Monthly Archives: December 2014

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DVD Review – Real Heroes

Category : DVD Review

Director: Keith Hartman

Starring: Hunter Smit, Melissa Jobe, Keila Hamilton

Year: 2014

I think I hit upon The Real World at the perfect time.  I starting watching it, Road Rules, and all the Challenge shows right around 2000, expand out a few years on either side.  This was after the show had been on for a while, after it tried its best to be a socially responsible program, one that showed real people in real situations trying to deal with real problems.  AIDS, racism, sexism; important issues but a little bit boring.  Later, when I gave up watching the show, it had become a mess of drunken college kids and their random hookups; entertaining, but stupid.  Right in the middle of those eras was a time of drama, years of love, angst, and beautiful scenery that I just ate up.  Hawaii, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Paris; sure these seasons had their share of social discussion and drunken hooliganism, but they were the golden age of the show.  If Real Heroes did nothing else, it reminded me of The Real World and the enjoyment I got out of that program.  I didn’t even mind seeing it mocked or turned on its head by a bumbling group of wannabe superheroes trying to save the world.

The Movie

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Calling all super boys and girls!  A casting has just started for a new reality TV show in LA, one featuring superheroes of all talents & ages.  Do you have a super power or super talent?  Do you want to live in a house with others of your kind, fight evil villains, and play beer pong?  Well have we got a show for you!  This new idea will be a big hit with guaranteed exposure, and superheroes have begun lining up at the door.  Big Shot, hunter & archer extraordinaire, a lone wolf who eats bad guys for breakfast.  Sable, the elder stateswoman, a true fighter of crime accompanied by her daughter/sidekick Vixen.  Malibu Action Girl, whose daddy buys her all the latest weaponry.  Water Warrior, with the power to talk to fish!  And Psychic Sam, a man who knows the clues before the crooks have even left them behind.  This team of super sleuths will join up for the ultimate reality TV challenge.

Problem is, this group of heroes isn’t very heroic.  Big Shot is ultra-paranoid of any movement in his periphery, Sable can’t get along with her teenage daughter, Malibu just wants to get her nails done, Water Warrior has a brain about the size of his fish pals’, and Psychic Sam solves all his crime via phone.  So the producers step in to make the show a tad more exciting.  Super villains are at large, plots are merging with plots, the world might be destroyed, but hey, it’s all in a day’s work for a hero.  That is, if they can learn to work together, stop drinking, accept their differences, and fight crime as a team.  So hang on to your butts, this is gonna be a wild ride, one full of adventure and intrigue, a fight that might come down to the final punch.

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As a fan of The Real World, or at least a past fan, the best part of Real Heroes is the obvious love for bad reality TV.  There are a ton of moments that feel like they were pulled straight from the shows I used to love; roommate spats, strangers in the house, drinking, hitting the clubs, confessionals, immovable morals, and ultimately friendship.  This film is a well-made spoof of the television genre that was crafted by someone who, like me, must have loved those old shows despite how terrible they were for your brain.  There were even a few hookups, though like the show, all gory details must have been left for the bloopers show.  It’s a silly 90 minutes spent watching mostly-dumb super heroes try to do their job while also trying to get along; something that’s perhaps easier said than done.

But how many people can you hook with this premise, how many people love the content that’s being mocked?  What’s more, once you get past the funny premise you’re not left with much else.  It’s one of those movies that you can tell was a ton of fun to make, probably more fun that it was to watch.  I would have loved to be part of the cast, pretending to be a hero, pretending to be Colin from Hawaii, but it just wasn’t as fun to watch from the outside.  It was cheaply made and thought up on the fly, with a jumpy feel that was entertaining at first but quickly got boring.  That’s basically the whole thing in a nutshell; there was a concept here that worked a little, but quickly lost any magic that it used to reel me in.

The DVD

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Video – With an aspect ratio of 16×9 Widescreen, the video is nothing to write home about.  The film is shot like a documentary, or a reality show, or whatever, without much effort given to the actual visuals.  Special effects that might have been used were glossed or skipped over, and no shot was visually appealing.  The picture quality was low; low to very low.

Audio – The DVD was done in both English 5.1 Surround and English 2.0 Stereo.  There is an option for English, French, German, or no subtitles.  The audio quality is as poor as the video, with any technical aspects simply pushed aside and written off as part of the “reality”.  The sound quality was fine, with a bit of music and with a few cool comic book graphics to offset the action.

