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Beauty and the Beast: 25th Anniversary Edition (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

September 23, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

May you be a hardcore fan of “Beauty and the Beast”, the young at heart that may want to share this Disney animated classic to a new generation of Disney fans, you can’t go wrong with “Beauty and the Beast: 25th Anniversary Edition”. Recommended!

Image courtesy of © Disney. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Beauty and the Beast: 25th Anniversary Edition

FILM YEAR OF RELEASE: 1991

DURATION: Special Extended Version (1:31:44), Original Theatrical Release (1:24:54), Sing Along Version (1:24:54)

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1:78:1), English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (48 kHz/24-bit), 5.1 DEHT French and Spanish Language Tracks, Subtitles: English SDH and English ESL Subtitles, French and Spanish Subtitles

COMPANY: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

RATED: G (for General Audiences)

Release Date: September 20, 2016


Directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise

Story by Brenda Chapman, Burny Mattinson, Brian Pumental, Joe Ranft, Kelly Asbury, Chris Sanders, Kevin Harkey, Bruce Woodside, Tom Ellery and Robert Lence

Animation Screenplay by Linda Woolverton

Story Supervisor: Roger Allers

Executive Producer: Howard Ashman

Produced by Don Hahn

Associate Producer: Sarah McArthur

Music by Alan Menken

Edited by John Carnochan

Casting By Albert Tavares

Art Direction by Brian McEntee


Featuring the following voice talent:

Paige O’Hara as Belle

Robby Benson as Beast

Richard White as Gaston

Jerry Orbach as Lumiere

David Ogden Stiers as Cogsworth

Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Potts

Bradley Pierce as Chip

Rex Everhart as Maurice

Jesse Corti as Lefou

Hal Smith as Philippe

Tony Jay as Monsieur D’Arque


Be our guest at the enchanted 25th Anniversary celebration of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, universally acclaimed as one of Disney’s finest animated features and now honored in the Walt Disney Signature Collection. Join brave, independent Belle on the adventure of a lifetime as she sets out to rescue her father and finds herself in the enchanted castle of a mysterious beast. Enjoy this timeless tale overflowing with unforgettable characters and Academy Award(R)-winning music (Best Song, Best Score, 1991)!|It took more than 600 animators, artists, and technicians three and a half years to complete the project.|BEAUTY is the first animated Disney feature scripted by a woman, Linda Woolverton.|The film marked the first time each animator was credited on screen specifically for the character he or she brought to life.|Disney’s animation department won a Scientific and Technical Academy Award for the design and development of the Computer Animated Production System used to make the film.|The style of illustration was inspired by French painters Fragonard and Boucher.


The story of “Beauty and the Beast” was born as a fairy tale back in the 1740′s by Madame Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve and then revised in 1757 by French novelist Jeanne Marie Le Prince de Beaumont received its animated adaptation courtesy of Walt Disney in 1991.

The film is directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise (both worked on “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and “Atlantis: The Lost Empire”) and the screenplay adaptation by Linda Woolverton (“The Lion King”, “Mulan” , “Arctic Tale” and “Alice in Wonderland”).

“Beauty and the Beast” is the 30th film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics line and is considered one of the greatest Disney animated films of all time. The film was an amazing success as the film which cost $25 million to make had made over $377 million dollars worldwide and the film was also the first animated film to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture (note: The second was 2009’s “Up”) and was successful in blending traditional animation with CG.

And now the popular animated film receives its second release on Disney Blu-ray and receives a “25th Anniversary Edition” release. In this release, we get more special features than its previous 2002 DVD release and also three different versions of the film which includes a special extended edition, the original theatrical release and singalong version (NOTE: The previous Diamond Edition featured a third version which was the original theatrical release with storyreel picture in picture, which is watching the film with the original storyboards in picture in picture format).

“Beauty and the Beast” begins with an enchantress who is disguised as a beggar gives a young prince a rose in exchange for a night’s shelter. Unfortunately, the prince turns her away and so she transforms him into a beast and also transforms his servants into furniture and silverware.

The enchantress gives him a rose and a magic mirror. The rose will bloom until his 21st birthday and he must find a woman who loves him for what he is inside, not for what he is in the outside. If he does not find someone who will love him, he will remain a beast forever. As for the magic mirror, it grants him to view what is going on around him from faraway.

We are then introduced to the characters of Belle and her father, an inventor named Maurice. In her village, Gaston is the local hero, an arrogant man she has been courting but has no interest in.

One day, Maurice has invented a wood-chopping machine and plans to take it to a fair. Unfortunately, he gets lost and while his horse knows where to go, Maurice takes the other direction where the woods look dark and creepy. He ends up at the beast’s castle and when he goes to check inside he meets the beast’s servants such as Lumiere the candle holder, Mrs. Potts (a pot) and her son Chip (a chipped tea cup) and Cogsworth. Because Maurice has stepped into private property, the beast has imprisoned him.

Meanwhile, Belle is worried that her father has not returned but the horse has. So, she goes with the horse to the Beast’s castle and in order for the Beast to release her father, Belle tells the beast that she will be his prisoner and to let her father go. The beast accepts.

Cogsworth and Mrs. Potts know that this is the probably there best chance in order for the beast and the to change back to human-form and they to show the kind and gentler side of the Beast (and trying to curb his anger).

As for Maurice, when he arrives to the village, he tries to tell people that Belle has imprisoned by a Beast but no one believes him.

Will the beast manage to convince Belle to stay and somehow have her confess her love to him? Or will she leave him and he will stay a beast forever?


VIDEO:

Everything about “Beauty and Beast” screams gorgeous, vibrant and magnificent with the release of “Beauty and the Beast: 25th Anniversary Edition”. In my 2002 DVD review, I talked about how beautiful the animation was and how well-painted the backgrounds were but after watching this on Blu-ray, I’m going to focus on how vibrant the colors are, how well-defined the lines are, how detailed the backgrounds to the simplest of objects such as wood, leaves and objects are. How every character and object and its shadowing are well-done.

“Beauty and the Beast: 25th Anniversary Edition” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:78:1). From the daylight scenes that showcase the amber oranges to the winter scenes that show the whites and blues, to the night-time and more ominous and darker scenes, blacks are nice and deep but yet you can still see detail where shadows are present on objects. You can see the stains on the roof of the background and can easily make out the different color bricks on the chimneys, the pattern of wood on the home and well. And of course, the animation and how free flowing the characters are, especially in the dance scene. For a film that was created in 1991, you can’t tell this animated film is nearly 20-years-old. This film still looks incredible and it looks wonderful in HD. I detected no banding, edge enhancement, haloing, combing or compression artifacting.

This is the definitive version to own of this title yet and if you have a Blu-ray player and love Disney animated classics, picture quality-wise, this is a title that simply is a must-own.

As for the included DVD, the DVD is presented in 1:78:1 aspect ration-enhanced for 16×9 televisions.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Beauty and the Beast: 25th Anniversary Edition” is not only fantastic in picture quality, the film is absolutely fantastic via lossless as well. Presented in English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, “Beauty and the Beast” does not disappoint.

If anything, I wished that everything Disney releases were in English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and fortunately, the animated classics have received this attention. Audio literally envelops the soundscape with immersive audio coming from the front and center channels, the surround channels, the rear surround channels. Dialogue and music is crisp and clear, the slight sounds of leaves, horse galloping, the leaves rustling, the Beast growling, the sound of flame flickering, pots and tea cups clinkering, these are all well-done. And it doesn’t stop there, there is also LFE present as well.

But if anything, one thing that “Beauty and the Beast” is known for is its music. Alan Menkin’s music for the film is wonderful. You will find yourself singing to songs such as “Beauty and the Beast”, “Be Our Guest” and “Belle” and the truth is, the music captivated many people in 1991, so much that it won an Academy Award for “Best Music, Original Score” and “Best Music, Original Song” and also won two Golden Globe Awards as well for its score and for “Best Original Song – Beauty and the Beast”.

As for subtitles, “Beauty and the Beast: 25th Anniversary Edition” is presented in English SDH, French and Spanish.

As for the included DVD, the DVD is presented in English French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 with English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Beauty and the Beast: 25th Anniversary Edition” comes with the following special features presented in HD (note: original DVD features that are on the Blu-ray are presented in standard definition):

  • Always Belle – (11:30) Featuring Paige O’Hara and her memories of working on “Beauty & the Beast” as the voice of Belle.
  • Menken & Friends: 25 Years of Musical Inspiration – (19:05) Grammy Award winning Robert Lopez and Grammy Award winning Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Broadway actor Lin-Manuel Miranda visiting Stephen Schwartz and Alan Menken.
  • #1074: Walt, Fairy Tales & Beauty and the Beast – (9:33) Featuring audio recordings of Walt Disney creating fairy tales and crew of “Beauty & the Beast” discussing Walt Disney and more.
  • The Recording Sessions – (3:47) Featuring a sneak peak at the original voice actors at the recording booth and recording for the film.
  • 25 Fun Facts About Beauty and the Best – (5:25) Kayla Maisonett (of “Stuck in the Middle”) and Gus Kamp (of “Best Friends Whenever) discuss the 25 fun facts of the film.
  • Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” Live Action Preview – (1:24) Emma Watson and Dan Steven at a table read, the massive sets and more.
  • Sing A Long – Watch the movie with karaoke style Sing A Long.
  • Audio Commentary (Extended Edition Only) – Audio Commentary for the special extended edition is included. Featuring commentary by directors Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise plus producer Don Hahn. The three go into look and feel of “Beauty and the Beast” and what they wanted to achieve. As well as dissecting the scene and the characters of the film. Alan Menken lends his commentary on the creation of the music for the film.
  • Classic Bonus Preview – (:43) Promotion of Disney Movies Anywhere

EXTRAS:

A DVD version of the feature film is included (all three versions of the film is presented on DVD). Also, a slipcase cover and Disney Movie Rewards code is included for this release.


My opinion of “Beauty and the Beast” has not changed since my DVD review for the title back in 2002. The animation, the painted backgrounds, the music, the characters, the movement… everything about the film is a pleasant reminder of the classic Disney films that I have loved and “Beauty and the Beast” is a film I still love.

Similar to the “Snow White” Blu-ray release, when “Beauty and the Beast” was released on Blu-ray in 2010, it was a magnificent improvement over the original 2002 release? Easy…by adding a ton of special features and three different versions of the film. This is what I love about Disney, they know what their customers want and what they expect and that is simply getting quality releases each time but raising the bar higher and higher of what a release should be. And for Disney, there classic animated films are expected to be fantastic releases and fans expect nothing lower.

