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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Crime > Detective > Psychology > Serial Killer > Mini-Series > Cable TV > Talk Show > Sports > Enter > Alienist (2019/TNT DVDs*)/Dick Cavett Show: Baseball's Greatest Hits: Pitchers (1970, 1971, 1991/MVD/S'More DVDs)/Flash: Complete Fifth Season (DC Comics/Blu-rays* **)/Martin Clunes' Islands Of Americ

Alienist (2019/TNT DVDs*)/Dick Cavett Show: Baseball's Greatest Hits: Pitchers (1970, 1971, 1991/MVD/S'More DVDs)/Flash: Complete Fifth Season (DC Comics/Blu-rays* **)/Martin Clunes' Islands Of America (2018/DVD***)/Supernatural: The Complete Fourteenth Season (*all Warner/**both 2018 - 2019)/Vidago Palace (2018*/DVD/Athena/***both Acorn)

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

When fall arrives, a sudden increase of TV titles hit home video, including the previous seasons of series still in production or about to wrap up, which applies to some of the following...

We start with The Alienist (2019) is based on Caleb Carr's book about the early years of the doctors who eventually became what we think of as psychoanalysts in the early 20th Century (specifically New York City of the 1896s or The Gilded Age that lasted a good while) as we see how this school of thought eventually became the science we have today, for better or worse. Daniel Brul, leading the way as a serial killer of young boys becomes the focus of an investigation that needs his help.

Since we have seen this story too much lately, the series comes up with little new to add (Nicole Kidman was discussed for casting when this almost became a feature film) and the cast is not bad, with Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans showing up as well. The show is ambitious, even when that does not always work out, but it is worth a look for those who are curious and any problems are not for lack of trying. This limited series consists of 10 episodes in all.

Extras include a small paper episode guide inside the DVD case, while the discs add clips Pixel By Pixel, Inside The Alienist and Inside The Episode bits.

You don't have to be a sports authority to enjoy The Dick Cavett Show: Baseball's Greatest Hits: Pitchers (1970, 1971, 1991), but it does not hurt and having other big names show up in the same episodes is a plus. Of course, Cavett is always on top of his game and his remains one of the greatest talk shows of all time. This 3-DVD set offers Whitey Ford & Mickey Mantle w/Marcel Marceau, Dizzy Dean w/Rose Kennedy, Denny McLain w/Al Capp, Satchel Paige w/Lillian Gish and Salvador Dali (!!!), Vida Blue & Bob Kamen w/Milt Kamen and legendary film director Robert Altman, and Tommy John all on his own for the whole show.

Its also a great opportunity for baseball fans to catch up with legends of the past they still hear about and to see other big names we should all revisit. Once again, another solid set worth going out of your way for.

There are no extras.

The epic DC Comics series The Flash, returns with its Fifth and possibly best season yet in this explosive 4 disc Blu-ray collection now finally available. I usually wait to dive into these shows until these uninterrupted HD versions come out and this one was well worth the wait. Also included are the crossover episodes with the three part Elseworlds event, which features of other characters of the shared CW DC Universe.

The Flash continues to focus on Barry Allen (Grant Gustin here) who seeks to defend Central City from time paradoxes and super villains. As he finally marries his long time love Iris West (Candice Patton), they are visited from their daughter from an alternate future, who puts their own in question. Can The Flash stop terrible things from happening to his team and his family?

The Flash also stars Danielle Panabaker (Sky High, Friday the 13th), Carlos Valdes (Arrow, Once), Hartley Sawyer (Caper, Glory Daze), Danielle Nicolet (Central Intelligence), Jessica Parker Kennedy (The Secret Circle, Black Sails), and Chris Klein (American Pie movies), with Tom Cavanagh (Ed, The Following) and Jesse L. Martin (Law & Order).

24 One-Hour Episodes span four Blu-ray discs and include Nora, Blocked, The Death of Vibe, News Flash, All Doll'd Up, The Icicle Cometh, O'Come, All Ya Thankful, What Past is Prologue, Elseworlds: Hours One, Two, and Three. The Flash and the Furious, Memorabilia, Goldfaced, Cause and Xs, King Shark vs Gorilla Grodd, and Failure is an Orphan.

