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Disney In Depth: ‘McFarland, USA’ Movie Review
Brett Nachman   |  

Disney In Depth banner

McFarland, USA
Director: Niki Caro
Screenwriters: Christopher Cleveland, Bettina Gilois, and Grant Thompson
Cast: Kevin Costner, Maria Bello, Carlos Pratts, Diana Maria-Riva, Johnny Ortiz, Hector Duran, Sergio Avelar, Michael Aguero, Rafael Martinez, Ramiro Rodriguez, Morgan Saylor, Martha Higareda and Valente Rodriguez
Walt Disney Pictures
Rated PG | 129 Minutes
Release Date: February 20, 2015

Two sports films, two years in a row. Disney knows how to do this genre justice after hits including Remember The Titans, Miracle, and The Rookie. Last year’s Million Dollar Arm underperformed and failed to receive the attention it deserved.

2015 brings McFarland, USA, another sports movie vehicle for Kevin Costner, recently experiencing a major jump in film output. Despite the inevitable comparisons to Disney’s other entries in this category, McFarland, USA finishes ahead of the pack in quality and overall excellence.

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TV Review: Vikings 3.2 “The Wanderer”
Olympus Athens   |  

Vikings Logo Lagertha Ragnar

Vikings
Season 3 Episode 2: “The Wanderer”
Directed by Ken Girotti
Written and created by Michael Hirst
Starring Travis Fimmel, Clive Standen, Katheryn Winnick, Jessalyn Gilsig, George Blagden, and Gustaf Skarsgard.
The History Channel
Air Date: Thursday, February 26, 2015, 10:00pm

Last week on Vikings 3.1 “Mercenary“, the core Kattegat crew could not leave fast enough for Wessex to get what King Ecbert (Linus Roache) promised, leaving behind sad Aslaug, Siggy, and Helga (Alyssa Sutherland, Jessalyn Gilsig, and Maude Hirst, respectively). Of course he wants more.

Ragnar and company agree to fight for Princess Kwenthrith’s (Amy Bailey) stolen crown of Mercia by her father and brother. Bloody and bloodier it gets with Ragnar showing off his cunning battle strategy. Meanwhile King Ecbert gets his flirt on with Lagertha (Katherine Winnick), Athelstan (George Blagden) providing the translation, as they go to farm the lands. Lagertha left her lands in the hands of possible usurpers, so maybe she shouldn’t stay away too long.

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TV Review: Backstrom 1.6 “Ancient, Chinese, Secret”
Olympus Athens   |  

Backstrom Episode 106 05

Backstrom
Season 1 Episode 6: “Ancient, Chinese, Secret”
Directed by Rob Hardy
Written by Leif G.W. Persson (author)
Created by Hart Hanson
Starring Rainn Wilson, Beatrice Rosen, Page Kennedy, Genevieve Angelson, Dennis Haysbert, Thomas Dekker, and Kristoffer Polaha.
FOX
Air Date: Thursday, February 26, 2015, 9:00pm

Last week on Backstrom 1.5 “Bogeyman,” our hero set out to solve a kidnapping eerily similar to an old case of his. It got personal and Everett Backstrom (Rainn Wilson) showed us his softer side. It is difficult to maintain a hard facade when young girls are being kidnapped by pervs, even for Backstrom. So that episode brought the needle a bit higher than the week before.

Backstrom 1.6 “Ancient, Chinese, Secret” review: A Chinatown psychic is brutally stabbed to death in an elaborate fight to the death scene, at least according to the preliminary blood spatter analysis provided by Niedermayer (Kristoffer Polaha).

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TV Review: The Americans 3.5 “Salang Pass”
Goodman   |  

The Americans Season 3 Episode 5 Alison Wright as Martha and Matthew Rhys as Philip Jennings

The Americans
Season 3, Episode 5 – “Salang Pass”
Directed by Kevin Dowling
Written by Stephen Schiff
Starring: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Lev Gorn, Annet Mahendru, Susan Misner, Costa Ronin, Keidrich Sellati, Holly Taylor, Richard Thomas, Alison Wright, Noah Emmerich, and Frank Langella.
FX
Air date: Wednesday, February 25, 2015, 10pm

As The Americans‘ third season continues, this week’s episode is all about the kids. Hit the jump for our review.

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Comic Review: GI Joe: Snake Eyes Agent Of Cobra #2
PS Hayes   |  

Snake Eyes Agent of Cobra 2

GI Joe: Snake Eyes Agent of Cobra #2
Written by Mike Costa
Art by Paolo Villanelli
Colors by Joana LaFuente
Letters by Neil Uyetake
Edits by Carlos Guzman
Cover art by Drew Johnson and Paolo Villanelli
IDW Publishing
Release Date: February 25, 2015
Cover Price: $3.99

In GI Joe: Snake Eyes Agent of Cobra #2, the “Holy crap what the heck am I looking at?!?!?!” factor continues, in a big way. This book is the unexpected gem of IDW’s current output of GI Joe books, and that’s saying something, because the other ones are not too shabby at all!

