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US Returns to Terrorize a California Boardwalk on Bluray

 

US Bluray

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray, DVD and Digital this week from director Jordan Peele and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment comes the tale of what happens when you look into the heart of US.

The Wilson family is heading on a little summer R&R at the beautiful coastal town of Santa Cruz, California. Gabe (Winston Duke) and wife Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) along with daughter Zora (Shahadi Joseph) and young son Jason (Evan Alex), each sees this time together in a different way.

Gabe’s first outing is to go to the beach in front of the Santa Cruz boardwalk but Adelaide isn’t as thrilled about the idea. When she was a child, something mysterious happened to her but she hasn’t shared it with anyone. Talked into it, she tries her best to make the day good for the family.

US 3

Returning home and evening falls, there are mysterious people in the Wilson driveway and when Gabe confronts them – the horror knocks down their front door. A family that looks like them has a mission and it could cost each family member their lives.

Escaping the house the family tries to get help from friends Kitty (Elisabeth Moss) and Josh (Tim Heidecker) but it isn’t going to turn out as planned. What only one of the Wilson family knows is who they are and what they truly want – and they will never again be the same.

Nyong’o as Adelaide has a hidden secret in her character and the film takes its time in telling that part of the story. This actress invests not only the character of Adelaide number one but the absolutely terrifying version of Adelaide 2. She is captivating and has a mission that the Wilson family makes sort of easy for her to carry out – why? I’m not going to tell you why.

Duke as Gabe is that Dad who wants to make everyone happy while also having a good time with a beer in his hand and warm sand between his toes. He is also the Dad that has a baseball bat and isn’t afraid to swing it – the problem is that Dad 2 has an advantage and that’s his refusal to hesitate. Don’t let his size fool you as he is a husband who knows that Adelaide is strong willed so happy life, happy wife number one.

US 1

Joseph as Zora is a teenager plugged into social media and making it perfectly clear that she is not happy about the beach or talking about college. When she literally runs against Zora number 2, trust me when I say the creepy factor is huge and it’s a look I’ll never forget. That being said, don’t think Zora 1 doesn’t get hip quick.

Alex as Jason is definitely a mama’s boy and Jason 2 is as well – with a gruesome exception. This young actor was seriously amazing and once again I don’t think it’s a face I am likely to forget anytime soon.

Moss as Kitty is that woman who just isn’t happy with anything and finds any reason to be a total bitch. Moss has the ability to be very sweet in her character portrayals but this is her chance to just totally let loose and go insane. Heidecker as Tim is like Gabe in some ways in that he just wants to sit back with a beer and relax but Kitty isn’t about to let him do that. It takes Tim 2 to at least have a chance to just be as crazy as he wants to be.

Other cast include Yahya Abdul-Matten II as Russel Thomas, Anna Diop as Rayne Thomas, Cali Sheldon as Becca Tyler, Noelle Sheldon as Lindsey Tyler and Madison Curry as young Adelaide Wilson.

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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MOVIES ANYWHERE gives viewers the ability to download the Movies Anywhere App. With that you can view films by downloading or streaming to your favorite device using a Digital Code. For more information on Movies Anywhere please visit www.MoviesAnywhere.com.

Bonus Features include Scene Explorations – The making of three iconic scenes from the film including the Tyler house massacre, Jason’s abduction and Adelaide’s underground flashback, Seven Second Massacre, It’s a Trap, I Just Want My Little Girl Back, The Duality of US, The Monsters Within US, Tethered Together: Making US Twice, Redefining a Genre: Jordan Peele’s Brand of Horror, Becoming Red, Deleted Scenes: I Am Not Even Near You, Rabbit Season, That’s Badass, Driftwood, The P is Silent, I Wanna Go Home, We’re All Dying and As Above, So Below: Grand Pas de Deux.

FINAL WORD: Peele has taken the classic suspense film and given it just enough blood to keep me invested in the film. I am not a huge fan of gore films which I know may be a shock to anyone who knows I love thrillers. There is a difference between a thriller and a slasher film that has no storyline.

US has a storyline and it doesn’t take long before you are whipped through the mental roller coaster mind of Peele. He doesn’t give away much, still adds a little cheesiness here and there, and picks an unlikely place to make it all work.

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The cast makes this story work and work extremely well. There is a togetherness in the way these actors played the Wilson clan that brings you in quickly and keeps you there until the very…last…frame.

I adore Santa Cruz and, of course, never pictured it as a town where something like this story would take place. Recognizing every single location in the film from the boardwalk to the streets, just made it even more fun once I bought into the fact that yes, this could happen in Santa Cruz!

This is a fun thriller romp through my favorite stomping grounds and don’t let the story get you all twisted. Go with the flow and let the Wilson family introduce you to the wonderful world of frights, fights and survival at all costs – and oh my what a high cost!

This is what a thriller weekend on Bluray looks and feels like.

In the end – we are our own worst enemy!

