Category Archives: DVD/Blu-Ray Reviews

DVD Review: Merlin: The Complete Second Season

Merlin: the Complete Second Season

Merlin is once again taken on the difficult task of keeping Prince Arthur and Camelot safe, while trying to keep his powers a secret. With many more monsters and other adversaries, Merlin and Arthur face even greater obstacles than before. Meanwhile, Lady Morgana is going through changes, and ultimately makes decisions that will lead her down the path of evil.

Colin Morgan returns as the title character Merlin. Growing from the awkward geeky boy, to a more confident young man in this season. Arthur, played by Bradley James, goes through changes himself, as he becomes stronger and more humble. Arthur also experiences the first hint of love blossoming with Guinevere (Angel Coulby). And Morgana (Katie McGrath) begins to show her darker side. Watching these characters develop is a highlight of the season. While I’m not a fan of Angel Coulby’s Guinevere, I thoroughly enjoy the rest of the cast of characters and their interpretations.

Even more exciting than the first season, Merlin is full of magic, adventure, humor, friendship, and romance. Packed with extras, this second season DVD set includes all thirteen episodes as well as behind-the-scenes clips, commentaries, and more. Brilliantly blending humor and fantasy, this is one show I hate to miss. The King Arthur legend was never so much fun.

Blu-Ray Review: The A-Team

The A-Team

Hannibal Smith leads a team of Special Forces soldiers on dangerous missions for the military. Their latest mission backfires and counterfeit money plates are stolen by a rival mercenary team. Hannibal and his “A-Team” are framed and sent to prison. But high security prisons, mercenaries, and traitors are no match for this team that specializes in the crazy and impossible.

The A-Team, based on the legendary 80’s television show are played by Liam Neeson (Hannibal), Bradley Cooper (Face), Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (B.A.), and Sharlto Copley (Murdock). Neeson plays every role to perfection, and this is no exception. Hannibal is the man who always has a plan, brilliant and a bit crazy. Speaking of crazy, Murdock is certifiably insane, but an ace pilot and the team’s constant comic relief. Copley does a wonderful job of acting like he should be committed. Cooper is Faceman aka Templeton Peck – the pretty boy, master of disguise and master of manipulation. There’s a bit of craziness to him as well, but we get to see a deeper side of him when his former love (played by Jessica Biel) is on their trail. And Jackson gets to play the iconic character of B.A. Baracus – the tough as nails former Airborne Army Ranger who becomes afraid of flying.

With over-the-top action, incredible stunts, and impossible situations, The A-Team is much like the original series – if the original series were allowed to actually shoot people. All of the fun-loving spirit, adventure, and comedy from before with a re-vamp of fantastic characters and a fun (if somewhat predictable) story. This was my favorite of 2010’s summer action blockbusters. And I was more than excited to own it on Blu-ray, with all of its special features and extras. This edition also includes a digital copy of the theatrical version. Huge explosions, lots of laughs, and plenty of surprises – The A-Team certainly exceeded my expectations.

Special Features Include:
Disc 1:
• Theatrical Version
• Extended Version
• The Devil’s in the Details: Inside the Action with Joe Carnahan
• Deleted Scenes
• Gag Reel
• A-Team Theme Mash-Up Montage
• Plan of Attack
• Character Chronicles
• Visual Effects Before and After with Commentary by Visual Effects Supervisor James E. Price
• Theatrical Trailer

Disc 2: Digital Copy

DVD Review: Six Million Dollar Man Season 1

Six Million Dollar Man

The Six Million Dollar Man

When the NASA pilot crashes in a near-fatal accident, Colonel Steve Austin becomes a test subject for state-of-the-art cybernetic enhancements. In return for his new abilities, Steve begins working for OSI, an agency that guards the United States from continuous threats and danger.

Lee Majors stars as the iconic Colonel Steve Austin the “Six Million Dollar Man.” The show, beginning first as two movie pilots, started as a slow-paced drama. But as the show was picked up for regular season, so did the action and adventure. Lee Majors played Steve as a reluctant hero and very down-to-earth (even though a famous NASA pilot), who happens to have an extraordinary gift. Though of course, the special effects are very out-of-date and some situations are a bit hokey, this incredible show still holds up today, with plenty of drama, action and adventure.

The Six Million Dollar Man also produced the spin-off The Bionic Woman, starring Lindsay Wagner, (an almost equally iconic character of the decade) and several reunion specials. Science fiction enthusiasts that were around in the 70s and early 80s remember the show with fondness. I was a child, who caught the show on reruns and was especially fond of the Bionic Woman as well. And I’m happy to say that re-watching this classic series, and reunion specials in particular, was still a fun and memorable experience as an adult.

The Six Million Dollar Man: The Complete Collection releases for the first time today at http://6mdm.com with loads of bonus features.


DVD Review: V: The Complete First Season

v

V: The Complete First Season

John May Lives!

In an instant, Earth is surrounded by ships from another world. The aliens, called “Visitors”, claim to be a peaceful race. But FBI Agent Erica Evans soon discovers that their human appearance is just a façade. The Visitors are lizard-like species, with far more advanced technology and healing abilities. And Erica learns that they are lying about their purpose as well. Erica, along with a group of other Visitor-skeptics and even a Visitor traitor, band together to discover what the Visitors want and stop them at any cost.

This remake of the popular 1983 miniseries of the same name borrow liberally from the predecessors plot and initial feel. But this new series delves more into the characters and human emotions. And the V-traitor aspect, as Visitors begin experiencing human emotions, is truly inspired.

