Game of Thrones is one of HBO’s signature series and a huge runaway hit for the network. This year, a plethora of compelling storylines will play out to their inevitable, and bloody, conclusions. As the season begins, encouraged by the Red Wedding slaughter in the Riverlands that wiped out many of their Stark nemeses, the Lannisters’ hold on the Iron Throne remains intact … but can they survive their own egos as well as new and ongoing threats from the south, north and east? While an unbowed Stannis Baratheon continues to rebuild his army in Dragonstone, a more immediate danger comes from the south, as Oberyn Martell, the Lannister-loathing “Red Viper of Dorne,” arrives at King’s Landing to attend Joffrey’s wedding to Margaery Tyrell, and perhaps act on an ulterior agenda. In the north, a depleted Night’s Watch seems overmatched against the inexorable Wall advances of Mance Rayder’s army of wildlings, which in turn is being trailed by an even more formidable foe: the undead White Walkers. If that’s not enough, Daenerys Targaryen, accompanied by her fierce trio of dragons and Unsullied army, is poised to "liberate" Meereen, the largest Slaver City in the east, which could provide her with an imposing force to execute her ultimate plan: to sail to Westeros and reclaim the Iron Throne the Lannisters usurped from her family.
Manufacturer: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Brand: BUENA VISTA HOME VIDEO
From Academy Award(R)-winning filmmaker Andrew Stanton (Best Animated Film, Wall-E, 2008) comes John Carter -- a sweeping action-adventure set on the mysterious and exotic planet of Barsoom (Mars). Based on Edgar Rice Burroughs's classic novel, John Carter is a war-weary, former military captain who's inexplicably transported to Mars and reluctantly becomes embroiled in an epic conflict. It's a world on the brink of collapse, and Carter rediscovers his humanity when he realizes the survival of Barsoom and its people rests in his hands. Stunning special effects, great characters and villains -- and complete with extraordinary bonus features -- John Carter is a heroic and inspirational adventure that will thrill you beyond imagination. Disney's megabudget foray into a new CGI franchise of epic sci-fi mythology arrives with a massive marketing push and an interesting pulp pedigree that will probably inspire as many fans as it will naysayers. This impressively crafted piece of escapist fantasy is based on a character and series of books by Edgar Rice Burroughs that is runner-up to his primary creation, Tarzan, and the 20-plus volumes he wrote about that iconic ape-raised jungle adventurer. Burroughs churned out books in both series concurrently for roughly his entire adult life in the first half of the 20th century. John Carter is a former Confederate Civil War captain and fortune-hunting ne'er-do-well who through a weird incident of astral projection is plopped down on the red planet, where he becomes a passionate warrior against beasts and humanoids for the security of a home world known to its inhabitants as Barsoom. John Carter presents this origin setup in a clever prologue that finds the cranky Carter on the run from frontier military authorities as well as a band of marauding Indians. Carter is played by Friday Night Lights star Taylor Kitsch with great bravado. His character undergoes radical change when confronted with something he can finally care about. It doesn't hurt that an exotic princess of Mars is part of the prize package that comes from his battle against evil and ultimately doing the right thing. John Carter is a visual feast (especially in well-conceived 3-D) with an array of digital and motion-capture techniques that create an eye-popping world of strange creatures, astounding architectural vistas, aerial panoramas, and luminous landscapes. All the extraordinary detail is not surprising considering that Pixar superstar Andrew Stanton is at the helm (he also directed Finding Nemo and WALL-E). There's a lot going on in the script, and it sometimes feels as though too much work was done in the editing suite to streamline a story that is often overly complicated. Barsoom is ruled by three species, all with their own political and social agendas. There are the humans whose city-state cultures are threatened by civil war and the aggression of Tharks, a race of giant green-skinned, four-armed warriors with horrific tusks and a deeply b...
The Maenadian reign of terror may be over, but Sookie Stackhouse and the townspeople of Bon Temps face a new calamity that makes the bacchanalian evils of Maryanne Forrester seem tame by comparison. In Season 3, Sookie desperately tries to locate her fiancé, ending up in a netherworld of human and undead interlopers, among them the powerful Vampire King of Mississippi, Russell Edgington.
