dvd and blu-ray

super-villains-the-jokers-last-laugh-dvdDC Comics Super Villains: The Jokers Last Laugh collects Joker-centric episodes from Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, The Batman, Batman: The Brave and the Bold and the three-part “World’s Finest” cross-over from Superman: The Animated Series featuring Batman and Superman teaming up to take down the Joker and Lex Luthor.

Collected on two-discs, highlights include the first appearance of Mark Hamill as the Joker, and Harley Quinn spending some time away from Mr. J with her new gal-pal Poison Ivy and with the Dark Knight Detective.

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Allegiant

by Cap'n Carrot on July 18, 2016 · 0 comments

in Film

allegiant-dvdAfter learning their entire civilization is nothing more than a science experiment, first-half of the final book in the Divergent series follows Tris (Shailene Woodley), Four (Theo James), Christina (Zoë Kravitz), and Peter (Miles Teller) over the wall, through the desolate wasteland and into an advanced city run by the Bureau of Genetic Welfare (which, you guessed it, turns out to be as equally corrupt as the society they fashioned in an attempt undo centuries of genetic manipulation).

Allegiant follows the same predicable patterns of the first two films, including a major supporting character’s death early on, before uniting the faction-less Chicago (which has broken into mob rule since learning the truth about the outside world) under a common purpose for next year’s series finale. While finally offering a reason for the bizarre society of single-characteristic factions, Allegiant still doesn’t make the premise any easier to swallow. Jeff Daniels (who I’m assuming must have a daughter who likes these books) is slumming it here as the leader of the genetic zealots behind the curtain.

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dc-comics-super-villains-justice-league-masterminds-of-crimeDC Comics Super-Villains: Justice League Masterminds of Crime collects four two-part animated episodes and five single standalone episodes from Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, and Batman Beyond in this two-disc set.

The set includes the Justice League taking on Amazo and the android’s return to Earth, Green Lantern, Hawkgirl, Flash, and the Martian Manhunter fighting Despero on his homeworld, Lex Luthor putting together a Secret Society of super-villains, Grodd forming the Legion of Doom, a future Justice League adventure from Batman Beyond, and – my favorite of the collection – an episode where the Flash and Lex Luthor’s brains are switched causing trouble for both the Justice League and the Legion of Doom.

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The Finest Hours

by Cap'n Carrot on July 5, 2016 · 0 comments

in Film

the-finest-hours-blu-rayDespite being based on true events concerning the Coast Guard rescue of SS Pendleton, The Finest Hours feels every bit an exaggerated movie script. Over and over during the film, the small boat under the command of Bernie Webber (Chris Pine) completes such a litany of “impossible” tasks that their actions are actually undercut by the movie’s script. It also doesn’t help that every other person in the movie is a damn fool than other than Bernie or his fiance Meriam (Holliday Grainger) who at one point “teaches” a sailing community to leave their car lights on to help the sailors find the shore.

The script from screenwriters Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, and Eric Johnson also struggles with scale. Until Bernie and his men find the Pendleton we have no comparison between the small rescue boat and the sinking tanker. Even spending much of the film with the crew of the lost ship, a questionable decision which splits the focus of the film, The Finest Hours struggles with even the most basic aspects of storytelling.

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10 Cloverfield Lane

by Cap'n Carrot on June 29, 2016 · 0 comments

in Film

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I had very mixed reactions to 2008’s shaky-cam monster movie Cloverfield which kept me from seeing this sequel of sorts in theaters. Only tangentially connected to the first film, 10 Cloverfield Lane is an old school psychological thriller which begins when Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is run off the road one night and wakes up chained to a mattress in an underground bunker with a pair of strange men (John Goodman and John Gallagher Jr.).

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conan-the-complete-quest-blu-rayThe new Blu-ray release collects both original Conan movies starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as the legendary Cimmerian thief and warrior. Focused on Conan’s origin story and his quest for revenge against the evil sorcerer (James Earl Jones) who slaughtered his village as a boy and threw him into slavery, Conan the Barbarian is the better of the two movies. It also gives us Mako (who would return in the sequel) as Conan’s ally.

