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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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.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (May)

Mad About You - The Complete Series The Jim Gaffigan Show Newhart - The Complete Fifth Season The Facts of Life - The Final (Ninth) Season The Wonder Years - Season Five

05/03 - Mad About You - The Complete Series
05/03 - The Jim Gaffigan Show - Season One
05/10 - Newhart - The Complete Fifth Season
05/17 - Angie Tribeca - The Complete First Season
05/17 - The Facts of Life - The Final (Ninth) Season
05/24 - The Wonder Years - Season Five
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Tuesday, May 24

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Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 23)

Tuesday, May 24

  • Dave Franco (Scrubs/Do Not Disturb) - Catch Dave on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Demi Lovato (Sonny with a Chance) - Demi is a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Sean Hayes (The Millers/Sean Saves the World/Will & Grace) - Sean appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He will also be on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Brooklyn Decker (Grace and Frankie/Friends with Better Lives) - Brooklyn is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. She will also be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Fozzie Bear (The Muppets) - Fozzie Bear appears on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • John Hodgman (Married) - John is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Kristen Schaal (The Last Man on Earth/Bob's Burgers/30 Rock) - Kristen appears on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Eugene and Dan Levy (Schitt's Creek) - Eugene and Dan are guests on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Laura Linney (The Big C) - Laura stops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Fred Savage (The Grinder/Working/The Wonder Years) - Fred guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • NeNe Leakes (The New Normal) - Meredith's favorite reality stars are featured on The Meredith Vieira Show, so check your local listings.
  • June Diane Raphael (Grace and Frankie/Players) - June is a guest on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • G Hannelius (Dog with a Blog/Good Luck Charlie) - G discusses her role in History Channel's adaption of Roots on the AOL Build Show at 11am.
  • Kevin Hart (The Big House/Undeclared) - Kevin dishes on his new movie Central Intelligence on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Will Arnett (Arrested Development/The Millers/Up All Night) - Will talks about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am. He also chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.