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The Shield: The Complete Series DVD Review, Part 1: Seasons 1-3

The Shield was revolutionary television, but will it hold up upon a revisit?
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There is a scene in the pilot episode of The Shield in which Detective Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis) has been brought in to interrogate a pedophile who has kidnapped a very young girl for his own pleasure. Mackey comes in with a brown paper sack then proceeds to take out a bottle of liquor, an old telephone book, a lighter, and a utility knife. The smirking pedophile asks, “Your turn to play bad cop?” to which Mackey responds “Nah, 'good cop, bad cop' left for the day. I’m a different kind of cop.” If it clear right from the beginning

The Toys That Made Us: Season 1 & 2 DVD Review: An Informative, Entertaining TV Series

Am glad to see Netflix is making these shows available beyond their streaming service because, like a toy, these stories deserve to be shared.
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The Toys That Made Us is a Netflix documentary series that looks at the histories of famous toy lines. The seasons are short, running only four episodes each. The first covers Star Wars, Barbie, He-Man, and G.I. Joe, which all debuted on the streaming service on December 22, 2017. The second covers Star Trek, Transformers, LEGO, and Hello Kitty, which all debuted on May 25, 2018. The episodes tell compelling stories about those involved in the toy's creation and the cultural impact they had. The “Star Wars” episode opens with a historical re-enactment, which had me concerned we were going

Archer: Danger Island: The Complete Season Nine DVD Review: One of the Funniest Comedies on TV

It continues the ridiculous situations and wacky dialogue filled with recurring gags, obscure references, and unrelenting insults in which the series excels.
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Season Nine finds Archer still in a coma after having been shot in Season Seven, but his dreams have changed setting, moving from Los Angeles 1947 (Season Eight: Dreamland) to a South Seas island 1938, hence the subtitle: Danger Island. The voice cast play variations of their characters in this new setting. Sterling Archer (H. Jon Benjamin) is a pilot like Jake Cutter from Tales of the Gold Monkey, which creator Matt Read told A.V. Club was "one of my favorite shows ever." Pam (Amber Nash) is Sterling's co-pilot and considers him her best friend. Malory Archer (Jessica Walter) runs

Project Blue Book: Season 1 Blu-ray Review: The Plot Is Intriguing, but the Pacing Is Slow

UFO's and government cover-ups that don't come off as exciting as they should.
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Project Blue Book follows Dr. J. Allen Hynek (Aidan Gillen) who is a college professor recruited by the U.S. military to investigate UFO sightings around the United States. While his new partner, Air Force Captain Michael Quinn (Michael Malarkey) tows the official government line that all of the sighting can be explained away, Dr. Hyneck sees that there is something more than weather balloons and owls mistaken for aliens and spacecrafts. While Project Blue Book is a fictional show, it is based on true events and real people. This is a realm that the History Channel has ventured into over

Bancroft: Season One DVD Review: Completely Bonkers

Sometimes you need to take a break from all the prestige television demanding your attention and watch something completely ridiculous.
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In this world of seemingly endless must-watch, prestige TV filled with award-winning writers, directors, and actors, it is nice to see a series that is so utterly bonkers, so completely ridiculous in its plotting, and over the top in its performances that it only wants to entertain, not garner awards and stacks of internet think pieces over what it all means. Bancroft stars Sarah Parish as Detective Superintendent Elizabeth Bancroft, a hard-as-nails copper trying to take down a vicious drug syndicate which she hopes will earn her a promotion. Faye Marsay plays Elizabeth Stevens an up-and-coming detective who looks to

Pride & Prejudice (1995) Blu-ray Review: The Best Adaptation

Whereby I do repent of my sins and learn to love Jane Austen.
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My wife has been trying to get me to like Jane Austen for the 20-some years she’s known me. It has been an uphill battle. One that she has constantly failed at. It isn’t for a lack of trying on my part. I’ve seen the Ang Lee adaptation of Sense and Sensibility and at least a couple of versions of Emma. I liked them alright, but not enough to enter me into fandom. I’ve tried reading her books on more than one occasion but can never get past the first chapter. The biggest disappointment as far as my wife is

