Search

moviemavenspeaks

It's a dirty job but someone has to view 'em!

Tag

War

THE REFLECTING SKIN is a Film of Twisted Brilliance

reflect cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD from Film Movement Classics and writer/director Philip Ridley is the stunning classic THE REFLECTING SKIN.

Seth Dove (Jeremy Cooper) is a young man living in 1950s Idaho farmland country with parents Luke (Duncan Fraser) and Ruth (Sheila Moore). The days are long and Seth spends time with friends Eben (Codie Wilbee) and Kim (Evan Hall). Three young boys together sometimes brings about mischief.

One such gathering the boys pull a prank on neighbor lady Dolphin Blue (Lindsay Duncan) and Seth feels momentary guilt. Back at home the young boy deals with a mother who treats him in almost sadistic ways and finds a bit of solace with his father who speaks rarely. Trying to talk with him, Luke introduces his son to the idea of vampires in a book he is reading.

reflect 1

Seth is in trouble about a frog incident and must go to Dolphin to apologize. She tells him a little about herself and in the midst of a joke that he takes wrong decides she is a vampire. Eben goes missing so Seth and Kim decide to sneak into the neighbor’s house to see what she may be hiding. After a fright, he runs home and accidentally finds his friend.

That sets his parents on edge and disaster comes from it with a town that holds a grudge on a past secret. This brings home Seth’s older brother Cameron (Viggo Mortensen) who finds himself taken with Dolphin Blue. Now that his mother is in a state, the boy finds that he needs his brother even more.

But Cameron finds solace with Dolphin and tells her of the bomb experiments he was a part of in the war while Seth peeks in on them both. When he sees that his brother may be getting ill, he is more convinced Dolphin is a vampire killing his brother. More tragedy strikes the town and there are more questions than answers.

In that tragedy Seth believes he has found a way to save his brother from a monster that lives so close to home.

Cooper as the young Seth is absolutely brilliant for a young actor to play this very disturbing role. From the way he spoke to the characters clothing, Cooper made that secondary to his performance. Disturbing is too small a word for Seth yet it was impossible to take my eyes off of him.

reflect 2

Duncan as neighbor Dolphin Blue is beautiful, extraordinary and holds a solemn and strangely peaceful attitude toward her life but will let out a scream with ease. Her handling of Seth is sometimes amusing and its probably there conversation on the rode that amused me the most with its disturbing content.

Mortensen as Cameron is a young man who returns from war only to find that coming home is really the last thing he wanted to do. It is Dolphin that gives him light in a dark place and he embraces it immediately. This is one of Mortensen’s first roles and had I seen this film earlier I would have said then what I believe now and that is he has a presence on screen that is a mixture of tough, charming and painful all rolled into him.

Other cast include David Longworth as Joshua, Robert Koons as Sheriff Ticker, Jason Wolfe as Cadillac Driver, Walt Healy as the Old Man, Sherry Bie as Cassie, and Jeff Walker as Adam Blue.

Celebrating its 17th year in 2019, Film Movement has released more than 250 feature films and shorts culled from prestigious film festivals worldwide, and last year it had its first Academy Award-nominated film, THEEB. Film Movement’s theatrical distribution strategy has evolved to include promising American independent films, documentaries, and an even stronger slate of foreign art house titles. Noted directors Film Movement brings are Eric Rohmer, Peter Greenaway, Bille August, Marleen Gorris, Takeshi Kitano and Ettore Scola. For more information, please visit www.filmmovement.com.

The DVD includes the Bonus Features of Angels & Atom Bombs: The Making of THE REFLECTING SKIN, Commentary with writer/director Philip Ridley and New Essay by Travis Crawford and Heather Hyche.

kinopoisk.ru

THE REFLECTING SKIN is a film with so many layers that eventually level into one. There is a strangeness, horror, mystery, intensity, beauty and a draw to go down the road of the story even if something tells us not to. Each character has fears of their own yet survival makes a convenient blinder.

Small towns have big secrets and this place has one that they use to quickly fill in the gap tragedy often leads. It isn’t important whether or not it’s the true; it makes whatever sadness permeates the people easier to serve up with their evening meals. The vampires are secondary to my way of thinking.

A film such as THE REFLECTING SKIN will leave its cinematic mark and I am thrilled to have had the chance to experience it.

In the end – sometimes terrible things happen quite naturall

Advertisements

SGT. WILL GARDNER is a Story of Pain and Redemption

 

sgt cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD from writer/director Max Martini and Cinedigm comes the story of a man who has seen war and forgot his life in SGT. WILL GARDNER.

