Email
Password
Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageBlu-ray/DVD Essentials: Erik Estrada on the importance of 'CHiPs' Special

By Earl Dittman     Mar 19, 2015 in Entertainment
Before Erik Estrada scored the role of CHP officer Ponch on the '70s cop drama, Hispanic actors were often relegated to roles as criminals or illegals. His bold, culture-shifting choice to change the ethnic origin of his character would make TV history.
From 1977 to 1983, Golden Globe-nominated Latino actor Erik Estrada starred as California Highway Patrol Officer Francis "Ponch" Poncherello on the long-running landmark television series CHiPs, an action crime drama that included elements of comedy in every episode. While Hispanic actors and actresses have become the norm on primetime network television, in the late '70s there were very few Latinos faces on TV. Estrada was the exception.
Many have credited the East Harlem born actor (of Puerto Rican descent) with almost single-handedly introducing the American viewing public to positive male Latino role models. In 1976, after landing the role (which also starred Larry Wilcox) on CHiPs, Erik Estrada (who had already made his mark with performances in the films Airport 1975 and Midway, as well as critically-lauded appearances on Hawaii Five-O and Kojak) made a decision that would forever change the way television viewers — who were used to seeing Latino men portrayed only as criminals or servants — perceived male Hispanic characters.
"When I auditioned for CHiPs it was as an Italian-American cop called Poncharelli," the 66-year-old TV icon recalls. "When I got the role I changed the name to Poncherello and I made him a Hispanic-American for primetime, family-hour television. Up to then, there hadn't been any positive, realistic Hispanic roles. In a lot of ways, it opened up the door for actors like Jimmy Smits (NYPD Blue, The West Wing), Edward James Olmos (Battlestar Galactica, Dexter)and Hector Elizondo (Freebie and the Bean, Chicago Hope) to work in a television series and portray a positive image."
Estrada admits it was a deliberate and conscious decision on his part. "I felt like it was definitely something I needed to do, because up to that time I was always playing the Latino with the gun or a knife. I was always the Mexican bad guy. And, I wanted that to change. So, I made it happen."
Erik Estrada in  CHiPS  in the late- 70s
Erik Estrada in 'CHiPS' in the late-'70s
NBC/MGM
If you've been having trouble finding re-runs of CHiPs in order to witness Estrada's culture-changing performance for yourself, you are in luck, the DVD of CHiPs: The Complete Third Season has just been released. The action and fun of CHiPs continues on the DVD set of this wildly popular action-drama series starring Erik Estrada and Larry Wilcox as the high-spirited California Highway Patrol motorcycle officers Francis “Ponch” Poncherello and Jon Baker.
Pursuing justice was never cooler as these two fearless partners take to the roads under the bright Southern California sun. Nothing stops them from joining the action. When CHP officers Ponch and Jon are on patrol anything can happen, from dispensing wise advice to those in need to high-speed car chases and confrontations with armed criminals.
Erik Estrada on  CHiPs
Erik Estrada on 'CHiPs'
NBC
In Season Two of CHiPS (also available on DVD), Ponch and Jon were on the lookout for all sorts of criminal operations. That continues in Season Three, in the comedic melodrama fashion that only Ponch and Jon can provide as they continue to catch people who have been menacing the L.A Freeways. Whether it’s staging an accident as part of an insurance scam or punks breaking into cars, California Highway Patrol is there to stop them. Infused with the same light-hearted subplots of the past, CHiPs: The Complete Third Season brings you entertaining action-drama at its finest.
Untitled
Warner Bros.
ALSO AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY AND/OR DVD:
Untitled
Fox
Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb
If it's laughter you're after, get ready for the most hilarious night ever. Ben Stiller leads an all-star comedy cast, including Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Rebel Wilson and Ricky Gervais, for on final, fun-filled Night at the Museum. This time, Larry Daley (Stiller) and his heroic friends embark on their greatest adventure yet as they travel to London in order to save the magic the brings the museum exhibits to life. Bonus (Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet) Features: Deleted/Extended Scenes; "Improv, Absurdity, and Cracking Up - The Comedy of Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb"; "The Theory of Relativity"; "Becoming Laaa"; "A Day in the Afterlife"; "The Home of History: Behind the Scenes of The British Museum"; "Fight at the Museum" "Creating the Visual Effects"; "Audio Commentary by director Shawn Levy and Gallery.
