Monday, February 29, 2016

Star Trek: The Next Generation Motion Picture 50th Anniversary Collection

Much like Star Trek: The Original Motion Picture 50th Anniversary Collection, the Star Trek: The Next Generation Motion Picture 50th Anniversary Collection is a basic re-issue of the 2009 Blu-ray release collecting all four Star Trek: The Next Generation feature films in a single collection. As with the other release, it's a bit of a mixed bag with some, but certainly not all, of the extras available in the movies' individual home video releases.

The highlight of the collection is Star Trek: First Contact (the second, and by far the best, of the Next Gen movies). Also included are the problematic Star Trek: Generations (which struggles to unite the original and Next Generation franchises), the disappointing Star Trek: Nemesis (which wastes the Romulans only big screen appearance), and the almost completely forgettable Star Trek: Insurrection.

[Paramount, $35.98]

DC's Legends of Tomorrow - Star City 2046

The time travelers get a glimpse in the bleak future of Star City when the damaged Waverider lands in 2046. Although Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell) feels at home in the dystopian future and a few of the members are curious about their loved ones, Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) cautions leaving the time period as quickly as possible. However, after encountering the city's new Green Arrow (Joseph David-Jones) fighting a loosing battle to save a lost city, Sara (Caity Lotz) decides to take stand.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Saturday with Abby

Star Wars Rebels - The Honorable Ones

"The Honorable Ones" is a completely unexpected episode that fleshes out one of show's important reccurring characters. The episode begins with the crew of the Ghost walking into a trap on Geonosis set by Agent Kallus (David Oyelowo). Separated from the rest of the battle, Kallus and Zeb (Steve Blum) continue their fight aboard a damaged escape pod which crash lands the pair on the snowy moon of Bahryn. Here the enemies will be forced to work together to survive the harsh climate and the indigenous Bonzami while hoping to be rescued before they succumb to either the cold or the creatures.

Star Trek: The Original Motion Picture 50th Anniversary Collection

Star Trek: The Original Motion Picture 50th Anniversary Collection is a basic repackaging of the 2009 release which collected the original six Star Trek movies together in a single set on Blu-ray. As with most collections of this type, some of the basic extras with each movie are included but not as many as you will find each individual release. It's likely you already own the movies you want from this set, but if not the $50 price for all six movies isn't too shabby (and currently you can actually find the set heavily discounted at about 60% of that price online).

The real trouble here is you are only getting three good movies for this price (Wrath of Khan, Voyage Home, and Undiscovered Country), two rather mediocre ones (Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Search for Spock), and one even die-hard Star Trek fans don't like talking about (Final Frontier).

[Paramount, $49.99]

Arrow - Taken

The abduction of Oliver's (Stephen Amell) son William leads to major turmoil for both his mayoral campaign and his personal life. Given his recent struggles against Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough), who uses the boy to blackmail Oliver into ending his campaign for mayor, Green Arrow reaches out to a friend who has a bit of magic herself in a mystic amulet capable of temporarily bestowing the power of animals to its wearer. Previously introduced in her own animated web series (which the show has some fun with), Vixen (Megalyn Echikunwoke) is brought to Star City in hopes that her magic might help Oliver put a stop to Darhk's reign of terror.

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Shannara Chronicles - Safehold

As the last leaf from the Ellcrys falls and civil war threatens to end Ander's (Aaron Jakubenko) rule before it ever begins, Wil (Austin Butler), Amberle (Poppy Drayton) and Eretria (Ivana Baquero) finally make it to Safehold through the tunnels beneath the ruins of San Fransisco. While Ander strikes an unlikely truce with the Gnomes to stop his position being usurped by an ambitious member of the High Council, the fate of several members of the quest is left in question as "Safehold" comes to a close.