Doctor Who: Peter Davison: Complete Season One Blu-ray Review

A marvelous collection that Whovians should be happy to have on their shelf.
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The BBC has released Doctor Who: Peter Davison - Complete Season One, the second in its series of classic Doctor Who seasons on Blu-ray and the first featuring Peter Davison, the Fifth Doctor. This season, also known as the 19th season of the classic run, aired from January 4 to March 30, 1982 and contains the stories: Castrovalva, Four to Doomsday, Kinda, The Visitation, Black Orchid, Earthshock, and Time-Flight. In addition to Special Features from previously released DVDs, there are also brand new special features throughout the eight-disc set. Peter Davison had no easy task, following the very popular Tom

Doctor Who: Resolution Blu-ray Review: The New Cast Finally Comes Together

The Thirteenth Doctor and her new companions have found their groove.
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The Daleks are one of the oldest and most popular villains on Doctor Who. They were created by Terry Nation for the second story ever made for the series. They have appeared in more stories and episodes than any other villain. They have become true icons of popular culture all over the world. Yet, and let's be honest here, they aren’t really that scary or effective characters. From a design standpoint, they are basically tin cans with a whisk and toilet plunger for hands. Depending on the story needs, they can sometimes withstand the blasts from a tank and yet

Humans 3.0 Blu-ray Review: Third Time Is the Charm

The third season succeeds by totally resetting the premise of the show for the better.
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After an initial two seasons that showed glimpses of promise along with multiple missteps, the Season-Two cliffhanger initiated an exciting new direction that is fully capitalized on in this fantastic third season. Instead of continuing to explore a near future England where green-eyed “synths” are little more than mindless robotic maids and butlers for their human owners, the cliffhanger found a human launching a software patch that instantly made all synths sentient and fully aware of their virtual slavery. Season Three picks up a year after that cataclysmic event, revealing that 110,000 humans (and 100 million synths) died in the

Sarah T.: Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic Blu-ray Review: A Powerful Performance by Linda Blair

A sobering, if slight look at teenage alcoholism.
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After The Exorcist, Linda Blair's career got a bad rap because nothing else came close to the level of success she got from that film. Her later films such as Exorcist II, Roller Boogie, and Repossessed tarnished her credibility as a serious actress, especially considering the many Razzie nominations she unfortunately received throughtout. However, she did excel in demanding TV-movies where she played the much-abused victim. In director Richard Donner's 1977 TV movie, Sarah T.- Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic, she proved that she could handle uncomfortable subject matter, giving an unusually realistic portrayal of a young girl on the

The House That Would Not Die (1970) Blu-ray Review: A Clear Case of Repossession

Barbara Stanwyck's lackluster TV-movie debut is pulled out of the vault by Kino Lorber.
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Originally broadcast as an ABC Movie of the Week just four days before Halloween in 1970, The House That Would Not Die was one of umpteen-gazillion TV movies produced by the one and only Aaron Spelling. In this strange little blast from the past, former screen goddess Barbara Stanwyck ‒ one of many Hollywood stars who found much-needed work during the TV-movie heyday (in fact, she makes her debut in one here) ‒ stars as a silver-haired woman who has inherited a Revolutionary War-era home in Pennsylvania's Amish country. Yeah, it sounds positively terrifying already, I know. Moving into the

Castle Rock: The Complete First Season Blu-ray Review: So Much Potential Wasted

For fans of Stephen King, I would give a slight recommendation to try it.
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My love of reading and addiction to Stephen King started at a young age thanks to my Uncle Vern. King’s short story “The Raft” was given to me one Christmas and I was never the same since. Spending many nights locked in the bathroom while reading It was to follow. I have enjoyed almost every movie and series adaptation of King’s novels so as soon as I learned about Castle Rock, I was intrigued. On the other hand, the new series is a collaboration with J.J. Abrams who, while having created some of my favorite television shows of all time

