Book Review “Where’s Waldo? The Totally Essential Travel Collection”

Author: Martin Handford
Paperback: 172 pages
Publisher: Candlewick
Release Date: March 12, 2013

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Who doesn’t love Waldo? This compact compilation features all seven of his renowned excursions in one nice travel collection. Included are: “Where’s Waldo?”, “Where’s Waldo Now?”, “Where’s Waldo? The Fantastic Journey”, “Where’s Waldo? The Wonder Book”, “Where’s Waldo? In Hollywood”, “Where’s Waldo? The Great Picture Hunt!” and “Where’s Waldo? The Incredible Paper Chase”. This book is a must own for any fan of Waldo. In terms of kids, the font is very small so I wouldn’t say under 5 years old.

I can see this book very handy when taking long road trips with the kids. It is compact and each to pop in your page on the way out.  Martin Handford, who is the man behind these Waldo books and these books have never aged. They are still just as fun and entertaining even for the adults. I would love to see new version of Waldo in the future. Candlewick has been the company to keep this series going.

Blu-ray Review “Prep & Landing / Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice: Totally Tinsel Collection”

Actors: Dave Foley, Derek Richardson, Sarah Chalke, Rob Riggle
Directors: Kevin Deters, Stevie Wermers
Rated: G (General Audience)
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Release Date: November 6, 2012
Run Time: 46 minutes

Films: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

Since their debut in 2009, Wayne and Lanny have become my favorite Christmas elves. The “Prep & Landing” series is something I look forward to ever year. It is always so clever and smart. Also they are Executive Produced by John Lasseter, so you know it is going to be sharp. This Blu-ray release includes the original “Prep & Landing” and also “Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice”. Both of these specials are two of my must-watch each Christmas season. If you are a fan of these specials, then you are going to be excited nonetheless to enjoy them on this high-def Blu-ray. Also keep an eye out since there is another holiday special being planned, though date not disclosed at the time of writing. Fingers crossed for Holidays 2012.

“Prep & Landing” – On Christmas Eve, a high-tech team of elves from an elite unit known as ‘Prep & Landing’ ensures homes around the world are prepared for Santa’s visit. But when two hilarious little elves face unexpected challenges and are pushed to their limits, it’ll take a great big effort to save the season. Enjoy a heartwarming holiday classic sure to make everyone’s Christmas list!

“Prep & Landing: Naughty Vs. Nice” – The outrageous yuletide adventures of Christmas elves Lanny and Wayne continue in this totally tinsel adventure that reminds us there’s room for everyone on the ‘nice’ list. Santa’s stealthiest little elves must race to recover classified North Pole technology, which has fallen into the hands of a computer-hacking naughty kid, in order to stop Christmas from descending into chaos. Bring the family together for a comical adventure that puts the Ho, Ho, Ho in your holidays!

This release comes in a Blu-ray + DVD combo pack. The animation is very polished and looks sharp on its 1080p transfer. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track also works well with Michael Giacchino score. The special features are also very impressive for this release. There are two bonus “Stocking Stuffer” shorts “Operation: Secret Santa” and “Tiny’s Big Adventure”. There is a fun behind-the-scenes feature with Grace Potter performing in-studio on “Behind the Jingle”. “Kringle Academy” is a cute feature on how to become one of the few, the proud, the merry. Lastly “North Pole News & Commercials” are fun little extras that kiddies will surely enjoy.

Blu-ray Review “The Sitter: Totally Irresponsible Edition”

Directed by: David Gordon Green
Starring: Jonah Hill, Sam Rockwell
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
MPAA Rating: R
Release Date: March 20, 2012
Running Time: 81 minutes

Film: 2 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out 5 stars

Recently Jonah Hill is a hit and miss when it comes to comedy. After “Superbad”, he seemed like a sure bet for laughs but this totally feels like him going from A to F and seems a very sad role. I do not believe he really deserved an Oscar nomination for “Moneyball” but I think he looks hysterical in “21 Jump Street”.  The film features a supporting case that is funnier including a crew performance by Sam Rockwell. David Gordon Green is a great director but he doesn’t really show up in this film at all. Lastly, the film barely runs 80 minutes and I am all for short comedies but it feels like a 2 hour movie easily.

Jonah Hill stars as Noah, a slacker with no drive that ends up doing his mom a favor by babysitting his neighbor’s children (Max Records, Landry Bender, Kevin Hernandez). He is completely unqualified but get’s overtaken by the kids. While sitting, his girlfriend (Ari Gaynor) promises sex if he brings her some cocaine to a party. This causes him to take the kids out on the town and get caught up with crazy drug dealer (Sam Rockwell).

The Blu-ray release is well packaged and contains not only the Blu-ray but also a DVD and a digital copy. It also includes both the theatrical and unrated versions of the film, even though neither work. The 1080p transfer on the Blu-ray is impressive and looks good especially for a comedy. The same goes for the audio DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, it works with the music and action scenes the best.

The special features included are good but run very short and seems like one long gag. There are ten deleted/extended scenes, which run about 25 minutes. There is a gag reel, which I always love. “Sits-N-Giggles” is a collection of the film’s improvised lines, which is also very funny. These two features are funnier than the whole film together. “For Your Consideration” is a waste of time joke about Blake beat-boxing. “The Making of The Sitter” is a basic/decent behind-the-scenes featurette. “Jonah the Producer” features Jonah trying to teach kids. Lastly there is the theatrical trailer included.


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