‘Sesame Street: The Magical Wand’ Will Work Magic On Audiences Of All Ages

Courtesy: Sesame Workshop/Shout! Factory

PBS’ hit educational series Sesame Street has for decades, been a source of great educational and entertainment for audiences of all ages.  From teaching numbers and words to teaching equally invaluable lessons about cultural diversity and more, Sesame Street has proven time and again to be one of the most important series on television.  Even as the decades have passed and times changed, the series has changed along the way to stay up with the world, but has not changed to the point of losing any of what it has done.  The show’s latest DVD, Sesame Street: The Magic Wand Chase is proof of that, both in its primary and bonus content.  Each item will be discussed here, as each is equally important to the DVD’s overall presentation.  Those items make the DVD’s average price point, the last of its most important elements, money well-spent.  Each item is important in its own right to the DVD.  All things considered, they make Sesame Street: The Magic Wand Chase more proof of why Sesame Street remains today one of television’s most important programs.

Sesame Street: The Magic Wand Chase is an enjoyable new offering from Sesame Workshop and Shout! Factory that clearly proves the series remains today, one of the most important series on television.  That is even considering programs in other genres.  This statement is supported in part through the DVD’s primary content, the feature presentation that gives the DVD its name.  The primary content finds Abby Cadabby, Elmo, Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Grover and Rosita chasing down a bird in order to recover Abby’s magic wand after Abby accidentally drops the wand during a balloon ride.  Abby and the others were taking a balloon ride in a trip of balloons, and when she tried to get herself and her friends back to Sesame Street, she dropped the wand, leading to the chase.  Looking at the “movie” from an analytical standpoint, this is actually a good way to set up the chase that follows.  As Abby and company chase down the bird, who uses Abby’s wand to hide her identity at points, the group encounters children with various ethnic backgrounds – Chinese, Mexican and African – leading to lessons about their people’s cultures and the value of those differences.  Of course there is plenty of hilarity along the way thanks to plenty of family friendly jokes (including a laugh riot tribute to Benny Hill), and Abby eventually gets her wand back.  Those lessons of cultural diversity, though, is the most important item to note.  As noted previously, this is nothing new for Sesame Street.  What is important here is the way in which the show’s writers executed the lessons.  They used a new, enjoyable way to present the lesson on cultural diversity.  To that end, the story and its familiar and welcome lessons promoting cultural diversity form a solid foundation for the DVD.  The bonus content included with the DVD strengthens that foundation even more.

The bonus content included with Sesame Street: The Magic Wand Chase strengthens the DVD’s foundation even more because it picks up right where the DVD’s primary content leaves off.  The full-length featurette “Elmo’s Alphabet Challenge” continues Sesame Street’s long-running focus on teaching the alphabet and words to young viewers.  As with the DVD’s primary content, it does that here once again, but in a fashion that is in line with the current age.  Telly, Elmo and Abby are pulled into the video game world while deciding on a game to play on Abby’s tablet.  Over the course of roughly an hour, Abby and her friends go through a variety of different video games, which are takeoffs of video games, such as Super Mario Brothers, Angry Birds and World of Warcraft in order to find letters that align with each letter of the alphabet.  The ultimate goal is to defeat a character named ABC-More in the process so that they can get back to their world.  Obviously it has a happy ending.  The video game spoofs will entertain grown-ups while the additional (yet possibly latent) lesson about pride – ABC-More constantly calls himself the greatest, leading to a starting point on that noted lesson about pride – and the primary lesson teaching about the alphabet and words join in to make this bonus feature in whole just as entertaining for the whole family as the DVD’s primary story.

“The Golden Triangle of Destiny,” the second of the DVD’s bonus features, is just as certain to entertain the whole family.  It is also the shortest of the DVD’s features, both primary and secondary.  It is a full-on spoof of the Indiana Jones movie franchise that finds Telly going on a search for the titular triangle around Sesame Street.  Along the way, he has to avoid a giant boulder (yes, a boulder), a bunch of “exploding” washing machines and determining the shape of each figure that he finds.  So what audiences get here is the basic geometry lesson as its educational content alongside a fun movie spoof that will entertain audiences of all ages and likely be a favorite watch for those audiences.  When it is coupled with the lead video game-based bonus, the two bonuses together succeed solidly in offering plenty of entertainment and education at the same time.  When the bonus content is considered alongside the DVD’s primary content, the whole of the content offers plenty for audiences of all ages to appreciate throughout the DVD’s two-hour-plus total run time.  Keeping all of this in mind, the DVD’s average price point proves to be another positive for the DVD.

