This week on home video, we’ve got the latest winner from Pixar, a not-so-well-received reboot of a comedy classic, a couple of worthy documentaries, a couple of solid indie flicks, and one extremely fascinating thriller featuring a slew of ornery wild animals, as well as a couple of extremely popular TV shows. Read on for the full list:


Inside Out (2015) 98%

Riley is an 11-year-old girl whose family has relocated from Minnesota to San Francisco, and she’s struggling with her emotions, which are personified by a group of colorful avatars that live and work in her brain. Special features abound in this Blu-ray release of Pixar’s latest winner, and they include the animated short that preceded the movie in theaters (Lava), an all-new animated short called “Riley’s First Date?,” several making-of featurettes, deleted scenes, and more.

Get it Here


Vacation (2015) 28%

Ed Helms is the latest actor to portray Rusty Griswold in this reboot of the beloved National Lampoon comedy, and the plot is basically the same as the original: the family hits the road for Walley World, and is met with wacky characters and bizarre humiliations along the way. Bonuses include cast and crew interviews, a making-of doc, a gag reel, deleted scenes, and a tribute to the state of Georgia.

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Best of Enemies (2015) 93%

This Certified Fresh documentary recounts the legendary televised debates between William F. Buckley, Jr. and Gore Vidal that were moderated by Howard K. Smith in 1968. No information is available on the special features, so there may not be any.

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The End of the Tour (2015) 92%

Jason Segel and Jesse Eisenberg star in this thinly fictionalized retelling of a few days in the life of David Foster Wallace on the verge of celebrity. The few extras on the disc include an audio commentary track, a short featurette, a conversation with composer Danny Elfman, and deleted scenes.

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Food Chains (2014) 91%

Forest Whitaker narrates this documentary on the plight of migrant farmworkers and their struggle against big chain supermarkets for better wages and working conditions, some of which constitute human rights violations. Again, no special features are listed.

Get it Here


Alex of Venice (2014) 74%

Mary Elizabeth Winstead stars as the titular character in Chris Messina’s directorial debut, about a recently single attorney who learns to move on with life. No bonus features are listed.

Get it Here


Roar (1981) 71%

For the first time on Blu-ray, we get the notoriously troubled production that resulted in more than 70 injured cast and crew members, including cinematographer Jan de Bont (who was partially scalped), producer and star Tippi Hedren, and her daughter, a young Melanie Griffith. The story centers on a man who lives in Africa with all sorts of wild animals; unfortunately, when his family comes to visit him, he’s not home, but his animals are. Extras include a making-of doc hosted by Hedren, a cast and crew Q&A, a commentary track, and more.

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She's Funny That Way (2014) 45%

Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston, and Imogen Poots headline an ensemble cast in Peter Bogdonavich’s screwball comedy about the interconnected lives of the cast and crew of a Broadway play. Bonus features include a commentary track and a behind-the-scenes featurette.

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Some Kind of Hate (2015) 38%

In this horror film, a bullied teen is sent to a school for troubled youth, but the bullying continues. When he inadvertently awakens the ghost of another bullied girl who committed suicide, she takes the opportunity to get her revenge.

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Doctor Who: Season 9 (2015) 90%

For those of you who don’t care to wait for the complete season set, the first half of Doctor Who‘s ninth season — six episodes in all — is available on Blu-ray and DVD this week. No information on extras is available.

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Black Sails: Season 2 (2015) 100%

The second season of Starz’s popular action/adventure series, following a young Captain Flint and his crew decades before the events of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, is available this week on DVD and Blu-ray. Extras include a look at the ship, profiles of the Black Sails world, and more.

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November’s not only turkey time, but it also marks the start of the holiday shopping season — which means some exciting new titles will be heading to DVD and Blu-ray this month. Check out Rotten Tomatoes picks’ for what to binge-watch in November, whether you’re trying to catch up on a show in time for the next season, looking for a new series to stream over a long weekend, or giving something a try before you re-gift it as a stocking stuffer next month!


Better Call Saul: Season 1 (2015) 97%

What it is: Before he was Saul Goodman, Albuquerque’s shadiest (and funniest) lawyer was Jimmy McGill aka “Slipping Jimmy” (Bob Odenkirk) in AMC’s Breaking Bad prequel.