Will ‘Ghost’ Gardner (Max Martini) is a man struggling with life after his time in the military. After an explosion kills his close friend Samuel ‘Top’ Gallegos (Omari Hardwick) and causes brain injury, he leaves his life behind to wander the streets.

As the years pass, Ghost realizes he must get back into life and makes his way to see his young son. Along the way he meets Mary Anne (Lily Rabe) who accidentally mistakes him for a famous actor. The two get to know one another and discover they are both lost in the big world.

sgt 1

After reconnecting with his young son Will Jr. (Leo Martini), he sees his ex-wife Kimmy (Elisabeth Rohm) and new husband Buddy (Dermot Mulroney). She explains what happened with her life when Ghost went off to war and it is what they both needed to move forward.

Trying to find his way clear, Ghost takes one step forward and four steps back trying to find his way in a world that doesn’t see him nor do they see his injury.  Relationships are held together by a thread, friendships are so difficult to maintain and sanity walks on the edge of what he wants his world to be.

This is his story but it is also the story of so many.

Martini as Ghost is a man who can not seem to find his way clear of the war. He wants so much to have the life he once knew but the trauma gets in the way. The emotional battle inside takes a piece of him little by little to the point where he can not see his way clearly. For every two steps forward he slides a little back but yet there is something inside him that refuses to stay down. That is his saving grace!

Hardwick as Top has become the conscience that Ghost doesn’t want to deal with. Always with him, Top is a constant reminder of where they have been together. Hardwick gives a performance of a friend that offers strength and courage and we should all be so blessed to have a friend that makes that kind of impact in our lives.

sgt 3

Rabe as Mary Anne is a woman who is also looking for something that isn’t exactly what she expects. Ghost does take advantage of that for a bit but Rabe, as we all know from American Horror Story, can give as good as she takes.

A shout out to Bordonada as Charlie Burroughs as a vet who seems to be a target for every person with big-man-syndrome. Even when he goes against Ghost, he discovers that there is someone else out there who understands the fear and pain of war. Bordonada is a bit of the missing piece for Ghost that can create a new path for them both.

Sinise as Larry makes an appearance and it must be said that anytime he shows up in a film it is an experience but every time he shows up in a film for vets it makes me love him even more. Dedicated to supporting veterans, Sinise has become a recognizable face for the cause of our active, wounded and retired service members.

Other cast include: JoBeth Williams as Sherry, Luis Bordonada as Charlie Burroughs, Holt McCallany as Officer Callahan, Justin Tucker as Farnsworth, Matthew Velez as Morley, Georgina Lighting as Emily Saunders, Jay DeMarcus as Top Gunner and Gary Sinise as Larry.

Cinedigm is a leading distributor of amazing content in storefronts, digital platforms, Internet and Demand platforms for cable television. With an extensive library of over 52,000 films and television shows, Docurama films, next-gen Indies and Independent films. At its inception, Cinedigm has played a pioneering role in transitioning movie theatres from traditional film prints to digital distribution to advance worldwide cinema modernization. For more on what Cinedigm has to offer please visit http://www.cinedigm.com.

Martini has pledged that 30% of SGT. WILL GARDNER’s film proceeds will go to charities that help soldiers with homelessness, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury such as the character Ghost suffers from.

sgt 2

SGT. WILL GARDNER is an amazing film in that it is simple, straight forward and only a glimpse inside the lives of wounded service members. Tough as nails on one hand and spiritually tired on the other, this film shows that Ghost wants what everyone else wants – a simple life, love of family and to be of help to others.

The reality for all who serve is, “Although it is impossible to gauge accurately, the findings estimate approximately 50,000 veterans are still homeless on any given night in the United States of America. A recent DoD report states that 383,947 veterans have been diagnosed with war related Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) since the year 2000. In 2015, a VA Inspector General’s report revealed that 307,000 veterans died while awaiting pending healthcare claims. The VA National Suicide Data Report claims that the average number of Veterans who die by suicide each day remains unchanged at 20” – leave no man behind!

It is stirring to see, rough to feel and real enough to take in what is happening to our veterans after serving our country.

In the end – sometimes the battle follows you home!

 

The Most Successful Norseman Series Brings its Fourth Season to Bluray with VIKINGS

vikings season 4

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is the series that has fans coming back for more with VIKINGS Season 4 Volume 2.

Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) wastes no time upon his return to Kattegat challenging his sons if one of them wants to be King. The one to step forward is Ubbe (Jordan Smith) but for a completely different challenge. Wanting his sons to return to England with him, he is surprised when Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) tells Ragnar that he has his own plans with Floki (Gustaf Skarsgard), Harald (Peter Franzen) and Hvitserk (Marco Llso) to take the Mediterranean.

Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) also has no intention of going to England with Ragnar even after he apologizes to her for everything that has happened. Thinking that his time might be up in this world, the ravens have other plans for Ragnar. When he returns to Kattegat it is to ask Ivar (Alex Hogh) to go to England. Before anyone leaves, Ragnar wants Bjorn to find peace with Rollo while Lagertha refuses to find peace with Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland).

vik 2

Before he leaves, Aslaug reveals a vision she’s had but Ragnar and Ivar won’t be stopped from going to England. When a storm capsizes the boat, Ragnar and Ivar get to shore and King Ecbert (Linus Roache) is told. Trying to find peace with Rollo (Clive Standen), Bjorn ends up in jail with his companions but safe passage isn’t far away.

Lagertha decides it’s time to reclaim what is hers and takes Ubbe and Sigurd captive with every intent on removing Aslaug from the throne. Proclaiming herself queen, Lagertha hears from Aslaug that she will tell her sons not to fight back if she can leave free. Of course the new queen has a plan of her own with Astrid keeping Ubbe and Sigurd in check.

In Aethelwulf, Ecbert promises that nothing will happen to either Ragnar or Ivar and introduces them to Magnus. Ragnar makes a claim about Kwenthrith and Ecbert admits a few truths of his own. After a few drinks the two reminisce about Athelstan and Ecbert is surprised when Ragnar asks him for death. Refusing to take part in it, he instead agrees to take Ragnar to King Aelle so that Ivar can go home. In the same agreement, he tells Ecbert that Wessex will not be the focus of his son’s revenge.

vik 1

Before returning home, Ivar learns from Ragnar of his plan and when Ivar lashes out promising revenge before he is taken to a ship going home. Ragnar sees Alfred and gives him a gift of his father before a journey where he has time to rethink all that has happened. Ecbert can not stay away and when the time comes, he knows that he has lost a friend.

Ivar returns to Kattegat to find Lagertha on the throne and his mother gone. When he challenges the new Queen she ignores it and focuses on building Kattegat’s back up. But a longship brings a mysterious stranger and more challenges begin. Bjorn reaches the Mediterranean and along with Rollo they attack Algeciras. Coming in contact with praying men in the mosque, Floki wants their lives spared. The news of what has happened to Ragnar reaches Spain and Bjorn and Lagertha is told by a mystic that a son of Ragnar is planning to take her down.

A return to England is on the minds of Ubbe, Sigurd and Ivar as a way to revenge Ragnar. Help is also on the way when Earl Jorgensen brings his ships to help the Lothbroks. Floki knows that Ivar will stop at nothing to go to war and so he builds him a chariot and now he had the ability to be a true leader of the troops.

Ivar wants total leadership of the armies but Bjorn has something to say about it. As the Viking troops advance, Athelwulf knows he needs more help and turns to Ecbert and in Northumbria, King Aelle is taken and his fate is sealed.

vik 3

A surprise attack on Kattegat brings the capture of Egil who lets it be known that it is King Harald that ordered the attack. The Viking army is still on the move and Prince Aethelwulf tries everything to stop them. When he is forced back to Wessex, he tells Ecbert to retreat which he will not do. Instead, turning his crown over to his son, Bjorn then allows him to decide his own fate.

As the brothers decide where they will go next, it is Ivar that stands out with an action that brings even Bjorn into shock.

Fimmel as Ragnar has taken this character to depths that are absolutely amazing. He is not a vocal character by any means but when he does speak, the clan better listen. As Ragnar has grown season by season, it is clear that both the good and bad choices of his life are coming to a decision that had the viewing audiences’ jaws dropping. I can not think of one actor that could have done what Fimmel has for the role of Ragnar.

Winnick as Lagertha has also gone to hell and back as a woman in a world where wielding a weapon and shield is equally as important as having a family. Lagertha has also made good and bad choices but is solid and strong even when she is wrong. I have to give props to a bad ass chick who can give a look that says ‘yea, I was wrong – what about it?’ Winnick is powerful and she’s back on the throne!

Ludwig as Bjorn has grown out of his father’s shadow. Wanting to get back to the sea and do what Vikings do is now his motivation. Making a name and life for himself, Bjorn also begins to understand Ragnar more and more. Standen as Rollo grabs onto the creed of ‘once a Viking always a Viking’ and it’s good to see him back with the axe of nightmares.

Andersen as Ivar is one crazy individual who doesn’t have a problem being without legs. His mind is sharp and his decisions are sharper. Being the son of both Ragnar and Aslaug means he isn’t someone to be toyed with as he can mix plotting, war and revenge in a wine cup and swallow in one breath. Sutherland as Aslaug doesn’t fair as well with Lagertha this time around as her own plotting just doesn’t have the umph that hers does.

