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article imageBritish comic Ricky Gervais reveals he works hard for the laughs Special

By Earl Dittman     Jan 5, 2011 in Entertainment
The British comic behind The Office and Extras is animated about his new comedy series 'The Ricky Gervais Show', now on DVD. Gervais chats about the new show, his comedy past and why he decided to host the Golden Globes again.
To the general American public, Ricky Gervais is probably best known as the character David Brent from the U.K. version of The Office – the British prime-time mockumentary series he also produced, wrote (with Stephen Merchant) and directed from 2001-03. Twelve episodes and a two-part Christmas special later, The Office had been declared one of the most perfectly crafted comedy series in British television history. Unintentionally becoming even more legendary, Gervais and Merchant teamed up again in 2005 to create the award-winning series Extras, a hysterical comedy in which he played an aspiring actor. At the same time, a continent away, Gervais was executive-producing the Emmy Award-winning American version of The Office – with Steve Carell in the lead role. Beginning with its initial airing, the U.S. version of The Office (which just went into syndication) has become the most successful American TV remake of any British-born television -- making broadcast history.
Over a 10-year period, Gervais has transformed himself into one of the most influential British comedians of our generation. From his 2009 English stand up tour FAME, which became the fastest selling UK stand up show in history, to writing, directing and starring in the feature film The Invention of Lying and a second movie, Cemetery Junction (which was released in England last year) and an animated movie (currently in development) based on his award-winning children’s book Flanimals, Gervais has spent the past two years building up his comic resume. Not that he needs it.
An out-of-this-world scene from  The Ricky Gervais Show
An out-of-this-world scene from 'The Ricky Gervais Show'
With The Ricky Gervais Show, Ricky currently holds the title of the most downloaded internet show of all time with the laugh-filled series. Last year, HBO made the podcasts into a 13-part animated series, The Ricky Gervais Show, and it became such an instant hit with fans that HBO immediately requested a second season of the show. The series is an animated version of the original podcasts that earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most downloads. It is voiced by Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, and colleague and friend Karl Pilkington, whose strange views on life inspire many of the show's story-lines – including the merits of 20th century inventions; Karl's suggestion for population control and how philosophy has evolved through the ages.
If you want to hear more of Gervais' unique comedy, then you can catch the multi-talented Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner in an encore appearance as the live host of The 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards, being held this year at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, and being broadcast on Sunday, January 16, 2011 on NBC. In Los Angeles to polish up the jokes and insults he has planned for the biggest Hollywood stars and starlets at the Golden Globes and to promote the release of The Ricky Gervais Show on DVD, the jovial, British comedian sat down to chat about the new animated series, the reason he decided to host the Golden Globes again, recalls the high points of his career and why he feels like he needs to work hard to make his audiences laugh.
The animated Ricky Gervais  Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington on  The Ricky Gervais Show
The animated Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington on 'The Ricky Gervais Show'
Season One of The Ricky Gervais Show was an absolute smash on this side of the Pond, too.. Most fans of the show can't wait for the second season to begin (it premieres on Friday, January 14 at 9:00 EST on HBO). Could you talk a little bit about Season Two of The Ricky Gervais Show? “Oh, yes, with my pleasure. It is, I think, the most fun thing I do. I remember back when I just did it for a laugh to sit in a room with (costar) Karl Pilkington to try and expose his beautiful mind to the world. It’s better than the first. I mean, the first just got better and better, I think. And this sort of started where it left off but it only gets better. We’ve really hit the ground running.”
In what ways will Season Two of The Ricky Gervais Show be different than the first? “We’ve taken a lot more liberties with the direction of the piece. It really adds to the audio now. In the first one, we were quite cautious that we didn’t want to take away from the audio but now we know what adds and subtracts and everything we’ve done really adds to it. The first episode will straightaway show you the difference with the ambition of the animation, let alone the things we’ve chosen. And we’ve gone everywhere with all the stuff we’ve ever done. The first one, we sort of did it in order of the first season. Now we have just picked the best chunks and woven them in, and it’s great. We’re very proud of it. So, yes, I hope it goes down even better than the first season.”
