If it's crap ... We'll tell you
HUMAN WEAPON: SEASON ONE (Blu-Ray and DVD)
I guess I'm not surprised that the History Channel's "Human Weapon" series only lasted one season. Despite a title and advertising campaign that promised excessive violence and testosterone overdosing, "Human Weapon" is actually an excellent primer for the study of martial arts. Hosts Jason Chambers and Bill Duff travel all over the world to examine in detail the form, history, and surrounding culture of a variety of martial forms. From having watched quite a few other History Channel shows recently, I was expecting something more gratuitous and silly, on the level of their awful "Gangland" series, but these guys are pretty serious about being what's probably the only ever program that got this in-depth about fighting; thus, why it probably only lasted one season. Probably if these guys screamed more into the camera, covered themselves in oil, and randomly attacked passerbys and each other, this would have been a monster hit. *sigh* The first season kicks it off with current martial art du jour Muay Thai, and then proceeds to look at everything in later eps from the Russian Sambo (it's the name of a martial art, I swear, don't kill me) to Israeli Krav Maga, to good ol' fashioned Karate. Did I mention that at the end of each episode, one of the guys has to fight a practitioner of the form the episode is about? So there's some of the violence we've come to expect from the History Channel lately for ya! Anyone who considers themselves a fan of fighting films or perhaps even gets up off the couch now and then to learn for themselves (not me, mind you, but certainly somebody out there...Pitbull, I'm lookin' at you), "Human Weapon" is something you'll want to own.
--CLICK HERE TO BUY Human Weapon: Complete Season 1 [Blu-ray]
LENNON NAKED (DVD)
I consider myself to be a sizable fan of John Lennon. So would, I imagine, most people who would want to watch a current BBC television movie about the man, starring ex-Doctor Who Christopher Eccleston as the Liverpudlian rocker. So why is he being presented as such an absolute tool? The 82 minute film skips through his life from the years 1967-1971, with scenes and gaps in time being divided up by stock footage of the actual man and fellow Beatles. The point of this exercise seems to be to provide a Freudian portrait of Lennon, still tormented and driven by his father's abandonment of him when he was a child. Eccleston's John is petulant, whiny, self-important, rude, and generally a complete prat. Did Paul McCartney write this? And does anyone want to know the intimate details of John and Yoko's relationship? Kind of yuck. There's practically nothing complimentary about the great musician here at all, as he talks smack to absolutely everyone in his life, abuses the hell out of his own father (Christopher Fairbank) over what seems to have been a misunderstanding, and abandons his own child without a second thought. This has the feel that much of it was inspired by Albert Goldman's controversial Lennon biography, more so than how most other sources describe the man. Heck, even if it's more accurate....I don't really want to see him in this light. Ok, sure, if you've just GOT to see Christopher Eccleston's dick (repeatedly) for whatever reasons, then "Lennon Naked" might be your cup of tea. If you're an actual fan of the musician, I'd probably skip it.
--CLICK HERE TO BUY Lennon Naked
I swear, even the shows I love on the BBC lately have been getting canceled. Either there's some sort of conspiracy going on here affecting reality at its very core in order to lead me down a road of despair, or I have lousy taste. Wait, is there a third option? There were only six episodes to "Luther"s first season (with a two-episode second season just getting greenlit to wrap it up), but it was amongst my favorite television discoveries this year. Idris Elba, who most know from his run on the HBO show, "The Wire", plays the moody rationalist detective who at the beginning of the show, lets a child killer fall (almost) to his death. Flash to awhile later, as he's brought off suspension and cleared of all charges (that he certainly shouldn't have been), Luther gets onto the case of a woman named Alice Morgan (Ruth Wilson) who he is sure calculatedly killed her own family, but it's impossible for him to prove. Over the six episodes, Alice becomes his very own Hannibal Lecter, a psychotic who considers him a worthy opponent, even a desired equal and possible lover. Luther is a good man, torn between what a moral code says he should do, and what his logical mind tells him will get the best result. Despite himself and his disgust for her, he finds himself availing himself of Alice's proffered assistance on the various murder cases he has to untangle, especially when it comes to protecting his ex-wife (Indira Varma), the one person in his life that makes him lose all sense of reason. "Luther" is a very intelligent show that perhaps borrows a bit too heavily from previous cop shows (and "Silence of the Lambs" for that matter), but with leads like the magnetic Elba and the super-creepy Wilson (those eyes!), I challenge you to get any sleep until you've watched all the way through. And then you REALLY won't get any sleep. When are those next two episodes coming out now? Soon? Please?
--CLICK HERE TO BUY Luther