Rob McElhenney + Glenn Howerton, two of the stars, writers & executive producers of the outrageously funny and always politically incorrect comedy series, 'It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia,' reveal there are some subjects they simply don't joke about.
Whether it's euthanasia, underage drinking, gay marriage, cannibalism, homophobia or smokers' rights, no subject is off limits for the hilariously warped Gang of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia. The fictional staff of Paddy's Pub — Mac (Rob McElhenney), Dennis (Glenn Howerton), Charlie (Charlie Day), Dee (Kaitlin Olson) and Frank (Danny DeVito) — take dysfunction and political incorrectness to wickedly hilarious extremes in the refreshingly raw and edgy television comedy that just began its eighth season on the air. Surprisingly, though, both Rob McElhenney (creator, executive producer, writer, costar) and Glenn Howerton (costar, executive producer, writer) confess — during a phone interview — that they have set limits for what the show's "Gang" (from the worst bar in Philly) can joke about on It's Always Sunny On Philadelphia.
"From the very beginning of the show, we've never made jokes just for the sake of offending anyone," explains Howerton, a graduate of the Julliard School. "Of course, people will always be offended by things. That's just the way it is. Usually the people who get insulted the most over the course of an episode are the characters themselves, which is why I think we can get away with so much. It's just a matter of taste. Actually, in the season opener, we had some very touchy subject matter. I won't go into it, but there were some things that we decided to extract from the episode, because we felt like it took the joke a little bit too far. It's when it goes into that territory where it's not funny anymore."
Glenn Howerton as Dennis on 'It's Always Sunny In Philadephia'
After eight years of writing, producing and performing on It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, the series main cast members (who all contribute to the writing of the series) have learned how to not cause headaches for the Standards and Practices division of the show's home at the FX network by trying to push the boundaries of good taste — over the edge. "I think after doing seven seasons we've kinda figured out what we can get away with and what we can't," admits Rob McElhenney, who is married to cast mate, Kaitlin Olson, in real life. "I think at this point everybody understands what the show is and what we're trying to do with the show. I think that that helps a lot. That allows the audience to be along for the ride as opposed to, like Glenn said, offending people."
"A lot of it is just about context," the 36-year-old Howerton interjects. "Certain things, done in a certain context, when they're justifiable and they're not just cruel or offensive, we can get away with. I also have to say that setting limits does cause you to be a little bit more creative when you can't just do or say anything. Having certain self-imposed boundaries and restrictions can actually be helpful, to a certain degree. We have made some good ones with FX. Seriously, I think the boundaries make it more challenging — it forces us to be more creative."
Rob McElhenney as Mac on 'It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia'
In addition to policing themselves to ensure they don't go overboard with the often tasteless, but hilarious, jokes and stunts on It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, the actors/writers have also set a criteria concerning how they decide to develop and continue on with a storyline for an episode. "Most importantly, what we're always talking about is, for as unbelievable as some of the storylines may seem, we have to believe that the characters believe that what they're doing gets them what they want," explains McElhenney, a 35-year-old, born-and-bred Philadelphian. "That's the most important aspect of breaking a story, so it doesn't just feel like a series of funny events. That's how we really justify why these characters are acting the way that they do. That's the major criteria that I follow. Of course, we like to tie things up and tie things together. That's just good story writing."
When it comes to many of outrageous antics and hysterical storylines on It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, the duo reveal that the inspiration for most of their material simply comes from the world we all live in. "Some of it, probably, to whatever degree, is taken from the headlines," Howerton says. "I think it's really just the way our brains work, I guess, you could say. It's the filter to which we see the world. I think we're all observing what's going on around us. Taking down ideas as the years go on and putting them on screen in the only way we know how."
Devito, Howerton and Caitlin in the Season 8 premeire episode of 'It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia'
McElhenney admits that some of craziness that the Gang on It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia —the most vain, dishonest, self-obsessed gang of friends since Seinfeld — have to deal with on a weekly basis can often be a tad bit autobiographical in nature. A perfect example of utilizing storyline material based on their own lives is the main subject matter of Season Eight's premiere episode. "In it, we deal with euthanasia and that was sparked somewhat by a conversion that I was having with (wife) Kaitlin (Olson), where we were fast-forwarding in our lives and trying to figure out if one of us was on life-support — those are conversations that we have to have," McElhenney recalls. "We were like, 'What do we want? Do we want to be on DNR? Do we want to be hooked up forever?' We were having that conversation and I brought it up in the writer's room and then that's what sparked the conversation and we started thinking, 'Okay, now, how can we do an episode about this?'"
When McElhenney asks Howerton if he and his actress wife, Jill Latiano (who recently did a guest spot on The Glades), have made any real-life decisions about euthanasia, Howerton quickly replies, "We haven't decided on anything, but we're definitely going to pull the plug and take you out," he says, followed by a wicked laugh. "Actually, I did have that same conversation with my wife," admits Howerton, a former Air Force brat who was born in Japan, but spent his formative years in Montgomery, Alabama. "It was actually funny, because we both had a totally different view on it. She was like, 'Well, I don't know, I mean, what if something happens?' I was like, 'Look, if something happens to me, and I'm in a coma for a certain amount of time and the doctors are all saying, "Even if he does wake up, he'll be brain dead," then just pull the plug. I don't want to live that way. Take me out. Send me off into the next life. Release my soul from this crushed body.'" McElhenney jokingly adds, "I think I want to be kept alive until the machine overlords can upload my soul into another body."
The Gang celebrates on 'It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia'
McElhenney, Howerton and Charlie Day's wives have all appeared on It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia. Kaitlin Olson portrays series regular Dee; Day's spouse, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, has a recurring role as a waitress at a coffee shop and Jill Latiano appeared as Caylee on the 2009 episode "The D.E.N.N.I.S. System." In retrospect, whose idea was it to bring on their significant others onto It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia and bringing them on the show to loathe the characters that they paired them up with? For a moment the pair is silent. "Well. I started to loathe Kaitlin only after Season One," McElhenney declares. "We weren't dating at all prior to it. We met on the show. The loathing didn't start until Season One, and then that's when it really got exciting for us — sexually."