Extras – There are a bunch of extras on the disc.  The Sidekick Mystique, eleven minutes of five total “episodes” featuring the sidekicks of the movie.  The Water Warrior Workout, seven comedic minutes of wisdom from the Warrior.  Desperately Seeking Sidekick, eleven minutes of six total “episodes” of one-on-one conversation with Big Shot.  Meet the Heroes!, fifteen minutes of twelve behind the scenes interviews & footage of the cast and crew.  Things We Did For Money, four ways in which the film attempted to finance. Lastly, a theatrical trailer and an artwork slideshow.

Final Thoughts

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Rent It.  The film piqued my interest based on my past love of reality TV, but lost me when it came to the actual film.  You could tell that the crew had a great time piecing together this project, but sadly we were left out of the joke.  It’s a fun time quickly passed, but not worth much more than that.  The video was poor, so was the audio, but the disc did have a lot of extras.  Watch for some cheap entertainment, but don’t expect much.

☆ ☆ ☆ – Content

☆ ☆ – Video

☆ ☆ – Audio

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ – Extras

☆ ☆ – Replay

 


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Movie Trailer – Wild Card

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Simon West

Starring: Jason Statham, Michael Angarano, Sofia Vergara

Release: January 30th, 2015

Yeah, this looks like a Jason Statham movie.  I like the Vegas feel and some of the side actors, but I think if they try to make this a drama they’re gonna fail.  Stick to Statham grimacing and kicking people in the head and you’ll be alright; a lot of people like that for some reason.


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Movie Review – The Purge

Category : Movie Review

Director: James DeMonaco

Starring: Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Edwin Hodge

Year: 2013

You can’t write a Stephen King story without being Stephen King.  Just ask James DeMonaco, who tried and failed.  It takes a certain genius to write a dystopic short story and lace it with drama & violence without making it ridiculous.  I’m not talking tween post-apocalyptic stuff, I’m talking a real, intense, small, time-capsule story set in a world different from our own, but with emotions that we can totally understand.  Had Stephen King or a talent like him written a novel for this movie to be based on, the outcome might have been different.  We might have had a plot that felt believable and characters that seemed like you & me.  Instead, DeMonaco wrote the screenplay, directed the film, and totally failed to bring The Purge to life.

In the near future, America will develop an interesting process to deal with its rising crime levels.  With anger & violence & poverty becoming ways on life, the new United States government created the Purge to deal with the nation’s problems.  One night a year any crime goes, nothing is illegal, including murder.  One night to get out your frustration, to kill the scum of the country, to let out that aggression you’ve been holding in for months.  And for the Sandin family, this new “holiday” is a profitable one, as James is a salesman in security systems, a must for wealthy families during the Purge.  You lock down the house, all doors & windows cover up, you ride out the violence, and you go on with your lives in the morning.  But one mistake can open your entire world up to the danger outside and force you to decide whether purging your violent impulses is a fad or absolutely necessary.

It’s a great concept and would make for a great short story, done well anyway.  The idea that mankind is inherently violent, that we need some sort of release, and that if we get it on one particular day then all other days are proportionally more peaceful.  Also, topics of poor vs rich, white vs black, violent vs non-violent; it’s an intriguing movie with a lot of interesting conversation starters.  But it’s not a very good film.  First off, it wasn’t well written, past the bare-bones plot.  The lines were force-fed, the reactions were robotic, and it seemed like characters were constantly doing exactly the opposite of what a sane person would do in that exact same situation.  Ethan Hawke was fine, he usually is, but Lena Headey was awful, and both of their kids were terrible actors; the teenage girl incredibly over-the-top and the boy stone cold boring.  I wish someone else had written the story, I wish the movie hadn’t turned into solely a blood bath, and I kinda wish I hadn’t watched this.

