Six more “Perry Mason” TV movies starring Raymond Burr have been released on DVD this week, along with the latest seasons of “Community” and “Last Tango in Halifax.”
“Perry Mason Movie Collection: Volume 3” (CBS/Paramount/DVD, 1990-91, three discs, six movies). This third set of TV movies starring Burr in his most famous role has the intrepid attorney and his faithful legal secretary Della Street (Barbara Hale), along with investigator Ken Malansky (William R. Moses), looking into murders involving plagiarism, a former SS officer and a rock star, among others. Guests include Angela Bassett, Vanessa Williams, Yvette Mimieux, Terry O’Quinn, Cindy Williams, David Warner, Robert Culp, Robert Vaughn, Jerry Orbach and Susan Sullivan.
“Community: The Complete Fifth Season” (Sony/DVD, 2014, two discs, 13 episodes, audio commentaries, featurettes, outtakes). Chevy Chase is gone this season (save a cameo in Episode 1) but Joel McHale and crew carry on with zany spoofs, pop-culture references and plots that make no sense, although they do produce laughter. Including an animated episode in the style of the ’80s “G.I. Joe” cartoon show.
“Last Tango in Halifax: The Complete Season Two” (BBC/DVD, 2013, two discs, six episodes). Warm, occasionally amusing romantic comedy-drama about two childhood sweethearts (Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid, both excellent) reunited in their dotage. Slips a little too often into the mechanics of soap opera but generally smooth and entertaining.
“The Saint: Set 1” (Acorn/DVD, 1989, three discs, three movies). The British Robin Hood-style criminal “The Saint” was created for a series of novels by Leslie Charteris and has so far been adapted for a 1930s-’40s film series, a 1940s-’50s radio series, a 1960s TV series starring Roger Moore and a 1997 film starring Val Kilmer. Along the way the character also showed up in six made-for-British television movies starring Simon Dutton, led by the three in this set: “The Brazilian Connection,” “The Blue Dulac” and “Fear in the Park.”
“Poirot: Fan Favorites Collection” (Acorn/DVD, 1989-2010, three discs, six episodes). In anticipation of the final season of “Agatha Christie’s Poirot” with David Suchet (to be shown beginning Monday at acorn.tv) comes this set of six of the series’ most popular episodes, based on six of Christie’s most famous novels, including “Murder on the Orient Express,” “The ABC Murders” and “Four and Twenty Blackbirds.” Guests include Barbara Hershey, Jessica Chastain and Hugh Bonneville.
“The Broker’s Man: Series 2” (Acorn/DVD, 1998, two discs, six episodes). This set contains the final six episodes of the series about an ex-cop who becomes an insurance investigator and uses his skills to expose con artists. The character is played by Kevin Whately, best known as Inspector Lewis in the “Inspector Morse” series, followed by the “Inspector Lewis” spinoff.
“Mythbusters: Collection 11” (Discovery/Cinedigm/DVD, 2011, two discs, 10 episodes). The mayhem continues in this reality series as Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage explode, so to speak, the myths surrounding toilet bombs, duct-tape airplanes, rock sleds and bazookas.Comment on this story
“Top Gear 21: The Complete Season 21” (BBC/DVD, 2014, three discs, five episodes, bonus: “Burma Special”). In this reality series, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May take a road trip across Ukraine in three compact hatchbacks, make a commercial for reducing motorcycle accidents and build a bridge over the River Kwai, among other adventures.
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Cowabunga Classics” (Lionsgate/DVD, 1987-93, 10 episodes, featurettes). Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the TMNT animated and live-action series and films, this collection includes the top 10 fan-favorite episodes from Seasons 1-7 of the first animated series, along with assorted interviews with artists and others involved.
“Sofia the First: The Enchanted Feast” (Disney Junior/DVD, 2013-14, five episodes). The animated kid-princess show about a commoner who becomes royalty via her mother’s marriage to a king, with the title episode featuring a guest appearance by Snow White.