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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Music Industry > Nighttime Soap Opera > Biography > Profile > Acting > Martial Arts > Racism > TV > Empire: Season Two (2016 - 2017/Fox DVD Set)/The Legend Of Bruce Lee: Volume Three (2010/Well Go DVD Set)/Modern Family: The Complete Eighth Season (2016 - 2017/Fox DVD Set)/Shameless: The Complete Se

Empire: Season Two (2016 - 2017/Fox DVD Set)/The Legend Of Bruce Lee: Volume Three (2010/Well Go DVD Set)/Modern Family: The Complete Eighth Season (2016 - 2017/Fox DVD Set)/Shameless: The Complete Seventh Season (2016 - 2017/Warner Blu-ray Set)/This Is Us: The Complete First Season (2016 - 2017/Fox DVD Set)/2 Broke Girls: The Complete Sixth & Final Season (2016 - 2017/Warner DVD Set)



Picture: B/B-/B/B+/B/B Sound: B/B-/B/B+/B/B Extras: A/D/C/B/C/C Episodes: B+/C+/B+/C+/A/B+



Now for a new group of TV releases...



Empire: Season Three


The last season (reviewed elsewhere on this site) of Empire left on the epic cliffhanger as the FBI is hot on trail of Lucious's illegal activities, Lucious marriage to Hakeem's pregnant bride Anika and the murder of Rhonda. The Lyons family are now in the news and media spotlight for scandal and murder, and Empire's reputation is on the rocks. Can Lucious somehow find a way to bring Empire back to profit and stability, as well as handle his sons and ex-wife who want his throne? But all that is set aside when another powerful rival family decides to start a war with the Lyons.


If you want to make it big in the Hip Hop music business, you have to go through Empire Inc. with Lucious Lyon as it's untouchable king. And Lucious will do anything to remain it ruler, make any deal ...including marry his own son's pregnant wife. Unfortunately, that is exactly the attitude of each his family members, they will do anything to take Empire from him. They continue to do charity work to win back the public, behind closed doors there is blood and sharks in the water and they must deal with a deadly new enemy, the DuBois family a powerful politically connected family who wants to the see the Lyons fail.


This series is full of power hungry, murderous and crazy characters (specially the girls) and non stop backstabbing. It is the 'gangsta's paradise' where everything is about money and power. If have enough of it and you can get always with anything. This season it touches on a few political matters including 'Black Lives Matters' and Police racial profiling and brutality. The entire family is completely unfaithful to each other, but they become briefly united when another rival family attempts to take them down (but they still end up stabbing each other in the back afterwards). Extras include uncut music performances and studio sessions.



Episodes this time include (with SPOILERS)...


Light in Darkness - Rhonda is murdered and Lucious half-brother Tariq is investigating Empire. Empire seeks to release Empire-X-Streaming to return profitability to the company.


Sin that Amends - City Councilman Angelio Dubios uses Empire to help stage gun violence against Black people. A rivalry starts between Lucious and Angelio over Cookie.


What Remains is Bestial - Jamal tries to get over the death of Rhonda but still sees her ghost. Andrea is blackmailed by police with trumped up charges.


Cupid Kills - Cookie gets closer to Angelo. Andre gets sympathy sex with Nessa.


One Before Another - Hakeem teams up with Jamal to help get over his fears. Lucious uses Andre's romance to help boost ratings for Empire.


Chimes at Midnight - Empire records gets hacked and it causes friction between the Lyons.


What We May Be - Cookie plans a dinner to try to impress Angelo's mother but things don't go as expected.


Unkindest Cut - Andre helps Nessa to get into the spotlight by sabotaging Tiana. Jamal tries to get over his PTSD.


A Furnace for Your Foe - Cookie helps organizes a free concert for Angelo's PR. The FBI freezes Empire's assets forcing Lucious to ally himself with Shyne.


Sound and Fury - Lucious comes up with a new album to help save Empire, but he and Cookie end up fighting for who has control.


Play On - Lucious must deal with Tariq who is trying to turn Lyons into his informants. A new deadly (literally) player steps in from Las Vegas, Giuliana. Cookie must decide where her loyalties lie, Lucious or Angelo.


Strange Bedfellows - As Hakeem's birthday approaches he is angry that the rest of the family still sees him as a spoiled child (which he is) and things go to hell when things don't go as Hakeem wanted.


My Naked Villainy - Cookie reflects on the sacrifices she made for Lucious. Empire seeks to get a license to open a branch in Las Vegas. Lucious reveals his past with Giuliana.


