Riverdale: The Complete First Season – DVD Review

“Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the DVD I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.”

Archie has been a mainstay in the world of comics since he was introduced to the world in 1941. For over 76 years, the zany adventures of Archie Andrews and his friends Betty, Veronica, Jughead and others have entertained audiences both old and young. The trials and tribulations of this swell group of teens in the small town of Riverdale still has a place on supermarket checkout stands throughout the nation with Double Digests showcasing its myriad characters time and again.

Over the course of seven decades, Archie and his pals remained their classic selves, with misadventures and teenage drama never getting too crazy for the comic world they inhabited. Whether it was the innocent love triangle between Archie, Betty, and Veronica, or Jughead’s love of food, the plots of the early comics were rather tame.

But Archie and Riverdale would move beyond comics and into radio, TV, and film over the course of those seven decades, and as the medium evolved so did the characters, the stories, and the themes. It was the evolution of more mature thematic elements that eventually led to the death of Archie in the comics in 2014 (in at least one incarnation of the Riverdale universe).

Like Marvel and DC, Archie and his pals exist in multiple versions of their respective worlds, with each new iteration bringing a fresh take to old and new audiences. The latest take on Archie is the new series, Riverdale.

A Millennial update of the 1941 storyline, Riverdale introduces Archie (KJ Apa), Betty (Lili Reinhart), Veronica (Camila Mendes), and others in a much more brooding and sullen manner than the initial incarnation did. There are secrets and lies aplenty that each character possesses; each one dedicated to their own personal need to maintain some semblance of balance between their personal and social lives. It is from this conflict than many of the stories arise in Riverdale, and the multitude of setups from the pilot build to the revealing season finale.

This definitely isn’t your grandparent’s Archie Comics! There’s a lot of sex, a lot of angst, and a lot of suspense that make Riverdale a must-watch for anyone who’s looking for a solid teenage soap opera. It’s definitely for those who miss Dawson’s Creek and are looking for a new series to sink their teeth into.

And there’s plenty to explore and get excited about in this particular Archie universe. With new problems mixed with familiar comic book storylines, the creators of the series have done a great job mixing the old with the new, the classic with the contemporary. Fans of the old Archie will be intrigued, while newcomers will find something to enjoy as well.

Riverdale: The Complete First Season includes a number of great special features:

The New Normal
See how the world of the beloved comic book icons Archie, Betty, and Veronica has grown darker and more mysterious over the decades.

I Got You
Unplugged musical duet featuring Archie and Valerie.

Riverdale: 2016 Comic-Con Panel
Cast and crew gather to discuss the show.

Riverdale: The Ultimate Sin
This short documentary explores how a dead body plunged a small town into the heart of darkness.

These Are the Moments I Remember
Musical piece featuring Archie with Josie and the Pussycats.

Gag Reel

There’s plenty of suspense, excitement, and drama to be explored with Riverdale: The Complete First Season.

Riverdale: The Complete First Season is available NOW on DVD!

What’s your favorite Archie storyline? Leave a comment and let us know!

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LEGO DC Super Hero Girls: Brain Drain – DVD Review

“Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the DVD I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.”

Something is amiss at Super Hero High School! Many of the students are acting out, acting up, and getting into trouble. And it’s the ones that normally would have no part in such devious shenanigans. Do they truly know what misdeeds they are doing, or are they inadvertently part of a nefarious plot by some dastardly villain whose motives are less than noble?

Welcome to LEGO DC Super Hero Girls: Brain Drain! This is the third animated feature starring the strong female characters that make up the DC Comics universe with an adolescent twist. And this time they’re not just animated, they’re LEGO!

Once again Warner Bros. Animation delivers a solid and entertaining movie all about girl power, teamwork, and friendship that also delivers plenty of sight gags, one-liners, and silly puns to go with the action. And there’s plenty of action and excitement to be had as Wonder Woman, Batgirl, and Supergirl work together to figure out why everyone they know is acting so strange…including themselves!

Skullduggery is indeed afoot at Super Hero High, and it will take the strong minds and spirits of these Super Hero Girls to get things back to normal. Can they do it? Watch and find out!

So get your cape on and take flight with LEGO DC Super Hero Girls: Brain Drain! It’s Super fun!

LEGO DC Super Hero Girls: Brain Drain is available NOW on DVD!

Who’s your favorite DC Super Hero Girl? Leave a comment and let us know!

Blindspot: The Complete Second Season – Blu-ray Review

“Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.”

When I saw the initial trailer for the first season of Blindspot, I was definitely intrigued. A woman, covered in tattoos, with amnesia, who is found in the duffel bag in the middle of Times Square is a premise I have never heard of before. Over the course of the season, the woman – known only as Jane Doe – slowly begins to reveal her secrets with the aide of a crack FBI team who uses her tats as a way to unravel the mystery of who she is and why she ended up the way she did.

As the action and suspense escalated toward the season finale, we were left with favorite characters taken from us and new mysteries presented. At long last season two appeared and the shot of adrenaline that kept us going the previous season is back; only this time, it’s even more intense.