Why you should watch it: Essential viewing for Breaking Bad fans, Better Call Saul is also a stand-alone drama, engrossing and darkly comic, with knock-out performances by Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks. The complete first season hits DVD on Nov. 10, so you better binge Saul!

Where to watch: All ten episodes of season one are also available on Amazon, Google PlayiTunes, PlayStation VideoVudu, and Xbox Video.

Commitment: About nine hours.


The Man in the High Castle: Season 1 (2015) 95%

What it is: Based on a Philip K. Dick novel, this show of the same name tells an alternate history of the Axis Powers winning World War II and the resistance movement growing throughout America in the early 1960s.

Why you should watch it: By executive producer Ridley Scott, The Man in the High Castle is unlike anything else on TV, with an immediately engrossing plot driven by quickly developed characters. Part of Amazon’s fourth “pilot season,” this fully realized post-war dystopia was the best-reviewed show of the lot in 2014.

Where to watch: The complete first season will be available on Amazon Prime on Friday, Nov. 20.

Commitment: 10 hours.


Inside Amy Schumer: Season 3 (2015) 100%

What it is: Comedy Central’s half-hour sketch show features a series of vignettes — many of which feature the comic’s biting feminist commentary — strung together by Schumer’s hilarious woman-on-the-street interviews.

Why you should watch it: Three seasons in, Trainwreck star Schumer is finally a household name, thanks in large part to a handful of sketches that went viral this year, including her parody of 12 Angry Men starring Paul Giamatti and the show’s musical spoof of One Direction’s “You Don’t Know You’re Beautiful.”

Where to watch: All three season are available on Amazon, Google Play, Hulu, iTunes, PlayStation Video, and Vudu. The DVD of season three hits the streets on Nov. 24.

Commitment: 15 hours.


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What it is: Based on the award-winning novels by Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall recounts the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn, as observed by Thomas Cromwell during his own ascension within the court of Henry VIII.

Why you should watch it: Mark Rylance‘s performance as Cromwell is enough reason to watch, but Damian Lewis and Claire Foy are also not to be missed. An exceptional supporting cast brings this cutthroat Tudor world to vivid life.

Where to watch: Season one is currently available on Amazon, Google Play, Vudu, and Xbox Video, as well as DVD and Blu-ray. It will also arrive on Amazon Prime on Nov. 11.

Commitment: Six hours.


Master of None: Season 1 (2015) 100%

Master of None

What it is: Aziz Ansari is the creator of Master of None, a new show on Netflix that is loosely based on his life. We follow Dev as he makes his way in NYC as an actor who, along with his friends, discovers what 30-something means today.

Why you should watch it: For all those that fell in love with Tom Haverford on Parks and Recreation, you will see a more nuanced, intimate kind of Ansari love here. Master of None’s cultural commentary is on-point, the weirdness of today’s romantic struggles are highlighted in all their awkward glory, and the cast is a talented bunch. Binge your hearts out; it’s a funny, sweet, neurotic ride.

Where to watch: Season one will be available on Nov. 6 exclusively on Netflix.

Commitment: Five hours.


Mr. Show With Bob and David: Season 1 () 100%

What it is: Before Bob Odenkirk and David Cross broke through with Breaking Bad and Arrested Development, respectively, they were the oddball duo behind Mr. Show, an anarchic sketch comedy that blended goofiness and edginess in a way that resembles Chappelle’s Show for the indie rock set.

Why you should watch it: Since W/ Bob & David is premiering on Netflix on Nov. 13, now’s as good a time as any to dive into one of the weirdest programs of the mid to late 1990s. For inspired randomness, absurdist satire, and some of the best segues in television history, you can’t beat Mr. Show. In addition to its leading men, the show served as an incubator for a number of the brightest lights of alt-comedy, including Jack Black, Sarah Silverman, Paul F. Tompkins, and Scott Aukerman.

Where to watch: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, PlayStation, Vudu, and DVD.

Commitment: 15 hours.


Black Sails: Season 2 (2015) 100%

What it is: Starz’s Black Sails is a period drama that follows the trials and triumphs of the most notorious men to sail the seven seas during piracy’s golden age.

Why you should watch it: This prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island offers a grittier take on the usual swashbuckling fare we’ve come to expect from our famous pirates.  So you can count on the action to build as the intrigue deepens.  With two seasons under its belt, there is already plenty of adventure to be had before Black Sails comes back for a third season in January 2016.

