Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Incredible Hulk: The Complete Fifth Season

When I was a kid there was one night and television lineup that surpassed all others: CBS Fridays, which was comprised of The Incredible Hulk, The Dukes of Hazzard and Dallas. It was hardly a task to plop down in front of the tube and bask in these three entirely different slices of pop culture as they bled from one into the next every week. As an adult I remain a Ewing freak, but the Duke boys have unfortunately gone by the wayside; the adventures of Dr. David Banner reside somewhere in between. It’s not anywhere near as juvenile as Hazzard, yet it doesn’t have the expansive ongoing storyline of Dallas. The real problem with The Incredible Hulk is that it’s an incredibly repetitive series. Banner wanders the country, defending the na├»ve, weak and helpless against the sleazy, corrupt and powerful.

Read the rest of this DVD review by clicking here and visiting Bullz-Eye.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Doctor Who: "The Trial of a Time Lord"

The mid-‘80s were a turbulent time for Doctor Who. After the 22nd season, which ended in March of ‘85, the show was cancelled. There was a considerable uproar from the public, BBC bosses were forced to rethink the move, and its status went from cancelled to 18-month hiatus. But the reprieve came with a few conditions.

The 22nd season had been viewed by some as considerably more violent and adult in tone than such family-friendly fare ought to be, and so producer John Nathan-Turner was asked to tone down the gore and emphasize wit and humor for the 23rd season (which, all things considered, wasn’t an unreasonable request). Season 22 had also, for the first time in the show’s long history, been comprised entirely of 50-minute episodes – 13 of them, in fact. Season 23 was granted a 14-episode order! Sounds positive, right? The catch was that the show would revert back to its 25-minute format, so the seasonal running time had been effectively halved (and it retained this episode/minute count until the show finally did end in 1989.) Finally, the show needed to prove itself, and this wasn’t a guarantee of further seasons. This was no longer the ‘70s, and certain higher-ups were frankly embarrassed by Doctor Who, and thought it looked cheap compared to other film and television sci-fi (again, a valid point). In an inspired move, the art imitating life notion of putting the Doctor on trial for the entire season was born.

Read the rest of the DVD review for "The Trial of a Time Lord" by clicking here and visiting Bullz-Eye.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Doctor Who: "The Brain of Morbius" & "The Invisible Enemy/K-9 & Company"

When it comes to classic Doctor Who, there can be no doubt: “The Brain of Morbius” is one of the best. It comes from the treasured and oft-praised era of the series known as “the Hinchcliffe years” (so named after producer Philip), a time when the show could seemingly do no wrong. At this point in the series, every week was a new excursion into the realms of horror and sci-fi, and perhaps no other Doctor Who tale so successfully mixes up the two genres. I’d easily place it in my Top Five were I making a list of favorite Who serials. In addition to the horror/sci-fi aspects, “Morbius” also has a wicked sense of humor which takes it right up over the top.

Solon: (looking at the Doctor) What a magnificent head!
Sarah Jane: What?
Solon: Superb head.
The Doctor: (chuckling) Well, I’m glad you like it. I have had several. I used to have an old gray model before this. Some people liked it.
Sarah Jane: I did.

Read the rest of the DVD review for "The Brain of Morbius" by clicking here and visiting Bullz-Eye.

The U.K. title of this set was “K-9 Tales,” a label that was dropped for the U.S. release - probably wisely since the tin dog isn’t nearly as well known over here. It features two K-9 stories, the first being “The Invisible Enemy,” which marked the initial appearance of the Doctor’s dog-shaped computer back in ‘77. K-9 was allegedly the Doctor Who answer to the immense popularity of Star Wars. Perhaps the goal was to fuse the goofy cuteness of R2-D2 with the pompous intelligence of C-3PO - a cross that resulted in an obnoxious little peckerhead.

Read the rest of this DVD review for"The Invisible Enemy / K-9 and Company" by clicking here and visiting Bullz-Eye.