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That Time of The Week: August Blu-ray and DVD Titles, Finally

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Lots of TV as the fall season arrives and releases do to, just in time to catch you up with what you missed last year.  Lots of movies as well including a few of 2016’s highlights including The Jungle Book, The Nice Guys and

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Warner Bros. / Released 8/2/16

Keanu

Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, a.k.a. the hugely popular comedy duo Key & Peele, star as Clarence and Rell, two cousins who live in the city but are far from streetwise.

When Rell’s beloved kitten, Keanu, is catnapped, the hopelessly straight-laced pair must impersonate ruthless killers in order to infiltrate a street gang and retrieve the purloined feline. But the incredibly adorable kitten becomes so coveted that the fight over his custody creates a gang war, our two unwitting heroes to take the law into their own hands. Extras include featurette, deleted scenes and gag reel

Last Word: Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele ended their Comedy Central show last year, but they haven’t much gone anywhere. The duo’s first feature film, Keanu, plays out of their takes on blackness and masculinity.

Keanu has a lot to say about blackness and the idea of “code switching” – the practice of changing speech and attitude to fit the sensibilities of your surroundings, particularly through the prism of race and nerdhood regarding what is “acting black” and “acting white.”

In a time when people are debating Larry Wilmore calling President Obama “my nigga” at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Key & Peele lean hard into the word in Keanu. Both instances deal with in-group behavior writ large, and disregard for respectability based on the white gaze.

Their characters, stoner slacker Rell (Peele) and uptight dweeb Clarence (Key), drop some bass into their voices and drop N-bombs aplenty upon meeting the drug-dealing 17th Street Blips. And while some of this is a play on the at-times performative aspects of what it means to be black, it’s also about two nerds trying to fit in with streetwise folks to stay alive.

Keanu posits that perhaps in 2016, these worlds may blend more than we think. Clarence, wearing a checked shirt, tan windbreaker and khakis, just pops his collar among the Blips. But does his outfit stick out so much when Kanye West became famous wearing the same stuff?

Rell just covers up his ironic T-shirt by zipping up his hoodie. Remember when the mainstream called them hooded sweatshirts, and “hoodie” was black slang? We all call them hoodies now after Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook in one, while Trayvon Martin was killed for wearing one.

Crazy stuff.  But I also think that Keanu, like a lot of Key & Peele’s work, also as much to say about masculinity. And this time, they do it through the cutest kitten in the world. We do a pretty thorough job of adding gender to pretty much anything, and cat ownership hasn’t escaped that. We have a lot of gender stuff that goes into cat ownership.

With men, cat ownership often is cast as un-masculine. Think of Garfield’s owner, Jon Arbuckle, a single man characterized as a bland, feckless loser, bad with women, whose own cat ridicules him all the time. The in-group nickname for cat aficionados, cat fancier, may further such an image as well; no virile man wants the word “fancy” next to his name, right?

In our Internet era, cat videos still rule supreme. Try as we might with videos of guilty-faced dogs and tiny hamsters eating tiny foods, cat videos continue to lead the way. And in that time, the cat daddy has emerged. Thanks, noted cat behaviorist and TV personality Jackson Galaxy, of My Cat From Hell fame. This ain’t your grandma’s cat fancier, with his rockabilly sideburns, hardcore beard, shaved head, earrings, tattoos and bowling league shirts.  Galaxy injected some cool-weirdness and tailpipe-firing man stuff into dudes loving cats.

And, man, this movie, and dudes in this movie, really love this kitty cat. Keanu features extensive slow-motion glamour footage of Keanu running through the streets of Los Angeles and gun battles. The kitten gets tons of reaction shots to whatever human characters say and do, his face scrunching up or dialing up maximum feral-cute when he bares his teeth. Everyone who sees this cat fawns over him. When Keanu shows up at Rell’s doorstep, he immediately gives Rell purpose. Sure, it’s clawing at photos of his ex and posing for a calendar of movie homages including Heat and The Shining, but it’s purpose.

Keanu himself is owned by two drug dealers, fought over by a third drug dealer, loved by a pair of assassins that combine the McManus brothers of Boondock Saints and Michael Myers. (Their names, Smoke and Oil Dresden, are beyond perfect.) This is a world where hardened drug dealer Cheddar (Method Man) doesn’t keep a pit bull or a rotweiler on a thick chain. He has a tiny kitten dressed in a do-rag and gold chain. Keanu the kitten’s abduction sends a weedhead slacker and an uptight corporate-culture consultant on a path of crime, death and property damage.

By that token, Keanu links itself to the recent Keanu Reeves film, John Wick, as we see a man go off on a path of vengeance over his pet, in Wicks’ case, a dog. I don’t think John Wick have worked as well as over-the-top action drama if it weren’t a dog. But replace that dog with a cat, and it can’t not be a comedy. Like many of these kinds of dude comedies with the slacker and the stickler, Keanu follows some of those same character arcs. Rell the slacker loser (Peele) learns responsibility and purpose through the power of love, and Clarence the uptight dweeb (Key) loosens up to become his most authentic self and do something badass.

Rell starts the movie despondent over losing his girlfriend, taking bong rips amid his squalor of an apartment. What kind of man is this? By the end of the movie, he’s got a new love interest and backflips his way into saving the kitten he loves. He doesn’t have a driver’s license yet, but he sure does get a car and drive the hell out of it.

Clarence begins the movie loved but underperforming, with his wife Hannah (Nia Long) encouraging him to do something for himself on her weekend trip away with her daughter, the daughter’s friend, and that friend’s father. His stepdaughter dismisses him, and he sends his wife off with the suspect Spencer (Rob Huebel) after his wife suddenly couldn’t make it. Mmm-hmm. What kind of de-manned fool is this?

By the end of the movie, Clarence’s work coaching gets a gang through a shootout, and he punches Spencer right in the nose over unspecified inappropriateness toward his wife. And not just any wife, but Nia Long, one of the most downest black female creatures of desire from the 1990s, an era now worshiped today as a wellspring of black pop-culture creativity. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Soul Food, Hav Plenty, The Best Man, and the boho-chic R&B rom-com Love Jones – Long is in all of them! J. Cole, in the song “Role Modelz,” pines for those women of 20 years ago compared to today’s ratchet reality-TV stars: “My only regret was too young for Lisa Bonet / My only regret was too young for Nia Long.”

Upon said punchout, Hannah demands for him to have sex with her right now. Through the capers to recover Keanu, Clarence learns to assert himself and to protect whom he loves by embracing his inner badass and not bending over backwards to meet expectations. Is such a display in Keanu juvenile? Totally. Dumb? You betcha. But, given where the movie ends, with Rell and Clarence going to actual prison for all the actual crimes they committed, Keanu operates as a buddy action comedy not without consequences, either. (– Marvin C. Pittman)

 

Sony / Released 8/2/16

Sony / Released 8/2/16

The Blacklist: Season 3

This season FBI Agent Elizabeth “Liz” Keen (Megan Boone) is now a fugitive and on the run with criminal mastermind Raymond “Red” Reddington (James Spader). With Assistant FBI Director Harold Cooper under investigation, a conflicted Agent Donald Ressler (Harry Lennix) leads the FBI Task Force on a massive manhunt for Liz and Red.

As they struggle to stay one step ahead of their former colleagues, Liz immerses herself into Red’s underworld of disreputable contacts and covert operations. Liz is on an unpredictable journey of self-discovery and all the pieces of her life, including her indefinable relationship with Tom, will be drastically challenged as she continues to believe Red holds all the answers.

The ensemble also stars Diego Klattenhoff, Amir Arison, Mozhan Marnò and Hisham Tawfiq. Guest stars this season include David Strathairn, Aaron Yoo, Fisher Stevens, Paul Reubens, Christine Lahti, Oded Fehr, Jake Weber, Kevin Weisman, Tony Shalhoub, Lance Henriksen, Brian Dennehy, Famke Janssen, and Benito Martinez.  Extras include commentaries, deleted and extended scenes,and featurettes.

Includes the episodes:

  • The Troll Farmer (No. 38): The FBI hunts for Liz for the murder of an attorney general in the Season 3 premiere. Also: Red and Liz try to flee the city with help from a Blacklister called the Troll Farmer; and Dembe is put in a perilous situation.
  • Marvin Gerard (No. 80): Liz escapes to the Russian embassy as the FBI corners her and Red. Liz can trust no one but Red, who mobilizes a lawyer named Marvin Gerard to help them evade a difficult hostage situation. Meanwhile, the FBI tries to push Cooper out of the task force.
  • Eli Matchett (No. 72): Red and Liz head toward the Midwest in their quest to take down the Cabal and exonerate Liz. Meanwhile, Ressler, Samar and Aram discover what could become a global food crisis.
  • The Djinn (No. 43): Red enlists a task force to locate a woman called the Djinn, an enigmatic woman who fulfills revenge fantasies. Red and Liz believe the Djinn can lead them to the Cabal and help them exonerate Liz.
  • Arioch Cain (No. 50): A bounty is posted for Agent Keen, with any number of shady assassins surfacing and Red setting out to protect her.
  • Sir Crispin Crandall (No. 86): Red and Liz pursue a reclusive billionaire who’s assembling a modern day Noah’s Ark to save the world’s most brilliant minds from extinction.
  • Zal Bin Hasaan (No. 31): Samar’s tragic past resurfaces when the team tracks an elusive international terrorist. In other developments, the FBI and the Cabal make significant strides in their search for Liz and Red, and Tom faces obstacles in his plan to exonerate Liz.
  • Kings of the Highway (No. 108): Red and Liz are separated when Red falls into a perilous situation. Elsewhere, Samar makes a risky choice to help Liz, and Tom and Cooper continue their quest to exonerate Liz.
  • The Director (No. 24): As Aram struggles to protect the imprisoned Liz, Tom and Ressler team up to keep Karakurt out of the Cabal’s hands.
  • The Director (No. 24): Conclusion: As Liz prepares to stand trial, Red scrambles to protect her from the Cabal.
  • Mr. Gregory Devry (No. 95): As Liz watches from the sidelines, Red alerts the Task Force to a secret meeting of the world’s crime bosses that’s been called to punish him for cooperating with the FBI.
  • The Vehm (No. 132): A rare medieval device is used in a murder, prompting Red to warn the task force that a lethal vigilante group from the Middle Ages is now in operation. Meanwhile, Liz receives startling news and cautiously plans her next move.
  • Alistair Pitt (No. 103): Red and Liz work with the taskforce to stop a negotiator who has resurfaced to unite two rival crime families. Tom reconnects with a former flame.
  • Lady Ambrosia (No. 77): Red and Liz target a woman who may be kidnapping children. Meanwhile, Tom comes up against shocking consequences after his plan to help Liz goes awry.
  • Drexel (No. 113): The founder of an Internet start-up is killed. Red suspects a notorious killer is at work, leading the task force to a dangerous underground news source. Meanwhile, Tom faces a life-threatening situation, and Liz contemplates options for her baby.
  • The Caretaker (No. 78): A State Department official is killed in Beijing, leading Red and Liz to “The Caretaker,” a shadowy keeper who maintains a safety-deposit vault for criminals. Also, Tom makes a risky decision, and Liz continues her quest to learn more about her mother.
  • Mr. Solomon (No. 32): Part 1 of 2. Thieves target a tactical nuclear weapon, so the team races to stop them and prevent a nuclear disaster. Meanwhile, a decision could alter Tom and Lizâ€ôs relationship forever.
  • Mr. Solomon (No. 32): The Conclusion: A team member falls into grave danger due to a tragedy, leading the task force to rely on Red and his unorthodox methods. Meanwhile, an unforeseen complication impacts Tom and Liz.
  • Cape May: An enigmatic beauty goes on the run from unknown attackers. When she happens upon Red, she enlists his help to retaliate against her assailants.
  • The Artax Network: Assailants are pursued after a loss devastates the task force, with focus turned to a mysterious group using a global satellite network. Elsewhere, Red faces a ghost from his past.
  • Susan Hargrave (No.18): When Reddington links an elegant, powerful and extremely dangerous woman to the recent tragic events, the task force is forced to play a deadly cat and mouse game to stop her before she strikes again.
  • Alexander Kirk (No.14): The FBI task force’s hunt for revenge nears its endgame. As Reddington and the team close in on the mysterious arch-criminal responsible for recent tragic events, they’re forced to operate outside their comfort zone — and outside the law — in order to take down their enemy once and for all.
  • Alexander Kirk (No. 14): The Conclusion: As Reddington and the task force close in on the person responsible for Liz’s death, a shocking betrayal leaves them racing to save one of their own.

 

Lionsgate / Released 8/2/16

Lionsgate / Released 8/2/16

The Lobster

Colin Farrell stars as David, a man who has just been dumped by his wife. To make matters worse, David lives in a society where single people have 45 days to find true love, or else they are turned into the animal of their choice and released into the woods.

David is kept at the mysterious hotel while he searches for a new partner, and after several romantic misadventures decides to make a daring escape to abandon this world. He ultimately joins up with a rebel faction known as The Loners, a group founded on a complete rejection of romance.

But once there David meets an enigmatic stranger (Rachel Weisz) who stirs up unexpected and strong feelings within him…

At once a full immersion into a strange and surreal world, and a witty and clever reflection of our own society, The Lobster is a thrillingly audacious vision fully brought to life by director Yorgos Lanthimos and his terrific cast. The filmmaker displays a completely singular style and mastery of tone, finding the perfect balance between sharp-edged satire and romantic fable that entertains its audience while also leaving them with lots to reflect on long after the credits have rolled. Extras include a featurette.

Last Word: The state of “date movies” in the 21st century is not unlike that of dates themselves: ever-changing. The overall meaning of the term date has changed dramatically, rendering the dichotomy between a date and finding love to be ever more opaque. With the onset of dating apps like Bumble and Tinder we humans may find it harder to experience the entire endgame of dating, that feeling of a spark or connection between two people. This shift can be seen not only on the streets but also in the cinema, as the general layout and makeup of the romantic comedy has shape-shifted itself over the last decade or so, from movies like Grease to a more alt-gen and offbeat style of filmmaking seen in 500 Days of Summer or, more loosely, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. Naturally, it seems natural that at some point directors might examine this cultural shift and explore that change through their own eye, and a good result is Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Lobster, starring Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz.

The plot is clear enough: Farrell’s David arrives as a single lad at an unnamed hotel in an unnamed city with the simple rule of finding a life partner in 45 days. Failure to do so will have you sent to a room wherein you’re turned into the animal of your choosing. Doesn’t sound like a bad gig, although a dog happens to be one of the more common requests, so try and pick something else (David’s is, expectedly, a lobster). As the movie begins to unfold we unravel more and more of this seemingly innocent hotel to reveal its more intricate rules. Masturbation is strictly forbidden, but sexual stimulation by one of the hotel’s attractive staff is required, daily, but reaching orgasm is absolutely forbidden. Dances are frequently held to try and get you out of your comfort zone, as are hunting trips, where the guests hunt escapees, called Loners, which bag you an extra day per tranquilized trophy. If you’re lucky (or attractive) enough to snag yourself a partner, you’re whisked away onto a nearby boat to live the lavish life of a fulfilling relationship, perhaps with children involved if such a thing is deemed necessary. During his stay, David befriends two fellow male guests, one with a lisp (played by John C. Reilly) and one with a limp (played by Ben Wishaw). Throughout their stay we see the man with the lisp get punished for masturbating by receiving a nasty burn involving a toaster, and the man with the limp bashes his nose to emulate the frequent bleeding of a female interest.

What’s immediately evident is the complete lack of emotion in each sentence manufactured by the characters. For a movie about searching for love, the Hotel and the rules around it render the characters seemingly straight out of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, each guest floating through the days in a strict routine as the countdown is announced each morning over a speaker in their rooms. Men approach women (and vice versa), get shot down, and move onto the next activity. Breakfast is served to individual tables, and all clothing and personal items, the same for every guest, are supplied exclusively by the Hotel. It’s all so cold, tired, and robotic, these motions every guest goes through, and the movie never explains David’s reasoning for checking into the Hotel himself. The only backstory we get is the dog David brings in with him as he checks in – his brother – who obviously didn’t make it through his first visit however long ago.

All of this emotionless cycle is further contrasted by being photographed gorgeously through cinematographer Thimios Bakatakis’s camera, often sitting in one place, just out of the way of the actors and most of which shooting with only natural light. It’s a strange, almost unsettling beauty when paired with the nature of life in this hotel. Every actor turns in a wonderful performance given the bland and mechanical nature of what was requested by Lanthimos.

The first half of The Lobster has David going through is new life in the Hotel over the next 45 days but after a certain amount of time, David finds himself a Loner outside of the hotel and into the lush forest surrounding it, inhabited by the Loners themselves, as well as the varied zoo of those guests who did not make it. The gang of escapees is led by Lea Seydoux’s character. It’s there that he runs into a woman, Weisz’s character, who happens to share David’s short-sightedness, and the love story the movie is about begins. But to me, that’s where the story goes off the rails a bit and becomes less clear on its intentions. I found myself enraptured in the world of the Hotel and the rules and stipulations therein, so it took me out of the experience to see all of that left behind. I wanted to explore more of that establishment; more time to unravel all that is hidden away, not yet discovered by David. After he escapes the Hotel, the plot gets unclear and meanders more than the first half, so after spending so much time engrossed in one area it was jarring and not quite handled as well as one would hope. Decisions are made seemingly out of nowhere and directions are gone without a clear explanation, a stark contrast from the almost too relatable decisions David made in the Hotel. It all made for a very anticlimactic and unsatisfying ending to walk away from.

Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Lobster is a tricky movie, introducing the viewer to a unique and fully realized world only to strip much of those ideas away during the second half. This is a dark movie but also hysterical at times, a black comedy not often seen in the cinema world, and a movie that examines our own cultural mindset in just as surprising and shocking ways. While The Lobster isn’t a home run throughout the two-hour run time, it is still recommended by anybody hoping to see how the use of film can open your eyes to how complicated love really is. (– Steve Carley)

 

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HBO Home Video / Released 8/2/16

The Knick: The Complete Second Season

From executive producer Steven Soderbergh (who directed all ten episodes), and starring Clive Owen (in a Golden Globe-nominated performance) as brilliant surgeon John Thackery, the series pushes the boundaries of medicine, morality and race relations in 1900 at a downtown NYC hospital known as The Knick.

In the second season, The Knick faces an upheaval, as Dr. John Thackery’s absence (due to his hospitalization for cocaine addiction), a dearth of affluent patients, and financial missteps have led to the board’s decision to shutter the hospital in favor of a new building uptown. In this world of corruption, invention and progress, everyone is searching for the new path that will help him or her survive. Whether it’s a path toward justice, freedom, love or just plain survival, nothing comes easy.

As relocation plans proceed, the gifted but under-appreciated Dr. Algernon Edwards jockeys to become Thackery’s successor as chief of surgery, while fellow doctors, nurses, nuns and administrators grapple with challenges at work and in their private lives. Extras include featurettes, commentaries, and inside the episode recaps.

Includes the episodes:

  • Ten Knots: As Barrow and The Knick prepare to move uptown, Edwards lobbies the hospital board to be appointed permanent head of surgery.
  • You’re No Rose: Thackery sets his sights on a return to The Knick–a request that doesn’t sit well with the Board. After a shocking discovery, Cornelia enlists Cleary to do a dirty job, for a price. Bertie makes a change; Henry Robertson pushes a new subway initiative.
  • The Best with the Best to Get the Best: Thackery enlists Edwards to help him test a new hypothesis. After rejecting Henry Robertson’s advances at The Knick, Lucy learns that confession isn’t always good for the soul. We meet Genevieve Everidge, a journalist writing a story about a rival doctor.
  • Wonderful Surprises: Abby’s worsening condition persuades Thackery to test out his novel syphilis treatment. Algernon comes clean to Opal, but does not get the response he expects. Cleary makes a last-ditch effort to raise funds for Harriet as her date in court arrives.
  • Whiplash: A subway explosion leads to an influx of patients at The Knick, but little margin for profit. Pursued by Henry, Lucy takes to heart some advice given by one of Ping Wu’s girls. An addict’s misfortune gives Thackery a test case for his addiction theory.
  • There Are Rules: Faced with a quandary, Bertie decides to take matters into his own hands at Mt. Sinai, enlisting Algernon to help. Thackery investigates the efficacy of hypnosis, and takes an interest in a pair of conjoined twins.
  • Williams and Walker: Fighting his nerves, Thackery readies himself to attempt to separate Zoya and Nika in front of a packed audience. After getting a surprise gift from her father-in-law, Cornelia attends a gala charity ball for the new Knick with other familiar guests.
  • Not Well At All: After dealing with an unwanted intruder, Thackery faces the realities of his addiction research, and sets his sights on improving Abby’s appearance. Algernon suspects foul play during his surgical debacle; Gallinger shuffles his family priorities.
  • Do You Remember Moon Flower?: Thackery’s connection to Captain Robertson, and how the doctor arrived at the Knick, is revealed. The conflict between Algernon and Gallinger comes to a head. Cornelia and Henry weigh the cost of a family crisis.
  • This Is All We Are: Thackery eschews Zinberg’s advice at Mt. Sinai and opts for a dramatic, and risky, alternative course of action. Cornelia and Henry weigh their futures following an alarming family revelation.

 

1836476hThe Bronze

A decade ago, Hope Ann Greggory (Melissa Rauch) was America’s sweetheart. Her inspired performance on a ruptured Achilles at the world’s most prestigious gymnastics tournament clinched an unlikely bronze medal for the U.S. team and brought glory to her hometown of Amherst, Ohio. But in the years since that epic third place victory, Hope hasn’t done a whole lot with her life.

Still living in her dad Stan’s (Gary Cole) basement, still sporting her daily uniform of a Team USA gym suit with teeny-bopper bangs, ponytail and scrunchie, she spends her days at the mall milking her minor celebrity for free food and favors.

Hope’s routine is upended when she learns that she must coach Amherst’s newest gymnastics prodigy Maggie (Haley Lu Richardson) in order to receive a sizeable financial inheritance.

The hard-edged yet insecure Hope is faced with a serious dilemma: does she jeopardize her “hometown hero” status by devotedly training this rising star to achieve the dreams she never could? Or does she attempt to sabotage the impressionable Maggie to ensure that she remains the one and only star in Amherst? Extras include deleted scenes.

 

152754_frontBlindspot: The Complete First Season

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the DVD I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.

Blindspot tells the story of a beautiful woman (Jaimie Alexander), who is found naked in Times Square, with her body completely covered in cryptic, intricate tattoos. With no memories of her past, and clueless about her own identity this Jane Doe ignites the attention of the FBI, when it’s discovered that one of her mysterious tattoos bears the name of FBI agent Kurt Weller (Sullivan Stapleton).

As Weller and his teammates at the FBI begin to investigate the mysterious map of Jane Doe’s strange tattoos, they are drawn into a high-stakes underworld that twists and turns through a labyrinth of secrets and revelations. The information they uncover, might ultimately change the world.

Blindspot also stars Rob Brown as the level-headed vet Edgar Reade; Audrey Esparza as the secretive Tasha Zapata, Ashley Johnson as the FBI’s tech wizard Patterson, Ukweli Roach as Dr. Borden and Marianne Jean-Baptiste as Assistant Director Bethany Mayfair. Extras include featurettes, deleted scenes, Comic-Con panel, gag reel and commentary.

