The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson: The Vault Series on DVD

Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson Vault Series

Let's take a moment to consider this: there are people today who say "Somebody else used to host The Tonight Show?"  When people my age asked that, we were learning about Jack Paar.  When people today ask that, they're talking about Johnny Carson.  He truly was the King of Late Night, and the standard by which people judged everybody else who hosted a talk show.  And yes, while the bits they have on talk shows today are cool and make for great YouTube fodder, Carson was funny just by his own self.  Granted, you could always count on an animal handler to make things interesting, but that's been the way of things since the beginning of television.

All of this to say that you, no matter your age, need to check out Time Life's release of The Vault Series.  It's from the "Carson Vault," which if memory serves, is stored in a mine for safekeeping.  You get twelve complete shows across six DVDs which--and I love this—contain commercials as well.  We're looking here at the medium-sized release of this--the six-disc'er--since it also comes in three-disc (appetizer) and twelve-disc (entrée) form.  With this edition you get vintage appearances from the likes of David Brenner, Steve Lawrence, Tony Randall and Carl Reiner.  I picked the names you'd have to ask your parents about on purpose, kids.

The set also comes with two hours of bonus bits, including bonus [...]

By |September 26th, 2016|Headsup|0 Comments

The Wonder Years: Season 6 on DVD

Wonder Years Season 6 on DVD

This is the season that wrapped up the iconic series that we all knew and loved--where we said goodbye to Kevin, Winnie, the Arnold family, and all the rest, leaving behind them six Emmy award-winning seasons and a lasting place in television history. This DVD set presents all 22 episodes and does so intact: Time Life did extensive work in clearing the music rights as well, so viewers can enjoy tunes from The Beach Boys, Marvin Gaye, Grateful Dead, The Rolling Stones, Percy Sledge and others the same way they would have watching back in 1992-1993.

Time Life is quite good at maximizing bonus features wherever possible, so we've got two hours-plus here. First we have "At Last: The Final Episode," in which members of the cast and crew reminisce about making the series finale (did you know that they were unaware it would be the last one as they were taping?). Next is an interview with Executive Producer Bob Brush, in which he covers everything from casting choices to challenges working with child actors to the artistic navigation of Kevin's love life. Also included is "From the Vault: Alley Mills and Bob Brush Letters," in which Alley Mills (Norma) shares a letter she wrote to Bush as the show ended (and what he wrote back).

It is worth noting this is not the only place you can snag these episodes. Does Netflix have them? Yes. If you're [...]

By |September 26th, 2016|Headsup|0 Comments

The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes Ultimate Collection on DVD

Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes

Even if you've never seen it (a feat which I'm not sure how you would accomplish in today's world), you know that The Carol Burnett Show was an epic success in 1960s and 70s television. The show ran for eleven years, collecting twenty-five Emmy awards, eight Golden Globes, and wound up on more than a few Best Show of All Time lists. It also nabbed more People's Choice Awards for Carol Burnett herself than for any other actress in history. Now (yay!) out from Time Life is The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes Ultimate Collection.

The set includes episodes from the first five seasons (1967-72) that Burnett personally selected, and they haven’t been seen since their original airing over forty years ago. That means no home video, no streaming, and no syndication. In these episodes, we see the origins of what would later become much-loved staples of the show, including “The Oldest Man” with Tim Conway (in which he proved that he could be just as funny in slow motion as in hyper-motion), “Carol and Sis” with Burnett and Vicki Lawrence in the title roles, the soap opera send-up “As the Stomach Turns,” and more. In addition to the core cast, we also see many of the fabulous guest stars the show was known to attract such as Lucille Ball, Jim Nabors, Bing Crosby, Paul Lynde, Bob Newhart, Don Adams, Chita Rivera, Andy Griffith, Jonathan Winters and scads more.

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By |September 26th, 2016|Headsup|0 Comments

Headsup: Empire Season Two on DVD

Empire Season 2 on DVD

Now out from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is Empire: The Complete Second Season, which navigates all the post-arrest drama as Lucious and Cookie struggle to keep their grip on Empire Entertainment Records amidst personal problems, feuding sons, and threats of an outside takeover.

