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Dolly: The Ultimate Collection 19-Disc DVD Review: The Queen of Country Conquers TV

This set showcases that Dolly Parton's musical talent, charisma, and spirit have remained a constant over the decades.
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The first four volumes of Dolly: The Ultimate Collection from Time Life contains a massive amount of TV appearances across 19 discs and over six decades. This set showcases that Dolly Parton's musical talent, charisma, and spirit remained a constant while her appearance frequently changed. Volume 1 contains 6 discs. The first three discs contain eight episodes from her eponymous 1987 variety show that aired on ABC. The shows are packed with guest stars and hokey humor, but the songs are what's worth watching. Disc 3 focuses on Christmas with a Dolly episode paired with Bob Hope's Jolly Christmas Show

Jonny Quest: The Complete Original Series Blu-ray Review: 26 Thrilling, Boys' Adventures

The Blu-ray from Warner Archive delivers satisfying high-definition video that will please long-time fans and should help attract new ones.
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Originally running from September 18, 1964-March 11, 1965, Jonny Quest is an animated, science fiction/adventure series from Hanna-Barbera Productions. It was created by artist Douglas S. Wildey at the behest of the studio when they couldn't get the rights to create an adaptation of the popular radio drama, Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy. The TV series presents 26 thrilling boys' adventures set around the world in the (then) near future. In the first episode, “The Mystery of the Lizard Men,” the main characters are introduced: the 11-year-old titular character (Tim Matheson); his widowed father, scientist Dr. Benton Quest (voiced by

Stargirl: The Complete First Season Blu-ray Review: A Stellar Season

Although there's been a glut of superhero TV shows the past few years, Stargirl feels fresh and is executed so well on all fronts.
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Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided Cinema Sentries with a free copy of the Blu-ray reviewed in this post. The opinions shared are those solely of the writer. Based on the comic book character created by writer Geoff Johns and artist Lee Moder, the Stargirl gang made their first appearance, briefly, in the Arrowverse crossover event, "Crisis on Infinite Earths," before the debut of their stellar 13-episode season, which aired on the DC Universe streaming service and the CW. The series opens with a flashback to ten years ago when the Justice Society lost a major defeat at the hands

You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown Deluxe Edition DVD Review

The amusing special is paired with the very disappointing He's A Bully, Charlie Brown.
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You’re Not Elected, Charlie Brown is the eighth Peanuts television special. It first aired in October 1972 before the U.S. Presidential election and is based on a strip that ran in October 1964. After seeing the announcement for the upcoming election for class president, Linus suggests Charlie Brown run. After self-appointed political strategist Lucy polls the student body, she learns he has no chance but discovers Linus has a 99% chance of winning, so he throws his hat into the ring to run against Russell Anderson. At the debate between the candidates, Linus makes a lot of promises that excite

The Plot Against America DVD Review: A Bland 'What If' Drama

HBO's miniseries offers an alternate glimpse of American during the 1940s and makes obvious comparisons to today's events.
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Based on Phillip Roth’s novel of the same name, David Simon’s adaptation of The Plot Against America takes a look at an alternate timeline of the country during the 1940s. It imagines what would have happened if aviator and political activist Charles Lindbergh ran for president and won over Franklin Delano Roosevelt. But Lindbergh is portrayed as radical and xenophobic, and his vision seems to be leaning more toward running the country like a dictator. Does that sound familiar? It should. If you follow the news at all, the comparisons to the media's portrayal of President Trump and their constant

Burt Sugarman's The Soul of The Midnight Special: Volume 1 (1973-1976) DVD Review: A Soulful Nostalgia Trip

Be instantly transported to soul, funk, and disco's golden era in this five-DVD set.
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Long before MTV, if you wanted to see your favorite artist perform their latest hits, you had limited choices: see them on American Bandstand, Soul Train, The Tonight Show, or on variety shows. Many of these programs, however, featured artists lip-synching their newest singles. During the 1970s, The Midnight Special, along with Don Kirshner's Rock Concert, stood out for having completely live music in front of a studio audience. NBC’s The Midnight Special, which aired from 1973-1981, kept music fans up late with current and classic artists from the rock and soul fields. Time Life has compiled some of the

