Headsup: Buried Secrets

American Gothic Season One DVDIn American Gothic, the Hawthorne family, the epitome of “the haves”, are sent reeling from the death of their
patriarch—- not only with the discovery that he may have been a serial killer, but also the possibility that one of them may have been his partner in crime. Starring the ensemble cast of Juliet Rylance (Alison), Antony Starr (Garrett), Justin Chatwin (Cam), Megan Ketch (Tessa), Elliot Knight (Brady), Stephanie Leonidas (Sophie), Gabriel Bateman (Jack), and Virginia Madsen (Madeline), the series made it through its original order of 13 episodes but was cancelled after the first season.

Even with its one-season run, the show does have a faithful base of fans, and those who are Amazon Prime and/or CBS All Access members will be happy to know that they can stream the season for free. As to paid options, while Amazon and iTunes often match each other’s prices for paid streaming content, in this case, they do not— individual HD episodes of the series on Amazon are $2.99 each and on iTunes are $3.49. Fans can get the whole season on iTunes for $29.99, while Amazon, interestingly, does not even offer a “whole season” streaming purchase option (which means to get all the episodes digitally there, viewers would have to spend $39.00). Considering that the DVD set (which in addition to all 13 episodes also includes some extended / deleted scenes, coverage of American Gothic at Comic-Con, and a blooper reel) is priced at just $37.01 on Amazon, the two best options numbers-wise are to either get the hard copy or go for the whole season option via iTunes.

 

A ratings darling for Showtime ever since its record-breaking pilot episode in 2013, Ray Donovan tells the story of a Ray Donovan Season Four DVD
“fixer” at a prominent law firm in Boston who enjoys great success in both his professional and family life until complications with his ex-con father and the FBI threaten everything he holds dear. In Season 4, we see the aftermath of the third season’s shootout with the Armenian Mafia and Ray’s confession to Father Romero, as well as the machinations surrounding the dark secret held by boxer Hector Campos and his unstable sister Marisol.  Throughout its run, the show has garnered positive critical reviews and multiple award nominations (including wins for Critics’ Choice, Golden Globe, and Primetime Emmy awards). Season five was given the green light in August of this year, and the series shows no sign of stopping any time soon.

Arriving on December 27 is the DVD set of Season Four, with all twelve episodes of the season as well as some bonus features, including character profiles on Ray (Liev Schreiber) and Mickey (Jon Voight), Female Strong (an examination of the resilient female characters), and Location: Primm (where executive producers discuss Primm, Nevada as a location and how it works into Season 4). The DVD is available for pre-order on Amazon for $19.99, which evens out to around $1.66 per episode (plus bonus features). iTunes offers individual episodes for $2.99 and the entire season for $29.99 (note the $10 difference). Showtime Anytime members and those with the Showtime add-on Subscription on Amazon can view the season for free, but if you want the season and you’re not in one of those groups, both the whole season and per-episode comparisons make the pricing on the DVD set look pretty darn good.

By | 2017-09-24T22:24:40+00:00 December 21st, 2016|Headsup|0 Comments

National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007) – 27 Second Review

National Treasure: Book of Secrets

Written by: Cormac Wibberly & Marianne Wibberly
Directed by: Jon Turteltaub
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Ed Harris, Jon Voight, Helen Mirren, Diane Kruger, Justin Bartha, Harvey Keitel

Review: Cool action, Great cast. I’m one of those crazy people who actually likes these movies. But then, I’m also one of those crazy people who randomly tackles nuns. So you can take that however you like.

Time: 9 seconds (more…)

By | 2017-09-24T23:22:14+00:00 January 28th, 2008|27 Seconds, Reviews|0 Comments

Transformers (2007) – 27 Second Review

Transformers Poster

Directed by: Michael Bay
Written by: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and John Rogers
Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Rachel Taylor, Anthony Anderson, Jon Voight, John Turturro, Peter Cullen, and Hugo Weaving

Review: Face it: the original is dead along with the rest of the 80s. No one turns into a gun, and you won’t learn a lesson about sharing or some shit. What this movie delivers is giant robots fighting other giant robots. And that’s what you go for. So what if they got a blind man to piss on a wheel of cheese and took it for writing dialogue? It has the Michael-Bay-Level Boom! So don’t complain.