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STOCKHOLM is Filled with Twists on a Bank Heist

Stockholm cover

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres from writer/director Robert Budreau and Smith Global Media is the story of a bank heist that would lead to a phrase we all know beginning with STOCKHOLM.

It is 1973 and Lars Nystrom (Ethan Hawke) along with partner Gunnar Sorensson (Mark Strong) have decided that they are going to rob a bank in Stockholm, Sweden. Taking hostages including Bianca Lind (Noomi Rapace), they work with officials to get what they want.

What they want is money and an escape car and make it very clear to Chief Mattsson (Christopher Heyerdahl). Feeling they aren’t taking them seriously, Lars looses it a little giving officials till morning to meet their demands. In the meantime Bianca is trying to keep it together.

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Then the telephone calls from reporters begin and Bianca seems to side with Lars and Gunnar. When the Prime Minister catches wind of the interview he tries to convince the hostages that they are in danger. That’s when Lars gets the idea to make sure that everyone watching believes they are dangerous and Bianca goes along with it.

Now the officials are taking them serious and Bianca, Christopher and Klara are all for helping their kidnappers. It is the beginning of ‘Stockholm Syndrome’

Hawke as Nystrom just wanted a simple bank robbery and when it doesn’t turn out to be simple, he starts showing a human side to his captives. They begin to connect and this puts Chief Mattsson in a mode of trying to break up what is happening inside the bank. But who is crazier – the robbers or the law?

Hawke as Nystrom seems to have all the bad guy moves in place to rob a bank but when it all goes awry; he is the first to sort of panic it out. Never quite sure about his partner or what the crazy Chief of Police will do, it just adds enough frustration to bring out moments of brilliance. Back in action Hawke gives a complex performance that isn’t going to end well.

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Strong as Sorensson is like a brother to Nystrom and with that comes brotherly agitation and a few well thrown punches. I love everything Strong does and this is a bit of a strange character that never lets the viewer truly know what is deal is. I’m okay with that!

Rapace as Bianca is a woman who had no idea her day would include wondering if her husband can make dinner while she’s busy being a hostage. Not feeling much in the way of fear, it is more like curiosity about the two men who have the authorities guessing from one minute to the next.

Heyerdahl as Chief Mattsson is, in my opinion, crazier than the crazy bank robbers. With every moment that goes by, he isn’t exactly sure what is going to happen. Trying to keep Nystrom and Sorensson calm, his frustration begins to show and it isn’t pretty.

Other cast include Thorbjorn Harr as Christopher Lind, Bea Santos as Klara Mardh, Mark Rendall as Elov Eriksson, John Ralston as Detective Jackobsson, Shanti Roney as Olof Palme, Ian Matthews as Detective Vinter, Vladimir Jon Culbrt as Davin and Christopher Wagelin as Vincent.

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It is easy to see where the term ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ comes from watching this film. It is Nystrom that shows Bianca a human side with all the frailties and insecurities that come with him. Klara and Christopher follow suit when they realize that the police don’t seem to care if they survive the whole thing. Their tactics pretty much are in line to take everybody out.

It is Hawke and Rapace that keep the story going as they get to know one another and basically what makes them want to survive. Strong is the silent partner who has every reason in the world to be exactly that – silent!

The story is based on the 1973 bank robbery that was written about by Daniel Lang in an article called “The Bank Drama” for the New Yorker in 1974.

In the end – based on an absurd but true story!

US Brings Terror to a California Boardwalk

US cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this Friday from director Jordan Peele and Universal Pictures comes the tale of what happens when you look into the heart of US.

The Wilson family is heading on a little summer R&R at the beautiful coastal town of Santa Cruz, California. Gabe (Winston Duke) and wife Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) along with daughter Zora (Shahadi Joseph) and young son Jason (Evan Alex), each sees this time together in a different way.

Gabe’s first outing is to go to the beach in front of the Santa Cruz boardwalk but Adelaide isn’t as thrilled about the idea. When she was a child, something mysterious happened to her but she hasn’t shared it with anyone. Talked into it, she tries her best to make the day good for the family.

Returning home and evening falls, there are mysterious people in the Wilson driveway and when Gabe confronts them – the horror knocks down their front door. A family that looks like them has a mission and it could cost each family member their lives.

US 1

Escaping the house the family tries to get help from friends Kitty (Elisabeth Moss) and Josh (Tim Heidecker) but it isn’t going to turn out as planned. What only one of the Wilson family knows is who they are and what they truly want – and they will never again be the same.

Nyong’o as Adelaide has a hidden secret in her character and the film takes its time in telling that part of the story. This actress invests not only the character of Adelaide number one but the absolutely terrifying version of Adelaide 2. She is captivating and has a mission that the Wilson family makes sort of easy for her to carry out – why? I’m not going to tell you why.

