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  1. #91
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    Best Buy - January 19th, 2015


    Straight Outta Compton
    Free t-shirt; BD/DVD/DC combo $19.99

    Hotel Transylvania 2 - available now
    Exclusive Squishy Blobby Toy gift set; BD/DVD/DC combo $22.99

    - - - - - - - - - -

    CDs - available January 22nd

    "Megadeth - Dystopia" box set with 2 exclusive bonus tracks $14.99
    "Megadeth - Dystopia" with 2 exclsuive bonus tracks (same minus box) $11.99

  2. #92
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    Past Tense


    [An earlier version of this PT was originally posted on January 19th, 2012 on JoBlo's "DVD, Blu-Ray & Home Theater Discussion" forum.]

    What if? What if there were nation wide terrorist attacks on America (on the same day)? What would happen in the aftermath? This week we get the tip of a conspiracy in "Jericho"...



    "Jericho: The Complete First Season" was released on home video on October 2nd, 2007

    It streeted against "Caligula: Three-Disc Imperial Edition", "The War: A Ken Burns Film" and "Flight Of The Living Dead".

    I can not recall if this came with some sort of insert(s). I'll explain in a few...

    - - -



    Target was the only store which had an exclusive, a bonus DVD (inside a CD envelope). This TV set sold for $33.99.

    The bonus is a single program (full screen), "The 2007 William S. Paley Television Festival: Jericho"; recorded on March 13th, 2007. The runtime is 29:15 minutes.

    The event was moderated by Craig Tomashoff from TV Guide. In attendance was executive producer Carol Barbee, co-creator Jonathan Steinberg, co-creator Josh Schaer, co-creator/executive producer Stephen Chbosky and stars Skeet Ulrich, Lennie James, Ashley Scott, Pamela Reed and Erik Knudsen.

    There were no revelations. It was various general questions.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Rant.

    This CBS show lasted two seasons, a total of twenty-nine episodes. It was killed twice due to poor ratings - Twice! Not many series can say that. The finale has closure to the main story line, but leaves the door wide open for America's second civil war.

    And the music there, it was hauntingly... familiar.
    - Stevie Nicks

    For those who don't know...



    "Jericho" told the story of the end of the world. The small Kansas town of Jericho find themselves cut off from the rest of the planet after an unprecedented terrorist attack; twenty-three simultaneous nuclear detonations across America.

    The residents have to deal with the fallout, lack of news, limited supplies, immigrants, no electricity after an EMP blast, marauders, war with a neighboring town over their dwindling resources and the newly formed government; Allied States Of America.

    The country has split into three; ASA (Cheyenne, Wyoming - capital), what remains of the United States on the East Cost (new capital is Columbus, Ohio after Washington was nuked) and Republic Of Texas which seceded (capital is San Antonio, Dallas was obliterated).

    As the episodes grow we learn that this attack wasn't by any foreign nation(s), the initial blame was on Iran and North Korea, but it came from within.



    We were done in by a hostile, corporate takeover - Jennings & Rall who was is the main financier of ASA. They're covering their tracks, searching for the smoking gun; one of the nukes didn't explode and it's in Jericho.

    It can be ID and can be traced back to J&R, they were a high level government contractor which is how they pulled it off.

    One of the aspects I enjoyed was the mystery within the mystery. One of characters knows a lot more than he's saying.

    Let me make this clear, I'm not doing it justice, a LOT happens. It was such a big concept and was well played with a good budget for television.

    The show is quite recommended and season one is going for less than six bucks on Amazon. While it's true the series did end on a cliffhanger; the ride is well worth the trip.

    - - -



    My favorite character is one of the side ones; Dale Turner (Erik Knudsen). He's the kid who worked as stock boy at "Gracies Leigh's Supermarket". He lives in a mobile home park with his mom. At the time the attack his mom was with her boyfriend in Atlanta - one of the cities that were hit. We get the impression... she's loose.

    Dale is hit hard, but bounces back when the store is looted in the aftermath. He find an abandon train with cargo still intact on the tracks. He brings as much as he can back to store - restocking it. His action save the town from getting worse (no more supplies). Bit by bit his stature in town rises. Gracie (Beth Grant) decided to will him the store since his lost so much in life and saved her business. She gets killed and Dale now owns a market. He did not kill her.

    And later acquires a whole farm, but no staff. The elder woman who owned the property didn't want it any more; no workers at all. From there through circumstances, he adds hands and turns into a prosperous farm. From there he starts trading with other towns. Bit by bit he becomes one of the biggest players in town.

    A slow rise to power and along the way he get the girl he wanted, the daughter of the richest man in town, Skylar Stevens (Candace Bailey). Her parent were on the East Coast when the nukes were detonated. She's all alone in Jericho. The spoil rich kid got reality bitched slapped into her.

    Skylar makes once appearance in season two's limited run. But it was powerful; standing by her guy when times became rough and quite dangerous.

    - - -

    There is something that bugs me a bit, not a lot mind you, but a bit.



    When we find out about the End, we see some of the aftermath; a ton of dead birds on the road outside of Jericho. So?

    At City Hall the Mayor, Johnston Green (Gerald McRaney) takes out a giger counter and distributes a few to the local police. All called back saying the same - no radiation.

    So what killed all those birds?

    When the show aired one of the kings of television was ABC's "Lost". Which had deep roots in the supernatural. So when the pilot aired I thought that this event might NOT be just nuclear, but something else...

    Not man made.

    The end of the world, not just the country. At this point the town had lost all contact with the rest of the planet.

    Then later the conspiracy came into play. I'm not complaining, great show. I'm just wondering if they had a different cause early on and later once it got picked up decided to drop the supernatural element for something reality based.