For your chance to win your very own Blu-ray copy of Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb just tweet the hashtag #MuseumTombGiveaway to @EarlDittman1. Winners will be picked by random and will be notified via Twitter.
Untitled
Paramount
Top Five
Pulsing with the rhythm of his greatest stand-up, Chris Rock's Top Five takes things to the next level, reveling in the high and the low, and blending a star-studded comedic romp with an irresistible romance. Top Five digs under the surface of show business, politics, rap, and the exigencies of being black and famous today — holding it all up to the light in the way only Chris Rock can. Mingling echoes of Woody Allen and Dick Gregory with the energy of Kanye West and Jay Z, Top Five is an original and radically new kind of American movie. Written, directed by and starring Chris Rock, Top Five tells the story of New York City comedian-turned-film star Andre Allen, whose unexpected encounter with a journalist (Rosario Dawson) forces him to confront the comedy career —and the past — that he's left behind. Bonus (Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet) Features: Commentary by Chris Rock and JB Smoove; "It’s Never Just A Movie: Chris Rock and Top Five"; "The Making of Top Five"; "Top Five Andre Allen Standup Outtakes"; "Top Five Moments You Didn’t See in the Film" and Deleted Scenes.
Untitled
Magnolia
Life Partners
At 29, the most long-term relationship Sasha (Leighton Meester) and Paige (Gillian Jacobs) have ever been in is with each other, using their co-dependent friendship as an excuse not to venture out into the dating world alone. But when Paige meets Tim (Adam Brody) and starts to get serious for the first time, the nature of their friendship begins to shift. Fearing she's being cast aside, Sasha tries to keep their relationship the same, but does growing up also mean growing apart? Bonus (Blu-ray) Features: "Behind The Scenes: Cast & Character"; "Behind The Scenes: Production & Costume Design"; "AXS TV: A Look At Life Partners" and the Theatrical Trailer.
Untitled
Warner Bros.
Longmire: The Complete Third Season
In this riveting 2-Disc, 10-Episode Set, Sheriff Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor) is reeling from a series of devastating traumas. Best friend, Henry (Lou Diamond Phillips), is going to prison on murder charges. His deputy, Branch (Bailey Chase), has been shot by a mysterious "white warrior." And Walt's right-hand deputy, Vic (Katee Sackhoff), may not have shaken off a stalker from her past. While Walt shoulders these burdens, his daughter, Cady (Cassidy Freeman), fights in court to clear Henry's name, and The Ferg (Adam Bartly) holds down the fort behind the scenes as threats to the lawmen come from all directions. Absaroka County's dark secrets run deeper than Walt imagined, and the closer he gets to uncovering the true bloody hand behind his wife's murder, the more he realizes that connections and corruptions may ensnare them all. Bonus Feature: "Longmire: The Ghost in the Store" - The storm defined the characters in Season Two, and now our band of heroes must face the aftermath. How will Walt, Branch, Henry and the others survive their trauma and outrun the ghosts haunting them?
Untitled
Fox
Exodus: Gods And Kings
From acclaimed director Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Prometheus) comes Exodus: Gods and Kings, the epic tale of one man's daring courage to take on an empire. Using state-of-the-art visual effects, this spectacular adventure brings new life to the story of Moses (Christian Bale) as he defies the Pharaoh Ramses (Joel Edgerton), setting 400,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from Egypt and its terrifying cycle of deadly plagues. Bonus (Blu-ray + UltraViolet) Features: "The Exodus Historical Guide"; Deleted and Extended Scenes and Audio Commentary by director/producer Ridley Scott and co-screenwriter Jeffrey Caine.
Untitled
Warner Bros.
