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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Automobile > History > Action > Crime > Police > Helicopter > Comedy > Variety > Game Show > Mus > Cars That Rock with Brian Johnson: Series 2 (2015/Umbrella PAL Import DVD Set)/Chopper One: The Complete Series (1974/Sony DVD Set)/The Graham Kennedy Television Collection (2017/Umbrella PAL Import 9

Cars That Rock with Brian Johnson: Series 2 (2015/Umbrella PAL Import DVD Set)/Chopper One: The Complete Series (1974/Sony DVD Set)/The Graham Kennedy Television Collection (2017/Umbrella PAL Import 9-DVD Set)

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

PLEASE NOTE: This Chopper One DVD set is now only available online and can be ordered from our friends at Movie Zyng via the order button atop this review or on top of our right hand sidebar, while Cars That Rock and The Graham Kennedy Television Collection Import DVD sets are now only available from our friends at Umbrella Entertainment in Australia, can only play on Blu-ray and DVD players that can handle the PAL DVD format and can be ordered from the link below.

Here's our look at some truly interesting new TV releases...

Cars That Rock with Brian Johnson: Series 2 (2015) continues the most underrated TV show as Top Gear spins out of control and the former trio of hosts of that hit hold it together in their own new show. I was impressed with Johnson's love and enthusiasm of automobiles, as we discovered in the debut season of the show at this link...


This time, he takes on classic car makes like MG, Jaguar, Alfa Romeo, McLaren and Land Rover, plus even devotes a show to NASCAR. That may not fit in the line-up, but it fits because he loves it. Still not really available in the United States, serious car fans should go out of their way for this fine DVD set. The only extras once again are Deleted Scenes and Outtakes and even they are a hoot.

Chopper One: The Complete Series (1974) is one of the less-successful series Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg co-produced before hitting it big and helping make ABC a #1 Network in the mid-1970s for the first time. At least as good as later helicopter-based action shows like Airwolf and the TV version of Blue Thunder, Jim McMullan and a pre-Battlestar Galactica/A-Team Dirk Benedict fly their police-painted Bell Jet Ranger all over Los angeles (et al) fighting crime and helping people out. Usually, McMullan is jumping out of the plane and Benedict is the super-skilled flyer, a fun schtick aspect of the show.

Originally shot at the Fox Studios like all the early Spelling/Goldberg Productions, Columbia Television later bought the company and catalog (Hart To Hart switched studios during its production as a result), so Sony has issued this as an online-only burn-to-order DVD set and you get all 13 episodes on 2 DVDs. How can they fit? Because this was one of the last primetime action shows to run a half-hour. In the U.K., action series like The Protectors, The Adventurer and Jason King had gone that route and it hurt them in the long run, so as this show ran into the same problems, the half-hour show became the domain of live-action Saturday Morning TV shows like Shazam!, Space Academy, Isis, Jason Of Star Command, Bigfoot & Wildboy and others.

The show still has its moments and because time is limited, they have to get to the point of the action, which does cut away some of the potential formula. However, I cannot imagine this would have worked much better longer, so now you can decide for yourself.

There are unfortunately no extras, though some insight on the show would be interesting.

The Graham Kennedy Television Collection (2017) compiles some great releases we've covered before of the great Australian TV personality the DVD case rightly calls 'The King Of Australian Television' having been there early on and giving it a unique and special identity that makes it as great as its counterparts around the world. Umbrella's 9-DVD import set includes the following previously reviewed:

Kennedy's Coast To Coast series + Blankety Blanks game show (Australia's Match Game!)


Graham Kennedy Show


The former sets repeat their extras, but besides that, we get documentary The Best Of Graham Kennedy: The King Of Television that will make you want to see more. He was always funny, witty and a true star. This ultimate set of his work is worth the extra cash to enjoy as once you start to watch, you might have trouble stopping!

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Cars is an HD shoot with some older film & video, the 1.33 X 1 on Chopper is shot on 35mm film and the transfers here look so good, they can compete with the new HD on Cars, but the 1.33 X 1 on most of the Graham programs are on old PAL format analog videotape with some softness and flaws throughout that also include video noise, video banding, telecine flicker, tape scratching, PAL cross color, faded color and even tape damage here and there. However, I do not think these releases could possibly look better than they do in this format, save if insane money was spent to fix the Graham materials, some of which are lucky they survived. His Best Of documentary is also anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 with new footage in HD, but most of it is still the classic PAL footage, sometimes cut off to fit the frame.

As for sound, all releases offer lossy Dolby Digital sound, lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on Cars which is the only new recording and has is not bad, but the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on the other releases are not bad either and are just close enough to compete sonically. It just makes me wonder why Cars is not in a 5.1 mix.

To order either of the Umbrella import DVD sets, go to this link for them and other fine hard-to-find releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo


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