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Thoughtful & Abstract: Sons of Anarchy: Season Two

SAMCRO is forced to deal with LOAN and lots and lots of retaliation. Throw in some rape, porn and more revenge for good measure.
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In which Shawn (@genx13) and Kim (@kimfreakinb) reminisce about Season Two of Sons of Anarchy. Shawn just started watching the show this Summer and Kim has been watching for years. As the Final Season revs up, here are some thoughts about the show's sophomore season in the Fall of 2009. Shawn: Well, you didn't lie to me. I got a full dose of guns, porn, overzealous law, and a bit of the ultraviolence. I feel like there's a conscious effort to expand the story right off the bat. We ended on such an emotional note last season that dealing with

Thoughtful & Abstract: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: "Shadows"

T&A come out of the shadows to see what our crew is doing to start Season Two.
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In which Shawn (@genx13) and Kim (@kimfreakinb) have instant reactions to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the most fun show on network television. Shawn: Go dark. Stay in the shadows. Find the obelisk. I think I see where this season is going in a nutshell. I really needed a little more of a "Previously on . . . " to get me back up to speed. But that start caught my attention and I kinda want a whole episode of the Howling Commandos in the '40s. Back to modern day and I got the good and the bad of the series all

Doctor Who: Deep Breath DVD Review: You Don't Need to Hold Your Breath to Bring the 12th Doctor Home on DVD or Blu-ray

Peter Capaldi's first outing as the Doctor time-travels onto DVD/Blu-ray.
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The new Doctor has arrived...on DVD and Blu-ray! Doctor Who: Deep Breath sees actor Peter Capaldi stepping into the role of The Doctor for his first full-length episode (having made brief appearances in episodes The Day of the Doctor and Time of the Doctor). Wasting little time, the BBC has already produced a DVD and Blu-ray of the episode for those who, like me, can't watch the BBC or BBC America, giving us our first real look at the new 12th Doctor. Having just regenerated, the Doctor finds himself having trouble remembering important information, like the identity of his friends

Thoughtful & Abstract: Sons of Anarchy: Season One: Ain't Your Father's MC

The Sons of Anarchy are introduced to T & A by way of Season One.
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In which Shawn (@genx13) and Kim (@kimfreakinb) reminisce about Season One of Sons of Anarchy. Shawn just started watching the show this Summer and Kim has been watching for years. As we run up to the final season, here are some thoughts about the show's debut season in the Fall of 2008. Shawn: Sons of Anarchy has always been one of those shows that I didn't watch but knew that I'd love. I loved Kurt Sutter's work on The Shield and this show has lots of the touches of that show that made it unique in the police drama genre.

Wizard World Chicago 2014: You Can Go Home Again

Chad Derdowski returns to Wizard World after a long hiatus... but is there any magic left?
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Once upon a time, I couldn’t have imagined missing a Wizard World event in Chicago. Even though I lived in Michigan, and more often than not, found myself taking the affordable, but not exactly enjoyable Mega Bus in order to make the long journey to the Windy City, it was always worth it. Greeted by old friends, aged whiskey, and the promise of scads of sequential art, the idea of missing this grand event was as impossible to imagine as a blockbuster film featuring Rocket Raccoon. But “once upon a time” was a long time ago, in what often feels

Thoughtful & Abstract: The Killing: Season Four Gets Sent Off

The fourth season of The Killing tries to go out with a bang.
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This conversation takes place between Kim (@kimfreakinB) who watched The Killing as it aired and Shawn (@genx13) who watched every episode in the past five weeks. It centers around the six episodes of season four that debuted on Netflix on August 1st. Shawn: I have to wrap my head around this in segments. I'm still working through my opinions. In short, I'm not satisfied. At all. But why? I asked myself a couple questions to start. Were the characters consistent between the initial three seasons and this last season? And was it the story that let me down? That doesn't

Snob Seven: Favorite Robin Williams Performances

Did your favorite make the list?
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As news of Robin Williams' death at the age of 63 broke across the media landscape, there was a slow groundswell of sadness for the man that had entertained so many for decades. Once details hinted, which have since been confirmed, that he had committed suicide, there was a palpable, collective grief that still lingers as the world continues on with its triumphs and tribulations. It's hard to fathom how someone whose purpose appeared to be, as his wife Susan Schneider referred to in a public statement, “the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions,” had such

