Category Archives: Movie Reviews

Monsters University Collector’s Edition Blu-ray Review

Billy Crystal and John Goodman return as Mike Wazowski and James Sullivan in Monsters University with a look back at their college days before they became top scarers at Monsters Inc.

Film making 4/5
Video 5/5
Audio 5/5
Bonus Features 5/5

Recommendation 5/5 Stars

Monsters University

Billy Crystal is that one eyed green guy and that big hairy green blue lug is John Goodman from Monsters Inc. with a look into their past at Monsters University. Monsters University follows Mike Wozowski and James Sullivan as they join the least noticed fraternity on campus.

When Mike was young he dreamed of going to college at the largest school and becoming a scarer at Monsters Inc. even before a school field trip to the factory. Mike gets his wish and goes to Monsters University but finds that getting into the Scaring Program he wants is harder then he imagines.

James “Sully” Sullivan is from a family of famous scarers and gets everything he wants, the best school and the best fraternity to ensure he gets his chance at the best career. James Sullivan thinks his natural ability at scaring he has inherited from his famous father will be enough but Mike knows better.

Mike studies hard while Sully has fun but when they both fail their final exam they have one last chance at getting back into their chosen field of scaring. The Scare Games allows any fraternity to move on to their chosen field but they need to avoid coming in last place which means getting knocked out of the competition.

The Oozma Kappa fraternity is a bunch of monster nerds but they do have heart which is how they win the Scare Games and prove they have what it takes. Mike and Sully are given a chance at their dream with a start in the schools Scaring Program because the fraternity wins.

Monsters University is one of those rare films that doesn’t bother to try and beat the original with a sequel but heads into less traveled waters of prequels. Pixar has become a part of Disney and with that ownership changes their sequel aversion has been overruled.

Disney has been working on making sequels to many of the Pixar films even though Pixar has avoided them in the past except for a few notable exceptions. Monsters University may not have the same new charm of the original but it does have enough going for it in humor, better visuals and general fun to make it a worthwhile addition.

I enjoyed watching Monsters University and think it is well worth watching over and over so a purchase is a must for any fans. The film will entertain children but adults may be a bit disappointed in the narrative and plot but should be overjoyed with the technical aspects of the film and a good bit of the humor.

Monsters University has excellent video with outstanding color and some of the best graphics I have seen to date in a CGI animated feature. Colors are vibrant but the realistic fur and texture is a real testament to the work put into these films and the computer effects that have really progressed over the years.

Audio is also top notch with excellent Dolby TrueHD 7.1 surround sound which is a direct competitor to DTS-HD Master Audio which has been the standard for lossless audio to date. The surround sound is great and a lot of attention has been paid to audio effects and voice in this release that adds up to a great sounding experience.

Bonus content is really good which has also been the standard for Pixar and Disney so it is no surprise at the quality and quantity of bonus content. A new short film starts the extras with audio commentary and making of features on the extra Blu-ray disc for the rest of the extras.

Bonus content is excellent with such a variety of extras along with commentary and the short film that you have just about everything you could want. I really think the bonus features are a top rating for this film as it has such a variety that most everyone will have something to enjoy and return to again and again.

Monsters University is a good film but the plot may have been lacking a bit for adult entertainment while kids will get plenty of laughs out the humor. Kids may not get all the jokes with enough geared toward an older audience that balances out the film for a wider entertainment value.

Monsters University is a great film and like many others in the Pixar catalog well worth a purchase even if it is not a top film. I highly recommend purchasing Monsters University in your chosen combination with plenty to find on the Collectors Blu-ray edition.

I also highly recommend checking out the Monsters University Website for an additional fun time that kids and kids at heart will enjoy.

Monsters University Website

Monsters University @ Disney

Bones: The Complete Eighth Season Blu-ray Review

Bones: The Complete Eighth Season Blu-ray Review

Bones: The Complete Eighth Season continues to showcase gruesome investigations into murders with equally messy with Temperance Brennan and Seeley Booth.

Film making 4/5
Video 4/5
Audio 4/5
Bonus Features 1/5

Recommendation 4/5 Stars

Bones Season 8

Bones stars Emily Deschanel as Temperance Brennan and David Boreanaz as Seeley Booth as the now married with a baby crime fighting duo. Dr. Brennan is a forensic anthropologist with Booth as her FBI investigator as they solve crimes fitting into her specialty of messy dead things.

