Flashpoint

This Week in DVD

Welcome back to This Week In DVD! After a couple of sparse weeks we’re rewarded with a bevy of worthwhile DVD releases suitable for your viewing pleasure including a Criterion edition of Being John Malkovich, the teen super power adventure Chronicle, Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian Wood, Woody Harrelson playing bad cop/worse cop in Rampart, and Liam Neeson going head to head with wolves in The Grey. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Michael Michael works at an insurance firm, he hangs out with co-workers, he visits his mom and sister… and he has a ten year-old boy captive in his basement. The boy isn’t in chains, in fact he’s treated quite well aside from the captivity and occasional diddling. This calmly mesmerizing little Austrian drama about a few months in the life of a pedophile isn’t a thriller in the conventional sense, but goddamn are the final fifteen minutes suspenseful as hell. It’s a methodical and beautifully acted film that gets under your skin with its normality and subtle unpredictability.

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At this point, the undying love yours truly has for the Canadian cop drama Flashpoint is more than known. The dynamics of its three-dimensional characters, the quality of its episode to episode stories as well as its season/series long arcs, the high standard of acting employed by both its regular and episode specific cast, all these things make for one of the best television experiences anyone can have. This week’s episode was especially important as it’s Flashpoint‘s first go around in the U.S. since leaving the airwaves of CBS for ION. The episode did not dissapoint.

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This Week in DVD

One of the best things about writing for a movie website like Film School Rejects is access to the “hookers and blow” combo deals at film festivals. That probably counts as two best things, but the takeaway to remember here is that there are the occasional perks to the gig. The actual best thing though (aside from meeting some great and fun fellow movie lovers) is exposure to films I may never have seen otherwise. One such example is this week’s Pick, an American indie that I only caught via screener when it hit theaters… in the UK. Other releases this week include a re-release of Dario Argento’s fantastic Deep Red, a vengeful Djimon Hounsou in Elephant White, the gorgeous Minka Kelly in The Roommate, Jason Statham stretching as an assassin for hire in The Mechanic, Anthony Hopkins drinking Chianti with Satan in The Rite, and more. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Brotherhood A group of hopeful fraternity pledges find themselves in a real pickle when the initiation process results in several serious crimes and one pledge bleeding to death on the couch. This is a fantastic thriller that rarely takes a minute to breathe once the action and suspense starts. It’s also filled with strong performances including what deserved to be a star-making turn by Trevor Morgan. From my my full review… “[This] is a rare and unexpected success in that it takes a relatively well worn plot, jettisons […]

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A few weeks ago, news came out that CBS was dropping their CIA comedy CHAOS from the schedule, and as a result was pushing the U.S. premiere of established police procedural Flashpoint up a month to the 8pm slot. A slot which is new to the show as Flashpoint has always been switching between the 9pm and 10pm slots since it began in the summer of ’08. I had the chance to ask series co-creator Mark Ellis about what fans can expect from the upcoming season:

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Following a very successful premiere this past Sunday, HBO has made the decision to renew the critically acclaimed, medieval fantasy series Game of Thrones for a second season. The premiere scored a ratings of 2.2 million on the original airing and over the course of multiple reruns pulled in a final total of over four million viewers. It’s clear that Game of Thrones won’t be going anywhere any time soon. But while premium cable thrives, broadcast television falters as CBS pulled their CIA comedy CHAOS from its schedule after only three episodes, effective immediately. The series was averaging a little over five million viewers on Friday nights at 8pm. As a result of the cancellation, CBS has moved up the U.S. premiere of hit police procedural Flashpoint to May 6th in the 8pm time slot. And before you go, here are some other recently announced pick-ups:

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Before the days of LOST, 24, Battlestar Galactica, It’s Always Sunny and Mad Men, there was one thing everyone could agree on. The cop was king. Dragnet, JAG, Magnum, P.I., Miami Vice. These are shows that defined their generations and set the bar of quality programming. Maybe it was the fact that the characters were witty jerks who just can’t get enough out of pissing each other off. Maybe it was the fact that characters in the genre were always in search of that one defining moment in their lives. Maybe it was just the eternal battle between good versus evil. Whatever it was, cop shows held a special place in many people’s hearts. With the exception of a select few, the genre as a whole went down hill in the last two decades, but after seeing what the last two years had to offer, I think that the once beloved genre is getting ready for a second coming.

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Team One is under investigation after an active spree shooter at a gala leaves one of the highest, and bloodiest body counts in the unit’s history. Things get even more unstable when an SIU agent (Lauren Holly) is called in to asses Team One’s conduct. Was the SRU out of line, or were they acting by the book? At the end of the day, there is much more to this investigation than the agent is willing to lead on. And by the end, her true motive for her ruthless hunt will be answered. And Team One will be faced with one of the worst nights of their lives.

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A little girl who has been crying wolf to 911 for the last month is suddenly faced with a real life crisis when her mother is gunned down at point blank range in her home. Now it’s up to Greg, Ed and the rest of Team One to find her and her father before the other three gunman find them. But there is much more to this little girl than any of the SRU realize. At the same time, Greg receives an unexpected visit to SRU HQ. And this person has come to deliver a message that will rattle him to the core.