Duke as Gabe is that Dad who wants to make everyone happy while also having a good time with a beer in his hand and warm sand between his toes. He is also the Dad that has a baseball bat and isn’t afraid to swing it – the problem is that Dad 2 has an advantage and that’s his refusal to hesitate. Don’t let his size fool you as he is a husband who knows that Adelaide is strong willed so happy life, happy wife number one.

US 3

Joseph as Zora is a teenager plugged into social media and making it perfectly clear that she is not happy about the beach or talking about college. When she literally runs against Zora number 2, trust me when I say the creepy factor is huge and it’s a look I’ll never forget. That being said, don’t think Zora 1 doesn’t get hip quick.

Alex as Jason is definitely a mama’s boy and Jason 2 is as well – with a gruesome exception. This young actor was seriously amazing and once again I don’t think it’s a face I am likely to forget anytime soon.

Moss as Kitty is that woman who just isn’t happy with anything and finds any reason to be a total bitch. Moss has the ability to be very sweet in her character portrayals but this is her chance to just totally let loose and go insane. Heidecker as Tim is like Gabe in some ways in that he just wants to sit back with a beer and relax but Kitty isn’t about to let him do that. It takes Tim 2 to at least have a chance to just be as crazy as he wants to be.

Other cast include Yahya Abdul-Matten II as Russel Thomas, Anna Diop as Rayne Thomas, Cali Sheldon as Becca Tyler, Noelle Sheldon as Lindsey Tyler and Madison Curry as young Adelaide Wilson.

FINAL WORD: Peele has taken the classic suspense film and given it just enough blood to keep me invested in the film. I am not a huge fan of gore films which I know may be a shock to anyone who knows I love thrillers. There is a difference between a thriller and a slasher film that has no storyline.

US 2

US has a storyline and it doesn’t take long before you are whipped through the mental roller coaster mind of Peele. He doesn’t give away much, still adds a little cheesiness here and there, and picks an unlikely place to make it all work.

The cast makes this story work and work extremely well. There is a togetherness in the way these actors played the Wilson clan that brings you in quickly and keeps you there until the very…last…frame.

I adore Santa Cruz and, of course, never pictured it as a place where something like this story would take place. Recognizing every single location in the film from the boardwalk to the streets, just made it even more fun once I bought into the fact that yes, this could happen in Santa Cruz!

US 4

This is a fun thriller romp through my favorite stomping grounds and don’t let the story get you all twisted. Go with the flow and let the Wilson family introduce you to the wonderful world of frights, fights and survival at all costs – and oh my what a high cost!

In the end – we are our own worst enemy!

GLASS is About to Shatter

glass

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this Friday from writer/director M. Knight Shyamalan and Universal Pictures comes the gripping gathering of fear with GLASS.

Here we are and it has been 19 years since David Dunn (Bruce Willis) discovered he had an unusual ability and has attempted to live a low profile life. Not laying so low after two years is Hedwig (James McAvoy) and the Horde who have struck again and again. Dunn wants to find him before he can destroy more lives.

Discovering where his newest victims are held, Dunn finds them and has a showdown with The Beast. That isn’t the highlight of their meeting, the sudden surrounding of police catches them both off guard. Taken down they are both escorted to the same facility as another famous patient.

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Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson) is a psychiatrist who deals with patients suffering from delusions of grandeur and that includes Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson). She isn’t pleased that he has been kept sedated like a zombie since his capture. Having all three, Dr. Staple has only a few days to treat, or convince, all three that they are not super heroes of any kind.

Dunn keeps his cool and doesn’t say much because it seems that the Horde is upset and confused about the confrontation and Mr. Glass is unresponsive. The goal of all three is to get out before Dr. Staple makes sure they are committed for good.

But there are secrets to be revealed coming from unexpected places and those who will do whatever it takes to make sure it is all exposed!

That’s all you are getting from me.

Willis as Dunn slides right back into a role he took on nineteen years ago and it feels like no time has passed. That’s what I have always loved about Willis, the roles he has chosen over his career and, although a few bumps here and there, it never has changed my enjoyment of his performances. Dunn was a broken man who found a connection in his life he didn’t know existed and that is how Willis embraced the character. Nineteen years later, his personality has barely changed but his abilities have sharpened.

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Jackson as Mr. Glass (yes, I said Mr.) spends a lot of time comatose but that doesn’t stop his mind from churning. Still believing in who they all are, his twitchy eye isn’t happy with the insights spouted by Dr. Staple. Speaking of her, Paulson is the monologuer of the film and she does her best to convince the gang (because the Horde does constitute a gang) that it’s all in their minds.

Stealing the entire film is McAvoy as Kevin Wendell Crumb/ The Beast, Patricia, Dennis, Hedwig, Barry, Jade, Orwell, Heinrich, Norma and a host of others. There are moments where the camera doesn’t leave his face and characters flash seamlessly like the strobe lights in his room. Since the 2016 film SPLIT of which I’ve watched more times that I can even count, McAvoy slides right into the role of sheer madness and I’m in complete awe of his performance. Playing one or two roles is hard enough but man, oh man, does McAvoy ever show that being about twenty people including rock-hard cut Beast had me totally invested in the film.

