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ERNIE KOVACS: The Centennial Edition Comes to DVD

Kovacs

Jeri Jacquin

Currently on DVD to celebrate the 100th birthday of a comic genius from SHOUT! Factory is an amazing collection with ERNIE KOVACS: The Centennial Edition.

Ernie Kovacs came from a family that immigrated to Hungary and although not a great student still managed to receive a scholarship to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Struggling to live in New York City, he managed to go to the movies that he would later say influences him.

Finding acting work in summer stock, it would be an almost fatal illness that would be a school of another kind. After spending time in several hospital, he returned home to take care of his mother after his parents separated. His first job in television was in 1950 and a show called Pick Your Ideal, then hosting Deadline For Dinner, Now You’re Cooking and Three to Get Ready.

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In 1954, Kovacs began a late-night talk show called The Ernie Kovacs Show so now he could be seen almost everywhere on television. He even took a few nights a week for Steve Allen on The Tonight Show, part of the game show Gamble on Love, One Minute Please, Time Will Tell and Take a Good Look.

 Kovacs also did television specials which were popular in the 50’s and 60’s as Silent Show contained no dialogue but instead only sound effects and music. Now Kovacs would be noticed receiving movie offers, the Sylvania Award and the cover of Life magazine.

His theatrical films included OPERATION MAD BALL, IT HAPPENED TO JANE, STRANGERS WHEN WE MEET, NORTH TO ALASKA, FIVE GOLDEN HOURS and SAIL A CROOKED SHIP to name a few.

That’s not all Kovacs is known for as he was a music lover from the days of being in the hospital. He would often use classic music as part of his comedy as well. He also wrote the book Zoomar: A Sophisticated Novel about Love and TV, Silent Show, How to Talk at Gin as well as articles for Mad magazine.

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Kovacs was killed in a car accident in 1962 but he left behind some of the most iconic legacy of original comedy that we are not likely to ever see again.

SHOUT! Factory has grown into a tremendous multi-platform media company. Releasing new animated features such as the exquisite Long Way North, and the epic fantasy Beauty And The Beast. Also their own original horror film, Fender Bender gives fans a good scare. For more of what SHOUT Factor has to offer please visit www.shoutfactory.com.

The 9 DVD set includes 22 hours of landmark hilarity featuring Episodes from his Local and National Morning Shows, Episodes from his NBC Prime-Time Show, Kovacs on Music, Five ABC TV Specials, The Color Version of His Legendary Silent Show Eugene, His Award-Winning Commercials for Dutch Masters Cigars, Short Films, Tributes, and Rarities.

 Eighteen Bonus Sketches Featuring Man of his Most Beloved Characters, Three Complete Episodes of his Offbeat Game Show Take a Good Look, “A Pony for Chris” – his Rare TV Pilot for Medicine Man Costarring Buster Keaton, The Lively Arts Featuring the Only Existing Filmed Solo Interview with Ernie Kovacs and the 2011 American Cinematheque Panel.

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 Ernie Kovacs was one of the first funny men that I can remember watching on television with my mother. His sense of humor was hilarious to me and I knew his voice on television even if I was in another room. The comedy of Kovacs continues to be what I consider the gold standard and can see how comedy throughout the years has some similarities to his creativity.

This man had so much talent that it isn’t surprising to me that he found so many outlets for it. From radio, music, television and films, as well as in book form, Kovacs found a way to reach his fans.

ERNIE KOVACS: The Centennial Edition is not only a great way to remember everything he brought to us through the years but a stellar way to introduce a new generation to comedy that is enduring. There is so much in this collection to share and let me say, it is totally worth a marathon with everyone who enjoys laughing with characters that are original and so full of fun.

In the end – happy 100th birthday to an original genius!

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Puppets take over THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS

happy time cover

Jeri Jacquin

Well heck, this isn’t exactly your ordinary puppet/human film and that’s okay with me. In theatres this Friday from director Brian Henson and STX Entertainment comes a story of a partnership to beat them all with THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS.

Phil Philips (voiced by Bill Barretta) is a private detective who was once the first puppet to ever become a cop with the LAPD. After an incident that still haunts him, Phil is happy working for himself. Answering his calls is his very dependable and devoted secretary Bubbles (Maya Rudolph).

One day a very lushly stuffed red-head named Sandra (Dorien Davies) comes to Phil’s office and asks him to investigate who might be black mailing her. Phil agrees and begins checking out a clue when he quickly becomes sidetracked when a group of puppets are cut down with fluff flying everywhere!

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Arriving to investigate is Detective Connie Edwards (Melissa McCarthy) and she is none to happy to see Phil. Edwards and Philips were once partners and because of her testimony he lost his badge. Exchanging unpleasantries, Lt. Banning (Leslie Baker) lets them both know they will be teaming up once again to solve the crime.