Best of 2018 TV Lists

In which Shawn ranks some television from 2018 and 1988.
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From 2005 through 2012, I pretty consistently wrote my Sunday Morning Tuneage blog. It continued inconsistently through 2013 before being abandoned. Each year was punctuated with a series of "Best of" lists. While the blog still remains retired, I'm revived it last year for a Best of 2017. The feedback was enough for me to compile it again this year. Here's the middle entry of the "Best of" trilogy. BEST OF TV 2018 We live in a very high-quality TV-show era now. Maybe the top end isn't as strong as a decade ago but the number of very good shows

Robin Williams: Comic Genius 22-DVD Set Review: Makes the Case on Why Fans Think So Highly of Him

To make clear how popular a figure he was, this collection also makes for a good overview of the past 40 years in television.
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Robin Williams: Comic Genius scours the video vaults of Hollywood and beyond to present a comprehensive look at Williams's television work, over 52 hours across 22 discs. Volume 1 (six DVDs) has a primary focus on his HBO stand-up comedy specials. Covering more than 30 years, they are HBO On Location: Robin Williams - Off the Wall (1978); An Evening with Robin Williams (1983); Robin Williams: An Evening at the Met (1986); Robin Williams: Live on Broadway (2002), the audio of which earned him a Grammy; and Robin Williams: Weapons of Self Destruction (2009). Disc 6 covers Williams's USO tours

The Original Christmas Specials Collection: Deluxe Edition Blu-ray Review

It's wonderful to have them on hand, complete and able to watch at one's leisure.
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Rankin/Bass Productions, named after co-founders Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass, will forever be remembered in the annals of television history for creating some of the most beloved Christmas-related animated specials, many of which continue to air on TV over 50 years later. Universal Studios is making five of those programs available in The Original Christmas Specials Collection: Deluxe Edition. They are Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964), Frosty the Snowman (1969), Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town (1970), The Little Drummer Boy (1968), Cricket on the Hearth (1967). Additionally the first three are also available in individual new Deluxe Editions

Westworld Season Two: The Door Blu-ray Review: Flawed Mechanisms

The robots are out for revenge, but it's hard to care for most of the season.
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Warner Bros.Home Entertainment provided the writer with a free copy of the Blu-ray reviewed in the Blog Post. The opinions shared are his own. I was a bit lukewarm on the first season of HBO’s Westworld. I didn’t feel that it really brought about anything new in regards to the theory of artificial intelligence rebelling against its creator(s), but there was plenty in which I got invested. It was mainly the star power - most notably Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Jeffrey Wright, and Thandie Newton - that kept me tuning in, and I was interested in seeing where it was

TV Review: Supergirl: 'Elseworlds, Part 3'

"So this is kinda becoming an annual thing, huh?" - Supergirl
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A trio of Sentries are teaming back up to take on DC TV's three-part "Elseworlds" crossover event. See their coverage of Part 1 and Part 2. Gordon S. Miller In a fun twist, the episode begins not with Kara's usual introduction to viewers, but that of John Deegan who reveals he is now Superman. Why he has a black and white uniform over the traditional colors is never expalined but was probably to identify between the two SuperDeegan (Tyler Hoechlin) confronts the powerless Barry (Grant Gustin) and Oliver (Stephen Amell), but they escape him. Members of Team Arrow and Flash

TV Review: Arrow: 'Elseworlds, Part 2'

If this is an audition for a Batwoman series, then I'd say, "bring it on". - Shawn Bourdo
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A trio of Sentries are teaming back up to take on DC TV's three-part "Elseworlds" crossover event. See their coverage of "Part 1." Todd Karella In tonight’s second episode of the "Elseworlds" crossover event, we find our three main heroes, Supergirl (Melissa Benoist), the Flash (Grant Gustin), and the Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) heading to Gotham City chasing after some unknown individuals that Cisco (Carlos Valdes) had Vibed an image of and Oliver Queen had drawn a sketch of. But before they head over there, they stop by A.R.G.U.S. to get Team Arrow involved in trying in the whole body-switching

