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Published at: Aug. 28, 2013, 11 p.m. CST

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The fourth Blu-ray volume of “Masters of Horror” featuring Takashi Miike’s too-disturbing-for-Showtime “Imprint,” $21.49 in 2010 and $19.99 last year, has fallen to $5.24 (74% Off!!)

 

 

 

New This Week


Though it indulged some missteps, season three of “The Walking Dead” was for my money easily the best yet. It was the one that introduced the prison, Woodbury, The Governor and Tyrese, whittled down Hershel, and indulged the second coming of racist amputee Merle Dixon. The season finale spotlighting Andrea and Milton was a corker.


Which 25 shorts comprise the new DC Comics Collection, you ask?

  • 1941 Fleischer short:
    1. Superman (A.K.A. The Mad Scientist)
  • Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show
    1. The Bride of Darkseid, Part 1
    2. The Bride of Darkseid, Part 2
  • The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians
    1. The Death of Superman
    2. The Seeds of Doom
  • The New Batman Adventures
    1. Mad Love
    2. Legends of the Dark Knight
  • Superman: The Animated Series
    1. Heavy Metal
    2. Little Big Head
  • Batman Beyond
    1. Out of the Past
  • Justice League/Justice League Unlimited
    1. For the Man Who Has Everything
    2. The Doomsday Sanction
    3. Chaos at the Earth's Core
    4. Destroyer
    5. Epilogue (Batman Beyond tie-in)
  • Teen Titans
    1. Go!
    2. Terra
  • Krypto the Superdog
    1. The Streaky Story
  • Legion of Super Heroes
    1. Man of Tomorrow
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold
    1. The Golden Age of Justice!
    2. Revenge of the Reach!
    3. Clash of the Metal Men!
  • Young Justice
    1. Independence Day
    2. Misplaced
  • Green Lantern: The Animated Series
    1. Reboot

 

A better-than-most CBS procedural inspired by Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson characters, CBS’ “Elementary” stars Jonny Lee Miller (“Trainspotting,” “Eli Stone”) as Holmes and Lucy Lui (“Kill Bill,” “Southland”) as sidekick Dr. Joan Watson. In this CBS version, both characters are recovering substance abusers and based in New York.

“Elementary,” from American writer-producer Robert Doherty (“Star Trek: Voyager,” “Dark Angel,” “Medium”), is not to be confused with the excellent series of BBC/PBS telefilms that star Benedict Cumberbatch, but it’s still a lot better than expected.

The Starbucking (or Asian-Americanizing) of the Watson character isn’t more shocking than Holmes consulting with the NYPD in the year of Our Lord 2012. What struck me harder is that Lui is interested in working full-time in TV again. If she’s willing to tube it, why didn’t she and Drew Barrymore just reunite for last year’s “Charlie’s Angels” series -- maybe with Jamie Pressly as a Cameron Diaz surrogate?

Watson is a type-defying role for Liu; Joan Watson – hired to get Holmes through his newfound sobriety – is a quiet, reactive force, nothing at all like the fierce man-eaters the actress brought life to in “Ally McBeal,” “Charlie’s Angels” and “Kill Bill.” She projects here a lovely vulnerability I recall her demonstrated before only once, in McBeal episode that showed us a different side of snarling Boston attorney Ling Woo. She remains also, for the record, mesmerizingly beautiful. Though producers insist otherwise, it seems inevitable that Holmes and Watson will journey in this series where other Holmeses and Watsons have not journeyed before. The pair have tremendous chemistry.

(I note than more than one TV critic refers to her as “Jane Watson.” Perhaps in homage to Spider-Man’s girlfriend?)

Miller hangs onto his Brit accent (CBS’ Holmes used to consult for London’s Scotland Yard before he relocated to the states), but his performance strays closer to Robert Downey Jr.’s onscreen mania than to Cumberbatch’s chilly energy.

It should be pointed out that the BBC did not invent the idea of relocating Holmes from his native era (Conan Doyle’s stories were set roughly 1880-1914). Universal’s hugely popular Basil Rathbone series of the 1940s had the Victorian sleuth matching wits with Nazis during World War II. Still, see if you can find an “Elementary” review that does not mention the Cumberbatch franchise:

HitFix says:

... it may be safer for viewers to treat this as an unrelated character who just happens to share a name and some abilities with Doyle's hero. And if you look at "Elementary" that way, it works just fine. Miller and Liu have excellent (platonic) chemistry, and Miller is far more charming and alive than when he was battling an American accent on ABC's "Eli Stone." I'm not a huge fan of procedurals, but I watched a lot of "Criminal Intent" over the years because I enjoyed watching Vincent D'Onofrio work, and I can see myself checking in on "Elementary" from time to time just for the two leads. …

HuffPost TV says:

... To shove this venerable duo into CBS' procedural format, the show's producers have managed the unlikely feat of removing almost everything interesting about them. …

The New York Times says:

… Mr. Miller and Ms. Liu are good in the pilot, and their rapport is reason enough to check out “Elementary” … Mr. Doherty, whose primary credit is a long stint on the voluptuously melodramatic “Medium,” is good on atmosphere and character but not so strong on plot mechanics, and that’s a problem with a Holmes story. Some of Holmes’s deductions in the first murder case seem arbitrary even by TV procedural standards, and regular viewers of crime dramas will have the kind of nagging questions that drive them crazy. (Shouldn’t the coroner have been able to tell whether the deliveryman died yesterday or three days ago?) …

The Los Angeles Times says:

... Although inarguably going for House-lite, Miller is certainly competent and even compelling as this round of newly imagined Sherlock Holmes, but it's Watson who's brand new. Not just because he's a she, but because she seems to be operating, for the first time, in her own parallel narrative. Liu gives her Watson the perfect blend of wariness and admiration — she is clearly brilliant in her own right and while she may be his keeper, she is not his chronicler. And her journey may turn out to be just as interesting as his. …

The Chicago Sun-Times says:

... more entertaining than your typical CBS procedural. …

The San Francisco Chronicle says:

... will probably infuriate Sherlock Holmes purists, but other viewers are likely to find it gripping and well cast …

The Washington Post says:

... exhibits enough stylish wit in its mood and look to quickly distinguish itself from the latest British “Sherlock” series … as Watson, Liu seems to know exactly what’s she’s doing. …

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says:

... entertains intermittently, particularly in exchanges between Holmes and Watson, but its draw will be strongest among viewers who can't get enough crime dramas in their TV diet.…

The Denver Post says:

... Miller ("Trainspotting") is riveting as the brilliant oddball, whether putting his nose to work in carpet fibers or deducing outcomes that are evident only to his dazzling brain. …

The Boston Herald says:

… “Elementary” turns the myth into CBS’ answer to “Castle,” with a shade more intelligence.

The Boston Globe says:

... Jonny Lee Miller does a fine job in his iteration. One series being brilliant does not preclude the next from being enjoyable. …

USA Today says:

... appreciate the flair and poignancy Elementary brings to the crowded procedural field, and the energy, wit and sex appeal Miller brings to his role. Original, maybe not. But welcome? You don't have to be Sherlock to know the answer is "yes."

Variety says:

... The main question -- whether this slickly made, shrewdly conceived series can sustain "Person of Interest's" lead-in among CBS viewers -- might best be answered with another: Will many of those previously watching "The Mentalist" in this timeslot even notice the difference? … As for those who would accuse CBS of simply milking the same proven formula over and over, hey, no shit, Sherlock.

