Community

Scream Factory

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. Phantom of the Paradise Winslow Leach (William Finley) is a musician and songwriter hoping to make it big, but his efforts to get his work noticed by the infamous producer and personality, Swan (Paul Williams), results in trouble. Swan hears, loves, and steals Winslow’s music leaving the artist deranged and badly burned in the process, but Winslow returns behind a mask to wreak havoc on the man’s hot new club. Toss in a thief of another kind, a dame named Phoenix (Jessica Harper) who steals Winslow’s heart, and the stage is set for tragedy. It’s Phantom of the Opera meets Faust, part comedy and part musical, and it had to have been clear from the outset that it was not going to find a home with general audiences. It also has some not so subtle critiques for both sides of the entertainment industry, from the selfish cruelties of corporate interests to talent who are accepting of it all in search of fame of fortune. The message never gets in the way of the zaniness or the musical numbers though. There are some new extras here as well as ones ported over from Arrow Video’s recent Blu, and the best supplement remains Guillermo de Toro interviewing/chatting with Williams. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Commentary, interviews, making of, alternate takes, outtakes, trailer, gallery]

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Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Community

Dungeons & Dragons has defied the odds and turned forty this year. A niche game that might take a decade to complete, its mixture of imagination, dice, paper and pencils seemed no match for the rise of the Digital Age and quick satisfaction. But tabletop gaming (and RPGs) bit their thumbs at the odds and became kinda cool. Celebs like Wil Wheaton, Sam Witwer, and Chris Hardwick have met up for a round of Dragon Age on TableTop, and the popular web series is now cooking up a spin-off RPG show after their super-successful crowdfunding campaign. But the RPG has not only infiltrated the back-room geek realms of the Internet. Though it never made much progress on film, save for the rare appearance in films like ET, D&D has become a television pre-requisite. Forget about musical episodes; if geeks are present in any noticeable way, there will be an episode or scene devoted to a D&D quest where the nerds lure newbies to the dice. It’s a game that’s set up deadly enemies, revealed inner weaknesses and unveiled fans in the least likely of places. Now I must admit – I have never played Dungeons & Dragons and have little desire to (unless it’s the ridiculously addictive board game offshoot, Lords of Waterdeep). My patience has no time for long quests. Nevertheless, some of my favorite television moments revolve around D&D (and television’s facsimiles of it). I love what it inspires in its fans, and the creativity that often stems from it. The RPG […]

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Community

  Granting the wishes of millions of fans who still believed in the power of the “six seasons and a movie” mantra, Community is indeed getting a sixth season (the movie is still, of course, a dream), though not in the way most viewers were probably expecting. When NBC canceled the series in May, outraged fans demanded answers, which came in increasingly more positive waves, thanks to the news that a number of on-demand services (from Hulu to Netflix) could pick up the series. And although neither of those names (or even Amazon and Crackle, which were also suggested) took the tantalizing TV bait, someone else did. According to an official press release and the gleeful howls of Human Beings everywhere, Yahoo! Screen will now revive the beloved television series (which, based on this news, is still a former television series, it’s all online now, baby!), news that probably requires the question: wait, what’s Yahoo! Screen?

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Moss IT Crowd

Today is Richard Ayoade’s birthday. You might know him as the random British inclusion in The Watch, the filmmaker behind the Jesse Eisenberg doppelganger movie, The Double, and of course, he’s Moss from The IT Crowd — a character that Christopher Campbell once dressed up as for Halloween. He’s also a great serving of comedic joy. Ayoade wouldn’t agree. He self-deprecatingly says he’s “just terrible. At talking. With words.” But if Ayoade is not, by his estimation, an actor, he is certainly a man who can banter brilliantly and absurdly in ways that make every manner of words seem natural. Even better: he has his own much-needed spin on nostalgia, one that replicates old styles rather than old toys, and relishes in the remnants of real life rather than computer-crafted graphics, as these 8 examples reveal.

