Category Archives: TV

DVD Review – Wallace & Gromit: World of Invention

You remember Wallace & Gromit, right? Me? Honestly, I had forgotten about them. It’s been 7 years since the full length feature, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. But as a casual fan, I was interested to see what the latest release from Wallace & Gromit brought to the table. Wallace & Gromit: World of Invention is the first new release since the Academy Award® nominated, A Matter of Loaf & Death from 2009.

The new DVD contains the entire six-part BBC ONE television series from 2010. The collection features Wallace & Gromit as hosts introducing segments on a number of educational topics. Each of the six episodes include six segments within them. This DVD is much less about Wallace & Gromit and more about the educational aspect. It’s as if Bert & Ernie hosted an episode of NOVA or Nature on PBS.

Topics on the DVD run a wide spectrum; Spy pigeons, marine biology, electric motors, housekeeping robots, termites, jet-packs and much more.

At over two and a half hours long, this DVD packs a lot of punch, for a very small price. It’s well worth it, no matter your child’s age. The collection is more geared towards children ages 6-10 years old. At the same time, my 3 year old was fascinated by the segments and was glued to the television the entire time. Trust me that never happens, especially for over two hours, on a single program.

Here’s a quick snippet on what to expect from this DVD:

All the details:
Blu-ray Format: 1080P High Definition 16×9 Widescreen (1.78:1)
DVD Format:  16×9 Widescreen (1.78:1)
Feature Running Time: 175 minutes
Blu-ray Audio Status: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio™
DVD Audio Status: 5.1 Dolby Digital
Website: www.wallaceandgromit.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/wallaceandgromit

First Look at the CW’s Dark Green “Arrow”

We pretty much have to love Christopher Nolan — I think it’s the law or something — but he’s still a little bit of a butthole for giving rise to the still-growing wave of “dark and gritty” superhero projects that were unleashed following the massive success of Batman Begins. I mean, it’s still better than the aggressively hokey vibe that used to go along with anything comic-derived, but I wish Hollywood could learn to find a happy medium instead of blindly reaching into the “gritty” drawer whenever they want to make a quick buck off of a Marvel or DC property.

Oh, speaking of which, here comes the CW with its Green Arrow-inspired TV series, which is naturally titled Arrow so people don’t have to type as many characters into their DVR scheduler, and which executive producer David Nutter referred to as “darker and harder-edged” than his previous project, Smallville.

Oh boy. If you’re anywhere near my age, you remember Green Arrow as being one of the more unintentionally hilarious peripheral characters in the DC Universe — a guy with a blonde, oddly-shaped Van Dyke who had pretty good aim with a bow and quiver and liked to wear green. He was kind of the DC Universe’s version of Hawkeye, only I think maybe Green Arrow came first (and was twice as lame). I don’t know what’s been done with his character since the ’80s because it’s impossible to keep track of DC continuity, and reading a Wikipedia entry for even the most minor character is an exercise in brain-bending agony, but he apparently still shoots arrows instead of Uzis or magic bolts, which is comforting, I guess.

Anyway, the CW has released its first official still for Arrow, and…I don’t know, I think this might be an encouraging sign. The yellow Van Dyke is gone, anyway. What do you think?

Nickelodeon vs. Disney: Who’s the Family TV Champion?

It’s mid-March, which means everybody has gone bracket-mad, and you can’t throw a rock without hitting a website that’s running some sort of nutty WHO IS THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME face-off series. Not that I’m complaining, necessarily — pop culture cage matches are fun, and anyway, we’re going to get in on the action by helping out with this year’s KidVid Tournament. And sometimes these things are good for discussion, too. Case in point: The Hunt for America’s Finest Cable Channel, currently going on over at TV.com.

Over the weekend, the tournament arrived at the kiddie part of the dial and asked readers the all-important question: What’s the Best Children’s Network? Of course, this being one small part of a much larger contest, you only have two channels to choose from: Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel. Which made me wonder — how many of us are really choosing between those channels on a regular basis?

I wonder not only because there are plenty of other options to choose from on the TV dial, but we have a lot of other choices in general — Netflix, Apple, and Amazon will give you whatever you’re in the mood for by the byte, and if you use those options in conjunction with programming stored on your DVR, then you may not even be aware which channels are responsible for your children’s favorite shows. Put another way: we sort of create our own channels at this point, don’t we?

This isn’t an indictment of TV.com’s tournament, just an observation and a way of asking you for your thoughts. Do you have a Nick vs. Disney preference, or are you digitally sampling from the PBS/Hub/CN/Nick/Disney/whatever buffet?