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BREAKING IN Breaks in on Bluray with an Unrated Director’s Cut

Breaking In Cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray/DVD and Digital in an Unrated Director’s Cut (also includes Theatrical Version) from director James McTeigue and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is a fight when BREAKING IN.

Shaun (Gabrielle Union) learns her father has died and returns home to settle his affairs. Bringing along daughter Jasmine (Ajiona Alexus) and son Glover (Seth Carr), she is glad for the company.

Arriving at the house, Shaun sees that some things are out of the norm. Brushing it off just as quickly, what she fails to notice is that four men have quietly made their way onto the property and toward the house.

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Eddie (Billy Burke), Sam (Levi Meaden), Peter (Mark Furze) and Duncan (Richard Cabral) are there for one thing and one thing only – what ever is in the home safe. First, they have to discover where in the house it is located.

Shaun immediately tries to fight back but finds herself on the outside while Eddie holds her children hostage on the inside. It becomes a game of cat and mouse but this cat has the claws and isn’t afraid to use them.

Now the battle between Mother and criminal begins!

Union as Shaun is clearly a mother tiger when it comes to her children. She is also clever and takes a hot second to think things through. With every move she makes, the burglars keep pace but they aren’t a mother – just greedy criminals. Union gives it her all and does what she must to end the nightmare.

Burke as Eddie has proven over and over that he can play the ‘nicest guy’ characters and equally ply a despicable criminal. In this case he is a laser focused criminal who just wants to get in and get out. It is the company he keeps and Shaun slowing him down at every turn. I have to be honest – I just love Burke.

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Cabral as Duncan is also an actor that has no problem turning on the psycho full blast. In this film he is absolutely terrifying. I kept thinking he didn’t need a weapon because his looks could absolutely kill! I’m excited to see what he does as one of the MC boys in the new series MAYANS M.C. coming this fall to television.

Alexus as Jasmine could easily be Union’s daughter looking like her spitting image. She also has the same mindset in her character as a smart and determined daughter and sister. Carr as Glover tries to keep it all together but lets fact it – he’s a kid and there is a lot to be scared of.

Meaden as Sam isn’t down for what’s happening while trying not to make Eddie or Duncan any angrier than they already are! As the situation becomes more complex – the more panicked he becomes. Furze as Peter doesn’t have an easy time of it and hangs on throughout the film.

Other cast include Jason George as Justin Russell, Christa Miller as Maggie Harris and Damien Leake as Isaac.

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 Bluray and DVD include Alternate Opening – The Gas Station with Commentary by Director James McTeigue and Scriptwriter Ryan Eagle, One Bad Mother – Gabrielle Union shows that there is no limit to what a threatened mother will do to keep her children safe, and why a woman on a mission should never be underestimated, A Filmmaker’s Eye – The crew explores what makes Director James McTeigue’s vision and style uniquely valuable when it comes to creating the right mood for the film and A Lesson in Kicking Ass – a behind-the-scenes look at how physically demanding the role of Shaun was for Gabrielle Union, and the steps production took to ensure the most convincing execution of the stunts throughout the film.

Also, A Hero Evolved – An inspiring account of how leading roles are shifting to embrace the qualities that more diverse actors can bring to the table, Deleted and Extended Scenes as well as Feature Commentary by Director James McTeigue and Scriptwriter Ryan Engle.

Movies Anywhere is the digital app that simplifies and enhances the digital movie collection and viewing experience by allowing consumers to access their favorite digital movies in one place. To find out more please visit www.moviesanywhere.com.

BREAKING IN is a story of survival and the strength of family. These stories are popular with the example of the 1974 horror classic BLACK CHRISTMAS or 2002 film PANIC ROOM. More recently is the 2016 film DON’T BREATHE and the 2017’s film KEEP WATCHING.

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This film uses the mother-tiger story because we all know a movie mom has no problem what-so-ever putting on a Super Mom cape and go full on parent. Taking chances and risks are calculating in the middle of chaos yet Union takes a moment to catch her breath then back to the action.

In its one hour and twenty-seven minutes there isn’t much down time and why would there be? The actions and re-actions are swift like watching a professional ping-pong game.

In the end – payback is a mother!

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THE COMMUTER Rides on Rails!

The Commuter

 

Jeri Jacquin

Get your tickets ready to board the train as director Jaume Collet-Serra and Lionsgate take us all on a thrill ride following THE COMMUTER.

