Ancient Aliens: Season Four (2012/A&E/History Channel Blu-ray + DVD)/Celebrity Trials (2012/Cinema Libre
DVD)/Shipping Wars: Season One
(2011/A&E/DVDs)/Storage Wars Texas:
Season One (2012/A&E DVDs)
& C/C/C+/C+ Sound: B- & C+/C/C+/C+ Extras: D/C-/C/C Main Programs: C/C+/C+/C+
some more speculative and “reality TV”…
Ancient Aliens: Season Four has become so popular that A&E/History
Channel is issuing this season in both DVDs (as they have with the links to our
coverage just below) and a Blu-ray set. For
a look at the first three seasons, go to these links:
more of the same and the only thing more extraordinary than the claims across
the 10 episodes in this set is that they actually found more outrageous
material to tell the audience. Who
things of this stuff? Anyhow, it is
still for fans only and with the Leonard Nimoy In Search Of… series hitting DVD, I can imagine this was good
timing on their part to expand the potential audience of the show.
no extras and I would be surprised if there were.
Malone’s Celebrity Trials (2012)
attacks tabloid media the long way by taking the 2004 Kobe Bryant sexual
assault case and showing what a waste of time, money and distracted energy such
cases can be. The basketball player had
some kind of sexual encounter with a young lady (apparently not young enough
that it was statutory rape) and was sued and charged. After well over a year, including advanced
attacks on the accuser, the criminal case was dropped and Bryant settled for
undisclosed dollars about the later civil suit.
It seems he might have gotten carried away in the incident, but not
necessarily was as guilty as the press was hoping for and boy, are they hoping
was a not-so-well-liked figure, one wonders if a Caucasian celebrity would have
garnered this attention, but that is never addressed as Malone is more
interested in the political underpinnings of wasting time on this while whiter
collar criminals practice vulture/late capitalism and the country has much
larger problems to worry about. My only
complaint its that more analysis is needed and maybe the Bryant footage is too
long and too plain to the point some of the Malone’s points are inadvertently
is the only extra.
we have two new “reality TV” shows about regular, ambitious people making money
the old fashioned way through hustling, competition and opportunity. Both Shipping
Wars: Season One (2011) and Storage
Wars Texas: Season One (2012) want to be spin-offs of sorts to the original
Storage Wars show in much the way we
had several CSI and Law & Order dramas. For A&E, this could mean big money of
their own (think Pawn Stars and now,
Cajun Pawn Stars) so if you are unfamiliar, try our previous coverage of the Original Storage Wars One…
both shows here are in the same style to some extent and in these 2-DVD sets
are just enough to launch these shows.
Not that they’ll be hits, but we’ll see.
Shipping has the hook that
most of the items are so oversized that they might seem more trouble than they
are worth, but that can mean big money, while the latter series believes just
being in Texas will make it
interesting. None of the moneymaking
dealers really stuck with me in either case, but who knows and new people may
be introduced in later seasons.
extras on both are additional footage not in the episodes.
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on the Alien and Trials DVD are
softer than I would have liked, while the same on Shipping and Texas are
more like the quality such HD shoots usually offer up, though in fairness to Trails, some of its footage is analog
and rough. That leaves the 1080p 1.78 X
1 digital High Definition image transfer on the Aliens Blu-ray set the image winner here still with its share of
degraded images and still with detail issues, but the best color and
consistency throughout. The DTS-HD MA
(Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo lossless mix on the Aliens Blu-ray set the sonic winner as well with richer and warmer
sound than the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on all the DVD releases,
especially weak on Trials since some
of the audio is monophonic or has location issues.
- Nicholas Sheffo