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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Satire > Surrealism > Animation > TV > Skits > Mime > Clown > Variety Show > Stand Up > Military Tour > Dave Made A Maze (2017/Gravitas Ventures Blu-ray)/Family Guy: Season Fifteen (2016 - 2017/Fox DVD Set)/The Red Skelton Show In Color: Deluxe Edition Collection (1951 - 1984)/Thanks For The Memories: T

Dave Made A Maze (2017/Gravitas Ventures Blu-ray)/Family Guy: Season Fifteen (2016 - 2017/Fox DVD Set)/The Red Skelton Show In Color: Deluxe Edition Collection (1951 - 1984)/Thanks For The Memories: The Bob Hope Specials Deluxe Collection (1950 - 1996/Time Life DVD Box Sets)/Waiting For Guffman (1996/Warner Archive Blu-ray)

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

PLEASE NOTE: The Waiting For Guffman Blu-ray is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.

More comedy releases include two gift boxes, many hits and a few cult items...

Dave Made A Maze

Dave Made a Maze (2017), directed by Bill Watterson, is a funny and creative new film that is definitely for those who like quirky off-beat cinema. Reminding me a bit of the work of Michel Gondry in its fantastical element in a realistic setting, the film centers around Dave - a man who is lost in his elaborate cardboard labyrinth that he is lost inside of. While far fetched and silly, the film has some funny moments and decent filmmaking behind it. Never taking itself seriously, the film goes as far as having confetti for blood and characters made out of paper. Some things work and some things don't, but it's sure to get some laughs out of anyone who watches it.

When Dave's girlfriend Annie (Meera Rohit Kumbhani of The Mindy Project) comes home from work, she finds her boyfriend stuck inside a cardboard maze of his own creation. At first what seems like a hoax, is soon discovered to be a huge actual maze built of cardboard with some supernatural help. In an attempt to find him, Annie leads a group of explorers into the maze (James Urbaniak, Kristen Vangsness and Timothy Nordwind) to help find Dave. Once they find him, they realize together that there is no way out of this elaborate creation... or is there?

Special Features...

Behind the Scenes Featurette

Commentary with the Director and Producer

Slamdance Teaser Trailer/Theatrical Trailer

Deleted Scenes

While sometimes it tries a bit too hard and is a bit too silly for its own good, there's no doubt that the filmmaking behind Dave Made A Maze is interesting and unique. Recommended.

Family Guy: Season Fifteen

It's hard to believe, but one animated show has outlasted The Simpsons for quality, yet also remained as cutting edge as South Park in a rivalry of sorts that never developed into anything massive or distracting. Family Guy: Season Fifteen (2016 - 2017) retains the energy that made the show such a huge hit to begin with and somehow stays as daring and funny as it ever did. Sadly, this will pretty much be the end of Mayor West as Adam West recently left us (maybe he recorded something for next season?) and so will end another era for a show that is a classic despite it not being given that credit enough.

We get 20 half-hours that still somehow manage to surprise, sometimes go overboard, leave no stone unturned or personality insulted and just keeps the laughs coming in a way few shows know how to. Cheers to all the voice actors who have only become better over the years pulling off the characters as they've developed so well over the years. This is the first time in a while I have covered the show for the site and you would never know it was cancelled twice because it has such a seamless flow. All the characters are great, with Stewie an icon who may have yet to peak. How many shows are this good after over a decade and a half? Very few.

Extras include Deleted Scenes for episodes on all 3 discs, Family Guy Remembers Carrie Fisher and an Adam West Tribute.

The Red Skelton Show In Color: Deluxe Edition Collection

Next up are two very expanded offerings from Time Life with some material we have covered before. First up is The Red Skelton Show In Color: Deluxe Edition Collection (1951 - 1984) which offers more material for us than the few discs we covered of the amusing, charming, classy show before. Though we have other Skelton material on the site, we only covered three of the DVDs in this set. Using the press explanation in part to explain the content, the 22 -DVD set is comprised of four distinct DVD collections, with the link to what we covered before:

  • THE RED SKELTON SHOW: THE EARLY YEARS (8 Discs) - The beginning of Red's legendary two-decade television journey is celebrated in this 72 episode set. Many of Red's best characters and classic bits can be found in these episodes, providing a side-splitting look at a true pioneer of television's Golden Age. The black and white is not bad here either.

  • THE RED SKELTON HOUR: IN COLOR (10 Discs) - This deluxe set features 31 rarely seen episodes in their original, brilliant color; highlights include Red's famous recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, musical performances by Simon & Garfunkel, Frankie Valli, The 5th Dimension and more, plus a bonus Skelton biography, America's Clown, the only true extra in this entire set.


  • THE COMPLETE 20TH SEASON: IN COLOR (3 Discs) - Twenty years after The Red Skelton Show first aired on NBC in 1951, the extraordinary Red appeared in his last season, bringing all his wonderful characters to life for the last time on network television. An incredible group of guest stars includes Jerry Lewis, Vincent Price, Robert Wagner, Jill St. John and many more!

  • BONUS DVD: RED SKELTON: THE FAREWELL SPECIALS (1 Disc) - Red's zany, unexpected and classically hilarious crowning performances are celebrated in this compilation of farewell specials, featuring, "Red Skelton's Christmas Dinner," "More Funny Faces," "Funny Faces III," and "A Royal Command Performance" - America's wackiest court jester gets silly with Britain's Royal Family at London's Royal Albert Hall.

