Saturday, December 29, 2007

Mini-DVD Review: The Bronx is Burning: World Championship Limited Edition; Solomon's Weekly Rant: Drew Carey Show, Celebrity Apprentice, Bryant Gumbel

It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for mini-DVD reviews and Solomon's Weekly Rant! First up of course is the mini-DVD review. This week we take a look at ESPN Home Entertainment's The Bronx is Burning. Yes, we did a review on this a few months ago, but now just in time for the holidays ESPN is releasing a World Championship Limited Edition set that has two extra discs filled with extras! The Bronx is Burning is the eight episode mini-series that aired on ESPN this summer focusing on the 1977 season of the Yankees and what was going on at that time that summer. This show is well acted and got better with each episode. See my mini-DVD review of The Bronx is Burning:

The Bronx is Burning: World Championship Limited Edition (ESPN, $59.95) brings the mini-series on DVD once again, but with more extras and cool stuff! Bronx is Burning in a nutshell...New York City was in a crisis that summer of '77, they were paralyzed by a blackout, political strife, and the Son of Sam killing spree, so the Big Apple was burning. Rising out of this, came the New York Yankees...they signed Reggie Jackson and the trouble and turmoil started, but in the end they won a world championship. This is a true story of how the New York Yankees single-handedly helped to raise the spirits of a city in a time of darkness and uncertainty. Based on the best-selling novel by Jonathan Mahler, this historic 8-part dramatic mini-series captures the summer of 1977 like never before. John Turturro stars as Yankees Manager Billy Martin, Oliver Platt as demanding owner of the Yankees George Steinbrenner, and Daniel Sanjata plays the slugger Reggie Jackson.
This set is nearly the same as original set that came out in September, except for the huge box, two discs worth of extras, 1977 championship photo, and a 1977 championship cap! So we won't cover anything that was covered before, so please refer to our past review for our review on the first three discs and the original packaging.
Packaging on this limited edition set has a huge outer box that holds the digipak case and the cap inside. In the original packaging we had an outer box but it was thin and similar to the case...and the case a snap case rather than digipak. The 1977 cap inside the box is very cool...it has the Yankee logo with 1977 Champions in red. Also the ESPN logo is on one of the sides. When we open the digipak, we see an insert for other ESPN products and also a very thin 1977 World Series Championship photo of the Yankee team. It isn't really anything major and it like a piece of paper, rather than a high quality photograph. Oh well, better than nothing. As for the digipak, it has three sections...the first section all the way on the left holds disc one, discs two & three are in the middle section, and discs four & five are on the right section. Same artwork for the first three discs are used from the original set...same contents of course, too. Discs four and five are new and both have artwork of pinstripes and a white color scheme.
I will only talk about discs four and five. The menu screen design and navigation is the same as the first three discs, which is very high class and cool. Now if you all remember, on the original set we already had a lot of extras...now we get two full discs more of them!
On disc four we have something sports fans will love...actual highlights and a game from the past. We get highlights for each game of the 1977 World Series. All 6 games feature long highlights from the original ABC broadcast featuring Keith Jackson, Howard Cossell, and Tom Seaver. In addition, we get to relive the entire original game 6 broadcast from ABC which the Yankees clinched the 1977 championship as Reggie Jackson hit 3 home runs! 2 great hours worth of a classic game!
Finally, on disc five we get more interviews and back stories. First up is "The Bronx is Burning Anecdotes," these are 38:47 worth of interviews from the actual people from that era. ESPN interviewed stars like Reggie Jackson, George Steinbrenner, Lou Piniella, Willie Randolph, Graig Nettles, Fran Healy and more! These are in like 33 short interview clips each last like 1-2 minutes each. Next up we have classic news features titled, "Archival News Features." The first one is about Reggie Jackson Signing with the Yankees...that runs 1:35. The next one is about the Reggie Jackson Handshake Controversy...that runs 2:56. The final one is a sad one, the Therman Munson Tragedy...that runs 10:42. The final piece of extras are under the "More Stories of '77" title. We had some of these on disc three, but now we get more! The stories features are: Mr. October (6:25), Son of Sam (15:37), The Mayoral Race (6:56), and The Blackout (6:12).
I highly recommend this mini-series and DVD. If you have the original set, then you might want to get this one, too...for the extras and cap. If you're a Yankee fan, then this is a must, otherwise you can just keep the original set. If you have not bought the original set, then try and get this one, as it has more goodies. The Yankees overcame a lot in '77 and so did the city of New York. While this is entertaining, it was also a true story. I urge you all to watch this, especially if you are a fan of sports. Reg-gie! Reg-gie! Reg-gie!
-- Reviewed by Pavan
(4/5 stars)

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Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Official Website
The Bronx is Burning TV.com Page


Solomon's Weekly Rant
Saturday, December 29, 2007
"Special Treatment for Drew Carey on ION; Celebrity Apprentice?; Terrible Bryant Gumbel"
By Solomon Davis

The Drew Carey Show has been added to ION Television for 2008 and for some reason it will get very special treatment on December 31. It will get treatment that other shows like Alice and Who's the Boss? never received which is confusing because I thought all shows added to the schedule would get the same treatment. Instead, ION will air a marathon of The Drew Carey Show on New Year's Eve and they never did this in 2007 for Alice or Who's the Boss. So I guess those programmers at ION are HUGE fans of The Drew Carey Show. But it is really not surprising at all that the "Incredibly Odd Network" would end the year of 2007 on such an "odd note."

