Dexter

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Dexter was eight seasons of fantastic, frustrating, confusing, infuriating cable television, the final of which many longtime fans of the Showtime series had a difficult time getting behind.  It was polarizing, to say the least, which is why even early talks of a prospective spinoff, starring Michael C. Hall’s Dexter Morgan himself seems…weird. Kinda inexplicable. If you’re super late to the game, there be spoilers ahead. You’ve been warned.

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discs header i declare war

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. I Declare War A group of pre-teen boys (and one girl), some friends and some not, gather for a game of war in the back woods. Using sticks, a simple set of rules, and their endless imagination, the battle grows to include M-16s, grenades, bazookas, and more, but while all of those are allowed things soon take a dark turn. Jealousy and insecurity fuel one boy’s rage to the point where the war stops being a game. This Canadian import starts off like the perfect encapsulation of a day in the life of a twelve year old boy with its mix of physical activity and imagination-fueled violence. It becomes something more though as one of the boys begins to crack, and some of the kids enter a Lord of the Flies-like scenario built on fear and peer pressure. It’s a bit rough around the edges at times, particularly with some of the child actors, but it never lets go of its sense of fun. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Commentaries, featurettes, trailer]

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under-the-skin

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

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discs frontline

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Frontline: Raising Adam Lanza 2012′s mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, CT is a tragedy that will hang in the public consciousness for years to come, and as is always the case with events like this the media and the public find themselves desperate for answers as to why and how it could have happened. PBS’ continually excellent program, Frontline, takes a look at the shooter and the sole constant in his life, his mother. The public perception of the shooter is limited to simple, catchy headlines, rumors and repeated claims of his interest in guns and videogames, but unlike the attention whores dominating the 24 hour news cycle, Frontline takes time to get to the truth of the matter. They touch upon his interests, but instead of laying blame they make a point of acknowledging that those same interests were shared by many other boys, too. The issue here is mental health and a mother in over her head, and while I’m not a fan of giving the killers additional publicity in the press (via their name) it’s worthwhile when paired with journalism done right. [DVD extras: None]

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Old Spice Unchained

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s the most talented, most handsomest, often silliest movie news column on the planet. Movie news columns from other parts of the galaxy might be able to compete, but they are yet undiscovered, so they can suck it. He’s On a Horse – Sometimes memes are fun. In this case, mashing the Old Spice guy together with Samuel Jackson’s head house slave character in Django Unchained is a simple, wonderful choice.

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Channel Guide - Large

(Reader beware: There are spoilers in this article.) When we last left Dexter, the titular serial killer/blood spatter analyst/hoarder of olive green, long sleeve henleys had just offed Travis Marshall (Colin Hanks)— another in the show’s seemingly endless line of Miami based sociopaths—as his police lieutenant kid sister Debra looked on. It was a shocking moment, it was a game changing moment, it was a moment that was so satisfyingly big and sensational that it compensated for an uneven season. (In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that the general shoddiness of the earlier episodes was purposeful and meant to misdirect viewers and lower expectations for the crazy conclusion.) This new season picks up mere seconds after last year’s finale with a rattled Deb struggling to process what she’s just witnessed and quick-thinking Dexter—who’s standing beside a body swaddled in plastic wrap—Jedi mind tricking his sister into believing that he just “snapped.” From here, the season seven opener moves swiftly and assuredly as Deb agonizes over her decision to help Dexter cover up the murder and a new threat—a Russian crime syndicate—is thrown into the mix. The episode is packed with the sort of tense, unnerving scenes that made the Showtime series a hit and proves that any reports of Dexter jumping the shark were premature.

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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 a nightly movie-related link dump written by a guy who is having all kinds of trouble typing at the moment. Look out, all you armchair copyeditors. This one might get a little wld. We begin tonight with the story of the afternoon: Simpsons creator Matt Groening has revealed that Springfield, Oregon is the basis behind the Springfield where Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie cause trouble. In response, the folks at Gizmodo have used Google Earth to show us What The Simpsons’ Springfield Looks Like in Real Life. The people aren’t yellow, as it turns out.

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Attack the Block Chuck Taylor

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that has a bit of a fashion sense, a sometimes sexy side and perhaps even a creepy streak. It will use and abuse all of these facets of its game in tonight’s edition. This one, as they say, is a must-read. We begin tonight with an image of custom Attack the Block themed shoes made by Toni Taylor-Salisbury, whom you may know as Mrs. Junkfood Cinema. The lovely Kayla Kromer tweeted them earlier this evening, as yet another example of Mrs. Salisbury’s amazing work in the realm of geek footwear. You can check out her other work over on her Etsy store. Do it now. Then come back, because there’s more news.