The each episode is fast-paced, full of hear-pounding suspense and shocking surprises. And this would hook me alone. But the colorful characters and fantastic acting, along with such intense plotting, quickly made this my favorite show on television. Shows like this make me proud to be a scifi fan. V is smart, shocking, dramatic, creative, and action-packed, with never a dull moment. I’m ecstatic to have this show now on DVD. Be sure to catch up, before season 2 returns to ABC on Tuesday, January 4th.

Special Features:
– The Actor’s Journey from Human to V featurette
– An Alien in Human Skin
– Breaking Story: The World of V featurette
– The Visual FX of V featurette
– Commentary on episode 11 by executive producers Scott Rosenbaum and Steve Pearlman
– Unaired scenes


V: The Complete First Season is available now on DVD and Blu-ray.

DVD Review: Legends of the Superheroes

legends of superheroes

Legends of the Superheroes contains a two-part, made-for-tv special starring DC comic superheroes and villains. The first half is The Challenge. The Challenge that the Legion presents to the JLA gives the heroes an hour to find and stop a doomsday device. The legion presents several clues to the JLA, but also throws many obstacles in their way. The second half of the special is The Roast. Ed McMahon hosts this JLA Roast where family, friends, and special guest villains are brought in to poke fun at their superhero of choice.

Fans of Adam West’s Batman will enjoy seeing this good-natured campy fun. Filmed in 1979, the cast also includes Garrett Craig, Howard Murphy, Bill Nuckols, Barbara Joyce, Rod Haase, Danuta, Frank Gorshin, Burt Ward, and many others. From beginning to end, the silly jokes and corny predicaments pit well known JLA members such as the Flash, Green Lantern, and Captain Marvel against Sinestro, the Riddler, Solomon Grundy, and other members of the Legion of Doom. Neither side is very bright and continues to make ridiculous choices – presumably for the laugh factor, but instead make for many groans. But for those that enjoy this era of campy humor, the low-tech special effects and cheesy costumes certainly add to the experience. The Roast was definitely my favorite, where I found myself laughing several times at some of the special guests. Hawkman’s mother (Pat Carroll), Ghetto Man (Brad Sanders), and reporter Rhoda Rooter (June Gable) were the funniest by far.

The Legends of the Superheroes DVD is available exclusively at the WarnerArchive.com: http://bit.ly/WAC_SuperHeroes

Blu-Ray Review: Being Human Season 2

Being Human Season 2

Being Human Season 2

Returning for a second season, vampire Mitchell (Aidan Turner), werewolf George (Russell Tovey), and ghost Annie (Lenora Crichlow) face all new challenges in their hopes of leading normal human lives. Mitchell is dealing with the fallout of the vampire community left without its leader. And meanwhile, he begins a relationship with a new doctor with dark secrets of her own. George also finds a new girlfriend, but her daughter is wary of him. And Annie deals with constant changes and challenges to being non-corporeal.

This season ramps up the suspense and violence to a whole new level. The trio are faced with a new enemy this season: CenSSA, a religious organization headed by a man with a deeply-rooted vendetta. Mitchell takes a dark turn to his former blood-thirsty and violent self that I didn’t care for. It also didn’t make much sense when he drastically shifts mind-sets and moods without much provocation. Most of his decisions and actions this season seem severely out of character, even before he is betrayed. He never seemed to care much for the vampire community until they are left without a leader. Now, he cares more for them than humans. Despite this, the plot and pacing throughout the season is non-stop suspense, thrills and chills. While the viewer knows what’s going on most of the time, it’s fun to watch the mysteries unfold through the eyes of Mitchell, George, and Annie. And seen in blu-ray is all the more thrilling and captivating. Fans of the fantasy and horror genres should not miss this incredible series.

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DVD Review: Alien Autopsy

Alien Autopsy

Alien Autopsy

Based on true events, the story follows Ray (Declan Donnelly) and Gary (Ant McPartlin) who are responsible for footage from a supposed alien autopsy from 1947 shown around the world. Ray claims to have seen and purchased the original footage from the 1947 Roswell alien autopsy. But the film has been so corrupted that Ray convinces his friends to help him “recreate” the footage to satisfy his loan shark. But things get out of hand when the Ray gets a taste of fame and fortune.

The outrageous farce incorporates plenty of humor and wit. Unfortunately, as an American, it’s very hard to understand a great deal of what the main actors, Donnelly and McPartlin, are saying because of their accent and unfamiliar vernacular. Yet the plot and pacing hold up and are easy to follow. Bill Pullman plays the director of the documentary, with too few scenes. Science fiction enthusiasts who remember the original Fact or Fiction with Jonathan Frakes will get a kick out of this retelling as a fictitious documentary. And even those unfamiliar with the story, should find the humor and outrageous events highly entertaining.

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DVD Review: Fringe the Complete Second Season

Fringe the Complete Second Season

Fringe the Complete Second Season

Agent Olivia Dunham, Dr. Walter Bishop, and Peter Bishop return for another season of thrilling scifi adventure at its best. As usual, each episode begins in a gross-out and mysterious death(s) that Walter must investigate by dissection, while Olivia and Peter do the leg work. The second season delves more into the alternate universe where Peter was taken. And Peter eventually discovers the truth, leading to dangerous repercussions when the team ventures to the other reality.

Even more exciting and fantastic than the first season, answers to big questions are finally revealed and the suspense continually builds throughout each heart-pounding episode. This is one of the most well-developed, creative and thought-provoking shows on television. The acting is first rate. And while the show is easy to compare to the X-Files, it has created a niche all its own. The mystery and suspense are enough to appeal to mainstream fans, with plenty of scifi for the genre fan as well.

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