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Tue, 11 Dec ’12

Geek this Week: The Bain of TV Spies

As well as: Big ol’ robots, a Blu-ray back in business and Christmas comes early (on TV)

TVShould You Choose to AcceptLong before Tom Cruise was running away from explosions and scaling the world’s tallest building, Mission: Impossible was American TV’s coolest spy action program. The show depicted the exploits of Peter Graves’ Jim Phelps and his team of covert, highly skilled espionagers, including Martin Landau, Barbara Bain and Greg Morris, as they tried to carry out sensitive operations that would result in complete secretarial disavowal should they fail. It was pretty intense, you guys. Today, you can get the Complete Series on DVD, which includes the initial seven years from 1966-1973 plus the two revival seasons in the late ’80s. That’s 55 discs! It’s a mission more possible than you think. For more M:I, check out our interview with original cast member Barbara Bain on Nerdist.com.

MOVIESThe Coast is (Yet Again) ToastIs there a better idea for a big budget, summer movie spectacle than to have people in giant mechanical robots fighting enormous, city-crushing monsters? We submit that there is not. Guillermo del Toro’s answer to Mobile Suit Gundam (et al) is Pacific Rim, which has already been getting people excited with its clever viral marketing campaign, doesn’t come out until July of 2013, but in order to quench the tiniest bit of everybody’s Bots vs. Kaiju thirst, the first theatrical trailer will be released Wednesday and will run before screenings of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which opens Friday. There is a countdown to the trailer on the movie’s in-continuity site and speculations abound as to what will or won’t be shown in the trailer, but we just hope it looks something like The War of the Gargantuas

MOVIESHi-Def Funny PapersA day our inner 8-year-olds have been hoping for has finally arrived: Warren Beatty’s 1990 comic book movie, Dick Tracy, has finally arrived on Blu-ray. This was the Sin City of its day, with Beatty creating the closest thing to a living strip of Chester Gould’s classic detective story. The winner of 3 well-earned Academy Awards including best makeup and best art direction, Dick Tracy is a movie that deserved more love. Although the disc contains no extras, we’re still jazzed to be able to finally see those vibrant colors in 1080p. And Al Pacino’s Oscar-nominated turn as the main villain, Big Boy Caprice, is so off-the-charts bonkers, only Hi-Definition could hope to contain him.

TV“I’m Tellin’ Ya Why!”It seems most of our favorite holiday specials get shown further and further from Christmas the more the years wear on. Chuck Jones’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and Rankin and Bass’ Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer were shown before December had even arrived. However, tonight we get two favorites to keep us in the spirit: At 8pm on ABC is the 1970 stop-motion classic, Santa Claus is Coming to Town which features Fred Astaire as a singing mailman and Mickey Rooney as a particularly stroppy Kris Kringle. It’s a delight. This is followed by A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa at 9pm on The CW from 2008. These can’t help but put you in the proper holiday spirit.