Happy Halloween Scooby-Doo! DVD Review: Good on Many Levels

This Festival of Fright puts the franchise in a good light at their most appropriate holiday.
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Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided the writer with a free copy of the DVD reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions shared are his own. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment releases the 31st direct-to-video movie in their Scooby-Doo franchise on October 6, 2020. The trailer claims this to be "Their First Halloween Mystery Movie", although that ignores the excellent Scooby-Doo! and the Goblin King and the lesser entertaining but Halloween-themed Scooby-Doo! and KISS: Rock n Roll Mystery. The animated movie arm of the franchise has settled into semi-anual release schedule and in the quickly changing landscape of Home Entertainment, I feel

Killing Eve: Season 3 Blu-ray Review: Girl Power to the Max

Killing Eve gets to the etheral pleasure of watching televsion, and it is as colorful and outrageous as Eve's fabulous fashion choices.
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Killing Eve is a weird and wonderful show. The cat and mouse attraction/repulsion between British intelligence agent Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh) and a female assasin who calls herself Villanelle (Jodie Comer) has sustained audience interest since its premiere in 2018. Its first season was outrageous and acclaimed - by critics and the public - and highly awarded. Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag) was the head writer and executive producer for the first series, and her trademark wit was evident in the show's mix of girl power and black humor. The second season upped the ante (especially violence) and was produced and written

Hip Hop: The Songs That Shook America Blu-ray Review: The Presentation Is First Class

Six songs that may or may not have shook the world are featured in this documentary series.
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In October of 2019, AMC aired a six-episode series called Hip Hop: The Songs That Shook America. That series is being released on DVD and Blu-ray as a 2-Disc set featuring the episodes and extras including commentary, additional interviews, and a Barbershop freestyle. Each episode is structured in a similar way. There's a cultural context of what was going on in society and popular culture at the time of the song's release. There's a persepctive of what the artist had done up to that point and how their careers changed because of the release of the song. And there are

DC's Legends of Tomorrow: The Complete Fifth Season Review: So Much Fun

This show just keeps getting better and better.
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Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided Cinema Sentries with a free copy of the Blu-ray reviewed in this post. The opinions shared are those solely of the writer. Ever since the Flash entered into the Arrowverse, there have been crossover events. Initially, it was just the Flash hanging out in Star City with Oliver Queen or vice versa, but as the number of series joined the Arrowverse, the events got bigger and bigger. Still, these events are usually one-offs where the various characters would get together to fight a big villain, and then they go back to their respective cities

The Best of Cher, Volume 1 & 2 DVD Review: Take It Home

You can turn back time and watch hours of Cher.
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When The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour ended after the couple's divorce, CBS stuck with Cher. She starred in an eponymous variety hour for two seasons, 26 episodes from February 16, 1975 -January 4, 1976. She reunited with Sonny, creatively, for The Sonny & Cher Show which ran until 1977. Time Life has released The Best of Cher Volumes 1 & 2, a nine-disc set that shines a spotlight on the superstar that will surely delight fans. Volume 1 focuses on Cher, presenting 10 episodes. On five discs. Guest stars include Elton John, Bette Midler, Flip Wilson, Tatum O'Neal, Wayne

Supergirl: The Complete Fifth Season Blu-ray Review: Full of Feel-good Moments

Supergirl: The Complete Fifth Season celebrates the show, the comic book, and the positivity in the pursuit of diversity.
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Supergirl: The Complete Fifth Season is definitely an enjoyable way to pass the time during self isolation. It is full of feel-good moments reminiscent of the feel good-comic book Supergirl that are more than just Supergirl’s new bangs or pants on her new uniform. The diversity represented through the characters and the telling of their stories is well managed and offers the opportunity to see the multicultural layers of society being told from previously unheard voices. Through the 19-episode progression, Kara (Melissa Benoist) continues her quest for companionship, there's a global VR technological revolutionary roll out, Lena (Katie McGrat) continuing