Phil drowns his grumpiness by visiting his brother Larry (Victor Yerrid) who found success on television in a show called The Happytime Gang. Lulled into changing himself a little to fit into society, Phil doesn’t know how lucky he is until Larry is attacked.

Now Edwards and Philips begin to see a pattern that the entire cast of The Happytime Gang are in danger. Included in that is Philips first love Jenny (Elizabeth Banks), a dancer who became the only human on his brother’s show.

Putting their differences aside, they work piecing together the clues one by one but always seem to be on step behind the person responsible for the puppet mayhem. When FBI Agent Campbell (Joel McHale) shows up, he tries to shut them down but these two cork screwy crime fighters aren’t about to let anything get in their way.

Where the clues lead them changes everything!

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McCarthy as Detective Edwards gives her usual witty, snappy and very funny performance as a cop with a few secret problems. The adversarial relationship with Phil Philips wasn’t always the case and speaking of cases – they are going to have to put their animosity on hold to get the job done. McCarthy doesn’t mess a beat delivering her lines with the timing that makes me proud to be a smart ass.

Baretta voicing Phil Philips is very noir detective telling his story with a cigarette in one hand and a bag load of attitude in the other. There doesn’t seem to be anything this puppet can’t do, and I mean that in every sense and when my jaw isn’t hitting the floor I’m rolling in laughter. Bouncing off McCarthy, these two are perfect for one another.

Rudolph as Bubbles is devoted to her private detective boss and there isn’t anything she won’t do for him. When he is seen as a suspect, Bubbles makes darn sure that Edwards does what’s right to help make it all right. Rudolph is cutsie and also very noir with her pin curl hair and red nails.

Banks as Jenny is a burlesque dancer who seems happy when Philips walks through the door again. Remembering the moments they spent together, both puppet and long legged human are clear that something is wrong. Banks gives a carrot dance performance that had the audience cracking up.

McHale as Agent Campbell is just a man who clearly isn’t playing with a full deck and power hungry at the same time. I love when McHale tries to get tough in these roles and keep a straight face doing it. Baker as Lt. Banning just wants the case solved and putting the ex-partners together is the way to do it.

Other cast include Drew Massey as Goofer, Ted Michaels as Ezra, Colleen Smith as Cara, Alice Dinnea as Sheila and Donna Kimball as Diane.

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Look, THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS is just a disturbingly hilarious film that pushes every button to get a reaction and they succeeded. The audience was cheering, laughing, grossed out, groaning, smacking their foreheads, clapping and just having a great time.

This isn’t a film that needs to be analyzed or scrutinized but instead just go and have fun. Yes the humor pushed the comedy bar up, down, sideways and slant ways like a Wonka-vater but who doesn’t love that? I wanted to take a dirty puppet film ride down the slippery slopes of good taste and right into a mud hole – and that’s exactly what happened.

THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS is just a romp – it’s as simple as that – with touches of outrageousness and moments that can never be erased from your memory. The same could be said of many films but they didn’t make me laugh as much as this one does. Yep, I have a twisted sense of humor and am damn proud of it.

In the end – they are no sesame and all street!

DEADPOOL 2: Super Duper $@%!#& Cut is on Bluray Bringing Christmas in August!

 

deadpool bluray cover

Jeri Jacquin

On Bluray and Digital this week from director David Leitch, Marvel and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment comes a man who needs no introduction other than the words DEADPOOL 2.

So I thought about how to start this Bluray review and all I could think of was – GO EFFIN GET THIS MOVIE IMMEDIATELY! But the reader deserves a little better than that so here we go!

Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is back as Deadpool and he is happier than ever with gal-pal Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). On their anniversary Wade has a little something planned except his mercenary work decides to follow him home and bring mayhem along with them.

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Sending his life in a tailspin and ready to do his worst, it isn’t until Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) brings Wade back to the Xavier Mansion that he sees a use for life. Agreeing to be an X-Men trainee along with Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), they meet Russell Collins (Julian Dennison). Calling himself Firefist, he refuses to be abused any further at the orphanage.

A few bad fighting choices puts both Deadpool and Firefist in a place called the ‘Icebox’ that stores mutants. That actually makes it easier for future arrival Cable (Josh Brolin) to find his target – which isn’t Deadpool much to his disappointment – but the young Russell.

Deciding that he must help the young boy, Deadpool puts together a group he calls X-Force and begins accepting applications with buddy Weasel (T.J. Miller). Their goal is to find the prison truck transport and get Russell back. What they don’t know is that Russell finds a friend in Juggernaut, who has his own issues with super heroes.

