Bridge of Spies BD + DVD + Digital [Blu-ray]
Manufacturer: Walt Disney Studios Brand: Walt Disney Studios
A dramatic thriller set against the backdrop of a series of historic events, BRIDGE OF SPIES is "absolutely brilliant and totally riveting" (Bill Zwecker, Chicago Sun-Times). James Donovan (Tom Hanks) is a Brooklyn lawyer who finds himself thrust into the center of the Cold War when the CIA send him on a nearly impossible mission to negotiate the release of a captured American U-2 pilot. High stakes and suspense power a story that captures the essence of a man who risked everything, vividly bringing his personal journey to life.
Homeland Season 1
Manufacturer: Showtime Brand: 20TH Century Fox
Hailed as TVs best new drama by critics everywhere, the award-winning HOMELAND delivers compelling characters, thrilling twists and breathtaking suspense. Carrie Mathison (Golden Globe winner Claire Danes), a brilliant but volatile CIA agent, suspects that a rescued American POW may not be what he seems. Is Marine Sgt. Nicholas Brody_(Damian Lewis) a war hero...or an Al Qaeda sleeper agent plotting a spectacular terrorist attack on U.S. soil? Following her instincts, Mathison will risk everything to uncover the truth her reputation, her career and even her sanity. Packed with multiple layers and hidden clues, Season One offers something new every time you see it...watch carefully. Claire Danes's performance as an off-the-rails federal agent may be the best thing about Homeland, but it's certainly not the only thing to admire about a show that's the visual equivalent of a page-turner (and the recipient of 2012 Emmy Awards for Best Drama Series and Best Actor and Actress in a Drama Series). The focus here is on the specter of domestic terrorism. When Marine Sgt. Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), missing and presumed dead for some eight years, is found disheveled, disoriented, and alive in Iraq, he's regarded as a hero back in the States. But Agent Carrie Mathison (Danes) isn't so sure; in fact, she's convinced that Brody was "turned" by the notorious, bin Laden-like terrorist leader Abu Nazir, and is now part of an ambitious scheme to kill Americans on their own soil. The fact that she has no proof and precious little support within the CIA--only mentor Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) and a couple of others give the slightest credence to her theory--hardly deters Mathison. She's persistent, to say the least. But she's also obsessive, unstable (bipolar, to be precise), and reckless, all too willing to do things illegally and prone to making choices throughout the season that put herself and those around her in serious jeopardy, both physically and psychologically. Brody, meanwhile, has a tough time readjusting to normal life, what with the obnoxious glare of the media spotlight and the awkwardness of the reunion with his family, including wife Jessica (Morena Baccarin, very different from her role as the icy alien leader in V) and their two kids. So what is Brody's real agenda, if he even has one? There are plenty of indications early on that Mathison's suspicions about him are correct. But are his visions memories, or simply hallucinations? Does even the fact that Brody kneels on a prayer rug in his garage, chanting in Arabic, mean he's a bad guy, or merely a zealous convert to Islam? This show is too smart to give away too much too soon; red herrings abound, and the season ends with a cliffhanger sure to leave Homeland adherents salivating for more. In the meantime, those looking for a marginally more credible and only slightly less entertaining alternative to 24 are in for a treat. --Sam Graham
Masterpiece Mystery: Inspector Lewis 7
Manufacturer: PBS Brand: Pbs (Direct)
Kevin Whately and Laurence Fox return for a seventh season of the beloved Inspector Lewis series. Hathaway has been promoted to Inspector after an extended break from the force, and Lewis is adjusting to retired life until hes asked to team up with his old colleague. With their partnership renewed under altered circumstances, the duo continues to solve crime in the seemingly perfect academic haven of Oxford.
Sherlock: Season 2
Manufacturer: BBC Home Entertainment Brand: Warner Manufacturing
Sherlock: Season Two (BBC/DVD)Nominated for 4 primetime Emmys, Sherlock is back with Benedict Cumberbatch as Holmes and Martin Freeman as Watson in three new stories. In A Scandal in Belgravia, Sherlock gets embroiled in the complex plans of the dangerous and desirable Irene Adler, and finds himself employing every one of his remarkable skills to survive as the unlikely duo square off in a battle of wits…and perhaps emotions? The Hounds of Baskerville whisks the increasingly popular detective and Watson to the wilds of Dartmoor, and face to face with the supernatural lurking in the eerie landscape. Meanwhile, Moriarty is still out there in the shadows, and is determined to bring Sherlock down-at whatever the cost-in The Reichenbach Fall. With beguiling performances, witty scripts and some of the most intriguing characters ever created, it's no wonder that Sherlock has proven to be a worldwide success.]]> There is nothing elementary (a Holmesian cliché that this exceedingly smart and savvy series wisely shuns) about Sherlock. This sophomore season exceeds the pleasures and promise of the Emmy-nominated first season with three feature-length mysteries that fully test Holmes's mettle and cunning, and shake his very high self-regard. The first and third episodes do full justice to two figures who loom large in the Holmes canon. The first is Irene Adler (Lara Pulver), a.k.a. "the Woman," in "A Scandal in Belgravia," a ripping and naughty yarn involving a high-class dominatrix and some scandalous royal photos. The second, of course, is Moriarty (an Emmy-worthy Andrew Scott) in "The Reichenbach Fall," who hatches a mad scheme to bring about Holmes's ruination. The middle mystery is perhaps Holmes's best-known, "The Hounds of Baskerville," a psychological thriller that lacks the other two's worthy central adversaries, although Holmes's rare moment of bafflement sets the stage for the seemingly game-changing finale that has Dark Knight echoes. Sherlock's high concept--transplanting Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's master consulting detective to 21st-century London--is brilliantly realized, but at the heart of this series' success is the casting and chemistry between Benedict Cumberbatch as Holmes and Martin Freeman as Watson, who chronicles their adventures in--what else--a blog. While some may make innuendo about the nature of their relationship, it is their friendship that unfolds by degrees that holds the most fascination. "I don't have friends," Holmes confesses to Watson in one of his rare quiet and less prickly moments. "I have one." Sherlock benefits from repeat viewings, not so much to decipher clues, but to savor the brilliant wordplay. Series three cannot arrive fast enough. --Donald Liebenson
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