Get ready to go back to Bayside (again!) because Stan today announced the critically acclaimed comedy Saved By The Bell has been renewed for a second season, with ten brand new episodes on the way only on Stan.
Mario Lopez and Elizabeth BerkleyLauren starred in the first celebrated season, reprising their roles as A.C. Slater and Jessie Spano, and were joined by John Michael Higgins, alongside a new class featuring Belmont Cameli, Dexter Darden, Mitchell Hoog, Alycia Pascual-Peña, Josie Totah and Haskiri Velazquez.
“I’m thrilled that Saved By The Bell has been renewed. I’ve been blown away by all the love for the show and can’t wait to go back and make more episodes,” said writer and executive producer Tracey Wigfield.
In the reimagined series, when California governor Zack Morris gets into hot water for closing too many underfunded high schools, he proposes they send the affected students to the most well-funded schools in the state – including Bayside High. The influx of new students gives the privileged Bayside kids (who never have a problem that can’t be solved in twenty-two minutes) a much-needed dose of reality.
Season 1 addressed many important topics such as race, inclusion, class and education. In the season finale, Daisy (Haskiri Velazquez) stages a walkout in order to keep the Douglas High students at Bayside.
Tracey Wigfield serves as writer and executive producer for the series, alongside executive producer Franco Bario. Peter Engel also serves as executive producer. Saved By The Bell is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group.
Saved By The Bell Season 1 is now streaming only on Stan, with every iconic episode of the original series also available on Stan.
The long wait for Muppet fans is almost over! The Muppet Show, Jim Henson’s iconic variety series that started it all, will begin streaming Friday, 19 February exclusively on Disney+. In addition to the first three seasons, fans will be able to enjoy seasons 4 and 5, which have never previously been released on home entertainment.
The Muppet Show stars Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, the Swedish Chef, and more in a ground-breaking twist on the classic variety show, blending original songs, sketch comedy, and guest stars into a prime-time hit for all ages.
“It’s going to be great to welcome back longtime fans, and to give a new generation of fans a chance to see how we got our start, how Miss Piggy became a star and so much more,” said Kermit the Frog. “Today, I’m proud to say: ‘It’s time to play the music, light the lights and meet the Muppets on Disney Plus tonight!’ And as for Statler and Waldorf, the two old guys in the balcony, I can only add: ‘Sorry, guys, but….here we go again.”
Originally premiering in 1976, some of Hollywood’s brightest stars stopped by “The Muppet Show” for unforgettable comedy and chaos including Steve Martin, Elton John, Liza Minnelli, Alice Cooper, Julie Andrews, Bernadette Peters, Diana Ross, Gladys Knight, Gene Kelly, and Mark Hamill.
With all five seasons of The Muppet Show, Muppet favourites like “Muppet Treasure Island” celebrating its 25th anniversary next month, and new hits like “Muppets Now,” Disney+ is now the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, Muppetational streaming service on Earth. To stream The Muppets Collection, visit www.disneyplus.com/franchise/the-muppets.
Summary: A young boy decide to declare war on his Grandfather after his Grandfather moves in and takes his bedroom.
Cinema Release Dates: 3rd December 2020 (Australia), 8th October 2020 (Thailand), 2020 (UK), 9th October 2020 (USA)
VOD Release Dates: TBA
Country: USA, UK, Canada
Director: Tim Hill
Screenwriter: Tom J. Astle, Matt Ember, Robert Kimmel Smith (based on the book by)
Cast: Rutanya Alda (Lynn Marino), Veronica Alcino (Nurse Alice), Juliocaesar Chavez (Billy), Robert De Niro (Ed), Oakes Fegley (Peter), Colin Ford (Russell), Poppy Gagnon (Jennifer), Joe Gelchion (Chuck), James Matin Kelly (Carl), Isaac Kragten (Steve), Laura Marano (Mia), Cheech Marin (Danny), T.J. McGibbon (Emma), Rob Riggle (Arthur), Jane Seymour (Diane), Joanie Stewart (Carla), Lydia Styslinger (Lisa), Uma Thurman (Sally), Christopher Walken (Jerry)
Running Time: 94 mins
Classification: PG (Australia), PG (USA)
OUR THE WAR WITH GRANDPA REVIEWS
David Griffiths’ The War With Grandpa Review:
Sometimes as a movie critic you forget that it is okay for a film to be fun. Somewhere deep down inside your brain you watch a movie and then you try to analyse and pick apart exactly what the director was trying to achieve with the film. Sometimes there are no hidden meanings though, or there are no world changing beliefs that the filmmakers are trying to open the world up to. Sometimes a film is made to do what films were originally made to do – and that is entertain their audience. That, everybody, is exactly what The War With Grandpa was created to do – entertain not just any audience but entertain the entire family at once.
Now I could sit here and write an epic review that analysed every aspect of this film from the costuming through to the editing, but I know that when it comes to a fun movie like The War With Grandpa all you really want to know is whether the film is going to entertain your family or bore them to death… and that I am more than happy to answer by saying if you like fluffy family films then you are going to love this one.
The film centres around Peter (Oakes Fegley – Pete’s Dragon), a young boy who thought his biggest problem for the year was going to be the fact that he is now the ‘small fry’ at his school as he rolls into sixth grade. But then his mother (Uma Thurman – Pulp Fiction) drops a bombshell on him that he never saw coming – his grandfather Ed (Robert De Niro – Taxi Driver) is going to be moving into their home and taking over Peter’s room. Yes Peter not only has to give up his room but he is now going to be living amongst the bats and rats in the attic.
Not to be removed from his domain so easily Peter alongside his rag-tag mates decide to declare war on Ed, who counter-acts that declaration by forming a team of his own that includes – Jerry (Christopher Walken – The Deer Hunter) and Diane (Jane Seymour – Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman). That is when the fun really begins.
The reason that The War With Grandpa works so well is because the film does appeal to the whole family. The screenplay provides plenty of laughs for kids as Pete and his friends devise childish pranks to play on Ed while the older generation will value a film that takes them done memory lane as they watch screen favourites like Jane Seymour and Cheech Marin (Tin Cup) having a heap of fun with their roles – even when they are asked to do crazy things like have a dodge-ball war while on a trampoline. Yes, seeing older stars like De Niro and Walken tackle roles where they are seem to be having the times of their lives is all part of the fun of this fun.
Like all good films in this genre though The War With Grandpa does have a bit of a serious side as well. Kids watching the film will see the importance of a family pulling together and lean about the importance of the ‘older generation’ in their lives. They are both very important lessons for kids to take on board so the serious side of the film is certainly not wasted.
Of course most of the interest around this film is going to centre on Robert De Niro. The screen legend has made a name for himself over the past few years in the comedy genre and while some films have been great some have been really terrible. Here De Niro cruises through his role, he is obviously having fun and enjoying himself, and if you group this film with The Comeback Trail then you could say that De Niro’s comedic efforts in 2020 are well and truly on the ‘good’ side of things.
If you are looking to have a fun cinema experience for the whole family then The War With Grandpa is you go to movie for this week. Outrageous and funny The War With Grandpa will appeal to every from 8 to 80 years of age.
Summary: The Troll’s world changes when they learn that they are not the only kind of troll and that the hard rock trolls plan on taking over the world.
