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Published at: Sept. 5, 2013, 2 a.m. CST

 

Herc’s Popular Pricing Pantry


The incredible third Blu-ray season of “Justified,” $59.38 in January and $37.78 last week, just plummeted to its lowest price ever: $19.99!! (70% Off!!)


From David Goyer, writer of “Batman Begins,” “Man Of Steel” and the upcoming Superman/Batman movie!! The complete series set for “Blade: The Series,” $37.49 in 2011 and $31.93 in March, just plummeted to $12.99!! (68% Off!!)


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


Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie , new to Blu-ray today, was the funniest motion picture released to cinemas in 1996. I peed.

 

A new sci-fi series set 15 years after a mysterious event somehow renders all motor vehicles and electrical devices on the planet (even the ones that run on batteries) useless, “Revolution” comes to us from J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot production company (“Fringe,” “Person of Interest”) and writer-producer Eric Kripke (The WB’s “Tarzan” and “Supernatural”).

It’s about a post-modern world in which everybody is forced to live like the Amish – except for all that abstaining-from-violence nonsense.

I’m going to lean into the spoilers pretty hard here.

There’s a mysterious fellow named Sebastian Monroe who oversees a post-electricity regional government called the Monroe Republic. Monroe dispatches a badass named Capt. Tom Neville (Giancarlo Esposito, who used to play Gus Fring on “Breaking Bad”) to find Miles Matheson (Billy Burke, dad from the “Twilight” movies), a former U.S. government employee who may know why the lights went out and, more importantly, may even have some ideas regarding how to get them back on.

Monroe believes if he can get tanks and bombers and flashlights working again he can destroy all the other regional governments and rule the planet. Which he’ll no doubt rename The Planet Monroe.

But here’s the bad news for Monroe. This Miles Matheson guy has grown so good with a sword in the post-iPhone era that he can singlehandedly defeat a whole platoon of Monroe militiamen, even though the militiamen have guns and Matheson doesn’t. (If “Raiders of the Lost Ark” hilariously demonstrated that a guy with a gun can easily defeat a really accomplished swordsman, “Revolution” demonstrates that this Matheson guy can somehow dodge bullets as easily as he can impale loads of gunmen.)

The pilot, directed by Jon Favreau (“Iron Man,” “Cowboys & Aliens”) filled me with questions like these:

* Why are the guys with the guns losing to the guy with the sword? Does it have something to do with that giant staircase?

* There more than 200 million privately owned guns in the United States. What kind of song and dance did the Monroe Republic gin up to get all those dues-paying NRA members to surrender their firearms?

* If electricity is truly no more, how can humans continue to function without the electrical impulses that allow them to think and move?

* Given that Matheson is such a super-high-value target, why do the guys sent to capture Matheson carry what look like old-timey muskets instead of machine guns, or even a nifty modern pistol like the one Esposito’s character utilizes early in the pilot? Didn’t the manufacture of bullets predate electricity?

* Why does Matheson wait around for hours for the Monroe militiamen to return with gun-toting reinforcements, only to explain to them that he doesn’t want a fight?

* Is it not a huge coincidence that Matheson’s fugitive nephew just happens to stumble onto a random farm on which an ornate and seemingly magical electricity-generating thumb-drive resides?

On the upside, some of the post-apocalyptic production design is dang cool. And even if all of the good guys feel undercooked I reatlly kind of liked Esposito’s ruthless/irritable militiaman. Also? Puffy-lipped 16-year-old Canadian Tracy Spiridakos, who plays Matheson’s bow-toting niece Charlie, is already hot enough, apparently, to pose shirtless for GQ!

By far the most interesting parts of the pilot are the 15-years-earlier bits, which feature powerless jetliners crashing to earth and a little-girl version of Charlie being told, more or less, that she’ll probably never taste ice cream again. (Though I like to imagine a curious passing Amish fellow peering at the ice-cream scene through Charlie’s window, then shrugging and remarking, “I believe I’ll go home and enjoy some ice cream, a confection invented more than a thousand years before the electric freezer.”)

Importantly, “Revolution” is not another show about cops or lawyers. (I was going to add “doctors,” but there is at least one doctor character in the show.)

I got all the way through the increasingly disappointing “The Event,” “Alcatraz” and “Terra Nova” series just because I was more intrigued by their premises than anything that was going on with “NCIS Los Angeles.” But it’s anybody’s guess how much farther I can coast on a show without power.

