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Desperate Housewives: The Complete Eighth and Final Season (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

September 27, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

“Desperate Housewives” season eight was a final season that managed to incorporate all the angst, the craziness, those “I can’t believe this just happened” moments and a heartbreaking, tragic death scene.  But it also featured a storyline with proper closure for longtime viewers of the series.If you stuck with the series this long, “Desperate Housewives: The Complete Eighth and Final Season” is definitely recommended!

Images courtesy of © 2012 ABC Studios. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Desperate Housewives: The Complete Eighth and Final Season

DURATION: (23 episodes) 987 minutes

DVD INFORMATION: NTSC, Region 1, Widescreen (1:78:1), NTSC, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles

RATED: TV 14 DLSV

COMPANY: abc studios

RELEASE DATE: September 25, 2012

Created by Marc Cherry

Directed by Larry Shaw, David Grossman, David Warren, Bathany Rooney

Written by Marc Cherry, Bob Daily, Matt Berry, Joe Keenan, Jason Ganzel, Jeff Greenstein, Marco Pennette, David Schladweiler, John Paul Bullock II, Josann McGibbon, Sara Parriott

Executive Produced by Marc Cherry, Geroge W. Perkins, Larry Shaw, David Grossman, Sabrina Wind, Dana N. Wilson, Josann McGibbon,

Co-Executive Produced by Sara Parriott, Annie Weisman

Produced by Charlas Skouras II, Stephanie Hagen

Consulting Producer: Jeff Greenstein. Joe Keenan

Music by Steve Jablonsky

Cinematography by Lowell Peterson, David J. Miller

Editing by Andrew Doerfer, Jonathan Posell, Karen Castaneda

Casting by Scott Genkinger, Junie Lowry-Johnson

Production Design by Erik Carlson

Series Art Direction by Brian Jewell

Series Set Decoration by Eric Rogalia

Series Costume Design by Catherine Adair

Series Casting by Scott Genkinger, Junie Lowry-Johnson

Production Design by Erik Carlson

Art Design by Brian Jewell, Erik Carlson

Set Decoration by Erica Rogalla

Costume Design by Catherine Adair

Starring:

Terri Hatcher as Susan Mayer

Felicity Huffman as Lynette Scavo

Marcia Cross as Bree Hodge

Eva Longoria Parker as Gabrielle Solis

Dana Delany as Katherine Mayfair

Ricardo Chavira as Carlos Solis

Brenda Strong as Mary Alice Young

Doug Savant as Tom Scavo

James Denton as Mike Delfino

Shawn Pyfrom as Andrew Van De Kamp

Andrea Bowen as Julie Mayer

Kyle MacLachlan as Orson Hodge

Kathryn Joosen as Karen McCluskey

Richard Burgi as Karl Mayer

Maiara Walsh as Ana Solis

Vanessa Williams as Renee Perry

Harrie Sansom Harris as Felicia Tilman

Darcy Rose byrnes as Penny Scavo

Emily Bergl as Beth Young

Brian Austin Green – Keith Watson

Polly Bergen as Stella Wingfield

Roger Bart as George Williams

Jonathan Cake as Chuck Vance

Christine Estabrook as Martha Huber

Andrea Parker as Jane Carlson

Maria Cominis as Mona Clark

Dakin Matthews as Reverend Sikes

Kiersten Warren as Nora Huntington

Valerie Mahaffey as Alma Hodge

Michael Dempsey as Detective Murphy

Lupe Ontiveros as Juanita “Mama” Solis

Steve Tyler as Minister

Say goodbye to the ladies of Wisteria Lane with the final climactic season of “Desperate Housewives.” The stakes are at an all-time high as each of the women cope with theirnnguilt in the aftermath of last season’s shocking murder and cover-up. Complete your collection with “Desperate Housewives: The Eighth and Final Season.” The beloved series’ final season is released in a five-disc DVD set features exciting bonus material including the final goodbye from the original four housewives, bloopers, deleted scenes and more.

Season seven of “Desperate Housewives” ended with Carlos killing Gaby’s evil stepfather (who was trying to get close to her again) and her friends deciding to hide the body.

With the final eighth season of “Desperate Housewives”, being an accomplice of  hiding a body involved in a murder is starting to take its toll on Carlos and some of the women.

With Susan, she never wanted to be part of the whole plan but now the guilt is starting to affect her to the point that she is acting out on her guilt. She wants to tell her husband Mike how she feels but her friends do not want her telling anyone.

Meanwhile, Bree is stunned when a letter arrives in her mailbox telling her that the person knows what she did.  A similarity to the letter that led to Mary Alice Young’s death.

Gabrielle is trying to deal with Carlos’ guilt.  With Carlos not wanting to be intimate, it’s affecting her marriage and she is not sure what to do.

Lynette and Tom separate but when they start living separate lives, they realize that their problems are much greater than they have expected.

What is “Desperate Housewives”?

“Desperate Housewives” is a series that had so many complex storylines that to even explain what has happened in the last four seasons would be difficult but if there is one thing that remains the same, it’s our housewives.

The premise of the first season was based around the death of fellow housewife Mary Alice Young (played by Brenda Strong, “Everwood”, “The Help”, “A Plumm Summer”). Mary Alice Young is the narrator of the series and every episode, she has setup the sequences of what is going on in the life of her friends. And its the housewives of Wisteria Lane who have lived complex lives full of love, betrayal, pain and sadness.

For the seventh season of “Desperate Housewives”, each of the housewives are dealing with problems in their life. Susan and Mike are struggling financially to make ends meet and Susan misses living in Wisteria Lane with her friends. She must make a decision on how to pay the bills, that means taking on a job she doesn’t want to do. Gabrielle and Carlos must deal with the news that their daughter was switched as birth and that Juanita is not their true blood daughter. Meanwhile, Gabi has a person in her past return back to her life. Bree meanwhile is single but she has her eyes on her young contractor. Lynette and Tom are trying to work on their marriage after going through some major difficulties and Lynette’s best friend/rival from college, Renee Perry (played by Vanessa Williams) moves to Wisteria Lane.

With the eighth and final season of “Desperate Housewives”,

The main characters of “Desperate Housewives” Season 8 are:

  • Susan Mayer (Teri Hatcher, “Seinfeld”, “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman”) – One of the lead characters who was married to Karl and had a daughter named Julie. They divorced and Susan married Mike Delfino who she ended up divorcing. But in season 5, they manage to patch things up and remarry and have a song together. But because Mike’s plumbing business has gone south, both Susan and Mike are forced to leave Wisteria Lane and the family struggle to make ends meet.
  • Lynette Scavo (Felicity Huffman, “Frasier”, “Sports Night”, “Raising Helen”) – Lynnette was a former advertising executive who is married to Tom Scavo (Doug Savant, “Melrose Place) and has four children: her teenage twins (and often in trouble) Preston and Porter, Parker is the youngest son and the well-behaved youngest daughter Penny. In season eight, Lynette and Tom are having marital problems.
  • Bree Van de Kamp (Marcia Cross, “Everwood”, “Melrose Place”) – Bree was a former cooking tycoon but has since sold her business, she is now dating a police officer.
  • Gabrielle Solis (Eva Longoria Parker, “Dragnet”, “The Hearbreak Kid”, “Young and the Restless”) – The youngest housewife who enjoys money. She is married to Carlos Solis (Ricardo Chavira, “Six Feet Under”) and has two daughters.
  • Renee Perry (Vanessa Williams, “Ugly Betty”, “Shaft”, “Eraser”, “Soul Food) – Lynette’s best friend from college. Formerly married to a professional baseball player, now in a divorce, she moves to Wisteria Lane and hangs out with the women. She also runs an interior design business with Lynette.
  • Mike Delfino (James Denton, “Threat Matrix”) - The husband of Susan who works as a plumber. He has re-married Susan and both are struggling financially.
  • Tom Scavo (Doug Savant, “24”, “Melrose Place”) – The husband of Lynette who has return back to a corporate job and is now the main breadwinner of the family.  In season eight, Tom and Lynette are having marital problems and decide to separate.  But do they have a chance of getting back together or is their marriage definitely over?
  • Carlos Solis (Ricardo Chavira, “Prinha”, “Days of Wrath”) – The husband of Gabrielle and a successful business owner.  In season eight, he suffers with guilt after killing Gabrielle’s father

“Desperate Housewives: The Complete Eighth Season” on DVD features the following episodes 158-157 (the following are spoiler-less summaries):

  • EPISODE 158 – Secrets That I Never Want to Know - After Carlos kills Gaby’s evil stepfather, the housewives hide and bury the body.  But now the guilt is starting to get to them.
  • EPISODE 159 – Making the Connection - Susan is not sure how she can deal with her guilt and Gaby is wanting Carlos to be normal again.
  • EPISODE 160 – What While I Revise the World- Susan and Carlos look towards each other for help for their guilt.
  • EPISODE 161 – School of Hard Knocks – Gabrielle wants to get even with a parent volunteer.   Meanwhile, Susan takes painting classes.  Lynette is upset that Tom is dating other women.
  • EPISODE 162 – The Art of Making Art - Susan comes to her art class in the nude and Lynette tries to hit the singles scene and meet new men.
  • EPISODE 163 – Witch’s Lament - Gabrielle, Bree and Lynette plan to exhume the body of Gabrielle’s stepfather and move it after learning that Ben’s real estate excavation is taking place where they buried the body.
  • EPISODE 164 – Always in Control – Bree finds out who dug up the body of Gabrielle’s stepfather.  Lynette tells lies to Penny about Tom’s new girlfriend.
  • EPISODE 165 – Suspicion Song - Detective Chuck Vance begins to suspect that Bree may be involved in the disappearance of Alejandro.
  • EPISODE 166 – Putting It Together - Chuck calles the housewives into questioning for the disappearance and possible murder of Alejandro.
  • EPISODE 167 – What’s to Discuss, Old Friend - Bree considers to end her life after her friends abandon her.
  • EPISODE 168 – Who Can Say What’s True? - Gabrielle goes to Lynette in help of trying to get a company to sign with Carlos’ firm.
  • EPISODE 169 – What’s the Good of Being Good – Bree’s life is going for the worse as she is becoming an alcoholic.  Lynette goes on a date.
  • EPISODE 170 – Is This What You Call Love? – Susan is shocked with a surprise visit by her daughter Julie….who is six months pregnant.  Lynette decides to have sex with another man.
  • EPISODE 171 – Get Out of My Life – Susan finds out who the father of Julie’s baby is and Orson decides to do all he can to help Bree.
  • EPISODE 172 – She Needs Me  – When it is revealed that Porter is the father of Julie’s baby, Susan is supportive.  Lynette tells Porter she will not help raise her future granddaughter.
  • EPISODE 173 – Searching – Mike gets into trouble when Ben’s loan shark comes after him. Carlos is behaving strangely.
  • EPISODE 174 – You Take for Granted – Susan has a donor but Paul stands in the way, meanwhile Felicia is released from prison and wants revenge for what happened to her daughter. Meanwhile, Mrs. McClusky asks Bree to do something important for her.  And a major character is killed.
  • EPISODE 175 – Women and Death - The people of Wisteria Lane share their memories of a person they will remember at his funeral.  Meanwhile Bree is called into questioning for the murder of Alejandro.
  • EPISODE 176 – Any Moment - Julie is not so happy with Susan’s parenting skills of MJ.  Carlos makes a big decision in regards to his career.
  • EPISODE 177 – With So Little To Be Sure Of – Susan discovers a big secret that Mike has been hiding.  Meanwhile, Gabrielle tries to find a way to earn a bigger commission from her new job.
  • EPISODE 179 – Lost My Power - Bree’s attorney tries to find ways to defend her in the murder and disappearance of Alejandro, meanwhile with Mike gone, Susan need to help MJ at a father and son school event.
  • EPISODE 180 – The People Will Hear – Bree starts to fall for her attorney, meanwhile the housewives are upset how Gabrielle can allow Bree to take the fall for the murder of Alejandro.
  • EPISODE 181 – Give Me the Blame – With Bree in danger of going to prison, he asks for her to tell him the truth of who really killed Alejandro.  Susan decides to sell her house and move away from Wisteria Lane.
  • EPISODE 182 – Finishing the Hat – The Final Episode – The result of the murder trial and what happens to the Housewives?

