Saturday, September 28, 2013

"Metallica: Through The Never" (2013)

Starring Dane DeHaan and Metallica
Written by Nimrod Antal and Metallica
Directed by Nimrod Antal
Rated R - Violence, strong language, frightening images
Running Time: 93 Minutes

There's never a lack of crazy when you're a roadie for Metallica. Trip (Dane DeHaan) is just such a roadie, hired by a manager to be a gofer for the band. On the night of a massive, one-night-only show, Trip is sent on a mission to retrieve something of vital importance to the band. It seems a truck carrying their parcel broke down on its way to the venue, and Trip has to take his van and a tank of gas and get the thing running again.

At first, Trip seems disappointed that he's missing the show and rushes to get through his task in time to catch the rest. But when he's T-boned at an intersection, he discovers that he's got bigger problems to deal with: Trip finds himself stranded in the midst of a massive battle between rioters and police.

Worse, a mysterious rider on horseback wearing a gas mask seems to have set his sights on Trip, stalking him through an increasingly dangerous and apocalyptic setting.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

'Fringe' Season Five (2013)

Starring Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson and John Noble
Created by JJ Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci

After saving the universe from power-mad William Bell in Season 4, the Fringe team has settled into something of normalcy. New parents Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) and Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson) take their young daughter Etta to the park. In a flash of light and a crack of thunder, the invaders come: the strange men from the future known to the team as the Observers quickly conquer the world. Etta is lost in the fray. The Fringe team joins the resistance, and then they disappear.

21 years later, an adult Etta finds her parents, and her grandfather Walter Bishop (John Noble) and his assistant Astrid Farnsworth (Jasika Nicole) frozen in amber. She frees them, and brings the team up to speed: the Observers control the world, and are slowly converting the atmosphere to something more suitable for their kind. Humanity lives under their thumb, and the oppressive forces of the human Loyalists. Travel is restricted. Freedom is a myth.

The Fringe team quickly gets to work with the resistance. Before they were frozen, Walter had concocted a plan to defeat the Observers. But the information has been stolen from him by an Observer named Windmark (Michael Kopsa), who sucked it telepathically from his very mind. Fortunately, Walter detailed the plan on a series of video tapes frozen in amber under his old lab in Harvard.

Now the Fringe team is desperately working to unlock the mystery of Walter's plan. With the Observers closing in, time running out, they'll put everything on the line for the sake of the future.

Friday, September 6, 2013

'Star Trek: The Next Generation' Season Four - 1990 [Blu-Ray]

Starring Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes and Brent Spiner
Created by Gene Roddenberry

As season four opens, Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) has been taken by the hive mind of the Borg, twisted into the villainous Locutus and forced to commit violent acts of aggression against the Federation. The crew of the Enterprise, now led by Captain William T. Riker (Jonathan Frakes) races against time to stop him before Locutus reaches the heart of the Federation - Earth - and decimates its population.

The Borg are not the only threat the crew of the Enterprise will face this year. Lt. Commander Data (Brent Spiner) will come face to face once more with his evil twin, Lore (also Brent Spiner) and his own creator (also also Brent Spiner). Counselor Troi (Marina Sirtis) will deal with the trauma of losing her empathic powers. Doctor Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden) finds herself trapped in a slowly-collapsing alternate universe, with no means of her own escape. Chief Engineer Geordi LaForge (Levar Burton) investigates the mysterious disappearances of some of his former crewmates, and discovers he may be next.  Lt. Worf (Michael Dorn) will face his destiny as he is once again plunged into the dangerous world of Klingon politics.

'Spartacus: War of the Damned' (2013)

Starring Liam McIntyre, Manu Bennett and Dustin Clare
Created by Steven S. DeKnight

Rome is in crisis. With its forces spread thin dealing with foreign threats, it is unable to counter heavy losses at the hands of the rebel army of Spartacus (Liam McIntyre). To this end, the Senate broaches its richest citizen, Marcus Crassus (Simon Merrells) to use his fortune to raise an army of his own to meet Spartacus. To this end, Crassus recruits a young, but highly-skilled warrior, Julius Caesar (Todd Lasance) to infiltrate Spartacus' ranks. Then, with his son Tiberius (Christian Antidormi) at his side, Crassus makes his march with an army 10,000 strong.

Meanwhile, Spartacus' rebel army has grown massive. In need of food and shelter, Spartacus and his lieutenants, Crixus (Manu Bennett), Agron (Dan Feuerriegal) and Gannicus (Dustin Clare) hatch a bold plan: to capture an entire city and make it their stronghold. The rebels manage to infiltrate and overthrow the city of Sinuessa, on the coast, slaughtering the many nobles that reside there.

Spartacus draws the ire of his people, however, when he decides to keep some of the Romans as prisoners instead of killing them outright. He places one of the prisoners, a woman named Laeta (Ann Hutchison) in charge of the prisoners. Though she resents him for killing her husband, Laeta proves sympathetic toward Spartacus as time passes.