Where to watch: Both seasons are on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, PlayStation Video, Starz Play (with cable subscription), VuduXbox Video, and Xfinity (with cable subscription), and season two hits DVD and Blu-ray on Nov. 3.

Commitment: 18 hours.


Getting On: Season 2 (2010) 100%

What it is: The adaptation of the UK BBC comedy series of the same name showcases the careers and personal lives of doctors and nurses in a Long Beach hospital extended-care wing.

Why you should watch it: Folks who like their brilliant slapstick comedy to suddenly jolt you with empathy and smash your heart against the wall — and watch it slither to the floor where it gets rolled over by a squeaky, old wheelchair occupied by a vibrant but terminally-ill senior citizen who screams something naughty as she begins to dance naked in the hallways of the hospital wing, bringing you to tears of laughter once again — will love Getting On.

Where to watch: Season three premieres Nov. 8 at 10 p.m. on HBO. The first two seasons are streaming on Amazon, Google PlayHBO Go (with subscription), iTunes, Playstation Video, Vudu, and Xfinity (with cable subscription).

Commitment: Six hours.


Mike Tyson Mysteries: Season 1 (2014) 82%

What it is: In this animated series, Mike Tyson (voiced by Tyson himself) embarks on a series of hilarious investigations with his adopted Korean daughter, an irritable ghost, and a vulgar talking pigeon in tow. Their shenanigans take them everywhere from Cormac McCarthy’s ranch to outer space.

Why you should watch it: Mike Tyson appears to have embraced his newly reformed public persona as a big, unpredictable teddy bear with a knack for self-parody and just a touch of insanity. Mike Tyson Mysteries takes full advantage of this, and the result is an absurd comedy that alternates between high concept Scooby-Doo-esque hijinks and upended sitcom tropes. In other words, if you’re an Adult Swim fan, this will fit right into your schedule, and since the second season premieres on Sunday, it’s the perfect time to catch up.

Where to watch: The Adult Swim website has the first four episodes and the season finale of season one available to watch, and you can get the rest on AmazonGoogle PlayiTunes, or Vudu. You can also purchase the first season (uncensored) on DVD.

Commitment: Each episode is only 11 or 12 minutes long, so you should be able to finish the whole season in two hours.


Last Tango in Halifax: Season 3 (2014) 100%

What it is: In this touching British comedy-drama, Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid play school-day sweethearts who fall in love 60 years later, after the spouses of each have passed.

Why you should watch it: It’s a series about maturation, relationships, mistakes, forgiveness, and the metamorphoses that accompany such change, for those directly involved and for their often dysfunctional families. Influenced by writer Sally Wainwright’s mother’s second marriage, the life-changing events play out fervidly with understated realism. In a time when sensationalism and special effects can dominate the airwaves, Halifax brings an invigorating genuineness to relationships with subtle profundity.

Where to watch: Seasons one through three two are available on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, and Vudu. Seasons one and two are also on Netflix.

Commitment: 18 hours. 

Better Call Saul ends its first season this month, so now you can watch every episode in one 10-hour binge (and then wait forever like the rest of us for season two). And there’s still time to catch up on comedies Louie and Silicon Valley, before they come back this month. For those of you curious about joining the Clone Club, now is the time to binge the first two seasons of Orphan Black in time for Apr. 18. These, and other recommendations are below to satisfy any binge-watching tastes this month!


Better Call Saul

What it is: Before he was Saul Goodman in Breaking Bad, Albuquerque’s shadiest (and funniest) lawyer was Jimmy McGill.

Why you should watch it: For people who like to watch everything at once, season one will be ready for you to view in its entirety after the finale on AMC, Tuesday, Apr. 7. Essential viewing for Breaking Bad fans, Better Call Saul is also a stand-alone drama, engrossing and darkly comic, with knock-out performances by Bob Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks.

Where to watch: Every episode of season one is available on Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, iTunes, Xbox Video, and Vudu.

Commitment: 10 hours.


Orphan Black

What it is: After seeing “herself” jump in front of a train, a young woman discovers she is a clone and, with the help of the others like her, falls into a conspiratorial whirlwind of mystery and deception.

Why you should watch it: Tatiana Maslany has received attention her performances as each clone, but that’s not the only reason to watch. Suspense, drama, action, and a touch of tongue-in-cheek humor make this one a must-see for fans of varying genres.

