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Profile for Paul J. Mular > Reviews


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DVD ~ Boyd
Offered by MightySilver
Price: $13.80
34 used & new from $9.81

3.0 out of 5 stars Don't expect a comedy. This is a document-drama sprinkled with humor., September 3, 2015
This was erroneously described as funny but it really is a dock-drama sprinkled with humor. The Python imposters are great, you will think they are original. But like real life, many moments in this film really drag on (and I don't mean the men wearing women's clothes).

That '70s Show - The Complete Series - Blu-ray
That '70s Show - The Complete Series - Blu-ray
DVD ~ Topher Grace
Price: $134.98

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Blu-rays look great, don't confuse the Mill Creek DVD reviews with the Blu-ray reviews., August 6, 2015
Don't confuse the DVD reviews with the Blu-ray reviews.

Mill Creek makes horrible DVDs with compression errors, jittery picture, and authoring errors. HOWEVER they seem to make good to great Blu-ray Discs. I have watched the Mill Creek Blu-rays of That 70's Show season 1 & season 2 and they look great! Sharp, clear and full of bonus material.

Definitely get the Complete series Blu-rays, they are all off of the original camera widescreen negatives (yes the show was shot widescreen)! They even put the old FOX Home Video DVDs to shame.

Midsomer Murders, Series 17 [Blu-ray]
Midsomer Murders, Series 17 [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Neil Dudgeon
Price: $34.47

57 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Series 17 would be equivalent to "Set 26" in the old numbering system. It is new to DVD., July 25, 2015
In 2014 Acorn Home Video started re-numbering all of their series based on the original British sequencing & series breakdown. In the 'set' numbering system (which often split each series into two sets), this would be set #26. I am actually surprised set 25 was issued under that number as Acorn had already switched to the series numbers and set 25 was the entire series 16.

To add more confusion, Acorn created special cheaper 3-disc sets for the big-box stores such as Costco. These have their own set numbers which can look like the regular disc sets, but have different episodes inside.

Now as for the episodes, I think the new cast has found their rhythm here. The series as a whole lost some of it's charm several years ago, but the new cast is adding new life and forming their own new relationships.

The series (seasons) are getting shorter each year, what was once 8 episode series under John Nettles has now been reduced down to 4.

#101 - "THE DAGGER CLUB" (01/28/15) A manuscript is stolen for a newly-discovered novel by deceased Midsomer crime-writer George Summersbee.
#102 - "MURDER BY MAGIC" (02/04/15) Pub landlady Hannah Altman is crushed to death when a stunt goes wrong during a magic show;
#103 - "THE BALLAD OF MIDSOMER COUNTY" (02/11/15) The murder of a Folk Festival organizer seems to be inspired by a famous ballad.
#104 - "A VINTAGE MURDER" (02/18/15) Guests sampling the latest sparkling wine by Midsomer Vinae Winery start to collapse.

We can look forward to series 18 as ITV has ordered next years shows and they are going into production as you read this.
Comment Comments (20) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 11, 2015 2:14 PM PDT

Without a Clue
Without a Clue
DVD ~ Michael Caine
Offered by cds_dvds_guaranteed
Price: $39.49
51 used & new from $6.76

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full Frame or Wide Screen, which is correct? Answers here., July 2, 2015
This review is from: Without a Clue (DVD)
The new Blu-ray & DVD from Olive films presents this film in anamorphic 16x9. But does that really ad more picture from the old FULL FRAME MGM DVD? Unfortunately NO.

Without A Clue was filmed in the British 1.66:1 screen ratio. That means the new 16x9 (1.85:1) presentation adds a little picture on the sides, but CROPS off a lot from the top & bottom.

The old Full Frame MGM DVD:
Plusses: 1) A small amount of picture is trimmed from the sides, nothing is missing. 2) The colors are brighter than the Olive release.
Minuses: 3) The image is grainier.

The new 16x9 Olive Films DVD & Blu-ray:
Minuses: 1) The top & bottom are cropped off significantly while a little more picture is added to the sides. 2) Colors are muted and the picture is darker.
Plusses: 3) The image is crisper with less film grain.

Do keep in mind that this is a British production NOT intended to be seen 16x9 (1.85:1), but rather the British 1.66:1 which is closer to the MGM Full Frame Version. Olive Films incorrectly states on the back that this is 1.66:1 but that would require black bars on the sides.

In this case my preference is for the old 1.33:1 full frame MGM release, it is closer to the way it was intended to be seen in it's original British 1.66:1 release.