Cinema Release Dates: 17th September 2020 (Australia), 10th April 2020 (USA), 31st July 2020 (UK)
VOD Release Dates: 23rd December 2020 (Australia), 6th April 2020 (UK), 10th April 2020 (USA)
Director: Walt Dohrn, David P. Smith
Screenwriter: Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger, Maya Forbes, Elizabeth Tippett, Wallace Wolodarsky
Cast: Berenice Amador (Marimba (voice)), Joo-Hyun Bae (Baby Bun (voice)), J. Balvin (Tresillo (voice)), Mary J. Blige (Queen Essence (voice)), Rachel Bloom (Barb(voice)), Flula Borg (Dickory (voice)), Kelly Clarkson (Delta Dawn (voice)), George Clinton (King Quincy (voice)), James Corden (Biggie (voice)), Ester Dean (Legsly (voice)), Zooey Deschanel (Bridget (voice)), Jamie Dornan (Chaz (voice)), Gustavo Dudamel (Trollzart (voice)), Ron Funches (Cooper (voice)), Jamila Hache (Tambora (voice)), Caroline Hjelt (Chenille (voice)), Aino Jawo (Satin (voice)), Seul-gi Kang (Gomdori (voice)), Anna Kendrick (Poppy (voice)), Ye-rim Kim (Kim-Petit (voice)), Marcella Lentz-Pope (Carol (voice)), Kunal Nayyar (Guy Diamond (voice)), Ozzy Osbourne (King Thrash (voice)), Anderson Paak (Prince D (voice)), Soo-Young Park (Ari (voice)), Anthony Ramos (King Trollex (voice)), Sam Rockwell (Hickory (voice)),Son Seung-Wan (Wani (voice)), Betsy Sodaro (Clampers Buttonwillow (voice)), Karan Soni (Riff (voice)), Kenan Thompson (Tiny Diamond (voice)), Justin Timberlake (Branch (voice)), Charlyne Yi (Pennywhistle (voice))
Running Time: 90 mins
Classification: G (Australia), U (UK), PG (USA)
OUR TROLLS WORLD TOUR REVIEWS
David Griffiths’ Trolls World Tour Review:
To say that 2020 has been a rough year is probably a pretty big under-statement. And yes, as we have mentioned here before one of the biggest hit industries globally was the film industry. In particular though the two films that will most likely come out of this the most impacted will be the family film Trolls: World Tour and of course Christopher Nolan’s epic Tenet.
While some films took the easy way out and were postponed to try and avoid the pandemic’s closed cinemas Tenet and Trolls: World Tour took a different path. Tenet decided to open where it could when it could… a strategy that you would have to suggest failed given its disappointing box office result. Taking a different strategy Trolls: World Tour decided to open in cinemas where it could and online in countries where it couldn’t. The result was the film did take a sizable amount at the box office but it feels like it has been ‘opening’ somewhere around the world each week. Well now it is finally open everywhere and if you missed it in cinemas you can now watch it online in Phuket.
To be honest Trolls: World Tour is exactly the kind of film that we need in 2020 – something bright and fluffy that will make you want to sing and smile without having to think too much. Story-wise the film picks up a short while after its surprisingly good predecessor. Queen Poppy (voiced by Anna Kendrick – Pitch Perfect) still lovingly rules her subjects – leading them not in everyday life but in song and dance as well. Her loyal friend Branch (Justin Timberlake – The Social Network) is still constantly by her side and still hasn’t told her that he is madly in love with her.
Just when it looks like Branch might finally pluck up the courage to tell her all the Trolls’ lives are turned upside down when a letter arrives from Queen Barb of the Hard Rock Trolls (Rachel Bloom – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) extending an invitation to Poppy to visit her. Not only does this surprise Poppy’s Pop Trolls as they had no idea other ‘genres’ of trolls existed but they are soon stunned to learn that Barb’s plans will devastate any trolls that are not hard rock followers. Poppy, Branch and Biggie (James Corden – Into The Woods) then set off to try and right the wrong.
As far as films go Trolls: world Tour doesn’t stray too far from what made the original film such a box office surprise. The plot moves along at a steady but peaceful rate while nearly every scene is laden with well-known musical tracks from past and present so that the film can be enjoyed by both kids and parents alike.
What separates the Trolls franchise from the myriad of other family films out there though are the stunning visuals. Sure the storyline is light, and let’s be honest fairly predictable for most of the adults out there, the film is made something special by the fact that directors Walt Dohrn and David P. Smith return and once again bring all the colours of the rainbow with them. At times the film resembles a psychedelic 1970s dream sequence and that grouped together with the music makes it a film that is impossible not to sing along with. If you had fun watching the original film then you have just as much fun this time around.