We Bare Bears: The Movie DVD Review: A Satisfying Send-Off

Join Panda, Grizz, and Ice Bear as the brothers take on one final journey.
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Warner Bros Home Entertainment provided the writer with a free copy of the DVD reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions shared are his own. For those unfamiliar with We Bare Bears, the Cartoon Network animated series that ran from 2015 to 2019, it was a show about three brothers, who are bears, and their various adventures or misadventures. The episodes ran for about 15 minutes apiece and two were shown together in a half-hour span on the air. On Netflix and other streaming services, the episodes are shown individually in their short-run format. Sure, the bears aren’t biologically related.

The Flash: The Complete Sixth Season Blu-ray Review: The Stakes Have Gotten Higher but the Fun Has Gotten Smaller

The Flash keeps getting bigger and bigger, but not necessarily better and better.
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Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided Mat Brewster with a free copy of the Blu-ray reviewed in this post. The opinions shared are his own. Towards the end of "The Last Temptation of Barry Allen, Pt. 2", Episode 7 of the Sixth Season of The Flash, the main cast gathers together to hug, say nice things to Barry, and look at each other wistfully. They know that Crisis is coming. The prophecy has foretold that Barry Allen aka the Flash (Grant Gustin) has to die. At some point, Cisco (Carlos Valdez) reminisces about the old days, when there was no Crisis,

Batwoman: The Complete First Season Blu-ray Review: The Arrowverse Finally Goes to Gotham

When Batwoman finds its groove, it's really good.
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Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided the writer with a free copy of the Blu-ray reviewed in this article. The opinions shared are his own. With Arrow coming into its eighth and final season, the CW needed a new show to replace it and continue its stable of shows within the Arrowverse. Why not head to Gotham and bring forth one of DC Comics most beloved characters? If not Batman, then why not his cousin? Batwoman may not be an obvious choice to fill in the Arrow's shoes, but then again the Arrow wasn't exactly the hottest property the CW could

Wonder Woman: The Complete Series Blu-ray Review: Warner Bros. Brings Us Exactly What We Need

It’s the commentary by Lynda Carter on the pilot and a Season Three episode that are the gems to discover here.
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In 1975, America found itself in strange times. The president had resigned, we had experienced an energy crisis, and Archie Bunker was the hottest thing on television. With those examples, I am only scratching the surface. Perhaps what we needed was a superhero. The Super Friends animated series was doing quite well on Saturday mornings, thrilling children with the adventures of Superman, Batman, Aquaman, and Wonder Woman. Though our three male heroes had been featured in animated series before Super Friends, we had seen little of Wonder Woman. So, was 1975 truly the year to bring her to prime time?

The Outsider: The Complete First Season Blu-ray Review: Soaked in Grief

This HBO series based upon a Stephen King novel is beautifully made, terrifically scary, and just a little disappointing.
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Stephen King is one of the most prolific and popular American novelists of the last century. He has written over 60 novels, 200 short stories, and countless essays and musings. He has sold over 300 million books in his long career. His writings have been adapted into countless movies and television series, most of them poorly. His stories are notoriously difficult to film. I've become a pretty big fan of the man over the last few years and I think part of the reason why his cinematic adaptations rarely work is that they tend to focus on his plots which

Castle Rock: The Complete Second Season Blu-ray Review: A Stronger Stephen King Feel to It

It was what I was hoping for, a dark scary world with many twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat.
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Having read numerous Stephen King books and loving so many movies based on them, I was really excited for the first season of Castle Rock. The opportunity to see several of his iconic characters come together in this mythical town was exciting. However, it fell flat and left me with no interest in a second season. Upon learning a little bit about the story of the new season and that it included the introduction of one of King’s most terrifying characters, Annie Wilkes from Misery, I decided to give it a try. Annie Wilkes (Lizzy Caplan) has been traversing the

Worst Cartoons Ever! DVD Review: They Stink!