Again, the clown sequences and skits are simply not my thing, but I can see why skelton was such a hit for so long and had such an extraordinary career and this does not even include his hit films and hit radio show. Some material here was licensed by Time Life from other video labels, but that is a plus and though you can get smaller amounts of disc releases of his work, he deserves this deluxe treatment and it makes for a reference-quality release and gift set that has more than its share of laughs and fine moments.

Thanks For The Memories: The Bob Hope Specials Deluxe Collection

Though the box is bigger and wider, Thanks For The Memories: The Bob Hope Specials Deluxe Collection (1950 - 1996) offers less discs and more materials than the Skelton release above. Still, these shows were always big ratings winners and special event broadcasts, so they should all be out on DVD. This 19 DVD box set is comprised of four releases, more of which we covered before than the skelton set, but it is a plus to have all the material here on one place:

  • THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES: THE BOB HOPE SPECIALS (6 Discs) - Featuring 13 specials from 1956 to 1996, this DVD set contains hilarious compilation shows that spotlight the best moments from years of remarkable footage: a full episode of all-time classic bloopers, Bob Hope's first show in color, his 90th Birthday party special, Laughing with the Presidents, and more. This collection also includes the bonus show Shanks for the Memory, on the world of golf according to Bob Hope.


  • BOB HOPE: ENTERTAINING THE TROOPS (4 Discs) - Featuring 10 shows from 1950 to 1993, this DVD set features several USO Christmas specials filmed before troops serving in locations all over the world - from the Cold War through the Vietnam years to the Persian Gulf. The set also contains the holiday-themed DVD Hope for the Holidays, featuring a compilation of Bob Hope's most hilarious Christmas sketches through the years along with his very first Christmas special, as well as the bonus feature Memories of World War II with rare clips, highlights from Bob Hope's Armed Forces Network radio show, and Bob and guests reminiscing about the era.




  • BOB HOPE: TV LEGEND (8 Discs) - The American treasure is at his very best in this singular collection of 16 classic variety specials from 1958-1973, including 10 USO holiday specials from the Cold War through Vietnam featuring dance, music and comedy and dozens of celebrity guests. Aside from touching interactions with troops the world over, memorable moments include a star-studded comic ensemble sending up network censorship, a rollicking Western showdown between Bob's comic colleagues and Hollywood cowboys and a nostalgic Tribute to Vaudeville.

  • BONUS DVD: THE DEAN MARTIN CELEBRITY ROASTS: BOB HOPE (1 Disc, also on the Time Life box set of all the MARTIN ROASTS reviewed elsewhere on this site) - This bonus disc features the star-studded roast of Bob Hope hosted by the irrepressible Dean Martin. Among the roasters featured are Jimmy Stewart, Jack Benny, Milton Berle, Don Rickles, John Wayne, and many more!

In this case, there again are hardly any extras on the actual discs, but you get a magazine-sized book running 32 illustrated pages long that is nicely done. Fans and the curious will not be bored and the big names Hope attracted always raised eyebrows.

Waiting For Guffman

From acclaimed director Christopher Guest (This is Spinal Tap, Best in Show) comes his very popular Waiting for Guffman (1996), which is a mock-umentary featuring an excellent (and very funny) cast. Before Sasha Baron Cohen adopted this sort of filmmaking for his films, Guest is easily one the sub-genre's innovators. Starring Guest himself in the role of Corky, this film will not only make you laugh but likely move you too.

The all star supporting cast includes Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Parker Posey, Fred Willard and Bob Balaban.

Set in a small town in Missouri, Corky St. Claire (Guest) creates a musical celebration in celebration of his town's 100th year anniversary. With Broadway dreams and aspirations and a great deal of guts, Corky sets out to make his mark and honor the town as best he can.

Special Features...

Audio Commentary by Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy

Additional Scenes with Optional Commentary

Theatrical Trailer

Turning to technical playback performance, presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and a lossy English Dolby Digital 5.1 track, Dave looks and sounds fine for and on Blu-ray disc. So much of this film is dependent on sound design, with the echoing voice of Dave within the maze and many fantasy within the maze itself sounds too. The score is appropriately goofy, giving the film a child-like wonder sort of quality that goes along with the ludicrous nature of its comedy.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on the Family Guy episodes look good for the format, but we miss how much better the show plays on Blu-ray. Still, it looks good enough and the lossy English Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks are not bad, but they too have their flaws and limits.

The 1.33 X 1 image on the Skelton and Hope box sets mostly originate on NTSC analog video, usually color, though some Hope shows are filmed on 16mm including some older transfers that need to be redone. Analog videotape flaws including video noise, video banding, telecine flicker, tape scratching, cross color, faded color and tape damage, but is good for the format seeming remastered the same way and the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (later some stereo creeps into the Hope discs) is fine for the most part.

That leaves us with Guffman, is presented in a new remastered form for this edition in 1080p on Blu-ray disc with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 (modified from its original 1.85:1) and comes an English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo track with Pro Logic surrounds (originally issued in Dolby's older A-type analog noise reduction system with mono surrounds), making this the best presentation of the film currently on home video. Fans will immediately notice a difference from the previous DVD release.

To order the Warner Archive Waiting For Guffman Blu-ray, go to this link for it and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo & James Lockhart (Dave, Guffman)



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