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Archive for the ‘Horror Videos’ Category

Masters of Horror: Season One Box Set

Posted by horror in on October 2, 2009 Masters of Horror: Season One Box Set Studio: Starz/sphe Release Date: 08/28/2007 Run time: 750 minutes Rating: Nr

Director:  Masters of Horror
DVD:  Box set, Color, DVD, Widescreen, NTSC
Company: Starz / Anchor Bay  (2007-08-28)
List Price: $79.97
Amazon Price: $38.44
Used Price: $36.99

Firefly – The Complete Series

Posted by horror in on January 1, 2008 Firefly - The Complete Series

As the 2005 theatrical release of Serenity made clear, Firefly was a science fiction concept that deserved a second chance. Devoted fans (or "Browncoats") knew it all along, and with this well-packaged DVD set, those who missed the show's original broadcasts can see what they missed. Creator Joss Whedon's ambitious science-fiction Western (Whedon's third series after Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel) was canceled after only 11 of these 14 episodes had aired on the Fox network, but history has proven that its demise was woefully premature. Whedon's generic hybrid got off to a shaky start when network executives demanded an action-packed one-hour premiere ("The Train Job"); in hindsight the intended two-hour pilot (also titled "Serenity," and oddly enough, the final episode aired) provides a better introduction to the show's concept and splendid ensemble cast. Obsessive fans can debate the quirky logic of combining spaceships with direct parallels to frontier America (it's 500 years in the future, and embattled humankind has expanded into the galaxy, where undeveloped "outer rim" planets struggle with the equivalent of Old West accommodations), but Whedon and his gifted co-writers and directors make it work, at least well enough to fashion a credible context from the incongruous culture-clashing of past, present, and future technologies, along with a polyglot language (the result of two dominant superpowers) that combines English with an abundance of Chinese slang.

What makes it work is Whedon's delightfully well-chosen cast and their nine well-developed characters--a typically Whedon-esque extended family--each providing a unique perspective on their adventures aboard Serenity, the junky but beloved "Firefly-class" starship they call home. As a veteran of the disadvantaged Independent faction's war against the all-powerful planetary Alliance (think of it as Underdogs vs. Overlords), Serenity captain Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) leads his compact crew on a quest for survival. They're renegades with an amoral agenda, taking any job that pays well, but Firefly's complex tapestry of right and wrong (and peace vs. violence) is richer and deeper than it first appears. Tantalizing clues about Blue Sun (an insidious mega-corporation with a mysteriously evil agenda), its ties to the Alliance, and the traumatizing use of Serenity's resident stowaway (Summer Glau) as a guinea pig in the development of advanced warfare were clear indications Firefly was heading for exciting revelations that were precluded by the series' cancellation. Fortunately, the big-screen Serenity (which can be enjoyed independently of the series) ensured that Whedon's wild extraterrestrial west had not seen its final sunset. Its very existence confirms that these 14 episodes (and enjoyable bonus features) will endure as irrefutable proof Fox made a glaring mistake in canceling the series. --Jeff Shannon

Director: Joss Whedon, Tim Minear, Vern Gillum
DVD: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
Company: 20th Century Fox (2003-12-09)
List Price:Â $49.98
Amazon Price:Â $24.99
Used Price:Â $25.00

Star Wars – Episode I, The Phantom Menace (Widescreen Edition)

Posted by horror in on January 1, 2008 Star Wars - Episode I, The Phantom Menace (Widescreen Edition) "I have a bad feeling about this," says the young Obi-Wan Kenobi (played by Ewan McGregor) in Star Wars: Episode I, The Phantom Menace as he steps off a spaceship and into the most anticipated cinematic event... well, ever. He might as well be speaking for the legions of fans of the original episodes in the Star Wars saga who can't help but secretly ask themselves: Sure, this is Star Wars, but is it my Star Wars? The original elevated moviegoers' expectations so high that it would have been impossible for any subsequent film to meet them. And as with all the Star Wars movies, The Phantom Menace features inexplicable plot twists, a fistful of loose threads, and some cheek-chewing dialogue. Han Solo's swagger is sorely missed, as is the pervading menace of heavy-breather Darth Vader. There is still way too much quasi-mystical mumbo jumbo, and some of what was fresh about Star Wars 22 years earlier feels formulaic. Yet there's much to admire. The special effects are stupendous; three worlds are populated with a mélange of creatures, flora, and horizons rendered in absolute detail. The action and battle scenes are breathtaking in their complexity. And one particular sequence of the film--the adrenaline-infused pod race through the Tatooine desert--makes the chariot race in Ben-Hur look like a Sunday stroll through the park.

