REVIEW: THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART

Starring

Chris Pratt (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Elizabeth Banks (Power Rangers)
Will Arnett (Blades of Glory
Tiffany Haddish (Night School)
Stephanie Beatriz (In The Heights)
Charlie Day (Pacific Rim)
Alison Brie (The Post)
Nick Offerman (Good Omens)
Brooklynn Prince (The Angry Birds Movie 2)
Maya Rudolph (Happytime Murders)
Will Ferrell (Anchorman)
Richard Ayoade (The Watch)
Channing Tatum (G.I.Joe)
Jonah Hill (Cyrus)
Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother)
Jason Momoa (Game of Thrones)
Margot Rubin (Margot & Marie)
Ike Barinholtz (Suicide Squad)
Ralph Fiennes (Harry Potter)
Will Forte (Booksmart)
Bruce Willis (Glass)
Ben Schwartz (Sonic The Hedgehog)

Elizabeth Banks and Chris Pratt in The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019)Following the destruction of the Kragle, Finn’s sister Bianca has been invited to share their father’s LEGO collection; in the LEGO universe, this is represented by the arrival of Duplo aliens. Emmet builds the aliens a heart as a token of friendship, but when one eats it and playfully demands more, Lucy interprets this as an attack and retaliates. The Duplo creatures cry and invade, making a mess of Bricksburg. President Business unhelpfully tells everyone to “get along” before leaving to go golfing, but Emmet tells Lucy that “Everything can still be awesome”.Will Ferrell, Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, Charlie Day, Nick Offerman, Chris Pratt, and Alison Brie in The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019)Five years later, Bianca has taken some of Finn’s LEGO creations and other toys in their basement to play with. In the LEGO universe, the Duplo army’s invasions have turned Bricksburg into the post-apocalyptic wasteland Apocalypseburg, hardening its citizens. Emmet remains upbeat and wants to move into a dream home with Lucy, but he is troubled by visions of an impending cataclysm dubbed “Armamageddon”.Elizabeth Banks and Chris Pratt in The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019)A mini-doll named General Mayhem arrives and proclaims that Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi of the Systar System (Bianca’s bedroom) wants to marry Apocalypseburg’s leader. Mayhem’s forces arrests Batman, Lucy, Benny, MetalBeard, and Unikitty to the Systar System, where Batman eventually agrees to marry Wa’Nabi, while the others are placed in environments designed to tempt them, which only Lucy resists.In pursuit, Emmet converts his house into a spaceship and travels through “the Stairgate” – out of the basement – and is saved from an asteroid field by rugged adventurer Rex Dangervest. Emmet begins to mimic Rex, hoping to impress Lucy. Lucy and her friends are taken to a spa; seeing her friends enjoy the catchy pop music, Lucy thinks they are being brainwashed and escapes to find Emmet. Rex and Emmet evade Wa’Nabi’s forces and find Lucy. Emmet devises a rescue plan: Lucy will switch off the music, and Emmet will destroy the reception cake, encased in a temple, to stop the wedding.As Lucy fights Mayhem, she learns the Systar System never meant to antagonize Apocalypseburg, but merely failed to communicate their desire to coexist in peace – in the real world, Bianca simply wants Finn to play with her. She also discovers that Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi’s original form was the heart Emmet gave the aliens. Realizing Rex has sinister motives, Lucy tries to stop Emmet but, manipulated by Rex, he destroys the cake’s temple.In the real world, Emmet’s destruction is carried out by Finn angrily destroying Bianca’s LEGO creations. Emmet realizes his mistake but is seized by Rex, knocking Lucy onto a shelf. Now in the real world, she watches the siblings bicker. Aboard his ship, Rex reveals that he is an embittered version of Emmet from the future; abandoned for years underneath the dryer after crashing in the asteroid field, he became Rex – “Radical Emmet Xtreme” – and built a remote time machine to save Emmet. As revenge for being neglected while the other toys were played with, Rex has tricked his past self into bringing about Armamageddon.When Emmet asks Rex what Armamageddon really is, he gets his answer when Rex explains what is happening in the real world right now; Bianca and Finn’s mother halts their bickering and asks them to put away their LEGO sets, representing Armamageddon (as in “Our momma gets in”, as Lucy discovers). Everything in the Lego Universe begins to crumble and fall into the dark hole of the Bin of Storage, represented by Finn and Bianca taking their creations apart and putting them in bins. Bianca puts Lucy in storage last, and it all brings an apparent end to the LEGO universe that Lucy calls into question. In the real world, Finn hears Lucy and the others singing “Everything’s Not Awesome” as Rex knocks Emmet under the dryer. Lucy rallies the others into escaping from the storage bin in various spacecraft and returning to the LEGO universe to save Emmet and stop Rex. Evading Rex’s raptor Rexwing fighter squadron, Emmet and Lucy overpower Rex and sabotage his time machine. Rex redeems himself as he and his timeline fade from existence, and Emmet and Lucy reconcile.Wa’Nabi and Batman wed, as Finn and Bianca agree to play together again. Their mother returns their LEGO sets and Finn repairs Bianca’s creations, reversing Armamageddon. The LEGO universe is transformed into a mishmash of the restored Bricksburg and the Systar System: the peaceful “Syspocalypstar”. President Business returns from golfing but is immediately ejected from the LEGO universe by fireworks due to Benny accidentally setting fire on his hair. Emmet’s dream house is rebuilt, with an original album of “Everything Is Awesome” on his couch revealing that Lucy co-created the song, much to Emmet’s surprise.Overall, The Lego Movie 2 ended up being better than I was expecting it to be. It’s always going to be hard to top the original and yeah it doesn’t feel as fresh and they do reuse some ideas, themes, and jokes in it, but as an Animated sequel I think it delivers on giving us a movie in the same ball park that works both for kids and adults.

