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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Sonny & Cher - The Christmas Collection
Sonny & Cher - The Christmas Collection
R2 Entertainment // Unrated // October 26, 2004
List Price: $19.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Kim Morgan | posted February 1, 2005 | E-mail the Author
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Wow. Like, wow…this was really bad. And why does that surprise me?

I'm not entirely sure. I can say, however, that I unapologetically like Cher—not so much her music but simply Cher, the icon and of course, the actress. She really can be a talented presence. She's also, as proven in films like The Witches of Eastwick and Moonstruck, very, very funny. She's got that special Cher touch that's gone beyond the flipping of the hair and the cackle laugh that in her earlier days was used as exclamation point directed at Sonny. You will see that in abundance in this DVD, The Sonny & Cher Christmas Collection.

Bringing us back to the variety show, a subject DVD Talk reviewer Matthew Millheiser wrote with pitch perfect hilarity when covering The Nick and Jessica Variety Hour , this disc features three of the pop duo's Christmas Specials (from 1972, 1973 and 1976) in one bang. Joy to the world. What do we get? The opening comic bits wherein Sonny and Cher naturally rib each other—rich hippie's in highly expensive bo-ho clothing (Cher's Bob Mackie gowns run from over the top to wonderfully furry to coolly elegant)—they have an ease that made me think, OK, this is gonna be fun.

But…no. In actuality, I felt depressed and vaguely creeped out by the specials. Not only do we have to endure weird guest stars that don't fit (like William Conrad? I like the guy but his career had to be at some kind of low to hang out in this milieu) but skits that are so inane, you can barely sit through them. Particularly Sonny's dumb Pizza Parlor routine that was never, ever, ever comical. Then there's Captain Kangaroo in a depressing Christmas bit about lonely people (they even play Muzak style, "Eleanor Rigby") bitter over the holidays. Throw in Bernadette Peters (who's starting out, so I'm giving her a break), Chastity Bono, the infinitely disturbing Shields and Yarnell and some bee-zarre animated segments (one about racial equality shows KKK members as the ying to The Black Panther Party's yang…) and we've got some tepid, oddly awkward and intriguingly weird moments of yuletide gruv-a-tude. Well, not really groovy, just odd. Times really have changed.

The DVD:

Video:

R2 Entertainment presents this disc in Full Screen Standard (1.33:1). The transfer is crisp, highlighting the color of, most especially Cher's getups and the tackiness of the sets.

Sound:

The English audio comes in Dolby Digital 2.0—which is perfectly acceptable given the music presented.

Extras:

The extras offer very little aside from "Groovy Christmas Video Jukebox" where you're given the chance to hear and watch some of the special's songs on their own.

Final Thoughts:

Quite simply, you'll have to be a die-hard fan of Sonny and Cher to like this.

Read More Kim Morgan at her blog Sunset Gun

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