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Oscar Winner GREEN BOOK on Digital and Coming to 4K Ultra HD and Bluray

Greenbook bluray

Jeri Jacquin

Currently on Digital and coming to on 4K Ultra HD, Bluray and DVD from director Peter Farrelly and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is the story of two men and a GREEN BOOK.

It is the 1960s and Tony ‘Lip’ Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen) is an Italian-American in the Bronx who works as security at the famous Copa. When there is a problem at the club, Tony must find temporary employment elsewhere. He receives a telephone call one morning asking if he wanted to interview for a driving job.

Arriving at Carnegie Hall, he waits his turn to be interviewed. That’s when he meets Dr. Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali), a world class pianist who is African-American. He learns that Dr. Shirley is planning a road trip into the deep southern states that will take two months. As the two men talk and feel each other out, Tony is sure that he didn’t get the job.

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To his surprise, Dr. Shirley gets the okay from Tony’s wife Dolores (Linda Cardellini) for him to be gone until Christmas Eve. He also learns that because he is driving an African-American, Tony needs to read The Negro Motorist Green Book that will tell him when, where and the rules in the south.

Throughout their trip, Tony and Dr. Shirley begin to learn about each other, experience new things and discover that the deep south of the 1960s could be a place of fear and ignorance. Both men begin to change their perspectives and perceptions that will lead to a life long friendship based on the one word they knew that most didn’t – respect.

Mortensen as Tony portrays this Italian-American as a man who has no problem using his fists when push comes to shove – and it’s not Tony that starts the shoving. He is a man of the era with a belief found in almost everyone from the neighborhood in the Bronx. Mortensen is absolutely stunning in this role and deserves every accolade. It is a difficult role and his talent in portraying Tony is locked in and strongly portrayed.

He has made his way through characters in films since I first spotted him in the 1993 film AMERICAN YAKUZA and there has been no looking back. Mortensen cemented his career with the role of Aragorn in the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy which has allowed his choice of roles to range from westerns to apocalyptic in nature. His role in GREEN BOOK is just extraordinary.

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Ali as Dr. Shirley is now an Oscar winner for Best Supporting Actor for his role in GREEN BOOK. He is a very eloquent, educated and smooth moving pianist who believes that Tony has the potential to be even more than he is. What he doesn’t understand is that Tony likes being Tony. There are moments that Ali’s performance is just heartbreaking because of the situations they two men found themselves in but then the joy of laughter in a bucket of KFC.

If Ali seems familiar to you then you are obviously a fan of the hit Netflix series House of Cards but his career spans television with the most recent series The 4400. He has continues to jump from television with the HBO hit series True Detectives and the film FREE STATE OF JONES.

Cardellini as Dolores is a woman who sees that her husband will do anything to provide for his family. Worried that his beliefs would have him fired in a week, she slowly begins to see that the friendship between the two men is forming and having an effect on her husband Tony.

Other cast include: Dimiter D. Marinov as Oleg, Mike Hatton as George, Joe Cortese as Gio, Don Stark as Jules Podell, Quinn Duffy as Mikey Cerrone and Von Lewis as Bobby Rydell.

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.

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The 4K Ultra HD, Bluray, DVD and Digital Bonus Features include Virtuoso Performances – Go behind the scenes with Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali as they discuss their characters and the lengths they went to accurately portray them, An Unforgettable Friendship – Cast and filmmakers discuss the friendship between Don Shirley and Tony Lip and Going Beyond the GREEN BOOK – Filmmakers and cast discuss the significance of the GREEN BOOK.

Movies Anywhere is the digital app that simplifies and enhances the digital movie collection and viewing experience by allowing you to access favorite digital movies in one place when codes are redeemed. For more information please visit http://moviesanywhere.com.

GREEN BOOK turns out to be the surprise win at the 2019 Academy Awards but then again it shouldn’t be a surprise at all. It is a story of true friendship and the lessons each learn along their two month road trip. From bars to police to hotels and even the unexpected reactions to driving Dr. Shirley – each situation that presents itself causes both men to have to remain calm.

I was absolutely mesmerized by Mortensen and Ali together on the screen. They played off of each other to the point that I forgot who I was watching because the story captured me.  Not being afraid to tackle the issues of the south in the 1960s, it also tackles the belief of those living in the northern states who perhaps didn’t believe they had issues at the time.

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As both characters start to open up more and more, it doesn’t surprise me that the friendship of Dr. Shirley and Tony lasted a lifetime. The two months they spent together brought surprises, life lessons, humor, understanding, secrets and music.

The Bonus Features are absolutely worth watching to get a deeper look inside this friendship from the two men portraying Dr. Shirley and Tony. The heartfelt interviews just give GREEN BOOK am even deeper reason for us all to watch the film.

Not only winning an Oscar for Best Picture, Ali won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor and a nomination for Viggo Mortensen along with Best Picture and Best Screenplay. GREEN BOOK is everything I want in a film that tells the true story of two unexpected men who became brothers.

In the end – inspired by a true friendship!

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BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY Brings Mercury Back on Stunning Bluray

Bohemian Bluray

 

Jeri Jacquin

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

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

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

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

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

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

Because Queen is all about rocking us!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the end – fearless lives forever!

 

THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS is Brilliant on Bluray

nutcracker bluray

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray, DVD and Digital from directors Lasse Hallstrom, Joe Johnston and Walt Disney Home Entertainment comes the delight of THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS.

It is Christmas Eve in Victorian London but not cheerful for the Stahlbaum family. Mr. Stahlbaum (Matthew Macfadyen) tries to make the holidays memorable but the sadness at the death of his wife Marie still holds on. Daughter Clara (Mackenzie Foy) is not giving an inch of happiness where the holidays are concerned.

Receiving a beautiful egg-shaped box from her Mother, Clara is intrigued until she discovers that no one has the key to open it. There is a note attached telling the young girl that inside is everything she would ever need. Putting it away until later, the family leaves for the Christmas Eve ball where she is thrilled to spend time with Drosselmeyer (Morgan Freeman).

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Clara shows him the egg which he instantly recognizes telling her that she will find a way to open it. Returning to the ball, the young girl’s father is upset that she isn’t keeping with their traditions, such as the father-daughter dance. Clara speaks horribly to him and knows she caused pain.

That is when Drosselmeyer tells the children to find the string with their name on it and at the end will be their presents! Clara finds her and at the end she is shocked to find herself in another place all together. Going through the strange snow forest she sees a key dangling from a tree but a small mouse sees it sooner, grabs it and runs!

Trying to follow Clara comes across Captain Hoffman the Nutcracker (Jayden Knight). Discovering who she is, he follows her into the dark Land of Amusements now called the Fourth Realm only to come close to the outcast Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren). Instead, the Captain takes Clara to the palace learning that her mother was a Queen. She is introduced to the Sugar Plum Fairy (Kiera Knightley), Shivers (Richard E. Grant) and Hawthorne (Eugenio Derbez).

They are thrilled to meet Clara and are equally sad to learn that their Queen has passed away. Embracing Clara they want her help in protecting the kingdom from Mother Ginger. They show her the story of the land through ballet explaining that Clara’s mother created this kingdom when she was a girl. The Sugar Plum Fairy also shows Clara the inventions that would help them but they need a key, the same key she has been looking for.

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Helping the Sugar Plum Fairy, Clara learns that she is not as sweet as she would seem and that Mother Ginger isn’t the bad character after all. Now they must all come together to help the kingdom from the creations being made with Clara’s mother’s invention.

It is time to save her mother’s kingdom!

Foy as Clara has definitely made her way clear from being a very young half human-halfvampire into an amazingly beautiful and talented young lady. As a young girl who can not seem to grasp losing her mother, her pain lashes out against those who truly love her. Discovering that her mother was a queen of a realm of her own creation, Foy takes Clara on a journey surrounded by beauty, danger and creativity. She is completely lovely in this role.

Knightley as the Sugar Plum Fairy proves the old adage that looks can be deceiving. Tricking an impressionable young girl is one thing, going on an anger tangent of power is totally another. Not sure I can ever look at this character again during the holidays and not be suspicious. It is definitely a different role for Knightley and well done.

Knight as Captain Hoffman the Nutcracker is a soldier dedicated to his post (even if it is in the middle of nowhere in snow). Once he meets Clara and realizes who she is, it takes no time at all before he is joining in on the adventure to save the kingdom. Knight is gentle and soulful in this role.