Alice's Restaurant [Blu-ray]
Alice's Restaurant [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Arlo Guthrie
Offered by MightySilver
Price: $16.01
24 used & new from $13.86

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Olive sadly omits Arlo Guthrie's must-hear commentary track!, June 8, 2015
The original MGM Home Video DVD has a wonderful Arlo Guthrie commentary track which explains what IS and what IS NOT accurate to what actually happened in Arlo's life as told in his original song. It is unforgivable for Olive Films to not include this explanation of the film.

Olive does include Arlo Guthrie's special 3 minute promo film that he made for the movie. The picture on the Blu-ray cover is from this promo film.

Even though the old MGM DVD is widescreen but not anamorphic (to fill 16x9 widescreen TVs) it is far better that this incomplete presentation. I will end up keeping my old DVD and zoom the picture while listening to Arlo tell his side of the story.

For those who have this new version without Arlo's informative comments, here are a few things you should know:
1) In Arlo's words: this film is an Adult's perception of Hippie life, we never lived like this. The squaller is a set designer's idea of what we lived like.
2) The only reality is what was in the original 30 minute song, the other hour of the film is made up to pad the story.
3) The real Ray & Alice appear in the film as extras, their characters are played by professional actors.
4) That is not Arlo's real father on screen, he had passed away before the film was made.
5) The original 1965 Thanksgiving dinner talked about in the song was a small event with just a few friends, it was re-created in 1966 for this movie with a large group of friends. This has confused some of his friends as they 'remember' being at the original Thanksgiving dinner, which they weren't. It was not the big party affair as depicted in the movie.
6) Tina Chen plays Arlo's fictional girlfriend in the movie, not real.
7) The drug-addicted character of Shelly was made-up for the film because the film needed some tragedy.
8) The film suggests some intimate relationship between Arlo & Alice that was never there in real life.
9) Arlo never had a club owner come on to here, they just needed weird stuff for the movie.
10) The VW Micro-bus was really Ray's, not Arlo's.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 2, 2015 4:50 PM PDT

Peanuts: The EMMY Honored Collection (DVD)
Peanuts: The EMMY Honored Collection (DVD)
DVD ~ Various
Price: $19.59

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You might want to call this "The 1980's Collection, part 1"., May 26, 2015
You might want to call this "The 1980's Collection, part 1" as it features just about every half-hour 1980's special.
By the 1980's television was pushing more education on kids, and the Peanuts Specials had a message of inspiration to tell.
Yes, there was always a message starting with the very first Christmas special, but now that becomes the main focus. Humor and entertainment seems to take a pack seat. Now we get stories on how to deal with friends dying of cancer.

Also sourly gone is the classic Jazz music of the late Vince Guaraldi who sadly passed away before these were made. Instead of re-editing his classic theme songs to these new specials, new easy listening music was now used. It didn't feel the same.

So now we have a new type of Charlie Brown special, still worth a watch but not by any means a classic.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 16, 2015 10:36 PM PDT

Joan Rivers Box Set
Joan Rivers Box Set
DVD ~ Joan Rivers
Price: $10.99
26 used & new from $6.49

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 1968 talk show takes on serious topics with Joan's humor., May 24, 2015
This review is from: Joan Rivers Box Set (DVD)
This 1968 daily talk-show focused on one topical theme per episode. Joan would do an opening monologue based on that day's theme. Guests would include an expert on that day's subject as well as a celebrity guest. Taking on serious topics makes for a bit of a dry show and not as entertaining as her much-later FOX talk show.
While the show only ran for one year, airing on a daily schedule created a whopping 255 episodes.
Produced by Trans-Lux Television (importers of the Speed Racer Anime TV show) and Joan's husband Edgar Rosenberg. Jim Perry was the announcer. WNBC-TV in New York City was the production facility for this syndicated show.

These half-hour shows are in COLOR even though a B&W photo is used for the box cover.

