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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Stand Up > Satire > Holiday > Animation > Cable TV > Skiing > Spoof > Slapstick > Def Jam Comedy All Stars (1993 - 2008/Time Life DVD Box)/Easter Sunday (2022/Universal Blu-ray w/DVD)/8-Bit Christmas (2021)/Ed, Edd N Eddy (1999 - 2007) + Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends (2004 -

Def Jam Comedy All Stars (1993 - 2008/Time Life DVD Box)/Easter Sunday (2022/Universal Blu-ray w/DVD)/8-Bit Christmas (2021)/Ed, Edd N Eddy (1999 - 2007) + Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends (2004 - 2009/both Cartoon Network Complete Series/all Warner DVDs)/Ski Patrol (1990/Orion/MGM/MVD Blu-ray)

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

Now for a very wide variety of comedy for all ages and then some...

Russell Simmons' Def Jam Comedy All Stars (1993 - 2008) have been issued on DVD in the past in discs and small sets here and there, but now, here is a far more complete 12-DVD set that captures much of the history of the bold, huge hit HBO cable TV series that is still way too explicit for broadcast television, Ultra HDTV and always will be. We see some of the greatest talent in the business in action, plus many names you may remember who did not get as far as they deserved or some that maybe you did not think were as funny.

Younger here than in most media you may be seeing them in now, the talent is a 'who's who' of the entire industry and includes Martin Lawrence, Chris Tucker, Cedric the Entertainer, Dave Chappelle, Queen Latifah, Tiffany Haddish, Tracy Morgan, Steve Harvey, Bernie Mac, Jamie Foxx, D.L. Hughley, Bill Bellamy, Paul Mooney, Mike Epps, Kevin Hart and many, many more.

Of course, this kind of shocking language and the situations they entail are far more common today, and not just because of Rap or Hip Hop by any stretch of the imagination, because this show was on before the Internet was a thing and that is why it was so shocking and even somehow 'forbidden' at the time despite forerunners of such comedy having huge commercial success like Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy and even Lenny Bruce. Therefore, the new thing to watch is the audience reactions to the many jokes as these are all viewers from the late analog and pre-internet era. That means they might laugh at some of these jokes more than others or not laugh at all. That adds a new layer to the 23 hours of programming this set has to offer and those interested will get new things out of it. Old fans will love the flashbacks.

Extras (per the press release) include Bonus Episode ''2 Raw 4 TV''

  • Bonus DVD: Shaq & Cedric the Entertainer Present: All Star Comedy Jam: a comedy showcase hosted by Cedric the Entertainer and including stand-up performances by Kevin Hart, Tommy Davidson, Aries Spears, and DeRay Davis!

  • And a high-quality 24-Page Def Comedy Jam Collector's Booklet featuring archival photos, jokes, and the story behind HBO's groundbreaking series.

Speaking of great stand up comedians, Jay Chandrasekhar's Easter Sunday (2022) features one of the most underrated and smart comics of the last few decades, Jo Koy. From his stand up work to the documentary Spike Lee made about him, he has been an underrated talent Hollywood (once again!?!) did not know what to do with. The comedy set on the title holiday (though we do not see as many things from that holiday as expected) has him as a struggling actor and comic (under another name) trying to make his life work.

Unfortunately, his life is all over the place and though he became popular for a popular beer advertisement on TV, et al, it has not brought him the next step of success. Then we meet his family from his son to his mom to everyone else, sometimes based on his stand-up routines, but also with all kinds of great jokes and in-jokes about being Filipino, though more of these work than even I expected.

This also means a cast of really good actors we should see more of and Tia Carrere, who I always felt we never have seen enough of to begin with, but that's another essay. Though the screenplay starts to get stressed towards the end, this was more entertaining than expected and with such a rough year of bad movies, one of the better comedies we have actually seen. All in all though, it is Jo Koy who created this, keeps it going and proves he can carry the lead of a feature film. Especially with as bad as things have been lately, we need to be seeing much more of him.

Extras include Digital Code, while the discs add (per the press release) GAG REEL, DELETED SCENES, MAKING EASTER SUNDAY: This film has been a passion project for Jo Koy, and it's been quite a journey to see it all the way from ideation to production.

  • FAMILY MATTERS: If there's one take-away from the film, it's that family is the most important thing. In this fun piece meant to get to know our cast and some of our key crew, we talk to them about the roles they play, how similar they are to their real selves and their own family members, as well as ask them questions about their own family to try and get to know our cast a little better.

  • A DAY IN THE LIFE...: What does a day in the life of our talent look like, told from their own POV? Using footage shot by our talent themselves on iPhones handed out to them during production, they give us personal, in-depth looks into their days and what it's like to be on set filming a movie like Easter Sunday.

  • TAGLISH: In this short piece, we have Jo and some of our Filipino talent give us a brief description of what Taglish (a hybrid between English and Tagalog) is and let us know some of their favorite words or phrases.


Michael Dowse's 8-Bit Christmas (2021) is another attempt to make a Christmas release people will want to see annually, but even with Neil Patrick Harris (whose been playing it too safe lately,) the 98-minutes-long romp set in the 1980s about a young 10-year-old trying to get the latest videogame (on the original Atari era) plays like a very weak, very flat and predictable, but much, much less funny A Christmas Story and feels like a TV movie.

