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HBO Introduces Us to a Family All Wanting SUCCESSION: The Complete First Season

 

Succession cover

Jeri Jacquin

Now available on Bluray and DVD from HBO is one of the most startling series created by Jesse Armstrong to hit our screens and a family in SUCCESSION: The Complete First Season.

The Roy Family, led by patriarch Logan Roy (Brian Cox) is one of the most powerful in the global media world. Adult kids starting with sons Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Roman (Kieran Culkin), Connor (Alan Ruck) and daughter Shiv (Sarah Snook) are still trying to find their place in the world.

Kendall believes he is about to become CEO of Waystar Royco the family business and sees this as a comeback from his previous life problems with addiction. Currently separated from wife Rava (Natalie Gold), he is ready to take the place of leadership. Of course he is in for a big surprised when Logan announces he’s staying on.

That doesn’t last long when Logan has an attack and it’s clear that Kendall is going to step in. With the consent of the board, he jumps into the position bringing along brother Roman. Upset by this move is Logan’s second wife Marcy (Hiam Abbass) who also refuses to let anyone see Logan.

That’s when daughter Shiv decides its time to step in and check on who Marcy really is. Shiv’s fiancé Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) supports her decision to try and see her father. The only good thing is that Shiv has her own life outside the family business in politics which doesn’t make her father happy either.

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Son Connor is all over the place and sides with who ever has the most votes – on anything. His only interest seems to be on girlfriend Willa (Justine Lupe) who has a shady past that is often brought up by the others in the family. Watching the family dynamic unfold is Greg (Nicholas Braun), Logan’s great-nephew who is given a job to keep him occupied.

As Logan is recuperating, Kendall is making moves when he discovers that his father is deeply in debt. Trying to make the company more stable, he makes a major decision that has his father furious. Tom, given a position in the Parks department, discovers there is such a serious problems that could come back to hurt him and uses Greg to make it go away.

Shiv and Tom are getting married and as that day approaches, she meets up with Nate (Ashley Zuckerman) trying to prove they can still be friends after a prior romance. Working together they want to help Gil Eavis (Eric Bogosian) become the next president of the United States and he doesn’t like Logan Roy.

Kendall decides the only way to keep control of Waystar Royco is by calling for a vote of no-confidence against his father. Getting the board members to side with him means pulling out all the stops and convincing them it is the right thing to do. When a disaster happens, Kendall and half the board members are escorted out of the building. That’s when he knows who he can truly depend on from this point forward.

Connor has found a place in the desert and invites the family to come down for a visit. Logan feels that it is the perfect opportunity for a little family therapy and a few photos. Everyone agrees to go except Kendall who hasn’t forgiven any of his family members for the fiasco in the board room.

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Logan is furious when he learns that Shiv is helping Eavis with his presidential campaign, so much so that he decides not to attend her wedding. Shiv acts as if this is no problem but won’t stop working for Eavis either.

He is approached once again by someone who wants to bring down Logan Roy and discovers that someone he thought a friend has been playing a dangerous game all along. Kendall also sees that there is an opportunity to get back in the game and after Tom’s bachelor party, begins to move once again against Logan Roy.

As everyone arrives at a castle in Wales for Shiv’s wedding, Tom begins to feel as if there isn’t something his bride isn’t telling him. It doesn’t help when Greg wants to clear his own conscious either. As the wedding approaches, they are all surprised when Logan shows up for his daughters wedding in grand style.

Roman, who is still playing COO of the company, is pushing to have a satellite deal all worked out to prove to his father once and for all that he has what it takes. Conor decides that this is a good time for him to tell everyone that he wants to run for President of the United States which makes his siblings jaws drop.

After the ceremony and during the reception, Kendall learns that he has give Logan the papers that show he is once again out for the CEO position. He is then put up against his siblings to explain what he is doing but the conversation doesn’t go so well as Logan enters the room and lets him know that he is ‘nothing’.

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Shiv works out a deal between her father and Gil Eavis but the details are kept under wraps. Especially after now husband Tom lays out the disaster he knows about the family business. Roman’s satellite deal isn’t fairing any better and he has to keep that to himself for now.

