Manufacturer: Warner Home Video
Brand: Warner Bros
Shining, The: Special Edition (BD)]]> Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is less an adaptation of Stephen King's bestselling horror novel than a complete reimagining of it from the inside out. In King's book, the Overlook Hotel is a haunted place that takes possession of its off-season caretaker and provokes him to murderous rage against his wife and young son. Kubrick's movie is an existential Road Runner cartoon (his steadicam scurrying through the hotel's labyrinthine hallways), in which the cavernously empty spaces inside the Overlook mirror the emptiness in the soul of the blocked writer, who's settled in for a long winter's hibernation. As many have pointed out, King's protagonist goes mad, but Kubrick's Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) is Looney Tunes from the moment we meet him--all arching eyebrows and mischievous grin. (Both Nicholson and Shelley Duvall reach new levels of hysteria in their performances, driven to extremes by the director's fanatical demands for take after take after take.) The Shining is terrifying--but not in the way fans of the novel might expect. When it was redone as a TV miniseries (reportedly because of King's dissatisfaction with the Kubrick film), the famous topiary-animal attack (which was deemed impossible to film in 1980) was there--but the deeper horror was lost. Kubrick's The Shining gets under your skin and chills your bones; it stays with you, inhabits you, haunts you. And there's no place to hide... --Jim Emerson
Manufacturer: HBO Studios
Brand: HBO Home Video
True Blood: The Complete First Season (DVD)TRUE BLOOD chronicles the backwoods Louisiana town of Bon Temps... where vampires have emerged from the coffin, and no longer need humans for their fix. Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin, Golden Globe(R)-winner for "True Blood", Academy Award®-winner for “The Piano”) works as a waitress at the rural bar Merlotte's. Though outwardly a typical young woman, she keeps a dangerous secret: she has the ability to hear the thoughts of others. Her situation is further complicated when the bar gets its first vampire patron - 173-year old Bill Compton (Steven Moyer, "Quills") - and the two outsiders are immediately drawn to each other. Delivering the best of what audiences have come to expect from Creator and Executive Producer Alan Ball (writer of Oscar®-winning Best Picture “American Beauty”, creator of the Emmy® Award-winning HBO® series “Six Feet Under”), TRUE BLOOD is a dark and sexy tale that boldly delves into the heart - and the neck - of the Deep South.]]> Alan Ball’s True Blood series works well for television, as it has enough sensationalism to tantalize and enough story girth to make the viewer care about the characters. That one can finally invest emotion into monsters, including an undead Civil War victim, a transformer who can shapeshift into various animals, and a female mind reader, speaks volumes about America’s willingness to accept fantasy. Of course, television has always produced good fantasy shows (I Dream of Jeannie), but True Blood’s Southern Goth brand of fun horror is more macabre and more perverse, not to mention gorier, than most shows of its kind to date. Adapted from Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels, True Blood thrills because of its equal blend in each episode of erotica, humor, tragedy, mystery, and fantasy. Set in a rural, swampy Louisiana parrish, the show centers around Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) and her clan, sweet grandmother Adele (Lois Smith) and air-headed brother Jason (Ryan Kwanten). Illicit love is spa...
When we last checked in with Sookie Stackhouse, the mystery surrounding a Bon Temps serial killer had finally been solved, to the town’sinfinite relief. Sookie is thrilled that her vampire soulmate, Bill Compton, has escaped with his life (or is it death?) after coming to her daylight defense. On other fronts, Sookie’s pal Tara Thornton sets downnew roots with an affluent benefactor, Maryann Forrester; Sam Merlotte resolves to get in shape-shift shape after a forest foray; roguish brother Jason finds new purpose with an anti-vampire sect; and detectiveAndy Bellefleur licks his wounds after being proven wrong about Jason’s guilt. But just as things are settling down, some deadly new twists threaten to ratchet up the saga of Sookie Stackhouse to bloody new heights!DVD Features:Audio CommentaryFeaturette True Blood's second season, with episodes involving a new cast of monsters invading Louisiana swamp town Bon Temps, is notably gorier and more camp than the first season. While thematically the central focus in these 12 exciting episodes still revolves around faith and loyalty, these questions are complicated by displays of pagan ritual and obsession. Though the vampire/human relationship dilemma continues, spearheaded by lovers Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) and vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), there is less emphasis on addiction to V, or vampire blood, and more time dedicated to outsiders whose supernatural talents make some episodes feel like superhero battles. Episode 1, "Nothing but the Blood," sets the gory example with a brutal opening scene in which the local shaman has been eviscerated. While gruesome murders continue throughout the season, we become familiar with a new femme fatale, Maryann Forrester (Michelle Forbes), who hosts bacchanalia, such as the one in episode 4 ("Shake and Fingerpop") that gives Bon Temps a collective hangover. Also developing in this season are relationships between Sookie and Bill's vampire colleagues Eric (Alexander Skarsgård), Eric's master Godric, and a vampire q...
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 t...