Would you ever use new material or is it always going to be straight from the podcasts?“Yes. No, we will, yes. I mean, we don’t want to waste the stuff we’ve done because there’s still stuff we haven’t reached and we want to get out there because there’s stuff that I want to see animated. But, you know, if we were lucky enough to do Season 3 or 4, we certainly want to do some bespoke stuff. And we’ve got some stuff that we haven’t released it yet and we all do it especially for that, yes, do some one-off specials. But yes that is the plan.”
An animated Ricky from  The Ricky Gervais Show
An animated Ricky from 'The Ricky Gervais Show'
I can't imagine you have a shortage of material.“No, we’ve got quite a backlog of work and, of course, animations take so much longer than three blokes in a room talking rubbish. So they'll never catch up to us. But it’s specialist. The great thing about Episode 1 is when Karl, a film company called him in, they’d heard him on the radio and they called him in for any ideas. I mean, how desperate this film company was, I can’t imagine. They’re asking Karl Pilkington for movie ideas. And it’s where he comes up with the worst idea for a movie I’ve ever heard. It’s the man who puts half of his brain in his wife’s head and he casts in the movie: Rebecca De Mornay. who Steve (Stephan Merchant) says 'We haven’t seen her for 15 years,' and 'Clive Warren,' who doesn’t even exist -- he meant Clive Owen. And you actually get to see the movie because as he’s describing it they’ve made the movie. It’s honestly great. It’s really, really great.”
It really sounds like you are having a wonderful time doing The Ricky Gervais Show. “Oh, yeah, great. Honestly, it’s the most fun thing I do. I mean, it really doesn’t count as work. It’s very strange that this is now, you know, a multi-million dollar animation series around the world on its second season, and it’s three blokes in my office just talking rubbish that we didn’t even know if anyone would hear let alone – so it just goes to show that all the best things are always, you know, labors of love.”
Were all of your shows labors of love?“Everything I’ve done is a passion project, you know, from Flanimals being me trying to make my nephew laugh, to the podcasts -- which were just me hanging out with my mates -- to the true fact tha I worked in an office for seven years and I used to people-watch, and with stand-up, you just talk about things that interest you. And I think it shows that those things, those little surprises, are just great and special. But I still know how lucky we are to be part of that, particularly with such a great channel as HBO. So, I never get bored with that. And like The Office and Extras and most other things I do -- I do want this one, The Ricky Gervais Show, to run and run because we just never run out of listening to Karl.”
Ricky Gervais with his personal idol David Bowie preparing for their scene together in  Extras
Ricky Gervais with his personal idol David Bowie preparing for their scene together in 'Extras'
You are hosting the Golden Globes again this year (on Sunday, January 16, 8:00pmEST on NBC). What are some of the things that you learned from hosting the Globes before that you’ll apply to this year's hosting duties? “Getting more laughs and making sure the audience have a great time at it is why I’m doing it again. At the last one I did, I had such a great time, but like anything you do for the first time, you go, 'Oh, let me do it again. I can do this better. I can do that better.' Do you know what I mean? It’s like the first time I had a go at golf, I wanted to go around again because I said, 'No, I can do it now. I can do it now.' So, yes, I want to give it one more go.”
So you liked hosting the Globes the first time around? “I think it went well. I really enjoyed myself. I think I pitched it about right, but as I said, I think I can go a little bit further. I don’t know, I just think I can really go out and really throw away the shackles of worry. I don’t mean I’m going to go out and again get drunk and, you know, have absolutely no planning or input. But I think I can certainly have more fun with it, and I think I can have more fun with the room as well.”
Looking back at the trajectory of your career – from the British version of The Office to Extras to The Ricky Gervais Show – can you even pinpoint just one moment in your life where you said, “This is a defining moment for me? I can’t believe I’m doing this?” “Boo. This is like Avatar winning. Boo. (laughs) Defining moment? It’s difficult. I mean, I’d have to say meeting (co-creator) Stephen Merchant. If this was a biopic it would be - you know when it’s like 'Hey son, what’s your name?' “My name’s Clay, Cassius, sir.' You know what I mean? They go, 'My name is actually Dundee and I think you’ve got a great (lefter).' It would have to be meeting Stephen Merchant. But then how far back do you go, you know? I worked in an office. It would have to be people-watching. I grew up in a funny family. I grew up in a family where humor was the most important thing. If you paid your way, then you know having a laugh. If it’s career, it’s clearly making The Office. I don’t know what else to base it on?”
