Shout! Factory To Begin Releasing The Nanny’s Standalone Season Sets Next Month

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/CBS

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/CBS

Late this spring Shout! Factory ended a long wait for fans of CBS’ modern classic sitcom The Nanny when it released the series in its entirety in the form of The Nanny: The Complete Series. For fans that might not have been lucky enough to get their hands on that set, Shout! Factory has announced that it will begin releasing the series’ standalone season sets next month beginning with the series’ fourth season.

Shout! Factory will release The Nanny: Season Four on Tuesday, September 22nd. The twenty-six-episode run includes plenty of laughs and just as many big-name guest stars including: Bette Midler, Donald Trump, Pamela Anderson, Celine Dion, Jon Stewart, Jason Alexander, and Joan Collins among many others. One of those guest stars–Jason Alexander (Seinfeld)–appears in the season premiere “The Tart With A Heart.” Alexander plays a blind man named Jack in this episode. Fran picks up Jack at a singles bar after tensions rise between herself, Mawell, and C.C. The tensions in question rise from the revelation that Maxwell in fact hired Fran only for her looks. Of course things don’t go quite as Fran planned with Jack in the long run leading to an interesting outcome between Fran and Maxwell. There’s an equally classic story line later in the season in “Kissing Cousins” in which guest star Jon Stewart (The Daily Show) plays Frans cousin. The catch is that Fran doesn’t realize that Stewart’s character is in fact her cousin. This leads to plenty of laughs thanks to a battle of the sexes of sorts between Fran and Maxwell. In “You Bette Your Life” famed singer/actress Bette Midler appears as herself when Maxwell decides to assemble a charity auction. The auction leads to Fran becoming the babysitter for a talented young 10-year old piano player. Things don’t exactly go as planned for Fran and Maxwell in this episode as the sight of an elderly person dying while he performed at a nursing home puts a multi-million dollar deal from the boy’s father in jeopardy. There are plenty more laughs for fans throughout the season’s twenty-six total episodes. And audiences will get to enjoy them for themselves when The Nanny: Season Four is released next month.  Season Four’s complete episode listing is noted below.

Episodes

EPISODE EPISODE TITLE
1 The Nanny: The Tart With Heart
2 The Nanny: The Cradle Robbers
3 The Nanny: The Bird’s Nest
4 The Nanny: The Rosie Show
5 The Nanny: Freida Needa Man
6 The Nanny: Me And Mrs. Joan
7 The Nanny: The Taxman Cometh
8 The Nanny: An Affair To Dismember
9 The Nanny: Tattoo
10 The Nanny: The Car Show
11 The Nanny: Hurricane Fran
12 The Nanny: Danny’s Dead And Who’s Got The Will?
13 The Nanny: Kissing Cousins
14 The Nanny: The Fifth Wheel
15 The Nanny: The Nose Knows
16 The Nanny: The Bank Robbery
17 The Nanny: Samson, He Denied Her
18 The Nanny: The Facts Of Lice
19 The Nanny: Fran’s Roots
20 The Nanny: The Nanny And The Hunk Producer
21 The Nanny: The Passed-Over Story
22 The Nanny: No Muse Is Good Muse
23 The Nanny: You Bette Your Life
24 The Nanny: The Heather Biblow Story
25 The Nanny: The Boca Story
26 The Nanny: Fran’s Gotta Have It

The Nanny: Season Four will be released in stores and online on Tuesday, September 22nd. It will retail for MSRP of $34.99. It can be pre-ordered online now at a discounted price of $29.99 via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/tv/comedy/the-nanny-season-four. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

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New Shout! Factory DVD One Of The Best Takes On Robinson’s Life, Legacy

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Audiences are going to be treated to yet another new big screen biopic next week in the form of the new movie, 42.  The film centers on baseball legend Jackie Robinson.  42 won’t be the first release that centers on the famed baseball star.  The Jackie Robinson Story (1950) first told the player’s…well…story with Robinson himself telling his life story.  So needless to say, more than likely this latest biopic will likely over embellish Robinson’s life story at more than one point.  So before audiences go to see that movie, they would do well to check out Shout! Factory’s new DVD release, Jackie Robinson: My Story.

