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BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY Brings Mercury Back on Stunning Bluray

Bohemian Bluray

 

Jeri Jacquin

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

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

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

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

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

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

Because Queen is all about rocking us!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the end – fearless lives forever!

 

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WE, THE MARINES is a Lesson in Honor and Love of Country

We the Marines Bluray

Jeri Jacquin

Currently on 4K Ultra HD, Bluray and Digital from SHOUT! Factory, directed by Greg MacGillivray and narrated by Academy Award winner and former Marine Gene Hackman is WE, THE MARINES.

The documentary gives viewers an inside look to the strength and beliefs of the United States Marine Corps. Hackman begins with a brief history of when the Marines began. In 1775, the Marine Corps began because men were needed to defend the states militarily from enemies.

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As the years passed, the Marine Corps served on the beaches of Iwo Jima and by raising the American flag, become a symbol of honor and sacrifice around the world. Serving in Vietnam, the Marines continued to serve and defend.

In current times, the men and women of the United States Marine Corps are trained on the east and the west coast. From Parris Island to Camp Pendleton to training in Yuma Arizona, it all begins with boot camp. Hackman talks about the lessons each person who enlists comes to understand about the Corps.

From the air, land and sea, MacGillivray gives us a glimpse of the training and dedication those in the Marine Corp endure to become the best. Waiting for them to complete missions and come home are the families who see each and every Marine as a hero.

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But it is not just war were the Marine Corps can be found, they are also on the front line of humanitarian efforts around the world. Hurricanes, floods and earthquakes, they can be found helping bringing supplies and aid to survivors.

That is why their creed of Semper Fidelis – Latin for ‘always faithful’ – is something that stays with each United States Marine for the rest of their lives.

A MacGillivray Freeman film produced in association with the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation and presented by The Boeing Company, WE, THE MARINES was originally produced for permanent exhibition in the Giant-Screen Medal of Honor Theater at the National Museum of the Marine Corps. This striking film will not be available in living rooms across the country.

The Ultra HD Bluray release of WE, THE MARINES stands as SHOUT! Factory’s first foray into the new HDR10+ technology, which allows filmmakers to present their content not only in the best quality possible, but to showcase the creative intent behind it. HDR10+ provides for scene-by-scene, frame-by-frame adjustments through dynamic metadata, allowing an unparalleled level of detail. It also puts the control of content presentation directly back into the filmmakers’ hands.

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WE, THE MARINES includes 4K SDR, 4K HRD, and 4K HDR10+ for the full UHD experience. Also in Ultra HD TV with HDR is needed to access 4K HDR and HDR10+.

SHOUT! Factory has grown into a tremendous multi-platform media company. Releasing an exciting catalog of 4K films that include the incredible critically acclaimed and award-winning odyssey JOURNEY TO SPACE, FLIGHT OF THE BUTTERFLIES, THE LAST REEF: CITIES BENEATH THE SEA and NATIONAL PARKS ADVENTURE. For more of what SHOUT Factor has to offer please visit www.shoutfactory.com.

Narrated by Gene Hackman, it is amazing that as a former Marine he takes the tasks of speaking on the Corps. He does so with intensity and feeling while allowing those in service now to share small pieces of their own experiences and feelings.

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That is what makes WE, THE MARINES such an important piece of filmmaking. It is an opportunity for those who might not have family members in the Marine Corps to at least understand more about it. For those who do have family members in the Marine Corps, it gives a little more insight into perhaps some of the reason this branch of the military is chosen.

I have family members who are former Marines and some who are thinking of following in the family footsteps. It is a humbling thing to see their dedication and drive to succeed in their military endeavors.

In the end – it is more than dedication and service!

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!

THE BEST OF THE THREE STOOGES

three

Jeri Jacquin

From the vaults of Time Life comes one of the most amazing collections of comedy I will ever have the joy of watching again and again with THE BEST OF THE THREE STOOGES.

Let me first start off by saying that as a kid, the Three Stooges were one of my most important introductions to comedy. Better than any Saturday morning cartoon, Moe, Curly and Larry could have tears running down my face within a few short minutes.