Ricky Gervais onstage in his stand-up special  Out Of England
Ricky Gervais onstage in his stand-up special 'Out Of England'
What have been some of your most memorable career highs? “Career highs would be things like winning the Golden Globes in 2004. And that was a strange week, because let me tell you, this is what happened, okay. So we went over to the States, and I didn’t even think that we should go. I thought we had a long way to go just to lose lose. (laughs) And people said, 'You’re mad. It’s an experience. It will be great.' So we won the Globes. And, i got my first real acting job -- my first acting job I had written for myself on Alias, because (creator) J.J. Abrams was a fan. I haven’t watched it. I have never watched the episode. It was me being cool. I can’t watch that. I dread it. It sends a chill down my spine, me trying to be cool. But I hear it’s okay. And then I was called for an audience for Matt Groening and Al Jean and The Simpsons because their favorite show was The Office, which is weird because they created the best show ever. And they said, 'Do you want to write one and be in one?' 'Yes!' And that was the same week we started working on the American version of The Office. That was one week in January 2004. So if you are to pinpoint a week, it would be that. It would be the last week of January 2004.”
It sounds like there are several defining career moments. “There are, because everything is joined to something else. Everything is inextricably mixed. There’s no defining moment really. It’s just, you know, luck and keeping a cool head. I think it happening to me relatively in life was important, you know. All these things, knowing why you’re doing it every day, knowing that you’re lucky and privileged but then really working hard.”
It sound like you work really hard to make your fans laugh. “I try to. My dad was a laborer all his life. He used to get up at 5:30 every morning, five or six days a week, until he was 70 and he never complained. I live a strange, rare, special little life. The least I can do is try my hardest and take it seriously. I think sometimes I come across as smug and pompous and, you know, just taking comedy too seriously, but it’s the only way I can do it to get through. I know it doesn’t matter. I know none of this matters. We’re all going to be dead soon. But there are some people that hate their job and they hate everything they do and they do it because they’ve got to feed a kid or – and the least I can do is try my hardest and something and know that I’m going to be proud of everything I do and have a legacy.”
The Ricky Gervais Show (Only on DVD) Bonus Features: “Comedy Gala Animation” and “Episode Storyboard.”
You first met up with Machete in Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino's Grindhouse Double Feature (Planet Terror and Death Trap) – the two filmmakers homage to the B-movies they loved and influenced them as kids. Machete (played by Danny Trejo) was part of the make-beleive trailers sequence that separated the scratched, sliced-up and reel-missing look of the two Grindhouse films. Much as the trailer promised, Machete was one Mexican you didn't want to screw with (although they put it a lot less eloquently). Rodriguez deicded to turn his fake trailer into a real, full-length motion picture with most of Machete trailer cast and a few faces from Planet Terror, assembling a powerhouse cast that also includes Robert De Niro. Michelle Rodriquez, Cheech Marin(as Machete's gun-toting priest sibling), a super sexy Jessica Alba and a nearly-naked Lindsay Lohan. Machete chronicles the bloody, cut-throat story of how Machete (superbly portrayed by Trejo, a Rodriguez favorite), an out-of-work day laborer and ex-Federale is given $150,000 dollars to assassinate a far right-wing Senator (DeNiro) who is tough on illegal aliens. But it's all a set-up and the Senator's camp is behind the ruse. Machete, whose wife happened to be killed by a ruthless henchman – savagely played by Steven Seagal – who is now working with the Senator's crew. So, after laying waste to all of those who screwed him around, Machete makes it his mission to find the man who shot his mamasita like a dog in the street. Machete is a pure, blood-filled, bare-knuckled fistful of but-kicking action. Whether he's taking on hit men, vigilantes or the drug cartel itself, Machete uses his old Old World machete blade to make sure the body count falls in his favor. Blu-ray Bonus Features: Deleted scenes (with never-before-seen characters); a Digital Copy of Machete via pocketBLU with BD-LIVE! enabled player directly to a portable device and a physical Digital Copy disc.
