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DEN OF THIEVES is Breaking in to Bluray Talking with writer & director Christian Gudegast

den of thieves bluray cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray/DVD from writer/director Christian Gudegast, STX Entertainment and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is truly a DEN OF THIEVES.

In the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department there is a team of wild cops led by Big Nick O’Brien (Gerard Butler). You see Nick isn’t the kind to just sit by and let crime just run rampant in the city. He may be a sharp cop but not to smart when it comes to his own home life which is falling apart. When strange heists hit the city, they grab Donnie (O’Shea Jackson, Jr.) to find out who is responsible.

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Getting him to talk takes a little persuasion but Donnie tells them about Merrimen and his gang that includes Enson Levoux (Curtis Jackson) and any detail he can think of. That leads them to a quietly disturbing mastermind in Merrimen (Pablo Schreiber), he also isn’t the kind to sit by and not be a part of planning a massive crime.

The game of cat and mouse begins when the two leaders come face to face to test the waters as each flexes in his own way. As Nick and the boys meticulously go over plans to catch Merrimen and his boys at their next heist, Merrimen and his boys are meticulously going over plans for a heist that even the L.A. County Sheriffs couldn’t have seen coming.

When they finally come face to face, backing down doesn’t seem to be in their vocabulary!

I had the amazing opportunity to speak with writer/director Christian Gudegast about what inspired him to write the script, the amazing cast and making it all go from page to screen. Gudegast is responsible for films such as LONDON HAS FALLEN, A MAN APART and is the executive producer for the documentary SEQUESTRO.

at the Eric Braeden's 30th Anniversary on The Young & The Restless Cocktail Reception

Jeri Jacquin:  Hello Christian thanks for spending time with me today.

Christian Gudegast: Absolutely, thank you as well.

JJ: Let’s jump right in. My big question is where did you come up with this story line?

CG: Wow, it was a combination of a lot of things. It was going back to wanting to make crime films and there are so many stories I want to tell about that world. Also, there are people that the characters are based upon and a series of bank robberies in a book my friend wrote about the most successful crew in Los Angeles called the Hole-in-the-Ground gang. Merrimen and his crew are based on them and the heist you see in the film are based on the actual heist that went down. They were never caught and got away with hundreds of millions of dollars. They have a legendary status within the law enforcement community in Los Angeles. Gerard Butler’s character, Big Nick, is also based on a friend of mine. So all of it is the basis for the story I’m telling in the film under one roof.

JJ: It was interesting to me how you had these two brotherhoods going on at the same time, for you was that difficult to take from your brain to the page to the screen?

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CG: Yes in a sense that film production is extremely difficult and no because it’s always what I wanted to do. The cast and crew who read the script bought into the concept so it was about not judging any one character and treating everyone like a human being and understanding motivations. It is seeing how they are all affected by that life from both sides. The reality of crime is that it’s one business with different players; it’s a world unto itself. Both sides know each other and went to high school, have the same clothes, grew up on the streets, sometimes dated the same girl; so there is a mutual understanding and respect to the two sides and to me that is fascinating. It is amazing to explore that.

JJ: You are right, the interaction between the two group’s dances on a delicate line and one miniscule step can change so much.

CG: That’s exactly right. Every step of the way, even the individual characters, I had technical advisors. I had real gangsters, real cops and ex-military with boot camps and the actors were there two months before training very hard and drilled down. We took into consideration what they wore, how they walked and talked and it was all very specific. Everyone bought into it and the result is on the Bluray.

JJ: The casting, as you wrote this did you specifically have these actors in mind?

CG: Aside from Gerard Butler and then Curtis Jackson, no. It was all part of the process. Everyone in the film I was aware of before hand but it was really about myself and casting director John Papsidera who is a genius, we both wanted the cast to be authentic. I didn’t want to recognize every person in the story. I know there was to be some but the cast had to be real. There is actually a lot of real people in the film and we mixed that with the actors. We did a lot of rehearsal until it felt natural. In the casting we made sure it was who we wanted and sometimes had 100 to 150 audition for a role, we were obsessive about it. We wanted the perfect person, even if they didn’t have a line; we were obsessed with finding the right person.