Kendall isn’t getting any support from those who should be helping him through this latest battle with his father. So, he turns towards the one thing he knows works for him every time. When he can’t get his hands on the white powder, he turns to a waiter at the party who agrees to meet up with a connection.

What happens next is the stuff nightmares are made of and once again Kendall’s dreams are about to come under someone’s very heavy foot.

Cox as Logan Roy is absolutely, positively and without a doubt stunning in this role. There is nothing more frightening than a man who isn’t afraid of losing everything and Logan isn’t afraid of that at all. He has the uncanny way of always landing on his feet even when most mortals wouldn’t. I can’t take my eyes off the screen when he is about to set someone right or tell them off, either way he is riveting and powerful. If Logan Roy wasn’t so bad he’d be so good and it’s all due to Brian Cox!

Strong as Kendall is one hot mess of a man who is struggling to become CEO of a company that isn’t his. I mean truthfully it isn’t his but boy does he want it badly! So bad in fact he is willing to continually strike at his own father without thinking things through. I have to give him points for trying but damn boy, how many times are you going to go down? That’s what Strong does for this character, makes us root for him but when it doesn’t work you yell ‘stay down’ at the screen. With the shocking finale, once the blank stare has worn off, I have to wonder how long it will be before he is ready to go at it again.

Culkin as Roman is one step away from being considered for some kind of special room with a view. He is sharp, witted, snappy, sloppy and has a story to tell in the little bits and pieces of his sometimes out of sync trains of thought. You have to keep up with this one because you never know where he has been, where he is going and what the hell he is aiming for. Culkin is stellar and a force in this role absolutely.

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Snook as Shiv is a woman who just wants to have her family without all the problems that go along with it. She finds safely in her soon-to-be husband Tom and gets to be a bit of a shark in her political career. Shiv is equally snappy with the one liners and doesn’t take smack from anyone – except her father. I am actually rooting for Shiv to end up on the iron throne of Waystar Royco. Snook knocks this role right out of the park!

Ruck as Connor is just completely out there and I don’t know that he’s ever going to be coming back. He is an agree-er with the rest of the family when it comes to decisions because he refuses to be confrontational at any point. He is okay with his girlfriend and seems oblivious to what anyone else thinks of it all but, the most recent jaw dropper is his announcement that he wants to become President. Ruck just takes this role and zig zags everyplace leaving the viewer unsure what will happen with him next.

Braun as Greg is a combination of so many of the men on this show. Presenting himself as a big simple, he seems to always need the help of his mother but slowly starts to rely on the Roy family. He allows himself to be somewhat abused by them all but has a moment of clarity that might just come in handy later. Braun keeps his eyes open and forgets to keep his mouth shut. Lets see if he learns his lesson on the latter.

Macfadyen as Tom is one of the most insecure characters I think I’ve ever seen on television. He loves Shiv but one moment he is drowning her with his insecurities and the next he is brow beating Greg like it is an Olympic sport. Once he realizes he has been exposed like fresh meat in a lion’s cage, Tom has to decide who to trust. Macfadyen is scary one moment, head shaking the next and jaw dropping to the end.

Abbass as Marcy is a woman I just plainly don’t like. I know there is a story mixed into this that hasn’t been explored so I’ll save my list of reasons I wouldn’t put up with her trash for season two!

Two shout outs: Bogosian as Gil Eavis just because I’m thrilled to see him once again and his character has just signed a deal with the devil so I have to see how that’s going to turn out.

Second, to James Cromwell as Logan’s brother Ewan. This isn’t a big role but it certainly has its moments where I know Ewan isn’t about to stand by and watch the mess without having a front row seat!

Other cast includes Parker Sawyers as Alessandro, Rob Yang as Lawrence Yee, J. Smith-Cameron as General Council Gerri, David Rasche as Karl, Arian Moayed as Stewy, Juliana Canfield as Jess, Dagmara Dominczyk as Karolina, Peggy Scott as Jeane, and Harriet Walter as Caroline Collingwood.

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

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The DVD Bonus Features includes The Cast and Crew of SUCCESSION Break Down the Action of the First Season’s Heart-Stopping Finale and Anatomy of a Scene.

SUCCESSION has a strong bunch of Executive Producers including Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Frank Rich, Kevin Messick and Ilene Landress as well as comedy television veteran and Oscar nominee Adam McKay.

