks fly but acting on it has to cool in the desert sun for a money because he has to work his charm and magic on the Mayor of Vegas and Council people to get a thumbs up on the football team idea. Joe is still dealing with Reggie about his Colorado business venture and gets a little caught up in the well lit moment. New agent Jason (Troy Garity) discovers that Kisan hasn’t been totally forthcoming with his past.

The stress is starting to get to Spencer and Joe (even if Spencer gets some down time with Chloe) and they continue to talk with Anderson about the potential for raising money. Anderson (Richard Schiff) isn’t thrilled when a plane trip to speak with investors turns into a stop orchestrated by his snarky brother Julian (Steven Weber) There are serious family issues between the two that put Spencer and Joe in a weird place.

Ricky goes to see Charles wife Julie (Jazmyn Simo) for a doctor referral and it makes Charles nervous when he sees a telephone call to his wife. She informs him that she can’t talk about it and suggests he focus on what is going on with the team. Siefert is still making things difficult so after an unsuccessful dinner between Siefert and head coach Berg (Peter Berg), Charles decides its time to take his life into his own hands.

Deciding what he wants for his life, Ricky tries to fix the things that are wrong and live his life honestly – and Jason is about to pass out when he learns his clients secret. Things with Spencer and Chloe heat up and it gets him to thinking about what he wants for his life but Chloe sets him straight immediately.

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As the deal for a team in Vegas begins to take shape, Anderson, Spencer and Joe need to have a meeting with the NFL, who isn’t really happy that all of this even began without their approval, only to discover there is another offer on the table and that the balance of power is shifting. While in San Francisco, Spencer meets someone who makes him rethink how things have been handled with the business and his idea for a Vegas team.

The players aren’t the only ones that can be head strong ballers!

Johnson as Spencer once again turns on the charm and the intensity this season trying to break into a world of the NFL by bringing a team to Las Vegas. Cutting corners he immediately has a target on his back and no one is going to make it easy for him, in fact every time he thinks it is all going in the right direction, he’s thrown a curve ball. What I enjoy about this character is that even when things are in panic mode, Spencer takes a deep breath and reaches up to pluck the next big move out of nowhere. In the midst of the chaos, there are moments of comedy and even a bit of drool for the ladies as there is no question that Johnson is ripped and endearing. Yes, its just fun to love the guy!

Corddry as Joe is equally as fast on his feet when chaos shows up but Joe handles things in such a unique and crazy way that when he has moments of brilliance it is actually quite stunning. The scene after Spencer and Joe had to literally run to a meeting with Hastings; it is Joe who gives a quick save that made my jaw drop thinking ‘wow where did that come from?’ I do enjoy Corddry because I never know what character he is going to play next and yet never surprised by his performances.

Washington as Ricky takes on several issues this season with a strong willed woman, reexamining his life and dealing with family. McDowell as TDD is keeping his eye on Ricky and questioning whether he realizes the extent of what is going on in his life and ice cream is very important to him. Lofton as Kisan is introduced to his new agent but has trouble keeping secrets that could affect any deal going forward. Garity as agent Jason starts out being taken advantage of and moves on to dealing with the screwed up personal lives of players.

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Miller as Charles is finding his place in the NFL. Not realizing what it takes to be part of the head office, he also never realized that the game isn’t only on the field. This season he finds his voice and discovers what it is he wants from his post NFL career. Simo as wife Julie wants her husband to succeed and is a serious cheerleader for her husband. Simo is strong, sweet and lets it be known that what ever her husband wants is something she supports feeling that he does the same for her. Dule as Siefert has no problem grabbing the limelight for decisions that help teams and equally grabbing credit for things he didn’t do which is what causes the rift between he and Charles.

