Category Archives: Movie Reviews

The Other Woman Blu-ray Review

The Other Woman Blu-ray Review

The Other Woman stars Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and Kate Upton as the three women who are being cheated on but they do get their revenge.

Film making 2/5
Video 4/5
Audio 4/5
Bonus Features 1/5
Recommendation 2/5 Stars

the other woman ft

In every affair with a married man there is always that married woman who is being cheated on but in The Other Woman there are three that get together and get even. Mark, played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, hooks up with Carly, Cameron Diaz, for a few weeks and suddenly needs to leave town.

She shows up at his house to surprise him and instead finds out he is married to a nice but naïve woman named Kate who is played by Leslie Mann. Carly rushes away horrified to find out that Mark is married but the next day Kate shows up at Carly’s office to get some answers.

Kate is upset that Mark is having an affair and winds up pestering Carly into divulging more about her affair then they end up becoming friends. Carly and Kate hatch a plan to get even but before they can get anywhere they find out there is a third woman who is sleeping with Mark.

Kate Upton plays the third woman, Amber, who is also having an affair with Mark but Mark has been lying to all three and she is just begging to get even as well. They hatch a plan using Mark’s own con with Kate who he is using as a front for a business venture to keep himself safe.

Mark has been creating businesses and using Kate as the head of the company but they twist this around and take all his money that he planned to conn out of investors. In the end they take Mark for all that he stole and give it back to the investors so they are not going to pursue charges against Kate.

Mark is out all the money while Kate and Carly now work with Mark’s investors while Amber hooks up with Carly’s father who is played by Don Johnson. The Other Woman is a great story that is pretty well taken to film but some of the corny directions just don’t help the plot.

The writing seems to be the bad part of this film even though it is fairly good with Leslie Mann doing most of the comedy. Kate Upton is here more for eye candy than anything while Cameron Diaz tries to be the mastermind of the group but gets less central as the movie moves on.

The biggest problem is the direction and plot did not keep things centered on one style throughout the film which would have made it much better. If they had specific direction and kept to that the movie would have been netter but as it is they flake out at times and head off in odd ways.

The Other Woman on Blu-ray has great video quality from real film that has vivid color and fantastic location shots like the beach scenery. Audio is also great in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 but surround sound is a bit lost here due to the dialogue driven film.

Bonus content includes a gag reel, deleted scenes and a take on one scene where the giggles took over the shot for a lackluster offering. The gag reel is alright but the rest is only filler so there really is only one decent extra for a very poor set of bonus features.

The Other Woman is a decent enough movie but I could easily see that it had potential that was wasted due to inadequate writing and or direction. Check out The Other Woman as one of those alternate films when nothing else that you wanted is available for rent.

The Other Woman Website

Next Goal Wins DVD Review

Next Goal Wins DVD Review

Next Goal Wins is a British documentary about the national football, we call it soccer, team of American Samoa and their triumphant return from a serious losing streak.

Film making 4/5
Video 4/5
Audio 4/5
Recommendation 4/5 Stars

Next Goal Wins
Next Goal Wins

In 2001 the American Somoa football team lost to Australia 31 to 0, the biggest defeat in football history and it took the team 17 years to break that record. Only scoring twice in 17 years may seem like a theme for a film but it did happen to the American Somoa football team.

Bring in Dutch born but American coach Thomas Rongen and three weeks of hard work to bring the team around to break their bad luck. The team finally scores goal after goal and wins a few games to make it to position 173 in the world standings.

While they did not make it to the finals they did break a streak that had been plaguing them for years and in sports this can be bad. Not only does a team have to be in top physical condition but mentally they have to pull together both as a team and individually to do their best.

They have to pull together as well as practice together and coach Rongen does just that in the few short weeks before their first game toward the finals. The World Cup finals for 2014 starts three years before the final games so the team had to start winning games in 2011 to qualify.

While the team lost during their qualifiers for their chance to play at the FIFA World Cup in 2014 they did win some games. This would not be a big win for most teams but this one has only scored two goals during the last 17 years of games.

Next Goal Wins is a great look inside the human spirit and the courage it takes to fight their way out of the bottom even if they don’t get far. You can easily tell this is not your team comes from the bottom to take first place as they do not even make it to the World Cup but they do change their luck.

Real world examples of people struggling to rise above their past dissapointments are rare but in this documentary it does happen. Even when you know the outcome it still brings a smile to your heart to see how the team rejoices with their small win.