There are two things fans love most about Empire—the look and the sound.  With the 53 minutes of extras added to all 18 episodes of the second season, this DVD set definitely takes those two loves into consideration.  Special features include a Freda Gatz music video, four uncut music performances, six studio sessions, and four mini specials that focus on the striking visuals of the show.  Also in the mix is a behind-the-scenes look at the USO Tour that members of the cast participated in recently (did you know that Taraji P. Henson worked as a receptionist at the Pentagon years ago?)

This set sells on Amazon for $19.99 (about $1.11 per episode, superior pricing to Amazon’s per-episode price of $1.99 for streaming).  Hulu customers also have access to the series as part of their subscription.  It is not (nor will it be) available on Netflix. [Read More...]

By |September 16th, 2016|Headsup|0 Comments

Headsup: Supernatural Season 11 on Blu-ray

supernatural-season-11

Warner Brothers Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray set I featured in this blog post. The opinions I share are my own.

I find that Supernatural viewers fall into three categories: they hardcore love it, hardcore hate it, or feel betrayed because they used to hardcore love it for the first half of the run and have since become very disappointed with the show's direction.

Season 11 was especially polarizing among these groups as it explored the pre-biblical spiritual arena-- viewers saw the aftermath following the release of the Darkness, the introduction of the Rabids and Amara into the storyline, the cliffhanger of Sam's unknown fate, and more.

This set includes all twenty-three episodes of season 11 on Blu-ray along with over four episodes of bonus material and a digital HD copy for instant download and streaming. Special features include:

5 Featurettes:

  • Jensen Ackles on Directing "The Bad Seed"
  • On Set with SPN: The Real Fan Contest
  • The Winchester Mythology: Shedding Light on the Darkness
  • Digital Magic: Enhancing the Sets with VFX
  • 2015 Comic-Con Panel

 

  • Audio Commentaries
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Gag Reel

 

For hardcore "love it" fans, the featurettes are an additional opportunity to explore the new areas the show has entered, both in front of the camera and behind. The specials on Jensen Ackles directing Episode 3 - "The Bad Seed," the Winchester Mythology, and the use of VFX aren't amazingly groundbreaking or anything, but they are interesting and give some additional [...]

By |September 6th, 2016|Headsup|1 Comment

Put A Spring In Your Step With Black Phoenix

human scent

Spring has arrived or, as Robin Williams aptly put it, "Spring is nature's way of saying, 'Let's party!'" You can see the grass thrusting out of the ground, flowers spreading their pollen so indiscriminately, and animals in heat putting out their scent. Many members of the animal kingdom use pheromones to signal their intent, to perpetuate their genetic code, or stated simply, to fuck. While there is some debate about the existence of human pheromones, most biologists say that if they exist, they really aren't that influential. Being human, if nature didn't provide, we provide for ourselves with Science! Chemistry, botany, zoology mixed together with creativity and an understanding of passion. Some of the best people in the perfume business who understand this mad dance of heady science and base desire are Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. It is in their Lupercalia release that they let their freak flag fly and have perfumes to attract the interest and inflame the passion of the object of your desire. What you do after that is your own affair but let me just say that sweat does intensify the effect.

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By |April 13th, 2016|Headsup|1 Comment

Remember The Snow With Black Phoenix

bpal yule krampus 2015

(Widge's Note: Scott turned it in late and life fell on me and I made it more late. So it's on me. But regardless, some people want to celebrate Xmas year-round, so I guess this is for them. I celebrate Halloween year-round so I can't judge. Much. Weirdos.)

Yeah I know, the Christmas Black Phoenix post is late. First off, it does celebrate all of winter, not just Christmas and since's it's still winter, it's not really late. Second... yeah Krampus. Knowing it was that time again, I had scheduled a few days for our usual carnal extravaganza. The thing I didn't account for is Krampus' increased popularity. Krampus festivals have increased in the U.S. and of course there's the recent movie. So Krampus awareness is on a all-time high. It seems that with anthropomorphic representations, more belief doesn't just give them more power, it gives them more stamina, if you know what I mean. I knew with that special glint in his eye and the suggestive way he was flicking his tongue that I was in for a wild ride. He took me to places that I didn't know existed, it was like being on LSD and Viagra at the same thing. First he (WIDGE: this is where you can put something about having to edit my long winded and pornographic description because of length and you're a prude. Just kidding). Widge's Note: Nah, it's much funnier to leave your note in as it stands. So it took me a while longer to recover than from the usual cuts and bruises.