    One of the characters later say in episode two: "We saw them too. They must've flown through the radiation."

    Oh well.

    Just talking out loud.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Footnotes.

    There was a virtual third season in 2009.



    A six issue, comic book mini-series ("Jericho: Civil War") was first released by Devil's Due Publishing (March '09) and later by IDW Publishing, ending its run in June, 2011.

    Each publisher did three issues. The comic story line was conceived by the series production team and written by the show's writers. It should pretty much be considered canon.

    It picked up where the show ended and leads up to the start of the second Civil War. I need to get this.



    The issues were collected in a trade paperback from IDW, the graphic novel is 140 pages, released in August, 2011 for $19.99. No new content inside.

    It's not the first show to do that; there's a virtual seasons eight, nine and ten for "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" by series creator Joss Whedon (from Dark Horse Comics).

    Before you ask, yes - "Jericho" has a virtual season four. But I'll cover that in a future date - see below.

    - - -

    I don't have season one anymore. I sold it, but kept the exclusive disc.

    Why?

    Released on June 17th, 2008 (for $84.99) was "Jericho: The Complete Series". This set has all the extras from the individual season releases, plus an exclusive bonus disc with more extras.

    I have it and YES - this will be a future Past Tense. The Target S1 bonus is inside season one case; inside the box which is more like a slipcase for S1 and S2.

    Can't recall for certain if season one came with any inserts, since I no longer have it. But I'm pretty sure I would've kept it for later insertion in the box set.

    So I'll say - no.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Easter Egg.

    Disc 6

    Special Features -> highlight "Main Menu", press right; highlight 'sideview mirror' - ENTER.

    The featurette, "Jericho At WonderCon" (2007, I believe); 3:36 minutes, widescreen.

    And there you go. Come back here on January 28th, 2016 for a close group of friends - one of whom worked with a certain vampire slayer.
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 07-23-2017 at 04:47 AM.

  3. #93
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    Downton Abbey: Season 6
    Exclusive notepad with character quotes; DVD $24.99 or BD $27.99

    - - - - - - - - - -

    CD - available January 29th, 2016

    "Sia - This Is Acting" with 2 exclusive bonus tracks $10.99

  4. #94
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    Best Buy - January 26th, 2016


    Goosebumps
    With free book "A Shocker On Shock Street"; BD/DVD/DC combo $19.99

    - - - - - - - - - -

    CD - available January 29th, 2016

    "Tedischi Trunks Band - Let Me Get By" with exclusive guitar pick set $19.99

  5. #95
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    Wal-Mart

    Available now...

    Straight Outta Compton with exclusive bonus, streaming content; BD/DVD/DC combo $24.96

  6. #96
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    Past Tense


    [An earlier version of this PT was originally posted on January 26th, 2012 and June 12th, 2014 on JoBlo's "DVD, Blu-Ray & Home Theater Discussion" forum.]

    This week we get engrossed by a long tale of love; watch their future's begin in "How I Met Your Mother"...



    "How I Met Your Mother: Season One" was released on home video on November 21st, 2006.

    It streeted against "Alias: The Complete Collection", "Ice Age: The Meltdown" and "Star Trek: The Animated Series".

    The insert was a 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment booklet, showcasing seventeen titles (not going to list them) with a mail-in certificate (on the last page). Save $5.00 when you buy any two titles. Save $10.00 when you buy any three. And $20.00 when you buy any five. It was a mix of TV and film releases.

    - - -



    Circuit City had the only exclusive, bonus DVD (CD envelope, inside the slipcase). This sold for $27.99. All five featurettes are in full screen. The run time is 23:15 minutes - it covers a week on the making of an episode.

    The videos podcasts appear to have been released on the internet first, the CBS website.

    Don't poo-poo that.

    So much online content for shows never make it to home video; lost forever into the digital ether. There was a TON of stuff on AMC's website for "Mad Men". None of that made it to DVD (or BD). And that sucks, hard.

    Anyhow...



    Had difficultly finding a copy with the bonus. It wasn't in the 'Media' front rack. Nope. In fact I had to ask for help. And that person was just as clueless. They said it had not come in.

    Was going to give up, then a thought popped; 'look in the TV series area.'

    Sure enough there they were, a couple of copies. From that point on I didn't really check the new release rack when exclusives came to Circuit City. I went directly to the section where that title was to be held, pretty worked every time - mostly. *nods*

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Rant.



    It's pretty much universally accepted that the finale was a slap in the face to fans. Yes, there's a tiny minority that did like it.

    With only tiny fragments; the entire show was a flashback, the real world taking place in 2030 where our main character, Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) now an older man at a funeral; telling his teen kids, Penny and Luke of How...

    After the long winded account (nine seasons worth) we get the reveal in the last episode (March 31st, 2014). But it's such a throw away disclosure. And not part of our characters lives shown, many fans were quite upset.

    The show's over, not gonna hide it.

    Mother is Tracy McConnell (Cristin Milioti). You set up this tale and the pay off is so lackluster.

    So unreal, but I like it anyhow.
    - Within Temptation



    I really enjoy the show, don't misunderstand. But the finale like the one for "Alias" (ABC 2001 - 2006) was flat as hell. You had this big secret, a whole show was built around it - the identity of Milo Rambaldi, a Renaissance-era heretic/alchemist that was greater than Nostradamus and Leonardo da Vinci put together. The man was so smart...

    As in - there's no way he could've know the stuff he did back in fifteen century. A time traveler or really an ber soothsayer? Don't know, it was never answered. The show is centered around this long dead character - he made machines that were part of a larger device that could change the world. The groups and organizations who would kill to possess that knowledge.

