SIX: Season One – Blu-ray Review

The United States military is one of the reasons our country has endured and survived since its founding over 200 years ago. The strength and bravery of the men and women who dedicate their lives and sometimes sacrifice themselves to protect the people of this nation makes the heroic above and beyond any Marvel or DC Comics creation.

There are millions of stories that can be told about these strong men and women and several are explored in the latest History Channel series, Six. More importantly: Navy SEAL Team Six. You may know the name; they are the elite group of SEALs that took out Osama bin Laden in 2011. Here, a variety of their missions are brought to life and the personal lives are also shown. After all, they aren’t just warriors, they’re also human.

Six is a celebration of America’s elite fighting forces. We get an insiders look at what goes into planning and executing some of the most daring and dangerous military missions of the 21st century. These men are more than a military unit, more than friends; they are a family. One that must work together to not only achieve the goals of their mission, but also to never leave a man behind no matter what it takes to get them back alive.

With a superb cast, realistic action sequences, and its hear rooted in true stories, Six delivers plenty of military-based action, suspense, and intensity. If you enjoy war stories, war films, or anything having to do with our great American military, Six is a definite must see!

Six: Season One is available now on DVD, Blu-ray, and Digital HD.

What your favorite military-based series, film, or documentary? Leave a comment and let us know!

Disney’s Moana – Blu-ray Review

Disney has done it again! Moana is fun, exciting, mesmerizing, and energy-filled family fun! I truly enjoyed every moment of this tale about a young girl and her quest to save her people and the island they inhabit. The adventure is at full sail as Moana (Auli’i Cravalho) teams with demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson) on a mission that takes her to new and exciting places she once only dreamed of seeing.

Disney is a master at pulling together humor, heart, music, and story into a feast for all the senses; and Moana is no exception. In fact, it’s one of their best yet! I loved the setting, the time period, the characters, and the ancient lore that drives Moana to seek out Maui’s assistance on her quest. Every aspect of the film is solid, and I laughed as much as I cried throughout the films many ups and downs.

Did I mentioned I loved this movie!?

Along with Moana, the blu-ray includes lots of special features:

Maui Mini-Movie: Gone Fishing

This was very short, but also very fun!

Short Film: Inner Workings

With a brief intro by its creators, Inner Workings is another solid short from the creative minds at Disney.

Deleted Song: “Warrior Face”

Voice of the Islands

Things You Didn’t Know About…

Find out interesting trivia about the cast.

Island Fashion

They Know the Way: Making the Music of Moana

Music Video – “How Far I’ll Go” sung by Alessia Cara

Deleted Scenes

Fishing for Easter Eggs

If you enjoyed Tangled, Frozen, or any past Disney animated classic, I know you’ll LOVE Disney’s Moana! It’s grade-A entertainment!

Disney’s Moana is available now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Download!

What’s your favorite Moana moment? Leave a comment and let us know!

Cohen Media Group: Come What May – Blu-ray Review

When it comes to stories about war and conflicts around the world, too often we forget about the citizens that are many times permanently affected by the violence that has come to their front door. Too often the story is about the militaries and their strategies rather than they men, women, and children whose lives are disrupted and destroyed without their consent or even knowledge.

Come What May explores humanity among the chaos as Germany invades France during the early days of World War II. Hans is a dedicated father who lives in Germany with his young son, Max. While they may be German, Hans is against the Nazi regime and the evil it stands for. Fleeing to Germany, he’s eventually arrested and thrown in jail for lying about his nationality to French officials, leaving his son under the care of the locals of the town they had fled to.

As the Nazis begin their invasion, Hans and the other prisoners are released and his mission becomes to do whatever it takes to get back to his son. Teamed up with a Scottish soldier, Hans follows clues left by his son to find him and the other villagers who have left their small town behind out of fear for their lives. As Hans dodges the threat of Nazis as he travels toward where he hopes his son and the villagers have gone, it becomes less of a quest for a reunion and more a quest of survival.

What I found most intriguing about the film was its intermixing of the German, French, and English languages throughout the narrative. As people from myriad countries merge together, you can see how it was imperative that knowing at least one other language could mean the difference between life and death, especially in the throes of war.

Come What May is a beautifully shot, expertly acted film that respects its subject and explores part of the German invasion that I haven’t seen covered that often in film form. The Blu-ray includes a variety of special features, which include:

Making of Come What May

Behind-the-Scenes with Ennio Morricone

Audio Commentary with Director Christian Carrion

Interview with Director Christian Carion and Richard Pena, former program director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center

I highly recommend Come What May. It’s an impactful film that resonates with you long after it’s ended.

Come What May is available now on Blu-ray.

American Pastoral – Blu-ray Review

The United States of America has gone through its share of evolutionary changes over its history. Some good. Some not so good. And through it all we have persevered as a nation; taking each challenge and overcoming it as a united people. Even when things looked bleak, when mores and values were questioned, and when the status quo was challenged, America survived and trudged onward to witness another day.

American Pastoral embodies this conceit: a country at a crossroads between seeming idealism and rampant anarchy. The elders content to live in a state of denial about the travesties that befall their fellow man, while the younger generation is ready to rise up and tear down the structures that have oppressed minorities, women, and other for generations.

