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Saturday, January 30, 2010

B-Girl DVD Review

B-Girl DVD Review

You can own this DVD today

Synopsis: In the vein of Step-Up, How She Move and Fame, this non-stop underground dance experience stars some of the biggest names in the breaker world including Julie "Lady Jules" Urich (You Got Served, Step Up 2, MTV's "America's Best Dance Crew's" Beat Freaks), Jonathan "Legacy" Perez (Stomp the Yard, Dance Flick) who finished in the top eight of last season's "So You Think You Can Dance," Ivan "Flipz" Velez (Stomp the Yard, Honey, You Got Served, "So You Think You Can Dance"), Rynan "Rainen" Paguio (Step Up, How She Move, MTV's "America's Best Dance Crew's" Beat Freaks) and Wesley Jonathan (Roll Bounce, Steppin: The Movie). In addition, the cast features dancers who have toured with the world's biggest pop stars -- including Madonna, Janet Jackson, Gwen Stefani, The Spice Girls and Fergie -- and performed on "So You Think You Can Dance," MTV's "America's Best Dance Crew" and "Superstars of Dance."

Written and directed by Emily Dell and produced by Elizabeth Dell, B-Girl tells the modern day underdog story of Angel (Urich), a brilliant dancer from Brooklyn, who is forced to switch coasts after suffering a terrifying back alley assault by her ex-boy friend. In an effort to gain back her rep, she must prove herself by battling the West coast's top street talents. Bonus features include bloopers, dance auditions, dancer profiles and more.

Review: What you get out of this all depends on what age you are when you see this movie.  If you're a tween or teenager that hasn't seen a ton of movies, well then this may be interesting to you.  Particularly if you are into or admire dance.   If you're an adult that has seen countless underdog stories, then this one will ring all too familiar.

B-Girl is a good film.  There is nothing wrong with it on the surface.  You get what you sign-up for.  A girl hits the streets dancing to prove herself and find her place in life.  Its the same film you've seen time and again. Its a great theme and the dancing in this film is rather phenominal.  I rated it a little low for lack of originality, but its a decent flick.

Rating
: 3 out of 5 Stars

Friday, January 29, 2010

Nazi Hunters: the Real Story DVD Review

Nazi Hunters: the Real Story DVD Review

You can own this DVD today

Synopsis: See the real life pursuit to track down WWII fugitives for their crimes against humanity. This harrowing film presents the true-life tale of the unrelenting pursuit of Eichman, Mengele and other Nazi criminals in Europe, the United States, the Middle East and South America.

Review: We love documentary film here at DVD Legion.  Especially the odd or rare ones.  This new DVD release from Mill Creek, Nazi Hunters: The Real Story, is an obscure French 2-part documentary.  The most popular subject of documentary film has without a doubt been WWII and the Nazis.  This one has a nice and fresh take on it all, though.

The first part of this set focuses on the end of World War II and the Nuremberg trials, where 22 Nazi war criminals were tried for their crimes.  The second part is all about a few of the actual 'Nazi Hunters' that helped to track down some of the missing Nazi war criminals and bring them to justice.  There is nothing that a person wants to see more than Nazis being brought to justice!

The hit film Inglorious Basterds has really brought this subject into the public forum again, so this is the perfect time to check out this DVD.  You can get this one for a bargain on Amazon.com, so I'd go and buy it today!


Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Rock 'N Learn: Preschool DVD Review

Rock 'N Learn: Preschool DVD Review

You can own this DVD today 

Synopsis: This collection of exciting programs will keep your preschooler entertained for hours and teach important skills at the same time! Kids love a fun trip to the circus to learn about words that start with each letter of the alphabet. As they learn about the alphabet from dancing dogs and crazy clowns, children form important letter-sound associations. Later, they learn about colors and even practice saying the colors in Spanish! As they have fun learning shapes and counting up to 20, kids are developing essential skills to help them succeed in school. Your friends and family will be amazed at how much new knowledge your child has mastered.

  • Letter recognition

  • Letter-sound associations

  • Phonemic awareness

  • Vocabulary enrichment

  • Pet care

  • Creative movement

  • Motor skills

  • Listening and following directions

  • Animal habitats

  • Neatness and organization

  • Listening comprehension

  • Categorizing

  • Colors (English and Spanish)

  • Simple shapes

  • Counting to 20 (English and Spanish)

  • Nursery rhymes



  • Review: We just recently reviewed the new Rock 'N Learn: Phonics and Reading DVD, and we gave it some high marks.  We figured that we should check out this preschool DVD, as well.  Does this one stack up to the Phonics and Reading DVD?

    The short answer...YES!  We used to let the kids watch Sesame Street.  We've since just turned them onto these DVDs.  The sets cover everything you can imagine.  Anything from counting in Spanish to shapes, colors and social skills.  Its literally like having your own digital preschool teacher! 

    This DVD is priceless for any parent with a kid say 3-6 years old.  You can feel safe putting this one and your kids will not only be entertained and have fun, but they'll learn so much!

    Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

    I Heart Jonas, Volume 2 DVD Review

    I Heart Jonas, Volume 2 DVD Review

    You can own this DVD today

    Synopsis: Crushin' on JONAS? Get ready to experience the lovable antics of three of the world's most famous musicians with 7 specially selected episodes of the hit Disney Channel Original Series in I HEART JONAS. Watch and see how Joe reacts when he discovers that Stella has a date with another guy, and check out what happens when the tables are turned and a struggling young actress makes a play for Joe. Plus, with the never-before-seen bonus feature, "You've Just Been JoBro'd! -- Surprising Jordin Sparks," I HEART JONAS is a must-have for any Jonas Brothers fan!

    Review: There aren't a lot of shows out there for the tween audience.  The phenominon that is the Jonas Brothers has definately cornered that marketplaceThe romantic hijinks ensue as the brothers try to cope with growing and dating. 


    The DVD volume features seven episodes of the Disney Channel show "I Heart Jonas".  "I Heart Jonas" Volume 2 comes with the following special features: * You Just Been Jo Bro'd! - Suprising Jordin Sparks - (10:39)* Dylan & Cole Sprouse: Blu-Ray is Suite - (4:45) * Learn How to Take Your Favorite Movies on the Go - (1:03).


    I rate this volume very high, because it does include so many episodes of the show.  Very often in these single-disc television show releases we only get 3-4 episodes at a time.  To get 7 is pretty unheard of.  Its a great show for tweens and any fan of Jonas will love this DVD release.


    Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

    Thursday, January 28, 2010

    Across the Hall DVD Review


    Across the Hall DVD Review

    You can own this DVD today!

    Synopsis: In this tense, stylish noir thriller, Terry (Danny Pino, TV's Cold Case) follows his fiancee, June (Brittany Murphy, The Ramen Girl, 8 Mile), to a seedy hotel where she's meeting another man. Drunk and distraught, Terry calls best friend Julian (Mike Vogel, Cloverfield) and reveals that he's holed up across the hall from the lovers with a stolen gun and murder on his mind. A chilling cat-and-mouse game ensues, forcing Julian to risk his own life to keep his friend from doing the unthinkable.

    Review: This is one of those cool films that follows the lives of various people throughout the course of one evening.  The setting is a retro hotel in New York City.  The movie is riddled with betrayl, love and suspicion.  Brittany Murphy looks great in this noir-themed piece.  She does a great job of playing a woman caught in the middle of all the insanity and is definately the highlight of the film.


    I'm kinda starting to think that Image Entertainment is cursed! lol.  This is the second celebrity facing death issues from an Image release in the past week....the other one being the suicide attempt from comedian Artie Lange.  This time, unfortunately, fate won out and the beautiful and talented Brittany Murphy passed away at a very young age.  Our condolances to her family and husband.



    In all seriousness, you need to pick this film up.  Its one of the best 'under the radar' films we've seen in the past year.  We highly recommend it.



    Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

    The Boys Are Back DVD Review


    The Boys Are Back DVD Review

    You can own this DVD today

    Synopsis: Clive Owen delivers a critically acclaimed performance in THE BOYS ARE BACK, the heartwarming and uplifting drama about a man who is suddenly thrust into the role of single parent. Successful sportswriter Joe Warr (Owen) finds himself completely unprepared to raise his rambunctious 6-year-old son Artie and juggle the challenges of a demanding job, running a household and the possibility of romance. Determined to bring joy back into their lives, he develops a revolutionary approach to parenting no rules, no chores. It's a home filled with love and chaos and then Joe's estranged teenage son comes for a visit. Inspired by a true story and filled with emotional honesty, this poignant film will touch your heart and lift your spirits.

    Bonus Features include: THE BOYS ARE BACK: A Photographic Journey With Optional Commentary By Director Scott Hicks, A Father And Two Sons, On Set

    Review: I'm a fan of Clive Owen's work.  I really enjoyed him in Sin City and Shoot 'Em Up.  He's really good in Children of Men too.  Its due to this that I popped in 'The Boys Are Back' on DVD for a viewing one night.  I wasn't sure what to expect outside of the basic formula of the widower trying to raise his child.  What I found was pretty much spot-on to my expectations.

    The film is rather uneventful.  Clive Owen brings in his older son from a previous marriage to help and they all three proceed to go through mourning and bonding.  The central theme of this is a male bonding film.  Nothing much really occurs and the film is rather low-key.  Its a nice watch, but its more something you might see as a movie of the week.

    An upside of the film is that it takes place in Australia along the beautiful coastline.  The soundtrack also really adds to the feel of the film, with music by Sigur Rós.  This film is a solid 'feel-good' watch.   

    Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

    Video: Watch the Trailer HERE

    Artie Lange: Jack and Coke DVD Review


    Artie Lange: Jack and Coke DVD Review

    You can own this DVD online today

    Synopsis: As raw and offensive as ever, Artie Lange returns to his roots in Jack and Coke, shot at one of his favorite clubs in his beloved New York City. One of America's funniest stand-up comedians, Lange's irreverent, uncensored humor gets huge laughs from this NYC crowd. The culmination of nearly four years of touring, Jack and Coke includes nearly an hour and a half of insanely honest, hilarious material.

    Review: We love Artie.  Ever since Dirty Work we've been interested in what he was up to, and when he became a Stern regular we started getting a good, steady dose of his humor.  Stand-up specials are hit and miss, but this one was spot-on.  Its honestly a collection of a lot of jokes you may have heard previously if you follow Artie much.  It kinda felt like a greatest hits.  Waaaah! (Lange humor)

    Jack and Coke was laugh out loud funny.  What more can you ask of a comedy special?  We're very picky around the Legion offices when it comes to comedians.  We get into Eddie Izzard and Ricky Gervais a lot.  Artie is another end of the spectrum..he's the everyman's comic.  We definately recommend picking this one up.

    I can't get through this review without mentioning what has recently happened with Artie.  I'm a long-time Howard Stern listener...in fact I'm listening now as I write this review!  Its well-known to Stern fans that Artie has battled his demons in the form of drugs for many years, but recently Artie made a rather brutal attempt on his own life.  I'd like to take a moment to say that we wish Artie and his family well and we hope that he recovers and finds the peace that he needs in life.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

    New Batman Book titles from Capstone Kids!


    This review is courtesy of our network site LegionsOfGotham.org Capstone Kids is putting out four new titles under their Batman line this Spring!  Legions of Gotham was given a sneak peek at these great new books.   I have to say that anyone intelligent enough to reach back and continue making Timm-verse Batman products is ok in our book!  I think there are droves of fans that are missing these glory days already with this Brave and the Bold nonsense out there.  These new books are great fun and they feature some comic writers we all know and love, including friends of the site - Robert Greenberger and Matthew K. Manning.

    The new titles include Killer Croc Hunter, Robin’s First Flight, Two-Face’s Double Take and Bat-Mite’s big Blunder.  If you’re not familiar with these titles, the format is a great story featuring all bat-characters, typically by a well-known writer in the community, and artwork every few pages.  We highly recommend these.  They’re available in both hardcover library binding (which I recommend for collectors) for about $19 each and softcover for about $6.


    Tuesday, January 26, 2010

    Fraggle Rock: The Animated Series DVD Review


    Fraggle Rock: The Animated Series DVD Review

    You can own this DVD today

    Synopsis: Ring in the Fraggle New Year with Lionsgate Home Entertainment's release of Fraggle Rock: The Complete Animated Series- available for the first time as a series on DVD!  Fans will now be able to complete their Fraggle collection with this two disc, 13 episode set of the animated series that ran Saturday mornings on NBC from 1987-88.  Fraggle Rock: The Complete Animated Series was closely modeled after the hugely successful live-actionFraggle Rock series from The Jim Henson Company. With over 4.5 hours of content, including all new never before released special features, this set promises to please both avid collectors as well as the live-action Fraggle Rock fans. 

    Jim Henson's beloved children's series Fraggle Rock just celebrated its 25th anniversary and continues to prove it's still a fan-favorite with over 1.4 million DVD sales to date and the increased media buzz regarding the theatrical movie currently in development.  Fraggle Rock has been awarded an International Emmy for Outstanding Children's Program and continues to be adored by millions of fans worldwide.

    Review: Jim Henson was a mad genius!  He spawned so many wonderful things..the Muppets..Sesame Street..Dark Crystal..and of course Fraggle Rock.  Now, Fraggle Rock is one of those cult favorite shows that kinda went under the radar for a lot of people.  Even though there was a McDonald's kids meal done off of the 'live-action' puppet show, many people either never saw the show or just couldn't get into it.

    If you saw the Fraggles live-action show you know that it ran for four seasons.  The central theme of the show was environmental consciousness...it was almost a hippie version of the muppets.  Once the Fraggle Rock show ended they wanted to extend the show in some way, so the short-lived animated series was born.  What?  You've never heard of the animated series?  You're not alone.  You have to be a big cult follower of this franchise to have ever noticed this show that ran for a very short four seasons and a grand total of 13 episodes.  Now, Lionsgate has brought this rare toon to DVD for the first time.

    I gave this one to my kids right away, because they love Fraggle Rock.  I enjoyed the nostalgia in the show, though the themes are a bit different than the live-action version.  This animated series is geared more towards kids with their 'believe in yourself' self-esteem promoting agenda.  Its a very cute show and is a nice accompanyment to any 80s animation collection or Fraggle Rock collection.  I highly recommend getting this complete animated series..it has a very low price-point and is sure to be hard to find, even now.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

    Rock 'N Learn: Phonics and Reading DVD Review

    Rock 'N Learn: Phonics and Reading DVD Review

    You can own this DVD today!

    Synopsis: Kids love learning to read with this entertaining collection of video lessons. Cool songs, colorful animation, and energetic performers make learning fun. Kids control the pace, advancing as they master each new skill. Catchy songs and rhymes make phonics rules easy to remember. As they progress through the program, kids have plenty of opportunity to practice their skills by reading along with amusing stories and songs. This educational program will help your child learn to read, while offering unbeatable value.

    Review: We work with our two older kids a lot on their phonics and reading skills.  They're in first grade and kindergarten, so this is a crucial time for their development.  I was instantly interested in this Rock 'N Learn series, because our kids LOVE music and since everyone learns differently, we wanted to challenge them to see if this could be helpful.

    Well, our seven and five year olds went nuts!  They had hours of fun mastering the skills and going through this DVD like a game.  It was wonderful.  Any parent knows that its a challenge to keep learning fun and interesting, well for only around $15 you can pick this DVD up and do just that!  I highly recommend for anyone with kids ages 4-7!

    Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

    SouthLAand: the Complete First Season Uncensored DVD Review

    SouthLAand: the Complete First Season Uncensored DVD Review

    You can own this DVD season today!

