Saturday, November 24, 2012

Digital Digest: New Releases in the New Year from Sony; CHiPs '99 DVD Review

Welcome to Digital Digest! As is typical, this is probably one of our lightest news weeks of the year, but we're here anyway with your news, a few great online deals for Black Friday weekend, and a review of CHiPs '99, the reunion movie based upon the classic series. Let's get going!

DIGITAL NEWS
 
According to TVShowsOnDVD.com, Sony will be bringing us two new MOD releases in the new year, supposedly on January 1. Among those releases are the I Dream of Jeannie reunion movie I Dream of Jeannie: 15 Years Later and Charlie's Angels - The Complete Fifth Season. Of course, the fifth season of Charlie's Angels was previously released as part of the traditionally manufactured Charlie's Angels - The Complete Series, which was released in September.

Last season, ABC aired (very briefly) the drama Pan Am, which was not nearly as successful as the network had hoped... but now, Sony is breathing new life into the series by releasing Pan Am - The Complete Series on DVD. The set is scheduled to be released on January 29 at a $30.99 MSRP.

Since we've got such a light news week this week, we'd feel irresponsible if we didn't give you a glimpse at some of the nice deals going on at amazon.com this weekend (note that all of these are subject to end at any minute, so act on them quick!). You can find many complete series sets for around (or even under) $50 right now, including The Andy Griffith Show, Route 66, Hogan's Heroes, MacGyver, Get Smart, Gilligan's Island, and more! I picked up a few of these myself already, and they are a great deal!


UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW

Tuesday (November 27) is a light release date, but it does include Hot in Cleveland - Season Three (review) and Perry Mason - Season 8, Volume 1.


BLOG FEATURE REVIEW

CHiPs '99

DVD Review: CHiPs '99 (Warner Archive Collection $21.99)
by Todd

Attention all units: the lights are flashing, the bikes are roaring and after 15 years, there's a lot more freeway to patrol! But there's not so much interstate that California Highway Patrolmen Ponch and Jon can't cover it when they again go wherever the rubber meets the road in CHiPs '99. Larry Wilcox returns as straight-arrow officer Jon Baker and Erik Estrada reprises his role as free-spirited Frank "Ponch" Poncherello in this 15-year reunion that adds a '90s sensibility to the can't-miss elements that made the 1977-83 CHiPs TV series a fan-pleasing success: cool motorcycles, freewheeling fun and widespread disregard for the California traffic code. This time, that disregard turns dangerous. Ponch and Jon confront an automobile hijacking ring that may be the ultimate in road rage!

CHiPs '99 premiered on TNT on October 27, 1998. It was directed by Jon Cassar (24). The teleplay was by Morgan Gendel. The story was by Rick Rosner and Morgan Gendel. It was a Rick Rosner Television Production. Rick Rosner created the original series. Erik Estrada and Larry Wilcox also served as executive producers, along with Christopher Morgan and Rick Rosner.

Jon Baker is now a Captain with the CHP. He's married to Sandy (Stacie Randall), who is part of the CHP team as an Officer. Ponch returns after a 15-year retirement. He is a widower with a 9-year-old son named Frank, Jr.. Joe Getraer (Robert Pine) is now the CHP Commissioner. Artie Grossman (Paul Linke) works in investigations as a detective. Bruce Nelson (Bruce Penhall) is promoted to Sergeant. Brodie Greer also returns as Officer Barry "Bear" Baricza. New characters include Paul Korver as Officer Peter Roulette and David Ramsey as Officer Sergeant McFall. Celebrity appearances include Stephen J. Cannell as Bendix, Garry Marshall as a tour bus operator, Judge Judy Sheindlin as herself, and Johnnie Cochran as himself.

Warner Archive Collection's manufactured-on-demand release comes in an eco-friendly Viva case. The cover art features a photo of Larry Wilcox and Erik Estrada, which was also used as the film poster. There are two small photos of Jon and Ponch riding their new BMW motorcycles on the back cover. A synopsis of the movie, the production credits and the DVD specs are provided. The DVD-R disc has the same photo of Jon and Ponch that is used as for the cover art.

A generic Warner Bros. menu is used. It has a Warner Bros. water tower in the background. There are only two options on the menu for Play and a Home Video Promo Spot. The promo spot runs 30 seconds and was used when the movie was released on VHS back in 1999. Chapters are placed at the appropriate places. There are no scene selection menus.

The video and audio quality is very good. This is a nice transfer of the movie. It's presented in its original full screen 1.37:1 format. It has a total running time of 94 minutes. The picture is very sharp and the colors are good. They shot it entirely on location in California, so there's a lot of nice scenery. It's noted that this disc is expected to play back in DVD video "play only" devices, and may not play back in other DVD devices including recorders and PC drives. The audio is a Dolby Digital Stereo track. There are no problems with the audio. Steppenwolf's (or possibly a cover) Born to Be Wild and Randy Newman's I Love L.A. are used in the movie. Stacy Widelitz provides a nice music score, including several new variations of the CHiPs theme. There are no subtitles or closed captioning on this release.

TNT had aired reruns of the original series for many years at the time, so they were a natural choice to air the reunion movie. I had only watched it once on the night it originally aired in 1998. It's nice to be able to revisit it again on DVD. The movie is very fun and entertaining. It captures a lot of the spirit of the original series. They did a good job of blending the original characters with the new ones. It was nice to see these characters 15 years later. I only wish they were able to bring back more of the original cast members, such as Lou Wagner, Brianne Leary, Randi Oakes and Michael Dorn.