But I have recovered and I'm ready to tell you about Black Phoenix's Yule perfumes. Since I've been back in my right mind, I realize that Christmas has always been weird around here... I mean besides Krampus. When you can be out in shorts and a T-shirt on Christmas Day, your festive spirit can get a little confused. It always doesn't help that 'Christmas' items have been available on store selves since before Halloween. I'm not wanting a Burl Ives/Norman Rockwell fantasy, but maybe I want something with a bit more heft than the Steam Christmas game sale. Maybe that's why I like the Yule perfume lines, you can connect to different winter traditions and even experience the aroma of a winter wonderland. The perfumers manage to give us equal parts reverence for the season and a knowing sense of the ridiculous. So let us enter that landscape that Black Phoenix conjures with its quiet snow, decorated trees and the sound of sleigh bells in the distance.

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By |February 10th, 2016|Headsup|0 Comments

Embrace The Series of Halloweens With Black Phoenix

Black Phoenix Halloween 2015
The new Uber: uncomfortable seating but bypasses all the traffic...

Widge's Note: No idea what Scott's on about here, it's still twelve days until 3rd Halloween. Hope everybody is enjoying decorating their trees with black lights and a magnificent Cthulhu tree topper. Anyway, here's Scott.

I have something to admit. Halloween got away from me. Real life can be relentless. We've had like two or three actually cold days this fall in my part of Florida. I had assignments from a couple of programming courses so my nights were filled with Java not with ghosts and demons; I had a Mickee Faust Club show that ended on Halloween so my costumes were for stage not for a party. And right after I had a chest cold from Hell so I was somewhat occupied. The scariest thing I did was handle a massive prop burger made from dog food, sawdust, and... other things. Long story. But you-know-who helps keep that spirit going long after the Halloween candy on sale has been sold. That's right: Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. So come with me as we peruse the perfumes and keep Halloween going for a little while longer.

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By |December 13th, 2015|Headsup|0 Comments

Headsup: Catching Up With Animation

Elsa and Anna from Frozen: Disney Short Films Collection Blu-Ray

First up, we have the Walt Disney Short Films Collection on DVD and Blu-Ray. It has twelve animated shorts on it, ranging from 2000's "John Henry" to the recent "Frozen Fever." First, the good news. They're Disney animated shorts. They're that thing that, no matter how many times I go see a Disney film these days, I keep forgetting they're preceded by one of these. So, thanks to my goldfish-esque memory, it's a delightful surprise every time. Granted, your mileage may vary as to how these individual shorts play with you personally. The further good news is that these are the Blu-Ray debuts (as far as I can tell) for some of these, such as "Henry" and "Lorenzo." And because they're all recent animation, they look and sound fantastic in the hi-def format. The downside is that this has a number of repackaged shorts you probably own on previous releases, although if you're a short-form animation enthusiast, then getting the debuts will probably offset that. There are never enough extras for me, but in this case, you get a short animation featurette and super-brief intros on all of the films. Commentary tracks would have been most welcome. The brilliantly wrong "Runaway Brain" was, I had thought, supposed to be included as a BD debut, but it's instead a digital-only release.

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By |September 2nd, 2015|Headsup|0 Comments

Hugh Jackman, Coffee Achiever

Wolverine, claws out
'Does it hurt when you drink decaf?' 'Every time.'

Hugh Jackman is one badass individual. Not only has his Wolverine been too awesome for any of the movies he has featured in, but he sings, he dances, he produces and seems to be an all-around nice guy. Did you know he was a coffee achiever? I didn't. And I know you might be thinking: Widge, everybody likes coffee. Even the people who say they don't, it's just because they haven't found their coffee yet. And yes, dear friend, I agree with you. But Jackman is taking it to another level.

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By |June 8th, 2015|Headsup|0 Comments