Other cast include Luke Kirby as Pierce, Marisa Brown as Carol, Charlayne Woodard as Elijah’s Mother and Adam Thompson as Daryl. Look for Spencer Treat Clark as Joseph and Anya Taylor-Joy as Casey.

There is so much here that I’m not talking about because on the screen before the film started was a message from Director Shyamalan asking, “If you guys could please keep the secrets of the film so all audiences on opening day can have the experience you are going to have, it would mean the world to me and the cast and crew”. Well, he did ask nicely so I’m going to do exactly that.

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I ain’t tellin’ you sh*t in the way of details and I’m okay with doing that actually. Living in this social media world I will let someone else spoil it for you but it certainly won’t be me. The story M. Knight Shyamalan started telling nineteen years ago works for me completely in 2019.

There were a few moments where my jaw dropped as I looked around the crowd to see if anyone else had the same reaction and was thrilled. It seemed the audience was right with me when the secrets started twisting, turning and spilling in all aspects of these three characters.

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Well done Mr. Shyamalan! You chose the right actors to bring your story out nineteen years ago and two years ago only to reunite us with them – all of them and what a thrill ride it is!

In the end – the world of Superheroes will be shattered!

THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB: A New Dragon Tattoo Story

 

girl cover

Jeri Jacquin

In theatres from director Fede Alvarez and Columbia Pictures is a continuation story of someone who finds herself once again as THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB.

Lisbeth Salander (Claire Foy) has once again become invisible although wanted by the police. Making it her goal to stop innocent people from being hurt, she manages to do so while faded into the background…but not for long.

She is approached by Frans Balder (Stephen Merchant) who has created a program called Firewall when he was a NSA employee. This program has nuclear codes all over the world and now believes that he created a monster that everyone else wants to control. He asks Lisbeth to retrieve it so it can be destroyed.

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She agrees and gets inside the NSA’s computer as a horrified Edwin Neeham (Lakeith Stanfield), NSA security, looks on trying to stop it. He immediately locates where the hack has come from and leaves for Europe. Neeham isn’t the only one looking for Firewall as Lisbeth is attacked. She turns to Mikael Blomkvist (Sverrir Gudnason), the Millennium journalist and even though their relationship turned rocky, she trusts him. He discovers that a group of Russian criminals are after Firewall.

Keeping track of Balder, she also worries for his young son August (Christopher Convery) as who ever else wants Firewall would have no trouble killing him. Keeping him safe becomes important to Lisbeth even if her hardened shell is still in tact.

Blomkvist turns to Gabriella Grane (Synnove Lund), Deputy Director of the Swedish Secret Service to discover who the men are with the spider tattoos. She has her own agenda keeping an eye on Neeham who she believes is also looking for Lisbeth.

With the cat and mouse happening between she, the spider tattoo goons and Neeham, there is one person she never expected to see. Someone from her past who has picked up the mantel of a father who is responsible for how Lisbeth came to be – Camilla (Sylvia Hoeks).

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Lisbeth Salander makes no exceptions for evil!

Foy as Salander gives a stoic performance in the role of a character that doesn’t show much emotion. Everything that she shares emotion wise is all in her eyes. With every plan you can see the wheels turning jumping the track whenever she needs to change gears. This is a far cry from her comfy life in highly successful series The Crown but that’s the point of growing as an actress – bowl cut your hair and don’t be afraid to jump on a motorcycle.

Merchant as Balder is a man clearly afraid that those who have Firewall are going to use it to harm more than protect. Balder’s role might not be a big one but it sets the story up for his castmate.  Convery as August is a young boy who is as smart as his father but that doesn’t mean his fate isn’t being determined but someone smart but psychotic. This character is like Lisbeth in that he keeps his emotions in check trusting that he will get home to his mother.

Stanfield as Neeham panics when he sees Firewall has been hacked and knows the only thing he can do is find out who took it and why. Neeham’s character is just as determined as Lisbeth but he has one obstacle. Lund as Grane is the SAPO and has already threatened Neeham with deportation if he tries to interfere with the investigation but trust goes only so far.

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Gudnason as Blomkvist is thrilled to hear from Lisbeth because his feelings for her haven’t changed. At the same time, the journalist in him sees the potential of cracking open the mystery of what is happening by following Lisbeth forward. Hoeks as Camilla is the sister none of us wants to deal with. The history that Camilla and Lisbeth share is of two survivors of an abusive father – one turns to trying to save others while the other turns to destruction. Hoeks is completely disturbing in her portrayal and scenes with Foy are intense.

Other cast include Carlotta von Falkenhayn as a young Camilla, Vicky Krieps as Erika Berger, Cameron Britton as Plague, Andreia Pelic as Maria, and Mikael Persbrandt as Zalachenko.

