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The Shelf: LEGEND OF KORRA, NINJA TURTLES, TWILIGHT ZONE

Not the most exciting week for Blu-ray and DVD this week, but there’s some excellent television show box sets as well as some movies that exist, and one of them is even a movie that I had to stop watching because I was too physically repulsed by it. So that’s something worthy and of note, isn’t it?

The Legend of Korra – Book Two: Spirits
Just in time for the third season of Nickelodeon’s critical and popular hit, The Legend of Korra, which premiered June 27th, here is the release of the second season. As with the the previous series, Avatar: The Last Airbender, this one also gives a name to each of the seasons, and season two is “Spirits,” pertaining to the spiritual realm. This season focused primarily on the history of the Avatar lineage, of which Korra (voiced by Janet Varney) is the latest. Aang returns again, voiced by D.B. Sweeney, and other Avatars make an appearance, like in the two-part episode “Beginnings” which features the very first Avatar, Wan, voiced by The Walking Dead‘s Steven Yuen. It’s a great season of television.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Good, the Bad and Casey Jones
Nickelodeon’s rebooted Ninja Turtles cartoon is not something I expected to like very much, given the CG animation style and just my general dislike of most updated cartoons from my childhood; however, it was immediately hard not to like it for its extreme action, its reverence for both the comics and the ’80s animated series, and for its stellar voice acting. The storylines are pretty amazing, too, and the scripts offer a good mix of danger and fun. The jokes are certainly plentiful, but the show is never a joke. This DVD set features all of the episodes with new hero Casey Jones (voiced by Josh Peck) to make 133 minutes of rip-snorting turtle action. Also, the noses on the Turtles here look way better than in that movie.

The Twilight Zone: Essential Episodes – 55th Anniversary Collection
The Twilight Zone is one of the most influential and important sci-fi/horror series ever to broadcast, and it’s the template for all anthology series that followed. It’s a show that needs to be seen, but with 156 episodes spanning five seasons, it can be hard to know where to start. That’s why it’s excellent that this set was put out: an essential episodes collection featuring 17 of the most memorable, talked about, and enduring trips into that other dimension creator/writer Rod Serling talked about. The episodes in question are: Walking Distance, Time Enough At Last, The Hitch-Hiker, The Monsters are Due on Maple Street, A Stop at Willoughby, The After Hours, The Howling Man, The Eye of the Beholder, Nick of Time, The Invaders, The Obsolete Man, It’s A Good Life, The Midnight Sun, To Serve Man, Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, Living Doll, and The Masks. They really nailed it by including these; they’re all unmitigated classics.

Helix: Season 1
A series which follows a group of research scientists who uncover a secret conspiracy when an outbreak happens at a bioresearch facility in the arctic. It eventually leads to a worldwide epidemic with zombie-like monster people spreading the infection.

The Final Terror
A very vaguely-titled horror movie from the early-’80s in which a group of forest rangers and their girlfriends go into the woods only to be hunted (slowly) by a murderous feral person. Daryl Hannah, Rachel Ward, Joe Pantoliano, and Adrian Zmed are all members of the young cast of up-and-comers. It also has one of the lowest body counts of any ’80s slasher movie, and that may not have been by choice. Click here to read my full review of The Final Terror.

Cannibal Holocaust
When I was in college, I watched as many old, gritty, and gross horror movies as I could and I enjoyed just about all of them to some degree, and even the ones I hated I at least finished; not so of Ruggero Deodato’s 1980 film Cannibal Holocaust. One of the progenitors of the found-footage subgenre, the film depicts a group of documentarians who go into the Amazon rainforest hoping to film a tribe of real live cannibals. Guess what! They do. This in and of itself was not enough to make me turn the movie off, but the fact that there are vivid, pornographically violent scenes of animals being slaughtered in close up, including the handheld gutting of a coati and a particularly terrible scene in which the “heroes” hack a poor tortoise to death with machetes and eat it. The effects in the film are particularly good, though, and coupled with the real murder of animals, brought about Deodato being forced to go to court and prove he hadn’t actually killed any human beings for the purposes of film. The movie was banned in a number of countries for many years and is still banned in the UK. This movie is disgusting. But, hey, it’s out on Blu-ray now, so if that’s your thing, go for it you sick degenerate.

Vinyl
A British comedy about an aging punk rocker who wants to make a comeback when his old band makes a pretty good recording one drunken night. The problem: his old record label (now all run by young whippersnappers) won’t even consider making a record with anyone who isn’t hip and young and attractive. Ergo, a plan is hatched to pre-fabricate a band out of the young and hip and attractive, but for them to just lip sync over the old fellas’ records. What could possibly go wrong, right?

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