Borrowing liberally from a number of premises (including Memento, Prison Break, Bourne Identity, Blacklist, etc.), Blindspot still manages to be a fairly entertaining procedural, as long as you turn your mind off before watching.  Unfortunately the series’ biggest problem isn’t it’s cliché filled execution, but rather lead actress Jaimie Alexander who is devoid of any natural charm or personality.  I previously enjoyed her in smaller roles, but she lacks the gravitas or talent necessary to pull off the role.  Blindspot is silly and conveniently each mystery tattoo manages to tie into the case of the week.  Watch it, enjoy it and forget about it.  Just like Jane Doe.

Includes the episodes:

  • Pilot: A beautiful woman with no memories of her past is found in Times Square, covered in mysterious tattoos, including an FBI agent’s name.
  • A Stray Howl: While Jane continues to search for clues to her identity, the team unlocks a cryptic tattoo that points to an Air Force fighter pilot with a painful past and lethal agenda.
  • Eight Slim Grins: Jane’s SEAL tattoo ties her to a criminal who may have clues to her past. Meanwhile, Jane receives a visit from the mysterious rugged man from her first memory.
  • Bone May Rot: Patterson and her boyfriend, David decode a tattoo clue and hidden message that leads to a catastrophic global plot at the CDC.
  • Split the Law: After a seemingly straightforward hostage situation goes bad, the CIA and FBI find themselves racing against each other to apprehend the same criminal with a dark history.
  • Cede Your Soul: When an assassination leads the team to a dangerous app that allows criminals to track government vehicles, the team works with an unlikely ally to stop the dangerous software.
  • Sent on Tour: One of Jane’s tattoos sends the team to a remote location where they find themselves cut off from the FBI Home Office and face to face with a dangerous criminal.
  • Persecute Envoys: When Patterson unlocks a disturbing tattoo predicting a police officer’s murder, the team must chase a violent clue trail to stop a series of cop killings.
  • Authentic Flirt: Jane & Weller go undercover as a world-class assassin couple to prevent deadly information from getting into the wrong hands. The intimate assignment draws them closer than ever.
  • Evil Handmade Instrument: In the thrilling midseason finale, the team goes after a ring of sleeper spies that have just been activated, and race to stop a slew of assassinations.
  • Cease Forcing Enemy: While Jane reels from a series of massive revelations about her tattoos and grapples with whether to trust Oscar, the team follows a dangerous case overseas.
  • Scientist Hollow Fortune: After a disturbed Iraq War vet shoots up a military base, the team exposes a sinister plot, as Jane and Weller race to stop a single-minded scientist.
  • Erase Weary Youth: After a tip reveals there’s a mole within the FBI’s New York office, the team must hunt for the operative while facing extreme scrutiny from Inspector Fischer.
  • Rules in Defiance: As Jane considers leaving the FBI, an anonymous tip leads the team to investigate an urgent Death Row case – ultimately sending Zapata undercover.
  • Older Cutthroat Canyon: After a painting featuring one of Jane’s tattoos is heisted from a gallery, the team discovers Jane is the real target. In order to protect her team, Jane goes AWOL.
  • Any Wounded Thief: After an armored truck is robbed, the team discovers that the stolen goods are chemical weapons, forcing them to race to thwart a deadly terrorist attack.
  • Man’s Telepathic Loyal Lookouts: After Patterson discovers a hidden message in a crossword, she embarks on a tattoo scavenger hunt that leads her into danger. Oscar finally tells Jane more about who she was.
  • One Begets Technique: In order to take down a dangerous international criminal, Jane and Weller are forced to collaborate with an unlikely ally: their former target, Rich DotCom.
  • In the Comet of Us: When a school shooting breaks out during the investigation of a tattoo, the team splits up to take down the shooter. Meanwhile, Mayfair copes with some issues from her past.
  • Swift Hardhearted Stone: When a mysterious girl with a tattoo connection falls into Borden’s care, he brings her to the FBI team – but her ties to a terrorist organization prove dangerous for all of them.
  • Of Whose Uneasy Route: When criminal hackers infiltrate the building, the FBI goes on lockdown – trapping the team inside and leaving them to confront their personal conflicts.
  • If Love A Rebel, Death Will Render: After an abandoned baby is found with a tattoo identical to Jane’s, the team races to piece together the child’s identity and save dozens of infants.
  • Why Await Life’s End: Weller searches for the truth within a heartbreaking and confounding assertion, while Jane reaches out to a former suspect for help with Oscar.

 

Starz/Anchor Bay / Released 8/2/16

Starz/Anchor Bay / Released 8/2/16

The Girlfriend Experience: Season One

Christine Reade (Riley Keough) is a second year student at Chicago-Burnham Law School and a new intern at a prestigious firm.

Working hard to establish herself at the firm, her focus quickly shifts when a classmate introduces her to the world of transactional relationships.

Known as GFEs, they are women who provide “The Girlfriend Experience” — emotional and sexual relationships at a very high price.

Juggling two very different lives, Christine quickly finds herself drawn into the GFE world, attracted to the rush of control and intimacy.

Extras include featurettes.

Includes the episodes:

  • Entry: A Chicago law-school student’s life takes a dramatic turn when a classmate introduces her to the world of transactional relationships.
  • A Friend: Christine’s double life begins, as she balances her pursuit of a legal career with her work as a girlfriend experience.
  • Retention: Christine confronts Jacqueline over the level of her control; David needs Erin’s help to retain one of the firm’s major clients.
  • Crossing the Line: Christine juggles the demands of law school, her internship and her expanding list of GFE clients; Christine observes trouble among the Kirkland partners at David’s annual party.
  • Insurance: Christine’s secret identity is compromised following the death of one of her clients.
  • Boundaries: Christine’s growing intimacy with a new client threatens to cross business boundaries; David is confirmed as managing partner at Kirkland and Allen.
  • Access: Christine attempts to prevent any further intrusions from Jack, but encounters another problem from an unexpected source.
  • Provocation: Christine goes on the attack at Kirkland, intent on achieving revenge.
  • Blindsided: Christine’s worlds collide, forcing her to devise a way to come out on top.
  • Available: After her humiliating experience at Kirkland, Christine (Riley Keogh) embraces her career as a GFE provider. Christine becomes even more confident in her choices.
  • Fabrication: Christine goes on the counter-attack, in an attempt to force a settlement with Kirkland & Allen, while exploring more anonymous ways to service her GFE clients.
  • Home: Christine travels home for her parent’s 30th wedding anniversary party. They are partially happy to see her.
  • Separation: Christine has an intense role play with a new client. After a short makeover Christine studies French and becomes even more confident. Annabel visits and complains. When the smoke clears, Christine finds herself in complete control.

 

Lionsgate / Released 8/2/16

Lionsgate / Released 8/2/16

The Trust

David Waters (Elijah Wood) and Jim Stone (Nicolas Cage) are two nobody police officers working dull administrative jobs and making extra money selling stolen Civil Service Exams to other officers. When Stone hears a story about a heroin dealer quickly beating his extremely high bail, the two friends set into motion a plan to find the origin of such a large amount of cash. Through diligent police work they follow a trail that leads directly to a custom bank-style vault built into the back room freezer of a small grocery store. They put a plan into motion to rob the vault and split whatever they find inside. But by the time they figure out what the vault contains, it’s already too late to turn back. Ensemble also includes Jerry Lewis, Kevin Weisman, Steven Williams, Sky Ferreira and Ethan Suplee. Extras include commentary and featurettes.

 

Shout! Factory / Released 8/2/16

Shout! Factory / Released 8/2/16

IMAX Humpback Whales

Narrated by two-time Golden Globe nominee Ewan McGregor, Humpback Whales is an extraordinary journey into the mysterious world of one of nature’s most awe-inspiring marine mammals.

Set in the spectacular waters of Alaska, Hawaii and the remote islands of Tonga, this ocean adventure offers audiences an up-close look at how these whales communicate, sing, feed, play and take care of their young.

Captured for the first time with IMAX 3D cameras, and found on every ocean on Earth, humpbacks were nearly driven to extinction 50 years ago, but today are making a slow but remarkable recovery.

Join a team of researchers as they unlock the secrets of the humpback and find out why humpbacks are the most acrobatic of all whales, why they sing their haunting songs, and why these intelligent, 55-foot, 50-ton animals migrate up to 10,000 miles round-trip every year. Extras include making of featurette.

 

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Anchor Bay / Released 8/2/16

Lazer Team

Decades ago when the Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence project received a onetime signal from outer space, which was never decoded. Or so we were told.

Unbeknownst to the general public, the secretly translated signal said two things: One, we are not alone, and two, the galaxy is a dangerous place. Working in total secrecy, the US government has been training a single Champion of Earth – a warrior of incredible skill to don a suit of unimaginable power designed by new alien allies in preparation for Earth’s battle for survival against an evil race of aliens.

Unfortunately, the suit never made it all the way to its intended destination. Instead of a lone savior, four hapless idiots find the suit. With this new alien equipment genetically bound to them, and the government hot on their heels, the foursome have no choice but to work together as one to save humanity.

All they have to do is learn to use a strange alien device meant for only one person, train for a battle against an omnipotent enemy, and not kill each other in the process. They may not be strong, smart, or talented… but they’re Lazer Team.

 

HBO / Released 8/2/16

HBO / Released 8/2/16

Confirmation

Confirmation details the explosive Clarence Thomas Supreme Court nomination hearings, which brought the country to a standstill and forever changed the way we think about sexual harassment, victims’ rights and modern-day race relations.

It looks behind the curtain of Washington politics, depicting a pivotal moment in American culture that became a turning point in workplace equality and gender politics.

In July 1991, President George H.W. Bush nominated Judge Clarence Thomas (Wendell Pierce) to fill Justice Thurgood Marshall’s seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.

In October, during the final days of Thomas’ confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, both Newsday and NPR broke the story that one of Thomas’ former employees, law professor Anita Hill (Kerry Washington), had accused him of sexually harassing her ten years earlier.

These revelations triggered a maelstrom of events, with both Hill and Thomas testifying about the allegations before a stunned and riveted television audience. The ensemble also includes Greg Kinnear, Jeffrey Wright, Eric Stonestreet and Jennifer Hudson. Extras include brief cast interviews.

 

Lionsgate / Released 8/2/16

Lionsgate / Released 8/2/16

Manhattan Night

Based on The New York Times “Notable Book of The Year” noir thriller, this pulse-pounding mystery begins as reporter Porter Wren (Adrien Brody) meets attractive widow Caroline (Yvonne Strahovski).

When she asks him to solve the bizarre death of her filmmaker husband (Campbell Scott), Wren is unable to refuse — or resist — her.

But when a rich mogul blackmails him into investigating Caroline, the reporter realizes this job could cost him everything.

The cast also includes Jennifer Beals, Linda Lavin and Steven Berkoff. Extras include commentary, featurettes, deleted/extended scenes. and director’s notes.

 

Anchor Bay / Released 8/2/16

Anchor Bay / Released 8/2/16

Viral

Teenaged sisters Emma (Sofia Black-D’Elia) and Stacey (Analeigh Tipton) live a normal life, until their small suburban neighborhood is stricken with a mysterious parasitic virus.

As the disease rapidly spreads throughout the town, the two band together to barricade themselves from infection. But it may already be too late – when the virus enters their home, the sisters are faced with an impossible choice: protect each other, or survive the virus.

 

 

 

 

Cinedigm / Released 8/2/16

Cinedigm / Released 8/2/16

Traded

In 1880s Kansas, sharpshooter turned rancher, Clay Travis (Michael Paré), goes from happily married father of two to a man on a mission after the disappearance of his 17 year-old daughter, Lily.

Determined to protect what little family he has left, Clay leaves his quiet ranch and heads to Wichita where, after confronting the ruthless Ty Stover (Scott Adkins), he discovers that Lily’s been traded away into an underground sex ring in Dodge City. And it’s there, with the help of an unlikely companion — hardened old barkeep Billy (Kris Kristofferson) — that Clay makes a stand to bring his daughter home, leaving a trail of gunsmoke and bodies in his wake.

Cast also includes Tom Sizemore, Martin Kove, Quinton Aaron and, in her theatrical debut, Kris’ daughter, Kelly Kristofferson. Extras include making of and deleted scenes.

 

158452_frontSaving Mr Wu

Saving Mr Wu is an action-packed crime thriller based on the true story of China’s famous celebrity kidnapping case. Mr. Wu is kidnapped in Beijing by Zhang Hua and three accomplices, all disguised as cops. In the ensuing 20 hours, the Chinese detectives led by Chief Xing quickly form a task force and sweep the city.

Time is of the essence though as Mr. Wu is ordered to be killed at 9pm regardless of whether the money is collected or not. The police eventually apprehend Hua alone and a dangerous mental showdown develops between police interrogators and Hua.

As the deadline rapidly approaches, the detectives and captors collide in a dramatic battle.

 

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Paramount / Released 8/2/16

Key & Peele: The Complete Series

Key & Peele showcases the fearless wit of Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele as they take on everything from “Gremlins 2” to systemic racism.

With an array of sketches that are wide-reaching and cringingly accurate, the pair has created many classic characters.

This must have set includes some of the sharpest and most biting satire in recent memory.

Guest stars include Ty Burrell, Larry Joe Campbell, Rob Delaney, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Tommy ‘Tiny’ Lister, Kevin Sorbo, Tatyana Ali, Bonnie Bartlett, Wayne Brady, Carla Gallo, Dean Norris, Paget Brewster, Andre Royo, Kate Burton, Neil Flynn, Julia Duffy, Ken Marino, Clint Howard, Ernie Hudson, Tricia Helfer, Rob Huebel, David Krumholtz, Regina Hall, Art LaFleur, Kristanna Loken, Melanie Lynskey, Mekhi Phifer, Adam Pally, Rob Riggle, Chelsea Peretti, Brenda Song, Retta, Richard Schiff, Rebecca Romijn, Will Sasso, Paul F. Tompkins, Billy Dee Williams, James Callis, Rich Hall, Colin Hanks, James Hong, Gabriel Iglesias, Echo Kellum, Natasha Leggero, Thomas Lennon, Rebecca Mader, Jack McBrayer, Kate Micucci, Thomas Middleditch, Keke Palmer,Jason Schwartzman, David Wain, Anna Camp, Romany Malco, Lance Reddick, Jason Ritter, Tyler James Williams, Allison Janney, and Liam Neeson.

 

Shout! Factory / Released 8/2/16

Shout! Factory / Released 8/2/16

Gibby

A young girl finds an unlikely and uplifting friendship with an adorable monkey in this charming, light-hearted film.

Katie has lost interest in her school, her friends, and gymnastics following the loss of her mother. But her outlook changes in the summer when she is asked to monkeysit Gibby, her science teacher’s Capuchin monkey. Taking care of the monkey challenges Katie and reorders her life in a big way, and Gibby’s happy-go-lucky personality renews Katie’s zest for life. Gibby helps her with gymnastics, renewing friendships (including finding a potential boyfriend) and overcoming her nemesis, a mean girl who is out to beat Katie at everything.

Rising star Shelby Lyon heads up an all-star cast, including Peyton Meyer (Girl Meets World), Shannon Elizabeth (American Pie), Sean Patrick Flanery (The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles), Vivica A. Fox (Independence Day) and, of course, Crystal the Monkey (Night At The Museum).

 

First Run / Released 6/7/16

First Run / Released 6/7/16

We Monsters

How far would you go to protect your child?

Paul and Christine are about to learn; Their teenager daughter Sarah, thrown off track by their separation, is capable of anything, including killing her best friend.

Wanting to protect their daughter they thus decide to hide the crime.

Their collective guilt forces the family back together, creating a web of lies and deadly intentions with no way out.

 

 

 

 

Indie Rights / Released 7/26/16

Indie Rights / Released 7/26/16

Ozland

In a dry and dusty post-apocalyptic world, two wayfarers wander aimlessly until one of them finds a copy of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Using the world around him to interpret what he reads, Leif allows the book to challenge the beliefs, friendship and even the very survival of these two divergent travelers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Warner Bros. / Released 8/9/16

Supergirl: Season 1

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the DVD I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.

Born on the doomed planet Krypton, Kara Zor-El escaped at the same time as her cousin, Superman, but didn’t arrive on Earth until years later after being lost in the Phantom Zone. Raised by her adopted family, the Danvers, Kara grew up in the shadow of her foster sister, Alex, and learned to hide the phenomenal powers she shares with her famous cousin.

Years later, at age 24, and now living in National City while working as an assistant for Catco Worldwide Media mogul Cat Grant, Kara has spent so many years trying to fit in that she forgot to ever stand out. All that changes when she decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and become the hero she was always destined to be.

With the help of Daily Planet photographer James Olsen, her bioengineer sister Alex, and the research of the super-secret, off-the-grid Department of Extra-Normal Operations (DEO), who are tasked with keeping the Earth safe from aliens, Kara takes to the skies to protect her world.

Supergirl stars Melissa Benoist, Chyler Leigh, Mehcad Brooks, Jeremy Jordan, David Harewood and Calista Flockhart. Season One guest stars include Dean Cain, Peter Facinelli, Jenna Dewan Tatum, Laura Benanti and Helen Slater. Extras include Comic Con panel, featurettes, gag reel, and deleted scenes.

Like Berlanti’s The Flash, Supergirl is one fo the rare comic book adaptations that feature the lead character smiling.  That isn’t too say the series isn’t particularly light, there are huge stakes, but rather the characters (and the actors) leave you not only smiling with them, but also leave you wanting more.  For comic book fans, there’s lots to like with subtle appearances from Kara’s cousin, The Man of Steel, to plenty of comic book character appearances including Maxwell Lord, Martian Manhunter, Bizarro, Silver Banshee, Livewire, Red Tornado, Lucy Lane, Non, The Toyman, Jemm, Cameron Chase, Indigo, The Flash and more.  The cast is particularly fantastic, with Melissa Benoist anchoring the series with her adorable charm and Calista Flockhart and David Harwood delivering particularly fantastic work.  Supergirl is must watch television and this set comes highly recommended.

Includes the episodes:

  • Pilot: In the series premiere, Superman’s cousin, Kara finally embraces her superhuman abilities to become the hero she was always meant to be.
  • Stronger Together: Kara’s confidence as a super hero is off to a shaky start until a new threat forces her to push her doubts aside. Also Cat pressures James to get her an interview with Supergirl.
  • Fight or Flight: Supergirl’s powers are tested when Reactron, one of Superman’s formidable enemies, arrives in National City and targets the young hero. Also, Cat plans to run an expose on Supergirl.
  • Livewire: Kara’s Thanksgiving may be ruined when her foster mother comes for a tense visit and a volatile CatCo employee is transformed into the villainous Livewire.
  • How Does She Do It?: Kara is pulled in opposite directions when she babysits Cat’s son, Carter, while trying to stop a series of bombings. And Lucy Lane appears.
  • Red Faced: Anger gets the better of Kara when she goes too far during a training exercise with Red Tornado, a military cyborg commissioned by Lucy Lane’s father.
  • Human for a Day: Kara must rely on their inner strength and courage when an earthquake strikes and she’s lost her powers. Also, Alex’s mistrust of Hank reaches a breaking point.
  • Hostile Takeover: Kara goes head-to-head with her aunt Astra when she challenges Kara’s beliefs about her mother. Also Cat’s CEO position is threatened by a hacker at CatCo.
  • Blood Bonds: Kara must find a way to rescue Hank from Astra’s husband, Non, as she tries to refute Cat’s allegations that she’s Supergirl.
  • Childish Things: Kara does her best to support Winn when his father, the super-villain Toyman, breaks out of prison and seeks out his son for unknown reasons.
  • Strange Visitor from Another Planet: Kara must help Hank face his painful past when a White Martian – a member of the alien race that wiped out his people – shows up to cause trouble.
  • Bizarro: Kara faces off against her mirror image when Bizarro, a twisted version of Supergirl, sets out to destroy her. Also, Kara grows closer with Cat’s son, Adam.
  • For the Girl Who Has Everything: While Alex, Hank and the DEO must fend off a Kryptonian attack, Kara is trapped by a parasitic alien in a dream world where her home planet was never destroyed.
  • Truth, Justice and The American Way: Cat hires a second assistant, Siobhan Smythe, who becomes Kara’s workplace nemesis, while Supergirl battles the Master Jailer, who’s hunting Fort Rozz escapees.
  • Solitude: Kara travels to Superman’s Fortress of Solitude in hopes of learning how to defeat Indigo, a dangerous being with a connection to Kara’s past.
  • Falling: Kara turns on her friends and the citizens of national City after being exposed to Red Kryptonite makes her malicious and dangerous.
  • Manhunter: J’onn J’onzz reveals the details of meeting Kara and Alex’s father, Dr. Jeremiah Danvers, and assuming Hank Henshaw’s identity.
  • World’s Finest: Supergirl gains a new ally when The Flash crosses over from an alternate universe to help her battle Livewire and Silver Banshee.
  • Myriad: Kara must find a way to free her friends when Non and Indigo use mind control to turn National City’s citizens into their own army.
  • Better Angels: Supergirl must battle with an unexpected foe and risk everything – including her life – to prevent Non and Indigo from destroying every person on the planet in the season finale.

 

Warner Bros. / Released 8/9/16

Warner Bros. / Released 8/9/16

11.22.63

11.22.63 hurtles viewers deep into the unpredictable darkness of the American dream. James Franco stars as Jake Epping, a high school teacher at a loss with his life, who wants to make a difference and do something meaningful. Encouraged by his ailing friend (Chris Cooper), Jake journeys back in time to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

The story transports audiences into the world of 1960s Texas as Jake explores the multiple mysteries surrounding the alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. But Jake’s mission faces threats not only from Oswald, but from Sadie, a beautiful librarian he falls in love with, and from the Past itself… which doesn’t want to be changed.

And if the Past doesn’t want to be changed, it will push back – often violently. With something for everyone, this edge-of-your seat mystery offers an epic and emotional thrill ride. Extras include featurette.

Episodes include:

  • The Rabbit Hole: High school teacher Jake Epping is approached by his friend, Al, who has access to a portal which transports whoever uses it to the year 1960, where Al suggests Jake can avert the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
  • The Kill Floor: In an attempt to commit one act which could make a difference, Jake remains in Holden, where he tries to prevent Harry Dunning’s father from doing the unthinkable. However, the past has other ideas.
  • Other Voices, Other Rooms: Jake strikes up an unlikely friendship with Bill, and the pair travel to Dallas, where Jake begins living a double life, and both of them trail Lee Harvey Oswald.
  • The Eyes of Texas: Jake finds his credentials questioned, before he and Bill intercept a conversation between George and Oswald, which leads to unexpected trouble. Meanwhile, Sadie’s husband unexpectedly resurfaces.
  • The Truth: As questions mount about Jake, his double life begins to unravel, while the past interferes with the plans he and Bill have for Oswald.
  • Happy Birthday, Lee Harvey Oswald: As the assassination date approaches, Jake is horrified to learn how involved Bill has become with Oswald and must take drastic action, while the past continues to conspire against Jake.
  • Soldier Boy: Unable to recall his mission, Jake turns to Bill for help, with unexpected results, while Sadie attempts to refresh Jake’s memory.
  • The Day in Question: The past makes every effort to prevent Jake from altering the events of November 22, 1963, and saving the President, with his own life hanging in the balance.

 

Lionsgate / Released 8/9/16

Lionsgate / Released 8/9/16

A Hologram For The King

Based on The New York Times best-selling novel of the same name by David Eggers, the humorous and touching film about one man’s quest to find professional (and personal) redemption was written for the screen and directed by Golden Globe nominee Tom Tykwer.

Academy Award winner Tom Hanks delivers one of his most engaging performances as Alan Clay, a recently divorced American businessman who is sent overseas to pitch a state-of-the-art holographic teleconferencing system to a king. As Alan vainly tries to navigate new and unusual customs, he finds himself thrust into a series of wonderful misadventures, and a fateful encounter that changes his life forever. Alexander Black, Sarita Choudhury, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Ben Whishaw and Tom Skerritt co-star. Extras include featurettes.

