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Nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Music - Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture, Bambi is a true animated classic of the silver screen. Long before the public's introduction to Aladdin, The Lion King, or Finding Nemo, Walt Disney single-handedly conjured the full-length animated feature film out of nothing and into an enduring, well-respected genre - creating one family classic after another, starting with Snow White (1937) then Pinocchio (1940), Fantasia (...

Bambi (DVD) Review

Bambi (DVD) ReviewNominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Music - Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture, Bambi is a true animated classic of the silver screen. Long before the public's introduction to Aladdin, The Lion King, or Finding Nemo, Walt Disney single-handedly conjured the full-length animated feature film out of nothing and into an enduring, well-respected genre - creating one family classic after another, starting with Snow White (1937) then Pinocchio (1940), Fantasia (1940), and Dumbo (1941) before creating this gem in 1942. Directed by David Hand, a longtime Disney animator and supervising director of Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, Bambi is a masterpiece of color, motion, and the beauty of life. Its relative simplicity harkens to a time long past when such movies focused on symbolism, emotional breadth, and challenging the boundaries of artistic creativity, instead of catering to a perceived audience demographic. The result is a truly remarkable and memorable family experienceBambi begins with the forest birth of a young fawn (Bambi) who comes into the world surrounded by an anxious crowd of admirers. Hailed as the "great prince of the forest," Bambi is thrust into an exotic world of animal and plant life, complete with all the highs and lows experienced in the world of reality. One of the film's most powerful scenes (and the one most often referenced in regard to Bambi) is when the dreaded "man" (i.e. a band of hunters) enters the forest and kills Bambi's mother. Although the scene takes place off camera, Disney manages to convey all the emotional trauma of the event in the brevity of a few bold and powerful brushstrokes.As Bambi seeks to recover from his mother's death, he must learn to grow from a fumbling fawn into a fearless buck. The charming scenes of Bambi bumbling across a frozen pond are soon overshadowed by the power of his maturation into a formidable leader. Assisting him on his journey is a parade of unique personalities, the most notable of whom is a rabbit named Thumper. Thumper's vocal velocity and eagerness to befriend Bambi threaten steal the show, but the growing deer never loses his deserved spotlight. Throw in a skunk named Flower and a beautiful doe named Faline (Bambi's love interest), and the film comes together in its own right, creating a combination of tragedy and triumph all ages can enjoyIn stark contrast to its contemporary peers, Bambi is a refreshing exit from today's highly commercial animated features. Although Thumper provides the necessary comic relief, the film is more than just a deluge of juvenile one-liners - and boasts absolutely zero fart jokes. Instead, Bambi wraps a timeless story of a life's journey to adulthood in the majesty that is mother nature. Its ingenious illustration of a forest teeming with wildlife and the dangers encountered by its inhabitants is truly awe-inspiring. In short, Bambi has all the makings of a tinsel-town classic - one that should make today's Disney creations utterly green with envy