Anyone can own great cartoons, but it takes a true fan of the art form to own and appreciate the worst that animation has to offer.
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[It was a tradition Friday nights at San Diego Comic Con to visit Jerry Beck's long-running panel, Worst Cartoons Ever!, which delivered on its title. Beck would provide background on the poorly created, oddly compelling, laughter-inducing shorts. Because of the pandemic, the convention has gone virtual but not Beck's panel. To give readers a taste, we are posting this 2007 review of the DVD, previously published at Blogcritics, because it contains some example. They are terrible so consider yourself warned.] Comic-Con International is the event of the year for social misfits and entertainment purveyors of the science fiction and fantasy

Wild Palms Blu-ray Review: It's No Twin Peaks

Futuristic miniseries throws in so many ideas that it never settles on one
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In the wake of the spectacular rise and fall of the original Twin Peaks, its network ABC was keen to produce another offbeat series that might trigger the same kind of national water-cooler fervor. Along came Oliver Stone, at that time a creator in very high demand, with a suitably surreal idea based on a comic strip by Bruce Wagner. To eliminate the possibility of another Twin Peaks Season Two disaster, ABC insisted that Stone’s Wild Palms show had a complete story with a clear end up front, leading to the format of this five-episode miniseries. While the resulting project

South Park: The Complete Twenty-Third Season Blu-ray Review: Maintaining Their Tegridy

The show has become TV comfort food, for good and for ill.
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Written and directed by Trey Parker, the twenty-third season finds the citizens of South Park continue to deal with current events in their typical fashion as topical matters get taken to exaggerated extremes amidst gross-out humor and profanity. Fans get more of the same shenanigans and those that didn't take to the show before likely still won't this season. In the previous season, Randy Marsh moved the family out to the valley and opened up Tegridy Farms where he grows and sells marijuana. Sales are down and trying to increase them is storyline that works through the season. In "Mexican

Watchmen (2019): An HBO Limited Series Blu-ray Review

Damon Lindeloff strikes gold with a seemingly impossible project.
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If you come to HBO’s Watchmen limited series with a knowledge of the original comic book series and/or Zack Snyder’s 2009 movie, the most perplexing thing about the premiere episode is the heavy focus on racism, seemingly changing the entire nature of the original plot. In light of our current national turmoil, and on today's 99th anniversary of the actual Tulsa race massacre that serves as a starting point and touchstone for the series, it now stands as a more prescient creative choice than ever and a disturbing reminder of just how little has changed in the last century. While

The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection: Volume 6 (1978-1980) Blu-ray Review

Kino Lorber provides fans an opportunity to rewatch these cartoons and new audiences a chance to discover them.
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From January 2018 to December 2019, Kino Lorber Animation released the entire run of 124 Pink Panther cartoons produced by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises on Blu-ray in six volumes, which are being collected as The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection, a six-disc set housed in a cardboard case, available May 19. Previously reviewed at this site are Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, Volume 4, and Volume 5. As mentioned in those aforementioned reviews, Friz Freleng was an instrumental figure in animation history because of his work on Warner Brothers' Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes. He and producer David H. DePatie went on

The Jetsons The Complete Original Series Blu-ray Review: Meet George Jetson

For fans that grew up with the show, it's nice to have the first season collected.
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After the success of The Flintstones, Hanna Barbera returned to the family sitcom two years later with The Jetsons, doing a 180 on the idea of a Stone Age family and setting the show in the 21st century where people drive flying saucers and most things are automated. However, lightning didn't strike twice. The original series only lasted one season in primetime on ABC. The 24 episodes ran from September 23, 1962, to March 17, 1963. The Jetsons: The Complete Original Series is available on a three-disc Blu-ray set manufactured on demand from the Warner Archive Collection. For those that

Looking for Alaska DVD Review: Well Written and Well Acted

Based on the work of John Green, this tale of teen love and loss engages its audience from start to finish.
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Looking for Alaska brings the critically acclaimed work of author John Green to the screen in this eight-episode Hulu Original limited series available in a three-disc DVD collection. The series begins with Miles Halter (Charlie Plummer) transferring to Culver Creek Academy, a boarding high school in the Alabama wilderness. Miles is a young man who is obsessed by people’s last words and, uses the last words of poet Francois Rabelais, to justify his departure. He tell them that he too is in search of his “great perhaps” and Miles leaves his safe and suburban life behind to begin his search.