Thoughtful & Abstract: An Awesome Mix of Ideas about Guardians of the Galaxy

The current state of the Marvel film empire is considered.
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In which Shawn (@genx13) and Kim (@KimFreakinB) consider Guardians of the Galaxy and other Marvel Comics movies: Shawn: I am Groot! Spoiler alert - I loved it. I don't know when I've left a theater more satisfied with a superhero film than with Guardians of the Galaxy. I think it's partially the lack of hype of the previous films this year and that it sneaks in at the tail end of Summer when there isn't much competition. But I was surprised that it even exceeded my expectations. So where does it fit in the spectrum for you, Kim? What are

Thoughtful & Abstract: Changes at Marvel Comics Fail To Impress

The reboot of the Avengers' core characters, while not surprising, is disheartening.
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In which Shawn (@genx13) and Kim (@KimFreakinB) consider the news about changes coing to a couple Marvel Comics characters: Shawn: This past week brought the announcement of a few changes coming to the Marvel Universe this Fall. It's funny what changes in the comic industry make the mainstream news and which ones go unnoticed. First, we're talking about fictional characters. Second, over the past 75 years, comic companies have proven that no change is permanent. I think the current changes caught the attention of Social Media because of a confluence of events. The week around San Diego Comic-Con always brings
Set for release on July 11, director Matt Reeves' Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes picks up the story 10 years after the events of Rupert Wyatt's Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes. To help fill in the details of what has happened since the simian-flu outbreak, Vice Media’s Motherboard has created three short films, and Greg Keyes has written Firestorm, published by Titan Books. Spread of Simian Flu: Before the Dawn of the Apes (Year 1), directed by Isaiah Seret: Amidst a widespread viral outbreak known as the "Simian Flu," a mother is quarantined after testing positive

Favorite Movies Adapted from the Stage

Some of the best of both mediums.
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With Clint Eastwood bringing the Tony Award-winning musical Jersey Boys to the silver screen, it serves as a reminder that many stories have graced theater stages before going before the cameras. Here are a few of our favorites: His Girl Friday, adapted from The Front Page, which debuted at the Times Square Theater on August 14, 1928 by Chris Morgan The Front Page has been turned into a movie a few times, but the best of all those movies, and one of the best movies of its era, is His Girl Friday (1940). This version keeps the newspaper milieu, but

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Final Trailer Sees the Light of Day

"Apes...do not...want war!" - Caesar
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A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier, as seen in Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species. Directed by Matt Reeves, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will be released on July 11, and from the final trailer, the story continues, bolstered by great action sequences .

An Adventure in Space and Time Blu-ray Review: A Must-have for any Whovian

A loving remembrance of how Doctor Who got its start.
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In 1963, the BBC had a space to fill in its Saturday time slot. Legendary producer and head of drama Sydney Newman had an idea for an educational science fiction show to fill it. He promoted Verity Lambert to produce the show (creating the first female producer of a dramatic program at the network). She hired character actor William Hartnell as the lead. It had a minuscule budget, a tiny studio, and got off to a rough start (the pilot aired the day of the JFK assassination) but went on to become the stuff of legend. The show, of course

Favorite Tom Cruise Movies

I feel the need. The need for a list.
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Over the past 30 years, few actors have been as big a movie star as Tom Cruise has. With his 37th feature, Edge of Tomorrow, the sci-fi actioner that finds mankind fighting against an alien race with the ability to control time, debuting this weekend, we thought it was a good time to reflect on his impressive body of work. The Color of Money by Gordon S. Miller Although Cruise had a greater success with Top Gun, my favorite performance by him from 1986 was in this Martin Scorsese-directed sequel to The Hustler, which found Paul Newman returning as "Fast"

Favorite Time-travel Movies

Read it now before someone goes back in time and changes the responses.
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This weekend the X-Men franchise returns to theaters with Days of Future Past, which finds Wolverine being sent back in time in an attempt to save humanity from destruction. The concept of time travel is certainly a fascinating one and is used in the movies listed below: Primer (2004) by Mark Buckingham Primer takes an interesting angle on the mystery of time travel by presenting it in a really practical, approachable way. At the same time, it's not dumbed down for the masses. Four tech-minded entrepreneurs working toward the next big idea literally in their garage accidentally find a way

