REVIEW: THE RIDICULOUS 6

CAST

Adam Sandler (Jack & Jill)
Terry Crews (White Chicks)
Jorge Garcia (Lost)
Taylor Lautner (Twilight)
Rob Schneider (The Hot Chick)
Luke Wilson (That 70s Show)
Nick Nolte (Hulk)
Will Forte (MacGruber)
Nick Swardson (Grown Ups 2)
Steve Zahn (War For The Planet of The Apes)
Julia Jones (Jonah Hex)
Lavell Crawford (Breaking Bad)
Danny Trejo (machete)
Harvey Keitel (Little Nicky)
Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire)
David Spade (8 Simple Rules)
Whitney Cummings (Made of Honor)
Jon Lovitz (Rate race)
Saginaw Grant (Grey owl)
Norm Macdonald (Dr. Dolittle)
Chris Parnell (Paper Man)
Blake Shelton (Pitch Perfect 2)
John Turturro (Transformers)
Chris Kattan (Undercover Brother)

In the Old West era, a calm man named Tommy Stockburn (Sandler) is raised by Native Americans, where he is named “White Knife”, due to his expertise with knives. He is due to marry a Native girl named Smoking Fox (Jones). He has a run-in with a gang of bandits with eye patches on their right eyes, led by Will Patch (Forte), and manages to outsmart them and a deranged, Native American-racist food proprietor named Clem (Zahn), whose left eye is badly dysfunctional. At his Native village a bank robber named Frank Stockburn (Nolte) comes by, claiming to be Tommy’s biological father. Tommy explains to Frank that his mother was shot by a silhouetted man with tattoos on his hand when she was escorting him to school during his childhood, something that has haunted his dreams since. Frank also tells Tommy that he is dying of consumption, but that he has amassed $50,000 and buried it in a meadow next to a pine tree, which he offers to Tommy and the Natives. The next day, a group of bandits with connections to Frank come to the village, led by the ruthless Cicero (Trejo) who want Frank to give them his “big score” he gained a while back. Frank has the bandits kidnap him so he can lead them to the $50,000 at the so-called “Singing Windmill”, in return for the bandits not attacking Tommy or the Indians. With no time to search the meadow and find the money, Tommy decides he must find another way to obtain it and save his father.Tommy sets out on his quest to regain his father and decides that the best way to gain enough money is by stealing it. However, because his tribe does not condone theft and claims it is dishonorable, Tommy instead opts to steal from those who have no honor, leading him to target corrupt politicians, racist bankers, and thugs alike. During his quest, Tommy discovers that he has 5 half-brothers; Mexican burro rider Ramon (Schneider), whose innkeeper mother Frank had a fling with; mentally challenged yet happy-go-lucky Lil’ Pete (Lautner), who has a strong neck that makes him immune to hanging; feral mountain-man Herm (Garcia), who speaks incomprehensibly; guilt-ridden drunkard Danny (Wilson), who served as a bodyguard for Abraham Lincoln until accidentally leading John Wilkes Booth to murder him; and African-American saloon pianist Chico (Crews), who confesses to be only 50 percent white; all of which join Tommy. Meanwhile, Clem joins the eye patch gang in hopes of finding Tommy to take revenge on him after Clem removes his only functional eye (since the other eye patch wearers claim that removing the right eye is part of the gang’s way) before they kidnap Tommy’s fiancee, though she manages to escape them due to Clem’s poor eyesight and heads out to find Frank. When meeting Chico and Danny, they run with Chico’s boss: the aggressive, always smiling saloon owner Smiley Harris (Keitel), who was part of Frank’s gang until Frank stole his cut of their biggest score and left him to die at the windmill. He owns a large golden nugget the brothers steal after Ramon, while riding his burro, accidentally decapitates Smiley with a shovel from behind just as he is about to shoot the brothers as revenge against Frank for his betrayal, though Ramon was only trying to knock him out. While relaxing in a pond, Clem and the eye patch gang show up and while the brothers manage to overpower them, the gang manage to steal the money the brothers stole. Hope isn’t lost for the brothers, as Herm (through Tommy’s translation) tells them that a gambler named Ezekiel Grant (Lovitz) is hosting a gambling game with Mark Twain (Vanilla Ice) and General George Armstrong Custer (Spade) in Yuma. After successfully robbing the poker game, they head out to ransom their father. 1280x720-TUtAs dusk falls, Tommy realizes (through a photograph carried by Danny) that it was Cicero who murdered his mother. Not wanting to put his brothers in harm’s way, Tommy sets out alone in the cover of night to rescue his father and confront his mother’s killer. After paying the ransom, Cicero decides to part ways but Tommy insists on getting his revenge. Having successfully killed Cicero, the half-brothers (who followed Tommy) have a reunion with their long lost father. Realizing that Tommy’s group now have $100,000 after rescuing the Left-Eye Gang and getting their original $50,000, Frank double crosses them, revealing that he was in cahoots with Cicero for an easy $50,000. Tommy then reveals that their group also has a Plan B: a hidden bomb inside the bag containing the ransom money. When the bomb explodes and commotion ensues, Frank runs off with Smoking Fox (whom his group has been holding hostage) inside a mine. Tommy runs after them and successfully rescues his bride-to-be and captures his father. Also, in the process of the fighting, the Left-Eye Gang accidentally reveal that they lied about removing their right eyes, much to Clem’s outrage. Back in the Native Village, Tommy weds Smoking Fox with his brothers in attendance. Since the revelation that their biological father Frank Stockburn was no more than a two-bit crook, the Native chief decides to adopt the half-brothers as he did with Tommy.ililuiluiluiluilThis movie is just stupid fun. It isn’t trying to be the great American Western, and it doesn’t take itself seriously. The cameos are great, and the acting is superb. Just suspend disbelief, and enjoy the journey.

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REVIEW: GROWN UPS

CAST

Adam Sandler (Jack & Jill)
Salma Hayek (Dogma)
Kevin James (Paul Blart)
Chris Rock (Rush Hour)
David Spade (8 Simple Rules)
Rob Schneider (The Hot Chick)
Maria Bello (Secret Window)
Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids)
Colin Quinn (Trainwreck)
Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire)
Tim Meadows (Son of Zorn)
Jamie Chung (Sucker Punch)
Norm MacDonald (Dr. Dolittle)

