America’s National Treasures + Call Of The Wild – The Complete Series (2000)
+ The Commish – Season Two + Dungeons & Dragons – Into The Magic
Realm + The Fight For Freedom + He-Man & The Masters Of The Universe –
Battle For Eterna + Renegade –
Season Two + That Was Nam – The Collection (Mill
(Treasure, He-Man: C+) Sound: C (Treasure, He-Man:
C+) Extras: D (Treasure: C+/He-Man: C)
Episodes: C (Treasure: B-/Nam:
latest wave of Mill Creek DVDs includes repeats, continuations or variants of
past titles covered. We have added links
America’s National Treasures is a documentary mini-series that
shows how Theodore Roosevelt did what he could to preserve some of the best
lands in the entire country and the great legacy he left behind. This runs 7-hours, was shot in HD and gives
“virtual tours” of all the many locales covered. Extras include directions to actually visit,
stills, informative text and lists of dates & states where they are. Bo
Svenson hosts the first section and Jordan Murphy the rest. This is nicely done and an informative,
Of The Wild – The Complete Series (2000) is the only TV series version we could find,
though we did do this odd 3-D version from another company:
series is a bit better, shot in 16mm film and despite the poor picture performance
here (the show seems to be finished on videotape and has aliasing errors. However, this is more serious and a little
more ambitious than the 3-D version, so those very interested might want to see
it. First shown on the Animal Planet
network, Michael Sloane (The Equalizer,
Switch, Columbo, Harry O, Quincy)
wrote some of the teleplays and Shane Meier is the young male protagonist.
The Commish – Season Two is finally the follow-up volume
to the debut season, which we covered twice, including this first time:
performance is weaker like the last Mill Creek set and the show is very much
the same, but it took a serious dip for me by being repetitious and boring by
the sophomore outing and I was never a big fan to begin with. 22 hour-long shows are in this set with no
Dungeons & Dragons – Into The
Magic Realm is a
single of the animated series we only caught up with recently when Mill Creek
issued two separate DVDs at the same time of the show, which we covered at this
essential episodes 10 – 17 of the larger set, so the earlier single covers the
first 9 shows. At their low prices, you
might as well get the larger set.
The Fight For Freedom is a documentary mini-series breaking
down WWII into ten battles and despite the glut of such shows on WWII, this
Pacific Media-produced version is interesting and is viable and decent despite
the poor quality.
He-Man & The Masters Of The
Universe – Battle For Eterna is a single off of the 2002 revival of the 1980s hit
series that two of us have covered completely, so you can start with this link:
course, the older versions are out of print and PDF DVD-ROM scripts and
commentary track on the “Orko’s Garden”
episode are included as extras, the few among all the titles in this review.
Renegade – Season Two is another show that took forever
to get to a sophomore DVD release after the first season was issued twice, the
first edition (out-of-print) that we reviewed years ago at this link:
season was also already getting formulaic, sloppy and Lorenzo Lamas became
tired very quickly, yet it was a moderate hit for whatever reason. If you must, start with the first season
before considering moving on to this one.
That Was Nam – The Collection is easily the best collection here, claiming 80
documentaries (equal to 36 hours) of inexplicably, rarely-seen footage of the Vietnam
conflict that should have been widely available and in the best condition since
the events shown happened. If so, we
might not be in the trouble we are in today.
As a result, picture quality varies and sound can be aged, but some of
this has been censored for too long and “conveniently” ignored by too many with
darker political motivations, so the 9-DVD set is a very welcome special
interest documentary set with vital content as relevant as ever.
shows are in 1.33 X 1 framing, save the anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image
on He-Man and Treasures, plus various aspect ratios on the war documentary
sets. All have picture issues, like
aliasing, digititis and second-generation picture reproduction, but some of it
is more tolerable and excusable than others.
Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is the sound on all the DVDs, with Stereo on Treasures, and aged, even harsh sound
on the rest.
- Nicholas Sheffo