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    Getting On: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)

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

    It’s noble work. It is useful. You are angels of mercy…I just never thought that I would end up here.”

    The geriatric care wing of a hospital — where the employees are undermanned and overworked, and many of the patients are in a near-catatonic state — is not the most obvious sitcom setting. As a result, HBO’s comedy series Getting On isn’t exactly what I’d call a gut buster. But even though much of the humor seems hyper-specific to this particular circle of workplace hell, anybody who has ever been underpaid to do a hard, crappy job should be able to relate.
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    The Newsroom: The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on November 7th, 2014

    “We don’t have the trust of the public anymore.”

    - “Get it back!”

    The Newsroom took a pretty decent beating during its first season. Sure, plenty of people praised the show’s exceptional acting and ambition, but too much of the conversation seemed to revolve around its flaws and its polarizing creator. In this Blu-ray set’s bonus material, Aaron Sorkin cops to being “overly earnest” and “aggressively uncool” in his work.
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    Billy Crystal: 700 Sundays

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on October 22nd, 2014

    Billy Crystal has built a legendary career as one of the most multi-faceted entertainers in all of showbiz. He’s a successful actor, comedian, writer, producer and director. At various points, Crystal has been a major star on television, on stage, and at the movies. He’s entertained everyone from musicians to movie stars, thanks to his gigs as a three-time Grammy host and nine-time Academy Awards emcee. But what works best about his return to the stage in 700 Sundays — Crystal’s Tony-winning one-man show — is how it illustrates the idea that virtually every entertainer gets his or her first round of applause in the family living room.
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    Nashville: The Complete Second Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on October 15th, 2014

    If you’ve ever asked someone, “What kind of music do you listen to?”, chances are you’ve heard the phrase, “I like everything…except country.” By that logic, a significant portion of TV viewers automatically dismissed ABC’s Nashville when it premiered two years ago. The flawed, entertaining musical drama has deservedly made it to a third season, which kicked off a few weeks ago. However, I think it’s useful to revisit Nashville‘s sophomore season. This set of episodes significantly re-calibrated the series — not always for the better — and marked the start of a shift toward the version of the show that is currently on the air.
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    2 Broke Girls: The Complete Third Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on October 14th, 2014

    Everyone on TV has nicer clothes and a bigger home than you do. And I’m not just talking about fictional doctors or lawyers. Even small-screen characters with relatively modest incomes manage to live in palatial apartments. Need proof? The 2 Broke Girls in CBS’s hit sitcom have an apartment that is literally big enough to fit a horse. (Hi, Chestnut.) Season 3 brings a new pet (Ep. 3/“And the Kitty Kitty Spank Spank”) and briefly threatens to remove Max and Caroline from their home (Ep. 22/“And the New Lease on Life”). I don’t think I’m giving anything away by saying things work out in the end. By now, the show’s crass predictability has become oddly comforting.
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    “31 Nights of Terror” Sharknado 2: The Second One (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on October 9th, 2014

    “You know what you just did, don’t you? You jumped the shark.”

    People have been mocking SyFy original films since the days when the network spelled its own name properly. But staying home on a Saturday night to “MST3K” your way through flicks with D-list actors and Z-grade visual effects has been replaced by Twitter, which practically blew up when the impossibly campy Sharknado premiered last year. SyFy recognized that social media has made it possible for anyone with Internet access to trade yuks and one-liners on a global scale; more importantly, it has allowed the network to be in on the joke in an unprecedented way.
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    Ancient Aliens: Season 6 – Vol 1 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on October 8th, 2014

    “Millions of people around the world believe we have been visited in the past by extraterrestrial beings. What if it were true?

