Series Created by Ralph Smart Starring Patrick McGoohan
Complete full-length original U.S. opening featuring “Secret Agent Man” sung by Johnny Rivers
Released by: A&E Home Video Rating: NR Region: 1 Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 format.
My Advice: Fans should own
Watch out international villainsâ€¦here comes John Drake, a top operative with the British M9 Intelligence Agency. He’s as smart and strong as James Bond, but unlike 007, he never gets mixed up with the girl…the poor guy doesn’t get a single kiss. Whether on the banks of the French Riviera, in a Roman villa, or in an army camp in Africa, Drake can handle himself in any situation. Originally released in England as Danger Man and later in America as Secret Agent, this series was the start of a very successful television and film career for Patrick McGoohan.
Created by Donald P. Bellisario Starring Scott Bakula & Dean Stockwell
All twenty-two second season episodes
Released by: Universal. Rating: NR. Region: 1 Anamorphic: N/A; episodes appear in their original 1.33:1 format.
My Advice: Fans should own.
It’s the far-flung future (1999!) and Dr. Sam Beckett (Bakula) is heading a team of scientists experimenting with time travel. Pressured to speed up the project’s results or lose funding, Sam steps into the quantum leap accelerator and is whisked back in timeâ€¦and into someone else’s body! His only contact with the future is libido-entrenched Al (Stockwell), one of his team members, whose image is projected as a hologram that only Sam can see and hear. Eventually Sam realizes that there some kind of force moving him throughout time to correct things that went wrong the first time around. Each time he does, he is transferred to another time and another body, and the cycle begins again.
Written by: Diane English Starring: Candice Bergen, Pat Corley, Faith Ford, Charles Kimbrough, Robert Pastorelli
All twenty-two first season episodes
Running audio commentary on the pilot episode by actress Bergen
Running audio commentary on the episode #20 by creator English
Retrospective docu: “Murphy Brown: an FYI Exclusive”
Released by: Warner Brothers Region: 1 Rating: NR Anamorphic: N/A; episodes appear in their original 1.33:1 format.
My Advice: Fans of the show should own.
The show is called FYI and makes Washington, D.C. its home. Murphy Brown (Bergen) is the top reporter on the show, who has just returned from a nice vacation at the Betty Ford Clinic. Also on the staff at FYI are Jim Dial (Kimbrough), who’s even more uptight than Murphy, Corky (Ford), who has gone from being Miss America to being a newscaster, and Miles (Grant Shaud), the show’s green executive producer. There’s also Eldin (Pastorelli), who makes a career out of repainting Murphy’s residence.
Written by: James Orr and Jim Cruickshank, based on the screenplay Trois hommes et un couffin by Coline Serreau Directed by: Leonard Nimoy Starring: Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg, Ted Danson, Nancy Travis, Margaret Colin
Released by: Walt Disney Region: 1 Rating: PG Anamorphic: No.
My Advice: Rent it.
Three New York bachelors are enjoying living the single life. You have an actor (Danson), an architect (Selleck) and a cartoonist (Guttenberg). Then you get a fourth player in the game–the infant daughter of Danson’s character, who gets dumped on their doorstep. Now the three–who previously had to deal with a cavalcade of various women–now find themselves suddenly learning about three o’clock in the morning feedings, diaper changes, and how the best things in life are often the least expected.
Written by: Jeremy Leven, Rob Reiner, Adam Scheinman & Andy Scheinman Directed by: Rob Reiner Starring: Luke Wilson, Kate Hudson, Rob Reiner, David Paymer, Sophie Marceau
My Advice: Matinee.
Alex Sheldon (Wilson) is a young novelist who has failed to write anything substantial for quite some time. To make things worse, he has fallen into debt with some loan sharks, and can only satisfy them by producing a new best sellerâ€¦in thirty days. To help him with his Herculean labor, Alex hires Emma Dinsmore (Hudson) to take down his hurried dictation. Together, the two struggle with writer’s block, threats from the Cuban mafia, and an unexpected romance.
The element missing most from this film is a sense of balance. The story alternates between the plot of Alex’s novel and his relationship with Emma, but the focus is so heavily placed on the fictional characters that the romance between Alex and Emma seems almost like an afterthought. Apart from the insinuated parallels between the two stories, the protagonists’ relationship receives only short moments in the spotlight, once in the middle of the film and again at the end, which is simply too late. It is difficult to suddenly start caring about what will happen to them just because the movie is almost over.