    Synopsis: From Emmy Award winners John Wells, Ann Biderman and Chris Chulack comes a raw and authentic look at the police unit in Los Angeles. From the beaches of Malibu to the streets of East LA, "Southland" is a fast-moving drama that will take you inside the lives of cops, criminals, victims and their families.

    Review: Its not often that a show jumps networks. It happened to Scrubs from NBC to ABC after that nasty last season with the writer's strike. And now, its happened to Southland. The show made the mistake of debuting on NBC the year before they decided to move forward with their now tragic Jay Leno Show experiment. Now that Leno has effectively trashed network TV and driven primetime viewers to cable tv, the brilliant folks at TNT have opted to pick-up the cop drama.

    This is the Uncensored DVD release of the show, assumptively its the same as is airing right now on TNT.  They've added in SIX extra minutes to the pilot alone.  We're talking grittier situations, more language...lets face it any good drama belongs on cable and the freedoms that come along with that.  I'm going to be tuning in for certain.  I've found a great new cop drama to help fill the void that NYPD Blue left in my viewing schedule.  Law and Order is so dry and unoriginal at this point..and I never got into that CSI garbage.  Southland..this is the way that cop shows were meant to be.

    I would've rated this a solid 5 out of 5 stars, but since TNT has picked it up and they're adding more episodes to season one, this isn't a complete release.  We do look forward to the inevitable full release later in 2010.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

    Links: www.southlanddvd.com

    Top Gear Seasons 11 and 12 DVD Reviews!


    Top Gear Seasons 11 and 12 DVD Reviews! 

    You can purchase these DVDs online today.  Buy Season 11 and buy Season 12


    Synopsis: Accessible to everyone and full of stunts, challenges and special segments, it's irreverent, witty, self-deprecating, inclusive and passionate. The charisma and enthusiasm of the show's presenters have helped make Top Gear a worldwide megabrand attracting a global audience over 500 million in more than 20 countries. This season's highlights include a car chase in presenter-chosen old bangers for traffic cops, a race in the French Alps against extreme skiers, a race across Japan (a Nissan car versus public transport), a cross-country fox hunt (with Jeremy as the prey), and a Brits versus German Top Gear challenge. Of course, this season includes serious car journalism too, with exhaustive road tests of the latest models, man versus machine experiments, weekly power-tests featuring the world's most exotic supercars and all the tried-and-tested Top Gear favorites also return.

    Review: Ok, this show is absolutely insane!  I mean that in the best of ways.  I tend to enjoy programming from the BBC and here is why...their programming is far less uptight than ours.  Its generally more honest and real..not to mention extreme.

    Top Gear is a show that I've been hearing about for some time from my brother in law.  He is a car enthusiest and really enjoys the crazy stuff that they do.  I've been meaning to watch it, but didn't have the opportunity until now.  Seasons 11 and 12 are both on DVD now, so I figured why not give it a whirl?

    These guys are nuts.  They basically take vehicles and modify them for crazy challenges and stunts.  Thats the base premise of the show, but it goes beyond that into a lot of hilarious set-ups and humor.  A warning to you all it is british humor, so if you really don't 'get' british comedy, then you might not think its all that funny, but you will definately be able to appreciate the crazy stunts.  This is the most popular car entertainment show in the world.  We're talking over 500 million people have seen this show..79% of video views on BBCAmerica.com is for Top Gear!  The Top Gear YouTube channel has over 184,000 subscribers and over 5.6 million views!!  You need to get in on this one.

    If I had to describe this show in brief...think Mythbusters, but way more over the top and a lot more destructive.  I absolutely love this show now, and I wish we had something even half as good airing in America!  I highly recommend!

    Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

    Links: www.bbcamericashop.com

    Video: Watch a clip of the show HERE

    Edge of Darkness: The Complete Series BBC DVD Review


    Edge of Darkness: The Complete Series BBC DVD Review

    You can own this DVD today

    Synopsis: A father's worst fears come true in this apocalyptic political thriller, one of the best and most influential British TV series ever made. Investigating his daughter's murder, a Yorkshire police officer follows clues into a murky world of nuclear espionage and cover-ups. Part crime drama, part science fiction, and 100% terrifying.

    Review: Does this title and premise sound familiar?  That may be because you're seeing trailers on television for an American big-screen adaptation of this concept starring Mel Gibson!  We all know that Mel Gibson is insane and rather offensive in his old age, but the movie does sound cool.  I have a great alternative to supporting racist actors...watch the original!  The BBC  put this out as a mini-series awhile back, and its far superior to the recent American film adaptation.

    I have to say that I'm worn out on cop drama.  I really thought that was what this is, but its not.  Its a great political thriller..one of the best.  This was produced back in 1985 and was one of the first nuclear-age dramas that explored the conspiracies in the government.  Who can you trust?  Everything you think you know is a lie and the deeper it goes, the more intense the suspense and action becomes!  I don't want to spoil any details of the show, but this was a fantastic watch and I highly recommend it. 

    The special features on this DVD release include: Alternate ending to the final episode, Music-only audio option to isolate the Eric Clapton/Michael Kamen BAFTA-winning score, Magnox: The Secrets of Edge of Darkness featuring interviews with the cast and crew, "Did You See" featuring reviews of the original BBC broadcast, Interview with Bob Peck from the BBC's Breakfast Time morning program, Highlights from the BAFTA awards and Broadcasting Press Guild Awards including interviews with Bob Peck, Joe Don Baker, and producer Michael Wearing and a photo gallery.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

    Links: www.bbcamericashop.com

    Dallas: The Complete Twelfth Season DVD Review


     Dallas: The Complete Twelfth Season DVD Review

    You can purchase this DVD online today

    Synopsis: J.R. has always been a hound dog with the ladies and in Season 12 it all comes back to bite him. A dalliance with an Arkansas cutie leads J.R. to the wrong end of a shotgun, 10 years of hard labor, a prison break and the altar. And that’s just the start of 26 episodes of commotion and emotion that also include a tell-all movie (bankrolled by the first Mrs. J.R. Ewing) that threatens to unveil every low-down trick J.R. ever pulled and a rival oil man scheming to destroy the Ewing empire, taking the clan from Southfork all the way to Austria and Russia!

    Review: If anyone doesn't remember Dallas, then you know they weren't around in the 1980s.  This show was it!  It was the end all of nighttime drama.  From the famous "Who Shot J.R.?" stunt when the show first began, Dallas gained a loyal following of viewers.  This show was the original Desperate Housewives.

    Season 12 of the show was at a point where the same ol' stories were getting worn out and sad.  What was great about the 12th season is the re-vitalization of the storylines.  The writers really went above and beyond with their reach for the characters.  Bobby Ewing makes Cliff a partner in Ewing Oil, but thanks to J.R. and his scheming ways, the deal falls through.  Sue Ellen is still trying to kill off J.R. after her disappointment for not being able to kill him the first time.  The characters are all up to no good and the drama is flying!

    The show would last only two more seasons after this one, but at 14 seasons long it dominated airwaves my entire youth.  I have great memories of the show and its a blast to watch again.  I recommend this DVD to anyone that enjoyed the show.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars


    Links: www.dallasondvd.com

    Saturday, January 23, 2010

    You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas Book Review


    You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas Book Review

    Book Synopsis: You’ve eaten too much candy at Christmas…but have you ever eaten the face off a six-footstuffed Santa? You’ve seen gingerbread houses…but have you ever made your own gingerbread tenement? You’ve woken up with a hangover…but have you ever woken up next to Kris Kringle himself? Augusten Burroughs has, and in this caustically funny, nostalgic, poignant, and moving collection he recounts Christmases past and present—as only he could. With gimleteyed wit and illuminated prose, Augusten shows how the holidays bring out the worst in us and sometimes, just sometimes, the very, very best.

    Our Take: Look, we love Augusten Burroughs here in the Book Legion offices.  He's provided us with absolute gems like 'Running With Scissors' (also a fantastic film adaptation) and 'A Wolf At the Table'.    This time he goes a little off his normal track with You Better Not Cry.  This 224 page collection of vignettes chronicles some of Burroughs' best twisted holiday memories. 

