Saturday, October 29, 2011
Digital Digest: Another Session of Night Court Available on DVD Now; Pawn Stars - Volume Three DVD Review
DVD Review: Pawn Stars - Volume Three (A&E Home Video/History, $24.95)
by Todd Fuller
The history of money-lending dates back thousands of years. Long before the History hit series Pawn Stars, pawnbrokers helped people make ends meet by providing loans in exchange for personal items of value. There is no better example of today's pawnbrokers than the Harrison family's Gold and Silver Pawn shop on the outskirts of Las Vegas--the modern day Mecca for people in need of quick cash. Three generations of Harrison men clash with friendly camaraderie over items from classic cars to samurai swords. Here, everything has a history, and everything has a price. And you never know what's going to walk through the door. In this collection, the boys haggle over a penny made by Paul Revere, battle plans for Iwo Jima, a 1939 Allied Forces World War II plane and a human shrunken head.
The 2-disc set contains episodes 1-16 from the third season (2010). It comes in an Amaray movie-style case, just like the first two releases. Rick, Chumlee, Corey (Big Hoss) and The Old Man (Richard) are featured on the front, with some hotel lights in the background. Another photo of the four cast members standing in front of a car and some marquee signs is found on the back of the case. A synopsis of the set, episode titles and the DVD specs are listed on the back of the case. The Pawn Stars logo is on the spine of the case. Inside the case, there is just blank space. An episode guide would have been nice to have for reference. The discs have the same photo of the big four that is used on the back of the case. They have the show logo at the top. The episode titles are listed vertically in white text on the right side.
The main menu opens with a montage of video clips that are used in the opening credits. Some instrumental music is played for about 20-25 seconds. A static photo of Rick, Chumlee and Corey is used on the main menu. There are options for Play All and Episodes in a tag. When you select Episodes, it takes you to another that has a guitar and money in the background. The episode you highlight is in teal that turns gray upon your selection. Chapters are placed at the appropriate places.
As you might expect from such a recent show, the video and audio quality is excellent. They are presented in 1:33.1 format. The total running time of the 2 discs is approximately 5 hours, 52 minutes. All of the episodes appear to be unedited, with running times of 20-21 minutes. If you want high definition episodes, Season 4 can be found on iTunes or Amazon.com . The audio is a Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track. Closed captioning is available on the episodes.
The episodes are in their original half-hour format. Episode summaries and airdates are courtesy of the Pawn Stars Official Site. Here is the episode breakdown by disc, including the original airdates and runtimes:
Trail Breaker (06/07/10) (21:27) - The Pawn Stars look to buy an American off-roading motorcycle classic--a 1967 Rokon Trailbreaker--but will this deal get stuck in the mud? Then, Rick is hesitant when a man brings in a rare mint condition 1715 Escudo Spanish Gold Coin. Will it be a fool's fake or worth mucho dinero? And later, the Old Man has a chance to buy a memorabilia collection from boxing superstar Muhammad Ali. Will he come out swinging for the KO or throw in the towel?
Top Secret (06/07/10) (21:23) - The Pawn Stars look to purchase top-secret maps and battle plans for Iwo Jima. Will the gang storm the beach for this strategic piece of World War II history or will they be out-gunned and forced to retreat? Then the Old Man and Chumlee look to buy a 1967 Ford F-100 truck. Will they fire up all cylinders and hit the deal full throttle or will it run out of gas? And later, Corey and Chumlee have a chance to buy an 1860's ore cart from the mines of Goldfield, Nevada. Will they strike it rich or fall off the tracks?
Whale of a Time (06/14/10) (21:21) - The Pawn Stars are presented with an engraved whale's tooth believed to be authentic 1800's scrimshaw. Can the gang make a whale of an offer or will it be a fluke? Then, the Old Man sets his sights on a pair of mysterious Civil War era rifles. Will he take aim and hit the mark or end up dodging a bullet? And later, a man brings in a pristine edition of Playboy's very first issue--featuring Hollywood legend Marilyn Monroe. Will Rick sneak a peek or just read the articles?
Gold Diggers (06/14/10) (21:26) - The Pawn Stars have an opportunity to buy a huge gold bar believed to be from a 1500s shipwreck. Will the gang dig in and strike it rich or will they end up on a fool's errand? Then Rick has a chance to shoot for the moon with a celestial navigation dome from a World War II B29 bomber. Will his offer take flight or come crashing down? And later, a woman brings a mint condition collection of golden era American League baseball field passes. Can Rick hit the deal out of the ballpark, or will he strike out looking?