How did they begin? In the 1920’s vaudeville was huge and a source of amazing entertainment as Ted Healy and Moe Howard hit the stage. Shemp Howard, Curly Howard and Larry Fine would later become part of the group as well in their own time.

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Within a few short years, The Three Stooges would begin making short comedies and between 1934 and 1946, Columbia Pictures would let the comedy trio do over 90 short films. That is insanely incredible to make that many pieces in what I consider a short period of time.

There were many shifts in the group with illnesses and deaths, but that didn’t stop The Three Stooges from continuing well into the 1970’s. In all that time, fans did not stop wanting to experience the fantastic comedy timing that The Three Stooges had to offer.

No one seemed to mind the changes in the line up as long as the line up was funny and entertaining. It seems audiences were more forgiving during that time than they are today.

What Time Life has managed to do, and I’m so thrilled they did it, was bring 13 discs which equals 45 hours of feature films, vintage animated cartoons and a nine part documentary series that had me completely riveted. I love knowing how my favorite actors, actresses and comediennes began, and it is all here.

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With iconic lines such as “well I outta…..”, “oh wise guy eh?” and “Nyuk! Nyuk!” which are still used today (and probably not known why by those young folk who use it), it is a staple in my family. The Three Stooges brought slap to slap stick with eye pokes, rotating shoulders, nose grabs, and bonks on the head and yes, they are still used today by us all.

The first disc includes the feature film The Three Stooges, The Three Stooges Cartoons Bon Bon Parade (1935), Merry Mutineers (1936) A Hollywood Detour (1942), Disc 2 contains Shemp Howard Comedy Shorts with 14 Classics from the ‘30s and ‘40s, Joe Besser Comedy Shorts with 10 Side Splitters From the ‘40s and 50s, Joe DeRita Comedy Shorts with 4 Smackers from the ‘40s. Disc 3 has Have Rocket Will Travel, The Outlaws is Coming and Rockin’ in the Rockies.

 That isn’t all! Disc 4 contains Documentary: Hey Moe! Hey Dad! and 4 Episodes of A Trio Grows in Brooklyn, A Stooge is Born, Slap Happy and Eureka. Finally, Disc 5 finished up with Documentary: Hey Moe! Hey Dad! and Good Night & Good Nyuk!, Déjà vu All Over Again, Bum’s Rush, Curtain Call and A Son Also Rises.

Time Life continues to bring never before released anywhere classic collections of television shows for fans to revisit and remember what has made television so special. Time Life has released Mama’s Family, CPO Sharkey and The Tonight Show and they now reminds of us of a time when sex and politics were up for grabs with ROWAN & MARTIN’S LAUGH-IN. For more of what Time Life has to offer fans of classic television visit www.timelife.com.

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Here’s more amazing news – this is only Volume One of THE BEST OF THE THREE STOOGES and it would have to be. This group of whacky and talented men lives a comedic life that was both hilarious and tragic at the same time.

Have Rocket, Will Travel has the group blasting off to Venus for a ride into the world of talking unicorns, aliens and giant tarantula’s and yes, those things are made for the boys to make fun of. Rockin’ in the Rockies has The Three Stooges prospecting in Nevada. Of course that couldn’t possibly be all especially with the era full of cattle rustlers and roulette wheels at the local casino saloon.

There are so many amazing reasons to have The Three Stooges as part of your home entertainment library and these two examples of laughs are only one reason. The comedy trio (even through the changes) are iconic in the world and are still copied today in many ways.

This past Halloween alone I saw people dressed up as Moe, Curly and Larry and I couldn’t be happier about it. There is something sweet and nostalgic about a part of my childhood showing up from time to time to remind me of where my sense of humor came from.

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Now, I have the opportunity to share with my family the hilarity and it is my three-year-old granddaughter who follows in my footsteps in a fantastic way. She can’t stop herself from laughing hysterically at the antics of The Three Stooges. Time Life has gone in-depth gathering the films, documentaries and animated cartoons for what will be known now as fans of all ages.

In the end – they are The Three Stooges of mayhem and fun!

MAMA MIA! Here We Go Again Sings & Dances onto Bluray

Mama Mia here we go again cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to 4K Ultra HD, Bluray/DVD this Tuesday from writer/director Ol Parker and Universal Home Entertainment is the return of MAMA MIA! Here We Go Again.

Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is working hard to reopen the Bella Donna Hotel with the help of Fernando Cienfuegos (Andy Garcia). Husband Sky (Dominic Cooper) is away working and making her feel a bit lonely. While putting her mother Donna’s (Meryl Streep) belongings away, she begins to explore Donna’s life that initially brought her to the island.

Donna (Lily James), in 1979, graduates college with friends Rosie (Alexis Davies) Tanya (Jessica Wynn). Deciding what to do with her life, Sophie begins her travels and meets a young Harry (Hugh Skinner) who becomes instantly infatuated with her. Finding her own way to the island she meets the charming sailboat racer Bill (Josh Dylan) who takes her to the docks and promises he will see her again.

As a storm breaks, Donna finds herself needing a bit of horse help when on the road she meets Sam (Jeremy Irvine) and her heart is captured and then broken.

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Back to Sophie’s life, the opening of the hotel is stressing her out as she turns to Sam (Pierce Brosnan) for support and wishes Dads Bill (Stellan Skarsgard) and Harry (Colin Firth) could be there. She does have Rosie (Julie Walters) and Tanya (Christine Baranski) who wouldn’t miss the opening for anything. The two ladies are having emotional flash backs of their own.

When a storm hits and threatens to ruin all of Sophie’s plans, it is those she loves who come to her rescue as the hotel opens as it always should have, especially when Grandma Ruby (Cher) shows up.

But, they are family and nothing is impossible with their love!

Seyfried returns as Sophie who has grown up a bit and decided that she wants to follow in her mother’s footsteps by finishing what Donna started. Wanting to make the hotel a huge success also comes with allot of questions still about her mother and how they have all made it to this point in their lives. Seyfried sings beautifully and carries her role.

James as a young Donna is a chance for viewers to explore her side of the story and how she came to be part of the plan for the hotel. Along the way she just happens to meet three very different men who become an important part of her life – and then Sophie’s. Lily is daring and at the same time very strong in her convictions as to what she wants and how she will get it.

Irvine as Sam gives us a look inside how deep the relationship was with Donna when they were young but also the truth behind the heart ache that would follow them both for so many years Brosnan as Sam has remained with Sophie as a support and a man who has settled into a life that works for him.

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Dylan as a young Bill is the reckless one of the bunch and believes his charms will win the heart of Donna but she has other plans.  Skarsgard as Bill has mellowed a bit and even regrets his behavior towards Rosie. When he needs to be there for Sophie, Skarsgard gets a chance to play two roles in the film, even if only briefly.

Skinner as young Harry clearly is as uncomfortable in his youth as he continued to be into adulthood. Skinner manages to capture all of that angst it really works into understanding Harry later. Speaking of that, Firth as Harry is still so darn sweet and sensitive but starting to get a little more outspoken about what he wants in life.

Davies as young Rosie is just as cute and funny as Walters return as the more mature version. Dealing with a jolt from Bill has not changed her one bit and she’s going to make sure he knows it. Wynn as a young Tanya is just as witty as her counterpart Baranski. These two actresses didn’t miss a beat playing this character and I loved it.

Cher as Ruby was perfect with her drop in and drop dead look. Of course Cher is going to be amazing – she’s Cher! I recently saw her in Las Vegas performing the song ‘Fernando’ and I just got a little fan crazy with my cheering. She continues to have a voice that is rich and memorable.

Garcia as Cienfuegos is charming and has a line for everything. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as this character always shows up at the right time and always knows the right thing to say. He also believes in Sophie and that makes all the difference.

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Other cast include Gerard Monaco as Alexio, Anna Antoniades as Apollonia, Panos Mouzourakis as Lazarus, Maria Bacratsis as Sophia, Naoko Mori as Yumiko, Tayo Igawa as Dr. Horvath and Susanne Barklund as Alma.