My rating: ☆ ☆

 


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Movie Review – Into the Woods

Category : Movie Review

Director:  Rob Marshall

Starring: James Corden, Anna Kendrick

Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Johnny Depp

Year: 2014

Having been in Sondheim shows and having seen many more, I know firsthand how difficult it is to perform his music.  Stephen Sondheim is a genius of the theatre, creating the music and/or lyrics for some of the greatest shows you’ll ever see on stage: West Side Story, Gypsy, Forum, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George, and, of course, Into the Woods.  His musicals are challenging to actors and audiences alike, forcing hard work to both perform and comprehend, created a world in each production that is much more than meets the eye.  Into the Woods is a perfect representation of Sondheim’s talent, a show with incredible music, intelligent lyrics, and a playful plot with a dark side that might shock you.

Welcome to a world inhabited by the fairy tales that shaped our youth.  Cinderella, Rapunzel, Jack and his beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood; these characters interact, along with a baker, his wife, their neighborhood witch, and a pair of dashing princes, in a story woven together to make one grand adventure.  Each character must enter the Woods, a place of great danger & possibility, where anything can happen and often does.  The baker and his wife must gather a variety of items to reverse a curse, forcing them to intereact with the other inhabitants of the village, who each possess something that the married couple need, but who also each have their own mission to complete in the Wood.  At the end of three day’s time, all may come to a happy conclusion, but the choices made along the way may lead to a much darker end.

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As with Les Miserables, the focus here should be on the show itself rather than on the film version, as it is the music, the lyrics, and the composition that make this one of the greatest stage productions you will ever see.  Sondheim pours all of his talent into this show, creating an entire world full of classic characters, deep morals, and a morbid humor that both startles and amazes.  The script is full of tongue-in-cheek moments, self-deprication, and uncomfortable entertainment that makes it fascinating as well as exciting.  Don’t expect light-hearted fairy tales here, be prepared for the original versions of the Grimm Brothers stories, spun in a modern way that shows off what this great composer can do.  And Sondheim’s music is a thing of perfection, with song after song & theme after theme that are beyond impressive, that stick in your brain, that are complicated & beautiful, that will be some of the greatest musical numbers you will ever hear.

The film fades to the background, as it should, allowing for the talent behind the musical to shine, rather than the talent ocscreen to obsure this great production.  That said, nothing about the acting or delivery take away from the greatness of the musical.  Meryl Streep is the perfect witch, deserving an Oscar for her role.  Anna Kendrick, Emily Blunt, and James Corden all portray their characters with great strenth, both in acting and in music.  Johnny Depp has a very small part, and may be one of the weaker singers, so don’t expect much if you saw him in the trailer and are a fan.  Chris Pine steals the show more than Depp, as Cinderella’s prince and a part of the best song in the show.  The entire cast comes together to bring this show to life on the screen, doing the musical justice, but not blowing away all other productions I’ve seen of this play.  To love the movie you need to love musicals, especially dark ones that exhibit clever lyrics and a depth of meaning that you don’t see very often away from the talent of Sondheim.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

 

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Movie Review – Unbroken

Category : Movie Review

Director: Angelina Jolie

Starring: Jack O’Connell, Domhnall Gleeson, Garrett Hedlund

Year: 2014

When it comes to prison camp movies, you don’t have much room for error.  Maybe it’s that the subject matter is so heavy, maybe it’s because of such recent history, maybe it’s the inherent emotion of the actual events.  But it’s a dangerous genre for some reason, a type of film that go can off of the dramatic deep end very easily and takes a talented crew to rein in.  Angelina Jolie in only her second attempt at directing fails to perfectly deliver a story that speaks for itself, creating a movie that is good but far from great.

This is the true story of Louis Zamperini, an epitome of mid-century America if ever there was one.  The son of an immigrant Italian family, Louis found himself in trouble in his youth far too often.  Angry, confused, misguided; his path was definitely headed in the wrong direction.  His brother Pete challenged him to turn his life around, to work harder than anyone else, to take the success that had never been offered.  And so Louis became a sprinter, the best in the state, and then an Olympian.  But a chance at a gold medal eluded him, as the start of WWII led to his enlisting in the armed services.  Shot down while serving as a bombadier, Louis spent the rest of the war as a prisoner in a Japanese POW camp, surviving against all odds.

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True story, real drama, a historical figure, the World War, all that; it makes for a good movie.  The emotion of the truth speaks for itself and there’s not too much anyone could do that would mess up the good that the film automatically has going for it.  Zamperini is a fascinating man who actually died this year, allowing for his entire life to enfold and his story to be told with great context.  If you like the history of WWII, if you’re interested in prison camp stories, if you want to hear a tale of the American Dream coming true and going terribly wrong, this is the movie for you.

