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MOVIE INFO

Director:
Various
Cast:
Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer, Tress MacNeille, Pamela Hayden, Marcia Wallace, Russi Taylor
Writing Credits:
Various

Synopsis:
Just in time for Valentine's Day, this special collection features four "romantically-themed," hysterical episodes from America's #1 TV family, The Simpsons! The Simpsons Kiss & Tell features four laugh-out-loud classic episodes never before seen on DVD from the enduringly-popular, critically-acclaimed Fox animated series.

MPAA:
Rated NR

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Fullscreen 1.33:1
Audio:
English Dolby 2.0
Spanish Dolby 2.0
French Dolby 2.0
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Closed-captioned

Runtime: 88 min.
Price: $14.98
Release Date: 2/7/2006

Bonus:
• “The Way We Weren’t Act Two” Animation Showcase


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RELATED REVIEWS


The Simpsons: Kiss & Tell - The Story Of Their Love (2006)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (January 30, 2006)

Another in a line of themed compilation DVDs, The Simpsons – Kiss and Tell focuses on episodes related to the romance between Marge and Homer. I’ll present story synopses straight from the DVD’s package and also offer my own thoughts on each program.

Natural Born Kissers (aired May 17, 1998): “Homer and Marge discover their waning love life can be spiced up with public make-out sessions. This backfires when they are forced to flee naked across town.”

“Kissers” doesn’t exactly launch this package on a promising note. It falls into that vast category of entertaining but forgettable Simpsons episodes. Actually, that was a small domain for quite a while, but as the seasons have mounted, we’ve found more unmemorable episodes like this. “Kissers” boasts a fun premise, but it wears it out and the plot becomes too thin to sustain it.

Large Marge (aired November 24, 2002): “Marge goes to a plastic surgeon for liposuction and inadvertently gets her breasts enhanced. Meanwhile, a stunt that Bart imitates after seeing it on TV gets Krusty the Clown in trouble.”

Though the plot of “Large” screams “high concept”, it actually works pretty well. It uses the silliness attached to Marge’s chest to good comic effect, and the secondary plot with Bart and Krusty ties into things in a fun manner. It presents a lot of funny bits and turns into a strong episode. It’s also hard to knock a show that reunites the voices of Adam West and Burt Ward.

Three Gays of the Condo (aired April 13, 2003): “Homer discovers that Marge intended to break up with him before they were married. He moves out and winds up sharing a flat with two gay roommates – one of whom takes a shine to Homer.”

An episode that plops Homer amongst some gay dudes might sound like a recipe for disaster. However, “Condo” presents a reasonably strong show. It milks lots of laughs from the settings into which Homer arrives, and it uses the guest actors well.

The Way We Weren’t (aired May 10, 2004): “In this flashback episode, we discover that Homer and Marge met as youths. When young Homer doesn’t arrive in time for a date, young Marge thinks he dumped her – and never forgives him.”

Flashback episodes can be tricky, and “Weren’t” has some of the usual problems. It provides a moderately fun glimpse of Marge and Homer’s early days, but it relies a little too much on cheesy coincidences and the like. Prior shows in this vein were more honest and superior, while this one feels a bit too much like a gimmick.

Continuity problem alert: Milhouse states that Homer is his first kiss. I guess he forgot about Samantha way back in Season Three.


The DVD Grades: Picture B/ Audio B-/ Bonus D+

The Simpsons - Kiss and Tell appears in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; due to those dimensions, the image has not been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Prior Simpsons compilations provided erratic visuals, but since this one concentrated on newer shows, it mostly looked quite good.

Sharpness varied but was usually solid. Occasional instances of softness crept into some shots, but these weren’t large distractions. The shows mostly presented good definition and clarity. Jagged edges and shimmering were minor, and I noticed no problems with edge enhancement. As for source flaws, I saw a speck or two, but nothing else interfered.

Colors looked pretty positive. The shows demonstrated reasonably vivid and concise hues, and these lacked the mushiness of older programs. Black levels were acceptably dense and deep, while shadows offered good clarity. The minor softness was enough to knock down my grade to a “B”, but I didn’t find too many problems here.

Although the Simpsons season sets include 5.1 mixes, Kiss and Tell - like other theme DVDs – features Dolby Surround 2.0 audio. None of the 5.1 tracks have been terribly exciting, so I didn’t have any complaints about the scope of the 2.0 editions. The soundfields focused mainly on the front speakers, where they offered pretty good spread and delineation. Music showed nice stereo imaging, while environmental effects added spark. The surrounds provided decent reinforcement but didn’t do much otherwise.

Audio quality also was good, though speech seemed somewhat weaker than expected. Most of the dialogue remained nicely natural and distinct, but a surprising amount of edginess crept into the mix. Effects were clean and accurate, and they showed quite nice bass response. Music also sounded pretty well defined and detailed, and both score and songs demonstrated good dynamics. This was a perfectly adequate soundtrack.

The bargain-priced Kiss and Tell includes only one supplement, but it’s a decent one. For “The Way We Weren’t - Act Two”, we get an Animation Showcase. This allows us to use the “angle” feature to check out some scenes at different levels of completion. We can flip between storyboards, and animatics; the finished product also appears in the lower right corner for both. The seven-minute and 56-second animatic also appears on its own. It’s a fairly fun interactive way to check out the stages of completion.

Aimed at the casual fan, The Simpsons – Kiss and Tell collects a decent variety of romantic episodes. All are fairly good, though none stand out as particularly terrific. The DVD offers good picture with more than adequate audio, though it skimps on extras.

Since Kiss and Tell only includes episodes that haven’t yet appeared on DVD, it’ll be enticing for fans to snare. We’ll probably get Season Nine’s “Natural Born Kissers” before long, but it could be a while before the other three shows hit DVD. That makes Kiss and Tell a decent addition to the collections of impatient fans or for those who just want a nice general set of shows.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.8571 Stars Number of Votes: 7
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