Supernatural: Season 2
Manufacturer: WarnerBrothers Brand: WHV Model: 2289561
Supernatural: The Complete Second Season (DVD)Twenty-two years ago, Sam and Dean Winchester lost their mother to a mysterious and demonic supernatural force, so their father, John, raised the brothers. He taught them about the paranormal evil that lives in the dark corners and on the back roads of America...and he taught them how to kill it. Sam, however, wanted nothing to do with this violent and dangerous life, and he left it behind, until the day Dean appeared on his doorstep with troubling news. Their father had gone missing on a "hunting trip." Sam and Dean have spent the last year cruising the highways of the United States searching for their lost father and encountering creatures that most people believe exist only in folklore, superstition and nightmares. Along the way, they have battled the various supernatural threats--and each other as well, for their sibling rivalries and conflicts were never far from the surface]]> As programs ranging from Kolchak: The Night Stalker to, well, Night Stalker have proven, it's difficult to scare TV audiences on a weekly basis, but Supernatural seems to broken the trend. Not only has its blend of Route 66 and The X-Files provided some of the more chilling TV moments in recent history, but its core story--two brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki) battle the forces of evil to avenge their late mother--has been compelling enough to warrant a second season, which is compiled in its entirety on this six-disc set. Season Two maintains the show's "Monster of the Week" approach while adding compelling layers to the main characters and their history; in "What Is And What Should Never Be," a djinn offers the boys a glimpse of how their lives might've played out had their mother not succumbed to demonic forces, while the two-part "All Hell Breaks Loose" brings the season to a close with not only a rift between Sam and Dean, but the gates of Hell swinging open to unleash monstrous spirits. And if that's not enough of a creepshow for you, the boys also encounter a cannibal clown ("Everybody Loves a Clown"), seductive demons ("Crossroad Blues"), a town gripped by mass psychosis ("Croatoan"), as well as a barrage of ghosts, vampires and werewolves. If it's chills you want, the second season of Supernatural has them by the score. There's also a wealth of extras on the Complete Second Season set that should please longtime fans and help newcomers catch up with developments since the show's debut. Informative and entertaining commentaries are featured on three episodes: "In My Time of Dying" (by Ackles and Padalecki), "What Is And What Never Should Be" (by series creator Eric Kripke), and "All Hell Breaks Loose, Part 1" (by Kripke, writer Sera Gambles, and director Robert Singer). There's also a featurette on "All Hell Breaks Loose Part 2" that offers observations by the cast and crew on the season as a whole; viewers should note that the 11-minute short is difficult to find and is accessib...
Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.: The Complete Series
Manufacturer: Warner Home Video Brand: Warner Brothers Model: 2287077
Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.: The Complete Series (DVD)The world's favorite western/sci-fi/comedy/action cult hit rides again! Here on 8 discs is the complete series about Brisco (Bruce Campbell), a tough-as-rawhide cowpoke, debonair ladies' man and Harvard-educated smarty-britches who roams from Frisco to Jalisco in pursuit of outlaws who killed his father...and in search of a mysterious orb possessing out-of-this world powers. Hot lead and cool anachronisms await Brisco as he and his sidekicks - including Comet, the intellectual equine who doesn't know he's a horse - fight for justice in the way, way, way-out West. Put your boots in your stirrups, your tongue in your cheek and join the fun. Let's play cowboys and aliens.]]> A science fiction-Western and comedy-drama with echoes of The Wild Wild West and Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.: The Complete Series is uniquely entertaining. Anchored by the comically heroic style of likable B-movie actor Bruce Campbell, Adventures lasted one television season in 1993-94. But it left behind a full 27 episodes (including two two-part stories) full of classic TV Western production values and a running storyline that resembles The X-Files after awhile. Campbell plays Brisco County Jr., a bounty hunter and son of a legendary U.S. marshal (R. Lee Ermey) gunned down by the villainous John Bly (Billy Drago) and his band of misfits. The younger Brisco is hired by a consortium of businessmen to protect their interests from the likes of Bly, and while he's dedicated to that cause, Brisco is also determined to avenge his father's murder. Helping him do a little of both is a fussy attorney, Socrates Poole (Christian Clemenson); a rival bounty hunter, Lord Bowler (Julius Carry); a wacky inventor, Professor Wickwire (John Astin); and a sultry saloon singer, Dixie (Kelly Rutherford). Rockets, mysterious orbs, and superhuman strength are some of the delightfully out-of-their-element phenomena that find themselves alongside more conventional cowpoke ingredients, including a horse so smart he can chew the ropes binding Brisco's hands. For the most part, the stories stand alone. But as the season progresses, a lot of things get weirder, albeit in a good way: the truth about Bly and his connection to a golden orb everyone wants, for example, are certainly unexpected. But the show is always dazzling, often satiric ("Oy!" Dixie exclaims when Brisco outlines the steps involved in stopping a runaway wagon they're trapped within), yet heartening in an old-fashioned way. Special features include Campbell's reading of a chapter about the series in his autobiography. --Tom Keogh
Manufacturer: Paramount Brand: Paramount Model: 2237478