Case 39
After making countless romantic comedies and historical dramas, Academy Award-winner Renée Zellweger is returning to her early, evil Texas Chainshaw Murders roots for the shocking, suspense-filled and terrifyingly supernatural thriller Case 39. Joining Zellweger for this vacation to hell include (her rumored real-life beau) Bradley Cooper of The Hangover and Ian McShane, a Golden Globe winner for the spectacular Deadwood, they are major elements in this heart-stopping thriller, including an ending that should surprise even the most seasoned or jaded, horror fan. Zellweger delivers an incredible performance as a family services social worker who is determined to save a very troubled little girl with a seemingly haunted past. (Can we all say "supernatural?") However, the deeper she delves into the case, the quicker she learns (much too late) that the mysterious Case 39 is quickly becoming a nightmare the social worker just might not survive. Blu-ray Bonus Features: The featurettes - “Filed Under ‘Evil’: Inside Case 39”, “Turning Up the Heat on the Chill Factor”, “Inside the Hornet’s Nest”, “Playing with Fire” and nearly 30 minutes of Deleted Scenes, which include a twisted and completely unsuspected, heart-pounding Alternate Ending.
Dinner For Schmucks
Ready for one dinner party you'll never forget? Then, if you didn't get invited to see the theatrical run of Dinner For Schmucks (probably a very good thing in your case), here's your chance to watch the proceedings from the comforts (and safety) of your viewing room. A twisted buddy comedy starring the new kings of comedy – the hysterical Steve Carell and the hilariously sublime Paul Rudd – and directed by Jay Roach, Dinner For Schmucks is a surprisingly touching story of a rising executive (Rudd) who inadvertently finds a way to fast-track his career by participating in his boss’s exclusive dinner party. It's unlike any dinner party you've ever attended – to be crowned the winner the winning executive must bring the biggest buffoon they can find. Our young exec thinks he's found the perfect candidate when he meets Barry (Carell), an IRS employee with the strange hobby of creating historical dioramas with mice. With Barry by his side, he can already feel himself moving up the ladder of success. But there's a bunch of other schmucks at this gathering – portrayed by the funniest comic ensemble imaginable, including Zach Galifianakis, Jemaine Clement , Jeff Dunham, Bruce Greenwood, Ron Livingston, Lucy Punch, David Walliams, Larry Wilmore and Kristen Schaal – and they are not about to lose this easy looking game to a bunch of D-list knuckleheads. Blu-ray Bonus Features: “The Biggest Schmucks in the World” featurette; a hilarious gag reel entitled “Schmuck Ups”; Deleted Scenes and the “ The Mousterpieces Montage” – meet the guests at the infamous dinner; “Meet The Winners” and "Paul and Steve: The Decision" – a spoof of LeBron James’ press conference by Carell and Rudd.
Beyblade: Metal Fusion Volume 2
Action Anime takes a giant leap forward with Volume 2 of the cult hit Beyblade: Metal Fusion. The war that wages on between good and evil begins to escalate to terrifying new heights with the addition of the new members/characters to Beyblade: Metal Fusion. The new team of Beybalde members must fight for their control of dominance – utilizing with spinning Beyblade tops in their never-ending war against The Dark Nebula, the most evil organization in the galaxy. While they keep up their constant fighting with Beyblade, The Dark Nebula are in continual pursuit of Gingka – the most powerful and courageous hero of the land, who can singlehandedly stop The Dark Nebula from continuing on with their horrifying plans to unleash a forbidden and evil Beybalde. Gingka is possibly the only fighter smart and strong enough to destroy any of The Black Nebula's plans to gain the upper hand in this epic battle between good and evil. Luckily, for extra added insurance, Gingka's pals at Beyblade have assured him that they will be by his side to fight their common enemy. However, at the end of the day, Gingka is the only persona capable to command and manage the strength and endurance needed to not only defend his world, but more importantly, the honor of the Beyblade. (Only on DVD)
As technology begins to quickly take over our lives, both professional and the amateur filmmakers search for new and interesting subjects to focus on. You've already seen the cute kitties doing silly pet tricks that your neighbor taped on their new high-end, Hi-Def video camera. But some of the subjects people are taping don't always leave you feeling all fuzzy inside, there is a dark side of our society and there's somebody always there ready to tape that darjness on their camera phone or through their lap-top lens. Catfish folloes the events that unfolded when, in 2007, filmmakers Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost, believe there is an interesting cinematic story to be told about the life of Ariel's “unique” brother, Nev Schulman. Giving them a chance to hone up on their filmmaking skills, as Schulman and Joost begin filming Nev's seemingly everyday life, neither of them have an inkling that their project would ultimately turn into something completely unexpected -- the most adrenalin-filled and unnerving months of their entire lives. At its darkened heart, Catfish is an unsettling reality thriller that could easily be labeled a shocking, but realistic byproduct of our hi-tech generation. Riveting, suspenseful and undeniably realistic, Catfish (directed by Henry and Ariel) may also be a story of love, friendship and faith but it's primarily a cautionary tale of deception and how an online friendship can go terribly wrong. Blu-ray Bonus Features: “Secrets Revealed” - a Q&A discussion with the filmmakers and star Yaniv Schulman; BD-LIVE!; pocketBLU, Advance Remote Control; Video Timeline; Mobile-To-Go; Browse Titles; Keyboard; My Scenes and uHear.