Forgettable and not very ambitious, I had hoped for a surprise, but got a near lump of coal instead. What was the point? Who knows. Will it become a cult item? I'd be surprised.

Extras include brief character profiles and the featurette 8-Bit Miracles.

Ed, Edd N Eddy (1999 - 2007) is the first of the Cartoon Network Complete Series sets we are covering and if you are not aware, the three title characters are three goofy, eccentric young men who land up in situations even more outrageous than they are and to be blunt and understate the matter, are far from prepared to deal with pretty much any of them. Creator Danny Antonucci's show helped give its network an identity beyond classic TV series and theatrical short cartoon reruns and rightly lasted five seasons.

Being issued on the Network's 30th Anniversary, these 66 episodes ten DVD discs and should please fans who want them, want them again or others who have never seen the show before and want them in one packaging.

Extras repeat the original sets' extras, include a small paper episode guide, then the discs and include a How To Draw featurette, a few additional featurettes, promos, a Music Video and a few other animated bonus pieces.

Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends (2004 - 2009) is the other big Cartoon Network Complete Series set here and it is also a show that holds up and has its charms. We covered two of the seasons that explain it all at these links for the previous, separate DVD sets:

Season One


Season Three


These are the same discs issue before, but hey look good and fans will not be disappointed. Those who have the separate sets will only want this if they are extremely serious fans.

Extras (not listed in the case!) include a small paper episode guide, then the discs repeat the original sets and include those in the links like audio commentaries, Music Video, promos, Easter Eggs, a holiday special, End of Episode Gags, a few Gallery of Friends pieces, and Bonus Episode Destination Imagination, but more than the Eddy set.

Lastly, we have Richard Correll's Ski Patrol (1990) which is a late entry into the 1980s skiing comedy cycle that began with the like of Hot Dog... The Movie (1983, reviewed on Blu-ray elsewhere on this site) that had its many imitators, at a time when you also had many people filming and starting to tape skiing, the usual skiing competitions and films that featured great skiing (the 1981 James Bond classic For Your Eyes Only) and a feature film loaded with skiing stunts, Fire and Ice (1984).

This one came from a creator of the seemingly endless and pointless Police Academy comedies, but instead of Warner Bros., it was an indie pick-up with a good guy lead (Roger Rose) going back to work for the season at a popular ski resort run by a longtime owner (the great Ray Walston) who unknowingly has a greedy schemer (Martin Mull in another thankless role) aided by our leads arch rival. This is lite and not as sexually bold as earlier teen comedies in the cycle, proving how conservative things had become and how the indie film market was being eclipsed by home video in new and even unfortunate ways.

One of the ways this shows its age is everyone is still using straight-cut skis, now long ago replaced by ones with wavy sides, though the older ones can obviously still be used. Some of the moments are still politically incorrect, but the film is a mixed bag that does not always know what to do with its talent, though it does have some interesting and amusing skiing to go with the other thing the makers knew what to do with, its often impressive locations. Its a curio getting decent treatment here in this new release and those so inclined should check it out, just don;t have high expectations. T.K. Carter also stars.

Extras include a mini-poster, reversible cover, an Original Theatrical Trailer and a few trailers or other MVD movie releases.

Now for playback performance. The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Easter Sunday looks as good as anything here and for a simply shot comedy, looks better than dozens of bad shoots we have had to suffer through just this year, with good color, detail and even depth. The end credits say it is 'filmed' but we don't know if that is a verb or actual 35mm photochemical film, but we'll update this as soon as we know. The anamorphically enhanced DVD is not as clear, but passable, though I'd love to see this in 4K. The lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix is just fine for a dialogue/joke-based comedy, warm and professionally recorded. The DVD offers a softer, lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix that is passable at best. There is more nuance in the TrueHD mix.

The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Ski Patrol can show the age of the materials used in a few small places, but this is far superior a transfer to all previous releases of the film and the color reproduction is excellent. It is rich and not oversaturated, but the actual color you would see when they were filming. The PCM 2.0 Stereo has Pro Logic surrounds, so if you have a home theater system, try that and several other surround modes until you get what you want. Unfortunately, the film used cheaper and more distorted Ultra Stereo, an analog noise reduction system that was not even as good as Dolby's older A-type Dolby System and by this time, Dolby had introduced their more advanced SR (Spectral Recording system and digital sound for movies was only a few years away. Thus, this was two generations behind upon release, so only expect so much in performance. Otherwise, this is solid.

The DVD sets of Def Jam, Ed and Foster's all are presented in their original 1.33 X 1 broadcast frames (anamorphically enhanced to place the block style image with black bars on the side and they look as good as they likely ever will, though I wonder if upscaling on the Cartoon Network titles (repeating the separate seasons issued years ago) would yield some better results. All offer lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo and sound good for that, but lossless tracks might help more. The final Def Jam special is in an anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image and has decent, lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 sound.

That leaves 8-Bit with an anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image that is somehow the softest presentation here and lossy Dolby Digital 5.1, which is on the lite side, so be careful of volume switching and high playback volumes.

- Nicholas Sheffo


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