Olive Films Goes “Big Time” With New Mickey Rooney Re-Issue

Courtesy:  Olive Films

Courtesy: Olive Films

Officials with Olive Films announced this week that the classic cinema company will release Mickey Rooney’s 1959 crime thriller The Big Operator on DVD and Blu-ray this fall.

Olive Films will release The Big Operator on DVD and Blu-ray Tuesday, September 16th. The late actor, who was best known for his role as Andy Hardy in the Andy Hardy films, stars in this crime thriller as Little Joe Braun. Braun is a union boss who is the most crooked figure since Johnny Friendly in On The Waterfront. He is trying to get out of a federal corruption probe. And only two men can stop him—factory workers Fred MacAfee (Mel Torme—Night Court) and Bill Gibson (Steve Cochran—Private Hell 36). This movie was an attempt by Rooney to escape the shadow of his Andy Hardy figure and show that he could successfully play a more mature, grown up figure. It mixes classic film noir style film making with an A-List cast that includes the likes of Mamie Van Doren (High School Confidential), Vampira (Plan 9 From Outer Space), Jim Backus (Gilligan’s Island, Mr. Magoo), and Jackie Coogan (The Addams Family) for a film that has earned the title of being one of the best B-flicks ever made.

The Big Operator will retail for SRP of $29.95 on Blu-ray and $24.95 on DVD. More information on this and other releases from Olive Films is available online at http://www.facebook.com/olivefilms and http://www.olivefilms.com. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Timeless Media Group Announces Release Date, Details For I Spy Box Set

Courtesy:  Timeless Media Group

Courtesy: Timeless Media Group

Timeless Media Group will bring audiences yet another long lost piece of television history this Summer.

Timeless Media Group will release the classic series I Spy on Tuesday, June 24th. The classic dramedy series, starring Bill Cosby (The Cosby Show, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids) and character actor Robert Culp. It could be argued that the show’s witty writing and equally strong acting on the part of Cosby and Culp were the influence behind hit dramedies such as Monk and Psych. The series ran on NBC from 1965 to 1968 and produced a total of eighty-two episodes in that span. It won countless awards over the course of its three-year run including: the Golden Globe® for Best Dramatic Series in 1967, three consecutive Prime Time Emmys® for Outstanding Lead Actor for Bill Cosby, and the Prime Time Emmy ® for Outstanding Musical Composition for Earle Hagen. Cosby’s co-star received his own accolades for his work on the show. He was nominated for a number of Prime Time Emmy® Awards including: three Outstanding Lead Actor nominations and one for Outstanding Writing Achievement in Drama.

Along with its groundbreaking acting and writing, I Spy also featured a number of guest stars that would go on to be some of Hollywood’s biggest names. Those names include the likes of: Gene Hackman (Hoosiers, Enemy of the State, Unforgiven), Jim Backus (Mr. Magoo, Gilligan’s Island), Ron Howard (The Andy Griffith Show, Happy Days), Boris Karloff (Frankenstein, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, The Raven), Martin Landau (Ed Wood, North by Northwest, Mission: Impossible), George Takei (Star Trek), Don Rickles (Toy Story 1 3), and Eartha Kitt (Batman).

The upcoming release will have all eighty-two episodes of I Spy contained on eighteen discs. More information on this and other releases, including pricing and how to order the box set, is available online at http://www.timelessvideo.com. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Rescue From Gilligan’s Island Great For Nostalgia TV and Movie Fans


Courtesy: Mill Creek Entertainment

Gilligan’s Island is one of the greatest sitcoms in television history.  Even though it only ran a total of three seasons on television, the near one hundred episodes made for some of the greatest laughs of any sitcom ever created.  Keeping that in mind, one can only wonder about the first of three movies that would be spawned from this hilarious sitcom over a decade after it ended.


Rescue From Gilligan’s Island came nearly twelve years after the original Gilligan’s Island went off the air.  In the time between the series’ end and this movie, the cast had gotten noticeably older.  And actress Tina Louise was replaced by Judith Baldwin, allegedly due to Louise’s belief that her role as Ginger had ruined her career.  The made for TV movie isn’t a bad movie.  But anyone who has any knowledge of the original sitcom, it still pales in comparison, despite still being a family friendly film.  Long time fans of the show will remember in the show’s second season, there was an episode titled, “Quick Before It Sinks” in which Gilligan’s thoughtlessness causes the Skipper, Mr. Howell, and the Professor to believe the island is sinking.  As a result, the men build a hut that will hopefully float.  But thanks to a series of mishaps, it all falls apart, literally.  Of course, it turns out that the island never was sinking.

Courtesy: Mill Creek Entertainment

That story idea is used again in Rescue From Gilligan’s Island, only on a bigger scale.  Other than the story’s twist ending, that’s one of few links that this movie has to the original series.  What really makes the movie worth the watch are the castaways’ personal stories.  Having been away from civilization for fifteen years, the castaways return to a world that has greatly changed.  Ginger returns to acting, only to find that it is anything but the wholesome business that it had been before being shipwrecked.  The professor discovers that everything he had hoped to become famous for inventing while on the island has been invented during his absence.  Even the Howell’s themselves find that they have changed during a dinner with some old friends.  When they overhear their guests speaking poorly of Gilligan and the Skipper, the Howell’s toss out their guests.  And Mary Ann finds that she doesn’t love the fiancé that she had left behind all those years before.

The story behind this movie is simple.  But on a much deeper level, the story makes the movie (and the series) so much more important.  It comes across as a kind of social commentary.  Being on the island, the castaways learned to fend for themselves.  They became a family of sorts.  Having returned to civilization, each member of the group realizes that being on the island was perhaps less a prison and more a utopia.  They realize what was most important was being with each other, not the stresses of their new lives.  This concept has become the basis for countless term papers and theses.  And each one would be right.  Whether intended or not, what Rescue From Gilligan’s Island serves to do is to remind audiences to appreciate one’s family and friends, and the little things in life. It reminds audiences the unimportance of life’s daily stresses and pressures.  For that reason, Rescue From Gilligan’s Island is a movie that any Gilligan’s Island fan should see at least once, even if it isn’t as good as the series.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.