Here are the subjects & celebrity Guests:
1) 008 Nudism - Johnny Carson - 9/25/68
2) 007 Social Director - Steve Lawrence - 9/24/68
3) 022 Are You In Shape? - Florence Henderson - 10/15/68
4) 067 Teenagers Today - Abe burrows - 10/21/68
5) 033 Do You Need A Maid? - Nancy Walker - 10/30/68
6) 045 Party Planning - Joanne Carson - 11/15/68
7) 044 City Boy in Country - Jack Douglas - 11/14/68
8) 043 Flowers - Diana Sands - 11/13/18
9) 056 Mrs. Parkinson'c Law - Renee Taylor - 12/2/68
10) 060 Burlesque - Vivian Vance - 12/6/68
11) 054 Always On Sunday - Ed Sullivan - 11/28/68
12) 099 Travel Tips - Eddie Bracken - 1/30/69
13) 100 Dreams - Rita Moreno - 1/31/69
14) 107 Bringing Up Baby - Barbera Walters - 2/11/69
15) 128 Watch Your Garden - Shelly Berman - 3/12/69
16) 115 Consumer Protection - Joan Fontaine - 2/21/69
17) 134 Wallpaper - Soupy Sales - 3/20/69
18) 145 Manners - Rocky Raziano - 4/4/69
19) 144 Fashion - Tessie O'Shae - 4/3/69
20) 143 Marriage & Fighting Fair - James Earl Jones - 4/3/69
21) 174 Boating Safety - Barbera Walters - 5/15/69
22) 175 Air Quality - Arthur Godfrey - 5/16/69
23) 177 Stars of Tomorrow - Lily Tomlin - 5/20/69
24) 183 Take Care of Yourself - Vivian Vance - 5/28/69
25) 185 Physical Fitness - Marty Allen - 5/30/69
26) 200 Written In The Stars - Roger Smith - 6/20/69
27) 203 Dining Out - Rocky Graziano 6/25/69
28) 213 Life In Russia - Roberta Peters 7/9/69
29) 214 Summer Fashion - Larry Blyden 7/10/69

Like other Topics releases, the packaging is flimsy & terrible. The cardboard box is held together by tape, which you have to cut to open.
Inside you will find 4 discs slid into cardboard sleeves, easy to scratch. Topics calls this "Dust Free packaging" but it is beyond me how these open cardboard sleeves can keep out dust.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 24, 2015 1:08 AM PDT

Barbara McNair Box Set
Barbara McNair Box Set
DVD ~ Barbara McNair
Price: $19.98
13 used & new from $10.96

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rare Canadian variety show featuring the first African-American to host a show., May 21, 2015
This review is from: Barbara McNair Box Set (DVD)
The songs are there! These shows appear to be UNCUT, however the run times vary from a full 49:00 to 47:45.
This syndicated Canadian produced musical variety show supposedly ran for 3 seasons, but this set has only 4 shows from season 1 & 14 shows from season 2.
Season 1 has a very intimate Night Club feeling, the audience is seated around multiple round tables with drinks as the performers entertain them on a small Night Club like stage.
Season 2 got a bigger budget as Canadian television network CTV picked up the show. Unfortunately gone was that intimate Night Club setting, now the audience is forced to sit on what looks like incredibly uncomfortable bleacher seats. A live band has been added to the show.
Season 3, well I have not found any information of this season existing other that the mention on the DVD case that the show ran from 1969 to 1972.

The video quality varies from show to show, lets remember that these are 1969 analogue Quadra-Plex 2" reel to reel video tape masters. We are very lucky that these even survive and are playable.

There is so little information about this show, I will go into detail on just what is on these discs.

(season 1)
10/19/1969 - Soupy Sales, Kenny Rogers & the First Edition, Christopher Kingsley and comedians Dick Clair & Jenna McMahon.
11/30/1969 - Vicki Lawrence, Lionel Hampton, The Spiral Staircase, Jim Backus and comedian Jackie Mahane.
01/04/1970 - Tony Martin, Kim Sisters and comedians Jack Carter & Bob Blasser.
04/19/1970 - Ethel Waters, The Turtles, Ed McMahon, Roy Applegate.
(season 2)
10/03/1970 - Della Reese, The Rascals, Michel Louvaine.

disc 2
10/24/1970 - Freddy Weller, Elan Stuart, The Edwin Hawkins Singers and comics Sandy Baron & Professor Irwin Corey.
11/29/1970 - Mahalla Jackson, Edward Bear, Milt Kamen, Hagood Hardy, Ed Evanko.
12/06/1970 - B.B. King, Gloria Loring, The Friendly Persuasion and comic Billy Baxter.
12/27/1970 - Julie Budd, Rudy Webb, comic Phil Foster and the Brothers Cain.
01/10/1971 - Frida Payne, Bobby Vee, Kathy Emery, Morris Donaldson and comic impressionist Rich Little.

disc 3
01/24/1971 - Hagwood Hardy, Leon Bibb, comic Milt Camen, Debbie Reynolds.
01/31/1971 - Lou Rawls, Carolyn Dale, comic impressionist Rich Little, Japan's Daikagura Troupe of jugglers and dancers.
02/07/1971 - Josh White, Jose Greco, Catherine MacKinnon and comic impressionist Rich Little.
02/14/1971 - O.C. Smith, The Irish Rovers, Rowana Emmett and comedian Bob Blasser.

disc 4
02/28/1971 - Johnny Mathis, Carolyn Daye, and The Ace Trucking Company Comedy Troupe.
03/07/1971 - Josh White, The Irish Rovers, Vanda King and comedian Soupy Sales.
03/21/1971 - The Righteous Brothers, Carlos Montoya, Tranquility Bass and comedian Gordie Tapp (Hee Haw)
04/11/1971 - Big Foot, Bobby Sherman, Virna Lisi and comics Skiles & Henderson

It is a pleasure to get to see these RARE almost forgotten shows!

