Special Christmas Video Review: The Little Drummer Boy

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Christmas videos

Happy New Year, everybody! Let’s hope this year is better than the last one. In other words, no more surgeries and long hospital stays for myself and members of my family. Between my problems, my cousin damaging his skull (praise God he’s healed), and my Dad having work on his hand (plus an old co-worker who had a motorcycle accident and needed leg surgery and my neighbor who lost a foot), one of my best friends losing his mom to the same cancer that killed his dad years earlier, and one of my reviewer colleagues whose stepfather died in a car accident, this has been a horrible year even if you don’t follow politics and celebrities. I’m praying for a better 2017. I’m also hoping to get back to my clutter-clearing in force and working on other projects that I hope will lead to bettering my future.

I know I usually do this on Christmas, but I didn’t get THIS year’s Christmas video review done for my other site (and it’s still not done) as I was rushing to get a comic done for Christmas day (which was a day late). I’m rather annoyed by that, but it’s been that kind of year, folks. Still, today’s review from last year’s Christmas is something I actually own, and so it works for this site, while last year’s review was done of something I found online (and came from two years ago).

Rankin/Bass’s The Little Drummer Boy comes from a collection of videos released by Sony Wonder as part of their “Original Television Christmas Classics” box set, seen above on the left. My version looks like a little book, but more recent releases just uses the typical set containers. They’re all Rankin/Bass productions, and my version was packaged with a separate video containing the subject of my first BW Christmas Video Review, A Cricket On The Hearth. So let’s see how this movie holds up.



Special Christmas Video Review: Yes Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus

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The original letter sent asking about the vera...

I don’t actually own this one but I would love to. The footage for my review came from online. However, of the fictional tellings of how Virginia O’Malley was driven to write to the New York Sun and ask her famous question, this is my favorite. So this year you get an obscure Christmas special I don’t own. We’ll see you for some big projects in 2016 so Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from The Clutter Reports.


Special Christmas Video Review: Life & Adventures Of Santa Claus

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Life & Adv of Santa Claus DVD

I don’t know what I’m going to do next year since what I’m reviewing over at the other site THIS year is something that doesn’t have a DVD release and I never owned the VHS. I’ll worry about it next year.

There are two adaptations of L. Frank Baum’s The Life And Adventures Of Santa Claus, a more fantasy-style spin on the origin of Santa Claus. In passing I mention the Rankin/Bass version (their last stop-motion Christmas special) before reviewing the version I like better, a more recent animated version from Universal and Mike Young Productions. So why did I search so hard to find this one? Time to tune in and find out.


Introducing The Clutter Reports Sell Page

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I’ve been doing this site for a while now, and it has included reviews of items to decide if I want to get rid of them or now. And yet those items I said I wanted to get rid of are still here. I was planning on selling them on eBay. I even have an account. What I don’t have is money in my PayPal account to serve as a buffer in case something happens. So I haven’t done it. With my current situation it will be impossible to ever do so. Therefore I’m cutting out the middle site.

If you look above you will see a new tab has been added: “Clutter For Sale”. It’s all the items I know I want to get rid of, broken down by type, plus a miscellaneous section for anything that doesn’t fit. So far there are categories for books, comics, toys, and video games, with only comics and toys currently having anything to offer. At least for now; as we continue there will be more there. When available there are links to reviews I’ve done here and at my other site so you can’t say I’m being dishonest about anything. If you get a comic with a bad story or a toy missing a feature I said so at the time. I don’t want to screw over anybody and hopefully nobody wants to screw me over.

Right now I can only do domestic shipping, and you’ll have to pay for the shipping. As I get more money in reserve I may be able to be more flexible. Orders can be paid through PayPal or by check (or cash if you’re really that trusting…I wouldn’t be). Contact information is on the page if something is there that you want. And if there isn’t keep looking back. As I review stuff here or at the other site things I don’t want will end up here. (Some comics are also multiples.) If you have questions let me know. Hopefully I can get rid of some of this stuff at last.

Video Christmas Special Review: The First Christmas Snow

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First Christmas Show DVD

The full title of this movie is The First Christmas: The Story Of The First Christmas Snow, but I usually just call it The First Christmas Snow. I’m not going to say it’s a hugely important movie but it’s one I’ve been looking for for a while. Last year it finally came out on DVD and I decided to do a Video Review of it for my other site. As I work on this year’s video you can check out last year’s. A Merry Christmas to you.


DVD Report: Godzilla Vs. Biollante

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I’ve noted in the past that I’m a huge Godzilla fan. I’m also trying to make some room on the video shelf and replacing VHS with DVDs is the best way to do it. It doesn’t hurt that finding a VHS player will someday be near impossible, although I have yet to switch to Blu-Ray. (No HD TV anyway.)  So when I found Godzilla Vs. Biollante at K-Mart for $5 I grabbed it. And paid for it, with the lady cashier even saying it was a classic and she didn’t sound like she was joking. Actually, I don’t care if she was because I happen to think it is.

Godzilla vs Biollante

Construction companies must be the richest businesses in Tokyo. Right after cleaning services.

