Headsup: Tested Loyalties

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

 

Out this month are three titles whose characters must deal with the challenges that come when loyalties and circumstance collide:

 

The 100 Complete Fourth SeasonFirst we have Season Four of The 100, the post-apocalyptic drama that tells the story of inhabitants of a space habitat ("The Ark") who return to Earth after a massive nuclear event (which caused an almost total extinction of the human population) and their interactions with those on Earth who survived.  In this season, the characters are reeling from the all-out war in Season Three while at the same time are faced with the discovery that Earth's atmosphere will soon be set on fire due to the meltdown of the existing nuclear reactors from lack of maintenance.  Clarke and others try to find a solution using the Nightbloods' natural immunity to radiation while the twelve clans are faced with the decision of selecting those among them who will be afforded protection for five years in a newly-discovered bunker.  Alliances are tested, relationships strained, and everyone must again fight for their own rights of survival.

Now out on DVD and Blu-ray is The 100: The Complete Fourth Season, which includes all thirteen episodes as well as bonus features, including the featurettes "From Outcasts to Leaders" (which examines the under-fire maturation of The 100), "Creating a [...]

By |July 24th, 2017|Headsup|0 Comments

Headsup: A Dose of the Sillies

 

If you need a little bit of silliness mixed into your weekend, check out these recently released titles:

 

Johnny and Friends Steve Martin Robin Williams Eddie Murphy

First up is The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson: Johnny and Friends featuring game-changing comedians Steve Martin, Robin Williams, and Eddie Murphy.  This three-disc collection includes nine episodes of The Tonight Show that span across the seventies, eighties, and nineties in the heyday of host Johnny Carson.  All nine shows are complete (including the commercials from when they aired— a fun bonus!) and have not been previously released for retail.  Disc One includes three episodes (from 1976, 1982, and 1991) with the legendary once-banished guest (and eventual fill in host) Steve Martin, who appears alongside Jimmy Stewart, Karen Black, Sylvester Stallone, Cathy Ladman, Leon Redbone, and others.  Disc Two centers on the incomparable Robin Williams, whose three episodes (one from 1984 and two from 1991) show the unpredictable entertainer cracking Johnny up as he appears with Phyllis Newman, Steve Lawrence, Jonathan Winters, and Park Overall.  Disc Three belongs to Eddie Murphy, whose three episodes (all from 1982) show how Murphy skyrocketed to stardom in less than a year as he appears with fellow guests McLean Stevenson, Wayne Rogers, Albert Hague, Randal "Tex" Cobb, and Angela Bofill.  The DVD set is out now from Time Life but isn't available on Amazon (except for one third party seller here) or Barnes and Noble as of yet, so keep [...]

By |July 20th, 2017|Headsup|0 Comments

Headsup: Independent Film Friday #1

Wichita DVD Life of Significant Soil DVD Game Changers DVD La Vie de Jean-Marie DVD
 

If you're an independent film buff, one (or more!) of these titles may be right up your alley...

 

From Candy Factory Films comes Wichita, a horror flick that follows Jeb (played by Trevor Peterson), a failing children's show director desperate to save his job by leading a work-intensive writers' retreat in Aspen.   As the "retreat" progresses, Jeb is pushed to the brink and turns his frustrations outward as hidden cameras capture the homicidal results of his ever-deepening psychotic rage. The film co-stars Caitlin Gerard (as Natalie), Persia White (as Raven), Demetri Goritsas (as Clark) and Christopher Robles (as Billy) and was directed by Matthew Ward and Justyn Ah Chong. You can rent or purchase digitally on Amazon (for $4.99 and $9.99 respectively) and see the trailer below for a preview.

 

Taking its name from the final line of T.S. Eliot's poem, "The Dry Salvages," Life of Significant Soil follows a couple whose relationship has outlasted their love for each other as they find themselves trapped in their last day together.  Starring Alexis Mouyiari (as Conor) and Charlotte Bydwell (as Addison), the film examines the building blocks of a once bright relationship and seeks to solve the mystery of how to keep its flame from self-extinguishing.  The film is the feature-length [...]

By |July 7th, 2017|Headsup|0 Comments

Headsup: Kids' Corner #1

 

Summertime is well underway, so if you need something to fill the spaces between the pool, summer camp, and building awesome forts outside, check out these kid-friendly titles…...