The Hollywood Reporter says:

... A worrisome idea became a wonderful idea after CBS sent out the pilot of Elementary, one of the most promising dramas this fall season. … Miller is superb and compelling …

TV-on-Disc Calendar

Last Week
Being Human 5.x
Being Human 5.x (Blu-ray)
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures: Best Of
Boardwalk Empire 3.x
Boardwalk Empire 3.x (Blu-ray)
CatDog 4.x
Donkey Kong Country
Ghost Hunters International 3.x
The Good Wife 4.x
Mike & Molly 3.x
NCIS 10.x
NCIS Los Angeles 4.x
Parenthood 4.x
Revenge 2.x
Star Trek: Enterprise 2.x (Blu-ray)

This Week


Call Me Fitz 3.x


DC Comics Collection


Elementary 1.x


Ghost Hunters International : The Final Season


Grey's Anatomy 9.x


Prime Suspect: The Complete Collection (Blu-ray)


Sapphire & Steele: The Complete Series


Sons of Anarchy 5.x


Sons of Anarchy 5.x (Blu-ray)


Tales of the City: 20th Anniversary Edition


The Walking Dead 3.x


The Walking Dead 3.x (Blu-ray)


The Walking Dead 3.x Limited Edition (Blu-ray)

Next Week
Ancient Aliens 5.x Vol. 1


Blandings 1.x NEW!!


Cagney & Lacey Vol. 1 NEW!!


Cagney & Lacey Vol. 3 NEW!!
Criminal Minds 8.x
DaVinci's Demons 1.x
DaVinci's Demons 1.x (Blu-ray)
DeGrassi: The Next Generation 7.x-9.x
Ghost Hunters: Fan Favorites
The Haunting Hour Vol. 5
The Haunting Hour Vol. 6


Haven 3.x
Lexx: The Complete Series NEW!!


Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie (Blu-ray)
The Office 9.x


The Office 9.x (Blu-ray)


Parks and Recreation 5.x
Person of Interest 2.x


Person of Interest 2.x (Blu-ray)
Power Rangers Megaforce: Ultimate Team Power
Regular Show Vol. 4
Revolution 1.x


Revolution 1.x (Blu-ray)
Route 66 1.x
Scandal 2.x
The Shield: The Complete Series
Sinbad 1.x
Sinbad 1.x (Blu-ray)
Spartacus 3.x


Spartacus 3.x (Blu-ray)
Tom and Jerry's Halloween Hi-jinks
Touch of Frost: The Complete Series
The Vampire Diaries 4.x


The Vampire Diaries 4.x (Blu-ray)

September 10


Army Wives 7.x


Arthur C. Clarke Collection: Mysterious World NEW!!


Arthur C. Clarke Collection: Mysterious Universe NEW!!
The Big Bang Theory 6.x


The Big Bang Theory 6.x (Blu-ray)
Blue Bloods 3.x
Castle 5.x
Chicago Fire 1.x


Hell's Kitchen 9.x NEW!!
Homeland 2.x


Homeland 2.x (Blu-ray)


Hullabaloo: Best Of Vol. 1


In Search Of ... 5.x NEW!!


In Search Of ... 6.x NEW!!
It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia 8.x


It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia 8.x (Blu-ray)
The League 4.x


The League 4.x (Blu-ray)
Luther 3.x


Mama's Family 1.x NEW!!


Mama's Family 2.x
The Many Loves Of Dobie Gillis 1.x


Nichols: The Complete Series NEW!!
Parade's End: The Complete Miniseries


Parade's End: The Complete Miniseries (Blu-ray)
Scooby-Doo: 13 Spooky Tales Run for Your Rife


Star Trek: Into Darkness NEW!!


Star Trek: Into Darkness (Blu-ray) NEW!!


Star Trek: Into Darkness (3D Blu-ray) NEW!!