VIDEO:

“Desperate Housewives: The Complete Eighth and Final Season” is featured in Widescreen (1:78:1), enhanced for 16×9 televisions. “Desperate Housewives” looks very good on DVD. Outdoor scenes are nice and vibrant, blacks and low-light scenes do not have the excessive noise problems that some series tend to exhibit on a DVD release.

For the most part, cinematography for “Desperate Housewives” has been excellent and the editing top notch. The series looks great and I can only imagine how beautiful this series would look on High Definition (via Blu-ray).

AUDIO:

“Desperate Housewives: The Complete Eighth and Final Season” is featured in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound and pretty much, “Desperate Housewives” has always been a dialogue-driven television show and is primarily front and center channel driven. For the most part, dialogue is clear and understandable. The show uses minimal music and nor is it the kind of series that utilizes a lot of sound effects (the final episode has a little). For the most part, the setting I preferred to watch the series was to set my receiver setting and have stereo on all channels.

The series includes subtitles in English SDH, Spanish and in French.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Desperate Housewives: The Complete Eighth and Final Season” comes with the following special features:

DISC 5:

  • “I Guess This is Goodbye” - (18:03) The cast talk about their upcoming final day of filming “Desperate Housewives”.
  • Finale Commentary - (9:55) “Finishing the Hat” audio commentary with series creator Marc Cherry.
  • Bloopers – (2:40) “Desperate Housewives” season eight outtakes.
  • Deleted Scenes – A total of 15 deleted scenes.

EXTRAS:

“Desperate Housewives: The Complete Eighth and Final Season” comes with a slip cover case.

The end of “Desperate Housewives”.

It’s hard to believe that eight seasons have come and gone but like the housewives of Wisteria Lane, it’s about taking the next chapter of your lives and move forward.

But the eighth season of “Desperate Housewives”, for me as a longtime viewer, represented the good and the bad of “Desperate Housewives”.    First, I will discuss the bad and then lead on to what I felt was good about this season.

Lynette and Tom Scavo were the ultimate couple that had problematic situations but to see them separate and see them with other people was a hard pill to swallow.  Yes, these situations happen in America but with everyone having been divorced and probably better that they did, Lynette and Tom were a couple that I saw going south in their relationship.

The main part of the story this season was the death of Alejandro.  They really extended this storyline for the full season but it’s understandable to see Carlos as an alcoholic, its easy to see Susan suffering from guilt, but the emotional downfall of Bree was too ridiculous to watch as this woman has always been in control, even during the worst of times.  The way they made her out to be a fragile and something she was not due to alcohol, it was turn I didn’t like one single bit.

And possibly the other thing that I felt was terrible was Gabrielle letting her friends take the fall for Carlos’ murder.  If anyone should be leaving their friend, the housewives could have easily ditched her for her selfish behavior.  But it’s Gabrielle after all, thinking about herself first and then her daughters.

Then there was the death of a major character…you knew there was going to be a shocking episode coming up and it happened in a surprising way.  Wasn’t expecting for it to happen and for this person’s significant other, all I kept thinking was if that person would ever find happiness because for eight years, the person has suffered from really miserable situations.

With that being said, it leads to the good.  The good is that the series ends with closure for viewers.  Their endings of what the characters end up doing, makes perfect sense.

At the same time, I credit Marc Cherry for really playing with people’s emotions this season, but if you have to go out with a bang, so be it.  Give us an ending that we will remember and something not half-assed.

And that’s what made the eight season of “Desperate Housewives” so enjoyable.

As mentioned earlier, the separation of Lynette and Tom was upsetting because I felt they belong together.  But to move through their problems, they needed to discover how much they mean to each other and how much they love each other.  It was long, hard to watch at first but everything started to work itself out towards the end for this couple.

For Carlos and Gabrielle, it was a nice role reversal as Gabrielle took on the role of being the businesswoman and eventually both worked together through their problems and it would give Carlos a chance to be a father, while Gabrielle had more opportunities to grow past the housewife status.

As for Susan and Bree, their endings worked for me but their situations before getting there were troublesome.  Susan was no doubt pushed to the limit this season. And I just wanted her to find some happiness, but just felt this season had this black cloud always above her. She was like the beat-up doll for eight seasons and while there were times where she was strong and overcame obstacles, I was hoping that she and Mike could find some semblance of “happily ever after”.

And as for Bree, for a strong woman, they really toyed with her mid-season and I disliked that.  I’m glad Marc Cherry brought things full circle and she became a person that I felt she should be.

While this season featured less Renee, writers integrated her as much as they can, which was cool.  But it’s the way they handled Karen McCluskey, I was proud of how the writers made her more than the nosy, blunt neighbor of Wisteria Lane but a woman who has saved the housewives, many times.  But doing it once again in a grander fashion.

“Desperate Housewives: The Complete Eighth and Final Season” was an appropriate season, a very good final season with closure and it was time to end the show.  From murders, psychotic individuals, natural disasters, riots to other crazy situations that have happened in Wisteria Lane, the characters have been subjected to so much, that they needed proper closure and Marc Cherry does fans and his cast a great service to let it end the way it did.

As for the “Desperate Housewives: The Complete Eighth and Final Season” DVD, the DVD continues to showcase the beautiful cinematography of “Desperate Housewives”.  As one would expect from DVD, picture quality is good, audio quality was clear and understandable, and as for the special features, you do get a final stroll with the cast members in “I Guess This is A Goodbye” and one final commentary with Marc Cherry plus season eight outtakes and deleted scenes.

Overall, “Desperate Housewives” season eight was a final season that managed to incorporate all the angst, the craziness, those “I can’t believe this just happened” moments and a heartbreaking, tragic death scene. But it also featured a storyline with proper closure for longtime viewers of the series.

If you stuck with the series this long, “Desperate Housewives: The Complete Eighth and Final Season” is definitely recommended!

Desperate Housewives: The Complete Seventh Season – Wild, Wild Wisteria Edition (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

August 25, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Another entertaining and very emotional season of “Desperate Housewives”.   This time around, there is a good amount of focus on the main female characters of the series and also a few surprises as well.  The seventh season also introduces actress Vanessa Williams to the series and for the most part, season 7 is one of the more emotional seasons yet.  If you invested so much time to this series, then “Desperate Housewives: The Complete Seventh Season – Wild, Wild Wisteria Edition” is definitely recommended!

Images courtesy of © Disney. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Desperate Housewives: The Complete Seventh Season – Wild, Wild Wisteria Edition

DURATION: (23 episodes) 989 minutes

DVD INFORMATION: NTSC, Region 1, Widescreen (1:78:1), NTSC, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles

RATED: TV 14 DLSV

COMPANY: abc studios

RELEASE DATE: August 30, 2011

Created by Marc Cherry

Directed by Larry Shaw, David Grossman, David Warren, Bathany Rooney

Written by Marc Cherry, Bob Daily, Matt Berry, Joe Keenan, Jason Ganzel, Jeff Greenstein, Marco Pennette, David Schladweiler, John Paul Bullock II, Josann McGibbon, Sara Parriott

Executive Produced by Marc Cherry, Geroge W. Perkins, Larry Shaw, David Grossman, Sabrina Wind, Dana N. Wilson, Josann McGibbon,

Co-Executive Produced by Sara Parriott, Annie Weisman

Produced by Charlas Skouras II, Stephanie Hagen

Consulting Producer: Jeff Greenstein. Joe Keenan

Music by Steve Jablonsky

Cinematography by Lowell Peterson, David J. Miller

Editing by Andrew Doerfer, Jonathan Posell, Karen Castaneda

Casting by Scott Genkinger, Junie Lowry-Johnson

Production Design by Erik Carlson

Series Art Direction by Brian Jewell

Series Set Decoration by Eric Rogalia

Series Costume Design by Catherine Adair

Series Casting by Scott Genkinger, Junie Lowry-Johnson

Production Design by Erik Carlson

Art Design by Brian Jewell, Erik Carlson

Set Decoration by Erica Rogalla

Costume Design by Catherine Adair

Starring:

Terri Hatcher as Susan Mayer

Felicity Huffman as Lynette Scavo

Marcia Cross as Bree Hodge

Eva Longoria Parker as Gabrielle Solis

Dana Delany as Katherine Mayfair

Ricardo Chavira as Carlos Solis

Brenda Strong as Mary Alice Young

Doug Savant as Tom Scavo

James Denton as Mike Delfino

Shawn Pyfrom as Andrew Van De Kamp

Andrea Bowen as Julie Mayer

Kyle MacLachlan as Orson Hodge

Kathryn Joosen as Karen McCluskey

Richard Burgi as Karl Mayer

Maiara Walsh as Ana Solis

Vanessa Williams as Renee Perry

Harrie Sansom Harris as Felicia Tilman

Darcy Rose byrnes as Penny Scavo

Emily Bergl as Beth Young

Brian Austin Green – Keith Watson

Polly Bergen as Stella Wingfield

The action gets even wilder in the sizzling seventh season of ABC’s acclaimed dramatic comedy, “Desperate Housewives”.  Experience all the humor, mystery and juicy thrills in this spectacular 5-disc collection.

It’s high noon on Wisteria Lane as a brand-new rival (Vanessa Williams) stirs up even more excitement, deceit and romance in the neighborhood.  Lynette gets jealous when Renee starts spending time with Tom and Bree find herself falling for Keith (Brian Austin Green).  Meanwhile, Gabrielle makes a shocking personal discovery, Susan copes with a life-threatening event and a mysterious shooting has everyone on edge.  Through all the drama, the world’s most famous housewives are bound together by the friendship they share and the secrets they keep.