Schiff as Anderson wants to do what ever it takes to make the Las Vegas team idea a reality, well almost anything it takes. When brother Julian, played by Weber, comes into the mix it becomes more personal than business. Getting the issues out of the way is the only way any plans will be successful. Schiff and Weber as brothers is something to see to the very last scene together. Swan as Chloe works with Hastings Jr. and has a relationship with Spencer and that proves to be a little strange for them both. Swan is lovely in a character that doesn’t change her life for Spencer and makes it clear that she knows exactly who he is and what he’s about yet still likes hanging with him.

A serious shout out to Steve Guttenberg for showing that he can play a douchebag rich guy. I swear every time he was on screen he cracked me up with his attempt at being suave and then becoming steely eyed when facing Spencer. What a great character! Another shout goes to Steven Weber for being a brother who doesn’t mind making his older brother absolutely uncomfortable and why? – well because it’s a brother thing! Yet when it comes down to it they are family.

BALLERS has cameo appearances by Larry Csonka, Travis Scott, Steve Guttenberg, Cheryl Ladd, Peter Berg, Dule Hill, Anabella Acosta, LeToya Luckett, Ella Thomas, Antoine Harris, Taylour Paige, Sanai Johnson, Richard Schiff, Clifton Collins Jr., Angelina Assereto, Christine Allocca, Carl McDowell, Terrell Suggs, Jay Glazer, Serinda Swan, Andy Garcia and Steve Guttenberg and Peter Berg.

HBO Home Entertainment has an extensive array of critically-acclaimed and groundbreaking programs found on Bluray, DVD and Digital HD. They have provided viewers with some of the most amazing programs with huge fan bases that include the shows True Blood, Sex and the City, The Sopranos, True Detectives, The Wire, Entourage and Game of Thrones. Launched in 1984, HBO is world wide in viewed entertainment in more than 70 territories around the world! For more of what they have to offer please visit www.hbo.com.

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The Bluray includes the episodes Seeds of Expansion, Bull Rush, In the Teeth, Make Believe, I Hate New York, Ricky-Leaks, Alley-Oops, Crackback, and Yay Area. Also included is the Digital Copy that makes it great to watch anywhere on not only a television but also a computer, Tablet and Smartphone.

I always love watching BALLERS because it has so much crazy to offer and it is fast paced. Watching Johnson in this series is different than films because most of the movies show a character that is larger than life in larger than life situations like the remake JUMANJI and RAMPAGE. In BALLERS, the character of Spencer is totally believable in a Jerry McGuire sort of way but on a much cooler scale. I love how he interacts with the other characters and with Corddry as his sidekick – it totally works.

This series can easily be seen as a ‘guys’ series but those who think that would be totally wrong. Although I enjoy an occasional football game or any sport for that matter, I’m not an avid sports fan yet BALLERS is enjoyable to watch and I do look forward to each episode. The character interaction and stories along with the show’s running time of thirty minutes invites the viewers into the mad world of Spencer and Joe and never leaves us unsatisfied.

I’m letting you know now that the finale let me cheering because the good guys can win on their own terms!

In the end – if you build it they will come!

Not Missing a Beat is HBO’S CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM: The Complete Ninth Season on DVD

Curb Your Enthusiasm DVD 9th Season

Jeri Jacquin

This week on DVD and Digital is the return of cable’s favorite enthusiast with HBO’s hit series CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM: The Complete Ninth Season.

The gang is back and Larry (played by Larry David) starts out of the gate running when he shows Jeff his idea of making Salman Rushdie’s life a musical. Of course it isn’t just any musical but a comedy musical. When Larry takes a seat on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and does an impression of the Ayatollah, he learns what a fatwa really is. As if his day isn’t bad enough, empathy and a dead bird don’t help his cause with Richard Lewis.

The fatwa has caused Larry to go underground so to speak and become Buck Dancer, a hotel dweller who isn’t starting out very well in his new digs and all over cookies! Marty’s nephew Kenny isn’t happy that a pickle jar injury is interfering with his nocturnal emissions game. That’s when Larry steps in does a little pimping.