Star Trek: Origins (Blu-ray)
Supernatural 8.x
Supernatural 8.x (Blu-ray)
Tales From The Cryptkeeper: Myth Conceptions
Tales From The Cryptkeeper: Transylvania Express
VR Troopers 2.x Vol. 2


Wanted: Dead or Alive - The Complete Series - Special Edition

September 17
Adventure Time Vol. 5
Annoying Orange Vol. 3
Arrow 1.x


Arrow 1.x (Blu-ray)
Bates Motel 1.x


Bates Motel 1.x (Blu-ray)
CSI 13.x
Dalziel & Pascoe 8.x


Doctor Who: Ice Warriors


Doctor Who: Scream of the Shalka
Green Acres 3.x
Grimm 2.x


Grimm 2.x (Blu-ray)
Harbor Command: The Complete Series
Heartland 3.x
The Hollow Crown: The Complete Miniseries
Leverage 5.x
The Mentalist 5.x
Nashville 1.x
Sofia the First: Ready to Be a Princess
Top Gear: Worst Car in the History of the World


Vegas: The Complete Series
Waking The Dead 8.x
Wild Things: Creepy Crawlers
Wild Things: Deadliest Critters

September 24


American Dad Volume 8


Cagney & Lacey Vol. 4 NEW!!


DC Super Villains: Superman: Worlds at War
DeGrassi: The Next Generation 10.x-12.x
Doctor Who 7.x


Doctor Who 7.x (Blu-ray)


Family Guy Vol. 11
Foyle's War Vol. 7
Gene Simmons Family Jewels 7.x
Hannibal 1.x


Hannibal 1.x (Blu-ray)
Hawaii Five-0 3.x


Hawaii Five-0 3.x (Blu-ray)


In The Flesh 1.x
Law & Order SVU 14.x
Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers
Modern Family 4.x


Modern Family 4.x (Blu-ray)


Mod Squad 3.x NEW!!


The Neighbors 1.x
New Tricks 1.x-5.x
Scooby-Doo: 13 Spooky Tales Ruh-Roh Robot
South Park 16.x


South Park 16.x (Blu-ray)


2 Broke Girls 2.x


Two and a Half Men 10.x

October 1


Awkward 1.x/2.x


Beauty and the Beast 1.x
Beetlejuice: A Halloween Spooktacular
The Big Bang Theory 1.x (Blu-ray)
The Big Bang Theory 2.x (Blu-ray)


Cagney & Lacey Vol. 4 NEW!!


Cagney & Lacey Vol. 5 NEW!!
Charlie Brown Thanksgiving


Diagnosis Murder 5.x NEW!!


Doctor Who: Doctors Revisited 5-8
Donkey Kong Country: Raiders of the Lost Banana
Downton Abbey: 1.x-3.x U.K. Limited Edition (Blu-ray) NEW!!
Glee 4.x


Glee 4.x (Blu-ray)


Hell's Kitchen 10.x NEW!!


How I Met Your Mother 8.x
Littlest Pet Shop: Pet-acular Escapades
Magnum PI: The Complete Series


Mod Squad 4.x NEW!!
Murder, She Wrote: The Complete Series


New Girl 2.x


Phineas & Ferb: Mission Marvel


Silk Stalkings 6.x-8.x NEW!!
Snoopy's Holiday Collection NEW!!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Vol. 3
Tom & Jerry's Winter Wackiness

October 8
Aaahh!!! Real Monsters: The Complete Series
Adventure Time Vol. 3
American Horror Story 2.x


American Horror Story 2.x (Blu-ray)


Avengers Assemble: Assembly Required


The Avengers: The Complete Emma Peel Megaset
Bones 8.x


Bones 8.x (Blu-ray)
Centennial: The Complete Series


Doctor Who: Terror of the Zygons
Inspector Gadget 1.x
Inspector Gadget 2.x
MacKenzie's Raiders: The Complete Series
The Middle 3.x
My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: A Very Minty Christmas


90210 5.x
Pee-wee's Playhouse Christmas Special
Power Rangers Super Samurai: A Christmas Wish
Psych 7.x
Robot Chicken 6.x


Robot Chicken 6.x (Blu-ray)
Scooby-Doo Mystery Inc. 1.x
The Secret of Crickley Hall: The Complete Miniseries


The Six Million Dollar Man 4.x


Super Friends 6.x
Super Mario World: The Complete Series
Totally Spies 2.x


Totally Spies 1.x-3.x NEW!!
Transformers Prime: Predacons Rising
Transformers Prime: Predacons Rising (Blu-ray)
White Collar 4.x