TV Review: The Flash: 'Elseworlds, Part 1'

While the large overarching plot was only touched upon at the beginning and end of the episode, it came across as a self-contained story that just loosely connected the shows over the next three nights. - Todd Karella
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A trio of Sentries are teaming back up to take on DC TV's three-part "Elseworlds" crossover event. Shawn Bourdo The idea of an Elseworld story in the DC Comic Universe is that you don't have to be aware of current continuity as much as you only need to know the basic constructs of the characters. That is not necessarily the case with this fifth annual Arrowverse crossover. While not all of the shows are represented in this mashup, let's review where they stand. Arrow - Tired of telling Team Arrow stories with flashback side stories, the show is trying to

Longmire: The Complete Sixth and Final Season DVD Review: They Saved the Best for Last

I am happy that it ended on such a high note but will always feel the wanting for more.
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Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided the writer with a free copy of the DVD reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions share are her own. I am so grateful to Netflix for giving us three more seasons of Longmire after it was cancelled by A&E. While I was still not ready for it to end, at least we got a final season to leave these characters in a thoughtful and fulfilled way. Our beloved Sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming, Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor) continues to face intense personal and professional challenges. His best friend Henry Standing Bear (Lou Diamond Philips)

Teen Titans GO! to the Movies Blu-ray Review: Doesn't Quite Capture the Essence of the TV Show

While I was entertained, the film fell a little flat.
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Serious comic-book fans know that the Teen Titans have been around since the 1960s, but with comic-book culture hitting the mainstream, many people were first made aware of this superhero team when the animated Teen Titans series premiered on Cartoon Network in 2003. The show starred five teenaged superheroes with varying powers that solved crime and fought super villains, much like their Justice League counterparts. They were led by Robin (Scott Menville), who had no super powers of his own but had learned from one of the greatest super heroes, Batman. The other team members included: Cyborg (Khary Payton), a

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!: The Ultimate Edition Blu-ray Review

An entertaining release that collects the Grinch's TV specials.
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Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided Cinema Sentries with a free copy of the Blu-ray Combo Pack reviewed in this post. The opinions shared are the writer's own. Released on October 23, because it's never too early to start getting folks buying stuff for Christmas, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!: The Ultimate Edition was made available on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital. Based on his 1957 book of the same name, Dr. Seuss teamed with legendary animator Chuck Jones and created a TV special in 1966 that has become a perennial holiday favorite for many. Boris Karloff narrates and voices

Rescue Me: The Complete Series Blu-ray Review: Important yet Really Difficult to Watch

This deeply flawed, yet entertaining series gets a nice release price for Christmas presents.
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Rescue Me was a darkly funny, utterly crass comedy/drama about a group of New York City firefighters dealing with survivor's guilt in the years following 9/11. It was created by and stars Denis Leary, who also served as head writer. It aired on the F/X network, which had recently scored a huge hit with The Shield. It similarly pushed the envelope in terms of language, sex, and nudity for a basic-cable series. But where The Shield aimed for edge-of-your-seat thrills, Rescue Me opted for pitch-black comedy and insightful, though soapish drama. It is a difficult show to watch in light

The Carol Burnett Show: 50th Anniversary Special DVD Review: A Few Too Many Guests

The Carol Burnett Show looks good at fifty.
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With reruns of The Carol Burnett Show on almost every night, it’s hard to believe that we could be celebrating the 50th anniversary, but celebrate they did, and we got to watch. In December 2017, CBS aired Carol and friends return to Stage 33 at Television City and on September 18, 2018, Time Life released the special on DVD. The special is everything that you would expect and more. The “more” is not always good, but different. There have been numerous specials over the years celebrating and reminiscing about the wonderful comedy created by Carol, Vicki Lawrence, Harvey Korman, Lyle

