Recently by Sombrero Grande

Walt Before Mickey Movie Review: Missing the Magic that Made Disney Disney

A difficult film to recommend to even the most die-hard Walt Disney fan.
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When The Passion of the Christ was released in 2004, comedian Patton Oswalt compared it to making a movie about Albert Einstein but focusing it only on two days he spent in the bathroom with really bad food poisoning. In a way, Walt Before Mickey is like Oswalt's jokingly proposed Einstein movie. It shows a great man at the lowest points of his life, so miserable and broke that he is actually shown fishing a half-eaten sandwich out of the trash to eat it. Walt Before Mickey dramatizes a portion of Walt Disney's life, starting from just after World War

Doctor Who Last Christmas Blu-ray Review: When the Doctor Met Santa Claus

"Happy Easter." - The Doctor
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When one can travel through all of time and space, sometimes Christmas comes about at the strangest of times. For Doctor Who fans, it's Christmas right now as the BBC releases 2014's Christmas special "Last Christmas" on DVD and Blu-Ray between Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day. While the title gets the 1984 song by Wham! instantly stuck in my head for hours to come, "Last Christmas" proves to be a brilliantly written and highly entertaining holiday outing for the Doctor. In fact I think it's my favorite of all the Doctor Who Christmas specials so far. Imagine Alien, The

Doctor Who: Deep Breath DVD Review: You Don't Need to Hold Your Breath to Bring the 12th Doctor Home on DVD or Blu-ray

Peter Capaldi's first outing as the Doctor time-travels onto DVD/Blu-ray.
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The new Doctor has arrived...on DVD and Blu-ray! Doctor Who: Deep Breath sees actor Peter Capaldi stepping into the role of The Doctor for his first full-length episode (having made brief appearances in episodes The Day of the Doctor and Time of the Doctor). Wasting little time, the BBC has already produced a DVD and Blu-ray of the episode for those who, like me, can't watch the BBC or BBC America, giving us our first real look at the new 12th Doctor. Having just regenerated, the Doctor finds himself having trouble remembering important information, like the identity of his friends

Doc McStuffins Mobile Clinic: Doc's On The Go DVD Review: A Doc Worth Visiting

Thank goodness the Doc's making house calls.
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Do you suffer from headaches, nausea, or depression brought on by watching atrocious children's programming with your young child? The only cure is to pay a visit to Doc McStuffins. On the show, Doc McStuffins is a six-year-old African American girl who wants to be a doctor just like her mother, so she sets up a medical practice to treat the injuries, maladies and "boo-boos" of her toys. The episodes are full of fun characters, enjoyable songs and, though the show is not really "educational" per se, it does offer up good messages about healthy things to do and aims

How I Met Your Mother: The Complete Season 8 DVD Review: Just Meet Her Already!

While the end is definitely in sight, the audience is still being strung-along for the sake of padding this story out as much as possible.
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There are times when a story is so good, so well-told, so full of fun and laughter that you just don't want it to end. That was the first five seasons of How I Met Your Mother. But then there comes a point at which nearly all stories outstay their welcome, causing you to glance at your watch to confirm just how much time has passed since it began and think about just how much longer it'll be before it finally concludes. Now, as the show enters its ninth and final season of broadcast, and its eighth season rolls out

Poker Night 2 Review: This Game's Got Character

Ever want to play poker with Brock Samson and Ash Williams? Now you can.
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There have certainly been no shortage of poker video games produced over the years, so what makes Telltale Games' new release, Poker Night 2, stand apart from the rest? It aims to recreate what happens at a poker game other than poker: specifically the taunting, drinking, chatter and good-natured ribbing that often occurs between the all the shuffling and the betting. And Poker Night 2 stays very true to that premise, as long as your card-playing buddies are an eclectic amalgam of pop-culture characters plucked from TV, movies, video games, and comics. Poker Night 2 is Telltale's second trip to

The Walking Dead: A Telltale Games Series Review: These Zombies Go After Your Brain While Tugging On Your Heartstrings

You will often find yourself regretting some of the decisions you've made, and the game seems designed to make you do just that.
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You way be under the impression that Telltale's The Walking Dead is a video game about zombies. And while, yes, it does take place during a zombie apocolypse and does feature a whole host of gnarly, shambling, scary, brain-hungry corpses, what this game really is about is one thing: decisions. Think of this like one of those old "Choose Your Own Adventure" novels where it's up to you to make the big decisions that impact what happen next. If you're a fan of interactive stories, and have a high tolerance for grisly violence, scares. and dark subject matter, then this

The Simpsons: The Fifteenth Season DVD Review: Don't Have a Cow, Man, or Any Hope That This Season Will Be Better Than the Last Five

I just can't fathom why they can't just spring for better, safer compartments for the actual DVDs to plug into.
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Any Simpsons fan worth his or her--okay, let's be honest here--his salt knows that once The Simpsons went into double digits on their seasons, the show had lost its magic touch. The jokes felt more forced. The plotlines became more bizarre and fragmented. Even the even-handed political satire gave way to increasingly left-wing diatribes. That's not to say that the creators of The Simpsons somehow became incapable of creating great episodes, as there are a few to be found in season fifteen, but on the whole, season fifteen of The Simpsons (originally broadcast in 2003 and 2004 and now out