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Comic Review: Joe Frankenstein #1
PS Hayes   |  

Joe Frankenstein #1 review
Joe Frankenstein #1
Written by Graham Nolan & Chuck Dixon
Art by Graham Nolan
Colors by Gregory Wright
Letters by Chris Mowry
Editor: Tom Waltz
Cover art by Graham Nolan & Gregory Wright
IDW Publishing
Release Date: February 25, 2015
Cover Price: $3.99

Joe Frankenstein #1 tells the story of a young man with a hidden family past that he knows nothing about and the trouble that it causes when it catches up with him. I’m sure that from the title of the comic book, you might be able to guess just what that history is, but how it ties into the main character’s life is the really great part!

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Blu-ray Review: New Year’s Evil
Adam Frazier   |  

New Year's Evil Blu-ray from Scream Factory

New Year’s Evil
Blu-ray
Director: Emmett Alston
Screenwriter: Leonard Neubauer
Cast: Roz Kelly, Kip Niven, Grant Cramer, Chris Wallace
Scream Factory
Rated R | 90 Minutes
Release Date: February 24, 2015

Diane “Blaze” Sullivan (Roz Kelly), the host of a nationally televised punk-rock show on New Year’s Eve, is receiving calls from a mysterious killer who tells her of his plans to off someone at midnight in each of America’s major time zones… and she will be the last.

In 1960, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom pushed the envelope on screen violence and sexuality. These two films would go on to influence an entire sub-genre of horror: the “Slasher” film. After years of post-Psycho thrillers like Dementia 13 and Corruption, Bob Clark’s 1974 film Black Christmas would emerge as the first true slasher film.

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TV Review: Better Call Saul 1.4 “Hero”
Empress Eve   |  

Better Call Saul Episode 1.4 Hero Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) AMC

Better Call Saul
Episode 1.4 “Hero”
Directed by Colin Bucksey
Written by Gennifer Hutchison
Starring Bob Odenkirk, Michael McKean, Jonathan Banks, Rhea Seehorn, Michael Mando, Patrick Fabian
AMC
Air Date: Monday, February 23, 2015, 10pm

Every day is a struggle for Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk). His adversities aren’t narrowed down to just one facet of his life, but instead encompass ALL aspects of the lawyer’s being. Along with struggling to build his clientele, pay his bills, and make a name for himself, there’s his constant inner conflict as he continues to teeter between acting in good conscience and relying on his old swindling ways. Back in Better Call Saul Episode 2, we heard Jimmy promise his older brother, Chuck (Michael McKean), that he wasn’t slipping back into his old ways, which, as we see from flashbacks, was being a hustler and a schemer. He’s trying to make his way in the world as a public defender for the Albuquerque, NM, courts, but it pays very little and is getting him nowhere. In Episode 1.4 “Hero,” Jimmy once again walks that fine line between good and bad, but this time around, his moral ambiguity becomes his defining characteristic.

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Book Review: Hollow City: The Second Novel Of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children
Olympus Athens   |  

Hollow City The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children banner

Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children
Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle Edition
Written by Ransom Riggs
Quirk Books
Original Release date: January 14, 2014
Paperback Release Date: February 24, 2015
Cover Price: $10.99

It’s time to get peculiar again! Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs is set for a paperback release on Tuesday, February 24, 2015. Quirk Books is known for their “peculiar” works and GoD loves to read them. From the first Miss Peregrine and The Last Policeman to the mash-up of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies to How to Make Your Cat An Internet Celebrity, Princesses Behaving Badly, and The Geek’s Guide To Dating, and many more in between, Quirk Books always delivers.

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TV Review: Gotham 1.17 “Red Hood”
Olympus Athens   |  

Gotham Episode 1.17 Red Hook

Gotham
Season 1 Episode 17: “Red Hood”
Directed by Nathan Hope
Written by Danny Cannon
Created by Bruno Heller
Starring Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sean Pertwee, Robin Lord Taylor, David Mazouz, Camren Bicondova, Erin Richards, Zabryna Guevara, Andrew Stewart-Jones, and Victoria Cartegena
FOX
Air Date: Monday, February 23, 2015, 8pm

How can Gotham possibly get any better? When you are loving every episode and shouting that love from the rooftops, it doesn’t seem like there’s anywhere left to go. How do go up when you are already at the top? It turns out, you can!

Lots of videos to check out here below, along with my review of Episode 1.17 “Red Hood.”

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