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THE WORLDS OF “EMPIRE” AND “STAR” COLLIDE ON A SPECIAL SEASON PREMIERE EVENT WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, ON FOX

July 13, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

STAR’s Queen Latifah to Appear on EMPIRE and EMPIRE’s Jussie Smollett to Appear on STAR

On an epic night of music and drama, Carlotta (Queen Latifah) comes face-to-face with Cookie (Taraji P. Henson), Lucious (Terrence Howard) and Jamal Lyon (Jussie Smollett), as the worlds of EMPIRE and STAR collide Wednesday, Sept. 27 on FOX. The special event begins with the Season Four premiere of EMPIRE (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT), followed by the Season Two premiere of STAR (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT).

The night kicks off with EMPIRE (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT). On the brink of Empire Entertainment’s 20th anniversary, Lucious is making his first public appearance after the explosion in Las Vegas, while all members of the Lyon family, as well as Lucious’ nurse, Claudia (guest star Demi Moore), have their own interests in Lucious regaining his physical and mental faculties. Then, on STAR (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), the girls – with Carlotta as their manager – continue to face roadblocks, despite their victory at Atlanta NextFest.

Watch/Share the All-New Promo for EMPIRE and STAR: https://youtu.be/Nd5VMvlwy9c

From Imagine Television in association with 20th Century Fox Television, EMPIRE was created by Academy Award nominee Lee Daniels and Emmy Award winner Danny Strong, and is executive-produced by Daniels, Strong, Academy Award- and Emmy Award-winning producer Brian Grazer, Ilene Chaiken, Francie Calfo and Sanaa Hamri. “Like” EMPIRE on Facebook at facebook.com/EmpireFOX. Follow the series on Twitter @EmpireFOX and join the discussion using #Empire. See photos and videos on Instagram by following @EmpireFOX.

STAR is a production of 20th Century Fox Television in association with Lee Daniels Entertainment. Lee Daniels and Tom Donaghy are the creators and executive producers of the series. Pamela Oas Williams also serves as executive producer. Karin Gist is an executive producer and serves as showrunner of the series. “Like” STAR on Facebook at facebook.com/STARonFOX. Follow the series on Twitter @STAR and join the discussion by using #Star. See photos and videos on Instagram by following @STARonFOX.

Miracles from Heaven (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

July 5, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

miraclefromheaven

“Miracles from Heaven” is heartwarming, entertaining and enjoyable if you grew up with a Christian upbringing. Annabel’s experience is not easy to explain for those who believe in God, you can take this experience as you see fit. But through the kindness of others, as demonstrated throughout the film, it’s God’s way of showing a person a way of trying to reach out to others and show the true power of faith and love but also that miracles do exist. Recommended!

Images courtesy of © 2016 Georgia Film Fund. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Miracles from Heaven

FILM RELEASE: 2016

DURATION: 109 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1:85:1), English, Portuguese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English Audio Description Track, French, Spanish and Thai 5.1 Dolby Digital Subtitles: English, English SDH, Cantonese, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, French, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish

COMPANY: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

RATED: PG (for Thematic Material, Including Accident and Medical Images)

Release Date: July 12, 2016


Directed by Patricia Riggin

Based on the Book by Christy Beam

Adaptation by Randy Brown

Produced by DeVon Franklin, T.D. Jakes, Joe Roth

Executive-Producer: Matthew Hirsch, Zack Roth, Derrick Williams

Cinematography by Checco Varese

Music by Carlo Silotto

Edited by Emma E. Hickox

Production Design: David Sandefur

Art Direction by Doug Fick

Set Decoration by Brana Rosenfeld

Costume Design by Mary Jane Fort


Starring:

Jennifer Garner as Christy Beam

Kylie Rogers as Anna Beam

Martin Henderson as Kevin Beam

Brighton Sharbino as Abbie Beam

Courtney Fansler as Adelynn Beam

Queen Latifah as Angela

Eugenio Derbez as Dr. Nurko

Kelly Collins Lintz as Emmy

John Carroll Lynch as Pastor Scott

Brandon Spink as Billy Snyder


“Miracles From Heaven” is based on the incredible true story of the Beam family.  When Christy (Jennifer Garner) discovers her 10-year-old daughter Anna (Kylie Rogers) has a rare, incurable disease, she becomes a ferocious advocate for her daughter’s healing as she searches for a solution. After Anna has a freak accident, an extraordinary miracle unfolds in the wake of her dramatic rescue that leaves medical specialists mystified, her family restored, and their community inspired.


For those who knew Annabel Beam, many were in awe of how a young girl suffering from life-threatening digestive disorders and then to later fall 30 feet headfirst into a rotted trunk of a cottonwood tree would not only survive her injuries, but to be fully cured of her disorders.

During the time when Annabel was in the tree trunk, she talked about how God told her that she would be healed.

And the story of the Beam family and Annabel became the subject of a memoir titled “Miracles from Heaven” written by Cathy Beam.

The inspirational story would lead to a Christian drama film adaptation directed by Patricia Riggin (“The 33”, “Under the Same Moon”) and an adaptation by Randy Brown (“Trouble with the Curve”).

The film stars Jennifer Garner (“Alias”, “Dallas Buyers Club”, “Juno”), Kylie Rogers (“Fathers and Daughters”, “Space Station 786”),  Martin Henderson (“The Ring”, “Everest”, “Windtalkers”), Queen Latifah (“”Living Single”, “Chicago”, “Bringing Down the House”), Eugenio Derbez (“Instructions Not Included”, “Jack & Jill”), John Carroll Lynch (“Shutter Island”, “Grand Tornio”, “Zodiac”), Brighton Sarbino (“The Walking Dead”, “Growing Up Smith”) and Courtney Fansler.

And now, “Miracles from Heaven” will be released on Blu-ray and DVD in Sept. 2015.

The film is set in Texas, Christy (portrayed by Jennifer Garner) and her husband Kevin (portrayed by Martin Henderson) are parents to three daughters, Abbie (portrayed by Brighton Sharbino), Annabel (portrayed by Kylie Rogers) and Adelynn (portrayed by Courtney Fansler).

The family are dedicated Christians but the family has been dealing with recent pains that their daughter Annabel has been going through.  When they take her to the hospital, they are told that she has a problem with lactose intolerance.

But after bringing her home, her stomach has become distended and when they take her to ER after Annabel is experiencing a lot of pain, they tell her it’s acid reflux.  Believing it is more than that, Christy demands that another doctor check on her.

It is revealed by the head pediatrics surgeon that Annabel suffers from a rare debilitating digestive disorder.  Her body is unable to no longer take in food and that she will be in increasing pain.  While the surgeon gives her names of doctors in the country who have helped children with the disorder, Annabel continues to get worse and the family tries their best to make sure they keep her comfortable and try to swear off food that Annabel is unable to eat.

But when Annabel’s condition worsens and Christy has contacted doctors with no response, she decides to make the decision to go to Boston with Annabel in hopes of talking to Dr. Nurko (portrayed by Eugenio Derbez).

As she tries, unfortunately she is unable to see him without an appointment.

While in Boston, she receives support from a waitress named Angela (portrayed by Queen Latifah) who helps both Christy and Annabel and as Dr. Nurko is able to get Annabel in, because of the severity of her disorder, the family must take on difficult emotional and financial challenges.

Meanwhile, Christy starts to doubt her faith when fellow parishioners at the church start to ask if she’s praying enough or something bad must have happened for bad things to happen to Annabel.  Meanwhile, as the emotional toll starts to come upon the family, even greater challenges lie ahead for Annabel.

But what happens to her is no doubt a miracle from Heaven.


VIDEO:

“Miracles from Heaven” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:85:1 aspect ratio). The film looks vibrant in outdoor scenes and close ups are full of detail. I didn’t notice any banding or artifacts during my viewing of the film. For the most part, picture quality for the film is great!

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Miracles from Heaven” is presented in English, Portuguese 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and English – Audio Description Track, French, Spanish and Thai 5.1 Dolby Digital.

