Person of Interest

KOCH header

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. Citizen Koch The sadly ridiculous details of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s election and recall fight are just part of the backdrop for this documentary about the U.S. Supreme Court’s “Citizen United” ruling and the rise of the Tea Party. At the center of it all are the billionaire Koch brothers (and other immensely rich donors), who having been empowered by the court’s decision unleash a tidal wave of legal support for political agendas. To be clear, this is not an impartial doc looking at two sides of a story. That may sound improper, but some things that look politically slanted are actually straightforward facts. Both sides of the aisle have seen their fair share if disgusting behavior, and this doc looks at the actions on the right that led to a heavy loss for the idea of a democracy of the people. The film spends a bit too much time with ex-governor/Congressman Buddy Roemer, but the core message and theme rings true elsewhere as the power of the people is blatantly replaced by the power of the dollar. You could argue that the people of Wisconsin got what they deserved (via the majority vote) as Walker proceeded to dismantle the state’s unions — and you’d be right — but that doesn’t make the damage and nationwide fallout any less distressing or unfortunate for America’s future. [DVD extras: Deleted scenes, […]

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Minority Report Precog

First, they took our TV shows and made them into movies. Then, they took our movies and made them into TV shows. What fresh horror will come next in the adaptation world? Radio, probably. But we’re still in that second phase right now. Case in point: Steven Spielberg is crafting a TV show out of his 2002 film Minority Report. As reported by The Wrap, he will use Amblin Television to front the show, with Godzilla writer Max Borenstein handling script duties. The Wrap presumes (just like every other person who hears this news) that the series will focus around the PreCrime police force, a special group of cops that use mutants with visions of the future to predict crime and then preemptively de-crime it. Spielberg is likely to choose a big-name star for the lead, and 20th Century Fox (who distributed the movie) may or may not have dibs on distributing the series. There is but one major issue with a Minority Report TV show: it’s already been done. Not in name, but in premise.

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Boiling Point

Death is a funny thing. Or maybe it’s not. I guess it really depends on the circumstances. It could be hilarious, like Weekend at Bernie’s or it could be tragic, like some kid left in a hot car too long. Either way, I want to see more of it. Specifically, I want to see more of it on network television, but cable and premium channels can take notes too. Why do I want more death? Because sometimes a character or story calls for it. We like shows about ultimate badasses. USA’s Burn Notice is very popular and used to be amazing – now it’s just pretty good – and it’s about an ultimate badass. A superspy who used to be heartless and presumably handed out death like candy. He’s teamed up with an ex-Navy SEAL, world renowned for their killing progress, and his terrorist IRA girlfriend who has definitely blown people up. When you take three of the most dangerous people on Earth and set them against really bad men, you’d expect a lot of blood, right? Wrong. Michael Westen has killed maybe one person in five years. Not very badass. So come on, let’s kill more people.

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When it comes to procedurals there’s no doubt that CBS is king. From the boys in Hawaii to the profilers in the F.B.I., over the last decade CBS has successfully taken the reigns of crime-of-the-week king from NBC. But this season they decided to have a little fun with the genre they know all too well. And that fun comes in the form of the latest program from the camp of J.J. Abrams, Person of Interest. The show follows former military man John Reese (Jim Caviezel) who is recruited by a very strange rich guy known only as Mr. Finch (Michael Emerson) who, through a machine he built for the government, is able to predict crime before it happens… Sort of… The machine can’t give out details without exposing Finch’s back door to the machine, so all he gets is the social security number of the titular person of interest, and that person could be the victim…or the culprit.

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This week begins what will be a host of premiers over the next month for all the new and returning shows of the fall season. Regardless of what your thoughts may be on this year’s crop, one can’t deny that the main theme across the board seems to be diversity. Shows from all walks of life are dancing (sometimes with stars) around the schedule this year, and perhaps it would be a good idea to pick out some favorites that you should definitely give at least a DVR record. So here are five new and five returning shows that you should be checking out.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news round-up article that would like you to know that it’s glad you weren’t Raptured. It loves having you around so that it can share links with you, bring you the latest news and provide you with a few laughs along the way. It didn’t want to see you vanish into thin air and leave the rest of us to fend off apocalyptic chaos. It’s also confused, as all the toilet paper in the Reject HQ bathrooms seems to have disappeared. How does toilet paper get Raptured? I’m always skeptical when small groups of journalists get a very early look at a major studio picture and come out of it with mostly positive things to say. I don’t question their enjoyment of what they saw, but it’s clear that someone is massaging the timing of the message. So when we see reviews starting to pop up for X-Men: First Class, I can’t help but look at them through cynical eyes. That said, I respect the hell out of Drew McWeeney at HitFix and his piece on Matthew Vaughn’s latest calls it ambitious, claiming that the story is tight and focused. That’s worth some consideration. Also, the above art depicts Muppets as X-Men. Brilliant, found via Geekologie.

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Next to The CW, CBS is the network we’ve heard next to nothing from in regards to shows getting picked up. Some announcements were made last month as well as yesterday, but over all there hasn’t been a definitive list yet. But that all changes this morning as CBS has announced their schedule for next season. As for the full list of returning shows? Not many surprises there: How I Met Your Mother; Hawaii Five-0; NCIS: LA; Criminal Minds; CSI: Crime Scene Investigation; The Mentalist; CSI: NY; Blue Bloods; Rules of Engagement; 48 Hours Mystery; The Good Wife; and CSI: Miami. As for the schedule itself? It’s actually quite radical. So before commenting on it, you should read it for yourself:

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Continuing with our on-going coverage of all things TV for the next few days, NBC has made yet another pick up announcement for four more series orders. The four pilots that have been picked up to series are “Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea, starring Laura Prepon, Free Agents, starring Hank Azaria, Bent, starring Amanda Peet, and BFF (formerly Best Friends Forever)” according to TV By The Numbers. The astute reader will notice that all of these series are comedies. Could NBC be planning another day worth of prime time comedy in addition to their already stacked Thursday night comedy block? It’s looking very likely. As for the cancellations? The peacock has decided to finally pull the plug on the god awful demon spawn that is The Event. The show has been an absolute mess since day one with a forcefully, and annoyingly convoluted plot. Let this failed show be a sign to all other networks, just because one sci-fi show is successful (LOST), doesn’t mean all of them will be. Of course, that’s not all that got cut.

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