ONE COMPLAINT: The packaging is very cheap! A flimsy cardboard box held together by tape. You have to cut the tape to open it and find a cardboard booklet inside with the discs inserted into cardboard sleeves. VERY EASY TO SCRATCH THE DISCS! Topics Entertainment calls this "Dust Free DVD Storage Solution"
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 3, 2015 4:52 AM PDT

Nobody's Stooge: Ted Healy
Nobody's Stooge: Ted Healy
by Bill Cassara
Edition: Paperback
Price: $31.50
26 used & new from $27.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now we have researched facts to compare to other publications of Moe's memories., May 19, 2015
After decades of relying on Moe's memory of Ted Healy, and his personal feelings, we now get a different story based of research and facts.
Not to belittle Moe, but memories can be faulty with age. We already know from the Vitaphone Shorts DVD release that Shemp did not leave Ted Healy & the Stooges to do the Joe Palooka shorts as Moe remembers. He left a co-starring role to become a bit player at Vitaphone and worked his way up.

Now Bill Cassara tackles other statements about Ted and researches the facts. Stooge fans have been wanting a second opinion based on facts. It is good that Moe had gotten his memories down on paper while he could. But we need to broaden our perspective with this well researched book.

It certainly has enlightened me.

The Three Stooges: Hey Moe! Hey Dad!
The Three Stooges: Hey Moe! Hey Dad!
DVD ~ Moe Howard
Price: $19.99
12 used & new from $16.99

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Stooge documentary full of old photos, clips & audio interviews, produced by Moe's son Paul Howard with the help of Moe's d, May 18, 2015
This review is for the DVD box set of THE THREE STOOGES Mini-Series "Hey Moe! Hey Dad!" documentary.

My early reaction: Opening the big box was a disappointment. At 2 1/2 inches deep with a notice on the front stating "Packed with Brand-New Collector's Items" I expected to see it full of goodies. What I found was cardboard filler reducing the interior to 1 1/4 inches, half the original depth. There were three slimcases with DVDs and some packets of cardboard re-prints. I would rather have had a smaller box to put on the shelf. I felt deceived.

I started watching the first part of the documentary, it dragged at first. If you get joy out of watching amateur video of fan conventions, then you will enjoy the first 15 minutes. Otherwise skip ahead 15 minutes to where the real rare vintage films & photos appear. Paul speaks slowly, which doesn't help the first 15 minutes.

Overall this feels like a video book. The highlight, hands down, is the wealth of vintage photos, home movies and audio interviews with Moe & Larry.
These alone makes this a must-buy for Stooge fans. I would give this 5 stars if it were edited down to 5 episodes, episodes 1 & 9 drag a bit.
Some events are dramatized with footage from the old TV movie without a disclaimer, but it is obvious.
I should mention that these are the memories of Moe Howard some of which have been questioned in the Ted Healy book by Bill Cassara. Nobody's Stooge: Ted Healy

The DVDs are produced for 16x9 TVs with the vintage clips & HOME MOVIES shown pillar-boxed to 1:33-1. But this means if you are watching on a square TV the clips will be shrunk down in a window-box.


Each episode is 49 to 51 minutes long, each having the same too-long 3:14 opening title sequence:
Disc 1
Episode 1 "A Trio Grows In Brooklyn" - After clips of Stooge Conventions, take a journey back to the 1890s and learn about the Horowitz Family.
Episode 2 "A Stooge Is Born" - From Vaudeville to movies, Moe meets Helen & the Shemp leaves the act.
Episode 3 "Slap Happy" - In the 1930's Curly's off-screen antics leave the Stooges just a pratfall away from disaster as their shorts hit a high note.
Disc 2
Episode 4 "Eureka!" - Paul witnesses Curly's downward spiral as a child. Success takes them abroad to Europe and around the world.
Episode 5 "Good Night & Good Nyuk!" - The nitwits nix the Nazis during WWII and Curly takes his final curtain call.
Episode 6 "Deja Vu All Over Again" - Shemp re-joins the act as Television invades the entertainment world.
Disc 3
Episode 7 "Bums Rush" - Enter Joe Besser and Exit the Comedy Short after 24 years. Paul tells of the growing tension in the family.
Episode 8 "Curtain Call" - TV captures millions of new fans for the Stooges and their movie career takes off again, this time in features and TV appearances.
Episode 9 "A Son Also Rises" - After the world bids farewell to Moe and Larry, their fame marches on with TV, conventions, home video and the internet.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 18, 2015 7:36 AM PDT

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