Musicals Collection
This incredible package includes four amazing, unforgettable musicals, three for the first time on Blu-ray. The Band Wagon - Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse dazzle in director Vincente Minnelli's classic, featuring numbers set in a train station ("By Myself"), a penny arcade ('A Shine on Your Shoes"), a backlot Central Park ("Dancing in the Dark") and a smoky cafe ("The Girl Hunt"). As the hallmark song which originated here goes, "That's Entertainment!" Calamity Jane - Doris Day and Howard Keel fuss, feud and fall in love as Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickok in this entertainment mother lode. There are wide-open Technicolor Western spaces, lots of high-stepping dances and a hummable humdinger of a score by Academy Award-winning songwriters Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster, who took their first Oscar for the classic ballad (and '50s megahit) "Secret Love." Kiss Me Kate - When two squabbling ex-marrieds are cast as squabbling Renaissance romantics in a musical The Taming of the Shrew, life imitates art, art imitates life — and it all proves no musical comedy imitates Kiss Me Kate, adapted from the 1948 Broadway smash that features 14 peerless Cole Porter songs, choreography by Bob Fosse and Hermes Pan, and an all-star cast including Howard Keel, Kathryn Grayson and Ann Miller. Singin' In The Rain - Silent movies are giving way to taking pictures — and a hoofer-turned-matinee idol (Gene Kelly) is caught in the bumpy transition, as are his buddy (Donald O'Connor), prospective ladylove (Debbie Reynolds) and shrewish costar (Jean Hagen). The musical masterwork Singin' in the Rain is celebrated with special features that salute not just this all-time favorite but also the musical legacy of its producer, songwriter Arthur Freed.
Untitled
Acorn
Serangoon Road
This detective noir is set in the exotic and tumultuous 1960s Singapore. The first original series from HBO Asia and co-produced by Australia’s ABC, the 10-episode series stars Joan Chen (Marco Polo, The Last Emperor, Twin Peaks), Don Hany (Jack Irish, East West 101), and Chin Han (The Dark Knight, Marco Polo, The Blacklist, Arrow). After the mysterious death of her husband while working a case, Patricia Cheng (Joan Chen) enlists the services of enigmatic Australian Sam Callaghan (Don Hany) to help her run her detective agency.
Untitled
Lionsgate
The Captive
In this psychological thriller from Academy Award-nominated director Atom Egoyan, Matthew (Reynolds), must live through a parent's worst nightmare when his young daughter, Cassandra, vanishes without a trace. Years later, when detectives Nicole (Dawson) and Jeffrey (Speedman) discover recent images of Cassandra online, Matthew puts everything on the line to get his daughter back. Bonus (Blu-ray + UltraViolet) Features: Deleted Scenes; "Captive Thoughts" Featurette; Alternate Ending and Audio Commentary with writer/director Atom Egoyan.
Untitled
Acorn
Midsomer Murders, Set 25
Featuring the 100th Episode, this set includes five contemporary British television mysteries from the smash hit series (Series 16, 2013-14). Neil Dudgeon (Life of Riley) stars as the capable Detective Chief Inspector John Barnaby, with Gwilym Lee (Land Girls) as his new sidekick. THE MYSTERIES: The Christmas Haunting, Let Us Prey, Wild Harvest, The Flying Club, and The Killings of Copenhagen. Bonus Features: "Celebrating 100 Episodes and Interview with Gwilym Lee.
Untitled
Acorn
Lilies
From the creator of the hit BBC drama Call the Midwife and co-starring Stephen Moyer (True Blood), this captivating 2007 miniseries depicts the often bleak realities of life in 1920s Britain through humor, heartbreak, and the irrepressible spirit of hope. The Moss sisters — “my lilies,” as their father calls them — live in working-class Liverpool right after World War I. Iris (Catherine Tyldesley, Coronation Street), the eldest of the three, dutifully runs the household in the wake of their mother’s death; wayward May (Leanne Rowe, Oliver Twist) works as a maid but longs to perform onstage; and youngest daughter Ruby (Kerrie Hayes, The Mill) sells corsets and trains to swim at the Olympics. These young women struggle through poverty, passions, and disappointments — sustained by the fortifying power of family.
