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TOY STORY 4 Reunited Our Favorite Friends

Toy Story 4 cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres from director Josh Cooley, Pixar Animated Studios and Walt Disney Pictures brings back our friends for TOY STORY 4.

Sheriff Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and the gang are still living with Bonnie. As time has gone on, Woody has found himself spending more time in the closet and less time with Bonnie. Yet Buzz, Jessie (Joan Cusack), Dolly (Bonnie Hunt), Trixie (Kristen Schaal), Rex, (Wallace Shawn), Hamm (John Ratzenberger), Slinky Dog (Blake Clark), Mr. Potato Head (Don Rickles), Mrs. Potato Head (Estelle Harris) and the gang are still supportive of Woody.

But he has other things to worry about when Bonnie (Madeleine McGraw) is upset about going off to kindergarten. Taking the initiative, Woody decides to make sure she has a good day! When things don’t seem to be going in that direction, he helps Bonnie create a new friend, Forky (Tony Hale) and she is delighted.

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Before the real school year starts, Mom and Dad decide it’s time to go on a little road trip. The toy-gang is thrilled as well and wait to be packed into the RV for a little adventure. When Forky escapes the RV, Woody tells he gang he will meet them at the RV park in the next town while he goes off to settle their new toy friend down a bit.

It gives time for Woody and Forky to bond as the sheriff gets time to explain the situation to him. Getting close to the RV park, Woody sees something in an antique store window. A lamp that his friend Bo Peep (Annie Potts) once called her home with the three sheep Billy, Goat and Gruff. Taking a small detour to find out if she is in the shop, he and Forky meet Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks) who only wants one thing from Woody!

When she doesn’t get it, Gabby Gabby takes Forky as hostage at the same time Woody finds Bo Peep. Now she needs to bring her friends to help including Duke Caboom (Keanu Reeves) because Bonnie and her parents are about to leave the RV park and not everyone is aboard. Buzz jumps into action to help as the gang in the RV make a little plan of their own.

It’s pretty much help your friends, help your new friends and make a decision that will change the lives of everybody all while getting back to Bonnie.

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Because that’s what friends do for one another!

Hanks as Woody will now and forever be considered a beloved icon in both movies and animation. He has brought all of us so much love and teachable lessons in the character of Sheriff Woody. From the very first TOY STORY in 1995, I knew this was going to be a ride from adults to children, little did I know now that it would include grandchildren. Woody can be found in kids rooms still because he is the friend we all wish we could have for a lifetime.

Allen as Buzz is once again the lighthearted friend who tries to keep Woody’s spirits up and when it comes time to bring him home, it is Buzz who go to find him. They are an unbeatable pair and even if he is still a little confused sometimes, he doesn’t let that stop him from hearing his own ‘inner voice’.

Potts as Bo Peep is sweet, strong and has a little fight in her swagger. She has a story to tell and it is about where she has been and how she now sees the world. McGraw as Bonnie is such a young girl learning to be outside of her bedroom and toy world into something much bigger – but she still needs her toy friends.

Cusack, Hunt, Schaal, Shawn, Ratzenberger, Benson, Clark, Rickles, Harris return as their respective and beloved characters and, of course, we wouldn’t have it any other way. As much as there wouldn’t be a TOY STORY without Woody and Buzz, there equally wouldn’t be a Woody and Buzz without Jessie, Dolly, Rex, Hamm, Barbie and the Potato Heads.

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Hendricks as Gabby Gabby can be a little bit off putting and a tad-bit like Lotso from TOY STORY 3 in that she wants to be large and in charge. It is clear that there are deeper issues and Woody needs to get to the bottom of it.

Reeves as Duke Caboom may have only been in the film briefly but man did he make me laugh! This was a fantastic chance for Reeves to show his comedic side in a way that most would see as unexpected and awesome at the same time.

Other cast include Bill Hader as Axel the Carnie, Ally Maki as Giggle McDimples, Jay Hernandez as Bonnie’s Dad, Lori Alan as Bonnie’s Mom, Emily Davis as Billy/Goat/Gruff, Carl Weathers as Combat Carls, Jeff Garlin as Buttercup, Jordan Peele as Bunny Timothy Dalton as Mr. Pricklepants, Jodie Benson as Barbie, Jeff Pidgeon as Aliens, and especially Mel Brooks as Melephant Brooks, Carol Burnett as Chairol Burnett, Betty White as Bitey White and Carl Reiner as Carl. Reineroceros.

