Television Reviews

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Bewitched: The Complete Third & Fourth Seasons
Mill Creek Entertainment
Street: 06.24
Bewitched, for those of you who don’t know, was a show that ran in the ’60s. An adorable witch, Samantha, played by Elizabeth Montgomery, falls in love with a mortal, Darrin (Dick York) and they get married. This obviously means that crazy situations are the norm in this old sitcom. All throughout the show, all I could think was, “Wow, it was a different time.” Remember when the wife was afraid of her husband ending the marriage, like that was the worst thing ever? It’s such a shift from today. Bewitched Seasons Three and Four are the first seasons of the show in color—back when that was a big deal, before it was considered artsy, anyway. This show is full of fantastic facial expressions and wacky hijinks, and some of them are still funny. Dick York has some of the best faces when he stumbles upon witchcraft—especially when his daughter starts to take after her mother. This set is for the fans of the show—it’s got all 66 episodes of Seasons Three and Four, but no special features. –Ashley Lippert
Black Dynamite: Season One Blu-Ray
Warner Bros. Home Video
Street: 07.15
A few years ago, I had the pleasure of watching a movie starring Michael Jai White as the suavest black man trying to rid the streets of drugs while avenging his brother’s death. And he knows kung fu! Did I mention he’s suave as hell? I, at the time, was not sure if the film was real blaxploitation or faux-blaxploitation, but eventually had the truth pimp slapped into me (side note: Google Docs recognizes blaxploitation as a real word with no need for edit). That movie was Black Dynamite. Since the movie was so perfect, in 2012, Adult Swim started to air a cartoon based off the movie—still starring Michael Jai White! The pilot uses the phrase, “Sorry, mah ninja,” and continues on to drop F-bombs and in-your-face cartoon-lady sexuality. I’m not going to lie: I’m white as hell, but I so appreciate Black Dynamite and how it aims to entertain. The episodes are short enough that it’s a perfect addition to the Adult Swim lineup, assuming I’m up late enough and/or stoned enough. The blu-ray has only a few special features, including a making-of, episode commentary and even the original pilot episode—a special feature the box doesn’t advertise. You’ll be singing “Dy-no-mite! Dy-no-mite!” with all your mundane daily activities. –Rebecca Frost
The Bridge
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Street: 06.24
The Bridge has the beginning of most procedurals—male cop Marco (Demian Bichir), meets eccentric girl cop Sonya (Diane Krueger) as they investigate a body that falls right on the line of Mexico and Texas. It becomes something more when we learn this isn’t a simple murder case. It quickly begins to spider web outward as more people become involved—living and dead. The characters can be odd, and there’s no shortage of plot twists. Sonya and Marco have to work together and the eccentricity is so strong with Sonya that you question whether she’s of sound mind. You stop wondering once you see what she can do—she has an intense attention to detail that makes her a damn good detective. This naturally makes Marco the street-smart cop to balance her out. The character development is interesting, as Marco tries to show Sonya how to empathize with her fellow co-workers. The DVD set comes with a couple of featurettes about the making of the show and the real town of Juarez, deleted scenes and a commentary on the pilot, so there’s not a whole lot of extras, but it’s still a show worth checking out. –Ashley Lippert