Michael MacCauley (Liam Neeson) is a man that has fallen into a routine of life. Getting up, spending morning moments with wife Karen (Elizabeth McGovern) and family and jumping on the train to get to work is how he sees his life. Having spent the last ten years working for an insurance company, his life is about to change in ways he never saw coming.

Meeting up with friend Alex Murphy (Patrick Wilson), he has a chance to vent about things. Running into former colleague Hawthorne (Sam Neill), Michael and Alex have nothing nice to say about their working relationship or the good ole days.

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After having a few beers, Michael boards the train going home feeling a
little defeated. Trying to forget life for a moment in a book, he is interrupted by Joanna (Vera Farmiga) who sits and starts a hypothetical conversation that intrigues Michael. The problem is – it is turning out not to be so hypothetical.

Joanna wants Michael to find someone who is on the train and obtain a little something they are carrying. The problem is – even Joanna doesn’t know who it is. He is shocked to
learn that Joanna knows about his problems, wife and son and is stunned when he is offered a large sum of money for his services.

When he discovers that murder is happening on the train, Joanna makes it clear learns his family could be next. Now he must walk back and forth on the moving commuter train to find out who doesn’t belong and figure out who Joanna really is and what it is she desperately wants.

Time is clicking away faster than the wheels spinning on the train!

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Neeson as Michael is once again proving that not only does he still got it but more over we all want to see it. Before going into the theatre, I heard so many conversations of the audience members (of all ages by the way) that they couldn’t wait to see the film
because it was Liam Neeson. That is one heck of a following to have and I absolutely count myself as one of them. Neeson has the voice, swag and willingness to take hits as this character comes to terms with where he is in his life. That being said, when enough is enough Neeson does what he does best – flip the tables and the audience lost its mind cheering. Neeson has become an absolute treasure and I love it.

Farmiga as Joanna is a woman who got Michael’s attention and kept it all through the film. This character basically has me totally rethinking anytime anyone says “let’s just say hypothetically speaking” and Farmiga delivers that line so well. Wilson as Alex is a friend Michael turns to when everything begins to go crazy. It’s hard to know who to trust when the wheels are turning and time isn’t on your side. It’s interesting to see Farmiga and Wilson in the same film together without there being a creepy doll or possessed house in the mix.

The cast of commuters is so well done and I’m not going to give a breakdown because this is a train ride I want everyone to be part of for themselves. It is an intense who-done-it or in this case who-is-it and watching Neeson’s character try to remain calm and work it out kept my brain busy. Good luck figuring it out!

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Other cast includes Jonathan Bans as Walt, Killian Scott as Dylan, Shazad Latif as Vince, Andy Nyman as Tony, Clara Lago as Eva, Roland Moller as Jackson, Florence Pugh as Gwen, Ella-Rae Smith as Sofia and Jonathan Banks as Walt.

THE COMMUTER is a fun thrill ride for the beginning of the new year. This is the type of film, especially for Neeson fans, to gather up a bunch of friends for a night at the movies. I love it when eating popcorn that there is more time with popcorn in your hand up to an open mouth than actually eaten. That’s what a fun thriller like THE COMMUTER is.

Of course it is centered on the inside of a train which one might think would confine the story but you would be wrong. There is so much action and different compartments of the train that the action is constant. I’m throwing up tons of props brining intensity and adventure to a moving train and with a storyline of twists.

In the end – lives are on the line!

INSIDIOUS: The Last Key Brings Jumps for the New Year

Insidious poster

Jeri Jacquin

Preparing to bring thrills and chills Friday in theatres from director Adam Robitel and Universal Pictures is good ole fashion fright from INSIDIOUS: The Last Key.

Elise (Lin Shaye) is plagued by dreams of the childhood house she once lived in with a violent father Gerard (Josh Stewart), endearing mother Melissa (Spencer Locke) and little brother Christian in 1952. When she receives a telephone call from a man named Ted (Kirk Acevedo) pleading for help, Elise is shocked when he gives her the address.

It is the house she left so many years ago in New Mexico. Knowing she must return to face what ever is spiritually infesting the house, Specs (Leigh Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Sampson) aren’t about to let her go without them.

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Almost immediately the house begins to reveal its secrets that Elise had blocked out for so many years. She also tried to meet up with her brother Christian (Bruce Davison) and Elise meets two nieces Imogen (Caitlin Gerard) and Melissa (Spencer Locke). Christian obviously holds hard feelings toward his sister.

The house wants what the house wants and now it becomes a family affair when Elise must go deeper into ‘The Further’ than she ever has before discovering horrifying secrets and to save the ones she loves.

