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Patton Oswalt

THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2

Life of Pets Cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this Friday from directors Chris Renaud, Jonathan del Val and Universal Pictures is the continuing saga of what our pets do when we aren’t at home with THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2.

Max (Patton Oswalt) and Duke (Eric Stonestreet) are discovering the changes that life has in store for them. Mom Katie (Ellie Kemper) has fallen in love, married and brought little Liam into their lives. Happier than he has ever been, Max also suffers from being over protective of Liam!

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Learning they are going on a road trip, Max and Duke end up on a family farm. Before going, Max asks Gidget (Jenny Slate) to watch his Busy Bee toy and protect it. Duke goes insane with excitement but Max is not as thrilled, especially after meeting the farms work dog Rooster (Harrison Ford). Rough and rugged, Rooster lets Max know that he needs to take his fears by the paws and give them a shake.

Snowball (Kevin Hart) has a visit from a puppy named Daisy (Tiffany Haddish) who tells him the story of a tiger being badly treated by a circus owner. She wants the superhero bunny to help free the big kitty. After a simple slip of the ball, Gidget is now on a mission to find Busy Bee and gets lessons in being a cat from the most unlikely place.

It is mischief, it is mayhem and they are our pets!

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Oswalt voicing the pup Max is a perfect choice as he has the uncanny ability to bring an animated dog to life. Of course I will always love him as Remy but I have room enough in my heart for a little ball of charming insecurities named Max. Stonestreet as Duke is just as big as he wants to be with the heart of a puppy. He loves being with Max and loves his family. He has such a way with the world and just gives it his innocence touch.

Slate as Gidget is just flustery and dreamy with a brain that goes a million miles a minute. She is still keen on Max with hopes for a future and willing to start with Busy Bee. Haddish as Daisy does what she has always done, giving her character attitude.

Hart as Snowball has become a little more full of himself if that’s possible and once he puts on his mask – its all done folks. As things get more complicated, it’s a good thing he has Daisy to take up the furry slack.

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Harrison Ford takes a shot at animation by playing Rooster, a working dog on a farm who knows a thing or two about how to handle himself. He is a little harsh on Max but its all with a goal in mind.

Other cast include Lake Bell as Chloe, Bobby Moynihan as Mel, Hannibal Buress as Buddy, Chris Renaud as Norman, Peter Holm as Chuck and Nick Kroll as Sergei, Dana Carvey as Pops.

THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2 is a continuation of characters that have brought joy to both kids and adults. From the beginning, these characters led by Max have given us all something to think about when we aren’t at home!

Even though there are several stories going on at once and there doesn’t seem to be a connection, it gets away with it by being cute. In a theatre full of kids, all they know is that it’s funny, colorful, full of adventure, cute animals and a very cute little boy and that’s all that matters.

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All of those things are very true so even though this adult might say blah-blah-blah, my granddaughter had her bag of popcorn, a juice box and wide eyes and that was all I needed to see it through her eyes. The parents were enjoying the chuckles as well as a few adult jokes slipped through.

So, as the school year ends and the kids have time on their hands, make it a fun and laugh filled weekend with THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2.

In the end – you gotta love ‘em!

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NOSTALGIA is the Thin Thread Between Our Mementos and Memories

nostalgia

Jeri Jacquin

In theatres this Friday from writer/director Mark Pellington and Bleeker Street is the story of lives, love and loss all wrapped around NOSTALGIA.

Ronnie Ashemore (Bruce Dern) is an elderly man who is surrounded by his life of the written word and when visited by insurance agent Daniel Kalman (John Ortiz). Having a look around at the behest of Ronnie’s granddaughter, the elderly gentleman makes it clear that there is no reason for him to leave his home. Daniel listens as Ronnie makes it clear that although he is surrounded by the life he shared with family, others might see it all as trash.

Daniel next meets Helen Greer (Ellen Burstyn), a widower who he finds sitting in the midst of ashes where her house once stood. Recalling the events of the fire, Helen explains the irony of the things she chose to save before the firemen came in to save her. One such item is a baseball that belonged to her late husband and she can’t explain why she saved it.

