It looks as if we'll finally see all of Lucille Ball's major television series completed on DVD by the end of this year, as MPI will be releasing Here's Lucy - Season Six on December 18. The four-disc set will come at a $29.98 MSRP, and although we haven't seen a list of special features yet, we have a feeling that it will be as impressive as the previous five releases. In the meantime, don't forget that CBS is wrapping up The Lucy Show on DVD with The Lucy Show - The Official Sixth and Final Season on October 9! So if you are a fan of Lucy, these releases leave only the less-than-memorable Life With Lucy as her only sitcom to NOT be released on on DVD. If we ever hear any news about this, we'll let you know, of course.
A while back, we reported that Happy Endings - The Complete Second Season would be coming to DVD on October 2. Well, that has been pushed back to October 23 (we somehow missed that), but an even bigger story that we missed is that actually, you can get the second season on DVD already! Over a month ago, on August 14, Sony released a special Happy Endings - Seasons 1 and 2 set, which contains both of the first two seasons bundled together in one package! Of course, if you already own the first season, you can wait a few more weeks and pick up just the second season... but if not, you can own the first two together now.
Shout! Factory is pushing another series closer to completion (anybody noticed that completion is becoming a common theme around here lately?), but not all the way, as they release Simon & Simon - Season Seven on DVD on October 16. This release leaves only the final season unreleased on DVD. The set contains 16 episodes from the next-to-last season of the series, and costs $29.99 (like previous seasons, it is a Shout! Select release and can only be purchased online). The information we've seen indicates that this will be a six-disc set, but at only 16 episodes, we're not sure that the disc count is correct.
DVD Review: CSI: Miami - The Tenth and Final Season (CBS DVD/Paramount Home Video, $55.98)
by Todd Fuller
In its tenth and final adrenaline-packed season, Horatio Caine and company continue to face off with the city's most vicious and notorious criminals. Starring Golden Globe winner David Caruso, Emily Procter, Adam Rodriguez, Rex Linn, Jonathan Togo, Eva La Rue and Omar Benson Miller, this team is a force of nature in a city of sand, surf and sin. Whether searching for a family who has vanished without a trace or exposing the ugliness of a children's beauty pageant or hunting down a sinister new serial killer, these agents follow the clues to the told, hard truth of cold-blooded murder.
The 5-disc set contains all 19 thrilling episodes from the tenth and final season (2011-12) of the widely popular crime drama. The attractive packaging has a large photo of David Caruso in his trademark sunglasses. A photo of Rex Linn, Eva La Rue, Adam Rodriguez, Emily Procter, Jonathan Togo and Omar Benson Miller is below him. There is an embossed CSI: Miami logo in the center of the box. Just like the previous season, it comes in a cardboard box that holds a clear plastic (Viva) snapcase. Both the box and case have the same design. There's an orange-tinted photo of David Caruso on the back of the packaging. A short synopsis of the set, a listing of the special features and the DVD specs are provided. Opening up the snapcase, there is a content locator which lists the episodes and the special features by disc on the inside cover. Some additional individual photos of the cast are at the bottom. Discs 1-4 are held in a flip holder in the center of the case. Disc 5 is held in an embedded holder in the back of the case. The discs have the CSI: Miami logo on them and just a plain silver background. Episode titles and the special features are listed on the discs. A sheet is included in the case that promotes the CSI: Miami Heat Wave Facebook game.
The menus are stylish and easy to navigate. There's a promo for the CSI: Miami Heat Wave Facebook game. The main menu opens with some views of Miami that leads to a montage of video clips from the series. An instrumental cue plays in the background for about a minute before the sequence loops. Options for Episode Selection, Set Up and the Special Features are at the bottom of the screen. Episode titles are in green boxes on the Episode Selection menu. You can play the deleted scenes for select episodes from this menu. A photo of Horatio holding a gun next to Delko is used on the Set Up menu. Options for English 5.1, English Stereo and Español audio. Some options and special features are not rated any may not be subtitled. The Special Features menu has a photo of the stable in the "Last Straw" episode. Chapters are placed at the appropriate places within the episodes.
Moving on to the video and audio quality, it's excellent as usual. The episodes are presented in anamorphic widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English 5.1 Surround and Spanish Stereo audio available. CSI: Miami has always had the best look of any of the CSI franchise shows. All of the original music appears to be intact. Episodes are presented in their original broadcast order and numbered by the production number. The broadcast and production order was the same this season. Running times are between 41-43 minutes in length. It has a total running time of approximately 13 hours, 40 minutes. With the show now being canceled, it appears less likely that we'll see any Blu-ray releases any time soon.