 

REVIEW: WAKE UP, RON BURGUNDY: THE LOST MOVIE

Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie (2004)

CAST

Will Ferrell (Elf)
Christina Applegate (The Sweetest Thing)
Paul Rudd (This Is 40)
Steve Carell (Evan Almighty)
David Koechner (American Dad)
Kevin Korrigan (Superbad)
Fred Willard (Lois & Clark)
Chris Parnell (Lost in Austin)
Seth Rogen (Donnie Darko)
Danny Trejo (7 Mummies)
Holmes Osborne (Bring It On)
Amy Poehler (Mean Girls)
Justin Long (Waiting)
M.C. Gainey (Lost)
Luke Wilson (That 70’s Show)
Vince Vaughn (Starsky & Hutch)
Kathryn Hahn (Bad Moms)
Maya Rudolph (Chips)

maxresdefaultThis movie is most certainly not one to watch if you haven’t already seen Anchorman:The legend of Ron Burgundy, but if you have, and you loved it then this is a truly welcome addition.maxresdefault (1)The story comprises of a sub plot intended for Anchorman that was dropped involving a terrorist organisation called “The Alarm Clock” hence the Wake up Ron Burgundy! title. The Alarm Clock are easily the worst terrorist group in the world having no political agenda, and not really knowing what they are doing, end up kidnapping Veronica Corningstone to use her to broadcast their as yet undecided political statement. So it’s up to the rest of the intrepid news team to save her.75b635ce3a8b4c178a875cec850155e6There are some truly hilarious bits in this film, one where Champ Kind is professing his undying love for Ron in the car but everyone pretends they can’t hear him is very funny, and another where we learn that the seemingly stupid Brick Tamlind was in fact the leader of a group of soldiers in the Vietnam war with the other news team members is very funny. All in all, it’s one for the fan boys, not for the people who didn’t like Anchorman.

REVIEW: THE GOOD PLACE – SEASON 3

Ted Danson, Kristen Bell, William Jackson Harper, Manny Jacinto, Jameela Jamil, and D'Arcy Carden in The Good Place (2016)

Starring

Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars)
William Jackson Harper (All Good Things)
Jameela Jamil (Ducktales)
D’Arcy Carden (Barry)
Manny Jacinto (Top Gun: Maverick)
Ted Danson (The Orville)

Kristen Bell and William Jackson Harper in The Good Place (2016)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids)
Adam Scott (Krampus)
Mike O’Malley (My Name Is Earl)
Marc Evan Jackson (Kong: Skull Island)
Eugene Cordero (The Mule)
Kirby Howell-Baptiste (Barry)
Ben Lawson (No Strings Attached)
Ben Geurens (Reign)
Leslie Grossman (Popular)
Anna Khaja (Quantico)
Ajay Mehta (Anger Managment)
Tiya Sircar (The Internship)
Michael McKean (This Is Spinal Tap)
Jama Williamson (School of Rock)
Stephen Merchant (Logan)
Jason Mantzoukas (The Dictator)
Maribeth Monroe (Downsizing)

Adam Scott and Kristen Bell in The Good Place (2016)After their down right incredible second season I was more than a little curious about how this season would turn out. The real joy of The Good Place is how every season is drastically different in content while still staying true to the shows sense of humor, core characters and themes of moral philosophy.Ted Danson and D'Arcy Carden in The Good Place (2016)Season 3 opts to explore the usual ideas of morality while on Earth, giving more great moments of the core group of humans interacting and learning together without so much of the original gimmick.Kristen Bell and Jameela Jamil in The Good Place (2016)The biggest positive of this show is how well written the interactions between the main cast are managing to be very funny while offering actual incite into the underlying philosophy of the show. By taking the characters out of the crazy afterlife setting for a large part of the season forces the writers to focus on this element and allows the actors to show of their comedic sensibilities. However I would be lying if I said that the later half of the season, where more of the absurd elements the show rose to prominence for came back into play more, wasn’t the more interesting part. I have to give props to the writers for trying something different though and I can’t wait to see where they take this concept next.Ted Danson and Kristen Bell in The Good Place (2016)This season is where the cast got to show off more. The character of Jason became far more realised, fleshed out and funny when he had more mundane concepts to deal with. Kristen Bell and William Jackson Harper got to flex their dramatic mussels for larger sections and D’arcy Carden absolutely crushes it in every episode, especially in episode 9 “Janet(s)”.Ted Danson and Kristen Bell in The Good Place (2016)With it’s emphasis on name-drooping actual philosophers and general upbeat and absurd tone, The Good Place continues to separate itself for most of it’s competition.