Next Goal Wins is a DVD so it does have decent quality but not the better Blu-ray quality even though it is shot with a high-definition Red Epic-M. Video is really good and about the best I have seen on a documentary on DVD with some very good footage from the real games as well as the behind the scenes shots.

The color is very good but a bit lower key without any enhancing or editing in post-production with special effects. The audio works well and is in 5.1 Dolby Digital but is only in English with no other languages available except the closed captioning.

There are no bonus features in the DVD release of Next Goal Wins so I am not going to be including any stars for its rating. Next Goal Wins is a great film and well worth a look to see how the lowest scoring team pulled out of their slump and win a game.

Next Goal Wins Website

Falling Skies: The Complete Third Season Blu-ray Review

Falling Skies continues man’s struggle to survive an alien invasion with Noah Wyle starring as the leader of a small group that now survives with the help of another alien race.

Film making 3/5
Video 3/5
Audio 4/5
Bonus Features 2/5

Recommendation 3/5 Stars

falling skies season 3
Falling Skies: The Complete Third Season Blu-ray Review

Falling Skies returns for their fourth season and the Falling Skies: The Complete Third Season Blu-ray release has now hit the store shelves. Producer Steven Spielberg and creator Robert Rodat bring a new post-apocalyptic world to television starring Noah Wylie.

Noah Wylie stars as Tom Mason who started the series as a second in command leader of the 2nd Massachusetts Militia fighting the alien invasion. Falling Skies has seen two seasons of humans trying to gain a foothold on planet earth while Tom himself deals with more personal matters.

Season one and two of Falling Skies has the 2nd Massachusetts gaining some ground and finally fighting back by toppling one of the alien structures that was built over Boston. Season three is even more confusing but adventurous with a new alien species landing to help the humans fight against the invading aliens called the Espheni.

The Espheni go from world to world enslaving the populace and stripping the planet of resources and have made a few enemies along the way but not enough to overpower them. Now with Earth’s bounty up for grabs humans and the insect like skitters that the Espeni brought with them are fighting alongside another race that have also been invaded in the past.

Tom Mason heads a small group of a few hundred people who get in and out of trouble at the drop of a hat with their ultimate goal of defeating the Espeni. In the short term just surviving on a day to day basis is a real task as food is scarce and the government is set up by left over forces.

Long term goals like defeating the Espheni are not even coming close to the forefront of the series until well into the third season. Falling Skies is more about the people, human kind, than the aliens when it comes down to story and entertainment value.

I enjoyed all the series so far and will keep going back for more as the show is a good one more for the the character development than the plot. Using humans as the Espehni slaves as part of the plot keeps it easy so they can use regular actors without much use of aliens and special effects.

Falling Skies works well as a series despite its flaws and there are several including borrowing from typical science fiction shows and movies. The real issue for the series seems to be a lack of focus and direction as small subplots creep in and then are left behind time and again which makes you wonder where they are headed as a whole.

The Blu-ray release of Falling Skies Season Three has 10 episodes which is short for a series but it is the same number as the previous two seasons. Video and audio quality is pretty good but with obviously average quality source material the Blu-ray edition is not perfect.

The TV series looks like it is not on a good sized budget so many of the scenes are not high quality but the special effects do work pretty well. I think the main problem with the show is more a writing one than acting or production as the plot at times seems half baked.

Audio and video quality are good overall but with problems here and there that makes for an average score for both but like most Blu-ray productions audio is better. Bonus content is also very average with episodes of Second Watch with Will Wheaton and some behind the scenes and making of features.

The extras are more of a highlight of the series and some chats with the actors and less a real making of but the bonus content does give enough entertainment value. I was just not that impressed with the extras which really centers on the Second Watch show that is somewhat interesting.

I was rather concerned for the third season and was left without many surprises in my opinions that whoever is in charge is scatter brained. The series is a mixed bag of writers and seems to lack a strong direction in writing and production which is surprising given Steven Spielberg is Executive Producer.

Falling Skies: The Complete Third Season does pretty good but does fall a bit short in the overall enjoyment with some very odd plot twists and the direction some of the events take. I am just awed at some of the events that occur and how they relate to the overall story when they seem so important at the beginning then turn out to be so trivial or forgotten altogether.

