The Captains Close Up with William Shatner (2013/E1 DVD)/Doctor
Who: The Green Death (1973/BBC DVDs)/Girls:
The Complete Second Season (2013/HBO Blu-ray w/DVD)/Grey’s Anatomy: The Complete Ninth Season (2012 – 2013/ABC DVDs)/Once Upon A Time: The Complete Second
Season (2012 – 2013/ABC Blu-ray Set)/Perry
Mason: The Final Season/Season Nine, Volume Two (1966/CBS DVDs)/Revenge: The Complete Second Season
(2012 – 2013/ABC DVDs)
& C/C/B-/C+/C Sound: C+/C+/B
& C+/C+/B/C+/C+ Extras: C-/B/C/C+/C/C-/C Episodes: B/B-/C/C+/C/C+/C
mix of the latest TV (or is that HDTV?) offerings on home video…
The Captains Close Up with William
Shatner (2013) is
a follow-up to the very well made The
Captains that we reviewed a little while ago at this link:
of getting Shatner to interview all the actors who played Star Trek starship
captains had some unexpected fun and chemistry to it, so here they are back
again doing five episodes of a limited series where he interviews Chris Pike,
Patrick Stewart, Avery Brooks, Kate Mulgrew and Scott Bakula respectively. It may seem like more of the same at first,
but Mulgrew in particular asks Shatner some very serious,, bold questions and
everyone gets more time to really speak on issues, ideas and the show.
bonus is even more interview footage, so fans should be very happy.
Doctor Who: The Green Death (1973) is one of the key story
arcs as it is the last appearance of Katy Manning as Jo Grant, who left the
show after this adventure. Miners are
dying mysteriously and the only clue is a glowing green substance all over
their skin. As The Doctor (Jon Pertwee),
Jo and U.N.I.T. investigate, things become stranger and stranger. The key to what is going on may lie in the
hands of the head of a local chemical factory (the legendary Jerome Wills) who
may hold the key to the unspeakable evil going on.
some of the visual effects have dated, the acting is fine, the script well
written & paced and at this point, the new cast of leads that debuted in
the Spearhead From Space episodes
(including Pertwee, now on Blu-ray and reviewed elsewhere on this site) became
a great team that helped save the show.
Sarah Jane would debut in the next story arc and the show would continue
to be on the cutting edge of Science Fiction TV. The
Green Death is worth your time, even if you are not a fan of the show.
include two episodes of The Sarah Jane
Adventures entitled Death Of A Doctor
with Matt Smith as Who, audio commentary with Katy Manning, Producer Barry
Letts & Writer/Script Editor Terrence Dicks on the episodes, bonus commentary
on episodes 3 & 5 with Richard Franklin, Mitzi McKenzie & Visual
Effects Designer Colin Mapson, Making Of featurette One With The Maggots, spoof of the show entitled Global Conspiracy?
with a great cameo, 12-minutes on-camera Mapson interview, 7 minutes each of
Robert Sloman and Stewart Bevan interviewed, Wales Today clip, Doctor Forever! – The Unquiet Dead
featurette on how the show was finally revived, Photo Gallery, What Katy Did Next clip, DVD-ROM
accessible clips and text notes in the subtitles section for you to read as you
rewatch the episodes.
I was fan
enough of the debut season of Girls
that I had high hopes it could be the next groundbreaking show about women, as
the likes of Daria had
recently. However, Girls: The Complete Second Season (2013) did not continue all the
story arcs from the launch as I expected and described in my review at this
despite some funny moments and not losing any of the original cast, the show
becomes too episodic, uneven, sillier than it needs to be, confuses what is
embarrassing from what is plain bad and adds too many new characters which also
means the character development that worked so well in the first shows is
barely here in these ten half-hours.
That is a shame because I like the cast, think the writing is still
ambitious and can see so much potential in the situations established, but this
is a let down that surprised me as if the show was going broad to appeal to a
larger audience, but loses its uniqueness in the process too much.
Dunham also has too much of each episode centered on her character and not
enough on the others, which is a big mistake, whether she realizes it or
not. I still want to see where the show
goes, but it has pushed itself so much into a space that any show can occupy, I
wonder if it can recover after too many mistakes this time around. See the first season before considering
viewing this one.
its solid slipcase packaging include Ultraviolet Digital Copy for PC, PC
portable and iTunes-capable devices, the DVD versions of the shows, audio
commentary on episodes, Guys On Girls
featurette, Deleted & Extended Scenes, Episode 5 Table Read, Inside The
Episode clips, a general Making Of featurette, extended Judy Collins
performances, 2008 Austin City Limits
clip with Daniel Johnson, Gag Reel, Emily Nussbaum interviewing Dunham at The
New Yorker Festival 2012.