Mirren as Mother Ginger is not about to let anyone show her up – not even Clara. At least that is the way she seems at their first meeting. Mirren is everything I love her to be but then again she is one of my favorite actresses so it is a joy to watch her in this film. I have to say that I love the wild red hair!

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Macfadyen as Stahlbaum is a grieving husband who is trying to be a good father to his children. Wanting to create a beautiful and memorable Christmas, he is met with the hurt of a young daughter. Macfadyen is perfect in this role as he continues his recent streak of role that stand out. Freeman as Dosselmeyer is in on the secret of the realm and misses Clara’s mother almost as much as she does. He has but one job and he does it exceptionally well.

Other cast include Misty Copeland as the Ballerina Princess, Anna Madeley as Marie Stahlbaum, Sergei Polunin as The Sweets Cavalier, Ellie Bamber as Louise Stahlbaum, Tom Sweet as Fritz Stahlbaum, Jack Whitehall as Harlequin and Charles Riley as The Mouse King.

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment began distributing under its own label in 1980 and continues to bring quality programming to kids and kids at heart. Home of the most beloved animated features including SNOW WHITE, PINOCCHIO and SLEEPING BEAUTY to name a few is what keeps families coming back for more. To see what is currently available to add to your own family library please visit. www.movies.disney.com for their At Home titles!

The Bluray Bonus Extras Include On Pointe: Misty Copeland, Unwrapped THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS, Music Videos ‘Fall On Me’ by Andrea Bocelli featuring Matteo Bocelli and ‘The Nutcracker Suite’ by Lang Lang as well as Deleted Scenes.

The Digital Code is also included using Movies Anywhere – watch Anywhere with the Movies Anywhere App for Download and Streaming.

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THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS is visually stunning in the story that it is telling. That is important because although many have seen the ballet version in some form, this is an amazing opportunity to see the combination of ballet and live action. Exploring the characters even further with vivid characters and graceful movement is a true treat.

This film in stunning Bluray is everything my family wants to add to our growing family traditions. There is everything from wonderful music, dancing, wild characters, fun, laughter, a little sadness, adventure and an ending that we can all embrace.

It is a story of love, hope, loyalty, goodness and working together to save something bigger than themselves – and isn’t that what we want not only from the holidays but all year long? I think so.

In the end – let the mystery unfold!

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY Brings Freddie Mercury Back to Us – If Only For A Moment

Bohemian cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this Friday from director Brian Singer and 20th Century Fox comes the story of a legend that lives on today through a BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY.

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

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

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

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

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

Because Queen is all about rocking us!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The soundtrack is amazing! If you are a Queen fan then this film will rock you, if you think you are a Queen fan this film will rock you, and if you want to be a Queen fan then go get rocked as BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY comes to theatres.

In the end – fearless lives forever!

A STAR IS BORN Sings onto the Screen

a star is

Jeri Jacquin

In theatres this Friday from director Bradley Cooper and Warner Bros. is two people filled with the need for music when A STAR IS BORN.

Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) is a musician-singer who can fill a concert arena singing his songs. On stage or off he also has a problem with staying away from alcohol. Even with Bobby (Sam Elliott) keeping an eye on him and cleaning up the messes, Jack is one hot mess.

After a concert, Jack doesn’t have his liquid courage in the car and asks his driver to pull over to the local bar. Recognizing him at the door is Ramon (Anthony Ramos) who insists on bringing him to the bar and buying Jack a drink. That’s when he realizes that he is in a drag bar and watches the show.

Ramon insists that Jack prepare himself to see his friend Ally (Lady Gaga) perform and almost immediately he is taken in. Going backstage to meet her, they go out for a drink after to discuss her want of music. Seeing she is a straight shooter makes Jack go even weaker in the knees and he wants her to come to a concert the next night.

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After kissing their jobs goodbye, Ally and Ramon make it to the concert and Jack decides to get her onstage for a song. The next day on YouTube, dad Lorenzo (Andrew Dice Clay) can not believe what he is seeing. Excited beyond belief Ally begins a relationship with Jack that puts them on the stage together over and over again.