Untitled
Showtime/Paramount
Dexter: The Most Shocking Episodes
For fans new and old, Dexter's most shocking moments are available in one killer collection, including the unforgettable pilot episode that started it all, his devastating confrontation with the Trinity Killer in "The Getaway," and eight more chilling episodes. Dexter Most Shocking Episodes... it's a collection to die for. Bonus Features: "Dissecting Dexter Part 1: Dexter's Origins"; "Dissecting Dexter Part 2: Dexter's Awakening"; "Dissecting Dexter Part 3: Dexter's Coming of Age"; "The Kill Room" "The First 2 Chapters of Dexter in the Dark" and Penny Dreadful Season 1, Episode 1.
Untitled
Lionsgate
Aaliyah: The Princess Of R&B
Self-proclaimed "street but sweet" Aaliyah led the royal R&B scene before Beyonce or Rihanna attained their status. With her sexy tomboy style and infectious confidence, she ruled the charts as one of the recording industry's most successful artists in history. But there was much more to Aaliyah than choreographed dance moves, movie roles, and a celebrated voice. Based on a true story, Aaliyah: The Princess Of R&B embodies the soul, determination, and challenges of Aaliyah Dana Haughton, from the beginning of her career to her tragic death at age 22. Bonus (DVD + UltraViolet) Features: "Beyond The Headlines: Aaliyah" One-Hour Special.
Untitled
Universal
Song Of The Sea
From the creators of the Academy Award-nominated The Secret of Kells comes a breathtakingly gorgeous, hand-drawn masterpiece. Based on the Irish legend of the Selkies, Song of the Sea tells the story of the last seal-child, Saoirse, and her brother Ben, who go on an epic journey to save the world of magic and discover secrets of their past. Pursued by the owl witch, Macha, and a host of ancient and mythical creatures, Saoirse and Ben race against time to awaken Saoirse's powers and keep the spirit world from disappearing forever. As enthralling for adults as for children young and old, Song of the Sea is a wonder of magical storytelling and visual splendor that is destined to become a classic. Bonus (Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet) Features: Behind the Scenes Animation Tests; "The Art of Song of the Sea" and Audio Commentary with director Tomm Moore.
Untitled
CBS/Paramount
Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C.: The Complete Series
After fifty years, the most incompetent soldier in the Marine Corps is finally getting a promotion. Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series includes all five seasons of the classic sitcom. Watch the hilarious antics of naive country boy Gomer (Jim Nabors) and loudmouthed Sergeant Carter (Frank Sutton) in this hit spin-off from The Andy Griffith Show. Bonus Features: Audio Intros by Jim Nabors on Select Episodes; Audio Commentaries by Jim Nabors and Ronnie Schell on Select Episodes; Pilot Episode: "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." From The Andy Griffith Show; The Lucy Show Clip "Lucy Gets Caught In The Draft"; Jim Nabors on The David Frost Show and Jim Nabors Hour Clip.
Untitled
Cinedigm
Yu-Gi-Oh! Collection: Volume 1
With his world crumbling into chaos, a masked menace known as Paradox travels into the past to eliminate the source for his world s destruction the Duel Monsters card game. Standing in his way are three legendary duelists who will do whatever it takes to save what s on the line their friends, their family and the game they love. For the first time ever, Yugi, Jaden and Yusei will team together and battle with all their hearts in a duel that will decide the past, present and future. Also available in this collection sample each of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Seasons, featuring episodes from Yu-Gi-Oh!, Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's and Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL! Bonus Features: Feature Flashback and Original Japanese Movie with English Subtitles.
Untitled
Universal
The Breakfast Club: 30th Anniversary Edition
From writer/director John Hughes (Sixteen Candles, Weird Science), The Breakfast Club is an iconic portrait of 1980s American high school life. When Saturday detention started, they were simply the Jock, the Princess, the Brain, the Criminal and the Basket Case, but by that afternoon they had become closer than any of them could have imagined. Featuring an all-star '80s cast including Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, and Ally Sheedy, this warm-hearted coming-of-age comedy helped define an entire generation. Bonus (Blu-ray + Digital HD) Features: "Accepting the Facts: The Breakfast Club Trivia Track"; "Sincerely Yours: 12-Part Documentary"; "The Most Convenient Definitions: The Origins Of The Brat Pack"; Feature Commentary with Judd Nelson and Anthony Michael Hall and Theatrical Trailer.