 

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CBS / Released 8/9/16

Perry Mason: The Complete Movie Collection

Starring Hollywood legend Raymond Burr, revisit all the suspense of one of television’s most acclaimed courtroom dramas.

In the new 15-disc set, the iconic titular attorney works passionately to solve cases involving bribery, extortion, entrapment and murder.

As a famed defense lawyer, he cracks seemingly unsolvable mysteries to clear the names of the innocent, and bring justice to the wretched within the courtroom.

This must-have collection includes all 30 digitally enhanced made-for-television movies. Barbara Hale co-stars as Mason’s secretary, Della Street.

Guest stars include William Katt, Holland Taylor, Richard Anderson, Timothy Bottoms, David Ogden Stiers, Tom Bodley, Joe Penny, Ron Glass, Alan Thicke, Gordon Jump Gordon Jump, Jonathan Banks, Dwight Schultz, Kim Delaney, Bill Macy, John Rhys-Davies, Ann Jillian, Anthony Geary, Yaphet Koto, Erin Gray, Larry Wilcox, Patty Duke, David Hasselhoff, Jim Beaver, Alexandra Paul, Brian Keith, Brian Backer, Bruce Greenwood, Cindy Williams, Ian McShane, Tim Reid, Alan Rachis, Angela Bassett, Robert Culp, Robert Vaughn, Philip Michael Thomas, Mason Adams, Paul Anka, Peter Scolari, Valerie Harper, Geraldo Rivera, Paula Marshall, Paul Sorvino, Shelley Hack, Robert Englund, Robin Leach, John Spencer, Tony Roberts, Dyan Cannon and Genie Francis and Hal Holbrook as Bill McKenzie.

Includes the movies:

  • Perry Mason Returns: When his former secretary is accused of a murder, Perry Mason gives up a judgeship to defend her.
  • The Case of the Notorious Nun: A priest is murdered and the suspect is a nun. And it’s been rumored that the two of them are having an affair.
  • The Case of the Shooting Star: An actor rigs a fake on-air shooting with the connivance of his friend, the show’s host, but the practical joke goes horribly wrong when the gun, which he’d loaded with blanks, turns out to contain a live round.
  • The Case of the Lost Love: Perry must defend the husband of an old flame from a murder charge.
  • The Case of the Sinister Spirit: Book publisher Jordan White is having problems with one of his authors, an unbalanced assclown named David Hall. Hall has written a book which not only defames White but also an astrologer, a psychic, and a B-movie actress famous for her work in slasher movies. All four are invited to spend a bizarre evening in a deserted hotel during which Hall is bumped off. Jordan White calls in old friend Perry when he is charged with the killing.
  • The Case of the Murdered Madam: The woman who hosted a business meeting where a very shady deal was planned turns up dead shortly thereafter. Everything points to her husband, who didn’t know that she used to run a brothel, and who has a violent temper. But his childhood friend, Della Street, comes to his rescue.
  • The Case of the Scandalous Scoundrel: Perry files suit against a tabloid paper that runs a story about a love affair between him and Della Street. The unscrupulous editor, Harlan Wade, also has dirt files on several other prominent persons but the one who seemingly dislikes him the most is a reporter whom he recently fired. Wade is soon afterwards found floating in his swimming pool shot to death. The reporter gets charged with his murder.
  • The Case of the Avenging Ace: An Air Force officer is convicted of murder. Perry, who is one of his appeal lawyers, finds a new witness for the defense but then this witness is murdered before he can give evidence. Paul, as usual, does the legwork while Perry handles things in the courtroom.
  • The Case of the Lady in the Lake: A tennis pro is accused of having murdered his wealthy heiress wife who’s body was found floating in a lake. Not helping matters any is the fact that the defendant was seen in the arms of his former girlfriend the day before the murder. Now the old galpal has disappeared and it’s up to Paul to track her down and Perry to figure things out in court.
  • The Case of the Lethal Lesson: Ken Malansky (William R. Moses) becomes a regular character on the series and he’s in a heap of trouble. While taking a law school class being taught by Perry, a friend informs Ken that his sweetheart was assaulted by a fellow student. Ken impulsively rushes to confront the fellow student in the law school’s mock courtroom only to find him stabbed to death. What’s even worse is that the murder weapon is Ken’s very own knife.
  • The Case of the Musical Murder: A tyrannical theatre director is murdered and an underling whom he’d recently fired is blamed. Perry, who has been hospitalized for surgery, is the defendant’s alibi but his testimony gets discredited because he was under the influence of sedatives at the time.
  • The Case of the All-Star Assassin: A pro hockey player is charged with murdering the owner of his former team who had reneged on a promise to take care of the player in case of injury.
  • The Case of the Poisoned Pen: An author who constantly plagiarized the works of others is poisoned to death at a convention. His ex-wife, an old friend of Della’s, is charged with the crime.
  • The Case of the Desperate Deception: Perry and Company travel to France to defend the son of an old friend who is accused of murdering a former SS officer. A missing witness holds the key to the case.
  • The Case of the Silenced Singer: Once again there’s a hired killer on the premises as Perry defends the husband of a famous pop singer who was killed soon after the two had a huge argument.
  • The Case of the Defiant Daughter: David Benson breaks into a Las Vegas poker party being hosted by Richard Stuart. Benson blames Stuart for the death of his brother and attempts to shoot him but is overpowered and tossed out of the room on his ass. However, Stuart is shot with Benson’s gun later that night.
  • The Case of the Ruthless Reporter: Nasty TV anchorman Brett Huston is murdered and it seems as though nearly everyone at the TV station where he was employed had a motive. As usual, the wrong person gets charged with the crime, and it’s up to Perry, Della, and Ken Malansky to set things straight.
  • The Case of the Maligned Mobster: This time Perry takes on a mobster client who’s been wrongfully accused of murdering his wife.
  • The Case of the Glass Coffin: A popular stage magician, David Katz, is charged with murdering his assistant, Kate, onstage in front of a live audience after a trick goes horribly wrong. It seems that Kate and the married David were having an affair and that the victim was pregnant at the time, which doesn’t bode well for the accused. Ace attorney Perry Mason, who was also in the audience, opts to defend David and clear his name despite the incriminating evidence.
  • The Case of the Fatal Fashion: A very well known editor of a fashion magazine has made her reputation on writing assassin columns about famous people. The editor of another fashion magazine has learned that the next column will be about her, and she tries several times to convince the other one not to publish. Then, the editor is found dead and she becomes the prime suspect. Because she’s a close friend, Perry decides to defend her.
  • The Case of the Fatal Framing: A famous painter fakes his death in order to drive up the value of his paintings, but turns up dead for real.
  • The Case of the Reckless Romeo: Geraldo Rivera gets gunned down in this episode about a slimy “journalist” who has written a tell all book about all the women he’s laid in the past. Naturally, one of them does away with him and the wrong person is blamed.
  • The Case of the Heartbroken Bride: Perry is invited to the wedding of the daughter of yet another old friend. An uncle of the bride turns up dead at the wedding, and Perry, Della, and Ken Malansky must investigate.
  • The Case of the Telltale Talk Show Host: A nasty radio station manager is murdered. All of the talk show hosts working at the station despised him but when the wrong one (the psychologist) gets charged with the crime, you know who appears for the defense.
  • The Case of the Skin-Deep Scandal: A cosmetics queen announces she’s discovered an anti-aging formula. After a robbery attempt, she takes the formula to her home safe. Then she’s found murdered and the formula is stolen. Her husband is charged with the crime and it’s Perry and Company to the rescue once more.
  • The Case of the Killer Kiss: Mark Stratton, a soap opera star, is murdered on set whilst kissing his co-star. When one of the soap cast is accused of murder, Perry comes to her aid, but it seems almost everyone had a reason to kill, but the real answer might be linked to a mysterious man who Ken Malansky is trying to trace. Only there and then can the true killer be exposed.
  • The Case of the Wicked Wives: In this TV movie, a famous fashion photographer with four ex-wives (all famous fashion models) gets offed. When the current wife is charged, Perry is nowhere to be found so singing attorney and wannabe opera star Anthony Caruso must clear the woman’s good name with a little help from series regulars Della Street and Ken Malansky.
  • The Case of the Lethal Lifestyle: It’s Wild Bill McKenzie to the rescue when the slimy host of a lifestyles television program is murdered and a man he had been blackmailing is wrongfully accused.
  • The Case of the Grimacing Governor: Perry is absent but Wild Bill McKenzie is on the case once again as he defends the daughter of a disgraced politician who is accused of murdering the Governor of the state whom she blamed for her father’s suicide.
  • The Case of the Jealous Jokester: Bill McKenzie takes the reins from Perry again in this final entry in the series. In this one, Wild Bill defends his niece who has been framed for murdering a soap opera star.

 

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CBS/ Released 8/9/16

Code Black: Season One

In the country’s busiest emergency room, you’re either looking for a miracle…or performing one. In Code Black: Season One, Residency Director Dr. Leanne Rorish (Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden) leads four first-year residents through the life-or-death challenges that will change the course of their careers and lives.

Rookies Christ Lorenson (Bonnie Somerville), Malaya Pineda (Melanie Chandra), Mario Savetti (Benjamin Hollingsworth) and Angus Leighton (Harry Ford) dive into the chaos of Angels Memorial Hospital, hoping to learn from the best while facing some of life’s worst. Head Nurse Jesse Sallander (Luis Guzman), affectionately known as “Mama,” administers tough love as the ER’s main manager and Dr. Rorish’s closest friend.

Each doctor has their personal reasons for being here, and the scars of their past come into play even as they work to save others’ futures.

Extras include gag reel, featurettes and deleted scenes. Guest stars include Kevin Dunn, Gabrielle Carteris, Shiri Appleby, Rob Lowe, Jesse Bradford, Meagan Good, Gail O’Grady , K Callan, Glenn Morshower, Michael Trucco, Courtney Ford, Benito Martinez, Sara Paxton, Will Poulter, Beau Bridges, and Stan Shaw.

Includes the episodes:

  • Pilot: Dr. Leanne Rorish puts her new first-year residents right to work at Angels Memorial Hospital, Home to the nation’s busiest ER.
  • We Plug Holes: Christa begs Neal to perform a surgery that will ensure a patient’s reproductive future; a patient fights with Mario.
  • Pre-Existing Conditions: Amid the chaos and exhaustion of working 36 consecutive hours in Code Black, the doctors must deal with Margaret O’Brien, the distraught mother of two sons who are in a devastating car accident. Also, Mario bullies Angus into performing an unnecessary operation but lets Angus take the blame when Leanne finds out.
  • Sometimes It’s a Zebra: A new surgical attending Cole Guthrie joins Angels Memorial with the help of his estranged father and clashes with Leanne over their contrasting approaches to medicine. Also, Christa has a crisis of confidence in the middle of a procedure on her first infant since the loss of her son.
  • Doctors with Borders: Neal clashes with his father, Dr. Peter Hudson, who is a neurosurgeon, over how to treat his gravely ill mother, Asra Hudson, whose mysterious symptoms force Angels Memorial to quarantine Trauma One.
  • In Extremis: Leanne must deal with the difficult decision of whether to save Tom Moreno, the police officer who helped her during her family’s accident, or his shooter, who has more serious injuries. Also, when Malaya’s pregnant ex-girlfriend, Carla Niven, arrives at the hospital with pain in her arm, Malaya is shocked by her MRI results.
  • Buen Árbol: Angus uses his background in psychology to help a woman who doesn’t remember how she injured herself and others. Also, when Christa bonds with an illegal immigrant whose son is diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, she becomes determined to help the woman find long-term care for her son in the U.S.
  • You Are the Heart: Christa has her busiest shift yet when she is responsible for all emergencies at Angels Memorial that occur outside of the E.R. Also, Mario bonds with an older gay patient with a heart arrhythmia who’s living with HIV, Malaya starts a bone marrow drive for Carla and Leanne refuses a date with Cole.
  • The Son Rises: When the lead actor of the musical “The Lion King” tour arrives at Angels Memorial with a throat infection, Leanne gives him a diagnosis that puts both his career and life in jeopardy. Also, the doctors and the cast of “The Lion King” help a 17-year-old boy deal with the difficult decision of taking his father off life support.
  • Cardiac Support: Leanne is rattled at the thought of losing Jesse as he fights for his life after suffering a massive heart attack. Also, Mario asks the residents to cover for him when he searches the city for a patient’s son, disobeying Neal’s direct order not to leave the hospital. Cress Williams returns Cole Guthrie.
  • Black Tag: The doctors find their own lives in danger when they arrive at the scene of a massive multi-vehicle accident on a highway covered in thick fog. Also, Jesse’s confidence is shaken following his heart attack, while Carla’s condition becomes critical.
  • The Fog of War: As the doctors treat patients from the chaotic multi-vehicle accident, a love triangle begins to build between Mario, Angus and Heather. Also, when Malaya learns that Carla is at the hospital, she goes against Carla’s wishes and stays by her side during the delivery of her baby.
  • First Date: Angus is conflicted when his older brother, a superstar ER doctor, returns to Angels Memorial with hopes of acquiring an attending position; Christa’s feelings for Neal continue to grow; a patient becomes fixated on Malaya.
  • The Fifth Stage: Leanne visits a prison to confront the drunk driver who killed her family; a patient makes Malaya feel uncomfortable.
  • Diagnosis of Exclusion: The doctors are questioned following a violent incident inside the hospital that leaves two doctors gravely injured. Also, Neal and Christa make their relationship to the next level after officially disclosing their romantic relationship to HR.
  • Hail Mary: Christa becomes insecure in her new relationship with Neal when his ex-girlfriend, Dr. Grace Adams, returns to Angels Memorial after spending a year volunteering in Haiti. Also, New York Giants Pro Bowl wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. comes to the ER to convince his stubborn high school football coach, Pete Delaney, to have life-saving surgery.
  • Love Hurts: Christa must put aside her personal feelings for Grace and work with her to treat Brody, a patient who claims to have been abused at a camp for troubled teens. Also, Grace is surprised when Campbell asks her out.
  • Blood Sport: Mario confronts Angus about his Adderall abuse and Christa is surprised to learn how romantically involved Neal and Grace were before she left for Haiti. Also, Dr. Mark Taylor returns to help Leanne find the money in their budget to keep Jesse and the nurses from walking out.

 

PBS / Released 8/9/16

PBS / Released 8/9/16

The Tunnel: Season 1

When a prominent French politician is found dead in the middle of the Channel Tunnel, straddling the border between the UK and France, detectives Karl Roebuck, played by Stephen Dillane (Game of Thrones) and Elise Wassermann, played by Clémence Poésy (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Parts I and II) are sent to investigate on behalf of their respective countries.

The case takes a surreal turn when a shocking discovery is made at the crime scene, forcing the French and British police into an uneasy partnership.

As the serial killer uses ever more elaborate and ingenious methods to highlight the moral bankruptcy of modern society, Karl and Elise are drawn deeper into his increasingly personal agenda. Extras include interviews and featurettes.

The Tunnel feels a bit familiar, sharing the same plot as the  Danish-Swedish series The Bridge (and the American remake of the same name).  It’s a testament to the concept that a crime forcing two cops from different cultures to team up to investigate a crime that overlaps one another’s jurisdiction works universally.  Having seen previous interpretations, I can’t say if this works better or worse seeing this interpretation first, but it’s well done and well worth the time.

Includes the episodes:

  • Episode One: Inside the Channel Tunnel, on the borderline between Britain and France, the body of a woman is discovered. As the corpse is lifted it becomes clear that this is no ordinary murder. A thrilling and complex cross-Channel investigation ensues.
  • Episode Two: The killer claims to highlight the ills of contemporary European society as his second ‘truth’ unfolds. Stephen Beaumont crosses the paths of Karl and Elise once more. Are they any closer to an answer?
  • Episode Three: The serial killer steps up his cross-Channel campaign, targeting a further elderly victim in his ‘moral’ crusade. The race is on for police in Britain and France to identify and capture the murderer before more lives are brutally lost.
  • Episode Four: The detectives battle to locate the elderly soldier before he freezes to death. In the meantime, is naïve teenager Sophie safe lodging with seemingly harmless Benji?
  • Episode Five: The Truth Terrorist’s third truth begins as Benji carries out his Samurai mission. Sophie’s life is now at stake and police believe they can use her to stop TT’s rampage. Karl gets more than he bargained for while visiting Charlotte.
  • Episode Six: As youths are burnt alive, police suspect the hand of the Truth Terrorist once more. They finally make a key arrest. Will this be the end of the killings in this brilliantly tense Anglo-French thriller?
  • Episode Seven: Police think they may finally have a lead, as the serial killer’s actions escalate in his fifth and final ‘truth.’ Karl and Laura’s relationship takes another turn as Laura steps up her flirtations with another man.
  • Episode Eight: French police capture but then lose the prime suspect. Next, their lead detective goes missing. Things eventually start to fall into place though, but something is troubling Karl…
  • Episode Nine: In the penultimate installment, things take a very nasty turn for Karl as police get within a hair’s breadth of catching the killer. Will they make it in time?
  • Episode Ten: Karl falls apart as the Truth Terrorist’s change of direction becomes too much to bear. What will be the cost of catching their man? A hair-raising showdown begins.

 

Anchor Bay / Released 8/9/16

Anchor Bay / Released 8/9/16

Halt And Catch Fire: The Complete Second Season

It’s March 1985. More than a year has passed since Joe MacMillan (Lee Pace) set fire to a truck full of Cardiff Giant PCs, the last in a long string of destructive acts that burned the people that made the machine possible: Gordon Clark (Scoot McNairy), Donna Clark (Kerry Bishé), Cameron Howe (Mackenzie Davis) and John Bosworth (Toby Huss).

The Giant is about to go the way of the dinosaur, like any number of personal computers to enter the market in the wake of IBM.

The lesson is harsh but clear: in history, only the truly disruptive ideas are destined to matter.

Extras include featurettes.

Includes the episodes:

  • SETI: Mutiny, Cameron and Donna’s fledgling gaming company, finds itself at a crossroads, while Joe and Gordon are reunited in the wake of Cardiff’s sale.
  • New Coke: After meeting Sara’s father, Joe begins a new job. Gordon grapples with his new freedom as Donna is blindsided by Cameron’s surprising hire at Mutiny.
  • The Way In: As Bosworth tries to reconnect with his former life, the Clarks receive a surprising invitation. A problem from within Mutiny threatens its survival.
  • Play With Friends: Joe and Gordon reunite to make Joe’s vision a reality. At Mutiny, tensions between Cameron and Donna run high in the aftermath of Sonaris.
  • Extract and Defend: Cameron and Joe cross paths again, putting Cameron in a tailspin. Gordon searches for connection as he processes difficult news.
  • 10BROAD36: Gordon returns to California to reconnect with his brother, Henry, as Joe uses his newfound leverage to change Wheeler’s thinking about computing.
  • Working for the Clampdown: Gordon and Donna harbor secrets from one another as Gordon launches a new venture. At Mutiny, an acquisition puts Cameron’s principles to the test.
  • Limbo: Cameron and Tom try to come to terms at Mutiny’s user picnic. Gordon searches for answers as Joe and Sara say goodbye to Dallas.
  • Kali: Left reeling by the launch of a rival, Mutiny takes measures to ensure its survival. Attempting to quell his paranoia, Gordon pays a price.
  • Heaven is a Place: Gordon aids Joe as the Clark family descends into crisis. Cameron envisions a new future for Mutiny that may not include everyone.

 

PBS / Released 8/9/16

PBS / Released 8/9/16

Koko: The Gorilla Who Talks

In 1971, Penny Patterson, a graduate student at Stanford University, met Koko, a newborn gorilla in San Francisco Zoo.

Penny had grown up wanting to communicate with animals and decided to teach Koko sign language in the hope of finally crossing the boundary between animals and humans. But what started out as a scientific experiment evolved into a love story, which, for almost half a century, has challenged the way we think about animals and changed the course of many lives.

After 44 years, Project Koko is the world’s longest ape-language study and according to Penny, the most successful, with Koko mastering hundreds of signs.

And after a lifetime together, Penny and Koko have a bond like that of mother and daughter.

Early on, their relationship survived the San Francisco Zoo’s attempts to reclaim Koko, ejection from the university where Penny gained her PhD and skepticism from parts of the scientific community, which began to doubt the validity of Penny’s claims. Like any mother, Penny fought for Koko at every new turn of events.

 

Kino Lorber / Released 8/9/16

Kino Lorber / Released 8/9/16

Sweet Bean

Sweet Bean is about a delicious red bean paste, the sweet heart of the dorayaki pancakes that Sentaro (Masatoshi Nagase) sells from his little bakery to a small but loyal clientele.

Absorbed in sad memories and distant thoughts, Sentaro cooks with skill but without enthusiasm. When seventy-six-year-old Tokue (Kirin Kiki) responds to his ad for an assistant and cheerfully offers to work for a ridiculously low wage, Sentaro is skeptical about the eccentric old lady’s ability to endure the long hours. But when she shows up early one morning and reveals to him the secret to the perfect sweet bean paste, Sentaro agrees to take her on.

With Tokue’s new recipe, Sentaro’s business begins to flourish, but Tokue is afflicted with an illness that, once revealed, drives her into isolation once again.

Extras include short film, Lies, and trailer.

 

Well Go USA/ Released 8/9/16

Well Go USA/ Released 8/9/16

The Tiger

Set during the Japanese Colonial Era (1910-45) when the Japanese army sought to eradicate the last tigers on the Korean peninsula, a legendary hunter (Choi Min-shik) tracks down the very last great tiger in the region and tries to bring him down before the military or other hunters seeking profit can get to him.

Extras include trailer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Run / Released 8/9/16

First Run / Released 8/9/16

Meet the Guilbys

From the producers that brought us Persepolis and Delicatessen comes this family road trip comedy.

Claire and Maurice, both survivors of previous marriages, have to take the whole family to Claire’s father’s funeral.

This tightly knit family is not only composed of Claire’s vegetarian son, Alex, who’s secretly fond of Maurice’s daughter, Lucie, the teenage rebel, but also Claire’s brother, a poet living under his sister’s roof; without forgetting young Prune, Claire and Maurice’s daughter, who will develop a passion for the country’s emblematic cows.

They must all strive to get along during the road trip to Willouby.

 

 

 

Shout! Factory / Released 8/16/16

Shout! Factory / Released 8/16/16

The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension

Neurosurgeon. Physicist. Rock Star. Hero. Buckaroo Banzai (Peter Weller, RoboCop) is a true 80s renaissance man.

With the help of his uniquely qualified team, The Hong Kong Cavaliers, Buckaroo is ready to save the world on a moment’s notice. But after his successful test of the Oscillation Overthruster – a device that allows him to travel through solid matter – he unleashes the threat of “evil, pure and simple from the 8th Dimension”… the alien Red Lectroids.

Led by the deranged dictator Lord John Whorfin (John Lithgow), the Lectroids steal the Overthruster with the intent of using it to return to their home of Planet 10 “real soon!”

But no matter where you go, there Buckaroo Banzai is… ready to battle an interdimensional menace that could spell doom for the human race.

One of geek culture’s most beloved cult films, Buckaroo Banzai is more of an experience than a film.  Never straying far from it’s pulpy influences, the film is overstuffed with unrealized concepts and ideas, but that never really takes away from the ride.

The ensemble includes Ellen Barkin, Jeff Goldblum, Christopher Lloyd, Clancy Brown, Lewis Smith, Carl Lumbly, Vincent Schiavelli, Ronald Lacey, Dan Hedaya, Jonathan Banks, John Ahston, and Yakov Smirnoff.

