Category Archives: Television

Day Of The Doctor DVD/BD Streets on December 10th!

Wow. I know that home video windows are shrinking, but I am not sure that I have ever seen a 17-day window, before. I mean, except for day-and-date releases, of course. At any rate, this would make a perfect Christmas gift for your favorite Whovian. I have to say, I loved the special and am sure to watch it over and over again, as I am wont to do with Dr. Who episodes (and The West Wing, Babylon 5, Buffy….but that’s for another post).

The disc has quite a few extras but not, alas, the wonderful and hysterical The Five(ish) Doctors, which you can see here. Either way, this was a fantastic entry to the Doctor Who franchise and a must have for any Whovian on your holiday gift list (including me…hint hint!) Buy it here!

 

Extras include:

• Doctor Who Explained – The entire 50-year history in one 50-minute special

• Two mini-episodes – “The Night of The Doctor” and “The Last Day”

• Behind-the-scenes featurette – Go behind the scenes at the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special – on set and on location – featuring interviews with Matt Smith, Jenna Coleman, David Tennant, Billie Piper and John Hurt.

• San Diego Comic-Con trailer of Doctor Who: The Day of The Doctor

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary tribute teaser trailer

Doctor Who – 50th Anniversary Special - The Day of the Doctor
Matt Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt as The Doctor, The Doctor and….The Doctor. Photo Credit: ADRIAN ROGERS, © BBC

 

Blu-Ray:  Instant Video:

Martin Bashir Should Never Have (Been Forced To) Resign

And here’s why…

I submit to you that what Martin Bashir says in the clip below absolutely pales in comparison to many of the things Sarah Palin and her ilk have said, repeatedly. Indeed, the very thing that sparked Bashir’s outrage, that the US national debt to China would be like being a slave, is worse than anything Bashir said by an order of magnitude. Hell, she even knows she’s going to get shit for it. She prefaced her remarks by stating that they weren’t racist! Methinks thou dost protest too much….

Let me explain my reasoning.

By equating being in debt to being a slave, by pretending that the two experiences are even remotely similar, Palin demeans millions of human beings and shows that her understanding of human experience is lacking to an extreme.

On the other hand, the worst that can be reasonably said about what Bashir said is that it was unprofessional. Perhaps it was even against some sort of MSNBC code of conduct and as such, a public apology, a suspension (without pay) may have been in order.  But for the man to lose his job because he expressed his opinion in the way he did, is shortsighted and unjust. It’s also hypocritical. Fox News personalities routinely spew the most hateful, racist bile and are never disciplined by that massive misnomer of a media organization.

This is also emblematic of the lack of critical thinking and subtlety that permeates American culture, these days. Bashir was not saying that someone should literally shit in Sarah Palin’s mouth. I am sure that if you asked him, he would agree that such behavior is barbaric and not acceptable, even as a punishment for those we revile. It was hyperbole. Bashir was outraged by Palin’s remarks and reacted in an emotional, colorful, and ultimately effective way. Is the right wing so thin-skinned that they can’t let it go? If I screamed for their head every time Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity said something offensive, I’d be permanently apoplectic and hoarse.

Here’s how this exchange would have worked in a reasonable world (and I am paraphrasing, of course):

Palin: “When we’re in debt to the Chinese, it will be like slavery!”

Bashir: “You’re an idiot, Sarah! Someone should shit in your mouth.”

Palin & Bashir, simultaneously: “I apologize. I used insensitive analogies and simplistic and hyperbolic imagery to express my anger at a situation. I apologize unreservedly to (Sarah Palin/Slaves).”

Bashir: “But you’re still a moron, Sarah.”

Palin: “Bite me, Martin.”

See? That way we keep our healthy left-right antagonism, yet realize that this particular brand of partisanship is all just a bunch of bullshit.

 

Home Video Roundup: Some upcoming nuggets of goodness!

In what I plan on making a regular feature, here are a few upcoming video releases that I am looking forward to. They aren’t full reviews, because I don’t have my hands on copies (yet) but I know (or know of) the source material and I am damn excited to see them all! Included are: I, Claudius, Treme, Dark Shadows, A Dangerous Method, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (yay!) and (drum roll, please…) Sherlock!!!!

Today brings The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and how I love it, let me count the ways! One of my top 10 films of 2011, this is going to be a regular view of mine for a long time. Its stunning visual and sound design make it perfect for a transfer to BD and I sincerely hope they don’t fuck it up. It’s loaded with extras as well, with the press release listing almost four hours of goodies, including Commentary by Director David Fincher, character profiles, location features and some very cool sounding post-production stuff, including “Main Titles (Multi-Angle) With Commentary by Tim Miller of BLUR Studio.”