REVIEW: THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS

Starring

Melissa McCarthy (Life of The Party)
Maya Rudolph (The Good Place)
Joel McHale (Ted)
Elizabeth Banks (Power Rangers)
Leslie David Baker (Elizabethtown)
Michael McDonald (Ghostbusters)
Cynthy Wu (American Vandal)
Mitch Silpa (Bridesmaids)
Hemky Madera (Spider-Man: Homecoming)
Jimmy O. Yang (The Internship)
Ryan Gaul (Superstore)
Fortune Feimster (Social Animals)
Ben Falcone (Tammy)
Bill Barretta (Muppets From Space)
Kevin Clash (Labyrinth)
Drew Massey (Over The Hedge)
Alice Dinnean (The Muppets)

Bill Barretta in The Happytime Murders (2018)In a world where puppets coexist with humans but are treated as second-class citizens, Phil Phillips was the first puppet cop on the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) before being fired. Now a private detective with a human secretary Bubbles, he is hired by puppet client Sandra to find out who has been blackmailing her. Phil investigates a lead at a puppet-owned porn shop and while he goes in the back to check their records an attacker kills everyone present, including Bumblypants, a cast member of “The Happytime Gang”, a puppet sitcom that was due to go into syndication.Melissa McCarthy in The Happytime Murders (2018)The LAPD arrive and Phil meets up with his former partner, Detective Connie Edwards. Twelve years prior, Edwards was being held at gunpoint by a puppet criminal. Phil tried to shoot him but missed and hit an innocent puppet, killing him in front of the puppet’s young daughter. Edwards and the thug exchanged fire; Edwards was wounded but the thug was killed. Edwards received a puppet liver transplant which left her with an addiction to sugar which is like heroin to puppets. Edwards testified against Phil and a law was enacted preventing puppets from being cops.Joel McHale and Dorien Davies in The Happytime Murders (2018)Back in the present, Edwards believes it was a robbery gone wrong but Phil believes it was murder. That night Phil’s brother Larry “Shenanigans” Phillips, former Happytime cast-member, is torn apart when someone lets dogs into his house. Phil reluctantly teams up with Edwards to find the killer. The two track down former Happytime cast member Lyle only for him to be killed in a drive-by shooting in front of Phil. Phil goes to see Jenny, the only human Happytime cast member and his former girlfriend, at a puppet strip club where she works. Phil is unable to protect her when her car explodes apparently killing her. The police see Phil leaving the scene and believe him to be responsible for the murders.Bill Barretta and Kevin Clash in The Happytime Murders (2018)Phil hides out at Edwards’ apartment and they discover that homeless sugar addict and former Happytime member Goofer has apparently overdosed and drowned. They go the house of the two remaining Happytime Gang members Ezra and Cara only to find their mangled bodies. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) shows up and Phil and Edwards are detained. Phil is shown Sandra in an interrogation room. She reveals that she and Jenny are married and claims Phil killed Jenny and the others, to keep Sandra for himself.Bill Barretta and Melissa McCarthy in The Happytime Murders (2018)Edwards is suspended from duty, and finds Bubbles to ask for help proving Phil’s innocence. They break into Sandra’s place and come across a hidden room with plans for the deaths of the Happytime Gang and a conspiracy against Phil. Edwards notices a picture of the puppet who Phil accidentally shot years ago and realizes that Sandra is his daughter, and that she is out for revenge against Phil. Bubbles sees a tape recorder and presses the play button, which ignites a fire destroying all the evidence. Edwards breaks Phil out of jail to stop Sandra.Elizabeth Banks and Bill Barretta in The Happytime Murders (2018)Phil and Edwards get to the airport where Sandra is planning to escape with all the royalty money. Phil apologizes for killing her father, saying it has haunted him all the years since, and asks why the Happytime Gang had to die. Sandra says she wanted Phil to suffer as payback. It turns out that Jenny is alive, having faked her death, and is in cahoots with Sandra, but Sandra knocks Jenny out to take the money for herself after Philips reveals her true history. Sandra holds Edwards at gunpoint, putting her and Phil in the same position as twelve years before. Phil takes his shot and doesn’t miss this time, killing Sandra. Banning arrives to congratulate Phil and Edwards on cracking the case. He restores Edwards to active duty and convinces the mayor to lift the ban on puppet cops, welcoming Phil back on the force. Phil asks Bubbles out on a date, and she accepts.Bill Barretta, Melissa McCarthy, and Maya Rudolph in The Happytime Murders (2018)No hate- This is a hilarious Dragnet throwback with high caliber puppeteering. It’s a whirlwind of adult humor amidst a murder case with a touch social commentary on racism and sexism.

