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Tue
20
Oct

Mysteries, Mispronunciations and Misadventures: The Mike Tyson Mysteries

Mike Tyson Mysteries Cartoon Network Adult Swim Critical Blast

Cartoon Network's Adult Swim knows how to blend nostalgia with cutting edge (some might even say 'inappropriate' humor). With MIKE TYSON MYSTERIES, the team has successfully mixed the opening of JONNY QUEST with the framework of SCOOBY-DOO (although I lean more toward THE FUNKY PHANTOM). And bringing the actual Mike Tyson in to voice himself was just icing on the cake. Mike Tyson: Voice Actor. There's a job description nobody saw coming.

Tue
20
Oct

Few Faults with San Andreas

San Andreas Blu-Ray Dennis Russo Critical Blast Dwayne Johnson

SAN ANDREAS on Blu-ray and DVD is a non-stop action movie that takes place basically in San Francisco and areas along the…you guessed it, San Andreas Fault line.

There is not a lot of back story here, as the movie starts with tremors happening within the first couple of minutes. Then the basics of the story are revealed through a college classroom dissertation on seismic activity by Caltech Seismologist Lawrence Hayes (Paul Giamatti), talking about the biggest earthquakes in history, and that it is more important than ever to be able to predict where they will happen to save lives. A young associate of the professor figures out how the tremor felt at the beginning of the movie could possibly predict a larger one by using the model they developed, and while testing it at Hoover Dam…well, I don't want to spoil things, but I bet you can guess what happens next.

Tue
13
Oct

The Peanuts Gang Hits Europe in Feature-Length Animated DVD

Bon Voyage Charlie Brown DVD Charles Schulz Peanuts Snoopy Critical Blast

The Peanuts gang may not be the most intricately animated group of cartoon kids, but they're certainly enduring. Their somewhat sedate pacing and thoughtful observations have made them a mainstay of our Halloweens, Thanksgivings and Christmases for decades.

In 1980, the team of Bill Melendez and Phil Roman brought Charles Schulz's comic strip tykes to the big screen (although not for the first time) in a full length adventure, BON VOYAGE, CHARLIE BROWN (AND DON'T COME BACK). It's a tale that finds Charlie Brown, Linus, Peppermint Patty and Marcie (and, of course, Snoopy and Woodstock) traveling to France as part of a student exchange program. This comes just after Charlie Brown has received a mysterious letter from a French girl named Violette, inviting him to come stay at the Chateau Mal Voisin -- the Home of the Bad Neighbor.

Sat
10
Oct

What's Going On Gives "Taste" of Blues Rock at its Best

Taste What's Going On Live Isle Wight Eagle Rock Entertainment

Taste, founded and fronted by the legendary guitarist Rory Gallagher, was an Irish blues/rock band, and arguably one of the greatest power trios ever to hit the stage. I would easily put them up there with Cream, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Blue Cheer, Grand Funk Rail Road and The Jimi Hendrix Experience as the best ever; certainly, in my opinion, playing by far the best rock ever to come out of the Emerald Isle. Yes, I said ever –  e.v.e.r – ever, by anyone.

What made them so good to me was the sheer raw energy with which Rory Gallagher played the guitar. He could stand to-to-toe with any other great guitarist. Doubt me? His performance was so well-received at the show that when Jimi Hendrix was asked what it was liked to be the best guitar player in the world, he replied, “I don’t know, why don’t you go and ask Rory Gallagher." Need a better recommendation than that?

Mon
05
Oct

Oct 13th Brings My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Friendship Games

Prepare yourselves for the Friendship Games! The Mane 6, and their new friends, will participate in a long-standing competition between rival schools Canterlot High and Crystal Prep! And soon you can own this musical adventure to enjoy time and again!

Available nationwide on October 13th, 2015 in Blu-Ray and DVD format you'll be able to meet the brilliant cast and creators behind this magical film. Experience the journey as Twilight expresses her struggles to make friends at school, in a film about being yourself and building valuable friendships.

Mon
28
Sep

Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron Moves Almost Faster Than Quicksilver

Marvel Avengers Age of Ultron Blu-ray Digital Critical Blast

I'm probably the only person in the world who sat down to watch the Blu-ray release of MARVEL'S AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON who had, in fact, not seen the movie in theaters (or, indeed, at all). But I was excited! All that hype, all that action, all those heroes!

And it certainly delivered the spectacle. The dialogue was spot-on for the banter I would expect from this team, the visual effects were stunning, the choreographed fight scenes were amazing.

Fri
25
Sep

Eighth Season of The Big Bang Theory Distills Comedy onto High Definition Blu-ray Discs

Big Bang Theory Season 8 Blu-ray Critical Blast

In the annals of television comedy, some pairings are simply classic to the point of everlasting. I thus posit that the partnership of Leonard and Sheldon has already made that list (although Sheldon might point out that it would be more proper to call the team Cooper and Hofstadter, because traditionally comic pairings are known by their last names, the listing would be alphabetical, and -- most importantly -- it would list him first).