Extras include feature length retrospective documentary, commentary tracks, featurette, deleted scenes, deleted scenes,trailers, and alternate opening sequence.

 

Disney / Released 8/16/16

Disney / Released 8/16/16

Once Upon A Time: The Complete Fifth Season

There was an enchanted forest filled with all the classic fairy tale characters we know and love until a curse trapped them in a place called Storybrooke. After the curse was broken, new dangers, magical , and exciting worlds have continued to emerge.

Now, the fairytale characters cope with Emma’s new role as The Dark One and begin the search for Merlin. This is a journey that will take our heroes from the Enchanted Forest to Camelot and along the way bring many surprises, including encounters with a brave and headstrong Scottish princess named Merida.

Extras include deleted scenes, commentary, featurettes and blooper reel.

Includes the episodes:

  • The Dark Swan: With Emma now facing the nature of the Darkness in herself, she encounters Merida. Her family and friends go to extreme measurements to find Emma and bring her home safely.
  • The Price: While Prince Arthur organizes a ball in Camelot, darkness rises in Storybrooke, to the search of a savior.
  • Siege Perilous: A royal ball is held in Camelot, but a dark turn of events forces David and Robin to take action. Meanwhile, Regina’s fortitude is tested as she tries to safeguard Emma; and back in Storybrooke, Hook attempts to bring Emma back to the light.
  • The Broken Kingdom: In Rumplestiltskin return, Emma takes her chance at the taking of Excalibur, while King Arthur’s real identity is revealed.
  • Dreamcatcher: Emma and Regina devise a plan to free Merlin, but they lack a pivotal ingredient. Meanwhile, Mary Margaret and David seek an important dagger; Henry asks Violet to go on a date; and Merida attempts to carry out a covert mission Emma has assigned her.
  • The Bear and the Bow: Gold and Merida are tested to their limits, can they be the heroes they need to be? King Arthur’s help is needed to contact Merlin but can he be trusted
  • Nimue: Emma’s darkness is tested while she has an encounter with the first “dark one”. The history of Excalibur is revealed.
  • Birth: Hook risks everything to uncover the truth about what Emma did in Camelot.
  • The Bear King: Red and Mulan return to help Merida uncover the truth about her father’s death.
  • Broken Heart: Hook’s centuries old lust for revenge against Rumpelstiltskin is reignited. Destiny collides as the forces of light and dark are on a charged confrontation.
  • Swan Song: The dark siege of Storybrooke is underway as all of the resurrected Dark Ones target a living soul for sacrifice so that they can return to the realm of the living.
  • Souls of the Departed: The mission to rescue Hook from the Underworld turns out to be more difficult than expected as the heroes encounter souls with unfinished business.
  • Labor of Love: The heroes join forces with an old friend of Snow’s to defeat an obstacle standing in the way of finding Hook. Meanwhile, Hook encounters challenges of his own.
  • Devil’s Due: Hook’s captivity takes a dark turn when Hades threatens to condemn him to the River of Lost Souls after Hook refuses to choose which three of his friends will have to remain in the Underworld.
  • The Brothers Jones: A surprise visit from hooks brother Liam May provide Hook and Emma with the tools they need to defeat Hades; and in flashbacks, the bond between the Jones Brothers is tested as their merchant ships head into a storm.
  • Our Decay: Gold creates a Storybrooke portal; Zelena and Regina clash; Belle and Rumple are reunited; Snow and David try to send a message from the Underworld to their son, Neal.
  • Her Handsome Hero: Belle turns to Rumplestiltskin with hope of finding a way to protect their child from Hades. However, they disagree over whether to use dark magic, as Belle forbids Rumplestiltskin from using his powers for evil.
  • Ruby Slippers: In flashbacks, Ruby and Mulan find themselves in Oz, where they meet Dorothy. After the three witness Zelena’s return to Oz, they look for a way to defeat her once and for all. However, Dorothy mysteriously disappears.
  • Sisters: Now that Hades and Zelena have been reunited, Hades tells Zelena about his plan to leave the underworld forever and Cora reveals information from the past that will change the lives of Regina and Zelena forever.
  • Firebird: Hades turns to the heroes to ask for help with getting Zelena back from Rumplestiltskin and Peter Pan. In flashbacks, Emma searches for answers about her family and makes an unexpected friendship.
  • Last Rites: Emma, David, Regina, Robin and Henry are finally back home in Storybrooke and reunited with Snow, but, unfortunately, they still have to contend with Hades, who continues to deceive Zelena as he lays out his plan to use the all-powerful Olympian Crystal to take over the town. The heroes desperately search for a way to defeat Hades while Hook does the same in the Underworld, looking for those missing storybook pages. Regina and Robin take a more direct approach, which culminates in an epic showdown that will leave our heroes forever changed.
  • Only You: Regina grieves over Robin Hood’s death and Henry sets out to destroy all magic.
  • An Untold Story: Regina and Emma set out to find Henry before Gold does. Meanwhile Snow, David, Hook, and Zelena are imprisoned.

 

Warner Bros. / Released 8/16/16

Warner Bros. / Released 8/16/16

Gotham: The Complete Second Season

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the DVD I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.

Darkness saturates Gotham in its triumphant second season as the city’s villains continue to rise from the shadows, each more ambitious and depraved than the last. As Penguin continues to solidify his control over Gotham’s underworld, the battle for power in the city has become a game of interesting alliances on both sides of the law – with detectives Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock at the forefront of the fight against crime in the dangerously corrupt city.

Season Two witnesses Gordon’s moral compass wavering as he confronts Gotham City’s most notorious criminals while simultaneously attempting to gain the trust of young Bruce Wayne, a boy now clearly on the path toward the man he is destined to be. And all the while, Gotham follows the intriguing origin stories and evolution of some of the city’s most infamous personalities, including Edward Nygma/The Riddler, Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Hugo Strange and Mr. Freeze. Extra include 2015 Comic Con Panel, and featurettes.

The second season of Gotham was at times, incredibly frustrating.  Often, the characterization was the highlight, with the main ensemble doing some particularly solid work.  It was the introduction of the extended arcs where the series stumbled, with James Frains’ Galavan and B.D. Wong’s Hugo Strange, propelling the show into self-parody territory.  Other additions like Michael Chiklis and Lori Petty, and the return of Jada Pinkett Smith established a tone of camp that hearkened more to the Adam West series than a modern interpretation.  Several appearances featuring the return of proto-Joker, Jerome Valeska (Cameron Monaghan) were particularly effective.  The chemistry and acting between cast members            Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, David Mazouz, Sean Pertwee, Robin Lord Taylor, Erin Richards, Camren Bicondova, Cory Michael Smith, Morena Baccarin and  Drew Powell continue to be the highlight of the series.

Includes the episodes:

  • Damned If You Do: Penguin is King of Gotham and after a shakeup at the GCPD, Detective James Gordon’s moral compass wavers, as he seeks help from Penguin.
  • Knock, Knock: Gordon investigates the inmate escape from Arkham Asylum while Galavan plots his next move. Bruce’s quest to unlock the secrets of his father’s office leads him to an old family friend.
  • The Last Laugh: Gordon and Bullock hunt a nemesis from the past, which leads to a standoff between Jerome and Gordon; and a magic show at a Gotham Children’s Hospital gala results in a hostage situation.
  • Strike Force: Barnes forms a task force with help from Gordon; Penguin is kept busy trying to fulfill a favor for Galavan; and Nygma asks Kringle out on a date.
  • Scarification: Galavan and Penguin join forces with a dangerous family in Gotham. Then, as the rivalry between the Waynes and the Galavans resurfaces, Gordon struggles to maintain order in the city.
  • By Fire: After Bridgit Pike is kidnapped her brothers, a new spark of courage ignites within her, as she chooses to take control of her future. Meanwhile, Kringle and Nygma’s relationship will take a new step and Penguin and Galavan continue to battle for control of Gotham City’s underworld.
  • Mommy’s Little Monster: Butch leads Penguin and his men to the warehouse where Gertrude is being held, as Penguin plots his revenge on Galavan for kidnapping his mother.
  • Tonight’s the Night: Galavan sends Barbara after Jim Gordon, while he tries to make a business deal with Bruce Wayne. Barnes and Bullock are hot on Barbara’s trail, and Nygma has a run-in with a familiar face.
  • A Bitter Pill to Swallow: Gordon runs into a hitman known as Eduardo Flamingo; Penguin and Nygma have another encounter.
  • The Son of Gotham: Gordon confronts a suspect who is connected to Galavan, but falls short of obtaining any information. Meanwhile, Bruce gets one step closer to discovering the name of his parents’ killer.
  • Worse Than a Crime: Jim Gordon turns to Dangerous Allies for assistance when Bruce Wayne is abducted.
  • Mr. Freeze: Penguin gives Gordon a hard time; a skilled cryogenics engineer named Victor Fries is involved in a body-snatching spree.
  • A Dead Man Feels No Cold: Gordon and Bullock look to Nora for help in their search for Victor, Penguin meets Hugo Strange.
  • This Ball of Mud and Meanness: Alfred and Selina help Bruce on his quest to find his parents’ killer Matches Malone. Meanwhile, Gordon follows up with Edward Nygma on Kristin Kringle’s whereabouts. Hugo Strange continues his treatment to reduce Penguin’s aggression.
  • Mad Grey Dawn: Gordon and Bullock investigate a trail of clues left in a museum robbery which unbeknownst to them were left by Nygma in a dangerous game of cat and mouse. Gordon’s past comes back to haunt him when an anonymous person threatens to expose his hand in Galavan’s murder. Meanwhile Penguin’s visit to some old friends leads him to meet his father Elijah Van Dahl (Paul Reubens). and Bruce practices his street smarts.
  • Prisoners: After Gordon is removed from protective custody, he begins to face new threats and dangers inside prison walls. In order to survive he must rely on a new friend as well as Bullock and other outside help. Meanwhile, Penguin grows closer to his Father, while his step-mother and step-siblings move forward with their own plans for the family.
  • Into the Woods: In an attempt to clear his name, Gordon steals his case file and approaches Nygma for help. Meanwhile, Penguin discovers his step-family’s role in his father’s death, and awakens from his conditioning.
  • Pinewood: After leaving Arkham Asylum, Barbara attempts to make amends with Gordon. Bruce and Alfred track down one of Thomas Wayne’s former friend’s from project chimera, but Hugo Strange disrupts their plan.
  • Azrael: Gordon and Bruce question Professor Strange about project chimera which leads Strange to send the newly resurrected Galavan to confront Gordon. Meanwhile, Nygma investigates who Professor Strange is.
  • Unleashed: Azrael is loose in Gotham city which sparks Penguin’s need for revenge. Meanwhile, Bruce enlists Selina’s help in tracking down Professor Strange as he evades arrest for his experiments.
  • A Legion of Horribles: Hugo Strange welcomes a familiar face to Gotham after he resurrects Fish Mooney in Indian Hill. Meanwhile, Bruce discovers a friend is in danger and teams up with Gordon, Alfred and Lucius while uncovering more of his experiments.
  • Transference: While Gordon, Bruce and Lucius remain at Indian Hill, the city of Gotham will be met with a new threat as Hugo Strange’s inmates devise a plan to escape and start their new lives in Gotham.

 

Shout! Factory / Released 8/16/16

Shout! Factory / Released 8/16/16

Session 9

It looms up out of the woods like a dormant beast. Grand, imposing… abandoned and deteriorating, the Danvers State Mental Hospital, closed down for 15 years is about to receive 5 new visitors.

Donning protective gear, the men of the Hazmat Elimination Co. venture into the eerily vast and vacant asylum that is filled with an evil and mysterious past. Rampant patient abuse, medieval medical procedure and rumors of demonic possession are some of the many dark secrets the hospital holds – but then so do each of the men.

This thriller, directed by Brad Anderson, features a talented cast including David Caruso, Peter Mullan, Paul Guilfoyle, Josh Lucas, Stephen Gevedon and Brendan Sexton III. Extras include documentary, commentary, featurettes, deleted scenes and alternate ending and trailer.

 

Warner Bros. / Released 8/16/16

Warner Bros. / Released 8/16/16

The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Seventh Season

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the DVD I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.

In Season Seven, after saying an emotional goodbye to Elena Gilbert, some characters will recover while others falter.

As Damon and Stefan’s mother, Lily, tries to drive a wedge between the Salvatore brothers, hope remains that Stefan and Caroline’s love story is tough enough to survive. Damon will do whatever it takes to take down his mother and her band of Heretics, and when Bonnie and Enzo both try to decide where their loyalties lie, a surprising relationship will evolve.

Plus, with Mystic Falls in disarray and the arrival of the Heretics — who are set on retaliation and mayhem — the suspense will be stronger than ever. Extras include 2015 Comic Con panel, featurette, deleted scenes and gag reel.

The Twilight trend is over, but the CW’s vampire universe is stronger than ever.  After six seasons, The Vampire Diaries started it’s seventh season with the major departure of star Nina Dobrev, and despite what could have been a major stumbling block, the series quickly found it’s footing and remained as entertaining and addictive as ever.

Episodes include:

  • Day One of Twenty-Two Thousand, Give or Take: Damon is forced to navigate his new reality without the love of his life. Stefan takes an active role in protecting the town from Lily.
  • Never Let Me Go: Caroline, who finds herself a pawn in Lily and the heretics’ plan for retribution, uncovers a shocking detail about Stefan’s past. Alaric asks Bonnie for help.
  • Age of Innocence: Caroline learns some shocking information about Valerie’s past, while Stefan learns a few unexpected details about his own. Flashbacks to 1863 are seen.
  • I Carry Your Heart With Me: Stefan and Caroline are forced to spend the night at Whitmore College’s Heaven & Hell ball. Enzo sets off to find out what Valerie is hiding.
  • Live Through This: After realizing the downward spiral he was on, Damon decides he’s going to turn over a new leaf and that his actions moving forward will do right by Elena.
  • Best Served Cold: Lily sets up a face-to-face meeting between Julian and Damon and Stefan to declare peace between her family of Heretics and the residents of Mystic Falls.
  • Mommie Dearest: After Stefan and Damon confront their mother (ANNIE WERSCHING) with painful memories from their childhood, Lily reveals a dark secret she’s been harboring for over 160 years.
  • Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me: Following a major revelation uncovered by Valerie, Caroline is forced to face her new reality, even as it threatens to destroy her relationship with Stefan.
  • Cold as Ice: With the holidays in full swing, a search for Julian leads Damon and Stefan to a small town near Mystic Falls. Managing a toy drive, Bonnie connects with Nora.
  • Hell is Other People: Trapped inside the Phoenix stone, Damon is tormented by a traumatic experience from his time in the Civil War and forced to face his darkest demon in order to get out.
  • Things We Lost in the Fire: Tyler returns to Mystic Falls for Alaric’s baby shower and Caroline makes an upsetting discovery. Series star Paul Wesley directs the episode.
  • Postcards from the Edge: Under the influence of a dangerous and reckless Julian, Damon spirals out of control. Stefan attempts to reason with him, only to uncover the reason for his descent.
  • This Woman’s Work: When Damon’s actions put everyone he loves in a ruthless vampire hunter’s path, he is forced to make things right before it’s too late.
  • Moonlight on the Bayou: In New Orleans, Stefan comes face to face with Klaus Mikaelson, who soon becomes suspicious of his old friend’s unexpected arrival in his city.
  • I Would for You: Matt decides it may be time to take a stand against the vampires of Mystic Falls. Damon’s desire to take himself out of the game ramps up. Stefan questions a future with Caroline.
  • Days of Future Past: With time running out and Rayna closing in on Stefan, Valerie tries to reason with Damon. Enzo attempts to clear his name.
  • I Went to the Woods: In the aftermath of his brother’s fateful decision, Stefan awakens to find himself thrown into a life or death situation with only his basic instincts to rely on.
  • One Way or Another: Alaric makes his unwillingness to participate in a vampire-hunting expedition with Damon clear, while revealing the truth about the past three years of his life without Damon.
  • Somebody That I Used To Know: When Enzo’s efforts to protect Bonnie end up putting her life in jeopardy, it is learned that Rayna may hold the key to her survival.
  • Kill ‘Em All: Caroline joins Alaric on a mission and realizes she’s missed her former supernatural lifestyle. Damon makes a fateful decision that forever changes his relationship with Bonnie.
  • Requiem for a Dream: Stefan makes a rash decision that ultimately forces him and Caroline to face the fallout from their relationship. Enzo painfully watches Bonnie in the fight of her life.
  • Gods & Monsters: Despite her friends best efforts to help Bonnie through the harrowing predicament she faces, options are running out and drastic measures need to be taken.

 

Arrow / Released 8/16/16

Arrow / Released 8/16/16

Microwave Massacre

Microwave Massacre stars legendary stand-up comedian and actor Jackie Vernon as Donald, a disgruntled construction worker whose wife’s predilection for haute cuisine drives him to cannibalism.

Donald unwittingly stumbles upon a solution to his two major problems in his life – his nagging wife and his lack of decent meals – when, one night, he bludgeons his better half to death with a pepper grinder in a drunken rage. Thinking on his feet, Donald dismembers the body and sets about microwaving the remains, which turn out to be rather delicious.

Trouble is, now he has a taste for human flesh that needs satisfying…

Eschewing all notions of good taste, Wayne Berwick’s Microwave Massacre is a deliciously depraved exercise in political incorrectness that has gone on to gain a cult following thanks to a characteristically deadpan performance from Vernon, who delivers such choice lines as “I’m so hungry I could eat a whore.” Vegetarians need not apply! Extras include commentary, features, trailer, and DVD-ROM content.

 

Olive Films / Released 8/16/16

Olive Films / Released 8/16/16

American Ninja

Stationed in the Philippines, 18-year-old U.S. Army private Joe Armstrong (Michael Dudikoff) is escorting a supply convoy when it is ambushed by rebel, some of whom he recognizes as a Black Ninja warrior. Instinctively, Joe defends himself using the esoteric martial art of Ninjitsu, an ability that puts him under suspicion by his commander and fellow soldiers.

Alone in his fight against corruption, the boy finally discovers the secret of his mysterious past, a secret that pits him against the evil Black Star Ninja in the ultimate martial arts battle.

Joining in on the adventure is Joe’s comrade-in-arms Curtis Jackson (Steve James) and Patricia Hickock (Judie Aronson), the daughter of Joe’s commanding officer Colonel William Hickock (Guich Koock).

American Ninja is directed by Sam Firstenberg (Avenging Force) from a screenplay by Paul De Mielche (based on a story by Gideon Amir and Avi Kleinberger) and produced by Yoram Globus and Menahem Golan. Extras include commentary, making of and trailer.

 

Drafthouse / Released 8/16/16

Drafthouse / Released 8/16/16

Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made

After Steven Spielberg’s classic Raiders of the Lost Ark was released 35 years ago, three 11-year-old boys from Mississippi set out on what would become a 7-year-long labor of love and tribute to their favorite film: a faithful, shot-for-shot adaptation of the action adventure film. They finished every scene…except one; the film’s explosive airplane set piece.

Over two decades later, the trio reunited with the original cast members from their childhood in order to complete their masterpiece.

Featuring interviews with John Rhys Davies, Eli Roth and more, Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made is just that: the story of this long-gestating project’s culmination, chronicling the friends’ dedication to their artistic vision-mixed in with some movie magic-to create a personal, epic love letter to a true modern classic. Extras include commentary, deleted scenes from the documentary, outtakes from the adaptation, Q & A from adaptation’s 2003 premiere, and photo booklet.

 

Olive Films / Released 8/16/16

Olive Films / Released 8/16/16

American Ninja 2: Confrontation

Michael Dudikoff is back in action as Joe Armstrong in American Ninja 2: The Confrontation, the sequel to the highly successful martial arts extravaganza American Ninja.

Joining Joe is Curtis Jackson (a returning Steve James, American Ninja) who, like Joe, is promoted to the Army Rangers and sent on a mission to the Caribbean in search of missing Marines. Quicker than you can say déjà vu, Joe and Curtis are battling scientifically-engineered Super Ninjas in an attempt to bring down a dreaded drug lord known as The Lion (Gary Conway).

American Ninja 2: The Confrontation, directed by Sam Firstenberg from a screenplay by Gary Conway and James Booth (from a story by Conway based on the characters created by Gideon Amir and Avi Kleinberger), is produced by Yoram Globus and Menahem Golan.

Extras include commentary, making of and trailer.

 

Olive Films / Released 8/16/16

Olive Films / Released 8/16/16

Saved!

Christian high school student, the devout Mary (Jena Malone) will have her world turned upside down when her boyfriend Dean (Chad Faust) reveals that he’s gay. Try as she may, Mary can’t pray … or sleep … the gay away. Much to her surprise (not to mention Dean’s), Mary discovers that she’s pregnant. Ostracized by her holier-than-thou schoolmates, led by the pious Hilary Faye (Mandy Moore), Mary will find acceptance from kindred spirits: the school’s geeks, including the wheelchair-bound Roland (Macaulay Culkin) and Cassandra (Eva Amurri).

Directed by Brian Dannelly from a screenplay by Dannelly and Michael Urban, Saved! features Patrick Fugit, Heather Matarazzo, Martin Donovan and Mary-Louise Parker in supporting roles. Extras include feaurettes and bloopers

 

Kino Lorber / Released 8/16/16

Kino Lorber / Released 8/16/16

Whoever Slew Auntie Roo?

Auntie Roo (Shelley Winters) just loves children… to death.

After the mysterious disappearance of her daughter, Auntie Roo has been looking for a ‘dead ringer’ replacement. And this time she found one… from the local orphanage! But what is she to do with the girl’s pesky brother when he discovers Roo’s terrible secret in the attic?

Top-notch direction by cult filmmaker Curtis Harrington  and featuring great performances by Mark Lester (Oliver, Eyewitness), Chloe Franks (Tales from the Crypt), Lionel Jeffries (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), Hugh Griffith (Ben-Hur) and the great Ralph Richardson (The Fallen Idol).

Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? was the follow-up to What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice? and What’s the Matter with Helen? Extras include commentary.

 

HBO / Released 8/16/16

HBO / Released 8/16/16

Vinyl: The Complete First Season

From creators Mick Jagger, Martin Scorsese, Rich Cohen and Terrence Winter, Vinyl explores the drug- and sex-fueled music business of the 1970s New York at the dawn of punk, disco and hip-hop.

Richie Finestra (Bobby Cannavale), the founder and president of American Century Records, is trying to save his company and soul without destroying everyone in his path. With his passion for music and discovering talent gone by the wayside, and American Century on the precipice of being sold, he has a life-altering event that reignites his love of music, but severely damages his personal life. The drama features an amazing cast including Olivia Wilde, Ray Romano, Max Casella, P.J. Byrne, Juno Temple, Jame Jagger, Jack Quaid, John Cameron Mitchell, Lena Olin, Ken Marino, David Proval and Andrew Dice Clay. Extras include commentaries, featurette and episode briefs.

