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Yahya Abdul-Mateen II

Saturday at Comic Con 2018 Has Super Heroes, Characters and Panels Oh My!

 

Comic Con 2018 b

Jeri Jacquin

Saturday’s at San Diego Comic Con 2018 is no different than any other Saturday at San Diego Comic Con – meaning there is something for everyone badge or no badge! Saturday’s bring a flood of people who just want to see and experience everything that is fun with weather that cooperated beautifully.

Outside at every turn there were things to see and so from AMC’s The Walking Dead zombie sausage making, Southpark’s gang with their own bit of fun, FX rumbled out their fantastic motorcycle for the new series MAYANS M.C. and the parking lot of Petco Park had a shark of a tale to share. That’s just a minute portion of everything to be found.

Of course I am on the inside looking out for panels and people to find out what and who is visiting our city so lets get to it because it was a long day!

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In Hall H the morning began with Warner Bros. and a lot of unexpected surprises for the fans who had been waiting all night. Aisha Tyler handled the job as mistress of panel with Eddie Redmayne and the cast of FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM: The Crimes of Grindelwald. What came next send Hall H into a wave of tizzy.

As Tyler utters the name Grindelwald the hall goes dark which gave us all the opportunity to view the bracelets given upon entry glowing. The next thing we all see is Grindelwald himself (aka Johnny Depp) who announces “My brothers, my sisters, my friends, the great gift of your applause is not for me but for yourselves. Therefore applaud yourselves. It has been said that I hate the non-magic – the Muggles – I do not hate them, I do not. I say the Muggles are not lesser, but other.”

He continues slowly, “Not worthless but not of value, magic blooms only in rare souls. It is granted to those who live and what a world we would make. For all of humanity, all of humanity, we who live for freedom, for truth, the moment has come to rise up and take our rightful place in the world.”  The crowd took it in and ate it up.

Of course WONDER WOMAN 1984 was given its moment in the hall but it was the cast of the upcoming AQUAMAN that sent another wave of fun through the crowd. The panel included writer/director James Wan, Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson, Nicole Kidman, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and, of course, the very hard to miss Jason Momoa.

The trailer fans were shown is of Mera and Aquaman having a go at one another with Momoa telling the crowd that “Mera’s a very strong, strong character” giving a thumbs up to Heard.

Comic-Con International 2018 - Warner Bros. Theatrical Panel

Following the long AQUAMAN panel which the crowd absolutely didn’t mind one minute of, The 19th Annual Animation Show of Shows gave the crowd a few moments to sit back and recover.

RZA: Movies, Music & Martial Arts was the next panel to talk about his movie CUT THROAT CITY. Part of the Wu Tang Clan, RZA (or Robert Fitzgerald Diggs) makes a film about a robbery in New Orleans that stars Terrence Howard, Wesley Snipes, T.I. Harris, Eiza Gonzalez, Rob Morgan, Kat Graham, Demetrius Shipp Jr. and Denzel Whitaker.

EW: Women Who Kick Ass had a full panel this year with moderator Jessica Shaw speaking with DOCTOR WHO’s Jodie Whitaker, Regina King, Chloe Bennet, Camila Mendez and THE DARKEST MIND’s Amandla Stenberg.

For those who haven’t seen DEADPOOL 2 (and if you haven’t don’t tell me or you have to be summarily erased from my Christmas card list!), Hall H was the chance to make that right in your life.

The day in the hall ended with AN EVENING WITH KEVIN SMITH who seemed to be working overtime. He could also be found at the IMDB boat interviewing celebs from the panels all over Comic Con. Fans of Smith’s were doing everything humanly possible to get a seat to see Smith.

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Indigo at the Hilton Bayfront spent the day hosting to some of the most popular television shows. Beginning with Steven Universe, the morning continued with NBC’s The Good Place, Kypton, Manifest, Legacies, Cosmos: Possible Worlds, and The Orville. TV Guide brought the TV Guide Magazine’s Fan Favorites which is always fun.

The afternoon ended with Deadly Class, The Magicians and a delight to my senses Twin Peaks and the Revival of the Classic. Nothing made my year more than the successful return of Agent Cooper and last years return of Twin Peaks: The Return. This was a chance to hear from the cast about also returning to the iconic show.

One of the spookiest characters that still haunts my brain in the return series was actor Robert Broski’s portrayal of a man I still can’t figure out but has brought new meaning to the line “Got a light?”