Jackie Robinson: My Story is just that.  It isn’t a documentary so to speak.  It is the story of Robinson’s life as told by actor Stephen Hill.  While the presentation is obviously aimed largely at younger audiences, it is just as entertaining for adults, too.  Hill plays the role of Robinson throughout the roughly ninety-five minute feature.  It’s a bare bones, no nonsense presentation that is easily accessible and just as easy to understand.  The presentation also includes footage of Robinson’s career both on the field and off.  That inclusion will help to both inform and entertain viewers.  The only real downside to the entire product is that it doesn’t offer the option of selecting individual chapters.  If a viewer stops at one point in the feature, one can only hope that the DVD starts back at that point.  Otherwise, said viewer will have to skip through the chapters and then fast forward or rewind to get to the point at which said individual stopped previously.  Luckily, it is the feature’s only negative.  Also included in this single disc story is a history lesson on both Robinson and his teammates and their role in societal changes from the ballpark.  When weighing all of these factors in with the fact that a new baseball season has just started and new biopic on Robinson is set to debut next week, Jackie Robinson: My Story becomes that much more of an enjoyable piece both for kids and adults alike.

The first thing that viewers will notice about Jackie Robinson: My Story is its simplicity.  It’s not some overblown drama or even overblown dramatic documentary.  It’s a simple story about a great man.  Presented here is actor Stephen Hill playing the role of Robinson in a simple setting.  The setting is meant to be the locker room of the then Brooklyn Dodgers.  Hanging behind Robinson…er…Hill are the uniforms of some of Robinson’s fellow legendary teammates.  Hill tells the entire story of Robinson’s life entirely from that simple setting.  Because of the set’s simplicity, there is nothing to distract viewers as they listen to Robinson’s incredible and at times painful life story.  And while there are loads of names and dates thrown out there, that lack of distraction help viewers to remember some of them, including: Pee Wee Reese, Satchel Paige, and Roy Campanella among others. 

The inclusion of Reese, Paige, and Campanella was important in that it was Reese that first took Robinson under his wing and helped make the push for Robinson to be able to play as a member of the Dodgers.  Hill proceeds from here to explain that despite the popular belief, Satchel Paige, Roy Campanella and other African-American players didn’t just start flowing into the major league ranks after he was allowed to play.  He explains how the process was actually more gradual and how African-American athletes still faced an uphill battle as the views of baseball fans still had yet to change at the time.  But that they had managed to break in and become the stars that they did shows that views were beginning to change.  Keeping this in mind, it serves as a reminder how pivotal this was not just in the history of baseball but in American history in general.  It’s just one of so many moments that viewers will find interesting throughout the course of this original bio.

The simple set used for Jackie Robinson: My Story and the acting (so to speak) of Stephen Hill help make this new release from Shout! Factory enjoyable for audiences of all ages.  There is one other factor that makes this a DVD worth checking out, whether in the classroom or the clubhouse.  That factor is the inclusion of actual footage and pictures from Robinson’s life.    Just as with the simple set, the inclusion of actual video footage and pictures from Robinson’s career and life serve as valuable visual aids.  Whereas the simple set helps to draw attention to Hill and his take on Robinson, the video and pictures help to illustrate the story being told.  They help to bring the entire thing full circle and that much more accessible for audiences. 

There is an irony in the inclusion of one piece of footage in particular.  That piece of footage is the Dodgers’ 1951 pennant matchup against the rival Giants.  This piece is also used in 20th Century Fox’s recent movie, Parental Guidance.  It’s ironic that this is included in both because of the timing of each one’s release.  Both pieces were released within roughly a week of one another.  Sure, the timing of the pair’s release to home viewers is purely coincidental.  But it makes for an interesting discussion bridge.

As one can note by now, Jackie Robinson: My Story offers plenty of positives.  For all the positives, there is just one negative.  Surprisingly enough, it’s not too bad of a negative.  It is the lack of a chapter selection option in the main menu.  If a person were to remove the DVD from a DVD player, and put it back in later, this means that one would have to skip through chapters and then fast forward and/or rewind the show to where it was last stopped, rather than simply being able to jump to a given spot.  While this is at least a slight detriment to the overall package, it isn’t too bad as the entire feature is interesting that a person won’t want to stop watching once getting into it.  So to that extent, while it is a negative, it’s a minor negative at worst.  It’s because of that this Jackie Robinson: My Story is an enjoyable piece both for sports fans and for those studying African-American history.  It is available in stores and online and can be ordered direct from the Shout! Factory store at

http://www.shoutfactory.com/?q=node/216808.

