Showing posts with label TV Film Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TV Film Review. Show all posts

Welcome Back, Kotter: The Complete Series... Reviewed!

This is a serious blast from the past, and shout out to WB for providing a copy of this product for my review. My opinions are my own.

I've never seen this show before (like ever), but... when I heard the theme song, I was like... ohhhh. The theme song is connected to multiple things I've heard growing up, "Welcome back... Welcome back... Wel-come... baaaacckkk!", but I never knew the origin. 'Welcome Back', was created by John Sebation back in 1975 (before my time) specifically for the 'Welcome Back, Kotter' TV sitcom. Enough about the theme song though, is the actually show any good? Let's jump in and find out!

 Story: I recognized a few faces in this show, which includes John Travolta, Lawrence Hilton, Della Reese, Vernee Watson, etc. Never knew this was Travolta's breakthrough role, I was thinking of Saturday Night Fever, but that came out a few years after the show started (again, before my time). 'Welcome Back, Kotter" takes place back in 1970's Brooklyn (NY)... keep that in mind, because it will feel outdated in a number of aspects (especially the singing and dancing). That 'Jeppers Creepers' performance definitely felt like something from that time (I made it through without hitting the mute button, but... I've never been crazy about singing in tv/film).

I won't say that this show isn't digestible by anyone beyond the time it came out or the location, because there are certain comedic touches that can be applied today. Horshack is a prime example. He was running his mouth trying to fit in with the other members for the Sweathogs when they were talking smack to Carvelli and Murray (but mainly Carvelli), and wrote a check with his mouth... that his butt didn't care to cash. He tried to get out of it by acting as if he didn't say anything. Some of you can relate to that via the Trolls on social media alone.

I think the story can be appreciated by newcomers aswell, especially teachers... because Mr. Kotter returns back to James Buchanan High School for the purpose of making a positive impact on the slackers. He takes a creative approach to connecting with the class for the purpose of engaging them, and teachers of today come to mind because the saga continues for a number of reasons. It could potentially be inspiration to connect with the students even more and gain more inspiration for the sake of helping them reach the finishline. I wouldn't say let your students trade off the way Kotter did, but... he wasn't uptight to the point where they weren't receptive.

Although the show revolved around Mr. Kotter and the Sweathogs, there were other aspects that challenged work/life balance for the teacher... because he was also a husband and father. It was good to see that addition added in there to give more depth.

 Visuals: Visually speaking, the show was cleaner than I assumed it would. It wasn't super grainy, the colors pop... and if you're cool with visuals that primarily consist of mids, longs, and closeups, enjoy! Speaking of visuals, I think you'll get a kick out of seeing the fashion from that time.

Speaking of visuals, it's too bad Afro's like Boom Boom's are deemed a fad a lot of the time. I rarely ever see them. It's not a fade, it's... natural.

 Audio: The audio is good. It's nothing that wowed me, but it's what I would expect. Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono.

 Price: Pricewise... the SRP for the 'Welcome Back, Kotter' complete DVD series is $74.99. But... you can get the hook up here for $55.99. You get all four seasons (95 episodes), which delivers a total of 35 hours & 30 minutes. If it were me, I would've added a fake gag mustache (similar to Mr. Kotter's) to the package. Overall, not a bad show at all and... I could see people crowding around the old telly back in the day. I think it's a good show for those of that time who want to revisit it, those who are curious and want to get a dose of that era + teachers and other faculty.

Story 4

Visuals 4

Audio 3

Price 5

4 out of 5 Cool Points

Adventure Time: Distant Lands... Reviewed!

Shout out to Warner Bros for providing a copy of this product for our review. My opinions are my own.

Adventure Time: Distant Lands is... Interesting, and the first thing I noticed is that it wasn't all about Finn & Jake. In a nutshell, you're getting four Adventure Time: Distant Land specials in one action-packed product that has different... adventures! Is it worth the buy? Let's jump in and find out.


So this collection starts off with this handheld console like being with game boyish good looks (see what I did there? Ok-ok, I'll move on).

All's going well as BMO floats through space, until he encounters a meteor shower, meets a one-eyed maintenance droid, and... next thing you know, it's officially adventure time!

