eOne’s WWI Mini-Series Is A Must See For History Buffs Of All Kinds

Courtesy:  Entertainment One/American Heroes Channel

Courtesy: Entertainment One/American Heroes Channel

World War II, Korea, and Vietnam are the most talked about conflicts in military history.  The trio has been fodder for more movies and television specials than can be counted on two hands alone.  They aren’t the only conflicts that have shaped the history of world, though.  As many stories have come from these conflicts, there is one conflict in particular that has never fully received the attention that it deserves.  The conflict in question is the First World War.  Much like World War II, WWI started in Europe.  But it started for a much different reason than did World War II as audiences will learn in watching this in depth-reissue of the Military Channel mini-series.  The information shared throughout the program’s eight-plus hours is just a single part of what makes this re-issued mini-series well worth the watch.  The accompanying vintage footage of pre-wartime Europe and Europe during the war is another positive to the presentation as a whole.  Last but most definitely not least, the entire program is singularly narrated.  The people behind the documentary didn’t rely on celebrity “experts” to help move the program along. That final factor makes this three-disc set one more that both history buffs and military history buffs will appreciate.

The First World War is an important presentation both for history buffs in general and more specifically for any military history buff. That is because of the amount and depth of information shared throughout the course of its eight-plus hours. It doesn’t just breeze over the war’s history with a few handfuls of highlights. Rather it traces the history of the war going beyond the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria that is said to have started the war. It goes all the way back to racial and political tensions between the various groups of the area that would eventually lead to said assassination. Audiences learn how the British actually used the Japanese to take over certain regions of China and so many other facts that aren’t taught in public schools or even in college level courses. That explains why the entire mini-series runs just over eight hours across three-discs. And it’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg that makes this set worth the watch.

The in-depth content that makes up The First World War is a solid foundation to the mini-series in whole. It presents to audiences far more information than could be presented over the course of an academic year in public schools.   It presents even more than could be presented over the course of a semester in a college level course, too. Audiences will also appreciate the use of the vintage pictures and footage incorporated into the mini-series, too. Footage from the days of World War II is far more plentiful (or so it would seem) than from the days of World War I. It makes the footage presented here all the more valuable and important in understanding what was going on in the world in the days and months leading up to the start of World War I and even during the war itself. And along with the diary readings offered throughout the program, It makes the presentation as a whole even more interesting for any history buff in general and military history buff. That leads to one more point of equal importance in this mini-series. The point in question is the lack of “expert” and celebrity guests to discuss the events of the war.

Most specials, series, and mini-series centered on the world’s various important historical events that air on television are accompanied by “expert” and celebrity guests. The “expert” guests all have their share of valuable information. But the inclusion of celebrity guests to narrate, do readings and otherwise just make appearances is little more than a marketing ploy used to get eyeballs. And being that this mini-series originally aired on the American Heroes Channel (formerly Military Channel), it’s rather interesting to note that those behind this program didn’t employ such a marketing ploy. It’s interesting because programs run on other Discovery Communications networks do in fact use that angle. It’s nice to sit back and watch this program without some celebrity or alleged “expert” adding his or her own two cents every few minutes or so. It’s just one narrator, vintage footage, and a straight, pure history of a war that deserves far more coverage than it has ever received from any network or filmmaker. It collectively makes The First World War a must see for anyone that has any interest at all in history in general and in military history.

The First World War is available now. It can be ordered now online via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/First-World-War-Woodrow-Wilson/dp/B00IS6WPT2/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1401566849&sr=1-1&keywords=The+First+World+War. More information on this and other programs from American Heroes Channel is available at http://www.ahctv.com. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Shout! Factory To Release Latest Transformers DVD June 3rd

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory will release the latest collection of episodes from the original animated Transformers series next week.

Transformers More Than Meets The Eye!: Roar of the Dinobots will be released next Tuesday, June 3rd. the brand new DVD comes just in time for the release of Michael Bay’s latest installment of the Transformers movie franchise, Transformers: Age of Extinction. The latest collection of Transformers episodes introduces the famed Dinobots who just happen to make their appearance in the latest movie in the big screen Transformers franchise. Grimlock, the ferocious leader of the Dinobots and his fellow transformers are a mystery to both the Autobots and the Decepticons. That’s because the Dinobots find themselves on both sides of the battle of good and evil in their introduction.