Latiano and Ellis also played women who didn't care much for their husbands' characters — in the worst pairing possible. Howerton says there is a perfectly good explanation for it. "I think that's just more of the nature of our show than what we were trying to do specifically … It's just more funny within the context of our universe to have characters in conflict than the other way around," he explains. "It's not a show that you're really going to see many characters that are in love or having a good relationship or healthy relationship. It's not the nature of our show."
A "fat" Mac (McElhenney) in Season 7 of 'It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia'
Last season on It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia (now available on Blu-ray + DVD), the Gang lived it up at the Jersey Shore, Frank (DeVito) married a hooker, and Mac (McElhenney) got very, very fat. Bonus Features such as deleted scenes and outtakes are usual staples of most shows' seasonal Blu-ray/DVD collections. On It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia: The Complete Season Seven BD/DVD they are non-existent. Howerton explains that the lack of deleted scenes actually represents a real artistic growth for the writers of the series. "We've started to streamline things a little bit better in the writing process so that we don't end up with a lot of scenes on the cutting room floor," he admits. "I think, actually, earlier on we probably had more things that we cut, because the scripts were longer. Now, we would try to edit ourselves as much as possible in the writing, because we don't want to shoot a bunch of things aren't going to make it. Most of the stuff that just doesn't make it on the air is just either probably extensions of scenes or little things that were cut out more than whole scenes themselves."
On the current season of It's Always Sunny... (which premiered earlier this month), the Gang go to therapy, hunt for Nazi treasure, and try to undermine Philly's toughest union – the trash men. Charlie (Day) and Dee (Olson) find love, Frank re-enters the business world, and Dee blurs the lines between the real and virtual worlds when she falls into an obsession with computer games. Fans will witness more disagreements, disunion and divisiveness as the Gang tries once again to scheme their way to happiness. Viewers of the over-the-top comedy can also expect to see a number of special guest stars during Season Eight. "We've got a really fun guest star role for Sean Combs — P. Diddy — this year, and I'm excited for people to see it," McElhenney reveals. "I think it's very, very different from anything that he's ever done — at least, the things I've ever seen him do — on anything. We're excited about that."
Howerton, McElhenney and Day at Season 8 premiere party for 'It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia'
"Fans will also get to see Guillermo del Toro, the director, writer, producer (of the Hellboy film franchise)," Howerton interjects. "We found out that he is a big fan of the show. Charlie just did a movie with him (Kung Fu Panda 3), so he really wanted to do a guest star spot on the show, so we wrote him in this year, too. It's really funny."
It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia has already been picked up by FX for a ninth season. While the cast is excited to be doing another year of the show, McElhenney and Howerton are not very thrilled about having to start filming Season Nine earlier than usual. "This year is a little bit different, because we had to start a lot later this season," Howerton laments. "We want to get back on our earlier schedule. But, that means we're really only going to have one month off between seasons."
"What's rough about that is that we all have new babies," McElhenney adds. "There's multiples — Caitlin and I have two babies. Glenn has one and Charlie has one, so we want to spend as much time with our families as we can. But we have to get back to work so that we can turn out another great season."
Howerton and McElhenney in a scene from 'It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia'
With seven seasons already in the can, an eighth one currently receiving rave critical reviews and work on a ninth about to begin, have McElhenney and Howerton decided which season will be the final one for the Gang? "No, because we want to go a full quarter century," Rob proudly announces. Almost choking on his words, Howerton quickly interrupts his pal and cast mate's declaration. "God, no, no, no -- God forbid we go that long," Glenn says, half-jokingly. "Actually, we'd like a nice round number of ten. We'll probably go ten seasons. I think our goal for the show is always to surprise people, because we think that that's really the best way to achieve comedy; comedic result is to always be surprising people. That's our overall goal. I think the idea of knowing when our last season is exciting, because we can actually write towards an end. But that won't be for a couple years."
"But, I want to break Bonanza's record," McElhenney insists. "And how long was Bonanza's record?" Howerton quizzes his Gang partner. "It was 22 years, that's not long — hey, are you there? Are you okay or did you faint, Glenn?" Rob queries when Howerton doesn't respond to McElhenney's desire to do It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia for at least another decade. Ignoring Howerton's
deliberate, humorous silence on the subject, Rob adds, "I want to be on the air longer than The Simpsons. Now, that's the kind of record we could be proud of." The phone line remains filled with dead air as McElhenney keeps repeating into his receiver, "Glenn, 22 years is not that long. Glenn, Glenn..."
