I’ve been thinking about reviews lately. I like doing reviews. Part of the reason is that I do them with Dev’s input so it gives us a chance to hang out and talk about random products and cool movies. It also gives s a chance for us to work on his critical thinking skills because he can’t just tell me “I liked it” and move on. We dig into character motivation and product quality. We make a thing of it. But generally speaking I like a review to get to the point. My favorite reviewers knock it out quick basically saying if they recommend the product/movie/widget or not. I’m a busy dude, and I know you are busy too so from now on when I review I’m going to get to the point. And here’s a little secret: If I don’t like something, or Dev doesn’t like something, I’m not going to review it. Why should I bother? There are not enough hours in the day. The following are a couple of things that I really got a kick out of recently for one reason or another in no particular order…

I got my first taste of Kidz Bop for Halloween. We amused ourselves as the ghastly family that we are with some classic and current creepy-crawly music. When it was time to consider a review for Kidz Bop 19 I asked Dev what he thought of another KB review, though I already suspected his answer. First and foremost he wanted to know what was on the disc, which in hindsight I think was just a formality. After I told him he smiled and he said “I think you should get it.” We partied to it one evening not too long ago, laughing at how we knew all the songs – even the ones we didn’t know we knew!

A few tracks off the CD are simply puppy-love entertaining like hearing Usher’s DJ Got us Falling in Love remade by a bunch of youngsters who probably have no clue about like much less love. While other songs like Airplanes (originally by B.OB.) made me, the wife and Dev agree that the kid rhyming on that track needs a solo deal. This CD debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 chart because parents want kid-friendly music and more importantly young kids want want to rock to the hits. You cover both with Kidz Bop 19.

Gnomeo & Juliet is a no brainer. It’s cold and evil outside, and it’s warm, funny and sweet in the movie theater when love is blossoming between two adorable garden gnomes from different sides of the fence. But their love is almost doomed when a long standing rivalry between the red and blue gnomes is taken to another (often hilarious) level.

Dev is batting two for two with the second 3D movie that he has really enjoyed, and so are the wife and I for that matter. Dev actually started gushing about the film immediately afterward which is new for him. He’s more of a pry-the-opinion-out-of-him reviewer. Me, I’ve always been an opinionated animated film fan (nothing too deep, though I did go through an Akira phase) so I go into this kind of film with high hopes, like a kid, and was not disappointed. It’s not a “big” film with stuff jumping out of the screen at you and that’s perfectly fine. I think it’s the subtlety of the 3D that makes it work. You don’t get overwhelmed which allows you to easily get into the characters and the story.

Gnomeo is a charming little dude, Juliet is a tough cutie and together they are a couple that can compete with Will and Jada. You can’t go wrong with this Disney film (under the Touchstone Pictures banner). Oh, and the soundtrack is packed with Elton John hits – awesome.