Bones usually starts with a grisly murder or a found body that is so badly decomposed or otherwise ruined for regular investigators to deal with. Enter the Jeffersonian Institute Forensic Sciences Department with a lab full of squints to deal with all those bodies that are too messy and gruesome for others.

In season 7 of Bones Christopher Pelant was leaving dead bodies for Bones and Booth to find trying to annoy the forensic detectives. Pelant brings his evil tech genius home in season 7 when he frames Temperance Brennan for murder so she does the only thing she can, she runs.

Her father the ex con takes her and their newborn baby on the run to hide from Pelant as well as have the freedom to pursue him on her own terms. Season eight starts after the truncated season 7 due to Emily Deschanel’s pregnancy with a full set of episodes and a new star to the show on occasion with the new baby.

Well, it’s a baby as I am not sure who the real actor/baby is but we get the idea that being a new mom and fighting crime is two full time jobs when they add in the baby from time to time. The season long theme of running from a major villain is kept down to only a few episodes and we return to the pattern of separate themes for each episode in season 8.

While we do get a visit from Pelant from time to time most episodes rely heavily on plots that are introduced and wrapped up quickly. Mostly we have the gruesome body with team working feverishly to find the cause of death and evidence pointing to the murderer.

The show is running strong after seven seasons mainly due to the strong character development and I think also due to the wider variety of characters in the series. We have a whole team that the writers can pull stories from and use in episodes to highlight a specific side plot or the main theme.

The separate characters and variety of great acting that goes into them really gives the show a strong foundation and a good plot twist thrown in really makes the series entertaining. Pelant’s gruesome and evil murders do throw in that plot twist even if this guy would never be able to get away with things like this in real life.

In one episode I was a bit disappointed with the story but overall every episode does deliver on entertaining and enjoyable television. Bones: The Complete Eighth Season is well worth a purchase and the entire series is going so strong there is talk of not a ninth season but looking to the future for a tenth.

Season eight of Bones on Blu-ray includes 24 episodes with excellent video and the DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track that is great for surround sound and clear audio. Video is clear and very bright for a crime drama but an occasional problem does creep in a bit but overall the video is great looking.

Audio is clear for voice and sounds excellent with very good surround but an occasional static or other problem does also find its way to the sound track. The audio is well done and overall excellent but problems do equate to  a not quite perfect rating on audio and video quality.

Bonus content is a bit sparse on the Blu-ray edition of season 8 but what is there is worth a viewing for the gag reel and two bonus features. The typical audio commentary is available for a single episode while the two real bonus features are mostly answering fan questions and a look at the show by fans.

The bonus content is lacking which is kind of surprising given how decent extras have been in the past with Bones Blu-ray editions. Bones: The Complete Eighth Season is well worth a purchase and for fans of the show it is a worthwhile buy.

Bones is a great series and very entertaining with season eight being a worthwhile addition to the series and well worth a purchase for fans and newcomers alike.

Bones @ Fox

Nashville: The Complete First Season DVD Review

Nashville: The Complete First Season DVD Review

Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere star in Nashville with the first season taking the two stars on a whirlwind tour together to make their careers take off.

Film making 4/5
Video 5/5
Audio 5/5
Bonus Features 3/5

Recommendation 4/5 Stars

Nashville Season 1

Seasoned veteran country singer Rayna James finds her tour in the dumps with sales dropping while young newcomer Juliette Barnes makes all the mistakes new stars are known for. Arrests and booze complicate her life so Juliette needs to get serious with her career with her record label putting the two stars together on tour.

It may take a full season but Juliette and Rayna do go on tour together but with Rayna’s pending divorce and her husband’s election to mayor of Nashville her part in the tour is very hit and miss. Juliette has no lack of drama as well with her drug and alcohol addicted mother trying to get back in her life when she quits abusing and a scam that robs her of half a million dollars.

Nashville is a very fast paced series with plenty of ego fighting between not only the main characters but between several of the secondary ones that give even more drama to the plot. Nashville is all about the break into big time and working hard to keep it not only for the stars of country music but for their families, friends and rivals.

I had no intention of reviewing the first season of Nashville when I got the press release but when the marketing agent asked me directly I said sure. I was not thrilled at first but did enjoy the first season much more than I thought I would.

Good looking women do not hurt but the main attraction of Nashville is the interaction and character development that the great actors work through. Nashville has plenty of drama and some oddball plot points here and there but it’s the characters that are at the heart of the show.

