Sunday, January 30, 2011
Those fans may have been surprised to see her biggest films post VERONICA to be lightweight romantic comedies. You can’t blame her for appearing in the films, as more people saw them than the cult hit TV series, but it was a departure for her.
In YOU AGAIN, Kristen plays Marnie, a successful PR executive, who has finally made something of herself after a traumatic time of being a geeky high schooler. She is called home because her brother (Jimmy Wolk of the late great TV series LONE STAR) is about to be married.
Her brother’s fiance, Joanne (Odette Yustman), turns out to be Marnie’s high school bully, who made life miserable for her. Joanna claims to not remember Marnie. To make matters worse, everyone loves Joanna, including Marnie’s mom (Jamie Lee Curtis) and even her grandma (Betty White). Has she really changed or is she out to hurt her brother?
To add to the drama, Joanna’s aunt (Sigourney Weaver) was the high school nemesis of Curtis.
YOU AGAIN has a great cast. Also appearing are Krisin Chenoweth as the wedding planner, Victor Garber as Marnie’s father and several cameos that I won’t give away.
The problem is that while this could have been a very funny 90 minute movie, it instead runs 105 minutes. There are pacing issues where some scenes go on a bit too long, others could have been dropped altogether.
The script seems to be a mess as well, like it was a first draft that needed a bit of fixing. There is one scene toward the end where the impact of bullying is talked about in a very serious and realistic manner, yet there are also countless scenes that require Bell to resort to some bit of physical comedy that ends with her covered in mud or soup to humiliate her.
Still, the cast is likable. With a lesser cast, it wouldn’t have been worth seeing. But as it stands, it might be worth seeing. A bit of a warning, while Betty White was prominently billed in the advertising, if you saw the trailers you saw most of her role.
The Blu-ray has several extras that prove that the cast probably had a lot of fun making the film. There is a genuinely funny blooper reel along with a few cast featurettes (including a “Funny or Die” skit) that are well worth viewing. There are also twenty minutes of deleted scenes with filmmaker introduction.
YOU AGAIN is available on DVD and Blu-Ray on February 8th from Touchstone Pictures Home Video.
Monday, January 24, 2011
Well, a year later, they are now releasing the Blu-ray.
It was worth the wait.
1951’s ALICE IN WONDERLAND is one of the more popular Disney animated films. While it may not be considered in the top tier of classic animated films, that may just because it has never gone on the shelf like the other films. Even in the days of VHS, it was always available, as well as frequently shown on TV.
Like all of the recent Disney animated Blu-rays, the film has been restored and looks better than you can imagine. The colors are glorious. Alice’s hair is bright yellow. It looks like a brand new film.
Even if you did break down and buy the film last year on DVD, it is worth an upgrade for a few new extras.
The new extras are:
The film has an audio commentary of sorts where, the film is on one side of the screen with a video clips and interviews on the other side, telling the story of Lewis Carroll, Walt Disney and the making of the film. Interviews with experts on both of the men talk about them.
The film is also shown in “Disney View” where the black bars on either side of the 1.33:1 image are filled with artwork. As I’ve mentioned before, with a plasma TV that is very susceptible to burn in, I wish more studios would have something like this for older films. It sure beats having to zoom in and cut off the picture.
There is also a newly found color version of a TV introduction to the film hosted by Walt Disney. The Black and White version has been around (and was on previous DVDs) but this new footage premieres on the DVD.
The model for Alice, Kathryn Beaumont, also introduces two newly found film clips, one of live action reference footage of Beaumont as well as the pencil tests for one of the scenes.
There is also a game to be played with the remote control.
The Blu-ray also contains all the previous DVD features. These include, deleted scenes and songs, artwork and TV introductions.
The highlight of these extras has to be an hour long special called ONE HOUR IN WONDERLAND. This 1950 Christmas special, sponsored by Coca-Cola, features Walt Disney, Kathryn Beaumont, Edgar Bergen, Charlie McCarthy, Mortimer Snerd and more. It includes clips from various Disney cartoons (including a lengthy bit from SONG OF THE SOUTH).
There is also a half hour clip from another 1950’s TV show, THE FRED WARING SHOW with the voice cast of ALICE singing the songs on stage, along with Walt Disney’s introduction.
The disc also features a Mickey Mouse cartoon “Thru the Mirror” as well as one of Disney’s early ALICE comedies, “Alice’s Wonderland”.
All in all, this is a fantastic disc, with the extras just as interesting as the film itself.
ALICE IN WONDERLAND will be available on Blu-ray on February 1, 2011.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
One of the favorite annual box sets of animation fans were the Warner Home Video Looney Tunes collections. These multi-disc sets featured popular cartoons along with usually an excellent collection of extras.
After volume 6 in 2008, the series ended. Warner Home Video then shifted to releasing single DVDs built around a certain character, many featuring cartoons that were not available on the previous sets.
The two most recent discs featured FOGHORN LEGHORN and TWEETY & SYLVESTER.
FOGHORN LEGHORN & FRIENDS “BARNYARD BIGMOUTH” features 15 remastered cartoons, 14 never before on DVD.
The cartoons on this set include.
ALL-FOWLED UP, FOX-TERROR, A BROKEN LEGHORN, CROCKETT-DOODLE-DOO, WEASEL WHILE YOU WORK, WEASEL STOP, LITTLE BOY BOO, BANTY RAIDS,and STRANGLED EGGS all feature Foghorn Leghorn.
GOPHER BROKE - Features Goofy Gophers
A MUTT IN A RUTT - With Elmer Fudd and his dog.
MOUSE-PLACED KITTEN - A kitten is raised by mice.
CHEESE IT, THE CAT! - A HONEYMOONERS parody with mice.
TWO CROWS FROM TACOS and CROWS’ FEAT- The adventures of two crows.
The shorts can either be viewed in widescreen or fullscreen versions.
TWEETY & SYLVESTER “FELINE FWENZY” is made up of 15 cartoons. Unfortunately for those that have the previous collections, all of these have previously appeared on DVD.
The cartoons on this set, all of which feature the duo, are:
TWEETIE PIE, BAD OL’ PUTTY TAT, ALL A BIR-R-R-D, CANARY ROW, PUTTY TAT TROUBLE, ROOM AND BIRD, TWEETY’S S.O.S., TWEET TWEET TWEETY, GIFT WRAPPED, AIN’T SHE TWEET, SNOW BUSINESS, SATAN’S WAITIN’, THE LAST HUNGRY CAT, BIRDS ANONYMOUS, and TWEETY AND THE BEANSTALK
All the cartoons in this set are in fullscreen mode.
Both discs carry the disclaimer that they are intended for the adult audiences as they may contain stereotypes that may be objectionable today.
FOGHORN LEGHORN & FRIENDS as well as TWEETY & SYLVESTER are available now on Warner Home Video
Posted by TALKING MOVIEzzz at 3:30 PM