TV Review: The West Memphis Three: An ID Murder Mystery: A Documentary Miniseries by the Book

Despite the staggering subject matter, the new documentary lacks the punch.
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The West Memphis Three: An ID Murder Mystery is a fly-on-the-wall documentary primarily chronicling the court trial of the murder of three eight-year-old boys in Robin Hood Hills, that shook America in the year 1993. This isn't the first piece of cinematic documentation based on the tragedy. Well, two tragedies to say. One in the woods, where three young boys were brutally murdered. The second one in the court, where three teenagers were wrongfully convicted. Over the years, there have been three films preceding this three-episode series. Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills, Paradise Lost 2: Revelations,

Good Omens Blu-ray Review: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Armageddon

A comedic fantasy about the angel Aziraphale (Michael Sheen) and the demon Crowley (David Tennant) working together to save humanity from the war between Heaven and Hell.
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Based on the 1990 novel by the late Terry Prachett and Neil Gaiman, the latter of whom oversaw the television series as creator, co-executive producer, and sole writer, Good Omens tells a comedic story about the angel Aziraphale (Michael Sheen) and the demon Crowley (David Tennant) working together to stop Armageddon in order to save humanity from the war between Heaven and Hell. Narrated by God (Frances McDormand), Aziraphale and Crowley first meet in the Garden of Eden. Crowley, who went by “Crawly” then because he took the form of a snake, tempts Eve into eating the apple from the

How to Fix a Drug Scandal Series Review: Ripples of a Sweeping Tragedy

Premiering on Netflix April 1, the limited documentary series is thrilling, suspenseful, entertaining, and profoundly informative.
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How to Fix a Drug Scandal is the dictionary definition of infotainment. It's thrilling, suspenseful, entertaining, and profoundly informative. I might just use my new-found knowledge in dinner-table conversations with my family to sound intellectual. It's such a meticulously researched tale that deeply explores the subject matter. Directed and produced by Erin Lee Carr (Thought Crimes: The Case of Cannibal Cop and Mommy Dead and Dearest), the limited series is on the same lines of Netflix’s earlier releases - The Devil Next Door, The Confession Killer, and The Trails of Gabriel Fernandez - which revolve around one particular incident subsequently

Swamp Thing (2019): The Complete Series Blu-ray Review: What Is and What (Unfortunately) Will Never Be

The complete first and only season of DC Universe’s Swamp Thing shows what could have potentially been a great series.
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It was doomed from the beginning. Before making its debut on the DC Universe streaming service, Swamp Thing had its initial 13-episode first season cut to 10 episodes. Then, once it finally premiered, the show was cancelled after the airing of the pilot episode. The series was able to play out the remaining nine episodes, as the show aired weekly and didn’t release all at once. But the fate of the series was already determined, and those who stuck with it to the end, hoping to get at least some kind of closure, were left gravely disappointed. It’s a pity,

I Got You Babe: The Best of Sonny & Cher, Volume 1 DVD Review

Fans of variety shows and of this era of television should enjoy these episodes.
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Sonny & Cher started as a singing duo and had their first big #1 hit in 1965 with “I Got You Babe” off their debut album, Look at Us. They never reached the same heights of success and failed with a couple of attempts at making a movie. They headed to nightclubs where they added comedy to their act with Sonny the butt of Cher's jokes and put-downs. After successful guest appearances and a TV special, CBS head of programming Fred Silverman hired them for a summer-replacement series that debuted in the summer of 1971 and ran for six episodes.

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