It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia: The Complete Season Seven Blu-ray Bonus Features: "Artemis Tours Philadelphia"; Blooper Reel and Audio Commentary on Select Episodes. ON THE NET: For photos, clips, cast info and more for It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, visit FX's Official It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia Site @ www.fxnetworks.com/shows/originals/sunnyNew episodes for Season Eight of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia air every Thursday night at 10:00pmET/9:00pmCT on the FX network. (Check local listings)NOW AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY AND/OR DVD:
Ten years ago, the Ukrainian government let tourists visit the area around Chernobyl. They said it was safe... it wasn't. Chernobyl, 1986: As the worst nuclear disaster in history unfolds, residents are driven from their homes in the nearby city of Pripyat without enough time to grab even their most precious personal belongings. Experience the darkest side of disaster in Chernobyl Diaries. Over 25 years later, six young vacationers and their "extreme tourism" guide visit Pripyat to explore the ruins of a city now desolate and seemingly abandoned. But when they're forced to stay the night, they soon discover that they may not be alone in this eerie shocker. Written and produced by Oren Peli (Paranormal Activity) and Carey Van Dyke & Shane Van Dyke, Chernobyl Diaries stars Devin Kelley, Jonathan Sadowski, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Olivia Taylor Dudley, Jesse McCartney, Nathan Phillips and Dimitri Diatchenko. Chernobyl Diaries is available on Blu-ray Combo pack, DVD and for download. Chernobyl Diaries Blu-ray Combo Pack (Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet) Bonus Features: Alternate Ending (not seen in theaters): "Uri’s Extreme Tours Infomercial"; "Chernobyl Conspiracy Viral Video" and a Deleted Scene. ON THE NET: View Chernobyl Diaries trailers on YouTube videos @ http://youtu.be/2KmB3QeX1bI + www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pq47T48u8Zo * Use the Chernobyl Diaries hashtag in all your Twitter activities: #CHERNOBYLDIARIES * Visit the Official Facebook Page @ http://www.facebook.com/chernobyldiaries
Mad Men: Season Five
The men and women of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce are back with all-new drama inside and outside of the office. From creator Matthew Weiner (The Sopranos) and featuring a stellar cast including Jon Hamm (Friends with Kids), Elisabeth Moss (The West Wing), Christina Hendricks (I Don't Know How She Does It) and January Jones (X-Men: First Class). The hit series also stars Vincent Kartheiser (In Time), John Slattery (The Adjustment Bureau), Jessica Paré (Lost and Delirious), Robert Morse (City of Angels), Kiernan Shipka (Carriers), Aaron Stanton (August Rush), Rich Sommer (The Devil Wears Prada) and Jared Harris (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows).The AMC premiere of Season Five was the most watched Mad Men episode ever, up over 21% from the previous season premiere. Mad Men continues to establish itself as one of the most honored series in television history, winning its fourth consecutive Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series last year, a milestone achieved by only three other shows in history (Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law and The West Wing). Blu-ray Bonus Features: "Mad Men Say the Darndest Things" - Take a look at the best one-liners from the series and perhaps you will see your favorite; "The Uniform Time Act of 1966" - A pictorial time line explores the history of Daylight Savings Time and its official observance in the United States; "What Shall I Love If Not the Enigma?" - A glance into the life and work of metaphysical artist Giorgio de Chirico; "The Party of the Century" - Author Deborah Davis and legendary bandleader Peter Duchin take you inside Truman Capote's infamous Black & White Masquerade Ball. "Scoring Mad Men: Inside a Session" - Join composer David Carbonarra, orchestrator Geoff Stradling and sound engineer Jim Hill in the recording studio as they discuss their formula for scoring Mad Men; "Newsweek Magazine Digital Gallery" - A selection of Newsweek Magazine covers share the top news stories from around the world in 1966 and Mad Men: Season 5 Commentaries - Matthew Weiner and the cast and crew of Mad Men take viewers behind the scenes in feature-length audio commentaries for all 13 episodes. ON THE NET: To view episodic photos, cast bios, clips, episodes, to play Mad Men trivia games, blog and more, visit AMC's Official Mad Men Site @ www.amctv.com/shows/mad-men/
Set on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965, Moonrise Kingdom tells the story of two 12-year-olds who fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness. As various authorities try to hunt them down, a violent storm is brewing off-shore - and the peaceful island community is turned upside down in every which way. Bruce Willis plays the local sheriff, Captain Sharp. Edward Norton is a Khaki Scout troop leader, Scout Master Ward. Bill Murray and Frances McDormand portray the young girl's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bishop. The cast also includes Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, and Bob Balaban; and introduces Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward as Sam and Suzy, the boy and girl. Moonrise Kingdom is directed and co-written (with Roman Coppola) by two-time Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Wes Anderson (The Royal Tenenbaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Rushmore). Blu-ray Combo Pack (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) Bonus Features: "A Look Inside Moonrise Kingdom"; "Welcome To The Island Of New Penzance" and "A Set Tour With Bill Murray." ON THE NET: Check out photos, character posters, videos and more at the Official Moonrise Kingdom Site @ www.moonrisekingdom.com
That's My Boy
Adam Sandler (Jack and Jill) joins Andy Samberg (Saturday Night Live) and Leighton Meester (Gossip Girl) in the outrageous comedy about an immature and single parent who wants to reunite with his son, While still in his teens, Donny (Sandler) fathered a son, Todd (Samberg), and raised him as a single parent until Todd's 18th birthday. Now, after not seeing each other for years, Todd's world comes crashing down on the eve of his wedding when an uninvited Donny suddenly shows up. Trying desperately to reconnect with his son, Donny is now forced to deal with the repercussions of his bad parenting skills with outrageous events happening along the way. That's My Boy was directed by Sean Anders from the screenplay by David Caspe. The film also stars Academy Award-nominee James Caan (Best Supporting Actor, The Godfather, 1972), Academy Award-winner Susan Sarandon (Best Actress, Dead Man Walking, 1996), Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes), and Rob Vanwinkle a.k.a. Vanilla Ice. Blu-ray Bonus Features: Five deleted scenes; a Gag Reel and three behind-the-scenes featurettes: "Who Are All These People?" - highlights the cast and cameo appearances in the film, "Greetings From Cape Cod?" - discusses the beach house location and the bad weather and "Classy Rick's Bacon and Leggs" - focuses on scenes from the film that took place in Classy Rick's strip club. ON THE NET: For clips, photos, cast bios and more, head to the Official That's My Boy Site @ www.thatsmyboy-movie.com
