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Published May 09, 2017.

A Dog's Purpose

Genre: Family/Adventure
Starring: Josh Gad, Dennis Quaid, Peggy Lipton
Rating: PG
for thematic elements and peril.
Grade: B+
Reviewer: Kent Tentschert
Following a dog's life from birth to death and beyond, we begin as Bailey, a Red Retriever who becomes inseperable with his owner, Ethan (Bryce Gheisar/ K.J. Apa/Dennis Quaid). After his death, Bailey's soul finds its way into Ellie a German Shepherd who helps her widower owner find peace and happiness. Ellie's soul then finds its way to Tino a cute little Corgi who helps his owner, Maya (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) find true love. Lastly, after Tino death, this purposeful soul finds its way into Buddy, a St. Bernard/ Australian Shepherd mix. Here, Buddy eventually finds his way back to Ethan, his original owner where he finds his true purpose – a wonderful one at that.

This emotional movie is an homage to both "man's best friend" and the power of love. With a strong story of loss, adventure and playfullness, families will be laughing and crying together.

Bonus Features:

• Deleted Scenes: The deleted scenes in this bonus feature may not enhance the film itself, but what it does do is bolster the idea of the importance of an animal in ones life and that this has been true through the generations.

• Outtakes: This fun, playful feature shows the best of the animal actors as they act as goofy as their human counterparts.

• Lights, Camera, WOOF! - This is the best bonus feature of the bunch. Meet and get to know the stars of this film – the dogs. Find out what motivates them, as well as the secrets to making a film with actors who cannot speak!

• A Writer's Purpose: Talk with the screenwriters of this adorable film. Discover how this story came to be and why it was written.
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Published April 21, 2017.

Split

Genre: Thriller/Horror
Starring: James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Betty Buckley
Rating: PG-13
for disturbing thematic content and behavior, violence and some language.
Grade: B+
Reviewer: Kent Tentschert
The Plot:

When Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy) and two school mates are abducted, they find that their captor, Kevin (James McAvoy) exhibits multiple personalities – now diagnosed as DID (Disociative Identity Disorder).

As the girls attempt escape, Dennis, Patricia, Hedwig, crumb, Barry and other personalities surface to help, console, frighten and torment the girls.

When some of Kevin's personalities contact Psychiatrist Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley) asking for emergency appointments, Dr. Fletcher begins to suspect that a shunned personality may have surfaced to control Kevin – and then there is the personalities' warning of the arrival of the beast.

Kent’s Take:

Writer/ director M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, The Visit, The Village) has offered us a taut thriller that will keep audiences horrified and at the same time, fascinated.

Beginning fast and joylessly, Shyamalan spares no time ushering us into this dark cold mystery.

Always expect the unexpected with Shyamalan. Using violence as a covert ally, its sparse use is meted out in small meaningful packets. Instead of centering Kevin as the lynch pin of the mystery, he shares the "spotlight" with Casey whom we soon discover is as much an enigma as Kevin.

Deftly using flashbacks (for Casey) and visits to the good doctor (for Kevin) reveals insights into their concurrent stories as one moves toward salvation, the other – utter destruction.

What also sets Shyamalan apart from other thriller and horror writers is his component of thoughtful themes. In "Split" we learn that some who exhibit DID have shown remarkable differences among their personalities. Instances include a patient writing with each hand simultaneously, using different handwriting, and writing notes on two different topics. Dr. Fletcher poses the questions inquiring whether these patients have unlocked our brain's potential, and whether these patients are actually a more advanced human than we are.

As this thriller spirals in on itself creating a tight coil of tension and suspense, one becomes more entranced by James McAvoy's performance. His multiple personalities are each distinct – disturbing in their frailty, unnerving in their violence and thoroughly unforgettable. While the doe-eyed Anya Taylor-Joy splendidly keeps us guessing as to her motivations and fate.

This nail-biter shows that M. Night Shyamalan continues to hone his storytelling craft, offering us a beautifully disturbing thriller – including a striking cameo that can't be missed.

Blu-Ray Features:

Alternate Ending: Although this ending is worth displying, the ending that was used in the theatrical release is much better as loose ends are tied up . . . partially.

