“Bones: The Final Chapter” Ending a 12 Year Dynasty

The entertaining crime show “Bones: The Final Chapter” delivers a nice finale of its 12 year run on Fox TV. All good things sooner or later come to a halt, but for those diehard fans of the show, crime drama lovers, and forensic science fanatics it never has to end on a DVD. And with today’s technology you’ll have a tough time wearing out your home video copy, so press replay as often as you like. Check below for an even startling couple of paragraphs on the availability of all 12 seasons in what I call “the brick”. Read more

“The Hero” Touching and Sincere

Another touching and sincere indie film, The Hero reaches out and grabs you while it plays to your heartstrings. Star of the film, Sam Elliott is such a good actor his performance alone has enough worth for a trip to a theater to watch him perform on the big screen. But you will get far more in the direction and writing of Brett Haley who paces the film in a way that intrigues while it entertains. Read more

Interview with Alexis Carra on “The Answer”

Born and raised in Tampa, Florida, Alexis Carra is best known for her roles as Cynthia McDermott in the TV Series Recovery Road and as Jessica in Mixology. She has also appeared in Grey’s Anatomy, Castle, The Mentalist and Anger Management. In The Answer, Carra is Charlotte Parker, a smart, sassy office worker who helps introvert and mysteriously gifted co-worker Bridd Cole (Austin Hébert) figure out who is hunting him and the secret to his true identity. The award winning film helmed by newcomer Iqbal Ahmed unites mystery, sci-fi, fantasy and romance into a nail biting thriller. In this one-on-one interview, Alexis reveals the joys and challenges she faced in bringing Charlotte to life.

Alexis Carra

What attracted you to the role of Charlotte?

Alexis Carra: I liked that she was more than just a love interest for Bridd. To be more than just the sexy vixen that makes Bridd look good. I liked that she had a complicated past, which enabled her to help Bridd get out of his own way to see the things that he needed to see. It was a real partnership. Their love story was really the C story that evolved. I liked that she was a badass. Read more

“CARS 3” Gets the Checkered Flag

Charging down the track Disney PIXAR’s first entry into theaters for 2017 Cars 3 crosses the finish line a winner for kids and families. As usual PIXAR goes straight for the heart and delivers an uplifting tale of friendship, determination and good values with which the children can aspire. To set everyone up for the movie, a cartoon about a troubled youth should bring a heartwarming glow from LOU. Read more

“Table 19” The Misfits Move Up on Home Video

Sometimes a movie like Table 19 translate better on home video and gives audiences a more charming experience. At the theater the film came off the screen as just another comedy lacking a good script. Although the film has not lost its penchant for being silly, at home you have the ability to chat with others and be as goofy as those you see on your big screen TV. Especially if the ladies are having a late night wine and cheese party. Read more

“PAST LIFE” the Aftermath of Hell

Intriguing and Compelling the movie Past Life adds another true event story to the long list of films on the Holocaust. This one is based one of the survivors of the never to forget heinous act of genocide during World War II by Nazi Germany. The drama has a different twist that involves a family caught up in the aftermath leading to a confrontation in modern day. The acting is very good and direction commendable giving Past Life a high rating. Read more

Dirty Dancing 2017…a bit out of step with the Original

If you’ve never seen the original, you’ll like Dirty Dancing the redo. If you were smitten by the heartwarming 1987 release, you may want to dig it out of your DVD pile and watch it. While the redo follows all the beats of the classic coming of age drama, there are some things that just may grate on the nerves of purists.

Colt Prattes, Bruce Greenwood, Abigail Breslin, Debra Messing, Sarah Hyland

Diving right in, the casting is just a bit off; Abigail Breslin’s Baby probably should have gone to Sarah Hyland (who plays Baby’s sister). And Colt Prattes is simply too much Lords of Flatbush for the Johnny Castle role, lacking the vulnerability this tender love story calls for. He comes across as self absorbed and a bit arrogant. His Johnny is also damaged goods with an extensive criminal past, as opposed to the original Johnny who eked out an honest living as a painter/plasterer. So Baby saying that Johnny is a lot like her father just rings false.

Next comes the key scene: Baby’s baptism into dirty dancing at the staff dance party. Sadly this too falls flat without the energetic rendition of Do You Love Me by the Contours. Instead we have one of the staff singing Otis Redding’s Love Man. A great classic, but Do You Love Me fits this intro scene to a T.