Grey’s Anatomy: The Complete Ninth
Season (2012 –
2013) is just one too many seasons of the medical drama which had plenty of
behind the scenes drama in later seasons, but most of the cast is here in
tact. Since Season Five, the show has just dragged on only because it had a big
audience to justify its renewal, but the series lost its energy and excitement
by then, so the upcoming wrap-up is long overdue.
episodes here simply seem to start to tie up loose ends, though some things
(and characters gone) remain ignored and that is what happens when a show runs
on and on and on and on. At least the
end forces the writers and producers to make choices that are final, but if you
are not familiar with the show, you will be lost, so don’t start watching the
series at this end. You’ll find the
first five seasons reviewed elsewhere on this site.
include Deleted Scenes, In Stitches: Outtakes clip, Happy Trails with Jim Pickens Jr. featurette and Jessica Capshaw
talking about the show in The Long Road
up on the moderate hit Once Upon A Time:
The Complete Second Season (2012 – 2013) after not covering the debut
season, though I had seen it independently and was only so impressed. Instead of being a clever fantasy drama, it
has turned into a silly soap opera with too many digital visual effects as
(many public domain) fantasy characters cross paths in the silliest case of
name-dropping I can think of on TV, then a compelling tale is supposed to
result from all of this.
someone is buying it, but not I. The 22
episodes here have people endlessly talking at each other (does anyone even
talk like this?) and featured Disney’s patented stage fantasy dialogue and
stuffiness that extends to their stage productions and feature film releases
like their recent Oz prequel. That might be flavor of the month, year,
company or the like, but that does not make for memorable or good
storytelling. As a result, it plays as
broadly commercial as if it were a standing ad for the corporation itself.
not find any characters to identify with and that was the case with the debut
season anyhow. Not a fantasy genre fan
to begin with, this is a professionally competent job throughout if nothing
else, but it has zero magic, zero originality and zero memorability for me, so
to say this is for fans only is an understatement. Otherwise, it is very slight and enough is
include Bloopers, Audio Commentaries (including a Blu-ray exclusive on The Miller’s Daughter episode), Deleted
Scenes and four Making Of featurettes: the Blu-ray exclusive A Fractured Family Tree, plus Good Morning Storybrooke, Sincerely, Hook and Girl Power.
Perry Mason: The Final
Season/Season Nine, Volume Two (1966) concluded the highly successful hit Raymond Burr
series with barely any Noir look or feel left, but still producing top rate
scripts and mysteries. These are the
last 15 episodes of the series and the show could have gone on, but would have
had to switch to color. Instead, they
folded and Burr moved on to the massive success of Ironside (reviewed elsewhere on this site) and it also closed the
chapter on all black and white series of its kind and type.
extra is a Barbara Hale into for The Case
Of The Twice-Told Twist episode, but you will find most of the half-seasons
reviewed elsewhere on site. Cheers to
CBS for getting the whole show out on DVD in quality editions fans can really
enjoy. Wonder if Blu-ray is next?
we have Revenge: The Complete Second
Season (2012 – 2013), another show we did not cover the debut season of,
but one I also caught on my own and was also disappointed with. Instead of a gutsy, bitter, realistic show
about people stabbing each other in the back, the show tries to have it both
ways by having the characters feign classiness and show us how to be
backstabbers, but in reserved ways that ring false and phony.
Jason Leigh is one of the few recognizable names and faces (no plastic surgery
jokes here, but the world of common such surgeries is the one this show takes
place in) over the 22 episodes here on 5 DVDs.
However, I once again have to say this is for fans only and the only way
to even have a chance of caring for any of these people (not too well written
and forget serious character development) is to start with the debut
season. For myself, the best revenge
with be to never tune in again.
include Bloopers, Audio Commentaries, Deleted Scenes and three Making Of
featurettes: Schooled In Revenge, The Sound Of Revenge (on music scoring
the show) and Haute Hamptons: Dressing
performance on most releases here is on the disappointing side with the
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Captains,
the Girls DVD, Anatomy and Revenge
being way too soft for newer releases, equaled by the 1.33 X 1 mix of PAL
analog video and 16mm film (mastered in old PAL analog video) on Who.
The never shows need Blu-rays versions to look better and Girls with its 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital
High Definition Blu-ray image transfers not only has it, but is the best
performer on the list with very nice, consistent, well shot images and playback
1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image on the Time Blu-rays follows Girls
with more digital work and styling choices that hold back its performance, but
has plenty of good shots to make it look as good as it is going to. That leaves the 1.33 X 1 black and white
image on the Mason episodes looking
better than most of the releases here (shocking for a show nearly 50 years old)
shot on 35mm film going out on top with the fastest film stocks of the series.
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes on Girls and Time tie for
the best sonic performers here, both avoiding the issues most TV mixes have of
their sound being too much towards the front speakers and offering surprisingly
warm, consistent soundfields throughout.
The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes on Captains, Girls, Anatomy and Revenge DVDs should tie for second place on their own, but they
tend to be weaker than expected leaving the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on Who and Mason much more able to compete than you would expect as the 5.1
mixes are simply more watered down and in the cases of Captains (excusable for being interview-based), Anatomy and Revenge being too much in the center and front channels.