Saturday, November 13, 2010

Digital Digest: CSI NY - The Sixth Season DVD Review; Perry Mason - Season 5, Volume 2 DVD Review

As we approach Thanksgiving and Christmas, we are certain to be in for a period of no/slow news weeks. And this week, unfortunately, is one of those. But nonetheless, we are here for you with the news that we do have, including some special deals for bargain hunters out there, and reviews of CSI NY - The Sixth Season and Perry Mason - Season 5, Volume 2. Let's get going!

DIGITAL NEWS

As we mentioned, it has been a very slow news week, perhaps one of our slowest ever here at Digital Digest. The only real news that we have for this week is a date for the fourth season of Spin City from Shout! Factory. Spin City - Season Four (Michael J. Fox's final season) is set for release on February 11 at a $39.97 MSRP. No other details are known at this time, but it doesn't seem that there will be any special features on the set. We'll let you know if that changes.

One last little tidbit about Shout! Factory... Brian Ward has hinted that some 50s/60s TV series have recently been acquired by Shout! Factory on their forum on the website. He won't say which ones (as they have not been officially announced yet), but we are, of course, waiting in anticipation!

We always like to do a little something to make up for slow news weeks here, so if you want to catch up on some older releases that you may not have picked, we're going to tell you where you can get them... cheaply! In the past week, many CBS Home Entertainment products have been making an appearance in the clearance shelves of Big Lots, at $6 a set! Not all stores seem to have these in stock (yet), but shoppers from all parts of the country have been reporting in various online forums finding series such as C.S.I., C.S.I. NY, C.S.I. Miami, Beverly Hills, 90210, Melrose Place, 90210 (The CW reprisal), Cheers, Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Bosom Buddies, The Brady Bunch and literally countless other series for just $6 a season! If you can find these deals, you'll want to jump in on them, for sure! You can check out our thread from the message boards on these deals here.

It is also worth noting that another retailer, Target, will be selling Scrubs - The Complete Ninth and Final Season, for $9.99 beginning on Sunday. But if you own one of the many other recent releases from ABC Studios, you may be able to own this DVD set for free! How, you ask? Many of the ABC Studios releases from August and September include a coupon for $10 off select other DVD sets, and Scrubs is among those! So, if you own the most recent releases of Desperate Housewives or Ugly Betty, check to see if you have that coupon, so that you can pick up your free copy of Scrubs - The Complete Ninth and Final Season!

UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW

Tuesday (November 16) has a decent slate of DVD sets, beginning with Shout! Factory's release of Mister Ed - The Complete Fourth Season. This set will only be available as a Shout! Factory exclusive, and will not be a general retail release. We'll also be seeing the highly anticipated Warner Archive Classic TV Christmas Collection, containing episodes from classic TV series that have not yet been released on DVD. CBS Home Entertainment will be releasing Perry Mason - Season 5, Volume 2, which we will review today in Digital Digest. For those of you who are Blu-ray fanatics, The Twilight Zone - Season Two will be coming out in Blu-ray on Tuesday, and if you thought the DVDs of the series were great, the Blu-ray sets are even more amazing. And finally, for fans of The Office, there is Universal's The Office - Overtime Digital Shorts Collection, which contains all of the online digital shorts from the hit series that have been online (so far, anyway).


BLOG FEATURE REVIEW

CSI: NY - The Sixth Season

DVD Review: CSI: NY - The Sixth Season (CBS DVD/Paramount Home Video, $62.99)
by Todd Fuller

In this riveting collection episodes from the explosive sixth season of CSI: NY, the shadowy streets of New York have never been darker -- or the crimes bloodier. Detective Mac Taylor (Oscar nominee and Emmy winner Gary Sinise) and his forensics crew match wits with sinister new serial killer Hollis Eckhart (Skeet Ulrich), who leaves behind compasses as his deadly calling card. The team joins forces with the Las Vegas and Miami divisions to crack a terrifying, sadistic crime network. And team members Stella (Melina Kanakaredes), Danny (Carmine Giovinazzo), Sheldon (Hill Harper), Lindsay (Anna Belknap) and Flack (Eddie Cahill) come to terms with their own lives, loves, and dark secrets.