However, to simply reduce THE BIG BANG THEORY to nerdy roommates Leonard and Sheldon (Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons) would be grossly unfair, because the show's success is due to its ensemble nature. The science squad would be woefully incomplete without the acerbic man-child Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) and innocently naive Raj Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar).

Mon
21
Sep

THE FLASH Season One Races Onto Blu-Ray

The Flash Season One Blu-Ray Grant Gustin Tom Cavanagh CW

His name is Barry Allen. And he is the fastest man alive.

When CW's SMALLVILLE began to introduce additional DC Universe characters, the trend was to stay away from anything that looked like a costume if a hoodie could suffice, finally giving way to the traditional Superman costume in the final episode. When ARROW debuted, it was, to a degree, still the hoody look, with some leather armor and facepaint added. It seemed the super-suits were definitely a no-go area for the network. So when they announced THE FLASH was coming, I was wondering what the new outfit would look like. I was ecstatic to see that it looked very Silver Age -- and that Grant Gustin was able to pull the look of Barry Allen off without it appearing to be a convention cosplay (which I love, but not in a television show).

Wed
16
Sep

Pre-Batman GOTHAM an Engrossing Crime Drama with Mass Appeal

Gotham Season One Fox Batman James Gordon Bruce Wayne Ben McKenzie Critical Blast

There's an interesting, long-standing trope in comic books that posits a superhero creates his own villains; that before the arrival of the superhero, there were no super-threats to the city he calls home, and that they are attracted there solely because the hero exists there to fight them.

The theme of GOTHAM runs counter to that proposition, putting forth the story of the titular city at least a decade prior to the arrival of the Dark Knight who would make Gotham City a name known around the world. It's a grim place, where the forces of law and order and the forces of the criminal underworld aren't pitted against each other but rather are entangled so much as to be indistinguishable one from the other.

Tue
15
Sep

The Road for the Brothers Winchester remains compelling in Season Ten!

Supernatural Season 10 Winchester Brothers Critical Blast CW

I've been a fan of SUPERNATURAL for a very long time. I still remember when I first watched the show. My future wife, Patti, and I were in the midst of a cross country journey, and we stopped in Missouri for a couple days to visit my close friend Daron. He got us hooked by watching several episodes of the fledgling show's first season DVD. We picked up our own copy of the season as the journey took us to states further on down the road, and a love for the series was built traveling much the way Sam and Dean Winchester do in the series.

Fri
04
Sep

THE WIRE on Blu-ray Makes for Compelling, Depressing Binge-Watching

The Wire Complete Series Blu-ray HBO Critical Blast

HBO's police procedural, THE WIRE, is a wholly engrossing departure from the norm. There are no mysteries to be solved here -- the viewer is let in on the criminal activities as well as the police activities, so the 'whodunnit' aspect isn't there.

Thu
03
Sep

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell a Magical Delight

Jonathan Strange Norrell BBC Sussana Clarke Critical Blast

Once upon a time, I read a piece on the Internet where Neil Gaiman extolled the virtues of Susanna Clarke's novel, JONATHAN STRANGE & MR NORRELL. A bit of a time later, I found the book in hardcover, which I promptly snapped up, and promptly placed it into a neat little nook on my bookshelf, where it lived happily ever after. The end.

Of course, I had completely neglected to make the time to actually read the thing, hefty tome that it was. Therefore, I am completely without a point of reference by which I could tell you whether or not the vision of director Toby Haynes is true to that of Ms. Clarke's. But I can tell you, as a body of work standing on its own, this BBC series is a thing wondrous strange.

Tue
01
Sep

Second Season (Part 2) for TEEN TITANS GO! Comes to DVD

Teen Titans Go House Pests Season Two Critical Blast DVD

For my own part, if I'm going to watch the animated Teen Titans, I'm going to go with the YOUNG JUSTICE series. Following that, the Filmation shorts, and then the Cartoon Network's TEEN TITANS -- all of which I would forego for a DC Universe animated movie of THE JUDAS CONTRACT, but let's not go there while there's still another BATMAN adventure to make. Watching TINY TOON ADVENTURES acted out by cutesified versions of superheroes wouldn't really top my list.

The seven-year-old boy who has taken up (and taken over) residence with me has other ideas. He thinks they're hilarious. He loves the butt-jokes. He even has a little crush on Raven. (When he grows up and sees Tara Strong, who provides the character's voice, he'll still have it and we'll have something in common.)

So while I wouldn't choose to watch TEEN TITANS GO! I nonetheless have viewed it and...I survived. In fact, some of it was actually fun, and funny.

Fri
21
Aug

Legion of Doom Big Trouble for Justice League in Latest LEGO Adventure

Justice League Legion of Doom LEGO Blu-ray DVD Critical Blast

The Justice League is back, and ready to hit the bad guys like a ton of bricks. LEGO bricks, that is.