    The writing isn't as consistantly strong throughout this title as it is in previous works, but the tales are fantastically entertaining and enlightening.  The specific memories and tales are great, but when Augusten gets into his ideas about the essence of the season he really hits a spark.  He recounts one holiday spent with a lover dying of AIDS and another with flooded pipes.  If you think your life sucks, and moreso your holidays, then you need to read this book.  This, like all of Burroughs' works, give us great perspective into our own problems as we see someone that has bad luck and the weight of the world on him to an extreme. 

    I highly recommend this title.  It was very enjoyable and a great read.  Definately for mature audiences.

    You can purchase this title on Amazon.com or the official St. Martin's website

    Read an Exerpt from the Book: It’s not that I was an outright nitwit of a child. It’s that the things even a nitwit could do with little or no instruction often confused me. Simple, everyday sorts of things tripped me up. Stacking metal chairs, for example. Everybody in class just seemed to know exactly how to fold the seat up into the back and then nest them all together like Prin­gles potato chips. I sat on the floor for ten minutes with one of the things as if somebody had told me to just stare at it. Concentrate hard, Augusten, try and turn it into an eggplant with your mind. You can do it! The other children appeared to be born with some sort of innate knowledge, as though the action of fold­ing and stacking child-size metal school chairs was gene tically encoded within each of them, like fi nger­nails or a sigmoid colon.

    I seemed to lack the ability to comprehend the obvi­ous. From the very beginning there had been warning signs.

    Like every kid just starting school, I had to memo­rize the Pledge of Allegiance—something that would in many towns today be considered prayer and therefore forbidden; akin to forcing a child to drink the blood of a sacrificial goat or unfurl a Tabriz prayer rug and kneel barefoot on it while facing Mecca.

    While I managed to learn the words, memorizing isn’t the same as understanding. And of course I was never tested on the meaning of the pledge. It must have sim­ply been taken for granted that even the dimmest child would easily grasp the meaning of a phrase such as I pledge allegiance, especially when that phrase was spoken while standing at strict attention and facing the Ameri­can flag, hand in a salute above the heart. There was so little room for misinterpretation. It was the Pledge of Allegiance, not Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.

    Still. If one of the teachers had asked me to explain the meaning of those words—which I chanted parrot- minded and smiling each morning—they certainly would have been shocked to hear me admit that while I didn’t know exactly what it was about, I knew it had something to do with Pledge, the same furniture polish my mother used and that always, inexplicably, made me feel sunny. So each morning as I spoke those hallowed words, it was the bright yellow can with the glowing lem­ony scent that I pictured.
     
    .....like what you read?  Go ahead and pick up the book!

    Thursday, January 21, 2010

    Hulk Hogan: My Life Outside the Ring Book Review


    Hulk Hogan: My Life Outside the Ring Book Review


    Synopsis: Hulk Hogan, born Terry Bollea, burst onto the professional wrestling scene in the late seventies and went on to become a world wrestling champion many times over. From humble beginnings, this giant of a man escaped a pre-ordained life of dock and construction work in Port Tampa, Florida, to become one of the most recognizable celebrities on the planet. He did it through sheer will, grit, determination, and a drive to always go over the top and do more than what others thought possible. From the outside, his story was one of a charmed life—he was at the top of his career, had a wonderful and loving family, and a lifelong fan base who worshipped him. Of course he had his up and downs—including hints of steroid abuse and his falling out with WWE and Vince McMahon—but it’s been the last two years that have tested Hogan more than any other in his lifetime.

    In 2007, while riding the massive success of his VH1 reality show, Hogan Knows Best, his son Nick was involved in a tragic car accident that left his best friend in critical condition. Then Linda, his wife, left him after 23 years of marriage, his beloved daughter Brooke blamed

    him for the breakup and his son went to jail. The tabloid media had a field day. When unflattering jailhouse conversations between him and his son were released to the press the tabloids were in a frenzy. The sudden turmoil and tragedy surrounding Hogan took its toll. He fell into a deep depression, seeing no way out, until one fate ful phone call.

    In My Life Outside the Ring, Hogan will unabash edly recount these events, revealing how his new found clarity steadied him during the most difficult match of his life—and how he emerged from the battle feeling stronger than ever before.

    From the Back Cover: I was right there leaning on the side of the car with my hands when I finally saw Nick—my only son—folded up like an accordion with his head down by the gas pedal. “Nick!” I yelled. I could see he was alive. He turned his head, he stuck his hand out, and gave me a thumbs-up. For a second I was relieved. Then the chaos set in. The noise of engines. Sirens. A saw. Para - medics pulling John from the passenger seat. So much blood. I can’t even describe to you how panicked I was. The police and firefighters surrounding us seemed panicked, too. The firefighters started cutting the side of the car open to try to get Nick out, and I’m still standing right there when I hear my boy screaming, “No, no, no, stop! Stop! You’re gonna cut my legs off. Dad! Just unbuckle the seatbelt. I can get out!” So I reach in and I push the button on his seat belt, and Nick just crawls right out. His wrist was broken. His ribs were cracked. None of that mattered. He was gonna be okay. But not John. John wasn’t moving.
    —from MY LIFE OUTSIDE THE RING

    Review: I firstly need to clarify for you where I stand on wrestling.  I grew up, like most kids in the 1980s, watching WWF wrestling.  Guys like Hulk Hogan were our idols.  They were like rock and roll stars.  They were real-life superheroes to us.  In my adult life I don't watch wrestling.  Not because its fake, but because its boring.  Thats just the honest truth.  I still enjoy hearing about the storylines and the drama from time to time, but I'm not one of these big wrestling fans.   I came to appreciate Hulk Hogan as an adult for a completely different reason.  I watched his show "Hogan Knows Best".  The reality show at first sounded like a funny novelty, so I tuned in.  I quickly found a very personable guy and involved father that I could respect.  Its due to this that I have a renewed interest in the Hulkster and his goings on.

    I read Hulk Hogan's first book years ago and that detailed his beginnings in the WWF.  This was all very interesting to me, and I really didn't see how he'd have enough material to constitute a second book, but I was quite wrong.  Hulk goes into some great detail about how he started out as a musician in a rock band and was making some money down in Florida.  He got into wrestling slowly and he dishes all about the hazing he went through and the struggles that he encountered trying to break into the business.


    The Hulkster gets into his newly found religion pretty quickly into the book.  He reminises about going to a Christian kids camp as a youth and what impact that had on him.  Hulk also tells us about his renewed faith in God and a little about what he believes.  I'm not a religious person myself, but I felt that he did a nice job of saying what he wanted to say about his beliefs without getting too preachy.  Its more a public declaration about where he's at in his life.

    What I love about reading Hulk's books is how down to earth and honest he is.  This guy has made millions of dollars in his lifetime and become a world-renound figure, and I honestly feel that you could have a real conversation with the guy if you ever met him face to face.  Reading about his life, his mistakes and hearing his reflections and honesty really endear me to him even further.

    I highly recommend this book to anyone.  Not just serious wrestling fans, but anyone that is even remotely interested in Hulk Hogan for any reason.  Even if you're not, and you're just familiar with who he is this book may prove interesting for you.  Its a great read.

    You can purchase this book on Amazon.com or The St. Martin's publishing website.

    Surrogates Blu-Ray Review


    Surrogates Blu-Ray Review

    You can own this blu-ray today, comes out Jan. 26th 2010


    Synopsis: How do you save humanity when the only thing that's real is you? From the director of TERMINATOR 3 comes a jaw-dropping psychological thriller starring the ultimate action hero, Bruce Willis. In the not-so-distant future, where people experience life through perfect surrogates controlled from the safety of their own homes, murder is a thing of the past. But when a college student linked to the creator of these replicants is killed, one FBI agent must re-enter reality and risk his life to unravel the mystery. In the battle of technology versus humanity, who can you trust? Experience every electrifying moment of this mind-blowing movie. Based on the acclaimed graphic novel and exploding with unforgettable action, SURROGATES is nonstop entertainment from start to finish!