This latest compilation sees Grimlock getting a new brain in “Grimlock’s New Brain,” the Autobots having to face off against Grimlock and the Dinobots in “War of the Dinobots” and two of the Autobots’ human friends having to help them at a critical juncture in the two-part episode, “Desertion of the Dinobots.” These are just some of the episodes included on the new Transformers DVD. The complete list of episodes included in this compilation is included below.

EPISODES:

S.O.S. Dinobots

War Of The Dinobots

Heavy Metal War

Desertion Of The Dinobots, Part 1

Desertion Of The Dinobots, Part 2

Grimlock’s New Brain

Transformers More Than Meets The Eye!: Roar of the Dinobots will be available next Tuesday, June 3rd in stores and online. It will retail for SRP of $9.99. It can be ordered direct from Shout! Factory’s online store at http://www.shoutfactory.com/product/transformers-more-meets-eye-roar-dinobots. More information on this and other releases from Shout! Factory is available online at http://www.shoutfactory.com and http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial. 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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Shout! Factory Brings Audiences More Adventures Of Chuck & Friends Next Week

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Hasbro Studios/Hub

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Hasbro Studios/Hub

Chuck and his friends are back in another new DVD from Shout! Factory and Hasbro Studios.

The Adventures of Chuck & Friends: Top Gear Trucks will be released in stores and online next Tuesday, June 3rd. The sixth collection of episodes from the family favorite series, it sees Chuck and his friends—Digger, Handy, Boomer, Rowdy, Biggs, and Flip—taking off on ten more adventures. From hunting for a “ghost” in “Ghost Stories” to getting messy in “The Dirt on Chuck” to re-creating the first meeting of his parents in “When Haulie Met Porter,” and much more, Chuck and his friends offer viewers lots more laughs and lessons in this latest collection of shorts. The complete episode list for the DVD is included below.

         Episodes Include:

  1. Digging Deep

  2. Fools for Rules

  3. Fort Chuck

  4. Ghost Stories

  5. Mayor Chuck

  6. Pop Goes The Inner Tube

  7. Runaway Chuck

  8. The Dirt On Chuck

  9. Up All Night

  10. When Haulie Met Porter

The Adventures of Chuck & Friends: Top Gear Trucks will be available next Tuesday, June 3rd. It will retail for SRP of $12.97. It can be ordered online via Shout! Factory’s online store at http://www.shoutfactory.com/product/adventures-chuck-and-friends-top-gear-trucks More information on this and other releases from Shout! Factory is available online at http://www.shoutfactory.com and http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial. 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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

 

Power Rangers Turbo Vol. 2 To Be Released Next Week

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Saban/Saban Brands

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Saban/Saban Brands

The countdown to the end of Saban’s original Power Rangers franchise is on. Shout! Factory will release Power Rangers: TurboVolume 2 next week.

Power Rangers: TurboVolume Two will be released Tuesday, June 3rd on DVD. Volume Two picks up right where Volume One left off. Tommy, the last of the original Power Rangers and Kat, the second Pink Ranger both depart and are replaced by new Rangers as are Yellow Ranger Tanya and Green Ranger Adam. With a whole new team in place, it’s up to them to stop Divatox once and for all before it’s too late. The Rangers’ battle against Divatox and her evil brother General Havoc leads to what would be the final, epic chapter in the original “Zordon Era” of Saban’s Power Rangers franchise.

Power Rangers: TurboVolume Two will retail for SRP of $19.93. It can be ordered direct from Shout! Factory’s online store at http://www.shoutfactory.com/product/power-rangers-turbo-vol-2. More information on this and other releases from Shout! Factory is available online at http://www.shoutfactory.com and http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial. 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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Sinner Sinners’ New LP Resurrects New York Hardcore Sound

Courtesy:  Cadavra Records

Courtesy: Cadavra Records

Indie rock band Sinner Sinners recently released its sophomore album IX to the masses.  The album, which was released via the band’s own label–Cadavra Records—in late April, is a record that will impress any fan of the famed New York Hardcore movement of the late 80s and early 90s.  This is ironic in that the band, which is fronted by husband and wife duo Steven and Sam Thill, is originally from Paris, France.  Though, the couple relocated the band to Los Angeles early on in its career.  The move from France to L.A. obviously had an impact on the band’s sound as is evident in comparing IX to that of the band’s 2011 debut record Cardinal Sins.  The punk influence is just as prominent throughout Cardinal Sins.  However, its punk influence is more akin to the likes of The Ramones, The Sex Pistols and others of that ilk.  This record’s influences are closer to the likes of Minor Threat and Madball.  Those that have any knowledge and understanding of the punk genre know that that is a vast difference in sounds between albums.  That difference in sound is evident right from this album’s opener, ‘Modern Man.’

