Saturday, March 10, 2007

Mini-DVD Reviews: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season Four (March 13) and SNL: Best of Steve Martin (March 6)

Welcome to another Saturday edition of mini-DVD reviews! Today we have double the pleasure of reviews, with two mini-DVD reviews for you! This week we take a look at Lionsgate's Season 4 of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (actually the seventh DVD release) and Lionsgate's Best of Steve Martin set of Saturday Night Live. Ninja Turtles is of course the hit animated series that caused kids and teens to go crazy for in the late '80s and early '90s. If you were growing up in that era, you were certainly a fan of this cult favorite. Saturday Night Live, is probably the most popular comedy sketch series of all-time. And now you can watch the best of one of their best, Steve Martin. See my mini-DVD review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Season Four and Seth Thrasher's mini-DVD review of Saturday Night Live: The Best of Steve Martin:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Season Four (Lionsgate, $39.98) brings all 39 episodes from the series' fourth season and the season premiere for season five on this wonderful five-disc DVD set. Leonardo, Donatello, Michaelangelo, Raphael, Splinter, April are all back to battle Shredder, Krang and other villains! Like we mentioned in our last review, Volume 6 had the last 11 episodes from season three, plus the first episode of season four, which is on this set, too (so why did they put it on the last set?). The third season had a total of 47 episodes, so they decided to split up that season into volumes, so volumes 3, 4, 5, and 6 covered season three. Season one had only 5 episodes, so that was on Volume 1. For season 2 there were just 13 episodes, so Lionsgate released that for volume two. But starting in Volume 3 they I guess decided they would release 12 episodes for a set. Volumes 3, 4 and 5 have 12 episodes each from season three. So, the final 11 remain from that season were put on to volume 6.
Season four has a total of 39 episodes, and we get ALL of those on this set, plus the first aired one from season five, which is actually a left over episode that was made for season four. This season is unique. The first 13 from this season are from the syndicated episodes. Then from episodes 14-39 on this set you have the CBS episodes that aired on CBS Saturday mornings. You can tell the CBS version by the opening credits...it is a different animation that the first 13 on this set. The last episode on this set, is a syndicated episode, like the first 13 on this set. I suggest you go to TMNT's official site and look at the episodes so you know the order of episodes.
The syndicated episodes (first 13 and last one on this set) run approx. 22:15 or so, some more, some less. The CBS episodes run approx. 23:30, give or take a few seconds. Now, about four of the episodes have the short theme, so they run around 23:00. The menu screen has an opening animation which is quite nice with the options of Play All Episodes and Episode Selection, with the theme playing (loops) in the background and video clips playing in the center, but with no sound. When we go to episode selection, there is a cool sword swish transition when you select it. There are eight episodes per disc. Each episode screen has a screenshot of the episode and the title of the episode. There are 5 chapter stops placed. One gripe that I have with the menus are, that there are auto-trailers (TMNT Fox Series, other LG products, etc) before the menus start on EACH disc. Annoying!
If you have the first six volumes, there is no stopping you in buying this volume. The video is on par with the other volumes, with dust and debris here and there (lots of white flashing dots from time to time), but the audio is decent. Again, the video needs improvement and Lionsgate needs to fix this.
The packaging is very cool. The first six volumes were single disc sets so the packaging was simple. The box is a 3D plastic-molded packaging of Raphael's head! It is like slip box as we pull the box out, we get to the case. The same cover art is featured on the case, but with no 3-D plastic-mold head. The discs inside are not overlapping, as each disc has its own side...like a book.
And for the first time we have extras! Two great and rare interviews with our villains and a nice recipe to make cheese pizza. "Under the Shell with Krang & Slash" is a 4:48 interview with Pat Fraley who voiced the characters of Krang and Slash. Fraley gives his story on how he got the part, shares cool stories, and even does the voice of each! The next interview is "Under the Shell with The Shredder." It runs 4:42 and James Avery, the voice of The Shredder, shares his stories from the show. Avery was also on the sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air during this time. Finally, we have "Fresh from the Oven," a recipe for cheese pizza. It gives us ingredients and directions no how to make cheese pizza, Michaelangelo style! Cowabunga dude!
I urge fans to buy this set despite the video issues, because surprisingly we have a season set and extras! Do we have a full season set with extras because of the new TMNT CG-animated movie coming to theaters this month? Maybe, maybe not. But I'm just happy they listened to me and gave us a full season set and extras. Two things lacking from the volumes. Also, TMNT Fast Forward, currently airs daily on Fox’s 4Kids TV programming block.
Now, let's hope season five will be released as a full season set rather than split up into volumes. This set will be released this Tuesday, click on the link below to purchase the thrilling season four episodes that made way with a new turtles--Slash! Hurry before Shredder and the gang steal all the box-sets!
-- Reviewed by Pavan
(4/5 stars)

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV.com Page
Official Website


Saturday Night Live - The Best of Steve Martin (Lionsgate, $9.98) is a collection of some of the best sketches Steve Martin was involved in on Saturday Night Live in the show's 30+ year history. I will get to the sketch list in a minute. It is just one disc, so the disc itself is in a regular black case, with Lionsgate's preferred "Saturday Night Live: The Best of" logo in the top left, a large picture of Steve in most of the cover, and a nice picture of the city behind him. Steve's name is in big letters – particularly his last name – at the bottom. Menu features a nice little animated intro sequence that leads to the main menu – Martin in full King Tut garb to the left, with a teal-colored (go Sharks!) neon sign under his left art. An animated small view of a building is beneath the sign. You can watch the clips together as the feature option, each bit separately, or view the extras – yes, there are extras on this set.

