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James McAvoy

IT Chapter Two Brings on the Jumps

IT cover

This Friday from director Andy Muschietti, New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. is the closing saga of kids and clowns with IT Chapter Two.

It has been twenty-seven years since ‘The Losers’ took out the thing they call ‘it’. Still in town is Mike Hanlon (Isaiah Mustafa) and he sees a familiar pattern happening in town. People are missing and he sees the all too familiar red balloon.

His only recourse is to call the gang one by one starting with Bill (James McAvoy) who is a writer, Richie (Bill Hader) who has become a stand-up comedian, Ben (Jay Ryan) who is a real estate mogul, Eddie (James Ransone) who is assessment analyst, Beverly (Jessica Chastain) who is repeating her childhood and Stanley (Andy Bean).

it 1

With hardly a memory of the incident years ago, they all come because of a promise made. Meeting up they begin to remember the good times hanging out together and the not so good times because of Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard).

When they learn that one of them won’t be joining them, it becomes all to real. Mike has a plan and has spent all his time trying to find a way to destroy It. Their first response is to run but as they remember more and reconnect their friendships, it becomes clear that they can’t escape.

Each of them journey’s back to what happened that summer and what is the one memory they need to defeat Pennywise. Once they all come to terms with that, there is only one thing left to do – head for the gutters and a showdown with the thing that has haunted their lives.

Pennywise has other plans!

McAvoy as Bill knows that he must go to Derry no matter how much his brain says ‘run!’. Seeing the friends of his youth is wonderful, until it isn’t. He still grieves the death of his brother Georgie and once Mike explains things, Bill knows he must see it through. McAvoy stands out in everything he does but here, as part of an ensemble cast, he melds in beautifully into the second part of the story.

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Chastain as Beverly comes to terms with her childhood because she is forced too, especially with the life she has set up for herself since the last time she met Pennywise. Chastain is solid with her “all-guy” club as a kid but even more so as an adult. Ransone as Eddie is a man who is almost frozen by fear in all things, including his marriage. As each discussion with the group happens, he becomes the voice of ‘lets get OUT of here!’.

Ryan as Ben is the kid with his own secrets and not all of them have to do with Pennywise. He is a totally different adult and only wants to get away for a second until he also realizes that Bill is right, they’d only be back at 70!

Two outstanding performances here are Hader as Richie because his character, even though holding his own secret, was the comedy of the entire film. Yes, this is a scary movie and Hader’s character makes sure that there are moments to break the tension. Of course Skarsgard as Pennywise is just to damn creepy for words. He is frightening, horrific and the very reason some people absolutely don’t like clowns! Tim Curry may be my youth Pennywise but Skarsgard has given it a different face in a different way that works.

Other cast includes Jaeden Martel as young Ben, Wyatt Oleff as young Stan, Finn Wolfhard as young Richie, Sophia Lillis as young Beverly, Chosen Jacobs as young Mike and Jeremy Taylor as young Ben.

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IT Chapter Two is a long movie because there is so much more here than the story of a scary clown. There are answers to questions I didn’t even know I had! The story is intense at times and sad in other frames. In between that is intensity, jumps, yells, frights, a few disgusting characters that I hope to never see again and an audience that joined in every single second of it.

I have to give it two jumps up because I usually don’t yell or jump but I’ll give the special effects their props because I caught myself. What I loved about the ‘horror’ of this horror film is that there isn’t gore for the sake of gore but part of the story and, in a weird way, placed appropriately. In simpler terms it means I was so all in that the one scene where there was a lot of blood made sense to me (I know, I know…weird right?).

From the moment I heard they were remaking IT I wasn’t happy because I’m a fan of originals and believe their day in the sun isn’t over. This retelling puts people in theatre seats to see it on the big screen and it works. Especially since we all love to be scared and if it can be done well then kudos.

The pair of the young characters to their adult counter parts will always remain high on my list. It is very easy to see who is who and that’s because of careful and meticulous casting. I enjoyed the kid version of course because I can relate to that time period when all fun was with friends on bikes riding through town from dawn to dusk in the summertime.

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In the matter of Pennywise, well, we all have one don’t we. That’s what I always took from the crazy clown in that he forced the gang to face what made them afraid and in their stories, those fears are relatable for some of us.

There are a few things that I wasn’t sure were necessary (including the time of two hours and 49 minutes) and one door chain goose egg but I’ll save those for a face to face conversation. I truly want everyone to enjoy every scare, jump, sadness and humor that IT Chapter Two has to offer.

So grab a group of friends and spend some time getting closure as well because Pennywise and The Losers Club are going to provide it.

In the end – you’ll float again!

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GLASS is About to Shatter

 

Bluray cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray from writer/director M. Knight Shyamalan and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment comes the gripping gathering of fear with GLASS.

Here we are and it has been 19 years since David Dunn (Bruce Willis) discovered he had an unusual ability and has attempted to live a low profile life. Not laying so low after two years is Hedwig (James McAvoy) and the Horde who have struck again and again. Dunn wants to find him before he can destroy more lives.

