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  1. #706
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    Best Buy - September 22nd, 2020


    Whiplash
    Exclusive steelbook; 4k BD/BD combo $27.99

    Full Metal Jacket
    Exclusive steelbook; 4k BD/BD/DC combo $29.99

    Rick And Morty: Season 4
    Exclusive steelbook; BD/DC combo $27.99

    Flash Gordon (1980)
    Exclusive steelbook; BD only $14.99

  2. #707
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    Past Tense - Years Older, But Still In The Game Part I


    Another brand new entry! This outing we get a retired spy looking for some companionship in RED...



    The motion picture opened on October 15th, 2010. It was made with a budget of $58,000,000 (estimated) and grossed over $90 million during its U.S. theatrical run; counting foreign receipts it made $196,439,693. The film opened number two at the box office, the following week it dropped to number three.

    The feature opened against "Easy A", "The Social Network", "My Soul To Take" and "Jackass 3D".

    All were issued embossed slipcovers. The BD/DVD combo came with an insert explaining one side is DVD and the other is Blu-Ray.

    - - -



    There was a single exclusive - from Best Buy, a mini comic book. This was only available in the Blu-ray/DVD combo. And streeted on January 25th, 2011 for $19.99.

    There was a bonus item, but was available everywhere, not an exclusive; theater code voucher for "Drive Angry" (2011); expired on April 22nd, 2011. The details were on the reverse of the sticker on the slipcover.

    Did not buy the combo with comic; I bought the DVD when it came out - wanna say Wal-Mart. The exclusive has been on my list for years. It wasn't until January 18th, 2020 that I finally found what I was looking for.



    I made various attempts over the years, but couldn't find it or it was too expensive. I found a sweet price, the store exclusive for $4.64 with free shipping on eBay. Came with slipcover to scan and that comic which is now inside my DVD case.

    The first thing you notice here is the price tag sticker (above), $34.99. Huh? I can only imagine this was a later re-priced combo. It does happen after the sale ends - back to regular price.

    Don't have that much exposure to double side format discs. Double sided DVDs, sure.



    The only double sided format disc I have is for "Book Of Shadows: Blair Witch 2" which is DVD and CD soundtrack (streeted on March 13th, 2001 for $26.98). Think I paid less than five dollars for it at Big Lots! years ago. Part of my collection. Wait...

    Why did the combo come with an insert instruction? It's been years and years that folks have bought double sided discs; you look at the ring around the hub to see which is Side A and Side B, printed info. Here the sides are labeled what format it is. It's a no brainer, this should not exist. Just look at the disc.

    The mini-comic is titled "Marvin"; story based on the feature is by John and Erich Hoeber. Script by Erich Hoeber. Art by Diego Olmos. It is thirty-two pages long. It takes place in New York in 1987. This is the tale that made Marvin Boggs go paranoid. He was a spy at the time; his mission was to break into a secure building into their vault... to get a pen, not a special pen, generic. It made no sense, then he broke it down.

    The mission wasn't getting the pen, it WAS watching him retrieve said pen. He uncovers his apartment is bugged, even his urine taken from the toilet. He then goes on to test the food in his home for contamination. He's being drugged. Who and why? He's being drugged and sent on pointless missions to test his effectiveness. Marvin decides to drop out and stalk who's been following him (now that he's aware of the observation). He follows one of the C.I.A. agents to a secure site - the surveillance room on his apartment and files on him - "PS Ultra". He's a test subject for an experimental drug to create a super soldier. The story begins with Boggs talking about not needing sleep for six days, not tired in the least. He ends up bugging them and discover they know - he knows.

    He's been marked for 'retirement' before he can do something - receives a guest at the door, Frank Moses (Bruce Willis' character). He is there to murder him by a syringe with an unknown fluid. Marvin nearly kills him and discovers that there was no syringe, a roll of Lifesaver candy. Not sure what's going on, he fakes his death and goes underground.

    Turns out, yes it was happening. Moses wasn't trying to kill him - was just visiting. But there was a plot to snuff him because the drug, PS Ultra has a major side effect, high paranoia and Boggs had become their best test subject and a liability. A self-contained story. This comic also includes a preview of another "RED: Eyes Only" by Cully Hamner.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Rant.



    This is exactly what it's suppose to be - an excellent popcorn flick. And rare today as it was when it came out - an action film with middle age and above actors, quite true.