    Bonus Features include: Exclusive To Blu-ray: Deleted Scenes, Exclusive To Blu-ray: A More Perfect You: The Science Of Surrogates, Exclusive To Blu-ray: Breaking The Frame: A Graphic Novel Comes To Life, I Will Not Bow Music Video By Breaking Benjamin, Feature Audio Commentary By Director Jonathan Mostow

    Review: The premise of Surrogates is fantastic.  In the tradition of great sci-fi films like Blade Runner, Surrogates carries the torch this year as one of those movies that is respectful to science fiction.  The film has its negative componants, but overall its a fun ride.

    The concept is basically that a company develops such sophisticated androids that people begin to sit in chairs and hook their brains into these surrogate robots.  Society embraces this idea for safety and all of a sudden everyone is living their life vicariously through these surrogates.  Its become a normal way of life.  You can become anyone..look like anything.  Its like a hyper-realized version of a chat room, the cops even come across the owner of a gorgeous young woman that turns out to be an overweight older man.

    We're introduced quickly to a much younger looking Bruce Willis.  You realize soon that its a self-designed surrogate of a younger version of himself.  There is a murder and the death of the surrogate actually kills the owner too, which is never supposed to happen.  That negates the entire purpose of the surrogates.  An investigation and action thrill ride ensue.

    The effects, script and action are cool in this film.  I do have a criticism about the film.  You get thrown into this fictional world and are forced to become assuming about everything that is going on.  You never get motivations to the main characters, nor do we become invested in any part of this world.  Due to this oversight the film does come off a little skin deep.  I feel that this could've been a film of cult status had they taken the time to make it a little more personal for us as an audience.

    Overall, I enjoyed this film and I do recommend picking it up.  The blu-ray option is the only way to go.  The 1080p high definition looks fantastic.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

    Make It Or Break It, Volume 1 DVD Review


    Make It Or Break It, Volume 1 DVD Review 

    You can purchase this DVD online today


    Synopsis: How far will they go to achieve their ultimate dream? Experience the rivalry and romance of four teenage girls on their path to Olympic gold in the original ABC Family series that has fans and critics cheering all across the nation. “You’ll flip for…Make It Or Break It,” raves David Hinkley of the New York Daily News. Who will rank #1 at Nationals and what will it take to get there? Viewers will flip for this engaging series chronicling the triumphs and heartbreaks as close friends balance their lives as high school students with the intense world of competitive gymnastics. Fans can relive the series that raises the bar on family drama, complete with a never-before-seen extended episode, and go behind the scenes to discover what it takes to perform such amazing stunts—only on DVD!

    Review: Its come to my attention recently that ABC Family has really been upgrading the quality of programming that they air.  We're seeing a rise in dramas centered around competitive areas of life, and in that tradition Make It Or Break It delves into the crazy world of gymnastics.

    The show is great, because it not only shows the actual work and drama of the gymnists, but the girls' families are deeply involved.  The families come from varying financial backrounds and you get to see how each of them handle trying to keep their child into this sport that can become all engrossing emotionally and financially taxing, as well.

    This is the first volume release of the Make It Or Break It series.  There are 10 episodes on volume one, season one has a total of 20 episodes.  

    Bonus Features Include: Deleted Scenes, Making It An Inside Look At How These Flexible Female Stars Balance Acting With Difficult Stunts For A Gold Medal Performance, Never-Before-Seen Extended Finale

    Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

    Wednesday, January 20, 2010

    10 Things I Hate About You, Volume 1 DVD Review

    10 Things I Hate About You, Volume 1 DVD Review


    You can purchase this DVD online today

    Synopsis: From the director of the original hit movie comes the hilarious ABC Family Series 10 Things I Hate About You. Viewers will experience the ultimate sibling rivalry with the show that Jennifer Goodwin of E! Online calls “wickedly funny, smart and sweet” and meet Kat (Lindsey Shaw) and Bianca (Meaghan Jette Martin), two very different sisters who have their own unique views on high school life and teenage love. Kat is a feisty, smart student activist who wants to stand out, and Bianca is a sweet social butterfly who just wants to fit in. Things get a lot more complicated, however, when Kat meets the mysterious Patrick Verona (Ethan Peck). Fans can experience every episode of Volume One, complete with exciting bonus features, available only on DVD. 10 Things I Hate About You is a witty and fun family comedy with something for everyone.

    Review: There is an epidemic with movie-to-tv adaptations.  They tend to be an awful re-hash of what you've already seen on the big screen.  The great thing about this show is that it actually breaks away from the film just enough to carry on a life of its own.

    10 Things I Hate About You the series makes only minor changes to the storyline and sets up the characters to have a long-running dialogue, rather than the enclosed situations of the film.  We get a lot more time to witness the development of the characters.  This Volume One set includes the first half of season one, which is ten episodes.  You can get all caught up on the show and prepared for the second half of season one!

    The extras on this DVD volume includes a lot of audio commentary and some bloopers from the show's filming. Its more than you typically recieve in a volume one set like this.  I highly recommend this one for anyone thats into teen drama.  This is great for tweens, teens and their parents.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

    Video: You can see some bloopers, click HERE

    The Simpsons: The Complete Twentieth Season Blu-Ray Review


    The Simpsons: The Complete Twentieth Season Blu-Ray Review

    You can purchase this Blu-Ray online today

    Synopsis: Disc 1: 218 Minutes

    • Sex, Pies and Idiot Scrapes
    • Lost Verizon
    • Double, Double, Boy in Trouble
    • Treehouse of Horror XIX
    • Dangerous Curves
    • Homer and Lisa Exchange Cross Words
    • Mypods and Boomsticks
    • The Burns and the Bees
    • Lisa the Drama Queen
    • Featurette - "The 20th Anniversary Special Sneak Peek by Morgan Spurlock"

    Disc 2: 264 Minutes
    • Take my Life, Please
    • How the Test Was Won
    • No Loan Again, Naturally
    • Gone Maggie Gone
    • In the Name of the Grandfather
    • Wedding for Disaster
    • Eeny Teeny Maya Moe
    • The Good, the Sad and the Drugly
    • Father Knows Worst
    • Waverly Hills 9-0-2-1-D'oh
    • Four Great Women and a Manicure
    • Coming to Homerica


    Review: The Simpsons is a series that has stayed hilarious for 20 years.  Its been there since I was a kid and looks to stick around long into my adult life.  I feel that its nearly impossible to review the show itself, so we're going to focus on the actualy product release.

    The Simpsons is on blu-ray for the first time!  Now you may be asking yourself why the jump to season 20?!  If you have been following along with the Simpsons DVD releases you would know that they left off on season 12 this past summer, so why jump to 20?!  We figure the best explanation is marketing.  Its the 20th anniversary of the show, so perhaps it is to cash in on that.  Honestly, thats fine by us, as long as everything gets released eventually.

    How does the blu-ray transfer look?  Thats what we all really want to know anyway, right?  Well, the Simpsons switched over to HD halfway through season 20, so there is a huge gap in quality for these episodes.  The first half looks great, as always, but the second half of the episodes pop in a way that is downright breathtaking.  It looks just beautiful.

    The only negative about this release is the distince lack of bonus features.  In the past Simpsons fans have been treated to a plethora of bonus features including audio commentary, deleted scenes, etc.   This 20th season set has one bonus feature...its the 20th Anniversary Special Sneak Peek by Morgan Spurlock, which aired live a few days prior to the release of the blu-ray. 

    Overall, I highly recommend this release.  Its not super-rich on features, but its the Simpsons on blu-ray..something I've been waiting for a long time now.    I honestly care more about the actual show than the features, so I'll enjoy watching it in high-definition!

    Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

    Boogie Nights Blu-Ray Review


    Boogie Nights Blu-Ray Review

    You can own this blu-ray today!

    Synopsis: From writer/director P.T. Anderson comes the turbulehnt behind-the-scenes story of an extended family of filmmakers who set out to revolutionize the adult entertainment industry in the seventies.

    Idealistic producer Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds) has always dreamed of elevating his films into an art form. When he discovers young actor Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg), Jack begins to turn his dreams into reality. Under the stage name of Dirk Diggler, Eddie soon gives the adult entertainment world a star the likes of which it has never seen. But the rise to fame has its costs, and soon Dirk finds himself sliding down the slippery slope of sex, drugs and violence. The only question: can he get himself back together before it's too late?

    Review: I never saw Boogie Nights.  Oh, I'd heard of it, but it never really interested me enough to bother with it.  It may have been due to Mark Wahlberg being the lead role.  Nothing against Wahlberg, he just isn't someone I feel should carry a film on his back.  On the other hand, this film is about porn, drugs and violence, so it'd fit right into my normal movie viewing habits....I suppose it coming out on blu-ray is the perfect time to experience the film.

    I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by how entertaining the film was.  Mind you, its mostly a montage of party after party, drugs and sex and mindless fun...but hey that has its place, right?  Its a reflection of culture and thats pefectly valid in my mind. 

    The movie has never looked better.  The transfer into 1080p high-definition did it well.  The skin tones are better and the textures on the clothing are more defined.   The big stand-out difference between the blu-ray and DVD releases of this film are the colors.  The color really pops, which is a big deal since the film is set in the 1970s! 

    Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

    Links: www.warnerblu.com

    Magnolia Blu-Ray Review


    Magnolia Blu-Ray Review


    You can purchase this blu-ray online today

    Synopsis: Magnolia is a mosaic of American life woven through a series of comic poignant vignettes. Through a collusion of coincidence, chance, human action, shared media, past history and divine intervention, nine people will weave and warp through each other's lives on a day that builds to an unforgettable climax. Some will seek forgiveness, others escape. Some will mend frayed bonds, others will be exposed.

    Review: Does fate exist, or are all of the events in life simply random?  No movie that I've seen better portrays this conundrum than Magnolia.  The film, which bombed originally at the box office, has been often overlooked and misunderstood by movie-goers.  Hopefully with this new release to the blu-ray format, new viewers will get the opportunity to experience this great montage of human existance.

    The film can be very confusing to some moviegoers.  It gives you bit after bit of these characters lives and you really don't understand how these random events have anything to do with one another, but by the end of the film everything gets tied into one.  Its one of those films that you just need to stick with until the end, even if you get a bit lost.  Its definately worth the payoff!

    This is the first time to see the film in high-definition.  The transfer into 1080p really went well.  There is a bit of grain here and there, but overall you get some good skin textures and there is a rather large event at the end of the film and the effects there come of well.  All of the extras on this blu-ray previously appeared on the two-disc 'Platinum Edition' DVD that was released a decade ago, so nothing new there.  Magnolia on blu-ray is a nice addition to any collection.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

    Video: You can watch a clip from the movie HERE

    Links: www.warnerblu.com and www.wbreelnews.com

    Monday, January 18, 2010

    Highlander Seasons 2 and 3 coming to Blu-Ray!


    Straight from Davis-Panzer....These will each be released on April 30th 2010 at a $39.95 price point.

    Highlander Season Two on Blu-ray
    For Duncan MacLeod, season two is one filled with hope, heroics and heartache. Through it all the mystery of the "Highlander" unfolds and deepens as his incredible story leaps time and emotions to bring us further into the tortured world of the Immortals. In the end, there can be only one.

    Exclusive Blu-ray Bonus Features*:

    - “Back for Seconds”: A 30 minute documentary on the making of the show, focusing on the episodes and includes never before seen interviews with Elizabeth Gracen, Jim Byrnes, Stan Kirsch, Bill Panzer, and David Abramowitz.
    - Photo Montage: An exciting behind-the-scenes look at the crew and actors in action from episodes of Season 2.
    - Picture in picture commentaries by Adrian Paul for episodes “Return of Amanda” and “Revenge of the Sword”
    Starring: Adrian Paul, Alexandra Vandernoot, Stan Kirsch, Amanda Wyss, Jim Byrnes
    Directors: Paolo Barzman, Dennis Berry, Clay Boris, Peter Ellis, Bruno Gantillon
    Rating: Not Rated
    Runtime: 1078 Minutes

    Technical Specs:
    Video
    Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC
    Video resolution: 720p
    Aspect ratio: 1.78:1 displayed within 4:3 look
    Original aspect ratio: 4:3/1:33
    Audio
    English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
    German: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1*
    Subtitles: None
    Disc: 5 50GB Blu-ray Discs
    Regions :A /B /C (Americas, Korea, Japan, Southeast Asia, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, India, China, Mongolia, South & Central Asia)

    Episodes
    1. The Watchers
    2. Studies In Light
    3. Turnabout
    4. The Darkness
    5. An Eye For An Eye
    6. The Zone
    7. The Return of Amanda
    8. Revenge of the Sword
    9. Run For Your Life
    10. Epitaph For Tommy
    11. The Fighter
    12. Under Color of Authority
    13. Bless The Child
    14. Unholy Alliance, Part I
    15. Unholy Alliance, Part II
    16. The Vampire
    17. The Warmonger
    18. The Pharaoh's Daughter
    19. Legacy
    20. Prodigal Son
    21. Counterfeit, Part I
    22. Counterfeit, Part II

    *Subject to change

    Highlander Season Three on Blu-ray
    The epic Highlander saga hits full stride in Season Three with a gripping collection of tales that introduce some of the legend's most vital characters and most vaunted weaponry. Through it all the mystery of the "Highlander" unfolds and deepens as his incredible story leaps time and emotions to bring us further into the tortured world of the Immortals. In the end, "There Can Be Only One."


    Exclusive Blu-ray Bonus Features*:
    - “Third Time’s a Charm”: An insightful 30 minute documentary on the making of the show, focusing on the episodes, including interviews with the Production Team as well as Jim Byrnes, Elizabeth Gracen, Peter Wingfield, Stan Kirsch and Adrian Paul.
    -Photo Montage: A great montage of the Highlander Production team for a behind-the-scenes look at the making of episodes from Season 3.
    -Picture in picture commentaries by various cast and Production Team members from episodes “The Samurai,” “The Cross of St. Antoine,” “Shadows,” “Blackmail,” “Star-Crossed,” “Methos,” “Mortal Sings,” and “Finale Part 2.”

    Starring: Adrian Paul, Alexandra Vandernoot, Stan Kirsch, Amanda Wyss, Jim Byrnes
    Directors: Mario Azzopardi, Paolo Barzman, Dennis Berry, Charles Wilkinson
    Rating: Not Rated
    Runtime: 1078 Minutes

    Technical Specs:
    Video
    Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC
    Video resolution: 720p
    Aspect ratio: 1.78:1 displayed within 4:3 look
    Original aspect ratio: 4:3/1:33
    Audio
    English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
    German: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
    Subtitles: None
    Disc: 5 50GB Blu-ray Discs
    Regions :A /B /C (Americas, Korea, Japan, Southeast Asia, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, India, China, Mongolia, South & Central Asia)

    Episodes:
    1. The Watchers
    2. Studies In Light
    3. Turnabout
    4. The Darkness
    5. An Eye For An Eye
    6. The Zone
    7. The Return of Amanda
    8. Revenge of the Sword
    9. Run For Your Life
    10. Epitaph For Tommy
    11. The Fighter
    12. Under Color of Authority
    13. Bless The Child
    14. Unholy Alliance, Part I
    15. Unholy Alliance, Part II
    16. The Vampire
    17. The Warmonger
    18. The Pharaoh's Daughter
    19. Legacy
    20. Prodigal Son
    21. Counterfeit, Part I
    22. Counterfeit, Part II


    *Subject to change

    Ghostbusters Minimates hit Toys ‘R Us Again!