Where things go poorly is in the small moments.  Every time something important is about to happen, every time there is a chance for excitement, every war scene, ever fight for survival, every time Jolie is called upon to craft a pivotal moment, the scene falls flat on its face.  The emotion of the story is well-woven throughout, but when called upon to shine no one seems to know what to do.  I blame Jolie for this, as she’s both the one in control and the one who’s the amateur.  I can’t say the story was butchered, not by any means, and O’Connell was excellent in his role.  But this film can’t stand up to the greats of its genre, failing to impress beyond the true base that strives to hold it up.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆

 

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Sports – NFL Picks 2014, Week 17

Category : Sports

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Here are my NFL Week 17 Picks

(10-6 last week, 158-81-1 for the season)

Bye teams: none

iconBalCle @ Bal – The Brownies have lost their magic and the Ravens are at home with something to fight for; it’s as simple as that.

iconHou1Jax @Hou – The Jags are winless on the road and will lose to end a miserable season.  I guess there’s always next year.

iconKC1SD @ KC – If the playoffs ended today the Chargers would be in.  Too bad there’s one last game to play.

iconMiaNYJ @ Mia – Miami officially did not make the postseason, but pride is still a factor, and they won’t lose here at home.

iconMinChi @ Min – After benching Jay Cutler the Bears bring him back to play in the last game.  Think he’ll play inspired?

iconNEBuf @ NE – Nothing is going to stop the Pats from grabbing that #1 seed, especially not the close-doesn’t-count Bills.

iconNYGPhi @ NYG – People can moan all they want, but Sanchez played his team out of contention.  He officially sucks again.

iconNONO @ TB – I am shocked at the Saints’ poor season.  They won’t lose but I kinda hope they do.

iconIndInd @ Ten – After a bad game, Indy will want to prove that they’re ready, and the Titans might actually want to lose.

iconDalDal @ Was – The Redskins are awful and the Cowboys win on the road with ease.  Should be a east one.

iconAtl1Car @ Atl – This is for all the marbles, and I think the Falcons are the team most poised to pounce.

iconDen1Oak @ Den – After a bad week, the Broncos should claim the #2 spot this week and prepare for a home playoff game in two weeks.

iconGB1Det @ GB – For the division title!  I dare you to find someone who thinks the Pack will lose at Lambeau this week.

iconSeaSTL @ Sea – The Seahawks are playing like a Super Bowl-ready football team and will carry momentum into January.

iconSFAri – SF – The Niners let me down this year, but I still think they have one spoiler left in them, if only a tiny one.

iconPitCin @ Pit – In an AFC North showdown, the Steelers are the better team and should come out on top.


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Movie Review – The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Category : Movie Review

Director: Peter Jackson

Starring: Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Orlando Bloom

Year: 2014

It’s all over but the criticism.  After 13 years, Peter Jackson has finished his six-movie Lord of the Rings series, with three movies telling the tale of the Ring of Power, and three about Bilbo Baggins, the hobbit who started it all.  There are countless extra stories set in Middle Earth and Tolkien’s world, a million more movies that could be made, but this sure feels like the end of an era.  As a huge fan of the books and having read them all countless times, I both love and hate that these films were made.  I loved watching the stories come to life, was so excited about the first film in 2001, and felt proud of how well the original series did, capturing nerds, film buffs, and the general public.  But I also hated that the director would be making choices that changed the original text, that left out scenes, that added in extras elements.  Basically I wanted this to come to life, but I also wanted to see what was in my head.  Perhaps that makes creating these movies an impossible task to perfect, but that won’t stop me from being mean and pointing out just where Peter Jackson failed.

In the last chapter of the story of Bilbo, we find he & his dwarf companions at the Lonely Mountain, the birthplace of Thorin and the end of their quest.  They’ve come a long way, had many adventures, found their way into the depths of the mountain, and Smaug the dragon has left to destroy Laketown.  The dwarves are now free to loot the gold, reclaim their places in this ancient kingdom, and Bilbo is free to go home.  But perhaps not quite yet.  As word spreads that the King Under the Mountain has returned, many want a piece of the treasure that has sat there for so many years.  Bard leads the men of Laketown up the river to the mountain to claim recompense.  The elves gather out of the forest to claim their ancient jewels.  And evil comes down from the North, sensing an opportunity to take the Mountain as their own.  A battle of five armies will ensue, a war that will set the table for many battles to come.  And with an ancient evil dwelling in nearby Mirkwood, the control of Middle Earth might be at stake.