The film’s lossless soundtrack is primarily dialogue-driven but there are moments with music, which are also crystal clear.  Surround channels are primarily utilized for crowd ambiance.

Subtitles are in English, English SDH, Cantonese, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, French, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish and Thai.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Miracles from Heaven” comes with the following special features:

  • Commentary with Patricia Riggen and Randy Brown – Featuring an audio commentary by director Patricia Riggen and writer Randy Brown.
  • Bearing Witness – (9:06) A visit with the Beam family at their home, what has happened to the tree on the property and more.
  • Miracles Abound: The Making of Miracles from Heaven – (9:14) The cast discuss about working on the film and the cast meeting the real people in the film.
  • Accounts from Annabel – (6:17) Annabel discusses the differences from the film and reality and how close she is with her mother.
  • Deleted Scenes – (13:32) Featuring five deleted scenes.
  • Your Words Montage – (3:47) A music video for “Your Words”
  • Creating Heaven – Concept Art Exploration – (3:46) Director Patricia Reagan worked with Juan Pablo Garcia Tames who created the storyboards for the film.

EXTRAS:

“Miracles from Heaven” comes with a slipcover and UltraViolet Digital HD code.


There have been Christian films that have dealt with those who saw God and were brought back to life after what would appear to be a certain death.

And when it comes to these films, even with Christians, they are debated and also films that are subjective to the viewer.

I said that with the 2014 film “Heaven is for Real” which a little boy survives a near death experience and has vivid memories of meeting God and other loved ones who are in Heaven and took on the questions of what heaven should be.  And what he saw in heaven.

For the 2016 film, “Miracles from Heaven”….  While a Christian film, unlike other Affirm Films that are deep in the Christian message, I am starting to notice films that feature well-known talent but also a storyline that is more accessible to the masses, whether or not they are Christian or not, but having them decide whether or not they believe or don’t.

“Miracles from Heaven” for the most part is a family dealing with a major crisis.  A daughter who is suffering from a deadly digestive disorder and is in constant pain, a family who struggles to get the bills paid due to the mounting medical bills and the majority of the film focuses on a loving mother who wants to do all she can to be there for her daughter.

And also showing different Christian perspectives, as one woman criticizes the mother, Kathy Beam, of not being a good Christian because God has not healed their daughter.  Someone must have sinned.

And with the few occasions of the family going to church or talking to their pastor, the film does not try to forcefeed Christianity on the viewer for the majority of the film.  Probably within the last half hour of the film do we get to see the family change after a miracle happens with their daughter and the we see the Christian values being remembered by Kathy, who had lost her way but recognizes the kindness of others who were important to the family during their time of need.

While the story is based on the true story of the Beam family, there were a few things that were added to the film, but the premise of the story remains the same.  How a girl who had a deadly disorder and suffered a near tragedy was not just able to survive, she was also able to rid of her disorder and during her time that she was out unconscious, she was talking to God.

Again, this is a film that is subjective to the viewer but as a Christian, I found “Miracles from Heaven” to be heartwarming.  And while there are some who may question this film of why would this child survived and another didn’t, It’s not an easy topic of discussion.  But If you are a Christian, one must believe that there was a reason and you pray for those who made and for those who didn’t.  And there is indeed a spiritual message from the film.

As for the acting, Jennifer Garnder and young Kylie Rogers did a wonderful job with a mother and daughter who must go through emotional high and lows but through thick and thin, family must stick together and support each other, no matter how big the challenge or obstacles that are in front of them.  You can’t help but be inspired.

As for the Blu-ray release, the picture quality of this film is magnificent and the lossless audio quality is what I expected from this film and it being heavily center and front-channel driven.  There are a few special features included as well, especially with the actual Beam family and the real Annabel Beam.

“Miracles from Heaven” is a film that may not appeal to for everyone.  There will be some who will be touched, there will be some who may have problems with the film but for those with an open mind and for those who are Christians will no doubt enjoy or become fascinated by the story of the Beam family and be touched by the film’s spiritual message.

Overall, “Miracles from Heaven” is heartwarming, entertaining and enjoyable if you grew up with a Christian upbringing.  Annabel’s experience is not easy to explain for those who believe in God, you can take this experience as you see fit.   But through the kindness of others, as demonstrated throughout the film, it’s God’s way of showing a person a way of trying to reach out to others and show the true power of faith and love but also that miracles do exist.

Recommended!

 

MISSY ELLIOTT TO BE HONORED AT VH1 HIP HOP HONORS: ALL HAIL THE QUEENS

June 14, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

MISSY ELLIOTT TO BE HONORED AT VH1 HIP HOP HONORS: ALL HAIL THE QUEENS

EVENT TO HONOR THE TRAILBLAZING LADIES OF HIP HOP

MONDAY, JULY 11 AT 9PM ET LIVE FROM NEW YORK

NEW YORK, NY, June 14, 2016 – VH1 announced today that the groundbreaking Missy Elliott will be honored at VH1 HIP HOP HONORS: ALL HAIL THE QUEENS. Elliott joins previously announced honoree Queen Latifah.

After a six-year hiatus, the revered VH1 HIP HOP HONORS is back celebrating the best and brightest in hip hop with a twist. This year’s live event will pay homage to the female pioneers, trailblazers and trend-setters who led a movement and infiltrated the ranks of the male-dominated genre to make their voices heard and still do today. Additional hugely influential female artists being honored will be announced later this week.

Missy Elliott has achieved and maintained success over three decades. The critically acclaimed, five time Grammy Award-winning producer/songwriter/singer/rapper has sold over 30 million albums worldwide. In addition to releasing innovative and acclaimed music, Missy Elliott has become synonymous with groundbreaking music videos with the video for her most recent single, “WTF (Where They From),” racking up over 40 million views on YouTube. All six of Missy Elliott’s studio albums have been RIAA platinum certified or better, making her the only female rapper to have achieved this.

“VH1 HIP HOP HONORS: ALL HAIL THE QUEENS” will air Monday, July 11th at 9PM ET LIVE from New York

Since its inception in 2004, “VH1 HIP HOP HONORS” has recognized the luminaries who broke new ground and propelled the genre into the cultural phenomenon it has become. From Hip Hop’s pioneers like Public Enemy and Tupac Shakur to Def Jam Records and Russell Simmons, VH1 has honored Hip Hop from its origins through the numerous phases of its musical evolution.

Current sponsors of the “VH1 HIP HOP HONORS: ALL HAIL THE QUEENS” special event include MetroPCS® and Taco Bell®.

Join the conversation on Twitter with @VH1 using #HipHopHonors. For additional updates, ‘LIKE’ VH1 on Facebook, or go to HipHopHonors.VH1.com

“VH1 HIP HOP HONORS” is being produced by Flavor Unit with Shakim Compere and Queen Latifah as Executive Producers along with Monami Productions with Mona Scott-Young as Executive Producer and blacjac Entertainment Group with Jac Benson II as an Executive Producer. For VH1, Amy Doyle, Ryan Kroft and Keshia Williams are Executive Producers, Elena Diaz is Executive in Charge of Talent and Leah Lane and Joe Buoye are Executives in Charge of Production.

ABOUT VH1
VH1 is the dominant pop culture brand for adults 18-34, creating their pop culture today while celebrating the pop culture of their past. VH1 is available in 93 million households in the U.S. VH1 also has an array of digital channels and services including VH1 Classic, VH1 Soul, the VH1 App, VH1.com and @VH1, the hub for all things music and pop culture. Fans may also access current and retro VH1 programming via the VH1 App, the network’s three-in-one video, new form content and co-viewing app, available for free on iOS and Android platforms. VH1 is a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. For more information, go to www.vh1press.com, VH1.com, or the VH1 Facebook page. Follow us on Twitter @VH1PR.

ABOUT MISSY ELLIOTT
Miss Elliott is a groundbreaking solo superstar, pioneering producer/songwriter/singer/rapper, and cultural icon. The five-time GRAMMY® Award winner – with nominations spanning three decades – has achieved unprecedented success, including U.S. sales in excess of 30 million. Missy’s six studio albums (including 2001’s landmark “MISS E… SO ADDICTIVE” and 2002’s blockbuster “UNDER CONSTRUCTION”) have each been RIAA platinum certified or better, marking her as the only female rapper to achieve that milestone accomplishment.