I expected something incredible and to tell you the truth, I was pretty much expecting better picture quality in HD and lossless audio quality with the same special features and maybe a new audio commentary and possibly a retrospective featurette, but Disney has surpassed my expectations by giving us way more than what we would have expected for this film and I’m impressed and also very grateful.

The film has everything you want. Great characters, adventure, drama, action, memorable music and more! And 25-years later, “Beauty and the Beast” looks and sounds phenomenal on Blu-ray.

But now, to answer the question that everyone may be wondering.  Which version is better? The 2010 “Beauty and the Beast: Diamond Edition” or the 2016 “Beauty and the Beast: 25th Anniversary Edition”.  For one, you are going to get all three versions of the film that were featured in the 2010 version on this 2016 Blu-ray release, but you will not get the story reel version.

Picture quality and lossless audio are the same for both releases but the true differences are in the special features featured.

Surprisingly, all special features on this 2016 Blu-ray release are new.  And all the special features from the 2010 two-disc Blu-ray release were not included.  In fact, Disney put a lot of the special features from the previous discs up on there Disney Movies Anywhere website, in order for people to access them digitally.

This was a big surprise, as the “Diamond Edition” had two Blu-ray discs and a DVD and to me, because it was fully loaded with special features along with the brilliant picture and audio quality, the “Diamond Edition” was and I still consider it the definitive edition.

But because Disney releases are only released every 6-7 years, chances of finding the Diamond Edition new, is probably very slim.  But because we are living in a digital age and Disney is really wanting to promote there Disney Movies Anywhere streaming site, by purchasing this 2016 Blu-ray releases, you will have access to the special features, just not on Blu-ray, those special features can be accessed online.  Otherwise, if you want it on Blu-ray, then you are going to have to look for the 2010 “Diamond Edition” Blu-ray release.

So, it’s quite subjective of whether or not the special features matter to you.  Otherwise, if you are in it just for the film, by all means, “Beauty and the Beast: 25th Anniversary Edition” is the way to go.

If you have a fast Internet connection and don’t mind watching the previous special features online and want access to the newer special features, then also, the 25th Anniversary Edition is the way to go.  But if those older and newer special features are important to you and you want it on physical media, then you’re going to have to purchase both.

But I do feel that hardcore fans will want to own both, while casual fans and parents just purchasing for their children will be content with the “Beauty and the Beast: 25th Anniversary Edition” release.

Overall, may you be a hardcore fan of “Beauty and the Beast”, the young at heart that may want to share this Disney animated classic to a new generation of Disney fans, you can’t go wrong with “Beauty and the Beast: 25th Anniversary Edition”.

Recommended!

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The Lion Guard: Unleash the Power (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

September 17, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

For those who enjoyed the “Lion King” and the direct-to-video sequels, will no doubt enjoy this animated television series on DVD as Simba and Nala’s young son, Kion and his friends must protect the Pride Lands. For children and the young at heart, “The Lion Guard: Unleash the Power” is recommended!

Image courtesy of © 2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.


DVD TITLE: The Lion Guard: Unleash the Power

DURATION: Six Episodes (137 Minutes)

DVD INFORMATION: 1:78:1 aspect ratio, English, Spanish and French Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish

COMPANY: Disney

RATED: TY V

Release Date: September 20, 2016


Directed by Howy Parkins

Written by Ford Riley, John Loy, Elise Allen, Kevin Hopps, Jack Monaco

Produced by Ford Riley

Casting by Brian Mathias


Featuring the following voice talent:

Dee Bradley Baker as Hyenas/Tano

Max Charles as Kion

Joshua Rush as Bunga

Diamond Whit as Fuli 

Atticus Shaffer as Ono

Kevin Schon as Jungu

Vargus Mason as Cheezi

Phil LaMarr as Goigoi

Jonny Rees as Mzingo

Rob Lowe as Simba

Khary Payton as Rafiki

Jeff Bennett as Zazu

Dusan Brown as Beshte

Sarah Hyland as Tiifu

Gary Anthony Williams as Mufasa

Ernie Sabella as Pumbaa

Christian Slater as Ushari

Gabrielle Union as Nala

Andrew Kishino as Janja

Madison Pettis as Zuri

Eden Riegel as Kiara


Alone, every hero has his or her own special talent. But when champions work together, the results are “un-Bunga-lievable”! Defend the Pride Lands with Kion and his courageous team in Disney’s breathtaking adventure series based on the legacy of THE LION KING. You’ll run like the wind, move mountains and save the day with these five brave friends as they summon their inner powers and help protect the Circle of Life. Packed with action, music and over two hours of fun, THE LION GUARD: UNLEASH THE POWER proves that when heroes join forces, they’re truly a force to be reckoned with!


Disney has had many successes since Walt Disney created the popular animation studio back in 1923.

With the success of their live action films and their PIXAR 3D animated films, still to this day, “The Lion King”, the 32nd film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics remains as the most successful animated film for the legendary company earning over $862 million in the box office (created with a budget of $45 million) and in terms of overall animation, it’s the fifth highest grossing animated film of all time and the #1 highest grossing film when it comes to hand-drawn animation.

The film earned two Academy awards plus a Golden Globe for “Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy” and is the #4 animated film on the American Film Institute’s “10 Top 10” list.

With the “The Lion Guard – Return of the Roar-“, the television animated film (the pilot) which aired on Disney Junior back in November 22, 2015.  That was also the beginning of the TV series titled “The Lion Guard” (which airs on Disney Junior).

The story continues with Kion, the second-born cub of Simba and Nala and the adventures with his Lion Guard.

Selected by Kion is Bunga (honey badger) the bravest, Beshte (hippopotamus) the strongest, Ono (egret) the keenest of sight and Fuli (cheetah) the fastest.   But this group must learn to work together as a team to take on various challenges.  Can Kion’s Lion Guard protect the Pride Lands?

The episodes featured on “The Lion Guard: Unleash the Power” are:

  • Episode 7 – Fuli’s New Family – Bunga finds out that he is immune to snake bites, but accidentally thinks that he is immune to everything.
  • Episode 3 – Bunga the Wise – When Bunga talks to Rafiki, a little miscommunication makes Bunga think he is the wisest animal in the Pride Lands.
  • Episode 5 – Eye of the Beholder – Janja hears that Ono has temporarily lost his vision and he and the vultures try to take advantage of the situation.
  • Episode 9 – Follow That Hippo! – A young elephant named Mtoto idolizes Beshte.  But what happens when both are attacked by hyenas.
  • Episode 8 – The Search for Utamu – Bunga, Kion, Ono and Beshte search for Utamu grubs and we learn how Bunga met Timon and Pumbaa.
  • Episode 1 – Never Judge a Hyena By Its Spots – What happens when Kion meets Jasiri, a friendly hyena?

VIDEO, AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

Each time I have watched a Disney animated classic, suffice to say, there are no disappointments. Each release has been spectacular when it comes to picture quality and while “The Lion Guard: Unleash the Power” may not be a film, but for the most part, animation is still colorful and background and environments are well-painted.

Presented in 1080p High Definition (1:78:1), there is no doubt that fans of the film and children who loved “The Lion King” films will enjoy this DVD.

The TV series is presented in English, Spanish and French Dolby Digital. Dialogue and music is clear and the action sequences sound very good via the surround channels.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“The Lion Guard: Unleash the Power” comes with no special features.

EXTRAS:

“The Lion Guard: Unleash the Power” comes with a free power necklace with changeable discs, a slipcover and a Disney Movie Reward code.


As the animated pilot film “The Lion Guard – Return of the Roar-” marks a sort of passing of the torch as Simba’s son Kion has demonstrated that he has the “Roar of the Elders” and will be the leader of The Lion Guard and protect the Pride Lands.

“The Lion Guard” animated TV series continues where the pilot has left off and Kion has chosen to be the Lion Guard and his fellow members of the team who will protect the Pride Land.

The characters are humorous and fun to watch. And with a total of six episodes included on “The Lion Guard: Unleash the Power”, the series will no doubt entertain children and even the young at heart.

The series focuses on Kion (the second-born cub) and his guard which includes Bunga (honey badger) the bravest, Beshte (hippopotamus) the strongest, Ono (egret) the keenest of sight and Fuli (cheetah) the fastest.

Of course, while friends, they have to also work as a team and the animated series reflects the group trying their best to work together and as one of them tends to run off on their own, they eventually learn the importance of working as a team.

For the most part, it’s an animated series with a good dose of humor and action. And for those who enjoyed the pilot film, the original film and the direct-to-video sequels, will no doubt enjoy this DVD release.

For parents who are curious if there are any dark situations that may scare young children, not really. Compared to the original “Lion King” film in which Scar and his team of lions or even the creepy hyenas, the hyenas featured in “The Lion Guard” are just as young as Kion. So, in a way, this film was created for a much younger demographic and is lighthearted and fun.  Especially the characters of the Lion Guard, especially the crazy, fun Bunga who tends to misunderstand things easily.

Picture quality and audio quality is as good as it can get on DVD, unfortunately there are no special features but as a plus is that the DVD does come with a free power necklace with changeable discs.

Overall, for those who enjoyed the “Lion King” and the direct-to-video sequels, will no doubt enjoy this animated television series on DVD as Simba and Nala’s young son, Kion and his friends must protect the Pride Lands.

For children and the young at heart, “The Lion Guard: Unleash the Power” is recommended!

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Elephant Kingdom (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

September 14, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s about time that Thailand’s popular 2009 animated film “Khan Kluay 2” would be released in the U.S. as “Elephant Kingdom”.  While the English adaptation is easier to follow, and slightly strips away any Thailand historical references, families will find the animated film to be entertaining and enjoyable!

Images courtesy of © 2016 Lions Gate Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.


DVD TITLE: Elephant Kingdom

YEAR OF FILM: 2016

DURATION: 101 Minutes

DVD INFORMATION: 2:35:1 Widescreen, English 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio, Subtitles: English and Spanish

COMPANY: Lionsgate

RATED: PG (Violence, Peril, Thematic Elements and Rude Humor)

AVAILABLE ON: September 20, 2016


English Version Directed by Mychal Simka

Written and Produced by Mychal Simka

English Version Written by Doug Davidson, Jocelyn Wright

English Version Executive Producers: Barry Brooker Stan Wertlieb

English Version Co-Executive Producers: Ryan Black, Eli Wooten

English Version Associate Producers: Martin Guiterrez, Mary Peterson

Animation by Kantana Animation Studios


Featuring the Voices of:

Cary Elwes as Rock

Alexa PenaVega as Melody

Carlos PenaVega as Rally

Mikey Bolts as Pugsley

Ambyr Childers as Queen Diane

Garrett Clayton as Wingman

Mikey Bolts as Pugsley

Patrick Warburton as The King


From Lions Gate entertainment comes the animated film “Elephant Kingdom”.  Also known as “Khan Kluay 2” and made in Thailand by Kantana Animation back in 2009, the animated film is the sequel to the popular 2006 3D CG animated film (note: the original film was released on the video in the U.S. as “The Blue Elephant”).