We have reviewed previous sessions of this show elsewhere on this site:

Season One


Season Two


Special Features include:

The Best of DC TV's Comic-Con Panel San Diego 2018

The Evolution of Killer Frost

Inside the Crossover: Elseworlds

Villains: Modes of Persuasion

Gag Reel

and Deleted Scenes

Definitely a recommended release for DC comics fans!

Martin Clunes' Islands Of America (2018) is the other of our two non-fiction fiction entries as the actor from the huge international hit Doc Martin goes all over the U.S. (including Alaska and Puerto Rico in the four loaded episodes where he takes risks, deeply participates where he goes and shows us a side of him that shows us why he is a star.

This is part of a cycle of shows you see more so on U.K. TV than anywhere else where established names (Joanna Lumley and various Monty Python alumni come to mind) go visiting in places where their intellectual curiosity takes them and we get to watch it all. It is very brave and they open up in ways that are surprising, unexpected and a real pleasure. Some such series have better results than others, but this one is not bad and worth your time if you like him and/or are interested.

There are no extras.

Sam and Dean have now seen everything, fought monsters, demons, fallen angels and now even discovered alternate universes, but now after the death of Lucifer, they have even a greater problem the Archangel Michael who wants to destroy mankind. With Heaven and Hell in chaos, Michael plans to use the monsters to overthrow mankind. However, the Winchesters are no longer alone, along with their friends and their newest recruit Jack the son of Lucifer they continue fight the supernatural and impossible in Supernatural: The Complete Fourteenth Season (2018 - 2019).

Sam and Dean are brothers and demon hunters and anything supernatural. After years of fighting alone they are no longer alone, now they have a secret base, teams of hunters, a fallen angel Castiel and even Jack, son of Lucifer to help them. Together they all work together to fight back against the forces of darkness and war between Heaven and Hell. However, things are not as easy as they think with Dean getting possessed by Michael and with Lucifer dead his host body has been returned to Nick. Also, their newest member Jack has recently lost his angel powers and is dying.

Supernatural is like an amazing epic more sci-fi than horror series. While the over arching stories is about the struggle between the demons and angels (the angels are only a little better than the demons). The brothers protect humanity from the knowledge of the supernatural forces because the rest of the world is not ready for the truth. It is like a mix of The X-Files and the series The Fringe. Episodes have various side stories from the main plot with different supernatural creatures that the characters defeat by the end of the episode. Extras include all new featurettes, audio commentaries, unaired scenes and gag reel.

Episodes this time include:

Stranger in a Strange Land - Jack learns living as a human. Sam and Castiel must decided on what to do against Dean who is possessed by Michael.

Gods and Monsters - Sam's searches for where Michael is. Michael conducts experiments to enhance werewolves and vampires for his army.

The Scar - Sam and Dean discovers a weapon that can hurt Michael, but getting it might harder than they thought.

Mint Condition - Dean fights against his favorite Halloween slasher movie character when it suddenly comes to life.

Nightmare Logic - The hunters investigates a horror that makes their worst nightmares come true.

Optimism - Sam and Charlie investigates a string of missing people. Jack goes out on his first hunt with Dean.

Unhuman Nature - Nick searches for the killer of his wife and son not caring how he gets the answers. Dean takes Jack under his wing and shows him how to enjoy being human.

Byzantium - Sam and Dean desperate to save Jack asks a former foe for help. Castiel goes to Heaven and makes a sacrifice himself to bring Jack back to life.

The Spear - Sam and Dean forms a plan to stop Michael, but Michael has seen through their plans laid a trap for them.

Nihilism - Sam and Castiel goes into the mind of Dean to try and drive Michael out of Dean's body.

Damaged Goods - Dean seems to be well but secretly he is planning to seal himself away forever trapping Michael in his head forever.

Prophet and Loss - Sam and Dean investigates a false prophet that seems to be killing people.