The average price point for Sesame Street: The Magic Wand Chase is $11.75.  That price is attained by averaging prices from Shout! Factory’s online store, Walmart, Best Buy and Barnes & Noble.  The DVD is not listed – at the time of this post – at Amazon, Target and Books-A-Million.  Considering the breadth and depth of the content presented over a total run time of more than two hours (specifically, two hours, two minutes), that price is not overly expensive.  When one takes into consideration that the DVD also includes a downloadable .pdf file of The Magic Wand Chase for families to enjoy any time they want, that price becomes that much more affordable and welcome for every family.  Keeping this in consideration along with the primary and secondary content featured in the DVD, it is just one more positive for the DVD.  Keeping this in mind, all three elements come together to make the DVD overall another successful offering from Sesame Workshop, and an equally welcome new offering from the new partnership between Sesame Workshop and Shout! Factory.

Sesame Workshop and Shout! Factory’s recently launched partnership is proving to be a positive match for the organizations.  This was already recently proven with the new Elmo’s World DVD released through that partnership.  The new full-length feature The Magic Wand Chase supports that statement even more.  As has been discussed here, that is proven through the primary and secondary content collectively featured on the disc.  The affordable average price point supports that statement even more.  Each item is important in its own way to the whole of the DVD.  All things considered, Sesame Street: The Magic Wand Chase is another successful offering from Sesame Workshop, and more proof of why Sesame Street remains today, one of the most important series on television, genres aside.  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

 

 

 

More information on this and other titles from Sesame Workshop is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://www.sesameworkshop.org

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/sesameworkshop

 

 

 

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WarnerMedia Acquires Worldwide Media Rights For “The Match”

warnermedia-logo.jpg

Courtesy: WarnerMedia

Two titans of the golf world are set to go toe-to-toe, and WarnerMedia and Turner Sports have secured worldwide media rights to the one-on-one golf greats.

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will face off in a champions cup of sorts on November 23 at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The two-man tournament, dubbed “The Match” will be hosted by MGM Resorts International.

“The Match” will be broadcast exclusively via Turner’s B/R Live, Turner Sports’ new premium live sports streaming service, AT&T’s DIRECTV, AT&T U-verse and other on-demand platforms with the newly secured media rights. B/R Live can be accessed by downloading the B/R Live app via iTunes, Google Play, the Roku platform and Amazon Fire TV.

As an additional bonus, Bleacher Report’s House of Highlights will present in-depth highlights and behind-the-scenes content in connection to “The Match.”

Turner International will carry coverage of “The Match” overseas. If all of that is not enough for fans, the media rights deal will allow TNT to carry select content from “The Match” in the weeks following the landmark showdown.

To top everything off, HBO Sports’ 18-time Emmy Award-winning 24/7 will offer its own coverage leading up to “The Match.”

David Levy, President of Turner, discussed the new media rights deal in a recent interview, saying that “The Match” was a positive way to exhibit WarnerMedia’s broadcast capabilities.

“The iconic Tiger Woods and five-time Major Champion Phil Mickelson are generational talents who have transcended the game of golf and their rivalry continues to be one of the most compelling in sports,” Levy said.  “This one-of-a-kind, winner-take-all matchup provides a great opportunity to show fans the benefits of AT&T and WarnerMedia coming together.  For the first time since AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner (now WarnerMedia), Turner, DIRECTV and HBO will present a multi-faceted presentation of the live event and accompanying content across a vast array of platforms.”

Turner Sports will produce all of the event’s live coverage while also serving as its exclusive sales and sponsorship partner.  Turner Sports and its Turner Ignite Sports will work together with their marketing partners to highlight their brands.

More information on Turner Sports’ and WarnerMedia’s coverage of “The Match” is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.turner.com, http://www.warnermediagroup.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/turnerbroadcasting, http://www.facebook.com/WarnerMediaGroup

Twitter: http://twitter.com/turner, http://twitter.comwarnermediagrp

 

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Level 33 Entertainment Announces U.S. Release Date For Spike Island

Courtesy:  Level 33 Entertainment

Courtesy: Level 33 Entertainment

Indie film studio Level 33 Entertainment will finally bring its new movie Spike Island home later this month.