Relive every red-hot episode and dive deeper into television’s most addicting primetime series with never-before-seen bonus features.  It’s the perfect gift for every “Desperate Hosuewives” fan!

“Desperate Housewives”, the popular ABC drama series (created by Marc Cherry, “The Golden Girls”, “The Golden Palace”, “Amas de casa despesperadas”) which started back in 2004 definitely has gone through some major ups and downs with its dark comedy storylines to its complex marriage or relationship problems but if there is one thing definite about the series… its that the the fans love it and to keep the fans interested, the series went through a significant change for its fifth season.

“Desperate Housewives” is a series that had so many complex storylines that to even explain what has happened in the last four seasons would be difficult but if there is one thing that remains the same, it’s our housewives.

The premise of the first season was based around the death of fellow housewife Mary Alice Young (played by Brenda Strong, “Everwood”, “The Help”, “A Plumm Summer”). Mary Alice Young is the narrator of the series and every episode, she has setup the sequences of what is going on in the life of her friends. And its the housewives of Wisteria Lane who have lived complex lives full of love, betrayal, pain and sadness.

For the seventh season of “Desperate Housewives”, each of the housewives are dealing with problems in their life.  Susan and Mike are struggling financially to make ends meet and Susan misses living in Wisteria Lane with her friends.  She must make a decision on how to pay the bills, that means taking on a job she doesn’t want to do.  Gabrielle and Carlos must deal with the news that their daughter was switched as birth and that Juanita is not their true blood daughter.  Meanwhile, Gabi has a person in her past return back to her life.  Bree meanwhile is single but she has her eyes on her young contractor.  Lynette and Tom are trying to work on their marriage after going through some major difficulties and Lynette’s best friend/rival from college, Renee Perry (played by Vanessa Williams) moves to Wisteria Lane.

Also, the seventh season of “Desperate Housewives” marks the return of Paul Young, the creepy husband of Mary Alice who now wants to take revenge on the housewives.

The main characters of “Desperate Housewives” Season 7 are:

  • Susan Mayer (Teri Hatcher, “Seinfeld”, “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman”) – One of the lead characters who was married to Karl and had a daughter named Julie. They divorced and Susan married Mike Delfino who she ended up divorcing. But in season 5, they manage to patch things up and remarry and have a song together.  But because Mike’s plumbing business has gone south, both Susan and Mike are forced to leave Wisteria Lane and the family struggle to make ends meet.
  • Lynette Scavo (Felicity Huffman, “Frasier”, “Sports Night”, “Raising Helen”) – Lynnette was a former advertising executive who is married to Tom Scavo (Doug Savant, “Melrose Place) and has four children: her teenage twins (and often in trouble) Preston and Porter, Parker is the youngest son and the well-behaved youngest daughter Penny. She is now back at home for work while Tom is working the corporate job.
  • Bree Van de Kamp (Marcia Cross, “Everwood”, “Melrose Place”) – Bree was a former cooking tycoon but has since sold her business, divorced Orson and is once again single.
  • Gabrielle Solis (Eva Longoria Parker, “Dragnet”, “The Hearbreak Kid”, “Young and the Restless”) – The youngest housewife who enjoys money. She is married to Carlos Solis (Ricardo Chavira, “Six Feet Under”) and has two daughters.
  • Renee Perry (Vanessa Williams, “Ugly Betty”, “Shaft”, “Eraser”, “Soul Food) – Lynette’s best friend from college.  Formerly married to a professional baseball player, now in a divorce, she moves to Wisteria Lane and hangs out with the women.  She also runs an interior design business with Lynette.
  • Mike Delfino (James Denton, “Threat Matrix”) - The husband of Susan who works as a plumber. He has re-married Susan and both are struggling financially.
  • Tom Scavo (Doug Savant, “24”, “Melrose Place”) – The husband of Lynette who has return back to a corporate job and is now the main breadwinner of the family.
  • Carlos Solis (Ricardo Chavira, “Prinha”, “Days of Wrath”) – The husband of Gabrielle and a successful business owner.
  • Paul Young (Mark Moses, “Letters from Iwo Jima”, “Platoon”) – A former resident of Wisteria Lane and married to Mary Alice Young, who were good friends with the women of Wisteria Lane.  Paul has been in prison for a few years and now that he is out, he wants to exact revenge on the women of Wisteria Lane.

SUPPORTING CHARACTERS:

  • Karen McCluskey (Kathryn Joosten, “Scrubs”, “Joan of Arcadia”) – An older widowed housewife and is seen as one of the nosiest neighbors on the block. She is now dating Roy.
  • Lee McDermott and Bob Hunter (Kevin Rham, Tuc Watkins) – Two gay men who live in Wisteria Lane. A loving couple who love to argue in public.
  • Orson Hodge (Kyle MacLachlan, “In Justice”, “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2″) – The ex-husband of Bree who is a former thief and con man.

“Desperate Housewives: The Complete Seventh Season” on DVD features the following episodes 135-157 (the following are spoiler-less summaries):

DISC 1:

  • EPISODE 135 – Remember Paul? - Paul Young is back in the neighborhood, Lynette’s frienemy comes to Wisteria Lane for more than just a visit and Bree tells Gaby the truth of what happened to her mother-in-law.
  • EPISODE 136 – You Must Meet My Wife - Lynette’s friend Renee stays with the family, meanwhile Tom gets some help.  Meanwhile, Bree starts to fall for her contractor and Gaby and Carlos find out that a hospital mishap has accidentally switched their child with another child.  Meanwhile to make money, Susan takes up on a non-porn streaming site job.
  • EPISODE 137 – Truly Content – Tom gets prescribed medical marijuana and Lynette is against it.  Meanwhile, Gaby goes to find her real biological daughter against Carlos wishes.  Meanwhile, the group tries to welcome Paul’s wife Beth to the neighborhood.
  • EPISODE 138 – The Thing That Counts in What’s Inside – Susan’s secret job may come out in public when a billboard of her in lingeree goes up around the city.  Renee and Bree compete on who can win Keith’s affections.

DISC 2:

  • EPISODE 139 – Let Me Entertain You - Lynette is not thrilled when Tom hires his mother to become the nanny.  Meanwhile, what happens when Renee and Gabriel share intimate secrets with each other.
  • EPISODE 140 – Excited and Scared - Susan is blackmailed by Paul and must come clean about her part-time job.  Meanwhile, Juanita wonders why her mother is spending too much time with Grace.
  • EPISODE 141 – A Humiliating Business – Susan needs a job badly and thus Lynette hires her as her nanny.  Bree meets Keith’s parents and finds out why she is having hot flashes.  Also, Paul’s motive of buying the homes in Wisteria Lane is revealed.
  • EPISODE 142 – Sorry Grateful - Bree invites Keith’s parents to Thankgiving Dinner.  Meanwhile, Lynette is concerned of how Susan is becoming too concerned about her baby Paige.  Meanwhile, what happens when Gaby finds out that Grace may need to leave town.
  • EPISODE 143 – Pleasant Little Kingdom - Gaby begins to panic when she finds out that Grace’s mother wants to flee the area from deportation.  Renee accidentally reveals a secret with Susan and Paul’s plan is revealed to the neighborhood.

DISC 3:

  • EPISODE 144 – Down the Block There’s a Riot - Juanita learns the truth about why her mother cares so much about Grace.  Meanwhile, a riot hits Wisteria Lane and a few are seriously injured.
  • EPISODE 145 – Assassins - As police are on the lookout for Paul’s shooter, Paul finds out the truth about Beth.  Meanwhile, Susan needs kidney dialysis and Carlos and Gabrielle are told by their therapist to eliminate Grace from their lives for Juanita’s sake.  Lynette learns the truth about Tom and Renee’s past.
  • EPISODE 146 – Where Do I Belong – Susan needs a kidney transplant and her mother and her daughter comes to visit her in the hospital.  Meanwhile, Lynette exacts her revenge on Tom for his betrayal.
  • EPISODE 147 – I’m Still Here – Bree is approached by a woman from Keith’s past and finds out that he has a son that he knows nothing about.
  • EPISODE 148 – Flashback – Gabrielle goes to therapy and learns the truth about her past, Bree tells Keith the truth about the boy and Mike confronts Zach about Paul’s shooting.

DISC 4:

  • EPISODE 149 – Farewell Letter – Gabi and Carlos go back to Texas in order for Gabi to deal with her past.  Bree makes an important decision in regards to her relationship with Keith, Mike and Paul decide to help Zach.
  • EPISODE 150 – Searching – Susan and Mike spend time together, Beth wants to help Susan through tragic circumstances and Renee offers to babysit Paige.
  • EPISODE 151 – Everything’s Different, Nothing’s Changed – Susan has a donor but Paul stands in the way, meanwhile Felicia is released from prison and wants revenge for what happened to her daughter.
  • EPISODE 152 – Moments in the Woods - Carlos finds out the truth about who killed his mother and Felicia tries to make her peace with Paul.
  • EPISODE 153 – The Lies III-Concealed - Carlos forbids Gabi to become friends with Bree, meanwhile Felicia begins her plans for revenge.

DISC 5:

  • EPISODE 154 – I’ll Swallow Poison on Sunday – Felicia uses Susan to exact her revenge on Paul, Tom gives Lynette and Renee a chance to redesign his office.
  • EPISODE 155 – Then I Really Got Scared - Bree investigates the man she is dating and Juanita has nightmares after watching a horror film.  Meanwhile, Tom and Lynette go on vacation to fix their marriage.
  • EPISODE 156 – And Lots of Security – The police investigate Susan who is accused of trying to poison Paul, meanwhile Tom and Lynette discuss their marital problems.
  • EPISODE 157 – Come on Over For Dinner – The Wisteria Lane gang hold a dinner but Gabi has an uninvited guest.

VIDEO:

“Desperate Housewives: The Complete Seventh Season – Wild, Wild Wisteria Edition” is featured in Widescreen (1:78:1), enhanced for 16×9 televisions. “Desperate Housewives” looks very good on DVD. Outdoor scenes are nice and vibrant, blacks and low-light scenes do not have the excessive noise problems that some series tend to exhibit on a DVD release.

For the most part, cinematography for “Desperate Housewives” has been excellent and the editing top notch. The series looks great and I can only imagine how beautiful this series would look on High Definition (via Blu-ray).

AUDIO:

“Desperate Housewives: The Complete Seventh Season – Wild, Wild Wisteria Edition” is featured in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound and pretty much, “Desperate Housewives” has always been a dialogue-driven television show and is primarily front and center channel driven. For the most part, dialogue is clear and understandable. The show uses minimal music and nor is it the kind of series that utilizes a lot of sound effects (the final episode has a little). For the most part, the setting I preferred to watch the series was to set my receiver setting and have stereo on all channels.

