Now Available to Own: Under the Skin, Black Dynamite, Orphan Black, and More

Black Dynamite Cartoon

Television on Blu-Ray

Black Dynamite (Season 1) (Byron Minns, Scott Sanders, and Michael Jai White) The Black Dynamite animated series further chronicles the exploits of the central character, Black Dynamite and his crew. Action comedy-spoof that follows ex-CIA agent and full-time ladies man, Black Dynamite, who’s out to avenge the death of his brother against kung-fu masters, drug-dealing pimps and The Man. Starring Liz Benoit, Jimmy Walker Jr., and Tommy Davidson

Our very own Ian J had a chance to review this title, here’s his thoughts:

First and foremost, visually, Black Dynamite is superbly stunning. The color hues, saturation and blacks in the animation are very vivid and are unlike anything I’d seen in an animated series. Being an urban dark comedy, this style of animation really goes well with the overall theme and setting of the show. The action sequences have a very “in-your-face” anime style. Think Samurai Champloo. This style, however, is the complete opposite from the movie of the same name’s lo-fi, intentionally flat, mono-sourced music, it is everything you would hope for in a animated spin-off such as this.

The writing suffers a little from over referencing of well-known people and events from the ’70s as well as some of the main-plot narratives being over the top. It seemed like every episode referenced a big name form the ’70s – The Jacksons, Mr. T, and Elvis Presley just to name a few. I get that series is based in that time period, so some reference is needed. It felt like listening to a band’s brand new album except it was loaded with big-name features, so you didn’t feel like you were really getting a chance to see the band stand on their own two feet. Also, some of the stories were a little over the top for my taste. For instance, in one episode, Black Dynamite is on the moon, which seems incredibly farfetched when compared to the overall theme of the movie, and what I assumed the series to have been as well.

With that said, I’d have to say that overall, I really enjoyed the series. Despite what I believe are its shortcomings, makes up for 10x over in all other areas. Being its first go-around, Black Dynamite definitely deserves your attention.

Special features included are:

  • Video Commentaries featuring writer Carl Jones and members of the cast
  • Original Pilot
  • Behind the Scenes
  • UltraViolet Digital Copy

Orphan Black (Season 2) (John Fawcett and Graeme Manson)  A streetwise hustler is pulled into a compelling conspiracy after witnessing the suicide of a girl who looks just like her. Starring Tatiana Maslany, Dylan Bruce, and Jordan Gavaris

I have yet to check this show out but I have only heard good things. Definitely something I need to check out, especially since it’s coming to Comic-Con next week. Special features includes:

  • Exclusive – Making of the 4 Clone Scene: Plus an extended version of the scene with running commentary from co-creator/writer Graeme Manson and co-creator/director John Fawcett, who share their vision.
  • Orphan Black: “The Cloneversation”
  • Clone Club – Character Profiles
  • The Two Clone Smackdown
  • Script to Screen
  • Hair and makeup featurette

Hell on Wheels (Season 3) (Joe Gayton and Tony Gayton) Cullen Bohannon, a former soldier and slaveholder, follows the track of a band of Union soldiers, the killers of his wife. This brings him to the middle of one of the biggest projects in US history, the building of the transcontinental railroad. After the war years in the 1860s, this undertaking connected the prospering east with the still wild west.Starring Anson Mount, Colm Meaney, and Phil Burke

Another series I have yet to check out. But unlike Orphan Black, I haven’t heard anything good nor bad about this show. Special features includes:

  • A look at season 3
  • Four behind-the-scenes featurettes
  • Ten “Inside the Episodes” Featurettes
  • Where season 2 left off

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