Princess Protection Program - Buy from Amazon
The movie stars Selena Gomez (Wizards of Waverly Place
) and Demi Lovato (Camp Rock
). The latter plays Princess
Rosalinda Marie Montoya Fiore, who is about to become the queen of Costa Luna. However, General Magnus Kane of neighboring Costa Estrella decides that since she is too young to be a leader, the two countries should united under one rule. His rule of course. That's where Major Mason comes in. He's an agent
of the Princess Protection Program, which jumps into action whenever royalty
is threatened. (Or if the name is accurate, only with female royalty is threatened. Princes have to deal with danger on their own, I guess.) He whisks her away, but her mother is captured. Now Rosalinda must live as a regular teenager named Rosie in order to avoid detection, much to the horror of Major Mason's daughter, Carter (played by Selena Gomez). Can Rosalinda fit in with the common teenager? Will Carter and Rosie get along? Will Carter get the guy of her dreams? Will Rosie clash with the snobs at school? Will her secret be exposed? Will she ever return home and take her place on the royal thrown?
If you've seen many Disney TV movies, you can answer all of these questions, and more. Okay, originality is not this film's strong suit, then again, this is true of nearly every Disney TV movie made, so condemning it on that point seems a little harsh. I do think stars Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato have good chemistry together, and that adds a lot to the overall value of the movie. Also of note, Demi Lovato's acting in this movie is a step above her performance in Camp Rock, which I reviewed previously. Then again, here she is acting along side Selena Gomez, who has a lot more screen presence than whichever Jonas Brother was playing the male lead in that movie. (Quite frankly, I don't which Jonas brother is which, nor do I care to learn.) Overall, this isn't the best Disney TV movie I've seen, but it is probably in the top third. (Better than Camp Rock, but not as good as Cadet Kell, for instance.) If you are a fan of either of the two leads or of the genre in general, it is worth checking out.
But if you saw it when it debuted on TV on Friday, is it worth buying? That's where the extras come in. There are four main selling points. Firstly, there's the extended ending, which is basically a huge setup for a sequel, and there will be a sequel, as the movie was watched by 8.5 million people, making it the third highest rated Disney TV movie ever. (Only Camp Rock and High School Musical 2 beat it.) Secondly, there's a seven-and-a-half minute long behind-the-scenes featurette called Royal and Loyal BFFs, which highlights the chemistry between Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato. A Royal Reality talks to a real-life princess, and more of the cast and crew. Finally, there's a music video for "One and the Same", which is a duet by Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato. It's actually better than I was expecting. Certainly better than most Disney stars who are given a chance to sing. Then again, far too many Disney stars are given a chance to sing.
While I'm not part of the target audience ('Tween girls) I'm quite confident in saying that Princess Protection Program should please those who are. If you saw it on TV and liked it, the DVD has enough extras for this type of release that it is worth picking up. If you missed it, give it a rental.
Sea Beast - Buy from Amazon
I think this is coming out this week because Parker Lewis Can't Lose - Season One is coming out on DVD as well. (Corin Nemec stars in both, if you didn't catch the connection.) Also starring in this movie is Miriam McDonald of Degrassi, which is the only reason I'm mentioning the film. To be fair, the film is earning better reviews than many made for Sci-Fi Channel movies, but the cover art screams Jaws rip-off, which will keep most people away. Unless they are into bad Jaws rip-off, in which case this is a better choice than most.
Secret Diary of a Call Girl - Season 2 - Buy from Amazon
I liked the first season, but the screener for season two has not yet arrived, so I can't compare the two. Hopefully if will arrive soon, and hopefully it will be worth the wait.
Stargate - Atlantis - Season Five - Buy from Amazon
On the one hand, it sucks that this show is ending. On the other hand, at least it didn't last beyond its 'Best before date'. Also, while the show is ending, the franchise is not. If you have been collecting the series up to this point, there's no point in stopping now. If not, wait a few months till the complete series comes out before jumping in. Hopefully that collection will be worth the price.
Street Fighter - The Legend of Chun-Li - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
I may or may not be receiving a copy of this movie to review. If I do, I would rather wait till it arrives to do a full spotlight review. But in case I don't... Street Fighter - The Legend of Chun-Li earned some of the worst reviews of the year and managed to be one of the biggest bombs as well. It performed even worse than the original, which very few people were expecting. Extras on the DVD include an audio commentary track, deleted scenes, making of featurette, and an animated comic book, which is much better than expected. The Blu-ray has all of these, plus a digital copy of the movie. I don't know if that's enough to be worth the upgrade. Then again, I would only recommend renting, and that's only if you enjoy 'so bad they are good' type movies.
They Call Me Bruce - Buy from Amazon
A cult classic martial arts comedy from the early 1980s that most people today have probably never heard of. (Although its box office numbers are stronger than I would have expected.) It's a B-movie, but it is worth checking out for fans of martial arts comedies.
Tokyo! - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Three directors create three stories set in the titular city. Reviews were strong, but not strong enough to thrive in limited release. Extras on both the DVD and the Blu-ray are comprised of extensive interviews / behind-the-scenes footage, while the movie is the same price on Amazon, regardless of format. Worth picking up, and the Blu-ray is obviously the better deal.
Trailer Park Boys - The Complete Series - Buy from Amazon
All seven seasons of this award-winning Canadian TV series presented on a 13-disc DVD with cool packaging. I don't think it includes the movie, but everything else is here and it is worth picking up if you don't have the series yet.
Tunnel Rats - Buy from Amazon
An Uwe Boll movie that isn't an adaptation of a video game. Even more surprising, reports are it doesn't completely suck. In fact, some are calling it the best Uwe Boll movie ever, and they don't mean that as an insult. Overall there are some positive reviews to go with the negative ones, but for those few willing to give the man one more chance, this isn't a bad place to start.
Two Lovers - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
This movie will likely be remember as the movie Joaquin Phoenix was promoting when he snapped. I still don't know if his behavior was part of an elaborate publicity scheme, or genuine craziness. Or perhaps it is something in-between. As for the movie itself, it did earn excellent reviews and just over $3 million at the box office, which is strong for a limited release coming out in February. Extras include an audio commentary track, deleted scenes, and two making of featurettes. That's also strong for a limited release, and it is worth picking up over just renting. Unfortunately, at 40% more and with no additional extras, I can't recommend the Blu-ray, unless you have abandoned the DVD format.
White Sox Memories - The Greatest Momements In Chicago White Sox History - Buy from Amazon
The team has been around in one form or another for roughly 115 years, yet their 'Best of...' release is only 110 minutes long. This should leave fans wondering how much they had to cut out to keep it under two hours. Or for those haters out there... How did they manage to pad it out to nearly two hours? I vastly prefer full games to highlight reels like this, but for a franchise that lasted this long, this is only possible for limited scope releases. For instance, championship season DVDs.
Date posted: 2009-06-29