REVIEW: LIFE OF THE PARTY

CAST

Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly)
Molly Gordon (Animal Kingdom)
Gillian Jacobs (Revenge For Jolly)
Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids)
Jessie Ennis (Hits)
Adria Arjona (Pacific Rim: Uprising)
Matt Walsh (Due Date)
Julie Bowen (Modern Family)
Debby Ryan (Insatiable)
Stephen Root (Red State)
Jacki Weaver (The Voices)
Luke Benward (Dear John)
Jimmy O. Yang (Crazy Rich Asians)
Chris Parnell (21 Jump Street)
Heidi Gardner (Otherhood)
Yani Smone (Young & Married)
Ben Falcone (Tammy)
Nat Faxon (Sex Tape)
Sarah Baker (The Campaign)

Melissa McCarthy, Molly Gordon, Gillian Jacobs, Jessie Ennis, and Adria Arjona in Life of the Party (2018)After dropping off their daughter Maddie (Molly Gordon) to her senior year at Decatur University in Atlanta, Dan tells Deanna (Melissa McCarthy) that he wants a divorce because he has fallen in love with another woman, a realtor Marcie (Julie Bowen), and he also wants to sell their house under his name. Heartbroken, Deanna visits her parents Mike (Stephen Root) and Sandy (Jacki Weaver) to tell them what happened, but Mike is frustrated because Dan made Deanna drop out of her college because she was pregnant, as well as his overbearing ways during their marriage. Deanna goes to see Maddie in her dorm to tell the news about her divorce and her plans to study again at the university to earn a degree in Archaeology. Maddie initially has doubts about her plan but she ultimately accepts it. Maddie introduces Deanna to her friends – Amanda (Adria Arjona), neurotic Debbie (Jessie Ennis), and Helen (Gillian Jacobs). Deanna later meets her agoraphobic and chronically depressed roommate Leonor (Heidi Gardner).Melissa McCarthy in Life of the Party (2018)On the first day of school, she meets demeaning girls, Jennifer (Debby Ryan) and her friend Trina (Yani Simone), who mocks Deanna’s age. Deanna later signed the divorce papers, with her best friend Christine, in front of Dan and Marcie. At night, Maddie and her friends take Deanna to the party, where she meets a boy named Jack (Luke Benward), who later falls in love with her and, the next day, they have sex inside the library. In another night, they attend an 80’s-themed party where Deanna has a dance-off with Jennifer, resulting in earning the respect of her schoolmates. Deanna later has stage fright during her oral presentation and she faints.Melissa McCarthy in Life of the Party (2018)While Deanna hanging out for the dinner with Christine, her husband, and their couple friends, Dan and Marcie unexpectedly show up, who declare that they are getting married. Jack turns out to be Marcie’s son and knowing about Deanna sleeping with Jack, Marcie walks out in disgust. On the night of Dan and Marcie’s wedding, Deanna and her friends get high from chocolate bark laced with weed, and they head to the reception, where they start wrecking the wedding hall. Dan, Marcie, and Maddie find them and Marcie tells Deanna she is cut off financially from Dan. Deanna is filled with shame, if only because of how Maddie saw her.Melissa McCarthy and Debby Ryan in Life of the Party (2018)Deanna tries to make amends with Maddie, but she tells her that she is leaving college since she has no means of completing the rest of the year on her own. The girls then come up with a plan to throw a party to raise money to pay for Deanna’s tuition. Since everyone is at Christina Aguilera concert, Helen posts the message on her Twitter, claiming Aguilera will be at the party after her show. Christine shows up with her husband, as do Mike and Sandy. Mike offers to give Deanna a 401K check to pay her tuition, but Deanna refuses to take it. The party is not a success until Aguilera (who ends up being Leonor’s cousin) arrives and she puts on a show with Deanna and the girls to an excited crowd.Later on, Deanna is due to repeat her presentation in class. She is still nervous until Maddie, Helen, Amanda, Debbie, and all the sorority sisters show up to support her, and Deanna manages to give the presentation with ease. At the end of the year, Deanna and Maddie graduate together, with all their friends and family there to support them. Maddie encourages Deanna to throw her cap in the air. She does so, and it hits Dan in the face, knocking out an earring he was wearing while Marcie berates him for losing the expensive diamond stud.I’m shocked at this low score. I guess you’re either a fan of Melissa McCarthy or you’re not, and seeing that I am, I really enjoyed this film. It was constant laughs and one scene where I can’t remember laughing so hard for so long. The writing was cute and had a heartfelt story. The acting, directing and editing was all perfect. I really enjoyed this and am sure you will too.

