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So far Thespia has created 99 blog entries.

Headsup: Chasing Bad Guys

Out now are multiple titles about those who hunt down criminals, all with their own particular style:

Hawaii Five-0 Season Seven DVDFirst up is Hawaii Five-0, a new spin on the vintage series about an elite task force charged with solving crimes that take place on the idyllic sunny islands.  Former navy man Detective Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) leads the team, following only his own rules and operating with full authority to hunt down the islands’ worst criminals and bring them to justice.  Working alongside McGarrett are Detective Danny (“Danno”) Williams, Chin Ho Kelly, coroner Dr. Max Bergman, beautiful Hawaiian native Kono Kalakaua, and former SWAT team leader Captain Lou Grover.  In Season Seven, the team must deal with some of their most dangerous cases yet as they hunt down the chess-piece killer, attempt to protect a witness in a coma from being assassinated, rescue Chin’s niece from a cartel, breaking down a sex trafficking ring, and more.  Guest stars on the season include Hawaii Five-0 veteran Jack Lord along with Claire Forlani, Darius Rucker, Julie Benz, Jimmy Buffett, and Christine Lahti.  Out now is Hawaii Five-0: The Seventh Season, which includes all twenty-five episodes of Season Seven along with some bonus content.  Featurettes on the set include “Shorelines: Season Seven” (action sequences and season highlights with the cast and crew), “The Chun Family Legacy” (actor Dennis Chun talks about continuing his father Kam Fong Chun’s Hawaii Five-o legacy), and “Tailor Grubbs Video Diary” (a peek at the video diary of youngest cast member Tailor Grubbs).  Along with the featurettes are coverage of a magazine photo shoot with star Alex O’Louhlin, some deleted and extended scenes, and a gag reel.  The complete season is available on Amazon on DVD for $29.99, or you can get the season digitally on Amazon or iTunes for $34.99. It’s important to note that not only do the streaming options cost $5 more, but bonus content on those is limited to one 2-minute featurette (“You Ask, They Tell: Grace Park”), so if you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, getting the DVD is definitely the way to go on this one.

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By | 2017-09-24T22:24:17+00:00 September 6th, 2017|Headsup|0 Comments

Headsup: The World of the Dark Knight

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

Out now are two titles for Batman fans:

Gotham Season Three Blu-rayFirst is Gotham, the crime drama television series that follows a young James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) in his early days in the Gotham Police Department. Also woven into the plot lines are the origin stories of Bruce Wayne and multiple DC villains. In the third season, Gordon becomes a self-made bounty hunter as he tracks the Indian Hill fugitives in an attempt to protect Gotham. While Gordon is chasing Hugo Strange and Fish Mooney, Bullock and Barnes are left to deal with the rise of additional supervillains, Poison Ivy and Mad Hatter, who along with Penguin and Riddler are wreaking havoc on the city. Amidst the chaos, young Bruce Wayne learns more about the Court of Owls criminal organization and begins to discover that there are even more secrets surrounding his parents’ murder. With the stakes rising ever higher, good and evil clash together like never before, and only time will tell which side will ultimately win power over the city and citizens of Gotham.

Out now on DVD and Blu-ray is Gotham: The Complete Third Season, which includes all twenty-one episodes of the third season along with some extras.  Heading the bonus features are three featurettes— one on the infamous Court of Owls (12 minutes), one on the new villains introduced in Season Three (10 minutes), and one on Ben McKenzie’s directorial debut (2 minutes).  Also included are the Gotham 2016 Comic Con panel and some deleted scenes.  Streaming options are available on iTunes (with all bonus features) and on Amazon (with only the Comic Con panel), both priced at $29.99. The DVD and Blu-ray are available on Amazon for $36.99 and $39.99, respectively. Pricing is pretty close on all of these options, so do your own calculations on pricing / features / format and see which one feels like a good fit.

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By | 2017-09-24T22:24:18+00:00 September 4th, 2017|Headsup|0 Comments

Headsup: Superpowers

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

Out just in time to get you ready for their fall premieres are four titles whose characters have super abilities—- some aimed at doing good, some at evil, and some who struggle in between.