Level 33 Entertainment announced this week that Spike Island will be released in stores on Tuesday, June 23rd. The movie is a coming-of-age piece that centers on young wannabe rockers who come up with a plan to get their demo tape hand-delivered to their favorite band The Stone Roses. Their hopes are that the Stone Roses will hear the band’s music and help them kick start their dreams of stardom. The catch is getting in to the band’s upcoming show at Spike Island, a 103-acre island that lies in Cork Harbor, Ireland. The problem is that the friends’ tickets never appear. So they take off on a road trip with a plan to sneak into the show. The journey to the show tests the friendships of the young band leading the young rockers to come to some tough realizations and make some equally tough decisions.

Spike Island was written by Chris Coghill and directed by award winner Matt Whitecross (Winner—Independent Spirit Award for The Road To Guantanamo). It was nominated for a British Independent Film Award for Most Promising Newcomer (Elliot Tittensor—Shameless, The Selfish Giant, Slap) and features the music of The Stone Roses. Speaking of Tittensor, he stars alongside Emilia Clark (Game of Thrones, Terminator: Genysis, Don Hemingway), Lesley Manville (Maleficent, Another Year, Law & Order: UK), Rob James-Collier (Downton Abbey, Coronation Street, Mercenaries), Kaya Scodelario (Moon, The Maze Runner, Clash of the Titans), Adam Long (The Thirteenth Tale, Happy Valley, The Passing Bells), Oliver Heald (Shameless, The Messenger), Antonia Thomas (Survivor, Misfits, Sunshine on Leath), Michael Socha (Being Human, Once Upon a Time, This is England), Jordan Murphy (The Passing Bells, My Mad Fat Diary, Marvellous), and Nico Mirallegro (Hollyoaks, Common, Anita B.).

Level 33 Entertainment head Andreas Olavarria discussed his thoughts on the movie’s U.S. release with the press noting all that makes it such a standout story. “We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to bring Spike Island to audiences across North America,” he said. “The movie is filled with youthful energy, great music and terrific performances that are sure to entertain a broad range of filmgoers – especially fans of The Stone Roses and of Emilia Clarke, who plays a very different role from her well known character in HBO’s Game Of Thrones.”

Spike Island was released through Universal Pictures and Vertigo Films in the United Kingdom. Audiences can check out a trailer for the movie online now via Level 33 Entertainment’s website. More information on Spike Island is available online now at:

Website: http://level33entertainment.com/Spike_Island.html

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

More information on Spike Island and other titles available from Level 33 Entertainment is available online now at:

Website: http://www.level33entertainment.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Level33entertainment

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Level33_ent

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Boardwalk Empire’s Third Volume Is A Wonderful Musical Love Letter To Music’s Golden Age

Courtesy:  ABKCO Records

Courtesy: ABKCO Records

HBO’s hit drama Boardwalk Empire wrapped up its fifth and final season late last year. the series, which starred veteran actor Steve Buscemi, wrapped up after five seasons. The series’ final season. With the series at its end, its final season was released on DVD last month alongside its soundtrack, Boardwalk Empire Volume 3. It is still very early in the year. But it is safe to say at this point that Boardwalk Empire Volume 3 is one of this year’s best new overall albums. The reason that it is deserving of such high honor is the fact that listening to this record is like taking a musical trip back in time. And while that phrase is tossed around sometimes too often by critics (this critic included sometimes), this compilation of songs is one of those rare pieces that truly is wholly deserving of such note. The collection resurrects some of the greatest jazz songs of all time, reaching all the way back to the 1920s ad 30s for its track listing. The catch is that each of the record’s nineteen tracks is recorded by a modern act. Yet none of the songs has been updated. It would have been easy for the acts in question to put their own spin on each song. But they didn’t do that. They recorded the songs exactly as they were recorded so many decades ago. The only thing that the songs on this record is missing is the static of an old vinyl. If that had been there, it would have pushed the record over the top. Even without that static, the songs still comprise a record that any true lover of jazz will appreciate and one that should be on every critic’s list of the year’s best new albums overall come December. That is just part of what makes this record a must hear for any true-blooded lover of jazz. Another reason that audiences will appreciate this collection so much is the fact that while classic jazz songs make up the majority of its body, there is also a light touch of the blues and even some classic Latin-tinged pieces, too. That mix of musical styles coupled with the fact that the songs themselves are true classics makes Boardwalk Empire Volume 3 all the more enjoyable. Last but not least worth noting of this collection is the fact that while it is a soundtrack, the songs that make up the record make it just as solid a stand-alone collection as a companion to the series’ recently released fifth and final season DVD box set. Listeners can enjoy this record without having to have any prior knowledge of Boardwalk Empire’s five-season run on HBO. Rather they can just enjoy it as the collection of classic jazz tunes that it is. It is just as important a factor in the record’s success and enjoyment as the songs themselves and their renditions. All things considered, Boardwalk Empire Volume 3 proves in the end with its full complement of songs to justifiably be considered an early contender for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s best new albums overall.