REVIEW: FAMILY GUY – DVD SEASONS 11-15

Image result for family guy logo

MAIN CAST (VOICES)

Seth MacFarlane (Flashforward)
Alex Borstein (Power Rangers Zeo)
Seth Green (IT)
Mila Kunis (Black Swan)
Mike Henry (Ted)
Jennifer Tilly (Curse of Chucky)
Patrick Warburton (Scream 3)
Adam West (60s Batman)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST (VOICES)

Christina Milian (Bring it On 5)
Patrick Stewart (American Dad)
Nana Visitor (Star Trek: DS9)
Carrie Fisher (Star wars)
Dana Gould (Mob City)
Arianna Huffington (The Cleveland Show)
Christine Lakin (Valetnine’s Day)
Bill Maher (A Million Ways To Die In The West)
Ashley Tisdale (Scary Movie 5)
David Boreanaz (Bones)
Gary Cole (Chuck)
Rachael MacFarlane (American Dad)
Adam Carolla (Two Guys and a Girl)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)
Jessica Stroup (Ted)
Alan Tudyk (Firefly)
Alexandra Breckenridge (The Walking Dead)
Dee Bradley Baker (American Dad)
Nina Dobrev (The Vampire Diaries)
Laura Vandervoort (Bitten)
Cheryl Tiegs (The Brown Bunny)
Frank Welker (The Simpsons)
Drew Barrymore (Poison Ivy)
Meredith Baxter (Family Ties)
Julie Hagerty (Airplane)
Michael Gross (Tremors)
Wallace Shawn (The Princess Bride)
Judy Greer (Jurassic World)
Chris O’ Dowd (St. Vincent)
Tara Strong (Batman: TAS)
Ioan Grufford (Ringer)
Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool)
Lacey Chabert (Mean Girls)
Fred Tatasciore (Hulk vs)
Kevin Durand (Dark Angel)
Scott Grimes (American Dad)
Ari Graynor (Bad Teacher TV)
Missi Pyle (Dodgeball)
Sanaa Lathan (Blade)
R. Lee Ermey (Full Metal Jacket)
Joel David Moore (Bones)
Jessica Barth (Ted)
Marlee Matlin (My Name Is Earl)
Sara Fletcher (Icrime)
David Herman (Futurama)
Ellen Page (Super)
Ricky Gevais (Ghost Town)
Lucy Davis (Shaun of The Dead)
Scott Bakula (Chuck)
Eddie Kaye Thomas (American Pie)
Cate Blanchett (The Hobbit)
Anna Kendrick (The Voices)
Martin Spanjers (8 Simple Rules)
Dan Castellaneta (Fantastic Four)
Billy Gardell (Mike & Molly)
Jon Hamm (Mad Men)
Sandra Bernhard (2 Broke Girls)
John De Lancie (Star Trek: TNG)
Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)
Will Sasso (Anger Management)
Emily Osment (Mom)
Megan Hilty (The Good Wife)
Jessica Biel (New Girl)
Christine Baranski (The Big Bang Theory)
Giovanni Ribisi (Ted)
Emma Roberts (Scream Queens)
Chad L. Coleman (Arrow)
Tony Sirico (Goodfellas)
Ashley Benson (Spring Breakers)
Liam Neeson (Batman Begins)
Lauran Bacall (The Big Sleep)
Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride)
Freddy Rodriguez (Planet Terror)
Keke Palmer (Scream Queens)
Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass)
David Thewlis (Harry Potter)
Hank Azaria (The SMurfs)
Nancy Cartwright (The Simpsons)
Julie Kavner (Rhoda)
Yeardley Smith (As Good As It Gets)
Julie Bowen (Modern Family)
Maya Rudlph (Bridesmaids)
Carl Lumbly (Alias)
Ana Ortiz (Ugly Betty)
Lucas Grabeel (Smallville)
Ana Gasteyer (What A Woman Wants)
Glenn Howerton (That 80s Show)
Allison Janney (Mom)
Nat Faxon (The Descendants)
Harvey Fierstein (Mulan)
Cristin Milioti (How I Met Your Mother)
T.J. Miller (Deadpool)

Season 11 is really the reamaing of episodes of season 9 but by now you get use to the dvd season. great epsiodes and more greats jokes and anyones fair game, be it the spiritual, who get assaulted in “Brian Writes a Bestseller,” as the dog writes a quickie self-help guide, but can’t defend it against Bill Maher’s questions, pretty much any minority and Meg, the family’s socially-awkward daughter, who not only tries to weasel her way into wheelchair-bound Joe’s life, but hooks up with her brother. Nazis, a standard part of the show after so many years, get their moment to shine as well, as the neighborhood pedophile Herbert recognizes Chris’ new friend as a war criminal, setting up an epic old-man fight, and perhaps one of the few times in history where you might find yourself rooting for a kid-toucher.
One of strangest jokes is where Peter is reminiscing about 1985, and notes that it gave us the gayest music video ever, before showing nearly half of David Bowie and Mick Jagger’s “Dancing in the Streets.” As it plays, you start wondering when we’ll get back to the show, before beginning to question if we’re ever going back. And then you start questioning how the video ever came into existence. Then you ask, how did they get the rights to use it in the show this way? Then you kind of forget you’re watching Family Guy. Then you kind of wish you were watching the video again, but that was the point of the episode doing it to mind screw you.

