Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Five Must-Have DVD Box Sets

SMALLVILLE - THE COMPLETE SERIES | ©2011 Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

With all the Christmas songs on the radio and in the mall, corporate sponsored holiday specials taking over the airwaves and department store commercials encouraging you to BUY, BUY, BUY, it becomes harder and harder each year to find that perfect gift for someone special. That’s where ASSIGNMENT X comes in with our annual Holiday Gift Guide. We dig deep, so you don’t have to and have come up with a whole slew of books, music, games, toys and more that should satisfy the pop culture addict on your gift-giving list. So without further ado, welcome to ASSIGNMENT X’s 2011 …Read On »


TV Review: AMERICAN HORROR STORY – Season 1 – “Birth”

Connie Britton in AMERICAN HORROR STORY - Season 1 - "Birth" | ©2011 FX/Mike Ansell

Stars: Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott, Jessica Lange, Taissa Farmiga, Evan Peters, Frances Conroy, Kate Mara, Sarah Paulson, Zachary Quinto, Teddy Sears, Lily Rabe, Matt Ross Writer: Tim Minear, series created by Ryan Murphy & Brad Falchuk Director: Alfonse Gomez-Rejon Network: FX, Wednesdays @ 10 PM Original Telecast: December 14, 2011 In case anyone was worried, AMERICAN HORROR STORY demonstrates with “Birth” that, even if Vivien is now the mother of the Antichrist (by the episode’s end, we’re still not sure exactly what the baby is or is not), there’s plenty of tale left to be told. This said, a lot …Read On »


Blu-ray and DVD picks of the week including RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES | © 2011 Fox Home Entertainment

Your time is short. We know this. So in order to expedite your buying and Netflix decision making, we provide you with a list of the cool and not-so-cool titles coming out for movies, television and everything in-between. So put your feet up, grab some popcorn and check out this week’s selections. Movies: RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES – If you can get past the flaws in the film that teeter on actually ruining it completely, then RISE is actually worth a watch and enjoyably so even without anyone screaming about “Damn dirty apes.” In essence, RISE is …Read On »


TV Review: GLEE – Season 3 – “Extraordinary Merry Christmas”

Jenna Ushkowitz, Lea Michele and Dianna Agron in GLEE - Season 3 - "Extraordinary Christmas" | ©2011 Fox/Adam Rose

Stars: Dianna Agron, Chris Colfer, Darren Criss, Jane Lynch, Jayma Mays, Kevin McHale, Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Heather Morris, Matthew Morrison, Amber Riley, Naya Rivera, Mark Salling, Harry Shum Jr., Jenna Ushkowitz Writer:  Marti Noxon Director:  Matthew Morrison Network: Fox, airs Tuesday nights Original Telecast: December 13, 2011 Yes, it’s official – being meta with a Christmas special has officially jumped the shark. TV shows must stop the madness now. How many times can you pay homage to HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS?, A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS, IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, A CHRISTMAS CAROL, RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER and countless …Read On »


TV Review: AMERICAN HORROR STORY – Season 1 – “Smoldering Children”

Dylan McDermott and Rubber Man in AMERICAN HORROR STORY - Season 1 - "Smoldering Children" | ©2011 FX/Lewis Jacobs

Stars: Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott, Jessica Lange, Taissa Farmiga, Evan Peters, Denis O’Hare, Jamie Brewer, Michael Graziadei, Charles Dutton Writer: James Wong, series created by Ryan Murphy & Brad Falchuk Director: Michael Lehmann Network: FX, Wednesdays @ 10 PM Original Telecast: December 7, 2011 SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t seen the episode, don’t read this synopsis. With all the other crazy stuff going on in AMERICAN HORROR STORY, perhaps we can be forgiven for not having realized until now the “Duh!” revelation within “Smoldering Children,” which explains why Violet (Taissa Farmiga) and Tate (Evan Peters) have been able to finally …Read On »


TV Review: CASTLE – Season 4 – “Cuffed”

Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion in CASTLE - Season 4 - "Cuffed" | ©2011 ABC/Eric McCandless