Missy returned to the scene in November of 2015 with her explosive single, “WTF (Where They From)” Feat. Pharrell Williams. The track’s accompanying video has garnered over 40 milliont YouTube views and immediately became the #1 trending topic on both Twitter and Facebook upon its release. “WTF (Where They From)” Feat Pharrell Williams was also featured as the official theme to ESPN’s kickoff coverage of the 2015/2016 NBA season. Shortly after, Elliott released fan-favorite single, “Pep Rally”, which was featured in Amazon’s Super Bowl commercial starring Alec Baldwin, Dan Marino, Jason Schwartzman, and Missy herself. In March, Missy teamed up with First Lady Michelle Obama to release the female empowerment anthem, “This is For My Girls.” The track supports various ongoing campaigns that center around empowering young women, and also features the talents of Kelly Rowland, Janelle Monáe, Kelly Clarkson, and Zendaya.

QUEEN LATIFAH TO BE HONORED AT VH1 HIP HOP HONORS: ALL HAIL THE QUEENS

June 13, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

EVENT TO HONOR THE TRAILBLAZING LADIES OF HIP HOP

MONDAY, JULY 11 AT 9PM ET LIVE FROM NEW YORK

NEW YORK, NY, June 13, 2016 – VH1 announced today that multifaceted superstar Queen Latifah is the first legendary artist being honored at VH1 HIP HOP HONORS: ALL HAIL THE QUEENS. Latifah will also serve as an executive producer of the upcoming event through Flavor Unit, marking an ongoing collaboration with VH1 after the success of the one-hour special DEAR MAMA earlier this year.

After a six-year hiatus, the revered VH1 HIP HOP HONORS is back celebrating the best and brightest in hiphop with a twist. This year’s live event will pay homage to the female pioneers, trailblazers and trend-setters who led a movement and infiltrated the ranks of the male-dominated genre to make their voices heard and still do today. The other hugely influential female artists being honored will be announced later this week.

A true trailblazer in the world of hip hop, Queen Latifah has earned acclaim in all facets of her career. She is one of music’s most well respected rappers and has earned six Grammy nominations as well as a Grammy Award for Best Solo Rap Performance in 1994. Also known for her incredible singing ability, in 2005, she was nominated for Best Jazz Vocal Album and in 2008 she was nominated for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. As an actor, Latifah received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Mama Morton in Miramax’s Chicago and a SAG Award win for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries for her role in Bessie. She has also won a Golden Globe and been nominated for two Emmys.

“VH1 HIP HOP HONORS: ALL HAIL THE QUEENS” will air Monday, July 11th at 9PM ET LIVE from New York

Since its inception in 2004, “VH1 HIP HOP HONORS” has recognized the luminaries who broke new ground and propelled the genre into the cultural phenomenon it has become. From Hip Hop’s pioneers like Public Enemy and Tupac Shakur to Def Jam Records and Russell Simmons, VH1 has honored Hip Hop from its origins through the numerous phases of its musical evolution.

Current sponsors of the “VH1 HIP HOP HONORS: ALL HAIL THE QUEENS” special event include MetroPCS® and Taco Bell®.

Join the conversation on Twitter with @VH1 and @VH1Music using #HipHopHonors For additional updates, ‘LIKE’ VH1 and VH1 Music on Facebook, or go to HipHopHonors.VH1.com

“VH1 HIP HOP HONORS” is being produced by Flavor Unit with Shakim Compere and Queen Latifah as Executive Producers along with Monami Productions with Mona Scott-Young as Executive Producer and blacjac Entertainment Group with Jac Benson II as an Executive Producer. For VH1, Amy Doyle, Ryan Kroft and Keshia Williams are Executive Producers, Elena Diaz is Executive in Charge of Talent and Leah Lane and Joe Buoye are Executives in Charge of Production.

ABOUT VH1
VH1 is the dominant pop culture brand for adults 18-34, creating their pop culture today while celebrating the pop culture of their past. VH1 is available in 93 million households in the U.S. VH1 also has an array of digital channels and services including VH1 Classic, VH1 Soul, the VH1 App, VH1.com and @VH1, the hub for all things music and pop culture. Fans may also access current and retro VH1 programming via the VH1 App, the network’s three-in-one video, new form content and co-viewing app, available for free on iOS and Android platforms. VH1 is a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. For more information, go to www.vh1press.com, VH1.com, or the VH1 Facebook page. Follow us on Twitter @VH1PR.

Bringing Down the House: 10th Anniversary Edition (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

May 10, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

“Bringing Down the House” is a hilarious and fun comedy that will make people laugh today as it did ten years ago!  For those who love the film will definitely want to upgrade to Blu-ray!

Images courtesy of © Disney. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Bringing Down the House: 10th Anniversary Edition

FILM RELEASE: 2003

DURATION: 105 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (2:35:1), English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, French 5.1 Dolby Digital and Spanish 2.0 Dolby Digital

COMPANY: Touchstone Home Entertainment

RATED: PG-13 (For Language, Sexual Humor and Drug Material)

Release Date: May 15, 2012

Directed by Adam Shankman

Written by Jason Filardi

Produced by Ashok Amritaj, David Hoberman

Co-Producer: Todd Lieberman

Executive Producer: Jane Bartelme, Queen Latifah

Associate Producer: Cookie Carosella

Music by Lalo Schifrin

Cinematography by Julio Macat

Edited by Gerald B. Greenberg

Casting by Victoria Thomas

Production Design by Linda DeScenna

Art Direction by James Nedza

Set Decoration by Ric McElvin

Costume Design by Pamela Withers

Starring:

Steve Martin as Peter Sanderson

Queen Latifah as Charlene Morton

Eugene Levy as Howie Rottman

Joan Plowright as Virginia Arness

Jean Smart as Kate Sanderson

Kimberly J. Brown as Sarah Sanderson

Missi Pyle as Ashley

Michael Rosenbaum as Tod Gendler

Betty White as Mrs. Kline

The laugh-out-loud comedy “Bringing Down The House” will be available for the first time on Blu-ray™, May 15th, with a stunning new digital transfer!

The hilarious Steve Martin (Father Of The Bride) and Academy Award® nominee Queen Latifah (Best Actress In A Supporting Role, Chicago, 2002) star with Eugene Levy (American Pie) and Betty White (The Proposal) in this hysterical culture clash hit.

When Peter Sanderson (Martin), a divorced, uptight lawyer, meets Charlene (Latifah), a street-smart soul sister who’s just escaped from prison, his life is turned upside down. Crazy complications abound, and Peter soon discovers he may need Charlene just as much as she needs him. It’s a houseful of fun your family will enjoy again and again.

In 2003, the romantic comedy “Bringing Down the House” starring Steve Martin and Queen Latifah would earn over $164 million in the box office.

Directed by Adam Shankman (“Hairspray”, “Bedtime Stories”, “A Walk to Remember”) and written by Jason Filardi (“17 Again”, “Back Nine”), despite mixed reviews from critics, the film would become a financial success and also earning Queen Latifah a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture and also a Teen Choice Award for “Choice Movie Actress Comedy”.

And to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the film, Touchstone Home Video entertainment will be releasing the film on Blu-ray.

“Bringing Down the House” is a film which focuses on tax attorney Peter Sanderson (played by Steve Martin).  Peter is a workaholic and because of that, it led to the divorce with his former wife Kate, which he still has feelings for but is unable to stop his workaholic manners.  Both have two children, Sarah (played by Kimberly J. Brown) and a son named George (played by Angus T. Jones).

While both live in different homes and Kate is dating Peter’s former golf caddy, she also still has feelings for Peter, despite her sister Ashley (played by Missi Pyle) and Peter not getting along.

Meanwhile, Peter is communicating with a woman known as “Lawyer Girl” on the Internet and both have agreed to finally meet each other.

On the night he is to meet “Lawyer Girl”, Charlene Morton at his home, it turns out that Charlene is not the Caucasian woman in the photo, but an African-American woman, being taken in by cops and served prison time.

