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October 31, 2014

dvd review

'Mad Men': Season Three - DVD Review

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 6th 2010 4:04PM
Mad Men season 3What do you look for in a DVD set? Are you the type of person who expects to see a lot of extras (commentaries, behind-the-scenes footage, interviews, bloopers, deleted scenes, documentaries, etc) because DVDs allow us to have all of those things and it would be a ripoff for the consumer if we didn't get them? Or are you the type of person who is just happy to have the actual episodes to watch over and over again whenever you want and you don't really care about the extras?

You're in the middle? What a politician.

I lean towards the former for newer shows and towards the latter for older shows. Though I would love to have commentaries and features for older shows, I realize that's not always possible. I ask this because the DVD set for the third season of AMC's 'Mad Men' has cast and crew commentaries for every single episode. Let's take a look at that feature and everything else in the set.

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DVD Review: Battlestar Galactica: The Plan

by Mike Moody, posted Oct 26th 2009 12:29PM
Batlestar Galactica The Plan DVD Universal Leoben, that tricky toaster, was right: All of this has happened before, and all of it is happening again.

Battlestar Galactica: The Plan retells major events from the first two years of the celebrated sci-fi series through the eyes of the Cylons. It weaves together recycled scenes from the series with new footage to reveal a first-hand account of the Cylon agenda, or "plan."

The result is a film that feels incomplete, episodic and disjointed. It plays less like a movie and largely like a disk full of high quality bonus material. Most of what happens here feels irrelevant to the series -- almost like it was tacked on to the BSG mythos to satisfy completists and hardcore fans. Still, it's worth watching to see Dean Stockwell carry the film with a fearless performance as the scheming and duplicitous Brother Cavil. The veteran character actor takes center stage in The Plan, and your enjoyment of the film will rest largely on how much you like, or dislike, Cavil and his major role in the series.

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The Office: season five DVD review

by Kona Gallagher, posted Sep 23rd 2009 10:00AM
Office Season 5
When I received my copy of The Office season five DVD in the mail, the first thing I noticed was that there may or may not be a Golden Ticket enclosed that would win me a trip to Hollywood. I tore into the packaging, and saw that I had not, in fact, won. So, this DVD set sucks. THE END.

...Okay, I've been informed that I won't get paid unless I tell you about what's actually on the DVDs. So, let's get to that.

The short version of the story is, the folks who make The Office DVDs do so with fans in mind. They are not creating merely a collection of episodes: They chock the DVDs full of enough extras and other goodies to make buying the DVDs preferable to say, buying a season pass on iTunes or just not erasing the season's episodes off of your DVR.

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Battlestar Galactica: Season 4.5 - DVD review

by Brad Trechak, posted Jul 19th 2009 11:04AM
Battlestar Galactica Season 4.5One of the best parts of this job is the advance copies we get of television DVD sets. In short: Holy frak! The final set of Battlestar Galactica episodes is awesome.

Minor spoilers follow...

There are those who liked the ending and those that didn't. I didn't like the lack of explanation of Kara's return from the dead and found the finale generally anti-climactic. But the series set a high standard and, overall, it's a minor complaint. In most ways, the series is perfect and far better than most of us deserve.

I'll give them this: the people who make the show know their audience ... that audience being nerds. Nerds like information. Hence, the DVD set is full of extras and special features. These include deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes featurettes, and extended versions of episodes, including the three-part finale, "Daybreak." And every episode (let me repeat that:: every episode) has podcast commentary by Ronald Moore.

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The Office: season 4 - DVD review

by Kona Gallagher, posted Sep 15th 2008 11:02AM
office season 4 dvd
Any DVD set that has The Office on it is going to be good. That's just a fact. So obviously, The Office: Season 4 DVD set already has a lot going for it. So what I was mainly interested in when I received it was how they dealt with their shortcomings: namely the fact that due to the writer's strike, this set only has 14 episodes.

While The Office fared much better than other shows with its truncated season, I still expect a DVD set without a full season's worth of episodes to have enough bonus features to help make up for it. While the features on this set are pretty standard (deletes scenes, blooper reels, commentaries, etc.) for the most part, the quality makes you forget that the set is light about ten episodes.

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Spaced: The Complete Series - DVD Review

by Brad Trechak, posted Aug 2nd 2008 10:01AM
Spaced: The Complete SeriesSometimes television shows come along that completely change the industry. Spaced is one of those shows. Broadcast on Britain's Channel 4 from 1999 to 2001, it used geeky pop culture references, non sequitur scene injections, flashbacks and other common television practices nowadays way back when it wasn't cool to do so. In that respect, it's a combination of The Big Bang Theory and Arrested Development long before either existed.

When co-creators and co-stars Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson (now Jessica Hynes) created the main characters Tim and Daisy, they created characters that every nerdy person could relate to.