Manufacturer: HBO Studios
Brand: True Blood: The Complete Fourth Season
True Blood is the sexy, scary, wildly entertaining drama series from Oscar®- and Emmy®-winning Alan Ball (HBO’s Six Feet Under), and based on the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris. Mixing romance, suspense, mystery and humor, True Blood tells the continuing tale of Sookie (Anna Paquin, Golden Globe-winner for this role), a human waitress with telepathic gifts – and a so-far irresistible attraction to 174-year-old vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer). Surrounded by familiar faces – including her brother Jason (Ryan Kwanten), shape-shifting boss Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell), soul-searching pal Tara Thornton (Rutina Wesley), Tara’s cousin Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis); police chief Andy Bellefleur (Chris Bauer), vampire suitor Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgård) and teen vamp Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) – Sookie faces some new otherworldly threats in this season – as if vampires, werewolves, werepanthers and shapeshifters weren’t enough!
Manufacturer: AMC and Anchor Bay Entertainment
Brand: Anchor Bay Entertainment
After waking from a coma in an abandoned hospital, police officer Rick Grimes finds the world he knew gone - ravaged by a zombie epidemic of apocalyptic proportions. Nearby, on the outskirts of Atlanta, a small encampment struggles to survive as 'the dead' stalk them at every turn. Can Rick and the others hold onto their humanity as they fight to live in this terrifying new world? And, amidst dire conditions and personal rivalries, will they ultimately survive one another? AMC’s The Walking Dead is an epic, survival adventure series from the director of The Shawshank Redemption and the producer of The Terminator and Aliens. Arguably the biggest hit of the 2010 television season, the apocalypse drama The Walking Dead pulls the zombie subgenre out of its overexposed doldrums and finds, ironically enough, the humanity and emotion beneath its rotting shell. Produced by Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption) and Gale Anne Hurd (Aliens) and based on the acclaimed graphic novel by Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead follows a band of Atlanta-based survivors of a viral outbreak that has caused the dead to rise up and consume the living. The group's nominal leader is a sheriff's deputy (Andrew Lincoln) who wakes from a gunshot-induced coma to find the world in disarray and his wife (Sarah Wayne Callies, Prison Break) and son missing. His search for his family and the survivors' attempts to make sense of their lives in the wake of the outbreak is handled with intelligence and sensitivity, which helps to elevate the show beyond the grindhouse take on zombies, which favors spilled guts over character development. That's not to say that the blood doesn't flow plentifully here: the special effects are on par with zombie-movie mayhem, but again, they aren't the show's raison d'être. Solid performances, including Jon Bernthal as Lincoln's partner, Jeffrey DeMunn as the group's leading rationalist, and Michael Rooker and Norman Reedus as a pair of trouble-making rednecks, and gripping suspense make each of the first season's s...
Manufacturer: AMC and Anchor Bay Entertainment
Brand: Anchor Bay Entertainment
After waking from a coma in an abandoned hospital, police officer Rick Grimes finds the world he knew gone - ravaged by a zombie epidemic of apocalyptic proportions. Nearby, on the outskirts of Atlanta, a small encampment struggles to survive as 'the dead' stalk them at every turn. Can Rick and the others hold onto their humanity as they fight to live in this terrifying new world? And, amidst dire conditions and personal rivalries, will they ultimately survive one another? AMC’s The Walking Dead is an epic, survival adventure series from the director of The Shawshank Redemption and the producer of The Terminator and Aliens.
Brand: PARAMOUNT - UNI DIST CORP
A former UN investigator is thrust into the middle of trying to stop what could be the end of the world. Worldwide destruction sends him around the globe seeking clues about what they are fighting and what it will take to defeat it, as he tries to save the lives of billions of strangers, as well as his own beloved family. Few monsters lend themselves better to allegory than the zombie. In the years since George Romero first set the shambling mold with Night of the Living Dead, filmmakers have been using the undead as handy substitutes for concepts as varied as mall-walking consumers, punk rockers, soccer hooligans, and every political movement imaginable. (All this, plus brain chomping.) World War Z, the mega-scale adaptation of Max Brooks's richly detailed faux-historical novel, presents a zombie apocalypse on a ginormous level never seen before on film. Somehow, however, the sheer size of the scenario, coupled with a distinct lack of visceral explicitness, ends up blunting much of the metaphoric impact. While the globe-hopping action certainly doesn't want for spectacle, viewers may find themselves wishing there was something more to, you know, chew on. Director Marc Forster and his team of screenwriters (including J. Michael Straczynski and Lost's Damon Lindelof) have kept the basic gist of the source material, in which an unexplained outbreak results in a rapidly growing army of the undead. Unlike the novel's sprawling collection of unrelated narrators, however, the film streamlines the plot, following a retired United Nations investigator (Brad Pitt) who must leave his family behind in order to seek out the origins of the outbreak. While the introduction of a central character does help connect some of Brooks's cooler ideas, it also has the curious effect of narrowing the global scale of the crisis. By the time of the third act, in which Pitt finds himself under siege in a confined space, the once epic scope has decelerated into something virtually indistinguishable from any other zombie movie. Even if it's ...
Brand: 20TH Century Fox
Brace yourself for an addictive thrill ride! American Horror Story is TV's most original new drama, a deeply stylish psychosexual haunt devised to keep you on the edge of your seat. The Harmon's (Dylan McDermott, Connie Britton) fresh start in a new home deviously twists to reveal discoveries of love, sex and murderous revenge. Featuring a Golden Globe(R) -winning performance by Jessica Lange, Season One scares up a host of engrossing extras.