Soundtracks for movies and television series far too often are little more than a bunch of songs tossed together for the purpose of bringing in extra money for a given movie studio or television company. The mass of soundtracks that meet that mantle is so extensive that it would be impossible to name all of the soundtracks that never should have seen the light of day. For all of the forgettable soundtracks that are churned out each year, there are actually some rare diamonds in the rough among that mass. Boardwalk Empire Volume 3 is one of those rare diamonds. It proves to be one of those rare diamonds first and foremost because of its songs. The songs collected for this latest (and final) volume of songs from HBO’s hit drama is a wonderful arrangement of songs that any true lover of classic jazz will appreciate. The songs that make up Boardwalk Empire Volume 3 reach all the way back to the 1920s and 30s, music’s golden era. From Elvis Costello’s take of Harry Barris and Gordon Clifford’s timeless I Surrender Dear as the record’s opener to Margot Bingham and David Mansfield’s take of Ma Rainey’s blues classic ‘Farewell Daddy Blues’ to Bingham’s cover of the equally timeless Fabian Andre/Wilbur Schwandt/Gus Kahn song ‘Dream A Little Dream of Me,’ to all of the record’s other songs, the record in whole presents itself like a musical trip back in time. That phrase is thrown around sometimes too often by critics. But in the case of this record, it is deservedly used. From start to finish, every one of the songs that makes up the record’s body was recorded in the exact same fashion as in their original recordings. There was no attempt by any of the artists to put their own spin on the songs. This makes the songs feel like they were pulled right from the original masters instead of having been re-recorded by modern artists. The only thing that is lacking in the presentation of the record’s songs is that classic sound of static. Even without that sound though, the quality of the songs is reduced by a factor of zero. That is how incredibly believable these songs are in their presentation and why the songs and their presentation combine to make the most important part of Boardwalk Empire Volume 3’s enjoyment and success.

The songs that were chosen for Boardwalk Empire Volume 3 and the uncanny similarity to their original recordings are collectively the most important part of the record’s enjoyment and overall success. For all of its importance, just as important to note of the disc’s success is its overall makeup. Classic jazz songs make up most of the record’s body. But they are not all that audiences get in this collection of songs. As noted perviously, there is a touch of the blues in Margot Bingham and David Mansfield’s cover of Ma Rainey’s ‘Farewell Daddy Blues.’ It is an acoustic performance that must be heard to be fully appreciated. There is also a Latin-tinged piece in ‘Son Que Quita Las Penas,’ which translates roughly to ‘They are that it removes penalties.’ And ‘The Yodeling Chinaman’ offers its own interesting sound that adds even more interesting musical variety to the record. The combination of those varied sounds across the album’s nineteen songs and sixty-two minutes coupled with the incredible presentation of each song makes even more evident why any jazz purist will love this record and why it is one of this year’s best new albums overall.