Featuring voice acting by Cary Elwes (“The Princess Bride”, “Robin Hood: Men in Tights”, “Liar Liar”), Alexa PenaVega (“Spy Kids”, “Repo! The Genetic Opera”, “Sleepover”), Carlos PenaVega (“Big Time Rush”, “Grease Live!”), Garrett Clayton (“Teen Beach Movie”, “The Real O’Neals”, “The Fosters”), Ambyr Childers (“We Are What We Are”, “The Master”) and Patrick Warburton (“Ted”, “Rules of Engagement”, “Family Guy”).

The animated film introduces us to an elephant couple that are expecting baby twins.

Rock (voiced by Cary Elwes) and his wife Melody (voiced by Alexa PenaVega) are excited about having twins but Melody is a little sad that Rock is never home and is always working.

Not long after Melody gave birth to twins, Melody and her twins are kidnapped by the powerful human king (voiced by Patrick Warburton).

While Rock is deeply saddened by the kidnapping of Melody, the twins and other elephants from the kingdom, he knows he must go out and rescue them from their kidnappers.

Meanwhile, the Human King wants to capture rock and looks to use the twins to his advantage.  As an evil sorcerer separates Melody from her twins, she receives the compassion from the kind Queen Diane (portrayed by Ambyr Childers).  And a little help from their friends Wingman (voiced by Garret Clayton), Rally (voiced by Carlos PenaVega) and Pugsley (voiced by Mikey Bolts).

Will Rock be able to save his wife and children but also other elephants held captive?


VIDEO & AUDIO:

“Elephant Kingdom” is presented in 2:35:1 Widescreen and English 5.1 Dolby Digital.

Since the animated film is intended for children, for the most part, children will love the cute elephant characters.  While the more discerning animated fans, may feel that “Elephant Kingdom” looks like CG made a decade ago (the animated film was released in Thailand back in 2009).

Overall, the environments have great detail, skin tones do have very good detail but this is an older animated film just released in the US in 2016 and I feel that children watching the film, probably will not care about the animation quality too much.

Subtitles are in English and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Elephant Kingdom” comes with the following special features:

  • Giving the Characters a Voice: At the Recording Studio – (11:54) Behind-the-scenes of the making of “Elephant Kingdom” and recording of the voice talent.
  • Minuscule Bonus Episodes – Featuring four mini animated shorts: Shellproof Nut, Lettus, Hyperactive and Some Weird Fly.
  • Elephant Kimgdom Trailer

EXTRAS:

“Elephant Kijngdom” comes with a slipcover and UltraViolet HD code.


For those looking for an animated family film, will want to check out “Elephant Kingdom”.

It’s important that while the film was the sequel to the animated film “Khan Kluay” in Thailand, for most people who have never watched the original film, can watch this film easily, as the writers tailored the story for people to enjoy if they never saw the original film.

The story of an elephant named Rock and his friends, searching for Rock’s wife Melody and his two twins that were kidnapped by humans.  And a wicked sorcerer, who wants to use the elephants for his own evil purposes.

It’s a race against the clock as Rock and other elephants must save them quickly!

The English version of the film is different from the original Thailand film in that a lot of the Thailand references are removed for a easier film for the masses outside of Thailand to follow.  For those familiar with the context of elephants and their use in Thailand films, part of the popularity of the film in Thailand is how an elephant named Khan Kluay would rise to become the war elephant for King Naresuan.

While the English version, Rock is busy with work and an easier story to follow. The Thailand version is a little more deeper as the elephant, Khan Kluay is a war elephant for a King and he is bound by his duties of honor and struggles with following his duty as a war elephant and also family time. In Thailand, King Naresuant is one of Thailand’s most revered monarchs and his fight against the Taungoo Burma, during the Toungoo Dynasty (ruling dynasty of Burma).  So, the Thailand version had a connection to the country’s history.

So, there are slight differences from the English adaptation of the original Thailand film.  But I felt the writers did a solid job of creating a simpler, straightforward story that is easier outside of Thailand to follow.

Animation is good but if you have been spoiled by Disney Pixar animated films, I can see many people feeling that the animation looks like it was made a decade ago (this film was released back in 2009).  Skin textures on both humans and the elephants are well-detailed, backgrounds are well-detailed, as well as various environments.  But in the end, the animated film is for children and they are less caring if the animation is highly detailed or looks amazing.  I really do feel that children would enjoy “Elephant Kingdom”.

The animated film features cute elephant characters and good voice acting, there are a few things to consider that the film does have its fair share of violence.  From the wicked sorcerer and his zombie warriors, a near-tragedy and other situations that gave the film a PG rating, I do feel that some young children, may get a bit spooked by certain characters and actions.

But for the most part, it’s an entertaining animated film.  And while the “Khan Kluay” films were extremely popular in Thailand, while its 2016 DVD release in the U.S. is a little late, I guess it’s better late than never.  So, It’s about time that Thailand’s popular 2009 animated film “Khan Kluay 2” would be released in the U.S. as “Elephant Kingdom”.

While the English adaptation is easier to follow, and slightly strips away any Thailand historical references, families will find the animated film to be entertaining and enjoyable!

 

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Power Rangers: Dino Charge – Rise (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

September 9, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

“Power Rangers: Dino Charge – Rise” is a DVD that I recommend for young fans and the young at heart with four action-packed episodes and with Halloween around the corner, the DVD also features a special Halloween episode.

Images courtesy of © 2016 Lions Gate Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.


DVD TITLE: Power Rangers: Dino Charge – RISE

TV SERIES (YEAR): 2015

DURATION: Episodes 13-16 + 1 Special (125 Minutes)

DVD INFORMATION: 1:78:1 Widescreen, English 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio, French and Spanish 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: Lionsgate

RATED: Not Rated

AVAILABLE ON: September 27, 2016


Directed by Charlie Haskell, Peter Salmon, Mike Smith, Jonathan Brough, Peter Burger, Karl Zwicky, Michael Duignan

Written by Judd Lynn, Haim Saban, Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Mark Litton, Jeffrey Newman, Peter Wiseman, James W. Bates, Tanya M. Wheeler, Marc Handler, Ann Knapp

Produced by Sally Campbell

Executive Produced by Judd Lynn, Brian Casentini, Haim Saban

Music by Noam Kaniel

Cinematography by Kevin Riley, D.J. Stipsen

Edited by Allanah Milne

Casting by Iris Hampton

Production Design by Tracey Collins

Art Direction by Davin Voot

Costume Design by Sarah Voon


Starring:

Brennan Mejia as Tyler Navarro/Red Dino Charge Ranger

Camille Hyde as Shelby Watkins/Pink Dino Charge Ranger

Yoshua Sudarso as Koda/Blue Dino Charge Ranger

Michael Taber as Riley Griffin/Green Dino Charge Ranger

James Davies as Chase Randall/Black Dino Charge Ranger

Claire Blackwelder as Kendall Morgan/Purple Dino Charge Ranger

Campbell Cooley as the Mecha Voice

Davi Santos as Ivan

Estevez Gillespie as Wrench

Paul Harrop as Fury

Eve Gordon as Keeper

Adam Gardiner as Sledge

Jackie Clarke as Poisandra

Ryan Carter as Heckyl


The Power Rangers rise and take action-adventure to the next level as Tyler and Ivan put their differences aside to defuse a bomb; Chase races to free his friends from an underground tomb; Prince Phillip learns that he can’t buy his way into the Power Rangers; and Riley and Koda restore the team’s broken bonds of friendship in these dynamic, thrill-filled adventures.


Can the Rangers get along?  The members learn about the important of friendship and working together.  And who is the new Power Ranger Dino Charge Graphite Ranger?

Meanwhile, for the Halloween “Power Rangers: Dino Charge”, someone has kidnapped the Rangers and is assuming their appearance at a Halloween Party”.

All this and more for “Power Rangers: Dino Charge – Rise”!

What is “Power Rangers: Dino Charge” about?

In 2015, “Power Rangers: Dino Charge” debuted on television.

The 22nd season of the “Power Rangers” series, the series would star Brennan Mejia, Camille Hyde, Yoshua Sudarso, Michael Taber, James Davies, and Claire Blackwelder.

The storyline begins with the opening narration:

Millions of years ago, the evil Sledge tried to steal the greatest power in the universe. But an alien named Keeper entrusted them to dinosaurs. As for Sledge… He was blasted deep into space. Now the Energems have been found, and Sledge returns to battle a new team of heroes; they are…Power Rangers Dino Charge!”

As Sledge continues to look for the Energems, a team of Power Rangers form to find the the Energems first and fight various enemies.

Power Rangers Dino Charge consists of:

  • Dino Charge Red Ranger – Tyler Navarro (portrayed by Brennan Mejia) – The leader of the team and works as the chef at Amber Beach Dinosaur Museum’s restaurant, the Dino Bite Cafe.  He commands the T-Rex Zord.
  • Dino Charge Pink Ranger – Shelby Watkins (portrayed by Camille Hyde) – A waitress at the Dino Bite Cafe and knows a lot about Dinosaurs.  She commands the Tricera Zord.
  • Dino Charge Blue Ranger – Koda (portrayed by Yoshi Sudarso) – A Cro-Magnon caveman who found the Blue Energem a hundred thousand years ago in a Stegosaurus fossil.  He was unfrozen by Kendall and Chase and becomes the Dino Charge Blue Ranger.  He works as a dishwasher for Dino Bite Cafe and Amber Beach Museum digger.  He commands the Stego Zord.
  • Dino Charge Green Ranger – Riley Griffin (portrayed by Michael Taber) – Works as an intern at the Amber Beach Museum and as a waiter at Dino Bite Cafe.  He is calm and very intelligent.  He commands the Raptor Zord.
  • Dino Charge Black Ranger – Chase Randall (portrayed by James Davies) – The flirtatious and laid-back member who likes to ride a skateboard.  Works as a janitor at Amber Beach museum and is an expert paleontology digger.  He commands the Para Zord.
  • Dino Charge Gold Ranger – Sir Ivan of Zandar (portrayed by Davi Santos) – A Mideival knight who served the royal family of Zandar 800 years ago.  He commands the Ptera Zord.
  • Dino Charge Graphite Ranger – Prince Phillip III (portrayed by Jarred Blakiston) – The wealthy crown prince of Zandar and descendent of Prince Colin.  He is helpful and cares about the environment and wants to become a Power Ranger.  He commands the Pachy Zord.
  • Kendall Morgan (portrayed by Claire Blackwelder) – A 26-year-old scientist who manages the Amber Beach Dinosaur Museum and heads the paleontology digging group.