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Crystal, Midler As Funny As Ever In Parental Guidance

Courtesy:  20th Century Fox

Courtesy: 20th Century Fox

Billy Crystal’s latest starring vehicle is everything that many critics have already written and noted of it.  It is schmaltzy.  It is sappy.  And to say that one might feel uncomfortable throughout the course of this nearly two hour movie is an understatement.  But considering the writing that harkens back to Uncle Buck (1989), Cheaper By The Dozen (2003) and even Meet The Parents (2000), the movie still manages to succeed thanks to the chemistry of lead actors Billy Crystal and Bette Midler.  It’s the chemistry between the two that keeps the movie afloat.  The experience of the pair together helps to support the other, thus validating everything going on around them.  Had they been paired with another actor, things might not have gone as well as they did.  Thankfully, viewers don’t have to wonder how the movie would have turned out had the situation been any different.

Both Crystal and Midler show their veteran acting chops, bouncing their comic prowess off of the somewhat younger Marisa Tomei and Tom Everett Scott.  While some of the antics that happen between Diane (Midler), Artie (Crystal) and the kids are somewhat outrageous, there is at least a certain modicum of truth here as to what happens with so many families in similar circumstances.  As children become the adults, a rift of sorts develops between them and their parents because of philosophical differences on raising children and living life in general.  Every parent would love to think that their child(ren) would grow up to live life like them.  But the reality is that parents and their adult children are different from one another.  That doesn’t mean that they don’t both have something to learn from the other even as adults.  That’s the basis of the story.  Both Artie and Alice are stuck in their ways, and neither wants to budge, thus leading to the story that is both comical and heartwarming enough to keep viewers engaged from start to finish, despite the constant uncomfortable feeling some might have from watching the interaction of the movie’s lead cast.

Now that the movie has been release on Blu-ray/DVD/Digital combo pack, audiences get even more enjoyment out of it thanks in large part to its audio commentary.  Crystal–who both acted in and produced the movie–joins director Andy Fickman in discussing everything that went into bringing the movie to life.  The movie is more enjoyable in learning that it was lifted almost directly from a personal experience in Crystal’s own life.  There are also little tidbits such as why Crystal chose to have his character wear a certain kind of hat early on in the movie to the storms that would constantly delay the movie and more.  It’s yet more proof of the value of bonus features and audio commentary in a movie’s home release.  it’s one more reason to check out this family friendly comedy at least once.

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Rom/Com update is worth its own load of laughs

Courtesy: IFC Films

How do you know when you’ve found the one?  When you look into their eyes and find yourself singing, ‘You Are The Wind Beneath My Wings.’

This is one of the key moments of dialogue between Katie (Kelly MacDonald–Disney’s “Brave”) and James (David Tennant–Doctor Who) in IFC Film’s recent rom/com take off of Cinderella, “The Decoy Bride.”  That single line of dialogue is so important because not only does it take off Cinderella, it also lifts at least somewhat from Bette Midler’s 1997 rom/com, “That Old Feeling.”  It also lifts, at least to a certain degree, from the 1990 Julia Roberts/Richard Gere rom/com “Pretty Woman.”  It’s pretty easy to see Macdonald attempting to emulate Julia Roberts throughout the movie.  “Decoy Bride” does lift from other rom/com classics, as noted.  But in its defense, the central plot of James and Lara trying to escape the papparazzi so that they can get married is a prime example of art imitating life, especially withthe recent case surrounding certain celebrities, who will remain unnamed here.  That it’s such a direct mirror of the world’s obsession with celebrities makes it worthy of its share of laughs.

The story behind “The Decoy Bride” is great fun.  Audiences who want a little more insight into the story will appreciate the cast interviews included in the special features.  Each cast member discusses being added to the film, and working together.  [David] Tennant even discusses the weather during filming.  While a rain machine was used at some points, Tennant points out how precise the people on the Isle of Man were in  predicting the weather.  Director Sheree Folkson advances that with her own discussionon how perfectly the weather played out for the entire movie. 

The Decoy Bride is in essence an update of the classic story of Cinderella.  And it does lift from other previous rom/coms.  But it still manages to make its own identity and life.  And keeping that in mind, it is worth at least one watch by any fan of the rom/com genre.

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