The songs that make up the body of Boardwalk Empire Volume 3 display a wonderful window into the music industry’s past. They take listeners on a musical trip back in time to the business’s golden era more so than any classic collection since. Making this collection of songs even better is the fact that the artists that re-recorded them for the collection didn’t try to make some artsy remake in their own vision. Rather they stayed true to the original rendition of each song. Save for the static in the background, the end result of the recordings is a group of recordings that sounds like it was lifted right from the original masters. Both aspects of Boardwalk Empire Volume 3 are of equal importance to the record’s presentation. As important as each element proves to be to the whole, the fact that audiences don’t have to have any knowledge of Boardwalk Empire’s televised side in order to enjoy these songs. Unlike so many other soundtracks released every year in partner with their movies and television series, this collection of songs wasn’t aligned in time with its show’s episodes. So there’s no need to have any background information on the show in order to enjoy the songs. A basic understanding and appreciation of jazz history is all that audiences need. And even for those lacking even that understanding and appreciation, it makes for just as solid a starting point for anyone wanting to learn about the history of both music and jazz more specifically. It’s yet another way that Boardwalk Empire Volume 3 proves to be one of this year’s best new albums overall.

Boardwalk Empire Volume 3 is one of this year’s best new albums overall. Given, it is a soundtrack for all intents and purposes. But it is still deserving of a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s best new albums overall. That is because the songs presented on the record make this recording more than any before, a musical trip back in time to a better age. The renditions of the presented songs pay full tribute to the original songs. And audiences don’t even have to have any previous knowledge of the series in which they are utilized. That’s because the songs aren’t used in that same chronological fashion as songs that comprise other soundtracks. They are just great classic jazz tunes. They are a window into a better era of music. Because audiences don’t have to be fans of the series from which they were lifted, and because of the fact that they weren’t altered in their new versions from their original performances, they are made all the more enjoyable. The very fact that they have been resurrected for a whole new generation of music lovers is the ultimate statement of love and respect for their legacy. Whether for one of the aforementioned reasons or all of them, any listener that gives this recently released soundtrack/compilation will agree that it is indeed one of the best new albums of 2015. It is available now in stores and online.

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Anchor Bay, Starz Conjure Up Second Season Of Da Vinci’s Demons On DVD, Blu-ray

Courtesy: Anchor Bay Entertainment/Starz Media

Courtesy: Anchor Bay Entertainment/Starz Media

Fans of the original drama Da Vinci’s Demons have reason to be excited this winter. That is thanks to Anchor Bay’s announcement Tuesday that it will release the hit drama’s second season next month.

Officials with Starz announced Tuesday that the second season of Da Vinci’s Demons will be released Tuesday, March 3rd. It will be released on Blu-ray + Digital HD and DVD. Season Two picks up where the series’ first season left off. Da Vinci continues to defend Florence against the powers that be in Rome. Meanwhile he also continues his quest for the fabled Book of Leaves and for answers about his mother. New enemies rise up along the way, too; forces that prove to be even more dangerous than even Pope Sixtus and his minions. Both the DVD and Blu-ray + Digital HD presentation of Da Vinci’s Demons include a handful of bonuses to complement its ten-episode run. Those bonuses include a “making of” featurette, a recap of Season One, a look at the new sets used in Season Two and more. The full list of bonus material included on Season Two’s box set is noted below.

New Bonus Features:

  • New Sets
  • Creating the World
  • A Closer Look

The Journey Begins: Season 1 Recap

Da Vinci’s Demons stars Tom Riley (I Want Candy, Return to House on Haunted Hill, Happy Ever Afters) as famed inventor Leonardo Da Vinci. He is joined by Laura Haddock (Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America: The First Avenger, The Inbetweeners Movie), Blake Ritson (Rock N Rolla, Titus, Red Cap), Elliot Cowan (Happy-Go-Lucky, Alexander, The Golden Compass), Lara Pulver (Edge of Tomorrow, True Blood, Sherlock), and James Faulkner (Downton Abbey, Bridget Jones’s Diary, X-Men: First Class). The Blu-ray + Digital HD box set will retail for $54.99 and the DVD box set for $44.98. All of the latest updates on Da Vinci’s Demons are available online at:

Website: https://www.davincisdemons.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/davincisdemons.starz

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DaVincis_Starz

All of the latest information on Da Vinci’s Demons and other titles from Anchor Bay Entertainment is available online at:

Website: https://www.anchorbayentertainment.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnchorBay

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Anchor_Bay

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Anchor Bay Reveals Release Date, Specs For TURN The Complete First Season

Courtesy:  Anchor Bay Entertainment/AMC

Courtesy: Anchor Bay Entertainment/AMC

Anchor Bay Entertainment announced recently that it will release the first season of its hit AMC series TURN: Washington’s Spies this spring.