How I Met Your Mother: The Complete Season 7 The Ducky Tie Edition DVD Review: A Not-Too-Ugly Duckling

Though the show has already jumped the shark, its buoyant cast keeps this ducky afloat.
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While How I Met Your Mother may have jumped the shark last season, Season Seven, now available in "The Ducky Tie Edition" on DVD, still has a lot of good to offer, though not as much as earlier, more exemplary seasons. How I Met Your Mother in Season Seven is starting to feel a lot like another TV show, Lost. The show is crammed full of flashbacks and flash forwards (oftentimes piling them onto each other like a heaping stack of DHARMA Initiative pancakes). References to past and future episodes abound as the show meticulously keeps in line with the

The Halloween Tree DVD Review: This Tree Bears Spirited, Nostalgic Fruit

The Halloween Tree really seems to capture the spirit of the holiday in an almost magical way.
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If, like me, you grew up in the '80s and '90s, you no doubt recall the myriad of Halloween TV specials that aired the week of the holiday every year. Since you could only see them once a year, they held a special significance to kids and sounded out like celebratory bells ringing in an exciting time of year. And there were certainly no shortage of them. Every year, it seemed as though every animation company would release another, taking one more shot at creating the next It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, a perennial classic that would become a

Bob's Burgers The Complete 1st Season DVD Review: An Acquired Taste

Bob's Burgers has grown on me, much like the green mold on Bob's restaurant's walls.
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Imagine you've just entered a new restaurant, sat down and ordered your food, and then you start to notice the general griminess of the place, the mold on the walls, the shouting coming from the kitchen, and you start to wonder if you really made the best decision coming in here. That's how I initially felt about Bob's Burgers. This is, in fact, the second review I'm writing for the first season of this animated sitcom. The first you won't get to read, because I changed my mind. I started writing that initial, now-aborted review after watching several episodes of

Prep & Landing DVD Review: A Real Christmas Treat

This year, we're not only leaving out cookies for Santa, we're also setting out some for Wayne and Lanny.
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Creating a new "Christmas classic" is difficult, but that doesn't stop many folks from trying every year. It seems everyone wants to come up with a new festive standard, be it a new Christmas song, movie, or TV special to join the ranks of Jingle Bells, It's a Wonderful Life, or A Charlie Brown Christmas. But how often does that happen? Every year, the Christmas landscape gets positively littered with the likes of Our Love is Like a Holiday, Fred Claus, and Shrek the Halls. But amid the clumps of coal, every now and again, a bright and shiny new

LEGO Star Wars: The Padawan Menace Combo Pack Review: NNNNOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Sombrero Grande has a bad feeling about this.
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A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I used to give a crap about Star Wars. That was before George Lucas started whoring out his beloved franchise to let seemingly anyone create new content and belittle the cherished creations he apparently just doesn't care for any more. Oh sure, it was cute the first time I saw a Santa-hatted Darth Vader bobblehead at Target, and playing the LEGO Star Wars video games was a blast. I even chuckled at the Darth Vader Volkswagon commercial. But now it's clear that Star Wars has been allowed to cross over

TRON: Legacy Movie Review: This Should Have Stayed off the Grid

If only I had the ability to drag my memory of TRON: Legacy to the Recycle Bin.
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TRON: Legacy is the most pretentious, douche-baggy film in recent memory. While the original TRON movie was a fun albeit forgettable fantasy story with some interesting ideas and great visuals, TRON: Legacy is instead an action flick that attempts to be The Matrix, but, like, on steroids, man! Kevin Flynn (the protagonist of the first film) disappears and leaves his only son to grow up to be a "badass" angsty, motorcycle-riding, rule-defying hacker that plays by his own rules. But it's not just Sam Flynn who tries to exude "'tude" in everything he does, the script tries to accomplish the

D23 Expo 2011: A Preview of Wreck-It Ralph

He's not bad; he's just programmed that way.
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At the recent D23 Expo, I had the opportunity to talk with some Disney insiders about the upcoming computer-animated film Wreck-It Ralph.  Specifically, I was able to hound some folks from the studio for information about this intriguing project, due out in November of 2012, until they spilled the beans. Ralph (to be voiced by the wonderful John C. Reilly) is a video game character in the arcade game Fix-It Felix Jr.  Specifically, he's the villain.  Ralph is a bad guy by design, but he doesn't want to be.  With his fiery orange hair and giant arms, he looks

Dead Men Do Tell Tales (for Better and Worse) in Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean Trilogy

A look back at Disney's first three Pirates movies before setting sail On Stranger Tides.
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In anticipation of tonight's midnight screenings of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, I thought it might be fun to take a look back at my reviews for the first three films in the series. Won't you join me? Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black PearlReview originally published Dec. 1, 2003 Way back in January 2003, I, Sombrero Grande, offered up a review of the teaser trailer for Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl on the Masked Movie Snobs web site. Let's take a nostalgic look back, shall we? When I first heard that

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