Where to watch: Orphan Black returns with its season three premiere on Apr. 18. Seasons one and two are available on Xfinity, iTunes, Amazon Prime, Vudu, Sony Playstation, Google Play, Xbox Video, and DirecTV. Both seasons are also available on Blu-ray and DVD.

Commitment: 20 hours.


Sons of Anarchy

What it is: Kurt Sutter’s hit series from FX follows the exploits of the biker club SAMCRO, and its “president” Jax Teller (Charlie Hannum).

Why you should watch it: Sons of Anarchy rode off into the sunset earlier this year and left a legion of loyal fans and adoring critics in its wake. The Shakespearean themes of this gritty drama give poetic undertones to the violent lives (and deaths) of these characters.

Where to watch: Seasons one through six are streaming on Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, and Netflix. Season seven will debut on Netflix on Apr. 25. Every episode is also available on Amazon Instant Video, iTunes, Vudu, Xbox Video, and Google Play.

Commitment: 85 hours.


Silicon Valley

What it is: In Mike Judge’s comedy set in Bay Area’s tech universe, Richard (Thomas Middleditch) and his team of socially awkward developers make an app, catching the attention of the area’s billionaire investor.

Why you should watch it: Short and sweet, season one of Silicon Valley is an easy catch-up before season two premieres on Sunday, Apr. 12. The cast, featuring Middleditch, T.J. Miller, and Kumail Nanjiani, perfectly capture the oddball characters who rule the Internet.

Where to watch: Seaon one is available on HBO Go, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, iTunes, Xbox Video, and DVD and Blu-ray.

Commitment: 4 hours.


Penny Dreadful

What it is: Penny Dreadful creates a frightening variant of Victorian London, where horrific figures from classic literature such as Dr. Frankenstein, the Creature, Dorian Grey co-exist and terrorize the city.

Why you should watch it: The gore is intensified by the element of high drama, earning season one a Certified Fresh Tomatometer score of 78 percent.

Where to watch: Penny Dreadful season two begins May 3 on Showtime. Seasons one is available on Showtime Anytime, iTunes, Vudu, and Amazon Instant Video. It’s also available on Blu-ray and DVD.

Commitment: Eight hours.


Black Sails

What it is: This prequel to Treasure Island chronicles the rise of John Silver (Luke Arnold) and the adventures of Captain Flint (Toby Stephens).

Why you should watch it: The series, which just finished airing season two, takes a deeper look at the politics during the Golden Age of Piracy than the usual swashbuckling and copious use of the phrase, “Arrrrrr!”

Where to watch: Both seasons are streaming on Starz Play. Every episode is also available on Amazon Instant Video, iTunes, Vudu, and Google Play.

Commitment: 20 hours.


Looking

What it is: Three gay men ride the turbulent waves of the San Francisco dating scene while maintaining their friendships and careers.

Why you should watch it: Though recently canceled, season two of Looking begins streaming on iTunes on Apr. 20. Its honest depiction of sexual and emotional issues grabbed critics’ attention with season one, which is Certified Fresh at 89 percent, and continued to impress critics and fans (currently petitioning for its revival) throughout its short run.

Where to watch: Seasons one and two are available on HBO Go and iTunes (season two iTunes as of Apr. 20). Season one is also available on Vudu, Google Play, YouTube, X Box Video, and Amazon Instant Video. Season one is available on Blu-ray and DVD (season two is available for pre-order).

Commitment: Nine hours.


Manhattan

What it is: A family drama set in Los Alamos, NM, portrays the development of the Manhattan Project and the invention of the atomic bomb.

Why you should watch it: Manhattan uses the government’s top secrecy to explore drama and intrigue on a family level. It also drives you to root for this band of scientists struggling with the dilemma of creating such a fearsome weapon, and not being able to tell their loved ones about it.

Where to watch: Season one is available on Hulu Plus, iTunes, Vudu, Google Play, Xbox Video ,and YouTube Purchase.

Commitment: 13 hours.


Louie

What it is: In this quasi-autobiographical FX series, Louis CK plays himself, a stand-up comedian and single dad living in New York City.

Why you should watch it: Louis CK’s encapsulation of the human experience is at once hilarious and sad and his hometown of The Big Apple is the perfect setting for examining everything wonderful, awful, and downright weird about people.