But, will KeyFace allow that to happen!

Shaye as Elise has taken this character in so many different directions but I’m thrilled that she returned to tell her own story. I have always been a fan of Shaye as an actress and equally thrilled that the storyline let her continue to bring us the hauntingly spooky journey of this parapsychologist who isn’t afraid of much. Not saying her nerves don’t get rattled but she sucks it up and charges in!

Whannell as Specs also jumps right in and makes sure that Elise is covered and protected. Thought a little goofy, Specs is more sweet than nerdy. The hilarious nerd prize goes to Sampson as Tucker because I could not stop laughing at everything he does. Elise has her hands full reining him in when he gets sidetracked.

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Gerard as Imogen is a little standoffish to meet an Aunt she didn’t know she had but that changes when stepping inside her father’s house once again. Locke as Melissa is thrilled to meet Elise and admits that she doesn’t know the history her father is so upset about.

Davison as brother Christian is holding a grudge and its one heck of a long grudge. It’s good to see him on screen again and although his role is small, it works. Javier Botet takes on the role of KeyFace and totally rocks it. The keys on the fingertips is a little unnerving but hey, it kept the audience on their toes.

Other cast include Amanda Jaros as Mara Jennings, Marcus Henderson as Det. Whitfield, Aleque Reid as Anna, Ava Kolker as young Elise, and Pierce Pope as young Christian.

For the first scary movie of the year, INSIDIOUS: The Last Key doesn’t disappoint. The audience jumped, yelled, scared each other and even took time to laugh to shake away the frights. That’s what I love about the INSIDIOUS films, just having a good time without tons of ridiculous slashing or gore.

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Director Robitel keeps the feel that previous INSIDIOUS director James Wan set up as a successful roadmap to follow. Of course the title of the film is The Last Key and I’m hoping, no matter how much I think the films are cool, that there is a realization that it’s time to stop although I don’t think it will happen. Let’s go out on a high note shall we?

So after a very busy holiday season INSIDIOUS: The Last Key is a great film to go and just have some jumpy fun. Grab popcorn (hold with both hands), a few friends who just want to have a little theatre fun and enjoy the jolts, jumps and laughs the film will bring.

In the end – fear comes home!

AMERICAN ASSASSIN

American poster

 

Jeri Jacquin

In theatres this Friday from director Michael Cuestra, CBS Films and Lionsgate brings action and suspense with the AMERICAN ASSASSIN.

Mitch Rapp (Dylan O’Brien) is vacationing with his girlfriend in a blue water tropical paradise. In an instant shooting begins as terrorists walk the beach killing tourists, including Mitch’s girlfriend.

Wanting revenge, Mitch goes out on his own to try and find the man he saw kill his girlfriend. Going online to reach out to a terrorist organization, he doesn’t know that the CIA see’s everything he is doing. When he finds his target, the CIA Deputy Director Irene Kennedy (Sanaa Lathan) sends in a crack team of military to save him.

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Angry that his goal is thwarted, Director Kennedy brings in Stan Hurley (Michael Keaton), a Cold War Vet, to train Mitch as a black ops recruit. Out in the woods, Mitch works with others on what it takes to go on dangerous missions. That is when the CIA receives word that someone is putting together the parts to build a bomb.

Hurley, Mitch and other agents arrive in the Middle East and Annika (Shiva Negar) is their contact when they discover they are looking for a Ghost (Taylor Kitsch). Almost immediately they believe they are on the trail of the scientist who is helping to build the bomb. Hurley knows something about Ghost but instead of sharing it with the team, he becomes frustrated because Mitch isn’t taking orders.

When Hurley is kidnapped by Ghost, Mitch kicks it into gear to find his mentor and stop a bomb from starting a war!

O’Brien as Mitch is a brooding, sarcastic and perfect person to train even though he does take matters into his own hands. I write it off as rambunctious youth and I don’t mind it. His mind is constantly on the move and his body follows throwing caution to the wind. I really enjoyed O’Brien’s performance and can even see a few more films coming out of this character.

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Keaton as Hurley is equally brooding, sarcastic and the perfect person to train Mitch. He is a strong character in the film and fast in his reaction to situations. Now, I have to say there is a scene (no, I won’t tell you which one but trust me when I say you’ll know immediately when you see it) between Hurley and Ghost where I almost sat on the edge of my seat waiting for Keaton to say “You want to get nuts! Let’s get nuts!”.

Lathan as Kennedy sees something in Mitch and knows how to use the pain that he has endured. From the loss of his parents to the murder of his girlfriend, she knows that using it all to become a black ops specialist will make him perfect for the job.