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It’s been difficult for me to accept these new movies.  The Lord of Rings series I enjoyed; three movies for three books, the visuals were amazing, Jackson did what he could with the story, only leaving out what was necessary and trying his best to stay true to the original text.  The Hobbit movies were different.  Three movies for one short book, a mess of added ideas & scenes, nonsensical action, and something that never felt like Tolkien.  An Unexpected Journey was weird to say the least, with added enemies taking away from the story but classic scenes made well enough to force some to overlook the pulp.  The Desolation of Smaug was even worse, delivering countless imaginary action sequences and love stories that made no sense and were nothing close to the original novel.  After the first two movies, I felt like giving up, felt that Peter Jackson had gone off the deep end, leaving this amazing book behind and making movies about whatever he thought the audiences would pay for.

The Battle of the Five Armies proved only slightly different.  It still had scenes created from the subtext of the Tolkien books, namely Gandalf fighting the power that would become Sauron.  These events are offscreen in the books, so I can’t completely blame Jackson for adding them into his bloated movies to fill time; they kinda exist and it’s kinda cool to see them onscreen.  The whole Legolas/Tauriel/Kili love thing is stupid and totally fabricated.  That’s the stuff that makes me angry; the added elements, the personal battles between orcs that have no characters in the book, action scenes that were shot for action’s sake alone.  As a fan of the book, I’ll never understand why Jackson decided to flesh out the story with idiotic fight scenes that never happened.  But thankfully it wasn’t all bad.  There was actually some acting *gasp*, and some feeling *double gasp*, that made the story watchable.  Bilbo & Thorin, their relationship, greed battling good; I guess I can find some aspects to grab onto so that I can enjoy the final movie in what has been a large part of our lives over the last decade.  As Return of the King was the best of that series, The Battle of the Five Armies is the best of this one, a solid ending to a series that Peter Jackson shouldn’t be proud of.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆

 

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Movie Trailer – The Walk

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Robert Zemeckis

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Charlotte Le Bon, Ben Kingsley

Release: October 2nd, 2015

Didn’t they make this movie a few years ago?  It was a documentary called Man on Wire and it got a lot of great reviews.  Now, this is a dramatized version, obviously, but do we really need one?  I guess I trust Zemeckis not to screw it up, and JGL is a legitimate super-talent, so maybe  it works.  But I already don’t like his hair.


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DVD Review – Thomas & Friends: Signals Crossed

Category : DVD Review

Director: Don Spencer, David Stoten

Starring: Mark Moraghan, Martin Sherman, Kerry Shale

Year: 2014

I never imagined myself sitting down to watch a show about talking trains.  And yet, after having two kids, a lot has changed.  My daughter might be into the Pixie Hollow Fairies, but my son is into Thomas.  It started with books, slowly moving to train tables, and now has progressed to television and movies.  I can’t stop the obsession, and I’m not even sure I want to.  Thomas and his train pals make my kids really happy in a nice relaxed way, and I’ve even found myself liking the crew and learning all their names despite myself.  For better or worse, Thomas & Friends has become a part of my life.  And now here I am reviewing a DVD collection of short tales for a grown up website, exemplifying the transfer ability that solid children’s entertainment has in our world, and the lengths we will go to in order to keep our kids happy.

The Movie

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On the imaginary island of Sodor live the trains of Sir Topham Hatt’s railway.  They are all Really Useful Engines, ready to put in a hard day’s work to get the job down, whatever it is.  The lessons they learn along the way teach them all about friendship, communication, and trying your best at whatever task comes your way.  Thomas the Tank Engine may be the main character, but his friends are right behind him on every adventure.  Percy, the little green engine who is full of life and loves being a great friend.  James, who works hard despite his tendency for vanity.  Gordon and Henry, the big strong engines who do the heavy lifting.  Edward, Emily, Toby, Mavis, Salty; all the trains on the island of Sodor do their jobs with a passion that can only be admired.  Their adventures create the wonderful stories that we watch, and the lessons they are taught become lessons we can all learn from as we grow, play, and live our lives one exciting moment at a time.