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

The Bonus Features of the 4K and Bluray include Deleted/Extended Songs and Scene with Commentary by Director/Screenplay Writer Ol Parker, Enhanced Sing-Alongs, Cast Meets Cast: Tanya Meets Tanya – Jessica Wynn interviews Christine Baranski about playing the sassiest Dynamo – Tanya, Rosie Meets Rosie – Alexa Davies interviews Julie Walters as the two actresses share their experiences playing Rosie, Cast Chats, High Jinks, Choreographing MAMA MIA! Here We Go Again, Dancing Queen: Anatomy of a Scene, Performing for Legends, and Class of ’79.

Also on the Bluray/DVD and Digital are The Story – Producer Judy Craymer reveal how the MAMA MIA! legacy began, evolved into the first feature film and how she teamed with executive producer/co-writer Richard Curtis and director/screenplay writer Ol Parker to develop the perfect sequel, MAMA MIA! Reunited, Playing Donna, Meeting Cher, Costumes and The Dynamos, Curtain Call, NBC’s Today Show Interview with Cher & Judy Craymer, Feature Commentary with Director/Screenplay Writer Ol Parker and Feature Commentary with Producer Judy Craymer.

MAMA MIA! Here We Go Again is a chance to get to know more about the characters that audiences embraced in 2008 with answers to the questions so many of us had. It’s a story of family, relationships, the past, who comes into our lives and leaves footprints in our hearts. The characters learn understanding, love and that none of us is perfect in the choices we make but at least we get in the game and make them!

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The cast mostly returns to have a little more fun with their musical talents and with the addition of Cher, well, it all works! The film is filled with the music audiences may have forgotten but it was all still in the back of our playbook minds as ABBA will always be one of my favorites. Along with the music is dancing and no one is immune to toe tapping and lip synching when watching the film or even after.

That’s what makes musicals work on the big screen and now everyone has a chance to revisit the island again and again to laugh, dance and sing with MAMA MIA! Here We Go Again as a companion to the original film in your home entertainment library.

In the end – we get to once again have the time of our lives!

John Boorman’s Film of EXORCIST II: The Heretic Returns on Bluray

Exorcist II Bluray

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray from director John Boorman and Scream Factory is the next chapter in a young girl’s life of danger with 1977 film EXORCIST II: The Heretic

Living with guardian Sharon (Kitty Winn), grown Regan (Linda Blair) works with Dr. Gene Tuskin (Louise Fletcher) to help children who are plagued by sleep disorders and memories they keep hidden. Regan understands what the kids are going through because of the event in her life four years earlier.

Father Lamont (Richard Burton) receives his next order from the Cardinal (Paul Henreid) to find out what really happened to the beloved Father Merrin (Max von Sydow) that same night four years ago. It was during the exorcism of Regan that he died but that is all they know.

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Father Lamont isn’t happy about the assignment knowing he is only asked because of his previous exposure to Merrin’s teachings. Dealing with a failed exorcism in South America, he goes into his assignment with less than holy feelings.

With the help of equipment developed by Dr. Tuskin, Regan and the doctor can sync up their memories. In a session, the demon Pazuzu who took over the young girls body four years ago, seems to still be around and wants Regan once again. Father Lamont tries to question Regan but the good doctor isn’t about to let that happen. Sharon takes the Father to the house in Georgetown where it all took place but feels that using the device with Regan is the only way.

That’s when he sees a boy named Kokumo and a swarm of locusts fighting Pazuzu and realizes he must go to Africa and find the boy who is now a man. Learning things he didn’t know before from the grown Kokumo (James Earl Jones), its back to Regan and the house in Georgetown where once again a battle between good and evil must happen if they are all to be saved.

Blair as Regan returns as the lovely young woman Regan who struggles with the memory of what happened in her mother’s house four years earlier. Tackling the first film at a young age was an incredible feat for this actress and taking up the mantle of Regan again can only be done by Blair. Seeing the storyline all the way through she shares the screen with Fletcher, Sydow and Burton and that doesn’t look bad on a resume.

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Fletcher as Tuskin is a strong influence on Regan and only wants what is best for her. Protecting her is one thing but finally reaching what is inside of the young girl is something she could never have imagined. I believe Fletcher is one of our finest actors and I will watch and have watched everything she has performed in. Good, bad and in between, Fletcher has played her roles strongly.