Roache as King Ecbert has played the game with Ragnar to the point that they are both played out.

vik 4

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.

VIKINGS Season 4 Volume 2 also contains the special features of The Queen and the Shield Maiden, Vikings – Valhalla and the Legacy of Ragnar Lothbrok, Creator’s Audio Commentary with Michael Hirst and Linus Roache on Selected Episodes, The Journeys of Bjorn Ironside and Deleted Scenes. There are ten unrated episodes with extended and deleted scenes not shown on television.

The episodes include: The Outsider, The Vision, Two Journeys, In the Uncertain Hour Before the Morning, All His Angels, Crossings, The Great Army, Revenge, On the Eve and The Reckoning.

 The History Channel has brought a magnificent series to television and it just gets better and better. Yes I hate when the show loses characters but I know that means more room for the story to go in another direction as it should. There is so much more to come and I, for one, will be there when it happens.

Of course if you have ever been to San Diego Comic Con International you know that fans wait in ridiculously long lines to see the actors from the series. They want to know as much as can possibly be shared and share their own costumes of proud VIKINGS. Of course I have my own drinking horn that is always used when watching VIKINGS.

If you are looking for action, adventure, intrigue, fantastic costuming, intense story lines and all wrapped up with actors who have made VIKINGS a smash, then this is the show for you. Catch up on all the prior season of VIKINGS and look for VIKINGS Season 4 Volume to on Bluray!

In the end – heavy is the head that wears the Viking crown!

MEGAN LEAVEY Inspires Coming to Bluray

Megan

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray/DVD and Digital HD from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment and Bleeker Street is the inspirational film based on the story of MEGAN LEAVEY.

Megan (Kate Mara) is a young woman staggering through life. Unhappy with her job and unhappy living at home with mom Jackie (Edie Falco) and her boyfriend Jim (Will Patton), it seems the days just blur.

That is until she makes the decision to hop a bus and join the U.S. Marine Corps. It didn’t take long until Megan was in trouble within the Corps as well that has her cleaning the kennels of the K9 unit.

There she meets Rex, a four legged anti-social dog who gives trainers a difficult time. Megan continues to ask Gunny Martin (Common) to become part of the K9 unit. When a situation presents itself, Megan and Rex are paired together and so begins a training of each other to become a strong unit through patience and friendship.

meg 1

Sent to Camp Ramadi in Iraq, Megan and Rex are sent on missions to sniff out IED’s clearing the way for soldiers and the Iraqi people. She also meets Matt Morales (Ramon Rodriguez) who is also part of the K9 unit and starts to become comfortable being part of a team.

Then a mission puts both of their lives in danger changing the path for them both. Megan knows that she can not continue on her path without Rex and with dad Bob’s (Bradley Whitford) push, she is will get Rex back at her side and will do anything to make that happen.

In that is the true meaning of friendship!

Mara as Megan portrays a young woman who clearly has problems dealing with home and family. Making a swift move to join the military, Mara’s character puts up serious walls until she creates an unbreakable bond with Rex. What is amazing is that feeling this connection and watching the story unfold between Megan and Rex; it is not surprising that they would work together so brilliantly. Mara and Rex are lovely in this film and the audience fell in love with them both.

meg 2

Common as Gunny Martin is a man who clearly doesn’t take any guff from anyone – including a pint size Megan Leavey. Testing her potential and patiently watching to see if her dedication to the K9 unit is solid, he gives us both the tough Gunny as well as a man who understands the hurt of battle.

Rodriguez as Morales is a wise cracking but dedicated part of the K9 unit in Iraq. He manages to bring down some of Megan’s emotional walls but it can take the snap of fingers to bring them back up. Patton as Jim is not someone Megan is thrilled to have around and this is a small role.

Whitford as Megan’s father Bob is a man who realizes that choices he made in his life have affected his daughter. Wanting to reach out and help her, he just isn’t sure how to do it or if it would make a difference. This is a different role for Whitford and he delivers with a lovely scene when Megan returns from Iraq.

Falco as Jackie is – well – Falco. She is an over dramatic and wildly awesome to watch as Megan’s mother. Big or small, Falco brings her best to every role she does and always manages to surprise me.

Meg 4

Other cast include Geraldine James as Dr. Turbeville, Shannon Tarbet as Barb, Miguel Gomez as Gomez, Jonathan Howard as Peter Walters, George Webster as Finn, Corey Johnson as Master Sergeant and Tom Felton as Andrew Dean.

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.