Discovering where his newest victims are held, Dunn finds them and has a showdown with The Beast. That isn’t the highlight of their meeting, the sudden surrounding of police catches them both off guard. Taken down they are both escorted to the same facility as another famous patient.

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Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson) is a psychiatrist who deals with patients suffering from delusions of grandeur and that includes Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson). She isn’t pleased that he has been kept sedated like a zombie since his capture. Having all three, Dr. Staple has only a few days to treat, or convince, all three that they are not super heroes of any kind.

Dunn keeps his cool and doesn’t say much because it seems that the Horde is upset and confused about the confrontation and Mr. Glass is unresponsive. The goal of all three is to get out before Dr. Staple makes sure they are committed for good.

But there are secrets to be revealed coming from unexpected places and those who will do whatever it takes to make sure it is all exposed!

That’s all you are getting from me.

Willis as Dunn slides right back into a role he took on nineteen years ago and it feels like no time has passed. That’s what I have always loved about Willis, the roles he has chosen over his career and, although a few bumps here and there, it never has changed my enjoyment of his performances. Dunn was a broken man who found a connection in his life he didn’t know existed and that is how Willis embraced the character. Nineteen years later, his personality has barely changed but his abilities have sharpened.

glass 2

Jackson as Mr. Glass (yes, I said Mr.) spends a lot of time comatose but that doesn’t stop his mind from churning. Still believing in who they all are, his twitchy eye isn’t happy with the insights spouted by Dr. Staple. Speaking of her, Paulson is the monologuer of the film and she does her best to convince the gang (because the Horde does constitute a gang) that it’s all in their minds.

Stealing the entire film is McAvoy as Kevin Wendell Crumb/ The Beast, Patricia, Dennis, Hedwig, Barry, Jade, Orwell, Heinrich, Norma and a host of others. There are moments where the camera doesn’t leave his face and characters flash seamlessly like the strobe lights in his room.

Since the 2016 film SPLIT of which I’ve watched more times that I can even count, McAvoy slides right into the role of sheer madness and I’m in complete awe of his performance. Playing one or two roles is hard enough but man, oh man, does McAvoy ever show that being about twenty people including rock-hard cut Beast had me totally invested in the film.

Other cast include Luke Kirby as Pierce, Marisa Brown as Carol, Charlayne Woodard as Elijah’s Mother and Adam Thompson as Daryl. Look for Spencer Treat Clark as Joseph and Anya Taylor-Joy as Casey.

glass 1

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.

MOVIES ANYWHERE gives viewers the ability to download the Movies Anywhere App. With that you can view films by downloading or streaming to your favorite device using a Digital Code. For more information on Movies Anywhere please visit www.MoviesAnywhere.com.

Bonus Features Exclusive to 4K Ultra HD, Bluray and Digital include The Collection of Main Characters – A look at all the main players and how they fit in the universe created by filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan and David Dunn, Elijah Price, Kevin Wendell Crumb and the rest of the family.

Also Bringing the Team Back Together, David Dunn vs. The Beast, Glass Decoded, Breaking Glass: The Stunts, Connecting the Glass Universe, M. Night Shyamalan: Behind the Lens, The Sound of Glass, Enhancing the Spectacle, Raven Hill Memorial and Night Vision.

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Adding the DVD Bonus Features with Alternate Opening, Deleted Scenes of David Alone at Bar, Patricia Talks to Cheerleaders, David Encounters Pierce, Casey in Art Class, Dr. Staple Explains Machine, Mrs. Price in Waiting Room and so much more!

I’m not saying anything in the way of details and I’m okay with doing that actually. Living in this social media world I will let someone else spoil it but it certainly won’t be me. Not everyone has had the chance to see it in theatres but with the release of the Bluray and DVD are going to be thrilled. The story M. Knight Shyamalan started telling nineteen years ago works for me completely in 2019.

There were a few moments where my jaw dropped and seeing it again on Bluray there was no change in my behavior.  The film is still filled with secrets that still twist, turn and spill in all aspects of these three characters. Watching it once again on Bluray there are so many little subtle nuances that just add to the story and make me think ‘why didn’t I see that before?’ Well, probably because I was into it on the big screen and equally as into it on the small.

Well done Mr. Shyamalan! You chose the right actors to bring your story out nineteen years ago and two years ago only to reunite us with them – all of them and what a thrill ride it is!

In the end – the world of Superheroes will be shattered!

 

GLASS is About to Shatter

glass

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this Friday from writer/director M. Knight Shyamalan and Universal Pictures comes the gripping gathering of fear with GLASS.

Here we are and it has been 19 years since David Dunn (Bruce Willis) discovered he had an unusual ability and has attempted to live a low profile life. Not laying so low after two years is Hedwig (James McAvoy) and the Horde who have struck again and again. Dunn wants to find him before he can destroy more lives.

