NCIS: New Orleans – The First Season

NCIS: New Orleans – The First Season Paramount Home Entertainment Released: August 18, 2015   NCIS: New Orleans follows the cases of the smaller office introduced in the two-part “Crescent City” episode of NCIS Season 11. Having watched “Crescent City” when it aired, I was impressed that the same interrogation goals Gibbs accomplishes with aloof distrust, his friend Dwayne Cassius Pride (Scott Bakula) accomplishes with openness and empathy.   Pride’s protege, Chris LaSalle (Lucas Black), while rivaling Tony DiNozzo for looks and charm, also showed gravitas DiNozzo seldom does. The character I wasn’t sure about was Meredith Brody (Zoe McLellan). I am a fan of McLellan from JAG, but Brody was introduced with a classified past, and I didn’t think “Crescent City” revealed enough about her.   The main complaint about previous spinoff NCIS: Los Angeles in early seasons was that it didn’t feel enough like classic NCIS. NOLA executive producers Mark Harmon and Gary Glasberg made a sometimes-too-obvious effort to show a strong connection between the new show and the original, bringing Gibbs, DiNozzo, Tobias Fornell (Joe Spano), and CGIS Agent Borin (Diane Neal) into multiple episodes. Meanwhile Pride’s rapport with Dr. Loretta Wade (CCH Pounder) is similar to Gibbs’ and Ducky’s.   This much said, the two shows do differ in tone. Perhaps taking cues from its location and Agent Pride, NCIS: NOLA seems a more relaxed and open show that may become even more character-driven that the original NCIS. The first season not only fleshed out Brody, but Pride and LaSalle, too, while introducing two guest field agents, Patton Plame (Daryl “Chill” Mitchell) and Sonja Percy (Shalita Grant), who became fast favorites.   Memorable guest actors such as Steven Webber, Callie Thorne, Stacy Keach, and Dean Stockwell in pivotal roles round out the reasons the first season set is worth owning. Bonuses include the “Crescent City” episode of NCIS, commentaries on Episodes 1 and 14 by showrunner Jeffrey Lieber and executive producer James Hayman, and several behind-the-scenes featurettes. Gerald So ...

The Most Memorable Casino Themed Movies of All Time...

The world of gambling can be one filled with excitement and intrigue. Nothing quite sparks the winning spirit as much as gambling does. Hollywood has not been partial to the worldwide appeal of gambling, theming many of its most successful films around the hustle and bustle of casinos. Featuring popular and acclaimed Hollywood stars, the most memorable casino movies ever released have stood the test of time, to be sure. Whether it’s the thrill of the game, the risk-taking nature of its characters, or the often convoluted plot lines, casino themed movies seem to attract the attention of audiences worldwide. Below, we have a look at some of the most memorable casino themed movies of all time. 1.Casino (1995) “Casino” is one of the most critically acclaimed casino themed movies of all time   Possibly one of the most notable casino themed movies of all time, “Casino” features an all-star cast including Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone and Joe Pesci. Directed by Martin Scorsese, this film follows two Las Vegas based mobsters. As the two main characters grow increasingly obsessed with their own motives, the story evolves into a heart-pounding, edge-of-your-seat drama that you’ll want to watch time and again. Covering themes of greed, power and manipulation, “Casino” is definitely one of the most recognized movies themed around the gambling world. You’ll want to place this one on the top of your list of must-see movies, if you haven’t already. Casino Royale (2006) “Casino Royale” became a blockbuster hit, bringing the glamorous side of casinos to the big screen   This James Bond film, starring Daniel Craig, brought to light the glamorous side of the casino world. With Craig portraying Bond as a gritty, yet cunning, poker player, he quickly steals the show, and winnings, from avid poker fanatic, Le Chiffre. This is a must-see for all Bond fans, and poker enthusiasts. In fact, “Casino Royale,” has made some of the most prestigious casinos in the world, such as the one in Montenegro, known to audiences worldwide. The film has provided casinos with a more modern allure, with people recognizing new casinos online and those in-house. Ultimately, proving to be one of the highest grossing Bond films of all-time, “Casino Royale” is surely one of the most well-known casino themed movies worldwide. Rounders (1998) Tugging at the hearts of poker players worldwide, “Rounders” is a clever movie about wit and skill   This film stars a young Matt Damon as a skilled poker player, coming back to the game after a hiatus, in order to help a friend in need of money. “Rounders” takes a close look at the world of poker and how players harness a skill for the game in order to make it at the top of the gambling food chain. When the stakes are high, the intensity for the game increases as well, and “Rounders” is a great cinematic look into that very theme. Ocean’s Eleven (2001) At times quirky, and often times clever, “Ocean’s Eleven” is a must-see for all Hollywood movie buffs   This remake of the 1960 classic, features Hollywood stars, George Clooney, Brad Pitt and, Julia Roberts. A cheeky and fun film filled with humor and wit, “Ocean’s Eleven” takes viewers into the seedier side of casinos, with the characters planning out elaborate casino robberies in Las Vegas. Much of this film’s popularity stems from its fantastic screenwriting and elaborate plot. Maverick (1994) This 90’s classic combines fun aspects of the western genre with the intrigue of poker games   Starring Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster, “Maverick” is a classic among casino-themed movies and fans of western films. Following a poker player’s journey to gather funds for a major poker tournament, this film is a gem in its ability to combine elements of humor, intrigue, drama and good-old western fun. If you’re looking for a light-hearted, yet gripping film, this one...

BONES Season Ten

BONES Season 10 Fox Ten seasons in and Bones is still a really fun show. Things have changed a lot in 10 years and so it’s no surprise that to shake things up and keep the viewer intrigued big things need to happen and after ten that gets harder to do. The season opens with Sealy Booth in prison and the gang of squints trying to get him out with the help of their pals at the Justice Department and Agent Sweets at the FBI. Of course Booth does get out but it costs a team member to do it. As the show rolls back into its pace Booth is working with a new Agent named Aubrey who I find to be a nice addition. He loves to eat and is doing so a lot. He also is a bit of a smart ass which I also like. My favorite episode involved Temperance being told by her publisher to get on Twitter. Hilarity ensues. Some nice surprises come along and an old case rears its head once again. By this point in the show it really is about the characters and how they interact, they make a point of referring to each other as family and at this point they are. While the show has kind of settled into a comfortable routine like a couple that’s been married a while it is still a lot of fun and I plan to keep watching as long as it’s on the air....

From Dusk To Dawn Season One Reviewed

FROM DUSK TO DAWN Season One E One/ El Rey I loved the original movie of Dusk To Dawn. I went to the theater expecting a crime movie, Tarintino and Rodriguez together? Hell Yes I’m in. What I saw blew me away as the last third of the movie was far from what I was expecting. I loved it but the buddy of mine I went with was not happy.   Know how the movie turns into a horror film I was pretty sure I knew what to expect from a TV show that essentially retells the story from the movie but I was wrong. They really expanded everything for the 10 episodes and there was nothing that didn’t add to it. Seth and Ritchie Gecko are a couple of bad ass brothers who like to rob banks and as a result often find themselves in situations that call for violence. The show opens with a prison break and sees the brothers stuck in a convenience store trapped by a couple of Texas Rangers. They eventually make a run for it on their way to Mexico to meet up with someone who is supposed to cash the bearer bonds they have. Things get weird and eventually becomes a battle for their lives against creatures of the night. This was as fun as the movie and then some. I loved the small role of the weary Texas Ranger played by Don Johnson and Robert Patrick as a pastor with a crisis of faith was terrific. D.J. Cotrona and Zane Holtz as Seth and Ritchie Gecko were amazing. If you enjoy action and crime and vampires then this show was made for you. I would suggest watching it LOUD. Jon...

Grantchester DVD Review

GRANTCHESTER Season 1 PBS Masterpiece Theater’s MYSTERY! Has over the years turned out an awful lot of wonderful programming. Grantchester is one of the latest and the first season is now out on DVD. Based on a series of books by James Runcie (which are great reading) this is a traditional mystery in the British tradition which means little or no violence shown and emphasis on characters. It’s 1953 and Sidney Chambers (James Norton) is a WWII vet who is now a vicar in a small town near Cambridge. He likes jazz and enjoys his work but when a parishioner comes to him with secrets about a death he can’t help but get involved. He ends up working with a Detective Inspector Geordie Keating (Played perfectly by Robson Green of Wire In The Blood), reluctantly at first but soon the two discover a report and a rhythm that works quite nicely for solving crimes. The first episode involves a suicide which turns out to be murder. Sidney and Geordie get to the real truth and the road to it is a wonderful journey. The remaining 5 episodes are similar. Like most good mysteries, whether on screen or in a book it’s the characters that make it work. Sidney has nightmares from his actions in the war and struggles with them which sometimes causes a crisis of faith. He also has a knack for attracting women which comes with some interesting problems. Keating at the opening is a cranky tired cop who is set in his ways and seen it all. His partnership with Sidney gets him to relax a bit and the two end up being good company for each other. I also adore the housekeeper, Mrs. Maguire. She’s opinionated and blunt and a delight to watch.  The time period lends an almost innocence to the stories told and because of the lack of technology the detective work feels more pure. This was extremely enjoyable and I really hope to see a great deal more of it. Jon...

LOVEJOY: The Complete Collection set for June 16th

Most people today know Ian McShane from DEADWOOD, but from 1986 to 1994, he was Lovejoy, the scruffy, but charming antiques expert that the BBC brought to life from the novels of Jonathan Gash. Acorn Media has been reissuing the show and, on June 16th, will be releasing all 72 episodes in LOVEJOY: The Complete Collection. Despite his knack for spotting rare finds among rubbish, Lovejoy can’t seem to stay out of trouble, often getting snared in the underbelly of the antiques industry. His pals Eric (Chris Jury, The Big Game), Tinker (Dudley Sutton, The Beiderbecke Connection), and the lovely Lady Jane (Phyllis Logan, Downton Abbey) are there to help him out-but sometimes get him into even more scrapes. Later, Lovejoy spars with attractive auctioneer Charlotte (Caroline Langrishe, Judge John Deed) and welcomes Tinker’s new assistant, Beth (Diane Parish, EastEnders), to their ragtag team. This collection of the show’s complete six series features exceptional guest stars, including John Gielgud (Arthur), Joanna Lumley (Absolutely Fabulous), Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton), Michael Kitchen (Foyle’s War), Martin Clunes (Doc Martin), Richard Griffiths (Harry Potter films), Pete Postlethwaite (Inception), Julian Glover (Game of Thrones), James Nesbitt (The Hobbit trilogy), and Minnie Driver (Good Will Hunting). BONUS Christmas special The Prague Sun (97 min.) I enjoyed the hell out of the series and have been having a blast revisiting it with Acorn. If you have not purchased individual seasons, you should take a look at this set. The collection will retail for...