DCs Legends of Tomorrow Season Two Blu-rayFirst up is DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, the story of Time Master Rip Hunter who seeks to avenge his murdered family and stop the machinations of their killer, Vandal Savage, along with the corrupt Time Masters who support him.  Helping Hunter in his quest are superheroes The Atom, White Canary, Firestorm, Hawkgirl, Hawkman, Captain Cold, and Heat Wave.  In Season Two, following the successful destruction of the Time Masters, the team (now including new members Citizen Steel and Vixen) must not only guard the timeline from aberrations but also face a new enemy in the form of the Legion of Doom.  This team of time-traveling super villains (which includes the Reverse Flash along with past versions of Malcolm Merlyn, Damien Darkh, and Captain Cold) seek the Spear of Destiny so that they may re-write their own fates.  With the prospect of facing their own alternates, the Legends will have to fight harder than ever before to protect Time itself and ensure their own survival.

Now out on Blu-ray and DVD is DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: The Complete Second Season.  Bonus features include a ten-minute featurette (“Allied: The Invasion Complex – DC’s Legends of Tomorrow”), the 2016 DC’s Legends of TomorrowComic Con Panel, a few deleted scenes, and a gag reel.  On Amazon, you can snag the DVD for $29.99 and the Blu-ray for $33.39.  Amazon and iTunes both offer streaming options for a season price of $24.99 and both include the Comic Con panel as an extra (iTunes also includes the “Invasion Complex” featurette).  Since iTunes includes the bulk of the bonus content, it might be worth considering if purchasing the season in disc form (which features-wise just gets you the addition of the deleted scenes and the gag reel) is worth paying $5 – $8 more, or if it’s better on this one to just go for the streaming option and save some coin.

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By | 2017-09-24T22:24:18+00:00 August 27th, 2017|Headsup|0 Comments

Headsup: Justice

 

Out now are three titles that follow the men and women who fight to keep the law and justice systems of America running:

 

Bull Season OneFirst we have Bull, the courtroom drama inspired by the early career of now-famous-talk-show-host Dr. Phil McGraw when he was the head of a trial consulting firm.  The title character Dr. Jason Bull (played by Michael Weatherly) is an ingenious and highly intuitive examiner of human nature who has expanded his own natural and learned skills into a prestigious firm of experts (the Trial Analysis Corporation).  Sometimes for a good cause and sometimes for the right price, Dr. Bull and his team craft defense narratives specific to the most minute detail in order to sway the jury, largely based on biofeedback from “mirror jurors” they recruit to give them the inside track on the mental state of the jury at any given time.  Along with Dr. Bull, the team of experts include lawyer Benny Colón (played by Freddy Rodriguez), neurolinguistics expert Marissa Morgan (played by Geneva Carr), former NYPD detective Danny James (played by Jaime Lee Kirchner), hacker Cable McCrory (played by Annabelle Attanasio), and former-football-star-turned-fashion-stylist Chunk Palmer (played by Chris Jackson).

Bull: Season One is now out on DVD, which includes all twenty-two episodes of the premiere season as well as close to an hour of special features, including “Michael Weatherly: No Bull” (an interview where Weatherly, who also co-produced the show, speaks about the fun and challenges of getting the series off the ground for its first season), “The Verdict: Bull Season One” (a featurette that goes behind the scenes of the show with Weatherly and some other cast members along with executive producers Paul Attanasio and Dr. Phil McGraw), “See You In Court” (a tour of the courtroom sets featured on the show led by Production Designer Sarah Frank), and a gag reel. You can currently get the DVD on Amazon for $29.87 or for twelve cents more can get it streaming on Amazon or iTunes (with no bonus features besides a two-minute “First Look” promo) for $29.99.  So unless you really don’t want it in hard copy, I’d say definitely go for the DVD on this one.

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By | 2017-09-24T22:24:19+00:00 August 23rd, 2017|Headsup|0 Comments

Headsup: Secrets

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

Out now are two titles where not everything is as it seems:

Riverdale Season OneFirst we have Riverdale, the alternative take on small-town life based on characters from Archie Comics. The series stars KJ Apa (Archie Andrews), Lili Reinhart (Betty Cooper), Camila Mendes (Veronica Lodge), and Cole Sprouse (Jughead Jones). As a new school year is under way, the characters are dealing with issues of love and loss: Betty Cooper has yet to disclose her romantic feelings for Archie, Archie has just finished a clandestine relationship with his once-mentor music teacher, queen bee Cheryl Blossom may be hiding something about her brother Jason’s death, and Archie must decide whether or not to come forward with damaging information about the day Jason went missing.  The town’s idyllic facade begins to crack as more secrets begin to come to light, and the characters begin to realize that Riverdale will never be the same.

Out now is Riverdale: The Complete First Season, which includes all thirteen episodes of the first season on DVD and Blu-ray.  Bonus features include five featurettes (“The New Normal”, “I Got You”, “Riverdale: 2016 Comic-Con Panel”, “Riverdale: The Ultimate Sin”, and “These are the Moments I Remember”) along with some unaired scenes and a gag reel.  A streaming option is available on both Amazon and iTunes for $29.99 (Amazon’s offers the Comic-Con panel and a one-minute behind-the-scenes special as bonus features and iTunes offers all five featurettes).  If you want it in disc format, you can grab it on Amazon: the DVD currently goes for $24.57 and the Blu-ray for $31.50.  Since you save $4+ by doing the DVD versus streaming and you get all the bonus features to boot, I’d say the DVD is the better move here, but weigh the factors (including how crowded your shelf is at home) and decide what’s best for you.

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By | 2017-09-24T22:24:19+00:00 August 17th, 2017|Headsup|0 Comments

Headsup: Kids’ Corner #2

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

 

Out now are three new titles to help your kids get in some laughter and adventure:

 
Elmo's Wonderful World DVDFirst we have Sesame Street: Elmo’s Wonderful World, where the beloved muppet takes his preschool audience on an exploration of sharing, counting, kindness, playing dress up, meeting bees, and more.  Along for the ride are Elmo’s friends Smartie, Mr. Noodle, and Mr. Noodle’s dog Schmoodle.  In addition to the thirteen new Elmo’s World episodes, bonus features on this one include two episodes of Sesame Street‘s new spin-off Furchester Hotel (a fun new show featuring Elmo and Cookie Monster as they try to help the well-meaning but less-than-competent Furchester-Fuzz family run an upscale hotel), along with three classic Elmo’s World Episodes (“Frogs,” “Violins,” and “Helping”).

Sesame Street: Elmo’s Wonderful World is out now from Warner Brothers on DVD, which includes over two hours of Elmo’s World episodes.  The DVD is now available on Amazon for $9.19 and you can get a taste of the show with the clip below.

Rating: Not Rated

Episode Runtime: 5-7 minutes
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By | 2017-09-24T22:24:19+00:00 August 15th, 2017|Animation, Headsup|0 Comments

Headsup: The Art of Magic the Gathering – Amonkhet

Even if you aren’t a gamer, you’ve probably at least heard of Magic: The Gathering, the very first fantasy trading card game which was created by Wizards of the Coast back in 1993.  Over the past two decades, the game has grown to include over seventy-five expansion sets and even has an organized international tournament system (including professional players who can win tens of thousands of dollars from a single tournament).  It has also won multiple awards, including a Mensa Award and multiple Origins Awards, and is available in eleven different languages.

If you are one of the twenty million Magic fans (in more than seventy countries),  you’ll be happy to know that The Art of Magic: The Gathering – Amonkhet, the fourth volume in a series of coffee table books featuring the award-winning artwork in the beloved game, is now available.  In this volume, readers meet the inhabitants of the desert oasis of Amonkhet, whose lives revolve around a series of trials completed in preparation for the return of the God-Pharaoh.  This 240-page hardcover book features full-color illustrations from a variety of artists, including Cliff Childs, Winona Wilson, Christine Choi and Adam Paquette, among others.  In addition to the beautiful artwork, Senior Game Designer James Wyatt also provides some insight into the mysterious and intoxicating world of Amonkhet.

The Art of Magic: The Gathering – Amonkhet is currently available on Amazon for $27.17; not bad considering how hefty a book this is (it weighs around four pounds and measures almost two feet wide when open)…a nice gifting choice for anyone in love with the art of the game (for some sneak peeks of the illustrations, see below).

 
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By | 2017-09-24T22:24:29+00:00 August 6th, 2017|Art, Books, Headsup|0 Comments

Headsup: Girls Kicking Butt

 

Out now are two titles for fans that are all about girl power:

 

Ghost-in-Shell-2017-Blu-ray-3DFirst we have Ghost in the Shell, the American action/sci-fi film directed by Rupert Sanders based on the Japanese manga of the same name by Masamune Shirow (for our recent feature on the animated Ghost in the Shell steelbook release, click here).  The film tells the story of Major (Scarlett Johansson), a futuristic cyborg supersoldier who was designed to fight against cyber-crime but discovers that events in her past may not be what her creators led her to believe.  As she delves into the mystery of her own identity, Major is forced to follow what is left of her human instincts to decide who she can and can’t trust, and must reconcile who she thought she was with who she may truly be instead.