    <o>

    But they didn't tell. What was the point of having this major story line if you didn't even care to close it? Not an open ended question, didn't care enough to answer. That's damn poor story telling. Great show, but crappy finale.

    We get the same let down with "How I Met Your Mother", sure it was a good ride, but the destination is a rundown Dennys with bad coffee, poor service with sticky seats and table. And the only thing worth eating at this hour is cold leftover chicken with no condiments.

    Granted there is an alternate ending, but that does little to save it.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Void.

    Since this is short I've decided to provide some quality filler. The top shelf stuff!

    Back in 2008 finally got around watching the film, "The Hitcher", original 1986 flick. Didn't care for it, too enigmatic. I should've gone duck - just let it roll off my back and move on, I have issues. Anyhow, feature got me thinking and perhaps a solution.

    For those who haven't seen it...

    It's about a kid, Jim Halsey (C. Tomas Howell) driving a purchased car to it's owner, delivering it. He passes a hitchhiker in the rain and his woes begin. The stranger, John Ryder (Rutger Hauer) informs him that he killed the last person who picked him up. And that he wants the kid to end his life.

    What happens next is a deadly pursuit of the Jim and a trail of bodies, all appearing to be linked to Halsey. The movie is famous for a death scene; Nash (Jennifer Jason Leigh), a waitress who befriends/helps the kid; bound between two big rigs, ready to be ripped apart. By the way, wasn't shown.

    The feature never answered what was the deal with Ryder? What's his problem? So a theory popped in my noggin'.

    What if...?



    The Kevin Smith's film, "Dogma" (1999). What if Ryder is a fallen angel; in it, Captain Esteridge (Jeffrey DeMunn) couldn't find anything on Ryder, squat - like the man never existed. Unable to return home; wings torn or taken off. Either way, mortal - suicide a mortal sin. Can't do that, but if you could get someone else to kill you - a loophole (as in "Dogma").

    Ryder has been trying to get anybody to kill him, finally believing that Jim is the right fellow for the task. How many others came before him? Lots probably. Maybe John decided instead of random acts of violence, the better result would be to keep pushing one guy until he breaks... do his bidding.

    This idea goes a long way to explain why Ryder is at the right place at the right time a lot; bits of lingering omnipotence, Free Will being the variable. Going to a certain spot because it has the greatest odds of being Jim's location.



    And could also explain how Ryder can take such a beating and is still alive - super human resiliency (crashing through a car's window as an example), almost like a Terminator.

    Even if this were the case... still a bad movie (just as is the 2007 remake), now with a thin layer of supernatural subplot.

    The film's poster kinda supports my theory.



    The dark storm clouds above is broken with angelic light shining through. It illuminates the road; behind the drifter - his past. The darkness in front, fatalistic future.

    Grasping at straws? Look at that poster and consider the conjecture. It's about as good of an answer you're gonna get.

    Fine.

    With your run of the mill slasher flick you have a group of victims (usually teens); this one is the jock, this one is the nerd, this one is the slut and so on. Soon the killing happens (insert your murderer X) and you widdle away to your Survivor Girl.

    You get to know them just enough before they're snuffed.

    A basic formula.



    But here you have three main characters and one of them is the killer. The remaining two must hold the picture. For me Jim and Nash don't. I do not feel chemistry, nor is there enough dimension. They feel more like cannon fodder (soon to be dead victims) than central characters.

    When does the main hero come in?

    The deaths that occur around Jim and Nash are all 'red shirts', we never get the know them for their demise to have an impact. It becomes just an excuse to show blood. Which is pretty much a slasher flick, but here - there is ZERO point. We are given absolutely no motivation for John Ryder's quest.

    If you're trying to be ambiguous, you need to have some kind of foundation - 'it could be this OR it could be that'. Give the audience some defined options for The Why. C'mon, 'Because' is not an answer.

    Anyhow, I will give credit to Hauer, his role was memorial. Ryder is deranged and so very nonchalant about his death dealing. That's creepy and you can't negotiate with crazy.

    You're fracked.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Just Because.



    Alyson Hannigan as Lily Aldrin, she's sooo adorable.

    Makes me smile that she's married her Buffy co-star; actor Alexis Denisof who played Wesley Wyndam-Pryce on UPN's "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" and later on The CW's spin-off show, "Angel".

    They've been married for nearly sixteen years and have two kids.

    That's it for now. Come back here on February 4th, 2016 for another slice of HIMYM.
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 07-23-2017 at 04:35 AM.

  7. #97
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    Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs: The Signature Collection
    Exclusive storybook; BD/DVD/DC combo $22.99

    Batman: Bad Blood
    Exclusive steelbook; BD/DVD/DC combo $16.99

    - - - - - - - - - - -

    CD available February 5th, 2016

    "Elton John - Wonderful Crazy Nights" with 2 exclusive bonus tracks $15.99

  8. #98
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    Best Buy - February 2nd, 2016


    Batman: Bad Blood
    * Exclusive graphic novel gift set, "Battle For The Cowl" with figurine; BD/DVD/DC combo $27.99

    Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs: The Signature Collection
    Exclusive lenticular slipcover; BD/DVD/DC combo $24.99

    The Last Witch Hunter
    Exclusive steelbook; BD/DVD combo $19.99

  9. #99
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    Past Tense


    [An earlier version of this PT was originally posted on February 2nd, 2012 and February 6th, 2014 on JoBlo's "DVD, Blu-Ray & Home Theater Discussion" forum.]

    Once again we gather the kids to reminisce, "How I Met Your Mother"...