Following two-years later, Conan the Destroyer feels every bit the half-baked sequel it is as Conan is hired to protect a princess (Olivia d’Abo) with a terrible destiny. While not as strong as the original, Destroyer does offer some memorable moments.

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despicable-me-3-movie-collectionIf you don’t already own Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2, this 6-disc collection offers you an added incentive to buy Minions by including both the other two movies in the series. While Minions is the weakest of the three focusing on the cute henchmen rather then the main characters of the other two films, all thee provide their entertainment value.

Despicable Me introduces us to Gru (Steve Carell) and the three orphans, Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Agnes (Elsie Kate Fisher), and Edith (Dana Gaier), he adopts as a means to achieve his villainous scheme before falling in love with all three girls.

Despicable Me 2 returns Gru and his girls for a sequel that puts the former criminal to work for The Anti-Villain League to determine the source of a dangerous chemical which can turn people (or minions) into dangerous killing machines. Set prior to the first two films, Minions focuses on the misadventures of the lovable henchmen before they Gru.

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Legend

by Cap'n Carrot on May 26, 2016 · 0 comments

in Film

legend-blu-rayBased on the lives of English gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray (both played here by Tom Hardy), director Brian Helgeland’s film is as unengaging a crime drama as I can remember. I gave the film multiple chances but other than offer Hardy the chance to play dual roles the movie has nothing going for it. In terms of nuts and bolts, Legend is competently made but lacks the heart to make us care about either of the Kray brothers or those whose lives were effected by their choices.

Helgeland wastes a solid supporting cast (Emily Browning, David Thewlis, Christopher Eccleston, and Chazz Palminteri) on a story that doesn’t have much to say about gangsters we haven’t seen before. Legend isn’t an awful film, just a lifeless one (which in someways is actually worse than a truly awful film which can, on occasion, be entertaining for all the wrong reasons).

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killjoys-season-one-blu-raySet in a dystopian future, Killjoys follows the adventures of bounty hunting team Dutch (Hannah John-Kamen) and John (Aaron Ashmore) flying all over the quadrant on missions to bring in criminals. The pair’s dynamic is changed when John’s older brother D’Avin (Luke Macfarlane), a fellow soldier with plenty of baggage, joins the team.

Lasting only 10 episodes, the show’s First Season offers a couple of ongoing storylines to supplement the job of the week. Along with the friction between brothers, D’Avin’s past coming back to haunt him, and the growing unrest of the populace and a burgeoning rebellion, Dutch’s past as a super-assassin is teased throughout the season by the return of her mentor Khlyen (Rob Stewart) who wants her back. Highlights include Dutch forced to hunt down a friend, John dealing with the sudden escalation of Dutch and D’Avin’s relationship, and the team coming across a haunted spaceship.

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Jane Got a Gun

by Cap'n Carrot on May 3, 2016 · 0 comments

in Film

jane-got-a-gun-blu-rayWhen the past catches up with them, Jane Hammond (Natalie Portman) is forced to reach out to her former lover Dan Frost (Joel Edgerton) to save the lives of herself, her wounded husband (Noah Emmerich), and her young daughter from the wicked John Bishop (Ewan McGregor) and his band of outlaws.

Aside from casting a woman in the main role, Jane Got a Gun is a fairly conventional western. However, the choice to make Jane (rather than Dan) the central character in the story is an important one. Presented from her perspective, it’s Jane who slowly opens up about her road after separating with Dan during the Civil War (in which she believed he had died). The heartbreaking reveals mend the relationship between Jane and Dan just in time for one final fight against the men responsible for destroying their lives.

Propelled by character and the looming threat more than plot, Jane Got a Gun succeeds on the strength of its leads while McGregor and Boyd Holbrook provide the right notes as the movie’s black hats.

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