MEGAN LEAVEY could very easily be called a feel good film but that would be an injustice to the story being told. There are so many issues that are handled in this story with straight forwardness, no sugar-coating and boldly done.

meg 3

It is the story of a young woman dealing with the situation her life is in and knowing at some point something had to give. Joining the Marine Corps gives Megan the opportunity to become part of something bigger than herself and not just fighting in a war but becoming responsible for Rex and the lives of everyone around her. Mara takes this role and lets us all experience the journey of this young woman until the end where we come to understand more than we ever could.

Director Cowperthwaite says of her film, “There are so many important story threads, what about the political commentary about the war one could make or about a ton of things regarding women Marines and dealing with their situations…and to focus on this world from Megan’s perspective. You have to hone in on that relationship and how that bond gets built because that is really what the story is – loyalty and friendship.”

In regards to PTSD and returning troops she says, “Dealing with PTSD when our military come home and how we can maybe look at it different, pay attention and be better listeners I think that would be a great thing.”

meg 5

MEGAN LEAVEY is a story that is well done dealing with issues that might be uncomfortable for some to see but necessary to experience. This film speaks on love, understanding, patience and a friendship that saved not only the lives of others – but of one another as well.

The Bluray includes the Bonus Features of Never Give Up: An Inside Look at How Megan Leavey Learned to Trust Rex!

We are proud to offer a chance for Military Press readers to win a Bluray copy of MEGAN LEAVEY. Go to hellomoviemaven@aol.com with “Megan & Rex” in the subject line along with your name and address. We will be chose winners at random and will notify by email.

In the end – a true story of a marine and her best friend!

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES

war for

 

Jeri Jacquin

In theatres now from writer/director Matt Reeves and 20th Century Fox is the epic ending to a world ready for WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES.

Caesar (Andy Serkis) and the ape clan are trying to stay out of site from any humans while looking for some place else to live. Attacked by a military group led by The Colonel (Woody Harrelson), it becomes even more imperative that they find a new home.

Caesar welcomes the return of his older son with news of a place that will suit them all. Winter (Aleks Paunovic) is a gorilla anxious to leave right away but orangutan Maurice (Karin Konoval), Rocket (Terry Notary), and Luca (Michael Adamthwaite) want to make a safe plan.

Later in the night, an attack on the sleeping clan brings such anger in Caesar that he sends everyone on the road to their new home. He doesn’t join them but instead believes the only way they will survive is by taking out the Colonel. Maurice, Rocket and Luca won’t let him go alone as they trail the soldiers.

On the road they discover a young girl, Nova (Amiah Miller) and Maurice takes it upon himself to care for her. They also find Bad Ape (Steve Zahn), another talker who has a story to tell about a human zoo. Caesar realizes that’s where they need to go and when they reach the facility only horror awaits them.

Caesar’s mind is even more made up that the Colonel is a dangerous man but also learns a secret that could end humanity as they know it. Coming from the North are more soldiers that have a war of their own to wage with the Colonel and the apes are in the middle.

Now the apes must come together stronger than ever if they are to survive.

Serkis as Caesar spends a lot of time in this film being righteously angry or with eyes full of tears. Highly emotional (with cause to be) Caesar fights one more battle against a human who has a plan of his own that doesn’t include the survival of the apes. Carrying the vocals of his clan, it is still clear to see why he is still their leader but even a leader has his breaking point. Serkis has taken the character of Caesar from birth to the promise land.

Harrelson as the Colonel is a man on a mission to destroy Caesar and his clan. Even though Caesar continues to offer ways out of war, the Colonel continues his barrage of attacks with his own agenda at hand. Harrelson’s portrayal is of a straight forward soldier who believes in what he is doing and rules with fear. He isn’t hysterical or outrageous which means his insanity looks normal!

Konoval as Maurice believes in Caesar but fears for them all when he seems to be led by anger and revenge. Maurice’s relationship with Nova is absolutely beautiful. Notary as Rocket is a faithful friend and when Caesar is in trouble, puts himself in the line of fire to support their leader. Adamthwaite as Luca is a gorilla that will fight if Caesar wishes it and protects him whether Caesar wants it or not.

Zahn as Bad Ape is the comic relief of the film but in that comedy is an ape that clearly has seen the worst of humanity. Living away from everything and everyone, his fear is valid and the cause of a few loose screws.

Miller as Nova brings an amazing performance without a single sentence being uttered. Her fears are put to rest immediately and the connection with Maurice is what Caesar has always wanted with the humans. Every move she makes is because of a friendship created by a caring species not her own.

Other cast includes: Gabriel Chavarria as Preacher, Judy Greer as Cornelia, Sara Canning as Lake, Devyn Dalton as Cornelius, Alessandro Juliani as Spear, Max Lloyd-Jones as Blue Eyes, Mercedes Zerda as Lang, Chad Rook as Boyle, Ty Olsson as Red Donkey and Toby Kebbell as Koba.