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Community Finale

When Community first strolled onto television, there was only a hint of the kind of show it would ultimately become. There was a smooth-talking ex-lawyer trying hard to romance a woman who looked like Elisabeth Shue, a ragtag bunch of people who argued like they were on a sitcom, and in any other show, Abed’s insistence of injecting pop culture ephemera and contextualization would have melted into general Wacky Neighbor behavior. But it didn’t melt, and Abed eventually became the watchword for the show. Throughout the first season, he was indulged in all sorts of movie and TV tropes, but there were also many standard sitcom signposts along the way. Read any of the first season’s episode descriptions, and it could be talking about almost any recent comedy, but then “Modern Warfare” introduced us to how Greendale plays paintball. It was the kind of television moment that was difficult to understand. The promise of a show revealing itself by planting a massive freak flag in the middle of our foreheads. A rare episode that simultaneously made us excited for a second season and terrified that any minute NBC would realize they’d accidentally put something innovative on the air and call to correct their mistake. The second season gave us a stop-motion Christmas, Abed channeling Andre Gregory and a Western send up with more paintballs. The third season pushed further with a bigger adventure arc as Chang grew into his natural role as insane supervillain, but midway through, Community became two shows. We’ll call them Community and The Dan […]

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Neighbors Movie

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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Community Season 5 Finale

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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inspector chronicle prequel

Once upon a time there was a TV show called Community. No, wait, first upon a time there was a TV show called Doctor Who. Then the show Community paid tribute to Doctor Who with a parody version called Inspector Spacetime. Fans liked it so much that they helped in the creation of a web series of Inspector Spacetime. Except NBC and Sony weren’t okay with that, so the series was renamed Untitled Web Series About a Space Traveler Who Can Also Travel Through Time. Lasting six short episodes and starring original Inspector Spacetime portrayer Travis Richey, the web series was very popular and also quite acclaimed. So, logically a second season was planned, and it was going to be even bigger. A prequel episode was released last September with newly added cast members Mayim Bialik (Blossom; The Big Bang Theory), as the voice of the Inspector’s telephone-booth time machine, and Robert Picardo, who I know best from Joe Dante movies and The Wonder Years but who you may know best from Star Trek: Voyager, where he played The Doctor. Speaking of people named The Doctor, since then an actual Doctor Who Doctor, Sylvester McCoy (also of the Hobbit movies), has joined the cast. So has Chase Masterson, of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and a couple episodes of the Doctor Who audio drama. And now there will no longer be a second season of the series. There will be a feature-length movie instead. And it is titled The Inspector […]

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Philip Seymour Hoffman - Almost Famous

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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discs strike back2

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Strike Back: The Complete Second Season Michael Stonebridge (Philip Winchester) and Damien Scott (Sullivan Stapleton) weren’t always best of friends, and while they still argue on occasion they’ve also learned that they can trust each other when the bullets start flying. Their latest adventure finds the duo along with their new commander (Rhona Mitra) running and gunning their way across Africa in search of stolen nuclear triggers. Technically the series’ third season, this is Cinemax’s second as the producing entity, and they continue to show why no one even talks about that initial UK season any more. They also continue to show that a TV show can actually best many a lesser action movie in nearly every aspect. The acting and cast here are solid, the cinematography is theater-worthy, and the action sequences are impossibly great for a television series. They also impress with their awareness of both weaponry and tactics that add to the feeling of legitimacy. Hell, Cinemax even ensures the show maintains their high (or low?) standards when it comes to T&A. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Commentaries]

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Community at Comic-Con

Dan Harmon is back. That’s the overwhelming sentiment of the Community panel at Comic-Con. There is plenty more that was worth watching, including just about every moment of Jim Rash’s existence. The full panel has now made its way online. You too can watch the likes of Danny Pudi, Alison Brie, Gillian Jacobs, Ken Jeong and Mr. Harmon himself talk about their plans for the upcoming fifth season of the show. 

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30 Rock

When we talk about joke-machine sitcoms, you know the type. They have the same sense of humor and dramatic climate as a 30 Rock episode. It’s the kind that’s hard to articulate, but easily recognized: comedies where misunderstanding the pronunciation of “rural juror” is a series-long gag and characters can change their attire by turning around and walking away without anyone raising his or her eyebrows. Tina Fey and company broke sitcom barriers with the show-about-a-show for more substantial reasons than just economizing sentences into rapid-fire jokes, but there’s no denying style played a key role. In plenty of ways, 30 Rock was equal parts insufficient and success; while its audience only ever grew sizable with Fey’s Sarah Palin skits, the little sitcom that could was a critical darling. More importantly, peers loved it. The show was awarded three Emmys for outstanding comedy series and holds the record for most nominations given to a comedy series in a single year (22). This month, the show will be nominated again in almost every category, for certain. And there’s even a fighting chance it will win in plenty of them, too. But the other sitcoms that sprung from the 30 Rock generation have not had the same fate.

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mnad_darkest

Tonight on Movie News After Dark, Community is dead, the documentary is better, AMC is making sci-fi shows now and filmmakers are having their films taken away for no good reason. Everything is a mess, but we’ll sort it out together.

