'Dexter' makes for a killer weekend
Dexter Morgan, the forensics expert who moonlights as a serial killer, returns to television this Sunday for a final season of bloodshed.
The eighth and last season of "Dexter," with Golden Globe winner Michael C. Hall in the title role, premieres at 8 p.m. Sunday on Showtime.
The action resumes where Season 7 left off (SPOILER ALERT!): Dexter's sister Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) is reeling from her discovery about Dexter's true nature, not to mention her choice to murder Capt. Maria LaGuerta (Lauren Velez) to protect him. New to the cast is Charlotte Rampling ("Melancholia," "Swimming Pool") as a neuro-psychiatrist.
The "Dexter" page on Showtime's website has just about everything you need to get ready for Sunday's premiere, including recap videos, podcasts and an achievements system called Red Rewards that gives you points and virtual badges for watching "Dexter" content on SHO.com.
There's even a mobile game, "Dexter The Game 2," available for iOS devices for 99 cents. You can check it out at iTunes, which is also one of the places online where you can catch up on the first seven seasons of the show. Full seasons and individual episodes are available from Amazon Instant Video, vudu and Google Play. (Sorry, Netflix users; no streaming episodes. You'll have to add the DVDs to your queue.)
Classic game, new platform
A bona fide Wii classic -- and one of that system's few offerings for hard-core gamers -- is now available for the PS Vita portable.
"Muramasa Rebirth," a revamped version of 2009's "Muramasa: The Demon Blade," impresses with its striking graphics, fun hack-and-slash gameplay and RPG sensibility.
The tale of two ninjas searching for 108 Demon Blades is brought to life with visuals that appear to have jumped off ancient Japanese scrolls and onto your screen; this is the rare game you might actually want to watch someone else play (good luck looking at a PS Vita over your friend's shoulder).
"Muramasa Rebirth" retails for $39.99. Its Wii counterpart goes for $49.99, but can probably be found on the used game rack at your favorite video game retailer.
Two magical apps
If swordplay isn't your thing, Disney has a pair of games for your Android and iOS devices that you and your kids can enjoy.
A free version of "ScribbleMix," a variation on the very popular game "Draw Something," is available now and features characters from "Monsters University."
For 99 cents, you can download "Where's My Mickey?," the latest installment in a series of physics-based games that began with "Where's My Water?" This version features Disney's star attraction in new puzzles and animated vignettes.
See it before it's in theaters
The highlight on demand this weekend is "Europa Report," a sci-fi thriller that screened earlier this year at the L.A. Film Festival but won't be in theaters nationwide until Aug. 2.
The mockumentary follows an expedition to Jupiter's moon of Europa in search of extraterrestrial life. Something, as it always must, goes horribly wrong along the way, and the crew loses communication with Earth. The film, by Ecuadorean director Sebastian Cordero, stars Sharlto Copley, who is no stranger to this genre -- he played the bureaucrat who transforms into an insectoid alien in the Oscar-nominated "District 9."
The film "Europa Report," a Magnolia Pictures release, will be available on cable systems and iTunes until Aug. 1.
• Daily Herald copy editor, pop culture fanatic and hopeless nerd Sean Stangland writes about topics related to television, video games and digital content every Friday in Time out!