Time: 17 seconds
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By | 2017-09-24T23:29:49+00:00 July 13th, 2007|27 Seconds, Reviews|0 Comments

Pearl Harbor (2001) – DVD Review

Pearl Harbor DVD set

Film:
DVD:

Written by: Randall Wallace
Directed by: Michael Bay
Starring: Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett, Kate Beckinsale, Cuba Gooding Jr., Alec Baldwin, Jon Voight and Dan Aykroyd

Features:

  • Intro and Letterbox Explanation by Michael Bay
  • Three running audio commentaries with filmmakers:
    • With director Bay and film historian Jeanine Basinger
    • With producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Affleck, Hartnett and Baldwin
    • With cinematographer John Schwartzman, production designer Nigel Phelps, costume designer Michael Kaplan, supervising art director Martin Laing, and composer Hans Zimmer
  • Journey To The Screen: The Making of Pearl Harbor
  • “There You’ll Be” Music Video
  • Trailer/promo for Beyond the Movie: Pearl Harbor by National Geographic
  • Two fifty minute documentaries from The History Channel:
    • Unsung Heroes of Pearl Harbor
    • One Hour Over Tokyo
  • Oral History snippet
  • Soldier’s Boot Camp featurette
  • Three production mini-featurettes, two with optional commentary by director Bay
  • Pre-production footage
  • Theatrical trailer and teaser
  • Deconstructing Destruction effects sequence featurette
  • Interactive Attack Sequence
    • Four angles to view from, four audio mixes to choose from
    • Commentary by effects supervisor Eric Brevig
    • Commentary by storyboard artist Robert Consing
    • Commentary by survivors of the actual Pearl Harbor attack
  • When Cultures Collide: From Perry to Pearl Harbor history featurette
  • Still gallery
  • 24-page companion booklet
  • Four Collectible Postcards

Released by: Buena Vista
Region: 1
Rating: R
Anamorphic: Yes.

My Advice: Own it, but only for the special features

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By | 2017-09-25T00:01:21+00:00 December 7th, 2003|Reviews|1 Comment

Noah’s Ark (1999) – DVD Review

noahs ark dvd cover

Film:
DVD:

Written by: Peter Barnes
Directed by: John Irvin
Starring: Jon Voight, Mary Steenburgen, F. Murray Abraham, James Coburn, Carol Kane

Features:

  • Trailer
  • Interactive memory game

Released by: Lions Gate
Region: 1
Rating: NR
Anamorphic: N/A, appears in its original 1.33:1 format.

My Advice: Hand it over to Torquemada.

Long ago, there was a man named Noah (Voight), who lived with his wife (Steenburgen) near the town of Sodom. Yes, you read that right. His best friend, Lot (Abraham) was as wicked as Noah was virtuous. One day the Lord (the voice of Voight) decided that he was going to warn humanity away from its wicked ways by destroying Sodom. He does so, but warns Noah so he and his family can get away. After this, humanity still doesn’t learn–so the Lord is going to take more drastic steps.

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By | 2011-12-01T22:23:03+00:00 May 2nd, 2002|Reviews|2 Comments

Ali (2001) – Movie Review

Ali movie poster

Written by: Michael Mann, Stephen J. Rivele, Eric Roth & Christopher Wilkinson, based on a story by Gregory Allen Howard
Directed by: Michael Mann
Starring: Will Smith, Jon Voight, Jamie Foxx, Mario Van Peebles, Ron Silver

My Advice: Wait for cable.

Ten years in the life of Cassius Clay (Smith), from his championship win over Sonny Liston (Michael Bentt) to his win against George Foreman (Charles Shufford) in the “Rumble in the Jungle”. During that time, he became heavily involved in Islam, refused to be drafted, had his title stripped from him, and had sex with a whole lot of women.

Something happened to this film. It almost went under when they needed $105 million to make a flick. Why you need that much money for a biopic when the only dollar-heavy star is Will Smith, I have no idea. But I bring all of this to your attention to back me up when I tell you that excesses ruined the film. Excess of editing, excess of characters and cast, excess of no one at the wheel. It feels like a six-hour film that was cut to less than three. And it also feels like they tried to make a film about the time period and not Ali himself. That’s what’s known as “scope creep,” when your original idea gets blown out of proportion and is crushed to death under its own weight.

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By | 2009-12-05T20:18:57+00:00 December 26th, 2001|Movies, Reviews|0 Comments

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) – Movie Review

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider movie poster

Film:

Written by: Patrick Massett, Simon West & John Zinman, based on a story by Michael Colleary & Mike Werb, based on the video game published by Eidos Interactive
Directed by: Simon West
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Iain Glen, Noah Taylor, Chris Barrie, Jon Voight

My Advice: Wait for MST3K

Lara Croft (Jolie) is a badass. She whomps killer robots, she wields handguns from hell like nobody’s business, and she has huge…….tracts of land. She’s essentially Indiana Jones‘ lost sister. But her past comes back to haunt her, as clues her father (Jolie’s real life father, Voight) left for her to find come to light. You see, there’s a shadowy group of conspirators who have been waiting five thousand years for a conjunction of all nine planets as well as a solar eclipse. It’s at this time that an ancient device can be found and used for good…or EVIL. Moohoohahaha.

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By | 2010-03-15T19:10:40+00:00 June 11th, 2001|Movies, Reviews|0 Comments