Among the host of new characters, there are a few familiar walk-ons. We witness the first meeting between R2-D2 and C-3PO, Jabba the Hutt looks younger and slimmer (but not young and slim), and Yoda is as crabby as ever. Natalie Portman's stately Queen Amidala sports hairdos that make Princess Leia look dowdy and wields a mean laser. We never bond with Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson), and Obi-Wan's day is yet to come. Jar Jar Binks, a cross between a Muppet, a frog, and a hippie, provides many of the movie's lighter moments, while Sith Lord Darth Maul is a formidable force. Baby-faced Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd) looks too young and innocent to command the powers of the Force or wield a lightsaber (much less transmute into the future Darth Vader), but his boyish exuberance wins over skeptics.

Near the end of the movie, Palpatine, the new leader of the Republic, may be speaking for fans eagerly awaiting Episode II when he pats young Anakin on the head and says, "We will watch your career with great interest." Indeed! --Tod Nelson

DVD: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Widescreen, NTSC
Company: 20th Century Fox (2005-03-22)
List Price:Â $19.98
Amazon Price:Â $13.18
Used Price:Â $10.65

Battlestar Galactica – Season One

Posted by horror in on January 1, 2008 Battlestar Galactica  - Season One Battlestar Galactica's Edward James Olmos wasn't kidding when he said "the series is even better than the miniseries." As developed by sci-fi TV veteran Ronald D. Moore, the "reimagined" BG is exactly what it claims to be: a drama for grown-ups in a science-fiction setting. The mature intelligence of the series is its greatest asset, from the tenuous respect between Galactica's militarily principled commander Adama (Olmos) and politically astute President Roslin (Mary McDonnell) to the barely suppressed passion between ace Viper pilot "Apollo" (a.k.a. Adama's son Lee, played by Jamie Bamber) and the brashly insubordinate Starbuck (Katee Sackhoff), whose multifaceted character is just one of many first-season highlights. Picking up where the miniseries ended (it's included here, sparing the need for separate purchase), season 1 opens with the riveting, Hugo Award-winning episode "33," in which Galactica and the "ragtag fleet" of colonial survivors begin their quest for the legendary 13th colony planet Earth, while being pursued with clockwork regularity by the Cylons, who've now occupied the colonial planet of Caprica. The fleet's hard-fought survival forms (1) the primary side of the series' three-part structure, shared with (2) the apparent psychosis of Dr. Gaius Baltar (James Callis) whose every thought and move are monitored by various incarnations of Number Six (Tricia Helfer), the seemingly omniscient Cylon ultravixen who follows a master plan somehow connected to (3) the Caprican survival ordeal of crash-landed pilots "Helo" (Tahmoh Penikett) and "Boomer" (Grace Park), whose simultaneous presence on Galactica is further evidence that 12 multicopied models of Cylons, in human form, are gathering their forces.

With remarkably consistent quality, each of these 13 episodes deepens the dynamics of these fascinating characters and suspenseful situations. While BG relies on finely nuanced performances, solid direction, and satisfying personal and political drama to build its strong emotional foundation, the action/adventure elements are equally impressive, especially in "The Hand of God," a pivotal episode in which the show's dazzling visual effects get a particularly impressive showcase. Original BG series star Richard Hatch appears in two politically charged episodes (he's a better actor now, too), and with the threat of civil war among the fleet, season 1 ends with an exceptional cliffhanger that's totally unexpected while connecting the plot threads of all preceding episodes. To the credit of everyone involved, this is frackin' good television.