Manufacturer: Warner Home Video
Brand: Warner Bros
Dark Knight, The (Dbl BD)The follow-up to Batman Begins, THE DARK KNIGHT reunites director Christopher Nolan and star Christian Bale, who reprises the role of BATMAN /BRUCE WAYNE in his continuing war on crime. With the help of LT. JIM GORDON and District Attorney HARVEY DENT,BATMAN sets out to destroy organized crime in Gotham for good. The triumvirate proves effective, but soon find themselves prey to a rising criminal mastermind known as THE JOKER, who thrusts Gotham into anarchy and forces BATMAN closer to crossing the fine line between hero and vigilante. Heath Ledger stars as archvillain THE JOKER, and Aaron Eckhart plays Dent. Maggie Gyllenhaal joins the cast as RACHEL DAWES. Returning from Batman Begins are Gary Oldman as Gordon, Michael Caine as Alfred and Morgan Freeman as LUCIUS FOX.]]> The Dark Knight arrives with tremendous hype (best superhero movie ever? posthumous Oscar for Heath Ledger?), and incredibly, it lives up to all of it. But calling it the best superhero movie ever seems like faint praise, since part of what makes the movie great--in addition to pitch-perfect casting, outstanding writing, and a compelling vision--is that it bypasses the normal fantasy element of the superhero genre and makes it all terrifyingly real. Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) is Gotham City's new district attorney, charged with cleaning up the crime rings that have paralyzed the city. He enters an uneasy alliance with the young police lieutenant, Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman), and Batman (Christian Bale), the caped vigilante who seems to trust only Gordon--and whom only Gordon seems to trust. They make progress until a psychotic and deadly new player enters the game: the Joker (Heath Ledger), who offers the crime bosses a solution--kill the Batman. Further complicating matters is that Dent is now dating Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal, after Katie Holmes turned down the chance to reprise her role), the longtime love of Batman's alter ego, Bruce Wayne.In his last completed role before his tragic death, Ledger is fantastic as the Joker, a volcanic, truly frightening force of evil. And he sets the tone of the movie: the world is a dark, dangerous place where there are no easy choices. Eckhart and Oldman also shine, but as good as Bale is, his character turns out rather bland in comparison (not uncommon for heroes facing more colorful villains). Director-cowriter Christopher Nolan (Memento) follows his critically acclaimed Batman Begins with an even better sequel that sets itself apart from notable superhero movies like Spider-Man 2 and Iron Man because of its sheer emotional impact and striking sense of realism--there are no suspension-of-disbelief superpowers here. At 152 minutes, it's a shade too long, and it's much too intense for kids. But for most movie fans--and not just superhero fans--The Dark Knight is a film for the ages. --David Horiuchi On the Blu-ray disc The Dark Knight on Blu-ray is a great home-theater showoff disc. The detail and colors are tr...
In Bon Temps, everyone has something to hide. But when new threats emerge, no one can conceal the secrets of their past. After Sookie discovers Bill was kidnapped, she heads to Mississippi, where she becomes entangled in a world ruled by werewolves and a powerful Vampire King. Eric is also drawn to the King’s domain to settle an old score; Jason falls for a mysterious woman; Lafayette can’t avoid love or demons; and Sam uncovers the truth about his birth family. It all leads up to the revelation of the series…Sookie’s true identity. The 12 episodes composing True Blood: The Complete Third Season are either the best yet or the most ridiculous, depending on one's opinion of the increasing number of monsters entering the scene. As last season saw an onslaught of pagan and ancient Greek-derived "supernaturals," as they're called by Bon Temps' citizens, this season welcomes everything from werewolves, to vampire royalty, to that surprise-being that Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) finally discovers she shares genes with. While the first two seasons centered on the spicy love affair between Sookie and Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), this season branches out once again from the vampire-human cultural blender. From the first episode, "Bad Blood," when Bill is whisked off to meet the King of Mississippi, Russell Edgington (Denis O'Hare), whose villainous scheme will inform all ensuing episodes, one gets less of Sookie and Bill, and more of everything else. For example, Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell) reveals himself this time around, starting in the episodes "Beautifully Broken" and "It Hurts Me Too," in which he tracks down members of his past and in turn meets some new family, like his mischievous brother, Tommy Mickens (Marshall Allman). Following up on Eggs's death at the end of season two, Andy Bellefleur (Chris Bauer) and Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten) have multiple police dramas, especially in later episodes like "I Smell a Rat" and "Fresh Blood." This season, too, presents some of life's greatest challenges to Tara Thornton (Rutina Wesley), as if she hadn't suffered enough after her new love Eggs was shot. Hoyt (Jim Parrack) and Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll), as a foil couple to Sookie and Bill's vampire-human coupling, have enormous hurdles to jump over simply to continue dating. While all of these dramas make the characters in Bon Temps come alive like never before, the silliest of the plots continues on, unfortunately, as Queen Sophie-Anne Leclerq (Evan Rachel Wood) has to battle King Edgington for Vamp-Blood sales territory. On the up side of that chess-game narrative, Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgård) and his femme fatale, Pam De Beaufort (Kristin Bauer), play much larger roles this season, and in the finale, "Evil Is Going On," Eric not only discovers his deep past history but struggles through his rockiest present dangers thus far. Interestingly, though Sookie is still the protagonist, True Blood appears to be shifting to a wider view...