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted
Your favorite characters are back, in their most hilarious adventure yet! Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Gloria the Hippo, and Melman the Giraffe are still fighting to get home to their beloved Big Apple and of course, King Julien, Maurice and the Penguins are all along for the comedic adventure. Their journey takes them through Europe where they find the perfect cover: a traveling circus, which they reinvent – Madagascar style. The whole crew joins the circus to escape Captain Dubois of Animal Control. Full of high-flying action and colorful new characters, it's a mad extravaganza everyone will love. Get ready to wig out! Directed by Tom McGrath, Eric Darnell and Conrad Vernon, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted features an ensemble cast of voice talents that include Ben Stiller, David Schwimmer, Martin Short, Chris Miller, Jada Pinkett Smith, Chris Rock, Cedric The Entertainer, Sacha Baron Cohen, Andy Richter and Tom McGrath. Combo Pack (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) Bonus Features: "Marty's Rainbow Wig"; "Big Top Cast"; "High Flying Deleted Scenes"; "Mad Music Mash Up"; "Filmmakers' Commentary"; "Get Them To The Train"; "The Animators' Corner"; Trivia Track: "Ringmasters" and "Madagascar 3 Round Table." ON THE NET: For photos, games, trivia and more, go to the Official Madagascar 3 Site @ www.madagascarmovie.com
Touch: The Complete First Season
Kiefer Sutherland (24) makes a triumphant return to television in this smart and hopeful drama about the ties that bind all of us together. Single father Martin Bohm (Sutherland) struggles to raise his emotionally challenged son Jake. But Martin soon discovers that Jake possesses an amazing gift: the ability to see the hidden patterns of numbers that connect every life on the planet. With the help of a brilliant professor (Danny Glover), Martin learns to communicate with Jake and help people around the world. Blending science and spirituality, this unique series will touch you in ways you never thought possible. DVD Bonus Features: "Fate's Equations"; Deleted Scenes and "Touch the World." ON THE NET: Follow the Red Thread of Fate to explore the connections between the people and places of Touch @ http://www.touchredthread.com/ * For a schedule, episodes, photos and more, go to the Official Touch Site @ www.fox.com/touch/
Neil Young Journeys
In May of 2011, Neil Young drove a 1956 Crown Victoria from his idyllic hometown of Omemee, Ontario to downtown Toronto's iconic Massey Hall where he intimately performed the last two nights of his solo world tour. Along the drive, Young recounted insightful and introspective stories from his youth to filmmaker Jonathan Demme. Demme, a long-time fan and collaborator, captured these tales of Young's childhood and masterfully weaved them together with his mesmerizing music including live performances from the 2010 album Le Noise and powerful renditions of classics including "Ohio", "Hey Hey, My My", "I Believe in You" and previously unreleased songs "Leia" and "You Never Call." Through the tunes and the tales, Demme portrays a personal, retrospective look into the heart and soul of the artist. Blu-ray Bonus Features: "Journey to Slamdance: A Conversation With Neil Young & Jonathan Demme"; "92Y Talks With Neil Young & Jonathan Demme" and "Making Journeys." ON THE NET: Visit Sony Classic's Official Neil Young Journeys Site @ http://sonyclassics.com/neilyoungjourneys
Psych: The Complete Sixth Season
The world's most dynamic, and oddball, detective duo get more than they bargained for when they take on con-artists, masked vigilantes and Darth Vader collectibles in the wild sixth season of Psych. Fake "psychic detective" Shawn Spencer (James Roday) and his best bud, Burton "Gus" Guster (Dulé Hill), go undercover, behind the scenes and over the top to solve some of the most off the wall crimes imaginable. But how long can these super sleuths keep their psychic secret safe? Guest starring William Shatner (Boston Legal), Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride), Molly Ringwald (The Breakfast Club) and Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon), re-live the laughs, thrills and mind-boggling mysteries uninterrupted and back-to-back in all 16 episodes of the totally unique and unpredictable series that will keep you guessing — "just whodunit." DVD Bonus Features: Deleted & Extended Scenes; Gag Reel; Video & Audio Commentaries; Montages and "Underground With Psych." ON THE NET: For a schedule, Video Hub, "Hashtag Killer," "Club Psych," "Psych-Outs," "Gus's 3D Mahjong," Character Profiles and more, go to USA's Official Psych Site @ www.usanetwork.com/series/psych/The Seventh Season of Psych begins on February 27, 2013 on the USA network. (Check local listings)
The Ice House
Daniel Craig (Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) stars in one of his earliest roles in this adaptation of award-winning crime novelist Minette Walters' literary debut. Ten years ago, Phoebe Maybury's hateful husband David disappeared from Streech Grange. Now a naked, unidentifiable corpse has been discovered in the icehouse on the Grange, and Inspectors Walsh (Corin Redgrave, Foyle's War, The Forsyte Saga) and McLoughlin (Craig) have to decide whose it is, whether he was murdered, and who killed him. When an unidentifiable corpse is discovered on the grounds of Streech Grange, the detectives played by Corin Redgrave (Four Weddings and a Funeral) and Daniel Craig have to decide whether it’s the start of a new case — or the solution to a missing person case which started ten years ago when David Maybury disappeared without a trace. Based on the award-winning novel by Minette Walters, The Ice House is a crime drama with fascinating characters and a plot filled with twists and turns, yet asks a very simple question: is vengeance ever justified? DVD Bonus Features: "Minette Walters On Writing A Novel" featurette. ON THE NET: For more on The Ice House, visit the BBC America Shop @ www.bbcamericashop.com/dvd/the-ice-house-16871.html
Last Of The Summer Wine: Vintage 1995 - Reserve
The world’s longest running sitcom is back for another season of hilarious adventures…and once again, a few misadventures. In the Christmas Special, the trio organizes a piano recital for their friend Billy, but when he takes the stage, Billy faints from fright. Luckily, Compo has an idea up his sleeve. After seeing a pothole that reminds him of trenches, Foggy relives his World War II memories. When the trio inherits a van, they’re surprised to find it also comes with someone’s wife in the back. Foggy picks up hypnotherapy, but ends up hypnotizing himself in the process. Later, he believes he is a distant member of an old aristocratic family. Finally, when Compo uses his bed as a trampoline, he ends up caught in a bed spring, but will Compo and Clegg find a way to free him? ON THE NET: For more info on Last Of The Summer Wine, visit BBC U.K.'s Official Site @ www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/lastofthesummerwine