This 7-disc set contains all 23 episodes (plus 2 crossover CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and CSI: Miami episodes) from the sixth (2009-10) season of the long-running crime drama. The episodes are presented in anamorphic widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Stereo audio (Spanish Stereo is also available). It has a total running time of approximately 16 hours, 17 minutes. The attractive packaging has a photo of Gary Sinise and Melina Kanakaredes on the cover, with part of New York City in the background. There is an embossed CSI: NY logo at the top of the box. After using Digipak packaging for previous seasons, they've switched to a cardboard box that holds a clear plastic snapcase. Eddie Cahill, Hill Harper, Melina Kanakaredes, Gary Sinise, Anna Belknap and Carmine Giovinazzo are pictured on the back of the box. A short synopsis of the set, a listing of the special features and the DVD specs are given. There is a clear plastic snapcase that slides out from the right of the outer cardboard box. The snapcase has the same cover art, photos and information as the cardboard box. Opening up the snapcase, there is a content locator in the back panel which lists the episodes and the special features on the inside cover. Discs 1-6 are held back-to-back in plastic trays, while Disc 7 is an embedded holder in the back of the case. The discs are just silver, with the CSI: NY logo on them. As an added nice touch, they included the Crime Scene: Do Not Cross tape around the packaging.

The menus are stylish and easy to navigate. There is a series of previews for some other CBS DVD/Paramount TV DVD releases and the CSI: Fatal Conspiracy game which you can play or skip. The main menu opens with some aerial views of New York City that lead to a montage of video clips from the show. A great instrumental cue by composer Bill Brown plays in the background and then the sequence loops. Options are available for Episode Selection, Set Up, Previews (only on Disc 1) and the various special features by disc. You can choose either English 5.1 Surround or EspaƱol audio on the Set Up Menu. Closed captioning is available for all of the episodes, but some of the special features are not rated any may not be closed captioned. As you would expect from such a recent show, the video and audio quality is outstanding. They do a lot of nighttime shooting and make the show look dark and like a theatrical film. There is no disclaimer on the back of the box about any of the episodes possibly being edited. Episodes are presented in their original broadcast order and numbered by the production number. Running times are between 40-43 minutes in length.

Here is the episode breakdown by disc, including the runtimes:

Disc 1
Episode 601 "Epilogue" (42:08)
Episode 602 "Blacklist" (Featuring "Gravedigger") (43:35)
Episode 603 "Lat 40 Degrees 47' N / Long 73 Degrees 58' W" (41:58)

Disc 2
Episode 604 "Dead Reckoning" (42:39)
Episode 605 "Battle Scars" (42:33)
Episode 606 "It Happened To Me" (43:02)

Disc 3
CSI: Miami - Episode 807 "Bone Voyage" (43:50)
Episode 607 "Hammer Down" (41:44)
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - Episode 1008 "The Lost Girls" (44:13)
Episode 608 "Cuckoo's Nest" (43:40)

Disc 4
Episode 609 "Manhattanhenge" (40:19)
Episode 610 "Death House" (43:37)
Episode 611 "Second Chances" (43:26)
Episode 612 "Criminal Justice" (42:10)

Disc 5
Episode 613 "Flag on the Play" (42:45)
Episode 614 "Sanguine Love" (40:44)
Episode 615 "The Formula" (41:43)
Episode 616 "Uncertainty Rules" (43:42)

Disc 6
Episode 617 "Pot of Gold" (41:44)
Episode 618 "Rest in Peace, Marina Garito" (43:41)
Episode 619 "Redemptio" (42:17)
Episode 621 "Tales from the Undercard" (43:40)

Disc 7
Episode 620 "Unusual Suspects" (41:35)
Episode 622 "Point of View" (43:31)
Episode 623 "Vacation Getaway" (41:48)

A decent number of special features are spread out over the 7 discs. Once again, there are only 2 audio commentaries on this set like last season. They have really cut back on the number of them from previous seasons for all of the CSI franchise shows. No deleted scenes are included on this release. The 7 featurettes run about 70 minutes total in length. Here is the breakdown by disc:

Disc 1
Better Than Botox (3:57) - This featurette includes interviews with Executive Producer Peter M. Lenkov, Visual Effects Supervisor (Lola Visual Effects) Edson Williams and Visual Effects Artist (Lola Visual Effects) Brian Nugent. They talk about the idea for this episode, the flashback scenes and how they made Gary Sinise look younger. Some original and final composite shots are shown for comparison.