This series had me on the edge of my seat each of the ten episodes and I absolutely hated it when it was over. I didn’t want the madness to end. Let’s be honest, I feel like I did an amazing job raising my kids compared to Logan Roy and his band of out of control adult kids. That being said, I really wouldn’t have these characters any other way.

It is absolutely stunning how creator Armstrong could keep up with what these characters were doing while writing. I imagine a huge blank wall with a lot of post it notes and sharpie markings of all colors with arrows pointing every which way. Actually that sounds like a pretty cool way of keeping track of all the misfits.

Every time I thought I had them pegged, a big nopity-nope-nope would escape my lips. Even though I have a soft spot for Kendall, he had me shaking my head so much I think I actually have a case of whip lash. I mean seriously dude! Culkin brought me shocking laughs with his portrayal of a kid who just lets everything fly out of his mouth with absolutely no filter what so ever and I have to admit – I loved it.

Snook is a woman after my own heart in that her character really is very strong and extremely smart but still wants the heart of her daddy on her side. Well lady, you don’t have that kind of dad. Ruck has the role of a lifetime in that he doesn’t have to fit into any of the Roy family molds, he just does him and he seems content with that.

They are bitchy, sarcastic, uncompromising, vicious, back stabbing, back biting, loving, secretive, under handed but they are family!

A family that needs serious therapy, although that didn’t work out so well in the desert, so I think the only way it would work is if they are locked in a concrete room with armed guards so none of them could escape and let them duke it out. In the meantime, you must, must, must put SUCCESSION: The Complete First Season on your Christmas list!

In the end – they give the term dysfunctional family a whole new meaning!

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Get your Dino Fix with JURASSIC WORLD: Fallen Kingdom

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom cover

Jeri Jacquin

On Bluray/DVD and Digital from director J.A. Bayona and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is the next chapter in the world of dinosaur’s with JURASSIC WORLD: Fallen Kingdom.

After the 2015 disaster of the dinosaur park, a new disaster is on the horizon. The island’s volcano is about to destroy what is left of any living creature. A committee in the U.S. debates whether to help them or let the volcano handle it is being watched by Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard).

She receives a telephone call from Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell) who wants to help. Working for Lockwood is Eli Mills (Rafe Spall) who explains that they have another island for the animals to go to where they will be safe. The problem is locating them all and they need Claire’s help.

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The location system on the island is shut down and Mills needs her to go back and start it up as well as find Blue. Claire knows there is only one person that can help with that part of the trip – Owen Grady (Chris Pratt). Finding him is easy but convincing him to come help Blue is trickier.

Loading up for the trip, Claire takes computer wizard Franklin (Justice Smith) and dino-vet Zia Rodriguez (Daniella Pineda). Also with them is back up Ken Wheatley (Ted Levine) and his band of gun toting men. Owen realizes he needs to help and off they go to the island.

It doesn’t take long before the group realizes they’ve been duped and Blue gets hurt. Wheatley only used the group to get their hands on Blue leaving them for dead. It becomes clear that Mills is actually only interested in selling the animals to the highest bidder. It is Lockwood’s granddaughter Maisie (Isabella Sermon) who catches on and tries to alert her grandfather.

Owen and Claire make their way to the caravan to discover that Mills is not only responsible for everything that is happening, but that underneath the Lockwood mansion lies another world that is about to be torn apart by something new and far more dangerous.

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Because once again the dinosaurs prove life will find a way!

Pratt as Grady jumps in once again because who can resist a lovely raptor creature named Blue. Of course he isn’t about to let Claire go into the fray alone and it doesn’t take long before he is running through an island for his very life. From start to finish Pratt is go-go-go and trying to put a stop to those who seemed destined to bring destruction – and I don’t mean the islands previous inhabitants.

Howard as Claire wants to save the dinosaurs so badly that she’ll take any opportunity to get help. Believing in Lockwood’s plan, she is also back to the island were running is a foregone conclusion – only this time she isn’t wearing heels! After she and Owen find out where Mills has taken the creatures, she eventually will have to make a decision about their fate.