Let me first get this out of the way, the Noomi Rapace is my Lisbeth Salander and in 2008 when THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO was released I could not have been more thrilled with the film. This was followed months later with THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE and months later with THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST. This was the best three films I have ever seen and all released in one year proving that it is possible to make stunning films without two and three year gaps.

In 2011, the remake hit the theatres with Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig in THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO and as much as I enjoy these two actors, I wasn’t thrilled with the film. I don’t mind saying it either, there was absolutely no reason to remake it and I could not get behind the choice for Lisbeth Salander.

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The choice of Claire Foy as the new Lisbeth Salander has one thing in her favor, this isn’t a remake. Instead it’s actually more of an explanation of where this character came from and how the past is never far behind any of us. Foy captures bits of the 2009 Salander but clearly makes her own mark as well.

As for the film, I enjoyed it but also have to say that the plot was fairly straight forward and slightly predictable. I feel as if I’ve seen these plot points before in other films and wished there was more umph to it. The action is definitely something I would expect to see in the Millennium series and the film lives up to that most certainly.

Understand that with the death of the series creator Steig Larsson in 2004, the characters are picked up by David Lagercrantz. This is his first novel taking over the series and it was released in 2015. It is not an easy thing to bring in another writer to keep a series going because, and let’s be honest, they aren’t Larsson. That being said Lagercrantz manages to keep Lisbeth Salander alive by bringing her past forward for us all to understand. He also seemed to take great care in being true to the complexities created by Larsson

For those who love the Millennium series, this new story and film is interesting and full of action. Foy gives Salander new life and if they plan to continue the films, keep the stories fresh and the fan base will stay true.

In the end – the past never forgets!

It’s the Return of The Dude in THE BIG LEBOWSKI 20th Anniversary Limited Edition

big

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to 4K HD and Bluray from writers/directors/producers Joel and Ethan Coen along with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is the film that has become an iconic classic with THE BIG LEBOWSKI 20th Anniversary Limited Edition.

The Dude (Jeff Bridges) is a laid back Los Angelino who remains in a chilled state of mind, that is until one night when two thugs breaks into his home and rough him up. Looking for a Jeff Lebowski, The Dude lays out the reasoning that there is another Jeff Lebowski who happens to be very rich and obviously they have made a mistake. Realizing their mistake, the one thing the two thugs can’t take back is a pee’d on carpet.

Upset with what happened, The Dude explains to bowling buddies Walter (John Goodman) and Donny (Steve Buscemi) and how he really liked that rug. Walter has an idea, go see the rich Jeff Lebowski and get some kind of restitution! That’s exactly what he does and meets the very cranky Jeffrey Lebowski (David Huddleston) who says that it’s not his problem.

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The Dude isn’t about to walk away empty handed when he tells Lebowski’s assistant Brandt (Philip Seymour Hoffman) that he has permission to take any carpet in the house. On the way out, The Dude meets Lebowski’s wife Bunny (Tara Reid) who is responsible for the attack because she owes loan sharks. Her greeting to The Dude is nothing short of money based and a proposition for which he walks away amused.

Happy with his new carpet, The Dude is surprised a few days later to receive a telephone call from Brandt with a financial offer. Bunny has been kidnapped with a demand for a million dollars and rich Lebowski wants to use poor Lebowski to drop off the ransom and get a bit of money for his trouble. Given a case and a cell phone, he is to wait for a call telling him where to drop off the money but Walter feels the need to be with his friend when it happens.

On the drive, Walter also comes up with his own plan. He believes Bunny has concocted this whole thing for the money so why don’t they just keep the money for themselves. Throwing a case off a local bridge, the two men see the kidnappers take the ransom and run. Later talking it over at the bowling alley, they discover that The Dude’s car is gone and so are their riches.

The Dude is contacted by Lebowski’s daughter Maude (Julianne Moore) who explains that her father’s wife is a porn star and that she also thinks Bunny is faking all of it. Upset that the ransom came out of the family’s foundation, she asks The Dude to get it all back. If that isn’t wacky enough, now Lebowski is mad that The Dude screwed up the drop and men with German accents invade his bath saying they are the real kidnappers.

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The cops find The Dude’s car but the cash is gone and the pee thugs take him to see porn maker Jackie Treehorn (Ben Gazzara) who wants the money to cover money Bunny owes him! After a drugging, cops and being thrown out of a car – who should drive by in a red sports car? Bunny. So what gives? Well, that’s what you will have to discover for yourself because, truth be told, you have to see it to believe it.

Yet, The Dude will abide!

Bridges as The Dude is absolutely and without a doubt pure perfection. He is a laid back human being who just lives in the moment and doesn’t want anything that will mess with his calm. Bridges just embraces every second of this and makes it look completely easy and smooth. I suppose it doesn’t hurt that he gets to be very comfortable in every stitch of clothing and appearance which might make being The Dude more of a joy than a job. This character is completely endearing and just wants his carpet and that basically leads to the chaos that follows. The moral of the story might be that bare floors are less of a hassle.