While in prison, Charlene (played by Queen Latifah) read a lot of law books and is hoping that Peter can take her case because she was wrongfully convicted.  As Peter feels betrayed, he tries to kick Charlene out of his home, but when she starts play screaming that Peter is the father of his child, Peter worries that his neighbor across the street, Mrs. Kline (played by Betty White), who happens to be his boss’ sister, may complain about him.

So, Peter gives Charlene a place to stay for the night and hears her story.  And to also find out that Charlene has kept records of their communication on the Internet and she threatens to expose him if he doesn’t help.  But while she is sleeping, Peter burns the papers and kicks her out again, and goes to pick up his two children who is spending the week with him.

Unfortunately for the kids, their original plan to go to Hawaii is dampered because Peter’s bosses are relying on him to bring billionaire, Virginia Arness (played by Joan Plowright) to the firm.  So, his job has come in priority once again over his family.  He knows it but as a workaholic, it’s a life that he only knows.

But when they return back home, Charlene has broken into the house and invited many of her African-American friends to party.  Shocked by what Charlene has done, he kicks her out again.  But the persistent Charlene is not going to stop until Peter takes his case and sure enough, she has shown up during his meeting with the billionaire, Virginia Arness.  Scared that Charlene may ruin business, he makes a deal to take on her case but at the same time, pretend to be his nanny and watch over his children during his meetings.  Meanwhile, Peter’s good friend and fellow lawyer Howie Rottman (played by Eugene Levy) is sexually attracted to Charlene.

Meanwhile, at the same location is Peter’s former sister-in-law Missi who is watching him and Charlene and giving news to his ex-wife that Peter may have some sort of relationship with his African-America nanny.

With Charlene now temporarily living with Peter and his children, how will life go for Peter and will he be able to solve her case?

All these two individuals know is that they may be total opposites from different sides of the city, but at this point in time, they need each other.

VIDEO:

Perhaps the biggest difference from the original DVD release of “Bringing Down the House” is the film’s video quality.  Presented in 1080p High Definition (widescreen 2:35:1), “Bringing Down the House” looks absolutely vibrant with this new digital transfer.

The outdoor scenes look amazing, no sign of the artifacts from the older DVD release, the clarity and detail is much more apparent in the Blu-ray release and for those who love this film, may want to upgrade to this latest Blu-ray release.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Bringing Down the House” is one of those films where you expect dialogue to be the primary focus and if anything, audio primarily coming from the center and front channels.  But “Bringing Down the House” is also a film known for its music soundtrack, from Queen Latifah to Robert Palmer, the soundtrack does have its fair share of  hip hop and pop music and the soundtrack does feature a good amount of bass during those music-driven scenes.  Dialogue is crystal clear and for the most part, the lossless soundtrack is definitely a step-up from the original DVD verison.

SPECIAL FEATURES

“Bringing Down the House: 10th Anniversary Edition” comes with the following special features:

  • Breaking Down “Bringing Down the House” – (16:33) Interview with Adam Shankman and the cast of “Bringing Down the House”.
  • The Godfather Hop – (2:57) A featurette focusing on Eugene Levy’s character, Howie.
  • “Better than the Rest” Music Video – (3:44) Queen Latifah’s music video.
  • Deleted Scenes – (4:10) Featuring four deleted scenes: Ashley Spies on Charlene, More Golfing with Arness, Howie confronts Peter on Humping and Charlene Bitch Slaps Mike.
  • Gag Reel – (4:00) Featuring the bloopers from “Bringing Down the House”.

 

While “Bringing Down the House” was not exactly a favorite of film critics, part of the success of the film is because of its mismatching of talents.  One would never expect Steve Martin and Queen Latifah to be in a film together, yet they did and for the most part succeeded.

While Steve Martin usually delivers in his role, what brought a fun atmosphere was Queen Latifah, who served as Executive Producer for the film but also worked closely with director Adam Shankman and writer Jason Filardi to bring some credibility to her character, know what kind of slang and terminology would go well with the audience, especially since both are complete opposites but at the same time, during this point in their lives, they realize how much they need each other.

It’s hard to believe 10-years has gone by since the release of this film in theaters, and while most of the cast members have gone on to bigger things (especially the young Angus T. Jones, who is now among the highly paid actors on television (ala “Two and a Half Men”), the film’s comedy still works today as it did in 2003.  It’s one thing to see Steve Martin deliver his one-liners, but to see Queen Latifah show off her comedy skills, even a little action with actress Missi Pyle, its the chemistry that seemed odd at first, comes together in this crazy, farcical film.  It’s one of those films that you want to watch, get away from reality and just laugh at how crazy the situations are.

Eugene Levy escapes from his fatherly comedy routine that he tends to play on the “American Pie” films and plays the sex-crazed lawyer who just lusts after Charlene and is blunt of how he feels towards her. Betty White plays the bigot neighbor across the street who runs out of the house after hearing Charlene scream and telling Peter “I hear Negro!”.  There are jokes that Queen Latifah brought to the film, that may raise eyebrows but she knew what jokes would work well with a diverse audience.

As for the Blu-ray release, the film looks fantastic and definitely an upgrade over the previous DVD release.  The special features are pretty much the same content that was on the original DVD but for those who want to upgrade or those strictly looking for a comedy to watch and have a good time, “Bringing Down the House” is a film worth considering.

Sure it’s farcical film that may be too absurd for some,  but for those who aren’t looking for anything too serious but something just to watch and laugh, will find “Bringing Down the House” an entertaining comedy.

Overall, “Bringing Down the House” is a hilarious and fun comedy that will make people laugh today as it did ten years ago.

NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED FOR THE “PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS 2011”

November 9, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

TO BE HOSTED BY QUEEN LATIFAH, JAN. 5, 2011
ON THE CBS TELEVISION NETWORK

Nominees include “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,” Robert Downey Jr., “The Good Wife,” Ellen DeGeneres, B.o.B and P!nk

Press Conference Debuts New Categories, Including “Favorite Song,” “Favorite Horror Movie” and “Favorite TV Doctor”


Voting Begins Today at http://www.peopleschoice.com/

The nominees for the PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS 2011 were announced this morning by Malin Akerman (“27 Dresses,” “Watchmen”), Michael Chiklis, (“No Ordinary Family”), Zachary Levi (“Chuck”), AnnaLynne McCord (“90210”), Jeff Probst (“Survivor”)  and Audrina Patridge (“The Hills”), along with host Queen Latifah and Executive Producer Mark Burnett at The London West Hollywood Hotel.  Prior to the announcement, over 35 million votes were cast by fans across the country.  Fans were invited to pick new categories and determine the nominees for the annual awards show that celebrates fan favorites in movies, music and television.

Winners will be revealed during the live broadcast of the PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS 2011 at the Nokia Theater, L.A. Live on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011 (9:00-11:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network.  Tickets to the awards show are now available for fans to purchase through Ticketmaster.  Voting begins today at http://www.peopleschoice.com/ for the finalists in all 44 categories and will end on Dec. 7, 2010, except for “Favorite New TV Drama” and “Favorite New TV Comedy,” which will remain open for voting until the night of show.

The list of potential nominees for PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS 2011 was determined by national ratings averages, box-office grosses, music sales, input from our media partners and E-Score Celebrity.  This process generated the top 12 candidates per category.  Fans were then asked to visit http://www.peopleschoice.com/ to vote on their favorites and generate the final list of nominees for the PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS 2011.  Fans had the option to write in their favorites not included among the provided candidates. All new shows currently on air are eligible in the categories of “Favorite New TV Drama” and “Favorite New TV Comedy.”  The top five will be announced Dec. 8, 2010.

A complete list of the PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS 2011 nominees follows:

FAVORITE MOVIE

Alice in Wonderland

Inception

Iron Man 2

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

Toy Story 3

FAVORITE MOVIE ACTOR

Johnny Depp

Leonardo DiCaprio

Robert Downey Jr.