Smith as Webb is clearly not happy with visiting an island full of creatures that want to eat him but he hangs in for the long haul. Pineda as Zia is the reason we still have Blue on our side! Spall as Mills is a total douche bag and I didn’t need five minutes to figure that out. Once again it seems that the millionaires put their bucks and trust into the wrong people.

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Jones as Eversol gets what he deserves and so does Levine as Wheatley – I mean seriously guys, you can’t crack a whip at a creature with large teeth and not expect something bad to happen right? Wong as Dr. Wu makes an appearance and I still can’t stand him – Dr. Wu that is.

Much love to Geraldine Chaplin as Iris because she is a woman I’ve absolutely adored since seeing her face in the 1965 brilliant film DR. ZHIVAGO. She always brings a gentle nature and in this film it returns with beauty.

Of course I can not let another line go by without saying how thrilled I am that Jeff Goldblum, the man, the myth, the Jurassic Park legend came back to give us a little more of Ian Malcolm.

Other cast includes Toby Jones as Mr. Eversol, BD Wong as Dr. Wu, Peter Jason as Senator Sherwood, the lovely Geraldine Chaplin as Iris and the incomparable Jeff Goldblum as Ian Malcolm.

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 include Chris Pratt’s Jurassic Journals, On Set with Chris & Bryce, Start the Bidding!, The Kingdom Evolves, Death by Dino, Birth of the Indoraptor, Malcolm’s Return, Rooftop Showdown, Monster in a Mansion and Much More!

You can also Play With Blue with an interactive experience inside the Bluray. JURASSIC WORLD: Fallen Kingdom includes a Digital Movie from Movies Anywhere so you can enjoy films with the Anywhere App through download or streaming.

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JURASSIC WORLD: Fallen Kingdom is furious, a tad predictable, full of dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes, bad men coming out of the woodwork and a few surprises. I think we can let the dinosaur’s rest for a bit while Maisie grows up to take over the sprint to catch those that got away.

I had a good time and am still very vocal during the film with ‘oh no!’, ‘did you see that?’, ‘oh my gawd’, ‘whoa!’ and other words not meant for print. That’s what makes the JURASSIC PARK films so much fun to see over and over again from the very first – it is a collective experience for dinosaur lovers everywhere. I mean come on, you have to admit that we actually root for them to get their pound or two of man-flesh!

There are genres of films that we all love to watch – scary movies, zombie movies and a good dinosaur movie. JURASSIC PARK: Fallen Kingdom is added to the Jurassic series making one heck of an iconic set of films for anyone’s home entertainment library.

The film is what summer blockbusters are all about and JURASSIC WORLD: Fallen Kingdom is just that in every sense of the word. So gather up the family (might want to let the smaller kids hang out with grandma and grandpa for this one) and prepare for the next chapter in the Jurassic saga. It calls for a big screen, a sound bar and feet up off the floor.

In the end – the park is gone!

 

Get your Dino Fix with JURASSIC WORLD: Fallen Kingdom

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom cover

Jeri Jacquin

In theatres from director J.A. Bayona and Universal Pictures is the next chapter in the world of dinosaur’s with JURASSIC WORLD: Fallen Kingdom.

After the 2015 disaster of the dinosaur park, a new disaster is on the horizon. The island’s volcano is about to destroy what is left of any living creature. A committee in the U.S. debates whether to help them or let the volcano handle it is being watched by Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard).

She receives a telephone call from Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell) who wants to help. Working for Lockwood is Eli Mills (Rafe Spall) who explains that they have another island for the animals to go to where they will be safe. The problem is locating them all and they need Claire’s help.

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The location system on the island is shut down and Mills needs her to go back and start it up as well as find Blue. Claire knows there is only one person that can help with that part of the trip – Owen Grady (Chris Pratt). Finding him is easy but convincing him to come help Blue is trickier.

Loading up for the trip, Claire takes computer wizard Franklin (Justice Smith) and dino-vet Zia Rodriguez (Daniella Pineda). Also with them is back up Ken Wheatley (Ted Levine) and his band of gun toting men. Owen realizes he needs to help and off they go to the island.

It doesn’t take long before the group realizes they’ve been duped and Blue gets hurt. Wheatley only used the group to get their hands on Blue leaving them for dead. It becomes clear that Mills is actually only interested in selling the animals to the highest bidder. It is Lockwood’s granddaughter Maisie (Isabella Sermon) who catches on and tries to alert her grandfather.