Stars: Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Susan Sullivan, Molly Quinn, Tamala Jones, Seamus Deaver, Jon Huertas, Penny Johnson Jerald Writer: Terri Edda Miller and Andrew W. Marlowe Director: John Terleskey Network: ABC, Monday nights, 10 p.m. Original Telecast: December 5, 2011 I have to give writers Terri Edda Miller and Andrew W. Marlowe a lot of credit for finding a legitimate way to tell a story in flashback (a tactic I usually find lazy and abhorrent). They start the “Cuffed” episode of CASTLE with crime-solving author Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Det. Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) waking up hand-cuffed together. The flashback scenes happen …Read On »


TV Review: DEXTER – Season 6 – “Talk to the Hand”

Colin Hanks in DEXTER - Season 6 - "Talk To The Hand" | ©2011 Showtime/Randy Tepper

Stars: Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, Lauren Velez, Desmond Harrington, C.S. Lee, David Zayas, James Remar, Aimee Garcia, Geoff Pierson, Colin Hanks, Billy Brown, Josh Cooke, Jordana Spiro, Rya Kihlstedt Writers: Manny Coto & Tim Schlattman, series based on the books by Jeff Lindsay Director: Ernest Dickerson Network: Showtime, Sundays @ 9 PM Release Date: December 11, 2011 DEXTER has been known for its intriguing twists, and “Talk to the Hand” has a few, starting with Dexter’s (Michael C. Hall) notion to call out the annoying religious maniac Travis (Colin Hanks) by playing his game. SPOILER ALERT Deborah (Jennifer Carpenter), …Read On »


TV Review: BONES – Season 7 – “The Twist in the Twister”

Billy F. Gibbons in BONES - Season 7 - "The Twist in the Twister" | ©2011 Fox/Patrick McElhenney

Stars: David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel, Michaela Conlin, T.J. Thyne, Tamara Taylor, John Francis Daley, Joel David Moore, Billy F. Gibbons Writer: Karine Rosenthal, series created by Hart Hanson, based on the life and writings of Kathy Reichs Director: Jeannot Szwarc Network: Fox, Thursdays @ 9 PM Airdate: December 8, 2011 “The Twist in the Twister” is a BONES episode that brings in some Weather Channel-esque action to spin an intriguing A story, with subplots for Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and Booth (David Boreanaz), Angela (Michaela Conlin) and Jack (T.J. Thyne), and even recently-released psych patient squintern Fisher (Joel David Moore). The …Read On »


TV Review: ONCE UPON A TIME – Season 1 – “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter”

Raphael Sbarge, Lana Parrilla, Jared Gilmore, Jennifer Morrison, Robert Carlyle, Jamie Dornan, Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas in ONCE UPON A TIME – Season 1 | ©2011 ABC/Karen Hill

Stars: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, Robert Carlyle, Lana Parrilla, Jared Gilmore, Josh Dallas, Raphael Sbarge Writer: Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz Director: David M. Barrett Network: ABC, Sunday nights, 8 p.m. Original Telecast: December 11, 2011 When you see that an episode is written by the show’s creators, you have to figure it’s going to be a pretty key episode, especially if you’ve got an ongoing story arc, like this show does. “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” pays off big time. In this episode from ONCE UPON A TIME, we not only find out that Sheriff Graham (Jamie Dornan) does have a fairy tale counterpart, we see that Regina …Read On »


TV Review: CHUCK – Season 5 – “Vs. The Hack Off”

Scott Krinsky, Danny Pudi and Joshua Gomez in CHUCK - Season 5 - "Vs. The Hack Off" | ©2011 NBC/Matt Kennedy

Stars: Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, Joshua Gomez, Adam Baldwin, Vik Sahay, Scott Krinsky, Mark Christopher Lawrence, Ryan McPartlin Writer: Craig DiGregorio Director: Zachary Levi Network: NBC, Friday nights, 8 p.m. Original Telecast: December 9, 2011 “Chuck vs. the Hack Off” is star Zachary Levi’s third time behind the cameras on CHUCK, and I’m thinking he’s got his next career move lined up for himself. It truly helps that he gets the show from its DNA, but this was one slick episode, filled with those little bits that leave you smiling when you catch them. So, when we last left the independent spies of Carmichael Industries, Casey had just …Read On »

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