The Many Faces of James McAvoy:

This feature delves into the roles that James McAvoy created for "Split" although M. Night Shyamalan wrote the characters, McAvoy brought them to life on screen with distinctive nuances. The Physical and emotional pallettes used to dress these roles are further fleshed out in this interesting short.

The Filmmker's Eye M. Night Shyamalan:

Discover writer/director M. Night Shyamalan's methodology behind creating this unusually creepy film, his search for the perfect take and the comfort that he has found in his recent filmmaking as he tells personal stories through the camera lens.

Deleted Scenes:

These deleted scenes give insight into Shyamalan's process of filmmaking as well as the process of streamlining a film. The deleted scenes give insight into the story's theme of DID exceptionalism, however they really do not propel the film forward, leaving these scenes as monuments to good editing.

The Making of "Split:"

This feature gives overall insight into the creative process of filmmaking. Through interviews with cast and crew, "Split" manages to take on a life of its own – actually multiple lives.


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Published March 10, 2017.

Moana

Genre: Animation/Adventure/Comedy
Starring: Auli'i Cravaiho, Rachel House, Dwayne Johnson
Rating: PG
for peril, some scary images and brief thematic elements.
Grade: A-
Reviewer: Kent Tentschert
The Plot:

Moana (Voiced by Auli'i Cravaiho) is maturing into the village leader her father expects her to be, yet she longs for the ocean. When her grandmother (voiced by Rachel House) notices her restlessness, she directs Moana to her people's rich history of exploration.

When a black rot begins to limit their vegetable and fruit crops and the fish in their reef disappear, Moana decides to search out Maui (Dwayne Johnson) a demi-god who stole the heart of her people and loosed the blackness.

Finding Maui, Moana also begins to find her purpose.

Kent’s Take:

"Moana" is the next animated feature from directors John Musker and Ron Clements ("The Little Mermaid," "Aladdin," "Hercules," "Treasure Planet," "The Princess and the Frog"). Their seasoned skill and creativity, coupled with the Fiji, Samoa and Tahiti cultures, has produced a distinctive and gorgeous film.

Moana has always loved the ocean and the ocean has chosen her to resurrect her people's history of exploration, yet her father expects Moana to lead her people his way, not hers.

As she sets off to find the Demi-God Maui, the story, adventure and laughs truly begin.

In a strong year of animated features, "Moana" truly distinguishes itself as one of the front runners. The dazzling beauty of island life, coupled with eye-popping colors and outstanding digital textures alone is worth the ticket price.

Yet, add a playful story of a young woman coming of age as she struggles with a petulant demi-god (voiced perfectly by Dwayne Johnson), a dim-witted chicken and plenty of laughs and this strong feature becomes even better.

What is also impressive is the adroit weaving of Polynesian culture into such an enjoyable narrative, from the Samoan tattoos (that run around Maui's body) to the gorgeous environments that make up the tropical Pacific region.

The voice actors are well-cast and imbue the story with depth and obvious love for this subject.

"Moana" is an absolute treat for both the eyes and spirit as this toe-tapping, smile-inducing gem arrives on Blu-ray this week.

Blu-Ray 3D, Blu-Ray & Digital 3D/HD/SD:

• Theatrical Short Film: "Inner Workings" – With introduction by the filmmakers, is the story of the internal struggle between a man's pragmatic, logical side and his free-spirited, adventorous half. Created by a small team at Walt Disney Animation Studios in a unique, fast-paced style that blends CG and traditional hand-drawn animation, the short explores the importance of finding balance in daily life.

• Maui Mini Movie: "Gone Fishing" – When Maui decides it's time to take charge of the ocean, and catch his next meal, Moana must show him the error of his ways . . . with a little help from her friends!

• Voice of the Islands – An in-depth look at how Pacific Island people and cultures inspired the filmmakers to create the story of "Moana."

• Things You Didn't Know About:

- Meet the stars of "Moana" in this dynamic Q & A featuring Dwayne Johnson, newcomer Auli'i Cravaiho, and famed animation directors Ron and John.