Goodman as Walter is the complete opposite of The Dude. He isn’t about to let anyone or anything challenge his way of dealing with things yet he sees nothing wrong with his solutions. The Dude truly cares about his friend but there are moments where his calm-rage is absolutely frightening. This is such an amazing role for Goodman because he gets to be as out there as he wants to be and it fits him well. Buscemi as Donny is such a loveable character who just wants to be in on everything but doesn’t have the ability to really keep up. This is probably the most endearing role I’ve seen Buscemi perform and he just proves he has always had the wide range ability but has gotten himself stuck in toughened roles. I’d like to have seen more of this type from him.

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Moore as Maude is just as creepy as she can possibly be. She is clearly a control freak and will do anything to keep things moving the way she wants them to move. The way she handles The Dude is emotional strong arming to my way of thinking and her seduction manner leaves allot to be desired – but hilarious. Huddleston as the elder and richer Lebowski believes he is better than his poorer counterpart and believes he is justified in using the loser. He has The Dude jumping through hoops and doesn’t exactly count on him to figure anything.

Hoffman as Brandt is, what I called, the Lebowski-bitch in that he is perfectly happy serving his boss and putting The Dude in one hell of a mess. Hoffman has always managed to stun me with every role he does and it is fantastic to revisit a film that gave us all a glimpse into what he became capable of on screen. Reid as Bunny plays the role of a trophy wife who wants more and more of the almighty dollar and doesn’t seem ashamed to make that known to, well, anyone.

Other cast include David Thewlis as Know Harrington, John Turturro as Jesus Quintana, Jon Polito as Da Fino, Peter Stormare as Uli, Torsten Voges as Franz and Flea as Kieffer, Jimmie Gilmore as Smokey, Jack Kehler as Marty and Sam Elliott as The Stranger.

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 Ultra HD Combo Pack of THE BIG LEBOWSKI 20th Anniversary Limited Edition includes The Dude’s Life – , The Dude Abides: The Big Lebowski Ten Years Later, Making of THE BIG LEBOWSKI, The Lebowski Fest: An Achiever’s Story, Flying Carpets and Bowling Pin Dreams: The Dream Sequences of The Dude, Interactive Map, Jeff Bridges Photo Book, Photo Gallery and so much more!

On 4K Ultra HD included in the combo pack of Bluray, Digital and Movies Anywhere brings a sharper pictures delivering a multi dimensional experience, Bluray that has exclusive extras and theatre quality surround sound, Digital allowing viewing just about anywhere and Movies Anywhere with the app that keeps your films stored for viewing anytime!

THE BIG LEBOWSKI has become such an iconic film that has brought some of the coolest lines to ever be uttered. Of course The Dude also has made its way into costumes for parties and Halloween with a simple robe and slippers being totally recognizable.

The film is hilarious, crafty, absurd, twisted, rich vs. poor, dysfunctional family and unusual friendships all rolled into a story that is so far fetched it might even be believable.

Now, THE BIG LEBOWSKI is back to entertain us once again but this time in our own homes. The most amazing thing about this film is that it is just as hilarious today as it was 20 years ago and open to a new generation that can appreciate its comedy, originality and fantastic ensemble cast.

In the end – he’d rather be bowling!

 

 

RED SPARROW Brings Twists and Vengeance

red sparrow bluray

Jeri Jacquin

This week on Bluray/DVD and Digital from director Francis Lawrence and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment comes a thriller in the form of a RED SPARROW.

Dominika (Jennifer Lawrence) is a beloved Russian ballet dancer who lights up a stage. When an accident forces her to give up the stage, her uncle Vanya Egrora (Matthias Schoenaerts) wants to help. Knowing the state pays for the apartment she shares with her ill mother Nina (Joely Richardson, Dominika is asked to do a specific job.

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That one event sends her to a secret program that trains people to be agents and do whatever – whatever it takes for Russia. That’s more important now with the suspicion of a mole right under their noses. Watching Dominika is the school Matron (Charlotte Rampling) and General Korchnoi (Jeremy Irons).

Setting up a coincidental meeting with American Nate Nash (Joel Edgerton) the game of cat and mouse begins. Deals are made, money is exchanged and lives hold little value in the game to win.

But they’ve never met this Red Sparrow!

Lawrence as Dominika gives a performance that is stoic and all the while it is clear the wheels in her mind are in motion. Discovering who to trust, who has the most to lose and how to use the schools programming in her favor takes chess like maneuvering. Lawrence makes it all thrilling and at times jaw-dropping to watch. This character is strong and very smart and with Lawrence doing all the heavy lifting, it works stunningly.

