dvd and blu-ray

eddie-and-the-cruisers-double-featureReleased in 1983 Eddie and the Cruisers was a box office bomb despite a hit soundtrack that got the film a second theatrical release the following year. A rock and roll mystery, the film told the story of frontman Eddie Wilson (Michael Paré) through flashbacks and interviews with the other members of the band (primarily the keyboard player played by Tom Berenger) by a reporter (Ellen Barkin) hot on the story of the band’s missing second album and questions as to what really happened to Eddie Wilson. Despite it’s lack of response from both theatrical audiences and critics the movie has become a cult hit that even spawned a sequel in 1989.

Where the first film focused on the fallout of Eddie’s disapperance to those he left behind, Eddie and the Cruisers II: Eddie Lives! picks up the threads of the first film finding Eddie Wilson alive in Canada pushed to give music a second chance thanks to the release of the Cruisers lost “A Season in Hell” and an Eddie Lives! campaign by the studio that ruined his life.

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teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-retreat-dvdTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Retreat! collects the first seven episodes of the show’s Third Season which is most, but not quite all, of Leonardo (Seth Green), Raphael (Sean Astin), Michelangelo (Greg Cipes), and Donatello‘s (Rob Paulsen) time in the country licking their wounds following the Kraang mutation of New York City.

Seth Green takes over the voice of the injured Leonardo with “Into the Woods” whose rehabilitation is one of the major storylines of the set. The Turtles also meet Bigfoot, deal with leftover Kraang tech which takes the appearance of April‘s (Mae Whitman) mother, fight to survive their dreams, and deal with new mutants including mutant frogs, Casey’s car, and the bizarre Chimera. The episodes aren’t without charm (such as the introduction of Crognard the Barbarian) but they’re among the weakest of the series lacking any of the trademark villains. I also find it quite odd that “Vision Quest” (the last episode of the arc) isn’t part of this collection. The single-disc DVD does include short featurettes for each of the episodes included.

[Nickelodeon, $14.98]

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dc-lego-justice-league-vs-bizarro-league-blu-rayA LEGO Justice League movie? Okay, you’ve got my attention. The only real negative to LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs. Bizarro League is its length. Clocking in around 45-minutes it’s a stretch to say you’re getting your moneys worth with this new LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes “movie.” That doesn’t mean there isn’t an awful lot of fun to be had for fans of LEGO and DC Comics.

The plot takes place after the events of Batman Be-Leaguered (also included here as a nice extra) as a distrustful Batman (Troy Baker) has joined the Justice League which now faces a new threat with the return of Bizarro (Nolan North) who creates Bizarro duplicates of the other members of the Justice League to help him save the lifeless odd square-shaped planet which Darkseid (Tony Todd) has taken an interest in because of the powerful crystals Superman (North) has convinced Bizarro are helpless citizens he needs to protect.

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atlantis-season-2-part-one-blu-ray

Available on both Blu-ray and DVD, the two-disc set collects the first-half of Atlantis‘ Second Season continuing the heroic misadventures of Jason (Jack Donnelly), Pythagoras (Robert Emms), and Hercules (Mark Addy) featuring the two-part season premiere of Ariadne (Aiysha Hart) assuming the throne, the introduction of a dangerous new suitor to the Queen in the conniving Prince Telemon (Clive Standen), and the Queen’s party attacked on the road by Pasiphae‘s (Sarah Parish) forces and forced to take shelter in a tomb where the dead rise in the season finale which will turn Medea (Amy Manson) from possible friend of Jason to mortal enemy heading into the season’s remaining seven episodes.

The two disc set includes all six episodes of the season which have aired (the remaining seven may or may not air as the show has not been renewed for a Third Season) but does not include any extra features.

[BBC, Blu-ray $24.98 / DVD $19.98]

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John Wick

by Cap'n Carrot on February 23, 2015 · 0 comments

in Television

john-wick-blu-rayJohn Wick is the type of old school throwback that makes me think of the early action flicks of Steven Seagal and Arnold Schwarzenegger. With a threadbare plot and the loose message of be careful who you fuck with, Keanu Reeves stars in the title role as a legendary killer brought out of retirement by the son (Alfie Allen) of a local gangster who, only days after the passing of Wick’s wife, kills the man’s dog and steals his vintage sports car. Needless to say the punk didn’t realize who he was messing with.

A typical revenge story, John Wick gives Reeves the opportunity to kill many, many people (including an impressive number of victims shot in the head). The film is populated with amusing small roles such as Willem Dafoe and Adrianne Palicki as other hitmen and Ian McShane as the proprietor of a hotel who caters specifically to those in Wick’s line of business, but what you’re really paying for is the nonstop action and high body count. And that the film delivers.

