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Michael J. Fox

BEING CANADIAN Educates with Humor on DVD

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Jeri Jacquin

On DVD from Candy Factory Film and writer/director Robert Cohen is one of the most amazing documentaries that educated me on BEING CANADIAN.

Robert Cohen is – well, Canadian! An Emmy Award winning writer and producer of such series like The Simpsons, American Dad and The Big Bang Theory, he moved from Calgary to Los Angeles becoming a comedy writer.

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It was when his friends and colleagues discover he is Canadian, that the stereotypes come out in a barrage of ‘Canada eh?’ or comments on the snow. That’s when Cohen gets the idea to go home and question being Canadian.

Jumping in a mini-van along with a few friends documenting the trip, he travels from one end of his homeland to the other. He wants to find out “What does it mean to be Canadian?” besides maple syrup and Mounties.

Now is Cohen’s chance to explore and explain the history of Canada as well as the questions “What is our national identity”, “What about Canada creates so many funny people? and “What the hell is poutine?”

Helping him to answer these questions are fellow Canadians Dan Aykroyd, Martin Short, Catherin O’Hara, Eugene Levy, Seth Rogen, Mike Meyers, Dave Foley, Cobie Smulders, Will Arnett, Howie Mandel, the band Rush, Alanis Morissette, Michael J. Fox, Paul Shaffer, Alex Trebek, Jason Priestly, David Steinberg and William Shatner.

If you didn’t know many of these beloved actors/actresses, comedians and rockers are Canadian well now you do. It is also wonderful to hear their own ideals and beliefs about where they are from and how it shaped who they are now.

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This is a charming, funny, unexpected and wonderful documentary!

Candy Factory Films is a forward-thinking, filmmaker-friendly company dedicated to producing unique and compelling films. Candy Factory is at the forefront of a new vanguard reaching distinct audiences. With award-winning and acclaimed films across every genre, Candy Factory is committed to creating and fostering communities around independent and progressive cinema. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.candyfactoryfilms.com.

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TUBS OF POPCORN: I give BEING CANADIAN five tubs of popcorn out of five. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this piece but with every question Cohen asks I found myself becoming more and more fascinated by what he had to say.

He is correct in that most Americans don’t give a second thought to Canada and by the end of this documentary I felt guilty about that. I quite honestly would love to take the same trip he did to experience a country that really does have so much to offer.

Whether it is the long winding roads, changing weather, rocky shores or charming display of Canadian affection with a parade, I was enamored. The explanation of apology and the history Cohen shares – all of this is done with humor and self-deprecation that makes me want to give every corner of Canada a huge hug and then cook everyone dinner insisting they have seconds.

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Thank you Robert Cohen for have the heart to share your quest filled with kindness of strangers at a gas station, living hostility vicariously through hockey, inferiority complex, explaining the Partition of Quebec (I didn’t understand it prior to this) and how it’s possible for someone to steal thousands of gallons of Canada’s prized maple syrup!

This is the most fun I’ve had watching a documentary in the longest time. BEING CANADIAN was the Official Selection for HotDocs, Nantucket Film Festival, Traverse City Film Festival and nominated Best Documentary Screenplay for Robert Cohen from the Writers Guild of America.

With Canada’s Sesquicentennial Anniversary coming in 2017, BEING CANADIAN is the best way to be informed and gives us all plenty of time to buy a gift!

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BACK TO THE FUTURE Trilogy Comes to Bluray with the 30th Anniversary Set

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Jeri Jacquin

Where were you on October 21, 2015? Well, the rest of us were preparing for the fantastic release of BACK TO THE FUTURE the 30th Anniversary Trilogy on Bluray.

In 1985, writer/director Robert Zemeckis along with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment took movie-goers on a trip that lasted longer than anyone would ever have anticipated. But let us begin with the story of BACK TO THE FUTURE as Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), a young man who enjoys hanging out with inventor Doc (Christopher Lloyd).

While testing the latest invention, a DeLorean that has been rigged to be a time machine, Marty is accidentally sent back thirty years. Now Marty must reintroduce himself to Doc, living with his parents who are teenagers, deal with Biff Tannen (Thomas F. Wilson) and do whatever it takes to make sure nothing changes the events leading up to his present life.

Well, maybe one or two little changes!