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Edgerton as Nash looks like a man who has played this game many, many times. Dominika is sent to get his attention and the message is clearly received. Nash also sees that she isn’t just any sparrow. Working together is going to have a high price attached to it and let me just say OMG the price tag is considerable. Irons as the General has a small role here but that doesn’t make his presence any less felt. Irons still has the amazing power to compel a watcher and it still happens to me.

Schoenaerts as Vanya has been in the game for a long time and clearly sees nothing wrong with sacrificing his niece to it all. His goal is to find the mole and rise even farther up the ranks of the spy game. Schoenaerts is clever in this role and equally disturbing – well done.

A shout out to Charlotte Rampling as the scary Matron of the Sparrow School, you go girl! One thing she shares in common with Dominika is the stoic way she handles every situation – no matter how disturbing. Rampling is a personal favorite for me to watch so thumbs way up every time I see her.

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Other cast include: Mary-Louise Parker as Stephanie Boucher, Ciaran Hinds as Zakharov, Bill Camp as Marty Gable, Thekla Reuten as Marta, Douglas Hodge as Maxim Volontov and Sakina Jaffrey as Trish Forsyth.

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.

RED SPARROW is a film that has so much going on and is so fascinating while its happening. The intrigue sets in quite early in Dominika’s life realizing you can’t trust anyone. Becoming an agent seems to be her only way out of a bad situation. The fact that she has no qualms about smacking someone around helps her cause in a weird way.

The story takes us down so many different rabbit holes and just as I thought I knew the destination – wrong! RED SPARROW is a true spy thriller that doesn’t give itself away until it’s damn good and ready!

The Bluray/DVD include the Special Features of A New Cold War: Organization & Adaptation, Agents Provocateurs: The Ensemble Cast, Tradecraft: Visual Authenticity, Heart of the Tempest: On Location, Welcome to Sparrow School: Ballet & Stunts, A Puzzle of Need: Post Production, Director Commentary by Francis Lawrence and Deleted Scenes: Commentary by Francis Lawrence.

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There is 90+ minutes of extras and include Movies Anywhere! Watch anywhere with the Movies Anywhere App and a Digital movie is included.

The cast led by Lawrence comes together with each playing their part so well that I certainly wouldn’t be unhappy if they came back for more.

In the end – she’s seductive, deceptive and deadly!

Get Ready to Bolt with MAZE RUNNER: The Death Cure Coming to Bluray

death cure

Jeri Jacquin

On Bluray and DVD, as well as 4K Ultra HD, this week from director Wes Ball and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is the race for life with MAZE RUNNER: The Death Cure.

Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) is already back in the game becoming stronger as a leader to save their friends from WCKD. When they learn that Minho (Ki Hong Lee) is among the kids that have been taken by Janson (Aidan Gillen) to WCKD, Thomas doesn’t hesitate to want to jump in.

Vince (Larry Pepper) refuses to put more people on the line to save Minho even when Jorge (Giancarlo Esposito) knows where he is. Even worse, they group knows that the enemy is getting closer and have to abandon their base.

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Thomas decides he can’t go with the group and attempts to leave camp, but not without Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) and Frypan (Dexter Darden). Not about to let them go alone, they are joined by Jorge and Brenda (Rosa Salazar) who are equally wanting to get their friend back.

Minho is shocked when he wakes up to find himself back inside the maze with the help of Ava Paige (Patricia Clarkson) – but it is a new maze. Her creation has created a potential antibody to the virus that has taken so many but she must convince the leaders to continue the trials. Help comes in the words of Teresa (Kaya Scodelario) who is working with Ava.

Trying to get into the city to find Minho, Thomas and the group are taken by a group and a familiar face. Gally (Will Poulter) sets them all on edge until he explains how it is that he survived. Explaining that he wants to help Thomas get inside the city, Gally takes them to see Lawrence (Walton Goggins) who might be able to help.

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Making their way to WCKD one step at a time, Thomas and Newt have their first look at the big city. In the lab Ava and Teresa test more subjects but not before Janson is told that he needs to find Thomas while keeping another secret from Teresa. The virus is now inside the city and Teresa has been taken. Ava and Janson now realize that time is not on their side.

The fight is now inside the lab as Thomas and Newt get closer to Minho and Teresa has something that could be a game changer. Now, those on the outside that have been running are turning to fight strong.

Now, they have a chance!

O’Brien as Thomas returns to the role of a young man clearly on a mission that will save some and not others. Loyal to the people he met in the maze, he is not about to let Minho and the others stay inside the city of WCKD. O’Brien plays out his role in the trilogy as he began, intense and strong.

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Scodelario as Teresa is the character everyone loves to hate. With the upset from the second film it is easy to want to give her character redemption but it might be to late. Poulter as Gally is the surprise as he also ends his time in the maze with a twist.

Clarkson as Ava tries to find a way to create an antibody to the virus that is now inside the city. What hope she has depends on Minho and Clarkson always stands out in every performance she gives. Gillen as Janson is clearly irritated with the fact that he can’t seem to always get what he wants out of life in WCKD. He has the amazing ability to be the perfect bad guy without getting to much flack on him.