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES brings the story full circle. I won’t hesitate to say that I am a huge admirer of the original 1968 PLANET OF THE APES. I believe the five films in the original franchise are absolutely spectacular in the telling, the filmmaking, the effects and make up brought to life by amazing talented actors. Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans and Linda Harrison set up a franchise that to my mind can never be touched.

There is no way to stop Hollywood from “reimagining” films and the 2001 Mark Wahlberg puts a pin in why remakes should never happen. Of course that didn’t stop the re-attempt in 2011 with the release of RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES followed by DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES in 2014. The story twists and turns bringing only glimpses of the 1968 story-glory. The newer versions invite a generation into this ape-human storyline but I’d rather they experience the original. Oh well, you can’t have everything.

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES gives fans of this trilogy more special effects, a big battle and a finality that is nothing short of an epic promised-land ending. There are moments here and there where things get a bit too dramatic with waves of orchestra tugs at the human heart strings. There are also nuggets all over the film that will either make you say ‘oh no they didn’t’ or ‘oh isn’t that great’ as nods or homage’s are strewn about.

With that said, the film does have a few thought provoking moments, loads of tears, war and anger, redemption on many levels and characters that must act to be believed. My purest heart is still with Heston and McDowall whose portrayals will always stop me during channel surfing to experience how it all began.

In the end – for freedom, family and the planet!

MINE Will Test the Mind and Body on Bluray and DVD!

 

 

Jeri Jacquin

On Bluray and DVD from directors Fabio Guaglione and Fabio Resinaro is a film about the dangers of warfare with MINE.

There are thirty-three million mines scattered in the desert during the war. Sgt. Mike Stevens (Armie Hammer) is a marine sniper who is tasked with finding the leader of a terrorist cell and stopping more destruction.

A hesitation puts Sgt. Stevens smack dab in hostile territory all by himself with his foot on an active mine. Knowing a convoy won’t arrive in the area for two days, he must find a way to survive thirst, the heat of the day and the cold of night.

That isn’t all, with the saying “we are our own worst enemy”, Sgt. Stevens must fight the biggest adversary of all – himself!

Here is an exclusive deleted scene of the film starring Armie Hammer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARYGl0ZzSCk&feature=youtu.be

This story is all about standing your ground!

 

Mine Bluray

GENIUS: The Last Chapter from National Geographic

genius

 

Jeri Jacquin

In a special two-hour presentation from National Geographic on June 20th at 9/8c is the finale of an amazing story developed by Noah Pink and Kenneth Biller with GENIUS: The Last Chapter.

Albert Einstein (Geoffrey Rush) and wife Elsa (Emily Watson) are settling in America but they constantly are thinking of those they left behind in Europe. Unsettling for Einstein is that scientists in Nazi Germany continue to study the splitting of the atom. He himself continues to work through quantum physics.

That all must be put aside when Elsa becomes ill and Einstein’s life becomes even more complicated. Being rushed by all sides to help with the formula needed for the atomic bomb, Einstein continues to avoid them all. He also becomes emotionally close to Marija Ruzic-Maric (Catherine McCormack) and doesn’t realize that there are two sides to her.

gen 3

Edgar Hoover (T.R. Knight) is one man who wants to see Einstein sent back to Germany. Feeling the scientist humiliated him, it becomes Hoover’s goal to ruin the man. In 1947, scientists come together to try and contain the use of atomic bombs. Einstein doesn’t believe their use can be contained but sees it all as a threat to humanity.

With his lifetime of work, Einstein is brought face to face with an outburst from his son Hans that every member of the family knows he sees them as a burden. To make matters worse, Einstein is outraged when one of their scientists is forced before a committee for communism.

Eleanor Roosevelt brings Einstein before a television audience so that he may give his view on what bombs can do and Hoover becomes outraged. Personal secretary Helene (Emily Laing) is worried about Einstein as his heath begins to wane but his voice to reach out against man’s destruction is what he has left.

When a letter to a judge falls into the hands of Congress, the papers begin to denounce Einstein much to Hoover’s delight. All of the bad press sends the scientist into a sort of quiet seclusions. That is until a young girl named Alice knocks on his door to remind him of how exciting mathematics is and it’s like an awakening for him taking on the unified theory.

gen 1

Learning of his illness, Helen encourages Einstein to reach out to his son and say the things that needs to be said between the two. It isn’t easy for him but it is a moment shared by father and son never to be forgotten. Albert Einstein would pass away in 1955.

To Einstein, every question must have an answer – and he wanted to find them!