 This season is a pretty strong one. It has the mean-spirited episode is Screams Of Silence: The Story Of Brenda Q and it’s not only the strangest episode on the season but one of the strangest of the entire series. Basically Glenn’s sister gets into an abusive relationship and he, Peter and Joe decide to take care of the problem. The episode gets increasingly darker as it plays out and the ending, which is presented straight and without any obvious irony or attempt at humor, is pretty grim. The crew should get credit for tackling a serious social issue with at least some semblance of seriousness but is this really the right format to raise an issue like this? Opinions will vary, obviously, but this episode is twisted.

Aside from that, it’s more or less business as usual. There are some fun celebrity cameos here, the most obvious one being Ricky Gervais who provides the voice of a dolphin who helps Peter out and then demands a ridiculous amount of favors in return. The Lottery Fever series opener is a fun one which shows not only how Peter behaves after winning the lottery but how those around him will leach off of him when he does. We get to see Brian take mushrooms before a hurricane hits the town and then watch him trip out and see some seriously bizarre hallucinations. The Back To The Pilot episode also stands out as we see Stewie travel back with Brian in tow to January 31, 1999 (which was the broadcast date of the series’ first episode). This shows how the series has changed over the years and also how in just as many ways it has stayed the same.

Quahog news anchor Tom Tucker gets the spotlight in Tom Tucker: The Man And His Dream in which we learn about his acting career. It seems he played Michael Myers in Halloween IV and once Peter learns that, he and James Woods get involved in resurrecting his thesping profession. In Killer Queen Peter and Chris wind up at fat camp where a serial killer is at work, while back in Quahog, Stewie is terrified by the artwork of Queen’s New Of The World album cover. H. Jon Benjamin from Bob’s Burgers and a bunch of other great credits does a guest voice here. Stewie falls for a girl named Penelope, voiced by Kate Blanchett, in Mr. And Mrs. Stewie but of course that can’t end well even if she shares his love of weapons and math. Tea Party is another stand out. When Peter tries to open his own business and gets shut down, he becomes an advocate for small government and takes hardcore conservative Tea Party ideas to ridiculous extremes with predictably funny results.

All in all, this is a pretty great season. It’s also fairly daring, not that the show has ever really shied away from controversy but they definitely push things on a visual level here. That’s not a bad thing, so long as you’re accepting of the fact that as offensive as the series can be, it’s an equal opportunity offender and it provides a great opportunity to laugh at the absurdity that is all around us on a daily basis.

So how does this season hold up? In a lot of ways, it’s more of the same, but at the same time, by being more of the same there’s a certain expectation of unpredictability that this collection consistently meets and occasionally exceeds. You get to a point in the show where you expect the unexpected, and there’s a whole lot of unexpected to appreciate this time around. The season starts off strong with Into Fat Air where Lois runs into an ex-boyfriend who boasts about his family’s accomplishments. This gets Lois feeling competitive and before you know it, the Griffins are climbing Mount Everest. Shades of Alive run deep in this particularly perverse episode. The show takes on the Nielson Ratings in Ratings Guy. When the Griffins are selected to a Nielson family, Peter goes for a blatant abuse of his power to shape TV to his liking but is then tasked with trying to set things right. It’s actually a pretty amusing take at the fickle viewing habits of the general public. The health care industry and its corporate ties are taken on in The Big C when Peter finds out that his father in law has been keeping the cure for cancer his corporation has discovered secret in the name of making more profits off of treatment. As irreverent as this series gets, this episode will at least get you thinking.Family Guy (1998)The seemingly obligatory time travel episode in this season is Yug Ylimaf and once again Stewie and Brian cruise back in time and goof off. It’s old hat at this point but there’s comfort in familiarity. We get to learn more about Joe’s disability when the man who shot him and confined him to a live in a wheelchair goes on the lam and Peter, Joe and Quaigmire hunt him down to get revenge. The Jesus, Mary and Joseph! episode lets Peter tell us his own version of the Nativity Story in what is essentially a Christmas episode gone awry. Nothing is sacred, fans know that by now. Quagmire is the focus of The Giggity Wife, an episode that shows what happens when Glenn marries a skaggy old hooker on a trip with Peter and Joe. He realizes quickly that this was a horrible idea but she won’t grant him a divorce. Glenn tries to convince her that he’s actually gay, with Peter’s help. In Chris Cross the elder Griffin son swipes some money from his parents to go out and buy some cool new sneakers. When Meg finds out, she blackmails him but Chris quickly has his fill and decides to go live down the street with everyone’s favorite pedophile, his old friend Herbert. Meanwhile, Stewie convinces Brian to help him track down Canadian songstress Anne Murray. In Call Girl Lois uses her voice to make some extra money as a phone sex operator and in Turban Cowboy Peter befriends a Muslim and then converts to Islam. Phone sex might not be so topical these days, but the Islam episodes pushes some buttons in some clever ways.