- Meet the musical team behind "Moana" in this fascinating Q&A featuring Opetaia Foa'I, Marc Mancina and and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

• Island Fashion - Find out how costume designer Neysa Bove' took on the unique challenge of creating costumes using materials and techniques native to the islands of Oceana.

• They Know The Way: Making the Music of "Moana"– Musicians Opetaia Foa'I, Marc Mancina and Lin-Manuel Miranda take us on a personal journey through their involvement in the movie and how it changed their lives.

• Fishing For Easter Eggs – Dive deep into the ocean and fish for the Easter Eggs hidden by the animators at Walt Disney Animation Studios.

• The Elements of . . .– This series of four mini docs explores the technical achievments behinds some of the ground-breaking effects used in the film.

- Mini Maui - Meet "Mini Maui," tattoo sidekick. Animated by legendary hand-drawn animator Eric Goldberg, we explore how the 2D world collides with CG animation to bring the Demi-God's tattoos to life.

- Water - In the movie, the ocean is a character. This piece explores how the water is given a personality, along with the technical feats of creating a believable ocean landscape farther than the eye could see.

- Lava - Te Ka is a creature made of lava, smoke and fire. This piece dives into the challenges of making an animated creature of massive scale brought to fiery life by character, technical and effects animators.

- Hair - One of the greatest technical achievements of the film was the animation of the beautiful, curly hair on Moana and Maui. Take a look at the hair-raising detail that goes into animating each strand, adding performance to the movie that has never been seen before.

• Deleted Song "Warrior Face" - With introduction by songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda.

• Deleted Scenes - Ron and John introduce the following deleted scenes: Race the Wind/Ties That Bind; Discussing Moana's Future; Under the Sea; Grandmother's Warning/Legend of Maui; Education of Moana; Father, Daughter, Boat; and Canoe Race.

• Music Video: "How Far I'll Go" – Performed by Alessia Cara.

• :How Far I'll Go Around The World" – Multi-language reel of the song "How Far I'll Go."

• Audio Commentary – With Directors Ron and John.

DVD:

• Theatrical Short Film: "Inner Workings," Music Video: "How Far I'll Go" and Audio Commentary


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Published September 30, 2016.

The Jungle Book

Genre: Adventure/Drama/Fantasy
Starring: Neel Sethi, Idris Elba, Ben Kingsley, Bill Murray
Rating: PG
for some sequences of scary action and peril
Grade: A-
Reviewer: Kent Tentschert
The Plot:

Man-cub Mowgli (Neel Sethi) was raised by wolves after his father was killed in the jungle. Now, at 10 years old, Mowgli finds himself the prey of man-eater Shere Khan the Bengal Tiger (Idris Elba).

Vowing to return their friend and charge back to the man-village, panther Bagheera (Ben Kingsley) and bear Baloo (Bill Murray) go forth to set things right.

But fate has a strange way of delaying the inevitable – and lighting the proper path.

Kent’s Take:

Disney's original 1967 take on Rudyard Kipling's classic finds the playful Mowgli encountering hip companions and square antagonists who dance, distract and sing their way into animated bliss.

This modern update swaps out some of the playfulness with tense danger and outstanding special effects as well as bringing this feature from animated child's play to family live-action.

Director Jon Favreau beautifully balances this film. The talking animals are flawlessly rendered to capture their strength, grace and instinct while offering more human traits of compassion, love and friendship.

This tragic story unfolds among the dark menace of a jungle's wildlife as well as its breathtaking landscapes. The humor and innocence of Mowgli and his companions are balanced by Shere Khan's, King Louie's and Kaa's evil threats.

Disney even managed to work in memorable songs from their original, pairing old with new in a most agreeable way – and stay for the amazing storybook during the closing credits.

While the voice acting was excellent, Neel Sethi was a perfectly cast, expressive Mowgli who beckons audiences to both hug him and race through the jungle with him as he steals the film and our hearts.

"The Jungle Book" brings much more to the silver screen than simple "Bare Necessities" with its mesmerizing and memorable live action remake.

