This Review Roundup is a mix of this week’s new releases and a couple of items that came out last week I didn’t get until after their release. First is Balthazar Series 1. If you combined House with Sherlock, you’d get Balthazar. Raphaël Balthazar is a forensic pathologist in Paris working with chief inspector Hélène Bach to help solve crimes. Each episode has its own story/mystery with an overlying story throughout. That story is the death of his wife (girlfriend maybe, don’t remember which). Her killer has been in jail, but when a murder with a similar marking on the body is found, Balthazar starts to reopen the case. He’s a suave genius womanizer and there’s a will they/won’t they vibe between him and the inspector despite her being married. There’s a warning on the show saying it’s graphic and yeah, it’s graphic. They do not hold back with the medical nature. They constantly cut open bodies (he and his colleagues do work in forensics after all), but it’s gruesome. One murder victim had his face peeled off. I didn’t really see the need early on for him talking to the dead people, but every show has something I don’t love. Despite that, it’s a pretty easy binge and I’d watch more of the series if it comes my way.
On a lighter note, The Heart Guy Series 4 is also out this week. Rodger Corser plays surgeon Hugh Knight, a once hotshot doctor who returns to his small hometown after some issues. Even though his probation is up and his family farm has been saved, he decides to stay to raise his new daughter and his new clinic has a brand new rich sponsor. A pretty thing comes to town which shakes things up for the doc. His brother’s ex returns to town which causes some issues with him. There’s a pregnancy, all kinds of family issues and a lot more. It’s a pretty simple show, but it’s easy to watch. There’s enough comedic elements to lighten the drama and not make it very heavy. It’s never been anything overly original because it’s sort of the classic fish-out-of-water story (despite him returning home, he’s not that person anymore) and at 10 episodes, you can watch through them pretty quickly.
Sticking with not overly original, Goldie is also out this week. It’s about a young woman who wants to be a star. She’s trying to raise her two sisters after her mother is locked up. She does everything she can (some not legal things) to get her name recognized and keep her sisters safe. We’ve seen this movie a thousand times before, but the lead actress, Slick Woods, was pretty decent. I wanted a bit more from it. I’m not sure what that would be, but something to separate itself from all the other similar films in this genre. It has good style and it moves really fast, but the story has been done time and time again.
Going back to TV, Criminal Minds The Final Season is out this week. This was a show my mom enjoyed despite the revolving door of actors in it. It’s one I only watched to review and never watched when it aired. This final season has 10 episodes and if you are a fan of the show, I’m sure you know what to expect, but that final episode is pretty bizarre. Dr. Reid experiences hallucinations from people in his past and it felt really out of place for the series to me at least. Again, I’m not a diehard so maybe I missed something, but that along with a twist seemed odd. But if you are a fan I’m sure you’ll be adding the final season to your collection.
Police Squad! The Complete Series hits Blu-ray for the first time. Before the Naked Gun movies there was this 6 episode series. Leslie Nielsen was the star of course in this quirky oddball show. It’s a spoof of cop dramas with all kinds of jokes, gags and things taken literally. I was familiar with it but had never actually seen it or remember seeing it. Each week had a guest star seen killed. It’s a certain brand of comedy that you either enjoy (I do) or cringe at. Every episode Nielsen offered someone a cigarette with someone saying yes. You either laugh or you don’t. If you haven’t seen the show but enjoy the Naked Gun movies you’ll definitely want to pick this up. I quite enjoyed it.
The classic Sixteen Candles gets a special Blu-ray remastering this week. I hadn’t seen a non-TV edited version of the film in probably 30 years at this point and watching it now, you forget some stuff you just haven’t seen. If you aren’t familiar with the movie you live under a rock, sorry it’s about a girl (Molly Ringwald) waking up on her sixteenth birthday and her family forgetting about it because of her older sister’s wedding. It’s classic John Hughes storytelling with Ringwald’s character one of the iconic teen character in film history. She goes to a party and wants to date the older boy Jake. The geek (Anthony Michael Hall) wants to prove he’s a ladies man. It’s everything you want in a teen movie with jocks, nerds, nobodies and everything in between. Sure by today’s standards it’s politically incorrect. The legendary Asian character is a walking stereotype cliche, but we still quote him today (Donger needs food!). The nerds are stereotypes. Jake’s girlfriend is pretty much an airhead. Hall’s geek practically molests Ringwald’s character in the half car. But we didn’t care then and I still don’t care now. It has fantastic music and has been playing on TV for 30+ years for a reason. This new release looks and sounds great and has a slew of bonus features with all kinds of interviews, an additional scene and much more. It’s a great release of the film.
Last we have Madam Secretary The Final Season and The Complete Series. It’s another show I only watched to review, but my parents watched when it aired. Téa Leoni stars and the final season contains 10 episodes. It deals with veterans affairs, a faked video, fuel costs, information leaks to take down her presidency, a tech CEO missing in a foreign country, and World Cup Champion U.S. Women’s Soccer team makes an appearance. It was never a show I enjoyed enough to watch on my own terms, but it had fans. If you already own the previous seasons, pick up the last season now. If you are a fan of the show and don’t own any of them, the Complete Series box set is also available.