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Blu-ray Review: Lord Of Illusions
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Lord of Illusions
Blu-ray (Collector’s Edition)
Director: Clive Barker
Screenwriter: Clive Barker
Cast: Scott Bakula, Kevin J. O’Connor, Famke Janssen, J. Trevor Edmond, Daniel von Bargen, Joseph Latimore
Scream Factory
Rated R | 109 / 121 Minutes
Release Date: December 16, 2014

Written and directed by best-selling author Clive Barker (Nightbreed, Hellraiser), 1995’s Lord of Illusions is a supernatural thriller that stars Scott Bakula, Famke Janssen, Kevin J. O’Connor, and Daniel von Bargen.

After investigating an insurance fraud case in Los Angeles, hard-boiled detective Harry D’Amour (Bakula, Quantum Leap) is approached by Dorothea (Janssen, X-Men), a beautiful woman who believes that her husband is in danger. Dorothea is married to Philip Swann (O’Connor), a stage performer whose astonishing illusions have wowed audiences worldwide.

Like Hugh Jackman’s Robert Angier in The Prestige, Swann has found fame by disguising real magic as stage illusions. Swann’s manipulation of the dark arts has made him enemies of a religious cult who wish to sacrifice the magician and resurrect their leader, a sorcerer known as “The Puritan” (von Bargen).

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DVD Review: The Captains Close Up
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The Captains Close Up
DVD
Directed by William Shatner
Starring William Shatner, Patrick Stewart, Avery Brooks
Entertainment One
Release Date: August 13, 2013

No one ever involved with the Star Trek franchise has benefited from its enduring popularity and cultural legacy as much as William Shatner. And why shouldn’t he? This is Captain James Tiberius Kirk we’re talking about here, one of the most popular and recognizable heroic figures ever created. Shatner saw his own fortunes as a struggling young actor with great talent and promise rise considerably in the 1960’s when he signed on to play Kirk after the original pilot episode of Trek with Jeffrey Hunter as Captain Christopher Pike was poorly received. The show may have only lasted three seasons in the first place, the third of which was made possible by one of the most effective fan letter-writing campaigns in the history of civilization, but its countless television and feature film spin-offs helped the franchise become the cornerstone of a geek nation that stretches to every corner of the planet and one day possibly to worlds yet unexplored. Shatner is one of the show’s greatest champions, its most iconic character and star, and to this day continues on as a tireless promoter for Star Trek‘s undying themes and the power of its fans and alumni to inspire greatness in themselves and others. Plus, those residual checks must be pretty nice.

Most recently Shatner wrote and directed The Captains Close Up, a 5-part series for the cable channel Epix that expanded on the intentions of his 2011 documentary feature The Captains. Each of the five episodes were devoted to interviewing and profiling the actors who played Starfleet captains in the original Trek and its four television spin-offs and multitude of big screen sci-fi adventures. The entire series has been released on DVD courtesy of Entertainment One, and with a combined running time of two-and-a-half hours on one disc makes binge watching essential and well worth the time of any Trek devotee.

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‘Chuck’ Stars Zachary Levi And Josh Gomez Talk Second Half of Season 3
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After a two-week hiatus due to Winter Olympics coverage, NBC’s Chuck returned tonight for the second half of season three, which shows no signs of slowing down.

While the preview (embedded below) shows Chuck (Zachary Levi) possibly getting busy with fellow Nerd Hearder Hannah (Kristin Kreuk), Casey (Adam Baldwin) losing a tooth, a tiger, and tons of kung fu action, stars Zachary Levi and Josh Gomez were gracious enough to sit down for a press conference call to discuss even more about what to expect in the episodes ahead.

Levi will pull double duty as both actor and director for “Chuck vs the Beard” airing March 8, which sees Chuck being taken off active duty after having problems trying to use the Intersect. The episode is said to have the entire cast involved and could have major repercussion on future story lines.

“I had reservations about it until it was signed off by the powers that be,” Levi said. “I can’t believe they let me do this episode.”

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Reminder: ‘Chuck’ Season 3 Premieres Tonight
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As a reminder to all fans, the third season of Chuck premieres tonight on NBC at 8/9 EST with two (that’s right TWO) hours of Bartowski-Kung-Fu-filled fun.

It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Charles Bartowski and crew. At the end of season 2, Chuck’s long lost father (Scott Bakula) reemerged revealing that he had created ‘the Intersect,’ the technology that gave his son the entire database of top secret spy knowledge. Chuck (Zachary Levi) then re-downloaded an upgraded version of ‘the Intersect’ into his mind. Oh also, Morgan announced he was moving to Hawaii, Ellie and Captain Awesome tied the knot, and everyone’s love for Subway sandwiches was hinted to be getting much, much stronger.

If you can’t catch the premiere, remember to set those TiVos for the TWO hour opening episode, or catch it tomorrow on Hulu.

Check out a preview via NBC after the jump…

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