HitFix says:

... a fairly low-wattage result. … though Esposito and Burke are both excellent — and Kripke and Favreau stage a classic swashbuckling swordfight for Miles that's easily the highlight of the first hour — far too much time is spent on the boring (Charlie) or annoying (Danny) teenagers, once again trying to force youth appeal into a show without bothering to generate characters that viewers of any age will actually care about watching. …

HuffPost TV says:

... Will "Revolution" be able to inject its tech-dystopia with real stakes if it's hard to care whether the younger characters live or die? Will it be one of those shows where the Big Concept crowds out the construction of a believable world and compelling relationships? I simply don't know … only time will tell whether this show will finally break the curse of every show from "FlashForward" to "V" to "The Event" and "Invasion" and "Terra Nova" and "V" and a dozen other shows I've spent too much time rewriting in my head. …

The New York Times says:

… the pilot, at least, is engaging and suspenseful... It’s appealing to people who have no patience for historical fiction (too many plagues, pilgrimages and lute players) or time travel (please), but do hanker for sword fights and the phhhttt of an arrow right through the neck.…

The Los Angeles Times says:

… the characters are fairly stock, the situations familiar and, some nifty digital backgrounds notwithstanding, the production continually felt more like an elaborate game of let's pretend than it did a window into some real other world. I didn't buy a second of it. ... The effect of the permanent blackout has included the partial destruction of the Golden Gate Bridge and the St. Louis Gateway Arch, which I am pretty sure would withstand a simple absence of power and would indeed be harder to destroy without it. (Although gunpowder does seem to still work.) But it does say "post-apocalypse." One might point out as well that humankind led a relatively civilized and technologically complicated existence before electric power and that the Industrial Revolution ran not on electricity but steam. …

The Chicago Sun-Times says:

... the writing can be a bit corny, the action sequences a tad ridiculous and the plot prone to nit-picking. … The hourlong pilot had a strong start and finish. It was the stuff in the middle that gave me pause. …

The Washington Post says:

... I’m on the fence. In just one episode, “Revolution” feels already too rushed (trying to beat the cancellation clock, no doubt), concerned more with its melodrama and sword fights than easing us into the idea of what it’s like to cope without power. …

The San Francisco Chronicle says:

... a good adventure yarn, but the other reason we're likely to watch future episodes is that it grounds the action in thought-provoking themes. …

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says:

... a pretty solid hour of television, setting up the show's premise and in several instances defying TV norms with plot twists viewers won't see coming. So let's hope the following episodes will be as good. …

The Boston Herald says:

... One of the most intriguing series of fall … NBC hasn’t had much luck launching a serialized sci-fi show. Both “Heroes” and “The Event” started strong and fizzled. But there’s reason to hope here: Kripke honed “Supernatural’s” mythology and made that show a cult hit. “Revolution” may yet spark your imagination.

USA Today says:

... you may find yourself remembering Flash Forward, another show with a brilliant opening scene that was all dumb questions with no smart answers. Not to say it may not have answers. It just needs to provide a few of them, and quickly.

The Hollywood Reporter says:

... doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it’s a lot of fun. …

Variety says:

... For every arresting image, there's a lot of wandering around in the overgrown woods, and reason for skepticism as to whether audiences will patiently stick with the show. …

 

“Da Vinci’s Demons” is a Starz series that follows the adventures of artist-writer-architect-engineer-geologist-botanist-mathematician-inventor Leonardo Da Vinci as he uses his martial arts and swashbuckling skills to fight crime in 15th century Italy.

This new series comes to us from the prolific David Goyer, who earlier masterminded the one-season wonders “Threshold,” “FlashForward” and “Blade: The Series,” and has done a lot of superhero work, scripting or co-scripting both “Ghost Rider” movies and all three “Blade” movies, as well as the 1998 David Hasselhoff TV-movie “Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD,” “The Crow: City of Angels,” “Batman Begins” and “Man of Steel.” He shared “story” credit on both “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Knight Rises” and, as a big-screen writer-director, Goyer’s credits include “Zig Zag,” “Blade: Trinity” and “The Unborn.”

Hitfix says:

... doesn't resemble Albrecht's old HBO output so much as it does '90s syndicated action dramas like "Xena: Warrior Princess" — albeit made on a much bigger budget and with lots of Starz-approved language and nakedness. … Like most of Goyer's solo creations, the show has more ideas than it knows quite what to do with; his best work tends to come with strong collaborators who pare Goyer's vision down to something manageable. The premiere episode is so overstuffed with incident, conspiracy and expository dialogue as to almost feel like parody, but the show settles down a bit in later hours. …

The New York Times says:

... glossy, silly, intermittently entertaining … Viewers face a slog right away in the opening episode, which has to set up not only the “Book of Leaves” story but also the demons in Leonardo’s past (annoying flashbacks and visions of his faceless mother) and the semi-historical rivalry between Florence and the Vatican, in which Leonardo is of course embroiled. …

The Los Angeles Times says:

... prefers to flaunt rather than follow, flagrantly borrowing from film, television and video games to create something new, inarguably flawed, possibly revolutionary and certainly fun to watch. …

The San Francisco Chronicle says:

... Historical accuracy is only hit-and-miss in Da Vinci's Demons. And that describes how entertaining it is too: More miss than hit, but it does grow on you. …

The Washington Post says:

... plucky and occasionally fun … heads off in a lot of different directions, as our easily distracted Renaissance Man, Leonardo, discovers from a wayward mystic that he’s part of a kooky lineage of supergeniuses. This part of the plot puts Leonardo in the dangerously ho-hum genre of shows about differently abled sleuths who see details others don’t and whose minds run off high-speed broadband while the simpletons around them remain strictly dial-up. But Riley takes the role of Leonardo for a real joyride, giving “Da Vinci’s Demons” a spark of invention it would otherwise lack.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says:

… Please. Give me something resembling coherent dialogue and plot. ... If Mr. Goyer fumbles the pilot in introducing Leonardo's world, he salvages the endeavor in episode two with a good story about da Vinci's inventions for the Medicis.…

The Boston Globe says:

... The plot strands don’t always come together smoothly, some of da Vinci’s mystical, drug-addled visions are pretentious, and the CGI re-creating 15th-century Florence is spotty. And the general tone of the show will not satisfy anyone looking for a serious take on a historical figure or era. But “Da Vinci’s Demons” is an entertaining series with one huge factor working in its favor: Unlike so much of what we see on TV lineups, it aims to be different.

The Hollywood Reporter says:

... Some no doubt will say Da Vinci’s Demons is too slight or glossy. And while it might not be as serious-minded as Game of Thrones, it’s also not too distant a cousin. There’s a lot of material to mine here, and Goyer, Starz and Da Vinci’s Demons are off to an entertaining start. …

Variety says:

... Granted, Tom Riley’s anachronistic Da Vinci feels as much like a Silicon Valley eccentric as a 15th-century artist/inventor, but the show is still a good deal of fun, while indulging in all the lusty debauchery one has come to expect from period cable dramas. …

TV-on-Disc Calendar

Last 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)

This Week


Ancient Aliens 5.x Vol. 1


Blandings 1.x


Cagney & Lacey Vol. 1


Cagney & Lacey Vol. 3


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


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)

Next Week


Army Wives 7.x


Arthur C. Clarke Collection: Mysterious World


Arthur C. Clarke Collection: Mysterious Universe
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
Homeland 2.x


Homeland 2.x (Blu-ray)


Hullabaloo: Best Of Vol. 1


In Search Of ... 5.x


In Search Of ... 6.x
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
Mama's Family 2.x
The Many Loves Of Dobie Gillis 1.x


Nichols: The Complete Series
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


Star Trek: Into Darkness (Blu-ray)


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


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


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


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


Arthur C. Clarke Collection: World of Strange Powers NEW!!


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
Cagney & Lacey Vol. 5
Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
Diagnosis Murder 5.x


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)
Glee 4.x


Glee 4.x (Blu-ray)


Hell's Kitchen 10.x


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


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


New Girl 2.x


Phineas & Ferb: Mission Marvel
Silk Stalkings 6.x-8.x
Snoopy's Holiday Collection
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
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
The Doris Day Show: Best Of NEW!!
Family Affair: Best Of NEW!!
Kindred The Embraced: The Complete Series
The Mothers-In-Law: Best Of NEW!!
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

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)
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
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
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
Power Rangers Zeo Vol. 1
Silk 1.x


Super Friends 4.x


Weeds: The Complete Collection (Blu-ray) NEW!!

November 19
Doctor Who: The Tenth Planet NEW!!
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)


Star Trek The Next Generation: Unification (Blu-ray)
Touched By An Angel 9.x
Twilight Zone: The Complete Series (No Frills) NEW!!

November 26
Murdoch Mysteries 6.x NEW!!


Mystery Science Theater 3000 XXVIII: 25th Anniversary Edition

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


Mary Hartman Mary Hartman: The Complete Series NEW!!


Transformers Prime 3.x NEW!!


Transformers Prime 3.x (Blu-ray) NEW!!

December 10
The Following 1.x
The Following 1.x (Blu-ray)
The Gene Autry Show: The Complete Series NEW!!

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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