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Owen and Claire make their way to the caravan to discover that Mills is not only responsible for everything that is happening, but that underneath the Lockwood mansion lies another world that is about to be torn apart by something new and far more dangerous.

Because once again the dinosaurs prove life will find a way!

Pratt as Grady jumps in once again because who can resist a lovely raptor creature named Blue. Of course he isn’t about to let Claire go into the fray alone and it doesn’t take long before he is running through an island for his very life. From start to finish Pratt is go-go-go and trying to put a stop to those who seemed destined to bring destruction – and I don’t mean the islands previous inhabitants.

Howard as Claire wants to save the dinosaurs so badly that she’ll take any opportunity to get help. Believing in Lockwood’s plan, she is also back to the island were running is a foregone conclusion – only this time she isn’t wearing heels! After she and Owen find out where Mills has taken the creatures, she eventually will have to make a decision about their fate.

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Smith as Webb is clearly not happy with visiting an island full of creatures that want to eat him but he hangs in for the long haul. Pineda as Zia is the reason we still have Blue on our side! Spall as Mills is a total douche bag and I didn’t need five minutes to figure that out. Once again it seems that the millionaires put their bucks and trust into the wrong people.

Jones as Eversol gets what he deserves and so does Levine as Wheatley – I mean seriously guys, you can’t crack a whip at a creature with large teeth and not expect something bad to happen right? Wong as Dr. Wu makes an appearance and I still can’t stand him – Dr. Wu that is.

Much love to Geraldine Chaplin as Iris because she is a woman I’ve absolutely adored since seeing her face in the 1965 brilliant film DR. ZHIVAGO. She always brings a gentle nature and in this film it returns with beauty.

Of course I can not let another line go by without saying how thrilled I am that Jeff Goldblum, the man, the myth, the Jurassic Park legend came back to give us a little more of Ian Malcolm.

Other cast includes Toby Jones as Mr. Eversol, BD Wong as Dr. Wu, Peter Jason as Senator Sherwood, the lovely Geraldine Chaplin as Iris and the incomparable Jeff Goldblum as Ian Malcolm.

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JURASSIC WORLD: Fallen Kingdom is furious, a tad predictable, full of dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes, bad men coming out of the woodwork and a few surprises. I think we can let the dinosaur’s rest for a bit while Maisie grows up to take over the sprint to catch those that got away.

Everyone in the theatre had a good time and were very vocal during the film with ‘oh no!’, ‘did you see that?’, ‘oh my gawd’, ‘whoa!’ and other words not meant for print. That’s what makes the JURASSIC PARK films so much fun in a theatre – it is a collective experience for dinosaur lovers everywhere. I mean come on, you have to admit that we actually root for them to get their pound or two of man-flesh!

The film is what summer blockbusters are all about and JURASSIC WORLD: Fallen Kingdom is just that in every sense of the word. So gather up the family (might want to let the smaller kids hang out with grandma and grandpa for this one) and prepare for the next chapter in the Jurassic saga.

In the end – the park is gone!

MARSHALL

Marshall cover

 

Jeri Jacquin

In theatres this week from director Reginald Hudlin and Open Road Films is a case that would bring a name to life with MARSHALL.

Thurgood Marshall (Chadwick Boseman) is a graduate of Howard University and now a lawyer with the NAACP who takes cases to help those who need it the most. One such case takes him to Connecticut to defend Joseph Spell (Sterling K. Brown), an African American who is accused of raping Eleanor Strubing (Kate Hudson) – a white woman.

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Not a lawyer in the state, Marshall must work with Sam Friedman (Josh Gad), a Jewish attorney who isn’t happy to be a part of the case. Trying to make introductions and slowly slip away, Judge Foster (James Cromwell) isn’t about to let that happen.

Prosecutor Loren Willis (Dan Stevens) is satisfied when Judge Foster allows Marshall to stay but he isn’t allowed to cross-examine witnesses or basically do anything inside the court room. Marshall is furious and has no choice but to make sure that Friedman stays with him on the case.