TOY STORY 4 is a chance for the toys themselves to actually have an adventure that is about – well – them! Of course there is the continuing story of Bonnie but it is also about how these toys are still caring of one another.

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They have their own attachments and feelings about the years they have spent together and TOY STORY 4 has a chance to tell that side of it all and do so in a way that brings closure we didn’t even know we needed.

In the end – on the road of life there are old friends, new friends and stories that will change you forever!

 

 

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It’s Time to Return to the Scene of Hilarious Crime as DRAGNET Comes to Bluray

 

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray for the first time in a special Collector’s Edition from SHOUT! Factory and director Tom Mankiewicz is the buddy cop comedy DRAGNET.

Sgt. Joe Friday (Dan Aykroyd) is a by-the-book cop who doesn’t take nonsense in the slightest. Cut from the family cloth of policemen, Joe learns that he is about to have a new partner in the form of Pep Streebek (Tom Hanks).

Streebek isn’t necessarily a by-the-book cop who occasionally is the cause of nonsense every chance he gets. Immediately Joe Friday isn’t happy with the way his new partner dresses or his attitude for that matter but knows at this point he doesn’t have a choice in the matter.

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Assigned to their first case together, they investigate is a porno magazine called Bait owned by one Jerry Caesar (Dabney Coleman) who wants his property back. The person they think might have some idea is Reverend Jonathan Whirley (Christopher Plummer) who wants moral order in the city.

Then there is a cult about town called P.A.G.A.N. or People Against Goodness and Normalcy where Friday and Streebek meet Emil Muzz (Jack O’Halloran). After questioning they learn of a secret ceremony that will include a virgin sacrifice. Enter the virgin Connie Swail (Alexandra Paul) and her date with an anaconda.

Of course all of this sets off their boss Gannon (Harry Morgan) who takes Friday’s badge and tells them they are off the case. After the rescue and a zing between Friday and the virgin Connie Swail, she identifies Whirley as the one responsible for her snake pit scare. Muzz is back in business capturing Friday and the virgin Connie Swail for Whirley who monologues his plans for killing Caesar with gas made from another theft job.

In on it is Kirkpatrick (Elizabeth Ashley) but she quickly learns that Whirley doesn’t need her help any longer when he fly’s off with the virgin Connie Swail. That isn’t about to stop Friday who makes damn sure that he gets the bad guy – and the girl as well!

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Aykroyd as Sgt. Joe Friday is absolutely stunning. He has the face for it with a demeanor that holds its own in any situation. As Friday he gets a chance to be the straight man to Hanks’ Pep and I love every moment of it. It is clear that he captures the original and beloved Joe Friday aka Jack Webb and even a few of his idiosyncrasies are there and timeless. That being said, Aykroyd puts a few of his own quirky habits in the mix and it all comes out brilliantly.

Hanks as Pep is the perfect person to have been cast for this role. He is hilarious, snappy with the comebacks and doesn’t seem to be at all affected by Friday’s jabs. That’s what I love about Hanks in almost every character he plays, he may be a duo in the film but he can certainly hold his own. These are two stunning actors that deserved every moment on screen together making this such a fun film.

Plummer as Reverend Whirley is deliciously bad in every sense of the word and its all covered in this thick icky icing of his voice. That’s what makes his performance so cool in that he got to jump into a character that manages to be as slippery as the snake in the ceremony pit. Plummer is a gem for film lovers and when he takes on a comedy like this one, you can be sure he will put his mark straight on it.

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Paul as the virgin Connie Swail is adorable, fresh, innocent and perfect for someone like Sgt. Joe Friday. She will cook, clean and service her beloved police man and all the while be embraced by Granny Mundy. It is a family Joe needs and Paul is sweet to the very end!

Coleman as Caesar is in the same category as Plummer in that he can play a good guy as good as he can play a bad guy. This looked like allot of fun for him and he made me laugh with his attitude and voice. Morgan as Bill Gannon comes back to give the force a little remembrance of a Dragnet that once was and still is with a new Joe Friday. I really loved seeing him in the film.

Other cast include Kathleen Freeman as Enid Borden, Bruce Gray as Mayor Peter Parvin and Lenka Peterson as absolutely adorable Granny Mundy.

