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Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 2 (CBS/Paramount, 2 Blu-rays or DVDs, NO, 261 min.). The second season of this animated “Star Trek” series is better than the first as it delves more into the backstory of the characters and brings real “Star Trek” action in the last two episodes which end on a cliffhanger. The 10 episodes revolve around the relief crew of one of Starfleet’s least important ships, the USS Cerritos, used primarily for second-contact with alien species. Consistently more value is placed on fun than in the live-action series.

This support crew includes Ensigns Beckett Mariner (Tawny Newsome), whose mother is Ship’s Captain Carol Freeman Dawnn Lewis); Brad Boimler (Jack Quaid), who takes up his outpost on Capt. Riker (Jonathan Frakes) continues for two episodes until he is duplicated in a transporter accident; Samanthan Rutherford (Eugene Cordero), a cyborg with a new brain implant); and D’Vana Tendi (Noel Wells), an aspiring doctor. The show shows how they go about their duties as well as their social lives. The command crew is heavily involved, especially since in one episode the two factions of the crew join forces. These include Cmdr. Jack Ransom (Jerry O’Connell), the returned from the dead Lt. Shaxs (Fred Tatasclore), Doctor T’Ana (Gillian Vigman), Lt. Billups (Paul Scheer) and the new security chief Lt. Kayshon (Carl Pie).

In the episodes, Ramson is given god-like powers, Boimler becomes an “unauthorized person” upon his return and is not re-entered into the computer (hence doors and the food replicator do not work for him), and the ship is overrun by Dooplers. a humanoid creature that doubles in size when excited. The latter is obviously a reference to the Tribbles episode of the original “Star Trek” and it’s not the only reference as another episode brings back the Mugatos and some Ferengi. Captain Tom Paris makes an appearance, as does the Borg Queen (Alice Krige reprises her role).

The series can get a little naughty, which comes with all-sex showers and Billup’s queen mother trying to get him to give up his chastity so he can inherit the throne. Another episode gives us a glimpse of the Klingon and Vulcan crews on the lower decks.

Extras include audio commentary for episodes two, five, seven and nine; a look at Easter eggs and animations for each episode; an interesting discussion of the show’s Emmy-nominated sound and how it’s created (13:19); and an overview of the season through interviews with the producers, cast and creative (32:37). Grade: Season 3.5 stars; Extras 3 stars

Rating Guide: 5 Stars = Classic; 4 stars = excellent; 3 stars = good; 2 stars = sufficient; dog = skip

Miami Blues (1990, MVD Rewind Collection, Blu-ray, R, 97 mins). This funky crime thriller is saved by strong performances from its three main actors. Alec Baldwin (then fresh from The Hunt For Red October) plays crook/thief Junior Frenger, who appears to be fresh out of prison. After flying to Miami, he steals a woman’s suitcase and breaks the aggressive Hare Krishna’s finger, causing the man’s death, apparently from shock. This draws his attention to homicide detective Sgt. Hoke Moseley (Fred Ward, also executive producer here; the “Tremors” films), who tracks Frenger easily but seems reluctant to arrest him – they even eat pork chops together – until Frenger attacks him, punches and steals his fake ones Teeth, badge and gun so Frenger can pose as a cop before ripping off bad guys.

The third starring role is Jennifer Jason Leigh (“Single White Female”) as Susie Waggoner, a 23-year-old junior college student who makes money as a prostitute. In the first role she meets Frenger, who seems to fall in love with her immediately. He even rents a house to share with her.

Writer/director George Armitage (“Grosse Pointe Blank”) only occasionally finds the absurdist humor he aspires to. Combined separate interviews with Baldwin and Leigh (26:01) from the 2015 Blu-ray edition. There is also a mini poster and a photo gallery. Grade: Movie 2.25 stars; Extras 2 stars

The Frisco Kid (1979, Warner Archive Collection, Blu-ray, PG, 118 mins). As far as supposed comic westerns go, this one is usually a bore, since in 1850 we met Polish student rabbi Avram Bellinski (Gene Wilder, much funnier in almost all of his other films, including Young Frankenstein, The Producers), who as new rabbi is dispatched to the San Francisco congregation. Because of the gold rush, his boat left a day early, and the brothers he helped buy a wagon for the west trek soon robbed him and set him free.

After being supported by an Amish family, Avram is on the train to Akron but in the bathroom when bandit Tommy Lillard (Harrison Ford, fresh from Apocalypse Now and a year before Star Wars: Episode V) Empire Strikes Back”) robs the train and then jumps off. Avram works on a railroad track to get enough money to buy a horse, but raccoons eat all his food. He is eventually rescued by Lillard, who decides to escort the hapless wanderer to the Pacific. Along the way, Lillard robs a bank with $640 and the anticipated Native American encounter takes an unexpected turn. Val Bisoglio plays Chief Gray Cloud. They also visit a fraternity of brothers who have taken a vow of silence.

Directed by Robert Aldrich (“The Dirty Dozen”, “The Longest Yard”). There are no extras. Rating: Movie 2.25 stars

“Hell up.” Courtesy of Arrow Video

Hell High (1989, Arrow, Blu-ray, NR, 84 min; release July 19). There’s some sick fun in this semi-slasher film about four high school villains, wannabe rebels, who unknowingly take on the wrong teacher with deadly consequences. It turns out that the school’s biology teacher, Miss Brooke Storm (Maureen Mooney, later a veteran of several daytime shows), was the terrified little girl in the opening scene who accidentally caused the horrific deaths of two teenagers. It’s now 18 years later and she’s stuck in her class with the rebellious Dickens (Christopher Stryker, who unfortunately died of AIDS at just 27 before the film’s release).

Dickens hangs out with Queenie (Millie Prezioso) and the overweight Smiler (Jason Brill), who mostly make fun of the jocks and goof around. Dickens draws former football player Jon-Jon (Christopher Cousens from the TV series Breaking Bad) into her little group. How bad is Dickens? Well, he drives his car onto the soccer field during the game so Jon-Jon can intercept a pass!

Dickens decides to have the four pranks Miss Storm in her home by jumping onto her roof and throwing swamp slime at her windows, unaware that doing so would unleash all of her unhappy memories and newfound aggression. The film has a handful of violent deaths, an unnecessary shower scene, and lots of silly antics.

The film was shot in two parts about a year apart, as Grossman ran out of money halfway through. When filming resumed, Mooney was pregnant, prompting the use of a body double and careful camera placement.

The film includes a tremendous number of extras, including three audio commentaries: a new one by director/producer/co-writer Douglas Grossman and cinematographer Steven Fierberg (TV series Emily in Paris, The Affair), and older ones by Grossman and Joe Bob Briggs. Briggs also introduces the film (5:06). There are new interviews with Grossman (42:55; he cites his “Clockwork Orange” influence); Fierberg (28:56; citing his “If” influence, another film with Malcom McDowell); Cousins ​​(18:49; he says he never thought the film would be shown); Mooney (20:06); and composers Rich Macar and Christopher Hyams-Hart (26:48; their first meeting in 35 years). Michael Gingold guides through the locations of the film (13:07; three high schools were used). There are archive interviews with Grossman (7:30 p.m.) and co-author Leo Evans (11:41 a.m.). A deleted scene with no sound shows the students trekking through the swamp for slime (2:10), and there are alternate opening titles (2:05). Additionally, an illustrated booklet includes notes from Gingold and an exclusive interview with stunt coordinator/actor Webster Whinery. Rating: film 3 stars; Extras 4.5 stars

Tom Von Malder of Owls Head has been reviewing music since 1972, shortly after graduating from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. He has been reviewing videos/DVDs since 1988.


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