Here is the episode breakdown by disc, including the runtimes:
Episode 1001 "Countermeasures" (43:27)
Episode 1002 "Stiff" (43:49)
Episode 1003 "Blown Away" (43:11)
Episode 1004 "Look Who's Taunting" (43:47)
Episode 1005 "Killer Regrets" (43:22)
Episode 1006 "By the Book" (41:25)
Episode 1007 "Sinner Takes All" (43:40)
Episode 1008 "Dead Ringer" (42:45)
Episode 1009 "A Few Dead Men" (42:55)
Episode 1010 "Long Gone" (41:34)
Episode 1011 "Crowned" (43:51)
Episode 1012 "Friendly Fire" (43:11)
Episode 1013 "Terminal Velocity" (43:49)
Episode 1014 "Last Straw" (43:50)
Episode 1015 "No Good Deed" (43:19)
Episode 1016 "Rest in Pieces" (43:46)
Episode 1017 "At Risk" (43:49)
Episode 1018 "Law & Disorder" (41:32)
Episode 1019 "Habeas Corpse" (43:33)
Over 80 minutes of special features are included in this release. There are four featurettes. Only one of them, Miami Meets Mother Nature, is focused on a specific episode. The other three are about the season in general. Once again, there are only two audio commentaries on this set. Deleted scenes are available for thirteen episodes. That's a record amount for any season. A gag reel is included for the first time on any CSI: Miami release. Here is the breakdown by disc:
Deleted Scenes for "Countermeasures" (2:08) - Walter talks to Calleigh at the lab. Calleigh and Delko talk at the beach.
Deleted Scene for "Stiff" (:28) - Delko and Horatio look in the trash for some evidence.
Deleted Scene for "Blown Away" (:16) - Calleigh and the dog, Cosmo, hop in her car.
Deleted Scenes for "Look Who's Taunting" (1:47) - Ryan and Tom look at a crime victim. Natalia and Frank talk at the lab. Horatio talks to Jennifer and gives her a new cellphone.
Audio Commentary by Jonathan Togo, Writer Krystal Houghton Ziv, Director Marco Black and Director of Photography Ken Glassing on "Look Who's Taunting
Miami Meets Mother Nature (14:58) - Get a behind-the-scenes look at all the exciting action as a twister touches down on a Miami trailer park and find out what it takes to recreate the wrath of Mother Nature for the small screen. The focus of the featurette is the "Blown Away" episode. They talk about the idea for the urban tornando episode. Many visual effects shots were used. Some behind-the-scenes footage of the shooting of the tornado at the trailer set is shown. The aftermath and debris looked very realistic. Interviews include Executive Producer Barry O'Brien, Executive Producer Marc Dube, Supervising Producer Brian Davidson, Producer/Director Don Tardino, Visual Effects Supervisor Robert Konuch, Visual Effects Supervivor of Inhance Digital Edward G. Robinson, Visual Effects Artist Jeffrey Olney, Jonathan Tigo, Omar Miller, Visual Effects Artist Russell Welch, Visual Effects Artist at Inhance Digital John Karner and Production Designer Roland Rosenkranz.
Deleted Scenes for "By the Book" (1:27) - Four scenes involving the guest stars of the episode.
Deleted Scene for "A Few Dead Men" (:27) - Walter talks to Calleigh at the lab.
Deleted Scenes for "Long Gone" (1:16) - Horatio helps one of the tornado victims. Horatio helps reunite a family.
Audio Commentary by Rex Linn, Writer Marc Dube, Director James Wilcox and Writer Barry O'Brien on "Long Gone" - This was the first time that Editor James Wilcox directed an episode.
Deleted Scenes for "Terminal Velocity" (:55) - Ryan, Walter and Calleigh talk at the lab. Ryan and Wolfe prepare to skydive out of the plane.
Deleted Scenes for "Last Straw" (3:19) - Tom and Horatio look at a crime victim. Ryan talks to Samantha. Calleigh and Walter talk to Rachel. Natalia and Delko look at some hair evidence. Horatio talks to Elle and Joanna.
Deleted Scene for "No Good Deed" (:26) - Ryan and Samantha walk and talk at the lab.