The series includes subtitles in English SDH, Spanish and in French.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Desperate Housewives: The Complete Seventh Season” comes with the following special features:

DISC 5:

  • Desperate For Trivia - “Desperate Housewives” trivia game.  Use your remote to anwser the correct answers.
  • Growing Up on Wisteria Lane - (9:55)  The young cast who grew up on the set of “Desperate Housewives”.  The main talent talk about the children they work with on the show.
  • Bloopers – (4:18) “Desperate Housewives” season seven outtakes.
  • Deleted Scenes – A total of 12 deleted scenes.

EXTRAS:

“Desperate Housewives: The Complete Seventh Season – Wild, Wild Wisteria Edition” comes with a slip cover case.

Since the fifth season, I felt that the “Desperate Housewives” reboot was necessary in establishing a new beginning for the Housewives. As each housewife deals with becoming parents and the story now benefiting from the five year advance, I felt that creator Marc Cherry did what he can to help jumpstart the series.

The sixth season was similar to the second season in some ways as a secretive family moves to Wisteria Lane and a strangler was on the loose.  But for this seventh season, “Desperate Housewives” goes back to the basics by retaining similar storylines of another creepy person moving into Wisteria Lane (but this time, a familiar face), bringing a new character to the mix as part of the housewives group and last, focusing on the lives of each character.

While I did find the seventh season to be entertaining, I do feel that the writers are really trying hard to find ways to put a damper on the life of these housewives.

Susan and Mike continue to be a couple who face challenges but this time financial and also a health scare that hits the family hard.

But this time around, I feel that the writers wanted to make sure the wives and their families get full coverage and thus we have ex-housewife, Bree involved in two relationships throughout the course of the season.  But the ones that face the most emotional damage is Gabrielle, who finds out that Juanita is not her true blood daughter and when she meets her real daughter, she has a hard time coping.  But to make matters worse is part of her past comes back to haunt her.

The character I feel that the writers tried to zero in on is Lynette.  Part of me feels so bad for this character because she had to go through cancer, going back to work and so many other problems that she and her family are constantly have to face.  I was hoping that the writers would at least take it easy with Lynette in the seventh season but I get a feeling that because she is strong-willed and opinionated, she is the character that will be facing extreme difficulties in her marriage.  In some ways, with every character being divorced, you would have hoped Marc Cherry and fellow writers to have at least one person have a good marriage (yes, not perfect but still have a marriage intact).

I do feel the addition of Vanessa Williams to the cast is pretty cool.  But in some ways, her character is almost like her diva character on “Ugly Betty”.  Snooty, uptight and judgmental.  But it’s great to see her on the shoe but it’s obvious that her character being the newcomer of the group, is not yet being welcomed with open arms.

We do know that the next season of “Desperate Housewives” will be the final season and I just hope Marc Cherry can at least give closure to fans as many of us have invested into the show for so many years.  And while the series tends to have its good seasons and OK seasons, I have to say that the seventh season was very good.  Hilarious, emotional, entertaining and so many things were introduced this season but with that being said, it’s a bit farfetched this time around, especially seeing a riot hit Wisteria Lane.  It’s one thing for a tornado or a an airplane but a riot?  I don’t know about that.

But the riot scene episode was still very entertaining but I do feel that the shocking storylines that the series is known for, wasn’t so shocking by the second half of the season.  In fact, the way the series ended made me think of another ABC series, ABC Family’s “Pretty Little Liars”.  It’s almost cliche to see something like this happen but at the same time, these women are very good friends and they would always back each other up.

I don’t know if I agree with the series finale but I can only hope that things work itself out by the final eighth season.

As for “Desperate Housewives: The Complete Seventh Season – Wild, Wild Wisteria Edition”, the DVD set is good, but considering that the last season set and even previous releases had audio commentary, this time around, we only get a few featurettes and that was a bit of a surprise.  I was expecting a bit more in terms of special features.

Overall, If you are a fan of “Desperate Housewives”, then “Desperate Housewives: The Complete Seventh Season – Wild, Wild Wisteria Edition” is a good season, just not their best.  Still, if you invested so much time in watching this comedy/drama series, then this seventh season is definitely recommended!

PAUL YOUNG RETURNS TO WISTERIA LANE WITH QUESTIONABLE MOTIVES, SUSAN RECEIVES AN UNORTHODOX JOB OFFER THAT COULD HELP WITH HER MONEY WOES, LYNETTE’S FRIEND, RENEE, PAYS AN UNEXPECTED VISIT TO THE SCAVOS, AND BREE FALLS FOR A HUNKY, YOUNGER HANDYMAN, ON THE SEASON PREMIERE OF ABC’S “DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES”

September 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Vanessa Williams Joins the Cast as Renee Perry;
Mark Moses Returns as Paul Young;
Brian Austin Green Guest Stars as Hunky Handyman Keith;
Lainie Kazan Guest Stars as Susan’s Apartment Manager, Maxine

“Remember Paul?” – The residents of Wisteria Lane are stunned to discover that Paul Young is out of prison and back in the neighborhood with an enigmatic new wife and seemingly dark motives. Meanwhile, while Paul is renting Susan’s home, she, Mike and MJ are living in an apartment on limited funds. But Susan sees a glimmer of hope in getting her life back on the Lane when she’s offered an unorthodox job by her apartment manager, Maxine (Lainie Kazan); Lynette’s rich and successful college friend, Renee (Vanessa Williams), pays an unexpected visit to the Scavo household; Gabrielle and Carlos find themselves keeping secrets from one another; and Bree, newly single and needing a fresh start after selling her business, finds herself tempted by Keith (Brian Austin Green) — the handsome, young handyman she’s hired to update her house — on the season premiere of “Desperate Housewives,” SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 26 (9:00-10:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.

“Desperate Housewives” stars Teri Hatcher as Susan Mayer, Felicity Huffman as Lynette Scavo, Marcia Cross as Bree Hodge, Eva Longoria Parker as Gabrielle Solis, Vanessa Williams as Renee Perry, Ricardo Antonio Chavira as Carlos Solis, Doug Savant as Tom Scavo, Kathryn Joosten as Karen McCluskey, Kevin Rahm as Lee McDermott, Tuc Watkins as Bob Hunter, Mark Moses as Paul Young, with Brenda Strong as Mary Alice Young and James Denton as Mike Delfino. Also starring Charlie Carver as Porter Scavo, Joshua Logan Moore as Parker Scavo, Darcy Rose Byrnes as Penny Scavo, Madison de la Garza as Juanita Solis and Mason Vale Cotton as MJ Delfino.

Guest starring are Kyle MacLachlan as Orson Hodge, Harriet Sansom Harris as Felicia Tillman, Brian Austin Green as Keith Watson, Lainie Kazan as Maxine Rosen, Kevin Symons as Jack Pinkham, Michael Kagan as board chairman, Martin Kildare as Mr. Roarke, Christine Estabrook as Mrs. Huber, Steven Culp as Rex Van De Kamp, Michelle Duffy as Judy, Bonnie Bailey-Reed as Gwen, Max Carver as Preston Scavo and Karly Rothenberg as woman in prison.

“Remember Paul?” was written by Marc Cherry and directed by David Grossman.

“Desperate Housewives” is broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC’s selected HDTV format with a 5.1 channel surround sound. A TV parental guideline will be assigned closer to the airdate.

For more information on “Desperate Housewives,” visit ABC.com

Ugly Betty – The Complete Fourth and Final Season (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

August 11, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The final season of “Ugly Betty” finishes off with style, dignity, fun and many laughs.  But also a final tearful goodbye to the characters that we have watched for four incredible seasons.  I will miss the well-written episodes and its colorful cast of characters.  For fans of “Ugly Betty” and fans of the fourth season, “Ugly Betty – The Complete Fourth and Final Season” is definitely recommended!

Images courtesy of © abc studios/Disney. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: UGLY BETTY – The Complete Fourth Season

DURATION: 20 episodes (860 minutes)

DVD INFORMATION: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, English SDH, French and Spanish Subtitles, Widescreen (1:78:1) – Enhanced for 16×9 Televisions

COMPANY: abc studios

RATED: TV PG DLSV

RELEASE DATE: August 17, 2010

Based on the Colombian telenovela “Betty la fea” by Fernando Gaitan

Directed by Victor Nelli Jr., John Terlesky, John Putch, Richard Heus

Written by Silvio Horta, Henry Alonso Myers, Sheila R. Lawrence, Henry Alonso Myers, Jon Kinnally, Tracy Poust, Chris Black, Brian Tanen, Caria DiPaolo, David Grubstick, Abraham Higginbotham, Gail Lerner

Executive Producer: Salma Hayek, Silvio Horta, Jose Tamez, Benjamin Silverman

Co-Executive Producer: Sheila R. Lawrence, Teri Weinberg, Victor Nelli Jr., Henry Alonso Myers, Jon Kinnally, Tracy Poust, Richard Heus, Billy Wrubel

Producer: Jim Weiss

Co-Producer: Jerem Beim, Samantha Thomas

Associate Producer: Gregg Fishman

Music by Jeff Beal

Cinematography by Michael A. Price

Edited by Jennifer Pulver

Casting by Geoffrey Soffer

Production Design by Mark Worthington

Art Direction by Charles E. McCarry

Set Decoration by Rich Devine

Costume Design by Patricia Field

Starring:

America Ferrera as Betty Suarez

Eric Mabius as Daniel Meade

Michael Urie as Marc St. James

Vanessa Williams as Wilhelmina Slater

Tony Plana as Ignacio Suarez

Ana Ortiz as Hilda Suarez

Becki Newton as Amanda Tanen

Mark Indelicato as Justin Suarez

Judith Light as Claire Meade

Christopher Gorham as Henry Grubstick

Alec Mapa as Suzuki St. Pierre

Anna Kuchma as Modie

Sarah Lafleur as Molly

Grant Bowler as Connor Owens

Daniel Eric Gold as Matt

Ralph Macchio as Archie Rodriguez

David Rasche as Calvin Hartley

Adam Rodriguez as Bobby Talercio

Jamie-Lynn Sigler as Natalie

The world of high fashion takes on a whole new, hilarious meaning in Ugly Betty: The Complete Fourth and Final Season, available on DVD August 17, 2010 from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. There are underdogs and then there is Betty Suarez, the ultimate “fish-out-of-water.” Her efforts to fit in with her colleagues at a glossy magazine may bring unintentionally hysterical results, but they also have audiences rooting for their favorite fashionista. The collectible four-disc release allows viewers to complete their collection and relive every endearing moment of this heartwarming and irreverent comedy with all 20 final-season episodes uninterrupted, with never-before-seen bonus features.