Set against the backdrop of the 1960s, American Pastoral revolves around the relationship between a father a daughter and the generational tensions that arise between them. Seymour “Swede” Levov (Ewan McGregor) is a proud husband and father living life as the manager of glove-making factory. His past is filled with successes as is his wife Dawn’s (Jennifer Connelly) past, but they are concerned about the present and future of their daughter, Merry.

As Merry goes from being a young girl to a teen (played by Dakota Fanning), it soon becomes clear -despite their denials – that something is up with their daughter. Merry has embraced the rebellious counterculture of the decade speaking out against racism, corporate America, and Vietnam. This leaves her out of step with her more traditional parents who do their best to cope with here behavior, but the task is often too much to bear.

After Seymour suggests that Merry work to bring her message to the rural town they live in, a tragic event throws the entire area into disarray. Was Merry responsible for the atrocity? With her in the wind, Seymour takes it upon himself to solve the mystery of his daughter’s disappearance and bring her home by any means necessary.

American Pastoral is a timely and still-relevant tale given the recent political upheaval and rebellion taking place in our nation today. It asks the questions, How far is too far when fighting for a cause? and What are you willing to sacrifice to have a societal impact? For better or worse, this film speaks to these questions and also explores a myriad themes that can be seen anytime you scroll through your newsfeed on your phone.

Ewan McGregor’s directorial debut was quite impressive, especially given that he had to act and direct himself on his first outing as director. Everyone in the film does a superb job.

The Blu-ray includes two excellent documentaries about the making of the film: American Pastoral: Adapting an American Classic and Making the American Dream, along with Audio Commentary by Ewan McGregor.

I highly recommend American Pastoral. It is a well-made and timely film.

American Pastoral is available now on DVD, Blu-ray, and Digital Download.

Tyler Perry’s Madea on the Run: The Play – Blu-ray Review

Hilarious. Powerful. Fun. These, and many more adjectives, describe the events that transpire over the course of Tyler Perry’s latest Madea outing, Madea on the Run: The Play. I really, really enjoyed this production. It is laugh-out-loud funny, has some amazing singing performances, and is a real treat from start to finish. Perry once again delivers a solid narrative with both a message and his own unique comedic tone with Madea at the center of familial chaos.

On the run from the law, Madea ducks into the home of her best friend and neighbor Aunt Bam (Cassi Davis) who lives with her daughter, son-in-law, and grand-daughter. It’s a home filled with tension and an undercurrent of discord that elevates to the nth degree as secrets are revealed, truths are exposed, and lives are ripped apart.

And while all that’s going on, Madea delivers her patented advice, wisdom, and plenty of physical comedy. Throw in her fourth-wall-breaking antics (it is a play with an audience, after all), and you’ve got a solid mix of entertainment that’s as engaging as it is funny!

Needless to say, I really enjoyed Madea on the Run. It made me want to check out all the other Madea-based plays that Tyler Perry has written over the years along with the seven Madea movies that have been produced.

Tyler Perry’s Madea on the Run: The Play is available January 31, 2017 on DVD, Blu-ray, and Digitial Download.

What’s your favorite Tyler Perry creation? Leave a comment and let us know!

Tyler Perry’s Boo! Madea’s Halloween – Blu-ray Review

The year 2016 will be remembered for many things, but one of the oddest events was the strange clown epidemic that seemed to sweep the nation during the latter half of the year. I, like most people, am not a huge fan of clowns, but I am far from being terrified of them. My good friend is terrified of clowns to the point that even a photo of one makes him uncomfortable. Madea (Tyler Perry) has similar feelings when it comes to clowns and her thoughts are also made perfectly clear about them (and many, many other things) in Boo! Madea’s Halloween.

Boo! is the seventh big-screen outing for everyone’s favorite loudmouthed, opinionated, gun-toting woman who doesn’t take any lip, and definitely doesn’t take things lying down. When she’s tasked to babysit on Halloween night, it’s a battle of wits, child rearing tactics, and scares as Madea does her best to keep things under control in the only chaotic way she knows how. From punching clowns to confronting a sketchy frat house, Madea is a woman who takes no prisoners and always has the last word.

Boo! Madea’s Halloween has some very funny moments, especially when Madea is paired with Aunt Bam (Cassi Davis) and her friend Hattie (Patrice Lovely). Tyler Perry has been able to create a very expanded universe in which Madea exists both on film and on stage where she originated. It’s a testament to his talents as a writer and as an actor that Madea has grown and flourished as a comedic character for over a decade.

Along with the Halloween hijinks, the films also touches on more serious topics about family, the importance of raising children with boundaries and limits, and the value of honesty. Like all Tyler Perry productions, there’s always a message woven into the narrative even with Madea is at her wackiest (and she gets pretty wacky in this one!).

The Blu-ray includes the featurette Why We Love Madea!, a look at the character over the years with comments by her creator, Tyler Perry. It also includes Boo! From the Crew with the cast and crew delivering their best “Boos!” to try and scare the audience.

If you enjoyed the previous six Madea films, you will definitely enjoy Boo! Madea’s Halloween. And even if you haven’t seen them, it’s still worth a look!

Boo! Madea’s Halloween is available January 31, 2017 on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Download!

What’s your favorite Madea movie? Leave a comment and let us know!