Blu-ray Reviews: Gibby and Endgame

Sometimes you need a little something extra to make school and learning more exciting in your life. It can be simple things like a nice pair of sneakers or someone who flirts with you during lunch break. Gibby and Endgame are two movies from Shout! Kids that give two completely different ways a student can get their groove.

Gibby starts off with Katie (Big Sur‘s Shelby Lyon) in the grips of depression after the death of her mother. She’s not doing well in school and has no desire to push herself as a gymnast. She’s withdrawn from her friends. Her dad (The Boondock Saints Sean Patrick Flanery) can’t snap her out of the funk since he’s got enough issues of his own. What changes her mood is when her favorite teacher (American Pie‘s Shannon Elizabeth) decides to let kids babysit her monkey Gibby (Crystal the Monkey). Naturally Katie isn’t too happy since monkeys aren’t easy pets to take care of like gerbils, guinea pigs or goldfish. Gibby needs attention and likes to socialize. Gibby becomes the friend that Katie needs to realize that as much as it hurts losing a mother, there’s still a lot of life to be enjoyed. Gibby gets Katie back to the gym and ready to perform thus making this film perfect viewing during the Summer Olympics. You might recognize Crystal the Capuchin from its excellent work in as the drug dealer in The Hangover Part II and the most convincing actor in We Bought A Zoo. Turns out that Shannon Elizabeth and Crystal the Capuchin were both in American Pie. Strange how the ape’s career has eclipsed Elizabeth’s movie history. Crystal is the true star of Gibby.

Endgame is about the frustration of siblings at the school. Jose (Modern Family‘s Rico Rodriguez) has been living in the shadow of his brother, who is a major athlete. What does Jose have? He plays Chess with the skills taught to him by his grandfather. This mastery of the game doesn’t help him from being a headcase with a short fuse. Luckily he has befriended teacher Mr. Alvarado (Napoleon Dynamite‘s Efren Ramirez). He wants to get the Chess club back at the school. He has faith that a few of the students have the skills that can take them to the state finals. But is Jose able to not lose his temper and focus on the game? Will a school in Texas admit Chess is a sport worthy of being funded when there’s a chance football could have a bigger budget? The movie does its best to touch base with Searching for Bobby Fischer as a teenager film that runs life through the Chess board. Ramirez does a fine job as the teacher who won’t give up on the kids and won’t let the kids give up on themselves.

The video is 1.85:1 anamorphic for both films. Endgame was viewed on a Blu-ray so the details were tighter. The audio for Gibby on DVD was Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. Endgame was DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix. Both had fine levels so you don’t have to push the volume on the remote. Both movies are subtitled in English with Spanish subtitles on Endgame.

Bonus Features for Gibby:

Commentary Track with Producer Kyle Kernan, writer Greg Lyon and star Shelby Lyon always have them coming back to working with Crystal.

Monkeyin’ Around: A Look Back at Gibby (31:11) has the cast and crew discuss how the movie was put together. Crystal lets her co-stars do nearly all of the talking. She’s such a giving monkey.

On the Gibby Red Carpet (2:10) is from when it played at a film festival.

Blooper Reel (6:14) lets us know that the monkey and the humans weren’t one take wonders. There’s cute footage of Crystal learning how to cook.

Crystal’s Audition (2:32) reminds folks that even apes have to meet casting directors. It’s a goofy sketch.

Monkey Business Music Video (3:10) use elements that were in the end credits.

Trailer (2:13) is featured above.

Bonus Features for Endgame:

Audio Commentary with director Carmen Marron. He explains how this was based off a true story in Brownsville, Texas.

Interviews With The Cast And Crew (10:10) discusses how important the story of the Chess playing students was to the community. There’s a lot of behind the scenes footage. Rico Rodriguez talks about bonding with the role and the cast so that the emotions came easy when the cameras were rolling. They shot the film in 19 days.

Deleted Scenes has two moments snipped from the film.

Hispanic Heritage Promo (1:55) features the cast pointing out how so many involved in the production are Hispanic.

Trailer (2:33) sets up the story properly.

Shout Factory Kids presents Gibby. Directed by: Phil Gorn. Screenplay by: Greg Lyon. Starring: Crystal the Monkey, Sean Patrick Flanery, Peyton Meyer, Shannon Elizabeth & Shelby Lyon. Running Time: 86 minutes. Rated: Not Rated. Released: August 2, 2016.

Shout Factory presents Endgame. Directed by: Carmen Marron. Screenplay by: Hector Salinas. Starring: Cassie Brennan, Efren Ramirez, Alina Herrera, Ivonne Coll & Rico Rodriguez. Running Time: 90 minutes. Rated: Not Rated. Released: July 5, 2016.

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