As “Power Rangers: Dino Charge” features a total of 22 episodes, “Rise” is the third “Power Rangers: Dino Charge” DVD to be released and contains episodes 13-16 and the special Halloween episode “The Ghostest with the Mostest”.

Here is a spoilerless summary of “Power Rangers: Dino Charge – Rise”:

  • Episode 13 – “Sync or Swim” – One of Sledge’s monsters has planted a bomb and Ivan and Tyler must drop their rivalry to work together and stop the bomb.
  • Episode 14 – “True Black” – A monster has left Shelby, Tyler and Ivan buried, Chase must save the day!
  • Episode 15 – “Rise of a Ranger” – What happens when Prince Philip finds a Graphite Energem?
  • Episode 16 – “No Matter How You Slice It” – A Monster has broke the Power Rangers bond of friendship, can Riley and Koda work together?
  • HALLOWEEN SPECIAL – “The Ghostest with the Mostest” – A Monster has kidnapped the Rangers and takes on their appearance during a Halloween Party.  Kendall must discover which members are real and which are fake.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“Power Rangers: Dino Charge – Rise” is presented in 1:78:1 Widescreen and English 5.1 Dolby Digital and French and Spanish 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio. Picture quality is good, as one can expect on DVD and with most of the film shot outdoors, picture quality is good. Dialogue and music is clear and understandable.

Closed Captions are included.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Power Rangers: Dino Charge – Rise” features no special features.

EXTRAS:

“Power Rangers: Dino Charge – Rise” comes with a slip cover and HD UltraViolet code.


For over 20-years, many people have grown up watching “Power Rangers”.

Sure, a lot of the stories are campy but for those who enjoyed the action, the costumes and the good old story of good vs. evil, that concept has remained consistent season after season.

“Power Rangers: Dino Charge – Rise” contains four episodes which focuses on the team having to work together despite whatever odds or differences they may have.  And with Halloween around the corner, the DVD features the Halloween special “The Ghostest with the Mostest”.

The latest episodes now features Sir Ivan of Zandar now part of the team as the Power Rangers Dino Charge Gold Ranger.

As one who has grown up watching the Japanese sentai series and also the original “Power Rangers” and now having a child and nephews that are interested in them, one thing that I am glad to see is that the series retains its action and family-oriented storylines.

Nothing too violent and nothing that would make parents wince. Granted, some may object to the fighting but personally, costumed heroes vs. monsters (people in rubber suits), it’s not exactly something that I worry about in terms of fighting action. As parents, it’s how we teach our children and to not practice Power Rangers moves on other people.

As for this DVD volume, it’s pretty much four episodes + 1 special episode that deals with teamwork and character rivalries and working together.

While I wished there are more episodes than just the standard four, fans of the series or parents of children who love “Power Rangers: Dino Charge”, will no doubt enjoy this DVD.

As for the DVD, picture and audio quality is as good as one can expect on DVD and there are no special features. Fortunately, a digital HD code was included.

Overall, “Power Rangers: Dino Charge – Rise” is a DVD that I recommend for young fans and the young at heart with four action-packed episodes and with Halloween around the corner, the DVD also features a special Halloween episode.

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The Jungle Book (2016) (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

September 5, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

“The Jungle Book” is a film that no doubt will surprise you because of its visual beauty, the wonderful acting and seeing the book and animated film brought to life.  This is my favorite Disney live adaptation of a Disney Animated Classic so far and I really enjoyed this film a lot. Definitely one of the best family films of 2016!

Images courtesy of © 2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: The Jungle Book (2016)

FILM RELEASE: 2016

DURATION: 106 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1:85:1), English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio, Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby Digital Language Tracks, Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish and French

COMPANY: Disney

RATED: PG (For Some Sequences of Scary Action and Peril)

Release Date: September 6, 2016


Based on Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book”

Directed by Jon Favreau

Screenplay by Justin Marks

Produced by Jon Favreau, Brigham Taylor

Co-Producer: John Bartnicki, Joyce Cox

Executive-Producer: Molly Allen, Karen Gilchrist

Cinematography by Bill Pope

Music by John Debney

Edited by Adam Gerstel, Mark Livolsi

Casting by Sarah Finn

Production Design by Christopher Glass

Art Direction by Ravi Bansal, John Lord booth III, Ilgi Candar, Andrew L. Jones, Mike Stassi

Set Decoration by Amanda Moss Serino

Costume Design by Laura Jean Shannon


Starring:

Neel Sethi as Mowgli

Featuring the Voices of:

Bill Murray as Baloo

Ben Kingsley as Bagheera

Idris Elba as Shere Khan

Lupita Nyong’o as Raksha

Scarlett Johansson as Kaa

Giancarlo Esposito as Akela

Christopher Walken as King Louie

Garry Shandling as Ikki

Brighton Rose as Gray


In an epic adventure directed by Jon Favreau (IRON MAN), Mowgli, a man-cub raised in the jungle by a family of wolves, embarks on a captivating journey of self-discovery when he’s forced to abandon the only home he’s ever known. Featuring an all-star voice cast including Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley and Scarlett Johansson, THE JUNGLE BOOK is “stunning” (Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter).


Back in 1893-1895, English Nobel laureate Rudyard Kipling wrote a collection of stories that were published in various magazines and give moral lessons to young readers.  The stories would go on to be known as “The Jungle Book”.

And in 1967, the beloved classic animated film was born. Walt Disney and writer Bill Peet decided that the 19th animated feature would be “The Jungle Book” featuring a storyline inspired by Kipling’s stories (Disney did not want the darker storyline to be in the animated film, since the goal was to create a family film) but also incorporating music.

But fastforward to 2016 and Disney, who have been doing live film adaptions of their popular Disney Animated Classics, decided to give “The Jungle Book” a chance to be a live action film but to also incorporate a story more faithful to Rudyard Kipling’s book (as back in 1967, Disney couldn’t make the children’s animated film too dark).

The live action version would be directed by Jon Favreau (“Iron Man”, “Iron Man 2”, “Zathura: A Space Adenture”) and a screenplay by Justin Marks (“Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li”, “Rewind”).

The film would star new young actor, Neel Sethi and voice acting would be provided by many popular stars such as Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson, Giancarlo Esposito, Christopher Walken and Garry Shandling (Garry’s final film that he had worked on before his death).

“The Jungle Book” was a success among critics and in the box office, earning over $963 million (budget was $175 million) and the film would become the third highest grossing film of 2016 (as of September 2016).

And now, “The Jungle Book” will be released on Blu-ray and DVD!

“The Jungle Book” begins with a “Man Club” named Mowgli (portrayed by Neel Sethi) being trained by a panther named Bagheera (voiced by Ben Kingsley).

As Bagheera takes Mowgli to the river to get some water with the other animals, he joins up with his family of wolves that raised him, his wolf father Akela (voiced by Giancarlo Esposito) and his mother Raksha (voiced by Lupita Nyong’o).

When the predator, a tiger that all in the jungle has feared, Shere Khan (voiced by Idris Elba) comes to the river, he taunts everyone.  But when he sees Mowgli, he tells the wolves that if they don’t bring him the man club, he will end the peace truce among him and the animals in the jungle.

With the wolves fearing that Shere Khan can terrorize all of them, they discuss on what to do with Mowgli and suggest that he should go back to where other people like him live. Raksha is against it as she has raised Mowgli since he was small and considers him as one of her own cubs.

But seeing everyone arguing, Mowgli makes up his mind and tells his family of wolves that in order to fix things, he will leave and go to where the other people like him are living.  And Bagheera agrees to help Mowgli get back to the village of where his people are from.

As they are heading to the village, immediately Shere Khan starts to go for the attack in order to kill Mowgli, but Bagheera manages to fend Shere Khan’s attack temporarily.

As Mowgli barely escapes from Shere Khan, he ends up in another part of the jungle where he comes across a huge snake named Kaa (voiced by Scarlett Johansson) and she explains to him how he was brought to the jungle, how his father used the red flower (fire) which is magical that it brings light but it can also bring destruction.

She explains that Mowgli’s father brought him to the jungle, inside a cave but Shere Khan found them.  When his father tried to protect the young boy, he used the flame to burn Shere Khan’s face, but in the process, sacrificed his life and died to protect his son.

And as Kaa is slowly entrancing the young boy in order to kill him, he is rescued by a sloth bear named Baloo (voiced by Bill Murray) and the two become friends and partners.

But Shere Khan is determined of killing the young boy, while Mowgli and Baloo go on several (dangerous) adventures together.  But will Mowgli return to his home where the humans live?  Or will he stay in the jungle, the only home he knows.


VIDEO:

“The Jungle Book” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:85:1 aspect ratio). Picture quality is absolute magnificent.  The visual effects of this film is amazing as every animal looks realistic, the CG and overall environments look realistic despite the film being shot via motion capture on a blue screen and for the most part, this is one of the most beautiful films to come from Disney and showcase how far digital technology has come in reproducing animals and environments.  Details are fantastic and the overall picture quality is vibrant with no problematic artifacts or banding issues.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“The Jungle Book” is presented in English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio, Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby Digital Language Tracks.

Audiophiles will no doubt take note of how wonderful this film sounds as it is quite immersive.  From every sound of Mowgli running and hearing him on branches that crack, hearing the elephants moving in the distances, stones breaking, fires spreading, the surround channels and LFE coming alive with every scream or roar, may it be Baloo or King Louie, everything is crystal clear, dialogue, music and sound effects.

For the most part, not only do you get fantastic picture quality but an equally fantastic lossless soundtrack as well!

Subtitles are in English, English SDH, Spanish and French

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“The Jungle Book” comes with the following special feature:

  • The Jungle Book Reimagined – (35:02) Interviews with the cast and crew about the making of “The Jungle Book”.
  • I Am Mowgli – (8:17) The cast of young actor Neel Sethi and an interview with Neel.
  • King Louie’s Temple: Layer by Layer – (3:14) The making of the music for “King Louie’s Temple” with Richard Sherman.
  • Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by director Jon Favreau

EXTRAS:

“The Jungle Book” comes with a slipcover and a Digital HD Code.


I have watched the original Disney Animated Classic “The Jungle Book” numerous times in my life and have reviewed it several times for J!-ENT each time it has been released on DVD and then later on Blu-ray.

But when I heard that “The Jungle Book” was going to receive a live film adaptation, I have to admit that I was skeptical at first.

Partly because the animated film was a musical and an animated film with action and featured a lot of talking animals, I really couldn’t picture a live action version of the film.