Discovering where his newest victims are held, Dunn finds them and has a showdown with The Beast. That isn’t the highlight of their meeting, the sudden surrounding of police catches them both off guard. Taken down they are both escorted to the same facility as another famous patient.

glass 3

Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson) is a psychiatrist who deals with patients suffering from delusions of grandeur and that includes Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson). She isn’t pleased that he has been kept sedated like a zombie since his capture. Having all three, Dr. Staple has only a few days to treat, or convince, all three that they are not super heroes of any kind.

Dunn keeps his cool and doesn’t say much because it seems that the Horde is upset and confused about the confrontation and Mr. Glass is unresponsive. The goal of all three is to get out before Dr. Staple makes sure they are committed for good.

But there are secrets to be revealed coming from unexpected places and those who will do whatever it takes to make sure it is all exposed!

That’s all you are getting from me.

Willis as Dunn slides right back into a role he took on nineteen years ago and it feels like no time has passed. That’s what I have always loved about Willis, the roles he has chosen over his career and, although a few bumps here and there, it never has changed my enjoyment of his performances. Dunn was a broken man who found a connection in his life he didn’t know existed and that is how Willis embraced the character. Nineteen years later, his personality has barely changed but his abilities have sharpened.

glass 2

Jackson as Mr. Glass (yes, I said Mr.) spends a lot of time comatose but that doesn’t stop his mind from churning. Still believing in who they all are, his twitchy eye isn’t happy with the insights spouted by Dr. Staple. Speaking of her, Paulson is the monologuer of the film and she does her best to convince the gang (because the Horde does constitute a gang) that it’s all in their minds.

Stealing the entire film is McAvoy as Kevin Wendell Crumb/ The Beast, Patricia, Dennis, Hedwig, Barry, Jade, Orwell, Heinrich, Norma and a host of others. There are moments where the camera doesn’t leave his face and characters flash seamlessly like the strobe lights in his room. Since the 2016 film SPLIT of which I’ve watched more times that I can even count, McAvoy slides right into the role of sheer madness and I’m in complete awe of his performance. Playing one or two roles is hard enough but man, oh man, does McAvoy ever show that being about twenty people including rock-hard cut Beast had me totally invested in the film.

Other cast include Luke Kirby as Pierce, Marisa Brown as Carol, Charlayne Woodard as Elijah’s Mother and Adam Thompson as Daryl. Look for Spencer Treat Clark as Joseph and Anya Taylor-Joy as Casey.

There is so much here that I’m not talking about because on the screen before the film started was a message from Director Shyamalan asking, “If you guys could please keep the secrets of the film so all audiences on opening day can have the experience you are going to have, it would mean the world to me and the cast and crew”. Well, he did ask nicely so I’m going to do exactly that.

glass 4

I ain’t tellin’ you sh*t in the way of details and I’m okay with doing that actually. Living in this social media world I will let someone else spoil it for you but it certainly won’t be me. The story M. Knight Shyamalan started telling nineteen years ago works for me completely in 2019.

There were a few moments where my jaw dropped as I looked around the crowd to see if anyone else had the same reaction and was thrilled. It seemed the audience was right with me when the secrets started twisting, turning and spilling in all aspects of these three characters.

glass 1

Well done Mr. Shyamalan! You chose the right actors to bring your story out nineteen years ago and two years ago only to reunite us with them – all of them and what a thrill ride it is!

In the end – the world of Superheroes will be shattered!

Prepare for an ATOMIC BLONDE to Shatter on Bluray

atomic blonde cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray/DVD and Digital with a kick and a bang from director David Leitch and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is the ATOMIC BLONDE.

It is Berlin and the Cold War as Lorraine (Charlize Theron), a British agent with MI6 and a mean set of skills. Interrogated by Gray (Toby Jones) and Chief C (James Faulkner), they want to know about the mission to retrieve information stolen from another agent.

It is a list of top secret information that can hurt agents everywhere hidden in a watch. Landing in Berlin, Lorraine makes contact with Percival (James McAvoy), a twisted agent living a life more like a bohemian who is good at getting things. Under the cover of retrieving the agent killed, Lorraine begins to poke around given bits and pieces by Percival.

atomic 1

One thing she learns is that there is someone named Spyglass (Eddie Marsan) who has memorized the information. That brings more curiosity to Lorraine and she wants to know what other secrets everyone is keeping from her. Meeting Delphine (Sofia Boutella) might be the key to so very much more.

It is a game of cat and mouse with a high body count when dealing with an ATOMIC BLONDE!

Theron as Lorraine is not anyone I’d ever mess with. Focused, strong, smart and highly aware of her surroundings, she takes a beating but gives just as much in return. Theron doesn’t need tons of dialogue to get the job done. Her eyes and face are expressive until they are not. I love seeing her tear up the screen, not just physically but her intense presence.

McAvoy gets the chance to be sleazy once again. Trying to fit into the scene of Berlin he buys information with Jack Daniels and Jordache jeans (if you don’t know that name kids, ask your grandparents). McAvoy gives the slick chain-smoking character the right amount of angry charm that I enjoyed watching. He’s getting good at being bad!

