Headsup: The 4400: The Complete Series

If you're a fan of The 4400, you probably know a lot about the show, but did you realize it's already been ten years since it went off the air?

If you're unfamiliar with the series, it's the story of what happens when 4,400 people who have gone missing over the past several decades suddenly reappear in Washington State (at the same age they were when they disappeared) via a mysterious ball of light.  As the NTAC (National Threat Assessment Command) division of Homeland Security struggles to solve the mystery of what has happened, they are presented with an additional challenge when members of The 4400 begin to develop superhuman powers such as mega strength, telekinesis, and the ability to see through walls.

Starring Joel Gretsch (as Tom Baldwin) and Jacqueline McKenzie (as Diana Skouris), the show was popular with its fan base and was even nominated for three Emmy Awards, but took some creative hits during the Writers Guild strike and was taken off of USA's lineup in 2007.  When the show was cancelled with Season 4 ending in a cliffhanger, disappointment-fueled fans launched a campaign to bring the show back on the air (but, sadly, were unsuccessful).

In October 2008 CBS/Paramount released a complete series DVD collection which included all four seasons of the show along with the bonus features that had been part of the single season releases (including audio commentaries, featurettes, a Director's cut of the episode "The Great Leap Forward", and [...]

By |May 25th, 2017|Headsup|0 Comments

Headsup: A Tale of Two Cities

 

Out now are the complete sets of two shows which combine a series-long love letter to their respective cities with crime fighting protagonists who navigate them:

 

Streets San Francisco Complete SeriesIn The Streets of San Francisco, two cops search for perpetrators of homicides in the City by the Bay in deliciously seventies style.  The show kicked off a week before its September 1972 series premiere with a pilot movie (same title) based on Carolyn Weston's detective novel, Poor, Poor Ophelia, and then ran for a straight five years to 1977.  The series starred Oscar winners Karl Malden (as veteran cop Michael Stone) and a very young Michael Douglas (as rookie Steve Keller) along with a heck of a lot of Ford cars (Ford Motor Company being the main sponsor for the show).  Filmed entirely on location, the story revolved around the duo investigating murders in San Francisco and Stone mentoring Keller as he learns about police work.  Guest stars were frequent and impressive, including Dean Stockwell, Pernell Roberts, Tom Selleck, Leslie Nielsen, James Woods, Nick Nolte, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Martin Sheen, Dabney Coleman, Desi Arnaz, Jr., John Ritter, Robert Wagner, Dick Van Patten, Mark Hamill, Tom Bosley, and Bill Bixby, among others (even Diana Douglas, Michael Douglas's mother, appeared on the show). The fifth season saw a change in the main partnership when Keller went off to be a teacher (due to Michael Douglas leaving to pursue a career in films after successfully producing Academy-Award winning film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) and was replaced by Inspector Dan Robbins [...]

By |May 25th, 2017|Headsup|0 Comments

Headsup: Star Trek—Deep Space Nine: The Complete Series

Star Trek-- Deep Space Nine: The Complete Series

Hardcore Trekkies feel passionately about all things Star Trek, and often a divisive issue is the love-it-or-hate-it battle lines drawn around Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.  Although universe creator Gene Roddenberry gave his approval for the show's concept, his death in 1991 made it the first of the television series to be produced without his direct involvement.  Deep Space Nine premiered in January 1993 (while The Next Generation was still on the air) and ran until June 1999.  The show broke with the formula of other Star Trek series in that it was set on a space station instead of a starship, the first to star a black actor as captain (Avery Brooks as Captain Benjamin Sisko), and the first to habitually showcase personal conflict between the crew members (Roddenberry had favored always having a unified front with other Star Trek crews).

Out now is a box set of the complete series of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine featuring all 176 episodes across 48 (DVD) discs along with multiple bonus features tied to each of the seven seasons.  Notable extras include "New Station, New Ships" (where Robert Legato, Dan Curry, and Robert Sternbach discuss the design process for the show, including that of the space station and the Cardassian warships), "Mission Inquiry: Far Beyond the Stars" (an examination of the thirteenth episode of Season 6, the metafiction storyline featuring almost the entire cast portraying human characters in 1950's New York), and "24th Century Wedding" (a featurette where [...]

By |May 13th, 2017|Headsup|0 Comments

Headsup: Crime Families

** Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment requests we note that it provided a free copy of the first DVD featured below. The opinions I share are my own.

