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Category:    Home > Reviews > Detective > Mystery > Canadian TV > Comedy > Satire > Technology > Cable > Heist > Superhero > Action > Murdoch Mysteries: Home For The Holidays (2017/Acorn Blu-ray)/Ocean's 8 4K (2018/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Silicon Valley: The Complete Fifth Season (2018/HBO DVD Set)/Supergirl: The Compl

Murdoch Mysteries: Home For The Holidays (2017/Acorn Blu-ray)/Ocean's 8 4K (2018/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Silicon Valley: The Complete Fifth Season (2018/HBO DVD Set)/Supergirl: The Complete Third Season (2017 - 2018/DC Comics/Warner Blu-ray Set)



4K Ultra HD Picture: A Picture: B+/B+/B-/B+ Sound: B+/A/B-/B+ Extras: C-/C+/D/B Main Programs: B



When stories about heists, robbery, murder, technology and even the superhero genre began, they started as more serious than they later landed up being in later years, if not all the time funny or amusing. The question to ask as you look at these new releases, do they have more comedy than they should or just the right amount?



The Murdoch Mysteries is a very high end British television show that is very cinematic and well done. Home For The Holidays (2017) is a feature length holiday special that looks and sounds exceptionally well on Blu-ray disc and comes recommended.


This time, Murdoch and Ogden's Christmas celebration in Victoria when an archaeologist is murdered over an ancient Indigenous settlement. This leads to encounters with the Songhees and Haida nations. Meanwhile, the Brackenreids are offered an investment opportunity that may not be what it seems, and Crabtree and Higgins plan a ski holiday with their sweethearts Nina Bloom and Ruth Newsome... which could prove to be a disaster.


The show stars Megan Follows, Yannick Bisson, Helene Joy, and Dylan Neal.


Presented in sharp 1080p high definition with a 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a 5.1 DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless track, the program looks and sounds fantastic. There is a lot of detail done in the costuming and period setting that really looks great here. If you're a fan and want a commercial/watermark free presentation to soak up the production value then look no further!


The only extra is a short featurette on the making of the show.


While the pacing may be a bit slow for some audience members, Murdoch Mysteries is a great program and this Holiday Special is an interesting on its own merits.



Sandra Bullock is accompanied by Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter, Awkwafina, and Sarah Paulson in Oceans 8 (2018) which is a reboot of the Ocean's 11 films, or the fourth of a series based on the remake. Directed by Gary Ross, the film is an entertaining caper film and is lighthearted for the most part with lots of spectacle, especially if you're attracted to the high end fashion world. The plot is pretty predictable and nothing too new but it's fun to see the chemistry onscreen between these very different leading ladies and their elaborate plan coming into effect.


After being released from prison after a five year sentence, Debbie Ocean (Bullock) devises the best heist in her career: stealing a $150 million necklace off the neck of an esteemed actress Daphne Kluger (Hathaway) at an event at the Met Gala. After she assembles her all star team, the plan goes off without a hitch until the ladies realize that in order to get away with it that they may have to clue in a few other persons to help.


The film is presented in 2160p HECV/H.265, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image and a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1. The disc has a few high end sound mixes including a Dolby Atmos 11.1 lossless track, an English Dolby True HD 7.1 mixdown and various tracks in different languages. The film is very stylized and translates beautiful to the new format with impeccable character details not evident in the also included 1080p Blu-ray version, which has similar sound and image specs.


Special Features:


A Heist in Heels featurette


Ocean's Team 3.0 featurette


Reimagining the Met Gala featurette


and Deleted Scenes



HBO's Silicon Valley returns for its Complete Fifth Season with high stakes for the Piped Piper crew as they face new challenges and a growing company. Produced by Mike Judge (Beavis and Butt-head) and loosely based on his own experiments in the city, the Emmy nominated series gives outsiders a look into the high tech world with plenty of laughs to be had as well.


This season stars Thomas Middleditch, Josh Brener, Martin Starr, Kumail Nanjiani, and Amanda Crew to name a few.


The season is made up on eight episodes that are all on one standard definition DVD disc. Episodes include Grow Fast or Die Slow, Reorientation, Chief Operating Officer, Tech Evangelist, Facial Recognition, Artificial Emotional Intelligence, Initial Coin Offering, and Fifty-One Percent.


The show is presented in an anamorphically enhanced 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital surround mix, both of which are of the norm for DVD. A digital copy is also included. The presentation is highly compressed (as is the norm with the format) and nothing too special.


No extras.



And finally, an underrated super heroine finally getting her hit due.


As far as DC Comics live action programming goes, Supergirl is the best of the bunch. Boasting impressive special effects, high octane action, and some interesting plot lines, the show has certainly matured in its Complete Third Season (2017 - 2018). Crossing over with the other CW comic book shows such as Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl is the best live-action version of the character to date. However, if you love the character and are interested in seeing some of her more humble beginnings, be sure to check out the new limited edition Blu-ray of Supergirl: The Movie (1984, reviewed elsewhere on this site and available exclusively from Warner Archive) with Helen Slater, who now has a recurring role on this show.


The Girl of Steel is played by the beautiful Melissa Benoist and is this season faces off against comic book favorites Martian Manhunter, Reign, and more as she attempts to balance her normal life with her superhero life. In one life, she's Kara Danvers who works for Cat Grant, a huge media company in National City and in her other life she's one of the last Kryptonians and protects humanity for otherworldly threats.


The show also stars Mehcad Brooks (About Last Night, Necessary Roughness), Chyler Leigh (Grey's Anatomy), Jeremy Jordan (Smash, Newsies), Katie McGrath (Jurassic World, Merlin), and Odette Annable (The Astronaut Wives Club), with Chris Wood (Containment), and David Harewood (Homeland). Based on the characters from DC by special arrangement with the Jerry Siegel family, Supergirl is produced by Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, Robert Rovner and Jessica Queller. Movie fans will also want to note that genre filmmaker Kevin Smith (Dogma, Clerks) stepped in and directed an episode of this season.


Season 3 is made up of 23 episodes that span four Blu-ray discs which include Girl of Steel, Triggers, Far from the Tree, The Faithful, Damage, Midvale, Wake Up, Crisis on Earth X - Part 1, Reign, Legion of Super-Heroes, Fort Rozz, Both Sides Now, Schott Through the Heart, In Search of Lost Time, Of Two Minds, Trinity, The Fanatical, Dark Side of the Moon, Not Kansas, Make it Reign, and Battles Lost and Won.


Presented in 1080p high definition with a 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a 5.1 DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless mix, both of which are a huge improvement over the original television broadcast which was riddled with watermarks and commercials. The show has a big budget feel and is nicely shot with a seamless marriage of practical and digital effects that is nicely showcased here in 1080p.


A digital copy is also included.


Special Features include...


The Best of DC TV's Comic-Con Panels San Diego 2017


Inside the Crossover: Crisis on Earth-X


She Will Reign! featurette


Gag Reel


and Deleted Scenes



- James Lockhart

https://www.facebook.com/jamesharlandlockhartv/


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