DVD Reviews

Ben 10 vs. The Universe: The Movie

3/5

Fun Animation Adventure

In BEN 10 VS. THE UNIVERSE, 10-year-old Ben (voiced by Tara Strong) has grown jaded to the drudgery and predictability of workaday heroism. He’s eager for new challenges, and while complaining about this to his cousin Gwen and Grandpa Max, they get a call from Phil (John DiMaggio) about an impending crisis. A meteor is heading straight towards Earth, large enough to destroy the Earth. With some upgrades and space training, Ben’s ready to stop the meteor. But as he goes into space, he misses the meteor and goes through a wormhole, ending up on a spaceship where aliens believe that he’s the supervillain Vilgax (Yuri Lowenthal) in disguise. Meanwhile, the meteor has landed on Earth, and while the planet isn’t destroyed, Vilgax is the one inside the meteor. Now Ben, with some unexpected allies, must find a way to convince his alien captors that he’s not Vilgax, then return to Earth and stop the real Vilgax.

DVD BONUS FEATURES INCLUDE:

  • Animatics

Cast: Dee Bradley Baker, Greg Cipes, John DiMaggio

Directors: Henrique Jardim, John McIntyre

Studio: Cartoon Network

GRANT

3/5

S.P. – Well done reconstruction of Ulysses S. Grant’s life.

The documentary-series examines Grant’s life story using his perspective and experiences to explore a turbulent time in history: the Civil War and Reconstruction.

Produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson, Grant looks at the life and career of the military legend who saved the Union during the Civil War and tried to hold the nation together during his two terms in the White House. Based on Ulysses S. Grant’s own memoirs and drawing from Ron Chernow’s 2018 bestselling bio, the documentary stars Justin Salinger as the cigar-chomping man himself in reenactments. The Malcolm Venville-directed event series is also full of insights from the likes of Ta-Nehisi Coates, Gen. David Petraeus, Chernow himself and others.

CAST
Justin Salinger (TV’s “Hanna,” “The Mill,” Everest)
Francis Chouler (TV’s “Black Sails,” Eye in the Sky, “The Widow”)
Carel Nel (TV’s “Blood Drive,” “Vagrant Queen,” The Last Days of American Crime)

‘WE BARE BEARS THE MOVIE’

5/5

A heartwarming story about acceptance and diversity.

We Bare Bears is a cartoon that aired on the Cartoon Network for four seasons. It centers around three bears (grizzly, polar, and panda) that are “bros for life” and vow to stick together no matter what. The show follows them as they try to integrate onto human life by doing traditionally human things like buying food, seeing movies, and making friends with humans. The show now has a follow-up movie meant to be a cap to the series (which has ended its run) and finish their storyline.

The movie starts with the grizzly bear having a nightmare about when the bears first met and had to form a “bear stack” (the three bears all stack up in order to move around more quickly) to escape an oncoming train. He awakens before the train gets too close.

We now find the three bears live in San Francisco, and they very much want to be accepted as part of the community. In their efforts to make a good impression, they accidentally cause a trail of disasters that turns the community as a whole against them. This incident brings them to the attention of National Wildlife Control Agent Trout, who proposes to remove the bears and return them to their natural habitats (China, the Arctic, and a North American grizzly habitat). As a result, the bears flee the city and make a run for Canada with Agent Trout on their trail. Along the way, they meet several animal friends (some with very wild personalities) and have to learn to rely on each other and be better friends to keep each other safe.

DIGITAL
We Bare Bears The Movieis currently available to own on Digital. Digital allows consumers to instantly stream and download all episodes to watch anywhere and anytime on their favorite devices. Digital is available from various retailers including iTunes, Amazon Video, Google Play, Vudu, PlayStation, Xbox and others. A Digital Code is also included in the U.S. with the purchase of specially marked Blu-ray discs for redemption and cloud storage.
 
BONUS FEATURES
  • Commentary
  • Early Sketches
  • Movie Pitches
  • Animatics and Pencil Tests
  • Deleted Scenes

SpongeBob SquarePants: Bikini Bottom Bash

5/5

It’s SpongeBob’s birthday, but it’s a surprise, so SpongeBob and Patrick are going on a tour of the surface world while everyone else plans the birthday blowout below.