As each witness comes to the stand, it becomes clear that Spell might not have been honest about everything with Marshall. Now he must work with Friedman on how to present the case and not let anything get in the way of securing Spell’s freedom.

Neither of them could have known what they would discover and how it would end!

Boseman as Marshall gives the audience the angrier side of Thurgood Marshall. From the moment his character is up on the screen it is easy to see he isn’t going down without a fight – on anything. Trying to keep his cool, Boseman spends a lot time pursing his lips and squinting at the judge but once of the courtroom makes it clear he has a lot to say. Unfortunately the anger is aimed at Friedman who takes the lumps quietly.

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Gad as Friedman is a lawyer who just wants to take the simple town cases and enjoy his career. When Marshall comes to town, a sense of fear starts to take over as his family becomes a target for those upset with his new partner’s attitude. At one point he makes it clear that he and his family still have to live in the town once Marshall takes off for his next case elsewhere. Is does take time for Friedman/Gad finds the fighting lawyer in him!

Brown as Spell is a man in a situation that doesn’t have an easy way out. He sticks to his story and clearly has no animosity towards the woman who is accusing him. As the trial gets further and further along, it becomes clear that the truth might not be that easy to tell. Brown is coming off a high with the successful television series This is Us, of which I am a huge fan, and it’s nice to see him take on the bigger screen.

Hudson as Strubing is a very beautiful woman who is also in a situation that has no good ending. The questions are harsh and her story is uncomfortable at a time in the country when a jury is unforgiving of such a crime. Stevens as Willis takes great pleasure in making sure Marshall stays quiet and knows that his case is not only a strong one but can only have one outcome.

Cromwell as Judge Foster is not a man to be trifled with in the slightest. He makes it clear before a jury even sets food in his courtroom that Marshall is under a gag order. He watches every move Marshall makes and doesn’t allow for any wiggle room – period.

Other cast include Keesha Sharp as Buster Marshall, Roger Guenveur Smith as Walter White, Derrick Baskin as Ted Lancaster, Barret Doss as Bertha Lancaster, John Magaro as Irwin Freidman, Ahna O’Reilly as Mrs. Richmond, and Jussie Smollett as Langston Hughes.

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TUBS OF POPCORN: I give MARSHALL three tubs of popcorn out of five. I know, I’m going to get grief for this but here is my problem with the film. First, out of all the cases that Thurgood Marshall was a part of and made history with, this is the story the filmmakers chose to tell? Really? Not one other case stood out and made a greater impact worth telling on film? That was disappointing to me.

This is supposed to be a film about Thurgood Marshall yet I found the journey of Gad’s character of Friedman more compelling. Here is a Jewish lawyer who wanted to fly under the legal radar and completely happy doing so until he is pushed into situation where he excels! He comes out of a shell and lets Marshall know that he understands how it feels to be calls derogatory names and have stereotypes thrown at him. I am all for that storyline but isn’t this a movie about Marshall?

I wish I understood Marshall’s life more in the film instead of the bits and pieces thrown that flash by so fast. The relationship with his wife is another story that just seemed odd, thrown in quick and ripped away and on to the next scene. The quick flashes of relationships with Langston Hughes or the Lancaster family and I’m still not sure if they had a purpose and I just missing it.

I read a lot about Thurgood Marshall over the years and his career is remarkable leading to becoming the first African American Supreme Court Justice. His cases are stellar and his career a brilliant one and I’d rather read a good book about his life than see a film that misses the mark. That’s just my opinion folks!

In the end – his name means justice!

HBO Brings an Amazing Series with THE YOUNG POPE to Bluray

Young Pope Bluray

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming in June on Bluray and Digital HD from HBO Home Entertainment is a mind blowing limited series from creator/director Paolo Sorrentino and THE YOUNG POPE.

Lenny Belardo (Jude Law) is now the first American Pope choosing the name Pius XIII. Immediately he begins making changes the likes of which the Vatican and its priests have never seen. Upset that he was not chosen as Pope is Archbishop Spencer (James Cromwell), his angers extends to Lenny by cutting him off.

Bringing in the big guns, Lenny chooses Sister Mary (Diane Keaton), the nun who took care of him when his parents left him at the orphanage. Knowing no one would get to him without dealing with Sister Mary, Cardinal Secretary of State Vioello (Silvio Orlando) immediately knows choosing Lenny Belardo as Pope could cost them all.