Cable finally tells Deadpool why he wants the boy and that he must be stopped before reaching the orphanage or there is no turning back with a future fate sealed. Now Deadpool, Cable and his new recruit lucky Domino (Zazie Beetz) face off with Russell and Juggernaut but he is too strong. Thankfully Colossus and Warhead decide that Deadpool needs their help and the battle for good and evil begins.

It’s all being done the Deadpool way!

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Reynolds as Wade Wilson/Deadpool has made damn sure that no one else, ever, will be able to remake-reimagine-rethink-rediscover or “re” anything else someone might want to do in ten years. He has made this character completely iconic and absolute in the minds of everyone who loves this smart-mouthed-one-liner-wit-o-rama. It is no big secret to anyone that I’m not a huge super hero person, I mean I see the films but then it’s like ‘next!’ to me. Not DEADPOOL – this is the number one character I looked forward to seeing in DEADPOOL circa 2016 and it is like Christmas morning opening the cellophane wrapper for DEADPOOL 2: Super Duper $@%!#& Cut. There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING to complain about in this film and its Reynolds fault completely. I’m sure he won’t mind taking the blame for this one. He gives this ole lady plenty to laugh about and that’s everything when your life clock is ticking away.

Brolin as Cable has me a little perplexed. Jumping between two comic book characters just isn’t something I’m thrilled about. I’m still not over Chris Evans going from his blaze-days to Captain America and it’s been more than a hot minute. Between the two I would prefer he stay in the Cable lane but a paycheck is a paycheck right? Okay, so as Cable I love the yin and yang between him and Deadpool. They both have issues and yet play off of them providing each other with a conscience and material.

Dennison as Russell is a kid on a mission and although he has every reason to be pretty p.o.’d, ending up with Deadpool in an icebox might be a tad worse. He is going through his terrible teens and just happens to have fist that can destroy anything in its path. Then again I know toddlers who have that same super power that Deadpool might be interested in meeting.

Beetz as Domino doesn’t take Wade or Deadpool seriously because she’s all about proving that luck favors her own brand of coolness. She’s smooth and doesn’t ruffle easily. Hildebrand returns as Negasonic Teenage Warhead with a few surprises for her favorite DP dude. Miller as Weasel gets a moment or two to shine with his favorite stool warmer.

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Kapicic returns as the understanding and patient Colossus and I think he is the only one that truly gets Wade/Deadpool. So much so that time and time again he cuts the skin-tight-red-wonder considerable slack. Baccarin as Vanessa is back to bring positive reinforcement and a good lap dance to her favorite super hero.

A serious shout out to Leslie Uggams as Blind Al, the one person who knows that Wade is a miserable human being sometimes yet accepts him just the same. Blind Al completes Wade/Deadpool. She might not be able to see but I’d let her defend me anytime, provided I can point the gun.

Also, Karan Soni as Dopinder finally gets the opportunity to show what he’s made of – taxi and all. Shioli Kutsuna makes an appearance as Yukio who has the cutest exchanges with Deadpool that even had me grinning a time or two. Eddie Marsan is the butt-head-master of Essex Orphanage and we all know a butt-head-master who looks like Eddie Marsan or am I reaching to far back into my childhood.

Let’s give a round of applause to Terry Crews as Bedlam, Lewis Tan as Shatterstar, Bill Skarsgard as Zeitgeist, Rob Delaney as Peter and Brad Pitt as Vanisher. Also, who can forget the amazing Jack Kesy as Black Tom Cassidy.

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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 includes a huge load of extras with Gag Reel, Deleted/Extended Scenes, Until Your Face Hurts: Alt Takes, The Most Important X-Force Member, Deadpool Family Values: Cast of Characters, David Leitch Not Lynch: Directing DP2, Audio Commentary by Ryan Reynolds, David Leitch, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, Deadpool’s Fun Sack 2 and so much more!

The Bluray also includes 2 versions of DEADPOOL 2: Super Duper $@%!#& Cut – the theatrical and unrated cut. Also, Movies Anywhere means you can literally watch your films anywhere with the App that allows you to download and stream your Digital Copy of DEADPOOL 2.

I think I’ve made if fairly clear that I am a huge Deadpool fan and if you thought I’d be giving any spoilers out well then I’m happy to disappoint you. From the moment the film begins to its very, very, VERY end (this is my way of saying stay through the credits), Reynolds and his band of merry misfits provide such a good time that a second, third, fourth…infinite viewing is going to be required.

Laughing just as much as in the theatre, I can say that I still missed jokes and I’m fairly certain that can mean only one thing – watching it again (and again etc.). I do know that I couldn’t catch my breath most of the time which means not only was I having a good time but if I did drop dead I would be alright if it was Deadpool’s fault.