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Channel Guide: A Column About TV

I’m not generally a fan of the phrase “jumped the shark.” I think it’s presumptuous; as if I personally decided the standards with which a show should continue, and how it should be evaluated. I know what you’re saying “but… that’s exactly what you do.” Yes, yes it is. But that doesn’t mean I don’t oftentimes feel bad about it. So when it came time to think of what aspect of 2011’s television offerings I would break down for your perusal, a nagging feeling piqued in the back of my mind – a lot of what’s on television should no longer be on television. And I’m not just talking about shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, or any other number of programs that have worn out their proverbial welcome in the Neilsen households of America. No, I’m referring specifically to the handful of TV shows that chose 2011 as the year to hammer that final nail in the coffin of television irrelevancy. Just what, pray tell, are these shows that I’ve deemed no longer worthy of filling my DVR? Read on, and when preparing the hate mail, remember that Mikela has one A, not two.

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Channel Guide: A Column About TV

I mooch Showtime off of family, friends, and strangers so it wasn’t until earlier this week that I was able to finagle my way into someone’s home to watch the Dexter finale. This is less of a personal confession and more of a warning. Yes, I will be breaking in to your house this Christmas/Hanukkah to jack cable TV from you but more importantly, if you don’t always watch Dexter finales when they originally air and still haven’t seen the shocking yet, in many ways, inevitable conclusion to season 6, then I suggest that you stop reading this right now. Though, before we address those last couple of minutes, let’s look at the season as a whole, which was the most ambitious, heavy-handed, and ultimately weirdest to date.

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This Week in Blu-ray

This Week in Blu-ray we take a late look at some of the best releases from four days ago, and eleven days ago. Okay, so it’s been a boring fortnight in Blu-ray, so were combining two weeks worth of coverage into one shot of high definition adrenaline. In this long list, however, you will find plenty of stuff worth your time and money. This includes a definitive release for The Dude, an adventure with Trolls, some time spent with everyone’s favorite serial killer and a few under-the-radar, direct-to-DVD films that are worth watching at least once. The Big Lebowski For The Dude shall get the release he so deserves. That’s how I would assume it is written in the Book of Lebowski. And that’s what we have here: the Blu-ray release — for the most part — The Dude has deserved all along. Not only is the Coen Brothers’ most popular cult hit presented in crisp, dynamically transferred and near-perfect HD, it is also presented with a few new special features. The packaging isn’t as impressive as the DVD edition I have on my display shelf that comes inside a bowling ball, but I’m willing to look past that for this particular release. It’s a great movie and this is a very good Blu-ray release. There is some HD-exclusive content, including a picture-in-picture commentary track and an interactive pop-up trivia track. It also comes with Digital Copy, because you never know when you might want to bust out Lebowski and […]

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I used to love collecting TV seasons on DVD almost as much as collecting movies on DVD. But what the movie discs always added, things like commentary and behind the scenes docs, the TV discs completely lacked. After season 1, what’s left to say? We know how the show got made, why people got cast as they did, what a pain in the ass it was to get the pilot produced, the re-casting that occurred after the pilot. Extra content was hard to come by. For crying out loud, the most recent season of Dexter’s special features included episodes of other Showtime programs. Those are ads, not bonus features. A movie on DVD is easy. It’s a single thing, the story exists in that movie and that movie alone (usually). I don’t have to pop in the next five discs just to get to episode 22 where I find out that House is still a drug addict or that Jack is still really angry about something. In order to re-watch a TV series, especially a serialized one, I have to re-watch the entire thing. Very few shows exists that I enjoy watching single episodes of. I recently spent the last few weeks selling all my old TV on DVD sets, even the ones I had the complete series for, simply because I wasn’t watching them. As I packaged each one and put it into the mail box, I realized how much money I spent on the set, and how useless of a purchase it really was.

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This Week in DVD

Welcome back to FSR’s weekly look at new DVD releases hitting shelves both real and virtual! It’s a relatively slow release week with nothing worth buying, but there’s still a minor theme involving three historically solid directors whose latest work shows them to be in major slumps. Luc Besson, John Carpenter and Robert Redford, I’m looking at you. Other releases this week aside from The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec, The Ward, and The Conspirator include Cary Fukunaga’s pretty but bland Jane Eyre, the hilarious clergy molestation comedy Priest, and the latest season of Showtime’s Dexter series. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. The Bang Bang Club Four photographers in South Africa become fast friends as they cover the bloodshed and warfare accompanying the end of apartheid. The film, based on a memoir by two of them, highlights the daily dangers and moral struggles faced by photographers in a war zone. Of the many questions the film asks the one about helping your subjects instead of simply taking their picture and moving on is handled with tragic honesty. Ryan Phillippe and Taylor Kitsch both deliver strong, grounded performances, and the narrative never bores as it moves between drama and action.