Ally is noticed by manager Rez (Rafi Gavron) who wants to blow her up everywhere. Believing in her talent is one thing and changing her is another and although she sees what is happening, Ally also knows she has to go to get. Jack begins to feel as if he is losing her in some way and responds accordingly.

His path of self destruction begins to have an effect on their relationship. In one instant Ally sees how destructive Jack’s life has become because of the past, his ability to have relationships and where they are both going musically. Yet she will not give up or give in when it comes to the man who brought her love and music.

Love has amazing powers as long as you believe.

Cooper as Jack is pretty much front and center of the film and although that may be fine, the character is not new. The only thing ‘different’ in this story is a brother and an alcoholic father but it is muddled which just drove me crazy. There was nothing unexpected here which again supports my theory that remakes need to have a 75 year stamp on them. What might surprise viewers is that he sings the heartfelt songs with ease and together with Gaga they are sweet performances.

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Lady Gaga as Ally is sweet in this role but again, there is nothing new for me to see here. Vocally she is outstanding but then again would anyone expect anything less? The songs are lovely and touching. I think what drove me nuts is that she goes from being Ally in the beginning to actually becoming ‘Lady Gaga’ by the middle to end. That means I don’t see Ally anymore and there goes the film!

Elliott as Bobby has a few scenes and makes the most of them. The problem is that the scenes seem so disjointed and I suppose that could be because their storyline has such an age gap. I love Sam Elliott so I’m happy to see him in anything but if you are going to use this iconic actor in a role, do it well and do it memorably.

Clay as Dad Lorenzo is a proud papa and I’ll admit I didn’t know for at least five minutes that it was him. There are appearances by Dave Chappelle and Eddie Griffin but I’m not sure how that storyline fit into it all, again disjointed. It was good to see both of them so there’s that.

Other cast include Bonnie Somerville as Sally Cummings, Michael Harney as Wolfe, Willam Belli as Emerald, Rebecca Field as Gail, Eddie Griffin as Pastor and Dave Chappelle as Noodles.

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Okay, here’s the rough part. I am an avid and devoted fan to the 1937 Janet Gaynor/Frederick March A STAR IS BORN. There is something amazing about that era so that the ’37 version is stunning, emotional and heartbreaking for me. The first time I saw it I knew I had to see it again and again (which I have). Gaynor and March cemented my love of black and white films.

In 1954, Judy Garland and James Mason brought their colorful film to the screen and man, oh man, did the voice of Judy Garland dig deeper into my heart. There is no one like her and there will never be again so to watch her in this version of A STAR IS BORN reminds me of how wonderful both of these actors were. I saw both of these films on television as a kid.

In 1976, Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson brought A STAR IS BORN to the big screen and I can not stress enough how blow away I was at 16 years old. The presence of Streisand and Kristofferson could have been enough but when they both sang their respective songs I absolutely couldn’t breathe. When they sang together I had a tear and a smile on my face. Yes, I remember every emotion the first time I saw the film because I spent several weekends after at the matinee to experience it all again and again. That is what this version of the film did for me and it is a memory as clear as if it were yesterday.

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So, here we are in 2018 and although the music is amazing and the two performers put it down emotionally, there is nothing in the story that is going to keep me going back again. I don’t want that to sound as if I’m saying the film isn’t good, it’s alright to my way of thinking but because I hold the other films so dear – there just isn’t room for another version. It just didn’t need to be re-told, re-imagined, re-thunk or any other re…the studio should have just released the original in theatres like they are doing with SUPERMAN.

I know, I know, I’m going to get chided for my opinion but we all know it’s the truth. Understand there is so many original scripts out there waiting to be discovered and made into films that I just do not understand why Cooper thought this was in any way necessary. Why Hollywood, why?

Okay, I’m done. I know there are many people who are excited about the film so go and be excited. Cooper and Gaga can sing so enjoy that and pick up the soundtrack which I think has the potential to be so successful (just please don’t do a sequel Gaga!)

In the end – the music brought them love!

 

 

Butterfield, Burstyn and Offerman Epically Shine in the THE HOUSE OF TOMORROW

House of Tomorrow

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres from writer/director Peter Livolsi based on the novel by Peter Bognanni and Shout! Studios is the ideals of the past, frozen in the present with eyes toward the THE HOUSE OF TOMORROW.

