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SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS

Review by Chastity Campbell

Starring: Amber Tamblyn, America Ferrera, Blake Lively, and Alexis Bledel
Director: Ken Kwapis
Audio: 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround
Video:  1.33:1 Standard Fullscreen
Studio: Warner Brothers
Features: See Review
Length:  119 Minutes           
Release Date:  October 11, 2005

Film ****

If these boots were made for walking, then these jeans were made for traveling, and travel they did!

I wanted to see this film when it was originally out in theatres.  Unfortunately for me, my personal life and work schedule never quite made room for this wonderful film.   But fortunately, the wonderful world of DVD brought it into my home and onto my own personal big screen! 

Meet best friends Tibbi, Lena, Carmen, and Bridget:  four girls whose mothers met at Lamaze class and gave birth within a week of each other.  The girls are joined at the hip, and share everything with one another.

Summer has arrived and all four girls are going their separate ways for the first time in their lives.  Bridget has soccer camp on the Baja California/Mexico border, Lena is headed for Greece to visit her relatives, Carmen is spending the summer with her father, and Tibbi...well, she’s stuck back at home alone, working for WallenMart (I know what your thinking about that name…it reminds me of Target, too!)

While shopping in town for a few last minute items the girls find a pair of pants that somehow (despite the laws of physics) fits all four of them very nicely.   Swearing on the pants at an impromptu going away gathering, the girls create the Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants.  Each girl will keep the pants for a week at a time over the summer.  This way no matter how far apart they are, the magic in the pants will keep them connected. 

Shy, introverted Lena heads off to Greece with the jeans in tow, and snags a man right off the bat.  The second week rolls around, and Tibbi, who is an aspiring filmmaker, ends up with the pants, and an annoying assistant director she wasn’t counting on.  By the time Carmen gets her chance in the pants, her visit with her dad has taken a Cinderella downturn.  Bridget uses the jeans to get exactly what she wants, only realizing later that what you want and what you need are two different things entirely.

While watching this movie I laughed (a lot), I cried (a lot), and I thought (a lot)!  Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants takes four separate journeys but manages to stay connected by a simple denim thread!   Each girls story is based on basic human emotions, and woven into a tapestry that will find a place with even the pickiest of viewers.

The actresses in this film are phenomenal.  I’ve watched Alexis Bledel since day one on“Gilmore Girls.”  I have enjoyed everything she has been in and would definitely like to see more of her on the big screen.

Amber Tamblyn, daughter of Russ Tamblyn (Gideon, Seven Brides For Seven Brothers), is one of the most dynamic actresses I’ve ever seen.  Her series “Joan Of Arcadia” may not have been critically pleasing enough to stay on the air, but I doubt that will keep this talented actress down long.  I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of Ms. Tamblyn in the future.

Blake Lively is relatively new to the big screen.  Blake did really well as the antsy and daring Bridget.  I see from some research on the web that she has a couple of films coming up in 2006 and I look forward to finding out if she has what it takes to stick it out in the big “H”. 

And God bless America!!  How many times did she hear that growing up, I wonder?  No matter, because this actress is very talented, and with a name like America who wouldn’t want to watch her?

I really enjoyed this film, not only for its family friendly nature, but with the way it was handled.  Each girls story is a single standalone piece that was brought together seamlessly. 

I think girls from every age group will find something about this sisterhood to love.  Don’t get caught with your pants down, go out and grab this DVD today!

Video ****

Great quality video can be achieved, and this DVD proves it.  Colors shone with brilliant clarity, while switching from one location to another.  There was no artifacting or other degrading qualities.  This 1.33:1 Standard Fullscreen DVD was just about as clean as they come! 

Audio ***

The 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround didn’t deliver on every level for this film.   I found myself turning the sound up a few times just to catch stray works here and there.  It wasn’t overly annoying, just something that could have used a little more work.   Other than that, the soundtrack was awesome and dialogue was easily distinguishable from the other background effects and noises.

Features *** 

This DVD puts its pants on one leg at a time, and fills them out nicely!  There are some extra scenes narrated for your viewing pleasure by director Ken Kwapis.  The Fun On The Set featurette (hey, that rhymed) will give you a behind the scenes pass to the casts on set antics.  You’ll really enjoy getting to know these girls, getting to know each other.

Suckumentary is a rough cut of Tibby and Blake's documentary that works very well, as long as you’ve seen the movie.

The coolest extra of all is the one called, “Sister, Secrets, and The Traveling Pants.”  Amber, America, and Alexis (triple ‘A’) sit together watching selected scenes and discussing them.  This was really cool, and will be a fun watch for all those people wanting to know more about the actresses and how they do what they do!

A conversation with author Ann Brashares is also included to help bridge the gap between the book and the film.

The original theatrical trailer, along with language options in English and French (dubbed in Quebec) as well as subtitles in both languages are available as well.

Summary:

The fun you’ll have with this DVD is truly amazing.  Great audio and video, a fun story, and some really cool extra features make these jean-clad girls a hit!

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