Lebanon - Sam and Dean makes a wish to get rid of Michael, but instead finds they have brought their father into the future, then the future begins to change.

Ouroboros - The hunters investigate and hunt a demigod who has a taste for human flesh.

Peace of Mind - Sam and Castiel investigates a town where everything seems perfect, but then Sam gets brainwashed can Castiel help Sam remember who he really is?

Don't Go in the Woods - Sam and Dean investigate a mysterious creature killing people in the woods, but can they stop a monster they have no information on?

Game Night - As Sam and Dean helps an old friend, Castiel goes to heaven to ask for a miracle for Jack.

Absence - Jack kills Mary with his powers and searches for a way to undo his actions.

Jack in the Box - Heaven decides to take Jack under their wings, but tricks him into playing god to recruit new angels for Heaven.

Moriah - Jack grows more powerful, Sam and Dean turns to the only one who can stop him, God. But 'God' has a plan and it doesn't involve saving any of them. Sam and Dean refuse God to kill Jack and God cause the 'End' to happen.


1936 Portugal, the Vidago Hotel is a hotel for the nobility and upper class. While civil war and revolution is happening across the Spanish boarder, Vidago and it's inhabitants remains a paradise. Young Countess Carlota arrives at Vidago to marry nouveau riche Cesar to save her family from the poor house. But all the while, Carlota is secretly in love with Pedro, a servant at Vidago. As their affair grows, will Carlota decide to follow her heart or accept her destiny?

In Vidago Palace (2018), Carlota's family is from a line of nobles, but her family is secretly bankrupted and her mother is marrying her off to Cesar, an heir to a nouveau riche family. Cesar's mother wants Cesar to marry Carlota so they their family can enter the nobility and upper class. Carlota is in love with the help, Pedro a servant and son of the manager of the Vidago. However, Pedro is also a revolutionary and is considered a suspect/terrorist and considered a danger to those in power. Carlota and Pedro's love is symbolic of the class discrimination and why their country is in civil unrest. But both Carlota and Cesar's mothers will do anything force them to marry. After Pedro is arrested for being a revolutionary, Carlota is forced to marry Cesar by her mother in order to save Pedro's life. Meanwhile Cesar proves to be less than 'noble' ...but he also a liar, gambler and cheater and he plans on using Carlota and even forcing himself on her. Carlota at first planned to runaway with Pedro, but now has decide to either enter a loveless marriage or to fight for the love of her life.

This was like a period piece set in Portugal crossed with Les Miserables, a story of star cross lovers facing impossible odds in a middle of a civil war. The story was mainly about the class discrimination and how most of the nobility and the rich only care about themselves, increasing their own wealth or power. They sees people as no more than lowly plebeians to serve their whims and needs, the two lovers in the story represents represents the breaking of all their rules and hope for change.

There are no extras.

The Flash is again presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and a great sounding audio mix in DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 (48kHz, 16-bit) lossless mix. This is certainly better than the original television broadcast and provides more detail in the visual effects and overall production design of the show. Supernatural has the same specs and is at least as good and maybe even better.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Islands and Vidago look as good as they can in the DVD format and though I thought the first two could have some softness and Alienist is a little softer and has more challenging shadow detail than I would have liked. Blu-rays in all three cases would show improvement. The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on Alienist is better and the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on the latter two are about even with it.

That leaves us with the 1.33 X 1 color image on the Cavett episodes looking as good as they can for professional NTSC analog video, but still having issues like analog videotape flaws including video noise, video banding, telecine flicker, tape scratching, PAL cross color, faded color and tape damage. The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono and later Stereo on the episodes are good at times, but more so on this set than the many others we've covered to date, it can be a little lower and problematic than those sets, so be careful of volume switching and high playback levels.

Please note that the Warner and other titles are provided to us by each company in screener form (press copies received free of charge as a courtesy so they can be reviewed, often before street date) so they can be thoroughly reviewed by approved sources like ourselves.

- Nicholas Sheffo, Ricky Chiang (Supernatural, Vidago) and James Lockhart (Flash)



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