Month: September 2015

Arrow: The Complete Third Season on Blu Ray and Digital Download

I’ll admit, when Arrow first aired on the CW network, I was very skeptical. I even will go so far to say as I wasn’t a fan of the pilot. Mainly because I loved Justin Hartley as the Green Arrow on Smallville. And as the first few episodes aired I continually told myself no, I don’t like this show! However, I was lying to myself. Arrow quickly grew to what I believe to be the best show on television. Along with its spinoffs, The Flash and the upcoming Legends of Tomorrow, the Arrowverse is incredibly well crafted and executed perfectly.

That said, season 3 was not their best outing. As Oliver Queen’s Arrow has become a city wide known hero, his team and loyalties will be tested. With new threats on the rise, The Arrow now faces one of his deadliest foes yet, The League of Shadows. Lead by the seemingly omnipotent Ra’s al Ghul, The League seeks to avenge a death that has deep connections to the Arrow himself. Once their paths have crossed there is no turning back, and Oliver must seek guidance from an enemy he never thought he’d trust.

Basically, I felt that writers decided since they will never get live action Batman to TV, let’s just turn Oliver into Bruce Wayne this season and give him Batman stories. The entire season is basically the origin of Batman with a few twists. I know they can do better writing, I have seen better writing. They also felt the need to throw Laurel Lance into the Superhero mix, and I feel it was a misguided attempt to stick to the comic lore. This is not necessary. In a show like this changes from the comics can be embraced, and even seen as a better alternative. And had they expanded the change of Laurel into the Black Canary, and given us a longer turn, maybe I would’ve been more on board.

Starring Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Willa Holland, Emily Bett Rickards, Colton Haynes, John Barrowman, and Paul Blackthorne. Produced by Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television with executive producers Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg, and Sarah Schechter.

The Blu Ray is packed with special features to go along with the 23 episodes of the third season-

  • Second Skins: Creating the uniforms of Arrow
  • Nanda Parbat: Constructing the villains lair
  • 2 key commentaries with executive producers marc Guggenheim and Wendy Mericle
  • The Man Beneath the Suit: The Atoms first flight
  • Gag Reel
  • Deleted scenes

Another extra we are privileged to is presenting not only Arrow, but CWs Arrow Spinoff The Flash, as well as the now cancelled/possibly Arrow Resurrected Constantine, and Fox’s Gotham. DC Comics Night at Comic Con is the entire Hall H panel from San Diego Comic Con 2014. See the stars of these shows express their excitement for their shows, and a look at what was set to come.

With an incredibly crisp picture, the 4-disc Arrow the Complete Third Season Blu Ray includes 1080p Full HD Video and DTS-HD Master Audio for English 5.1. As well as a copy of high definition digital download. Where the story may have been lacking, the sound quality and picture suck you back into this world.

Just in time for the 4th season of Arrow to air on the CW, you can catch up on season 3 with this Blu Ray. While I admit the story was rather weak, it was not so bad as to turn you off from adding this 4 disc Blu ray to your collection. Already on sale you can be ready to go when season 4 starts up on October 7 and the Complete Third Season on Blu Ray is the perfect way to get amped up for its return.

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It Is What It Is, with The Jackass. Episode 2, Arcane.

Got to catch up with one of the many icons in Texas Indy Wrestling, my good friend and mentor, Arcane. Check out our conversation right here:

<a href=”http://jackassnation.podbean.com/mf/play/c3u8yr/Episode2.mp3″>Download this episode (right click and save)</a>

Dont forget to subscribe on Podbean, and subscribe to The Offshoots iTunes feed and download there!

It Is What It Is with the Jackass: Episode 1

I have started my own podcast folks. Just more to listen to. I am having technical issues getting it uploaded to ITunes, but for now you can check it out right here, or subscribe on Podbean or the Podcast Addict app, or however else you get podcast by using the RSS Feed: http://jackassnation.podbean.com/feed/

So I recorded this about 2 weeks ago, so the sports references might be a bit dated already, going forward wont be so long with uploads. But without further adieu, here is Episode 1 of It Is What it Is with the Jackass.

http://www.podbean.com/media/player/iw2v4-58d0c8?from=wp&skin=2&postId=5820616&download=0&share=1&fonts=Helvetica&auto=0

Don’t forget to also check out SCNS Live on YouTube every Thursday night at 6p/8c at YouTube.Com/SCNSLive, and Listen to Nerd Interference by subscribing to the RSS Feed: http://NerdInterference.podbean.com/feed/

"Black Mass (film) poster" by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Black_Mass_(film)_poster.jpg#/media/File:Black_Mass_(film)_poster.jpg

Black Mass the Return of Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp hasn’t had the biggest success ratings lately. With failures like Dark Shadows, Transcendent, and Mortdecai, he has left audiences wondering if we would ever see the real Johnny Depp again. Though the Pirates franchise continues to be box office hits, they have even fallen to the scrutiny of critics. His newest outing, Black Mass however has been silently working its way to the theaters, with a decent marking campaign that has made it look like a return to form for the major talent that is Depp. The question on everyone’s mind was, is Black Mass as good as it looks?