In some ways this Trolls franchise has created the perfect films for the whole family. Little kids become bedazzled by the sights and sounds of the film even if they don’t fully understand what is happening, older kids walk away having been taught a good moralistic lesson while be entertained and adults can have a cheeky sing-a-long to tracks they grew up listening to while trying to pick the number of voice cameos that exist during the film… even the legendary Ozzy Osbourne makes an appearance.
So sit down, put on Trolls and just relax while these lovable creates make your whole family forget about the events of 2020 with singing and laughter.
Summary: The Croods better the Betterman family but is their way of living really as good as what they believe it is.
Cinema Release Dates: 16th December 2020 (Australia), 26th November (Thailand), 25th November (USA), 5th February 2021 (UK)
VOD Release Dates: TBA
Director: Joel Crawford
Screenwriter: Paul Fisher, Dan Hageman, Kevin Hageman, Bob Logan
Cast: Nicolas Cage (Grug), Kailey Crawford (Sandy (voice)), Peter Dinklage (Phil Betterman (voice)), Clark Duke (Thunk (voice)), Gabriel Jack (Young Guy (voice)), Catherine Keener (Ugga (voice)), Cloris Leechman (Gran (voice)), Leslie Mann (Hope Betterman (voice)), Ryan Reynolds (Guy (voice)), James Ryan (Sash (voice)), Chris Sanders (Belt (voice)), Emma Stone (Eep (voice)), Kelly Marie Tran (Dawn Betterman (voice))
Running Time: 95 mins
Classification: PG (Australia), G (Thailand), PG (USA)
OUR THE CROODS: A NEW AGE REVIEWS
David Griffiths’ The Croods: A New Age Review:
The Croods! Easily the best family to come out of prehistoric times since The Flintstones and they are back in the new animated family film The Croods: A New Age. It is hard to believe that it has been seven years since the first film in the franchise was released – but then as a film itself The Croods did some pretty unbelievable things in its time.
Remember back to 2013 – The Croods was never expected to become the Oscar-nominated hit that it was. Realistically it was supposed to be an alternative to the all conquering animated series of the day – films like Toy Story and Ice Age. Those films were filled with star power, The Croods was not. This cave-dwelling family was being voiced by star on the rise Emma Stone, the man who had become a B-Grade-straight-to-video guy – Nicolas Cage – and Ryan Reynolds who was licking his wounds after the flop that was Green Lantern.
Somehow though The Croods not only became a successful film but it gained a legion of fans, received a Best Animated Film Oscar nomination and managed to make a tidy $187 million at the Box Office. A sequel was always going to arrive it was just a matter of when the three leads would find time to find work on it.
Well now the sequel has landed in cinemas and picks up pretty much straight after the events of the first film. Grug (Cage – Gone In Sixty Seconds) is still protecting his family from all matter of creatures while disapproving of the relationship that he can see developing between his teenage daughter Eep (Stone – La, La Land) and the new comer to their ‘family’ the adventurous Guy (Reynolds – Deadpool).
But the entire family’s lives changes forever when on Guy’s search for tomorrow they suddenly come across a farm being run by the more sophisticated Bettermans. And while the father, Phil (Peter Dinklage – Game Of Thrones) is eager to learn more about The Croods and his daughter, Dawn (Kelly Marie Tran – Stars Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker), quickly becomes friends with Eep, the mother, Hope (Leslie Mann – Knocked Up) wants all of The Croods, bar Guy, gone as fast as possible.
Yes, the plot of The Croods: A New Age is pretty thin. It is a story that has been done so many times on screen that most audience members will see where it is heading pretty early on. A family from the wrong side of the tracks meets a family who believes they have it all figured out – if you’ve watched shows like Keeping Up Appearances or Married With Children you will have seen this play out a million times before.