John Blackthorne, an English ship pilot, whose vessel wrecked upon the Japanese coast in the early 17th century is forced to deal with the two most powerful men in Japan in these days. He is thrown in the midst of a war between Toranaga and Ishido, who struggle for the title of Shogun which will give ultimate power to the one who possesses it. What better way to escape from the onslaught of so-called reality television than to sail away with Richard Chamberlain to "the Japans" for a little samurai action and some discreet "pillowing"? From the golden age of the miniseries comes this television benchmark, the 10-hour, Golden Globe-winning saga based on James Clavell's bestselling epic. In his award-winning performance, Chamberlain stars as John Blackthorne, the 17th-century English navigator on a Dutch trading ship. A storm runs the ship aground off the coast of Japan, a "torn and cruelly divided country" locked in a power struggle between Toranaga (the venerable Toshiro Mifune) and Ishido, two warlords who would be Shogun. Blackthorne gets over his initial culture shock ("I piss on you and your country," he defiantly proclaims to his samurai captors, which to his humiliation turns out to be an unfortunate choice of words) to become a trusted ally of Toranaga and the lover of the beautiful interpreter Lady Mariko (YokoShimada). Their forbidden, ill-fated romance--and Blackthorne's total assimilation into Japanese culture--is set against political intrigue as Toranaga prepares for the inevitable showdown with Ishido, and Blackthorne's growing influence threatens the local Jesuits who had built up a lucrative trade monopoly. Shogun was a production blessed with good karma, and it remains an awesome achievement from a bygone era when the miniseries was king. --Donald Liebenson
Spartacus - Restored Edition (Blu-ray + DIGITAL HD)
Manufacturer: Universal Studios Home Entertainment Brand: UNI DIST CORP. (MCA)
Spartacus, the genre-defining epic from director Stanley Kubrick, is the legendary tale of a bold gladiator (Kirk Douglas) who led a triumphant Roman slave revolt. Newly restored from large format 35MM original film elements, the action-packed spectacle won four Academy Awards including Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction. Featuring a cast of screen legends such as Laurence Olivier, Charles Laughton, Peter Ustinov, Jean Simmons, John Gavin and Tony Curtis, this uncut and fully restored masterpiece is an inspirational true account of man’s eternal struggle for freedom.
Supernatural: Season 3 [Blu-ray]
Manufacturer: Warner Home Video Brand: Warner Brothers UK Color: color
Supernatural: The Complete Third Season (BD)The yellow-eyed demon is vanquished, but at a terrible price. The battle that brought him down released hundreds of demons from Hell into an unsuspecting world. And it cost Sam his life. But a grief-stricken Dean made a deal with the Crossroad Demon his soul for Sams resurrection. Now Dean has just one year to live. One year to fight the unholy, the twisted, the ghoulish. One year to say farewell to Sam. And one year for Sam to search desperately for some way to save his brother. Mind-bending adventure awaits as the Winchester brothers continue their astonishing odyssey into the supernatural...and their personal odyssey into destiny.]]>
Supernatural: Season 4
Manufacturer: Warner Brand: Warner Manufacturing Model: 5524305
Supernatural: The Complete Fourth Season (DVD)"Years ago, Sam and Dean Winchester lost their mother to a mysterious and demonic supernatural force. Subsequently, their father raised them to be soldiers, teaching them about the paranormal evil that lives in dark corners and on the back roads of America. And he taught them how to kill it. This haunting series follows the Winchester brothers as they travel the lonely and mysterious back roads of the country in their '67 Chevy Impala, hunting down every evil supernatural force they encounter along the way. At the start of the fourth season, Dean has been freed from Hell, but he can't remember how or why, or what happened while he was there. It soon becomes clear that Sam has secrets of his own, including what happened in the four months Dean was gone. As the brothers answer these questions, they also face a dire threat. There are whispers that an evil demon will soon be freed from its prison.]]> When a television series opens its new season with a lead character crawling out of his grave after escaping Hell itself, one cannot help but wonder: how will the rest of the episodes ever follow that? In the case of Supernatural's fourth season, the answer comes from above with the introduction of Misha Collins's Castiel, an angel dispatched to rescue Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) from infernal torment and reunite him with brother Sam (Jared Padalecki) for a very special mission. That quest--to stop the demonic Lilith from opening the 66 seals required to bring Lucifer to Earth and launch the Apocalypse--forms the backbone of the 22 episodes, which takes some fairly adventurous risks with the core of the show. Chief among these is the rift that deepens between Dean and Sam as they attempt to work together, despite their divergent destinies; also agreeable is the season's tonal shift away from its previous Monster of the Week format (though that's still intact for many episodes) and toward a single, more ambitious story and thematic arc. The sea change deepens the show's drama, intensifies the level of suspense and stakes in each episode, and pushes it several big steps away from its teen-friendly origins. Of course, there's still plenty of the show's trademark irreverence and humor to be found, especially in the clever "Monster Movie," which pits the brothers against a Shapeshifter that takes the form of classic movie fiends, and "The Monster at the End of This Book," where Sam and Dean discover a comic book with plot lines very similar to their own lives. By the time Supernatural's fourth season reaches its cliffhanger ending with "Lucifer Rising" (the title neatly sums up the plot), viewers should be fairly hungering for the next episode--a good sign that a veteran series is still hitting its stride. Extras on the six-disc set include commentary for three episodes: "In the Beginning," with executive producer Eric Kripke and writer Jeremy Carver; "When the Levee Breaks," with director Robert Singer and w...
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