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Steven Universe Season Two Arrives on DVD

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Steven Universe is one of those cult hit cartoon network animated shows that resonate with its viewers about love, friendship and being themselves. It does have a positive overall message about the show and comes from a place of compassion.

With many fans of the show, the DVD for season 2 is out at different stores such as Barnes and Noble and Walmart as well as online. This season also has the key feature of having a Garnet key chain within the set. The going price on this, at least online, is retailing for approximately $26.00 with tax. That is a good amount of money for a show, though with a lot of episodes, only has a run time that is just a little over four hours. Can we find a way to justify spending that kind of money on a TV show with not too long of an overall run time? Is quality outranking quantity? Let’s find out.

Most TV shows that even have 13 episodes of thirty minute run time have a longer run time. I know that they do cram a lot of plot and happenings in each episode and can milk out 12 minute episodes so quickly but, that is a very short overall season run time for that kind of money. I do appreciate the plot and story but that run-time feels more to be desired for over twenty dollars. Considering the first season had so many more episodes, season two didn’t have as many episodes.

Inside the DVD box, you get a Garnet key chain. That is a nice little thing to have. It’s very cushy and you see Garnet’s three eyes open staring blank at you. It’s a little nice trinket to throw into a DVD that seems to have been made decently. It looks like a mini pillow that goes on your keys. My question is what fan of the show will knowingly put this on their key chain and walk around with it in pride and have it being almost a distraction. If you do put a lot of stuff on your key chain with mini pops and other cushy items and trinkets, this will fit in with your collection. If you only have bare minimum key chain and are willing to spice it up, it will add some nice pink and some blue to the normality of your keys.

Besides the short run time and the bonus item in the DVD set, one thing people love about these sets are the special features. I love going through TV show special features and seeing some deleted scenes or behind the scenes or seeing some of the voice actors rehearsing some lines. This has something cool added on disc two of the DVD. They have Animatics. They have a selection of seven episodes from the season that has the storyboard, with some animated motions alongside the audio tracks. I think its cool seeing the sketching and how the fluidity comes from the storyboard to what seems to be the final product.

Watching it with the audio track is very similar to some old school comic book TV show like how Hannah Barbera did their animation or even better when Marvel made their 1966 Incredible Hulk cartoon. It was just a lot of stills with some basic motion. The Animatics are cool to see how it goes from sketch to the final product and is definitely fun. The one suggestion is maybe using other episodes from a different season than season two. I don’t know how many people would watch the final product of the episode and then go see the Animatics of the episode. I think it would be nice to throw some season two and then maybe some season 1 episode just to show something different that we didn’t just watch prior. Besides that nitpick, it is cool seeing the Animatics as the bonus feature.

So, overall, after listing the pros and cons of the DVD, would I recommend people to go out and purchase it? Well, overall, I’d say no. Over 26 dollars for a DVD doesn’t seem like a lot for a TV show, but, with the run time of only four hours, it does leave more for the audience member to get more bang for the buck. The key chain is nice and is cushy, but that doesn’t make much of a difference to me.

Finally, the Animatics are a lot of fun to see the process from storyboard animation to how you know how the final product will look, it is sadly been leaked on the internet and there are other ways of seeing them. As a whole, it is cool but its one of those features that people can live without and doesn’t really add much to the experience that is Steven Universe. The main problem with dropping the money is most people have some video streaming capabilities at home whether through Hulu or Amazon Prime. Steven Universe is on Hulu and episodes of Steven Universe are also on Amazon prime for purchase.

If you do not have Hulu or Amazon and are a big fan of the show, I cannot fault people for spending their money on what they want but I think with what is being presented in the DVD and the lack of wow from the free item and some special features, the money is too hefty and there are plenty of other movies and TV shows for a cheaper price that will get you just as much enjoyment and have some more bonus items and features on the discs. But, if you must have the season on disc, just wait until it goes down in price just to justify the expense to enjoyment factor.

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‘Abigail’: Bite Me Harder Tiny Dancer

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A gang of misfit kidnappers find their tiny target far more bloodthirsty than they bargained for! 