So leave the other “superheroes” to fly away in a wind of feathers (not sure what that was but if you saw that ‘other’ movie you’ll understand) and gather up everyone who needs to laugh themselves silly and make it a pizza-ordering-beer-drinking night with people who are as twisted as we are for DEADPOOL 2: Super Duper $@%!#& Cut.

Have an extraordinary experience and remember he’s only here to show you a good time and by Blind Al I’m going to let him – again and again.

In the end – experience your second time like it was your first!

A Second Chance at College and Being LIFE OF THE PARTY

Life of

Jeri Jacquin

The hilarious minds of Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone are at it again along with Warner Bros. for another chance at being LIFE OF THE PARTY.

Deanna (Melissa McCarthy) and husband Dan (Matt Walsh) are dropping off daughter Maddie (Molly Gordon) for her final year at college. Excited about their upcoming trip to Italy, Deanna is thrown a curve pizza when Dan announces 50 feet from the dorm steps that he wants a divorce.

She is thrown to learn that he has been having a fling with a real estate agent named Marci (Julie Bowen). Going to her own parents, Sandi (Jackie Weaver) and Mike (Stephen Root), they argue sandwiches and not finishing college. That’s when Deanna makes a decision that needs one other persons input – daughter Maddie.

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Deanna announces that she is going back to school to finish the last year and get her degree in archeology. Maddie is happy but uneasy about sharing the college life with her mother. Thrilled for her is bestie Christine (Maya Rudolph) and Maddie’s friends Amanda (Adria Arjona), Debbie (Jessie Ennis) and Helen (Gillian Jacobs).

Moving into the dorm, roommate Leonor (Heidi Gardner) is a little Goth and a little sunshine deprived. Immediately, Maddie and the girls decide that Deanna needs to experience a college party. After a quick change of appearance she meets Jack (Luke Benward) and wakes to the morning walk of shame.

Quickly Deanna gets into the groove of studying, being part of the girls’ lives and occasionally meeting up with Jack. Keeping Christine informed of her antics, she learns that ex-hubby Dan is already making plans to get remarried. Leave it to the girls to make sure that she doesn’t spend that day alone but after a few party favors they take their act on the reception road.

That sets into motion the news that Deanna doesn’t have the money to finish college. Of course needing a reason to have a party in college isn’t a required but this might be the exception!

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McCarthy as Deanna is sweet, charming, motherly and a tad embarrassing but don’t let that fool you when it comes to being protective. She has her ways of making sure that no one changes who she wants to be so don’t let the curls fool you. McCarthy delivers comedy that is so relatable and, in fact, the character of Deanna is someone we all know. Well, maybe not the tacky sweaters but the situation of loving being a wife and mother until you realize one of those wasn’t real. McCarthy is a gal I’d love to hang out with. Plan to laugh at the movie – A LOT!

Rudolph as Christine is the best partner-in-crime to have and will take a body shot while still loving you. Living a tad vicariously through Deanna, Christine doesn’t have it so bad at home. I mean any husband who gets hot about his middle aged wife in ankle socks doesn’t have much to complain about in life. Rudolph is funny and another chick I’d love to hang out with.

Gordon as Maddie isn’t completely thrilled to discover Mom is going to share her final year of college. Once seeing her friends are on board with it, Maddie knows Mom isn’t trying to take anything from her. Jacobs as Helen is a big disturbing and completely hilarious. Ennis as Debbie and Arjona as Amanda completely love having Deanna around. Benward as Jack loves having Deanna around for completely different reasons!

Gardner as Leonor is completely misunderstood but takes a ninja-like liking to her dorm mate. Weaver as Mom Sandi just wants everyone to have a sandwich and Dad Mike just wants to shoot Dan – typical parents.

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Walsh as Dan is a dude who is literally being led around by his – ummm – earring. Bowen as Marci is a woman who demands control of every aspect of her life and her soon-to-be-husbands as well. Jones as Christine’s husband Frank goes along to get along!

Other cast includes Sarah Baker as Gildred, Nax Faxon as Lance, Shannon Purser as Connie, Chris Parnell as Mr. Truzack, Debbie Ryan as Jennifer, Jimmy O. Yang as Tyler, Leli Hernandez as Mia, Yani Simone as Trina, Damon Jones as Frank, Michele Jang as Linda, Chris Cavalier as Eugene, Christina Aguilera and Ben Falcone as the Uber Driver.

LIFE OF THE PARTY is completely hysterical, full of surprises and loaded with charm and oh so much fun. I would expect nothing less from McCarthy and Falcone who seem to just embrace the silliness of life. The cast is just perfect lending their own unique characters to a loaded film of funny. This film is perfect for the Mother’s Day weekend coming up because, well, we love our Mom’s.

