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I am – Hercules!!

Mystery Science Theater 3000 XIX brings four more movies for mockery: * 1.7 “Robot Monster” (1953). An extraterrestrial wipes out most of humanity before he falls for his neighbor, a hot earthling. Joel pays tribute to Ro-Man, methane whoopee cushions are examined and Tom’s head explodes. * 4.23 “Bride of the Monster” (1995). “Plan Nine From Outer Space” director Ed Wood is again teams with “Nine” stars Bela Legosi and Tor Johnson for the tale of an unsavory mad scientist who plans to create a race of atomic supermen before he falls prey to a man-eating octopus. Joel monitors Crow’s dreams and “Hired: The Musical” is mounted. * 8.18 “Devil Doll” (1964). A two-timing ventriloquist/hypnotist exploits his own evil dummy. Mike is unhappy when Crow takes an interest in Pitch’s devil dolls, a drunken Crow breaks the window, and Servo’s soul is transferred. * 9.11 “Devil Fish” (1984). A sharktopus creates problems for swimmers. Pearl forces Mike and the bots to make ice sculptures, dolphins prove thin-skinned, and dinner at the Captain’s table proves trying. Extras include: * New introduction by J. Elvis Weinstein. * New featurette: “Bride of the Monster.” * New featurette: “Devil Doll.” * Inventing the “Invention Exchange.” * Origins And Beyond At CONvergence 2009. * Original trailers.

Men of a Certain Age is probably TNT’s best series ever. A TNT dramedy from “Everybody Loves Raymond” writers Ray Romano and Mike Royce, it stars Romano, Andre Braugher (“Homicide”) and Scott Bakula (“Star Trek: Enterprise”) as a trio of friends – a party supply store owner, a car salesman and a part-time actor – confronting mid-life crises. I like it a good deal better than Romano’s long-running laughtrack sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond.” There’s a very dark gag early in the first episode involving a vehicular mishap that makes me want to cut “Certain” a lot of slack. Braugher is aces as always, and looks far heftier than I remember he did in “The Mist”; unless there are some digital effects or some very convincing prostheses at play, he seems to outeaten Robert DeNiro, packing on a troubling amount of weight to play an unhappy, lethargic, diabetic overeater who finds himself pushed to new levels of frustration. (The series’ storyline appears to bring a new resolve to the character that might keep the actor from killing himself.) At times the series feels like a middle-aged “Diner” and at other times feels slightly overwritten; the comedy and drama might grow stronger if the project adopted the semi-improvisational approach we saw in “Diner” and still see “Friday Night Lights” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” I laughed hard at something as simple as Romano failing to guess the correct temperature; I’d love to see more of that kind of thing. USA Today says:
… fine but slightly overemphatic premiere, which overdoes the sad-sackishness of its three main characters … There are big moments, but much of the joy comes from small exchanges and throwaway jokes. (Terry's response to Owen's dismissive "Pirates, pickpockets, what's the difference?" is a perplexed, "Well, there's the boat.") The show could do without the invented basic-cable-approved, almost-obscene insults, but the men do wield them affectionately. You may not recognize the words, but you'll recognize the tone and tenor of friends who know one another too well.
The New York Times says:
… not violent, exciting or fast paced, but the series has a quiet charm of its own: it is a believable, sharply observed portrait of ordinary men who, through all-too-common bad breaks and missteps, feel that they are backsliding. The three lead actors, on the other hand, are on top of their games playing losers. …
The Los Angeles Times says:
… a miraculously good show about a stage of life that is too often either ignored or overplayed. …
The Washington Post says:
… proves a powerful yet mercifully amusing experience -- bittersweet, poignant and wise. It's not just a series, but something of a tonic. …
The San Francisco Chronicle says:
… Though there have been various attempts through the years to get at the easily identifiable and relatable midlife crises of men, much of the effort is put on cheap laughs and even cheaper clichés. TNT's new drama "Men Of A Certain Age" might be the closest thing to getting it right. … This isn't some "Bucket List" joke-fest. There's some spot-on and sharp humor throughout, but it never gets too light and breezy. There's an underlying seriousness - just shy of real gravitas - that anchors the series. If "Men Of A Certain Age" eschews the easy clichés as it has in the first few episodes, there's real potential for drama here …
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says:
… enjoyable … It's talky but not didactic, and the camaraderie among the core cast feels real, not forced. That's mostly due to the small details in the show's scripts. …
The Boston Herald says:
… the star of the inexplicably popular sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond” makes his return to TV … “Men” is worth your time only because of co-star Andre Braugher. …
The Boston Globe says:
… While it includes some predictable guy banter, especially in tonight’s uneven pilot, “Men of a Certain Age’’ is a probing, occasionally bleak drama that evokes indie director John Cassavetes more than “Sex and the City’’ creator Darren Star. The writers and actors steadfastly avoid TV-bred coziness, as they push further into the difficult trade-offs that make getting older so liberating and so demoralizing. The actors are especially willing to forgo leading-man vanity in favor of emotional vulnerability, with Braugher and Romano looking particularly wasted at times. … “Men of a Certain Age’’ does settle into a groove, and it’s a good one. …
The Hollywood Reporter says:
… Those who gravitate to this engaging show will be rewarded with the kind of substantial, thoughtful fare more often reserved for theater audiences. Plus, there are outstanding performances. …
Variety says:
… isn't a great series yet, but it has the assets to grow into one. And in the interim, watching it certainly isn't a Sisyphean task. …

