Star Trek: The Next Generation

Warner Bros.

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. Winter’s Tale Peter Lake (Colin Farrell) is a man out of time in early 20th century New York City. He’s on the run from a devilish mob boss (Russell Crowe) when a last minute detour lands him in love with a socialite (Jessica Brown Findlay) dying of tuberculosis. Can their romance survive human mortality, a Jimi Hendrix-loving Satan and a self-directed script by Akiva Goldsman? Winter’s Tale, so named because some scenes take place when it’s cold out apparently, is a terrible movie in most senses of the word. The romance doesn’t work, the fantastic elements feel out of place, there’s barely a single effective moment of suspense or emotion and the metaphysical message is a confused jumble of words randomly typed by chimpanzees while peyote smoke is blown into their anuses by drunken clergymen. There’s no getting around any of that, and yet… I want you to see it. To experience it. And to confirm for me that I didn’t just dream the whole damn thing. Check out my full review here if you still need convincing. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Featurettes]

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discs the worlds end

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. The World’s End Twenty years ago five friends attempted an epic pub crawl, but their effort fell apart before reaching the final bar, The World’s End. Now the group is reluctantly back together again to try and rewrite history, but the past is an ever-growing obstacle thanks in large part to how much remains unchanged in their old stomping grounds of New Haven. Things get worse though when they realize why exactly that is. Edgar Wright‘s final entry in his thematic Cornetto trilogy found a divisive reception from fans of Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead, but in many ways it’s the best of the three. It’s incredibly funny, highly energetic, and perfectly cast (Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsan, Pierce Brosnan, and Rosamund Pike to name a few), but it stands out for two other reasons too. First, the film’s structure and execution are incredibly deep and detailed to the point that multiple viewings continue to reveal new connections. Second, and most surprisingly, it has the best fight scene of any film this year. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Commentaries, storyboard, trivia, featurettes, deleted scenes, outtakes]

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discs last will

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh Leon (Aaron Poole) has returned to his estranged mother’s (Vanessa Redgrave) home for the first time in years, but it’s her death that brought him back. Charged with going through her belongings before selling off the property he discovers that before she passed away his mother had developed an odd fascination with angels. The discoveries continue as strange events begin happening that lead him to believe his mother may be trying to communicate with him from beyond. Haunted house movies, both the good ones and the bad, usually share little more than a desire to entertain and scare, but the rare ones try to do a little more than that and make audiences feel or think as well. Writer/director Rodrigo Gudiño‘s debut feature belongs in that latter category as its creepy and atmospheric tale is accompanied by an examination of love, grief, and faith lost and found. There are scares here, but they’re subtle and disarming instead of loud and jump-worthy. If you enjoyed The Conjuring and you don’t have A.D.D. be sure to give this one a chance. [DVD extras: Commentary, featurettes, photo gallery, short film]

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commentary-st-tng-bestofboth

With Star Trek into Darkness looming only a couple weeks away, Paramount is unleashing a load of Star Trek discs onto the market. Some of them – like all of the films – have seen high definition before with previous Blu-ray releases. However, the more impressive assortment of choices come from the newly remastered television series. Season Three of Star Trek: The Next Generation is the latest year to get that treatment. However, that season ends in one of the biggest cliffhangers in television history, and that can be frustrating. To offset any ill will, the two-part season finale and season premiere “The Best of Both Worlds” is also available packaged as a single movie. The remastered version of these two episodes also comes with a commentary track, giving some insight into one of the most popular episodes of the series.

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Drinking Games

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re aware of the upcoming release of Star Trek Into Darkness on May 17. If you’re like me, you might be catching up on all things Star Trek before the movie comes out. Fortunately, a whole slew of Star Trek titles are being released on Blu-ray leading up to this release, including season three of Star Trek: The Next Generation, remastered in high definition. While this series isn’t the basis for the new film, it offers a good way to get into the Trek mood before the new film comes out in a few weeks.