Pete's Dragon: 35th Anniversary Edition
For the first time ever, you and your family can rediscover Disney's classic musical adventure — the 35th Anniversary Edition of Pete's Dragon in dazzling Blu-ray High Definition with an all-new digital restoration! When Pete, an orphan, and his best friend Elliott — an invisible green dragon — wander into the seaside village of Passamaquoddy, the townspeople think he's behind a slew of hilarious mishaps. But after a daring rescue, they change their tune and believe in Pete's fire-breathing buddy. Filled with friendship and fun, and featuring the Academy Award-nominated "Candle On The Water" (Best Original Song, 1977), this Disney family classic turns every viewing into a Brazzle Dazzle Day. Directed by Don Chaffey, the stellar cast of Pete's Dragon includes Helen Reddy, Gary Morgan, Shelley Winters, Jane Kean, Mickey Rooney, Jim Backus, Jeff Conaway, Red Buttons, Jim Dale, Charles Tyner, Walter Barnes and Charlie Callas. Blu-ray Combo Pack (Blu-ray + DVD) Bonus Features: "Brazzle Dazzle Effects: Behind Disney's Movie Magic"; Deleted Storyboard Sequence: "Terminus & Hoagy Hunt Elliott!"; Original Demo Recordings; Promotional Record Of 4 "Pop" Versions Of The Songs and much more. ON THE NET: To watch the video of the song "I Love You, Too," go to YouTube @ www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9-ff7f4ke4
Broadway: The American MusicalBroadway: The American Musical is the first documentary film to showcase the entire razzle-dazzle story of this uniquely American art form. Each episode explores a different era in American musical theatre, spotlighting the Broadway shows and songs that defined that period. Featuring on-camera interviews with many of the principles involved in the development of the medium, the series draws on a wealth of rare performance footage and newly-restored film clips. hosted by Julie Andrews, the six-part series offers the best seat in the house to the greatest Broadway shows of all time. The episodes on this brilliant documentary include "Give My Regards To Broadway (1893 - 1927)," "Syncopated City (1919 - 1933)," "I Got Plenty O' Nuttin' (1930 - 1942)," "Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin' (1943 - 1960)," "Tradition (1957 - 1979)" and "Putting It Together (1980 - 2004)." Blu-ray Bonus Features: Additional Performances; Over 3 hours of additional interviews with Broadway composers, directors and stars and the Special Feature: "Wicked: The Road to Broadway." ON THE NET: For more on Broadway: The American Musical, head to the Official PBS Site @ www.pbs.org/wnet/broadway
2016: Obama's America
Love him, hate him... you don't know him. 2016: Obama's America takes audiences on a gripping visual journey into the heart of the world's most powerful office, to reveal the struggle of whether one man's past will redefine America over the next four years. The film examines the question, "If Obama wins a second term, where will we be in 2016?" In 2008, people in America -- and across the globe -- hungered for a leader who would unite us and lift us out of economic turmoil and war. True to America's ideals, we invested our hopes in a new kind of president, Barack Obama. What we didn't know is that Obama is a man with a past, and in powerful ways the past defines him -- who he is, how he thinks, and where he intends to take America and the world? Immersed in exotic locales across four continents, best-selling author Dinesh D'Souza races against time to find answers to Obama's past and reveal where America will be in 2016. During this journey, he discovers how "Hope" and "Change" became radically misunderstood, and identifies new flashpoints for hot wars in mankind's greatest struggle. The journey moves quickly over the arc of the old colonial empires and into America's empire of liberty, and we see the unfolding realignment of nations, as well as the shape of the global future. Emotionally engaging, 2016: Obama's America will both confound you and make you cheer as you discover the mysteries and answers to your greatest aspirations and worst fears. ON THE NET: For photos, trailers, videos, downloads and more, go to the Official 2016 Site @ http://2016themovie.com
Big Bad Beetleborgs: Season One - Volume One
Premiering in 1996, popular weekly kids series Big Bad Beetleborgs follows the exciting adventures of three ordinary kids Drew, Jo and Roland as they enter the supposedly haunted mansion after accepting a dare. Their lives changed forever when a magical spirit grants them their biggest wish – they get to find out what life is like as their favorite super heroes the Beetleborgs! Fans of this memorable 90’s live-action series will rejoice over the first 27 fun-filled episodes from the first season of Saban’s Big Bad Beetleborgs. When three kids explore Charterville’s haunted Hillhurst Mansion on a dare, they discover a lot more than they bargain for! The trio find a wild and wacky phasm named Flabber, who changes their lives forever when he grants their wish to become the superheroes they’ve read about in BeetleBorgs comics. However, not only does Flabber grant the kids’ wish, but he also accidentally facilitates the escape of supervillain Vexor and his evil gang of Magnavors from the comic book as well! Now it’s up to these three newly tapped superheroes — aided by a friendly neighborhood phasm and armed with fantastic powers and awesome vehicles — to save the world from the forces of darkness that threaten the peace and harmony of all mankind. ON THE NET: Watch the Season One, Episode 5 "Beetlerock" clip @ www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMSKBpabJvE
Originally airing on the Military Channel, this new 13-part documentary explores the question, “How could anyone have collaborated with Adolph Hitler and the Nazis?” Drawing upon an unrivaled 4000 hours of archival film, it shows how powerful individuals and organizations all across Europe and the Middle East collaborated, often with dark and disturbing motives, with the most evil regime of the 20th century. Many did it for financial gain, others for the promise of elevated status. Some believed that siding with the imperialist Germans offered the best chance of survival for their people, while others would later claim they would be killed if they refused. From the Jewish leader who offered up his people as free labor, to the ex-French Prime Minister who actively aided the Nazi hunt for the Resistance. And from the IRA- German plot to invade Northern Ireland to the brutal killing squads of Lithuania, this ground- breaking series explores the complex motivations behind the controversial paths these collaborators chose. These are the stories that many countries prefer to forget or cover up – many thousands of non-Germans chose to collaborate with the Nazis. The episodes include "Rumkowski and the Polish Jewish Ghetto," "Laval and French Vichy Government," "Arajs and the Latvian Holocaust," "Degrelle and the Belgian SS," "Sakic and the Croatian Concentration Camps," "Quisling and the Puppet Norwegian Nazis," "Sean Russell and the IRA," "The Grand Mufti and Jerusalem Collaboration," "German Mischlinge – Jews that supported Hitler," "Rallis and the Greek Puppet Government," "Mussert – 'Shadow Fuehrer' of Holland," "Nevanlinna – The Finnish Collaborator" and "The Schutzmannschaft Killing Squads." ON THE NET: View the Documentary Series Trailer @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZMi3DKd2EA
