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ESCAPE PLAN: The Extractors Attempts a Dangerous Rescue on Bluray

escape plan bluray

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray/DVD and Digital from director John Herzefeld, writer Miles Chapman and Lionsgate comes an action packed thriller with an ESCAPE PLAN: The Extractors.

Ray Breslin (Sylvester Stallone) is up against it when a Hong Kong Tech’s daughter Daya (Malese Jow) is kidnapped and the man responsible is his ex-partners angry son. Breslin assembles a team when Daya’s lead security man Bao (Harry Shu, Jr.) brings him information and demands to help.

On the team are Trent DeRosa (Dave Bautista) and Hush (Curtis Jackson) and they have to make sure the plan is together with no mistakes. Kidnapping Daya is on the first step in a plan that has many moving parts. Then Breslin’s girlfriend Abagail (Jamie King) is also taken, the stakes get even higher.

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Hold up in the Lativan prison called the Devil’s Station, Breslin now realizes that his ex-partner son is sadistic and completely out of his mind making things even more difficult. It doesn’t mean they aren’t going to go down easy!

Stallone as Breslin is a man that takes jobs with a cost but this isn’t about cost, it becomes personal. Wanting to stop the madness, he isn’t about to walk away from anything a crazy madman wants to dish out.

Jow as Daya is a young woman who works for her father’s company. When she is kidnapped, she realizes that it is not just her own life that is in jeopardy. Harry Shu, Jr. as Bao is head of Daya’s security and once she is taken believes that one moment longer will not go by without trying to find her.

Bautista as DeRosa is a big man carrying a big gun and doing it all with a quiet smirky nature. His humor might be slightly lacking but then again he doesn’t look like he cares one little bit. Jackson as Hush has a small role but it doesn’t take him long to find his place on the crew.

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Other cast include Devon Sawa as Lester Clark Jr., Max Zhang as Shen, Sergio Rizzuto as Narco, Shea Buckner as Larry, Lydia Hull as Jules, and Tyler Jon Olson as Moe.

Lionsgate is a global leader in motion picture production and distribution for theatres, television, home entertainment and more. Theatre franchises include THE HUNGER GAMES, and DIVERGENT along with JOHN WICK. Now, adding this film to its 16,000 motion picture and television titles you can see everything coming soon as well as available now at http://www.lionsgate.com.

The Bluray SPECIAL FEATURES include Making ESCAPE PLAN: The Extractors, Commentary with Director John Herzfeld and Actors Sylvester Stallone, Never-Before-Seen Cast and Crew Interviews, Devon Sawa and Daniel Bernhardt as well as the Trailer Gallery.

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ESCAPE PLAN: The Extractors is a thrill ride in the style of Stallone! He isn’t about to let the bad guy win no matter how much it hurts in the process of finding him. There are very dark moments yet he still moves forward.

The film itself is very dark in the story telling but yet nothing stops the film once the first scene takes off. It is action, secrets, deception, revenge and redemption all in one film. Stallone leads a fast action cast that goes full force from bang to bullets with even an ending that is full of accountability.

In the end – these stakes are personal!

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THE MUSTANG

MUSTANG cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to limited release from director Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre and Focus Features comes a story of self-redemption with the help of THE MUSTANG.

Roman Coleman (Matthias Schoenaerts) has been in prison for twelve years. Mainly keeping to himself in solitary, his temper flares in a second bringing him even more problems. Transferred to a new prison, he refuses to help anyone understand how to get through, not even daughter Martha (Gideon Adlon).

Outside the prison walls are horse stalls and a man named Myles (Bruce Dern) who teaches inmates how to prepare horses for sale. These are mustangs captured by the government and land management and all sale proceeds go back to them. At first Roman has no interested until he hears continual banging from a stall away from the corals.

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Then he comes face to face with a very angry mustang and Roman is captured in another way. Myles sees that there is something between the two and brings the convict into the prisons program. Put in the hands of inmate Elijah (Keith Johnson), Roman gets a lesson here and there about how to reach the untouchable horse.