The series overall is pretty good but I would prefer they stick to the main plot of fighting back aliens and quit sticking in these subplots that don’t go anywhere. Falling Skies: The Complete Third Season is alright but if the series does not pick itself up and fly straight season four might be its last.

Falling Skies Website

Falling Skies Season 3 Blu-ray @ Amazon

Napoleon Dynamite 10 Sweet Years Edition Blu-ray Review

Napoleon Dynamite 10 Sweet Years Edition Blu-ray Review

The now cult classic comedy Napoleon Dynamite hits the release circuit again with the 10 Sweet Years release of the film.

Film making 1/5
Video 3/5
Audio 4/5
Bonus Features 5/5

Recommendation 2.5/5 Stars

Napoleon Dynamite is one of those films you either love or hate, if you had a bad high school experience it is probably one you will hate. I loathed high school and even junior high and had a hard time of it with all the teasing from so called peers.

The worst was those high school heroes the jocks who always thought they were better than everyone else and the film portrays this to a tee. But not in the way you would expect with Napoleon who basically ignores all the attacks and plods along almost as if he’s bored.

Napoleon is an oddball who does things his own way and has a life that many would say is outright strange but in its own way is pretty normal. One thing that struck me as very bad for the film was a lack of any kind of plot or story, the entire film is one attempted sight gag or joke after another.

They are bad jokes to boot and most don’t really make any sense but to some they seem to which is the real mystery here. Napoleon Dynamite is one of those films that does have a cult following for whatever reason but I just cannot see the appeal.

The whole film just seems to be one short comment on everyday life after another without much thought to an overall story or anything of importance. Scene after scene just follows the actors all of whom seem to be pretty bored and deliver their lines without much emotion.

Video quality is not that great and it seems to follow the vein of an 80’s movie in every sense right up to and including the look and feel of the film. Colors are pretty muted while the films general tone is alright but nothing to get excited about.

Audio quality is lacking as well but not that bad and at times even decent enough but for a film that is very voice centered it does lack much in the way of surround sound. Many of the lines are actually delivered in a mumbling tone so having clear and audible voice is more important than ever.

Bonus content includes commentary, deleted scenes, a still gallery and Easter Egg gallery as well as a making of feature on the Blu-ray disc. The DVD edition is a two sided disc with full screen on one and widescreen on the other as well as the same bonus features plus a few others.

There really are a lot of extras if you’re into the film but the movie has to be interesting or enjoyable to the viewer in order to appreciate any of the extras. The film speaks for itself, it’s a cult classic to some while others like Roger Ebert think it’s just an attempt at a film that is humorous.

Napoleon Dynamite is rather an odd duck to be sure and for those that like it the newest release may be worthwhile with all its extras but the film just pales at being funny to me.

Napoleon Dynamite @ Fox

Prince Killian and the Holy Grail DVD Review

Prince Killian and the Holy Grail DVD Review

Prince Killian and the Holy Grail is a Spanish take on the Holy Grail from the Spanish comic book hero but the low budget does not help the film at all.

Film making 1/5
Video 4/5
Audio 4/5
Bonus Features 0/5

Recommendation 2/5 Stars

Prince Killian and the Holy Grail
Prince Killian and the Holy Grail

Prince Killian and the Holy Grail takes on odd but new look at the tale of the Holy Grail but be warned this was filmed in Spanish and dubbed to English. Prince Killian and two of his companions, Crispin and Goliath find themselves teamed with a princess tasked with bringing the Holy Grail to its proper keepers.

Sergio Peris-Mencheta plays Prince Killian with Natasha Yarovenko as Princess Sigrid and Asier Exteandia playing Prince Hassan. Prince Hassan is the son of a Moslim King who has an amulet that has something to do with the Holy Grail.

Prince Killian’s friends and fellow warriors Crispin and Goliath are taken hostage during the Crusades and while the prince is rescuing him he gets more than he bargained for. During the rescue the prince gets separated and runs into an old man who entrusts him with the Holy Grail and taking it to its proper keepers.

During the escape Prince Killian helps a princess also escape and they rejoin King Richard who is leading the crusades only to be assigned a new task. King Richard is given word of new troubles in Spain so he sends Killian and his group to find out what is wrong.

The princess tags along and the group continues to be the target of trouble as others try to take the Grail from them. Magic and sword fighting are the common fodder but the fight scenes are pretty bad and acting over all is not that great.