Waterloo Road, Series 1
Featuring contemporary settings, sharp scripts, strong characters, and realistic dialogue, the smash-hit BBC America serial drama, Waterloo Road, makes its North American DVD debut. Winner of best new drama at Britain’s TV Quick Awards (2006), Waterloo Road follows the students and teachers at the beleaguered Waterloo Road Comprehensive School as they confront issues ranging from teen pregnancy to bullying. They struggle with tangled love lives, tough choices, and conflicting responsibilities — and that’s just the teachers. In this hit British series, students and staff at a troubled school must learn lessons that can’t be taught from textbooks. Welcome to Waterloo Road, where every day is an education. With the school facing imminent shutdown, new headmaster Jack Rimmer (Jason Merrells) recruits an Oxbridge-educated deputy head (Jamie Glover) to help him save it. But will student tragedies and staff conflicts doom their efforts from the start? Mingling authenticity with conflict, danger, tension, and romance, Series 1 stars Jason Merrells (Lark Rise to Candleford) and Jamie Glover (Emma). ON THE NET: For more on Waterloo Road, visit http://www.acornonline.com/
Brave New World
Exploring the recent headline-grabbing advancements in machines, health, technology, the environment, biology, and physics, the five-part documentary series, Brave New World, makes its North American DVD debut. Thrilling advances in science today are heralding the breakthroughs of tomorrow. From brain-controlled wheelchairs to cancer-destroying bacteria and from self-driving cars to the power potential in a single atom, an almost unimaginable future is becoming reality. Hosted by Cambridge Professor Stephen Hawking (bestselling author, Presidential Medal of Freedom winner and a renowned physicist famed for his work on black holes and his efforts to explain scientific theories to lay audiences), along with a renowned team of experts — including naturalist David Attenborough, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, physicist Kathy Sykes and reproductive-medicine pioneer Robert Winston — this five-part series travels the globe to explore the amazing research and revolutionary inventions that will improve, extend, and forever transform our lives. Episodes include "Machines," "Health," "Technology," "Environment" and "Biology." DVD Bonus Features: A 16-page viewer’s guide with articles on mechanical innovations, automate vehicles, medical advances, DIY science, sustainable cities and DNA arks and Biographies of select presenters. ON THE NET: For more on Brave New World, visit www.AthenaLearning.com
Bill Moyers: A World of Ideas II – Great Thinkers
Imagine sitting down with 16 of the world’s smartest, most interesting people for conversations on American life. Called “provocative” by The Boston Globe and culled from the many interviews taped by Moyers throughout his career, these are far-reaching discussions about weighty topics. What is the state of our society, and how can we improve it? What perils do we face, and what strengths can we draw upon? Legendary journalist Bill Moyers (Moyers & Company, PBS) sits down with 16 of the world’s smartest people for comprehensive conversations about American life. Eclectic, engrossing, witty, and profound, A World of Ideas shows “how good television can be." The 3-DVD boxed set features conversations with winners of the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer, an Academy Award, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom including Noam Chomsky, Jonas Salk, Cornel West, and Henry Steele Commager. DVD Bonus Features: A 12-page viewer’s guide with participant biographies and an article on civil discourse and a biography of Bill Moyers. ON THE NET: For more on Bill Moyers, visit www.AthenaLearning.com
Looney Tunes: Platinum Collection - Volume 2
Look whose back with more gags, more laughs and more signature showcases! Make way for Looney Tunes: Platinum Collection - Volume 2 with 50 animated theatrical shorts remastered in stellar hi-def Blu-ray in all their stellar silliness. Disc One's selections focus on the core characters, such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety and Sylvester, Pepe Le Pew and Foghorn Leghorn. While Disc Two offers one-shot classics, the complete escapades of Cecil Turtle, the all-purpose adversary Nasty Canasta, bashful little Beaky Buzzard and the hilariously hungry A. Flea. Saving the best for last, Disc Three serves up great fun and insider info with its wild array of bonus programs saluting legendary animators and historical gems. Not to mention a fan-selected favorite that will be sure to satisfy even the most discerning cartoon connoisseur. So grab a chair, a comedy cohort and a carrot 'cause it's always "wabbit" season when this must-own collection comes home! ON THE NET: To watch a clip from this must-own Looney Tunes Collection, head to YouTube @ http://youtu.be/V_diUvghQWs
Rites Of Passage
A group of college kids take a field trip they’ll never forget in the thriller Rites Of Passage. Starring Wes Bentley (The Hunger Games), Stephen Dorff (Immortals, Public Enemy), Christian Slater (Playback, Heathers), Kate Maberly (The Secret Garden) and Ryan Donowho (A Home at the End of the World), the horror-fueled tale of a class trip gone awry is directed and co-written by W. Peter Iliff (Point Blank, Varsity Blues). After anthropology student Nathan (Donowho) invites his class and professor (Dorff) to his family home for a few days of carefree partying, they soon meet his brother (Bentley) who exists in a mysterious, psychotic haze. Later learning that the ranch was built on a sacred Chumash Indian burial ground, thing quickly take a turn for the frightening when a drug-fueled neighbor Delgado (Slater) forces them all to join in a crazed “rite of passage” that will change their lives forever. DVD Bonus Features: "The Making Of Rites Of Passage" featurette; Deleted Scenes and Trailer. ON THE NET: View a clip from Rites Of Passage @ http://youtu.be/A-LSdYd6Taw
Gunsmoke: The Sixth Season - Volume Two