Love is a Smoke - Giuliana's past affairs are revealed and how she stole $10 million from Lucious years ago. The FBI turns on Tariq when they find out about of his illegal investigation. Cookie and Angelo separates.


Civil Hands Unclean - The DuBois foils each one of Empire's deals in Las Vegas and illegally uses Child Protective Services to take away Bella.


Absent Child - The Lyons confront the DuBois about the child abduction of Bella, which they deny they had anything to do with, but Bella becomes lost behind red tape and lies.


Toil and Trouble, Part I - Cookie plans an 'Ocean's Eleven' to steal Giuliana's ledgers. Tariq find proof that Bella was kidnapped by the DuBois but is killed by Lucious' crazy murderous mother Leah before he could reveal it to Lucious.


Toil and Trouble, Part II - Leah frames Anika for Tariq's murder. Andre puts out an assassination order for Lucious, but when he finds out Lucious was planing for him to inherit Empire he is unable to call off the hit in time.



Legend of Bruce Lee: Volume Three


There have been many adaptations that have told the true life story of Martial Arts Legend Bruce Lee, however none have been as epic and long as The Legend Of Bruce Lee, now available on disc thanks to Well Go USA. Lee is played by actor Danny Chan (Ip Man 3), who looks enough like Bruce and plays the role pretty spot on. The production value of the show varies with some scenes being a bit more impressive than others, not quite approaching the cinematic level of other films on the late star.


Note that Volume One has been covered elsewhere on this site, however, we didn't get to cover Volume Two as of the writing of this review:


http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/14601/Legend+Of+Bruce+Lee:+Volume+One+(2008/Well



One thing to note is that this version is not only dubbed in English but cut down as well... the entire uncut 50 episode version (as opposed to 30 episodes here) with the original Mandarin language track are supposedly available on streaming services, but not yet on disc here in America.


The series also stars Michelle Lang, Gary Daniels (Zero Tolerance), Ted Duran, Natalia Dzyublo, Wang Luoyong, Hazen McIntyre, Ray Park (Star Wars: Episode I), Tim Storms, Micheal Jai White (Falcon Rising), Traci Ann Wolfe, Mark Dacascos (Drive) and Ash Gordey.


The epic conclusion to the series, this volume sees Bruce Lee (Chan) in his late years as he takes his career to America in an effort to martial arts awareness. After winning a huge championship, he catches the eye of a Hollywood Producer and his career takes off to unimaginable heights. As he achieves worldwide fame, Bruce never loses sight of his dream and continues to inspire and amaze people the world over.


No Extras.


While the American version from the '90s, Dragon: A Bruce Lee Story, will always hold a special place in my film-loving heart, this series is pretty thorough and presented nicely on disc. Hopefully, Blu-ray editions are in the not too distant future.



Modern Family: The Complete Eighth Season


Welcome back, its Season 8 of Modern Family. Dunphy's family returns home from the Big Apple. Phil starts to pursue his life long dream of building a building and goes into business with Jay as his sponsor. Gloria squares off with her sister. Mitch and Cam deal with each other's relatives. Haley gets fired but ends up dating a weatherman. Alex gets mono and has to drop out of college for a while. Meanwhile, Luke and Manny square off in who gets to be the next class president.


This sitcom is a comedy about today's modern families via the Pritchetts and Dunphy clans. It is about how families are no longer limited to the standard working husband and homemaker wife. Jay is a wealthy patriarch, remarried to Gloria a beautiful a trophy wife, with step-son Manny and Joe their son... Jay's daughter Claire and runs a Closet company, she is married to Phil a real estate agent with three children Haley, Alex and Luke. Haley is a popular girl and relies on her beauty, charm, and cleavage to get what she wants. Alex is the complete opposite of Haley, while she hasn't got the looks, she has all the brains of the family (and has very kinky taste in men). Luke unfortunately was left at the low end of the gene pool and has to rely on family connections to get ahead in life. They are joined by Jay's wayward gay lawyer son Mitchell and his partner Cameron with their adopted Vietnamese daughter Lily, whom they are trying to raise her to be open minded to gay people.


With Ed O'Neil, you can't help but feel this series is like an updated version of Married with Children, but instead of a poor family they are a wealthy upper class family. The show has monologues in every episode which characters talk to the audience directly with pearls of wisdom or some comic wit. The series make fun of the prejudices and stereotypes in current families with subjects such as remarriage, age differences between spouses, homosexual families/partners, and adoption. While complications exist in today's society, the world in Modern Family teaches about social acceptance and laughter. In all, it is a heartfelt comedy series about having open minded multi-cultural families. Extras include deleted and alternate scenes and a gag reel.