Living in a dome house in the woods is Sebastian Prendergast (Asa Butterfield), a young teenager living with his grandmother Josephine (Ellen Burstyn) studying the philosophies of R. Buckminster Fuller. Josephine has kept Sebastian sequestered from the rest of the world and it will soon become obvious to the young man.

Alan Whitcomb (Nick Offerman) arrives at the House of Tomorrow with a church group to hear all about the history of Buckminster along with son Jared (Alex Wolff) and Meredith (Maude Apatow). While speaking with the kids, Josephine ends up in the hospital and that’s when Alan and Jared notice that Sebastian isn’t an ordinary teenager.

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Sebastian may be different but then again so is Jared. When Alan makes an attempt to help along a friendship, Jared isn’t the warm and fuzzy type. Yet Sebastian takes the initiative to visit the Whitcomb home and learns that Jared is different in his own way. Meredith sees Sebastian’s innocence as sweet and notices that her brother has truly taken an interest in life.

Learning about one another is awkward yet school is in session as their friendship turns to music and all the things Sebastian has been missing outside of his dome-cocoon. Josephine spends her time coming up with ideas to get more people into the dome for visits but also notices that something is changing about her grandson. Feeling him pulling away causes an emotional showdown.

When Alex and Sebastian decide to start a band and perform – they are up against a grandmother who refuses to budge from the past, an over protective father who is afraid of the present and a future that can only shine for the House of Tomorrow.

House of Tomorrow (screen grab) CR: Shout! Studios

Butterfield as Sebastian has once again embraced a role that is deep, endearing and innocent. Smarter than the average teen and a vocabulary even an adult would shy away from, it is when he crosses to the outer-side that the two worlds mesh and he makes it his own. Butterfield not only has the ability to show every fiber of innocence but when he lets loose, he also has the ability to make us all cheer for him!

Wolff as Jared is a young man dealing with an over protective father and a mother with problems of her own. Finding an unusual friendship with Sebastian turns out to be just what the doctor ordered. Trying to find his own place in the world, Jared finds it in music, taking chances by breaking away bringing Sebastian with him. I truly enjoyed Wolff in this role and I admit he also made me laugh – a lot, and because just as Sebastian has a way of talking, so does Jared.

Offerman as Dad Alan is raising two teen kids who are clearly strong willed and, once in a while, cause him to cringe with things they say and do. I have to say that Offerman has the calmness of a saint with all the shenanigans happening in his home as well as finding he has another teen in his home. When Alex needs him the most, Alan kicks into over drive and starts to see his son differently. Apatow as Meredith is the girl who is irritated with Dad, insulting with brother and leery of Mom – in other words a typical teenager. She sees something in Sebastian that gives her a little more hope that life still can be surprising.

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Burstyn as Josephine has lived her life attacked to that of R. Buckminster Fuller. Believing in the philosophies that the world can be a better place, she has raised her grandson to make a difference in the world. Of course when he becomes aware of the outside world, and a Pepsi, she becomes distraught thinking he will be lost to it all. I absolutely adore Burstyn, always have, and her role in THE HOUSE OF TOMORROW reminds me (as if I need it) of the astronomical level of her talent.

Writer Peter Bognanni teaches creative writing in Minnesota and won the Los Angeles Time Book Prize and the ALA Alex Award for the novel The House of Tomorrow. His second book is Things I’m Seeing Without You is a story of love, loss and loving again.

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THE HOUSE OF TOMORROW is a beautiful film that wraps the past, present and future all around the heart. As someone who is well aware of R. Buckminster Fuller, I truly loved that his presence is mixed in the story and was surprised to learn the piece of footage with Burstyn and Fuller is actually real. Just that moment in the film brings the viewer into it all on an even deeper level.

Keeping the cast to a minimum is also something that I truly enjoyed about the story. Focusing on the relationship between Josephine, Sebastian and the Whitcomb’s lets our hearts open to endearment, coming of age, change and even a bit of laughter. This story is about five very different people discovering that grandmothers can be sticklers, fathers know more than they say and that kids reach a point where breaking away sometimes means breaking the rules.