Gilmore Girls (Season 4) DVD Review

Gilmore Girls (Season 4) DVD Review

The first script from the Family Friendly Forums script development fund to finally make it to the small screen, Gilmore Girls has paid off enormously for its creators. The result of the unified efforts of that organization and the WB Network, the show has followed on the heels of other successful WB programs such as Dawsons Creek, Felicity, and Smallville. Dismissed by critics initially, the show has rocketed up the Neilsen ratings nonetheless. Set in the small idyllic town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut, Gilmore Girls follows the lives of two central characters, Lorelai Gilmore and her daughter Rory, as they attempt to deal with the outside world and each other. With Rory being the product of a teenage pregnancy, Lorelai is determined to raise her daughter in such a way that she can avoid the mistakes of her mothers past. Filled with drama, love, friendship, and eccentric characters, Gilmore Girls ranks as of the best original series of the decadeThe Gilmore Girls (Season 4) DVD features a number of touching episodes including the season premiere Ballrooms and Biscotti in which Lorelai and Rory return from their European vacation to experience a whirlwind of activity. Taylor gets upset when Rory declines the offer to be the Stars Hollow Ice Cream Queen, while Rory herself is in a panic after realizing she wrote the wrong date for freshman orientation on her calendar. Now, she must fit a weeks worth of preparation into two days, and Emily isnt very happy about it Other notable episodes from Season 4 include The Nanny and the Professor in which Rory becomes concerned when Pariss new boyfriend turns out to be one of her college professors, and Luke Can See Her Face in which a self-help tape and a long talk with Jess help Luke to envision a path to the relationship hes been seeking all alongBelow is a list of episodes included on the Gilmore Girls (Season 4) DVD:Episode 66 (Ballrooms and Biscotti) Air Date: 09-23-2003Episode 67 (The Lorelais First Day at Yale) Air Date: 09-30-2003Episode 68 (The Hobbit, the Sofa, and Digger Stiles) Air Date: 10-07-2003Episode 69 (Chicken or Beef?) Air Date: 10-14-2003Episode 70 (The Fundamental Things Apply) Air Date: 10-21-2003Episode 71 (An Affair to Remember) Air Date: 10-28-2003Episode 72 (The Festival of Living Art) Air Date: 11-04-2003Episode 73 (Die, Jerk) Air Date: 11-11-2003Episode 74 (Ted Koppels Big Night Out) Air Date: 11-18-2003Episode 75 (The Nanny and the Professor) Air Date: 01-20-2004Episode 76 (In the Clamor and the Clangor) Air Date: 01-27-2004Episode 77 (A Family Matter) Air Date: 02-03-2004Episode 78 (Nag Hammadi is Where They Found the Gnostic Gospels) Air Date: 02-10-2004Episode 79 (The Incredible Shrinking Lorelais) Air Date: 02-17-2004Episode 80 (Scene in a Mall) Air Date: 02-24-2004Episode 81 (The Reigning Lorelai) Air Date: 03-02-2004Episode 82 (Girls in Bikinis, Boys Doin the Twist) Air Date: 04-13-2004Episode 83 (Tick, Tick, Tick, Boom!) Air Date: 04-20-2004Episode 84 (Afterboom) Air Date: 04-27-2004Episode 85 (Luke Can See Her Face) Air Date: 05-04-2004Episode 86 (Last Week Fights, This Week Tights) Air Date: 05-11-2004Episode 87 (Raincoats and Recipes) Air Date: 05-18-2004

Frasier (DVD) Review

Frasier (DVD) Review

Along with Friends and Seinfeld, Kelsey Grammer's Cheers spin-off, Frasier, dominated the prime time television landscape during the 1990's. Grammer plays the role of Dr. Frasier Crane who, fresh off of his divorce from Lilith, moves back to his hometown of Seattle where he lands a gig as a radio psychiatrist. Frasiers father, Marty Crane (John Mahoney), a Seattle cop recently shot in an attempted convenience store robbery is in need of physical therapy. Frasier and his brother Niles (David Hyde Pierce) make an effort to mend their relationship with Marty whose plaid shirts and penchant for sports and beer strikes a dramatic contrast with their wine club, opera house culture. After a little prodding, Marty and his dog Eddie (Moose) move into Frasiers upscale apartment, and Frasier hires Daphne Moon (Jane Leeves), a housekeeper and physical therapist to look after the two cranes.The entirety of the show takes place in mostly three places Frasiers radio station where he works with show producer Roz Doyle (Peri Gilpin), Frasiers apartment, and the favorite hangout of Niles and Frasier, Caf Nervosa. A witty comedic exploration of the nations clash of cultures (also illustrated by Frasiers run-ins with sports guy Bob Bulldog Briscoe), Frasier stands alone as one of the best-written shows in television history. Not a single episode can be considered a dud.The Frasier DVD offers a number of hilarious episodes including the series premiere The Good Son in which the title character Dr. Frasier Crane moves back to his home town of Seattle, Washington. Living a comfortable lifestyle with his decorated bachelor pad and high-profile radio show, Frasier gets a rude awakening when his brother Niles points out that their father Marty can no longer live on his own due to a gunshot wound. Reluctantly, Frasier invites Marty to come live with him and the two eventually hire Daphne Moon as a housekeeper/physical therapist Other notable episodes include The Crucible in which Frasier throws a lavish dinner party to celebrate the newest edition to his art collection only to learn from the artist herself that the painting is a forgery, and Give Him The Chair! in which Frasier tries to do a favor for Martin by throwing out his favorite chair, but Martin is raving mad, prompting Frasier to search all of Seattle to retrieve the priceless heirloomBelow is a list of episodes included on the Frasier (Season 1) DVD:Episode 1 (The Good Son) Air Date: 09-16-1993Episode 2 (Space Quest) Air Date: 09-23-1993Episode 3 (Dinner At Eight) Air Date: 09-30-1993Episode 4 (I Hate Frasier Crane) Air Date: 10-07-1993Episode 5 (Heres Looking At You) Air Date: 10-14-1993Episode 6 (The Crucible) Air Date: 10-21-1993Episode 7 (Call Me Irresponsible) Air Date: 10-28-1993Episode 8 (Beloved Infidel) Air Date: 11-04-1993Episode 9 (Selling Out) Air Date: 11-11-1993Episode 10 (Oops) Air Date: 11-18-1993Episode 11 (Death Becomes Him) Air Date: 12-02-1993Episode 12 (Miracle On Third Or Fourth Street) Air Date: 12-16-1993Episode 13 (Guess Whos Coming To Breakfast) Air Date: 01-06-1994Episode 14 (Cant Buy Me Love) Air Date: 01-20-1994Episode 15 (You Cant Tell A Crook By His Cover) Air Date: 01-27-1994Episode 16 (The Show Where Lilith Comes Back) Air Date: 02-03-1994Episode 17 (A Midwinter Nights Dream) Air Date: 02-10-1994Episode 18 (And The Whimper Is) Air Date: 02-17-1994Episode 19 (Give Him The Chair!) Air Date: 03-17-1994Episode 20 (Fortysomething) Air Date: 03-31-1994Episode 21 (Travels With Martin) Air Date: 04-14-1994Episode 22 (Author, Author) Air Date: 05-05-1994Episode 23 (Frasier Cranes Day Off) Air Date: 05-12-1994Episode 24 (My Coffee With Niles) Air Date: 05-19-1994