Deleted Scenes for "At Risk" (1:27) - Ryan does some tests on a tennis racket at the lab. Ryan talks to Samantha. Ryan, Tom and Samantha talk. Horatio and Frank talk to the tennis coach.
Deleted Scene for "Law & Disorder" (:50) - Natalia, Ryan, Samantha, Horatio and Walter talk at the lab.
Deleted Scene for "Habeas Corpse" (1:29) - Horatio, Ryan and Walter talk. Walter calls for a paramedic for an accident victim.
A Perfect Ten (20:53) - Executive Producers Marc Dube and Barry O'Brien, as well as cast members Emily Procter, Adam Rodriguez, Rex Linn, Jonathan Togo, Eva La Rue and Omar Benson talk bout the show's tenth season and delve into some of the more captivating storylines. Season ten was fresh and action-packed. They tried to focus on making the team a family. Calleigh adopted two children and her relationship with Delko continued. Ryan had a love connection with Samantha Owens. Frank's background is delved into more this season. Eva La Rue talks about her favorite scenes with Ryan. Walter's role was expanded. The Wolfe/Simmons friendship is discussed. They talk about the beauty pageant episode. The serial killer story arc is a focus this season. They talk about the guest stars like Bo Derek, Raquel Welch and Ed Begley, Jr. in season ten. Producer Don Tardino is also briefly interviewed.
A "Tripp" to the Set (17:15) - Spend a day with CSI Miami's Rex Linn as cameras follow him from the moment he arrives on the set to his dish on what really goes on behind-the-scenes. Rex visits the makeup trailer, the catering truck, the two stages, the gun room, various production offices, craft services, the props department, and the writer's office. Rex continues his quest to get his character in a relationship. He's always been a very funny guy. Interviews include Jose Luis Tellez (Catering), Michael Jett (Construction), Bob Good (Prop Master), Tiffany Dupont (Rachel Petrella), Brent Hermann (Special Effects Technician), Dave Cass (First Assistant Director), Brian Davidson (Supervising Producer), Marc Dube (Executive Producer), Tamara Jaron (Co-Producer), Krystal Houghton Ziv (Co-Producer) and Barry O'Brien (Executive Producer).
The Miami Look (11:21) - Meet the art department of CSI: Miami and learn how they create the "Miami look" of the show on soundstages and on location in and around Manhattan Beach, California. They've always done an excellent job making the show look like it was really filmed in Miami. Inteviews include Production Designer Roland Rosenkranz, Adam Rodriguez, Producer Don Tardino, Set Decorator Dan May, Executive Producer Barry O'Brien, Executive Producer Marc Dube, Buyer Ed McCarthy and Leadman Jim Cmuer.
Gag Reel (2:17) - Some dance music is played in the background while the clips roll.
That's a wrap for CSI: Miami. After 10 seasons and 232 episodes, the show has ended. I was pretty shocked when the cancellation news was announced. I knew the CSI franchise shows couldn't last forever, but I always thought CSI: New York would be the first to leave the air. There was really no sense that this was going to be the end of the series. Their season was cut back to 19 episodes this season, down from the usual 22 or more of every other season. Unfortunately, there was no real series finale. After 10 seasons and being such a popular show, they certainly deserved better treatment. CBS should have allowed them to wrap everything up in a big two-hour series finale. If the show had remained on Mondays, I think it would still be airing for a few more seasons. They never received the same ratings on Sundays that they did on Mondays. This was just a never show you could unwind with on a Sunday night.
Overall, this is another nicely produced set. The special features are entertaining and informative as usual. All of the special features appear to have been shot before they received the cancellation news. There's no mention of it being the final season. Not many shows make it to ten seasons these days, so it was a great run for them. The show will continue to live on DVD and in syndication for many years to come. Thanks to the cast and crew for ten wonderful seasons.
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BLOG FEATURE REVIEW
DVD Review: CSI: NY - The Eighth Season (CBS DVD/Paramount Home Video, $55.98)
by Todd Fuller
In the eighth season of CSI: NY, the team is rocked by a whirlwind of cases that strike all too close to home. Det. Mac Taylor (Oscar nominated and Emmy winning Gary Sinise) grapples with the memory of a personal tragedy. Det. Jo Danville (two-time Emmy winner Sela Ward) has one more chance to bring down a serial rapist who escaped justice. Recently promoted Sgt. Danny Messer (Carmine Giovinazzo) finds himself caught in a shooting incident that could end his career. Yet even as the crimes strike with unrelenting intensity, the brilliant work of Det. Lindsay Monroe-Messer (Anna Belknap), Dr. Sid Hammerback (Robert Joy), lab tech Adam Ross (A.J. Buckley), Det. Dr. Sheldon Hawkes (Hill Harper), and Det. Don Flack (Eddie Cahill), ensures that the evidence will surface... and the guilty will pay.
