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Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 1
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 1
DVD ~ Andy Samberg
Price: $29.94
11 used & new from $24.60

5.0 out of 5 stars Best New Comedy on TV!, May 7, 2014
This review is from: Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 1 (DVD)
Brooklyn Nine Nine’s first season was one of the strongest first seasons of a comedy in recent years. Most of the great comedy series have taken until season 2 or 3 to really hit their stride. Brooklyn 99 had started to gel as a comedy series halfway through the first season. The characters within the show were quickly established and the chemistry between the amazing ensemble cast had started to produce some hilarious episodes. Credit has to go to the writer/creators Dan Goor and Mike Schur. Having previously worked on The Office and Parks and Recreation it was clear the lessons they had learnt on these two shows helped them develop Brooklyn Nine Nine into a great comedy quickly. Juel Bestrop did some amazing casting. The most genius casting decision was hiring Andre Braugher.
Andre Braugher has done some outstanding work in drama and his work as Detective Frank Pembleton created one of America’s best television characters. There was actually a lot of comedy within Homicide and he continued some of that work in Men of a Certain Age. He can definitely pull off comedy but he has been a revelation in this series. The writers have used him well, giving him dramatic moments to ground the series and giving him outrageous comedic scenes that surprise and shock. Andre’s reaction to the statistical analysis of Moneyball was one of the series funniest scenes. Andy Samberg may have won a Golden Globe but Andre deserves an Emmy for his work in Brooklyn Nine Nine.
The show’s biggest problem in the first series was with it’s star Andy Samberg. It took a while to get the character of Jake Peralta right. Initially he was simply too silly, and when there was too much Peralta it took the show too far away from reality. Although developing the relationship with Santiago may have been an obvious choice the growth in their relationship through the first series helped the character a lot. Seeing Jake have a few more serious moments helped when he then does deliver some great comedy.
The first season had many great episodes. “The Party” was probably the best. Getting the series away from solving a weekly case proved to work wonders. The entire cast visiting Captain Holt at his home and trying to impress him produced some hilarious scenes. In this episode we also got to meet the Captain’s husband and learn that Holt’s friend actually he thinks he is one of the funniest people they know. The Party was the perfect mix of character development, great interactions between the cast members and sharp writing.
“The Pontiac Bandit” featured a great guest appearance from Craig Robinson. His obsession with Rosa provided some great laughs and it was a smartly written episode that hopefully leads to the return of Robinson in this role. He could prove a great nemesis for Jake.
“Old School” was a great episode which explored the cops of the past with their present day counterparts. It showed the police setting can actually really work for a comedy. Stacey Keach was excellent as an old beat reported comparing the rough cops of the 70s to the present day.
“Sal’s Pizza” featured fire marshal Boone played by Patton Oswalt. The rivalry between the cops and the fire department made for some great scenes as they fought over a case. It also featured Boyle talking about his weekly pizza email blasts and his reviews which take into account “mouth feel.” This was a great character development for Boyle, and was when Joe LoTruglio really started to shine on the show. He quickly started to stand out with his excellent display of physical comedy. I think when he got engaged it started to move away from his best work but thankfully that storyline has ended so we can get back to regular Boyle (not full Boyle).
The key to Brooklyn Nine Nine becoming a great comedy is really about making the audience care about the characters. I think they are well on their way to achieving that. If they can build on the first season they can maintain one of TV’s strongest comedies. Although the show has received great reviews from the critics it has struggled to find an audience. People may have started the show and given up or never given it a chance but if you buy the first season on DVD or Blu-Ray I can guarantee you will end up a fan.