This is a wonderful way to celebrate the day with a bunch of flowers, brunch and then off to the movies to spend quality time having a few giggles together. I have a sneaking suspicion I’m going to have to see the film again because there were times I was laughing so hard I missed a line or two. LIFE OF THE PARTY is a film I absolutely won’t mind seeing again and again.

In the end – give life the old college try!

Grab Your Liter of Farva Because the Badges are Back with SUPER TROOPERS 2

super poster

 

Jeri Jacquin

Yes, it’s true – the boys with badges are back with writer/director Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter and Erik Stolhanske (aka the Broken Lizard gang) along with Fox Searchlight Pictures in SUPER TROOPERS 2.

It has been a while since we last saw our favorite Vermont State Troopers as they have moved on since the Fred Savage incident. A telephone call from Captain O’Hagan (Brian Cox) is about to change their down trodden lives. Telling Mac (Steve Lemme), Rabbit (Erik Stolhanske), Foster (Paul Soter) and Thorny (Jay Chandrasekhar) to meet him in Canada for a fishing trip, it turns out the boys are the catch of the day. Oh yes, and Farva (Kevin Heffernan).

The Captain along with Governor Jessman (Lynda Carter) has a proposal for them, discovering that the lines between the United States and Canada are all messed up, it seems that a piece of Canada is about to become a piece of the United States…follow? Good, keep up because this is where it gets good.

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The Governor puts the gang back in uniform and introduces them to Mountie Podien (Hayes MacArthur), Bellefuille (Tyler Labine) and Archambault (Will Sasso) who aren’t thrilled at all about the changes coming. They are introduced to the town hockey hero Guy LeFranc (Rob Lowe) who owns the town bar & bordello and Genevieve Aubois (Emmanuelle Chriqui) who seems to be the only welcoming person.

As the changes begin to happen, like changing road way signs and listening to Canadians make it clear that the boys aren’t wanted – they discover crates of illegal guns, phones and weapons. Not sure exactly what is happening, they start searching for who is responsible while, at the same time, deal with the barrage of shenanigans from their Mounties counterparts!

They may not be average law enforcement but they never quit!

Cox as O’Hagan is happy to brings his boys back together and this time completely understands that they aren’t about to change their antics. Believing in second chances he’s fully on board. Chandrasekhar as Thorny brings his mustache back into play and doesn’t hesitate to take on Mounties or a bag of female hormone therapy. I just love his laid back attitude and straight faced one liners.

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Lemme as Mac is thrilled to be back and when the mystery of the crates comes about, he is on the case. Stolhanske as Rabbit is on his game and not just solving the crate case as a certain French woman has his full attention. Soter as Foster is definetly one of the boys and follows them and I secretly think hoping it will lead to even more trouble.

Heffernan as Farva doesn’t need a gun fired to get him off and running. I believe the best part of Farva being in Canada is – yes, his happiness in discovering there is somewhere in the world where you can get a liter of liquid. Heffernan is hilarious without question.

MacArthur as Podien, Labine as Bellefuille and Sasso as Archambault (Will) are proud of being Mounties and even prouder that their town has a bar and bordello. I have to say I loved their way of handling the Vermont crew.

Lowe as LeFranc has a horribly funny Canadian accent but then again he does play a former hero hockey player AND has a bar/bordello so actually I find myself nodding, ‘cool’. Chriqui as Genevieve wants to make the guys welcome, especially one warm and fuzzy guy.

Cameos and other cast include Seann William Scott as Trooper Callaghan, Clifton Collins Jr. as the Bus Driver, Damon Wayans Jr. as Trooper Wagner, Bruce McCulloch as Officer Lloyds, Paul Hauser as Lonnie Laloush, Jim Gaffigan as Larry Johnson, Marisa Coughlan as Ursula along with Lynda Carter and Fred Savage.

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SUPER TROOPERS came out in 2001 and here it is seventeen years later and these gents don’t miss a beat. The comedy is on point, the gags are awesome, the band is back together and the crowd in the theatre was thrilled. Simply stated, the anticipation for the film to start was thick in the air.

That’s what makes a film like SUPER TROOPERS so iconic, the fact that every person I spoke to at the screening could immediately repeat lines and were looking forward to new ones. SUPER TROOPERS 2 gives us ample reasons to laugh, groan, laugh some more and cheer our favorite Vermont state troopers once again! Happy to see them behind the wheel and treating each other with the same torture filled affection is a thrill.

I actually couldn’t eat much popcorn because the laughter would probably have caused me to choke. There isn’t one single thing about SUPER TROOPERS 2 that I didn’t embrace and laugh about.

What really made it all worth the wait is that the Broken Lizard gang didn’t try to reinvent the comedy wheel. Instead, they brought in subtle remembrances from 2001, kept the story close to what each character is known for and I am absolutely okay with both of those things.