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JJ: I have to say that Pablo basically scared me crazy; he has that look about him and doesn’t have to say a word. It’s like you want to slink away to get out of his line of sight.

CG: (laughing) Yes, Pablo is a spectacular dude and he is one of the most disciplined, prepared and talented actors I’ve ever come across. The guy is an animal! He is extremely intelligent and he does his work. He really got into character by getting his body trained a very specific way, he spent a ton of time on the range shooting and just got into the mode of playing Merrimen. He is a genius.

JJ: His character is a beast. I was fascinated, maybe even more so than Gerard Butlers character. I was drawn to his though process.

CG: I will be working with Pablo quite a bit so you will have ample opportunity to get to know him more.

JJ: That’s extremely cool and I’m okay with that. Lets talk about Curtis ‘Fifty Cent’ Jackson. His role is that of a guy who knows what he’s going to do and is connected to Merrimen totally.

CG: Also his character is based on a real person. When I met Curtis I knew he was one of those guys that is immediately intimidating. He doesn’t have to do or say anything and doesn’t need to be the leader. Merrimen never moved on from the military mindset and doesn’t have a family whereas Levoux has a family and he starts showing some cracks because he has something to live for.

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JJ: By the way the daughter going to the prom scene was very good!

CG: Yes it was.

JJ: Of course there is Gerard Butler and could you have made his arms any bigger?

CG: Yes, he was pretty determined and played a lot of characters where he had to be fit. He put a lot into being Big Nick and I think this is the biggest he’s been in his life. He really worked on getting his look and it paid off for his character.

JJ: His character, it’s like at any second he could snap.

CG: Yes, correct, that’s the whole point, he has this intensity and he had to look jacked.

JJ: Big Nick is also the kind of leader where his crew might not always agree but they certainly have his back.

CG: Yes, you wouldn’t believe what these guys have to do to tell the story. The stuff they do is pretty wild and to do that you have to be a certain kind of person. That’s real and the law enforcement community thought this was the most realistic portrayal they have seen. The public doesn’t always look at what the police do favorably because of things that have happened but the reality is that cops come up against some very, very bad people.

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JJ: It just shows what cops have to do to stop this kind of bad. I have to give you a shout out for having Cooper Andrews in the film. When I saw all I could think of was ‘oh my gosh Jerry!’

CG: I have to say, Cooper is the man. He is such a gentle giant. He is a big strong boy and he is a wonderful actor. When we saw him we knew he was the character of Mac.

JJ: It was nice to see him outside the horrors of The Walking Dead.

CG: Exactly, he is amazing and is going to do a lot.

JJ: When people watch DEN OF THIEVES on Bluray, what do you want them to take from it – besides the fact that it’s a great story?

CG: If they listen to the Director Commentary that will be fun. Actually the care we put into making the film, from the cast to crew, it became a labor of love for everybody. We had a phenomenal time making the film and it was an incredible experience. We went to great lengths to keep it authentic, as real as possible, emotion and honest. That was really the goal in everything that we did. We hope that people enjoy it again when they see it on Bluray.

JJ: All I can say is well played sir! I enjoyed it immensely.

CG: Thank you Jeri, thank you very much.

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My sincere thanks to Christian Gudegast for giving us the insight to DEN OF THIEVES which is more of an ‘us’ versus ‘them’ leaving the audience to decide the rest. The intensity is definitely there and leaves little time to catch your breath. Butler leads the way as Big Nick making damn sure that it all stops with his crew just as much as Schreiber’s character of Pablo feels the same way on the other side of the law.