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discs 043013

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. The Vampire Lovers A small town in the English countryside falls prey to the sensual whims of a vampiric lady, but her bosomy reign of terror approaches its end when a group of men set out for vengeance. Hammer Films’ adaptation of the literary classic “Carmilla” combines the old-school atmospheric horror they’re known for with some truly erotic happenings to great effect. Peter Cushing and Ingrid Pitt bring their own individual strengths in front of the camera while director Roy Ward Baker guides the film with his typically assured eye. It’s a slight story, but the film’s Blu-ray debut by way of Scream Factory looks better than it ever has. [Blu-ray extras: Featurette, commentary, interview]

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They say the world is divided into two types of people: those who prefer Star Wars and those who prefer Star Trek. Of course, they also say the same thing regarding Elvis Presley/The Beatles, chocolate/vanilla, and Charlie Sheen/Emilio Estevez. I’ve always leaned towards the Star Wars side of things (along with The Beatles, chocolate and Estevez), and to that end I’ve never before watched an entire episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The original series I’ve seen from beginning to end over the years, but The Next Generation? Never gave it the time. Which reminds me… the world is also divided into people who prefer Captain James Kirk and those who prefer Captain Jean-Luc Picard. The show ended its seven-season run in 1994, but the series has never received the high definition treatment that fans have been clamoring for. That HD drought ends this week as CBS-HD and Paramount bring all 25 episodes of the show’s first season to Blu-ray along with a strong complement of special features. And now I’m no longer an NCC-1701-D virgin.

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This Week in DVD

Welcome back to This Week In DVD! We take a look at fifteen new releases below, and a whopping eleven of them are good to great and worth your time! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Brake A man (Stephen Dorff) awakens in a plexiglass box that itself rests inside a car’s trunk. Confused at first, he soon learns his captors are after a very specific piece of information they need to complete a terrorist attack. Can he hold out against their threats and actions? This film bears thematic similarities to 2009’s Buried, but it’s a far superior experience (at least until the end anyway). Dorff does a fine job as the highly stressed lead, the story’s twists and turns are a solid mix of the expected, the smart and the unpredictable, and there are several genuinely exciting moments. Just be sure to turn it off about two minutes before the credits roll. [Extras: Commentary, featurette, music video]

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Channel Guide - Large

Yes, the moment you may or may not have been waiting for since 1991 is almost here: 21 Jump Street, the overly sincere, denim heavy, painfully ‘80s TV series about baby-faced cops going undercover in high schools, blowin’ up the spot and teaching everyone about morals or whatever, has been updated and turned into a movie that’s being released this weekend! The series, which aired from 1987 to 1991, served as a launching pad for the career of one of today’s greatest actors: Peter DeLuise. (Johnny Depp may have also been on the show.) The weird premise and casting of a pre-mega fame DeLuise are, I guess, what keep 21 Jump Street alive in our collective memory all of these years later. (Although, I don’t think that this new movie is necessarily intended for people who were fans of the series or who were even alive during its run.) Even though the whole “film based on old TV show” genre is ultimately the result of laziness, unoriginality, and rooted in the simple fact that that our memories and feelings of nostalgia can be exploited for profit, the release of 21 Jump Street means that series that existed in the ‘90s are starting to make their way to the big screen and that’s kind of exciting. So if this is where we’re headed, someone might as well start adapting the following shows.

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Even though today is a day that should come with rest, relaxation and no time spent on this website, I just can’t stop myself from sharing this with all of you. I have received many gifts in my day — including the gift or wordiness — but this box delivered unto me by the lovely Kayla Kromer takes the cake. It is a custom-made Borg Cube gift box, modeled after the famous ship of Star Trek: The Next Generation fame. As you know, I do love me some Star Trek, be it from the original series, the next generation or the most recent J.J. Abrams-led incarnation. So this struck a chord and made me feel all warm inside. And here’s the best news: if you have someone on your gift-giving list that also loves Trek and all her versions, Kayla has put together an easy-to-follow guide to making your own Borg Cube box. Just head over to Lounge Geeks and be crafty.

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Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart, most affectionately known by the geek community as either Capt. Jean-Luc Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation or Professor Charles Xavier in the X-Men films, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday.

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