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Along with Sex And The City, the HBO original series The Sopranos took the world by storm in the late-1990s with its cutting edge drama and acerbic wit. A cross between The Godfather and the traditional nuclear sitcom family, the show provided a unique experience for a niche audience that quickly developed into a barrage of dedicated fans. Nominated for countless Emmy's, and winner of at least four in every one of its seasons except Season 2 (in which it carried home one), Th...

The Sopranos (DVD) Review

The Sopranos (DVD) ReviewAlong with Sex And The City, the HBO original series The Sopranos took the world by storm in the late-1990s with its cutting edge drama and acerbic wit. A cross between The Godfather and the traditional nuclear sitcom family, the show provided a unique experience for a niche audience that quickly developed into a barrage of dedicated fans. Nominated for countless Emmy's, and winner of at least four in every one of its seasons except Season 2 (in which it carried home one), The Sopranos has cemented itself as one of the elite shows in television historyGolden Globe performer James Gandolfini plays the title role of Tony Soprano, a middle-aged father of two, loving husband, and successful businessman. But contrary to a typical sitcom, Tony finds himself irritated by his kids Anthony and Meadow (Robert Iler and Jamie Lynn Sigler), he cheats on his wife Carmela (Edie Falco), and the business organization responsible for his success is the mafia (of which he is the local boss). All the confusion in Tony's life leads to massive amounts of stress, prompting him to regularly visit a therapist, Dr. Jennifer Melfi (Lorraine Bracco) - one of the few outsiders he trusts. Following a classic prime time soap opera format, quite similar to the hit TV show Dallas, The Sopranos provides audiences with a glimpse into the life and times of a mafia boss, where we find out that being a mob kingpin isn't the glamour life often portrayed in the moviesThe Sopranos DVD offers a number of dramatic episodes including the self-titled series premiere in which the groundwork for the show is set when Tony Soprano visits a therapist in hopes of ending his panic attacks (sounds similar to the plot for Analyze This!). In his initial session with the beautiful Dr. Melfi, Tony confides in her the stressful aspects of his extraordinary life - a demanding job, an unhappy wife, and rebellious kids (among other problems) Other notable episodes from Season 1 include "College" in which Tony takes his daughter on a college orientation trip to Maine where he encounters a former (and current) enemy, and "A Hit is a Hit" in which Tony strikes out when he attempts to make friends outside of his close-knit circleBelow is a list of episodes included on The Sopranos (Season 1) DVD:Episode 1 (The Sopranos) Air Date: 01-10-1999Episode 2 (46 Long) Air Date: 01-17-1999Episode 3 (Denial, Anger, Acceptance) Air Date: 01-24-1999Episode 4 (Meadowlands) Air Date: 01-31-1999Episode 5 (College) Air Date: 02-07-1999Episode 6 (Pax Soprana) Air Date: 02-14-1999Episode 7 (Down Neck) Air Date: 02-21-1999Episode 8 (The Legend of Tennessee Moltisanti) Air Date: 02-28-1999Episode 9 (Boca) Air Date: 03-07-1999Episode 10 (A Hit is a Hit) Air Date: 03-14-1999Episode 11 (Nobody Knows Anything) Air Date: 03-21-1999Episode 12 (Isabella) Air Date: 03-28-1999Episode 13 (I Dream of Jeannie Cusamano) Air Date: 04-04-1999