    "How I Met Your Mother: Season Two" was released on home video on October 2nd, 2007.

    It streeted against "Jericho: The Complete First Season", "Bram Stoker’s Dracula: Collector’s Edition" (digipack, first pressing) and "Species: Collector's Edition".



    There was an insert, a folded poster "Awesomeness" - 14 x 20 inches.

    - - -

    The only exclusive was from Target, a bonus fourteen page booklet with liner notes from series creator, Carter Bays; it sold for $27.99.



    It also has various season two trivia from stars Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris and Jason Segel. It came inside the slipcase.

    Wasn't easy to acquire.

    My local store did not have it - in fact, they didn't receive any exclusives. I asked for help, they originally said 'every copy has one'.

    Not true, I didn't fall for the BS. I ended up going to another Target, a town further up. They had two copies with the booklet, a sticker on the front indicating it's inside.

    By the way, I'm not sure if that poster was something that is only available in the first pressing.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Rant.

    You don't always have to question why there's pleasure and pain. 'Cos there's no truth for you to find.
    - Gabrielle Aplin



    I'm glad this series lasted as long as it did. While the finale feels - wrong. It still had an excellent run with great characters and ridiculous (funny) situations.

    Not too many comedies can righteously claim that.

    It has since been shined upon by the syndication Gods and can seen somewhere on television now. And that's a good thing too.

    This was the last time the series came with an exclusive.

    Target had a pre-Black Friday sale on TV seasons, this past November. I was able to pick up seasons seven, eight and nine (Final) of HIMYM for five bucks each. But no six. So I have one more to get to complete my collection. It's on my 'to do' list.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Void.

    Since this is a short entry, I pulled out some more (good) filler. You can hardly taste the pink slime.

    I said hardly.

    This Void I'm going to fill with "The Last Starfigther" (1984). But before I go there, lets step back to 1979 with "Alien". Much has been written and said about the classic sci-fi horror flick. It had a long pre-production. Ideas were thrown about and many were never used. Different artists hired, each giving their own take on the then developing story.

    One such fellow was artist Ron Cobb.

    Much of the interior of the towing ship, Nostromo was drew into reality by him. A world of props had to be made for the actors and to fill in the empty spaces (he did much of that too). Some of them were never built.



    One such paper design was Cobb's "HeliJet", a two person long range craft. This unrealized shuttle was to have been an object within the ship's hold. Just something in the background while Parker (Yaphet Kotto) and Brett (Harry Dean Stanton) were hunting for the Chest Buster (before they knew what it had become).

    Size?

    Don't have a clue if the intent was to build it full size or a scale model (forced perspective), either way - something in the background. It didn't happen until...



    Cobbs was hired as the production designer for "The Last Starfighter". Not since "Tron" (1982) would so much CGI would be used to tell a story; a new frontier. The negative was proto-level computer imagery, very little texture mapping - nearly all the computer effects had smooth surfaces.

    It was the best they could do at the time.

    Thinking about what had came before, he resurrected that unused shuttle.

    The abandoned HeliJet now became the Zando-Zan's assassin ship, a full size prop.



    The craft design simplified due to the CGI restrictions, all smooth surfaces for continuity. This repurpose was done to save money and time. The render time for each generated frame is by today standards ridicules.

    There was a deadline to meet, Summer of 1984. They didn't have the time to make it complicated with textures.

    I would love to own a scale model of the original HeliJet, something to have as art. Or perhaps in Lego form, that would be cool too. Have two mini-fig inside. I'd put that on my desk. Hell yes, and a Gunstar too (in Lego)!

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Just Because.



    Cobie Smulders as Robin Scherbatsky. She's quite the example of a gal pal, the kind you would want to spend more than 'just friends' time with.

    Short. True. But informative - that'll do PT, that'll do. Come back here on February 11th, 2016 for a two part trip down a creepy well. It should be okay, most folks don't have a VCRs.
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 07-23-2017 at 04:23 AM.

  10. #100
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    Spectre
    Exclusive bonus DVD; BD/DVD/DC combo $19.99

    - - - - - - - - - - -

    CD - available Feb. 12th, '16

    "Vince Gill - Down To My Last Bad Habit" with 2 exclusive bonus tracks $11.99

  11. #101
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    Best Buy - February 9th, 2016


    Spectre
    Exclusive BD/DC steelbook $19.99

    Skyfall
    Exclusive BD/DC steelbook $9.99

    Quantum Of Solace
    Exclusive BD/DC steelbook $9.99

    Casino Royale
    Exclusive BD/DC steelbook $9.99

    For Your Eyes Only
    Exclusive BD/DC steelbook $9.99

    Diamonds Are Forever
    Exclusive BD/DC steelbook $9.99

    Thunderball
    Exclusive BD/DC steelbook $9.99

    You Only Live Twice
    Exclusive BD/DC steelbook $9.99

    From Russian With Love
    Exclusive BD/DC steelbook $9.99

    On Her Majesty's Secret Service
    Exclusive BD/DC steelbook $9.99

    (save $5.00 when you buy BD "Spectre" and any Bond BD steelbook)

    Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs: The Signature Collection - available now
    Exclusive lenticular slipcover; BD/DVD/DC combo $24.99

    The Last Witch Hunter - available now
    Exclusive steelbook; BD/DVD combo $19.99

    Batman: Bad Blood - available now
    Exclusive graphic novel gift set, "Battle For The Cowl"; BD/DVD/DC combo $27.99

    - - - - - - - - - -

    CDs

    "Anthrax - Breathing Lightening" exclusive CD single with $2.00 off the later album $1.99 (available Feb. 12th, '16)

    "Megadeth - Dystopia" with 2 exclusive bonus tracks $13.99 (available now)

  12. #102
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    Past Tense - TR Part I


    [An earlier version of this PT was originally posted on February 9th, 2012 on JoBlo's "DVD, Blu-Ray & Home Theater Discussion" forum.]