The worst part of the film is the lack of proper flow because of the bad acting at times and the even worse English dubbing that is really distracting. The film is probably not so bad in its native Spanish but the English has been dubbed and is very obvious with bad timing.

The film also has some very cheesy lines in English, ”Behind you big fella,”, “Where did they all come from?” “They could have sent someone smarter to rescue me.” Its lines like these that make Prince Killian seem more like a high school attempt at a play then a serious movie due to the cheesy lines.

Fight scenes are atrocious with the hero easily defeating wave after wave of armed men, I mean he regularly beats up guys bare handed when they have swords. The heroes never get hit with anything but an occasional punch when there barehanded against swords, spears and bows.

The English dubbing is what really ruins it with almost decent tries but very poor lines and inappropriate language for a film from the crusades. The script could have better written with lines more appropriate to old England instead of modern times which would have made for a better movie.

Video and audio quality are alright for the DVD film and do not really detract from the enjoyment but lower budget could have been the reasoning behind the poor script. The film does have some magic and other special effects which really show the lower budget but it does work out well for both video and audio quality.

There are no bonus features on the DVD release of Prince Killian and the Holy Grail which is not really surprising given the obvious budget constraints. The film just does not strike me even as a rental unless you are into cheap crusade films that take an odd turn for the worse with the English dubbing.

Prince Killian and the Holy Grail would only be worth a rental if you are interested and if you do understand Spanish it may be worth checking out.

Prince Killian and the Holy Grail website

Prince Killian and the Holy Grail @ Amazon

Cowgirls N Angels 2: Dakotas Summer Blu-ray Review

Cowgirls N Angels 2: Dakotas Summer Blu-ray Review

Haley Ramm and veteran actor Keith Carradine star in Cowgirls N Angels 2: Dakotas Summer, a feel good film that almost rates a purchase.

Film making 2/5
Video 4/5
Audio 4/5
Bonus Features 0/5

Recommendation 2/5 Stars

Cowgirls N Angels 2: Dakotas Summer

Cowgirls N Angels came out in 2012 and with my wife scouring Redbox for anything related to horses it was inevitable that we watch that film. When the press release for the sequel came out I did not hesistate to grab my copy and hope it was worthy.

Cowgirls N Angels was about a little girl named Ida looking for her father the rodeo star but instead finds an opportunity as a rodeo performer. The sequel to this decent film is more of the same with nary a care for keeping the same characters or events other than a rodeo as center stage.

Cowgirls N Angels 2: Dakotas Summer stars Haley Ramm as Dakota Rose, an up and coming rodeo queen who is part of a troop of rodeo performers. Dakota finds out she is not who she thought she was, she is adopted and gets very angry at her adoptive parents for not telling her.

The adopted by loving parents is a standard in feel good films and the inevitable hunt for her real parents begins just like you would expect. She searches for her real mom only to find she is still a carefree soul who has never taken responsibility for anything.

Dakota learns how the people who raised her are the ones that matter and she can be friends with her real mother even if she can’t trust her. We can’t leave out the birth mom in this and the chance that she will at least be a decent friend to her daughter.

A very family friendly film even to the point of the rival rodeo team who bets with Dakota and loses with the bet being they must become friends once again. Yep, it’s that kind of a feel good film down to the barely PG rating which I find kind of hard to believe.

Kissing and a hint of cleavage really rate a PG so the film does come off as one that you will not have to explain to the little ones that do find it interesting.  Cowgirls N Angels 2 really was a bit of a disappointment but not all that much of a surprise in this day of fast sequels to take advantage of a ready audience.

Video quality was pretty good with very few flaws and only a few times did I actually notice that some of the outdoor scenes are a bit washed out. Color is nice for the most part but some of the outdoor scenes are a bit lacking in vivid color.

Audio quality is also well done but with the type of film this is and very little high action the surround just does not come into play all that much. Both audio and video quality are more than acceptable and just fine for this feature while the extras could really have used more.

One twelve minute making of feature that is mostly the actors saying how great a story and film this is just does not rate even one star. That was it for the bonus content which is just a waste of Blu-ray disc space so extras get a solid zero in my book.

The film just did not meet the standards for even a purchase but if you have some reason to collect films about horses there are those four legged critters here as well.

Cowgirls N Angels 2: Dakotas Summer just did not strike a cord like the first film and really only rates a rental in my opinion.