This collection of stories begins with Signals Crossed, a tale about the importance of following instructions.  Next is Marion and the Pipe, where a steam shovel finds out the difference between telling stories and being honest.  In Duncan and the Grumpy Passenger, one engine puts one passenger ahead of all others, at the cost of great delay.  No Steam Without Coal teaches us the value of play, but also of getting your work done first.  And in Thomas and the Emergency Cable, we learn that thinking only of yourself can be a dangerous thing.  Interspersed between the short stories are games with the Earl and chats with Mr. Perkins, a good friend of the railway.  In all, the DVD is fifty-six minutes of pure fun, immersing us in the world of Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends, a place that never lacks for excitement and always has a moral to share.

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I’ve quickly come to love Thomas and all the other engines on the Island of Sodor.  Call me sappy, but they really do have some good things to say; lessons, morals, whatever you want to call them.  The stories stay positive, reminding us of the value of hard work, solid friendships, and knowing yourself.  It’s a series that I feel comfortable showing my kids, one that I know is imparting nothing but pleasant & useful knowledge.  And I can sit down and watch it with them, which is not something you can say about every children’s show.  I find myself entertained right alongside my kids, enjoying the stories and characters with an abandon that is fun all by itself.  Every personality of every train has a unique message and each one is delivered well, helping us to fall in love with these imaginary hunks of metal that somehow seem human.

As far the movie itself is concerned, it’s a fun way to spend an hour.  The episodes themselves are highly entertaining and quite short, allowing for stoppage if necessary, or viewing all in one chunk.  The stories aren’t connected in any way other that taking place on the same island and often involving the same characters.  The little breaks between segments are a nice touch, allowing for a regrouping of sorts for the kids, a chance to refocus and prepare for the next story.  It’s entirely animation, except for the small bit with Mr. Perkins, who is a nice addition.  But otherwise, the movie is trains and their adventures.  The menu allows for skipping about, so it’s perfect for allowing kid to watch a little at a time, but were you to choose to watch it all at once you wouldn’t find it tedious or boring, as the movie as a whole is well produced and easy to enjoy.

The DVD

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Video – With an aspect ratio 1:78.1 (Anamorphic Widescreen), the video is very strong.  The animation is sharp & clear, with a nice balance & use of color.  The picture quality is high, though not a mind-blowing visual.  It’s simple, clean, and well-done.

Audio – The DVD was done in Dolby Digital 2.0.  You have your choice of languages: English, Spanish, or French.  There are no options for the hearing impaired.  The sound quality is fine, not amazing, with a crisp sound and nice clarity.

Extras – There are three fun bonus features on the disc.  One is the Roll Call Song Sing Along Music Video, the theme song set to images from The Railway Series.  Next is Searching Everywhere Sing Along Music Video, an original song with footage from another Thomas movie.  And lastly, Guess Who Puzzles, cut out images that slowly form themselves back into a solid picture, challenging you to guess which train character they will form.  There are also five trailers: Tale of the Brave, Dinos & Discoveries, Curious George 3, Beethoven’s Treasure Tail, and Team HotWheels.

Final Thoughts

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RecommendedSignals Crossed can’t really be judged as a stand-alone film; it’s a collection of short stories that all stem from the same base imaginings.  The tales are pure Thomas, so you had better enjoy his world.  If this is your first experience with the Railway Series, you could do worse, and you should enjoy this lighthearted adventure series.  Grab your kids, take a seat, and watch the whole movie, or break it down into episodes; both ways would work and both ways should entertain.

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ – Content

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ – Video

☆ ☆ ☆ – Audio

☆ ☆ ☆ – Extras

☆ ☆ ☆ – Replay

 

 


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Movie Trailer – San Andreas

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Brad Peyton

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Alexandra Daddario, Paul Giamatti

Release: May 29th, 2015

This is exactly the disaster movie I love to watch.  It’s got a semi-plausible plot, an action star to pull off all the heroic stuff, a hot it-girl to run around in a tank tank, a trusted actor to lend credit to the terror (a la Morgan Freeman in Deep Impact), and a twisted song in the trailer to get you excited.  And, oh yeah, a million buildings falling and people dying.  Awesome sauce.