Eddie the Eagle

It's fitting that at one point during Eddie the Eagle a sports announcer mentions the Jamaican bobsled team. Taking place during the same 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, the story of Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards (Taron Egerton) proves to be a fair companion piece to 1993's Cool Runnings about outsiders making their mark and earning a place in a sport that wanted nothing to do with them.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Continuum - The Final Season

Originally planned as a 7-10 season run by creator Simon Barry, Continuum came to a bit of an unceremonious end in its shortened Fourth, and final, Season. It's sad as the show, which had struggled doing so much heavy lifting in its First Season in setting up the complicated time travel storyline of future cop Kiera Cameron (Rachel Nichols), had finally begun to pay off in the show's Second and Third seasons.

Putting aside Keira's increasingly nebulous relationship with the future terrorist she came back in time to stop, and the complicated subplot involving the Freelancers, the final six episodes deals primarily with the soldier's from Brad's (Ryan Robbins) time and their plans on changing history to better fit their liking. The highlight of the season is the show's final episode "Final Hour" but, because of such time constraints, the lead-up to the final episode feels rushed (especially for a show that moved so glacially slow during its First Season).

Shadowhunters - Major Arcana

While Luke (Isaiah Mustafa) deals with an Internal Affairs investigation and Simon (Alberto Rosende) freaks out over the increasing evidence suggesting he is becoming a vampire, Clary (Katherine McNamara) and the Shadowhunters attempt to sneak into the police station and retrieve an item from Luke's confiscated belongings which they believe will lead them to the Mortal Cup.

Velvet #13

The line between friend and foe gets no less clear in Velvet #13. After tracking down the one woman who may hold the first real clue as to what is going on, Velvet Templeton is immediately surprised by the sudden reappearance of Damian Lake whose true motivations shock Velvet to her core.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Flash - King Shark

One of the coolest, and most unexpected moments of The Flash's Second Season came at the end of "The Fury of Firestorm" with the all-too-short cameo of King Shark. In his return, the character gets his own episode the second time around as King Shark escapes ARGUS custody and returns to Central City still intent on doing Zoom's bidding and killing the Flash (Grant Gustin). Working with his team, and alongside the visiting Diggle (David Ramsey) and Lyla (Audrey Marie Anderson), Barry will race to stop the sole remaining metahuman from Earth-2 (at least that we know about).

Castle - The Blame Game

After being lured to an abandoned building under false pretenses, Castle (Nathan Fillion) awakes in a closed room with three other victims (Kevin Christy, Cyrus Farmer, and Kai Lennox) all tricked to coming to the same address and all drugged by a mysterious unseen adversary who forces the group to solve twisted games to survive. Tensions only increase when the group learns their voyeur wants them to kill each other off and, to increase their cooperation has trapped the men's wives (Vedette Lim, Idara Victor) along with Beckett (Stana Katic) in an identical situation.

Lucifer - Sweet Kicks

Wanting to explore his new exciting new mortality after being shot by Detective Decker (Lauren German), and taking advantage of the ambitions of Lieutenant Monroe (Dawn Olivieri), Lucifer (Tom Ellis) worms his way onto another murder case, this one involving an innocent bystander who was killed during a gang-related shooting. Helping solve the case not only gives Lucifer another interesting diversion but its successful conclusion also earns him a role as an official civilian consultant for the LAPD (cementing his unorthodox partnership with Chloe without the struggle of forcing himself onto each case of the week over the remainder of the season).

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Supergirl - Truth, Justice and the American Way

Kara (Melissa Benoist) begins to feel the fallout of recent weeks as she mourns the death of Astra (Laura Benanti) which she wrongly blames J'onn (David Harewood) for, and prepares for an inevitable showdown with Non (Chris Vance), and learns she's been replaced and demoted by Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart) in favor of her new hire Siobhan Smythe (Italia Ricci). She is confronted by Superman's black friend James "Don't Call Me Jimmy" Olsen (Mehcad Brooks) who is increasingly conflicted over how the DEO's treatment of Maxwell Lord (Peter Facinelli) and his friend's willingness to ignore the fact for "the greater good."