Cowgirls N Angels 2: Dakotas Summer Website

The Nut Job Blu-ray Review

The Nut Job stars Will Arnet, Liam Neeson and Katherine Heigl but even big stars cannot help the lackluster story or add life to the animated film.

Film making 2/5
Video 5/5
Audio 5/5
Bonus Features 2/5

Recommendation 2/5 Stars

The Nut Job Blu-ray

Will Arnet stars as Surly, a disenchanted squirrel who lives almost alone and steals what he needs to survive life in the park. The park is also home to a group of animals including leader Racoon who is voiced by Liam Neeson and Andie played by Katherine Heigl.

The park animals work all year long to store enough food in their tree for winter under the direction of Racoon and with hero squirrel Grayson played by Brendan Frasier. Andie and Grayson are tasked with leading the search for food but Surly only gets in their way.

When Andie and Grayson try to take on a new nut cart that moved into the park Surly gets in the way and winds up destroying the tree. His attempt to steal the nuts winds up with the nut cart’s propane tank igniting the tree and all its stored food.

Surly works at following the nut cart vendor back to his store to get the nuts while Grayson and Andie are sent out once again to find food for the park animals. Surly finds out that the nut shop is now owned by a mobster recently released from jail who is planning to rob the bank across the street.

The nut shop is their hideout and base of operations for their tunnel and they are going to replace the bags of money with bags of nuts. Surly with the help of his one friend Buddy and the guard dog King who only gets picked on by the robbers stop the thieves.

The Nut Job does a good enough job with the story but just about every joke falls flat with no really funny moments and everything being very transparent. All the major plot points are easily seen coming and even the major tree destruction is so obvious as the major tipping point for Surly against the park animals.

In the end of course Surly changes his mind and helps the park animals get the goods but even this last ditch effort fails to save the day for the film. The Nut Job just does not excite enough or have enough comedy to raise it to rental quality much less a collection addition.

Audio and video quality are very good and as usual for recent CGI films is almost perfect with no major or even minor problems to impair the film. Colors are great and the audio has very good surround but with a lackluster plot that fails to entertain the audio and video just don’t matter that much.

Bonus content is also lacking as much as the film making with a couple animated shorts that predate the film itself and some making of features. The two animated shorts are actually shorts following the films story while the making of features are lacking in actual entertaining content.

The Nut Job just falls flat on all fronts so it’s no surprise that this is not getting much of a recommendation for a rental or movie worth buying.

The Nut Job Website

47 Ronin Blu-ray

47 Ronin Blu-ray

47 Ronin is a Japanese legend brought to the big screen but with a Western twist using Keanu Reeves as one of the 47 samurai warriors who seek revenge then honorably take their own lives.

Film making 2/5
Video 5/5
Audio 5/5
Bonus Features 1/5

Recommendation 2/5 Stars

47 Ronin Blu-ray

I understand a little about Japanese culture and know that honor is among the top virtues that stand out both historically and culturally. Of course now Japanese don’t take their own lives in the tradition known as seppuku which is a main point of 47 Ronin.

47 Ronin is a look at the Japanese honor system and how it impacts their history and way of life but the film just falls flat for several reasons. 47 Ronin follows the tale of the real 47 Ronin that took revenge in the death of their master then committed seppuku.

The real tale of the 47 Ronin differ widely with the film in both fantasy and witches as well as the general basis to the tale to begin with. Keanu Reeves plays Kai who is a half breed, part Japanese and part English but a complete outcast.

When he was young Lord Asano found Kai in the woods and took him in even though he was a half breed but still remained separated from the village. Later when Lord Asano arranges a fight with neighboring Lord Kira a witch casts a spell on Asano’s champion and Kai takes his place.

At the battle the shogun sees that Kai has taken the place of the real samurai who is supposed to fight and takes grave affront to the switch. When he orders Kai beheaded Asano’s daughter who loves Kai jumps to place her head next to his and Asano jumps up to take the blame.

When Asano says it is his fault that Kai fought the other samurai the shogun says that Asano can bring honor back to his family if he commits seppuku. Asano kills himself, the shogun orders Asano’s samurai Ronin and Asano’s daughter Mika to marry Kira after a year of mourning.

The master samurai Oishi who led Asano’s men is thrown into a pit for a year while the Ronin go into hiding while Kai is sold into slavery. When Oishi is released he finds Kai and then leads his men on a yearlong ruse to convince Lord Kira that they are dead.