Sherlock, Season 2 (May 22nd)
While this brilliant BBC show starring Benedict Cumberbatch (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and nominee for best name ever) and Martin Freeman (The Hobbit) and created by Steven Moffat (Doctor Who) and Mark Gatiss (Doctor Who) is packaged and marketed as having seasons, it’s really a hybrid, as each season is actually a collection of three 90 minute films with common narrative elements so yes, it’s a series but a slightly different kind. There have been six episodes so far, with a 3rd season having been commissioned by the BBC. No date has been announced for series three, however. Watch season one (4 Emmy nominations, 3 BAFTAs and a Peabody Award, among others) and season two and then wait, breath held, for season 3. Yes, it’s that good. Oh, and two words: Lara Pulver. Also recently out from BBC Home Entertainment is the 10th and oh so very sadly, final season of their superlative espionage series, Spooks (MI5, in the US). Do yourself a favor and watch the first season. If you’re not buying the DVDs or BD after that, I’ll be shocked.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in the BBC's "Sherlock."

Continue reading Home Video Roundup: Some upcoming nuggets of goodness!

Star Trek: TNG meets Doctor Who? Erm…..

In the “I’m not sure about this” category, BBC and IDW have announced a bizarre crossover “event” between Star Trek: TNG and Doctor Who, involving the Borg and the Cybermen, with the entire galaxy at risk. (What? Not the Universe?)  Erm, ok. I mean, I love TNG and I adore The Doctor, but just because both are beloved sci-fi franchises doesn’t mean they work well together. That said, some veteran writers of each series are behind this eight-issue series, including Scott and David Tipton, (Star Trek: Infestation) with a “helping hand” from longtime Doctor Who writer Tony Lee.

I mean, would you really want to see a Buffy/Twilight crossover? Not unless it was just so Buffy could kick Edward’s scrawny, gitter-covered arse. Harry Potter teaming up with the Halliwell sisters? Pass. Kirk and O’Neill, fighting the Goa’uld and Klingons? I think not.

Just look at the ways the two shows treat time travel. In Star Trek, it’s a rare and dangerous occasion. In Doctor Who, well, it’s what he does. All the time. With ease. Imagine how annoyed Picard will get with The Doctor running around the bridge in a fez! I mean, if it’s going to be funny….

Word is, however, that it’s not going to be in the least bit funny. From the IDW press release:

Launching in May, STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION/DOCTOR WHO: ASSIMILATION2 will feature fan-favorite villains the Borg and the Cybermen as they create an unholy alliance resulting in potential disaster for all humanity. Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise find themselves joining forces with the Doctor and his companions, with the fate of the galaxy hanging in the balance.

My point is, teaming up characters in the same “universe” is fine but this one feels forced and seems like it has the potential to be a disaster. But I don’t wanna be a Scrooge and since I love both of these shows, if they can pull this off, I would be a happy geek. Lord knows, the Cybermen and the Borg have a lot in common and I bet The Doctor would get a real kick out of experimenting with the replicators to find the optimal recipe for fish fingers and custard…

The series hits stores in May.

“The Invisible War” and the Ongoing Subjugation of Women in America

Congratulations to director Kirby Dick and producer Any Ziering for the pickup of their powerful new doc The Invisible War by Cinedigm Entertainment Group and New Video. I saw the film at Sundance and in addition to being a great film, it’s extraordinarily important in these times of increasing violence against and institutionalized subjugation of women. [Trailer and other videos at the bottom.]

In my wrap of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival I wrote of the film: “A heart-breaking and shocking look at rape in the military, Dick’s film details the pain, shame, horror and lasting damage caused by the attacks as well as the shocking hypocrisy and cover-ups endorsed by the military establishment.”

Some stats from the US Department of Defense:
20% of ALL servicewomen have been sexually assaulted while serving.
Women who have been raped in the military have a PTSD rate higher than men in combat.
An estimated 500,000 women have been sexually assaulted in the US military.
In 2010, according to the Department of Defense, there were 3,158 case of sexual assault within the U.S. military. It is estimated that more than 80% of those who are sexually assaulted don’t report it.

The film presents many more statistics, equally as disturbing.

While the subject matter is grim and at times the film is emotionally tough to watch, I will categorically say that this is a film everyone must see, especially educators. It’s a film that could potentially cause a sea change not only in the halls of Congress but in the high schools of America.

At the Q&A following the Sundance world premiere, a 17 year-old young woman in the audience stood up and said that while she had never been physically assaulted, verbal abuse was the norm in her school and she felt that every high school student needed to see the film because boys were not being raised to respect women. It was another poignant moment in the most emotional Q&A I have ever witnessed.

Continue reading “The Invisible War” and the Ongoing Subjugation of Women in America