Archive for category: Television

Videophiled Binge Watch: ‘Penny Dreadful’ and more horror TV

12 October, 2014 (15:14) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Horror, Television | By: Sean Axmaker

Let’s catch up on a month of TV releases. And as Halloween is coming, let’s begin with some shows from the dark side. Penny Dreadful: Season One (CBS, Blu-ray, DVD) takes a premise similar to the graphic novel The League of Extraordinary Gentleman: the characters and supernatural beings of 19th century horror literature all exist […]

Channeling Movies: Sex and Sin on Pre-Code Fridays on Turner Classic Movies

4 September, 2014 (16:28) | by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews, Pre-code Cinema, Television | By: Sean Axmaker

Turner Classic Movies is turning all the Fridays in September over to films from that brief period in the early thirties when the studios thumbed their collective noses at the toothless Production Code and pushed the boundaries of sex, violence, and bad behavior without judgment or consequences in film after film. The iron boot of […]

Streamers: See Orson Welles’ ‘Too Much Johnson’ and Amazon’s Third Pilot Season for Free

27 August, 2014 (08:06) | by Sean Axmaker, news, Orson Welles, Silent Cinema, streaming, Television | By: Sean Axmaker

Too Much Johnson, the Orson Welles film (or rather film project) that was long thought lost (the last print was reportedly destroyed in a fire in Welles’ Spanish home in 1970), was found a few years ago and restored. It’s not a feature or even a short, per se, more of an experiment shot to […]

Videophiled: Emmy-winner ‘The Normal Heart’ on Blu-ray and DVD

26 August, 2014 (16:59) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Television | By: Sean Axmaker

The Normal Heart (HBO, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD), the made-for-HBO feature based on Larry Kramer’s play and directed for cable by Ryan Murphy, arrives on disc the day after winning the Emmy Award for Outstanding Television Movie. Kramer wrote the play in 1985, based in part on his own experiences as a gay activist in […]

Videophiled: ‘An Adventure in Space and Time’ – The Birth of Doctor Who

27 May, 2014 (11:00) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Science Fiction, Television | By: Sean Axmaker

An Adventure in Space and Time (Warner, Blu-ray+DVD Combo) is a TV movie made for the BBC but it is a movie nonetheless, a bit of pop culture celebration that takes on the creation of Doctor Who in 1963 (just in time for the 50th Anniversary!). Scripted by veteran Doctor Who writer Mark Gatiss and […]

What Ever Happened to the Laughs in ‘Oboler Comedy Theatre’?

18 November, 2013 (07:04) | Essays, Guest Contributor, Television | By: guest

By Matthew Rovner [Note: The UCLA kindly let me view the entire available copies of Oboler Comedy Theatre; however, I was not allowed to take pictures of any of the episodes. Therefore, this article will not have pictures from the program. I could not view one episode called Dog’s Eye View, because the kinescope negative […]

Night of the Auk

18 March, 2013 (08:31) | Essays, Guest Contributor, Television | By: guest

By Matthew Rovner [Note: The television production of Night of the Auk is not available on home video in any format. The UCLA film library kindly let me view a video cassette of the production. However, I was not allowed to take any photos; nonetheless, there are pre-existing photos of the TV production, on the […]

TV Review: ‘Bates Motel’

17 March, 2013 (07:49) | by Jeff Shannon, Television | By: Jeff Shannon

“My mother just gets … impulsive. She has these ideas about things …” That’s 17-year-old Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) in the premiere episode of “Bates Motel,” explaining to his admiring new teacher, Miss Watson (Keegan Connor Tracy), why he’s been bounced around to five different high schools. His mother Norma (Vera Farmiga) has just moved […]

Videodrone’s best of 2012: TV on disc

30 December, 2012 (13:18) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Television | By: Sean Axmaker

Continuing our tribute to the best of 2012, here are my picks for the top TV releases on disc. 1. “Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season” (HBO) – Pay cable is always looking for the next buzz show, a series that gets people talking, watching and subscribing. “Game of Thrones,” the epic fantasy set […]

TV on Disc: ‘Sherlock: Season Two’

23 May, 2012 (12:09) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Television | By: Sean Axmaker

It sounded like a terrible idea at the time: update Sherlock Holmes to the 21st century of texts and computer searches and blogs. To the surprise and delight of all, the first series of Sherlock, the BBC revival / revision of the classic detective developed by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss was intelligent, inspired, clever, […]

Watching with Ron Ely, TV’s original Tarzan

17 April, 2012 (09:08) | by Sean Axmaker, Interviews, Television | By: Sean Axmaker

Ron Ely seem to be enjoying his retirement. Most famous for playing Tarzan in the first TV incarnation of the story, he also played another great pulp hero, Doc Savage, in a 1975 movie, starred in a short-lived revival of the TV series “Sea Hunt” and even took over hosting duties for The Miss American […]

The Promised Land Will Be Wheelchair-Accessible

26 October, 2011 (16:58) | by Jeff Shannon, Documentary, Essays, Television | By: Jeff Shannon

“Lives Worth Living” premieres on the PBS series “Independent Lens” on October 27th at 10:00 p.m. (ET/PT). For more information, visit the film’s PBS website and filmmaker Eric Neudel’s website. To be disabled in America, in 2011, is to occupy the midpoint of a metaphorical highway, some stretches smooth and evenly paved, others rocky and […]

The Ernie Kovacs Collection: Ode to TV’s Comic Genius

19 April, 2011 (10:28) | by Sean Axmaker, Television | By: Sean Axmaker

Sometime in the late 1970s, some enterprising programmer at PBS had the brilliant idea of resurrecting a series of half-hour comedy specials from the late 1950s written and produced by and starring Ernie Kovacs and running them back to back with its long-standing reruns of the ever-popular Monty Python’s Flying Circus. With that single connection, […]

Antichrist and The Complete Larry Sanders – DVDs of the Week

9 November, 2010 (05:26) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Television | By: Sean Axmaker

Antichrist (Criterion) I’m not sure how I manage to keep my simultaneous fascination with /repulsion for Lars von Trier in balance, but it’s back with a vengeance in Antichrist (Criterion), another provocation that is at once beautiful and perverse, personal and cynical, and filled with his sour vision of the emotional small-mindedness (small-heartedness?) of the […]

Short Notice: “The Marshal”

26 April, 2010 (16:35) | by Richard T. Jameson, Sam Peckinpah, Television | By: Richard T. Jameson

[Originally published as a "Short Notice" in Film Quarterly, Summer 1974] “The Marshal” (episode No. 6211 of The Rifleman TV series). I recently had the extraordinary experience of showing Sam Peckinpah’s Ride the High Country to a University of Washington film class and then going home to discover an ancestor of sorts on television. Knowing […]