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Jones as Gray wants to know every detail of what happened to the mission yet doesn’t seem shocked at the answers. Goodman as Emmett gets the suspicion of Lorraine from the moment he steps into the room yet there is more to it than just being American.

Marsan as Spyglass is a timid man who knows a little too much about everything and uses it to try and save his family. Boutella as Delphine is the mysterious woman who captures Lorraine’s attention as she watches the chess pieces move all around the board.

Other cast includes Roland Moller as Alekander Bremovych, Bill Skarsgard as Merkel, Sam Hargrave as James Gasciogne, Johannes Johansson as Yuri Bakhtin, Tig Schweiger as the Watchmaker and John Goodman as Emmett.

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.

ATOMIC BLONDE continues to get four and a half tubs of popcorn out of five on this stunning Bluray. Why? Simply put it’s a heck of a lot of fun to watch, the soundtrack is smokin’, the cinematography is fantastic and the action is none stop from start to finish. It truly is the reason we go to the movies!

The story isn’t geared toward any one demographic as it plays to its strengths and not the political correctness of it all. There just isn’t anything about ATOMIC BLONDE that I didn’t like. Theron is absolutely beautiful and coming off of THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS where she is a real bad gal, in ATOMIC BLONDE she is another type of real bad gal and this one I’d want on my side.

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What can be said about the cinematography but wow, absolutely wow. Of course Theron makes the screen look amazing just by her presence but the dark, rough way the film is shot lends such an underworld feel I just loved.

The soundtrack includes a few awesome songs such as 99 Luftballons performed by Nena (remember that video?), Father Figure by George Michaels, Der Kommissar by After the Fire, The Politics of Dancing by Re-Flex, Voices Carry by Til Tuesday, I Ran by Flock of Seagulls and Under Pressure by Queen and David Bowie. I spent a lot of time lip-synching while watching Theron drop kick a few bad guys!

The Bluray/DVD include the Bonus Features of Deleted Scenes, Welcome to Berlin, Blondes Have More Gun, Spymaster, Anatomy of a Fight Scene, Story in Motion with Commentary by Director David Leitch, Feature Commentary with Director David Leitch and Editor Elisabet Ronaldsottir.

ATOMIC BLONDE is taken from the Oni Press graphic novel series The Coldest City by Antony Johnston who also authored Wasteland.

In the end – she’s about to go atomic!

 

Prepare for an ATOMIC BLONDE

atomic poster

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this Friday with a kick and a bang from director David Leitch and Focus Features is the ATOMIC BLONDE.

It is Berlin and the Cold War as Lorraine (Charlize Theron), a British agent with MI6 and a mean set of skills. Interrogated by Gray (Toby Jones) and Chief C (James Faulkner), they want to know about the mission to retrieve information stolen from another agent.

It is a list of top secret information that can hurt agents everywhere hidden in a watch. Landing in Berlin, Lorraine makes contact with Percival (James McAvoy), a twisted agent living a life more like a bohemian who is good at getting things. Under the cover of retrieving the agent killed, Lorraine begins to poke around given bits and pieces by Percival.

One thing she learns is that there is someone named Spyglass (Eddie Marsan) who has memorized the information. That brings more curiosity to Lorraine and she wants to know what other secrets everyone is keeping from her. Meeting Delphine (Sofia Boutella) might be the key to so very much more.

It is a game of cat and mouse with a high body count when dealing with an ATOMIC BLONDE!

Theron as Lorraine is not anyone I’d ever mess with. Focused, strong, smart and highly aware of her surroundings, she takes a beating but gives just as much in return. Theron doesn’t need tons of dialogue to get the job done. Her eyes and face are expressive until they are not. I love seeing her tear up the screen, not just physically but her intense presence.

McAvoy gets the chance to be sleazy once again. Trying to fit into the scene of Berlin he buys information with Jack Daniels and Jordache jeans (if you don’t know that name kids, ask your grandparents). McAvoy gives the slick chain-smoking character the right amount of angry charm that I enjoyed watching. He’s getting good at being bad!

Jones as Gray wants to know every detail of what happened to the mission yet doesn’t seem shocked at the answers. Goodman as Emmett gets the suspicion of Lorraine from the moment he steps into the room yet there is more to it than just being American.

Marsan as Spyglass is a timid man who knows a little too much about everything and uses it to try and save his family. Boutella as Delphine is the mysterious woman who captures Lorraine’s attention as she watches the chess pieces move all around the board.

Other cast includes Roland Moller as Alekander Bremovych, Bill Skarsgard as Merkel, Sam Hargrave as James Gasciogne, Johannes Johansson as Yuri Bakhtin, Tig Schweiger as the Watchmaker and John Goodman as Emmett.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give ATOMIC BLONDE four and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. Why? Simply put it’s a heck of a lot of fun to watch, the soundtrack is smokin’, the cinematography is fantastic and the action is none stop from start to finish. It truly is the reason we go to the movies!