    The movie was a blind buy by the way, zero buyer's remorse. And was a PG-13 film that didn't feel watered down to make it PG-13. It had enough bite to make it comfortable.

    R.E.D.: Retired Extremely Dangerous; an Intelligence label for former spies who pose a hazard as they've gone rogue, a threat to national security and must be taken out. No ex-black-ops wants a RED designation attached to their name - marked for death.

    Do I need to do it? Give a synopsis? It was enough of a hit to get a sequel with the surviving characters returning. That will be a future Past Tense, it too had an exclusive... a pretty weak one, but it counts.



    It was cool to see Helen Mirren as this kicka$s, cold as nails assassin, Victoria. She's making a causal phone call while disposing of a body, she's just killed, another Thursday. But it was John Malkovich as Marvin Boggs who pretty much stole the show. So many WTFs. It feels like he was somewhat based on Captain H. M. "Howling Mad" Murdock (Dwight Schultz) from the 1983 NBC TV series, "The A-Team". Not a complaint.

    This is what would happen to Murdock if he didn't have this teammates keeping him, kinda grounded, left to his accord.

    The movie is based on a limited run comic book series of the same name by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner for DC Comics.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Void.

    It's a short entry - you know what that means. Filler time! The good stuff, hopefully. Welcome to Volume Five of "Dead TV Shows Not On Home Video". Three titles this time out!



    "Traveler" - This dead show aired on ABC in 2007. A centuries old conspiracy finds graduate students, Jay Burchell (Matt Bomer) and Tyler Fog (Logan Marshall-Green). The two are playing a prank with their friend Will Traveler (Aaron Stanford) at the Drexler Museum in New York. Harmless fun turns into horror as a bomb in a backpack goes off killing several. The two are labeled terrorists and relentlessly pursued.

    What happened to Will? Hoping for answers they find nothing. As in nothing, Will Traveler never existed, no records or images. Searching among their personal items they find one - a single photograph with Will in the background, face seen. Who was he? Why did he frame them???

    Thus begins their quest for answers and freedom. All eight episodes aired. Had it gone to second season many questions would've been answered. Will works for the "Fourth Branch", a clandestine group, comprised of the oldest families in America; bloodlines who can trace back to the signing of the Declaration Of independence.

  3. #708
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    Past Tense - Years Older, But Still In The Game Part II


    They were the back-up plan, created by the Founding Fathers should this great democracy experiment fail. This secret branch of government sits atop Executive, Judicial and Legislative. The problem, there is a civil war within for control of the Fourth Branch. Will is one of the good guys. Too bad it died after one season. The series was planned at three with the danger the newly elected President Shears who is moving forward to become emperor of America, the leader of the rogue element in the Fourth Branch.

    It also starred Pascale Hutton, Viola Davis, Steven Culp and Anthony Ruivivar. This could easily be a two disc DVD set. Have a featurette on what was to come. You see, series creator David DiGilio went online after the show was canceled with "Read Closure" a blog entry explaining what's what. It was a long entry covering EVERYTHING. The big picture that was happening and what was planned.



    An excellent example of disclosure is "Coronet Blue: The Complete Series" (2017; DVD). It has a bonus interview with series creator Larry Cohen. He laid it all out. The series ended without a resolution, no answer why our main character was pursued. Sure. The show was a single season on CBS in 1967 - a midseason replacement; thirteen episodes were made, two didn't air. So fifty years after the fact, answers. Yes, Cohen is an elderly man, still sharp minded. And yes, I own the set.

    The core is about a man who boarded a cruise ship and is shot. He falls overboard, thought dead. He is found, but has hit his head among his trauma - has amnesia, no memory of who he is. The only bit he knows is the phrase "Coronet Blue". It's something people will kill to know or keep secret. The mystery man takes the name, Michael Alden and is pursued. As the series goes, he discovers this isn't singular - there are two separate groups hounding him. Why?

    Too bad more complete series don't this when it ends without the reveal - like "Odyssey 5" (2002). "Traveler" was a cool show that should've gotten more fans and got to live out it's full potential. It was a bold show with a grand, original mystery. Quite sway.