Bonus Features:

• "The Jungle Book" Reimagined - Favreau sits down with producer Brigham Taylor and visual effects supervisor Robert Legato to discuss "The Jungle Book" and reflect on the years they devoted to the reimagining of this timeless tale. Discover how Rudyard Kiplings original stories and classic animated film influenced their unique approach, witness the technical wizardry that enabled the team to create a believable and thrilling movie-going experience, and learn how they borrowed a page from Walt Disney's innovation playbook to make it all happen. Lastly, meet the all-star voice cast who help bring the film's colorful characters to life, as well as the mucisians who accent the adventure with a majestic music score.

• I Am Mowgli - Follow the extraordinary journey of 12-year-old Neel Sethi, who was selected from thousands of hopefuls worldwide to play Mowgli "alongside" some of today's biggest movie stars. Get a glimpse of Neel's life before Hollywood came calling, check out his audition that sealed the deal, and see how a close-working relationship with Favreau brought out his best. Plus, Neel shares how filming "The Jungle Book" was one wild ride, from working alongside imaginary animals to performing some super-fun stunts.

• King Louie's Temple: Layer by Layer - So, exactly how do you create a musical number featuring one man-cub, a massive legendary ape and an army of wild and wily monkees in the Seeonee Jungle? Viewers are granted rare and unique access to the development of the "I Wan'na Be Like You" sequence in which King Louie attempts to coerce Mowgli into giving up Man's deadly "red flower" (fire). A fast-moving musical progession reel showcases storyboards, animatics, Christopher Walken's recording session and visual effects layers, which ultimately merge to form one of the film's most memorable scenes.

• Audio Commentary - Favreau delivers his scene-by-scene perspective on the live-action adventure "The Jungle Book" with all the candor and humor you'd expect from this multi-talented actor-writer-director-producer.

DVD:

• King Louie's Temple: Layer by Layer - So, exactly how do you create a musical number featuring one man-cub, a massive legendary ape and an army of wild and wily monkees in the Seeonee Jungle? Viewers are granted rare and unique access to the development of the "I Wan'na Be Like You" sequence in which King Louie attempts to coerce Mowgli into giving up Man's deadly "red flower" (fire). A fast-moving musical progession reel showcases storyboards, animatics, Christopher Walken's recording session and visual effects layers, which ultimately merge to form one of the film's most memorable scenes.
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Published September 16, 2016.

Beauty and the Beast Signature Collection Edition

Genre: Animated/Romance/Family
Rating: G
for general audiences
Reviewer: Kent Tentschert
The Plot:

Belle a bright, beautiful young woman in a quaint French village, finds escape from her ordinary life and the unwanted advances of an unlikeable suitor, Gaston, by reading.

Meanwhile, in a distant castle, an enchantress turns a vicious prince into a tormented beast. In order for the prince to break the curse, he must find true love before the last petal falls from the enchanted rose.

When Belle's father is taken prisoner by the beast, Belle comes to rescue him and agrees to take his place. With the help of the castles enchanted staff, Belle begins to learn that the beast has a good heart and starts to melt his cool, uncaring exterior, but can she do it in time to save them both.

The first of two animated features ever to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture ("Up" being the second), it won two Academy Awards for music, three Golden Globes and two Grammy Awards, and is listed as #7 on the AFI's top 100 animated films.

Film Versions: Blu-Ray

• Original Theatrical version

• New Advanced sing-along version

• Extended version with "Human Again" song sequence

Film Versions: Digital HD

• Work-in-progress version

Bonus Material:

• Menken & Friends: 25 Years of Musical Inspiration - Get a front row seat for an intimate discussion between legendary music composers from classic and future Disney films, including Alan Menken , Stephen Schwartz, Kristen Anderson Lopez, Robert Lopez, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Discover how the composers are personally connected, how they first experienced "Beauty and the Beast" and how they find inspiration for their own films. And whatch as they pat tribute to the film's award=winning music score and the man who has inspired them all – Alan Menken.

• #1074: Walt, Fairy Tales & Beauty and the Beast – Long before "Beauty and the Beast" became the instant classic we know and love, Walt Disney made two attempts - between the 1930s and 1950s - to adapt the famous fairy tale into an animated film. Discover what Walt and his team was dreaming up through Walt's actual voice recordings, archived artwork, story notes, and learn why the project was sidelined for decades.

