Shout! Factory’s ‘Legally Blonde Collection’ Will Get A Positive Verdict From The Franchise’s Most Devoted Fans

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Almost two decades ago, actress Reese Witherspoon made her mark on the movie industry when she starred in MGM’s female-fronted comedy Legally Blonde.  Two years later, it was followed by the sequel Legally Blonde: Red, White & Blonde.  Now early next year, the franchise is allegedly set to see another installment.  As audiences wait and see if that movie actually happens, Shout! Factory has a collection available now featuring the first two Legally Blonde movies on Blu-ray.  This latest collection is a work that the franchise’s most devoted fans will appreciate.  That is due in part to the set’s bonus content, which will be addressed shortly.  The set’s packaging plays its own part in the collection’s presentation.  Its average price point rounds out its most important elements.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of this presentation.  All things considered, they make Shout! Factory’s Legally Blonde Collection appealing for the most devoted fans of this franchise and of Reese Witherspoon.

Shout! Factory’s recently released Legally Blonde Collection, released Feb. 26 on Blu-ray, is a presentation that the most devoted fans of this franchise and of Reese Witherspoon will appreciate.  That is due in part to the collection’s bonus content.  Much of the content featured in the collection was carried over from previous releases of the movies, including the audio commentaries  The feature-length commentary in the franchise’s first flick offers some of the most engaging and entertaining content.  Viewers learn through this commentary, items, such as its director, Robert Luketic was actually a lawyer and member of the New York State Bar before making a career change.  That might account for his interest in the movie, even though he was not one of the movie’s writing staff members.  Staying on that note, it is also revealed that the movie’s writing team of Karen McCullah and Kirsten Smith were on set throughout much of the movie’s principal photography to make sure every joke and every line worked.  It shows, too in watching the movie sans commentary.  That revelation comes late in the movie’s run along with the revelation that the jail scenes were shot in a real jail and that said facility was allegedly haunted and was where the infamous “Manson Girls” were detained.  Witherspoon herself even takes time to discuss how she developed her persona for Elle at various points in the commentary.  She talks about developing Elle’s walk, her body language and even the inflection in her voice.  That is interesting to learn.  This is just some of the information revealed in this one of two feature-length commentaries featured in this collection.  There are also mentions of the homage to the classic 1967 Dustin Hoffman movie The Graduate and the casting director’s tie to another female-fronted flick in Bring It On.

The audio commentary featured in Legally Blonde 2 offers its own share of interest for viewers thanks to cast members  Coolidge, Jessica Cauffiel and Alanna Ubach.  The trio reveals throughout the movie, items, such as Witherspoon was actually pregnant in reality during the filming of the movie.  The very first scene, the trio reveals, was intentionally set up to reveal her growing baby bump.  At another point, the group points out Elle’s endless kindness toward others despite their lack of kindness toward her.  That in itself makes for an interesting starting point for discussions about that personality trait in the real world.  The rest of the movie is a bit of a Mystery Science Theater 3000 type presentation from the women more than anything informational.  Of course considering that the movie’s story is essentially a rehashing of the first movie’s story, just in a different setting, it would be understandable that there is not much informational to offer.  That aside, it still offers its own entertainment by and large.

The bonus commentaries featured with the Legally Blonde Collection are just a portion of what makes the two-disc set appealing for the franchise’s most devoted audience base.  The set’s packaging plays its own part to its whole.  As noted, this set is a two-disc set.  Each disc is placed in its own spot inside the case, allowing the case to be a standard-size Blu-ray case.  This in turn, allows for space-saving on viewers’ DVD and/or BD racks.  It also protects the discs from each other in terms of scratching.  To that end, the packaging for the set was done right, another positive to the set.  It still is not the last of the most important elements to discuss in examining the set.  Its average price point rounds out its most important elements.