Having watched the 2016 version of “The Jungle Book”, I was absolutely floored by how fantastic this film ending up becoming.

From the detail of the creatures in the jungle, how young actor Neel Sethi was utilized in the film using motion capture and blue screen technology and creating breathtaking sequences that look real and authentic.

And while “The Jungle Book” manages to combine the best of both worlds, from being inspired by the original Rudyard Kipling book, because it’s a Disney film, you do get music but the film focuses on the characters, their actions and focusing on story.

But fans of the Disney Animated Classic will no doubt be happy of hearing Mowgli and Baloo singing “The Bare Necessities” or an impressive scene with the giant King Louie primate singing his catchy song as well.  These are two memorable songs in this 2016 Disney film but what you remember the most are how impressive child actor Neel Sethi was in the role of Mowgli.

This film was perfectly cast and the film rides on the shoulders of young Sethi and everything worked magnificently.  He was the right kid to do the job and his awesome performance was quite evident in the film.

And as for the animals, the film also hit multiple homeruns by having Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson, Giancarlo Esposito and Christopher Walken.  Perfect casting as everyone did their voice role magnificently.

But it’s one thing to have perfect casting, what made this film become so impressive is the visual effects.  With each animal featured, they look so real and authentic and goes to show how far digital technology has come in reproducing the look of animals for this film.  From the hair on the wolves, Baloo to the markings and the mud stains that are on Shere Khan.

And also, I give a thumbs up to costume/make-up artists for the consistency by showing Mowgli having scars and bumps throughout the film and not the typical, banal Hollywood forgetfulness of showing lingering wounds throughout a film.

As for the rating, while the film is rated PG because Mowgli comes across many threats, the film received a PG rating.  And while young children may get a little spooked out by certain characters, I watched the film with my family and my son absolutely loved it.  But similar to the animated film and if you are familiar with the book, then know that due to various challenges and threats to Mowgli, parental guidance is suggested.

As for the Blu-ray release, both picture quality and the lossless soundtrack are magnificent.  This is a film that videophiles and audiophiles dream of experiencing during a viewing of a film and “The Jungle Book” scores high marks for video and audio.  As for special features, a few featurettes and an audio commentary are included.

Overall, “The Jungle Book” is a film that no doubt will surprise you because of its visual beauty, the wonderful acting and seeing the book and animated film brought to life.  This is my favorite Disney live adaptation of a Disney Animated Classic so far and I really enjoyed this film a lot.

Definitely one of the best family films of 2016!

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Star Wars Rebels: Complete Season Two (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

August 23, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

“Star Wars Rebels” Season Two is fantastic! The adventures, the action, the characters and great writing make the entire series, so worth watching! In fact, I enjoyed this season season even more than the first. A lot of action, great use of returning characters from “The Clone Wars” and more! “Star Wars Rebels: Complete Season Two” is highly recommended!

Images courtesy of © 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Star Wars Rebels: Complete Season Two

TV AIRING: 2015-2016

DURATION: (Episodes 1-22) 485 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1:78:1 aspect ratio), English and French 5.1 Dolby Digital and Spanish 2.0 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish

COMPANY: Disney

RATED: TV Y7 FV

Release Date: August 30, 2016


Directed by Dave Filoni, Bosco Ng, Brad Rau, Saul Ruiz, Melchior Zwyer

Written by Simon Kinberg, Carrie Beck, Dave Filoni, George Lucas, Hank Gilroy, Kevin Hopps, Greg We, Steven Melching, Matt Michnovetz, Bill Wolkoff

Producer: Kiri Hart, Athena Yvette Portillo

Executive Producer: Davi Filoni, Simon Kinberg, Greg Weisman

Co-Executive Producer: Henry Gilroy

Associate Producer: Carrie Beck

Music by Kevin Kiner

Edited by Alex McDonnell, Joe E. Elwood

Casting by Aaron Drown

Art Direction by Kilian Plunkett


Starring:

Vanessa Marshall as Hera Syndulla

Freddie Prinze Jr. as Kanan Jarrus

Steve Blum as Zeb Orrelios

Taylor Gray as Ezra Bridger

Tiya Sircar as Sabine Wren

Dee Bradley Baker as Rex

Ashley Ekstein as Ahsoka Tano

Keone Young as Commander Sato

Jason Isaacs as The Inquisitor

Stephen Stanton as Grand Moff Tarkin

Liam O’Brien as Yogar Lyste

James Earl Jones as Darth Vader

Matt Lanter as Anakin Skylwalker


The epic battle to defeat the evil Empire continues in STAR WARS REBELS: COMPLETE SEASON TWO! As Ezra continues his journey to become a Jedi under Kanan’s guidance, the crew of the Ghost bands together with a secret rebel cell and ex soldiers from the Clone Wars to join a fledgling alliance to restore peace and freedom to the galaxy. But the dark side looms large as Darth Vader dispatches new Inquisitors, setting the stage for a climactic showdown in which terrible truths will be revealed and the lives of our heroes will be changed forever.


Darth Vader has sent an order for the Empire to hunt down the Rebels and the Ghost crew members must decide if they want to join the Rebels or stay out of the fight.

Meanwhile, the Ghost crew meet up with Ahsoka Tano’s rebel cell and Darth Vader pursues them and finds out about Ahsoka’s existence.

What will happen to the Ghost crew as they assist the Rebels and why is Darth Vader so intent of capturing Ahsoka?

Find out in “Star Wars Rebels: Complete Season Two”!

What is “Star Wars Rebellion”?

With the completion of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” comes a new American 3D CGI animated television series from Lucasfilm and Lucasfilm Animation titled “Star Wars Rebels”.

Set 14 years after “Revenge of the Sith” and five years before “New Hope”, “Star Wars Rebels” takes place during a time when nearly all jedi’s have been hunted and killed and the Galactic Empire rules the galaxy.

With a total of 13-episodes, the series features a visual style that is inspired by the original “Star Wars” trilogy concept art by Ralph McQuarrie.

“Star Wars Rebels” will now be released on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of Disney.

“Star Wars Rebels” begins with an introduction to a young teenage thief named Ezra Bridger (voiced by Taylor Gray) who lives in the Empire-controlled planet, Lothal.

One day, Ezra tries to steal a shipment from the Empire, but also after the shipment is the crew of The Ghost.

The crew consists of Ghost crew leader and Jedi survivor Kanan Jarrus (voiced by Freddie Prinze, Jr.); pilot and owner of the Ghost, the Twi’lek named Hera Syndulla (voiced by Vanessa Marshall); weapons and explosives expert and Mandalorian graffiti artist Sabine Wren (voiced by Tiya Sircar); the tough Lasat honor guard Zeb Orrelios (voiced by Stephen Blum) and Hera’s droid C1-10P a.ka. “Chopper”.

After saving Ezra from doom, because of his skills of survival, the crew of the Ghost invite Ezra to join their crew. And because Ezra is able to sense things with the Force, Kanan accepts Ezra as his padawan and to help him control his newfound power.

As any word of rebels rebelling against the Empire can create the potential of insurgencies, Darth Vader sends his Inquisitors (an agency of the Dark Jedi in the Galactic Empire) to go after the crew of the Ghost and his former Padawan.


VIDEO:

“Star Wars Rebels: Complete Season Two” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:78:1 aspect ratio). “Star Wars Rebels” features its own unique visual style and for the most part, it’s pretty cool to see how much detail is put into the space vehicles and the planets.

While closeups do show skin detail and the lips match the dialogue really well, the Stormtroopers and robots have lights of the interior of the vehicles bouncing of their uniforms and for the most part, the series features really good lighting effects.  The vehicles also are well-rendered.

Granted, the CG animation is subjective to the viewer if one likes the visuals of the CG animated series, but for me, I felt the series was well-animated and there was great attention in creating the various worlds, vehicle usage and also overall effects were well-done.

I did not notice any artifacts or banding issues during my viewing of each episode.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Star Wars Rebels: Complete Season Two” is presented in English and French 5.1 Dolby Digital and Spanish 2.0 Dolby Digital with subtitles in English SDH, French and Spanish.

I would say that I’m a bit surprised that the series on Blu-ray does not utilize a DTS-HD Master Audio track like the final three seasons of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” but in this case, they decided to go with an English 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack.

While dialogue is crystal clear, especially the John Williams musical score and light saber sound effects and utilizing the surround channels for the action sequences, it would have been awesome to have a lossless soundtrack for the Blu-ray release.

SPECIAL FEATURES

“Star Wars Rebels: Complete Season Two” comes with the following special features:

  • Rebels Recon – 22 featurettes from “Star Wars Rebels: Complete Season Two” that were featured on StarWars.com.
  • Connecting the Galaxy: Rebels Season 2 – (3:28) Easter eggs featured in season two of “Star Wars Rebels”.
  • From Apprentice to Adversary: Vader vs. Ahsoka – (6:00) Dave Filoni discusses the confrontation between Ahsoka and Vader.

EXTRAS:

“Star Wars Rebels: Complete Season Two” comes with a slipcover and a DisneyMovieRewards code.


For fans of “Star Wars Rebels”, one will love the second season for showcasing more Darth Vader and for “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” fans, the series featuring more of Jedi, Ahsoko Tano (Anakin Skywalker’s Padawan apprentice) and Clone Captain Rex (a.k.a. CT-7567).

And as the Ghost crew take part in more Rebel missions, one of them includes working under Princess Leia.

And with Darth Vader finding out that his former Padawan is still alive after the slaughter of Jedi’s after Order 66, he sends his Inquisitors (Fifth Brother and Seventh Sister) to hunt down after her and other surviving Jedi’s.  So, Kanan and Ezra are targets as well.

But this season also features a few individual and team building episodes.  From Ezra searching for his parents and finding out what happened to them, to Hera having to come across her father, the famous Twi’lek resistance fighter Cham Syndulla, Zed, Sabine and even Chopper have their own stories.

But for this season, I feel that many fans will enjoy the episodes featuring Ahsoka investigating Darth Vader, Kanan’s worries about Ezra’s temper and everything else that culminates in the surprising, final episode of the second season.

But I’m really enjoying the character dynamics of the Ghost Crew for this second season.

As there are rebel cells in the galaxy who fight the oppression of the Empire, “Star Wars Rebels” is fairly interesting as the Ghost Crew consists of a Jedi and a thief turned jedi-in-training plus a tough Lasat honor guard that young male audiences can enjoy, the show also takes a step in the right direction of including two strong female characters.

You have a Twi-lek owner and pilot of the Ghost and female teen graffiti artist in Mandalorian outfit and helmet and is a weapons expert. So, you have a good balance of characters that will no doubt entertaining both male and female audiences and it’s centered around the whole “Star Wars” universe, so you can definitely expect to see well-known “Star Wars” characters, and for season two, expect to see Darth Vader and Princess Leia.