The story isn’t geared toward any one demographic as it plays to its strengths and not the political correctness of it all. There just isn’t anything about ATOMIC BLONDE that I didn’t like. Theron is absolutely beautiful and coming off of THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS where she is a real bad gal, in ATOMIC BLONDE she is another type of real bad gal and this one I’d want on my side.

The soundtrack includes a few awesome songs such as 99 Luftballons performed by Nena (remember that video?), Father Figure by George Michaels, Der Kommissar by After the Fire, The Politics of Dancing by Re-Flex, Voices Carry by Til Tuesday, I Ran by Flock of Seagulls and Under Pressure by Queen and David Bowie. I spent a lot of time lip-synching while watching Theron drop kick a few bad guys!

ATOMIC BLONDE is taken from the Oni Press graphic novel series The Coldest City by Antony Johnston who also authored Wasteland.

In the end – she’s about to go atomic on summer!

SPLIT Revisit Stellar Performances and Fright Now on Bluray!

Split bluray

 

Jenise Jacquin

This week on Bluray from director M. Night Shyamalan and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is the fantastically creepy SPLIT.

The film star James McAvoy (be still my heart!) as a man who has several serious problems named Dennis, Patricia, Hedwig, Barry, Orwell, Jade, The Beast and Kevin Wendell Crumb. One day he kidnaps Casey (Haley Lu Richardson), Marcia (Jessica Sula) and Claire (Anya Taylor-Joy) taking them to a dark and dismal location. He kidnaps the girls with a plan but Claire is an extra not planned on. It is clear this man has a problem with girls and when they stick together against him; their main goal is to escape.

Claire realizes that this man has the voice of a young boy name Hedwig and tries to be convincing about the need to escape. It also becomes clear that this man is responsible for different personalities who have different agendas. One by one each girl tries to escape and their different tactics keep their captor on edge. What they don’t know is that something sinister called The Beast is more terrifying than any of the personalities they have ever seen.

McAvoy portraying all of these different personalities gives him the opportunity to cement his status as an actor. The most interesting thing about him is that he takes roles that are as equally diverse as the personalities in SPLIT (except perhaps not quite as frightening). I enjoyed the transition between the characters – from the sweet, helpful innocent to the creepy-man-next-door but what I loved most is the spots of creepy/mean characters, there are moments of compassion. Especially when he becomes Kevin because there is a moment where you feel for him and what he is going through. In the short time he is Kevin you feel his emotions down to the core and forget everything that came before it. No matter what he does he’s a sexy man – call me!

Taylor-Joy as Claire is the character most involved with the splits. She is secluded and misunderstood even before she is kidnapped with the girls and is perfect for this role. It’s a good life lesson actually for teens that you never really know what is going on. Claire is actually very smart but has been through a lot and does a great job of hiding it. Taylor-Joy gives the “weird kid” persona something to think about but in a calm, collective, peaceful and beautiful kind of way. You will see exactly what I mean from scene one!

Richardson as Casey was the reason Claire was in the car in the first place so we blame her for everything…period. Sula as Marcia is the follower and she had no guts so there isn’t about to be no glory. Even when Claire tells her to stop putting them all in danger, Marcia just does what Marcia does.

Betty Buckley as Dr. Karen Fletcher gets a personal shout out from me. She kept all the characters in line and respectfully sought out to help each one individually. I believe her character is one that sticks out because her presence made me feel like I was in the film not just watching it. Buckley captures different aspects of film because it made me root for her who rooted for Kevin and the other personalities. She had a huge role in a way in how the character behaves because she calls him out when he tries to put something over on everyone. I just plain out enjoyed her performance.

Other cast includes Sebastian Arcelus as Casey’s Father, Brad William Henke as Uncle John, Neal Huff as Mr. Benoit, Robert Michael Kelly as Joe, and Jon Rainey as Dr. Clerque.

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.

I really think the film is as creepy, original, and suspenseful on Bluray as it was the first time I saw it on the screen. It isn’t a bloody horror film but a suspenseful and smart telling of a man with a serious problem. The different ideas and characters always kept me aware but still creeped out wondering what was going to happen next and who is going to show up at the door – and when you are going to meet The Beast.

I’m making sure to leave tons of information out of this review because this is the film you want to experience for yourself and personally I hate when people give to much away – its more fun to discover the creepy within us all right? SPLIT will definitely give you just that and don’t be in such a hurry to hit the stop button on your player because nothing is ever quite finished the way you might expect.

The Bluray includes the awesome Bonus Features of Alternate Ending and Deleted Scenes with an introduction by M. Night Shyamalan, The Making of SPLIT, The Many Faces of James McAvoy, and The Filmmaker’s Eyes: M. Night Shyamalan. The Digital HD and Ultraviolet Watch It Anywhere gives instant streaming and download on your television, computer, Tablet and Smartphone.

In the end – Kevin has 23 personalities and the 24th is about to be unleashed!

 

 

 

Edited by Jeri Jacquin

SPLIT Frightens on Bluray: Talking with Jessica Sula

split Jessica

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray next week from writer/director M. Night Shyamalan and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is the thriller SPLIT.

