Headsup: Hawaii Five-0: The Sixth Season on DVD

hawaii-five-0-sixth-season-dvd

Ah, Hawaii. Glowing sand, sparkling waves... sounds pretty nice right about now, doesn't it?  In Season 6 of Hawaii Five-0, however, the people and situations Steve McGarrett and his task force come up against are anything but nice-- including the mob, a Russian spy, an indestructible suit of armor, and a cannibal (just to name a few).  In addition to the main cast of Alex O'Loughlin, Scott Caan, Daniel Dae Kim, Grace Park, Masi Oka, Chi McBride, and Jorge Garcia, guest stars of the season include Carol Burnett, Michel Pfeiffer, Sung Kang, Duane "Dog" Chapman, George Kee Cheung, Londyn Silzer, and Ziggy Marley.

Out now from CBS Home Entertainment is a DVD set that includes all twenty-five episodes from the sixth season as well as a fairly wide variety of bonus features. Behind-the-scenes extras include "Aloha Action" (which examines the stunt work from season 6), "Pirates & the Palace" (which discusses the production process for Episode 1), "Shorelines" (comments from some of the cast and producers on major plot points of the season and how they relate to the broader picture for the show), "Behind the Scenes with Alex O'Loughlin" (where the starring actor takes viewers on a tour of the filming lot), and "Casting Five-0” (a discussion of the guest star casting process along with some of their auditions).  Additional bonus features include commentaries on Episode 1 and Episode 19 with input from producers Peter Tassler and Peter Lenkov along with Chi McBride [...]

By |December 6th, 2016|Headsup|0 Comments

Headsup: Star Trek: The Animated Series on DVD

Star Trek Animated Series DVD

Star Trek: The Animated Series (often referred to simply by the abbreviation "TAS") was an important part of the Star Trek cannon for a few reasons: it bridged the gap for content-hungry fans between the end of the original series in 1969 and the debut of first film (Star Trek: The Motion Picture) in 1979, it was the first to win an Emmy award, and the first on-screen instance in which fans heard that the "T" in James T. Kirk stood for "Tiberius."

The series ran from 1973-74 and continued/supplemented many of the storylines from the original series. It also featured the voice talents of William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, George Takei, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols and Majel Barrett (the only member of the original cast missing was Walter Koenig as Pavel Chekov). While it was popular among many adult fans and critics, the show failed to garner enough of the children's market as originally intended, and it was cancelled after a total of only twenty-two episodes.

Currently available from CBS/Paramount is a four-disc DVD set that includes all episodes from the series as well as multiple bonus features, including Show History (a simple slideshow-esque collection of facts about the show), a storyboard gallery, audio commentaries (with fun behind-the-scenes info) and text commentaries (pop-up trivia), What's the Star Trek Connection? (a grouping of mini features that draw lines between the show and other Trek movies and television series), and Drawn [...]

By |December 6th, 2016|Headsup|0 Comments

Headsup: Scorpion Season 2 on DVD

Scorpion Season 2 DVD

In the second season of Scorpion, fans saw the quintet of genius misfits expand their A-Team-meets-Big-Bang-Theory-meets-MacGyver adventures across the globe.  This season features the team finding themselves in even more high-octane scenarios as they deal with a nuclear satellite, a Soviet submarine, a speeding train, a 7.8 earthquake, and an F4 tornado, all while trying to navigate personal issues and relationships.  If you're a fan of the show and want access to Season 2, you have a few options:

1) If you're a CBS All Access member, you have free access to the season through your subscription (Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hulu subscribers do not)
2) Amazon and iTunes both offer HD epsiodes for $2.99 and the full season for $19.99 and $24.99 respectively
3) You can purchase the DVD set (all 24 episodes plus over an hour of bonus features), currently available on Amazon for $33.49

And that's where the number crunching comes in. The main difference here (other than having a hard copy on the shelf) is the bonus features, none of which are included in the "buy the season" option on Amazon or iTunes (all they include is a three minute Season 1 recap).  Based on Amazon's price of $33.49, the cost-per-episode on the DVD set divides out to around $1.40 (versus 84 cents per episode if you get the whole season digitally for $19.99), so before you pull a trigger on either, consider how much these extras mean to you:

Storytelling:

  • "Unlikely Heroes" - Nick Santora (creator/producer) examines the story arcs of Walter (Elyes Gabel), Paige (Katharine McPhee), Toby (Eddie Kaye Thomas), Happy (Jadyn Wong), and Sylvester (Ari Stidham) in Season 2.
  • "Quintis" – a two minute mini feature with the actors talking about Episode 17 ("Adaptation") and how it promotes the relationship between two of the characters
  • "Scorpion: The Comic Book" – Nick Santora (creator/producer) and Nicholas Wooton (writer/executive producer) talk about the comic book from IDW based on the series that was created for distribution at Comic-Con

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By |December 1st, 2016|Headsup|0 Comments

Headsup: Billions Season One on Blu-ray and DVD

billions-season-one-blu-ray

This year we saw Showtime's debut of Billions, a wall street drama created by Brian Koppelman and David Levien (the writing team behind Rounders and Oceans 13) along with the journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin.  The series stars Damian Lewis (Homeland, Life) as the hedge fund billionaire Bobby "Axe" Axelrod alongside Paul Giamatti (Cinderella Man, John Adams) as US Attorney Chuck Rhoades Jr.  In a take-no-prisoners battle of wills, the two men play a high stakes game of chicken that eventually envelops their colleagues and loved ones in a clash of money, power, sex, and criss-crossed loyalties.