• Always Belle - The original voice of Belle, Paige O'Hara, reminisces about earning the role of the beautiful bookworm in "Beauty and the Beast" and recalls how the iconic character changed her life and continues to inspire fans both young and old.

• The Recording Sessions - Go in the recording booth with the cast of Beauty and the Beast and see what went into adding voices to the characters and the lines we know and love.

• 25 Fun Facts About Beauty and the Beast - Disney Channel's Gus Kamp and Kayla Maisonet host this entertaining countdown featuring little-known fun facts, anecdotes and hidden Easter Eggs (refernces to Disney animated films and characters) from one of the most cherished animated films of all time.

• "Beauty and the Beast" Sneak Peek - An exciting first look into the live-action re-telling of "Beauty and the Beast," which refashions the classic characters from the tale as old as time for a contemporary audience, staying true to the original music while updating the score with several new songs.

Digital HD:

• Classic Bonus Features - These offerings from prior home entertainment releases include over five hours of bonus material, such as an alternate version of "Be Our Guest" and the "Beauty and the Beast" music video performed by Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson, and deleted scenes.
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Published September 09, 2016.

Captain America: Civil War

Genre: Action/Adventure/Drama
Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Chadwick Boseman, Tom Holland
Rating: PG
Parental guidance suggested.
Reviewer: Kent Tentschert
Captain America: Civil War

Kent’s Grade: A-

Genre: Action/Adventure/Sci-fi

Rated: PG-13 for action violence and language.

The Plot:

After continued reckless behavior by the Avengers, the United Nations proposed that an international governing body oversee the Avengers.

Wracked with guilt after the death and destruction in Sokovia (Avengers: Age of Ultron), Tony Stark/ Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.) agrees whole-heartedly with the U.N.'s "Sokovia Accords" proposal. However, Steve Rogers/ Captain America (Chris Evans) disapproves of the Avengers being directed by a potentially fickle political entity.

When Bucky Barnes/ The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) resurfaces in a deadly encounter, his presence and actions polarize the Avengers, instigating an uncontrollable civil war.

Kent’s Take:

"Captain America: Civil War" is the thirteenth film in the growing stable of Marvel action adventures.

Bound by history, the Avengers have become old friends on the silver screen, just as they have with readers of the comics and graphic novels. Welding themes of compromise vs. standing your ground, friendship vs. conviction and friendship vs. ideals fuels this complex, yet fun story.

As audiences have witnessed Batman vs. Superman, we now experience how Captain America holds up in a fight against Iron Man as all the Avengers square off and pair off.

Deftly written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, this clever and artful gem uses conviction and love as levers to pry the Avengers to opposing sides as differing perspectives and philosophies ignite the passion and energy of this war.

This is not an action-heavy film, instead, it is a balanced adventure where exposition and action pick and pinch one another into a tornadic frenzy.

"Captain America: Civil War" is one of the best Marvel films to date, dressing an outstanding story with uncompromising action and depth, forcing viewers to choose sides in a war of attrition.

Bonus Material:

• United We Stand, Divided We Fall - The Making of Captain America: Civil War Part 1 & 2 - As the tension mounts, sides are chosen and lines drawn. Learn more about the characters on each side – from Captain America and Iron Man to the latest recruits. In this complete behind the scenes look at a landmark in the Marvel Saga, we'll examine their stories through exclusive footage and interviews and discover just what went into selecting the Super Hero teams, filming the epic action sequences and introducing Black Panther and Spider-Man to the MCU.

• Captain America: The Road to Civil War – Explore the First Avenger's fascinating evolution from loyal soldier to seasoned, conflicted hero who questions authority.

• Iron Man: The Road to Civil War – From Gulmira to Sokovia, delve into the development and evolution of one of the most iconic characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

• Gag Reel – Break the tension of this high-stakes conflict with some hilarious outtakes featuring the lighter side of your favorite Super Heroes.

• Deleted & Extended Scenes – Check out never-before-seen footage that didn't make the final cut of "Captain America: Civil War."