NBC has completely destroyed The Apprentice this season with this new celebrity crap. Why change it into a Celebrity Apprentice when the appeal of the show was seeing young professionals working hard to get hired by Mr. Trump? So what will be the fun part of The Apprentice now since it's all celebrities? If Trump fires a celebrity it won't be the same because that person will still be famous. So what is NBC trying to accomplish with this stupid idea? I will tell you that the one thing they accomplished was losing me as a fan because I no longer have the desire to watch this new garbage NBC has thrown together. NBC has put the nail on the coffin for this series. The show would have just been better off in the same pile with the other 2007 TV show failures.

Bryant Gumbel's style of play-by-play announcing on the NFL Network sounds like he is reading from a script. He is extra dry, dull, and doesn't have a excitable bone in his body. He should only be allowed to do play by play if PBS started airing NFL games next season. I am going to barf tonight when he announces the Patriots/Giants game, in which the Pats will go for the 16-0 record. Please Gumbel go back to morning TV shows like The Early Show and leave sports announcing to the real professionals...even your brother Greg Gumbel is better.

Agree or disagree with Solomon? Discuss it here.

DISCLAIMER: Remember, Solomon is not the voice of SitcomsOnline. He is just stating his opinions and does not reflect what SitcomsOnline says or thinks. It is just his 'View' but it is always quite entertaining.
Sitcoms Airing Tonight (Friday, April 18)

Last Man Standing - "April, Come She Will" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Vanessa’s mooching sister April comes to visit, Mike suspects it’s because she needs money. Sure enough, April explains that she’s decided to have a baby but doesn’t have the funds for a donor egg. While Vanessa and Mike aren’t on board, Mandy comes up with a solution. Meanwhile at Outdoor Man, Mike tries pulling a prank on Chuck Larabee that gives him some new perspective.

Last Man Standing - "Tasers" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
A large bouquet of roses is delivered anonymously to the Baxter’s house on Valentine’s Day. Vanessa knows they’re not for her because Mike doesn’t believe in the frivolity of flowers on a Hallmark holiday. As an expression of his love though, Mike buys Vanessa a Taser, which only adds to her disappointment. Meanwhile, Kristin suspects her boss, John Baker (guest star Jonathan Taylor Thomas), may be the secret admirer, while Mandy assumes the flowers are from Kyle.

The Rickey Smiley Show - "The Bachelor" (TV One, 9:00PM ET/PT)
A Bachelor type promotion on the radio station.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 14) (All times Eastern unless noted)

Friday, April 18

  • Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle) - Watch Bryan on a repeat of The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Melissa Rauch (The Big Bang Theory) - Melissa appears on a repeat of The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • William Shatner ($#*! My Dad Says) - William visits The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Jaime Pressly (My Name Is Earl/I Hate My Teenage Daughter) - Jaime is a guest on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Kenan Thompson (Kenan & Kel) - Kenan stops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Tichina Arnold (Martin/Everybody Hates Chris/Happily Divorced) - Tichina and the cast of the new Lifetime movie A Day Late and a Dollar Short chat with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT. She also appears on a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Margo Martindale (The Millers) - Margo chats about the new film Heaven is for Real on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings. She will also be on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Tony Hale (Veep/Arrested Development) - Tony appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Tracy Morgan (30 Rock/The Tracy Morgan Show) - Tracy is a guest on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC. He also talks getting animated for Rio 2 on 106 & Park at 6pm on BET.
  • Kristin Chenoweth (Kristin) - Kristin is challenged to a hilarious round of charades on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Holly Robinson Peete (Hangin' with Mr. Cooper/For Your Love) - Holly is a guest on Steve Harvey, so check your local listings.
  • George Lopez (Saint George/George Lopez) - George appears on a repeat of The Arsenio Hall Show, so check your local listings.
  • Albert Tsai (Trophy Wife) - Albert is a guest on The Arsenio Hall Show, so check your local listings.
  • Chris Messina (The Mindy Project) - Chris will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Valerie Harper (Rhoda/The Mary Tyler Moore Show/Valerie) - Valerie talks about Signed, Sealed, Delivered on Good Day New York on WNYW-Fox5 in New York at 9:40am. She can also be heard on WGN Radio in Chicago with host Dean Richards on Sunday.
  • Sofia Vergara (Modern Family) - Sofia is a guest on Pop Sugar Now on TV Guide Network at 6pm and on the next day on their website at noon.