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Fury

by Cap'n Carrot on February 16, 2015 · 0 comments

in Film

fury-blu-rayFury is an intense in-your-face war movie set in the final year of WWII with the Allies slowly moving forward through Nazi Germany against a retreating German army. There are certainly more watchable or memorable war movies, but writer/director David Ayer‘s attempt to highlight the crew of one specific Sherman tank produces a solid drama that doesn’t shy away from the cost of war.

The film has several uncomfortable scenes including Sgt. Collier’s (Brad Pitt) brutal attempt to turn his new tank driver (Logan Lerman) into a killer by forcing the private to shoot an unarmed Nazi and the crew (Pitt, Lerman, Shia LaBeouf, Michael Peña, Jon Bernthal) sitting down to dinner with a German woman (Anamaria Marinca) and her teenage daughter (Alicia von Rittberg) after liberating their town. As Ayer will repeatedly remind us over the course of the movie, these men aren’t Hollywood heroes; they’re soldiers who perform heroic actions when called upon but also leave great and terrible destruction in their wake.

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continuum-season-three-blu-ray

The Third Season of Continuum is a promise fulfilled as the show’s central character finally begins to question the role in which she’s been assigned to track down terrorists from the future who hope to remake the world into something more than the corporate oligarchy where she comes from. Alliances would change, friendships would be destroyed, two Alec Sadlers (Erik Knudsen) fight for control of futuristic technologies, and Kiera Cameron‘s (Rachel Nichols) belief in her mission would eventually be shaken to its core.

Highlights of the season include Kiera turning on the Freelancers, an episode set in her past involving Kiera tracking down Kagame (Tony Amendola) and Liber8, the season finale which sets up an entire new set of problems for our heroine, the reveal of the true identity of Kiera’s new friend (Ryan Robbins), Dillon (Brian Markinson) choosing to use his daughter to infiltrate Liber8, the death of a major supporting character, and Kiera choosing which Alec to betray.

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Boyhood

by Cap'n Carrot on December 29, 2014 · 0 comments

in Film

boyhood-blu-rayShot over the course of 12 years, Boyhood is one of the most ambitious projects any filmmaker has attempted to tackle. It’s also easily one of the best films of the year.

Starting the project at age 5 we witness Ellar Coltrane grow-up as Mason over the filming of Richard Linklater‘s latest film which began production in 2002 and finally arrived in theaters in 2014. Over its 165-minute running time Mason’s scripted tale delves into his relationships with both his divorced parents (Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke), the complexities of modern-day extended families, and the journey of Mason from grade school to college.

Begun without a finished script, but with an established beginning and ending, Linklater adapted the story by the changes he saw in his cast over the years. Arquette and Hawke carry much of the early scenes of the movie while Coltrane takes over a larger part of the story as he grows as an actor.

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A Most Wanted Man

by Cap'n Carrot on December 2, 2014 · 0 comments

in Film

a-most-wanted-man-blu-rayNotable for being the final non-Hunger Games role of Philip Seymour Hoffman, A Most Wanted Man is a slow-burning espionage thriller involving a secret German anti-terrorism unit tracking a potential suspect (Grigoriy Dobrygin). Although it’s based on the work of the same author, sadly, it’s not Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (which surprisingly moves at a far better pace than A Wanted Man).

The main takeaway from the film is how little actually happens in surveillance and much of what we do see (including a flailing romantic subplot) isn’t always that interesting. The cast is well chosen, and Hoffman leads a group of talented actors (Robin Wright, Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe) each providing strong performances, but the movie lacks the will or motivation to put them to better use than we see here. It’s certainly not a bad film by any means, and is certainly worth viewing for the performances alone, but the end result is less than the sum of its parts.

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castle-season-six-dvdSlowly working its way to Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Beckett‘s (Stana Katic) wedding day in the season finale, the Sixth Season of Castle features Beckett’s victory over Senator Bracken (Jack Coleman), the return of Castle’s father (James Brolin), and a special episode filled to the brim with 70s style.

Opening with three episodes of Beckett working for the Attorney General’s office (before getting fired), highlights of the season include ninjas, a time traveler, telekinesis, intricate serial murders whose victims were made to look like members of the NYPD, the murder of a professional skateboard artist, a case involving Captain Gates‘ (Penny Johnson) estranged sister (Salli Richardson-Whitfield), Castle’s biggest fan, Beckett getting in over-her-head on an undercover operation, a confession to a murder that couldn’t have happened, murder at a fashion magazine, an arsonist who latest burning building traps Ryan (Seamus Dever) and Esposito (Jon Huertas) in the burning wreckage, and Castle investigating the case of a murderer on death row for Alexis (Molly C. Quinn).

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