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From his first speech however, everyone within ear shot knows that this is a Pope who isn’t going to be controlled by anyone. Immediately Lenny wants to know who is with him and more importantly, who is against him. That’s when Vioello tries to call in those who would want to control Lenny.

Of course when it all is brought to Lenny’s attention, he calmly tells Vioello that excommunication is a card he has no problem playing. But the games are not over as a woman named Esther (Ludivine Sagnier) is brought in to work closely with the Pope as they all watch to see if a sex scandal can be created to rock the Vatican.

It is clear quickly that Vioello is out of ideas as Lenny also makes it clear that he knows what everyone is up to and every dirty little secret they each have. Playing another dangerous game, Lenny makes demands of the Italian Prime Minister that could bring problems for the politician.

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But closer to Lenny is his friend Cardinal Dussollier (Scott Shepherd) and in one fell swoop, the new Pope asks in a demanding way that he point out all those incoming priests who do not follow the rules both in celibacy and homosexuality. In those rules come shocks that will cause a surprising agreement between two enemies.

A trip to Africa the Pope wants to see the works of a Sister Antonia only to discover secrets and a confession that goes haywire. In New York, Archbishop Kurtwell (Guy Boyd) has agreed to provide letters written by Lenny that end up only helping the new Pope’s cause sending the blackmailer to a colder place than he could have imagined.

In San Marco as the Basilica, after spending his time staying out of the limelight, Pope Pius XIII makes a grand gesture showing his face to followers. Believing his sees the face of the parents he has longed to find in the crowd, it leads to a finale that is spectacular!

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Law as Pope Pius XIII is jaw dropping in every scene and in every frame. I have to say that I was completely riveted by everything about his performance. Seriously, this series just sends one wtf moment after another and I couldn’t be more pleased about that. It is difficult to find a storyline that is completely original and mind blowing AND get an actor to carry it but with Law as Lenny – epicness complete! This character is intense and doesn’t apologize for any of it, how can you not love that?

Keaton as Sister Mary is just a blast to watch as well. She is a no-nonsense and ‘don’t let this habit fool you’ kind of nun who I would hang out with in a heart beat. Keaton continues to surprise me in her role choices and as Sister Mary I cheered every time someone came up against her.

Orlando as Vioello puts the slap on trying to get Lenny removed and being totally creative about it. Keeping calm to his face, it is when those robes are swaying down the halls of the Vatican that you can see the wheels turning. Always appearing humble, Orlando is always on his toes and looking for any way to crack the Pope.

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Cromwell as Archbishop Spencer stands tall and defiant against Lenny being chosen as the Pope. Trying to keep his divine composure, he makes it clear that a mistake has been made and he isn’t about to help make Lenny’s new post easier. I love this role for Cromwell but then again I pretty much love every role he has played. This is a role filled with bitterness and even rage of the highest kind.

Other cast include Cecile de France as Sofia, Toni Bertorelli as Cardinal Caltanissetta, Andre Gregory as Elmore Coen, Rayna Tharani as Maribeth, Tony Plana as Carlos Garcia, Gianluca Guidi as Father Federico Amatucci, Ignazio Oliva as Father Valente, Biagio Forestieri as Peter, Ramon Garcia as Cardinal Aguirre and Monica Cetti as Contessa Meraviglia.

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

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THE YOUNG POPE is one of the most original series I have seen in a long time. What is even more amazing is that originality is only the tip of what this series brings. The storyline is fused with twists and turns that only Lenny sees coming which means all eyes are on him.

Another fascination I had with the series is the stunning visuals that are mixed with an ethereal feeling and moments where I could not imagine where it all would lead. Between the visuals and Law, Keaton, Orlando and Cromwell not missing a beat it is clear that THE POPE is heavenly perfection.

The Bluray includes the Special Features of The Making of THE YOUNG POPE, An Invitation to the Set and Inside the Episodes. The three disc set includes six hundred minutes of what I am calling total epicness of a series that brings shock and awe to another level.

In the end – his religion is revolution!