In 1978, five childhood friends win their junior high school basketball championship. During their celebration at a rented lake house, the friends’ coach, Robert “The Buzzer” Fernando (Blake Clark), encourages them to live their lives in a similar way to how they played the game.30 Years later in 2008, Lenny Feder (Adam Sandler) is an ambitious Hollywood talent agent who is married to fashion designer Roxanne Chase (Salma Hayek), and has three children—one daughter Becky (Alexys Nicole Sanchez) and two sons, Greg and Keith (Jake Goldberg and Cameron Boyce); his sons have become very spoiled much to his annoyance.Eric Lamonsoff (Kevin James) claims he is now a co-owner of a lawn furniture company, is married to Sally (Maria Bello) and has two children, Donna and Bean (Ada-Nicole Sanger and Morgan Gingerich). Much to Eric’s chagrin, Sally continues to breastfeed Bean.Kurt McKenzie (Chris Rock) is a stay-at-home father who is married to Deanne (Maya Rudolph), the primary breadwinner of the family, and has two children, Andre and Charlotte (Nadji Jeter and China Anne McClain). Deanne is pregnant with another child and her mother (Ebony Jo-Ann) also lives with the family. Rob Hilliard (Rob Schneider) has been divorced three times and has daughters Jasmine, Amber, and Bridget (Madison Riley, Jamie Chung, and Ashley Loren) from those marriages. His current wife, Gloria (Joyce Van Patten), is 30 years older than him.Marcus Higgins (David Spade) is a slacker and lothario. All five friends regularly harass each other in comedic fashion throughout the film: Lenny for being rich; Eric for being overweight; Kurt for being skinny and not being more useful; Rob for his way of saying “Maize!” and for having a much older wife; and Marcus for being sexually juvenile.When the five friends soon find out that Buzzer has died, they all reunite for the first time in three decades and later return to their hometown with their families to pay tribute to Buzzer at his private funeral. Lenny rents the lake house for the 4th of July weekend for his friends to stay at. However, Lenny cannot stay for the whole weekend because Roxanne has a fashion show in Milan. While at the lake house, Lenny is annoyed in which their kids would rather play video games than spend time outdoors, so that he and the other friends are forcing their kids to play outside during their stay instead. At a local restaurant, Lenny talks to his old nemesis, Dickie Bailey (Colin Quinn), who is still upset at Lenny because he allegedly had his foot on the outside line, in which his shot should not have been counted. Dickie challenges him and his friends to a rematch, but Lenny declines after noting that Dickie is decidedly out of shape. The next day, the five friends spread Buzzer’s ashes into the woods. Rob becomes depressed during this event, lamenting his failed marriages, and later says his three daughters from the past marriages are coming. After having to deal with Jasmine, Rob goes and hangs out with his friends, who were fishing. After making some jokes on Rob, the others elect to cheer him up with a game of arrow roulette. Rob remains in the circle the longest, making him the winner, but the arrow hits directly through Rob’s foot. When Gloria tries to use a maize-covered poultice, Rob snaps at Gloria. Lenny gets the kids interested in talking on cup-phones and Roxanne accidentally tells Becky that she is the “Tooth Fairy”. Happy that they are enjoying the same kind of fun he had as a child, Lenny installs an extensive cup-phone network in the house.Roxanne ultimately figures out that it is more important to stay at the lake house than going to Milan. The five friends decide to go to a water park, where Bean learns to drink milk out of a carton and Marcus flirts constantly with Jasmine and Amber, having bought them skimpy bikinis. Rob kicks a ride attendant down a water slide when the latter insults Bridget for being less attractive than her sisters. Eric ignores Donna’s warning about a chemical in the kiddie pool that turns urine blue, and chaos results when he and his friends urinate in the pool. The spouses try to attract a muscleman, but he is laughed off due to his high-pitched Canadian accent. Later, Lenny and the group go to the zip line and meet Dickie again, this time with his own group of friends and former teammates, including Wiley (Steve Buscemi), who is hospitalized when he slams on a shopping kiosk instead of landing in the swimming pool after sliding down the zip line by his feet. Lenny teaches his son how to shoot a perfect shot during basketball. Afterwards, the friends end the night by sharing their dance with their spouses. The next day, Roxanne picks up Lenny’s phone and confronts him on lying about canceling their flight trip before she agreed on staying for the family instead of going to Milan. Eventually, everyone starts to tell the truth about their feelings and lives. On their final day at the lake house, Lenny and his buddies are challenged once again to a basketball rematch by Dickie. At the game-deciding shot, Lenny purposely misses in order to allow Dickie and his team to win. Before the end of the film, Marcus plays another game of arrow roulette, this time with an entire crowd of people, and everyone takes off with Wiley accidentally getting his foot impaled by the arrow.Pretty funny, a bit puerile in places, but generally an easy way to spend a rainy afternoon.

REVIEW: JACK AND JILL

CAST

Adam Sandler (Big Daddy)
Katie Holmes (Batman Begins)
Al Pacino (The Devil’s Advocate)
David Spade (8 Simple Rules)
Nick Swardson (Just Go With it)
Tim Meadows (Son of Zorn)
Allen Covert (Anger Management)
Norm MacDonald (Dr. Dolittle)
Geoff Pierson (That 80s Show)
Dana Carvey (Wayne’s world)
Billy Blanks (Kiss The Girls)
Johnny Depp (Secret Window)

The film opens with homemade videos of fraternal twins Jack and Jill Sadelstein growing up in New York City. As the videos progress, they reveal Jack as the gifted twin, while Jill constantly tries—and fails miserably—to get his attention by injuring him and/or driving others away from him.

In present day Los Angeles, Jack (Adam Sandler) is a successful advertising executive who lives with his beautiful wife Erin (Katie Holmes) and their two kids: Sofie (Elodie Tougne); Gary (Rohan Chand), a Hindu child they adopted at birth. Jill (also played by Sandler) never left the working-class neighborhood they grew up in; she recently inherited the Sadelstein home, having lived with their mother until her death one year ago. As always, Jack is irritated by the upcoming Thanksgiving visit of his sister. Jill ruins Thanksgiving dinner by loudly embarrassing a homeless guest. Jack finally calls her out for making a fool of herself, of him, and of everybody else at the table. Stung, Jill runs off into the woods with her pet cockatoo Poopsie. Erin demands that Jack apologize to his sister, which he very unwillingly does. Jill has a list of things she wants to do while in Los Angeles: be on a game show (The Price is Right, which—despite her horrendous performance—gives Jill a carload of prizes simply to be rid of her); go horseback riding (she proves too big and heavy for the pony, which collapses under her); and do a studio tour. Since Jill has an open-ended plane ticket, she decides to stay until the end of Hanukkah – much to Jack’s horror.

Jack’s agency client, meanwhile, wants him to somehow get actor Al Pacino to appear in a Dunkin’ Donuts commercial. Jack isn’t sure how he’s supposed to make that happen. Jill tries online dating. She has no success until Jack poses as Jill and alters her profile, leading to more than 100 responses. Yet when Jill’s date – “Funbucket” (Norm Macdonald) – meets her, he sneaks out of the restaurant through the men’s room.

Jack takes Jill to a Lakers game where Pacino is supposed to be. Pacino blows off Jack but is taken with Jill and gives her his phone number. Jack was hoping Jill would go back home by New Year’s Eve, since the family is going on a cruise. Jack’s friends and colleagues throw him a birthday party, extending the invite to Jill. Again Jill loudly disgraces herself, Jack, and the various celebrities in attendance. Pacino invites Jill to his home, where she accidentally destroys his Oscar statuette. Abruptly, she becomes bored with him and leaves. Jack’s Mexican gardener Felipe (Eugenio Derbez), who is also taken with Jill, invites her to meet his family at their annual fiesta. There she hits it off with everybody, and tries Mexican food for the first time, thus acquiring a horrible case of diarrhea which makes her even tougher to live with than usual.

Pacino refuses to do the Dunkin’ Doughnuts commercial unless Jack gets him a date with Jill; to that end, Jack invites Jill on the cruise with his family. At sea, while Jill continues making a fool of herself and everyone around her, Jack disguises himself as his own sister and goes on her date with Pacino. Jill suspects that Jack invited her on the cruise just so Pacino would do the commercial; such is confirmed when she phones Jack, he answers as Jill, and then she hears Pacino in the background. Pacino, still believing Jack to be Jill, spells out that he (Pacino) sees much more in her than just a pathetic half-wit…which is what Jack always took her for. Feeling unspeakably guilty, Jack returns to the ship, only to learn that Jill has gone back home to The Bronx. At a restaurant on New Year’s Eve, toting a picture of her and Jack’s late mother, Jill comes across a group of former classmates who always made fun of her; these classmates, led by Monica (David Spade), pick up directly where they left off…until Jack, his wife and their kids show up. Jack and Jill converse in their made-up twin language (which even Jack finds incomprehensible). Monica attacks Erin and is cold cocked by Jill. Pacino also turns up at the party, dressed as the Man of La Mancha, and tells Jill that while he may have feelings for her, there is another man more worthy of her than himself. She then goes home, where Felipe (the other suitor Pacino was referring to) and his children await her arrival. Felipe professes his love for Jill, and the two begin a relationship.

