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Category:    Home > Reviews > TV Situation Comedy > Family > Satire > Gadgets > Australia > Spoof > Science Fiction > Dark Comedy > Melo > Fuller House: The Complete Fifth & Final Season (2020/DVD*)/Malcolm (1986/Umbrella Region-Free Import Blu-ray)/My Stepmother Is An Alien (1988/Sony/Arrow**)/Night Shift (1982/Blu-ray/*both Warner Arch

Fuller House: The Complete Fifth & Final Season (2020/DVD*)/Malcolm (1986/Umbrella Region-Free Import Blu-ray)/My Stepmother Is An Alien (1988/Sony/Arrow**)/Night Shift (1982/Blu-ray/*both Warner Archive)/Where The Red Fern Grows (2003/**both MVD Blu-rays)

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

PLEASE NOTE: The Fuller House DVD and Night Shift Blu-ray are now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series, while the Malcolm import Blu-ray comes from Umbrella Entertainment in Australia and will play on all 4K and Blu-ray players and both can be ordered from the links below.

Here's a group of comedies, some with drama, some with melodrama and some with items better skipped...

We start with Fuller House: The Complete Fifth & Final Season (2020). Baby Danielle is a new addition is added to the growing families of Fuller/Tanner/Gibbler house hold. As DJ, her sister Stephanie and their best friend Kimmy raise their families together, now they are having a triple wedding together. It's the end of an age (or is it the beginning of a new one?), as Steve, Jimmy and Fernando tie the knot are the guys ready? As they move towards the future it seems like everyone planning a new future, DJ become worried that everyone is planning to move out.

DJ, Stephanie and Kimmy are strong, independent and responsible (arguably) parents that care about their family and friends, and they all live together in the same house they grew up in the beautiful house in central San Francisco. After struggling for five years, it seems like they are finally ready to tie the knot with their life long loves. It's been a crazy ride, but are they ready to finally settle down? With the help of families and friends will they get ready in time for the perfect wedding? Hopes, dreams and well wishes from the past (along with the original cast of Full House) to bid farewell to Fuller House.

This is a funny TV series about family, friends and love as three generations of family all live together in the same house. In the final season, it's the last chance for laughs, surprises, songs, dance and plenty of guest appearances from the original cast. The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 picture and lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 sound are as good as they can be for this older format and there are no extras, though you can read about all the previous seasons elsewhere on this site.

Episodes this time are:

Welcome Home, Baby-to-Be-Named-Later - Stephanie returns home with the new baby, but has yet to decide what the baby's name is.

Hale's Kitchen - DJ learns that there are more surprises to Steve than she knows about.

Family Business - Jimmy, Fernando and Steve decides to go into business together and buy Uncle Monty's ...without telling the girls.

Moms' Night Out - The She-Wolf Pack return to their partying days at Club Euphoria, but the club has totally changed.

Ready Play Fuller - DJ learns to play with Jackson in an online video game, but what happens when he discovers his new online best friend is actually his mom?

The Mayor's Bird - While on the job, DJ has a series of revelations about herself and her life.

DJ's Amazing 40th Birthday Race - Steve plans a surprise party for DJ, but is he really going to propose?

Four Dates With Kimmy Gibbler - Kimmy goes on speed dating to test herself to see if Fernando is really the 'one' for her.

A Modest Proposal - DJ helps Fernando plan a proposal for Kimmy, but it turns out to be even a greater surprise.

If the Suit Fits - DJ, Stephanie and Kimmy plan their triple wedding.

Three Weddings and a Musical - DJ, Stephanie and Kimmy attend a wedding convention to get ideas for their wedding.

Cold Turkey - It's Thanksgiving at the Fuller House, DJ and Stephanie clash as DJ wants a traditional family Thanksgiving diner, but Stephanie wants to try some new things.

College Tours - DJ take Jackson on a tour of her old college and gets into some sorority pranks.

Basic Training - Max skips a grade but he is made fun of for being different.

Be Yourself, Free Yourself - As the wedding approaches there is some difficulty with deciding on the guy's wedding tux and the wedding dresses.

The Nearlywed Game - Max, Ramona and Jackson put on a game show to test DJ, Stephanie and Kimmy's relationship with their fiancée.

Something Borrowed - DJ, Stephanie and Kimmy looking for something borrowed for the wedding.

and Our Very Last Show, Again - The wedding is finally here, where will everyone go after the wedding?

Malcolm (Colin Friels) is a tinkerer that got recently fired the local tram and he takes on two questionable boarders to make ends meet, Judith and Frank. Turns out Frank is a crook and Judith is a waitress, and after discovering Malcolm's ability to create and invent gadgets out of toys and machine they decide to pull off the heist of the century, to rob a bank without ever stepping inside it.

As we discover in Nadia Tass' Malcolm (1986,) Malcolm loves toys and loves building remote controlled devices and has them all over his house, and he is a genius when it comes to modifications. Frank is a petty low-level criminal who just got out and is looking for the next score along with Judith a simple bar waitress. All of them are considered unimportant lowlifes, that is until Frank and Malcolm comes up with idea to use Malcolm's various inventions to rob a bank, a plan so crazy no one would believe it (if it worked).