Once the film starts it feels like comedy home and it’s hilariously comfortable. Do you have to see the first film? Not really. Should you see the first film? Absolutely! Anyone with a comedy genre collection better have the 2001 film in their cache or else I wouldn’t be friends with them.

SUPER TROOPERS 2 means a night of serious laughs!

In the end – the time is right meow!

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!

The Complete Season Eight of ARCHER: Dreamland is Locked and Loaded on DVD

bcb3a206-05f2-4c03-a4ee-416243ebf71dJeri Jacquin

This week on DVD from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is the coolest and smoothest spy who sees the world in his own unique way with The Complete Season Eight of ARCHER: Dreamland.

The season finally brings relieve when it left Archer (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin) face down in a swimming pool after being shot! In a coma, Archer is in a dream of being a private-eye who is looking for who killed Woodhouse. Detectives Figgis (Chris Parnell) and Poovey (Amber Nash) are irritating Archer so he takes it upon himself to a known crime boss called Mother (Jessica Walter).

Making a deal, Archer gets help and Mother gets the dirty on mobster Len Trexler (Jeffrey Tambor). The deal of course is even sweeter when Archer lays his eyes on nightclub siren Lana (Aisha Tyler) Detective Poovey finds the mobster has been dealing in sex trade and Archer returns to his office to find Charlotte VanderTunt (Judy Greer) who has a request of Archer.

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For a huge chunk of change, Charlotte asks Archer to help her fake death which will be easy since she’s set everything up. On their way to sending Charlotte’s car off like a Thelma & Louise stunt, the detectives catch and haul Archer and Charlotte off to the pokey!

In jail he finds Lana’s back up band behind bars and uses bartender Barry (Dave Willis) and the musicians to escape. That means Lana can’t sing so decides to try her hand at comedy via syphilis. Archer can’t leave until he gets Charlotte back and the arrest cards for his cohorts.

Trexler and Figgis decide they want to make use of Charlotte’s imprisonment but are slow on the draw. Of course Poovey catches on and makes sure that no one is getting out without a fight – a big fight. Getting back to Dreamland, the gang is pretty beaten up and Mother isn’t surprised and turns the tables on Trexler by using Charlotte as bait.

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Of course that really means everything is screwed up when Mother sends Archer to the Vandertunt estate to get ransom for Charlotte. Figgis realizes that Charlotte is gone but figures he can make a phone call claiming to have the woman for ransom. Mother informs Archer that Figgis is in deep with Trexler which might explain where the money is.

When they all regroup and head to Trexler’s house, they are shocked to find that crazy-loves-to-melt-humans-with-acid Dutch has some upgrades from the crazy Nazi Tin Man (Lucky Yates). The chase is on and Archer is in the midst of a nervous breakdown rant about Woodhouse when he is told disturbing news.

Finally, Archer knows who is responsible for Woodhouse and Det. Poovey can’t find the sex slaves! Then again it’s all in an Archer dream that he needs to wake up from.

Jon Benjamin as the voice of Archer has done everything right with this character. I have been taken with this rogue spy since day one and Benjamin is totally responsible for that. The edge, humor, wit and sarcasm is stunningly brilliant and there is no one else who could give Archer the life he has except Benjamin.

Tyler as Lana is just the absolute everything that I love about this show. She is smart, witty, vulnerable and has no problem saying exactly what is on her mind. I realize that Lana is an animated character but damn if Tyler just doesn’t make it easy to forget that.

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Walter as Mother is ruthless, maniacal, twisted and quite the little liar and uses Archer as only Mother can. I love when Walter lends her voice in such a way that is only heightened by the clinking of the ice in her constant glass of liquor.

Greer as Charlotte is clearly clueless about the way of the world and all she wants is to get away from her family. Irritated that she can’t get on with her plans, she is dragged from event to event and clearly not happy about it. Nash as Poovey is just twisted every which way but loose and has a vision of her future boat family.

Parnell as Figgis is a little bit of a double crosser with his partner as well as anyone else that he gets next too. Yates as the Tin Man wanted to create perfect creatures but actually should have chosen his creations more carefully. Tambor as Trexler isn’t sure where his slaves are, where the money is or how he ended up in his underwear.

Guest stars include Wyatt Cenac, Keegan-Michael Key, Wendell Pierce, and Eugene Mirman as Cecil Vandertunt.

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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 DVD includes the episodes No Good Deed, Bernice, Ladyfingers, Sleepers Wake, Waxing Gibbous, Gramercy Halberd!, and Auflosung. The 2-Disc set also contains the Special Features of Audio Commentary on Select Episodes.