Nashville does have an occasional odd plot twist that you don’t see coming and I found several that were pretty interesting to come across. Aside from the great stories and even better characters you do get the good songs of both rock and country with some pop thrown in.

Who knew that Hayden Panettiere could actually sing but looking her up she has released some songs and sung several times in movies such as A Bugs Life. There are other stars that are song release worthy such as Jonathon Jackson who plays Avery Barkley.

Nashville is a pretty good show and even if you’re not interested in country music the series does have plenty of drama and mixed music genres. Nashville: The Complete First Season on DVD has 21 episodes on 5 discs and has some great looking video and excellent audio.

Video is great but not as good as Blu-ray so you get as good as you’re ever going to get on DVD along with the Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound track. They did an excellent job at getting the series down pat for quality without any problems to speak of.

Bonus features are pretty good and about average if not a bit above with three major features including Nashville Comes to Nashville, On The Record B-Side and Stellas on Tour. The three bonus features are making of and a silly extra for the Stella sisters that are good and well worth watching with the bloopers and deleted scenes just being okay.

Nashville is actually a pretty good series and well worth catching on DVD for an entertaining show that adds country music to the drama of singer stardom.

Nashville @ ABC

2 Broke Girls: The Complete Second Season DVD Review

2 Broke Girls: The Complete Second Season DVD Review

2 Broke Girls sets itself apart with its sex and foul language which is a breath of fresh air in a somewhat stagnant television lineup.

Film making 4/5
Video 4/5
Audio 4/5
Bonus Features 2/5

Recommendation 4/5 Stars

2 Broke Girls Season 2

2 Broke Girls stars the foul mouthed Max played by Kat Dennings and the fallen rich girl Caroline played by Beth Behrs. 2 Broke Girls follows the tale of two would be cupcake entrepreneurs who struggle to raise enough money to fund their business.

The episodes end with a total of the current cash on hand toward their business but it’s the journey and not the destination that is fun.  2 Broke Girls Season 2 even sees them get their dream business through a series of lucky breaks but the dream comes to a screeching halt when their business runs into a serious setback.

Just when the pair of hot business enthusiasts start in on their dream of Max’s Homemade Cupcakes the shop gets an offer to vacate and an insurance scam. The half hour episodes include plenty of humor that does come close to the line but on the other side of it.

Kat Dennings is quick with the sarcasm while Beth Behrs adds sophistication to the diner waitress couple that adds a lot to the show. 2 Broke Girls has a wicked sense of humor and does add a lot of politically incorrect humor which is probably why I like it.

2 Broke Girls: The Complete Second Season has 24 half hour episodes on the DVD edition with very good video and audio quality but not perfect. Quality for both video and audio are without any really memorable problems but being a DVD the quality is not perfect.

The Complete Second Season of 2 Broke Girls has four extras on the three disc set with the one feature “Max’s Homemade Cupcakes: Go Big or Go Broke!” being the best. The gag reel is short while the deleted scenes are average and the Sophie Kaczyinski extra is merely a quick talk with the oddball star as her character.

The “…Go Big or Go Broke!” piece is a half hour series of interviews about the show and character development which is the only really worthwhile piece of bonus content. The extras are not a great part of the DVD edition and the one does make things better but it would be nice to have more bonus features.

2 Broke Girls is a funny sitcom but it also crosses lines a lot which makes it risqué which may be a reason it is so popular. Two hot girls also add to the show’s popularity but I think it the wit and humor that keep people coming back for more.

2 Broke Girls: The Complete Second Season is a great show and with the third season firmly in production the series is going strong.

2 Broke Girls @ CBS

The Mentalist: The Complete Fifth Season DVD Review

The Mentalist: The Complete Fifth Season DVD Review

Simon Baker is back once again as The Mentalist, defeating criminals with the ease of a seasoned detective but his background in carnival life and as a psychic makes him a unique asset.

Film making 5/5
Video 4/5
Audio 4/5
Bonus Features 2/5

Recommendation 4/5 Stars

The Mentalist Season 5

Patrick Jane started life as a carny, short for carnival worker who then moved on to work as a psychic and medium working people’s hopes and fears. When he taunted a serial killer on his national show the killer obliged by killing his wife and daughter.

Patrick now spends his days looking for the killer by helping the California Bureau of Investigation solving cases. They have been trying to find clues and leads to the serial killer Red John and slowly have gotten closer to his identity.