The average price point of the Legally Blonde Collection is $16.73.  That price is obtained by averaging prices at Amazon, Walmart, Target, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Books-A-Million and Shout! Factory’s own store.  Best Buy was the only major retailer not listing the collection at the time of this review’s posting.  While Shout! Factory’s listing of $15.99 is not the least expensive of the set’s listings, it also is not the most expensive.  It is also below that average line.  The most expensive of the set’s listing is $19.99 (at Books-a-Million and Barnes & Noble Booksellers).  The least expensive of the set’s listing is $14.12 (at Amazon and Walmart).  For lack of better wording, whether consumers choose Shout! Factory’s store or those of Walmart and Amazon – or even Target, which lists the set at $16.19 – they can by and large purchase the set at less than $20.  Considering that the average price of so many Blu-rays today can be anywhere from $20-$25 (or more in some cases) that shows that this collection is affordable for the noted devotees of the Legally Blonde franchise and of Witherspoon.  That positive mark joins with the positives in the set’s full-length audio commentaries and the other bonuses, and the set’s basic packaging, to make the set in whole a welcome addition to the libraries of any of the noted viewers.

Shout! Factory’s recently released Legally Blonde Collection is a positive addition to the home libraries of the most devoted fans of the noted cinema franchise and of Reese Witherspoon.  That is proven in large part through the bonus content that is featured with the collection.  There are some new bonuses and some carry-overs that collectively offer the noted viewers plenty of engagement and entertainment.  The set’s basic packaging saves space and protects the set’s two discs from being scratched.  The average price point of less than $20 makes the set appealing for the noted viewers in its own way.  Each item does its own part to make this collection appealing for audiences.  All things considered, they make the set a presentation that will receive a positive verdict from the franchise’s most devoted fans.  It is available now.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:










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Shout! Factory Adding ‘Legally Blonde’ Franchise To Its Shout! Select Series

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

MGM’s hit Legally Blonde movie franchise is coming to Blu-ray.

The Legally Blonde Collection is scheduled for release Feb. 26 exclusively on Blu-ray through Shout! Factory.  The two-movie collection is part of Shout! Factory’s Shout! Select series.  Pre-orders are open now through Shout! Factory’s store and via Amazon.

In the first of the set’s entries, Elle (Reese Witherspoon — Sweet Home AlabamaWalk The LineWild) is dumped by her boyfriend for another woman and studies at Harvard Law.  Elle follows her ex to Harvard and enrolls in the university’s law school, too.  She is joined by her sidekick Bruiser, her friend Emmett (Luke Wilson — Old SchoolThe Royal TenenbaumsBottle Rocket) and new friend Paulette (Jennifer Coolidge — American PieA Mighty WindA Cinderella Story) as she navigates the turbulent waters, while also helping her friends come into their own along the way.

In the second of the franchise’s offerings, Legally Blonde 2Red, White and Blonde, Elle is back, and this time she is headed to the nation’s capitol to push for a one-of-a-kind bill that bans animal testing.  Witherspoon is joined by her friends from the franchise’s previous entries, and a new friend named Grace (Regina King — Enemy of the StateMiss Congeniality 2A Cinderella Story).

The Legally Blonde Collection features bonus content, such as audio commentaries, a new interview with actress Jessica Caulfiel and gag reels.  The full list of the set’s bonuses is noted below.

Bonus Features:
·        NEW 4K Scan Of The Original Legally Blonde Negative
·        NEW Interview With Actress Jessica Caulfiel
·        Audio Commentaries
·        Featurettes
·        Deleted Scenes
·        Gag Reel
·        Music Videos
·        Theatrical Trailers

More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:






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Born Yesterday Reboot Bridges Hollywood’s Past And Present


Courtesy: Mill Creek Entertainment/Hollywood Pictures

Shakespeare, it’s been said, is the single greatest playwrite of all time.  So many of the movies that audiences have enjoyed since Hollywood’s golden age have been at least loosely based on his works.  In its most basic roots, this remake of the 1950 movie by the same name is itself based on Shakespeare’s Taming of The Shrew.  One could easily go into a long drawn out history lesson, explaining those roots.  But suffice to say that while it’s true that this remake is anything but original, perhaps understanding that its roots are in Shakespearian literature will get audiences interested in the bard’s classic work.  that being noted, those who would instantly criticize this movie should take into account that it’s not the first work to ever rip off another work.

Now that being out of the way, this update of Taming of The Shrew, Pygmalion, and of course 1950’s Born yesterday may not be the best remake ever crafted.  But it is still a good escape for the course of its near two hour run time.  Anyone who has ever seen Pygmalion or My Fair lady, or even The Taming of The Shrew will enjoy seeing Billie (Griffith) become a more self assured woman, from the ditzy character that she started out as.  And being that John Goodman is so known for good guy roles, it was nice to see him take a heel turn for once.  And female audiences will cheer Billie for her reaction after she’s beaten by Harry at one point.  Her reaction is one that so few battered women have, and should serve as an example of what they should do.  It showed that she had become a truly empowered woman.  That final moment of her growth is perhaps the most powerful.

