With so much television available at our finger tips, there is always a demand for the revisiting of the golden age of television where everything was more simple. Mill Creek Entertainment has taken everything they could find in their catalogue and have built two rather large television time capsules and experiences that are suitable for audiences that grew up during what they call the “golden age” of TV. The “Watch Around the Clock: 24 Hours of TV” pair of box sets even includes the original commercials and ads for various products from the era, and there’s even a small fold out guide that allow you to view what TV shows are available through the entirety of the twenty four hour block.
For the respective Three Stooges buff looking for a good holiday gift, or for someone just seeking some good old fashioned laughs and gaffs, Mill Creek offers up a forty hour compendium of some of the more interesting three stooges entertainment. While it’s branded the “Complete” collection, I doubt that we’ll ever have a complete collection considering rights issues, but “Big Box of Nyuks” is still a very impressive addition to anyone who adores these knuckleheads and their antics that have managed to garner a new fan base for every generation. It’s an exhaustive look behind the Stooges legacy and also celebrates their comedy when they were at their peak and at their unfortunate worst, but it’s a great collector’s item.
In the realm of cinema, the 1975 blaxploitation feature “Dolemite” might be the closest thing that the medium has to folk art: its raw form carries strains of both naivety and shrewdness, resulting in a work that is mesmerizing for its utter lack of polished structure.
Almost sixty years later, Jackie Gleason’s legendary spin off of “Cavalcade of Stars” popular comedy segment about a normal bus driver named Ralph Kramden seeking his riches and fame, while living with a long suffering wife endures and remains one of the most popular sitcoms of all time. It stands besides “I Love Lucy,” and “Gilligan’s Island,” as one of the most recognizable and beloved series that always manages to find its way on to television, in spite of the series being set during a time where the telephone was still a rare element of the average household. The reason why “The Honeymooners” continues to live on, is not just because of the fact that Ralph Kramden is a quintessential every man, but for the brilliant writing, excellent acting, and top notch comedy that packs a punch even today.
This year Shout! Factory gives fans of Bruce Lee the chance to join together the release of “I Am Bruce Lee” with two DVD’s featuring four of his best films, and for fans looking for a complete library from Lee, Shout! Factory more than obliges. One of many early dark films stars Lee as Cheng in “The Big Boss,” a rather violent and historic action picture filled with much mythos and urban legends about the production, including the famous alleged on-set battle that ensued when a supposed extra challenged Lee to a fight.
Shout! Factory continues its celebration of the one and only Bruce Lee by offering fans their chance at one of two double feature DVD sets that feature some of the best international entertainment starring Lee. With the newest 40th anniversary release of “Enter the Dragon” around the corner, Shout! Factory gives fans their own Bruce Lee fix with new releases of some of his most iconic movies.
Mill Creek Entertainment offers drama fans four very acclaimed and intresting dramatic features for folks looking to save money. Sydney Pollack directs the 1977 film “Bobby Deerfield,” a film starring Al Pacino as a race car driver who finds himself falling for a mysterious and terminally ill young woman. Through the woman’s final days alive does Pacino’s daredevil character learn more about life. There’s also the 1965 “Baby, The Rain Must Fall” directed by Robert Mulligan starring theg reat Steve NcQuen. McQueen plays Henry Thomas, a young man who loves to sing in his band and is pressured by his mother to go back to school and get his educaiton.
When Thomas’ Wife and daughter come back in to town looking for a home, Thomas gets a new sense of priority. Though McQueen is far fetched as a rockabilly singer in a band, he has a good chemistry with co-star Lee Remick. Marlon Brando stars in the 1966 Arthur Penn directed “The Chase.” In it, Brando a sheriff named Calder known for being something of a puppet who finds a new mission when a local begins having an affair with a gangster Charlie “Bubber” Reeves’ wife.
Based on the British sitcom “Til Death Us Do Part,” Norman Lear’s American sitcom “All in the Family” has managed to live on for decades as one of the most volatile and controversial American television series of all time. Even decades after its premiered, “All in the Family” continues to live on as a series that examined many themes about the world that are still relevant, and still widely examined by the greatest minds. In its nine season run, “All in the Family” explored themes of homosexuality, capital punishment, abortion, religion, the Vietnam war, feminism, civil rights, rape, racial stereotypes, sexual dynamics, homophobia, terrorism, gun control, and so much more.
“All in the Family” did so with a fearlessness that signaled a series that was willing to tackle such issues with a sincerity that made it very popular, while also making audiences laugh non-stop. With relatable down to Earth characters, “All in the Family” went to live on television for nine seasons, and conceived five spin offs of varying success. Norman Lear examined the themes deemed incredibly taboo in the seventies with a comedic dynamic that used its characters to become the catalysts for such arguments and dissections of what was troubling the world in the seventies, and what’s going to continue troubling the world.