HALT AND CATCH FIRE Welcomes us to the Mutiny on DVD

 

Halt

Jeri Jacquin

On DVD this week from AMC and Anchor Bay Entertainment is the acclaimed series HALT AND CATCH FIRE: The Complete Second Season.

Giant has been running for over a year now. Joe (Lee Pace) is now living in Austin and Nathan has sold the company to a corporation overseas. When Gordon (Scoot McNairy) gets a check for a large sum and divides it between the three of them but only two will have money in their pockets.

Donna (Kerry Bishe) is at Mutiny with Cameron (Mackenzie Davis) yet feels like he doesn’t take her serious when she voices her concerns. Joe decides to propose to now girlfriend Sara (Aleksa Palladino) who happily accepts which leads to a meeting of her father Jacob Wheeler (James Cromwell). A rich man in oil he offers Joe a job to make sure his daughter is taken care of.

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Gordon has taken his family to California to visit his brother and reveals what he has been keeping from them. That doesn’t stop him from reaching out to old school friends to decide what it would take to start a custom PC building company that sells direct to consumers.

Donna thought she had problems before with Cameron, she is freaking out even more so when he brings Bosworth (Toby Huss) in after his recent prison release. Bosworth has his own problems when he is told to stay away from his son James. Their tension continues when Cameron hires Tom Rendon (Mark O’Brien) without consulting her. It all comes to a head when she discovers what Tom is really up to.

Jacob tries to help his future father-in-law with ideas for changes to the business. Sara sees that he is trying to make a name for himself which does put a strain on their relationship. What Jacob Wheeler doesn’t see coming will put an even bigger strain on their relationship.

The finale leads to marriage, ending of deals, help from an unexpected place and underhanded moves that will take them all to San Francisco and a new beginning.

I have to say it, I can never get enough of Lee Pace and as Joe he is really good. It is interesting to see where this character is now compared to the last season. Fighting his way back up the ladder I can not wait to see where this character goes in the next season.

Bishe as Donna really gets a set of chops in season two trying to keep everything above water. Getting in on the ground level of this thing called the internet, I loved keeping up with her this season. McNairy character Gordon is truly being thrown around this season yet what broken the group apart, this character can put together again – okay so I’m hoping!

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Davis as Cameron is all over the place with his hands in everything. That’s where this characters problem begins when he doesn’t trust his own partner in Donna. Of course it is all because of his insecurities but boy was it frustrating to watch!

It must be said that having James Cromwell in the series is just brilliant. Cromwell is an actor that can do no wrong in my eyes no matter what character he is given and once he is given a character, he truly makes it his own.

Other cast include: Scott Michael Foster as Hunt Whitmarsh, Graham Beckel as Nathan Cardiff, John Getz as Joe MacMillan, Sr., Annett O’Toole as Susan Emerson, August Emerson as Malcolm Levitan, and Mike Pniewski as Barry Shields.

AMC has brought itself to the forefront of cable television in the past few years. With such series as Mad Men, Hell on Wheels, and Breaking Bad, AMC has also blown television away with the series The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead and now Halt and Catch Fire.

Anchor Bay brings amazing entertainment to those extending their media library and is also celebrating their 20th Anniversary. From theatrical to home release, Anchor Bay brings STARZ Original series, AMC Network series, The Weinstein Company, Radius, children’s entertainment, fitness, and sports to fans. To discover more of what Anchor Bay Entertainment has to offer, please visit www.anchorbayentertainment.com.

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TUBS OF POPCORN: I give HALT AND CATCH FIRE: The Complete Second Season four tubs of popcorn out of five. Once again AMC has brought a series that is smart on so many levels. The first season was a slow start for me it was important and because of that I was thrilled with the second season. Expanding the world of each character means that season three can’t start soon enough for me.

The DVD includes the episodes SETI, New Coke, The Way In, Play with Friends, Extract and Defend, 10Broad36, Working for the Clampdown, Limbo, Kali, and Heaven is a Place. Also included are the Special Features Inside Episodes 201-210, History of Now, The New Joe, Tour of an 80’s Starship, and Set Tour with Lee Pace and Scoot McNairy.

 HALT AND CATCH FIRE returns for it’s third season on AMC beginning August 23rd, 2016.

In the end – welcome to mutiny!

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