In season 5 of The Mentalist Jane works case by case through the day to day investigations and shows he really is an asset to the bureau. One very real clue that he is given by one of Red John’s accomplices is that Patrick has already met and shaken hands with the killer.

This revelation sends Patrick in a spin of working day and night to whittle down a list of all the people he has ever met since his wife’s murder. By the end of the 22 episode season Jane has narrowed it down to a list of seven people who could be Red John.

One scene really shows how observant and helpful Patrick is in his investigations when a store clerk tells police the bodega he works was robbed. Patrick asks exactly how the thief took the money and the clerk shows him how he reached through the window and grabbed the stack of money from the counter.

Patrick shows the owner that no one could grab money in their fist and pull their hand out of the slot in the window so the clerk is lying about the theft. It is this keen observation and attention to detail that makes the series a bit different than other crime dramas.

Patrick James as The Mentalist solves more than just petty thefts with the CBI team led by Senior Special Agent Teresa Lisbon played by Robin Tunney. Teresa Lisbon is the head of the Serious Crimes Unit and deals mostly with murders but an occasional kidnapper sneaks into their case load.

Tracking down Red John the serial killer being a season long theme is also a series long one that started with season one but episodes are mixed with other crimes. Red John is a unique serial killer who recruits people to kill and to do other crimes that are not all related or make sense.

Red John is portrayed as a larger than life criminal who goes above and beyond what any known killer has done in real life or in fiction. The Mentalist really has a different feel to it including the major serial killer theme that has been a driving force for the main characters.

The Mentalist: The Complete Fifth Season is available on DVD in a five disc set with the usual great look and sound of a DVD edition. The video and audio quality is very good but pretty standard to the DVD releases with well-done color and a great surround sound.

I had no complaints or moments that stuck out as particularly noteworthy in problems for both video and audio. The DVD set includes the 22 episodes and a couple making of special features that are alright but not exceptional.

The bonus content is a bit short with only two extras but they are pretty good as a behind the scenes look into the how. The DVD edition of The Mentalist: The Complete Fifth Season may be short on extras but it is a great serious criminal drama.

With channel lineups heading more toward reality shows a good crime drama like The Mentalist is a breath of fresh air. I highly recommend The Mentalist and season five starts the final journey of finding Red John by adding that first piece to the end of the puzzle for Patrick Jane.

The Mentalist @ CBS

Iron Man 3 Blu-ray Review

 Iron Man 3 Blu-ray Review

Tony Stark is back with plenty of suits and comedy with in Iron Man 3 but the suits are not the main feature here as the action is the main feature.

Film making 4/5
Video 5/5
Audio 5/5
Bonus Features 3/5

Recommendation 5/5 Stars

Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3 returns after the alien invasion of The Avengers with Tony Stark played by Robert Downy Jr. having panic attacks. Yes, the hero is having problems coping with the past and what can happen in the future while trying to improve his suits.

Iron Man 3 is a contradiction in many things and one of them is the advancement of suit technology while working toward not needing to be in a suit at all. Tony Stark looks back at a pivotal moment in his past that creates a bad guy when he ignores a budding scientist who has a new invention.

Robert Downey Jr. starts the movie talking about the demons he creates and the movie is all about that creation in an adversary. Iron Man has always been a loner but his loved ones are an important part of his life and one weakness that his enemies can exploit.

Iron Man 3 has a great story line but I feel the more human side that they show for Tony Stark is a welcome look at a superhero who is, after all, only human. There are many times when humor is at the forefront of Iron Man 3 and the laughs just keep coming throughout the film along with the action.

Iron Man 3 looks at some of the problems that being a super hero entails along with building both heroes and villains but mixed with plenty of reality. The plot of the film follows Tony trying to find out who is the terrorist The Mandarin but the outcome is not expected at all.

Tony finds out that the suits are not what make him Iron Man but his heroism and what he does with the suits makes the difference. Iron Man 3 has lots going for it with good acting and excellent plot but problems creep in as well like the excessive use of product placement.

It’s the little things that really make the film worthwhile like the suit that he is so proud of when the first pieces fly to him and form around his arms. Just when he thinks he’s got it working right The rest of the suit pounds him into submission flying onto his body with pounding force.

But not even those lengthy moments are needed to show how haphazard his technological abilities are and how he just needs things to work. When his suit fails to give him the firepower he needs, JARVIS explains the suit is not combat ready, he smacks his arm in frustration like that is going to make his weapon work.