The Family Stone (DVD) Review

The Family Stone (DVD) Review

One of the surprise films of 2005, The Family Stone successfully navigates the often tempestuous waters of big screen family dramas. Quite often these types of family relationship films get lost in a deluge of dialogue, conflict, and argument. And although The Family Stone has plenty of the aforementioned, it hits the audience in manageable doses with well-placed comic relief and an unforgettable cast of eccentric characters. Written and directed by up-and-coming Hollywood talent Thomas Bezucha, the film is a mosaic of fun, laughter, sadness, and family relationships most people will find charming and endearingThe Family Stone examines the vibrant relationships of the Stone family, a close-knit traditional nuclear family gathering for the holidays. Sybil Stone (Diane Keaton) and her husband Kelly (Craig T. Nelson) host their children for the holidays, but as with most families, conflict is abundant. Sarcasm, backstabbing, blame, and jealousy are evident in almost every encounter, but ironically, so are love and respect. When eldest son Everett (Dermot Mulroney) brings home his current girlfriend Meredith Morton (Sarah Jessica Parker) to meet the family, her business-like demeanor and uptight mannerisms clash with the rest of the family, particularly Everetts vindictive sister Amy (Rachel McAdams). Despite Merediths best efforts, the only family member she can impress is Everetts laidback brother Ben (Luke Wilson).Merediths discomfort is compounded when she inadvertently makes a bigoted remark about Everetts homosexual brother Thad (Tyrone Giordano), garnering the wrath of the entire family. Pushed to her breaking point, Meredith moves from the house to a nearby bed and breakfast, while Everett struggles with the idea of proposing to a woman his family obviously dislikes. Meanwhile, Ben helps Meredith to come out of her shell, and Meredith enlists the support of her younger sister Julie (Claire Danes) to smooth things over with the Stones. But the holidays take an interesting twist when unexpected relationships blossom and an unforeseen event takes its toll on the entire familyThe Family Stone certainly succeeds in creating a number of dynamic multidimensional characters, but it fails in a couple respects. The most obvious is the relationship switch that eventually takes place and is quite evidently in the making from the opening scenes of the film. One brother stealing anothers girlfriend is not in-and-of itself unbelievable, but the continuation of a normal relationship between the two brothers is. No awkwardness there? No jealousy? Plot twists are great, but keep them realisticThe other aspect of The Family Stone that stands out is a bit more peripheral and makes the film teeter on the precipice of Hollywood clich. Meredith is portrayed as an uptight homophobic bigot in need of a cure, while the Stone family is free-spirited and in touch with their feelings. In the end, Meredith grows because of her proximity to the Stones, but the Stones dont learn anything from Meredith. Its probably not a coincidence that Merediths views might be construed as conservative, while the Stones views are considered liberal (i.e. conservative evil, liberal good). This same theme was prevalent in Meet The Fockers when Robert De Niros character learns the error of his uptight ways and engages in the hippie lifestyle of his daughters new in-laws. But, of course, the Fockers never learn anything from De Niro Not necessarily a movie killer, but a clich nonetheless. Despite the flaws, The Family Stone is still a decent film. Above par dialogue and outstanding performances by a strong cast make it time well spent. Many moments will make you laugh; others will remind you of your own family