• Audio Commentary – Directors Anthony and Joe Russo and screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely deliver scene-by-scene insight and explain the storytelling challenges they faced creating the third installment of the Captain America franchise.

• Open Your Mind: Marvel's Doctor Strange - Exclusive Sneak Peek – Go behind and beyond the scenes as Doctor Strange makes his journey to the big screen.
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Published August 19, 2016.

The Jungle Book

Genre: Adventure/Dram/Fantasy
Starring: Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Scarlet Johansson, Idris Elba
Rating: PG
for some sequences of scary action and peril
Grade: A-
Reviewer: Kent Tentschert
The Plot:

Man-cub Mowgli (Neel Sethi) was raised by wolves after his father was killed in the jungle. Now, at 10 years old, Mowgli finds himself the prey of man-eater Shere Khan the Bengal Tiger (Idris Elba).

Vowing to return their friend and charge back to the man-village, panther Bagheera (Ben Kingsley) and bear Baloo (Bill Murray) go forth to set things right.

But fate has a strange way of delaying the inevitable – and lighting the proper path.

Kent’s Take:

Disney's original 1967 take on Rudyard Kipling's classic finds the playful Mowgli encountering hip companions and square antagonists who dance, distract and sing their way into animated bliss.

This modern update swaps out some of the playfulness with tense danger and outstanding special effects as well as bringing this feature from animated child's play to family live-action.

Director Jon Favreau beautifully balances this film. The talking animals are flawlessly rendered to capture their strength, grace and instinct while offering more human traits of compassion, love and friendship.

This tragic story unfolds among the dark menace of a jungle's wildlife as well as its breathtaking landscapes. The humor and innocence of Mowgli and his companions are balanced by Shere Khan's, King Louie's and Kaa's evil threats.

Disney even managed to work in memorable songs from their original, pairing old with new in a most agreeable way – and stay for the amazing storybook during the closing credits.

While the voice acting was excellent, Neel Sethi was a perfectly cast, expressive Mowgli who beckons audiences to both hug him and race through the jungle with him as he steals the film and our hearts.

"The Jungle Book" brings much more to the silver screen than simple "Bare Necessities" with its mesmerizing and memorable live action remake.

Bonus Features:

• "The Jungle Book" Reimagined - Favreau sits down with producer Brigham Taylor and visual effects supervisor Robert Legato to discuss "The Jungle Book" and reflect on the years they devoted to the reimagining of this timeless tale. Discover how Rudyard Kiplings original stories and classic animated film influenced their unique approach, witness the technical wizardry that enabled the team to create a believable and thrilling movie-going experience, and learn how they borrowed a page from Walt Disney's innovation playbook to make it all happen. Lastly, meet the all-star voice cast who help bring the film's colorful characters to life, as well as the mucisians who accent the adventure with a majestic music score.

• I Am Mowgli - Follow the extraordinary journey of 12-year-old Neel Sethi, who was selected from thousands of hopefuls worldwide to play Mowgli "alongside" some of today's biggest movie stars. Get a glimpse of Neel's life before Hollywood came calling, check out his audition that sealed the deal, and see how a close-working relationship with Favreau brought out his best. Plus, Neel shares how filming "The Jungle Book" was one wild ride, from working alongside imaginary animals to performing some super-fun stunts.

• King Louie's Temple: Layer by Layer - So, exactly how do you create a musical number featuring one man-cub, a massive legendary ape and an army of wild and wily monkees in the Seeonee Jungle? Viewers are granted rare and unique access to the development of the "I Wan'na Be Like You" sequence in which King Louie attempts to coerce Mowgli into giving up Man's deadly "red flower" (fire). A fast-moving musical progession reel showcases storyboards, animatics, Christopher Walken's recording session and visual effects layers, which ultimately merge to form one of the film's most memorable scenes.

• Audio Commentary - Favreau delivers his scene-by-scene perspective on the live-action adventure "The Jungle Book" with all the candor and humor you'd expect from this multi-talented actor-writer-director-producer.