Buffy The Vampire Player Season 8: Motion Comic
Before you begin to think of various ways to end it all, because the studios have finally made the much-rumored Buffy big screen remake, you can sit right back down, take your prescribed meds and breathe a big sigh of relief. Luckily, it's the same old Buffy (the original creation of master Joss Whedon) that we grew up and fell in love with – sorta – but now she's animated. Based on the award-winning, fan-loving Dark Horse Comics series, Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 8 picks up Buffy's story after the Hellmouth (and Sunnydale) had been destroyed for good at the end of the live-action Season Seven. In this sensational, groundbreaking animated set of 19 episodes, Buffy and Xander high-tail it to a citadel in Scotland where they begin to work with a group of the thousands of newly-activated slayers from the four corners of the planet. Targets of vampires, your everyday undead zombie and even the American Government (who considered the Slayers terrorists for destroying Sunnydale), Buffy, Xander and their new crew of slayer buddies are back to save the world. It may not be Sarah Michelle Gellar, but this Buffy is just as tough and sexy as the one we chhered for in the flesh. This is one animated feature you cannot afford to be without. Buffy fans unite! Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack Bonus Features: Special Edition Buffy The Vampire Slayer comic book; “Under Buffy's Spell” featurette; The Buffy Trivia Experience; Test Pilot and Comic Book Covers Gallery. BLU-RAY ONLY: BD-LIVE! DVD ONLY:Create Your Own Buffy Comic with Tooncast Studio DVD-ROM.
Big Love: The Complete Fourth Season
Big Love is absolutely one of the most fascinating, expertly-scripted and brilliantly acted series on television today. For those of you who may have missed the first four seasons of Big Love, this magnetic and completely original series follows the lives of a modern polygamist family who set up stakes in Salt Lake City. Created and executive produced by Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer, Big Love follows the fascinating life of homegrown Salt Lake City boy Bill Henrickson (Bill Paxton), a man who spends the better part of his days attempting to bring stability to his life with his three wives (Jeanne Tripplehorn, Ginnifer Goodwin and Chloë Sevigny), nine kids, three houses and his own entrepreneurial ambitions. Now, for those longtime Big Love fans (Big Lovers), in Season Four, Bill's ambitions include the grand opening of a Mormon-friendly casino – with Native American partners – but there's a little controversy brewing when it comes to Barb's role at the gaming palace. There's also talk of Bill running for the Utah State Senate, but he's also dealing with his wife Nicki's hostile relationship with his ex-husband and Margene's new career as a personality on a home shopping network. And, at the Juniper Creek compound, there's a rather uneasy changing of the guard, and Bill just doesn't have the requisite amount of time to deal with it. As usual, there's a lot going on with Mormon Bill in Salt Lake City – his own little slice of heaven. (Only On DVD) Bonus Feature: “Inside the Episode,” nine perspectives of each episode offered by Big Love creators Olsen and Scheffer. (Big Love: Season Five debuts on Sunday, January 16 at 9:00pm EST on HBO. Check local listings).