DVD features
The fifth disc in Battlestar Galactica's season 1 set is highlighted by eight comprehensive featurettes covering all aspects of the series, from its miniseries origins to standard surveys of production design, visual effects, and particulars of plot and character. For hardcore fans and anyone interested in TV production, nine out of 13 episodes, plus the disc 1 miniseries, are accompanied by intelligent and informative commentary originally provided as BG website podcasts, mostly by series developer and writer Ronald D. Moore, who provides tantalizing clues about developments in season 2. The "Series Lowdown" is a cast-and-crew promotional program originally broadcast to attract SciFi Channel viewers who were initially reluctant to embrace a "reimagined" Battlestar Galactica. The strategy worked: First-season ratings left no doubt that the new BG was as good as--and in many ways better than--the original. --Jeff Shannon

DVD: Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
Company: Universal Studios (2005-09-20)
ISBN:Â 1417054069
List Price:Â $59.98
Amazon Price:Â $37.99
Used Price:Â $33.49

Battlestar Galactica – Razor (Unrated Extended Edition)

Posted by horror in on January 1, 2008 Battlestar Galactica - Razor (Unrated Extended Edition) Battlestar Galactica: Razor was an oasis for BSG fans--when the double-length episode aired in November 2007, it was the only new material broadcast during the 12-month gap between seasons 3 and 4. But although it sets up some events in season 4, chronologically Razor is a prequel taking place within season 2, when Galactica had unexpectedly met up with a fellow Battlestar, Pegasus. The central character is new, Kendra Shaw (Stephanie Jacobsen), who becomes the XO after Lee Adama (Jamie Bamber) takes command of the Pegasus. Shaw's promotion is controversial among Starbuck (Katee Sackhoff) and others because Shaw learned the trade under the previous commander of the Pegasus, Admiral Cain (Michelle Forbes), who lived by her own wartime rules. The central conflict in Razor involves the Pegasus trying to rescue a Raptor crew from the Cylons. During the mission Shaw flashes back to 10 months earlier, and her experiences in the immediate aftermath of the Cylons' wipeout of Caprica influence how she handles this mission and its implications of a new Cylon-human hybrid. Razor is a riveting adventure, full of the top writing, great acting, and dark end-of-humanity vision that makes Battlestar Galactica the best show on television (that is, when it's actually on). Fans will also enjoy the appearance of old-school Cylons, and the revelation that Gaius is not the only one who fell for the wiles of Number 6 (Tricia Helfer).

The unrated and extended DVD runs 103 minutes, about 16 minutes longer than the Sci-Fi Channel broadcast. There's a brief bit of extra gore from Admiral Cain, and young William "Husker" Adama's (Nico Cortez, nicely channeling Edward James Olmos) mission in the last days of the first Cylon war is now 10 minutes instead of 5, including a spectacular aerial battle. In another new sequence, at the moment when Cain tells Shaw "Sometimes we have to leave people behind so that we can go on," there's a flashback to Cain's experiences in the first Cylon war. Among the bonus features is the complete 19-minute minisode version of Husker's Cylon encounter (previously viewable on Sci-Fi Channel's website) and two deleted scenes. Featurettes include "The Look of Battlestar Galactica" and "My Favorite Episode So Far" ("33" gets a lot of mentions from the cast and crew), and there are a trailer and 2.5-minute "sneak peek" at season 4 (mostly interviewing people who don't know what's going to happen, though Tricia Helfer mentions a new version of herself). In a commentary track for the extended edition, executive producer Ronald D. Moore and writer Michael Taylor discuss how the episode came together (they refer to Razor as episodes as 1-2 of season 4) amid some serious restructuring and bits of trivia, such as how they cast Stephanie Jacobsen in the pivotal role even though she had never watched the show. --David Horiuchi

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Stills from Battlestar Galactica - Razor (Click for larger image)

DVD: AC-3, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
Company: Universal Studios (2007-12-04)
List Price:Â $26.98
Amazon Price:Â $16.85
Used Price:Â $17.99

Star Wars Trilogy (Widescreen Edition with Bonus Disc)

