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Reviews Written by
L. Harris "skytag" (Winter Haven, FL USA)

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Star Trek - The Original Series: Season 1 [Import]
Star Trek - The Original Series: Season 1 [Import]
DVD ~ William Shatner
Offered by OMydeals
Price: CDN$ 79.87
18 used & new from CDN$ 37.76

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not anymore, July 6 2004
Okay, no one can really rate these since they aren't available yet, but I'm digusted with Paramount. Other people have made the obvious comments about the original release of these episodes by an incredibly stupid Paramount. What I can say that I didn't see anyone else say is that before they released those, I wrote them a letter (shows how desperate I was) asking them to please put more than two shows on a disk, obviously to no avail. But yes, I bought those stupid things, annoyed every time I purchased one.
Do I wished I'd waited? No, not really, because it's been nice having them all this time (about five years if I'm not mistaken) to enjoy, and I have enjoyed them. What I do wish is that the division of Paramount responsible for releasing ST on DVD weren't run by such a group of greedy idiots.
Paramount stopped getting my money a few years back when I realized what a skimpy product they were delivering for the exorbitant prices they charge, undoubtly because they see Star Trek fans as total fanatics who wil pay for anything Star Trek. Star Trek DVDs are among the most expensive DVDs available and after releasing nearly 20 *seasons* of ST on DVD (nearly 500 episodes), I've yet to hear of a single episode with an audio commentary. I think that's pathetic. Stargate SG-1 is every bit as good a show, the DVDs are half the price of ST, the packaging is better than the lame stuff Paramount's been foisting on fans with the DS9 and Voyager disks, and every episode starting with season 4 has an audio commentary.
When I look at the series and how Paramount has packaged/released them, it seems obvious to me they don't know what they're doing. The first series came two episodes/disk and no extras. The NG packaging was nice, but a hassle to use. The DS9 and Voyager sets take up minimal self space, but feel really cheap. Somewhere along the way someone at Paramount figured out they needed to add extra features, but still no audio commentaries. It's like they figure they'll just keep trying things until they get it right, a mentality they couldn't afford to have if they didn't have five series to play with. It's a crying shame they didn't spend some of our money to hire someone competent in their DVD department so they could give us a good product from the very beginning.

Stargate SG-1: The Complete Season 6 (Widescreen) (5 Discs) [Import]
Stargate SG-1: The Complete Season 6 (Widescreen) (5 Discs) [Import]
DVD ~ Richard Dean Anderson
Offered by OMydeals
Price: CDN$ 40.83
12 used & new from CDN$ 19.73

5.0 out of 5 stars Stargate SG-1 sets the standard, March 14 2004
I'm not impressed easily, but Stargate SG-1 impresses me on every front. Consistently good stories, flawless casting, solid writing, convincing acting, real character development, great special effects, stories that make you think, laugh, cry, have you on the edge of your seat, it's all there. Stargate didn't take three or four seasons to find its groove, it had great shows in the very first season and has been a solid performer ever since. Absolutely amazing, especially so for science fiction, a genre which is notorious for less-than-impressive shows.
If that weren't enough, MGM offers an outstanding product in these DVDs at a very nice price. These boxed sets are attractive and friendly. Friendly in that every episode is listed on the box so I can find one without having to even take the boxes off the shelf and discs are easy to access (I don't have to unfold the packaging across the couch to get to a disc). The quality is top-notch (I have a high-end DVD player, TV, and audio system, so I can tell when a DVD is mediocre, and lots of them are mediocre). They've always had nice extras, but starting with season 4 they've had audio commentaries for every episode, and even those are consistently entertaining. All this for a price that's half of what you'd pay for Star Trek or X-Files and 2/3 of what you'd pay for Babylon 5. MGM hasn't cut a single corner with these and it shows. Oh, and they don't make you wait years to get them on DVD. It just doesn't get any better than this.
In fact, these are almost too good. A while back I stopped worrying about seeing the shows as they were broadcast because I *know* I'll get every season on DVD as soon as it's released. I try to see them as they're broadcast, but the show and the DVDs have been so consistently good for so long, I know I'll be happy with them, and they come out not too long after the season ends. Awesome.
In this day and age, it's nice to see a company consistently offering such a solid product for a fair price. You won't be disappointed.

Star Trek Voyager: Season 1
Star Trek Voyager: Season 1
DVD ~ Kate Mulgrew
Price: CDN$ 57.97
22 used & new from CDN$ 46.00

2.0 out of 5 stars Where to start?, March 13 2004
This review is from: Star Trek Voyager: Season 1 (DVD)
I wish I could review these discs, but I can't even think about paying what Paramount is charging for them. The reviews are interesting, though. There are the worshippers, the people who think Voyager/Star Trek/Paramount is so wonderful they'd gladly fork over $200/season for handful of discs with no extras served up in a manila envelope, and claim that isn't a problem because they know how to use a manila envelope. Those are the true fans -- short for fanatics. Then there are the folks who have the presence of mind (can you tell which group I'm in?) to notice that Paramount consistently provides Star Trek fans with the lamest series sets in the industry for some of the highest prices, simply because the worshippers have shown Paramount they can get away with it. In the middle are the sheep, the people who realize Paramount is ripping them off, but they pay through the nose because they can't fathom *not* owning ST on DVD or they're afraid that if a series doesn't sell well, Paramount will stop releasing ST on DVD (like *that* would ever happen).
TNG, DS9, and now Voyager are some of the most expensive TV sets you can buy (only X-Files comes to mind as higher), and with pathetic features. Stargate SG-1 runs about $50/season here at for 22 episodes vs. $90 for Voyager with 16 episodes and most ST seasons for over $100. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel run about $40/season. Babylon 5 runs $70-80/season (still overpriced IMO) for 22 episodes. Friends -- which has a huge and loyal following -- runs $30-34/season, which is less than ST even after you compensate for the fact that it's a half-hour show. The list of TV shows that are less expensive with more features goes on and on. The shows that are more expensive you could count on one hand.
If I'm not mistaken, we now have 18 seasons of ST on DVD (3 TOS, 7 TNG, 7 DS9, and 1 Voyager), and not one episode has an audio commentary as far as I know. Packaging gets cheaper with each successive series as Paramount tests the fans to see just what they'll tolerate. And now it seems Paramount, having little left to cheap out on, has stooped to giving people (including the worshippers) the worst quality control fiasco I've ever heard of in TV DVD seasons for any show. Missing discs and multiple copies of the same disc in a set? How much more will it take to prove to some people how much Paramount takes ST fans for granted?
Go ahead, buy these sets. But if you do, don't be surprised if when Enterprise comes out on DVD you get six discs wrapped up in Saran Wrap. Just kidding of course, Handi Wrap is cheaper than Saran Wrap.
Oh, as for the series, I thought it was mediocre. Watchable, but nothing to write home about. You could see them struggle to make it interesting, such as adding a new character after the first three seasons and sticking her in an outfit that made her look like a Barbie doll, using the Borg and Q (I like both, but still, I'd rather Voyager hadn't needed to rely on them). Too many episodes where they were vacationing on some planet (and ticking off the locals) instead of flying home as hard as they could go. Too much scowling from Tuvoc. Too many "bad Seska" episodes. Not enough really imaginative stories. But alas, it's Star Trek, so some of us still love it. I just won't pay for it at these prices.

Price: CDN$ 21.35
39 used & new from CDN$ 0.96

5.0 out of 5 stars Another option, Dec 27 2003
This review is from: Flyer (Audio CD)
This album has two of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard, On Grafton Street and Talk To Me While I'm Listening. However, I'm referring to the recordings Frances Black did of them on her 1997 album Talk To Me, on which she also recorded Time Of Inconvenience. Not to take away from Nanci's work, but these songs really take on a beauty when Frances Black sings them which they lack on this album. But I'm very grateful Nanci wrote them. :-) Just thought I'd mention it as an option for anyone who likes these songs and might be interested in another version.

Newsradio : The Complete First and Second Seasons [Import]
Newsradio : The Complete First and Second Seasons [Import]
DVD ~ Dave Foley
Offered by Canadian Apple Sales
Price: CDN$ 24.99
27 used & new from CDN$ 1.45

5.0 out of 5 stars A real sleeper, Dec 26 2003
I don't remember how I discovered NewsRadio. Most people I've known have never even heard of it. But anyone I treat to a few episodes from my tape collection loves it. Well cast (Katherine excepted -- sorry to all the Katherine fans, I just never liked her character), brilliantly written, this is the only show I know which can have me laughing so hard I can't breathe just thinking about an episode I haven't seen in months ("Super Karate Monkey Death Car"). Stephen Root is fabulous as crazy billionaire station owner Jimmy James. Maura Tierney is absolutely adorable as Lisa. Phil Hartman is perfect as the self-centered on-air talent whose ego knows no bounds. Add Matthew, the complete idiot, Beth, the useless secretary and Joe, the station electrician who makes his own duct tape and you have one lovable group of misfits for whom Dave Foley plays the perfect den mother. I don't know what it is about this show, but you really grow to love it and its characters in a way you just don't see in very many shows. Like others who've posted here, I've been waited anxiously for this to come to DVD and I dearly hope they do a good job with it, despite the bargain price.