Rush as Einstein is absolutely amazing. He might be one of the smartest men on the planet but he is equally flawed and Rush doesn’t hide that in his performance. From his frustration with his work, to the love of his wife, the constant pressure from the government and believing there was no hope for reuniting with his son – this is a performance that can only be called stunning.

Watson as Elsa is a woman who understands the complexities of her husband. That doesn’t mean she agrees with his behaviors but she forgives him in her own way for it all. McCormack as Marija offers Einstein a chance to love again but his heart gets in the way of the realities.

Laing as Helene is the one constant and steady thing in Einstein’s life and Elsa knew that before she died. She is the backbone of his life and I personally can’t imagine Einstein being able to keep his life going without her. Well done Laing in playing a role that isn’t front and center but is one of the most important in the series.

gen 2

National Geographic has brought a series that is a must-see for everyone. It is a story about the history of one man yes, but it is also the story of those around him. Knowing that it isn’t easy to being partly responsible for creating the road to destruction but Einstein tries to undue what he can.

GENIUS. The Last Chapter is from Academy Award-Winners Brian Grazer and Ron Howard which is thrilling in itself but adding Academy Award winner Geoffrey Rush is nothing short of brilliant. Based on the book Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson, there is so much that I never knew about this man. This finale doesn’t leave any stone unturned in telling the life of this complex man.

In the end – he wanted to answer the secrets of the universe!

MEGAN LEAVEY Speaks on Loyalty, Friendship and PTSD

Megan

 

Jeri Jacquin

In theaters this Friday from director Gabriela Cowperthwaite and Bleeker Street Media is a compelling story that needs to be seen because of MEGAN LEAVEY.

Megan (Kate Mara) is a young woman staggering through life. Unhappy with her job and unhappy living at home with mom Jackie (Edie Falco) and her boyfriend Jim (Will Patton), it seems the days just blur.

That is until she makes the decision to hop a bus and join the U.S. Marine Corps. It didn’t take long until Megan was in trouble within the Corps as well that has her cleaning the kennels of the K9 unit.

meg 2

There she meets Rex, a four legged anti-social dog who gives trainers a difficult time. Megan continues to ask Gunny Martin (Common) to become part of the K9 unit. When a situation presents itself, Megan and Rex are paired together and so begins a training of each other to become a strong unit through patience and friendship.

Sent to Camp Ramadi in Iraq, Megan and Rex are sent on missions to sniff out IED’s clearing the way for soldiers and the Iraqi people. She also meets Matt Morales (Ramon Rodriguez) who is also part of the K9 unit and starts to become comfortable being part of a team.

Then a mission puts both of their lives in danger changing the path for them both. Megan knows that she can not continue on her path without Rex and with dad Bob’s (Bradley Whitford) push, she is will get Rex back at her side and will do anything to make that happen.

In that is the true meaning of friendship!

Mara as Megan portrays a young woman who clearly has problems dealing with home and family. Making a swift move to join the military, Mara’s character puts up serious walls until she creates an unbreakable bond with Rex. What is amazing is that feeling this connection and watching the story unfold between Megan and Rex; it is not surprising that they would work together so brilliantly. Mara and Rex are lovely in this film and the audience fell in love with them both.

Common as Gunny Martin is a man who clearly doesn’t take any guff from anyone – including a pint size Megan Leavey. Testing her potential and patiently watching to see if her dedication to the K9 unit is solid, he gives us both the tough Gunny as well as a man who understands the hurt of battle.

meg 3

Rodriguez as Morales is a wise cracking but dedicated part of the K9 unit in Iraq. He manages to bring down some of Megan’s emotional walls but it can take the snap of fingers to bring them back up. Patton as Jim is not someone Megan is thrilled to have around and this is a small role.

Whitford as Megan’s father Bob is a man who realizes that choices he made in his life have affected his daughter. Wanting to reach out and help her, he just isn’t sure how to do it or if it would make a difference. This is a different role for Whitford and he delivers with a lovely scene when Megan returns from Iraq.

Falco as Jackie is – well – Falco. She is an over dramatic and wildly awesome to watch as Megan’s mother. Big or small, Falco brings her best to every role she does and always manages to surprise me.

Other cast include Geraldine James as Dr. Turbeville, Shannon Tarbet as Barb, Miguel Gomez as Gomez, Jonathan Howard as Peter Walters, George Webster as Finn, Corey Johnson as Master Sergeant and Tom Felton as Andrew Dean.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give MEGAN LEAVEY four and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. It is be very easy to call this a feel good film but that would be an injustice to the story being told. There are so many issues that are handled in this story with straight forwardness, no sugar-coating and boldly done.

meg 5

It is the story of a young woman dealing with the situation her life is in and knowing at some point something had to give. Joining the Marine Corps gives Megan the opportunity to become part of something bigger than herself and not just fighting in a war but becoming responsible for Rex and the lives of everyone around her. Mara takes this role and lets us all experience the journey of this young woman until the end where we come to understand more than we ever could.