SHOUT! Factory has grown into a tremendous multi-platform media company. Releasing new animated features such as the exquisite Long Way North, and the epic fantasy Beauty And The Beast. Also their own original horror film, Fender Bender gives fans a good scare. For more of what SHOUT Factor has to offer please visit www.shoutfactory.com.

Designed with the film lover in mind, SHOUT SELECT shines a light on films that deserve a spot on your shelf. From acknowledged classics to cult favorites to unheralded gems, SHOUT SELECT celebrates the best in filmmaking, giving these movies the love and attention they deserve.

The Bluray includes the Special Features of new A Quiet Evening in the Company of Connie Swail: An Interview with Co-Star Alexandra Paul, New Audio Commentary with Pop Culture Historian Russell Dyball, Just the Facts!: A Promotional Look at DRAGNET with Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks, Original Theatrical Trailers & Promos and Photo Gallery.

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DRAGNET is everything I love in a comedy with twists, humor, turns, humor and just out and out silliness in a few scenes. If your going to make a comedy, DRAGNET teaches you how to do it and writing team of Aykroyd, Zweibel and Mankiewicz made sure we laughed and made the term ‘the virgin Connie Swail’ and ‘just the facts ma’m, just the facts’ memorable.

SHOUT SELECT has done such an amazing job putting DRAGNET back on our police blotters reminding us of how good films such as this truly are. The actors in the film have gone on to bigger roles but it is films like DRAGNET that got them their showing their versatility and ability to make us all laugh for a little while.

DRAGNET can now be shared with those who might have missed their chance to see it in theatres when it was released in 1987. So pop that corn and sit in front of that big screen television and meet the next generation of Friday’s!

In the end – everything is by the book sort of!

Spielberg Brings History of THE POST to Bluray

PostBlurayCover

Jeri Jacquin

On Bluray/DVD and Digital this week from director Steven Spielberg, DreamWorks and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is a story of dedication to the truth in print from THE POST.

It is the 1970’s and Kay Graham (Meryl Streep) is the woman who owns and runs The Washington Post with Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) as her editor. Knowing that there are those who don’t support or trust her running of the paper, Kay takes in what is happening around her to find her voice.

When it comes to their attention that there is someone who has documents that expose the governments plans in Vietnam, The Post wants them. There is a problem, the man who photocopied the papers, Daniel Ellsberg (Matthew Rhys) has gone into hiding and slivers of the information have also been shared with The New York Times.

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What is in the papers? That the United States government was not being truthful to the American public about involvement in the Vietnam War. The papers also show the level of involvement went through Robert McNamara (Bruce Greenwood) all the way up to the president.

The New York Times looks for advice about publishing the Pentagon Papers and the government wants an injunction against any further papers be published. In the meantime, reporter Ben Bagdikian (Bob Odenkirk) from the Post finds Ellsberg and is given boxes of papers and Kay must decide whether to go forward before they are also stopped by the courts.

Bradlee gathers his writers and the clock is set to beat anything or anyone that wants to get in their way. Kay begins to feel the weight of what she is up against and realizes that she knows people that are involved and now must decide what the right thing is. Pressed by the papers all-male board, she realizes that the paper her father build is now
Kay digs in deep and knows that Bradlee will follow her lead.

The truth is worth fighting for!

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Streep as Kay Graham once again turns in a performance of a woman who is seen as a lovely decoration to the Post with men telling her what is important and what isn’t for the paper. Of course her insecurities are clear and Streep portrays the era with perfection. Gaining strength throughout the film, I cheer the hardest when she realizes that if the board of the paper wants to play tough – then she must learn to as well. Nothing wrong with telling the good ole’ boys club that it is ‘her’ paper and that’s how she is going to run it. Streep always gives everything to these roles and makes them not only believable but exceptional.

Hanks as Ben Bradlee is perfection and yes I’m being hugely Hanks-struck. I adore this actor and find him to be the absolute best of Hollywood and that includes the much misunderstood film TURNER AND HOOCH! Of course I wondered how he was going to portray this character since I do have Jason Robards’ version of Bradlee from the 1976 film ALL THE PRESIDENTS MEN stuck in my head. I had no reason to worry! THE POST is a perfect film to watch first and then take on the 1976 film because it is a history lesson about the government’s shenanigans from The Washington Post’s articles portrayed by two amazing actors.