Just Friends (DVD) Review

Just Friends (DVD) Review

A somewhat hilarious and charming romantic comedy, Just Friends explores the innermost depths of the infamous friend zone of male/female relationships. Directed by Roger Kumble, the brains behind the widely lauded film Cruel Intentions (1999), the film has a novel premise, and although not the funniest comedy to hit the big screen in the past few years, it does have some really funny moments. Adam Tex Davis makes his debut as a screenwriter after extensive work in cinematography and TV writing, and his efforts are above average, but Just Friends is not in the same league as similar themed contemporaries such as Theres Something About Mary (1998) and Meet The Parents (2000). Nevertheless, its a film well worth seeingJust Friends follows the life of Chris Brander (Ryan Reynolds), a formerly obese New Jersey high school student in love with classmate Jamie Palamino (Amy Smart). However, Chris long ago fell into the friend zone, and although, he spent much of his adolescence bonding and building memories with Jamie, she never saw him as anything more than a friend. At their 1995 graduation party, Chris vows to reveal his true feelings, but his well-intentioned attempt blows up in his face when a jerk classmate humiliates him in front of his peers. Enraged, Chris vows to leave town and become somebody.Fast forward ten years to 2005, where Chris is a thin, romantically smooth and wealthy record executive living in Los Angeles. He lives in a multi-million dollar house, drives a flashy sports car, and dates a string of beautiful models. Against his wishes, Chris is forced to watch over one of the companys hottest pop artists, the ditsy and annoying Samantha James (Anna Faris). En route to Paris, their jet becomes grounded in New Jersey, and Chris is left with no alternative but to return home. While there, hes reminded of his lifelong crush on Jamie. With newfound confidence, Chris sets out to win over Jamie, but in so doing, he doesnt act like the real Chris, and his actions have the opposite effect. Meanwhile, a rival suitor from high school, a guitar-playing nice guy named Dusty (Chris Klein), enters the picture. His courtship threatens to ruin Chriss latest pursuit of Jamie, but in the end, the only impediment to Chriss lifelong dream is himselfCut from a formulaic genre, the resolution of Just Friends is rather predictable. But moviegoers dont watch these types of films for suspense; they only want to laugh. And anyone who enjoyed Ryan Reynolds in National Lampoons Van Wilder is going to enjoy his performance in this film as well. Although not as well-written as the aforementioned film, Reynolds helps prop up the script with a well-cast comic persona akin to Owen Wilson and a straight-face delivery that would make Leslie Nielsen jealous. In fact, Just Friends is a good pick for those hoping to just laugh out loud. Two particularly hilarious scenes come to mind, one in which Chris makes an unexpected return to the ice rink after busting his lip, and one in which he receives an unexpected hand-hold while watching The Notebook. The latter is especially hilarious, and Adam Davis deserves extra credit for creating this classic and original scene. In the end, Just Friends will never garner the status of all-time comedy cult classic, but for the present day, it more than fulfills its promise to create laughter.

The Incredibles (DVD) Review

The Incredibles (DVD) Review

Nominated for four Academy Awards, and winner of Best Animated Feature Film of the Year, The Incredibles is one of the best animated films ever produced. A cross between Toy Story, Superman, and Office Space, it provides an endless array of action sequences, visual creativity, and well-delivered humor. Director Brad Bird (who's directed a few episodes of The Simpsons) not only creates a memorable film, but also voices one of the star characters of The Incredibles, Edna Mode. And following in the rich tradition of animated classics such Bambi (1942), Beauty and the Beast (1991), and The Lion King (1994), Walt Disney Pictures teams up once again with Pixar Animation Studios (with whom it collaborated on Finding Nemo) to produce a film both children and adults will love with equal verve and passionThe Incredibles is set in the fictional cartoon township of Metroville (a hybrid of Superman's two homes, Metropolis and Smallville). Metroville is home to a number of miraculous superheroes who do everything from hunting down evil murderers to saving cats stuck in trees. Foremost among the superheroes is Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) who resembles Superman in both strength and style. Shortly after Mr. Incredible's marriage to the vivacious Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), a surge in civil lawsuits and other unwarranted torts are brought against the superheroes by the people they save, who cite numerous damages to their person as a result of being saved. The rash of legal action, and the strain it places on the local governmental budget, turns the tide of public opinion against the superheroes and forces them underground.Harbored by the government witness protection program, Mr. Incredible has assumed a new identity - that of Bob Parr, an ordinary middle-class suburbanite who works as an Insurance Claims Specialist. Cowering in his cubicle, Bob Parr must deal with the typical travails of a 9-to-5 job, a boss he hates, and regulations he feels are immoral and hurtful to the company's clients. Meanwhile, Elastigirl is now known as Helen Parr, and she's grown comfortable in her new role as a housewife rearing the couple's three suppressed-superhero children - Violet (a shy girl with the ability to turn invisible), Dash (a cocky boy with the ability to run super fast), and Jack Jack (a baby with no as-of-yet-known super powers). All goes well until Mr. Incredible, anxious to return to life of helping people, is approached by a super secret government organization hoping to enlist his aid. When it turns out to be part of an elaborate conspiracy hatched by the evil Syndrome (Jason Lee), a former Mr. Incredible sycophant turned bad, Elastigirl and the entire Parr family must risk blowing their cover in order to save Mr. Incredible, and the world, from certain doomThe Incredibles deserves a spot on anyone's list of the Top 100 films ever made. It really is that good. The musical score, composed by Michael Giacchino (know for his work on Alias), sneers at today's digital multi-track recording in favor of the old-school analog recordings of the 1960s in its effort to recreate the jazz-orchestra ambience often associated with the golden age of comic books. This attention to the form and detail of the story sets the tone for The Incredibles. And that's why the film is an absolute must-see. Its meticulous blend of sound and visuals, coupled with an utterly hilarious - if not ingenious script - makes The Incredibles a solid contender for the best film of 2004