Disc 3
Leaving Las Vegas: Langston Heads East (23:29) - This featurette was also available on the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and CSI: Miami releases. It details the triple crossover event. They started out in Miami, moved to New York and finished in Las Vegas. Inteviews include Executive Producer Carol Mendelsohn, Executive Producer Naren Shankar, Executive Producer (CSI: NY) Peter M. Lenkov, Laurence Fishburne, Co-Executive Producer (CSI: Miami) Mark Dube, Director/Producer (CSI: Miami) Sam Hill, David Caruso, Omar Benson Miller, Executive Producer (CSI: Miami) Barry O'Brien, Christian Clemenson, Emily Procter, Executive Producer (CSI: NY) Pam Veasey, Melina Kanakaredes and Gary Sinise.

East Coast Heroes (3:53) - This featurette includes interviews with Executive Producer Pam Veasey, Executive Producer Peter M. Lenkov, Laurence Fisburne and Gary Sinise. They discuss the first meeting between Ray Langston (Laurence Fisburne) and Mac Taylor (Gary Sinise), filming in New York at the Statue of Liberty and the East Coast War Memorial, and the character's backgrounds.

Disc 4
Audio Commentary by Director Norberto Barba & Production Designer Vaughan Edwards on "Death House"

A Killer House (8:55) - This featurette includes interviews with Executive Producer Pam Veasey, Special Effects Coordinator David Kelsey, Production Designer Vaughan Edwards, Set Decorator Cindy Coburn, Technical Advisor Bill Haynes, Hill Harper and Melina Kanakaredes. They talk about the idea for the episode, the special effects, the booby traps, and the production design of the various rooms.

Disc 6
Audio Commentary by Executive Producer and Writer Pam Veasey and Director Allison Liddi-Brown on "Rest in Peace, Marina Garito"

Disc 7
Creation of a Crime Scene (7:20) - This featurette includes interviews with Executive Producer Pam Veasey, Melina Kanakaredes, Techical Advisor Bill Haynes, Gary Sinise, Co-Executive Producer Zachary Reiter, Special Effects Coordinator David Kelsey and Hill Harper. They talk about how they create the crime scenes, how the blood is splattered, and the various kinds of blood they use depending on the scene.

Seeing Stars (11:41) - This featurette includes interviews with Executive Producer Pam Veasey, Vanessa Minnillo, Kim Kardashian, Nelly, Gary Sinise, Melina Kanakaredes, Eddie Cahill, Pat Monahan, Hill Harper and Danica Patrick. This highlights some of the celebrity guest stars for this season.

A Closer Examination: Dr. Sid Hammerback (9:06) - This featurette includes interviews with Robert Joy, Executive Producer Pam Veasey, Hill Harper, Melina Kanakaredes and Gary Sinise. They discuss how Robert Joy got the role of the medical examiner, working with Robert Joy, the character of Sid and the challenges hs faced this season.

The show has slipped a bit in the ratings the last few seasons, but it still is enjoyable and they are always coming up with fresh and interesting storylines. Some of my favorite episodes this season were "Epilogue," "Hammer Down," "Death House," "Criminal Justice," and "Uncertainty Rules." It was sad this was the last season of Melina Kankaredes. She was in many of the special features for this release, so her departure from the show seemed like it was a bit unexpected. Sela Ward has been a fine addition to the cast as Det. Jo Danville. CBS moved the show to Friday nights at 10pm ET/PT, so check out seventh season on the new day.