Mannix: The Fourth Season
In the latter years of the 1960s and the early-'70s, there was no crime-fighter on network prime-time as cool and no-nonsense as Los Angeles private detective Joe Mannix – expertly played by Mike Connors, a role that would make him a household name. Never before had the terms “raw” and “gritty” been used to describe a crime series until Mannix came along. And, for very good reasons, the weekly adventures of the hard-boiled detective (and his faithful assistant Peggy Fair) find him doling out justice (not always legal) for his interesting list of clients. Of course, Joe Mannix didn't always care what tiny law he might be breaking or whose head he might be cracking. From its tense opening credits to its heart-racing closing, Mannix always promised the viewer an evening of excitement – and never failed to deliver. One of the most popular and the longest-running crime series ever made (thanks to the adventures of Joe Mannix), Mannix was a street smart detective who didn't rely on the new-fangled, hi-tech gadgets that were supposed to help police catch the criminals. With Joe Mannix, his gut feelings were more reliable in catching the bad guy than some fancy machines – and Joe Mannix got his man (or woman) every time. (Only on DVD)
The Sarah Jane Adventures: Complete Third Season
Investigative journalist Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen), a one-time traveling companion of Doctor Who, learned well from The Doctor as she and her son Luke (Tommy Knight), and his teen pals Rani and Clyde (like the Torchwood clan and Doctor Who) are becoming experts in saving our planet from hostile, earth-visiting aliens and ridding our planet of some pretty scary monsters. Another creation from award-winning writer Russell T Davies (Torchwood, Doctor Who), Season Three is a special season, even for Sarah Jane, who has visited galaxies and met beings that scientists could only dream of coming in contact with. This season, Sarah Jane gets a visit from a good friend, the Tenth Doctor Who – David Tennant – who appears on The Sarah Jane Adventures for more than just a mere cameo appearance. Tennant (considered the most popular Doctor) joins the series in a character arc that spans across two whole episodes. And, if the Doctor dropping in isn't enough to make Sarah Jane one happy lady, then a visit from her favorite robot dog, K-9, certainly does the trick. In addition to K-9 and Doctor Who, there are even more strange and exciting things happening during Season Three at her home at 13 Bannerman Road. From helping a lonely telepathic alien – whose powers seem to be temporarily out of control – to finding the truth behind unexplained phenomena in a haunted house to a totally unexpected and dreaded visit from her most dangerous enemy yet – the Judoon. (Only on DVD) Bonus Feature: An audio clip from the Sarah Jane Adventures audio book "The White Wolf.”
The Lena Baker Story
Based on the true life and death story of Lena Baker, the first woman to be sent to the electric chair in Georgia in 1945 – for the murder of her employer who had sold her into sexual slavery.-- The Lena Baker Story is a powerful, passionate and ultimately heartbreaking motion picture. Starring Tichina Arnold as Baker, a woman who suffered through a hellish childhood and an early adulthood in 1930's Georgia But Lena has put her terrible past far behind her in order to make a living for herself and her family. She scores a great job for an infamous white man, Elliot Arthur (Peter Coyote), a hostile, alcoholic, tyrant of a boss. They form a strange, spark-filled relationship that ignites into full cruelty as Arthur begins to abuse Lena. Lena's situation worsens as her boss kidnaps her and keeps her away from her family for several weeks. As the abuse continues, Lena must make the decision to fight back for her live – but it comes at a heavy cost. After Arthur turns up dead, Lena is charged with his murder and her case makes headlines across the newspapers owned by elite White Americans. After several months of a grueling trial, Lena Baker is found guilty of murder and is sentenced to death by electrocution. The Lena Baker Story is an even more shocking example of the rampant racism that ruled the South in the early part of the 20th century – one that aims right for the heart and one you'll never forget. (Only on DVD) Bonus Features: Behind-the-Scenes featurette and Stills Gallery.