The television commercial is made, with Pacino starring and singing as he promotes a new coffee—”Dunkaccino”—with a rap song. But when Jack shows it to him, Pacino hates it and tells him to destroy every copy of this film.I don’t think it is a film you can’t love straight away unless you love Adam Sandler. It’s a Fairly good storyline, but as ever with the actors involved it would be more focused on the comedy rather than acting side of things, although Sandler plays two good and funny characters who are completely different. A good laugh over all.

REVIEW: FUNNY PEOPLE

CAST

Adam Sandler (Mr. Deeds)
Seth Rogen (Bad Neighbours 1 & 2)
Leslie Mann (17 Again)
Eric Bana (Hulk)
Jason Schwartzman (Scott Pilgrim vs The World)
Jonah Hill (21 Jump Street)
Aubrey Plaza (Life After Beth)
RZA (G.I. Retaliation)
Aziz Ansari (30 Minutes or Less)
Sarah Silverman (School for Scoundrels)
Norm Macdonald (Dr. Dolittle)
Paul Reiser (Aliens)
Andy Dick (Dude, Where’s My Car?)
Ray Romano (Eulogy)
Justin Long (New Girl)
Ken Jeong (The Hangover)
Carla Gallo (Bones)

George Simmons (Adam Sandler) is a middle-aged former stand-up comedian turned movie star. Despite his millions he is sad and lonely and most of his recent film work is low-brow and dumb. He is diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and offered an experimental treatment that has only an eight-percent chance of therapeutic response. Believing he is about to die, he returns to his roots to do stand-up comedy.
Ira Wright (Seth Rogen) is an aspiring stand-up comedian in his twenties who shares an apartment with his two best friends, Mark and Leo (Jason Schwartzman and Jonah Hill). Mark is a lead in his own TV comedy series and makes good money. Leo is a rising comedy star and guest star or a recurring role on Mark’s TV show. George meets Ira at a small comedy club and hires him as his assistant. Ira becomes one of George’s only close relationships. The two travel around the country, George hires Ira as his personal assistant and joke writer and opens for him in the big comedy clubs, often meeting with real life comedians who play themselves and talk about the business of comedy.
George reconnects with his ex-fiancée, Laura (Leslie Mann) who is currently married to Clarke (Eric Bana). George′s physician tells him that the leukemia is in remission. George decides he wants Laura back. Laura invites George and Ira to her house in Marin County while her husband is away on business. George and Ira spend quality time with Laura and her two young daughters. George and Laura sneak off to have sex, but Clarke returns home and there is a huge argument.
The plot of the movie now concerns who Laura will choose, her current husband Clarke whom she suspects has cheated on her (he later confirms he received a happy ending at a massage parlor), or her former boyfriend George (who also cheated on her many times). Ira is not always on George’s side in the love triangle, so when it doesn’t go George’s way in the end, he fires Ira, who then calls George out on having learned nothing from his near-death experience.
Ira returns to his old food-service job. After some time has passed, George attends Ira’s stand-up act and sees that his old assistant has become a far more confident performer. The next day, George finds Ira at work and they reconnect as friends, telling each other jokes as equals.Not your average comedy, but certainly funny enough to get a fair few laughs in. Then, once you’ve stopped laughing, there’s enough human emotion to finish it off with to make it so you actually care about the characters.

 

REVIEW: FAMILY GUY – DVD SEASONS 1-5

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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)
Lacey Chabert (Mean Girls)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST (VOICES)

Lori Alan (Wall-E)
Fred Tatasciore (Hulk Vs)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)
Billy West (Futurama)
Joey Slotnick (Nip/Tuck)
Frank Welker (Transformers)
Rachael MacFarlane (American Dad)
Alex Rocco (The Simpsons)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Dick Van Patten (Spaceballs)
Fairuza Balk (Almost Famous)
Charles Durning (The Sting)
Dwight Schultz (The A-Team)
Patrick Duffy (Dallas)
Victoria Principal (Blind Witness)
Will Sasso (Movie 43)
Sam Waterson (Law & Order)
Tara Strong (Batman: TAS)
Norm MacDonald (Billy Madison)
Candice Bergman (Gandhi)
Martin Mull (Sabrina: TTW)
Lee Majors (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Faith Ford (Hope & Faith)
Will Ferrell (The Lego Movie)
Jay Mohr (Cherry Falls)
Brian Doyle-Murray (Groundhog Day)
Robert Costanzo (Batman: TAS)
Michael Chiklis (Gotham)
Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men)
Gary Cole (One Hour Photo)
Luke Perry (The Fifth Element)
Adam Carolla (Wreck-It Ralph)
Michael McKean (This Is Spinal Tap)
Thomas Dekker (Terminator: TSCC)
Haley Joel Osment (A.I.)
Leif Garrett (The Outsiders)
June Foray (Mulan)
Ray Liotta (Killing Them Softly)
Ron Jeremy (Orgazmo)
Alyssa Milano (Charmed)
Edward Asner (Elf)
Hugh Laurie (House)
Estelle Harris (3rd Rock From The Sun)
R. Lee Ermey (Full Metal Jacet)
Majel Barrett (Star Trek)
Carol Kane (Gotham)
Dakota Fanning (Taken)
Jane Lynch (Glee)
Meredith Scott Lynn (Legally Blonde)
Valerie Bertinelli (Hot In Cleveland)
Tony Danza (Who’s The Boss?)
Fred Willard (Anchorman)
Jennifer Love Hewitt (Ghost Whisperer)
Andy Dick (2 Broke Girls)
Jon Favreau (Iron Man)
Lauren Graham (Bad Santa)
Judy Greer (Jurassic World)
Mark Hamill (Star Wars)
Peter Riegert (The Mask)
Drew Barrymore (Poison Ivy)
Jonathan Lipnicki (Jerry Maguire)
Gina Gershon (Bound)
Judd Hirsch (The Big Bang Theory)
Indigo (Weeds)
Stacey Scowley (Dollhouse)
Jane Carr (Treasure Planet)
Cloris Leachman (The Iron Giant)
LeVar Burton (Star Trek: TNG)
Jessica Biel (Stealth)
Nancy Cartwright (The Simpsons)
Alexandra Breckenridge (The Walking Dead)
Michael Dorn (Ted 2)
Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: TNG)
Marina Sirtis (The Grudge 3)
Patrick Stewart (X-Men)
Gabrielle Union (Flashforward)
James Woods (Another Day In Paradise)
Carrie Fisher (Star Wars)
Mia Maestro (Alias)
Maurice LaMarche (Futurama)
Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man)
Sherman Hemsley (Lois & Clark)
Marion Ross (Happy Days)
Carol Channing (The Love Boat)
Jay Leno (The Simpsons)
Alexander Siddig (Game of Thrones)
Bryan Cranston (Argo)
Wallace Shawn (The Princess Bride)
Kate Jackson (Charlies Angels)
Betty White (The Golden Girls)
Chad Morgan (Pearl Harbor)
Judith Light (Ugly Betty)

Out of the small animation boom that happened several years ago came “Family Guy”, one of the most hilarious and controversial shows that Fox has aired

