Saturday, December 13, 2008
Mr. Bean - The Ultimate Collection (A&E, $69.95) brings us everything Mr. Bean! This is the ultimate fan collection, as we get every episode of the hit TV series, both feature films, the animated series and all the bonus features we have gotten in the past all in one complete collection!
Based on a character developed by Rowan Atkinson at university, the series followed the exploits of Mr. Bean, in solving various problems presented by everyday tasks and often causing disruption in the process. The series lasted five seasons in the United Kingdom and is one of the most famous British series known worldwide. Mr. Bean didn't as a regular series in the UK, it aired as a series of stand-along specials, lasting 14 episodes in five years.
Mr. Bean: The Movie is a 1997 feature film based on the television series Mr. Bean. It stars Rowan Atkinson, as Mr. Bean of course, and also Peter MacNicol. The movie was about Mr. Bean coming to America, as he conquers Los Angeles by storm.
The second feature film, Mr. Bean's Holiday, came out 10 years later in 2007. The film is about Bean taking a holiday to France.
And finally we get two volumes of the animated series. For some reason we are not getting all 26 episodes of the animated series, which doesn't make sense. We get 9 of the 26. Characters from the original live action series included Mr. Bean, Irma Gobb, Mr. Bean's teddy bear, and the mysterious driver of the Reliant Supervan, with the addition of Mrs. Wicket, Bean's landlady, and her evil cat Scrapper. The series aired in 2002-2003 in the United Kingdom.
Packaging has a nice box holding seven slimcases. The cover of the box is yellow-orange color with five different shots of Mr. Bean. My his facial expressions were priceless! A New York Times quote is also on the box art. On the back of the box we have a series description and info on the set along with credits for every series/movie. We also have a box listing all of the bonus features.
Menus are the same as how they were on the original sets for the series and animated series. Now, A&E has never released the two movies, but Universal Home Video has. So I don't have those movies from Universal, so I cannot compare.
As with the menus, audio and video are the same as the individual releases. The video is OK at best, but it could be better. The movies look way better obviously. And the animated series might be just as good in terms of audio and video. The original series might be the worst looking, but of course it is the oldest, too. The original series usually had episodes around 25 minutes or so, while the animated series is around 22...so nothing is edited. The movies are about 90 minutes each.
Special features are all over the place! Though, there is nothing actually new, since these sets have all came out individually before, but I will list them all for you. For the original series, everything is on the third slimcase (Volume 3), we have "The Story of Mr. Bean," a 40-minute documentary giving us the inside scoop on the series and how it was born. Then we have "never before seen on TV" sketches titled "Bus Stop" (approx. 6 min.) and "Library" (approx. 9 min.) Funny stuff! Then we have two sketches from the UK series "Comic Relief" titled "Blind Date" (approx. 14 min.) and "Torvill & Bean" (approx. 7 min.). Then we have a trailer for the animated series, just like on the third volume when it was released originally. We also have a nice text biography and filmography of Rowan Atkinson.
For Bean: The Movie, we get the music video "I Love L.A." running about 3 minutes. We also have more biographies, this time the entire main cast of the movie.
For Mr. Bean's Holiday, we have a lot of extras. We have lots of deleted scenes totaling about a quarter of an hour! We also have some behind the scenes features, "French Bean" (about 11 min.), "Bean in Cannes" (about 6 min.), and "The Human Bean" (about 6 min. also). We learn a lot from these three features. You can watch this movie in French, too.
Finally, the last two discs are for the animated series. Once again I will reiterate, we do NOT have every episode of this series. Just the first 9 of the 26 for some reason. As far as extras go, the first disc for the animated series has trailers for the animated series and some photos in a photo gallery. The second disc is much better and has a nice 20 minute or so documentary about this animated series. We find out really how and why Mr. Bean was brought back, but this time in animation.
This is a wonderful set. Any fan of Mr. Bean will want this. I never got a chance to get or review "The Whole Bean" DVD, but this set is good. The only major fault for this set is that there are not every episode of the animated series. Not even half, but oh well. I personally liked the series and movies WAY better, especially the series. A&E did a good job by acquiring the two movies for this set, as those were Universal products. Well, we are nearing Christmas, and what better way to spend Christmas with Mr. Bean. He is perfect to watch with the family, especially during the holidays. So get your teddy bear out and get into your pajamas and watch BEAN! I'm Bean!
-- Reviewed by Pavan
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New on DVD/Blu-ray (December/January)
12/06 - Family Guy - Season Fourteen
12/13 - American Dad! - Volume 11
12/13 - Newhart - The Complete Seventh Season
01/03 - Girls - The Complete Fifth Season (Blu-ray)
01/10 - Broad City - Season 3
01/17 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #2 (Colorized)
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume One
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume Two
01/24 - Hooperman - Season One
01/24 - Hooperman - Season Two
01/31 - Ballers - The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
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Monday, January 23
- Allison Janney (Mom/Mr. Sunshine) - Watch Allison on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
- William Shatner ($h*! My Dad Says) and Henry Winkler (Happy Days/Arrested Development/Out of Practice) - William and Henry are guests on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
- Kevin Nealon (Man with a Plan/Weeds/Hiller and Diller/Champs) - Kevin appears on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
- Jade Catta-Preta (Manhattan Love Story) - Jade is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
- Wendi McClendon-Covey (The Goldbergs/Rules of Engagement/Reno 911!) - Wendi stops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
- Cristela Alonzo (Cristela) - Cristela chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
- Tika Sumpter (The Game) - Tika appears on The Real, so check your local listings.
- Justina Machado (One Day at a Time) - Justina will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
- Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Carpoolers/My Secret Identity) - Jerry and Rebecca Romjin talk about Love Locks on NBC's Today in the 9am hour. Jerry will also be on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT, on Access Hollywood Live (check your local listings) and on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
- Retta (Parks and Recreation) - Retta talks about Girlfriend's Guide to Divorce on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
- Kathryn Hahn (Happyish/Free Agents) - Kathryn will be on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.