The Walking Dead - Xbox 360
The Walking Dead - Xbox 360
Offered by Game Acropolis
Price: $47.00
43 used & new from $13.15

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing, emotional journey, December 13, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This is a truly incredible gaming experience. This is Telltale's finest work. It is one of the most emotionally draining experiences you will get in a video game. The voice acting is some of the finest I've ever heard and the writing is so far above the "Industry standard" that for just $30 buying the season is a no brainer. This game series will most probably win many game of the year awards, it has already won many. Following Lee & Clementine through this 5 episode experience has been amazing, with many twists and turns and the final episode brings everything together at the end. I think the best way to play this game, is play it once, live with your choices, and experience the outcomes. Our lives are all about choices, we make mistakes, we make some good, some bad, this game manages to address this in a very smart way, and makes you wonder where the humanity is, in a zombie infested world. Who can you trust? Who should you keep alive? What will you do to save a child? Buy this game, play it, and remember it for bringing the art of video gaming forward.


Men of a Certain Age: Season 1
Men of a Certain Age: Season 1
DVD ~ Ray Romano
Offered by Junction 64
Price: $15.69
72 used & new from $3.02

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Men of a Certain Age shines the light back on two great actors, November 2, 2010
Men of a Certain Age is the brand new TNT show from Ray Romano. It stars Ray alongside two of televisions finest actors Scott Bakula and Andre Braugher. The show focuses on three friends each dealing with being in their mid 40s. It's ostensibly a drama with some lighter comedic moments thrown in. The tone is perfect and it's very easy to feel for these characters.

Ray Romano plays Joe a recently divorced man who runs a party shop and has a gambling problem. Scott Bakula is a struggling actor finding it hard to land any new roles. Andre Braugher is working as a car salesman at his father's dealership. All three characters have compelling story lines which drive the show forward.

Two of my favorite actors of all time are Scott Bakula and Andre Braugher. Scott Bakula was brilliant as Dr Sam Beckett leaping in and out of people each week on Quantum Leap. Andre Braugher was a powerhouse performing as Detective Frank Pembleton on Homicide: Life on the Street. Homicide remains my favorite TV show of all time. I think both actors have struggled to find good projects since then, but they've both finally landed on a good show.

The chemistry between all the actors is fantastic. Their lifelong friendship is very believable. The scenes between them all at the diner, hiking or at home all work well. The person who I was truly surprised with is Ray Romano. I never considered him a great actor, he clearly is a great comedian and is now proving himself as a great writer. His character Joe really resonates. It's a very honest performance.

Andre Braugher is an incredible actor. He could read a phone book and I'd be glued to the screen. This is a very different role though. It was originally written for Bunk from The Wire but when David Simon required him for his new HBO show "Treme" Andre came in at the last minute. I'm glad he did, he does play more comedy here than he is known for. I think Andre can do comedy just fine, there is plenty of funny scenes between Pembleton and Bayliss on Homicide as examples of that. This is no raging Pembleton in the box though. It's no good vs evil showdown with the intensity of an interrogation. Even so, It's no less enjoyable. Here Andre's character is really struggling, trying to support his wife and kids and do a job that he simply doesn't want to do. He's a broken character so it will be interesting to see his journey over the course of the season.

Scott Bakula is another actor who can have some amazing dramatic moments. He play's the comedy to perfection in his role. I think the way these characters interact with the younger characters is telling. They've already been through it all before so they look on in bemusement. Still, Scott's character still clings to his youth and even begins dating a 25 year old. I love the scene where he goes to an audition for a lifetime series and stands in the hall. He is surrounded by plenty of other good looking 40 year olds who are great actors. There is a sense of resignation to his situation.