And for fans of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”, many will be happy to see the return of Jedi Ahsoka Tano (who was the Padawan apprentice of Anakin Skywalker in “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”), but this time as an adult and Rex, who is now much older.  Also, the pirate Hondo Ohnaka also makes a return in the second season of “Star Wars Rebels”.

I also enjoyed the storyline progression of Kanan and Ezra’s jedi training and the possible fears of Ezra’s behavior.  Which are fears that are most warranted considering what happened to Annakin Skywalker.

But the confrontation between Ahsoka Tano and Darth Vader was something that many fans have been waiting for and so “Star Wars Rebels: Complete Season Two” delivered in this long awaited confrontation!

I felt that the overall writing and voice acting for the series is fantastic. Each episode is adventurous and also full of peril and each episode features something with a character(s) that has an effect in the next or later episodes. So, unlike animated series which tend to have its own isolated episode with no connection to each other, “Star Wars Rebels” episodes have a connection which I enjoyed.

As for the Blu-ray release, I absolutely enjoy the visual look of “Star Wars: Rebels”. Great character and mechanical designs that feature detailed CG that look vibrant on Blu-ray. I did not notice any artifacts or banding issues. As for the soundtrack, unfortunately it’s not a lossless soundtrack, but it’s still a strong 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack featuring clear dialogue, music and special effects.

As for special features, the series comes with plenty of special features including 19 Rebels Recon featurettes as featured on StarWars.com.

Overall, “Star Wars Rebels” Season Two is fantastic! The adventures, the action, the characters and great writing make the entire series, so worth watching!  In fact, I enjoyed this season season even more than the first.  A lot of action, great use of returning characters from “The Clone Wars” and more!

“Star Wars Rebels: Complete Season Two” is highly recommended!

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Power Rangers Super Megaforce: The Complete Season (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

August 13, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

supermegaforce

“Power Rangers Super Megaforce: The Complete Season” is more action-driven and features a story that celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the Power Rangers series. Featuring the appearance of previous cast members from past “Power Rangers” series and an action-driven storyline, if you enjoyed “Power Rangers Megaforce”, then this second “Megaforce” season and 20th anniversary series is recommended to you!

Images courtesy of © 2016 Lions Gate Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


DVD TITLE: Power Rangers Super Megaforce: The Complete Season

TV SERIES (YEAR): 2014

DURATION: Episodes 1-20 (460 Minutes)

DVD INFORMATION: 1:78:1 Widescreen, English 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio, French and Spanish 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: Lionsgate

RATED: Not Rated

AVAILABLE ON: August 16, 2016


Directed by James Barr, Akihiro Noguchi, Charlie Haskell, Jonathan Tzachor, John Laing, Jonathan Brough, Koichi Sakamoto

Written by James W. Bates, Seth Walther, Jill Donnellan, Jim Peronto, Marc Handler, David McDermott, Jason Smith, Amira Lopez, Samuel P. McLean, David Henry Schneider

Produced by Sally Campbell

Executive Produced by Judd Lynn, Brian Casentini, Haim Saban

Music by Noam Kaniel

Cinematography by Kevin Riley, D.J. Stipsen

Edited by Allanah Milne

Casting by Iris Hampton

Production Design by Tracey Collins

Art Direction by Davin Voot

Costume Design by Sarah Voon


Starring:

Andrew M. Gray as Troy Burrows

Ciara Hanna as Gia Moran

John Mark Loudermilk as Noah Carver

Christina Masterson as Emma Goodall

Azim Rizk as Jake Holling

Geoff Dolan as Gosei

Estevez Gillespie as Ernie

Ian Harcourt as Mr. Burley

Jason Hood as Vrak

Chris Auer as Robo Knight

Rebecca Parr as Levira

John Leigh as Damaras

Campbell Cooley as Admiral Malkor

Mark Mitchinson as Creepox

Sophie Henderson as Metal Alice

Charlie McDermott as Bigs

Jay Simon as Bluefur

Stephen Butterworth as Prince Val


In order to stop ruthless Prince Vekar and his massive alien Armada, the Rangers have only one hope: to unlock the special keys — and harness the amazing powers of Legendary Rangers of the past!


In 2014, the “Power Rangers Megaforce” cast goes super for the series “Power Rangers Super Megaforce”!

The series would star Andrew M. Gary, Ciara Hanna (“Pernicious”, “Blood Lake: Attack of the Killer Lampreys”), John Mark Loudermilk (“The Best Friends Club”), Christina Masterson (“Monster-in-Law”, “Deadgirl”) and Azim Rizk (“The Republic of Two”).  The series would also feature a new recurring cast member, Cameron Jebo (“The Morning After”, “Killer Coach”, “Hard Sell”).

In the first season, the series begins with five ordinary teenagers with attitude from Harwood County were gathered together by Gosei, an intergalactic wizard who was an apprentice of Zordon.

Gosei has awakened from his sleep and with the help of his robot Tensou, have found five teenagers to save the planet Earth from the Warstar and are given special Power Ranger gear to protect Earth and the humans.

The teenagers – The stoic new student, Troy Burrows (portrayed by Andrew M. Gray) as the Red Ranger, the upbeat Gia Moran (portrayed by Ciara Hanna) as the Yellow Ranger, Gia’s best friend, photographer Emma Goodall (portrayed by Christina Masterson) as the Pink Ranger, the booksmart Noah Carver (John Mark Loudermilk) as the Blue Ranger and the sporty Jake Holling (portrayed by Azim Rizk) as the Black Ranger.

Just when you thought that things would get better for the team, the Armada has invaded Earth and the Power Rangers must take on the powerful X-Borgs.

In order to take on these enemies, Gosei presents them with new Morphers that unlock a Super Mega Mode which allows them to tap into the powers of every previous Power Ranger.

But fighting these enemies will also bring these rangers to meetup with other Power Rangers from the past such as Jayden, the Red Samurai Ranger; Casey Rhodes, the Red Samurai Ranger; Casey Rhodes, the Jungle Fury Red Ranger and more.

But also helping out the team is an alien named Orion from the planet Andresia, which was attacked by the Armada.  Orion joins the team and becomes Super Megaforce Silver Ranger.

But will these Power Rangers Super Megaforce with their new Power Rangers powers and the help of Orion, the Silver Ranger be enough to stop the powerful Armada?


VIDEO & AUDIO:

“Power Rangers Super Megaforce: The Complete Season” is presented in 1:78:1 Widescreen and English 5.1 Dolby Digital and French and Spanish 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio. Picture quality is good, as one can expect on DVD and with most of the film shot outdoors, picture quality is good. Dialogue and music is clear and understandable.

Closed Captions are included.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Power Rangers Super Megaforce: The Complete Season” features the extended movie version of the final episode “Legendary Battle” and “Power Rangers: A Legacy” (10:20) as the cast members “Power Rangers: Super Megaforce” and cast members from other Power Rangers series talking about their involvement with the series and the legacy of “Power Rangers”.

EXTRAS:

“Power Rangers Megaforce: The Complete Season” comes with a slip cover and HD UltraViolet code.


For over 20-years, many people have grown up watching “Power Rangers”.

Sure, a lot of the stories are campy but for those who enjoyed the action, the costumes and the good old story of good vs. evil, that concept has remained consistent season after season.

“Power Rangers Super Megaforce” is rather interesting because the first “Megaforce” season was quite enjoyable as I found it reminiscent of the first Power Rangers series.  The second “Megaforce”

“Power Rangers Super Megaforce” is based on the Japanese series “Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger” and was a special anniversary series in Japan that allowed the Rangers in pirate-themed uniforms change into any member from the previous 34 Super Sentai teams.

This proved to be popular in Japan as that means merchandising for all Super Sentai would be made available as special figure key sets and suffice to say, many fans and collectors were taking advantage of these special toys and sets.

is rather interesting because in some ways, it is reminiscent to the original “Power Ranger” series as the group goes to school, hangs out at a shop and they take part in teenage activities, interact with people at school or in the area and have fun.

But this would be problematic for the U.S. side as not all 34 Super Sentai teams have ever been featured on US television. There was no doubt a challenge that the writers would have to take on when writing for this season.

But with the 20th Anniversary of the Power Rangers series happening that year, it would give writers a chance to create storylines that would bring cast members back, but also give the Power Rangers Megaforce team the opportunity to wear different costumes from Power Rangers past.

But for those who enjoyed “Power Rangers Megaforce”, the sudden switch of storytelling of Earth being invaded and everything now in relation to the costumes and Power Rangers past, took the cast and its storyline consistency to a whole new direction.

This time we see the character-driven storylines, so much is now focused on the battle with the Armada, the cast meeting with past members and also discovering Orion, the Silver Ranger.

Sure, you see some aspects of the first season as the teacher and Brain Freeze store owner can be seen on the show.  But there are a lot of CG scenes this time around.

But what it comes down to is that the series is subjective to the viewer.

I enjoyed the series for the fact that we saw past characters from other Power Rangers series make their appearance, especially in the final episode “The Legendary Battle”.

Compared to other Power Rangers series in which the Power Rangers have always found a way to protect the planet and everything ends with a happy scene, this time around, we have a series which the Armada continues to get stronger and we actually see a ranger team that is nearly defeated, aliens blasting buildings down, people running for their lives.  Situations that you usually don’t expect to see in a Power Rangers series.

But I did enjoy this season but for different reasons compared to the previous season which I enjoyed for it being reminiscent to the original Power Rangers series and having storylines that suited its cast.  Last season had character-driven storylines, this season is primarily about the team trying to work together, with their new power taking on the powerful Armada.

And I have to say, seeing all these past characters having an appearance in “Power Rangers Super Megaforce” definitely made this season worth watching!

As one who has grown up watching the Japanese sentai series and also the original “Power Rangers” and now having a child and nephews that are interested in them, one thing that I am glad to see is that the series retains its action and family-oriented storylines.

Nothing too violent and nothing that would make parents wince. Granted, some may object to the fighting but personally, costumed heroes vs. monsters (people in rubber suits), it’s not exactly something that I worry about in terms of fighting action. As parents, it’s how we teach our children and to not practice Power Rangers moves on other people.

While acting is always spotty at times with a Power Rangers series and episodes can get a bit campy at times, for the most part, I’ve been watching and reviewing Power Ranger DVD’s since the first season and the Japanese sentai series before that. And it’s important to remember that these series were created for the children in mind and the young at heart, so for the most part, I’m not too critical of the “Power Rangers” series but I am critical about the writing and other aspects of the series.