The 47 Ronin fight Lord Kira’s men while Oishi kills Kira and Kai kills the witch turned into a dragon who is helping Kira gain power. Oishi beheads Kira and ends the battle by showing Kira’s men the head and the 47 Ronin take the head to their dead masters grave.

After the Ronin present the head to their master so he can rest in peace the shogun sentences them to death for disobeying his order not to seek revenge. The shogun offers for them to take their own lives instead of suffering the disgrace of execution.

At the last second he pardon the youngest to allow their blood line to continue but something does stand out about this that is not obvious. There are no assistants or kaishakunin at the ritual which goes against the tradition that the second would also behead the person committing suicide.

47 Ronin should have done something different like keeping to real life story which may have appeased tradition ideas behind the ritual suicide or Japanese culture in general. One thing that seems to be a downright affront to Japanese culture is the addition of a half breed and the witch to the story.

The actual story behind the 47 Ronin would have made an excellent movie without adding in the computer generated monsters and witch plot twist. That may be why the movie did not do as well in Japan which should have been a hit with the largely star studded Japanese actor cast.

Numbers do not lie and the fact that the film has not made what it cost cannot be denied, it’s probably too late to make up the difference. 47 Ronin just did not overwhelm with theatrics or plot and is no surprise that critics and audiences did not warm to it.

The Blu-ray release looks fantastic with occasional spots of bright that stand out like the bright whites and reds of some of the ceremonial costumes. A few scenes stick out due to the period like a couple of views of villages with clear bright colors and a majestic landscape.

The CGI monsters look pretty good in their classic Japanese style but stand out as a poor choice in the plot as they stood out in sharp contrast to the original story. Overall the video looks great and there are no problems which take away from the movies enjoyment even though the plot is a bit lacking.

Audio is also great with exceptional surround sound and very well done voice that is clear and actually very good for the largely Japanese cast. The audio has no problems and is really great for a top rating in both video and audio quality.

Bonus content includes deleted scenes, a commentary with Keanu Reeves and director Carl Rinsch as well as three making of features. The extras only amount to about 45 minutes of bonus content which is surprisingly short when you have so much to work with.

They could have used the real life Ronin, the original story of the 47 Ronin or any of the superstitions or customs of Japan to add some kind of bonus content. Instead we have some quick shot about the movie and making it that seem more expected of a Blu-ray release then necessary to help the enjoyment value.

47 Ronin just falls short of an entertaining film or that adds something to your knowledge of Japanese culture and history as you would expect. It does give some insight but not what I would expect from a film that is so central to the history and ideals behind an important part of Japan.

47 Ronin would make a decent film to rent but fails as an addition to any collection other than one centered on Keanu Reeves. I just can’t recommend 47 Ronin as anything other than a rental as it just did not have that great a plot or a good enough pace.

47 Ronin Website

The true story of the 47 Ronin at least one version

Free Birds Blu-ray Review

Free Birds Blu-ray Review

Free Birds takes all the fun out of Thanksgiving when two birds go back in time using a time machine to stop turkeys from becoming the main course.

Film making 3/5
Video 5/5
Audio 4/5
Bonus Features 1/5

Recommendation 3/5 Stars

Free Birds Blu-ray

Reggie is a geek of a turkey and is ostracized by the other turkeys, sorry I had to do it, while Jake is a jock of a turkey who can’t wait to free his fellow turkeys. Jack was visited by a mysterious being in a flying machine who tells him he has to go back in time to free all turkeys.

Free Birds stars Owen Wilson as Reggie and Woody Harrelson as Jack with George Takei as S.T.E.V.E. the time machine and Amy Poehler as Jenny. Free Birds is more of a kid friendly film with some corny jokes intermixed with some decent comedy.

Reggie finds out what the farmer really does with all the turkeys but when he tries to warn his fellow birds they only ignore him. Reggie finally gets the leader to understand their plight so they offer up Reggie as the next victim only to have him be the pardoned turkey for the President.

Reggie is taken to Camp David and enjoys some of the high life of a bird given a second chance until Jake arrives with his Turkey Liberation Front message. Jack was told that he needs to find Reggie and go rescue all the turkeys but it’s who told him that is rather funny, the Great Turkey.

When Jack drags Reggie into a shed at Camp David they find the entrance to a secret underground facility that houses a time machine. Reggie and Jack take the place of the unfortunate pilot who gladly gives up his seat when he finds out that his odds of survival are somewhat limited.