In the end – make your own future!

Disney’s LADY AND THE TRAMP is Coming to the Signature Collection!

 

lady cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray/DVD and Digital on a Multi-Screen Edition from directors Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson and Hamilton Luske comes The Signature Walt Disney Collection release of LADY AND THE TRAMP.

This film tells the story of Tramp (voiced by Larry Roberts), a mongrel dog from the other side of the tracks – the not so good side! He loves his life of being free, that is until he meets Lady (voiced by Barbara Luddy).

Lady is a beautiful cocker spaniel that lives with the Jim Dear and Darling family. Treated like a princess, things change when the couple discovers there will be another addition to their family. Feeling as if she is losing everything, Lady decides to take off with Tramp and see the world.

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But their adventure is filled with treacherous chaos and missteps that could tear them apart!

This Disney classic was first released in 1955 and has been a beloved classic ever since. The most memorable and iconic scene is Lady and Tramp having their spaghetti meal together by candlelight being serenaded. How loveable and romantic is that I ask!

The characters from the trouble making Siamese cats who sing ‘We Are Siamese’ is sung by the beautiful Miss Peggy Lee to Trusty voiced by Bill Baucom bring back childhood memories for many and instantly loved by a new generation.

There are several things in the film prompted by Disney himself. The films setting are reminiscent of his hometown of Marceline, Missouri. Also, when Darling receives a puppy for Christmas this was based on Disney missing a dinner date with his wife and he presented her with a puppy – he was promptly forgiven!

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At the end of the film, Tramps son Scamp is featured. Scamp became the subject for a comic strip, children’s books and comic books. He would be seen again in the 2001 animated film LADY AND THE TRAMP II: Scamps Adventure.

Other cast include: Bill Thompson as Jock, Stan Freberg as Beaver, Verna Felton as Aunt Sarah, Alan Reed as Boris, George Givot as Tony, Dal McKennon as Toughy, Peggy Lee as Darling and Lee Miller as Jim Dear.

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment began distributing under its own label in 1980 and continues to bring quality programming to kids and kids at heart. Home of the most beloved animated features including SNOW WHITE, PINOCCHIO and SLEEPING BEAUTY to name a few is what keeps families coming back for more. To see what is currently available to add to your own family library please visit. www.movies.disney.com for their At Home titles!

The Bluray/DVD and Digital Multi-Screen Edition include the Bonus Extras of New Sing-Along Version, Inside Walt’s Story Meetings, Original Theatrical Version, Stories from Walt’s Office – Learn About Walt Through His Trinkets and Treasures, Walt and His Dogs – Meet the Canine Characters Walt Loved, How to Make a Meatball and Other Fun Facts About LADY AND THE TRAMP – with Oh My Disney stars Alexys Gabrielle and Teen Chef Amber Kelly and so much more!

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There isn’t anything about this classic animated film that doesn’t resonate with fun. The story is timeless and the lessons of friendship and love are wonderful. Children and adults can share the story of these two adventuresome canines!

The animation is crisper in such amazing Bluray with characters that leap from the our home screens into our laps for a cuddle. Of course the endearing story of Tramp the no-care-in-the-world pup of the streets meeting the ever lovely and sweet Lady takes no prisoners of the heart in its telling.

Each character brings such a lovely uniqueness to the tale of dogs and cats and also has had generations laughing at their antics. If it’s time to introduce your family’s next generation to the wonderful world of Disney, then pick up The Walt Disney Signature Collection release of LADY AND THE TRAMP and share the iconic memory!

In the end – this is one of the greatest love stories ever told!

HBO Brings the Story Straight from THE DEFIANT ONES on Bluray

The Defiant Ones Bluray 2

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray from HBO and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is the four-part series tells the story of music and a pairing of minds that come straight from THE DEFIANT ONES.

Dr. Dre begins by telling the story of his early ears in Compton and being raised by his mother and what was going on around him. In his teen years he danced as part of The Freak Patrol but Mom wanted him to do something more with his life.  When he saw a local DJ scratchin’ he knew that it was something he wanted to be a part of.

Playing in Eazy-E’s backyard, he found a nitch making tapes for others. In 1984 Dr. Dre became part of the DJ group called the Wrecking Crew working at the club Eve After Dark. Mixing 60’s song with a new beat, people were taken by what they were hearing.