TURN: Washington’s SpiesThe Complete First Season will be released Tuesday, March 17th. That is just in time for audiences to catch up with the hit historically-based series before its second season debuts this spring. It will be released both on DVD and Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack. The ten-episode season will be spread across three discs on both sets. It will also include a handful of extras, which are noted below.

Bonus Features:

  • The History Of TURN: WASHINGTON’S SPIES
  • From Art To Image
  • Deleted Scenes

Based on author Alexander Rose’s book Washington’s Spies, Turn: Washington’s Spies centers on patriot Abe Woodhull. Woodhull is a farmer living in British-occupied Long Island. He joins with a group of his childhood friends to form what would become known as the Culper Ring in an effort to help then General Washington and his forces defeat the Red Coats in the Revolutionary War. What resulted would go on to be considered the birth of espionage. The series stars Jamie Bell (The Adventures of Tin Tin, Billy Elliot, Flags of Our Fathers), Seth Numrich (Gravity, Private Romeo)m Daniel Henshall (Out of the Blue, These Final Hours, The Babadook), Heather Lind (Boardwalk Empire, Sleepy Hollow, Blue Bloods), Kevin R. McNally (Downton Abbey, Pirates of the Caribbean 1 – 4, Supernatural ), Meegan Warner (Portend, The Veil, A Place To Call Home), Burn Gorman (Torchwood, Pacific Rim, The Dark Knight Rises), Angus McFayden (Californication, Chuck, The Pinkertons), JJ Field (The Musketeers, Captain America: The First Avenger, To The Ends of the Earth), and Samuel Roukin (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I, Bright Star, Happy-Go-Lucky).

TURN: Washington’s SpiesThe Complete First Season will retail for MSRP of $49.98 on DVD and $59.99 on Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack. More information on TURN: Washington’s Spies is available online at:

Website: http://www.amctv.com/shows/turn

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

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The Opposite Sex Is An Edgy, Entertaining Rom-Com

Courtesy: Cinedigm

Courtesy: Cinedigm

Opposites attract or so people have been raised to understand. That old adage has served as the basis for so many rom-coms throughout the ages. Apparently so do people with the same personality type as is seen in indie studio Cinedigm’s new rom-com The Opposite Sex. Not to be confused with the 1956 June Allyson/Joan Collins rom-com, this movie is a fun, edgy romp that will have audiences laughing nonstop from start to finish. It obviously isn’t the first story of its kind by any means. But the execution of its oft-used boy meets girl-loses her-gets her back in the end formula is relatively creative. It’s interesting to note that while similar setups have been used in previous rom-coms, this one is perhaps the first to actually incorporate a figure whose job it is to break up marriages himself finding love in the most unexpected place. The script behind The Opposite Sex is within itself plenty of reason to check out this new indie rom-com. The work of the star-studded movie’s cast is just as praiseworthy. Geoff Stults conjures Charlie Sheen’s Charlie Harper and even Josh Duhamel as he plays the chauvinistic Vince opposite the equally strong-willed Jane (Mena Suvari). The supporting cast on both sides collectively adds its own touch to the film making for even more laughs. Through it all, the movie’s pacing and its run time come together to round out the reasons for the success of The Opposite Sex. The movie–minus end credits–clocks in right at ninety minutes. throughout the course of that time, the story’s pacing never loses a step. Together with the work of the movie’s cast and the script behind the whole thing, The Opposite Sex proves to be a late addition to this year’s list of the best new indie flicks and the best new movies overall, too.