Episodes...


A Tale of Three Cities - Phil and Claire decide to stay a few extra days in New York, little do they know so is Haley, Alex and Luke. Meanwhile Gloria has a Mexican stand off with her sister Sonia.


A Stereotypical Day - An African American family moves in across the street from Jay and Jay is worried that he is seen as a racist white man for putting up security cameras.


Blindsided - Luke and Manny both run for class president. Mitchell and Cameron get into a fight when Cameron decides to do something without consulting Mitch first.


Weathering Heights - Phil introduces Haley to the weatherman Rainer and thing get hot, hot, hot.


Halloween 4: The Revenge of the Rod Skyhook - Everyone loves Halloween, Mitch and Claire play pranks and no one recognizes what Jay (he gets mistaken for Jesus) and Manny's costumes are supposed to be.


Grab it! - Phil tries to join Jay's country club. Claire misunderstands Alex's choices in life.


Thanksgiving Jamboree - Cameron spends their Hawaii vacation money for a country themed Thanksgiving. Jay tries not to lose his temper.


The Alliance - Phil, Cam and Gloria plot behind their spouses back.


Snow Ball - Luke and Manny sponsor a winter dance, but then discover they went over the budget.


Ringmaster Keifth - Cameron is reunited with his ex-boyfriend (Kelsey Grammer).


Sarge & Pea - Jay, Mitch and Claire run into Jay's ex-wife, their mother at wedding reception.


Do You Believe in Magic? - Phil thinks he and Claire are losing the 'magic' in their relationship, but Claire has special Valentine Day planned for him.


Do It Yourself - Phil talks Jay into investing a property that he wants to build on. Haley take Claire to a cooking lesson to show how bad a cook she is.


Heavy Is The Head - Phil runs into a problem with his investment and needs to find a solution or Jay will lose his money. Mitch must get Cameron over his fear of the MRI machine.


Finding Fizboo - Someone is terrorizing the neighborhood with Cam's old Fizboo clown costume.


Basketball! - Phil volunteers to play in a charity basketball game. (guest stars Charles Barkley and DeAndre Jordan).


Pig Moon Rising - Mitch tries to cover up knocking over and losing Cam's pig ashes.


Five Minutes - Haley and Rainer reevaluate where their relationship is going.


Frank's Wedding - Phil's father is getting remarried, but Phil wants his family to dress up in costume from The Roaring '20s.


All Things Being Equal - Gloria, Claire, Haley, Alex, Luke, Manny and Lily attend a gender and woman's equality movement.


Alone Time - Phil and Claire have problems with letting their kids go when they grow up.


The Graduates - The entire family get ready for Luke and Manny's graduation.



Shameless: The Complete Seventh Season


William H. Macy (Boogie Nights, Fargo) headlines the Seventh Season of the Showtime Network hit Shameless. The hard R-rated series features plenty of naughty words, nudity, and R-rated content to either please or repulse depending on your tastes. Only on a network like this or HBO, would a show like this be able to run.


In this season, Frank (Macy) wakes from a month long coma after having been tossed into the Chicago River last season, only to realize that no one came looking for him at the hospital, which makes him question many things. Fiona (Emmy Rossum), who still works a dead end job at Patsy's Pies as the manager, is faced with making major decisions in order to keep the business from crumbling.


Lip (Jeremy Allen White) is out of rehab but struggles with his sobriety after his friends have turned their back on him. Ian (Cameron Monaghan) and Caleb (Jeff Pierre) hit a major snag in their relationship after Caleb is caught cheating much to Ian's dismay. Debbie (Emma Kenney), is now a single teen mom, decides to turn to stealing high-end strollers in order to pay a nanny to care for her baby out of desperation. Carl (Ethan Cutkosky) makes the tough decision of getting circumcised while Kevin, Veronica and Svetlana consider opening an innovate, yet controversial, topless maid service.


The season spans twelve episodes which includes Hiraeth, Swipe/ F***/ Leave, Home Sweet Homeless Shelter, I Am A Storm, Own your Sh*5, The Defenstration of Frank, You'll Never Get a Chicken In Your Entire Life, You Sold Me To The Laundromatm Remember?, Ouroboros, Ride or Die, Happily Ever After and Requiem for a Sl#t. (titles have been obviously censored).


No digital copy.



Special Features include...


Deleted Scenes


Growing up Shameless featurette


The Shameless Politics of Frank



The show juggles some hot topics and isn't afraid to walk the tight rope of adult content. Sometimes it tries a bit hard to be controversial with some things feeling controversial for the sake of being controversial. Macy does a great job though, and its always a pleasure seeing him on screen.