Newly named Marcus, Roman works his new ward daily and something happens to them both. So much so that when daughter Martha comes to visit, Roman confesses what brought him to jail and hopes there can be something between father and daughter once again.

Roman has other worries as well when top inmate Dan (Josh Stewart) decides he wants something from his cell mate and is willing to hurt Martha to make that happen. Both Roman and Marcus become a mixture of emotions and just when they are in sync – one sudden jolt forces them both to come to terms with who they are and where they are meant to be.

It is all in how you define love and freedom!

Schoenaerts as Roman gives absolutely everything to this role. There is anger, confusion, heart, soul, rage, revenge, and confession – just a gambit of where he once was to where we meet him. Strong willed from the film’s beginning, Schoenaerts character is broken down slowly and surely by a beautiful animal that has so much in common with Roman. I could not take my eyes of this actor who portrays a man who slowly comes to terms with a mistake brought on by anger that just can’t seems to subside.

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Dern as Myles is a horse trainer who sees something click between Roman and Marcus. He puts a skittish faith and sees it pay off daily. Even when the unthinkable happens, Dern is strong in character and lends it to Roman when he needs it the most. Dern has always been on my list of amazing actors and it is satisfying to see him continue to jump in and lasso a role that suits him.

Aldon as Martha has just as much anger as her father but she is less physical about it. Instead hiding it in the way she speaks as bits of anger seep out with anger at being left alone growing up. Johnson as Elijah is very happy working with horses and takes a keen interest in seeing that Roman succeeds. The problem is that is outside the prison, what happens inside is something else.

Other cast include Jason Mitchell as Henry, Thomas Smittle as Tom, Noel Gugliemi as Roberto, George Schroeder as Officer Peters and Connie Britton as the Psychologist.

THE MUSTANG has a storyline that tugs every fiber of a being. From the beginning of the film and the horses are captured, it plants the seed of emotion wondering why these beautiful creatures can’t just be left alone. In that instant, the film becomes personal to watch.

It is personal in regards to the horses and everything after that. There is a mental encouragement that happens as the film goes on – encouraging the horse to let go of its anger but not let go of its spirit and encouraging Roman to stop hiding from the world. The final encouragement is that they both realize they are cut from the same universal cloth.

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There is also a constant shift in the film that takes the two steps forward and five steps back in both Roman and Marcus yet there is no way as the viewer to lose hope. Schoenaerts and the lovely mustang we know as Marcus invite us into a story that only the two of them can possibly tell.

The film is cinematically beautiful with the surrounding wilderness and plopped in its center is a brick building holding men. Between the wilderness and the prison is a place of hope that, at times, makes you forget about the other two worlds. Unfortunately, the other two worlds are very, very powerful.

In the end – they are both untamed souls and kindred spirits!

GHOST STORIES Brings Jumps and Twists Just the Way We Love Our Scares!

Ghost Stories coverJeri Jacquin

Coming to select theatres and currently available on VOD from writer/directors Jeremy Dyson, Andy Nyman and IFC Films are stories that will tingle spines with GHOST STORIES.

Professor Phillip Goodman (Andy Nyman) has made a life out of uncovering psychics who are frauds on his television show Psychic Cheats. He receives a package from Charles Cameron (Leonard Byrne), a man Goodman saw as an example of how to find phonies and frauds, and he wants to meet with him.

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Thrilled to meet someone he thought long dead, Goodman is shocked to discover that things haven’t been easy for him. He only wants one thing from Goodman, to investigate three cases for which he has no answer for.

The first person affected is a night watchman Tony Matthews (Paul Whitehouse) who is the security guard in an asylum long since abandoned. Lights blinking and doors slamming have him investigating every nook and in the dark things have a way of catching up with you, as it does him.

The second person affected is Simon Rifkind (Alex Lawther), a young boy who finds himself on a deserted road in the woods and distracted by his father screaming at him on the phone. Hitting an object, what he sees is horrifying and has put his life into a world of absolute fear.

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The third person he speaks with is Mike Priddle (Martin Freeman) who doesn’t seem at all moved by the story he has to tell. A wealthy man, he has a beautiful home and recently he and wife Maria (Emily Carding) have created a beautiful nursery for their unborn child. While Marie is in the hospital, something happens in the home nursery that is beyond reason.

What do these three men have in common is what Professor Goodman is about to find out.

Nyman as Professor Goodman is a man with a past that brings him to calling out those who fraud the public about being psychic. What he doesn’t expect is that the man who he considers the reason for his line of work would pop up out of no where to solve these cases. Nyman’s character is a skeptic yet there are moments where he begins to question his own non-beliefs.

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Matthews as Whitehouse is the first man affected and he absolutely starts the creepy trail rolling.  I give him points for keeping his fear in check because I would have lost it completely. Lawther as Simon is a young man locked inside his own fears and with absolutely every reason to be. Lawther has the unique ability to ooze fear out of every pour of his being and he does so with ease.

Freeman as Priddle calmly walks into the story and steals it from Nyman briefly. He is cold, intense, affected, a judge and nothing expected. Of course I am thrilled to see Freeman because he is such an amazing actor who seems to chose roles that he manipulates into absolute stunning works of art. This is such an interesting role because of the twists and turns but Freeman walks away with a giggle.

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Other cast include Kobna Holdbrook-Smith as Father Emery, Deborah Wastell as Mrs. Goodman, Daniel Hill as Mr. Goodman, Christine Dalby as Beth Hooper, Maggie McCarthy as Jean Hooper, Joe Osborne as Mr. Rifkind, and Maria Major as Mrs. Rifkind.

GHOST STORIES is what I absolutely adore about this genre – absolute twists, turns, not covered in gore and out of control cgi. Instead, we are given a thriller that embodies that word – it thrills from beginning to end. This isn’t a story that is easy to figure out or even easy to digest but in fact a story that is going to keep people talking.

This film is cleverly written, beautifully put on film with a cast that give stellar performances that had me from go. Filled with eerie creaks, flashing lights, and things that go bump in the night, GHOST STORIES is everything and a bag of spooky that I watched in the dark and would do so again.

In the end – the brain sees what it wants to see!

 

 

BEIRUT Tells a Deeper Story

Beirut

Jeri Jacquin

In theatres from director Brad Anderson and Bleeker Street Media is a story with twists that lead to truth while in BEIRUT.

Mason Skiles (Jon Hamm) is a diplomat in Beirut keeping his finger on the pulse of what is happening around him, or so he thought. During a party, Cal Riley (Mark Pellegrino) comes to warn him that the young boy Karim, who the family has practically adopted, is going to be taken in for questioning. His older brother Abu Rajal (Hicham Ouraqa) is a Palestinian terrorist involved in the massacre at the Munich Olympics

Before that can happen, the party is terrorized as bullets fly and Karim is grabbed. In the midst of the firefight, Skiles wife Nadia (Leila Bekhti) is killed. Fast forward a few years and Skiles has reached rock bottom as a labor negotiator job he barely cares about and swimming in alcohol.

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Sitting at a bar with his favorite drink, Skiles is approached to take money and a plane ticket back to Beirut to lecture at the university. Never wanting to return to Beirut again, something tells him to get aboard the plane. Once there he is met by Sandy Crowder (Rosamund Pike), Donald Gaines (Dean Norris), and Gary Ruzak (Shea Whigham) who finally tell him why he’s really there – Cal Riley has been taken and the kidnappers only want to negotiate with Skiles.

Discovering it is a grown Karim (Idir Chender) who is calling the shots and only trusts Skiles to make the exchange happen. An exchange is demanded, Riley for Karim’s brother who seems to have disappeared. Believing that it is the Israeli’s who have him, Skiles investigates and also discovers the PLO minister is keeping secrets as well.