This show got overlooked when it first aired but it's clearly that a new show that you should discover on DVD. It's something different. There's not any show on TV dealing with middle age men. It's not simply about a mid-life crisis. These are very well drawn characters,very realistic, and extremely watchable. Give this show a chance I think if it can find an audience on DVD it has plenty of seasons left in it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 7, 2010 6:24 AM PST


Heavy Rain - Greatest Hits
Heavy Rain - Greatest Hits
Offered by King Beardo
Price: $24.99
112 used & new from $6.47

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heavy Rain is heavy on the emotional drama while taking video games to a new level, March 19, 2010
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Heavy Rain is a video game unlike any other. The Playstation 3 exclusive was released to heavy acclaim and sales, selling 500,000 in its first week. It is not a traditional video game in today's current marketplace. The highest selling games these days are first person shooters. Even though the average gamer is 30 there is not much maturity in video game storytelling. Killing and murdering people for enjoyment is as far as it goes. If you look on the shelves it's shooter, sports game, racing game and music game. Not much goes outside these video game staples. Heavy Rain changes all that. It is a deep emotional journey that draws you in and poses tough life choices.

Nothing is black or white in this game. Each decision you make alters the way the story unfolds. You are not given time, so you often rely on a gut emotional reaction. You will regret decisions you make, just like life.

The central story follows Ethan Mars whose son has been kidnapped by the Origami killer. Ethan along with a private detective, FBI agent and reporter have only a few days to find him before he is killed. I think the most important aspect of Heavy Rain, is that it makes you think. It is just as strong in the high tension action scenes as well as the small moments. You get to go outside and play with your son at the beginning of the game. This emotional connection is important.

You're playing with your son in the backyard, suddenly you're in a mall and he goes missing. You go running through the mall, bumping into people, panicking, looking for him. I was completely immersed in this experience. This is the opening 20 minutes of the game. This is the kind of storytelling in a game I've been waiting years for. It really is something completely different and I love it.

Picking up your son from school, getting him dinner, doing homework, and playing in the schoolyard is given just as much importance as a street fight with a suspect. If your son is already upset with you, do you leave it that way or resolve it? These are the kinds of decision you are constantly making as the game progresses.

Heavy Rain is born out of classic adventure games. There are pieces of gameplay where you will need to uncover clues, remember moments and details within the game, and analyse evidence. A game like this has not been a huge commercial success since the 1990's.

The "quick-time-event" gameplay which has been heavily derided by those who haven't played the game works very well. The actions on the screen correlate to the button combination and controller movement. The game has made the absolute most out of the sixaxis. Imagine swinging the controller widely as you hurtle down the wrong side of a freeway. Or using simple slow movements to help calm a crying baby.

The dialogue options work extremely well. One word descriptions hover around the characters head. You can also hear characters thoughts at any time. When a player is particularly stressed the options begin to shake and blur. You don't have a lot of time to decide. This is what ramps up the tension and the emotional impact of what is unfolding. There are thousands of variations that can be made to the story based on what you decide to do.

The graphics are astonishing. The constant rain looks great on a HD TV screen. The characters faces are fantastic. The sets, which are many and varied, all look great. From a club, to a driving range, to a mansion and an Electric Factory. The 5 years of work it took to produce this game is evident on the screen.

The story is paramount. The characters are well drawn out. The game starts off slowly but moves at a steady pace between sets and characters. The noir feel of the game works perfectly. Once you get past the first act you will be hooked. I'm not one to rush through games, or put in serious 3-4 hour gaming sessions but for this game I did. I rarely finish games but I raced through Heavy Rain in just 4 days. It also left a lasting impression. Some people have quickly replayed the game to get different endings. I would rather just let the decisions I made sit with me. Everyone who plays this game will have a different experience. The story told to them will be one that they directed. The choices they made ultimately will decide who survives, the ending that results and the path of each character. Will players make decisions that they believe are true to the characters or true to themselves? I think ultimately you want Ethan to find his son, what will you do as his character to achieve that? These questions will linger, the answers are not easy. The emotional journey is something rarely seen in this medium. I have a feeling its impact will be felt long after its release. Quantic Dream have now set the standard for what can be done with storytelling and creating an engaging video game experience.