    From the Art Asylum blog…
    For those who missed out on the first 2 Ghostbusters Minimates waves, fear not, the boys are back in town and back in the aisles of Toys R Us.  Composed of the best 2 packs from Ghostbusters Wave 1 and 2.  (with a few tweaks), returning in time to catch you up before the next Ghostbusters’ waves hit stores.

    The wave consists of Library Ghost and Egon, Slimed Peter and Slimer (Clear), Ray and Staypuft and Luis Tully with Slimer.    As a bonus, the Clear Slimer coming with Slimed Peter now features the floating food deco, intended but unavailable in the previous release.  Also due to popular request, Louis Tully now features the Ghostbusters Movie 2 accurate uniform with corrected name tag.   Stay tuned as more 2″ full torso block shaped apparitions of your favorite Ghostbusters characters continue to materialize in toy aisles

    Last Action Hero Blu-Ray Review


    Last Action Hero Blu-Ray Review

    You can purchase this blu-ray online today

    Synopsis: Arnold Schwarzenegger is movie idol Jack Slater in Last Action Hero, which follows the adventures of 11-year-old Danny (Austin O'Brien), whose magic ticket blasts him out of his theater seat and into an action movie. There he teams up with Slater, living his wildest fantasies in a celluloid world where anything is possible.

    Review: I think that Last Action Hero is one of the most misunderstood films of the 1990s.  This one came out after Arnold Schwarzenegger's big screen smash Terminator 2.  The entire point of this film was somewhat misunderstood...it was a tongue-in-cheek view of the action film genre.  It was Arnold Schwarzenegger actually poking fun at himself.   I found this to be hilarious, myself.  Movie-going audiences didn't agree....

    This film is considered by many to be Arnold's worst.  I think it was his best, because he was actually exploiting the industry that made him so famous.  The cheeky Stallone as the Terminator bit and all of the comedic overkill throughout the film made for a great watch.  I honestly feel that after T2 people just weren't looking for this type of move from Schwarzenegger. 

    I can't lie to you..when this one got transfered into 1080p high-definition it left some grain behind.  The audio is great, but the picture does suffer a bit.  This is a fun film and is definately worth owning on blu-ray.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

    Cliffhanger Blu-Ray Review


    Cliffhanger Blu-Ray Review


    You can purchase this blu-ray online today


    Synopsis: Sarah was an inexperienced climber. She trusted Gabe to rescue her. But something went wrong high above the valley floor...Sylvester Stallone, John Lithgow, Michael Rooker, Janine Turner and Ralph Waite star in this high-altitude avalanche of action: a non-stop adventure peak with suspense and capped with heart-quaking terror. For Rocky Mountain Rescue, the mission is almost routine: locate five climbers. With the woman he loves (Turner) and his best friend (Rooker), Gabe Walker (Stallone) braves the icy peaks only to discover that the distress call is really a trap set by merciless international terrorist Eric Qualen (Lithgow). Now millions of dollars and their own lives hang in the balance. Against explosive firepower, bitter cold, and dizzying heights, Walker must outwit Qualen in a deadly game of hide-and-seek.

    Review: There were a lot of silly action movies back in the 1990s.  Two of the top silly action flicks have come out on blu-ray this last week!  Sylvester Stallone, a rock climber rescuer takes on terrorists in this homage to action.

    The first thing you have to do with this movie is suspend reality.  You're thinking to yourself 'yeah, its a movie of course I need to do that'.  No, but you really, really need to suspend reality.  Firstly, you have Jonathan Lithgow as an international terrorist.  I'm sorry, but I'm not scared of Lithgow.  Its kind of like having Mr. T play the President of the United States.   Also, you get a lot of what are now very outdated special effects and scenery shots while they do battle on these mountains. 

    We can get beyond that here at DVD Legion, though.  We love high-octane action flicks and Cliffhanger is one of the tops.  There's a ton of action and some great dialogue.  There are some great death scenes, including being thrown off of a cliff and dying in an avalanche.  I hate it when that happens!  The new blu-ray transfer comes across well, and doesn't have any excess of grain.  If you saw this movie back in the day, and you already make concessions for it, then you'll love this release.  If you've never seen Cliffhanger, well I feel sorry for you, because you won't be able to enjoy it like you would've been able to when it was released.  Still, this is a nice, solid addition to any blu-ray collection.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

    Capstone and Sports Illustrated KIDS Books and Contest!


    NEWS RELEASE

    Capstone and Sports Illustrated KIDS Collaborate on New Sports Stories
    Books Inspire Sports Super Star Contest for Kids


    MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Jan. 18, 2010 – Capstone, the leading publisher of children’s books in the U.S. education market, has partnered with Sports Illustrated KIDS, the award-winning sports magazine publisher, to create a new line of high-interest nonfiction and fiction sports stories for elementary and middle school grades, especially for struggling and reluctant readers.

    Greatest Sports Stars, The Science of Sports, and Sports Illustrated KIDS Graphic Novels debut this month under the publishers’ imprints Capstone Press and Stone Arch Books. Capstone had access to Sports Illustrated KIDS’ extensive collection of photographs, resulting in compelling books packed with exciting sports action photos.

    Inspired by its partnership with Sports Illustrated KIDS, Stone Arch Books is sponsoring a nationwide contest which invites students in grades 3-6 to create their own sports super star. Kids can enter for a chance to have their fictional character featured in an upcoming Sports Illustrated KIDS Graphic Novel. The first place winning student, along with his/her school, will be included in a page at the back of the book. Online voters will choose their favorite sports character from the top five entries posted on the contest website www.CapstoneKids.com.

    “We’re inviting kids to use their imagination and create a strong character critical to any story’s success. We’re looking forward to finding some really creative characters,” said Lori Benton, General Manager/Publisher of Capstone Fiction. “Kids have a chance here to vote on who they really want to read about. Their votes will ultimately decide the next character in our series.”
    The top 50 entrants will receive two free Sports Illustrated KIDS Graphic Novels, one for the student and one for the school library. Contest runs through March 1, 2010.

    The Sports Illustrated Kids books are available at www.CapstonePub.com or by calling 800-747-4992.                

    About Capstone
    Capstone is the leading publisher of children’s books and digital products and services, offering everything from nonfiction, fiction, and picture books to interactive books, audio books, and literacy programs. Imprints and divisions include Capstone Press, Compass Point Books, Picture Window Books, Stone Arch Books, Red Brick Learning, Capstone Digital, and Heinemann-Raintree. Visit us at www.CapstonePub.com.

    About SI Kids:
    Sports Illustrated Kids, the first sports magazine written for kids ages 8 and up, connects with its readers through their passion for sports.  The magazine offers kids the access to athletes and sports information that they want with in-depth reporting, action photography, first-person athlete accounts and other features.  The magazine, books and website sikids.com, promote positive values, good sportsmanship and the fun of reading.

    BBC Robin Hood: Season 3 DVD Review


    BBC Robin Hood: Season 3 DVD Review

    You can purchase this DVD online today

    Synopsis: The legend continues... With new allies and old enemies, Robin Hood returns for a third series full of thrilling adventures as Robin and his gang continue to outwit the dastardly Sheriff and his forces. As the series begins, the outlaws are in disarray. Marian is dead and Robin has split up the gang and launched a solo mission to avenge her and kill Gisborne. It is only the intervention of the mysterious Tuck that stops Robin joining Marian in an early grave. Which is bad news for Gisbourne and the Sheriff. Under pressure from Prince John, they must take down Robin Hood once and for all. When the prince, tired of their ineffectualness and bad leadership, arrives in Nottingham to reprimand the Sheriff and Gisbourne, it becomes clear that there is only room forone sidekick at his table,but which one?