What keeps the film interesting though is the work of the screenwriting team that is led by Kevin and Dan Hageman (the guys behind the highly successful The Lego Movie franchise) who have delivered an absolutely hilarious script that keeps the audience laughing throughout. To their credit they don’t just deliver one or two funny lines every now and then they keep the humour coming at a fast pace and that helps the audience forget that the storyline is very, very predictable.
Likewise director Joel Crawford (Trolls Holiday) appears to have learnt from his time spent in the Trolls universe as he brings bright and flashy colours to this film – a stark difference to the first film which used a much duller palate as it strove to capture the greys and browns of prehistoric times. Crawfords take on The Croods sees a lot of musical numbers and quick moving montages that move the story along nicely without ever over-staying there welcome. In a year where cinema has been all over the place it is quite refreshing to be able to once again visit the world of The Croods. While The Croods: A New Age does take the original story in a whole new direction it also reminds us all just how fun this family is and is the perfect film for people of all ages this holiday season.
As Disney and Pixar’s “Soul” nears its debut on Disney+ on Christmas Night, a new sneak peek of the critically acclaimed feature film is now available. In the movie, Joe Gardner (voice of Jamie Foxx) is a middle-school band teacher who dreams of playing in the best jazz club in town. Filmmakers found they could relate to the character’s passion for music.
Director Pete Docter grew up in a musical family and plays the double bass. “My folks are both teachers and both musicians,” says Docter. “There are three kids and we all became musicians. I think my mom enjoyed having the Von Trapp family; when people would come over, we’d have to perform. My two sisters stuck with it—one is a cellist with the Metropolitan Opera, and the other one is violist and a teacher.”
Co-director Kemp Powers, who used to be a music writer, played the alto saxophone in a jazz band during high school. His affinity for jazz plays a big role in his personal life. “My son’s name is Mingus,” says Powers. “He’s named after Charles Mingus. A lot of us Gen Xers, particularly Black Gen Xers, fell in love with the bebop-era jazz artists—John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, Miles Davis, of course Herbie Hancock. These guys were musical icons that—specifically in New York City—inform so much of the other big musical genre in the city, which is hip hop. The background tunes of my life are jazz and hip hop.”
“Life has so much to offer,” says Joe in the sneak peek. “We only have a short time on this planet. Don’t miss out on the joys of life. Remember to enjoy every minute of it.”
Disney and Pixar’s “Soul” also features the voices of Tina Fey, Phylicia Rashad, Donnell Rawlings, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Angela Bassett and Daveed Diggs. The film is directed by Docter, co-directed by Powers and produced by Dana Murray. Jazz compositions & arrangements are by globally renowned musician and GRAMMY® nominee Jon Batiste, while Oscar® winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (“The Social Network”) composed an original score.
In the sequel to DreamWorks Animation’s Oscar®-nominated blockbuster comedy, the Templeton brothers—Tim (James Marsden, X-Men franchise) and his Boss Baby little bro Ted (Alec Baldwin)—have become adults and drifted away from each other. Tim is now a married stay-at-home dad. Ted is a hedge fund CEO. But a new boss baby with a cutting-edge approach and a can-do attitude is about to bring them together again… and inspire a new family business.
When baby Tina reveals that she’s—ta-da!—a top secret agent for BabyCorp on a mission to uncover the dark secrets behind Tabitha’s school and its mysterious founder, Dr. Erwin Armstrong (Jeff Goldblum), it will reunite the Templeton brothers in unexpected ways, lead them to re-evaluate the meaning of family and discover what truly matters.
Lisa Kudrow and Jimmy Kimmel also reprise their roles as Ted and Tim’s parents.
Stan today announced that production for a brand new Stan Original Film, A Sunburnt Christmas,Australia’s greatest Christmas film ever, is currently underway in Adelaide and will premiere exclusively on Stan later this year – just in time for Christmas.
