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Love Lucy all over again in new complete box set, 24-disc set features all 144 episodes from the CBS series

Posted on Monday, April 28, 2014 at 2:43 pm


By Peter Covino

A&E Editor

If you’re older than 40, all you probably need to say is Here’s Lucy.
The very successful CBS series (1968-74) starring Lucille Ball, was the third such venture for TV’s most popular comedienne ever, and was a steady fixture of the Nielsen ratings’ most popular shows during its run, placing in the top ten four of its six seasons.
Now you can enjoy Lucy and kids, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr., as well as Ball regulars Gale Gordon, Mary Jane Croft as well as several visits by I Love Lucy co-star, Vivian Vance.
This is a massive gift set, perfect for anyone who loves Lucy. It is a 24-disc box set (from MPI Home Video) featuring all 144 episodes, uncut and restored.
That’s a lot of memories for TV buffs.
With her years and years  on TV, everyone in the business knew Lucille Ball, and just like the classic I Love Lucy, there were many guest star appearances, a virtual who’s who from the big and small screens.
Some of the featured stars in the  episodes include: Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Andy Griffith, Joan Rivers, Danny Thomas, Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme, Frankie Avalon, Eddie Albert, Milton Berle, Chuck Connors, Ed McMahon, Don Knotts, Donny Osmond, Eva Gabor, Joe Namath, Petula Clark, Ricardo Montalban and Elsa Lanchester.
Probably no episode is more classic or watched than the episode where Liz and Dick visited the show and Lucy tried on Taylor’s then famous diamond ring, and in typical Lucy fashion, it got stuck on her finger.
Another classic, earlier on in the series, has Lucy and children and Gordon visiting a cheap resort run by Jack Benny. That episode also featured a cameo by another TV legend, Jackie Gleason.
The format for the show was not much different that the The Lucy Show, Ball’s second very successful TV series on CBS.
This time out, Lucy plays  Lucy Carter, another widow, with her own teen children playing her children, Kim and Craig. Lucy works for her brother-in-law (Gordon), who owns the Unique Employment Agency, a ploy that guaranteed Lucy would find herself in trouble just about every week.
In addition to all the individual shows themselves, each episode features in introduction by either Lucie Arnaz or Desi Arnaz, Jr. Other bonus features include numerous featurettes; Let’s Talk to Lucy interviews; special TV appearances and interviews; Treasures from Lucy’s Vault; a U.S. savings bond episode and public service film; slide shows; original CBS and syndication promos and more.
If you want to try something different from the South Korean film market, other than a martial arts film, you can’t go wrong with Flu, a very American-like movie about a viral outbreak in the Asian nation.
Writer/director Kim Sung-soo most definitely takes a Western approach in this film, now available from
CJ Entertainment.
It is Outbreak without the annoying government subplot that just gets out of hand, in that Dustin Hoffman thriller.
Here, an epidemic is taking hold in the Seoul suburb of Bundang, and the deadly virus (with some terrifying symptoms) is quickly getting out of control. There is no cure, can the medical professionals turn the tide before thousands die?
Bonus features include a “making of” feature; deleted scenes and concept art.
Sadly, there is no cure for Better Living Through Chemistry (Universal Studios Home Entertainment) a comedy starring Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde, Ray Liotta and a really annoying narration by Jane Fonda.
I have been a Rockwell fan for years. He comes off as totally unpretentious and likeable, not to mention quirky in just about every film he has ever been in. He is fighting a losing battle in Better Living Through Chemistry, a not-so-funny comedy featuring Rockwell as a married small-town pharmacist who undergoes a major transformation after having a fling with another woman. Rockwell still makes it watchable, as he goes from respectable businessman to a guy who can’t account for all the missing pills in the pharmacy when the DEA comes to town.
The Blu-ray combo features an UltraViolet copy for portable devices.
It’s no surprise that The Nut Job (Universal Home Entertainment) is pretty much, strictly for kids.  There are a tree full of nut jokes and all things squirrelly, as  Surly ( Will Arnett), an aptly named squirrel, seeks out to find the tastiest nuts for winter. When he finds a whole store filled with nuts, he decides a robbery is the best way to end his quest. But the nut place happens to be owned by some bank robbers who plan on robbing the nearby bank.
There is nothing amazing in the way of animation or story here, but it should keep the youngest members of the family entertained.
The Blu-ray combo (The Nut Job also is available in a 3D combo pack) features a UltraViolet and DVD copy of the film, as well as deleted scenes, storyboards and a dance-off in the end credits.
Plus both the DVD and Blu-ray versions include two animated shorts including the Academy Award winning, Surly Squirrel.
If Nut Job is strictly for kids, Chinese Zodiac (Universal Home Entertainment) is strictly for Jackie Chan fans. This is supposedly the end of the line for action films for Chan, who is approaching 60. While it isn’t exactly a fitting swan song, for fans, it is maybe one last chance to see the martial arts legend at work.
Written, produced, directed and starring Chan (that often is not a good sign unless you happen to be Orson Welles), it is the story of Asian Hawk, who an adventurer leading a team to recover 12 precious Chinese Zodiac statues that were looted by foreigners back in the 1800s.
If much of the film seems pointless, fans will want to stick around for the action-packed ending where Chan is in good form doing what he does best.
Chinese Zodiac is available in DVD and Blu-ray combo  with UltraViolet copy.