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After trying to reach someone at the Consul of Iran, Larry now has to reach out to Salman Rushdie to find out what to do about the fatwa. Rushdie’s first suggestion is to can Buck Dancer and get back to real life. Basically that means sitting down with Dr. Templeton (Bryan Cranston) and trying to work out how to deal with the fatwa but gets sidetracked about a chair.

Attending the funeral of Kenny who dies by bull, Larry wigs out when he thinks there is an assassin in the crowd. But that doesn’t compare to Larry having difficulty keeping thoughts to himself. He starts out by offending people at the club, continues on at a dinner party with a war veteran and wraps it all up with a Revolutionary War reenactment fiasco.

But Larry is hardly done getting removed from a yoga class for not namaste’ing, hits a car, offends a mechanic and an Uber driver. But somehow and some way he manages to turn it all to his advantage. It’s all in a few days in the life of Larry.

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While at a buffet line, Larry meets a man who could possible help him with the dangling fatwa. Morsi actually takes his time and finds out about Larry and lets a group of Muftis put him through questioning. Going through it all, he might have finally found a way to get the fatwa off his back.

Working on the musical, Larry is adamant that Lin-Manuel Miranda will be part of the cast. It is Lin who has a list of things that Larry has to agree to before there is one day of rehearsals. Of course where Larry’s life is concerned there is always room for more! When a woman named Mrs. Shapiro steals a plant from his house, they both end up on an episode of Judge Judy.

The rehearsals have begun and F. Murray Abraham, the Ayatollah, is already working Larry’s nerves. Lin is out of control as well but when Larry agrees to let Lin’s cousin spend time at the house, he is freaked out at what happens to his home. Of course the season ends when Larry and Lin have it out in a paintball challenge which puts the musical in jeopardy.

Of course there is always someone out there who still knows about the fatwa!

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The exceptional cast of course includes Jeff Garlin as Jeff, Cheryl Hines as Cheryl and Susie Essman as Susie. Episodes also include cameos from the talented Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen, Richard Lewis, Elizabeth Banks, Lauren Graham, Carrie Brownstein, Rich Fulcher, Katie Aselton, Elizabeth Perkins, Steven Weber, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Salman Rushdie and so many more..

HBO Home Entertainment has an extensive array of critically-acclaimed and groundbreaking programs found on Bluray, DVD and Digital HD. They have provided viewers with some of the most amazing programs with huge fan bases that include the shows True Blood, Sex and the City, The Sopranos, True Detectives, The Wire, Entourage and Game of Thrones. Launched in 1984, HBO is world wide in viewed entertainment in more than 70 territories around the world! For more of what they have to offer please visit www.hbo.com.

The DVD includes the episodes Foisted!, The Pickle Gambit, A Disturbance in the Kitchen, Running with the Bulls, Thank You for Your Service, The Accidental Text on Purpose, Namaste, Never Wait for Seconds!, The Shucker, and Fatwa! The Bonus Features include Cast Memorable Moments and Deleted Scenes.

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 The series began on HBO in 1999 with an hour long special that would be followed by it’s first season the next year. Larry David created this show featuring his fictional self about a semi-retired television writer and his life in Los Angeles.

CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM has the most stellar humor that I enjoy and situations that, although highly unlikely to ever be true, are still so well done by Larry David. The cast has put so much into this show and it shows in every minute. Of course I don’t mention every detail because I want everyone who gets their copy of the show to laugh just as much and just as hard as I did.

The way in which David incorporates celebrities into the stories is absolutely brilliant. His choices of F. Murray Abraham and Lin-Manuel Miranda are so perfect and they trippy directions he takes just cracked me up. I think one of my favorites is the Judge Judy and probably because of the verdict at the end – which made me rethink how I take care of my plants!

Celebrate the return of Larry David and the rest of the cast and the stories we have all waited for. Prepare to CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM with the Complete Ninth Season from HBO Home Entertainment!

In the end – the good news is he’s back!

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