Then, Bikini Bottom throws a wave of other parties: Catch some rays with SpongeBob and Patrick to get into the biggest bash in town, enjoy a girls’ night in at Pearl’s sleepover, raise the pineapple’s roof at SpongeBob’s house party, and celebrate the Krusty Krab’s momentous eleventy-seventh anniversary! Let’s par-tay!

Episodes Include:

  • SpongeBob’s Big Birthday Blowout

  • SpongeBob’s House Party

  • Sun Bleached

  • The Slumber Party

  • Truth or Square

TWIN, the Norwegian drama series starring Kristofer Hivju from Game of Thrones

5/5

TWIN is one of the most anticipated Nordic TV Suspense-Dramas. The series features a prominent cast including Kristofer Hivju, most famously known for his role as Tormund Giantsbane in HBO’s smash-hit drama series Game of Thrones and Norwegian actress Rebekka Nystabakk; high production value and a thrilling story taking place in the dramatic and picturesque settings of Lofoten, Norway.

Erik and Adam are identical twin brothers, living completely different lives. Erik is a broke surfer bum. Adam is a successful family and business man. When Erik seeks out his brother for the first time in 15 years, a quarrel ends with Erik and Adam’s wife, Ingrid, accidentally killing Adam. To avoid getting arrested for murder, and save his brother’s family, Erik takes over Adam’s identity. It soon turns out that the biggest challenge is not avoiding getting caught it’s pretending to be someone you’re not.

Co-Created by Hivju and Lead Writer/Director Kristoffer Metcalfe

Language: Norwegian, German, French, English

THE GREAT ALASKAN RACE: 3 - Film Collection

3/5

Following up to the successful home entertainment release of THE GREAT ALASKAN RACE on January 28th, P12 FILMS has just announced a brand new 3-Film Collection including the original full-length feature film The Great Alaskan Race, along with two new educational, documentary featurettes including the Iditarod film, “Why do they Run?” and the Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon story “Lure of the North,” plus additional Interactive Educational Video and new bonus content.

The Great Alaskan Race 3-Film Educational Bundle includes:

The Great Alaskan Race:
After overcoming personal tragedy, widowed father and champion musher Leonhard ‘Sepp’ Seppala steps in the midst of a diphtheria outbreak in his small dock town of Nome, Alaska to safely deliver the anti-toxin to the hospital. With his own child’s life on the line, Sepp battles the impossible, accompanied by his trusty pack of sled dogs. When a severe winter storm has made it impossible journey for planes, trains, or any form of transportation, Sepp and his dogs are able to get the anti-toxin to the children in need, just in the nick of time.

Why Do They Run?:
Produced by the Emmy award winning Insider Production Team, this short documentary takes a fascinating look at the sled dog to answer the burning question: “Why do they run?” In just 33 minutes viewers will get insight and testimony from leading veterinarians and scientists that answer this very question. A true “must see” for any dog lover!

Lure of The North:
This short documentary film profiles Blake and Jennifer Freking, a musher family from Finland, Minnesota who care for 60+ purebred Siberian Huskies. With over 20 years of working with the breed, they have each competed in numerous long-distance sled dog races including the Iditarod, Yukon Quest, and The John Beargrease Marathon. The film explores the challenges of living and raising a family off-grid in the snowiest region of Minnesota and captures the Frekings’ devotion to the sport, spirit of adventure, and commitment to the well-being of their huskies. Produced and directed by Johnathan Chapman (JCP).

Additionally, new special features Include:

“The Making of The Great Alaskan Race”

“Behind-the-Scenes with the Iditarod”

“Beargrease Race Kick off Video,” and “Mushers Review The Great Alaskan Race.”

Betty Davis: They Say I’m Different

4/5

Original Funk Queen Betty Davis took on 1970s establishment America and changed the course of women in music forever. Then she vanished. Forty years later, Betty, in a creative and constructed narrative, finally shares her extraordinary story.

The world simply wasn’t ready for a woman like Betty Davis. With her raw, explicit image, her music was too honest and too real for the industry. When many female groups were in cute little dresses singing about their long-lost love, Betty was on stage in hot shorts and boots belting out anti-love songs, released in 1973. She was bold, powerful and wrote her own lyrics where she owned her sexuality and refused to conform. When she completely disappeared, many wondered where she was, literally not knowing whether she was dead or alive.

In this amazing documentary, you get to experience the journey Betty took to becoming the pioneer of funk, which paved the way for so many other artists of my generation like Prince, who seemed to embody the exact same presence on stage. Interviews with ex-bandmates and childhood friends give you a sense of who Betty Davis was behind the image. Friends call her shy, private and remember being shocked when they saw her perform in sexy outfits, singing in a deep raspy voice because at home she was described as a quiet church-going girl. Her bandmates mention her as a strong feminist who displayed frustration with the music industry who denied her opportunities as a woman. Her brief marriage to jazz legend Miles Davis was mentioned as volatile and had a great effect on her personal life but it was also seen as very influential as Betty had a huge impact on not only Miles’ music, but the transformation in his image and the way he challenged himself as an artist.

When her father passed away, the world saw less of her until she simply vanished. As they finally get in touch with Betty, we never really know what happened to her all those years. We are left wondering, will she come back with new music and reconnect with her fans or remain a mystery? One thing is for sure, this story will definitely re-introduce you to one of the most powerful, influential musicians of funk ever!

Big Little Lies: The Complete Second Season

The Lies Continue To Haunt As the DVD is Available Now and on Blu-ray via Warner Archive Collection

5/5

In season two, on the surface, everything seems the same in the seaside town of Monterey, CA: mothers continue to dote, husbands support, children are adorable, houses are beautiful. But the night of the school fundraiser changed all that, leaving the community reeling as the “Monterey Five” bond together to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives. Meanwhile, Perry’s grieving mother Mary Louise Wright (Streep) comes to town in search of answers after son’s death.

Perhaps the most exciting development in Big Little Lies’ second season is that there’s more depth to each of the characters, allowing Witherspoon, Dern, and Kravitz in particular to give even more impressive performances. The show appears to be exchanging an all-consuming, incendiary mystery for a tale that’s less mercurial but no less hearty, and it’s still an absolute pleasure to watch.

DVD BONUS FEATURES:

The Lies Revealed: A Conversation with the Cast’ Meryl Streep, Shailene Woodley, Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Zoe Kravitz and Laura Dern share laughs and mimos as as they look back at Season 2

7 ONE-HOUR EPISODES

1.What Have They Done?

2.Tell-Tale Hearts

3.The End of The World

4.She Knows

5.Kill Me

6.The Bad Mother

7.I Want To Know

Veronica Mars: The Complete First Season 2019

5/5

Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell) grew up in Neptune, California, working as a teenage P.I. alongside her father, former police chief Keith Mars (Enrico Colantoni). It took her 19 years to finally get away from the town, but now, ten years later, Veronica is back and has once again teamed up with her father in the family business. These days Veronica often finds herself working cases helping women catch their cheating husbands and boyfriends. Her father is experiencing some health issues that may be a delayed result of a car accident he had years earlier he walks around with a cane, and is experiencing some issues with his memory. But that hasn’t dulled his ability to verbally spar with his daughter.

As the series opens, Veronica’s longtime boyfriend, former Navy Pilot turned intelligence officer Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring), has returned from some mystery assignment, and he has a question to ask Veronica. However, Veronica is not the marrying type, and is pretty sure that she has made Logan aware of that over the years.

Neptune is a big Spring Break town, and is already being overrun with the annual throngs of frat kids. Meanwhile, crooked real-estate tycoon, Richard “Big Dick” Casablancas (David Starzyk) has been trying to get the town to pass some ordinances that would drive out the small businesses. One of these is a local nightclub owned by the tough Nicole Malloy (Kirby Howell-Baptiste), and another is the local motel. The situation escalates when a bomb goes off at the motel, killing four people the owner of the motel, a student/Mexican national, a law school student, and the fiancee of the younger brother of wealthy Arab American Congressman Daniel Maloof (Mido Hamada). Was this a random act, or was one of these people the intended target of the bomb?

As Veronica and her father start to investigate, they bump heads with the town’s new police chief (Dawnn Lewis). And things only get worse what seemed like an isolated incident quickly turns into a serial bomber case. The FBI are called in, with the investigation being led by Veronica’s former boyfriend Leo D’Amato (Max Greenfield). While working on the bombing case, the Mars’ also take on some smaller cases to help pay the bills. And along the way they bump into many old acquaintances as well as some interesting new ones.

The series has a really nice blend of mystery, drama, thriller and humor. One of the highlights is the relationship between Veronica and her father. The two have this fun, quippy, sarcastic way of speaking with one another.

Longtime fans of the series will see the return of characters like Veronica’s best friend Wallace Fennel (Percy Daggs III) who is now a married high school teacher and coach, Pacific Coast Highway biker gang leader Eli ‘Weevil’ Navarro (Francis Capra), and “Big Dick”‘s son Dick Casablancas (Ryan Hansen), who’s now an actor. Among the many new characters are two mysterious hitmen for the Mexican cartel (Clifton Collins Jr., Frank Gallegos); Clyde Pickett (J.K. Simmons), an old acquaintance of Keith’s who spent some time in prison and is now working for Richard Casablancas; Matty Ross (Izabela Vidovic), the daughter of the owner of the motel, who becomes Veronica’s protege; two brutes who are after Matty, looking for their sister’s engagement ring that disappeared in the bombing; nerdy pizza delivery guy Penn Epner (Patton Oswalt) who runs a club of “Murderheads” who like to swap conspiracy theories and his fellow Murderhead Don (Clark Duke), who calls into their meetings remotely from D.C.; and numerous badly-behaved frat boys in town for Spring Break.

Includes:

  • All 8 episodes of the first season of the revival series (fourth season of the series overall):
    Disc 1: “Spring Break Forever”, “Chino and the Man”, “Keep Calm and Party On”, “Heads You Lose”
    Disc 2: “Losing Streak”, “Entering a World of Pain”, “Gods of War”, “Years, Continents, Bloodshed”

Special Feature:

  • Veronica Mars at Comic Con 2019
    Footage from this past July’s San Diego Comic-Con panel for the series. The Q&A is moderated by TVLine’s Michael Ausiello, and the panelists include Francis Capra (“Eli ‘Weevil’ Navarro”), Percy Daggs III (“Wallace Fennel”), Ryan Hansen (“Dick Casablancas”), Kirby Howell-Baptiste (“Nicole Malloy”), Enrico Colantoni (“Keith Mars”), Jason Dohring (“Logan Echolls”), Kristen Bell (“Veronica Mars”), writer/executive producer Diane Ruggiero-Wright, and writer/creator Rob Thomas

Family Guy: Season Seventeen

5/5

Season 17 of the animated series starts off with a two-parter in which Brian meets, falls in love with and marries a woman with a terminal illness, only to realize that his rushed decision could spectacularly backfire. In other episodes, Stewie unexpectedly finds a new friend, Peter is hired as Press Secretary at the White House, Lois tries to write a novel, Chris takes up vaping, Meg becomes an Olympic biathlete and Quagmire finally pays the price for his promiscuity.

The Orville: The Complete Second Season

3/5

The second season of The Orville sheds new light on the war with the Krill. On top of that, there’s the decision if Isaac’s (Mark Jackson) race, the Kaylons, will join the Union. Both of these topics will become the red thread of the season. Nonetheless, most of this season’s content is much like the first, many different topical issues. The different episodes handle topics such as porn addiction and how it affects one’s relationship, as well as how different cultures can work together and even how it is to fall in love with an illusion. While these topics may be a bit weird for a Sci-Fi series, the writers handle these cases well, and they stay within the boundaries of the genre. Much like the older Star Trek series, many cases, problems, and situations are handled within the course of one episode.

The flow is somewhat similar to the first season, where each episode handles a different encounter, problem or topical issue. The characters seem to grow a bit more this season, and a red thread is also visible. The situation with the Krill becomes more important, as well as the decision of the Kaylon race, of which Isaac is a part of. Otherwise, you can watch these episodes quite loosely, as many cases are handled within the course of one episode. There’s only one diptych in the series, and the final two episodes of the season also relate to one another. While this series is actually quite serious, there’s some banter in-between certain events to make sure things don’t become too heavy. Overall one could consider this series to be a bit of a ‘soap opera’ at times, as relationships are also a very important topic for the show.

In The Orville: Season 2, the cast is nearly identical as in the first season. There is a bit more character growth during this season, which means that every crew member has to do an extra effort this season. There’s one big actress leaving the cast this season, namely Halston Sage, who plays the very likable Lt. Alara Kitan. She is succeeded by Jessica Szohr, who will play Lt. Talla Keyali, the new chief of security. Other than that, there are no significant changes.

Manifest: The Complete First Season

5/5

Great mystery, can’t how it will all end!

On April 7, 2013, Montego Air flight 828 left Jamaica bound for New York City. While en route, it experienced some rough turbulence, but nothing that felt too out of the ordinary to the passengers on board. However, when the plane landed, the passengers discovered that it was now November 4, 2018. For them, it was instantaneous, and they haven’t aged a day, but their families and loved did and ones on the ground had given them up for missing and dead for over 5 years! Some have moved on, some have still kept the candle burning, and on the flip side, some passengers unknowingly lost family members during the time gap.

NYPD cop Michaela Stone (Melissa Roxburgh) had just been proposed to by her boyfriend/partner Jared (J.R. Ramirez) before she left for the family trip to Jamaica. She had been in a dark place, and was using this vacation to clear her head. However, she was still madly in love with Jared, and planned to accept his proposal upon her return. However, during the five year gap, Jared had moved on, marrying her best friend.

Meanwhile, Michaela’s brother Ben (Josh Dallas) was also on board and is unaware he’s in a similar situation with his wife of 15 years. Grace (Athena Karkanis) had already dealt with her mourning and had started to move on, but is now ready to forget that and make things work with her husband. Their terminally ill son Cal (Jack Messina) was also on flight 828. However, new advances in science over the those missing 5 years may now be able to save him, thanks to a treatment that passenger Saanvi Bahl (Parveen Kaur) had helped to develop just before the flight, and that has been in clinical trials for the past five years.

During the first season NBC ordered a couple of additional episodes and the ratings were soft for the season. Luckily for the fans NBC renewed the show for a second season. There have been a lot of shows like this over the last few years that have not lasted. With at least a second season, it gives the fans and the people that make the show more time to expand and explore more of the story. It’s a great premise as long as they’re able to keep the story going with a great payoff for the fans in the end.

16 ONE-HOUR EPISODES

  1. Pilot
  2. Reentry
  3. Turbulence
  4. Unclaimed Baggage
  5. Connecting Flights
  6. Off Radar
  7. S.N.A.F.U.
  8. Point of No Return
  9. Dead Reckoning
  10. Crosswinds
  11. Contrails
  12. Vanishing Point
  13. Cleared for Approach
  14. Upgrade
  15. Hard Landing
  16. Estimated Time of Departure

Velvet: The Complete Series Box Set (Season 1 to 4)

4/5

It’s time to get your binge – watch on!

Velvet Season 1

The owner of Velvet Galleries presents his son Alberto, newly returned from London after years of training away from the family and away from his illicit love affair with a humble seamstress, Ana Rivera. Alberto’s return and his reunion with Ana will reawaken family tensions, but this time Alberto is willing to fight for Ana as he did not fight in the past. The two lovers are ready to break with family expectations and the norms of the time.

Velvet Season 2

In season two, stolen kisses, and jealous outbursts abound. While Spain’s wealthiest and most beautiful women continue to be attracted by the sensuality of Velvet Galleries’ garments, it’s seduction that seems to drive the store’s highly competitive management. Alberto, heir to the Velvet fortune, has married a socialite rather than Ana, the love of his life. She, too, is aware that her lowly rank as a seamstress represents a hurdle that she cannot leap over.

Velvet Season 3

After learning that Cristina is pregnant, Alberto and Ana have much to think about. Both had proposed fight all odds for their relationship, but this news can change everything, but surprisingly Alberto is very clear. Anna will not give up. Meanwhile, Cristina is willing to do anything to recover Alberto and with the help of Barbara plots a plan to take her to be closer to her husband. Meanwhile, Rita and Pedro enjoyed as ever. They finally have their wedding night and happiness fills them, at least until they discover next to Jonás a terrible event can lead to the ruin of the galleries. Alberto is forced to take action on the matter and seeks help from his uncle Esteban. But he is the right person to defend the interests of Velvet?

Velvet Season 4

Mateo is in NYC scanning for Alberto and keeping Clara updated; he encourages Clara to stop Ana/Carlos’ wedding if it turns out Alberto is alive. Clara, not ready to keep such a tremendous riddle, tells Rita that Alberto may be alive, the two sisters plot to back off Ana’s wedding to

Carlos. Raul gets inside information about the diagram school Jonas needs to go to, and Jonas must course of action a recommendation that is stunning and risky. The police guess Patricia/Enrique of executing Valentin; Patricia settles on a decision and perseveres through the outcomes.

In Spanish with English Subtitles

Directors: Carlos Sedes,David Pinillos, Jorge Sánchez-Cabezudo, Sánchez-Cabezudo, Sílivia Quer, Gema R. Neira
Cast: Paula Echevarría, Miguel Ángel Silvestre, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, Manuela Velasco, Manuela Vellés, Marta Hazas,Maxi Iglesias, Javier Rey, Cecilia Freire, Adriàn Lastra,
Natalia Millán, José Sacristán, Amaia Salamanca, Miriam Giovanelli, Diego Martín, Asier Etxeandia, Llorenç González.

Captain Marleau, Vol. 1 and 2

4.1/5

Captain Marleau has a hunter’s instinct, disguised under a deliberately offbeat veneer. As she says herself, she doesn’t skim over cases; she plunges into them. Always on the prowl, she lies in wait for clues and her prey and takes them by surprise.

During Gilles Garin’s youngest son’s death anniversary, Elsa, the eldest son’s nanny is shot. Unusual French policewoman – Captain Marleau investigates. The trails’re numerous: Garin’s wife? Elsa’s boyfriend, Julien? A crazy, jealous woman in love with Gilles? Gilles himself – famous detective novel – throwing red-herrings in Marleau’s path. Is Garin protecting someone? Captain Marleau – like a sniffer dog – will at the end find her innocent prey.

Cast: Corinne Masiero, Gérard Depardieu, Victoria Abril, Bruno Todeschini, Pierre Arditi, Sandrine Bonnaire

In French with English Subtitles

Miss Friman's War

3.1/5

It’s 1905 in Stockholm, and Swedish lives are changing rapidly because of the introduction of new food safety technologies. Miss Friman believes firmly in equal rights for women. She and her friends set out to open Swedish Homes, a grocery cooperative with unspoiled food at affordable prices. It’s a store for women, run by women, and a revolutionary idea for its time. When the all-male board of the Stockholm Wholesale Association learns about the womens business plan, they start fighting back.

Cast: Sissela Kyle, Frida Hallgren, Maria Kulle, Lena T Hansson, Sofia Ledarp, Gustaf Hammarsten, Ulla Skoog

In Swedish with English Subtitles

FXX’s Archer: Danger Island Arrives on DVD April 2

3/5

Get ready for a change of scenery with the semi-functioning alcoholic seaplane pilot, Sterling Archer, a lush on the lush South Pacific island of Mitimotu in 1939. While the rest of the world is concerned about the impending Second World War, Archer is only concerned with who’s buying his next drink. Along with his trusty co-pilot Pam, Archer must navigate quicksand, cannibals, super-intelligent monkeys, poison darts, pirates, and did we mention quicksand? Enter the mysterious and deadly world of Archer: Danger Island when all 8 episodes from Season 9 arrive on DVD April 2 along with exotic special features.

The series features the voices of H. Jon Benjamin as the hard-drinking pilot, “Sterling Archer;” Jessica Walter as Archer’s acid-tongued mother and hotel owner, “Malory Archer;” Aisha Tyler as island royalty and local revolutionary, “Princess Lanaluakalani;” Judy Greer as the abandoned heiress, “Charlotte Vandertunt;” Chris Parnell as the obvious German spy posing as a businessman, “Siegbert Fuchs;” Amber Nash as Archer’s co-pilot and loyal sidekick, “Pam Poovey;” Adam Reed as impeccably uniformed French Capitaine, “Reynaud;” and Lucky Yates as the audacious scarlet macaw, “Crackers.”

Archer: Danger Island Season 9 DVD Special Features:

  • Inside look: Making Archer

  • Crackers’ Costumed Playings

ACQUITTED Season One & Two

5/5

Season One:

Norwegian Aksel Borgen (Nicolai Cleve Broch) has returned home to his native small town after twenty years of self-imposed exile after being acquitted of murdering his then-sweetheart, when the entire township — now facing ruin after the bankruptcy of the sole manufacturing company — turned against him. But Aksel has bought into the business along with a larger, sleazy corporation, which might now abandon the beautiful fjord-facing town, killing its tourist-laden future.

Acquitted he might have been after a year in prison when a young woman came forth with evidence that he wasn’t near the site when the sweetheart was murdered, but still the remaining folk aren’t happy to have him back. Aksel has left his a wife, a native Malaysian (Elaine Tan), for now, but has his teen-aged son (Mathias Romano) with him while he works to get the business on its feet. The complications start when Aksel falls in love with the female friend who vouched for him those years before, and has to deal with his addled mother (Anne Marit Jacobsen) and resentful brother (Tobias Santelmann), in addition to a town still suspicious that Aksel had indeed committed the slaying, now egged on by the dead girl’s bitter mother (Lena Endre).

Season Two:

The ten episodes build well, introducing us to many of the townsfolk angry with him showing up at all. The meanness of the new owners and their cynical abuse of the townsfolk are absorbing and fruitful. And the love-making certainly keeps the cold weather away.As the dust settles from the explosive finale of the first series, Aksel has the answer he so desperately sought. Finally, his search for justice appears to be over and his reconciliation within the local community can begin. But Aksels hopes are short-lived. As Eva and William close ranks and deny the truth, a new struggle begins for Aksel. Convinced that Eva is covering for William, he asks himself a question: what secret could be so big that a mother is willing to shield the murderer of her own daughter? As the impenetrable fog of lies and deceit that has enveloped a decades-old murder begins to clear, Aksel finds himself heading toward an inevitable showdown with his nemesis, Eva. Only then he may finally know the truth, and his own fate. 

Cast: Nicolai Cleve Broch;  Lena Endre; Henrik Rafaelsen; Ingar Helge Gimle; Amrita Acharia

In Norwegian with English Subtitles

Those Who Kill

5/5

‘Those Who Kill is a compelling dark crime series, based on the novels by bestselling author Elsebeth Egholm. It follows the investigations of a special unit of Copenhagen’s police force, consisting of detective inspector Katrina Ries Jenson (Laura Bach) and forensic psychiatrist Thomas Schaeffer (Jakob Cedergren). The pair specialise in identifying serial killers that do not fit within traditional behavioural patterns and aim to uncover the psychology of a violent killer in their attempt to solve a case surrounded by fear and mystery’.

Cast: Laura Bach; Jakob Cedergren; Lars Mikkelsen; Lærke Winther; Frederik Meldal Nørgaard

In Danish with English Subtitles

Spring Tide

5/5

A young pregnant woman is buried in the sand, slowly being submerged by the tide. 25 years later, the sadistic murder remains unsolved. Olivia Rönning at the Police Academy studies the case as a cold case exercise. Olivia becomes almost obsessed with the murder when she discovers that her father worked on the investigation. She quickly realises that she needs to find the lead investigator, detective Tom Stilton, but he has gone to ground.

Olivia is completely absorbed by the case and goes to Nordkoster to visit the murder scene. When she comes to the beach at Hasslevikarna bay, a man appears with a rolling suitcase. Stilton finds out through Situation Stockholm that Olivia is looking for him but is not interested in making contact. He has other concerns, like his homeless friends being beaten up.

Stilton finds his friend Vera severely beaten and decides to try to find the perpetrators. Olivia has received information that a former escort girl, Jackie Berglund, figured in the inquiry on the beach case and decides to examine her a little closer. She contacts a journalist who interviewed Jackie a few years ago, Eva Carlsén, for advice on how to approach her. Linn Magnuson, CEO of the mining company, receives a malicious call and realises that the call could crush both her and the company.

Olivia continues to look for information about Jackie Berglund, but goes a little too far when she visits Jackie’s store “Odd & Right.” Jackie has already heard that a young woman has been digging around in her past, and she quickly realises that it is Olivia. Olivia’s mother tries to tell Olivia to stop digging around in the beach case. She does not want to see Olivia become as obsessed as her father. Tom Stilton slowly starts to get in shape so that he can pursue those who murdered Vera. He makes contact with his former snitch, Mink, for help in finding them.

Children find a car in the water where they are swimming. Inside the car is a dead man. Stilton’s old colleague and ally, Mette Olsäter, takes the case and quickly starts a murder investigation. The dead man, Nils Wendt, has been missing since 1987. Where has he been all these years, and why has he turned up now? Olivia tries to take it easy after the attack. She is certain that Jackie Berglund is behind it. But she is more worried about her cat, Elvis, who she hasn’t seen since.

Olivia contacts Ove Gardman, the man who witnessed the beach murder as a child. He tells her that he met Nils Wendt in Costa Rica. Olivia gives this information to Mette Olsäter, who decides to send Abbas – a friend to both she and Stilton. She wants to see if he can find anything that can explain Nils Wendt’s murder, and if there is any connection to the murder in Nordkoster. The police manage to get Nils Wendt’s mobile phone working and find that his last call was to Linn Magnusson, who now realises that she must find the original recording of the conversation that could destroy her life.

Abbas finds Nils Wendt’s house in Costa Rica, as well as his friend, Bosques. Bosques tells him that the woman who was murdered on the beach in Nordkoster was Adelita Rivera and that she was in a relationship with Nils Wendt. Abbas also gets a bag of material that Wendt left behind, in case he didn’t return. Mette realises that the investigation of the murder in Nordkoster and Nils Wendt’s murder are now one and the same. Linn Magnusson has sent people to look for the evidence Wendt left in Costa Rica.

Stilton is visited by his ex-wife in the caravan. She wants to see how he is and tell him that she has got a match on the DNA from the hair slide – it is Jackie Berglund’s. Mette immediately calls Jackie in for questioning and wants Stilton to participate. After the interrogation, Jackie sees Olivia waiting outside. This worries Stilton, because he knows that Jackie will stop at nothing to protect herself. Abbas is on his way home from Costa Rica, heading directly to a meeting with Mette, Stilton and Olivia.

Abbas manages to deliver all of the material to Mette and her group. When they listen the recorded phone call between Linn Magnusson and Nils Wendt on the cassette tape, they go straight to Linn Magnusson’s house. But they get there too late. Olivia is frustrated with the beach case, and decides to take revenge on the man who killed her cat. Stilton realises that the police are not going to spend any time on the investigation related to the murder of Vera Larsson and the beating of the homeless. He must take control of it himself.

Mette gathers everyone at the police station, including Stilton and Olivia. The pieces begin to fall into place, now they have identified the person who had the earring and are just waiting for a crucial DNA analysis. They have also identified a new witness who was in Nordkoster. Mette calls in a new suspect for questioning. But how does the murder at Nordkoster fit together with the murder of Nils Wendt? And what is the motive?

Cast: Kjell Bergqvist; Julia Ragnarsson; Helena Bergström; Johan Widerberg; Cecilia Nilsson; Dag Malmberg; Niklas Hjulström

In Swedish with English Subtitles