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DVDs for February 19, 2013

argo

Argo

I love Argo, which is a dramatization of the true story of a CIA rescue during the Iranian hostage crisit. It pairs a hilarious first half, where a CIA agent played by Ben Affleck dives into the craziness that is Hollywood to craft a cover story for his rescue mission, with an unbearably tense second half where the Iranians get closer and close to figuring out who he is and catching him before he can make off with the embassy workers. Ben Affleck really did a great job directing. It’s a shame he didn’t get an Oscar nod for it. Check it out or read my review for more.

Buy Argo on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

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sinister

Sinister

I’m pretty jaded, so horror movies that scare other people tend to elicit little more than a few sarcastic comments from me. Sinister is pretty cookie cutter – a crime writer brings his family to stay in the house of a murdered family… which (quelle surprise) turns out to be haunted. But, as I discovered, cookie cutter plots don’t necessarily mean not scary. I jumped quite a few times watching this movie, and it was largely due to the directing (well done, Scott Derrickson). So if you want a horror movie that really will actually freak you out a bit, see this one. Read my review for more.

Buy Sinister on DVD or on Blu-Ray.
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battlestar

Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome

I used to complain a lot about Battlestar Galactica because they spent too much time yelling at each other and having political campaigns when they should be blasting robots to kingdom come. And… it’s like someone was listening. Blood and Chrome is the pilot for a new, action-oriented Battlestar series (that’s not getting made… sorry). It follows William Adama as a young recruit in the First Cylon War. It’s awesome, but you don’t need to buy the DVD. You can watch it all for free on YouTube, where it was released (officially) in 12 minute installments.

Buy Blood and Chrome on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

anna karenina

Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina is a famous Russian novel about some aristocrats having an affair. It’s quite long, which is why many high school and college students will be watching this movie instead. But be warned, if you’re not interested in opulent and unreal lifestyles, parties, and dancing, you’ll probably bored by this movie. I can’t even recommend it to fans of director Joe Wright’s Pride and Prejudice adaptation, because the love story isn’t righteous and happy but sordid and tragic. You may also have trouble drumming up sympathy for the characters, who are varying degrees of horrible.

Buy Anna Karenina on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

skyfall

Skyfall

I forgot to do a DVD article last week (blame my snowpocalypse induced shoveling coma) so I’ll briefly also mention the only movie worth mentioning from last week: the latest James Bond. It sucks – it’s contrived, forgetful, lacking in cool technology, and steals plot points from other movies (named Mission: Impossible and Home Alone. It is better than Quantum of Solace, but everything is better than Quantum of Solace. If you must watch a gritty, Daniel Craig take on Bond, make it Casino Royale. At least that one made sense. Read my review for more detail.

Buy Skyfall on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

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DVD Releases for October 5, 2010


The Karate Kid

I was really disappointed that I didn’t get to see this one in theaters, because unlike a lot of remakes it actually looked good. The five million credited producers (which include star Jaden Smith’s parents) recognized that the people who like martial arts movies these days are either 25+ or 10, and wisely downgraded the hero’s age (he was a teen in the 1984 version). Okay, so it’s not so much Karate as Kung Fu, because they’re in China, not Japan, but Jaden Smith is cute, Jackie Chan is funny, and it’s a decent “new kid on the continent” story that kids will like and adults can actually stomach. So try it.

Buy The Karate Kid on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

Splice

What a ridiculous movie. Let’s break the law and genetically engineer a part human monster! And then be surprised when it escapes! And is vicious! And wants to go to the prom like a real girl…(WHAT??) It’s like Resident Evil crossed with Pinocchio. Adrian Brody’s in it, but I think that’s more like evidence that he needs money to pay off his back taxes rather than evidence that the movie is actually good. Not goot sci-fi, not good horror, this is a movie I wouldn’t even watch on TV if I was trapped in a blank room for days unless somebody was paying me to make fun of it (I’ll accept Visa, Mastercard, or candy).

Buy Splice on DVD or on Blu-Ray.