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Staying with her son Henry (Nick Offerman), Helen feels the pressure he is placing on her to consider assisted living. Helen feels the need to break away and packs the saved belongings and heads for Las Vegas to meet Will Beam (Jon Hamm) to talk to him about the ball. Their conversation turns nostalgic on the power that personal possessions have over each of them.

Will is off for the weekend to help his sister Donna (Catherine Keener) clear out their family home since their parents have moved to Florida. Making trip after trip to a dumpster outside the house, each decides they will take a few things but get rid of everything else. Donna wants daughter Tallie (Annalise Basso) to go through the attic but the young girl makes it clear that this is Donna and Will’s history – not hers. Instead, Tallie wants to be with her friends and live in the now.

All of that comes to a screeching halt as Donna, husband Patrick (James LeGros) and Will come to terms with the memories of childhood, places we live, objects held dear and the technology that has changed the feeling of nostalgia.

Burstyn as Helen is an absolute treasure and every time she is on screen I stop in my tracks. In this role she is a widower who has been living on her own but all of that changes in a split second. Watching Burstyn take this character so deep kept me absolutely invested and put my heart through the ringer. Everything she said and every emotion poured out is believable because it is life and even the character Helen knows we don’t get out alive. The scene between Helen and the insurance appraiser in the soot is just a true and brain-twisting as her realizations with Will and a baseball. Thank you Ellen for an endearing realistic perspective like no other.

Hamm as Will is a man who hides loss behind his collectables yet how could he know that the moments with Helen would prepare him for what is to come. Going through his parent’s home, this character takes the attitude that he’s there to clean out, reminisce a little with sister Donna and move on. Hamm gives such a strong performance and makes it look amazingly easy but let me say when Hamm gets teary eyed – it hurts. Keener as Donna is a woman who is watching her teen daughter grow up so very quickly, has been taking care of her parents and now seeing her childhood close down for the last time. If that isn’t enough, life has thrown her the cruelest hit of all. Keener doesn’t hold back and she certainly gave me reason to think on her role for several days – she is that powerful.

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LeGros as Patrick is a husband who has to be the shoulder his wife needs but also deals with the reality that there was once a time when photographs were everything. Now with cell phones, if that is destroyed then so are the pictures people would normally have as photographs on paper. Dern as Ronnie has a smaller role but it isn’t any less impactful. He also understands the life he has lead and those he spent his life loving making no apologies for either.

Other cast includes Bella Pellington, Tamar Pelzig, Romy Rosemont, Amber Tamblyn, Ashlyn Williams, Jennifer Mudge, Chris Marquette, Mark Marcarian, Anna O’Bryan, Joanna Going, Lindsey Kraft, Beth Grant, Patton Oswalt and Hugo Armstrong.

NOSTALGIA is a film that is going to challenge everyone’s perception of life. It is true that people of my age hold things dear because that is how we were raised. I was shown how to preserve photographs, baby books, family bibles, baptism gowns and family heirloom jewelry because they are a piece of history that I wanted to pass on to my children. Fortunately, my children are the same and often one will ask if I have something specific from their childhood and are thrilled when I do.

The pull between the objects and our emotions creates a bond that can be a blessing and a curse at the same time. The blessing is for family members who are thrilled to get beloved items and the curse are the family members that don’t share the feelings and waste no time in turning everything over for donation fodder.

The film brings out the issue of how easy it is to lose mementos because we have become a world of snapping pictures with our phones or shooting video thinking we will download them later – but rarely do. In an instant the memories we took the time to ‘preserve’ are lost with a phone dropped in water or just a lost phone period.

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NOSTALGIA also brings us into the lives of these characters that are so relatable because everything they are experiencing, we have all experienced with no exception. The loss of parents or loved ones, getting older and looking back means holding the items that represent milestones in our lives and the lives of those we love, and deciding when it is time to let the weight of those things go to find a freedom we didn’t know possible.

In truth we are such emotional pack-rats, some of us just let what’s inside leak out into our closets, storage rooms and lives.

I love this film, absolutely love it and am unapologetic for it. The cast is completely fascinating and sheer perfection bringing it all together beautifully, sadly and stunningly. The story is real, authentic and so damn emotional that for a moment I wasn’t thrilled to feel so much so fast. That’s life right?

In the end – it is the memories of the lives lived.