Kitch as Ghost just plain doesn’t give a damn about anybody or anything except making the world pay. His story is a mystery for most of the film but he eventually makes it clear why he wants to watch the world burn. There is a crazy Kitch manages to give that made me nervous! Negar as Annika is an agent who, like Mitch, has personal reasons for wanting to bring down Ghost and she’ll do anything to make that happen.

Other cast include Scott Adkins as Victor, Joseph Long as General Rostami, Navid Negahban as Minister Behurz, Trevor White as Dr. Frain, David Suchet as Director Stansfield, and Shahid Ahmed as Adnan Al-Mansur.

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I had a good time watching AMERICAN ASSASSIN! It is fast paced, takes no prisoners, and basically takes us on a roller coaster ride of espionage, mystery and a big ending. The film is basically effortless in keeping viewers attention because this is exactly why many go to the movies – to be taken away with a big bowl of popcorn and no analyzing or figuring out anything.

O’Brien and Keaton are pretty cool together because their characters share more in common than either will admit. Playing off of one another they played into the films twists and turns with ease. The film is one hundred and eleven minutes long and there isn’t a moment that doesn’t have something going on.

The films as of late have claimed promises of stories that weren’t kept which makes AMERICAN ASSASSIN so much fun. You get what you pay for and happily pay for the ride. This isn’t just a ‘guys’ film, it is a gather-up-the-gang and go out for a good time at the movies and don’t forget a huge bucket of popcorn for everybody.

In the end – assassins aren’t born, they are made!

Who Can You Trust Out of the THREE on Bluray!

three bluray

 

Jeri Jacquin

On Bluray this week from master director Johnnie To and Well Go USA Entertainment is the cat and mouse and the fine line of good and evil between the THREE.

Dr. Ton Qian (Vicki Zhao) is studying to be a neurosurgeon and isn’t making friends doing it. Trying to focus on her work, Ton might be pushing herself to hard. Her day doesn’t have a moment as Chief Inspector Ken (Louis Koo) is about to bring in a murder suspect.

Shun (Wallace Chung) is a gangster with a bullet in his head. Immediately Dr. Qian wants to go straight to surgery while Inspector Ken keeps a gun loaded and Shun cuffed to the bed. Right before Shun is put under the knife; he wakes up and shows his hostility towards everyone.

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Ken wants to know where Shun’s cohorts are and what they next step of their plan is. The gangster is all about making everything a game and doesn’t seem to care about anyone – let alone himself with a bullet still lodged in his skull.

Dr. Qian tries to be empathetic to Shun’s plight, she tries to help which gets her nothing but trouble and on Inspector Ken’s bad side. Giving the doctor and the police clues that something else is coming, it quickly becomes clear they have no time left to stop it.

In a blink the tables are turned and the three chose their fates!

Zhou as Dr. Qian is a character who clearly is unsure about herself in so many ways which causes her to make hasty decisions. I was never sure what she was going to do next or why she seemed intent on making matters worse but still cheered for her at ever turn!

Koo as Inspector Ken has serious problems to deal with. Trying to convince his staff and boss that what happened to Shun was brought on by his own behavior, it becomes clear that he isn’t quite telling the whole story. This is where the line is stretched as to what is right and what is legal. Koo gives us a hardened cop character who isn’t going to let Shun win.

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Chung as Shun is a bad guy who doesn’t take anything seriously – not even a bullet to the brain. He talks but doesn’t really say anything that Inspector Ken wants to hear and that just makes the game even more intense. Keeping an eye on everything going in the halls of the hospital means he temporarily has the upper hand.

Other cast include Lo Hoi-pang as Chung, Cheung Siu-fai as Dr. Fok, Lam Suet as Constable Fatty, Stephen Au as Tong and Timmy Hung as Chak.

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.

THREE is a fast paced film filled with twists and turns and things you don’t see coming until it is too late. That’s what makes this cat and mouse plot so much fun to watch. The action sequences are brilliantly done and amazingly done in a very small space. Yet every move is deliberate!

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I found myself head smacking when I didn’t catch things but then again that’s the point. Keeping us side tracked constantly, the cast delivers performances that are so well done that I applauded when the film was over. Yes, that’s how much I enjoyed THREE.

Director To has had the biggest international films with DRUG WAR, MAD DETECTIVE and EXILED in the last few years. A native of Hong Kong, To began in television making his way to film being recognized for his work by the Palme D’Or in 2009, the Berlin and Venice International Film Festivals and the Toronto International Film Festival with many more to follow.