The film is now out on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray Combo Pack, and DVD. In addition to the film, the Blu-ray sets also boast almost an hour of extras, including “Hard-Wired Humanity: Making of Ghost in the Shell” (a 30-minute behind-the-scenes feature with interviews from the cast and crew, covering topics such as character preparation, stunts, costume-making and the adaptation of the manga source material into the current film), “Section 9: Cyber Defenders” (an 11-minute examination of Major’s crime-fighting team and their individual specialized super-soldier abilities), and “Man & Machine: The Ghost Philosophy” (a ten-minute featurette that takes a look into the real-life science behind robotics and the future possibilities of human cyber enhancement).  The disc and digital versions are all currently available on Amazon, with the DVD and the Blu-ray Combo Pack both going for $19.99,  4K Ultra HD for $29.72, and the Blu-ray 3D for $48.99.  With so many options, it’s up to you which fits your needs / wants best if looking to purchase.  Just a note of reminder, though, that the DVD doesn’t offer the bonus features like the other sets, and since Amazon is currently offering it for the same price as the Blu-ray Combo Pack (which itself includes the DVD), there’s really no reason to not choose the latter of those two.

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By | 2017-09-24T22:24:30+00:00 August 2nd, 2017|Headsup|0 Comments

Headsup: Independent Film Friday #2

RED LEAVES DVD 1944 DVD Bender DVD

 
The first week of August is just around the corner, and with it come some new titles for the independent film junkie:

 

First is Fipresci Prize winner Red Leaves, Israeli-Ethiopian director Bazi Gete’s feature-length debut film which tells the tale of Meseganio Tadela (Debebe Eshetu), a 74-year-old Ethiopian immigrant living in Israel who has recently become a widower.  After deciding that he will sell his apartment and live alternately with his two adult sons (regardless of their feelings on the matter), the harsh reality of Tadela’s role as an unassimilated patriarch clinging to the past clashes with the realities of living in modern Israel as he struggles to pass on the values of his culture and his life to those around him before his chance is gone.  The movie is out from IndiePix Films on August 1 on DVD (at $24.95 suggested retail) as well as the streaming subscription service IndiePix Unlimited.  For an insight into the film, check out the trailer below:

 

 

Next up is 1944, Estonia’s Official Oscar Entry for Best Foreign Language Film in 2016.  Directed by Elmo Nüganen, 1944 takes an inside look into the effects of Estonia’s occupation during WWII (first by Soviet Russia and then by Nazi Germany) when tens of thousands of men of combat age in the Baltic country were forced to fight for the Soviet and Nazi forces.  Friends and neighbors were facing each other on the battlefield, with the country torn apart as a result.   The story (written by novelist Leo Kunnas, a former high-ranking Estonian military officer) is told through the eyes of the Estonian civilians fighting on opposing sides and the struggles that they go through to keep their humanity while trying to survive one of the bloodiest periods in the country’s history.  The film is out on August 1 from Film Movement on digital platforms and a Walmart-exclusive DVD, which includes the original Estonian with English subtitles as well as an English-dubbed track.  As a bonus feature, the DVD also includes director Jeanne Joseph’s Le Deux Vies de Nate Hill (The Two Lives of Nate Hill), an animated short that juxtaposes chance and fate.  For a preview of 1944, check out the trailer below:

 

 

If the blood-and-guts of 1944 doesn’t put you off, you might be just the audience for Bender, a thriller based on “the Bloody Benders,” America’s first (recorded) family of serial killers, estimated to have murdered a dozen (or more) travelers unfortunate enough to cross their path.  The film (the directorial debut of John Alexander) follows the investigation of people disappearing from a Kansas frontier settlement in the 1870s and the chilling discoveries that ensue once the focus is turned on the Bender family.  The ensemble cast features several familiar faces, including James Karen (The Return of the Living Dead, The Pursuit of Happyness, Wall Street), Linda Purl (The Office, Homeland), Bruce Davison (X-Men, The Fosters, Longtime Companion), Buck Taylor (Gunsmoke, Cowboys & Aliens), Reylynn Caster (Speechless), and Jon Monastero (The Book of Daniel).  Out on August 1 from Candy Factory Films, Bender will be available both on digital platforms and DVD (at $19.99 suggested retail).  For a sneak peek at the film, check out the trailer below:

 

 

By | 2017-09-24T22:24:30+00:00 July 28th, 2017|Headsup|0 Comments