The 5-disc set contains all 18 action-packed episodes from the eighth (2011-12) season of the gritty crime drama. The attractive packaging has a photo of the stunning Sela Ward and her co-star Gary Sinise. There's an embossed CSI: NY logo in the center of the box. As with the last few seasons, it comes in a clear plastic (Viva) snapcase inside a cardboard box. Both the case and packaging have the same design, which uses the usual black and blue color scheme. There's a montage of nine small episode snapshots on the back of the box and case. A short synopsis of the set, a listing of the special features and the DVD specs are provided. Opening up the snapcase, there is a content locator which lists the episodes and the special features by disc on the inside cover. A blue-tinted photo of a New York City street is used in the background. Discs 1-4 are held in a flip holder in the center of the case. Disc 5 is an embedded holder in the back of the case. The discs have just a plain silver background with the CSI: NY logo on them. Each disc has the episode titles printed on them.
Moving on to the menus, they are stylish and easy to navigate. There are no previews on this release, so it jumps right to the main menus. The main menu opens up with shot of the New York City skyline that leads to a montage of video clips from the show. A nice piano and jazz instrumental cue plays in the background before the sequence loops after about 65 seconds. Options for Episode Selection, Set Up, and the special features are available at the bottom of the screen. Episode titles are listed vertically in blue box on the Episode Selection menu. Deleted scenes for select episodes can be played from this screen. The Set Up menu has a photo of Sheldon holding a flashlight under a bed or couch. You can choose English 5.1, English Stereo or Español audio. English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing are available on all of the episodes. Some special features may not be subtitled. Anna Belknap is featured on the Special Features menu on Disc 5. Chapters are placed at the appropriate places within the episodes.
As you would expect from such a recent show, the video and audio quality is outstanding. The episodes are presented in anamorphic widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English 5.1 Surround and Spanish Stereo audio available. CSI: NY has the darkest and grittiest look of the CSI franchise shows. All of the original music appears to be intact. Episodes are presented in their original broadcast order and numbered by the production number. The broadcast and production order were the same this season, except "Kill Screen" was produced before "Flash Pop." Running times are between 40-44 minutes in length. The set has a total running time of approximately 13 hours, 3 minutes. Hopefully we'll see some seasons released on Blu-Ray in the U.S. at some point.
Here is the episode breakdown by disc, including the runtimes:
Episode 801 "Indelible" (44:11)
Episode 802 "Keep It Real" (44:05)
Episode 803 "Cavallino Rampante" (42:14)
Episode 804 "Officer Involved" (44:25)
Episode 805 "Air Apparent" (42:20)
Episode 806 "Get Me Out of Here" (41:02)
Episode 807 "Crushed" (44:14)
Episode 808 "Crossroads" (43:58)
Episode 809 "Means to an End" (44:13)
Episode 810 "Clean Sweep" (44:32)
Episode 811 "Who's There? (43:07)
Episode 812 "Brooklyn 'Til I Die" (43:14)
Episode 813 "The Ripple Effect" (41:43)
Episode 815 "Flash Pop" (44:27)
Episode 814 "Kill Screen" (43:18)
Episode 816 "Sláinte" (44:10)
Episode 817 "Unwrapped" (40:15)
Episode 818 "Near Death" (44:33)
Over 60 minutes of special are included. Four featurettes are included: three on specific episodes and the final one on the entire season. Deleted scenes are available for three episodes. Once again, a gag reel is included for the season. Unfortunately, there are no audio commentaries included for the second consecutive season.
Deleted Scene for "Officer Down" (:53) - Danny and Lindsay make dinner plans.
Honoring Our Heroes (10:43) - The cast and crew reflects on what went into creating flashbacks of the unthinkable tragedy of 9/11 and what it meant to them to film the episode. The focus of this featurette is the season premiere episode, "Indelible." Jamie Ray Newman played Mac's wife in the flashback scenes of 9/11. They show how the flashback shots were done. What a moving speech by Gary Sinise at the end of the episode. Interviews include Sela Ward, Gary Sinise, Co-Executive Producer Trey Callaway, Supervising Producer John Dove, Executive Producer Zachary Reiter, Special Effects Supervisor David Kelsey, Eddie Cahill, Carmine Giovinazzo, Robert Joy, Hill Harper, A.J. Buckley and Anna Belknap.