Goggins as Lawrence is one jacked up human being yet he still attempts to help the gang get inside the city. Lee as Minho gets the worst end of the deal as the labs want more and more from him. Sangster as Newt truly believes in the friendships that have kept him alive. We have literally watched Sangster grow up in this series of films.

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Salazar as Brenda continues to be a strong presence even if she is in the middle of wanting to be on her own and not helping others to being an amazing leader in her own right. Along with Esposito as Jorge, these two characters are trying to be better people while maintaining a rough exterior.

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 includes Audio Commentary by Director Wes Ball, Screenwriter T.S. Nowlin and Producer Joe Hartwick, Jr., Unlocking the Cure: The Final Run, Dystopia: The Completed World; Allies Reunited, A Look Back: The Director’s Journey, Deleted & Extended Scenes with Optimal Commentary, Going Out on Top, Gag Reel, Visual Effects Breakdowns and Visual Effects Reel with Optional Commentary and Gallery.

Also included is Movies Anywhere which is just that, the ability to watch anywhere with the App as well as a Digital Movie included.

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There is an epic and exclusive 24-page prequel origins comic book written by screenwriter T.S. Nowlin. The trilogy box set is also available that includes an exclusive MAZE RUNNER bandana chosen by fans.

MAZE RUNNER: The Death Cure brings about the finishing touches to a story that has been filled with twists, turns, intensity, trust issues, friendships, world colliding and a virus that can turn friends into foes and vice versa.

Wrapping everything up means preparing to take on the emotions of characters saying goodbye and smiling knowing that there future is deserved. Grab the popcorn and prepare for a marathon run of the MAZE RUNNER trilogy!

In the end – the time for lies is over!

FOLLOWERS Brings Fright to DVD

Followers DVD 3D

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD May 1st from director Ryan Justice and a Synkronized Company is a fright with social media when you have FOLLOWERS.

Brook (Amanda Delaney) and boyfriend Caleb (Justin Maina) have put their lives out on the internet for all to see. Marking their one year anniversary, Caleb has decided on a nice trip for a little alone time camping in the woods.

Their first night is met with a crackling fire and some champagne to celebrate. In the middle of the night Brook wakes to the sound of footsteps pleading for Caleb to investigate. Finding nothing they go back to sleep.

Shaking off the nights scare, Brook starts out her morning doing a video and is unaware that someone is to change everything. Taking her back to camp, they also come upon Caleb as the video goes black.

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Nick (Nishant Gogna) and Jake (Sean Michael Gloria) decide to make video demonstrating how easy it is to track people from online and how dangerous it can be. They decide to choose Brook and Caleb as the people to prove their point. Using their cameras and drone technology, they follow the couple and find themselves deep in the woods.

Jake decides that perhaps the documentary might not reach enough people and feels that they might have to go one step further. People pay attention when you take it one step further right? The tables turn on them all when another group enters the picture sending Brook and Nick running for their lives.

Then the tables turn again…for the last time.

Delaney as Brook is a girl with a few secrets of her own. Spending time being a social media star, she plays it up well. Maina as Caleb is a man on a mission and trying to bring a big of special to their relationship. Next time Caleb, try dinner and a walk on a public beach.

Gogna as Nick sees their idea for a documentary as ground breaking; to bad he didn’t do his woodsy research. Gloria as Jake has a few issues of his own and doesn’t let his film making partner in on it all.

All four of them have ideas of their own that clash of course but it isn’t going to make a different when what lives in the woods makes itself known.

Other cast include Emily Steward as Stephanie, Bianca Taylor as Cassie, and Jason Henne as Creepy Pete. Also, Eric Justice, Bret Burt, Jay Burt, Marina Kaminsky, Casey Hempel, Jade Rivera, Heather Jean as Cult Followers and David McMahon as the Cult Leader.

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SDK has a catalog of over 250 film titles and over 100 television shows. They are responsible for distributing the work of some of the world’s major directors and box office worthy movies. For more of what they have to offer please visit http://www.skddvd.com.

FOLLOWERS is the Official Selection from the Upstate NY Horror Film Festival, the Orlando Film Festival, Alexandria Film Festival and the Miami Independent Film Festival.

Although this is a found-footage thriller, pay attention! They story line basically gives you a play by play of how easy social media has made it for people to get into your life. Whether you want them their or not it has become part of the norm as everyone has Facebook, SnapChat, Twitter or any of the hundreds of apps that are available.

I love the found footage look to it and that it is shot out in the middle of nowhere. Of course we are all afraid of the woods whether we admit it out loud or not. Think about it, a crackling sound in the middle of the night with no cell reception and nothing between you and fear but a flimsy tent? Yea, we are all know our limits.

There are twists to be sure and it all comes to a huge conclusion that once again reminds us of how fragile the line is between having a life and living it on social media.

In the end – beware what you share!

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