Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Children of the Stones

The creepy English village is one of those TV and movie archetypes that’s been done to death, yet nevertheless remains an effective storytelling tool. Add into the mix another tried and true gimmick – the prehistoric stone circle – and you’ve got Children of the Stones, an unsettling little thriller made in 1977 for Britain’s ITV. The series, which spans seven 30-minute installments, was aimed at children, but as is often the case with fare from this time period, it will most definitely appeal to adults as well. You might even have vague memories of it if you were lucky enough to have Nickelodeon in the early 80s, as here in the States it was shown on the anthology series The Third Eye.

Astrophysicist Adam Brake (Gareth Thomas of Blake’s 7) and his son Matthew (Peter Demin) travel to the tiny hamlet of Milbury for the sole purpose of researching the stone circle that surrounds the town. They’re welcomed with open arms by the unusually polite townsfolk and quickly settle into a new (albeit temporary) life. Well, it’s supposed to be temporary. The father and son team will eventually discover that leaving Milbury is considerably more difficult than entering.

Read the rest of this DVD review by clicking here and visiting Bullz-Eye.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Marshalls (Season Three)

Brand new at Funny or Die is a wicked parody that blends two of my favorite shows into one 8 minute bit of madness. What would happen if Doctor Who materialized in the Land of the Lost - and specifically towards the end of the show's crappy third season? The hard-drinking Uncle Jack Daniels is unquestionably a highlight. From Philly-based filmmakers Beth Kellner and Scott Johnston, click here to view The Marshalls (Season Three).

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Battlestar Galactica: Season 4.0

At this point in its timeline, Battlestar Galactica simply works better on DVD. This batch of episodes, which makes up the first half of the show’s final season, was incredibly frustrating to watch upon broadcast. Of course, the commercial breaks are a given annoyance, but the cinematic flow of the series wasn’t helped by the seven-day breaks between installments. Furthermore, the episodes contained in this set are almost entirely character-driven. At the close of the third season, viewers were left with two big developments that would drive the fourth and final season: the revelation of the identity of the twelfth and final Cylon, and whether or not Earth would finally be reached. One of these is seemingly addressed in the final moments of 4.10, “Revelations,” but it’s a torturous road getting there.

Read the rest of this DVD review by clicking here and visiting Bullz-Eye.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Doctor Who: "Four to Doomsday" & "The War Machines"

It’s mere coincidence, and yet seemingly noteworthy, that “Four to Doomsday” should be released on DVD just days after the youngest actor ever to play the Doctor (Matt Smith, who’ll take over from David Tennant in 2010) has been unveiled to the public, since before Smith, Peter Davison held the “youngest actor ever to play the Doctor” spot. While “Doomsday” wasn’t actually Davison’s debut, it was the first story he filmed, and therefore it could offer us some insight into what we might expect from Smith in his first outing. But what’s perhaps an even more interesting parallel is that following David Tennant today is probably not that far removed from following Tom Baker back in the early ‘80s. How do you follow an actor who has so thoroughly embedded himself into the public consciousness that he’s thought of by many as irreplaceable? By pulling a Roger Moore, that’s how; by doing your own thing, and putting your special stamp on it without thinking too hard about the slippery slope you’ve signed on to navigate.

Read the rest of the DVD review of "Four to Doomsday" by clicking here and visiting Bullz-Eye.

Throughout most of the William Hartnell era of Doctor Who, stories basically fell into one of two categories: tales set far in the future or adventures set way in the past. But then “The War Machines” came along and changed everything by presenting a story set in London of the present day. Given that so much of the series today is reliant on such stories, it’s almost hard to believe there was a time when it wasn’t the norm, and yet for the first three seasons, the here and now wasn’t even a factor in the program.

Read the rest of the DVD review of "The War Machines" by clicking here and visiting Bullz-Eye.