Aw Shucks! (06/21/10) (21:23) - The Pawn Stars meet a man hoping to sell a mysterious coin from the 1800's believed to be from George Washington's funeral. Will this piece be linked to one of our most revered Presidents or will it get stamped with a Presidential veto? Then the boys head out to the farm to see an early 1900s hand-crank corn shucker. Can they count the kernels and make a deal or will this husk prove too thick? And later Rick has a chance to buy an antique gaming wheel commonly used in speakeasies. Can he turn a profit, or will this deal spin out of control?
Deals From Hell (06/21/10) (21:22) - The Pawn Stars meet a man hoping to sell a several hundred-year old edition of one of the world's most hellish books--"Dante's Inferno." Will they pass through the gates of hell for this evil epic or will they be tricked by the devil? Then Rick is presented with an antique serpent shaped sword from the Philippines. Can he hold on to the twisted steal weapon or will this deal slither out of his grip? And later Corey has a chance to purchase photo rights to the late great King of Pop: Michael Jackson. Can he make a "Thriller" of a deal or will he moonwalk straight out of the negotiation.
Chumlee's Dummies (06/28/10) (21:27) - The sky is the limit for the Pawn Stars as they consider buying a 1939 Allied Forces World War II plane. Will the gang soar to new heights and make the deal or will it stall out and take a nose dive? Then the Old Man has a chance to buy a munitions receipt from the War of 1812, signed by future President Andrew Jackson. Will this correspondence from the Commander in Chief be reimbursed for cold hard cash or is this historic invoice a cheap imitation? And later, a man saunters in with a pair of life-size western cowboy mannequins. Will Chumlee boss around a couple of new companions or will these hombres pack up and hit the trail?
Strike, Spare, BOOM (06/28/10) (21:05) - The Pawn Stars are blown away when they meet a guy selling his homemade mortar that fires a very unique brand of ammunition--bowling balls. Will the gang line up their aim and strike a deal or will a misfire send the deal into the gutter? Then Rick is handed an extremely rare World War II gas mask believed to have been designed for baby. Will Rick try to buy this unusual artifact, or will he throw the baby out with the bathwater? And later, the Old Man has a chance to buy an original unused ticket to the 1965 classic bout between Muhammad Ali and Floyd Patterson. Will the Pawn Stars go the distance for this piece of boxing memorabilia or will a surprise uppercut sting like a bee?
Message in a Bottle (07/05/10) (21:12) - The Pawn Stars are presented with a mysterious whisky flask from the Civil War era believed to have come from a Confederate spy. Can they crack the code and make the deal or will this flask's secret compartment leave them all thirsting for answers? Then Chumlee and the Old Man meet a man hoping to sell his rare 19th Century English dueling pistols. Will the Old Man be cordial and make an honorable deal or will he be asked to step outside? And later, Corey has a chance to buy a piece of Rock-n-Roll history -- the original contract for The Who to play Woodstock. Can he afford to win this battle of the bands?
Rough Riders (07/05/10) (21:18) - The Pawn Stars have an opportunity to buy an 1875 Remington pistol so rare that only four are believed to exist in the World. Presented to a member of Theodore Roosevelt's legendary Rough Riders, will the gang pony up the cash for this exclusive antique or will they suddenly find themselves in rough territory? Then Rick and the Old Man meet a man hoping to sell a Civil War bugle associated with General Custer's ill fated 7th Calvary. Will they charge into the valley of death to seize this deal or will Chumlee be called upon to play taps? And later, the grandson of a famous Prime Minister comes in with a clock presented to his grandfather by President Richard Nixon. Can Rick and Corey successfully campaign to secure the Presidential timepiece or will he refuse to negotiate?
Phoning It In (07/12/10) (21:30) - The Pawn Stars have a chance to purchase a rare piece of American political history--a collection of personal letters from Kennedy brothers John, Bobby, and Teddy. Written during the height of the Camelot era, will the gang run a tough campaign to make a deal or will their election funds come up short? Then, Rick and Chumlee visit a man hoping to sell an enormous toy collection of 80's iconic original Transformers. Can Rick transform this collection into cold hard cash or will this army of robots decept-and-con him? And finally, the Old Man is presented with vintage Mickey Mouse telephones. Will he dial up a great price for these collectible Disney pieces or disconnect the line?
Moon Walking (07/12/10) (21:24) - The Pawn Stars are blasted into orbit when someone brings in a flag from one of NASA's final missions to the Moon. Autographed by the crew of Apollo 16, will the gang take one giant leap and buy this rare piece of history or will they take steps to abort the mission? Then, Rick is presented with an 1861 Civil War Colt musket that was won in a poker game. Mysteriously perfect in every detail, will Rick risk going all-in on an offer or will he second guess his hand and fold? And later, Corey and Chumlee meet a guy selling his collection of NFL pins from the first 20 Super Bowls. Will they draw up the perfect play and celebrate the win or will they fumble the deal and lose yardage?