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Yup, it’s that time of the year again. That time of the year where we TV folk bitch and moan about what shows won’t be getting some golden Emmy love because the Academy is full of old people who think basic cable is what holds up the Brooklyn Bridge, which they also saw get built… I think… That said, this year’s Emmy Nominations are no more surprising than they were last year. Mad Men leads in the scripted drama series dept with nineteen nominations, but more interestingly, the HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce leads the overall with twenty one nominations. Before we get and further into this, let’s check out some of the shows that didn’t get nominated for anything in either overall, acting or technical categories (not that any of this matters, like usual).

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After last Tuesday’s TV news bombshell that consisted of FOX obliterating pretty much every under-performing show on their schedule, many wondered what could be next from the networks in terms of picks-ups and cancellations. Well, NBC has decided to answer that question with a slew of pick-ups, none of which involve the words “wonder” or “woman.” At the moment the fourth place network has called for series orders from four pilots including Whitney a sitcom based on the stand-up comedy and starring Whitney Cummings. The Steven Spielberg produced, Gleeish musical-comedy Smash. The U.S. adaptation of the British series Prime Suspect and the Christina Applegate starring Up All Night. But that’s not all. It appears that NBC decided to have a little heart yet again as reports are filing in from all across the internet saying that spy-comedy CHUCK has indeed been renewed for a fifth season. This is by far the best news I’ve heard all day.

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Gather ’round my friends for the column that never ends. You’ll be delighted by the insights, come inside, come inside… Alright fine. But I get points for trying. Another round of movie news is about to be in your face just after the break. This evening we explore the blood-splattering of everyone’s favorite blood-spatter analyst, Morgan Spurlock’s meta-movie, a Wicked show with no music, fiction from a movie blogger and the big bad guy from The Green Hornet, among other shenanigans. It’s Movie News After Dark!

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Boiling Point

With the ubiquity of crime scene investigation on television these days, odds are you’ve watched a few either out of interest, boredom, or just giving up on finding something on air that didn’t involve super smart, super attractive lab geeks. Whether you’re talking about Law & Order, CSI: Insert City, Dexter, or any number of others, the game remains the same: pretty people touching ugly things. When one touches ugly things, be it SVU styled semen-stained sheets or a room soaked in blood, you’ve got to protect your manicured hands: enter the rubber glove. Meant to keep all that nasty goo off of your hands for many reasons: cleanliness, sanitary reasons, disease protection, fetishism. From the Coroner in Castle to Dexter on Dexter, in any hour of television you’ll probably see someone slip on the glove. Then you’ll probably see them contaminate all sorts of shit.

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Boiling Point

The Taser, or stun gun, has become ubiquitous on our screens. Whether you’re watching YouTube videos, the nightly news, Dexter, Burn Notice, or Death Race, and any number of other shows and movies, you’re probably going to see someone get stunned. Maybe it’s hilarious, like in The Hangover or maybe it’s not. You’d think that with so many real videos of bros, grandmas, and the wheelchair bound being stunned almost nightly on the news and internet that Hollywood would have a pretty firm grasp of how a Taser works and what it does to a person. You would, of course, be wrong.

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With premiere week over I’ve compiled a list of the week’s top premieres from each night. The winner of each night is based upon the quality of the writing, the shows entertainment value and if it’s a new series, the shows sustainability. This year had some extremely heavy hitters and some of the best performances we have seen on the small screen. So without further ado, here are the winners of the FSR Fall 2010 Watch List (please note that this list only applies to shows that started before or during the week of September 19th). Sunday: Boardwalk Empire In what should come as no surprise, Boardwalk Empire was top dog on Sunday. I’m not big into period pieces which is why I really never got into Mad Men, but Scorsese has made me fall in love with the 20′s and Atlantic City. Steve Buscemi is a great lead and a guy I can’t wait to watch every week. If only Scorsese could direct every episode and not just the pilot.

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published: 04.17.2014
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published: 04.17.2014
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published: 04.17.2014
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published: 04.16.2014
B+

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