Odenkirk as Bagdikian is on it to find the man with the papers. Knowing that this is the most important thing he will work toward, there is a moment where all of it might fall apart and Odenkirk keeps it straight. Rhys as Ellsberg has the worst case of paranoia I’ve ever seen and with good reason. He has what the government is looking for so he’s not about to let go if the information isn’t made public.

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Greenwood as McNamara is a man trying to keep his head above water yet Greenwood makes it look smooth and controlled. That’s what I love about Greenwood, whether he portrays a good, bad or indifferent character, he makes it look ridiculously smooth. The scene between Greenwood and Streep is hard to watch and strong for both of them in the scheme of the storyline.

Other cast include: Sarah Paulson as Tony Bradlee, Tracy Letts as Fritz Beebe, David Cross as Howard Simons, Zach Woods as Anthony Essaye, Bradley Whitford as Arthur Parsons, Alison Brie as Lally Graham, Carrie Coon as Meg Greenfield, and Jesse Plemons as Roger Clark.

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment brings award-winning global product and new entertainment to DVD, Bluray, and Digital HD. There amazing collection offers fans an opportunity to expand their own home libraries with the best films. To discover what other titles they have please visit www.fox.com.

The Bluray and DVD Special Features include LAYOUT: Katharine Graham, Ben Bradlee & The Washington Post, EDITORIAL: The Cast and Characters of THE POST, THE STYLE SECTION: Recreating an Era, STOP THE PRESSES: Filming THE POST, ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT: Music for THE POST. THE POST received an Academy Award Nomination for Best Picture.

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This is a story that needed to be told for so many reasons especially with what is going on in government now. I am an avid watcher of films based on history and THE POST
not only falls into that category but totally served me up a history lesson.

The caliber of actors and actresses in this film make it extraordinary bringing it to a level that can’t be touched. That is what makes this film for me – a cast that seems to dive right in and take no prisoners mixed in with totally absorbing the time period of the 1970’s.

Watching each character take on their own beliefs about why they do what they do comes into play and it can’t be hidden in the film. Spielberg takes his own risk bringing the real news story to the attention of a fake-news world. He keeps the storyline crisp and doesn’t sugar coast anything about what it takes to hold the government accountable when caught lying to its own people.

What this should do for the press is remind them that people do want to know the truth about their government and that not only is that government accountable but so is the press that reports it. I can’t imagine that anyone who reports the news of the world not finding an amazing place in their hearts for the papers/editors and reporters who came before.

In the end – truth be told!

 

THE POST will be in the Oscar Race!

The Post Cover

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this Friday from director Steven Spielberg, DreamWorks and 20th Century Fox is a story of dedication to the truth in print from THE POST.

It is the 1970’s and Kay Graham (Meryl Streep) is the woman who owns and runs The Washington Post with Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) as her editor. Knowing that there are those who don’t support or trust her running of the paper, Kay takes in what is happening around her to find her voice.

When it comes to their attention that there is someone who has documents that expose the governments plans in Vietnam, The Post wants them. There is a problem, the man who photocopied the papers, Daniel Ellsberg (Matthew Rhys) has gone into hiding and slivers of the information have also been shared with The New York Times.

post 1

What is in the papers? That the United States government was not being truthful to the American public about involvement in the Vietnam War. The papers also show the level of involvement went through Robert McNamara (Bruce Greenwood) all the way up to the president.

The New York Times looks for advice about publishing the Pentagon Papers and the government wants an injunction against any further papers be published. In the meantime, reporter Ben Bagdikian (Bob Odenkirk) from the Post finds Ellsberg and is given boxes of papers and Kay must decide whether to go forward before they are also stopped by the courts.

Bradlee gathers his writers and the clock is set to beat anything or anyone that wants to get in their way. Kay begins to feel the weight of what she is up against and realizes that she knows people that are involved and now must decide what the right thing is. Pressed by the papers all-male board, she realizes that the paper her father build is now
Kay digs in deep and knows that Bradlee will follow her lead.

The truth is worth fighting for!

post 3

Streep as Kay Graham once again turns in a performance of a woman who is seen as a lovely decoration to the Post with men telling her what is important and what isn’t for the paper. Of course her insecurities are clear and Streep portrays the era with perfection. Gaining strength throughout the film, I cheer the hardest when she realizes that if the board of the paper wants to play tough – then she must learn to as well. Nothing wrong with telling the good ole’ boys club that it is ‘her’ paper and that’s how she is going to run it. Streep always gives everything to these roles and makes them not only believable but exceptional.