For those unfamiliar with the show, it focuses on the Griffin family, residents of Quahog, Rhode Island. Peter (creator Seth MacFarlane) is the heavy-drinking father who works in a toy factory, Lois (Alex Borstein of “Mad TV”) is the calm leader, Meg (Mila Kunis of “That 70’s Show” and Lacey Chabert for the earlier episodes) is the insecure daughter, Chris (Seth Green) the chubby and dim-witted son, Brian (MacFarlane) is the alcoholic dog who talks and Stewie (creator Seth MacFarlane earned an Emmy for his voice work on the character) is the diabolical baby who is bent on world domination.The first two volumes of the show on DVD offers both the first season and half of the second seasons of the show and gives viewers who missed it another chance to witness some of “Family Guy”‘s most brilliant moments. “E. Peterbus Unum” has Peter breaking off from Quahog to form his own country when he finds out that his house is a blank spot on the map. When confronted after breaking the law, he gets out of it due to diplomatic immunity (“like that guy in ‘Lethal Weapon 2′”, says Peter). “The Son Also Draws” has Peter and Chris going on a Vision Quest when they lose their car at an Indian casino. When the trees start chatting with Peter, he asks, “If one of you falls, and no one’s around, does it make a noise?” The tree responds, “Are you kidding? Scott fell last week, and he hasn’t shut up about it since.” In “Death Is a Bitch”, Death (voiced by Norm MacDonald) comes after Peter after he fakes death to get out of paying his hospital bill. When Death sprains his ankle, Peter has to take over. “Da Boom” has the family searching for food (they dismiss a potential house after they find out Randy Newman is there, singing about everything he sees) after information hears about the world nearly coming to an end after Y2K turns out to be true.

“Family Guy” remained remarkably politically incorrect throughout its original run, but most of the jokes were rolling-on-the-floor funny because they were throwaway, including one exchange between Peter and Brian: “Brian, there’s a message in my Alpha Bits. It says “OOOOOO”!”. “Peter, those are Cheerios.” Every episode of the show was packed with such minor gags, most of which were successful and unexpected. The show’s voice talent, especially MacFarlane, Kunis and Green, handled the material with perfect comedic timing.

This second DVD volume of the series includes second half of season two and all of third season of the series, along with the controversial episode, “Wish Upon a Weinstein”, where Peter tries to get Chris to become Jewish because he believes he’ll be successful if he does. The plots of season three still get laughs fairly often, although I don’t think they reach the inspired heights of earlier episodes, such as the one where Peter’s house became its own country or lead his family towards a twinkie factory after the apocalypse.

Still, there are certainly some highlights throughout many of the episodes. In “Peter Griffin: Husband, Father…Brother?” Peter takes Chris to an Irish Heritage Museum to learn more about his heritage, where both find out that, before alcohol, Ireland was a futuristic utopia. “Mr. Saturday Knight” has Peter working at Quahog’s Renaissance Faire as a jouster when his boss accidentally dies at dinner. His competition is the Black Knight, brilliantly voiced by Will Farrell. “Thin White Line” and “Brian Does Hollywood” have Brian overdoing his new job as drug sniffing police dog, then running off to Hollywood and ending up with a job directing porn (at the adult awards in the episode, John Williams is one of the composers nominated for Best Original Score). In “Lethal Weapons”, Peter uses Lois’s newfound fighting skills to drive out New Yorkers who come up to Rhode Island just to stare at the leaves changing color.

Rude, crude and often hilarious, “Family Guy” saw fit to offend just about every group, but did so in a way that was sharp, funny and wonderfully absurd.Often brilliant, extremely witty and darkly hilarious, “Family Guy” was unfortunately cancelled after season three Fox bumped it around six or seven different time slots. Although this third season wasn’t as consistent as the first two, it’s still hilarious and fans of the show should definitely pick up this terrific set. thankfully a few years later the show would return for a fourth and become a constant.

Back on the air after an unprecedented un-cancellation, “Family Guy” had a slight bit of leeway in its return. Fans were rabid for some new episodes, while the network that had cancelled it once wasn’t likely to do so again and risk being considered foolish twice-over. As a result, there was a chance to experiment and try something new, and expand the horizons of the show. Or, they could choose to keep doing the same thing they did before, which is exactly the choice they made.

In a way, it was the smart choice. Why mess with a good thing, when you could keep making the kind of show the fans fell in love with and bought rapidly on DVD. The un-PC content is still in place, along with the pop-culture references, cut-aways and nonsensical characters. Call-backs to old favorites, like Herbert the old molester and the evil monkey were good, but the shows tended to settle into ruts. A love of musicals is appreciated, but is it funny every time a character breaks into song, as in “Jungle Love”

This set has some very good episodes in this set, starting with “Petarded,” which sees Peter declared mentally retarded. The ways he takes advantage of this status is classic “Family Guy” material, while the musical montage here, involving phone calls all over town, is actually quite funny. Plus, the appearance of the Greased-Up Deaf Guy gave hope that the creators still had that sense of the bizarre in them.

But if any moment stands out among this run, it’s the supermarket scene in “Breaking Out is Hard to Do.” When Chris is pulled into the “Take On Me” video by A-Ha, it’s a perfect blend of what this show does best, combining nonsense, the ’80s and some neat animation. The lead-in, the punchline and the execution of the whole scene is handled so well that it might be one of the show’s most memorable ever.If there’s a real reason for fans of the show to own this set, it’s provided in the extras. According to the commentaries, there are scenes included that were produced for the show that the creators knew would be cut, but did them with the intent of including them on DVD. I’m not certain what scenes were added, but there are several lines that would have been questionable for network TV. Also included are uncensored audio tracks that were bleeped on TV. It’s certainly a welcome change having the series presented as they were intended, instead of chopped up as so many shows are on DVD.

Among the 14 episodes in this set is a number of funny moments, normally involving either Lois or Chris, though neither enjoys a spotlight episode. Instead, Peter powers a couple of inspired shows, starting with “PTV,” a sharp rebuttal of the FCC’s assault on broadcast standards. As a fan of entertainment for adults, the crippling of language by the government certainly needs to be skewered. Peter’s revolutionary instincts crop up again in “The Father, the Son and the Holy Fonz.” It delivers an entertaining parody of religion, as Peter forms a faith based around Henry Winkler’s “Happy Days” character, with about as valid a basis as most religions.
comedy. There’s some good stuff in here, culled from the 14 episodes, including some subplots that were cut. They are joined by three featurettes that look behind the scenes of the show. The first is a simple one, as supervising director Peter Shin shows how to draw Stewie. Straightforward, but a bit interesting. “A Director’s Life: Debunking the Myth” spends almost 15 minutes looking at the job of the directors on the show, explaining in detail what they do to make the series go. It’s rather good and shows how much goes into making animation.