Green Acres (DVD) Review

A spin-off of the CBS program Petticoat Junction (1963), Green Acres surpassed its predecessor in audience popularity - spending four of its six seasons as a Top 20 Nielsen-rated program. Its family-friendly humor puts Green Acres in the same nostalgic category as shows like The Andy Griffith Show, back when TV sitcoms were all about humor and not as serious as they would later become with the introduction of 1970s stalwarts MASH and All In The Family. The brainchild of creator Jay Sommers, writer for shows such as The Adventures Of Ozzie & Harriet and Petticoat Junction (where Green Acres characters Sam, Doris, Fred, and Arnold make their first appearances), Green Acres' unique brand of comedy lives on through a successful and ongoing syndication run, and its catchy theme song even captured the pop culture for a second time when Old Navy incorporated it into one of their trademark clothing commercialsGreen Acres centers around the life of a wealthy Manhattan attorney, Oliver Wendell Douglas (Eddie Albert), and his elite socialite wife Lisa (Eva Gabor). When Oliver gets a hankering to live out his childhood dream of operating a farm, conman Eustace Haney (Pat Buttram) offers him the deal of a lifetime. Only the deal of a lifetime turns out to be a 160-acre dump in the fictional town of Hooterville. Nevertheless, Oliver sets out to turn the farm into a rural gem, while Lisa is reluctant to leave her life of privilege in New York. Hired hand Eb Dawson (Tom Lester) helps out the Douglas family, and Sam Drucker (Frank Cady), a carryover from Petticoat Junction, runs the local general store. But the true life of the show emanates from neighbors Fred (Hank Patterson) and Doris Ziffel (Fran Ryan) and their adopted son - a prized pig named Arnold who displays many human-like traits. In time, Lisa learns to love the people of Hooterville, trying her best to bring sophistication to the backwoods region (and while still making use of her Manhattan wardrobe)The Green Acres DVD features a number of hilarious episodes including the series premiere "Oliver Buys a Farm" in which New York attorney Oliver Douglas decides to live out his dream of living on a farm. So, without telling his wife, he quits the law firm of Felton, O'Connell, Clay, Blakely, Harmon, Dillion & Pasteur (whew!) in favor of a rundown tract of land in rural Hooterville. When his wife Lisa sees the farm, she goes ballistic Other notable episodes from Season 1 include "You Can't Plug in a 2 with a 6" in which Oliver must continually remind Lisa never to use an appliance(s) that will push the generator over a 7 on the power scale, and "Lisa Bakes a Cake" in which Lisa decides to bake a cake and ends up with a twenty pound cakeBelow is a list of episodes included on the Green Acres (Season 1) DVD:Episode 1 (Oliver Buys a Farm) Air Date: 09-15-1965Episode 2 (Lisa's First Day on the Farm) Air Date: 09-22-1965Episode 3 (The Decorator) Air Date: 09-29-1965Episode 4 (The Best Laid Plans) Air Date: 10-06-1965Episode 5 (My Husband, the Rooster Renter) Air Date: 10-13-1965Episode 6 (Furniture, Furniture, Who's Got the Furniture?) Air Date: 10-20-1965Episode 7 (Neighborliness) Air Date: 10-27-1965Episode 8 (Lisa the Helpmate) Air Date: 11-03-1965Episode 9 (You Can't Plug in a 2 with a 6) Air Date: 11-10-1965Episode 10 (Don't Call Us, We'll Call You) Air Date: 11-17-1965Episode 11 (Parity Begins at Home) Air Date: 11-24-1965Episode 12 (Lisa Has a Calf) Air Date: 12-08-1965Episode 13 (The Wedding Anniversary) Air Date: 12-15-1965Episode 14 (What Happened in Scranton?) Air Date: 12-22-1965Episode 15 (How to Enlarge a Bedroom) Air Date: 12-29-1965Episode 16 (Give Me Land, Lots of Land) Air Date: 01-05-1966Episode 17 (I Didn't Raise My Husband to a Fireman) Air Date: 01-19-1966Episode 18 (Lisa Bakes a Cake) Air Date: 01-26-1966Episode 19 (Sprained Ankle, Country Style) Air Date: 02-02-1966Episode 20 (The Price of Apples) Air Date: 02-09-1966Episode 21 (What's in a Name?) Air Date: 02-16-1966Episode 22 (The Day of Decision) Air Date: 02-23-1966Episode 23 (A Pig in a Poke) Air Date: 03-09-1966Episode 24 (The Deputy) Air Date: 03-16-1966Episode 25 (Double Drick) Air Date: 03-23-1966Episode 26 (The Ballad of Molly Turgis) Air Date: 04-06-1966Episode 27 (Never Look a Gift Tractor in the Mouth) Air Date: 04-27-1966Episode 28 (Send a Boy to College) Air Date: 05-04-1966Episode 29 (Horse? What Horse?) Air Date: 05-11-1966Episode 30 (The Rains Came) Air Date: 05-18-1966Episode 31 (Culture) Air Date: 05-25-1966Episode 32 (Uncle Ollie) Air Date: 06-01-1966