Hanks as Ben Bradlee is perfection and yes I’m being hugely Hanks-struck. I adore this actor and find him to be the absolute best of Hollywood and that includes the much misunderstood film TURNER AND HOOCH! Of course I wondered how he was going to portray this character since I do have Jason Robards’ version of Bradlee from the 1976 film ALL THE PRESIDENTS MEN stuck in my head. I had no reason to worry! THE POST is a perfect film to watch first and then take on the 1976 film because it is a history lesson about the government’s shenanigans from The Washington Post’s articles portrayed by two amazing actors.

Odenkirk as Bagdikian is on it to find the man with the papers. Knowing that this is the most important thing he will work toward, there is a moment where all of it might fall apart and Odenkirk keeps it straight. Rhys as Ellsberg has the worst case of paranoia I’ve ever seen and with good reason. He has what the government is looking for so he’s not about to let go if the information isn’t made public.

post 2

Greenwood as McNamara is a man trying to keep his head above water yet Greenwood makes it look smooth and controlled. That’s what I love about Greenwood, whether he portrays a good, bad or indifferent character, he makes it look ridiculously smooth. The scene between Greenwood and Streep is hard to watch and strong for both of them in the scheme of the storyline.

Other cast include: Sarah Paulson as Tony Bradlee, Tracy Letts as Fritz Beebe, David Cross as Howard Simons, Zach Woods as Anthony Essaye, Bradley Whitford as Arthur Parsons, Alison Brie as Lally Graham, Carrie Coon as Meg Greenfield, and Jesse Plemons as Roger Clark.

THE POST is already high on the nominations for awards and deservedly so. This is a story that needed to be told for so many reasons especially with what is going on in government now. I am an avid watcher of films based on history and THE POST
not only falls into that category but totally served me up a history lesson.

the post

The caliber of actors and actresses in this film make it extraordinary bringing it to a level that can’t be touched. That is what makes this film for me – a cast that seems to dive right in and take no prisoners mixed in with totally absorbing the time period of the 1970’s.

Watching each character take on their own beliefs about why they do what they do comes into play and it can’t be hidden in the film. Spielberg takes his own risk bringing the real news story to the attention of a fake-news world. He keeps the storyline crisp and doesn’t sugar coast anything about what it takes to hold the government accountable when caught lying to its own people.

What this should do for the press is remind them that people do want to know the truth about their government and that not only is that government accountable but so is the press that reports it. I can’t imagine that anyone who reports the news of the world not finding an amazing place in their hearts for the papers/editors and reporters who came before.

In the end – truth be told!

INFERNO Heats Up a Mystery

inferno

 

Jeri Jacquin

In theatres this Friday from director Ron Howard based on the books from author Dan Brown with Imagine Entertainment and Columbia Pictures is INFERNO.

Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) returns but this time in fog and in Italy. In the hospital he meets Dr. Sienna Brooke (Felicity Jones) who is treating him for a gunshot wound to the head. It doesn’t take long before he realizes where he is and that someone is trying to kill him.

Dr. Brooke and Langdon are on the run being chased by a crazed cop but they aren’t the only ones chasing. The W.H.O.’s Elizabeth Sinskey (Sidse Babett Knudsen) is on the chase up against Christoph Bouchard (Omary Sy) and these two are not friends.

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Starting out with the clues leading to Dante himself, the two are racing against the clock when they discover that Bertrand Zobrist (Ben Foster) is prepared to release a virus. His intention is to clear the globe of overpopulation. Enter Harry Sims (Irrfan Khan), another mysterious chaser who may hold the final piece of the puzzle.

Once again Langdon is out of time!

Hanks as Langdon has solidified his status as this character and there are traits that have popped up from film to film. An example is when he stares at something followed by talking to himself until his eyes are roaming fast like his brain is the actual inferno. This time he has no idea who to trust because even though his historical memory is in tact, who is who in past days – not so much.

Jones as Dr. Brooke goes along for the chase and already knows the famous Dr. Langdon. In this role Jones ‘goes along to get along’ following Langdon keeping an eye on her patient.  Sy as Bouchard wants what he thinks Langdon has and that makes for one gun toting batch of meanness.