In the middle of this is a war in a war torn country that is getting more and more out of hand by the minute. No one can be trusted and deception seems to be the order of the minute.

Crowder is trying to keep up with Skiles as he slips through the city discovering that there is more at play here than just Riley’s kidnapping. There are others in the governments involved and their seedy agenda becomes clear.

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Both Skiles and Crowder are going to make the exchange happen but on their terms.

Hamm as Skiles begins as a man who seems to have the charming ability to move in a crowd and do what needs doing. Once the world he thought he knew was shattered, there didn’t seem to be any purpose to anything Skiles does. That is until Riley is taken does he slowly come out of the daze and snaps back into discovering he is the absolute right person to get the job done. Hamm’s performance is intense yet his character takes a moment to remember in the middle of rubble how all of the events came to be.

Pike as Crowder wants to believe that Skiles is right for the job and that’s the dilemma. Knowing someone is right for a job and seeing the state they are currently in means never being quite sure if they can be trusted. Pike shines as a woman who not only takes her job seriously but knows that playing the international game of cat and mouse puts her right in the middle of danger.

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Chender as Karim is caught up in the what is happening in Beirut. Finding a life with Skiles as a young boy he enjoyed being with them. The moment he is taken it is clear that studying and being part of the family will quickly become a distant memory. When the time comes to trust someone, that may be the one thing Karim knows to be true about Skiles. Chender gives his character such complexity in a situation none of us could possibly understand. This is the life mixed with what was and what became of a young life.

Other cast include Dean Norris as Donald Gaines, Shea Whigham as Gary Ruzak, Douglas Hodge as Sully, Jonny Coyne as Bernard Teppler, Leila Bekhti as Nadia, Kate Fleetwood as Alice, Alon Aboutboul as Roni Niv, Sonia Okacha as Sondrine and Mohamed Zouaoui as Fahmi.

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BEIRUT is a film that is a reminder of the fragile peace and intense wars in the Middle East that are waged with others calling the shots. Their agendas may seem up front but for everyone to get what they want, deals are made and deals are brokered in 1982.

The cast are quick with a storyline that is constantly in flux and never once give away which way the chase will go or how it will end. The cinematography is flawless and adds another depth to the very intense story being told.

In the end – Beirut of 1982 and the Paris of the Middle East is burning!

THE LION KING Roars onto Bluray

Lion king bluray

Jeri Jacquin

This week on Bluray/DVD and Digital and directors Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff is the Signature Walt Disney Collection and the Circle of Life Edition of THE LION KING.

On Pride Rock a new prince is born to Mufasa (James Earl Jones) and Sarabi (Madge Sinclair). Simba (Jonathan Taylor Thomas) begins to learn the ways of the pride under the watchful eye of Zazu (Rowan Atkinson). Joined by Nala (Niketa Calame), the two young cubs explore their world.

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Also watching the young prince is Scar (Jeremy Irons), Simba’s angry and plotting uncle who wants what Mufasa has. In one afternoon Scar, along with the help from hyenas Banzai (Cheech Marin) and Shenzi (Whoopie Goldberg), rid the pride lands of their king and prince.

Simba makes his way across the plains meeting Timon (Nathan Lane) and Pumbaa (Ernie Sabella) but always remembering home. Simba (Matthew Broderick) has now grown to a full size lion enjoying his days until one day he meets Nala (Moira Kelly) again. She is very upset thinking that he was dead but now needs him to return to help the pride from his nasty uncle.

After a talk with Rafiki (Robert Guillaume), Simba knows he must return and set things right for the memory of his father and the survival of the pride!

Thomas as the young Simba has the voice filled with mischief and fun. That’s what catches the kid in us all. His musical relationship with Timon and Pumbaa gave us all a new phrase into the lexicon with ‘Hakuna Matata!’ Broderick as the older Simba brings the intensity to the young lion and a past that he must face head on.

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Irons as Scar is creepy, scary and awesome all rolled into one. I just love his vocal portrayal that drips with distain and sugar sprinkled on it. Jones as Mufasa could be the only one to speak for Mufasa.