In 2009 I began to see commercials on FX for an animated series about a company of spy’s. Intrigued by what seemed to be an adult animated comedy and always up for a challenge, I watched the first episode. Needless to say not only did I laugh myself crazy but have spent the last eight seasons cheering on my favorite group of characters (and I do mean characters!)

Each season creator Adam Reed comes up with the most insanely brilliant stories and crazy laughs. The twists, turns and outrageousness is so up my alley of humor that each week it’s like a party I don’t need guests for! A glass of wine, a few snacks and I am ready for a great time! This is an adult animated series so trust me when I reiterate the word – adult!

This season with its detective-noir dreamlike storyline, Archer gets a chance to be – well, Archer while everyone else is shrouded in mystery. Finding Woodhouse’ killer is his main goal but like any good season of ARCHER, it wasn’t going to be easy and it certainly wasn’t going to be predictable. The only thing you can count on is that it is filled with side splitting – an occasionally drink spitting – laughter.

Knowing that ARCHER is getting ready for it’s 9th season and with a promise from creator Adam Reed for a tenth – I have more time to recruit followers so that maybe we can get an 11th season. The madness and mayhem between Archer, Lana, Mallory and the gang is cut with quick humor, rapid fire comments and comebacks and the occasional pause glance by Archer that causes antici………pation makes me giggle and sometimes even applaud.

So in preparation for the new season, grab The Complete Season Eight ARCHER: Dreamland and take a trip to noir-land with the gang!

In the end – there’s nothing like a trip to dreamland!

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS The First Epic Movie Saves the Day on Bluray

Captain Bluray

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray from director David Soren, DreamWorks and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is a tale of two friends and their new pal CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS.

Best buddies George (Kevin Hart) and Harold (Thomas Middleditch) are in the fourth grade at Jerome Horwitz Elementary School and are total cut ups. They are known for their pranks and they are mainly aimed at what the two consider mean teachers. Of course principal Benjamin Krupp (Ed Helms) doesn’t find the two quite as funny.

The two also have managed to create a superhero called Captain Underpants who basically wears only a cap and – well – his underpants while fighting crime. Using their treehouse as their home office for Treehouse Comix Inc., the boys sell their stories to their friends.

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When a prank goes wrong and they are ratted out, George and Harold end up in Principal Krupp’s office. Thinking that separating the boys into different classrooms will stop their antics, the boys discover that using a Hypno Ring from a cereal box has transformed Krupp into their Captain Underpants.

Figuring out that water and snapping fingers brings him back and forth, the boys also realize that they need to put their superhero into Krupps’ principal role before anyone finds out. When a scientist named Professor P. (Nick Kroll) arrives and Krupp aka Captain Underpants hires him to teach, George and Harold see something weird going on.

The boys begin to make changes around the school with the help of the “principal” but it is Professor Pee-Pee Diarrheastein Poopypants, Esq. that’s up to no good. Wanting to take over the town, it is up to George, Harold and Captain Underpants to puts things right again. When that’s done the boys must decide if their new superhero must stay or go.

In the meantime it’s Tra-la-LAAAAAA!

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Hart and Middleditch are such an amazing pair playing George and Harold. They vocally play off of each other and it is absolutely seamless. I love the way they speak to one another and as an adult I giggle like a kid. That’s what makes this film so cool – you certainly don’t have to be a kid to enjoy the fun.

Helms as Captain Underpants is hilarious and every time he says ‘tra-la-laaaaa’ I join in. That gets stuck in your head but in a great way as if you think ‘where can I use this phrase’ and trust me, I’ve thought of a lot of situations where that fantastic tune can be used.

Kroll as Professor P. has serious issues yet even being vertically challenged and a head of hair curlier than Shirley Temple, he gives funny line delivery.

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.

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS The First Epic Movie contains 30+ minutes of Bluray & DVD Special Features such as The Really Cool Adventures of Captain Underpants Motion Comic, The Captain Underpants Guide to Being a Hero, The Professor Poopypants (Totally Original and Supercool) Guide to Being a Villain, Missing Underpants: Deleted Scenes, Captain Underpants Lyric Video by “Weird Al” Yankovic, “A Friend Like You: Lyric Video by Andy Grammer, Kevin Hart and Ed Helms Surprise Fans and so much more!

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CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS is so much fun and a family film meant for everyone. The animation is epic, brilliant and vivid. There is something about this form of animation that just captures every part of the Captain Underpants story in such a way that fans will watch the story again and again. Remember, this is the Captains FIRST Epic Movie.

Prepare to take flight with a superhero like no other and his sidekicks who are hilarious. George and Harold are two young boys who are rambunctious, silly, creative and very, very smart. They are also two young boys who have a friendship that is strong and not about to be broken by any ole principal!

In the end – fifty percent hero and 100% cotton!