Dre

The time came however when Dr. Dre knew it was time for something different and he partnered with Eazy-E to create Ruthless Records. Westcoast Hip-Hop was almost non-existent and the chance came for Eazy-E and Dre to create Boyz in the Hood. A group formed with Ice Cube, McRen, DJ Yella that would become N.W.A.

As their album is in production, Eazy-E asks that he stop what they are doing to take on the girl group JJ Fad and Supersonic. After run-ins with the police, Ice Cube wrote and they recorded F**k the Police and Dre knew it was dangerous. The violence comes home when Dre has a death in the family.

Ruthless Records is making music and doing videos but the group deals with more disasters when a member has a devastating car accident. Shug Knight comes into the picture when Ice Cube lets Dre know that there is something wrong with the business and then walks away. The group becomes even more divided when Eazy-E and Dre can’t agree on how to go forward.

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N.W.A.’s next album is practically banned everywhere from MTV to radio airwaves. Dre is floundering thinking of what he will do next when he hooks up with Suge Knight. The hookup between Dre and Snoop Dogg is another monumental team up of genius and the album The Chronic is made. In New York the two men took it upon themselves to get their work out.

James Iovine was born in Brooklyn to a hard working Italian-American family. His love of music turned to being part of a band. College at 19 his parents didn’t want him to go to war so he attended John Jay College of Criminal Justice. It was music that drove him and job after job would take him to Roy Cicala who took Jimmy under his wing. One Easter Sunday he was called into work and covering for an engineer he would work with John Lennon – it was 1973.

In 1975, Jimmy would work with the legendary Bruce Springsteen and he moved on to the group Foghat. That would send him back to the studios and there he met Patti Smith who wanted him to produce her music.

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Jimmy now finds himself in Los Angeles working with Tom Petty and after hearing Break Down and Refugee, he was floored. Eight more songs later an album came together and Backstreet was a hit. Next he was working with Stevie Nicks and her first solo album was created. Stop Dragging My Heart Around brought Petty and Nicks together for a smash single hit!

Jimmy and Stevie parted ways and he moved on to Bob Seiger and Dire Straits and the executives kept him away from other artists. He meets Vicki McCarty and she introduces him to Bono of U2, different yet there is something that clicks between them. Another meshing of creativity takes place.

He is also dealing with deaths in his own family, he starts to become part of the music business rather than create as he had done in the past. He does work with U2 on their Rattle and Hum album (which is one of my favorites) but makes a decision that he is done.

Springsteen

Wanting to spend more time at home so Jimmy meets up with investors to create Interscope Records. Signing the singing of Rico Suave, they also got Primus, Four Non-Blondes, Mark Wahlberg and a little group known as No Doubt. Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails wasn’t happy with his record deal and Jimmy saw something outstanding in the group.

Now that you know the players – it was inevitable that Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine would come together. Lawsuits disappeared and radio play is bought just as Jimmy promised with Dre and Snoop on the cover of Rolling Stones. Death Row Records and the gang are with Interscope Records and success is theirs.

With success comes trip ups and lead feet as moments with the law pop up. That sometimes happens when success isn’t explained. It becomes a job to keep up with Marilyn Manson, Tupak Shakur as well as Snoop when it comes to dealing with the law and the outcry of society at large.

If that wasn’t enough, a storm was brewing between Death Row Records and Bad Boy Records that became the East vs. West Coast rumble. Once Tupac is released from his prison, he hit the studio and the group started to crack. So much so that Jimmy and other executives are starting to feel in danger.

In Las Vegas it would come to a head as a fight happens and shots ring out. Tupak Shakur is killed on the streets with no one in custody and Shug also finds himself in trouble with the law. Now others begin to understand why Dr. Dre walked away and decided to start over on his own terms.

Jimmy Dre

Starting Aftermath Records and a family, Dre is now in charge. Enter Marshall Mather also known as Eminem and once again there is magic in the studio. Followed by Fifty Cent, The Chronic 2001 and the Black Eyed Peas kept pushing Interscope talent skyward.