As for this DVD volume, you get the entire series, which is 20 episodes, seven hours worth on five discs.

Picture quality is as good as one can expect on DVD and audio quality features crystal clear dialogue and action sequences utilize the surround channels quite well. While special features feature an extended movie edition of the final episode “The Legendary Battle” and a 10 minute featurette with the various “Power Rangers” cast members talking about the legacy of the “Power Rangers” series.  Also, a slipcover and a digital HD code is included.

Overall, “Power Rangers Super Megaforce: The Complete Season” is more action-driven and features a story that celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the Power Rangers series.

Featuring the appearance of previous cast members from past “Power Rangers” series and an action-driven storyline, if you enjoyed “Power Rangers Megaforce”, then this second “Megaforce” season and 20th anniversary series is recommended to you!

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Power Rangers Megaforce: The Complete Season (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

August 13, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

megaforce

“Power Rangers Megaforce: The Complete Season” is a DVD that I recommend for young fans and the young at heart!  A cool and hip cast and stories and setting reminiscent of the original “Power Rangers” series, definitely a series recommended for “Power Rangers” fans.

Images courtesy of © 2016 Lions Gate Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


DVD TITLE:Power Rangers Megaforce: The Complete Season

TV SERIES (YEAR): 2013

DURATION: Episodes 1-20 (460 Minutes)

DVD INFORMATION: 1:78:1 Widescreen, English 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio, French and Spanish 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: Lionsgate

RATED: Not Rated

AVAILABLE ON: August 16, 2016


Directed by James Barr, Akihiro Noguchi, Charlie Haskell, Jonathan Tzachor, John Laing, Jonathan Brough, Koichi Sakamoto

Written by James W. Bates, Seth Walther, Jill Donnellan, Jim Peronto, Marc Handler, David McDermott, Jason Smith, Amira Lopez, Samuel P. McLean, David Henry Schneider

Produced by Sally Campbell

Executive Produced by Judd Lynn, Brian Casentini, Haim Saban

Music by Noam Kaniel

Cinematography by Kevin Riley, D.J. Stipsen

Edited by Allanah Milne

Casting by Iris Hampton

Production Design by Tracey Collins

Art Direction by Davin Voot

Costume Design by Sarah Voon


Starring:

Andrew M. Gray as Troy Burrows

Ciara Hanna as Gia Moran

John Mark Loudermilk as Noah Carver

Christina Masterson as Emma Goodall

Azim Rizk as Jake Holling

Geoff Dolan as Gosei

Estevez Gillespie as Ernie

Ian Harcourt as Mr. Burley

Jason Hood as Vrak

Chris Auer as Robo Knight

Rebecca Parr as Levira

John Leigh as Damaras

Campbell Cooley as Admiral Malkor

Mark Mitchinson as Creepox

Sophie Henderson as Metal Alice

Charlie McDermott as Bigs

Jay Simon as Bluefur

Stephen Butterworth as Prince Val


When the evil Warstar aliens plot a massive invasion of our planet, Earth’s supernatural guardian, Gosei, mobilizes a team of five extraordinary teens with the talent and attitude to oppose them: the Power Rangers Megaforce!


In 2013, the latest series of the “Power Rangers” franchise is “Power Rangers Megaforce”.

The series would star Andrew M. Gary, Ciara Hanna (“Pernicious”, “Blood Lake: Attack of the Killer Lampreys”), John Mark Loudermilk (“The Best Friends Club”), Christina Masterson (“Monster-in-Law”, “Deadgirl”) and Azim Rizk (“The Republic of Two”).

The series begins with five ordinary teenagers with attitude from Harwood County were gathered together by Gosei, an intergalactic wizard who was an apprentice of Zordon.

Gosei has awakened from his sleep and with the help of his robot Tensou, have found five teenagers to save the planet Earth from the Warstar and are given special Power Ranger gear to protect Earth and the humans.

The teenagers – The stoic new student, Troy Burrows (portrayed by Andrew M. Gray) as the Red Ranger, the upbeat Gia Moran (portrayed by Ciara Hanna) as the Yellow Ranger, Gia’s best friend, photographer Emma Goodall (portrayed by Christina Masterson) as the Pink Ranger, the booksmart Noah Carver (John Mark Loudermilk) as the Blue Ranger and the sporty Jake Holling (portrayed by Azim Rizk) as the Black Ranger.

As the five take on various enemies such as the Insectoids which incllude Admiral Malkor, Creepox, Vrak, the Loogies, Zombats and others, they also encounter a mysterious robotic knight known as Robo Knight, who was created by Gosei centuries ago to protect the Earth’s environment.  But having been dormant for so long, Robo Knight has lost some of its memory and is quite cold towards the Power Rangers.

Having difficulty trying to comprehend human nature, Troy and the others try to get Robo Knight to join the team.


VIDEO & AUDIO:

“Power Rangers Megaforce: The Complete Season” is presented in 1:78:1 Widescreen and English 5.1 Dolby Digital and French and Spanish 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio. Picture quality is good, as one can expect on DVD and with most of the film shot outdoors, picture quality is good. Dialogue and music is clear and understandable.

Closed Captions are included.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Power Rangers Megaforce: The Complete Season” features a “Power Rangers” morph through 20 years, a Character Gallery and a Zord Gallery.

It’s important to note that the two specials “Raising Spirits” and “The Robo Knight Before Christmas” are not included on any of the five DVD’s.

EXTRAS:

“Power Rangers Megaforce: The Complete Season” comes with a slip cover and HD UltraViolet code.


For over 20-years, many people have grown up watching “Power Rangers”.

Sure, a lot of the stories are campy but for those who enjoyed the action, the costumes and the good old story of good vs. evil, that concept has remained consistent season after season.

“Power Rangers Megaforce” is rather interesting because in some ways, it is reminiscent to the original “Power Ranger” series as the group goes to school, hangs out at a shop and they take part in teenage activities, interact with people at school or in the area and have fun.

Also, you have the three guys with red, blue and black and the girls with yellow and pink.  And it’s a very charismatic cast in which the chemistry and vibe works well with each other.  The series uses footage, costumes and props that were featured in the 2010 Japanese series “Tensou Sentai Goseiger” (the 34th entry of the popular Super Sentai series in Japan).

As one who has grown up watching the Japanese sentai series and also the original “Power Rangers” and now having a child and nephews that are interested in them, one thing that I am glad to see is that the series retains its action and family-oriented storylines.

Nothing too violent and nothing that would make parents wince. Granted, some may object to the fighting but personally, costumed heroes vs. monsters (people in rubber suits), it’s not exactly something that I worry about in terms of fighting action. As parents, it’s how we teach our children and to not practice Power Rangers moves on other people.

While acting is always spotty at times with a Power Rangers series and episodes can get a bit campy at times, for the most part, I’ve been watching and reviewing Power Ranger DVD’s since the first season and the Japanese sentai series before that.  And it’s important to remember that these series were created for the children in mind and the young at heart, so for the most part, I’m not too critical of the series but I am critical about the writing and other aspects of the series.

So far, I really enjoy this cast and found them to be hip, cool and and the writing utilizing the characters went quite well for this first season.

As for this DVD volume, you get the entire series, which is 20 episodes, seven hours worth on five discs.

Picture quality is as good as one can expect on DVD and audio quality features crystal clear dialogue and action sequences utilize the surround channels quite well. While special features are limited to character and Zord gallery, a digital HD code was included.

Overall, “Power Rangers Megaforce: The Complete Season” is a DVD that I recommend for young fans and the young at heart!  A cool and hip cast and stories and setting reminiscent of the original “Power Rangers” series, definitely a series recommended for “Power Rangers” fans.

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Power Rangers: Dino Charge – Breakout (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

June 29, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

prdc-breakout

“Power Rangers: Dino Charge – Breakout” is a DVD that I recommend for young fans and the young at heart!

Images courtesy of © 2016 Lions Gate Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.


DVD TITLE: Power Rangers: Dino Charge – Breakout

TV SERIES (YEAR): 2015

DURATION: 92 Minutes

DVD INFORMATION: 1:78:1  Widescreen, English 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio, French and Spanish 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: Lionsgate

RATED: Not Rated

AVAILABLE ON: July 5, 2016


Directed by Charlie Haskell, Peter Salmon, Mike Smith, Jonathan Brough, Peter Burger, Karl Zwicky, Michael Duignan

Written by Judd Lynn, Haim Saban, Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Mark Litton, Jeffrey Newman, Peter Wiseman, James W. Bates, Tanya M. Wheeler, Marc Handler, Ann Knapp

Produced by Sally Campbell

Executive Produced by Judd Lynn, Brian Casentini, Haim Saban

Music by Noam Kaniel

Cinematography by Kevin Riley, D.J. Stipsen

Edited by Allanah Milne

Casting by Iris Hampton

Production Design by Tracey Collins

Art Direction by Davin Voot

Costume Design by Sarah Voon


Starring:

Brennan Mejia as Tyler Navarro/Red Dino Charge Ranger

Camille Hyde as Shelby Watkins/Pink Dino Charge Ranger

Yoshua Sudarso as Koda/Blue Dino Charge Ranger

Michael Taber as Riley Griffin/Green Dino Charge Ranger

James Davies as Chase Randall/Black Dino Charge Ranger

Claire Blackwelder as Kendall Morgan/Purple Dino Charge Ranger

Campbell Cooley as the Mecha Voice

Davi Santos as Ivan

Estevez Gillespie as Wrench

Paul Harrop as Fury

Eve Gordon as Keeper

Adam Gardiner as Sledge

Jackie Clarke as Poisandra

Ryan Carter as Heckyl


The Power Rangers will have to outsmart a puzzling villain, save a prince, and try to defeat Sledge’s monsters. When the evil Fury unleashes the powerful Ptera Zord, only the Power Rangers can regain control with the help of their newest ally – the Gold Ranger!


In 2015, “Power Rangers: Dino Charge” debuted on television.

The 22nd season of the “Power Rangers” series, the series would star Brennan Mejia, Camille Hyde, Yoshua Sudarso, Michael Taber, James Davies, and Claire Blackwelder.

The storyline begins with the opening narration:

Millions of years ago, the evil Sledge tried to steal the greatest power in the universe. But an alien named Keeper entrusted them to dinosaurs. As for Sledge… He was blasted deep into space. Now the Energems have been found, and Sledge returns to battle a new team of heroes; they are…Power Rangers Dino Charge!”

As Sledge continues to look for the Energems, a team of Power Rangers form to find the the Energems first and fight various enemies.

As “Power Rangers: Dino Charge” features a total of 22 episodes, “Breakout” is the third “Power Rangers: Dino Charge” DVD to be released and contains episodes 9-12.

