Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Comedy > Crime > Science > TV > Horror > Exploitation > Witch Hunt > Historical > Anthology > Mystery > MacGyver: The Complete Series (1985 - 1992/Paramount/CBS DVD Box Set)/Mark Of The Devil (1970/MVD/Arrow Blu-ray)/One Step Beyond: Film Chest DVD (1959 - 1961)/Where The Spies Are (1965/MGM/Warner Arch

MacGyver: The Complete Series (1985 - 1992/Paramount/CBS DVD Box Set)/Mark Of The Devil (1970/MVD/Arrow Blu-ray)/One Step Beyond: Film Chest DVD (1959 - 1961)/Where The Spies Are (1965/MGM/Warner Archive DVD)

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

PLEASE NOTE: The Where The Spies Are DVD is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the links below.

Here's a new set of action releases, some with comedy and some unintentionally so...

MacGyver: The Complete Series (1985 - 1992) collects all seven (yes, seven!) seasons of the hit TV show with Richard Dean Anderson, of which I have reviewed the first and fourth seasons elsewhere on this site. The show is nothing if not consistent, but if the network running it (an ABC in trouble at the time) did not need all the this it could get and its star did not have any appeal, the weakness of the show would be more so. If anything, the show got really formulaic by the last three seasons (the final one with only 14 episodes!), so seeing them via this CBS DVD box set makes the case for me, yet the fans that are out there would obviously disagree.

This set is being reissued as part of a great set of CBS DVD Complete Series box sets so fans and consumers can catch up. The show just never stays with me, but I forgot how superfluous it tends to be in its one-idea mode. Fans will disagree, but to its credit, the spoof MacGruber is worse. Otherwise, this is for fans only.

The two TV movies made after the show ended are the only extras, which have less energy than the show!

Michael Armstrong's Mark Of The Devil (1970) now sees a U.S. release and the disc is the same exact Arrow Blu-ray the company issued in the U.K. that we covered at this link:


Advertised a rated 'V' for Violence (!) in its original ad campaign, it is not as bad as it sounds and has Herbert Lom as a villain, so it is worth a look, though fans of the genre like my fellow writer tend to really like it. Glad a U.S. release has been made available.

Extras are the same as the U.K. version.

Film Chest has decided to issue their own set of the classic TV Horror/Mystery anthology series One Step Beyond and have chosen to issue most of the episodes from the show's first three seasons (1959 – 1961), though the quality is more like older singles we saw a long time ago. The episodes are not bad and CBS issued the first season in the best transfers to date, which we covered at this link:


Until they get to the next seasons, this is the best colleciton of these shows for now and Film Chest can take advantage of the gap with this handy 6 DVD set. Don't expect each show to be as striking as the original Twilight Zone, but the show has its moments and a few unintentional howlers in the mix.

A paper episode guide inside the DVD case is the only extra.

Val Guest's Where The Spies Are (1965) was an attempt by MGM to produce a slightly comic spy romp via their British division with David Niven (soon to be in many more spoofs of the genre like the 1967 Casino Royale and the related mystery genre like Murder By Death, both reviewed elsewhere on this site) playing a doctor about to go on vacation when a spymaster (Cyril Cusack) recruits him to find out if a spy has been capturted or killed with the promiose of a rare car similar to a nice classic he owns.

On the way, he meets a sexy model (Francoise Dorleac) he becomes instantly interested in as he lands up in the Middle East, among other places. The comedy is not as outright as it could have been, with the makers trying for something between the original Pink Panther that Niven appeared in and Donen's Charade (both reviewed elsewhere on this site), but the result (co-written by Wolf Mankowicz, Guest and James Leasor, whose novel Passport To Oblivion this film is based on) is very mixed and never reaches its potential as a Cold War comedy thriller.

Certainly it is not from a lack of star power, though some visual effecvts look bad and others are interesting (like some model work). The supporting cast is impressive however, including the great Ronald Radd (of the British TV spy classic Callan) as a head East Block baddie, Eric Pohlmann, John Le Mesurier, Noel Harrison (soon of The Girl From U.N.C.L.E., also reviewed on this siite), Paul Stassino, Nigel Davenport, Basil Dignam, Derek Partridge and an up and coming Bill Nagy. No shortage of talent here and Nario Nascimbene's score is interesting too. It just does not totally gel as a film, but is still worth a look for what does work.

An Original Theatrical Trailer is the only extra.

The 1.33 X 1 image on MacGyver is not bad in the first 3 seasons, but the rest of the series and telefilms are finished on analog videotape and are too soft too often, including aliasing errors, while the 1.33 X 1 black and white prints on Beyond are on the soft side due to the softness of the prints and transfers, plus the age of the prints. They cannot compete with the CBS DVD set, but both shows need Blu-ray releases.

The 1080p 1.66 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Devil has nice color, even when the print is a little rough showing the age of the materials used, but this is far superior a transfer to all previous releases of the film and is on par with the import Blu-ray.

The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on Spies was shot in real anamorphic 35mm Panavision and processed in MetroColor, but this print has uneven color and more than a few faded shots not counting process work. It deserves an HD upgrade, yet is the best of the DVDs here and was lensed by Director of Photography Arthur Grant, B.S.C., a legend from the Hammer Studios.

As for sound, the PCM 2.0 Mono on the Devil Blu-ray is again on par with the U.K. Blu-ray, which is as good as it will ever sound and is the best performer on the list. The lossy Dolby Digital on MacGyver is 2.0 Mono on the first two seasons, then 2.0 Stereo the rest of the way including telefilms. Despite being the second-best performer here, it could sound better all around and these are older tranfers.

That leaves the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on the Beyond episodes which can sound brittle and rough with background noise despite some attempts to fix it (the CBS DVDs are cleaner), while Spies is just a little too soft, so be careful of volume switching and high levels in both cases.

To order the Where The Spies Are Warner Archive DVD, go to this link for it and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com