This is Us: Season One


This is the story of the Pearson family with Jack and Rebecca and their 3 children, Kevin, Kate and Randall. Follow them across the years through the generations as they live, love, loss and learn about life and family. They are connected not only by their relationship but also past experiences which traverses across the decades in the new award-winning hit This Is Us.


The Pearson family is a large complex family, as the series unfolds you jump from various timelines to learn about both present and past, and how they shape the future. Jack and Rebecca are father and mother, after giving birth to triplets they lose one and adopt one child, their 3 children Kevin, Kate and Randall. Kevin becomes a famous actor 'the Man-ny' but decides to give it up for theater when he wants people to value his acting more than his looks, while he is a playboy he is dependent on his sister Kate and had a strained relationship with his adoptive brother Randall. Kate is over-weight and has problems with her body image and she meets Toby who helps her self esteem and get on with her life. Randall was left on the doorstep at a fire station and then adopted into the Pearson family at the hospital, he is the most successful and has a family of his own, but when he finds his biological father he learns it is never too late to reconnect with his father William who was former artist, poet, crack addict from Memphis and is dying from cancer.


This is a tear-jerker series, it is about family and no matter how perfect people or things appear to be ...nothing ever really is. The series is about a family pulling together across the generations, life lessons impacting decades later, the secrets and lies. It reminds people of what is really important in life and what really matters in a family. People get so caught up in the dreams of the past and the future they forget about the now. Extras include after shows of all episodes.



The initial episodes include...


Pilot - Jack and Rebecca are expecting triplets, but loses one and adopts Randall. Kate is trying to lose weight. Kevin has a meltdown on stage and quits. Randall discovers his father.


The Big Three - Kate helps Kevin decide on what to do with the rest of his life. Jack and Rebecca learns about the sleepless nights raising 3 babies.


Kyle - Jack and Rebecca struggle with the lost of their child and decides to rename Kyle to Randall to help them move on from their loss. Rebecca discovers William and knows who Randal's real father is but keeps it from Randall.


The Pool - The Pearsons remembers what it was like raising the kids and taking them to the pool as they struggle for Kate to find acceptance for body image and Randall being adopted into a multi-race family.


The Game Plan - Kate remembers watching the football game with her father and how their family is connected by football. Randall wife's thought she was pregnant again but was really not.


Career Days - Randall wants to go in for his daughter's career day at school, but then finds out how boring his job sounds to others and decides to do something 'different'.


The Best Washing Machine in the World - Kevin, Kate and Randall flashback to their teenage years of when they didn't get along. Meanwhile in the present, they struggle to work things out as adults.


Pilgrim Back - The Pearsons remembers a disastrous Thanksgiving trip. Randall finds out his mother's secret before she is able to tell him.


The Trip - The Pearsons makes a trip to the family cabin. Randall struggles with his mother's lie.


Last Christmas - Kate remembers a Christmas when she had to go to the hospital. Kevin celebrates Hanukkah with Sloane. Toby surprises Kate on Christmas and they get back together, but then he collapses and they take him to ER.


The Right Thing to Do - Toby recovers as Randall reconnects with his father William who decides to stop chemo treatments and prepare people for his eventual death.


The Big Day - Everyone looks back to the one day, the one decision that changed their life forever.


Three Sentences - Kevin, Kate and Randall remember their 10th birthday together. Kate goes to a fat camp. Kevin decides to try and reconnect with his ex-wife.


I Call Marriage - Kevin tries to reconcile with his ex-wife Sophie. Toby surprises Kate at fat camp. Randall has to decide which is more important, his business or his family?


Jack Pearson's Son - Kate reconciles with Toby. Rebecca reveals that she gave up her dream of becoming a singer. Kevin gives up his opening night on stage when Randall calls him asking him for help when he has a nervous breakdown.


Memphis - Randall drives William to Memphis and learns about his father's past. Knowing he wasn't coming back, William dies in the arms of Randall.


What Now? - At the death of William, the Pearsons are brought together again. William funeral reminds people to celebrate his life and not morn it. Randall reconciles with his mother and decides to quit his job and Kevin is successful with his play.


Moonshadow - Kate begins to open up to Toby about her father's past in how she believes she was responsible for his death. Jack and Rebecca remember how they met over a song. Kate decides she wants to be a singer like her mother. Kevin is off to play a new role. Randall decides he wants to adopt another child.