Now out on DVD and Blu-ray is the four-disc Season One collection that includes all twelve episodes along with almost thirty minutes of bonus features.  The extras on Disc One include "Street Slang," which explains some of the economic/business-centric vocabulary threaded through the show's dialogue and "Character Profiles," which gives a general overview of Axe, Chuck, Wendy (Maggie Siff), and Lara (Malin Akerman).  Disc Two features "Location: New York," which discusses how the city plays a prominent part in the storytelling and also touches on the show's subtextual yet purposeful use of food.  Disc Three has "Character Development," which summarizes the backgrounds of the characters and how those in turn lead to some of the central conflicts of the storyline.  Disc Four boasts "Shadows and Light," which discusses how none of the characters are fully "good guys" or "bad guys" and explores the gray areas that both connect and separate them from one [...]

By |November 23rd, 2016|Headsup|0 Comments

Headsup: Twilight Zone Sets Galore!

twilight-zone-complete-series-dvd

Out now from CBS/Paramount are multiple Twilight Zone sets just in time for holiday shopping.  They have large, medium, and small options, with pricing to match pretty much any budget if you have over $5 to splurge on a gift (or yourself).  Here they are from large to small:

LARGE:

The Twilight Zone: The 5th Dimension – Perfect for the mega-fan, this is a limited edition 41-disc (yes, you read that correctly) DVD box set.  It includes both the original series and the one from the 1980s as well as more than twenty hours of bonus features.  It is currently available on Amazon for $159.99.

The Twilight Zone: The Complete Series – This 25-disc DVD set includes all 156 episodes of the original series.  No bonus features on this one, but you still get to see your favorite storylines and guest stars (including Ron Howard, Burt Reynolds, Carol Burnett, and about half of the Star Trek cast members) along with some pretty awesome box art so it looks snazzy on the shelf.  You can get this one on Amazon for $46.95.

The Twilight Zone: Definitive Editions – The Definitive Editions DVD series features both single seasons and a complete series set.  On Amazon, the Complete Series (28-disc) set goes for $95.99.  Special features include radio dramas and interviews with the cast and crew as well as audio commentaries.

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By |November 23rd, 2016|Headsup|0 Comments

Black Phoenix Halloween 2016

Widge and his emotional support animal
Widge and his emotional support animal

After every Halloween, we here at Needcoffee have a ritual. It's called the Post-Halloween Crash. Yes, the aftereffects of zombies, pumpkin spice everything, and way too much chocolate can lead to one hell of a November hangover. It's really hard on Widgett. You think the wailing of a child being made to leave a playground is pitiful. You have never heard our Dear Leader screaming to the heavens "Why?! Why is it over!? Why have you forsaken me, O Flying Spaghetti Monster?!" Every damn year.

One method we use to bring Widge back to his senses is the Halloween scents from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. It's like smelling salts for the spooky set. Let us describe the fragrances that will help all of us, especially Widge, bid adieu to our Samhain ennui.

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By |November 23rd, 2016|Headsup|0 Comments

Headsup: House of Lies: The Final Season on DVD

House of Lies Final Season DVD

I didn't know this, but apparently House of Lies is based on a fabulously titled book--House of Lies: How Management Consultants Steal Your Watch and Then Tell You the Time, written by the former real-life Booz Allen Hamilton management consultant Martin Kihn.

Perhaps that's part of what gives the series its ability to be so unapologetic in its portrayal of “the 1%” and the (almost) larger-than-life characters who will stop at nothing to beat them at their own game (and then send them the bill). Leading this group is, of course, the charming anti-hero Marty Kaan, a role for which Don Cheadle achieved popular and critical acclaim. (Rounding out the main cast are Kristen Bell as Jeannie, Ben Schwartz as Clyde, and Josh Lawson as Doug.) Over its five-season run, the series collected thirty-one award nominations and five wins (including the Primetime Emmy for Art Direction in 2014 and Don Cheadle's Best Actor Golden Globe in 2013). The show has been celebrated for tackling the difficult issues of interracial relationships, police brutality, gender identity, and the wealth gap in America--and remember, this is not only just a half-hour show, but a comedy. Such attempts are not for the faint of heart.

In the fifth season, viewers see the characters dealing with the challenges of raising a baby, navigating political and personal relationships, doing business in a communist country, and giving a TED Talk. When Kristen Bell signed on to star [...]

