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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Sex > Counterculture > British > Sketch > Skit > Variety TV > Musical > Military > Satire > Western > M > All Neat In Black Stockings (1969/Warner Archive DVD)/Bankstas (2014 aka Bank$tas/Main Street DVD)/Carol Burnett Show: Together Again (2013 compilation/Time Life/Star Vista DVD)/Gomer Pyle USMC: The C

All Neat In Black Stockings (1969/Warner Archive DVD)/Bankstas (2014 aka Bank$tas/Main Street DVD)/Carol Burnett Show: Together Again (2013 compilation/Time Life/Star Vista DVD)/Gomer Pyle USMC: The Complete Series (1964 - 1969/CBS DVD Box Set)/The RKO Brown & Carney Comedy Collection (1943 - 1946/Warner Archive DVD Set)

Picture: C+/C/C+/C+/C+ Sound: C/C+/C+/C+/C Extras: D/C-/C/C-/D Main Programs: C+/C-/B-/B/C

PLEASE NOTE: The All Neat In Black Stockings and The RKO Brown & Carney Comedy Collection DVDs are now only available from from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.

Here's a selection of new comedy releases to know about...

Christopher Morahan's All Neat In Black Stockings (1969) is an amusing British comedy about a lout (Victor Henry) who is a window washer, but is really out to seduce any young woman he gets the hots for. Though not a great film, it is nicely shot, has a nice pace to it, fun London locales, a few chuckles and Susan George is the lead gal of many we see throughout its pleasant-enough 98 minutes.

Some moments just do not work, but it reminded me of the many independent British film productions that get lost in the shuffle and have become releases in the U.K. via BFI's Flipside series, many of which we have had the privilege to review on this site. If this is your kind of counterculture comedy, you might want to give this one a look. It is a good-looking film too.

There are unfortunately no extras.

Jeff Stephenson's Bank$tas (2014) is a shockingly bad, would-be satire of economics, capitalism and the finance world with two young goofs (Michael Seater & Joe DiNicol) trying to break into the world quickly in the dumbest way, which is supposed to be funny, but is not. Alan Thicke shows up as an intertextual reference to his comedy past that we are supposed to laugh at this, no matter how bad, while Laura Vandervoort is here as the 'sexy gal with glasses and much more...' to break up the monotony (and as insurance the leads are not lovers, we gather).

Add bad Hip Hop gags and the viewer gets cashed out after the first few minutes, then has to pay and pay and pay and pay... Self-amused is a nice way to put this really, really bad investment world comedy that is enough to put someone to sleep. Yawn!!!

Extras include Karate by Bank$tas, a feature length audio commentary track by the director and co-star Brandon Firla, Behind The Scenes with co-stars Michael Seater & Joe DiNicol and separate on-camera pieces with the director and Producer Robert Budreau.

Carol Burnett Show: Together Again is a single DVD this time from Star Vista with three episodes that delivers three fun shows with guest Gloria Swanson (9/29/73), Ruth Buzzi & Richard Crenna (12/15/73) and Roddy McDowall & Ken Berry (1/8/78) simply remind one how great the show could be without trying, attracting some of the biggest talent in the business with some of the best writers and comic talents around. We have reviewed several sets before, yet this gives you just as much of an idea of how great the show was. Nice single.

Extras include an illustrated paper pullout with info on all the DVD's content.

Gomer Pyle USMC: The Complete Series (1964 - 1969) collects all five seasons of the still-popular hit comedy that used to be on TV all the time, but is not seen nearly as much and you really have to get on DVD to view. We reviewed three of the previous five seasons in their original DVD set releases as these links show:







This time out, we get to see Season Two (the show going to full color and instantly finding a new zaniness) and Season Four (which might be the peak of the show in some sense) by which time the cast hit their stride. By the end of the decade, the show did everything it could and the realities of the Vietnam fiasco started to overcome the comedy here. It was nice while it lasted and its great to bring all these shows into one set finally. If you've never seen the show, get this set. If you like its comedy, you won't be sorry.

Extras in this clear plastic clamcase include audio intro by Nabors on some episodes, audio commentary tracks by Nabors and Ronnie Schell on certain episodes, a Jim Nabors Hour clip, the pilot for this show from The Andy Griffith Show and Nabors hilarious cameo in the 'Lucy Gets Caught In The Draft' episode of The Lucy Show.

The RKO Brown & Carney Comedy Collection (1943 - 1946) has the comedy duo of Wally Brown and Alan Carney trying to establish themselves as a classic duo, but though they have some chemistry and the four films here have a few amusing moments, the films attempt to send up film genres like war films (Adventures Of A Rookie, Rookies In Burma w/Joan Barclay), Westerns (Girl Rush with singer Frances Langford) and even Horror & Detective films (Genius At Work with no less than Bela Lugosi, Lionel Atwill and Anne Jeffries in the best of the four films by default) never go enough with their situations or understand their genres.

They only run just over an hour each, so they were more like programmers than feature-length productions, but they make for interesting curios that I was glad to see, even when they don't work. RKO may have had larger plans for the duo, but that never happened. Now you can see for yourself.

There are unfortunately no extras.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image on Neat was shot in EastmanColor 35mm film and this print does a really good job of showing that color range, though the standard definition of the DVD format holds it back, you can see it is a new print that does justice to the way it was meant to be seen. The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on Bank$tas was shot in HD, is easily the newest production here and happens to be the softest, poorest looking production on the list, not even able to compete with the 1.33 X 1 color videotaped transfers on the Burnett episodes. Those skits have been well-transferred as usual (starting from 2-inch videotape on the earliest shows) and is in line with the previous DVDs we've covered.

The 1.33 X 1 image on Pyle repeats the quality of the DVDs from the sets we covered and I still like the color shows a bit more than the first-season-only black and white shows. These all look good from the original 35mm film materials. If you are not going to wait for Blu-ray versions, you should be very satisfied with the quality here as this was always a well-shot show.

That leaves the black and white 1.33 X 1 image on the four RKO comedies that look surprisingly good for their age, even if some sections can look a bit more aged than others. The fact that it looks better than Bank$tas says in part how well these were shot, likely on old monochrome DuPont stocks.

In the sound department, Bank$tas is the only new production here, offered in lossy Dolby Digital 5.1, sounding as good as anything here, but not as great as it could throughout. The rest of the DVDs offer lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono sound, with Neat and RKO tying for the poorest performers. The 2 TV titles sound better than you might expect and can compete with Bank$tas for consistency.

To order either of the Warner Archive DVDs, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo


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