Peeping Pawn (08/16/10) (20:47) - The Pawn Stars are presented with a supremely rare 1776 Massachusetts penny made by Revolutionary War legend Paul Revere. With only one other coin known to exist in the world, will the gang crank out a mint for this priceless coin or will they find they can't spare the change? Then, Rick has an opportunity to buy a hand grenade made by a top-secret American World War II spy program. Will he pull the pin to make a truly explosive deal or will the negotiations have him running for cover? And later, Rick and Corey meet a man hoping to sell his 1950s peep show machine. Will they like what they see and bare their wallets or will it be too stripped down for comfort?
Ace in the Hole (08/16/10) (21:04) - The Pawn Stars hope to capture a glimpse of the Old West when they are presented with an antique professional gambler's toolkit. Complete with every game of the trade and elaborately designed with a secret compartment for trouble, will they up the ante and make an offer or will they be forced to fold? Then, Rick and Corey look to buy rare pieces of 1896 U.S. currency known as the "Educational Series." Lavishly designed by the U.S. Treasury, will the bills receive high praises or will a series of bad reviews send to them back to school? And later, a man hopes to sell his 1950's radiation detecting Geiger counter. Will the shop emit some serious energy for this relic of the Cold War or will the deal force them all to duck and cover?
Double Trouble (09/06/10) (21:23) - The Pawn Stars reach for the sky when a man walks in with a custom set of 19th century double barrel firearms--including a multiple caliber dual shotgun/rifle and a hand carved pistol. Will they load up and take aim at a deal or will a pair of misfires send the seller packing? Then, Rick and Chumlee are presented with an extremely rare unopened bottle of 1921 Dom Perignon Champagne. From the first year it was produced, will Rick shake up a deal and toast his good fortune or will everything just fizzle out? And later, a man comes in with a collection of autographed talking Freddy Krueger dolls from the horror classic "A Nightmare on Elm Street." Will the Old Man dream up a killer price for this trash talker or will the negotiations be a nightmare on Las Vegas Boulevard?
Getting a Head (09/06/10) (21:30) - The Pawn Stars are presented with a classic piece of Detroit muscle--a 1969 Buick Skylark. Will the gang put the pedal to the metal and restore this beauty or will the deal get flooded and stall out? Then, Chumlee and the Old Man look to buy a Civil War field desk complete with captured Confederate documents. Will they sound a charge and seize this rare piece of U.S. history or will suspicion cause them to retreat? And later, Rick is presented with a piece from the jungles of the Amazon--a human shrunken head. Will he slice up a deal for this rare tribal charm or will he decide the shop doesn't need the bad karma?
Unfortunately, there are no special features included on this releae. Seasons One and Two had some featurettes and additional footage/deleted scenes. It would have been nice to see more of that kind of material, as well as some audio commentaries by the cast.
I began watching Pawn Stars and American Pickers on History's sister channel Lifetime last December. These two shows quickly became some of my favorite reality series. They are just both really entertaining and well produced. It's a fun way to learn about some colletible items and history in general. I prefer American Pickers a little bit more because they go to various locations around the country, whereas Pawn Stars is filmed mainly at their shop and the surrounding Las Vegas area. Pawn Stars has a lot to offer with the fun and likable cast and the interesting characters who come to the shop with their items to sell. My favorite is the Old Man. He's the master negotiator of the staff. It's fun to see him yell at Corey or Chumlee when they overpay for an item. It may seem like the cast are mean to each other at times, but it all seems to be in good fun. They seem to have a great time working together.
There are some disappointments with this release. It's not in a real widescreen format. I'm not sure why they are releasing these in 1.33:1 and not 1.78:1 . This set also lacks any special features, such as interviews or additional footage. The biggest disappointment is that it's not the complete third season. This was originally listed on Amazon.com as a full season, but it was delayed several times and eventually changed to Volume Three. It would have been great to have all 26 episodes instead of just 16. This could have very easily been a 3-disc set. I'm sure most fans wouldn't mind half season volumes if they were priced noticeably lower than the full season sets. If you haven't watched Season One or Two, those are better values for the amount of episodes and price at this point. Despite these issues, this is still a fun show that is worth checking out on DVD. They are currently in their fourth season. New episodes of Pawn Stars can be seen on History on Monday nights.
To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
SitcomsOnline.com Main Reviews Page
Pawn Stars Official Site
Pawn Stars TV.com Page
That's all for this week. Until next time, keep it digital!
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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