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    Major Crimes: The Complete Fifth Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 7th, 2017

    After five seasons I don’t really think of Major Crimes as a spin-off from The Closer. It has gone on to establish itself as a much better show than its former version ever was. We have become very comfortable with most of these characters, and the series isn’t really looking over its shoulder anymore, if it ever did. This is one of those shows that’s just easy to watch. There might not be anything groundbreaking going on here, but it feels like that old worn shirt that you love to wear because it just feels good having it on. That’s the kind of thing that can go on for many years, and Major Crimes doesn’t appear at all to be slowing down. It’s become an anchor for TNT, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.
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    Major Crimes: Season 4

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on May 26th, 2016

    “Everybody here knows what a spin-off is.”

    No doubt about it. Major Crimes has managed to do what few shows before it have been able to pull off. Shows have survived the loss of their lead, but the remaining years were usually something lesser than it once was. That’s not the case when The Closer lost its lead actress/character. The title was changed, and with just a few cast tweaks the series returned as Major Crimes, and I dare say it’s a much better show than its predecessor. Is it a spinoff? I might have to go to the replay booth to answer that one.
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    Major Crimes: Season 3

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on May 27th, 2015

    “I have doubts about my sanity, the Kennedy assassination, the moon landing, but this…”

    No doubt about it. Major Crimes has managed to do what few shows before it have been able to pull off. Shows have survived the loss of their lead, but the remaining years were usually something lesser than it once was. That’s not the case when The Closer lost its lead actress/character. The title was changed, and with just a few cast tweaks the series returned as Major Crimes, and I dare say it’s a much better show than its predecessor. 
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    Major Crimes: Season 2

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 16th, 2014

    “Uncooperative witnesses are becoming a specialty of mine.”

    That statement clearly describes Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson…except it doesn’t. Not anymore. The Closer was a stand-out hit for the folks at TNT. It’s no surprise that when the show’s star Kyra Sedgwick wanted to leave that the network would want to continue the show. That’s a little harder when the lead leaves. Shows have survived the loss of their lead, but the remaining years were usually something lesser than it once was. That’s not the case here.
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    Tuesday Round Up: May 30, 2017

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on May 30th, 2017

    I’m not sure what we did, but it must have been serious. We UpcomingDiscers are generally a law-abiding bunch, so I’m a little surprised that we’ve apparently landed in such hot water. How else to explain this week’s arrival of the Major Crimes division at our door? Naturally, I’m yanking your chain…no one here would hurt a fly. The good news is Warner Bros. was still nice enough to send us Major Crimes: Season 5, and we’ll have a review of the hit TNT cop drama soon. Elsewhere, Film Chest Media goes undercover with Decoy: The Complete Series. Finally, DC’s Wonder Woman hopes to lasso moviegoers into theaters very soon, so be sure to check back for our review later this week.

    Here’s your weekly reminder before signing off for the week (and for May): if you’re shopping for anything on Amazon and you do it through one of our links, it’ll help keep the lights on here at UpcomingDiscs. See ya next week!

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    Tuesday Round Up: May 24, 2016

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on May 24th, 2016

    I don’t know what we did, but it must have been serious. We UpcomingDiscers are generally a law-abiding bunch, so I’m a little surprised that we’ve apparently landed in such hot water. How else to explain this week’s arrival of the Major Crimes division at our door? Naturally, I’m yanking your chain…none of us here would hurt a fly. The good news is Warner Bros. was still nice enough to send us Major Crimes: Season 4, and we’ll have a review of TNT’s hit cop drama soon. Disney makes a daring rescue with The Finest Hours, while Sony hikes the Appalachian Mountains for Outsiders: Season 1. Finally, have we got a scoop for you…Lou Grant: Season 1 arrives courtesy of Shout! Factory.

    One last reminder before signing off for the week: if you’re shopping for anything on Amazon and you do it through one of our links, it’ll help keep the lights on here at UpcomingDiscs. See ya next week!

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    Unforgettable – The Second Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by William O'Donnell on June 25th, 2014

    Detective Carrie Wells (played by Poppy Montgomery) and her former boyfriend/current crime fighting partner Al Burns (played by Dylan Walsh) have been noticed because of their uncanny crime solving percentage in the upper 90% (a fairly common thing in TV crime shows, but nearly unheard of in the real world) and get promoted to the NYPD’s Major Crimes unit. With this move, and the fact that this program bounced in and out of cancellation quagmire between the first and second season
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    Rizzoli & Isles: Season 4