Elementary - A Study in Charlotte

Murder by mushroom brings Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) and Watson (Lucy Liu) to investigate the death of a college professor and others poisoned during group gathering of injesting what should have been non-lethal hallucinatory mushrooms. Even after discovering that the unique method of murder could only have been done by those with a specific skill set and training, the detectives have no scarcity of suspects who include the company who fired one of the victims (and was the true target of the murders). Investigation leads the pair to uncover an illicit drug ring, blackmail through land ownership, and ultimately reveal the true motive for the crime.

Star Wars Card Trader - Awesome Custom Pack 8

Friday, February 12, 2016


Fans of Deadpool rejoice, the Merc with a Mouth has made it to the big screen and has brought his raunchy hard R-rating humor with him. Not pulling any punches, director Tim Miller and screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick succeed in capturing the core of one of Marvel's most insane smart-ass characters as 20th Century and Ryan Reynolds both redeem themselves for their previous (and regrettable) collaboration of the character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Where to Invade Next

For his first film in half a decade Michael Moore turns his attention to education, workers' rights, and prison policies in a whirlwind tour around the world from France to Tunisia. Where to Invade Next captures the best, and worst, of Moore who presents a compelling argument that the United States may want to look at other countries' solutions to problems that are being handled better abroad than at home. "Invading" the nations to steal their solutions, Moore hopes to bring them all back home.

At its best Where to Invade Next is a compelling look at solutions to serious problems. The documentary offers valid arguments for America to look to alternative solutions (many of which were first proposed by Americans themselves). At its worst, the film becomes more about Moore mugging for the camera than his argument. While those open to the ideas raised in the film are likely to come away with some smart questions about how the United States deals with prisoners, students, and workers, those with an already low tolerance for the filmmaker's antics won't need to look very hard for an excuse to turn a deaf ear and tune him out (or, more likely, ignore the film completely).

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Pretty Little Liars - Do Not Disturb

Several Liars fall back into old habits, paranoia, and self-destructive behavior as the new A continues to taunt and threaten them. Aria (Lucy Hale) will get some relief in learning the truth behind a secret her father was keeping from her (but not enough to convince the Liar of his innocence in Charlotte's murder). Believing that Sara Harvey (Dre Davis) is their new tormentor, Aria will convince Spencer (Troian Bellisario) for a little old fashioned Team Sparia B&E, although the pair are surprised by what they find.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Scorpion - Fractured

Separated after a large earthquake, Scorpion sets out to save the city from a gas build-up and potential explosion. Forced into couple's counselling by Paige (Katharine McPhee), a bickering Walter (Elyes Gabel) and Toby (Eddie Kaye Thomas) are forced to work together. With the rest of the team spending most of the episode working to save a trapped family, a visually-impaired Sylvester (Ari Stidham) and Ralph (Riley B. Smith) race to turn off the city's gas a the source.

Will Eisner's The Spirit #7

Matt Wagner's twelve-issue maxi-series begins the second-half of its run with the Spirit hitting the underworld hard looking for information about the mysterious Mikado Vaas. The more our vigilante learns about the elusive black marketeer the more questions the Spirit has about why he caged on a faraway island for months and what Vaas' plans are for Central City.

Lucifer - The Would-Be Prince of Darkness

After a raucous party, where Lucifer (Tom Ellis) learns someone has been impersonating him and ruining his "good" name, Detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German) arrests a star quarterback for the dead woman who turns up floating in his pool the morning after. Convincing the detective to both consider other suspects, and allow him to help, Lucifer searches for the true guilty party and dispense his punishment. After an attack on the quarterback's crazy ex-girlfriend (Sofia Vassilieva) the two storylines combine as Lucifer "improves" the police sting by hiring the leading suspect in the murder case, a fixer named Ronnie (Jodi Lyn O'Keefe), to find his impersonator and incriminate herself at the same time.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Castle - Tone Death

Castle returns from a prolonged mid-season break with Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Beckett (Stana Katic) secretly back together while hiding the fact from family and friends. The first episode back the duo, along with Ryan (Seamus Dever) and Esposito (Jon Huertas), investigate the murdered leader of an all ex-con a cappella group whose body turns up at a charity event Martha (Susan Sullivan) is organizing.

