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Pawn Stars Season 2 and Ax Men Season 3 DVD Reviews


“Pawn Stars” is addicting television.

Watching the swamp logger and R&R Conner aviation on the job is fun, but the rest of “Ax Men” is flat-out boring.

“Pawn Stars” is a reality program focusing on the Harrison family and their business The World Famous Gold and Silver Pawn Shop. The family consists of Rick, his grumpy, cheap father (Richard), and Rick’s son Corey. Corey’s goofy friend Chumlee also pops up in the show quite frequently. Throughout the 32 episode season, the family squabbles amongst themselves and appraise and or buy items for the store (in which they then turn around and sell at a higher price in order to make a profit). Among the items seen in this season are war weapons, shark teeth, an old bottle of whiskey, vehicles, Pez dispensers, coins, handcuffs, a pinball machine, a hot hair balloon, photos, and a Lou Gehrig jersey. Sometimes, the family will buy items that need to be repaired and will fix them up. Additionally, the family sometimes calls in experts in various fields to get the value of a particular item. Of course, not everything goes smoothly all the time for the Harrison family as they have to deal with greedy customers and customers trying to sell fake items. The family also sometimes overpays for items which causes a loss of money for the store.

Basically, “Pawn Stars” is similar to “Antiques Roadshow” esque show only it’s not set on the road. Instead, it’s set in a single store and focuses on the employees of the story. The family can be a bit annoying at times when they argue and curse about everything and nothing, but for some odd reason, they are entertaining to watch. The real draw of the show, however, is seeing the variety of historic items and learning about their history. There’s literally something that will appeal to everyone’s interests and or hobbies here. For instance, as a huge James Bond fan, I got a real kick out of seeing the “Goldfinger” final draft script in the “License To Pawn” episode.

Summary: “Pawn Stars” may be shameless self-promotion for the store, but it’s undeniably entertaining to see and learn about the items that arrive in the store. Worth watching.

The picture quality is fairly typical for a reality show. It’s sufficient, but it’s not going to blow you away.

The Dolby Digital Stereo audio track could have been better. The audio often sounds muffled. 

The only extras on this 4 disc set are 17 additional scenes that include everything from a pawn shop tour with Chumlee to two “How to spot a fake” segments.

In the 13 episode season 3 of “Ax Men,” the show focuses on several different logging outfits. There’s the eccentric, fearless Shelby the Swamp Man who is tracking down sunken logs in Louisiana, there’s 3 logging companies (Rygaard, Browning and Pihl) competitng against one another in the Pacific Northwest to see who can get the largest load of logs, Collins and S&S go river logging in Florida, and R&R Conner helicopter dead logs in Montana. Together, these companies face equipment issues/failures, falling and rolling logs, bad weather, injuries, debris, and bees, hornets, and even alligators. Additionally, several of the crews face internal struggles with problematic new team members.

For those expecting an attention-grabbing dangerous job show ala “Ice Road Truckers,” you might want to look elsewhere. While “Ax Men” can be intense in parts, there’s a ton of boring material here mostly concerning the Rygaard, Browning and Pihl companies. Simply put, their internal struggles, whining, yelling, and arguing where obnoxious. It’s truly amazing the companies got any work done considering how much they complained. It’s even more unfortunate that the season mostly focused on those companies when it SHOULD have been focusing on the interesting Swamp Man and R&R Conner Aviation. The Swamp Man is both funny and personable and he’s passionate about what he does. He’s a really determined fellow and isn’t afraid to get what he wants which makes for engaging TV. Why he doesn’t have his own show, I don’t know. As for the aviation crew, I found that to be visually interesting even if their work was rather repetitive.  

Summary: “Ax Men” should ax the other companies from the show and focus solely on Shelby the Swamp Logger.

The widescreen picture quality is merely OK. To me, this is the type of show that would benefit from being in HD with all of the natural beauty and in your face logging footage.

The Dolby Digital Stereo audio track is also nothing to ride home about. The sound of the equipment often drowns out the dialogue (hence the frequent use of subtitles).

* 21 ½ minutes of additional footage of R&R Conner, equipment, river logging, pranks, etc.
* “The Loggers”- More footage of Shelby, Dave, Melvin, the loggers talking about other jobs they would do, why they log what they do on their days off, etc.
* “Dangers”- Extra footage of snapping turtles, bees, injuries, a gator, and other logging dangers.

* “Logging”- Extra footage/interviews about tree falls, tree climbs, tree mills, Florida logging, and Helicopter logging.

August 29, 2010 - Posted by | DVD review | ,

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