Includes the episodes:

  • Pilot: Richie Finestra considers selling his struggling record company; Richie takes a detour to an unplanned reunion with Lester Grimes; Richie orders his A&R department to find new acts; Richie jeopardizes his relationships with his wife and children.
  • Yesterday Once More: Richie delivers a bombshell that shocks prospective buyers and his partners; Devon ponders her relationship; Zak considers changing his alibi for a recent injury; Richie decides to visit his estranged mentor.
  • Whispered Secrets: Richie is embarrassed at a record producers’ banquet; a junior A&R rep courts Alice Cooper; Devon tries to raise funds to renovate a Greenwich barn; Richie approaches Lester about releasing some of his old blues demos.
  • The Racket: Richie deal with his star Hannibal. Lester comes back for explanations. Devon looks for answers. The nasty bits are getting signed.
  • He in Racist Fire: Richie visits a relative; Devon plays the vixen at dinner with Ritche, Hannibal and Cece; Kip faces a dilemma; Clark gets a new job; Richie is inspired to name his new label.
  • Cyclone: Andrea Zito joins American Century; Kip has an uncommon choice for lead guitar; Zak’s raw emotions surface; Richie confronts the future of his relationship with Devon and something rather odd and disturbing surfaces about Ernst.
  • The King and I: Richie and Zak travel to Los Angeles to sell the company jet, whild they go to Las Vegas to persuade Elvis Presley to sign a contract.
  • E.A.B.: Richie seeks new funding to keep the business afloat. The Nasty Bits continue to record their new songs but require inspiration. Zak signs a new potential hit whilst Devon meets a music legend.
  • Rock and Roll Queen: After an unsettling visit with Devon, Richie weighs his options as Buck Rogers murder case is heating up. Thrown out of her aunt’s house, Jamie crashes with Kip (Nasty Bits).
  • Alibi: Richie becomes an informant for the FBI to watch over Corrado Galasso, Zak tries to get Richie out of the company and Kip gets high on drugs and quits the band.

 

Showtime / Released 8/16/16

Showtime / Released 8/16/16

The Affair: Season 2

With a murder unsolved and a betrayal exposed, everyone’s truth is suspect. Full of complex family ties, passionate betrayals and the vengeful emotions that have resulted from an illicit summer liaison, The Affair: Season 2 follows the differing perspectives of the two couples Noah Solloway (Dominic West) and Helen Solloway (Maura Tierney), and Alison Lockhart (Ruth Wilson) and Cole Lockhart (Joshua Jackson) – all still reeling from the ramifications of Noah and Alison’s extramarital affair.

Told from four different points of view, the story cracks wide open to reveal a complicated web of intrigue and deceit more dangerous than anyone imagined.

As the two estranged couples try individually to plan for the future, a new series of deceptions will once again force them to question everything they believed.

Includes the episodes:

  • S02E01: Noah and Helen try for amicable divorce proceedings, but complications reveal inescapable conflict. Plus, surprising developments in Helen’s life reveal unexpected emotions. Season premiere.
  • S02E02: Alison’s summer with Noah is interrupted. Cole’s lifestyle causes concern.
  • S02E03: Noah’s unrestrained love for Alison has serious consequences. Meanwhile, Alison discovers a surprising truth about how to sustain a marriage.
  • S02E04: As pressures in Helen’s life mount, one innocent mistake leads to outrageous consequences. Meanwhile, a court order presents a dire setback for Noah and Alison.
  • S02E05: Alison is thrown by a shift in bahavior from her hosts, and furious with Noah after a chance discovery. Meanwhile, Cole rejects Scotty’s plan to make money – but not before Scotty catches him in a situation best kept secret.
  • S02E06: A medical emergency casts Helen and Noah’s litigation process in a new light, causing Helen to make a long overdue decision. The dynamic of Noah and Alison’s relationship shifts as troublesome discoveries are made.
  • S02E07: Alison confronts Noah about his book. Revelations further alienate Cole.
  • S02E08: On the college campus where they first met, Helen is amazed to see Noah in a new role, and bewildered by Whitney’s future plans. Meanwhile, Noah is in danger of spinning out of control as his fame and related temptations escalate.
  • S02E09: Alison weathers a momentous journey alone. Helen receives unexpected attention from a sexy yet exasperating source. Noah faces a terrible reckoning. An array of challenges pushes Cole to the very edge.
  • S02E10: Noah grapples with essential questions. Alison begins to doubt a recent ambition, and renewed interactions with the Lockhart brothers force her to consider harrowing possibility.
  • S02E11: Cole and Luisa take a serious step forward. Meanwhile, a series of revelations cause Noah to reconsider everything he thought he knew about Alison, and a momentous decision Alison makes may just end their relationship.
  • S02E12: The truth about the fatal night is finally revealed, what happened and why? In the current time-line, Noah is forced to make a decision.

 

Power Rangers Megaforce: The Complete Season

Lionsgate / Released 8/16/16

Lionsgate / Released 8/16/16

When the evil Warstar aliens plot a massive invasion of our planet, Earth’s supernatural guardian, Gosei, mobilizes a team of five extraordinary teens with the talent and attitude to oppose them: the Power Rangers Megaforce!

Includes the episodes:

  • Mega Mission: When malicious aliens make their way to Earth’s orbit, Gosei decides to form a new team of teenage heroes to defend the planet and carry on the proud tradition of the Power Rangers.
  • He Blasted Me with Science: The alien invaders send an alien scientist down to Earth to study the human race, in order to determine how best to defeat them; Troy finds himself face-to-face with Creepox.
  • Going Viral: When Noah has trouble lifting Jake’s heavy weapon he begins to doubt his abilities, until he learns that believing in yourself is all that’s necessary to get any job done.
  • Stranger Ranger: As the Megaforce Rangers learn that concentration is essential to perfecting their Ranger skills, they are distracted by a civilian falsely claiming to be a Ranger.
  • United We Stand: Best Friends Gia and Emma are turned into bitter enemies by a vicious monster, Beezara. Meanwhile, the guys are captured by “queen bee” Beezara and turned into her drone slaves.
  • Harmony and Dizchord: When a monster attacks the city with music that produces physical pain, the Megaforce Rangers must fight back in an unorthodox way with a song of their own.
  • Who’s Crying Now?: After Troy deals with some small-minded bullies at school, the Megaforce Rangers square off against a more dangerous bully, Creepox.
  • Robo Knight: The mysterious Robo Knight joins the Megaforce Rangers. Can he help them defeat toxic monsters that threaten the earth?
  • Prince Takes Knight: While the Megaforce Rangers are unsure about how to work with the newly-arrived Robo Knight, Vrak captures the robotic Ranger in an attempt to reprogram him for his own nefarious purposes.
  • Man and Machine: When a shadow-stealing monster attacks, the Megaforce Rangers must teach Robo Knight the power of teamwork in order to defeat him.
  • Ultra Power: The Megaforce Rangers must find and retrieve a powerful ancient weapon known as the Wild Sword, but Vrak is determined to harness its power for himself.
  • Last Laugh: It’s no laughing matter when Gia and the other Rangers are captured by a monster who feeds on human laughter. It’s up to straight-laced Noah and no-nonsense Robo Knight to figure out how to work together and save their friends.
  • Dream Snatcher: A dream snatching monster preys on Emma and other humans, eating away their goals and ambitions. With one Ranger down, the team must figure out how to defeat the monster before Emma is lost forever.
  • Gosei Ultimate: When Bluefur and Bigs use the Aurora Box to become even more powerful, Gosei and the Megaforce Rangers must pull out all the stops to defeat them and save the earth.
  • The Human Factor: The Megaforce Rangers encounter their first Robotic opponents, who try to convince Robo Knight that humans are the true danger to the Earth.
  • Rico the Robot: When one of Metal Alice’s robots malfunctions, Emma and the Power Rangers decide to adopt it and teach it the values of friendship and freedom.
  • Staying on Track: The Megaforce Rangers must race to save the day when Metal Alice plots to throw the city into chaos by derailing a passenger train. Meanwhile, Robo Knight comes closer to understanding humans when he meets a young boy.
  • The Human Condition: Admiral Malkor awakens from his cocoon stronger than ever and determined to destroy the Megaforce Rangers.
  • The Messenger: The Megaforce Rangers’ victory over the Warstar aliens is short-lived when they discover Metal Alice has turned Vrak into a powerful and menacing cyborg.
  • End Game: When Cyborg Vrak, Metal Alice and The Messenger launch a vicious attack against the Megaforce Rangers, it will take all their powers and abilities to save the earth.
  • Raising Spirits: The Rangers have a strange encounter with a medium on Halloween.
  • The Robo Knight Before Christmas: Robo Knight learns the true meaning of Christmas from a group of children when he is mistaken for a donated Christmas toy and is shipped in a charity crate to a foreign land.

 

Lionsgate / Released 8/16/16

Lionsgate / Released 8/16/16

Power Rangers Super Megaforce: The Complete Season

In order to stop ruthless Prince Vekar and his massive alien Armada, the Rangers have only one hope: to unlock the special keys — and harness the amazing powers of Legendary Rangers of the past!

Includes the episodes:

  • Super Megaforce: Gosei presents the Rangers with new Morphers that unlock a Super Mega Mode, which will allow them to access the powers of every previous team of Power Rangers.
  • Earth Fights Back: While the rest of the team works with the civilians to rebuild their city, Troy stumbles upon a plot by the Armada to launch missiles at major cities throughout the world.
  • Blue Saber Saga: After being humiliated in battle by a master swordsman monster, Noah suffers a crisis of confidence and questions his worthiness as a Ranger.
  • A Lion’s Alliance: Determined to strengthen their defense against the Armada, the Rangers head to a mystical airborne island named Animaria in search of the wild yet powerful Red Lion Zord.
  • Samurai Surprise: When a powerful monster named Matacore is sent by the emperor to take on the Rangers, they face a challenge like never before. Luckily, help comes in the form of a mysterious Samurai visitor.
  • Spirit of the Tiger: When the Rangers face a monster with a magnetic power to wrench their weapons away from them, Jake and Emma turn to quiet local Zoo Keeper named Casey to learn a special form of martial arts that helps them channel their personal animal spirits.
  • Silver Lining, Part 1: The Rangers are shocked and mystified when they discover the presence of a new Silver Ranger. Is this strange new visitor an ally or a foe?
  • Silver Lining, Part 2: Orion, the mysterious Silver Ranger, explains his past to Gosei and the Rangers and how he obtained the Silver Ranger Key.
  • Power of Six: When his Ranger teammates are sidelined by an energy-sucking monster, Jake must put aside his jealousy of Orion and help him use the combined power of the past Sixth Rangers to defeat this terrible foe.
  • The Perfect Storm: The Rangers are sidetracked from their fight against an invading monster when Tensou is struck by lightning, develops amnesia and wanders away from the Command Center.
  • Love Is in the Air: When a love potion accidentally makes the evil Levira fall in love with Jake, a jealous alien targets him for destruction.
  • United as One: When the Megazord is damaged in a fight, Emma uses unconventional methods to defeat the monster.
  • The Grass Is Always Greener or Bluer: A body-switching monster switches Jake and Noah so that they are inhabiting each other’s body.
  • In the Driver’s Seat: The Rangers are lured away from Earth to investigate an emergency signal from Corinth and are trapped in an alternate dimension by Professor Cog.
  • All Hail Prince Vekar: The Rangers battle the evil Prince Vekar face to face when he comes to Earth with his own Megazord.
  • Vrak Is Back, Part 1: In the wake of Prince Vekar’s defeat, Vrak returns with a new plan to destroy the world and a new robot he has programmed to fight against the Rangers.
  • Vrak Is Back, Part 2: With Orion kidnapped and Robo Knight turned against them, the Rangers must do everything they can to defeat Vrak and save their friends.
  • Emperor Mavro: Emperor Mavro comes to Earth to avenge his sons and arrests Damaras for failing to protect the Prince.
  • The Wrath: Just when the Rangers thought they had saved the planet, the Emperor reveals himself and launches an attack on Earth.
  • Legendary Battle: When The Emperor nearly defeats the Rangers after a massive attack, the Rangers get help from Legendary Rangers from the past.

 

Shout! Factory/ Released 8/23/16

Shout! Factory/ Released 8/23/16

Midnight Run

Jack Walsh (Robert De Niro) is a tough ex-cop turned bounty hunter. Jonathan “The Duke” Mardukas (Charles Grodin) is a sensitive accountant who embezzled $15 million from the Mob, gave it to charity and then jumped bail. Jack’s in for a cool $100,000 if he can deliver The Duke from New York to L.A. on time…and alive.

Sounds like just another Midnight Run (a piece of cake in bounty hunter slang), but it turns into a cross-country chase. The FBI is after The Duke to testify. The Mob is after him for revenge and Walsh is after him to just shut up. If someone else doesn’t do the job, the two unlikely partners may end up killing each other in this hilarious, action-filled ride from producer-director Martin Brest (Beverly Hills Cop).

Extras include new 2K scan, interviews with writer and cast, making of featurette and trailer.

 

Shout! Factory/ Released 8/23/16

Shout! Factory/ Released 8/23/16

Psycho IV: The Beginning

A seemingly rehabilitated Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) is drawn to a late night radio show where the host (CCH Pounder) encourages him to share his views on the topic of matricide.

Reliving his childhood, Norman recounts his trials of a young boy (Henry Thomas) living with his widowed schizophrenic mother (Olivia Hussey).

These haunting memories are more than just disturbing visions of the past; they threaten to rekindle his killing urge in this spine-tingling thriller directed by Mick Garris (The Stand, Masters of Horror).

Extras include commentary interview, behind the scenes footage and gallery.

 

Kino Lorber/ Released 8/23/16

Kino Lorber/ Released 8/23/16

Chandu the Magician

Magic, mirth and mystery highlight this tale starring horror legend Bela Lugosi (Dracula, White Zombie) as an evil lunatic set on destroying mankind with a gigantic death-dealing device.

Mankind’s only hope is Frank Chandler, a.k.a. Chandu The Magician (Edmund Lowe, Dinner at Eight), who calls upon mystical abilities to fight the megalomaniacal fiend.

Adapted from the popular broadcast serial, this creepy classic conjures action and excitement at every turn.

Co-starring Irene Ware – Directed by William Cameron Menzies and Marcel Varnel. Extras include commentary, featurette, and restoration comparison.

 

Kino Lorber/ Released 8/23/16

Kino Lorber/ Released 8/23/16

Modesty Blaise

Her entire appearance changes in a finger snap. She thrashes villains without missing a spiked-heeled step.

Welcome to the mad, mod world of sexy, stylish British super agent Modesty Blaise (Monica Vitti, L’Avventura, L’Eclisse). Hired by the government to prevent a diamond heist, Modesty recruits her wily sidekick Willie Garvin (Terence Stamp, The Limey) to help her battle crafty, colorful foes on the secluded island of a suave mastermind thief Gabriel (Dirk Bogarde, Death in Venice) and conniving partner Mrs. Fothergill (Rosella Falk,).

Grooving with mile-high hairdos and swinging, psychedelic wall patterns, Modesty Blaise is campy entertainment at its best.

The great Joseph Losey (Eva, The Servant) directed this outrageous spy spoof featuring a stellar cast that includes Harry Andrews (Moby Dick), Clive Revill (Fathom) and Alexander Knox (The Vikings). Extras include interviews and commentary.

 

Kino Lorber/ Released 8/23/16

Kino Lorber/ Released 8/23/16

American Dreamer

International stars JoBeth Williams, Tom Conti and Giancarlo Giannini co-star in this clever and brisk paced cloak-and-dagger comedy adventure.

Cathy Palmer (Williams) is a neglected housewife whose only excitement in life comes from reading sizzling romantic thrillers by the renowned Rebecca Ryan. Cathy enters a writing contest, winning a trip to Paris… upon arriving in the city of lights; she’s hurt in an accident and is knocked out cold.

Once awake, she starts believing she’s the renowned author Rebecca Ryan, and begins living all the glamour, suspense and romance of her favorite author. Rick Rosenthal (Bad Boys) directed this whimsical action-comedy for the romantic dreamers in all of us.

Extras include making of, restoration featurette, still gallery and booklet.

 

Anchor Bay / Released 8/23/16

Anchor Bay / Released 8/23/16

The Walking Dead: The Complete Sixth Season

Season Six starts with Alexandria’s safety shattered by multiple threats. To make it, the people of Alexandria will need to catch up with our survivors’ hardness while many of Rick’s people will need to take a step back from the violence and pragmatism they’ve needed to embrace.  These reversals won’t happen easily, or without conflict. But now Rick’s group is fighting for something more than survival…

They’re fighting for their home, and they will defend that at any cost, against any threat, even if that threat comes from within.

The cast includes Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira, Lennie James, Chandler Riggs, Melissa McBride, Sonequa Martin-Green, Seth Gilliam, Michael Cudlitz, Alanna Masterson, Christian Serratos, Josh McDermitt, Ross Marquand, Austin Nichols, Alexandra Breckenridge and Tovah Feldshuh.

New cast members include Merritt Wever, Ethan Embry, Corey Hawkins, Thomas Payne and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Extras include extended version of episode “Last Day on Earth”, commentaries, deleted scenes, and featurettes.

Includes the episodes:

  • First Time Again: Rick and the group devise a dangerous plan to lure a massive herd of walkers away from Alexandria, but a new development puts the entire community at risk.
  • JSS: While Rick and his group lure the herd away, Carol and Morgan lead a line of defense against the Wolves when Alexandria comes under attack.
  • Thank You: Daryl, Abraham and Sasha continue to lure half of the herd away. Meanwhile, Glenn and Michonne lead the Alexandrians back to the safe-zone, as Rick crosses paths with the remainder of the Wolves’ forces.
  • Here’s Not Here: Morgan tells the captured wolf about his journey from King County to Alexandria, where he met a lone survivor with a code.
  • Now: With Alexandria recovering from the Wolves’ attack, Deanna begins to question her leadership. Meanwhile, Maggie shares a secret with Aaron while searching for Glenn, as the herd approaches.
  • Always Accountable: Wounded after being separated from Abraham and Sasha, Daryl finds himself captive of three survivors on the run.
  • Heads Up: Glenn and Enid make their way back to Alexandria. Meanwhile, Spencer puts his life a risk, as the herd finds its way inside the safe-zone.
  • Start to Finish: With the walls down, Alexandria finds itself swarmed by walkers. Meanwhile, Daryl, Abraham and Sasha come face-to-face with a new danger.
  • No Way Out: Daryl, Abraham and Sasha face-off against the Saviors. Back at Alexandria, Rick and his group make their way through the herd.
  • The Next World: Weeks after the walker invasion, Rick and Daryl cross paths with Jesus, a mysterious man with many secrets. Meanwhile, Michonne helps Spencer find closure, as Carl recovers from his injury.
  • Knots Untie: Jesus takes Rick and the group to the Hilltop Colony, a peaceful community overshadowed by the power of Negan.
  • Not Tomorrow Yet: Rick leads a surprise attack against the Saviors with the joint forces of Alexandria and the Hilltop, as two group members end up captured.
  • The Same Boat: Carol and Maggie must fight for their lives after being taken by a group of Saviors.
  • Twice as Far: After a minor victory against the Saviors, a supply run led by Daryl turns chaotic when he and his group cross paths with Dwight.
  • East: Rick and Morgan set out in the search for Carol. Meanwhile, Daryl and Rosita track down Dwight, as Glenn and Michonne fall into a trap.
  • Last Day on Earth: Morgan crosses paths with a new group of survivors while searching for Carol. Meanwhile, Rick and the group travel to the Hilltop with an ailing Maggie, leading to a daunting confrontation with the man himself.

 

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Universal / Released 8/23/16

The Huntsman: Winter’s War

If it’s the Snow White tale you’re looking for, discover the story that came before…The Huntsman: Winter’s War stars Charlize Theron as the evil Queen Ravenna, who betrays her good sister Freya (Emily Blunt) with an unforgivable act, freezing Freya’s heart to love and unleashing in her an icy power she never knew she possessed.

Retreating to a kingdom far to the north, Freya raises an army of Huntsmen as her protectors, with the only rule that no two of them should ever fall in love. As a war for domination escalates between the two queens, the hero standing between good and evil is Freya’s most elite Huntsman, Eric (Chris Hemsworth). Alongside fellow warrior Sara (Jessica Chastain) — the only woman who has ever captured his heart — Eric must help Freya vanquish her sister or Ravenna’s wickedness will rule for eternity. Extras include deleted scenes, gag reel and featurettes.

 

CBS/Paramount / Released 8/23/16

CBS/Paramount / Released 8/23/16

Elementary: The Fourth Season

Jonny Lee Miller portrays the iconic detective Sherlock Holmes, and Lucy Liu captivates as his legendary investigating partner Dr. Joan Watson in the modern-day drama, Elementary: The Fourth Season.

In the latest season, Holmes struggles to maintain his sobriety and attempts to keep his sanity despite the looming threat of a prison sentence. Meanwhile, the crime-solving duo continues to crack some of the NYPD’s toughest cases when old enemies resurface, former files are reopened and new crimes run rampant close to home.

Yet, the biggest obstacle the duo must face follows the unexpected arrival of Sherlock’s estranged father, Morland Holmes (John Noble). Does he hold their best interest at heart or is he scheming for something far bigger than all of them combined?

Guest stars include David Zayas, John Shea, John Heard, Raphael Sbarge, Kathryn Erbe, Michael O’Keefe, Tom Wopat, John Ventimiglia, Tate Donovan, Kate Burton, Joseph Mazzello, Sarita Choudhury, Richard Kind, James Hong, Virgina Madsen, Tom Everett Scott, and Seth Gilliam. Extras include featurettes.

Includes the episodes:

  • The Past Is Parent: Sherlock faces the consequences of his relapse, and his father arrives to try to fix the situation. Joan and Sherlock, trying to get back on NYPD’s good side, search for a missing woman working the theory she was killed by her husband.
  • Evidence of Things Not Seen: When Morland offers to use his influence to have Sherlock and Joan reinstated as consultants to the NYPD, Sherlock’s mistrust of his father makes him question his motivation to help. Also, with no work offers coming in, Watson wrangles a gig with the FBI investigating a triple homicide in a top secret research lab.
  • Tag, You’re Me: Sherlock and Watson are back working with the NYPD on a double homicide involving a doppelganger of the intended victim. Sherlock offers his consulting services to his father, to help him finish his business in New York.
  • All My Exes Live in Essex: When Holmes and Watson investigate the murder of a fertility lab technician, they discover the woman had a secret personal life that leads them to multiple suspects. Also, the tables are turned on Watson when she’s investigated by an NYPD detective.
  • The Games Underfoot: Sherlock and Joan investigate the murder of a struggling archaeologist who was seemingly killed for some vintage video games he unearthed.
  • The Cost of Doing Business: Morland offers to act as one of his son’s “Irregular” consultants so that he can lend Sherlock and Joan his considerable resources to help them solve a case.
  • Miss Taken: The duo goes against a clever opponent, who forces Holmes to think out of the box. Meanwhile Watson’s troubles with her father are brought into focus when he writes a book about her and Holmes.
  • A Burden of Blood: Sherlock thinks Watson and Det. Bell are having an affair. A series of apparently connected events occur after a murder which forces the detective to question his own theory at every step.
  • Murder Ex Machina: A Russian billionaire is assassinated in New York and Holmes and Watson embark upon several instances of hacking and weaponory business. Meanwhile, a secret about Morland, Sherlock’s father is revealed.
  • Alma Matters: A social worker asks Holmes and Watson to investigate a private college, when she becomes convinced that they have murdered one of her colleagues.
  • Down Where the Dead Delight: When evidence at the morgue is destroyed, suspicion falls on emerging gangs. Holmes believes that identifying a Jane Doe will help him unlock the case, while Watson deals with the reappearance of an old adversary.
  • A View with a Room: Sherlock is recruited to heist a computer from a violent meth dealing motorcycle gang. While a former suspect from a previous case asks Joan to run a background check on her new boss.
  • A Study in Charlotte: When a gathering of mushroom aficionados are found dead, Holmes and Watson must explore an array of botanists, biochemists, academics and stoners for a poisoner.
  • Who Is That Masked Man?: Holmes investigates the assassination attempt on his father while trying to solve the triple homocide of Chinese gangsters. A secret about Sherlock’s mother is revealed.
  • Up to Heaven and Down to Hell: When Watson runs into Captain Gregson and his secret girlfriend, a former NYPD officer, she inadvertently sets the couple’s breakup in motion. Also, Holmes and Watson investigate the murder of a wealthy woman who left her considerable estate solely to a beloved dog.
  • Hounded: At the urging of Morland’s wealthy associate, Henry Baskerville (Tom Everett Scott), Holmes and Watson look into the death of his brother and discover that a witness saw the man chased to his death by a large, glowing animal too fantastic to be real. Sherlock considers intervening when the trauma from the bombing at the morgue negatively impacts ME Hawes’ work.
  • You’ve Got Me, Who’s Got You?: When a vigilante dressed as a comic book hero is murdered, it’s up to Holmes and Watson to find the man’s true identity and locate his killer; Moreland tries to charm Watson into doing him a favor.
  • Ready or Not: Holmes and Watson are called in to help locate a missing doctor. It is unclear at first whether he has gone into hiding or is a victim of foul play. Holmes and Fiona’s relationship takes a new turn.
  • All In: Holmes and Watson investigate a burglary at an illegal high stakes poker game held by Mycroft’s ex girlfriend. Watson is suspicious of their employer.
  • Art Imitates Art: Holmes and Watson investigate the murder of a young woman whose college selfie was turned into a piece of contemporary art. Watson tries to get closer to her half-sister.
  • Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing: When Holmes and Watson are pulled into a double-homicide investigation, they discover the victims were staging a fake murder right at the moment they were killed. Also, Watson’s inside man at Morland’s office encounters a problem that threatens to expose her spying to Holmes and his father.
  • Turn It Upside Down: Sherlock’s father, Morland (John Noble), becomes Sherlock and Joan’s prime suspect in a murder investigation after one of his employees is killed under the guise of a robbery.
  • The Invisible Hand: Sherlock’s suspicions concerning Moriarty’s handiwork turn out to be true and her evil successor is revealed. Morland’s desire for vengeance causes Sherlock to consider just which brand of justice this new villain warrants.
  • A Difference in Kind: Vikner’s diabolical maneuvering to secure his position becomes known. Sherlock concocts a plan to unseat him only to unwittingly enable a power struggle the ends of which he could barely have believed possible.