This film tells the story of three young women who are being held captive by Kevin (James McAvoy) and his 23 different personalities. Trying to find a way to escape alive is Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy), Claire (Haley Lu Richardson) and Marcia played by Jessica Sula

I had the opportunity to speak with Jessica about SPLIT, working with M. Night Shyamalan, close quarter acting and playing opposite James McAvoy.

Split bluray

Jeri Jacquin: Hi Jessica, thanks for taking the time to talk with us today, it’s a real pleasure.

Jessica Sula: Thank you Jeri, I’m so glad you wanted to talk about the film with me.

JJ: My daughter who writes with me and I absolutely are in love with this movie.

JS: That’s so great, really?

JJ: We think it is the freakiest, twisted, messed up, original films we’ve seen in a long time.

JS: That’s really amazing, that’s so cool, and it is actually. When you are in it you don’t think of it like that but it’s true. When I saw it all put together I thought ‘oh man!’

JJ: It’s like – what have we done!

JS: Absolutely, it’s not something I’ve seen before either so I do agree with you on that.

JJ: When you first saw the script what was your impression of it. I’m sure reading it is different than seeing it done.

JS: It was after I got the part is when I got the script because it was all really very top secret. When I was reading it tried to imagine the scenes because I wanted to know what was going to happen on the next page. I read it in a really short space of time. I’ve never been involved in this genre and it’s M. Night Shyamalan! It was exciting although I didn’t realize how he was going to shoot it which made it even more exciting to see it in a theatre.

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JJ: Tell me a little bit about your thoughts when you read what your role was going to be.

JS: I thought oh man….her fate! I was a little bit nervous about how Marcia was going to come across in a survival situation. She is with these two girls who seem very proactive in how we get out. I was worried because I wanted Marcia to have a voice but when we started shooting and talking with Night, it was very much apparent that it was going to be a serious journey for all of them. I thought I was going to be one of those girls who disaster was going to happen to at the hands of James McAvoy. It was kind of funny; I think I laughed a little about it.

JJ: It’s interesting when you said, ‘I was talking with Night’ about your role. Do you know how many people will never say that in their life – ever?

JS: I know! It’s actually quite surreal. You become close especially in the close quarters for the entire shoot and when you leave and start refer to it later I don’t even think about it. He is somebody that always thinks through every shot because what he wants is very particular. It was cool to collaborate with him.

JJ: When Shyamalan does a film he is so in depth about the story and the characters. Did you feel like he has everyone’s role down pat?

JS: A little bit yes because he has it mapped out in his mind already. He is so specific in what he wants. He also will break things down for you if you have a question about a scene or something a character is doing. That is quite nice, especially when you are in a high emotional state and your character is going through trauma.

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JJ: Speaking of severe trauma, how long did it take you to get over all this?

JS: It’s more like the energy that goes into it and understanding that the circumstances are frightening, beyond frightening. Just kidnappings in general pop up on the news and it’s strange to be aware of it. When you are in that emotional state everyday and heightened, it was a matter of being tired once it was finished. I went back home after we were done and I just slept.

JJ: You were probably really hyper sensitive to it all because, as you said, the close quarters and the energy.

JS: We talked about scenes and what the characters were going through and no comparison to real life but you do start thinking about it all. There is the thought of not getting out of a real situation like this and that did scare me a bit.

JJ: After seeing SPLIT I didn’t want to be around anywhere dark, forests, and weird areas so I hear you.

JS: We would all talk about that too!

JJ: You are basically in a film, the three of you, with one guy that is many people. Working with James McAvoy in a role like I’ve never seen before, how was that for you?

JS: There were moments where we were watching him and couldn’t believe we were on the same set. He would go through all these changes was amazing. He is a fantastic actor and a lovely person, to get through a subject like this and to work with someone who is going through emotional extremes; he was so kind and made us laugh all the time. He was also really generous, charming and a pure joy to work with. On film when you see it all cut together and he scared me because he was someone I didn’t recognize.

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JJ: The first glimpse I had of hearing about the film and I thought ‘no way that is him!’

JS: He is brilliant.

JJ: When you were talking about working in close quarters, the only way I can describe how I felt watching it was that your character was confined in a confined space. Was as difficult to shoot as it was to watch?

JS: It had its technical challenges with moving around and figuring things out. When we were all in one room it was very cramped and it worked. I think it helped drive the scene I think. It was intensely shot with everyone feeling it because of the confined space. I mean your sweating and wanting to get out of there and so I think it adds to the intensity quite nicely.

JJ: That intensity is almost another character in the film.

JS: Very much so, I think Night proves that very well.

JJ: All of you also created that very well and what this cast put together truly does work wonderfully.

JS: That is so lovely for you to say Jeri, thank you. You don’t think about those things when you are working.

JJ: I think Night has his own genre because his films aren’t horror yet they are, they are not gory yet they are – what ever goes on in that mind of his is some serious business.

JS: We are lucky he is the director.