The hair-trigger frontier action continues in Gunsmoke: The Sixth Season - Volume Two — jammed-pack with the excitement that fueled the best-loved, longest-running TV Western of all time. Digitally remastered for exceptional picture quality and sound, James Arness stars as strong-willed hero U.S. Marshal Matt Dillon, along with Dennis Weaver as dedicated deputy Chester Goode, Amanda Blake as saloon queen Miss Kitty, and Milburn Stone's cantankerous Dodge City medicine man Doc Adams. Together, they'll do their part to clean up their corner of Kansas taking on corrupt sheriffs, shady widows and an assortment of murders, thieves and con artists, all in the name of the ongoing Westward expansion. The glorious spirit and epic legend of the Old West come alive in this multi-Emmy Award winning series where schemers and outlaws meet their match in The Man with the Badge. ON THE NET: For an extensive history of Gunsmoke, check it out on Wikipedia @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunsmoke
It takes more than winning to be a hero in sports history. Brendan Gleeson (Albert Nobbs) and Stephen Curry (Rogue) star in this inspirational true horseracing story about triumph over adversity and a family that overcame incredible odds to win the 2002 Melbourne Cup trophy. At the heart of this true story is Damien Oliver (Curry), a young jockey who loses his only brother in a tragic racing accident just days before the Melbourne Cup. The race fall is a haunting reflection of the way their father died 27 years earlier. After suffering through a series of discouraging defeats, Damien teams with Irish trainer Dermot Weld (Gleeson), and triumphs at the 2002 Melbourne Cup in one of the most thrilling finales in sporting history. DVD Bonus Feature: "The Making of The Cup" featurette. ON THE NET: Watch trailers for The Cup on YouTube @ www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5aO-S0MpvE + www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-a1ipJ18FY
The Complete Red Green Show: High (Quality) Quantity Collection The Complete Red Green Show: High (Quality) Quantity Collection brings together all 300 episodes of the cult classic Canadian comedy and longstanding PBS hit. Featuring nice collectible packaging, the collector’s set includes all 15 seasons (1991-2006), plus five feature-length specials. With over 120 hours of hijinks, behind-the-scenes specials, and zany inventions, the 50-disc collector’s edition is perfect for fans of all things manly, Canadian, and duct taped and offers the perfect excuse to grab a seat, crack open a cold one, and put off your next home-improvement project It started as a shoestring-budget public television program about a merry bunch of misfits in the Canadian wilderness…and it pretty much stayed that way. For 300 episodes, Red, his nephew Harold, and the Possum Lodge gang celebrated doing what men do when women aren’t around—and some things that are even worse. Akin to Home Improvement, which also debuted in 1991, The Red Green Show amassed a devout fan base with its adventurous antics, off-kilter advice, preposterous inventions and power tool artillery. Ending in April 2006 with exactly 300 episodes that still run in syndication, the Canadian comedy institution has spawned a feature film, specials, books, and a cult-like following. Star Steve Smith is currently appearing at venues throughout North America in a frequently sold-out, multiyear tour. Specials include "Red Green’s We Can’t Help It — We’re Men"; "It’s a Wonderful Red Green Christmas"; "Red Green D.V.D., Duct Tape Virtuoso Deluxe"; "Hindsight Is 20/20" and "The Red Green Story: We’re All in This Together." DVD Bonus Features: "Red Green’s of Cars and Men"; "A Merry Red Green Christmas"; Behind-the-scenes comments by star and creator Steve Smith; A tour of a duct tape factory guided by Red; production photos; fan-made duct tape creations; Extended Footage, introductions by Steve Smith; Red and Harold character profiles; Biographies of stars Steve Smith and Patrick McKenna and more. ON THE NET: For more on The Red Green Show, head to Acorn @ http://www.acornonline.com/
The Christmas Pageant
Indulge in a holiday romance this Christmas season with a family film that lifts spirits when the heartwarming Hallmark Channel movie, The Christmas Pageant. Melissa Gilbert (Little House on the Prairie), Robert Mailhouse (All I Want For Christmas), Lennon Wynn (FlashForward), Charlene Amoia (American Reunion) and Candice Azzara (House of Payne) star in a story of self-discovery, when a New York Broadway director’s life unexpectedly changes after working on a Christmas pageant in a small town. Vera Parks (Gilbert), a temperamental Broadway director, is forced to take a job running a small town Christmas pageant. Unable to adjust to the simplicity of the slow-paced town, Parks struggles to find her way but soon realizes that directing this pageant and rekindling an old flame are the best things that could have happened to her. A perfect film for the whole family, The Christmas Pageant debuted as the Number On movie of the week during its premiere in December 2011. ON THE NET: Watch a trailer for The Christmas Pageant @ www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlsJuEoVLcI
Thomas Kinkade Presents Christmas Miracle
The true spirit of the holidays is movingly depicted in the uplifting tale, presented by the beloved artist Thomas Kinkade, in Christmas Miracle. This original and heartfelt story shows that nothing is impossible when an unlikely group of eight strangers must spend their Christmas together because of an unexpected blizzard. Despite their differences they work together and prove anything can happen during the Christmas season, even miracles. Approved for families and viewers of all ages by the DOVE Foundation, Christmas Miracle stars Randal Edwards (The Best Years), Siobhan Williams (Flicka: Country Pride) and Valin Shinyei (Mrs. Miracle). DVD Bonus Feature: A free 4x6 Thomas Kinkade print with a certificate of authentication. ON THE NET: View a trailer from Christmas Miracle @ www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aMtWGqx9cg
Power Rangers Samurai: Christmas Together, Friends Forever
Power Up for a Mega Celebration this holiday season and see the Power Rangers battle their most diabolical enemies in the new Power Rangers Samurai: Christmas Together, Friends Forever — featuring three holiday-themed episodes from the beloved Power Rangers series. ‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the Shiba House, the Samurai Rangers revisit their greatest moments together. From first introductions, to funniest moments, to action-packed battles with Nighlok monsters, it's all here. Even Bulk and Spike's hilarious memories! And when snow falls on Christmas morning, the team will learn an unexpected lesson about the true spirit of the holidays. Go Go Christmas Rangers! Episodes included in this collection include "Samurai Power Rangers: Christmas Together, Friends Forever," "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers - I'm Dreaming of a White Ranger" and "Zeo Power Rangers - A Season to Remember." DVD Bonus Features: Power Ranger "Swarm" video and "Train Like a Ranger" video. ON THE NET: For a preview of Christmas Together, go to YouTube @ www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILh3Z1RGqgw
