Columbo: The Complete Second Season (1971)

Genre(s): Crime / Mystery
Universal || NR - 641 minutes - $39.98 || March 8, 2005
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2005-03-06


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: NA
Writer(s): Richard Levinson & William Link (creators)
Cast: Peter Falk


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
    None


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Full Screen (1.33)
  • English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

"Oh, there's just one more thing..."

Peter Falk returns as one of more memorable police detectives in history (winning 4 Emmy's). For the "second season" (this is actually a compilation, if you want to go by IMDb standards, of 8 TV movies) Columbo takes on several cases including a symphony conductor (John Cassavetes) who kills his mistress, a pro football team general manager (Robert Culp) takes out the team's owner (Dean Stockwell), a fading actress who gets caught up in blackmail and murder, and finally (my favorite episode) aptly name "Double Shock". This episode, written by "NYPD Blue" creator Steven Bochco, is about a pair of twins (played by Martin Landau) who both point the finger at the other for the murder of their wealthy uncle (who was about to get married to the lovely Julie Newmar). Columbo must, of course, figure out who did the deed.

Why has "Columbo" lasted so long? As a character, he has been around for nearly 35 years (his last TV outting was in 2003 with "Columbo Likes the Nightlife"), however, I can't say he's been sticking around because of th plots or the mystery mainly because... there isn't any really. While I enjoyed watching these episodes, they showed (with the exception of "Double Shock") who the killer is AND their motive behind it (more often than not). With that already displayed, why watch at all? What's the point? Well, I found after watching a few episodes that it is because of Columbo himself and the great supporting actors that I watch, not for the plot or anything else. It was fascinating to see such legends as Landau, Culp or Leonard Nimoy taking on these roles (primarily as the killer).

Also interesting is despite that Columbo isn't a well defined character as I have no idea if he's a bumbling detective or just acts that way (he never goes "out of character" when not around suspects), he still is fun to watch. I also appreciate (and this is why I like "CSI") that the show does not delve into his personal life much. We know he has a wife, but he only talks to her on the phone. There's no personal drama, the show focuses on the plot at hand and nothing else, which makes for good entertainment (no brain power needed).



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Unfortunately, Universal didn't bother putting anything on these discs, not even them lousy filmographies! Come on gang, how 'bout some new featurettes with interviews with Peter Falk and/or perhaps some of the old writers (such as Steven Bochco).



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

As far as a 70s TV show goes, not half bad stuff. The sound is only 2-channel so it does get pitchy in places and the volume (if using your TV speakers) needs to be jacked up a lot to hear the dialogue so I suggest just using your regular surround sound (it's not too bad). The biggest part of this is a wonderful picture transfer which looks darn near perfect all things considered. For episodes more than 30 years old, they look damn good!



.::OVERALL::.

Although the "Columbo: Season Two" doesn't have ANY special features, it is a good pick-up for all you Peter Falk fans out there. The show itself is very entertaining (and clean), so even younger viewers may enjoy it as well (if they can get by it's so old). The episodes aren't very involving plot-wise but I still enjoyed myself and hope you do as well.