Creator David Lynch wasn’t in attendance but I would expect nothing less of him to find a way to be there in some form. I wasn’t wrong. Sabrina Sutherland, executive producer, read a note that said “I am working with Phillip Jefferies to see if I can get there. Twin Peaks fans are the best fans. I got my days mixed up and I’m going to be there yesterday if not sooner. It’s slippery in here. In the red room, Special Agent Dale Cooper has already won the Emmy.”

Adding her own sentiments, Sutherland gave credit to the fans for making it possible for Twin Peaks to return. I couldn’t agree with her more! That leads to the big question – will we see more of Agent Dale Cooper and the motley crew of the town known as Twin Peaks? The answer is still floating out there in Lynch’s universe because they certainly didn’t give up anything at the panel.

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That’s okay, we will all be here when (not if) it’s time to go to our favorite town – and we always have pie to keep us company.

Back in Ballroom 20, the day there was no less hectic. The panels consisted of Black Lightening, The Simpsons, American Dad! and Family Guy (I mean really, how can you have Comic Con without them?), The Gifted, Supergirl and Arrow. The crowd became really excited as DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and The Flash.

 The evening in Ballroom 20 ended with YouTube’s Origin Presents The Comic-Con International Masquerade.

Of course these are just tidbits of the adventures waiting to be had at the Convention Center and all places surrounding San Diego Comic Con 2018. There will be more in depth information in the weeks to come but for now – we have one more day of panels and tomorrow is family days!

Stay tuned!

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN is Even Greater on Bluray!

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Jeri Jacquin

This week on Bluray/DVD and Digital from writers Jenny Bicks and Bill Condon along with director Michael Gracey and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment comes THE GREATEST SHOWMAN.

P.T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman) has promised the lovely Charity (Michelle Williams) that he will give her a wonderful life. Spending the first few years together struggling, Barnum has two more lovely reasons to succeed in daughters Caroline (Austyn Johnson) and Helen (Cameron Seely).

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That’s when he decides to start his own circus business and invites the bearded woman Lettie (Keala Settle), Tom Thumb (Sam Humphrey), Anne Wheeler (Zendaya) and W.D. Wheeler (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) among others to join in his vision of the unusual in entertainment. He also brings Phillip Carlyle (Zac Efron) to learn and help manage the business and immediately he is taken with Anne.

While on a trip to Europe, Barnum and the troop meets the famous Jenny Lind (Rebecca Ferguson). He knows that this is a pure act that will show the nay-sayers like journalist James Bennett (Paul Sparks). Taking Jenny on the road means being away from his family and leaving the show in the care of Phillip.

When Jenny abruptly stops the show, Barnum returns to see what a vengeful crowd can do to his dream. The dream begins to unravel when he discovers that those who helped bring the circus to life are the same people who will see it rise from the ashes.

Never forget who you really are!

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Jackman as Barnum does what he does best – embrace a character, make it larger than life and do it while singing and dancing. There are complexities in being a big dreamer who embraces things that are different. That also means dealing with people who clearly are afraid of those differences and getting a little lost along the way to the top.

Williams as Charity always believed that her husband would succeed and at the same time was never unhappy with their life. She is absolutely lovely in this role and patient with a man who sees everything larger than life. Ferguson as Jenny is a woman who is swept up in the romance of becoming world renowned at the hands of Barnum. Being beautiful with a voice doesn’t stop pain from dropping a curtain.

Efron as Carlyle gets wrapped up in everything that Barnum wants in entertainment. He is also working against people who have nothing better to do than ruin a good time for all. It doesn’t stop him from making it work and finding love with the lovely Anne. Zendaya as Anne finds a family in the circus and even when confronted for being different, she knows who truly loves her.

Settle as Lettie is a powerful presence and her voice just rocks this film to its core. Her character also focuses on keeping the family together and never letting anyone say they are not amazing human beings. Humphrey as Tom Thumb is sweet and hilarious at the same time.

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Other amazing cast includes Eric Anderson as Mr. O’Malley, Ellis Rubin as the young Barnum, Skylar Dunn as the young Charity, Daniel Everidge as Lord of Leeds, Radu Spinghel as O’Clancy, Will Swenson as Philo Barnum, Timothy Hughes as the Strong Man, Linda Larson as Mrs. Stratton, Byron Jennings as Mr. Carlyle, Betsy Aidem as Mrs. Carlyle and Gayle Rankin as Queen Victoria.

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/DVD and Digital experience includes over two hours of Special Features with a Sing Along, The Family Behind THE GREATEST SHOWMAN, The Songs, The Spectacle, Music Machine with Sing Along and so much more!