Doctor Who: The Enemy of the World DVD Review: A True Gem Dug Up In Africa

We're really quite lucky to have it, and ultimately, it is quite enjoyable.
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It really is quite astonishing that they are finding various Doctor Who serials after literally believing them to be lost forever. Here at Cinema Sentries headquarters we threw quite a party when it was announced last year that all but one episode of The Web of Fear and the entire serial of The Enemy of the World had been found in Nigeria. They've only recently started to seriously scour the Earth for missing episode so who knows what they'll find next. The Enemy of the World is the fourth serial of the fifth season of Doctor Who. It originally aired

Favorite Monster Movies

We unleash our picks upon the world.
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With Gareth Edwards' Godzilla roaring into theaters this weekend, it seemed as good a time as any to reveal our favorite monster movies, which feature creatures of various shapes and sizes delivering chills and thrills to audiences around the world. Some love monster movies so much, they couldn't pick just one. The Invisible Man (1933) by Adam Blair Not a monster movie in the Godzilla/Mothra/giant mutated ants mode, the 1933 Invisible Man is about an ordinary, misguided guy who becomes a monster. Made by the illustrious James Whale midway between his triumphant original Frankenstein in 1931 and his now- camp-classic

Songs Ruined by Movies

Pandora's box was opened when original music not written for the screen was incorporated into soundtracks.
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Even before the advent of sound, movies had live accompaniment as they played in theaters. That's because music's intrinsic ability to convey moods greatly augmented what audience's were experiencing as they watched the visuals on the screen. Once the sound era was ushered in, talented composers joined the collection of artists working in Hollywood. Later, Broadway musicals began to be adapted for the silver screen. Eventually, original music not written for the screen was incorporated into soundtracks, opening up a Pandora's box. There are countless memorable pairings of music with movies, ranging from classical (Strauss' "Also sprach Zarathustra" in 2001)

Most Anticipated Movies of Summer 2014

The Sentries and friends are looking forward to the following films.
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While the calendar says different, movie-goers know the first weekend of May is when summer begins. Over four months, Hollywood will unleash a roster of blockbusters, and consumers will flock to theaters in hopes that the filmmakers will come thorugh on their implicit promise to entertain. The Sentries and friends are looking forward to the following: Godzilla in theaters May 16 Godzilla should trounce America (properly) via Legendary's respectful do over, set to thrash buildings as often as it does memories of the 1998 Dean Devlin “oops.” Building upon familiar (and inherent) nuclear themes, Gareth Edwards has been touting source

Doctor Who: The Web of Fear DVD Review: A Cause for Celebration

Available for the first time since being broadcast 46 years ago, The Second Doctor and UNIT are ready for the Yeti.
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The DVD release of The Web of Fear is another victory in the battle to restore all of the “lost” Doctor Who serials. As a cost-cutting measure, the BBC erased and reused the tapes during the 1960s. Since the quest began in earnest, copies of missing episodes have been found all over the world. This has been an extraordinary effort, and when something as significant as The Web of Fear is restored, it is a real event. In some instances, not every episode of a serial can be located though, and this has forced the company to become creative. With

My Top Picks for the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival

If I am lucky, I'll get into all seven.
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Each year when the schedule for the TCM Classic Film Festival is posted, I feel equal levels of excitement and stress. How will I ever decide? And why do they always put movies in the same slot that I really want to see? This year is no different. The schedule can be found at the Festival website and the following films are at the top of my list to see. Cheaper by the Dozen (1950) My festival viewing will start off with this sentimental selection since I have seen it several times but never on the big screen. Clifton Webb

Doctor Who: The Time of the Doctor Blu-ray Review: An Overstuffed, but Still Yummy Christmas Turkey

A nice send-off to the Eleventh Doctor, just not a great one.
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The Time of the Doctor has all the tell tale signs of a Doctor Who episode under the tutelage of show runner Steven Moffat. It's thrilling, clever, funny, and very entertaining, yet crammed with too much stuff, overly referential, and ultimately rather shallow. On a small, isolated planet a mysterious message is being beamed across all of time and space. Outside the planet are hundreds of alien ships (including most of the Doctor’s enemies) all desperately trying to determine what the message says. The Papal Mainframe, led by Tasha Lem - an old friend of the Doctor - is protecting