The Bluray includes the Special Features of The Making of from Master Director Johnnie To, Three Complex Characters and the trailers for the film.

In the end – they each must choose!

THE WHOLE TRUTH

the-whole-truth

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this week from director Courtney Hunt and Lionsgate is a courtroom drama that seeks THE WHOLE TRUTH.

Mike (Gabriel Basso) is a young man who finds himself in prison. Charged with murdering his father Boone (Jim Belushi), wife Loretta (Renee Zellweger) hires attorney Ramsey (Keanu Reeves).

Immediately Ramsey realizes that this is not going to be an easy case, especially when Mike refuses to speak even in his own defense. Ramsey brings Janelle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) in to help with fact finding what could have led Mike to do such a thing.

As the trial begins, Loretta is confronted with the problems that happened in the home and the dominance of Boone over his family. With each question she answers, a story unfolds of the father-son relationship and the difficulties.

When Mike finally decides to talk, the story he tells is shocking and takes the case into a direction Ramsey did not expect.

That’s what happens when the whole truth comes out!

Reeves as Ramsey is a lawyer looking for anything to help his client. It certainly doesn’t help when the young man says nothing to any questions he’s asked. Irritated that the boy isn’t helping with the case, he lets the courtroom drama speak. Reeves has the amazing ability to mix the dark and intensity of a situation and play it like a fiddle. The character of Ramsey is no exception.

Mbatha-Raw as Janelle looks for anything that will tell the story of Mike’s situation with his father. Drawn in quickly she not only takes finding the facts seriously but becomes equally stunned with every new discovery. If Mbatha-Raw looks familiar it is because she is responsible for the wonderful character of Dido in the 2013 film BELLE and more recently as Rachel in this years FREE STATE OF JONES.

Zellweger as Loretta is a bit standoffish towards the case but sits in the courtroom every day with her son. There is a bit of disconnect in her character and I’m not totally sure if that was intentional or not. It certainly is curious to be sure.

Belushi as Boone has a smaller role in the film but it certainly is one that raised my eyebrow a few times. This is a darker character than I’m use to seeing this jovial actor play and that’s what being unexpected is all about!

Basso as Mike spends most of his time in the film being absolutely silent. He doesn’t react to anything and no responding to questions. Instead he sits at the defendants table doodling letting the time pass. Just when you think that’s how his character is going to play out – he speaks! What he says changes the entire dynamic of the film until the very end. Well done.

Other cast includes: Jim Klock as Leblanc, Ritchie Montgomery as Judge Robichaux, Christopher Berry as Legrand, Nicole Barre as Angela Morley, Jason Kirkpatrick as Detective Graves, Sean Bridges as Arthur Westin and Jackie Tuttle as Trixie Westin.

THE WHOLE TRUTH is a nice courtroom drama that brings out twists and turns in the story. This is a film where nothing is as it seems and yet it is exactly what it seems. The revelations about certain characters bring more questions instead of the answers Ramsey is looking for.

I enjoy films that keep most of the storytelling in the courtroom although there are scenes outside of it of course but mainly in flashbacks. Having all the key players in the same room is keeping to a captive audience who don’t mind being captive because this is a puzzle that needs piecing together.

Reeves and Basso carry the film with one saying to much and one saying to little yet neither getting to the whole truth!

In the end – do you solemnly swear to tell the truth?

THE ACCOUNTANT Puts Out All the Right Numbers!

the-accountant-poster

 

Jeri Jacquin

This week is going to be a thrill because director Gavin O’Connor and Warner Bros. is dishing out the suspense with THE ACCOUNTANT.

Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) has a way with number, not just any way but a wizards’ way. In a little shopping mall is ZZZ Accounting where he helps his clients in ways that leave them surprised.

But Wolff also does other jobs, special jobs, as when he meets Rita Blackburn (Jean Smart). She wants the numbers wiz to look into the finances of a robotics company owned by Lamar Black (John Lithgow). It seems that one of their own, Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick) has found inconsistencies in the flow of company money.

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Across the country Ray King (J.K. Simmons) a Treasure Agent looking for a man who works with dangerous and very rich individuals called ‘the accountant’. He has reasons of his own to find him and to do that he enlists the help of Marybeth Medina (Cynthia Addai-Robbinson), a young woman who has a few secrets of her own but dives in to search for the mysterious man.

Back in a conference room, Wolff has taken over completely going over tons of material provided by Dana who wants to be of more help. But that isn’t Wolff’s style and he puts her off straight away. That is until he discovers what is happening with Lamar Black’s money!

