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Robert Zemeckis

ALLIED

allied

 

Jeri Jacquin

In theatres to start the holiday weekend from director Robert Zemeckis, writer Steven Knight and Paramount Pictures is a tale of trust in wartime that is ALLIED.

It is 1942 in Morocco when military man Max Vatan (Brad Pitt) is sent undercover to assassinate a high German official. This assignment includes a cover of being married to Marianne Beausejour (Marion Cotillard) who welcomes him quite easily into her fold of friends.

Getting to know each other, Marianne explains how they must interact to get an invitation to a party where the official is the guest of honor. Not in the town a day the mission is in jeopardy when a German officer recognizes Vatan. Handling the situation, there next stop is to meet with Hobar (August Diehl) and pass inspection to get an invitation.

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Unexpectedly, Vatan and Marianne fall in love and he convinces her to return to London where they are married. Happy and welcoming a daughter to their lives, it seemed an idyllic life in the middle of a war.

That is until his superior Frank Heslop (Jared Harris) informs him that V-section believes that Marianne not who she claims to be. Fearing that his life is about to be shattered, Vatan begins his own inquiries to discover if the woman that is his world seeks to destroy everything he has come to believe.

In war, who can you trust?

Pitt as Vatan is everything this period piece could bring to a character. He is sharply dressed, carries himself like a confident military man and I swear there are moments where he pulls a Clark Cable on me. The long looks, furrowed brow and deep drags on a cigarette give an air to his character. That and he looks pretty darn awesome if you really want to know.

Cotillard as Marianne is a forward, interesting, flamboyant and beautiful character. Marianne wastes no time in seeing what pretty much every female member of the audience sees, a dashing and handsome man in uniform who secretly wants to be happy. Cotillard takes this opportunity to remind us of the classic beauty with a French accent who can take a role and become it while making it look easy!

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Harris as Heslop understands the complexities of Vatan and gives him certain leeway. Knowing that when the V-section of the military pits the soldier against his family, the end could be disastrous.

Other cast include Daniel Bettes as George Kavanagh, Zavier De Guillebon as Claude, Camille Cottin as Monique, Vincent Latorre as Vincent, Charlotte Hope as Louise, Celeste Dodwell as Scarlet, Sally Messham as Margaret, and Lizzy Caplan as Bridget Vatan.

ALLIED is a film that brings together love, trust, family, war, and the choices that are made in the most difficult of circumstances. The story revolves around Vatan and Marianne but let me tell you that fashion made its way into the film as well. ALLIED has amazing costuming with snappy sharpness, beautiful dresses, and hairstyles that lend to the story.

With all that I have to also say that the films storyline happens so very fast that there is a depth that is missing. The element of what brought these characters together fades quickly and it is replaced by a mystery that doesn’t feel so mysterious. That being said ALLIED is a good film that I did enjoy.

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The score also brings 1942 into focus and once again I love the music of that era. Writer Knight has brought several pieces to the screen with EASTERN PROMISES in 2007 and LOCKE in 2013. Director Zemeckis has also brought a stunning resume with FLIGHT in 2012 and CAST AWAY in 2004 which still is one of my favorite films (as seen by the Wilson that sits on my desk!)

In the end – deception is an art and truth is a test!

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

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Jeri Jacquin

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

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

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

Well, maybe one or two little changes!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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