[Steven] Thill sings in the opening number off of XI, “I hope you will understand that/I am a modern man/I don’t need to be owned/I can stand up on my own.”  He goes on to sing of self-reliance and more through the course of the song.  That defiant, musical middle finger is anything but uncommon to the rock world.  And it is definitely is nothing uncommon in the world of punk rock.  It’s but one part of why this song makes for a proper introduction to Sinner Sinners’ new album.  The influence of the New York Hardcore movement on the song’s musical side completes the song.  It would be no surprise if its frenetic energy were to lead to the creation of a pit at the band’s live shows as well as an equally strong reaction when taken in both in one’s own home and car.  Any true fan of the New York Hardcore movement will agree in hearing this song how welcome it is especially at a time when it seems that watered down, radio-friendly pop punk and emo are dominating the airwaves.  They will agree just as much in hearing another of the album’s high points, ‘Reaction.’

Sinner Sinners get things off to a raucous yet solid start on ‘Modern Man,’ the opener to the band’s new album.  That energy barely lets up throughout the course of the album’s roughly half-hour run time, either.  That is just as evident as the band launches into ‘Reaction.’  Thill sings in this song, “I can feel the fire burning up/I gotta let it go/No use to compromise/I gotta make it right…An eye for an eye/And no remorse/I’m gonna even the score.”  Those lines set alongside the chants of “Action, action/Overreaction” make the song come across as a piece about someone that has been pushed too far and reacts before thinking.  On one hand, this could be interpreted as being a social statement centered on all of the school shootings, etc. reported in recent years by the media machine.  On the other hand, the band’s publicist notes in a presser for the album that the band has set out to prove that it’s possible to make rock music not fueled by animosity or anger.  To that extent, this song isn’t necessarily fueled by animosity or anger.  It is in itself a response to all of the animosity and anger that’s out there.  This could of course be a completely incorrect interpretation of the song.  If so, apologies go to the band for that incorrect interpretation.  It is the thinking of just one critic.

For all of the wild, raucous energy exuded by the band throughout the course of its new record, there is one song on the album that sees the band actually slowing down, if only slightly.  That song is the album’s closer, ‘Relax.’  Ironically enough, the band doesn’t necessarily relax per se even in this moment.  The song clocks in at approximately three minutes and fifty-one seconds long.  Over the course of that time, the band switches between a slower, but not necessarily reserved, sound and its more familiar full on energy; this as Thill sings “Am I insane/Has something gone wrong in my brain?”  The effects incorporated into those slower sections add so much depth to the song.  And put next to the wilder, more full-on sections, it makes for even more contrast and a fuller experience for listeners.  What better way to close out IX than with this song that is the antithesis of the album’s opener? It proves to be one of the highest of highs on this album thanks to that musical rollercoaster ride. It is the perfect final statement from the band on this record and is sure to make listeners want to go around again for another ride through the entire thing again and again.

XI is available in stores and online now. It can be ordered online now at http://www.sinnersinners.bandcamp.com. More information on the band including tour dates and more is available online at http://www.facebook.com/sinnersinners and http://www.sinnersinners.com. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Dinosaur Train Re-Issue More Prehistoric Fun For Every Family

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Kids

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Kids

PBS Kids released the latest Dinosaur Train compilation earlier this month.  The new compilation is the most impressive new release from the series to date.  The primary reason for that is that it takes two previously released compilations and combines them into one complete double-disc set.  The combined compilations give audiences a total of seventeen shorts.  That equals out to a run time of roughly three and a half hours.  There is a lot to be said of all of this.  As if the massive compilation of episodes isn’t enough for audiences, the bonus printouts, interactive game, and info for kids and parents make the set all the more enjoyable.  The bonus material in question, alongside the dual disc set presented here, make this latest compilation one more must have for any family.

Dinosaur Big City and Dinosaurs A to Z have both been previously released in their own single disc presentation by PBS Kids. This newly compressed double-disc set is just as good for those that already own both DVDs as it is for those that have perhaps purchased only one or even neither. Having compressed both discs into a single case saves a certain amount of space on any DVD rack. Given, that amount of space is not much. But it’s still worth it in the grand scheme of space availability. The first of the discs is placed on its own plastic insert. This keeps it separate from the set’s second disc. The end result is that it keeps both DVDs from scratching one another, thus increasing the life of both discs. Kudos are in order once again thanks to all of this.