Robert Pattinson

Taylor Lautner

FAVORITE MOVIE ACTRESS

Angelina Jolie

Jennifer Aniston

Julia Roberts

Katherine Heigl

Kristen Stewart

FAVORITE ACTION MOVIE

Iron Man 2

Kick-Ass

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Robin Hood

Salt

FAVORITE ACTION STAR

Angelina Jolie

Bradley Cooper

Jackie Chan

Jake Gyllenhaal

Robert Downey Jr.

FAVORITE DRAMA MOVIE

Alice in Wonderland

Dear John

Inception

The Social Network

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

FAVORITE FAMILY MOVIE

Despicable Me

How to Train Your Dragon

Shrek Forever After

The Karate Kid

Toy Story 3

FAVORITE COMEDY MOVIE

Date Night

Easy A

Grown Ups

Sex and the City 2

Valentine’s Day

FAVORITE COMEDIC STAR

Adam Sandler

Drew Barrymore

Steve Carell

Tina Fey

Will Ferrell

FAVORITE ON-SCREEN TEAM

Date Night – Tina Fey & Steve Carell

Inception – Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy & Dileep Rao

Iron Man 2 – Robert Downey Jr. & Don Cheadle

The Karate Kid – Jackie Chan & Jaden Smith

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse – Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart & Taylor Lautner

FAVORITE MOVIE STAR UNDER 25 (Presented By Moviefone)

Emma Watson

Kristen Stewart

Robert Pattinson

Vanessa Hudgens

Zac Efron

FAVORITE HORROR MOVIE (New! Voted In By Fans)

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Let Me In

Resident Evil: Afterlife

The Crazies

The Last Exorcism

FAVORITE TV DRAMA

Gossip Girl

Grey’s Anatomy

House

The Good Wife

The Vampire Diaries

FAVORITE TV DRAMA ACTOR

Chace Crawford

Hugh Laurie

Ian Somerhalder

Patrick Dempsey

Taye Diggs

FAVORITE TV DRAMA ACTRESS

Blake Lively

Julianna Margulies

Kate Walsh

Lisa Edelstein

Sandra Oh

FAVORITE TV COMEDY

Glee

How I Met Your Mother

Modern Family

The Big Bang Theory

Two and a Half Men

FAVORITE TV COMEDY ACTOR

Alec Baldwin

Jim Parsons

Matthew Morrison

Neil Patrick Harris

Steve Carell

FAVORITE TV COMEDY ACTRESS

Alyson Hannigan

Courteney Cox

Eva Longoria Parker

Jane Lynch

Tina Fey

FAVORITE COMPETITION SHOW

American Idol

America’s Got Talent

Dancing with the Stars

Hell’s Kitchen

So You Think You Can Dance

FAVORITE TV CRIME DRAMA

Bones

Criminal Minds

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Lie to Me

NCIS

FAVORITE TV CRIME FIGHTER (New! Voted In By Fans)

Emily Deschanel – Bones

Mariska Hargitay – Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Mark Harmon – NCIS

Simon Baker – The Mentalist

Tim Roth – Lie to Me

FAVORITE SCI-FI/FANTASY SHOW

Fringe

Smallville

Supernatural

The Vampire Diaries

True Blood

FAVORITE TALK SHOW HOST

Chelsea Handler

Conan O’Brien

Ellen DeGeneres

George Lopez

Oprah Winfrey

FAVORITE TV OBSESSION

Burn Notice

Dexter

Pretty Little Liars

True Blood

White Collar

FAVORITE TV GUILTY PLEASURE

Jersey Shore

Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List

Keeping Up with the Kardashians

The Real Housewives of New Jersey

Tosh.O

FAVORITE TV GUEST STAR

Betty White – Community

Britney Spears – Glee

Carrie Underwood – How I Met Your Mother

Demi Lovato – Grey’s Anatomy

Neil Patrick Harris – Glee

FAVORITE TV DOCTOR (New! Voted In By Fans)

Cristina Yang – Sandra Oh

Derek Shepherd – Patrick Dempsey

Gregory House – Hugh Laurie

James Wilson – Robert Sean Leonard

Meredith Grey – Ellen Pompeo

FAVORITE TV FAMILY (New! Voted In By Fans)

The Griffins – Family Guy

The Harpers – Two and a Half Men

The Pritchetts/Dunphys – Modern Family

The Scavos – Desperate Housewives

The Simpsons – The Simpsons

FAVORITE FAMILY TV MOVIE

Beauty & the Briefcase

Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam

iCarly: iPsycho

Revenge of the Bridesmaids

Starstruck

FAVORITE TV CHEF (Presented By DinnerTool.com)

Bobby Flay

Gordon Ramsey

Jamie Oliver

Paula Deen

Rachael Ray

FAVORITE NEW TV COMEDY

$#*! My Dad Says

Better With You

Mike & Molly

No Ordinary Family

Outsourced

Raising Hope

Running Wilde

FAVORITE NEW TV DRAMA

Blue Bloods

Chase

Detroit 1-8-7

Hawaii Five-0

Hellcats

Law & Order: Los Angeles

Nikita

The Defenders

The Event

FAVORITE MALE ARTIST

Eminem

Enrique Iglesias

Michael Bublé

Tim McGraw

Usher

FAVORITE FEMALE ARTIST

Carrie Underwood

Katy Perry

Lady Gaga

P!nk

Taylor Swift

FAVORITE SONG

Airplanes – B.o.B featuring Hayley Williams of Paramore

California Gurls – Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg

Love the Way You Lie – Eminem featuring Rihanna

OMG – Usher featuring Will.i.am

Telephone – Lady Gaga featuring Beyoncé

FAVORITE ROCK BAND

Daughtry

Linkin Park

Maroon 5

Nickelback

Paramore

FAVORITE BREAKOUT ARTIST

B.o.B

Bruno Mars

Justin Bieber

Ke$ha

Selena Gomez & the Scene

FAVORITE POP ARTIST

Beyoncé

Katy Perry

Lady Gaga

P!nk

Rihanna

FAVORITE COUNTRY ARTIST

Carrie Underwood

Keith Urban

Lady Antebellum

Rascal Flatts

Taylor Swift

FAVORITE R&B ARTIST

Alicia Keys

Beyoncé

Mary J. Blige

Ne-Yo

Usher

FAVORITE HIP-HOP ARTIST

Drake

Eminem

Jay-Z

Ludacris

Snoop Dogg

FAVORITE MUSIC VIDEO (Presented By VEVO)

Baby – Justin Bieber featuring Ludacris

Love the Way You Lie – Eminem featuring Rihanna

Teenage Dream – Katy Perry

Telephone – Lady Gaga featuring Beyoncé

Waka Waka – Shakira featuring Freshlyground

FAVORITE WEB CELEB (Presented By Wonderwall.com)

Alicia Keys

Betty White

Jimmy Fallon

Katy Perry

Teri Hatcher

FAVORITE VIRAL VIDEO STAR (Presented By Wheat Thins)

Giant Double Rainbow

Greyson Chance “Paparazzi”

Madison Square Park Proposal

“Single Ladies” Devastation

Tarp Surfing

About People’s Choice

Now in its 37th year, the People’s Choice Awards celebrate fan favorites in music, movies and television.  The People’s Choice Web site at http://www.peopleschoice.com/ serves as a year-round destination for entertainment enthusiasts to voice their opinions on pop culture by voting in and creating polls, and features an extensive video archive and photo gallery of People’s Choice Awards footage.  PeoplesChoice.com houses the voting platform where fans determine the

categories, nominees and winners for the annual awards show.  Fred Nelson is the President of People’s Choice, and the awards show is produced by Procter & Gamble Productions, Inc. (NYSE:PG), which is represented by MediaVest Worldwide, Inc., supervisors of the production.  Queen Latifah is the host of the PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS 2011 and Mark Burnett is the executive producer.

About the Executive Producers

Mark Burnett is a producer of primetime television, cable and Internet programming, and has produced over 1,100 hours of television programming which regularly air in over 70 countries around the world.  Burnett has revolutionized television with continuing hits such as “Survivor” (CBS), “The Apprentice” (NBC), and the now syndicated “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” (FOX).