    Ever since Eric von Daniken released his speculative book and its subsequent 1970 film Chariots of the Gods, there has been an entire field of study created around something commonly called Ancient Astronaut Theory. The idea is that extraterrestrials have visited many of our ancient civilizations. The theory continues that these visitors had a hand in shaping our development, whether it be through technology or even manipulation of our very DNA.
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    “31 Nights Of Terror” From Dusk Till Dawn: Complete Season One (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on October 5th, 2014

    In 1996 it was a brave new world for  Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. Tarantino was still riding the wave of Pulp Fiction’s fame, while Rodriguez was going strong with his follow up to El Mariachi, Desperado (which went on to be a bigger hit).  The two had crossed paths at various film festivals, and through the course of their meetings they discussed various projects they could possibly do together.  The project that brought these two together would be horror/ crime genre mixer, From Dusk Till Dawn.
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    Key & Peele: Season 3 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on September 30th, 2014

    It’s been quite some time since The Chappelle Show went off the air, and it would appear Comedy Central has finally found its replacement.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say the show is on the same par, but what Keegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele bring to the small screen is something that has piqued my interest and shows some potential.  Both Key and Peele got their big break from working on the sketch comedy show MADtv, and it would seem they are taking their talents and what they learned to bring us something that is a little familiar but still fresh and keeps its audience laughing.
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    The 100: Season 1 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 29th, 2014

    “Prisoners of the ARC, hear me now. You’ve been given a second chance, and as your Chancellor, it is my hope that you see this as not just a chance for you, but a chance for all of us, indeed for mankind itself. We have no idea what is waiting for you down there. If the odds of survival were better, we would’ve sent others. Frankly, we’re sending you because your crimes have made you expendable.”

    It’s 97 years ago and nuclear holocaust has made life on Earth unlivable… at least that’s what most people believed.
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    Reign: The Complete First Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on September 29th, 2014

    Politics, backstabbing, murder…just another day at French court.”

    The creators of Reign — the CW’s campy, compulsively-watchable adaptation of the Mary, Queen of Scots saga — seem to be perfectly aware of their audience. I don’t think I’m talking out of school when I say no one turns to the CW — home of DC heroes, vampires, and other Supernatural beings — for gritty realism or historical accuracy. So it really shouldn’t be a surprise to find the monarch’s life has been turned into a handsome, soapy, frequently ridiculous drama that will nevertheless make European History teachers around the world facepalm in unison.
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    Sleepy Hollow Season 1 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 26th, 2014

    “And I heard, as it were, the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, “Come and see.” Then, behold, a pale horse, and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him.”

    No, this is not a Johnny Cash song or a bible study post. Believe it or not, we’re talking Ichabod Crane from Washington Irving’s famous story The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow. Fans of the tale will recall that Ichabod came to encounter the headless horseman in one of the first American horror tales ever written.
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    Once Upon A Time: Season 3 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 25th, 2014

    “There is a town in Maine where every storybook character you’ve ever known is trapped between two worlds, victims of a powerful curse. Only one knows the truth, and only one can break her spell.”

    ABC has had a very important asset going for it for years. It’s one that the network has seldom taken any advantage of. That asset is its parent company. You see, ABC is part of the Walt Disney family. With the rich history of stories the studio has in its arsenal going back to the 1920′s, it was only a matter of time before some clever people decided to find a way to use that rich history into a television series.
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    Revenge: The Complete Third Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on September 25th, 2014

    - “Let’s never say the words ‘Carrion’ or ‘Initiative’ ever again.”

    - “Amen to that.”

    “Carrion” was a tedious MacGuffin of a computer program. “The Initiative” was the shadowy, faceless organization responsible for the terrorist attack pinned on the father of Revenge heroine Emily Thorne. Together, they combined to make the sophomore season of ABC’s formerly scorching-hot nighttime soap a tiresome chore.
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    South Park: Season 17 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 18th, 2014

    “Oh boy, zombie apocalypse!”

    No, it’s just South Park. But it has invaded pop culture as much as zombies have over its amazing 18-year run. Trey Parker and Matt Stone have been walking a tightrope for over 18 years now, and it just doesn’t get old. One of the reasons the show doesn’t grow stale is their ability to make such a quick turnaround on current events.
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    Big Bang Theory: Season 7 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on September 18th, 2014

    In case you’ve been hiding beneath a rock the past few years, The Big Bang Theory isn’t just a hit TV show, but instead it’s a show that has ingrained itself into pop culture.  You can go out to most major retailers and find shirts with “Bazinga”, and I’m willing to bet at least one of your Facebook friends has posted a GIF on their feed about the show.  It’s a show I told myself I wouldn’t get caught up in because I was so sure it was nothing more than a fad.
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    Arrow: Season 2 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 18th, 2014

    “The city still needs saving. But not by the Hood. And not by some vigilante who’s just crossing names off a list. It needs… something more.”