So, unfortunately, the trailers gave it away and let’s be real that’s why most of us are here, the knowledge that the kidnap victim Abigail (Alisha Weir), codenamed by the would-be kidnappers appropriately as ‘tiny dancer’, is in fact, a vampire. Not a spoiler, point of fact, one of the film’s actual great selling points. And the reactions from the misfit club when faced with a real actual f*cking vampire, range hilariously from the blunt “no such thing as vampires” all the way to, “Are we talking True Blood or Twilight rules or what?” all while covered in buckets and buckets of blood. 

Anyway, the gang manages to subdue and abscond with the aforementioned Abigail, in a pre-prepared duffle bag, like you do, and converge to a new location, a house oddly similar to the one she was just taken from. Welcomed and given codenames by a man who introduces himself as Lambert (Giancarlo Esposito), our misfit club is told to simply hold down the fort in this strange old house with the girl chained up in a room and one person to attend her, for twenty-four hours, and they’ll all get paid. 

As inevitable as the tides, the dopey druggie Dean (Angus Cloud) is the first to die, and we’re going to give that death-style points for inspiring terror right off the bat. The very controlling Frank (Dan Stevens, holy crap yes that is the guy from FXs Legion) is also of course the most suspicious – of everyone around him, sure, but also he himself is totes sus. We don’t learn terribly much about the musclebound tank who gets dubbed Peter (Kevin Durand), he’s your pretty typical little-brains-heart-of-gold muscle-for-hire any proper gang needs, right down to the bottle problem. Sammy (Kathryn Newton), well, even for being a purported hacker-type, she has, like, reality issues. Rickles (William Catlett), he’s arguably the most dangerous among them, ex-military and yet somehow here and involved in kidnapping for a few mills. Joey (Melissa Barrera) is our Final Girl, and though she has the inevitable problems in her recent past, she seems more capable of doing the hard thing and still somehow empathizing at the end of the day. Must be her burning desire to get back with her son. 

The fit hits the shan pretty quickly, and Abigail morphs from tiny dancer to tiny monster, though honestly, the way Abigail spoke the entire time in the film, if the ‘nappers had been paying close enough attention, would have been a solid clue. The performance from Alisha Weir as Abigail is incredible, as she literally dances a fine line between comedy, tragedy, and outright monstrosity. With a face full of makeup and the force of a tiny tornado to back it up, Weir brings to mind the great performances of the vampires in 30 Days of Night who saw the practicality in the need to trap their food, but also, play with it a bit first before feasting! Anything else would give away the absolute fun time that is Abigail, so you should go see it, out in theaters now!

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Scrubs Reunion: The Band Gets Back Together

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Fans of the beloved medical comedy series Scrubs were recently treated to a thrilling surprise when John C. McGinley, who portrayed the iconic Dr. Perry Cox, dropped a photo on Twitter hinting at a potential reunion project. The image, showing McGinley alongside his former co-stars, sparked a wave of excitement and speculation among fans who have been longing for more adventures with the beloved Sacred Heart Hospital staff.

While details about the reunion project are still scarce, the mere possibility of seeing the gang back together again has sent waves of nostalgia through fans who fondly remember the show’s original run from 2001 to 2010. Scrubs was not just a sitcom; it was a heartfelt exploration of friendship, love, and the chaotic world of medicine, all wrapped up in a quirky and often hilarious package.

At the heart of the show was the bromance between JD (played by Zach Braff) and Turk (played by Donald Faison), whose antics and deep bond served as the emotional anchor for the series. Their dynamic, along with the sage wisdom (and relentless sarcasm) of Dr. Cox, provided viewers with memorable moments that have stood the test of time.

As we eagerly await more news about the Scrubs reunion project, one thing is for sure: it’s time to dust off those old DVDs, rewatch our favorite episodes, and get ready to welcome back our favorite gang of doctors, nurses, and janitors for what promises to be a memorable reunion.

But Scrubs was more than just its main characters. The supporting cast, including the eccentric Janitor (played by Neil Flynn), the neurotic Elliot (played by Sarah Chalke), and the wise-cracking nurse Carla (played by Judy Reyes), each brought their own unique flavor to the show, creating a rich tapestry of characters that fans grew to love.

While the photo shared by McGinley has fueled speculation about what the reunion project might entail, whether it’s a one-off special, a new season, or something else entirely, one thing is certain: fans are eagerly awaiting any opportunity to dive back into the world of Sacred Heart Hospital.