The storyline of the movie is similar to a typical episode of the original CHiPs series. There were some nice action scenes, stunts, and explosions. I thought maybe the movie could have used even more action, but this was a pretty low budget movie that was made for cable. The movie also has some heartfelt drama and light comedy. The scene where Jon takes his neighbor to small claims court on Judge Judy for his neighbor's dog going on his lawn was funny. Johnnie Cochran has a memorable quote about poo.

It's been over four years since the second season of CHiPs was released on DVD, so this is a welcome release for fans of the series. There's been speculation that music rights are holding up the third season. Let's hope those issues can be resolved. It would be great to have the final four seasons available on DVD through the Warner Archive Collection. Until that happens, pick up this movie to watch Ponch and Jon ride again!

(4/5 stars)

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

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
CHiPs Wikipedia Page
CHiPs Online


FOLLOW ME

Who to Follow: Seth Meyers (Twitter)
Claim to Fame: Saturday Night Live cast member since 2001; currently serves as writer and host of Weekend Update
Why You Should Follow Him: Anybody who watches SNL these days knows that each and every episode can be a complete "grab bag," with some sketches that are really good and others that really stink. And honestly, that has been the way it has been with the series since it debuted nearly 40 years ago. But one constant source of "good" in each and every episode is the Weekend Update segment, which Meyers began hosting with Amy Poehler in 2006 and became the sole anchor of in 2008. What is great about his Twitter feed, though, is that he manages to put his wit and humor that he puts in Weekend Update each and every week on a continuous feed that fans can follow 24/7.
Pick of the Tweets: "Mr. Bean is a lock to win the gold in mugging." (July 27, 2012)

That's all for this week. Until next time, keep it digital!


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, February 21

The Big Bang Theory - "The D&D Vortex" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When the gang finds out Wil Wheaton hosts a celebrity Dungeons and Dragons game involving William Shatner, Joe Manganiello, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Kevin Smith, deception and betrayal are the path to make it to the one open seat.

Young Sheldon - "A Loaf of Bread and a Grand Old Flag" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Things spiral out of control when Sheldon boycotts his favorite bread company. Also, Georgie offers Veronica a shoulder to cry on when she’s dumped by her boyfriend.

Mom - "Skippy and the Knowledge Hole" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Christy finds it challenging to quit smoking, while Bonnie helps Tammy prepare to take the GED test.

Fam - "Drunk in Love" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
During their engagement party, Clem and Nick are both shocked to learn that the other has been keeping an embarrassing secret about how they met.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "The Honeypot" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Jake and Holt clash over the merits of a new hire in the 99th precinct. Terry, Amy, Rosa and Charles try to do something about the cluttered bullpen.

Will & Grace - "The Pursuit of Happiness" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Grace (Debra Messing) is enlisted by Malcolm (guest star Alec Baldwin) to help him win back Karen's (Megan Mullally) affections. Will's (Eric McCormack) flirtation with his co-worker, Paul (guest star Barrett Foa), takes a turn when details about Paul's home life put Will in an ethical dilemma. And Jack's (Sean Hayes) run-in with Zusanna (guest star Andrea Martin), the sister of his former acting teacher, reignites Jack's passion for performing.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 18

Thursday, February 21

  • Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community) - Catch Ken on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. He will also be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and on Strahan & Sara at 1pm.
  • James Spader (The Office) - James stops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Kal Penn (Deadbeat/We Are Men) - Kal visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Chris O'Dowd (Family Tree) - Chris is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Mark Duplass (Togetherness/The Mindy Project/The League) - Mark appears on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah at 11pm.
  • Reba McEntire (Reba/Malibu Country) - Reba drops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Morris Chestnut (Out All Night) - Morris is a guest on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Wendi McLendon-Covey (The Goldbergs/Rules of Engagement/Reno 911!) - Wendi chats on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Finesse Mitchell (A.N.T. Farm) - Finesse is a panelist on The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Craig Ferguson (The Drew Carey Show) - Craig is a guest on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Bill Pullman (1600 Penn) - Bill appears on Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • D'Arcy Carden (The Good Place) - D'Arcy will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (January/February)

Fuller House - The Complete Third Season The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fourth Season The Game - The Complete Series Step by Step - The Complete Fourth Season What I Like About You - The Complete Fourth Season

01/08 - Family Guy - 20 Greatest Hits
01/22 - Fuller House - The Complete Third Season
01/22 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fourth Season (WBShop.com)
01/29 - Ballers - The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)
01/29 - Crashing - The Complete Second Season
01/29 - The Game - The Complete Series
01/29 - Kidding - Season One
02/05 - Family Guy - Part 1 - Volumes 1-5
02/05 - Family Guy - Part 2 - Volumes 6-10
02/05 - Family Guy - Part 3 - Seasons 10-14
02/05 - First Lady of Television - Betty White Collection (40 rare and acclaimed episodes from her early days in television)
02/05 - Mama's Family - Seasons 1-6 - The Complete Series
02/12 - Rick and Morty - The Complete Seasons 1-3 (Blu-ray)
02/12 - Step by Step - The Complete Fourth Season
02/26 - What I Like About You - The Complete Fourth Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest