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Robert Badgley (St Thomas,Ontario,Canada)
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Crank / Crank 2: High Voltage (Double Feature)
Crank / Crank 2: High Voltage (Double Feature)
DVD ~ Jason Statham
Price: CDN$ 12.98
9 used & new from CDN$ 12.49

3.0 out of 5 stars Neveldine/Taylor-the dynamic duo, July 28 2013
You know,its really nice writing a review about films and film makers that come along every so often with a fresh and dynamic approach to their work.Such it is with Crank(released Sept/06) and Crank 2(released April/09).The dynamic duo of Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor seem to look at things outside the standard Hollywood box and I must say,they don't disappoint with these two movies.Although,let me clarify that.Crank is the better of the two films here,while the N/T team seemed to have let their guard down and went just a little over the top with Crank 2.
Crank stars,among others,Jason Statham as Chev Chelios,Amy Smart as Eve Lydon,Jose Pablo Cantillo as Ricky Verona,Efren Ramirez as Kaylo and Dwight Yoakam as Doc Miles.Statham is a killer for hire and a Hispanic gang leader hires him to kill the rival leader of a Triad gang in L.A.The resulting fallout from the Chinese gang leaves Statham betwixt and between and he is set for termination by the Hispanics.A member gives him a Chinese poison concoction,but it doesn't quite take.Statham awakes and from then on,with the advice of his doctor friend Yoakam,must try and keep his heart stimulated by any means necessary.While this is going on he is constantly on the prowl for the guy who drugged him and the man responsible for the hit's inception.It is later revealed that Statham did not kill the Chinese leader after all,knowing what the consequences could be.He told him to stay low for 48 hours.At a finale rooftop meeting with the Hispanic gang and its leader,the Triads show up also and a gun fight breaks out.Statham and the Hispanic gang member who drugged him end up struggling in a helicopter high over L.A.The two plunge to earth and Statham bounces off the roof of a car and lands facing the camera,on the pavement.With a quick blink of an eye,the camera fades to black.This film is just full of an eclectic mix of satire,drama,high adrenaline action and straight up comedy that comes at you at lightning speed.Little touches like the video game references,those moving pictures on the sides of walls as Statham passes them,his attempt at "stimulation" out in public in L.A.Chinatown with his girlfriend,his standing in amongst a group of folks watching the TV coverage of his antics,in a hospital gown and with an erection,and so many more.It is a fabulous movie and the N/T team were on game on this baby.4-4 1/2 stars.
Crank 2 stars,among others,Jason Statham as Chev Chelios,Amy Smart as Eve Lydon,Efren Ramirez as Venus,Dwight Yoakam as Doc Miles,Reno Wilson as Orlando,Art Tsu as Veng and Clifton Collins, Jr. as El Huron.The film starts where the first left off.We see his fall onto the car roof and his landing near camera and his eye blink.Suddenly several men pour out of a van that drives up,they literally scoop him up(one with a shovel)and take him away.Next thing Statham's getting his heart removed by some back room Chinese doctors.One gang member named Vang,eagerly awaits its removal and puts it into a small cooler,which he then leaves with.They install an artificial heart,then when he awakes three months later,they discuss what organ to remove next;oh yes,his penis.Well Statham says nada to that one.Off Statham goes again,to find the Chinese F#@##! who took his"pumper".He learns he may be at a "social club",which is just a bawdy house.There he just misses him but learns from a hooker,who falls for him,that Vang may be at a strip club.In he goes and he finds his girlfriend now stripping to make a living.They both exit the club and his next lead is at the Hollywood Racetrack.There he and his girlfriend repeat their previous Chinatown performance for the patrons of the track.Vang barely escapes and just as security are about to apprehend Statham,the Chinese boss of the Triads reappears in a limo and whisks him away.Statham learns the Triad big boss,a centenarian,asked for Stathams heart to replace his ailing one.The discussions don't go too well and Statham has to kill everyone in the car and escape.He commandeers an ambulance to get a new battery pack for his artificial heart.Then spying Vang he flies out and chases him down,only to find out Vang doesn't have his heart in the cooler,but some other disgusting body part.In mid interrogation a shot kills Vang,but it's not by Statham.He gets knocked out and is awake and being dragged across the bay to Catalina Island.Once there he is brought before the Ferret,the Hispanic leader who wants revenge for Statham's killing of his two brothers in the first film.In the meantime Yoakum has acquired his heart from the old Chinese boss,and when Statham cleans up things on Catalina Island,is back on the mainland and getting his heart put back in.The procedure goes on through the end credits and at first it doesn't seem the heart replant takes,but like the last film,the camera comes slowly in to Stathams face and an opening of the eyes confirms his life is back.
This film,as you can see from the wide ranging plot,is just far too much and extraneous information.The N/T team unfortunately took a big step backwards.Brevity,as they say,is the soul of wit and Crank 2 did not have it...unlike the first one.There are sudden flashbacks to Statham as a boy on a talk show with his mom(Spice Girl Gerri Haliwell) and other such stuff which needn't have entered the film in any way.It started out great but with about a 1/2 hour left,the circumstances just get far too bizarre and they seem to be grasping at straws,plot wise,in order to get Statham from A-Z in some fashion or other to the end.There are one heck of alot of tie ins from the first also,like Statham's look alike brother who shows up looking for revenge.But after awhile it becomes too much and too cliched.Watch for David Carradine as the old Chinese boss and John De Lancie as a TV reporter.3 stars.Thankfully the N/T team nailed it again in their next project,Gamer.
Technically the films are in their w/s a/r of 1:85:1 nd clear and crisp.there are no extras.
All in all while Neveldine and Taylor "got it" with the first Crank,but Crank 2 is a disappointment.It comes unraveled about 3/4 the way through the film,and as filled with unnecessary information overload. 3 1/2 stars.

Xena: Warrior Princess - Season Four
Xena: Warrior Princess - Season Four
DVD ~ Lucy Lawless: Renee O'Connor
Price: CDN$ 9.88
5 used & new from CDN$ 9.88

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Warning to all that may purchase this set, July 25 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
It is not too often I see this,but when it does it is a sad thing indeed for the buyer,and for the distributor.I thought you all should be the first to know what I found out,the hard way.
This set appears to have a continual batch manufacturers defect in it.
I originally bought a set back in early March of this year.The 2nd and 4th discs had marks on them and play was effected.I returned that set and by the end of March I had a replacement.That too had defects more or less the same.
Amazon.ca said they would pull the sets off and look at them.So at one point,no one had the ability to purchase them.I got a refund for my set.
Eventually they came back up for sale and a while later in late May my wife ordered a set for my birthday.To make a long story short......you bet,ANOTHER dud of a set,with mark(s)on the same disc(s).I talked to the Amazon operator who was very sympathetic,and even though I was way out of the time limit for a refund,under the circumstances,they gave me a refund.I cannot fault Amazon.ca at any juncture as they have always been #1 in my books for service.The fault is not at Amazon of course but with the manufacturers of this set.I have seasons 1-3 of Xena so far and none have had any defects whatsoever.
I had emailed Universal after I got the 2nd set,but of course it is rare the big boys,in this case Universal Canada,ever have the courtesy to respond;and they didn't.This situation not only burns the customer but Amazon also,which is wrong on so many levels.So there you have it.If you buy this set,Caveat Emptor....buyer beware.

Sea Hunt Complete Season Four [Import]
Sea Hunt Complete Season Four [Import]
Price: CDN$ 23.35
16 used & new from CDN$ 12.94

5.0 out of 5 stars Sea Hunt-cut off in its prime, July 23 2013
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This is Sea Hunt Season Four;its last season.It went out with a bang,as this one was one of the best of the bunch.Along for the ride,among many other stalwarts,were Beau Bridges,Kenneth Toby(starred in the original The Thing),Victor Buono,Ted Knight,Sue Randall,Bruce Dern and on the last ep Jack Nicholson.Also I MUST give mention to an actor who appeared on this show more than any other,yet someone I have neglected to give a shout out to in previous season reviews.His name was Ken Drake.You will know him as a guy of average height but skinny.He played everything from villain,to good guy,from farmer to swamp man.He did it all and was a valuable asset to the entire company and the quality of the shows.
As I said the shows just got better.Lloyd Bridges played a double of himself in one,and there is another where the show spoofs itself.Within this particular ep Lloyd is watching a show called Dempsey of the Deep.It is a corny soap opera that features a scuba diver who fights crime.Of course it has the usual stereotypical soap opera music playing along with it.Very funny.It is ironic that in its day Sea Hunt was described as just that;a scuba diver who fights crime.But that couldn't have been farther from the truth.Lloyd's character Mike Nelson was always on a job either at home or far away,working privately or a government.It was usually circumstances he had no control over that drew him into conflicts with others,that he would have to resolve.Also this last season saw Lloyd's character fleshed out even more as we see him alot as a Commodore in the Coast Guard reserves.It also saw the program being filmed alot in Nassau,and Lloyd doing more and more of his own work underwater.
Lamar Boren is the man responsible for the great underwater photography and Ricou Browning and Courtney Brown were the guys responsible for overseeing the underwater sequences;the latter usually subbing for Lloyd when required.
Watch for some eps in this set when they fade to what would originally have been a commercial.You will see the faint lettering of"place commercial here".
Technically speaking the picture quality is spectacular,but there are,like other seasons,sound drop outs occasionally.I don't know whether this is a manufacturing problem or inherent in the master tapes used.Most come and go so quickly it usually doesn't affect things too much.Like the other seasons there are no extras.
In conclusion this is the last season of a show that I recall with great fondness.Lloyd Bridge's great acting and affable personality sold this show for four long years.Sea Hunt did more than any other show before or since,in getting folks interested in the recreational hobby of scuba diving.Safety was always front and center in this show,without ever being preachy.I can remember when the last ep,those many,many years ago,saw Lloyd sailing away from my viewing experience for what I thought would be the last time(home video and DVDs were far,far into the future).It was like saying goodbye to an old friend.Now,with the "miracle" of DVD,I can return to those memorable days anytime I want.Thank you Mr Bridges....wherever you are.

Oz The Great and Powerful / Oz le magnifique (Bilingual) [DVD + Digital Copy]
Oz The Great and Powerful / Oz le magnifique (Bilingual) [DVD + Digital Copy]
DVD ~ James Franco
Price: CDN$ 16.98
8 used & new from CDN$ 7.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Great and Powerful......disappointment!, July 22 2013
Oz the Great and Powerful(released Feb/13)stars,among others,James Franco,Mila Kunis,Rachel Weisz,Michelle Williams,Zach Braff,and Bill Cobbs.Walt Disney once again takes a crack at the Oz franchise and once again comes up short.It has a weak and meandering plot and an even weaker leading man.
The story finds our wizard as a side show entertainer in a circus,who longs to be more than he is.He is a magician whose bag of tricks are getting very old,very fast.He is good with the ladies but does not want to be pinned down by any one in particular,even one who would like to marry him.One day the circus strongman comes after him and he hops aboard the circus balloon to save himself.However this results in his balloon getting sucked into a passing tornado.
When he lands on the other side he is in the land of Oz.The first person he is greeted by is a good witch named Theadora.The two hit it off,as the wizard turns on the charm,and the two end up practically engaged;at least in Theadora's mind.When they reach the Emerald City,Theodora's sister Evanora is there waiting their arrival.His presence has alerted the entire kingdom and the prophecy of the returning wizard,they think,is apparently being fulfilled.Evanora tells him the kingdom is his to rule when he destroys the wicked witch who resides in the dark forest.
The wizard leaves for the dark forest with a flying monkey called Finlay he met on the way to Oz,and along the way he picks up another traveling companion,a cute little china doll.When they reach their destination they find their quarry and plan to just steal her wand and break it.Their plans go awry and they come face to face with her.As it turns out it is Glinda,the good witch of the south.
Evanora has tricked both the wizard and her own sister Theodora.Evannora,to retain an ally,shows her sister the goings on with Glinda through her crystal ball.It makes Theodora enraged.She gets so mad she takes a bite of an apple Evanora gives her,which turns her into a hideous green skinned evil witch.
The wizard meanwhile has been introduced to a variety of Oz inhabitants by Glinda,including Quadlings,Tinkerers and Munchkins.The wizard and Glinda concoct a plan to attack the Emerald City.The first attack is by robotic scarecrows through the poppy field.Glinda lays a low"fog"over the poppies to hide them and as the flying monkeys descend down to field level,they almost all fall asleep.However two grab and whisk away Glinda.The wizard now has to hatche a further plan to get Glinda back.He has a balloon float seemingly away from the city with the him aboard.The balloon is destroyed by Theodora,and the bait is taken.The wizard reappears courtesy of a holographic like projector with smoke,which he uses to intimidate the two witches.Theordora flies off on her broom,while Evanora flees into her castle.There she and Glinda have it out and Glinda defeats her,but Evanora is taken away by two flying monkeys.
The film comes to its conclusion as the wizard presents his friends with gifts for their support and he takes Glinda behind his curtain for a romantic kiss.
The leading character in a film like this, would have to have been played by someone with good acting skills,and with charisma and panache,as that is who this movie revolves around when all is said and done.Franco was terribly miscast.His acting is weak and he looks terribly uncomfortable in his role.This undermined,for me,the entire movie,despite all the good special effects this movie spewed forth.Any moment of pathos,drama or comedy were severally weakened by his inability to "bring it".He couldn't even come up to the level of his fellow players,and as a result dragged many of them down with him.
As with many a Sam"Evil Dead"Raimi film,the director once again cast his old friend Bruce Campbell in a small supporting role.He is the guard at the gates of the Emerald City who gets hit on the head by Finlay(Mr.Campbell I'm sure could make much out of that!).I bring Bruce's appearance up for one reason:THAT is who should have been cast in the lead role.Bruce Campbell could have given that character exactly what the role called for;a depth and humour Franco couldn't touch with a 10 foot pole.
This film is kind of a prequel to the Oz books themselves,but it does mention characters like Quadlings,Winkies,and others that appear in the original books but have never been mentioned on film before.The film also has the odd salute to the /39 film.
Watch as the wizard leaves the Emerald City.In the background in a field,is the"horse of a different colour".The best part of the film,I found,was the china doll character;CGI created at that.
Technically speaking the film starts out in black and white,in a square box,center screen.Then when the wizard reaches Oz,the screen expands to a 2:40:1 a/r and colour.The picture was clear and crisp.As with many Disney one disc DVDs,there are no extras.
All in all with a weak plot and an even weaker leading man,this film was doomed to fail.I couldn't get behind or believe Franco's role for one second.The special effects are good but it is not enough to make up for its other shortcomings.Barely three stars.

Esther Williams Collection (Bathing Beauty / Easy to Wed / On an Island with You / Neptune's Daughter / Dangerous When Wet)
Esther Williams Collection (Bathing Beauty / Easy to Wed / On an Island with You / Neptune's Daughter / Dangerous When Wet)
DVD ~ Red Skelton
Offered by Fulfillment Express CA
Price: CDN$ 53.05
23 used & new from CDN$ 34.97

4.0 out of 5 stars "Esther Williams? Wet, she's a star. Dry, she ain't.", July 14 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This was stage and screen superstar Fanny Brice's assessment of Ester Williams,and frankly,I couldn't agree more.Like many other athletes plucked from the sports ranks,Ester had obvious physical appeal and knew her onions underwater.However,up above her acting chops were quite "shallow".MGM built her up around her strong points and surrounded her,out of necessity,with some good talent from their vast lot.The result were films that were pure escapism,with convoluted and hair brained plots,but the public for the most part took to Ester like a duck to water.
This is a 5 DVD set and the first entry is the film that started Ester on her way,Bathing Beauty(released July/44).This one has Red Skelton as a composer and Ester as a school administrator.The two are to be wed,after which Red will retire from writing music.However Basil Rathbone,a musical producer,gets wind of this and kyboshes the ceremony by sending over one of his female assistants to say Red and her are already married.Ester returns to her work and Red follows,enrolling as a student in a bid to get her back.Eventually Rathbone agrees to make Ester the star of his next production,which Red agrees to write.All's well that ends well.The plot is so see through it is almost transparent,and it is a plodding one.The picture is generally clear and crisp and is,like all the others,in colour.Extras include an interview with Ester,a cartoon and a war time short.Highlights are the music of Xavier Cugat and especially trumpet great Harry James.3 stars.
East to Wed(released July/46)has Ester as a spoiled rich girl.Her father Cecil Kallway is suing the local newspaper for libel.The editor Keenan Wyn is about to be married to Lucille Ball,but drops things to get the suit settled.He calls in an ex employee,Van Johnson,to work his old charm on Ester.However Johnson has a tough go of it,until the end when Ester finally gives in and the lawsuit is dropped.The film is a real mix up of a plot.MGM figured the more complicated the better....wrong!Extras include a cartoon and a Pete Smith short.This film is the worst of the set and it needs a good remastering.The highlight includes a totally right on the money performance from Lucille Ball,who manages to upstage and steal the entire movie away from everyone.Not an easy feat. 2 1/2-3 stars.
Next is On an Island with You(released May/48).Ester is a film star making a picture in Hawaii.Jimmy Durante is the producer and he hires Peter Lawford as a technical advisor.There are two people in love with Ester;her co star Ricardo Montalban and Lawford.Ester apparently visited an island Lawford was on during the war to entertain,and Lawford was the one chosen to come up to dance with her.To complicate matters,Esters friend,an almost unrecognizable Cyd Charisse,is in love with Montalban.Lawford,works away at Ester until the film ends and he gets his girl,and Montalban gets Charisse.Not a bad trade off.Extras include a Pete Smith short and a cartoon.The saving grace of this film are some songs by legendary Jimmy Durante.He brought back alot of fond memories.Lawfords performance was completely forgettable;a leading man he wasn't.2 1/2-3 stars.
Neptunes Daughter(released June/49)has Ester as a designer of a swimsuit company,with her partner Keenan Wyn.Esters man crazy sister falls in love with a visiting polo player,but gets the wrong guy in Red Skelton.The real polo player is Ricardo Montalban and he falls for Ester of course.The inevitable mix up leads to lots of trouble,but it all gets straightened out in the end.Another inane plot and with the comedy totally forced.Skelton was not as his best in this one.Extras include a short and a cartoon.Highlights include an appearance by voice man supremo Mel Blanc.Cugat is on hand again to provide the music,but he makes me yearn for the person they SHOULD have had in his stead:Carmen Miranda.2 1/2 stars.
Finally we have Dangerous when Wet(released July/53).Ester is the member of an Arkansas farm family.All are health nuts from her brother and sister,to her mother(Charlotte Greenwood) and father(William Deverest).Along comes miracle in a bottle salesman Jack Carson,who persuades the family to swim the English channel,using his company as a sponsor.While in training Ester meets a Latin Fernando Lamas,who is French(?).The two fall in love,but when the swim committee disqualifies her family,Ester swims the channel alone.Ester barely makes it,but she and Fernando get wed.Extras include an outtake,some rare recordings of composer Mercer singing his own songs for the movie,a cartoon and a short.The big highlight here is stage and screen veteran Charlotte Greenwood doing one of her patented eccentric dance numbers.2 1/2- 3 stars.
Ester Williams fans will enjoy this set immensely.You know my thoughts on Ester's acting,and the film plots are all terribly lacking in originality and in depth.The more/complicated is better concept just does not cut it.The average rating barely makes a three on all five films,but I have added an extra star for the wonderful extras and the special highlights,mostly provided by stage and screen veterans.

Mary Pickford Rags & Riches Collection [Import]
Mary Pickford Rags & Riches Collection [Import]
Price: CDN$ 37.13
16 used & new from CDN$ 23.12

5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for Mary Pickford fans and all silent film buffs, July 8 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The Mary Pickford Collection was released last year and it is one gem of a DVD collection.Included in this three DVD set are four films that I think are a good opening starter and representation of Mary and her works.They are all historical treasures and it brings back to the fore that peerless talent that was Mary Pickford.She could make you laugh and cry all within the span of a few seconds.Many people think Mary's films are sweet,soppy and overly sugar coated films of a by gone era.Nothing could be further from the truth.She had a way of creating characters that spoke to each and everyone in a theater seat.Everyone could relate to and probably knew many of the character types in her films.There was also a dark undercurrent and/or very realistic tone running through them all.And these four films more than show that concurrent running dark side:she is either in the "thick of it" and trying to cope with the situations as they present themselves,or she is initially above it but ends up tumbling into reality,picking herself up,and learning along the way a valuable life lesson/compassion.Comedy,drama,pathos and so much more are all part of Pickford's artistic canvas,and she used them like no other artist before her or since has.
It is a shame that when she retired she felt that the public at large did not care for her films and/or saw them as totally antiquated celluloid.It is shocking to day to think that could have been the case,but I have the very issue of Life magazine in the early 40s that showed a picture of a happy Mary strolling beside the young girl who took her crown away from her in the 30s,Shirley Temple.The title reads:"A Couple of Has Beens".Both had been tremendous stars with unprecedented box office appeal/receipts,but this is what they had been distilled into.Well,luckily there were those who saw the value of Mary's contributions,and we have a good portion of her work still with us, but sadly not nearly all of it.And we have The Mary Pickford Foundation in Los Angeles to thank along with Milestone Video for their tireless efforts to make these major releases of her wonderful works.
The Poor Little Rich Girl(released March/17)has Mary in the title role as a rich girl who has everything,but the love she so yearns for from her parents.She is not allowed to play outside and she is literally brought up by one servant or the other.One night when one servant wants to go out to socialize but cannot because of her duties,she over drugs poor Mary,who almost dies.But there is a happy ending when her materialistic and selfish parents finally see the light.There is commentary included and a very special piece of historic film.Some home movies at Pickfair featuring Mary,Douglas(Fairbanks) and Charlie Chaplin!
The Hoodlum(released Aug/19)has Mary as a rich and spoiled teenage girl living with her grandfather.As her grandfather plans a European trip Mary's father enters the picture.She decides to stay with him and they both end up in a seedy part of New York City.She is quickly forced to adapt.Her grandfather disguises himself and comes to live in the same tenement building as she and her father.Thrown into this mix is some intrigue her grandfather,a wealthy and stodgy businessman,pinned on an innocent ex employee who Mary falls in love with.The extra on this disc is Mary in the 1910 Biograph short Ramona.Mary plays a Spanish girl who falls in love with an Indian.The film follows the persecution of the two and its unhappy consequences.
Sparrows(released May/26)has Mary as a young girl on a baby farm in a swampy part of the countryside.It's owner is a snide,morally corrupt and all around nasty character,who will buy or sell children at will,just to make money.He relies on Mary to look after his charges,but gives Mary little in the way of food or proper living conditions with which to do a proper job.When one of her precious babies dies,Mary ends up leading the rest out of the swamp to freedom.This film has commentary,an interview with the now grown up daughter of the baby who died in Sparrows,three film tests of Mary in the barn loft holding the dead baby in her arms as an angel comes to take the babies' soul away,and an extra special item:the TRAILER for the film.I have never ever seen a silent film trailer at all and this was quite the revelation for me.
Technically speaking the films are presented in their original aspect ratios.The films on your set are surrounded on all four sides by black.The film doesn't fill the screen.The films have the usual visual specks and defections associated with films of this age,but they generally look very good.All have been tinted(except Ramona).What also makes this DVD set special is that The Mary Pickford Foundation has included as an intro and outro,if you so desire(it is optional),i.e.,vignettes with young teens coming to the attic of one of their friend's grandfather.He explains who Mary was,the process of film making in the "silent" era,the camera's,and on and on.These DVD's have been designed to give a new and younger audience a heads up and hopefully create a new generation of not only Mary Pickford fans but of the art of silent film in toto.I can say I was duly impressed.This wasn't some cheesy production at all and I thought the impression it gave came across as great food for thought for younger budding film and Mary novices.
In conclusion this set is a grand introduction to the world of,I believe,the greatest actress of her or any other generation.Mary was ahead of her time and accomplished what few actors of any genre have ever accomplished.Kudos to Milestone and The Mary Pickford Foundation.Let us hope this is just the start in a long line of Mary Pickford releases.

Sea Hunt Complete Season Three [Import]
Sea Hunt Complete Season Three [Import]
Price: CDN$ 24.05
18 used & new from CDN$ 13.28

5.0 out of 5 stars Lloyd Bridges-the skipper that keeps on giving!, July 5 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Sea Hunt,Season Three,like the last two seasons,is a solid television show of family entertainment.Lloyd Bridges is the star who put the show over with his good looks and scuba smarts.Mr.Bridges already knew a thing or two about skin diving previous to shooting the show and his water"chops" just got progressively better as it wore on.By the time the show ended in season four,he was doing stunts his stand in had previously done.The show looked realistic and authentic,and in many ways,it was.Sure there are the odd shows that have back screens and a prop boat,with the actors on it, weaving back and forth in the "water" below,but generally the whole crew was out on open water and below the surface doing their shooting.It is amazing what they accomplished.
In previous season reviews on Sea Hunt I have mentioned how tough it must have been to conduct actors and stunt people underwater.Well in this season the video picture is so clear that there are times when you can see small thin white lines attached to the divers,and on cue they are tugged,which signals the actors to go into tumbles as the scene dictates.The director couldn't just yell"Ok,roll over ...NOW!",could he? Lamar Boren,who I have neglected to mention in other season reviews,is the man who was responsible for much of the pioneering underwater photography you see in this show.His work was nothing short of astonishing considering the conditions he worked under.
Last season saw the debut of Lloyd's son Jeff,and this season we see his other son Beau.Also not too far into this season there is a wonderful show featuring the talented Victor Buono.There is not an ep before or after like it.The camera seems mesmerized by his acting as he chews up every inch of the scenery.The intensity is something else to behold and you really have to see it to grasp just HOW intense it was.This season there is an emphasis on Bridges character Mike Nelson being a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary.He also seems to be getting into quite serious situations tangling with foreign powers and in unstable Latin American countries.A definite sign of the times.
Throughout these seasons,though the picture quality is beautiful,there are the odd sound drop outs and even rarer picture glitches.On the third disc of this season,for example,I believe ep#1,there is a slight picture glitch where the picture for a split second stops and starts.I tried it on three different players and all had the same result.It is either something inherent in the show tape or in the production of the disc itself.When they occur they tend to throw you a bit as the picture is so good it looks as it was filmed just yesterday,so you just aren't expecting anything to happen.
As with the other seasons the discs come on two volumes,both sitting inside what I call a "card box".You lift the lid and there are the two sets.Inside the first keep case is a stack of three pancaked DVDs.In the other case is a DVD snapped onto a spindle on the back of the case,while the first one sits on a movable spindle,like a book page.
All in all another fine season of Sea Hunt starring Lloyd Bridges.It is a show I thought would never officially see the light of day again,and I am SO happy it has been put out by TGG.They are to be commended,as is MGM for doing a proper job on restoring the picture quality and bringing it back to vivid life.

Sea Hunt Complete Season Two [Import]
Sea Hunt Complete Season Two [Import]
Price: CDN$ 22.27
20 used & new from CDN$ 13.69

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It just keeps getting better., June 20 2013
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Sea Hunt:The Second Season,just flows out of season one with a plethora of underwater based stories from around the world.It's amazing what one experienced and master frogman can get himself into,but Mike Nelson(Lloyd Bridges)managed it week in and week out for four long years,and with great aplomb.The great thing about this show is Lloyd himself,who does the voice over/commentary throughout,as the story progresses as well as acting in them of course.Whether he's battling drug smugglers or rescuing a foreign scientist,you can be sure he will set it right in the end.
This season,just a few eps in,marks a new ending,as the credits roll.The first season and a bit,had Lloyd's boat sailing toward the left of the screen towards a cove and disappearing behind a rock formation.Now the ending has LLoyd(or his stand in)on the back of a different boat.This one is more open and wider.Lloyd(or double)stands in the middle as the boat pulls away from the same area as before,but this time sailing out to the right along the California coast.This season also finds some soon to be more well known faces on TV joining LLoyd in his journeys.Folks like Leonard Nimoy,Robert Conrad and Ross Martin(both of The Wild,Wild West show),Jack Hogan who would go on to play Kirby in Combat and Herbert Anderson who was Dennis the Menace's father,and others.
Again,if you have never seen the show,each one starts out with about a minute,give or take,of opening prologue to set the scene.Then comes the two part main story and finally to the closing monologue where Lloyd speaks directly into the camera.This was this shows biggest selling point;the main star himself.Lloyd looked into that camera and you felt he was speaking directly to you and no one else.He was someone you felt comfortable watching,like a good friend.And as I said in my review of Season One,no one man or show,did more for the sport of skin diving than Bridges and/or Sea Hunt.Because of this show I,after all these years even,have always had this itching just to try to see what it is like.I had a brief foray in a Caribbean pool and I really enjoyed myself.I always remember the things Lloyd would do underwater;never swim alone,how to clear your mask,how to breathe,etc.And there is another aspect of this show so often overlooked.Lloyd's character just was just some inexperienced go getter.His character was an ex Navy diver and he always stressed the safety aspect of the sport,without preaching once to the audience.
The transfers themselves are spectacular and look like they were photographed just yesterday.There's no better testament to this show than pristine prints to show it off in all its glory.TGG Direct and MGM are to be applauded for their diligence in this regard.
As with all the seasons,there are two volumes included in what I call,a box card box.It opens like a box of cards to reveal the two keep cases inside.The first volume has three discs pancaked one on top of the other,while the other set has two disks in separate holders.I was worried about possible scratching with the pancaked trio,but they seem fine.
All in all a highly recommended show for the entire family.Where can you hear THAT now a days,I ask you?It is great to see Lloyd's Bridges back with us again after his long absence.

The Christopher Reeve Superman Collection (Superman: The Movie / Superman II / Superman III / Superman IV: The Quest for Peace) (8-Disc Deluxe Special Edition) (Bilingual)
The Christopher Reeve Superman Collection (Superman: The Movie / Superman II / Superman III / Superman IV: The Quest for Peace) (8-Disc Deluxe Special Edition) (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Christopher Reeve
Price: CDN$ 49.99
6 used & new from CDN$ 24.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chris Reeves flies again!, June 15 2013
The Superman Collection released in 2006,has all four Superman Movies with the late Christopher Reeves.This is a fine collection with great extras,especially on the four disc first film,but more of that later.Let's look at the movies themselves.
First we have the starter of the franchise,Superman:The Movie(released Dec/78),starring,among others,Marlon Brando as Superman's father,Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor,Christopher Reeve as Superman,Margot Kidder as Lois Lane and Jackie Cooper as Perry White.The story finds us on Kryptonite as Superman's father and mother are trying to convince a disbelieving council of their impending doom.The said "doom" arrives as the system's sun eats their planet.Just before this,Superman's parents send their infant son off the planet and to Earth.He lands near a farm and is raised by two human parents.He grows up and eventually heeds a "call" to go to the arctic.There,with a help of a crystal from his home planet,he builds a fortress.For 12 years he remains there discovering who he is and how he ended up on Earth.When he finally leaves it,it is with full knowledge of who he is and what his role on Earth must be.To live among humans he takes on the disguise of a mild mannered reporter at The Daily Planet newspaper,in the big city of Metropolis.There he falls in love with a fellow reporter Lois Lane.In the background master criminal Lux Luthor has heard about this new guy in town,a do gooder,and wants to rid the Earth of this "pest".He devises a plan to expose Superman to Kryptonite,which he does.He fires two missiles at once,one aimed for New Jersey,the other towards the San Andreas fault,hoping to push California into the sea.With the aid of one of Lux's assistants,Superman escapes in time to get the New Jersey missile,but cannot get the other which indeed explodes along the fault line.This creates a massive sequence of events,which also envelops Lois Lane who,coincidentally,is there to cover the developing story.She dies before Superman can reach her.Going against the non interference protocols of his teachings,he reverses time in order to save Lois.It also has the effect of Superman easily apprehending Lux,who is taken to prison.
Easily the best of the series of films here,it introduces us to the easy going countenance and personality of Reeves.His portrayal is a believable one and he sails through this and the others like he was born to wear those tights.The movie has a great mixture of comedy and drama.In this film he is ably supported by the likes of Hackman,Valerie Perinne,Ned Beatty and the rest of the cast.This film gets a 4 1/2 star rating.
Superman Two(released Dec/80)stars,among others,Christopher Reeve,Margot Kidder,Gene Hackman,Ned Beatty,Jackie Cooper,Sarah Douglas,Jack O'Halloran,Valerie Perrine,Susannah York,Clifton James,
E. G. Marshall,Marc McClure and Terence Stamp.This film finds three criminals from Kryptonite,who were sentenced to oblivion in a mirror like prison on Kryptonite in the first film,freed.It is accidental,as Superman foiled a nuclear explosion in Paris and flung the weapon far into space where it exploded.Once the three are released they head to Earth where they start to wreak havoc among the populace.Meanwhile Superman has revealed himself to Lois,and whisks her off to his crystal fortress.There he is exposed to red krypyonite and his powers vanish;he becomes human like. The three criminals now control the world and in steps Lux Luthor.He knows where Superman's fortress is and offers his services in return for the ruling of Australia.Superman unfortunately realizes that he is no match for these three criminals,who have all the powers he used to.He returns to his fortress in an attempt to reverse the process.Luthor has arrived with the criminals and Superman is put into a chamber to kill him.Superman,thinking ahead,has set the red kryptonite for exposure to them,shielding himself from the harmful rays.Once out,Superman easily disposes of the three and and Luthor.He returns Lois to Metropolis and alters her memory.Superman promises the president that he will never ever abandon his duties again.
Though a step down from the first,the film is still a very enjoyable one,due to the strong cast involved.I give this film 4 stars.
Superman Three(released June/83)stars,among others,Christopher Reeve,Richard Pryor,Jackie Cooper,Robert Vaughn and Margot Kidder.This film directed by Richard"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" Lester,is filled with MUCH more comedic elements.The film opens as Pryor is looking for work and he enrolls in a computer course.It seems he has an extraordinary gift for computers and is hired by a big company.The owner is obsessed with gaining fortune and control,and when he finds Pryor embezzling funds from his company,he puts him to work for his benefit.The magnate produces some kryptonite,which he will use against Superman.However the final product is not pure kryptonite.When Superman is finally exposed to it,it at first appears to have little or no effect.However after a short time his personality becomes altered and he descends into a terrible funk.The final straw comes when a drunk superman crash lands in a junk yard and his whole being splits into two people.Superman battles his evil half and defeats him.Superman flies to the Grand Canyon where the millionaire businessman has hold up with his accomplices.He has a built a super computer,with Pryor's help,to defeat Superman.Superman does a prolonged battle and wins.The world is returned to normal and the criminals put away.
This movie has just too much going on,and Lester's direction is all over the map.His attempt at force fed "humour",works against Superman's later descent into darkness,taking away its impact.This would be the poorest of the franchise.I give it 2 1/2 stars.
Finally Superman:The Quest for Peace(released July/87).It stars,among others,Christopher Reeve,Gene Hackman,Jackie Cooper,Jon Cryer,Margot Kidder and Mariel Hemingway.This one finds Superman wondering what to do about the Earth's self destructive Nuclear arms race.He talks with delegates at the U.N. and vows to rid the world of nuclear devices.This he does but he doesn't plan on Lux Luthor and company.His nephew breaks him out of prison and he sets on an idea to produce an evil version of Superman.He obtains a strand of hair from Superman and sends it into the sun.With his creature made,it returns to Earth awaiting Luthor's orders.When the right time comes the battle begins.It is a pitched fight and Superman gets wounded in the neck by the creature's long finger nails,which contain deadly radiation.After a period of recuperation,at which time he uses a one time only piece of crystal designed to save his life,he returns to confront the creature.Their battles range from Earth,to the Moon and back.Finally the creature is tossed into a nuclear reactor where it dies.The world is safe,but Superman tells the world that forced peace was not his to give.Peace must be earned and wanted from everyone.
This film was a step up from the last one,but not a major one.Reeves actually had a hand in the idea of this movie and it does move fairly well.The creature that Luthor creates doesn't quite ring true however,i.e. it's not believable.I give this film a three star rating.
Technically speaking the films are all in their original w/s a/r of 2:35:1.All of the films,except the first one,look pretty good.There are two versions of the first film,the original theatrical release and the 2000 newly expanded edition,the latter of which I found the preferable one.However,both need a better remastering.The added footage,especially on Krypton,is quite grainy.Extras abound in this set.The first film has four discs,for the two film versions,and two others with extras such as the restored late 1930s Superman cartoons,an early 50s George Reeves Superman TV show(both of which are almost worth the price of this set alone!),and many featurette.The 2nd film has two discs and contains the film along with commentary,deleted scenes,1940s restored cartoons and more.The 3rd film is one disc and has commentary,added scenes and a featurette.The 4th film has one disc ad contains a plethora of added scenes and commentary.
All in all a set worth owning of the late Chris Reeves turn as the immortal Superman.While showing it's 70s and 80s roots at times,they still stand up as a group of still very watchable films.Reeve was a good choice for the part(though there were many critics in the day concerning his abilities in that department),and his acting I think still stands the test of time.While the first film in both versions I think need a better remastering,the rest are all in good shape.Recommended.

Sea Hunt Complete Season One [Import]
Sea Hunt Complete Season One [Import]
Price: CDN$ 22.21
18 used & new from CDN$ 14.44

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars At last Sea Hunt,the way it was meant to be seen!, June 4 2013
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Sea Hunt the television series,originally ran for four seasons starting in 1958.Detailed minded folks will notice that two of the eps on the first disc are pilots;one dated for 1956 and the other for 1957,contrary to the popular notion there was only one.ZIV obviously had shopped this series around and got no takers for a couple of years,so decided to do it itself in the syndication market and it succeeded beyond anyone's expectations.I remember the series being cancelled,and couldn't figure out how such a show that was so popular could be dropped.It was only in later years when I found out it was the dwindling syndication market that was the culprit,as the three big networks really started to dominate the airwaves and minimize the syndicated market.
If you haven`t seen this show,it is remarkable it got traction at all.Consider the problems associated with photographing actors underwater,or their stunt doubles.Not only getting a camera down there,but finding the right clear conditions,the weather to worry about,a believable script week after week,trying to act in a believable manner(exaggerated but believable gestures)while so buoyant( no easy task)and one cannot just yell `cut,it`s a rap`,can they? Then there was their lead actor,who would have to have at least some working knowledge of scuba equipment and diving in order for the audience to truly ``buy it``.Somehow Ivan Tors and his production company managed to over come all these obstacles and more.
Lloyd Bridges had a prolific career in films from the mid 30s onwards as a supporting player and even though he had been blacklisted in the early 50s by the McCarthy crowd,it didn`t last long.He was trained in diving by Zale Parry and Courtney Brown in /56 after being awarded the lead in the show.Brown would become his stunt double,but by series end Bridges was doing a majority of his own work underwater.Bridges was very fit and he,importantly,looked and acted like a pro around the water.He handled his equipment like he had been at it for years.One can truly say no one,or show,was a better spokesman for the sport of skin diving,before or since,than Lloyd Bridges and Sea Hunt.Bridges` affable personality really sold this show,like no other.His glances into the camera made you feel he was talking just to you,and you alone.
Every ep started out with the credits and Lloyd suiting up,then there was about a minute prologue to set the tone of things to come.Then came two acts of melodrama,and finally the end where Lloyd would talk directly into the camera and say to us to join him next week for another``exciting adventure`` of Sea Hunt,or other similar phrase.One line was especially poignant and always added to the authenticity of the show.He would say that scuba diving was great for young and old ``but it can be dangerous,so know your sport well and don`t take any chances``.Safety was a recurring theme in all the eps of Sea Hunt.Bridges`character was an ex Navy frogman and his expertise was widely known and respected.In the show he would always caution other characters about safety,and he himself would rarely if ever take a chance.Have I mentioned the music? From the opening to closing credits,and every minute in between,the show was filled with the most compelling music.All intended to enhance the various moods presented in the dramas and,as a result,our own viewing experience and reactions.
Besides Mr.Bridges,I have seen a young Larry Hagman,Leonard Nimoy and a VERY young Jeff Bridges in these shows,so far.As you watch,many of the same cast keep reappearing as different characters throughout.The shows are filled with vets of the screen and other supporting actors from TV of the 50s and 60s.Many shots were used repeatedly and one shot I recall in particular didn't match.It was an ep about a killer whale.They used stock footage showing it on the water from a distance,but for close ups they first used a shark,then a pilot whale.Hey,this was just the first season and they didn`t have endless pockets of money to use;they had to be thrifty.
Now to the DVDs themselves.The DVD cases(there are two,volumes one and two),are housed in what I can only describe as a solid topped cardboard box.You lift the lid to get access to the cases,like you would lift the lid to a box of chocolates.I have never seen DVDs housed this way.The first DVD keepcase has three DVDs pancaked one on top of the other.This was a concern to me and I have since put two in one double holding snapcase as a precautionary measure..But I must say none of the discs exhibited any scuffs or scratches.The second volume has two discs,one in a plastic movable holder and one in a solid holder built into the case.The picture? Well,I must say this is a revelation.In case you didn`t know,MGM are the folks that have held Sea Hunt in their archives all these years.The prints they have supplied to TGG are absolutely tremendous.They are clear and crisp,generally,and many look liked they were filmed yesterday.My grainy B&W set in /58 never gave this good a picture!
In conclusion,if you`re a Sea Hunt fan THIS is the set to own.Accept no imitations. A wildly popular TV show in its day,LLoyd Bridges/Sea Hunt is finally back after a long absence and in better shape than ever.Kudos to TGG for bringing it home for us,in their original form.4 1/2 stars.

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