 

Warner Bros. / Released 8/23/16

Warner Bros. / Released 8/23/16

The Nice Guys

Set in 1970s Los Angeles, down-on-his-luck private eye Holland March (Ryan Gosling) and hired enforcer Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) must work together to solve the case of a missing girl and the seemingly unrelated death of a porn star. During their investigation, they uncover a shocking conspiracy that reaches up to the highest circles of power. The cast also includes Kim Basinger, Keith David, Gil Gerard, Matt Bomer, Hannibal Buress, Angie Everhart, Angourie Rice, and Margaret Qually. Extras include featurettes.

Last Word: It’s safe to say that Shane Black has a gift for capturing all of the best aspects of a buddy cop film. He introduced us to his talents with the Lethal Weapon franchise, and drove home the area of expertise with Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

Now over a decade later, Black has delivered yet another home run with The Nice Guys. Set in the streets of Los Angeles in the 1970s, The Nice Guys explores a time that was being flooded with crime and deceitful bravado. It was a time when good morals seemed to fall by the wayside, and the desire for a hero was prevalent. Contrary to what might be expected, our leads of the film don’t quite fit the typical heroic standard. Instead, Gosling and Crowe combine for some of the best comedic chemistry with their out-of-the- ordinary schemes since Mel Gibson and Danny Glover. They create a duo that leaves the audience applauding their unorthodox tactics, and doubled over in hysterics. To be expected, confident directing from Black, a phenomenal yet surprising cast, and an above average plot filled with the occasional twist and turn made for a recipe that developed a necessary breath of fresh air in this genre.Gosling plays Holland March, a less than stellar detective who is faced with the tasking job of raising his 13 year-old daughter, Holly (Angourie Rice), by his lonesome after his wife was killed in a house explosion. The fact that March approaches this job while also juggling a staunch alcohol dependency clearly doesn’t help things. Despite his lack of expertise, March is hired to track down a porn star by the name of Misty Mountains. We are introduced to Misty in the film’s opening scene when a young boy is seen getting nice and familiar with her centerfold picture in a popular nudie magazine. The boy’s moment is interrupted when a car goes bowling through his house. When he investigates the crash he finds Miss Mountains in a similar position as her photo, only this time she is bloody and dying, which is understandably less erotic.

March flexes what investigative muscles he has and decides to tack down another porn star, Amelia, who has worked with Misty in the past. Not surprisingly, Amelia is one step ahead of March and decided to hire herself some protection in the form of a punch-happy P.I. named Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe). Healy makes it very clear to March that it would be in his best interests to stop pursuing Amelia. In these moments of resistance, Gosling hits his stride and delivers some of the film’s best moments. When the two unconventional investigators realize that there is something fishy in the air of the polluted L.A. streets, they team up to expose the dirt behind a particular adult production. From here, the nice guys are born and the movie takes off. Each and every beat is dripping with vintage Shane Black style and it does not disappoint. The city of L.A. plays as the film’s main villain, and our two pseudo heroes become fan favorites by showing even the smallest amounts of decency in an otherwise filthy world.

The Nice Guys shows us a time where corruption and foul play seem to be taking over in too many facets of life. The pornography industry is on the rise, criminals are infesting the streets and corporate America acts as the puppet master in even the smallest of dealings. Black gives us a story about an eclectic collection of people all trying to get by in a world where decency isn’t the most popular of choices. March and Healy are the perfect escorts to lead us through the story, creating opposing personas that clash and combine in the most splendid way. Healy’s rough and tough attitude is brutal but fair, making him the muscle that you can appreciate. March’s bumbling alcoholism has a charming appeal that creates hilarious and victorious moments when he shows that he just might not be the worst detective in the world. As these two men navigate their way through waters that are often times too deep for them, we can see that deep down they want to do the right thing, as long as it’s for a decent price.

Gosling and Crowe have an immediate on screen chemistry that could take just about any script and make it a worthwhile endeavor. Combining it with great directing and a solid story allowed The Nice Guys to become the smash hit that it is. A few times the movie found itself biting off more than it could chew when it allowed the plot to get a bit too busy with an attempt of getting overly clever with the conflict of the story. The groove and stride lives in the cast and the way they maneuver with each other on the journey. The comedy was fresh, and somewhere lined within the pornography, heavy drinking, and shootouts lies genuine heart that cannot be missed. Most films have their share of blunders, and The Nice Guys’ occasional hiccups of a few missed jokes and some cluttered plot points are more than over looked and outshined by a dominating presence of entertainment.

On the whole, this film provides pieces of comedic gold that have been missing from the movie theater for a long time. The timing and delivery of two actors so completely in sync as well as some vastly underrated choreography pull together to create a delightfully refreshing film. Something about the way Gosling and Crowe manage to be heroes while not having a single heroic characteristic is marvelous. Watching Gosling smash through windows and tumble down hills while at the same time appear to be a knight in shining armor is something that has not been achieved in this genre for too long. Crowe’s portrayal of a brute that just wants to make a difference in the world is a guy that we always root for, but he does it with a pair of brass knuckles, and you can’t not love that. At the end of the film, Gosling and Crowe combine their businesses to form a super group of crime fighting, if you will. Black even seems to tease us with a possible sequel, and you’d have to be a bad guy to not want that. (–Dan Powers)

 

20th Century Fox / Released 8/23/16

20th Century Fox / Released 8/23/16

The Strain: Season 2

The mysterious epidemic transforming the citizens of New York into horrifying creatures continues to rage during the second terrifying season of this acclaimed horror series.

While doctors Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll) and Nora Martinez (Mia Maestro) race to create a biological weapon to destroy the creatures, Abraham Setrakian (David Bradley) relentlessly searches for an ancient book that may hold the key to defeating the sinister “Master.” Aware that he is now hunted by his handful of unlikely allies, the Master creates even more unstoppable bloodthirsty monsters in this darkly thrilling show that delivers nonstop chills from the first episode through the climactic season finale.

Extras include commentary, deleted scenes, featurettes and gag reel.

Includes the episodes:

  • BK, NY: Eph and Nora work on a weapon to kill the strigoi, but Setrakian puts the group at risk by searching for an ancient text, while the Master introduces a new breed of creature and taps Kelly to control it.
  • By Any Means: Vet and Dutch grow closer on a mission to make sure neighborhood buildings are clear. Meanwhile, Eph and Nora perform experiments on their new patients; and Kelly begins her search for Zack.
  • Fort Defiance: Gus and Vaun wage an attack on Palmer as Eph struggles to connect with Zack. Councilwoman Justine Faraldo vows to bring her extermination policies to the other boroughs.
  • The Silver Angel: Eph and Nora finally see their lethal virus in action; Fet takes the security of Red Hook into his own hands; Dutch and Setrakian set off for Staten Island to question Fitzwilliam.
  • Quick and Painless: Eph alters his appearance so he can leave the city, which makes Nora a reluctant parent for Zack. Meanwhile, Dutch and Nora negotiate with Justine to get Fet out of jail.
  • Identity: Eph concocts a plan to make and distribute a bioweapon. Gus realizes Angel can be an unlikely ally, and Kelly comes after Nora and Zack.
  • The Born: Eph returns to New York intent on going after the individual responsible for his friends’ deaths. Meanwhile, Setrakian and Fet launch an attack on the Master using Fitzwilliam’s tip; and Dutch has a surprise visitor.
  • Intruders: Eph must protect Zack against a surprise intruder into Red Hook. Gus convinces the Guptas to make a difficult choice. Fet and Setrakian set out to acquire the Lumen but discover they are not the only potential buyer.
  • Battle for Red Hook: Justine takes drastic measures to counter a surprise invasion. Nora and Fet perform a useful mission while Eph and Setrakian face off against an old foe.
  • The Assassin: Eph and Dutch work to execute Eph’s plan against Palmer. Meanwhile Fet & Dr. Martinez accompany Setrakian on his search for the Lumen’s true owner. And Councilwoman Feraldo makes a bold move in her quest to take New York City back from the Strigoi.
  • Dead End: Gus helps the Guptas get across the border; Fet, Nora and Eph look all over the city for Dutch, who’s in a life-or-death struggle with Eichhorst; Setrakian meets a familiar face while searching for the Occido Lumen.
  • Fallen Light: The Lumen’s auction starts in 24hrs. Setrakian seeks the Ancients backing. Gus seeks allies from his past. Zach’s Grandparents found leaving Eph with a choice. Eldritch discovers the “White” has an unexpected price at Eichhorst’s delight.
  • The Night Train: Setrakian and Fet battle for possession of the Occido Lumen, and gain a surprising new ally. A massive attack imperils Eph, Nora, and Zack’s escape from New York.

 

Starz / Released 8/23/16

Starz / Released 8/23/16

Ash vs Evil Dead

Bruce Campbell reprises his role as Ash Williams, the stock boy, aging lothario and chainsaw-handed monster hunter who has spent the last 30 years avoiding responsibility, maturity and the terrors of the Evil Dead.

When a Deadite plague threatens to destroy all of mankind, Ash is finally forced to face his demons – personal and literal. Destiny, it turns out, has no plans to release the unlikely hero from its “Evil” grip.

The long-awaited follow-up to the classic horror film The Evil Dead, the series is executive produced by the original filmmakers Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and Bruce Campbell with Craig DiGregorio who serves as executive producer and showrunner.

The cast also includes Lucy Lawless as Ruby, a mysterious figure who believes Ash is the cause of the Evil outbreaks, Ray Santiago as Pablo Simon Bolivar, an idealistic immigrant who becomes Ash’s loyal sidekick, Dana DeLorenzo as Kelly Maxwell, a moody wild child trying to outrun her past and Jill Marie Jones as Amanda Fisher, a disgraced Michigan State Trooper set to find our anti-hero Ash and prove his responsibility in the grisly murder of her partner. Extras include commentaries and featurettes.

Includes the episodes:

  • El Jefe: 30 years after his last Deadite fight, badass monster fighter Ash Williams unleashes the Evil in an act of stupidity, bringing Deadite mayhem into his life again.
  • Bait: Special Agent Fisher is tracking Ash. Pablo gets his first taste of blood in a manic showdown, and a revelation changes Kelly’s life forever.
  • Books from Beyond: A mysterious woman finds the destruction at Kelly’s parents’ farm. Meanwhile, Ash, Pablo and Kelly continue their quest with the Necronomicon and Fisher finds herself in another terrifying, inexplicable situation.
  • Brujo: After setting more evil loose from the book Ash, Pablo and Kelly form an unlikely alliance and head to Pablo’s uncle’s house for some answers. Meanwhile Amanda and Ruby find that they have something in common.
  • The Host: Kelly’s current state puts others in jeopardy. This forces Pablo to make a brave move and Ash to reveal a new side to his character.
  • The Killer of Killers: Thanks to his drug-induced vision, Ash knows what to do with the Necronomicon. Pablo and Kelly notice something ominous. Ash promises to visit Lem, but Fisher shows up for an almighty showdown with her former boss.
  • Fire in the Hole: Ash, Kelly and Pablo, now joined by Fisher, look for Lem in the woods but arrive at the militia camp in the midst of chaos and must go to extreme measures to escape. Meanwhile, more is revealed of Ruby’s mission.
  • Ashes to Ashes: Ash attempts to end the Evil, but first he must contend with other, more physical nightmares from his past, returning to the forbidden place where it all began. Fisher faces a horrific change in Ash
  • Bound in Flesh: Ash engages in battle with his greatest nemesis, while Kelly and Pablo must decide whom to trust.
  • The Dark One: In a monumental last-ditch effort to rid the world of the Evil, Ash will be offered a deal that could change him…and mankind forever.

 

Warner Bros. / Released 8/23/16

Warner Bros. / Released 8/23/16

Lucifer: The Complete First Season

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the DVD I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.

Based on the character from DC Entertainment’s Vertigo comic, Lucifer is bored and unhappy as the Lord of Hell, and has resigned his throne and retired to the City of Angels where he is indulging in a few of his favorite things — wine, women and song.

When a beautiful pop star is brutally murdered before his eyes, he feels something awaken deep within him – for the first time in roughly 10 billion years. Is he actually capable of feelings for a human being?

The very thought disturbs him — as well as his best friend and confidante, Mazikeen (aka Maze), a fierce demon in the form of a beautiful young woman. The murder attracts the attention of LAPD homicide detective Chloe Decker, who finds herself both repulsed and fascinated by Lucifer. As they work together to solve the murder, Lucifer is struck by Chloe’s inherent goodness. Used to dealing with the absolute worst of humanity, he begins to wonder if there’s hope yet. Maybe everyone’s got a chance for redemption. Even the Devil.

A tremendously clever and entertaining series, Lucifer is a reminder that last year’s Constantine was victim to being on the wrong network.  It’s fun, but hopefully season two will expand beyond it’s redundant procedural stories.  Right now, it’s little more than a supernatural take on Castle. And like Castle, it’s light, breezy and somewhat forgettable; but, worth the watch.

Extras include 2015 Comic-Con panel, featurettes, character profiles, deleted scenes and gag reel.

Includes the episodes:

  • Pilot: Lucifer has left Hell to take up a life on Earth. When a friend of his is murdered Lucifer joins forces with the good side of the law to discover who the perpetrators are and to give them what they rightfully deserve.
  • Lucifer, Stay. Good Devil.: When a movie star’s son is killed after being chased by the paparazzi, Chloe takes a deep look into the case with a little help from Lucifer. Meanwhile, Maze and Amenadiel continue to encourage Lucifer to go back to hell.
  • The Would-Be Prince of Darkness: An up-and-coming quarterback calls Lucifer after finding a corpse in his pool; Lucifer asks Chloe to help investigate, which leads them into the world of big-money sports.
  • Manly Whatnots: In an effort to get over his infatuation with Chloe, Lucifer decides that he must seduce her. Meanwhile, the two team up on a missing girl case and Amenadiel confronts Maze about his concerns about Lucifer.
  • Sweet Kicks: When Lucifer is attending a fashion show, a girl gets murdered. He then volunteers to help Detective Decker solve the homicide. Mazikeen goes behind Lucifer’s back.
  • Favorite Son: A robbery gone bad leads to Lucifer and Chloe working together. Dan has an unusual encounter with Mazikeen. Chloe suspects Lucifer might be a criminal. Linda chooses to play Lucifer’s game.
  • Wingman: Lucifer gets help from an unlikely source while trying to find the contents of his stolen container; Chloe uncovers a vital clue.
  • Et Tu, Doctor?: The murder of a therapist prompts Lucifer to enlist the help of Dr. Linda to search for a suspect.
  • A Priest Walks Into a Bar: A priest seeks out Lucifer’s help when he suspects an underground drug operation has set up shop at a neighborhood youth center. Meanwhile, Malcolm manipulates a way to keep an eye on Dan.
  • Pops: Lucifer and Chloe suspect a restaurateur’s son played a part in his death; the return of Chloe’s mother sends her life into upheaval.
  • St. Lucifer: When philanthropist Tim Dunlear is found dead, Lucifer explores his good side by becoming a benefactor for Tim’s glitzy Los Angeles charity.
  • #TeamLucifer: The team investigates the death of a woman whose body with “Hail Lucifer” message was found lying in a pentagram.
  • Take Me Back to Hell: When Lucifer is framed for murder, he and Chloe must work together to clear his name and prove the identity of the true killer.

 

Paramount / Released 8/23/16

Paramount / Released 8/23/16

The Man Who Knew Infinity

Written and directed by Matthew Brown, The Man Who Knew Infinity is the true story of friendship that forever changed mathematics.

In 1913, Srinivasa Ramanujan (Dev Patel), a self-taught Indian mathematics genius, traveled to Trinity College, Cambridge, where over the course of five years, forged a bond with his mentor, the brilliant and eccentric professor, G.H. Hardy (Jeremy Irons), and fought against prejudice to reveal his mathematic genius to the world.

The film also stars Devika Bhise, Stephen Fry and Toby Jones. This is Ramanujan’s story as seen through Hardy’s eyes.

 

 

 

Warner Bros. / Released 8/23/16

Warner Bros. / Released 8/23/16

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: Season 1

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the DVD I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.

From the creators of The Flash and Arrow comes this Super Hero team-up that combines characters from both series, as well as new heroes from the DC Comics pantheon.

Having seen the future, one he will desperately try to prevent from happening, time-traveling rogue Rip Hunter is tasked with assembling a disparate group of both heroes and villains to confront the unstoppable threat of the immortal Vandal Savage— a threat which not only puts the world at stake, but all of time itself.

Combining characters from both Arrow and The Flash and introducing new characters from the DC Comics mythology to fight a battle throughout time, Legends of Tomorrow captures the fun and bigger canvas of the comic book universe.  The only stumbling block (which apparently has been addressed with the upcoming season 2 is stretching a single protagonist through a season and across time has a lot of episodes ending with, “That was close, we almost got him!”  What we did get, was a fantastic companion series that does an admirable job making the world t

Extras include featurettes and gag reel.

  • Pilot, Part 1: Time-traveling rogue, Rip Hunter, has to recruit a rag-tag team of heroes and villains to help prevent an apocalypse that could impact not only Earth, but all of time.
  • Pilot, Part 2: The team meet Vandal Savage, who senses the presence of Hawkman and Hawkgirl. A fight follows in which Ray loses a piece of his costume that threatens to change the future. Then the team plan to correct that.
  • Blood Ties: Rip decides to weaken Vandal Savage by going after his financial assets. Rip and Sara infiltrate Savage’s bank, but are discovered by his men. Meanwhile Snart and Rory talk Jax into taking the Waverider back to Central City so they can steal a valuable emerald. Professor Stein guides Ray on a dangerous mission.
  • White Knights: Dr. Stein sneaks into a lab and finds out that Savage is trying to create Firestorm.
  • Fail-Safe: After some of the Legends are captured and thrown into a Russian gulag during the height of the Cold War of 1986, Snart leads the team in an elaborate Prison Break to free their comrades. However, Rip gives Sara a secret side mission that could prove not only to be a liability, but fatal to the team.
  • Star City 2046: A malfunction sends the Waverider to 2046 Star City where the team faces a future in which they fail to stop Savage and return home.
  • Marooned: When there’s no trace of Savage, Rip spends time dwelling on the past and Rory continues to be a liability to the team. The crew receive a distress call from another Time Master and seek it out, only to find that the ship was commandeered by time pirates. Snart has an important decision to make.
  • Night of the Hawk: The team tracks Savage to a small town in Oregon in the 1950s where they suspect he’s involved in a recent string of murders.
  • Left Behind: Ray, Sara and Kendra are stranded in the ’50s when the Waverider takes off without them
  • Progeny: The team is divided over killing a 14-year-old boy who will grow to be a powerful ally for Savage.
  • The Magnificent Eight: The Legends travel back to the Old Wild West and gain the aid of a true legend – a morally ambiguous gunslinger with a penchant for danger named Jonah Hex.
  • Last Refuge: A deadly assassin called the Pilgrim wants to wipe the Legends from the timeline by killing the heroes’ younger selves before they become powerful.
  • Leviathan: Rip takes the team to London in the year 2166, three days before his family is killed. He believes this to be their final opportunity to take out Savage who is, unfortunately, at the height of his power. However, the team discovers two key elements to defeating him – Savage’s daughter and the means to kill Savage once and for all.
  • River of Time: After numerous attempts in many different time periods, the team has successfully captured Vandal Savage. However, Savage tells Kendra that he can reunite her with Carter so she struggles with whether she should kill him. Rip decides they will deliver Savage to the Time Masters which doesn’t sit well with Snart and Rory. The duo decides it may be time to jump ship and return to their old life. Meanwhile, Savage taunts Ray about his place in Kendra’s life.
  • Destiny: Being in the vicinity of the Time Masters leaves Rip and Rory incredibly disturbed for very different reasons. Meanwhile, Sara takes over the Waverider, Kendra is reunited with Carter and Snart decides he might be a hero after all.
  • Legendary: After the numerous sacrifices the team has made since the beginning of this ride, Rip decides that it’s time they each decide their own destiny and returns them to Central City a few months after they first left. Returned to their normal lives, each team member must individually decide if they are willing to sacrifice everything in order to save the world. Meanwhile, Sara visits with her father who delivers some heartbreaking news about her sister.

 

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MPI Home Video / Released 8/23/16

Weiner

Anthony Weiner was a young congressman on the cusp of higher office when a sexting scandal forced a humiliating resignation. Just two years later, he ran for mayor of New York, betting that his ideas would trump his indiscretions.

With unprecedented access to Weiner, his family and his campaign team, the universally acclaimed Weiner is a thrilling look inside a political comeback-turned-meltdown. What begins as an unprecedented surge to the top of the polls takes a sharp turn once Weiner is forced to admit to new sexting allegations. He desperately tries to forge ahead, but the increasing pressure and crippling 24-hour news coverage halt his political aspirations.

With the city of New York as a loud and bustling backdrop, Weiner  walks the line between political farce and personal tragedy as it plunges through an increasingly baffling campaign with unflinching clarity, humor and pathos.

The IFC Films theatrical release won the U.S. Grand Jury Prize for documentary at the Sundance Film Festival. Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post said the film “pivots from the mother of all comeback stories to an alternately fascinating, mystifying and appalling portrait of the quest for power at its most obsessive and self-destructive.”

 

Lionsgate / Released 8/23/16

Lionsgate / Released 8/23/16

The Duel

A Texas Ranger (Liam Hemsworth) investigates a series of murders in the small town of Helena, led by a charismatic preacher (Woody Harrelson).