That’s when his staff starts to turn up dead at the hands of a man named Brax (Jon Bernthal). Fearful of any more reprisals for what Wolff may find, Black hands him a checks and wants nothing more to do with what is happening.

Wolff is stunned by his attitude and even more freaked out that he can not complete the job. Hardly the worst of it when he discovers that Dana’s life is now in danger and nothing is going to stop him from tracking down those who are responsible.

There is much more to this accountant than his pocket protector!

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Affleck as Wolff is absolutely brilliant! First of all, his is a person of great mental strength put there by a not-to-normal childhood. A man of routine, taking on this case is anything but which brings all his senses to a heightened mode. Affleck has this amazing ability to have a calm and coolness to his features when everyone else is loosing their frakken minds. I know there were a few times I had my jaw dropped at the mixture of an almost innocence to his character and then in a millisecond he is in badass mode.

Simmons as King gives another piece of stellar acting. Personally I can not get enough of this guy and it is because he has the remarkable ability to portray any character he is given. From joking-loving father to a music teacher with unorthodox methods of screwing up a student’s brain to this role as King, I’m on this guys cheer squad for life!

Bernthal as Brax gets to go into crazy mode but with almost the same calmness as Wolff. He walks his way through this film doing his job and seeing it as just that – a job. Bernthal has come a long way fast since his zombie days and I couldn’t be happier for him.

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Kendrick as Dana is a young woman who just wants to do her job and move along in life. Not expecting someone like Wolff to shake things up, there is a part of her that is intrigued by him. I absolutely love the ending of her part of the story. Addai-Robinson as Medina was the character that kind of irked me the most. Coming off as a woman with a past is one thing and by the end I’m thinking this character has a false face.

Lithgow as Black has a short role in the film but learns the hard way not to mess with a man who knows his numbers. Smart as Blackburn also has a shortened role but it is always good to see her.

Other cast include: Andy Umberger as Ed Chilton and Alison Wright as Justine.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give THE ACCOUNTANT four and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. Now, let me explain why. This is the first film I’ve watched in a while where I was absolutely surprised by every aspect of the film. It was funny in a twisted way that I can appreciate, it was suspenseful at every turn, the film makes no apologies just as the character Wolff doesn’t, it is in-your-face from start to finish and the reaction of some of the characters is priceless.

The odd connection between Affleck and Kendrick is almost like a secret between the two of them. They understand the awkwardness of their own lives yet they have this mathematical connection that brings them both serious happiness. Having never been a math person I don’t relate but yet do. Like I said, it’s a secret between these two characters that works!

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Now, that is a teaser of course but mainly because there are many, many things I’m not telling you and for good reason. This film is best experienced for yourself! It is filled with so much that I want in a film. Coming in at 128 minutes I swear there isn’t a moment where the story drags, not ONE!

Warner Bros. should be thrilled and peacock-puffed-up-proud of THE ACCOUNTANT. The casting is fantastic and keeping the surroundings simple lets the characters really shine in a story that is complex and even had me guessing to the very end. Look, it is films like this that I go to the theatre for – I want the clock to tick away without me ever thinking of looking at it.

Now, what I thought immediately at the end of the film….I want Christian Wolff and John Wick to get together! I mean seriously – these two would take fear for the bad guys to another level!

In the end – calculate your choices!

THE NIGHT OF is Pure Tension and Grit on Bluray from HBO

the-night-of

 

 

Jeri Jacquin

HBO has done it again and in a big, exciting way as THE NIGHT OF comes to Bluray and Digital HD this week.

Nasir Khan (Riz Ahmed) is a young man living at home with his parents Salim (Peyman Moaadi), Safar (Poorna Jagannathan) and brother Hasan (Syam Lafi). His father is in the taxi business and Nasir, who likes being called Naz, is in college earning his degree in business.

He is invited to a party with some friends on the basketball team and can’t wait to go. Making arrangements for a ride, it falls apart and Naz takes his father’s cab. Heading toward the party he becomes lost as two guys jump in his cab thinking he is the driver. He asks them to leave and when a police officer shows up, Naz explains his light is out and he can not take fares.

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Some time later Andrea Cornish (Sofia D’Elia) jumps into his cab. Not sure what to do since she seemed distraught, Naz decides to take her where she wants to go. Back to her brownstone, he is surprised when Andrea invites him in. There they drink, indulge and spend the evening together.