2 Broke Girls - The Complete 6th Season & Final Season


Finally Max and Caroline are finally able to start their own 'desert bar' with emphasis on 'bar'! Oleg and Sophie have a baby. As they continue to work at the diner with Hans and Earl, they learn what it is like to manage their own bar and love lives. Max continues her rocky relationship with Randy, will she finally tie the knot? And Caroline gets a boyfriend (finally). Could it be girls have finally become successful?


Max and Caroline are two New York roommates/BFFs living and waitresses together. They came together to the Big Apple to chase their dreams of opening up a cupcake shop, which they ended up opening a alcohol/desert bar (close enough). Max and Caroline uses their charm, sexy good looks, feminine wiles and wicked jokes serve both customers and men, but when compared to their nymphomaniac friend's cook Oleg and Sophie they are a lot more sane. Finally, they also have Earl the kind old African American man, which we ain't sure if he is senile or just plain loony.


This was a comical series and proves that if you are a hot girl you can get away with anything. The whole series is about 2 girls constantly going broke, each time they make money fate somehow takes it away (again and again) and brings them together. Most of the jokes were smart wise cracks of a sexual nature with a lot of double entendres while making fun of stereotypes, minorities, modern pop culture, and other actors, movies and films. Extras include unaired scenes and gag reels.




And the final episodes are...


And the Two Openings: Part One - Max and Caroline get ready to open their new desert bar. Oleg and Sophie have a baby.


And the Two Openings: Part Two - Max and Caroline have problems with their liquor license.


And the '80s Movie - Max and Randy start sexting and face-timing each other.


And the Godmama Drama - Max and Caroline must find a way to win over Oleg's mother to be Barbara's godparents.


And the College Experience - Caroline goes back college to give a talk (ahem, a party) on business.


And the Rom-Commie - Earl's long lost girlfriend comes for a visit.


And the Sophie Doll - The girls take a bartenders class to learn how to make drinks and Caroline cheats on the final.


And the Duck Stamp - Business is booming with their new bartender, but Han gets addicted on cacao as a result.


And the About Facetime - Max and Randy help Caroline find a date, but things aren't going well with Max and Randy.


And the Himmicane - A hurricane traps everyone in the diner and seems like is the perfect setting for some hanky-panky.


And the Planes, Fingers and Automobiles - Max, Caroline and Han goes on a road trip to find Randy. Oleg, Sophie and Earl are left in charge of the diner.


And the Riverboat Runs Through It - Max and Caroline continues on their road trip adventure ...on a riverboat  in New Orleans.


And the Stalking Dead - Max and Caroline ends up as extras in a zombie movie Randy is working on.


And the Emergency Contractor - Max and Caroline gets home. Caroline falls for their contractor Bobby and Max rushes to Randy at the hospital.


And the Turtle Sense - Caroline goes out on a date with Bobby. Max feels alone at the bar and misses Caroline.


And the Tease Time - Caroline continues to go out on dates with Bobby and Max picks a bad time to swear off on sex.


And the Jessica Shmessica - Caroline meets her Bobby's family, unfortunately she finds out she has a lot of people to win over ...his mother, sisters and his ex-girlfriend's perfect reputation.


And the Dad Day Afternoon - The doctor says Max has daddy issues and that she has to find and confront her father.


And the Baby and Other Things - Caroline gets in a fight with her boyfriend and finds out he may have a child.


And the Alley-oops - Caroline and Max go bowling. Caroline is terrible, can Max pick up her spares?


And the Rock Me On the Dais - Caroline runs into her ex, who is going to make a film about her life.


And 2 Broke Girls: The Movie - (Ok, it's not really a movie) It's the season finale, will both Max and Caroline find their happily ever afters?



Now for playback performance. Presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and a great sounding DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless track, the latest Shameless season is the only TV season here on Blu-ray, so it looks and sounds great on Blu-ray disc with a transfer that improves over the original digital broadcast and free of watermarks.


All the DVDs are here in anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image presentations, but the Bruce Lee set is the poorest, also offering lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks, the episodes are in the English language and dubbed, however some scenes have Mandarin subtitles over English subs, namely in the opening title sequence. It's too bad the Mandarin language track wasn't an option because watching dubs for this long period of time can become a trying affair. The remaining TV on DVD sets are about as good as they can possibly be picture-wise in the format, all with lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 sound mixes. In an age where we're spoiled by lossless sound, these have their limits, but also pretty much could not sound better considering the older codec.



- Ricky Chiang & James Lockhart (Bruce, Shameless)

https://www.facebook.com/jamesharlandlockhartv/


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