I enjoy sitting down with a set of “Family Guy” episodes, thanks to the voices and rather lush animation, another great set thou some fans might be confused with the season box sets not watching the actual seasons but once you figure out the numbering its

REVIEW: DR. DOLITTLE 1,2,3,4 & 5

CAST

Eddie Murphy (Beverly Hills Cop)
Ossie Davis (Bubba Ho-Tep)
Kyla Pratt (One on One)
Raven-Symoné (The View)
Norm MacDonld (Screwed)
Oliver Platt (X-Men: First Class)
Peter Boyle (Taxi Driver)
Richard Schiff (The Cape)
Kristen Wilson (walking Tall)
Jeffrey Tambor (The Hangover)
Beth Grant (Child’s Play 2)
Albert Brooks (The Simpsons)
Chris Rock (Dogma)
John Leguizamo (Collateral Damage)
Julie Kavner (The Simpsons)
Garry Shandling (Iron Man 2)
Ellen DeGeneres (Finding Nemo)
Brian Doyle-Murray (Groundhog Day)
Jenna Elfman (Friends With Benefits)
Gilbert Gottfried (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2012)
Paul Reubens (Gotham)
Jonathan Lipnicki (Jerry Maguire)
Paul Giamatti (Sideways)
Pruitt Taylor Vince (Heroes Reborn)

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Young John Dolittle talks to his dog (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres), who explains dogs sniff each other’s butts as a way of greeting, and John does so when meeting his new principal. This behavior concerns his father (Ossie Davis), who hires the local minister to perform an exorcism. When John is scared his dog attacks the minister, and his father gives the dog up for adoption. The incident greatly upsets John and he stops talking to animals. Thirty years later, John (Eddie Murphy) is now living in San Francisco, California. He is a doctor, married with two children, and an animal hater. His 13-year-old daughter Charisse (Raven-Symoné) demands to be called Paprika, kinda like Salt-n-Pepa, and his youngest daughter Maya (Kyla Pratt) is a nerdy girl who dislikes socializing, and is raising what she believes to be a swan egg so it will bond with her. She also has a Guinea Pig named Rodney (voiced by Chris Rock). John’s wife Lisa (Kristen Wilson) wants to spend time with him, while at John’s practice, a large medical company owned by Calloway (Peter Boyle) wants to buy his practice, making them a great deal of money.
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John takes his family out to the country for a vacation. After taking the family to the country, he has to return to work to see a patient and bring Maya’s pet guinea pig Rodney. On the way home John accidentally hits a dog (voiced by Norm MacDonald) and bumps his head on the windshield. The dog runs off, shouting “Watch where you’re going next time, you bone-head!”; the first time that John has understood an animal since his childhood. The next day, John is driving Rodney to the country and Rodney starts talking to him as well, as John is terrified of what is happening to him. During the night, an owl (voiced by Jenna Elfman) asks him to remove a twig in her wing. He obliges and she tells all the animals about his kind act. Soon many animals start asking favors of John. Scared, he goes to see Dr. Sam Litvak (Steven Gilborn) for a CAT scan, but nothing is wrong with him. The next day he finds the dog he nearly hit being taken to a kennel. John rescues the dog and attempts to set him free, but in a twist of fate – Maya overhears the dog’s barking, and assumes the dog is a gift for her. Reluctantly, John decides to let him stay, giving him a real name: Lucky.
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That night, John finds that his reputation for understanding animals has spread, and a mass of animals come to him seeking treatment. In the process, John relearns to appreciate his gift and confides in Lucky that he feels more energized about his work than he has in years. A drunken circus monkey tells the doctor about a sick tiger (voiced by Albert Brooks) who is planning to commit suicide. They find the tiger, named Jake, on top of Coit Tower planning to jump, as something in his brain is causing him immense pain. John and Lucky convince Jake they can help him. Lisa and John’s partner Mark (Oliver Platt) catch him giving CPR to a rat and have him committed to an insane asylum. Lucky comes to see John and tells him Jake is getting worse, but John is angry at what has happened to him. Lucky leaves, telling John he’s hiding from his true self, and John is released when he vows to never talk to animals again. At home, Maya hears the news and tells her grandfather what has happened with him. John overhears this and apologizes to Lucky. During a party where Calloway will buy the company, John and Lucky bring Jake to the clinic to operate on him. The police arrive seeking the tiger, but Lucky gathers all the animals of San Francisco to help guard the building in which John is operating on the tiger. At the party the guests discover Jake, but John explains what he is doing and gets Jake onto the operating table as the guests watch. John’s father, realizing John’s ability as the gift it is, confides in Lisa he knows John truly can talk to animals, and she comes to comfort Jake as John works. John finds out that Jake is suffering from a blood clot stuck in his head, and saves his life. Calloway is impressed, but John declines his offer to buy the company. In an epilogue, John is now both a human doctor and a veterinarian, and Maya’s egg hatches, revealing it to be an alligator. John and Lucky head to the circus to visit Jake and talk about their future as friends while the song “Talk with the Animals” plays in the background.
The film is funny for adults and children alike. The talking dog is fantastic as is the guinea pig strapped to the roof of the car.

CAST

Eddie Murphy (Beverly Hills Cop)
Kyla Pratt (One on One)
Raven-Symoné (The View)
Kristen Wilson (walking Tall)
Norm MacDonld (Screwed)
Lil’ Zane (Good Streets)
James Avery (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air)
Andy Richter (Quintuplets)
Jeffrey Jones (Howard The Duck)
Steve Zahn (Daddy Day Care)
Lisa Kudrow (Bad Neighbours)
Michael Rapaport (The 6th Day)
Isaac Hayes (South Park)
Andy Dick (2 Broke Girls)
Joey Lauren Adams (Chasing Amy)
David Cross (Scary Movie 2)
David Deluise (Stargate SG.1)
John DiMaggio (Futurama)
Jamie Kennedy (Son of The Mask)
Tom Kenny (Spongebob)
Michael McKean (This Is SPinal Tap)
Frankie Muniz (Agent Cody Banks)
Bob Odenkirk (How I Met Your Mother)
Mandy Moore (The Princess Diaries)
Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Terminator)

Lucky the dog (Norm Macdonald) explains Dr. John Dolittle’s (Eddie Murphy) gift of talking to animals. John comes home from France and gives his wife a present from Paris. He also gives his daughter, Maya (Kyla Pratt), a chameleon, named Pepito.