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In 1989 fans are driven back into the theatre with BACK TO THE FUTURE II. Doc and Marty along with Marty’s girlfriend Jennifer (Elizabeth Shue) need to go to 2015! Biff Tannen is up to old tricks finding a sports almanac that has all the information for fifty years of future games and gives it to his kid self at the Under the Sea dance.

Marty discovers how his family is brought to ruin by that one event and now there selves cross back and forth. At one point Doc is in 1885 and Marty is stuck again in 1955. They have to hurry before Biff permanently stops them both.

In 1990 we take one more trip with Doc and Marty but this time in BACK TO THE FUTURE III, Marty must find doc who is still stranded in 1885. Marty discovers that Biff’s great-grandfather is out to get Doc which can once again change the future.

This time Doc falls in love, the Calvary and the Native Americans are fighting and the DeLorean is in need of repair! Just another road trip trying to keep up when going BACK TO THE FUTURE!

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Michael J. Fox as Marty is the one and only person who could possible be this character. From his ability to make us laugh with facial expressions and physical abilities it is easy to see how this actor went from the television Family Ties (that I still love watching) to the big screen. BACK TO THE FUTURE gave us all the opportunity to watch the character of Marty grow!

Lloyd as Doc gives this character every descriptor you can imagine – funny, confusing in an amusing way, sweet, charming, smart and a bit silly. None of these are surprising because Lloyd captured fans also being Jim from the television series Taxi, to playing Professor Plum in the hit film CLUE to the series Granite Flats, not to mention lending vocals to video games. But it is the white crazy haired Doc with his DeLorean that always stands out for fans because he gave us all pretty awesome memories of family time in the theatre and now, we can do it again at home!

Other cast members such as Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover and Thomas Wilson that absolutely round out the film!

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment brings contemporary and classic theatre and television to fans. UPHE has a 4,000 title catalog bringing the best to those who want to expand their home media library with films such as JURASSIC PARK, DESPICABLE ME and the FAST AND THE FURIOUS franchise along with my personal favorite, BOXTROLLS! For more of what UPHE has to offer please visit www.uphe.com.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give BACK TO THE FUTURE the 30th Anniversary Trilogy five tubs of popcorn out of five. How could I not give it five? This is such an immersion into a wonderful trilogy of films that are now and will continue to be iconic. It is truly hard to believe it has been 30 years since Marty and Doc came on the scene. It’s hard to believe because the film is ageless! Plus the film gave us such tag lines that are used today such as “Hellllooooo, McFllllyyyyy!”

I won’t lie – I played the BACK TO THE FUTURE video game and got really good at it. I laughed constantly, learned to skateboard Marty across each level but never actually beat the game. It never stopped me from continuing to play it though. Ahhhh, the days of good video games!

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Each Bluray comes complete with bonus features and with BACK TO THE FUTURE they include Deleted Scenes, Tales from the Future: In the Beginning, Tales from the Future: Time to Go, Tales from the Future: Keeping Time, Archival Featurettes, Michael J. Fox Q&A, Behind the Scenes, “The Power of Love” Music Video by Huey Lewis and the News, Theatrical Trailer, Q&A with Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale along with Commentary and U-Control.

In BACK TO THE FUTURE II the bonus features include Deleted Scenes, Tales from the Future: Time Flies, The Physics of Back to the Future, Archival Featurettes, Behind the Scenes, Q&A with Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale along with Commentary and U Control.

In BACK TO THE FUTURE III the bonus features include Deleted Scenes, Tales from the Future: Third Time’s the Charm, Tales from the Future: The Test of Time, Archival Featurettes, Behind the Scenes, “Doubleback” music video by ZZ Top, FAQ about the Trilogy, Back to the Future: The Ride, Q&A with Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale along with Commentary and U Control.

Finally, there is a bonus disc that includes 2015 Message from Doc Brown, Doc Brown Saves the World!, OUTATIME: Restoring the DeLorean, Looking Back to the Future, Back to the Future: The Animated Series and 2015 Commercials.

All of this means that a marathon time slot is a must because this is no longer just about the films, it is a chance to really immerse into the BACK TO THE FUTURE history. This is such an amazing collection and is a must-have for everyone’s home media library so enjoy!

In the end – it is amazing to once again go BACK TO THE FUTURE!

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