    This week we learn valuable lessons on NOT playing mysterious unlabeled video tapes and make sure the freaky kid you throw down the well is really dead, not mostly in "The Ring"...

    My original intent was covering the exclusive for "The Ring Two", but I ran into a crossover, rather than ditching/ignoring I decided to include it.

    - - -

    "The Ring"



    The motion picture opened on October 18th, 2002 with a budget of $48,000,000 (estimated) and grossed over $128 million during its U.S. theatrical run. The film opened number one at the box office, the following week it dropped to number two.

    The feature opened against "The Transporter", "Sweet Home Alabama" and "My Big Fat Greek Wedding".

    The release originally came with a single sheet insert, chapter listing index; the other side a reproduction of the DVD cover.

    - - -

    There was no exclusive with the initial DVD release; March 4th, 2003.



    When the film was re-released on home video to tie-in with then upcoming sequel; it was done a 2-Disc Collector's Set' on March 8th, 2005 for $26.99. This attached the original DVD with a new bonus disc "Rings: The Circle Of Fear Is Growing" (yeah, different name, not as pictured).

    This was side packed with its own case.

    It also came with a theater voucher to see "The Ring Two" for free ($10.50 value for one; the window was March 18th to April 3rd, 2005). My ticket is still there, never used, I'm a collector.

    The image above is from the earlier version of the set. The final version was just a cardboard banner on the bottom. This set was NOT an exclusive, it was available to all retailers.



    The bonus disc has a run time of 36:15 minutes. Which is good, the film's DVD release has limited extras. This has a short film (16:40 minutes; exclusively produced for the re-release) which tells how Jake Pierce (Ryan Merriman) become infected with the video. The things that led to him to show Emily (Emily VanCamp) the tape as seen at the start of "The Ring Two".

    The camcorder threshold was sway.

    It's written by Ehren Kruger (co-writer of the sequel; solo scribe of the first). By the way, Alex Breckenridge (Vanessa) is easy on the eyes. Best known now as the young ghost version of Moira; sexy maid on season one of "American Horror Story". And as Jessie Anderson on "The Walking Dead".

    The disc also has both trailers from the films and the cursed videos from both American features and the original Japanese. "Cast And Filmmaker Interviews" self-explanatory. The short featurette, "The Origin Of Terror" appears to be an EPK (Electronic Press Kit) for the first film. When it was first announced it was to have an additional featurette focused on "Ringu", the original movie that inspired the remake - not there.

    - - -



    The film was re-re-released on September 9th, 2008 for $14.98. This time out, not with a bonus disc, but a lenticular cardboard slipcover (two images). Above are both images. This was the first time the DVD received a slipcover.

    I have this, man I'm anal. Got mine from Best Buy - want to say ten bucks.

    The same deal happened (on the same day) for "What Lies Beneath" (2000), "Event Horizon" (1997) and "Tim Burton's Sleep Hollow" (1999) - new lenticulars. I have them all - did I not say I'm anal?

    - - -



    This was an unadvertised freebie. Don't want to say it was an exclusive, though it could very well have been - "The Ring Two" cell phone charm. The promotional item was given away at Best Buy on March 8th, 2005 (same day as the two disc edition). Price?

    I don't know, my archive has a brief mention of it; not all Best Buys carried it. I had to look online for more info. The charm came inside a mini-bag, stapled to a postcard, the other side was a mini-poster for the sequel; same picture seen a bit more below.

    This is something I would like to have, but I'm in no hurry to acquire.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Rant.



    Rewatched the movie for this write-up. Haven't seen it in years; still holds up and quite outstanding for PG-13. It has teeth, before we got a slew of wishy-washy PG-13 crap.

    Of all the Americanized horror movies based on Japanese films, this was the best; far better than "The Grudge" (2004).

    Something that didn't register then. When Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) visits Richard Morgan (Brian Cox) at the former horse ranch. He says to her...

    You want to know about the horses... Every now and again a writer comes along, heard about what happened.
    How many other people just as resourceful as Rachel came knocking about the tape? It obvious that he knows about the hex. In fact he questions her (with hook in hand), asking if that cassette is the only one. Saying she made a copy probably saved her life that moment.

    I like this quote. This goes into Japanese culture and makes me appreciate, the sequel a bit more:

    Samara was killing the horses because they annoyed her. But most importantly because they knew what she really was, that she was a possessing spirit and not human. In Shinto mythology, horses are divine and favored by the gods. In Ring 2, Rachel and Aiden were attacked by deer. In Shinto mythology deer are considered the messengers of the gods. The deer acted in order to protect life and destroy the spirit that was possessing Aiden.
    - Kaskait

    Wanna know something odd?

    Back when the movie came out, there was a ton of speculation on various message boards; tied to Noah's girlfriend, Beth (Pauley Perrette). Why?

    Near the end, after his death, Rachel leaves her ex's loft in a wreck. She composes herself when she sees Beth in the elevator. But the woman isn't stunned like Becca (Rachael Bella).

    Why was she in the elevator? Did she just visit Noah Clay (Martin Henderson) moments before Rachel? If so, then she would've found him dead. Why not fazed? One of the then theories is that she walked in on the killing and became possessed by Samara (Daveigh Chase).

    The warning that Aidan (David Dorfman) gave his mom, "You weren't supposed to help her" takes on a slight new meaning. It remains an unsolved mystery.

