CHUD'S Atomic Disc Bin

Here at CHUD, we get a lot of DVDs.  Like, A LOT.  We handle as many as we can, but sometimes, the discs pile up in the Sewer and with all the toxic waste down here, they can start to get a little…well…hot.  When that happens, we gotta hit the purge button and clear them out before the whole joint melts down. 


Best of Pawn StarsThe Best of Pawn Stars – The Greatest Stories Ever Sold  (Buy It Here)

I already riffed on Pawn Stars in the last Bin (here). My take on this offering, The Best of Pawn Stars: The Best Stories Ever Sold, is generally no different, other than this selection probably has a better group of episodes because, after all, it is a “Best of”. But again, even though I enjoy the show (it’s regular weekly viewing for yours truly), this isn’t something with which I would bother, because History reruns the crap out of this show. Pawn Stars is something you catch on initial offering, enjoy, and then can easily dismiss forever because you know there’s another episode just like it coming down the pike next week. It’s not something that needs to fill a space on your DVD shelf. That being said, if you like the antics of the Gold & Silver Pawn crew and absolutely must have them, then $10 for four hours plus of their best stuff isn’t too bitter a pill to swallow.

How Hot Is It? 

Lukewarm.  No special features save for some trailers of other History crap.

Rating:
★★☆☆☆

Out of a Possible 5 Stars


Best of American PickersThe Best of American Pickers: Mike & Frank’s Picks (Buy It Here)

American Pickers is a show very much in the spirit of Pawn Stars, having come out about a year after. It’s Pawn Stars in reverse actually. Instead of having unique items come to them in a store, pickers (guys who buy and sell antiques and valuable junk) Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz go out on the road all over the country looking for the stuff. The appeal of the show is the relationship / friendship between Mike and Frank and their “dispatcher”, Danielle Colby Cushman back at their HQ in Le Claire, Iowa. Frank and Mike are life-long friends and business partners and very knowledgeable about picking. They’re both experts in all kinds of junk, with Mike’s specialty areas being turn of the century bicycles and motorcycles, and Frank’s being rare and vintage toys and oil cans. Danielle is their loyal home base monitor who has to keep the guys stocked with leads to check out, as well as keeping the shop up and running.

The thing about this show is that eight or nine times out of ten, they happen upon people who should be featured on Hoarders. I’ve seen piles of junk on this show that put that planet in the Kurt Russell movie, Soldier, to shame. Remember that garbage pile in the rocket ship terminal in The Fifth Element? That ain’t nothing compared to some of these guys’ junk mountains. Like Pawn Stars, American Pickers is a show a lot like Antiques Roadshow only way cooler and more guy centric, because they’re oftentimes going out and buying rare cars and motorcycles. If haggling is your thing, this is the show for you, and the variety of characters they meet never make for boring watching. History reruns this show also, but there are way more episodes of Pawn Stars than this. I watch the show weekly and wouldn’t bother with this, but if you’re new to the show and like what you see, you might want to pick this up if you can get it for $10 or less. Otherwise it’s not worth it, because once you watch it, you’re probably trading it back in at the nearest used DVD store.

How Hot Is It? 

Not very.  Only special feature is an extra episode.

Rating:
★★☆☆☆

Out of a Possible 5 Stars


Best of Storage WarsThe Best of Storage Wars: Life in the Locker (Buy It Here)

Storage Wars is yet another show about junk, this time, that’s stored in lockers whose owners have allowed their payments to lapse and that are then sold at auction. It’s become a big franchise, with spinoffs in Texas and New York having sprung up in the last couple of years. It’s another one and done watching kind of program with a lot of episodes rerun very frequently by A&E. It centers on four groups of storage locker buyers, Dave Hester, Darrell Sheets, Jarrod Schulz and Brandi Passante and Barry Weiss, who constantly bid against, and often squabble with each other at various auctions all over Southern California. They bid on the lockers, usually in a crapshoot, without being able to go in and inspect the merchandise. Sometimes they find valuables, a lot of times just junk. The show’s had some turnover recently, with the most annoying bidder, Dave Hester (Yuuuuppppp!) having been fired and suing the show, claiming it’s fake. And most recently, eccentric gentleman of bidding, Barry Weiss, has stated that he won’t return. The show also had one of its recurring bidders, Mark Balelo, who liked to carry gangsta wads in a man purse, commit suicide earlier this year.