Zobrist as Foster is brief but the reason for the entire viral chaos. His story comes in pieces yet every time he is on screen I’m happy about it. Khan as Sims has the opportunity to break away from the pack with his focus on business and mixture of shocking humor.

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Knudsen as Elizabeth will always win in my book. If you haven’t seen the television series Borgen then you are truly missing the extent of what this actress can do. She has a range that had me hating when Borgen wrapped up but thrilled to see her return on the HBO series Westworld.

Extended cast include Ana Ularu as Vayentha, Ida Darvish as Marta Alvarez, Paolo Simioni as Dr. Marconi, and Fausto Sciarappa as Parker.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give INFERNO three and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. This is another installment in the Dan Brown series of Da Vinci Code books and I looked forward to seeing it. I don’t know whether I’m just turning into Langdon myself (which is very cool) because I did figure out several things and I’m keeping it to myself. This is a complete no-spoiler zone when it comes to anything Hanks!

Foster looked amazing but then again he always does and Khan gets the amazing opportunity to bring humor to a dire situation yet I loved it. Both of these actors are high on my list of must-see in everything they do because they are so diverse. I don’t mind being partial as Tom Hanks will win at everything he does because he is has become an icon in a way that is rare and pretty dang cool.

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The tour of Europe and its stunning treasures but then again Academy Award winning director Ron Howard wouldn’t have it any other way I’m sure. Author Dan Brown has grabbed book lover’s attention since the 2006 release of The Da Vinci Code and it’s follow up of Angels & Demons in 2009. Now, if anyone is curious, The Lost Symbol is next on the list of books that I’m sure will have us all waiting for screen.

In the end – his greatest challenge and humanity’s last hope!

SULLY Lands a Miracle on the Hudson

 

 

sully

 

Coming to theatres this Friday from director Clint Eastwood and Warner Bros. Pictures is the true story of an impossible landing all made possibly by SULLY.

Sully (Tom Hanks) would, within minutes, become the pilot known for saving the lives of 155 people. On January 15th, 2009 the entire world would learn that Captain Chesley Sullenberger and Jeff Skiles (Aaron Eckhart) would be in the cockpit of an aircraft that would land in the Hudson River.

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Although celebrated in public, it would be behind closed doors that the questions by the NTSB were not so kind. When the investigators tell Sully and Skiles that the simulation tests prove they could have returned to the airport safely, Sully begins to question himself.

All of the pressures of the event reach home as wife Lorraine Sullenberger (Laura Linney) fears for what may happen in their future. It also weighs heavily on Sully as more testing comes in affirming that the landing on the Hudson River did not need to happen.

It will take a moment of clarity for this experienced pilot to question what the NTSB believes to be true.

Hanks as Sully has once again proven why he draws in theatre goers. As Sully we see a man with clearly enough experience to be in the sky but in one second that all comes into question. Hanks gives Sully honor, integrity and a mind that eventually discovers the answers to all of his questions. Would it be fair to say that I have been on the Hanks train for quite some time – absolutely! I am a ticket holder from as far back as 1980 when he proudly wore a dress on national television in Bosom Buddies.

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Eckhart as Skiles has no qualms what so ever supporting Sully and he landing decision. During the questions by the NTSB, it is clear that it was difficult for Skiles to understand why they were not happy about saving every person on the plane. Eckhart’s character knows what he knows and there isn’t an official on the planet that will sway him.

Linney as Lorraine tries to remain strong holding down their home. Feeling the media swallowing up Lorraine’s family would give anyone great stress. Linney’s character is supportive and graceful – even when the thought of losing their home is burrowing under the surface of her calm composure.

Other cast include: Valerie Mahaffrey as Diane Higgins, Delphi Harrington as Lucille Palmer, Mike O’Malley as Charles Porter, Jamey Sheridan as Ben Edwards, Anna Gunn as Elizabeth Davis, Holt McCallany as Mike Cleary and an appearance by Katie Couric.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give SULLY four and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. Director Eastwood has given us all a look inside the flight, the pilots, NTSB and even the media. This harrowing experience, both the flight and after, seriously got my heart racing. It is Hanks who keeps the film and the audience calm and together with a performance that will stand out during awards season as well it should.