The Opposite Sex is not the first story of its kind. That goes without saying. The standard boy meets girl-loses her-gets her back in the end formula used as the script’s basis has been used for nearly every rom-com that has come before it. Yet the execution of that formula makes this indie rom-com stand solidly on its own two feet. This applies both among the indie film community and that of its much bigger-name counterparts. Co-writers and cast mates Jennifer Finnigan (Tyrant, Better With You, Close To Home) and Josh Silverman (Weekend at Bernie’s, Weekend at Bernie’s II, Close To Home) placed lead character Vince in the position of a successful, high-powered divorce lawyer who ends up finding love through the most unexpected place. His character in particular is relatively original. Though audiences that are familiar with the likes of Hitch, What Women Want, and How To Lose A Guy in Ten Days will see instant similarities between those movies and this work. Just like the aforementioned stories, this work sees the standard male lead with the “bachelor for life” mentality “unexpectedly” falling for a certain woman after his view of the opposite sex changes over the time that he spends with her. In the case of The Opposite Sex Vince finds that certain female love interest thanks to his friend’s wife Stephanie (Jennnifer Finnigan). Stephanie is old friends with Jane (Suvari). Jane and Stephanie’s decades-longfriendship leads to a rather interesting meeting between Jane and Vince, which in itself makes for its own share of laughs. That first unfcomfortable (in many more ways than one) meeting is the first spark that leads to the pair’s slowly evolving romance. Again, the formula is very similar to previous rom-coms. But the ability of FInnigan and Silverman to change things up just a bit is just enough to make the script work in this case.

The formula used for The Opposite Sex’s script is one that is quite well-known to audiences of the rom-com genre. To the credit of both Jennifer Finnigan and Josh Silverman, the pair was adapted the formula in question just enough in the case of this movie to keep the story entertaining from start to finish. The script itself would have been nothing though, without a cast to properly interpret and make it entertaining. Again, lead stars Mena Suvari (Six Feet Under, American Beauty, Chicago Fire) and Geoff Stults (Wedding Crashers, She’s Out Of My League, The Breakup) do just that. And considering the duo’s experience in the world of rom-coms, it should come as no surprise. Suvari will have even the movie’s male audiences laughing as Jane puts Vince in his place time and again without even the slightest hint of remorse. From making a bet on a twenty-dollar pool game to some rather more interesting situations, Jane never once lets herself become the standard pushover female who ends up giving in to the guy. This submission on the part of the female lead happens far too often in other rom-coms. So it’s nice to see that didn’t happen here. It’s yet another way in which this movie stands out from its bigger-name counterparts. The duo’s supporting cast adds even more enjoyment to the movie, too. Audiences will find themselves laughing just as much as Stephanie (Finnigan) and Jane (Suvari) team up to play charades against Vince (Stults) and Kenny (Josh Hopkins). The sight of Kenny trying to act out the act of taxidermy will have audiences laughing tears of joy. It is such a hilarious moment because there is so much truth to something as simple as charades. The actors’ reactions to Kenny’s attempts only adds to the moment’s hilarity. And even when Kenny is by himself, trying to counsel a couple played by Josh Silverman and Nadia Dajani, audiences will laugh just as much. Add in a cameo guest spot by former N’Sync member Joey Fatone, and audiences will see just how important the work of The Opposite Sex’s cast was to the movie’s enjoyment and success. On a side note, Fatone’s blooper with Stults and Hopkins in the movie’s end credits makes for just as many laughs. Getting back to the movie’s main factors, the acting on the part of its cast does plenty to make it enjoyable, as audiences will see when they watch it for themselves. Its run time and pacing play their own pivotal role in the movie’s success, too. They come together to solidify it and show once and for all why it is just as entertaining as any of its bigger-name counterparts.

The scripting and acting that went into The Opposite Sex offers audiences more than its collective share of laughs. Even being an independent release, its script and the work of its cast make it just as entertaining as its more well-known counterparts. While both the script and the acting are key to that level of success, the movie’s pacing and companion run time play just as much of a role in its enjoyment. At no one point does The Opposite Sex ever lose audiences either in terms of its script or its cast’s acting. It never moves too fast or too slow, thus allowing audiences to enjoy every quip and every joke surrounding the never-ending battle of the sexes. It’s all done over the course of about ninety minutes. That perhaps is the most intriguing factor of all in the movie’s success. Not counting its end credits, it comes in right at about ninety minutes. That is roughly par for course in terms of run times for the rom-coms churned out by Hollywood’s Power Five studios. The combination of that standard run time and solid pacing completes The Opposite Sex, proving once more why this movie is just as enjoyable as any more well-known rom-com past or present. It shows once more that indie flicks can and are just as worth the watch as anything that Hollywood’s major studios can churn out and have, too. Keeping that in mind, The Opposite Sex proves that despite a familiar formula, the movie’s script, its cast’s acting and its collective pacing and run time make it one of this year’s best independent movies and one of the best movies of 2014.

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