Posted by horror in on January 1, 2008 Star Wars Trilogy (Widescreen Edition with Bonus Disc) Episode IV A New Hope Eighteen years later, Luke Skywalker, a young farm boy on Tatooine, is thrust into the struggle of the Rebel Alliance when he meets Obi-Wan Kenobi, who has lived for years in seclusion on the desert planet. Obi-Wan begins Luke's Jedi training as Luke joins him on a daring mission to rescue the beautiful Rebel leader Princess Leia from the clutches of the evil Empire. Although Obi-Wan sacrifices himself in a lightsabre duel with Darth Vader, his former apprentice, Luke proves that the Force is with him by destroying the Empire's dreaded Death Star. Episode V The Empire Strikes Back Three years later Imperial forces continue to pursue the Rebels. After the Rebellion's defeat on the ice planet Hoth, Luke journeys to the planet Dagobah to train with Jedi Master Yoda, who has lived in hiding since the fall of the Republic. In an attempt to convert Luke to the dark side, Darth Vader lures young Skywalker into a trap in the Cloud City of Bespin. In the midst of a fierce lightsaber duel with the Sith Lord, Luke faces the startling revelation that the evil Vader is in fact his father, Anakin Skywalker. Episode VI Return of the Jedi In the epic conclusion of the saga, the Empire prepares to crush the Rebellion with a more powerful Death Star while the Rebel fleet mounts a massive attack on the space station. Luke Skywalker confronts his father Darth Vader in a final climactic duel before the evil Emperor. In the last second, Vader makes a momentous choice: he destroys the Emperor and saves his son. The Empire is finally defeated, the Sith are destroyed, and Anakin Skywalker is thus redeemed. At long last, freedom is restored to the galaxy.

System Requirements:
  • Running Time 387 Min.

    Format: DVD MOVIE

    Director:Â George Lucas
    DVD: Anamorphic, Box set, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Subtitled, THX, Widescreen, NTSC
    Company: 20th Century Fox (2004-09-21)
    List Price:Â $69.98
    Amazon Price:Â $43.99
    Used Price:Â $29.74
  • Halloween – Unrated Director’s Cut (Widescreen Two-Disc Special Edition)

    Posted by horror in on January 1, 2008 Halloween - Unrated Director's Cut (Widescreen Two-Disc Special Edition) The original slasher film about Michael Myers, the psychotic killer who dons a mask and terrorizes his hometown, is re-imagined by edgy director Rob Zombie.

    Director:Â Rob Zombie
    DVD: Closed-captioned, Color, Director's Cut, Special Edition, Widescreen, NTSC
    Company: Weinstein Company (2007-12-18)
    List Price:Â $29.95
    Amazon Price:Â $16.29
    Used Price:Â $9.88

    Angel – Complete Series Collector’s Set

    Posted by horror in on January 1, 2008 Angel - Complete Series Collector's Set ANGEL SEASON 1 (6 DISCS) ANGEL SEASON 2 (6 DISCS) ANGEL SEASON 3 (6 DISCS) ANGEL SEASON 4 (6 DISCS) ANGEL SEASON 5 (6 DISCS)


    DVD: Box set, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
    Company: 20th Century Fox (2007-10-30)
    List Price:Â $139.98
    Amazon Price:Â $69.99
    Used Price:Â $125.65

    The Mummy [HD DVD]

    Posted by horror in on January 1, 2008 The Mummy [HD DVD] If you're expecting bandaged-wrapped corpses and a lurching Boris Karloff-type villain, then you've come to the wrong movie. But if outrageous effects, a hunky hero, and some hearty laughs are what you're looking for, the 1999 version of The Mummy is spectacularly good fun. Yes, the critics called it "hokey," "cheesy," and "pallid." Well, the critics are unjust. Granted, the plot tends to stray, the acting is a bit of a stretch, and the characters occasionally slip into cliché, but who cares? When that action gets going, hold tight--those two hours just fly by.

    The premise of the movie isn't that far off from the original. Egyptologist and general mess Evelyn (Rachel Weisz) discovers a map to the lost city of Hamunaptra, and so she hires rogue Rick O'Connell (Brendan Fraser) to lead her there. Once there, Evelyn accidentally unlocks the tomb of Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo), a man who had been buried alive a couple of millennia ago with flesh-eating bugs as punishment for sleeping with the pharaoh's girlfriend. The ancient mummy is revived, and he is determined to bring his old love back to life, which of course means much mayhem (including the unleashing of the 10 plagues) and human sacrifice. Despite the rather gory premise, this movie is fairly tame in terms of violence; most of the magic and surprise come from the special effects, which are glorious to watch, although Imhotep, before being fully reconstituted, is, as one explorer puts it, rather "juicy." Keep in mind this film is as much comedy as it is adventure--those looking for a straightforward horror pic will be disappointed. But for those who want good old-fashioned eye-candy kind of fun, The Mummy ranks as one of choicest flicks of 1999. --Jenny Brown

    HD DVD: Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen
    Company: Universal Studios Home Entertainment (2006-11-28)
    List Price:Â $29.98
    Amazon Price:Â $15.52
    Used Price:Â $17.48

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