Godzilla Vs. Biollante

DISTRIBUTORS: Miramax and Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
STARRING:Kunihiko Mitamura, Yoshiko Tanaka, Yasuko Sawaguchi Emi Kodaka, Masanoru Takashima, Turu Minegish, Ryunosuki Kaneda & Koji Takahashi
DIRECTOR: Kazuki Ohmori
PRODUCER: Tomoyuki Tanaka


DVD Report: All-Star Superman

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Cover of "All Star Superman, Vol. 1"

Cover of All Star Superman, Vol. 1

How about a bit more time with the hero of Metropolis? While I wanted to talk about the book that I reviewed last week, I did pick up a NEW piece of Superman non-comic media.

All-Star Superman was a 12-part mini-series written by Grant Morrison and drawn by Frank Quietly. The story involves (this isn’t a spoiler, it’s the plot) Superman dying. I read the first issue and didn’t get into it. That’s not a condemnation; it looks like a good comic. It’s just we haven’t had a proper Superman story in years, even in his own comic book so it just didn’t garner my interest.

Last week I was in BJ’s Wholesale Club when I came upon the animated version of the unfortunately abbreviated story. I already knew about it (DC has been putting a number of comic arcs into animated form…not surprisingly many of them written by current creative officer Geoff Johns) but it came out in a time when my money was too low to consider it. Now finding it at $3 when my funds are a bit larger, I figured why not? So was I right to avoid this, or is this a touching portrayal of Superman’s last days?

All-Star Superman DVD

“I forgot my sun tan lotion.”

All-Star Superman

STUDIO: Warner Animation/DC Universe
DISTRIBUTOR: Warner Home Video
STARRING: James Denton (Superman), Christina Hendricks (Lois Lane), and Anthony LaPaglia (Lex Luthor)
based on a story by Grant Morrison  and Frank Quietly
WRITER: Dwayne McDuffie
PRODUCERS: Bruce Timm & Alan Burnett
EDITOR: Margaret Hou


DVD Report: A Cricket On The Hearth (BW Video Review)

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Christmas Tree 2012

With Christmas comes Christmas projects. Namely, the Video Review special and the Christmas mini-comic I want to do every year. So this is the last post until Christmas is over. So I thought I’d make it a good one. For one thing, there’s the Christmas tree picture I promised last week. This year the tree is surrounded by Bumblebees. Obviously this means the Bumblebee shelf is kind of empty but it’s only for a few weeks.

The other thing I’m leaving you with is LAST year’s Video Review. A few years ago I picked this up.

Christmas videos

On the left is “The Original Television Christmas Classics” featuring a number of classic Rankin/Bass Christmas specials. The new version has a few different specials than my collection but doesn’t have a box that resembles a storybook. That’s kind of a shame. This box has Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty The Snowman and Frosty Returns (no, that’s not the one that introduces Frosty’s wife), Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, and The Little Drummer Boy (sadly “Book 2”, the sequel, is not included), plus a CD of Christmas songs from the specials.

Where I picked this up was included a separately contained DVD, the one on the right. A Cricket On The Hearth was one I never heard of prior to picking up this set. Time got in the way of seeing it until last year, when I decided to finally watch the video as a potential review for my other site. What resulted was a “BW Video Review” of the special, featuring Danny Thomas, his daughter, Marlo Thomas, and Roddy McDowall as the title character. As my last Clutter Report until after Santa has completed his route, here is that review, done for BW Media Spotlight and my other home, Reviewers Unknown.com.


DVD Report: Godzilla: The Criterion Collection


Anybody who knows me knows of my love for Godzilla, the reigning king of the monsters. So when I found out that a Criterion Collection copy of both movies was coming out in a box set, I immediately ordered it. The “Criterion Collection” edition is reserved for some of the best movies in cinematic history, putting out a high-quality release. That Godzilla was given a spot is high praise indeed. Last week it arrived although I didn’t have time to watch it until yesterday thanks to scheduling.

I’m not going to review the movie for this report. When an earlier version of both movies were posted to the website Joost (and later moved to Hulu), I posted a two-part comparison of both the original Japanese movie and the American retooling. I said everything I need to about the movies there. Instead, I’m just going to take a look at the presentation.


DVD Report: Batman & Robin (the 1949 movie serial)

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Don’t confuse this with the infamously bad Joel Schumacher film from 1997. This serial was produced in 1949. You may recall I recently reviewed the previous serial from 6 years previous. Now it’s time to see how the sequel holds up. Except it’s not really a sequel. None of the original actors return, and much has changed from the original. If anything, it’s closer to the comics now.

Batman and Robin (serial)

Batman and Robin: The Complete 1949 Movie Serial Collection

PUBLISHER: Sony Pictures, originally produced by Columbia Pictures
STARRING: Robert Lowery, John Duncan, Jane Adams, and Lyle Talbot
WRITERS: George H. Plympton, Joseph E. Poland, and Royal K. Cole.
PRODUCER: Sam Katzman
DIRECTOR: Spencer Bennet


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