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN was nominated for an Academy Award this past season and won a Golden Globe for Best Original Song “This is Me”, winner of the Heartland Film Truly Moving Picture Award, winner of Favorite Movie Actress for Zendaya from the Kids’ Choice Awards and eighteen other nominations ranging from Best Performances and Best Song to Best Music and Best Costuming.

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This is the reason why musicals will never die! A combination of great story telling, spectacular eye candy, songs that stick and a cast that melts together in such a way that the tale embraces the heart.

It must be said that the films costuming, cinematography and set designs are absolutely stunning to see. Colorful, beautiful and dramatic the film in striking adding depth that engrains itself in the tale being told. I absolutely loved the dresses with the detail and flow that would make any woman feel regal and gorgeous.

If you are fond of Friday night movies at home then THE GREATEST SHOWMAN needs to happen!

In the end – this is where the impossible comes true!

THE VANISHING OF SIDNEY HALL is Stunning Storytelling!

the vanishing

 

Jeri Jacquin

In theatres this week from writer/director Shawn Christensen and A24 is a film that allows us a look inside of a life of secrets with THE VANISHING OF SIDNEY HALL.

Sidney (Logan Lerman) is a young man who sees the world differently than his classmates. He finds solace in writing and is encouraged by his teacher who sees something special in him. Sidney also has a little mystery in his life when a girl who lives across the street lets a bit of her feelings show.

He introduces himself to Melody (Elle Fanning) and they begin a deep relationship that Sidney knows is life changing. What becomes life-altering is when school jock Brett Newport (Blake Jenner) asks Sidney to hold something for him and to tell no one. Happy to oblige, he is also curious about what had Brett so nervous.

What happened between the two young men becomes the subject of Sidney’s book that sky-rockets him to literary stardom. The fame becomes a whirlwind that begins to affect his relationship with Melody and when it all begins to fall apart – Sidney disappears without a trace.

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That’s when a detective (Kyle Chandler) begins searching for Sidney who is wanted for a series of fires set in places where there are books. Trying to follow the clues, the detective hopes it will lead to Sidney and answers as to what happened to push this young man toward a path filled with pain.

Lerman as Sidney carries this story and film brilliantly in a way that kept me wondering how much more one life can take. I literally couldn’t take my eyes off his performance because his character is so dedicated to everything he pursued that the pitfalls just crushed my heart. All of that emotion is because of Lerman’s portrayal which is a thing of true beauty.

Fanning as Melody clearly enjoys life, sees the beauty past the pain and loves Sidney. Her character sees the best in Sidney and supports when it all becomes too much for him. Trying to be his support comes at a price that Melody seemed more than willing to pay until it was no longer just she that would pay.

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Chandler as the Detective is absolutely amazing in this role. Watching him take each crime scene apart piece by piece to ‘get his man’, it also gives the viewer the same opportunity to go back into Sidney’s life and see what might have gone unnoticed because, like our own lives, it is all in the eye of the beholder. I loved this performance by Chandler but then again if you’ve seen the series Bloodline, you know this actor was certainly up to the challenge in this role.

The must-see breakout performance is Jenner as Brett Newport. This BMOC senior jock walks the hallways of high school in his letterman’s jacket without a care in the world. Sometimes what we think is so true of someone can turn at a moments notice. Jenner’s character brings harshness mixed with a sadness that feels so real for this young man.

Another shout out to Nathan Lane as Harold! Although his role isn’t large, Lane has the unique ability to make every second he is on screen count and playing Harold is no exception. As Harold, Lane is brash, bold and I loved it.

Other cast include Michelle Monaghan as Mrs. Hall, Janina Gavankar as Gina, Margaret Qualley as Alexandra, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Duane, Tim Nelson as Johan, Michael Drayer as Max, Christina Brucato as Jeanine, Alex Karpovsky as Bauer, Darren Pettie as Gerald Hall and David Basche as Senator Dale.

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TUBS OF POPCORN: I give THE VANISHING OF SIDNEY HALL four tubs of popcorn out of five. I know it is early in the year yet I feel like I’ve seen something stellar, heart felt wrapped in an honestly original story. Filled with a weaving of time periods that is done with such ease and yet so compelling to watch.

This is a cast that envelopes every moment of screen time stretching my emotional core and just when I thought I could take a deep breath – twist! Isn’t that what we want from good storytelling and good filmmaking? That’s what this film is all about, testing us all to our emotional limits and rooting for each to release the memories that hold them down.

Trust me when I say there is so much more to the film that I will not put in this review. I truly want everyone who sees this film to experience each moment for themselves and jaw drop at the twists that are nothing short of brilliantly done. The cinematography is equally well done and if you thinks places in the world are just geography – think again.

In the end – it’s all about beginnings.

 

 

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