By |November 23rd, 2016|Headsup, Stimuli|0 Comments

Headsup: Bob Hope: Hope for the Holidays on DVD

Bob Hope Hope for the Holidays DVD

You've probably at least heard of Bob Hope.  You may already be a fan of Bob Hope.  But do you have any idea just how amazing that man was?  In a career lasting almost eighty years, he performed on vaudeville and radio, acted in over seventy films/shorts, did fifty-seven USO tours (prompting Congress to deem him an honorary veteran in 1997), and still holds the record of hosting the Oscars the highest number of times (nineteen, more than double Billy Crystal's number).  He also somehow found time to write fourteen books, have a happy enough home life to be married for 69 years, and take such good care of his health that he lived to be 100.  I mean, dang.

One of the things people know and love most about this incredible man is the part he played in their Christmas traditions with his annual holiday special.  Now out from Time Life comes Bob Hope: Hope for the Holidays, a DVD compilation which includes his first holiday special (Dec. 24, 1950) along with material from Bob Hope's Bag Full of Christmas Memories, a holiday retrospective filmed at his home with guest stars and his family in 1993.  A fair amount of content is packed into this DVD, including humorous sketches (featuring Jack Benny, Bing Crosby, Red Skelton, Robert Cummings, Redd Fox, and others), a selection of Hope's USO tour monologues, musical performances by Lily Pons and Naomi & Wynonna Judd, a Christmas message from Eleanor Roosevelt, holiday bloopers, and (my favorite) Bob [...]

By |November 5th, 2016|Headsup|0 Comments

Headsup: Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders on Blu-ray and DVD

Batman return caped crusaders blu-ray dvd

In a year which has given us many dark and serious portrayals of the Batman mythos, Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders is a vibrantly loud, bright, and cheesy film that hearkens back to original 1960s television show, not only with a similar look and dialogue, but the original stars as well: that's right, Adam West, Burt Ward, and Julie Newmar are back!  Along with Batman, Robin, and Catwoman, we also get to see the villainous machinations of the Penguin, Joker, Riddler, and even Evil Batman (dun Dun DUN!!).

While the sixties were perhaps the golden age of corny television (although some episodes of Full House could definitely give them a run for their money), not everyone knows that Batman, with its goofy banter between the characters and admonitions to wear seatbelts, drink milk, etc, was intentionally so--William Dozier (executive producer) once described it as a sitcom without a laugh track.  This film follows in that vein, maintaining the lighthearted spirit of that much-loved show and making sure to work in lines like "Holy entrée, Batman!" along with the classic POW!s, SMACK!s, and BAM!s. (You can see a clip of Burt Ward discussing them here).  While the film has just enough spice to have earned it a PG rating (for "Action, Suggestive Material and Rude Humor"), it is safely within the family-friendly realm, and a good opportunity for the generations who loved the original Batman (or its re-runs) to introduce it to their millennial loved-ones.  Well-versed fans will also enjoy the many inside jokes and other Easter-egg-esque touches (such as the décor in the Batcave which references not only the TV show but the comics as well).

You may have caught the film's premiere at New York Comic-Con or perhaps its one-night-only limited theatrical release from Fathom Events on October 10th, but for those who didn't, you can check it out on DVD or Blu-ray combo pack now.  If you get the combo pack the film also comes with two bonus features, "Those Dastardly Desperados" (interviews from the cast and crew about the development of this particular version and how it ties in with the traditional and not-so-traditional treatment of the villains) and "A Classic Cadre of Voices" (where the actors discuss their approach to voice acting and the process of recording sessions, etc).

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By |November 5th, 2016|Headsup|0 Comments

Headsup: One Nation Under Trump on DVD

One Nation Under Trump DVD

Whether you love him or hate him, you have to admit that Donald J. Trump is currently a very relevant factor in America's political future.  One Nation Under Trump is self-described as "the first comprehensive feature documentary to delve into the zeitgeist of the unstoppable Donald Trump revolution."  I would, however, caution readers to take that description with a large grain of salt (even if you just stop halfway through the sentence).  This film is basically an hour of video clips from Mr. Trump's public speeches and interviews with a small amount of voiceover to tie them together, which leads me to suggest that the term "documentary" is a misnomer.  As to background or supplemental info on the man himself, it includes a few comments about his childhood, but not much else.  It's also good to note that this was created before the three 2016 presidential debates and therefore does not include that material.  I would therefore also suggest that the description of it being "comprehensive" is somewhat misleading as well.

So who among you may be considering watching/buying this?  Perhaps you are a still-undecided voter and think that this may fill in some of the blanks left with the media coverage to date.  Or maybe you are a teacher and planning on using it for a government or social studies class.  Both of these groups should know that you can find most of the content on YouTube (and even more, as it leaves out certain essentials such as the debates.)  If you are already a fan/supporter of Mr. Trump (or even if you aren't but you consider him an interesting character) and want to see a documentary that gives a "behind closed doors" look into what makes him tick with things like interviews with school friends, business associates, and family, or rarely-seen photos/video that give a more complete picture of him, this is not such a film.

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By |November 3rd, 2016|Headsup|0 Comments