Storage Wars has a bit more of a shady rep lately than Pickers or Pawn Stars in that there have been allegations in addition to Hester’s that the show is faked and that interesting items are planted in the lockers. I really hope that’s not the case, but truth is, I don’t know. I can see it either way. I can’t abide at all dogshit fake shows like Storage Hunters, which is just shitty scripted dramatizations. Screw. That. Weiss leaving the show is a bummer as he was the most entertaining member of the cast. Like Pickers and Pawn, get this cheap if you must, otherwise, just catch it on TV.

How Hot Is It? 

Hot as an unventilated storage locker.  Only feature is never-before seen intros by the Storage Wars cast for each episode and trailers for other A&E shows.

Rating:
★★☆☆☆

Out of a Possible 5 Stars


Stallone Three PackStallone Three Pack: First Blood / Cop Land / Lock Out (Buy It Here)

First off, if you haven’t ever seen First Blood, what the hell?  Aside from spawning the whole Rambo franchise, it’s was one of Stallone’s last pure “acting” gigs before getting caught up in the whole Rocky and Rambo madness for the next decade. 1997’s Cop Land on the other hand, was touted as Stallone’s return to form after nearly 20 years of huge blockbusters and huge misfires. Directed by James Mangold, it found Stallone as a small town New Jersey Sheriff, Freddy Heflin, who longed to make the jump to the big city police force, but due to a loss of hearing in one ear, was ineligible. Years of self pity and self excess (Stallone has a legit gut that he grew Raging Bull-style just for the role) have weighed on Freddy, who also longs for the woman he saved in a car accident (Annabella Sciorra) that caused his hearing loss. And who should accompany him in the movie but the original gut buster himself, Bob De Niro (sans gut but not ‘stache), Harvey Keitel and Ray Liotta. Freddy finds himself embroiled in a police cover up of a murder of two black youth by a young cop (Michael Rapaport) who’s the nephew of an NYPD Lt. Ray Donlan (Keitel as another bad lieutenant). Although Freddy’s not NYPD, he’s friends with the cops involved, and is reluctant to get involved, even when Internal Affairs officer, Lt. Moe Tilden asks for his help. The cast, particularly Stallone, is great here, the movie holds up well and this is top two or three of Mangold’s best films.

Lock Up is one of Stallone’s lesser-seen movies, coming out a few months before Tango & Cash back in 1989. It centers on Frank Leone, a convict approaching his release date, much to the ire of his former warden, Drumgoole (Donald Sutherland), who was embarrassed when the resourceful Leone once escaped from his prison to see a dying friend and also testified against Drumgoole’s harsh treatment of his inmates. Drumgoole arranges a clandestine transfer to his new prison, Gateway, in order to orchestrate “hard time” for Leone and to try to get him slapped with more prison time in order to torment him some more. Lock Up could be described as Stallone’s Escape From Alcatraz. Leone has to withstand Drumgoole’s attempts to break him into performing a criminal act, and then finally has to engineer another escape attempt when he finds out the warden is planning to release a prisoner to kill someone close to him.  This film may finding some relevance again due to Stallone’s upcoming Escape Plan with Arnie. It only did $22 million box office and Rotten Tomatoes doesn’t think highly of it (17% rotten), but I liked it well enough back when I saw it in the theatres. It’s not Stallone’s greatest role, but far from his worst.

How Hot Is It? 

Cozy fire.  Three dissimilar Stallone titles with no commonality other than two of them are some of his better acting work.  Cop Land has a 14 -minute making of, some deleted scenes, storyboard comparisons, and commentary with Mangold, Stallone, Robert Patrick and producer Cathy Konrad.  Lock Up has a paltry little six-minute making-of and production notes, which automatically shows the disc’s age.  First Blood is the best offering.  It’s from the Special Edition version and has extras including watching the movie in “Survival Mode” which has enhanced viewing including tips, factoids and alternate angles.  There’s also a commentary by Stallone and alternate ending.