Honey I'm Home
Honey I'm Home
Price: $15.98
42 used & new from $5.92

5.0 out of 5 stars Al B Sure is a welcome return for an RnB Legend, December 26, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Honey I'm Home (Audio CD)
Al B. Sure recorded some classics."Nite and Day" was irrepressible. It remains one of my favorite songs today. It captures a mood. His falsetto was so strong, the emotion poured out and touched a lot of people. Still Al B. Sure hasn't released any new music in a long time. He now hosts a radio show in California. Finally he released a new album this year entitled, "Honey, I'm Home." It's an impressive return from a RnB legend.

The album begins with a snippet of "Nite and Day" just to remind you where he's come from. His falsetto remains as strong as ever. From the first note you know it's Al B. The album creates a great mood. All the songs are strong. I think the first half is definitely better, the latter half has more slow ballads. There is 12 songs clocking in at 50 minutes.

The album was released by Hidden Beach Records. They are best known for releasing Jill Scott's classic neo soul records. It's great they have gotten on board to release a new album from RnB royalty. It's only a small independent label so I hope you can support this album. We really need good music being released and doing well at the moment. I did have a hard time finding the album. It was not available on Itunes Australia. I had to order it from Amazon in the end but it was well worth it.

The highlights from my first few listens are "I Love It," "I'm Glad," "Lady in My Life" and "Only You." "I'm Glad" has a really strong falsetto chorus that you can easily close your eyes and sink into. It's nice to hear well crafted songs in an age of vapid radio hits. The production is handled by the same team including Al B. for the majority of the album. This gives the beats and sound a consistency that works well. Buy the album, highly reccomended.


Montezuma's Revenge
Montezuma's Revenge
Price: $13.27
22 used & new from $8.50

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Hip-hop album released post 2000, December 6, 2009
This review is from: Montezuma's Revenge (Audio CD)
Souls of Mischief have just released their first album in over 9 years entitled "Montezuma's Revenge." The album was produced by the legendary Prince Paul behind hip-hop classics from De La Soul, Gravediggaz, Stetsasonic and Handsome Boy Modelling School. Souls of Mischief stormed onto the rap scene when they were just 17 years old releasing hip-hop classics like 93 til infinity. That track is still much loved and their first album is considered one of the best hip-hop albums ever released. They followed it up with the much maligned "No Man's Land." This album remains one of the most underrated rap albums ever released. The sound was in stark contrast to their first album but the lyrics and flows were still unparalleled for the time. Souls of Mischief were always way ahead of their time. They were dropping cadences, styles and multi-syllabic flows that the rap industry is just catching on to now almost 15 years later. Their third album "Trilogy" was in much the same vein as their first 2, sticking to the tried and true formula of ridiculous lyrics over crazy beats.

Montezuma's Revenge is a new era for the Souls. They are all older, a bit more mature, and yet with this album they've retained that timeless `93 style hip-hop sound. Much credit has to go to Prince Paul for getting the very best out of Souls. Prince Paul knows how to make an album. In this age of Itunes and people only downloading tracks they like, "the album" is almost dead. Prince Paul has created something that is complete and is best consumed as such. The entire album flows from beginning to end and it covers so many styles.

I don't think you will ever find a better rap group than Souls of Mischief. They are a unified force, they come together as one and smack you over the head with those ridiculous flows and lyrical gymnastics. It is not simply a track with 4 rappers each dropping a verse. They combine together as duos or together as a foursome like in "Fourmation" dropping one line each. They follow on from each others rhymes, they drop in and out like tag team specialists.

What is special about this album is that it isn't just the tried and true hiero formula of non stop battle lyrics. They have created great songs here. "For Real Y'all" is just a driving bassline with Opio hitting the chorus over and over again. It just bumps. The hooks are also back on track. On Trilogy they become unnecessarily long and unwieldy. Things are kept simple here, Prince Paul using samples in "La La" or a simple "Tour stories, true stories" in Tour Stories. It often work's best and its why 93 til infinity still sounds good today. Think of "Never No More" as the blueprint. The topics are still varied from crazy women in "Postal," leaving women in "Lickety Split," and storytelling tracks like "You got it" and "Dead Man Walking." This combined with the signature hiero bangers like "Hiero HQ," "One," and "Poets." It's finished off withe summer BBQ track "Home Game," which really deserves a single and a music video to be released in summer 2010. That would surely help blow up the album. The track has a great feel reminiscent of other hiero hits like "You Never Knew" and "93 til Infinity."

