Saturday, June 05, 2010

Digital Digest: The A-Team - The Complete Series DVD Review

Welcome to another edition of Digital Digest! Our normal Digital Digest blogger (skees53) is on vacation this week, so I (Pavan) will be doing the entire Digest this week! We have the latest news, upcoming releases for Tuesday, and our review of The A-Team - The Complete Series. It's another light news week, but what we do have is all positive.

DIGITAL NEWS

The first week of June was also a very slow week in terms of news releases. It was even slower than the previous week. Most of the items this week are about current series. There haven't been any "surprise announcements" again, but we did get a few release dates and some additional information. Universal Home Video officially announced The Office - Season Six (September 7), on both DVD ($59.98 MSRP) and Blu-ray ($69.98 MSRP). Bonus material and package art were also revealed, so check that out. Universal Home Video also officially announced Heroes - Season 4 (August 3), on both DVD ($59.98 MSRP) and Blu-ray ($79.98 MSRP). Bonus material and package art were also revealed, so check that out. This is the last season for the series, as NBC canceled it in May.

We also got the official package art for Grey's Anatomy - The Complete Sixth Season - More Is Better (Sept. 14, $59.98 MSRP) from ABC/Disney. View the package art. Warner Bros. officially announced The Vampire Diaries - The Complete First Season (August 31), on both DVD ($59.98 MSRP) and Blu-ray ($69.98 MSRP). Bonus material much more were also revealed, so check that out.

Last week, we gave you some info on NBC's newest series, Parenthood, now we have the package art. Stay tuned for pre-ordering information and the official announcement.

All of the other news items were not concrete information or didn't really fit our website. Hopefully next week brings us more news--especially in sitcoms!


UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW

Tuesday (June 8) has quite a few releases in store, but again a very few that are of interest to us. In fact, only two interest us. The one of the most interest to us is Family Matters - The Complete First Season from Warner Home Video. Check out our review of this DVD, if you haven't already. Also, though not a sitcom, we have The A-Team - The Complete Series. We have a review of this set in today's Digital Digest below. And finally we have items like Curb Your Enthusiasm - The Complete 7th Season, Ghostwriter - Season 1, and Nip/Tuck - The Complete 6th and Final Season.


BLOG FEATURE REVIEW

"Ten years ago, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum-security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire The A-Team."
This means The A-Team the complete series arrives on DVD in an action-packed, 25-disc set. The A-Team - The Complete Series brings us every single episode in a new packaged box set.

DVD Review: The A-Team - The Complete Series
by Pavan

The A-Team - The Complete Series (Universal, $149.98) brings us all 5 seasons on DVD once again but this time on one set! We previously got all five seasons released separately, but now we are getting them in all one set with all-new packaging! We'll cover the packaging in detail shortly. All 98 episodes are here and "I pity the fool" who doesn't watch this show. The series aired on NBC from 1983-87 and was an adrenaline-pumping adventure with Hannibal (George Peppard), Face (Dirk Benedict), Murdock (Dwight Schultz) and B.A. (Mr. T). Now that the theatrical movie is coming out next week, Universal is giving us all five seasons again--but together.

All 98 episodes are on this set. So I suggest you read our individual reviews for each season. The DVDs were released between 2004-2006 and sold very well. Some memorable episodes from each season include the premiere "Mexican Slayride," where desperate, but ambitious newspaper reporter, Amy Allen, wants to prove the existence of the A-Team, four ex-GIs that help people in need and when she finds them she hires them, because her co-worker Al Massey is missing in Mexico. The season two episode "Recipe for Heavy Bread," where Face runs into an old friend from the POW camp the A-Team used to be in and the friend was the cook there who helped them to flee and now needs their help, when he gets involved in a drug deal of former camp members, especially the former Vietnamese commander. The season three two-hour episode, "Bend in the River," where Tawnia asks the A-Team to find her fiancé, an archaeologist last seen on an Amazon expedition that was attacked by a pirate, but she doesn't tell the A-Team that they are searching her fiancé, but more importantly the A-Team has to get new Malaria drugs before they can fly to the Brazilian rain forests. The season four episode "Wheel of Fortune," where Murdock's fortunes rise and fall as he uses Face's system to win big on Wheel of Fortune and he wins a trip to Hawaii, but then is kidnapped by people who claim to be CIA, but turn out to be criminals. And finally the season five episode, "Without Reservation," the final episode, where Frankie and Face visit Murdock (strangely completely sane) at his job in a restaurant, and all three become hostages of mobsters out to kill a patron, the US Attorney General, Hannibal and B.A. have to save the others, but things heat up when Face is shot and needs immediate medical attention.
Now these are just five episodes out of 98, read our full reviews of each season from the individual releases for more:
Season 1 / Season 2 / Season 3 / Season 4 / Season 5

