The Wallander novels of Henning Mankell are the basis for the fine British crime series Wallander. The four series (seasons) of the show contain fifteen ninety-minute episodes – nine adaptations of one of the nine novels – that follow Wallander through seven years of his life.
The stark, serene and occasionally eerie landscapes of Sweden (the series was shot in and around the city of Ystad – where the novels are set) are used as both connective tissue (Wallander drives some distances between work, home and visiting his daughter) and as an emotional undercurrent (ranging from mysterious to unexpected comic relief) to the various mysteries and character arcs of the show.
Continue reading Wallander: The Complete Collection – ScandiNoir at Its Finest!
Shakespeare lovers will definitely want to add The BBC Shakespeare 400th Anniversary Gift Set to their collections.
The collection includes: Bill (Shakespeare’s lost years as a lute player – think Pythonesque farce), Hamlet (the Royal Shakespeare Company TV film starring Patrick Stewart and David Tennant), Shakespeare ReTold (exactly what it says on the tin), and An Age of Kings (a 15-part BBC mini-series based on Shakespeare’s history plays).
Continue reading The BBC Shakespeare 400th Anniversary Gift Set: As Good As It Gets!
Kubo and the Two Strings is a genuinely amazing film. It’s a story of family on both an intimate and mythic level. It’s also absolutely gorgeous to look at.
If not for the Pixar release Zootopia, it would be almost certainly a lock for this year’s best animated film Oscar®. The DVD is now available and it’s a must for any collector of great animation.
Continue reading DVD Review: Kubo and the Two Strings – Still Brilliant!
Into the Badlands is a solid drama with a great martial arts edge. It’s like nothing else on television – and that’s a Good Thing. We gave it an A based on the premiere and the remaining five episodes did nothing to cut into that initial score.
The DVD release of the first season – entitled Into the Badlands (not Into the Badlands Season One for some reason) – contains the show’s initial six episodes and a host of bonus material (much of it available on the show’s website).
Continue reading Into the Badlands – Mad Martial Arts Drama On DVD!
There are movies that come out of nowhere and delight some while totally disgusting others. A movie that features a flatulent corpse and a suicidal castaway might just be that.
Swiss Army Man has come to home video and it gets the kind of package a WTF movie deserves – including a commentary track so that answers the question, what the heck were they thinking?
Continue reading Swiss Army Man: A WTF Movie With an Unexpected Sweetness and Cool Extras!
When A&E canceled Longmire the outcry was sufficient for Netflix to pick up the series – where it got even better! Episodes are longer, even more nuanced and the characters even more fully explored over the course of some of the most interesting cases ever.
The fourth season DVD set has no featurettes – not even the token behind the scenes stuff that appeared on the previous three DVD sets. As such, the season stands on its own – and it stands tall!
Continue reading Longmire: The Complete Fourth Season: Bare Bones DVD Gets Full Marks!
The second season DVD set of CBS’ Scorpion shows it to be something other than a pure procedural – and combine’s its storytelling flexibility with character development in a way that keeps it fresh even after 23 episodes.
Scorpion: Season Two also has a number of solid bonus features and two of the worst commentary tracks I’ve ever heard.
Continue reading Scorpion: Season Two – Geeks & Gadgets Saving The World So We Don’t Have To!
The CBS procedural Limitless was the story of Brian Finch, the guy who followed the movie’s Eddie Morra into the land of complete mastery of the brain via the drug NZT.
NZT enabled Brian to do some amazing things, including: solving the murder for which he had been framed; save his father’s life; work with the FBI as a special consultant and even find a little romance.
Continue reading Limitless: Brilliant But Canceled; Now On DVD!
Night of the Living Deb is a zombie-romantic-comedy, or zomromcom. So that’s a thing.
It’s also smart, funny, occasionally genuinely creepy and occasionally a bit too awkward for its own good – especially at the beginning, when we haven’t actually twigged to what the rules are.
Continue reading Night of the Living Deb – Zomromcoms Are a Thing Now?
Watching the first season of The Girlfriend Experience is a bit unnerving. It’s an intimate experience – verging on voyeurism – because the ten episodes flow by so smoothly that it feels far too real when something jagged breaks the surface. Then, and only then, do we realize that there’s been all kinds of roiling, bubbling undercurrents that have to one explosive moment or another.
Continue reading The Girlfriend Experience (Season One) – Smooth Sailing Only on the Surface!
Ash vs. Evil Dead: The Complete Season One is now available on home video. It has everything an Evil Dead fan could want: average-schmo-turned-hero-out-of-necessity Ash Williams; grandmothers and booksellers turned deadites; human-sized demons that erupt from a doomed character’s mouth; gallons of fake blood and even a new crew to keep Ash from screwing up too badly.
Created by Ivan Raimi, Sam Raimi and Tom Spezialy (doubtless with input from B-movie legend Bruce Campbell), Ash vs. Evil Dead rocks as hard as it should (and note the Michigan bands whose music closes each episode – legendary!).
Continue reading Ash Comes Out of Retirement At Last in Ash vs. Evil Dead (The Complete Season One)!