    - - -



    "The Burning Zone" - This dead show aired on the former network UPN in 1996. It lasted one season, all nineteen episodes aired. It was intended as a rival series to Fox's juggernaut, "The X-Files" (1993 - 2002). It failed. What's sad is that roughly halfway through, the series was revamped and turned it into 'disease of the week'. The photo above reflects the first iteration.

    Appointed by the President to lead a top secret, biological task force, Dr. Daniel Cassian (Michael Harris) assembles a group of scientists to investigate and prevent biological disasters. The small team is made of Dr. Edward Marcase (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Dr. Kimberly Shiroma (Tamlyn Tomita) and federal agent Michael Hailey (James Black) for security/muscle. What happens next goes from biological crisis to a supernatural one, like the original "[*REC]" (2007) from Spain.

    The pilot episode dealt with a master race, a sentient microscopic virus, hive mentality. It controlled all the other viruses, their foot soldiers. At the time of the Great Flood, they picked the best, strongest human to infect and were sealed away until a time when they could re-emerge; thousands of years have passed. An archaeological dig in Costa Rica frees them, infecting the researchers. Our doctors are dashing to solve and contain the threat before it overtakes the planet. It ends with the Master Virus escaping in a monkey, biding their time in the jungles.

    It was so original and damn good!

    Other episodes include; a government black-project at a prison - using death row inmates as guinea pigs to make contact with the afterlife, they succeeded (and got a demon). White supremacists within the CIA are attempting to use recovered Nazi occult items for a takeover (one of the BEST entries) and an encounter with a werewolf to name a few.

    But the main villain is an ultra secret organization, known as "The Dawn". They are true believers of Thomas Malthus; the world has become infected with too many people. They seek to reduce the human population by force. The show sounds quite good and entertaining, but did not do well in the ratings. For episode twelve, Morgan and Tomita were fired and replaced with a single new recruit, Dr. Brian Taft (Bradford Tatum). From that point forward it dropped all of the supernatural and conspiracy elements. And the show's creative team were pink slipped with new ones.

    Did leave open, Morgan and Tomita's characters; Taft was told the two other scientists were re-assigned. If you want to believe; because of their dealings with the unexpected, they were given their own kind of X-Files department - at least that's how I like to think.

    - - -



    "Shaping Up" - This final offering aired on ABC in 1984. It lasted one short season; six episodes were made - five aired. The show was originally titled "Welcome To The Club"; it came about when the nation was going through a personal fitness craze. To be honest it was a juggernaut - even Disney was cashing too, fitness for kids.

    The sitcom is about the day to day operations of "Buddy Fox Health Club". It starred Leslie Nielson as Fox. It also starred Michael Fontaine as Ben and pre-famous Jennifer Tilly as Shannon Winters and Shawn Weatherly as Melissa McDonald. Plus Jake Steinfeld of "Body By Jake" fame - he was at the time a national fitness instructor; many of his clients were Hollywood titans. And Cathie Shirriff as Zoya Antonova.

    The main story line is this older fitness club, trying to compete with younger hipper locations - hiring Shannon and Melissa to bring in new younger clients.

    The mid-season replacement was a half hour program. The pilot had Tim Robbins who got recast by Fontaine. The final episode "Tile Solution" didn't air. This was a meat and potatoes show, more like a comfy pair of shoes. But it has a nostalgia consideration. Many of the actors here went on to greater things. See them before they were famous. Plus 1980s T&A visuals, well as much as they could get away with on television then.

    As you can imagine from the episode numbers, bombed in the ratings. Which was a surprise since it aired after the hit series "Three's Company". This would be a single disc DVD. Could have some of the network promos for the show added as extras.

    Gonna go back here for a moment. Noticed I didn't make it clear. RED was released in three versions: DVD ($28.99), Blu-Ray ($30.49) and Blu-Ray/DVD combo (double sided disc $34.99).

    There you go folks. Not much of a winner here, but it gets the job done like a ferret with an apple. How did it get one? Who knows - what's apparent is he's a happy critter. And that should be good enough.

    Hey! It's that time once more. Next month is the sixth Annual Limited Edition Horror! An entry for each Thursday. We got the undead, satanists, interstellar bugs and an immortal trouble maker who hates premarital sex, gets all choppy. Plus as usual, horror flick recommendations for All Hallows' Eve (began compiling back in February). See you here on October 1st, 2020 for your first shiver. Bring a blanket and a flashlight... and that ferret if he's done.

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