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    Everybody Loves Raymond – The Complete Ninth Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on September 17th, 2007

    Like it or not, Everybody Loves Raymond has earned its spot alongside TV’s most successful sitcoms, including The Cosby Show, Roseanne and Seinfeld. These shows not only ran a long time, but they also shared a common origin — all were based on the persona of the popular stand-up comics who starred in the series. This method may have produced hits in these cases, but it’s no guarantee. To really beat the odds, there has to be something more.

    In the case of Everybody Loves Raymond, the largely American audience saw themselves in the on-screen families. Fans have been sitting down each week, for more than 200 episodes, to a funnier, wackier version of their own families. As this ninth and final season hits DVD, it’s time to ask, did the show end too soon, too late or right on time?


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    Everybody Loves Raymond – Complete Sixth Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on May 30th, 2006

    Everybody Loves Raymond – The Complete Sixth Season comes to DVD in an impressive 5-disc edition. As a newbie to this fine series, I was surprised – and thrilled – to see the widescreen presentation. It is a nicety not often given to TV shows, and it looks spectacular, but I’m getting a little ahead of myself here. The show, as a lot of you know, is about sports writer Ray Barone, and his nut-job parents, who live directly across the street. One must either appreciate Ray Romano’s humor, or experience the same…
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    Everybody Loves Raymond – The Complete Third Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on May 1st, 2005

    Very few sitcoms have the endurance to last nine seasons. Everybody Loves Raymond shares their long-running tenure with comedy heavyweight shows such as Friends, Frasier, & Cheers. Not even Seinfeld lasted nine seasons… it fell short, ending after eight. That says a lot for this show; I guess everyone does love Raymond.

    All 26-episodes of the complete third season of Everybody Loves Raymond are included in this set. The episodes are all very entertaining; from “The Invitation” all the way to “How They Met”.
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    Everybody Loves Raymond – The Complete First Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on January 13th, 2005

    Sometimes, titles can be misleading. In fact, in our modern high-octane marketing culture, that’s often times their function. For instance, despite the rumors, everybody does not love Raymond. Furthermore, I do not love Raymond. I find the show bland and predictable, and the acting is consistently sub-par. However, just because it’s not my kind of thing, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s bad. A Room With a View was nominated for Best Picture, but I found it so detestable that I couldn’t even make …
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    Crashing: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 4th, 2017

    It’s not all it’s cut out to be…it’s not about being on stage all the time. It’s about the killing of time.”

    There certainly hasn’t been a shortage of sitcoms starring stand-up comedians. Many of them (Roseanne, Home Improvement, Everybody Loves Raymond) have grafted the comic’s persona onto a family-friendly format. Even the shows that have depicted the life of a comic tend to take a surreal approach (Louie) or fast-forward to the part where the star is an established comedian (Seinfeld). HBO’s Crashing stands out because it honestly (and painfully) depicts the struggle of an aspiring stand-up…and makes it look very, very funny.
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    Becker: The Complete Series

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 7th, 2017

    Who says no one likes a guy who’s negative all he time? Becker has got to be one of the most cynical, grumpy, and negative characters to grace our sit-com screens. He’s a guy you probably love to hate, and he’s also hilarious. Ted Danson spent over a decade behind the bar at Cheers and could have easily called it a career. You know, stop while you’re ahead. Instead he climbed right back into the television saddle and reemerged as Dr. Becker. This time he played a medical doctor who hates everything and everyone around him. Refusing to display that little bit of a heart we all know he has, Becker spends most of his life complaining about everything.
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    The Last Man on Earth: The Complete First Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on September 28th, 2015

    I just realized that having other people around is what makes life worth living.”

    This lesson doesn’t come easily — or quickly — for Phil Miller, the Last Man on Earth. On the other hand, having other people around doesn’t do a heck of a lot for The Last Man on Earth, the dementedly inventive Fox comedy that becomes considerably less interesting the more people start to show up. That being said there’s plenty to like and admire here, starting with the show’s comedic, refreshingly non-bleak look at post-apocalyptic life.
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    Major Crimes: Season 2

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 16th, 2014

    “Uncooperative witnesses are becoming a specialty of mine.”

    That statement clearly describes Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson…except it doesn’t. Not anymore. The Closer was a stand-out hit for the folks at TNT. It’s no surprise that when the show’s star Kyra Sedgwick wanted to leave that the network would want to continue the show. That’s a little harder when the lead leaves. Shows have survived the loss of their lead, but the remaining years were usually something lesser than it once was. That’s not the case here.
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    Men of a Certain Age: The Complete Second Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on January 18th, 2013

    TNT prides itself on “knowing drama,” but as far as I’m concerned the network’s best series was also its most woefully underappreciated. It didn’t have any cops, lawyers or doctors. It wasn’t as light or slick as some of the channel’s hits like The Closer (cops), Franklin & Bash (lawyers) and Rizzoli & Isles (a cop AND a doctor; don’t make me guess which is which). It didn’t have aliens (Falling Skies) or impossibly charismatic crooks (Leverage). Instead, Men of a Certain Age dealt with a topic that is much less fun to think about, yet happens to 100 percent of us: getting older.
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    Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on November 10th, 2012

