Archive for January, 2005

TV ON DVD – The Greatest American Hero Flies Again!!!!

January 30, 2005

Look at what’s happened to me, I can’t believe it myself. Suddenly I’m up on top of the world, It should’ve been somebody else. Believe it or not, I’m walking on air. I never thought I could feel so free eee eee. Flying away on a wing and a prayer. Who could it be? Believe it or not it’s just me.

The opening paragraph to this review is taken from one the greatest television theme songs of all time, “”The Greatest American Hero.”” The song perfectly sets the tone and mood for what is one of the great unsung shows of all time. GAH deftly weaved sly humor, satire and standard super hero drama into one unique package.In this show Ralph Hinkley (William Katt) is a mild mannered school teacher who is stuck teaching a bunch of troubled students, on his second day in the classroom he decides to try and bond with his students by taking them out on a field trip to the desert, when the school bus break down he goes for a walk to seek help. He comes across FBI Agent Bill Maxwell (Robert Culp) who is also having car trouble. While arguing with each other a Spaceship appears out of sky, the aliens tell the two that they have been chosen to save the world. Ralph is given a suit that gives him special powers, unfortunately he loses the instructions and he and Maxwell have to learn what the suit is capable of.Everything about the pilot clicks right away, the chemistry between Bill and Ralph is spot on perfect, when you add Ralph’s lawyer girlfriend Pam (Connie Sellecca) and the students headed up by Michael Pare, and Faye Grant the sparks start flying. During the first season this weird cocktail made for fun character moments – like the classic handshake where Ralph accidentally breaks Bill’s hand, or whenever Bill and Pam get into arguments about Bill’s sexist views, all classic moments.The other funny thing was how the producers couldn’t decide what Ralph’s last name was going to be, for the first 3 – 5 episodes his name last name was Hinkley, then for some unknown reason they changed it to Hanley for the last 3 episodes of season one. But on “”The Greatest American Heroine”” pilot it’s changed back to Hinkley.Final Grade ADVD FEATURES I did not realize that the first season of the show was so short. I was disappointed when I found out that there were only eight original season one episodes. The good thing is, all of the season one episodes are terrific and appear to be uncut. The set includes the original two hour pilot and for snicks it also includes the one hr pilot for the proposed spin-off “”The Greatest American Heroine.”” Let me just say, that pilot was HORRIBLE. In many ways this is why TV Shows on DVD is a fantastic concept. This is one of those shows that I had fond memories of and has not worn out its welcome through “”over syndication.”” In fact I don’t remember this show ever airing again after it’s initial first several years of post television cancellation. I’m surprised a channel like Sci-Fi hasn’t aired reruns.[pagebreak]The DVD set is real lean on extras, there are no episode specific commentary tracks, but there is about 75 minutes worth of new interviews with Stephen J. Cannell, William Katt, Robert Culp, Connie Sellecca, and Michael Pare each talking about 15 – 19 minutes about their experiences. In a cute moment they had Connie interview Michael. There seemed to be genuine like there. It was good to see that after 23 years they were still obviously good friends. The cast has aged gracefully, Sellecca, Cannell, Culp and Pare all look pretty much the same, Katt looks tired.The quality of the transfer was interesting. The first five episodes are clean, crisp and color corrected. But episodes six – eight include some fuzziness and blemishes where things get out of focused and duo toned for a few seconds. While the pilot for “”Greatest American Heroine”” looks really bad. The audio is in Dolby Digital Stereo, and is pretty sharp. I particularly like the menu screens, they include the theme song playing in the background, with nice full motion video. The menu text fonts are clear and easily readable. As for the packaging the case cover is beautiful, and instead of the annoying fold out disks, the set comes on three DVDs in two slip cases that are easy to pull out and put away. This DVD gets extra points for taking the time and effort to include all the original music from the series. I adore the music in GAH, and it’s nice that all of it is still intact. You hear that Fox??????!! I won’t go into my “”Roswell”” was butchered on DVD rant here. DVD Extras Grade BFINAL THOUGHTSWhen they announced that this series was coming to DVD, I feared that it wouldn’t hold up, that maybe my memory of the show was fuzzy. The one thing that was consistent was how that theme song has always stayed with me, for the last three months it’s been stuck in my head and won’t go away. It’s hard to believe this series is 23 years old. Sometimes it doesn’t pay to go back and relive your childhood (I still shudder and can’t believe how much I loved Ultraman or Johnny Socko), not in this case, I was blown away and surprised by how well the special effects and stories hold up – the fashions are a little questionable, but it’s not as bad as a lot of 70s television. “”The Greatest American Hero”” has aged gracefully. It is truly a classic and must own DVD.FINAL OVERALL GRADE AThis hits the streets February 15th, and Season two is coming out April 5th!GREATEST AMERICAN HERO ORIGINAL THEME SONG LYRICSLook at what’s happened to me,I can’t believe it myself.Suddenly I’m up on top of the world,It should’ve been somebody else.Believe it or not,I’m walking on air.I never thought I could feel so free eee eee.Flying away on a wing and a prayer.Who could it be?Believe it or not it’s just me.It’s like a light of a new day,It came from out of the blue.Breaking me out of the spell I was in,Making all of my wishes come true ue ue.Believe it or not,I’m walking on air.I never thought I could feel so free eee eee.Flying away on a wing and a prayer.Who could it be?Believe it or not it’s just me

Huff: Strange Stuff Indeed!