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Community - Season 4

Can sitcoms have moxie? If they can, then Community, which is always teetering on the edge of cancelation, definitely has it. On the road to its fourth season premiere, everyone involved with the show has been forced to deal with a maelstrom of crap: low viewer turn outs; a public spat between creator Dan Harmon and sexagenarian prat-faller Chevy Chase; the subsequent ousting of Harmon by NBC; and the delay of this season’s debut, which demonstrated NBC’s general ambivalence about the show’s future. Other sitcoms have been squashed by a lot less but Community is “the little cult hit that could.” The majority of the cast, crew, and fans soldier on and will continue to do so for at least a little while longer. As the fourth season begins, the show’s irreverent, self-referential humor appears unaltered by all of the behind-the-scenes upheaval. Yeah, that’s right, Harmon’s NBC sanctioned replacements, David Guarascio and Moses Port, didn’t Britta the premiere. In this impressive first episode, which is hopefully a sign of what’s to come and not some bait-and-switch anomaly, the gang return to Greendale after summer break and prepare for their senior year. Jeff (Joel McHale) informs the study group that he took online classes behind their backs (he’s still fighting the love he has for his wacky crew). As it turns out, Jeff is only one history credit away from graduation, news that amplifies Abed’s (Danny Pudi) anxieties about everyone eventually splitting up.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly thing about movie things, mostly dedicated to rounding up the best uncovered news of the day, with a few nice caveats thrown in for good measure. Tonight, it’s all business, baby. Nolan on Superman – “Superman is the biggest comic book character of them all and he needs the biggest possible movie version which is what Zack’s doing. It’s really something.” That’s pretty big there, Mr. Nolan. 

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that stays up late, making it a prime candidate for movies at midnight. Our evening begins with a shot from the upcoming season four premiere of Community (Oct. 19) that will include a parody of, you guessed it, The Hunger Games. It all centers around some lost student records and a competition to get into a class called “The History of Ice Cream.” I pre-enrolled, so I’m good.

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Welcome to This Week In DVD + This Week In Blu-ray = This Week In Discs! It’s a work in progress still, but we hope you enjoy. The entertainment industry appears to be celebrating our new baby by releasing a cinemetric ton of quality Blus and DVDs. Hope you’ve been saving your pennies… As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Father’s Day (Blu-ray/DVD) A young boy loses his eye to a sadistic madman after witnessing the murderous pervert rape and kill his father. Years later, Ahab is a pissed off, pistol-packing ex-con out for revenge and joined in his quest by a teenage (well, Porky’s kind of teenage anyway) street hustler and a young priest on a quest to send the demonic psychopath to the bowels of hell. In a week with The Raid, Kill List and Jaws all hitting Blu-ray why am I featuring this Troma release as my Pick of the Week? Because those titles have enough press behind them, and Father’s Day deserves some too. It’s gory as hell, foul as f*ck and funnier than any other movie featuring chainsaw-wielding strippers. If you can handle the bloodletting and copious nudity, both female and male (way, way too much male), then this is a four-disc special edition worth owning. You get the movie on Blu and DVD, a DVD of special features and a soundtrack CD. [Extras: Deleted scenes, Featurettes, Trailers, Short films by Astron-6]

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s working on writing its own epic climax, but it’s still wallowing in a very slow, methodical first act. Luckily, there will be news to report along the way. We begin tonight with a look at the first table read for the upcoming season of Community, which was tweeted out by the show’s official account early this evening. Noticeably absent is show creator Dan Harmon, who has since been let go from the cult sensation he birthed. All the same, it will still be nice to see the Greendale gang back in action.

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What is Comic-Con News After Dark? It’s taking over for a few days while Movie News After Dark goes off into the wilderness to find stories unrelated to Doctor Who. It’s taken focus a little too seriously. Also, Comic-Con News After Dark already has plenty of news about Doctor Who, including… Tonight’s top photo: Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill and Matt Smith, best known as the cast of BBC’s Doctor Who. They appeared today at Comic-Con looking cool. Sunglasses are cool. Also, Karen is my dream girl.

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From the looks of it Django Unchained, Pacific Rim and Anything Marvel Does Forever are topping the list of the most anticipated movies hitting Comic-Con 2012. The question is, with 400 million (number estimated) other movie panels showing up in San Diego, how will you possibly see everything? And how can you see anything if you aren’t going to be there? Since the list of events is massive, we’ve teamed up with 14 other movie websites to make sure that every inch of the convention center is locked down. Consider this your portal, bookmark it, and return often to check out the full spectrum of coverage from ours and other fine sites. To get started, here’s a small look at what all of us are most excited to see.

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