    Another thing, a pre-"The O.C.", Adam Brody (Seth Cohen on the show) has a bit part as one of Katie's friends. Seen at her wake.

    In case you didn't know, there is a another sequel coming later this year, "Rings" - slated for April 1st, 2016. It stars Johnny Galecki, Aimee Teegarden, Laura Wiggins, Zach Roerig, Alex Roe and Surely Alvelo. Yeah, someone named their kid Surely, must have been a serious fan of "Airplane!" (1980). *shakes head* Conflicting info; could be in 3D.

    Don't know what the plot is other than it's set in the present. Before you ask, no - Naomi Watts isn't in the movie. Which could be a missed opportunity nor is the character Aidan. Bonnie Morgan plays Samara this outing.



    Above; practical effects maestro Rick Baker working on the dead Katie full size prop.

    What I would like to see is a prequel. This way you don't have to worry about the issue; outdated technology, VCRs. They are still in use in the 1990s. We could follow the victims before Katie (Amber Tamblyn) and her doom high school friends.

    It could even lead up to them at the end. The best of both worlds.

    Not sure how they'll work in VCRs into the sequel. Or will this now go digital?

    And jump onto social media world. But that could just backfire and turn it into "Unfriended" (2014).



    We'll just have to wait and have fingers crossed that they don't mess this one up. The first sequel was passable, but nothing special other than fake looking CGI deer. They so stand out.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Easter Eggs.

    Main Menu, "Look Here", press down (cursor disappear) - ENTER.

    Once clicked the curse video will play in its entirety; control over the DVD player is disabled. When finished, you are returned to the Main Menu, then a phone rings twice before you're given control. Did not expect that my first time, kinda freaked me out for a moment.

    - - -

    Samara's song repeats at the end credits (final moments). The song she sung before she her mom killed her. It has another verse.

    - - -

    Update 02/17/16

    The new date for "Rings" is October 28th, 2016.

    - - -

    Update 10/18/16

    The new date is now February 3rd, 2017.
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 07-20-2017 at 08:57 AM.

  13. #103
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    Past Tense - TR Part II


    "The Ring Two"



    The motion picture opened on March 18th, 2005 with a budget of $60,000,000 (estimated) and grossed over $76 million during its U.S. theatrical run. The film opened number one at the box office, the following week it dropped to number four.

    The feature opened against "Constantine", "Robots" and "Million Dollar Baby".

    This release originally came with a cardboard foil slipcover which mirrored the case's wraparound. It also came with a double sided, single sheet advertisement insert. Ads for "The Ring", "Ringu" (1998), "Collateral" (2004), "In Dreams" (1999), "What Lies Beneath", "The Haunting" (1999), "A.I.: Artificial Intelligence: Two-Disc Special Edition", "The Peacemaker" (1997), "Minority Report" (2002), "The Time Machine" (2002), "House Of Sand And Fog" (2003) and "The Contender" (2000) DVDs.

    - - -



    There was one exclusive and it came from Wal-Mart, a bonus DVD; side packed in its own case.

    The set sold for $19.49 on August 23rd, 2005.

    Bonus DVD has a run time of 39:47 minutes.



    "Creepiest Moments" - The Scariest Moments From... "The Ring Two", "Rings", "The Ring", "Ringu", "Ringu 2" (1999), "Ringu " (2000) and "Rasen" (1998). What's missing is the scene from the first film, when Samara comes through the TV and attacks Noah (Martin Henderson).

    "Ring Two: The Script" a featurette on writing the screenplay for both American films. "Imagination In Focus" short featurette on film director Hideo Nakata. "The Haunting Of The Ring Two" short featurette on bizarre occurrences which plagued the production - not bad, but somewhat fluffy.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Rant.

    Fallen angels into the street; it's an empty dance and so incomplete.
    - Metropolis



    For me, the scenes with Emily and Rachel were all too short and felt so disposable. It shouldn't be, that's a problem - among others.

    One of things sorely missing from this sequel is atmosphere, that feeling that something is wrong and quite off. It's hard to put your finger on it, but it's missing here. That and weak pacing. Did I forget to mention bad CGIed deer?

    Anyhow, the home video release is unrated with eighteen minutes more footage. Can't say if this is an improvement for simply filler.

    That's up for you to decide.



    I do appreciate the continuity with the same actors. So many sequels just ditch that effort. It's got that.

    One of the big woes here is Wizard.

    You have this larger than life character in "The Wizard Of Oz" (1939), The Great Oz. Then comes the reveal, not so, just an ordinary man. The stuff with Samara gets explained away, taking away her mystery. It's that unknown that's frightening; this little wraith is beyond your comprehension and you best not get on her sights.

    It was kinda nice to see Sissy Spacek as Evelyn, Samara's birth mother.



    The director of this was Hideo Nakata, the director of the original, "Ringu". On the surface this sounded like a great idea, but the final result is so-so.

    While it may sound sacrilegious, I did NOT like "Ringu". I actual saw it on VHS from local video store. It was crap. Cheap scares with the screen going into negative on a still. WTF?

    The only good part was Samara coming out of the TV. This was a bad Hollywood idea.

    Back on topic. At the core this is a movie about possession, Samara wanting a body to inhabit in the real world - Aidan's. But why? She could have anyone who had seen the tape and passed it along. Along list of potentials. Whatever, movie logic, I guess.



    I expected a meal and got a taters. I like taters, don't me wrong. But it's not a meal. And that picture above pretty much sums up the experience - a bad kid, all gloomy and pouty. Not the stuff the terrors and despair.

    - - -

    This would've made a slightly better ending.