Burnett has produced the MTV Movie Awards along with Audrey Morrissey for four years.  In 2010, Mark and Audrey teamed up again when they took on the People’s Choice Awards for the first time.  Audrey Morrissey is another prolific producer of television, cable and Internet programming.  A veteran of MTV, she and her company, “Live Animals,” now produce specials and series domestically and internationally.  She once produced an outdoor concert in a Mexican jungle in the middle of a hurricane and has done over 100 specials, including the People’s Choice Awards, the MTV Movie Awards, Kenny Chesney’s “Back Where I Come From,” CMT Crossroads, The CMT Music Awards, Latin VMA’s and the upcoming CMT Artists of the Year and Independent Spirit Awards.

RATING:  To Be Announced

JUST WRIGHT Opens THIS FRIDAY

May 12, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Directed by Sanaa Hamri
Written by Michael Elliot
Produced by Debra Martin Chase, Queen Latifah and Shakim Compere
Starring Queen Latifah, Common, Paula Patton, Phylicia Rashad, Pam Grier, James Pickens, Jr.

JUST WRIGHT stars Queen Latifah (BRINGING DOWN THE HOUSE) as Leslie Wright, a straight-shooting physical therapist who gets the dream job of working with NBA All-Star Scott McKnight (Common – DATE NIGHT). All is going well until Leslie finds herself falling for Scott, forcing her to choose between the gig of a lifetime and the tug-of-war inside her heart. Oblivious to her romantic overtures, McKnight is instead drawn to the affections of Leslie’s gorgeous childhood friend Morgan (Paula Patton – PRECIOUS), who has her sights set on being an NBA trophy wife. Is Leslie destined to play the role of “best friend” forever or will Scott finally see that what he always wanted is right in front of him? Set against the exciting world of championship basketball, the game of love takes on the battle of the sexes in the romantic sports comedy JUST WRIGHT, starring three of Hollywood’s most charismatic personalities as they navigate the full-court-press of love.

Directed by Sanaa Hamri (THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS 2) and written by Michael Elliot (BROWN SUGAR), the film stars Academy Award nominee Queen Latifah (THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES, CHICAGO), Paula Patton (DEJA VU), Common (TERMINATOR SALVATION, AMERICAN GANGSTER), Phylicia Rashad (A Raisin in the Sun), Pam Grier (“The L Word”), James Pickens, Jr. (“Grey’s Anatomy”) and features NBA all star cameos. The film is produced by Debra Martin Chase, Queen Latifah and Shakim Compere.

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

October 27, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

“Hilarious, fun and the best ‘Ice Age’ film yet!  Beautiful on Blu-ray and features an immersive lossless soundtrack. Definitely a CG animated film worth having in your Blu-ray collection!”

TITLE: Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

DURATION: 94 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (Widescreen 1:85:1), English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Spanish, French and Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital, AVC@36 MBPS, Subtitles: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Cantonese, Mandarin

RATED: PG (Some Mild Rude Humor and Peril)

COMPANY: Twentieth Century Fox

RELEASE DATE: October 27, 2009

Directed by Carlos Saldanha and Mike Thurmeier

Based on a story by Jason Carter Eaton

Screenplay by Peter Ackerman, Michael Berg, Yoni Brenner and Mike Reiss

Produced by John C. Donkin, Lori Forte

Music by John Powell

Art Direction by Mike Knapp

Featuring the voices of:

Queen Latifah as Elli

Denis Leary as Diego

John Leguizamo as Sid

Josh Peck as Eddie

Sean William Scott as Crash

Simon Pegg as Buck

Ray Romano as Manny

Kristin Wiig as Pudgy Beaver Mom

Eunice Cho as Madison

Karen Disher as Scratte

Harrison Fahn as Glypto Boy

Maile Flanagan as Aardvark Mom

Jason Fricchione as Adult Molehog Male

Allegra as Leguizamo as Aardvark Girl

Bill Hader as Gazelle

Kelly Keaton as Molehog Mom/Shovelmouth Mom

Joey King as Beaver Girl

In the coolest Ice Age adventure yet, Manny and the herd discover a lost world of ferociously funny dinosaurs, including a cranky T. rex who’s got a score to settle with Sid! Meanwhile, Scrat goes nuts over the beautiful Scratte, but is she trying to win his heart – or steal his acorn?

“Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” marks the third CG animated film for 20th Century Fox via Fox’s CGI division Blue Sky Studios and the third “Ice Age” film directed by Carlos Saldanha (also directed “Robots” and “Gone Nutty”).  The film is co-directed by Mike Thurmeier (“Horton Hears a Who”, “Robots”, “Gone Nutty”) and a story by Jason Carter Eaton and a screenplay by Pete Ackerman, Michael Berg (both worked on previous “Ice Age” films), Yoni Brenner and Mike Reiss (“The Simpsons”, The Critic”, “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show”).  Music is composed by John Powell (“X-Men: The Last Stand”, “United 93”, “Kung Fu Panda”).

Back in 2002, the original “Ice Age” film focused on the friendship between creatures Manny the woolly mammoth (voice over by Ray Romano, “Everybody Loves Raymond”), Sid the weird looking, not-so-bright and clumsy ground sloth (voiced by John Leguizamo, “ER”, “Miracle at St. Anna”, “Titan A.E.”) and the saber-toothed tiger (aka smilodon) named Diego (voiced by Denis Leary, “Rescue Me”).  Also, seen outside of the main core of the group is side-story featuring a squirrel known as Scrat who has a passion towards acorns.

With the first film focusing on the migration to avoid the Ice Age and the main character’s friendship, the second film “Ice Age: The Meltdown” (2006) features the melting of the ice and focuses on Manny finding another wooly mamoth named Ellie (voice by Queen Latifah, “Mad Money”, “Chicago”).

This time around for the third film “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs”, Ellie is now pregnant and is soon to give birth.  Being the worried and concerned father, Manny is highly anticipating the birth of his child and each kick, he often accidentally tells the whole herd that Ellie is about to give birth.

Meanwhile, his friends are not in a better place. Diego is getting older and feels that he is not the agile fighter as he once was as he now gets dizzy and can’t even chase after his prey like he once used to. So, Diego feels as if he has to leave home. Sid feels alone now that his best friend has other responsibilities.  As for the nutty squirrel known as Scrat, upon discovering his beloved acorn, he becomes smitten with a female squirrel named Scratte who is also passionate for the acorn.

Manny creates a playground for his upcoming child and surprises Ellie with it.  Meanwhile, Sid feeling that he has no one ends up falling through a hole and discovering three eggs.  Wanting to be a parent himself, he brings the three eggs to the village.  Because of the size, Manny tells Sid to return the eggs back to its mother but Sid of course has other plans.  Not wanting to be alone, he ends up sleeping with the eggs and when hatched, three baby Tyrannosaurus Rex’s come out and Sid becomes the designated “mother” for the three which he names Eggbert, Shelly and Yoko.

Excited about being a parent, he tries to introduce to his new children to his friends but instead brings the three to Manny’s playground (which was supposed to be for Manny and Ellie’s child).  The kids of the village then join in on the fun and because of the Tyrannosaurus Rex’s nature, they begin to roughhouse the children and end up swallowing a few of them.  Also, in the process…the three young dinosaurs end up destroying the playground.

Manny and Ellie arrive to find the destruction and Manny is upset that Sid didn’t listen to him and now the playground he built is destroyed.  To make things worse, the true mother of the three baby Tyrannosaurus Rex now wants her children back and leads the huge dinosaur right into their village.

The Tyrannosaurus Rex ends up getting her children back but with Sid not willing to give up the children, he is taken as well by the dinosaur.

Now Manny, Ellie, Diego along with the two weasels Crash (voiced by Seann William Scott, “American Pie” films) and Eddie (Josh Peck, “Drake & Josh”, “The Wackness”) end up going after the dinosaur to find Sid and find themselves away from the ice and into a new land where there is no snow and dinosaurs exist.  Not knowing how to survive around the dangerous dinosaurs, they run into a one-eyed weasel named Buck (voiced by Simon Pegg, “Hot Fuzz”, “Sean of the Dead”, “Star Trek”) who knows his way around the area.