Charlie and The Chocolate Factory: 10th Anniversary
What wonders await you in Willy Wonka's factory? Explore fields of soft minty sugar grass in the Chocolate Room. Sail along the Chocolate River in a pink sugar boat. Experiment with Everlasting Gobstoppers in the Inventing Room. Observe talented squirrels in the Nut Room and travel to the Television Room by a glass elevator. You'll find a lot that's funny, a little that's mysterious...and an adventure as sweet as a satisfying as a Wonka Whipple-Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight bar. This dazzling film adapted from Roald Dahl's classic children's novel, directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp and Freddie Highmore, is your Golden Ticket to a world so inventive, so imaginative, you won't want to miss a delicious moment. Bonus (Blu-ray) Features: Exclusive Photo Book & Director's Letter: "In-Movie Experience!" - Tim Burton takes you through the mouth-watering creative process that brought this elaborate production to the big screen...all as you watch the movie; Commentary by Tim Burton; "Becoming Oompa-Loompa: How They Turned One Man into Hundreds of Oompa-Loompas'; "Attack Of The Squirrels: A Look at the Trained Nut-Sorting Squirrels"; "Fantastic Mr. Dahl: A Look into the Life of Roald Dahl"; Dolby TrueHD Music-Only Track Showcasing Danny Elfman's Score and Songs and Theatrical Trailer.
Untitled
Cinedigm
Jungle Shuffle
It's a jungle out there... Manu and Sacha are two young coatis living in the Mexican rainforest. They are deeply in love with each other! The only problem is that Sacha is the daughter of the coati tribe's king and Manu is a bit of a troublemaker. When Manu's escapades leave the tribe's most worshipped statue destroyed, the King exiles Manu to live on his own in the jungle. A year later the fumbling youngster has turned into a strapping young male but one thing hasn't changed: Manu is still in love with Sacha. When Sacha gets captured by human poachers, Manu sets out on a thrilling adventure to save the coati princess and redeem himself with the tribe.
Untitled
Magnolia
Pioneer
Pioneer is set in the early 1980s, at the beginning of the Norwegian Oil Boom when enormous oil and gas deposits were discovered in the North Sea. Authorities aim to bring the oil ashore and Petter, a professional diver, has the discipline, strength and courage to take on the world's most dangerous mission. But a sudden, tragic accident changes everything. Petter is sent on a perilous journey and gradually, he realizes that he is in way over his head and that his life is at stake. Bonus (Blu-ray) Features: Behind The Scenes Featurettes with Cast & Crew; "AXS TV: A Look at Pioneer"; "Making of Pioneer: A Dive Into The Depths of the Sea' and "Working On Pioneer: Stephanie Sigman "Maria" & Stephen Lang "Ferris."
Untitled
Warner Bros.
Sesame Street: The Best of Elmo 3
This trip down memory lane will teach Elmo fans both young and old about the importance of friendship and helping others. Elmo sings and dances his way through numbers, letters, vocabulary, and emotions with his Sesame Street pals and a few famous friends like Melissa McCarthy, Taye Diggs, Drew Brees, Romeo Santos, and many more. Elmo fans will love this new DVD where everyone’s favorite furry and red friend is reminded of all the fun, friends and music he’s made on Sesame Street. Join Elmo as he does “The Elmo Slide,” finds out about “The Power of Yet" with Janelle Monae, and sings about the number 5 with the band Train. Elmo learns about counting, vocabulary and even how manage his emotions in the hit song, “Belly Breathe” with Colbie Caillat and Common. This special collection is filled with Elmo moments fans will treasure. As an added extra, this release features a special bonus title which will provide over two hours of Elmo.
More about Erik estrada, Chips, CHiPs televison series, BluRay, DVD
 
Entertainment Video
Latest News
Top News