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!


New on DVD/Blu-ray (March/April)

The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Second Season What I Like About You - The Complete Second Season Newhart - The Final (Eighth) Season Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season Father Knows Best - Season Five

03/03 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - Now... In Living Color! (Blu-ray)
03/07 - The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Second Season
03/07 - Mama's Family - Mama's Favorites
03/07 - That '70s Show - The Complete Series - Flashback Edition (Blu-ray)
03/07 - What I Like About You - The Complete Second Season
03/07 - You Me Her - Season One
03/14 - Newhart - The Final (Eighth) Season
03/14 - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - Season Two
03/21 - Master of None - Season One
04/04 - Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season
04/11 - Father Knows Best - Season Five
04/11 - Schitt's Creek - The Complete Third Season
04/11 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
04/11 - Veep - The Complete Fifth Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, April 30

Bob's Burgers - "Like Gene for Chocolate" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Gene learns that the formula for his favorite chocolate has changed, he works with the head of the company in an attempt to remedy the situation. Meanwhile, Bob gets wrapped up in one of Teddy’s less-than-perfect plans.

Bob's Burgers - "Thelma & Louise Except Thelma Is Linda" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT)
After Louise gets in trouble at school, Linda is forced to meet with Mr. Frond (guest voice David Herman) and potentially could lose her hard-earned position as the Wagstaff bake sale leader. When she finds out that her daughter was actually trying to help another student, Linda is torn between following school policy or her own moral code.

The Simpsons - "Looking for Mr. Goodbart" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Bart gets in trouble on Grandparents Day at school and is forced to hang out with Skinner’s mother as punishment. After spending time with various grandmas in the neighborhood, he learns the benefits of hanging out with the elderly, but eventually recognizes the dangers of taking advantage of them. Meanwhile, Peekimon Get has taken over the town of Springfield.

Making History - "Night Cream" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
With the ever-present threat of losing tenure looming over him, Chris reaches out to John Hancock and Samuel Adams to help spice things up in the classroom in 2017. Meanwhile, Deb's dream of re-opening Chadwick's ice cream parlor is finally coming to fruition, but Dan has a few marketing ideas of his own.

Family Guy - "The Peter Principal" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Peter becomes the temporary principal at the high school, and Meg uses his new power to get even with her bullies. Meanwhile, Brian and Stewie open a bed & breakfast that quickly turns into a brothel.

The Last Man on Earth - "The Big Day" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Tandy and Gail face off in a major disagreement, on which the whole group must weigh in, and Carol is forced to choose a side. Meanwhile, Melissa, Todd and Erica each have major milestone moments.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 1)

Sunday, April 30

  • NeNe Leakes (The New Normal) - Catch NeNe on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
Monday, May 1
  • Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) - Watch Chris on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He will also be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • America Ferrera (Superstore) - America drops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Ike Barinholtz (The Mindy Project) - Ike appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Joel McHale (The Great Indoors/Community) - Joel is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Jake Johnson (New Girl) - Jake visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Hank Azaria (Brockmire/The Simpsons/Free Agents) - Hank stops by Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Al Madrigal (About a Boy/Welcome to the Captain/Gary Unmarried) - Al appears on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Kevin Nealon (Man with a Plan/Weeds/Hiller and Diller/Champs) - Kevin is a guest on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Ashton Kutcher (The Ranch/Two and a Half Men/That '70s Show) - Ashton appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Allison Janney (Mom/Mr. Sunshine) - Allison teams up with Mario Batali to make a cheesy, decadent Gnocchi Al Telefono and dishes about her new Broadway show on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Charlie Hunnam (Undeclared) - Charlie will be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am. He will also be on the AOL Build Show at 11:15am.
  • Nick Robinson (Melissa & Joey) - Nick talks about his new film Everything, Everything on the AOL Build Show at 1pm.
  • Jodie Sweetin (Hollywood Darlings/Fuller House/Full House) - Jodie is a guest on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.