Betty sure has come a long way! She is finally coming into her own and getting what she’s worked so hard for. But what she doesn’t realize is that she’s starting over in so many ways, and if she wants to play in the big leagues she needs to keep up. Ugly Betty: The Complete Fourth and Final Season focuses on her transformation – both personally and professionally – and how she will navigate these new waters as only she can. If Betty wants to succeed, she will once again have to rely on her heart, perseverance and intelligence – along with some help from her family, friends and a few unlikely allies.

“UGLY BETTY”, a series that captured the attention of millions of viewers with its heartwarming and hilarious storyline and it helps that the series is an adaptation of the popular Colombian telenovela “Betty la fea” by Fernando Gaitan. The series revolved around Betty Suarez (America Ferrera, “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” films, “Lords of Dogtown”), a woman with a kind heart and is always giving. The problem is that she is not fashionable, known for her thick hair, eyebrows and big glasses and braces.  And now the series which won Emmy, Golden Globe and Peabody Awards bids its final farewell with its fourth and final season.

In Season 1, audiences got to see how the unfashionable Betty got a job at the high fashion publication Mode Magazine and work as an assistant for Daniel Meade (Eric Mabius, “The L World”, “The O.C.”, “Eyes”)., the Editor-in-Chief. Despite her looks and how badly she is treated at the workplace, Daniel sees the kindness in her heart and she manages to reach out to him and help him through his troubles.

The stories tend to focus on various storylines that revolve around Betty’s world. Betty lives with her father, Ignacio Suarez (Tony Plana, “24”, “Commander-in-Chief”) who happens to be a God believing man and very protective over his family. Her sister Hilda (Ana Ortiz, “Boston Legal”, “Batman: Gotchic Knight”) who moves back at home with her son Justin (Mark Indelicato). They are a strong Latino family with Betty more proper, while her sister is more street smarts.

At Mode Magazine, there is a bit of strife as behind-the-scenes Wilhelmina Slater (Vanessa Williams, “Hannah Montana: The Movie”, “Boom Town”, “South Beach”) tries to find ways she can move up and own Mode Magazine and in Season 1, she goes after Daniel’s father Brandon Meade (Alan Dale, “The O.C.”, “LOST”) and has an affair with him. Wilhelmina trusts her loyal assistant Marc St. James (Michael Urie) to do her dirty work. Meanwhile, Marc and receptionist Amanda Tanen (Becki Newton, “American Dreams”) are like two peas in a pod as they gossip about those who work for Mode Magazine, constantly make fun of Betty but yet despite their trash talking, they somehow also end up getting closer to Betty. As for Betty, she can always depend on her friend and Mode Magazine costume designer Christina McKinney (Ashley Jensen, “Extras” and “Eleventh Hour”) to go, if times are tough at work.

In Season Two, Wilhelmina was doing anything she can to own Mode Magazine but her goal to marry Brandon Meade doesn’t go quite well but she manages to have sex with him and gets pregnant right before he dies. Meanwhile we are introduced to Daniel’s brother Alex turned woman named Alexis (Rebecca Romjin, “X-Men” films, “Pepper Dennis”) who is like another rival to Daniel and we also meet his mother who just escaped prison, Claire Meade (Judith Light, “Who’s the Boss”). Meanwhile, two men – Henry and Gio vie for Betty’s affection and one asks her hand in marriage.

In Season Three, we see Betty taking a more proactive approach in her job and trying to rise in the ranks of Mode but things get a bit crazy when her high school rival Kimmie (played by Lindsay Lohan) enters her life once again and takes part in the Young Editors Training Program (YETI). Meanwhile, Hilda’s salon is doing well but the city shuts it down, meanwhile Cliff and Marc become closer and eventually want to marry or will they? As for Daniel and Wilhelmina, the two must work together in ensuring that Mode Magazine becomes profitable.

In Season Four, Betty has now risen in her career at Mode Magazine and has become features editor.  But similar to how she had to prove herself as an assistant, now Betty must prove that she deserves to be a features editor despite many challenges including a jealous Marc who was also up for the job.

Daniel is trying to deal with his wife’s death and joins a support group which may be a cult.  Meanwhile, Hilda must make a difficult decision in her relationship with Archie, especially when her old boyfriend Bobby enters her life.  Justin must deal with the prejudice he faces in high school and most of all, trying to find out about how to deal with his homosexuality and keeping it private or making it public.  Wilhelmina gets hooked into a coverup when her daughter Miko has returned and is accused of murder, while trying to deal with the disappearance of Connor.  And Claire wants to find the son that she had given up for adoption.

“Ugly Betty – The Complete Fourth and Final Season” features 20 episodes on four discs. Included are (spoiler-less summaries):

DISC: 1

  • EPISODE 66 – The Butterfly Effect (Part 1 of 2) – Betty begins her job as features editor but people at Mode are not so thrilled, especially Marc.  Meanwhile, Justin is being ridiculed in school.
  • EPISODE 67 – The Butterfly Effect (Part 2 of 2) – It’s the day of Betty’s important photoshoot but when she spends too much time with Daniel, Matt and other editors are unwilling to work with her.
  • EPISODE 68 – Blue on Blue – Betty is working on a story to show that she is deserving of the job but when Matt and Amanda go out on a date, Betty gets jealous.
  • EPISODE 69 – The Wiener, The Bun and the Boob – Betty is working on an article of New York’s Worst Jobs but needs an assistant and thus Wilhelmina assigns an unrelectant Marc to become Betty’s assistant.
  • EPISODE 70 – Plus None - A special event in which higher up MODE employees can attend and are allowed to bring a “Plus One”.  With Matt going off and doing something new and Daniel focused on his healing, Betty needs to look for a date.

DISC 2:

  • EPISODE 71 – Backseat Betty – Hilda’s old flame from high school is back in her life, but this time Betty is interested in him.
  • EPISODE 72 – Level(7) With Me – When Daniel is planning to hand over the power of Mode to the Community of the Phoenix, Betty, Claire, Amanda and Matt try to save him from the cult.
  • EPISODE 73 – The Bahamas Triangle – With everyone heading to the Bahamas on a trip, Betty, Mat and Amanda get involved in a love triangle.  Special Guest: Shakira
  • EPISODE 74 – Be-Shure – Ignacio is planning a Christmas/Hanukah dinner for the family and his new squeeze Jean.  Both Betty and Hilda take a pregnancy test and Claire goes to meet her son that she gave up for adoption.
  • EPISODE 75 – The Passion of the Betty – Hilda tells Bobby the truth, meanwhile Claire must decide if she wants to back Wilhelmina’s return and Betty has a special gallery for Matt’s paintings.

DISC 3:

  • EPISODE 76- Back in Her Place – Betty has her worst week ever and a new hobby causes problems for her work.
  • EPISODE 77 – Blackout! – Betty plans to have a karaoke party in her apartment building but somehow the building gets robbed.
  • EPISODE 78 – Chica and the Man – Betty wins a blog contest but it causes problems between her and Daniel.
  • EPISODE 79 – Smokin’ Hot – Marc and Betty compete in trying to promote a new designer.
  • EPISODE 80 – Fire and Nice – Betty dates a firefighter who is investigating their house fire.

DISC 4:

  • EPISODE 81 – All the World’s a Stage- Betty has a new man in her life and now she wants to do a feature on him.
  • EPISODE 82 – Million Dollar Smile – It’s a big day for Betty as the braces come off.  Also, Betty has a dream of what if she never wore braces.
  • EPISODE 83 – London Calling – It’s fashion week in London and Betty has to cover it, and she brings Amanda and Hilda along.  Meanwhile, Betty meets an old flame in London.
  • EPISODE 84 – The Past Presents the Future – Hilda and Bobby are getting married and a former flame of Betty’s comes to visit, meanwhile Betty is offered a job to run a magazine in London.
  • EPISODE 85 – Hello Goodbye – The final episode and Betty makes a final decision in regards to her future.  Hilda and Bobby are considering moving to a new home and Daniel is having a hard time letting Betty go.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“UGLY BETTY” is presented in Widescreen (1:78:1) and is enhanced for 16×9 televisions. Production for “UGLY BETY” is quite slick and for a drama series, picture quality is along the same lines as abc studio’s other DVD releases. Which is pretty good and compression artifacts and low light noise is not as visible.

As for audio, “UGLY BETTY” is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. The series is front and center channel driven. Dialogue is clear, music is clear and overall, not a series to expect a lot of sound effects on your surround channels but for the most part, dialogue is understandable.

Subtitles are in English SDH, French and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Ugly Betty – The Complete Fourth and Final Season” includes the following special features:

DISC 1:

  • Deleted Scenes – Two deleted scenes which include “Connor Checked Out” and “Steam Room”.

DISC 2:

  • Deleted Scenes – Three deleted scenes which include “I’m Available”, “What is Level 5?” and “Breathe”.

DISC 3:

  • Mode After Hours – Featuring the following Marc and Amanda “Mode After Hours” segments: Stress-Orcism (3:35), Role-Playing (3:26), Queenseeker (5:16) and Harassment of a Sexual Nature (3:39).
  • Deleted Scene – Featuring two deleted scenes: “Elevator Chatter” and “Male Models”.

DISC 4:

  • Betty Goes Bahamas – (8:30) Behind-the-scenes of what the cast did during their stay in the Bahamas.  Becki Newton and Michael Urie try to go around the Bahamas to see what the cast is up to.
  • Betty Bloops – (6:32) “Ugly Betty” Season Four outtakes.
  • Deleted Scenes – Featuring three deleted scenes: “Guy Talk”, “Wedding Planning” and “Going Too Far”.
  • Audio Commentary - Featuring audio commentary for “All the World’s a Stage” (episode 81) with commentary by Michael Urie and Mark Indelicato.

EXTRAS:

“Ugly Betty – The Complete Fourth and Final Season” comes with a slip over cover.

I have to admit that I was a bit surprised that “Ugly Betty” was canceled.  It started off strong when it was shown on Thursday but as usual, when you air a series on Friday, it’s usually a nail on the coffin.  But if there is one thing that abc execs did right for the staff and stars of the series was that it gave them the chance to finish the series with style.  And with the way this series ended, “Ugly Betty” fans were treated with a wonderful ending.

I’ll miss watching the Suarez family, the humorous adventures of Betty and Daniel, the troublesome duo, Marc and Amanda and of course the drama that usually had accompanied the series.  But most importantly, it’s that ray of sunshine the series had brought to millions of viewers each week.

Having watched the series since it first began, I’ve looked at “Ugly Betty” as a series that was not only well-written and well-cast but also a series that was important as it revolved around a Latino family and truthfully, there have not been many drama/comedy series on television featuring a lead character that is Latino but also a female, so in many ways, the series sure made its mark in American pop culture and it’s a shame that the series was canceled (and several years earlier, the sitcom “The George Lopez” show which broke new ground was also canceled).