The space saving packaging used in PBS Kids’ new double-disc Dinosaur Train DVD set is one of its most important factors to consider when ordering this new release. Just as important to consider is that none of the seventeen total shorts that comprised the originally released DVDs have been omitted here. They have all been included for viewers once again. They equal out to a grand total of roughly three and a half hours of programming. This is especially valuable now that school is out for summer. It’s one more way for parents to both entertain and educate children during their summer vacation. What’s more, it’s a great excuse for parents to spend time with their kids, without their kids objecting to their parents spending time with them. This is especially important in an age in which kids are far less inclined than ever to want to spend time with their parents. Once again, those behind the show and those at PBS Kids are quite deserving of applause taking this into consideration with this set.

The packaging and complete carry-over of material from both Dinosaur Big City and Dinosaurs A to Z for this new double-disc set are equally important factors in the overall enjoyment of the set. One more factor to consider in examining the set is the inclusion of the original bonus material also included in both sets. Kids can play the dinosaur size comparison games included on both previously released DVDs. Also included once again are the bonus coloring sheets. Parents and children have some eleven different coloring sheets that can be printed out and colored. And of course, Dr. Scott’s companion shorts are there, too for each episode along with character introductions for parents and children that might be new to the world of Dinosaur Train. That along with the space saving packaging and inclusion of all of the shorts from both DVDs’ original releases completes this latest compilation. It makes the set all the more worth adding to any family’s home library.

Dinosaur Train: Dinosaur Big City/Dinosaurs A to Z is available now on DVD. It can be ordered direct through PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=34129386&cp=&sr=1&kw=dinosaur+train&origkw=Dinosaur+Train&parentPage=search. More information on this and other Dinosaur Train DVDs is available online at http://www.facebook.com/DinosaurTrain and http://pbskids.org/dinosaurtrain. Families can also go online to http://pbskids.org/dinosaurtrain to play more Dinosaur Train games and keep up with the latest news from the show. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Anthrax Announces Details For Upcoming Live DVD, Blu-ray

Courtesy:  Herfitz PR

Courtesy: Herfitz PR

Anthrax is set to heat things up this fall.

The band has announced that it will release its new live DVD and Blu-ray Chile on Hell Tuesday, September 16th. The performance contained on the upcoming release was recorded at the Teatro Caupolican in Santiago, Chile on May 10, 2013. The performance includes classic Anthrax hits such as ‘I Am The Law,’ ‘Indians,’ ‘Madhouse,’ ‘Caught in a Mosh,’ ‘The Devil You Know,’ and ‘I’m Alive.’ Drummer Charlie Benante discussed the reason that the band chose this performance as the one that the band decided to use for its new live DVD. “Santiago was the perfect place to film the show for this,” he said. “When we’d played there in the past, we’d finish our set, play our encore and go back to the dressing room. But every time, the fans would continue to scream and cheer and clap. I mean, they went on and on, they wouldn’t stop. One time Scott and I walked out to the side of the stage just to watch what was going on in the audience, it was intense. Why wouldn’t we want to film a DVD in front of an audience like that?”

Benante added that so much was happening in the band’s life at the time that the show was recorded. Everything going on saw the band at a high point in its life. “The band was in the home stretch of a three-plus-year campaign to record and support Worship Music and the Anthems EP, a period of time that was loaded with high points: the return of “classic era” vocalist Joey Belladonna, Worship Music making the band’s highest chart debut in two decades, the series of Big Four shows – Anthrax, Metallica, Slayer and Metallica, the four bands that wrote the speed and thrash metal road map – that culminated in the September 2011 Big Four spectacular at Yankee Stadium in the band’s home town of New York, “Anthrax Day” declared in the Bronx, becoming the first metal band to have its music (“Got The Time”) played on Mars, two Grammy nominations, and sold out shows in every corner of the globe. “We wanted to finish on a high note,” Benante continued, “we didn’t want to look back and regret that we didn’t record the live show.”

Chile on Hell will be available in stores and online Tuesday, September 16th. It will retail for SRP of $16.98. More information on this release and all the latest news from the band is available online at http://anthrax.com, http://www.facebook.com/anthrax, and http://twitter.com/anthrax. 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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.