Jones as Kukomo is a very young actor in this film and I’d know that voice anywhere even then. In this role he goes from a young man taking on a demon to a scientist who wants to forget it. Henreid as the Cardinal makes his final film appearance as a part of the church that wants to know exactly what happened to the priests who died at the hands of a demon. Winn returns as guardian Sharon and makes it her purpose to make sure Regan is looked after.

Two iconic actors share the screen in this film. Burton as Father Lamont has a history with Father Merrin having spent time with him as a younger priest. Dealing with his own failure at an exorcism, he is reluctant to deal with Regan. Max von Sydow – what an amazing iconic actor who returns to the film to give us more of the story behind the priest and his teachings.

Other cast include Joey Green as young Kokumo, Ned Beatty as Edwards, Belinda Beatty as Liz, Barbara Cason as Mrs. Phalor, Ken Renard as Abbott, Dana Plato as Sandra and Karen Knapp as the voice of Pazuzu.

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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 2-disc Bluray includes the Special Features of Two Cuts of the Film, 117-Minute and 201 Minute Versions, New 2K Scan of Both Cuts from the Original Film Elements, New Audio Commentary with Director John Boorman (Longer Cut), New Interview with Actress Linda Blair, New Audio Commentary with Special Project Consultant Scott Michael Bosco, Teaser and Theatrical Trailers and Still Galleries.

William Goodhard took on the screenplay and used the works of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin for the storyline. Director Boorman found the new direction of the film quite different than the first film. It was the director who convinced Max von Sydow to return as Father Merrin and Kitty Winn to return as Sharon.

EXORCIST II: The Heretic has its own set of frights and scares that may not be as shocking as the first film but equally as engrossing. I might be playing favorites a bit since Burton, Blair, Fletcher, von Sydow and Jones happen to be on my list of actors I think made an impact on films.

We are getting closer and closer to the season of spooky time and scary movies are high on the list of things to stack up for at my house. After scaring the neighbor kids and handing out candy – its time to shut off the lights and hunker down for a night of lights out frights.

EXORCIST II: The Heretic brings all that and more. I personally suggest watching the original and the new Bluray release back to back because that is four hours of spine tingles well worth every tingle!

If you would like the chance to win a copy for your own home entertainment library, please visit http://moviemaven.homestead.com to find out how.

In the end – four years later and what does she remember?

Spielberg Brings History of THE POST to Bluray

PostBlurayCover

Jeri Jacquin

On Bluray/DVD and Digital this week from director Steven Spielberg, DreamWorks and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is a story of dedication to the truth in print from THE POST.

It is the 1970’s and Kay Graham (Meryl Streep) is the woman who owns and runs The Washington Post with Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) as her editor. Knowing that there are those who don’t support or trust her running of the paper, Kay takes in what is happening around her to find her voice.

When it comes to their attention that there is someone who has documents that expose the governments plans in Vietnam, The Post wants them. There is a problem, the man who photocopied the papers, Daniel Ellsberg (Matthew Rhys) has gone into hiding and slivers of the information have also been shared with The New York Times.

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What is in the papers? That the United States government was not being truthful to the American public about involvement in the Vietnam War. The papers also show the level of involvement went through Robert McNamara (Bruce Greenwood) all the way up to the president.

The New York Times looks for advice about publishing the Pentagon Papers and the government wants an injunction against any further papers be published. In the meantime, reporter Ben Bagdikian (Bob Odenkirk) from the Post finds Ellsberg and is given boxes of papers and Kay must decide whether to go forward before they are also stopped by the courts.

Bradlee gathers his writers and the clock is set to beat anything or anyone that wants to get in their way. Kay begins to feel the weight of what she is up against and realizes that she knows people that are involved and now must decide what the right thing is. Pressed by the papers all-male board, she realizes that the paper her father build is now
Kay digs in deep and knows that Bradlee will follow her lead.

The truth is worth fighting for!

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Streep as Kay Graham once again turns in a performance of a woman who is seen as a lovely decoration to the Post with men telling her what is important and what isn’t for the paper. Of course her insecurities are clear and Streep portrays the era with perfection. Gaining strength throughout the film, I cheer the hardest when she realizes that if the board of the paper wants to play tough – then she must learn to as well. Nothing wrong with telling the good ole’ boys club that it is ‘her’ paper and that’s how she is going to run it. Streep always gives everything to these roles and makes them not only believable but exceptional.

