Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Knots Landing: The Complete Second Season

Long overdue on DVD is this second season of the long running spin-off of Dallas. The first season was released over three years ago, but due to tepid sales, it’s been a long, dry wait for fans of this immensely popular soap. Thank goodness Warner Brothers is giving it another go, because Knots Landing was a weekly staple throughout the ‘80s, and now that Dallas is nearing the end of its releases, this is as good a time as any to get people interested in what was actually a very different kind of soap. Not just different than Dallas, mind you, but different than most of the other primetime soaps of the period. Whereas Dallas, Dynasty and Falcon Crest were all about wealthy folk, Knots was decidedly middle-class in its points of view. These characters didn’t have a lot of money; they were just average people, living in a coastal suburb of L.A., trying to do their best to make it through all the sticky situations that came their way.

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

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pulling: The Complete Season One

According to the Urban Dictionary, “pulling” is British slang for:

1. To kiss someone; to initiate a seduction.
2. To kiss and/or fool around with someone in competition with one's friends to see who can put up the highest numbers or attract the most beautiful people around, as much for sheer entertainment's sake as for personal satisfaction. Occurs most frequently in pubs and bars.

That definition doesn’t stop Pulling co-creator/writer and star Sharon Horgan from pulling a fast one on the viewer in the series’ first scene. The episode begins with Donna (Horgan) in bed with her schlubby fiancĂ©, Karl (Cavan Clerkin), pulling away at his nether regions. After he climaxes, she gets up, seemingly having done her duty, while he reaches over to a potted plant, breaks off a leaf, wipes himself clean, and deposits the jizz soaked flora behind the nightstand. This is followed by a comically graphic shot of Donna eyeing Karl in the bathroom mirror as he cleans up his undercarriage.

The sequence is fairly tame, even tasteful, for this show.

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

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Never Say Never Again: Collector's Edition

Often viewed as the ugly stepchild of the James Bond movies, Never Say Never Again may be the most polarizing movie to feature the martini-swilling superspy (unless, of course, one counts the ‘67 spoof Casino Royale – but really, who would?). But can a Bond movie starring Sean Connery ever really be that bad? It depends who you ask. While this re-release isn’t exactly brimming with extras, there’s just enough on here to give some insight into a production about which most people (myself included) are largely ignorant.

The movie is usually described as “a remake of Thunderball,” which isn’t quite the truth. As it turns out, the one thing producer Jack Schwartzman (the late husband of Talia Shire, as well as father of Jason the actor and John the cinematographer) was basically forbidden to do was remake Thunderball. Due to legalities too complex to elaborate on here, the producers were instead allowed only to work from Ian Fleming’s original text to create their version of this story. Pretty much anything created for the previous movie that wasn’t in the book was off limits.

This in and of itself makes the movie a curiosity piece, as it’s the only time in Bond film history that we’ve gotten two different versions of the same Fleming story (again, let’s not bring the Casino spoof into the equation). The final product really doesn’t bear much resemblance to the ‘65 outing. It features some of the iconography and many character names are the same or similar, but otherwise it might as well just be another James Bond movie (especially when one considers how similar all the movies in the franchise are to one another.) Further, Thunderball is actually a pretty boring movie, and while many a criticism may be launched at Never Say Never Again, boring probably wouldn’t be the first word used to describe it.

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

My Own Worst Enemy: The Complete Series

It’s always sad when a series doesn’t get a fighting chance and is quickly canceled before it even really gets to prove itself. My Own Worst Enemy was such a series on the fall 2008 schedule, and it only managed to rack up a whopping nine episodes before NBC announced it was axing the entire affair. The show is by no means remarkable programming, but it does roll along quite nicely, with enough twists and turns to keep it interesting for the less than half a season of it that was produced.

Of course, lest anyone call me on the carpet for being hypocritical, I can’t say I watched past the pilot last year, so I’m just as guilty as the rest of you for not tuning in. The pilot actually may have been a big part the problem – in attempting to create an immediate hook with which to grab viewers, the more interesting, character-driven aspects of the show weren’t really present for that first hour, and the show’s central gimmick (around which the pilot is built) is one of its less interesting features. And yet without the gimmick, all the other cool stuff couldn’t happen and there wouldn’t have been a show at all.

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

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Rhoda: Season One

By the end of the fourth season of Mary Tyler Moore, the character of Rhoda Morgenstern had become so popular – as did Valerie Harper herself – that the producers were faced with a dilemma: give her a spin-off or lose her altogether, due to other offers coming her way. And so the series Rhoda was born. The premise saw her returning to New York to visit her family, only to fall for a guy named Joe Gerard (David Groh). The pair got on so well, in fact, that they were married eight episodes into the first season. The producers would later admit that the development was a mistake, as taking Rhoda out of the singles scene took away a lot of what made the character. As a result, in Season Three, Rhoda and Joe actually divorced, which makes watching this set an ever so slightly depressing affair, since you know that the marriage is doomed.

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

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Natalie Wood Collection

Natalie Wood wasn’t really what you’d call a great actress, but she was a great movie star. These days Hollywood seems to have far more of the latter than the former, so it could be argued that her screen presence helped pave the way for the molds of today. She had an endearing, girl-next-door quality that kept her in demand through most of her career, which ended tragically when she drowned in an accident in November 1981.

Over the years, Wood dipped her toe into many a genre: drama, comedy, farce, musicals, westerns, and sci-fi, to name but a few. This box set is a real mixed bag and certainly covers the gamut. As it collects only some of her Warner Bros. features, it’s by no means definitive, but it is an interesting look at the wide range of her work, and through these six movies you can very much see the actress growing up onscreen. Further, each disc features a classic Warner Bros. cartoon, which, to my mind, should be mandatory on every WB DVD.

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