Wednesday, September 23, 2015


by Al Kessel

Ok, I'll admit...I did NOT want to see this movie. I mean, sure, Cinderella IS a Disney CLASSIC, and, as a kid, I (think) I enjoyed the animated version. But, a live action version? Well...I was never really a fan of the story so much, so nah. Joyce wanted to see this at the movies, but we never made it. And yeah, I was a little relieved. So, when we received the Blu-Ray version to review, to say I was hesitant to watch it with Joyce would be an understatement. But...I. Was. Wrong. I completely LOVED this movie!!

For those who don't know the story of Cinderella, I'll quickly summarize it here for you (but remember, NO SPOILERS! We try to NEVER spoil these things. We want you to experience them for yourself). Ella (played perfectly by Lily James), is born to very loving parents and they live in a beautiful (and LARGE) house in the countryside, and they have an idyllic life. Until Ella's mother falls ill and (gulp) dies. As the years go by, Ella's father becomes lonely and a bit down, and, through his business travels, he meets who will become Ella's Stepmother (played BRILLIANTLY by Cate Blanchett). After she and Ella's father marry, they all move in to Ella's family home, even StepMonster's two 'lovely' daughters...And that's all I'm telling you! Hey, this isn't a book report you know! 

Anyway, the cast put together for Disney Cinderella is
amazing. Lilly James (Downton Abbey) plays Ella, Richard Madden (Game Of Thrones' Richard Madden - Rob Stark) plays The Prince,  Helena Bonham Carter (The Red Queen from Disney's Alice In Wonderland) wonderfully plays Ella's Fairy Godmother, Cate Blanchett (Lord Of The Rings) plays the Stepmother, Hayley Atwell (Marvel's Agent Carter) plays Ella's mother, Ben Chaplin (The Truth about Cats and Dogs) plays Ella's father, and Stellan Skarsgard (Marvel's Avengers and Pirates Of The Caribbean) plays the Grand Duke. Of course, there are many more in the cast. They all embrace their roles and bring them to life in a way that really endears them to you. And the BEST thing: This is NOT a musical! Not that I have anything against musicals....ok, that's not true. I'm not a huge fan of them. 
Finally, let me just say that I am 100% elated that we watched Disney Cinderella because it really is a beautiful movie. The cinematography, the musical score, even the CG effects and characters. Nothing less would be expected from a Disney movie though. 
Disney Cinderella is chock full of bonus features:
  • On The HD/SD, Blu-Ray Combo Pack & Disney Movies Anywhere:
    • A Fairy Tale Comes To Life - filmmakers and cast reflect on Cinderella's enduring power, and the joys and challenges of bringing this iconic tale to life
    • Costume Test Fun - see the work of Academy Award Winning costume designer Sandy Powell
    • Staging The Ball - you're invited behind the scenes for the making of the Palace Ball sequence
    • Ella's Furry Friends - Discover how the movie's animal stars honed their memorable performances
    • Alternate Opening: Ella's Childhood
    • Frozen Fever - it's Anna's birthday and Elsa and Kristoff are determined to give her the best celebration ever - but when Elsa catches a cold, her powers may put more than just the party at risk in this Disney Short
  • DMA Exclusive: 
    • Deleted Scenes
  • DVD
    • Ella's Furry Friends
    • Frozen Fever
Rated PG and running at approximately 105 minutes, Disney Cinderella is now available. 

Joyce and I both give Disney Cinderella 5 out of 5 Stars!

Download Cinderella Host A Royal Ball

Monday, September 21, 2015

Lego Star Wars: The New Yoda Chronicles

by Al Kessel

A Long Time Ago...

How COOL?! Legos AND Star Wars? This four episode DVD chronicles the events surrounding the original trilogy of Star Wars movies, and starts with how Yoda, Obi Wan and their band of 'warriors' rescue the HOLOCRONS, the sacred crystals needed to complete Luke Skywalker's Jedi training. Years later, at the direction of Jedi Master Yoda, Luke searches Tatooine for the mystical crystals. But of course, where there's good guys, can the bad guys be far behind? NOPE, cuz the mean old nasty Darth Vader wants those crystals for himself! Through the four 22 minute episodes, Luke and company search for the crystals while battling Darth and his group of nefarious characters. (Of course, I'm not going to spoil anything here, so, get the DVD and find out for yourself who wins! Hint: the good guys always win. Right?)

Although created for kids, with LOTS of corny type gags and jokes, fans of the Star Wars franchise, and fans of the Lego Star Wars franchise, will love this, corn and all. They take pokes at the original Star Wars trilogy, the second trilogy, and even other movies like Spaceballs, Terminator and Taken! 

Originally broadcast on Disney XD in 2014, Lego Star Wars: The New Yoda Chronicles takes up where the Lego Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles left off, and brings us up to speed with the entire Star Wars Universe - well, from the Lego perspective anyway!

Of course, the only original voice cast member that shows up for this from the Star Wars Universe is Anthony Daniels as C3PO, but the rest of the voice cast does an awesome job of making you believe that Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine have been transformed into Legos! Lego Star Wars: The New Yoda Chronicles is chock full of familiar sights and sounds that make the Star Wars Universe come to life once again, and gives kids (and adults!) something to laugh at, while providing long time adult fans of the franchise with some great stories that help fill in some 'gaps'. The animation is very well done, and there's just enough campiness to make these episodes worth watching again and again. 

1 - Escape From The Jedi Temple
2 - Race For The Holocrons
3 - Raid On Coruscant
4 - Clash Of The Skywalkers

And, there is a special bonus feature on this DVD: Clash Of The Skywalkers has an alternate ending!

With a total run time of about 88 minutes and rated TV-Y7, Lego Star Wars: The New Yoda Chronicles is a must have for kids and adults who love Star Wars or Legos! OR, just plain good fun. Available now everywhere. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey's Monster Musical

by Joyce Kessel

The Director of Return to Never Land, Donovan Cook and Executive Producer of Jake and the Never Land Pirates, Rob LuDuca, brings another fun Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Adventure.  The DVD, released on September 8, 2015, will surely get the little ones excited for Halloween.  The DVD includes an exclusive Mini tote trick-or-treat bag.

Mickey needs help solving a spooktacular mystery!!  Can you help him out?

Put on your favorite Halloween costume and get set for a spooktacular full-length adventure. Visit the creaky castle of kindly “Count Mickula” and help your Clubhouse pals solve a puzzling riddle: Who, or what, is making a curious clanging, banging noise? With the right Monster Mouseketools and help from YOU, this mystery will soon be history! Then, enjoy two more exciting episodes as you search for pirate treasure with Captain Mickey and don your dungarees for delightful fun down on the farm. Packed with singing, dancing, laughter and surprises, Mickey’s Monster Musical is a high-spirited treat that can’t be beat.

Joyce's Thoughts:
Mickey’s Pirate Adventure was my favorite episode and I liked joining Mickey and friends on the beach for a day of adventures.  How amazing would it be to catch some waves with Mickey, even if you wipeout!!!  One of my favorite scenes was the duo with Goofy and his Grandpappy.  Will they be able to tune the island?  You have to watch to find the answer.  

My least favorite episode was the Monster Musical.  I can’t really pinpoint what I didn’t like about the episode, but I am sure that it will be a favorite of many.

Voice Cast:  Bret Iwan as Mickey; Russi Taylor as Minnie Mouse; Bill Farmer as Goofy and Pluto; Tony Anselmo as Donald Duck; and Tress MacNeilleas Daisy Duck.

The DVD has a running time of 115 minutes and includes the following episodes:
Mickey’s Monster Musical 
Mickey’s Pirate Adventure
Mickey’s Farm Fun Fair
Bonus: Minnie’s Bow-Toons: Tricky Treats

Thursday, September 10, 2015

"I Had Strings, But Now I'm Free....THERE ARE NO STRINGS ON ME!!"

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON is now available on Amazon Video and Microsoft Movies & TV Access and Apps as Disney Movies Anywhere significantly increases digital footprint!
This means, more ways to Marvel (get it??) at the newest Avengers Adventure!!

You can now watch MARVEL’S AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON wherever you go with Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA) as it expands this week into Amazon Video and Microsoft Movies & TV, with Roku and Android TV following on September 15th! Plus, when you buy Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron through DMA, you can take a deeper dive into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the exclusive bonus feature “Connecting the Universe.”

The latest ULTRA exciting Avengers movie is soon to be released for home enjoyment! Disney Movies Anywhere now offers consumers even greater access to their digital collections of Disney*Pixar, Marvel and STAR WARS movies at home and on the go with the addition today of two retail partners: Amazon Video and Microsoft Moves & TV to it robust digital footprint. DMA is also available via iTunes, Google Play, and Walmart's VUDU, and adds more devices next week as Roku and Android TV come on aboard! YAH!!

For more information visit or download the app at 

Hey gang, check out this awesome exclusive clip from 'Connecting the Universe', and exclusive feature that explores the EPIC network of intertwining story lines in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, highlighting the intricate links between the worlds of the MCU characters and their comic history: