DVD Review “Halt And Catch Fire: The Complete Second Season”

Actors: Scoot McNairy, Kerry Bishé, Toby Huss, Lee Pace, Mackenzie Davis
Rated: Not Rated
DVD Release Date: August 9, 2016
Run Time: 434 minutes

Season: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“Halt and Catch Fire” is really a hidden gem that not a lot of people know about. It is also features two of my favorite actors that also are hidden gems Scoot McNairy and Lee Pace. These actors are truly amazing! They have been in a lot of high profile projects but aren’t given the true credit that they deserve. They both turn any project them are in into gold. This show is one of them. Maybe it’s because, I work in the IT film but this show is a blast to watch. I love how this show has evolved since the first season as well. It is a really deep show and not for those looking for something light and distracting. I found myself really involved with this show and it’s characters. I really hope that season 3 is around the corner!

Official Premise: Halt and Catch Fire is about the costs of daring to dream big at the dawn of the Information Age. Season Two, which takes place in early 1985, centers on the rise of Mutiny, Cameron and Donna’s start-up company, which is built upon the most disruptive idea of the modern era the Internet. In short order, Joe, Gordon, and Bosworth, too, are caught up in the online wave remaking the tech landscape all around them, even as they attempt to heal old wounds and deal with the fallout of Season One. Halt and Catch Fire Season Two explores themes that tap directly into the modern zeitgeist such as the thin line separating genius from self-delusion, the fragility of human connection, and everyone s desire, especially in today’s tech-obsessed world, to leave a meaningful mark and do something that truly matters.

Even though Anchor Bay did not give this season a Blu-ray release like season 1 it still delivers some special features worth checking out. There are Inside Episodes for each of the 10 episodes included this season. There are two featurettes focusing the show’s background “History of Now” and “Joe’s Strategic Benchmarks”. There is also a “Tour of An 80s Startup”, this is a fun one! Lastly there is a “Set Tour With Lee Pace And Scoot McNairy”. Did I already mention that these two guys can do no wrong?! Check out “Halt And Catch Fire”!

Theater Review “Catch Me If You Can” Starlight Theatre – Kansas City, MO

Catch Me If You Can
Starlight Theatre
Kansas City, MO

Our Score: 2 out of 5 stars

“Catch Me If You Can” is a true story based on Frank Abagnale Jr (Stephen Anthony), a quick talking fast learning teenager who, in the 1960’s, was an airline pilot, doctor, and a lawyer, all before the age of 21! Frank spends the majority of the story being tailed by FBI Agent Carl Hanratty (Merritt David Janes), a devoted and stubborn man who has made catching Abegnale his number one priority.

Following the divorce of his parents and the loss of his father, Frank Sr. (Dominic Fortuna), Frank Jr, decided being on his own is better than living in a broken home. He starts out by faking a Pan Am Pilots badge. He flies to over 26 different countries and helps copilot over 250 flights. He cashes his fake Pan Am checks all over the world under different aliases to stay a step ahead of the feds. This catches the attention of Agent Hanratty who is the only agent in his department who really feels this “shadow” pilot is trouble. He doesn’t realize that his cat and mouse game will one day land one of the most notable imposters of the 20th Century. While on the run from Hanratty, Frank decides to drop the pilot job and starts practicing medicine as an overnight ER physician. Here he meets Brenda Strong (Aubrey Mae Davis) who not only steals his heart but makes him think about dropping the whole charade he has been living and be an honest husband. Well that doesn’t go just as planned when, while meeting Brenda’s parents, he decides to announce that he will be practicing law thus starting another career as lawyer.

Frank will eventually be caught but the relationship that Abagnale and Hanratty have developed over the years does not let the story end with Frank’s capture. Abagnale was arguably the greatest ever at forgery and impersonation so, after a short stint in prison, he ishired on by the FBI and today is still very good friends with Agent Hanratty.

If you have read the book or seen the movie you know that “Catch Me If You Can” is nothing short of a brilliant story. Unfortunately the stage performance I witnessed was far from brilliant. I felt that Frank’s cracking voice was just unnecessary. I understand that he was a teen but short of a having a deep baritone voice the performance would have been much more believable if he (Anthony) would have just used his real voice. The jokes were corny, the songs sub par, and only a couple actors were not guilty over completely over acting.

That being said Hanratty (Janes) and Frank Sr. (Fortuna) kept me in my seat while watching this play. They give great performances and are really the only good performers I saw on stage. Both actors have experience on Broadway and it showed. Their actions matched their characters and emotions and their performances were effortless in a good way.

“Catch Me if You Can” is truly is great story and Starlight is a great venue to experience musical theater but if you would like to know the story of Frank Abagnale Jr. I would advise you rent the movie or read his book.


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Blu-ray Review “Catch Me If You Can”

Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Martin Sheen, Christopher Walken
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Paramount
Release Date: December 4, 2012
Run Time: 141 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

It is hard to believe but “Catch Me If You Can” turns 10 years old this year. I remember seeing it in the theaters for the first time and being blown away. But I have to admit that I have yet to see it again since then. What better time to revisit this release that the wonderful Blu-ray first-time on Blu-ray thanks to Paramount. This is one of Steven Spielberg’s last great films. It also starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks in one of their best roles to date. The Blu-ray presentation is very impressive and looks sharp with its new 1080p transfer and presented in its original aspect ratio: 1.85:1. The Blu-ray also treks a sweet DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, which works with the fast-dialogue before the characters. Timed with the release of Spielberg’s latest “Lincoln”, 10 years have been kind of this film and I highly recommend this Blu-ray.

Official Premise: Frank didn’t go to flight school Frank didn’t go to medical school Frank didn’t go to law school because Frank’s still in high school! Inspired by the true story of a brilliant young master of deception and the FBI agent hot on his trail. Directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks. Frank W. Abagnale, Jr. successfully passes himself off as a pilot, a lawyer and a doctor all before his 21st birthday!

The special features include over an hour of extras that are very impressive but basically ports from previous DVD releases. “Catch Me If You Can: Behind the Camera” is a nice look into the Steven Spielberg production. Next up, “Catch Me If You Can: The Casting of the Film” is a five part feature that goes into detail on each character including, Leonardo DiCaprio as “Frank Abagnale, Jr.”, Tom Hanks as “Carl Hanratty”, Frank’s Parents: Christopher Walken and Nathalie Baye, The Strong Family: Martin Sheen and Amy Adams and Jennifer Garner as “Cheryl Ann”. “Scoring: Catch Me If You Can” focuses on John Williams’ score. The next four features look in to the real Frank in “Frank Abagnale: Between Reality and Fiction”, including “Meet Frank Abagnale”, “Frank Becomes a Pilot”, “Frank’s Careers” and “Frank Gets Caught and Turns His Life Around”. There is plenty of background information here. The last two featurettes focus on “The FBI Perspective” and “Catch Me If You Can: In Closing”. Lastly there are three Photo Galleries focusing on Cast, Behind-the-Scenes and Costume Design.