DVD:

• King Louie's Temple: Layer by Layer - So, exactly how do you create a musical number featuring one man-cub, a massive legendary ape and an army of wild and wily monkees in the Seeonee Jungle? Viewers are granted rare and unique access to the development of the "I Wan'na Be Like You" sequence in which King Louie attempts to coerce Mowgli into giving up Man's deadly "red flower" (fire). A fast-moving musical progession reel showcases storyboards, animatics, Christopher Walken's recording session and visual effects layers, which ultimately merge to form one of the film's most memorable scenes.
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Published June 17, 2016.

Adventures in Babysitting

Genre: Comedy/Family
Starring: Sabrina Carpenter, Sofia Carson
Rating: TV-G
Reviewer: Kent Tentschert
The Plot:

When two competing babysitters Jenny (Sabrina Carpenter) and Lola (Sofia Carson) accidentally switch phones, their evening of babysitting goes awry, leaving Jenny to make things right. This cute film is an enjoyable adventure for the whle family.

• With exclusive Bloopers.
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Published June 03, 2016.

Zootopia

Genre: Animation/Action/Adventure/Comedy/Family
Starring: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman
Rating: PG
for some thematic elements, rude humor and action.
Grade: B
Reviewer: Kent Tentschert
The Plot:

Being the first bunny in her family to graduate from the police academy, Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) heads to the big city, Zootopia, to make a difference. Her parents try to remind her that compromise and complacency are admirable qualities and giving up on dreams is something at which their family is skilled.

Ignoring their pleading, Judy heads to Zootopia where the myth that everyone's dreams come true in Zootopia is shattered when she is given the job of metermaid.

Undeterred, Judy learns of the disappearance of 14 mammals within different districts. With the help of fox Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman), they begin to unravel what quickly becomes a conspiracy. But as Judy solves the case, she learns that the real investigation is about to start.

Kent’s Take:

"Zootopia" is an animated feature with anthropomorphic animals all living in harmony having gotten past their savage DNA.

Judy arrives in the big city full of enthusiasm and energy, planning on making a difference on day one. What she finds on that first day is the grim reality of life – a small dingy apartment, an entry level job, and she quickly gets conned by Nick Wilde.

This entertaining film is bright and beautifully animated with outstanding textures, with a well developed world and characters that are memorable and distinctive. The detail of the environment bolsters the believability of the world in which this mystery unfolds. The aged, dinged, cityscapes show a history and further deepens our emersion into this tale – a bunny tale, that is.

The overarching theme of bigotry and its miriad of pitfalls, is deftly weaved within the plot to quietly teach and thus keep the audience listening.

Where this film faulters is in its predictable narrative and simplicity. Instead of balancing the wit, humor and plot between adults and children, they skew this adorable film more towards younger viewers. This is not to say there is not enough for adults, it is simply a well worn story path that is fun to hop down with Judy, but will not be remembered nor discussed beyond the theater lobby.

Since "Zootopia" is so well developed and holds so much potential, let's hope a sequel is developed, for rebalancing the next story with more wit and a bit more complexity will bring in even additional fans of all ages, making these animals a sight worth seeing.

Blu-Ray 3D/Blu-Ray:

• Zoology: The Roundtables - Ginnifer Goodwin hosts an in-depth look at the movie's characters, animation, environments and more. The artists at Disney Animation give a rare and in-depth look at the complexities of bringing an all-animal world to life from the ground-breaking technology behind the characters' fur and clothing to the varied and vast environments of Tundratown, Sahara Square and the Rain Forest District as well as the deep thought and research given to bringing 64 unique animal species to life through animation.

• The Origin of An Animal Tale - Follow the story's development from its origins to a big story shift that turned the film upside down. In this documentary, filmmakers give a candid look into the difficulties of creating the story of Zootopia and the bold decision to switch the main character late in the production process, putting one resolute rabbit center stage.

• Research: A True-Life Adventure - The filmmakers traveled the globe to find inspiration for the diverse characters and amazing city of Zootopia. They reflect on the importance of research and how a deep dive into animal behavior at Disney Animal Kingdom theme park and a deep immersion into animal society on the African Savanna shaped and inspired the characters of Zootopia and changed the filmmakers' lives forever.