 

If you're a fan of watching family drama unfold amidst the background of criminal enterprise, one (or both) of these new releases may be for you:

 

Animal-Kingdom-Season-One-Blu-rayFirst we have Animal Kingdom: TNT's new show based on the 2010 Australian film (same title) written by David Michôd, who also executive produces the series.  Animal Kingdom tells the story of Joshua ("J") Cody, a troubled teen who is forced through circumstance to move in with his southern California family (with a penchant for petty crime) led by matriarch Janine ("Smurf") Cody.  The show features an ensemble cast, including Finn Cole (Joshua), Emmy award winner Ellen Barkin (Janine), Scott Speedman (Barry "Baz" Blackwell), Shawn Hatosy (Andrew "Pope" Cody), Ben Robson (Craig Cody), Jake Weary (Deran Cody), Daniella Alonso (Catherine Blackwell), and Molly Gordon (Nicky Belmont).  Out now is the complete first season in both DVD and Blu-ray formats.  Special features include "Family Comes First" (a 14-minute featurette where the cast and crew discuss the family dynamics of the show's characters), "Setting the Stage" (a brief look at the design and construction of the set for Smurf's house), "Meet the Codys" and "Getting into Character" (which look at the development of the Cody family characters), "Inside Animal Kingdom" (a quick discussion with producers and the cast about the world of Animal Kingdom), "Animal Kingdom: Stunts" (which [...]

By |May 10th, 2017|Headsup|0 Comments

Russell Howard: Round the World - Review

Russell Howard

Performance at The Earl, Atlanta, 4 May 2017.

Having seen Russell Howard on Mock the Week, then catching his stand-up and later seeing him host the terrific Good News, it was a no-brainer to go catch him live for $25 while he was in town. For those of you unfamiliar with Howard, he's what would happen if ADHD manifested itself in human form and was then filmed by a Phantom Camera so it could be slowed down from Tasmanian Devil speed to something you could actually perceive. Because there's something to be said for seeing comedy in the flesh and the energy at last night's performance was pretty fantastic.

Helping things were not only the fairly intimate nature of The Earl's performance venue (with seating in place vs. their usual SRO, there wasn't really a bad seat there) but also the fact that opening act Dedrick Flynn (unfamiliar with him before now, but damn, the man is funny) opened with a bit to amp up the crowd that Howard apparently liked so much he used it as a refrain for the rest of his act. So Howard leapt in out of the gate and honestly seemed to like the crowd, as he told us he was only supposed to do an hour (not sure why) but he felt much more relaxed and open to chat.

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By |May 3rd, 2017|Reviews|0 Comments

Black Phoenix Takes A Stab At Julius Caesar

Assassination of Julius CaesarFilibuster this, motherfucker!

Julius Caesar is one of the major jewels in the Shakespearean crown. "Beware the Ides of March," "Et Tu, Brute," "Friends, Romans, Countrymen." You all know them even if you haven't read the play in decades or at all. It's the "Christmas Carol" effect: a work has become so integrated into the collective media subconscious that few people have actually read the original work.

But what were Shakespeare's original works? I mean, where did Shakespeare do his research? It's not like he had Wikipedia during the Elizabethan Era. The Encyclopedia Britannia was a couple centuries off in the horizons. So old Will had to go to primary sources. No handy summaries for him. Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab has honored those works that informed and inspired Julius Caesar with perfumes that show how those historians used turns of phrase to express this historical event.

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By |May 2nd, 2017|Headsup|0 Comments

Headsup: The Good Wife: The Complete Series

Good Wife Complete Series

If you've been watching The Good Fight, the first original scripted series on CBS All Access, you're probably aware that it's a spinoff of the fan favorite The Good Wife. The story of Alicia Florrick (Juliana Margulies), a woman married to disgraced politician Peter Florrick (Chris Noth) who returns to her law career in an effort to heal emotional wounds and reinvent herself, The Good Wife ran for seven seasons. It earned critical acclaim, a host of fanatically faithful viewers, and multiple Emmy, Golden Globe, People's Choice, SAG, and Critics' Choice awards along the way. In addition to Margulies and Noth, the series featured an ensemble cast, including Alan Cumming, Christine Baranski, Josh Charles, Matt Czuchry, and Archie Panjabi.