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller

(4/5 stars)

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

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
CSI: NY CBS.com Official Site
CSI: NY TV.com Page

Perry Mason - Season 5, Volume 2

If you've been charged with murder, you need an attorney, and a good one at that. And who better to defend you than the master himself, Perry Mason? The classic legal drama is back on DVD with the second installment of the fifth season with Perry Mason - Season 5, Volume 2.

DVD Review: Perry Mason - Season 5, Volume 2
by skees53

Perry Mason - Season 5, Volume 2 (CBS DVD, $49.99) shows how the justice system works for fifteen more wrongfully accused defendants who have been accused of the most serious crimes. In every single case, a defendant is brought before the criminal justice system in a case where all of the evidence clearly points to the defendant being guilty as charged. But enter Perry Mason, who knows that his client is innocent, and always has a way to prove it. And in this four disc set, Mason successfully defends all of his clients.

The set begins with "The Case of the Shapely Shadow," where a secretary is accused of killing her boss over a briefcase full of money. A furniture maker is accused of killing a con artist who promised to build a children's hospital in "The Case of the Tarnished Trademark." A mine foreman ends up dead when the mine runs dry in "The Case of the Mystified Miner." A case of entrapment ends with murder in "The Case of the Crippled Cougar." A comic strip artist is killed in the midst of a romantic breakup in "The Case of the Absent Artist."
A husband suspects that his new wife has killed his first wife and contemplates revenge (which, of course, backfires) in "The Case of the Melancholy Marksman." In "The Case of the Angry Astronaut," a military general is murdered, and a fired astronaut is the prime suspect. Burt Reynolds guest stars in "The Case of the Counterfeit Crank." One of Perry's friend's is accused of murder in "The Case of the Ancient Romeo." A sleazy TV producer is killed and a budding TV writer is accused of the murder in "The Case of the Promoter's Pillbox."

Each episode is unedited once again, without any of the typical CBS Home Entertainment disclaimers. Runtimes are as follows:

Disc 1:
1. "The Case of the Shapely Shadow" (50:52)
2. "The Case of the Captain's Coins" (50:51)
3. "The Case of the Tarnished Trademark" (50:51)
4. "The Case of the Glamorous Ghost" (50:53)

Disc 2:
5. "The Case of the Poison Pen-Pal" (50:53)
6. "The Case of the Mystified Miner" (50:51)
7. "The Case of the Crippled Cougar" (50:55)
8. "The Case of the Absent Artist" (50:52)

Disc 3:
9. "The Case of the Melancholy Marksman" (50:53)
10. "The Case of the Angry Astronaut" (50:53)
11. "The Case of the Borrowed Baby" (50:54)
12. "The Case of the Counterfeit Crank" (50:54)

Disc 4:
13. "The Case of the Ancient Romeo" (50:55)
14. "The Case of the Promoter's Pillbox" (50:51)
15. "The Case of the Lonely Eloper" (50:55)

The case is packaged in a standard Viva pack, with yet another photo of Perry Mason on the front with some still photos above him. Inside the case, there are the four discs, along with a listing of all of the episodes on each disc, with a description and original airdate for each episode. The disc artwork itself contains the series logo and a listing of all of the episodes on each disc. Each disc contains four episodes, except for Disc 4, which contains only three episodes.

There really aren't any issues with the video or audio, aside from some standard grain and debris here and there. This series always tends to shine on DVD, and that is great. As mentioned previously, there appear to be no edits either. The audio is presented in Dolby Digital mono, and the episodes contain English subtitles. This is a change from previous sets, which contained closed-captions, but no subtitles.

Sadly, there aren't any special features included on the set. I wouldn't expect any future sets to include any either. With all of the fans of the series out there (after all, there must be a lot, with this being the tenth release at a $50 MSRP), you would think that they could do something.

All in all, this is another great standard set of episodes, but as always, the half season model of releasing this series is getting frustrating! I am very anxious to see the remainder of the series, including the one where Perry actually loses a case, and the one color episode (although both have been released on the 50th Anniversary set), and it would be nice to see CBS Home Entertainment follow up with the Perry Mason movies that were made through the 80s and 90s. But for now, this set does justice for fans of Perry Mason, and is definitely worth owning.