    After watching Tyler Perry’s Awkward Attempt at Action Stardom less than a month ago, it was oddly comforting to see the multi-media superstar back in his wheelhouse. Don’t get me wrong: I like to see a performer expand his horizons. It’s just that Perry looks infinitely more comfortable in his signature character’s wig and muumuu than tracking down a serial killer and grimly saying things like “I will meet his soul at the gates of hell before I let him take a person that I love from me.”
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    Exclusive Interview With Tom Caltabiano, Director Of 95 Miles To Go

    Posted in Podcasts by Gino Sassani on May 21st, 2012

    On Friday I had a chance to chat with Tom Caltabiano. If you’re a fan of the hit series Everybody Loves Raymond or the stand-up of the show’s star Ray Romano, you should already know who Tom is. He’s been Ray’s buddy, touring partner, show writer and opening act since 1991. His intimate documentary of one of those tours is the subject of the new recently released 95 Miles To Go on DVD. Tom talks about the release and his time with Ray on the road.

    Bang it here to listen to my chat with Tom C. Podcast

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    Call Me Mrs. Miracle

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on October 4th, 2011

    By Natasha Samreny

    Best part about this movie is the military family subplot. Two families dealing with death, loss and deployment come together on Christmas through a fairy godmother-like character’s designs. Since US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan in the past decade, movies discussing struggles military families face have increased but are still few and far between. Call Me Mrs. Miracle offers a touching glimpse into one of the hardest moments for families to be separated from their loved ones—the holidays.
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    Play the Game

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on May 12th, 2010

    “Step 1: Reconnaissance. First you need to identify your target.”

    If you are a regular reader here, you likely know that I have a fondness for Andy Griffith. I recently watched and reviewed in these pages one of his earlier comedy films, and rather enjoyed the old simple rural comedy. That’s what makes this one so painful to write about. I think that Andy Griffith missed the boat when he was targeting the audience for his latest comedy, the sexually charged Play The Game. I’m going to just admit up front that this movie made me feel very uncomfortable.
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    Dave’s World: The Second Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on February 4th, 2009

    I was first introduced into the somewhat twisted world of Dave Barry in 1986 when I moved to Florida. The Tampa paper carried his Sunday column, and all I can remember is that it had something to do with dinosaurs on the beach and that I couldn’t stop laughing. For years afterward both my wife and I made the column regular Sunday reading. As years went on other things fill one’s life, and I only occasionally read the material until he disappeared almost completely from the Central Florida scene
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    Dave’s World – The First Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on August 13th, 2008

    The first season release of Dave’s World is going to upset the show’s fans a bit. Paramount has decided to change the opening theme from Billy Joel’s “You May Be Right” to some jazzy piece that doesn’t come close to saying the same thing. This wasn’t even Joel’s performance of the song we’re talking about on the original. I know that the musical rights issues can be a problem. Shows like WKRP suffered from being loaded with songs and racking up a fortune in royalties for home video release.
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    Home Improvement: The Complete Eighth Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 11th, 2008

    What time is it? That’s right, Home Improvement fans, it’s once again Tool Time. Unfortunately for the show’s followers, Season 8 would be its last outing. It’s always nice to see shows go out on their own terms and in their own time. Home Improvement is one of those series. It leaves a void. This was one of those rare shows that didn’t rely on sex and innuendo for cheap laughs. Don’t get me wrong, who can forget Debbe Dunning as Tool Time girl Heidi,
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    Becker – The First Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on April 30th, 2008

    Who says no one likes a guy who’s negative all he time? Becker has got to be one of the most cynical, grumpy, and negative characters to grace our sit-com screens. He’s a guy you probably love to hate, and he’s also hilarious. Ted Danson spent over a decade behind the bar at Cheers and could have easily called it a career. You know, stop while you’re ahead. Instead he climbed right back into the television saddle and reemerged as Dr. Becker.
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    Music and Lyrics

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on May 26th, 2007

    This just in: Hugh Grant stars in yet another formulaic romantic comedy. Having polished his shtick in such films as Nine Months, Notting Hill and Two Weeks Notice, I’m betting Grant barely had to pay attention on the set of Music and Lyrics.

    Rom-com fans will find Grant’s turn with lovable Drew Barrymore (Fever Pitch) more than palatable, I’m sure. Heck, I enjoyed Music and Lyrics, in the way one appreciates the occasional handful of those tiny marshmallows in a mu…
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    Mind of Mencia: Season One Uncensored

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on April 13th, 2006

    Synopsis

    Apparently Carlos Mencia is being hyped as the latin version of Dave Chappelle when it comes to the eyes of Comedy Central, as he appears to be the guy who says whatever is on his mind, and is an equal opportunity offender. But as we all know with brussels sprouts, if you try to force something on someone, chances are they’re going to resist it.

    To his credit, Mencia (who looks suspiciously like George Lopez) does immediately try to shoot that perception down, or at least make fun of it, …
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