Chases, fight sequences, and shootouts are in full force in Blindspot’s second season. As questions lead to more questions as to who Jane Doe truly is and where she came from, the answers revealed only fuel the fire that has kept us glued to our screens since the initial moments of the pilot.

With each episode, Blindspot gives us a little more, then a little more, and then a little more before we’re suddenly gut-punched. Our sense of narrative security taken away as new revelations come to the fore and new foes and dangers emerge from the ether. Will Jane Doe’s true identity finally emerge, or will it continue to evade us? There’s only one way to know for sure: watch Blindspot: The Complete Second Season!

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

The Writer’s Conspiracy Featurettes:
· Breaking Season 2
· Premiere Revelations
• Conspiracies and Cover-Ups Featurettes
• Zero Division
• Sandstorm
• Deleted Scenes
• My Crazy Comic-Con Experience with Ashley Johnson (Agent Patterson)
• 2016 Comic-Con Panel
• Bound and Gag Reel

So, continue the journey you began with Jane from the beginning and check out Blindspot: The Complete Second Season. I highly recommend it!

Blindspot: The Complete Second Season is available NOW on DVD and Blu-ray!

What do you think will happen in Season Three? Leave a comment and let us know!

LEGO Scooby-Doo! Blowout Beach Bash – Blu-ray Review

“Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.”

Scooby-Doo has been entertaining audiences since his debut in 1969. For nearly five decades, Scooby and the gang have solved mystery after mystery and unmasked evil ghosts, ghouls, and monsters that have terrorized abandoned amusement parks, ski lodges, and beaches. Scooby is as recognizable as Mickey Mouse, the Golden Arches, and the Batman logo, and it doesn’t appear that he, Shaggy, Velma, Daphne, or Fred are going away anytime soon.

Enter the latest incarnation of the mystery-solving meddlers: LEGO Scooby-Doo! Blowout Beach Bash. When the team decide to let their hair down and have some fun by going to the nearby Blowout Beach Bash, they find themselves in the middle of yet another mystery.

Evil Ghost Pirates have scared away all the teens at the beach and boardwalk and it’s up to Scooby and the gang to solve the mystery, save the Beach Bash, and make sure there’s enough time for food (well, for Scooby and Shaggy at least).

Will they solve the mystery and find out the identities of the Ghost Pirates before it’s too late?

Before LEGO Scooby-Doo! Blowout Beach Bash, there were three other Lego Scooby-Doo movies, and each one has been highly entertaining with a stellar voice cast. Frank Welker has been the voice of Fred since the very first episode of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? and continues the tradition to this day. He’s also stepped into the role Scooby-Doo. Matthew Lillard reprises his role as Shaggy whom he played in the two live-action films in 2002 and 2004. Kate Micucci (Garfunkel and Oates, The Big Bang Theory) voices Velma, and Grey Griffin (The Fairly OddParents, Danny Phantom) is the voice of Daphne. It’s a nice mix of old and new voices that really works.

The Blu-ray features something for everyone. A new Scooby adventure for the kids and two classic episodes of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? and one ep of Be Cool, Scooby-Doo as Bonus Features (“Go Away Ghost Ship;” “A Clue for Scooby-Doo;” and “Party Like It’s 1899”).

So have some fun and get ready to party of Scooby and the gang in LEGO Scooby-Doo! Blowout Beach Bash! I highly recommend it!

LEGO Scooby-Doo! Blowout Beach Bash is available July 25, 2017 on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD!

What’s your favorite version of Scooby-Doo? Leave a comment and let us know!

Disney’s Bambi: Anniversary Edition – Blu-ray Review

In the interest of full disclosure, I had never seen Disney’s Bambi before I sat down to watch this latest Anniversary Edition. I know, I know. How is that possible? I’m a huge fan of Disney animated films. The first movie I ever saw in theaters was the 1984 re-release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, so the foundation of film-going experience begins with the Disney animated feature that started it all. And yet, Bambi had eluded by viewing for the 37 years I’ve been around. Until now.

Here are SIX things I learned while watching and researching the film, Bambi:

1. Bambi is a Milestone for Disney Animation

From its setting of the forest to its more accurately drawn animals, Bambi marked a new era in Disney animation with its eye for realism. Disney created special classes for his animators so they could learn how to draw and animate animals, water, fire, and other elements in order to create a truly believable world. And to their credit the film is a visually stunning masterpiece of pastoral beauty. It’s a feast for the eyes with literal layers of animation to watch and enjoy time and time again.

2. Bambi was not a Financial Success for Disney

It’s hard to believe that it’s the 75th anniversary of Bambi. That means that this film was the 5th animated feature from Walt Disney Studios and it also happened to be released during World War II (1942). This may explain that while we think of it as a classic, it was a failure at the box office. This makes sense given the time period (there was a major war going on) and its box office failings put it in good company with two other memorable Disney classics: Pinocchio and Fantasia (both released in 1940).