    Review: This isn't your parent's Robin Hood!  No one does it better than the BBC.  The BB--what?  The BBC!  Over in England they green light some fantastic television and Robin Hood is on the forefront.  Inventing a new show and characters like LOST is fine and dandy, but to take existing characters that you already have some investment in and making them edgy and interesting in this day and age is amazing.

    The show had run a great course throughout seasons 1 and 2 (if you haven't seen it then we recommend picking up the DVDs!), but what to do, so that Robin Hood doesn't get dull?  Why......

    --SPOILER ALERT--

    .....You kill off Maid Marian, of course!  Thats right at the end of season two thats precisely what they did.  No bolder move could have been taken.  My fear is that this move will doom the series to be done..and the buzz around the net is just that, there may be no season four for Robin Hood.  That would make this the third and final season of the show.  I know that I like to collect DVDs of a series once its all over with, so that I can view it all the way through.  Now you can do that with Robin Hood.  To make it three seasons on the BBC is fairly difficult as it is, so that shows you the fantastic quality of this fantasy series.

    The action is great and the characters are well developed.  You care about Robin..  You hate the Sheriff.  Nottingham is done in such a fun way that it makes the epic Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves movie seem like an after-school special!  I recommend this for anyone that enjoys period pieces, fantasy or just plain good programming.

    This DVD set includes some fantastic special features:

    -A Legend Reborn (behind the scenes feature)
    -A New Look (behind the scenes look at costuming)
    -Trebuchet: Creating Chaos
    -Character Profiles
    -Video Diaries

    Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

    Video: Watch a clip from the show HERE

    Links: http://www.BBCAmerica.com

    ER: The Complete Twelfth Season DVD Review


    ER: The Complete Twelfth Season DVD Review

    You can purchase this DVD online today

    Synopsis: Look who's checked in at County General: Dr. Victor Clemente arrives with a motor mouth, a load of talent, and a questionable past. Imposing, no-nonsense Eve Spellman takes charge (and almost takes over) as the new nurse manager. And hunky paramedic Tony Gates proves he's more than a guy on the make. Season 12 also brings spiraling drama and suspense to the lives of ER veterans. Abby and Kovacs share unexpected news. Gallant comes home from Iraq to be with Neela. Pratt goes to Darfur to work with Carter. And burn victims, stabbing victims, gunshot victims, assault victims--young and old, male and female, grateful and combative--keep the ER on edge. And sometimes over the edge.

    Review: My wife made me watch ER every Thursday on NBC.   When I say that she made me I mean to say that...well, she made me.  I've never been much on the medical drama, but this one really started to grow on me.  This was my issue with the show..shell out some money and keep a cast member for more than three seasons.  After awhile it just got crazy, because to watch a show I have to be invested in the characters..its not the ER itself that I care about, so why keep switching it up on me?!  That being said, ER was a phenominal show.

    In season 12 they added one of my favorite actors, John Leguizamo, as Dr. Victor Clemente.  This most definately saved this season for me.  They did something very topical and sent Carter to Darfur.  This move split the show between two locations, which in retrospect worked very well and added depth and scope to the show, but when it aired I was annoyed.  I really liked Carter and I could feel that this drastic creative move signaled the beginning of the end for him.  It was obvious to me that the actor was interested in more interesting writing for his character and he wasn't going to stay long.  Low and behold, he didn't.  Thats neither here nor there now that the show isn't airing new episodes anymore. 

    I'm complaining a lot here, but honestly season 12 was FULL of great moments and tons of dramatic storytelling.  The Leguizamo story arc alone was both shocking and exciting.  I was sad to see him go.  It was sad to see how Gallant and Neela related after his military service.  This is a must-have for any ER fan and if you never saw the show, what better time than now.  Get this on DVD and get caught up.  The great part about ER changing it up so often is that you can jump in at any time and get caught right back up..you don't need to watch seasons 1-11 to get season 12. 

    Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

    Video: You can watch clips from the show HERE

    Links: www.ertv.com

    Thursday, January 14, 2010

    Hot Wheels Ecto-1 Hitting Shelves


    The newest Hot Wheels wave featuring the Ecto-1 is hitting store shelves bit by bit.  You can find these on ebay for around $10, but I advise against buying them there.  A> Don’t feed scalpers B> These are mass market toys…they WILL show up eventually, just be patient.

    Super Friends Season 1, Volume 1 DVD Review



    Super Friends Season 1, Volume 1 DVD Review
    You can purchase this DVD online today!


    Synopsis: SUPERMAN, BATMAN, ROBIN, WONDER WOMAN,  AQUAMAN, and the rest of the DC SUPER HEROES squad, team up again to protect the world as Warner Home Video (WHV) and DC Comics release on DVD SUPER FRIENDS! Season 1 Volume 1 on January 5, 2010 for $26.99 SRP.  Available for the first time since its debut on ABC in 1973, this highly-anticipated Two-Disc Collector’s set features eight one-hour adventures starring America’s favorite DC SUPER HEROES.

    SUPER FRIENDS! Season 1 Volume 1 showcases some of the greatest DC SUPER HEROES of all time including SUPERMAN, BATMAN, ROBIN, WONDER WOMAN, and AQUAMAN as they combine their special powers to save the world. The Fab Five along with the help of hero trainees Wendy, Marvin and WONDER DOG must focus their abilities on saving lives and stopping unthinkable disasters by the hands of evil villains. SUPER FRIENDS! Season 1 Volume 1 also features memorable appearances by PLASTIC MAN, THE FLASH and GREEN ARROW! Each exciting hour is packed with timeless adventures as these comic book heroes pave the way for a brighter future. 

    The Two-Disc Collector’s Edition also features:
    ·Over 20 minutes of bonus content complete with extra footage of the SUPER FRIENDS! series!
    ·An interactive trivia game featuring everyone’s favorite DC SUPER HEROES.

    “Warner Home Video is thrilled to release the latest edition in the SUPER FRIENDS! collection with SUPER FRIENDS! Season 1 Volume 1,” said Amit Desai, WHV Vice President of Family, Animation & Partner Brands Marketing.  “SUPER FRIENDS! has remained a pop culture sensation for over 35 years and now fans have an opportunity to relive the hit series’ unforgettable first season for the first time on DVD.”

    SUPER FRIENDS! Season 1 Volume 1 includes eight action-packed episodes:

    Disc I
    The Power Pirate
    The Baffles Puzzel
    Professor Goodfellow’s G.E.E.C
    The Weather Maker

    Disc II
    Dr. Pelagian’s War
    The Shamon “U”
    Too Hot To Handle
    The Androids

    Review: I have a lot of Super Friends on DVD.  Everything from the Challenge of the Superfriends to Galactic Guardians.  I've been waiting, as many fans have, for the original 1973 series to hit DVD.  You remember the one..it had Wendy, Marvin and the Wonder Dog!  Lots of color and bellbottoms.




    The show is painful.  I'm not going to mince words here.  Its a painful show and its hard to watch sometimes.  On that same note, the show is also nostalgic and fun.  This is where it all began for a lot of Batman fans.  I watched some of the 1980s re-runs and new versions of the series and that was my first introduction to animated Batman.  We didn't have the luxury of Batman: The Animated Series and the rest of the 'Timmverse' when I was growing up...Super Friends was it!  This DVD release has 8 of the original 16 episodes, so a second volume will be rounding out this specific series soon.  Off the top of my head I think that the only other Super Friends show yet to make it onto DVD is the 'World's Greatest SuperFriends' show, but the experts can correct me if I'm wrong.

    This set also includes a fun extra...its a Super Friends DVD trivia game.   The game can be done by one or multiple players.  You pin the options and you're asked a question about say Superman or Wonder Woman trivia.  This trivia isn't necessarily limited to the show, but the characters at large.  Its definately fun.



    This is an essential piece to round out a Super Friends collection.  The entire series is nearly on DVD now!  This is obviously where it all began and its still fun to watch.  A must for any serious Batman fan.




    Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

    Links:
    Visit the Super Friends fansite on Legions of Gotham