So, the group try to survive the dangerous dinosaurs, tough terrain but most importantly trying to be careful for the nastiest dinosaur of them all…Rudy.

“Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” on Blu-ray comes with three discs.  The original Blu-ray is accompanied with the movie on DVD and also a digital copy.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” looks absolutely gorgeous on Blu-ray.  Presented in 1080p High Definition (1:85:1, AVC@36 MBPS), I’m always impressed to see how hair/fur continues to look better and better via CG and the sheer detail found in each character and its surroundings are much more evident now than ever.  In fact, this is probably the most vibrant “Ice Age” film due to the fact that the film is taken outside of its ice habitat and into the land of the dinosaurs where there is a lot of lush plant life, sunlight, etc.  Overall, CG animated fans will love the picture quality of this film.  Sky Blue Studios did a fantastic job!

As for the audio, the film is presented in English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (also, Spanish, French and Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital) and as fantastic as the picture quality was, the audio quality is just as magnificent.  Talk about an immersive soundtrack, dinosaur growls all around you and how its utilized through the surround and rear surround channels are nicely done. Front and center channels feature the dialogue and the music which are crystal clear.   Also, good use of LFE during the action sequences.

Both video and audio quality for “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaur” receive high marks!  Fans of the film will definitely enjoy this Blu-ray release.

As for subtitles, subtitles are provided in English SDH, Spanish, Portuguese, Cantonese and Mandarin.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” comes with the following special features:

  • Audio commentary – A commentary featuring Director Carlos Saldanha,  co-director Michael Thurmeier, producer Lori Forte, John C. Donkin and many more from the Bly Sky Studios crew.  Entertaining commentary with some interesting tidbits of behind-the-scenes making of the film.
  • Ice Age Storybook Maker – Using your remote, you can create a storybook for ages 1-5 (Bronze Age), 6-11 (Stone Age)  and 12 and up (Ice Age).
  • Evolution Expedition Featurette – (18:24) A tour through the George C. Page Museum at the Los Angeles LA Brea Discovery featuring Trevor Valle, Assistant Lab Supervisor.  Introduction to the predators at the zoo and how they relate to the characters in the film.
  • Buck: From Easel To Weasel Featurette – (7:12) The creation of Buck and how his character became to be.  And the various designs to create his character and more.
  • Unearthing the Lost World Featurette – (8:39) Behind-the-Scenes of “Ice Age”.  Interviews with cast and crew for “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs”.  The sketches, the character designs, 3D animation, the voice acting and more.
  • Unfinished Deleted Scenes – (4:33) Featuring unfinished deleted scenes for “Mission” and “Headbutters”.  Although, the voice acting is heard, these are unfinished and are still in their B&W sketched out format with some animation.
  • “Walk the Dinosaur” Music Video – (1:32) A short music video clip of the characters performing to the song “Walk the Dinosaur”.
  • Fox Movie Channel presents Making a Scene (Ice Age: The Meltdown) – (9:20) Behind-the-scenes on the making of “Ice Age: The Meltdown” featuring interviews with the crew.
  • Fox Movie Channel presents In Character with John Leguizamo – (2:48) Interview with John Leguizamo about doing the voice of Sid the Sloth.
  • Fox Movie Channel presents In Character with Ray Romano – (3:22) Interview with Ray Romano about doing the voice of Manny the Mammoth.
  • Fox Movie Channel presents In Character with Queen Latifah – (3:06) Interview with Queen Latifah about doing the voice of Ellie the Mammoth.
  • BD LIVE – Live Lookup as powered by iMDb – (5:24) Scenes from “The Third Man” left untranslated to show Holly Martin’s confusion of the surroundings of postwar Vienna.
  • The Scrat Pack – (2:22) Included are the following shorts: “Gone Nutty: Scrat’s Missing Adventure” (4:44) and “No Time For Nuts” (6:50).  Both shorts are CG animated.
  • Scrat Featurettes

– The Sabre-Toothed Squirrel: Nature’s Nutty Buddy (1:46) – A parody of nature films feat. Scrat.

– Scrat: From Head to Toe (Drawing Tutorial) (8:22) – Peter De Seve teaches you how to draw Scrat

– Scrat: Breaking Story  -(1:50) A film-like featurette showing scientists discovering a million year old Ice Age animal known as Scrat.

– Scrat: News Report (2:28) – A continuation of the “Breaking Story” and featuring a news cast interview with the scientists about their discovery of Scrat and more.

– Falling For Scratte (8:29) – Crew talk about Scrat and why people love the character and why the creator’s created Scratte.

DVD:

The accompanying DVD comes with the filmmaker’s commentary featuring Director Carlos Saldanha,  co-director Michael Thurmeier, producer Lori Forte, John C. Donkin and many more from the Bly Sky Studio crew.  Entertaining commentary with some interesting tidbits of behind-the-scenes making of the film, trailers and a Marley meets Puppy Chow commercial.

I was actually quite pleased with “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs”.  A fun screenplay, top notch animation and audio and voiced by an all-star cast, this is my favorite “Ice Age” film yet!  Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Queen Latifah do a fantastic job as they have in previous films.  But also, Josh Peck and Seann William Scott do a hilarious job as Eddie and Crash.  And Simon Pegg as the one-eyed weasel known as Buck does a fantastic job as well!

I was really impressed of how much detail was in the actual film.  To have the characters in a new setting outside of just ice was great and it really showcased the animation due to the fact that more colors and different characters can be utilized.  Blue Sky Studios did a fantastic job on this release.

As for the Blu-ray release, this is where Twentieth Century Fox also receives big kudos.  Similar to what Disney has done for their films, Twentieth Century Fox also included a DVD (for those long commutes for your children) and also a digital copy.  Also, there are plenty of special features and CG shorts included as well.  In fact, if you are a big fan of the character of Scrat, you are definitely going to enjoy this film!

Overall, “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” is the best film of the series yet and an exciting and hilarious CG animated film to own on Blu-ray.  Highly recommended!

Stranger than Fiction: Special Edition (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

November 17, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

“A unique film featuring an all star cast and showing us that Will Ferrell can shine when given a dramatic role. A beautifully shot film in the city of Chicago and overall, an endearing film that is even better on Blu-ray!

FILM:  Stranger than Fiction: Special Edition

COMPANY: Columbia Pictures, Mandate Pictures, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: Color, Dolby Digital, 16×9 Widescreen, Dolby Digital 5.1 English, Dolby Digital 2.0 English

RATED: PG-13

DURATION: 113 minutes

Release Date: December 2, 2008

Written by Zach Helm

Directed by Marc Forster

PRODUCER: Lindsay Doran

CO-PRODUCERS: Aubrey Henderson, Jim Miller

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Nathan Kahane, Joe Drake, Eric Kopeloff

STARRING:

Will Ferrell
Maggie Gyllenhaal
Dustin Hoffman
Queen Latifah
Emma Thompson

Will Ferrell stars as Harold Crick, a lonely IRS agent whose mundane existence is transformed when he hears a mysterious voice narrating his life. With the help of Professor Jules Hilbert (Dustin Hoffman), Harold discovers he’s the main character in a novel-in-progress and that the voice belongs to Karen Eiffel (Emma Thompson), an eccentric author famous for killing her main characters in creative ways. Harold must quickly track down Eiffel and stop her before she conjures up a way to finish him off.

Will Ferrell definitely shows how he has evolved as a comedic actor and shows that he has what it takes to do a dramatic role.

In “Stranger than Fiction”, Ferrell plays the part of Harold Crick.  A man who works as an IRS auditor, has an obsessive compulsive disorder of counting things.  May he be counting the number of brushes his teeth on each side, to counting the lines on a crosswalk and more.   Basically, Harold lives a life that tends to be quite repetitive each and every day.

But things change for him when one morning, while brushing his teeth, he hears a woman’s voice.  The voice is pretty much narrating his life and not knowing where this voice is coming from and it starts to drive him crazy.