South Park (Season 2) DVD Review

First airing in late summer 1997, South Park became an American pop culture phenomenon with its raw and politically-incorrect examination of social issues, and of course, a bit of lewd yet cartoon humor. The brainchild of friends Trey Parker and Matt Stone, South Park became the centerpiece of cable channel Comedy Central's original prime time schedule. Chronicling the lives of fourth graders in the Colorado township of South Park (a place famous for its oddball happenings), the series is anchored by crude animation, yet the characters work, as they voice the writers' uncanny wit, hilarious one-liners, and all-out offensive humor. Whether you love it or hate it, South Park is nonetheless a truly original animation series much deserving of its massive commercial attention.The South Park (Season 2) DVD features a number of hilarious episodes including the season premiere "Terrance & Phillip in 'Not Without My Anus'" in which Stan, Kyle, and Kenny do not appear (with only a short cameo by Cartman). Instead, the entire episode revolves around minor characters Terrance and Phillip (part of an April Fool's joke since that day was the original airing of this episode). In the episode, Terrance must go to Iraq to rescue his kidnapped daughter while Saddam Hussein plots to invade Canada Other notable episodes from Season 2 include "Cartman's Mom is Still a Dirty Slut" in which it is revealed that Cartman's father is really his hermaphrodite mother who impregnated another woman, and "Merry Christmas Charlie Manson!" in which the boys befriend escaped convict Charlie Manson (who learns the true meaning of Christmas) in this spoof of the famous Charlie Brown Christmas specialBelow is a list of episodes included on the South Park (Season 2) DVD:Episode 14 (Terrance & Phillip in "Not Without My Anus") Air Date: 04-01-1998Episode 15 (Cartman's Mom is Still a Dirty Slut) Air Date: 04-22-1998Episode 16 (Ike's Wee Wee) Air Date: 05-20-1998Episode 17 (Chickenlover) Air Date: 05-27-1998Episode 18 (Conjoined Fetus Lady) Air Date: 06-03-1998Episode 19 (The Mexican Staring Frog of Southern Sri Lanka) Air Date: 06-10-1998Episode 20 (City on the Edge of Forever) Air Date: 06-17-1998Episode 21 (Summer Sucks) Air Date: 06-24-1998Episode 22 (Chef's Salty Chocolate Balls) Air Date: 08-19-1998Episode 23 (Chickenpox) Air Date: 08-26-1998Episode 24 (Roger Ebert Should Lay Off the Fatty Foods) Air Date: 09-02-1998Episode 25 (Clubhouses) Air Date: 09-23-1998Episode 26 (Cow Days) Air Date: 09-30-1998Episode 27 (Chef Aid) Air Date: 10-07-1998Episode 28 (Spooky Fish) Air Date: 10-28-1998Episode 29 (Merry Christmas Charlie Manson!) Air Date: 12-09-1998Episode 30 (Gnomes) Air Date: 12-16-1998Episode 31 (Prehistoric Ice Man) Air Date: 01-20-1999

Summary

Nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Music - Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture, Bambi is a true animated classic of the silver screen. Long before the public's introduction to Aladdin, The Lion King, or Finding Nemo, Walt Disney single-handedly conjured the full-length animated feature film out of nothing and into an enduring, well-respected genre - creating one family classic after another, starting with Snow White (1937) then Pinocchio (1940), Fantasia (...