“Ugly Betty” has been a wonderful series and although the ratings may have tapered off (as did other ABC drama series such as “Desperate Housewives” and my other favorite series now ended, “Lost”), this fourth season continued the drama, the fun that the show was known for.  I felt that this fourth season finally broke new ground for Betty as we have seen her advance in her new career and we finally see the braces come off, but what the writers were able to do is focus on the supporting characters.

The fourth season dealt with Daniel’s healing process after the death of his wife, we see Hilda dating a politician but then seeing how life had affected her after a one night stand with an ex-boyfriend, for years we have seen Justin grow in the series but wondered how the writers would handle his “coming out” and we watched the continued power struggle between Wilhelmina and Claire Meade.  As important as the series for Betty fans, the writers gave viewers the opportunity to watch each character grow and in some sense, every character was like family.  Despite the class differences between characters, somehow we saw how they intermeshed because of Betty and by the end, everything worked out.

“Ugly Betty – The Complete Fourth and Final Season” features the same fun bonus content as previous releases.  I was hoping for audio commentary for this release especially for the final episode or the episode when the cast went to the Bahamas.   But you do get the one audio commentary.  The DVD picture quality is very good and audio is clear and understandable. I did wish ABC released this series on Blu-ray but overall, fans of the series should be happy with the overall DVD.

In the end, “Ugly Betty” completes its run with style, dignity, fun and many laughs.  But also a final tearful goodbye to the characters that we have watched for four incredible seasons.  For fans of “Ugly Betty” and those who enjoyed the fourth season, “Ugly Betty – The Complete Fourth and Final Season” is definitely recommended!

EMMY® AND GOLDEN GLOBE® NOMINEE VANESSA WILLIAMS JOINS THE CAST OF ABC’S “DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES”

May 18, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

This fall, a wicked new housewife arrives to Fairview when the multi-talented Vanessa Williams joins the Season Seven cast of ABC’s “Desperate Housewives.” Fresh off her stint on Broadway’s “Sondheim on Sondheim” and the critically-acclaimed series “Ugly Betty,” Williams will play a housewife who’s sure to shake things up in the neighborhood and wreak havoc in the lives of the women of Wisteria Lane.

Williams is one of the most respected and multi-faceted performers in entertainment today. She has conquered the musical charts, Broadway, music videos, television and motion pictures. She has sold millions of albums worldwide and has achieved critical acclaim as an actress on stage, in film and on television. Recently she co-starred in Disney’s feature film “Hannah Montana: The Movie,” and her latest album from Concord Records, “The Real Thing,” is available now. Currently she can be seen in Stephen Sondheim & James Lapine’s “Sondheim on Sondheim,” a new original Broadway musical at the Roundabout Theater running through the end of June and for which she has received a Drama League nomination.

Williams recently starred in ABC’s critically-acclaimed hit series, “Ugly Betty,” for which she has won or been nominated for numerous individual and ensemble awards, including the Emmy, SAG Award, Golden Globe and NAACP Image Awards.

“Desperate Housewives” stars Teri Hatcher as Susan Mayer, Felicity Huffman as Lynette Scavo, Marcia Cross as Bree Hodge, Eva Longoria Parker as Gabrielle Solis, Ricardo Antonio Chavira as Carlos Solis, Doug Savant as Tom Scavo, Kyle MacLachlan as Orson Hodge, Brenda Strong as Mary Alice Young, James Denton as Mike Delfino, Kathryn Joosten as Mrs. McCluskey, Charlie Carver as Porter Scavo, Joshua Logan Moore as Parker Scavo, Kendall Applegate as Penny Scavo, Madison de la Garza as Juanita and Mason Vale Cotton as MJ Delfino.

“Desperate Housewives” is broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC’s selected HDTV format, with 5.1-channel surround sound.

For more information “Desperate Housewives,” visit ABC.com.

UGLY BETTY – The Complete Third Season (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

September 23, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

“A lot of drama, a lot of crazy moments but for the most part, an entertaining, solid third season for ‘UGLY BETTY’.   Top notch writing and wonderful performances by the cast.   Expect a lot of surprises and celebrity guest appearances in the third season and a DVD with plenty of entertaining special features!  Highly recommended!

Images courtesy of © abc studios/Disney. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: UGLY BETTY – The Complete Third Season

DURATION: 24 episodes (1032 minutes)

DVD INFORMATION: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, French and Spanish Subtitles, Widescreen (1:78:1) – Enhanced for 16×9 Televisions

COMPANY: abc studios

RATED: TV PG DLSV

RELEASE DATE:  September 22, 2009

Based on the Colombian telenovela “Betty la fea” by Fernando Gaitan

Directed by Victor Nelli Jr., Matt Shakman, John Terlesky, Tom Verica

Written by Silvio Horta, Henry Alonso Myers, Sheila R. Lawrence, Bill Wrubel, Jon Kinnally, Trace Poust, Chris Black, Brian Tanen, Fernando Gaitan, Peter Elkoff

Executive Producer: Salma Hayek, Silvio Horta, Jose Tamez, Benjamin Silverman

Co-Executive Producer: Sheila R. Lawrence, Teri Weinberg, Victor Nelli Jr., Henry Alonso Myers, Jon Kinnally, Tracy Poust, Richard Heus, Billy Wrubel

Producer: Jim Weiss

Co-Producer: Jerem Beim, Samantha Thomas

Associate Producer: Gregg Fishman

Music by Jeff Beal

Cinematography by Michael A. Price

Edited by Jennifer Pulver, Sarah Boyd

Casting by Geoffrey Soffer

Production Design by Mark Worthington

Art Direction by Charles E. McCarry

Set Decoration by Rich Devine

Costume Design by Patricia Field

Starring:

America Ferrera as Betty Suarez

Eric Mabius as Daniel Meade

Michael Urie as Marc St. James

Vanessa Williams as Wilhelmina Slater

Tony Plana as Ignacio Suarez

Ana Ortiz as Hilda Suarez

Ashley Jensen as Christina McKinney

Becki Newton as Amanda Tanen

Mark Indelicato as Justin Suarez

Judith Light as Claire Meade

Christopher Gorham as Henry Grubstick

Alec Mapa as Suzuki St. Pierre

Anna Kuchma as Modie

Sarah Lafleur as Molly

Grant Bowler as Connor Owens

Daniel Eric Gold as Matt

Ralph Macchio as Archie Rodriguez

David Rasche as Calvin Hartley

Christine Baranski as Victoria Hartley

There are underdogs and then there’s Betty Suarez. In the snooty world of high fashion, Betty is the ultimate “fish-out-of-water.” Her efforts to fit in with her colleagues at a glossy magazine may bring unintentionally hysterical results, but they also have audiences rooting for their favorite fashionista. In Season Three, Betty’s success shocks her co-workers at Mode—she’s leaving the old neighborhood in Queens for a Manhattan apartment and a slot at YETI (the prestigious Young Editors Training Institute). But it wouldn’t be Betty without some hilarious setbacks along the way!

A lot of drama, a lot of excitement, a lot of wild and crazy moments…overall, highly entertaining and another wonderful season of “UGLY BETTY”.

“UGLY BETTY”, a series that captured the attention of millions of viewers with its heartwarming and hilarious storyline and it helps that the series is an adaptation of the popular Colombian telenovela “Betty la fea” by Fernando Gaitan.  The series revolved around Betty Suarez (America Ferrera, “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” films, “Lords of Dogtown”), a woman with a kind heart and is always giving.  The problem is that she is not fashionable, known for her thick hair, eyebrows and big glasses and braces.

In Season 1, we see how Betty gets a job at the fashion magazine known as Mode Magazine and work as an assistant for Daniel Meade (Eric Mabius, “The L World”, “The O.C.”, “Eyes”)., the Editor-in-Chief.  Despite her looks and how badly she is treated at the workplace, Daniel sees the kindness in her heart and she manages to reach out to him and help him through his troubles.

The stories tend to focus on various storylines that revolve around Betty’s world.  Betty lives with her father, Ignacio Suarez (Tony Plana, “24”, “Commander-in-Chief”) who happens to be a God believing man and very protective over his family.  Her sister Hilda (Ana Ortiz, “Boston Legal”, “Batman: Gotchic Knight”) who moves back at home with her son Justin (Mark Indelicato).  They are a strong Latino family with Betty more proper, while her sister is more street smarts.

At Mode Magazine, there is a bit of strife as behind-the-scenes Wilhelmina Slater (Vanessa Williams, “Hannah Montana: The Movie”, “Boom Town”, “South Beach”) tries to find ways she can move up and own Mode Magazine and in Season 1, she goes after Daniel’s father Brandon Meade (Alan Dale, “The O.C.”, “LOST”) and has an affair with him. Wilhelmina trusts her loyal assistant Marc St. James (Michael Urie) to do her dirty work.  Meanwhile, Marc and receptionist Amanda Tanen (Becki Newton, “American Dreams”) are like two peas in a pod as they gossip about those who work for Mode Magazine, constantly make fun of Betty but yet despite their trash talking, they somehow also end up getting closer to Betty.  As for Betty, she can always depend on her friend and Mode Magazine costume designer Christina McKinney (Ashley Jensen, “Extras” and “Eleventh Hour”) to go, if times are tough at work.

In Season Two, Wilhelmina will do anything to own Mode Magazine but her goal to marry Brandon Meade doesn’t go quite well but she manages to have sex with him and gets pregnant right before he dies.  Meanwhile we are introduced to Daniel’s brother Alex turned woman named Alexis (Rebecca Romjin, “X-Men” films, “Pepper Dennis”) who is like another rival to Daniel and we also meet his mother who just escaped prison, Claire Meade (Judith Light, “Who’s the Boss”).  Meanwhile, two men – Henry and Gio vie for Betty’s affection and one asks her hand in marriage.

In Season Three, we see Betty taking a more proactive approach in her job and trying to rise in the ranks of Mode but things get a bit crazy when her high school rival Kimmie (played by Lindsay Lohan) enters her life once again and takes part in the Young Editors Training Program (YETI).  Meanwhile, Hilda’s salon is doing well but the city shuts it down, meanwhile Cliff and Marc become closer and eventually want to marry or will they?  As for Daniel and Wilhelmina, the two must work together in ensuring that Mode Magazine becomes profitable.

Featuring even more celebrity guest appearances and exciting episodes, “UGLY BETTY – The Complete Third Season” features 24 episodes on six discs.  Included are (spoiler-less summaries):

DISC: 1

  • EPISODE 42 – The Manhattan Project – Wilhelmina is now Editor-in-Chief at Mode, while Daniel runs another magazine and Betty makes her return.  While her father Ignacio get s a job at a fast food restaurant.
  • EPISODE 43 – Filing for the Enemy – Daniel knows he is up to a custody battle for Daniel Jr., meanwhile Betty becomes Wilhelmina’s assistant.
  • EPISODE 44 – Crimes of Fashion – Christina is injured and Wilhelmina’s baby is in trouble.  But who at Mode Magazine is responsible for the accident?
  • EPISODE 45 – Betty Suarez Land – With Gio’s return, Betty thinks they can continue to be friends but she finds out that he doesn’t want to have anything to do with her.