Mama Flora's Family
When you have a star-studded and award-winning ensemble of veteran actors that includes Cicely Tyson (Sounder), Blair Underwood (The Event), Queen Latifah (Dreamgirls), Hill Harper (CSI: New York), Mario Van Peebles (Damages), Shemar Moore (Criminal Minds), Della Reese (Touched By An Angel) and Erika Alexander (Déjà Vu), you're going to get a film that you'll be able to relate to on one level or another, and there will be a character or two that you will remind you of yourself or someone you know. Based on the bestselling novel by Pulitzer Prize winner Alex Haley, the author of the legendary Roots, and the winner of two NAACP Image Awards, Mama Flora’s Family is the touching story of a southern seventysomething black woman who recalls her past and looks back at the events – both joyful and heartbreaking – that shaped her into the woman she is today. She takes on the challenge of remembering both the joy and the pain of her seventy years on this Earth in the hopes of helping out her troubled granddaughter. From Haley to Tyson to the NAACP, Mama Flora's Family is pure, unadulterated magnificence. (Only on DVD)
The Garfield Show: All You Need is Love (and Pasta)
For these six episodes from The Garfield Show, in preparation of Valentine's Day next month, the theme is love. Of course, for Garfield (a creation of comic strip writer Jim Davis) his one true love is lasagna (and getting rid of a few fur balls). If you're looking for the perfect V-Day gift for that special guy or girl, why not try a combo pack of some candy hearts, a bed of roses and a DVD copy of The Garfield Show: All You Need Is Love (And Pasta)? It will be the funniest Valentine's Day you've had in years. Or, if you want to be the coolest parent on the block, get it for the the kids because they will love it, and so will you. It's a really funny DVD for fans of Garfield and of hysterical animated comedies – period. CGI-animated, The Garfield Show – a big hit on the Cartoon Network – features the plump cat and how he deals with the world he lives in, his owner Jon Arbuckle, and the goofy and always happy pup Odie. The wonderfully droll Garfield must also put up with Nermal, the sickeningly cute little kitty, his eternal visitor Squeak, the mouse, and a various group of animals and humans from Garfield's neighborhood. Whatever the situation – fun, funny or funnier – Garfield always has something sarcastically witty or hilarious clever to say. And, when it comes to love, Garfield is at no loss for words. (Only on DVD) Bonus Features: Various Garfield shorts.
Often called the ultimate firefighters movie, the Ron Howard-directed Backdraft is indeed a sizzling, hot-as-hell thriller about the lives of a group of loyal Chicago firefighters and what they must must endure on the job each day. It continues to stand the test of time as an exciting thriller that reveals the real mystery, drama and devastation of fire that most of us had never seen before. Backdraft featured a cast of talented actors such as Scott Glenn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rebecca De Mornay, Robert De Niro and Donald Sutherland. Carrying on the dangerous but often heroic family business of Chicago firefighting, Kurt Russell and William Baldwin portray two feuding brothers who sometimes let their emotions get in the way of common sense. And that's not smart when you are fighting your enemy of fire. However, when a unsetting, strange series of arson attacks begin being reported, the siblings smartly set aside their differences to solve the mystery accompanying the explosive arson crimes. Bonus Features: Ron Howard Introduction; Deleted Scenes; The featurettes - “Bringing Together The Team,” “The Explosive Stunts,” “Creating The Villain: The Fire” and “Real-Life Firemen, Real-Life Stories”; BD-LIVE!; Scene Companion and pocketBLU.
Lost In Translation
The film that introduced the world to another generation of talented music-making, acting and filmmaking Coppolas, director Sofia Coppola's breathtaking motion picture (which she also wrote) was shot entirely in Tokyo. Lost In Translation is the modern-day telling of two Americans stuck in Japan for different reasons. Bill Murray plays Bob Harris and in one of her early adult performances, Scarlett Johansson brings the character of Charlotte to life. Bob is a major American movie star in Tokyo to shoot a whiskey commercial, and Charlotte is in town just to tag along with her workaholic photographer husband (Giovanni Ribisi).With their inner clocks all screwed up, Bob and Charlotte accidentally meet each other one sleepless night in the bar of their luxurious Tokyo hotel. Before they know it, they become close friends: taking scenic walks through the streets of the Asian capital, mingling with the city's citizens and both realizing that there are more to life's possibilities than they ever thought of before becoming friends. A poignant, funny and bittersweet film, Sofia Coppola created a classic. modern masterpiece about how unexpected connections can sometimes effect us forever. Bonus Features: Deleted Scenes; The featurettes – "On The Set of Sofia Coppola's (new film)Somewhere,” “A Conversation with Bill Murray and Sofia Coppola,” “Lost On Location” and “”Matthe's Best Hit TV; Kevin Shield music video for “City Girl”; BD-LIVE! and pocketBLU.
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