Colt Prattes & Katey Sagal

Later, showing Johnny bedding Katy Sagal’s cougar Vivian (as opposed to simply implying it with dialog) underscores what we don’t like about Johnny. And while his sultry rendition of Fever with Sagal is entertaining, it’s just another reminder of Johnny’s “watch me sing and dance” self-absorbed lothario persona. In the original film, Johnny didn’t appear to enjoy dancing with Vivian, which is why he and Baby dovetailed so nicely; but here, the Vivian-Johnny chemistry is where the real heat emanates.

Showing Lisa and Robbie (Shane Harper) making out at the lakeshore and her flirting with black piano man (Christopher Long) gets us needlessly involved in Lisa’s story, which oddly seems to compete with Baby’s. The same holds true for the mini-B story of the Houseman’s rekindling their romance, a segue that nearly takes on a life of its own. Nicole Scherzinger’s Penny faithfully reproduces her role as dance mentor in trouble, rescued by Baby and her father. Incidentally, Trevor Einhorn is a watered down Neil, without the over-the-top arrogance and geeky persona that made audiences laugh. In some ways, the new Neil is almost suitable for Baby.

Abigail Breslin & Trevor Einhorn

The magic of Eric Carmen’s Hungry Eyes as Johnny helps Baby through her routine is one of those “movie must haves.” Regrettably, the song is replaced by a milquetoast imitation that accompanies the Johnny-Baby dance as it sinks to room temperature. The heat and sultry moves are simply not there in these studio practice routines.

Nicole Scherzinger & Colt Prattes

And while it’s fun to watch Penny sing and dance as she helps Baby master the art of letting the man lead, it again robs us of the Baby-Johnny heat so eloquently portrayed in the original. The film comes closest to generating the kind of incendiary passion we saw in the original during their Love Is Strange tease dance.

The dance finale is also a bit disappointing. Having the two leads sing Bill Medley’s classic, The Time of My Life is a near miss. We want to see how Baby has improved her dancing not listen to her sing. The film’s ending, while emotional, denies us the imaginative conclusion each of us had conjured up in our own minds about the ultimate fate of Baby and Johnny.

All told, we have to give the cast and everyone involved kudos for the courage and work it took to remake this iconic classic.

Dirty Dancing 2017 will be available on DVD June 27th.

 

“The Mummy” a Reboot with a Femme Fatal

In ancient Egypt there is a princess, Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), who will inherit the entire kingdom when her father dies. She has remarkable fighting skills, amazing beauty, and has the ability to lead the people. But, her father remarries and soon after his first born son is born changing her legacy. What soon follows will seal Ahmanet’s fate that’s worse than death. Read more

“A United Kingdom” the Challenges of Equality

There have been several true stories coming out of Africa, but not one as compelling as A United Kingdom. With amazing performances and a plot ripe for a “Hollywood” picking, director Amma Asante takes you into the sanctum of a country on the edge of losing its existence because of a forbidden love. Told from the perspective of the couple who lived it and screen written from the pages of Susan Williams’ book “Color Bar”. The film has been released to home video in Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD. Read more

“Megan Leavey” Saving a Dog of War

Review by Gino Sassani

Armies have been using dogs in battle for thousands of years. The Romans would turn the dogs on their enemy as a signal of the approaching legions, hence the expression “Let loose the dogs of war”. But in recent decades dogs have found a new, perhaps more noble calling during wartime. Dogs have been used to search for lost soldiers. They have been trained to assist wounded soldiers. Read more

“Beauty and the Beast” a Blu-ray for All Ages

Can Beauty tame the Beast once more? This beautiful fairy tale of Walt Disney’s Beauty and the Beast has now been turned into a live action motion picture that delivers a more detailed story. What once was animation that provided the story of romance and power, becomes reality with this release on Blu-ray combo pack that includes a DVD + Digital HD. It’s now the actors that have to reach out to home viewers and make them believe. And they nail it! Read more

“Bambi” Turns 75 with Special Blu-ray + Digital HD

By now everyone probably knows the story of Bambi, especially mothers who have either read it to their child, showed the video to them on a number of media including VHS, DVD and Blu-ray and may have even saw the film on the big screen when they were a child. It’s a ladies favorite, giving them a chance to bring back memories, but especially for clearing out their tear ducts through at least 50% of the 70 minute movie. Heartwarming, heartbreaking and uplifting all rolled into one, it’s truly Disney’s best story now on a 75th Anniversary Blu-ray, DVD and for the first time Digital HD box set. Read more

“A Cure for Wellness” a Cunning Mystery on Blu-ray

The movie A Cure for Wellness delves into the psyche of a man who tries to make contact with the boss of his company. The mystery thriller takes a few twists and turns on its way to providing closure while leading the viewer through a suspense filled labyrinth of deception. The two hour and a half movie has been released on Blu-ray/DVD plus Digital HD and includes some interesting bonus features. Read more