La Mala (2015/Lionsgate
DVD)/The Encore Of Tony
(2015/Warner Blu-ray w/DVD)/The
Hee Haw Collection (1969
- 1973/Star Vista/Time Life DVD)/I
Love Lucy: Ultimate Season 2
(1952 - 1953/Desilu/Paramount/CBS Blu-ray)/Mike
& Molly: The Complete Fifth Season
(2014 - 2015/Warner DVD Set)
C/C+/B & C+/C+/B/C+ Sound: C+/C+/B & B-/C/B-/C+
Extras: D/C/C/C+/B+/C- Main Programs: C/C-/C/C+/A-/C+
DVD set is now only available from our friends at Star Vista and can
be ordered from the link below along with more episodes of the show
that are extensive and on-line exclusives.
a group of new comedy releases for you to know about...
Aislinn Derbez as the title character, whose name partly means
literally disaster (the English title Falling
tales away that joke) as an actress who went to school for it, but
keeps ticking off the people who keep hiring her. She is also good
at isolating herself overall, so will she ever find a job, let alone
take a quick turn when she starts making money as a seductress to
find out if women's boyfriends will go for her if she hits one them.
Will they flirt too? Should these guys get dumped? That adds to her
hiding behind things and not allowing herself to be open. The only
problem is whether she needs to 'surrender' like the male-dominated
society might expect, but that is among the missed opportunities in
the script. However, Derbez is appealing and the cast is good, so
I'm glad I saw this one and it was worth a look.
are no extras, unless you count Digital Copy, which we don't.
A. Sayeg's The
Encore Of Tony Duran
Gene Pietragallo as the title character, a man whose life I at a dead
end, but still remembers his dreams of being a singer. Can he try to
make this work late in life? Well, that would have made for a good
film, but instead, he gets involved in unfunny, dumb schtick about
selling drugs for quick money (his character has limited experience
in this respect) and the humor is one-note all the way to its awful
Katt (playing a drug kingpin unrecognizably), Nikki Ziering and
Elliott Gould also show up among the cast that get wasted and are far
better than their material. We suspect the Al Pacino film Danny
(with its problems, reviewed elsewhere on this site) is the reason
this one finally got picked up. In both cases, if you are going to
do a film about singers or would-be singers in their later years,
stick to the subject.
Movie Promo, Inside Look interview and Director's Video Commentary
are the extras.
(2015) is a new comedy that is mixed and did mixed at the box office,
despite the fact that its female leads have some chemistry. Reese
Witherspoon (back in form after personal problems temporarily (we
hope) got in her way) as daughter of a policeman who was well
respected (with more than a few odd Silence
Of The Lambs
references) who has grown up to become an officer herself. She is
also too by the book for her own good, but it is to show us she is a
immediately helps when she joins another officer to pick up a witness
(Sofia Vergara in a fun comic turn that the film fails to capitalize
on) and her husband when two sets of unknown gunmen show up at their
pricey home and go gun crazy. She and our near-heroine escape in
what looks like something that might develop into Thelma &
Louise meets Midnight Run, but the script keeps piling on
the missed opportunities for obvious humor and hot or miss jokes.
Too bad, because if this were handled better, this could have been a
shocking, surprise blockbuster. Instead, it is mixed and ultimately
disappointing. See it if curious and you might get something out of
include Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and iTunes
capable devices, an Alternate Ending, Gag Reel and three Behind The
Scenes/Making Of featurettes.
Hee Haw Collection
(1969 - 1973) samples
the early years of the hit rural variety comedy show that was a big
surprise hit in its time (a special that suddenly become a set of
shows that CBS saw become an instant hit) that critics hated but fans
loved and kept in production for decades. Inspired by Laugh-In
like so many shows (including the animated Groovie
reviewed elsewhere on this site), they replaced the wit with cornpone
and the result was success. Buck Owens and Roy Clark were a perfect
pair to host and this new set reminds us that energy helped make it
a big fan myself, I have a new appreciation for its good-heartedness
and some classiness critics missed and is far more obvious today, but
the most inarguable thing is that the show is also a vital record of
the country & western scene long gone and that is beyond
validated by musical appearances by legends like Loretta Lynn, Tammy
Wynette, Conway Twitty, Donna Fargo, Dottie West, Merle Haggard and
Tennessee Ernie Ford just on these few shows!
variety shows were hot at the time the show arrived and when CBS
dropped it, it lasted longer in syndication becoming the second most
successful such show next to Lawrence Welk that anyone can think of,
so the series helped build syndicated TV in ways it might not always
get credit for. This is a good sampler, ups and downs, to see why.
include 7 interview clips on the first 2 DVDs (starting with Roy
Clark on how the show got started) and 3 sections of bonus skits on
Love Lucy: Ultimate Season 2
(1952 - 1953) continues
rollout on Blu-ray of one of the most successful TV series of all
time, then, now and forever. We previously covered the debut season
Blu-ray with some other CBS-owned classics at this link:
thrilled to say these classics get the same top rate treatment that
the first season got and add the ton of extras and it lived up to
being very 'Ultimate'. The two big event episodes include Job
Switching, the first show of the season where the men try doing
the housework while the gals go out to find jobs. Just when things
could not get funnier, Lucy & Viv land up at a chocolate factory
and the series (as well as all of TV) reaches a new high in lunacy.