Rating:
★★★☆☆

Out of a Possible 5 Stars


Hawaii Five-O Season 2Hawaii Five-O: Season 2 (Buy It Here)

I’ve been a fan of this show since it premiered three years ago. It’s the smart way to reboot a venerable past franchise, making great use of location shooting on Oahu and possessing a breezy, fun atmosphere in what easily could have been another dreary CBS procedural. The show benefits from good ensemble work from stars Alex O’Loughlin (McGarrett), who finally found success on his third try at the Eye in as many years (Moonlight, Three Rivers), Scott Caan as Danno, Daniel Dae-Kim as Chin-Ho (bet he never even left the island after Lost ended) and Grace Park, taking yet another dude’s role as Kono. Like the original, the nature of the police task force of Five-O allows for a wide variety of bad guys, everyone from terrorists to murderers to pirates and human traffickers. It’s got the spirit of the original, but is completely modern, and probably a much better alternative than the first pilot for the reboot which featured Gary Busey.

The show features stand-alone episodes and also an ongoing mythology with the criminal mastermind, Wo Fat (Mark Dacascos), who ordered the murder of McGarrett’s father (William Sadler) and then framed him for murdering the governor (Jean Smart) at the end of Season 1. Season 2 featured Masi Oka coming on board as offbeat coroner, Max Bergmann, and Lauren German as recurring character Lori Weston. What’s interesting about the original Five-O is that when is was ending its run back in 1980 and Magnum P.I. was just starting up, there were plans for them to share a universe that never came together. This new Five-O shares the universe of NCIS and NCIS: LA, featuring a couple of crossovers with the latter in Season 2 (as it turns out, McGarrett served with LL’s Sam Hannah in the SEALs). There’s also a Lost reunion as Terry O’Quinn makes some appearances as McGarrett’s former commander, Joe White, who harbors certain secrets about McGarrett’s family’s past. And holy flashback, Batman, Ed Asner puts in an appearance, reprising his role of bad guy August March from the original series.

How Hot Is It?

Kilauea.  There are commentaries and deleted scenes on various episodes.  Three featurettes: “Shore Lines: The Story of Hawaii Five-O, Season 2″ that runs 30 minutes; “Aloha Action” runs 23 minutes; and “Becoming A SEAL: An Insider’s Guide to the World’s Toughest Training” runs nine minutes.  There’s an interactive feature titled “Hawaii Five-O’ahu” which is a map of the island locations (nine total), with quickie five-minute featurettes on them.  A ten minute gag reel rounds out the offerings.  This is a good set to have.

Rating:
★★★½☆

Out of a Possible 5 Stars


Wolverine OriginMarvel Knights: Wolverine, Origin (Buy It Here)

I have no real dog in the fight on the subject of Wolverine’s long-mysterious origin story.  After just having seen it here for the first time, there are elements I like and others not so much.  One thing I do believe though – and I don’t know if it’s been retconned in the comics since X-Men Origins: Wolverine came out – but I think that Sabretooth absolutely should have been Dog Logan.  The complicated relationship between Victor and Logan as portrayed by Liev Schreiber and Hugh Jackman, was one of the few things that did work in that movie.  And considering how long those two have been slashing each other in the comics, the animosity between the two,  and the exact same nature of their powers, it makes the most sense to me at least.

Anyway, a couple years back, I did a review of a Spider-Woman motion comic and I stated that motion comics really aren’t my thing.  I’d much prefer to see any motion comic as an animated feature instead. That being said, I did find this to be pretty watchable.  If you hate the origin story that Paul Jenkins, Bill Jemas and Joe Quesada came up with back in the day, or the concept of bone claws in general, then it’s a cinch you won’t like this either.  Give me my druthers and I’ll go full animation every time.  Still, this might appeal to you.

How Hot Is It?

Main thing I didn’t like is that the Play All option (there are six chapters just as in the comics themselves) rehashes the opening credits for each chapter rather than stringing them together into a movie.  There are two featurettes, one on the story and one on the artwork of Origin, that total about 28 minutes and feature Quesada, Jemas and Jenkins riffing in detail on the thing came about.

Rating:
★★½☆☆

Out of a Possible 5 Stars