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The cinematography in this film is amazing and the special effects are pretty darn cool. When it comes to story telling, Eastwood seems to have a fantastic grasp on what people do and don’t want to see. SULLY is a film that tugs at the strings of New Yorkers to be sure, and there is a line in the film that was like a sledgehammer to the soul regarding planes. I don’t want to repeat it because in the theatre, when it was said, it took the breath from people all round me. That’s the experience I want everyone who sees SULLY to have.

The combination of Eastwood, Hanks and Eckhart give this story so much depth and emotion in a situation where emotion can hurt an outcome. It is in the final 30 minutes of the film that the entire experience is like listening to a crescendo of a good opera – you don’t realize you’re holding a breath. When you let it go it is an amazing feeling. Well done to all!

In the end – it is the untold story behind the miracle on the Hudson!

BRIDGE OF SPIES Shares Its Secrets on Bluray

bridge bluray

 

Jeri Jacquin

This week on Bluray from director Steven Spielberg, DreamWorks Pictures and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is the riveting look into our nation’s history with five time Oscar nominated film BRIDGE OF SPIES.

This film tells the story of a very untrusting time in our nation’s history. Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance), a KBG intelligence officer, has been arrested. Angering the judicial system and the public, getting anyone to take on his case is a problem. When James B. Donovan (Tom Hanks) is recruited, he knows the problems he will face.

When Abel is sentenced to 30 years, the public outcry is swift. Donovan wants to file an appeal believing that Abel did not get a fair trial. That would be put on the back burner when a United States U-2 spy plan crashes in the Soviet Union and pilot Francis Powers (Austin Stowell) is taken captive.

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The world is in chaos enough but in Germany, American economics student Frederick Pryor (Will Rogers) has been taken captive as well. When Donovan begins receiving communications for Abel he is told that it is a way of facilitating an exchange of prisoners. Asking that he head the negotiations, Donovan heads to one of the most dangerous parts of the world.

His goal is to not only bring back the U-2 pilot, but the American economics student as well. In 1957, in the height of the Cold War, it is an intense game of chess that can quite easily be lost.

Hanks as Donovan is such the perfect actor to play this role. In his demeanor and actions Hanks gives everything without giving away anything. Of course Hanks is the actor I would want for a role that needs a steady hand. Doing the right thing by a man most wanted to hang, Hanks continues to be concerned with Abel and once realizing there is an American student who was taken for no reason, gets the wheels turning.

Rylance as Abel is a quiet character who comes to appreciate Donovan and his efforts. Once the trade is set up, watch both Hanks and Rylance as the bridge – a great scene. Stowell as pilot Powers couldn’t have imaged how his life would change I’m sure. Staying true to his training, the Soviets want information and Powell wants to go home – stalemate.

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Other cast include: Sebastian Koch as Wolfgang Vogel, Peter McRobbie as Allen Dulles, Steven Boyer as Marty, Edward James Hyland as Justice Warren, Agent Somner as Jon Curry, Stephen Kunken as William Tompkins, Scott Shepherd as Hoffman, Dakin Matthews as Judge Byers, Amy Ryan as Mary Donovan, Alan Alda as Thomas Watters Jr., and Jesse Plemons as Joe Murphy.

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is amazing to once again bring just what fans want for their home library. Continually bringing new entertainment content for everyone’s media library, their format includes DVD, Bluray, and Digital HD. To discover more of what they have to offer please visit www.foxconnect.com.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give BRIDGE OF SPIES four tubs of popcorn out of five. I personally enjoy films that are based on our history but they have to be done well. In this case, BRIDGE OF SPIES is done exceedingly well. The scene where the wall is being built in Germany was rendered even more heartbreaking with Hanks’ look of sadness looking out the window of the train. It is moments such as those that give this film such heart and meaning.

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Watching the film you can not help but notice the extra care taken with the scenes, the special effects of flight and especially (and my favorite) the costuming. Each of these elements lends such a unique insight to the era and gives the story even more depth for the viewer.

The Bluray, DVD and Digital HD gives a further look into the films making with the exciting extras of A Case of the Cold War: Bridge of Spies, U-2 Spy Plane, Berlin 1961: Re-creating the Divide, Spy Swap: Looking Back on the Final Act. Please do watch these extras as it gives an even deeper look into the making of BRIDGE OF SPIES.

In the end – in the shadow of war, one man showed the world what we stand for.

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