The other is Lucy giving birth to Ricky, which they get the most out
of for several episodes.
writers also have their showbiz shows on Ricky's club, the Mertzes
and Riccardos against each other and other surprises for which brief
description do not do justice to the writing or performing. However,
the energy, joy and way out of the way the makers went on each show
remains amazing and the gold standard for how to do such comedy.
Great that they had such an amazing cast to pull it off.
are many including some from the DVD version and include a 1952
Promo to alert everyone this new season was coming, 4 new
introductory clips for four episodes shot while Lucy was away
actually having her child, Audio Commentary tracks that include
Director William Asher, Writers Bob Carroll Jr. & Madelyn Pugh
Davis, Stage Manager Herb Browar, and TV Historian Bart Andrews
across several of these discs, the unfortunately colorized Job
a French-Canadian version of the show, new opening and closing pieces
shown a few years later for the 4th
season, Flubs blooper clips, Lucy On Radio in several My
episodes, text-oriented Meet William Asher bio, text-based
biographies for co-stars from various episodes, Operetta
missing scene only surviving from an earlier script draft, text
Production Notes, Photo Galleries, Stars
in the Eye
1952 Kinescope as the Lucy
cast plugs the show, 1952 CBS
clip promoting the show, opening & closing for the
internationally syndicated copies of Redecorating, Audio Book Behind
the Scenes piece on the show from Laughs,
by Jess Oppenheimer, with Gregg Oppenheimer, a Welcome
clip letting everyone knowing of 'the arrival', a Heart Fund PSA with
Lucy and Desi plugging The Heart Fund, 1953 Red
sending up the show and how popular Lucy merchandise was (and still
is), the Spanish-language title from the Lucy
Hires a Maid
episode, and I
Love Lucy: The Movie
shows the artificial theatrical film cut from three episodes of the
which was more common back in the day than you might think.
& Molly: The Complete Fifth Season
(2014 - 2015)
has the Melissa McCarthy hit still hanging in there (until she does
feature films full time we suspect) as part of a likable cast that
includes Billy Gardell as her policeman husband and a decent
supporting cast including the capable Swoosie Kurtz, but I never
found the show particularly funny. At best, it is pleasant ans at
this point, there is not many more places for the storylines to go.
At this point, it is for fans only, but it is not as bad as most
sitcoms get at this point to its credit.
23 half-hour episodes are here and they have at lats one more season
ahead. We'll see where that one goes.
Gag Reel is the only extra.
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image on Hot
looks good for a new shoot, if not featuring any kinds of shots that
are particularly memorable, but it is consistently professional if
nothing else. The anamorphically enhanced DVD that comes with it is
much softer though.
1080p 1.33 X 1 black & white digital High Definition image
transfers of the Lucy
episodes are as solid as the first set, with some moments showing the
age of the 35mm film materials used, but this is all far superior to
the previous versions of these shows only matched by actual good film
prints of them. There are also again minor video issues, but it
is impressive all around yet again and for a series that likely had
many prints made from original camera materials early on, we're luck
they look this good. Cheers to CBS for putting the money out to fix
them up so well.
anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on Mala
is sadly the softest presentation here, despite somer good shots, so
the anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image on Duran
(as off as it can be) and the anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image
(for a modern, standard-looking sitcom) look better by default, even
if they have their softness.
1.33 X 1 color, NTSC analog videotaped episodes on Haw
look good for their age too with decent, consistent color, even when
it is sometimes flawed. These shows have never looked so good and
began on 2-inch videotape. Good job.
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on Hot
is easily the sonic winner here without much effort, well mixed and
presented with a consistent soundfield despite it being joke and
talk-based. Music and sound effects are overdone at times to
accomplish this. The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix on the DVD version
is not as warm or consistent, but passable.
PCM 2.0 Stereo on the Lucy
Blu-rays again can show their age and a little inherent compression,
but they far outdo their DVD versions and are about as good as these
shows will ever sound.
lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes on Mala,
tie for third place, not even as strong as the Hot
DVD, but audible enough if lacking good soundfields. Mike
has less of an excuse for this due to being stage-bound and having
higher budgets. The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on Haw
is unfortunately, smaller-sounding and more compressed throughout
than expected, which is especially noticed when guest stars show up
to sing... even if they are lip-synching. Be careful of high volumes
now for more on Hee
from the press release that offers more shows beyond the set offered
above, but also including it...
true HEE HAW fans, Time Life will also be releasing several exclusive
sets, only available online at
by calling 1-800-950-7887.
The direct response HEE-HAW COLLECTION offers either 11 episodes
across 8 DVDs or 23 episodes across 14 DVDs, for approximately $100
or $190, respectively. Both sets arrive with hours of bonus
programming including in-depth interviews and Hee Haw comedy