BMO crash lands and meets this teenage rabbit inventor by the name of Y5. Y5 is the daughter of stubborn inventors that I wasn't a fan of at all. BMO & Y5 started out... cool, but an interesting situation was inserted into the mix. Since her parents are inventors and they're all about gathering parts to please the sinister Hugo, they saw BMO as nothing more than... parts. Since Y5 was always trying to please them and they wouldn't listen to her, she went along with treating BMO like parts also. She was conflicted, but she played it off... and this definitely happens in real life when you see people flipping the script on friends to please bullies or someone else they want to accept them.

That jacked-up situation on the home front may have still been there, but it was in the background in terms of the adventure (for the most part). I don't want to spoil the special, but BMO's a little badass and ultimately handles business on the space station with his ragtag crew in an enjoyable fashion. I think this special was probably my fave, and now I wish I had a BMO bot. I wouldn't say that the other specials are bad at all, this was just my fave.

The second special of the lineup is... Obsidian featuring, Glassboy. Don't let the title art fool you, granted it goes in a direction where this title art could make sense at one point, but... he's the star of the special that eventually shares the spotlight with Marceline the Vampire Queen + Princess Bubblegum. 

The story begins with the happy-go-lucky Glassboy in the Glass Kingdom and he has this light that's truly admirable, but he's judged and ragged because of the crack he has on his head. I like Glassboy's journey in this story because his light ultimately shines through no matter what. Yes, he was the one who sparked up the danger, but... would the situation have ever occurred if he were treated like the other glass beings?

Ultimately he has to venture out to go and call on Marceline, but I won't give it all away. Just look at that situation and the way he was treated, I don't think anything would've kicked off if he was just treated like the others. Is it a good thing that he kinda-sorta did a bad bad thing? Maybe, but check it out for yourself. This special was cool, but I'd probably place it as number 3 for me.

This special comes close to being number one, but BMO pushed it over the top in the first special. Together Again, is definitely action-packed and revolves around bringing the dynamic duo together (through crazy circumstances that make sense for this show).

A battle-weary Finn returns to a kingdom some of you may be familiar with in order to take on a snake-headed tyrant. You will see a lot of familiar faces in this adventure as they come together to take on the scaley fiend. You just might get goosebumps in this one during a certain point in the battle. It involves a clogged portal but I won't tell you what it is... but some of you will know exactly what I'm talking about. 

This episode features multiple cans of whoop-ass and was rounded out in an awesome way because the team was... together again.

I won't say this special was bad, but the last was the least (enjoyable) for me. This one focused on Peppermint Butler, who starts life over as an inexperienced Wizard School student in Wizard City. 

No one knows it's actually him, but there are suspicions that build based on mysterious events that occur on campus. This increases the challenge that Pep has when it comes to concealing his identity.

You do get a twist in here that may make you want to stand behind Pep, but I couldn't either way. The reason I wasn't crazy about this one was based on how Cadebra was being treated by Pep when all she was trying to do was be his friend.

I wouldn't say that this special was dull, I was just annoyed but the main character wasn't as likable as the others.

Visuals: When it comes to the visuals of this show, they're definitely whimsical and scream "CARTOON NETWORK"! There was some depth in the 2d animations, but shading wasn't always present... and when it was in certain scenes, it wasn't applied to everything. I'm only mentioning this due to the review, but I didn't sit there and complain about it because I enjoyed the collection of specials regardless.

Audio:  When it comes to the audio in Adventure Time: Distant Lands, I actually thought it was awesome in each special. The sound effects were clean, there wasn't any blurring of sounds in terms of playback. I used DTS TruSurround and THX Certified audio, both were enjoyable.

Adventure Time: Distant Lands is powered by DTS-HD MA and is compatible with 5.1 Dolby Digital.

Price: Prisewise, you can get Adventure Time: Distant Lands on DVD for $14.98 SRP & $19.98 SRP on Blu-Ray. Use our links for the hook-up. The SRP isn't bad, $14.98 isn't bad for DVD but i'd probably price Blu-Ray for $17.98.

Story 5

Visuals 5

Audio 5

Price 5

5 out of 5 Cool Points

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