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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Stand Up > Show Business > Mental Illness > France > Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts: Hall Of Famers + Stingers & Zingers (1973 - 1984/Star Vista DVDs)/He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not (2002/First Run DVD)/The Voices (2014/Lionsgate Blu-ray)

Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts: Hall Of Famers + Stingers & Zingers (1973 - 1984/Star Vista DVDs)/He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not (2002/First Run DVD)/The Voices (2014/Lionsgate Blu-ray)

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

Here are our latest comedy releases...

Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts: Hall Of Famers (a single DVD) and Stingers & Zingers (an 8-DVD set) are new smaller releases derived from the huge Complete Collection DVD box of the show we reviewed a while ago at this link where you can order all versions of the show:


The first DVD is with all the major baseball stars Martin was able to get on his show including Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Willie Mays, Hank Arron and Joe Garagiola. Plus Evel Knievel, Milton Berle, Ruth Buzzi, Foster Brooks, Nipsey Russell, Orson Welles, Red Buttons and Don Rickles are among those who show up. The larger set has 24 roasts (almost designed to sell the larger box) as the press announcement explains best...

'...including Valerie Harper, Jack Klugman & Tony Randall, Michael Landon, Carroll O'Connor, Sen. Hubert Humphrey, Wilt Chamberlain, Danny Thomas, Ted Knight, Dan Haggerty, Mr. T, Jack Klugman, Ed McMahon, Redd Foxx, Joe Garagiola, Evel Knievel, Hank Aaron, Peter Marshall, Truman Capote, William Conrad, Monty Hall, Leo Durocher,Bobby Riggs, and Joe Namath-twice! Appearing as roasters, throwing zingers at the men and women of the hour, are Bob Hope, Ed Asner, Lucille Ball, Georgia Engel, Milton Berle, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Ruth Buzzi, Sid Caesar, Foster Brooks, Charo, Howard Cosell, Angie Dickinson, Phyllis Diller, Nipsey Russell, Rich Little, Red Buttons, Audrey Meadows, Bob Newhart, Harvey Korman, Orson Welles, and many others.'

Needless to say that means overlap with the baseball DVD, but it expands your choices.

Extras repeating from the box set on the Famers includes about an hour of bonus features such as comedy sketches from the The Dean Martin Show featuring Dean and Joey Bishop, as well as exclusive interviews with Shirley Jones, Norm Crosby & Dan Haggerty. Zingers adds more than three hours of bonus programming, with comedy sketches featuring Dean, Ruth Buzzi, Dom DeLuise, Charo, Ernest Borgnine, and others; two featurettes: "Primetime Ribbing: Roasting Small-Screen Stars" and "Sports Stars: Hit 'Em Where It Hurts", as well as exclusive interviews with Ed Asner, Norm Crosby, Rich Little, Carol Burnett, Dan Haggerty, Tom Dreesen, Jimmie Walker, Tony Danza, Shirley Jones, Rip Taylor and Jack Carter.

With Comedy Central's revival of the roasts so successful, these releases are more timely than ever, so check out how bold and funny the originals could be and still are.

Laetitia Colombani's He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not (2002) is a lesser-seen Audrey Tautou comedy where she acts nuts and we are supposed to think it is funny because she is so cute-pretty so we laugh and love her automatically. Here, she imagines she is in a relationship with an unknowing doctor as she suffers from the condition known as erotomania. Not that it is portrayed properly here, but it is not a total insult either, but it is predictable enough.

Running just over 90 minutes, it has some good moments and looks good, but it is not that great and is for Tautou fans only. The cast is a plus and as for the DVD, there are no extras.

Last and definitely least is Marjane Satrapi's The Voices (2014), a missed opportunity with Ryan Reynolds as a man with mental illness issues who hears more than a few voices (including some animals) only in his head and working at a bathtub factory. At first, this seems like a promising set-up for 3 minutes, then it turns into a desperate, unfunny disaster that is an insult to mental illness. Jacki Weaver, Gemma Arterton and Anna Kendrick show up and cannot save this insult to the intelligence of all that ultimately mocks mental illness in the worst, most cynical ways.

They should all said no to this insulting, ignorant dud.

Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and iTunes capable devices is the only extra.

The 1.33 X 1 color videotaped images on the two Martin DVDs are of the same expected quality that we found on the full DVD box set with the usual NTSC limits and some aliasing errors with other slight flaws throughout, while the anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image on Not is a nice, often colorful 35mm shoot that comes through nicely despite some soft spots and the limits of the older DVD format. The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Voices is a digital shoot that has its share of limits and flaws, the best performer here, but not by as much as you might think.

The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on the two Martin DVDs are of the same expected quality that we found on the full DVD box set with sound being fine for everyone talking and joking there way through every show, while the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on Not sounds a little compressed and down about a generation with no real palpable surrounds, but it will do. That leaves the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on Voices not taking total advantage of the multi-channel possibilities and not always well-recorded, but passable and the best sonic presentation here by default.

- Nicholas Sheffo


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