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!

Max 2: White House Hero – 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.”

There’s a lot going on in Max 2: White House Hero. It’s a dog movie, a precocious kid movie, a political intrigue movie, and a political satire all rolled into one. And it’s family friendly on top of all of that! Max, the star of the film, was first seen in 2015’s Max about a military dog whose adopted by the family of one of the soldiers her assisted in Afghanistan. The sequel finds Max on a new mission as a White House Secret Service dog who quickly becomes the playmate and protector of the First Son.

You see, the Russians are coming to the White House (the movie is rather timely and topical) to discuss a new nuclear arms treaty between the two countries. The Russian President, Vladamir Bragov, brings along his young daughter Alex (Francesca Capaldi) who befriends First Son TJ (Zane Austin).

But something is amiss; in fact, there’s a sinister plot afoot that Alex, TJ, and Max uncover while the adults are completely oblivious to the badness on the horizon. Can Max and the kids prevent an international incident before it’s too late?

I can honestly say that I enjoyed this movie! It had its moments of action and suspense, it was well-acted, and the dog is pretty awesome. Directed by Brian Levant (Jingle All the Way, Beethoven), Max 2: White House Hero is a kid-friendly, family friendly movie that the whole family can enjoy together.

The Blu-ray includes two fast-paced and entertaining featurettes:

Kids on the Case: Making of Max 2

Take a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film with Francesca Capaldi and Zane Austin.

Max 2: A Ruff Life

It took four dogs to bring Max to the screen. See what it takes to train a dog for a movie like Max 2!

As I said above, I had a good time watching this movie. It’s upbeat, fun, and quite entertaining. I highly recommend it for family movie night!

Max 2: White House Hero is a available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Download!

What’s your favorite dog movie? Kid’s movie? Political satire? Leave a comment and let us know!

The Girl with All the Gifts – Blu-ray Review

Zombies. The concept of the flesh-eating undead hunting down and eating the living seems to be everywhere you look. From film to TV, comics to commercials, zombies have taken hold of the public interest and created a pop culture wave much like vampires and zombies did in years past. With every new iteration, these stories range from familiar to quite unique. The Girl with All the Gifts fits the latter category.

While there is plenty of blood, guts, and gore to go around, The Girl with All the Gifts spins a fresh narrative out of old cloth. Here, we have a female-driven zombie flick, with three strong female leads played excellently by Sennia Nanua, Gemma Arterton, and Glenn Close. Nanua steals the show as Melanie, a young girl who possibly hold the cure for the current zombie apocalypse that has befallen the world. She and her classmates all have the potential to save the world from what are described as “hungries” by those around them.

With each passing day, the hungries become more determined, and their desire for flesh grows more rabid. It is Melanie who may hold the key to the cure within her, but is she willing to make the ultimate sacrifice before it’s too late?

The film is engaging for many reasons but primarily due to the way the story is presented and how we experience the world through Melanie’s eyes. It is her story that drives the film, and as she discovers new things about the world and the dangers it involves, we as an audience feel her fear, her curiosity, and her pain. Sennia Nanua delivers a wonderfully depth-filled performance that has her going toe-to-toe with acting heavyweight Glenn Close and keeping up scene after scene.

The Blu-ray includes a great featurette, Unwrap the Secret World of The Girl with All the Gifts, which is gives further insight into the genesis of the film and how it went from short story, to script, to screen.

I really enjoyed The Girl with All the Gifts. I highly recommend it!

The Girl with All the Gifts is available now on DVD, Blu-ray, and Digital Download.

What’s your favorite zombie movie or TV show? Leave a comment and let us know!

Animal Kingdom: The Complete First 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.”

Family. Loyalty. Distrust. Chaos. These are just some of the themes that permeate that world of Animal Kingdom. From the very first moments of the pilot to the final minutes of the season finale, you get a true sense that this working-class crime family is a lot like every other family.

Sure, we don’t all prosper from organized crime schemes, robberies, or physical altercations for the sake of monetary or personal gain, but we all have a circle of people whom we are loyal to. A group of people – whether they are family or close friends – with whom we confide, we commiserate, and we oftentimes collide. But no matter the inner turmoil within the circle, when an outside begins to cause problems, the interpersonal issues fade away; and animal instincts take over.

The first season of Animal Kingdom introduces us to the Cody family, led by matriarch Janine (Ellen Barkin) who doesn’t take crap from anyone – including her sons. She’s a tough-as-nails, strong-willed, yet compassionate heroine who can be your best friend one minute and your worst enemy the next. It is through her motherly manipulation that she’s able to control the criminal enterprise she has built with the help of her sons; a group of men with their own sets of issues and behavioral problems.

We initially see the series through “J” (Finn Cole) who is Janine’s grandson. After his mother passes away, he comes to live with the Codys and boy is he in for a surprise! What he thought would be a refuge from the drug-addled and impoverished world he left behind soon becomes a chaotic circus of criminal antics, wild parties, sex-filled debauchery, and gun, explosions, fist fights, and much more. It’s a lot for a 17-year-old to take in, and taking the journey with him is as much exhilarating as it is exhausting.

As for Janine’s four sons, there’s enough personality to go around with some to spare as the Cody boys ramp up the crimes, the violence, and the paranoia as events go from good, to bad, to worse as the family grapples with the potential of getting busted by the cops, impending arrests, and the fear that their empire could be shut down for good.

Animal Kingdom is great TV. It’s dark, edgy, exciting, amusing, and fast-paced. The blu-ray comes with a number of great special features, which include:

Inside Animal Kingdom

Producers and cast provide an inside look.

Animal Kingdom: Stunts

Exciting sports action from surfing to skydiving.

Meet the Codys

Reach into the heart of the diabolical family.

Getting Into Character

Creating the criminally cool characters.

Setting The Stage

Production designer Nina Ruscio and the team reveal the secrets of Smurf’s domain.

Family Comes First

Cast and producers explore Season One’s family dynamics.

Deleted Scenes

If you’re looking for a new series to begin, I highly recommend Animal Kingdom: The Complete First Season! It truly is the Golden Age of Television Drama!

Animal Kingdom is available now on Blu-ray and DVD!