Black Mass is a crime drama released on September 18, 2015. It stars Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Kevin Bacon, Corey Stoll, Peter Sarsguard, and Dakota Johnson. Written by Jez Butterworth (Edge of Tomorrow, Spectre) and directed by Scott Cooper (Out of the Furnace) Black Mass tells the true story of the infamous mobster Whitey Bulger (Depp) and his alliance with the FBI that kept him out of prison, and at the top of organized crime in the late 70s and early 80s. It is based on the book Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance between the FBI and the Irish Mob by Dick Lehr.

What works best in this film are the performances? Johnny Depp must have heard people talking down about his acting and said “Oh yea? Watch this!” Because this is the star that we knew Depp was. He still has his makeup on, but that helps him disappear into this creepy, disgusting creature that is Whitey Bulger. He is phenomenal. One of his absolute best performances.

Another star performance is the one and only Joel Edgerton. Edgerton is putting together quite a resume. From Warrior, to The Gift, and now Black Mass, Edgerton is showing us he is a talent to be reckoned with. It won’t be long until the big leagues try to snatch him up, the Star Wars’ the Marvel’s, the DC’s. This guy is good.

To go along with Edgerton and Depp the rest of the cast is stellar. Cumberbatch is a star as always and nails the Boston accent. Bacon is a stand out and fun to see. Corey Stoll’s role is small but had the potential to be really impactful. The scenes he is in are intense and deep.

Another plus for this film is its tone. It is dark, and gritty and real. There are scenes that are legitimately hard to watch. And not because of gore or anything like that, they are just well written scenes. You feel the tension. There is a scene that was in the original trailer at a dinner table, and it just chills you to the bone. And it is not just that scene from the trailer; it is expanded, and heavy. The deaths are intense, and real, and you hurt with them, it almost feels like a serial killer film rather than a mobster film.

What hurts the film is I think the run time. It could’ve used another half hour to 45 minutes. The story seems to jump a lot, and when it does it almost leaves you lost at what has happened and what was missing in the years they jumped. Thy use some exposition to show you what all Bulger was doing, but they never really get into it. They never really show you his workings. They also didn’t show much of the war between the Italian Mafia and Irish Mob. I would have liked to see them delve into that a little more. Show us the battles, and turf war they were in.

Another issue I had was a lack of protagonist. Everyone is kind of the villain. You don’t really root for anyone until Corey Stoll arrives. And when he finally gets there you think ok, here comes the deep investigation into Bulger. And they give you one intense scene between Stoll and Edgerton’s characters, but then it is kind of left alone. And you are left to assume he had an investigation.

Over all Black Mass is a pretty good film, with incredible performances. Casting was out of this world, and every actor knocks it out of the park. While it suffers from a rather hollow story, it is still worth seeing. This might not be one that you re watch over and over, but it is still must see, especially for any Johnny Depp fan looking for his resurgence. I’m giving Black Mass a score of 3.8, with a .2 bonus for every actors, most importantly Depp’s, transformation into these roles. That leaves us with a Jeebus Score of 4.

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 6 points. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Acting, Entertainment, and Casting, and a max of .5 for Dialog, Cinematography, and Direction. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 6 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.

Gotham Season 1 Blu Ray Review

First off Im sorry I have been slacking lately. Haven’t caught up on many films. Will be back with a review of Black Mass very soon. However, thanks to my position at Cinelinx.com, I am getting more opportunities. Recently I received a copy of Gotham Season 1 on Blu Ray from the good people over at Warner Bros. so that I can review it for all the good peeps out there. You can read my official review of Gotham on Blu Ray right here: http://www.cinelinx.com/reviews/home-entertainment/gotham-season-1.html

Or read stay here for the MoneyMan Productions version.