Before James Bond and all his gadgets there was Malcolm, Malcolm was one of the earlier films in which featured mechanical devices in film which were designed to stun the audience with ingenious applications, a remote car with a camera and gun built into it, a car that could split into two. Now on Blu-ray as a Region-Free Import from Umbrella, I am told this is an improvement from the old DVD we covered years ago, but the 1080p 1.85 X 1 image and lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono did not impress me much, but you may find it better.

Extras include a short featurette "A Quieter Time" interview, feature length audio commentary, and trailer, which is less and different than the DVD. You can reads more about that and a couple of other Australian comedies in our older coverage at this link:


Next, Dan Aykroyd and Kim Basinger star in My Stepmother is an Alien (1988), a forgotten '80s sci-fi comedy that has received a 2K restoration on Blu-ray disc from Arrow Video. The film is a mixed bag and severely dated, and will likely appeal to those who grew up watching it for nostalgic reasons. Watching it now in retrospect and for the first time, it's a bit painful to watch. The film is a rip on the same formula we saw in Weird Science, only with an alien spin this time, but still has that wacky fish out of water; 'gosh, she is so hot why is she with this nerd' kind of feel. At the time, the producer joked that he was though to be the next E.T., but that obviously fell short of expectations.

The leading stars try their best, but they can't get past the stale script that doesn't always work. The film also stars Saturday Night Live and comedy movie alum: Jon Lovitz, who is always good for a few gags and a very young Alyson Hannigan, who would later go on to be in the Buffy the Vampire series. You can spot a young Seth Green here too!

A loser widow Scientist Dad (Aykroyd) gets a visit from a beautiful human-looking alien named Celeste (Basinger) who is on a mission to save her home planet. When she meets Aykroyd, she finds love and experiences it for the first time as a human would. She loses sight of the mission and starts to get a bit TOO comfy on Earth, while her home planet suffers. She must choose between the life that she wants to live.

My Stepmother is an Alien is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and lossless English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo mix, both of which give us a fresh and clear look at this film that is certainly the best attention that it's gotten on home video to date. This is again, a 2K restoration from the original 35mm camera negative.

Special Features:

Brand new audio commentary by critic Bryan Reesman

Cosmetic Encounters: Directing My Stepmother is An Alien, a brand new interview with director Richard Benjamin

Original Theatrical Trailer

Image gallery

Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Colin Murdoch

and First Pressing Only: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Amanda Reyes"

Despite Kim Basigner looking simply amazing in this film, and just before her next breakout performance in Tim Burton's Batman 1989 no less (following hits like 9 1/2 Weeks and Never Say Never Again), My Stepmother is an Alien is simply put, pretty bad. This release from Arrow video though, is a definitive one, and if you have a soft spot for it, then it may be worth picking up!

Directed by Ron Howard, Night Shift (1982) gets a long overdue release on the Blu-ray format courtesy of Warner Archive. Starring Henry Winkler, Shelley Long, Nita Talbot, Richard Belzer, horror icon Joe Spinell, Vincent Schiavelli, Pat Corley, Ola Ray, an uncredited Michael Pataki, Kevin Costner, Shannon Doherty (both in small roles) and a young Michael Keaton years before he was Beetlejuice or Batman. Quite a few other familiar faces pop up in the film as well including the director's brother, Clint Howard in a hilarious role.

The film is a sort of romantic comedy centered around Chuck (Winkler) who works at a morgue and is bored with his mundane life and weight conscious fiance. When Chuck gets pushed to the night shift, he pairs up with Bill (Keaton,) who is a wild guy and the opposite of Chuck in many ways. Chuck ends up getting intertwined with Belinda, whose pimp has recently been murdered and is in a lot of hot water. Belinda and Chuck start to form a bond he ends up being her temporary pimp along with Bill, and they use the morgue as a brothel. The cash starts to come in, but Chuck can't deny his love for Belinda and must take necessary steps to fix his life before it spirals out of control.

Night Shift is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1, and a lossless, English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo mix with Pro Logic surrounds, all of which are up to Blu-ray standards. The transfer here looks really good for Blu-ray and is a great film restoration.

Only extra is an HD Trailer.

Finally, we have Lyman Dayton and Sam Pillsbury's Where The Red Fern Grows (2003) which is a very mixed bag of bad feel-good film, flat faith film, drama and corny family film. Joseph Ashton plays a young boy who wants a hunting dog, gets two of them, goes hunting, then danger and an idiot plot ensue. Should he have such dogs at this age? Should he have a gun?

This runs a very long 88 minutes and has an adult cast that includes no less than Dabney Coleman, Kris Kristofferson, Ned Beatty, Mac Davis and Dave Matthews, though the latter two do not really sing. Wynonna Judd and Allison Krause do, but even all that talent cannot save this highly questionable curio. Very odd, though.

The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image was shot on what looks like 35mm film, but this is a little too soft, so it is either an old HD master or something got slightly lost in the digitizing process, while we get two soundtracks: a decent-but-limited PCM 2.0 Stereo and much poorer, lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. Why no lossless 5.1 mix? The fidelity of the recording just might be too old.

Extras include an Original Theatrical Trailer and two short Making Of/Behind The Scenes featurettes: The Roots Of A Classic and Lights, Camera, Animals, a montage of animals in the film.

To order the Malcolm Umbrella import Blu-ray, go to this link:


...and to order the Warner Archive Fuller House DVD and/or Night Shift Blu-ray, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo (Fern), Ricky Chiang (House, Malcolm) and James Lockhart



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