3. Not the Story I Thought it Was

I’ve always believed that Bambi’s mom got shot and killed by the Hunter at the beginning of the movie and the rest of the film is Bambi coping with her death with the help of Thumper, Flower, and the other animals of the forest. I was wrong, which to me is a good thing. This meant that I was actually more engaged with the story, and the tension of when Bambi’s mother would be shot and killed made the film all the more suspenseful to watch. I also didn’t know about the big fire that happens during the final act of the film. This, too, made the an unexpected surprise and one that shows that you never really know what a film is about until you’ve taken the time to watch it for yourself.

4. It’s Not a Musical

Along with the story, I was also surprised that there are no musical numbers sung or performed by the animal cast (which may have been a choice by Walt himself given that he wanted the animals to be more realistic…talking aside). Yes, there are songs and music, but knowing how Disney likes to have characters break into song in the majority of their animated films, it was an interesting discovery. In this instance it makes sense, much like in future Disney features like Tarzan, where music is a factor in the overall world of the film, but not in the lives of most of the characters that inhabit the story.

5. Shows a Pattern in Disney Storytelling Still Seen Today

The theme of the orphaned main character is a common story device that is used in the majority of Disney films. And like most of these features – The Lion King and Frozen being two exceptions – how the character copes with that death/loss is handled off-screen. But it is this wound inflicted on the character against their will that helps make them stronger and more independent in the long run as they make their way through the struggles and victories of the narrative. The same can be said for characters what only have one parent in the picture. How they deal with the loss of the other parent is never fully explored if it’s mentioned at all.

It’s also an interesting side note that many of the characters in the Marvel films and Star Wars films also share the orphaned/parentless theme with many of their Disney character counterparts.

6. Incited Controversy

How, you may ask? Well, believe it or not, hunters were very upset over their demonization in the film. According to a 2014 FilmInspector.com article by James Bjorkman: “American sportsmen naturally took offense at this negative imagery: in a 1942 edition of the magazine “Outdoor Life,” editor Raymond Brown denounced the film as “the worst insult ever offered in any form to American sportsmen.” Imagine if they had had a Twitter account back then!

Not only was this an issue for some, but the entire plot point of Bambi’s mother’s death was also a contentious area of debate, especially in the Disney household. Walt himself admitted in an interview that his daughter was horrified over the death of Bambi’s mother and she was not happy that it was in the film. Others who witnessed the off-screen death were drawn to animal conservation efforts and became animal activist in their adult years.

Along with the original theatrical version, the Blu-ray includes a and the following special features:

Studio Stories: Bambi
The Bambi Effect
Inside Walt’s Story Meetings
Bambi Fawn Facts
Short Film: Oswald the Lucky Rabbit – “In Africa Before Dark”
Deleted Scenes
Deleted Song: “Twitterpated”
The Making of Bambi: A Prince is Born
Tricks of Our Trade (Excerpt)
Inside the Disney Archives
The Old Mill: Animated Short
The Golden Age

For a look at what truly was the first Golden Age of Disney animation, I highly recommend Disney’s Bambi: Anniversary Edition!

Disney’s Bambi: Anniversary Edition is available NOW on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Download.

What’s your favorite Disney animated feature? Leave a comment and let us know!

Queen Sugar: The Complete First Season – DVD Review

“Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the DVD I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.”

Oprah Winfrey (Greenleaf, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks) and Ava DuVernay (Selma, 13th) have joined forces to bring audiences the powerful and mesmerizing drama, Queen Sugar. This dynamic and engaging series explores the themes of family and race in America in a unique and compelling way that will have you glued to the screen from the first moments of the pilot until the frame of the season one finale. It’s a great series with great characters that never lets up on the drama, the tension, or the realism that is one of the hallmarks of Queen Sugar’s universe.

When the three siblings of the Bordelon family – Nova, Charley, and Ralph – have to cope with the death of their father, they discover that his life’s work, a sugar cane farm, is part of their inheritance. The three must work together, with tensions rising from all sides, to figure out what to do with the sugar cane farm while maintaining and balancing their current life situations.

It is through their common connection to the farm that these three siblings find deeper meaning in their lives, their relationships to one another, and the to the world as a whole. Will they be able to keep their father’s legacy alive while keeping their own world’s in tact?

The three actors who portray the siblings – Rutina Wesley, Dawn-Lyen Gardner, and Kofi Siriboe – have fantastic chemistry on-screen. Their trials and tribulations as brother and sisters are all brought to bare as the raw nerves of their pasts and presents bubble to the surface as they make decisions that could cause upheavals to their lives and their futures.

One of the unique things about Queen Sugar is that all the episodes are directed by a wide range of female directors. This diversity in directing definitely enhances the tone of the series and gives each episode a perspective that it may not have had had a male director been at the helm.

The Season One DVD includes the following special features:

Inside Queen Sugar: Origins

Extraordinary in the Ordinary: Making Queen Sugar

Oprah Winfrey and the Cast of Queen Sugar

Deleted Scenes

If you love family-based drama series, I highly recommend Queen Sugar: The Complete First Season.

Queen Sugar: The Complete First Season is available now on DVD.

What’s your favorite family-based drama series? Leave a comment and let us know!