As the season comes to a close, in the Bigfat episode we find out what happens when Peter, Joe and Quagmire go on a trip to Canada. Peter goes missing for months and when they finally find him, he’s lost the ability to communicate like a ‘normal person.’ Total Recall is another ‘Rupert’ inspired episode where Stewie and Brian try to get the teddy bear back after a recall is done. Peter and friends try to save their favorite bar in Save The Clam while Peter takes up farming in Farmer Guy, but soon gives that up in favor of dealing meth. Road To Vegas sees Brian and Stewie clone themselves and head to Vegas where they have completely opposite experiences from one another and last but not least, No Country Club For Old Men gets the Griffin’s into a posh country club when Christ strikes up a romance with a girl who comes from the wealthiest family around. This doesn’t sit well with Carter, who winds up getting the boot.

It’s all pretty much non-stop insanity but hey, it wouldn’t be Family Guy if there weren’t a lot of guest voices, right? Right! Popping up throughout this collection are such luminaries as Elizabeth Banks, Ryan Reynolds, Sofía Vergara, Giovanni Ribisi, Jessica Biel, Drew Barrymore, Will Sasso, Emma Roberts, J.J. Abrams, Sandra Bernhard, Cheryl Tiegs, Anne Murray, Bill Maher, Sharon Osbourne and quite a few others. And we’d be remiss not to mention the mighty Robert Loggia shows up here too. There’s a lot of fun to be had in this set so long as you go in with an open mind and remember that pretty much every one from every walk of life is fair game.  This marks the second time a full season of the show has been released in one set (season 13 12 had the full season 11 on it). In prior years Fox, in its infinite wisdom, would release sets that had half of one season and half of another on it. It has really been a minor point because in terms of following the show, it is not like it ever has season long story arcs that need to be followed. You just have to have seen a prior episode to get a reference if they call back to something. But for those of us who do get the DVDs it has often meant paying the same price for a set with a partial season on it. So it is nice that they have come around to doing what they should have in the first place. It also makes for a pretty funny joke this season in one of the episodes.

As far as the show itself goes, it is pretty standard with what it has been doing the past few years. It can get repetitive with some of the gags (they do like vomit), but I do think they are still entertaining on a consistent enough basis to keep fans of the show entertained. This season has the controversial story line in the middle involving Brian (chances are everyone knows what it is and the cover of the DVD set basically gives it away) that definitely shook the show (and the fans) up. It also sees the return of Cleveland after the Cleveland Show’s cancellation. Like the show always has, it makes fun of pretty much any topic, and because the DVD is uncensored it replaces some of the tamer jokes from the broadcast version with harder edged versions. It is also worth noting that nothing gets bleeped out on the DVDs, so expect all the swearing to be in every episode.

 


For those who get the DVD set, as far as extras go, there are deleted scenes from every episode, a couple episodes showing the full animatics with the dialogue, and a short feature on the Brian storyline with show runners and Seth Green talking about the fan reaction. Pretty standard for what has been included before

This is really season 13, its the season featuring the Simpson/ Family Guy Crossover. The hour in Springfield started off in poignant, self-referential fashion, with Seth MacFarlane and co. recognizing that this was probably a “one time shot.” Cue the slew of Easter eggs and references for fans of The Simpsons, and the fan-service is appreciated for the most part. There are guest appearances from Apu (once in his natural habitat, and once as Stewie’s prisoner), and hilarious scenes with the likes of Cleveland and Quagmire meeting their Simpson counterparts.

The entire premise of this episode (an attempt to put the rumors of any Family Guy vs The Simpsons feud to rest) hinges on each show taking some low blows and wearing it’s respective heart on it’s sleeve. Whether it’s The Simpsons (or Duff Brewery’s) longevity, which invites criticism about it’s consistency, or Family Guy’s (and Pawtucket Brewery’s) questionable originality and knack for what may seem like “pale imitation,” this episode takes stabs at both parties involved. The argument begins in a bar at the start of the third act, and spirals out of control into an absurd, and probably overlong, classic chicken fight.Comic-Con-Family-Guy-The-SImpsons-Crossover-SG-21

Other highlights in the set include,

The 2000 Year Old Virgin where Jesus shocks peter by saying that he has never had sex. Determined to change this, Peter enlists the help of Cleveland, Joe and Quagmire so Jesus can lose his virginity for his 2000th birthday.