DISC 2:

  • EPISODE 46 – Granny Pants – Kimmie visits Betty and asks for help to get her a job at Mode.  But despite all the bad things Kimmie did to Betty in the past, maybe she’s changed.
  • EPISODE 47 – Ugly Berry – Kimmie has become Assistant Editor at Mode and steals Betty’s spotlight.
  • EPISODE 48 – Crush’d – Jesse becomes attracted to her neighbor/musician Jesse.  Amanda needs a place to live after being evicted and lives with Betty temporarily.  Can Betty stand her new roommate?
  • EPISODE 49 – Tornado Girl – With the MODE Magazine upper management on a retreat, Betty is in charge but with a tornado on its way, Betty must avert a PR nightmare.  Can she pull it off?  Meanwhile, Marc must make a major decision.

DISC 3:

  • EPISODE 50 – When Betti Met YETI – Betty and Marc apply to YETI (The Young Editors Training Program) and become each other’s rival.  Daniel starts to become more attracted to his friend’s wife, Molly.
  • EPISODE 51 – Bad Amanda – Betty and Amanda must work on an article “How I Blew Ten Grand Without Spending a Dime”.
  • EPISODE 52 – Dress For Success – Betty wants to impress her idol Jodie Papadakis, editor of YETI.  Meanwhile, she meets her match with ELLE Magazine’s Teri.
  • EPISODE 53 – Sisters on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown – Betty and Hilda have sister problems and Daniel and Molly, Wilhemina and Connor have an affair.

DISC 4:

  • EPISODE 54 – Kissed Off – Connor tries to find out who is admiring his wife, Molly.  And musician Jesse starts to distract Betty once again.
  • EPISODE 55 – The Courtship of Betty’s Father – Betty works on a  video tribute for Claire Meade’s 60th Birthday but by leaving the camera at home, she discovers something about her father.
  • EPISODE 56 – There’s No Place Like Mode – Wilhelmina starts to worry that this affair is affecting her job and a new face joins MODE Magazine.
  • EPISODE 57 – Things Fall Apart – With YETI having Betty and Marc analyzing the magazine’s budget, she discovers a surprising discovery.  Meanwhile, Betty sees that Henry is trying to friend her on Facebook and we learn something surprising about Molly.

DISC 5:

  • EPISODE 58 – Sugar Daddy – With the Suarez’s landlord wanting to sell their house, they must find a rental home. Meanwhile, Ignacio takes part in a TV cook-off.
  • EPISODE 59 – A Mother of a Problem – The Suarez family try to hook Hilda up with City Councilman, Archie from Queens.
  • EPISODE 60 – The Sex Issue – Wilhelmina and Daniel decide to do an issue all about sex.  Matt wants to take his relationship with Betty to a higher level.
  • EPISODE 61 – Rabbit Test – The Suarez get an invitation to meet Matt’s billionaire father at his Easter Egg Hunt event.  Meanwhile, Wilhelmina thinks that William might not be her biological son.

DISC 6:

  • EPISODE 62 – The Born Identity – Matt’s billionaire father is willing to bail Mode Magazine, meanwhile baby William has been kidnapped.
  • EPISODE 63 – In the Stars - Betty must work with Matt and Marc on their final YETI project.  Meanwhile, Claire and Wilhelmina square off against each other.  Someone gets married…
  • EPISODE 64 – Curveball – Betty agrees to move in with Matt but while things go good in her new relationship, her former fiance returns to New York.
  • EPISODE 65 – The Fall Issue – With the passing of an editor at Mode, this leaves a position open and Betty and Marc compete for it.  Meanwhile, Wilhelmina has dirt on Claire and wants her to resign.  Meanwhile, things go terrible for Betty and a someone dies.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“UGLY BETTY” is presented in Widescreen (1:78:1) and is enhanced for 16×9 televisions.  Production for “UGLY BETY” is quite slick and for a drama series, picture quality is along the same lines as abc studio’s other DVD releases.  Which is pretty good and compression artifacts and low light noise is not as visible.

As for audio, “UGLY BETTY” is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound.  The series is front and center channel driven.  Dialogue is clear, music is clear and overall, not a series to expect a lot of sound effects on your surround channels but for the most part, dialogue is understandable.

Subtitles are in English SDH, French and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“UGLY BETTY – The Complete Third Season” includes the following special features:

DISC 1:

  • Mode After Hours: Six “Mode After Hours” episodes featuring Marc St. James (Michael Urie) and best friend Amanda Tanen (Becki Newton) in hilarious episodes featuring what they do at Mode after hours.  Included are the following episodes:  “Gwadalaharahh”, “Friend-iversary Vlog”, “Bowling for Cliff”, “Slumber Party Secrets”, “Sommer’s Seance” and “Trapped in the Elevator”.
  • Deleted Scenes – Three deleted scenes are included on Disc 1: What Are You Doing Here?, Don’t Let that Foam Fizzle, Lettuce

DISC 2:

  • Audio Commentary for “Crush’d” with Executive Producers/Writers Tracy Poust & Jon Kinnally and Co-Executive Producer/Director Victor Nelli Jr.
  • Deleted Scenes – Five deleted scenes are included on Disc 2: A Bitch Never Changes Her Stripes, You are My Hag, The Roof, Go Get’Em, You Must Be Molly

DISC 3:

  • Deleted Scene – Only one deleted scene Disc 3 titled “No Shoes!”

DISC 4:

  • Deleted Scenes – Two deleted scenes on Disc 4: Either Way I’m Cool and Good Amanda

DISC 5:

  • Look Who Keeps Popping Up – View “The Sex Issue” with video commentary hosted by Michael Urie & Becki Newton along with several surprising guests.  We see two screens side-by-side, on the left there is commentary with the right screen showcasing the episode.

DISC 6:

  • Coming Home to New York City – (12:43) We learn how “UGLY BETTY” is shot in Los Angeles but how the series moved to New York and how the cast found out that the show is moving to another location and how they all reacted. How New York is essential to “UGLY BETTY” and the best way to capture the city is to go back to New York.  Interviews with the executive producers and cast members.
  • Mode After Hours – Two “Mode After Hours” episodes featuring Marc St. James (Michael Urie) and best friend Amanda Tanen (Becki Newton) in hilarious episodes featuring what they do at Mode after hours.  Included are the following episodes: “I Spy” and “Prank Calls”.
  • Deleted Scenes – Seven deleted scenes are included on Disc 6 which include You Can Wow Anyone You Set Your Mind To, Padded Walls, I Fell Like I’m Dating Daniel, To Be Terminated, It’s Just a Nice Buff, Your New Trophy Wife and the Wedding Dance
  • Betty Bloops – (8:39) Bloopers from “UGLY BETTY” Season 3.

“UGLY BETTY” continues to have another solid, stellar year with season 3.  If there is one thing that is consistent with the series is that the writing has always been top notched since the very first episode and most importantly, the cast has been quite awesome for the series.  The series has been nothing but a pleasure to watch and see Betty’s journey as a professional but also in her personal life.  Everything seems to come together and work.

With this third season, there is quite a bit of laughter, typical backstabbing but even more emotional, dramatic scenes.  The season finale for this third season of “UGLY BETTY” was very well done and the best so far.

Of course, this season had a lot of hype with what went on behind-the-scenes between Lindsay Lohan and the cast and crew.  Whether or not the gossip surrounding what took place behind-the-scenes were true or not, the gossip definitely made people want to turn in to see this rivalry between Betty and Kimmie.  Another actor who brought some interest in the show was “Karate Kid” actor Ralph Macchio who played the city councilman that Hilda was interested in.  Pretty interesting role and hopefully we see more of him.

The third season also had featured episodes that had focused on character development of Marc, Amanda and Claire’s character.  Also, the other characters brought in to the series helped bring out emotions that we have never seen from our main characters.  For example, Molly brought out the best in Daniel Meade.  In fact, this season was a dramatic season for Daniel as he had to deal with a custody battle, a family member who may go to prison and then facing loss.  It was good to see Daniel being put through these rollercoaster type of events.

Last but not least, this DVD release of “UGLY BETTY – The Complete Third Season” is solid.  I found the featurettes such as the “Mode After Hour” web episodes and the “Coming Home to New York City” cool special features but also seeing the “Look Who Keeps Popping Up” video commentary.  I hope in the next season’s DVD release, we get more of that.

Overall, there’s nothing negative I can say about this season of “UGLY BETTY”.  Last year, was hit by the Writer’s Guild Strike and thus shortened to 18 episodes but fortunately, this third season, the move to New York, solid acting performances and writing definitely made this season the best in the series thus far.

“UGLY BETTY” fans, “UGLY BETTY – The Complete Third Season” is highly recommended!

Hannah Montana: The Movie (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

August 6, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

“For fans of the ‘Hannah Montana’ television show or Miley Cyrus, this Blu-ray release is definitely worth owning.  You get absolute magnificent picture quality, an awesome lossless soundtrack, a ton of special features and all this in a 3-Disc set.  Definitely recommended for the Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus fan!”

Images courtesy of © Disney. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Hannah Montana the Movie

DURATION: 102 minutes

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

COMPANY:  Walt Disney Home Studios Entertainment

RATED: G

Release Date: August 18, 2009

Directed by Peter Chelsom

Written by Daniel Berendsen

Characters by Michael Poryes, Richard Correll, Barry O’Brien

Screenplay by Kristen Buckley, Brian Regan and Burr Steers

Executive Produced by David Blocker, Steven Peterman, Michael Poryes

Produced by Billy Ray Cyrus, Alfred Gough, Miles Millar

Associate Produced by John Albanis

Music by John Debney

Director of Photography: David Hennings

Edited by Virginia Katz, David Moritz

Casting by Lisa Beach, Sarah Katzman

Production Design by Caroline Hanania

Art Direction by Elliott Glick

Set Decoration by Fontaine Beauchamp Hebb

Costume Design by Christopher Lawrence

Starring:

Miley Cyrus as Hannah Montana/Miley Stewart

Billy Ray Cyrus  as Robby Ray Stewart

Emily Osment as Lilly Truscott

Jason Earles as Jackson Stewart

Mitchel Musso as Oliver Oken

Moises Arias as Rico

Lucas Till as Travis Brody

Vanessa Williams as Vita

Margo Martindale as Ruby

Peter Gunn as Oswald Grange

Melora Hardin as Lorelai

Get ready to be dazzled by Disney’s big-screen smash hit Hannah Montana the Movie – now even better on Blu-ray Disc with sensational visuals and theater quality sound!  Plus, this 3-disc set has exclusive extras, including “The Hoedown Throwdown Dance-Along” and more!  “Hannah Montana the Movie” Deluxe Edition: More Music & Moves!  delivers laughs, adventure, family fun and fabulous music as Hannah returns to her roots, mixes it up with awesome guest stars (Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts and Vanessa Williams), and faces the most important decision of her life!  When Miley Stewart (aka pop star Hannah Montana) gets too caught up in the superstar celebrity lifestyle, her dad decides it’s time for a total change of scenery.  Miley must trade in the glitz and glamor of Hollywood for some ol’ blue jeans on the family’s Tennessee farm, where she’ll have to decide if she can truly have the best of both worlds.  Bring home heartfelt entertainment for the entire family:  Hannah Montana the Movie Deluxe Edition, More Music & Moves! – now even more awesome Blu-ray Hi-Def!