Lane as Timon is hilarious along with Sabella as the endearing Pumbaa. Together they are perfection in the film. Goldberg and Marin as the very sarcastic and self-entertaining hyenas. They made me laugh because of their laugh!

Guillaume as Rafiki is that crazy shaman who seems slightly off until you realize that it’s just his way to capture your attention and the truth about life. Atkinson as Zazu is equally endearing and quite different than most physical roles he has played.

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 LION KING on Bluray has amazing Bonus Extras that include The Recording Session – Enter the recording booth and watch never-before-seen voice recording sessions, Inside The Story Room – Rare archival footage shows the origins of five iconic scenes, Visualizing a Villain – Performance Artist David Garibaldi creates his own unique interpretation of the iconic villain Scar, The Lion King: Song Selection – All new sing-along version of the movie with ‘Circle of Life’, “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King’, ‘Be Prepared’, ‘Hakuna Matata’ and ‘Can You Feel The Love Tonight’.

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 What can be said about THE LION KING that hasn’t been said a hundred times over? This is a fantastic film filled with so many themes of love, family, togetherness, adversity, trials and redemption. This is one of Disney’s most memorable films and it will continue to be for more generations.

It is hard to believe that THE LION KING graced theatres in 1994 and now, in 2017, twenty-three years later the film still holds firm with audiences. The best part is that on Bluray it is absolutely stunning. The picture is unbelievable and the color is so impressive! Watching the film with my granddaughter I think we were both jaw dropped and enraptured at the same time and I’d have it no other way.

The Circle of Life Edition of THE LION KING has something even more exciting inside with a Limited Edition 35-mm film strip frame that has been sourced from the film’s original digital files. Absolutely amazing!

In the end – the King has returned!

MINE is an Emotion Journey Standing Still on Bluray

Mine Bluray

 

Jeri Jacquin

This week on Bluray & DVD from directors Fabio Guaglione and Fabio Resinaro with WELL GO USA Entertainment is the intense story of a man and a MINE.

Sgt. Mike Stevens (Armie Hammer) is a sniper and with best friend Sgt. Tommy Madison (Tom Cullen) are on a mission in the middle of the desert. Their objective is to take out the leader of a terrorist cell. Setting up to neutralize the target, Mike hesitates when he realizes a wedding is happening.

When discovered on the hilltop, Mike and Tommy take cover until the chase is over. Unable to be picked up due to a sand storm, the two begin a trek through the desert to reach the nearest town. The sand uncovers a sign that Mike believes to be a warning of a mine field.

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Tommy doesn’t think it’s true but everything changes when a mine explodes and Mike hears a click below his foot. The world stops for a moment and his worst fears are happening. Trying to reach his command for help, Mike is told that a caravan would be his way but not for 52 hours.

The sun beats down on Mike when he meets a man named Berber (Clint Dryer) who wonders why the soldier doesn’t just walk on. Frustrated, Mike tries to explain the situation but the man keeps asking questions. The one thing he knows important is water asking the villager for some.

As night falls Mike must deal with the animals in the desert and another day in the heat with clear hallucinations setting in begins to test his resolve. Looking for a solution, Mike is also confronted with his life, choices made and questions he has continually refused to consider answers for.

Then there is Jenny (Annabelle Wallis), the woman he loves and it becomes clear that Mike must get home to love and the chance to make life right again. Waiting for the convoy becomes too much when Mike begins to question whether Berber was even real. When the enemy discovers him before the convoy, it becomes a question of survival.

It takes only a moment to decide.

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Hammer as Mike is absolutely brilliant as this soldier who is forced to face his life. His moment of hesitation when taking out the target has brought him to the point of being on his knees. From sand storms, desert wolves and hallucinations that are full of truths, Hammer takes hit after hit from all sides wearing his character down to rock bottom. Watching his deterioration there is a moment I thought, “My strength is dried up like a fragment of clay pottery … you have brought me into the dust of death” (Psalms 22).