Sex And The City (DVD) Review

Sex And The City (DVD) Review

Based on the bestselling novel by Candace Bushnell, the HBO original series Sex And The City took the television world by storm following its release in the summer of 1998. Following the exploits of four young and educated female friends living and working in New York City, the show revolves around the various relationships and life problems experienced by each member of the group. Sporting an experienced and talented cast, the show has developed a strong, borderline fanatic followingSarah Jessica Parker (the de facto lead character of the show) stars as Carrie Bradshaw, a popular sex columnist for a local newspaper who travels in numerous Manhattan social circles. Carrie is engaged in a tempestuous on-again, off-again relationship with a mystery man always referred to as "Mr. Big". The young urban professional shares her life with three best friends who have similarly interesting jobs - Miranda Hobbs (Cynthia Nixon), a lawyer tired of being single given the societal ramifications; Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall), a promiscuous publicist who enjoys non-exclusive relationships; and Charlotte McDougal (Kristin Davis), an art museum curator who is relatively less open about her sexuality Together, the women seek each other's advice on the ever-present and varying predicaments in which they find their romantic relationshipsThe "Sex And" "The City" DVD features a number of hilarious episodes including the series premiere in which the four stars make a pact at Miranda's birthday party that they will start having sex like men (i.e. without feeling or attachment). Charlotte is skeptical of the idea, but Carrie takes to the idea immediately by sleeping with her ex-boyfriend. Meanwhile, Miranda goes out with Carrie's friend Skipper while Samantha and Carrie develop new relationships of their own Other notable episodes from Season 1 include "Bay of Married Pigs" in which Carrie is set up by her married friends with a man intent on getting married himself (meanwhile, all four women feel the societal pressures to get married), and "The Monogamists" in which each of the four women deals with personal issues involving exclusive/non-exclusive relationships of varying degreesBelow is a list of episodes included on the Sex And The City (Season 1) DVD:Episode 1 (Sex and the City) Air Date: 06-06-1998Episode 2 (Models and Mortals) Air Date: 06-06-1998Episode 3 (Bay of Married Pigs) Air Date: 06-21-1998Episode 4 (Valley of the Twenty-Something Guys) Air Date: 06-28-1998Episode 5 (The Power of Female Sex) Air Date: 07-05-1998Episode 6 (Secret Sex) Air Date: 07-12-1998Episode 7 (The Monogamists) Air Date: 07-19-1998Episode 8 (Three's a Crowd) Air Date: 07-26-1998Episode 9 (The Turtle and The Hare) Air Date: 08-02-1998Episode 10 (The Baby Shower) Air Date: 08-09-1998Episode 11 (The Drought) Air Date: 08-16-1998Episode 12 (Oh Come, All Ye Faithful) Air Date: 08-23-1998

Friends (Season 3) DVD Review

One of the most popular shows of the 1990s, Friends made the traditional sitcom king of the ratings once again. Of course, Frasier and Seinfeld did their part. Recipient of numerous awards during its long tenure in the Thursday night NBC timeslot, Friends followed the lives of six title characters - Monica Geller (Courteney Cox), Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow), Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston), Ross Geller (David Schwimmer), Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc), and Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry). Together, they formed the best six-person comedy team in television history...The Friends (Season 3) DVD offers a number of hilarious episodes including the season premiere where Chandler gets back together with Janice (Maggie Wheeler), and Janice forces Joey to bond with her. This episode also features Ross's Princess Leia fantasy which Rachel fulfills. Episode 57 features a life-long Thanksgiving football rivalry between Ross and Monica, and in the following episode, Rachel quits her job at Central Perk. When Rachel's new job puts her in constant contact with another man, Ross's jealousy forces her to call for "a break" in their relationship. Distraught, Ross gets drunk and sleeps with Chloe, the copy shop girl Chandler and Joey have been talking about for months. Eventually the news reaches Rachel, and she puts a permanent end to her romantic relationship with RossBelow is a list of episodes included on the Friends (Season 3) DVD:Episode 49 (The One with the Princess Leia Fantasy) Air Date: 09-16-1996Episode 50 (The One Where No One's Ready) Air Date: 09-26-1996Episode 51 (The One with the Jam) Air Date: 10-03-1996Episode 52 (The One with the Metaphorical Tunnel) Air Date: 10-10-1996Episode 53 (The One with Frank Jr.) Air Date: 10-17-1996Episode 54 (The One with the Flashback) Air Date: 10-31-1996Episode 55 (The One with the Race Car Bed) Air Date: 11-07-1996Episode 56 (The One with the Giant Poking Device) Air Date: 11-14-1996Episode 57 (The One with the Football) Air Date: 11-21-1996Episode 58 (The One Where Rachel Quits) Air Date: 12-12-1996Episode 59 (The One Where Chandler Can't Remember Which Sister) Air Date: 01-09-1997Episode 60 (The One with All the Jealousy) Air Date: 01-16-1997Episode 61 (The One Where Monica and Richard Are Just Friends) Air Date: 01-30-1997Episode 62 (The One with Phoebe's Ex-Partner) Air Date: 02-06-1997Episode 63 (The One Where Ross and Rachel Take a Break) Air Date: 02-13-1997Episode 64 (The One the Morning After) Air Date: 02-20-1997Episode 65 (The One without the Ski Trip) Air Date: 03-06-1997Episode 66 (The One with the Hypnosis Tape) Air Date: 03-13-1997Episode 67 (The One with the Tiny T-Shirt) Air Date: 03-27-1997Episode 68 (The One with the Dollhouse) Air Date: 04-10-1997Episode 69 (The One with a Chick and a Duck) Air Date: 04-17-1997Episode 70 (The One with the Screamer) Air Date: 04-24-1997Episode 71 (The One with Ross's Thing) Air Date: 05-01-1997Episode 72 (The One with the Ultimate Fighting Champion) Air Date: 05-08-1997Episode 73 (The One at the Beach) Air Date: 05-15-1997