I think what Souls of Mischief does is create albums that you can listen to over and over again. Don't listen to some reviewer who's played it a couple of times amongst 20 albums he is reviewing and given it 3 and a half stars. This album is a classic that you can listen to over and over again and till you can recite every verse. The beats are incredible, the flows and rhymes on point and the vibe an era of hip-hop in 93/94 that has never been matched. Prince Paul has always got the sound of the tracks right. Everything is not crisp and clear, he's intentionally made it sound like something from the early 90s.

Take "Proper Aim." Surely one of the greatest Souls of Mischief's tracks ever. A thick double bass line comes roaring in. Vinyl crackles, kicks and snares and the Souls hit you with that trademark flow. It really gets no better and is a great example of the quality of the album.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 28, 2009 3:16 PM PST


The Wire: Season 4
The Wire: Season 4
DVD ~ Dominic West
Price: $20.99
14 used & new from $15.99

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable Season of the best show on Television, September 15, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Wire: Season 4 (DVD)
It's criminal the amount of people that watch the best drama on television, "The Wire." I started watching because of David Simon. The man wrote the book that ultimately became my favorite TV show of all time, "Homicide: Life on the Street." I quickly became a huge fan, and theres a number of reasons why.

The writing for "The Wire" is nothing short of incredible. It's not written by "TV Writers" but more experienced authors and this makes quite a difference. A season of The Wire unfolds like a great novel. As each episode goes by, the greater the story builds. Its full of amazing characters and has many special touches and little nuances that are a joy to watch. The cast is fantastic and all the actors do a wonderful job.

I think what many people tend to miss is the importance of the storylines and the issues that David Simon and his team are addressing. In season 3 the storyline of Major Bunny Colvin "decriminalising" drugs in a certain area of his district was an amazing look at the world of crime and drugs. It was such an incredible storyline, because it wasn't black and white. An amazing hypothetical that leaves me thinking to this day. This season they tackle the school system with even greater nous and intelligence.

The Wire is television at its very best, it also demands a lot from the viewer. It's definitely worth repeat viewing of the episodes. If you put the time in to notice the detail of the show it is extremely rewarding. The intricate storylines, complex characters, and revealing insights into life and institutions are waiting for your viewership. Season 4 of The Wire is the greatest season of the show. Following the four young children throughout the season was truly heartbreaking. If ever you wanted to own a show on DVD it's this one. This will go down in history as one of the greats.


Sam & Max: Season One
Sam & Max: Season One
Offered by goHastings
Price: $5.99
28 used & new from $5.88

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sam & Max return with some hilarious new cases!, August 7, 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Sam & Max: Season One (Video Game)
Sam & Max Hit The Road came out in 1993. 14 years ago. It was a huge success, heralded for its twisted brand of humor and memorable adventure game play. It spawned legions of fans that have been hanging out for the characters return for nigh over a decade.

In 2002, LucasArts announced that a sequel to "Hit the Road" was going into production. In 2004 with the game nearing completion they canceled it. Outrage in the form of 30, 000 signatures in an online petition greeted the news. Sam & Max are beloved characters and "Hit The Road" is considered a classic and one of the funniest games to ever be released.

Luckily ex-Lucasarts employees formed Telltale Games and have finally brought us a new Sam & Max game after 14 long years. Season 1 totals 6 episodes each about 4-5 hours in length. Sam & Max tackle a new case with each episode, while an overarching storyline pieces the episodes together.