And Spartacus soon finds that taking a city is far simpler than keeping one. With Crassus at his doorstep, pirates of uncertain loyalty on the seas, and ever-growing rivalries between his own men, Spartacus struggles to keep his rebel army from falling apart... and falling beneath Crassus' sword.

'Spartacus: Vengeance' (2012)

Starring Liam McIntyre, Manu Bennett and Dustin Clare
Created by Steven S. DeKnight

Following the bloody slaughter at the House of Batiatus, the Thracian warrior Spartacus (Liam McIntyre) and his group of rebel gladiators and slaves take refuge underground, striking fearsome raids into the city of Capua for supplies and food. But the loose band of former rivals does not function well. A band of gladiators led by the gaul, Crixus (Manu Bennett) is a constant aggravation for the other slaves, often taking their food and women with little thought for others.

But Spartacus swore an oath to Crixus that he would help him find his lost love, Naevia (Cynthia Addai-Robinson), who had been banished from the House of Batiatus after their affair was discovered by Batiatus and his wife Lucretia (Lucy Lawless). Spartacus attempts to balance the needs of keeping his rebel group alive with his oath to Crixus.

Meanwhile, the leaders of Rome, infuriated at Spartacus' murder of so many nobles, sends Praetor Gaius Claudius Glaber (Craig Parker), the very man who sold Spartacus into slavery in the first place, to correct this grave error. Accompanied by his pregnant wife Illythia (Viva Bianca), Glaber sets up shop in the fallen house of Batiatus, only to discover that Lucretia still lives within its walls, injured and half-mad from her ordeal.

With supplies scarce, and internal rivalries growing hotter, Spartacus struggles to lead his ever-growing band of rebels to safety... as Glaber closes in with his legions.

'Transformers: Prime' Season 3 (2013)

Starring Peter Cullen, Frank Welker and Steven Blum
Developed by Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Jeff Kline and Duane Capizzi

Following the destruction of their secret base by the Decepticons, the Autobots find themselves scattered and in hiding across the United States. Rookie teammember Smokescreen (Nolan North) has hauled a mortally-wounded Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) to safety beneath the mountain's wreckage. Arcee (Sumalee Montano) and her human ward Jack (Josh Keaton), Bumblebee and his friend Rafael (Andy Pessoa), and Bulkhead (Kevin Michael Richardson) and the energetic Miko (Tania Gunadi) are spread out elsewhere and unable or unwilling to contact each other as the Decepticons are monitoring all Earth communications.

From his new palace built over the ruins of the Autobots' base, now dubbed "Darkmount," Megatron (Frank Welker), Starscream (Steven Blum) and Shockwave (David Sobolov) use their advanced weaponry to ward off human military forces. Megatron attempts to convince the humans, through federal agent Fowler (Ernie Hudson) that he means to leave humanity in peace, but Fowler and the others know that's a lie and that Megatron will stop at nothing to conquer the Earth.

Soon, the Autobots are joined by allies Wheeljack (James Horan) and Ultra Magnus (Michael Ironside) to launch a new offensive against Megatron. But even with the return of Optimus Prime, Megatron unveils his next deadly plan to destroy the Autobots and enslave the Earth: the Predacons, an ancient race of Cybertronian dragons resurrected in the modern age... and nearly indestructible.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

"The World's End" (2013)

Starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Martin Freeman
Written by Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg
Directed by Edgar Wright
Rated R - Violence, strong language, sexual references, copious amounts of alcohol
Running Time: 109 Minutes

Gary King (Simon Pegg) recounts what he considers the greatest night of his life to a rehab therapy group. Years ago, Gary and his best friends attempted a pub crawl in their hometown called the Golden Mile - 12 pubs, 12 pints, all culminating at a pub called The World's End. But they never made it. Too young, too stupid and too eager, they drank themselves to an early oblivion... then went on with their lives.

Now, Gary is intent on getting his friends back together for another attempt at the Golden Mile. But each of them has grown up and gone their separate ways. Oliver (Martin Freeman), Steven (Paddy Considine), Peter (Eddie Marsan) and (Nick Frost) all have jobs, careers, families... but Gary does not. In order to convince them to join him, he concocts a story about his mother having died, and the friends reunite in their hometown of Newton Haven.

But no sooner are they on their way for a pint that they start noticing something strange. No one seems to remember them, and the populace has become very, very strange. After a couple of stops and feeling a bit loose, Gary goes into the bathroom of one of the pubs and ends up in a confrontation with a young man he thinks is rude. What escalates into a fistfight ends with Gary shearing the man's head off on the edge of the toilet - revealing that it isn't a man at all. The town, it seems, has been taken over by robots, and the only ones not affected are Gary, his friends, Oliver's sister Sam (Rosamund Pike) - the object of years-long crushes by both Gary and Steven - and a few random folks here or there.

But as his friends desperately beg him to leave, Gary is adamant that they continue on their pub crawl, determined that nothing will get in his way this time... not even the end of the world.