Shout Factory

What to Watch: Feb. 18-24, 2014

The Americans

What an amazing week for TV fans. As if you didn’t have enough stacking to do with the new, brilliant season of “House of Cards” on Netflix, there are four other full seasons in this week’s What to Watch that you really should watch front to back. And then there’s the still-amazing “Darkman,” a cult classic that perfectly captures Sam Raimi’s skill at controlled chaos. Finally, we have two ’80s horror flicks in one set in “Bad Dreams” and “Visiting Hours.” Check ‘em all out (OK, you can skip the genre stinkers).

DVD Review: Capture Comedy Genius with ‘No Pryor Restraint: Life in Concert’

No Pryor Restraint

CHICAGO – One of the most remarkable and influential elements of Richard Pryor’s groundbreaking stand-up comedy was how completely bare he laid himself on stage through his art. He held nothing back. He shared not only jokes but personal stories, including the dark stuff. And so when Shout Factory named their massive tribute to the comedian “Life in Concert,” they got something absolutely right.

DVD Review: Audacious ‘Swimming to Cambodia’ Gets Long-Awaited Release

Swimming to Cambodia DVD

CHICAGO – Moviegoers allergic to copious amounts of talk will be hacking and wheezing minutes into “Swimming to Cambodia.” It’s a cinematically lensed 1987 recording of a show that consists entirely of actor/writer Spalding Gray sitting in a chair telling stories. He’s a vibrant presence and a brilliant wordsmith, but his mouth could literally talk one’s ear into a coma.

DVD Review: ‘The Sarah Silverman Program: The Complete Series’

The Sarah Silverman Program: The Complete Series

CHICAGO – Shout Factory has become a spectacular DVD studio for a mix of unexpected releases. They have their stable of classic TV but they also own the rights to some modern favorites which leads to unique box sets like “The Sarah Silverman Program: The Complete Series.”

Blu-ray Review: Tony-Winning Musical ‘Memphis’ Belts Out Joyful Noise

Memphis Blu-ray

CHICAGO – Sometimes high energy and spirited charisma are enough to redeem a mediocre musical, and that is precisely what “Memphis” has in spades. It’s not a wholly derivative show by any means, but it does tread through familiar troubled waters. Modern Broadway classics like “Hairspray” have already effectively illustrated that “Rock ’n’ roll is just Negro blues sped up.”

DVD Review: ‘The Adventures of Tintin: Season One’ Lacks Excitement, Extras

The Adventures of Tintin Season One Thumb

CHICAGO – For fans of comic strip legend Georges “Hergé” Rémi’s celebrated investigative reporter and trusty canine sidekick, director Stéphanie Bernasconi’s short-lived TV series from the early ’90s represented the ideal adaptation of the Belgian author’s work. Unlike Belvision’s series of the late ’50s and early ’60s, Bernasconi stuck to the original design, structure and spirit of Rémi’s internationally beloved books.

DVD Review: Beautiful Series Set For ‘It’s Garry Shandling’s Show’

It's Garry Shandling's Show

CHICAGO – A lot of classic TV comedies are often pointed to as being “ahead of their time”. The quirky, weird, and memorable “It’s Garry Shandling Show” wasn’t really ahead of its time because there’s nothing quite like it on the air. The groundbreaking cult classic is now available in a gorgeous 16-disc set from Shout Factory and it’s just what Shandling fans deserve.

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