Xena Season 1
Xena Season 1
DVD ~ Lucy Lawless
Offered by OMydeals
Price: CDN$ 83.94
11 used & new from CDN$ 23.31

3.0 out of 5 stars Video is awful, Dec 25 2003
This review is from: Xena Season 1 (DVD)
Contrary to what platoshrimp says, the progressive scan issue is not a factor here. Whoever transferred this to DVD simply did a terrible job, made even more deplorable by the cost. Shots with a lot of motion show a lot of compression artifacts, and those with little motion are grainy. Sure, the shows are fun, but there's no excuse for quality this poor in DVDs, especially at this price point. It's some of the worst I've ever seen in a DVD. Stargate SG-1 seasons are 2/3 the price of Xena and have excellent quality video and good extras. I'll probably sell the season after I've watched it simply because the video quality is so disappointing.

Buffy, the Vampire Slayer - Season 4 (Bilingual) [Import]
Buffy, the Vampire Slayer - Season 4 (Bilingual) [Import]
DVD ~ Sarah Michelle Gellar
Offered by True Blue Vintage
Price: CDN$ 49.99
22 used & new from CDN$ 4.99

3.0 out of 5 stars The other side, Oct. 30 2003
I enjoyed this season, and I'll be getting it on DVD, but contrary to some of the comments here I felt there were some serious problems in season 4, and in fact it represented a downturn in the show from which it never fully recovered.
There were definitely some great shows in season 4, but in many ways the show just seemed to be lost in space. The loss of Oz was a real loss. Ditto for Angel and Cordelia. The gay Willow thing struck me as a blatant attempt to broaden the show's appeal to gays, or as a failed attempt to add an interesting twist to the show. Tara was boring and dull, gay relationships in TV shows don't move me at all (because I can't relate to either partner), and Oz had much better chemistry with Willow IMO.
It's in season 4 that Buffy, our heroine, starts her downhill journey from happy, upbeat, confident superhero to a confused, depressed, lost little girl with super powers. Would it really have been so bad to have a heroine who didn't fall apart? The chemistry with Riley was never there like it was with Angel or Spike. The Initiative? Yeah, right, a government agency to secretly create super demons. The only good thing that came out of the Initiative was the chip in Spike's head.
Buffy's out of place in college, Willow's gay, Xander starts to realize just how little direction his life has, and Buffy is paired up with a new boy to have sex with. These sound like the kind of things a creative person (Joss Whedon) would do if he's running out of genuinely good ideas. (At least we didn't have to deal with Dawn in season 4 -- another lame attempt to jazz up the show).
On the plus side we get a more fun Spike and Anya. Without those two I'd probably have stopped watching Buffy sometime in season 4.

It's Not Easy Being a Bunny
It's Not Easy Being a Bunny
by Marilyn Sadler
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 13.82
107 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites, Dec 13 1999
I loved to read this to my kids. Cute, funny, and it teaches that the grass is not always greener on the on the other side.

Apollo 13 (Widescreen)
Apollo 13 (Widescreen)
DVD ~ Tom Hanks
Offered by M and N Media Canada
Price: CDN$ 47.68
11 used & new from CDN$ 5.03

4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, Disappointing disc, March 17 1999
This review is from: Apollo 13 (Widescreen) (DVD)
I assume you've seen the movie, so I'll confine my comments to the disc. Picture is good, but not quite the best I've seen on a DVD. The DTS sound quality is great, but there's disappointingly little info to the surrounds. Mostly silence or some background music, even in scenes where you would clearly expect something. (For example, in the missle hanger scene where Hanks is conducting a tour, a section is lowered onto the rocket, producing a loud boom. There is nothing of the boom in the surrounds, even though such a sound would obviously reverberate throughout the building.) Absolutely no extras, not even a threatrical trailer. I'm not at all convinced that any improvement in the sound quality is worth giving all of the extras on the other version of this DVD.

Ladyhawke  (Bilingual) [Import]
Ladyhawke (Bilingual) [Import]
DVD ~ Matthew Broderick
Offered by 5A/30 Entertainment
Price: CDN$ 76.99
16 used & new from CDN$ 18.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful film, Oct. 29 1998
This is a wonderful, wonderful film. Every time I see it I'm impressed with the cinematography, sets, story, and acting. The music's definitely not what you'd expect in a medival setting, but I love it. END

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