Here is a spoilerless summary of “Power Rangers: Dino Charge”:

  • Episode 9 – “When Logic Falls” – Puzzler teams up with Fury and captures the Dino Charge Rangers.  Can Riley save them?
  • Episode 10 – “The Royal Rangers” – Fury tries to take control of the Ptera Zord.
  • Episode 11 – “Breakout” – Prince Phillip III is attacked by Poisandra, Fury, Wrench, Curio and Vivix but discover a new ally.
  • Episode 12 – “Knight After Knights” – With the discovery of the Gold Ranger, Fury sends out the criminal Bones of Fury to take on the Power Rangers.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“Power Rangers: Dino Charge – Breakout” is presented in 1:78:1 Widescreen and English 5.1 Dolby Digital and French and Spanish 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio. Picture quality is good, as one can expect on DVD and with most of the film shot outdoors, picture quality is good. Dialogue and music is clear and understandable.

Closed Captions are included.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Power Rangers: Dino Charge – Breakout” features no special features.

EXTRAS:

“Power Rangers: Dino Charge – Breakout” comes with a slip cover and HD UltraViolet code.


For over 20-years, many people have grown up watching “Power Rangers”.

Sure, a lot of the stories are campy but for those who enjoyed the action, the costumes and the good old story of good vs. evil, that concept has remained consistent season after season.

“Power Rangers: Dino Charge – Breakout” is rather interesting because of the dinosaur angle.

As one who has grown up watching the Japanese sentai series and also the original “Power Rangers” and now having a child and nephews that are interested in them, one thing that I am glad to see is that the series retains its action and family-oriented storylines.

Nothing too violent and nothing that would make parents wince.  Granted, some may object to the fighting but personally, costumed heroes vs. monsters (people in rubber suits), it’s not exactly something that I worry about in terms of fighting action.  As parents, it’s how we teach our children and to not practice Power Rangers moves on other people.

As for this DVD volume, it’s pretty much four episodes that deal with the introduction of the gold power ranger and whether or not the team will gain a new teammate.

While I wished there are more episodes than just the standard four, fans of the series or parents of children who love “Power Rangers: Dino Charge”, will no doubt enjoy this DVD.

As for the DVD, picture quality is as good as one can expect on DVD and there are no special features.  Fortunately, a digital HD code was included.

Overall, “Power Rangers: Dino Charge – Breakout” is a DVD that I recommend for young fans and the young at heart!

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Adventures in Babysitting (2016) (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

June 16, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Unknown

For families looking for a fun family film that is safe for children or those who enjoyed watching “Adventures in Babysitting” on the Disney Channel, you can’t go wrong with this entertaining and enjoyable action/adventure film on DVD. Recommended!

Images courtesy of © 2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.


DVD TITLE: Adventures in Babysitting

FILM RELEASE DATE: 2016

DURATION: 94 Minutes

DVD INFORMATION: 1:78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0  Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish

COMPANY: Disney

RATED: TV G

AVAILABLE ON: June 28, 2016


Directed by John Schultz

Written by Tiffany Paulsen

Produced by Shawn Williamson

Executive Produced by Michelle Manning

Associate Producer: Jonathan Shore

Cinematography by Charles Minsky

Edited by Lisa Brinkley

Casting by Candice Elzinga

Production Design by Charles William Bren

Art Direction by Ken Rempel

Set Decoration by Kate Marshall

Costume Design by Lorraine Carson


Starring:

Sabrina Carpenter as Jenny

Sofia Carson as Lola

Max Lloyd-Jones as Officer James

Gillian Vigman as Helen

Kevin G. Quinn as Zac Chase

Ali Skovbye as Claire

Nikki Hahn as Emily Cooper

Kevin O’Grady as Barry Cooper

Jet Jurgensmeyer as Bobby Anderson

Mallory James Mahoney as Katy Cooper

Hugo Ateo as Hal


Sofia Carson (DESCENDANTS) and Sabrina Carpenter (GIRL MEETS WORLD) star in a hilarious, action-packed tale of two sitters inspired by the ’80s classic! Sparks fly when free-spirited Lola and prim, proper Jenny learn they’re up for the same internship. But that night, after newbie babysitter Lola breaks Rule #1: NEVER take your eyes off the kids, she’s forced to call Jenny — currently on her own gig — to help track down Trey, who has snuck out. Now with all their young charges in tow, these rivals must team up and brave the big city on the wildest, wackiest adventure of their lives!


In 1987, Chris Columbus’ film “Adventures in Babysitting” was a big hit.  Fastforward nearly 30-years later and a new Disney television movie of the same name.

The film would be the 100th entry for the Disney Channel of original made-for-TV films and as the film is set for released on June 24th, the DVD of the telefilm will be released on June 26th.

“Adventures in Babysitting” was directed by John Schultz (“Drive Me Crazy”, “Like Mike”, “The Honeymooners”) andw ritten by Tiffany Paulsen (“Nancy Drew”, “Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan”, “Runaway Bride”).

The film would star Sabrina Carpenter (“Girl Meets World”, “Noobz”, “Horns”), Sofia Carson (“Descendants”, “Tini: The Movie”), Gillian Vigman (“The Hangover” films, “The 40-Year-Old Virgin”), Max Lloyd-Jones (“The Sandlot 2”, “Restless Virgins”), Nikki Hahn (“The Remains”, “Riding 79”), Jet Jurgensmeyer (“American Sniper”, “Devil’s Knot”, “The Little Rascals Save the Day”), Madison Horcher (“K.C. Undercover”, “Key and Peele”), Kevin G. Quinn (“Bunk’d”, “Monstober”) and Mallory James Mahoney.

“Adventures in Babysitting” begins with an introduction of two very opposite young women.

Jenny Parker (portrayed by Sabrina Carpenter) plays by the rules, always lived her life studying and being a great babysitter.  She is going for an photography internship in order to better her career.

Meanwhile, Lola Perez (portrayed by Sofia Carson) is a creative photographer, who often gets in trouble and has many unpaid speed tickets. So, she is needing money. She is also going for the same photography internship.

As both Jenny and Lola have been selected as the finalists, both must compete for the internship.

During the interview, the two accidentally drop their phones and pick up the wrong phone.  Jenny has Lola’s phone, while Lola has Jenny’s phone.  When she picks it up, she is offered a babysitting job meant for Jenny and Lola decides take on a job to babysit Helen Anderson (portrayed by Gillian Vigman’s) three children: The oldest child Trey (portrayed by Max Gecowets) who is in deep trouble by his parents; the young cook Bobby (portrayed by Jet Jurgensmeyer) and the roller derby loving young sister, AJ (portrayed by Madison Horcher).

Meanwhile, Jenny is babysitting the Cooper’s two daughters: the rebellious Emily (portrayed by Nikki Hahn), who has a big crush on Trey Anderson and the fashionista little sister Katy (portrayed by Mallory James Mahoney).

While Bobby is cooking and Lola is more interested in going in the hot tub than watching the children, Bobby accidentally causes a fire and AJ ends up talking to Jenny and letting her know that “her friend” Lola is babysitting them.

Surprised that Lola has went that far, Jenny takes the Cooper’s two daughters to the Anderson home and is shocked about how much trouble Lola has caused.  Meanwhile, they are unaware that Trey has left home in order to purchase concert tickets.

Afraid that they will get in big trouble with Trey gone, Jenny, Lola and the kids go to search for him.  And as they go into a pawn shop, they are unaware that the store clerks are planning an illegal deal to sell an expensive stolen sapphire ferret.  And because Lola had taken a photo of one of the thieves, the thieves try to get the camera back and Jenny and Lola and the children they are babysitting, end up traveling throughout the city to escape from the thieves pursuing them.

But can Jenny and Lola protect the kids, considering they are opposites and are often quarreling with each other?


VIDEO & AUDIO:

“Adventures in Babysitting” is presented in 1:78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen and English 5.1 Dolby Digital. French and Spanish 2.0 Dolby Digital. Picture quality is good, as one can expect on DVD. But I wished this film was released on Blu-ray. But overall picture quality and audio is very good.

Subtitles are in English SDH, French and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Adventures in Babysitting” comes with the following special features:

  • Adventures in Outtakes – (1:40) Outtakes

EXTRAS:

“Adventures in Babysitting” comes with a Slipcover, Disney Movie Rewards code and an “Adventures in Babysitting” Rules Magnet.


As a fan of the original “Adventures in Babysitting” film, I was actually quite interested in seeing how Disney would do with their latest Disney Channel film.

And one of the good things is that while it borrows the concept of the original film of the babysitter and the children getting into a bit of trouble and having to go on adventures through the city, it’s a much different film as there are two babysitters, two families and the two babysitters, don’t really get along.

Jenny is more of the dedicated, career-driven, perfectionist.  Lola is the rebellious and creative artist.  Both are vying for a photography internship and due to a mixup of phones, because Lola needs money, she takes on a babysitting job meant for Jenny.

But when Lola’s lack of babysitting skills, leads her to forget about the oldest boy that she has to babysit, who has snuck out of the house to buy some concert tickets, this leads Jenny, Lola and the kids they are babysitting to go out and find Trey.

But as the adventures of the two babysitters leads them to a pawn shop which Trey was buying concert tickets at, they are unaware that the two employees are thieves who are trying to make a sale of an illegal sapphire ferret.

And because Lola has taken a photo of one of the thieves and the stolen ferret, this leads the thieves to pursue them throughout the city.

But to cause problems for Jenny and Lola, they need to find Trey, the Anderson’s home was left in disarray and Jenny borrows the Anderson’s expensive SUV (in order for all kids to fit in the vehicle) which ends up getting towed and to make things worse, they are somewhere in the city without any money.

For the most part, “Adventures in Babysitting” is full of family fun.  Both Sofia Carson and Sabrina Carpenter do a wonderful job of playing the roles of the two babysitters and the film has a lot of energy, action and humor which makes the overall adventures fun and exciting.

But each of the children featured, they all bring something different and fun for the film.  From rebellious teens, a boy who loves to cook, a girl who who loves rollerblading and a young girl who is a fashionista.  So, it’s a fun cast to watch!

And as always, the Disney Channel has done a great job in creating telefilms that the whole family can enjoy.

As for the DVD, picture quality is as good as one can expect on DVD, but I do wish there was a Blu-ray release of the film.  Dialogue and music are clear and you get outtakes plus an “Adventures in Babysitting” Rules magnet.  And like most Disney releases, you receive a digital HD code that can be entered on Disney Movie Rewards.

Overall, for families looking for a fun family film that is safe for children or those who enjoyed watching “Adventures in Babysitting” on the Disney Channel, you can’t go wrong with this entertaining and enjoyable action/adventure film on DVD.

Recommended!

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