A series of three British TV-movies (running on consecutive Sundays starting tonight) from longtime “Doctor Who” writers Steven Moffatt and Mark Gatiss, “Sherlock” reimagines Sherlock Holmes and John Watson as 21st century bloggers armed with cellphones. It stars Benedict Cumberbatch (“Atonement”) and Martin Freeman (who was Tim on BBC’s “The Office” and will be Bilbo in “The Hobbit”). Time says:
… kinetic, wry … The highest praise I can give the series is that I'm neither a Doctor Who cultist or a particular detective-story fan, yet I enjoyed it immensely. …
TV Guide says:
… wonderful brain candy. … Their adventures are never boring. Clever and harrowing, but also often hilarious, the stories move us ever closer to a fateful encounter with Holmes' arch-nemesis Moriarty. Some things never change. Sherlock is the rare reinvention that's likely to enchant purists as well as those yearning for a new look at an old favorite. Should you bookmark it now on your DVR? The answer, my dear reader and viewer, is elementary.
USA Today says:
… a sharp, funny, clever series that remains faithful to the spirit of Doyle's stories while infusing them with a vibrant spirit of modernity. You'll notice the updates, from the cellphone-provided clues to Sherlock's use of a homeless network of informers, but they're never forced or intrusive and they never fail to form a coherent whole, so you don't feel like you're watching some museum display stuffed into modern dress. …
The New York Times says:
… Mr. Freeman’s deft performance as the grouchy but loyal Watson is one of the show’s pleasures, along with Rupert Graves’s avuncular take on Inspector Lestrade. It should also be mentioned that Mr. Graves, who has been making a specialty of guest appearances on British crime dramas (“Marple,” “Lewis,” “Wallander”), belongs with George Clooney in the pantheon of the well-aging male. Add Mr. Cumberbatch, who brings to the table his piercing gray eyes and an appealingly playful arrogance, and you have an ensemble that lives up to the verve and braininess of Mr. Moffat and Mr. Gatiss’s writing. …
The Los Angeles Times says:
… Benedict Cumberbatch is tall and narrow in the familiar mode, with a haughty intensity but also something of a sense of fun. It takes all of 30 seconds, watching him, to go from "Hmmm," to "Oh, yes." As the kids say, he owns this. …
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says:
… hugely entertaining. Viewers who dismiss PBS programs as boring or stuffy risk embarrassment if someone should use "Sherlock" as defense Exhibit A. … Tonight's premiere has a zippy energy that can be attributed to the writing and Mr. Cumberbatch's riveting, gonzo performance. He plays Sherlock as authoritative and arrogant but also with a hint of excited madness that makes for an engrossing new take on this classic character.
The San Francsico Chronicle says:
… There have been many great "Masterpiece" offerings over the decades, but I can't think of a single one that is as much out-and-out fun as "Sherlock," a modern-dress Conan Doyle that crackles with superb writing, brilliant performances and snappy direction, and does it all while somehow managing to be oddly faithful to the original source material. …
HitFix says:
… thanks to committed performances from Cumberbatch and Freeman, and clever writing from Moffat and Gatiss, most of it works splendidly. … The first and third installments are a bit stronger than the second, as the first deals with the origin of the Holmes/Watson partnership and the third pits Holmes against arch-rival Moriarty, where the middle chapter is a straightforward mystery. (In that way, the mini-season isn’t unlike the many current American dramas that become less interesting the more standalone a particular episode becomes.) Overall, though, the reinvention is so smart and funny and thrilling that I hope we get another, longer season before too long …
TV Squad says:
… a witty, wise, even thrilling update. … if it has one (easily overlooked) fault, it can get a bit over-caffeinated in an effort to prove that it is not your father's stodgy Holmes' adaptation. On the other hand, this sprightly trio of TV movies are more rigorous and well-written than the rather sloppy, scattershot 2009 film adaptation starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. …
The Boston Globe says:
… a strange, fascinating, and sometimes brilliant contemporary take on the father of forensic crime-solving. This texting, laptopping Sherlock is part Conan Doyle, part House, part petulant rock star, and part Sheldon from “The Big Bang Theory’’ as he makes social blunders with shades of Asperger’s. … The three episodes are a mixed bag in terms of the crime plots. (A new trilogy is in the works, by the way.) Ultimately, though, it doesn’t matter; the show is all about Sherlock and Watson, circa 2010.
The Hollywood Reporter says:
… That well-honed dynamic and a sly sense of humor keep “Sherlock” compelling even when its plotting falters, as it does in part three, “The Great Game,” with its overburdened grid of crisscrossing cases. As a cliffhanger it’s effective, but the episode works itself into too much of a lather preparing for the showy entrance of Holmes’ arch enemy and criminal mastermind counterpart, Moriarty (Andrew Scott). The sharpest of the three 90-minute self-contained mysteries is the opener …

