The Hoax (Region 2) DVD Review



Marking a serious return to form The Hoax has Richard Gere playing Clifford Irving in this true story about a writer who faked an authorised autobiography on Howard Hughes the airplane billionaire.

The movie is a seriously funny comedy but not in a slapstick way. Its situational comedy as its incredible what lengths he and his writing partner Dick Suskind (Alfred Molina) go to for handwriting samples and other ways to fake conversations to bluff the publishers. It is a movie that does feel like time well spent when watching and is worth a purchase.

As far as DVD extras are concerned there is only a trailer that on such a great movie is a horrible disappointment.

Verdict: +

Death Sentence (Region 2) DVD Review


 As a plain revenge trip Death Sentence does very well at keeping you entertained. After seeing his son murdered at a gas station average Joe Kevin Bacon goes hunting. While he just starts out by killing the gang member who killed his son things soon turn more serious as the rest of the gang retaliate against him. While Death Sentence is not a high profile movie it is a high quality one with some really good chase scenes and a long shootout at the end. In short it’s the Punisher done right. The only criticism is that the movie would have had a better ending if it ended about 13 seconds earlier. When you see it you will understand.

As far as DVD extras are concerned there is a ‘Making of Death Sentence’ featurette and that’s all in this case.

Verdict: +

Blood Ties – Season One (Region 2) DVD Review


 Blood Ties is a TV show based on a series of modern day books about vampires. The story follows Vicki Nelson (Christina Cox) a former cop who is now a private investigator as she investigates cases of the bizarre and unusual. Think a grown up version of Buffy with the standard monster of the week that comes with it.

While investigating the cases she joins up with former partner cop Mike Celluci (Dylan Neal) and vampire Henry Fitzroy (Kyle Schmid). The show in essence uses the same formula as Angel where a monster is encountered and then the vampire is sent in to fight it. There is more to the story though in even a full season set there is only a single bad episode. The rest are stories about vampires, exorcisms, haunted paintings and the list goes on.

Even though the show does sound rather generic on paper with the vampire sidekick and romance storyline that shows it type of book origins it is a good show. It takes a while to get used to and the DVD has no extras but the show is excellent and takes repeat viewings.

Verdict: +

That Mitchell & Webb Look – Season 1 (Region 2 DVD) Review


It’s never easy to describe comedy but its easy to say that Mitchell & Webb are a British comedy double act and that the Mitchell and Webb look is a comedy sketch show. While their comedy hasn’t transferred to the States yet you could describe them as the UK’s answer to Andy Dick. Popularity wise.

The show involves a few really good frequently used sketches such as The surprising adventures of Sir Digby Chicken Caesar a homeless guy dressed as Sherlock Holmes with his parter a Watson wannabe in tow. The comedy can be described as semi lowbrow. There is one frequently used sketch that’s just plain annoying called Numberwang. In short is a game show where people call out random numbers. It’s supposed to be funny but thankfully once you know its coming the ever faithful fast forward button comes to the rescue. Mitchell & Webb is a very hit and miss show with a few classic sketches and a large number that take only a single viewing.

There are a number of extras including outtakes, unseen sketches (20 minutes) and a making-of (32 mins). In short it’s better as a rent than as a purchase for the actual comedy sketches but as a documentary piece on making comedy the making of is a really well done thing. Its one of those cases where the extras outshine the material.

Verdict: +

CSI Season 5 Part 1 (Region 2) DVD Review


The beginning of the 5th season is somewhat of a hit and miss. CSI (Las Vegas) is the original CSI show with William Petersen as Gil Grissom the lead character. While a number of loner storylines progress there are two very interesting episodes. Down the Drain shows how a set of bones found in a storm drain results in the team finding a house filled with explosives. 

Then there is Mea Culpa where after evidence changes in a murder case resulting in the team becoming under investigation. 5.1 provides a lot of entertainment value and is worth a look to solid fans of the show. It can also act as a starting point for new ones. There are the usual few episodes that are not worthwhile though so a word of warning should be given. DVD extras include the standard commentary tracks minus key cast members. 

Verdict: +

CSI Miami Season 4 Part 1 (Region 2) DVD Review


The DVD of the first half of the fourth season provides more questions than answers. CSI Miami stars David Caruso as the lead of a group of crime scene investigators. Season 4 Part 1 entertains using a large number of insulated storylines such as Urban Hellraisers about a group of university students who after playing a GTA style game decide to try scenes from the game for real. Even though anyone who has played a game will feel like shouting at the screen at some of the holes in the games design it’s a good episode.

There are also a few elements that develop into later stories and a few big ones on the three discs that are very interesting. What is a surprise is that there are no real bad episodes in this set. You should expect one or two but in this case it’s hard to find one that could really be considered a bad episode. One storyline has one of the CSI’s receive a nail in the head from nail gun and is about figuring out how it happened from the viewer’s perspective. It’s an episode shown from finish to start so you are just waiting for it to happen in a sort of perverse pleasure. DVD extras include a number of episode commentaries but none by David Caruso which is a shame. 

Verdict: +