The two turkeys take a trip back in time using S.T.E.V.E. which stands for Space Time Exploration Vehicle Envoy and has an artificial intelligence onboard that is voiced by George Takei. When the two turkeys meet the locals back in colonial America they have to hatch a plan to not have them become the entree at the first Thanksgiving.

Free Birds is a kid friendly film and not that bad but there are some corny jokes and plot points that are pretty obvious. While the film does skirt the obvious political landmine in the film they do a good job of taking talking turkeys and making a fun adventure.

Free Birds has a few bad jokes but it is also a cute film at times and George Takei, Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson do a good job. While not a great addition to an animated film collection Free Birds is well worth a rental for a few good laughs.

Video is great as you would expect from a 20th Century Fox film and the colors are gorgeous even if the turkeys in Colonial England are obviously dressed as natives. Audio is also great with really good surround sound with great sound effects and clear voice.

Bonus content is rather sparse with about 15 minutes of making of features and a short live action piece that ties into the film but that’s it. There really isn’t anything worthwhile in the extras to bother with so you can just skip the extras.

Free Birds is a great film for those days when nothing else is available at the rental box and you just can’t go another night watching reruns on cable. I highly recommend watching Free Birds when you can but don’t worry too much about adding it to your collection.

Free Birds Website

The Lone Ranger Blu-ray Review

The Lone Ranger Blu-ray Review

Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer bring their own flair and comedy to the classic western hero but with Tonto as the main star and The Lone Ranger as a costar.

Film making 2.5/5
Video 5/5
Audio 5/5
Bonus Features 2/5

Recommendation 3/5 Stars

The Lone Ranger

Johnny Depp sure knows how to entertain and the laughs do abound with this retelling of the classic masked gunman who is out for justice. The Lone Ranger stars Johnny Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer as the masked Ranger but more attention is paid to Tonto than anything else.

John Reid is on his way to a small western town in Texas to help his brother Dan Reid the Texas ranger with a local outlaw. They are bringing Butch Cavendish back to a small town in Texas to hang him for his crimes and John Reid as well as Tonto happen to be on the same train.

When Cavendish is rescued by his gang the Rangers head off in search of Cavendish with John along for the ride but still stating he hates guns so he doesn’t carry one. Cavendish and his gang ambush the band of Rangers and Cavendish himself eats Dan’s heart while John is left for dead.

Tonto happens upon the scene and when he goes to bury John Reid a white horse appears and wakes John up so Tonto tells John he is a spirit walker and cannot be killed in battle. John starts to avenge his brother’s death but only wants to bring Cavendish in for justice still not wanting to kill but seeking justice.

Tonto wants to outright kill Cavendish for his past deeds against his tribe which starts to close the gap about who Cavendish is to Tonto and to Latham Cole. Latham is trying to get some influence in the new Transcontinental Railroad and wants to become a major shareholder.

By the end of the film we have Latham Cole using the railroad to move silver form Indian territory while using the army to kill off the Indians. John gets his justice by killing Cavendish after he is double crossed by both Cole and an Army Cavalry officer who can’t turn down Cole’s offer of money.

The Lone Ranger is a fun ride and really does have its moments but the writing is just not that good with all too familiar plot points. At times I laughed out loud but most of the time the writers did such a bad job that you could see everything coming a long time before it happened.

There was just no mystery to anything and every time anything occurred you knew it would turn out that way because it is always written that way. It was just such a familiar story with only a handful of great laughs to set it apart which are mostly due to Johnny Depp.

Johnny Depp is the real shining star of the film while Armie Hammer is a costar put there to help Depp make his case. The Lone Ranger from Disney will go down in history as yet another attempt at reviving a long lost saga and failing to do so.

Video for The Lone Ranger is excellent and with an over the top audio would have really made this film shine but alas with such a poorly written plot to go on we have a wasted effort. Both video and audio are nearly perfect and video only being a small step behind audio but both so nearly perfect as to not matter.

Bonus content is also just a matter of adding salt to a now painful wound as they added just enough to admit they needed something but not enough to stand out. The making of features are well worth visiting once and the bloopers is pretty good but there just is not enough here to matter.

Johnny Depp does bring out the best for Tonto but in the end The Lone Ranger is a bitter disappointment even though it does have its moments. Rent The Lone Ranger for a good entertaining moment or two but a collection is probably out of the question as the plot is just not there.

The Lone Ranger @ Disney