The show does cater to a very specific audience and it's the sort of audience that tends to be the most loyal, even obsessively so. Nobody is particularly super-handsome and the characters are very niche. Also, the show doesn't really talk down to the audience and makes the viewer feel like part of the conversation. This is unlike, say, Arrested Development which tends to be a bit pretentious (sorry to all you Arrested Development fans).

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The Sarah Silverman Program season one - DVD review

by Joel Keller, posted Oct 4th 2007 3:02PM
Sarah Silverman progam season one DVD coverNow that the second season of The Sarah Silverman Program has begun (see Brad T.'s review of last night's season premiere), anyone who wants to go back and review the first season can now do so on DVD.

Comedy Central usually puts together decent DVD packages for its shows, and this one is no exception. Well, it's decent if you're a fan of Silverman's goofy and self-absorbed songs, because this package features them quite a bit.

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Star Trek: The Next Generation - 20th Anniversary Complete Series - DVD review

by Keith McDuffee, posted Oct 4th 2007 10:24AM
st: tng complete series dvdsIf you're even mildly a fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation, you've no doubt heard of the recent release of the 20th anniversary edition of the complete series DVD set, complete with new bonus features. First you probably said to yourself, "holy crap, that was 20 years ago?! Get outta my yard!" You also likely groaned when you read the price tag of 400 smackeroos, which even for die-hard trekkies is a big pill to swallow.

I was lucky enough to recently get a look at what this new DVD set. Is it really better to have the entire series in an all-in-one case? Are the bonus features worth the price itself? Well, I'll tell you my thoughts, at least. (See here for a gallery of packaging images.)

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Animation news: a look at the Aqua Teen Movie DVD, G.I. Joe flick gets a writer, and more

by Adam Finley, posted Sep 2nd 2007 3:02PM

aqua teen hunger forceAs I said when Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters was released in April, the film is essentially review proof, which is why I loved it and a lot of critics hated it. I was drawn to the series since it first appeared in 2000, because it fed my love for the absurd and nonsensical. Quite honestly, if the feature film had been a critical favorite I might have considered that a failure in many ways. Aqua Teen Hunger Force gained popularity precisely because it was a weird little show buried in the late night schedule of Cartoon Network, a diamond in the rough fans had to discover on their own. Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters, and the aptly titled Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters for DVD are for those who are already in on the joke . . . or really high.

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Extras: The Complete Second Season - DVD review

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 20th 2007 10:00AM
Extras Season 2Yes, I know it's been a couple of months since the second season of Extras came out on DVD. But since I reviewed Season One earlier this year, I figured it would only be fair to look over Season Two, even if it's only for anal completist reasons (Of course, our UK Bureau -- otherwise known as "Martin Conaghan" -- reviewed the series when it aired on the BBC; his reviews start 1/4 of the way down this page).

From everything I heard and read, the second season of the Ricky Gervais / Stephen Merchant comedy was better than the first season. Of course, given the high standards set by Gervais and Merchant, that was saying a lot. After watching Season Two, I have to say that I agree with those assessments, but not for the reason that you think.

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Picket Fences Season One -- DVD Review

by Meredith O'Brien, posted Jun 19th 2007 12:21PM

Picket Fences DVDIt won Emmys for the best dramatic series, best dramatic actor and best dramatic actress. Right out of the box. In season one.

Nearly 15 years ago.

So how does the first season of the controversial Picket Fences stand up to time, in its new DVD collection? After watching the pilot episode, seeing all those shoulder pads, hearing the heavy-handed background music during some of the scenes and watching "tough" police interrogations in the form of raised voices, my initial thought was, "Picket Fences didn't age well."

Then I watched more episodes. And changed my mind.

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DVD Review: Kidnapped: The Complete Series

by Joel Keller, posted Jun 4th 2007 11:04AM
Kidnapped DVDWhen I was asked to review the DVD of the series Kidnapped, I eagerly jumped at the chance. After all, I've been a fan of the show since before it even aired: I visited the set, I went to the premiere, I reviewed the pilot, I was among the throngs at TVS and elsewhere that reported that the show was cancelled, and now I get to review the "thanks for everything, fans!" DVD. I feel like I witnessed the show's birth and death, and now I'm attending its funeral.

Despite the show's quality, it never had a chance; saddled with a bad time slot (Wednesdays at 10), NBC showed four episodes, then told the producers to stop at 13, shuttled the show to the Saturday death slot, then canned it after one Saturday airing.

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DVD Review: Extras: The Complete First Season

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 7th 2007 11:31AM
Extras first season DVDAs I may have mentioned here once or twice, I was a huge fan of the British version of The Office. No matter what the US version accomplishes or how good it gets, I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for the vision Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant had of the average dead-boring workplace and the relationships that are developed there.

So when I was sent a preview copy of the first season of the pair's follow-up effort, Extras (out Tuesday), I was intrigued but wary: after such a successful debut, the sophomore effort more often than not disappoints. Also, all the reviews of the show I had read during its BBC and HBO runs (I have neither channel) were of the mixed-to-positive variety. So... is it worth buying, renting, or neither? I'll let you know after the jump.

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