Their next crisis came in the form of the internet and the downloading of music and trading it for free. Instead of panicking, Jimmy found a way to make it work toward their musical advantage. In the midst of this, these two men and their perfection also have to deal with how that affects the families they have created. It doesn’t stop Dre and Jimmy from creating the next big idea that came to be known as Beats headphones, speakers and accessing their music.

Now, these two men find a way to give back to the communities that they sprang from. The place in their lives now have come from the challenges and lessons that have given them the title of THE DEFIANT ONES.

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.

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.

This is truly an amazing look at two men who have made an impact in music industry. Understanding their history and what drove them to follow the music and listen for the unique and creative talent is what THE DEFIANT ONES is all about.

This is a four and a half hour history lesson of Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine told by those who lived it with them including Snoop Dogg, Bruce Springsteen, Gwen Stefani, Bono, David Geffen, Eminem, Nas, Stevie Nicks, Kendrick Lamar, Ice Cube, Jon Landau, Patti Smith, Lady Gaga, Doug Morris, Trent Reznor, Diddy, Alonzo Williams, Will.I.Am and Tom Petty.

Four decades of two men who refused to be defined or labeled into a category, THE DEFIANT ONES doesn’t hold back in any way. Every bit of the good, bad, ugly and crazy is told from both Dre and Jimmy including things in their life that can’t be changed but can be acknowledged.

Do not hesitate to experience this amazing four part series as HBO brings THE DEFIANT ONES to Bluray and DVD and available on Digital now.

In the end – it was an unlikely pairing that are now icons!

Time Life Brings Back a Reason to Exercise with RICHARD SIMMONS SWEATIN’ TO THE OLDIES

sweatin

Jeri Jacquin

On DVD celebrating its 30th Anniversary Edition is exercise done with lots of fun as Time Life brings Richard Simmons back our homes with SWEATIN’ TO THE OLDIES.

Richard Simmons worked his way into the hearts of those trying to lose weight with his first gym in Beverly Hills, California. Promoting exercise before exercise became such a big industry, Simmons did not hesitate to share the story of his early childhood obesity weighing over 260 pounds at his heaviest.

In the early 70s after his own weight loss, Simmons became interested in fitness and wanted to reach out those who were really unfit and needed help. Opening The Anatomy Asylum, he helped his clientele learn to eat right and be supportive of their goals.

Slowly Simmons became a media darling and even had a spot on the daytime soap opera General Hospital (yes, my mother and I saw every episode he was on!). He also became a regular on such game shows as Win, Lose or Draw and Match Game.

His career would continue with over twelve books as well as audio and almost thirty visual media including Sweatin’ to the Oldies and thirty-six other video cassettes. That is a health empire that is just staggering.

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

The 30th Anniversary Edition of SWEATIN’ TO THE OLDIES includes the Uncut Original Releases of Sweatin’ to the Oldies Volume 1-5, Love Yourself and Win – Six Steps to Self-Esteem & Permanent Weight Loss and over 100 Minutes of Bonus Material that includes: Exclusive interview with Richard Simmons, Testimonials and Success Stories from Richard’s Students, Twenty Page Album of Rare Personal Photos and Memories Personally Selected by Richard and More!

This is a six-disc collection can exclusively be found at Amazon.com and has so much to offer that Richard Simmons believes is everything you will need to succeed. Using the lively music hits from the 1950’s and 1960’s as well as low impact routines is mixed in with Simmons humor that makes working out fun. Songs such as It’s My Party, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Gimme Some Lovin’ and Oh Pretty Woman are just some of the songs you will remember.

Simmons says, “I can’t believe it has been thirty years since the beginning! For the first time ever, I have compiled the complete Sweatin’ to the Oldies COLLECTION. It’s the original and still the best way to get your heart racing and your blood pumping!”

The best part of this Time Life collection is that everything that is found in this collection is still everything needed to exercise with fun. There is no time line for taking care of ourselves and Simmons still believes that today.

It is amazing to have the opportunity to once again gather up a few friends that remember when exercise was fun and Richard Simmons made it so. I am actually using this collection now because it is fun and has some of the best songs that have always made me dance around. Why not incorporate that into remembering that it’s never too late to start taking care of ourselves!

In the end – Richard says ‘so many sparkly tank tops so many memories’ and I agree!

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