Also, Charisse’s (Raven-Symoné) sixteenth birthday is coming today. She was also not doing well in her classes. As a punishment, her father takes her phone away. Later on, Charisse’s boyfriend, Eric (Lil’ Zane), comes over and decides to join the family at the birthday party. A possum (voice of Isaac Hayes) and a raccoon, Joey (voice of Michael Rapaport), tell the doctor that their boss, the Godbeaver, wants to see him. He meets the Godbeaver (voice of Richard C. Sarafian) who shows him that the forest is being cut down. John plans to save the forest to get an endangered female Pacific western bear together with a male to save their species.
At a circus, John attempts to get Archie, the surviving male member in his species, to go out into the forest to teach him to become a real bear. Reluctantly, he agrees but John knows that Archie doesn’t know what kind of bear he is and never acts as a real animal. Then, after taking his family on a vacation to the forest for the rest of the month, John makes a deal with Ava to not make any decisions for the month and promised to turn Archie into someone she will love.
While he unsuccessfully trains Archie, John hires the local forest creatures to make an attempt to stop Charisse and Eric from making out. But during the training, he ignores Lisa for the next few days. Then, John tells Archie that he will find a way win Ava’s heart. Every animal in the forest watches as John dances with Lisa, and as the two attempt to embrace, Lucky accidentally blows it. Archie attempts to get Ava’s attention by singing her a song while imitating John in a smooth voice and on a tree branch, but blows his attempt when he is too heavy for the branch to hold and he falls down. Archie refuses to come out of his new-found cave because of humiliating himself in front of Ava. Archie proclaims that it was hard but John knows how hard it is when his wife grows mad at him. Frustrated with John’s insults, Archie hits John, making him fall on a muddy hole, and he begins to listen to his “inner bear”. Later on, he spends the rest of the day with Ava, whose relationship with Sonny isn’t very well. Lucky attempts to win the affection of an attractive female wolf (though throughout the film, Lucky attempts to get her attention two times but both are unsuccessful). This attempt was successful as Lucky urinates around her territory and she is about to go out with him but one of her packmates came and finds Lucky urinating part of the pack’s territory and they leave, much to Lucky’s dismay. On the other hand, Ava is forced to leave Archie by Sonny (voice of Mike Epps). 371266752_640
Afterwards, Mr. Potter, the owner of two logging companies, attempts to make a deal with John, and when Archie arrives, he tells John he has his “big finish”, knowing that he will win Ava about John telling him to listen to his “inner bear”. Back at the cabin, Charisse is beginning to hate living in the forest and is annoyed with her family talking to the animals, though John doesn’t know what is bothering her. Meanwhile, Archie goes after a bee hive on a fallen tree at the edge of a tall hill, and despite commands from John and attacking bees, he manages to get the hive. In a game of hide and seek with Ava (who dumps Sonny), Archie is shot by a tranquilizer dart fired by Mr. Potter’s apprentice. John later learns that Archie had somewhat destroyed the back of a restaurant in the woods. After getting information from a weasel (voice of Andy Dick) of what happened, John visits Archie in a jail and tells the bear that he may be too dangerous to be set free and is going to be sold to a Mexican circus. Then, John realizes that Charisse has developed her father’s gift of talking to animals, though it has been in her for two weeks now. Later, John held a meeting for every animal in the forest to not give up without a fight no matter what kind of animal expression they have. Everyone agrees to do it in order to free Archie. The animals, led by Charisse, Eric, and Maya, rebel against the loggers and every animal around the world go on strikes as an effort to free Archie. Mr. Potter and his apprentice are then attacked by some of the animals at the company, such as a swarm of rats, a fleet of pigeons, a pack of wolves and Mr. Potter’s apprentice is then attacked by the swarm of bees outside the building, while Mr. Potter is cornered by Ava and Joey. Then, when the animals refuse to have twelve acres in their home, the strike keeps growing (even animal pros, such as racing horses and jumping whales are getting on the act). As a deal is made, the Dolittles and the animals have saved the entire forest outside of San Francisco. At the end, John and Charisse become closer while Archie and Ava mate and have cubs.

The movies have lots of funny moments and are great for all ages to enjoy, the digital enhanced animals are brillant and take the show to a higher level.If you enjoyed the first one i highly recommend this one.

CAST

Kyla Pratt (One on One)
Kristen Wilson (walking Tall)
Norm MacDonld (Screwed)
Walker Howard (Hittin’ It!)
John Amos (Two and a Half Men)
Luciana Carro (White Chicks)
Tommy Snider (Feast)
Callum Worthy (Smallville)
Ryan McDonell (Arrow)
John Novak (Wishmaster 3 & 4)
Gary Jones (Stargate SG.1)
Emily Tennant (Juno)
Paul Costanzo (Road Trip)
Vanessa Marshall (Star wars Rebels)
Susan Silo (James Bond Jr.)
Gary Busey (Predator 2)
Danny Bonaduce (The Partridge Family)

Maya has evolved considerably from the first film. Though she was then an antisocial individual more interested in her science projects, Maya has transformed into the typical teenager. Like her sister Charisse, she inherits their father John’s capacity for communicating with fauna (she is a part-time veterinary assistant), her life is turned upside down on all fronts. She routinely lands in trouble with her parents, while her friends think she’s gone crazy. With John away on animal expeditions, Maya’s mother Lisa sends her (with Lucky following along) to a ranch named “Durango”, so she can find herself. The ranch is owned by Jud (John Amos), and his son Bo (Walker Howard). While there, Maya, who desperately tried to keep it under wraps so as not to arouse suspicion, uses her talent to “talk to the animals” in order to save Durango from being taken over by a neighboring ranch.
Maya is at first reluctant to reveal her ability, fearing rejection from her friends, but eventually does so. With her help, the Durango ranch enters a rodeo competition with a $50,000 award, and wins it. Also, she shares her first kiss with Bo and finally wins his heart.

Personally I liked this film better as much as I liked 1 or 2 but if your a Dr Dolittle fan and you like the first two you will love this one.

CAST

Kyla Pratt (One on One)
Norm MacDonld (Screwed)
Peter Coyote (Flashforward)
Malcolm Stewart (Jumanji)
Niall Matter (Watchmen)
Elise Gatien (Izombie)
Karen Holness (Riverworld)
Christine Chatelain (Sanctuary)
Kwesi Ameyaw (Legends of Tomorrow)
Jennifer Coolidge (2 Broke Girls)
Richard Kind (Gotham)

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Maya Dolittle is the girl who can talk to animals; so can her older sister Charisse Dolittle and father John Dolittle. John is away on animal expeditions while Charisse Dolittle’s fate remains unknown. so when the President asks for him to help with the Presidential dog and save an African forest, Maya takes his place. The dog Daisy has a very hot temper but after a lot of trouble, they begin to get along.
At a dinner with the prince and princess of the kingdom that the forest is located in, things are going well until they suddenly take a turn for the worse. With the help of animals, Maya finds out Chief Dorian was sabotaging the prince to shut down the forest and make millions. He is arrested and the forest is saved.
The movie is okay; it’s not my favorite, but I didn’t think it was awful. It’s probably less entertaining to adults than to children, but it has its moments.

CAST

Kyla Pratt (One on One)
Norm MacDonld (Screwed)
Karen Holness (Riverworld)
Tegan Moss (The X-Files)
Brandon Jay McLaren (Power Rangers SPD)
Judge Reinhold (Beverly Hills Cop)
Jason Bryden (Suits)
Jay Brazeau (Bates Motel)
Sebastian Spence (First wave)
Sarah Deakins (Andromeda)
Jaime Ray Newman (Veronica Mars)
Fred Stoller (Little Man)
Pauly Shore (California Man)
Stephen Root (Office Space)

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Maya Dolittle (Kyla Pratt) thinks she doesn’t have to spend 7 years in college to be a vet because she can talk to animals. While taking a walk with Lucky, she helps a cat on a tree by talking to it. She gets discovered and Tiffany Monaco (Tegan Moss), a Hollywood star, brings her to L.A.
to help her little puppy, who turns out to be a boy. Soon, Maya and Tiffany began creating their own show, The Animal Talkers. Maya also meets Brandon Booker (Brandon Jay McLaren) who is her love interest. Maya soon finds out the show isn’t about helping animals and goes back home to study being a vet. She also finds out Brandon is at her school too. Meanwhile, Monkey is out in L.A. searching for his big break but quits because he wants to help Maya.
though there is no Dr. Dolittle again, we still have his daughter, Maya. if you liked the fourth I would recommend this one as it complete the set its a nice film but doesn’t add much to the franchise.