Hanks as Ben Bradlee is perfection and yes I’m being hugely Hanks-struck. I adore this actor and find him to be the absolute best of Hollywood and that includes the much misunderstood film TURNER AND HOOCH! Of course I wondered how he was going to portray this character since I do have Jason Robards’ version of Bradlee from the 1976 film ALL THE PRESIDENTS MEN stuck in my head. I had no reason to worry! THE POST is a perfect film to watch first and then take on the 1976 film because it is a history lesson about the government’s shenanigans from The Washington Post’s articles portrayed by two amazing actors.

Odenkirk as Bagdikian is on it to find the man with the papers. Knowing that this is the most important thing he will work toward, there is a moment where all of it might fall apart and Odenkirk keeps it straight. Rhys as Ellsberg has the worst case of paranoia I’ve ever seen and with good reason. He has what the government is looking for so he’s not about to let go if the information isn’t made public.

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Greenwood as McNamara is a man trying to keep his head above water yet Greenwood makes it look smooth and controlled. That’s what I love about Greenwood, whether he portrays a good, bad or indifferent character, he makes it look ridiculously smooth. The scene between Greenwood and Streep is hard to watch and strong for both of them in the scheme of the storyline.

Other cast include: Sarah Paulson as Tony Bradlee, Tracy Letts as Fritz Beebe, David Cross as Howard Simons, Zach Woods as Anthony Essaye, Bradley Whitford as Arthur Parsons, Alison Brie as Lally Graham, Carrie Coon as Meg Greenfield, and Jesse Plemons as Roger Clark.

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

The Bluray and DVD Special Features include LAYOUT: Katharine Graham, Ben Bradlee & The Washington Post, EDITORIAL: The Cast and Characters of THE POST, THE STYLE SECTION: Recreating an Era, STOP THE PRESSES: Filming THE POST, ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT: Music for THE POST. THE POST received an Academy Award Nomination for Best Picture.

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This is a story that needed to be told for so many reasons especially with what is going on in government now. I am an avid watcher of films based on history and THE POST
not only falls into that category but totally served me up a history lesson.

The caliber of actors and actresses in this film make it extraordinary bringing it to a level that can’t be touched. That is what makes this film for me – a cast that seems to dive right in and take no prisoners mixed in with totally absorbing the time period of the 1970’s.

Watching each character take on their own beliefs about why they do what they do comes into play and it can’t be hidden in the film. Spielberg takes his own risk bringing the real news story to the attention of a fake-news world. He keeps the storyline crisp and doesn’t sugar coast anything about what it takes to hold the government accountable when caught lying to its own people.

What this should do for the press is remind them that people do want to know the truth about their government and that not only is that government accountable but so is the press that reports it. I can’t imagine that anyone who reports the news of the world not finding an amazing place in their hearts for the papers/editors and reporters who came before.

In the end – truth be told!

 

The Battle to Bring Back Humanity Begins with THE STRAIN: The Complete Fourth Season on DVD

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Jeri Jacquin

On DVD from creators Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan, Carlton Cuse and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment comes the epic final season with THE STRAIN: The Complete Fourth Season.

Since Eph’s (Corey Stoll) son Zach (Max Charles) detonated a bomb that has brought a nuclear winter, nine months have passed. Strigoi have created “The Partnership” trying to show everyone a togetherness with humans. Fet (Kevin Durand) and Quinlan (Rupert Penry-Jones) are looking for another nuclear weapon to use on the Master (Robin Downes) and learn about a missile silo that may have one.

Eph is in Philadelphia trying to survive when the Strigoi find him but with the help of Jason, they manage to get away. The Master is still favoring Zach and Eichhorst (Richard Sammel) isn’t exactly happy about it. But that isn’t all Eichhorst isn’t happy about as Sanjay’s (Sanjay Desai) project is moving too slow and Dutch (Ruta Gedmintas) is one of their captives.