Cullen as Tommy knows that his buddy hesitated far too long on the mission yet drives him onward through the desert. Tommy’s goal is to a phone and talk to his son. Refusing to believe the sign meant anything cost him everything. Yet he watches over his friend in ways that are spiritually amazing.

Dyer as Berber is a beautiful man who may ask a lot of questions but Mike isn’t in the mood to hold a friendly conversation. As night turns to day Berber is amazed that Mike is still standing and shares a little of his life. His voice is soothing and the heart he shows the soldier is more than I could ever have expected. Just a lovely character in a harsh situation that sees something amazing in a man who sees little in himself.

Other cast include Geoff Bell as Mike’s Father, Juliet Aubrey as Mike’s Mother, Ines Pinar Mille as Berber’s daughter and Daniel Sandoval as a young Mike.

Well Go USA Entertainment is an amazing company that brings the best of Action and Independent films from around the world. There format includes theatres, digital, cable and VOD along with Bluray. For more of what they have to offer go to www.wellgousa.com.

Well done Well Go USA Entertainment for bringing such a original, intense, and emotional film to Bluray and DVD because this is an visual experience not soon forgotten.

The Bluray and DVD include the Bonus Features of Deleted Scenes, The Making of, Trailer, VFX and Storyboard and is also available in Spanish Language.

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MINE is a powerful film that will take the viewer on a journey through every range of human emotions. As Sgt. Mike’s mind begins to wander through the story and events of his life, we all become voyeurs into the painful memories of a soldier who was a boy and a son first.

Becoming immediately engaged in the story, Hammer’s performance is amazing up until the very last scene which, by the way, almost broke me. Standing in one spot for 52 hours doesn’t allow for distractions and the realities of one’s life are right there in front of him. Although the story revolves around this soldiers struggle, it doesn’t take stepping on a mine to understand every bit of what he is going through mentally and spiritually.

The way the storyline comes together is brilliant and just tore me up. Know that when watching because I will not give anything away about the film – this one falls under the category of the less said the better. Be prepared for everything.

In the end – stand your ground!

THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS is Stunning

Light poster

 

Jeri Jacquin

In theatres this week from writer/director Derek Clanfrance and DreamWorks comes a tale of loss, something found and love based on the M.L. Stedman best seller THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS.

Tom Sherbourne (Michael Fassbender) has returned from war and he is looking for solitude. Off the coast of Western Australia is a light house that needs a keeper. Believing this is the perfect place to be, Tom takes the position believing it to be temporary.

Out in the middle of the ocean is a beautiful island with a tall lighthouse that he gives his attention to. On the mainland lives Isabel Graysmark (Alicia Vikander), a young woman full of life who begins writing to Tom making him feel alive once again. When the position at the lighthouse is offered to him on a permanent basis, Tom happily accepts.

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They are soon married and living happily on the lighthouse island. Trying to have a family brings sadness to their lives but at the same time a raging storm delivers life to their shores.

Isabel begs Tom to let them have the joy of the little girl who needs them. Reluctantly he agrees and Lucy (Florence Clery) grows into a happy little girl. During a mainland visit to Isabel’s family, the town comes together to celebrate the lighthouse and Tom’s contribution as its keeper.

They meet Hannah Roenneldt (Rachel Weisz) who is still in mourning over the loss of her husband and daughter at sea. Her father Septimus Potts (Bryan Brown) never approved of Hannah’s marriage to Frank (Leon Ford) and is a constant reminder.

Hannah sees Lucy and is immediately moved but it is Tom who understands most of all. Wanting to do the right thing becomes an impossible life as he is torn between the love of his wife and daughter and keeping a secret that is tearing them all apart.

The effects are like ripples on the ocean.

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Fassbender as Tom is stoic yet introspective with the presence of a man wanting solace after fighting a war. The island lighthouse is the answer to a prayer but what he didn’t expect is to share it with such a free spirit. Fassbender is one of my favorite actors and it is because he takes such risks in every role he does. This character was absolutely meant for him to play and play it he does.