January 30, 2005

Although Showtime

Young Cast Makes Mean Creek An Absorbing Drama

January 28, 2005

Shakespeare in Venice, and NOT California

January 28, 2005

Michael Radford

Enterprise: Back to the Future ?

January 28, 2005

Following in castmate Brent Spiner’s footprints, it looks like two more Next Genners may be headed for Enterprise. Sounds like Bill Shatner won’t be coming to Enterprise any time soon, but Marina Sirtis and Jonathan Frakes likely will.

[url=http://www.syfyportal.com/article.php?id=1699]SyFy Portal article[/url]

“”A Love Song for Bobby Long””–Decent Acting, and Good Scenery too

January 27, 2005

There’s something about the south, be it extreme heat of the summer, the lush vegetation (including banana leaves), the weathered look of the buildings–thanks again to that weather, the slower pace, the music, the seemingly potential source of literary references… It is these things, especially the last part, that serve as the background and themes, for “”A Love Song for Bobby Long””. The film, directed by Shainee Gabel, and based on the (now published) book “”Off Magazine Street””, covers the lives of three literary-minded individuals living together in New Orleans.

Actually, the main character is seemingly absent, or rather deceased: Lorraine Will. The viewer is first ‘introduced’ to her as she is being laid to rest, with ex-college professor Bobby Long (John Travolta) drunkenly watching this ritual from a distance. Apparently, he was a friend (to put it one way) of the dearly departed, as an overhead narration describes, and initially chalks this info as part of his ongoing bad luck streak. As it turns out, Lorraine had many, many friends, attributed to her years as a singer in a local jazz/blues band, and a daughter as well, named Pursy (Scarlett Johansson). This 18-year old high-school dropout, whose name is derived from purslane, a common wee, lives in a trailer in Panama City, Florida (‘the Redneck Riviera’, as referred to by Bobby) with her boyfriend Lee (Clayne Crawford). She receives the news, belatedly, from Lee that her mother has passed away (he read it in the mail but…neglected to say anything) , and then hightails to Louisiana. The goal is not only to resolve things there, and attend the funeral (which she has missed)but to leave her awful life–and even more awful boyfriend–in Florida behind. Upon arriving at her mother’s old—in more ways than one–house, she finds a stranger at the door. This peculiar sight is Lawson Pines (Gabriel Macht), an aspiring writer and former prot

TVonDVD: Soap/Married… With Children – Comedies Break Tradition

January 27, 2005

If there hadn

TVonDVD: Millennium Shifts Gears In Second Season Set

January 27, 2005

When Glen Morgan and James Wong took over

Alone In The Dark, Actually Worth Your Time. Michelle’s Review!

January 27, 2005

Is it ethical to plagiarize myself? I just wrote a review for the new “”Alien Vs. Predator”” DVD and everything that was said in that review applies to this one. In fact “”Alone In The Dark”” is at times a blatant rip off, homage to the Aliens Series, in terms of style and the look of their key monster. This is one of those films that’s hard to defend. Can I just say I liked this film for what it is, and end my review now?

Guess not.””Alone In The Dark”” is loosely based on a cult video game series. The game series pushed the envelope of what 16-bit gaming was capable of. It was a beautifully animated but incredibly tough to play – it was a lot of style and no substance. Much like the game, the film looks gorgeous and had one moment in the film that was taken directly from the game that made me go “”Wow that is damn cool!”” Also like the game, the story is shallow and overly complicated for its simplistic purposes.As near as I can tell, in “”Alone In The Dark”” Edward Carnby (Christian Slater) is an paranormal investigator who used to work for a secret government agency called the 713, until he was kicked out or quit, and went independent. He holds an artifact that is the key to bridging the world of the light (our world) with the world of the dark – a world field with creatures that look like the Aliens from Alien. There are tons of subplots that are so convoluted and confusing that they aren’t worth mentioning, and numerous things that just didn’t make sense. I don’t want to get into too many of them or they will spoil the film, but one of them is where the heck all of these monsters coming from? Then there’s something about the aliens experimenting on kids, and that plot line being dropped at the end in favor of a “”twist”” that really doesn’t work with what happens immediately following that revelation. Christian Slater desperately needs a hit film and this isn’t going to be the vehicle that gets him back in the mix, but he does a fine job with the material he has, and he’s believable in this role. Unfortunately he has to spend a lot of screen time with Tara Reid who plays Aline Cedrac, a doctor of Archeology (I think). Reid’s performance wasn’t horrible (for this type of film), but it wasn’t very good either. Her line deliveries were just laughably bad at times, the same goes for Stephen Dorff’s tough no nonsense, clich

Sky Captain DVD Succeeds where Film Failed. Michelle’s Take.

January 27, 2005

One can admire the sheer audacity and boldness of vision that went into creating