Deleted Scene for "Air Apparent" (2:16) - Flack talks to the coach about Riley and his brother. Riley and his mother talk to Flack after basketball practice.
A New York Halloween (7:28) - Follow the action and get a 'behind-the-grave' view of all of the ghostly preparations as the cast and crew take on the terrifying task of creating a spook-tacular Halloween episode. The episode was shot on location at the Marble Cemetery and Grant's Tomb in New York. The crypt set is shown. Interviews include Co-Executive Producer Trey Callaway, Eddie Cahill, Carmine Giovinazzo, Hill Harper, Production Designer Vaughan Edwards and Special Effects Supervisor David Kelsey.
Deleted Scenes for "Means to an End" (1:45) - Lindsay talks to Sheldon at the lab. Danny and Jo walk and talk about Amanda Tanner.
Flash to the Past (10:30) - Travel back in time with the cast and crew of CSI: New York as they prepare to film flashback scenes from the 1950s in the episode "Flash Pop." They discuss the idea of the episode. Lee Majors guest stars. Other topics covered include how they did the fake snow, the vintage cars, the morgue set from 1957, the murder weapons and book props, the furnishings of the police department, and the costumes. Interviews include Co-Executive Producer Trey Callaway, Gary Sinise, Anna Belknap, Special Effects Supervisor David Kelsey, Transportation Coordinator Donald Casella, Robert Hartwig, Production Designer Vaughan Edwards, Property Master Leonard Hancock, Set Decorator Cindy Coburn and Costume Designer Elizabeth Palmer.
The Magic 8 (22:44) - Join Executive Producer Zachary Reiter, Co-Executive Producer Trey Callaway, and the cast and crew as they explore their latest season. This is the most comprehensive featurette in the set. Some of the season highlights are mentioned. Megan Dodds plays Mac's love interest. Jo's character and her storylines are discussed. Danny becomes a Sgt. this season. Sid sells a patent and becomes a rich man. Adam gets to go out of the lab more and his past is revisited. Sheldon and Flack's characters are discussed. The dramatic season finale is talked about. Other interviews include Supervising Producer John Dove, Gary Sinise, Sela Ward, Hill Harper, Carmine Giovinazzo, Anna Belknap, Robert Joy, A.J. Buckley and Eddie Cahill.
Gag Reel (3:36) - Some funky music is played in the background while the clips roll.
The eight seasons have really flown by. The series has never really reached the level of popularity as their predecessors in the CSI franchise, but they keep on ticking. They will quietly reach 200 episodes next spring. I wasn't sure how they would do on Friday nights, but they've found a home there. Only 18 episodes were produced this season. Some of the memorable episodes included "Indelible," "Keep It Real," "Cavallino Rampante," "Officer Involved," "Air Apparent," and "Means to an End."
This is another solid release. It seems like CSI and CSI: Miami always have more special features for some reason. They could definitely benefit by adding audio commentaries and more deleted scenes. The Under the Microscope behind-the-scenes video blogs they had for season eight were definitely missed this season. It appears they still did a few for season eight online, but they weren't included on the DVD for some reason.
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Who They Are: Warner Home Video is, of course, a studio which has existed for a very long time, going all the way back into the VHS days of "be kind, please rewind." But Warner Home Video has always existed to produce mass market releases of their products, and we all know that the market is much larger than what the mass public always wants... so out of this came Warner Archive, which releases DVDs of more obscure (but beloved) titles of your favorite movies and TV series
Why You Should Like Them: Studios out there listen to customers the best that they possibly can, but when they are marketing to the mass public, it is difficult (if not impossible) for them to satisfy everybody. Warner Archive, on the other hand, tries their best to carefully listen to every idea that their consumers--those looking for more obscure products from the Warner library--and is able to track feedback from customers, as well as to respond to specific issues and concerns which consumers have with their releases and pending releases. Additionally, liking their Facebook page allows you to stay on top of upcoming releases (sometimes with clever hints) well before any announcement is made anywhere, and you'll be able to stay updated on special sales that they run, which can save money on their products.
Recent "Good News" From Them: (in response to a request for a Spenser: For Hire release): "WHV still considering it for mass, but if they don't move forward, we would likely bring it out through WAC." (September 27, 2012)