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Flashpoint

Team One suits up for a hot call in a residential neighborhood after some people reported a loud fire cracker like sound. Turns out that, that sound was the bullet of a Mac10 being fired inside a stash house where a buy is currently taking place. Upon storming the front of the house the team discovers that Ed’s brother Roy is behind the buy. Now it’s up to Team One to figure out if Roy has turned to the wrong side of the law, or is he in fact playing an elaborate game of undercover cat and mouse to take down one third of the entire Toronto illegal gun supply.

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It’s an average night in Toronto. That is until a group of kids kidnap a teen and assault him. That’s where the SRU comes in. At first they try to find the abducted teen, but soon learn that he escaped the clutches of his attackers, who happen to also be his team mates. But then things take a turn for the worse when the abductee shows up on the roof of his school threatening to jump off. Now it’s up to Parker, Ed and the rest of the team to talk him down before it gets any worse, while at the same time trying to figure out why the team members assaulted him in the first place.

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Teams One and Four suit up when a 911 call comes through the line from someone claiming that a Neo-Nazi cult is planning a mult-bomb threat across the city. But things don’t go as planned when some of them escape after the initial raid. Now it’s up to the SRU to not only take down the cult, but find the bombs and defuse them before all hell breaks loose. Major developments: Jules may have a new love interest. What worked: The best episodes of South Park are the ones where the boys are just being boys. The best episodes of House are the ones where House just being a genius doctor. The best episodes of Futurama are the ones where the crew is just going on a wacky adventure. And the best episode of Flashpoint are the ones where the team is just doing their jobs, and that’s what this episode was all about. Multi-team hot call, 911, Neo-Nazi raids, shootouts, and that’s all before the opening title sequence. I said that last week’s episode lacked in action, well this episode made up for it big time. Between Parker getting shot (which I did not see coming), a massive warehouse shoot out and a multi-level bomb threat, this episode is jam packed with action. And more importantly, quality action. Action you don’t see much on TV anymore now that shows like 24 are off the air.

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The SRU is called in after a woman kidnaps two little girls. But things take a major turn when it’s discovered that the woman is actually the biological mother of the girls she has taken. Now Team One must track her down and get the girls back before she goes off the deep end. Major developments: Greg learns about Ed’s wife’s pregnancy and also decides to re-connect with his son who he hasn’t seen in ten years. What worked: This episode is what I hope to be the beginning of an ongoing story line with Greg. He has talked about his son throughout the season and last weeks episode explained why Greg’s ex-wife took his son to Houston. Now he realizes that things have changed and he wants to see him again. It’s a very cool dynamic that show needs, because Greg has been really down played this season so far.

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Flashpoint is an action/drama series on CBS about a SWAT-like team of police officers who use state of the art weaponry and technology to fight all kinds of crime. They also use their noggins. Merrill Barr is one of seventeen people who watch it on a weekly basis. This is his review… It’s a normal day for Greg Parker and the rest of the SRU. That is until Greg gets a mysterious text from an old friend. Upon arriving to the meeting place, Greg is kidnapped and forced to reveal a secret from his past. Now it’s up to the rest of the SRU to find him before the warehouse he’s being held in blows to kingdom come. Major developments: The only major character development is that we now know the reason why Greg is a recovering alcoholic.

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Flashpoint

After the death of his brother via OD. A one man vigilante sets out on a mission to rid the community of all drug dealers. The SRU has no choice to pursue him before he escalates to the point of no return. They will be faced with one of their greatest challenges to date, is a good citizen, who just wants to rid his community of evil a bad guy? Major developments: Apparently the FBI is interested in hiring Spike.

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The Week That Was

Every Saturday, I abuse my power as Publisher of this website to pick and choose the best content from the past week. This week, it’s all about Inception. With Christopher Nolan’s latest in theaters, the halls of FSR were buzzing with coverage from the junket, chats with the composer and a milestone: our first A+ grade of the year. But wait! There’s more to the story this week. As we go around the horn, we check in with Rob Hunter’s fetish for the weirdest films of the world, we get ready for Comic-Con and we’re not exactly sold on David Fincher’s Facebook movie. This and more in The Week That Was…

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Flashpoint

Every serial killer has his first day, and when the SRU gets called to the site of a motel room after an unintentional kidnapping, they soon learn that one of the hostages is not who they appear to be. At the same time, Ed learns that there is much more than his cop family at stake now, as he will soon have an unexpected surprise in his life. Jules also begins to take a much more offensive role when she finds a connection with the condemned subject.

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Flashpoint

Whether you watch it or not (or have even heard of it), Flashpoint is one of the best dramas (cop or otherwise) on television right now. Action, drama, a hint of comedy, great writing, it’s got it all, and it shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. The show features an amazing cast of TV hard hitters including Amy Jo Johnson, Enrico Colantoni and Hugh Dillon. Now in its third season on CBS (or second if you go by the CTV numbers), this Canadian import has proven to be a huge hit for both networks. Now having been picked up for two more seasons, one of which that has already completed production, it looks like a bright future is ahead for the program. I had the chance to sit down with the shows creators Mark Ellis and Stephanie Morgenstern to discuss what’s in store for the future.

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