Let's now move on to the packaging. This is the ONLY new part of this set that differs from the season sets that were already released. It is really neat looking, as we get the famous A-Team black GMC Vandura van with that red stripe. So far so good and we love it when a plan comes together, as Hannibal would say! The roof of the van says "The A-Team The Compete Series" in red and black. We see B.A. in the driver's seat and Hannibal in the passenger's seat. We see two shots of them actually, one on each window and both of them can be seen towards the windshield window. All four wheels say "The A-Team The Complete Series" in white lettering. The bottom of the van has info on the series and set, saying "Pity the Fool That Doesn't Own Every Adventure." Images of each season's packaging is shown along with a box listing the bonus features (which were released on the individual sets).

So how do we get to the cases? Well, we have to pull that red cardboard strip on the roof of the van. But be very careful so you don't rip the cardboard because I did a little! When you pull the red strip, we see five cases inside the van. Lots of cardboard is holding it. It's pretty cheap, but it works. There is nothing else inside the van, just the cases. It would have been cool if there was a button to push that would either play The A-Team theme song or some gunshots being fired. The Knight Rider complete series set had a button when we push would play the theme song. The cases are different from the season sets. The first case holds season one episodes. The cover of the case features B.A. with three squares on the left of the other team members: Hannibal, Face, and Murdock. The back of the case is the same as the back of the box from the original season one set. Disc art is also the same as the original season one set. The discs overlap though inside the case. The second case holds season two episodes. The cover of the case features Face with three squares on the left of the other team members: Murdock, Hannibal, and B.A. The back of the case is the same as the back of the box from the original season two set. Now disc art this time is in lime green, as the original set were double-sided discs. So this is a plus to have single-sided discs! The discs overlap though inside the case. The third case holds season three episodes. The cover of the case features Hannibal with three squares on the left of the other team members: B.A., Murdock, and Face. The back of the case is the same as the back of the box from the original season three set. Now disc art this time is in red, as the original set were double-sided discs. So this is a plus to have single-sided discs! The discs overlap though inside the case. The fourth case holds season four episodes. The cover of the case features Murdock with three squares on the left of the other team members: Face, B.A. and Hannibal The back of the case is the same as the back of the box from the original season four set. Now disc art this time is in blue, as the original set were double-sided discs. So this is a plus to have single-sided discs! The discs overlap though inside the case. And finally, the fifth case holds season five episodes. The cover of the case features shots of all four team members: Murdock, Hannibal, Face and B.A. The back of the case is the same as the back of the box from the original season five set. Disc art is also the same as the original season five set, as the discs were single-sided. Discs two & three overlap though inside the case.

Read our full reviews of each season from the individual releases to read about the original packaging:
Season 1 / Season 2 / Season 3 / Season 4 / Season 5

The content inside the discs is exactly the same as the individual season sets. So we have the same menus, audio/video quality, and special features! Once again, I suggest you read our previous reviews to look at the Menu Design and Navigation section, Video and Audio Quality, and Special Features section:
Season 1 / Season 2 / Season 3 / Season 4 / Season 5

If you don't have the individual season sets, then you REALLY need to get this set. The packaging is better and won't take as much space on your shelf as the season sets would. I highly do recommend this set for any die-hard A-Team fan just for the A-Team van packaging! But that really is the only thing new here. The special features are all the same as the previous season sets. So basically a Knight Rider season two episode, the season five episode of A-Team "Point of No Return" on the season four set, and an interview with Stephen J. Cannell titled "Rumors of Soldiers of Fortune." I think Universal is releasing this set just to cash in on the theatrical movie coming out Friday starring Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley, and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson as B.A. Jessica Biel also stars as Capt. Carissa Sosa along with Gerald McRaney as General Morrison. It would have been cool if there was a free movie ticket with this set, but 20th Century Fox is doing the movie and not Universal. Die-hards get this set for sure and newbies or casual fans who don't have any of the previous DVDs, then get this set. Anyway, if you have a problem, if no one else can help and if you can find them, maybe you can hire: The A-Team.

-- Reviewed by Pavan
(4/5 stars)

To purchase this DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
Amazon.com



LOOKING AHEAD

Next week we have a busy slate of reviews coming up both on the blog and on our regular reviews, so you won't want to miss any of those. Regular reviews will include American Dad!, Family Guy, Here's Lucy, Leave it to Beaver, and My Three Sons! We'll have a review of something right here next week, along with a special feature story that we do every now and then on Digital Digest. Until next time, keep it digital!
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.