However, the routine undercover investigation soon turns personal for the Ranger who must solve the case before he loses everything to the mysterious town.

Extras include commentary.

 

 

 

 

 

Lionsgate/ Released 8/23/16

Lionsgate/ Released 8/23/16

Narcos: Season 1

With electrifying performances and action sequences charged with heart-pounding suspense, Narcos follows the true-life story of the rise of international cocaine cartels — and the battle waged by law enforcement to stop them.

At the center of the conflict are Pablo Escobar (Wagner Moura), the notorious Colombian drug kingpin, and the two DEA agents sent to take him down: Steve Murphy (Boyd Holbrook) and Javier Peña (Pedro Pascal).

Extras include featurettes, deleted scenes and commentary.

Includes the episodes:

 

  • Descenso: Chilean drug chemist Cockroach brings his product to Colombian smuggler Pablo Escobar. DEA agent Steve Murphy joins the war on drugs in Bogota.
  • The Sword of Simón Bolivar: Communist radical group M-19 makes a move against the narcos, while Murphy gets an education in Colombian law enforcement from his new partner Peña.
  • The Men of Always: Murphy encounters the depths of government corruption when he and Peña try to derail Escobar’s political ambitions by proving he’s a narco.
  • The Palace in Flames: Despite a new extradition treaty, the U.S. puts more money into fighting communism, creating new challenges for Murphy and Peña in the hunt for Pablo.
  • There Will Be a Future: Pablo’s extreme methods put the narcos on the brink of war with Carillo and the government. Peña tries to protect his witness.
  • Explosivos: Peña and Carillo close in on Gacha. Murphy tries to protect pro-extradition candidate Gaviria from a notorious assassin connected to Pablo.
  • You Will Cry Tears of Blood: Pablo goes into hiding as the political tide turns against him, but he finds a way to strike back. Murphy and Peña finally get the CIA to help them.
  • La Gran Mentira: A tragic mistake forces the government to change tactics in the fight against Pablo. But Pablo faces bigger threats from inside his empire.
  • La Catedral: The hunt for Pablo seems to be over after he makes a deal with the government, but Murphy and Peña – and the Cali Cartel – have other plans.
  • Despegue: Pablo’s activities in prison provoke the government into taking extreme action. Murphy and Peña face a situation of their own.

 

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Released 8/23/16

 Clown

The clown cancelled. Jack’s 10th birthday is a bust until his dad, Kent, finds a clown suit and saves the party. His wife Meg really appreciates it. She tries to show him just how much, but the clown suit won’t come off.

At first Kent only has to put up with weird looks, going to work as a clown, but something’s wrong. He can feel himself changing, an uncontrollable hunger overwhelming him as the suit becomes part of his skin.

Kent searches for a way to get the cursed suit off. He confronts a horrifying, forgotten legend.

Today clowns are silly characters, but long ago the true nature of the “Cloyne” was very different. A demon who lived in the frozen mountains, the Cloyne descended to villages to devour one child for every month of winter.

As the demon was forgotten, the snow-white skin and bloodstained face became the make-up of travelling entertainers. Kent has to figure out how to stop the demon before he BECOMES the Cloyne… forever. From Spider-Man: Homecoming director Jon Watts, Clown stars Andy Powers, Laura Allen, Peter Stormare, Christian Distefano, Chuck Shamata and Elizabeth Whitmere.  Extras include a featurette.

 

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Acorn Media / Released 8/23/16

Clean Break, Season 1

The thrilling, atmospheric four-part crime drama explores just how far desperation and greed will drive the residents of one small Irish town.

Adam Fergus (Being Erica) stars as a car dealer whose life is falling apart around him. Before he loses everything, he devises a reckless kidnapping plan to fix his money problems while also getting revenge on the people making his life miserable.

Includes the episodes:

  • Episode One: Frank Mallon is a man facing ruin. His wife has left him, his daughter Corrina is out of control and the bank is about to seize his home and his business. When a tiger kidnapping goes wrong, Frank’s world starts spinning out of control and suddenly the answer to all his problems puts him under more pressure than ever before.
  • Episode Two: Injured and on the run Danny Dempsey desperately needs somewhere to hide. With word spreading quickly about the kidnapping it won’t be long before someone figures out who else is involved. Meanwhile, the kidnappers have to take drastic action to keep their hands on the money and stay out of the clutches of the law.
  • Episode Three: The Rane family return home after their ordeal. While Desmond is keen for things to go back to normal Annette is still haunted by what has happened and can’t understand how detached both Desmond and Jenny appear to be. As the police continue with their investigation Danny is still in hiding and it appears that the kidnappers aren’t the only ones looking for him.
  • Episode Four: In the final episode of Clean Break the wall of silence that surrounds the Rane kidnapping is about to collapse. Frank has reached breaking point and is about to bring the whole house of cards down around him, unmasking the enemies who are out to destroy him and anyone who stands in their way. Meanwhile Jenny’s curiosity leads her to discover vital evidence that could place her in grave danger.

 

Time Life / Released 8/23/16

Time Life / Released 8/23/16

The Wonder Years: The Complete Series

For six seasons, The Wonder Years captured the angst of growing up in suburban middle-class America. It was 1968 — the year of Nixon, space walks, Mod Squad, and Vietnam.

Enter Kevin Arnold (Fred Savage), a sixth grader at Kennedy Junior High School. Set against the suburban backdrop of Anytown, USA, Kevin sought to minimize his teenage angst while dealing with an older, noogie-happy brother Wayne (Jason Hervey), a rebellious sister, Karen (Olivia d’Abo), distant, workaholic father, Jack (Dan Lauria) and doting housewife mother, Norma (Alley Mills). Add to the mix Paul Pfeiffer (Josh Saviano), his nerdy, allergy-riddled best friend, a potential love interest in winsome girl-next-door Winnie Cooper (Danica McKellar) and narration by an older, wiser, wittier Kevin (voiced by Daniel Stern) to add perspective to the nostalgia, and you have the perfect recipe for TV greatness. And, for the next six seasons, America tuned in to follow Kevin’s exploits, as he navigated adolescence in the most memorable of ways.

This 22-DVD set contains all 115 episodes from the six seasons of this landmark series that aired from 1988 to 1993. Included in this specially-priced slipcase set are complete show notes with episode synopses, cast member reflections, “Current Events,” and more plus nearly 12 hours of bonus material, as well as an astounding soundtrack of over 300 classic period songs as they were featured in the original broadcasts featuring such artists as: Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, The Byrds, Simon & Garfunkel, Aretha Franklin, James Taylor, and of course, Joe Cocker’s unforgettable theme. Among the guest stars Giovanni Ribisi, Robert Picardo, Ben Stein, Juliette Lewis, David Schwimmer, Dante Basco, Justin Whalin, Dustin Diamond, Robin Thicke, Seth Green, Peter Billingsley, John Corbett, Soleil Moon Frye, Mark-Paul Vosselaar, Brechin Meyer, Liz Torres, Lindsay Price, Lorenz Tate, Ben Savage, Chad Allen, Brice Beckham, Mark Boone Junior, Jonathan Brandis, Paul Dooley, Gerrit Graham, Carla Gugino, Heather McComb, Marguerite Moreau, Melora Walters, Jim Caviezel, Paul Gleason, Lance Guest, Monty Hall, Alicia Silverstone, Eric Dane, A.J. Langer, Barney Martin, Timothy Stack, James Tolkan, and Ayre Gross.

Exclusive bonus features include the first cast reunion in 16 years and interviews with all 7 main cast members, the creators, narrator, guest stars, and many more! Plus, ten newly-produced featurettes and never-before-seen outtakes of Kevin and Winnie’s first kiss! The series includes more than 300 songs as they were featured in the original broadcast, including Joe Cocker’s unforgettable rendition of the Beatles’ “With A Little Help From My Friends.”

 

Kino Lorber / Released 8/23/16

Kino Lorber / Released 8/23/16

The Nymphets

Joe, a well-to-do 30-something, encounters two rowdy young girls late one night outside a bar and impulsively invites them back to his loft.

The three begin to party hard, and despite their age difference they flirt with reckless abandon, each one eager to provoke the others. When it’s revealed that Joe has a girlfriend and that their relationship is on the rocks, the teasing becomes increasingly manic and destructive.

As the night escalates, it becomes clear that Joe and the girls will go to great lengths to get their kicks.

 

 

 

 

Disney / Released 8/30/16

Disney / Released 8/30/16

Disney’s The Jungle Book

In this reimagining of the classic collection of stories by Rudyard Kipling, director Jon Favreau uses visually stunning CGI to create the community of animals surrounding Mowgli (Neel Sethi), a human boy adopted by a pack of wolves.

The appearance of a villainous tiger named Shere Khan (voiced byIdris Elba) forces Mowgli’s guardian, the panther Bagheera (Ben Kingsley), to shepherd the child to safety in the “man village.” Along the way, the boy meets an affable, lazy bear named Baloo (Bill Murray), as well as a snake with hypnotic powers (Scarlett Johansson) and an orangutan (Christopher Walken) who wants to harness the power of fire. Lupita Nyong’o, Giancarlo Esposito, and Garry Shandling also lend their voices to this adventure tale. Extras include featurettes and commentary.

Last Word: I found myself bursting at the seams with simultaneous nostalgia, zeal and cinematic affection during Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book, a film which feels so instantaneously classic and modern that to describe its appeal is somewhat difficult to accurately nail on the head.

To imbibe its narrative is akin to an Old Fashioned served straight up, with a hefty serving of meat-and-potatoes style three-act structure.

However, on an aesthetic level, it’s as if your visual taste buds have never quite encountered these mechanical familiarities before—seen this way, felt this way, experienced this way.

Those familiar with Rudyard Kipling’s books and the 1967 animated Walt Disney film know the story. Mowgli, a “man cub” raised by wolves, must reluctantly leave the family he’s come to know and return to the “man village” after his life is threatened by the man-hungry tiger Shere Khan. Venturing off into the jungle with his panther guardian, Bagheera, and later encountering the blithe bear Balloo, Mowgli learns life lessons and how to face his fears through adventure, danger, and everything in between.

And for those unfamiliar, I envy you as Favreau’s film is one hell of a way to be initiated.

It’s a movie that wholeheartedly understands the whole of heart that goes into the tale, lovingly shaping its gorgeous environment, dynamic characters and thrilling, tender story into a film that is at once marvelous, delightful, harrowing and hilarious. I encountered similar sentiments to what I felt during last year’s Cinderella adaptation by Kenneth Branagh—“if a live action version of this classic story must exist, this is the ideal version. I can’t imagine it any other way.”

And I really can’t imagine a better Jungle Book than what Favreau has given us. Everything just feels right. Using the latest moviemaking technology, the fabricated world feels overwhelmingly authentic—the ground, the sky, and everything in between is wonderful and immersive, and while I’ll always choose 2D over 3D because I’m a fan of colors, the third dimension admittedly accomplishes great feats in adding depth to this richly-designed world.

And the characters within make this a world worth getting lost in. Newcomer Neel Sethi makes for an inquisitive, affable and stirring Mowgli, holding in his own in an atmosphere where realistically he is the only warm body on screen. However, the digitally rendered talking animals of the film creates wonders to behold, and the voice casting is among some of the most impeccable I’ve ever seen.

Scarlett Johansson’s transfixing voice fits seamlessly with hypnotic serpent, Kaa. Sir Ben Kingsley makes for a noble Bagheera, and Idris Elba voices a terrifying Shere Khan. The late Garry Shandling transforms into a bumbling porcupine, while Jon Favreau himself and also Sam Raimi show up in bit parts that momentarily turn the film into a fantastic screwball comedy.

But the MVP undoubtedly is Bill Murray, who essentially just plays himself in bear form while voicing the carefree Balloo. Runner-up is Christopher Walken as King Louie, his unmatched vocal cadence brilliantly erupting with Walken-esque lines such as “I got ears. My ears got ears, kid” and engaging in the wonderful “Doo, doo, doo” melody of the film’s second most famous song after “Bare Necessities,” “I Wanna Be Like You.” I’ll also be damned if I see a better creative decision/cultural nod than the fact that Walken’s character is called to action by a cowbell.

Overall, this is a trip worth taking. Molded with care and exploding with affection and adventure, this may be Favreau’s very best film to date in a career that has gone from Swingers to superheroes.

Here, he finds his footing in a universal tale that anybody can relate to. I felt like a kid being told a bedtime story. At the same time, I also felt like an adult witnessing a spectacular film. Favreau draws out every part of us in the truest definition of movie magic, stripping down the bare necessities of narrative then building it back up into something that shines, stirs and will unquestionably stand the test of time.  (– Greg Vellante)

 

Kino Lorber / Released 8/30/16

Kino Lorber / Released 8/30/16

Destiny

A dizzying blend of German Romanticism, Orientalism, and Expressionism, Fritz Lang’s Destiny (Der müde Tod) marked a bold step for Lang, away from the conventional melodrama and into the kind of high-concept filmmaking that would culminate in such über-stylized works as Die Nibelungen and Metropolis.

Destiny is a visually ambitious, cinematic allegory in which a young woman (Lil Dagover) confronts the personification of Death (Bernhard Goetzke), in an effort to save the life of her fiancé (Walter Janssen).

She is transported to a Gothic cathedral, where lives are represented as burning candles of varying length.

Death weaves three romantic tragedies, and offers to unite the girl with her lover, if she can prevent the death of the lovers in at least one of the episodes. Thus begin three exotic scenarios of ill-fated love, in which the woman must somehow reverse the course of destiny: Persia, Quattrocento Venice, and a fancifully-rendered ancient China.

Restored by Anke Wilkening on behalf of the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung, this definitive presentation of Destiny preserves the original German intertitles and simulates the historic color tinting and toning of its initial release. Accompanying the film is a newly-composed score by Cornelius Schwehr performed by the Berlin Rundfunk Symphony Orchestra. Extras include commentary, restoration demonstration footage and 2016 re-release trailer.

 

Warner Bros. / Released 8/30/16

Warner Bros. / Released 8/30/16

Me Before You

Often times you find love where you least expect it. Sometimes it takes you where you never expected to go…

Louisa “Lou” Clark (Emilia Clarke) lives in a quaint town in the English countryside. With no clear direction in her life, the quirky and creative 26-year-old goes from one job to the next in order to help her tight-knit family make ends meet.

Her normally cheery outlook is put to the test, however, when she faces her newest career challenge. Taking a job at the local “castle,” she becomes caregiver and companion to Will Traynor (Sam Claflin), a wealthy young banker who became wheelchair bound in an accident two years prior, and whose whole world changed dramatically in the blink of an eye. No longer the adventurous soul he once was, the now cynical Will has all but given up.

That is until Lou determines to show him that life is worth living. Embarking together on a series of adventures, both Lou and Will get more than they bargained for, and find their lives—and hearts—changing in ways neither one could have imagined. The cast also includes Matthew Lewis, Jenna Coleman and Charles Dance.

Is it worth watching?  That depends on how you feel about crying.  It’s hard not to get caught up with the emotions the fill the film to the very top.  Life’s not fair at times, and love is even less so.  But, if you believe in love and hope and destiny and can appreciate a film that deals with these issues and more in a completely non cynical way.  You root for these characters.  Not only because you like them, but also because you want them to achieve the happiness they deserve.  Extras include featurette, outtakes, deleted scenes and trailers.

 

Warner Bros. / Released 8/30/16

Warner Bros. / Released 8/30/16

Arrow: The Complete Fourth Season

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the DVD I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.

After defeating his most formidable foe to date and riding off into the sunset with longtime flame Felicity Smoak, Oliver Queen (aka The Arrow) left Star City with the hopes of beginning a new life. But will Oliver ever truly be able to leave behind his past as The Arrow, and, if so, what becomes of the team he has worked so hard to assemble?

Will military vet John Diggle, Oliver’s sister Thea Queen, and lawyer-turned-vigilante Laurel Lance continue Oliver’s fight without him? And with Malcolm Merlyn having ascended to the top of the League of Assassins as the new Ra’s al Ghul, is anyone really safe?

Guest stars and recurring cast members include Neal McDonough, Grant Gustin, Audrey Marie Anderson, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Echo Kellum, Alexander Calvert, Jeri Ryan, Caity Lotz, Katrina Law, Rutina Wesley, Matt Ryan, Brandon Routh, Charlotte Ross, Eugene Byrd, Parker Young, Elysia Rotaru, Jimmy Akingbola, Danielle Panabaker, Carlos Valdes, Ciara Renée, Caper Crump, Falk Henschel, Anna Hopkins, Rila Fukushima, Colton Haynes, Tom Amandes, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Amy Gumenick, Emily Kinney, Alex Kingston, and Vinnie Jones.  Extras include 2015 Comic-Con panel, featurettes, deleted scenes and gag reel.

The fourth season is wildly uneven as we see Oliver attempting a normal life before being called back into the Team Arrow business when Star City finds itself at risk once again.  More than ever, this season’s flashbacks seemed tedious and the mythology overwhelming.  What was once a charming relationship between Oliver and Felicity has stumbled once too often; and the cohesive team dynamic is splintered.  That being said, when Arrow works, it’s fantastic; and when it doesn’t it’s mired in stupidity and redundancy.  The upcoming season promises to shake up the status quo, so I am looking forward to that.

Includes the episodes:

  • Green Arrow: Oliver and Felicity must return home to Starling City to help the team against attacks by “ghost” assassins led by a new enemy, Damien Darhk, which forces Oliver to put on the hood once more.
  • The Candidate: Oliver and Thea are concerned when a family friend plans to run for mayor; Thea starts to exhibit side effects from the Lazarus Pit; Felicity asks an employee for help with a business decision.
  • Restoration: The growing tension between Oliver and Diggle puts both their lives at risk when they go after Damien Darhk and a H.I.V.E. deployed meta-human. Meanwhile, Laurel talks Thea into returning to Nanda Parbat to ask her father to put Sara into the Lazarus Pit. However, Laurel is surprised when Nyssa refuses to do it.
  • Beyond Redemption: Laurel must deal with the repercussions of taking Sara to Nanda Parbat. Meanwhile, Oliver asks Captain Lance for a favor and while he’s not surprised at the response, he is surprised at what he finds out next.
  • Haunted: When things take a turn for the worse with Sara, Oliver calls in a favor from an old friend who deals in the mystical, John Constantine
  • Lost Souls: Felicity is frantic when she learns that Ray is alive and being held by Damien Darhk. Sara joins the team on a rescue mission as Felicity’s guilt over not finding Ray sooner causes tension between her and Oliver.
  • Brotherhood: Team Arrow’s ongoing battle with Damien Darhk is complicated by a shocking revelation. Meanwhile, Thea’s bloodlust returns and she loses control in front of Alex
  • Legends of Today (Flash crossover episode, Part 1): When Vandal Savage attacks Kendra Saunders, Barry takes Kendra to Starling City, seeking Oliver’s protection; Harrison asks Jay to test a new serum to make Barry run faster.
  • Legends of Yesterday (Part 2): Oliver and Barry hide Kendra and Carter in a remote location while they try to figure out how to defeat Vandal Savage; Felicity, Thea, Diggle and Laurel work to come up with a weapon to destroy Vandal.
  • Dark Waters: After the city is attacked again, Oliver makes a bold move against HIVE, but Damien Darhk retaliates in a brutal manner at Oliver’s mayoral holiday party.
  • Blood Debts: Oliver must deal with the devastating consequences of Darhk’s last attack. Seeking revenge, Oliver goes on a brutal manhunt looking for Dahrk.
  • A.W.O.L.: An agent of Shadowspire who was an enemy from Diggle and Andy’s wartime past shows up to Star City. Diggle must learn to trust Andy but he got more than he wanted about their shared time from war. Oliver however must learn a new way of life when Felicity is now in a wheelchair and receives her codename.
  • Unchained: The team faces off against a formidable villain nicknamed The Calculator. Meanwhile, Nyssa makes her move and Roy Harper returns to Star City.
  • Sins of the Father: Oliver receives an offer from Nyssa that is hard to refuse, Meanwhile Thea continues to battle the bloodlust Malcolm steps in to help his daughter, and Laurel has a Heart to Heart talk with Nyssa.
  • Code of Silence: Team Arrow uncovers HIVE’s plan to take them out for good, leading Lance to wonder if Donna is better off without him and Oliver to consider telling Felicity about his son.
  • Taken: Oliver calls in his old friend Vixen for help in fighting Darhk, while Thea has a heart-to-heart talk with Malcolm.
  • Broken Hearts: Following the events of William’s kidnapping, Darhk has become less powerful, but Carrie Cutter, a.k.a. Cupid, has emerged into Star City to cause chaos on the city and the Green Arrow.
  • Beacon of Hope: The Bug-Eyed Bandit escapes from jail and turns up at Palmer Tech threatening to kill everyone in the building unless she gets the bio-chip that was implanted in Felicity’s spine.
  • Eleven-Fifty-Nine: Oliver and Diggle find out Merlyn wants to break Darhk out of prison; Laurel gets a surprise offer.
  • Canary Cry: Oliver and the team struggle to come to terms with a Laurel’s death, especially Diggle who is overwhelmed with guilt for choosing to believe Andy had changed and Lance, who refuses to believe she’s gone and asks Nyssa to help bring her back.
  • Genesis: As Oliver and Felicity look for a magical solution to defeat Darhk, a vengeance-driven Diggle gets a lead on Andy’s whereabouts and heads off to confront his brother. Meanwhile, Alex takes Thea on a vacation that quickly turns into a nightmare.
  • Monument Point: When Team Arrow learns what Damien Darhk’s next move is, Felicity realizes she needs to ask her father, Noah Kuttler, for help. Noah and Oliver have a heart to heart talk that leaves Oliver rattled.
  • Lost in the Flood: Following the shocking events in the previous episode, Oliver and Diggle race to rescue Thea, while Felicity, Curtis and Noah join together to stop Darhk.
    Watch Now
  • Schism: Oliver teams up with a surprising force in an attempt to stop Damien Darhk and his magic once and for all.

 

Warner Bros. / Released 8/30/16

Warner Bros. / Released 8/30/16

Shameless: The Complete Sixth Season

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the DVD I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.

Scrappy, stubborn and strong, the Gallaghers are tested by changing times, but Season Six finds them older, wiser and better at playing the system. Accustomed to their natural state of chaos, the Gallaghers are as surprised as anyone at how life is turning out for them. But as they come into their own and find out who they really are, is it really possible that they might grow apart for good?

During Season Six of Shameless, Frank (William H. Macy) continues to grieve the loss of Bianca, while his newfound appreciation for life is freaking everyone out. Debbie (Emma Kenney) has decisions to make about her pregnancy while Fiona (Emmy Rossum) learns that she too, is expecting.

Lip (Jeremy Allen White) is still in a dangerous relationship with one of his college professors. Ian (Cameron Monaghan) is adjusting to taking his meds and finding a new purpose in life. Carl (Ethan Cutkosky) is released early after serving time in juvenile detention. And just when they think it couldn’t get any worse, the Gallagher clan faces the possibility of losing their home when they are served with an eviction notice. Extras include featurettes and deleted scenes.

If there were ever a series that’s both an acquired taste and deserving of a wider audience, it’s Shameless, a raunchy family dramedy focused on the very bottom of the 99%.

William H. Macy plays alcoholic patriarch Frank Gallagher, father of six.  Emmy Rossum plays his eldest daughter, Fiona, who is the substitute mother for her five younger, and often delinquent siblings.  Based on the British series of the same name, Shameless’ characters are basically awful people, doing fairly awful things, but often with the very best intentions.  But they are likable, and the series is addicting to watch.