Other cast include Meadow Williams as Holly, Maurice Compte as Borracho, Brian Van Holt as Murph Connors, Evan Jones as Bosco, Mo McRae as Gus Henderson, Kaiwi Lynam as Tony Z, Dawn Olivieri as Debbie, Eric Braeden as Ziggy, Jordan Bridges as Lobbin Bob and Cooper Andrews as Mack.

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.

STXFilms and Entertainment is a global next-generation company who has taken on the mission to unlock the value of direct connection stars have with their fans through the development, production and distribution of film, television, VR, digital video, music and live entertainment content. It is the industry leader in transforming beyond traditional platform-driven content to creating talent-driven enterprises. To experience more please visit www.stxfilms.com.

DEN OF THIEVES Bluray and DVD Bonus Features include an Alternate Ending, Alpha Males – The cast describes how the tough characters in the film blur the lines between the good guys and the bad guys, Into the Den – Director Christian Gudegast and the cast describe the two brotherhoods within the film, the renegades and the outlaws and their unique set of skills, Alameda Corridor – The cast and director discuss filming the intense scene that takes place on the streets of L.A. and the extensive weapons training it took to film it, Outtakes and Deleted Scenes, Commentary with Director Christian Gudegast and Producer Tucker Tooley, DEN OF THIEVES Theatrical Cut with an All-New Unrated Version with Never-Before-Seen Footage.

The story is one filled with twists, turns and action that doesn’t stop to let you think to much. Instead it is two hours and twenty minutes of intensity that dares you to come along for the ride pulling us all from one side to the other. Find a comfy seat and turn on the sound bar for some serious action and characters that you have to see to believe.

In the end – giving up is not an option for either!

 

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Who Can You Trust Out of the THREE on Bluray!

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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!

MHz Choice Brings an Amazing Series from Ireland with CORP + Anam

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Jeri Jacquin

On DVD from TG4 and MHz is an intense series about life, family and the need to succeed in CORP + ANAM.

Living in Ireland, television reporter Cathal MacIarnain (Diarmuid de Faoite) is living a full life. At home with wife Mairead (Maria Doyle Kennedy), rebellious daughter Sorcha (Una Ni Fhlatharta) and young son Seimi (Eanna O’Coileain), he is slowly becoming an absence in their eyes. It doesn’t help when he is called to the story of teens killed in a head on collision starts out as the blame-game to police and slowly turns into so much more.

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When Mairead’s father Tom (Tom MacArdghail) comes to live at home, Mairead is more certain that it’s time to find something for herself. Now with both parents working outside the home, Sorcha decides to deal with bullying school boys in her own way and turns to the internet to cause them trouble. The problem is Sorcha gets herself involved in something frightening that bounces back on Cathal with devastating impact.

Cathal starts to follow a case that a young woman claims she was abused by a chaplain. Frustrated that the door seems to be closing on every turn, he finds a man who knows everything Cathal needs to break open the case. All of this drives Cathal even harder when another story of corruption with high ranking officials lands on his desk. The problems at home aren’t getting any better and Tom uses the kindness of his family in ways that aren’t grandfatherly.

While Mairead begins working for a local attorney, she also discovers that there is a part of her family’s life that has been a secret. In looking through Tom’s papers after an attack puts him in the hospital, Mairead notices paperwork from a local adoption service that makes no sense to her. Taking it upon herself, she writes letters of inquiry and opens up a family secret that devastates them all and adds more fuel separating the marriage.

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The case of John McGuire is the next story Cathal takes. A man and his wife are being bullied out of their ancestral home by hungry land grabbers giving the Glynn family to fight on their own. Claiming there is no will stating Glynn inherited the land from family, the court turns on the Glynn’s as well. The outrage lands John Glynn in jail and Cathal can’t get the paperwork from the attorney. Everything about the case is suspicious to Cathal and now he must enlist the help of Mairead who at first resists until realizing her estranged husband is truly worried about the Glynn’s.