REVIEW: MY NAME IS EARL – SEASON 1-4

MAIN CAST

Jason Lee (Dogma)
Ethan Suplee (Mallrats)
Jaime Pressly (Mom)
Nadine Velazquez (War)
Eddie Steeples (Raising Hope)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Leo Fitzpatrick (Bully)
Gregg Binkley (Galaxy Quest)
Dale Dickey (Iron Man 3)
Carson Daly (Josie and The Pussycats)
Trace Adkins (The Virginian)
Silas Weir Mitchell (Birds of Prey)
Kathryn Joosten (Desperate Housewives)
Tracy Ashton (Stuck on You)
Jesse Heiman (ChucK)
Dax Shepard (Zathura)
Montel Williams (Golden Shoes)
Giovanni Ribisi (Avatar)
Abdoulaye NGom (VR Troopers)
Missi Pyle (Dodgeball)
Timothy Stack (Cast Away)
Chloe Grace Moretz (The Fifth Wave)
Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory)
Kristina Hayes (Expelled)
Beau Bridges (Stargate SG.1)
Niecy Nash (The Soul Man)
Blake Clark (50 First Dates)
Brett Butler (Anger Management)
John Ducey (Sabrina: TTW)
Jon Favreau (Iron Man)
Jeremy Howard (Accepted)
Lindsay Hollister (Bluberella)
Jessica Cauffiel (White Chicks)
Mark Christopher Lawrence (Chuck)
Patricia Belcher (Bones)
Adam Goldberg (Deja Vu)
Christine Taylor (Zoolander)
Samm Levine (Veronica Mars)
Ben Falcone (New Girl)
Timothy Olyphant (Go)
Malcolm David Kelley (Lost)
Juliette Lewis (Some Girl)
Clint Howard (Apollo 13)
Max Perlich (Blow)
Geoffrey Lewis (The Devil’s Rejects)
Miriam Shor (Bedazzled)
Shailene Woodley (Divergent)
John DiMaggio (Futurama)
Burt Reynolds (Boogie Nights)
Judy Greer (Jurassic World)
Marlee Matlin (Reasonable Doubts)
Jonathan Slavin (Free Enterprise)
Beth Grant (Wonderfalls)
Jenny McCarthy (Two and a Half Men)
Johnny Sneed (The Heartbreak Kid)
Christian Slater (True Romance)
John Leguizamo (Kick-Ass 2)
Jimmi Simpson (Date Night)
Ray Santiago (Ash vs Evil Dead)
DJ Qualls (Road Trip)
Bob Clendenin (That 70s Show)
Norm MacDonald (Dr. Dolittle)
Kurt Fuller (Ghostbusters 2)
Sean Astin (The Goonies)
Ben Foster (The Punisher)
Craig T. Nelson (The Incredibles)
Dee Wallace (E.T.)
Raymond Cruz (Training Day)
Alyssa Milano (Charmed)
Billy Gardell (Mike & Molly)
Mike O’ Malley (R.I.P.D.)
Tamala Jones (Castle)
Shawn Hatosy (Alpha Dog)
Jane Lynch (Glee)
Paris Hilton (Bottoms Up)
Kevin Sussman (The Big Bang Theory)
Michael Pena (American Hustle)
Jon Heder (Blades of Glory)
Bonita Friedericy (Chuck)
Deborah Ann Woll (Daredevil)
Nancy Lenehan (Sex Tape)
Mindy Sterling (Austin Powers)
Seth Green (Family Guy)
Suzy Nakamura (8mm)
Brandon Soo Hoo (Tropic Thunder)
David Arquette (Scream)
Katy Mixon (Mike & Molly)
Jenna Elfman (EdTV)
Brooke Nevin (The Comebacks)
Scoot McNairy (Argo)
Michael Pena (American Hustle)
Joel David Moore (Julia X)
Courtney Gains (Children of The Corn)
Jane Seymour (Smallville)
Jason Priestley (Tru Calling)
Eric Lange (Lost)
Neil Hopkins (The Net 2.0)
Eric Allan Kramer (The Incredible Hulk Returns)
Morgan Fairchild (Chuck)
Danny Glover (Earthsea)
Curtis Armstrong (New Girl)

 

When I heard that Jason Lee has going to be starring in a new TV series, I was psyched. Ever since his star-making turn in Mallrats,  Earl (Lee), a 250-time loser and minor criminal, won $100,000 on a scratch-off ticket, and was promptly hit by a car. While healing in the hospital, he learns about karma from Carson Daly (on TV) and decides to change his life by making a list of all the people he’s wronged and making it up to them. It’s a simple concept.Earl’s family and friends, including his brother Randy (Ethan Suplee), his ex-wife Joy (Jamie Pressly), her husband Darnell the Crabman (Eddie Steeples) and his friend Catalina (Nadine Velazquez), are alternately positive and negative influences as he tries to fulfill his debt to karma. Randy, a dopey man-child, helps his brother as much as he can, but because he’s not too bright, he tends to screw things up. That’s ok though, as he may have the purest intentions of anyone in the show, since he’s unable to truly be underhanded. The only person purer than Randy is Darnell, otherwise known as Crabman. Even more innocent than Randy, he lives a simple life and is a simple man. That he’s married to Joy, a woman to whom no level of evil is out of reach, shows what he can put up with in life and remain good-natured. She’s also incredibly funny, as Pressly does the best work of her career, playing this trailer bitch to the max. She’s balanced by Earl and Randy’s pal Catalina, the highly sexy maid at their hotel. Though she’s good at heart, there’s an inherent darkness in her that shines through with solid comic timing.Though there’s not a lot of story that progresses from episode to episode, the theme of the list ties everything together nicely. Whether he’s helping a suicidal man find a reason to live or giving his mom the Mother’s Day she deserved, Earl spreads his “golden rule” message, making the show one of the few TV comedies today where there’s a positive message but not a ton of cheese. There are episodes that have as much heartfelt sentiment as any “very special effort” just without the melodrama. Instead, the series is very real in the way it depicts people. They are neither all good or all bad. They just are, and they do what they need to to get by. Darnell isn’t ruled by a strict code of ethics. He just does what feels right. Earl has a thread of bad-guy in him, but he believes in the concept of good. The writers have managed to create some of the most complete sitcom characters in recent history, as one can see in “Dad’s Car,” when Joy’s love for her kids is revealed.There’s something special in this show that you only see in truly great ensemble casts, and that’s memorable supporting characters that aren’t your average “wacky neighbors.” It’s almost guaranteed that a laugh is coming when Crabman or Catalina are on screen. Even one-time characters, like Earl’s clingy ex-girlfriend or the many fantastic guest stars, make the most of their screentime by integrating seamlessly with the regulars, creativing a cohesive universe, giving you more reason to come back and visit with your friends in Camden County.It’s not just the writing and acting that’s top-notch though. The choice of music is often inspired, with pop and rock songs helping the show reach new emotional and comedic heights, including a beautiful use of “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket” in the season finale. Today, you expect soundtracks with such popular, well-known songs to end up replaced on DVD, but it seems that these shows are presented with  the music intact. Just as creative are the inventive visuals, which help tell bigger stories in the small amount of time the show has. It’s the small details like this that show the kind of effort that goes into the series.