However, what you really care about are the bits. The following sketches are contained on the disc:

1)Cold Opening: Viagra: 02/04/06
2)Monologue: Memories: 02/04/06
3)Two Wild & Crazy Guys: 04/02/78
The "Viagra" Cold Open from his last hosting bit leading directly into the monologue from the same show. Next is a Festrunk Brothers bit (Two Wild & Crazy Guys...) from the 04/22/78 episode
4)Steve Martin's All Natural Penis Beauty Cream: 09/04/94.
5)Hamas Celebration Part: 02/04/06
6)Theodoric of York: Medieval Barber: 04/02/78
7)An Ode to My Woman: 05/20/89
8)SNL Digital Short: 2 Inches: 02/04/06
9)Monologue #2: 10/23/76
10)Game Show - Common Knowledge: 10/17/87
11)Coneheads – IRS: 02/26/77
12)Steve Martin Renegotiates Contract: 02/04/06
13)King Tut: 04/02/78
14)Hollywood Minute from Weekend Update: 02/20/93
15)Quick Zoom Theater: 02/04/06
16)Bullets Aren’t Cheap/Tightwad 007: 10/17/87
17)Theodoric of York - Medieval Judge: 11/04/78. (IIRC)
18)Monologue #3 - Steve & Bill: 04/22/78
19)Theater Stories: 12/14/91
20)Rise: 10/13/79
21)Monologue #4: 02/26/77
22)Jeopardy! 1999: 10/23/76
23)What the Hell is That: 10/13/79
24)Not Gonna Phone it In Tonight: 12/14/91

That's the bit list, and I don't have much time left for the review. Video quality varies based on the age of the show – the 70s-90s stuff does not look nearly as good as the 2006 stuff. The 2006 stuff is letterboxed into 4:3 despite being aired in 16:9, but with the old stuff being obviously 4:3, I can understand why they did this. Audio quality also is slightly worse on the older stuff, but is pretty good across the board. Not owning a previous Best of Steve Martin release, I enjoyed this – two game shows, plus King Tut, and a bunch of random bits; and of course the classic Not Gonna Phone it In Tonight. The SRP is great for close to 2 hours worth of material. Some of the sketches seem random, but they are all pretty good. If you own a previous set you probably do not need this, but I personally am glad to own this. It is a nice addition to my collection, and it can be to yours too.

-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher
(4/5 stars)

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Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Saturday Night Live TV.com Page


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, May 26

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Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 20)

Friday, May 24

  • Dana Carvey (One of the Boys) - Watch Dana on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. He talks about The Secret Life of Pets 2 on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • The Cast of The Big Bang Theory - Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch are guests on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Bill Hader (Barry) - Bill appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Kathryn Newton (Gary Unmarried) - Kathryn is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Adam Scott - Adam appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • John Travolta (Welcome Back, Kotter) - John and his daughter Ella Bleu are guests on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Jodie Sweetin (Fuller House/Hollywood Darlings/Full House) - Jodie guest co-hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Logan Browning (Dear White People/Meet the Browns) - Logan stops by The Real, so check your local listings. She will also be on the BUILD Series at 5:30pm
  • Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle) - Bryan talks about Broadway's Network on CBS This Morning sometime between 7-9am.
  • Jackée Harry (Tyler Perry's The Paynes/The First Family/Sister, Sister/227) - Jackée talks about Pride and Prejudice: Atlanta on ABC's Strahan & Sara at 1pm and on People Now at 12pm.
  • Justin Long (F Is for Family/Ed) - Justin talks about Life is Short with Justin Long on Couch Surfing at 8am.
  • Beanie Feldstein (What We Do in the Shadows) and Kaitlyn Dever (Last Man Standing) - Beanie and Kaitlyn talk about Booksmart on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Tiffani Thiessen (Alexa & Katie/Good Morning, Miami/Saved by the Bell) - Tiffani is in the kitchen on Pickler & Ben, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (March/April/May)

Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete Second Season Alice - The Complete Ninth Season The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fifth Season Evening Shade - The Complete Collection Perfect Strangers - The Complete Seventh and Eighth Seasons

03/05 - Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete Second Season (WBShop.com)
03/12 - Alice - The Complete Ninth Season (WBShop.com)
03/26 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
04/02 - Archer: Danger Island - The Complete Season Nine
04/09 - You're the Worst - The Complete Fifth Season
04/12 - Evening Shade - The Complete Collection
04/16 - The Big C - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
05/07 - Baskets - The Complete Season Three
05/13 - My Three Sons - The Third Season - Volume One
05/13 - My Three Sons - The Third Season - Volume Two
05/14 - The Donna Reed Show - Seasons 1-5
05/14 - Petticoat Junction - Seasons 1-3
05/28 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Seventh and Eighth Seasons
05/28 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-Second Season (Blu-ray)
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