Thursday, November 16, 2006

solid gold

I imagine that our vast readership (thanks, Ma) is sitting there wondering what could possibly be the Top Shelf Pick of the Week. Riiightt. You know what its going to be even with out the pictures. You know what our weaknesses are. It's like going out to eat with the friend who orders the same entre, every time at Olive Garden, but yet acts like they just can't decide. "Gee, I don't know...everything looks so good....You know what? I'm just going to have to go with the Lasagna. I think I had it last time, so I know it's good." Don't you just want to smack the back of their heads. They are same people who swear they have never seen a certain film before, even though you can provide physical evidence to the contrary. "I know you say that ticket stub to There's Something About Mary is mine, but I just don't remember it." Then, half way through the DVD..."Oh, NOW I remember."
But I digress... and great, now I'm hungry for Olive Garden. Or maybe just Lasagna. I don't know, but let's get on with this week's Media Roundup.

Top Shelf Pick of the Week!
Looney Tunes: Golden Collection, Volume 4

I've been looking forward to this set for a very long time. I've got the first three volumes and my children and I have watched all of them...multiple times. This edition delivers the goods for both casual Looney Tunes fans, and the serious animation buff. Included are tons of commentaries (I'm really looking forward to the one with Stan Freberg and Jerry Beck), Behind the Tunes features, documentaries (including a new one on Friz Freleng) and many other features. There are just too many great cartoons to name a few as highlights, but I am looking forward to Knighty-Knight Bugs, Rabbit Hood, The Aristo-Cat, Cat Feud, Mouse and Garden, Knight-Mare Hare, Conrad the Sailor, The Case of the Stuttering Pig , and many, many more. Also included are some Snafu shorts that WB made for the Military during WW II. A few weeks later, a complete set of the Snafu shorts will be released by Image Entertainment. We'll have to do a wait and see on that set, but if it is what it reports to be, it will be a natural pick. Take my advice, pick yourself up a copy of Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume 4 and stick it in front of the kiddie table on Thanksgiving this year. You'll actually have to make some of the adults sit at the "adult table." Enjoy.

Forbidden Plant: 50th Anniversary Special Collector's Edition.
I really like where Warner's is going with these Collector's Editions. The King Kong (1933) set and The Searchers sets were superb. Leslie Neilson stars in this Sci-Fi classic, which was an iconic and memorable film for an entire generation. Not to mention Robbie the Robot, THE robot for many kids in the 50s. This set includes the two disc special edition DVD set, which is packed with special features such as a bonus film, commentary, and episodes of classic television series which featured an appearance by Robbie.

Lois and Clark: The Complete Fourth Season
This is the final season of this fan favorite. Lois and Clark, which to many ended too soon, seemed to critics to “jump the shark” when they married. Mrs. Loophole and I have watched all three of the previous season sets, and she was particularly peeved a couple of months ago when season three ended in a cliff hanger. You can pretty much guess what will be under the Loophole tree this year. Besides my socks, I mean.

NCIS: The Complete Second Season
As I’ve mentioned before, along with the unit, this is one of my favorite shows on television. Solid scripts and action, excellent characters and plots all add up to one great show. Donald Belasario is the producer of this some of my other all time favorites like: Magnum P.I., J.A.G. and Quantum Leap.

Quantum Leap: The Complete Fifth Season
Well – looky, looky; it’s another Belasario hit. The fifth was the final season for QL. And this one had some of the best episodes of the entire series. One element that was introduced this season was hit or miss with some fans, and that was the storyline of the “evil leaper”. The finale was also different, and one that left many confused about where Sam was and other questions still were unresolved. Was it really God leaping Sam about? Could he control his leaps? Would he ever return? Fans have been ticked off by the DVD sets, as some of the music and songs that were originally on certain episodes were replaced on the DVDs. Copyright problems continue to be a problem in producing DVD sets for certain television shows.

Duck Tales: Volume Two
This was a great animated series from the Mouse factory; and, in my opinion, features one of the best theme songs ever for an animated series. If you are a fan, it might be because you probably remember getting home from school and rushing to turn on the television to catch Duck Tales.

Northern Exposure: The Complete Fifth Season
I really love this show. It was different, it was funny and it was very character driven. Many stars from this show went on to bigger careers, but for my money Rob Morrow was one of the better actors on the show and, I believe, one of the most underrated actors working in television today. Take Numb3rs out for a spin and see if you don’t agree.

The Paul Newman Collection:
The movies in this collection are best summed up as: hit and miss. Harper is perhaps the best flick in the set, which also includes the sequel: The Drowning Pool. Other films aren’t quite so good; The Left-Handed Gun, The Mackintosh Man, Pocket Money, Somebody Up There Likes Me and The Young Philadelphians . If you are a Paul Newman fan, you should be happy as some of these films are being released on DVD for the first time.

Don't forget to check out
The Best of the Electric Company, Volume Two
and Family Guy, Season Four, Volume Two

Johnny Cash: At San Quentin
Some time ago a CD was released claiming to be the complete concert. It was not. This box set features the entire concert as it happened. All of the songs. All of Johnny. The box set includes several CDs and a DVD.

The General and Mrs. Washington.
Reviews of this book have been split down the middle. It seems to be a solid book, but some reviewers complain that it doesn’t include anything new. That’s what they said about the phenomenon that was David McCullough’s John Adams. I believe that a book that is solidly researched, written well, and can inspire the reader to delve deeper into further research is worth the effort. This book focuses on another famous First couple. Actually the first, First couple. Martha Washington was an important comfort and inspiring figure, not only to her husband, but also to the men of the Continental Army. She lived several months out of the year at the camps with her husband, and did her part for the effort. Their relationship and the impact on the nation cannot be underestimated nor overlooked. By the author of General Washington's War.

Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the American Navy.
Six Frigates tells the story of a Navy that began with very little and rose to become of the fastest and agile fleet of ships to sail the ocean. Some action was seen in the Revolution, but some of those ships were drydocked and taken out of service. It wasn’t until the problems with the Barbary pirates and President Thomas Jefferson, that the Navy really began in earnest and importance.

Turner Classic Movies
The Shelf Picks for TCM thru next Tuesday

Nov. 16th:
In Which We Serve (1942), Brief Encounter (1945), and Dodsworth (1936)

Flying Tiger (1942), Fighter Squadron (1948), The Letter (1940) and Freaks (1932)

Nov. 18th:
Bonnie Scotland (1935), King Solomon's Mines (1950) and Ivanhoe (1952)

Nov. 19th:
Mrs. Miniver (1942), Desk Set (1957) and Murder, My Sweet (1944)

Nov. 20th:
Top Hat (1935), Stagecoach (1939) and The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

Nov. 21st:
Mogambo (1953), The Lost Patrol (1934) and Wagon Master (1950)

You know I have to say it. I'm sorry in advance, but...
That's all folks!

Oh, I know it's a penny here and a penny there, but look at me. I worked myself up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty.

Don't do anything I wouldn't do. And if you do, take pictures.

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