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Gus (Miguel Gomez) and Alonso (Jamie Hector) have spent the last months building back up their black market business and that will come in handy for Eph and the group. Fet and Quinlan are having problems once they get their hands on the nuclear bomb and Eph discovers a poison that might just slow down a large population of the strigoi.

Zach meets a young maid who works for the Master but there comes a moment when he must decide where is loyalties actually lie. Sanjay’s project must now speed up, as Eichhorst wants the women who are captive to produce children. Dutch has another plan and comes face to face with Desai and a processing facility for humans but Eichhorst is onto Dutch and she learns that he has Setrakian (David Bradley). They escape to get the Lumen and Setrakian discovers what he didn’t see before.

Now, the story of Quinlan is told beginning in the 19th Century with Louisa along with daughter Lydia. Enjoying having a family in his own way, it all turns when the Master causes nothing but pain.

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The gang comes back together for an attack of a different kind and one no one saw coming. A plan is put together that brings about attacks from all sides bringing them all into the most danger they have ever faced. Eph comes to terms with the fate of his relationship with Zach when it becomes clear that the Master is using every trick in the book.

The Master forgot one thing – humanity always finds a way to survive against evil!

Stoll as Ephraim Goodweather began the series as a man broken with the arrival of the Master and the Strigoi. What makes his character to unique to the story if that I could never tell which way the wind was going to blow his behavior. His anger ruled his drinking and his drinking actually brought out some amazing ideas. Not that I suggest drinking as an answer to problems but where blood sucking big tongued vampires are concerned, I can see the need.

Bradley as Setrakian is just superb! As his story and history with the Master unfolds, it is told so strongly and shows what motivates Setrakians need to wipe every bit of this evil off the planet. Bradley is amazing and through is gruffness is a sense of strength that requires no nonsense and secrets.

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Durand as Fet is the different character of the bunch. He has a story to tell as well about where he comes from and what motivates him – and it isn’t just rats. He never gives up and isn’t about to let anything stop him from accomplishing his goal – stopping the new rats from taking the people and place he loves.

Sammel as Eichhorst is as evil as he wants to be. From the moment this character comes on screen it isn’t going to end well for anyone who comes into contact with him. His story also unfolds and it is clear why Setrakian gets under his skin – so to speak. The Master may rule the strigoi but it is Eichhorst who is the face of evil.

Gedmintas as Dutch has a lot in common with Fet in that she is tough, strong and very, very smart. She takes to Setrakian and Fet as they share a lot in common with a fighting spirit. Charles as Zach is a kid who is taken early enough to be influenced – so much so that Zach is willing to fry the world to prove he doesn’t need anyone but the Master. That kid drove me insane!

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Penry-Jones as Quinlan has to be the most angrily charismatic intelligent straight villain I’ve ever seen. He knows what needs to be done but also realizes he can’t accomplish it without the help of humans. His history with the Master is intense and filled with personal pain that he doesn’t share with anyone. There are even moments where I think this character is amused with the silliness of humanity at times.

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 contains the final ten episodes including The Worm Turns, The Blood Tax, One Shot, New Horizons, Belly of the Beast, Tainted Love, Ouroboros, Extraction, The Traitor, and The Last Stand. Also, the Special Features include Deleted Scenes, Gag Reel, Coping with THE STRAIN: A Therapy Session and so much more!

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The Strain written by del Toro was first published in 2012 in two volumes followed by The Strain: The Fall in volumes 3 & 4. The Strain: The Night Eternal Volume 5 & 6 were released in 2016.

THE STRAIN is another of the fantastic series that landed on the FX channel! From the first episode to the last, fans were absolutely involved in the characters and storyline of these different vampires and their plans for humanity. Of course the mind of del Toro brought us every minute of horror and cheering for humanity – oh the duality of suspense. The ensemble cast brought about a story worthy of being followed until the very satisfying end.

It’s time to revisit the fight as 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment brings THE STRAIN: The Complete Fourth Season to DVD.

In the end – they will do anything to save humanity!

WIZARD OF LIES Comes to Bluray from HBO

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Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray from director Barry Levinson and HBO Home Entertainment is an inside look at corruption and destruction with WIZARD OF LIES.