Now out in a DVD box set is the complete series presented over 42 discs, including all 156 episodes of the show along with hours of extras, including interviews with the cast and crew, featurettes on the storylines, character development, and production, insights from the writers and creators, extended and deleted scenes, gag reels, and more. Notable extras include "The Education of Alicia Florrick" (Season 1), "Alicia Florrick: Real Deal Inside the Episode" (Season 2), the corporate sexual harassment educational video (Season 3), "Style Evolution: The Fashion on The Good Wife" (Season 4), the hour-long "Requiem for a Friend: Inside Episode 515" (Season 5), "The Temptation of Alicia Florrick: The Good Wife (Season 6), and coverage of the red carpet/series finale party (Season 7). Fans should [...]

By |April 25th, 2017|Headsup|0 Comments

Your Weekend Justice #248: The Trouble With Highlander

Ash vs. Evil Dead Bruce Campbell and friend

It's Weekend Justice: the Internet's #1 audio trainwreck...as we continue on this stroll down memory lane, we welcome you to return to that heyday of early 2016. Ah, the salad days.

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By |April 24th, 2017|Podcasts, Weekend Justice|0 Comments

Headsup: Teenage Drama

Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment requests we note that it provided a free copy of the first DVD featured below. The opinions I share are my own.
 

As if hormones and problem skin weren't enough, the teens in two new releases have quite a lot on their plates:

 

Teen Titans Blu-rayAdapted from the adored 1984 DC comic series, Teen Titans: The Judas Contract rejoins the Teen Titans five years after their rescue of Princess Starfire (Kari Wahlgren) from her evil sister.  Now they have their sights set on a new target as Brother Blood (Gregg Henry) and his terrorist group seek to steal the team's powers with a specially created machine.  With the addition of mysterious new team member Terra (Christina Ricci) and a cat-and-mouse chase with the mercenary Deathstroke (Miguel Ferrer), the Teen Titans are rarely afforded a dull moment.  This film is sequel to Justice League vs Teen Titans and is #28 in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies series which began back in 2007 with Superman: Doomsday.  It also features Miguel Ferrer's final film role (as Slade Wilson / Deathstroke) before he passed away from throat cancer in January.  Like most of the others in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies line, the film is rated PG-13 (for language, sexual situations, and violence), so be aware before showing or gifting to little ones.
 
Teen Titans: The Judas Contract is being released direct to home media and is now available in DVD, Blu-ray, and digital formats.  The Blu-ray [...]

By |April 18th, 2017|Headsup|0 Comments

Headsup: Let's Have Drinks!

Out now from Paramount Home Media are two titles that show just how funny things can get when people are in their cups…
 
Office Christmas Party Blu-rayFirst we have Office Christmas Party, the story of a soon-to-close Chicago branch of a tech company which decides to try to land a life-saving client by means of a huge Christmas party that turns out to be a bacchanalian mess.  The film stars Jennifer Anniston as Scrooge-like CEO Carol Vanstone and T.J. Miller as her man-of-the-people brother Clay along with an ensemble cast, including Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn, Kate McKinnon, Rob Corddry, Jillian Bell, Vanessa Bayer, Sam Richardson, Fortune Feistier, and Courtney B. Vance.  The film grossed $114 million worldwide and, while it received mixed reviews from critics, was a welcome piece of lighthearted escapism for many fans.  The film is now out on both Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD, although if you want access to the unrated version (which includes footage not seen in theaters), you'll have to go with the Blu-ray option.  Bear in mind, the unrated version is only five minutes longer than the theatrical one. Also exclusive to the Blu-ray Combo Pack are some additional bonus features, including commentary on the theatrical version by directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck (who you may recall also joined forces on Blades of Glory), "Throwing an Office Christmas Party" (where the cast and crew discuss real Christmas parties and making the movie), a special named "Outtakes" which is really more like multiple takes of some of the actors improving alternate lines, and five deleted scenes.  The DVD has the theatrical version of the film only.

For those who want to grab it now and not wait for next holiday season, you can rent the HD digital version of the theatrical release on Amazon for $5.99 or purchase it on both Amazon and iTunes for $14.99.  You can also purchase the unrated version digitally on Amazon for $14.99 (for some reason there's no rental option on that one.)  Another oddity is that (at least at the time of this writing) on Amazon the pricing for the DVD and the Blu-ray are the same at $17.99.  (No idea why on that one, but I would say if you like the extras and the option to have both the theatrical and unrated versions for no extra coin, go ahead and jump on the Blu-ray while you can.)

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By |April 4th, 2017|Headsup|0 Comments