Director Cowperthwaite says of her film, “There are so many important story threads, what about the political commentary about the war one could make or about a ton of things regarding women Marines and dealing with their situations…and to focus on this world from Megan’s perspective. You have to hone in on that relationship and how that bond gets built because that is really what the story is – loyalty and friendship.”

In regards to PTSD and returning troops she says, “Dealing with PTSD when our military come home and how we can maybe look at it different, pay attention and be better listeners I think that would be a great thing.”

MEGAN LEAVEY is a story that is well done dealing with issues that might be uncomfortable for some to see but necessary to experience. This film speaks on love, understanding, patience and a friendship that saved not only the lives of others – but of one another as well.

In the end – a true story of a marine and her best friend!

CHURCHILL: The Untold Story of D-Day is an Epic Telling

churchill poster

 

Jeri Jacquin

In theatres this Friday from director Jonathan Teplitzky and Cohen Media Group is an incredible telling about the man everyone knows as CHURCHILL: The Untold Story of D-Day.

It is ninety-six hours before D-Day in 1944 and Winston Churchill (Brian Cox) arrive for the final meeting with Dwight Eisenhower (John Slattery), Field Marshal Montgomery (Julian Wadham), Admiral Ramsay (George Anton) and King George VI (James Purefoy) to discuss the landing in Normandy, France.

church 1

Much to the surprise of the battle leaders, Churchill makes it clear that he does not agree with the plans made and has ideas of his own. Eisenhower does not understand why he is trying to change plans that have taken so long to prepare. Standing his ground, the leaders of the Allied Forces are shocked.

Churchill’s wife Clementine (Miranda Richardson) tells her husband that those in charge of the landing are perfectly capable. What she doesn’t know is that the internal fear is of a man who has seen thousands of young men dead on the beaches of Gallipoli in 1915.

Even friend Jan Smuts (Richard Dursen) tries repeatedly to reach Churchill explaining that he should support the Allied Forces. Secretary Helen (Ella Purnell) begins to experience parts of his personality as the hours tick by and Churchill wants the invasion to stop.

church 2

Turned down at every avenue, Churchill turns to the Almighty begging him to stop the invasion. Becoming emotionally reclusive as the hour draws near, it takes one timid voice to remind him of who he is and what his voice means to the people who need to hear its strength.

As the invasion commences, Churchill embraces what is to come and once again lifts up all within the sound of his voice.

Cox as Churchill once again brings a stellar performance that I could not stop watching. Capturing the wave of emotions from military failures to political turmoil’s, Churchill’s countrymen were not privy to his personal struggles and all seemed to plague him. Cox has captures all of it magnificently with a flawless performance. This is a performance that should be recognized for its depth – period.

Richardson as wife Clementine is equally brilliant. She is clearly a woman who knows her husband is a difficult and complex man yet isn’t afraid to have her opinion. Richardson embraces the strength of this woman and still allows her moments of tenderness that are endearing. I absolutely love when she calls Churchill out through his bellowing to make it clear that enough is enough.

church 5

Durden as Smuts is a man who understands Churchill as a military man and tries to keep him focused. When others begin to turn away, Smuts reminds them of what Churchill means to their country and respects it. Purnell as Helen is a young woman who wants to do something important for the war effort. I don’t think putting up with Churchill’s antics was in the job description but I love her spunk.

Slattery as Eisenhower is a military man who sees the cloth Churchill is cut from but is not about to veer from a plan everyone agrees on. Never once does Slattery’s character back down and this actor does it with military understanding but only so far. Purefoy as King George VI has a brief part in the film and the most outstanding scene is explaining to Churchill that they both have a part to play to help win the war.

Other cast include Angela Costello as Kay Summersby, Danny Webb as Alan Brooke, Jonathan Aris as Mallory, Steven Cree as Captain Stagg, Peter Ormond as Briggs, and Kevin Findlay as Fanshawe.

church 3

CHURCHILL: The Untold Story of D-Day is an absolutely stellar film with performances that are rich and riveting. Cox performance of Churchill is one of a complex man filled with the demons of war and the insecurities that a man in his position isn’t allowed to show.

Instead of this film showing the ravages of war that pretty much everyone has seen on film, it instead focuses on one of history’s leaders and gives Churchill a human side. I don’t mind learning that this man had fears and weaknesses as I would never trust a leader who didn’t, but it is how to overcome those fears that earns my respect.

In the end – it is one man’s journey through war.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