The second season of the show didn’t mess with success, maintaining the things that worked so well for the series, including a very funny cast, a well-developed dynamic and a style that’s unique and energetic. What did change was part of a natural evolution, as the show’s smaller stories, which make up Earl’s karmic quest, are joined by a larger, season-long arc surrounding his ex-wife Joy (Jaime Pressly) and her effort to get revenge on a local store for refusing her return without a receipt. Not exactly the brightest bulb, she decides that the scales will be balanced if she steals one of the store’s trucks. Unfortunately for her, worst-laid plans are especially susceptible to failure and things spiral well out of her control, as, when she’s inevitably caught, it’s her third strike, which would mean a prison term, thus setting up Earl and his friends’ attempt to keep Joy out of the big house. Of course, this isn’t exactly a crackerjack squad of schemers, so things certainly don’t go smoothly, which makes for a hilarious running subplot.Despite the overarching Joy in Jail plot, the show doesn’t lose sight of its core concept: Earl and his list. As he knocks off item after item on the record of bad things he’s done, we get to meet more of the residents of Camden County, including the members of a circus freak show, a French exchange student Earl ran out of the country and an aging rocker. There are also a few familiar faces to help, including his gay friend Kenny, the lovably laid-back Crabman (Eddie Steeples, one of the TV’s most underrated actors) and Earl Hickey. Yep, after realizing he wrecked his own life, Earl adds himself to the list and spends a few episodes taking care of his own business.Earl’s not the only Hickey in the spotlight though this season, as his adorably simple brother Randy (played wonderfully by Suplee) is increasingly a focus on the show, even getting a few love interests, including the gorgeous and hilarious Catalina (Nadine Velazquez.) A huge part of what’s so beautifully and positively human about the series emanates from the good-hearted Randy, who, in many ways lives to be loved, especially by Earl. It’s that personality that makes an episode like “South of the Border,” in which Randy feels wronged by Earl, and the hurt overwhelms him. In Suplee’s capable hands, a character that might otherwise be a cartoon, is fully realized and truly real, as “Larceny of a Kitty Cat” shows, in exploring how Randy reacts to heartbreak, with the help of “Strangers with Candy” star Amy Sedaris.Sedaris is one of many guest stars who are seamlessly integrated into Earl’s world, including Christian Slater, Roseanne Barr, Judy Greer, Jenny McCarthy, John Leguizamo, Kathy Kinney, Mike O’Malley, DJ Qualls, Dog the Bounty Hunter, Charles S. Dutton, Sean Astin and John Waters. Each one works great in the context of the series, especially returning guests like Beau Bridges (as Earl’s dad,) Giovanni Ribisi (Earl’s insane friend Ralph) and Tim Stack (portraying TV’s Tim Stack in a great meta joke) and repeated guest star Marlee Matlin, who’s fantastic as Joy’s deaf lawyer (along with her interpreter Jonathan Slavin.) But none of them were as fantastic or as inspired as the addition of Chubby, the owner of the local strip club, dry cleaner and rib restaurant. Considering Lee’s use of the phrase “Reynolds style” in films and Earl’s glorious ‘stache, getting Burt Reynolds to play the utterly mental Chubby was brilliant, as was his performance in “Jump for Joy,” the Catalina-centered episode that will make any hetero man a fan of “Jump Around.” But even better than that, was the appearance of Chubby’s son in “Two Balls, Two Strikes.” If Reynolds’ casting was inspired, there is no phrase to describe the choice of Norm MacDonald to play his son, considering MacDonald’s famously bad “SNL” impersonation.It’s this kind of decision-making that makes the series so original and fun, and its seen frequently throughout the season. “Buried Treasure” takes the old “Rashomon” concept and recasts it into a series of mini episodes of “Earl,” using the show’s style (and iconic opening) to great result, while “Our ‘Cops’ is On” takes the popular police show and brings it to Earl’s neighborhood. Though the concept is pretty consistent from episode to episode, there’s no such thing as your average installment of “Earl,” as each is a 20-minute masterpiece of comedy and creativity, starring one of the finest comedic casts working today.

By putting Earl behind bars for almost half the season, the series proved it was bigger than its concept, as the situation let him be the man he’s been for two seasons, while changing him organically, as he adapts to prison life. Admittedly, his time in jail isn’t too different for him, with the warden (a marvelously inept Craig T. Nelson) taking Karma’s place, as Earl helps him out in exchange for an early release. But the warden isn’t quite as generous as his cosmic benefactor, so life isn’t quite as rewarding, which pushes Earl back toward the dark side. Not to spoil anything, but Karma’s not a big fan of Bad Earl, and let’s him know so, quite forcibly.

Things aren’t all bad for Earl though, as his pals, including his dense brother Randy and Joy’s husband Crabman, help him out when he really needs it, which this season is for an extended period of time that sets up one of the show’s more unique conceits, as Earl finds himself in a fantasy sitcom world that’s genuinely amusing to enjoy. Earl also meets a special new lady in his life, when he falls for Billie (Alyssa Milano) the girlfriend of his prison pal Frank (Michael Rappaport.) Though we’ve seen Earl on the short end of the relationship stick, this new girl tests Earl’s patience, as well as what he believes he is all about. To say that Billie is a bit on the confusing side, is a massive understatement, as her mood swings and mindset change with the breeze. That said, we have rarely seen Earl under these conditions, it makes for some genuine comedy. The two-part season finale, which pits Billie against Earl’s list brings everything back to center.

One of the best parts about the show is the world in which these characters live, which has been enhanced by repeat guest stars and unique episode concepts. In addition to Nelson as the warden, new arrivals to Camden County include Vincent Pastore, Jane Lynch, Paris Hilton, Jon Hader, John Henson and Shawn Hatosy, some of whom fit in better than others.  Meanwhile, returning this season as guests are Giovanni Ribisi, Tim Stack, Beau Bridges and DJ Qualls, who help make Camden County feel real. Thus, when the show goes back to the well for a two-part “Cops” episode, this time titled “Our Other ‘Cops’ Is On,” it just makes sense that this town could be captured twice by the cameras of the popular police show, and feel no shame about it.Though the unique situations in this season make for some great episodes, the best would have to be “Creative Writing,” which finds Earl taking part in a creative writing class in prison. Though Earl struggles with the inspiration to write, it quickly spreads to his friends and family, which results in ridiculous fantasy scenes, including an animated sequence, Randy’s spy fantasy, a telenovela starring Catalina and, best of all, a smooth R&B jam from Crabman. It’s the show’s ability to bounce between the more realistic adventures of Earl and pals and sequences like these that makes it such a treat to watch a show on a regular basis, because you never know what you’re going to see next.

The season continues to see Earl visiting others he’s wronged from his past, including one episode that involves his own parents (“Monkeys Take a Bath”). In the episode, Earl and Randy decide they want to apologize to their sensitive childhood neighbor (played by David Paymer). While the two thought the neighbor moved because of their teasing, he actually moved because of an affair with Randy and Earl’s mom. When Joy finds out, she approaches Earl’s mom, first calling her a hypocrite, then wondering why they couldn’t have gotten along if they were both so similar. Of course, Joy gets a negative – and, not surprisingly, familiar – response.
Later in the season, “Nature’s Game Show” offers up another darkly amusing gag as a twister (and the show’s attempt at showing a twister coming through is about the most hilariously cheap portrayal of a twister I’ve seen in ages) passes by the town, resulting in a “commonly accepted rule” coming into play: the rule of “finders keepers”, as townsfolk scatter to pick up whatever they can from the items that have been blown around by the twister.However, one of the biggest highlights of the season comes in the second half, with “Darnell Outed”, a 2-parter that starts with Earl trying to help Joy get on the new reality show, “Estrada or Nada”, starring the former “C.H.I.P.S.” actor. Upon seeing the ad for the show, Earl proclaims to Randy, “We truly live in the golden age of television.” Shortly after, Earl introduces Joy’s audition tape for “Fear Factor”. While Pressley has offered up some very funny performances during the four seasons of this series, this is certainly one of the best, even offering up a few genuinely touching moments. The episode sees Joy getting humiliated, which also results in Darnell’s witness protection program cover being blown. The second half has Joy (who renames herself Goldie) and Darnell finding themselves in a new life in the ‘burbs. Upset that he couldn’t make Joy’s dream of being famous come true, he sets off to find her – by mailing himself and Randy to Joy’s new forwarding address. A few episodes later, Earl and Randy have to explain to Mr. Turtle (who has had a long journey) what happened.
My Name is Earl remains a great series and the series certainly goes out on a high note with this terrific fourth and final season – there’s not a bad episode in the bunch, and a few are particularly funny. It does end on a cliffhanger so be warned.