 

First up is Bunnicula, the new animated series loosely based on the book (of the same name) many of us read and loved as kids by James and Deborah Howe.  The story revolves about a vampiric bunny rabbit who instead of blood thirsts for vegetable juice, which gives him supernatural powers.  In this (comedic) series, Bunnicula (voiced by Chris Kattan) teams up with his adoptive human Mina (a New Orleans teenager, voiced by Kari Wahlgren), Harold (her easy-go-lucky dog, voiced by Brian Kimmet), and Chester (her anxiety-ridden cat, voiced by Sean Astin) for otherworldly adventures with lots of laughs along the way.  The series premiered in February of 2016 and is currently airing on Cartoon Network.

Bunnicula: Season One, Part One is out now from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment, which includes the first twenty episodes of the series across two DVDs.  The set is now available on Amazon for $10.86 and you can get a taste of the show with the clip below.

Rating: Not Rated

Episode Runtime: 11 minutes
 

 

 

Tom and Jerry- Willy Wonka and the Chocolate FactoryNext we have Tom and Jerry: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, which pairs the rambunctious cartoon cat-and-mouse duo with beloved Roald Dahl icon Willy Wonka and other familiar characters.  Based [...]

By |July 5th, 2017|Headsup|0 Comments

Headsup: Faces of the Past

 

Out now are two historical documentary series that explore the stories of people from the past, from ancient times through today:

 

Story of China With Michael Wood Blu-rayFirst we have The Story of China, written and hosted by the gold-standard-making historian Michael Wood.  In this six-part documentary about the oldest continuous state on earth, Wood follows the stories of characters who formed China's history and cultural identity, including those who led the Tang, Song, Ming, and Qing dynasties from 1500 BC to the twentieth century along with leaders in science, literature, and revolutionary political movements.  A sprawling and vibrant story (charmingly told in Wood's posh British accent), The Story of China brings viewers face-to-face with the likes of The First Emperor, Xuanzang (famed Buddhist traveler), Su Song (often referred to as "China's Leonardo da Vinci"), Li Qingzhao (a female poet), and Mao Zedong (the Communist revolutionary also known as "Chairman Mao"), among many others.  On his historical journey, Wood also examines the places where these stories took place, taking viewers back in time to see the Silk Road, the Yellow River, the Grand Canal, the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and other amazing places that were the backdrop of China's journey over the last four thousand years.  If you just want to check out the series (and haven't caught it live on PBS), you can currently watch it online at PBS.org (although this will most likely be a short-lived option, so if you [...]

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

Headsup: Giggles and Guffaws

 

Out now are two titles to help you get some much-needed laughter:

Hee Haw Pfft You Was Gone

 

First we have Hee Haw, which was actually created as "the rural alternative" to Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In and ran during some of the same years as its counterpart (1969-1971) before hitting its long-lasting syndication.  A comedy variety show set in fictional rural "Kornfield Kounty" and hosted by Buck Owens and Roy Clark, Hee Haw was originally made to be a summer replacement series for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.  It ended up gaining such popularity that even when it was cancelled in CBS's "Rural Purge" of 1971 (along with other "country" shows shows The Beverly Hillbillies, Mayberry R.F.D., and Green Acres) in an effort to focus on the network's more affluent/urban viewers, the show was quickly picked up for syndication, where it stayed for a record-setting twenty-one years (making it the longest-running weekly syndicated original series in television history).

Now out from Time Life is the two-disc set Hee Haw: Pfft! You Was Gone!, which includes four rarely-seen episodes from the show which aired between 1969 and 1973.  These classic episodes include sketches such as "Pickin' and Grinnin," "Archie's Barbershop," "Hey, Grandpa, What's for Supper?", "The KORN News," and "Rindercella" and feature guest stars Dolly Parton, Porter Wagoner, Merle Haggard, Tammy Wynette, and George Jones, among others.  The set is currently available at Amazon on DVD for $22.44.  No special features on this one, but if [...]

By |June 22nd, 2017|Headsup|0 Comments

Headsup: Love, Family, and Otherworldly Powers

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 two titles dealing with power struggles, sex, sibling rivalry, and other forces that move men's souls...

 

Vampire Diaries Season Eight Blu-rayFirst we have The Vampire Diaries, the story of a love triangle between teenage heroine Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) and two brothers, Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley) and Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder), which just happens to be set against the backdrop of the world of modern-day vampires.  Based on the L.J. Smith novel series of the same name, the show premiered in September of 2009 and has had a successful run ever since. It garnered 112 award nominations and 37 wins, including multiple People's Choice, Teen Choice, and Young Hollywood Awards.  Season eight follows Damon and Enzo (Michael Malarkey) as they continue to kill people while under the influence of a powerful and evil force, while at the same time Stefan, Caroline (Candice King), Bonnie (Kat Graham), and Alaric (Matt Davis) search for answers about the mysterious disappearance at the end of season seven.  Matt (Zach Roerig) is in the mix as well, as it becomes apparent that an unknown family connection to Mystic Falls may be the key to saving the town from being destroyed.