JJ: When people watch the film on Bluray, what would you like them to know about the film that they wouldn’t otherwise know?

JS: That’s a really good question. I would have to say that I really love everything about the way it was shot, every frame is amazing. I think what was done was really smart.

JJ: Do get more into it and be aware of the surroundings just like the characters had to for the entire film.

JS: Yes, that’s a good way of putting it. I think it’s something that I love from watching thrillers like Hitchcock. Focus on James and everything that he does.

JJ: I don’t think that will be a problem – my daughter has a thing for James, even if his 23 characters are seriously unhinged.

JS: Everyone does, everyone loves James.

JJ: Thank you so much Jessica for your time and for talking about the film and your experience with SPLIT.

 

I have a horror genre in my own home theatre library and SPLIT will have a special spot on the shelf. Turing our own fears inside out, this film will have you talking long after it is over. James McAvoy leads Sula, Richardson and Taylor-Joy in a cast that gives our spines a reason to shiver and stay out of dark places.

On Bluray this Tuesday from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is a thriller that will leave you breathless – just like a good thriller should! Director M. Night Shyamalan is back in the business of giving us all the shivers with SPLIT.

SPLIT Brings Stellar Performances and Fright!

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Jenise Jacquin

In 1999, writer/director M. Night Shyamalan decided to creep out the entire planet with a little film called THE SIXTH SENSE. Of course I was a mere gal of 17 when the film came out and I immediately knew I was watching something pretty spectacular. It was a creative, original and definitely kept me riveted from beginning to the shocking end.

A year later in 2000, UNBREAKABLE hit the screen and of course I had to be a part of anything Bruce Willis would be involved in. I watched it but felt it was more oriented toward guys leaving me out of the loop a little but I still loved Willis no matter what.

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Then the worst happened! The following films after UNBREAKABLE seemed to become a tad gimmicky to my way of thinking. Even SIGNS which I had hoped would knock it out of the park just seem to fall short of the originality and creativity of THE SIXTH SENSE. After that, any Shyamalan film coming my way just bounced off my ‘have to watch’ radar.

Now, in 2017, Shyamalan is back in theatres and I am here to say that SPLIT gave me the creative storyline and originality I associated with him back in 1999.

The film star James McAvoy (be still my heart!) as a man who has several serious problems named Dennis, Patricia, Hedwig, Barry, Orwell, Jade, The Beast and Kevin Wendell Crumb. One day he kidnaps Casey (Haley Lu Richardson), Marcia (Jessica Sula) and Claire (Anya Taylor-Joy) taking them to a dark and dismal location. He kidnaps the girls with a plan but Claire is an extra not planned on. It is clear this man has a problem with girls and when they stick together against him; their main goal is to escape.

Claire realizes that this man has the voice of a young boy name Hedwig and tries to be convincing about the need to escape. It also becomes clear that this man is responsible for different personalities who have different agendas. One by one each girl tries to escape and their different tactics keep their captor on edge. What they don’t know is that something sinister called The Beast is more terrifying than any of the personalities they have ever seen.

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McAvoy portraying all of these different personalities gives him the opportunity to cement his status as an actor. The most interesting thing about him is that he takes roles that are as equally diverse as the personalities in SPLIT (except perhaps not quite as frightening). I enjoyed the transition between the characters – from the sweet, helpful innocent to the creepy-man-next-door but what I loved most is the spots of creepy/mean characters, there are moments of compassion. Especially when he becomes Kevin because there is a moment where you feel for him and what he is going through. In the short time he is Kevin you feel his emotions down to the core and forget everything that came before it. No matter what he does he’s a sexy man – call me!

Taylor-Joy as Claire is the character most involved with the splits. She is secluded and misunderstood even before she is kidnapped with the girls and is perfect for this role. It’s a good life lesson actually for teens that you never really know what is going on. Claire is actually very smart but has been through a lot and does a great job of hiding it. Taylor-Joy gives the “weird kid” persona something to think about but in a calm, collective, peaceful and beautiful kind of way. You will see exactly what I mean from scene one!

Richardson as Casey was the reason Claire was in the car in the first place so we blame her for everything…period. Sula as Marcia is the follower and she had no guts so there isn’t about to be no glory. Even when Claire tells her to stop putting them all in danger, Marcia just does what Marcia does.

Betty Buckley as Dr. Karen Fletcher gets a personal shout out from me. She kept all the characters in line and respectfully sought out to help each one individually. I believe her character is one that sticks out because her presence made me feel like I was in the film not just watching it. Buckley captures different aspects of film because it made me root for her who rooted for Kevin and the other personalities. She had a huge role in a way in how the character behaves because she calls him out when he tries to put something over on everyone. I just plain out enjoyed her performance.

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Other cast includes   Sebastian Arcelus as Casey’s Father, Brad William Henke as Uncle John, Neal Huff as Mr. Benoit, Robert Michael Kelly as Joe, and Jon Rainey as Dr. Clerque.