The woman’s voice happens to be a writer named Karen Eiffel (Emma Thompson), a woman who lives in a loft, smokes a lot and busy, trying to figure out what to do for her new book but has a problem of writer’s block.  While under pressure from her publisher to finish her book, they send Penny Escher (played by Queen Latifah) to be her assistant to watch over her and make sure she makes her deadline.

Meanwhile, Karen shows Penny her world as she tries to find a way to kill off another of her protagonist/hero in her book by visiting various locations and imaging how her main character can die.

As for Harold, while going on a IRS job to audit a bakery shop, he meets Ana Pascal (played by Maggie Gyllenhaal), a woman with tattoos, very blunt about why she hasn’t paid her taxes and the total opposite of Harold.  But somehow, the voice in his mind tells him how he finds her so sexy.

But as these voices continue, Harold is advised by his psychiatrist (who thinks he has schizophrenia) to go on medication or by answering Harold’s question of what she would do, advises him to seek an author.  And thus, Harold visits Professor Jules Hilbert (Dustin Hoffman) who assists Harold in uncovering the voice that is talking to him.

But one day, he hears the voice talking about how Harold has set things up for his own death and this freaks Harold out because everything voice has said, has happened in his life and now feels he must find who the voice is and prevent the her from killing him off.  Thus the search begins but also a change in life for Harold as he tries to live life differently.

Featuring  an all-star cast, I felt that every person had a special part in this film and played their character incredibly.  Also, the beautiful scenery and locations in Chicago helped enhance the storyline of “Stranger than Fiction” and overall, its an endearing film but also beautiful.

AUDIO & VIDEO:

The majority of the audio is dialogue but the TrueHD 5.1 really comes through during a scene when a crane hits Harold’s apartment.  I literally felt my room shake when the crash came throughout my speakers.

As for the video, the video looked great on Blu-ray.  “Stranger than Fiction” is a colorful film and the colors were quite vibrant.  Especially when you get to see the various scenery of where the film was shot throughout Chicago.  Very good selections of scenery, especially seeing Chicago outside of the windows (these were not green screen).

SPECIAL FEATURES:

The Blu-ray disc is loaded with special features that include:

  • On Location in Chicago
  • Director & Cast Commentary
  • Filmmakers Commentary
  • Actors in Search of a Story
  • Building the Team
  • Words on a Page
  • Picture a Number: The Evolution of a G.U.I.
  • On the Set
  • Deleted & Extended Scenes
  • Needless to say that there is a lot of special features and they are quite lengthy too.  First, let’s talk about the commentary segments.  The first commentary features Marc Forster, Will Ferell and Dustin Hoffman.  Marc Forster was excited of talking about the film, while Will Ferrell and Dustin Hoffman had this deadpan humor during the commentary.  Hoffman having to sit through the whole film, will joke around about himself (especially scenes that were cut) and an interesting exchange between the three.

    The real fun in the commentary actually was between the filmmakers as six of the staff were present and just having fun and discussing certain parts of the film.  Including one gaff at the end where Maggie Gyllenhaal was using a thin sharpie and when you see the scene of a big sharpie being written on the cast.  It was cool to hear the staff chime in on that.  Especially, the ending credits of how Lindsay Doran thought it looked to much like the film “Seven” and wanted it brightened.  A lot of good, creative thought went into this film and really enjoyed the commentary.

    As for the deleted scenes, this one is actually quite important.  There are two major scenes that can have easily been in the movie and really change the tone of the film.  One is an exchange between Penny (Queen Latifah) and Karen (Emma Thompson).  This scene was cut because they need to focus on Will Ferrell reading the script on the bus.  But the scene deleted would you give you major incite on Karen’s character and why she feels terrible, why she smokes a lot and the performance between the two was just powerful.  I don’t know if it should have been cut because it’s such a powerful scene and it would give you tremendous incite on Karen.  But I understand that the focus is on Harold and thus the scene was cut.

    The other scene which Dustin Hoffman talked about in the commentary which was cut was at the end between Karen (Thompson) and Dr. Hilbert (Hoffman).  This one, I didn’t mind being cut but was a cool scene between the two talented actors and the admiration the two had for each other.

    As for the featurettes, you have “Actors in Search of a Story” in which director Marc Forster talks about each cast member.  “Picking the Right Team” in which Forster talks about the importance of selecting a good team for his staff and their contributions for the film.  This was great to see, especially Forster mentioning the teamwork throughout the commentary and this featurette.

    My favorite was “On Location in Chicago” and how Chicago was chosen to be the city of where the film was to be shot but also insight of the buildings used for the film.  “Words on Page” features  Forster, screenwriter Zach Helm and Producer Lindsay Doran talking about the script and how it was unique, “Picture a Number: The Evolution of G.U.I” was an interesting featurette about how the G.U.I. was used throughout the film and the challenges of having it on the film.  “On the Set” features a montage of funny on-set moments.

    And the Blu-ray does have BD Live enabled in case there were additional features or updates planned.

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    Overall, this is what you want to see in a film on Blu-ray.  A combination of a unique and endearing film such as “Stranger than Fiction” but loaded with two commentaries, lengthy featurettes and you really get a good sense of passion that went behind this film.

    Even the little things such as Harold’s OCD and the G.U.I. that went behind that up to the woman who plays the bus driver (who is actually a bus driver) and other things that you may have never thought about, these situations were carefully planned, thought out and executed.

    Marc Forster is such a talented director and his staff have really done a great job with this film and also, showcasing the beauty of the city of Chicago.

    Again, the cast brings so much depth and as one would expect from a lot of these talented individuals, you can’t help but really be proud of how Will Ferrell did in this film.  He’s not just a comedic actor but he can play serious roles and for “Stranger than Fiction”, he truly shined.

    Overall, “Stranger than Fiction” is a unique film.  An endearing film that is truly worth owning on Blu-ray!  Check it out!

    LIVING OUT LOUD (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

    September 30, 2002 by · Leave a Comment 

    Netflix, Inc.

    BUY THIS DVD

    CAST: Starring Holly Hunter, Danny DeVito, Queen Latifah and more.
    DIRECTED BY: Richard LaGravanese
    PRODUCED BY:
    RATING: Rated R
    INTERNET MOVIE DATABASE URL: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0120722
    TYPE OF MOVIE: Drama, Romance, Comedy
    DURATION: 103 minutes


    Judith (Hunter) ending a 20-year relationship with her husband in a restaurant. We see from the beginning that this character is flawed, that she doesn’t really have a life–she eats in, sings to herself in her apartment, goes out alone, etc. Until she meets Pat (DeVito), a man who’s life is in real shambles. He too has been recently divorced plus on top of that his daughter has just died. The circumstances that these two emotionally-disconnected people come together is astounding, which is also why they become such great friends.

    DVD EXTRAS:

    • Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    • Color, Closed-captioned, Widescreen, Dolby
    • Commentary by director Richard LaGravenese
    • Theatrical trailer(s)
    • Reading of Anton Chekhov’s short story “Misery” by writer Stephen Schiff
    • Reading of Anton Chekhov’s short story “The Kiss” by actress Claudia Shear
    • Five deleted scenes including a full performance of the song “Lush Life” by Queen Latifah (Letterbox 2.35 : 1, Dolby Digital 2.0)
    • Widescreen anamorphic format

    KNOWN DVD SECRET(S):  None that I know of

    DVD REVIEW:

    A very good movie with great performances from Hunter, DeVito and Queen Latifah.  Very good music and a story that shows to a person, no matter what may have happened in the past or how bad your life was then, don’t be depressed.  Do something about it!  That’s what this movie is about for each character.  Doing something about one’s life.

    Many feel that this movie is underrated.  That it shouldn’t have been snubbed by the Oscars.  Some feel that each person’s story was great watching but putting it all together as one movie didn’t work well.

    The video is very good and the music is excellent.  The special features include deleted scenes which may have benefited the movie.  Also, readings of short stories and more.

    My feeling is that the movie is beautifully done and give it a try.

    THE MOVIE:  A-
    THE DVD EXTRAS:  A-
    THE DVD OVERALL: A-

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