Later in the evening, Naz wakes up to discover he’s on the floor of the kitchen. He goes upstairs to get his clothes and to say goodbye to Andrea. What he finds instead is horror and after a series of bizarre events, he is later arrested for murder.

At the precinct Naz is met by Detective Bill Camp (Dennis Box) who attempts to get the truth of what happened. The problem is that Naz can not remember what happened and Camp isn’t sure what to believe. Lawyer John Stone (John Turturro) appears and warns Naz not to say another word and that he would help him.

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After Naz is arraigned and pleads not guilty, he is sent to prison to await his fate. There he meets Freddy Knight (Michael Williams), a man who sees all, knows all and wants to take Naz under his protection. This is a turning point in Naz’s life as he decides how he is going to handle other wanting him dead.

As Stone begins to investigate the case he it is poached by big time lawyer Alison Crowe (Glenne Headly) and her assistant Chandra Kapoor (Amara Karan). Crowe convinces Naz’s parents that she will take on the case pro bono. That is what his parents want to hear since they taxi cab that brings in their income is impounded by the police as evidence.

When Naz enters the courtroom once again after being indicted, Crowe is thrown a curve ball when he refuses to plea-bargain and admit guilt for something he believes he did not do. Crowe turns the case over to Chandra who in turn enlists the help of Stone.

Now, Chandra and Stone work together to uncover what the police missed, look for witnesses the police didn’t and put a case together that Naz was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

It is a trial that either convicts an innocent man or keeps a guilty one where he belongs.

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Ahmed as Naz begins as such a character of innocents. Watching this character go through the chain of the law is edgy and hard. He may not always be forth coming about his past but he stands strong in saying he is innocent. Once in prison this wide-eyed young man is about to find out that being safe and staying alive means doing things he never thought possible. From beginning to end Ahmed is in this – well done!

Turturro as Stone is a character that just broke my heart to watch. Not only is his character considered nothing but an ambulance-chasing-deal-making lawyer but no one sees his suffering with eczema. I swear it just killed me to watch Stone feel as if he is not only a person ridiculed for his profession, but personally for something that isn’t his fault. Watching him try to make connections was so difficult proving once again to never judge a book by its cover. Stone is a smart man and Turturro portrays him smartly!

Camp as Box plays his role to the hilt as a cop coming to the end of his career; he can either go out fighting or go down sulking. Moaadi as Dad Salim believes in his son and isn’t going to let anyone stand in his way of doing whatever he can. Jagannathan as Mom Safar can’t keep her brain from stopping the thought that her son could be a monster.

Williams as Knight is a man who has the system working in his favor. From a television in his room to delivered food, this is a guy you would think everyone would want to know. The problem with knowing him is the price of his friendship can be very, very high.

Other cast includes Don Taylor as Paul Sparks, Afton Williamson as Wiggins, Joshua Bitton as Maldonado, Aaron Moten as Petey, Paulo Costanzo as Ray Halle, Nabil Elouahabi as Yusuf, Mustafa Shakir as Victor, Lord Jamar as Tino, Michael Buscemi as Steve, Lennie Loftin as Det. Lieberman, J.D. Williams as Trevor, Glenn Fleshler as Judge Roth and Jeannie Berlin as Helen Weiss.

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.

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TUBS OF POPCORN: I give THE NIGHT OF five tubs of popcorn out of five. Trust me when I say that you need to put aside an evening and plan to be up late because once you’ve started down this story you won’t want to stop until the very last. The story is filled with twists, turns, people, places, situations and tension to each and everything that happens.

The casting is nothing short of perfection with my absolute big nods going to Ahmed and Turturro. These are two of the most flawed characters in the story and yet they manage to understand one another in the midst of chaos which is exceptional.

I have to say that watching each of these characters transform with ever episode made my heart sink a little each time. There is a solemn grittiness in this HBO Limited Series piece and it shouldn’t go unnoticed by the viewer. Once the story gets past the lines of nationality, it goes deep into assimilation for sake of just living.

There isn’t a moment where the sun rises and you hear a choir of angels singing as an ‘ah-ha’ moments happens. Nope, that’s not going to happen here. Instead, the story gets darker and deeper into those in control, those who think they are in control and what the reality is for everyone involved. Just a truly solid piece of storytelling that will remain with me for quite a while.

In the end – one night changes many lives forever!

THE WAILING Gives New Definition to Suspense!

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(Gonksung)

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray from acclaimed director Na Hong-Jin and Well Go USA Entertainment is a tale that will leave you guessing about THE WAILING.