The Ice Pirates

While I admit for a 9 year-old boy the tongue-in-cheek space adventure about a motley crew of smugglers stealing the universe's most valuable resource (water) was a hell of a lot of fun, it's equally hard to ignore as an adult that The Ice Pirates is a mess of a movie. The PG-rated movie offered funny castration jokes, space herpes, odd robots and aliens, and a time-displaced climactic battle. It also offered bad writing, cheesy special effects, and nearly as many groans as laughs.

Supergirl - For The Girl Who Has Everything

Borrowing its plot from one of the most famous Superman stories, Kara (Melissa Benoist) becomes trapped in a fake reality in which she is still living on Krypton. Lost in the dream world by the Black Mercy, a parasitic organism designed to trap its prey in their perfect reality, Kara initially recognizes the truth of the situation but the longer she stays in the dreamworld the harder it becomes to remember her real life. Not strong enough to break free of the Black Mercy's pull on her own, Kara will need the help of her sister to make her way home.

Monday, February 8, 2016

The Blacklist - Alistair Pitt

Reddington (James Spader) uses the resources of the FBI to further a personal vendetta in tracking down a negotiator (Tony Shalhoub) who attempts to unite two warring crime families through marriage in order the further the interests of his own conglomerate. Of course to further his cause Alistair Pitt will not only have to convince the heads of both families that such a union is in their best interest but also remove any obstacles (such as the young man's current fiance). Tied to the actions of one of the negotiator's former deals, we're given flashbacks to Red's relationship with a woman named Josephine (Stephanie Szostak) and his reasoning for vengeance on the negotiator whose actions left her a broken shell of her former self.

Elementary - Down Where the Dead Delight

While the episode's B-story is likely to have larger ramifications for Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) and Watson (Lucy Liu) over the remainder of the season, the case of the week hits home for the NYPD when the morgue is bombed to destroy any evidence that might link a killer to his crime. Sadly for the medical examiner (Jordan Gelber) the explosion also kills his longtime crush (Amy Rutberg). Tracing back the murder's logic on why he would kill a second victim and implant a bomb in the man's body to destroy any DNA evidence from the first murder, the detectives eventually catch their man.

DC's Legends of Tomorrow - Blood Ties

Remaining in the 1970s due to Kendra's (Ciara Renée) critical condition, the team splits up. While Martin Stein (Graeme McComb) and Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) work to try and remove the shards of magical dagger still in Hawgirl's system, Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) and Sara (Caity Lotz) attempt to find and cripple Vandal Savage's (Casper Crump) resources, and Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) and Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell) enlist the help of Jackson (Franz Drameh) to perform a little grand theft auto and robbery.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Super Bowl Sunday with Romee

Star Wars Rebels - Legends of the Lasat

Larger storylines are put on hold for a Zeb (Steve Blum) episode that helps explain a little more about the Lasat and his people. Other being the show's muscle, and having a prickly personality, Star Wars Rebels hasn't taken much effort to delve all that deep into the character's makeup until now. Based on a tip from Hondo (Jim Cummings), the crew of the Ghost is able to rescue a pair of Lesat. Despite dismissing the pair's quest as foolhardy, eventually Zeb comes around to help Chava and Gron find the Lasats' new homeworld of Liresan foretold in legend.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Arrow - Unchained

"Unchained" introduces a Batman villain to DC's TV universe in the Calculator (Tom Amandes). A master of technology, and the leading comic book nemesis for Oracle in Gail Simone's Birds of Prey series, the super-hacker takes Star City by siege using high-tech mind-control to retrieve different pieces of tech around the city he hopes to fashion into a doomsday-style weapon. One of the items he sets his sights on is Palmer Technology's new uber-battery. And of of his mind-controlled soldiers turns out to be Roy Harper (Colton Haynes). Oh, and did I forget to mention this version of the Calculator is also Felicity's (Emily Bett Rickards) father?