Vikander as Isabel is a spirited young woman who knows what she wants immediately with Tom. Escaping the bonds of her family, the island holds fascination and love with a life that is what ever the couple makes of it. The pain of wanting a child is hard for her, yet her life become a happy one again the moment the boat hits the shores. I enjoyed Vikander’s performance.

Weisz as Hannah doesn’t come in until much farther into the film but her characters pain can be felt throughout. As her story is revealed, it is just as true at heart as Tom and Isabel’s and therein lies the drowning of these hearts with love for one child. Ford as Frank is in flashbacks but enough to be such an important part of the story being told.

Brown as Potts brings in his sternness but, as with us all, age has a tendency to mellow and when in the presence of a child – there is nothing but love. Let us not forget Florence Clery as Lucy as her cherub face and innocence keep us all smiling one minute and horrified at her own pain the next.

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Other cast include: Thomas Unger as Bluey Smart, Jane Menelaus as Violet Graysmark, Garry Macdonald as Bill Graysmark, Emily Barclay as Gwen Potts, Stephen Ure as Neville Whittnish, Jonathan Wagstaff as Constable Lynch, Gerald Bryan as Captain Hasluck and Jack Thompson as Ralph Addicott.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS four tubs of popcorn out of five. This is not an action packed or cgi laden story but instead a visually beautiful and ensemble cast acting piece done gracefully. If you need any other reason to be drawn into this piece, the soundtrack is stellar!

The slow pace is a draw with cinematography that entices the viewer to wonder what it might be like to live on an island responsible for only one thing – keeping the light shining. From the flow of the grass in the wind to a wet violence that only the sea can provide, there isn’t a frame of this film not worthy of praise.

In the end – love demands everything.

MOURNING SON Astounds in This Real Life Story

mourning son

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to VOD December 1st from writer/director Todd Newman and Vega Baby Releasing is a documentary that gives the audience a peek into the life of a surviving MOURNING SON.

The documentary tells the story in the young life of rocker Dave Navarro. What many, including myself, did not know was that Navarro’s mother was brutally murdered when he was a very young man. In this telling, Navarro recounts not only that traumatic event but how it impacted his life.

Navarro invites everyone to experience a moment in time that continued to follow him through every phase of his life. From young adult years to his time with band Jane’s Addiction and Red Hot Chili Peppers, there was a pain that could not be described and a void the lack of understanding provided.

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I can not even begin to explain what a shock the entire documentary was to me. It is difficult to speak on hard events of childhood as it is. Navarro gives a loving and amazing narrative about life with his mother Connie. Her zest for life, her days as a model, and marriage to Navarro’s father, he was encouraged to be himself.

That all ended in 1983 when boyfriend John Riccardi decided to end his mother’s life. There would be no time to grieve because the killer managed to escape police and now fear became his life guide.

Coming face to face with the evil that is murderer Riccardi while in prison, proved to be the most painful thing to watch Navarro go through. The kid wanted answers as to why but the adult knew those answers would never come. His reaction is powerful and heartbreaking at the same time.

The documentary begins rather odd but trust me when I tell you every frame has meaning, every frame is part of the story Navarro is trying to tell and every frame is deeply moving. From beginning to end it is clear that the path this talented human being has taken to find some peace is one that should be shared.

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TUBS OF POPCORN: I give MOURNING SON four tubs of popcorn out of five. There is nothing about this documentary that I’d change. It is a gripping tale of domestic violence, murder, fear, anger, and a deep sadness that only someone going through all of this can express.

Navarro does so in a way that has put his life in danger at times and given those who love him cause to worry – yet life had other plans and I for one am thrilled he is still with us.

The powerful use of music and imagery fused with the documentary is the deepest insight to the message Navarro is trying to convey.  From the pain and confusion grew a young boy who would find his own way into a life of uniqueness!

In the end – this mourning son shares his path!

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