ARCHER The Complete Season Seven is Ready to Bring the Laughs on Bluray!

 

 

Jeri Jacquin

Now on DVD from the brilliant mind of creator Adam Reed, FXX and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is one of the funniest spy groups in history lead by the hilarious ARCHER: The Complete Season Seven.

Starting over in Hollywood with a new agency, Archer (H. Jon Benjamin) jumps right in with guest star Ona Grauer as a Veronica Deane impersonator who he feels should be respected as a Hollywood star in The Figgis Agency! This episode brings out some of the amazing voice talent of Keegan-Michael Key, Patton Oswalt and J.K. Simmons.

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But Oswalt doesn’t stop there bringing the character of Alan Shapiro back when Archer and Alana (Aisha Tyler) continue with The Handoff while the everyone else is in the office having a good time over a voicemail.

In Deadly Prep Archer decides to go to a reunion that might just give him a business opportunity which is hilarious since Archer doesn’t have the best reputation or head for anything with the word business in it. Jon Daley and Jon Glaser lend their voices and Keegan Michael Key returns as Detective Diedrich.

Archer is put in a precarious position when he is asked to help locate a stranger’s birth mother but leave it to Ron Leibman to give his best vocal talent to Ron Cadillac which is always hilarious.

Bel Panto: Part I & II take Archer and Lana to a fundraiser that isn’t going to end well. I mean does any party these two attend go well? When hostage taking is as bad as cheap champagne, Archer and Lana have to find a way out. The return of Patton Oswalt, J.K. Simmons and Keegan-Michael Key has me cracking up even more.

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When the battle of who is the sexiest breaks out in Double Indecency between Cyril (Chris Parnell), Krieger (Lucky Yates), Pam (Amber Nash) and Cheryl (Judy Greer) you can be sure it’s going to go down in such a way that I’m suggesting you don’t drink liquid during this episode. I shot Gatorade out of my nose and I’m still healing!

Christian Slater is Slater and he is going to make sure that during a Liquid Lunch he is going to cause trouble for Archer and Lana. No, I did not shoot anything out my nose during this episode are you crazy – alcohol stings but feel free to try it for yourself. Slater rocks!

In Deadly Velvet Part I & II the gang is back together as Keegan-Michael Key, John O’Hurley, Patton Oswalt and J.K. Simmons deal with The Figgis Agency when Crane wants more protection for Veronica Deane on the set of her new film. The problem is sometimes the gang is in more danger than the person they are protecting!

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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.

ARCHER: The Complete Season Seven doesn’t need a rating by me because it is absolutely mind blowingly epic on its very own. I have loved each and every season that ARCHER has been on television.

Perhaps it is because my sense of humor is twisted or perhaps it is because I adore Archer (and the voice of H. Jon Benjamin) as a man who clearly sees life differently than any other spy in the history of spies. Each of the characters in ARCHER demand the utmost in insanity and don’t give a damn what anyone thinks of them.

I think I might have just hit on the core of ARCHER – their indifference to anyone outside their group. I’m sure they’d rather just plug them one than deal with their nonsense. From Archer to Malory (the best dressed drinker ever!) and their iconic crazy mother-son relationship ever, to Tyler’s no-nonsense Lana, Greer’s hilarious Cheryl, Nash’s devil-may-care Pam, Parnell’s go-along-to-get-along Cyril and Yates comical Krieger, this amazing cast of ARCHER can do no wrong – EVER!

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With Keegan-Michael Key, Patton Oswalt and J.K. Simmons added to the hilarity it must be said that these three brought even more laughs if that is at all possible.

The DVD includes the episodes The Figgis Agency, The Handoff, Deadly Prep, Motherless Child, Bel Panto: Part I, Bel Panto: Part II, Double Indecency, Liquid Lunch, Deadly Velvet: Part I and Deadly Velvet: Part II.

Also included is Archer Reviews Bond, Archer Live!, a Cast Table Read (Live on a Boat) and all on two discs that contain all ten episodes from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Grab your copy of ARCHER: The Complete Season Seven now and have a marathon of all season because the anticipated season eight is set to begin in April on FXX!

In the end – from vamp actresses to mummy’s to robotic legs to voicemails to clowns to hostages and bodies floating in pools it’s just another season with the funniest spies on television!

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