iZombie - Fifty Shades of Grey Matter

High on horny librarian brains, Liv (Rose McIver) isn't the only one who makes potentially disastrous romantic choices in "Fifty Shades of Grey Matter." While investigating the murder of a poisoned librarian (and erotica novelist), Liv struggles to keep her passions in check - especially where Drake (Greg Finley) is concerned. Egged-on a bit by her over-sexed best friend, and riding her own high of how well her case to take down Mr. Boss is going, Peyton (Aly Michalka) gives into her own lust for her star witness only realzing far too late just who Blaine (David Anders) really is.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #23

The endless grind of fighting back monsters from other dimensions begins to wear on everyone, especially now that Willow is working with the military (a situation Buffy continues to have problems with). Relying more and more on the Magic Council to fight these battles, Buffy is convinced to adding to their power using the Vampyr tome (likely foreshadowing all new kinds of trouble for the Slayer and her friends down the line).

Hail, Caesar!

With Hail, Caesar! the Coen Brothers take a few good-natured stabs at the golden age of movies while celebrating, and lampooning, the studio system of Hollywood during the early days of the Cold War. Providing a film where Channing Tatum gets to play Fred Astaire and Tilda Swinton does double-duty as twin gossip columnists, I wouldn't go so far to call it a screwball comedy, but Hail, Caesar! certainly does have a few screws loose (in mostly the right places).

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Shadowhunters - Raising Hell

In a last-ditch effort to restore Clary's (Katherine McNamara) memories the Shadowhunters seek out Magnus Bane (Harry Shum Jr.), the High Warlock of Brooklyn and the man responsible for stealing Clary's memories years ago. Initially reluctant to help, Magnus comes around after the Shadowhunters save him from Valentine's (Alan Van Sprang) men. However, the spell to retrieve Clary's memories from the memory demon who holds them goes awry forcing the young woman to sacrifice any attempt to retrieve them in order to save Jace's (Dominic Sherwood) life. Sorry Clary, no answers for your this week.

Wander Over Yonder - The Hole... Lotta Nuthin'

Making the most out of a single gag, Wander (Jack McBrayer) gets stuck (literally and figuratively) with his finger plugging a black hole which threatens to consume an entire constellation of planets. With Sylvia (April Winchell) off on a question to find something to plug the hole, Wander is left on his own... at least until Lord Hater (Keith Ferguson) shows up to enjoy his nemesis' misery. The simple set-up turns out to be extremely entertaining, especially once Hater's realizes his attempts to make Wander more miserable have actually backfired and he's blown a golden opportunity to leave well enough alone.

Pretty Little Liars - New Guys, New Lies

As a freaked-out Hanna (Ashley Benson) comes clean to both her mother (Laura Leighton) and fiance (David Coussins) about erasing the hotel's security footage Aria (Lucy Hale) has her own meltdown over the fact that evidence seems to point to both her father (Chad Lowe) and Ezra (Ian Harding) as potential suspects in Charlotte's death. Even Emily (Shay Mitchell) gets dragged into the craziness which causes complications with a potential new friend/romantic interest (Lulu Brud). During all this the new A, who has yet to be given his/her own moniker, begins to grow bolder in taunting the Liars via text.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Flash - Fast Lane

While fighting the latest meta-human to appear in Central City, Barry (Grant Gustin) is unaware that Earth-2's Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) has created a device to slowly siphon off his speed. Moving slightly slower than normal, the Flash is unable to prevent Iris (Candice Patton) to get injured during one of Tar Pit's (Marco Grazzini) attacks. However, that injury brings Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) closer to his sister and causes Wells to come clean about what he's done in order to save his daughter from Zoom.

Galavant - The One True King (To Unite Them All)

Coming to a more definitive close that last season's cliffhanger ending, Galavant's season finale finds a way to give every character their own moment in the sun this time around including Sid (Luke Youngblood) who arrives with a host of extras to help his friends fight off Madalena's (Mallory Jansen) zombie horde. That doesn't mean that the show doesn't tease us with what Season Three might hold (sign me up!), but if "The One True King (To Unite Them All)" is the show's finale it's a fitting one that let's the show ride off unknown on a high note.