The corruption of this story goes deeper than Cathal and Mairead could have imagined as the truth begins to emerge and it could be deadly!

De Faoite as Cathal is a man clearly on a mission to discover the truth in the stories he covers. Leaving no stone unturned he does his job and even when mistakes are made it doesn’t stop him from the truth. The bigger problem here is that with all his bulldogging to get the story, Cathal tends to forget there are people in his life that need him as well. De Faoite does an excellent job in this role and watching his reaction to what is happening around him is intense and sad at the same time. That’s what makes the character of Cathal believable are the reactions by de Faoite with the bad and the ugly of the world he covers.

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Kennedy as Mairead is just amazing! Can you tell I’m a tad partial? I am a huge fan and Kennedy always brings it to every role she takes on. The first time I saw Kennedy was in the film MOLL FLANDERS (which is a favorite in my household) and then again in the 1999 in the series Queer as Folk. So imagine my thrill when she was cast in the 2007 series THE TUDORS as Queen Catherine of Aragon up against Jonathan Rhys Meyers King Henry VIII! That is followed by Dexter and the beloved Downton Abbey as Vera Bates. Another fan favorite is the series Orphan Black as Kennedy continues to keep viewers in suspense in her role as Siobhan Sadler.

Fhlatharta as Sorcha does her absolute best to totally annoy me. As a teenager she is clearly doing everything possible to go against her parents resenting them both. Fhlatharta convinces me easily that she is a teenager who will push buttons. O’Coileain as Seimi is a young man easily persuaded to do the bidding of his Grandfather. He also is clearly ready to push his parents buttons every chance he gets.

Mhonaghail as Dheirdre is the television editor who one minute wants Cathal’s head on a platter and the next takes chances to get the scoop. I love her attitude! O’Gairbhi as Tannion is a character that makes everyone hate lawyers, well done.

A shout out to Linda Bhreathnach as Sarah who is the quite camera girl yet her presence is amazing. She puts up with so much from Cathal and also finds herself in a dangerous situation because of that colleague she trusts. In future seasons I’m rooting for her to move up the ladder of success.

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Other cast include Noel Magee as Brian Cooke, Donal O Healai as John Glynn, Sinead Ni Fhlatharta as Mags, McGuire, and Paul McCloskey as Tony Byrne.

MHz Choice offers U.S. viewers streaming access to MHz Networks’ expanding library of the best international television mysteries, dramas, comedies and documentaries subtitled in English. MHz Choice delivers a high quality experience to a growing list of subscribers who watch online with iPhone, Apple TV, Android, Roku and Amazon Channels! For more of what they have to offer for viewing please visit www.mhzchoice.com.

TG4 is the Public Broadcaster Service in Ireland for the Irish-language audience. Available in almost all the homes in Ireland, there programming includes news, current affairs, sports, music, drama, children’s television and television. TG4 has won a slew of national and international awards for their programs and deservedly so.

CORP + ANAM is a series that is brilliantly written addressing many of the issues found around the world. From the dangers of teens and computers, domestic abuse, corporate squashing of those who can’t fight back to the family issues we all face everyday, this series doesn’t hold back.

The cast is absolutely amazing and I have to say it is brilliant that this series took on so many serious issues. There was no sugar coating or holding back which I appreciate about a storyline that I want to invest time in.

Leaving off at Season Two I can also say that I am truly excited to see where these characters go. The writers have opened the door in a stellar way to continue sharing with us all Cathal and Mairead’s careers and marriage, the kids growing up and the stories that need both of their help to stop injustices in their community.

The DVD includes all 410 minutes of Season One and Season Two with English subtitles from the Irish Language which is fascinating to hear. CORP + ANAM is a critically acclaimed Irish-Gaelic thriller that will leave you wanting more.

In the end – what stain is on your soul?

THE ACCOUNTANT Puts Out All the Right Numbers!

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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

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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.

night-3

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!

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