Begin Again

by Alan Rapp on October 31, 2014

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: Begin Again
  • IMDb: link

Begin AgainReleased this week on Blu-ray and DVD, writer/director John Carney‘s tale of the unexpected friendship between a down-on-his luck record label exec (Mark Ruffalo) and a heartbroken singer-songwriter (Keira Knightley) ranked at the top of my favorite films from the first-half of 2014. My opinion hasn’t changed.

With a pair of terrific leads and a talented support cast that includes Hailee Steinfeld, Catherine Keener, Adam Levine, Mos Def, and James Corden, the movie works as well on home video as it did in theaters as the mismatched pair of attempt to record an album on the fly around New York City in an enterprise that is at least as much about getting over life’s recent hurdles as the finished project. For more, read my original review.

The Blu-ray includes music videos for the movie’s big numbers and a single behind-the-scenes featurette on the making of the film.

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  • Title: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – A Fractured House
  • wiki: link

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - A Fractured House

When HYDRA mercenaries begin publicly targeting high-profile targets under the guise of being S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, Coulson (Clark Gregg) orders his various agents around the world to go to ground and sends May (Ming-Na Wen), Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki), and Hunter (Nick Blood) to prevent the next attack. The poor publicity, the need for a politician on their side, and the unique leverage they can bring to bear also causes Coulson to reach out to Senator Christian Ward (Tim DeKay) who is either kinder or most sadistic member of the Ward family depending on who you chose to believe.

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Ashley Tisdale - Bello (August 2014)

Ashley Tisdale, Melanie Iglesias, and Samantha Hoopes all received their own cover shoots for the August issue of Bello Magazine. You can find pics from all three photo shoots inside.

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Arrow – The Magician

by Alan Rapp on October 30, 2014

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Arrow – The Magician
  • wiki: link

Arrow - The Magician

Alliances shift quickly in “The Magician” as Nyssa al Ghul (Katrina Law) arrives in Starling City in search of Sara and her killer as well as bring news of Malcolm Merlyn‘s (John Barrowman) survival of the Undertaking. From the looks of things in this episode Oliver (Stephen Amell), Thea (Willa Holland), and Malcolm are going to be tiptoeing their way around the truth quite a bit this season before all secrets are eventually laid out on the table.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #39

by Alan Rapp on October 30, 2014

in Comics

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #39Old Hob‘s would-be mutant army gets its first test when Pigeon Pete accidentally leads Rocksteady and Bebop right to them. Of course, it doesn’t take long for all hell to break loose. Realizing the danger her former enemies are in, Alopex steps out of the shadows and enlists the help of Angel and her high-tech suit. Donatello it seems has other plans.

More concerned with the events in Dimension X and the construction of the Technodrome nearing completion, Donatello leaves the group to enlist the help of Harold and work towards stopping the Krang invasion of Earth which he sees as a far greater threat that the Shredder‘s vendetta against Splinter and his family. I don’t expect this split to last all that long but it does open Donnie up for his own storylines while opening a spot on the team for my favorite new character of the series. Yeah, I’m pretty happy Alopex is back in action once more (now would somebody get busy making me a figure?). Worth a look.

[IDW, $3.99]

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Arrow – The Complete Second Season

by Alan Rapp on October 30, 2014

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: Arrow – Season Two
  • wiki: link

Arrow - The Complete Second SeasonPast mistakes loom large in Season Two of Arrow as old friends and enemies make their way to Starling City and Oliver Queen‘s (Stephen Amell) journey from killer to vigilante to hero continues. Split between flashbacks from the island and his time in Starling City following the Undertaking, the show’s Second Season forces the Queen family to deal with ghosts from their past and the arrival of another madman who has plans to burn the city to the ground.

Much of the season revolves around Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett) and Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) who returns home, much like Oliver, changed by her experiences following the shipwreck. Flashbacks deal with Slade’s exposure to the super-serum that makes him a mentally-unstable but nearly unbeatable warrior and the end of his friendship with Oliver. Slade’s arrival in Starling is slow to unfold, choosing to work through subordinates such as Brother Blood (Kevin Alejandro) to build an army of warriors and destroy the city Oliver swore to protect.

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Keira Knightley

Keira Knightley recently became the 50th subject of photographer Mario Testinto‘s Towel Series (low-key behind-the-scenes photographs of actresses and models in nothing but a towel).

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The Flash – Going Rogue

by Alan Rapp on October 29, 2014

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: The Flash – Going Rogue
  • wiki: link

The Flash - Going Rogue

Introduced way back in 1957 Captain Cold quickly became a staple of the Flash‘s Rogues Gallery. Although the comic character was responsible for building the device which game him his name, the television series otherwise stays relatively close to his origins of Leonard Snart (Wentworth Miller) as the skilled thief whose latest heist was stopped by the Flash (Grant Gustin) and decides he must step-up his game by upgrading his weaponry. Getting his hands on stolen Star Labs tech, which we learn was originally designed by Cisco (Carlos Valdes) as a method for stopping Barry if he proved dangerous, the newly-dubbed Captain Cold takes his freeze gun to both complete his robbery and kill off Central City’s new hero.

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  • Title: Star Wars Rebels – Rise of the Old Masters
  • wiki: link

Star Wars Rebels - Rise of the Old Masters

“Rise of the Old Masters” teases the appearance of another Jedi Master on the run, although it proves to be nothing more than a trick to lure the crew of the Ghost into a trap in the heavily guarded prison known as The Spire on Stygeon Prime it does provide the first face-to-face meeting between Kanan (Freddie Prinze Jr.) and Ezra (Taylor Gray) and the show’s coolest bad guy The Inquisitor (Jason Isaacs).

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Here’s Taylor Swift’s performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live of “Out of the Woods” from her new album 1989.

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