Doctor Who: The Moonbase DVD Review: An Important Release

The Second Doctor encounters the Cybermen for his first time but that's not his only problem.
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The Cybermen have always rivaled the Daleks as the premier villains in the Doctor Who Universe. The Daleks always seemed to be able to win on just being a creepy monster. The Cybermen were always the thinking man's villain for me. They are inherently a very philosophical monster. At what point do humans become something else as they replace their parts. It's been a theme in Science Fiction for generations. In the Doctor Who Universe, the evolution of the Cybermen has reflected the thoughts of the times. Their role now as arguably the most important adversaries is built upon more

Book Review: The James Bond Omnibus Volume 005 by Jim Lawrence & Yaroslav Horak

These are quality Bond stories that every fan should appreciate.
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Continuing their release of the James Bond comic strips in an oversized omnibus format, Titan Books has released James Bond Omnibus 005, which features nine of the 20 original stories by Jim Lawrence with artwork by Yaroslav Horak. The first five stories that appear here ran from July 7, 1975 through to January 22, 1977 in the UK paper Daily Express. Till Death Do Us Apart opens in Austria as Bond kidnaps a British woman named Adra to stop her from revealing secrets about Bakkan resistance groups to her married lover Stefan, an agent of the Bulgarian Secret Police. They

Doctor Who: The Day Of The Doctor Blu-ray Review: Celebrating 50 Years

Steven Moffat strikes gold with this 50th Anniversary Special.
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Previously reviewed by Todd Karella, The Day of the Doctor is the 50th Anniversary Special of Doctor Who, the British television series that has gone on to become such a global phenomenon the special was simultaneiusly broadcast in 94 countries across six continents. Like past anniversary specials (The Three Doctors and The Five Doctors), The Day of the Doctor brings together various incarnations of the Time Lord to take on a great menace and have a bit of fun as the different personalities of the character interact. Writer and executive producer Steven Moffat delivers quite a story, as not only

56th Annual GRAMMY Awards Nominees in Visual Media

And the Grammy nominees are...
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The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States released their nominees for the 2014 Grammy Awards, which recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry. The eligibility period was October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013. The ceremony will be held on January 26, 2014, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and portions will be broadcast on CBS at 8 p.m. ET/P. I am surprised they don't go live across the country so stay off social media that night if you don't want it spoiled. Honoring the "best" music in Visual Media are the following categories.

Fathom Events Presents Doctor Who: The Day Of The Doctor

The Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Celebration hits the silver screen.
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I’ve been to a few of these Fathom Events before and so I’ve come to know what to expect. The ones I’ve experienced involved television shows and before the presentation starts the movie screen shows interesting trivia questions to get the audience in the mood for what is about to come. My favorite was that in North America alone more than 1,000 sonic screwdrivers are sold daily. And then there’s also some kind of featurette that involves the making of the episode with interviews of cast and crew. This one was entitled “The Day of The Doctor: Behind The Lens,”
As part of the 50th anniversary celebration of Doctor Who, BBC America has been airing a series of monthly specials entitled The Doctors Revisited, each dedicated to one of the eleven incarnations of the character and the series during his tenure. They serve as good introductions to the different Doctors, although those already familiar with them may find the special too brief. In conjunction with the specials, a classic serial would follow. The Doctors Revisited: Fifth to Eighth is a four-disc DVD set that collects the programming devoted to the Fifth (Peter Davison), Sixth (Colin Baker), Seventh (Sylvester McCoy), and

Doctor Who: The Terror of the Zygons DVD Review: The Doctor and the Loch Ness Monster

A straight-up classic Tom Baker-era Who.
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Like a lot of Americans of a certain age - that is to say old enough to remember Doctor Who before the modern series - Tom Baker is my Doctor. From my understanding, the show didn’t really air in America until Baker’s run in the late '70s. His incarnation as the Fourth Doctor was certainly the one that got the most mileage in reruns being shown over and over again on PBS. In fact, it wasn’t until I started watching the modern series that I realized there were other Doctors besides him. As such, he is my favorite of the

Doctor Who: The Tenth Planet DVD Review: It's Far From Being Over

The first transformation of the Doctor and first appearance of the Cybermen make this a very significant serial.
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There have been many milestones in the 50-year history of Doctor Who, but there may be none more significant than what happens at the end of The Tenth Planet. With the words “It’s far from being all over!” the First Doctor (William Hartnell) goes inside the TARDIS and is transformed into the Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton). This happens right before our very eyes, so there is no question as to what has happened. It was one of the boldest moments a television show has ever made, and with it, Doctor Who could theoretically go on forever. Low ratings may have

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