Sanford And Son (Season 6) DVD Review

One of numerous comedies created in the 1970s by the talented Norman Lear (other hits such as All In The Family, Maude, Good Times, and The Jeffersons come to mind), Sanford And Son received 7 Emmy nominations and 6 Golden Globe nominations for its widely acclaimed humor. Based on the life of Los Angeles junkyard owner Fred Sanford (Redd Foxx) and that of his son Lamont (Demond Wilson), the series was one of the first with an entirely African-American cast. Through every episode, Fred manages to insult and offend just about every person, group, race, ideology, etc. The show was such a hit, it stayed in the Nielsen Top Ten for its entire run, excluding its final season...The Sanford & Son (Season 6) DVD features a number of hilarious episodes including the season premiere "The Hawaiian Connection: Part 1" in which three jewel thieves conspire to smuggle some stolen jewels from Hawaii to Los Angeles. When Fred hops a flight to Hawaii to attend a Junkmen of America conference, the thieves plant the jewels on Fred in the hopes of using him as a dupe to carry out their nefarious plan Other notable episodes from Season 6 include "The Winning Ticket" in which Fred becomes the victim of a con game by a pair of crooks who convince him to run a $500 raffle promotion for Sanford & Son, and "A Matter of Silence" in which Fred nearly goes deaf due to the wax buildup in his earsBelow is a list of episodes included on the Sanford & Son (Season 6) DVD:Episode 112 (The Hawaiian Connection: Part 1) Air Date: 09-24-1976Episode 113 (The Hawaiian Connection: Part 2) Air Date: 09-24-1976Episode 114 (The Hawaiian Connection: Part 3) Air Date: 10-01-1976Episode 115 (California Crude) Air Date: 10-08-1976Episode 116 (The Stakeout) Air Date: 10-15-1976Episode 117 (I Dream of Choo Choo Rabinowitz) Air Date: 10-22-1976Episode 118 (The Winning Ticket) Air Date: 11-05-1976Episode 119 (Committee Man) Air Date: 11-12-1976Episode 120 (Fred's Extra Job) Air Date: 11-19-1976Episode 121 (Carol) Air Date: 11-26-1976Episode 122 (Aunt Esther Has a Baby) Air Date: 12-03-1976Episode 123 (Here Today, Gone Today) Air Date: 12-07-1976Episode 124 (Aunt Esther Meets Her Son) Air Date: 12-10-1976Episode 125 (Sanford and Gong) Air Date: 12-17-1976Episode 126 (Fred Meets Redd) Air Date: 01-14-1977Episode 127 (Chinese Torture) Air Date: 01-21-1977Episode 128 (A Matter of Silence) Air Date: 01-28-1977Episode 129 (When John Comes Marching Home) Air Date: 02-04-1977Episode 130 (The Reverend Sanford) Air Date: 02-11-1977Episode 131 (The Will) Air Date: 02-18-1977Episode 132 (Fred the Activist) Air Date: 02-25-1977Episode 133 (The Lucky Streak) Air Date: 03-04-1977Episode 134 (Funny, You Don't Look It) Air Date: 03-11-1977Episode 135 (Fred Sings the Blues) Air Date: 03-18-1977Episode 136 (School Daze) Air Date: 03-25-1977

Summary

Along with Sex And The City, the HBO original series The Sopranos took the world by storm in the late-1990s with its cutting edge drama and acerbic wit. A cross between The Godfather and the traditional nuclear sitcom family, the show provided a unique experience for a niche audience that quickly developed into a barrage of dedicated fans. Nominated for countless Emmy's, and winner of at least four in every one of its seasons except Season 2 (in which it carried home one), Th...