A Princess For Christmas
Fairytale dreams come true this holiday season in A Princess for Christmas. An ordinary girl from Buffalo gets swept away for Christmas to visit her long-lost royal family. Directed by Michael Damian (Marley & Me: The Puppy Years, Flicka 2), A Princess for Christmas stars the notable Sir Roger Moore (The Spy Who Loved Me) Katie McGrath (Merlin), Sam Heughan (Young Alexander the Great) and Travis Turner (Marley & Me: The Puppy Years). Christmas is right around the corner and Jules Daly (McGrath) is doing her best to create a loving home as new guardian to her mischievous niece and nephew. But when she loses her job and an exasperated nanny on the same day, a mysterious and unexpected invitation arrives — travel to Europe and spend a royal Christmas with the children's distant grandfather — the Duke of Castlebury Hall (Moore)! It's a new world for Jules and the children as they discover their new prim and proper surroundings in the castle, but soon laughter begins to echo in the once quiet halls, filling everyone with renewed hope and joy for the season. And when Jules captures the heart of the dashing Prince Ashton (Heughan), both of their lives begin to change in unexpected ways! Featuring a faraway land, an enchanting romance and the unbreakable bonds of family, this inspirational tale is sure to become a new holiday tradition! ON THE NET: The Official Trailer for A Princess For Christmas in HD can be seen on YouTube @ www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyXmDPoR_f0NOW AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY:
From the breathtaking beauty of the glowing rainforests to the majestic Hallelujah Mountains floating in the sky, the spectacular world of James Cameron's Avatar comes to life as never before — now in eye-popping 3D for the ultimate home viewing experience. Soar among the flying Banshees. Fight alongside Na'vi warriors. Return to Pandora and immerse yourself in the greatest adventure of all time, as one man's quest for redemption leads him on an epic journey beyond imagination! Avatar features a stellar ensemble cast that includes Stephen Lang, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez, Zoe Saldana, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel, David Moore and Sam Worthington. PLEASE NOTE: This title includes a Blu-ray 3D disc, which is only compatible with 3D Blu-ray players and Playstation 3. A standard Blu-ray is also included which will play on all standard Blu-ray players. ON THE NET: To view trailers from Avatar 3D, head to YouTube @ www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZmpw2AFU2I + www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbimJTppplo
A League Of Their Own: 20th Anniversary
Fans will cheer yet again when the girls of the Rockford Peaches take the field to celebrate the 20th anniversary of A League Of Their Own, debuting on Blu-ray, just one week before the 2012 World Series of Baseball. This classic is based on the true story of the pioneering women who blazed the trail, both on the field and off, for generations of athletes to follow. The delightful sports tale, which taught America "there's no crying in baseball," was directed by Penny Marshall (Awakenings, Big). The film stars Tom Hanks (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, The Da Vinci Code), as Jimmy Dugan, a has-been pro who leads teammates Mae, Dottie, Doris and Kit into the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) World Series. Academy Award-winner Geena Davis (Best Actress in a Supporting Role, The Accidental Tourist, 1987), Madonna (Die Another Day, Evita), Lori Petty (Poetic Justice, Free Willy) and Rosie O'Donnell (Nip/Tuck, The Rosie O’Donnell Show) are the key ball players. Jon Lovitz, David Strathairn, Garry Marshall and Bill Pullman also star in various roles. The inspiration for A League of Their Own are the AAGPBL's real women, who in 1943/World War II were caught in a world of new images and old values. Blu-Ray Bonus Features: Director and Cast Commentary;15 deleted scenes with optional video intro commentaries with Director Penny Marshall; Madonna's "This Used to be My Playground" music video, and "Nine Memorable Innings," an 11-part documentary featuring interviews with the cast and filmmakers. ON THE NET: Watch the A League Of Their Own trailer @ www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcN392H2jx0
Academy Award winner Robert De Niro (Raging Bull, The Godfather: Part II) stars as the widowed patriarch of a loving and dysfunctional family in Everybody’s Fine. Funny, heartwarming and featuring a stellar all-star cast including Drew Barrymore (Charlie’s Angels), Kate Beckinsale (Serendipity) and Sam Rockwell (Iron Man 2). When Frank Goode's (De Niro) grown children abruptly cancel a trip home, the recent widower sets off on a cross-country journey to reconnect with each of them. Expecting to share in the joys of their happy, successful lives, his surprise visits reveal a picture that's far from perfect. As this heartwarming and unpredictable story unfolds, you'll find yourself hoping that everybody will be fine in time for a Christmas family reunion! Blu-ray Bonus Features: The Making of Paul McCartney's "(I Want To) Come Home" and Deleted & Extended Scenes. ON THE NET: View the Official HD Trailer for Everybody's Fine @ www.youtube.com/watch?v=kh7H92iE2V0
This modern-day fairy tale — based on the award-winning novel by Gail Carson — stars Anne Hathaway (The Princess Diaries) as a young girl burdened by the spell of obedience. Both a blessing and a curse, Ella is determined to hide her gift from her stepfamily in order to protect her friend — a prince — with whom she is falling in love. On the day of her birth, Ella is given a gift by her Fairy Godmother — the gift of obedience, which is also a curse. Under no circumstances can Ella refuse anything she is asked to do, no matter how wicked it may be. Tired of being taken advantage of, Ella, with a talking book as her companion, leaves home to find her Fairy Godmother and return her unwanted gift. This simple errand soon turns into an amazing journey filled with ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, elves and the plotting of Prince Charmont's evil uncle who wants to take over the Crown and rule the kingdom. Bursting with colorful characters, music, wit and whimsy, Ella Enchanted is a truly enchanting and heartwarming tale that will captivate the entire family. Blu-Ray Combo Pack (Blu-ray + DVD) Bonus Features: Music Video: "It's Not Just Make Believe" performed by Kari Kimmel; Deleted and Extended Scenes; Audio commentary with the director Tommy O'Haver, and actors Anne Hathaway and Hugh Dancy; "Ella Enchanted Red Carpet Premiere Special" featurette; "The Magical World of Ella Enchanted" featurette; "Prince Charmont's Fan Club" Set-Top Game (DVD exclusive) and "Happily Ever After" DVD-rom special feature (DVD exclusive). ON THE NET: For Ella Enchanted clips and trailers, go to http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/ella-enchanted/trailers * Watch the Official Trailer @ http://youtu.be/myEbJ8NCWAo