It may not have been a very noticeable moment but it is these little gems that make the film so much more enjoyable and fun. I mean panic attacks! Real down to earth I am having bad dreams because I saved the world from aliens panic attacks.

Iron Man 3 in my opinion is the better of the three films as it has moments like these that make the film much more enjoyable. I really like the humanity and problems that Tony Stark must deal with in order to continue to keep the world a safer place.

Iron Man 3 is a treat as far as audio and video quality with excellent color and great looking detail that highlights the films excellent transfer. Video has a great look with everything about it being almost perfect with no problems that detract from your enjoyment of the film.

Audio is also excellent with clear voice and a perfect surround sound from the DTS-HD Master 7.1 audio track that really is a treat. Audio and video are as near to perfect as you could want and really help to make the film a total success.

Bonus content includes audio commentary, a short film, two making of features and a few other short extras that work pretty well. The making of features work and the Marvel short film is good but it seems they are saving some extras for future releases as the bonus content is pretty scarce for such a big box office production.

Iron Man 3 is in my opinion the best of the Iron Man movies as the hero is shown to be more human than superhuman and the comedy is a welcome addition. Iron Man 3 is well worth the purchase for any comic book fan and action adventure enthusiast and the Blu-ray edition looks and sounds as good as it’s ever going to get.

Iron Man 3 Website

Arrow: The Complete First Season Blu-ray + DVD

DC Comics’ superhero Green Arrow makes its way to television with Stephen Amell starring as Oliver Queen, the hero who wants to clean up his city.

Film making 4/5
Video 4/5
Audio 4/5
Bonus Features 3/5

Recommendation 4/5 Stars

Arrow: The Complete First Season Blu-ray + DVD

Oliver Queen played by Stephen Amell, is a rich son who finds out that his father is behind much of the rampant crime that has befallen his city. The Queen family along with other wealthy individuals is working behind the scenes to make themselves richer at any cost.

Oliver and his father take a trip on a small yacht and wind up being the two of three survivors on a life raft in the middle of the North China Sea. After several days at sea his father tells Oliver that he is the cause of much of the suffering in their city and Oliver needs to survive in order to make things better.

Oliver’s father gives Oliver a book listing all the people who have corrupted and harmed their city and then shoots the other survivor and then himself. Oliver is left alone with the small supplies left until he washes up on an island near China.

Oliver survives for five years on the island where he helped stop a plan to shoot down an airliner as well as learned skills to become a crime fighter. Oliver returns and starts his quest to take on that list of dirty people and their underlings that are doing their dirty work.

Oliver starts working his way through the list only to find out that another bow wielding character tries to stop him in his quest. Oliver has several run-ins with the police and the nickname The Hood becomes his pubic superhero name for Oliver while the Dark Archer is his main nemesis.

Oliver has several relationships including his old girlfriend even though she found out that her sister had gone along with Oliver during that ill-fated cruise.

Oliver spends his days split between rich playboy returned to civilization and his superhero crime fighting with a nemesis that is big enough to last several seasons.

Arrow is a really good series with great acting and writing with a plot that has a deep base with Olivers stay on the island. The series makes use of the superhero comic staple but without a super power creating lab accident for a more realistic slant.

Arrow Blu-ray and DVD edition has four Blu-ray and five DVD discs with great but not perfect quality in video and audio for both versions of the series. The Blu-ray quality for video is great with mostly subdued but sometimes rich colors and all around well done video with very little quality issues.

Sound is great with the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround sound master track that uses great surround and deep bass when appropriate but not too much. The audio keeps things centered on the action and voice comes across well at all times so you don’t miss the plot and rich subplots.

Bonus content includes deleted scenes, three making of features and panel discussion for the series that works well but is about average. The stunt feature is the best that shows stunt work and behind the scenes moments during filming but the panel and Arrow Comes Alive! is pretty good at times.

Arrow is compared a lot to The Dark Knight and it does have a lot of similarities but is also different enough on its own merit as an action adventure. Arrow uses a realistic plot to keep things grounded and more of a down to earth superhero adventure even if The Hood does have some unbelievable moves.

Arrow: The Complete First Season is well worth a purchase for superhero fans and action enthusiasts alike for a great entertaining adventure.