The Larry Sanders Show: Seasons 1 & 2

Mill Creek Entertainment
Street: 06.24
I picked up my copy of The Larry Sanders Show and sighed. I have never watched an episode before and felt turned off by Gary Shandling’s creepy, doll-like smile forming in his plastic, bronze face under a weirdly placed mop of half-fro. Having originally premiered in 1992, I forgot it was even a show. I put the DVD in my player and read the description on the back of the case. Hold up—Jeffrey Tambor? Rip Torn? Janeane Garofalo? Maybe it wouldn’t be so terrible after all. The show begins as terrifyingly as I imagined—such shiny skin and teeth telling late-night jokes to the late-night audience. It shifts, however, to a behind-the-scenes story of the show that this Larry Sanders hosts and its production crew as they navigate advertising negotiations and relationships among the group. There are swear words, sex jokes and self-deprecation, and I was caught completely off guard by how funny this show is. The throwbacks to previous actor jobs are campy (though aware of this fact), and the lead characters are just terrible, which can only be played by amazing actors with all the awful ’90s fashion you can fathom. My generation has 30 Rock. If you’re looking for the original source material, you definitely need to watch The Larry Sanders Show. –Rebecca Frost
Last Action Hero
Mill Creek Entertainment
Street: 07.22
If you were a teen or young adult in the ’90s, Last Action Hero has to rank up there as one of the best dumb-fun action films of the decade. Not just because it pokes fun at the plots of “buddy cop” films or the “lone gunman with a cause” cliché, but because it’s one of the first truly meta films of its time which examined how ridiculous the genre of action films had become to that point. (Even though Escape from L.A. and Demolition Man were two years away.) The Blu-Ray version does an awesome job of cleaning up the old footage and giving it some new life, even showing off more of the parody that you may have missed in the background and utilizing lost elements from Sony’s infamous SDDS sound. However, it’s very disappointing that this only contains the film and zero bonus features. For a film with Arnold Schwarzenegger as the lead and the awesome Shane Black as a writer, you’d think there’d be more included, but sadly you’re left with just the movie. If you’re a fan of it, it’s a must-buy, if you’re a casual fan, wait for it to stream. –Gavin Sheehan
Magic City – The Complete Series
Starz/Anchor Bay
Street: 05.13
Magic City is Starz’s reaction to shows like Boardwalk Empire and Mad Men. Set in Miami, Magic City stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan (already I’m sold) as Ike Evans, owner of a ritzy hotel who makes deals with the mob to keep the hotel ritzy. It’s dramatic and entertaining, with a soundtrack ripped from a Greatest Hits of the ‘50s CD. You must not forget that this is a Starz original series and therefore is 50 percent boobs. Like, an absurd amount of lady nudity that you could base a drinking game around. For the history buff, it’s kind of neat to see the ripples of the Cuban revolution in Miami and how the characters are affected. The characters are well written (some even terrifyingly evil) and plots intertwine in a surprising fashion. Bonus features highlight the cars and style of the times and go into further detail about gangsters and crime, but the reason to own this set is that it’s the complete series. An unfortunately short-lived two seasons make for a gripping weekend binge watch. Plus, did I mention Jeffrey Dean Morgan? –Rebecca Frost













Teen Wolf: Season Three, Part Two
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Street: 06.17
Teen Wolf is a pretty self-explanatory title. It’s about teenage werewolves–which means it’s obviously full of teenage and wolf-y angst. The second half of the third season is more about the latter, but you can’t take the teenager out of the wolf. In this season, Scott (Tyler Posey) has become the alpha of his pack (wolf-y angst), and Stiles (Dylan O’Brien) is having night terrors and hallucinations—presumably from the death and rebirth stunt from the previous season. He never really feels awake and slowly starts losing it. With the comic relief of the show under such stress, the show lost some of its humor. An adorable new girl, Kira (Arden Cho), shows up in this season, catching Scott’s eye (teenage angst). Naturally, she’s more than she appears, with powers of her own, because this show can’t have normal people. I quite enjoyed the big bad for the season—it’s a good, creepy villain who manages to take out a few characters before he’s eventually taken down. The only extra on the DVD set is eight minutes of interviews and party coverage from the Supernatural Fan Expo, but the set is only 20 bucks, so it’s worth checking out.  –Ashley Lippert
Walking with Dinosaurs: The Movie
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Street:  03.25
I come from the generation that got to see the very first (of 20 or so sequels) Land Before Time movie on the big screen.  I remember being emotionally engaged and excited throughout the entire movie.  Since then, we’ve seen many regurgitations of the talking dinosaur kids making their migratory trek, dodging big predators and making ominous observations about the end being near. Walking With Donosaurs: The Movie is no exception. Based on the Discovery Channel program of the same name, Walking With Dinosaurs shows us CG dinosaurs romping around in a more accurate portrayal of their physical characteristics and environment presented as a sort of documentary nature show.  The movie adds a narrative and more character development while integrating actual information about dinosaurs in subtle way that does not distract from the story. I watched this with my 4-year-old and my 18-month-old, and neither seemed to be particularly engaged–I found myself watching this film solo off and on through its entirety. I’m sure that it would have been a much more spectacular experience when originally released on the big screen.  –Ben TrentelmanA Young Doctor’s Notebook
BBC Home Entertainment
Street: 07.01
Anything starring Jon Hamm has my attention. Anything starring Daniel Radcliffe also has my attention. You can’t imagine how at attention I was when I picked up A Young Doctor’s Notebook. The BBC is oft forgotten when it comes to black comedy and dreary humor. A Young Doctor’s Notebook is so funny and well done that I struggle to find fault with it. It’s possible I’m superbly biased, due to my love of the Hammaconda and Pocket Prince Radcliffe. Based off the works of Mikhail Bulgakov, the series follows Hamm as he reads his journal entries from when he was a fresh-faced doctor (played by Radcliffe) and relives his life. The two have such fun chemistry that you almost let go of the fact that Hamm is taller, handsomer and manlier than Radcliffe, yet is playing the older version of the latter. What is most surprising is Radcliffe’s performance. I usually cringe at his other acting endeavors, but he puts all of his AcTiNg!!! aside and actually delivers something believable. I absolutely recommend this show if you enjoy gross stuff, turn-of-the-century English stuff, and incredibly good-looking men. –Rebecca Frost
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