New to Blu-ray/DVD: Northern Limit Line & My Favorite Martian: The Complete Collection


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Editor’s Notes: Northern Limit Line & My Favorite Martian: The Complete Collection are out on their respective formats October 20th.

Northern Limit Line
Screen Shot 2015-10-18 at 8.33.33 PMNorthern Limit Line (Well Go USA) is a war-at-sea adventure based on a real-life battle that occurred in 2002 in the Yellow Sea, when a North Korean patrol boat crossed the maritime demarcation line and engaged its South Korean counterpart while that nation was involved with a World Cup match with Turkey. This film was a box office hit in South Korea, where it outgrossed bigger-budget Hollywood action pictures.

The confrontation between warships takes only a small percentage of the film’s 130-minute running time. More than half the screen time is devoted to introducing some South Korean sailors. We have a rookie medic being hazed by his fellow shipmates, the ship’s humorless commander, and his more congenial helmsman with hand tremors that nearly cause a collision. The backstories are interesting up to a point, but carry on long after we get the sense of who these people are and tend to bog the movie down.<

he naval battle is intense, with many close-up views of the horror of war. Choppily filmed and edited, these scenes take on the appearance of documentary footage. One shot shows a dazed combatant scurrying to pick up his blown-off fingers. Much like the Omaha beach landing scene that opens Saving Private Ryan, the naval battle goes for the visceral, with lots of blood and a sense of controlled panic under fire. The final moments of the film include archival footage of the sailors’ funerals and interviews with survivors. The movie, in Korean with English subtitles, underscores the tensions that still exist 65 years after the beginning of the Korean War.

There are no bonus features on the Blu-ray release.

My Favorite Martian: The Complete Collection

Screen Shot 2015-10-18 at 8.45.29 PMMy Favorite Martian: The Complete Collection (MPI Home Video) is a 15-DVD set containing all 107 complete, unedited, digitally remastered episodes from the show’s three seasons, along with a generous assortment of special features. Originally aired on CBS-TV from 1963 to 1966, My Favorite Martian debuted in the top 10 in its premiere season. This fantasy comedy series paved the way for such later hits as Third Rock From the Sun, Alf and Mork and Mindy. Bill Bixby (The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, The Incredible Hulk) stars as newspaper reporter Tim O’Hara and Ray Walston (Fast Times at Ridgemont High) plays the human-looking Martian whom Tim discovers, takes in as a roommate, and passes off as his Uncle Martin. Pamela Britton plays their nosey landlady, Lorelei Brown.

The Martian speaks English and refuses to admit to anyone but Tim his extraterrestrial origins. “Uncle Martin” has little retractable antennae, can make himself invisible, is telepathic, can move objects simply by pointing at them, and has an expansive knowledge of technological information. In the first season, Mrs. Brown’s teenage daughter Angela (Ann Marchall) was a cast regular. The following year, policeman Bill Brennan (Alan Hewitt) joined the cast as Mrs. Brown’s boyfriend, a threat to Uncle Martin not only as a potential discoverer of the Martian’s true identity but also a romantic rival for Mrs. Brown’s attentions.

The first two seasons were filmed in black and white, the final season in color. The Martian’s powers were increased in Season 3 to include stimulating his facial hair to provide quick disguises and levitating with his nose. Guest stars included Linda Evans, Gavin McLeod, Marlo Thomas, Jamie Farr, Bernie Kopell, Butch Patrick, Richard Deacon, Michael Constantine, Henry Gibson, Pat Priest, and Allan Melvin.

Special features include behind-the-scenes home movies; original cast and sponsor commercials; spaceship miniature test footage; Ray Walston’s promotional game show and talk show appearances; “Let’s Talk to Lucy,” 1964-1965 radio interviews with Bill Bixby and Ray Walston talking to Lucille Ball; photo galleries; original soundtrack music album; vintage program sponsor billboards and closing credits; animation and effects reel; and the TV pilots “The Man in the Square Suit” and “The Reluctant Eye.”


About Author

For over 25 years, I was the Film and Home Entertainment Reviewer for "The Villadom TIMES," a New Jersey weekly newspaper, and have written for several other publications. I developed and taught a Film Studies program for two New York City high schools that included Film History, Horror/Fantasy, and Film Making.