October 15
Anger Management: Episodes 11-32
Anger Management: Episodes 11-32 (Blu-ray)
Bewitched: The Complete Series $38.99)
Defiance 1.x


Defiance 1.x (Blu-ray)
DeGrassi The Next Generation 12.x
Gentle Ben 1.x
Gravity Falls: Six Strange Tales
Hart of Dixie 2.x
The Honeymooners: The Classic 39 Episodes (Blu-ray)
I Dream of Jeannie: The Complete Series ($31.99)
The IT Crowd: The Complete Series
It's A Spongebob Squarepants Christmas (Blu-ray)
Last of the Summer Wine: Vintage 2000
The New Three Stooges: Complete Cartoon Collection
The Partridge Family: The Complete Series ($31.99)
Rocko's Modern Life 4.x
Smurftastic Journey
Star Wars: The Clone Wars 5.x


Star Wars: The Clone Wars 5.x (Blu-ray)
Star Wars: The Clone Wars 1.x-5.x


Star Wars: The Clone Wars 1.x-5.x (Blu-ray)
Vikings 1.x


Vikings 1.x (Blu-ray)

October 22
Kindred The Embraced: The Complete Series
Nikita 3.x


Nikita 3.x (Blu-ray)
Primeval The New World: Complete Series


Primeval The New World: The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
Transformers Rescue Bots Vol. 3


The Young Riders 2.x NEW!!

October 29
Burning Love 1.x
Damages: The Complete Series


Family Tree 1.x
Inspector Gadget Saves Christmas

November 5
Absolutely Fabulous: The Complete Series Special Edition
Ben 10 Omniverse Vol. 3


Beverly Hills 90210: The Complete Series
Boy Meets World: The Complete Collection
Dexter 8.x


Dexter 8.x (Blu-ray)
Dexter: Complete Series


Dexter: Complete Series (Blu-ray)


Dexter: Complete Series Gift Set (Blu-ray)


Doctor Who 1.x-7.x Gift Set (Blu-ray) NEW!!
Family Ties: The Complete Series
I Love Lucy: Colorized Christmas
Keeping Up Appearances: Collector's Edition
Law & Order 13.x
Mad Men 6.x


Mad Men 6.x (Blu-ray)
Magical Smurf Adventure 2


Naked City: The Complete Series NEW!!
Saved By The Bell: The Complete Collection
Under The Dome 1.x


Under The Dome 1.x (Blu-ray)


Under The Dome 1.x Limited Collector's Edition (Blu-ray)

November 12


Combat: The Complete Series


Grizzly Adams: The Capture Of NEW!!
Mad TV 4.x
Merlin: The Complete Series Gift Set
The Paradise 1.x


The Paradise 1.x (Blu-ray)


Power Rangers 8.x-12.x NEW!!
Power Rangers Zeo Vol. 1
Silk 1.x


Super Friends 4.x

November 19
Here's Edie
Lost Girl 3.x
Lost Girl 3.x (Blu-ray)
Peter Gunn 3.x


Star Trek The Next Generation 5.x (Blu-ray) NEW!!


Star Trek The Next Generation: Unification (Blu-ray) NEW!!


Touched By An Angel 9.x NEW!!

November 26


Mystery Science Theater 3000 XXVIII: 25th Anniversary Edition

December 3
Hawaii Five-0: The Complete Series
Lilyhammer 1.x NEW!!
Lilyhammer 1.x (Blu-ray) NEW!!

December 10
The Following 1.x
The Following 1.x (Blu-ray)

January 7
Copper 2.x
Copper 2.x (Blu-ray)

February 18
Game Of Thrones 3.x


Game Of Thrones 3.x (Blu-ray)


Game Of Thrones 3.x Limited Edition (Blu-ray)

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Blu At Last Sept. 17!!


$5 Blu!!