Sunday, May 22, 2011

Disney's Thats So Raven

So normally I won't due two posts on the same night but I got super excited when I saw that this was on Netflix Instant Watch and just had to share it with you all!

Back before Disney Channel unleashed Hannah Montanna onto the world, and before its stars were running off to rehab, Disney Channel actually had good shows, That's So Raven being among the best!

That's So Raven is about teen psychic Raven Baxter (Raven-Symone) but just because she can see into the future, that doesnt stop her from having your normal teenage girl problems such as finding a date for the dance, learning to drive, or just surviving high school.  Raven however is very good at getting herself into some weird situations which always lead her to dressing in disguise, which she makes herself as she wants a career in fashion design someday.  What usually gets her into these weird situations is the fact that her visions of the future are never fully clear.  She typically only sees a small moment in time and typically interprets it very wrong or one of her friends, Eddy (Orlando Brown) or Chelsea (Anneliese van der Pol), is some how involved in the vision and beg Raven to help them stop it or beg her to make it come true, and hilarity ensues.  

What also doesn't help her is her wacky family, her dad Victor (Rondell Sheridan) a chef trying to start his own restaurant, her mom Tanya (T'Keyah Crystal Keymah), a "Jackie" of all trades who is always trying to find out what she wants to do with her life, and her brother Cory (Kyle Massey) who wants to retire as a multi-millionaire by the age of 18.

Now sometimes for a plethora of reasons, a show has to write a character off. Maybe the actor quits, dies, or just doesn't want to be on a show like this.  Usually the character is a friend, a neighbor, or a sibling or child of the family.  Well none of those are the case for this show. Randomly in the later seasons, Tanya was A.W.A.L. Now at first you can simply say "Oh she has to go take care of her sick mother...aunt.....etc" well after 2 seasons of that it just becomes weird.  It became even more awkwerd when Cory and Victor got their own spin off and moved to DC from San Fransisco for Victor to work for the President (Cory in the House.....avoid this show like the plague, doesn't even come close to standing up to its original...but that is a different review for a different time.)   

All for Seasons of That's So Raven are available now on Instant Watch

Netflix Average rating: 3.8 stars

IW Rating: 4 stars

Easy A

Reputation is everything, at least in high school.  Loosely bases on The Scarlet Letter, Easy A follows the story of Olive (Emma Stone), who tried to be unknown at her high school.  That all changes with one Rumor. We see what happens when Olive helps out her in the closet gay friend, Brandon, (no the character is not based on me so don't ask)  stay in the closet by pretending to have sex with him at a party.  He tells his friends what Olive did for him and soon Olive is getting offers to "help out" other guys.  At first, she isn't too thrilled be be throught of as a slut but quickly takes to this new label and plays the part of the school whore, even sewing a big red letter A on her shirts just like Hester Puriet.  Her english teacher (Thomas Haden Church) starts to notice something is wrong and thinks that Olive might be getting a little to into their current reading assignment.  He suggests that she go talk to the school therapist ( Lisa Kudrow), who is also his wife.  What would a movie like this be without the sort of hot girl who is super religous and very judgmental, don't worry, the have that covered.  Marianne (Amanda Bynes), spends most of the movie trying to "save" Olive from what she thinks she has been doing. 

Over all this is a really decent movie.  Emma Stones performance is what makes this movie.  She has great comedic timing and seems to hold her own with people Kudrow who have been in the business for a while.  It is no wonder that she will be in a couple of movies this summer. 

This is diffidently a movie you want to watch ASAP!

Average Netflix Rating: 3.9 stars
Instant Watchers Rating: 4 stars

Easy A is rated PG-13 for Mature thematic elements involving teen sexuality, language and some drug materia.  92 minutes.

On Netflix as part of Starz play presented by Starz Channel 

Monday, May 16, 2011

American Dad

My first review is of Fox's American Dad.  From Seth McFarland, creator of Family Guy, this hilarious show follows Stan Smith, a CIA agent and his "all American" family including His wife Francine, who was adopted and raised by an Asian couple, he oldest daughter Haley, who is as far left as you could possibly be, and Steve, your average horny nerd.  What would a Seth McFarland production be without a wise cracking talking animal? No worries, American Dad has that covered, with Claus and Reginald. Claus was a German spy who was captured by the CIA and then had his brain put into a gold fish.  Reginald was a homeless man who answered an ad in the newspaper for a free meal and was tricked into getting his brain put into a Kola.  Finally, what has to be one the best characters in adult humor animation history, Roger the Alien.  Roger was the Roswell Alien and has been on either for "50 something years."  He has adapted very well to earth life, possibly a little too well.  After getting help from Stan to escape from the CIA, he has been living in the smith's attic for some time, but sarcastic bastard like Roger can't be kept locked up like that for long, so in one of his many disguise where he could be the Smith's cousin, a psychotherapist, or a number of other things.

What also helps to make this show hilarious, like Family Guy, is the secondary characters, most of which live in the Smith's Neighborhood or work with Stan.  What has to be my favorite set of secondary characters has to be Greg and Terry. They are the local news anchors and also a gay couple. What makes them funny is that they are not just a gay stereotype but like to make fun them.   In one episode the two are walking down the street holding hands, they make a comment about what just happened with the Smith's and then Greg goes "Wait, why are we always holding hands?" Terry says "Because how else would people know that we are gay?" "Oh right" and then they walk off. 

This show is the best of the three McFarland shows on Fox right now. 

Netflix Average Rating: 3.9 of 5 Stars

IW Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

The first six volumes of American Dad are available on Netflix Instant Watch and for Disc Rental.