The new Sam & Max game really retains that clever brand of humor of previous Sam & Max incarnations. Episode 1 gets off to a strong start. Episode 2 and 3 are quite funny but suffer from simplistic game play. The puzzles in these episodes won't give you any headaches. Episode 4, Abe Lincoln Must Die is where the series really reaches new heights. It's a hilarious romp in which Max runs for president against a robotic Abe Lincoln. The environments are fresh, and the puzzles require greater thought. The music across the entire series is absolutely brilliant. Jared Emerson-Johnson has created some wonderful and diverse jazz music to accompany the game. The voice acting is superb and really brings the characters to life. Episode 5 and 6 finish off the season strongly with more well designed puzzles, hilarious dialog and wacky adventures. Perfect material for Sam & Max to riff off. I can't recommend this game enough. If you want a good laugh and a return to games that are genuinely funny purchase this season. I can't wait for Season 2.


Return of the Magnificent
Return of the Magnificent
Offered by Wooden Nickel Music
Price: $7.99
38 used & new from $6.16

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Return to Real Hip Hop, April 21, 2007
The Return of The Magnificent reminds us why we love hip-hop. Swimming upstream against a sea of mediocrity such is the current state of hip-hop TROTM returns to the glory days of the genre. Jazzy Jeff's second album is poignant, interesting, diverse, fun and most of all a great album to listen to.

Jeff's previous album was more an A Touch of Jazz collaboration in this album we get all Jazzy Jeff. Every beat, expert scratch and production masterfully handled by The Magnificent. It makes a difference too this album towers over its predecessor. Once you've finished with the disc clocking in at a lengthy 80 minutes you will feel uplifted by the quality. It's the kind of album you would expect if you had listened to all the Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince albums and solo Jazzy Jeff tracks. Jeff was always a sampling producer and one of the best and he displays it on this album. The beats feature great samples, great cuts and great scratches.

The artists Jeff has chosen to work are also a steup up from the previous album and it elevates the tracks to a new level. The lineup of Pos from De La Soul, Big Daddy Kane, J-Live, CL Smooth, Rhymefest, Method Man perfectly fits the laid back vibe. Underground emcees such as Twone Gabz, Kel Spencer, Black Ice, Kardinal Offishall, Dave Ghetto and Peedi Peedi step up to the plate alongside the bigger names.

This is the best hip-hop album in years. Standouts include Practice, My Soul Ain't for Sale, Run That Back, The Garden & All I Know.


The Wire: Season 3
The Wire: Season 3
DVD ~ Dominic West
Price: $20.99
19 used & new from $16.99

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the finest television shows ever produced, August 18, 2006
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Wire: Season 3 (DVD)
It's criminal the amount of people that watch the best drama on television, "The Wire." I started watching because of David Simon. The man wrote the book that ultimately became my favorite TV show of all time, "Homicide: Life on the Street." I quickly became a huge fan, and theres a number of reasons why.

The writing for "The Wire" is nothing short of incredible. It's not written by "TV Writers" but more experienced authors and this makes quite a difference. A season of The Wire unfolds like a great novel. As each episode goes by, the greater the story builds. Its full of amazing characters and has many special touches and little nuances that are a joy to watch. The cast is fantastic and all the actors do a wonderful job.

I think what many people tend to miss is the importance of the storylines and the issues that David Simon and his team are addressing. In season 3 the storyline of Major Bunny Colvin "decriminalising" drugs in a certain area of his district was an amazing look at the world of crime and drugs. It was such an incredible storyline, because it wasn't black and white. An amazing hypothetical that leaves me thinking to this day.

The Wire is television at its very best, it also demands a lot from the viewer. Its definitely worth repeat viewing of the episodes. If you put the time in to notice the detail of the show it is extremely rewarding. The intricate storylines, complex characters, and revealing insights into life and instituitions are waiting for your viewership. This DVD is a must own. Season 4 of The Wire premieres in Spetember on HBO.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 11, 2014 1:49 PM PDT


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