    Pull a "Blazing Saddles" finale and go big. Have the cursed video turn up some place so unexpected.

    Man, that would make such a bad ass, final episode of "The Teletubbies"; little kids worldwide freaking out. All of them like Becca forever afraid of their TVs.



    Poor Laa-Laa.

    Artist unknown; does that make it creepier?

    - - -

    Back in 2009 I picked up "Ringu: Anthology Of Terror", a collection of the Japanese films; "Ringu", "Rasen", "Ringu 2" and "Ringu " (with English subtitles). It doesn't have two later sequels, "Sadako 3D" (2012) and "Sadako 3D 2 (2013).

    The set streeted on August 23rd, 2005. Sadly, zero extras.



    It originally retailed for $59.99, I paid three buck from Wal-Mart part of their annual Halloween sale (which by the way has turned into crap these past few years). So?

    This still remains among my pile of pending DVDs (titles which were blind buys, not part of library), I still have yet to watch some six years later. The best answer I can give, 'haven't gotten around to it'. It'll get done - eventually. Not the worst, I have a few from 2005 - I kid you not.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Footnotes.

    In the Spring of 2009, Paramount announced a sequel was coming. Wait for it... wait... "The Ring 3D". Mind blown? The screenplay was written by David Loucka. So what happened? I'm gonna say it fell into a well.

    Got curious, did some lookin', the screenwriters for "Rings". It is Jacob Aaron Estes, Akiva Goldsman AND David Loucka. I wonder...

    I did learn that one of the executive producers is Guillermo Del Toro. It gives me some hope.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Easter Egg.

    Special Features -> ">" (a.k.a. second Special Features screen) -> highlight 'return arrow' press right; highlight question mark - ENTER.

    A short, time lapse video of how the make-up was applied to Kelly Stables who played Samara.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Just Because.



    Man, Naomi Watts looked pretty hot in those bootie shorts. They cling to the curves, very feminine. *nods*

    Image compilation by DeadLamb.

    Wait. One more thing...

    This was brought up for a different movie, "The Invasion" (2007), the Nicole Kidman remake of "Invasion Of The Body Snatchers" (1956). In it Carol Bennell (Kidman) has an early scene set in the morning, walking into the kitchen in her pajamas. The outfit is not sheer, but feminine and you can clearly see her nipples poking out with a light bounce, bra free.

    The discussion and to a degree an argument - why would she wear that in front of her child? This also applies to the above pix; Rachel being so comfortable, walking around in her underwear in front of Aiden.

    I never saw it as an issue. Both moments were not sexualized. Just an adult woman wearing something comfortable. And in a bigger scope is a good thing for their kids. They'll look beyond physicality in their later girlfriends, maturity. Odd, yes I agree, but a big deal? Just making a mountain out of a mole hill.

    And yeah, Aiden is weird with him setting out his mom's clothes for her to wear. I don't think that's a control issue as it is Rachel isn't that organized. Maybe they had some money problems and he took it upon himself to have his mom not be late to work by having her outfit ready to go. Still weird though.

    There you go folks. The nightmare journey continues next week with two horror titans bashing heads and not taking names. Be back here on February 18th, 2016, bring your Weyland-Yutani mug.
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 07-20-2017 at 08:55 AM.

  14. #104
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    Best Buy - February 19th, 2016


    CDs

    "Wolfmother - Victorious" with 2 exclusive bonus tracks $11.99
    "Rick Springfield - Rocket Science" with 2 exclusive bonus tracks $11.99

    "Lalah Hathaway - Enlarge Lalah Hathaway Live" with 2 exclusive bonus tracks $9.99 (available now)
    "Megadeth - Dystopia" with 2 exclusive bonus tracks $13.99 (available now)

  15. #105
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    Past Tense


    [An earlier version of this PT was originally posted on February 16th, 2012 on JoBlo's "DVD, Blu-Ray & Home Theater Discussion" forum.]

    Time to pull out a can of Raid, this week we battle "Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem"...



    The motion picture opened on December 25th, 2007. It was made with a budget of $40,000,000 (estimated) and grossed over 41 million during its U.S. theatrical run. It made its money back with profits when including foreign receipts (over two times domestic gross). The film opened number six at the box office, the following week it dropped to number eight.

    The feature opened against "I Am Legend", "Juno", "Enchanted" and "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street".

    This release originally came with an embossed cardboard slipcover which was different from the case's wraparound.



    The first image is the slipcover (above left). One of the few titles in my collection which has this. It also came with a Digital Copy instruction insert.

    DC expired on April 14th, 2009.

    - - -



    There was a single exclusive and it was from Best Buy, a thirty page mini comic - this was for DVD only. This set streeted on April 15th, 2008 and sold for $22.99. A minimum of ten copies per store. Anyhow, I say mini since it's smaller than a regular comic book. Unlike most minis, this won't fit inside the DVD case nor under the slipcover. Superficial grievance? Sure, but this isn't...

    The gummy glue used to secure the comic to the slipcase and the comic to the data sheet (DVD bonus features list) - stains. I had to do image correction for that pix because there's a huge blot going across the cover.

    I don't understand; the exclusive was under the plastic wrapping.

    Not like the comic was gonna fall off.



    Anyhow, the comic is a bit remarkable since it's a fully self-contained tale, "Aliens Vs. Predator: Deadspace". That usually doesn't happen and was bleak.

    It told the tale of a pair of doomed stellar salvagers, Dennis and Carl; both men in space suits drifting to their deaths. The men came upon a derelict, ship wide power gone. As they explore the vessel with dead crew in zero gravity, they theorize what might have occurred; a pressurization failure.

