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Byron RSS Feed (Fort Lauderdale, FL)

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Black Adder Remastered V: The Specials
Black Adder Remastered V: The Specials
DVD ~ Kate Moss
Offered by Two Thumbs Up
Price: $6.37
13 used & new from $4.49

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great content - dodgy editing, January 12, 2010
I purchased this disc because I did not have "Blackadder Back and Forth". It also includes the "Cavalier Years" and "Blackadder's Christmas Carol". The images are somewhat cleaned up from the previous DVD release but not enough to repurchase it if you already own the 2001 issues. My biggest problem is with "Christmas Carol". It's edited! The line where Baldrick talks about using the Christmas Jesus dog for the Easter play is missing! It was uncut on the previous release. I have to imagine that it's also missing from the new remastered box set. Fortunately I already have it on the Blackadder III disc or I would be very upset. It may be my imagination but it also looks like the widescreen picture on 'Back and Forth' has been slightly stretched from 1.66 to 1.78. So, 5 stars for the for the shows themselves but docked to 3 stars for the questionable editing choices.

Looney Tunes: Golden Collection Vol. 6
Looney Tunes: Golden Collection Vol. 6
DVD ~ Various
Offered by Magic SuperCenter
Price: $28.51
44 used & new from $19.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth it at the new price, November 5, 2009
This final Golden Collection has some great classic Looney Tunes that I have been waiting for. The most anticipated for me was 'Satan's Waitin'' in which Sylvester goes to Hell numerous times as he uses up his nine lives, egged on by the bulldog Devil. This was taken out of the Saturday morning rotation many years ago. We also get the first Yosemite Sam cartoon 'Hare Trigger'. Other standouts are 'Often an Orphan' with Charlie Dog and Porky ("I'm 50 percent pointer. There it is, there it is, there it is") the all time classic 'Chow Hound' ("Don't forget the gravy!") as well as the 1942 collaboration with Dr Seuss 'Horton Hatches the Egg'. The extras and packaging, as usual, are also fantastic

Unfortunately this collection also suffers from the same problem (although to an even greater extent) as the previous two collections in that far too many cartoons from the 1930's are included. These are pretty much only interesting from a historical perspective since this was definitely NOT the golden age of WB/Schlesinger cartoons.

If the collections had primarily stuck to the 1940-1960 timespan then all of these sets would be beyond reproach. Four or five Buddy/Bosko/Foxy cartoons from the early 30s would be more than enough but we get more than 15 of them here. There are also a few pretty unfunny selections on the WWII themed disc. The producers of this package evidently chose to feature so many of these because they need to burn off the mediocre cartoons in their backlist while still leaving enough of the best of the classic era of Looney Tunes (app 1941-1963) available for future sets. Out of the 4 discs there are about 2 1/2 discs of worthy cartoons. Not really worth the original 69.99 price tag.

Having said all of that, now that the price has dropped below $30 you should snap this up immediately! Just skip most of the 'toons on disc 3 and some on disc 2 and you'll be more than satisfied.

Fawlty Towers: The Complete Collection Remastered
Fawlty Towers: The Complete Collection Remastered
DVD ~ John Cleese
Price: $29.98
11 used & new from $29.98

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I have to buy it, October 25, 2009
Aargh! I owned the VHS versions for years and finally broke down and bought the previous overpriced DVD edition last year. Now they've come out with a superior edition which is also cheaper! I'll have to buy it for the Cleese commentaries alone. If you don't own these programs already then you've come along at the right time. This will be the best money you've spent in quite a while. This is one of the classic sitcoms of all time. Each meticulously crafted episode is so crammed with hilarious lines and situations that when you recall it later you won't believe that so many things happened in one half-hour show. Cleese was really the first to put such an unpleasant character at the center of a sitcom. It would be tried again with the sadly brief 'Buffalo Bill' and with more success with 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'. Like Larry David, even when Basil Fawlty is right, he's wrong.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 26, 2009 10:07 AM PDT

Tex Avery's Droopy - The Complete Theatrical Collection
Tex Avery's Droopy - The Complete Theatrical Collection
DVD ~ Various
Offered by Solo Enterprises
Price: $16.17
47 used & new from $10.88

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Warner--Where's the rest?, October 23, 2009
This is great stuff but where's the REAL Tex Avery collection? It's a shame that you have to go to Amazon's French website to find a good collection from such an American genius. They offer a nice 4-disc set that is an official Warner Bros release.

Droopy was only a small part of Avery's output. C'mon Warner Bros, you issued them in France, why can't you do it here?
It's been 2 years since this Droopy set came out, let's see a followup.

Price: $14.19
43 used & new from $4.91

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential !!, September 1, 2009
This review is from: Arthur (Audio CD)
This is the fourth release in the solid run of six excellent Kinks albums that started in 1966 with Face to Face and ended with Muswell Hillbillies in 1971. These represented The Kinks at their best.

Arthur is most tonally similar to their best album, 1968's Village Green Preservation Society, and carries on that perfect combination of genuine nostalgia tinged with tongue-in-cheek irony. And the tunes are catchy! Standouts are 'Victoria' 'Drivin'' and the hard-charging 'Brainwashed'. It was written as a concept album but don't worry about that, the songs are all perfectly enjoyable on their own without knowing the backstory.

Try to find one of the remastered import versions of this CD with extra tracks (the singles and b-sides from the time).
The U.S. versions on Reprise were transferred in the early days of CD technology and sound poor in comparison to the more recently redone British versions.

Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead
Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead
DVD ~ David Tennant
Price: $9.43
46 used & new from $2.34

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gave it another viewing, August 2, 2009
(Let's call it 3 & 1/2 stars)
I was also a little disappointed when I first watched this episode online a few months ago (Human-ear friendly bluetooths in a ship where the crew has no ears? Alien anti-gravity clamps that just happen to be the right size and number to fit the wheels of a London bus?). I also think it was a wasted trip for them to shoot in Dubai since most people will assume the vast expanse of desert is just a CGI trick anyway. I didn't think I would be watching it again anytime soon.

Having said that, I recently saw it again with a couple of people who are only casual Doctor Who watchers and they enjoyed it and took it for what it was, an amusing diversion. This made me relax and just have fun with it. It was good to see UNIT in action again and Lee Evans is always hilarious (if you haven't seen Mouse Hunt, do so immediately!)

I think most fans' problems with this special stem from the fact that we are having to wait so long between installments and we expect every one to be a complex stunner. In a normal season this would have been a perfectly acceptable light "change of pace" entry sandwiched between two heavier episodes. I think after we've seen the upcoming specials, which promise to be darker, this one will be put in its proper context.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 20, 2009 9:26 AM PDT

Village Green Preservation Society
Village Green Preservation Society
10 used & new from $69.89

41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the version to buy!, August 2, 2009
There are several different CD versions of this album floating around. Don't be fooled! This is it! The only thing comparable is the Castle version from 1998, which is out of print. The price is higher than most of them but it's worth it. Definitely avoid the U.S. Reprise version. It's inexpensive but it has not been remastered and sounds bad.

Village Green is the third album in the solid 4 album run that the Kinks had in the mid/late '60's that represented the creative (though not financial) peak of their career. They were Face to Face, Something Else, Village Green and Arthur.

The Kinks would continue to produce good (and more profitable) stuff into the '70's but never as consistently good as this. Once Ray Davies started writing about the trials and tribulations of being a rock star on Lola vs. Powerman it all started getting a little wobbly.

Of the 4 albums Village Green is the best. The Kinks carved out their niche as a truly English band with its sometimes tongue-in-cheek, sometimes genuine, nostalgia for an England that was rapidly disappearing. This set them apart from the Beatles and Rolling Stones who were following and adapting the American model.

Most importantly, this version includes the original mono mix which is what was preferred by the band. Until '69 The Kinks, like The Beatles and their other British contemporaries, considered stereo mixing irrelevant, since stereo ownership was so low in the UK, and lavished all of their attention on the mono mixes. The stereo mixes, by contrast, were done quickly and, usually, without the participation of the band. I've compared the stereo mix and the mono mix and the mono wins hands-down.

Order this now! You won't regret it.
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 16, 2013 6:51 PM PDT

Something Else By The Kinks
Something Else By The Kinks
Offered by 86books
Price: $29.95
45 used & new from $0.66

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When they were great!, August 2, 2009
This is one of the four-in-a-row run of unblemished Kinks albums of the late '60's. Face to Face, Something Else, Village Green and Arthur. This was the creative pinnacle of their career. They still produced good (and certainly more profitable) songs into the 70's but never as solid as this. When Ray Davies started writing about the woes of being a rock star on Lola vs Powerman it started fraying around the edges.
This UK produced remaster is awesome. They chose to follow Ray Davies desire and release them in the original (and preferred) mono. Like The Beatles and their other British contemporaries, The Kinks didn't give much thought to the stereo mixes before late 68 since stereo ownership was so limited in the UK. They lavished all of their attention on the mono mix.
Only the reissue of Village Green included the stereo mix and, by comparison, the mono blows it away!
A previous reviewer complained that they didn't have the 8 bonus tracks on the disc. If that happens then you got the wrong reissue. This one definitely has the bonus tracks.
Make sure you get the import edition. The Reprise U.S. edition is NOT remastered and sounds crummy.

Doctor Who: Destiny of the Daleks (Story 104)
Doctor Who: Destiny of the Daleks (Story 104)
DVD ~ Tom Baker
Price: $13.72
35 used & new from $8.50

5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad story from a bad season,, August 1, 2009
Another horrible installment from the horrible season 17 which only contained one good (albeit very good) story Doctor Who - City of Death (Episode 105). The other 4, including this one, were cheap (even by Doctor Who standards) poorly written and executed which caused a bored Tom Baker to let loose his worst over-the-top ad-libbing tendencies, just compounding the badness. If you are not familiar with this low-point in the T. Baker era, stay far away otherwise you will curse yourself for flushing your hard-earned money.
Tom Baker's tenure also produced the best Doctor Who ever made so seek out stuff from 74-77 first.
'Destiny of the Daleks' is one of the worst Dalek stories but Tom Baker also starred in the all-time classic Dalek story Doctor Who - Genesis of the Daleks (Episode 78). If you don't have that one, get it!

Doctor Who: Timelash (Story 142)
Doctor Who: Timelash (Story 142)
DVD ~ Colin Baker
Price: $13.79
32 used & new from $11.42

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Another wasted release, August 1, 2009
I'm finding that the high star ratings on some of these posts don't match the content of the actual reviews. This is one of the worst Whos of the '80s (which contained a lot of clunkers).

I think Colin Baker could have been a great Doctor if he hadn't been stuck with a producer who was only interested in the PR aspects of the show rather than actual quality. This resulted in some bad scripts and bad companions (the whining Peri with her phony American accent and the perkily annoying Mel) plus he was forced to wear the most ridiculously conceived costume ever (he had wanted something in black). He still managed to produce 4 or 5 good stories but this wasn't one of them. If you want better ones try Doctor Who: Vengeance on Varos (Episode 139) and Doctor Who - The Two Doctors (Episode 141) (an extremely dark comic hoot!).

I know that the BBC wants to exploit all of their Doctor Who properties regardless of quality but can't we lay off the stinkers for awhile? There are still a lot of classic stories waiting to be released.

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