Since 2006, “Hannah Montana” has not only been a popular television series for the Disney Channel but a series that has definitely made Miley Cyrus, daughter of country music star Billy Ray Cyrus, a bonafide star.

It was one thing to watch this young teenager who was 13-years old at the time, grow up and become a popular television star and music talent that would sell out many concert venues, has had her music on top of the Billboard charts and now has two Disney films under her belt.

The first film from Disney focused on a 3D version of her concert and television show personality but this time around, “Hannah Montana: The Movie” takes to the big screen and takes a more serious look at Miley Cyrus’s character as her pop star identity has now affected her family and he friendship and has come to the point that the lifestyle of a popstar has gotten to her head.

The film is directed by Peter Chelsom (“Shall We Dance”, “Serendipity” and “Town & Country”), a screenplay by Daniel Berendsen (“Sabrina, the Teenage Witch”, “The Cheetah Girls: One World”) , composer John Debney (“The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor”, “Spider-Man 3″ and “Sin City”) and cinematographer David Hennings (“Strange Wilderness”, “Blue Crush” and “Ice Princess”).

For those not familiar with the television series, former music artist Robby Ray Stewart (Billy Ray Cyrus) has moved his family (which include Miley, played by Miley Cyrus, and her older brother Jackson, played by Jason Earles) from Tennessee to Malibu in order to manage his daughter Miley’s music career.  But in order to keep sanity at their home and keep their family together, he and Miley has kept secret identities and Miley dons a blonde wig and goes by the name Hannah Montana.    Along with her best friend Lilly Truscott (Emily Osment) and friend Oliver Oken (Mitchel Musso), who also take on disguises, help protect Miley’s secret.

In “Hannah Montana: The Movie”, the film picks up with Hannah Montana’s career doing quite well and is now managed by Vita (Vanessa Williams).  While Vita is successfully booking Hannah in various, major events, the fame has kept her busy to be with family (to celebrate Jackson’s entrance to college) and Lilly’s birthday party.  To make things worse, a member of the paparazzi is trying to figure out Hannah Montana’s secret.

After Hannah ends up getting into fight with Tyra Banks over some shoes and getting plastered on the newspapers and disrupting Lilly’s birthday party by coming as Hannah Montana, Robby Ray feels that his daughter Miley can’t balance her time as a family member and friend and is focusing too much of her life as Hannah Montana and thus tricks her to going to Tennessee (instead of an award ceremony in New York).

Hannah is not pleased that her father has tricked her and prevented her from attending the award show and is upset that he dragged her to the farmlife in Tennessee.  But Robby Ray wants her to remember where she came from and that Tennessee was their home before California.

While in Tennessee, Miley tries to adjust to the slow-paced life and meets an old friend when she was younger named Travis Brody (Lucas Till) who she becomes closer too, while her father Robby Ray gets closer to Lorelai (Melora Hardin), but with both of them having to live secret lives, can Miley or Robby Ray ever be able to have a normal life?

“Hannah Montana: The Movie” comes with three discs.  The first is the Blu-ray Disc, the second being the Digital Copy and the third is the DVD.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“Hannah Montana: The Movie” is featured in 1080p High Definition with an aspect ration of 1:85:1.  For the most part, the film is absolutely vibrant.  There are many outdoor scenes that showcase the film’s color.  May it be the shot at Lilly’s birthday party at Santa Monica Beach to the lush area of Tennessee.  The film definitely showcases a broad spectrum of colors, all of which are sharp, clear and absolutely eye-popping.  For the most part, David Hennings did a great job with utilizing the environment with this film and overall, picture quality is magnificent.

As for audio, this is probably the first time I have seen Disney sport an English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack (the film is also presented in French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital).  The dialogue is crystal clear and as much as this film is dialogue driven, with it also being somewhat of a musical as well, music plays a big part of this film and sounds fantastic.  Definitely good utilization of surrounds to pick up crowd ambiance or the animals at the farm but for the most part, this is a film where dialogue is king and music is also a big part of the film. Thus the soundtrack is quite crystal clear, the lossless audio definitely makes the music come alive.

As for subtitles, “Hannah Montana: The Movie is presented in English SDH, French and Spanish.

A DVD is included and sports a widescreen (1:85:1) – enhanced for 16×9 televisions and an audio soundtrack sporting a Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound soundtrack.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Hannah Montana: The Movie” features the following special features with some in 1080p High Definition or 480i Standard Definition:

  • Audio Commentary by Director Peter Chelsom – Peter Chelsom is the type of director who utilizes his commentary to thoroughly setup a scene and give credit to who came up with the ideas in pulling them off.  From utilizing scenes from Miley Cyrus’s first film and inserting scenes into the film to how animals were brought in to the film and managing over a thousand extras, this is a very thorough commentary.
  • Deleted Scenes – (10:35) A total of four deleted scenes which features an introduction by director Peter Chelsom discussing why they were removed.  But for the most part, Chelsom says the film is the final cut and mostly all footage was utilized in the film.  But the four deleted scenes included are: “Jackson: I’m Pretending to Be at University…”, “How Are We Going to Get Hannah Down to Crowley Corners?”, “Oswald and the Hannah Wigs” and “Oswald, The Ostrich and the Alligator”
  • Music Videos - (9:30) There are a total of seven music videos included.  Music videos featured are:  “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus (3:52), “Back to Tennessee” by Billy Ray Cyrus (4:22), “You’ll Always Find Your Way Back Home” by Miley Cyrus (3:49), “Let’s Get Crazy” by Miley Cyrus (2:59), “The Climb” (movie version) by Miley Cyrus (4:06), “Bless the Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts (4:17) and “Crazier” by Taylor Swift (3:15).
  • The Hoedown Throwdown Home Experience – A Blu-ray exclusive only.  This featurette is learning the popular dance created for the film (featured during the fundraising event and the ending credits) and features the full featurette titled “Everybody Now” (14:39) featuring how all the cast members (and crew) learned the dance by choreographer Jamal Sims.  While, for those who just want to watch “how to do the dance”, they can watch the “Learn the Moves (9:47) featuring choreographer Jamal Sims with “Hannah Montana” talents Mitchel Musso and Moises Arias.
  • Find Your Way Back Home - (15:05) A featurette with three segments.   The first features Miley Cyrus and mother Trish showing us around Franklin, Tennessee and the various shops and eateries.  The second is Billy Ray Cyrus showing us Tennessee and talking about how it’s home for the Cyrus family.  While the final segment features Emily Osment showing us Los Angeles and Hollywood and the key spots to visit.
  • I Should Have Gone to Film School with Jason Earles – (15:18) Jason Earles takes us behind-the-scenes of the “Hannah Montana: The Movie” film and introduces us to the crew and what their responsibilities are.  Especially for “Best Man”, “Grip” and “Gaffer” and differences between a Assistant Director and a Director’s Assistant.
  • Fun with Hannah and the Gang – (3:53) The blooper reel from the film.
  • B Disney Live – Fans can connect with family and friends through the innovative movie-watching experience!  People will need a profile 2.0 Blu-ray player to take advantage of this capability.

When it comes to “Hannah Montana: The Movie”, it’s almost similar to what I had to say about “The Jonas Brothers: 3-D Concert Experience” in that these films are created for their fans.

“Hannah Montana” is a popular children’s television show with a large following and I have watched many television shows with my son and although I’m not as familiar with her music, every decade there are shows that will appeal to their young fans and many of those who scratch their heads and just don’t get why people find it so appealing.  In the 80’s we had “Kids Incorporated”, in the 90’s we had “Saved By the Bell” and although Saturday morning teen shows and afternoon teen shows on network television are a thing of the past, these shows have continued on the Disney Channel and “Hannah Montana” is simply a popular series with a lot of merchandising behind the series and its star Miley Cyrus.

And those who are not fans, they are going to criticize and those who never cared for Hannah Montana or Miley Cyrus, it’s a given that they are not going to give a care for this film.

But how did I feel about the film?  As a guy who tends to write a lot about teen or young entertainment worldwide, may it be their music or television careers, I enjoyed the film.  Of course, it all comes from my knowledge of the series and knowing how quarky the television series is but also knowing the difficult the character of Miley Stewart has in juggling both worlds of a normal teenager and a pop star.

But what I found more interesting is seeing Robby Ray stepping down and knocking Miley off her high horse.  He notices that the fame is getting to her head and that if he doesn’t change things now, he’s going to lose that daughter who was always caring for her family and her friends.

So, when it comes to the dramatic scenes, I enjoyed watching that part.  As for the music, this is more geared for her fans.  Obviously, with her single “The Climb” and the soundtrack of this film doing so well on the Billboard Charts, it’s quite evident that she has a strong fandom of fans that are passionate for her music.  The film is not “High School Musical” and every scene is full of music and a little on drama, it’s quite the opposite where there are more acting scenes and music plays a more important part towards the second half of the film.  Also, you get music from Taylor Swift and Rascal Flatts and both offer an incentive to check out the film as well.

There was a superhero-esque (or more like “Spider-Man 2″) type of storyline near the end which I won’t get into but overall, I suppose that those who have watched her television show will find out if Miley Stewart or Hannah Montana will be the last persona standing.

For the most part, I found the film to be enjoyable, fun and it was good to see Miley Cyrus take on an emotional scene.  I thought that the ending scene with the talent and film crew doing “The Hoedown Throwdown Dance” was hilarious and fun and for the most part, I’m quite confident that fans of Miley Cyrus and Hannah Montana are going to have a great time with this release.

As for the Blu-ray release, you get a ton of special features and as typical of Walt Disney Studio Home Entertainment releases, its one company where you know that their releases are going to be given absolute awesome picture and audio quality.  And I can definitely tell you that this 3-Disc release will definitely be well worth it for the Miley Cyrus and Hannah Montana fans.

Overall, presentation and audio wise and the content included on this release is magnificent but as for the film, it all comes down to whether or not you are a fan of Miley Cyrus or her television show.  Otherwise, if you had no care in the world for her music or the show, then you know this release is not for you.  But for those who are passionate about her music and her series, then I can tell you that this Blu-ray release is highly recommended!

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