Where to watch: Seasons one through four are available with a subscription to Amazon Prime and Netflix. All four seasons are also available on Google Play, iTunes, PlayStation, Vudu, XBox Video, and DVD.

Commitment: 27 hours, and with season five coming to FX on Apr. 9, you better start now!


The X-Files

What it is: FBI agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) investigate unexplained paranormal phenomena. Mulder wants to believe, but Scully is a skeptic.

Why you should watch it: With the announcement of an X-Files reboot, there’s no time like to present to familiarize yourself with the show — especially if you’re a fan of aliens, conspiracies, unexplained phenomena, or just really good mysteries.

Where to watch: All nine seasons of The X-Files are available on DVD and streaming on Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, and Netflix. You can also download every episode from iTunes and Vudu.

Commitment: 154 hours.


Which of these shows would you recommend to a friend? Let us know in the comments section below!

 

Just ahead of its season two finale this weekend, Starz announced the casting of Ray Stevenson (Rome, Divergent), who will play the iconic pirate Blackbeard in season three of Black Sails.

According to a release from Starz, Edward Teach known as Blackbeard, one of the biggest, baddest pirates of all time, “returns to settle some unfinished business, but a great deal has changed during his absence, and he will have to disrupt cemented alliances and challenge new ones to achieve the impossible.”

The network also released a behind-the-scenes sneak peek of season three:

The season finale of Black Sails season two airs Saturday, Mar. 28 at 9:00 pm. Season two is currently Fresh at 100 percent. Read reviews here.

CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS FOR BLACK SAILS EPISODE 205 (“XIII”)

On Saturday night’s installment of Black Sails, “XIII” (episode 205), we finally understand the motivations behind the character of Captain Flint (Toby Stephens).

Since the first season, this Royal-Navy-officer-turned-pirate-captain has been an enigma — along with his relationship to Miranda Barlow (Louise Barnes). But with the reveal of Flint’s homosexuality, it becomes clear why he had to leave London (he and his lover were caught), why he was so angry (the love of his life was committed to an institution for their affair), why Mrs. Barlow is so invested in the future of Nassau (it was Thomas’ cause), and what the significance of the book was (it was given from Thomas to Flint as a symbol of their love).

With these new insights, Rotten Tomatoes chatted with the cast of Black Sails about their reaction to the big twist.


ZACH MCGOWAN (CAPTAIN CHARLES VANE): ‘I THINK THAT THE FANS ARE GOING TO LOVE IT.’

“I think that the fans are going to love it because I think it further justifies [Flint’s character]… I mean, there’s going to be people who are pissed, like, ‘F— that. You can’t do that to pirates,’ you know what I mean? I’m really excited for that conversation to happen because it’s probably a rare thing… To go back and show his history and a homosexual relationship that is basically what has made him become a pirate, is, I think, awesome.

“I remember when we read [episode] five last year… we were all like texting, like, ‘Oh my God.’ Then we’re on set like, ‘Did you read that? Holy s—“… he was basically persecuted by the people who were supposed to be his community and the government. So I think it’s going to be essentially the foundation for the rest of the show and I think that — you know what? The people who don’t like it will have to ask their questions about why they don’t like things to themselves.


Sean Cameron Michael (Richard Guthrie): ‘How brave is Starz to go there with that?’

“I had no idea they were going to go in that direction and when I got the script for it and it said, “Flint turns to Thomas and they kiss.” I was like, ‘What? Seriously? F—. Whoa. Okay.’ And I was like, ‘Reread it. Where are my glasses? Let me reread this. Seriously?’ I was really, really shocked, and I was like, ‘F—. How brave. How brave are the writers. How brave is Starz to go there with that’… I think it’s beautiful that Black Sails can go there, that the story can go there. And I think what then happens is with all the flashbacks in season two, which are beautiful and amazing, it’s almost like one wants to quickly then rewind the tape, quickly go back to season one and go, ‘Were there any clues there?’ But I think it’s great and I think it’s really, really brave that Starz is going there with it.”


Jessica Parker Kennedy (Max): ‘It’s an awesome twist.’

“When I found out, I was shocked beyond shocked that that’s where the writers were going to take the show. I think it’s just a really interesting choice. I mean, I suppose in a lot of ways he really needed a secret and it’s an interesting one for them to choose to have him be…. But that being said… homosexuality is just something that’s been around forever. It’s not something new. I mean, it’s so interesting because we have the show with all these bisexual characters… It’s an awesome twist. It’s an awesome twist because it comes out of left field and it’s not what you’re imagining.”


Louise Barnes (Miranda Barlow): ‘It felt so modern and so open minded.’

“They’re not people who live easily within the confines of normal society at that time, but that she loved her husband, and he loved her, and the relationship that Flint and Thomas had by no means belittled the relationship she had with Thomas, it felt so modern and so open minded… There were no compromises. It wasn’t as if she felt cheated.

“There’s that beautiful scene where she’s trying to encourage him… she’s saying, ‘This is your opportunity to make this right,’ and the scene shows that their relationship is so complex and is based in respect and deep admiration and love for each other… There are very few people you have a relationship with where you can call them on their s—, you know? And she does. She says, ‘No, that’s not why you’re here,’ and she’s the only person who can do that to him.”


HANNAH NEW (ELEANOR GUTHRIE): ‘We believe in the story lines.’

“I feel like women could escape those kind of constraints of society because the idea of a romantic friendship between women was something that was kind of accepted in a way and very present in literature. I think that for male relationships, it was never really explored at all openly. I was really relieved that that was an aspect of history that was going to finally be seen on TV because you just never have seen that in a context of Naval men who are supposed to be these symbols of machoism but actually have created this amazing friendship that has blossomed into something very beautiful.

“So I was just really excited that the the show was brave enough to take that on… We believe in the story lines, and we believe that the people will be invested enough in these characters to know that it’s a very important aspect of the story we’re trying to tell. I think, personally, the audiences that we’re trying to reach are going to be just super-happy that there’s some kind of representation, and so, for me, I’m just really excited to see people finally go, ‘At last, at last.”


Toby Schmitz (Jack Rackham): ‘They’ve been setting it up from the beginning.’

“God, it’s good. You know what I loved about it? The kiss is nothing in what the big reveal is. It just sets off a sequence. It was this huge sequence and in the middle of it, there’s a kiss. Before I saw it, I rather momentarily thought, ‘Oh, that’ll be the big ‘Wow’ moment,’ but it’s all the stuff that comes after it. Because, right up to the kiss, I think you’re going, ‘Oh my God, this is a three-way salon idea,’ and then the emotional fallout of how much he loved him and how much he felt ashamed is the real power of the next six or seven minutes after the kiss. That’s the knock-out television I thought. It’s the sequence after the kiss. I thought, ‘Well, I haven’t seen that on telly and definitely not on a pirate genre-mash show.’ I thought it was great and they’ve been setting it up from the beginning, that this is a sexually fluid world. There’s different rules here.

“I keep thinking about Berlin 1922 or San Francisco 1967 when the gloves are off about partner swapping, about going with your actual gut and finding out who you are sexually, and then the emotional fallout of that.”


Clara Paget (Anne Bonny): ‘I was very proud of them for putting that in.’

“I loved it because, obviously, going along with my story line as well, it’s just exploring these relationships in this time where gay and lesbian — it wasn’t defined. It still isn’t. For some reason, we’d like to define it and put it in boxes nowadays. So I loved that story line and making a male do it for once. We’ve seen the girl-on-girl stuff and it was time to show that. And, you know, they?re at sea. It’s like being in the army or in the navy. Of course you’re going to create these bonds. It’s a generally male society, so it makes total sense. I think it’s great and it’s brave that they touched on that… because they’re these macho guys. To show that side on television with pirates is brave. I was very proud of them for putting that in.”


Black Sails airs Saturdays on Starz at 9 pm. Season two is currently Fresh at 100 percent. Read reviews here.

Starz’s Black Sails embarks on its second season this Saturday at 9 pm, and make no (cross)bones about it — you’ve never seen pirates like this before. Here’s where and why to catch up with Captain Flint’s crew of marauding corsairs as they plunder their way to the biggest score of 1715.

Black Sails

Black Sails

What’s the premise? A prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, Black Sails follows one pirate crew’s pursuit of a Spanish treasure galleon as events take place on land and on sea.

What’s it like? Black Sails has all the swords and sex one would want from a Starz historical epic while thoughtfully unfolding individual stories in a fashion that we’ve come to expect from modern TV storytelling. Think Spartacus meets Mad Men, a world in which the women — though small in numbers — learn to survive, subvert, and eventually succeed in a sea of ruthless chauvinists. Of course, the men of 1960s Madison Avenue are slightly less savage than the pirates of 18th-century New Providence. The adventures of Flint (Toby Stephens), Max (Jessica Parker Kennedy), Eleanor (Hannah New), Vane (Zach McGowan), and John Silver (Luke Arnold) play out in 1715 Nassau during the “Golden Age of Piracy,” told against big-budget sets and cinema-worthy action.

Where can I see it? Season one is on DVD and Blu-ray, and is available to stream on Starz Play, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, iTunes, and Vudu.

How long will it take? At eight hours, season one plays out like one long movie, so you can definitely catch up for Black Sails‘ return Saturday night.

What do the critics think? Season one debuted to mixed reviews with a Fresh Tomatometer score of 64 percent. Most critcs had the same overall comment — that the pilot showed a great deal of potential, but that Black Sails needed to figure out what it wanted to be. As Grantland’s Andy Greenwald wrote, “Black Sails feels marooned between possibilities.” But after screening four episodes of season one, Tim Goodman of the Hollywood Reporter said, “It becomes clear that Black Sails has more ambition than merely artfully framing a lesbian sex scene or a sword fight. It has a fairly large story to tell and, even by the end of the fourth episode, is unspooling it slower and with more care than one might have imagined when considering the words ‘Michael Bay’ and ‘pirates’ and ‘Starz.'” Carrie Kroop from Common Sense Media also found Black Sails exceeding her expectations. “It actually has a lot more to offer, including a complex plot and a compelling roster of characters — both fictional and factual — that combine to create an effective fantasy world.” And Gail Pennington of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch captured one very specific plus to watching Black Sails: “This is one gorgeous show.”

Why should I watch this? Black Sails is a must for viewers who love period pieces. The sets, the costumes, and, of course, the swashbuckling, all place you smack-dab in the middle of an age when English ex-privateers plundered treasures of the Caribbean. Then there are the big-budget action scenes set against turquoise seas and the lustful encounters enacted by gorgeous cast members (Game of Thrones fans will be excited to see that “Blackwater” director Neil Marshall is behind a couple of season one episodes). But there is a realism to Black Sails which helps offer a more rounded view of pirate life. In particular, women and people of color are not bound to the societal laws of the time and can rise to power through their own hustle, and the political and financial systems of the British, the Spanish, and the Bahamians make for a fresh tale from history on the small screen.

What’s my next step? You could investigate the many incarnations of Treasure Island (including, God forbid, reading the book!) which follows up with Long John Silver 20 years later, but the TV shows most in line with Black Sails are Vikings, Rome, The Tudors, The Borgias, and Deadwood. Also, if you’re a Starz subscriber, you can binge Spartacus, Da Vinci’s Demons, and Outlander on Starz Play. For something a bit more tame, try season one of NBC’s Crossbones with John Malkovich or BBC America’s The Musketeers, now airing season two.

Are you ready to take the plunge with Black Sails? Tell us why!


Take a behind-the-scenes look at the upcoming season of Black Sails, coming to Starz on January 24 at 9 pm. With more stunts and sets than before, season two is all in the details.

[ivavideo]Id=770851,Img=http://content.internetvideoarchive.com/content/photos/9276/770851_007.jpg[/ivavideo]

Season two of the pirate drama Black Sails picks up where season one left off — with the Walrus crew stranded and an army of Spanish soldiers standing between them and the precious Urca gold. Will you be watching?

Seems like just about any piece of "Indiana Jones 4" news is worthy of mention, even when it’s the smallest little tidbit of a teaser. IGN FilmForce shares a George Lucas quote from MTV that basically says "We’re not much closer to getting started, but BOY is this gonna be a good movie!"

"George Lucas says the script is done for ‘Indiana Jones 4’, but that filming probably won’t begin until next year, confirming details shared by Frank Marshall last week.

"We’re working on it, we’re working on it," Lucas told MTV. "We’ve been working on it for 10 years. I think it’ll be a great film, but it’s completely different. It’s still got a lot of action, and it’s still very funny. I think it works like crazy.""

Click here for (a little) more.

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