The first-season set comes in both DVD and Blu-ray.
Herc’s Popular Pricing Pantry

Every extra-packed season of “Seinfeld” just fell to $15.99 or less!!
Kindly ignore the movie. The entire “Aeon Flux” collection (shorts plus half-hours) just fell to $22.49!! It’ll be the best $22.49 you spend this week.
“Carnivale” season sets just fell to $15.99!!
The “Prison Break” four-season pack, $196.99 last month, is momentarily $72.99, which works out to less than $18.25/season!!
“The Tick” cartoon sets are momentarily $12.49!!
“Friday Night Lights” season three is momentarily $14.49!!
The first and best season of J.J. Abrams’ “Alias” is momentarily $15.49!!
The third remastered season of “Star Trek,” $69.49 last week, has momentarily fallen to $34.99, its lowest price ever!!
Every episode of Rod Serling’s “Twilight Zone” can now be had on DVD for $142.49!! That works out to Less Than $28.50 Per Season!!
Individual seasons can be had for $30.49!!
Warner Bros. has loads of movies at $3 or less each.

TV-on-Disc Calendar

Last Week Agatha Christie's Marple: Geraldine McEwan Collection Beverly Hills 90210 10.x Beverly Hills 90210: The Complete Series Cadfael: Complete Collection Christmas Treats Deadliest Catch 6.x Doctor Who: Revenge of the Cybermen Doctor Who: Silver Nemesis Facts of Life 5.x Fallen (Blu-ray) Flipping Out 1.x Flipping Out 2.x The Fugitive 4.x Vol. 1 Hannah Montana 4.x Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List 2.x The Larry Sanders Show: The Complete Series The Larry Sanders Show 2.x Mad About You 5.x Melrose Place: The Complete Series Metalocalypse 3.x Metalocalypse 3.x (Blu-ray) Midsomer Murders: Village Case Files Millionaire Matchmaker 1.x Million Dollar Listing 2.x Murderland: The Complete Miniseries Nip/Tuck: The Complete Series The Pacific: The Complete Miniseries The Pacific: The Complete Miniseries (Blu-ray) Persons Unknown: The Complete Series The Red Green Show 1994-1996 V 1.x V 1.x (Blu-ray)
This Week

Bill Moyers: Genesis

Bill Moyers: On Faith And Reason

Boondocks 3.x

Californication 3.x

Doctor Who 5.x

Doctor Who 5.x (Blu-ray)

Golden Girls: The Complete Collection

Hell's Kitchen 4.x

Hi-5: The Complete Series

Lie To Me 2.x

Men of a Certain Age 1.x

Mystery Science Theater 3000 XIX

Scooby Doo: The Complete Series

Sherlock 1.x

Sherlock 1.x (Blu-ray)

Super Hero Squad Vol. 2

Whale Wars 3.x
Next Week Gangland 6.x Gangland 6.x (Blu-ray) Gleek 1.x Heroes: The Complete Series It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia: A Very Sunny Christmas Giftset Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol (Blu-ray) The Office: Overtime Peanuts Deluxe Holiday Ultimate Collection (Blu-ray) Perry Mason 5.x Vol. 2 Perry Mason 5-Season Pack Space Precinct: The Complete Series SpongeBob SquarePants: Legends of Bikini Bottom
Twilight Zone 2.x (Blu-ray) Voltron: Fleet of Doom (Blu-ray) The World At War: The Complete Miniseries (Blu-ray) Wycliffe 4.x Wycliffe 5.x
November 23 Batman Beyond: The Complete Series

Deadwood: The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Durham County 2.x Human Weapon 1.x (Blu-ray) Luther 1.x Murder She Wrote 12.x Pillars of the Earth: The Complete Miniseries Pillars of the Earth: The Complete Miniseries (Blu-ray)

SNL Four-Pack Best Of ($9.98) 7th Heaven 11.x 7th Heaven: The Complete Series Space Precinct: The Complete Series Tudors: The Complete Series Wagon Train 2.x
November 30 Foghorn Leghorn: Barnyard Bigmouth Have Gun Will Travel 5.x Vol. 1
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