In a little South Korean mountain village called Goksung, Officer Jong-goo (Do Won Kwak) lives with family and his daughter Hyo-jin (Kim Hwan-hee). Always under scrutiny from his superiors, things are about to take a turn he could never have imagined.

Arriving at a house in the village, Officer Jong-goo finds a family has been murdered by a family member. After running tests it is discovered that the suspect was suffering from a skin rash and poisoned mushrooms.

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That would have sufficed the officer except a woman in white, Moo-myeong (Woo-Hee Chun) approaches telling him that she knows who is responsible. Living deep in the woods further into the mountains is a Japanese stranger (Jun Kunimura) who a hunter saw almost naked eating an animal and had glowing red eyes.

Jong-goo decides to go, along with another officer and a priest, to speak to the stranger but he is not there. What they do find is a tiny room inside the hut filled with the photographs of people who have the rash and have been killed. The stranger arrives and the group leaves quickly.

It is on the ride home that Jong-goo discovers that his daughter Hyo-jin has met the stranger. When he confronts his daughter, he is met with outrageous behavior and a foul mouth. Later in the night he discovers that it’s not just his daughter’s behavior that is bizarre but she has the rash!

As her condition gets worse, Jong-goo’s mother-in-law demands that the family seek out the Shaman (Jung-min Hwang) to stop the madness.  He agrees but not before seeking out the stranger one more time and demanding that he leave within three days. Later, as the exorcism begins, Jong-goo is distraught over the pain the ritual seems to be causing his daughter.

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Jong-goo has reached his limits and tells his friends what has been happening. Agreeing to help him they gather up weapons and head to the mountains. What they find will send them fleeing back down the mountain.

The priest needs to know the truth and is back into the mountains to find the stranger and confront who he is and what he wants. Going back to his home, Jong-goo is met by Moo-myeong who tells him he must stay away from his house as a trap has been set for a demon. He begins to wonder who he can trust and if he makes the wrong move – who will die.

A father’s love may not be enough to save them all!

Do Won Kwak as Officer Jong-goo is a man who seems to be floating through life. Not really happy with his life, the only thing that does give him comfort is daughter Hyo-jin. It is when he sees the first family destroyed that it sets in motion events that he can neither control nor fully understand. Stellar performance!

Hwan-hee as Hyo-jin is a young girl who is put through the ringer. This isn’t an easy role for a kid to play but man oh man does she play it. It is her physicality that gives this character the right amount of scariness wrapped up in a tiny little package.

Kunimura as the Japanese stranger is another character that is more physical than anything else. I have to give Kunimura credit because his portrayal had me waiting, and waiting AND WAITING! Talking about keeping your eye on someone, Jong-goo wasn’t the only one.

Chun as Moo-myeong is a woman who shows bizarre behavior and a keen knowledge as to what is actually happening. How and why she knows is irrelevant to the fact that she has details that everyone should pay attention too. Chun’s conversation with Jong-goo’s character at the end was nail biting.

Hwang as the Shaman wastes no time in charging the parents to perform rituals. He was doing a pretty good job until Jong-goo stepped in. Yet he knows more than he is saying and he also has secrets.

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Well Go USA Entertainment brings the best action, genre and independent films to release from all around the world. To theatres, digital, television and Video on Demand, Well Go has an amazing selection available to fans of every genre. Check out what’s new and what’s coming up at www.wellgousa.com.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give THE WAILING five tubs of popcorn out of five. What an amazing, intense, and twisted tale told so very well. There isn’t a moment where I wasn’t wondering what was going to happen next – and to who! The cinematography truly captured the isolation of this village and the un-dead looked very undead!

It has been some time since I sat through a film that would be considered ‘horror’ and found it to be more engrossing than most horror films. I personally didn’t mind the length of the film because it actually felt like I was watching a series, which by the way I wouldn’t have minded either.

This is not a quick thriller but a 157 minute ghost story that isn’t going to give anything away if it can help it. The Bluray includes the Bonus Features of The Beginning of The Wailing, The Making of The Wailing and Trailers. The film is in the Korean language with English subtitles.

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South Korean writer and director Na Hong-jin is also known for his 2008 film THE CHASER which won him Best Director at the Korean Film Awards. In 2010 his next film THE YELLOW SEA was screened at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. THE WAILING has received critical acclaim as it well should.

Add THE WAILING to your must-see list along with TRAIN TO BUSCAN because both of these films are an unexpected surprise to zombie and horror genre lovers.

In the end – who to trust can be more deadly than a demon!

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