• Z.P.D. Forensic Files - Find the movies hidden Easter Eggs. Every city has its hidden gems, especially when it has been created by the filmmakers of Disney Animation who love nothing more than sprinkling hidden references to some of Disney's greatest animated features throughout the story.

• Scoretopia - Academy Award-Winning composer, Michael Giacchino spotlights five of cinema's greatest percussionists and how they brought an organic, animalistic sound to his powerful and emotional music score.

• Deleted Characters - Directors Byron Howard and Rich Moore introduce citizens of Zootopia who did not make the final cut.

• Deleted Scenes:

- Alternate Opening - Young Judy Hopps rescues a fellow classmate and realizes she can reach beyond a life in carrot farming to a future in law enforcement.

- Wild Times! Pitch - Nick desperately pitches the bankers of Zootopia on funding Wild Times!, an amusement park made exclusively for the predators of Zootopia and a sure-fire, money-making scheme for Nick and his friends.

- Alternate Homesick Hopps - After a frustrating first day on the force, Judy has a conversation with her parents. See how this scene changed from a heartfelt conversation with her parents to tough love when her parents discover their daughter is only a meter-maid and not a "real cop."

- Detective Work - Judy borrows a fellow police officer's computer to conduct research, which turns out to be no small task.

- Alternate Jumbo Pop - In this early version of the story where Nick was the main character, the filmmakers and Jason Bateman were able to take hustling to a new level.

- Hopps' Apartment - When Judy's entire family pays her a surprise visit they are shocked to discover the company she's keeping.

- The Taming Party - In this emotional clip from an early version of "Zootopia," Judy attends her first Taming party" and gains a deeper understanding of the plight of the predator.

• "Try Everything" Music Video by Shakira

DVD:

• Scoretopia - Academy Award-Winning composer, Michael Giacchino spotlights five of cinema's greatest percussionists and how they brought an organic, animalistic sound to his powerful and emotional music score.

• "Try Everything" Music Video by Shakira

Digital HD Exclusive:

• International Character Reel - See the variances in news reporters in Zootopia around the world!
Published May 20, 2016.

The Finest Hours

Genre: Action/Drama/History/Thriller
Starring: Chris Pine, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Holliday Grainger, John Ortiz
Rating: PG-13
for intense sequences of peril.
Reviewer: Kent Tentschert
The Plot:

On the day Bernie Webber (Chris Pine) was to ask permission from his commander to marry his sweetheart Miriam Pentinen (Holliday Grainger), the SS Pendleton is torn in half in a nor'easter.

Thinking her fiancee has been sent on a suicide mission, Miriam tries to dissuade Bernie's superior from sending him on the mission – to no avail.

Out on the water, Bernie must traverse unforgiving waves, shoals and power outtages to find and rescue a desperate crew on a sinking ship – maybe Miriam is correct.

Films based upon true stories usually interest me, add the fact that I'm a fan of "Dealiest Catch," which makes me an official "man of the sea" (although I'm a bad swimmer), and you've hooked me for this rollercoaster ride.

Most viewers will either fall in step with "The Finest Hours" with its simple theme of two separated lovers or the intense action of the rescue as Bernie struggles to reach and rescue the stranded crew.

Blu-ray Features:

• Against All Odds: The Bernie Webber Story - Visit the quaint and close-knit town of Chatham, and experience the events surrounding the most heroic Coast Guard rescue ever through the eyes of the people who witnessed them.

• Brotherhood - Cast members reflect on the bonds they forged during the shoot.

• Two Crews - Chris Pine and Casey Affleck share insights into Bernie Webber and Ray Sybert, men who led their respective crews against all odds.

• What is your finest hour? - A Coast Guard member recounts an incredible rescue.

• The Finest Inspiration: The U.S. Coast Guard - Meet the people who put their lives on the line for others.

• Deleted Scenes:

- A Desperate Idea

- The Story of How They Met

DVD:

• Brotherhood - Cast members reflect on the bonds they forged during the shoot.

• The Finest Inspiration: The U.S. Coast Guard - Meet the people who put their lives on the line for others.
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