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 17th, 2014

    It’s hard to start a series in its fourth season. That’s particularly true of today’s huge mythology-arc shows that require you to be up to date at all times. Such was the task I found myself facing when we got a copy of Rizzoli & Isles to review. Fortunately, this is one of those pleasant exceptions to the rule. While I’d suggest that newcomers pick up the first three seasons anyway it’s not an absolute necessity. So if, like me, you’re discovering this one a little late, fear not. They’ll be a little work to catch up, but the fun kind.
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    The Closer: The Complete Fifth Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 30th, 2010

    Of all of the cop or detective shows I’ve seen over the years, I can relate to this one better than any of them. You see, years ago, I was a detective. I wasn’t a cop and mostly did internal investigations for a large Florida retail chain. While I was a fair detective in most areas, I did eventually develop a specialty of sorts. When other detectives ran into a brick wall interviewing their subjects, they’d often call on me to get whatever information they were trying to extract. No, I didn’t beat it out of them. I was never a physically intimidating guy. I was just good at getting them to talk. I guess I was a little bit of a con artist who was working for the good guys instead of preying on hapless marks.
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    The Closer: The Complete Fourth Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on May 29th, 2009

    This 4th season release of The Closer would become my first exposure to the rather good series from TNT. I don’t have time for network television these days, so the cable shows often fall by the wayside in my schedule. Of course, I’ve made time for some of the better ones over the years, but The Closer never seemed to find its way onto my radar. It should have. Of all of the cop or detective shows I’ve seen over the years, I can relate to this one better than any of them.
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    Knots Landing -The Complete Second Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by William O'Donnell on May 2nd, 2009

    This is the second season of this prime time soap opera’s fourteen season run. This show is the stories of three couples who all live in the same cul-de-sac, along the second season addition of single temptress Abby Cunnigham (played by Donna Mills), whose role inspires the packaging’s amusing tag-line “Abby Cunnigham moves to Knots Landing. Do you know where your husband is?”


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    Baby Driver

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on July 2nd, 2017

    For the most part it seems the summer blockbusters tend to be sequels, superhero films, or CGI bonanzas that are simply eye candy to get us to films in the dark auditoriums to escape the heat. It’s rare that something comes along that is so clever and as fresh as Baby Driver.  Personally I’ve been a fan of Edgar Wright from the moment I first saw Shaun of the Dead, he was a writer and director that I felt knew how to make films fun. When he was set to direct his dream project Ant-Man, I was excited to see him finally get a chance to do a giant tent-pole studio film, but weeks before filming was set to begin he got pulled away and replaced. When it got announced he was working on an action-comedy named Baby Driver well I was excited but the film’s title had me scared, fears of him doing something along the lines of Baby’s Day Out ran through my mind
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    The Killing of America (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on January 4th, 2017

    “America is the only industrialized nation with a higher murder rate than countries at civil war.”

    2016 might technically be in the rearview mirror, but it feels like last year left an indelible mark on the psyche of the United States. In addition to the most polarizing presidential election in a very long time, last year was marked by the deadliest shooting in U.S. history about an hour away from where I’m currently sitting, along with other highly-publicized instances of gun violence. So it feels like an appropriate time to revisit The Killing of America, a 1981 documentary that was never granted a commercial U.S. release after being deemed too exploitative.
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    Quantico: Season 1

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 20th, 2016

    “The state of this country is the most precarious it has ever been. Not only are there more threats than ever before, but the majority of those threats don’t come from known organizations or extremist groups, but our own backyard. A neighbor you grew up next to, a one-night stand you had, perhaps even a family member. You applied here to protect your country from those threats. And while your ideals and your test scores might have gotten you here, they will not be enough to keep you here. The FBI academy is the toughest boot camp, hardest grad school rolled into one. It is not college. It is life and death.”

    And that’s the setting of ABC’s new drama Quantico. But not quite so fast
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    The Blacklist: Season 3 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on August 12th, 2016

    James Spader is Raymond “Red” Reddington. If you have not yet watched an episode of The Blacklist I will tell you from the beginning that you just can’t start here. Season 3 hits the ground running as the consequences of some major storylines from the previous year start to play out. I found myself having to take the time and catch up on Season 2 because we didn’t get that year to review. It was clear to me from the start that there was no way to truly enjoy this release if I wasn’t caught up. The trouble I go through to keep you guys informed. It’s a tough job but someone has to do it. So, if you’re not up to speed this is your chance to pick up all three seasons and do some serious binge watching.
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    Death Row – A History of Capital Punishment in America

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on February 22nd, 2016

    “Peering out from the dark shadows of America’s death row are the faces of evil. The faces of murderers. Men and women who commot the most heinous of crimes. Some elude capture for years, even decades. But eventually, these lowest forms of humanity find themselves on death row awaiting their final fate… execution.”

    There appears to be a lot of controversy when it comes to the death penalty in the United States. I say appears, because even with all of the debate the polls show that Americans overwhelmingly support capital punishment. In fact, only 37% of Americans were opposed in the Gallup 2015 poll.
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    12 Rounds 3: Lockdown (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on December 25th, 2015

    With their impossibly beefy frames, larger-than-life personas, and familiarity with staged combat (sorry, buddy), pro wrestlers fit the old-school action star mold perfectly. Unfortunately for them, Hollywood isn’t nearly as interested in action flicks that don’t have superheroes, dinosaurs, or Liam Neeson. And while interconnected cinematic universes are all the rage at the moment, Lionsgate and World Wrestling Entertainment have a pretty interesting partnership themselves. Their latest offering is the dopey, compulsively watchable 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown, which is considerably more entertaining than it has any right to be.
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    “31 Nights Of Terror” Dark Places (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on October 16th, 2015

    People have short attention spans. And there’s always another murder.”

    Barely a year after Gone Girl became a mid-range blockbuster, we’re already getting our second big-screen adaptation of a Gillian Flynn novel. To be fair, both Gone Girl and Dark Places went into production around the same time in the fall of 2013. But that just means someone anticipated that a single shot of Flynn’s twisted brand of Midwest murder/mystery mayhem wouldn’t be enough to satisfy movie audiences.
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    True Story (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 10th, 2015

    Sometimes the truth isn’t believable. That doesn’t mean that it’s not true.”

    Talk about truth being stranger than fiction! That proverb absolutely applies to the real-life story of Mike Finkel and Christian Longo, two men from seemingly disparate backgrounds who were thrust together by extraordinary circumstances. Their relationship is the basis for True Story, a drama about duality and deception. But while the truth is often stranger than fiction, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s more entertaining.
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    Phantom Halo

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on August 7th, 2015

    Petty crime and literature: makes you wonder how often the two coexist. In the case of Phantom Halo, the two coexist quite often and very successfully. The introduction of the literature through the guise of street theater sets the stage for the criminal activity and provides elegance to what would possible been a dull story. However, in my opinion, the two need one another to provide a compelling story. Though admittedly there are times when one aspect seems farfetched or pulls focus from the other, in the long run it is these two themes together that make the overall film exceptional.
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    Amistad (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on May 13th, 2014

    “Whoever tells the best story wins.”

    This bit of lawyerly wisdom is given by John Quincy Adams in Amistad, Steven Spielberg’s account of a real-life 19th century slave revolt. President Adams is offering advice on how to mount the most effective case on the slaves’ behalf, but his words ring true well beyond the courtroom. Spielberg has been telling some of the best stories since the 1970s. Amistad may not be top-tier Spielberg, but the film — making its Blu-ray debut — is an absorbing historical drama in its own right.
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    Cocaine Cowboys: Reloaded (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on April 10th, 2014

    Today, Miami is considered one of the most glamorous cities in the world. But long before it became the place where some of the biggest stars in sports and entertainment took their talents, Miami was dubbed the drug, murder, and cash capital of the United States. (Resulting in a drastically different “Big 3” than what locals are accustomed to these days.) Cocaine Cowboys already chronicled this shockingly violent stretch of the city’s history and featured recollections from some of the people who helped Miami achieve its dubious status. Now an extended version of Billy Corben’s 2006 documentary arrives on Blu-ray.
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    “31 Nights Of Terror” Kindred: The Embraced – The Complete Series

    Posted in Disc Reviews by William O'Donnell on October 30th, 2013

    There are five clans of Vampires that are secretly living amongst humans. Said secret is maintained by a code of conduct called the “Masquerade” which states that vampires can never reveal themselves to a human; nor can they “embrace” (bite and convert) a human without approval from the highest council. Defying this means that your lengthy life is forfeit. A detective discovers the truth about the Masquerade when his girlfriend loses her life after defying these very rules, and he sets out to reveal the entire realm of vampires in San Francisco.
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    Elementary – The First Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by William O'Donnell on September 12th, 2013

    Modernizing Sherlock Holmes has been a popular trend in film and television lately. We have seen two slick action film adaptations courtesy of Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes and its sequel), a contemporary BBC adaptation (Sherlock) and now there is Elementary, which transplants Sherlock Holmes and his loyal companion Watson from Victorian Era England to modern USA (New York, more specifically).
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    Scandal: The Complete Second Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on September 5th, 2013

    “You’d be surprised what powerful people can get away with behind closed doors.”

    Viewers experiencing cop/lawyer/doctor show fatigue might be happy to learn the hottest job on TV these days appears to be “fixer.” Of course, the sneaky appeal of shows centered on these professional problem solvers is that they actually combine elements of cop and lawyer dramas; the fun twist is that the fixer’s job often requires them to prevent crimes from being solved. Before Ray Donovan became a hit for Showtime this summer, the second season of Scandal transformed the nighttime soap into ABC’s buzziest drama.
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