The Shannara Chronicles - Pykon

The company's quest to reach the Wilderun leads Wil (Austin Butler), Amberle (Poppy Drayton), Eretria (Ivana Baquero), Cephelo (James Remar), and the remaining canon-fodder extras into the mountains to the (mostly) abandoned Elven fortress of Pykon. Here they will encounter a single caretaker and his daughter who offer shelter from the storm but have far more notorious plans for the travelers. I am growing a bit concerned with The Lord of the Rings-style wanderings of our group as their goal of reaching the Bloodfire seems further from them with each weekly adventure than closer to a conclusion.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Supergirl - Bizarro

Melissa Benoist does double duty her as both Supergirl and Maxwell Lord's (Peter Facinelli) pet science experiment in an evil doppelganger of National City's savior Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart) decides to name Bizarro. If there were any doubt, the episode firmly cements Max as the show's Lex Luthor and removes any question as to the man's true nature or motives. Of course the show does have a reset button in its back-pocket should J'onn J'onzz (David Harewood) decide to use his powers to limit Lord as a threat both to Supergirl and the DEO.

Secret Six #10

After Zatanna recaps the events of the arc so far, "House of Strangers" concludes with the Secret Six taking on Superman to fight for the right to destroy the world in order to save the life of Black Alice. But if the world ends how will Black Alice be safe? Hey, we never said these guys were smart. Loyal, sure. But not smart.

Galavant - Battle of the Three Armies

Setting up the season finale, the penultimate episode of Galavant's sophomore season finally brings all our characters to the same battlefield as Galavant (Harry Collett), Richard (Timothy Omundson), and their zombie army join the fight between Hortencia and Valencia. The war doesn't exactly go as planned for anyone as Madalena's (Mallory Jansen) choice to invoke the power of the D'DEW costs her Gareth's (Vinnie Jones) affection but also turns the zombie horde against all the living soldiers forcing Gareth to choose his best friend's side against the woman he loves.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Elementary - Alma Matters

Two weeks after a murder mistakenly believed to be the work of a home robbery crew, Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) and Watson (Lucy Liu) begin an investigation into the case not brought to them through the NYPD but by a social worker who believes there's far more to the dead man's story than meets the eye. A whistleblower against a private college with questionable practices, the victim was killed on the eve of testimony that could have cost the university millions. When the social worker turns up dead, and an innocent man seems willing to take the fall for the murder, the detectives know there's certainly mischief afoot.

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow - Pilot, Part 2

The second-half of the Pilot episode of Legends of Tomorrow sends the group into the 1970s in search of Vandal Savage (Casper Crump). Ignoring the words of caution from Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill), who has already lied to them once, the time-travelers attempt to take out Savage on their own... with disastrous results. Before the close of the episode the team's number will be trimmed by one but their resolve will be hardened as Savage succeeds in killing off one member of the group only to make the whole that much stronger.

Kubo and the Two Strings trailer

From American stop-motion animation studio Laika (The Boxtrolls, ParaNorman), here's the first trailer for the upcoming film Kubo and the Two Strings about a young boy (Art Parkinson) in ancient Japan chased by a spirit of the past, gods, and monsters. Matthew McConaughey, Charlize Theron, Rooney Mara, Ralph Fiennes, and Brenda Vaccaro also lend their voices to the project. Kubo and the Two Strings opens in theaters on August 19th.

Second Chance - From Darkness, The Sun

Believing Jimmy (Robert Kazinsky) has information helpful to his latest case and is his brother, but still having questions about the unusual sample of his DNA, Duval (Tim DeKay) allows his "brother" to help investigate the spoiled sociopathic son (Adam DiMarco) of a rich CEO (Martin Donovan) who is responsible for multiple murders for no other reason than boredom and to get daddy's attention. The situation will end in Duvall catching a killer and getting more answers than he bargained for.