DC's Legends of Tomorrow: Season Three Blu-ray Review: Legendary Television

This series keeps getting better and better.
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Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided the writer with a free copy of the Blu-ray reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions shared are his own. I almost didn’t make it through the first season of Legends of Tomorrow. The main characters weren’t interesting and it didn’t do anything that any of the other superhero shows weren’t already doing. Most of the heroes--er, legends seemed like b-grade characters or worse. But over time, I’ve grown to love both the series and those rejects. Much like the show itself, I’ve learned to embrace their lack of a slick sheen. They aren't heroes.

Supergirl: The Complete Third Season Blu-ray Review: Up, Up, and Away

Season Three loses some of its melodramatic tendencies, adds in more action and adventure, and improves in almost every way.
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Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided Cinema Sentries with a free copy of the Blu-ray reviewed in this post. The opinions shared are those solely of the writer. In last season’s finale in order to stop the Daxamites from destroying Earth, Supergirl had to flood the atmosphere with lead (which works like Kryptonite on Daxamites). Before doing this, she had to put her Daxamite boyfriend Mon-El onto a ship and launch him into space not knowing if he’d ever return. Season Three opens with a lot of moping around the house to sad songs. Supergirl knows she made the right

Thoughtful & Abstract: Mayans MC: 'Perro / Oc' and 'Escorpión / Dzec'

"Two in, I’m still not overly impressed." - Kim
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In which Kim and Shawn consider the first two episodes of Kurt Sutter's Mayans MC. Kim: 10.) After two episodes, I know three character names - EZ, Angel, and Coco. I’m not sure if they aren’t saying the names, or if I’m not picking them up in the dialog. But so far, I don’t care about any of them. I’m not sure I’m ever going to. They aren’t being established as sympathetic characters. The only redeemable quality I see in any of them is that EZ likes to read. I mean, he’s a snitch too, so there you go. And

Scooby-Doo! and the Gourmet Ghost DVD Review: I Appreciate the Return to a Classic Mystery

If you don't like food jokes, then this movie will not be for you.
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Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided Cinema Sentries with a free copy of the Blu-ray reviewed in this post. The opinions shared are those solely of the writer. The Scooby-Doo franchise is releasing their 28th direct-to-video feature this month. Scooby-Doo and the Gourmet Ghost continues the crossovers the franchise has attempted in this format - WWE, Batman, KISS, etc. and returns to a more traditional story of haunted old mansions and food-related jokes. I've been on record lately as the resident Professor of Scooby Studies here as claiming the franchise is at an all-time low right now. The most recent

Supernatural: The Complete Thirteenth Season Blu-ray Review: With the Loss of So Many Allies Can the Winchester Brothers Manage to Carry On?

Once again, this show gives the fans what they are looking for.
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Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided Cinema Sentries with a free copy of the Blu-ray reviewed in this post. The opinions shared are those solely of the writer. Every season the writers and creators are left with the daunting task of trying to come up with a new angle for the show. Not only something the audience hasn’t seen before, but something even bigger and bolder than the previous seasons. At the end of Season 12, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) were brought down to a new low. Instead of one of the brothers sacrificing themselves to save

Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In: The Complete Sixth Season DVD Review: Goodbye, Dick

Because they were kept in the vault for so long, this final season is like getting 24 new episodes for many fans of the show.
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On September 4, Time Life concludes their release of individual seasons of Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In with The Complete Sixth Season, presenting all 24 re-mastered episodes across six discs that aired Monday nights at 8pm, September 11, 1972 - March 12, 1973. For the first time, the show had failed to make the Top 30, which surely contributed to the series being canceled. According to IMDB, “George Schlatter did not produce the final season, but he won the rights to those episodes in a subsequent court battle. For many years, he neither allowed those episodes to be re-aired, nor any

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