The budding romance between Billie and Paul (Johnson) is cheesy to say the least.  But when placed against her treatment by Harry, it makes Billie that much more of a sympathetic character.  Both male and female audiences will find themselves cheering for her, not wanting her to give up on herself, although they know that Paul won’t let her give up. 

Perhaps the funniest part of the movie isn’t so much in the story or its romance subplot.  It’s in the spoof of Washington politics.  When Paul teaches Billie what to say at a gala, he reveals just how little most beltway insiders really know, and how they let political jargon do all the talking, rather than themselves.  Even fans of National Public Radio will laugh at how the story pokes fun at NPR and the talking heads in the media as a whole.  There is more than just a grain of truth to this joke.

Born yesterday is a remake.  There’s no getting past that.  There are those who would throw jabs at the entire thing simply for the sake of being a remake.  But as shown, it does have its share of high points even with its general lack of originality.  Given, it’s not exactly original.  But in its defense, those who would criticize it shoudl also criticize Reese Witherspoon’s 2001 movie, Legally Blonde.  That movie is a near direct take off of this remake.  At least in the case of this remake, audiences are given a means to actually do what movies are meant to do for viewers.  It gives its viewers the ability to suspend their disbelief and escape into the story if only for the single watch.

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Water for Elephants is a “memorable” movie

Adapting books to the big screen is one of the oldest practices in the movie industry.  It goes back to the very birth of the motion picture.  Literary based movies have come a long way since that time.  Some are good, and some simply aren’t so good.  And then there are those that kind of wade about in the limbo between the two extremes.  Water For Elephants is one of those movies that is in the middle somewhere.  By no means is it the worst movie of 2011.  But it isn’t the year’s best, either.  The success of Water for Elephants is based more on the cast than on the movie’s story. 

The central story of Water for Elephants is based around a love triangle between  young veterinarian-to-be, Jacob (played by Twilight star Robert Pattinson), August (Christoph Waltz), the vile ringmaster of the circus that Jacob joins, and August’s wife, Marlena (Reese Witherspoon).  The point of conflict in the story is August’s insinuated alcoholism, and absolutely cold, cruel, and controlling personality.  August is cold and cruel both to his own workers, and the animals in his circus.  While Pattinson doesn’t exactly shine by himself, placed next to Christoph Waltz, the pair beautifully illustrate the heights of good and the depths of evil.  August is an absolutely horrible person.  He’s the kind of villain that audiences love to hate.  And that’s because of Waltz’s acting abilities.  His character of Colonel Hans Landa in Inglorious Basterds (2009) was a good turn as a villain.  But this time out, he’s even more villainous.  If not for Waltz, the story centered on the trio would have been little more than just another forgettable romance/drama storyline.

Christoph Waltz single handedly carried his castmates in Water for Elephants, save for one in particular.  That actor…or rather actress…was Rosie the elephant.  Upon her introduction, Rosie wins over audiences without even trying.  Watching waht August does to her makes her that much more loveable, and him that much more despised.  As a note, no animals were harmed in the making of the movie, obviously.  That aside, scenes such as his brutality towards Rose makes it less than suitable for children.  Though there are some more adult moments, too, that aren’t exactly kid friendly.  Parents should be warned about this.

Water for Elephants has an applause worthy cast.  But the cast alone doesn’t make the movie.  Nor does the story.  The depression era backdrop is nothing new to the movie industry.  Plenty of other flicks have been crafted with a similar backdrop.  What makes the depression era backdrop so appealing to audiences this time is the circus train.  Yes, it’s something minute.  But there’s something really nostalgic about the circus train pushing on from one town to the next.  That nostalgic feeling alone makes the movie worth sitting through, despite the pacing problem. 

Other than the acting of Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon, the only other true downside to Water for Elephants was the pacing.  It’s one more movie that despite having an interesting story, gets bogged down in itself a bit too much.  Thankfully the pacing problem doesn’t overpower the story, thus making it a movie that’s worth at least one watch, if not more.