Now out on DVD and Blu-ray is the eighth and final season, which includes all sixteen episodes plus some bonus features, including a 14-minute featurette ("Last [...]

By |June 20th, 2017|Headsup|0 Comments

Black Phoenix Amuses With Prank Perfumes

Black Phoenix Alchemy Prank Cat

How's your year been? Hopefully better than 2016. I have several friends who were quite glad when January 1, 2017 arrived. Of course, now everyone I know is getting PTSD from the news and physically jump when they get a notification from CNN or BBC on their phone. There is a metric fuckton of anger out there, mostly justified to be sure. Mostly everyone is channeling their anger into town halls, protests, and of course Facebook posts. No one can live by outrage alone... well maybe a certain President. Self-care is the latest trending term. Take a moment, smell a flower, watch some comedy shows, just avoid politics for a bit before you return to fight the good fight. Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, as always, is there to help. They have made a perfume line inspired by the old fashioned practical joke devices. So let's see what humorous offerings they have with PRANK.

There are some lovely simple light scents to delight during the summer. This corresponds with the simplistic gags that were the inspiration. Squirting Boutonniere is just that, a fake flower that squirts water (or whatever liquid you can get away with) into people's faces as they try to smell it. The scent is almost literal: a pink rose scent with the aquatic cucumber and water lily. The Joy Buzzer [...]

By |June 9th, 2017|Headsup|0 Comments

Headsup: From Across the Pond

 

Out soon are two releases from European artists:

 

Jacques Rivette CollectionFirst we have a collection of some of the lesser-known films of Jacques Rivette, a French film director and critic famed for his work during the New Wave movement in French cinema in the 1950s and 60s.  Rivette began his career as a filmmaker at age twenty and over the course of his career made twenty-nine films (including notable titles L'amour fou (1969), Out 1 (1971), Celine and Julie Go Boating (1974), and La Belle Noiseuse (1991) ).  Now available from Arrow Academy is The Jacques Rivette Collection, a trio of films from the latter part of his career.  In 1975, Rivette and Stéphane Tchal Gadjieff (producer from Out 1) again joined forces with the goal of creating a love story, an adventure, a fantasy thriller, and a musical as a quartet of interconnected films dubbed Scènes de la vie parallèle, with each revolving around two central female characters.  Unfortunately, after the back-to-back filming of Noroît (an adventure story of two pirates) and Duelle (a fantasy about the Queen of the Night and the Queen of the Sun) in the spring of 1975, Rivette suffered a breakdown a few days into production for Marie et Julien (which would have been the love story in the series); the director later said that he "broke down physically" and "had overestimated own strength".  After a year of recovery, the idea of the film quartet was abandoned and Rivette turned to Merry-Go-Round (a surreal detective film), which ran [...]

By |June 5th, 2017|Headsup|0 Comments

Headsup: MURDER!!

 

** 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 two titles that deal with stories of people who have broken that all-important sixth commandment and of those who pursue them for their crime(s):

 

Major Crimes Complete Fifth Season DVDFirst up is the fifth season of Major Crimes, the spinoff of the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning series The Closer, which ran on TNT from 2005-2012 (ending when its star Kyra Sedgwick decided it was time to pursue other projects).  The storyline and main characters were so well-loved that creators literally didn't skip a beat between the two shows, airing the premiere of Major Crimes on the same night as the finale of The Closer. Major Crimes follows the case-by-case challenges of the (fictional) Major Crimes Division of the LAPD and the interpersonal relationships between its officers.  Starring two-time Oscar nominee Mary McDonnell as Captain Sharon Raydor, the primary cast also includes G. W. Bailey (as Detective Lieutenant Louie Provenza), Tony Denison (as Detective Lieutenant Andy Flynn), Michael Paul Chan (as Detective Lieutenant Michael Tao), Raymond Cruz (as Detective Julio Sanchez), Kearran Giovanni (as Detective Amy Sykes), Phillip P. Keene (as Buzz Watson), Graham Patrick Martin (as Rusty Beck), and Robert Gossett (as Assistant Chief Russell Taylor).

Major Crimes has enjoyed high ratings from the start: its premiere episode garnered 9.5 million viewers (the largest viewership for a series premiere [...]

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