Arrow @ The CW

Leverage The Final Season DVD Review

Leverage The Final Season

Leverage The Final Season or season five is a great end to a fun and entertaining series that is unfortunately at an end.

Film making 5/5
Video 4/5
Audio 4/5
Bonus Features 2/5

Recommendation 4/5 Stars

Leverage The Final Season

Timothy Hutton, Gina Bellman, Aldis Hodge, Christian Kane and Beth Riesgraf star in Leverage and for five seasons have stolen from the rich and given to the poor. While not exactly modern day Robin Hoods they do work for the poor and ones who have no one else to turn to for justice.

“We provide leverage” is the saying that the show has been using from the pilot episode and that is basically what they do. Leverage means influence or power to achieve a desired result and in the case of the series has meant getting even.

Helping people get justice, get their money back from scammers and even getting back at criminals when they get away with their crimes. Leverage has spent five seasons both helping the little people and putting bad guys in jail like the first rich guy who tried to use the team for his own scam.

Victor Dubenich first brought the thief, hitter, hacker and grifter together with the ex-insurance investigator (mastermind) to steal some airplane plans. After five seasons and an attempt at revenge from both Dubenich and other rich people the Leverage team is still escaping tight spots to help others.

Along the way they use their alternate revenue stream to earn enough money to finance their adventure as well as get ready for retirement. The team does a great job at seeking revenge using humor and smart plots as well as great acting to complete the great show.

Season five has the usual suspects of bad guys to get back at as well as a few returning cast from previous episodes. The final episode reveals that three of the cast are continuing the firm but changing the name to Leverage International.

In the final season Parker finds out more about herself and grows as a person while she also deepens her relationship with Hardison. Nate and Sophie retire from their life of getting even while Eliot finds out more about his inner demons and works at getting rid of them.

Leverage does a lot in a short time for season five with a bit of a different feel to the final season than the others. It’s almost like the end is near and everyone knows and is not trying to deny it so they are just having fun till the last episode.

Video and audio quality are great but not perfect with great looking colors and some very good surround sound from the Dolby Digital 5.1 sound track. The video is great but on occasion colors can be a bit muted with some effects being a bit obvious.

The show has continued to be great but special effects can be a bit obvious with some lower budget computer graphics and such but overall video quality is great. Audio is also great with good surround sound but again a few problems creep in that are somewhat noticeable but overall great.

Extras include a few deleted scenes, a short gag reel and audio commentary for all 15 episodes which is the better of the bonus features. The gag reel is alright but mostly the audio commentary is the hit of the extras but even then they’re not that great.

Leverage has taken us for a ride for five seasons and on DVD is now a treat to return to for some rousing fun at getting even. I highly recommend Leverage: The Final Season and if you have not seen it before check out all the seasons of Leverage for a great series.

Leverage Website

Leverage @ Amazon

Supernatural: The Complete Eighth Season Blu-ray Review

Supernatural: The Complete Eighth Season Blu-ray Review

Sam and Dean Winchester are back with Sam taking a year off while Dean was in Purgatory but the brothers return to hunt monsters and right the wrongs of the world.

Film making 4/5

Video 4.5/5

Audio 4.5/5

Bonus Features 3/5

Recommendation 4/5 Stars

Supernatural Season 8

Supernatural follows the monster hunting antics of Sam and Dean Winchester whose family follows a long line of monster hunters. Vampires, werewolves and demons are real and the Winchesters hunt them with Sam Winchester played by Jared Padalecki and Dean played by Jensen Ackles.

In season 7 Sam and Dean Winchester fought the good fight and wound up with Dean and Castile the angel being sent to Purgatory after their best friend Bobby is killed. After seven seasons of Supernatural we have seen major season long themes with season eight mainly consisting of finding two tablets and protecting a prophet of God.

Sam and Dean have fought demons, angels and Lucifer and now have to contend with another demon named Crowley who is a crossroads demon that is very powerful. A crossroads demon makes deals with humans that end with the person being sent to hell usually after being killed by a hellhound.

Crowley is trying to get the tablet called The Demon Word of God that can close the gates to Hell forever which would banish all demons to Hell. The tablet can also open the gates of Hell and allow all demons to enter earth so Sam and Dean have a mission to keep the tablet from Crowley.

Dean meets a vampire in purgatory that helps him find the way out named Benny who also helps in in the fight against Crowley and others. Castiel enters the picture part way through the season with some bad news for Sam and Dean but he cannot tell that at first what is going on.