    That someone, that something more …that something else is the DC Comics character Green Arrow. Not to be confused with the same-colored Hornet or Lantern. In season 2 Oliver Queen finally sheds the name and reputation of the Hood or Vigilante. He has vowed not to kill, and he no longer has the list to guide him. His job now is to go after any bad guys in Starling City.
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    Spartacus: The Complete Series (Blu-ray)

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

    “Spartacus’ mongrel horde has swelled with each passing victory since Glaber’s defeat at Vesuvius. They added thousands to rank liberating the mines of Lucania. Slaves across the Republic, humble and grateful to their masters for so many years, have broken to treachery in the wake of the ever-expanding legend of Spartacus.”

    Starz has had a pretty good run with their Spartacus series. Coming off the style of blood and violence that was popularized with Zach Snyder’s 300, Spartacus brought that comic book/graphic novel intensity to television.
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    Supernatural: Season 9 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 12th, 2014

    “There’s virtually nothing the Winchesters can’t do if they work together.”

    But that’s the rub, isn’t it? The tradition has been that each of the last several seasons end up beginning with the brothers separated for one reason or another. Often one of them is trying to escape Hell, purgatory or some fantasy mental land. There are at least two times a year they split up over an argument.
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    The World Wars (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 11th, 2014

    “One must regard the 30 years of strife, turmoil and suffering in Europe as part of one story. One story of a 30 years war.” – Winston Churchill

    He was exactly correct, and one of only a few people of the time who had the vision to understand that concept. Before the end of World War II the first world war was known as The Great War. The idea of two separate world wars came later.
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    Richard Lewis: Bundle of Nerves

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on September 11th, 2014

    Some of the most iconic stand-up comics of all time have famously wrestled with personal demons while simultaneously mining them for material on stage. Few have done so more successfully — and for a longer period of time — than Richard Lewis. His neurotic, self-flagellating act earned Lewis his “Prince of Pain” nickname, but his longevity is just as impressive. The fact is a lot of great comics don’t last as long as Lewis because they lose that battle with their demons too soon. So it’s great to see that, at age 67, Lewis finally gets his due with a DVD set that covers some of his most seminal work.
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    Vampire Diaries: Season 5 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 10th, 2014

    “It’s been a long summer.”

    And my how things have changed in Mystic Falls. Elena is a vampire, and Katherine is now a human, and doing a pitiful job of that, to be sure. Bonnie is a ghost who only Jeremy can see, and they’re trying to keep it all a big secret from everyone so they all think Bonnie is out globe-hopping and having a great time. Stefan is at the bottom of a lake in a safe where everyone else thinks Silas is.
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    The Originals: Season 1 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 2nd, 2014

    “My siblings and I are the first vampires in all of history. The Original Family. Three centuries ago, we helped build a town called New Orleans. Now a plot by witches has lured me back, hoping that I will defeat a tyrant, a vampire I created. My brother hopes I will find redemption through the power of family, a miracle child, part werewolf, part vampire, a hybrid. My sister is doubtful; she thinks I am beyond redemption. Despite my brother’s best efforts, I have a plan of my own. I will take back my home and reclaim what was mine. I will be king.”

    If you’re a fan of The Vampire Diaries, you need no introduction to Klaus Mikaelson and his family of original vampires.
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    Portlandia – Season Four

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on September 1st, 2014

    Oregon may have been the 33rd state to join our union — and Portland may be its most populous city — but Portlandia is a (beet-eating, Bigot Parade-hosting, 3D printer-buying) state of mind. And four seasons into lovingly mocking upper middle class indulgence along with the denizens of the Pacific Northwest, the show — created by stars Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein and director Jonathan Krisel — continues to feel more like a fully-realized destination than ever.
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    The Walking Dead: Season 4 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on August 29th, 2014

    The first thing you should know about The Walking Dead is that it’s unlike any television series you have ever seen before. The images here are intense, and the crew has been given a blank check to create this vision without the burden of censors looking over their shoulders. There are plenty of blood-and-gore effects that rival any of the Hollywood zombie films you’ve seen in the last few years. The makeup effects are handled by the very capable hands of KNB and supervised personally by Greg Nicotero (the N from KNB).
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