In an age where reboots and revivals are commonplace, Scrubs stands out as a series that has the potential to recapture the magic that made it a fan favorite in the first place. With its blend of humor, heart, and unforgettable characters, a reunion project has the opportunity to not only satisfy longtime fans but also introduce a new generation to the joys of life at Sacred Heart.

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‘The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’: Rebellion with a cause

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The story of the rise of Coriolanus Snow, from teenage Capital City pawn to rising Dictator of the Hunger Games! 

Apparently no one out here in post-apocalyptic Panem has heard of irony and so they name their children things like Coriolanus (Tom Blyth), Tigress, and further off in Hunger Games lore, after swamp plants like Katniss. Corio’s father was a legendary general and that is pretty much the only reason young Snow and his meager family of grandmother called Grandma’am (Fionnula Flanagan) and sister Tigress (Hunter Schafer) are tolerated here in the Capital City at all. 

Most of the snotty youngsters at the academy won’t let Snow forget how far his family has fallen, but he’s generally not concerned with them. What is concerning is the strong disapproval of the drugged-up Dean Casca Highbottom (Peter Dinklage) and the creepy attention of Dr. Volumnia Gaul (Viola Davis) as she lurks in the classroom sniffing out talent. The Dean feels very strongly the annual Hunger Games should end, while Gaul is violently adamant that not only do the Games continue, but that they get as much more attention as possible. And young Snow is stuck in the middle, when the yearly prize money normally awarded to the academy student with the best grades gets switched out for, you guessed it, the student that can make this years’ Hunger Games as entertaining as possible. 

Whilst the students are protesting this sudden change, the annual Reaping is about to commence, and big shock and surprise, Corio’s candidate from District 12 Lucy Grey Baird (Rachel Zegler) is chosen as a Tribute. This is where the film begins to really take off on musical wings, for as it turns out, Lucy Grey can sing. Boy, can that gal sing! She can sing, she can play guitar, she can work a crowd, she can calm things down, she can fire ‘em up too! And Corio, being no dummy himself, instantly plots ways to use his Tributes amazing voice to draw attention to her, and admittedly his own, plight! 

Though far too many people sneer at the idea, Corio takes his position as Mentor to his Tribute seriously enough to sneak onto the tram taking the Tributes to their habitat, which turns out to be a completely appropriate moniker, as this year the Tributes are held before the Hunger Games in a large zoo habitat so the weatherman ‘Lucky’ Flickerman (Jason Schwartzman), host of this years games, can MC the hell out of everything up close and personal! 

What happens at this years Hunger Games and the subsequent consequences to both Corio and Lucy Grey is actually only half the story, and the movie. Coriolanus has always had to be opportunistic, but learning to be absolutely ruthless when necessary under the tutelage of Dr. Gaul, who basically thinks it’s always best to be merciless, is an eye-opening education indeed.  Even after they’ve both been consigned to military service and his friend Sejanus Plinth (Josh Andres Rivera) decides to finally rebel, Corio and Sejanus continue to deceive each other and themselves, to accomplish their separate goals. Not even the love Corio swears he feels for Lucy Grey can save him, or them, from the adamant absolute necessity of the Hunger Games continuing. And after all that’s happened, Coriolanus Snow has gotten a terrific education in the best way to be the absolutely ruthless next Hunger Games advocate, and oh yeah, President of Panem. 

The movie does itself no favors by trying to stuff not one but two major storylines and a bunch of side storylines sadly introduced and then ignored, into the film. It would have been entirely possible to turn Ballads of Songbirds and Snakes into two different movies, separated between feathers and scales if you like, and do justice to the major storylines in both. Blyth gives a fine  performance as a young Coriolanus Snow, but the fact that President Snow is played by Donald Sutherland in all three of the Hunger Games films means Blyth has incredibly large shoes to fill. Rachel Zegler as Lucy Grey is absolute fire, and yes the actress did sing the songs in the film herself, including the Hunger Games franchise epic song, ‘The Hanging Tree’. Every time Lucy Grey opens her mouth and sheer soul-searing music comes out, it provides a distinct counterpoint to the soul-crushing ambition of Coriolanus Snow and further demonstrates the District and Caste separation Hunger Games is known for. And if, by the end of the film, Coriolanus Snow has come to agree that the Hunger Games must continue but perhaps under his own auspices, he has no one but himself to blame when another younger but still rebellious female blows it all up in his face! 

Choose rebellion or conformity for yourself in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

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