Includes The Episodes:

  • I Only Miss Her When I’m Breathing: Frank is struggling with the loss of a loved one. Fiona gets a promotion at the diner. Mickey is handling business behind bars. Debbie is making a decision with her pregnancy.
  • #AbortionRules: Debbie carries a bag of flour around all day – determined to prove Fiona wrong about her ability to raise a child while going to school. She quickly realizes people are not as accommodating to mothers and babies as she hoped.
  • The F Word: Debbie is still determined to keep her baby and turns to Frank for support, while Fiona decides to abort her’s. Ian starts a new job on campus. Carl is trying to impress a girl. Kev got sucked in a neighborhood feud.
  • Going Once, Going Twice: Fiona confronts Patrick about the eviction notice, but her only choice is to get a mortgage from the bank and bid on the house at auction. Ian bakes cookies for the firehouse and discovers he was saved by the shift of gay firemen.
  • Refugees: While Frank helps Erica through the cancer concierge process, Debbie ups her game as a shoulder for Tyler to lean on. Meanwhile, Lip tries to protect Helene from the fallout of Amanda’s disclosure, but she won’t talk to or see him anymore.
  • NSFW: Fiona goes through with her abortion, and can’t let go of her feud with her pregnant sister Debbie, who receives further news about her baby. Lip faces the music for his relationship with his professor, while Frank’s ‘patient’ Erica has an update on her cancer treatment. Grim reality sets in for Carl when Nick runs into trouble, and Fiona hits some obstacles in an attempt to buy back the Gallagher family home.
  • Pimp’s Paradise: Carl struggles with Nick’s absence, continuing to put up false hood bravado. He takes over the Gallagher home, remaking it as his “crib” and inviting his friends over to party and make music. Frank and Queenie rule the house – and Debbie returns when she’s let go by Erica and Tyler.
  • Be a Good Boy. Come for Grandma: Fiona, now living with Sean, attempts to get his son, Will, to like her. He starts to come around, but when Will snags one of Carl’s guns at the Gallagher house, Sean catches him and is furious with Fiona, worried he’ll lose custody.
  • A Yurt of One’s Own: Fiona tries to make amends with Sean, who isn’t giving her the time of day. Meanwhile, Debbie and Queenie travel to a rural commune along with Frank who is trying to escape G-Dogg – who’s after him for stealing his drugs.
  • Paradise Lost: Sean officially moves into the Gallagher house as Fiona, intent on getting her marriage right this time, sets out to plan a traditional wedding. Meanwhile, Kev is not happy about V and Svetlana’s pending green card marriage and tries to find a way around it. While he’s off getting scammed, however, the girls take matters into their own hands.
  • Sleep No More: Frank offers to pay for Fiona’s wedding reception and then goes scamming around town to raise the money. Meanwhile, Sean fears that Frank will end up hurting Fiona and calls him on it. Their difference of opinion quickly descends into a brawl.
  • Familia Supra Gallegorious Omnia!: It’s wedding day for Fiona and Sean. But their happiness is interrupted when Frank shows up uninvited…and high.

 

Sony / Released 8/30/16

Sony / Released 8/30/16

The Night Manager: Uncensored Edition

The Night Manager is the first television adaptation of a le Carré novel in more than 20 years and brings together love, loss and revenge in a complex story of modern criminality.

The thrilling miniseries follows hotel manager Jonathan Pine (Tom Hiddleston) in his quest to bring down international arms dealer Richard Roper (Hugh Laurie).

After being recruited by a British intelligence officer to infiltrate Roper’s inner circle,Pine must withstand the suspicious interrogations of his venal chief of staff Major Corkoran (Tom Hollander) and the allure of his beautiful girlfriend Jed (Elizabeth Debicki).

In his quest to do the right thing, he must first become a criminal himself.

Includes the episodes:

  • Episode 1: Hotel night manager Jonathan Pine receives a plea for help from a well-connected guest. His actions draw him into the world of Richard Roper, a businessman and arms dealer.
  • Episode 2: On the Mediterranean island of Mallorca, Roper’s life of luxury and calm is shattered. Six months earlier, Burr continues her recruitment of Pine, sending him to Devon to build his cover story.
  • Episode 3: While he continues to recuperate in Roper’s villa, Pine starts to dig up secrets about the other members of the household. Meanwhile, Burr and Steadman seize on an opportunity to recruit a new asset.
  • Episode 4: Roper welcomes Pine into his inner circle, leaving Corky out in the cold. Meanwhile, Burr has concerns for the safety of her source when she suspects key information has been leaked to the River House.
  • Episode 5: A suspicious Roper gathers his entourage around him in an attempt to root out the traitor, forcing Pine to play a dangerous game. In London, Burr and Steadman face mounting opposition from Whitehall.
  • Episode 6: Roper and his team return to Cairo for the deal, reuniting Pine with an old enemy. Pine risks it all to put his plan in motion. A discredited Burr makes one last stand.

 

Disney / Released 8/30/16

Disney / Released 8/30/16

Star Wars Rebels: The Complete Season 2

This thrilling continuation of the Star Wars Rebels saga depicts the continued efforts of the crew of the starship Ghost to defeat the evil Empire.

Amid growing Imperial oppression on Lothal, the rebels are forced to seek out new allies throughout the galaxy and additional resources to sustain their fight against the Empire. With the help of Ahsoka Tano, the crew of the Ghost bands together with a secret rebel cell and ex-soldiers from the Clone Wars to join a fledgling alliance determined to restore peace and freedom to the galaxy.

As Ezra continues his journey to become a Jedi under Kanan’s guidance, the threat of the dark side looms large over the fate of the growing rebellion. Darth Vader himself will dispatch new Inquisitors to snuff any spark of resistance, setting the stage for a climactic showdown in which past lives will be revealed, terrible truths will be discovered, and the lives of our heroes will be changed forever.

An amazing addition to the Star Wars Saga, Rebels continues to be a fresh and imaginative series that adds to the mythology, while carving out it’s unique niche.  The series, “feels” like Star Wars, capturing the excitement, humor and energy of the original trilogy.

Extras include featurettes, and episode recons.

Episodes include:

  • The Siege of Lothal: When the rebel crew plan to evacuate, Ezra disagrees to let the people be in danger of the empire and gets some unpleasant company.
  • The Lost Commanders: The Rebels run into Captain Rex and his gang on a desert planet.
  • Relics of the Old Republic: Ezra and the crew begin to develop friendships with Captain Rex and his colleagues, prompting them to work together against an attack by Agent Kallus.
  • Always Two There Are: Ezra, Sabine, Zeb and Chopper travel to an abandoned medical station.
  • Brothers of the Broken Horn: Ezra and Chopper take “The Phantom” to investigate a distress call from a smuggler’s ship, where Ezra is tempted to join the crew of Hondo Ohnaka.
  • Wings of the Master: Hera goes on a dangerous mission to acquire a new ship, the B-Wing.
  • Blood Sisters: On a mission to escort a courier with secret information vital to the rebel cause to a rendezvous point, Sabine must face off against her old friend and partner.
  • Stealth Strike: A new Imperial ship captures Ezra, Commander Sato, and his crew, forcing Kanan and the clone to go undercover as stormtroopers to free the rebels.
  • The Future of the Force: Ezra and Kanan are sent to investigate the “retrievals” being made by the Inquisitors, learning of their plot to capture Force-sensitive infants.
  • Legacy: As the Empire attacks the Rebels, Ezra is drawn to information about his parents and their fate.
  • A Princess on Lothal: An Ade to Bail Organa is sent to Lothal with ships for the Rebel fleet, but an imperial lockdown forces the Rebels to come up with a new plan to steal the vehicles.
  • The Protector of Concord Dawn: In need of new hyperspace routes due to Imperial pressure, the rebels find a shortcut but must gain permission from the leader of the nearby system.
  • Legends of the Lasat: The rebels are stunned to discover two Lasat refugees, and together they must evade the Empire to get the Lasat to their prophesized new home planet.
  • The Call: On a mission to obtain fuel for the rebel fleet, the crew protects space creatures from the mining operation that threatens the creatures’ lives.
  • Homecoming: The Ghost crew journeys to Ryloth to aid a rebellion cell.
  • The Honorable Ones: Zeb and Agent Kallus are stranded on a frozen planet together and must work together to survive.
  • Shroud of Darkness: Kanan, Ezra, and Ahsoka return to the Jedi Temple on Lothal to find out how the Inquisitors have continually been able to track the Rebels.
  • The Forgotten Droid: When Chopper’s attempts to buy a new leg fails, he ends up stealing one and escaping on an imperial ship where he makes friends with an inventory droid.
  • The Mystery of Chopper Base: The crew lands on the new base on a strange desert planet inhabited strange spider like creatures. Ahsoka,Kanan and Ezra prepare to solve the Mystery of Darth Vader.
  • Twilight of the Apprentice: Ahsoka, Kanan, and Ezra head to Malachor to find a Sith temple. While there they battle inquisitors, Darth Vader and the old master.

 

Image Entertainment / Released 8/30/16

Image Entertainment / Released 8/30/16

The Phenom

Ever since Hopper (Johnny Simmons) was a child, he has dreamed of becoming a major-league pitcher.

Relentlessly pushed by his abusive father (Ethan Hawke), he’s on the verge of becoming one of the game’s most promising players when he unexpectedly breaks down on the mound.

Now, Hopper’s only hope lies with an unorthodox sports therapist (Paul Giamatti), who urges him to let go of the past so he can find success on the field.

Extras include featurette, gallery and trailers.

 

 

 

Shout! Factory / Released 8/30/16

Shout! Factory / Released 8/30/16

Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir: Spots On!

When the treacherous Hawk Moth uses his evil energy to transform the citizens of Paris into super villains, only two amazing heroes stand in his way: Ladybug and Cat Noir! With the help of their magical pets, this incredible duo team up to outwit Hawk Moth and keep their city safe… but their biggest challenge might be getting through junior high school.

You see, Ladybug and Cat Noir are actually Marinette and Adrien, a pair of young students who live what seems to be a normal life. But even for these two, it’s hard to juggle schoolwork, friends, family and growing up when every day is a super-powered adventure!

Featuring six more incredible episodes from the action-packed animated series, Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir: Spots On is a high-flying collection of heroic adventure that’ll have you bugging out!

Episodes include:

  • The Evillustrator: Ladybug has to stop the Evillustrator, an akumatized boy who wants revenge against Chloé. She has her hands full protecting against his creative threats, especially when learning he has a crush on Marinette.
  • Rogercop: After mean girl Chloe accuses Marinette of stealing her new bracelet, Hawk Moth akumatizes Chloe’s policeman father into the tyrannical Rogercop. Only Ladybug and Cat Noir can serve justice by proving that Marinette is innocent!
  • Dark Cupid: It’s Valentine’s Day, the perfect day for Marinette to share her feelings with Adrien. But when Kim is rejected by Chloé and becomes akumatized as Dark Cupid, Cat Noir & Ladybug must put all else aside to save the day.
  • Horrificator: When Marinette’s class has to make a short horror film, the lead actress is teased for being scared in the role. Hawk Moth jumps on the opportunity to akumatize her into Horrificator, a slimy monster that feeds off of fear!
  • Darkblade: After losing an election, D’Argencourt gets akumatized into Darkblade, a baddie who recruits the unwilling citizens of Paris into an army of knights. When he and his army storm City Hall, Ladybug & Cat Noir must intervene.
  • The Mime: When Fred Haprèle’s stand-in tricks him into missing his next Mime performance, he is akumatized into The Mime. The in-character baddie will stop at nothing to prevent the performance from going on without him.

 

Magnolia / Released 8/2/16

Magnolia / Released 8/2/16

High-Rise

From genre-bending director Ben Wheatley comes the critically-acclaimed adaptation of the classic J.G. Ballard novel, High-Rise.

Tom Hiddleston stars as Dr. Robert Laing, the newest resident of a luxurious apartment in a high-tech concrete skyscraper whose lofty location places him amongst the upper class. Laing quickly settles into high society life and meets the building’s eccentric tenants: Charlotte (Sienna Miller), his upstairs neighbor and bohemian single mother; Wilder (Luke Evans), a charismatic documentarian who lives with his pregnant wife Helen (Elisabeth Moss); and Mr. Royal (Jeremy Irons), the enigmatic architect who designed the building. Life seems like paradise to the solitude-seeking Laing. But as power outages become more frequent and building flaws emerge, particularly on the lower floors, the regimented social strata begins to crumble and the building becomes a battlefield in a literal class war. Extras include commentary featurettes and trailer.

Last Word:  A surreal class struggle set in an ultra-modern high-rise apartment building, based on the 1975 J.G. Ballard novel of the same name, High-Rise begins very promisingly but ultimately wears out its welcome.

Tom Hiddleston plays Dr. Laing (possibly inspired by the real-life psychiatrist R.D. Laing, who notably wrote about mental illness and psychosis).

He moves into the brand-new apartment building and soon befriends his sexy upstairs neighbor Claire (Sienna Miller), who catches him sunbathing nude on his balcony. (Yes, there is a good amount of nearly naked Hiddleston, if that’s your main motivation for seeing this.)

Much like David Cronenberg’s eerily similar first film Shivers (also from 1975), this self-contained community has nearly everything a resident would ever need, including a grocery store and a gym. A Lord of the Flies mentality sets in alarmingly early: Even though there is an entire world outside the building, the residents are curiously reluctant to leave.

Eventually, the lower floors are reduced to living in filth and squalor while the upper floors party with the end-of-the-world decadence usually ascribed to Rome before it got sacked.

The heavy-handed class allegory is very much like Snowpiercer, except that with that sci-fi film, the last inhabitants on earth can’t ever leave the train that circles endlessly through a vast ice-bound wasteland. Here, everyone is free to leave, but mysteriously chooses to stay, even when they run out of food and are reduced to eating dogs.

Laing quickly gets swept up in a growing class feud between the upper and lower floors, where the (literally) higher-ups live like kings and the less fortunate complain about the lack of light and spotty electricity. He’s summoned to meet The Architect (Jeremy Irons), who lives in the penthouse where his wife (Keeley Hawes) dresses in period clothing and keeps a horse and a goat in her elaborate roof garden.

Laing is invited to a penthouse soiree but isn’t told that everyone is dressed up as if it were the French Revolution (point taken, ahem): While the lower floors envy him his connection to the upper floors, he’s not accepted by the Haves either. He’s a bit like Ryan Phillippe in Gosford Park, who unsuccessfully tried to straddle both the working and leisure class and ended up reviled by both.

Richard Wilder (Luke Evans), a mustachioed brute who recalls the ’70s era Oliver Reed, becomes the spokesman for the lower floors, first by raiding an exclusive pool party with a pack of unruly kids, then by plotting to kill The Architect whom he blames for the whole building’s ever-increasing descent into mayhem.

While we’re appalled at the unsubtly named Wilder’s actions (which include rape and murder), there’s really no one to root for in this scenario: Not the wealthy Architect and his lofty but unrealized goals, and not Laing, who has his own cruelly violent streak.

The visual style is arresting, notably in the scene in which Laing becomes stuck in a mirrored envelope on his way down from the Penthouse. But ennui sets in about two-thirds through the film, when it seems the building’s downward spiral will never reach bottom. It’s a relief when we finally circle back to the opening scene: Laing making his way through the outer chaos back to his equally destroyed apartment, where he calmly roasts a dog’s leg on the balcony.

If you enjoy dystopian allegories about how society will inevitably fall apart and how man is inherently cruel — or if you just want to see Hiddleston wearing nothing but a towel – then by all means, see High-Rise. It’s (overall) an intriguing film that would greatly benefit from having about 30 minutes trimmed to dramatically sharpen its barbed social commentary. (– Sharon Knolle)

 

Blunt Talk: The Complete First Season

Blunt Talk, set in Los Angeles, follows Walter Blunt, played by Patrick Stewart, a British import intent on conquering the world of American cable news. Through the platform of his nightly news show, Blunt is on a mission to impart his wisdom and guidance on how Americans should live, think and behave.

Besieged by network bosses, a dysfunctional news staff, numerous ex-wives, children of all ages, and his own well-intentioned, but sometimes misguided decisions, Blunt’s only support is in the form of the heavy-drinking, devoted manservant he transplanted from the U.K.

The cast is led by Patrick Stewart in the role of Walter Blunt, Jacki Weaver as Rosalie, Blunt’s tough and motherly producer-manager and Adrian Scarborough as Harry, Blunt’s manservant.

Includes the episodes:

  • I Seem to Be Running Out of Dreams for Myself: After a drunken escapade lands Walter behind bars, he must rush to save his cable news show, ”Blunt Talk,” from cancellation.
  • I Experience Shame and Anticipate Punishment: Walter’s staff devises a backup plan after he misses an important opportunity to cover a storm; Harry helps Walter by making a personal sacrifice.
  • All My Relationships End in Pain: Walter is ordered by the court to attend AA meetings while his staff goes about their peculiar weekends.
  • A Beaver That’s Lost Its Mind: Walter tries to be a better father to his youngest son, and learns crushing news that his former wife is dating a rock star.
  • The Queen of Hearts: Rosalie is forced to book a controversial guest whose message rubs Walter the wrong way; Celia develops a bad habit.
  • Goodnight, My Someone: Walter tries to patch things up with his estranged son when he returns to Los Angeles for a boxing match.
  • Meth or No Meth, You Still Gotta Floss: Walter assists Rosalie in the search for her missing husband; Jim experiences life in Walter’s shoes.
  • Who Kisses So Early in the Morning?: Walter is thrust back into the spotlight after Celia commits a blunder and makes him look like he plagiarized his latest speech.
  • I Brought a Petting Goat!: Walter celebrates the 33rd anniversary of the end of the Falklands War by throwing a spectacular party.
  • Let’s Save Central Florida! Let’s Save Midtown!: Walter meets with an unconventional specialist; Walter bumps a volatile guest, leading to disastrous results.

 

Time Life / Released 8/30/16

Time Life / Released 8/30/16

Hee Haw: The Collector’s Edition

Pickin’ and grinnin’, singin’ and spinnin’ tall tales and corny jokes, the citizens of Kornfield Kounty landed on television in 1969 with the arrival of Hee Haw as a summer replacement series for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.

With a cast of down-to-earth characters including Minnie Pearl, Grandpa Jones and Archie Campbell, knee-slapping comedic zingers, and jaw-dropping musical performances, the comedy-variety show, co-hosted by Buck Owens and Roy Clark, captivated the country. In 1971, after two successful years, CBS dropped the show in an effort to “de-countrify” the network’s programming; however, it was quickly picked up and aired for the next 21 years, making Hee Haw the longest-running weekly syndicated original series in television history.

In a new-to-retail set, Hee Haw: The Collector’s Edition offers 14 Hee-larious discs featuring some of the best sketches and brightest stars from the series’ impressive 23-year history, rarely seen since their original broadcasts. Across 21 vintage hours, viewers can sit back and be entertained by korny klassics such as “PFFT! You Were Gone,” “Gordie’s General Store,” “Board Fence,” “Cornfield” and “Moonshiners” — as well as the all-time favorites “Rindercella” and “Trigonometry.” And because Hee Haw was a favorite stop for country music’s biggest stars and legends, The Collector’s Edition also features hundreds of classic performances from Hall of Famers at the peaks of their careers.

Though the last “new” episode aired in 1992, this 14-disc collector’s edition perfectly captures the reasons why Hee Haw  was one of the longest-running and best loved television variety shows of all time! Extras include new interviews with show regulars including Roy Clark, Lulu Roman, George Lindsey, Charlie McCoy and Jim and John Hager; bonus programming incluing all-time favorite comedy from the early years in “Hee Haw Laffs,” featuring “Board Fence,” “Doctor Spot,” “Old Philosopher,” “Haystack,” “Schoolhouse” and other knee-slappers.

With dozens of musical performances and sketches, Hee Haw provides more than an ample amount of variety show nostalgia.  And even if you’re not a country music fan per se, it’s hard not to enjoy the performances of so many songs that are considered to be American standards.  Hee Haw is a must have for any music fan and for those of you who grew up with it, it’s a wonderful time machine of entertainment.

 

Time Life / Released 8/30/16

Time Life / Released 8/30/16

The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes Ultimate Collection

Every legend has a beginning. And now for the first time available at retail, Time Life has released rare treasures from the Golden Age of TV with The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes Ultimate Collection.

Showcasing the birth of a TV legend and the early days of one of the most beloved shows in television history, this collector’s set, handsomely packaged in a deluxe box, includes 22 DVDs, over 20 hours of specially-created bonus programming, and a glossy 40-page collectible Guest Book, that contains autographs from Carol’s guests, fans and friends; archival production photos; notes from Carol herself; and more!

During the late ’60s, CBS was The Carol Burnett Show network, a joking reference based on the program’s widespread popularity and huge ratings. The eponymous series would go on to a landmark 11 year run, receiving 25 Emmy Awards and eight Golden Globes, making it one of the most honored shows in television history. Time Magazine named The Carol Burnett Show one of the “100 Best Television Shows of all Time” and Carol Burnett has been honored with more People’s Choice Awards than any other actress. Yet, these episodes from the show’s first five years hadn’t been seen for more than 40 years until the TV DVD archivists at Time Life unveiled these incredible hidden treasures in 2015.

Featuring original broadcast episodes from Seasons 1-5 (1967-1972), hand-picked by Carol herself. And across 45 magical episodes – true treasures from the vault, not seen since their original airing more than forty years ago – consumers will see the very first steps of a TV icon, the magic of Carol’s cast coming together, and an incredible array of guest stars including Eddie Albert, Nancy Wilson, Chita Rivera, Bob Newhart, Don Rickles, Mel Tormé, Nanette Fabray, Jim Nabors, Bing Crosby, Paul Lynde, Eydie Gorme, Burt Reynolds, Lesley Ann Warren, Don Adams, Lucille Ball, Tim Conway, Gloria Loring, Phyllis Diller,Andy Griffith, Bernadette Peters, Cass Elliot, Flip Wilson, Vikki Carr, Carol Channing, Steve Lawrence, Jack Jones, Ruth Buzzi, Jonathan Winters, Dionne Warwick, Barbara Feldon, Joan Rivers, Shirley Jones, Sonny & Cher, Ken Berry, Dyan Cannon, Mickey Rooney, John Davidson, Soupy Sales, Peter Lawford, Minnie Pearl, Art Carney, Martha Raye, Betty Grable, Pat Boone, Ray Charles, George Carlin, Diahann Caroll, Mike Douglas, Totie Fields, Frank Gorshin, Ricardo Montalban, Debbie Reynolds, Imogene Coca, Robert Goulet, and more.

Aside from giving viewers front row seats to the birth of some of Carol’s greatest recurring sketches including “As the Stomach Turns,” “Carol and Sis,” and “The Oldest Man,” the episodes also include show-stopping musical performances, as well as over 20 hours of bonus programming enhancing an already spectacular set.

Certain to thrill fans of both the series and classic television alike, this collection will allow home audiences the opportunity to tune in and rediscover what made the program tick and stick around as one of the best hours in TV history.

The Ultimate Edition includes 45 episodes over 22 DVDs, a collectible guest book and over 20 hours of bonus programming including a Once Upon a Mattress (the filmed performance of Tony Award nominated Carol’s Broadway show), television specials, back stage tour, writer’s roundtable, outtakes, featurettes, bonus sketches and interviews with Alan Alda, Julie Andrews, Carol Burnett, Vikki Carr, Carol Channing, Bill Hader, Jack Jones, Gloria Loring, Jim Nabors, Queen Latifah, Burt Reynolds, Don Rickles, Tony Bennett, Pat Boone, Steve Carell, Vikki Carr, George Chakiris, Kristin Chenoweth, Tina Fey, Burt Reynolds, Lesley Ann Warren and more.

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