Stewie, Chris, & Brian’s Excellent Adventure where Stewie and Brian invite Chris on a journey through time to help him pass a test that is his only hope of finishing ninth grade, and the three end up stuck in 1912 aboard the Titanic.

and of course the Fight Irish episode where Peter claims that he could beat Liam Neeson in a fight, but his skills are put to the test when Neeson himself actually shows up. Meanwhile, Stewie is annoyed with Lois when she becomes a class mom and starts paying more attention to other children.

Another classic season with great jokes and great guest stars, The Simpson Guy being the biggest highlight now we can own it on dvd

REVIEW: BRIDESMAIDS

CAST

Kristen Wiig (Zoolander 2)
Maya Rudolph (Gattaca)
Rose Byrne (Spy)
Melissa McCarthy (Tammy)
Wendi McLendon-Covey (Bewitched)
Ellie Kemper (The Office)
Chris O’Dowd (St. Vincent)
Jill Cayburgh (The Rockford Files)
Terry Crews (White Chicks)
Matt Lucas (Alice Through The Looking Glass)
Ben Falcone (The Nines)
Jessica St. Clair (The Dictator)
Jon Hamm (The A-Team)
Paul Feig (Sabrina: TTW)
Rebel Wilson (Grimsby)
Jillian Bell (Rough Night)

Rose Byrne and Kristen Wiig in Bridesmaids (2011)

Though Wiig has popped up recently in Whip It and Adventureland, to fine successes, Bridesmaids marks her first leading performance, and she’s found the right one to start with in Annie. A broke, cynical chef who’s recently closed her Milwaukee bakery, losing her boyfriend in the process, she now works in a jewelry store, sleeps with a handsome but asinine man-child (Jon Hamm) looking for a no-strings sex-buddy, and avoids her odd British brother-sister roommates. Annie’s sad-sap state makes for a near-perfect character in which Wiig can flaunt her ill-at-ease style, uncomfortable in her unerring self-created awkwardness. She’s a sad character, almost aggressively so, which might rub some the wrong way because of how resolutely she keeps herself at arm’s length from contentment. Yet there’s something relatable about her self-deprecation, especially once her childhood friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) asks her to be the maid-of-honor at her wedding — and to do the planning and organizing that comes with the territory.

Naturally, Annie meets an eclectic group of Lillian’s friends and soon-to-be family who will fill out the rest of the wedding court: a sex-minded mom (Wendi McLendon-Covey, Reno 911) with a ton of kids and a biting attitude; a virginal mouse of a newlywed (Ellie Kempler, The Office); bullish sparkplug Meghan (Melissa McCarthy, Mike and Molly), the government-employed sister to the groom; and Helen (Rose Byrne, Get Him to the Greek), a well-to-do housewife trying to strong-arm her way into Annie’s spot as maid-of-honor. Feig realizes that these are all types, and he lets them run loose with their quirky mannerisms, but he doesn’t go too outlandish to make them feel like far-removed caricatures.


Annie’s rattled by the duties and the feeling that her friend’s slipping away, not to mention her own monetary and relationship woes, which zigzags along the significant events in Bridesmaids that hallmark most pre-wedding lead-ups. Sure, if you want to boil it down to the least-common denominator, Feig’s picture can essentially be labeled a female iteration of The Hangover, where the ritual of strippers, alcohol, and wild partying in the groom’s rite of passage are replaced with luncheons, dress-fittings, and bridal showers. But this isn’t a frilly affair, nor is it simply a fantastical lampoon on idealized planning. Compliments of Wiig and Mumolo’s sharply-written script, Lillian’s path down the aisle turns into a stylized elevated-reality daze of misfortune, often due to her best-friend trying to cling onto what she finds familiar by her own means. But it’s got something else behind its gags: when it hits over-the-top notes that play to the dreamed-up fantasies of weddings and the gleeful pre-events, it also double-backs to Annie’s shambled life, lending genuineness to the missteps she makes.

Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Kristen Wiig, and Ellie Kemper in Bridesmaids (2011)
Maybe it’s because the humor’s supported by a heartfelt backbone that it’s both effective and affective, extending beyond its gags into this clever, modest portrait of a woman in a growing stage that just so happens to be hysterically funny. Annie’s shown at her most desperate — sleeping with a slimeball, losing her penniless and destitute battle with the rich-and-beautiful Helen, and slowly but unsuccessfully building a relationship with an affable cop, Rhodes (Chris O’Dowd), who’s got a thing for carrots — and her state informs the hoopla that Wiig and Mumolo have written, always with some underlying purpose that ties back to the lowly baker trying to maintain a stranglehold on her old life. Bridesmaids might be out to prove that the girls are capable of playing just as dirty as the guys.