47 METERS DOWN Brings Teeth with Little Bite

47 meters

 

Jeri Jacquin

In theatres this Friday from writer/director Johannes Roberts and Dimension Films comes blood in the water when you are 47 METERS DOWN.

Lisa (Mandy Moore) is dealing with a broken heart while on a trip to Mexico bring along sister Kate (Claire Holt). Deciding that Lisa needs more excitement in her life, Kate shows her sister the fun side of a night out. Meeting Louis (Yani Gellman) and Benjamin (Santiago Segura), the two men talk the girls into shark diving.

Knowing Captain Taylor (Matthew Modine) and for one hundred bucks the girls have the opportunity to go in a case surrounded by sharks. Lisa isn’t sure about doing any of this but is swayed by Kate to do something exciting in her life.

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Taking an outboard to a larger ship, the girls watch as Javier (Chris Johnson) chums the water and Louis and Benjamin get into the cage lowered into the water. Lisa and Kate watch in excited nervousness as 20 foot sharks swim around the boat.

When it’s the girls turn, Lisa still isn’t convinced and once again has to be convinced by Kate. Once in the water however, Lisa loosens up to see the beauty becoming excited by it all. It is all fun and games until a cable comes loose and the girls are sent screaming 47 meters down.

Immediately they realize that they will soon be out of air, Kate knows that the weak signal in their headsets means she has to get out of the cage. Reaching Taylor at the boat, he tells them help is on the way and to stay in the cage.

The sharks have other ideas as the girls deal with air, depth of water, potential bends, and fear of what is swimming in the deep.

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Moore as Lisa is a young woman who is dealing with the breakup of a man she thought was her life. Swayed into letting her hear down a bit, she goes one step to far into the waters. Holt as Kate is the fun loving sister and Lisa makes a point of saying so. Both of their performances brought the audience into a blood frenzy of their own (which I will explain later).

Modine as Taylor has a small role as the rusty boat captain and it was because of him that I chose to see the film. Call it supporting a fellow one-time IB’er as my motivation to see his performance. Hey, no matter how big or small, bad or good, there is something to be said for small town supporters! Gellman, Segura and Johnson are the supporting shark-bait potentials.

I’m not going to put a rating on 47 METERS DOWN because there is a duality here that I need to write about. First of all, this is the best-worst-best shark film I’ve seen in a long time. The dialogue is horrible and the story line totally unbelievable. From the moment the cage goes down it’s an epic underwater sh*tshow. Everything is wrong with it and sitting in the theatre I have to say biting my tongue became impossible. Come to find out I wasn’t the only one having that problem.

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Here is where it gets good-bad; the audience began to participate in the film verbally! There were hollers from the upper seats, popcorn being thrown at the screen coming from every direction, really loud head smacking, serious belly laughs, loud groans of frustration and the phrase, “oh hell no!” every 2 minutes.

There is one scene where Kate picks up an underwater flashlight and turns it on to which my friend Vince sitting next to me says out loud, ‘Turn the light off! Jeeeez!’ and sent the crowd cheering. During another scene I became so frustrated with the character Lisa I said, not as loudly, ‘you deserve to get eaten!’ and the lady behind me spit her soda laughing.

So, what happened is that 47 METERS DOWN turned into an audience participation film that was absolutely fantastic! We all became film-friends with total strangers and said out loud what each was thinking which brought even more cheers and fun to the event. I couldn’t believe what was happening around me since the last time I experienced something similar was in 1975 with THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW.

Look, 47 METERS DOWN, like all shark films have a difficult goal because of the 1975 film JAWS. That film is epic and although challengers to the throne come and go, it has yet to be de-toothed as the king of shark films. This film doesn’t have a hope in hades of being anything more than an under water court jester.

Now, for the cool news – there is about 10 minutes of the film that are frakken awesome. So much so that people were jumping in their seats, screaming out, hollering and yelling in such a way that you couldn’t even hear the film sound. Nicely done underwater work with sharks that I never want to see again – okay I’m going to see it again. Once again audience participation took over. Nope, that’s all you get from me on that!

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Walking out of the theatre it was agreed by mostly everyone leaving that the film was an audience event that made the poor story weirdly forgivable. People were laughing and yet talking about the film in a way that is normally reserved for, dare I say, a good film. That is the duality of this film that will continue to be talked about as I see 47 METERS DOWN becoming a cult classic and fodder for the Mystery Science Theater 3000 guys (and please invite me to be part of that when you do guys!)

Mandy – congratulations on This is Us and I can’t wait for season two! Claire – I’ve always loved you in The Originals and glad to see you back! Matt – what can I say dude, IB’ers in this town are kinda diggin’ you no matter what so kudos!

In the end – no help above and no

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