Sam and Dean find out that another tablet named the Angel Word of God that can expel angels from Heaven just like God did to Lucifer. In the end Sam and Dean are successful in stopping Crowley but the final scene of the season is Angels plummeting from the heavens and falling to earth.

Supernatural Season 8 has 23 episodes on four discs for the Blu-ray edition which is about a normal for a season of 45 minute shows. The story behind the series is in many of the episodes but several episodes do not have this theme much and are standalone episodes.

The writers behind Supernatural are great and have a good enough sense to keep episodes not too focused on a single theme to keep things mixed up. Supernatural is a good series and well worth a purchase for its action, humor and drama that really does make it worthwhile.

The Blu-ray Season eight package includes some great video and audio but alas not perfect but with excellent color and surround sound. Slight problems creep into episodes in noise and banding but are not bad enough to lower enjoyment of the episodes or the show.

Audio is also very good with excellent surround sound and the usual great rock and roll mix of many songs throughout the episodes. Both audio and video are excellent and only occasionally do problems occur that are just noticeable but not distracting.

Supernatural: The Complete Eighth Season has some short but decent extras on the four disc set with a gag reel, audio commentary and some making of features along with a special feature on Castiel, the angel. The extras are good with the usual gag reel and making of features but they are just too typical for Blu-ray movies and shows.

Supernatural is a unique and different show that has lasted as many seasons as it has due to great acting, wonderful direction and production along with excellent writing. Supernatural is a great series and the show really does stand out from other fantasy drama shows to make an easy recommendation.

Supernatural @ The CW

Supernatural Season 8 @ Amazon

Now You See Me Blu-ray Review

Now You See Me Blu-ray Review

Four magicians need to work together to pass the test and prove their eligibility to enter the prestigious and mysterious group known as The Eye in Now You See Me.

Film making 4/5
Video 5/5
Audio 5/5
Bonus Features 2/5

Recommendation 4/5 Stars

Now You See Me Blu-ray

The Eye is a mysterious organization that was created in ancient Egyptian times to help the poor get food by stealing it from the rich. The Eye is a group of magicians who throughout time have helped people using their skill in misdirection and sleight of hand but to most it is only a legend.

Now You See Me stars Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher and Dave Franco as four magician/performers that are being hunted down by FBI agent Dylan Rhodes played by Mark Ruffalo. The four are great at magic with two being illusionists, one being an escape artist and the fourth performing sleight of hand magic.

They get together after receiving mysterious cards in unique ways inviting them to a room in an old building where they find plans to some very big acts. When they perform the acts as the Four Horsemen their illusion becomes not only a hit with the audience but a crime.

They steal money from a French bank and give it to the audience but the second act is even better with money disappearing from one account and appearing in the audiences. The audience is full of people who have been cheated out of insurance money from the very millionaire who is promoting the Four Horsemen.

The third act involves the Four Horsemen now running from the FBI agent with help from Interpol agent Alma Dray played by Melanie Laurent. The third act is more of a disappearing act with money being dispersed to the waiting crowd while the magicians disappear.

The money is actually fake and the four magicians meet after escaping the manhunt to find out who gave them the plans to their act and the invitation. In the end they are made members of the Eye but it’s who was behind the whole thing that is the surprise of the movie.

Now You See Me is a great movie and one that is well worth a watch or a rental but a purchase may not be in the cards for everyone. The movie is a definite mystery that you will not see coming and the second viewing is a must as it does contain plenty of obvious clues once you know who is the prime suspect.

The Blu-ray editions video and audio quality are fantastic with sharp looking video and great sounding audio that has really good surround with the extra 7.1 track if you have the system. Video has great looking and vibrant color with very sharp detail throughout the movie for an excellent looking film.

The audio is also top notch with a great DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track that uses a great surround for an immersive film experience. Bonus content includes audio commentary, a making of feature and a bit on magicians of the past along with customary deleted scenes and a couple trailers.

The bit about the magicians showing some past greats is pretty decent but filled with clips from the movie while the making of feature is alright as well. The other bonus features are about typical for fillers that are not worth watching more than once so bonus content is not all that great but at least there is something.

Now You See Me is a unique film dealing with magicians but also a very good crime thriller so you get something for both groups to enjoy. I highly recommend Now You See Me for a great crime thriller that is a very smart film with a great look at the world of magicians seen form a caper point of view.

Now You See Me Website