Bernie Madoff (Robert De Niro) had one of the biggest businesses on Wall Street. Known for being a wizard of making money, people from all walks of life put their life savings into investments. Along with sons Mark (Alessandro Nivola) and Andrew (Nathan Darrow), they were living the life of success.

That is until Bernie must tell his family that the FBI is investigating the business for fraud. This sets in motion a rush to see who will get the information needed or destroy the information first as the FBI raid the offices. Frank DiPascali (Hank Azaria) makes an effort to get to the 17th floor first!

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As the SEC begin their intense investigation, family, co-workers and investors begin to tell their story of how Bernie brought them all in to the business. Now called the worst Ponzi scheme in American history there is over $50 billion (yes, that billion with a ‘b’) in other people’s money gone.

Bernie doesn’t seem to understand the predicament he is in as wife Ruth (Michelle Pfeiffer) begins to see her family unravel. Mark and Andrew have all but stopped talking to their parents and brother Peter (Michael Kostroff) is make it clear to authorities that he knew nothing of what Bernie had been doing.

When the news catches wind of the story, every person who has ever invested with Madoff comes to the realization that their lives have been destroyed. Bernie and Ruth try to decide how to get free of it all in the most dramatic way possible and his sons are bombarded by the press with the allegation that they knew everything.

As the evidence mounts, there is only one thing Bernie Madoff can do, plead guilty and go to jail. Thinking that will stop everything from reaching his family, he couldn’t be more wrong as Ruth, Mark and Andrew continue to be affected by the lies Bernie told for almost twenty years.

This is the story of one man’s lies to the ruin of lives.

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De Niro as Bernie Madoff is amazing to the point where I forgot it was him behind the makeup. The fascinating part of his portrayal of this man is how Madoff can not seem to grasp what he had done. There are moments where I kept saying out loud ‘you’ve got to be kidding me man!’ when he would seem to play innocent. That’s what De Niro does for a character that had me so involved in the story what I’m yelling at a man playing the character of a man I’ll never meet. Frakken awesome!

Pfeiffer as Ruth is a woman who can not even imagine that a man she spent most of her life living with was capable of such a thing. Becoming comfortable in the life that Bernie provided, she can not wrap her head around how deep the affect might be. When it all comes down fast, Pfeiffer just brings on the sadness, sass and pain that came hard. Playing opposite De Niro, she is definitely an equal partner in making this story line work.

Nivola as Mark is a son who just wanted to be a part of his father’s business. Constantly told by his father that he isn’t ready, it all begins to make sense when the FBI steps in. The bigger problem is that Mark can not get past what his father did and the public fallout. It begins to become an obsession that is tragic.

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Darrow as Andrew knows the only way to get away from what his father has done is by totaling cutting his parents out. Keeping his family safe from the government and the public means doing what ever he must to set things as right as they can be.

Other cast include Kathrine Narducci as Eleanor Squillari, Steve Coulter as Martin London, David Lipman as Martin Flumenbaum, Kelly AuCoin as Agent Cacioppi, Amanda Warren as the SEC Investigator, Mark La Mura as Ike Sorkin, Kristen Connolly as Stephanie Madoff and Lily Rabe as Catherine Hooper.

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 WIZARD OF LIES Bluray includes the Bonus Features of In-Depth Interviews with stars Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer plus director Barry Levinson and author Diana B. Henriques. I highly suggest giving this extra a look-see!

WIZARD OF LIES is a compelling look at the story of Bernie Madoff with its twists and turns. The addition of the jail house interview with Diana B. Henriques who wrote Wizard of Lies: Bernard Madoff and the Death of Trust, adds such authenticity and draws the viewer in immediately. I have to say that I was so wrapped up in De Niro and Pfeiffer’s performances that I reacted strongly to the entire film.

Having a look inside the family there is honestly nothing that surprised me in their handling of the situation. How does a family deal with knowing that their lives and everything they believed they have worked for is all a lie? The man they trusted to lead them is a lie? I can not even imagine it.

The script written by Sam Levinson, who also wrote and directed ANOTHER HAPPY DAY, and directed by his father Barry Levinson is well done and shot beautifully. I would expect no less from the Levinson group.

In the end – only those you trust can truly betray you!

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