The official synopsis of Fox’s newest superhero drama reads as “The story behind Commissioner James Gordon’s rise to prominence in Gotham City in the years before Batman’s arrival.” At first glance that sounds awesome. The initial set up and pilot was very fun and looked promising. However the story is much different than the official synopsis would have you think. Instead of focusing on its most interesting components, Gordon, Bullock, Penguin, and Edward Nygma, it tries to throw every possible Batman reference it can at you. Going so far as to become more centered on the young Bruce Wayne.

Gotham Season 1 stars Ben McKenzie, Donald Logue, David Mazouz, Robin Lord Taylor, Erin Richards, Zabryna Guevara, Sean Pertwee, Camren Bicondova, Cory Michael Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, Victoria Cartagena, Andrew Stewart-Jones, John Doman, Morena Baccarin, and Nicholas D’Agosto. It was developed by Bruno Heller and distributed by Warner Bros Television.

Now it’s not to say Gotham is all bad. It has some very shining moments that keep me hanging on for dear life. In hopes that more of these moments will come through. The relationship and story behind young Detective Gordon and his hardened somewhat corrupt but good hearted partner Harvey Bullock is what the show needs to stay focused on. A crime drama in vain of Law & Order with these two at its center. That’s what we all thought we were getting. Season one has its ups and downs, with nearly every other episode alternating with awesome content to “hey look we have Batman and his villains!”

The story of season one follows Gordon and his rise in the ranks of the GCP fighting corruption. Corruption that includes the Commissioner in cahoots with a Mayor that works between local crime bosses Falcone and Maroni. As the war grows between these two, a young underboss Fish Mooney attempts to take control of the streets of Gotham, all while Oswald “Penguin” Cobblepot attempts to put himself in position to control Gotham. Meanwhile young Bruce Wayne tries to learn to be a man under the guidance of his legal guardian and butler Alfred Pennywise. While trying to learn the truth about the death of his parents he joins with Selina Kyle, damaged girl who lives on the streets. She tries to help Bruce all while not getting to close.

More focus needs to be placed on the characters that carry the show. Not just Gordon and Bullock. I would like to see more focus on Penguin, which they did early on, but trailed off as the season progressed. Nygma, who was used sparingly, but perfectly in the beginning, might have gotten a little over used toward the end. He is great as a minor supporting role if they keep that up. Camren Bicondova as Selina Kyle is the break out star of the show. She is so good, and probably my favorite part of the series.

Sound quality on the Blu ray is great. It is very crisp and clear, weather you are watching one or all of the 22 episodes, or the special features. Even on my rather out dated and not so state of the art sound system it was beautifully done. The score is very Batman-esq and matches the season perfectly. To get technical for you, Gotham Season 1 Blu Ray has a DTS-HS Master Audio 5.1 surround track. Basically perfect for any system. The city is brought to life through the scattered sounds and scores of the background that enthrall the listener as you watch.

The visuals are just as stunning as well. Gotham has a unique palette of color to it. It is very bold and cold, and makes the brighter moments really pop. In a stunning 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 video presentation, the entire series is beautifully shot and colored. It makes the city come to life; it makes the characters pop as if you were looking through your own front window watching these events unfold in front of your very own home.

The season is full of ups and downs, along with cameos from many many characters from Batman lure. As the DVD and Blu Ray of season 1 has hit the shelves now, and we gear up for Season 2 on September 21st. The DVD/Blu-ray is chocked full of extras that add to the viewing of Gotham. They include character development pieces, set designs, and how they truly brought the city of Gotham to life. The bulk of these extras are set in 4 featurettes that each breaks down into separate viewing chapters:

-Gotham Invented

-Gotham: Designing the Fiction

-The Game of Cobblepot

-Gotham: A Legend Reborn

Another extra we are privileged to is presenting not only Gotham, but CWs the Flash and Arrow, as well as the now cancelled/possibly Arrow Resurrected Constantine, DC Comics Night at Comic Con is the entire Hall H panel from San Diego Comic Con 2014. See the stars of these shows express their excitement for their shows, and a look at what was set to come.

All in all, the Blu-ray/DVD of Gotham Season 1 is a fun experience given all these extras. They definitely add to the viewing of the show over all. However, given the shaky run of the show, and its story lines, and the not so exciting look at the season to come, you might hold off on this one. Let’s see how the series pans out before we decide this is a must have for the collectors of the world. Gotham gets a TV Jeebus Score of 3.5 with a bonus of .4 for Carmen Bicondova as Selina Kyle, and for the characters of Edward Nygma and Penguin.

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 6 points. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Acting, Entertainment, and Casting, and a max of .5 for Dialog, Cinematography, and Direction. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 6 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.