Directed by Christiaan Van Vuuren (Bondi Hipsters, The Other Guy), this very Australian comedy is produced by Every Cloud Productions, in association with Highview Productions, from an original concept by Gretel Vella, Eillot Vella and Tim Walker, with major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Stan and financed with assistance from the South Australian Film Corporation. Lisa Scott, Highview Productions, is Producer, with Executive Producers Fiona Eagger and Deb Cox for Every Cloud and Mike Jones co-producing.
Not your typical cliché Christmas movie, A Sunburnt Christmas is a wild, hilarious and heartfelt story about a single mum and her kids doing it tough on their outback farm until a runaway criminal dressed as Santa Claus crashes into their property and their lives.
In the lead role as Daryl the kindly crim, Daniel Henshall (Snowtown, Bloom, Acute Misfortune) is mistaken for the real Santa by the young and fearless Daisy, played by incredible new talent Lena Nankivell. Other newcomers Eaden McGuinness and Tatiana Goode are equally brilliant in their roles as Daisy’s older siblings, her anxious brother Tom and wily teenage sister Hazel who sees Daryl as an opportunity to get her family back on track. Sullivan Stapleton (Animal Kingdom, Ride Like A Girl, 300: Rise of an Empire), also stars as Dingo, the mobster on the hunt for Daryl, with Ling Cooper Tang (The Secrets She Keeps, Stan Original Series The Gloaming) as the children’s mumrounding out the multi-generational cast of diverse characters.
A feel-good comedy-of-errors, A Sunburnt Christmas is the must-watch film this Christmas that will bring the family together to laugh, cry and cheer for the triumph of ordinary battlers who might just get their Christmas miracle.
Christiaan Van Vuuren said: “I‘m absolutely stoked to be working at all this year, let alone on a production as special as this with so many talented eggs. I hope this movie is a Christmas present to all Australians after such a hard year.”
Every Cloud Productions’ Fiona Eagger said: “Christmas is one of those occasions where my family love the ritual of sitting down together to watch something Christmassy. Last Christmas, I asked myself ‘where are our good Aussie Christmas films?’ A Sunburnt Christmas fills that void and celebrates what makes us uniquely Australian. It is a little bit irreverent, not very politically correct, has a big heart and is a lot funny. In a year where we could do with a little Christmas cheer, this is about creating our own miracles and finding faith in each other.
“Alongside Stan and Lisa Scott, Deb and I and the team at Every Cloud Productions, have a strong ethos to give opportunity to new talent. On this show there are many key creatives that are doing their first feature film and we are proud to be doing it with them.”
Stan’s Chief Content Officer, Nick Forward said: “The timing for A Sunburnt Christmas couldn’t be better and we’re delighted to be working with Christiaan Van Vuuren again, along with the talented young writers, Every Cloud Productions and Highview Productions, to create a fun feel-good Christmas film to give us all a bit of much-needed Aussie festive cheer.”
South Australia’s Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni, who recently visited the set, said: “A Sunburnt Christmas will inject $2.9m into the local economy and employ 104 South Australian crew, 15 local cast and 31 extras. Among the cast are three young South Australian actors in key roles, who have the opportunity to work alongside and learn from acclaimed actors Daniel Henshall and Sullivan Stapleton. It is terrific to continue to build on the strong relationship between Stan and South Australia.”
Screen Australia’s Head of Content Sally Caplansaid: “We are thrilled to be supporting this Aussie Christmas comedy. With a fun and distinctive story written by exciting new talents Gretel Vella, Eillot Vella and Tim Walker, and comic mastermind Christiaan Van Vuuren in the director’s chair, A Sunburnt Christmas is set to bring laughs for the whole family.”
CEO of the South Australian Film Corporation Kate Crosersaid: “We are thrilled to welcome the acclaimed and prolific Every Cloud Productions to South Australia for the first time with this Stan Original film. The turnaround on this production, post-Covid and pre-Christmas is incredibly quick, and is testament to the agility and skill of the nimble crew and vendors in South Australia, under the leadership of South Australian producer, Lisa Scott of Highview Productions.”
Stan Original Film A Sunburnt Christmas will premiere exclusively on Stan later this year