(4/5 stars)

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Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com DVD Reviews Page
Perry Mason on TV.com

LOOKING AHEAD

This hasn't been an exciting news week, and that is unfortunate, but we hope that you enjoyed our reviews, and we also hope that you can take advantage of the bargains that we mentioned today--good luck if you try to find them (your mileage may vary!). In the meantime, we'll be back next week with more news and reviews in Digital Digest. So until then, keep it digital!


New on DVD/Blu-ray (October/November)

Dr. Ken - Season One Mike & Molly - The Complete Sixth and Final Season Family Matters - The Complete Ninth Season The Lucy Show - The Complete Series The Mindy Project - Season Four

10/04 - The Andy Griffith Show - The Christmas Special (Colorized)
10/04 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #1 (Colorized)
10/11 - Dr. Ken - Season One
10/11 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Sixth and Final Season
10/11 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Series
10/11 - Nurse Jackie - Seasons One and Two
10/11 - Weeds - Seasons One and Two
11/01 - Schitt's Creek - Seasons One and Two
11/08 - Family Matters - The Complete Ninth Season
11/08 - Your Family or Mine - Season One
11/15 - Community - The Complete Series
11/15 - The Lucy Show - The Complete Series
11/15 - The Mindy Project - Season Four
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, December 7

The Goldbergs - "Globetrotters" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Adam attends a Globetrotters game, he falls in love with the “theatrics” of the team and tries doing his own tricks on the court. But when he cuts together a video that makes Barry look like he lost a game to Adam and his friends, Barry demands a rematch, culminating in an epic battle at the school gym. Meanwhile, it’s Murray’s 50th birthday, and, despite his protests, Beverly throws yet another surprise party for him but gets more than she bargained for.

Speechless - " S-L--SLED H-O--HOCKEY" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
JJ instantly wants to join a sled hockey team made up entirely of people with disabilities, but Jimmy is not thrilled and thinks it’s dangerous. Meanwhile, Maya takes a CPR class with Kenneth, and she sees how popular he is and realizes that she needs to be nicer in order to keep him as JJ’s aide.

Modern Family - "A Tale of Three Cities" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After recent trips take the Dunphys to New York; Mitch, Cam and Lily to the Midwest; and Jay, Gloria, Manny and Joe to Juarez, Mexico; the Pritchett-Dunphy-Tucker clan reunites.

black-ish - "Nothing but Nepotism" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Bow urges Dre to use his connections and secure Zoey a fellowship, but he doesn’t want his daughter relying on nepotism. When Bow finds Zoey a place at the hospital, Dre balks at the idea and successfully pulls some strings at Teen Vogue. Meanwhile, Junior loses his first job at an arcade pizza joint that the twins love after he reports their unclean practices to corporate, and they shut it down.

Younger - "Pigeons, Parrots, and Storks" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Liza and Josh’s future together is thrown into question after having opposing reactions to a near miss.

Impastor - "The Neighbor's Wife" (TV Land, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Buddy deals with the shocking arrival of Alexa’s husband. Dora makes a frightening discovery. Schmidt’s engagement party takes an unexpected turn.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of December 5)

Wednesday, December 7

  • T.J. Miller (Silicon Valley/The Goodwin Games/Carpoolers) - Watch T.J on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie/Malibu Country) - Lily appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Melissa Rauch (The Big Bang Theory) - Melissa is a guest on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) - Chris visits ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Jane Lynch (Angel from Hell) and Kate Flannery (The Office) - Jane and Kate give a musical performance on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Michael Rosenbaum (Impastor/Zoe, Duncan, Jack and Jane) and Mircea Monroe (Impastor/Episodes) - Michael and Mircea are guests on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Jennifer Aniston (Friends) - Jennifer and the cast of Office Christmas Party are guests on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Aimee Carrero (Young & Hungry) - Aimee appears on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Emmanuelle Chriqui (Entourage) - Emmanuelle is a guest on NBC's Today in the 9am hour. She will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET. She can be heard on The Morning Mash Up on SiriusXM at 10am.