A Nightmare on Elm Street

If you’ve ever seen one of the Elm St. movies, you know the drill. Scary man, burned face, scratchy fingernails, haunts your dreams, and then you die. Solution: don’t go to sleep. Horror movie fans will want to see this (if they haven’t already), as will people who like Jackie Earle Haley in The Watchmen and anyone who’s obsessed with Twilight, because the kid who plays Emmett is in it. Less psychological and more slasher, this is an even more ADD version than the original series from the 1980s. Don’t expect anything Earth shaking, obviously, but it’s good for a few scares.

Buy A Nightmare on Elm Street on DVD or on Blu-Ray.


Beauty and the Beast

I know it’s not exactly a new movie, but I thought I’d mention that Beauty and the Beast is out of the Disney vault. The Disney vault is a stupid gimmick but you can’t deny that Disney makes good cartoons. Beauty and the Beast has great music, cute characters (the little teacup!), a heartwarming love story, and a great message (real beauty is on the inside, etc.) So if, like me, you still have your scratchy VHS copy but no VCR, you can now pick up a shiny new 3-disc copy on DVD or Blu-Ray and pretend it’s for your kid when really it’s for you.

Buy Beauty and the Beast on Blu-Ray/DVD Combo.

TV seasons out this week:

Bones: Season 5 (Bones is probably my favorite show on television. Booth and Brennan are crime fighters with great chemistry… which they actually succumb to [briefly] in Season 5.)
Caprica: Season 1.0 (I’m a HUGE Battlestar Galactica fan but I never got past the pilot of this prequel series. It’s just not as good.)
Medium: Season 6 (I like the premise – psychic medium gets messages from the dead and helps cops – but my plate is already full of cop + random profession shows.)
Stargate Universe – Season 1 (Stargate was an amazing movie, but none of the spinoff series ever did anything for me, least of all this one. I don’t know anyone who watches it.)

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Top Ten Fictional Film Pilots

I love airplane movies, especially fighter plane movies. There’s just something about dodging enemy planes at high speed five feet from the ground that screams “awesome!” But if there’s one thing I’ve noticed from years of watching movies, it’s that the best fictional pilots aren’t always in films that you could classify as plane movies. Sometimes they’re not even the main characters. Even if they’re only in a few scenes, even if aircraft aren’t the primary focus of the film, these pilot characters have mad skillz and they deserve to be recognized. So what follows is a list of the top ten most awesome, most skilled, most interesting movie pilots of all time.

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Human Target Review

Fox has been advertising Human Target since at least September. I came across promos for it while I was compiling my list of new 2009/2010 shows to watch. I thought “meh, looks a bit campy, but maybe I’ll give it a try,” and then mentally filed it away because it didn’t start for like six more months.

By January I’d totally forgotten about it. Then I saw the name of the show listed in the CTV online video library. I had an hour to kill, so I clicked. And it was AWESOME!

You can get the gist of the show by reading the following sentence:

Human Target is a series of weekly hour-long action movies based on the DC comic book of the same name. It follows a former hitman turned undercover bodyguard who infiltrates the lives of clients to draw out and eliminate threats.

Or by watching the trailer. But if you want to know why it’s awesome, you’ll have to watch the show.

…. or you can click below and I’ll tell you.

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Down With Gravity! Why Defying Gravity is My New Favorite Show

First of all, it’s time that someone stepped up and told gravity to go screw itself. I’m tired of walking on the floor. Maybe sometimes I want to walk on the ceiling. In the new sci-fi drama Defying Gravity the eight characters who have been chosen for a six-year mission around the solar system have that luxury. Lucky bastards.

Defying Gravity cast
they’re the ones in grey here

Now, the two descriptions of the show I see floating around most often are “eight astronauts go on a six-year mission around the solar system” and “Grey’s Anatomy in space”. One makes it sound like a boring Discovery-channel documentary with terrible fake CGI cinematics and the other makes it sound like a chick show with the depth of the teaspoon. In reality, it’s neither.

Defying Gravity is a genre-crossing show that you will probably like if only you would bother to watch an episode or two. Or you can click below and let me tell you why you should watch.

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The Coroner’s Report on the Death of Battlestar Galactica

It's dead. Put this in its mouth and break its jaw.