    Their thoughts are overlaid by reality.

    Not a simple breach, they had an alien infestation - making matters worse a pair of Predators are hunting the xenomorphs resulting in unintentional human deaths; a spear meant for an alien hits a woman, acid blood splatter hits people and such. There is a subplot of Dennis trying to tell his friend that he slept with his wife. Inside the cargo hold they find a dead, chained alien queen, disemboweled - the source of the breach. Its blood had eaten a hole in the hull.

    The impression given is that we had caught a queen and were transporting her, somehow some Predators got wind of it and pursued. As they examine the scene, both are nearly killed by an alien, unaffected by the vacuum. They are saved if you want to call it that, by the Predators who are still stalking their prey. As it turns out the ship is crawling with aliens; dumb luck that the men didn't run into them earlier.

    In the resulting melee Dennis is pushed out of the hole by his partner. Carl follows hoping to save his friend. He reaches him and shoots off a tether to reel them back inside. But one of the Predators kills an alien with its bladed gauntlet, its blood hits the rope, melting it.

    Out numbered, a Predator detonates a bomb, the resulting blast separate the men.

    Dennis in a free fall towards a planet below - on the edge of burning in the atmosphere. Carl is pushed toward ship debris. During this time the adulterer confesses; a moment of weakness, it meant nothing. Dennis hears his friend die as he burns up. There is no time to grieve, Dennis finds himself surrounded by three aliens who were not killed by the explosion, ready to pounce from the debris. The end.

    The rear includes an "AvP" pin-up gallery; various artwork of Predators fighting aliens. The comic was released by Dark Horse Comics; written by Mike Kennedy with art by Francisco Ruiz Velasco.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Footnotes.



    What you see above is the Alien/Predator hybrid; nicknamed Predalien. Can't say I like the construction. I much prefer the design created for another exclusive.

    Action figure exclusive from the former chain store, Kay Bee Toys (also known as K•B Toys). Remember them?

    Man, that was a big part of my childhood, vanished into the ether. Granted, we still have Toys R Us, but it's not the same, especially since they're over priced there.



    Released in 1998 from Kenner was "Night Recon Predator". I didn't take these photos, I found them online from fellow enthusiast, Nite-Lik.

    I have two of these, sway.

    One is on the shelf, next to my printer (with knife). The other is mint on card, boxed away.

    Yes, I'm a collector.



    Night Recon Predator was part of Kenner's then toy line, "Aliens: Hive Wars" (1998). That's what the hybrid should've looked like (or similar)! Just add the sharp whipping tail and you're done. Above is an image from the back of the blister card.

    From left to right: "Night Recon Predator" with stalking knife; "Integer 3" with spring loaded gun, face guard and Cyborg bug; "Acid Alien" (isn't that a bit redundant?); "Warrior Predator" with battle staff and face mask; "Hive Warrior Alien" and "Corporal Hicks" with Cyber dog and blaster gun (when did he get an eye patch? And he died in "Alien3" [1992], maybe he walked it off).

    The Aliens' Hive Planet - A new Predator hunting ground for deadly alien xenopods! The heroic Marines, a team of Cyborg-tech warriors, have volunteered to destroy the Alien menace before the entire universe is demolished. It's the galaxy's last chance for survival, as the vicious Aliens, ferocious Predators and fearless Marines clash in the ultimate battle of domination!
    - blister card



    Here's a close-up of the figure in question. It has five points of articulation; head (but not jaw), arms and legs. Notice something?

    He's missing his 'stalking knife', someone's not getting pudding.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Rant.



    There are a lot of negative comments for this movie, but I enjoyed it - nothing beyond a popcorn flick. I like it way more than the film before it (which had canon issues and rather big plot holes). "Requiem" has good action and pace. Granted, I know I'm in the minority.

    What I rather liked is how dark it was, it went places where other Alien films didn't dare go. Like the Predalien coming across the hospital's maternity ward and just impregnating all the women there. Frak! That's harsh. Even in the beginning, no one is spared not even a little kid.

    I recall filmmakers making such a big deal showing the Predator home world, it was okay - it's there for a minute. Nice yes, but over hyped.



    I like the fact that it picks up right from the last film. The gore scenes were good, what I had hoped. Glad this was rated R, they had balls to do what they did. I was kinda bummed that the hot girl, Jesse (Kristen Hager) got killed. Her death was kinda a surprise - it just happens (just as in real life).

    Too bad she didn't make it to the end. But it would've had a better value if it wasn't SHOWN in the trailer. WTF?

    By the way, Reiko Aylesworth (Kelly) is adorable. I liked her as Michelle Dessler on Fox's "Twenty-Four", too bad her character got killed too (season five - first episode). Sure, that's a spoiler.

    Just so you know, this unrated DVD has eight minutes of restored footage. What I don't like is that I can't toggle the audio for the commentaries. You have to go the main menu and select 'Special Features' to change each and every time. Stupid logic.

    I do agree with all the folks who moan about it. This is far too dark - as in illumination, a lot of what you see is just perceivable. I did not see the movie in the theaters, so I am unable to confirm...

    But looking about, there are claims that the home video release (DVD and BD) is darker than what was shown during it's theatrical run. If true, why? Why would 20th Century Fox do such a thing?

    One of rumors is that the studio was not happy with all the bitching about the effects and decided to make it less light so you couldn't see the visual effects weak points, the CGI.

    The bits shown in the trailer is easy to see (even with the color grading), before the darkening. *shrugs* Don't know, could be true.

    That it for now; come back here on February 25th, 2016 for another encounter with the undead. It's bloody so bring your umbrella.
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 07-19-2017 at 08:50 AM.

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