I really did think the film was creepy, original, suspenseful and I most definitely would watch it again. It isn’t a bloody horror film but a suspenseful and smart telling of a man with a serious problem. The different ideas and characters always kept me aware but still creeped out wondering what was going to happen next and who is going to show up at the door – and when you are going to meet The Beast. The cinematography lends itself to the creepiness as well.

I’m making sure to leave tons of information out of this review because this is the film you want to experience for yourself and personally I hate when people give to much away – its more fun to discover the creepy within us all right? SPLIT will definitely give the audience just that and don’t be in such a hurry to leave your seat because nothing is ever quite finished the way you might expect.

In the end – Kevin has 23 personalities and the 24th is about to be unleashed!

 

 

 

Edited by Jeri Jacquin

X-MEN: Apocalypse Elevates on Bluray

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Jeri Jacquin

This week on Bluray from director Bryan Singer, Marvel Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is the unraveling of X-MEN: Apocalypse.

Apocalypse or En Sabah Nur (Oscar Isaac) is the world’s first mutant and after being betrayed by his own people, he is left buried under a pyramid of rubble. When Moira Mactaggert (Rose Byrne) discovers that the mutant has been discovered, she isn’t the only one who knows something is wrong.

Professor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) also knows something is wrong and looks for Moira to find answers when an earthquake shakes the planet. Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) rescues Kurt/Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee) and in the process knows there is something wrong with Eric/Magneto (Michael Fassbender).

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As Apocalypse gets his era bearings, he begins to find other mutants that will help him. First there is Ororo/Storm (Alexandra Shipp), then Psylocke (Olivia Munn) and finally Angel (Ben Hardy). Knowing that Magneto is angry once again, he uses that to his advantage.

Raven returns to the Gifted School and sees Hank/Beast (Nicholas Hoult), Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) and Scott/Cyclops (Tye Sheridan). When Apocalypse enters the school, it is his intention to take Charles but not before attempting to demolish the school. Peter/Quicksilver (Evan Peters) rescues them all but not before being taken by the military.

That won’t stop anything as they all end up back in Cairo, Egypt to put a stop to Apocalypse’ plan for world destruction – but they will need each other to save not only the world but one another.

McAvoy as Charles has this role down pat. Although I didn’t realize there was a storyline about why Charles would later become bald – thrilled to know now.  McAvoy is just endearing and he continues to be one of my favorite actors because he takes on such diverse roles.

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Fassbender as Eric/Magneto gets a chance to show this characters more ‘human’ side of his character. Now what I did believe was his response to being angry. Fassbender and McAvoy could read a phone book and I’d be happy, thought I’d throw that out there too. These two have given a young men’s perspective on the original Charles and Eric relationship and I’ve enjoyed it.

Lawrence as Raven/Mystique seems to be the Mom of the group. Wanting to protect each of them and reaching out to Erik she will do what’s necessary in the name of X-men. Hoult as Hank is smart and clearly still dealing with emotions about his gal-pal blue counterpart.

Smit-McPhee as Kurt/Nightcrawler was actually sweet, fast and even a little funny at times. Hardy as Angel has issues with his wings that end up being more sharp than feathery. Shipp as Ororo/Storm is the observant one of the bunch. Munn as Psylocke isn’t happy with the results of the final battle and I have a feeling she will be back.

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Turner as Jean basically spends the film waiting for her moment in the brightness. Sheridan as Scott gets a new look by the films end. Byrne as Mactaggert finally gets a little memory about Professor Charles and gets caught up in the mayhem. Isaac as Apocalypse is well hidden under a ton of makeup and costuming.

My golden tub of popcorn for the film goes to Evan Peters as Peter/Quicksilver. I just love this character with his wit, charm, humor, and every scene he is in. His smart quips to the admission about living in his Mom’s basement are so filled with fun that I loved every scene Peters is in. Can we do a film about Quicksilver?

Other cast include: Josh Helman as Col. Stryker, Lucas Till as Alex Summers/Havok, Lana Condor as Jubilee, Warren Scherer as Pestilence, Rochelle Okoye as Famine, Monique Ganderton as Death and of course Mr. Stan Lee makes his appearance that always makes the audience cheer!

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.

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TUBS OF POPCORN: I give X-MEN: Apocalypse three and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. This film comes in at over 143 minutes (that’s two hours and 23 minutes kiddies!) and is filled with enough action and cgi to keep comic fans happy. There is an hour long documentary X-Men: Apocalypse Unearthed that is what is going to really set fans into happy mode.

The Bluray-DVD-Digital HD includes the Special Features: X-Men: Apocalypse Unearthed, Wrap Party Video, and Extended Scenes with Optional Introductions by Bryan Singer. The Bluray-DVD includes Gag Reel, Audio Commentary by Bryan Singer & Simon Kinberg and a Gallery.

The Digital HD means you can watch the movie anywhere including television, computer, tablet and Smartphone.

X-MEN fans are going to go and go they should. After everything I’ve said I can honestly say the film is cgi entertaining enough. There are a few surprises that I’m not about to give away – sit through the film to find for yourself.

In the end – only the strong will survive!

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