I am very sorry to inform you that your friend/lover/colleague, Battlestar Galactica perished in the line of duty at 12:01am Eastern Standard Time on March the 27th, 2009.

For a full report on the incident, click below. Caution: this report is EYES ONLY for people who have witnessed the incident.

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Islanded in a Stream of Stars (aka Nothing Happened Today, Part III and counting)

No spoilers until you get beyond the “read more”, I promise 😉

So we’re entering into the last few episodes of Battlestar Galactica and I expected to be amazed and astounded and excited as everything is revealed, things wind up, pieces fit together, etc. etc. etc.

Instead what I get is an increasingly frenzied series of shouted ultimatums and tearful breakdowns that aren’t moving the plot much and only last for about 90 seconds before they cut to something else because they’re trying to juggle WAY TOO MANY CHARACTERS.

the cast (theoretically, anyway)
I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen some of these people this season

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, more characters does not equal more betterness. All it does is bury the primary ones they’ve made us love underneath a slurry of new secondary characters that I don’t care about and probably won’t even have time to care about before the series ends.

We haven’t seen more than about a minute per episode of Helo since before the New Caprica fiasco (not counting last week’s out-of character epic failure at life that we shall not speak of) in favor of increasingly large numbers of identical 6s and 8s and periperary political figures. (I’m sure hjea will agree that this is not at all okay)

Because of this barely anything has even happened since the middle of season 3. So at this point, I’m not pumped about the 2-hour finale because the way they’ve been going they’ll need two full hours just to give all the characters each a 10-second “closure” scene.

In fact, I can solve all their problems right now with my brilliant idea on how to save the world.

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Sammy Needs A Hug


Even bad asses have bad days… especially if they’re on BSG

For those of you who haven’t yet seen the episode “Faith” of Battlestar Galactica, DON’T click on the link.

However, if you HAVE seen it, or don’t INTEND to see it, click away.

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An Open Letter from the Battlestar Galactica to its Inhabitants


It’s really hard for me to hold a pen, so I’m only going to say this once…

It all started when Starbuck came back…

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And All Is Right With the World

I am, of course, referring to my state of mind after watching last Saturday’s episode of Battlestar Galactica. This Just In: Unfinished Business Now Finished. Click below to find out why.

At the beginning, everyone hated each other.


I hate you, Lee


I hate you, Kara

Or, rather, everyone was mad at each other…


Oooooooh I hate you so much….so much that I can’t stay away from you

And we’re not allowed to know WHY, for the mystery of the gap year must not be penetrated. Although, it’s a safe bet it has to do with this mysterious chest…

…that Starbuck actually looks HAPPY lying on (which has never happened before) so you know it’s something HUGE.

As is the traditional StarbuckandAppollo method of interpersonal conflict resolution, they resort to:


Face Punching

…to solve their problems.

But as usual, other people’s pain…


Owwwie….

….no matter how much it makes them cry for their mothers (or Roslins), just doesn’t do it.

Why not? Well, when you spend all night in the desert screwing someone…


And screaming at the top of your lungs that you love them


And listening to them scream at the top of their lungs that they love you

You assume that it’s possible the next day has a marriage in it. Especially if the two of you have spent the last x number of years stamping down hard on your passion for one another.

However, you would also assume that said wedding would involve, oh, say, YOU!


Sorry Lee, it was really dark this morning and I thought he was you

And when it doesn’t, you have every right to be filled with homicidal rage, get depressed, and take your sorrows out on noodles.

Especially when retaliation ploy causes you even MORE pain…


I now pronounce you man and THAT

And Starbuck’s mad because she screws everything up on purpose.

So really, the only thing for a thing like that is to hit EACH OTHER in the face….


I love you, godsdammit! Why doesn’t this ever WORK!

….repeatedly, and very very hard.

And once it’s all over….


I missed you…specifically the parts after we fight

….all is right with the world. (Except if you’re Dee or Anders)

….until they start all over again. But that’s StarbuckandApollo. They’re like binary black holes, getting sucked toward each other whilst destroying everything around them.


I looove you….DESTROY! DESTROY!!!

Buy Battlestar Galactica Stuff

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