JUSTICE LEAGUE: ATTACK OF THE LEGION OF DOOM is the latest installment in the animated LEGO adventures of DC Comics' Justice League characters: Superman (Nolan North), Batman (Troy Baker), Wonder Woman (Grey Griffin), Flash (James Arnold Taylor), Green Lantern (Josh Keaton) and Cyborg (Khary Payton). Together, they've been successful in stopping the bad guys in their tracks.

Thu
20
Aug

MATCH a Fine Story Matched by Equally Fine Acting

Match Patrick Stewart Matthew Lillard Carla Gugino Critical Blast Dennis Russo

The root story behind MATCH is a simple one, but therein lies its mystery as well.

Patrick Stewart stars as Tobi Powell, an aging, single, Manhattan ballet instructor and former dancer who is forced to confront his past -- willingly at first, and forcibly later on -- when a young couple, Lisa and Mike Davis (Carla Gugino and Matthew Lillard), from Seattle interrupt his life under the guise of wanting to interview him about his colorful life as a dancer back in the 1960’s.

I tend to love movies that feature a limited main cast in a confined set area (mostly Tobi’s apartment), where the story and acting are so strong that you not only lose track of the time but you're unaware of the limited surroundings. MATCH is a textbook example of this for me. While, yes, there are times when we are not in Tobi’s apartment, and there are some limited interactions with other people, those times are more to set up the story that plays out in the apartment between the three of them.

Tue
11
Aug

SEVENTH DWARF Comes Up Short

Seventh Dwarf Blu-ray DVD Combo Shout Factory

Marrying up the fairy tales of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, THE SEVENTH DWARF comes up short in story and in film quality, coming nowhere near the levels set by HOODWINKED or the SHREK franchise.

The scene is the 18th birthday party for Princess Rose (Peyton List). It's more than your average big deal, because it marks the day the princess can take off all her armor, which she's been forced to wear since she was born, having been cursed to sleep for 100 years if she were to prick her finger. But the evil witch, Dellamorta, is determined to bring her curse to fruition, and put Rose in a slumber that only the kiss of true love can dispel.

Thu
06
Aug

HOT PURSUIT Victim of Drive-By Writing

Hot Pursuit Reese Witherspoon Sofia Vergara Blu-ray

Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara forge an unlikely partnership in this cop film / buddy film / road trip film that goes off the rails almost immediately after the credits.

Witherspoon plays Officer Rose Cooper, whom we see grow up in the back seat of her father's patrol car. This upbringing has made her a rather intense person with a complete knowledge of the codes and regulations, but not much in the way of social interaction. In summation, she's a female Barney Fife, working a desk. For reasons that defy even the plot, she's selected to accompany a detective to bring in a Federal witness to testify, so that she can accompany the witness's wife, Daniella Riva (Vergara).

Mon
27
Jul

Its title is a misnomer but BLAST FROM THE PAST has arrived on Blu-ray.

Bomb shelters, doomsday preparedness, and those on the apocalypse watch have a part in our society today just like they did at least as far back as the Cold War. The struggle to survive is deeply ingrained in the human psyche but some people clearly will go to drastic means to survive an Earth-changing conflagration. I can see the sentiment, more so now that I have a family, yet building an underground bunker has never been high on my things-to-do list. Perhaps it's because, no matter how close to the edge society rides, I'm more of a "half full" kind of guy, that believes the world won't drop over the precipice.

Fri
24
Jul

GODS AND MONSTERS Not Your Usual Justice League

Justice League Gods and Monsters Blu-ray Warner Brothers DC Comics Critical Blast

What if it hadn't been the son of Jor-El, but the son of General Zod who had made the trek from a doomed Krypton to Earth as a baby? What if Bruce Wayne's parents hadn't been killed? What if Diana had never come from Paradise Island?

JUSTICE LEAGUE: GODS AND MONSTERS is the brainchild of Bruce Timm (BATMAN ANIMATED ADVENTURES, JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED), and it's a Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman like you have never seen before.

Tue
21
Jul

BITTEN Season of the Witch Now on DVD

Syfy Bitten Season 2 DVD Laura Vandervoort werewolves witches Critical Blast

The complete second season of the Syfy drama, BITTEN, is now out on DVD, allowing for some wonderful binge-watching of werewolves -- and, this season, of witches as well.

This sexy action-drama picks up with the murder of Elena's friend, who had discovered her lycanthropic secret. However, while that's touched on a little bit in this second season, it takes a back seat to the new plot, which introduces a coven of witches, led by Ruth Winterbourne (Tammy Isbell) and her daughter Paige (Tommie-Amber Pirie). One of their own, young Savannah (Kiara Glasco) has gone missing, and is being used to bring about the prophesied "Undoing" of all witches.

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